Almost two weeks since the news broke that former Secretary of State John Kerry allegedly revealed sensitive information about Israeli covert operations to Iran’s foreign minister, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is asking Secretary of State Antony Blinken and acting Inspector General Diana Shaw to examine the allegations.
In a leaked recorded interview, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif reportedly claimed that Kerry told him about covert Israeli operations on Iranian targets in Syria. Kerry denies the allegations.
Yet, the Biden Administration has not commented on the situation. Grassley, along with other senators, sent a letter to President Biden early last week to ask him to investigate Kerry. That letter went unanswered.
Now, as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Grassley is asking that records regarding meetings Kerry had with Zarif be sent to the committee for review. His deadline is May 18th.
“President Biden has the power to act and so do you,” Grassley writes in the letters.
But, when this reporter reached out to the State Department Inspector General for comment, a spokesperson said “We have no additional information to share at this time.”
The State Department echoed the empty statement. “The department respects the role of congress and does not comment on congressional correspondence,” a State Department spokesperson told SaraACarter.com
Many calls for action have gone unanswered. While some have asked that Kerry resign from his current position as presidential envoy for climate on the National Security Council, others like Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) are simply asking that Kerry’s security clearance be temporarily suspended while he is investigated. So far, nothing has changed.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism
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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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