Jamathon 2017

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US university offering degree in marijuana

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ganja-image-3.jpgA university in Michigan is offering an unusual degree -- in marijuana.

Northern Michigan University in Marquette began its medical plant chemistry program this semester, with about a dozen students in the first class, the Detroit Free Press reported. The programme combines chemistry, biology, botany, horticulture, marketing and finance.

It's an unusual programme. Other universities offer classes on marijuana policy and law. And places such as Oaksterdam University, Cannabis College, and Humboldt Cannabis College, all in California; and THC University, the Grow School and Clover Leaf University in Denver offer certificates in a variety of disciplines. But Northern Michigan's programme is unique because the university is offering a four-year degree addressing the science and business behind growing marijuana.

"When they hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, 'Wow, cool dude. You're going to get a degree growing marijuana,'" said Alex Roth, a sophomore in the programme. "But it's not an easy degree at all."

Brandon Canfield, an associate chemistry professor at Northern Michigan, said students don't grow marijuana plants in the programme, but instead look to other plants that are traditionally recognised with medicinal value but aren't illegal to grow. Students learn how to measure and extract the compounds in the plants that can be used for medicinal purposes, then transfer that knowledge to marijuana, which has been used to treat a variety of illnesses, including chronic pain, nausea, seizures and glaucoma.

Canfield said he got the idea while attending the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in San Diego last year.

"It was my off day and I saw there was a cannabis chemistry group that was putting on a whole series of talks," he said. "I heard all about the need for analytical chemists and all sorts of interesting talks. That was the initial spark."

University officials say the programme fills a need because 29 states have legalised medical marijuana, including eight states where marijuana is also legal for recreational use. Source: (AP)





Jamathon 2017

ganja-image-5.jpgAnother large Georgia city could cut penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Savannah Alderman Van Johnson announced Monday that he wants to reduce the maximum city fine for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana from $1,000 to $150. He also wants to eliminate jail time, with police instead just writing tickets for violations.

Johnson says he's seeking input on his proposal, with plans to present it to the Savannah City Council within 45 days.

Johnson says marijuana would still be illegal, but says he wants to spare people from arrest records and keep marijuana cases from clogging courts. He proposes using 20 percent of fine money to subsidise drug treatment.

Atlanta recently cut its fine for possessing an ounce or less of pot to a maximum of US$75. Source: (AP)





victim-football-shooting-us.jpgThe estranged wife of a man who slaughtered her and seven others at a party asked him, "Did you really have to do this?" before being killed.

Meredith Hight, 27, was murdered by her husband of five years, after she filed for divorce having reportedly been the victim physical abuse during the relationship.

A witness to the shooting in Plano, Texas, earlier this month, said she heard Ms Hight making the plea before more gunshots rang out, the NY Daily News reported.

The killer was himself shot dead by police called to the football party, the first Ms Hight had held by herself since the separation.

Friends said the 32-year-old had begun drinking heavily as the marriage dissolved and, according to US media, had posted angry messages about Ms Hight on social media.

Other reports suggested Hight had suffered from a drinking problem before then.

He was seen in a bar in Plano earlier on 10 September, where he showed a knife and handgun to staff.

His other victims were Anthony Michael Cross, 33, Olivia Nicole Deffner, 24, James Richard Dunlop, 29, Darryl William Hawkins, 22, Rion Christopher Morgan, 31, Myah Sade Bass, 28, and Caleb Seth Edwards, 25.

victims-football-shooting-us.jpg





donald-trump-photo-1.jpg'#dotard' was trending on Twitter Friday after North Korea's state news agency released Kim's statement calling Trump a 'mentally deranged US dotard'

The Middle English word means a 'senile old person'; in original Korean version, 'dotard' can be more directly translated as 'old lunatic'

Merriam-Webster dictionary tweeted that 'searches for '"dotard" are high as a kite'

Un's 500-word, first-person statement was in response to Donald Trump's bellicose speech to the UN Tuesday

Trump dubbed Kim 'Rocket Man' on a 'suicide mission' and vowed to 'totally destroy' North Korea if it continued threatening the US and its allies

The supreme leader dusted off the archaic Middle English term, which means a 'senile old person', while responding to Trump's combative speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, in which the president dubbed Kim 'Rocket Man' on a 'suicide mission' and vowed to 'totally destroy' North Korea if it continued threatening the US and its allies.

In a 500-word statement released on Friday by North Korea's state news agency KCNA, which was written in the first person and brimming with outrage and indignation, Kim had a few choice words for his American counterpart, whom he labeled 'a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire,' likened him to a 'frightened dog' and suggested that he was unfit 'to hold the precognitive to of supreme command of a country.'





trump-and-merck-ceo.jpgA CEO serving on President Donald Trump's council on manufacturing announced his resignation early Monday from the White House panel, in protest of Trump's continued silence on the white nationalist groups who incited Saturday's deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ken Frazier, the head of Merck pharmaceuticals, said in a statement he was stepping down "as a matter of personal conscience" and "to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

In response, Trump ― who has yet to personally denounce the far-right groups who sparked Saturday's deadly carnage in Charlottesville ― directly attacked Frazier on Twitter.

His tweet was one of several posted on Monday morning, ranging from attacking "obstructionist Democrats" to pledging he would work on "trade and military" and reiterating his support for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), who is squaring off against several opponents in a GOP primary on Tuesday.

None of his tweets addressed the weekend's violence.

After Trump on Saturday had blamed "many sides" for the hatred that led to the violence in Charlottesville, the White House on Sunday said in a statement that "of course" that included "white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups."

Still, the statement was attributed to an unnamed spokesperson, not to Trump himself.





In the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, 700 brides at a mass wedding were presented with wooden bats and told to use them as weapons should their husbands become drunk or abusive.

The paddles are normally used for getting dirt out of clothes in traditional laundries, but those given out to the brides were stamped with pink and blue messages saying "a gift to keep drunks in check" and "police won't say anything"

At the ceremony in central India over the weekend, Gopal Bhargava, the minister of social justice and rural development, presented women with the bats and urged them to put them to use if necessary.

He said: "If your husband or any other member of family comes home drunk, treat him with it." Mr Bhargava has ordered nearly 10,000 bats for distribution to newlywed women.

He explained that the purpose of the bats was to help rural women protect themselves as concerns over alcoholism mount in India.

"Women say whenever their husbands get drunk they become violent. Their savings are taken away and splurged on liquor," he told AFP news agency.

