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Former UN chief and Nobel peace laureate Kofi Annan dies aged 80

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Former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80, his foundation said on Saturday.

Annan, a Ghanaian national, died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday, two of his close associates said.

In Geneva, the Kofi Annan Foundation announced his peaceful death with “immense sadness” after a short illness, saying he was surrounded in his last days by his second wife Nane and children Ama, Kojo and Nina.

Annan served two terms as U.N. Secretary-General in New York from 1997-2006 and retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside.

“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, whom Annan had chosen to head the U.N. refugee agency, said in a statement.

As head of U.N. peacekeeping operations, Annan was criticized for the world body’s failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.

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As U.N. boss he was linked to peace efforts to reunite the divided island of Cyprus. He submitted a reunification blueprint for Cyprus which was rejected in a referendum by Greek Cypriots in 2004.

“The U.N. can be improved, it is not perfect but if it didn’t exist you would have to create it,” he told the BBC’s Hard Talk during an interview for his 80th birthday last April, recorded at the Geneva Graduate Institute where he had studied.

“I am a stubborn optimist, I was born an optimist and will remain an optimist,” Annan added.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, paid tribute to Annan as “humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace”.

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Zeid, who has criticized major powers and other countries during his four-year term that ends later this month, said that whenever he felt “isolated and alone politically”, he would go for long walks with Annan in Geneva.

“When I told him once how everyone was grumbling about me, he looked at me — like a father would look at a son — and said sternly: “You’re doing the right thing, let them grumble.” Then he grinned!

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Alex Jones attacks Sandy Hook families’ lawyer as a ‘little white Jewboy’ in latest unhinged outburst

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Alex Jones is dealing with ongoing legal battles with families of victims and survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Jones is being accused of sending child pornography to the families and leading an ongoing attack on the families using his InfoWars network. However, his legal defense seems to hinge on attacking the plaintiffs' attorney, AboveTheLaw reported Thursday.

It was the child pornography that prompted Jones to lose his mind over attorney Chris Mattei. During the discovery phase of the trial, Mattei found the images and contacted the FBI, which he is required to do by law. But it sent Jones into an outright ragegasm in a video that was shown in court.

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Trump ridiculed for babbling Oval Office talk about ‘manned drones’: We call those ‘planes’

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During a press availability in the Oval Office with Canadian Prime Minister, Donald Trump was naturally asked about Iran reportedly shooting down a U.S. drone in international airspace, which led to the president rambling in the way he does about what a drone is and does.

His explanation was not what one might call knowledgeable or smooth.

“I think probably Iran made a mistake,” the president replied when asked about the international incident. “I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down. Fortunately, that drone was unarmed. There was no man in it and there was no — it was just — it was over international waters, clearly over international waters, but we didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. We had nobody in the drone. It would have made a big difference, let me tell you. It would have made a big, big difference."

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GOP lawmaker’s secret Christian magic shop exposed after he seeks Tennessee House leadership

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A Tennessee Republican is facing questions about a Christian magic supply business he operates out of his basement, but hasn't registered or disclosed with the state.

Deputy Speaker Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) is handing out campaign checks to Republican colleagues as he hopes to drum up support to become the state's next House Speaker, but he's facing new questions about his religiously themed business and ties to two companies that do political work, reported the Tennessean.

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