Venezualan President Nicolas Maduro has expelled the EU ambassador to the country, giving the diplomat 72 hours to pack up and leave, after Brussels imposed sanctions on Venezuelan officials, including on members of parliament.


DETAILS TO FOLLOW

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‘Dilbert’ creator prompts fury saying he lost jobs and ‘my TV show for being white’

Cartoonist Scott Adams has received a barrage of criticisms from ‘woke’ Twitter users angered by his claim that he’s lost three jobs due to being white, one being on the cancelled adaptation of his comic strip 'Dilbert'.


“I lost my TV show for being white when UPN decided it would focus on an African-American audience,” Adams tweeted. “That was the third job I lost for being white. The other two in corporate America. (They told me directly.)”


Adams was responding to ‘Star Wars’ actor Ahmed Best (best known as the voice of Jar Jar Binks), who is black, tweeting about his struggles to get work in Hollywood compared to ‘Girls’ creator and star Lena Dunham, who is white.






Adams has faced enough criticism that thousands of tweets got the hashtag #dilbert trending, with many calling him a liar and even criticizing him for not creating diverse enough content.






“White privilege is having the season's second lowest-rated show in ALL of television and saying it got canceled because you're white. Poor Dilbert,” tweeted comedian and Resistance celebrity Nick Jack Pappas. 






Past comments from Scott explaining that the series was axed over declining ratings and repeated time slot jumps were also highlighted in an attempt to contradict his new claim.






The television adaptation of ‘Dilbert’ ran for two seasons on the now-defunct UPN from 1999 to 2000 for 30 episodes. 


In response to New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones (of the controversial 1619 Project) saying it would be “illegal” for him to be fired for his skin color — which would mean she also believes black people are never fired for their skin color because it’s “illegal” — the comic strip creator clarified that the network worked around the issue by saying they could not “promote” him because of his “color” and “gender.”






There’s no way to prove Adams’s claims without direct knowledge, but the network UPN was well-known in the early 2000s for a pivot to series featuring predominantly black casts, from ‘Girlfriends’ to ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ to ‘One on One.’ 


Multiple think pieces over the last few years have highlighted and celebrated the network’s focus on programming centered around black casts, which became one of the channel’s main strategies following ‘Dilbert’ and several other shows being canceled.





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Screenshot from BIG MOUTH Trailer on Youtube
Woke white actors are rushing to quit voicing black characters on animated TV series. This is just virtue-signaling nonsense






Filling a niche not being met by other networks helped the fledgling channel survive until it eventually merged with WB to turn into the currently-running The CW. 


Adams has been a frequent target of the left over his views on President Donald Trump, whom he has called a “master persuader” and praised on multiple occasions. He’s said his views on Trump have “tainted” his brand in Hollywood, making any reboot of his ‘Dilbert’ series unlikely, though the comic strip continues to run to this day.


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‘One big pile of s**t’: NY Gov. Cuomo’s ‘Covid-19 mountain’ arts & crafts moment fails to impress

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo showed off a bizarre visual aid representing the “mountain” New Yorkers had “climbed” to “turn the curve” of Covid-19 as he attempted to justify slowing the state’s reopening. It didn’t quite work.


Cuomo unveiled a massive three-dimensional representation of the “coronavirus curve” the state had endured over the preceding months during a press conference on Monday, perhaps hoping to dazzle the assembled reporters with the skills of the artists he’d clearly paid handsomely to design the giant green “mountain.”






The model – so large the governor needed an assistant to completely unwrap it – plotted out New York’s outbreak in faithful statistical detail. Clearly proud of the sprawling green monstrosity, Cuomo described its curves in loving detail to the audience, pointing out the inflection point at day 42 when cases peaked – and the long, slow decline that followed.


We don’t want to climb this mountain again,” he intoned, twice. While New York has not experienced the post-lockdown case spike seen in some states, Cuomo has nevertheless hinted he will slow or pause “Phase Three” reopening in New York City, which remains by far the deadliest hotspot of the pandemic even as hospitalizations and active cases have dropped precipitously. 





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© Reuters / Lucas Jackson
Cuomo blames nursing homes for following his Covid-19 order that KILLED PATIENTS - after removing it from website






Why Cuomo – already under fire for the now-infamous nursing home directive that forced elder care facilities to admit coronavirus-positive patients and may have caused over 5,000 deaths – would want to remind New Yorkers of the casualty count he presided over with a giant model that clearly required a team of specialists to move is another question, one which many on social media weren’t shy about asking.









