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Pentagon Chief Reassures NATO Allies on Collective Defense
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has told European allies that American security is tied to that of Europe, describing NATO's principle of collective defense as a 'bedrock commitment'.
He made the comments at the Munich Security Conference, where heads of state and delegates from across the world are gathered at a time of global uncertainty.
"Transatlantic unity buttresses European unity. A fact we recognize in the context of cooperation between NATO and the European Union," Secretary Mattis told delegates, adding that "American security is permanently tied to the security of Europe. Done correctly, European initiatives and NATO unity are mutually reinforcing."
WATCH: Mattis remarks at on adapting to threats
U.S. President Donald Trump last month labeled NATO as obsolete. But Mattis said the president had now thrown his full weight behind the alliance - although he repeated the demand that Europe shares more of the financial burden.
Preserving international order
"Standing on the bedrock of our NATO alliance, 28 democracies help preserve the rules-based international order," Mattis said.
It is that international order that many delegates in Munich say is at risk - and many pin the blame mainly on Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will speak at the Munich conference Saturday. NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed further dialogue.
"Russia is our biggest neighbor and especially in times with more military activity along our borders, with high tensions, I strongly believe that there is the need for dialogue between NATO and Russia," he told reporters Friday.
More U.S. troops and military hardware arrived in Latvia and Romania this week, part of the biggest NATO reinforcement since the end of the Cold War.
European allies have been reassured by the warm words that Secretary Mattis had for the transatlantic alliance. But many delegates also say that they would like to hear those same words from President Trump himself.
1. US Immigration Raids to Target Teenage Suspected Gang Members
U.S. immigration agents are planning nationwide raids next week to arrest, among others, teenagers who entered the country without guardians and are suspected gang members, in a widening of President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigrants.The raids are set to begin on Sunday and continue through Wednesday, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. The teenagers targeted will be 16- and 17-years-old.The raids represent a sharp departure from practices during the presidency of Barack Obama. Under Obama, minors could be targeted for deportation if they had been convicted of crimes, but were not arrested simply for suspected gang activity or membership.CriteriaU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that a person can be identified as a gang member if they meet two or more criteria, including having gang tattoos, frequenting an area notorious for gangs and wearing gang apparel.The agency said it does not comment on plans for future law enforcement operation
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The mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is facing calls to step down over the mistaken shooting last week of an Australian woman by a police officer.The incident has caused dismay inside the United States and outrage in Australia. The victim, Justine Damond, 40, was a cheery blonde meditation instructor who was engaged to be married next month.She was killed last week in the alley behind her Minneapolis home. Mayor Betsy Hodges faced the public Friday to announce the resignation of Police Chief Janee Harteau, whose department was responsible for the shooting death of Damond, who had called emergency operators about a suspected sexual assault near her house.'We don't want you'But Hodges' announcement was drowned out by shouts. Activists who slipped into the news conference in Minneapolis called out, "We don't want you as our mayor of Minneapolis anymore. We don't want you to appoint anyone anymore."Shouted down by the protesters, Hodges and her staff left the room, to chants of "Bye-bye, B
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Images captured by an underwater robot Saturday showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor of a damaged reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.The robot found large amounts of solidified, lava-like rocks and lumps in layers as thick as 1 meter (3 feet) on the bottom inside of a main structure called the pedestal that sits underneath the core inside the primary containment vessel of Fukushima's Unit 3 reactor, said the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.On Friday, the robot spotted suspected debris of melted fuel for the first time since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused multiple meltdowns and destroyed the plant. The three-day probe of Unit 3 ended Saturday.Locating and analyzing the fuel debris and damage in each of the plant's three wrecked reactors is crucial for decommissioning the plant. The search for melted fuel in the two other reactors has so far been unsuccessful because of damage and extremely high radiation levels.
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The U.N. Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting for Monday to discuss the recent violence between Israelis and Palestinians the most brutal fighting between the rivals in years.Clashes erupted late Saturday in the Old City of Jerusalem, where hundreds of Muslim men defiantly held evening prayers outside after being denied entrance to the holy site Muslims call Noble Sanctuary and Jews call Temple Mount.Earlier in the day, Israeli officials said they searched the West Bank home of a Palestinian who broke into a home and stabbed to death three Israelis during their dinner.Two of the victims died Friday soon after the attack in the area known as Neve Tsuf, north of Ramallah. Another victim died later in the day.The assailant was shot by Israeli police and is hospitalized in Israel. He has been identified as Omar al-Abed, 20. Officials have arrested his brother, searched his family home in the West Bank, and taken steps to have it demolished.While Israeli security officers we