Day: February 9, 2020

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LASHES OUT AT 'DOG-FACED' VOTER


The dust-up came after the voter asked whether he can rebound from Iowa

Perhaps the pressure is getting to him.

On Sunday, Joe Biden snapped at a voter in New Hampshire, calling him a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”

The dust-up came after the voter asked Biden, “How do you explain the performance in Iowa and why should the voters believe that you can win a national election?”

“You ever been to a caucus?” Biden replied. 

After the voter said she indeed had attended a caucus, Biden shot back: “No you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”

“You gotta be honest,” he continued. “I’m gonna be honest with you. It was a little bit confusing in Iowa. But let’s assume it was all exactly right.”

Biden told the unknown voter Iowa has a poor record picking presidential winners. The comments were first flagged by Yahoo News’ Jon Ward.

Biden was speaking at the first of two Sunday campaign events in Hampton, New Hampshire. The latest polling from the Boston Globe/Suffolk University is tracking Biden in fourth place, only one point ahead of Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

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— AOC and Boyfriend Riley Roberts Discuss Tips for ‘Combating Racism’ as a White Person

— Democrats: You Know We’re a Bunch of Sexist Racists [Supercut]

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UN: Most devastating plague of locusts in recent history could come within weeks…


GAROWE, Somalia — At a glance, the desert locusts in this arid patch of northern Somalia look less ominous than the billion-member swarms infesting East Africa in the worst outbreak some places have seen in 70 years.

But their time will come.

Small and wingless, the hopping young locusts are the next wave in the outbreak that threatens more than 10 million people across the region with a severe hunger crisis.

And they are growing up in one of the most inaccessible places on the planet. Large parts of Somalia south of this semi-autonomous Puntland region are under threat, or held by, the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group. That makes it difficult or impossible to conduct the aerial spraying of the locusts that experts say is the only effective control.

Somalia has declared the outbreak a national emergency. Across the region, it has the potential “to be the most devastating plague of locusts in any of our living memories if we don’t reduce the problem faster than we’re doing at the moment,” U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said.

As an armed Somali policeman stood by, experts on Thursday walked across the dry land crawling with the young locusts and explained the threat to come if the world doesn’t act right now.

“The world needs to know this is where it all begins,” said Alberto Trillo Barca, a spokesman for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. “In the next three or four weeks, these nymphs, as we call them, will develop wings.”

Then they are expected to set off for neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, where a handful of planes spraying pesticide can only do so much if such swarms keep arriving.

Climate experts have pointed to unusually heavy rains, aided by a powerful cyclone off Somalia in December, as a major factor in the outbreak. The locusts were carried in by the storm’s winds from the Arabian Peninsula and parts beyond, and now they are feeding on Somalia’s fresh vegetation.

With more rains expected in the region in the coming weeks, the number of locusts if unchecked could grow by up to 500 times by June, when drier weather is expected.

But that drier weather is not necessarily the solution, said Dominique Burgeon, the FAO’s emergency and resilience director.

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The density of the locusts is now so high that even normal moisture can lead to another generation, he said.

“We cannot believe in Mother Nature to solve it,” he explained.

Without enough spraying to stop the swarms, the already worrying outbreak could turn into a plague, “and when you have a plague, it takes years to control,” he said.

Against that sweeping outlook, a few masked workers with white protective suits and pesticide containers strapped to their backs stood in the camel-crossed Somali desert, spritzing the thousands of locusts clinging to thorny bushes.

The world’s changing climate brings the risk of more cyclones coming in from the warming Indian Ocean off East Africa, climate experts say. With that, the likelihood of further locust outbreaks grows.

The “sort of new normal,” Burgeon said.

And that means Kenya, Ethiopia and other East African countries that rarely see such outbreaks and found themselves largely unprepared for this one could join “frontline countries” in parts of West Africa and the Middle East, experts say. Those countries have well-trained monitoring and prevention systems in place for more frequent locust outbreaks.

