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Angela Merkel suffers new shaking spell, third in a month

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a new trembling spell on Wednesday, the third time in less than a month, raising questions over her health.

Merkel began shaking involuntarily as national anthems were being played at the reception of Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, an AFP photographer witnessed.

A government spokesman played down the trembling, telling AFP: “The chancellor is well and the talks with the Finnish prime minister will go on as planned.”

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The shaking was visible although less severe than during the first episode in June.

On that occasion she appeared unsteady and shook as she stood in the midday sun next to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom she was welcoming with military honours.

The first bout of shaking was blamed on dehydration, but a second episode struck a week later at the end of June, just hours before she was due to board a plane for a G20 summit in Japan.

Officials had taken the same line then as on Wednesday, saying that she was fine and that she would not be cancelling any planned engagements.

Merkel, who turns 65 in a week, has always enjoyed relatively robust health.

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Frequently called the European Union’s most influential leader and the most powerful woman in the world, Merkel has said she will leave politics at the end of her term, in 2021.


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Adam Schiff moves to implicate Pence in the Ukraine scandal as Republicans go off the rails

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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2020 Election

Warren criticized for conciliatory remarks on post-coup Bolivia

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Top-tier 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren is under fire from progressives and Indigenous activists for her comments Monday about the recent coup in Bolivia—remarks her critics called too conciliatory to the right-wing un-elected government that seized power after President Evo Morales was forced to resign and flee the country.

"The Bolivian people deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible," Warren tweeted Monday afternoon. "Bolivia's interim leadership must limit itself to preparing for an early, legitimate election. Bolivia's security forces must protect demonstrators, not commit violence against them."

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Rep. Ilhan Omar asks judge to ‘show compassion’ for man who threatened to put bullet in her head

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After a man accused of threatening her life pled guilty to the crime in a U.S. District Court, Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday released publicly a letter she wrote asking the federal judge presiding over the case to "show compassion" in his sentencing.

Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., a 55-year-old man from upstate New York, pled guilty on Monday on gun charges and for threatening to murder Omar in phone calls he made to her congressional office in March of this year. But in her letter to Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr., Omar said that while the charges were quite serious she did not think that an overly punitive sentence was the answer.

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