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Ben Carson compares Syrian refugees to ‘a rabid dog running around your neighborhood’

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Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Thursday likened refugees fleeing violence in Syria to “rabid dogs,” and said that allowing them into the United States would put Americans at risk.

“If there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog,” Carson, a front-runner in some opinion polls, said Thursday at a campaign event in Mobile, Alabama.

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“By the same token, we have to have in place screening mechanisms that allow us to determine who the mad dogs are, quite frankly,” the retired neurosurgeon said, criticizing President Barack Obama’s plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees within a year.

Obama administration officials have emphasized the refugee vetting process, which can take as long as two years.

But Republican presidential candidates and dozens of Republican governors have come out strongly against the refugee plan this week following the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris on Friday.

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives, defying a veto threat by Obama, overwhelmingly passed Republican-backed legislation to intensify security screenings of Syrian refugees and suspend the program to admit 10,000.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic relations, denounced Carson’s comments as “unconscionable,” saying they point to Carson’s “complete disregard” for American Muslims.

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“It really is unconscionable that he would stoop to such levels in smearing people who are fleeing violence and oppression, seeking a better life. Something he, himself, would do if put in the same circumstances,” he said.

Carson said, “Who are the people who want to come in here and hurt us and want to destroy us? … It is foolish for us to accept people if we cannot have the appropriate type of screening.”

Carson has called for Congress to cut off funding to programs used to bring refugees into the country.

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COVID-19

White House adds 20 percent increase to ‘best case’ projection of coronavirus deaths

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The White House is moving the goal posts once again. Instead of taking drastic action, like asking every state's governor to mandate a quarantine to reduce the spread of coronavirus, it is quietly upping its projected death toll, just one day after stunning Americans with a six-digit death rate.

On Sunday President Donald Trump told Americans he thinks if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done "a very good job."

On Monday Dr. Deborah Birx announced the White House is projecting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.

Tuesday evening, the number increased 20 percent.

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Elections 2016

Olympic athletes in ‘impossible position’ – Canada

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Canadian Olympic chiefs said Monday the health and safety of athletes had prompted the country's decision to withdraw its team from the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after Canada became the first team to announce its withdrawal from the July 24-August 9 Games, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief David Shoemaker said athletes had been left in an "impossible position."

With public health authorities urging individuals to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19, athletes had been caught between a desire to heed health and safety advice while trying to minimize disruption to training programs.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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