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Fake news, real bullets: Suspect with rifle arrested at DC restaurant named in ‘Pizzagate’ story

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Police arrested a gunman armed with an assault weapon at a Washington, D.C. restaurant named in a fake pro-Trump news story that spread online.

The Washington Post said no shots were fired and no one was injured at Comet Ping Pong, a Northwest Washington pizza restaurant with ping pong tables that are popular with families.

A phony online news story that circulated days before the Nov. 8 election said that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and a top campaign aide were running a child sex ring out of the back room at Comet Ping Pong.

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The story was one of many canards floated by pro-Trump propaganda mills. Not a word of it was true, but the restaurant’s employees and their families have been receiving death threats and other forms of harassment since the phony story circulated, which is known in right-wing conspiracy circles as “#Pizzagate.”

Comet Ping Pong’s owners contacted the FBI, the local police, Facebook and other agencies in an attempt to get the defamatory post taken down.

Gareth Wade, 47, and Doug Clarke, 50 told the Post that they were inside the restaurant when a commotion erupted.

“(T)he server said someone just walked in with a shotgun,” said Wade.

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They quickly ducked out of the restaurant and attempted to go to the bookstore across the street, but were prevented from entering by police, who were turned out in force.

D.C. police spokeswoman Aquita Brown said that the department received a call about a man with a weapon at the restaurant at around 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Social media users picked up the story as it spread:

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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Elections 2016

Japan wants to dump Fukushima radioactive water into ocean

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Japan's top government spokesman slapped down the environment minister on Tuesday after he said there was "no other option" but to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

"It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method," Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada's comments earlier in the day.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is storing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

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