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‘Trump was trying to get angry Erdogan off the phone’: New report suggests horrifying reason for Kurd betrayal

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MSNBC’s Willie Geist revealed the horrifying and impulsive reason President Donald Trump abandoned Kurdish allies and placed them at risk of ethnic cleansing from Turkish forces.

The White House suddenly announced that U.S. troops would no longer cover the Kurds in northern Syria, opening the door to a long-planned Turkish strike, in a phone call with an angry Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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NBC News learned that the call initially was instigated to quell Erdoğan’s growing rage over not getting a sit-down with President Trump last month at the United Nations General Assembly,” Geist said.

The Turkish leader was furious about the perceived insult, and Trump tried to smooth things over by offering a White House visit — but that still didn’t appease Erdoğan, who insisted on carrying out a long-planned military operation in northern Syria.

Trump finally agreed to accept a moderate incursion, such as clearing out a safe zone, but told Erdoğan that U.S. troops would withdraw completely from Syria if Turkey launched major combat operations.

“So the reporting NBC News has is that basically Donald Trump was trying to get Erdoğan off the phone, because he was mad that he didn’t get to have the one-on-one with him here in New York a couple of weeks ago and said, ‘Okay, go into Syria,'” Geist said.

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Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report

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The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.

"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.

"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.

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Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo

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Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.

Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.

In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.

But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."

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Threatened and endangered species among the animals hard by Australia’s bushfires

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Australia's bushfires have burned more than half the known habitat of 100 threatened plants and animals, including 32 critically endangered species, the government said Monday.

Wildlife experts worry that more than a billion animals have perished in the unprecedented wave of bushfires that have ravaged eastern and southern Australia for months.

Twenty-eight people died in the blazes, which have swept through an area larger than Portugal.

Officials say it will take weeks to assess the exact toll as many fire grounds remain too dangerous to inspect.

But the government's Department of the Environment and Energy on Monday issued a preliminary list of threatened species of plants, animals and insects which have seen more than 10 percent of their known habitat affected.

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