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Trump supporters flock to bar that vowed to defy lockdown — and get disappointed when owner chickens out

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A group of people in Albany, Minnesota on Monday flocked to a bar that had promised to defy the state’s lockdown orders — only to be disappointed when the owner announced that he wasn’t going to reopen after all.

As reported by Paul Blume of local news station Fox News 9, Shady’s bar owner Kris Schiffler drew a big crowd to his establishment by telling people that he would no longer abide by state orders to remain shut.

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When people arrived, however, Schiffler told them that he was staying closed because he was under legal threats from the state attorney general.

“The risk isn’t worth the reward,” Schiffler complained in justifying his decision to stay shut. “They just keep threatening us with more things and more things and more things, and now he wants to audit our taxes!”

Nonetheless, the owner encouraged his supporters, many of whom came to his bar waving Trump flags and wearing Trump paraphernalia, to donate to his GoFundMe page to help pay for legal fees in his fight with the state.

As of this writing, the page has raised more than $200,000 out of its original goal of $100,000.

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Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

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FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

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A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

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Mike Pompeo asks Egypt to stop harassing US citizens

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday welcomed Egypt's release of a US citizen but urged the ally to stop harassment of others.

Mohamed Amashah, 24, was freed Monday, nearly 16 months after he was arrested in Cairo's Tahrir Square for holding up a sign seeking the release of prisoners, according to human rights campaigners.

A dual US-Egyptian citizen who lives in New Jersey, he had gone on a hunger strike this year to protest his conditions.

"We thank Egypt for securing his release and his repatriation," Pompeo told a news conference.

"But at the same time, we urge Egyptian officials to stop unwarranted harassment of US citizens and their families who remain there," he said.

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