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SYRIA POLITICS: 92% of Syrian Territory Free From Daesh: Russian Daily

SYRIA POLITICS: 92% of Syrian Territory Free From Daesh: Russian Daily

Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff said that Russian jets hit 993 Daesh targets in the area of Dayr al-Zawr alone in 383 sorties over the past week. He also noted that the area under the control of Daesh has shrunk to 14,800 square kilometers (5,714 square miles), or less than 8 percent of Syrian territory.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

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INDIA POLITICS: Landmark Indian Child Bride Verdict May Curb Traffickers: Experts

INDIA POLITICS: Landmark Indian Child Bride Verdict May Curb Traffickers: Experts

India’s Supreme Court struck down a decades-old clause in the country’s rape laws permitting a man to have sex with his wife if she is aged 15 to 18 – ruling that it was rape, and therefore a criminal offense.

“For the longest time, traffickers have been using marriage with minors as an alibi to rape girls in the first instance, to break them, before selling them to pimps and brothel owners,” said Adrian Phillips, an advocate from Justice and Care, which fights trafficking.

“This judgment, which criminalizes intercourse with minors even in the garb of marriage, will be a huge deterrent for traffickers. We are extremely happy with the judgment.”

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USA POLITICS: Trump Cuts Off Obamacare Subsidy for Poor, Says ‘ObamaCare a Broken Mess’

USA POLITICS: Trump Cuts Off Obamacare Subsidy for Poor, Says ‘ObamaCare a Broken Mess’

“ObamaCare is a broken mess,” Donald Trump tweeted early on Friday. “Piece by piece we will now begin the process of giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!”

“The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding. Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!” Trump said in another tweet on Friday.

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SOUTH AFRICA POLITICS: 800 Corruption Charges Finally Get Zuma to Face Prosecution

SOUTH AFRICA POLITICS: 800 Corruption Charges Finally Get Zuma to Face Prosecution

The president, who is accused of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering, has always insisted he is innocent.

Zuma and other government officials were accused of taking kickbacks from the $5bn purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and other arms manufactured by five European firms, including British military equipment maker BAE Systems and French company Thales.

Charges were first brought against Zuma in 2005 but dropped by prosecutors in 2009.

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UK POLITICS: Deadlock! Brexit Talks Hit Money Impasse

UK POLITICS: Deadlock! Brexit Talks Hit Money Impasse

Barnier made clear, however, that despite new momentum from concessions given by May in a speech at Florence lsat month 22, British proposals on expatriate citizens’ rights and the Irish border still failed the EU test, while London’s refusal to spell out a detailed cash offer was “very worrying” for business.

“Regarding that question, we are at an impasse, which is very worrying for thousands of projects everywhere in Europe and also worrying for those who contribute,” EU’s Michel Barnier said.

With signs that nerves are fraying on both sides and some hardline Brexit supporters demanding that Theresa May just walk out of talks, both negotiators repeated that they were ready for any eventuality including a collapse. But, Barnier warned, “no deal would be a very bad deal”.

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LIBERIA POLITICS: Main Parties Calls for Halt to Election Results

LIBERIA POLITICS: Main Parties Calls for Halt to Election Results

The NEC was originally expected to release preliminary results on Thursday.

“The Liberty Party is deeply troubled by the discovery of numerous incidents of irregularities and fraud that occurred during the elections,” Liberty Party national chairman Benjamin Sanvee said in a statement.

“We are calling on NEC to immediately halt further announcements of election results. If NEC does not cooperate with our request, we will take the appropriate legal action,” he said.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest modern republic, was founded by freed U.S. slaves in 1847 but its last democratic power transfer dates back to 1943.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Official! Fatah, Hamas Reach Reconciliation Deal

PALESTINE POLITICS: Official! Fatah, Hamas Reach Reconciliation Deal

“EUBAM Rafah maintains readiness to redeploy to the Rafah crossing point when the security and political situations will allow,” said Mohammad Al-Saadi, press officer for the EU Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support.

Hamas and Fatah were also discussing a potential date for presidential and legislative elections and reforms of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is in charge of long-stalled peace efforts with Israel. The last Palestinian legislative election was in 2006 when Hamas scored a surprise victory. This sparked the political rupture between Hamas and Fatah which eventually led to their short civil war in Gaza.

