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  • Bloomberg 'weathered the storm' during fiery Democratic debate, his campaign says

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    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came under heavy fire from his rivals during Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate at the Paris Casino but “weathered the storm,” his senior adviser Howard Wolfson said. 

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 01:02:11 -0500
  • A Google manager has been arrested and charged with murder after his wife was reported missing in Hawaii

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    His wife, a Microsoft business program manager, was reported missing Tuesday while the Seattle couple was vacationing in Hawaii.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:11:43 -0500
  • US judge sides with migrants in case against Border Patrol

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    A U.S. judge in Arizona sided Wednesday with migrants who have long-complained about inhumane and unsanitary conditions in some U.S. Border Patrol facilities in the state. The ruling came weeks after the conclusion of a seven-day trial in which attorneys for migrants who sued in 2015 argued that the agency holds immigrants in extremely cold, overcrowded, unsanitary and inhumane conditions. The order makes permanent a preliminary injunction that U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury issued in 2016 requiring the Tucson Sector to provide clean mats and thin blankets to migrants held for longer than 12 hours and to allow them to clean themselves.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:55:06 -0500
  • Trump Says He Won’t Intervene in Stone Case Immediately, But Would ‘Love to See Roger Exonerated’

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    President Trump told reporters at a Thursday press conference that he hopes Roger Stone will eventually be exonerated, but implied that he would refrain from immediately pardoning the political operative."I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president of the United States. I want the process to play out. I think that’s the best thing to do because I’d love to see Roger exonerated." Trump said. "I personally think he was treated very unfairly.”Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in prison on Thursday following his conviction for lying to investigators in the Mueller probe, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. Trump cast doubt on the charge of witness tampering during the press conference.Trump has previously criticized the Stone trial, and has fueled speculation that he will pardon Stone. The president's Twitter account currently features a pinned segment of Tucker Carlson Tonight, in which Carlson criticizes the case as "a shocking insult to the American tradition of equal justice" and says there are indications Trump may authorize a pardon.The prosecution initially recommended a sentence of seven-to-nine years for Stone, but Attorney General William Barr intervened to reduce the recommended sentence, after which all four Justice Department prosecutors resigned from the case. Trump tweeted his congratulations to Barr for his actions, causing Democrats to accuse the president of tampering with the case. Barr later publicly rebuked Trump for tweeting about the case.Before Thursday's sentencing, the new prosecutors reverted back to the original seven-to-nine year recommendation, but Judge Amy Jackson ultimately decided on a sentence in line with Barr's guidelines."Any suggestion that the prosecutors in this case did anything untoward or unethical is incorrect,” Jackson said."At his core, Mr. Stone is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention," the judge added.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:10:31 -0500
  • Pompeo says 'mature, responsible countries' don't 'restrict speech' after China expels reporters

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    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is condemning China for its decision to expel three reporters from The Wall Street Journal from the country."Mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions," Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday. "The correct response is to present counter arguments, not restrict speech."This came after China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said three journalists from the Journal would have their credentials revoked over the paper's recent headline, "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," The New York Times reports. The reporters weren't actually involved with the article, which was an opinion piece, but Beijing called the story "racist" and "malicious." The journalists, two of whom are American and one of whom is Australian, have been ordered to leave China within five days, although the Times notes it's not clear if that's possible, as one of is currently in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus.Journal editor Matt Murray called China's actions "harsh and unprecedented," saying the paper "will continue in the coming days to push for this action to be reversed." The Foreign Correspondents' Club also called the expulsion "an extreme and obvious attempt by the Chinese authorities to intimidate foreign news organizations." The Journal noted this is "the first time in the post-Mao era that the Chinese government has expelled multiple journalists from one international news organization at the same time."Pompeo's condemnation came after he warned African countries in a speech Wednesday to "be wary of authoritarian regimes and their empty promises" in an apparent swipe at China. The State Department also told China Tuesday that five major Chinese news outlets will be treated as foreign state operatives by the United States going forward.More stories from theweek.com The growing crisis in cosmology The Democrats gave Mike Bloomberg what he deserved A deluge of new, belated Baby Yoda merchandise is on the way

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 13:35:00 -0500
  • Two women dead after car plunges off ferry into waters off exclusive Miami island

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    The ferry shuttles people and their vehicles between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, a "private luxury community ... consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S."

