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Ex-FBI agent who vanished in Iran pleads for help in mysterious video

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In a case that’s gotten little media coverage, unknown captors have been holding retired FBI agent Robert Levinson hostage for the last five years, some believe in Iran. But a new video released on Friday looks like it may elevate the story to the level of a true international crisis.

“Help me,” a distressed Levinson can be seen saying, insisting that his diabetes medicine is running out and he doesn’t have much time left. “Thirty-three years of service to the United States deserves something. Please help me.”

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Kidnappers have not made their demands clear, and for years now the U.S. has treated the issue as a diplomatic one, rather than a real hostage crisis.

The video released Friday morning was apparently sent to Levinson’s family last year, and the Associated Press saw it at the time but did not report on it for fear that it would complicate U.S. diplomatic efforts. The family posted the video online Friday morning on their personal website.

In an appeal to the kidnappers, his son David insists that “we are not part of any government, and we are not experts on the region.”

“No one can help us but you,” he said. “Please help us. We have tried contacting you, but you never responded.”

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“Bob, I will continue to do everything I can to bring you home alive,” his wife says at the end of the video. “All I want is for our family to be whole again. We love you, we miss you every day, we will not abandon you.”

This video is from ABC News, broadcast Dec. 9, 2011.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Foreign diplomats preparing for the worst — another Trump win in 2020: ‘People don’t want to be stupid twice’

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According to a report from Politico, foreign diplomats are not so sure Donald Trump will be beaten in the 2020 election and are making contingency plans for how they will deal with him should he be re-elected.

The report notes that the win by the New York businessman in 2016 caught foreign governments by surprise with former French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud admitting, "In 2016, nobody believed he was going to be elected. People don’t want to be stupid twice.”

According to Politico, "There’s no known scientific survey on the topic — few foreign officials would participate in one given diplomatic norms that preclude them from commenting on another country's internal politics. But none who talked to POLITICO were willing to say that Trump will lose. Instead, they pointed to three key advantages for Trump: He’s the incumbent, the U.S. economy is strong and the Democrats have no definitive front-runner to challenge him."

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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron

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According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.

The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.

Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.

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