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Trump Slams Sacha Baron Cohen, branding him “Unfunny Creep”

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Trump Slams Sacha Baron Cohen, branding him "Unfunny Creep"

President Trump is not a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen or his infamous ‘Borat’ Kazakh character.

British comedian Cohen made headlines this week about Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in an awkward cameo in his latest film, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”

Giuliani was fooled into a fake “interview” with an attractive, flirtatious young woman for a new mockery.

Breitbart says, “Years ago, you know, he was trying to cheat me. And I was the only one who didn’t say either way. This is a fake man. And I can’t find him amusing, “Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One Friday, The Sun reported. “He was a creep to me.”

The incident with Cohen took place about 15 years ago, Trump said, without going into any further specifics.

Cohen had a short interview with Trump in 2003 while dressing as his character Ali G. The false-British rapper had visibly irritated Trump about the prospect of investing in gloves to cover your hands while eating ice cream.

“I hope you make a lot of money,” Trump said before leaving.

The film was also confronted by critics in other corners, including author and financial analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who derided the character as racist.

“Borat is almost the most racist film in history, blatantly degrading the # Kazakhstan pple[sic]. Yet many get ‘canceled’ for misusing a few words out of context. So Sacha Baron Cohen & Writers get a free pass to the ‘left’ because he targets Giuliani? “Taleb has written on Twitter. “I have visited Kazakhstan a number of times. Every time, the locals brought the subject and insisted that Borat was not representative, that it was unfair, that it caused a lot of harm, etc.

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March for Life, nation’s largest abortion protest, could be last under Roe

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March for Life, nation’s largest abortion protest, could be last under Roe

WASHINGTON — Anti-abortion protesters began to gather Friday in the nation’s capital with spirits high and a sense that the country has reached a pivotal moment that could lead to a sweeping rollback of abortion rights in many states.

The March for Life, for decades an annual protest against abortion, arrives this year as the Supreme Court has indicated it will allow states to impose tighter restrictions on abortion with a ruling in the coming months — and possibly overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that affirmed the constitutional right to an abortion.

“It doesn’t feel real. There’s so much hope and vibrancy and happiness and joy at this thing,” said Jordan Moorman of Cincinnati. “I really do believe that we’re in a post-Roe generation.”

The rally, held on the anniversary of the Roe decision, is taking place amid a COVID-19 surge that is expected to limit turnout at the National Mall. Some abortion opponents posted on the event’s Facebook page that they will not attend because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for people going to restaurants and other places in the District of Columbia.

The pandemic has not dampened the optimism of a resurgent anti-abortion movement that sees a new Texas law banning most abortions as a sign of things to come, and who say they are not done fighting for restrictions even if the Supreme Court’s conservative majority rules in their favor later this year.

At least 26 states are in line to further limit abortion access if Roe is weakened or overturned, according to abortion rights groups. In December, the court indicated in a major case that it would uphold a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and allow states to ban abortion even earlier. The Mississippi case directly challenges Roe.

For months, courts have dealt Texas abortion providers a string of defeats over efforts to block a law that since September has banned abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks and before some women know they are pregnant. Another loss for Texas clinics came Thursday, when the Supreme Court refused to speed up the ongoing challenge over the law, which providers say is now likely to stay in effect for the foreseeable future.

“This law is cruel and unconstitutional, and I am deeply disappointed that our judicial system has done very little to stop it,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, which operates four abortion clinics in Texas.

The Supreme Court was remade by three nominees of former President Donald Trump, who in 2020 became the first sitting president to address the March for Life. The schedule for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris included no events Friday connected to the march.

Lawmakers from both parties weighed in Friday to note the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reflect on the shifting political landscape surrounding abortion.

“It has been an eye-opening year for the cause of life in America, and we have made significant progress in defending our youngest and most vulnerable,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House.

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Red Cross: Yemen prison airstrike killed, injured over 100

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Red Cross: Yemen prison airstrike killed, injured over 100

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A Saudi-led airstrike targeting a prison run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels killed and wounded over 100 detainees on Friday, rescuers said, part of a pounding aerial offensive that hours earlier saw another airstrike take the Arab world’s poorest country off the internet.

A strike in the port city of Hodeida, later confirmed by satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press, hit a telecommunication center there that’s key to Yemen’s connection to the internet. Airstrikes also hit near Sanaa, Yemen’s capital held by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels since late 2014.

The intense campaign comes after the Houthis claimed a drone and missile attack that struck inside the capital of the United Arab Emirates earlier in the week.

Basheer Omar, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson in Yemen, gave the casualty figure to the AP. He said rescuers continued to go through the prison site in the northern city of Saada, also controlled by the Houthis.

“The toll is likely to increase, unfortunately,” Omar said. The Red Cross had moved some of the wounded to facilities elsewhere, he said. There was no breakdown for how many were killed and how many were wounded.

Doctors Without Borders in a separate statement put the number of wounded alone at “around 200” people.

“From what I hear from my colleague in Saada, there are many bodies still at the scene of the airstrike, many missing people,” said Ahmed Mahat, the organization’s head of mission in Yemen. “It is impossible to know how many people have been killed. It seems to have been a horrific act of violence.”

The organization Save the Children said over 60 were killed in Saada, describing the prison holding detained migrants.

“The initial casualties report from Saada is horrifying,” said Gillian Moyes, Save the Children’s country director in Yemen. “Migrants seeking better lives for themselves and their families, Yemeni civilians injured by the dozens, is a picture we never hoped to wake up to in Yemen.”

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis did not immediately acknowledge the strike in Saada.

