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Slovakia declines to back Venezuela's Guaido as Maduro faces rising pressure

Slovakia declines to back Venezuela's Guaido as Maduro faces rising pressureSlovakia declined to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state on Wednesday, joining Italy in breaking the coordinated action of European Union nations and the United States. About 20 European Union nations including Britain, Germany, France and Spain have aligned with the United States in recognizing Guaido’s leadership and pressuring socialist President Nicolas Maduro to call a new election. Slovakia’s foreign ministry said last week the country saw Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, as the only legitimate representative of its people and called for a new election.



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Iraqi president hits back at Trump over US army presence

Iraqi president hits back at Trump over US army presenceBAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's president hit back at Donald Trump Monday for saying U.S. troops should stay in Iraq to keep an eye on neighboring Iran, saying the U.S. leader did not ask for Iraq's permission to do so.



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EU nations back Venezuela's Guaido as Maduro faces rising pressure

EU nations back Venezuela's Guaido as Maduro faces rising pressureThe coordinated recognition by a flood of European Union nations including Britain, Germany, France and Spain followed the expiration of an ultimatum for Maduro to call a new presidential election, aligning them with Washington and against Russia and China. “From today, we will spare no effort in helping all Venezuelans achieve freedom, prosperity and harmony,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said as he announced Madrid had recognized Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly who declared himself last month to be the oil-rich South American country’s interim ruler. Eleven of the 14 members of the so-called Lima Group, including Argentina, Brazil and Canada, reiterated their support for Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate interim leader and called for free elections.



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Customized cash back could be the best thing to happen to millennials’ credit cards

Customized cash back could be the best thing to happen to millennials’ credit cardsIf you purchase something through MashStash, Mashable might earn some cash through an affiliate commission.

If you don't have 3-D printed shoes and your own personal emoji, are you even really living? The millennial generation has made customization the new norm — and that's a good thing. Rather than conform to a one-size-fits-all formula, this generation expects a multitude of choice right at their fingertips, whether it's shopping online, scrolling through a dating app, or deciding what to order on their lunch app. 

Customization has also fueled the rise of smart technology. Innovations like smart thermostats and remote pet monitors give you greater control over your life, with the ultimate goal of making everyday things work more intelligently for you. Of course, this outlook also applies to money.

To meet this growing demand for control and customization, Bank of America kicked off the the new year with the introduction of a new Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card designed to fit your specific spending habits and help you rack up more rewards. 

## Millennials are meeting savings goals

Older generations and even millennials themselves have been quick to judge Gen Y as being frivolous with money, but it turns out this isn't the case at all. Bank of America's 2018 Better Money Habits Millennial Report found that millennials are actually just as good, or better, than earlier generations when it comes to managing money. BoA found that 67% of millennials who have a savings goal stick to it nearly every month, and 73% of millennials who have a budget stick to it nearly every month. As a result, 47% of those millennials have $ 15,000 or more in savings and 16% have $ 100,000 or more in savings. The credit card you use can be one more financial tool for supporting those good habits.

## Maximize the power of choice

Even if you're an ace at budgeting, your spending habits can fluctuate from month to month. The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card takes a more customized approach to rewards by offering 3 percent cash back in a category of your choosing, 2 percent at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $ 2,500 in combined quarterly purchases in these categories), and 1 percent on everything else. The new choice categories — which you can change once per billing cycle — include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, and home improvements and furnishings.

## Make the most of your spending

To break it down, let's say you're going on a road trip and your gas spends will be significantly higher than usual, or you're moving into a new apartment and buying new furniture and housewares. You can earn more cash back on those big purchases by changing your choice category to "gas" or "home improvements and furnishings," respectively. The cash back you earn can then be redeemed as a deposit into your Bank of America checking or savings accounts; a credit to eligible Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch accounts, including 529 accounts; a statement credit to your credit card; or a check. 

To help you determine which category will help you earn the most cash back, Bank of America gives you a snapshot of your previous spends. Apply and earn cash back on your terms and enjoy the next generation of rewards today. 

Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.



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Trump suggests US intelligence chief should 'go back to school' because he knows more about Iran

Trump suggests US intelligence chief should 'go back to school' because he knows more about IranDonald Trump has lambasted the US intelligence community as “extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran” after top officials contradicted the president’s claims surrounding the foreign adversary and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. “The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran,” the president tweeted. “They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond.



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'Alleluia! … Time to go back to work': Federal employees return Monday, will get back pay

'Alleluia! ... Time to go back to work': Federal employees return Monday, will get back payAbout 800,000 federal employees who went without paychecks during the government shutdown should almost all get their back pay by week's end.



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‘I Feel Like a Second-Class Citizen.’ Shutdown Pain Continues for Furloughed Government Contractors Who Don’t Get Back Pay

‘I Feel Like a Second-Class Citizen.’ Shutdown Pain Continues for Furloughed Government Contractors Who Don’t Get Back Pay“I feel like a second class citizen now more than ever"



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U.S. set to send first group of asylum seekers back to Mexico

U.S. set to send first group of asylum seekers back to MexicoUnder a policy dubbed the Migrant Protection Protocols, announced on Dec. 20, the United States will return non-Mexican migrants who cross the U.S. southern border back to Mexico while their asylum requests are processed in U.S. immigration courts. Mexican Foreign Ministry spokesman Roberto Velasco said U.S. authorities were expected to send the first group of 20 Central American asylum seekers back to Mexico’s territory on Friday through Tijuana.



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Canada ambassador walks back comments on Huawai executive

Canada ambassador walks back comments on Huawai executiveCanada’s ambassador to China on Thursday walked back comments that Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has a “strong case” against extradition to the United States, following a political backlash. Meng was arrested on December 1 while changing planes in Vancouver at the request of the United States, which says she committed fraud by lying to bankers about allegedly violating American sanctions on Iran.



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Back to school: Los Angeles teachers return to work after six-day strike

Back to school: Los Angeles teachers return to work after six-day strikeThousands of teachers in Los Angeles returned to the job on Wednesday, fresh off a six-day strike against the nation’s second largest school district that disrupted the education of half a million students. Rank and file members of United Teachers Los Angeles voted overwhelmingly late on Tuesday to approve a 3-1/2 year contract agreement that the union and school district had reached before dawn that day, union officials said. The Los Angeles Unified School District kept schools open during the strike, staffing them with substitute teachers and support staff to supervise students.



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