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Muslim student arrested over homemade clock seeks millions from Texas city, schools

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The family of a Texas teenager, arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb, demanded $15 million in damages and an apology from the city of Irving and its schools to avoid a lawsuit, lawyers said on Monday.

The lawyers represent the family of Ahmed Mohamed, 14, a Muslim student who dabbles in robotics and attended a Dallas-area high school. His arrest in September sparked controversy, with many saying he was taken into custody because of his religion.

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In separate letters to the city of Irving, located west of Dallas, and the Irving Independent School District, lawyers said the ninth grader was wrongfully arrested, illegally detained and questioned without his parents.

The Mohamed family is asking for $10 million from the city and $5 million from the school district or they will file civil lawsuits within 60 days, the letter said.

“Understandably, Mr. Mohamed was furious at the treatment of his son – and at the rancid, openly discriminatory intent that motivated it,” attorneys said in one of the letters.

City and school district officials were not immediately available for comment.

The boy’s family said in October that they would be moving to Qatar and he had accepted an offer from the Qatar Foundation to study at its Young Innovators Program. The announcement came a few hours after he was at the White House for an astronomy night hosted by President Barack Obama.

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Ahmed won support from Obama and other major U.S. figures, including Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who said “having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest.”

The family, now living in Doha, has also traveled the globe to meet foreign dignitaries.

Sudanese state radio reported that his father took him to meet Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The Sudanese leader is accused by the International Criminal Court of masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes during Sudan’s Darfur conflict.

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Despite several television appearances and worldwide travel, the Mohamed family insists the attention actually ruined their lives and eventually drove them out of the country, lawyers said.

(Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Jonathan Oatis)

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GOP officials admit 2020 platform is basically whatever’s on Trump’s Twitter account

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President Donald Trump has shaped the Republican Party into his own image in less than four years on the job, and that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.

Nearly half of the House Republicans on the job when Trump took office in 2017 have either retired, resigned, been defeated or are retiring in 2020, and many of the GOP newcomers are devoted Trump loyalists, reported Politico.

“Whether the president wins or loses, his policy views and style have firmly taken over the Republican Party — nationalism and white grievance, those kinds of things,” said Matt Moore, former chairman of South Carolina's GOP. “I don’t think that Trumpy politics will be leaving the stage anytime soon.”

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Coronavirus data disappears from CDC dashboard after Trump hijacks info

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The Trump administration on Tuesday forced all hospitals and states to make a significant and immediate change in how they report coronavirus patient data, hijacking the information to be funneled into the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Experts warned the move could allow the administration to politicize the data, hide it, be less transparent, all of which interferes in the real-time usage of information to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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Driver hits 63-year-old man with his car after he asked him to wear a mask in a store: police

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A Rhode Island driver is being accused of hitting a 63-year-old man with his car after the man had confronted him about not wearing a face mask into a local convenience store.

Local news station WJAR 10 reports that 63-year-old William Beauchene got into an argument this week with a 30-year-old man named Ralph Buontempo, who had gone into the convenience store in the town of Lincoln, Rhode Island without wearing a mask.

Witnesses told police that the two men began yelling obscenities at one another, and that at one point Buontempo slapped a cup of coffee out of Beauchene's hand, which then splashed all over the store manager who had come outside to try to deescalate the confrontation.

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