Iran rejects U.S. talks, pushes Biden to lift sanctions

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:57 AM PT – Monday, April 5, 2021

As U.S. officials head to Vienna to engage in talks with Iran, it appears one topic is already off limits.

In a statement Sunday, Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said there will be no direct or indirect talks with the U.S. on the country’s nuclear program throughout the week. The Iranian diplomat reiterated Joe Biden has to lift all sanctions on Iran and pay compensation before any talks could begin.

“We are negotiating with the Joint Commission, meaning the 4+1 countries, we will relay to them our demand and condition for returning to the nuclear deal,” Araghchi stated. “Our demand is that America must first resume complying with its entire commitments.”

Last Friday, both countries agreed to send delegates to Vienna to discuss possible solutions to mutual tensions with U.S. officials saying they believed the focus of the discussion would be the JCPOA and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

This combined photo released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, shows Iranian diplomats attending a virtual talk on nuclear deal with representatives of world powers, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 2, 2021. The chair of the group including the European Union, China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran said that the participants "emphasized their commitment to preserve the JCPOA and discussed modalities to ensure the return to its full and effective implementation," according to a statement after their virtual meeting, referring to the acronym for the accord — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Abbas Araghchi, center, heads the Iranian diplomats. (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP)

This combined photo released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, shows Iranian diplomats attending a virtual talk on nuclear deal with representatives of world powers, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 2, 2021. (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP)

“This is just the first step…its going to be a difficult path because of how much time has gone by and how much mutual distrust there is, but our goal is to discuss indirectly with our European and other partners who will discuss with Iran to see whether we could define those steps that both sides are gonna have to take,” explained Robert Malley, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran. “If were serious about coming back into compliance with the deal.”

However, Iran’s pull-back appears to demand a full U.S. capitulation and has reignited claims of the nation meddled in the 2020 election to get Democrats in office so that Trump-era sanctions, which have crippled their economy, could be lifted.

The talks are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

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Original Article

DeSantis: ’60 Minutes’ Report on Vaccine Rollout a ‘Fake Narrative’

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DeSantis: '60 Minutes' Report on Vaccine Rollout a 'Fake Narrative' ron desantis speaks onstage at cpac Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 05 April 2021 08:06 AM

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is fighting back against a report on the coronavirus vaccine rollout in his state as being a "fake narrative" with its allegations that he aimed the distribution and administration of the vaccination toward the wealthy and to his own campaign contributors.

CBS' Sharyn Alfonsi, in an extensive report for "60 Minutes," reported allegations airing Sunday night that the governor had privatized the state vaccine rollout to benefit large donors who donated to his campaign and that he'd funneled the vaccines to wealthy communities at a time when minorities have been struggling to have access to the vaccine.

Florida's Democrat leaders are seeking a Justice Department investigation to determine if DeSantis had been rewarding high-dollar donors through allowing special access to the vaccine.

There have also been other questions raised about whether DeSantis discriminated when picking communities for pop-up vaccination sites, including at Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County just south of Tampa.

In Feburary, the "60 Minutes" report said, the governor announced he was giving 3,000 doses to the community, because "we saw a need, we want to get the numbers up for seniors."

The Lakewood Ranch developer, Pat Neal, however, had donated $135,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC, the segment noted.

Alfonsi also reported that the Republican governor had given a contract to the grocery chain Publix to distribute the vaccines exclusively in the Palm Beach area after the company donated $100,000 to his campaign.

DeSantis declined CBS's request for an interview, according to Alfonsi, so she caught up with him at an event near Orlando.

"Publix as you know donated $100,000 to your campaign and then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccine in Palm Beach," she said.

"So first of all what you're saying is wrong," DeSantis told her. "I met with the county mayor. I met with the administrator. I met with all the folks in Palm Beach County and I said, 'here's some of the options. We can do more drive-thru sites. We can give more to hospitals. We can do the Publix.' And they said, 'We think that would be the easiest thing for our residents.'"

