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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Congress wanted to honor the ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. President Donald Trump did not.

In extended remarks during a visit to Fort Drum in upstate New York to sign the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 — this year’s version of an annual bill that sets defense policy — Trump chose not to mention the former prisoner of war and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman who is battling brain cancer. He even omitted McCain’s name when citing the title of the bill.

The two men have long been fierce critics of each other, with McCain calling Trump’s supporters “crazies” in 2015 and Trump retaliating by questioning whether McCain, who was subjected to torture in a Vietnamese prison camp, is really a “war hero” because “he was captured.”

The snub at Fort Drum, home to the combat aviation brigade of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, did not escape the notice of McCain’s allies.

“For those asking did I expect Trump to be an a—— today. No more than I expected it to be Monday,” Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime aide, wrote on Twitter.

McCain’s condition — dire enough that a recent HBO documentary on him was titled “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” — has not stopped Trump from deriding the Arizona senator at political rallies. Though Trump does not use his name, he tells crowds that he would have been able to repeal Obamacare if not for a thumbs-down sign from one senator — McCain.

The senator’s own statement included Trump’s name in the headline and in a preamble written by staff. But the words attributed to McCain did not.

“I’m very proud that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 has been signed into law,” he said.

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Luciana Berger Brexit vote: Who is Luciana Berger? Did she vote for Brexit?

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THE LABOUR party and Jeremy Corbyn have been dealt a blow today with a number of MPs leaving the party to form their own ‘Independent Group’. Among them is Luciana Berger – but who is Luciana Berger and did she vote for Brexit?

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Trump vows ‘new day’ for Venezuela

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Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Jane C. Timm

President Donald Trump condemned socialism and urged a peaceful transition of power to end the Venezuelan crisis on Monday.

“We’re here to proclaim that a new day is coming in Latin America, it’s coming,” Trump said at a speech at Florida International University in Miami. “The people of Venezuela are standing for freedom and democracy, and the United States of America are standing right by their side.”

Trump expressed strong support for Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó and urged the Venezuelan military to abandon the country’s socialist president Nicolás Maduro, warning of financial repercussions and hinting at a military intervention in an speech aimed at rallying the Venezuelan-American community in support of the country’s opposition party.

“You’ve seen the crimes and you’ve seen the corruption. You’ve seen the hunger and the suffering,” Trump said. “You have protested and protested with respect, but loudly, and you have prayed for the day we can now see which is just ahead — the day when all of the people of this region will at last be free.”

Last month, the crisis in Venezuela came to a head after decades of mismanagement and corruption: on January 23, Guaidó declared himself the interim leader. The U.S. recognized Guaidó as the interim president immediately, but Maduro, the socialist president of the nation, vowed to fight back and sought to block international aid from entering the country.

Trump’s remarks were a sign of the growing pressure the U.S. is seeking to put on the socialist government there, with the president specifically calling on Venezuela’s military to let aid into the country.

“The socialists have done in Venezuelans all of the same things that socialists, totalitarians, communists, have done everywhere they have had a chance to rule,” he said. “Almost 90 percent of Venezuela now live in poverty. In 2018, hyperinflation in Venezuela exceeded 1 million percent. Crippling shortages of food and medicine plague the country, socialism has so completely ravaged this great country that even the world’s largest reserves of oil are no longer enough to keep the lights on. This will never happen to us.”

Trump called Maduro a “Cuban puppet” and argued that democracy in Venezuela would encourage its appearance in Cuba and Nicaragua.

“We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are on the table,” Trump added.

Trump has repeatedly alleged that Democrats are trying to institute Venezuelan-style socialism in the U.S., and Monday’s address included a few apparent references to what the president suggested was the threat of socialism on America.

“To those who want to try to impose socialism on the United States, we again deliver a very simple message, America will never be a socialist country,” he said. “We were born free, and we will stay free now and forever.”



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Gibraltar STANDS UP to Spanish ‘BULLIES’ after 'FOOLISH' warship enters British waters

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GIBRALTAR has stood up to Spanish “bullies”, branding a warship from Madrid that entered British waters “foolish” before vowing to stand with the UK before and after Brexit.

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