The FAO has asked international donors to give $76 million immediately to help control this outbreak. So far $19 million is in hand, Burgeon said.

“The biggest challenge is the scale of the breeding, as you can see all around us,” Barca said. These locusts, he said, will be migrating to southern Somalia and parts of Kenya and Ethiopia just as crops are germinating there.

“If at that time there are huge quantities of locusts around, it will have a devastating impact on the crops,” Burgeon said.

Other East African countries including South Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti are also at risk, Burgeon said. Millions of people in some of these places are already facing hunger in the wake of civil war or more common challenges such as poverty.

Locusts began to arrive Sunday in Uganda, reaching a village near the Kenyan border, according to Martin Owor, the country’s commissioner in charge of disaster preparedness.

The swarm spotted in Amudat district was “certainly big,” and the prime minister was expected to lead an evening emergency meeting on Uganda’s first major locust outbreak since the 1960s, Owor said.

Here in rural Somalia, where about 50% of the people depend on animals for their livelihoods, the locusts are eating the pasturage. The animals weaken, their milk decreases and small children, who depend on the milk to survive, suffer skyrocketing malnutrition, the experts said.

Those fighting the locust outbreak may try to negotiate with Somalia’s extremist fighters to allow spraying in rural areas where they are active, Burgeon said. Already emergency workers are going in where they can.

In a few weeks the young locusts will shed their skin, said Keith Cressman, a senior locust forecasting officer with the FAO.

“It takes a few days to warm up their wings,” he said. Some test flights follow and they’re on the move.

The locusts at that stage are bright pink and in their most voracious state, like “very hungry teenagers,” Cressman said. By now, many people in Kenya and Ethiopia know them well.

After a month or so, the locusts will be mature adults, ready to reproduce.

Soon after copulating and laying eggs the locusts will die, “but their progeny will be hatching,” Cressman said. “And we have another generation of locusts to contend with, with about another 20-fold increase.”



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Concerns Spread Faster and Further Than Pathogen…


A deadly new coronavirus has spread to two dozen countries from China. So far, Iceland isn’t one of them.

That hasn’t stopped the country of 363,000 people from preparing a building called “Place X” to quarantine hundreds of people, should the need arise. Iceland has also established a coordination center, where emergency and government officials meet for daily briefings.

Local officials in many remote corners—from Iceland to Antarctica—are rushing to prepare for the possible arrival of the virus, a reflection of China’s global reach and how quickly fear is spreading.

Since the virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late December, it has killed at least 811 people, primarily in mainland China, among nearly 37,198 confirmed cases. Neighboring nations like Thailand and Malaysia have reported several cases, as have large economic centers with established Chinese communities, including Paris and Sydney. The virus has also reached more-remote areas, including Lapland in northern Finland and the island of Tenerife, off the coast of West Africa.

Many places, no matter how distant from China, aren’t taking any chances. Even Antarctica is preparing. The Australian Antarctic Program said it has canceled a flight set to bring 23 people to its research station on Macquarie Island and won’t let tourist ships visit the site.

Some 11,000 miles from Wuhan, posters have been put up in the Falkland Islands, giving people advice on what they should do if they begin to feel ill. The information is also read to air and sea passengers when they arrive. The Islands expect around 60,000 tourists from cruise ships this summer season.

The Falkland Islands’ only hospital has an isolation facility—rooms used for patients with infectious diseases. Officials have plans to expand the area if necessary.

The preparations are in part a measure of how China growing economic heft has expanded its global reach and fueled tourism world-wide. When severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, fanned out from China in 2003, the country had the world’s sixth-biggest economy. Now it is No. 2 in gross domestic product and No. 1 in trade. In 2002, about seven million Chinese people traveled beyond Hong Kong, according to Goldman Sachs. Now they take around 150 million international trips annually.

“In 2003, we hardly had any Chinese tourists. Last year, it was 100,000,” said

Ágúst Gunnar Gylfason,

project manager at Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, referring to the 2003 SARS outbreak in China.

