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Mattis: Iran missile tests do not require increased U.S. forces

mad dog MattisU.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis called Iran "the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world" as the Iranian leaders vowed to continue ballistic missile tests.

Speaking in Tokyo on Saturday, Mattis defended the decision to call out Iran's "misconduct and misbehavior," according to CNN. But despite the tension surrounding the Iranian missile test fires earlier this week, Mattis said there was no need to increase U.S. forces in the Middle East.

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Trump administration announces new sanctions against Iran

Iran sandctionsThe Treasury Department on Friday announced a new wave of sanctions against Iran, taking formal action against the Islamic Republic just two days after National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said the U.S. was “officially putting Iran on notice.”

The sanctions come in response to a recent missile test conducted by Iran as well as an attack by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen against a Saudi naval vessel. All together, the sanctions target 25 individuals or entities.

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Louvre attack: Soldier shoots knifeman in Paris

Louvre attackA soldier on Friday shot and wounded a man armed with a machete who was trying to enter the Louvre museum in central Paris, police said.

Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the incident was "terrorist in nature".  Police said that the man had been trying to get into the museum's underground shop with a suitcase. His bag contained no explosives.

"We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whose comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident," Michel Cadot, the head of the French capital's police force, said, adding the man had shouted, "Allahu Akbar".

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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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