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Bipartisan House bill seeks tighter sanctions on Iran

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WASHINGTON — US lawmakers unveiled legislation Monday to tighten economic sanctions on Iran, looking to drag Tehran to talks on its suspect nuclear programs and to punish alleged human rights violators.

“US policy towards Iran has offered a lot of bark, but not enough bite,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, said in a statement on the bill.

The new measure, backed by key Republicans and Democrats, notably aims to toughen punitive measures against entities that invest in Iran’s energy sector or provide the Islamic republic with gasoline.

And it steps up sanctions on top Iranian officials — from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei down to senior military commanders and paramilitary forces — found to have violated human rights.

Such officials would face bans on travel to the United States, asset freezes, and denial of access to US capital markets, according to the legislation, a companion version was also introduced in the senate.

Iranian diplomats allowed into the United States would be restricted to a radius of 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Washington or from the UN headquarters in New York.

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“We must continually look ahead and examine additional means to pressure Iran, and that is exactly what this new legislation is intended to do,” said Representative Howard Berman, the top Democrat on Ros-Lehtinen’s committee.

US President Barack Obama signed sweeping sanctions provisions into law in July 2010, but lawmakers have criticized the administration for using the measure’s waiver authority to largely avoid imposing sanctions.

Just two companies — an Iranian state-owned firm and a Belarusian state-owned firm — have been punished under that bill, according to Ros-Lehtinen.

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WATCH LIVE: Livestream of first #DemDebate with 10 presidential hopefuls

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Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke are just three of the ten Democrats who will appear on the debate stage in Miami Wednesday night.

Warren is clearly seen as the front-runner of this tier of candidates, and her policy-focused campaign has helped her stand out from typical politicians speaking in broad platitudes and empty promises made but rarely kept.

The Democrats are set to take the stage at 9 p.m. EST and will speak in 60-second sound-bytes for two hours, the rules state. Prior to the debate, two candidates went to one of the ports of entry and immigration is likely to be a key issue in the discussion.

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Ex-FBI chief: Mueller testimony must ‘wake up’ Republicans to the danger in the White House

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Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe appeared on MSNBC's "Deadline with Nicolle Wallace" to detail what he thinks will happen in the closed-door testimony from former special counsel Robert Mueller.

In a Wednesday interview, McCabe said he hopes that Mueller will "wake up" Republicans who seem disinterested in acting to protect the United States from electoral intrusion from Russia.

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Reddit limits popular Trump forum for promoting violence

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Reddit said Wednesday it had "quarantined" a popular forum of supporters of President Donald Trump, claiming users repeatedly violated platform rules by promoting violence.

The online bulletin board said it took the action against the forum or subreddit known as "The Donald" in response to "repeated rule-breaking behavior" that required its moderators to remove posts that seek to encourage or incite violence.

"Most recently, we have observed this behavior in the form of encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon," according to a statement posted on the forum.

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