Rob Gronkowksi popped into today’s White House press briefing to ask Sean Spicer if he needed any help. Spicer, a Patriots fan, declined the offer. Mild laughs were had. Gronkowski then disappeared, presumably to cause more mischief in other parts of the building.
It’s not surprising that the tight end performed a bit like this. That he was wearing a shirt while doing it was a bit of a shock.
With the US seeking to slow the mounting losses by the Afghan military in the southern Helmand Province, the Pentagon has announced a deployment of roughly 300 US Marines to the province, with the fighters expected to arrive by the end of the month.
The deployment marks the largest single deployment of US Marines in occupied Afghanistan since 2014, which reflects the Afghan military’s growing woes in combat. These troops will join smaller numbers the US had already deployed into the area, who were nominally “advisers.”
And while officially, the new Marines are also “advise-and-assist” troops that are being sent in a non-combat role, Col. Matthew Reid confirmed that the Marines are always deployed “with a combat mindset.” Given how poorly the Afghan military has done on its own, it wouldn’t be surprising to find the Marines in combat situations.
Large numbers of US and British soldiers were deployed in Helmand earlier in the war, but officials had withdrawn them largely in the transition away from direct combat missions. Since then, Helmand has been among the major targets of the Taliban, and they’ve captured large portions of the province.
According to a report by Korea JoongAng Daily, China appears to be preparing measures in case North Korea tests a nuclear device or performs another provocation, including possibly suspending oil to the regime, and adds that relations between Beijing and Pyongyang appear frostier than ever before.
Additionally, the Korea publication references the Chinese-language Boxun News, which cites a Beijing source, according to whom Chinese President Xi Jinping attempted to send Wu Dawei, China’s special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, to Pyongyang after his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, but North Korean leader Kim Jong-un allegedly rejected Wu’s visit.
Boxun adds that it was unclear if North Korea did not conduct a sixth nuclear test last Saturday because of Beijing’s warning not to do so, however it adds that according to "analysts" there’s a high likelihood of a provocation on the 85th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean People’s Army next Tuesday and the days leading up to the South Korean presidential election on May 9.
Citing its Chinese source, Boxun said that "China believes there is the “highest possibility” of a nuclear test on April 25, but “does not leave out the possibility it might take action in early May."
One assumes the Carl Vinson, wherever it may be in the world currently, will eventually make it to North Korea by then.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) will not seek reelection in 2018, he announced in a Facebook post Wednesday morning.
“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” the House Oversight Committee chairman said.
Chaffetz had been floated as a potential candidate for Senate or Utah governor, but he denied any interest in running for those offices. Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-Utah) seat is up in 2018, while Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s seat is up in 2020.
“For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector,” Chaffetz said.