Thursday, May 18, 2017 1:00 am
US sticking with Iran deal for now
The Trump administration took a key step Wednesday toward preserving the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, coupling the move with fresh ballistic missile sanctions to show it isn't going light on the Islamic republic.
The State Department said Iran would continue to enjoy relief from decades-old economic measures punishing Tehran for its nuclear program. Under the 2015 nuclear agreement, the U.S. lifted those sanctions. But Washington must issue periodical waivers to keep the penalties from snapping back into place and the most recent one was set to expire this week.
Donald Trump as a candidate vowed to renegotiate or tear up the nuclear deal. As president, he has altered his position, insisting he is still studying the accord and hasn't made a final decision. The move to extend the sanctions relief in the meantime was another indication Trump might be laying the groundwork to let the deal stand.
Death toll rises in Venezuela violence
Legions of national guardsmen and military helicopters began descending Wednesday on a western Venezuela state, where an outbreak of looting and political violence left at least three people dead in as many days, raising the nationwide death toll in a wave of unrest to at least 43.
Jose Guerrero, 15, died in San Cristobal on Wednesday after going out the previous afternoon to purchase flour and being shot near a protest, authorities said. His death means the number killed in nearly two months of protests and street clashes is likely to surpass that seen in the country's last political upheaval in 2014, when 43 people died during three months of demonstrations against the socialist government.
Puerto Rican nationalist finally freed
Puerto Rico nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera emerged from house arrest Wednesday and was celebrated by supporters after decades in custody, freed in a case that made him a martyr for some but angered those who lost loved ones in a string of bombings.
Wearing black jeans and a shirt decorated with a Puerto Rican flag pin, the 74-year-old left his daughter's San Juan home escorted by the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Lopez was considered a top leader of the Armed Forces of National Liberation, or FALN, an ultranationalist Puerto Rican group that claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings at government buildings, department stores, banks and restaurants in New York, Chicago, Washington and Puerto Rico during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Britain works to unravel cyberattack
Days after the global cyberattack, United Kingdom police are trying to figure out whether it was an established network of criminals, state-backed hackers or bored teenagers that crippled the country's health service.
The Malware campaign affected more than 200,000 computers in at least 150 countries, locking users out of systems at Chinese government agencies, Deutsche Bahn, automakers Nissan Motor Co. and Renault, logistics giant FedEx Corp., and hospitals around the world. As security experts gain the upper hand in containing the infection, police have begun the hunt for its creators.
“The response is beyond anything I've seen before,” said Steven Wilson, the head of Europol's EC3 cyber-crime unit. “The picture is starting to emerge slowly.”