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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 4257)

The Climate Kids Are All Right

It didn’t take long for the death threats to start. Alexandria Villaseñor, a 13-year-old environmental activist, had just been featured in an Agence France-Presse article republished by Breitbart News about dozens of students staging a “die-in” at United Nations headquarters in New York.

Villaseñor was protesting that day in mid-March for the same reason that she decided to start a school strike four months earlier: to demand that world leaders quit dragging their feet and take swift action to combat global climate change.

“Don’t stage it, just die,” one Breitbart reader commented on the right-wing publication’s website. “I would be more impressed if they doused theselves with gas and set themselves on fire,” wrote another. “You don’t deserve a future, you pathetic halfwit,” said a third.

The repugnant online trolling might send most seventh graders cowering, but Villaseñor shrugged it off. Her fight is about ensuring that her generation and future ones are left with a habitable planet. She wasn’t about to let a bunch of angry deniers get in the way. 

“I think if more people really understood the climate science, the extinction rate and just all the terrible statistics about what we’re doing to our planet, they would be motivated, too,” she told HuffPost. “If everyone just paid attention to the facts, everyone would be a climate activist.”

The last five years were the five hottest on record. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has soared past 410 parts per million ― a concentration that hasn’t been seen in 3 million years, when sea levels were up to 66 feet higher, according to a recent study. Human-caused climate change is driving sea-level rise, drought, extreme weather and a biodiversity crisis that scientists have declared Earth’s sixth mass extinction event. As many as 150 species die off each day.

Monday is Earth Day, the 49th anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement and a day of action celebrated by more than a billion people around the globe. 

Westlake Legal Group 5cba35e42400006401044da7 The Climate Kids Are All Right

Kristin Hogue Alexandria Villaseñor protesting outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City in February.

Villaseñor has emerged as a leader within the youth climate movement ― a movement that scientists say has moved the needle on action to address the climate emergency.

Her debut in activism came after a life-changing trip last November to visit family in Davis, California, where she was born and raised. During her visit, the state experienced its deadliest and most-destructive fire on record. The blaze, named the Camp fire, torched more than 153,000 acres, destroyed nearly 19,000 structures and killed at least 86 people. The town of Davis was choked by a thick blanket of smoke. Villaseñor, who suffers from asthma, was forced to cut her trip short.

“Once I got back to New York City, I was really upset,” she said. The teen started researching climate change, made the connection that the crisis is a driver of catastrophic fires and extreme weather, and came to the sobering realization that her generation would bear the brunt of decades of global inaction. In that process, she found Greta Thunberg.

Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist, went on strike from school last year after Sweden experienced its hottest summer on record. For weeks she sat outside her country’s parliament, holding a “School strike for climate” sign and demanding that local politicians enact policies in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate action. She passed out flyers that read, “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”

She has also taken repeated swings at world leaders, including during a speech at the U.N. climate conference in Poland last December.

“You are not mature enough to tell it like it is,” Thunberg said. “Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet.”

Westlake Legal Group 5cba23c3230000f4006db68f The Climate Kids Are All Right

Yara Nardi / Reuters Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg joins Italian students Friday in Rome to demand action on climate change.

Thunberg’s Fridays for Future movement inspired Villaseñor and hundreds of thousands of other students around the globe. An estimated 1.4 million young people in more than 100 countries went on strike from school March 15. Villaseñor organized U.S. strikes along with Isra Hirsi, the 16-year-old daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Haven Coleman, a 13-year-old from Colorado. 

Villaseñor is nearly 20 weeks into her own strike. Instead of going to school on Fridays, she protests outside U.N. headquarters in New York City, almost always alone and often in the rain and cold. She sits on a bench with a pair of signs, one on each side of her, that read “School strike 4 climate” and “COP24 failed us,” a reference to the December climate conference in Poland.

Villaseñor says American schools have also failed to inform students about the urgent, existential threat the world is facing.

“Why go to school if we’re going to be in the future running from the next extreme weather events?” she asked. “I’ve been learning more protesting at the U.N. than I would at school.”  

Villaseñor and other up-and-coming climate leaders have faced plenty of criticism. 

When 29-year-old freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) introduced the Green New Deal in February, a nonbinding climate resolution to rapidly decarbonize the U.S. economy, senior Republicans were quick to dismiss it as a pie-in-the-sky proposal ― “tantamount to genocide,” one said ― from a naive young lawmaker.

“You only have to be 25 years old to be a member of Congress,” Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), 64, said at a congressional hearing in February. “We have young people that bring a lot of great qualities, but maybe they don’t bring a lot of life experience.”

