Odds and Ends 

Exclusive: Rex Tillerson, in Meeting With U.S. Diplomats, Says Russia Interfered in Election

Beleaguered Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged in a closed-door meeting with U.S. diplomats on Tuesday that Russia interfered in democratic processes here, something President Trump still describes as fake news intended to delegitimize his presidency. Its a precarious position for Tillerson to take, even privately. Tillersons job is on thin ice, as rumors swirl that he will be swapped out for CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Within the department, Tillersons support is wafer-thin, as diplomats have come to see his purpose as hollowing out U.S. diplomacy. Publicly, Tillerson has been…

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Two Palestinians shot dead and one critical in riots after Trump speech

Palestinian worshippers and Israeli troops clash as Muslims protest against Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital Two Palestinians have been shot dead in Gaza by the Israeli army, the first people killed in clashes that began after Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israels capital. Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops across the West Bank as worshippers throughout the Muslim world took to the streets after the weekly Friday midday prayers to vent their fury at Trumps decision. A third man was in a critical condition after being shot…

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Rex Tillerson says he won’t quit but doesn’t deny calling Trump a ‘moron’

US secretary of state pledges loyalty to the president and shrugs off report he called Trump a moron in White House meeting as petty nonsense The US secretary of state, on NBC News on Wednesday morning that he had derided Trump as a moron in a meeting of White House national security officials and members of the cabinet. Instead, he shrugged off the report as petty nonsense and issued a stream of praise for the president. He loves his country. He puts America and Americans first. Hes smart. He demands…

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Philippines president says US, Australia have ‘toned down’ human rights criticism

Rodrigo Duterte claims issue of thousands of drug war deaths was mentioned only in passing in meetings with Rex Tillerson and Julie Bishop The US and Australia have considerably toned down criticism of a drug war in the Philippines in which thousands have been killed, according to the countrys president, Rodrigo Duterte. During meetings at the presidential palace in Manila, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop raised the issue of human rights only in passing, Duterte said. Mostly they have considerably toned down in…

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Iran nuclear deal: Rex Tillerson accuses Tehran of ‘alarming provocations’

Secretary of state talks tough to launch a review of the 2015 agreement that Trump called the worst ever The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has accused Iran of alarming ongoing provocations to destabilise countries in the Middle East as the Trump administration launched a review of its policy towards Tehran. Tillerson said the nuclear agreement, negotiated during Barack Obamas presidency, placed limitations on Irans nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions against Iran. Tillersons notice to Congress was part of a 90-day process in which the president…

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