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German leaders stunned and angry after Trump announces 9,500 troops will be pulled from region

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Angela Merkel (John Macdougal All Pool:AFP

On Saturday, Bloomberg News reported that Germany is stunned by President Donald Trump’s new order to pull 9,500 troops from the region.

“Like Chancellor Angela Merkel, the mayor of Grafenwoehr was caught off guard. It’s the latest sign of the U.S.’s deterioration of ties with a loyal ally, one that not only hosts most of its troops in Europe but also has seen them fuel the local economy,” reported Angela Cullen and Arne Delfs. “This medieval town, with a tiny population dwarfed by the size of the American military presence, shows just what a shadow the U.S. has cast over Europe after World War II and what its retreat symbolizes in the eyes of locals and international observers. Another troop cut would signal a further break with a legacy of two generations.”

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“There hasn’t been much nostalgia between Trump and Merkel, who have clashed repeatedly over trade and Germany’s slow timetable for meeting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s defense spending target,” said the report. “Last month, Merkel snubbed Trump on his plan to hold an in-person Group of Seven summit in June which he’d like Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend.”

“While Trump has taken aim at Germany’s economic might, Merkel — the longest-serving G-7 leader after 15 years in power — has stared him down across a broad front, from defending the rules-based global economy to policy disputes such as defense spending,” said the report.
“A physicist by training, Merkel also contrasted with Trump in her science-based approach to reopening Germany from its coronavirus lockdown.”

Many German politicians are voicing their displeasure at the new move.

“These plans demonstrate once again that the Trump administration neglects a central element of leadership: the involvement of alliance partners in the decision-making process,” said Merkel’s deputy caucus leader Johann Wadephul. Meanwhile, “Green party lawmaker Tobias Lindner evoked Trump’s appearances at NATO summits, where he has berated U.S. allies to step up defense spending and called Germany ‘a captive to Russia’ for refusing to halt the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.”

You can read more here.

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2020 Election

‘At the edge of an abyss’: Experts warn America could plunge into sectarian violence after election

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Experts on international conflict resolution are warning that the United States is on the verge of seeing a wave of sectarian violence unleashed by the 2020 presidential election.

In interviews with NPR, several experts said the United States is exhibiting troubling signs that other countries that have been plagued by sectarian violence have shown in recent decades.

"We thought we were immune to it," said Tim Phillips, the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Beyond Conflict. "When we looked at our own problems, we thought: 'Of course we have some big issues, but we're in a sense immune from an us-versus-them mindset, a sectarian mindset, where there could be real conflict.'"

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2020 Election

Trump’s massive rallies amid COVID-19 pandemic are flopping in key battleground states

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It is no secret President Donald Trump loves to bask in MAGA glory at his rallies, but a new survey shows his campaign blitz may be backfiring as voters wonder if the president bears responsibility for hosting potential super-spreader events while COVID-19 batters the Midwestern United States.

A new survey, compiled of voters in six battleground states—Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—found that a great number of voters view Trump "much less" or "somewhat less favorably" due to his continued behavior amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports US News. Despite alarming upticks in cases across the Midwest, Trump has continued to visit vulnerable states and hold massive rallies all while disregarding COVID-19 mitigation practices.

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MSNBC’s Morning Joe shreds Jared Kushner for bragging about Trump’s COVID-19 disaster

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough blasted Jared Kushner for bragging about actions that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths from the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser told reporter Bob Woodward the president had wrested control of the pandemic response away from the doctors, and the "Morning Joe" host said that admission was damning.

"We actually have the 'Perry Mason' moment," Scarborough said. "We actually have the person on the witness stand who is actually testifying against interests for himself and for Donald Trump. They deliberately, deliberately 'freed' America from the doctors and the scientists, so by the end of this, 400,000 people will be dead. Almost as many Americans who died in World War II."

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