When a group of children ages 7 to 16 showed up in February at Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office in San Francisco to demand that she support the Green New Deal resolution, the 85-year-old Democrat lectured them and argued. 

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know what I’m doing,” the senator told them. “You come in here and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that.”

And when students went on strike from schools around the world in March, people in power insisted they were out of line. British Prime Minister Theresa May, 62, criticized students for wasting valuable class time, and an Australian education minister warned that children and teachers would be punished for participating in March 15 rallies.

“We hear you. And we don’t care,” Thunberg wrote on Twitter in response to the Australian official’s demands. “Your statement belongs in a museum.” (Thunberg has since been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.)

That hopeful day of action was ultimately overshadowed by tragedy. In Christchurch, New Zealand, just a few miles from where thousands of students were striking, a gunman opened fire on two mosques, killing 50 people in the worst mass shooting in the nation’s history.  

“The young people who took part in the #climatestrike, you gave us hope on a dark day,” the New Zealand chapter of the environmental group Greenpeace wrote in a post to Twitter. School Strike 4 Climate NZ, the organization that coordinated strikes in New Zealand, vowed to continue to build momentum. “The forces of hate and exploitation of people and of the environment cannot be separated ― this is one fight,” the group wrote in a series of posts.  

Westlake Legal Group 5cba3175240000fb00c8999b The Climate Kids Are All Right

James Gourley via Getty Images Young people protest in Sydney, Australia, as part of the global climate strike on March 15.

Some older Americans, those of generations largely responsible for today’s crisis, may shrug at vocal, persistent youngsters trying to change the status quo. But this activism and pressure were born out of a feeling of desperation, and the youth on the front lines of this fight for a more sustainable future have made it clear they’re here to stay.

“The youth movement, it will get more radical,” Villaseñor said. “We’ll continue to go outside of the system, because a lot of us realize we can’t change a broken system within the system. We’ll have larger protests.”

The science and scientists are on their side.

Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, told HuffPost that incremental actions won’t be enough to prevent dangerous planetary warming, that it requires a massive international mobilization.

“That’s what I see these kids doing ― creating a groundswell of demand for that mobilization,” Mann wrote in an email. “They speak with a moral clarity and determination that is unmatched by anyone or anything else.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading U.N. consortium of researchers studying anthropogenic planetary warming, issued a dire report in October warning world governments that they have just 12 years to stave off potentially irreversible climate change. Without swift action to overhaul the global economy and rein in carbon emissions, the IPCC said, humans will soon live in a world where coastal cities are inundated by rising seas, oceans are largely devoid of tropical corals, and drought, extreme weather and wildfires wreak havoc. The report pegged the cost of climate-related damages that would result from global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels at $54 trillion.

It was a wake-up call that galvanized young people. And this month, thousands of scientists signed onto a letter, posted in Science magazine, in support of the youth protests. The authors wrote that the activists’ “concerns are justified and supported by the best available science” and that “without bold and focused action, their future is in critical danger.”

Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University and a co-author of the letter, said the movement is “an important inflection point that has changed the dialogue.” Youth are passionate, honest and “bring much-needed energy, urgency and hope to the conversation,” she said.  

As Hayhoe sees it, the shift started with the landmark lawsuit that 21 children and young adults from around the country brought against the United States. The complaint, filed by the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, asserts that the federal government is violating the youth plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by promoting fossil fuel production and failing to take action on climate change.

“It’s very much that same spirit that motivates the climate strikes, that this is our world and the choices you are making we do not agree with,” Hayhoe said. “And we are the ones who have to pay for your choices, and that is not fair.”

Originally filed in 2015 against the Obama administration, the lawsuit, called Juliana v. U.S., now targets the Trump administration, which has worked hard to derail U.S. actions to combat climate change. Plaintiff Vic Barrett, a 20-year-old first-generation Honduran American from White Plains, New York, joined the lawsuit as a way to fight for climate justice at a time when she was still too young to vote. She told HuffPost it’s been amazing to watch the engagement of young people explode over the last year. It’s the sort of moment that she’s been waiting to see since she got into activism at age 14.

“We’ve seen that young people are just saying, ‘This is the future we want and we’re going to do anything possible to get that,’” she said. “And I think that’s a huge motivator, knowing that I’m not alone doing it.”  

