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Mike Pompeo asks Egypt to stop harassing US citizens

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday welcomed Egypt’s release of a US citizen but urged the ally to stop harassment of others.

Mohamed Amashah, 24, was freed Monday, nearly 16 months after he was arrested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for holding up a sign seeking the release of prisoners, according to human rights campaigners.

A dual US-Egyptian citizen who lives in New Jersey, he had gone on a hunger strike this year to protest his conditions.

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“We thank Egypt for securing his release and his repatriation,” Pompeo told a news conference.

“But at the same time, we urge Egyptian officials to stop unwarranted harassment of US citizens and their families who remain there,” he said.

Another US citizen, Mustafa Kassem, died in Egyptian custody in January from a hunger strike. He was rounded up on a visit to Cairo in 2013 as part of a sweeping crackdown.

President Donald Trump’s administration has formed close ties with Egypt’s general turned president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, praising his fight against Islamic militants and his support for a peace treaty with Israel.

In an open letter last week, a group of foreign policy experts urged Pompeo to tell Egypt that cooperation including military aid will be at stake unless the government ends harassment of US citizens along with Egyptian activists and journalists.

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These experts pointed to the continued detention of Americans including Khaled Hassan, who was allegedly tortured, and reprisals against the family of a man who brought a suit in a US court.

“As the Trump administration tries to hold Iran and China to account for their reckless and dangerous abuses of human rights, we hope that you will hold Egypt to the same standards,” said the working group on Egypt organized under the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“Continued mass violations of human rights increase the prospect of instability in Egypt and threaten US national security interests,” they wrote.

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West Virginia senator slams Trump’s postmaster general for threatening post office closures in rural areas

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On CNN Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) laid into Louis DeJoy, the controversial GOP megadonor just appointed to serve as President Donald Trump's postmaster general amid fears he will try to sabotage the Postal Service for personal gain or to block mail-in votes.

"There is talk, Senator, of the Post Office being told to cut back on deliveries or change the way they operate," said anchor John Berman. "This in the middle of the pandemic. This with an election 90 some days away. What does that say to you?"

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Trump pal stunned by president’s trainwreck interview with Axios: I cringed, I despaired and then I felt angry

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In an op-ed published at The Daily Mail this Tuesday, Piers Morgan gave his thoughts on President Trump's recent interview with Axios, saying it was a moment where the whole world could finally see the true character of Trump.

"For President Donald J. Trump, there have been many grim moments during his catastrophic handling of the coronavirus pandemic that may end up defining his presidency," Morgan wrote.

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Neighbors accuse Black woman of ‘driving down’ property values with Black Lives Matter sign

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A Black woman in New York said that she was accused of "driving down" property values because a sign supporting Black Lives Matter was displayed in the window of her home.

The story was shared by Twitter user @pivyak, who said the incident occurred in Oswego after her sister painted a sign in the home's front window. The sign reads, "Silence supports police violence."

In an anonymous letter, self-described "neighbors" complained that they could not sell their homes for the "best price" because of the sign.

"We believe you've made your point," the letter states. "As tensions rise in our city, home is the safe and quiet place we wanted to return to after being at work. We want to come home to a beautiful street where neighbors care and support one another."

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