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 11:40:00 -0500
  • Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban over fears of potential civil war

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    Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:11:53 -0500
  • 9 Rural Farms of the 21st Century Featuring Stunning Modern Design

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    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:53:47 -0500
  • Buttigieg attacks Bernie and Bloomberg: 'Let's put forward somebody who's actually a Democrat'

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    Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders sparred during Wednesday’s debate in Las Vegas, with the former South Bend, Ind., mayor calling the Vermont senator too “polarizing” to be the Democratic nominee, and Sanders taking a jab at Buttigieg’s big-money donors.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 21:58:53 -0500
  • Suspects in abduction, murder of 7-year-old Mexican girl detained

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    Mexican authorities arrested a couple believed to have kidnapped, tortured and murdered a seven year-old girl on Wednesday, days after the discovery of the victim's body sparked protests in the violence-wracked country. The suspects "were detained in a town in the State of Mexico," Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum tweeted, without giving more detail. Prosecutors on Tuesday released pictures of the two suspects -- identified as Giovana and Mario Alberto "N" -- after searching a house near the victim's home.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 00:52:11 -0500
  • 2 socialites have reportedly died after their Mercedes fell off a ferry leaving the most expensive ZIP code in the United States

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    The only way to get to Miami's exclusive Fisher Island is by a seven minute ferry, and two women inexplicably fell off it and died last night.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:24:39 -0500
  • Putin hails US for helping prevent terror attack in Russia

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    Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday hailed the FBI for sharing information that helped thwart a terror attack by adherents of the Islamic State group in St. Petersburg during the New Year holidays. The FSB in December announced the detention of two Russian men who confessed to plotting the terror attacks in St. Petersburg.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:41:30 -0500
  • China says will help manage Mekong as report warns of dam danger

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    VIENTIANE/BANGKOK (Reuters) - China on Thursday said it was helping its downstream neighbors cope with a prolonged drought by releasing more water from its dams on the Mekong River, adding it would consider sharing information on hydrology to provide further assistance in the future. The statement came as a new economic report predicted that the building of dams to harness hydropower on the Mekong River would reshape the economies of five countries along the waterway, fuelling long-term inflation and dependence on China. The drought over the past year has severely hurt farming and fishing in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam, and many blame China's 11 dams on the upper Mekong - which China calls the Lancang River - as well as climate change.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 09:35:01 -0500
  • A police officer was fired and told to immediately turn in his uniform at a town meeting, so he stripped down to his underwear and walked home in the snow

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    The Police Chief in Croydon, New Hampshire, was fired Tuesday night and ordered to turn over his uniform. He walked home in his underwear.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:55:24 -0500
  • Airports warn of chaos with looming Real ID license deadline

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    Without a special Real ID driver's license or card, airline passengers will be required to present a passport, military ID or Global Entry card to pass through security, even for domestic flights, starting in October.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 19:17:00 -0500
  • India's Military Is Quite Deadly (China and Pakistan Should Worry)

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    Missiles, carriers, and more.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 07:44:00 -0500
  • More than 12M in Southeast bracing for snowstorm; Charlotte, Raleigh under winter weather alerts

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    A winter storm was forecast to bring up to 6 inches of snow to the Southeast; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, under winter weather alerts.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:17:48 -0500
  • Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg are both 78. And both, it turns out, have had heart operations.

