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Russia may ban more US politicians over sanctions: deputy foreign minister

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Moscow may ban more U.S. politicians from entering Russia as part of a response to a new round of U.S. sanctions, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with a Russian magazine published on Friday.

The United States is expected to impose a new round of sanctions on Russia on Aug. 27 that would curb Russia’s access to sensitive U.S. national security-controlled goods.

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“We could respond symmetrically, asymmetrically, (or) we could lengthen our own list of ‘sanctioned’ politicians,” Ryabkov told the International Life magazine.

“It really doesn’t have to be a 100 percent mirror response. We cannot compete with the United States in the economic sphere because we are in different weight categories,” he said.

The comments were published a day after U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton met his Russian counterpart in Geneva, the highest level bilateral meeting since presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki last month.

Ryabkov told the magazine that Moscow had not yet noted any signs that the United States was ready to normalize relations and had noted attempts by Washington to revise tentative agreements reached by Putin and Trump at last month’s summit.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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WATCH: New Zealand prime minister unfazed as quake hits during an interview

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A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.

The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage. There was no tsunami warning.

But there was sustained shaking in Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed on breakfast television from parliament's Beehive building, which is designed to absorb seismic forces by swaying slightly on its foundations.

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US farmers are starting to worry as crop prices dip during COVID-19 crisis: ‘It’s kind of glum’

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Dave Burrier steered his tractor through a field, following a GPS map as he tried to plant as much corn as possible amid the yellow and green rye covering the ground.

Striving to get a massive yield out of his crops in rural Maryland is how Burrier hopes to make it through yet another uncertain year, beset by market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed trade tensions between the United States and China.

"We've had so much price erosion that we're basically at below the cost of production. We've got to figure out how to manage and turn a profit," Burrier told AFP.

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‘It’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months’: Trump makes excuses for golfing during coronavirus pandemic

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President Donald Trump was blasted on Sunday for playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, a dramatic economic recession and after proclaiming churches "essential."

Instead of joining his voters sitting in the pews, Trump went for the links, which drew criticisms for the hypocrisy.

"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!" tweeted Trump.

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