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Protesters in Iran chant ‘Death to France’ over Mohammed cartoon

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More than 2,000 Iranians protested Monday outside the French embassy in Tehran, chanting “Death to France” and urging the ambassador be expelled because of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

The demonstration was in response to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s use of the cartoon in an edition published a week after 12 people were killed by Islamist gunmen at its Paris offices.

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The image has angered many Muslims as depictions of Mohammed are widely considered forbidden in Islam, and has triggered protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, some of which turned deadly.

Iran denounced the Paris massacre but it also condemned the magazine’s new cartoon, where the prophet holds a “Je suis Charlie” sign under the heading “All is forgiven”.

Plans for Monday’s protest led the French ambassador to announce that the embassy, located in busy downtown Tehran, would be closed all day.

The gathering, organised by students but attended by all age groups, was given a heavy security detail of around 150 Iranian police, and although noisy it passed off peacefully after two hours.

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One speaker said the demonstration was to “condemn the insult of Charlie Hebdo,” but also to denounce that “the embassy forces women to remove their veils to get a visa”.

In Iran, women, regardless of their religious denomination, must have their hair and neck covered by a veil under a female dress code in force since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

“The least I can do is protest against this insult, we condemn insults of the prophet,” a woman in her 50s wearing a traditional head-to-toe black chador told AFP.

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As in customary in Iran, men and women were segregated at the protest.

Those gathered also criticised Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for being in Paris for a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.

The organisers in a final statement asked Zarif to apologise for making the trip “just two days after this disgraceful cartoon was published,” also demanding the French ambassador be expelled.

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Democrats’ refusal to impeach Trump is a ‘bigger national scandal’ than him breaking the law: Ocasio-Cortez

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized House Democrats on Saturday for their unwillingness to impeach President Donald Trump despite new revelations that he may have pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his potential Democratic rivals in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior - it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday night.

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Mnuchin admits White House has transcript of Ukraine call and ‘they’re going to be kept confidential’

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed on Sunday that the White House does have a transcript of President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Mnuchin if he had an objection to Congress' request to see a transcript in which Trump allegedly asks Zelensky to open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

While confirming that a transcript of the call exists, Mnuchin said that House Democrats have no right to see it.

"What I have a problem with is Congress asking for a transcript between world leaders," he told Todd. "I think that those are confidential discussions and that’s a difficult precedent."

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‘Should we talk about Ivanka?’: MSNBC guest calls for Trump family investigation if Biden’s son is scrutinized

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During a panel discussion on Donald Trump's call for an investigation of Joe Biden's son Hunter over his Ukraine dealings, an "AM Joy" guest said if Congress is going to investigate politician's kids why not start with Ivanka Trump and her brothers Don Jr. and Eric.

Speaking with MSNBC host Joy Reid, Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan called out President Donald Trump for his "brazenness" going after the former vice president's son.

"There's so much to say about this story, as for the Ukrainian denials, what are they going to do, come out and say, 'Yes, Donald Trump did pressure our president eight times in a single phone call'? It's absurd." Hasan began.

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