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    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned 78 years old last Friday. That makes him the same age as his top rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and six months older than former Vice President Joe Biden.> Today is @MikeBloomberg's birthday; he's turning 78 years old. > > Yesterday, a voter told me he was interested in Bloomberg because "Biden & Bernie are too old."@JoeBiden is 77. @BernieSanders is 78.> > — Maura Barrett (@MauraBarrettNBC) February 14, 2020Everybody is expected to pile on Bloomberg in Wednesday night's Democratic debate in Nevada, and Sanders tested out his salvos in a CNN town hall on Tuesday night. But age isn't the only thing Bloomberg and Sanders have in common. Neither has been a Democrat for most of the past two decades, for example, and both have had two coronary arterial stents inserted near their hearts to relieve blockages.Sanders, who had a heart attack in October, said Tuesday night that he won't release his full medical records. After getting out of the hospital, he had said "the people do have a right to know about the health of a senator, somebody who's running for president of the United States — full disclosure." On Tuesday night, Sanders said the three letters he released from doctors equal "a detailed medical report," and when pressed on whether he plans to release his medical records, he said, "I don't think we will, no."Bloomberg disclosed his 2000 heart operation for the first time in 2007. In December, he released a letter from his longtime physician, Dr. Stephen Sisson at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, attesting that Bloomberg is "in outstanding health," though he developed an irregular heartbeat called an "atrial fibrillation" last year and is treating it with blood thinners. Bloomberg "has had normal cardiac stress testing annually" since he had the stents inserted in 2000, Sisson wrote, and the artery has not become clogged again."Heart problems are extremely common in older adults," The Associated Press notes. At the same time, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday found that 53 percent of voters have "some reservations" or are "very uncomfortable" with a candidate who had a recent heart attack.More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils The family of 1 new Trump pardon recipient donated $200,000 to Trump's re-election effort last fall Obama poked Trump on the economy. Trump took the bait.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 09:59:09 -0500
  • Stone’s sentencing to begin after judge refuses new trial request

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    Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump and a self-described political dirty trickster, is set to be sentenced on Thursday for his attempts to sabotage a congressional investigation that posed a political threat to the president.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 06:39:32 -0500
  • 26 of the Best Stainless-Steel Bathroom Faucets 

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    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:29:57 -0500
  • Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared Russia

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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to claim during an extradition hearing that the Trump administration offered him a pardon if he agreed to say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, a lawyer for Assange said Wednesday. Assange is being held at a British prison while fighting extradition to the United States on spying charges.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 13:32:57 -0500
  • China kicked out 3 Wall Street Journal reporters after it published an op-ed using a term that invokes the biggest humiliation in Chinese history

    Golocal247.com news

    China's foreign ministry cited a February 3 headline, titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," as the immediate reason for the expulsions.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 06:32:24 -0500
  • Four things to know about Pope Pius XII's archives

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    The March 2 unsealing of the archives of Pope Pius XII, the controversial World War II-era pontiff, whose papacy lasted from 1939 to 1958, has been awaited for decades by Jewish groups and historians. The controversy over Pius XII hinges on whether the head of the Catholic Church, a former diplomat of the Holy See in Germany, remained too silent during the Holocaust, never publicly condemning the Nazis. The most sensitive archives, comprising the World War II period, have already been largely published by the Vatican.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:04:26 -0500
  • Former Mexico President Pena Nieto investigated in corruption probe: report

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    Mexican law enforcement authorities are investigating a former president, Enrique Pena Nieto, as part of an inquiry into corruption, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Pena Nieto has become embroiled in the investigation of Emilio Lozoya, the former chief executive of Mexico's state oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. Lozoya is accused of corruption related to a wide-ranging bribery and money-laundering case involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht SA. Lozoya, who was arrested in Spain last week, has denied wrongdoing.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 19:33:11 -0500
  • This cauliflower tater tot recipe will be your new go-to side dish

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    Cauliflower has been having a long moment — but it's not slowing down any time soon. Here are some creative ways to use the versatile veggie.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 12:26:00 -0500
  • Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar Have Pure Hatred For Each Other

