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Military planned a second airstrike on Syria — but Biden called it off to prevent civilian casualties: report

Mar. 5 - On Thursday, NBC News reported that President Joe Biden called off a planned second military strike on Syria, because he did not want to run the risk of civilian casualties.

"Because of the presence of civilians, only one target was bombed in last week's operation, which came in retaliation for recent rocket attacks on U.S. personnel that the Pentagon blamed on Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Iraq, the administration official and a Defense official said," reported Dan De Luce and Carol Lee. "The president made the decision to cancel the separate air strike after military reconnaissance revealed a woman and two children in the courtyard of the intended target, according to the senior administration official."

"The target that was bombed last week by U.S. warplanes was a logistics waystation in eastern Syria that the Pentagon said was used by Iranian-backed militia," said the report. "U.S. officials blamed a deadly Feb. 15 rocket attack on a U.S.-led coalition base in Irbil in northern Iraq on the paramilitary groups."

The Pentagon estimated that the strike killed one fighter and wounded two, although a London-based monitoring group puts the total at 22 fighters dead.

These events come as the Biden administration tries to get Iran back into compliance with the multi-nation nuclear agreement brokered by President Barack Obama — which Iran has stated it is unwilling to do until sanctions are removed.     source from

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Artists paint portraits of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India.
Scoop: Biden meeting Quad amid own pivot toward Asia

Mar. 5 - President Biden plans to meet this month with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called Quad, according to people familiar with the matter.


Why it matters: By putting a Quad meeting on the president’s schedule, the White House is signaling the importance of partnerships and alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.     more details

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US President Joe Biden smiles as he speaks during a virtual call to congratulate the NASA JPL Perseverance team on the successful Mars landing, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on March 4, 2021.
Biden congratulates NASA, says Indian Americans are 'taking over the country'


Biden lauds the NASA team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including Dr Swati Mohan, the Indian-American aerospace engineer, who was one of the many people who spearheaded the development and the landing system for the Perseverance rover that landed on Mars earlier this month

Mar. 5 - President Joe Biden on Thursday (local time) congratulated the NASA team responsible for the success of the Perseverance rover that landed on Mars earlier this month. He lauded the team at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/California Institute of Technology, including Dr Swati Mohan, the Indian-American aerospace engineer, who was one of the many people who spearheaded the development and the landing system for the rover.     continue to read

Presidents of U.S., Guatemala discuss migration, cooperation in fighting drug trafficking

Mra. 5, GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Thursday that he had spoken to U.S. President Joe Biden about how to decrease the number of undocumented Guatemalans migrating north and how to cooperate in their fight against drug trafficking and corruption.


Biden has been gradually unraveling immigration policies put in place by former President Donald Trump but the new administration has encouraged Mexico and Guatemala to keep up border enforcement in their countries.

“We talked about the importance of strengthening cooperation as strategic allies to generate prosperity in Guatemala, combat drug trafficking, corruption and thus reduce irregular migration,” Giammattei said in a Twitter post. He gave no further details.     source from
 
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PBS NewsHour full episode, Mar. 4, 2021
Mar 5, 2021
Thursday on the NewsHour, we talk to key lawmakers about the battle in the Senate over President's Biden's COVID aid bill, new legislation prompts protests from Georgia Democrats as Republicans push to limit access to voting, and a surge in crimes targeting Asian Americans highlights a wave of discrimination since the start of the pandemic.






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