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Obama-Satan lookalike cut from film version of hit mini-series ‘The Bible’

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‘This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time,’ says producer of The Son Of God

Controversial scenes in which an actor with a startling resemblance to US President Barack Obama portrayed Satan have been cut from the big-screen version of a hit mini-series about Jesus’ life.

Producers of Son of God, which is based on the hugely popular 2013 TV mini-series The Bible, said they had removed the offending episodes. The veteran Moroccan actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, who viewers and commentators said closely resembled Obama, will not appear in the film .

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“It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time,” producer Roma Downey revealed during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. She said the controversy over Satan’s appearance had overshadowed the TV series’ intended religious message: “Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts,” Downey said. “The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead.

She added: “For our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor.”

Images of The Bible’s Satan and Obama side by side caused a social media storm after going viral in the wake of the 10-hour mini-series’ debut screening in March last year. The film’s producers subsequently issued a statement praising the US president and hitting out at those who had made the “false connection”.

The Bible, which screened on the History Channel in the US, has been viewed more than 100m times. The film version, which has been cut to two hours, is due to debut in the US next weekend. It is set to debut in the UK on 5 March.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014

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Deutsche Bank busted in money-laundering scheme case

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Prosectors in Frankfurt have dropped their investigation into two Deutsche Bank employees who were accused of aiding tax evasion schemes in the Virgin Islands, due to "lack of suspicion." The institution has instead been fined for compliance lapses.

“With the closure of these proceedings it is clear that the prosecutors have not found any instances of criminal misconduct on the part of Deutsche Bank employees following the raid of our Frankfurt office in November 2018,” Deutsche Bank spokesman Joerg Eigendorf said in a statement.

“The investigation that has now been closed due to lack of sufficient suspicion had a heavy impact on Deutsche Bank last year,” he added. “It is true that the bank had weaknesses in its control environment in the past. We identified these weaknesses and we have addressed them in a disciplined manner.”

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North Carolina towns forced to cancel Christmas celebrations over fear of violence from right wing extremist groups

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Two North Carolina towns are canceling their annual Christmas celebration parades "amid fears of violence due to Confederate groups’ participation in the events," The Daily Beast reports.

Citing a “potential for violence,” for the first time in over 70 years the town of Wake Forest, North Carolina says it will have no Christmas parade. Garner, NC, has also canceled its Christmas parade.

The Daily Beast cites "reports that Garner had plans to include a float sponsored by a chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans but said social-media posts led town officials to believe 'the event could be targeted for disruption.'"

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Giuliani’s deceitful Ukraine business web should leave everyone speechless

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I am not making this up, so fasten your seatbelts belts. It is all downhill from here in the ever-stranger Trump universe.

Moving to the global front pages is a company called Fraud Guarantee. Its co-owners, Ukrainian and U.S. nationals, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, have held many meetings at the Washington, D.C. Trump Hotel with Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York city and the real-life version of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter.

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