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    Of the six candidates on Wednesday night’s Democratic debate stage, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have a great deal in common: they’re both from the Midwest, they’re both moderates, and they both appear to share a deep and abiding distaste for one another.While the debate showcased plenty of testy exchanges between candidates with serious differences on politics and policy—ideological opposites Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg got into it on several occasions—the Minnesota senator and the former Indiana mayor clashed bitterly over relatively minor differences in policy and political records. When Klobuchar was asked a question about what she would do to help the young, undocumented migrants known as Dreamers, Buttigieg took the opening to point out that she was the Senate Democrat on stage with the highest rates of confirming Trump’s judicial nominees, and that she had voted to confirm Trump’s nominee to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection.“Do you know the message that sends” asked Buttigieg, “in as multilingual a state as Nevada to immigrants?”Klobuchar’s response was witheringly Midwestern in its iciness. “I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete,” she responded. “But let me tell you what it is like to be in the arena.” The senator then went on to defend her record, saying that she had opposed most Trump judges and that she had supported the CBP nominee because of his background as a career official. Earlier in the night, Klobuchar and Buttigieg also clashed over a moderator question that raised a misstep the senator had made earlier in the week, when she—unlike Buttigieg—could not recall the name of the president of Mexico at a campaign forum. The question sparked a row about who had greater electoral appeal in the Midwest.“He’s basically saying that I don’t have the experience to be president of the United States,” claimed Klobuchar. “I am the one, not you, that has won state-wide and congressional district after congressional district. And I will say when you tried in Indiana, Pete, to run, what happened to you? You lost by over 20 points to someone who lost to my friend Joe Donnelly. So don’t tell me about experience.”In response, Buttigieg cracked a joke at the expense of Minnesota’s favorite son—and Klobuchar’s political mentor. “If winning a race for Senate in Minnesota translated directly to becoming president, I would have grown up under the presidency of Walter Mondale,” he said. “This is different.”This is hardly the first chapter in the Klobuchar-Buttigieg feud. The Daily Beast reported in December that Klobuchar’s camp saw strategic upside in going after her fellow Midwesterner, a fellow competitor for the “nice vote.” And The New York Times reported in November that the mere mention of the South Bend mayor in a conversation on the Senate floor made the Minnesota senator “extremely agitated.”The animus between the two continued through the debate’s closure. When the festivities ended, Klobuchar quickly exited the stage, walking behind Buttigieg without appearing to say a word. She eventually made her way to the MSNBC set off in the spin room, where the feud only continued. “I think Pete decided he was going to try and go after me. That’s fine. I wish he would have tried to be accurate when he did it,” she told Chris Matthews. “I thought what he did was personal… It was one error and he decided to make it the centerpiece of his attack”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 23:38:56 -0500
  • Kill Shot: Did Elizabeth Warren Just Knock Michael Bloomberg Out of the Presidential Race?

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    Fighting words last night at the MSNBC debate: “So, I'd like to talk about who we're running against, a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ And, no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. I'm talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Warren said.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 14:07:24 -0500
  • 'Mr. Bob,' 88-year-old hero crossing guard, dies saving two kids from a speeding car

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    "To Mr. Nill, our heartfelt gratitude for your selfless act in protection of our children," Kansas City, Kan. Mayor David Alvey said on Facebook.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 09:57:11 -0500
  • Obama Team Asked Harry Reid to Quash Bernie Sanders’s 2011 Primary Challenge: Report

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    Former Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Democrat Harry Reid convinced Bernie Sanders not to mount a primary run against former President Barack Obama in 2011, according to The Atlantic.Reid was reportedly tasked by an “absolutely panicked” Obama campaign team to dissuade Sanders — who had privately disclosed his intentions to fellow Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy — because they were fearful that Sanders would pose a serious challenge.“Every president who has gotten a real primary has lost a general,” Obama’s 2012 reelection-campaign manager Jim Messina told The Atlantic.After being told of the situation by Leahy, Messina then asked Reid to talk Sanders out of the race. The two men reportedly discussed the matter twice over the summer of 2011, with Reid telling Sanders that he needed to stop. The dialogue proved fruitful: Sanders never entered the race.Reid, though retired, made headlines Wednesday by telling Bloomberg News that Sanders’s primary opponents need to “speak up” if they “don’t like what Bernie’s doing.”“If Bernie is the one that comes out ahead, we’ll just have to see what happen,” Reid said, remaining coy on who he supported in the race. “But if people don’t like what he does, they’re going to have to start saying they don’t like it rather than pat him on the back.” He added that the other Democrats need to shift their strategy and start taking initiative, rather than thinking “‘if I say something negative, maybe people won’t like me.’”Reid also said Saturday that “people should not be counting Joe Biden out of the race yet.”Last week, Nevada's politically-powerful culinary union decided not to endorse a Democratic nominee for the state’ upcoming primary caucus, with Politico reporting that the union’s top adviser helped the group arrive at its decision after “multiple conversations” with Reid.The culinary union circulated a flyer to its 60,000 members ahead of the announcement which highlighted that Sanders would “end Culinary Healthcare.”

