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Christian extremist shoots trans woman in the face — but in Pence’s Indiana it’s not a hate crime

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When is a hate crime not a hate crime? If it happens in vice presidential nominee Mike Pence’s state of Indiana, it cannot be a hate crime: Indiana does not have a hate crimes statute. So, for Crystal Cash, a transgender woman who was shot in the face, police will not be pursuing hate crime charges against the man who Cash alleges shouted an anti-gay slur at her before shooting her.

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Cash, 55, is currently unable to speak after being shot in the face at her Perfect You Permanent Cosmetics shop in Evansville last week.

The case has been complicated by the police — who have implied that Cash is a prostitute — and by whether her assailant, identified as Gerald Duane Lewis (AKA Gadiell Ben Israel), belongs to an organization identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a hate group.

The SPLC identifies Lewis/Israel’s church as violently anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT. The Israel United in Christ Church, on its Tumblr page, denounces interracial marriage as a sin and an abomination, and also commands its followers not to vote. In recent posts, it commented upon a recent house fire that killed seven children that it was a lesson to be learned about “defiling the sabbath.” The organization posted a note on its website denying that Lewis was a current member of the group.

When the Evansville Courier-Press reported on the arrest, it paraphrased the police report:

“Investigators noted in the arrest affidavit that Cash operates a known massage parlor in one of the spaces in the building where the shooting happened. Cash is a frequent poster on Backpage.com, an adult services website that police have expressed concern about in the past.

Lewis was arrested Monday afternoon. In an interview with police at the hospital, Cash told investigators she had met Lewis on the street and called the meeting “completely random,” according to the affidavit. Investigators wrote that Cash said she had shown Lewis “her website” before the shooting.”

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It is not clear why police mentioned that Cash, who runs a cosmetics business where she is listed as licensed in several professional cosmetic practices, allegedly advertises a “massage parlor” in the police report. Cash’s brother refutes the police version of events, and says that his sister allowed the suspect into her shop in order to use the bathroom.

Johnny Dickens, Cash’s brother, says that his sister has been in a “committed relationship for twenty years.” He alleges that police are trying to portray his sister as a prostitute rather than as a transgender businesswoman who was targeted by a Christian extremist.

According to Courier news reports, there was initial confusion after the events as police reported that a “man” had been shot. Cash was able to describe the suspect in writing, whom she said was wearing an “Israeli-Christian” tee shirt. Lewis/Israel is being held on $5 million bond/$500,000 cash for attempted murder, robbery, and carrying a handgun without a permit. The suspect was arrested with a 9mm in his possession.

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Harvard researchers want less accurate tests for COVID-19

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The aphorism "perfect is the enemy of good enough" has been played out to tragic effect in the US's inadequate testing for the coronavirus, according to researchers calling for quick tests that cost only about a dollar each, and which may not be as accurate but can be carried out several times a week by the whole population.

Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard University, has for weeks been pushing for what he calls "crappy" tests.

His idea is to move away from the current high-precision molecular tests, known as PCR tests, which are still scarce in large swathes of the country and which people often have to wait hours to get done, and then have to wait days -- or up to a week -- for the results.

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WATCH: Seth Meyers goes after ‘sociopath’ Jared Kushner for America’s coronavirus failures

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The host of "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on NBC harshly criticized senior White House advisor Jared Kushner for America's COVID-19 testing failures.

"More than 155,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus pandemic," Meyers noted. "Cases are rising in more than 20 states. The U.S. now accounts for one-quarter of all coronavirus deaths in the world."

"And in some parts of the country, people are waiting as long as two-weeks to get their test results -- which is insane. The whole point of testing is to find cases, isolate them and trace their contacts. If it takes two weeks, it's pointless."

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Virologist rips Deborah Birx: ‘She’s ignored the evidence’ with her ‘willful disregard for the science’

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The White House coronavirus coordinator continues to lose support among the medical community, according to a new report in The Washington Post.

The report noted Dr. Deborah Birx has also been undermined by Trump, who attacked her on Twitter.

So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!

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