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Putin says use of US force against Iran would be ‘disaster’

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said any use of force by the US against Iran would lead to disaster as tensions escalate between Washington and Tehran.

“The US says it does not rule out the use of force… This would be a disaster for the region,” Putin said during an annual televised phone-in with screened questions posed by Russian viewers.

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“It would lead to a surge in violence and an increase in the number of refugees,” he said, adding that the consequences of intervention would be “difficult to calculate”.

Moscow has backed Tehran in its stand off with the United States since Washington pulled out of an international 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran last year.

Putin repeated Russia’s insistence that sanctions against Iran are “unreasonable”.

The comment comes at a time of growing antagonism between Iran and the US following two waves of still unexplained attacks on Gulf shipping, which Washington has blamed on Tehran.

Iran has denied any involvement and hinted that the US might have orchestrated them itself to provide a pretext for the use of force against the Islamic republic.

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On Thursday tensions also heightened after the Pentagon confirmed that Iranian forces had shot down a US naval surveillance drone.

The US has insisted the aircraft was in international air space but Iran has said the drone had violated Iranian airspace.


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2020 Election

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s taxes handed Democratic lawmakers a powerful new weapon: law professor

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According to a law professor writing for Politico, Donald Trump earned a small victory this past week when the Supreme Court did not allow Congress to have his tax returns that prosecutors in New York will receive, but it did set a precedent for more Congressional power over the president that can be used in further conflicts.

In her column for Politico, Kimberly Wehle of the University of Baltimore School of Law, wrote that "Congress emerged with more clarity about its oversight powers, and how to enforce them, than it had before the Supreme Court weighed in," in its 7/2 decision.

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Trump campaign workers ducking wearing masks over fears of mockery: ‘You get made fun of’

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According to Politico, Trump campaign officials at the re-election headquarters in Arlington, Virginia are too embarrassed to follow the president's own CDC guidelines about wearing masks and practicing physical distancing — because the president himself has done so much to politicize the coronavirus pandemic.

"The campaign’s headquarters — located on the 14th floor of an Arlington, Va., office building that shares space with multiple businesses — is normally packed with dozens of staffers, often sitting in close proximity to conduct phone calls and other urgent campaign business, said three people with knowledge of its operations," wrote Dan Diamond. "But the office was shut down for its first deep cleaning in weeks after a senior campaign official tested positive for the virus. The decision to conduct the cleaning came after two months of flouting the Trump administration’s own public health guidance: There are no face coverings or temporary barriers between desks at headquarters, and leaders have limited efforts to implement social distancing."

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‘I think I made a mistake’: Patient who thought pandemic was a ‘hoax’ dies after going to ‘COVID party’

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According to WOAI, a patient in San Antonio, Texas in their 30s has died after going to a "COVID party" — a gathering of people who intentionally expose themselves to coronavirus to see for themselves whether the virus is real.

Per Methodist Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jane Appleby, the patient's final words to the nurse were, "I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not."

“It doesn’t discriminate and none of us are invincible,” warned Appleby. “I don’t want to be an alarmist and we’re just trying to share some real-world examples to help our community realize that this virus is very serious and can spread easily.”

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