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REVEALED: Erik Prince is operating his new private security firm in Iraq with financial support from China

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On Friday, BuzzFeed News reported that Erik Prince, the former Navy SEAL officer and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is operating his new security firm, Frontier Services Group, in Iraq, with backing from China.

Frontier Services Group, which is based in Hong Kong and operates in Africa, China, Southeast Asia, and Dubai, has never publicly acknowledged that it had an Iraq subsidiary. But documents obtained by BuzzFeed show it is registered with Iraq’s Ministry of Trade. The firm’s largest investor is CITIC, a state-run Chinese enterprise.

Prince is best known for founding the private mercenary firm Blackwater, which was given U.S. contracts to operate in Iraq in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, but was expelled after killing 14 unarmed civilians.

Prince has also faced scrutiny from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. He was reported to have participated in a secret meeting in the Seychelles with Kirill Dmitriev, the manager of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund and an ally of Vladimir Putin, about setting up a backchannel to the Kremlin for President Donald Trump’s administration.

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2020 Election

Democrats are on the verge of setting a ‘time bomb’ for any candidate who can defeat Trump

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If a new president takes over the White House in January 2021, he or she may quickly find that the Democratic Party that just won control of the executive branch left a loaded gun in the hands of the Republicans, who are all too eager to use it.

That should be the takeaway from reports about the budget negotiations between the House Democrats and the Trump administration. According to Bloomberg reporter Sahil Kapur, the parties are coalescing around an agreement to raise spending by $350 billion, offset that increase somewhat with about $75 billion, and extend the debt ceiling — now set to expire in the fall — to July 31, 2021.

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Trump’s USDA plans to take 3 million Americans off of food stamps

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The US Department of Agriculture will propose a rule on Tuesday that would strengthen restrictions on food stamp recipients -- cutting approximately 3.1 million Americans from the program, according to Reuters.

Currently, 43 U.S. states allow residents to automatically become eligible for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, if they receive benefits from another federal program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, according to the USDA.

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Teeth ‘time capsule’ reveals that 2 million years ago, early humans breastfed for up to 6 years

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Humans’ distant ancestor Australopithecus africanus had a unique approach to raising their young, as shown in our new research published today in Nature.

Geochemical analysis of four teeth shows they exclusively breastfed infants for about 6-9 months, before supplementing breast milk with varying amounts of solid food until they were 5-6 years old. The balance between milk and solid food in this period varied cyclically, probably in response to seasonal changes in food availability.

Read more: How we calculated the age of caves in the Cradle of Humankind -- and why it matters

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