If you were expecting some clarity on the chaos that has consumed Washington this week, sorry to disappoint. If anything, we’re ending with more questions. 
From the beginning, all eyes had been trained on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing pushed back to this Thursday.
What was an initially complicated situation at the beginning of the week — Christine Blasey Ford accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault — became even more complicated as another woman stepped forward alleging misconduct — and then another. 
President Donald Trump waded into the entire situation while on the world stage at the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. The President delivered a rare stem-winder of a standalone news conference, holding court with reporters for nearly an hour and a half. Chris recapped some of the more interesting nuggets from that presser, which is very much worth a click. 
On top of everything, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s fate continues to hang in the balance after a bombshell New York Times story last week detailing a suggestion to secretly record the President and discussed the 25th Amendment. Two rescheduled meetings with President Trump at the White House later, Rosenstein remains employed by the Justice Department.

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Now, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to bring Kavanaugh’s nomination to a full Senate vote, but even that plan is complicated. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said his “yes” vote today came with a condition: The FBI must briefly investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh. 
Now it looks like Flake will get his way. This afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced it will ask that the Trump administration to ask the FBI to conduct a background check on Kavanaugh, to be completed no later than next Friday. 
The Point: We’ve had a wild week, but there is an end in sight (at least with Kavanaugh). That comes next Friday, the deadline for the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s latest Supreme Court pick.
And below, we have a handy recap of the week that was (again) dominated by Kavanaugh: 
  • Trump emphasizes US accomplishments in UN speech
  • Trump blasts second Kavanaugh accuser: ‘She admits she was drunk’
  • Mattis: ‘The jury is out’ on whether women will be successful in combat roles
Wednesday:
  • White House spokesman on Kavanaugh votes: ‘We’re getting there’
  • Trump signs bill to avoid government shutdown
  • Trump on Kavanaugh delay: Senate has to ‘do what they think is right’
“It certainly should cover the three credible reports that have come forward, and it has to be complete,” Hirono told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
“It has to be the kind of job that we expect the FBI to do — and I believe that they can do it.”
Hirono was referring to the accounts brought forward by Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, who have leveled sexual assault or misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh stemming from his high school to his college years. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied all of the allegations.
Lawmakers opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination have put their focus on these allegations rather than two additional accusations that became public this week. These include allegations of an assault made in anonymous letter and an account of a sexual assault a boat that was recanted by the accuser hours after it went public.
In a fiery opening statement to address Ford’s allegations against him before the Senate Judiciary committee Thursday, Kavanaugh denied all allegations against him.
“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election,” he said.
On Friday, Republicans and the White House agreed to a one-week delay in Kavanaugh’s confirmation so that the FBI can investigate the sexual assault allegations.
“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file,” Trump said in a statement. “As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”
Hirono praised the bipartisan effort from Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, of Arizona, and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, of Delaware, for prompting the supplemental FBI investigation into Kavanaugh.
“I know Jeff Flake has been torn,” she said. “I share those concerns and I have to say my good friend Chris Coons is a very good bridger, he really wanted to create a better way to go forward.”
“The rest of us have been calling for this for what seems like decades,” she added.
America sat mesmerized, listening to the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford. In a voice constricted with emotion, she described the nightmare of being sexually assaulted at 15 by a high school student she alleged to be the drunken Brett Kavanaugh. One winced, hearing the painful details. Amid this firestorm, the simple question we all ponder is anything but simple — did this actually happen?
Robert Sapolsky

At first glance, one feature of Ford’s testimony seemingly weakens her credibility. Amid the claims of clear, detailed memories of the assault, she cannot remember straightforward facts such as where this happened and on what date. For many, this is grounds for skepticism.
Sen. Diane Feinstein gave Ford a chance to address this, asking how, amid those basic details she couldn’t recall, she was so sure it was Kavanaugh. Ford, with a doctorate in psychology, answered, “The same way that I’m sure that I’m talking to you right now. It’s — just basic memory functions. And also just the level of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain that, sort of, as you know, encodes — that neurotransmitter encodes memories into the hippocampus. And so, the trauma-related experience, then, is kind of locked there, whereas other details kind of drift.”
Kavanaugh case opens old wounds for many survivors

