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‘Welcome to America’: Australia’s first female Muslim parliamentarian ‘interrogated’ at LAX

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Australia’s first female, Muslim lawmaker was dragged in for interrogation at Los Angeles International Airport, according to Australian news reports.

Mehreen Faruqi is a member of the Australian parliament, representing New South Wales, ABC Australia reports. She posted to Twitter on Thursday that she flew into LAX and was promptly fingerprinted. Airport security then asked her how she and her travel companions “got” Australian passports.

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“Welcome to America,” she wrote wryly.

Faruqi immigrated to Australia from Pakistan in 1992 and joined the Greens Party in 2004. She became a member of parliament in 2013.

Faruqi told ABC Australia she was traveling to the U.S. to learn about drug law reform, and also to visit family.

“Being asked how ‘we got’ Australian passports and then about my Pakistani history clearly points towards racial profiling,” she said in a statement to the news agency.

“It is quite ridiculous, nerve wracking and scary to be treated so suspiciously for no reason and sent off to be interrogated,” she continued. “There is no excuse for treating people this way. I’ve come to the US to find out more about drugs policy reform and to meet family. To be treated with such hostility at Los Angeles airport is the last thing you expect.”

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Before departing to the United States, the MP, who holds a PhD in environmental engineering, took to her Facebook page to explain her reasons for visiting.

“In the coming days, I’ll be embarking on a self-funded fact-finding trip to the United States, in part to meet with leading drug law reform experts, advocates and campaigners,” she wrote. “There is a real mood for change in Australia now, and it’s imperative we look at where reform efforts are happening around the world to determine the best way forward at home.”


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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