Westlake Legal Group 5cba3a131f000053017f2081 The Climate Kids Are All Right

After being thrust into the national spotlight, climate change looks poised to be a major issue in the 2020 election. A recent poll found that 84% of likely Democratic voters in five early primary states ranked addressing the climate crisis as “essential” or “very important.” All Senate Democrats running for the White House are co-sponsors of the Green New Deal. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) unveiled Monday an ambitious policy proposal to protect public lands that includes a ban on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and in U.S. waters. That same day, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released his own climate platform, which calls for a ban on fracking, new fossil fuel infrastructure, and oil, gas and coal leases on federal land, as well as stopping all exports of fossil fuels.

It’s these sort of ambitious initiatives that groups like Sunrise Movement, the youth-led climate advocacy group that stormed Democratic leaders’ offices last year to garner support for the Green New Deal, expect from political candidates. On Thursday, Sunrise launched its Road to a Green New Deal Tour, an eight-stop speaking event to boost support for the already wildly popular climate policy. The tour includes stops in several states, including Michigan, Louisiana and Kentucky.

With scientists making it clear that there is little time to act, Sunrise is focused on holding all politicians’ “feet to the fire,” Stephen O’Hanlon, the group’s 23-year-old co-founder, told HuffPost.

“It’s no longer acceptable for politicians who say they want to take action on climate change to just acknowledge the science and propose piecemeal solutions,” O’Hanlon told HuffPost. “If they want to be taken seriously by our generation, they need to back solutions that actually take action.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Sri Lanka church, hotel massacre victims include TV chef, mother and son, Americans

Westlake Legal Group sri-lanka-church-hotel-massacre-victims-include-tv-chef-mother-and-son-americans Sri Lanka church, hotel massacre victims include TV chef, mother and son, Americans Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e213cb9e-0a19-5826-a0fb-a0db37a7952a article

The identities of some victims of the Easter massacres in Sri Lanka emerged Sunday evening — including a British mother and her 11-year-old son, along with a TV chef and her daughter.

Over the course of the day, a series of bombs exploded, including at churches and luxury hotels, killing more than 200 people. It was the deadliest series of attacks the South Asian island country had seen since a bloody civil war there ended a decade ago.

The explosions — most of them in or around Colombo, the capital — collapsed ceilings and blew out windows, killing worshippers and hotel guests in one scene after another of smoke, soot, blood, broken glass, screams and wailing alarms. Victims were carried out of blood-spattered pews.

Most of those killed were Sri Lankans. But the three bombed hotels and one of the churches, St. Anthony’s Shrine, were frequented by foreign tourists, and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said the bodies of at least 27 foreign visitors from a variety of countries were recovered.

The U.S. said “several” American were among the dead, while Britain and China said they, too, lost citizens.

Westlake Legal Group Shanta-and-Nisanga-Mayadunne-FB Sri Lanka church, hotel massacre victims include TV chef, mother and son, Americans Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e213cb9e-0a19-5826-a0fb-a0db37a7952a article

Multiple British nationals are among the dead, including Shantha Mayadunne, a TV chef, right, and her daughter Nisanga. (Facebook)

The Daily Telegraph reported that five British nationals are among the dead, including Shantha Mayadunne, a TV chef, and her daughter, Nisanga.

Westlake Legal Group Alex-and-Anita-Nicholson Sri Lanka church, hotel massacre victims include TV chef, mother and son, Americans Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e213cb9e-0a19-5826-a0fb-a0db37a7952a article

Alex Nicholson, 11, left, and his mother, Anita, 42, right, were killed; father Ben survived, while the family’s youngest daughter is unaccounted for. (Facebook)

The news outlet also reported that Alex Nicholson, 11, and his mother, Anita, 42, were killed; father Ben survived, while the family’s youngest daughter was unaccounted for.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said at least 207 people were killed and 450 wounded. 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the massacre could trigger instability in Sri Lanka, a country of about 21 million people, and vowed to “vest all necessary powers with the defense forces” to take action against those responsible.

The government imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and blocked Facebook and other social media, saying it needed to curtail the spread of false information and ease tension.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka’s government to “mercilessly” punish those responsible “because only animals can behave like that.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The scale of the bloodshed recalled the worst days of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, in which the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group from the ethnic Tamil minority, sought independence from the Buddhist-majority country. During the war, the Tigers and other rebels carried out a multitude of bombings. The Tamils are Hindu, Muslim and Christian.

Sri Lanka, situated off the southern tip of India, is about 70 percent Buddhist, with the rest of the population Muslim, Hindu or Christian. While there have been scattered incidents of anti-Christian harassment in recent years, there has been nothing on the scale of what happened Sunday.

