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Police probe French racist incident in Australia

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Police Thursday were investigating a torrent of threatening and racist abuse against a French woman on a Melbourne bus that was caught on camera and went viral on YouTube.

The woman and a group of friends were returning from a day at the beach when one of them began singing in her native tongue, which promoted an angry reaction from some passengers on the packed bus.

One aggressively demanded she “speak English or die” and then threatened to cut her breasts off.

Another man pushing a pram joined in, shouting that he would knife her.

The woman was then told: “Everybody on the bus wants to kill you” before the incident ended with a bus window being smashed.

The woman targeted, Fanny Desaintjores, told The Age newspaper she and her friends were terrified they would be physically assaulted.

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“I realise that maybe we shouldn’t sing on public transport, but I think that’s insane that they reacted like that. We’re all adults,” she said.

“We could have a conversation and talk gently, instead of all these insults and threats.”

In an opinion piece, Fairfax Media said the most disturbing thing was that so few people spoke up in defence of the woman.

“The majority of passengers were silent and impassive, probably wishing they were elsewhere,” it said.

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“A racist, abusive bigot is like sitting next to the smelliest person on the bus — you hold your breath and count the stops until you can get off.”

Parts of the incident were caught on camera by stand-up comedian Mike Nayna and the footage has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube, with the story picked up by French newspapers.

Melbourne police said they were investigating “verbal threats and racist taunts towards a group of women travelling on a bus”.

“The incident was reported to police and detectives are appealing for anyone with information to come forward as there were a number of people on the bus at the time,” police said.

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Nayna, who describes himself as “brown”, says that when he asked the passengers to calm down another man started ranting at him about hating black people.

“He said darkies should be kept at the back of the bus where they belong, before repeatedly yelling ‘I hate blacks’,” Nayna told reporters.

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Emotional vulnerability that is at the source of male gun ownership explored in new documentary

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On the surface, the gun debate almost appears on the surface to be a debate between men and women, as Moms Against Gun Violence dominates the anti-NRA conversation. It's given the pro-gun argument a twinge of masculinity at the heart of gun culture, but it's taken out of the debate about gun violence.

A short Washington Post documentary explores the statistic that more than 80 percent of the mass shootings, suicides with a gun and homicides with a gun are committed by men.

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Evangelical calls out Christian right for continuing to oppose therapeutic weed: ‘America is sick’

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In a column for the New York Times, religion writer Jonathan Merritt made the Christian case to evangelicals who aligned themselves with the Republican Party during the Ronald Reagan era to accept that therapeutic marijuana could ease the suffering of hundreds of thousands of pain sufferers -- and that Jesus would approve.

According to Merritt, who admits he grew up the son of an evangelical pastor, that he was raised to believe that "marijuana was just one more sinful tool that the devil used to shred America’s moral fabric."

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Florida city agrees to pay $600,000 ransom to hackers

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A Florida town has agreed to pay a $600,000 ransom in Bitcoin after hackers paralyzed its computer systems.

The payment was authorized this week by the city council of Riviera Beach, which is located north of Miami and has a population of around 32,500, the Palm Beach Post reported.

According to the newspaper, the virus that shut down the city's computer systems was unleashed on May 29 by an employee of the city's police department who opened a phishing email.

The city posted a notice to the public on its website on June 5 stating it had "experienced a data security event" and was "working with our internal management team and third party consultants to address all issues."

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