Others just called it like they saw it.









Some noted that for a guy who prides himself on his design skills – as Cuomo clearly does – he seemed to have fallen on hard times.









And others wondered how – when New York is still facing huge budget shortfalls, made worse by the pandemic, there was nevertheless money in the kitty for Boss’ Covid-19 Mountain.






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‘We don’t leave our people behind’: Lavrov speaks to RT about evacuation of Russians stranded abroad over coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted an unprecedented rescue operation, with Moscow having to help tens of thousands of people stranded abroad. The rescue took a lot of effort – and Russia’s diplomats did great work.


The country has had previous experience in bringing back people home in bulk – after the devastating tsunami in Thailand, for instance – yet the Covid-19 fallout came at an incomparably larger scale, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalist Anton Krasovsky for RTD’s ‘Epidemic’ series.



Sometimes they say sublimely: ‘we don’t leave our people behind.’ This was the exact same case.



Apart from the coordinated effort from the Russian government, a large part of the evacuation work was done by Russian diplomats, working on the ground worldwide. In Nepal, for instance, the diplomats set up a tent camp for stranded and broke tourists, providing the compatriots from their own pocket, Lavrov said.


“I was very nicely… well, I was not even surprised. I knew that for the most part our guys are very outgoing – and many missions got creative in this situation,” he said.





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© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov
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Counting the number of people in need of help proved to be very tricky – it was easy to find organized groups of tourists, but individuals who went abroad on their own and often without a return ticket were significantly harder to locate. Moreover, the coronavirus crisis triggered an exodus of Russian citizens, who left the country years ago.


“In addition to people who just went abroad to spend their holidays, there is another large group of Russian citizens who were studying abroad, receiving long-term treatment, or in permanent residence,” Lavrov said.



All of a sudden they’ve decided that their living conditions in the very same US, in New York, for instance, greatly ‘deteriorated’ over the pandemic.



A lot of people were in need of help, and the lists of people to be evacuated have been huge, Russia’s top diplomat said, adding that he personally expected even more people willing to return. At the beginning of the mass evacuation op, Russia’s authorities limited the number of returning people to 500 per day for the Moscow region and to 200 per day for the rest of the country – while the numbers have been exploding.


“As I said, it was particularly messy with those who were long gone to reside permanently elsewhere and suddenly decided to return. And so they began to fill in these lists. We evacuate, say, five thousand, and then the lists grow by another 10 thousand.”





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FILE PHOTO. A general view of Dubai International Airport.
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Despite the efforts, several thousand compatriots still remain abroad, mainly in exotic locations very hard-to-reach for Russian aviation. Some people, however, just decided to stay put and wait out the pandemic wherever they were and refused the assistance.


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CNN contributor Van Jones has responded to a Daily Beast article accusing him of secretly working with President Donald Trump on a police reform executive order, saying he had nothing to do with it and demanding a retraction.


The article is based on “false, sensational charges – apparently designed to get clicks, shares, and likes,” Jones tweeted on Monday. He added that he had visited neither Washington, DC nor the White House since the Covid-19 pandemic started, or been included in any meetings about police reform.


“I didn’t know what was in the [executive order] until the day it was released,” he said.








In a story published Sunday, the Beast editor-at-large Lloyd Grove claimed that Jones “actively participated” to “help fashion the order and guide the politics of the discussion” to where it was acceptable to both law enforcement and the left. This was based entirely on an anonymous person described as “a knowledgeable White House source.”


Grove then quoted a lot of Jones’s detractors, but also White House adviser Jared Kushner and reality star-turned prison reform activist Kim Kardashian West – who praised Jones’s work on the 2018 First Step Act, a reform of federal sentencing. None of the quotes were actually related to the executive order from two weeks ago, however.








The outlet painted Jones as seeking approval of “Jared and Kimye” and “upsetting his fellow Black activists, progressive policy advocates, and liberal Democrats by cozying up to the Trump White House.” Per Grove, the onetime Barack Obama aide has – gasp! – occasionally had dinner with Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, and it was they who introduced him to Kardashian and her husband Kanye West. 


Grove’s article wasn’t just a comprehensive hit piece against Jones, but also lashed out at CNN, saying the network did not disclose that their contributor had worked on the executive order when he praised it on air. Jones called this accusation “doubly false” and demanded a correction.


Updating the story on Monday, the Beast changed “White House meetings” to “discussions” but doubled down on its assertions that Jones was involved. 