Kavanaugh case opens old wounds for many survivors

Which is when the neuroscientists perked up. Ford had mentioned the hippocampus, a brain region located just below the cortex in the temporal lobe, beloved by many a neuroscientist (myself included). The hippocampus is central to the formation of new memories — specifically explicit, declarative ones about facts and sequences of events (versus an implicit memory of, say, how to ride a bicycle). Extensive research has revealed the workings by which the hippocampus forms new memories.
But Ford did not merely cite the hippocampus; instead, she cited a particular feature of its function, reflecting the fact that we don’t automatically, indiscriminately commit everything to memory. Instead, we remember the big things — where we were on 9/11, not 9/10.
During moments of highly aroused stress and fear, we develop a tunnel vision of memory. This was shown in a classic 1994 study by Larry Cahill, James McGaugh and colleagues at the University of California, Irvine, where volunteers were told a 12-sentence story. For half, it was mundane — a boy and his mother walk through town, on their way to visit his father at his workplace, the hospital; they cross the street, reach the hospital, where the boy observes the goings-on.
Be alarmed when a leader tries to make you think of humans as vermin

Be alarmed when a leader tries to make you think of humans as vermin

For the remaining subjects, the story diverged — the boy and his mother are on the way to visit the father, and while crossing the street, the boy is critically injured by a vehicle; he is rushed to the hospital where staffers struggle to save his life. The two versions were identical in the first four sentences, and similar in the final four. It was in the middle four that only the second group heard of the horrific accident.
A week later, subjects’ memory of the story was tested. Recall of the story involving the accident was better than for the mundane story. Crucially, accurate recall was only enhanced for those four central sentences concerning the emotionally disturbing events; memory about the mundane beginning and end were no better than in the control subjects. In other words, it is only the most pertinent memories of a trauma that are indelible. Whose hand it was covering your mouth is there forever; the date and whose house it was fades into irrelevance.
Who's right? Gender, power, politics collide over Kavanaugh

Who's right? Gender, power, politics collide over Kavanaugh

(Ford also summarized how this works. Extreme stress triggers the release of the hormone epinephrine — also known as adrenalin — along with the closely related brain chemical norepinephrine. It is these that tell the hippocampus that all hell is breaking loose and it better remember the parts that matter.)
Which raises another feature of this drama. There’s Ford, educated, articulate, seemingly distraught, saying: This happened. And there’s the educated, articulate Kavanaugh, seemingly outraged, saying: It did not.
One more interesting fact about hippocampal function: as shown when one drinks too much and wakes the next day with no memory of the night before, a sure way to keep the hippocampus from filing away memories of events is with alcohol. Thus, rather than a passionately stated “She said/He said,” we could have a “She remembers/His brain never consolidated those memories in the first place.”
There are few means to distinguish between the indignant response to being accused of something you did not do, versus the response to being accused of something you can never remember. That needs to be factored into our thinking about this hugely consequential crossroads where we sit.
In a voice vote, lawmakers passed the motion to proceed on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, meaning there would be no Saturday session — though the future of Kavanaugh’s nomination now lies in the hands of an FBI investigation.
The move comes after a week of uncertainty surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination as the nation watched both the judge and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about the alleged incident.
Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of committing sexual assault against her more than three decades ago when both were at a party in their high school years. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegation.
Following Thursday’s hearing, Republicans agreed to delay the final vote to confirm Kavanaugh to allow time for the FBI to look into the allegations against him.
“The supplemental FBI background investigation would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today,” a Friday statement from the Senate Judiciary Committee said.
Friday evening’s procedural motion means the Senate will officially be considering Kavanaugh’s nomination while the FBI investigates sexual assault allegations against the judge.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement from President Donald Trump in a tweet Friday afternoon, announcing that he had officially asked for the FBI to “conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file.”
“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week,” Trump said in the statement.

(CNN) — National parks are important. They’re home to irreplaceable ecosystems, cultural sites and extraordinary wildlife.

The study revealed that temperatures across the country’s 417 protected areas have increased by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, double the amount compared to the rest of the country. While both temperatures and aridity went up, precipitation rates have drastically gone down.