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:11:24 -0500
  • Abbott says top Malaysian leaders suspected pilot of MH370

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    Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the “top levels” of the Malaysian government long suspected that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 almost six years ago was a mass murder-suicide by the pilot. Australia, working on Malaysia's behalf, coordinated what became the largest search in aviation history, but it failed to find the plane before being ended in 2017. Speaking in a Sky News documentary to air on Wednesday and Thursday, Abbott said high-ranking Malaysian officials believed veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed the jet.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 03:02:31 -0500
  • South Korea and Vietnam are asking millions to stay home to avoid coronavirus as more people get infected and die outside of China

    Golocal247.com news

    The vast majority of the 2,100 deaths from coronavirus remain in China — but rates outside of the country are starting to creep up.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 12:05:00 -0500
  • Execution for a Facebook post? Why blasphemy is a capital offense in some Muslim countries

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    Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer in Pakistan, had been imprisoned for six years when he was sentenced to death in December 2019. The charge: blasphemy, specifically insulting Prophet Muhammad on Facebook. Pakistan has the world’s second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran, according to U.S. Commision on International Religious Freedom.Hafeez, whose death sentence is under appeal, is one of about 1,500 Pakistanis charged with blasphemy, or sacrilegious speech, over the last three decades. No executions have taken place. But since 1990 70 people have been murdered by mobs and vigilantes who accused them of insulting Islam. Several people who defend the accused have been killed, too, including one of Hafeez’s lawyers and two high-level politicians who publicly opposed the death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted for verbally insulting Prophet Muhammad. Though Bibi was acquitted in 2019, she fled Pakistan. Blasphemy and apostasyOf 71 countries that criminalize blasphemy, 32 are majority Muslim. Punishment and enforcement of these laws varies. Blasphemy is punishable by death in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia. Among non-Muslim-majority cases, the harshest blasphemy laws are in Italy, where the maximum penalty is three years in prison.Half of the world’s 49 Muslim-majority countries have additional laws banning apostasy, meaning people may be punished for leaving Islam. All countries with apostasy laws are Muslim-majority except India. Apostasy is often charged along with blasphemy. This class of religious laws is quite popular in some Muslim countries. According to a 2013 Pew survey, about 75% of respondents in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia favor making sharia, or Islamic law, the official law of the land. Among those who support sharia, around 25% in Southeast Asia, 50% in the Middle East and North Africa, and 75% in South Asia say they support “executing those who leave Islam” – that is, they support laws punishing apostasy with death. The ulema and the stateMy 2019 book “Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment” traces the root of blasphemy and apostasy laws in the Muslim world back to a historic alliance between Islamic scholars and government.Starting around the year 1050, certain Sunni scholars of law and theology, called the “ulema,” began working closely with political rulers to challenge what they considered to be the sacrilegious influence of Muslim philosophers on society. Muslim philosophers had for three centuries been making major contributions to mathematics, physics and medicine. They developed the Arabic number system used across the West today and invented a forerunner of the modern camera.The conservative ulema felt that these philosophers were inappropriately influenced by Greek philosophy and Shia Islam against Sunni beliefs. The most prominent in consolidating Sunni orthodoxy was the brilliant and respected Islamic scholar Ghazali, who died in the year 1111.In several influential books still widely read