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VOA employee reinstated by Biden following suspension under Trump

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A Voice of America (VOA) employee has been reinstated following her removal for allegedly misusing funds and falsifying her resume, according to the Washington Times’ Bill Gertz.

Setareh Derakhshesh Sieg has been reinstated as director of VOA’s Persian News Network and has been given an additional position of special assistant for program review, according to Gertz’s report.

VOA spokeswoman Bridget Serchak said Sieg was reinstated to VOA Thursday after being placed on administrative leave. “Ms. Sieg was immediately transferred to a new position as special assistant to the VOA acting director of programming and VOA director of programming review,” she said.

According to a report obtained by The Washington Times, Sieg was recommended for removal on Jan. 5 for “waste of agency/government funds” and “lack of candor” in response to the allegations.

VOA’s deputy director Beth Robbins suspended Sieg in Jan. under the Trump administration.

“This is the fox guarding the henhouse, rewarding documented corruption and mendacity. Ms. Sieg’s record of mismanagement and deception are irrefutable,” Robbins said.

Other VOA employees were terminated in Aug. 2020 for their involvement in a pro-Biden video that appealed for Muslim votes, as reported by Sara A. Carter.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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ukraine tanks scaled

Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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