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Saudi Arabia’s top cleric issues fatwa against chess

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A fatwa issued by Saudi Arabia’s top cleric prohibiting chess in Islam and equating it with gambling has caused a stir on social media.

In a video of a television programme posted online, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh appears categorical when asked about the board game in Islam.

“Chess is prohibited. It is gambling,” said Sheikh, insisting that it was a “waste of time and money and a cause for animosity between players”.

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The video was originally recorded about a month ago but has resurfaced online, generating strong reactions on social media in recent days.

Among those who have condemned the fatwa is Russian former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

“Saudi Arabia trying to ban chess is stupid, but we should be more concerned about their bans on human rights and democracy,” Kasparov wrote on his Twitter account.

Lebanese television producer Nasser Fakih tweeted: “Saudi mufti has declared chess haram. Apparently this game makes you use your brain, and this is haram!”

And Twitter user @RaKaN4you said: “Ok, how about PlayStation and Xbox, halal or haram?”

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But many tweets were also supportive of the cleric’s decision to issue the fatwa.

Saudi Arabia applies a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam, which imposes many restrictions, including the segregation between men and women in public, and reinforces a ban on women driving.

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Kushner’s business lawyers say lawsuit over horrific apartment conditions is a ‘political attack’

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Responding to a lawsuit from Maryland's Attorney General Brian Frosh charging “unfair or deceptive” rental practices, attorneys for an apartment management company owned by Jared Kushner are saying their client is on the receiving end of a "political attack," The Baltimore Sun reports.

According to the attorneys, Kushner is being singled out by the Maryland AG for his affiliations with the Trump administration, saying Frosh has "overreached, and in overreaching has turned what ought to have been, at best, a small administrative action of dubious merit into a sprawling prosecution threatening to devour the resources of the parties."

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Desperate conservatives unleash a torrent of misogyny to undermine Pamela Karlan’s devastating testimony

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As soon as Pamela Karlan, a constitutional law professor at Stanford who specializes in voting rights, opened her mouth during Wednesday's impeachment hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, I knew she would become the prime if not exclusive focus of the entire right-wing response to the hearing.

This article was originally published at Salon

Republicans were desperate to do anything to keep voters from paying attention to the actual substance of the testimony from the three law professors summoned to explain why Donald Trump should be impeached for his crimes, since the substance of their testimony is irrefutable. And while all three were articulate, intelligent and crystal clear in their arguments, only Karlan was female.

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After getting scorched by Pelosi, Sinclair reporter James Rosen suggests she’s lying about her religion

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James Rosen of Sinclair Broadcasting suggested on Thursday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was lying when she said she does not hate people because her Catholic faith teaches her not to.

Rosen caught the Speaker's wrath at her weekly press conference, when he shouted a question about her "hating" President Donald Trump.

Pelosi responded by coming back to the podium and dressing down Rosen. She noted that Catholics are taught not to hate.

Later, the Sinclair reporter showed up at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) weekly press conference.

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