Six nearly simultaneous blasts took place in the morning in Colombo at St. Anthony’s Shrine — a Catholic church — and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels. After a lull of a few hours, two more explosions occurred at St. Sebastian Catholic church in Negombo, a mostly Catholic town north of Colombo, and at the Protestant Zion church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

Three police officers were killed while conducting a search at a suspected safe house in Dematagoda, on the outskirts of Colombo, when its occupants apparently detonated explosives to prevent arrest, Wijewardena said.

Local TV showed the Shangri-La’s second-floor restaurant was gutted, with the ceiling and windows blown out. Loose wires hung and tables were overturned in the blackened space. From outside the police cordon, three bodies could be seen covered in white sheets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Alex-and-Anita-Nicholson Sri Lanka church, hotel massacre victims include TV chef, mother and son, Americans Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e213cb9e-0a19-5826-a0fb-a0db37a7952a article   Westlake Legal Group Alex-and-Anita-Nicholson Sri Lanka church, hotel massacre victims include TV chef, mother and son, Americans Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e213cb9e-0a19-5826-a0fb-a0db37a7952a article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump is accused of gross abuse of his office. We’re not talking about the Mueller report.

Westlake Legal Group IQRQhAENX-kYpctEYsG5ZvB193s3cyuEhgw2OwbWViQ Trump is accused of gross abuse of his office. We’re not talking about the Mueller report. r/politics

You never know. After you live in a place for a while, you learn to use the most applicable/direct dialect commonly available.

I’m not saying he doesn’t know english perfectly well; just that he speaks it with a Russian accent because his tongue is used to commonly speaking Russian.

I live in the south after living in the north most of my life, and damned if my speech doesn’t get unintentionally twangy now. It’s like tongue atrophy, or body building while always skipping leg day. Your tongue gets used to shaping itself & behaving a certain way and switching to a different mannerism, even if you’ve perfected the rules and words of that language, is nearly impossible.

I’m also not saying he’s not capable of that on demand either, especially given enough constant use, it’s just that there’s an understandable doubt that he cares enough to be as flawless with it as you say. Just because he’s Cold War KGB doesn’t mean he’s not a human with a tongue that likes speaking fluidly.

But it’s largely irrelevant anyway, he’s fluid enough to communicate with or without an accent.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The deadly attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday highlighted how easily religious coexistence can be ripped apart in a region where secularism is weakening amid the growing appeal of a politics based on ethnic and sectarian identity.

In India, the country’s governing right-wing Hindu party is exploiting faith for votes, pushing an us-versus-them philosophy that has left Muslims fearing they will be lynched if they walk alone.

In Myanmar, the country’s Buddhist generals have orchestrated a terrifying campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country’s Rohingya Muslims.

And in Indonesia and Bangladesh, traditionally moderate Muslim politicians are adopting harder-line stances to appeal to more conservative electorates.

Westlake Legal Group sri-lanka-attacks-map-promo-1555863264400-articleLarge-v5 Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics Terrorism Sri Lanka Pakistan Muslims and Islam India Hinduism Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Easter and Holy Week Churches (Buildings) Christians and Christianity Buddhism

Sri Lanka Bombing Maps: What We Know About the Attack Sites

The attacks struck churches, five-star hotels and other sites in multiple cities.

The bombings of three churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday highlighted the vulnerability of Christians in Asia, where religious minorities of many faiths have been battered by this surge of nationalism and sectarian politics.

[The bombings were the deadliest attack on Christians in South Asia in recent memory.]

The explosions in Sri Lanka, which killed over 200 people, “brought mourning and sorrow” on the most important of Christian holidays, Pope Francis said after celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

Christians make up only 6 percent of the population of Sri Lanka, which is still emerging from the shadow of a harrowing civil war between the Sinhalese Buddhist majority and ethnic Tamils, most of whom are Hindu or Christian.

It is not yet clear who carried out the bombings on Sunday, which also included raids on three high-end hotels in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. But Christians were a primary target, and their faith has been increasingly under attack by militants and politicians across South and Southeast Asia.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 21srilanka-christian2-articleLarge Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics Terrorism Sri Lanka Pakistan Muslims and Islam India Hinduism Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Easter and Holy Week Churches (Buildings) Christians and Christianity Buddhism

Roman Catholic priests inside St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, after a bomb blast on Sunday.CreditReuters

Over the past year, deadly bombings of churches by militants claiming allegiance to the Islamic State have rocked the Philippines and Indonesia.

