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Texas Republican drops re-election bid after racist rant about Asian opponents

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On Tuesday, amid a firestorm of controversy, GOP state Rep. Rick Miller announced he would not be seeking re-election to the Texas House of Representatives.

Miller, who represents a district covering parts of Houston and Sugar Land, and who previously attracted national attention in 2015 after his gay son spoke out against an anti-LGBTQ bill he had introduced, caused outrage this week after a racist tirade in an interview with the Houston Chronicle about two fellow Republicans, Leonard Chan and Jacey Jetton, who are running against him in the primary.

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“He’s a Korean,” Miller said about Jetton, the chair of the Fort Bend GOP and a seventh-generation Texan. “He has decided because, because he is an Asian that my district might need an Asian to win. And that’s kind of racist in my mind, but anyway, that’s not necessary, at least not yet.”

He added that Chan is probably running “for the same reason … I don’t know, I never met the guy. I have no idea who he is. He has not been around Republican channels at all, but he’s an Asian.”

Shortly after Miller’s remarks were publicized, Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded his endorsement of Miller for re-election, making his position untenable.

“In trying to make a point about the campaign I used a poor choice of words that are not indicative of my character or heart,” Miller said in a statement announcing his retirement. “My comments were not made with malice nor do they reflect who I am or who I strive to be. I want to publicly apologize to Jacey, Leonard and my constituents and friends who have put their trust in me through the years. I do not want to be a distraction for my party or my constituents, and therefore I have decided not to seek re-election.”

The newly open 26th House District may become a target for Texas Democrats. Its population is heavily suburbanized and growing more diverse, and in 2018 Republicans carried it by less than five points.

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WATCH: New Zealand prime minister unfazed as quake hits during an interview

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A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.

The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage. There was no tsunami warning.

But there was sustained shaking in Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed on breakfast television from parliament's Beehive building, which is designed to absorb seismic forces by swaying slightly on its foundations.

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US farmers are starting to worry as crop prices dip during COVID-19 crisis: ‘It’s kind of glum’

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Dave Burrier steered his tractor through a field, following a GPS map as he tried to plant as much corn as possible amid the yellow and green rye covering the ground.

Striving to get a massive yield out of his crops in rural Maryland is how Burrier hopes to make it through yet another uncertain year, beset by market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed trade tensions between the United States and China.

"We've had so much price erosion that we're basically at below the cost of production. We've got to figure out how to manage and turn a profit," Burrier told AFP.

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‘It’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months’: Trump makes excuses for golfing during coronavirus pandemic

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President Donald Trump was blasted on Sunday for playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, a dramatic economic recession and after proclaiming churches "essential."

Instead of joining his voters sitting in the pews, Trump went for the links, which drew criticisms for the hypocrisy.

"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!" tweeted Trump.

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