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California pastor begs for prayers after allegedly breaking into hotel and raping underage girl from China

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A pastor who allegedly raped an underage tourist in Covina, California posted a video declaring his innocence while on the run from the law, according to local news outlet KTLA.

Police are searching for Pastor Douglas Rivera of God’s Gypsy Christian Church in Glendale. He allegedly masturbated in his truck outside a hotel as he watched two girls — ages 10 and 12 — before walking into their room and assaulting one of them.

“I did not do nothing wrong,” Rivera said in a video he posted online Friday.

“I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Something happened in that hotel, and that’s the simple answer,” Rivera claimed.

“I’ve just finished with my lawyer,” he added. “I am going to jail on Wednesday, with the lawyer, to submit myself so they could continue their investigation. There is absolutely no truth to that. No matter what you see on the Instagram or the TV, there is no truth to it.”

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“I love you Los Angeles. Please, keep me in prayer,” Rivera concluded. “God will take his truth out. I love you.”

Police declared Rivera the suspect after disseminating surveillance images from outside the hotel.

The victims were visiting from China on a field trip. Rivera “forced his way into the room once the minors opened the door believing it was their chaperone,” police said.

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Residents near Rivera’s church told KABC that the congregation is often drunk, wild and confrontational.

“The character of this pastor – I’ve never seen anyone like him. He seemed violent, he didn’t seem like a pastor…they seem more like gangsters, you know, than people of faith.”

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School district threatens parents their children may be put in foster care over unpaid lunch bills

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A Luzerne County, Pennsylvania school district is under fire for sending letters to parents who owe money for their children's lunches. The letters threaten that if the bills remain unpaid their children could be removed from their homes and placed in foster care.

"Your child has been sent to school every day without money and without breakfast and/or lunch. This is a failure to provide your child with proper nutrition and you can be sent to Dependency Court for neglecting your child's right to food," the letter reads, as NBC News reported.

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Trump pits Apollo 11 astronauts against NASA chief — he thinks he understands space travel better

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President Donald Trump welcomed surviving Apollo 11 crew members Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the White House Friday, using the occasion to tell his space chief he would prefer to go straight to Mars without returning to the Moon.

It is a theme he had touched upon earlier this month in a tweet, and this time drew on the support of the two former astronauts, who are taking part in celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of their mission, to make his case to NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

"To get to Mars, you have to land on the Moon, they say," said Trump, without looking convinced.

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Babies born near oil and gas wells are up to 70% more likely to have congenital heart defects, new study shows

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Researchers at the University of Colorado studied pregnant women who are among the 17 million Americans living within a mile from an active oil or gas well

Proximity to oil and gas sites makes pregnant mothers up to 70 percent more likely to give birth to a baby with congenital heart defects, according to a new study.

Led by Dr. Lisa McKenzie at the University of Colorado, researchers found that the chemicals released from oil and gas wells can have serious and potentially fatal effects on babies born to mothers who live within a mile of an active well site—as about 17 million Americans do.

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