In India, the Hindu right, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has targeted Muslim and Christian minorities, the latter group because of its symbolic association with British colonialism.

The ruling party in Bangladesh, the secular-leaning Awami League, has partnered with conservative Muslim clerics who routinely call for the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians.

In Myanmar, Christian minorities fear they will be the next targets of the Buddhist-dominated government.

Pakistani Christians at a Palm Sunday Mass in Lahore last week.CreditMohsin Raza/Reuters

And in Sri Lanka, a toxic Buddhist nationalist political force has agitated against minority Christians and Muslims, dismissing them as relics of a British colonial era when the Buddhist majority itself was repressed.

“We see how these radical Christian groups from the West come here and try to convert Buddhists,” Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, a hard-line Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, said in an interview before he was jailed for contempt of court last year. “We cannot allow this to happen anymore.”

A week ago, on Palm Sunday — the beginning of the Christian Holy Week that culminates in Easter — a mob from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese Buddhist majority gathered at a Methodist building in the city of Anuradhapura, bombarding the building with stones and firecrackers and trapping worshipers inside.

Last year, Sinhalese throngs, spurred on by incendiary rhetoric from extremist Buddhist monks, carried out deadly attacks on Muslims near the city of Kandy, the latest in a series of anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka.

A Good Friday prayer last week at the order founded by Saint Teresa in Kolkata, India.CreditBikas Das/Associated Press

“Muslims and Christians, especially evangelical Christians, have been facing persecution for many years in Sri Lanka, but the scale and nature of today’s attacks are not comparable,” said Ruki Fernando, a Roman Catholic human rights activist in Colombo.

In India, Christians constitute just 2 percent of the population. But since Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, space for India’s nearly 30 million Christians has narrowed.

As part of a broader crackdown on thousands of foreign-funded organizations, a major Christian charity, Compassion International, was shut down in 2017 amid accusations it was masterminding religious conversions.

Later that year, Christmas carolers linked to the Roman Catholic Church were assaulted by Hindus in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Eight priests who went to the police station to help were instead detained by the authorities. Outside the station, their car was set on fire.

Christians make up 6 percent of Sri Lanka’s population. More than 200 died in Sunday’s attacks.CreditEPA, via Shutterstock

In one northern Indian city, a far-right Hindu group sent letters to schools warning administrators of repercussions if they marked Christmas in classrooms.

Evangelical Christianity has found fertile ground across Asia, where the rapid rate of conversions has created tensions from India to Indonesia.

Thousands of Pakistani converts have fled to Thailand, where they fear they could be deported at any time. Three years ago on Easter, a suicide bomber targeted Christian faithful in a park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing more than 70 people.

In Malaysia, where members of the country’s Muslim majority are governed by Shariah law in certain legal matters, Muslims are rarely allowed to renounce their faith.

Even in Muslim-majority Indonesia, which held peaceful elections last Wednesday, faith-based politics have tilted the political landscape, as the persecution of religious minorities mounts with little pushback from moderate politicians.

Hundreds of churches have been forced to close in Indonesia, where about 10 percent of the population is Christian. Proselytizing is banned in the country, even though freedom of religion is protected in the country’s Constitution.

The Christian former governor of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, was released this year after serving a 20 month sentence for blasphemy, a conviction that human rights groups saw as evidence of the rise of hard-line Islamic politics in a country that has long treasured its multifaith heritage.

President Joko Widodo, a Muslim moderate, failed to defend the former Jakarta governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who was his onetime protégé. Surviving a political smear campaign that implied he was an impious Muslim, Mr. Joko appears to have won a second term in this month’s elections.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The deadly attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday highlighted how easily religious coexistence can be ripped apart in a region where secularism is weakening amid the growing appeal of a politics based on ethnic and sectarian identity.

In India, the country’s governing right-wing Hindu party is exploiting faith for votes, pushing an us-versus-them philosophy that has left Muslims fearing they will be lynched if they walk alone.

In Myanmar, the country’s Buddhist generals have orchestrated a terrifying campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country’s Rohingya Muslims.

And in Indonesia and Bangladesh, traditionally moderate Muslim politicians are adopting harder-line stances to appeal to more conservative electorates.

Westlake Legal Group sri-lanka-attacks-map-promo-1555863264400-articleLarge-v5 Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics Terrorism Sri Lanka Pakistan Muslims and Islam India Hinduism Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Easter and Holy Week Churches (Buildings) Christians and Christianity Buddhism

Sri Lanka Bombing Maps: What We Know About the Attack Sites

The attacks struck churches, five-star hotels and other sites in multiple cities.

