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A security guard in charge of protecting Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was working only his third day and sent his fellow colleague to the wrong building to check on the alert when the fire first broke out, according to a new report.
The April 15 blaze sparked worldwide shock as people watched history burn while firefighters struggled to contain the fire.
Prosecutors investigating the cause of the blaze said last month there is no evidence thus far to suggest the fire was a criminal act. Instead, the Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement Wednesday several hypotheses into the cause of the April 15 blaze include a malfunctioning electrical system or a smoldering cigarette.
But while the cause of the blaze remains unclear, the events in the early stages of the fire suggest some of the damage could have been contained had the novice guard went to the right building.
A major miscommunication occurred amid the early warnings of the blaze as one of the guards went to check the fire-free sacristy, not the attic of the Cathedral, a move that delayed the response to the fire, the New York Times reported in a lengthy investigation.
Only 30 minutes later, the cathedral staff realized they made a mistake and sent the guard to the attic – also known as “the forest” for its aged timber beams that hold up the roof – only to find that the fire was already in full swing.
The report found that the person who notified the location of the fire to the guard was working there only his third day and that he just started getting used to the alert system.
The system itself was complex and dated, prompting questions whether the person in charge of it even understood the alert in general.
The massive blaze ripped through the medieval cathedral, destroying the spire which toppled into the flames. It has left the crippled monument, once a major tourist attraction, barricaded to the public, and the skyline of Paris noticeably altered.
French President Emmanuel Macron set a target of five years – which will be when France is set to host the 2024 Summer Olympics – for the completion of Notre Dame restoration efforts.
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President Trump met with dozens of victims of religious persecution at the White House on Wednesday as part of an ongoing effort by the administration to push for religious freedom abroad.
Twenty-seven people, including Christians from Burma, Vietnam, North Korea, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Sudan, Muslims from Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan and New Zealand, Jewish persecution victims from Yemen and Germany, a practitioner of Cao Dai from Vietnam and a Yazidi from Iraq all joined the president in the Oval Office as part of a four-day conference, called the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.
Four of the participants were from China, and one, a Uighur Muslim victim, claimed the government has locked devotees in concentration camps.
U.N. Human Rights Council experts estimated at least 1 million Uighurs have been held in detention centers within China, and at least two dozen countries have urged China to cease the religious persecution of the group that has over 11 million worshippers in the country, as Reuters reported.
The U.S., which already has a tenuous relationship with China over accusations of intellectual property theft, has touted the idea of sanctioning Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party chief of Xinjiang, along with other Chinese officials over the persecution of the Uighurs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to address efforts to advance international religious freedom, a top foreign policy agenda for Trump, at the final event of the conference on Thursday.
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said “additional measures” to tackle persecution would be announced at the State Department meeting Thursday.
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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and other Democrats united in condemning President Trump on Wednesday night after the crowd at a North Carolina “Make America Great Again” rally broke out in a striking chant of “send her back” while the president criticized Omar and other members of the so-called progressive Democrat “squad.”
The three words referred to Trump’s tweet on Sunday in which the president said unnamed “Democrat Congresswomen” should go back and fix the “corrupt” and “crime infested places” from which they came and then “come back and show us how it’s done.”
The president later all but affirmed he was referring to Omar, as well as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — all of whom, except Omar, were born in the United States. After a historic floor fight, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives formally condemned Trump’s comments as “racist” on Tuesday.
“Let ’em leave … they’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said at the rally, doubling down on his earlier comments.
In response on Wednesday evening, Omar quoted civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou on Twitter: “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
She also retweeted a post from California Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, calling out the “racist chant” and urging people to “vote, donate & organize like never before” to save “the soul of our country.”
Omar also retweeted Minnesota State Sen. Matt Klein’s message of support.
“Congresswoman Omar is staying here,” Klein wrote. “I welcome your opinions on her policies. But if you think you are more American than her, you don’t know what America is, and it is you that should leave.”