"There is no intent to provoke women or instigate them to violence but the bat is to prevent violence."

Mr Bhargava said he got the idea for the wedding presents when a woman asked him whether she should get her husband to stop drinking by beating him with a wooden plank.

In Madhya Pradesh the Gulabi Gang - a group of female vigilantes clad in pink saris and carrying wooden sticks - have recently launched a campaign to stop vendors selling alcohol and to shut down illicit moonshine operations.

Many Indian states have launched a crackdown on liquor in recent years, either banning or restricting its sale in a bid to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.

Last year, the government of Tamil Nadu state pledged to instate prohibition as part of its campaign to win re-election, and Eastern Bihar imposed an alcohol ban in 2016.





donald-trump-photo-1.jpgPresident Donald Trump said Thursday that he did the US military a "great favour" by banning transgender troops from the armed forces.

Trump, speaking to reporters at his New Jersey country club, said the issue of transgender service members had been "complicated" and "confusing" for the military.

"Look, I have great respect for the (transgender) community," Trump said. "I think I have great support -- or I've had -- great support from that community.

"I got a lot of votes."

But Trump said the issue of transgender troops has been a "very difficult situation" for the US armed forces.

"As you know, it's been a very complicated issue for the military," he said. "It's been a very confusing issue for the military.

"I think I'm doing the military a great favour." Source: (AFP)





donald-trump-photo-1.jpgPresident Donald Trump in a Jan. 27 phone call repeatedly asked his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, to stop publicly refusing to pay for the border wall that was a central Trump campaign promise, according to a transcript published by The Washington Post.

Trump described his signature campaign issue as the "the least important thing we are talking about," while adding "politically [it] might be the most important." The U.S. president said Peña Nieto's refusal to pay for the wall had left the White House boxed in politically. When asked by the press about the issue, Trump said both of them should deflect.

"So what I would like to recommend is - if we are going to have continued dialogue - we will work out the wall," Trump said. "They are going to say, "who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?" to both of us, and we should both say, 'we will work it out.' It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, "we will not pay" and me saying, "we will not pay."

Peña Nieto agreed that talking about the wall was unproductive.

"This is what I suggest, Mr. President," Peña Nieto said. "Let us stop talking about the wall. I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall."

"But you cannot say that to the press," Trump shot back. "The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances."

He assured Peña Nieto that he could defuse the conflict over the wall if it the two leaders could stop lavishing the conflict with media attention.

Trump noted he knows "how to build very inexpensively," which he implied would calm disputes in the United States over the proposal's high cost at a time when illegal immigration has plummeted to the lowest levels in decades.





crime-scene-knife.jpgA funeral has been held for the elderly black man who was allegedly stabbed to death by a sword-wielding "white supremacist" in New York City.

Timothy Caughman, 66, was fatally wounded during the 22 March attack, which took place while he was collecting bottles for recycling. Caughman was stabbed from behind - in the back and the chest - his injuries discovered when he staggered into a nearby police station. He was rushed to hospital, but later died from his wounds.

Speaking at the funeral, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said Caughman should be a symbol of the fight against racism, the Associated Press reported.

Alleged white supremacist James Jackson has been charged with one count each of murder in the first and second degrees as an act of terrorism in connection with the case. Authorities claim Jackson, from Baltimore, travelled to New York to target black men, allegedly in order to make a statement against interracial relationships.

"James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate," District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said in a statement following the indictment.

"Last week, with total presence of mind, he acted on his plan, randomly selecting a beloved New Yorker solely on the basis of his skin colour, and stabbing him repeatedly and publicly on a Midtown street corner. James Jackson wanted to kill black men, planned to kill black men, and then did kill a black man."





New Ferguson video sparks renewed protest

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ferguson-photo-1.jpgA newly disclosed surveillance video from the hours before a black man's death in Ferguson at the hands of police has triggered fresh protests.

A filmmaker has released the footage which he says shows Michael Brown did not rob a shop, as police claimed, but instead exchanged marijuana for cigars.

He says it contradicts video released by police showing Brown threatening the shopkeeper as he walks out with cigars.

The 18-year-old was moments later shot dead by a police officer.

However, the convenience store maintains it was a robbery.

Policeman Darren Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing by investigators but the teenager's death in Ferguson, Missouri, led to violent protests and a national debate about lethal police force against African Americans.

ferguson-photo-2.jpg

On Sunday night, 100 people gathered outside the shop after news emerged of the new video.

The previously unreported footage shows Brown entering the Ferguson Market and Liquor around 01:00 on the day of his death.

He approaches the counter and hands over an item that appears to be a brown bag, and in exchange takes a shopping bag filled with cigars.

After walking towards the door, he then turns around and returns the cigars to the counter before leaving.

Jason Pollock, the filmmaker releasing the tape as part of his documentary Stranger Fruit, says it proves that Brown had not been committing a strong-arm robbery when he returned to that store around noon later in the day.

In that encounter, he is seen shoving store owner Andy Patel before leaving with the cigars.





donald-trump-photo-3.jpgDonald Trump might have to fold or show his cards on his claims about Obama wiretapping his phones ... the House Intelligence Committee wants proof by Monday.

The committee -- chaired by Republican Devin Nunes and ranking Democrat/Trump skeptic Adam Schiff -- fired off a letter to the Justice Department, asking for evidence of Trump's explosive allegations by the start of the upcoming week.

The director of the FBI, James Comey, reportedly received a copy of the letter. Comey has already asked the Justice Dept. to publicly deny Trump's claims.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Barack Obama has flat out denounced the claims as false.

So far, Trump has not provided any evidence for his claims ... and has not publicly responded to the committee's request.





The US Department of Justice has appealed a judge's order temporarily blocking President Donald Trump's refugee and immigration ban, saying it's the "sovereign prerogative" of a president to admit or exclude aliens in order to protect national security.

The appeal filed late Saturday at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, cites a "basic principle that an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application."

The Justice Department asked that the federal judge's order be stayed pending resolution of the appeal. It says the ban is necessary "to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism."

Earlier Saturday, the government officially suspended enforcement of the ban in compliance with the judge's order, which plunged the new administration into a crisis that has challenged both Trump's authority and his ability to fulfill campaign promises.

That stand-down marked an extraordinary setback for the White House. Only a week ago, the president had acted to suspend America's refugee program and halt immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries that the government said raise terrorism concerns.

The appeal says the temporary restraining order by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle is a broad overreach of judicial authority.





