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Russia and China send ships to chase US carrier in waters off Korean peninsula as tensions mount

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Russia and China have both dispatched intelligence-gathering vessels to follow the U.S.S. Carl Vinson in waters off of the Korean Peninsula, according to officials in the Japanese government.

TheHill.com reported Sunday night on an Associated Press bulletin that cited a story in the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun saying that both Russian and Chinese navy officials are tracking the movements of U.S. ships in the region.

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“It appears that both countries aim to probe the movements of the United States, which is showing a stance of not excluding military action against North Korea,” said the AP.

Japanese Self-Defense Forces are reportedly increasing their maneuvers in the waters and airspace around the area in order to beef up their surveillance and warning capabilities.

The ships may be intended as a warning to Washington, the AP said.

President Donald Trump ordered the Vinson and other military vessels to travel to the region last week after launching a missile attack against a Syrian air base in an aggressive gesture toward the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Last week, the Chinese government warned that the mutual saber-rattling by Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un could spark “war at any moment” and urged both parties to cool their rhetoric.

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On Sunday morning, however, North Korea attempted a missile test — which failed — in an apparent show of defiance to Trump.

White House national security adviser Herbert McMaster said on Sunday that “all options are on the table” with regards to the U.S. response to the failed test.


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‘Pure retaliation’: Former House national security official slams Trump for firing inspector general

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On Friday evening, President Donald Trump stunned observers by announcing he would be dismissing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who first relayed the whistleblower complaint about Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Daniel Goldman, a national security advisor for the House Intelligence Committee, slammed the decision on Saturday, calling it "pure retaliation" and noting that his only offense was following the law when the president did not.

I saw Michael Atkinson up close. He followed the law with the utmost integrity. He did nothing to lose Trump’s confidence other than lawfully and properly expose Trump’s misconduct and the ensuing efforts to cover it up. This is pure retaliation, retribution and reprisal. https://t.co/GStcTOJn4J

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Trump’s new plan for covering COVID-19 patients has administration officials scrambling once again: report

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According to Politico, President Donald Trump's decision not to reopen the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges, and to instead pay hospitals to treat uninsured coronavirus patients, blindsided not just insurance companies, but his own health officials — and left everyone scrambling to implement his orders.

"The rollout of the new hospital pay program capped a frenetic several days within the administration, prompted by a White House official’s confirmation Tuesday that there would be no reopening of the Obamacare markets," wrote Adam Cancryn, Nancy Cook, and Susannah Luthi. "That declaration surprised even some officials in the Health and Human Services Department, who believed the concept was still under consideration. And amid a crush of criticism from Democrats led by 2020 front runner Joe Biden, it worried officials who viewed the verdict as an unforced error in the middle of a historic pandemic."

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2020 Election

Trump is preparing the ground for a totalitarian dictatorship

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We're all going to know someone who has died of the coronavirus when this is over. The tragic news is all over Facebook and Twitter already. My friend Patricia Bosworth, the actress and biographer, died on Friday of the virus. Everyone has friends and acquaintances who have the virus, family members who have died, favorite musicians or actors and friends of friends who are sick and dying. The virus has taken them from us, but so has Donald Trump with his inaction and lying and childish finger-pointing and failure to take responsibility.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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