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Main article: Breaking

Donald Trump Finally Met His Match In The Handshake Stakes

There’s a certain art to dealing with a Donald Trump handshake.

And Tajikistan’s strongman president, Emomali Rahmon, appears to have gotten it down to a tee.

The authoritarian ruler didn’t let the U.S president’s reputation as a fierce hand-grabber faze him when the pair met at a summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday.

In fact, he had the upper hand — as this viral clip shows:

Perhaps Rahmon analyzed footage of Trump’s February meeting with Japan’s prime minster Shinzō Abe to see how it shouldn’t be done:

Or maybe he studied Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s technique


Or he  might have just read HuffPost’s piece on how to defend yourself from a Trump-style handshake.

Here’s how Twitter users responded to Rahmon’s handshake encounter:

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may 24 17, 12:40
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Oklahoma Cop Who Killed Terence Crutcher Found Not Guilty Of Manslaughter

The white police officer who fatally shot Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man whose car stalled in the middle of the road in Tulsa, Oklahoma last year, was found not guilty of first-degree murder on Wednesday evening.

Jurors deliberated for nine hours before acquitting the officer, 42-year-old Betty Shelby.

Shelby was responding to an unrelated call on Sept. 16, 2016, when she approached Crutcher’s vehicle. According to CNN, Shelby said she fired at Crutcher, 40, because he reached into his car.

On Monday, she told the court that she feared for her life

The Tulsa Police Department claimed that Crutcher failed to comply with orders from Shelby and the other officers who were on the scene. Videos of the incident, which captured several angles of the shooting, showed police with their guns pointed at Crutcher as he calmly walked toward his car with his hands above his head.

Moments later, he was shot

After the fatal shooting, Shelby was charged with felony manslaughter.

Her attorneys claimed she feared Crutcher was under the influence of PCP, a hallucinogenic drug. Police found PCP in Crutcher’s car, and an autopsy report later revealed that Crutcher had the drug in his system at the time of his death.

Crutcher’s family, who maintain that the shooting was unjustified, accused the police of using the drug possession to deflect attention from the fact that Crutcher was unarmed when police shot him, The Associated Press reported.

Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany told reporters after the shooting that he was a father who was just trying to make his family proud.

“That big bad dude was a father. That big bad dude was a son. That big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College,” Tiffany Crutcher said. She added that Crutcher “loved God” and would sing at church every week. Friends of Crutcher described him to The Associated Press as a friendly and generous person who went to church and was trying to turn his life around.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Shelby overreacted, and pointed out that Crutcher was not acting combative when he was confronted by police, per ABC News.

Crutcher’s family said they were disappointed by the verdict, NBC News reported, and called the Tulsa Police Department “corrupt.”  At a press conference, Tiffany Crutcher accused police of a cover-up.

“All the elements of manslaughter was there,” she said. “Terence’s hands were up. Terence did not attack her, Terence did not charge her. Terence was not the aggressor, Betty Shelby was the aggressor.

About 100 protestors who gathered outside of the courthouse yelled “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” after the verdict was handed down, the Tulsa World reported.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) then asked residents and protestors to respect the verdict and remain calm.

“Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions,” Fallin said in an official statement. “I just ask that they do so in a peaceful manner.”

Hours later, peaceful demonstrators collected outside of the Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa, where Shelby is believed to be staying, per Fox 23 News.

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may 18 17, 08:53
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Suspect in Arizona's 'Serial Street Shooter' Case Is Arrested

A 23-year-old Phoenix man has been arrested in connection with a wave of shootings that terrorized the Arizona city in 2016 and left at least nine people dead, authorities said Monday.

Aaron Juan Saucedo, who was already in police custody on a murder charge, was rebooked Monday into the Maricopa County Jail on 26 additional felonies, including multiple counts of homicide, aggravated assault and drive-by shooting, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said during a press conference.

“This case plagued our community for more than a year ... and left behind a trail of victims that included mothers, sons, brothers, sisters and families still mourning the loss of their loved ones,” Williams said. 

Before mentioning Saucedo’s name, Williams described each of the attacks and read the names of the nine people he is accused of killing.

“Our hearts go out to the surviving families,” she said. “Today we are closer to providing them the justice they deserve.” 

Saucedo was arrested last month in an investigation of the 2015 murder of 61-year-old Raul Romero, according to 3TV/CBS 5. He pleaded not guilty Friday to that first-degree murder charge.

