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Trial of neo-Nazi mass murderer delayed over press access issues

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The start of the most high-profile neo-Nazi murder trial in Germany’s history was delayed from this week after judges announced Monday an overhaul of rules giving media access.

Proceedings were to have begun Wednesday against a woman accused of being part of a far-right killer cell blamed for 10 murders.

But because Germany’s top court ordered the Munich judges last week to expand foreign media access to the trial its starting date had to be put back.

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Hearings are now to begin on May 6, the court said.

“The court explained that in light of the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court from April 12, 2013, a new press accreditation process will be necessary and this would not be possible ahead of the planned start of the trial on April 17, 2013,” a court spokeswoman said in a statement.

Beate Zschaepe, believed to be the last surviving member of a gang known as the National Socialist Underground accused of killing eight ethnic Turks, a Greek man and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007, is to stand trial with four alleged accomplices.

Germany’s highest court on Friday upheld a complaint by a Turkish newspaper over media access to the trial in a controversy that had strained ties with Ankara.

The presiding judge in the case had assigned guaranteed seats at the hearings on a first-come, first-served basis, resulting in German reporters taking nearly all 50 of the reserved places and most international media outlets having no reliable access to the courtroom.

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After a lawsuit by Turkish newspaper Sabah, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the Munich tribunal must provide “an appropriate number of seats to representatives of foreign media with a particular connection to the victims”.

The federal judges suggested reserving at least three seats for foreign media or restarting the press accreditation process from scratch.

The Turkish government, victims’ representatives, German leaders and journalists had hit out at a lack of “sensitivity” by the Munich court in light of the massive public interest in the case.

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The leader of Germany’s three-million-strong Turkish community, Kenan Kolat, blamed the Munich court’s missteps on media access for the trial’s delay.

“Everything must be done to ensure that the the verdict cannot be questioned in the end,” Kolat told the daily Die Welt in an interview to be published Tuesday.

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The trial covers the shootings of nine immigrants that took place in different cities around Germany, in small businesses such as a florist’s, an Internet cafe, snack and vegetable shops during normal opening hours.

Zschaepe is also accused of involvement in 15 armed robberies, arson and attempted murder in two bomb attacks, with 600 witnesses due to take the stand during the proceedings which could last more than two years.

She faces life in prison if convicted. Four male alleged accomplices will also go on trial on lesser charges.

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Dubbed the “Nazi moll” in the media, morbid fascination in the bespectacled brunette has been heightened by her refusal to talk while in custody since she turned herself in to police.

Zschaepe and her alleged NSU accomplices, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boehnhardt, who were reportedly linked in a love triangle, are believed to have gone underground in 1998 after police discovered their bomb-making operation.

Prosecutors say they funded their crime spree for 13 years with bank and post office robberies until the two men were found shot dead in an apparent murder-suicide following a heist on November 4, 2011.

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Watergate’s John Dean thinks Trump wrote part of his legal team’s brief — because it’s so terrible

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Former White House counsel for Richard Nixon, John Dean, explained that the legal brief out of President Donald Trump's White House was so bad that it had to have been dictated by Trump himself.

Saturday evening, Trump's legal team, chaired by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, filed their own form of a legal brief that responded to the case filed by Democrats ahead of Tuesday's impeachment trial.

The document called the proceedings “constitutionally invalid” and claims House Democrats are staging a “dangerous attack” with a “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”

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WATCH: Prince Harry explains why he and Meghan are leaving the royal family — but promises ‘a life of service’

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Prince Harry posted a video from an HIV/AIDS fundraiser his mother once supported, where he explained his methodology for leaving his profile role as a royal.

"I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear," said Harry.

He went on to say that he doesn't intend to walk away and he certainly won't walk away from his causes and interests. "We intend to live a life of service."

In the speech, he thanked those who took him under their wing in the absence of his mother

"I hope you can understand that it's what it had come to," he said for why their family intends to step back.

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‘You cannot expect anything but fascism’: Pedagogy theorist on how Trump ‘legitimated a culture of lying, cruelty and a collapse of social responsibility’

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The impeachment of Donald Trump appears to be a crisis without a history, at least a history that illuminates, not just comparisons with other presidential impeachments, but a history that provides historical lessons regarding its relationship to a previous age of tyranny that ushered in horrors associated with a fascist politics in the 1930s.  In the age of Trump, history is now used to divert and elude the most serious questions to be raised about the impeachment crisis. The legacy of earlier presidential impeachments, which include Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, provide a comparative historical context for analysis and criticism. And while Trump’s impeachment is often defined as a more serious constitutional crisis given his attempt to use the power of the presidency to advance his personal political agenda, it is a crisis that willfully ignores the conditions that gave rise to Trump’s presidency along with its recurring pattern of authoritarian behavior, policies, and practices.  One result is that the impeachment process with its abundance of political theater and insipid media coverage treats Trump’s crimes as the endpoint of an abuse of power and an illegal act, rather than as a political action that is symptomatic of a long legacy of conditions that have led to the United States’ slide into the abyss of authoritarianism.

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