The bombings of three churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday highlighted the vulnerability of Christians in Asia, where religious minorities of many faiths have been battered by this surge of nationalism and sectarian politics.

[The bombings were the deadliest attack on Christians in South Asia in recent memory.]

The explosions in Sri Lanka, which killed over 200 people, “brought mourning and sorrow” on the most important of Christian holidays, Pope Francis said after celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

Christians make up only 6 percent of the population of Sri Lanka, which is still emerging from the shadow of a harrowing civil war between the Sinhalese Buddhist majority and ethnic Tamils, most of whom are Hindu or Christian.

It is not yet clear who carried out the bombings on Sunday, which also included raids on three high-end hotels in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. But Christians were a primary target, and their faith has been increasingly under attack by militants and politicians across South and Southeast Asia.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 21srilanka-christian2-articleLarge Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics Terrorism Sri Lanka Pakistan Muslims and Islam India Hinduism Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Easter and Holy Week Churches (Buildings) Christians and Christianity Buddhism

Roman Catholic priests inside St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, after a bomb blast on Sunday.CreditReuters

Over the past year, deadly bombings of churches by militants claiming allegiance to the Islamic State have rocked the Philippines and Indonesia.

In India, the Hindu right, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has targeted Muslim and Christian minorities, the latter group because of its symbolic association with British colonialism.

The ruling party in Bangladesh, the secular-leaning Awami League, has partnered with conservative Muslim clerics who routinely call for the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians.

In Myanmar, Christian minorities fear they will be the next targets of the Buddhist-dominated government.

Pakistani Christians at a Palm Sunday Mass in Lahore last week.CreditMohsin Raza/Reuters

And in Sri Lanka, a toxic Buddhist nationalist political force has agitated against minority Christians and Muslims, dismissing them as relics of a British colonial era when the Buddhist majority itself was repressed.

“We see how these radical Christian groups from the West come here and try to convert Buddhists,” Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, a hard-line Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, said in an interview before he was jailed for contempt of court last year. “We cannot allow this to happen anymore.”

A week ago, on Palm Sunday — the beginning of the Christian Holy Week that culminates in Easter — a mob from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese Buddhist majority gathered at a Methodist building in the city of Anuradhapura, bombarding the building with stones and firecrackers and trapping worshipers inside.

Last year, Sinhalese throngs, spurred on by incendiary rhetoric from extremist Buddhist monks, carried out deadly attacks on Muslims near the city of Kandy, the latest in a series of anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka.

A Good Friday prayer last week at the order founded by Saint Teresa in Kolkata, India.CreditBikas Das/Associated Press

“Muslims and Christians, especially evangelical Christians, have been facing persecution for many years in Sri Lanka, but the scale and nature of today’s attacks are not comparable,” said Ruki Fernando, a Roman Catholic human rights activist in Colombo.

In India, Christians constitute just 2 percent of the population. But since Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, space for India’s nearly 30 million Christians has narrowed.

As part of a broader crackdown on thousands of foreign-funded organizations, a major Christian charity, Compassion International, was shut down in 2017 amid accusations it was masterminding religious conversions.

Later that year, Christmas carolers linked to the Roman Catholic Church were assaulted by Hindus in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Eight priests who went to the police station to help were instead detained by the authorities. Outside the station, their car was set on fire.

Christians make up 6 percent of Sri Lanka’s population. More than 200 died in Sunday’s attacks.CreditEPA, via Shutterstock

In one northern Indian city, a far-right Hindu group sent letters to schools warning administrators of repercussions if they marked Christmas in classrooms.

Evangelical Christianity has found fertile ground across Asia, where the rapid rate of conversions has created tensions from India to Indonesia.

Thousands of Pakistani converts have fled to Thailand, where they fear they could be deported at any time. Three years ago on Easter, a suicide bomber targeted Christian faithful in a park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing more than 70 people.

In Malaysia, where members of the country’s Muslim majority are governed by Shariah law in certain legal matters, Muslims are rarely allowed to renounce their faith.

Even in Muslim-majority Indonesia, which held peaceful elections last Wednesday, faith-based politics have tilted the political landscape, as the persecution of religious minorities mounts with little pushback from moderate politicians.

Hundreds of churches have been forced to close in Indonesia, where about 10 percent of the population is Christian. Proselytizing is banned in the country, even though freedom of religion is protected in the country’s Constitution.

