The Trump administration has been on high alert in response to what military and intelligence officials have deemed specific and credible threats from Iran against US personnel in the Middle East. But US President Donald Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the United States into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars, according to several US officials. Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran's leaders. All of this while my first guest warns that with the beat of Washington's war drums continuing to grow, particularly following the Monday reports of a government plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to counter Iran, the threat of an "accidental" provocation or a "false flag" is also becoming increasingly likely.
Four activists who had been protesting in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC, for more than a month were arrested Thursday and forcibly removed from the building. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of anti-war organization Code Pink, told the Associated Press that police entered the building early in the morning to arrest the protestors. The US Secret Service confirmed officers had helped agents from State Department's Diplomatic Security Service execute arrest warrants against people inside the embassy: Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, Adrienne Pine and David Paul.
Carlos Ron, deputy foreign minister for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government, tweeted Thursday that US officials entering the building "is an unlawful breach of the Vienna Convention," an international treaty that created a legal framework for diplomacy between countries. All of this action is taking place in Washington, DC, while it is reported that the Venezuelan government and opposition are preparing to negotiate. After months of protests and a failed opposition attempt to overthrow Maduro, government and opposition representatives are meeting in Norway for talks, Venezuela's ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday. It was unclear whether the sides would meet directly to explore resolutions for the political crisis in the South American nation or if Norwegian officials would serve as intermediaries.
US President Donald Trump announced a new immigration plan in a speech Thursday afternoon, the latest attempt by the administration to follow through on a campaign promise to overhaul America's immigration system. "We are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages and safety of American workers first," Trump said. "Our proposal is pro-America, pro-immigrant and pro-worker. It's just common sense." What are we to make of the president's description?
Carlos Castaneda — Attorney at Garcia & Garcia.
Lilly Tajaddini — Iran Campaign coordinator for Code Pink.
Ricardo Vaz — Writer and editor at Venezuelanalysis.com.
Ivan Eland — Senior fellow at the Independent Institute and director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty.
Whitney Webb — Staff Writer at MintPress News.
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