Beyonce breaks the Internet

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beyonce-pregnant-with-twins.jpgBeyoncé's photo announcement of her second pregnancy has become the most-liked Instagram picture of all time.

With about 8.6 million likes and 401,000 comments, Beyoncé's picture surpasses the previous record-holder Selena Gomez who has scored a staggering 6.3 million likes.

Meanwhile, the picture quickly took over the Internet last afternoon with fans in elated shock over the surprise revelation.

Her loyal fans called the BeyHive took to Twitter posting half a million tweets in 45 minutes.

At the peak of the twin frenzy there were 17,000 tweets per minute about the expanding Carter empire.

Within minutes "twins" was the top Twitter trend, followed by the trends "Beyonce," "Blue" and "Beyhive."





Bermuda to legalise small amounts of ganja

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ganja.jpgThe ruling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) government has assured the Opposition party Progressive Labour Party (PLP) that it has been holding talks with police and prosecutors over plans to decriminalise possession of small amounts of marijuana.

One of the most damaging consequences for Bermudians convicted of marijuana possession is that the United States and Canada places them on their stop-lists.

Attorney-General Trevor Moniz gave an update on Wednesday on the OBA's Throne Speech pledge last November, after the Opposition PLP revealed it would table a decriminalisation of cannabis Bill in the House of Assembly.

At a news conference ahead of Friday's reconvening of Parliament, Shadow Attorney-General Michael Scott said the PLP's proposed legislation would drop penalties against those found with a small amount of the drug.





Moroccan-born Québecer Mohamed Belkhadir said he had been clearing snow off the steps outside the mosque when he heard gunshots. When the noise stopped, he called 911 and entered the mosque, he said: "It was a reflex. You can't leave people when they're in need."

He said he was giving first aid to a friend when he caught a glimpse of a man with a gun. "I didn't know it was a police officer - I thought it was the gunman who had returned."

Belkhadir said he bolted from the scene. Only when police ordered him to the ground did he realise what was going on.

He was released hours later, but by then his identity had become synonymous with the attacks.





canadian-pm-trudeau-and-his-wife.jpgCanadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau place flowers at a memorial at the Québec City mosque.

The office of the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has forced Fox News to apologise and retract a "false and misleading" tweet that inaccurately described the suspect in the Québec City mosque shooting as a man of Moroccan origin. The shooter was actually a white Canadian college student.

Six people were fatally shot in the back as they prayed at the mosque on Sunday. Another 19 people were wounded. On Tuesday two people remained in critical condition.

Shortly after the attack police had arrested two men and by midday on Monday, police had clarified that only one was a suspect. Fox News later sent out a tweet on Monday afternoon - shortly after the police clarification - suggesting there was just one suspect in the attack who was of Moroccan origin.

The Fox News tweet made no mention of the other man arrested, French-Canadian Alexandre Bissonnette, who now faces six charges of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder. Those who know Bissonnette have described him as pro-Donald Trump, anti-immigration and sympathetic to the far right.

While the Fox News story linked to the tweet had been corrected, the erroneous tweet had been retweeted more than 900 times and had racked up 1,600 likes.

In a letter to a top official at the network, Purchase asked Fox News to retract or update the tweet to reflect the suspect's identity as a 27-year-old French-Canadian.

"These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics and perpetuating fear and division within our communities," she wrote.

The letter continued: "We need to remain focused on keeping our communities safe and united instead of trying to build walls and scapegoat communities. To paint terrorists with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant - it is irresponsible.

Within hours, Fox News apologised for the error.





Trump fires attorney general over Muslim ban

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donald-trump-photo-1.jpgDonald Trump has fired the acting US attorney general after she questioned the legality of his immigration ban.

Sally Yates, who was appointed by Barack Obama, ordered justice department lawyers not to enforce the president's executive order.

A White House statement accused Ms Yates of "betraying" the justice department and being "weak on borders".

Mr Trump replaced her with Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mr Boente said he was "honoured to serve President Trump" and immediately directed his department to enforce the controversial order.

Mr Trump also replaced the acting director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale, who has been in the post since 20 January. He is the former deputy director.

No reason was given for Mr Ragsdale's sacking. He has been replaced by Thomas Homan, the executive associate director of enforcement and removal.

Mr Trump's order temporarily banned nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, and sparked street protests in the US and abroad.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican man has been sentenced to 48 years in a United States prison for killing his girlfriend's three-year-old daughter because she soiled herself.

According to media reports in Aurora, Colorado, Shane Campbell, 26, was sentenced on a murder conviction last Wednesday for striking the toddler, identified as Angel Bailey, who suffered a seizure and later died in July 2015.

Campbell had pleaded guilty to second degree murder, the Aurora Sentinel reports.

Campbell reportedly resided in the volatile St Andrew community of Cassava Piece before migrating with his family several years ago.

Word of his sentencing has been circulating in the community.

Police in Aurora report that an officer who visited Campbell's apartment on the night the three-year-old was struck said he overheard the Jamaican saying he had never struck Angel that hard before.

Prosecutors say Campbell later told investigators he was mad at her for soiling herself.





Six killed in mosque shooting in Canada

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crime-scene-7.jpgSix people have been killed and another eight wounded in a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, police say.

Shots were fired at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre on Sunday night, where more than 50 people had gathered for evening prayers.

One suspect was arrested at the scene and another was arrested nearby. Police do not believe there are other suspects at large.

The Canadian authorities are treating the shooting as a terror attack.

"We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country."

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also referred to the shooting as a terrorist attack.

The dead were aged between about 35 and 70 years old, police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said. Some of those injured were in a serious condition, she said.

Police said the area was secure and the situation was "under control". Thirty-nine people had left the mosque safely, they said.





leonard-cohen.jpgCanadian singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen died November 11, aged 82.

The news was announced on his official Facebook page, but no details about the cause of death were given.

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," the statement said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led tributes to the singer, who was known for hits including Hallelujah and Dance Me to the End of Love.

"It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of the legendary Leonard Cohen," Mr Trudeau said in a statement.

"He will be fondly remembered for his gruff vocals, his self-deprecating humour and the haunting lyrics that made his songs the perennial favourite of so many generations."





Jamathon 2017

victim-football-shooting-us.jpgThe estranged wife of a man who slaughtered her and seven others at a party asked him, "Did you really have to do this?" before being killed.

Meredith Hight, 27, was murdered by her husband of five years, after she filed for divorce having reportedly been the victim physical abuse during the relationship.

