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19 hospitalized after intentional release of chlorine gas at Chicago ‘furry’ animal character confab

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Police say the release of chlorine gas that hospitalized 19 people and forced the evacuation of the Midwest FurFest was intentional, the Chicago Tribune reports.

At approximately 12:40 a.m., first responders were called to investigate a “noxious odor” at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosement, which was hosting the Midwest FurFest. The Rosemont Public Safety department was called in and found a high level of chlorine gas in the air.

Authorities immediately ordered all the convention-goers — many of whom were in anthropomorphic animal costumes — to exit the building. They were not allowed to return until almost 4 a.m.

HAZMAT technicians located the cause of the odor, powdered chlorine, on a ninth floor stairwell and determined that it was placed there in a manner that “suggests an intentional act,” police said.

The annual convention “celebrate[s] furry fandom, that is, art, literature, and performance based around anthropomorphic animals,” according to its website.

One convention attendee, Thomas Zell, told the Tribune that most people “thought this was just someone pulling the fire alarm” in an attempt to humiliate the costumed attendees by making them stand outside — as that apparently is a regular occurrence at these conventions.

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“But it was serious this time,” he added.

Ironically, the official Midwest FurFest Twitter account retweeted a video praising the convention’s strict security the day before:

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People are calling Denver’s newest city council member a communist — but she’d rather be called an anarchist

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On April 10, Candi CdeBaca’s 33rd birthday, Denver’s second “bomb cyclone” of the year brought snow and heavy wind, and knocked out power in some areas, including at CdeBaca’s house in Elyria-Swansea. When CdeBaca, then a Denver City Council candidate, finally got power back and turned on her phone, she saw she had an unusually high number of missed calls and messages. Birthday wishes, she assumed.

“There was a death threat,” she said. “There were two of them within an hour. One of them said, ‘I was trained to kill commie shit like you.’”

The context: At a candidate forum on April 7, CdeBaca offered some remarks that, to many, sounded like she was advocating a Communist form of government.

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Iran says new ‘mentally retarded’ Trump sanctions mean ‘permanent closure’ of diplomacy

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Iran said Tuesday that new US sanctions targeting its supreme leader meant a “permanent closure” of diplomacy, while the country’s president labelled the White House “mentally retarded” as tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated.

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing the sanctions against Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday, taking a dramatic and unprecedented step to increase pressure on Iran after Tehran’s downing of an American drone last week.

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‘Dangerous linguistic power’: A historian explains how Trump weaponizes nicknames

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Is Donald Trump the modern day Earl Long?

A three-time Louisiana governor, Long mastered the art of political ridicule seven decades ago by weaponizing nicknames. The hilarious names Long pinned on his rivals, and the rollicking stories he told about them, riveted audiences bored by puffed-up rhetoric.

While Long’s stunts may be remembered as silly hijinks, there was a sly, often deadly serious, purpose to his technique. He used it to get voters to laugh at his foes and to put them on the defensive––a place politicians never want to be. Tucked within Long’s jests were razor-sharp attacks aimed at exploiting opposition weaknesses––hidden swords inside a pea-patch cloak.

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