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Texas mosque destroyed in fire will be rebuilt after $1 million in online donations

Mosuq burned in Victoria, TexasThe Islamic Center of Victoria in Texas was destroyed by a massive fire on Saturday, hours after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The tragedy inspired an online fundraising campaign that raised over $1 million for the mosque.

On behalf of the center, Omar Rachid, a physician recruiter at a county-owned hospital in Victoria, Texas, created a GoFundMe campaign to financially assist any rebuilding efforts.


Bob Alexander: Stumped

stumpedFrom the election of Fucko the Clown to his inauguration, I’ve started … and stopped … seven “moments”. I can’t finish them. I’ll type out what I think is a pretty good sentence or paragraph, but when I read it again it just seems like so much junk. The stuff I write reads like the purple prose H.P. Lovecraft would crank out for Weird Tales magazine at a penny per word. But what the hell … we’re inside a Pulp Fiction world where every day is another issue of Amazing Stories. Just because something sounds like an article from Famous Monsters of Filmland doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

About a week ago, a friend of mine sent me an email with this subject line, “We are headed towards the demise of our Democracy.”


Trump’s campaign paid his businesses millions over course of campaign

Trump made millions during campaignThe final bill is in: Donald Trump’s campaign paid his companies $12.8 million from the time he launched his improbable presidential bid in the lobby of his company’s flagship Trump Tower property through the end of last year, according to a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission data.

In fact, according to FEC reports, the latest of which was filed Tuesday night, $2 million of the overall tab went to Trump Tower Commercial, LLC, for rent and utilities for the campaign’s headquarters, as well as for payroll, presumably for building staff who worked for the campaign.


Fox News deletes false Québec shooting tweet after Canadian PM's office steps in

Canada mosqueThe 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.

Kate Purchase, the director of communications for the prime minister’s office, sent a letter to Fox News objecting to misinformation it had put out after the attack on the Québec City Islamic cultural center.


Ukraine clashes leave several dead and test Trump's Russia stance

Ukraine soldiers die in clashes Parts of east Ukraine are on the brink of a humanitarian crisis as the worst violence for a year in the conflict between Kiev and Russia-backed separatists has left up to 19 dead and thousands of people without water and heating in freezing temperatures.

The violence is an early test of Donald Trump’s stated desire for better US relations with Russia. Kiev has watched nervously as Trump has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and floated the idea of lifting sanctions.


Senate confirms Rex Tillerson for secretary of State

Rex Tillerson confirmedThe Senate confirmed former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of State on Wednesday, even as Democrats blocked progress on other Cabinet nominees chosen by President Trump.

The vote, 56-43, puts a man who has negotiated business deals with countries around the world, including some hostile to the United States, in position to negotiate on behalf of Trump in matters of war and peace, climate change and human rights.


Army Corps Ordered to Issue Last Dakota Access Pipeline Permit

Dakota pipelineThe Army Corps of Engineers has been instructed to supply the final permit necessary to finish building the controversial and heavily debated Dakota Access pipeline.

Two North Dakota Republican lawmakers who supported the project told The Washington Post that the Corps had been ordered to grant an easement for the pipeline to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that is the drinking-water source for the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.


White House: 'We are putting Iran on notice'

Mike FlynnPresident Trump's national security adviser announced Wednesday that the White House has officially put Iran "on notice" following reports that Iran has tested several ballistic missiles since reaching an agreement with the previous administration in 2015.

"We are official putting Iran on notice," Mike Flynn told reporters at the daily White House briefing.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer later added that the administration "wanted to make very clear that we felt that [Iran's] actions are both provocative and in violation [of the nuclear deal] and make sure they knew that were not going to sit by and do nothing."


Edmonia Lewis: Why Google celebrates her today

Edmonia LewisMary Edmonia Lewis was a trailblazer who shattered racial barriers as the first professional African American sculptor in the mid-1800s, becoming famous for her 1,408kg marble sculpture, The Death of Cleopatra.

In honouring Lewis on Wednesday, Google paid tribute to her artistic legacy and her effort to forge a path "for women and artists of colour".

"Today, we celebrate her and what she stands for - self-expression through art, even in the face of [adversity]," the Google citation reads.


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