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Trump blurts out a startling statement: ‘We’ve taken control of the oil in the Middle East’

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President Donald Trump made a startling statement Friday afternoon while boasting about how he believes he handled his widely-condemned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Northern Syria – a move that had opened the gate to ethnic cleansing of America’s now-former allies, the Kurds.

“We’ve taken control of the oil in the Middle East, the oil that we’re talking about, the oil that everybody was worried about. We have the U.S. control of that,” Trump said, minutes after concluding a talk with the first two women astronauts to participate in an all-women spacewalk.

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Trump went on to claim “there are no shots being fired, and a lot of people are doing a lot of things,” despite the supposed “ceasefire” that lasted less than 24 hours.

“This is a deal that should been made 15 years, 10 ago, over the last number of years under the Obama administration. The real numbers is over one million people were killed,” Trump said, doubling his claim from earlier this week. “We have lost no, not a drop of blood since we’ve started, what I’ve started, and it was, so far it’s working out.”

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale was among the first to report on Trump’s stunning claim.

Trump in fact made a similar statement on Twitter that went largely unnoticed just a few hours ago:

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Reporters are expressing confusion over what the president meant:

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Paul Krugman: GOP would ‘cheer on’ Trump if he launched ‘a military coup’

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New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday warned that it's wrong to compare President Donald Trump to President Richard Nixon, on the grounds that Trump is far worse and more dangerous.

Krugman acknowledges that there are some similarities between Trump and Nixon, such as their willingness to use racial grievance to gain power and their cavalier attitude toward obeying the law.

But Krugman thinks that the biggest difference between Trump and Nixon is that the Republican Party of 2020 is not the same as the Republican Party that pushed Nixon out in 1974.

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Last redoubt: Pygmies return to forest to isolate against coronavirus

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Dzanga-Sangha, a wildlife sanctuary in southwest Central African Republic, is a remote place, linked to the rest of the world by a narrow trail that becomes impassable in heavy rain.

But for the region's Pygmies -- outcasts in a country already ranked among the poorest in the world -- Dzanga-Sangha's isolation could be a blessing.

As coronavirus spreads in the CAR, with more than 1,000 cases officially recorded and four deaths, a campaign has been launched to encourage the Bayaka people, who divide their time between the village and the forest, to hole up in the reserve.

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Disturbing video exposes the dangerous message a State Patrol officer told team: ‘Don’t kill them, but hit them hard’

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Krystal Marx, the executive director of Seattle Pride, shared a disturbing video this week revealing the violent message an officer in the Washington State Patrol gave to his team as it prepared to confront protesters.

“Don’t kill them, but hit them hard,” he said as he walked through a group of his colleagues.

“I remember shaking,” Marx told the Seattle Times of the experience filming the patrol from her office window. “Why not say, ‘Restrain them, calmly’?”

Chris Loftis, a spokesperson for the patrol, gave the Times a statement trying to explain away the comment as poor “word choice,” but it was not reassuring:

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