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Saudi sisters likely committed suicide in New York’s Hudson River: Police

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Two young Saudi women whose bodies were found a week ago along the rocky Manhattan shore of the Hudson River, bound together with duct tape around their waist and ankles, likely committed suicide, New York police said on Friday.

Dermot Shea, New York City Police Department chief of detectives, told a news conference sisters Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 23, who had been living in Virginia, likely “entered the water alive” and were said to have preferred suicide over returning to Saudi Arabia.

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“At this point in time we have no credible information that any crime took place in New York City, but it is under investigation,” Shea said.

Shea said sources in Virginia told detectives the women, whose bodies were discovered by a passerby on Oct. 24, “would rather inflict harm on themselves and commit suicide than return to Saudi Arabia.”

Detectives used eyewitness testimonies, video evidence and the eldest sister’s credit card purchases for food, hotel and transportation to determine that there likely was no foul play involved in their deaths.

The two were last seen by family in Virginia on Nov. 30, 2017. They subsequently stayed at a shelter facility for domestic violence victims until the end of August and appeared to have arrived in New York City on Sept. 1 before staying at a number of “high-end hotels,” Shea said.

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An eyewitness told detectives that on Oct. 24 around 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) he saw two women kneeling about 30 feet (9 meters) apart near the Hudson River praying loudly for about 15 minutes.

Police said the sisters, who had lived in the United States for about two to three years, were said to have been subjected to physical abuse and may have applied for U.S. asylum.

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A cause of death in the case has not yet been determined.

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Tom Brown

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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‘There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there’: Joe Biden at Cape Cod fundraiser

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Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Republican lawmakers in DC as "decent people" during a campaign fundraiser held at Cape Cod.

"There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there," Biden argued, according to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser.

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”Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people," Biden claimed. "They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”

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Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia training exercises at ‘The Base’: report

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One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

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