Alfonsi also told DeSantis that his critics are saying that his awarding the contract amounted to a "pay for play" scheme, and he argued with her again.

"I just disabused you of the narrative and you don't care about the facts because obviously I just laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable," he said. "So clearly it's not."

And when she tried to question him further, DeSantis shouted over her: "No, no, no. You're wrong. You're wrong. You're wrong."

Meanwhile, Publix responded that there was no connection between its campaign contributions to DeSantis and the partnership to administer the vaccine.

"The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state's vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive," the chain said in a statement. "We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia to do our part to help our communities emerge from the pandemic."

State Rep. Omari Hardy, a Democrat, told "60 Minutes" DeSantis' decision choice to privatize the rollout meant that low-income communities were left without a way to get the shots if they did not have a Publix grocery store. She noted that in one instance, a community's residents, including several elderly residents, had to travel nearly 30 miles to get a shot."

"Before, I could call the public health director. She would answer my calls. But now if I want to get my constituents information about how to get this vaccine I have to call a lobbyist from Publix? That makes no sense," Hardy said. "They're not accountable to the public."

Journalist Glenn Greenwald’s Harrowing Home Invasion Story

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Journalist Glenn Greenwald's Harrowing Home Invasion Story glenn greenwald speaks in court US journalist Glenn Greenwald, founder and editor of The Intercept website gestures during a hearing at the Lower House's Human Rights Commission in Brasilia, Brazil, on June 25, 2019. (EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

By Jim Thomas | Monday, 05 April 2021 06:03 AM

Reading like a script from a thriller crime drama, journalist Glenn Greenwald shared a true-to-life story about what it was like to have his own home invaded by a group of 5 men at gunpoint.

He was inspired by a similar story he was working on involving an Oakland, California family who were also the victims of a home invasion, where that family was tied up, beaten, and threatened with death, mediaite.com reported.

His story begins at an isolated house on a farm near Rio de Janeiro that his family has been renting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thinking ahead, he had hired an off duty local cop to provide security for him and his family. During the invasion, he was unfortunately in the farmhouse, but luckily his family was in Rio.

Suddenly on March 5 around 9:30 p.m., Greenwald’s dogs signaled something was wrong by loudly and frantically barking. Curious as to what all the fuss was about, Greenwald ventured outside to discover, "three men wearing full black face masks descending on me, all pointing guns at me."

The men then shoved their way into the house as two others held the security guard at bay with guns drawn. The intruders demanded cash; "they did not believe that there wasn’t much in the house, which drove them to a considerable amount of anger," he wrote.

"They repeatedly threatened to shoot the security in the head, repeatedly kicked him so hard that they cracked several of his ribs, ordered me to open my mouth and stuck a gun in it as they demanded to know where the rest of the money was, smashed my phone and tablet against a wall when they could not figure out how to erase the hard-drive, and just generally tried to create a climate of extreme fear," according to Greenwald.

The invaders bound his and the security guard’s arms and legs with cords, and then escaped in the Greenwald’s car after an hour of ransacking the home, Greenwald said.

All they got away with was "a couple hundred dollars, some kitchen appliances, and clothes for ourselves and our kids." Greenwald added.

Greenwald opined that the invaders were not professional criminals rather they were more the desperate kind. Following the invasion, they went on to commit "at least three other armed invasions of stores in the area using the car they stole from us."

Fortuitously, police spotted the car — registered to Greenwald’s husband, a member of Congress in Brazil — on security cameras, and soon uncovered the identity of the criminals.

Australian T.V.: Biden is illiterate, incoherent & cognitively deficient

President Joe Biden responds to a question after speaking about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, April 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Joe Biden responds to a question after speaking about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, April 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:30 PM PT – Sunday, April 4, 2021

A major Australian T.V. channel has continued to expose the weakness and corruption of the Biden administration. In a recent segment of his show, Alan Jones of Sky News Australia said Biden’s declining mental and physical health have raised increasing alert among U.S. allies.