Why this is happening

Patrick Gonzalez, a climate change scientist at the University of California Berkeley and one of the study’s authors, says the reason why the national parks are adversely affected is usually because of their locations. A lot of national parks are in the Arctic, at high elevations or in dry weather ares in the southwestern United States.

The high temperatures, according to the study, often occur because a large portion of national parks are at high elevations, “where warming occurs more quickly due to a thinner atmosphere.”

More than half of the country’s parks — 63% — are in Alaska and have seen the worst temperature increase.

“The permafrost is melting,” Gonzalez told CNN. “The ground there is frozen because of the cold climate through most of the year, so once you heat it up, the ground melts.” When the snow melts, Gonzalez said, the land’s color turns darker, with the snow gone.

“And we all know that darker colors absorb more sunlight and get hotter.”

That puts not only glaciers at risk, but polar bears as well, who depend on the sea ice.

The study found precipitation was also down by 12% across the country’s national parks, while it had only decreased by 3% in the US as a whole.

What this means for parks

Between 1948 and 2000, Muir Glacier in the Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska has shed over 2,099 feet; forests in the Noatak National Preserve and Yosemite National Park have thinned and shifted.

Vast areas of forests are dying in Yellowstone National Park from droughts and bark beetles, which have thrived due to climate change are attacking the trees.

And in areas like Yosemite National Park and preserves in Alaska, trees are growing in meadows and tundra.

It could get much worse, scientists say.

Yellowstone National Park — the world’s first national park — could see up to 10 times more areas burned by wildfires by 2100, while Joshua Tree National Park could see its famous Joshua trees die out.

Temperatures in the country’s national parks could increase six times faster in the 21st century than they did in the 20th century. Alaska’s national parks alone could see up to a 16 degrees Fahrenheit temperature increase.

What can be done about it

There’s a way back, Gonzalez said. The temperature increases can be attributed to human-caused climate change.

“Carbon dioxide has risen to its highest level in 800,000 years, well beyond the natural range of variation,” Gonzalez said. Plus, the carbon that scientists have found in the atmosphere has a unique chemical signature, different from the carbon that comes from volcanoes or plants.

“We have quantified the carbon pollution to cars, power plants and deforestation. We have found that human activities pump nine billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year but growing forests and ocean waters only absorb five billions tons a year.”

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the study, could reduce projected temperature increases by at least a half and possibly up to two-thirds.

Go car-free, he suggests.

“Walk, bike, take public transit,” Gonzales said. “Cutting carbon pollution from human sources can save parks from the most extreme heat.”

That was not only their assessment as they watched as Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, detail her allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh in their high school days.
A painful hearing lays bare nation's political flaws

Media around the world has also zoomed in on Kavanaugh’s performance, with British news organizations in particular ridiculing Kavanaugh for his repeated denials of having high school drinking habits, and for unconvincingly painting a picture of his past as a conscientious student too consumed with sports to have time for women.
In the Opinion section of the Guardian, Marina Hyde wrote a satirical re-imagination of the hearing, in which she mocked Kavanaugh for his performance, including his moment of crying.
“I cannot stress how absolutely irrelevant things that happened in high school are. They are irrelevant, and meaningless. Do you know how much I worked out at Tobin’s house during high school? Do you know what I could bench press in high school?” she wrote, in a caricature of Kavanaugh.
The Economist took a more serious tone and criticized Kavanaugh’s lack of judgement and his “hostility towards the left,” saying it “would would make him an exceptionally divisive addition to the court.”
“Based on the day’s hearings, the justice committee should not vote to support Mr Kavanaugh’s confirmation,” it wrote.

French TV editor: Kavanaugh ‘deserves an Oscar’

In France, BFMTV’s diplomatic editor, Ulysse Gosset, said of Kavanaugh’s performance: “He deserves an Oscar because in reality he’s on shaky ground.”
After a wrenching day, Judiciary Committee to vote on Kavanaugh at 1:30 p.m. ET

After a wrenching day, Judiciary Committee to vote on Kavanaugh at 1:30 p.m. ET

In a commentary piece for Germany’s Zeit Online, Carsten Luther criticized the entire hearing as a partisan “spectacle” in which senators had failed on several counts, including to take Ford’s sex assault allegations seriously while giving Kavanaugh the presumption of innocence.
“Political operations in Washington have reached that point where senators can meet the current US president on an equal footing: at the bottom,” Luther wrote.
“On Thursday, millions of Americans could follow live something that looked like a search for truth, but only on the surface. It was not about taking the alleged victim of a sexual assault seriously while maintaining the presumption of innocence against the alleged perpetrator until the opposite could be proved. Power and the fear of losing it were the motivations for the spectacle, which, playing out over hours, showed what divides this country.”

