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Trump refuses to join ‘unprecedented’ global effort to tackle racist extremism online

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The White House announced Wednesday it will not join a global initiative, launched in the wake of a massacre in New Zealand two months ago, to tackle racist and extremist online content.

“By not standing alongside other world leaders to fight hate,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center in response, “President Trump has shown once again that he doesn’t understand the importance of white supremacy in fueling terrorism.”

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The Christchurch Call—which has the backing of 17 countries plus the European Commission and eight major tech companies including Twitter, Google, and Facebook—was launched Wednesday by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The initiative comes exactly two months after the terrorist attack on worshipers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which a gunman who professed racist hatred against Muslims and immigrants livestreamed his slaughter of  51 people.

“This attack was part of a horrifying new trend that seems to be spreading around the world,” Ardern wrote in an op-ed at the New York Times last week. “It was designed to be broadcast on the internet.”

She denounced the “staggering” scale of the video’s reach:

Original footage of the livestream was viewed some 4,000 times before being removed from Facebook. Within the first 24 hours, 1.5 million copies of the video had been taken down from the platform. There was one upload per second to YouTube in the first 24 hours.”

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The right to free expression, she wrote, “does not include the freedom to broadcast mass murder.”

Ending that threat, she added, necessitates collaboration—thus the Christchurch Call.

It calls on “governments and private corporations to prevent the posting of terrorist content online, to remove it quickly when it does appear, and to prevent the use of live-streaming to broadcast violence,” as the Irish Times reported.

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The Trump administration gave the initiative a hard pass.

While saying it supported the call’s “overall goals,” the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy said in a release that “the best tool to defeat terrorist speech is productive speech, and thus we emphasize the importance of promoting credible, alternative narratives as the primary means by which we can defeat terrorist messaging.”

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In the wake the Christchurch attacks, Ardern’s government passed a ban on military-style semiautomatic weapons—a move praised by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

“Sandy Hook happened six years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8,” the freshman congresswoman tweeted at the time. “Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market.”

The inaction has Ardern scratching her head.

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Speaking to CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour, Ardern said this week: “Australia experienced a massacre and changed their laws. New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws. To be honest, I do not understand the United States.”


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SNL imagines Alan Dershowitz and Mitt Romney in hell during impeachment trial sketch

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NBC's "Saturday Night Live"

The skit began with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) meeting with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about impeachment.

They were then joined by Alan Dershowitz, who spoke of his previous clients, Jeff Epstein, O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bülow.

But Dershowitz suffered a heart attack and met the devil in hell, where he was reunited with Epstein.

McConnell then showed up and thanked the devil for teaching him "that thing with Merrick Garland."

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CNN’s Don Lemon collapses on his desk in laugher as guests Rick Wilson and Wajahat Ali dunk on Trump

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CNN anchor Don Lemon was infected with a case of the giggles Saturday night while discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Lemon was joined by two hilarious guests, New York Times contributing op-ed writer Wajahat Ali and Rick Wilson, the author of the bestselling 2018 book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever and the new book Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump -- and Democrats from Themselves.

The three were discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s interview with “All Things Considered” host Mary Louise Kelly, where he reportedly demanded she point to Ukraine on a blank map.

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2020 Election

Amy Klobuchar wins endorsement in first in the nation primary from the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) received a big endorsement on Saturday evening when her 2020 bid was endorsed by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper.

"If there is to be any realistic challenge to Trump in November, the Democratic nominee needs to have a proven and substantial record of accomplishment across party lines, an ability to unite rather than divide, and the strength and stamina to go toe-to-toe with the Tweeter-in-Chief," the newspaper wrote. "That would be U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. She is sharp and witty, with a commanding understanding of both history and the inner workings of Capitol Hill."

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