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Macron says he expects Trump to scrap Iran nuclear deal

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Macron predicted that if the U.S. gets out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the formal name for the deal between China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the U.S., the European Union and Iran to ensure Tehran’s nuclear program remains peaceful — the Trump administration will impose very tough sanctions on Iran, leading to a time of greater tension.

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Macron acknowledged that, while he has had talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, he does not know how Iran would respond given deep divisions in the regime.

The French president said his mission was to come up with a diplomatic strategy to contain the damage in the aftermath of an American withdrawal, and he believes his trip to Washington was a success because he began that conversation.

Filling in more details of an ambitious multi-part strategy Macron floated at Tuesday’s White House news conference, the French president said he is trying to create a new, smaller coalition to build on the JCPOA and make the nuclear ban permanent, ban Iran’s ballistic missile program, and contain Iran’s aggression in Syria, ultimately leading to political negotiations to end the civil war.

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Macron said he had discussed his ideas with Russian President Vladimir Putin before arriving in Washington, and sees Russia and Turkey as critical to future talks on Syria. He said China, an original signatory to the Iran nuclear deal, did not need to be involved in hypothetical new diplomatic track.

His proposed goals are all aimed at resolving key criticisms Trump has voiced about the more limited scope of the current Iran deal.

Macron has already been followed to Washington by Israel’s hardline Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who hoped to shore up the administration’s resolve to withdraw from the Iran deal.

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He is expected to meet with National Security Adviser John Bolton and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

And on Friday, Germany’s Angela Merkel will meet with Trump for a few hours to add support for Macron’s arguments to Trump on Iran, steel and aluminum tariffs and Syria policy.

Trump and Merkel are known to have a difficult relationship, and she is not expected to get the warm welcome or the pomp and circumstance afforded to Macron.

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Von der Leyen in 'stealth power grab' plot for total control of European spending

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EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has been accused of trying to “power grab” across states in the European Union.

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Amy Coney Barrett set to be confirmed to Supreme Court on Monday

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WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled Senate is poised to confirm Amy Coney Barrett on Monday as a Supreme Court justice, handing President Donald Trump a political victory days before the election.

The final vote is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday — 30 days after Trump announced he was nominating Barrett for the seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18. The vote could be held later if Democrats force delays.

The White House is considering holding a swearing-in ceremony for Barrett after the vote, either late Monday or on Tuesday, according to an administration official.

Only a simple majority, 51 votes, is need to confirm Barrett, and while all members in the Democratic caucus are expected to oppose, Republicans appear to have enough votes to reach that threshold.

With a week until the election, her confirmation is a victory for Trump and Senate Republicans, all who are campaigning on having delivered a conservative majority on the court.

“We made an important contribution to the future of this country. A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Sunday.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, reversed course over the weekend and said that she would vote in favor of the nomination despite previously voicing opposition to confirming a justice before Election Day. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans running for re-election, said that she would vote against Barrett.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that the confirmation will be “an inerasable stain on this Republican majority forevermore.” He also voiced outrage at the prospect of Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the vote on Monday after five people in his office tested positive for Covid-19.

Democrats have warned that Barrett’s confirmation would lead to the end of the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Nov. 10 in a case challenging the health care law. They also fear that she would vote in favor of overturning 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion illegal.

Hallie Jackson and Kristen Welker contributed.



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Don't forget us! Ireland begs EU for compromise as Dublin FINALLY realises economic threat

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IRELAND has urged the European Union and United Kingdom to allow Northern Irish exporters to be included in the bloc’s existing and future free-trade agreements, it has emerged.

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