5 killed as gunman opens fire at Illinois warehouse

A gunman opened fire in a warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, on Friday, killing five people and wounding five police officers before he was slain, law enforcement officials said. Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said the shooter, identified as 45-year-old Gary Martin, was an employee at the sprawling industrial complex in Aurora, a Far West Chicago suburb, but did not say what may have motivated the attack. The Chicago Sun-Times newspaper reported that a woman who identified herself to police as Martin’s mother told authorities her son had been laid off…

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US Senators introduce resolution to block Saudi Arabia from developing nukes

US senators have introduced a resolution that would prevent Saudi Arabia from developing a nuclear weapon. According to Press TV, the measure was introduced by Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ed Markey and Republican Rand Paul on Tuesday, however, it is unclear whether a majority of the 100-member Senate would support it. The resolution requires that any US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with Riyadh preclude enrichment of uranium or reprocessing of plutonium made in reactors – both of which are routes to developing nuclear weapons. “If Saudi Arabia is going to…

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Trump blames Democrats for possible 2nd shutdown

US President Donald Trump who has previously taken credit for the longest government shutdown in US history is now blaming Democrats for another shutdown coming. Trump made the comments while meeting with a group of sheriffs at the White House Monday Asked if there would be a second shutdown over the border wall standoff, Trump responded: “That’s up to the Democrats.” “These are people who kidnap people… the Democrats want them to come into our society. I don’t think so,” Trump said. “We need a wall… and all of the…

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UN chief still willing to mediate in Venezuela

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has renewed his offer to help mediate “serious negotiations” between the elected government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition figure Juan Guaido, who has declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela. Guterres renewed the offer during talks with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in New York on Monday. “The secretary-general reaffirmed that his offer of good offices to both parties [in Venezuela] remains available for serious negotiation to help the country out of the present standoff for the benefit of the people of Venezuela,” said…

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Turkey slams ‘concentration camps’ for Muslims in China

Turkey has condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of more than one million Uighur Muslims in “internment camps,” urging Beijing to respect fundamental rights of the Turkic-speaking minority. “The policy of systematic assimilation against the Uighur Turks carried out by the authorities of China is a great shame for humanity,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said late Saturday. The existence of internment camps was first brought up by the Western media which has been giving extraordinary attention to the subject in recent months amid a growing trade dispute with China. A UN human rights panel has cited estimates that 2…

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Republican-led Senate breaks with Trump over Syria, Afghanistan withdrawal plans

The Republican-led US Senate has backed an amendment opposing President Donald Trump’s plans for quick withdrawal of American troops from Syria and Afghanistan, citing concerns that such moves will benefit  Russia and Iran. The senators voted 70-26 in favor of the non-binding and largely symbolic amendment on Monday, which disputed Trump’s claims about defeating Daesh and said the terrorist group still posed a “serious threat” to the US mainland. Upon announcing his plans to evacuate Syria and drastically reduce troop levels in Afghanistan in December, Trump said he was returning…

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North Korea insulating nukes, missiles against strikes: UN

A confidential report to the UN Security Council says North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and missile capabilities would not be destroyed by any military strikes. The report said UN sanctions monitors had “found evidence of a consistent trend on the part of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) to disperse its assembly, storage and testing locations.” The report seen by Reuters on Monday was sent to a 15-member UN Security Council sanctions committee ahead of a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump later this month.…

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Minister: Russia to develop new cruise, hypersonic missiles to face US

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says Russia must develop new missiles in the next two years in response to the US withdrawal from a Cold War-era agreement. Shoigu said his country needs to develop a new land-based cruise missile and a new land-based hypersonic missile before 2021, the Russian news agency RIA reported on Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday that Moscow had suspended the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). It came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington would suspend the deal for 180…

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Blasts kill dozens after Muslim self-rule vote in Philippines

At least 27 people have lost their lives and dozens of others been injured after two bombs hit a church on a southern Philippine island, which is home to a Daesh-linked terrorist group. Security officials said the first blast took place during Sunday mass at a Roman Catholic cathedral on Jolo island in the Philippines’ restive Sulu province. It was followed by a second explosion in the parking lot as troops were responding to the first. Photos released by regional police showed debris scattered near the church’s entrance and a damaged…

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Trudeau sacks Canadian envoy to China after Huawei controversy

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday said he had sought and accepted the resignation of Ottawa’s ambassador to China, days after the diplomat sparked controversy with criticism of the US extradition request for a top Huawei executive. According to Press TV, Trudeau said in a statement that did not explain why the decision had been taken “Last night I asked for and accepted John McCallum’s resignation as Canada’s Ambassador to China.” McCallum has been making headlines in recent days over comments regarding Meng Wanzhou, Chinese giant Huawei’s Chief Financial…

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