The Regional Hospital of Lapland in Rovaniemi has quarantined one coronavirus-infected patient.



Photo:

kaisa siren/Shutterstock

The concern isn’t unfounded. The virus has spread to places like Lapland, a region stretching into the Arctic Circle that has seen a similar increase in Chinese tourism. In 2005, travelers from China spent a total of 5,500 nights in Lapland, according to Visit Finland. Last year, that went up to 108,000 nights.

A tourist visiting from Wuhan tested positive after reporting being ill to local health workers on Jan. 29. Officials sent an epidemiologist and a Chinese-speaking researcher north from Helsinki who helped track down 21 people who had been in contact with the tourist, said

Jussi Sane,

who coordinated the response from the country’s Department of Health Security. Many of the 21 possible contacts have also been placed in quarantine for 14 days.

Tracking the Coronavirus

  • Eighty-nine people died in China on Saturday, pushing the death toll to 811.
  • The death toll from the outbreak has now surpassed that of the SARS epidemic nearly two decades ago.
  • China confirmed another 2,656 infections, bringing the total to 37,198.

Other tourism hubs are taking preventive measures. The East African island nation of Mauritius, which welcomes hundreds of thousands of Asian visitors every year, has opened overflow quarantine facilities, banned all imports of live animals and stopped issuing work permits to Chinese workers.

Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal,

the country’s health minister, on Tuesday said all travelers entering from China, regardless of nationality, will be placed in quarantine.

The Caribbean island of Jamaica hasn’t so far confirmed any cases. Nonetheless, the country said it has prepared quarantine centers and increased stocks of relevant medications. “I wish to make a special appeal.…to all Jamaicans, to pay attention to the standard infection prevention and control precautions,” Jamaica’s health minister,

Christopher Tufton,

said in Parliament on Jan. 29.

In 2005, travelers from China spent a total of 5,500 nights in Lapland, according to Visit Finland. Last year, that went up to 108,000 nights.



Photo:

kaisa siren/EPA/Shutterstock

Greenland, the world’s largest island—but with a population of just 56,000—is also making preparations. Increasing numbers of Chinese visit as tourists or because of their involvement in the local fishing and mineral-prospecting industries.

“This is a very big country and we don’t know where the first case may turn up,” said

Henrik Hansen,

the country’s chief medical officer. Greenland would have the added headache of testing for coronavirus by sending samples to Denmark, of which it is an autonomous province. Mr. Hansen hopes to get such laboratory capabilities set up on Greenland.

A German tourist visiting the Canary Islands this week was confirmed to have contracted the virus.



Photo:

violeta mesa/EPA/Shutterstock

In some places, fear is simply spreading faster than the virus. Last week, police in the remote Canadian town of Kenora, roughly 430 miles north of Minneapolis, evacuated the post office after two employees complained of being ill after a package arrived from Wuhan. In Chile, one health official asked people to handle packages from China with gloves, according to local reports.

“The coronavirus was so new. We didn’t know how it could spread,” said Constable

Jason Canfield

of the Ontario Provincial Police about the decision to evacuate.

Health authorities would later assure people the virus couldn’t be spread through inanimate objects and the post office reopened that day.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

How would you grade China’s handling of the coronavirus? Why? Join the conversation below.

Write to Alistair MacDonald at alistair.macdonald@wsj.com

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Texas county 'ground zero' for 2020?



Texas county 'ground zero' for 2020?

(Second column, 7th story, link)


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Trump lashes out at ‘photoshopped’ image of face…
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A.I. PICKS PETE TO BEAT…
Establishment eyes Bloomberg…





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Trump lashes out at 'photoshopped' image of face…


Donald Trump has described photographs revealing a pale ring around the edge of his distinctly orange face as “more fake news”, after a particularly unflattering image went viral over the weekend.

Mr Trump’s eccentric range of facial colourations has been the subject of repeated enquiry by journalists and critics seeking to question his health and state of mind, with White House insiders in the past claiming the president uses tanning beds and also applies his own make-up.