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© Reuters / Brian Snyder / Johnny Milano
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Just about the only thing tying Jones to current Trump administration efforts is an email from the office of Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), which said that he had “shared ideas for our team to consider” when putting together the JUSTICE Act.


“Van’s input was certainly a part of the process as we constructed the bill,” they added.


The JUSTICE act is nowhere near the same thing as Trump’s executive order, however. The far-reaching proposal – that was actually leaked to CNN by Scott earlier this month – ended up getting rejected by Senate Democrats last week, because it supposedly did not go far enough.


Interestingly, in a Sunday evening tweet the Beast editor Noah Schachtman noted that the original tweet should have said “executive order” and not “bill,” suggesting that Grove’s story had mixed up the two and treated Scott’s email as confirmation that it really wasn’t.








As for Jones, he says he will “continue to openly work across the aisle to help those trapped in the justice system. We need more of that these days, not less.”


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Those in glass houses… cancel culture implodes as Jemele Hill & Barstool Sports trade jibes

Broadcaster Jemele Hill has found herself in hot water after a tweet resurfaced in which she used the word “tranny.” Her would-be cancellation was sparked by Barstool Sports hosts, whom she had attacked for alleged racism.


In a now-deleted 2009 tweet, Hill referred to someone as “Manny the Tranny.” The post was unearthed by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy after Hill shared a video of him speculating on footballer Colin Kaepernick’s possible “Muslim terrorist” ideology.






Hill was quick to apologize for the decade-old post, saying that the tweet “was wholly ignorant, dumb, and offensive.” 


“I kept the tweet up because I welcomed the opportunity to apologize and to show growth,” she posted – right before deleting said tweet.






In an apparent bid to turn cancel culture to their advantage, Barstool fans quickly pushed out the Twitter hashtag #CancelJemeleHill to try and draw the ire of social justice warriors in branding her a transphobe.






The cancel culture feud was pushed up a notch at this point, though, as some users sought to tell the larger ‘community’ that the hashtag was being promoted mostly by “males that are bothered” by Hill, and those who used the hashtag were soon mocked online.









Portnoy, meanwhile, responded to the furore in a short video saying that the “no-fun-club cancel culture” coming after a comedy show and combing through everything they’ve ever said and done in an effort to find something that would now be considered offensive “is not the best use of time.” 


The Hill incident is just the latest in a long line of online furores Barstool Sports has been involved in, to the point that there's a separate Wikipedia entry listing the chief ones to date on the sports blog’s page. From copyright issues to ‘me too’ allegations against him in 2019, Portnoy has even been in a Twitter spat with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over union rights.





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Barstool Sports / Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) ©  Barstool Sports;  Reuters / Yuri Gripas
‘Debate me!’ Ocasio-Cortez wades into Barstool Sports feud with unions






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NYT journalist in Hong Kong promptly deletes OPIUM WAR Twitter cover photo after it attracts criticism

A New York Times reporter in Hong Kong, Austin Ramzy, has deleted his Twitter cover photo, which showed colonial powers gathering in the city’s harbor during the Second Opium War, after the historical image sparked anger online.


The New York Times has seemingly gone out of its way to convince its American readers of its wholehearted support for the protests against racism – and the legacy of colonialism, for that matter – that have engulfed the US. However, its reporter in Hong Kong picked a photo depicting one of the most brazen acts of colonialism for his social media header.





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Hong Kong street protester during the 24th May protests in the Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, May 24, 2020
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He promptly deleted it, though, after Carl Zha – a podcaster who focuses on China – revealed the context of the image. The black-and-white photo depicting ships in a harbor turned out to be one of a series of images snapped by British-Italian war photographer Felice Beato in 1860, as an Anglo-French armada prepared an attack on China during the final phase of the infamous Second Opium War. 


Zha posted another of Beato’s iconic photos from the series as he tweeted about Ramzy’s curious choice of banner picture.






The conflict was a blatant aggression by the colonial powers against China, with the sole purpose of extorting commercial privileges and territorial concessions. One of the most heinous parts of the conflict was that London particularly sought to secure its right to the unrestricted export of opium to China – something that Beijing actively resisted until it was forced into submission. The British seized Hong Kong as a result of one of the Opium Wars.






The reasons for such an apparently insensitive choice of cover image on the reporter’s Twitter account remain unknown, as Ramzy has not commented on it publicly. As noted by some commenters on the platform, him picking that photo was equivalent to a foreign journalist in Russia using a picture of “Wehrmacht massed at the [Soviet] border,” or anyone putting a photo of the Auschwitz concentration camp during Nazi rule on their cover. 









