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Romney holds firm on Russia as geopolitical ‘opponent’

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WASHINGTON — Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney stood firm Tuesday in painting Russia as a key geopolitical foe, warning that Moscow pursues policies that are “antithetical” to US interests.

“Of course we’re not enemies. We’re not fighting each other, there’s no Cold War,” Romney told Fox Radio in an interview aired on the final day of his bus tour through six swing states.

“But Russia is a geopolitical opponent, and in that regard I think we’ve seen very clearly that they continue to pursue a course which is antithetical to the interests of our nation.”

He described Russia, where Vladimir Putin recently assumed the presidency for a third term, as “the nation which consistently opposes our actions at the United Nations.”

And Romney said US President Barack Obama, whom he is challenging in November’s election, has been only too happy to provide Moscow what it’s wanted since the Democrat entered the White House in early 2009: “a reset policy of giving Russia a withdrawal of our missile defense sites from Eastern Europe.”

Romney described the reset as “an enormous mistake” which merely showed “an enormous naivety of a presidency that does not understand the power of resolve and strength.”

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The Republican flagbearer caused a diplomatic spat in March when he accused Moscow of being America’s “number one geopolitical foe” — raising eyebrows from critics who say that honor belongs to Al Qaeda, North Korea or Iran.

Russia’s then-president Dmitry Medvedev shot back that presidents should “use their head” when formulating their positions, adding that “it is now 2012, not the mid-1970s.”

Romney’s radio comments followed a cordial but formal meeting Monday between Obama and Putin at the G20 summit in Mexico, where they agreed on the need for a viable political process in Syria but could not frame an immediate plan to end the bloodshed there.

The hawkish stance on Russia by Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, has been criticized by Democrats and perplexed some Republicans, including former secretary of state Colin Powell, who has rebuked the presumptive nominee for his comments.

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Romney’s bus tour wrapped up Tuesday in his native Michigan, where he campaigned in Frankenmuth and attacked Obama’s policies as harmful for the country.

“I’ve looked at what he’s done and I haven’t heard anyone say thank goodness for Barack Obama’s policies,” Romney said, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“He’s making it harder for Frankenmuth, central Michigan, and the nation.”

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2012

Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6

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President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.

Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.

Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.

— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019

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2012

Here are 10 women who wouldn’t be silenced in 2018

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It's been 26 years since the so-called "Year of the Woman," when a record number of women were elected to Congress in 1992. Four senators and 24 representatives were sent to Capitol Hill, following contentious Supreme Court hearings for then-nominee Clarence Thomas, who was accused by Anita Hill of sexual harassment.

On several levels, the themes of 1992 have made repeat, and amplified, appearances this year. The #MeToo movement became fully realized with women reclaiming and reframing their stories, as President Donald Trump, himself accused many times of sexual predator behavior settled further into the White House. Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, also accused of sexual assault, to the Supreme Court, and while Kavanaugh would go on to attain a seat on the highest court in the land, serial sexual predator and former beloved comedian Bill Cosby was sent to prison for the drugging and rape of Andrea Constand, only one of dozens of women who have spoken out against Cosby with credible accusations of assault.

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2012

US ‘model soldier’ gets 25 years in prison for Islamic State support

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A U.S. Army sergeant described by former colleagues as a one-time “model soldier” was sentenced to 25 years in prison at a federal court in Hawaii on Tuesday after pleading guilty to providing material support to the Islamic State militant group, a local news outlet reported.

Ikaika Erik Kang, 35, agreed to a plea deal in August on four counts of breaking antiterrorism laws in which he accepted a proposed 25-year sentence.

Judge Susan Oki Mollway accepted the terms of the plea deal at Tuesday morning’s hearing, Hawaii’s KHON2 news channel reported. Kang told the court he knew what he did was wrong, KHON2 reported.

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