Investigators initially believed that a shooter or shooters were responsible for seven killings in the Phoenix area. But authorities said Monday they have linked Saucedo, who had recently been identified as a “person of interest” in the serial shootings, to 12 incidents and nine deaths, the first being the murder of Romero in August 2015.

The case against Saucedo remains open, officials said. No motive has been identified, police said. 

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton called Monday “a good day in the city of Phoenix.”

“It is our residents and our law enforcement working together that has help put a community at ease and help provide closure to the victims of these terrible crimes,” Stanton said. 

In addition to Romero, Saucedo is suspected of killing Jesse Olivas, 22;  Diego Verdugo Sanchez, 21; Krystal Annette White, 55; Horacio De Jesus Peña, 32; Manuel Castro Garcia, 19; Maleah Ellis, 12; Stefanie Ellis, 33; and Angela Linner, 31. Saucedo is also suspected of wounding a 16-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man, authorities said.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said the case has been handed over to his office for prosecution. His office will review the evidence and file charges that “will meet a reasonable likelihood of conviction,” he said. 

“That’s the goal there — to make sure that we have a case that we can prosecute successfully that will hold responsible individuals accountable for the harm they cause to our community,” Montgomery said. “And make no mistake, for the pain that both surviving victims and surviving family members of victims have suffered, this may bring them justice but will not bring them perfect justice.”

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may 9 17, 01:29
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'Active Shooter' At Texas' North Lake College Dies In Apparent Murder-Suicide

An “active shooter” reported at North Lake College in Irving, Texas, is dead, along with one victim, police said Wednesday.

The shooter appears to have killed himself after fatally shooting one victim, according to the Irving Police Department’s Twitter feed.

The college sent out an alert at 11:45 a.m. local time, saying that there was an ongoing “intruder lockdown” in place, according to The Dallas Morning News. 

By 1 p.m., police had identified a suspected gunman, telling the Morning News that a suspect seen in surveillance footage was a white man with a brown buzz cut, wearing an orange tank top with a gray stripe. It’s unclear whether that suspect was the one who later killed himself.

Nasrin Nanbakhsh, a math tutor who was on campus Wednesday, told the Morning News she saw the suspect standing over the victim, who was sitting in a chair. She said the suspect fired three shots.

Students and teachers reportedly took shelter inside classrooms and reported seeing officers with rifles clearing each room. Later, campus security escorted students out. The college reported that all classes were canceled for the rest of the day.

Irving police said on Twitter that there appeared to be “

” but that police would “continue to search to make the campus safe.”

MacArthur High School nearby was also on lockdown as a precaution, the office of Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne confirmed.

North Lake College is a two-year community college with its central campus in Irving’s Las Colinas neighborhood. It is one of seven colleges in the Dallas County Community College District.

Around 11,000 students were enrolled at North Lake College in fall 2013, according to the school, with nearly 80 percent of those students attending full-time.

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may 3 17, 21:01
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Arkansas Executes First Inmate In 12 Years

Arkansas carried out its first execution in 12 years on Thursday night following a flurry of court filings. 

Ledell Lee, 51, was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. CDT, just minutes before his death warrant expired. Lee had no last words, according to the Arkansas Department of Corrections. 

Lee is one of eight men the state originally wanted to execute over 11 days before the supply of one of the drugs in its three-part lethal injection protocol expires at month’s end. Four of the inmates have received individual stays of execution. 

Throughout his more than two decades on death row, Lee maintained his innocence. He was convicted of the 1993 beating death of 26-year-old Debra Reese in her Jacksonville home.

Lee’s execution came after a flurry of last-minute appeals for more time to test DNA evidence that his lawyers hoped could exonerate him. The Innocence Project and the American Civil Liberties Union represented Lee in his final court battles. 

“Ledell Lee proclaimed his innocence from the day of his arrest until the night of his execution twenty-four years later,” the Innocence Project said in a statement following Lee’s execution. “During that time, hundreds of innocent people have been freed from our nation’s prisons and death rows by DNA evidence. It is hard to understand how the same government that uses DNA to prosecute crimes every day could execute Mr. Lee without allowing him a simple DNA test.”

It added: “While reasonable people can disagree on whether death is an appropriate form of punishment, no one should be executed when there is a possibility that person is innocent.”

Lee’s attorneys had raced to court Thursday with a string of filings that raised various issues about Lee’s trials and his representation over the years. Among them, attorneys noted that Lee’s lawyers in his first trial provided inadequate counsel and that the presiding judge didn’t disclose an affair with the assistant prosecutor, whom the judge later married. Lee’s post-conviction counsel showed up in court appearing drunk and slurring his words.

