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The Saudi Crown Prince tried to have a comedian and critic kidnapped on US soil — but the FBI stopped it: report

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In an exclusive interview with the Daily Beast, 27-year-old comedian and former USD student Abdulrahman Almutairi revealed that he was nearly kidnapped by a suspected agent of the Saudi government and it happened on American soil.

Almutairi, who has a huge social media following, has been an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. While the Saudi leader may have the power to take out critics in other countries, in the United States it’s not an acceptable form of legal action.

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“After Almutairi used social media to criticize the powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the October 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, an unidentified Saudi man accompanied Almutairi’s father on a flight to collect Almutairi against his will and bring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Daily Beast’s sources,” reported the Beast.

Almutairi said that he’s certain if he ever returns to Saudi Arabia that he’ll be killed in the airport.

It was also revealed this week that MBS’s cell phone number was responsible for hacking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s cell phone.

“There is a pattern of the Saudi authorities, particularly over the last two years, targeting individuals—high profile people with a big Saudi audience, either because they’re critical of MBS or the government or not just for what they say but what they don’t say, if they’re insufficiently supportive,” said Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.

Read the full report at the Daily Beast.

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Arkansas church vows to continue services: ‘Jesus died with COVID-19 so that you didn’t have to bear it’

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An Arkansas church intends to hold church services despite recommendations from state officials to limit gatherings as part of the fight against the coronavirus.

Awaken Church, in Jonesboro, vowed in a Facebook post to continue holding services in defiance of a Health Department directive banning gatherings of 10 or more, and after churches in other parts of the country were the source of community outbreaks, reported Newsweek.

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2020 Election

Trump’s path to re-election ‘smashed to splinters’ as his only achievement is swallowed up by the pandemic: report

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In a piece for Politico, Ben White writes that Donald Trump was going into November's election with only one achievement under his belt -- a healthy economy -- and now he has nothing left to run if he wants to be re-elected.

With all of the gains made in the stock market long gone due to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, White claims that the president's campaign strategy lies in tatters.

"The fundamental pillars of Donald Trump’s presidency — a hot economy, strong job growth and a rocking stock market — are all being smashed to splinters by the ravaging coronavirus, which has shuttered much of the nation and now officially ended a streak of 113 months of job gains dating back to the end of the Great Recession a decade ago," he wrote before noting the explosion of unemployment claims -- over ten million so far -- that has the country reeling.

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Strong signs that judges will increasingly decide how 2020 elections are run during the coronavirus pandemic

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The jaw-dropping conclusion of a federal court hearing on April 1 about Wisconsin’s statewide elections on April 7 was no April Fools’ joke. U.S. District Judge William Conley said the state’s Democratic governor and Republican-led legislature had failed to put their citizenry’s health first by not postponing the statewide election in a pandemic.

“There’s a hurricane coming!” Conley fumed from the bench, interrupting Douglas M. Poland, a lawyer representing the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and four citizens who sued the state. “You can’t even give me a case where a federal judge stopped a state from stupidly holding an election when most of the voters were not going to go to the polls because there’s a hurricane coming!”

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