Other Twitter users highlighted the poor impression given by a US journalist using such a photo at a time when Washington supports the Hong Kong protests, and amid extremely strained US relations with Beijing. 









Soon after the photo started attracting critical attention, Ramzy promptly changed his cover image to a more neutral picture of modern-day Hong Kong – without providing any insight into his sudden change of heart or the initial banner photo choice.


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Infamous hacker sentenced to over a year in prison after turning internet-linked devices into ‘zombie bots’

A 22-year-old man from Washington state has been handed a 13-month prison sentence for developing, using and selling access to Internet of Things malware.


Kenneth Currin Schuchman pleaded guilty last September to violating the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act after selling DDoS botnets based on the Internet of Things (IoT) malware ‘Mirai’. 


Mirai infects IoT devices and turns them into a network of remote controlled “zombie bots.” In the simplest of terms, an IoT device is any technological device capable of connecting to the internet. 


This network of things is ever-increasing, and nowadays it isn’t uncommon for cars, fridges, and even toothbrushes to be connected.





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The horde of zombie bots created using malware is often called a botnet. These can be used to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks which can overwhelm target servers via a deluge of internet traffic. 


The US Department of Justice said that Schuchman’s botnets – known as Satori, Okiru, Masuta and Tsunami – compromised hundreds of thousands of connected IoT devices worldwide.


Schuchman, or “Nexus” as he apparently liked to be called online, worked with co-conspirators dubbed “Vamp” and “Drake” to enhance the nefarious malware Mirai code.


After an initial arrest in August 2018, Schuchman continued to develop IoT bots whilst on supervised release, the DoJ said. His two co-conspirators were also charged for their role in developing the IoT-attacking botnets.


According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), there will be “41.6 billion connected IoT devices, or ‘things’, generating 79.4 zettabytes (ZB) of data in 2025.”


Experts have warned that the scope for doing harm in this new super-connected world should not be underestimated. Whether it be hackers taking control of self-driving cars with passengers inside, or the fridge spying on your family, new technologies clearly come with new risk.


Notably adept at discovering vulnerabilities in IoT devices, there is a history of so-called black-hat actors (nefarious hackers) being employed for their talents. 


David Warburton, senior threat research evangelist at application services company F5 Networks, has said that at his own organization a person like Schuchman would not be blacklisted from work. 





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Speaking to Raconteur last year, Warburton said that when his company hires contractors, it looks for people “with strong hands-on experience” – which does not rule out ex-criminals. While that may seem “counter-intuitive,” he said, they often have the know-how required to help plan and test cyber defenses. 


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'I want to do it': Russian figure skating champ Medvedeva reveals she is already training athletes ahead of future coaching career

Two-time skating world champ Evgenia Medvedeva, who has seen her plans to return to the ice in Japanese show Sailor Moon this year dashed, is eyeing a post-retirement career in the sport after enjoying taking steps into coaching.


Medvedeva was due to star in a new ice-skating version of the hugely popular series this summer.


The 20-year-old spoke of her regret at not being able to appear in the show this year and admitted she has begun teaching future stars in Canada.


"I'm giving advice to two junior athletes in Toronto about skating and health as a senior," the two-time Olympic silver medalist told Smart Flash.









"It's a lot of fun. It may be difficult to continue for a lifetime, but after retirement I will be a coach. I want to do it.'


"I'm very sorry [about Sailor Moon's postponement] but I don't think it can be helped.


"Preparation is progressing steadily and it's been pretty good. It's not canceled, so I'm really looking forward to next year's event."


Medvedeva, who staged a Sailor Moon-inspired performance at the 2017 World Team Trophy in Tokyo, also expressed her enthusiasm for two manga books and their gothic style.


“I like 'Tokyo Ghoul'," she said. "I also like 'Black Butler.' When I'm over 35, I want to try Gothic fashion."


Tokyo had been due to host the 2020 Olympics this year before they were postponed for a year in March and a nationwide state of emergency was declared at the beginning of April.





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Evgenia Medvedeva © REUTERS / Dom Gagne
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‘Not just an African issue’: Female genital mutilation victim shares harrowing story with RT as practice ON THE RISE in Germany

An activist and victim of female genital mutilation (FGM) living in Berlin told RT “big action” is needed to tackle the issue in Germany, which has seen a rapid rise in women and girls forced to undergo the torturous procedure.


Artist and activist Fatou Mandiang Diatta underwent the dangerous procedure in her native Senegal when she was about four or five years old. 



