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Transgender cosmetics entrepreneur wanted in Malaysia for wearing feminine clothing is arrested in Thailand

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Nur Sajat arrested

Transgender cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman has been arrested after an eight-month search, Malaysian authorities confirmed on Monday.

The arrest: Nur Sajat, 36, was detained by Thai immigration authorities at a luxury condominium in Bangkok along with a man and a Thai woman, Malay Mail reported.

  • She was charged in an Islamic court near Kuala Lumpur for dressing up in feminine clothing, a baju kurung, while attending a religious event in 2018. 
  • The baju kurung, which originated from the Malay peninsula, is traditionally worn by women in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thailand.
  • An arrest warrant was issued in February after Nur Sajat failed to show up to a hearing.
  • She faces up to three years in prison or 5,000 Malaysian Ringgit (about $1,200) in fines, or both, if convicted.
  • Under Section 10(a) of the Shariah Crimes (State of Selangor) Enactment 1995, insulting Islam and related practices either by mocking or blaspheming through writing, drawings or photos is subject to punishment. 

Other offenses: Authorities said in a statement that Nur Sajat was arrested and charged with immigration offenses on Sept. 8 for carrying an invalid passport. She was released on bail for that case.

  • She is also wanted for criminal intimidation and “obstructing a public servant from carrying out his duties.”
  • Nur Sajat is seeking refuge with the UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR), according to Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Roberston.
  • “As a @UNHCRAsia recognized refugee, under no circumstances should Nur Sajat be sent back to #Malaysia,” he tweeted. “She needs to be sent to a country that will offer rights protections, not persecuted for being #LGBT which is what will happen if she is sent to Malaysia.”

Featured Image via The Star (left), tontonMYofficial (right)

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Fact check: Did Kyle Rittenhouse really sue LeBron James for defamation?

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Fact check: Did Kyle Rittenhouse really sue LeBron James for defamation?

Kyle Rittenhouse did not sue LeBron James for defamation. Here are details about that and other untrue claims this week.

CLAIM: Federal magistrate approved Kyle Rittenhouse’s $110 Million defamation suit against LeBron James.

THE FACTS: No such ruling was made. Rittenhouse has not filed a defamation suit against the Los Angeles Lakers star or anyone else, his spokesperson told The Associated Press. After 18-year-old Rittenhouse was acquitted of homicide charges in connection with the shooting of three people at a protest in Wisconsin, posts emerged on social media suggesting that he had filed defamation suits against some high-profile celebrities, including James. However, the claims are “absolutely not true,” according to David Hancock, a spokesperson for Rittenhouse and his family. “No legal actions have been taken against any organization or person in particular,” Hancock told the AP. He added that Rittenhouse and his legal team are not currently discussing any plans to file any defamation lawsuits. The report appeared to have originated on a satire website. Similar claims saying Rittenhouse had filed defamation suits have circulated on social media in recent days. On Sunday, the AP reported on false claims saying he had filed lawsuits against CNN, along with Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, both hosts of “The View.” Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured another during protests that followed the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse, who faced charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree homicide, argued he acted in self-defense. A jury acquitted him on all charges on Nov. 19.

— Associated Press writer Josh Kelety in Phoenix contributed this report.

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Video of first lady’s book reading manipulated to add child’s comment

CLAIM: Video captures a child yelling an expletive at Jill Biden as she begins reading a story to a group of students.

THE FACTS: The video clip was manipulated to insert audio of a child yelling a disparaging comment. It emerged Monday after the first lady sat down with a group of second grade students from Maryland to host a story time at the White House as part of the annual unveiling of holiday decorations. The altered video shows a child screaming, “Shut the f— up,” just as Biden introduces the picture book she wrote. But that comes from an unrelated video that has been shared online since at least 2019. While some people commenting on the video acknowledged that it was altered, and linked to the source of the audio, others shared the falsified video as real. The inserted audio has spread online for years, and first emerged in a video that appeared to show a young child cursing during a school graduation ceremony as adults tried to quiet the situation. It is unclear where the video was taken, but it has since become a widely-shared sound effect and has been edited into other videos, often in a comedic way. In the altered Biden video, the first lady began to introduce her 2012 book, “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” saying: “When my son was away, my granddaughter — just like you kids — really, really missed her daddy. So I wrote this book to tell other kids, ’cause there’s lots of kids who don’t know what it’s like —.” The sound of the yelling child was then inserted at that point to make it appear a student heckled Biden mid-sentence. A video of Biden’s full remarks shows she was not interrupted and finished her sentence.

— Associated Press writer Sophia Tulp in Atlanta contributed this report.

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Ghislaine Maxwell trial audio isn’t accessible by phone line

CLAIM: Members of the public can call the phone number 844-721-7237 and enter access code 9991787 to listen to live audio of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial.