The Christian former governor of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, was released this year after serving a 20 month sentence for blasphemy, a conviction that human rights groups saw as evidence of the rise of hard-line Islamic politics in a country that has long treasured its multifaith heritage.

President Joko Widodo, a Muslim moderate, failed to defend the former Jakarta governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who was his onetime protégé. Surviving a political smear campaign that implied he was an impious Muslim, Mr. Joko appears to have won a second term in this month’s elections.

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Michael Che Berates Culture Writer For Mocking ‘SNL’ Co-Star Colin Jost

Westlake Legal Group 5cbce8262300007d006db741 Michael Che Berates Culture Writer For Mocking ‘SNL’ Co-Star Colin Jost

Saturday Night Live” star Michael Che publicly lashed out against a culture writer following the publication of an op-ed calling his “Weekend Update” co-anchor the show’s “most despised cast member.”

In the Friday Uproxx editorial titled “Why Does Everyone (Still) Hate ’SNL’s Colin Jost?” Steve Hyden took aim at Jost’s personal life, “lack of on-camera experience” and the politically “centrist, dispassionate pragmatism” of his comedic routines:

Among the people I know who like SNL, Jost (at best) is a benign presence whose essential blandness precludes feeling one way or the other about his tenure on “Weekend Update,” or (at worst) a smug hack who relies far too often on easy, frat-dude punchlines about porno movies and penis sizes.

But the remarks didn’t go over well with Che, who berated Hyden as a “mediocre ass white dude” in a series of Instagram posts, suggesting he engages in bestiality. The messages appeared on the app’s “story” feature ― meaning they disappear after 24 hours ― but screenshots were posted on Twitter.

Appearing to hit back at objections to his remarks, Che wrote that he will “never understand why when they shit on people its criticism. but when i shit on them its harassment..?”

Responding, Hyden told Che, “I don’t feel harassed.”

“Your bit about me having sex with dogs was hilarious,” he tweeted. “Have a nice Easter.”

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It’s not 1998 anymore. Democrats shouldn’t be afraid of Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group Tak8CGJhwPHYnZQw1s7iEQj10iQkhuIBwh30WgTdukY It’s not 1998 anymore. Democrats shouldn’t be afraid of Impeachment r/politics

i mean in all fairness, Trump voters from 2016 (especially those who were previously obama voters, they’re the ones who are most likely to switch back) watch enough FOX that they’ll be brainwashed into thinking impeachment means the ‘radical left’ is attacking Trump again for no meaningful reason. And then candidates who can win them back (namely Bernie) lose votes because they’re associated with what those individuals perceive them as undermining the will of the people

so while I support impeachment, it’s reasonable that democratic leadership is a bit withholding when it comes to this, especially because it’s taking a big risk just a year and a half ahead of the elections

but at the same time, democratic leadership can’t resort to saying ‘let the voting booths shed him out of office’ because 0% of voters say Russian Involvement and connected obstruction of justice are important issues that could sway their stances on who they’d vote for. If Trump is removed from office (which he won’t as long as Mitch exists) then they’d be much more likely to ditch Pence (because he’s not nearly as charismatic: trump supporters are infatuated by Trump’s character, not his policies)

logically who in the senate would even vote for impeachment? all of the dem senators (I don’t believe that all of them would vote for impeachment, especially when many centrists believe that Trump should be kicked out via the polls) + Romney, Portman, Murkowski, Collins, possibly Rubio, Gardner? That’s only 53/66 needed

The big shame is republicans who were willing to fight Trump, like Flake, McCain, Sasse, Corker are gone. Obviously Flake got replaced with a democrat, which is good, but it would’ve been better had he been nominated for the other senate spot

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Michael Avenatti accused of embezzling almost $2M from girlfriend of NBA player

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-c01ee37219fe4dd38ee32a7c392a6381 Michael Avenatti accused of embezzling almost $2M from girlfriend of NBA player Washington Examiner fnc/us fnc article 2d84ba49-b3e0-5b56-982e-9f0b6fc399d0

Embattled celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti has been accused of embezzling almost $2 million after he struck a lucrative settlement for the former girlfriend of NBA player Hassan Whiteside.

Avenatti, as the attorney for Alexis Gardner, 27, negotiated a $3 million deal for the actress and barista, $2.75 million of which Miami Heat player Whiteside, 29, wired to a trust account set up by Avenatti in January 2017, according to bank records and an Apr. 10 indictment by a California-based grand jury.