I remember how my mum asked me not to cry. Her face was so serious in front of me. I remember two ladies – one was holding my hand and the other one my legs. And there was a third one who did something quite painful...



Having been so young at the time, Diatta did not fully understand what had happened to her until she later began studying anatomy in college.  


“I discovered that it was that day when damage was done to my body,” she told RT.


Female circumcision is performed around the world on the pretext of religious and cultural beliefs – and is viewed as a grave violation of human rights by the United Nations. Many victims are subjected to FGM when they are still babies, with some not even surviving the cruel and traumatic procedure. 





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“In my neighborhood, two babies passed away from FGM,” Diatta recalled. “We all knew about it, but no one said anything. It was a taboo in the village.”


The number of women and girls in Germany who have undergone FGM has increased to 68,000 in 2020 – a 44 percent rise from 2017. Family Affairs Minister Franziska Giffey has linked the rise to the growing number of immigrants coming from countries where FGM is widely practiced, like Nigeria, Eritrea, Somalia, and Egypt. 


Giffey called FGM an “archaic crime” which has “has lifelong physical and psychological consequences” and called for local communities to enact new measures to help protect girls.










Yet, “more and more” girls and women in Germany are facing the risk of having their genitals mutilated, Giffey warned, adding that the number of those exposed to that risk stands between 2,800 and 14,900, even though the country passed legislation prohibiting the procedure in 2013. 


Diatta described the “big shock” she felt after learning that female circumcision is being performed on girls born in Germany as well – and the activist stressed that that practice is not limited to incoming refugees.



People were thinking that it’s an African issue, but it’s not. Kids that are German… are also at risk. Most of the girls don’t even know what’s happened to them.



She believes that projects to better integrate migrants in society and more awareness can improve the situation.  


“If an issue like FGM is still going on in 2020 in Germany – I think big action needs to be taken,” she said.


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'Bullsh*t!' Tyson Fury FIRES BACK at loaded gloves accusation and vows to 'put a dent' in Deontay Wilder's boxing career (VIDEO)

Tyson Fury saw the comments from Deontay Wilder's brother accusing him of wearing blunt objects in his gloves, and has responded, claiming that if there was a conspiracy theory, Wilder's own trainer must be in on it, too.


Wilder's brother, Marsellos, posted a bizarre rant to his sibling on his Instagram page saying that insiders in Wilder's own team, fueled by "hate" and "money" had taken action to "take you down".


READ MORE: 'We coming for BLOOD': Deontay Wilder's brother claims heavyweight has HEAD injury caused by 'BLUNT OBJECT' during Tyson Fury loss


"It was discovered by doctors that my brother has a dent in the side of his head due to a blunt object struck against his head from his last fight," he wrote.


"No glove or fist was able to cause the damage, according to the autopsy. My daddy once told me if you pull a gun out on someone, you better kill them because if you don't, they are going to come back and kill you.


"The king is about to rise again. We coming for blood."


Following the story published on RT Sport earlier on Monday, Fury took to his Instagram to share his direct response to the quotes, and he made clear that he had not cheated, and that a host of individuals, including Nevada State Athletic Commission officials and Wilder's own trainer, Jay Deas.






"This is just a quick video to address all this foul play talk from Deontay Wilder and his team," Fury began.


"I just read an article before saying that I might have had blunt objects in my gloves. Yeah. Two big 19-stone, 275-pound destroyers in each glove. So, yeah, getting punched up the temple may do that to you.


"But, you know, not unless Deontay Wilder's own trainer Jay Deas was in on a conspiracy as well, along with all the Las Vegas state commission guys who never left the room.


"Jay Deas was in the room while I had my hands wrapped – he examined them. He was in there when I had my gloves put on – examined them. And everybody else that was in the room, they don't leave you. We all know that.


"So everybody citing foul play - bullsh*t! And the next time I'll put a dent in his boxing career (and) end it, because it'll be two knockout losses in a row. Bye bye forever!"





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'I still get called a pikey t**t': Tyson Fury reveals he is a regular victim of RACISM for his Traveling background







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The Washington Post global opinions editor has sparked outrage with a tweet saying white women are “lucky” protesters are not calling for “revenge” against them, for helping to elect Donald Trump and suppressing black voices.


“The lies & tears of White women hath wrought: The 1921 Tulsa Massacre. Murder of Emmet Till. Exclusion of Black women from feminist movements. 53% of white women voting for Trump,” Karen Attiah tweeted. 


