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Former Scientologist forced to have abortion wins major legal victory against church

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It took seven years, but a former Scientologist will see her lawsuit against the church — which she says kept her captive and forced her to have an abortion — go to trial, KABC reports.

Laura Ann DeCrescenzo, who began doing volunteer work for the Church of Scientology at the age of six, received good news this week when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Doyle denied a motion by lawyers for the Church of Scientology International to dismiss her case.

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DeCrescenzo is suing the church for false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unfair business practices and wage-and-hour violations, as well as claiming that the church coerced into having an abortion at the age of 17.

According to DeCrescenzo, she was kept a virtual prisoner by the church for years.

“I wasn’t allowed to speak with my family. You’re not allowed to have more than twenty dollars on you at any given time,” explained DeCrescenzo. “You’re not allowed to go anywhere without another person. You’re watched 24/7.”

DeCrescenzo says she remained a member of the church for years after the abortion, stating that church officials psychologically abused her after she became pregnant, telling her that she would be left homeless and unable to find a job and denied the ability to ever see her husband again.

According to the woman, she finally escaped the church in 2004 when she pretended to attempt suicide by swallowing a cup of bleach.

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She abandoned the church for good four years later.

Watch the video below via KABC:

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Sondland briefed Pompeo on Trump’s Ukraine scheme — and secretary of state signed off on it: report

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President Donald Trump's ambassador to the European Union kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the loop on efforts to pressure Ukraine's president to announce an investigation of Joe Biden.

Gordon Sondland notified Pompeo in mid-August of a draft statement he'd produced with another U.S. diplomat and Ukrainian officials that they hoped would persuade Trump to invite Volodymyr Zelensky to the Oval Office, reported the New York Times.

He and Pompeo discussed later that month the possibility of pushing Zelensky to pledge during a planned meeting with Trump in Warsaw that he would pursue the investigation sought by the U.S. president in hopes of smoothing relations between the two countries, according to two sources who were briefed on the matter.

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MSNBC’s Mika shocked by Morning Joe’s withering criticism of House GOP: ‘I’ve never heard you accuse someone of that’

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MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski was astonished by her co-host and husband Joe Scarborough's denunciation of congressional Republicans.

The "Morning Joe" hosts agreed GOP attacks on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who earned a Purple Heart fighting in the Iraq War, and other impeachment inquiry witnesses were shameful, but Scarborough went even further in his criticism.

"People talk about the time, 'It's a time we're in,' -- no, it's not," Scarborough said. "It's lack of character among people on these committees, just a lack of character and a lack of love of country that they put their political party above their country."

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Sewer campus escape bid by Hong Kong protesters ends in arrest

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Two pro-democracy protesters were arrested Wednesday as they emerged from a manhole on a Hong Kong road outside a besieged campus, in a thwarted escape bid from inside the university.

Two male protesters holed up in the campus for days were detained along with four people lowering ropes to help them out from the drainage system, police said.

They apparently crawled through fetid sewers to a manhole outside a housing estate around half a kilometre from city centre grounds of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the scene of the dramatic siege by police.

The group were arrested for a range of offences including "taking part in a riot" and "assisting offenders", chief superintendent Ricky Ho told reporters late Wednesday.

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