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The Levant

Trump to sign Russia sanctions, Moscow retaliates

U.S. President Donald Trump will sign legislation that imposes sanctions on Russia, the White House said on Friday, after Moscow ordered the United States to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff and said it would seize two U.S. diplomatic properties in retaliation for the bill. The U.S. Senate had voted almost …

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Senate slaps new sanctions on Russia, putting Trump in corner

The U.S. Senate voted almost unanimously on Thursday to slap new sanctions on Russia, putting President Donald Trump in a tough position by forcing him to take a hard line on Moscow or veto the legislation and infuriate his own Republican Party. The legislation all but dashes Trump’s hopes for …

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U.S. says Iran rocket test breaches U.N. resolution

 Iran successfully tested a rocket that can deliver satellites into orbit, state television reported on Thursday, an action the United States said breaches a U.N. Security Council resolution because of its potential use in ballistic missile development. Iranian state television showed footage of the firing of the rocket, mounted on …

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Russia used Facebook to try to spy on Macron campaign – sources

Russian intelligence agents attempted to spy on President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign earlier this year by creating phony Facebook personas, according to a U.S. congressman and two other people briefed on the effort. About two dozen Facebook accounts were created to conduct surveillance on Macron campaign officials and others close …

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Venezuela leader’s foes levy new sanctions and fresh strike

Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro at home and abroad tried again Wednesday to pressure the socialist leader into halting his plans to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution though there was no public sign their efforts were working. The Trump administration announced sanctions on 13 current and former members of Maduro’s administration, freezing …

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Trump erroneously says Lebanon is ‘on the front lines’ fighting Hezbollah, a partner in the Lebanese government

President Trump lumped the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah among militants and terrorists he praised the government of Lebanon for fighting, saying during Rose Garden remarks Tuesday that the tiny Mideast nation was “on the front lines” of a shared battle against extremism. The only problem? Hezbollah is a political partner …

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China warns India of its ‘resolve’ amid border standoff

China on Monday warned India not to “push your luck” by underestimating Beijing’s determination to safeguard what it considers sovereign Chinese territory, amid an ongoing standoff between the two neighbors over a contested region high in the Himalayas. Defense ministry spokesman Col. Wu Qian reiterated China’s demand that Indian troops …

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Dozens dead after Kabul bomb attack

At least 24 people have been killed in a car bomb attack in Kabul on Monday morning, according to an Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman. At least 42 others were injured in the blast. The blast occurred around 6:40 a.m. local time (10:10 pm ET), when a Toyota Corolla exploded in …

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Jordan: Attack at Israeli embassy in Amman

An attack has taken place at the Israeli embassy in the Jordanian capital, Amman, with casualties reported. A BBC reporter at the scene says the immediate vicinity has been locked down but authorities have not released details. Media reports citing security sources say one Jordanian was killed and one Israeli …

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Trump Pulls the Plug in Syria

By Graham E. Fuller Every once in a while President Trump manages to get something right. This time it is the decision to call off the broad US covert assistance to the Syrian opposition forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Asad. Asad has been notoriously brutal in putting down the …

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Sean Spicer Resigns as White House Press Secretary

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned Friday after telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with his appointment of Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier, as his new communications director. After offering Mr. Scaramucci the job on Friday morning, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Spicer to stay on as press …

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