The US has ‘been here before’

Matthew Knott from Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald pointed out that Thursday’s hearing was a little bit of “history repeating.”
The United States had experienced a similar moment 27 years ago, he wrote, when Anita Hill was questioned by an all-male panel on her allegations of sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.
'I reported a powerful man, but can't imagine how Christine Ford feels'

'I reported a powerful man, but can't imagine how Christine Ford feels'

In 1991, Thomas said: “This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace,” Knott wrote.
On Thursday, Kavanaugh made almost the exact same comments. “This is a circus,” he said. “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace.”
Knott criticized the senators for descending into “an all-out partisan brawl” and questioned why the FBI would not be asked to investigate the allegations and key witnesses won’t testify.
“That makes possible one of two unpalatable outcomes.

“Either a female survivor of sexual assault who bravely went public with her story will, yet again, be disbelieved. Or an innocent man will have his career shredded by unproven claims not supported by corroborating evidence.”

Repercussions far beyond the US

In a blog for the magazine Marie Claire in South Africa, Zoya Pon called on South African women to take note of the Kavanaugh case, stressing that it would have implications for women in her own country and abroad.
“The outcome of the case will inevitably ripple internationally, affecting many things — not limited to — how we react to, vote, prosecute, and speak about the sexual violence affecting us politically, socially and legally.”
In a column for South Africa’s News 24, Serjeant at the Bar, who writes on legal issues, pointed to the lack of progress in addressing sexual misconduct allegations since Anita Hill’s testimony in 1991.
“If the US has hardly progressed in being earnest about alleged sexual impropriety since the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings, can it be said that the legal profession in this country has transformed itself from the white male club which has been operative since the dawn of the profession in South Africa?”
“How many male lawyers would still say, ‘You cannot take seriously that which Judge Kavanaugh did when he was a student?'”

Elon Musk is being sued by the SEC

Can Tesla navigate through its many controversies and still meet its sales targets? We’re about to find out.

Early next week Tesla will report how many cars it made in the third quarter and how many it was actually able to deliver to customers.

Three months ago, investors and Tesla fans waited to see if the company could hit its long-promised target of building 5,000 Model 3 cars in a week. It just made that goal, building 5,031 in the last week of June.

Experts say the report on third quarter production is much more important to the company and its future. It’ll show whether the production level at the end of the second quarter was a blip or sustainable.

“The idea of having sustained production is so much more important than a production sprint during a week,” said Jeremy Acevedo manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. “The difference between 5,000 a week and 20,000 a month is huge.”

And even more importantly it’ll show whether Tesla (TSLA) is on track to meet CEO Elon Musk’s promises that the company would be profitable in the third and fourth quarters. The company had only two marginally profitable quarters in its history as a public company, and posted its largest loss ever in the second quarter as it rushed to ramp up production.

The losses, and more than $1 billion in debt that will be come due at Tesla by next spring, are why some experts are raising the possibility of a cash crunch at Tesla that could force it to sell more shares to raise cash. That could be more difficult as the stock loses value and Musk faces a federal lawsuit for misleading investors.

Musk has insisted that the company will not need to raise cash because it will generate more revenue with increased production. But he also has admitted that the company is having trouble delivering all the cars it is building.

“Sorry, we’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell,” Musk tweeted two weeks ago, though he promised, “We’re making rapid progress. Should be solved shortly.”

Needless to say, its customers who are waiting for their Teslas aren’t paying for their long-anticipated cars until they actually get delivered. So the logistics problems could be its own red flag for the company revenue.

“The delivery scramble and chaos they’re going through right now, it’s disconcerting,” said Rebecca Lindland, analyst with Cox Automotive.

She said that while some fans of Tesla might want to focus on whatever production number is reported, it’s important to look at both production and deliveries.

