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Chinese fans grieve for NBA superstar Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

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NBA star Kobe Bryant’s death triggered an outpouring of grief on Monday in China, where he was beloved by fans, with a hashtag of the news drawing more than a billion views.

Nine people were killed in a helicopter crash including Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Los Angeles officials confirmed on Sunday.

Basketball is arguably the most popular sport in China, and Bryant — a five-time NBA champion who blogged for Chinese internet giant SINA in 2009 — was among the first American stars to garner a large fan base in the country.

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He remained popular in China after his retirement in 2016, frequently engaging via social media with Chinese fans.

Despite China’s preoccupation with a viral epidemic crisis, the hashtag “Kobe passed away” was viewed more than 1.2 billion times on popular Chinese social media platform Weibo, and sparked more than a million posts within hours of the news.

“Kobe is not a basketball star. He is my life coach,” said one post.

“This is fake, fake, I can’t believe it,” said another.

One user wrote that they wept upon hearing of the tragedy: “My whole youth is all about you! So sad!”

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In Bryant’s final post on his Weibo account on Friday, he sent Lunar New Year greetings to his Chinese followers.

“I wish you happiness, health, and inner magic to achieve more success in the upcoming year of the mouse,” Bryant said.

The NBA came under fierce criticism and boycott threats in China last October after a Houston Rockets executive tweeted his support for demonstrations in Hong Kong against Beijing’s influence in the semi-autonomous city.

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But that seems to have done little to dampen Chinese support for the league, especially with China’s own national team giving fans little to cheer.

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The View’s Meghan McCain blows up on Tom Steyer: ‘I hate that guy — he should drop the hell out’

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Conservative co-host Meghan McCain blasted Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer Tuesday, noting he's taking votes away from former Vice President Joe Biden.

In a panel discussion about the presidential candidates with "Shark Tank" hosts Mark Cuban and Kevin O'Leary, "The View" co-hosts asked about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his compliments for former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. O'Leary said that he has a home in Miami, Florida where it isn't acceptable to even mention Castro's name, much less defend him.

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‘Don’t put handcuffs on’: Body camera footage shows Orlando police arresting 6-year-old for ‘tantrum’

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The Orlando Police Department has released footage of a 6-year-old girl being arrested.

According to The Tampa Bay Times, Kaia Rolle was being read a story when officers showed up to arrest her after she had a "tantrum" earlier in the day.

The arrest occurred at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy on Sept. 19, 2019. Rolle's family shared body camera footage with the Orlando Sentinel this week.

“What are those for?” Rolle asks the officer, referring to zip ties used to handcuff suspects.

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Battle for Duncan Hunter’s former congressional seat turns into an ugly GOP slugfest

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California, once a red state, has become increasingly Democratic in recent years: both of its U.S. senators are Democrats (Dianne Feinstein and former 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris), and only six of California’s 53 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are held by Republicans. The Golden State lost one of its GOP congressmen after former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter Jr. pled guilty to a corruption charge and resigned, and Republicans are fighting it out in California’s 50th Congressional District over what used to be Hunter’s seat.

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