A witness to the shooting in Plano, Texas, earlier this month, said she heard Ms Hight making the plea before more gunshots rang out, the NY Daily News reported.

The killer was himself shot dead by police called to the football party, the first Ms Hight had held by herself since the separation.

Friends said the 32-year-old had begun drinking heavily as the marriage dissolved and, according to US media, had posted angry messages about Ms Hight on social media.

Other reports suggested Hight had suffered from a drinking problem before then.

He was seen in a bar in Plano earlier on 10 September, where he showed a knife and handgun to staff.

His other victims were Anthony Michael Cross, 33, Olivia Nicole Deffner, 24, James Richard Dunlop, 29, Darryl William Hawkins, 22, Rion Christopher Morgan, 31, Myah Sade Bass, 28, and Caleb Seth Edwards, 25.

victims-football-shooting-us.jpg





donald-trump-photo-1.jpg'#dotard' was trending on Twitter Friday after North Korea's state news agency released Kim's statement calling Trump a 'mentally deranged US dotard'

The Middle English word means a 'senile old person'; in original Korean version, 'dotard' can be more directly translated as 'old lunatic'

Merriam-Webster dictionary tweeted that 'searches for '"dotard" are high as a kite'

Un's 500-word, first-person statement was in response to Donald Trump's bellicose speech to the UN Tuesday

Trump dubbed Kim 'Rocket Man' on a 'suicide mission' and vowed to 'totally destroy' North Korea if it continued threatening the US and its allies

The supreme leader dusted off the archaic Middle English term, which means a 'senile old person', while responding to Trump's combative speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, in which the president dubbed Kim 'Rocket Man' on a 'suicide mission' and vowed to 'totally destroy' North Korea if it continued threatening the US and its allies.

In a 500-word statement released on Friday by North Korea's state news agency KCNA, which was written in the first person and brimming with outrage and indignation, Kim had a few choice words for his American counterpart, whom he labeled 'a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire,' likened him to a 'frightened dog' and suggested that he was unfit 'to hold the precognitive to of supreme command of a country.'





trump-and-merck-ceo.jpgA CEO serving on President Donald Trump's council on manufacturing announced his resignation early Monday from the White House panel, in protest of Trump's continued silence on the white nationalist groups who incited Saturday's deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ken Frazier, the head of Merck pharmaceuticals, said in a statement he was stepping down "as a matter of personal conscience" and "to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

In response, Trump ― who has yet to personally denounce the far-right groups who sparked Saturday's deadly carnage in Charlottesville ― directly attacked Frazier on Twitter.

His tweet was one of several posted on Monday morning, ranging from attacking "obstructionist Democrats" to pledging he would work on "trade and military" and reiterating his support for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), who is squaring off against several opponents in a GOP primary on Tuesday.

None of his tweets addressed the weekend's violence.

After Trump on Saturday had blamed "many sides" for the hatred that led to the violence in Charlottesville, the White House on Sunday said in a statement that "of course" that included "white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups."

Still, the statement was attributed to an unnamed spokesperson, not to Trump himself.





In the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, 700 brides at a mass wedding were presented with wooden bats and told to use them as weapons should their husbands become drunk or abusive.

The paddles are normally used for getting dirt out of clothes in traditional laundries, but those given out to the brides were stamped with pink and blue messages saying "a gift to keep drunks in check" and "police won't say anything"

At the ceremony in central India over the weekend, Gopal Bhargava, the minister of social justice and rural development, presented women with the bats and urged them to put them to use if necessary.

He said: "If your husband or any other member of family comes home drunk, treat him with it." Mr Bhargava has ordered nearly 10,000 bats for distribution to newlywed women.

He explained that the purpose of the bats was to help rural women protect themselves as concerns over alcoholism mount in India.

"Women say whenever their husbands get drunk they become violent. Their savings are taken away and splurged on liquor," he told AFP news agency.

"There is no intent to provoke women or instigate them to violence but the bat is to prevent violence."

Mr Bhargava said he got the idea for the wedding presents when a woman asked him whether she should get her husband to stop drinking by beating him with a wooden plank.

In Madhya Pradesh the Gulabi Gang - a group of female vigilantes clad in pink saris and carrying wooden sticks - have recently launched a campaign to stop vendors selling alcohol and to shut down illicit moonshine operations.

Many Indian states have launched a crackdown on liquor in recent years, either banning or restricting its sale in a bid to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.

Last year, the government of Tamil Nadu state pledged to instate prohibition as part of its campaign to win re-election, and Eastern Bihar imposed an alcohol ban in 2016.





donald-trump-photo-1.jpgPresident Donald Trump said Thursday that he did the US military a "great favour" by banning transgender troops from the armed forces.

Trump, speaking to reporters at his New Jersey country club, said the issue of transgender service members had been "complicated" and "confusing" for the military.

"Look, I have great respect for the (transgender) community," Trump said. "I think I have great support -- or I've had -- great support from that community.

"I got a lot of votes."

But Trump said the issue of transgender troops has been a "very difficult situation" for the US armed forces.

"As you know, it's been a very complicated issue for the military," he said. "It's been a very confusing issue for the military.

"I think I'm doing the military a great favour." Source: (AFP)





donald-trump-photo-1.jpgPresident Donald Trump in a Jan. 27 phone call repeatedly asked his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, to stop publicly refusing to pay for the border wall that was a central Trump campaign promise, according to a transcript published by The Washington Post.

Trump described his signature campaign issue as the "the least important thing we are talking about," while adding "politically [it] might be the most important." The U.S. president said Peña Nieto's refusal to pay for the wall had left the White House boxed in politically. When asked by the press about the issue, Trump said both of them should deflect.

"So what I would like to recommend is - if we are going to have continued dialogue - we will work out the wall," Trump said. "They are going to say, "who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?" to both of us, and we should both say, 'we will work it out.' It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, "we will not pay" and me saying, "we will not pay."

Peña Nieto agreed that talking about the wall was unproductive.

"This is what I suggest, Mr. President," Peña Nieto said. "Let us stop talking about the wall. I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall."

"But you cannot say that to the press," Trump shot back. "The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances."

He assured Peña Nieto that he could defuse the conflict over the wall if it the two leaders could stop lavishing the conflict with media attention.

