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White House undecided on releasing bin Laden photos

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WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday it was weighing whether to release photographs of Osama bin Laden’s corpse amid calls from some key lawmakers to do so to prove the Al-Qaeda chief is truly dead.

“We are going to do everything we can to make sure that nobody has any basis to try to deny that we got Osama bin Laden,” President Barack Obama’s gruff anti-terror adviser, John Brennan, told reporters.

“And so, therefore, the releasing of information, and whether that includes photographs — this is something to be determined,” said Brennan, who hunted the Al-Qaeda mastermind for 15 years.

His comments came as top lawmaker warned Washington may have to release photographs of Osama, killed in a daring weekend US special forces raid on his fortified compound in the Pakistan city of Abbottabad.

“It may be necessary to release the pictures — as gruesome as they undoubtedly will be, because he’s been shot in the head — to quell any doubts that this somehow is a ruse that the American government has carried out,” said Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman.

Lieberman, an independent usually aligned with the White House, said he was “absolutely convinced that the man who was killed yesterday was Osama bin Laden” and that he would respect the White House’s decision on the photographs.

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But, he said, “unless there’s an acknowledgement by people in Al-Qaeda that bin Laden is dead,” some may deny that DNA testing of the body proved it was the elusive terrorist mastermind.

Senator Susan Collins, the top Republican on Lieberman’s committee, also declared she has “absolutely no doubt” bin Laden had been killed in his fortified, secretive headquarters.

“But I recognize that there will be those who will try to generate this myth that he’s alive, and that we missed him somehow, and in order to put that to rest it may be necessary to release some of the pictures, or video, or the DNA test,” she said.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican, said US officials were working through whether to release photos of bin Laden’s corpse.

“We want to make sure that we maintain dignity — if there was any — in Osama bin Laden, so that we don’t inflame problems other places in the world and still provide enough evidence that people are confident that it was Osama bin Laden,” he said.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Trump’s anti-abortion rule attacking Planned Parenthood can go into effect in 49 states: appeals court

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According to the Associated Press, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that President Donald Trump's domestic "gag rule" can take effect while litigation proceeds, potentially making it far harder for low-income women to access abortion care.

District judges in California, Oregon, and Washington previously blocked the rule from taking effect. But a three-judge panel in San Francisco today said that the rule was "reasonable" as an interpretation of federal law, and lifted the injunction preventing it from being enforced. The rule can now take effect in every state except Maryland, where another federal judge's order has still enjoined the policy.

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Trump supporter struggles to explain racism towards Muslim neighbor: ‘They were just — walking around’

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In an extensive report by The New York Times, Somali refugees in St. Cloud, Minnesota lamented that they face an absurd amount of racism after fleeing ISIS and a war-torn country.

The story describes a local meeting at the Faith Lutheran Church where a free-flowing discussion about politics, abortion, and more quickly turned to discuss the so-called "refugee problem."

Nearly every person in attendance gave support to President Donald Trump. "Others said that markers of progress were more interpersonal, and they would only be comfortable in their community if the Somali-born refugees converted to Christianity," the Times wrote.

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Prosecutors want hearing on revoking Roger Stone’s bail after he posted right-wing propaganda despite gag order

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Roger Stone may have violated his gag order with Instagram postings and federal prosecutors want a hearing for a judge to consider modifying the conditions of his release from jail pending trial.

"On or about June 18 and 19, 2019, the defendant posted to Instagram and Facebook, commenting about this case and inviting news organizations to cover the issue," prosecutors said in a filing the day after the most recent posting.

Stone is a longtime political advisor to Donald Trump.

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