Donald Trump on the south lawn of the White House on 7 February 2020: EPA
Donald Trump on the south lawn of the White House on 7 February 2020: EPA

Related Video: Trump Fires Impeachment Witnesses

Whatever his particular personal regime is, the facts are these: On Friday, several photographers took pictures of Mr Trump as he crossed the White House’s South Lawn after he disembarked from the Marine One helicopter following a trip to North Carolina.

Several similar photographs of the president were put out by wire service photographers for AP, PA and AFP among others.

All of them showed Mr Trump striding through the wind, with his yellow hair blown back, and a definite line between the orange tones around his eyes, nose and mouth, and the pale skin beginning just before his ears and scalp.

However, one image in particular appeared to show this contrast more sharply.

The image in question was taken by the photographer William Moon, and published on the account @photowhitehouse.

Responding to a black and white version of the snap, Mr Trump wrote: “More Fake News. This was photoshopped, obviously, but the wind was strong and the hair looks good? Anything to demean!”

The photographer has denied the image was photoshopped. Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Mr Moon insisted the photo was not photoshopped, but said he had “used the Apple smartphone’s photo app to adjust the colour of the picture”.

“Every Photographer has a same way to adjust a colour of a picture,” he added.

In the past, Mr Trump has blamed his peculiar facial pigmentation on the glare of energy efficient lightbulbs – which he then threatened to ban.

He has also insisted his unlikely glow comes from “good genes”.

It has been extensively documented how Mr Trump orders the importance of substance and style in his administration. It appears there is another crack – quite visibly – in the visage.



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Surrendered after running out of bullets…


The “coward” gunman who shot up an NYPD station house in The Bronx early Sunday, wounding a lieutenant, only surrendered after he emptied his clip, according to department Commissioner Dermot Shea.

Alleged shooter Robert Williams stormed into the 41st Precinct station house on Longwood Avenue around 8 a.m. and opened fire, according to harrowing video of the brazen assault and police sources.

“He immediately pulls out a gun and fires multiple rounds towards the desk area,” said Shea in a press briefing. “He then walks into an area beside that desk and fires several rounds.”

In the barrage, a lieutenant, identified as Jose Gautreaux, was struck in the upper left arm, Shea said.

The shooter quickly threw himself down to the station-house floor — but not because he had a change of heart, said Shea.

“I will point out that this coward immediately lay down, but only after he ran out of bullets,” said Shea.

Once the bullets stopped flying, the suspect was taken into custody by a flood of Finest, and taken to an area hospital, for unspecified injuries suffered in the fracas.

He is also suspected of ambushing another neighborhood cop sitting in a marked department van on Saturday night, firing a round that nearly struck that officer’s carotid artery, sources have said.

Both that officer and Gautreaux are expected to make full recoveries, said Shea.

Lieutenants Benevolent Association president Lou Turco characterized the shooter as a “career criminal,” and Shea noted that he was convicted of attempted murder in 2002 — in an incident also involving a shoot-out with cops.

In that incident, he shot a person, carjacked a passing motorist, crashed that vehicle, and then got traded bullets with the NYPD before his apprehension, said Shea.

The suspect also had a court date for another case in the coming days, said Shea, not revealing any details of that incident.

Shea, joined by city leaders including Mayor Bill de Blasio, denounced Sunday’s attack.

“This is not a liquor store robbery interrupted,” said Shea. “This was a premeditated assassination attempt.

“It is only by the grace of God … that we are not talking about police officers murdered inside a New York City police precinct.”

Added de Blasio, “This was an attempt to assassinate police officers. We need to use that word, because it was a premeditated effort to kill.

“Picture yourself on a Sunday morning at work and bullets start flying all around you,” said de Blasio. “This is what we ask of our officers.”



