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Trump foreign policy adviser bashes the United States for disregarding Russia’s interests

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A foreign policy adviser to U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump has accused Washington of contributing to an atmosphere of mutual contempt with Moscow by disregarding Russia’s interests.

Carter Page, a former investment banker whose views on Russia have caused controversy in the past, made the comments in an opinion piece for Russia’s state-controlled Sputnik news agency that was published on Thursday.

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“From Syria to Ukraine to world energy policy, Russia remains an essential piece in the puzzle for solving many of Washington’s most pressing geostrategic challenges,” Page wrote in the article.

The U.S. government had shown a “complete disregard for Russia’s interests”, Page said, saying this had fueled a sharp deterioration in bilateral relations.

Trump, the Republican nominee for next month’s U.S. election, named Page as being among five foreign policy advisers in March. Both Trump and Page are known for their more conciliatory stance toward Russia, in contrast to the views of many prominent Republicans.

In a speech in Moscow in July, Page criticized Western countries for what he said was their “hypocritical focus on democratization” in the post-Soviet world.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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COVID-19

White House adds 20 percent increase to ‘best case’ projection of coronavirus deaths

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The White House is moving the goal posts once again. Instead of taking drastic action, like asking every state's governor to mandate a quarantine to reduce the spread of coronavirus, it is quietly upping its projected death toll, just one day after stunning Americans with a six-digit death rate.

On Sunday President Donald Trump told Americans he thinks if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done "a very good job."

On Monday Dr. Deborah Birx announced the White House is projecting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.

Tuesday evening, the number increased 20 percent.

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Elections 2016

Olympic athletes in ‘impossible position’ – Canada

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Canadian Olympic chiefs said Monday the health and safety of athletes had prompted the country's decision to withdraw its team from the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after Canada became the first team to announce its withdrawal from the July 24-August 9 Games, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief David Shoemaker said athletes had been left in an "impossible position."

With public health authorities urging individuals to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19, athletes had been caught between a desire to heed health and safety advice while trying to minimize disruption to training programs.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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