Arkansas set out to execute eight people over the course of 11 days. Why these eight? Why now?"
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

Lee’s current attorneys further argued that Lee had an intellectual disability, which made him ineligible for the death penalty under the Constitution.

Other legal petitions surrounded Arkansas’s use of midazolam, the controversial sedative that has been blamed for botched executions in states including Arizona and Oklahoma, and others questioned the state’s hasty execution schedule, which shortened the defendants’ time for measures such as clemency reviews.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals voted against granting Lee clemency Thursday.  

Notably, the U.S. Supreme Court’s newest justice, Neil Gorsuch, voted with the 5-4 majority that refused to reverse the 8th Circuit’s decision to allow the execution to take place. 

Justice Stephen Breyer, who was in favor of granting Lee a stay, lamented that Arkansas’s driving factor ― the expiration date of the drugs ― seemed arbitrary.

“Arkansas set out to execute eight people over the course of 11 days. Why these eight? Why now?” Breyer wrote. “The apparent reason has nothing to do with the heinousness of their crimes or with the presence (or absence) of mitigating behavior. It has nothing to do with their mental state. It has nothing to do with the need for speedy punishment.”

Lee’s execution was first effectively put on hold Wednesday due to a temporary restraining order put in place by a Pulaski County Circuit judge. The judge blocked the state from using its supply of pancuronium bromide, the second drug in the state’s three-drug cocktail. The drug supplier objected to the drug’s use in executions and said the state misleadingly obtained its product and refused to return it despite being refunded by the supplier.  

On Thursday, the Arkansas Supreme Court lifted the judge’s restraining order.

Just before 7 p.m., when Lee’s execution was scheduled to take place, the 8th Circuit issued a temporary stay ― followed later by a temporary stay from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ― to take additional time to consider his case.

Alito’s stay was set to expire at 9:30 p.m. or by a subsequent order, whichever was later. By 9:30 p.m., the 8th Circuit had denied all of Lee’s requests, but Alito’s stay remained in place pending the final order. The Arkansas Department of Corrections said the lethal injections were started at 11:44 p.m., and Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. with no reported complications in the execution process. 

An ADC spokesman told The Associated Press that Lee requested Holy Communion as his last meal. 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) had aggressively sought Lee’s execution and called his death a “lawful sentence ... carried out.”

“The family of the late Debra Reese, who was brutally murdered with a tire thumper after being targeted because she was home alone, has waited more than 24 years to see justice done. I pray this lawful execution helps bring closure for the Reese family,” Rutledge said in a statement. 

Amnesty International USA, which opposes capital punishment, called Thursday’s execution a “shameful day for Arkansas.”

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apr 21 17, 07:33
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Anita Hill Speaks Out In The Wake Of Bill O'Reilly's Sexual Harassment Allegations

Anita Hill once inspired a national movement across the country for women to speak out against sexual harassment in the workplace. Now, in the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s harassment accusations and his subsequent departure from Fox News, Hill is calling for another change in the way U.S. society makes excuses for men in positions of power.

“The problem with sexual harassment isn’t just because people behave badly,” said Hill, now a professor of social policy and women’s studies, in a USA Today interview published Wednesday. “The problem is our inability to develop productive responses to it, and that exists because of our culture that accepts it, because that culture then gets built into how we approach solutions to it.”

“It gets built into the choices we make about who can be believed,” she added. “And even when we find sexual harassment exists, the solutions are very often to move the women who have complained to other positions.”

In 1991, Hill testified in front of an all-male panel of congress members against her former boss Clarence Thomas, who was waiting to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. During the hearings, which were broadcasted to millions of Americans across the country, Hill described all the sexually explicit comments she said Thomas had made while she worked for him as a federal government employee.

Her testimony was controversial and subjected to extreme scrutiny, but it also marked one of the first times that workplace sexual harassment was examined as a public issue. Hill’s testimony inspired thousands of women to speak out against harassment ― an act that was unheard of at the time.

In her interview with USA Today, Hill said that despite all the progress that’s been made, people still make excuses for men’s predatory behavior. She recalled President Donald Trump dismissing his “grab them by the pussy” comments as “locker room talk.”

“We have a whole host of people accepting that as just something men do as opposed to understanding it as predatory behavior that is not only immoral but is also illegal,” Hill told the USA Today. “We had some social forces coming together but we had a cultural excuse that overlaid [Trump’s] statement or his explanation.”