“This is the President of the United States of America who is illiterate, incoherent, cognitively deficient,” Jones said. “And a leader of the Western world, it is an insult to those who fought for democracy.”

Jones said the purported leader of the free world has to be propped up for every public appearance. He added, Democrat-controlled media has lied and covered up for Biden to make him look good, but it’s failing at its task.

“After the stumble, the websites of MSNBC, CBS News, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the New York Times all had no mention of Biden’s stumbling incident,” Jones noted. “To prove the Trump point when it came to airtime on television, CNN devoted 15 seconds to the incident. But when Trump walked slowly down a ramp after he delivered a graduation address last June, CNN devoted 22 minutes to Trump’s walk, the media pushing the line that Trump, at 74, was facing serious health questions.”

Jones also said Biden has made statements that didn’t make sense, which stirred further confusion among U.S. allies.

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Original Article

Rosenstein: Wait, see what John Durham finds on Crossfire Hurricane

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 03: Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is sworn in at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on June 03, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Republican-led panel is exploring issues raised with warrants issued in the FBI investigation, code named "Crossfire Hurricane" at the time, of Trump campaign officials in the 2016 presidential race. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:45 PM PT – Sunday, April 4, 2021

Former Deputy U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has tried to keep the Russia probe alive. During an interview Sunday, Rosenstein said the investigation was “not a witch hunt,” believing the DOJ had credible information.

In 2017, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Muller to spearhead the investigation into Russian collusion with President Trump’s 2016 campaign. This came after several Obama-era officials flagged the campaign in their Crossfire Hurricane operation.

Rosenstein stood by his decision to look into Russian interference as he believed it would give closure to the American public.

“The Special Council operates within the mandate of the Department of Justice, so there was a significant difference structurally in, of course, Special Counsel,” Rosenstein said. “The reason I appointed him was because I believed that it was important to promote public confidence in the independence and outcome of the investigation of Russian election interference.”

In the meantime, Rosenstein urged Americans to “wait and see” what Special Council John Durham finds regarding the origins of the Russia probe. Durham has yet to reveal any findings of his investigation throughout his nearly two years looking into the matter.

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Barrasso Says Easiest Way To Get Into US Is ‘Illegally’

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Barrasso Says Easiest Way To Get Into US Is 'Illegally' john barrasso stands in front of flags and speaks Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks in 2020 in Washington, DC. (Nicholas Kamm-Pool/Getty Images)

Sunday, 04 April 2021 02:00 PM

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., on Sunday decried the lack of enforcement and crucial checks at the southern border for migrants — and their quick release into the United States.

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Barrasso, who was part of a group of lawmakers who visited the border region, declared “the easiest way to get into the United States today is to do it illegally.”

“You don't have to show proof of anything and they will allow you into the country. That's the Biden policy,” he lamented.

Barrasso offered the example of a midnight patrol the lawmakers were allowed to witness.

“They will tell you their job got a lot harder when Joe Biden became president,” he said of Border Patrol agents. “Only one in three of them is on the ground trying to enforce the laws because two-thirds of them are involved in either providing day care or escorts to the migrants who are being shown by signs on the ground where to go to turn themselves in.”

“The Border Patrol talked to the transition team from the Biden administration before they came into office,” he continued. “They said, if you eliminate this program that worked that [former] President [Donald] Trump put in place, the Remain in Mexico program, we are going to have a massive humanitarian crisis at the border. The Biden administration ignored them and that's what we have now — highest numbers of all times coming into the country illegally.

“No identification, carrying who knows how many diseases, but certainly high percentage with coronavirus that they are then taking all across the country.”

He added that what he witnessed was “the highest in history” of unaccompanied minors.

“They have crammed in like sardines and this is what the Biden administration is trying to hide from the American public which is why we took video and the Biden administration tried to stop us," he said. "You put so many people in captivity in this sort of way and 10% are testing positive for coronavirus, Joe Biden is turning into this super spreader of coronavirus in our country.”

