USA

Roadblocks, Weapons Bans as Boston Braces for 'Free Speech' Rally

Boston officials are planning road blockades and even banning food vendors from the historic Boston Common as they step up security around a "Free Speech" rally on Saturday featuring right-wing speakers, aiming to avoid a repeat of last weekend's violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia.

Some 500 police officers will be on the streets around the popular tourist destination. They are planning to close some roadways to vehicles, mindful of the car attacks that killed a woman in Charlottesville and 13 in an attack in Barcelona on Thursday.

Top US General Commits to Work With Tokyo to Strengthen Missile Defense

The top U.S. general and his Japanese counterpart have agreed to work together to strengthen missile defenses for Japan, as Tokyo announced that they will introduce the land-based Aegis Ashore system for additional protection against the North Korean missile threat.

General Joe Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a small group of reporters in Tokyo that his meetings with Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed the "extraordinarily healthy military-to-military relationship" between Japan and the United States.

US Defense Chief to Visit Jordan, Turkey, Ukraine

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will travel to Jordan, Turkey and Ukraine next week for talks with the leaders of all three nations.

Pentagon officials said Friday that Mattis aims to reaffirm Washington's commitments to each of the countries.

Mattis will begin his trip by meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah as well as top defense officials. Jordan has been a key partner in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State terror group.

From Jordan, Mattis will head to Turkey for meetings with top officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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