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Netanyahu’s Likud uses Trump photo in Israeli election billboard

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A giant billboard of a smiling Donald Trump shaking hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loomed over a main entrance to Tel Aviv on Sunday, part of the Israeli leader’s re-election campaign.

Trump is popular in Israel because of his tough policies toward the Palestinians and Iran and his transfer last May of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which he recognized as Israel’s capital in a break from long-standing U.S. policy.

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“Netanyahu. In another league,” read the Hebrew-language billboard, in a swipe at the caliber of the veteran prime minister’s opponents in the April 9 national election.

A spokesman for Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, whose logo adorns the sign over Tel Aviv’s busy Ayalon highway, did not immediately respond to a Reuters query on whether the White House had authorized it to use the photograph.

Netanyahu is favorite to win the election but opinion polls show one of his toughest challengers, former general Benny Gantz, making gains.

The prime minister is facing possible charges in three graft cases. He denies any wrongdoing and has called the investigations a witch-hunt.

On Friday, Israel’s attorney general said there was no legal reason to prevent him from announcing, before the election, any intention to indict Netanyahu on corruption charges should he decide such a move was warranted.

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Formal indictment in court would depend on pre-trial hearings, likely to be held only after the poll.


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Brazil’s Bolsonaro launches political party emphasizing ‘respect for God and religion’

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Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday launched a new political party called the Alliance for Brazil, which will put an emphasis on God, family and homeland, as he tries to win back evangelical voters. 

"If I had done this sooner, we would have gotten 100 deputies and a senator elected in each state," Bolsonaro said at a formal launch event in a luxury hotel in the capital Brasilia.

It's the ninth time that the 64-year-old Bolsonaro, a former army captain, has changed parties in his three-decade political career.

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Trump expects Joe and Hunter Biden to testify in Senate impeachment hearing

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President Donald Trump wants an impeachment trial to go forward in the U.S. Senate because he would receive due process there and he expects Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would be among the witnesses, a White House spokesman said on Thursday.

"President Trump wants to have a trial in the Senate because it’s clearly the only chamber where he can expect fairness and receive due process under the Constitution," spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

"We would expect to finally hear from witnesses who actually witnessed, and possibly participated in corruption - like Adam Schiff, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the so-called Whistleblower, to name a few," Gidley said, referring to House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff, who is leading an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

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‘Humor saved my life’, says subversive ‘Hairspray’ director John Waters

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Big smile flashing and pencil-thin moustache quivering, subversive director John Waters laughs heartily as he looks back at an improbable 40-year career that made him a trash film icon.

"Humour saved me, saved my life," the 73-year-old sharp-dresser told AFP on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki Film Festival, where he was a guest of honour earlier this month.

From a homemade horror stage in his garage, Waters went on to tear down barriers with transgressive fare such as "Eat Your Makeup", "Mondo Trasho", "Multiple Maniacs" and the scatological classic "Pink Flamingos" in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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