Hill added that women now have more opportunities than she did to speak out against harassment, giving as an example former Uber engineer Susan Fowler’s blog post, which detailed how the company had handled her sexual harassment claim.

“The idea that these kinds of behaviors can stay hidden is fading because there are ways to get them out. I think the key is to keep pushing,” Hill said. “When you deal with someone like Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, the key is for people to keep coming forward.”

O’Reilly was dropped from Fox News on Wednesday after sexual harassment accusations resurfaced. Similarly, Ailes stepped down as CEO of Fox News in September after a sexual harassment lawsuit ended in a hefty settlement

Hill’s comments on O’Reilly’s controversy and Fowler’s HR complaints echoed an op-ed she penned for The Washington Post this month, in which she argued that organizations have no excuse for not holding themselves accountable for sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment is about control, power and those who abuse it,” Hill wrote for the Post. “It can be stopped only when companies recognize that everyone benefits when women can work in a workplace that is abuse-free.”

Read Hill’s full interview with USA Today here.

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apr 20 17, 14:05
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Bill O’Reilly On Chopping Block Amid Claim He Called Black Woman ‘Hot Chocolate’

What once seemed unimaginable now seems at least possible.

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported Tuesday that the Murdoch family is “leaning” toward pulling Bill O’Reilly off of Fox News’ airwaves in the middle of growing pressure from advertisers and activist groups.

  and CNN’s Brian Stelter reported later Tuesday that an O’Reilly exit was being discussed. The board of 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, was to meet Thursday and was likely to discuss O’Reilly, according to CNN. 

The reports came as a new claim against O’Reilly was raised by attorney Lisa Bloom, who said the TV host used to call a black woman who worked as a clerical worker at Fox News “hot chocolate” during her time at the network in 2008. O’Reilly would reportedly make her feel uncomfortable in other ways as well. 

“He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar,” Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter. “He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”

Bloom, who said she verified the woman’s story with three witnesses, claims the woman feared she would lose her job if she complained at the time. She added that the woman wants no money, but has registered a complaint with the Fox News hotline in light of recent news about the host ― a service that apparently many female employees at the network only recently came to learn about. 

Later on Tuesday in

, O’Reilly lawyer Marc Kasowitz argued that the claims were part of an “orchestrated campaign by activists” to bring O’Reilly down.

“It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened almost a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially where there is obviously an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity driven donations,” Kasowitz said. 

In a second statement to Beyers, Kasowitz said his client “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America,” and “irrefutable” evidence of a smear campaign would be unveiled soon. 

O’Reilly, who remains cable news’ most dominant figure, went on vacation last week as advertisers dropped him by the dozens following a New York Times investigation that revealed the Fox News Network and the host had paid at least $13 million to settle five claims of sexual harassment.

More claims have continued to surface about the host’s actions ― some of them from the most unlikely of sources.

At least 70 advertisers have decided to no longer advertise on “The O’Reilly Factor,” which remains Fox News’ biggest show by far. But “O’Reilly Factor” viewers remain committed to their host. A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 65 percent of people who watch the show still hold a favorable view of him, and only 9 percent of his Republican viewers think the show should be canceled.

The show’s ratings also dropped 26 percent in the first three days he was gone, further proof of O’Reilly’s influence, both nationally and internally at Fox News. 

Sherman reports that James Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch have been arguing to their father, Rupert, that the network must rid itself of O’Reilly, but Rupert remains unsure, not wanting to appear to be bowing to outside pressure from outlets like The New York Times. 

But on Tuesday, even Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report couldn’t help but think that O’Reilly’s days might be numbered. 

This article has been updated to include reports that Fox executives are discussing O’Reilly’s exit, and a 21st Century Fox board meeting on Thursday will consider his fate.

Chris D’Angelo contributed reporting.

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apr 19 17, 00:18
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Freaky February Heat Waves Trigger More Chills Over Climate Change

A bonkers February with stretches of extremely high temperatures mixed periodically with plunging mercury is the latest chilling warning about global warming.

Single-day record highs as well as multiple-day heat waves broke more than 248 month-to-date records for February in spots across the nation, according to the National Center for Environmental Information. 

Temperatures in Oklahoma, the home state of new Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, a climate change skeptic, nearly reached triple digits earlier this month. The town of Magnum hit an all-time record Feb. 11 of 99 degrees, more than 40 degrees above the average February high.

