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Wednesday, Jan 23rd

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Report: Sanctions deal actually boosts Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

Oleg Deripaska benefited from lifted sanctions

The sanctions agreement reached by the Trump administration and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska actually appears to benefit Deripaska, The New York Times reports.

Last April, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against Deripaska — a onetime business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — and three of his companies, as well as six other Russian oligarchs and their companies; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions were in response to "a range of malign activity around the globe."

In December, Mnuchin said the Treasury Department reached an agreement to lift the sanctions on three companies controlled by Deripaska: The aluminum company Rusal; EN+, the holding company that owns Rusal; and EuroSibEnergo.

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Taliban attack on Afghan security base kills over 100

Taliban attack on Afghan security base kills 100A Taliban attack in central Afghanistan on Monday killed scores of security personnel, officials said, with some estimates putting the death toll at more than 100, amid government silence about one of the most deadly insurgent attacks in months.

Attackers rammed a captured military Humvee packed with explosives into a training center of the National Directorate for Security in Maidan Wardak province, west of the capital Kabul. At least two gunmen followed up, spraying the compound with gunfire before they were shot down.

“We have information that 126 people have been killed in the explosion inside the military training center, eight special commandoes are among the dead,” said a senior official in the defense ministry in Kabul, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Attack in Mali Kills Eight UN Peacekeepers

8 peacekeepers killed in MaliEight U.N. peacekeepers were killed and several were wounded while repelling an attack by armed assailants near a village in northern Mali on Sunday, the West African nation’s U.N. mission said.

The identity of the attackers was not immediately clear. U.N. peacekeeping and French forces are stationed in northern Mali to combat well-armed jihadist groups seen as the gravest threat to security across Africa’s Sahel region.

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Rick Gates Tells Mueller About Trump Team’s Dealings With Israeli Intelligence Firm

Rick Gates tells Mueller about Trump dealinsg with israeli intel

Rick Gates, the former campaign aide to Donald Trump, is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether individuals from the Middle East worked with the Trump campaign to influence the election, according to two individuals with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.

Gates has answered questions specifically about Psy Group, an Israeli firm that ex-employees say drew up social media manipulation plans to help the Trump campaign, according to sources familiar with the questions. Mueller’s team also asked Gates about interactions with Psy Group’s owner, Joel Zamel, and Lebanese-American businessman George Nader, who worked as an emissary for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the sources said.

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The Brexit deal was defeated in Parliament. Here’s what happens next.

Brexit deal vote fails

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was just voted down by Parliament.

May’s deal lost 202 to 432, a humiliating margin that reveals just how unpopular her plan was. The outcome was somewhat anticlimactic: members of Parliament have been vocal about their opposition to the withdrawal agreement ever since May delivered it last year. The backlash forced May to postpone the vote in December, but the delay ultimately didn’t help her convince members of Parliament to support her plan.

Now, the Brexit deadline — March 29, 2019 — is just 73 days away, and the UK has no clear path forward for how to exit the EU.

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Ivanka Trump will help pick America's next World Bank nominee

Ivanka will help choose nominee for head of World Bank

Ivanka Trump, President Trump's daughter and senior White House adviser, is not a candidate to be the next president of the World Bank, but she'll "help manage the U.S. nomination process as she's worked closely with the World Bank's leadership for the past two years," a White House representative tells The Wall Street Journal.

Trump will work with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to select the U.S. nominee, following the surprise resignation of Jim Yong Kim earlier this month.

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RAF veteran ‘admitted 1961 killing of UN secretary general’ Dag Hammarskjold

Plane with Dag Hammarskjold shot down

New evidence has emerged linking an RAF veteran to the death in 1961 of the UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld in a mysterious plane crash in southern Africa.

Jan van Risseghem has been named as a possible attacker before, but has always been described simply as a Belgian pilot. The Observer can now reveal that he had extensive ties to Britain, including a British mother and wife, trained with the RAF and was decorated by Britain for his service in the second world war.

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