February 22, 2019

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Judge tightens gag order on ex-Trump adviser Stone, warning he could be sent to jail

Judge tightens gag order on ex-Trump adviser Stone, warning he could be sent to jailIn a tense court hearing on Thursday, U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said that Stone's apology and explanations for why he posted a photo of her next to the image of the crosshairs of a gun on his Instagram account were not credible. "Thank you, but the apology rings quite hollow," she told Stone. "What all of this means, Mr. Stone, is that any violation of this order will be a basis for revoking your bond and detaining you pending trial.


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Syria force hit by IS attack as tries to free last civilians

Syria force hit by IS attack as tries to free last civiliansA deadly car bombing claimed by the Islamic State group hit US-backed forces in eastern Syria on Thursday as they tried to negotiate the release of civilians trapped in the jihadists' last sliver of territory. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are working towards evacuating civilians remaining in the holdout, so they can finish off the dying IS "caliphate" either through an assault or a surrender deal. The jihadists overran large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, but several offensives have retaken all but half a square kilometre (a fifth of a square mile) of their territory in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz.


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Rubio Predicts Maduro’s Troops Won’t Block Humanitarian Aid

Rubio Predicts Maduro’s Troops Won’t Block Humanitarian AidSenator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said Wednesday that Venezuelan troops have already begun to disobey orders and will likely refuse to block the thousands of volunteers who plan to escort a humanitarian-aid caravan across the country's border on Saturday.“Saturday’s a day when we’re going to find a lot about the Maduro regime,” Rubio told Bloomberg in a telephone interview. “I have reason to believe that rank-and-file military are not going to violently suppress aid workers.”Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is officially recognized as the president of Venezuela by the Trump administration and 30 other nations, has urged the military to defect and refuse Maduro's orders to block aid shipments at the border.“There’s already significant resistance” by rank-and-file troops, causing military leaders to doubt “whether the people under their command are going to do what they’re asking them to do,” Rubio said.More than 600,000 Venezuelans have preemptively signed up to escort large shipments of much-needed food and medicine across the country's border with Colombia, according to Guaidó, who vowed the aid will enter the country “one way or another.”The supplies have been accumulating at the border due to the Maduro regime's refusal to accept foreign aid intended to ease starvation and sickness. Maduro has repeatedly cast the foreign-aid efforts as a "political show," designed to serve as a pretext for invasion.


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