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US Moving Troops for Military Invasion of Venezuela, Moscow Warns

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Washington is already in the advanced stages of preparing a military invasion of Venezuela and has transferred its special forces to Puerto Rico and is sending troops to Colombia, according to Russia.

The accusation, leveled by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, was made on Tuesday amid signs that U.S.-led attempts to affect a coup to topple legitimate President Nicolas Maduro are stalling, with few signs of the mass defections and mutinies within the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela that Washington had hoped to see.

The transfer of military forces to the U.S. colonial territory of Puerto Rico and allied Colombia indicates the strong likelihood of a full-scale armed intervention against the South American country, said Patrushev.

The top Russian official said:

“By showing sarcasm and arrogance towards the Venezuelan people, the United States is preparing a military invasion on an independent state. The transfer of American special forces to Puerto Rico, the landing of US forces in Colombia and other facts clearly indicate that the Pentagon is reinforcing the grouping of troops in the region in order to overthrow the lawfully elected incumbent president (Nicolas) Maduro.”

Petrushev also accused the United States of displaying “sarcasm and arrogance towards the Venezuelan people,” according to Sputnik News, noting that the obvious foreign policy goals of Washington – the toppling of the elected president and recognition of self-declared “interim president” Juan Gauido – explain why the Bolivarian republic has refused to accept any so-called humanitarian aid from “the aggressor country.”

Patrushev explained:

“The Venezuelan people understand this well. Hence, such a reaction, the refusal to accept cargo from the aggressor country and the support of their president.”

Moscow isn’t the first to accuse the United States of preparing a military intervention against its ally. On February 14, the Cuban Foreign Ministry also accused the U.S. of transferring military forces toward the Caribbean in preparation of clandestine operations against regional governments. Havana has stressed that the U.S. is executing a carefully laid-out coup plot in the country and is pressuring regional governments to back the anti-Chavista campaign to force new presidential elections in the country.

The controversial U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, has denied that Washington is planning to take imminent action against Venezuela. When asked whether Moscow’s allegations are true, Abrams responded:

“No … The president has said all options are on the table. Presidents always say that and rightly so. But it ill behooves the Russians to talk about military intervention after they have dismembered both Georgia and Ukraine.”

Democratic Party chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel, has dismissed any possibility of a war on Venezuela. On February 13, Engel said:

“I do worry about the president’s saber rattling, his hints that U.S. military intervention remains an option. I want to make clear to our witnesses and to anyone else watching: U.S. military intervention is not an option.”

Patrushev noted that while the U.S. has proposed to hold separate talks with Russia on Venezuela, and Moscow agreed, Washington resorted to various far-fetched pretexts to avoid holding consultations with their Russian counterparts.

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter

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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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