The rest of the Southern Plains also broke records, and the Texas towns of Midland, Lubbock and Wichita Falls all racked up temperatures in the 90s the same week. A cold snap followed the heat wave in the region, with temperatures dropping as much as 50 degrees. 

Milwaukee’s 71 degrees this Wednesday was the highest temperature ever recorded in the state in the winter. (The typical high temperature for the day is 34.5 degrees). It was also the fourth time in February the city hit temperatures over 60 degrees, another all-time record for the state, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. 

Boston hit 68 degrees Thursday, busting its previous highest temperature of 65 degrees in 1990. All-time record highs for the month of February were broken Thursday in Burlington (63 degrees) and Montpelier, Vermont (63 degrees).

Denver broke its third record of the month last Thursday, topping out at 75 degrees, a full 5 degrees hotter than the date’s previous record, according to the National Weather Service. Snow was back a week later Friday.

Unseasonably warm days before cold snaps can have a devastating impact on the environment. Trees and flowers can blossom early in the warn weather, and the buds can then freeze and wither in following cold weather.

The freaky February is expected to continue with more of the same with dozens of new broken records. 

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feb 24 17, 10:29
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A Truck Driver Has Lost His Marbles — All 38,000 Pounds Of Them

Clean up on I-465. 

A truck carrying 38,000 pounds of marbles lost its trailer in Indianapolis on Saturday morning, causing the contents to spill onto the highway and shoulder near Pendleton Pike.

No injuries were reported, and the lost marbles brought a pop of color to an otherwise bleak winter’s day.

Indiana State Police public information officer Sgt. John Perrine tweeted a photo of the accident:

One lane of the highway remained closed for hours as crews cleaned up the mess. 

Drive safe out there.

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jan 23 17, 14:06
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Berlin Christmas Market Attack Suspect Killed In Shootout In Italy, Official Says

MILAN, Dec 23 (Reuters) - The suspect in the Berlin Christmas market truck attack was killed in a pre-dawn shoot-out with police in a suburb of the northern Italian city of Milan on Friday, Italy’s interior minister said.

“The man killed was without a shadow of doubt Anis Amri,” Marco Minniti said, referring to the 24-year-old Tunisian who is suspected of driving the truck that smashed through a Berlin market on Monday killing 12 people.

Minniti told reporters that Amri was stopped by two policemen at around 3 a.m. (0200 GMT) in front of the Sesto San Giovanni train station, north of Milan.

When he was asked for his identification papers, Amri pulled a gun and shot one of the two policemen, lightly wounding him in the shoulder. He in turn was then shot dead by the police.

“These two extraordinary, extremely young men, simply by doing their duty, have done an extraordinary service to our community,” Minniti said. One of the two policemen had only just started service and was on his trial period.

A judicial source told Reuters that police had a tip off that Amri might be in the Milan area and that additional patrols had been sent out to look for him.

A rail ticket found on Amri’s body indicated he had traveled by high speed train from France to the northern Italian city of Turin, the source said. Amri then caught a regional train to the Milan suburbs.

Minniti gave very few details of the police operation, saying investigations were still in progress. He added that there could be “future developments.”

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Berlin attack, in which the truck mowed through a crowd of people and bulldozed wooden huts selling Christmas gifts and snacks beside a famous church in west Berlin.

#BREAKING: an killed in shootout with Italian police identified as Berlin attacker Anis Amri: police official

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN)


Amri was caught on camera by German police on a regular stake-out at a mosque in Berlin’s Moabit district early on Tuesday, Germany’s rbb public broadcaster reported.

He had originally come to Europe in 2011, reaching the Italian island of Lampedusa by boat. He told authorities he was a minor, though documents now indicate he was not, and he was transferred to Catania, Sicily, where he was enrolled in school.

Just months later he was arrested by police after he attempted to set fire to the school, a senior police source said. He was later convicted of vandalism, threats, and theft. He spent almost four years in two different prisons in Italy before being order out of the country.

The Berlin attack has put Europe on high alert over the Christmas period.

In the early hours of Friday morning, German special forces arrested two men suspected of planning an attack on a shopping mall in the city of OberhausenIn in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The men - two brothers from Kosovo, aged 28 and 31 - were arrested in the city of Duisburg on information from security sources, police said.

A police spokesman said there was no connection between the Duisburg arrests and the Amri case.

Amri had been identified by security agencies as a potential threat and had had his application for asylum rejected, but authorities had not managed to deport him because of missing identity documents. 

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dec 23 16, 13:12
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