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USA POLITICS: Adamant Trump Mulls Decertifying Iran Deal, US Officials Say ‘Trump’s Bellicose Rhetoric Troubling’

USA POLITICS: Adamant Trump Mulls Decertifying Iran Deal, US Officials Say ‘Trump’s Bellicose Rhetoric Troubling’

“They came up with a plan that protects the things they are concerned about but doesn’t recertify, which the president made clear he was not going to do. That ship has sailed,” according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said Trump has been telling foreign leaders and U.S. lawmakers that his refusal to certify the Iran deal would not blow it up.

“He’s not walking away from it. The chances of him walking away from it go down if they work with him on making it better,” the official said.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Trump Says, Pyongyang Missile Program ‘Very, Very Far Advanced’, and He Blames Barack Obama for it

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Trump Says, Pyongyang Missile Program ‘Very, Very Far Advanced’, and He Blames Barack Obama for it

Their scientists are highly capable, and most of them have studied in Russia,” Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program told BBC Urdu, according to a translation of it published by Dawn.

“Hydrogen bombs are much more powerful than atom bombs. For instance, an atom bomb may destroy the area in the radius of 1.5 to two kilometers, but a hydrogen bomb can devastate an entire city,” Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan said.

US President Donald Trump said: “It should have been handled by numerous – not just Obama, but certainly President Obama should have taken care of it. Now it’s at a point where it’s very, very far advanced. Something has to be done. We can’t allow this to happen.”

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USA POLITICS: Top-Secret US Military Documents Stolen By North Korean Hackers

USA POLITICS: Top-Secret US Military Documents Stolen By North Korean Hackers

South Korean Member of Parliament and member of the ruling Democratic party Lee Cheol-hee told local media that the hackers broke into a military data center in September 2016 and stole the most up-to-date blueprint for a military conflict with North Korea, called Operational Plan 5015, Financial Times reported.

The United States and its ally South Korea have been at loggerheads with the North over Pyongyang’s weapons and nuclear programs.

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USA POLITICS: Confirmed! ‘No Risk-Free Options’ on North Korea’: US Army Chief of Staff Milley Says

USA POLITICS: Confirmed! ‘No Risk-Free Options’ on North Korea’: US Army Chief of Staff Milley Says

“There are no good, easy, you know, risk-free options here. This is extraordinarily difficult, extraordinarily dangerous. No one should underestimate it,” US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley told reporters during a news conference on the sidelines of the Association of the US Army’s annual meeting in Washington.

“A full-blown war on the Korean Peninsula will be horrific by any stretch of the imagination. No one has any doubts about that. It would be horrible, there’s no question about it, but so would an intercontinental ballistic missile striking Los Angeles or New York City. That would be equally horrible,” General Mark Milley said.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Revealed! Israel Pressuring Trump to Cancel Iran Deal

ISRAEL POLITICS: Revealed! Israel Pressuring Trump to Cancel Iran Deal

“Donald Trump is getting advice from two very problematic people,” said Wayne Madsen, an author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.

Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and his senior advisor, is only interested in advancing the interests of Israel, Madsen said during a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

“And the other person is Trump’s friend, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, whose friendship not only extends back to Donald Trump, but even includes Donald Trump’s father,” Madsen said.

“It’s not surprising that Trump is trying to sabotage the nuclear agreement,” the analyst noted.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Favor Diplomacy Over Military in Dealing With North Korea

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Favor Diplomacy Over Military in Dealing With North Korea

“They understand better than we that the North Korean regime is bluffing, this regime has always been bluffing,” the expert said, “This is a mature attitude from the people [of the country] neighboring [North Korea], who are living just a few dozen kilometers from the threat.”

For its part, Russia which has 17 kilometers (11 mi) of terrestrial frontier and 22.1 km (12 nautical miles) of maritime border with North Korea warned against the further aggravation of situation in the region.

“As for the Korean Peninsula, of course, Moscow has been calling and continues to call on all parties to the conflict and parties that have relation to these affairs to show restraint and avoid any steps that could only aggravate the situation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

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DRC POLITICS: Pressure on Those Unlawfully Enriched by Kabila’s Rule

DRC POLITICS: Pressure on Those Unlawfully Enriched by Kabila’s Rule

The United States and European Union should expand targeted sanctions on President Joseph Kabila’s family members and financial associates benefitting from unlawful activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo, seven international and Congolese human rights organizations said today. The sanctions

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LIBERIA POLITICS: Liberians Take Center Stage in Election Today

LIBERIA POLITICS: Liberians Take Center Stage in Election Today

“I am just voting for peace. We want peace right now, peaceful country, we want a peaceful situation now and things to go fine,” said James Marthics, a voter in Paynesville, a suburb of the capital Monrovia.

