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Trump turns focus to Sanders as senator holds steady near top of the Democratic pack


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has been ramping up his attacks on Bernie Sanders as the Vermont senator has consistently stayed near the top of the Democratic pack.

Trump lobbed a fresh jab at Sanders on Sunday on Twitter, noting his rise in the polls, and brought him up throughout his rally on Thursday in Toledo. Trump’s campaign sent out back-to-back emails blasting Sanders last week.

The moves are part of a deliberate shift in focus towards Sanders, a campaign official said. As Trump’s attacks are likely to do more to help Sanders than hurt him with Democratic voters, it’s an indication the campaign is trying to put its finger on the scale in the weeks before voters begin weighing in.

“Wow! Crazy Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls, looking very good against his opponents in the Do Nothing Party,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “So what does this all mean? Stay tuned!”

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Sanders shot back moments later, replying on Twitter, “It means you’re going to lose.”

Sanders took a narrow lead in the most recent poll of Iowa voters, but the race there remains essentially a four-way dead heat less than a month before the critical first-in-the-nation caucuses. The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll, released Friday, shows Sanders with 20 percent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers.

While Trump’s campaign advisers believe the president has a good shot at defeating any of the Democratic contenders, they have said Sanders would be an easy mark because they believe his progressive policies would alienate moderate and independent voters.

But the campaign has also sought recently to go after Sanders’ character, not just his policies. In a campaign email sent Thursday, Sanders was described as a “wealthy, fossil-fuel guzzling millionaire” — a somewhat paradoxical attack from a billionaire who used to fly around in a private jet. In another on Wednesday, the campaign said Sanders “can’t be trusted to defend American lives.”

“He’s just another Hollywood-style hypocrite who demands working class Americans make sacrifices while he plays by his own rules and enjoys a lavish lifestyle,” the campaign email on Thursday said.

Although Trump often refers to Sanders as “crazy Bernie,” he has previously reserved his most stinging attacks for Democrats like Biden and Warren.

But at a campaign rally in Toledo Thursday, Trump went after Sanders several times, attacking the senator’s health care plan and his criticism of the administration’s decision to kill top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, while seeking to paint Sanders as a leader of the Democratic Party.

“Democrats are taking their cues from socialist Bernie Sanders,” along with the group of freshman women in the House known as “The Squad,” Trump said. “They’re the leaders of the party.”

Trump’s attacks haven’t gone unnoticed by Sanders.

“Some of you may have noticed that recently our campaign and me personally have been the target of attacks from Trump and the Republican party because they are catching on that our campaign is the campaign that can and win defeat them,” Sanders said at a town hall event in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday. “We are going to expose the fact that when Trump talks about being a friend of working people, he is a liar and a fraud.”

Gary Grumbach contributed.





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U.S. Turns Up Pressure on Iran With Sanctions on Transportation Firms


WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that the United States plans to impose new sanctions on Iran’s largest shipping company and a major airline for what he said were their roles in transporting material for the country’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

“Today’s designations put the world on notice: Those who engage in illicit transactions with these companies will risk exposure to sanctions themselves,” Mr. Pompeo said. He added that the sanctions on the shipping company and a subsidiary would not take effect until June 8, to give exporters of humanitarian goods to Iran time to find other transportation companies with which to work. The sanctions on the airline and three of its general sales agents are effective immediately.

The sanctions are intended to limit the activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines; one of its subsidiaries, E-Sail Shipping, based in Shanghai; and Mahan Air.

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Mahan Air in 2011, but the State Department designation adds a new layer of sanctions.

The designations increase the economic pressure that the administration has applied to Iran since May 2018, when President Trump withdrew from an agreement that Iran had reached in 2015 with major world powers to limit its nuclear program. Nuclear experts said earlier this year that Iran was complying with the agreement and had not been working toward building a nuclear warhead, but Mr. Trump for years had criticized the agreement, which was forged by President Barack Obama.

The United States reimposed major sanctions on Iran in November 2018, then in May ended exceptions for oil imports granted to eight governments. That was a crippling blow to Iran’s main source of revenue. Starting this summer, Iran lashed out with attacks by missiles or drones and seizures of tankers in the region, but none of those resulted in injuries or deaths, and the Trump administration debated how to respond. Iran also announced it had breached some limits imposed by the 2015 agreement on its nuclear program, which Tehran has said is for civilian purposes.

Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have all said they are still trying to abide by the agreement that they signed, despite the restrictions imposed since last year by the sanctions from Washington. The agreement allows for greater commercial exchanges with Iran.

In recent weeks, Iranian citizens have taken to the streets in protest against policies of the Iranian government; many of them are upset at the poor state of the economy. Iran security forces have killed hundreds in efforts to suppress the protests, according to international human rights groups. The protests are the worst unrest in Iran since the Islamic Revolution that put Shiite clerics in charge of the country in 1979.

Mr. Trump and senior administration officials have said publicly that their goal is to prompt Iran to enter into new agreements that would enshrine larger concessions from Tehran on its nuclear program, ballistic missile program and support of militias in the region. Iranian leaders have said they would consider new talks only if the United States lifts sanctions. Some experts in Washington say the real, unstated end goal of the administration is to spur uprisings in Iran that would lead to the overthrow of the cleric-led government, and sanctions are one tool to help ignite that unrest by crippling the economy.

On Saturday, in a rare instance of diplomatic cooperation between the United States and Iran, the two governments each released a prisoner who is a citizen of the other country: Xiyue Wang, an American graduate student at Princeton held for three years in Tehran, and Masoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist convicted of sanctions evasion after his arrest in Chicago last year.

