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Drinking water intakes closed after oil spill shuts down 65 miles of Mississippi River

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An oil spill has shut down a 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Public drinking water intakes were shut down in St. Charles Parish as a precaution, officials said, and the Port of New Orleans was also closed.

Officials assured the public that drinking water “remains safe” in St. Charles Parish, and officials in St. James Parish said intake valves there were protected within hours of the incident.

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The spill came from a barge carrying light crude that was struck Saturday afternoon by a tugboat near Vacherie, reported the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Coast Guard officials said they were unsure how much oil had spilled, but they stressed that only a sheen of oil had been reported on the river’s surface.

The Coast Guard is working with Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality and ES&H, an environmental cleanup company, to clean up the spill.

They were also deploying booms to prevent the oil from spreading and using planes and helicopters to see where the oil has gone, the newspaper reported.

All the oil on the damaged barge had been pumped onto another barge by early Sunday.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Julian Assange lawyer tells court: After pardon fell through, Trump administration resorted to ‘extortion’

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An attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the Trump administration of extortion in a London court on Monday.

The WikiLeaks attorney appeared at Woolwich Crown Court along with U.S. prosecutors, who argued that Assange should be extradited the United States, where he faces 18 charges and up to 175 years in jail.

Attorneys for Assange previously told the court that former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) tried to broker a pardon deal between the White House and Assange if he would agree to say that Russia was not the source of hacked Democratic Party emails.

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Black teens shocked after basketball announcer calls their names ‘disgusting’

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A longtime announcer at high-school basketball games in Oklahoma sparked outrage last week when he said that black players on the Crooked Oak High School lady's basketball team had "disgusting" names.

Local news station KFOR reports that the announcer made the remarks during a game between Crooked Oak and rival Newkirk High School on Friday.

In a video taken at the game, the announcer can be heard saying, "The Crooked Oak Lady Ruff Necks, now their names are pretty disgusting."

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‘Money hungry mannequin’ Ivanka Trump buried for her taxpayer-funded ‘field trip’ to India with her dad

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Ivanka Trump was hammered on Twitter for posting pictures of her trip to India where she praised the "grandeur" of the Taj Mahal -- with herself featured front and center before it.

Donald Trump's daughter, a senior White House adviser, has taken to using her Twitter feed to promote herself (usually via photos or video clips) as she travels the world, presumably representing the United States. Monday morning's tweet was no exception, with the two pictures accompanied by, "The grandeur and beauty of the Taj Mahal is awe inspiring!" followed by emojis of the American flag and India's flag.

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