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UN council holds first-ever meeting on LGBT rights

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UN Security Council members on Monday opened their first-ever meeting on LGBT rights to hearSyrian and Iraqi gays tell of terror under Islamic State rule.

“It’s historic,” US Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters ahead of the meeting.

“It’s about time — 70 years after the creation of the UN — that the fate of LGBT persons who fear for their lives around the world is taking center stage.”

UN envoys were to hear accounts from Adnan, an Iraqi who fled northern Iraq after being targeted as gay and from a Syrian, Subhi Nahas, who escaped persecution and now works for a refugee organization in the United States.

Since July 2014, the Islamic State group has released at least seven videos or photos online that show the brutal executions of people accused of “sodomy,” according to the International Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission.

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Jessica Stern, the director of the commission, was also to address the meeting, hosted by the delegations from the United States and Chile.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported last month that IS fighters dropped two men from a building in the city of Palmyra and then stoned them to death.

In December, IS propagandists posted photographs showing jihadists throwing a man off a rooftop and then stoning him to death because he was gay.

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Two men were stoned to death in Syria in November after declaring that they were gay.

The meeting was open to all United Nations member states interested in the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people but it remained unclear how many countries with anti-gay laws would attend.

The United States is leading an international coalition that has vowed to defeat the Islamic State group, which declared a caliphate in June 2014 after seizing the Iraqi city of Mosul.

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The jihadist group now controls large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, and has gained a foothold in Libya, Yemen, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.


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Former Fox & Friends co-host Clayton Morris flees the US as he faces two dozen lawsuits

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Facing more than two-dozen lawsuits alleging he committed real estate fraud, former "Fox & Friends Weekend" co-host Clayton Morris has reportedly fled the United States, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Morris, who previously resided in a $1.4 million home in New Jersey, moved his family to a coastal resort town in Portugal, the newspaper reported, citing a Facebook post from his wife.

Morris's wife and business partner, former MSNBC anchor Natali Morris, told the IndyStar that she and her husband plan to continue fighting the lawsuits from abroad.

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Trump defenders argued his latest tweets weren’t really racist — but he just completely undercut their arguments

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Donald Trump in coal helmet thumbs up

If you try to defend President Donald Trump, you will always end up having the rug pulled out from underneath you. It's a law of nature.

And yet, so many of the president's allies have failed to learn this simple lesson. So when Trump launched a new attack at progressive Democratic lawmakers that was one of his most obviously racist smears, inevitably, some of his defenders tried to deny the obvious truth.

His screed attacked a group of women who have come to define the left wing of the Democratic caucus, which includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Talib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA). Though only Omar is an immigrant (she was a refugee from Somalia as a child), Trump seemed to assume all four women of color weren't born in the United States, and most egregiously, he suggested they should "go back" to other countries:

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UK prime minister hopefuls slam Trump tweets — but refuse to call them racist

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The two candidates vying to become Britain's next prime minister both condemned on Monday US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen as "totally offensive" and "totally unacceptable".

But front-runner Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to call the tweets racist when pressed to do so during their last debate before next week's announcement of who will succeed Prime Minister Theresa May.

May's spokesman had earlier said that the outgoing leader's view was that Trump's comments were "completely unacceptable".

On Monday Trump doubled down on a series of his tweets from the day before urging the four congresswomen of colour to "go back" to the countries they came from.

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