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Friday, Feb 24th

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Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto cancels trip to Washington

President Pena Nieto of MexicoMexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced Thursday morning that he will not attend a meeting at the White House scheduled for next Tuesday.

Peña Nieto wrote on Twitter that he informed the White House of his decision this morning, which comes after he said his country will not pay for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

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Dutch respond to Trump's 'gag rule' with international safe abortion fund

Dutch set up abortion fundUp to 20 countries have indicated support for the Netherlands’ plan to set up an international safe abortion fund to plug a $600m funding gap caused by Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag rule”, the Dutch international development minister, Lilianne Ploumen, said on Wednesday.

Ploumen took soundings from a number of her colleagues around the world on Tuesday evening after the Netherlands said it would act to mitigate the impact on hundreds of charities around the world.

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Trump withdraws from Trans-Pacific Partnership amid flurry of orders

TPPDonald Trump has begun his effort to dismantle Barack Obama’s legacy, formally scrapping a flagship trade deal with 11 countries in the Pacific rim.

The new president also signed executive orders to ban funding for international groups that provide abortions, and placing a hiring freeze on non-military federal workers.

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London air pollution 'very high'; heavy fog disrupts flights

UK pollution and fog very highCold, still weather in London prompted the mayor to issue a "very high" air pollution alert for the first time Monday, while thick freezing fog caused numerous flight delays and cancellations at London Heathrow and other area airports.

The London air monitoring team at King's College London said pollution in the capital was at "black," the highest level, meaning people should reduce physical exertion outdoors. It said the cold weather and absence of wind allowed emissions across the whole of southeast England to build up over the weekend.

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WikiLeaks calls out Trump for refusing to release tax returns

WikileaksWikiLeaks on Sunday took President Donald Trump to task for refusing to release his tax returns and offered to post them online, after a senior adviser said definitively that Trump would not be publicly disclosing the documents.

“Trump's breach of promise over the release of his tax returns is even more gratuitous than Clinton concealing her Goldman Sachs transcripts,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter.

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Trump administration suspends mortgage premium rate cut

FHA mortgage cut halted by TrumpThe freshly-inaugurated Trump administration has halted a cut to the FHA mortgage insurance premium that Obama's team announced during his final days in office.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said Friday that the reduction to the annual mortgage insurance premiums borrowers pay when taking out government-backed home loans has been "suspended indefinitely."

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Rex Tillerson has a shaky show before skeptical senators

Rex TillersonRex Tillerson had terse exchanges Wednesday with Republican Marco Rubio and other key senators during his confirmation hearing for the role of secretary of state, ducking questions on whether Russian leader Vladimir Putin is a "war criminal" or if the U.S. should sanction Moscow.

The former ExxonMobil CEO was at times astonishingly candid, even curt, at one point telling a senator “a little of both” when asked if he was refusing to answer a question or if he didn’t know the answer. Tillerson also struggled to clarify key issues, stating, for instance, that his company never lobbied against Russian sanctions, even though public records show the oil company repeatedly talked to lawmakers and the White House about the sanctions.

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