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New Orleans removes first of four racially divisive statues

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New Orleans on Monday removed a statue commemorating a racially charged incident, the first of four monuments that will be relocated to send a message of what the city’s mayor called “diversity, inclusion and tolerance.”

The statue, the “Battle of Liberty Place,” will be moved to a museum or other facility, the city said. It commemorates an 1874 attack on the city’s racially integrated police force and state militia by the white supremacist “Crescent City White League.”

Also slated to be relocated from their current public locations around the city are statues of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard.

The statues have less relevance to New Orleans than to the Confederacy, having been put up decades after the Civil War as part of the “Cult of the Lost Cause” and to show that the South bore no sense of guilt for fighting a war in which its practice of slavery was a central issue, the city said. Lee never even set foot in New Orleans, it said.

“This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile – and most importantly – choose a better future,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.

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“We can remember these divisive chapters in our history in a museum or other facility where they can be put in context – and that’s where these statues belong,” he added.

On March 8, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier granted the city’s motion for a summary judgment against a challenge that sought to block the removals, which the city council had approved.

(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay

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Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.

In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.

"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.

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Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US

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Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.

The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.

The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."

Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.

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Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition

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A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."

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