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Instagram deletes account of Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

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Photosharing service Instagram has deleted an account dedicated to Iran’s revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini just days before the 26th anniversary of his death, Iranian media reported on Monday.

The @EmamKhomeini account, which published rare or unseen photos of the Islamic republic’s founder, had 100,000 followers before it was removed.

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“Instagram in an email announced the deletion of the page … and only provided the automated generic text banning violent, pornographic or advertisement content,” according to Iranian media.

Another account @EmamKhomeiny, was created to replace it as Iran prepares to mark the anniversary Thursday of Khomeini’s death.

Iran, which has 40 million Internet users among a population of nearly 78 million, has blocked many news, political or pornographic sites and several social networks, especially Twitter and Facebook, since mass protests in June 2009 challenging the re-election of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranians use software to circumvent the restrictions.

Iran began filtering images on Instagram in late 2014 to censor content deemed “offensive” as part of a government project to selectively control social networks.

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President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has pledged an easing of Internet censorship but he has faced resistance from hardliners.


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2020 Election

Trump’s latest attack on Joe Biden is stunningly delusional — even for him

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Few ever accuse President Donald Trump of subtlety. But in a new speech in Cleveland on Thursday, he let loose with a particularly wild rant against his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, that was over-the-top, even for him.

It’s worth just quoting in full:

He’s following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns. Destroy your Second Amendment. No religion! No anything! Hurt the Bible! Hurt God! He’s against God! He’s against guns! He’s against energy, our kind of energy. Uh, I don’t think he’s going to do too well in Ohio.

Many people pointed out that there’s much more evidence that Biden is a committed Christian than there is for Trump. But almost that seems to miss several key points about how wild this is:

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Angst-ridden Republicans should have acted when Trump put his reelection above national security concerns: conservative columnist

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, columnist Jennifer Rubin says that Senate Republicans are in serious trouble, especially in light of the stimulus bill they rolled out this week.

According to Rubin, the Senate GOP is in dire straits because "they have allowed the anti-government, anti-science Trump sycophants to disclaim any interest in the bill, thereby handing the reins to Democrats."

Rubin writes that some Republicans saying they want to see essential workers being taken care of in the bill are speaking up too late. "If only they they had some power in February to remove the unfit and corrupt president from office, instead of leaving him there to purge witnesses from his administration, seek vengeance on foes, force out inspectors general and botch the response to the coronavirus," Rubin writes.

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Gunman seizes hostages in a bank in French port city of Le Havre

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A man armed with a gun was holding three people hostage in a bank in northern France on Thursday, officials said, and two police union sources said the gunman was believed to have Islamist ties.

An elite tactical unit of the French police was on its way to the scene in the port of Le Havre, police said.

A representative of the national police told Reuters the hostage-taker had initially seized six people at the bank, but two had subsequently been released. It was unclear if a third person was released or had escaped.

The police representative said the hostage-taker was a 34-year-old man with a history of mental health problems. The man's weapon was a handgun, police said.

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