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Sudan to be Removed from U.S List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

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President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump announced Monday that he intends to lift Sudan’s state sponsor of terrorism designation.

What We Know:

  • President Donald Trump posted in a tweet:

“GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!”

  • Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok responded by saying the funds had been transferred, but there was no immediate U.S. confirmation.
  • Trump’s statement comes months after the U.S. and Sudan reached a bilateral settlement agreement. The tweet was welcome news for Sudanese officials and some of the American survivors and families of the victims of those bombings, who have prompted Congress to pass legislation so that it can be disbursed.
  • Sudan was placed on the list back in 1993 when al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden remained there as a guest of the government. The settlement relates to al-Qaeda’s 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa.
  • The U.S. president has the power to lift a nation from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Congress then has 45 days to object.
  • It is mentioned that around 200 people were killed, and thousands were hurt in 1998 when twin al Qaeda bombings rocked the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Under al-Bashir’s leadership, Sudan sheltered Osama bin Laden and was found to have helped the al Qaeda operatives.

However, others remain reluctant to the settlement, which pays lesser amounts to foreign nationals who worked at the embassy and employees who became U.S. citizens after the attack.

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Olympics: Simone Biles out of team gymnastics final ‘due to medical issue,’ officials say

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((BREAKING NEWS))

Biles withdrew due to a medical issue, according to a statement from USA Gymnastics.

“She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” officials said in the statement.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist competed in Team USA’s first rotation on vault Tuesday, bailing out of her Amanar and only completing a 1.5 twist on a 2.5-twisting Yurchenko, then taking a big stumble backward on the landing.

She scored a 13.766 and was seen walking off the floor with her bag and a trainer.

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U.S. and Other Nations Condemn Cuba for Arresting Protesters

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Alongside twenty other countries, the United States asked Cuban leaders to “respect the universal rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, including the free flow of information to all Cubans.”

What We Know:

  • The countries which signed this joint statement include Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Guatemala, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Republic of Korea, and Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other foreign ministers condemned Cuba’s mass arrests and asked island leaders to restore internet access.
  • In the document, foreign leaders declared that Cubans exercised “universal freedoms of expression and assembly.” In addition, they stated the islanders could do so, as written in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also called for the regime to release those arrested so far.

“The international community will not waver in its support of the Cuban people and all those who stand up for the basic freedoms all people deserve,” the document reads.

  • On July 11, Cubans across the island began demonstrations to call for the end of the 62-year communist regime. Instead of listening to citizens’ cries for help, Cuba President Miguel Díaz-Canel urged government supporters, the military, and police to stop the protesters with violence; it has resulted in the disappearances and deaths of hundreds of Cubans, and also the unjust trials of many. To ensure other countries did not intervene, he also restricted the internet from its people and forced citizens to participate in a rally to support communism.
  • Since protests began in Cuba, exiles in the United States have urged U.S. President Joe Biden to act on behalf of the demonstrators. After some push from Cuban-Americans and politicians alike, Biden decided he would use the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction Cuban military head Alvaro Lopez Miera and the Black Wasps for human rights violations. Doing so would freeze their assets and block them from entering the United States. Pres. Biden is also continuing to find ways to restore web access on the island.

Sec. Blinken additionally wrote in the statement that the U.S. will continue aiding Cuba in its fight for independence. “This joint statement demonstrates that the Cuban people are not alone in their aspirations,” stated Blinken.

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Entertainment

‘Insecure’ star Issa Rae marries Louis Diame in the South of France

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Issa Rae married her fiancé, Louis Diame, in a private ceremony in the South of France this weekend.

What We Know:

  • The “Insecure” star and co-creator, 36, confirmed the news Monday on her Instagram.

“A) Impromptu photo shoot in a custom @verawang dress. B) My girls came to help me, but they all coincidentally had on the same dress! They were sooooo embarrassed. C) Then I took a few flicks with Somebody’s Husband,” she joked.

  • In the photos, Rae posed in a custom, strapless Vera Wang gown along with a floor-length veil and a bouquet of neutral-colored roses. Her businessman husband, for his part, wore a red velvet suit by Dolce & Gabbana.  Rae also shared picture of her five bridesmaids in matching mauve dresses. Each of them held miniature versions of the bride’s rose bouquet.
  • The photos were geo-tagged at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a French commune overlooking the Ligurian Sea.  Engagement rumors sparked in early 2019 when Rae wore a giant diamond ring on the cover of Essence. Reps for Rae wouldn’t comment on the relationship at the time, but her “Insecure” co-stars confirmed the news shortly after.
Congratulations to the newly weds!

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