Tag Archives: Second

British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in escalation of Gulf tensions as second ship also veers off course

British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in escalation of Gulf tensions as second ship also veers off courseA British-flagged oil tanker was seized by Iran on Friday night, in a major escalation of tensions along one of the world's most vital oil shipping routes. The Stena Impero had been en route to Saudi Arabia but made an abrupt change of course and began moving towards the Iranian island of Qeshm, according to data relayed by maritime tracking services. The ship “went dark”, meaning its identification system was turned off, at 16:29 UK time and nothing has been heard from her or her 23 crew since. Northern Marine, a Clyde-based subsidiary of the ship's Swedish owner Stena AB, confirmed that a “hostile action” had preceded the vessel's change of course on Friday afternoon. They issued a statement saying it had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.” The ship turned suddenly into Iranian waters Credit: marinetraffic.com/PA Iran's Revolutionary Guards said in a statement that they stopped the tanker at the request of the maritime authority in the Iranian province of Hormozgan on suspicion it has "violated international maritime law", but did not elaborate.  There were also concerns about a second oil tanker, the British-operated, Liberian-flagged Mesdar, which turned sharply north towards Iran's coast, about 40 minutes after the Stena Impero's course shift. There was no immediate word from the Guards about the second tanker or from the operator of the second tanker on what had prompted the change in direction along the vital international oil shipping route. Tracking data showed the Stena Impero was in the same area where a United Arab Emirates-based vessel was detained on Sunday and where a British vessel, the British Heritage, was blocked by Iranian forces earlier this month. A Cobra meeting was held between officials from the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence and other Government departments on Friday night to determine the UK's response. A Whitehall source told the Telegraph of the Stena Impero: "It does look like it has been hijacked. Ships don't follow that pattern. It turned right and straight into Iranian waters. It is really concerning that this has happened. "It looks on the face of it as though the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have boarded and taken a UK-flagged ship. It appears to be linked to events around the Grace 1 tanker." British authorities seized the Iranian Grace 1 supertanker off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4, on suspicion it was carrying crude to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. The fate of the tanker has been at the centre of escalating tensions between the UK and Iran and seen as a pawn in the standoff between the Islamic Republic and the West. Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary, had hinted last Saturday that the UK would release the ship if Iran promised its cargo would not go to the Syrian regime. He said talks between him and counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif had been productive. However, a court in Gibraltar on Friday extended for 30 days the detention of the vessel, which was carrying two million barrels of oil. Revolutionary Guards have been threatening retaliation for its impounding and the move would likely have aggravated an already-tense situation. Tensions have been building for weeks in the Persian Gulf.  On 10 July, a British warship, the HMS Montrose, intervened to drive three Iranian military vessels that were attempting to divert the British Heritage.  Iran seized a Panama-flagged ship on Sunday, it alleges, for “smuggling oil to foreign countries". However, mystery has surrounded the capture as no country has come forward to claim the ship or its cargo. The vessel, however, was only carrying a very small amount and it had been thought Iran had seized it as merely a show of strength. The US then on Thursday claimed to have downed an Iranian drone that had been flying too close to one of its navy ships.  The USS Boxer, an amphibious assault craft, destroyed the drone after it came within 1,000 yards in the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Gulf However, Iran denied the claims and released footage on state TV to proof it was still in possession of the drone. The latest incidents will only increase fears for security along the Strait of Hormuz, through which almost one-fifth of the world's oil passes. Oil prices rose on Friday night in reaction to the news. After one of the worst performing weeks since May, oil started the day firmer but slipped as the US and Iran continued to trade brickbats. The later rise initially still left it well down on the previous week. Oil was down more than 8pc this week overall when markets in London closed.   Iran has threatened to close the Strait if it cannot export its oil. The Trump administration is trying to block Iran's exports as a way to pressure it to renegotiate the landmark 2015 nuclear deal it abandoned last year. The UK, which is understood to have seized the Grace 1 after a request from the US, is trying – alongside the EU – to keep the accord alive, believing it is the best chance to stop Tehran acquiring a nuclear weapon.



