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Family of Ex-FBI Agent Gets Worst Possible News

Robert Levinson's family says they believe he has died in Iranian custody

(Newser) - The US government has concluded that retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished more than a decade ago, has died while in the custody of Iran, his family said Wednesday. Shortly after the family's announcement, President Trump told reporters that "I won't accept that he's dead,... More »

LA Sheriff Releases Inmates Over Coronavirus Fears

In Iran, authorities temporarily freed 85K inmates

(Newser) - Everyone's familiar with the COVID-19 drill by now: Use social distancing, avoid large groups in close quarters, etc. But one big population of people around the world can't manage that as well as most: inmates. Which explains why Iran, particularly hard hit by COVID-19, has just temporarily released... More »

In Iran, Evidence of Mass Coronavirus Graves

Death toll may be far higher than government is letting on

(Newser) - Iran is home to one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 outside of China, with its health ministry saying more than 10,000 people have been infected and 429 have died. The scope may be larger, or so suggests new satellite images. The Washington Post reports those images show excavation... More »

Misguided Virus Remedy Proves Fatal

At least 27 die in Iran after drinking industrial alcohol to keep themselves 'safe' from disease

(Newser) - They feared contracting the novel coronavirus; they died from a supposed remedy instead. Local news agencies in Iran say at least 27 people died of alcohol poisoning in the Khuzestan and Alborz provinces after swallowing booze they thought would fend off COVID-19, reports ABC News . Bloomberg notes that similar deaths... More »

A 'Worrisome' Development: Iran 'Has a Pathway to a Bomb'

IAEA reports say Iran's low-enriched uranium stockpile has tripled

(Newser) - When the Trump administration took the US out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the idea was to instead impose sanctions to pressure Iran to stop developing its nuclear program. Now, "the numbers suggest a different reality"—that Iran "now has a pathway to a bomb,"... More »

54K Inmates Get Released Because of Coronavirus

Iranian authorities claim they all tested negative

(Newser) - Iran's coronavirus crisis is now so severe that tens of thousands of prisoners are being released. Authorities said Tuesday that to combat the spread of the virus in crowded prisons, around 54,000 inmates have been temporarily released after posting bail and testing negative for COVID-19, the BBC reports.... More »

8% of Iran's Parliament Has Coronavirus

Some 300K troops will be mobilized in the country

(Newser) - The upper echelons of Iran's government have been hit with coronavirus. USA Today reports by way of Iranian state media that 23 members of parliament and the head of the country’s emergency services have the virus—contributing to a count that amounts to nearly 10% of the country'... More »

White House Issues New Virus Travel Warnings

Trump defends use of word 'hoax' when describing Democrats' reactions

(Newser) - The Trump administration has news for Americans: Watch where you go, USA Today reports. With the coronavirus spreading, President Trump gave a press conference Saturday flanked by relevant officials—including Vice President Mike Pence, who said the US travel warning is now at level 4 (the highest) for travel to... More »

Iran Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads to 4 More Countries

Minister denies claim that deaths are being covered up

(Newser) - Health officials worldwide say the continued spread of COVID-19 outside China is very worrying—but Iran has denied one of the most alarming figures. Iranian lawmaker Ahmad Amiriabadi Farahani, who represents Qom, said Monday that there had been at least 50 coronavirus deaths in the city and accused the country'... More »

Coronavirus Spikes in S. Korea, Hits Italy and Iran

More than half of S. Korea's 430 cases are tied to controversial Shincheonji Church of Jesus

(Newser) - Almost 78,000 people around the globe have been hit with COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus , the AP reports, and South Korea is the latest nation to be slammed. Per CNN , more than 430 cases have been reported there as of Saturday, with two deaths so far; more than... More »

Number of US Troops Injured in Iran Strike Keeps Climbing

More than 100 have now been diagnosed with brain injuries

(Newser) - More than 100 US troops have now been diagnosed with brain injuries from Iran's missile attack on an Iraqi air base last month, Reuters and CNN report, citing anonymous officials. The number has been climbing steadily since the retaliatory attack , from an initial report that the US suffered no... More »

Iran Fails to Launch Rocket, Warns of 'Fake News'

Iran couldn't put the Zafar 1 communications satellite into orbit

(Newser) - An Iranian rocket failed to put a satellite into orbit on Sunday, state television reported, the latest setback for a program the US claims helps Tehran advance its ballistic missile program, the AP reports. The launch happened at 7:15pm local time at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan... More »

Iran Factory Fills Weird Void: Making US Flags to Burn

Facility also churns out Israeli and British flags for protesters

(Newser) - Watch footage of anti-US or anti-Israel protests in Iran, and you're likely to see a familiar scene: protesters burning American and Israeli flags. But Iran is under US sanctions and has no official contact with Israel, all of which presents a strange logistical hurdle, notes the Washington Post : Where... More »

Pentagon Raises Number of Troops Hurt in Iran Strike

50 service members suffered traumatic brain injuries

(Newser) - The Pentagon has raised to 50 the number of US service members who suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iran's missile strike earlier this month on an Iraqi air base, the third time the number of injuries has been increased. The new total released belies President Trump's initial claim... More »

Only 2 Hurt After Airliner Crash-Lands on Highway

MD-83 missed traffic, homes in Iran

(Newser) - An aging Iranian passenger airliner carrying 144 people crash-landed on a runway and skidded onto a major highway next to an airport Monday, the latest crash in the Islamic Republic as US sanctions bar it from buying parts or new aircraft. Authorities said two people suffered injuries in the hard... More »

Iran's Military Lied to Government About Downing Plane

Cover-up began right after officer decided on his own to fire missiles

(Newser) - An officer of the Revolutionary Guards tried to reach the command center for instructions when he spotted what he thought was an unidentified aircraft near the airport in Tehran. He couldn't get through, leaving him seconds to make the decision himself. So the officer, on the military's highest... More »

More Troops Than Thought Had Brain Injuries After Iran Strike

Pentagon says 34 in all, and half are still being evaluated

(Newser) - Iran's retaliatory strike on US troops injured more Americans than thought. The Pentagon on Friday said that 34 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, reports the AP . Of those, 17 are still under medical observation. Eight of that group were shipped back to the Walter Reed Medical... More »

Trump Responds to 'Clown' Barb From Iran's Leader

'He should be very careful with his words!'

(Newser) - First there was MAGA; now there's MIGA. That stands for "Make Iran Great Again," which was President Trump's message to Iranian leadership Friday during a tense tweet-off between himself and Ayatollah Ali Khameini. This week, for the first time since 2012, Khameini delivered a Friday sermon,... More »

Canada to Pay Families of Victims Aboard Plane

Trudeau says he'll still pressure Iran for compensation

(Newser) - Canada will offer compensation to families of those killed when Iran shot down a Ukranian airliner to help with travel and funeral expenses, the National Post reports. The government will offer the families $25,000 per victim — about $19,000 US — and will continue to pressure the Iranian... More »

As It Turns Out, 11 Troops Were Hurt in Iran's Strike

American service members are being treated for concussions

(Newser) - After Iran fired missiles at two Iraqi bases with American troops, President Trump and Pentagon officials said the US had no casualties. As it turns out, 11 US service members are being treated for concussions, reports the New York Times . All have been transferred to military facilities in Kuwait and... More »

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