As for the airstrike in Hodeida that apparently took Yemen entirely offline, NetBlocks said the internet disruption began around 1 a.m. local and affected TeleYemen, the state-owned monopoly that controls internet access in the country. TeleYemen is now run by the Houthis who have held Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, since late 2014.

Yemen faces “a nation-scale collapse of internet connectivity” after an airstrike on a telecommunications building, NetBlocks said.

The San Diego-based Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis and San Francisco-based internet firm CloudFlare also noted a nationwide outage affecting Yemen beginning around the same time.

Over 12 hours later, the internet remained down. The Norwegian Refugee Council decried the strike as “a blatant attack on civilian infrastructure that will also impact our aid delivery.”

The Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel said the strike on the telecommunications building had killed and wounded people. It released chaotic footage of people digging through rubble for a body as gunshots could be heard. Aid workers assisted bloodied survivors.

Save the Children said the airstrike in Hodeida killed at least three children playing on a soccer field.

Satellite photos analyzed by the AP corresponded to photos shared on social media of the telecommunications building being flattened by the airstrike.

The Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthi rebels acknowledged carrying out “accurate airstrikes to destroy the capabilities of the militia” around Hodeida’s port. It did not immediately acknowledge striking a telecommunication target as NetBlocks described, but instead called Hodeida a hub for piracy and Iranian arms smuggling to back the Houthis. Iran has denied arming the Houthis, though U.N. experts, independent analysts and Western nations point to evidence showing Tehran’s link to the weapons.

The undersea FALCON cable carries internet into Yemen through the Hodeida port along the Red Sea for TeleYemen. The FALCON cable has another landing in Yemen’s far eastern port of Ghaydah as well, but the majority of Yemen’s population lives in its west along the Red Sea.

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Has rule-breaker Boris Johnson met his match in “partygate”?

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Has rule-breaker Boris Johnson met his match in “partygate”?

LONDON — For Boris Johnson, facts have always been flexible.

The British prime minister’s career is littered with doctored quotes, tall tales, exaggerations and mistruths. When called out, he has generally offered an apologetic shrug or a guilty grin, and moved on. Plenty of people were willing to forgive him.

At least until now. Revelations that the prime minister and his staff partied while Britain was under coronavirus restrictions have provoked public outrage and prompted many in the Conservative Party to consider dumping their leader.

The Conservatives picked Johnson because his image as a cheerful rule-breaker — the naughty schoolboy of British politics — gave him a rare ability to connect with voters. Now, many are having second thoughts.

“His fans would say he’s a force of nature — he doesn’t let things get in his way,” said Steven Fielding, professor of political history at the University of Nottingham.

“Sometimes he’s been caught out, but mostly he’s got away with it,” Fielding added. “Now the reality is becoming more apparent to more and more people.”

Johnson has often been able to talk his way out of crises. The Oxford-educated politician has used words to create the image of a rumpled jokester with a mop of blond hair who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Quips and jokes tumble out of him, sometimes in Latin or ancient Greek.

That persona made Johnson a popular guest on the humorous TV show “Have I Got News for You” from the late 1990s onwards, and brought him global fame as London’s boosterish mayor between 2008 and 2016.

Many people thought he was too lightweight ever to become prime minister, and Johnson didn’t contradict them. He disguised his ambition with jokes, saying he had as much chance of becoming prime minister as of “finding Elvis on Mars” or being “reincarnated as an olive.”

In fact, he had long dreamed of power. His sister Rachel Johnson has said his childhood ambition was to be “world king.” But his route to the top was haphazard.

As a young journalist at The Times of London, he fabricated a quote about King Edward II from a historian, who also happened to be his godfather. He was fired, but that didn’t stop him becoming Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in the early 1990s, filing exaggerated stories of EU waste and red tape. Those “Euromyths” about one-size-fits-all condoms and plans to ban “bendy bananas” helped turn British opinion against the bloc, and ultimately led to Johnson becoming the Brexit champion who would years later bring the U.K. out of the EU.

Brexit was won in a 2016 referendum campaign that contained many questionable claims, notably the allegation — often repeated by Johnson — that Britain gave the EU 350 million pounds a week that could instead be spent on the U.K.’s health service.

Johnson suffered an early political setback when then-Conservative leader Michael Howard fired him in 2004 for lying about an extramarital affair. A month earlier, Howard forced him to apologize to the city of Liverpool for accusing its residents of “wallowing” in victimhood.

Opponents long argued that Johnson’s loose grasp of facts — and history of glibly offensive comments — made him unfit for high office. Over the years Johnson has called Papua New Guineans cannibals, claimed that “part Kenyan” Barack Obama had an ancestral dislike of Britain and compared Muslim women who wear face-covering veils to “letter boxes.”

Johnson has usually responded by dismissing offensive comments as jokes, or by accusing journalists of dredging up long-ago remarks. Attacking the media — along with “lefty London lawyers” — is a longstanding populist tactic of Johnson. His biographer Andrew Gimson has called him the “Merry England PM” who depicts his opponents as joyless puritans.

Now, though, Johnson’s allies worry that the tide has turned. Johnson has apologized for the lockdown-breaching parties in uncharacteristically subdued and carefully worded statements. He has stopped short of admitting personal wrongdoing, saying he believed he acted within the rules.

But many Britons who stuck to lockdown rules imposed by the government — cut off from friends and family, unable to visit relatives in nursing homes and hospitals — have scoffed at Johnson’s “partygate” excuses, including his claim that he thought a “bring your own booze” garden party was a work event.

Chris Curtis, head of political polling at Opinium Research, said public trust in the prime minister had plummeted and Johnson’s personal approval ratings were now “pretty dire.”

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