Some had been waiting for hours before dawn to vote and brought small wooden chairs with them, forming orderly queues as vendors sold them soft drinks and palm wine. Early voting in Monrovia largely went smoothly, though with delays in some areas.

“I need a change of this government that is in power,” said Richard Akoi, 32, a former child soldier who fought for Taylor’s rebels. “I‘m a die-hard fan of former president Taylor and if he shows up today in the election I‘m going to vote for him.”

Liberia is Africa’s oldest modern republic founded by freed U.S. slaves in 1847. But its last democratic power transfer, defined as a peaceful handover at the end of a full term, was in 1943.

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NIGERIA POLITICS: Biafra: Now That Nwodo Is Talking

NIGERIA POLITICS: Biafra: Now That Nwodo Is Talking

“I saw the Biafran war with my two eyes. My father was Minister for Local Government in the Eastern Regional Government of Dr. Michael Okpara but I fought on the front lines. I was a full lieutenant in the Biafran army. I fought in Ore. I fought in Orlu. I fought in Enugu. I fought in the Bafran School of Infantry. I worked for several months at the Biafran Airport in Uli.

“Abusing the President will not give us Biafra. Abusing other tribes and calling them names will not give us Biafra. Telling Igbos to stop attending churches with Yoruba pastors will not give us Biafra. It will rather widen the gaps between us and these other people who themselves are victims of the injustices in Nigeria. It will annoy them and they will abandon us. We can’t push this alone. We need the support of our neighbours. By busing and threatening others, you put the lives of our people who live there in danger (emphasis mine)”.

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UK POLITICS: High Court Verdict! Torture Survivors Defeat Home Office ‘Unlawful’ Rules on Asylum Seeker

UK POLITICS: High Court Verdict! Torture Survivors Defeat Home Office ‘Unlawful’ Rules on Asylum Seeker

“The Home Office said that detention will not affect me because I am not a victim of torture. It is difficult to believe that the Home Office could happily detain me knowing that I was tortured. It affected me greatly to be subjected to this unlawful policy. It has left a scar in my life that will never be healed.

“Although I welcome the decision, it is still upsetting that the Home Office, who should protect people like me, rejected me and put me in detention which reminded me of the ordeal I suffered in my country of origin.

“I hope that the decision will benefit other survivors of torture held in immigration detention and it will prevent the Home Office from implementing a policy that will hurt vulnerable individuals in the future.”

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BOLIVIA POLITICS: Ernesto Che Guevara 50th Death Anniversary Takes Center Stage

BOLIVIA POLITICS: Ernesto Che Guevara 50th Death Anniversary Takes Center Stage

Cuban President Raul Castro, who was present at a mass rally at the Che Guevara Mausoleum in the town of Santa Clara, paid tribute to the guerrilla fighter that helped overthrow Cuba’s dictatorship and bring his late brother Fidel to power.

“Che Guevara is not dead … His persona grows larger as time goes by and younger generations recognize his revolutionary paradigm,” Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel said at the memorial. He is now a “universal symbol” and inspiration in the struggle for the liberation of different nations “oppressed by imperialism,” he added.

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UK POLITICS: ‘Brexit Supporters ‘Voted Against Modern Britain”: Hillary Clinton Says

UK POLITICS: ‘Brexit Supporters ‘Voted Against Modern Britain”: Hillary Clinton Says

“How, in democracies like ours [can] people believe nonsense and lies on the side of buses about how much money the UK government paid to the EU? How did we let this happen?” Former Democrat Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said, referencing Vote Leave’s infamous claim that £350 million-a-week was sent to the EU and could be spent on the NHS.

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USA POLITICS: Jokes Aside, 2020 ‘Trump On Track to Win Re-Election’

USA POLITICS: Jokes Aside, 2020 ‘Trump On Track to Win Re-Election’

The real bottom line seems to be that as with presidential approval itself, a lot hinges on events and the events themselves are highly uncertain. It’s certainly possible to imagine a world in which Democrats nominate a left-wing populist which inspires a centrist billionaire to run third party and a deeply unpopular Trump triumphs against a divided field. It’s also possible to imagine the steadily strengthening labor market evolving into a full employment boom over the next three years and Trump cruising to reelection on a wave of popularity. Or a recession could throw his approval ratings into the toilet and he gets crushed. Or there might be a nuclear war with North Korea.

In an uncertain world, the one thing we really know is the home team usually wins the game and the incumbent politician usually gets reelected.

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