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Cartoonist who inspired ‘Draw Mohammed Day’ in hiding

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WASHINGTON — A Seattle cartoonist whose satirical work inspired the controversial “Everybody Draw Mohammed Page” on Facebook has gone into hiding, the newspaper which published her comics said Wednesday.

Molly Norris has moved and changed her name following a call for her assassination by US-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, The Seattle Weekly said.

“You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week,” the newspaper said. “That’s because there is no more Molly.”

“The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, ‘going ghost’: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.

“She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program — except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab,” the newspaper said.

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Norris drew a cartoon in April to protest the decision by the US television channel Comedy Central to cancel an episode of the popular show “South Park” over its depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.

In her cartoon, Norris satirically proposed May 20 as an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.”

An “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” page quickly turned up on Facebook but Norris, writing on her since-shuttered website at mollynorris.com, said she had nothing to do with it.

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“I did NOT ‘declare’ May 20 to be ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day,'” she said, adding that her idea was satire that was “taken seriously, hijacked and made viral.”

“I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this ‘day’ be called off,” she said.

Islam strictly prohibits the depiction of any prophet as blasphemous and the “Draw Mohammed” page led to Facebook being temporarily blocked in Pakistan and sparked angry street protests.

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In July, an English-language Al-Qaeda magazine, “Inspire,” in an article attributed to Awlaki, the radical Yemeni cleric, said Norris “should be taken as a prime target of assassination.”

Awlaki, who is based in Yemen, rose to prominence last year after it emerged he had communicated by email with Major Nidal Hasan, a US army psychiatrist accused of opening fire on colleagues at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13.


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Hope Hicks may have lied under oath that she wasn’t present when Trump and Cohen discussed Stormy Daniels

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Newly unsealed documents in the campaign finance case where Michael Cohen pleaded guilty may provide evidence that Hope Hicks lied to Congress under oath.

According to the court documents, President Donald Trump, Hope Hicks and Cohen were all in communication about the hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Not only did Hicks discuss the payments with both men, she exchanged text messages and emails on the topic.

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Anti-vaxxer threatened to kill Democratic congresswoman over vaccine bill: report

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A Pentagon contractor has been charged with threatening to kill a U.S. Congresswoman over a bill that would require all public schools receiving federal funds to ensure all children are vaccinated.

The Daily Beast reports the court filing does not name the lawmaker, but they have determined it is Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL). It says Darryl Albert Varnum of Westminster, Maryland is the person named in the criminal complaint filed in federal court.

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2020 Election

White House aides fear Trump believes House vote against impeachment means it’s never going to happen: report

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A proposal to start impeachment hearings that failed in the House on Wednesday led Donald Trump to optimistically proclaim that his presidency is safe at his North Carolina rally last night. But his proclamation has some White House officials worried the president really believes he is out of the woods.

According to a report at Politico, close aides to the president worry that his comment that "we have all this [impeachment] behind us," may be based on an unfounded notion by Trump about how Congress works.

Speaking at his campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., Trump boasted to the crowd, "I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I’ve ever been involved in: the resolution -- how stupid is that -- on impeachment. I want to thank those Democrats because many of them voted for us, the vote was a totally lopsided 332-95-1.”

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