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Vladimir Putin says he hasn’t even talked to Ukraine about releasing its detained sailors

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday there had been no discussion with Ukraine about the possible release of the Ukrainian sailors who were seized along with their ships by Russia last month.

Putin spoke with reporters on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Russia is resisting international calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships that its border patrols fired upon and seized in the strait near Russian-annexed Crimea last weekend.

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Moscow accused the 24 sailors of illegally crossing the Russian border.

Putin said he would not introduce tit-for-tat restrictions on the entry of Ukrainians into Russia after Kiev imposed a ban on Russian males aged 16 to 60 from entering its territory.

After U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Putin at the G20 summit, citing the military tensions with Ukraine, the Russian leader said there were no pre-conditions for future bilateral talks.

“It is regrettable that we can’t succeed in holding a full-scale meeting, which is long due,” Putin said, adding that issues of strategic stability would be of paramount importance.

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Putin and Trump had a brief meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Friday, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said.

Trump’s administration has accused Russia of non-compliance with the 31-year-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and has said it will pull out of the deal as a result. The Kremlin denies violating the pact.

“This is related to the issues of strategic stability, especially after the president declared his desire to withdraw from the INF missile treaty,” Putin added.

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Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Will Dunham


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2020 Election

Cory Booker planning to suspend his campaign if his fundraising does not improve: report

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On Saturday, NBC News reported that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has released a campaign memo indicating he will exit the Democratic presidential primary if he is unable to raise millions of dollars within days.

"Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward," wrote campaign manager Addisu Demissie in the memo to staff ersand supporters. "The next 10 days will determine whether Cory Booker can stay in this race."

The memo added that it is likely that only four candidates presently have enough money to stay in the race for the long haul. These candidates are likely former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who report the largest fundraising hauls.

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Trump snarls a press for pursuing Ukraine phone call complaint instead of reporting on debunked Biden story

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Donald Trump lashed out at the media for pursuing the story of a suppressed inspector general's report that he may have made an illegal promise to the president of Ukraine, saying they should be investigating former Vice President Joe Biden instead.

Taking to Twitter, the president wrote: "The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a..... story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine. Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!"

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The new Rambo movie is essentially a MAGA fever dream of bigotry

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"Rambo: Last Blood," the latest in the long-running franchise about a traumatized war veteran (Sylvester Stallone) turned on-demand badass, is less an escapist action movie and more a dramatized manifestation of the most notorious sentences from Donald Trump's presidential campaign announcement speech: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." Even for a series that has always been shaped by a right wing worldview, the only reason for this latest sequel to exist — besides generating profits from die-hard Stallone fans — is to validate MAGA-world bigotries about Mexicans.This article first appeared in Salon.

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