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Tillerson faces tough talks in Moscow amid increased tensions.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow this week will be an early test of whether the Trump administration can use any momentum generated by a missile attack on a Syrian air base to craft and execute a strategy to end the Syrian war. Even before Trump ordered last week’s strike in retaliation for a nerve gas attack, Tillerson’s visit was certain to be dominated by thorny issues, including Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, an apparent violation of an important arms control treaty, and seeing what cooperation, if any, is possible in the fight against Islamic State. Now, Tillerson, a former oil executive with no diplomatic experience, is charged with avoiding a major U.S. confrontation with Russia while exacting some concessions from Moscow. Those include getting rid of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s remaining chemical weapons and pressing Assad to negotiate Syria’s future.

US President’s Deputy assistant proposes splitting Libya into three.

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According to the British newspaper The Guardian, a White House Deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, Sebastian Gorka, has reportedly suggested that Libya be split and divided. He purposed a Libyan division based on Ottoman’s provinces plan, which means Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the north-west and Fezzan in the south-west. This idea had been told to an European Union official, according to The Guardian, this EU sources answered that it could be the worst solution for the country. This idea could create an other division in Lybia, still divided between West Libya governed by Tripoli and Eastern Libya governed by Tobruck.

White House blames Syria's Assad regime for Idlib chemical attack.

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The White House on Tuesday blamed a deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Idlib province on the government of President Bashar al-Assad and said the incident was “reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world”. “These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the last administration’s weakness and irresolution,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a briefing. “President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing” picer declined to say what the U.S. administration would do about the attack but added President Donald Trump had spoken on Tuesday with his national security team about the issue.

Trump tastes failure as U.S. House healthcare bill collapses.

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President Donald Trump suffered a stunning political setback on Friday in a Congress controlled by his own party when Republican leaders pulled legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, a major 2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies. House of Representatives leaders yanked the bill after a rebellion by Republican moderates and the party’s most conservative lawmakers left them short of votes, ensuring that Trump’s first major legislative initiative since taking office on Jan. 20 ended in failure. Democrats were unified against it.

 

Trump outlines revised travel ban, leaving Iraq off list of targeted countries

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U.S. President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order for a U.S. travel ban on Monday leaving Iraq off the list of targeted countries,  the order would take effect on March 16.U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly unveiled details of the revised executive order at a media briefing:”As threats to our security continue to evolve and change, common sense dictates that we continually re-evaluate and reassess the systems we rely upon to protect our country”, Tillerson said. Refugees who are “in transit” and already have been approved would be able to travel to the United States: “We are going to work closely to implement it and enforce it humanely, respectfully and with professionalism, but we will enforce the law”, Kelly said.

 

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