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Activists file civil rights lawsuit against ‘Muslim-free’ Oklahoma gun range

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Two U.S. activists groups filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday against a rural Oklahoma gun range, arguing that it violated U.S. civil rights laws by posting a sign that said the business was “Muslim free” and barring a Muslim from shooting there.

The lawsuit by the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma Chapter and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma seeks to have the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear store in Oktaha end what the plaintiffs said is blatant discrimination.

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The gun store and range about 120 miles (190 km) east of Oklahoma City, posted a store window sign that reads: “This privately owned business is a Muslim Free establishment.”

It has a posting on its Facebook page saying it will not allow media access or interviews.

The groups filed the lawsuit on behalf of Raja’ee Fatihah, a U.S. Army reservist and investigator for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, after he said he was kicked out of the range for being a Muslim.

Fatihah told a news conference on Wednesday he visited the gun range to talk with the owners about their fear of the Muslim faith. The owners asked him to leave, he said.

“Shooting is something I do as a hobby, and I also practice to keep up my skills as a reservist. When I went to the range, it went normally until I told them I was Muslim,” said Fatihah.

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“The longer we talked, the less willing they were to allow me to use their facilities. Ultimately, they asked me to leave,” he said.

Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear store did not respond to requests to comment. It has 20 days to make a formal response to the lawsuit.

A lawyer representing the store said the case is not about religious discrimination, but instead about public safety.

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“The law does not require a gun shop or gun range owner – owners of an inherently dangerous business – to equip or train the next jihadist,” said Robert Muise with the American Freedom Law Center.

Brady Henderson, legal director for the ACLU of Oklahoma, said he hoped the lawsuit would set a nationwide precedent against businesses discriminating against any citizens based on faith.

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“The Oklahoma case isn’t just about what’s going on in our state, but the nation,” Henderson said at the news conference.

(Reporting by Heide Brandes; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bernard Orr)


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Two impeachment articles expected against President Trump: reports

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Democrats are expected to announce on Tuesday two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, US media reported Monday evening, after laying out their case at a hearing against a president they branded a "clear and present danger" to national security.

The articles will focus on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, The Washington Post said, citing three official familiar with the matter.

It added that the full House of Representatives would vote on the articles next week, ahead of a trial in the Senate.

CNN said a third article on obstruction of justice was still being debated, and the network's sources cautioned that plans were still being finalized.

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Ambassador McFaul ‘shocked’ Trump invited Sergey Lavrov back to the Oval Office: ‘What are they thinking?’

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Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul repeatedly said he was shocked that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

McFaul was interviewed Monday evening by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC "The Last Word," where he contrasted how Trump is treating the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin to the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Ambassador McFaul, I want to get your reaction to the Russian foreign minister meeting tomorrow at the White House, in the Oval Office, with President Trump," O'Donnell said. "That's his second time. President Zelinsky still hasn't gotten that meeting and Donald trump apparently, apparently may be voted articles of impeachment in committee this week because of his interactions with President Zelensky."

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House Judiciary to vote on Thursday to impeach Donald Trump: report

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Democrats are moving ahead with the impeachment of President Donald Trump following another day of testimony on Monday.

"House Democrats plan to unveil at least two articles of impeachment Tuesday, charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, according to multiple lawmakers and aides. The Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the articles on Thursday, setting up a vote on the House floor next week to make Trump the third president in history to be impeached," Politico reported Monday evening.

"Democratic leaders plan to formally announce the articles at a press conference Tuesday morning. Judiciary Committee Democrats intend to meet ahead of the announcement and review the articles," Politico reported. "The decision to move forward with specific impeachment charges is the most significant move yet for the year-old Democratic House majority, a legacy-defining moment for Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sets up a Senate trial for Trump in early 2020."

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