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Russian activist, likely poisoned before, hospitalized again

Vladimir Kara-MurzaA private foundation says one of its employees, a prominent Russian opposition activist, has been hospitalized after a sudden illness reminiscent of a poisoning he suffered two years earlier.

Open Russia, run by exiled Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said in a statement on Thursday that Vladimir Kara-Murza was hospitalized earlier in the day after becoming ill.

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Trump Loosens Sanctions on Russian Security Service

PutinTwo years ago the Obama administration issued an executive order that allowed the Treasury Department to sanction any organization engaged in "cyber-enabled activities...that are reasonably likely to result in, or have materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States."

In late 2016, in retaliation for the Russian interference with the US election, Obama issued another executive order. This one added the Russian security service (FSB) and several other Russian actors to the list of sanctioned organizations.

Today, the Trump administration loosened these sanctions:

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Mexico denies report that Trump threatened to send in troops during call with Peña Nieto

Mexican presidentThe Mexican government on Wednesday denied reports that Donald Trump threatened the Mexican president with U.S. troops during his phone call with the foreign leader.

In a radio interview Wednesday, Peña Nieto spokesman Eduardo Sanchez insisted he knows with absolute certainty there was no threat.”

“The things that have been said are nonsense and a downright lie,” Sanchez added.

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Report: Trump lashes out at Australian PM on phone call

Trump phone call to Mexican presidentPresident Donald Trump threatened in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart to send U.S. troops to stop "bad hombres down there" unless the Mexican military does more to control them, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Associated Press.

The excerpt of the call did not detail who exactly Trump considered "bad hombres," nor did it make clear the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's response.

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Ukraine clashes leave several dead and test Trump's Russia stance

Ukraine soldiers die in clashes Parts of east Ukraine are on the brink of a humanitarian crisis as the worst violence for a year in the conflict between Kiev and Russia-backed separatists has left up to 19 dead and thousands of people without water and heating in freezing temperatures.

The violence is an early test of Donald Trump’s stated desire for better US relations with Russia. Kiev has watched nervously as Trump has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and floated the idea of lifting sanctions.

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White House: 'We are putting Iran on notice'

Mike FlynnPresident Trump's national security adviser announced Wednesday that the White House has officially put Iran "on notice" following reports that Iran has tested several ballistic missiles since reaching an agreement with the previous administration in 2015.

"We are official putting Iran on notice," Mike Flynn told reporters at the daily White House briefing.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer later added that the administration "wanted to make very clear that we felt that [Iran's] actions are both provocative and in violation [of the nuclear deal] and make sure they knew that were not going to sit by and do nothing."

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Iran confirms new missile test, says it does not violate nuclear deal

Iran missile testIran's defense minister said on Wednesday it had tested a new missile but this did not breach the Islamic Republic's nuclear accord with world powers or a U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.

Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal in 2015, but the latest test was the first during U.S. President Donald Trump's administration. Trump said in his election campaign that he would stop Iran's missile program.

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