Trump noted he knows "how to build very inexpensively," which he implied would calm disputes in the United States over the proposal's high cost at a time when illegal immigration has plummeted to the lowest levels in decades.





crime-scene-knife.jpgA funeral has been held for the elderly black man who was allegedly stabbed to death by a sword-wielding "white supremacist" in New York City.

Timothy Caughman, 66, was fatally wounded during the 22 March attack, which took place while he was collecting bottles for recycling. Caughman was stabbed from behind - in the back and the chest - his injuries discovered when he staggered into a nearby police station. He was rushed to hospital, but later died from his wounds.

Speaking at the funeral, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said Caughman should be a symbol of the fight against racism, the Associated Press reported.

Alleged white supremacist James Jackson has been charged with one count each of murder in the first and second degrees as an act of terrorism in connection with the case. Authorities claim Jackson, from Baltimore, travelled to New York to target black men, allegedly in order to make a statement against interracial relationships.

"James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate," District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said in a statement following the indictment.

"Last week, with total presence of mind, he acted on his plan, randomly selecting a beloved New Yorker solely on the basis of his skin colour, and stabbing him repeatedly and publicly on a Midtown street corner. James Jackson wanted to kill black men, planned to kill black men, and then did kill a black man."





New Ferguson video sparks renewed protest

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ferguson-photo-1.jpgA newly disclosed surveillance video from the hours before a black man's death in Ferguson at the hands of police has triggered fresh protests.

A filmmaker has released the footage which he says shows Michael Brown did not rob a shop, as police claimed, but instead exchanged marijuana for cigars.

He says it contradicts video released by police showing Brown threatening the shopkeeper as he walks out with cigars.

The 18-year-old was moments later shot dead by a police officer.

However, the convenience store maintains it was a robbery.

Policeman Darren Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing by investigators but the teenager's death in Ferguson, Missouri, led to violent protests and a national debate about lethal police force against African Americans.

ferguson-photo-2.jpg

On Sunday night, 100 people gathered outside the shop after news emerged of the new video.

The previously unreported footage shows Brown entering the Ferguson Market and Liquor around 01:00 on the day of his death.

He approaches the counter and hands over an item that appears to be a brown bag, and in exchange takes a shopping bag filled with cigars.

After walking towards the door, he then turns around and returns the cigars to the counter before leaving.

Jason Pollock, the filmmaker releasing the tape as part of his documentary Stranger Fruit, says it proves that Brown had not been committing a strong-arm robbery when he returned to that store around noon later in the day.

In that encounter, he is seen shoving store owner Andy Patel before leaving with the cigars.





donald-trump-photo-3.jpgDonald Trump might have to fold or show his cards on his claims about Obama wiretapping his phones ... the House Intelligence Committee wants proof by Monday.

The committee -- chaired by Republican Devin Nunes and ranking Democrat/Trump skeptic Adam Schiff -- fired off a letter to the Justice Department, asking for evidence of Trump's explosive allegations by the start of the upcoming week.

The director of the FBI, James Comey, reportedly received a copy of the letter. Comey has already asked the Justice Dept. to publicly deny Trump's claims.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Barack Obama has flat out denounced the claims as false.

So far, Trump has not provided any evidence for his claims ... and has not publicly responded to the committee's request.





The US Department of Justice has appealed a judge's order temporarily blocking President Donald Trump's refugee and immigration ban, saying it's the "sovereign prerogative" of a president to admit or exclude aliens in order to protect national security.

The appeal filed late Saturday at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, cites a "basic principle that an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application."

The Justice Department asked that the federal judge's order be stayed pending resolution of the appeal. It says the ban is necessary "to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism."

Earlier Saturday, the government officially suspended enforcement of the ban in compliance with the judge's order, which plunged the new administration into a crisis that has challenged both Trump's authority and his ability to fulfill campaign promises.

That stand-down marked an extraordinary setback for the White House. Only a week ago, the president had acted to suspend America's refugee program and halt immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries that the government said raise terrorism concerns.

The appeal says the temporary restraining order by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle is a broad overreach of judicial authority.





Beyonce breaks the Internet

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beyonce-pregnant-with-twins.jpgBeyoncé's photo announcement of her second pregnancy has become the most-liked Instagram picture of all time.

With about 8.6 million likes and 401,000 comments, Beyoncé's picture surpasses the previous record-holder Selena Gomez who has scored a staggering 6.3 million likes.

Meanwhile, the picture quickly took over the Internet last afternoon with fans in elated shock over the surprise revelation.

Her loyal fans called the BeyHive took to Twitter posting half a million tweets in 45 minutes.

At the peak of the twin frenzy there were 17,000 tweets per minute about the expanding Carter empire.

Within minutes "twins" was the top Twitter trend, followed by the trends "Beyonce," "Blue" and "Beyhive."





Bermuda to legalise small amounts of ganja

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ganja.jpgThe ruling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) government has assured the Opposition party Progressive Labour Party (PLP) that it has been holding talks with police and prosecutors over plans to decriminalise possession of small amounts of marijuana.

One of the most damaging consequences for Bermudians convicted of marijuana possession is that the United States and Canada places them on their stop-lists.

Attorney-General Trevor Moniz gave an update on Wednesday on the OBA's Throne Speech pledge last November, after the Opposition PLP revealed it would table a decriminalisation of cannabis Bill in the House of Assembly.

At a news conference ahead of Friday's reconvening of Parliament, Shadow Attorney-General Michael Scott said the PLP's proposed legislation would drop penalties against those found with a small amount of the drug.





Moroccan-born Québecer Mohamed Belkhadir said he had been clearing snow off the steps outside the mosque when he heard gunshots. When the noise stopped, he called 911 and entered the mosque, he said: "It was a reflex. You can't leave people when they're in need."

He said he was giving first aid to a friend when he caught a glimpse of a man with a gun. "I didn't know it was a police officer - I thought it was the gunman who had returned."

Belkhadir said he bolted from the scene. Only when police ordered him to the ground did he realise what was going on.

He was released hours later, but by then his identity had become synonymous with the attacks.





canadian-pm-trudeau-and-his-wife.jpgCanadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau place flowers at a memorial at the Québec City mosque.

The office of the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has forced Fox News to apologise and retract a "false and misleading" tweet that inaccurately described the suspect in the Québec City mosque shooting as a man of Moroccan origin. The shooter was actually a white Canadian college student.

Six people were fatally shot in the back as they prayed at the mosque on Sunday. Another 19 people were wounded. On Tuesday two people remained in critical condition.