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Outrage after gunman ambushes NYC police twice in 12 hours…


NEW YORK (AP) — A gunman is in custody after he ambushed police officers in the Bronx twice in 12 hours, wounding two in attacks that ignited outrage from officials who blamed the violence on an atmosphere of anti-police rhetoric.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, was captured after he walked into a police station in the Bronx and started shooting shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday.

Two security camera videos posted on social media captured the shooting inside the 41st Precinct, which left one officer with injuries to his arm. One of the videos shows the suspect firing at police personnel before he ran out of bullets, lay down and tossed his pistol on the floor.

That attack came just hours after the same man approached a patrol van in the same part of the Bronx and fired at two officers inside, wounding one, police said.

On Saturday evening, police say the suspect walked up to the van asking the officers for directions and then fired multiple shots, grazing the officer behind the wheel in the chin and neck, and narrowly missing an artery.

Neither officer returned fire.

Despite multiple shots fired in both incidents, nobody was killed and all are expected to recover, police said.

“It is only by the grace of God and the heroic actions of those inside the building that took him into custody that we are not talking about police officers murdered inside a New York City police precinct,” New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a press conference Sunday.

The officer injured in the first shooting was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon to resounding cheers and applause from a sizeable contingent of fellow officers. The officer, bandage visible on his neck, gave a thumbs-up to the crowd.

Shea called the gunman a “coward” and said he had a lengthy criminal history, including a 2002 shooting and carjacking in which he also fired a gun at police officers. Shea said the man was paroled from prison in 2017 after an attempted murder conviction.

The commissioner also lashed out at criminal justice reform activists who have held demonstrations against excessive force by police in recent months, including a large protest in Grand Central Terminal. He suggested that the protests helped create an anti-police environment.

“These things are not unrelated. We had people marching through the streets of New York City recently,” Shea said. “Words matter. And words affect people’s behavior.”

Shea didn’t offer any evidence that the gunman in this weekend’s attacks knew of those protests or was influenced by them.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who won office partly on a promise to reform overly aggressive policing of minority communities, also suggested that while police had a right to protest, anti-police sentiment had gotten out of hand.

“Anyone who spews hatred at our officers is aiding and abetting this kind of atmosphere, it is not acceptable,” de Blasio said. “You could protest for whatever you believe in but you cannot vilely attack those who are here to protect us. It creates this kind of dynamic.”

Robert Gangi, executive director of the Police Reform Organizing Project advocacy group, pushed back against the criticism aimed at protests, and said it was “irresponsible” for Shea and de Blasio to say the shooter’s behavior “is a result of the demonstrations and protestors who are protesting in a legitimate fashion.”

Of the shooter, Gangi said there is “no defense for a lunatic who opens fire on police.”

The attacks recalled other unprovoked assaults on police officers sitting in their patrol vehicles.

In 2017, a gunman killed Officer Miosotis Familia as she sat in her patrol vehicle in the Bronx. In 2014, two officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot dead in their patrol car in Brooklyn by a man upset about recent police killings of unarmed black men.

The killings of Ramos and Liu had also followed large street protests and some officers blamed de Blasio for expressing solidarity with the demonstrations, and turned their backs on the Democrat at the funerals.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet Sunday he was “horrified by the multiple attacks” on police. “NY’s law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. These attacks are heinous.”

President Donald Trump immediately used the shootings to assail New York’s Democratic mayor and governor.

“I grew up in New York City and, over many years, got to watch how GREAT NYC’s ‘Finest’ are. Now, because of weak leadership at Governor & Mayor, stand away (water thrown at them) regulations, and lack of support, our wonderful NYC police are under assault. Stop this now!” he tweeted.

The attacks happened in the Bronx’s 41st Precinct, a once crime-plagued district whose former headquarters was infamously branded “Fort Apache,” and was the subject of a 1981 film starring Paul Newman.

In recent years, though, the neighborhood has gotten much safer. There were five killings reported in all of last year and 164 robberies, down from 44 killings and 1,095 robberies in 1990.



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BA flight breaks NY to London speed record as it reaches 825mph!