The Tulsa Massacre was a 1921 racist attack by white Oklahoma residents, in which dozens of black citizens were killed. Emmet Till was 14 when he was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of offending a white woman in a grocery store her family owned.


After placing the blame for these events and others on “white women,” Attiah added that they are lucky “we are just calling them ‘Karens.’ And not calling for revenge.”






Karen is a popular term used on social media to accuse white women of behaving in an entitled and racist manner. 


Attiah’s tweet caused a stir on social media, with critics questioning what her idea of “revenge” looks like, and wondering how such a tweet could come from an editor for a mainstream media company. 


“What does ‘revenge’ against ‘white women’ look like in your mind, Washington Post editor? Be as specific and detailed as possible,” Federalist co-founder Sean Davis wrote in reaction.


“Tweets like this cause young white Americans to become even more extreme in their politics. Congrats,” tweeted author Ryan James Girdusky.









Though Attiah deleted the tweet after the pushback, a later message to her 180,000-plus followers suggested Attiah in no way regretted her words. 


The editor responded to a tweet saying, “When I tweet something and then delete it, it’s not because I regret it,” by declaring: “Same. Lol.”






In another tweet from Attiah’s account discussing “Karen memes,” she accuses “everyday white women” of “upholding” white supremacy.






Racial tensions in the US have been simmering since May, with ongoing protests against police brutality and racism following the death of George Floyd. 


Many demonstrations have turned violent and led to vandalism and threats of violence, while some counter-protesters have been seen in videos yelling racist epithets, including in a clip recently tweeted and then deleted by President Donald Trump where a supporter of his yelled “white power.” 


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The World Health Organization will send a team to Wuhan to investigate where the novel coronavirus may have originated, Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced, six months after the virus began its global spread.


Tedros spoke at a WHO press briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic on Monday, offering no further details on the probe.


The revelation comes as the pandemic has claimed half a million lives and infected over 10 million people across the globe, just six months after the first reports of person-to-person transmission outside of China.





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Tegal Alur cemetery complex in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 27, 2020
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A WHO situation report on January 30 noted 7,818 cases of Covid-19, including the first documented person-to-person transmission among the 82 cases in 18 countries outside of China. 


Washington has insisted on an investigation into the origins of the virus and accused the WHO of “covering” for Beijing, going so far as to sever all ties to the world health body at the end of May.


US insistence on virus “transparency” also sank the proposed UN Security Council resolution that would have supported a global ceasefire during the pandemic.





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The headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2020 © Reuters / Denis Balibouse
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Tedros lamented the “politicization of the pandemic” during the briefing, pointing to “concerning signs of stigma” in the debates about safety precautions such as mandating the wearing of face masks. He also warned that the pandemic was “not even close to being over,” but was in fact “speeding up” globally.


The novel coronavirus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, although the exact time and place of the first human infection remains unknown. The Chinese government has disputed claims that it originated at a market in Wuhan, as well as US accusations that the virus could have escaped from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, either by accident or on purpose.


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Defense Minister Benny Gantz has said PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to begin annexing West Bank territory will have to wait due to the coronavirus crisis in Israel.


Gantz, who also holds the title of the alternative prime minister, told his Blue and White Party on Monday that his top priority is helping the country navigate the health and economic crisis stemming from the pandemic. “Anything unrelated to the battle against the coronavirus will wait,” AP quoted him as saying.


Netanyahu has said he wants to begin annexing occupied land as soon as this week, in line with President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan. A top US envoy is in the country trying to work out a deal with the Israelis.


Gantz’s announcement immediately complicated that mission and exposed a rift in the country’s new coalition government of Likud and Blue and White.

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Twitch suspends Donald Trump's account as Reddit bans his supporters' biggest community

On the same day streaming platform Twitch suspended Donald Trump's account for violating their hateful conduct policy, social networking site Reddit has shut down its largest group supportive of the president.


The subreddit 'The_Donald' was the most popular community devoted to supporters of the president and included more than 790,000 users, who often used the space to post political memes and videos. Reddit executives have accused the group of targeting and harassing individuals and consistently breaking its conduct rules.“Reddit is a place for community and belonging, not for attacking people,” the company’s Chief Executive Steve Huffman told reporters on Monday.






Reddit also banned multiple other accounts for violating their policies, though some have accused the company of using a mass ban to cover up a bias against the Trump community. "Reddit's ban [of] a bunch of mostly irrelevant subreddits (apart from ChapoTrapHouse) is just cover to ban r/The_Donald, which was the largest pro-MAGA community on the Internet," tweeted YouTuber and Human Events Managing Editor Ian Miles Cheong.