Shortly after the attack police had arrested two men and by midday on Monday, police had clarified that only one was a suspect. Fox News later sent out a tweet on Monday afternoon - shortly after the police clarification - suggesting there was just one suspect in the attack who was of Moroccan origin.

The Fox News tweet made no mention of the other man arrested, French-Canadian Alexandre Bissonnette, who now faces six charges of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder. Those who know Bissonnette have described him as pro-Donald Trump, anti-immigration and sympathetic to the far right.

While the Fox News story linked to the tweet had been corrected, the erroneous tweet had been retweeted more than 900 times and had racked up 1,600 likes.

In a letter to a top official at the network, Purchase asked Fox News to retract or update the tweet to reflect the suspect's identity as a 27-year-old French-Canadian.

"These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics and perpetuating fear and division within our communities," she wrote.

The letter continued: "We need to remain focused on keeping our communities safe and united instead of trying to build walls and scapegoat communities. To paint terrorists with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant - it is irresponsible.

Within hours, Fox News apologised for the error.





Trump fires attorney general over Muslim ban

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donald-trump-photo-1.jpgDonald Trump has fired the acting US attorney general after she questioned the legality of his immigration ban.

Sally Yates, who was appointed by Barack Obama, ordered justice department lawyers not to enforce the president's executive order.

A White House statement accused Ms Yates of "betraying" the justice department and being "weak on borders".

Mr Trump replaced her with Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mr Boente said he was "honoured to serve President Trump" and immediately directed his department to enforce the controversial order.

Mr Trump also replaced the acting director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale, who has been in the post since 20 January. He is the former deputy director.

No reason was given for Mr Ragsdale's sacking. He has been replaced by Thomas Homan, the executive associate director of enforcement and removal.

Mr Trump's order temporarily banned nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, and sparked street protests in the US and abroad.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican man has been sentenced to 48 years in a United States prison for killing his girlfriend's three-year-old daughter because she soiled herself.

According to media reports in Aurora, Colorado, Shane Campbell, 26, was sentenced on a murder conviction last Wednesday for striking the toddler, identified as Angel Bailey, who suffered a seizure and later died in July 2015.

Campbell had pleaded guilty to second degree murder, the Aurora Sentinel reports.

Campbell reportedly resided in the volatile St Andrew community of Cassava Piece before migrating with his family several years ago.

Word of his sentencing has been circulating in the community.

Police in Aurora report that an officer who visited Campbell's apartment on the night the three-year-old was struck said he overheard the Jamaican saying he had never struck Angel that hard before.

Prosecutors say Campbell later told investigators he was mad at her for soiling herself.





Six killed in mosque shooting in Canada

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crime-scene-7.jpgSix people have been killed and another eight wounded in a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, police say.

Shots were fired at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre on Sunday night, where more than 50 people had gathered for evening prayers.

One suspect was arrested at the scene and another was arrested nearby. Police do not believe there are other suspects at large.

The Canadian authorities are treating the shooting as a terror attack.

"We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country."

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also referred to the shooting as a terrorist attack.

The dead were aged between about 35 and 70 years old, police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said. Some of those injured were in a serious condition, she said.

Police said the area was secure and the situation was "under control". Thirty-nine people had left the mosque safely, they said.





leonard-cohen.jpgCanadian singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen died November 11, aged 82.

The news was announced on his official Facebook page, but no details about the cause of death were given.

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," the statement said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led tributes to the singer, who was known for hits including Hallelujah and Dance Me to the End of Love.

"It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of the legendary Leonard Cohen," Mr Trudeau said in a statement.

"He will be fondly remembered for his gruff vocals, his self-deprecating humour and the haunting lyrics that made his songs the perennial favourite of so many generations."





Jamathon 2017

donald-trump-photo-1.jpg'#dotard' was trending on Twitter Friday after North Korea's state news agency released Kim's statement calling Trump a 'mentally deranged US dotard'

The Middle English word means a 'senile old person'; in original Korean version, 'dotard' can be more directly translated as 'old lunatic'

Merriam-Webster dictionary tweeted that 'searches for '"dotard" are high as a kite'

Un's 500-word, first-person statement was in response to Donald Trump's bellicose speech to the UN Tuesday

Trump dubbed Kim 'Rocket Man' on a 'suicide mission' and vowed to 'totally destroy' North Korea if it continued threatening the US and its allies

The supreme leader dusted off the archaic Middle English term, which means a 'senile old person', while responding to Trump's combative speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, in which the president dubbed Kim 'Rocket Man' on a 'suicide mission' and vowed to 'totally destroy' North Korea if it continued threatening the US and its allies.

In a 500-word statement released on Friday by North Korea's state news agency KCNA, which was written in the first person and brimming with outrage and indignation, Kim had a few choice words for his American counterpart, whom he labeled 'a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire,' likened him to a 'frightened dog' and suggested that he was unfit 'to hold the precognitive to of supreme command of a country.'





trump-and-merck-ceo.jpgA CEO serving on President Donald Trump's council on manufacturing announced his resignation early Monday from the White House panel, in protest of Trump's continued silence on the white nationalist groups who incited Saturday's deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ken Frazier, the head of Merck pharmaceuticals, said in a statement he was stepping down "as a matter of personal conscience" and "to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

In response, Trump ― who has yet to personally denounce the far-right groups who sparked Saturday's deadly carnage in Charlottesville ― directly attacked Frazier on Twitter.

His tweet was one of several posted on Monday morning, ranging from attacking "obstructionist Democrats" to pledging he would work on "trade and military" and reiterating his support for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), who is squaring off against several opponents in a GOP primary on Tuesday.

None of his tweets addressed the weekend's violence.

After Trump on Saturday had blamed "many sides" for the hatred that led to the violence in Charlottesville, the White House on Sunday said in a statement that "of course" that included "white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups."

Still, the statement was attributed to an unnamed spokesperson, not to Trump himself.





In the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, 700 brides at a mass wedding were presented with wooden bats and told to use them as weapons should their husbands become drunk or abusive.

The paddles are normally used for getting dirt out of clothes in traditional laundries, but those given out to the brides were stamped with pink and blue messages saying "a gift to keep drunks in check" and "police won't say anything"

At the ceremony in central India over the weekend, Gopal Bhargava, the minister of social justice and rural development, presented women with the bats and urged them to put them to use if necessary.

He said: "If your husband or any other member of family comes home drunk, treat him with it." Mr Bhargava has ordered nearly 10,000 bats for distribution to newlywed women.

