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Democrats criticize Trump’s reaction by reporting that Russia offered Taliban rewards to kill US troops

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Top Democrats pounced on President Trump on Saturday after the news on Friday night that Russian military intelligence agents secretly offered rewards from Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan in exchange for killing NATO and stationed US troops. there.

The explosive New York Times report revealed that President Trump and the National Security Council were briefed on the undercover operations in late March, as the country plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration has spent months deliberating on the best way to respond, but has so far taken no action.

“President Trump was approaching Putin and inviting him to the G7, while his administration allegedly knew that Russia was trying to kill US troops in Afghanistan and derail peace talks with the Taliban,” said Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. in a tweet.

On the side of the house, the Democratic-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee also released a statement on its own Twitter account, calling on Trump for several cases of past intimacy with the country.

“Is there something Trump does not do for Putin,” they asked.

The Russian entity responsible for the rewards, known as Unit 29155, is an arm of the country’s military intelligence agency, the G.R.U., and has developed a notorious reputation for carrying out covert and extralegal actions on behalf of the state. The group was behind the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee in the US presidential election. USA 2016 and the 2018 poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

Taliban representatives denied the charges, calling them “unfounded.” Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, declined to respond.

It is not clear why the G.R.U. was targeting US and coalition soldiers. Some intelligence officials have speculated that the country could be trying to derail the peace talks between the United States and Afghanistan, while others believe that the rewards could have been offered as revenge against a 2018 battle in Syria that killed hundreds of aligned forces. by the government and several Russians. mercenaries

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Florida man fired from insurance company after Costco mask explodes

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The Florida Costco buyer who went crazy after an old woman asked him to wear a mask now has no job.

The man, who said he felt threatened and harassed during the June 27 incident that went viral on social media, was identified Tuesday by internet detectives and later Ted Todd Insurance as Daniel Maples, Fort Myers News reports- Press.

A biography for Maples, who had worked with the insurance agency since 2016, had been removed from the company’s website by noon Tuesday.

The biography previously identified Maples as the company’s “top producing sales agent” and pointed to activities he enjoyed in his spare time, such as hot yoga, traveling, cooking, and “mentoring” others.

Company officials confirmed Maples’ termination in a statement Tuesday.

“Thank you all for your comments and messages to raise awareness about a former Ted Todd Insurance employee,” the statement said. “His behavior on the video is in direct conflict with our company’s values ​​and his employment has ended.”

The company said it also intends to review its “existing internal culture” in light of the disturbing images.

“Threatening behavior and intimidation run counter to our primary mission of being trusted advisers in our community,” the statement continued.

The person who posted the video on Twitter told The Post on Tuesday that Maples, who was wearing a red T-shirt with the words “Running the world since 1776” at the time, yelled at an old woman who asked her to put on a mask. .

Then a man stepped in to defend her while citing the number of new coronavirus cases in Florida since the previous day.

“You’re harassing me,” Maples said to the man.

“I’m not harassing you,” replied the man.

“I feel threatened,” Maples yelled as he walked towards the man. “Back off! Threaten me again! Back off the f-k, put your f-king phone down!”

Attempts to reach Maples early Wednesday morning were unsuccessful.

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Trump administration warns against investing in Chinese companies

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The Trump administration warned of investing in Chinese companies due to the possibility of sanctions and boycotts for the Chinese Communist Party’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its strong-armed response to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, according to a report.

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, wrote in a letter to the United States Railroad Retirement Board that investments in China opened their retirees to “unnecessary economic risks,” the report said. Tuesday the New York Times. .

The letter also noted that the investments would put money in the hands of companies “that raise significant humanitarian and national security concerns,” including some that supply the Chinese military.

Citing a “moment of increasing uncertainty,” O’Brien and Kudlow said “the possibility of future sanctions or boycotts that may arise from a wide range of problems, including the Chinese government’s culpable actions regarding the global spread of the Covid – 19 pandemic, the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong. “

The Railroad Retirement Board, an independent federal agency, managed $ 28.3 billion in assets at the end of 2018, according to the report.

He said the board has placed the assets in a diversified portfolio like many private sector retirement plans have.

The White House warning comes at a time of heightened tension between Washington and Beijing.

President Trump blamed China for confusing his response to the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan City.

And the world’s two largest economies have been involved in a trade war after Trump accused Beijing of treating American companies unfairly and stealing intellectual property.

Last week, China imposed a strict national security law in Hong Kong that cracks down on criticism of the Chinese Communist Party and penalizes “secession”, “subversion” and the organization of “terrorist activities”.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an interview Monday with Fox News, said the United States is considering banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps over concerns that they collect data from users and share it with the Chinese Communist Party.

“I don’t want to go out in front of [Trump]But it’s something we’re seeing, “said Pompeo.” We’re taking this very seriously. We’re certainly seeing it. “

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Portland Police Union Blames City Officials for Riots: “Condemn Violence”

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The Portland police union criticized public officials for allowing protesters to destroy the city, as protesters once again taunted police on Tuesday night.

In a publication titled “This Cannot Continue,” Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner called on elected officials to “stand up and defend Portland.”

“Condemn violence and burning, looting and destruction of property,” said Turner. “Trust and support the decisions made by law enforcement leaders who simply want to keep residents, business owners and peaceful protesters safe.”

The Black Lives Matter protests have been going on in Portland for more than a month after George Floyd’s death by police. However, protests have frequently turned violent amid clashes between police, protesters and members of the anti-fascist group Antifa.

Looters also ravaged businesses in downtown Portland in late May.

Turner said the police have suffered verbal and physical abuse for too long.

“As the riots continue, it is obvious to everyone that this is no longer about George Floyd, social justice, or police reform,” he said. “They are a group of individuals who try to cause injury, mayhem and destruction by mutiny, looting, lighting fires, throwing stones, bottles, mortars, urine and feces at peaceful protesters, as well as the police.

Police confront protesters as demonstrated by supporters of the Black Lives Matter in Portland, Oregon.

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Black Lives Matter protests continue in Portland

Police arrest protesters as demonstrated by Black Lives Matter supporters in Portland, Oregon.

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“These violent criminal acts have dragged on for nearly 40 days non-stop, while the men and women of the Portland Police Office and its associated agencies have shown staggering restraint in the face of the most divisive moment this country has seen in history modern “.

Turner’s letter concluded: “Keep the people of Portland safe and free from riot, while respecting their First Amendment rights. Support police leadership. Support officers. Tell those who intend to burn and loot our great city ​​not welcome here. Put Portland first.

The protests were largely peaceful on Tuesday night, when crowds gathered to pay tribute to Summer Taylor, the 24-year-old protester who died after being hit by a high-speed car Saturday in Seattle, Oregon Live reported. . At one point, a fight broke out between protesters, prompting police to respond and fire two noisy ammunition.

Video from the scene shows protesters confronting heavily armed police.

The groups had planned a “peaceful sit-in” on Tuesday night, as well as a “Night of Wrath for Summer Taylor.”

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