A BRITISH Airways jet has today smashed the record for the fastest subsonic New York to London flight – thanks to incredible storm force winds.

The Boeing 747-436 reached speeds of 825mph at 35,000ft as it was carried on a jet stream boosted by Storm Ciara – which has been battering the UK.

 The Boeing 747-436 reached speeds of 825mph at 35,000ft (stock)

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The Boeing 747-436 reached speeds of 825mph at 35,000ft (stock)Credit: Alamy

BA Flight 112 took just four hours and 56 minutes for the transatlantic trip and touched down at Heathrow Airport 80 minutes ahead of schedule.

According to Flightradar24 – an online tracking service – it beat a previous record of five hours 13 minutes held by Norwegian Airways.

Experts say the average flight time for the journey is around six hours and 13 minutes.

The pilot was apparently able to utilise wind speeds topping 250mph in the jet stream, a band of air currents pilots ride to increase their speed.

Flightradar24 tweeted: ‘Fastest across the Atlantic tonight from New York to London so far is #BA112 at 4hr56m.

‘If we’re not mistaken, BA now retakes the fastest subsonic NY-London crossing from Norwegian.’

 The record Atlantic crossing was monitored by Flightradar24

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The record Atlantic crossing was monitored by Flightradar24

Aviation consultant and former BA pilot Alastair Rosenschein told the BBC the aeroplane reached a “phenomenal speed”.

“The pilot will have sat their aircraft in the core of the jet stream and at this time of year it’s quite strong,” he said.

“Turbulence in those jet streams can be quite severe, but you can also find it can be a very smooth journey.”

However, despite travelling faster than the speed of sound the plane would not have broken the sound barrier as it was helped along by fast-moving air.

Relative to the air, it was travelling slower than 801mph despite being given a huge boost by Ciara – dubbed the ‘Storm of the Century’ in the UK.

British Airways said: “We always prioritise safety over speed records.

“Our highly-trained pilots made the most of the conditions to get customers back to London well ahead of time.”

The fastest transatlantic crossing still belongs to BA Concorde, which flew from New York to London in two hours 52 minutes in 1996 hitting speeds of 1,350mph.



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Snoop Dogg Walks Back Gayle King Comments: 'I'm a Non-Violent Person'…


After telling Gayle King to “back off b–ch,” Snoop Dogg is backing down.

The rapper took to Instagram Saturday to post a video insisting he never threatened King over her controversial interview with Lisa Leslie about late NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

“I’m a non-violent person. When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family. Now with that being said, what do I look like wanting some harm to come to a 70-year-old woman? I was raised way better than that,” said Snoop Dogg.

Related Story: Kobe Bryant Public Memorial at Staples Center Set for 2/24

Perhaps Snoop was unaware, but King is 65 years old not 70. The rapper went on to say he meant no harm to the CBS This Morning co-anchor.

“I didn’t threaten her. All I did was said, ‘Check it out. You’re out of pocket for what you’re doing and we’re watching you,’” he insisted. “We’re very non-violent. We just want to say that first and foremost, we speak from the heart. Some of you who have no heart don’t understand that.”

Snoop shared this latest message three days after he posted a profanity-filled video warning King to “back off b–ch before we come get you.”

He also blasted King’s BFF Oprah Winfrey in the video for criticizing black men. Last year Winfrey interviewed two Michael Jackson accusers who shared their stories in the HBO film Leaving Neverland. She was also briefly attached to an upcoming documentary detailing sexual abuse allegations against Russell Simmons before dropping out of the project in January 2020.

Related Story: Russell Simmons Sex Abuse Doc  Was The Talk of Sundance

“Why y’all attacking us? We’re your people. You ain’t come after f–king Harvey Weinstein asking them dumbass questions,” Snoop stated. At the end of the video, he said: “Free Bill Cosby.”

Cosby, who is serving three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, responded to Snoop’s post from jail [or had an associate do it].