He explained that the purpose of the bats was to help rural women protect themselves as concerns over alcoholism mount in India.

"Women say whenever their husbands get drunk they become violent. Their savings are taken away and splurged on liquor," he told AFP news agency.

"There is no intent to provoke women or instigate them to violence but the bat is to prevent violence."

Mr Bhargava said he got the idea for the wedding presents when a woman asked him whether she should get her husband to stop drinking by beating him with a wooden plank.

In Madhya Pradesh the Gulabi Gang - a group of female vigilantes clad in pink saris and carrying wooden sticks - have recently launched a campaign to stop vendors selling alcohol and to shut down illicit moonshine operations.

Many Indian states have launched a crackdown on liquor in recent years, either banning or restricting its sale in a bid to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.

Last year, the government of Tamil Nadu state pledged to instate prohibition as part of its campaign to win re-election, and Eastern Bihar imposed an alcohol ban in 2016.





donald-trump-photo-1.jpgPresident Donald Trump said Thursday that he did the US military a "great favour" by banning transgender troops from the armed forces.

Trump, speaking to reporters at his New Jersey country club, said the issue of transgender service members had been "complicated" and "confusing" for the military.

"Look, I have great respect for the (transgender) community," Trump said. "I think I have great support -- or I've had -- great support from that community.

"I got a lot of votes."

But Trump said the issue of transgender troops has been a "very difficult situation" for the US armed forces.

"As you know, it's been a very complicated issue for the military," he said. "It's been a very confusing issue for the military.

"I think I'm doing the military a great favour." Source: (AFP)





donald-trump-photo-1.jpgPresident Donald Trump in a Jan. 27 phone call repeatedly asked his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, to stop publicly refusing to pay for the border wall that was a central Trump campaign promise, according to a transcript published by The Washington Post.

Trump described his signature campaign issue as the "the least important thing we are talking about," while adding "politically [it] might be the most important." The U.S. president said Peña Nieto's refusal to pay for the wall had left the White House boxed in politically. When asked by the press about the issue, Trump said both of them should deflect.

"So what I would like to recommend is - if we are going to have continued dialogue - we will work out the wall," Trump said. "They are going to say, "who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?" to both of us, and we should both say, 'we will work it out.' It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, "we will not pay" and me saying, "we will not pay."

Peña Nieto agreed that talking about the wall was unproductive.

"This is what I suggest, Mr. President," Peña Nieto said. "Let us stop talking about the wall. I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall."

"But you cannot say that to the press," Trump shot back. "The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances."

He assured Peña Nieto that he could defuse the conflict over the wall if it the two leaders could stop lavishing the conflict with media attention.

Trump noted he knows "how to build very inexpensively," which he implied would calm disputes in the United States over the proposal's high cost at a time when illegal immigration has plummeted to the lowest levels in decades.





crime-scene-knife.jpgA funeral has been held for the elderly black man who was allegedly stabbed to death by a sword-wielding "white supremacist" in New York City.

Timothy Caughman, 66, was fatally wounded during the 22 March attack, which took place while he was collecting bottles for recycling. Caughman was stabbed from behind - in the back and the chest - his injuries discovered when he staggered into a nearby police station. He was rushed to hospital, but later died from his wounds.

Speaking at the funeral, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said Caughman should be a symbol of the fight against racism, the Associated Press reported.

Alleged white supremacist James Jackson has been charged with one count each of murder in the first and second degrees as an act of terrorism in connection with the case. Authorities claim Jackson, from Baltimore, travelled to New York to target black men, allegedly in order to make a statement against interracial relationships.

"James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate," District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said in a statement following the indictment.

"Last week, with total presence of mind, he acted on his plan, randomly selecting a beloved New Yorker solely on the basis of his skin colour, and stabbing him repeatedly and publicly on a Midtown street corner. James Jackson wanted to kill black men, planned to kill black men, and then did kill a black man."





New Ferguson video sparks renewed protest

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ferguson-photo-1.jpgA newly disclosed surveillance video from the hours before a black man's death in Ferguson at the hands of police has triggered fresh protests.

A filmmaker has released the footage which he says shows Michael Brown did not rob a shop, as police claimed, but instead exchanged marijuana for cigars.

He says it contradicts video released by police showing Brown threatening the shopkeeper as he walks out with cigars.

The 18-year-old was moments later shot dead by a police officer.

However, the convenience store maintains it was a robbery.

Policeman Darren Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing by investigators but the teenager's death in Ferguson, Missouri, led to violent protests and a national debate about lethal police force against African Americans.

ferguson-photo-2.jpg

On Sunday night, 100 people gathered outside the shop after news emerged of the new video.

The previously unreported footage shows Brown entering the Ferguson Market and Liquor around 01:00 on the day of his death.

He approaches the counter and hands over an item that appears to be a brown bag, and in exchange takes a shopping bag filled with cigars.

After walking towards the door, he then turns around and returns the cigars to the counter before leaving.

Jason Pollock, the filmmaker releasing the tape as part of his documentary Stranger Fruit, says it proves that Brown had not been committing a strong-arm robbery when he returned to that store around noon later in the day.

In that encounter, he is seen shoving store owner Andy Patel before leaving with the cigars.





donald-trump-photo-3.jpgDonald Trump might have to fold or show his cards on his claims about Obama wiretapping his phones ... the House Intelligence Committee wants proof by Monday.

The committee -- chaired by Republican Devin Nunes and ranking Democrat/Trump skeptic Adam Schiff -- fired off a letter to the Justice Department, asking for evidence of Trump's explosive allegations by the start of the upcoming week.

The director of the FBI, James Comey, reportedly received a copy of the letter. Comey has already asked the Justice Dept. to publicly deny Trump's claims.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Barack Obama has flat out denounced the claims as false.

So far, Trump has not provided any evidence for his claims ... and has not publicly responded to the committee's request.





The US Department of Justice has appealed a judge's order temporarily blocking President Donald Trump's refugee and immigration ban, saying it's the "sovereign prerogative" of a president to admit or exclude aliens in order to protect national security.

The appeal filed late Saturday at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, cites a "basic principle that an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application."

The Justice Department asked that the federal judge's order be stayed pending resolution of the appeal. It says the ban is necessary "to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism."

Earlier Saturday, the government officially suspended enforcement of the ban in compliance with the judge's order, which plunged the new administration into a crisis that has challenged both Trump's authority and his ability to fulfill campaign promises.

