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US orders personnel out of Libya

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WASHINGTON – The United States on Monday ordered all non-essential staff to leave Libya and warned US nationals to avoid travel to the north African country as anti-government protests raged.

“The Department of State has ordered all embassy family members and non-emergency personnel to depart Libya,” a statement said. “US citizens outside of Libya are urged to defer all travel to Libya.

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Protesters Monday overran several Libyan cities while regime stalwarts began defecting as the pillars of Kadhafi’s hardline rule were targeted in the capital Tripoli amid reports he had fled the country.

Cities including Benghazi in the east had fallen to demonstrators opposing Kadhafi’s 41-year-old regime after military units deserted their posts, said the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR).

With hundreds of protesters reportedly killed, the US State Department’s travel advice urged Americans not to visit while there was a continued threat of violence and suggested those already there hunker down.

“US citizens in Libya should minimize overall travel in-country, exercise extreme caution when traveling, and limit all travel after dark. US citizens not departing Libya should make preparations to shelter in place,” it said.

Americans should avoid areas where demonstrations are likely to occur and should not be tempted to participate in protests, even if they appeared peaceful, the bulletin said.

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“Spontaneous demonstrations, violence, and looting are possible throughout the next several days,” it said.

“Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in injuries and deaths.”

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Feds now probing Giuliani’s links to Ukrainian natural gas projects – and if he profited from them

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Federal investigators are now probing the ties of the President's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, into Ukrainian energy projects, and if he stood to gain financially in a business venture headed by his two "henchmen" who are now in jail.

The two associates infamously aided Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine to launch investigations into Joe Biden and Hunter Biden in an attempt to assist President Donald Trump's re-election efforts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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Trump to attend NATO summit in London to urge defense spending hike

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President Donald Trump will try to convince U.S. allies that they should increase defense spending when he attends a meeting of NATO leaders next month in London, the White House said Friday.

Trump, who met this week at the White House with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, has long pushed allies to reduce their reliance on the United States for security assistance.

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Ousted US envoy Marie Yovanovitch testifies at Trump impeachment hearing

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An ousted US envoy to Ukraine who said she felt threatened by Donald Trump testified Friday on Day Two of impeachment hearings looking into whether the president abused his office for personal political gain.

Earlier witnesses in the inquiry said ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was removed after a smear campaign involving Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, accused of helping to coordinate the president's effort to pressure Kiev into investigating his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Yovanovitch, a highly regarded career diplomat who was pulled from her post in May, will now tell her side of the story in an open, nationally televised setting, as Democratic lawmakers sharpen their case against the president.

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