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Christian convert hacked to death in Bangladesh

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Unidentified attackers hacked a Christian convert to death in northern Bangladesh Tuesday, amid growing attacks on religious minorities by suspected Islamist militants in the Muslim-majority country.

Police said at least two attackers stopped Hossain Ali while the 68-year-old was taking his regular morning walk in the town of Kurigram and then lunged at his neck with sharp weapons.

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“He died on the spot. The attackers exploded a molotov cocktail to create panic and left the scene on a motorcycle,” Kurigram district police chief Tobarak Ullah told AFP.

Ullah said Ali had converted to Christianity from Islam in 1999 but he was not sure whether the deadly attack was carried out by Islamists or if there was another motive.

“He was not a pastor or reputed Christian. Also there were some disputes over his family properties,” Ullah said.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the killing.

But in recent months militants claiming to be soldiers of the Islamic State group have claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on converts and minorities including Shiite, Sufi and Ahmadi Muslims, Christians and Hindus.

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Last week the IS said it killed a Shiite convert from Sunni Islam in the southwestern town of Kaliganj. In January an alleged Christian convert was also murdered by the same group.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government denies that Islamic State has a presence in Bangladesh. It blames the banned homegrown militant group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh for the upsurge in deadly violence.

Bangladesh has been plagued by unrest in the last three years. Experts say a long-running political crisis has radicalised opponents of the government.

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BUSTED: Trump said no one saw pandemic coming — but his own officials admitted it kept them up at night

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President Donald Trump has tried to claim that the coronavirus pandemic came out of nowhere and that his administration couldn't have possibly been better prepared for it.

However, CNN reports that past statements from his own administration's officials show that the threat of a pandemic hammering the United States was long seen as a danger that the country was not equipped to handle.

"Of course, the thing that people ask: 'What keeps you most up at night in the biodefense world?' Pandemic flu, of course," said Trump HHS Secretary Alex Azar nearly one year ago.

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Arkansas church vows to continue services: ‘Jesus died with COVID-19 so that you didn’t have to bear it’

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An Arkansas church intends to hold church services despite recommendations from state officials to limit gatherings as part of the fight against the coronavirus.

Awaken Church, in Jonesboro, vowed in a Facebook post to continue holding services in defiance of a Health Department directive banning gatherings of 10 or more, and after churches in other parts of the country were the source of community outbreaks, reported Newsweek.

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2020 Election

Trump’s path to re-election ‘smashed to splinters’ as his only achievement is swallowed up by the pandemic: report

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In a piece for Politico, Ben White writes that Donald Trump was going into November's election with only one achievement under his belt -- a healthy economy -- and now he has nothing left to run if he wants to be re-elected.

With all of the gains made in the stock market long gone due to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, White claims that the president's campaign strategy lies in tatters.

"The fundamental pillars of Donald Trump’s presidency — a hot economy, strong job growth and a rocking stock market — are all being smashed to splinters by the ravaging coronavirus, which has shuttered much of the nation and now officially ended a streak of 113 months of job gains dating back to the end of the Great Recession a decade ago," he wrote before noting the explosion of unemployment claims -- over ten million so far -- that has the country reeling.

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