That stand-down marked an extraordinary setback for the White House. Only a week ago, the president had acted to suspend America's refugee program and halt immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries that the government said raise terrorism concerns.

The appeal says the temporary restraining order by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle is a broad overreach of judicial authority.





Beyonce breaks the Internet

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beyonce-pregnant-with-twins.jpgBeyoncé's photo announcement of her second pregnancy has become the most-liked Instagram picture of all time.

With about 8.6 million likes and 401,000 comments, Beyoncé's picture surpasses the previous record-holder Selena Gomez who has scored a staggering 6.3 million likes.

Meanwhile, the picture quickly took over the Internet last afternoon with fans in elated shock over the surprise revelation.

Her loyal fans called the BeyHive took to Twitter posting half a million tweets in 45 minutes.

At the peak of the twin frenzy there were 17,000 tweets per minute about the expanding Carter empire.

Within minutes "twins" was the top Twitter trend, followed by the trends "Beyonce," "Blue" and "Beyhive."





Bermuda to legalise small amounts of ganja

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ganja.jpgThe ruling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) government has assured the Opposition party Progressive Labour Party (PLP) that it has been holding talks with police and prosecutors over plans to decriminalise possession of small amounts of marijuana.

One of the most damaging consequences for Bermudians convicted of marijuana possession is that the United States and Canada places them on their stop-lists.

Attorney-General Trevor Moniz gave an update on Wednesday on the OBA's Throne Speech pledge last November, after the Opposition PLP revealed it would table a decriminalisation of cannabis Bill in the House of Assembly.

At a news conference ahead of Friday's reconvening of Parliament, Shadow Attorney-General Michael Scott said the PLP's proposed legislation would drop penalties against those found with a small amount of the drug.





Moroccan-born Québecer Mohamed Belkhadir said he had been clearing snow off the steps outside the mosque when he heard gunshots. When the noise stopped, he called 911 and entered the mosque, he said: "It was a reflex. You can't leave people when they're in need."

He said he was giving first aid to a friend when he caught a glimpse of a man with a gun. "I didn't know it was a police officer - I thought it was the gunman who had returned."

Belkhadir said he bolted from the scene. Only when police ordered him to the ground did he realise what was going on.

He was released hours later, but by then his identity had become synonymous with the attacks.





canadian-pm-trudeau-and-his-wife.jpgCanadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau place flowers at a memorial at the Québec City mosque.

The office of the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has forced Fox News to apologise and retract a "false and misleading" tweet that inaccurately described the suspect in the Québec City mosque shooting as a man of Moroccan origin. The shooter was actually a white Canadian college student.

Six people were fatally shot in the back as they prayed at the mosque on Sunday. Another 19 people were wounded. On Tuesday two people remained in critical condition.

Shortly after the attack police had arrested two men and by midday on Monday, police had clarified that only one was a suspect. Fox News later sent out a tweet on Monday afternoon - shortly after the police clarification - suggesting there was just one suspect in the attack who was of Moroccan origin.

The Fox News tweet made no mention of the other man arrested, French-Canadian Alexandre Bissonnette, who now faces six charges of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder. Those who know Bissonnette have described him as pro-Donald Trump, anti-immigration and sympathetic to the far right.

While the Fox News story linked to the tweet had been corrected, the erroneous tweet had been retweeted more than 900 times and had racked up 1,600 likes.

In a letter to a top official at the network, Purchase asked Fox News to retract or update the tweet to reflect the suspect's identity as a 27-year-old French-Canadian.

"These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics and perpetuating fear and division within our communities," she wrote.

The letter continued: "We need to remain focused on keeping our communities safe and united instead of trying to build walls and scapegoat communities. To paint terrorists with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant - it is irresponsible.

Within hours, Fox News apologised for the error.





Trump fires attorney general over Muslim ban

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donald-trump-photo-1.jpgDonald Trump has fired the acting US attorney general after she questioned the legality of his immigration ban.

Sally Yates, who was appointed by Barack Obama, ordered justice department lawyers not to enforce the president's executive order.

A White House statement accused Ms Yates of "betraying" the justice department and being "weak on borders".

Mr Trump replaced her with Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mr Boente said he was "honoured to serve President Trump" and immediately directed his department to enforce the controversial order.

Mr Trump also replaced the acting director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale, who has been in the post since 20 January. He is the former deputy director.

No reason was given for Mr Ragsdale's sacking. He has been replaced by Thomas Homan, the executive associate director of enforcement and removal.

Mr Trump's order temporarily banned nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, and sparked street protests in the US and abroad.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican man has been sentenced to 48 years in a United States prison for killing his girlfriend's three-year-old daughter because she soiled herself.

According to media reports in Aurora, Colorado, Shane Campbell, 26, was sentenced on a murder conviction last Wednesday for striking the toddler, identified as Angel Bailey, who suffered a seizure and later died in July 2015.

Campbell had pleaded guilty to second degree murder, the Aurora Sentinel reports.

Campbell reportedly resided in the volatile St Andrew community of Cassava Piece before migrating with his family several years ago.

Word of his sentencing has been circulating in the community.

Police in Aurora report that an officer who visited Campbell's apartment on the night the three-year-old was struck said he overheard the Jamaican saying he had never struck Angel that hard before.

Prosecutors say Campbell later told investigators he was mad at her for soiling herself.





Six killed in mosque shooting in Canada

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crime-scene-7.jpgSix people have been killed and another eight wounded in a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, police say.

Shots were fired at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre on Sunday night, where more than 50 people had gathered for evening prayers.

One suspect was arrested at the scene and another was arrested nearby. Police do not believe there are other suspects at large.

The Canadian authorities are treating the shooting as a terror attack.

"We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country."

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also referred to the shooting as a terrorist attack.

The dead were aged between about 35 and 70 years old, police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said. Some of those injured were in a serious condition, she said.

Police said the area was secure and the situation was "under control". Thirty-nine people had left the mosque safely, they said.





leonard-cohen.jpgCanadian singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen died November 11, aged 82.

The news was announced on his official Facebook page, but no details about the cause of death were given.

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," the statement said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led tributes to the singer, who was known for hits including Hallelujah and Dance Me to the End of Love.

"It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of the legendary Leonard Cohen," Mr Trudeau said in a statement.

"He will be fondly remembered for his gruff vocals, his self-deprecating humour and the haunting lyrics that made his songs the perennial favourite of so many generations."





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