Avenatti was entitled to $1 million in legal fees, but he did not tell Gardner about the payment and misrepresented the terms of her agreement with Whiteside, prosecutors allege in the indictment. Instead, he funneled $2.5 million into the bank account of a law firm owned by an associate so he could buy a share of a small private jet.

Avenatti told Gardner that Whiteside’s first payment was for legal fees, but that she would be receive monthly installments over the next eight years. He made 11 transfers to Gardner, totaling $194,000, before the money ceased in June 2018.

Although Whiteside and Gardner confirmed the settlement in a statement, Avenatti pushed back on accusations he acted illegally or inappropriately.

Read more from the Washington Examiner.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-c01ee37219fe4dd38ee32a7c392a6381 Michael Avenatti accused of embezzling almost $2M from girlfriend of NBA player Washington Examiner fnc/us fnc article 2d84ba49-b3e0-5b56-982e-9f0b6fc399d0   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-c01ee37219fe4dd38ee32a7c392a6381 Michael Avenatti accused of embezzling almost $2M from girlfriend of NBA player Washington Examiner fnc/us fnc article 2d84ba49-b3e0-5b56-982e-9f0b6fc399d0

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Coast Guard offloads seized drugs worth $62.5M

Westlake Legal Group coast-guard-offloads-seized-drugs-worth-62-5m Coast Guard offloads seized drugs worth $62.5M fox-news/us/military/coastguard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/drugs fnc/us fnc bc648f46-8b4c-5a96-91e2-cd53651e5762 Associated Press article

The U.S. Coast Guard is offloading marijuana and cocaine with an estimated street value of $62.5 million dollars at The agency said in a news release that the drugs seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean will arrive in Fort Lauderdale Thursday morning on the Coast Guard Cutter Bear, which is based in Portsmouth, Virginia.

The stash includes some 14,000 pounds of marijuana and 3,660 pounds of cocaine.

Westlake Legal Group 1000w_q95 Coast Guard offloads seized drugs worth $62.5M fox-news/us/military/coastguard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/drugs fnc/us fnc bc648f46-8b4c-5a96-91e2-cd53651e5762 Associated Press article

Crewmembers on the flight deck of Coast Guard Cutter Bear. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray. (U.S. Coast Guard)

Officials say operation involved two Coast Guard cutters and a Navy ship off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America.

Westlake Legal Group COASTGUARD Coast Guard offloads seized drugs worth $62.5M fox-news/us/military/coastguard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/drugs fnc/us fnc bc648f46-8b4c-5a96-91e2-cd53651e5762 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group COASTGUARD Coast Guard offloads seized drugs worth $62.5M fox-news/us/military/coastguard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/crime/drugs fnc/us fnc bc648f46-8b4c-5a96-91e2-cd53651e5762 Associated Press article

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BuzzFeed News editor takes heat for suggesting Trump would be more outraged if Sri Lanka victims were white

Westlake Legal Group buzzfeed-news-editor-takes-heat-for-suggesting-trump-would-be-more-outraged-if-sri-lanka-victims-were-white BuzzFeed News editor takes heat for suggesting Trump would be more outraged if Sri Lanka victims were white Frank Miles fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5a2ce511-00dd-5218-982d-6720c1c5ea62

A BuzzFeed News world editor faced backlash Sunday for taking a swipe at President Trump while tweeting an article about the attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter.

“Suspect we’d be hearing a lot more outrage from Trump and co. if the Christians killed in Sri Lanka were white,” Miriam Elder tweeted with a link to BuzzFeed News.

Elder’s tweet, as The Washington Examiner reported, received more comments than likes or retweets. It had received nearly 2,000 replies, 55 retweets and 120 likes as of Sunday evening.

Many of the commenters asked why the BuzzFeed News world editor would politicize the terrorist attacks.

BuzzFeed News did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Trump on Easter morning offered condolences to the people of Sri Lanka. The president tweeted about the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, saying “we stand ready to help!”

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More than 200 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight bomb blasts that rocked churches and luxury hotels in or near Sri Lanka’s capital on Easter Sunday — the deadliest violence the South Asian island country has seen since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks; Sri Lanka’s defense minister described the bombings as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Elder BuzzFeed News editor takes heat for suggesting Trump would be more outraged if Sri Lanka victims were white Frank Miles fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5a2ce511-00dd-5218-982d-6720c1c5ea62   Westlake Legal Group Trump-Elder BuzzFeed News editor takes heat for suggesting Trump would be more outraged if Sri Lanka victims were white Frank Miles fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5a2ce511-00dd-5218-982d-6720c1c5ea62

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