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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo starts Middle East visit in Jordan | News

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a visit to the Middle East on Tuesday to talk to regional leaders about ramping up pressure on Iran.

The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting statements by Trump administration about a planned US troop withdrawal from Syria. His first stop is pro-Western Jordan, followed by visits to Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.

Pompeo told reporters he plans to talk to allies about “modalities by which we may continue to apply pressure” on Iran, branded by Washington a sponsor of “terrorism”.

Pompeo will likely face questions about last month’s surprise announcement that US troops would soon leave northeastern Syria, where they help battle remnants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).

Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the Jordanian capital Amman, said the trip is aimed at reassuring Washington’s allies with regard to the “Iranian threat”.

“Pompeo has made it very clearon top of the agenda was what he described as the Iranian threat in the region and to allay fears about the US troop pullout,” Decker said.

“All the countries he will be visiting will have their own questions to ask,” she added.

He didn’t give a timeline on the pullout. Asked about confusion among allies, he said: “I’ve actually spoken to them all.”

As he was leaving, Pompeo told reporters: “The United States is still committed to all the missions that we’ve signed up for with them over the past two years. This is a coalition that understands that the largest threats – terrorism and the Islamic Republic of Iran – are things that we ought to work on jointly and we will be marshalling all of the resources, theirs and ours, to achieve them.”

The secretary of state’s trip coincides with that of US National Security Adviser John Bolton who is in Turkey, in part to address the issue of Kurdish fighters in Syria and guarantee their safety after the US forces’ withdrawal. 

Pompeo will deliver an address on the Middle East policy in Egypt, whose military ruler-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been a key partner of Trump.

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Bride calls off wedding after discovering fiancé made ‘sexist’ demand to her dad

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A bride made the devastating decision to cancel her wedding to her partner of seven years after her dad revealed the ‘sexist’ demand his family had made behind her back.

The dad says his daughter got engaged recently and he had always been fond of her fiancé, who he thought of as “kind, humble and always respectful to our family”.

However, he says when he has met the man’s family for dinner on a couple of occasions, they made remarks towards his daughter which made him feel uncomfortable, including: ‘I don’t know why you’re working, isn’t that the husband’s job? It’s the mother’s job to be taking care of the children’.

As his daughter pair pressed ahead with their plans for the ceremony, the dad says her fiancé arranged a meeting with them both and his parents, adding that his daughter couldn’t be involved.

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Gordon Ramsay’s £20 ‘preselected’ cheese board labelled ‘insulting’ by furious customer

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Gordon Ramsay has sparked outrage once again as a customer complained that a cheese board he received at one of the celebrity chef’s restaurants was “insulting” and “preselected”.

Previously, Gordon was slammed for the size of his steak and chips, was told to “get a grip” for the price of his fry-up and criticised for the roast which was compared to a ‘child’s portion’.

But the latest customer to be disappointed by the TV chef’s food was Simon, who visited the three Michelin star restaurant with friends, Daily Star reports.

Simon was ‘insulted’ after receiving a “preselected” cheese board, and took to TripAdvisor to leave a two-star review.

Their review said: “I visited GR hospital road on a Friday night with friends for a special treat.

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Mum shares tip to fit three pizzas on one oven shelf to make family cooking easy

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Cooking pizzas for the whole family should be quick and easy dinner option – but it usually also throws up a headache.

With only one small oven to get the job done, we have to decide between either cooking one at a time and eating separately, or attempting to rotate them every few minutes to cook them evenly.

But one mum has revealed a painfully easy solution to get three frozen pizzas on one shelf, giving her room to put chips on a tray below – and you’ll wonder why your brain has never come up with the solution itself.

Posting on the Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas Facebook group, the mum demonstrated how she cuts the frozen pizzas in half before arranging them all on a single oven rack, making use of all available space.

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