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Britain sends second warship to the Gulf after Iran tanker standoff

Britain sends second warship to the Gulf after Iran tanker standoffBritain said Friday it was sending a second warship to the Gulf and raising the alert level in the region as tensions spike after Iranian gunboats threatened a UK supertanker. The decision was disclosed as US President Donald Trump stepped up his war of words with the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme and its alleged support for terror groups in the Middle East. “Iran better be careful,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.



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What the A-10 Warthog Would Do in a Second Korean War

What the A-10 Warthog Would Do in a Second Korean WarNorth Korea has a very large army that may number 3.5 million men and women, although the quality of the forces is open to question and skepticism.The much-maligned A-10 Thunderbolt ground attack airplane could prove to be a savior if fighting breaks out with North Korea. However, the US Air Force wants to get rid of the plane, and is not asking for funds to fix the wings on some 100 A-10s, which therefore may end up in the scrap yard.In any conflict with North Korea, a US-South Korean-Coalition’s objective will be to knock out North Korea’s nuclear facilities and missiles. This will surely involve strategic bombers and maybe even stealth aircraft. But one immediate consequence will be that North Korea will attack South Korea, probably aiming first at neutralizing US and Korean forces by destroying bases, airfields, depots and equipment.This first appeared in January 2018.North Korea has a very large army that may number 3.5 million men and women, although the quality of the forces is open to question and skepticism. The country also has a considerable armored capability. There are 4,200 tanks, 2,200 armored personnel carriers, 8,600 artillery pieces and 4,800 multiple rocket launchers. While most of these are of old designs, if North Korea is able to move them in position, cross the DMZ and mount an attack on the south, its army could quickly defeat the south.Recommended: How North Korea Could Start a WarRecommended: This Is What Happens if America Nuked North Korea



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More opposition to census team shake-up as second judge denies DOJ request

More opposition to census team shake-up as second judge denies DOJ requestA Maryland federal judge denied the request in an order that said changing lawyers "does not create a clean slate" erasing earlier representations to the court.



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Warren raises $19.1 million for presidential bid in second quarter, third among crowd of rivals

Warren raises $  19.1 million for presidential bid in second quarter, third among crowd of rivalsDemocratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren raised $ 19.1 million in the second quarter of the year, placing her in the top three for the period among top-tier rivals, her campaign announced in an email to supporters on Monday. The top second-quarter fundraising hauls among Democratic candidates reported so far have been by South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised $ 24.8 million, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who raised $ 21.5 million. More than two dozen Democrats are competing for the party’s nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.



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Second person accused of licking Blue Bell ice cream at store

Second person accused of licking Blue Bell ice cream at storeAnother apparent incident of someone licking ice cream at a store has surfaced. This time it's in Louisiana.



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'The boys are together again:' Second son dies a week after mother's drowning attempt

'The boys are together again:' Second son dies a week after mother's drowning attemptSherri Telnas now faces two homicide charges after her youngest son, Jacob Ray, died a week after she is accused of trying to drown him and his brother.



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Rattled nerves, minor damage from second major Southern California quake

Rattled nerves, minor damage from second major Southern California quakeSouthern California appeared to have avoided the worst on Saturday after it was rocked by a second powerful earthquake in as many days — a 7.1 magnitude tremor that revived fears of the so-called Big One the region has feared for decades. No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported from this second quake, the largest in Southern California in more than two decades. It hit Friday night in a remote and sparsely populated area around 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, where it was also felt.



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Kamala Harris raises nearly $12 million in second quarter

Kamala Harris raises nearly $  12 million in second quarterHarris raised $ 2 million alone in the 24 hours after the first presidential debate last week.



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Joe Biden raises $21.5 million in second quarter, keeps pace with Buttigieg

Joe Biden raises $  21.5 million in second quarter, keeps pace with ButtigiegFormer Vice President Joe Biden took in $ 21.5 million in the second fundraising quarter of the year, his campaign said on Wednesday, placing him behind only Pete Buttigieg among 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who have reported campaign donations for the period. In an email to supporters, the Biden campaign pointed out that Biden entered the race in late April three weeks after the quarter began, making his per-day donation rate the highest of any candidate so far. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders raised $ 18 million in the second quarter, his campaign reported on Tuesday.



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