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Facebook shuts down Florida Republican’s AR-15 rifle giveaway for ‘promoting graphic violence’

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Facebook has removed a contest by a Florida candidate for Congress to give away an AR-15 rifle.

Greg Evers, a Republican currently serving in the Senate, said Monday he is giving the weapon away because terrorist incidents are on the rise, NBC News reports. The assault rifle would be given away to a contestant that liked and shared his candidate Facebook page.

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But Facebook removed the post, saying it violated its terms, according to Evers, who shared the response from the social media tech giant to complaints about the post.

“We removed the share you reported for promoting graphic violence,” the response reads.

“CONTEST UPDATE! We’re still up and running on Facebook, but late last night, Facebook removed one of two posts related to the ‘Homeland Defender’ giveaway after a California-based liberal activist reported the post for ‘promoting graphic violence’ (see image below),” Evers wrote. “Facebook couldn’t be more wrong about the nature of the post. But, the good news is that we anticipated this and all contest entries from liking and sharing that post have been saved.”

The contest was posted about a week after a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 at an Orlando gay bar — the largest mass shooting in recent American history.

Some people responded to the contest with anger, while others supported it.

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“What a horrible, insensitive and tasteless human being you are, Greg Evers,” one woman wrote. “You could get media attention for so many other things- you could actually try and help someone. Instead, you isolate so many and try to drive this country apart. Shame on you. I will be donating to your opponents this election, and I’m not in your district.”

Shortly after the massacre at Pulse in Orlando, Evers was one of the politicians offering “thoughts and prayers,” a move that requires no action and has thus been mocked.

“Save your prayers, hypocrite,” one man responded angrily. “YOU are enabling terrorists, both foreign and domestic, by your support of the sale of assault-type weapons to civilians. Imagine how you’d feel if you had a child or family member killed by one of these unnecessary weapons. You, not immigrants, are what’s wrong with America!”

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California says film, TV production can resume June 12

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California will allow film, television and music production to resume from June 12 if conditions permit after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the governor's office said Friday.

Film and television productions in the Golden State have been shuttered since mid-March.

The reopening will be subject to approval by local health officers, the California Public Health Office said.

"To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers," it said.

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Susan Collins skipped Trump’s visit to Maine after president threatened colleague Lisa Murkowski

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Protesters were expected to meet President Donald Trump on his Friday afternoon visit to Maine, but Senator Susan Collins, caught in the middle of a hotly contested re-election race this fall, did not.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Instead, the embattled Republican senator will be in Washington, where she has "several federal and non-federal events on her schedule," a Collins spokeswoman told NBC News.

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French forces kill leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

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France said its forces have killed the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in a blow to the group behind a string of deadly attacks across the troubled Sahel region.

Abdelmalek Droukdel was killed on Thursday in northern Mali near the Algerian border, where the group has bases from which it has carried out attacks and abductions of Westerners in the sub-Saharan Sahel zone, Defence Minister Florence Parly said Friday.

"Many close associates" of the Algerian -- who commanded several affiliate jihadist groups across the lawless region -- were also "neutralised", she added.

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