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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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Giuliani’s latest trip to Ukraine opened a new door for prosecutors to go after Trump: MSNBC analyst

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On MSNBC Saturday, legal analyst Danny Cevallos explained how Rudy Giuliani's trip to Ukraine to produce anti-impeachment propaganda could end up harming his legal position — by muddying attorney-client privilege with President Donald Trump.

"The only path to legitimacy is if there was a true corruption threat in Ukraine, and specifically if Hunter Biden and Burisma posed a true corruption threat," said Cevallos. "That is why Rudy Giuliani is in Ukraine. He's building that case. So that he can show, bring a news network there, right-leaning news network to do a documentary or investigate this issue and yield factual information that Rudy Giuliani can point to and say, this corruption, this evidence, these facts show that President trump was warranted in requesting an investigation, not generally into corruption, specifically into Hunter Biden. It's the only path that will work for Republicans that passes even remotely any kind of smell test. Even then, it's a bit of a stretch."

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Trump declares himself the ‘greatest of all presidents’ in manic tweetstorm attacking Pelosi and Democrats

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Donald Trump broke out of his Twitter hibernation on Saturday afternoon just before flying off to Florida for a pair of fundraisers, and used the opportunity to declare himself the "greatest of all presidents."

Attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for not passing his signature trade bill, Trump then went after Democrats for trying to impeach him -- saying they were making a big mistake.

On Twitter, the president wrote: ""Hard to believe, but if Nancy Pelosi had put our great Trade Deal with Mexico and Canada, USMCA, up for a vote long ago, our economy would be even better. If she doesn’t move quickly, it will collapse!"

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Donald Trump sounds like a complete lunatic because he’s isolated himself in a far-right media bubble

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

If you have an older relative who spends way too much time stewing in the conservative media, you may have experienced a moment when you not only disagreed with him, but you realized that you had no earthly clue what he was going on about. Perhaps it was when he started talking about the UN plot to eliminate golf courses and replace paved roads with bicycle paths. Maybe he stopped you in your tracks with a discourse on why flies were attracted to Barack Obama, or complained about the government insisting on referring to Christians as "Easter-worshippers" or expressed outrage over 9/11 hijackers being given leniency by Muslim jurists.

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