today, Ghazali declared two long-dead leading Muslim philosophers, Farabi and Ibn Sina, apostates for their unorthodox views on God’s power and the nature of resurrection. Their followers, Ghazali wrote, could be punished with death. As modern-day historians Omid Safi and Frank Griffel assert, Ghazali’s declaration provided justification to Muslim sultans from the 12th century onward who wished to persecute – even execute – thinkers seen as threats to conservative religious rule. This “ulema-state alliance,” as I call it, began in the mid-11th century in Central Asia, Iran and Iraq and a century later spread to Syria, Egypt and North Africa. In these regimes, questioning religious orthodoxy and political authority wasn’t merely dissent – it was apostasy. Wrong directionParts of Western Europe were ruled by a similar alliance between the Catholic Church and monarchs. These governments assaulted free thinking, too. During the Spanish Inquisition, between the 16th and 18th centuries, thousands of people were tortured and killed for apostasy.Blasphemy laws were also in place, if infrequently used, in various European countries until recently. Denmark, Ireland and Malta all recently repealed their laws.But they persist in many parts of the Muslim world. In Pakistan, the military dictator Zia ul Haq, who ruled the country from 1978 to 1988, is responsible for its harsh blasphemy laws. An ally of the ulema, Zia updated blasphemy laws – written by British colonizers to avoid interreligious conflict – to defend specifically Sunni Islam and increased the maximum punishment to death. From the 1920s until Zia, these laws had been applied only about a dozen times. Since then they have become a powerful tool for crushing dissent.Some dozen Muslim countries have undergone a similar process over the past four decades, including Iran and Egypt. Dissenting voices in IslamThe conservative ulema base their case for blasphemy and apostasy laws on a few reported sayings of Prophet Muhammad, known as hadith, primarily: “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.” But many Islamic scholars and Muslim intellectuals reject this view as radical. They argue that Prophet Muhammad never executed anyone for apostasy, nor encouraged his followers to do so.Nor is criminalizing sacrilege based on Islam’s main sacred text, the Quran. It contains over 100 verses encouraging peace, freedom of conscience and religious tolerance. In chapter 2, verse 256, the Quran states, “There is no coercion in religion.” Chapter 4, verse 140 urges Muslims to simply leave blasphemous conversations: “When you hear the verses of God being rejected and mocked, do not sit with them.”By using their political connections and historical authority to interpret Islam, however, the conservative ulema have marginalized more moderate voices. Reaction to global IslamophobiaDebates about blasphemy and apostasy laws among Muslims are influenced by international affairs.Across the globe, Muslim minorities – including the Palestinians, Chechens of Russia, Kashmiris of India, Rohingya of Mymanmar and Uighurs of China – have experienced severe persecution. No other religion is so widely targeted in so many different countries. Alongside persecution are some Western policies that discriminate against Muslims, such as laws prohibiting headscarves in schools and the U.S. ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries.Such Islamaphobic laws and policies can create the impression that Muslims are under siege and provide an excuse that punishing sacrilege is a defense of the faith.Instead, I find, such harsh religious rules can contribute to anti-Muslim stereotypes. Some of my Turkish relatives even discourage my work on this topic, fearing it fuels Islamophobia. But my research shows that criminalizing blasphemy and apostasy is more political than it is religious. The Quran does not require punishing sacrilege: authoritarian politics do.[ Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter. ]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Conservative Islamic views are gaining ground in secular Bangladesh and curbing freedom of expression * Imran Khan hopes to transform Pakistan but he’ll have far less power than past leadersAhmet T. Kuru is a FORIS scholar at the Religious Freedom Institute.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:08:42 -0500
  • Rare Ethiopian crown, hidden for 21 years in the Netherlands, returns home

