US briefing: Iran sanctions, Kushner's Middle East plan and wealth tax

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Tuesday’s top story: White House orders fresh sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader. Plus, why Democrats owe it to voters to hold a climate crisis debate

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Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.

‘Strong and proportionate.’ As he signed the executive order on Monday in the Oval Office, Trump said the “hard-hitting” sanctions were “a strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions”.

Vanity project. Without a workable political solution to the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the plan is seen as little more than a vanity project for the president’s son-in-law.

Absent enemies. The Palestinians boycotted the Bahrain conference over the Trump administration’s unequivocal support for Israel, and a late decision was taken not to invite Israeli officials.

Police complaint. Carroll has said she would consider working with police on a criminal investigation into the alleged attack, though the statute of limitations on such a complaint has already passed.

Warren proposal. Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a “wealth tax” of 2% on fortunes of $50m or more, and a further 1% on assets over $1bn, which she estimates would affect 75,000 families and raise $2.75tn over 10 years.

Sanders’ plan. Bernie Sanders has unveiled his plan to wipe out $1.6tn in student loan debt owed by 45 million Americans – and to pay for it through a tax on Wall Street.

A UN human rights expert has warned that the world is sliding towards “climate apartheid”, whereby the rich pay to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis, while others suffer extreme poverty, hunger and the decline of democracy.

The US government has removed all but 30 of more than 300 migrant children from a border patrol facility in Texas, after reports that the young detainees were being held in “inhumane conditions” without adequate water, food or sanitation.

A former Brazilian ambassador to the US has told the Guardian he is “disgusted” by his country’s foreign policy under its far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, whose diplomatic chiefs represent a “lunatic fringe”.

The British actor Dame Judi Dench has defended the work of her disgraced friends Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, despite condemning their alleged personal misconduct. “You cannot deny somebody a talent,” she told the Radio Times magazine.

When candidate Jay Inslee inquired about doing a special climate-themed debate, the DNC threatened to bar him and any other candidate who participated from the official primary debates. Why not dare them to try?

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