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US: Alabama woman who joined Islamic State is not a citizen What charges could mean for Patriots owner Robert Kraft

US: Alabama woman who joined Islamic State is not a citizenWASHINGTON (AP) — An Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State group in Syria won't be allowed to return to the United States with her toddler son because she is not an American citizen, the U.S. said Wednesday. Her lawyer is challenging that claim.


Kraft is being charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution. What will the consequences be for him and the NFL?
Pakistani-held Kashmir on alert as tensions with India rise Pats' Kraft facing charges of soliciting prostitute

Pakistani-held Kashmir on alert as tensions with India riseBunkers are being rebuilt and a blackout has been ordered, but schools and bazaars remained open Thursday in Chakothi, a border village in Pakistani-held Kashmir, after a deadly attack sent tensions with neighbouring India soaring. Residents were worried but life was going on in the village of some 3,000 inhabitants just three kilometres (two miles) from the "Line of Control", the de facto border which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, have been fighting for seven decades over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, now one of the most militarised zones in the world.


Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution charges. Police in Florida say they have videotape of him paying for a sex act inside an illicit massage parlor.
A look at why brothers in alleged hoax appear off the hook NBA: Refs erred 4 times in Bucks-Celtics ending

A look at why brothers in alleged hoax appear off the hookCHICAGO (AP) — Two brothers who played central roles in what Chicago police say was a staged racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett are, compared to the "Empire" actor, so far walking away legally unscathed.


The NBA's Last Two Minute Report for the Bucks' 98-97 victory over the Celtics on Thursday listed four incorrect rulings in the final 3.7 seconds of the game.
Indigenous woman shot dead, a dozen injured, in border clashes with Venezuelan security forces Source: Bears to release embattled kicker Parkey

Indigenous woman shot dead, a dozen injured, in border clashes with Venezuelan security forcesA high stakes bid by the Venezuelan opposition to transport aid into the country turned deadly on Friday as government forces opened fire on a group of indigenous volunteers, killing at least one woman and injuring 12.   Members of the indigenous community in the southern town of Kumarakapay, bordering Brazil, on Friday night took the commander of the Venezuelan national guard prisoner in retaliation.  Jose Miguel Montoya Rodriguez was being detained by members of the Pemon tribe, following the death of Zoraida Rodriguez in the clashes. The violence cast an ominous shadow over the massive aid delivery planned for Saturday, with hundreds of tonnes of medical supplies destined to be brought across the border from Brazil and Colombia. Juan Guaido, the self-declared “interim president” who has marshalled the hugely symbolic aid delivery, condemned the killing of Rodriguez, and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. On Friday night, following a fundraising concert on the border organised by Sir Richard Branson, thousands of volunteers were preparing to bring the aid into Venezuela, in spite of the threats from President Nicolas Maduro that he would not allow it to pass. Organisers of the show, held on the Tienditas bridge, worked through the night to clear the bridge ahead of the aid caravan. Mr Maduro promised a rival concert on the other side of the bridge, and was reportedly offering $7 million to artists to perform, but by Friday night there was no sign of the show and musician after musician issued statements confirming they had been approached to perform, but turned it down. A caravan of trucks fanned out across Venezuela this week, destined for the border with the intention of loading the aid for distribution at the border points. Four processions will be met on the Venezuelan side by four people appointed by Mr Guaido, whose identity he has kept secret for their own safety. Mr Guaido himself set out from Caracas on Thursday in a procession of lorries towards the border, ready to collect the aid. Gaby Arellano, a 33-year-old opposition MP leading one of the convoys of aid was on Friday defiant about the risks of violence as she prepared to cross the border from the Colombian town of Cucuta.  “You know what really frightens me?” she told The Telegraph,. “The fact that my children will continue to suffer. That’s far more terrifying a thought than anything that could happen on the bridge.” Russia, which along with Cuba and China continues to provide a crutch to Mr Maduro’s teetering regime, accused the United States on Friday of using the aid deliveries as a ploy to carry out military action against Mr Maduro's government. Maria Zakharova, spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, said Mr Guaido's plans to try to bring the aid across the border are aimed at provoking clashes to provide "a convenient pretext for conducting military action". Cucuta has four bridges crossing into Venezuela, and the volunteers, told to dress in white, will set out at 9am (2pm GMT) – “not smugglers in the night,” said Jose Manuel Olivares, a 33-year-old doctor-turned-politician, who will on Saturday lead one of the columns. “We will do it by the light of day, with full transparency, because we have nothing to hide.” Freddy Superlano, a deputy for the Chavez family state of Barinas, added: “We’ve thought it all through, with the aid. It’s much more than politics. It’s the survival of the nation.” Mr Guaido insisted that the aid must be allowed to pass, and issued another plea to the soldiers to allow its safe passage. “You must decide on which side you stand, at this decisive hour,” he tweeted on Friday night. “To the soldiers, between tonight and tomorrow you must decide how you want to be remembered. We know you stand with the people. Tomorrow you must show it.”


The Chicago Bears are releasing kicker Cody Parkey following a difficult season, league sources confirmed. Parkey missed eight field goals, including a 43-yard kick that would have beaten the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs.
Britain, EU closer to possible agreement on Brexit: EU diplomats Sources: Gonzalez, Twins agree to $21M deal

Britain, EU closer to possible agreement on Brexit: EU diplomatsThe backstop is an insurance policy designed to avoid border controls between EU member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland after Brexit. "We are also looking at updating the declaration on future EU-UK ties after Brexit to give more prominence to the 'alternative arrangements' sought by Britain," said one EU diplomat who deals with Brexit. "But May won't get any firm wording before Feb. 28." A second diplomat, briefed on the May-Juncker talks on Wednesday evening, confirmed the EU would only signal this was the direction of travel before the British prime minister faces another round of Brexit votes in the UK parliament.


Marwin Gonzalez, who played every position for the Astros in 2018 except pitcher and catcher, has reached a two-year, $21 million deal with the Twins, sources told ESPN.


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Grand Rapids Views and Opinions
 
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to “criticize the government and other organizations.” So why would that be relevant in a democracy?

Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 

 
 
 
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