Trump Dishes on the Iran Deal

At 2pm today, President Trump will present the most consequential foreign policy decision he has made since taking office. Speaking from the White House, he’s set to announce whether the United States will continue to adhere to the Iran nuclear deal.


As a reminder, under that 2015 deal, the US and five other countries agreed to ease sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for a verifiable halt to its nuclear program.

Although the international inspectors responsible for oversight of the deal say Iran has abided by its commitments, Trump and other hawks in the US government (along with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu) point out three shortcomings: it doesn’t prohibit Iran from developing and testing long-range missiles, it allows limits on nuclear testing to lapse in the coming years, and it does nothing to punish Iran for expanding its regional influence via more conventional means. All true, though viable alternatives to the deal remain unclear.

Mr. Trump will explain today whether the US intends to withdraw from the deal and, if so, whether he will reimpose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and possibly other sectors as well. Trump can’t kill the deal entirely, because France, Germany, the UK, China and Russia have all agreed to it. But US sanctions would blow a large hole in it, forcing the remaining signatories to decide whether to patch it up and carry on as best they can, or to scrap it entirely.

The fate of the Iran nuclear deal is one of the biggest geopolitical dramas of the year — Trump will have us all tuned in at 2pm for the next act.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

What do people think is driving the stock market's recent record high gains?


Well, there's really no precise answer, but analysts point to several factors. So, number one is strong third quarter earnings. Companies have reported stronger than expected results so far this season. The second is the jobs market. You saw the October jobs numbers exceed economists' expectations. And the third is the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates three times this year. That lowers borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and encourages them to spend more.

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In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 220 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least 19 Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

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