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Anne Frank museum defends Justin Bieber after ‘belieber’ controversy

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Amsterdam’s Anne Frank museum on Monday defended teen idol Justin Bieber amid a furor over his comments that he hoped the Jewish teen who died in a Nazi camp would have been a fan.

“We think that what’s special is that a 19-year-old comes to the Anne Frank House and spends an hour visiting on a Friday night,” museum spokeswoman Maatje Mostart told AFP amid growing criticism of the pop star’s perceived selfishness.

Canadian heartthrob Bieber visited the museum-house, where Frank and her family hid from the Nazis, and wrote in the guestbook: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”

A belieber is a term used to describe one of the celebrity’s fanatical fans, most of whom are teen or pre-teen girls.

“He could be doing other things in Amsterdam, he was very interested,” said Mostart.

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“That’s more important than the commotion that we’re now seeing. That’s the positive side and we want to leave it at that.”

Bieber’s remarks have provoked furious responses on Facebook, where the museum announced the news, with users attacking Bieber’s perceived ignorance.

Esther Voet, director of the Netherlands’ Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), said that Bieber’s comments were “stupid and shortsighted.”

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“It shows you that superstars don’t always have a stellar IQ,” she told AFP.

Anne Frank’s diary is a moving account of her two years in hiding from the Nazis with her family in a secret annexe that is today a popular museum in central Amsterdam.

She died in 1945 aged 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany.

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Bieber is on a European tour and played in the Dutch city of Arnhem on Saturday.


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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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