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Facebook settles French ‘censorship’ case over vagina painting

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Facebook has agreed to settle a years-long legal battle with a French teacher who sued after the social media giant shuttered his account when he posted a renowned 19th-century painting that features a woman’s genitals, his lawyer said Thursday.

The dispute dates to 2011, when the teacher, Frederic Durand, ran afoul of Facebook’s ban on nude images after posting a link that include a thumbnail image of “L’Origine du Monde” (The Origin of the World), an 1866 oil painting by the realist painter Gustave Courbet.

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The painting is one of many treasures that adorn the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and Durand argued that the US tech giant was infringing on his freedom of expression.

He sought 20,000 euros ($22,100) in damages and initially won his case in a Paris court. A higher court overturned the ruling in March 2018, though it scolded Facebook for not initially explaining why the account was closed.

Durand had been preparing an appeal, but in a statement to AFP, his lawyer Stephane Cottineau said a deal had been reached for Facebook to make an unspecified donation to a French street art association called Le MUR (The WALL).

“This donation ends the legal battle between Mr Durand and Facebook,” Cottineau said, without specifying why the street art association had been chosen, or which side had initiated the settlement talks.

Facebook declined to comment on the settlement when contacted by AFP.

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Already in 2015, it had announced rule changes clarifying that posts depicting nudity in artwork were acceptable.

“L’Origine du Monde”, one of several female nudes completed by Courbet, shocked the stiff bourgeois society of his time.

It is believed to have been commissioned by a Turkish diplomat in Paris who was forced to sell it after racking up huge debts because of his gambling addiction.

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2020 Election

How Lindsey Graham keeps lowering his standards for Trump

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As the coronavirus pandemic spread and death tolls increased across the United States over the last three months, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., repeatedly raised the number of deaths he would find acceptable in defense of President Donald Trump's botched response.
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White woman pulls gun on Black woman after allegedly almost hitting her with her car

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On Wednesday, a viral video showed a white woman in Auburn Hills, Michigan, pulling a handgun on a Black woman in an altercation in a parking lot.

According to the woman taking the video, the white woman nearly hit the Black woman while backing up her van, and the argument escalated quickly.

"Get the license plate!" the Black woman can be heard shouting.

"Don't you f**king jump behind my car," replied the woman with the gun. "Get the f**k back! Get the f**k back! Back the f**k up!"

According to the poster, the woman who brandished the gun has been arrested.

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July 4 re-opening still on after employee at private sports club owned by billionaire governor tests positive for coronavirus

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After at least three complaints alleging lax reopening practices at West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s luxury resort hotel, a kitchen employee has tested positive for the coronavirus at a residential and sports club affiliated with The Greenbrier.

Local Health Department officials directed a 14-day quarantine for potentially exposed employees at The Lodge, a restaurant at the Greenbrier Sporting Club, and the venue will remain closed until July 10. Festivities planned at the club for July 4 will go on, but with food from other facilities.

"While the events of the past few days certainly have thrown us a curve ball, we have reached out to our friends and colleagues in the area to pull together a festival that will have something for everyone," the director of operations at the sporting club, Allen Wills, told its 400 members in a Tuesday night email, obtained by ProPublica.

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