WASHINGTON (AP) – CIA-backed rebels in Syria, who had begun to put serious pressure on President Bashar Assad’s forces, are now under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American patrons, U.S. officials say.
Over the past week, Russia has directed parts of its air campaign against U.S.-funded groups and other moderate opposition in a concerted effort to weaken them, the officials say. The Obama administration has few options to defend those it had secretly armed and trained. The Russians “know their targets, and they have a sophisticated capacity to understand the battlefield situation,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who serves on the House Intelligence Committee and was careful not to confirm a classified program.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that his country was ready to stand up to any threat posed by the United States as he spoke at a lavish military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the North’s ruling party and trumpet his third-generation leadership.
The parade, which featured thousands of goose-stepping soldiers and military hardware including missiles and drones mounted on trucks, kicked off what is expected to be one of the North’s biggest celebrations ever – an attention-getting event that is the government’s way of showing the world and its own people that the Kim dynasty is firmly in control and its military a power to be reckoned with.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Black men from around the nation gathered on the National Mall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March and called for policing reforms and changes in black communities. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who spearheaded the original march, led an anniversary gathering at the Capitol called the “Justice or Else” march.
“I plan to deliver an uncompromising message and call for the government of the United States to respond to our legitimate grievances,” Farrakhan said in a statement. Attention has been focused on the deaths of unarmed black men since the shootings of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 in Florida and 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.