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White House ‘shamed into submission’: Senate finally passes Armenian genocide bill despite Trump’s objections

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In a direct refutation of the repeated objections of the Trump administration this Thursday, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

As USA Today points out, the historic move will likely complicate US-Turkey relations since it acknowledges that Turkey, then known as the Ottoman Empire, carried out the systematic killings of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923.

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“By passing my Armenian Genocide resolution, the Senate finally stood up to confirm history: What happened from 1915 to 1923 was – most assuredly – genocide,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said. “There is no other word for it. There is no euphemism. There is no avoiding it. To overlook human suffering is not who we are as a people. It is not what we stand for as a nation. We are better than that, and our foreign policy should always reflect this.”

“The killing was done with axes, cleavers, shovels and pitchforks. It was like a slaughterhouse,” Menendez said, quoting a priest who documented the atrocities at time. “Infants were dashed on rocks before the eyes of their mothers.”

Menendez reportedly broke down in tears as he recounted the horrors.

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Axios reports that Menendez and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tried to pass the resolution three times before but were blocked by GOP senators at the behest of the Trump White House, which “feared that its passage would infuriate the Turkish government during a tense period of U.S.-Turkey relations.”


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Superfan prays to Trump idol ahead of the president’s India visit

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Die-hard Donald Trump fan Bussa Krishna is celebrating the visit of his hero to India next week the only way he knows how -- offering prayers to a life-sized idol of the US President in his home.

The 33-year-old has built the statue -- where he performs the Hindu prayer ritual "pooja" usually meant for deities -- in the backyard of his house in Jangaon district in India's southern state of Telangana.

"Trump sir, you are my god," the devotee told AFP after performing the pooja.

"Welcome to India. I am so happy."

Trump and his wife Melania are due to visit India and hold meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a high-profile two-day trip from February 24.

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Facebook faces off with IRS in big-ticket tax case

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A multi-billion dollar dispute between Facebook and US tax authorities over profits shifted to an Irish subsidiary began playing out in front of a judge on Tuesday.

The Internal Revenue Service contends that Facebook dodged about $9 billion in taxes, while the leading social network says it is actually owed a refund, according to US media reports.

"This trial is about transactions that took place in 2010, when Facebook had no mobile advertising revenue, its international business was nascent, and its digital advertising products were unproven," spokesperson Bertie Thomson said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

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California to apologize for WWII internment of Japanese-Americans

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Nearly 80 years after the US authorized the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, California plans to formally apologize this week for its role in one of the darkest chapters in US history.

State lawmakers are set to vote on Thursday on a resolution which states that the California legislature apologizes for "the unjust exclusion, removal, and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and for its failure to support and defend the civil rights and civil liberties of Japanese Americans."

More than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were sent to 10 concentration camps throughout western states and Arkansas during World War II after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order.

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