Tesla’s most consequential report in its history has been overshadowed with controversy.

In August Musk announced via tweet that he was planning to take the company private at a price of $420 a share, and that he had “funding secured” to do so. Although he had some investors expressing interest in financing such a deal, there was nothing secured, according to the SEC. He dropped plans to go private by the end of the month. But by then he had already been sued by shareholders who charged that the tweet was a deceptive effort to manipulate the stock price. And Thursday the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a suit against Musk, seeking to have him removed as an officer at Tesla or any other public company.

Add in stories about Musk not getting any sleep and smoking pot during a podcast, and his other company SpaceX selling a trip to the moon for a billionaire tourist on his other company SpaceX, and its easy to forget that a good measure of success is actually how many cars you can build and sell.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited threats from Iran in a statement and a senior US official told CNN that the decision to place the facility on “ordered departure” was prompted by “security threats from Iran.”
“US Embassy Baghdad will continue to provide consular services to US citizens in Basrah.” the State Department said in a statement.
The State Department also updated its travel advisory for Iraq Friday to note the order.
“Threats to our personnel and facilities in Iraq from the Government of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, and from militias facilitated by and under the control and direction of the Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani have increased over the past several weeks,” Pompeo said in a statement.
US increasingly concerned about Iranian proxy attacks

Pompeo noted that “there have been repeated incidents of indirect fire from elements of those militias directed at our Consulate General in Basrah and our Embassy in Baghdad, including within the past twenty-four hours.”
“I have advised the Government of Iran that the United States will hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities in Iraq or elsewhere and whether perpetrated by Iranian forces directly or by associated proxy militias,” he said.
CNN also reported on Thursday that a US intelligence assessment conducted in recent days has concluded that Iranian-backed militias and proxy forces could be planning a strike against US military forces or interests in the Middle East, according to three defense officials.
Officials would not describe the specific intelligence, but in addition to monitoring public statements from Iran, the US intelligence community is capable of using overhead satellites and communication intercepts.
Using proxies could make it difficult for US intelligence to readily identify targets to strike.
But Pompeo, in a recent CNN interview, made it clear Iran’s use of militias and proxies throughout the Middle East could provoke a US military response if US interests come under attack. “They’re going to be held accountable. If they’re responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we’re going to go to the source.”
A spokesman for the US-led coalition in Iraq said Friday that the military was tracking “two points of impact from strikes near the US Basra Diplomat Consulate, but nothing was hit and no injuries. No one has taken credit for this unsuccessful attempt,” Col. Sean Ryan told CNN early Friday morning.
On Thursday, multiple residents in Basra told CNN that rockets were fired towards Basra International Airport in the very early hours of Friday, but that they neither struck inside airport grounds nor the US Consulate which is located near the airport.
Iran's Rouhani dismisses Trump's threats saying 'America is alone'

Iran's Rouhani dismisses Trump's threats saying 'America is alone'

National security adviser John Bolton’s issued a stark warning to Iran at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, “If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.”
On Wednesday, while hosting a meeting on non-proliferation, President Donald Trump added a warning.
“Any individual or entity that fails to comply will face severe consequences,” he said.
Bolton said that the Trump administration is also implementing measures to specifically target Soleimani, who heads the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“The Trump administration has launched a pressure campaign to counter Soleimani’s insidious design,” Bolton said.
Responding to Trump’s comments on Wednesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that the US is the problem: an isolated violator of international laws led by a team of political and diplomatic novices that is earning the world’s disapproval.
The study surveyed 3,177 10th graders in southern California in 2015 and 1,077 reported ever using cannabis. It found that 61.7% of those who had used cannabis had tried at least two methods — combustible, edible or vaporized cannabis.
Almost 1 in 11 students has vaped cannabis, report says

Use of all three cannabis products was reported by 8.2% of those who’d used it.
“We found that cannabis use was highly prevalent, but what was interesting and new was that the majority of youth who had used cannabis in one form had not only used just one type of cannabis, but they used two or more different types of cannabis products,” said Adam Leventhal, lead author of the study and director of the University of Southern California Health, Emotion and Addiction Laboratory.
Fewer teens having sex and using drugs, CDC survey finds

