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.

 

As Secretary of State John Kerry concluded a meeting with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, voices rose in Congress to pass legislation that would impose new economic sanctions on Iran.

President Obama hosted a bilateral meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico on January 6, during which he will reportedly seek the Mexican leader’s advice on implementing administration policies on immigration and Cuba. The two were also expected to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).