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Canada’s Trudeau admits to racist ‘brownface’ makeup in high school Halloween costume

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup to a party 18 years ago, as he scrambled to get on top of a fresh blow to a re-election campaign dogged by controversy.

Time magazine published the photograph one week into a federal election campaign with Trudeau’s Liberal Party in a tight contest against the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer.

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Trudeau, 47, whose party won a landslide victory in 2015, has already been under attack for an ethics lapse and other controversies.

The black-and-white photograph shows Trudeau, then 29, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened at a gala party in 2001.

The picture appears in the 2000-2001 yearbook of West Point Grey Academy, a private school where Trudeau taught at the time, the US-based Time magazine said.

Trudeau confirmed it was him in the photo “at the school’s annual dinner which had a costume theme of ‘Arabian Nights.'”

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“I have worked all my life to try to create opportunities for people, fight against racism and intolerance,” he told a televised news conference on his campaign aircraft.

“I can say I made a mistake when I was younger and I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had known better then, but I didn’t and I’m deeply sorry for it.”

“Now I recognize it was something racist to do,” he said.

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“(For) communities and people who live with intersectionalities and face discrimination, it is a significant thing that is very hurtful.”

Trudeau, once the youthful golden boy of Canadian politics, also admitted to wearing dark makeup singing Harry Belafonte’s 1959 hit Day O (Banana Boat Song) at a separate high school talent contest.

– ‘Racism is real’ –

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Jagmeet Singh, leader of the third place New Democratic Party, reacted by calling the behavior “troubling” and “insulting.”

“Anytime we hear examples of brown face or blackface, it’s making a mockery of someone for what they live and what their lived experiences are,” he said.

“What does that say about what he thinks about people who, because of who they are, because of the colour of their skin, face challenges and barriers and obstacles in their life. Racism is real.”

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Politicians in Canada’s southern neighbor the United States, with its history of slavery and segregation, have been embroiled in scandal this year over their alleged wearing of “blackface.”

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam refused to resign after first admitting he appeared in a yearbook photograph showing a person in blackface and another wearing Ku Klux Klan robes, only to deny a day later that either individual was him.

Trudeau is a fervent advocate of the multiculturalism integral to Canadian identity, and at least six members of his cabinet have Asian or African heritage.

Accusations of political meddling in a bribery case against engineering giant SNC-Lavalin plunged support for Trudeau at the beginning of the year.

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The scandal broke when two members of his own cabinet accused him and his aides of meddling in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin to save jobs.

Both the ministers were women and one was Canada’s first indigenous attorney general. They were expelled from the party.

The episode cost Trudeau support among women, indigenous people and young people — constituents that helped propel him to victory in 2015.

Trudeau is the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who is considered the father of modern Canada.

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The younger Trudeau’s stint as a teacher belonged to a colorful past that also included working as a snowboard instructor, a bartender and a bouncer.


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Bill Maher rips Trump and ‘the gang that couldn’t do treason straight’ on Real Time

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HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher ripped the incompetence of the Trump administration after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confessed that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine in Rudy Giuliani's search for foreign election assistance.

"It's not just that he's always breaking the law, it's that he obviously wants you to know about it," Maher said. "The Joker doesn't want to get caught this bad."

"This is Trump's definition of three-dimensional chess, 'I'm going to distract you from impeaching me by committing more crimes," he said.

"It's like he comes home and Melania says to him, 'you have lipstick on your color,' and he says, 'you should see my d*ck,'" Maher said.

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‘Stand with Hong Kong’ shirts fill the stands at Nets game as NBA is protested for China subservience

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The National Basketball Association was protested on Friday for bowing to pressure from China.

The NBA has been harshly criticized for standing by the oppressive regime instead of standing in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

"Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA," New York magazine correspondent Yashar Ali reported Friday. "They're all wearing 'Stand With Hong Kong' T-shirts."

Photos from the protest:

1. Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA.

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Trump polling close friends over whether he should fire Mulvaney: report

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President Donald Trump is considering firing Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, The Atlantic reported Friday.

"Mick Mulvaney's job was in danger even before his disastrous press conference yesterday, and his equally disastrous attempt to walk that performance back," The Atlantic reported. "The fumble could not have been more poorly timed: According to multiple current and former White House officials, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations, Trump has been steadily souring on Mulvaney for weeks."

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