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Philippine leader says he once threw a man from a helicopter — and would do it again

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened corrupt government officials with the prospect of being thrown out of a helicopter mid-air, warning he has done it himself before and had no qualms about doing it again.

The fiery-tempered former prosecutor said he once hurled a Chinese man suspected of rape and murder out of a helicopter.

“If you are corrupt, I will fetch you using a helicopter to Manila and I will throw you out. I have done this before, why would I not do it again?” Duterte said during a speech to victims of a typhoon on Tuesday, a clip of which is posted on a video feed of the president’s office.

Duterte’s latest threat comes just a few weeks after he admitted killing people during his 22 years as a mayor of Davao City, sometimes riding a motorcycle looking for “encounters to kill”.

He said those killings were part of legitimate police operations, including a hostage incident. Some senators have warned Duterte he risks impeachment over his comments.

Duterte also said six people arrested last week during a seizure of more than half a tonne of methamphetamine, known locally as “shabu”, in the capital were fortunate he was out of town.

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“They were lucky I was not in Manila that time. If I had known there were that much shabu inside a house, I would definitely kill you,” he said.

“Let’s not make any drama, I will personally gun you down if nobody else will do it.”

It was not immediately clear when or where the helicopter incident Duterte spoke of took place. His spokesman, Ernesto Abella, suggested it may not have actually happened.

“Let’s just say, ‘urban legend’,” Abella told reporters, without elaborating.

The United Nations’ top human rights envoy has called for an investigation into Duterte’s claims of killing people, to which Duterte last week responded by calling him “stupid”, an “idiot” and a “son of a bitch” who should go back to school. (Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Trump’s anti-abortion rule attacking Planned Parenthood can go into effect in 49 states: appeals court

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According to the Associated Press, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that President Donald Trump's domestic "gag rule" can take effect while litigation proceeds, potentially making it far harder for low-income women to access abortion care.

District judges in California, Oregon, and Washington previously blocked the rule from taking effect. But a three-judge panel in San Francisco today said that the rule was "reasonable" as an interpretation of federal law, and lifted the injunction preventing it from being enforced. The rule can now take effect in every state except Maryland, where another federal judge's order has still enjoined the policy.

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Trump supporter struggles to explain racism towards Muslim neighbor: ‘They were just — walking around’

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In an extensive report by The New York Times, Somali refugees in St. Cloud, Minnesota lamented that they face an absurd amount of racism after fleeing ISIS and a war-torn country.

The story describes a local meeting at the Faith Lutheran Church where a free-flowing discussion about politics, abortion, and more quickly turned to discuss the so-called "refugee problem."

Nearly every person in attendance gave support to President Donald Trump. "Others said that markers of progress were more interpersonal, and they would only be comfortable in their community if the Somali-born refugees converted to Christianity," the Times wrote.

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Chuck Schumer caught on tape doing a happy dance leaving the White House — what does it mean for war with Iran?

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were caught on video doing a strange motion after their meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump over the Iran conflict.

It's unclear what was happening just from observing, Pelosi was seen applauding and Schumer seemed to be raising the roof, or at least dancing like no one was watching.

It could mean that there was a positive resolution about Iran or if the two Democrats were simply talking about the Congressional softball match Wednesday night.

Schumer later said that he told the White House that they needed to get approval from Congress. When the press asked about the incident Schumer said his mother was just released from the hospital.

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