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Tension simmers as Norwegian criticises Qatari human rights record at FIFA congress

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Reuters UK

By Ossian Shine and Simon Evans DOHA (Reuters) – Simmering tensions boiled to the surface at the FIFA congress on Thursday when Norway’s soccer chief Lise Klaveness hit out at the 2022 World Cup’s Qatari hosts over the country’s human rights record. The Norwegian Football Federation president, who became the body’s first female leader in its 120-year history when elected this month, said the World Cup had been awarded by FIFA “in unacceptable ways with unacceptable consequences”. “Human rights, equality, democracy, the core interests of football, were not in the starting 11 until many years la…

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Alex Jones found in contempt of court in Sandy Hook lawsuit

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By Barbara Goldberg

(Reuters) -A Connecticut judge on Wednesday held conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in contempt and fined him $25,000 a day until he sits for a deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by relatives of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.

Jones, founder of the right-wing Infowars website who claimed the shooting was a hoax, failed to comply with court orders to appear at a deposition on March 23 and 24, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis said during an online hearing.

His lawyers had sought to explain his absence by claiming that “Jones was remaining at home under his doctor’s supervision when, in fact, he was working at his studios and broadcasting his show,” Bellis said, referring to a podcast produced by Jones.

She set an April 15 deadline for Jones to complete a two-day deposition, a goal that would “purge” the contempt ruling. Starting April 1, the court would assess a fine of $25,000 each weekday until he sits for the deposition, the judge ruled.

“Alex Jones willfully and in bad faith violated without justification several clear court orders requiring his attendance at his depositions,” the judge said.

The defamation suit has already been decided in favor of the families of the shooting victims, with the judge saying in November that Jones defaulted by failing to provide documents and is responsible for damages to the plaintiffs.

The online hearing on Wednesday took place a day after Sandy Hook families rejected an offer by Jones to pay $120,000 to each of the 13 plaintiffs to settle the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are suing Jones in response to his claims that the shooting, which left 20 children and six school employees dead, never happened. He had claimed the incident at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was fabricated by gun-control advocates and mainstream media.

In response, several parents sued Jones and Infowars, as well as its parent company, for defamation in both Austin, Texas and in Waterbury, Connecticut. Infowars is based in Texas.

According to court records, his rejected offer to the plaintiffs included a statement that read in part: “Mr. Jones extends his heartfelt apology for any distress his remarks caused.”

Each of the plaintiffs immediately turned down the offer, saying it was “a transparent and desperate attempt by Alex Jones to escape a public reckoning under oath with his deceitful, profit-driven campaign against the plaintiffs and the memory of their loved ones lost at Sandy Hook.”

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New YorkEditing by Marguerita Choy)

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Orlando Pride Players Slam Florida 'Don't Say Gay' Measure Without Saying A Word

The National Women’s Soccer League team made a silent, one-word statement after a similar protest by fans.

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New Legislation Aims To Uncover The Link Between Domestic Abuse And Brain Damage

Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced a bill to collect more data on brain trauma from strangulation and blows to the head.

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Women make the best coffee. Here’s how they are transforming the industry.

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Snag The Look: Recreate Kristen Stewart's Red Carpet Ensemble At An Affordable Price

Recreate this summery look with some of our favorite brands like Madwell, Free People and Nike.

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Disney Execs Promote ‘Not-So-Secret’ Gay Agenda in Leaked Internal Vid

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Conservatives have been slamming the footage online.

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PHOTOS: Taylor Zakhar Perez’s, ahem, revealing ‘Minx’ performance has the Internet’s attention

As we learned this week, a promo for HBO Max’s new show Minx was temporarily deemed too racy for Instagram.

Actor Taylor Zakhar Perez shared the clip to his personal account, but soon had it taken down by the app, which also sent him a message about violating its guidelines.

While the promo was later restored — we’re still not sure what the issue was to begin with — the series, which centers around an ambitious, female editor (Ophelia Lovibond) in the 1970s who creates the first-ever erotic magazine for women, features several shots that only a subscription network like HBO can get away with.

Included among them are some revealing scenes with Perez, and they seem to have earned him some new diehard fans:

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The 30-year-old Chicago native, who has appeared in two Kissing Booth films and several TV shows, is also no stranger to posting the occasional Instagram thirst trap:

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Collins becomes first Republican to back U.S. Supreme Court pick Jackson

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Susan Collins on Wednesday became the first Republican to declare support for President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, further boosting her prospects of becoming the first Black woman to serve on the top U.S. judicial body.

Collins, considered a moderate Republican, disclosed her intention to vote in the Senate to confirm the federal appellate judge in a statement released by her office.

The senator said she reviewed Jackson’s record, watched her testify during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing last week and met her twice in person, and concluded the judge possesses the “experience, qualifications and integrity” to serve in the lifetime post.

Collins lamented what she called a disturbing trend of politicizing the judicial nomination process.

“No matter where you fall on the ideological spectrum, anyone who has watched several of the last Supreme Court confirmation hearings would reach the conclusion that the process is broken,” she said.

“In my view, the role the Constitution clearly assigns to the Senate is to examine the experience, qualifications, and integrity of the nominee. It is not to assess whether a nominee reflects the ideology of an individual Senator or would rule exactly as an individual Senator would want,” Collins added.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said last week the chamber was “on track” to confirm Jackson to the lifetime job before its expected break for Easter on April 8. Senator Joe Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, announced last Friday that he would vote to confirm her, signaling that she will have the votes to overcome widespread Republican opposition.

With a simple majority needed for confirmation and the Senate divided 50-50 between the parties, Jackson will get the job if Democrats remain united regardless of how the Republicans vote.

Her confirmation would not alter the court’s ideological balance – it has a 6-3 conservative majority – but would let Biden freshen its liberal bloc with a 51-year-old jurist young enough to serve for decades. The Democratic president nominated Jackson last month to the lifetime post to succeed retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer.

During her confirmation hearing, several Republican senators accused Jackson of being lenient when she served as a trial court judge on sentencing child pornography offenders. Jackson defended her sentencing record, and American Bar Association witnesses rejected the allegations that she was “soft on crime.”

(Reporting by Will Dunham; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Who Wears Short Shorts? Kristen Stewart On The Oscars Red Carpet.

The “Spencer” star and her partner, Dylan Meyer, both wore suits to the ceremony.

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