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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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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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