Cuban President Raúl Castro Wednesday demanded the return of Guantanamo Bay to Cuban sovereign control as a condition of normalized relations with the United States.

A Russian spy ship docked in Havana harbor the day before a U.S. delegation arrived in the Cuban capital, signaling Moscow is watching with keen interest the beginning of renewed relations between Washington and the former Soviet satellite in the Caribbean.

Additional Coast Guard cutters have been sent to the Florida Straits to turn back “rafters” escaping from Cuba, a US. official confirmed Wednesday.

Discussions between Iran and the P5+1 group of international mediators — consisting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany — resumed at a meeting in Geneva on January 18. Four days earlier, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held three meetings during which they sought to iron out details of an agreement that would lift stringent financial and trade sanctions imposed on Iran since 2006. 

 

The federal government’s case against Jeffrey Sterling (United States of America v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling) — a former CIA officer who is accused of revealing a covert agency operation to provide Iran with flawed blueprints for a nuclear weapon — continues this week. The trial was moved into the national spotlight on January 15 when former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice testified for the prosecution.

 

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