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Gorbachev warns of ‘dangerous point’ as US-Russia ties sour

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Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned on Monday that the world has reached a “dangerous point” as tensions between Russia and the United States spike over the Syria conflict.

Relations between Moscow and Washington — already at their lowest since the Cold War over the Ukraine conflict — have soured further in recent days as the United States pulled the plug on Syria talks and accused Russia of hacking attacks.

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The Kremlin has suspended a series of nuclear pacts, including a symbolic cooperation deal to cut stocks of weapons-grade plutonium.

“I think the world has reached a dangerous point,” Gorbachev, 85, told state news agency RIA Novosti.

“I don’t want to give any concrete prescriptions but I do want to say that this needs to stop. We need to renew dialogue. Stopping it was the biggest mistake.”

As the last leader of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev oversaw an easing of decades of tensions with the West that helped to end the Cold War.

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He signed several landmark nuclear disarmament deals with Washington aimed at defusing the standoff between the two superpowers.

“It is necessary to return to the main priorities. These are nuclear disarmament, the fight against terrorism, the prevention of an environmental disaster,” he said.

“Compared to these challenges, all the rest slips into the background.”

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Study finds that atheists would pay money to avoid your ‘thoughts and prayers’

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While some people may think the sentiment "I'm praying for you" might be a nice gesture, researchers have found that when it comes to 'thoughts and prayers,' some atheists would pay money to avoid them.

The study was conducted by Linda Thunström of the University of Wyoming and Laramie and Shiri Noy of Denison University, and was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The study surveyed people in the wake of Hurricane Florence that hit North Carolina last year. The survey respondents, which included religious participants who identified as Christian and believed in God, and nonreligious participants who identified as either atheist or agnostic, were given $5 to be used for the project. In sum, participants could use the cash to receive “thoughts” from a random Christian or a random atheist, or “prayers” from a random Christian or a priest. Unsurprisingly, Christians put more value in prayers offered by a priest than another random Christian, but atheists were willing to pay to avoid the thoughts and prayers of Christians -- $1.66 to avoid prayer from a priest, and $3.54 to avoid prayer from a random Christian.

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Trump praises Corey Lewandowski as he turns House Judiciary hearing into a ‘complete farce’

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Former – and fired – Trump campaign director Corey Lewandowski is testifying before the Judiciary Committee in the House’s first official impeachment inquiry. Lewandowski played his part perfectly: a clown, an obfuscator, a disruptor, a disrespectful buffoon, and an instigator.

Just minutes into the hearing, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler accused Lewandowski – who is still close to President Trump and considering a run for the U.S. Senate – of filibustering.

https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1174015222526423042

President Trump loved it. About a half hour into the proceedings, Trump tweeted out praise for his friend and former advisor.

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‘Anyone who tried to impact outcome of election should spend life in jail’: Lewandowski

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On Tuesday, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Lewandowski's appearance before Congress was significant because Donald Trump reportedly told him to tell Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller's Russia probe.

Lewandowski was defiant in his opening statement, slamming the investigation as biased and knocking Hillary Clinton. He also declared that any entity that tried to meddle in a U.S. election should be in prison.

He said that he handled as many as a thousand emails. "And unlike Hillary Clinton, I don't think I ever deleted any of those," Lewandowski said. "Many of them were either responded to with one-word answers or floated to other staff for additional follow-up. But throughout it all, and to the best of my recollection, I don't recall ever having any conversations with foreign entities, let alone any who were operating to manipulate the outcome of an election."

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