In his wide-ranging rally Wednesday, Trump went point-by-point, member-by-member, as he unloaded on the squad. Trump specifically slammed Omar saying she “smeared U.S. service members in ‘Black Hawk Down.’ She slandered the brave Americans trying to keep peace in Somalia” — a dig at her Somali-American heritage.
Trump also said Omar blamed America for the economic crisis in Venezuela and refused to condemn Al Qaeda.
Trump then moved on to his critique of Tlaib, saying she “used the F-word to describe the presidency and your president.”
“That’s not nice, even for me,” Trump said. “That’s not somebody who loves our country.”
The president then took aim at Ocasio-Cortez, whom he mocked for her “three different names” as well as saying she inaccurately described the migrant holding facilities at the southern border as concentration camps.
Of Pressley, Trump said the Massachusetts congresswoman “thinks that people with the same skin color all need to think the same. She said, ‘we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be brown voices, we don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice,'” a reference to remarks Pressley gave at a conference this past weekend. “Can you imagine if I said that?”
At the top of his remarks Wednesday night, Trump celebrated the House’s decision to shelve impeachment proceedings against him.
“I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I ever worked on,” Trump said, referring to an impeachment resolution proposed by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, that was widely opposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top Democrats.
“The resolution — How stupid is that? — on impeachment.”
Trump called the 332-95 vote to sideline the impeachment resolution Wednesday “totally lopsided” and a “slaughter,” and instead touted the strong economy and low unemployment numbers under his administration.
“And they want to try and impeach,” he said. “It’s a disgrace.”
Fox New’s Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.
Billionaire Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, wants to “break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government” and take on President Donald Trump in 2020.
“To me the biggest question facing the United States is not what we should do, but how are we going to break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government,” Steyer said.
He added: “For the last 10 years, I’ve been trying to push power back to the people of the United States.
Steyer, who will reportedly spend $100 million of his own funds on his campaign, said his candidacy is “not about the money.” He maintained it is aimed at “trying to retake the government.”
“This is about retaking the democracy from the corrupt corporate power that is determining what happens in Washington, D.C.”
Meanwhile, Steyer’s campaign to impeach Trump will continue under new leadership during his presidential bid.
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A Florida fisherman delivered a full-throated endorsement of President Trump‘s environmental policies Monday at the White House, crediting the administration’s efforts with helping turn his business around.
Bruce Hrobak, the owner of Billy Bones Bait and Tackle in Port St. Lucie, Florida, joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday to explain how the administration helped combat the “red tide” of toxic algae that was devastating his business.
“The president loves everybody and I just don’t get why people give him a hard time. He’s a great guy and I was proud and honored to meet him,” said Hrobak, who shouted “Trump 2020” into the microphone at the end of his show-stealing appearance.
Hrobak made the president and the audience laugh a few times, joking that his wife isn’t “yelling at him as much” and that his father looked a little bit like Trump.
Hrobak said his business suffered in recent years because people were scared away by the toxic algae, which has now subsided near his bait shop. He also touted the administration’s efforts to speed up repairs on the Herbert Hoover Dike.
“He wouldn’t allow all this money to go improving things if he didn’t care. That’s my personal opinion,” he said.
In a White House speech that exhaustively documented his administration’s environmental efforts, Trump issued a new denunciation of the Green New Deal championed by top Democrats including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying the proposal would devastate the economy and hit minorities the hardest.
The address was aimed at publicizing the often under-reported work by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as firing a political shot across the bow of Democrats who largely have dominated the conversation on climate change and related issues.
It came as polls have shown Americans increasingly voicing concern over the environment.
“We have only one America. We have only one planet,” Trump said at one point. But, “while we’re focused on practical solutions, more than 100 Democrats in Congress now support the so-called Green New Deal. Their plan is estimated to cost our economy nearly $100 trillion — a number unthinkable, a number not affordable even in the best of times.”
Democrats, however, dismissed the president’s environmental record, with presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee slamming Trump’s rollback of Obama-era regulations.
“President Trump’s record on the environment is pathetic and an embarrassment to the world,” Sanders, I-Vt., wrote. “This is a man who still thinks climate change is a ‘hoax.’ He better start listening to scientists and not his friends in the fossil fuel, chemical, and big agribusiness industries.”
