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Police arrest Minnesota man suspected of firebombing Muslim-owned restaurant

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Police have arrested a Minnesota man accused of firebombing a Muslim-owned restaurant in South Dakota.

Matthew Gust, of East Grand Forks, was charged Friday with arson after police said he threw a 40-ounce beer bottle filled with gasoline Dec. 8 through the window of Juba Coffee House and Restaurant, reported the Grand Forks Herald.

The restaurant was closed and empty at the time, and no injuries were reported, but the fire caused about $90,000 in damages.

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Police were unable to locate the 25-year-old Gust, who has several prior felony convictions, until late Tuesday afternoon, when they arrested him at a Super 8 Motel in Fosston, Minnesota.

If convicted of the Class B felony in connection with the firebombing, Gust faces up to 10 years in prison.

Police have not questioned Gust, and they did not want to speculate about his motive.

But the attack “fits a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community since the Paris attacks, the San Bernardino killings and anti-Muslim rhetoric by public figures like Donald Trump,” said the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in a statement.

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The restaurant, whose Somali owners have vowed to rebuild in the same location, was targeted several days before the fire with Nazi swastika graffiti and the words “go home” spray-painted on the building.

Investigators have not said whether they believe the incidents are related.


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Trump boasts about ordering Iran strike while reporters watch: ‘You’d have a nice, big story to report’

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During an appearance with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the Oval Office, Donald Trump boasted to reporters he could wipe out Iran that very moment-- and that would give them something to write about.

The president referred to the fact that he has previously been accused of wanting to plunge the country into war before praising himself for his self-restraint.

That led to an extended riff by the president on the damage he could inflict on Iran.

"The easiest thing I could do would be, 'Go ahead, fellas, go do it,'" Trump said of the Pentagon. "And that would be a very bad day for Iran. That's the easiest thing I could do, it's so easy. And for all of those that say, 'Oh, they should do it, it shows weakness,' actually, in my opinion, it shows strength."

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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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‘Time for a new special counsel’: Ex-DOJ inspector general calls for formal probe of Trump-Ukraine calls

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A veteran law enforcement official called for a new special counsel investigation of President Donald Trump's communications with the Ukrainian president.

An intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint against the president, and speculation has begun to focus the report concerns Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. aid -- and former Justice Department official Michael Bromwich called for a formal probe.

"Time for a new Special Counsel," Bromwich tweeted.

Bromwich -- inspector general for the Department of Justice from 1994-1999, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra -- was responding to a summation of the allegations against Trump.

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