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United States, Russia eye April to sign next nuclear treaty

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MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia and the United States will sign a new nuclear disarmament treaty in early April in the Czech capital Prague, Russian daily newspaper Kommersant reported Saturday, citing a diplomatic source.

“The new nuclear disarmament treaty is ready,” said the source, who talk part in Friday’s talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the matter.

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“The negotiators in Geneva are just matching up the formulations, given the nuances of Russian and English,” the source added.

Russian and US negotiators have been in intense talks to agree a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which expired in December but have so far failed to reach a final accord.

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed last July the new treaty should slash the number of warheads on either side to between 1,500 and 1,675.

Russian media reports have already said country’s two leaders would like to sign the final agreement in an Eastern European capital before the United States hosts a nuclear security summit from April 12-13.

Kommersant’s source was sure that this would happen — and that the treaty would be signed in Prague, as the US side had rejected Kiev as a venue.

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The new treaty also acknowledged a link with the planned US missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe, the source told Kommersant.

The New York Times reported last week that talks had hit a hitch over just this issue. It said Obama was frustrated that Medvedev was linking the disarmament treaty with the dispute over the missile defense system.

On Friday, Clinton said Russia and the United States were “on the brink” of signing a new nuclear disarmament treaty after resolving all outstanding issues.

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Lavrov concurred, saying: “We believe that in the nearest time we can count on the finishing of negotiations on a new agreement.”

The United States currently has some 2,200 nuclear warheads, while Russia is believed to have about 3,000.

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‘Comparing yourself to terrorists?’ Internet cracks up at Trump saying dead 9-11 hijackers got more justice than him

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President Donald Trump quoted Fox News host Mark Levin that left many scratching their heads. Levin, who has a show on Sunday evenings, claimed that the terrorists from Sept. 11 got more due process than the president.

The claim was a curious one because, as many on Twitter noted, it's not often that the president of the United States compares himself to a terrorist. Secondly, the 9-11 hijackers all died in the attack, as they were on the planes that crashed into the buildings and into a Pennsylvania field.

Trump is known to quote Levin frequently, though the citations often make the president look worse.

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If people of color showed up to a Capitol protest heavily armed — Trump would call them terrorists: commentator

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Legal analyst Areva Martin explained in a CNN panel discussion Sunday that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has historically been a day in which white supremacists rear their ugly heads with racist protests and other public displays of bigotry. Monday's expected rally of racist gun nuts expected at the Virginia capitol is no different.

Colorblind author Tim Wise said that it's a whole different level with pro-gun activists. He noted that there was a message from the NRA that former President Barack Obama was going to take everyone's guns away. Of course, that never happened, but it was part of the narrative to scare sensible gun owners. Now, President Donald Trump is employing the same idea, saying that the rally of racists in Virginia is being spun by the president as another Democratic power-grab. Wise called it a kind of "front-lash" instead of "backlash."

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Farmers refuse to cheer for Trump as he lies that he’s fighting for them to keep their land

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President Donald Trump appeared in Texas Sunday to speak to the Farm Bureau conference. Among the things he promised was that he was fighting for them to have their water rights and rights to control their own land usage.

As one viewer noted, there was noticeable silence when Trump mentioned land usage. It could be due to the fact that Trump is suing in court to take the land of farmers and ranches so he can build his border wall. For some, the land has been in their family since the founding of the state of Texas.

https://twitter.com/TheClearCider/status/1219050816084029442

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