US warned Iran that ISIS-K was preparing attack ahead of deadly Kerman blasts, a US official says

“The U.S. government privately warned Iran that the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan was preparing to carry out a terrorist attack before bombings in Kerman earlier this month that killed 95 people, a U.S. official said Thursday.
The official, who was not authorized to comment and insisted on anonymity to discuss the intelligence, said the U.S. was following its longstanding policy of a “duty to warn” other governments against potential lethal threats.

The official did not detail how the U.S., which does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, conveyed the warning about its intelligence on ISIS-Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, but noted that government officials “provide these warnings in part because we do not want to see innocent lives lost in terror attacks.”

Iranian state media did not acknowledge the U.S. giving Tehran the information, and Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Jan. 3 attack on Kerman, about 820 kilometers (510 miles) southeast of Iran’s capital, Tehran. The dual suicide bombing killed at least 95 people and wounded dozens of others attending a commemoration for the late Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Revolutionary Guard’s expeditionary Quds Force, who had been killed in a 2020 U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

In the time since, Iran has been trying to blame the U.S. and Israel for the attack amid Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It has launched missile attacks on Iraq and Syria. It then launched strikes on nuclear-armed Pakistan, which responded with its own strikes on Iran, further raising tensions in a region inflamed by the Israel-Hamas war.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-warned-iran-isis-k-163615266.html

The US Navy is in the thick of the Red Sea fight. But there’s one warship class that’s missing

“The US Navy has surged warships into the Middle East in response to the growing threat that Yemen’s Houthi rebels pose to commercial shipping passing through regional waters.
But there’s one ship type the American fleet isn’t surging into the region. The troubled Littoral Combat Ship. Farcically, the LCS is one of the more numerous ship types in the fleet. But it’s totally unsuitable for hard fighting. And the fighting around Yemen has been very hard.

That the US Navy has left behind its 26 LCSs is the latest humiliation for military leaders who advocated for the ship during its long development – and the latest reminder that the American fleet is, in practice, much smaller than it appears to be on paper.

If the LCSs can’t fight the Houthis, who can they fight? That likely answer is: no one.”

“The idea was to equip the US fleet with 50 or more vessels that could sail fast in shallow, near-shore littorals. To keep them small, their weaponry would be light.

The Pentagon’s $37-billion commitment to the LCS was a profound misreading of the future security environment. With no long-range air-defenses, the 3,000-ton LCSs can’t protect themselves from the Houthis’ Iranian-made missiles and drones – to say nothing of protecting commercial ships that might be spread out across thousands of square miles.

And with no long-range land-attack weapons, the LCSs can’t strike back at the Houthis, either. If the LCSs are unsuitable for defense and offense against a regional militant group, how would they fare against a much bigger and more sophisticated foe like China?”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-navy-thick-red-sea-164758213.html

Nearly 30% of Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ, national survey finds

“Twenty-eight percent of Gen Z adults — which the survey’s researchers specify as those ages 18 to 25 — identify as LGBTQ, according to a report released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute, or PRRI. That compares with 10% of all adults, 16% of millennials, 7% of Generation X, 4% of baby boomers and 4% of the Silent Generation, the institute found.
“With respect to LGBTQ identity, it’s very clear that Gen Z adults look different than older Americans,” said Melissa Deckman, PRRI’s chief executive.

In its LGBTQ identity breakdown, the report found 72% of Gen Z adults identified as straight, 15% as bisexual, 5% as gay or lesbian and 8% as something else.

Researchers also found that Gen Z adults were more ethnically and racially diverse than older generations and less likely to affiliate with established religions. Gen Z adults, along with millennials, were also more likely to identify as LGBTQ than Republican, the survey found.

PRRI’s new survey, which included more than 6,600 participants, was conducted in August and September.

The findings are in line with those of other major surveys, including Gallup’s, that show Gen Z is the queerest adult generation to date. In its most recent poll, released in February of last year, Gallup found 7.2% of adults in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ, including nearly 20% of those in Gen Z, which that survey defined as those ages 19 to 26.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nearly-30-gen-z-adults-002505661.html

Federal Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Reform Prosecutor Removed from Office by Ron DeSantis

“A federal appeals court has reinstated a First Amendment lawsuit filed by former Tampa-area reform prosecutor Andrew Warren against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and now the DeSantis administration will have to argue that Warren’s job performance, not his ideology, was the controlling factor behind Warren’s removal from office.”

https://reason.com/2024/01/10/federal-appeals-court-rules-in-favor-of-reform-prosecutor-removed-from-office-by-ron-desantis/

Haley and DeSantis Pander to Iowans by Praising Ethanol Mandate

“In practice, though, ethanol is actually worse for the environment than traditional gasoline. And while ethanol is cheaper than gasoline, it also contains less energy by volume. Depending on the age of your vehicle, it can also be bad for your engine.

One thing ethanol is good for, though, is corn farmers. A 2021 report by Taxpayers for Common Sense called the Renewable Fuel Standard “the largest current subsidy for corn ethanol.” A 2022 study found, as Reuters put it, that “as a result of the mandate, corn cultivation grew 8.7% and expanded into 6.9 million additional acres of land between 2008 and 2016.”

It therefore makes perfect sense for two candidates desperate for votes in Iowa—the state that produces more corn than any other—to pledge fealty to a federal mandate that requires more people to buy corn-based ethanol. But just because something makes political sense doesn’t make it good policy.”

https://reason.com/2024/01/10/haley-and-desantis-pander-to-iowans-by-praising-ethanol-mandate/