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Monday, Feb 19th

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Mexico protesters fear US-owned brewery will drain their land dry

Mexico protesters fear US will drain them dry

Carmelo Gallegos used to sow wheat in the cool winters and cotton in scorching-hot summers of the Mexicali valley. These days, water is so scarce he can only plant one crop a year.

But on top of drought and a sinking water table, the 61-year old farmer now has another preoccupation. A huge brewery is being built in the nearby city of Mexicali, and Gallegos – like many others – fears it will suck up what little water remains to make beer for export to the US.

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PLO vows 'to start disengaging from Israel'

PLO vows 'to start disengaging' from Israel

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has said it is taking a series of measures to begin "disengaging" from Israel, including seeking action against the latter at the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

After a long meeting on Saturday evening, the executive committee of the PLO said it had asked the Palestinian government to "begin devising plans to disengage from the Israeli occupation authorities at the political, security, economic and administrative levels ..."

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Taking aim at Iran, US hits Hezbollah with new sanctions

Hezbolla funds via Iran by USTaking aim at Iran's global footprint, the Trump administration on Friday hit six people and seven businesses linked to Hezbollah with terror sanctions, calling it "the first wave" in a pressure campaign that will escalate throughout the year.

The sanctions aim to squeeze Hezbollah financier Adham Tabaja, who is already designated by the U.S. as a global terrorist, by freezing out a network of companies in Lebanon, Ghana, Liberia and elsewhere. The Trump administration said companies and their executives act on Tabaja's behalf, forming "conduits" of funding for the Lebanon-based militant group.

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Poland Senate passes controversial Holocaust bill

Poland passes Holocaust bill

Poland's Senate has approved a contentious bill that criminalises acts blaming Poland or its citizens for complicity in Nazi war crimes, drawing strong rebuke from its allies and Jewish organisations.

The legislation, which seeks to punish individuals who publicly describes Nazi Germany concentration camps as "Polish death camps", passed overwhelmingly early on Thursday, and is now awaiting the signature of President Andrzej Duda.

Poland's state news agency PAP reported that 57 senators voted for the bill, while 23 voted against with two abstentions.

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U.S. Treasury names 200 figures close to Vladimir Putin

Treasury exposes figures close  to Putin The U.S. Treasury has released a list of prominent Russian business and political figures linked to President Vladimir Putin, implementing a law aimed at punishing Russia for meddling in the 2016 election and military intervention in Ukraine.

The list, published just before midnight Monday, names 114 senior political figures with ties to Putin and nearly 100 oligarchs with a net worth of $1 billion or more -- including aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska and Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich.

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7 rescued from life raft in Pacific after ferry sank

7 rescued on rafter after ferry sinkingSix adults and an unconscious baby were rescued Sunday from a life raft in the Pacific Ocean after drifting for four days in the blazing sun without water. The survivors had scrambled onto the small wooden dinghy after the ferry they were aboard sank, according to authorities.

New Zealand Defence Force Air Commodore Darryn Webb said the crew on a military Orion plane had used radar to locate the dinghy while searching for survivors. He said the ferry had been carrying at least 50 people while traveling between two islands in the remote nation of Kiribati.

Webb said there has been no sign of any other survivors. He said it wasn’t clear yet what caused the ferry to sink.

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Russian opposition leader arrested amid election boycott protests

Alexei Navalny arrested amid election boycott protestRussian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained by police in Moscow during a rally to support a boycott of the country's presidential election.

Navalny, who is being barred from running in the country's March 18 election due to a criminal conviction he branded as politically motivated, said on Twitter he was arrested after joining the rally.

"I was detained. It does not matter. Come to Tverskaya. You do not go for me, but for yourself and your future," Navalny tweeted in Russian.

He later tweeted video footage showing police wrestling him to the ground during the rally.

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