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Dalai Lama visits Birmingham Baptist church, site of tragic 1963 bombing

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BIRMINGHAM Ala. (Reuters) – The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet, visited one of America’s sacred sanctuaries on Saturday, touring the church where four African-American girls were killed in a 1963 bombing that galvanized the civil rights movement.

As more than 300 protesters and supporters chanted and beat drums outside, the Dalai Lama held hands with Birmingham Mayor William Bell inside the 16th Street Baptist Church and said he was overjoyed to stand at the site where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders in the 1960s launched rallies for freedom for African-Americans.

“Human rights starts from within,” the Dalai Lama said. “It does not come from skies. It does grow from earth.”

He said: ”Martin Luther King was important to the acceptance of civil rights. Now the American people, majority are white, accept the reality.”

The Dalai Lama talked about income inequality as a threat to peace.

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“Because of the economic situation, there is frustration,” he said. “Frustration brings anger. Then anger brings violence.

“There are no billionaires in Tibet. There is no gap.“

The 79-year-old Tenzin Gyatso, enthroned in 1950 as the 14th Dalai Lama, responded to questions about his future and said Buddhism would continue without a Dalai Lama.

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“Some people think it’s important to Buddhism,” he said. “It’s not.”

Outside the church, protesters from the International Shugden Community, who say the Dalai Lama has persecuted them for following Dorje Shugden, an ancient Buddhist deity he denounced decades ago, shouted: “Stop lying, false Dalai Lama.”

They said they were discriminated against in India and other communities of Tibetan exiles.

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The Dalai Lama said Shugden Buddhism was never banned, but he does not support the practice.

Little more than 50 years ago, demonstrators protesting segregation laws rallied at almost the same spot, braving fire hoses and police attack dogs.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Lisa Von Ahn)


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Fox News hires former Trump spokesman as Senior Vice President: report

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The revolving door between the White House and Fox News was spinning on Friday as a former spokesman for President Donald Trump was hired by Fox News.

"A bit of news: Raj Shah, the former spokesman in the White House, is joining Fox as a senior Vice President," Washington Post White House correspondent Josh Dawsey reported on Friday.

https://twitter.com/jdawsey1/status/1152374273522241537

After Hope Hicks left her job as White House communications director, she was hired to lead corporate communications for New Fox, the parent company of Fox News.

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Here’s why President Trump’s explicit racism is an impeachable offense

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Without even waiting for former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify about President Donald Trump's obstruction of justice, Democrats are legally justified in acting now to impeach the president for his explicit racism, a civil rights activist argued on Friday.

Journalist and author Shaun King laid out his argument in a column published by The Intercept.

To make his argument, King explained the difference between implicit and explicit racism.

"Across the country, corporations and government agencies, including police departments, are offering a wave of what’s called 'implicit bias training.' The fundamental theory is that, in this country, otherwise well-meaning employees can be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or xenophobic in ways that they may not really even be aware of," he explained. "It’s the notion that people unknowingly or unconsciously discriminate against others."

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Watch Joy Reid’s epic correction of GOP strategist: ‘This is going to be a white nationalist reelection’

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President Donald Trump will continue to attack the four young women of color in Congress known as The Squad, MSNBC anchor Joy Reid predicted on Friday.

Trump has repeatedly used racist attacks to target the four, who are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

Host Steve Kornacki interviewed Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour about Trump's message.

"So Noelle, for Republicans, again the folks who were getting in touch with [Mike] Pence and saying 'make Trump stop doing this,' do they have to be ready now for the possibility Trump’s going to keep doing these rallies, he wants to run against these four congresswomen in particular, make them the face of the Democratic Party?" Kornacki asked. "If the crowd starts chanting again, 'send her back,' 'send them back,” doesn't stop, is this going to be a feature of Trump rallies from here through 2020?"

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