Inslee, who has made climate change the central issue for his campaign, tweeted throughout the event.
“As Trump touts his administration’s environmental ‘accomplishments,’ a reminder that the EPA is run by a coal lobbyist, Interior is run by an oil lobbyist and Energy is run by someone who wanted to abolish the department,” he tweeted.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand accuses President Trump of broken promises in the first TV commercial of her Democratic presidential bid.
Behind in the polls, the senator from New York’s campaign on Tuesday announced what they touted as the “first anti-Trump television attack ad of the 2020 presidential cycle.”
Gillibrand aides said that the 30-second spot, titled “I Promise,” will run on cable TV and digital this week in the media markets in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio; and Detroit, Lansing and Flint, Mich. Those media markets mirror a campaign bus tour Gillibrand will make on Thursday and Friday through the three Rust Belt states.
Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan – won by former President Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections – were flipped from blue to red in 2016, helping Trump win the White House.
The commercial highlights what Gillibrand calls Trump’s broken promises on restoring manufacturing jobs, lowering prescription drug prices and building up the nation’s infrastructure.
The ad starts with a clip of Trump from the 2016 presidential campaign saying “if I’m elected you won’t lose one plant. You’ll have plants coming into this country. You’re going to have jobs again. I promise.”
The spot then uses a clip of Trump saying “you’ll be seeing drug prices falling very substantially. I promise,” followed by a third clip of Trump vowing “we will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, I promise.”
The words “NO MORE BROKEN PROMISES” then flashes across the screen before Gillibrand emphasizes in a clip that “as president, I will take on the fights no one else will.”
The Gillibrand campaign tells Fox News that five figures are being spent to run the commercial over two days on both cable TV and digital.
The senator, who launched her White House bid in January, has struggled in the polls as she’s tried unsuccessfully — so far — to stand out from the historically large field of nearly two-dozen Democratic presidential contenders
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Rep. Ilhan Omar admitted that she may have embellished part of the story she told to high school students in an apparent attempt to showcase racial and economic disparities in the country.
The Minnesota Democrat recently told hundreds of Richfield High School students that about five years ago, when she was working as a Minneapolis city councilman, she witnessed an example of injustice that shook her to the core.
She recalled a “sweet, old… African-American lady” who was detained for a whole weekend for stealing a $2 loaf of bread to feed her “starving 5-year-old granddaughter,” according to the Washington Post, and screamed an expletive in court after the woman was fined $80 for the crime.
“I couldn’t control my emotions,” Omar told students, “because I couldn’t understand how a roomful of educated adults could do something so unjust.”
“I couldn’t control my emotions because I couldn’t understand how a roomful of educated adults could do something so unjust.”
“Omar’s story echoed the plot of ‘Les Miserables.’ If true, it is also probably embellished,” the newspaper claimed. “City officials said that police aren’t allowed to arrest people for shoplifting unless there’s a likelihood of violence or further crime. Typically, shoplifters are sentenced to attend a three-hour class.”
Omar apparently “flubbed some facts” when telling the story to the students and told the newspaper that the woman may have not been just a one-time innocent shoplifter.
“She might have had a prior [arrest],” Omar said. “I’m not sure…The details might not have all matched, but that’s what I remember.”
“She might have had a prior [arrest]. I’m not sure…The details might not have all matched, but that’s what I remember.”
Omar has been reeling from a number of controversies ever since getting elected into Congress. She’s part of the freshmen progressive Democrats, most notably Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that have clashed with the party’s leadership on multiple issues.
Omar fired back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she criticized the freshmen Democrats for voting against the $4.6 billion border bill signed into law last week by President Trump by saying “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world … They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
“Patetico! You know they’re just salty about WHO is wielding the power to shift ‘public sentiment’ these days, sis,” Omar tweeted. “Sorry not sorry.”
Trump saluted America in A #MAGA July 4 event, despite critics, What Do you Think About His Speech?