Mr. Pompeo also said Wednesday that the State Department had imposed economic sanctions and travel restrictions on 68 individuals or entities around the world under the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the executive branch to impose such sanctions to try to curb human rights abuses. The officials and entities sanctioned are mostly from smaller nations; the countries of origin include Myanmar, Cambodia, Serbia, Latvia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan.

The State Department issued a statement with details on the sanctions on Tuesday, which was Human Rights Day, marking the day in 1948 when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Some senior American officials and many human rights activists have urged the White House to use the Global Magnitsky Act to impose sanctions on Chinese officials deemed responsible for holding at least one million Muslims in internment camps. But Mr. Trump has rejected any such action out of fear it would harm his chances of reaching a trade deal with China. Washington and Beijing have yet to sign even a tenuous “phase one” agreement.

The Trump administration also blocked a move by members of the United Nations Security Council to hold a discussion Tuesday on human rights abuses by North Korea. Until Mr. Trump took office, the council had held such a discussion each year since 2014. But last year, the Trump administration blocked the session because Mr. Trump was trying to open one-on-one diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, the young North Korean dictator, and American officials did the same this year, despite recent threats against the United States by Mr. Kim.



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Malin Andersson turns to police after receiving acid attack threats


Love Island’s Malin Andersson has been receiving acid attack threats online (Picture: Getty Images)

Love Island star Malin Andersson is seeking help from the police after being subjected to acid attack threats online.

The reality star, who shot to fame on the second series of the ITV2 dating show in 2016, shared her scary ordeal on Instagram, as she called out the troll for taunting her on social media.

Highlighting just how scary trolling can be, Malin explained she has been working with police to find out who the troll in question is and told fans: ‘People don’t realise what kind these kind of threats do to people.’

‘Sick in the head,’ she wrote, while sharing a screenshot of the horrible message she had received.

It read: ‘I’ve seen you about 3times in mk and have not decided what I will do to you. you will not get away with all the sh*t you’ve done acid sounds good little bitch (sic).’

(Picture: Instagram)
(Picture: Instagram)

Malin added in a second post: ‘I couldn’t stay quiet for this one. Me and the police are going to find out who this is. I have no words.’

A source told The Sun that Malin has left her home, as a result of the threatening message, and skipped a service where she was supposed to be lighting a candle for her daughter Consy, who died earlier this year, because she feared the troll would be in the area.

‘Malin has been really shook up by the threats. She’s had the police to her house and has called in security to look after her,’ the source told the paper.

‘She’s not been back to the house since… it’s devastating and really the last thing she needs.’

Metro.co.uk have reached out to Malin’s rep.

View this post on Instagram

It’s almost a year until what would have been her 1st birthday, and I can’t express how much my heart hurts for that. Nobody deserves to go through losing a child. But what I can say is that I’m so privileged to announce that I am now @sandscharity official ambassador after an exciting meeting today. Suffering = strength – If anything she would be so proud of me right now. I am not a victim, I’m a survivor of many things. Giving back is something I’ve always wanted to do. I could have gone in a different direction and gone down a bad path but the universe knew I was strong enough to handle the pain. I won’t stop raising awareness for things I truly believe in. It’s a privilege to be part of such an amazing charity – let’s break the stigma and keep raising awareness for @babyloss @sandscharity #SandsAmbassador .. Almost a year now baby Consy – mumma loves you ❤️

A post shared by MALIN ANDERSSON (@missmalinsara) on

Malin, who is an advocate for body positivity, recently paid tribute to baby Consy, as what would have been her first birthday approaches, in a sweet Instagram post.

Sharing a series of pictures of her baby girl, before she died just four weeks after being born prematurely, Malin wrote: ‘It’s almost a year until what would have been her 1st birthday, and I can’t express how much my heart hurts for that. Nobody deserves to go through losing a child.’

In another post Malin reached out to her baby girl and called Consy her ‘forever angel’.

‘Oh baby girl this month is proving tough but I’m needing a reminder that you are my FOREVER ANGEL! For anyone else needing help please know @sandscharity are here to help,’ she said.

Malin gave birth to Consy at the end of 2018 – naming her daughter after her mother, Consy, who passed away in 2017.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk about her heartbreaking loss, Malin said she doesn’t want to let it define her and instead wants to become a ‘better person’ because of her experience.

More: Entertainment

She said: ‘You can either let it consume you, or you could just let it evolve you as a person and use it as a kind of strength.

‘When you suffer stuff or loss. If you let it kind of define who you are, it will eat you up. So it’s best to let it make you a better person.’



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Liam Payne turns fan as he watches Harry Styles on stage at Jingle Bell Ball



Harry Styles performs on stage during day one of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes)
Harry Styles performs on stage during day one of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes)

Liam Payne watched his ex-bandmate Harry Styles perform at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball.

The singer, 26, showed his support for his former One Direction bandmate as Styles, 25, sang tracks including What Makes You Beautiful.

Earlier, Payne opened the show at London’s O2 Arena.

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Liam Payne at the Jingle Bell Ball (Capital/Instagram Stories)

With his girlfriend, Maya Henry, he then watched Styles, who performed wearing an open chested jumpsuit.

Rita Ora, who performed on stage, was also in the audience.

Stormzy was also on the bill and later could be seen chatting to Styles saying, “We’ve got to link up when you’re ready.”

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Rita Ora performs on stage during day one of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Earlier, Payne told Capital’s Will Manning: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Harry perform on his own before live, which I think will be quite a nostalgic moment, so I think might have to stick around for that.”

The event continues on Sunday with Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Anne-Marie, Mabel and Sigala among the names on the bill.

The weekend line-up also includes The Script, Jax Jones and AJ Tracey.

More information is at Capitalfm.com.

PA Media






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