Twitch flagged and removed multiple pieces of content from the president as hateful – some of which is incredibly old, including a rebroadcast of Trump's kickoff rally, in which he infamously claimed that many illegal immigrants are the "worst" Mexico has to offer, like rapists. 


“Like anyone else, politicians on Twitch must adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. We do not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content, and will take action on content reported to us that violates our rules,” a Twitch spokesperson said.


Twitch promised last week to be more active in policing accounts, following numerous allegations of harassment against streamers.


Unlike the subreddit 'The_Donald', the Twitch account, which was launched in October, was officially connected to the president and used to stream campaign events and rallies.






Twitch sold to Amazon in 2014, making it a subsidiary of a company owned by Jeff Bezos, a frequent critic of Trump who has clashed with the president multiple times on Twitter. Bezos’ connection to Twitch has only fueled accusations of “censorship.”






The community of supporters on Reddit had also already accused that site of censorship, with many members ditching the site months ago. 


The website targeted the ‘The_Donald’ subreddit group last year and “quarantined” it for “significant issues with reporting and addressing violations” of the content policy. This “quarantine” meant users visiting the forum were given warning signs before entering and needed to opt-in to actually view the content. 


Reddit claimed the “violations” were threats made against public officials. 





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“As we have shared, we are sensitive to what could be considered political speech, however, recent behaviors including threats against the police and public figures is content that is prohibited by our violence policy. As a result, we have actioned individual users and quarantined the subreddit,” the company said at the time. 


Two years earlier, members had complained Reddit was “underreporting” how many subscribers there were to the community. Reddit acknowledged the error, but chalked it up to a labeling mistake brought on system changes at the site. 


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A Dog’s Life: Russia’s only Corgi Cop calls it quits

Russian social media descended into a chaos of cuteness on Monday morning as the country’s only K-9 Unit Corgi retired from his job with the Transport Police, after seven and a half years of service.


Announced on Instagram to more than 13,000 subscribers, the 9-year-old opted to take his pension and quit his role as a sniffer dog. The Corgi, named Ginger, was relied on to reveal the presence of prohibited substances. Due to Ginger’s sensitive nose, many drug dealers passing through the city of Nizhny Novgorod ended up in the dog house. 






According to the Instagram announcement, he plans to take up dancing and continue playing sports – he might be a pensioner, but retirement certainly won’t see Ginger slipping into dog days. 






Ginger’s Instagram page was founded a year ago, and he quickly gained popularity on the Russian internet, with his videos and photos being shared far and wide. After a year he called “the most extraordinary in my life,” it can indeed be said that this dog has had his day. 


It may be a dog-eat-dog world, but Ginger worked well together with his sidekick. Now, the Belgian Shepherd Ziger will go on duty without his partner.


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Health Secretary Matt Hancock is to meet leaders in the city of Leicester, amid UK plans to extend a lockdown in the area after a surge in Covid-19 cases, prompting anger from the city mayor.


A major relaxation of lockdown measures is scheduled to come into effect on July 4 in England in a bid to kickstart the economy, but the city of Leicester is facing the prospect of becoming the only place in the country to see its pubs, restaurants, hotels and cinemas remain closed for a further two weeks after a spike in coronavirus cases.


Leicester Mayor Peter Soulsby confirmed to Sky News on Monday that he had received an email with recommendations from the government overnight, suggesting the city keep present restrictions in place. The city has recorded 866 of its 2,987 Covid-19 cases in the last fortnight.





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Soulsby lashed out at a report given to him by government officials, insisting that it had  “obviously been cobbled together very hastily,” and provided "no evidence” to suggest that the city remaining in lockdown longer than the rest of the country “would make a difference.”


The Labour mayor also had concerns about who would ultimately have the power to make sure restrictions stay in place in the city, slamming the “intensely frustrating” process of getting health information from the government.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock would be meeting leaders from Leicester in central England on Monday afternoon to “discuss the situation.”


The prospect of UK authorities trying to implement a local lockdown has prompted ridicule on social media, with many people doubting that it could ever work in practice. One commenter referenced the scandal involving Johnson’s advisor Dominic Cummings – who justified breaking travel rules to check his eyesight – and asked the UK PM whether there would be a “travel corridor” to Barnard Castle.





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A humorous gif was tweeted showing what a local lockdown may look like for Leicester, using TV series The Simpsons as inspiration.


