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‘Our darkest of days’: PM Ardern voices New Zealand’s grief as burial preparations begin

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday praised the bravery and courage by worshippers as a lone gunman massacred their friends and family, saying the nation stood with its grieving Muslim community in this “darkest of days”.

As preparations for the first burials were underway for the 50 people killed last Friday in the Christchurch mosques mass shooting, Ardern singled out three worshippers, including one of the first killed in the attack.

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Hati Mohemmed Daoud Nabi, 71, opened the door to the Al-Noor mosque. Ardern said he “uttered the words ‘Hello brother, welcome’. His final words”.

“Of course he had no idea of the hate that sat behind the door, but his welcome tells us so much – that he was a member of a faith that welcomed all its members, that showed openness, and care,” she said.

Ardern said she never anticipated having to voice the grief of a nation and ended her speech with the Arabic greeting “Al salam Alaikum”, meaning “Peace be upon you”.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist who was living in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island, was charged with murder on Saturday.

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Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5, where police said he was likely to face more charges.

“The families of the fallen will have justice,” said Ardern, adding she would never mention the alleged gunman’s name.

“He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name.”

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The victims, killed at two mosques during Friday prayers, were largely Muslim migrants, refugees and residents from countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Kuwait, Somalia and others.

Bodies of the victims were being washed and prepared for burial in a Muslim ritual process on Tuesday, with teams of volunteers flown in from overseas to assist with the heavy workload.

“We’ve been very conscious of the need to work sensitively with requirement of each family,” Sarah Stuart-Black, Director for the Ministry of Civil, Defense & Emergency Management, said at a press conference in Christchurch.

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Families of the victims are desperately seeking to come to New Zealand for the funerals. Immigration New Zealand said 65 visas have been granted for traveling family members.

“He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name.”

The victims, killed at two mosques during Friday prayers, were largely Muslim migrants, refugees and residents from countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Kuwait, Somalia and others.

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Bodies of the victims were being washed and prepared for burial in a Muslim ritual process on Tuesday, with teams of volunteers flown in from overseas to assist with the heavy workload.

“We’ve been very conscious of the need to work sensitively with requirement of each family,” Sarah Stuart-Black, Director for the Ministry of Civil, Defense & Emergency Management, said at a press conference in Christchurch.

Families of the victims are desperately seeking to come to New Zealand for the funerals. Immigration New Zealand said 65 visas have been granted for traveling family members.

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While some New Zealanders have voluntarily surrendered guns, others have been buying more from gun stores to beat the ban.

A gun club in the northern town of Kaitaia burned down early on Tuesday and police were treating the blaze as suspicious.

Simon Bridges, leader of the opposition National Party, said he wanted to get details of the changes to see if there could be bipartisan support in parliament. The Nationals draw support from rural areas, where gun ownership is high.

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“We know that change is required. I’m willing to look at anything that is going to enhance our safety – that’s our position,” Bridges told TVNZ.

Ardern has said that Tarrant emailed a “manifesto” to more than 30 recipients including her office, nine minutes before the attack but it gave no location or specific details. In the document, which was also posted online, Tarrant described himself as “Just a ordinary White man, 28 years old”.

Ardern was critical of social media platforms for allowing the distribution of hatred and division, including live broadcasts of the attack.

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“We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published. They are the publisher. Not just the postman,” she said.

“There cannot be a case of all profit no responsibility. This of course doesn’t take away the responsibility we too must show as a nation, to confront racism, violence and extremism.”

Ardern said there would be an inquiry into what government agencies “knew, or could or should have known” about the alleged gunman and whether the attack could be prevented.

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More than 250 New Zealand police staff are working on the inquiry in the attacks, with staff from the U.S. FBI and Australia’s Federal Police working with local investigators.

Ardern was critical of social media platforms for allowing the distribution of hatred and division, including live broadcasts of the attack.

“We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published. They are the publisher. Not just the postman,” she said.

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“There cannot be a case of all profit no responsibility. This of course doesn’t take away the responsibility we too must show as a nation, to confront racism, violence and extremism.”

Ardern said there would be an inquiry into what government agencies “knew, or could or should have known” about the alleged gunman and whether the attack could be prevented.

More than 250 New Zealand police staff are working on the inquiry in the attacks, with staff from the U.S. FBI and Australia’s Federal Police working with local investigators.

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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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HBO’s Bill Maher slams Trump’s White House lawn press conferences: ‘Brought to you by Adderall’

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HBO's "Real Time" host Bill Maher ripped Donald Trump on Friday.

"I've had so many sh*tty weeks, but this was a sh*tty week, I'm telling you," Maher said.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called for a boycott of Maher's show this week.

"The one bright spot I could find, Trump finally found some white people to fight with. Denmark. He's fighting with Denmark, because, you know this, he's been wanting to buy Greenland

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Rachel Maddow reveals 9 major reasons so many Democrats are running against Trump in 2020

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The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC listed nine major reasons Democrats are running to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

"As we close in on the third round of Democratic presidential primary debates, the acute angle of the funnel that the candidates are going through right now is starting to pinch a little bit," Maddow noted.

"I think it’s fair to say that the Democratic Party knew that a lot of people were going to get into this presidential primary to try to earn the right to challenge this incumbent president. Right? It’s not rocket science to figure that out," she continued. "It’s nothing personal about the president."

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WATCH: Joy Reid warns Trump is going to ‘tank the U.S. economy — just before Christmas’

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MSNBC's Joy Reid warned President Donald Trump is going to 'tank' the United States economy.

Reid was interviewed by Chris Hayes on a broadcast of "All In" with a live studio crowd on Friday.

"This new round of tariffs would increase everything," Reid noted. "Something like 70% of what you buy in Walmart is sourced from China."

"And so if you raise the prices — that’s tariffs are -- by 25% or 30%, you are essentially going to tank the U.S. economy just before Christmas," she warned.

"Kicking brown people out of the country is expensive," she said.

"If you're willing to go broke, if you are willing to lose your farm, willing to lose everything because you hate brown people so much you are willing to literally kill yourself economically for it," she said.

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