News You Should Read Today – January 17 – 2016

Iran Minister says sanctions 'to be lifted' todayUN says Iran met nuclear deal terms

The U.N. nuclear agency certified Saturday that Iran has met all of its commitments under last summer’s landmark nuclear deal, crowning years of U.S.-led efforts to crimp Iran’s ability to make atomic weapons. For Iran, the move lifts Western economic sanctions that have been in place for years, unlocking access to $100 billion in frozen assets and unleashing new opportunities for its battered economy.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the top diplomats of Iran and the European Union hailed the accord, reached after years of setbacks and a full decade after the start of international diplomacy aimed at reducing the possibility that Tehran could turn its nuclear programs to weapons making. AP



Obama’s plan to reform unemployment insurance (’s plan to reform unemployment insurance

President Obama proposed a plan Saturday that would provide wage insurance to unemployed workers who take new jobs with lower pay. “It’s a way to give families some stability and encourage folks to rejoin the workforce – because we shouldn’t just be talking about unemployment; we should be talking about reemployment,” Obama said in his weekly address.

The president also proposed mandating that all states provide unemployment insurance for at least 26 weeks, a threshold nine states currently don’t meet. The Hill



Iran releases captured US citizensIran releases captured US citizens

Iran releases five Americans, under a prisoner swap agreement between Tehran and Washington, this morning. Iran announced the release after international inspectors said Tehran is in compliance with a deal to restrict its nuclear program.

U.S. administration officials confirmed the news Saturday following reports first published in Iranian media.

They include four who are part of a prisoner swap deal: Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini. A fourth detainee identified by U.S. officials as Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari was also part of the deal.

A fifth man — recently detained student Matthew Trevithick — was released separately, U.S. officials said.

The announcement came the same day the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog announced Iran is in compliance with a July nuclear deal. As a result, some international economic sanctions against Iran were lifted.

They were released in exchange for clemency for seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States for sanctions violations, the officials confirmed. Six of the seven are dual citizens. CNN



N. Korea ffers to halt nuclear tests in exchange for peace treatyN. Korea offers to halt nuclear tests in exchange for peace treaty

North Korea says it will stop conducting nuclear tests in exchange for a peace treaty with the United States and an end to joint military exercises between Washington and Seoul.

The proposal, published in North Korea’s state media late Friday, is similar to previous offers by Pyongyang that have been quickly rejected by the U.S. and South Korea.

“Still valid are all proposals for preserving peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia, including the ones for ceasing our nuclear test and the conclusion of a peace treaty in return for a U.S. halt to joint military exercises,” said a newsreader on Pyongyang’s state-run KRT TV, citing a Foreign Ministry spokesman. VOA News

First US case of Zika virus reported in Hawaii ( US case of Zika virus reported in Hawaii

A baby born in an Oahu hospital has tested positive for the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Health officials say there is no risk of transmission in Hawaii, where there has never been a case of a person acquiring Zika in the state. Six people have acquired the virus in other countries since 2014.

Common symptoms can last up to a week and include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the mother was likely infected while in Brazil in May 2015. Fox News

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