Another commenter claimed the only way it could work was if “armed guards” surrounded the city and suggested that people who worked outside of the lockdown area may face a dilemma. Some suggested that only  “ultra-authoritarian / militarised states” states could ever implement such a plan, and highlighted Italy as an example of where it has failed.






Responding to reports that a local lockdown could be enforced, Johnson warned that the UK is not out of the woods yet, saying "We are concerned about Leicester, we are concerned about any local outbreak.”


He said a local "whack-a-mole" strategy used to curb flare-ups in Weston-super-Mare in south-west England and around doctors’ surgeries in London would be "brought to bear in Leicester as well.”


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Direct flights from Britain and Sweden to Greece will not be allowed until July 15, Greek authorities said on Monday. They will also use EU guidelines to determine which countries were considered at high risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.


British holidaymakers are a primary market for the Greek tourism sector, which is facing a plunge in bookings due to the pandemic.


Greece reopened its main airports in Athens and Thessaloniki to more international flights on June 15, and will reopen all others on July 1. While flights from most European destinations will be permitted from that date. “The whole process of opening up is dynamic, and there will be a continuous review of the situation,” Reuters quoted Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as saying.


Earlier this month, Sweden said it would lift its advice against non-essential travel to Greece and nine other European countries from June 30.

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'I'm stuck!' NFL star PLUNGES Chevrolet into lake while DRUNK & speeding – then reportedly refuses chemical test after arrest

Dramatic photos have shown the submerged wreckage of a luxury orange car owned by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jermiah Braswell, who told police that he was "stuck" and did not know how he had crashed into a lake at high speed.


The NFL rookie was arrested for driving under the influence after he was found trying to steer his Chevrolet Camaro forward while complaining of being "stuck" in Lake Erie, police reports said.


Witnesses reportedly saw Braswell speeding the striking vehicle along a road and through a grassy area before it flew off an embankment and landed in the water.


Braswell was said to have been unable to explain how the car ended up there while slurring his speech in front of officers who were called to the early-evening scene.









The car remained trapped between a rock and the waves on Sunday night, sources told local news station Cleveland19.


Braswell, who only joined the Cardinals as a free agent at the end of April, exceeded Ohio's legal limit for blood alcohol content but refused to submit to a chemical test, according to the Port Clinton News Herald.


The Toledo-born 23-year-old starred at college level for Youngstown State and Central Catholic, playing his part in two state championship-winning teams.


No passengers were in the car and the Cardinals are yet to release a statement on the incident.





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‘Shameless’: Seoul denounces Japan’s objection to Trump’s plan to include South Korea in G7

Seoul has accused Japan of brazen behavior after Tokyo objected to Trump’s idea of inviting South Korea into the G7 as a standing member. The proposal may weaken Japan's political clout within the group, Japanese media claims.


A South Korean parliament official has accused Japan of constantly “harming” its neighboring country, in reaction to a news report published by Japanese news agency Kyodo last week. The report claimed that Tokyo’s administration had opposed US President Donald Trump’s idea of inviting Seoul to participate in the envisioned Group Seven gathering. 


“There’s nothing to be surprised anymore by Japan’s consistent attitude not to admit or atone for its wrongdoings,” the official said. “The level of Japan’s shameless (position) is something of the world’s top.” 


Kyodo reported that Japan has conveyed its objection to the US with claims that Seoul is not in “lockstep” with G7 – in particular, it does not share the group’s views on Chinese and North Korean issues.





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The outlet suggested that Japan’s objection was expected to aggravate its already tense relationship with South Korea, amid ongoing historical and diplomatic disagreements. The two countries have long been locked in a dispute over World War 2 reparations aimed at resolving wartime labor issues. But the bill had heavily influenced controversies within the economic and defense areas in both countries.


The news agency pointed out that South Korea’s participation would mean ending Japan’s status as the lone Asian member within the group, which also includes the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy. Earlier this month, Japan expressed its hope to take the lead among G7 nations on issuing a statement about the situation in Hong Kong.





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At the end of May, Trump suggested inviting Russia, South Korea, Australia, and India to participate at the G7 summit hosted by the US. The president has criticized the group as “very outdated” and pointed out that it no longer represents “what’s going on in the world.” The meeting was initially scheduled for June but had to be postponed until at least September, due to the coronavirus pandemic.


At a media briefing on Monday, Japan’s government spokesman Yoshihide Suga refrained from publicly expressing its opposition to South Korea's participation. Still, he stressed that it is crucial to maintain the current G7 framework for coordination in tackling global challenges.


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