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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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Here’s how Christian Nationalists have shaped the federal government’s response to coronavirus

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On Thursday, appearing on the Slate radio show "The Gist" with Mike Pesca, journalist Catherine Stewart outlined some of the ways the Christian Right is responsible for the federal government's disastrous response to coronavirus.

"The coronavirus pandemic is real wrath-of-God type stuff, isn't it?" said Pesca. "Well, there are some people who are waiting for this, who are ready for this, and who, quite scarily, have been tasked with the response."

"It's a complex question, and I think that Christian Nationalism, which is what we're dealing with here, is not a religion," said Stewart. "Many evangelicals are doing very positive things, many religious people are doing a lot of positive things in this situation with the coronavirus. But Christian Nationalism is not a religion, it's a political ideology that cloaks itself in religious rhetoric. And it's a movement that put Trump in power."

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Jared Kushner ripped by NYT columnist: He will ‘get us all killed’ with his incompetence

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On Thursday, writing for The New York Times, columnist Michelle Goldberg laid into President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who appeared at the day's coronavirus press conference to blame states for the federal government's slow response.

"Reporting on the White House’s herky-jerky coronavirus response, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman has a quotation from Jared Kushner that should make all Americans, and particularly all New Yorkers, dizzy with terror," wrote Goldberg. "According to Sherman, when New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, said that the state would need 30,000 ventilators at the apex of the coronavirus outbreak, Kushner decided that Cuomo was being alarmist. 'I have all this data about I.C.U. capacity,' Kushner reportedly said. 'I'm doing my own projections, and I've gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.'"

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Trump expected to tell all Americans to wear cloth masks in public: report

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The Trump White House is expected to urge Americans to wear cloth face masks when in public to help slow the transmission of coronavirus, in a reversal of current guidelines. The CDC says there is increasing evidence asymptomatic coronavirus carriers may be spreading the virus more than first believed, The Washington Post reports.

But studies going back weeks or longer made clear people who show few or no symptoms are "shedding" more of the virus – spreading it – at a rate higher than some who are fully symptomatic.

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