In our news wrap Monday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani sounded defiant in the face of new sanctions from the U.S., targeting everything from oil exports to shipping to finance. Also, Taliban fighters killed at least 17 Afghan soldiers and police in a new spate of attacks.
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And now to the day's other news, and there was some.
A new wave of U.S. sanctions hit Iran, targeting everything from oil exports, to shipping, to finance. It follows President Trump's decision to quit the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani sounded defiant, trading long-distance verbal volleys with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Hassan Rouhani (through translator):
We are at an economic war situation. We are standing up to a bullying enemy. Yesterday, Saddam Hussein confronted us from Iraq. Today, Trump confronts us. There is no difference. We must resist and win.
The Iranian regime has a choice. It can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble.
Separately, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said the Trump administration plans to add more sanctions against Iran.
In Afghanistan, Taliban fighters killed at least 17 Afghan soldiers and police in a new spate of attacks overnight and today. One strike targeted a checkpoint in Ghazni province that was designed to cut off a key Taliban supply route. Four more security troops were killed hours earlier in Kandahar province in the south.
There's been a new burst of fighting in Yemen around the crucial Red Sea port of Hodeidah. A Saudi-backed Sunni coalition massed troops there over the weekend. They have been firing rockets into the city at Shiite rebels aligned with Iran. That is despite calls last week from the U.S. and other Western countries for a cease-fire in that bitter struggle.
Reports out of Turkey say that a Saudi team sent to investigate the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi removed evidence instead. A senior Turkish official confirmed it today. The two-man cleanup crew was said to be part of this group that entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul one week after Khashoggi was killed there.
Meanwhile, the U.S. today addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, and demanded a full investigation.
We condemn this premeditated killing. Holding accountable those identified as being involved and continuing the investigation is an important first step. A thorough, conclusive and transparent investigation, carried out in accordance with due process, with results made public, is essential.
Khashoggi's sons are now appealing for the return of their father's body for burial in Saudi Arabia.
A hopeful note today about the Earth's ozone layer. A United Nations report says it is finally healing, and the currently huge ozone hole over Antarctica should be gone by the 2060s. The trend began to reverse after chlorofluorocarbons were banned from aerosol sprays and coolants. The ozone issue is largely separate and distinct from global warming, known to be caused by greenhouse gases.
Back in this country, opening arguments began in federal court in New York on including a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. census. A dozen states and big cities are suing the Trump administration to block the question. They say that it will dissuade immigrants from participating and would cause a severe undercount.
USA Gymnastics is losing its status as the sports governing body at the Olympic level. The U.S. Olympic Committee announced the move today. USA Gymnastics was rocked by the scandal over former team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abusing athletes. Since then, the group has struggled to reorganize.
On Wall Street today, financial stocks led the blue chips higher, but tech shares flagged again. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 190 points to close at 25461. The Nasdaq fell 28 points. And the S&P 500 added 15.
And shareholder activist Evelyn Davis has died after decades of confronting corporate executives. She pressed for accountability with an array of tactics at annual meetings, from donning outlandish outfits to shouting down CEOs. At her direction, her tombstone will read: "I didn't get where I am by standing in line, nor by being shy."
Evelyn Davis was 89 years old.