THE FACTS: The phone number is from a previous teleconference and the code is no longer active. Callers to this number who use the code will receive the message: “your access code was not recognized,” as verified through an attempt by The Associated Press. Further, there is no such telephone line to listen to the trial audio, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. As Maxwell’s trial got underway on charges she groomed underage victims to have unwanted sex with the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, social media users circulated a number of false claims related to the trial, as well as incorrect explanations for why it is not being publicly broadcast online or on TV. Among the false claims that emerged this week was the assertion that a phone number and access code published by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in October would allow callers to listen in on the proceedings. Public telephone access to in-court criminal proceedings was previously provided in some cases “due to substantial restrictions on in-person attendance” during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the Office of the District Court Executive. The accommodation was discontinued in early November as in-person viewing was able to resume more regularly. Members of the media are not banned from the trial, either, as other social media users have falsely suggested. Reporters and members of the public are still able to watch the trial live, both in the courtroom, as well as in overflow rooms where it will be streamed for those who don’t get a seat, Judge Alison Nathan wrote in a Nov. 24 ruling. There are no other live feeds except those within the courthouse. Federal courts typically do not allow cameras like some state courts do. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to her charges and denied wrongdoing.

— Sophia Tulp

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Stores can’t write off customer donations made at checkout

CLAIM: When a customer elects to donate to charity at a store’s checkout counter, the store can write off that donation on its own end-of-year taxes.

THE FACTS: Stores can’t write off a customer’s point-of-sale donations, because they don’t count as company income, according to tax policy experts. Stores are only allowed to write off their own donations, such as when a store donates a certain portion of all its proceeds to charity. A widely circulating meme, shared thousands of times this week on Facebook and Instagram, claimed that retailers ask customers to add a little more for charity when checking out in order to fund their own tax write-offs. That’s misguided, according to Renu Zaretsky, a writer at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “The only way a company can write off money is if it’s income,” Zaretsky said. “And this is not counted as income.” Rather than receiving a customer’s donation as income, the company serves as a holding agent for that money, Zaretsky said. Customers may tally up their cash register donations for their own tax returns, but stores are not allowed to claim those. However, if a company gives to a charity on its own, not through prompting a customer to give, it can write off that money, according to Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation. Checkout charity campaigns bring in millions of dollars for charitable organizations each year, but customers should know they aren’t obligated to give when prompted, according to Zaretsky. They should also know, though, that a donation option at the cash register isn’t a sign of a money-hungry organization looking to lower its tax bill.

— Associated Press writer Ali Swenson in New York contributed the report.

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The World Economic Forum did not write about the omicron variant in July

CLAIM: The World Economic Forum published a story about the new coronavirus variant, now named omicron, in July 2021, months before South Africa first reported it to the World Health Organization this week.

THE FACTS: The WEF first published an article about detecting variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 in July, but archived versions of the story show it did not mention omicron at that time. The article was updated in November after the WHO’s announcement, the archives show. Scientists in South Africa identified and reported the new variant, B.1.1.529, on Nov. 24, saying it was behind a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. By Nov. 26, the WHO had declared it a “variant of concern” and given it the name “omicron.” The next day, Twitter users circulated posts linking to the WEF article, suggesting that it showed the variant was not new at all. “They’re starting to make mistakes. WHO just said that ‘Omicron’ was first reported by South Africa on 11/24/21. However, WEF reported this EXACT same ‘variant’—B.1.1.529, out of South Africa—way back in July. Oops,” reads one post that was retweeted over 3,000 times. But previous versions of the WEF article stored by the Wayback Machine, an internet archive, show that it did not mention the new variant until recently, although the forum failed to note that the article had been updated until later. An archive of the page from July 12, when the story was first published, contains no mention of the new variant. Another version archived on Sept. 22 shows the article unchanged. A version from Nov. 26, after omicron was announced, shows the article had then been updated to say “South African scientists have discovered a new COVID-19 variant” and that it is called “B.1.1.529.” The article, however, still did not note that it had been updated — retaining the July 12 timestamp — as the false claims began circulating on social media, an archived version shows. A note was added later in the day saying: “This article was last updated on 26 November 2021.”

— Associated Press reporter Karena Phan in Sacramento, Calif., contributed this report.

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Photos of London Olympics don’t show prior knowledge of pandemic

CLAIM: Photos of the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012 prove that the COVID-19 pandemic has been planned for a long time.