Trump salutes America in elaborate July 4 event, despite critics — and a downpour of rain
Despite concerns that he would use the Fourth of July event as a glorified campaign rally, President Trump used his “Salute to America” speech Thursday evening to praise the men and women of the armed forces and American exceptionalism. With the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop and flanked by camouflaged … See More Bradley fighting vehicles, Trump stuck mainly to the script during his speech – praising the spirit that “runs through the veins of every American patriot” and attempting to strike a more unifying and conciliatory tone than he is generally known to take.
While Trump’s speech set a unifying tone, the lead-up to the event was far from harmonious – with Trump’s opponents,especially 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, slamming him on everything from the cost of the event to the perceived exploitation of the holiday for a political purpose. Two outside groups, the National Parks Conservation Foundation and Democracy Forward, want the Interior Department’s internal watchdog to investigate what they say may be a “potentially unlawful decision to divert” national parks money to Trump’s “spectacle.”
White House seeking all options on citizenship question for 2020 census
President Trump on Thursday doubled down on his push for a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, promising that his administration is “working very hard” on the controversial issue — as reports say he is mulling using an executive order to get the question on the census. “So important for our Country that the very simple and basic ‘Are you a Citizen of the United States?’ question be allowed to be asked in the 2020 Census,” he tweeted. He added that the Commerce and Justice departments were “working very hard on this, even on the 4th of July!” Earlier this week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that his department was going ahead with the printing of the census without the citizenship question, apparently indicating that the administration had dropped the controversial issue. That decision came after a Supreme Court ruling last week that blocked the citizenship question for the time being until more reasoning from the administration was provided.
Ocasio-Cortez calls border officials liars after new report on offensive Facebook posts
In a Twitter message Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., branded the leadership of U.S. Customs and Border Protection as liars after a news site reported that CBP officials knew much longer than they claimed about a Facebook group on which some past and current CBP employees had posted offensive material. Ocasio-Cortez was the subject of some of this material. ProPublica, a self-described non-profit news group, reportedly has obtained screenshots of doctored images of Ocasio-Cortez, including one that shows a smiling PresidentTrump forcing her head toward his crotch.
According to Politico, top CBP officials had known about offensive posts “for up to three years” – even though officials claimed this week that they had only recently learned about them. “Looks like CBP lied,” Ocasio-Cortez charged Thursday, one day after the Politico story appeared. “Reporting shows they knew about it for *years.* This is a big deal.”
Ted Cruz schools Kaepernick, adds ‘context’ after ex-NFL star quotes Frederick Douglass ‘Fourth of July’ speech
Sen. Ted Cruz responded Thursday night after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernickposted a passage earlier on the Fourth of July from a famous speech by Civil War-era abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The passage Kaepernick cites is from Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass delivered to the speech at a meeting of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, N.Y., on July 5, 1852 – nearly nine years before the Civil War began.
Kaepernick posted the following portion, without adding any comments: “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking andbloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.” “You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass,” Sen. Cruz writes in response, “but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand.”
Closely watched June jobs report to be released Friday
Wall Street will be closely watching Friday’s release of the June jobs report, which could provide insight into whether the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its July meeting. As the U.S. enters the longest economic expansion on record, investors are looking at the Department of Labor’s monthly payroll and unemployment data for signs that the rapid job growth over the past two years is softening and lending way to an overall growth slowdown.
Las Vegas shooting victim’s parents sue gunmaker over daughter’s death.
Trump donor among seven Americans killed in copter crash in Bahamas.
Meghan McCain ‘in talkso r’ teturn to ‘The View,’ but ‘some things need to change’: report.
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.@AOC ain’t nothing but s Hounddog just crying/lying all the time.. do you think the news covers her way too much?
Ocasio-Cortez continues to compare border conditions to ‘concentration camps,’ critics accuse her of misinformation campaign
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has sparked controversy in recent weeks with arguably increasingly inflammatory rhetoric in her conversations about the conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border. Despite coming under fire last month for … See More saying the U.S.government is “running concentration camps on our southern border,” Ocasio-Cortez once again made the same comparison on Twitter on Tuesday. On Monday, after traveling to a border detention center in El Paso, Texas, with almost a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, she blasted border officials as “violent” and “inhumane” while claiming agents forced detained migrant women and children to drink toilet water.
