May 11, 2019

U.S. deploys second warship to Middle East amid threats from Iran

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan approved the USS Arlington and Patriot battery's movement. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The U.S. is deploying the USS Arlington, an amphibious transport ship, and a Patriot air defense system to U.S. Central Command in the Middle East, the Defense Department announced on Friday.

What to watch: This decision is partially based on U.S. intelligence that says Iran has green-lit some proxy forces to "go after American military personnel and assets in the region," 3 U.S. officials told NBC. An anonymous defense official told the AP the same thing last Monday, saying Iran and its proxy forces were preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces in the region.

"The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend U.S. forces and interests in the region."
— DOD in a statement on Friday

The backdrop: The U.S. deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force earlier this week to send "a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime" that attacks on U.S. interests or allies will be met with force.

  • President Trump announced sanctions on Iran's iron, steel, aluminum and copper exports this week in an effort to curb any revenue that may be used for developing weapons, amid renewed tensions regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

Go deeper: Trump's next moves to tank the Iranian economy

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: Unrest continues for 6th night across U.S.

A protest near the White House on Sunday night. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most external lights at the White House were turned off late Sunday as the D.C. National Guard was deployed and authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters nearby, per the New York Times.

What's happening: It's one of several tense, late-night standoffs between law enforcement and demonstrators in the United States.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").