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Heightened security in Boston for ‘pro-straight parade’

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Police in Boston were gearing up for possible clashes Saturday between “Straight Pride Parade” demonstrators supportive of President Donald Trump and counter-protesters who accuse them of being homophobic and extremist.

A group calling itself Super Happy Fun America has organized the controversial parade in response to the hugely popular gay pride parades that take place in US cities every year.

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Critics say organizers are white-supremacists whose intent is to bait members of the LGBT community in one of America’s most liberal cities, and have arranged demonstrations to oppose it.

“There are no racists in our group. You have to come to one of our meetings: it’s like the United Nations,” president John Hugo told AFP, defending the parade.

The demonstrations come as tensions simmer between leftists and white nationalists in the United States.

Two weeks ago, a far-right rally and counter-demonstration by anti-fascist protestors in the city of Portland passed with no major incident amid a heavy police presence.

Super Happy Fun America’s website says Saturday’s march is to “spread awareness of issues impacting straights,” describing heterosexuals as “an oppressed majority” in Massachusetts, the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage.

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But the parade will have a clear political slant too, with participants due to walk alongside pro-Trump floats. The group’s website displays a doctored photo of Trump holding a sign saying #GreatToBeStraight.

Prominent members of America’s far-right movement, known as the “alt-right,” are scheduled to speak, including former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who has been banned from several social media sites.

Enrique Tarrio, a member of the all-male “Proud Boys” organization, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is also due to attend.

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Some 1,200 people are planning to join the parade, which starts at noon (1600 GMT) in Copley Square and ends at Boston City Hall around a mile and a half (2.4 kilometers) away, according to a Facebook group.

Police will cordon off the area and have said they will deploy uniformed and undercover officers along the route.

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Several anti-Trump organizations and gay rights supporters have said they will try to block the parade. At least two counter-protests are planned, the first starting at 9:00 am.

“We are certainly not going to start any violence but we will defend ourselves if we have to,” said Hugo, 56.

A “Straight Pride” held last Saturday in Modesto, California attracted only a few dozen people and about 250 counter-protesters, according to local newspaper The Modesto Bee.

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GOP will be ‘aided and abetted’ by Russian bots and trolls defending Trump: Former FBI counter-intel chief

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The former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Americans to "hunker down" because Russian intelligence will be repeating Republican talking points.

Frank Figliuzzi was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC's Brian Williams on "The Last Word."

"Frank, Fiona Hill -- who richly deserves it -- has been awarded front page status tomorrow morning on the front page of The New York Times, and I imagine newspapers and websites across this country," Williams noted.

"It was extraordinary today when she -- in effect, begged -- asked, certainly, members of the committee to stop supplying Russian talking points, to stop advancing Russian propaganda in the Congress of the United States," he continued.

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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