Original Article

Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline

Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline (AP)

KIMBERLEE KRUESI and THALIA BEATY Friday, 25 December 2020 05:39 PM

A recreational vehicle parked in the deserted streets of downtown Nashville exploded early Christmas morning, causing widespread communications outages that took down police emergency systems and grounded holiday travel at the city's airport. Authorities said they believe the blast was intentional.

Police were responding to a report of shots fired Friday when they encountered the RV blaring a recorded warning that a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. Police evacuated nearby buildings and called in the bomb squad. The RV exploded shortly afterward, Drake said at a midday news conference. Police did not immediately indicate a possible motive or the target.

“It looks like a bomb went off on Second Avenue,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said after touring the site. Cooper issued a state of emergency and a curfew for the area.

Police did not immediately indicate a possible motive or the target.

Surveillance video published on a Twitter account Friday that appeared to be across the street from the blast captured the warning issuing from the RV, “… if you can hear this message, evacuate now,” seconds before the explosion.

The blast sent black smoke and flames billowing from the heart of downtown Nashville’s tourist scene, an area packed with honky-tonks, restaurants and shops. Buildings shook and windows shattered streets away from the explosion near a building owned by AT&T that lies one block from the company's office tower, a landmark in downtown.

“We do not know if that was a coincidence, or if that was the intention,” police spokesman Don Aaron said. Aaron said earlier that some people were taken to the department’s central precinct for questioning but declined to give details.

AT&T said the affected building is the central office of a telephone exchange, with network equipment in it. The blast interrupted service, but the company declined to say how widespread outages were.

“Service for some customers in Nashville and the surrounding areas may be affected by damage to our facilities from the explosion this morning. We are in contact with law enforcement and working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service,” AT&T spokesman Jim Greer said in an emailed statement.

The AT&T outages site showed service issues in middle Tennessee and Kentucky, including Bowling Green about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Nashville. Several police agencies reported that their 911 systems were down because of the outage, including Murfreesboro and Knox County, home to Knoxville about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Nashville.

The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily halted flights out of Nashville International Airport because of telecommunications issues associated with the explosion.

Three people were taken to area hospitals for treatment after the blast, although none were in critical condition, Aaron said. Cooper said the city was lucky that the number of injuries was limited. Authorities don’t know whether anyone was in the vehicle when it exploded.

Human remains were found in the vicinity, two law enforcement officials told the The Associated Press. It was unclear how the remains were related to the explosion or whether they might belong to the person believed to be responsible or a victim. The officials could not discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The FBI will be taking the lead in the investigation, agency spokesman Joel Siskovic said. Federal investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also on the scene. The FBI is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for investigating federal crimes, such as explosives violations and acts of terrorism.

A Philadelphia man staying in a nearby hotel said that when he heard the blast, he was knew it wasn’t harmless.

“We tried to rationalize it that it was an earthquake or something, but it was obvious it wasn’t an earthquake," Joseph Fafara said. He said he traveled to Tennessee with his family on Christmas because the state has looser COVID-19 restrictions than Philadelphia.

When he went to look at the damage, police barricades had already been put in place. At noon, police dogs continued to search cars and buildings in the nearby area.

Buck McCoy, who lives near the area, posted videos on Facebook that show water pouring down the ceiling of his home. Alarms blare in the background along with cries of people in distress. A fire is visible in the street outside.

McCoy said he heard gunfire 15 minutes before the explosion rocked his building, set cars in the street on fire and blew trees apart.

“All my windows, every single one of them got blown into the next room. If I had been standing there it would have been horrible,” he said.

“It felt like a bomb. It was that big,” he told The Associated Press.

President Donald Trump has been briefed, according to White House spokesperson Judd Deere. The U.S. Justice Department said Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen was also briefed and directed all department resources be made available to help with the investigation.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said on Twitter that the state would provide the resources necessary “to determine what happened and who was responsible.”

The American Red Cross of Tennessee announced that it was working with officials to open a shelter for victims.