THE FACTS: The opening ceremony didn’t predict the COVID-19 pandemic, nor did its imagery relate in any way to the virus that would emerge and shut down the world eight years later, as a widely circulating Facebook post falsely claimed. The post shared images from the ceremony, from a scene featuring hospital beds, women in dresses and a giant, skeletal figure in a black robe with a white wand towering overhead, to falsely claim they prove the COVID-19 pandemic was premeditated. “Remember the London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony, with the giant death figure holding a needle, the dancing nurses and all of the children in hospital beds?” the post read. “It’s starting to make a lot more sense now. They have had this planned for a long time.” However, the costumes and figures in the ceremony had no relationship to the COVID-19 pandemic, and predated it by years. Instead, they paid tribute to Britain’s National Health Service and to iconic British children’s literature, including the “Harry Potter” franchise and its robed villain, Voldemort. “To the strains of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, a scene of children in hospital beds was overrun by literary villains including Captain Hook, Cruella De Vil, the Queen of Hearts and Voldemort, before a group of flying nannies – reminiscent of Mary Poppins – arrived from the skies to banish the nightmarish characters,” the Olympics website explains. Patients and hospital staff from a London hospital were among the performers in the spectacle, according to local press reports.

— Ali Swenson

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Find AP Fact Checks here: https://apnews.com/APFactCheck

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Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

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Broncos Journal: Twenty-two years after first meeting, Vic Fangio and Andy Reid match wits again

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Broncos Journal: Twenty-two years after first meeting, Vic Fangio and Andy Reid match wits again

Ten things about the Broncos entering Sunday night’s game at Kansas City:

1. Despite their significant play-calling experience, teams with Broncos coach Vic Fangio (18th year as a play-caller) and Chiefs coach Andy Reid (23rd year) have met only nine times. Reid (Kansas City and Philadelphia) has a 5-4 edge with averages of 25.2 points and 343.4 yards against Fangio (Indianapolis, Houston, San Francisco, Chicago and the Broncos). Fangio’s defenses have forced 14 turnovers.

2. The first Fangio-Reid game was in 1999 when Fangio was with Indianapolis and Reid was the Eagles’ first-year coach. The Colts won 44-17, holding Philadelphia to 212 yards and forcing five turnovers. In 2011, Fangio’s 49ers won 24-23 despite allowing 513 yards (they forced three takeaways). Reid has won all four games against the Fangio-coached Broncos.

3. Reid on Fangio: “He does a great job every year. His mind is special when it comes to the defensive side of the football. They have an influx of young players and new players and they’re playing their tails off. You put the tape on and they’re playing hard and they’re very sound at what they do.”

4. Fangio on Reid: “It’s a difficult offense to defend by the design of it. It’s a spread-out offense. The guys running the offense are really, really fast. You have those ingredients and then put (Patrick) Mahomes in there. They run a similar offense that they ran when Alex Smith was there. Mahomes is Mahomes. That makes it a lot better.”

5. Do the Chiefs just run more stuff offensively? Yes. “There is a variety of things,” defensive backs coach Christian Parker said. “You talk about formations, the actual concepts, where guys line up; a lot of teams, you can dial in and say, ‘This guy does this, that guy does that.’ You can’t dial in with these guys. They do a good job breaking their tendencies each and every week so you have to know yourself, know your rules and go play ball.”

6. Even though he’s eligible to return from injured reserve, Broncos cornerback Bryce Callahan (knee) never got out of the blocks and will miss a fourth consecutive game. Kyle Fuller will get the call as the nickel back and he’s had his moments playing in tight quarters, but the Chargers completed eight of nine passes in man coverage against him last week.

7. Parker on Fuller making the adjustment to a nickel role: “Even when he wasn’t playing, he was practicing hard and he was running extra gassers on the sideline during the special teams periods to stay in shape because he’s been in this game long enough, he knows he can be called on in a moment’s notice and it happened when we played the Raiders (in Week 6). Pat (Surtain II) got banged up and you didn’t even need to look for Kyle to go in — he was on the field, they targeted him and he made a stop on third down.”

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The best meteor shower of the year brings nightly views for over 2 weeks

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The best meteor shower of the year brings nightly views for over 2 weeks

One of the best meteor showers of the year begins this weekend, and you can catch the shooting stars at night over the next few weeks.

The Geminids meteor shower begins Friday night and will be active through Dec. 17, reaching a peak in the early hours of Dec. 14. Experts say the best time of night to catch them while they’re active is at about 2 a.m., but beware the moon washing out the fainter meteors.

According to EarthSky.org, Geminid meteors tend to be bold, white and quick. The shower is better seen in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, originating from a rock comet called 3200 Phaethon. During the shower’s peak, between 50 to 150 meteors per hour are visible if the sky is dark.

The best places to view the spectacle are from dark-sky locations. Jackson Lake State Park, about an hour from Denver, is possibly the closest spot for Denverites, while Dinosaur National Monument and the Great Sand Dunes National Park are great sites for stargazing statewide.

Even closer to Denver, the Majestic View Nature Center in Arvada is hosting a viewing on Dec. 13 in the evening.

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