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Flag-waving Texas man arrested at mosque after wiping boots on prayer rugs and cursing worshipers

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A Texas man was arrested earlier this week after walking into a mosque and wiping his feet on the carpet while screaming obscenities at worshipers.

Witnesses said Mariano Talavera wore military-style clothes and carried an American flag and a large backpack Tuesday afternoon into the Islamic Center of San Antonio, where he then started rubbing his boots on prayer mats, reported KENS-TV.

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Worshipers asked Talavera to remove his boots out of respect, but he instead walked into the nearby women’s prayer room — dragging his feet with every step and screaming obscenities about the Islamic religion.

Muslims typically remove their shoes before praying to avoid tracking dirt from outside into the sanctuary’s symbolically clean space, and visitors are also asked to do so before entering mosques.

Witnesses called police, who arrived and asked Talavera what business he had at the mosque.

Talavera claimed he was there to worship, but officers were skeptical and arrested him on criminal trespassing charges.

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Police seized his backpack, but they haven’t said what he was carrying inside it.

The president of San Antonio’s Council on American-Islamic Relations said vandalism and other crimes against Muslims have spiked recently in Texas.

Vandals hurled feces and a befouled Koran at the entryway to a mosque near Austin following last week’s Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris.

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Mosques elsewhere in the U.S. have also been targeted for threats or vandalism.

Solomon Hamide, president of the Islamic Center of San Antonio, said he and other mosque members did not wish to press charges against Talavera because they fear additional backlash.

He also thanked community members who called to offer their support, especially a woman who invited the mosque’s members to celebrate Thanksgiving next week at her home.

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Watch this news report posted online by KENS-TV:


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Rudy Giuliani’s henchmen claim executive privilege concerns in first court appearance

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Rudy Giuliani's henchmen appeared in court on campaign finance violations, and they may attempt to claim evidence in the case is protected by executive privilege.

Ukrainian-American businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were arrested earlier this month on their way out of the country on one-way tickets, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in their first court appearance, according to Courthouse News.

Prosecutors told the court they had issued subpoenas for 50 bank accounts related to the pair.

But an attorney for Parnas told the judge there may be concerns to sort out related to executive privilege due to their relationship with Giuliani, who serves as President Donald Trump's personal attorney.

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Ukraine blows up key Trump defense: Top officials knew of military aid freeze before it became public

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Top Ukrainian officials were alerted in early August that $391 million in U.S. military aid had been frozen as President Donald Trump sought to pressure the country to investigate Joe Biden.

That undercuts the president's latest defense arguing that the foreign ally couldn't have felt pressured because Ukraine was not yet aware that the aid had been frozen, reported the New York Times.

Former Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor told Congress on Tuesday that the freeze was directly related to Trump's demand for an announcement that Biden was under investigation.

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Trump attorney shocks judge by claiming president could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue: ‘Nothing could be done’

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William Consovoy, an attorney for President Donald Trump, argued in court on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is immune from prosecution if he literally shoots someone on Fifth Avenue.

In a hearing before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, Consovoy took the position that Trump is immune from a subpoena for his financial records, which are being investigated by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

At one point, Judge Denny Chin asked Consovoy about what he called the "Fifth Avenue example," referring to a Trump claim that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.

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