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US blacklists Russians over Jehovah’s Witness crackdown

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The United States on Tuesday banned the entry of two Russian officials for allegedly torturing Jehovah’s Witnesses in custody as Moscow wages a crackdown against the religious group.

The State Department said that the officials in the western Siberian city of Surgut supervised interrogations on February 15 in which at least seven Jehovah’s Witnesses were subjected to suffocation, electric shocks and severe beatings.

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The State Department said that the two officials, Vladimir Petrovich Yermolayev and Stepan Vladimirovich Tkach, and their immediate families would be barred from entering the United States.

“Russia should end its unjust campaign against the Jehovah’s Witnesses and immediately release the over 200 individuals it currently has imprisoned for exercising their freedom of religion or belief,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Russia outlawed the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2017, calling them an extremist organization.

Founded in the United States in the late 19th century, the non-violent movement has often faced problems for members’ proselytization and refusal to salute state symbols such as flags.

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A Russian court in May upheld a six-year jail sentence for a Danish Jehovah’s Witness, in the first conviction since the 2017 ban.


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‘Possible war in the Middle East’: Editor explains why Trump’s visa attack on Iran is ‘lame’ response to oil field bombing

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As the United States is searching for ways to draw down on decades-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, serious conflicts might be afoot, one Daily Beast reporter told MSNBC Sunday.

World News editor Christopher Dickey told host Kendis Gibson he doesn't understand the point of barring Iranian diplomats from being able to come to the United Nations General Assembly meeting this fall. During a "Meet the Press" interview Sunday morning, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said that the U.S. should deny the visas. The statement prompted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to call her out for "warmongering," and said she was out of touch with Americans who don't want to get into another costly Middle East war.

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Why you should sell your house now — and not wait for the climate to change

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Cities across the United States are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Sea levels are on the rise in Miami, Florida, where ocean waters creep into the streets, even when it isn't raining. Massive wildfires have taken out whole neighborhoods in California and in Alaska, about 2.5 million acres have burned since July 3. Wildfires there are getting worse, according to experts.

The problem of climate change has reached a dangerous level for some homeowners in areas that are no longer insurable. In Miami, for example, the "street-level" is now considered the basement and insurers are dropping coverage for basements. According to the Daily Beast, at least 340,000 California homeowners lost their property insurance coverage between 2015 and 2018 because the wildfires are getting worse and companies don't want to pay out when homes are destroyed.

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‘Please give me the audacity of a mediocre white man’: Editor unleashes on Justice Brett Kavanaugh

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Managing Editor Tiffany Cross, who co-founded The Beat DC, unleashed on the most recent Supreme Court Justice to be outed for sexual misconduct.

Max Stier, a classmate of Justice Brett Kavanaugh came out with another story of the justice forcing his naked penis into the hand of a woman. The FBI was supposed to do a full investigation into Kavanaugh, and Stier gave them the information. Somehow, however, the investigation either wasn't completed, wasn't revealed or was ignored, because none of the information revealed was released.

Cross said that there are some who normally would have said, "man if only we knew about these allegations during the confirmation hearing." The problem, of course, is that it was known, Cross explained. It was simply ignored by Republicans in the majority. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is an excellent example of a pro-choice, pro-woman senator who claimed she trusted Kavanaugh. She's suffered the consequences from her home-state in wake of the vote. In the past four years, she has dropped from being the most favored senator in the country to among the least.

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