Fewer teens having sex and using drugs, CDC survey finds

Of those participants who had ever used cannabis, 31.3% had used combustible cannabis, 21.3% had used edibles and 10.5% had used vaporized cannabis. Those who had used cannabis in the past 30 days followed the same pattern.
“While use of the traditional smoked form of cannabis was still the most popular form, we did find a sizable portion of teens who had never smoked cannabis, but did report using edibles or vaporized,” Leventhal said.
Among the 1,077 who had ever used any type of cannabis, 7.8% had never smoked it; 2.9% were exclusive vaporized cannabis users and 4.2% were exclusive edible users.
Overall teen drug use stable, but marijuana edging up, survey finds

Overall teen drug use stable, but marijuana edging up, survey finds

“Vaping is the newest and most substantial trend in adolescent cannabis use,” Richard Meich, principal investigator at Monitoring the Future and professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, said via email. He was not involved with this study.
Previous research by Monitoring the Future found that in 2017 more than one in four US 12th graders had reported vaping cannabis in the past year.
“Adolescent cannabis use has been pretty steady the past couple of years,” Meich said, “so it doesn’t appear that these new alternatives are drawing in new cannabis users, at least not yet. Adolescents may be supplementing their standard cannabis smoking with new forms of cannabis use, or they may be substituting new forms (e.g. vaping and edibles) for smoking.”
“We hope our study raises awareness of people who are concerned about the health of teens that these products exist, that they are commonly used, and it would be worth opening up a line of dialogue between teens and teachers and parents about these products,” Leventhal said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited threats from Iran in a statement and a senior US official told CNN that the decision to place the facility on “ordered departure” was prompted by “security threats from Iran.”
“US Embassy Baghdad will continue to provide consular services to US citizens in Basrah.” the State Department said in a statement.
The State Department also updated its travel advisory for Iraq Friday to note the order.
“Threats to our personnel and facilities in Iraq from the Government of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, and from militias facilitated by and under the control and direction of the Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani have increased over the past several weeks,” Pompeo said in a statement.
US increasingly concerned about Iranian proxy attacks

Pompeo noted that “there have been repeated incidents of indirect fire from elements of those militias directed at our Consulate General in Basrah and our Embassy in Baghdad, including within the past twenty-four hours.”
“I have advised the Government of Iran that the United States will hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities in Iraq or elsewhere and whether perpetrated by Iranian forces directly or by associated proxy militias,” he said.
CNN also reported on Thursday that a US intelligence assessment conducted in recent days has concluded that Iranian-backed militias and proxy forces could be planning a strike against US military forces or interests in the Middle East, according to three defense officials.
Officials would not describe the specific intelligence, but in addition to monitoring public statements from Iran, the US intelligence community is capable of using overhead satellites and communication intercepts.
Using proxies could make it difficult for US intelligence to readily identify targets to strike.
But Pompeo, in a recent CNN interview, made it clear Iran’s use of militias and proxies throughout the Middle East could provoke a US military response if US interests come under attack. “They’re going to be held accountable. If they’re responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we’re going to go to the source.”
A spokesman for the US-led coalition in Iraq said Friday that the military was tracking “two points of impact from strikes near the US Basra Diplomat Consulate, but nothing was hit and no injuries. No one has taken credit for this unsuccessful attempt,” Col. Sean Ryan told CNN early Friday morning.
On Thursday, multiple residents in Basra told CNN that rockets were fired towards Basra International Airport in the very early hours of Friday, but that they neither struck inside airport grounds nor the US Consulate which is located near the airport.
Iran's Rouhani dismisses Trump's threats saying 'America is alone'

Iran's Rouhani dismisses Trump's threats saying 'America is alone'

National security adviser John Bolton’s issued a stark warning to Iran at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, “If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.”
On Wednesday, while hosting a meeting on non-proliferation, President Donald Trump added a warning.
“Any individual or entity that fails to comply will face severe consequences,” he said.
Bolton said that the Trump administration is also implementing measures to specifically target Soleimani, who heads the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“The Trump administration has launched a pressure campaign to counter Soleimani’s insidious design,” Bolton said.
Responding to Trump’s comments on Wednesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that the US is the problem: an isolated violator of international laws led by a team of political and diplomatic novices that is earning the world’s disapproval.