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Sen. Tillis announces cancer diagnosis, expects ‘full recovery’

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North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R), months after squeaking out a reelection win, announced that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery next week.

“I am in the hands of outstanding medical professionals and expect to make a full recovery,” Tillis said in a Monday statement.

“I am blessed that my cancer was detected relatively early, and I can’t emphasize enough how important routine screenings are, regardless of how healthy you think you are,” he continued. “I had no symptoms and would have never imagined I had cancer.”

About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes, according to Cancer.org.

“My prognosis is good because I went to my annual physical and received a PSA test, which led to a biopsy and eventually my diagnosis,” Tillis also said in the statement. “Early detection can truly save lives.”

The 60-year-old Tillis has served in the Senate since 2015 and beat Democrat Cal Cunningham back in November by less than two percentage points.

The full Senate will not convene again until mid-April, according to NBC News. Although, the outlet notes that it is unclear whether the North Carolina senator will miss any votes in the upper chamber, where it is split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the tie-breaking vote.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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Joe Biden

President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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