“It’s so sad and disappointing that successful Black Women are being used to tarnish the image and legacy of successful Black Men, even in death,” Cosby wrote on Instagram Thursday. “Are these people that in need of fame, ratings and/or money?”

The fallout from King’s interview took yet another turn Saturday with CBS News President Susan Zirinsky calling threats against the newscaster “reprehensible.”

“We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist,” Zirinsky told the Associated Press. “We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible.”

Zirinsky echoed comments similar to Winfrey, who revealed in an interview Friday that King was “not doing well.”

“She now has death threats and has to now travel with security,” Winfrey told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on the Today show.

The controversy started after King interviewed Bryant’s good friend, former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, about the NBA legend’s legacy.

In her interview, King asked Leslie about Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault case in Colorado. Bryant reached an out-of-court settlement with his accuser, but King noted in her interview that his legacy is “complicated.”

Leslie replied, “It’s not complicated for me at all… I just never see — have ever seen him being the kind of person that would be — do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way.”

King has blamed CBS for the backlash, saying the controversy was caused by someone in the company posting a “salacious” clip online from her interview with Leslie.

Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash with eight others in Calabasas, Calif. on Jan. 26.



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Dead flesh smells, demon voices and scratches; Possessed teen's exorcism…


A teenager who said she experimented with magic and ended up possessed by a malevolent “shadow” demon has claimed she was saved by an exorcism.

The girl, called Brittney, had her torment told on paranormal podcast Real Ghost Stories Online after writing in to describe how she was tortured by the evil spirit.

Brittney, now aged 22, said she was a 13-year-old schoolgirl when she had started experimenting with “Wicca”.

She had seen “beings” and “supernatural creatures” from a young age and started performing Wiccan magic rituals with her friends to learn more.

The woman said she started practising magic as a schoolgirl

“At first I started doing deviation and conjuring spells along with friends,” she explained.

“We did everything by the books that we were told to do to make sure the spirits we encountered couldn’t stay around, but it didn’t work.”

Recalling how her terror began, Brittney said: “I started waking up at night to find my room really cold and I’d get very panicky.

“That feeling started getting stronger and stronger and making me more uneasy.

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‘Ghosts’ on camera

“One night I woke up to that feeling and saw a huge, tall shadow standing at the foot of my bed.

“This mass blocked the light coming from the rec room where my brother was gaming and I couldn’t scream – I was in too much shock.

“I closed my eyes and waited for it to do something to me.

“When I opened them, it was gone, and that was the last time I physically saw it, that thing, clearly.”

The teenager said she woke up feeling cold and saw an ominous shadow
The teenager said she woke up feeling cold and saw an ominous shadow

Brittney said the possession then got progressively worse, with the “demon” telling her to harm herself.

Remembering one particular experience, she said: “All of a sudden I felt an invisible force start choking me.

“As it was choking me I could hear a demonic laughing in my head and I could smell dead flesh.

“During this time I could feel the presence burrow into my chest.

“It almost felt like it was attempting to infect my soul.”

Brittney said that Christianity saved her from a vicious demon

Brittney said that over the next four years she barely slept and would wake up with bite marks and claw marks “in places I couldn’t reach”.

The teen was eventually saved by a Christian pastor, who had opened a youth club in her hometown.

Despite initially distrusting Christianity, she said she eventually worked up the courage to have the demon exorcised from her body.

“My pastor and the youth leader took me to the quiet office and started praying over me,” she said.

The woman said her face had twisted strangely during the exorcism

“He told me later that my face was contorting in ways that they had never seen before.

“I also have a recollection of involuntarily lifting up the left corner of my lip to show my teeth like a dog would.

“He also said that I had a hard time saying the word ‘Jesus’ when in my mind I thought I was saying the word fine.

“After their prayers, I snapped out of it, I felt like I was split in two.

“The demon and I were not cohabitating in my body anymore – thank God it was gone.

“The night after this experience I had the best night sleep I’d had in years.”



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