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Trump says ‘major decisions’ on Syria likely in next 24 to 48 hours

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Syria passed the seven-year mark last month in its civil war that has killed some 450,000 people and displaced half the country’s population. The Trump administration has slashed refugee admissions to a historic low and changes to the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program have left many people in limbo.

The White House on Monday called out countries supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, including Russia, which Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said has “betrayed” its vow to help bring an end to the Syrian government’s suspected use of chemical weapons.

The alleged attack occurred late on Saturday amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce with the Army of Islam rebel group. Douma is the last rebel stronghold in eastern Ghouta, a region that has faced an intensive bombing campaign by Assad’s forces.

 National security adviser John Bolton listens, on his first day on the job, as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting on Monday. Evan Vucci / AP

Assad’s government denied that it launched a chemical attack. Moscow has called the reports “fabricated” and warned that any military strikes in retaliation would trigger the “gravest consequences.”

Asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin bears responsibility for the alleged chemical attack, Trump responded, “He may.”

“If he does, it’s going to be very tough,” he added.

Last April, the Trump administration launched strikes on a Syrian-government airfield in retaliation for a brutal chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun. The latest attack comes as Trump deliberates the future of the American military in Syria.

The president said last week that he wanted U.S. troops out of Syria by the fall. His desire for a rapid withdrawal faced unanimous opposition from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, the State Department and the intelligence community, which argue that keeping the 2,000 U.S. soldiers currently in Syria is key to ensuring the Islamic State does not reconstitute itself.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tweeted Sunday that Trump’s “pledge to withdraw from #Syria has only emboldened Assad, backed by Russia & Iran, to commit more war crimes in #Douma.”

Sanders dismissed McCain’s accusation, saying, “This administration and this president have been tougher on Russia than previous administrations.”

Trump has called Russia out in the past for its support of the Assad regime, and much of his administration’s Iran policy centers around the Islamic Republic’s destabilizing activities in Syria.

However, Trump remains open to the idea of speaking directly with Putin, insisting that it’s better to find common ground with Russia on Syria, as well as other economic and security matters.

“The president still feels that if we can have a good relationship with Russia at some point that that’s a good thing for the world,” Sanders said Monday. “But at the same time, this president is going to be tough on Russia until we see some changes in their behavior.”



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Brexit deal on BRINK: EU fears UK will leave with no deal ahead of last-ditch crunch talks

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EUROCRATS are working on the assumption Britain will quit the European Union without a Brexit deal, it has emerged.

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Bumble Bee responds to Trump’s claim about protesters throwing cans of tuna

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Bumble Bee Seafoods on Tuesday responded to President Donald Trump’s fishy claim that protesters used cans of tuna to chuck at law enforcement amid civil unrest prompted by the deaths of Black Americans by police.

“They go out and buy tuna fish and soup. You know that right? … Because they throw it, they throw it, it’s the perfect weight — tuna fish,” Trump said at a rally in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. “They can really rip it, right? And that hits you. No, it’s true. Bumble Bee brand tuna.”

There have been no media reports of police being hit with cans of tuna. Bumble Bee Seafoods responded to the claim in a tweet on Tuesday.

“Eat em. Don’t throw em,” the company said on its official Twitter.

In 2018, The company said Trump’s tariffs on Chinese tuna would be “devastating” for the business.

There have been nationwide protests following the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Trump has used his re-election rallies to spread falsehoods about the protests and boast his law and order message and his pledge to quell the unrest in cities.

He claimed at Tuesday’s rally and others that mostly Democratic cities have been overrun by “anarchists.” Though police have violently clashed with demonstrators, many of the protests have remained largely peaceful.

On Monday, the Justice Department released a list of cities that it has deemed “anarchist jurisdictions” under Trump’s instructions this month to review federal funding for local governments in places where violence or vandalism has occurred during protests.

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EU crisis: Shock member state set to leave bloc after Brexit after issue ignored by bloc

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A BREXITEER has predicted one surprising nation will push to leave the EU after Brexit due to frustration with the bloc.

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