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Opposition chief Alexei Navalny blames Kremlin ‘hysteria’ over vote for police raids

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Russia’s main opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Thursday blamed mass police raids on his regional offices on Kremlin “hysteria” sparked by the ruling party’s losses in local elections.

“Why such hysteria? Two words: ‘Smart voting,'” Navalny said on his blog.

Navalny said police searches were underway at more than 200 addresses in 41 cities across Russia.

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He called it “the largest police operation in modern Russian history” and said it was the result of his call to supporters to vote tactically to push out ruling party candidates in local elections held Sunday in Moscow and other cities.

Allies of President Vladimir Putin suffered major losses in Moscow as a result.

“Putin got upset and is stomping his feet,” the 43-year-old opposition leader said.

Navalny said authorities wanted to “demoralize” Russians and force them “to renounce collective action”.

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He said on Twitter that investigators’ vans had arrived outside his Moscow headquarters as well.

Russian investigators in August launched a money laundering probe against Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK), which has worked to expose officials’ questionable wealth.

In the run-up to the elections Navalny and his supporters organized a wave of protests after popular opposition politicians were barred from standing in the Moscow parliament election, prompting a police crackdown.

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Saudi Arabia races to restore oil supply — drone strike blamed on Iran

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Saudi Arabia raced on Sunday to restart operations at oil plants hit by drone attacks which slashed its production by half, as Iran dismissed US claims it was behind the assault.

The Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, claimed Saturday's strikes on two plants owned by state energy giant Aramco.

But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed the finger squarely at Tehran, saying there was no evidence the "unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply" was launched from Yemen.

"The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression," the top US diplomat added.

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Trump flip-flops on meeting with Iran with ‘no preconditions’– then blames it on the media

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President Donald Trump went off on the "fake news media" yet again, after his own appointees announced he was willing to meet with Iran.

"The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, 'No Conditions.' That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)," Trump tweeted.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1173371482812162048

In an odd twist, Trump announced just three months ago he'd be willing to meet with no preconditions.

“Not as far as I’m concerned – no preconditions,” the president said in a Meet the Press interview. At another point in the interview, he also said: “I think they want to make a deal. And my deal is nuclear.”

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Internet fears Trump’s ‘locked and loaded’ tweet about oil field bomb means he’s gearing up for war with Iran

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the largest U.S. oil producer can be brought to its knees with a drone carrying a bomb. President Donald Trump responded to intelligence that the drone didn't originate in Yemen, but rather from Iraq or Iran, by saying he was "locked and loaded."

"Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" Trump tweeted Sunday.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1173368423381962752

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