Current and former immigration officials rejected the congresswoman’s allegations and accused her of pulling a political stunt. Hispanic pastors who toured the same facility Ocasio-Cortez visited said the conditions at the detention center were “drastically different” than what she described. They said they were “shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border.” The controversy over AOC’s latest comments come as afederal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot categorically detain asylum seekers while they pursue their cases.
Navy SEAL rejoices in not guilty verdict
Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher said he feels thankful and vindicatedafter a jury on Tuesday found him not guilty on almost all charges he was facing, including murder and attempted murder, in the 2017 killing of a teenage ISIS war prisoner in Iraq. “I’m happy and I’m thankful,” Gallagher told reporters after the verdict, as he joked with his legal team that “it’s Independence Day,” his freedom coming days before the Fourth of July. Jurors did find him guilty of the seventh charge, posing for a photo with a corpse, considered the least egregious of the crimes, which carries a maximum prison sentence of four months. Having already served seven months in confinement ahead of the trial, Gallagher, a Bronze Star recipient, is expected to go home a free man after his sentencing, his defense lawyers said.
Trump detractors sound the alarm as military vehicles roll in for July 4 celebrations
Appearing on “Deadline: White House,” MSNBC’s Joy Reid insisted on Tuesday that President Trump is using the upcoming Fourth of July “Salute to America” celebration as a “threat” to Americans who oppose him. Trump has longed talked about showing off America’s military capabilities in celebration of Independence Day, and now his vision is coming to fruition as tanks arrive in Washington, D.C., ahead of Thursday’s festivities. Reid claimed that Trump aspires to be a “mini” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera, these kind of complaints are the ramblings of Trump haters.
Still, as preparations were underway Trump’s July 4 celebration, a few problems emerged along the way as military vehicles were hauled into the capital city. On Tuesday, a flatbed carrying the tanks was apparently unable to clear an underpass, according to photos tweeted by a Politico reporter. A crane was later employed to resolve the issue. Retired U.S. Army Gen. Thomas Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, told the Daily Reporter that some local roads are ill-equipped to handle the weight of the tanks.
Missing Connecticut woman’s estranged husband maintains innocence
Fotis Dulos, a Connecticut real-estate developer charged in connection with the disappearance of his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos, maintained his innocence Tuesday during his first sit-down interview about the case, claiming he’s “worried” about his wife and never wished her “ill in any way.” “I know what I’ve done, I know what I haven’t done,” the 51-year-old Greek immigrant told New York City’s WNBC-TV. “I have to stand and fight and hope that the truth is going to come out.” Jennifer Dulos, 50, hasn’t been seen since dropping her children off at school in New Canaan, Conn., on May 24.
Remembering Lee Iacocca
Lee Iacocca, the father of the Ford Mustang and former chairman of Chrysler, has died of natural causes at his home in Bel Air, Calif., his family said Tuesday. He was 94. Iacocca, born in Allentown, Pa., on Oct. 15, 1924 as the child of Italian immigrants, started working at Ford Motor Co. in 1946 and is heralded as the leader of the team that created the first Mustang in 1964. He ascended to CEO of the company in 1970 but was fired by Henry Ford Jr. in 1978. He moved on to Chrysler Corp. in 1978 and became the CEO a year later, pulling the company out of bankruptcy after taking it over. Iacocca successfully persuaded the federal government to provide the company a $1.2 billion loan in 1979 and made major cuts to the workforce, slashing wages — including his own, which he shrunk to $1 a year — and closing plants. He also introduced fuel-efficient cars and the minivan. His effortswere successful and Chrysler made a comeback, profiting $20 million. The turnaround made Iacocca a media star. Later, he was a key figure in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and creation of the Ellis Island museum.
DOJ says citizenship question being dropped from 2020 Census.
Former Google exec ran ‘sex ring,’ estranged wife claims in civil complaint.
Vatican to open two tombs in decades-old disappearance of teen.
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