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American Islamic State ‘sniper’ charged in New York: Justice Dept

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A naturalized American who was a sniper for the Islamic State group has been charged in New York with material support for a terror group after being captured in Syria and repatriated to the United States, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Kazakhstan-born Ruslan Maratovich Asainov fought for the Islamic State in Syria for five years before he was captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces and handed over to US custody, the department said.

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Asainov, 43, was brought back to the United States on Thursday and was to be arraigned Friday afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn.

He fought for IS in Syria from 2013 to 2018 as a sniper and a weapons trainer for other combatants.

Over time, he rose up through the ranks of the organization, and was named an “emir,” or chief, in charge of weapons training.

He stayed in contact with some people in the United States, sending messages and photographs of himself from the battlefield.

“We are the worst terrorist organization in the world that has ever existed,” one of his messages from 2015 said, according to court documents.

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Asainov also tried to recruit another individual in the United States to join the group, who, he did not know, was an informant for the New York Police Department.

“The United States is committed to holding accountable those who have left this country in order to fight for ISIS,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement.

“We hope countries around the world, including our European allies and partners, will likewise repatriate and prosecute their own citizens for traveling to support ISIS,” he said.

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White House grants press access to Christian site whose founder called impeachment a ‘Jew coup’

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The White House granted press credentials to a Christian news site whose founder claimed that President Donald Trump's impeachment was a "Jew coup" organized by a "Jewish cabal" in anti-Semitic remarks.

Five employees of the Florida-based conservative Christian news outlet TruNews received press credentials from the White House to cover Trump's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, founder Rick Wiles told The New York Times from a ski lodge reserved for press members by the Trump administration. The outlet was not granted special access to Trump, though TruNews' Edward Szall asked Ivanka Trump a question during a news conference, according to the report.

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Laura Ingraham wants to remove Adam Schiff from Congress: ‘It’s not clear that congressmen can’t be impeached’

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Fox News host Laura Ingraham floated a novel legal theory on Monday in an attempt to remove Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) from Congress: that members of Congress can be impeached.

"It’s not clear that congressmen can’t be impeached, by the way," Laura Ingraham told Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

"It's not clear that they cannot be impeached," she repeated.

Ingraham was simply wrong on the facts, the constitution does not allow the impeachment of members of Congress.

The constitutional mechanism to remove a member of Congress before the end of their two-year term is for two-thirds of the body to vote to expel the member.

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50 million trapped after China sealed off cities as virus death toll surges

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The United States and other nations raced to get their citizens out of the locked-down Chinese city at ground-zero of a virus epidemic on Tuesday, as the death toll surged to 106 and the number of confirmed infections doubled to over 4,500.

The deadly virus, which experts believe emanated from a wild animal market in the city of Wuhan last month, has triggered a desperate Chinese containment effort after spreading nationwide and to more than a dozen other countries.

The government has sealed off Wuhan and other cities in central Hubei province, effectively trapping more than 50 million people, including thousands of foreigners, in a bid to contain the virus as the high-travel Lunar New Year holiday unfolds.

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