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    Ethiopia's government on Thursday assumed custody of a priceless 18th-century crown that a former refugee had kept hidden in his apartment in the Netherlands for two decades. The handover took place at a ceremony in the capital, Addis Ababa, attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation. Sirak Asfaw, the one-time refugee who is now a Dutch citizen, fled Ethiopia during the late 1970s during the so-called "Red Terror" purges.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:45:44 -0500
  • Coronavirus updates: 2 passengers die after leaving 'chaotic' cruise ship

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    The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed to 2,118 in China. Here is the latest for Thursday.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 18:09:16 -0500
  • Roger Stone heckled as a 'traitor' at final sentencing after outcry over Trump's influence on his case

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    Roger Stone, one of President Trump's staunchest allies, has arrived in federal court in Washington, DC, for sentencing.He was met outside the court by a group of onlookers, some of whom heckled him, with shouts of “Traitor!”

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:03:42 -0500
  • Don't Sleep on Russia's Super-Fast "Avangard" Hypersonic Missile

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    It'll keep you up at night.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:00:00 -0500
  • Have we reached peak Bloomberg? New poll shows potential drop off and a spike in dissatisfaction

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    Insider's latest poll shows stalling support behind Michael Bloomberg, with his dissatisfaction numbers spiking between New Hampshire and this week.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 13:59:52 -0500
  • 'We don't have a history of murdering our citizens': A Saudi official says reports that the Saudi Crown Prince is connected to the death of Jamal Khashoggi are 'ridiculous'

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    Saudi Arabia has made "great progress in terms of human rights," Adel al-Jubeir said, urging outsiders to educate themselves better on its state of affairs.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 17:04:11 -0500
  • Dealer who sold weapon used in killing to stop selling guns

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    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:05:06 -0500
  • 8 Statement-Making Cabinets to Make Any Room

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    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 08:00:00 -0500
  • Coronavirus fears create ghost town in South Korea after church 'super-spreader'

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    SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) - The streets of South Korea's fourth-largest city were abandoned on Thursday, with residents holed up indoors after dozens of people caught the new coronavirus in what authorities described as a "super-spreading event" at a church. The deserted shopping malls and cinemas of Daegu, a city of 2.5 million people, became one of the most striking images outside China of an outbreak that international authorities are trying stop from becoming a global pandemic. In China, where the virus has killed more than 2,100 people and infected nearly 75,000, officials changed their methodology for reporting infections, creating new doubt about data they have cited as evidence their containment strategy is working.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:07:25 -0500
  • Man who bought 100-round magazine for Dayton mass shooter sentenced to 32 months

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    Ethan Kollie bought parts for the assault-style rifle used by Connor Betts in last year's mass shooting in Dayton.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:30:25 -0500
  • Crash near Orlando kills 4 members of Massachusetts family

    Golocal247.com news

    The Smith and Fay families, who were vacationing together, were driving Tuesday night when a pickup rear-ended their vehicle, causing it to roll over.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 21:24:00 -0500
  • Roger Stone heckled as a ‘traitor’ at final sentencing

    Golocal247.com news

    A judge said on Thursday President Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone engaged in intolerable intimidating conduct toward her, but his lawyer asked that he get no prison time as he awaited sentencing on charges that include lying to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 12:29:43 -0500
  • Watch Out! U.S. Army Tanks Could Collapse Polish Bridges On Their Way to Battle Russia

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. Army and its closest allies have a problem. The region of the world where they arguably are most likely to deploy its heaviest vehicles for high-tech combat also is peppered with flimsy old bridges that can’t support the vehicles’ weight.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 19:33:00 -0500
  • Face facts, Bernie Sanders is electable

    Golocal247.com news

    It’s well past time to bury the 'Bernie is unelectable' trope. He has a better shot than moderate Bloomberg.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:47:01 -0500
  • Apple has been granted a temporary restraining order against a man it says has been stalking Tim Cook

    Golocal247.com news

    Apple alleged the man has been harassing Tim Cook, and has shown up at his house in Palo Alto twice, once with champagne and flowers.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:26:39 -0500
  • Wake Forest apologizes for slavery in university's past

    Golocal247.com news

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — The president of Wake Forest University issued a public apology Thursday for the institution's past involvement in slavery. President Nathan Hatch's apology, delivered in a speech during the school's Founders' Day ceremonies, comes after a series of events stirred up racial tension on the campus, including anonymous, racist emails sent to faculty members last year. Schools around the South and beyond have been grappling in recent years with what to do about past ties to slavery or white supremacy.

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:03:59 -0500
  • Saudi jet 'downing' in Yemen stirs alarm over Huthi weaponry

    Golocal247.com news

    Claims that Yemeni rebels shot down a Saudi warplane have spotlighted the increasingly potent Huthi arsenal -- cause for alarm in Riyadh as fighting escalates amid faltering efforts to end the five-year conflict. The Iran-backed Huthi rebels said they downed the Tornado aircraft on Friday over the volatile northern province of Al-Jawf, in a setback for the Riyadh-led military coalition that has always enjoyed air supremacy in the war. The rebels, once dismissed as a ragtag militia, said they hit the jet with an "advanced surface-to-air missile", a claim that followed recent UN reports that the Huthis had received weapons bearing signs of Iranian origin.

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:25:39 -0500
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