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US President Donald Trump Signs “Hard-Hitting” New Sanctions Against Iran

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US President Donald Trump has on Monday signed an executive order putting in place what he called “hard-hitting” new sanctions on Iran.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, that “we will continue to increase pressure on Tehran following a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks”  which include the downing of a U.S. drone.

He added that “the Supreme Leader of Iran is one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime,” The new sanctions will deny Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top leaders within the regime access to “key financial resources and support,” Trump said in his announcement.

The downing of a US surveillance drone on Thursday by Iran’s elite Islamic revolutionary guard corps had brought the two foes to the brink of war.

Tehran said the drone violated its airspace but Washington insisted it was flying over international air space in the Gulf.

On Friday Trump had said he called off a retaliatory military attack for the downing of the unmanned aircraft out of concern that those that would be killed.

Health News

U.S. FDA Grants Emergency Authorization For COVID-19 Treatment From Regeneron

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The U.S. Food and drug administration has granted emergency authorization for the Regeneron antibody treatment, the same drug that was administered to president Donald Trump after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The drug’s approval is limited in scope for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19.

Regeneron says it will have enough of the drug for at least eighty thousand patients by the end of this month.  It says, by the first week of January, it would have enough for 200,000 patients, and for 300,000 by the end of January.

The United States has surpassed the 12 million infection mark, and nearly two hundred seventy Americans have died from complications from the disease.

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At Least 26 Dead In Central America From Powerful Hurricane Iota

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26 persons have been confirmed dead in the wake of powerful hurricane iota, which is still battling some parts of central America.

Iota made landfall Monday night in Nicaraguaith continued heavy rains that are expected to cause mudslides and life-threatening flash and river flooding.

In Nicaragua, state-run radio reported at least 16 persons died in that country alone.  Vice president Rosario Murillo said two children also died while trying to cross a river on Monday.

More than 114,000 homes have no power and more than 47,000 are without water.

In Honduras, five persons have died and more than 61,000 persons are now living in shelters.

Colombian president Iván Duque confirmed two persons are dead, six others are wounded, and one person is missing.

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Brexit: UK ‘Will Be Less Safe Without EU Security Deal’

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Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer, Neil Basu says a Brexit deal is “incredibly important for the safety and security of the United Kingdom.

Basu says the deal would guarantee better security and law enforcement agreement than the UK currently has.

Talks between the UK and EU are ongoing, but deadline for a deal is set for December.

The UK left the EU in January, but continues to follow current EU rules until the end of the year while negotiations take place.

Any deal would need to be ratified by the UK and EU parliaments.

The UK had wanted to maintain the current access to shared databases, but the EU says that is not available to none EU members.

Basu says the UK needs to negotiate a security treaty that either retains or improves on the current position.

Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson says he is confident the UK will prosper outside the EU if a post-Brexit trade deal is not agreed with the bloc.

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