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Philippines summons US envoy over Duterte ‘threat’ report

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The Philippine government summoned the US ambassador over an American intelligence report that listed President Rodrigo Duterte and his deadly war on drugs as a “regional threat”, Manila said Friday.

US envoy Sung Kim met Duterte’s chief aide on Thursday to discuss the US “Worldwide Threat Assessment” released last week, the two nations said.

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Under a section headed “regional threats”, the report listed Cambodian leader Hun Sen’s crackdown on dissent, Duterte’s war on crime and corruption as well as the flight of the Rohingya minority from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea summoned Kim over the report, which has drawn sharp criticism from the president’s camp.

“Duterte is no autocrat or has autocratic tendencies. He adheres to the rule of law and remains loyal to the constitution,” Roque said this week in response to the report.

Duterte was elected in 2016 in part on a vow to kill tens of thousands of criminals in a bid to rid the country of narcotics.

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The International Criminal Court this month launched a preliminary examination into allegations of thousands of extrajudicial killings committed during the president’s narcotics crackdown.

A US embassy statement said its ambassador met Medialdea to explain the nature of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence report, which the statement said was “based on widely available information”.

“Their discussion focused on the references to the Philippines in the report, including clarifying that the information about the Philippines had been previously reported by media sources,” the embassy said.

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“The United States will continue to collaborate with the government of the Philippines,” it added.

Ties between Washington and its former colony had suffered under previous US president Barack Obama following his criticism of Manila’s drug war, with the fiery Duterte calling him a “son of a whore”.

The two governments say relations have improved since the election in 2016 of US leader Donald Trump.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump cancelled his trip to Denmark — because they won’t sell him Greenland

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President Donald Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade on the Kindom of Denmark on Tuesday.

"Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time," Trump Tweeted.

"The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future," Trump added.

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2020 Election

‘I can take five points off him’: Scaramucci launchings SuperPAC to kill off Trump’s re-election

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Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci will be openly campaigning against President Donald Trump.

"I can no longer in good conscience support the president’s reelection," Scaramucci, also known as "The Mooch," wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published online Monday night.

Now he's going even further. Republican strategist Mike Murphy tweeted Tuesday that Scaramucci is "launching and funding a new SuperPAC to run ads against Trump."

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New report exposes ‘sordid details’ of Jeffrey Epstein’s outrageous jail sentence as alleged in new lawsuit

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Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women continued even as he was supposed to be in jail in 2008, according to a new lawsuit detailed in the Miami Herald.

The financier and sex offender pleaded guilty to state charges of prostitution in 2008, mysteriously escaping much more severe federal sex trafficking charges via a non-prosecution agreement that is now under review. Epstein’s treatment by prosecutors has come under close scrutiny because of many such bizarre decisions, which nearly all observers agree constituted a “sweetheart deal” given the evidence against him.

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