1. 1,500 US TROOPS HEAD TO MIDDLE EAST AS TRUMP SEALS $7 BLN SAUDI ARMS SALE
The US will send hundreds of additional troops and a dozen fighter jets to the Middle East in the coming weeks to counter what the Pentagon has said is an escalating campaign by Iran to plan attacks against the US and its interests in the region.
And for the first time, Pentagon officials on Friday publicly blamed Iran and its proxies for recent tanker bombings near United Arab Emirates and a rocket attack in Iraq.
Donald Trump told reporters Friday that the 1,500 troops would have a “mostly protective” role as part of a build-up that began this month in response to what the US said was a threat from Iran.
The announcement caps three weeks of elevated tensions with Iran, as the administration hurled accusations of an imminent attack and abruptly deployed navy warships to the region. The moves alarmed members of Congress, who demanded proof and details, amid fears the US was lurching toward open conflict.
2. WIKIPEDIA TAKES TURKEY TO EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS COURT
Wikipedia is taking Turkey to Europe’s top human rights court as it escalates a two-year battle to overturn the country’s ban on its website.
It said that the Turkish censorship not only deprived the country’s 81 million citizens of access to the information provided on the site, but also meant that their voices were not part of its discussion and debate.
Turkey imposed the ban on Wikipedia in April 2017 when the country was still reeling from the effects of an attempted coup the previous summer that left 250 people dead.
According to the Wikimedia executives, the ban followed a demand from the Turkish authorities to remove two articles: one about the Syrian civil war and another about state-sponsored terrorism.