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‘Singing gay sailor’ to scare away Russian submarines from Swedish waters

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A Swedish peace group said Tuesday it has lowered a sonar device into the Baltic Sea off Stockholm to deter Russian submarines, emitting the message “This Way if You Are Gay”.

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society’s (SPAS) cheeky device emits the message in Morse code and is designed to scare off subs from Russia, which does not share Sweden’s acceptance of homosexuality.

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The so-called Singing Sailor also features a flashing pink neon outline of a seaman clad only in white underpants and a boater’s hat, gyrating his hips above the text “Welcome to Sweden — Gay Since 1944.”

That was the year when Sweden decriminalised homosexuality. In contrast, rights groups have recently sounded the alarm over a rising number of homophobic attacks in Russia, saying that a ban on “gay propaganda” effectively legalises discrimination.

SPAS said on its website that its device was made to provide “interesting info for any submarines passing close by”.

In October last year, Sweden’s navy launched a massive hunt for a foreign submarine, suspected to be Russian, in the Stockholm archipelago.

The military subsequently confirmed that “a mini submarine” had violated its territorial waters, but was never able to establish the vessel’s nationality.

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Following the incident, as well as several airspace violations by Russian jets over the last year, the Swedish government announced in April that it would raise defence spending by 10.2 billion kronor (1.1 billion euros, $1.2 billion) for the period 2016 to 2020, largely due to concerns over Russia’s military resurgence.

SPAS said its campaign was aimed at urging the Swedish government “to think in new ways instead of falling back on territorial defence, conscription and rearmament -– the world doesn’t need more weapons”.

“Military rearmament in itself is a major contributing cause of conflict,” it added.

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Trump welcomed Russia’s Sergey Lavrov to the White House — to humiliate us all

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Despite the fact that President Donald Trump still refuses to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington for an officials meeting — a topic at the center of the scandal driving Trump’s impeachment — the White House hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

And while Lavrov was honored with his second private Oval Office meeting (the first one was a cataclysmic disaster) and a press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the foreign minister took his opportunity here to repeatedly humiliate the United States.

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United States, Mexico, Canada finalize Donald Trump’s USMCA trade deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal Tuesday to finalize their new trade agreement, paving the way to ratification after more than two years of arduous negotiations.

However, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate would likely delay Congressional ratification of the agreement until next year, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In reality, it is the second time the three countries have triumphantly announced the conclusion of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the deal meant to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA, which President Donald Trump complains has been "a disaster" for the US.

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WATCH: Maddow hilariously recaps Trump’s ‘shenanigans in the Oval Office’ with the Russian foreign minister

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday examined President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov -- on the same day that the House of Representatives unveiled articles of impeachment against the commander-in-chief.

Following the meeting, Lavrov trolled Trump on the issues of foreign election interference and Trump's habit of revealing classified intelligence.

"Given that, given the way the president is being impeached for having done all those things to Ukraine in and way that undermined our alliance with them and specifically their fight against Russian aggression -- which has, you know, led to a five-year-long war in Ukraine -- I mean given the fact he's being impeached for undermining Ukraine in its war against Russia, this is heck of a day to choose to have the Russian foreign minister sitting on your lap in the Oval Office," Maddow said.

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