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Priest to stand trial accused of raping woman more than 30 years ago

A priest accused of raping a woman more than 30 years ago will stand trial next year.

The Rev John Anthony Clohosey did not appear before Newcastle Crown Court due to the coronavirus pandemic, but his barrister indicated he would have pleaded not guilty if he had been at the hearing.

The 71-year-old is said to have attacked the woman in Gateshead in 1986. He was priest at Our Lady Immaculate and St Cuthbert’s RC Church in Crook, County Durham, until his suspension last year.

His trial will take place at Newcastle Crown Court on May 17, 2021, and he was bailed to live near Filey in North Yorkshire.

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Chef Boyardee proposed to replace Christopher Columbus statue

Petition calls for Christopher Columbus statue to be replaced with Chef Boyardee

RealClearPolitics co-founder Tom Bevan weighs in on the upcoming presidential election, a petition to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus with Chef Boyardee and a petition to rename Columbus, Ohio, to ‘Flavortown’ in honor of celebrity chef Guy Fieri who was born there.

A new petition is demanding a statue of Christopher Colombus in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood be replaced with a statue of Chef Boyardee, the Italian chef mascot behind the canned goods company.

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The petition comes as protesters across the U.S. tear down statues of historical figures with ties to slavery or forms of brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death.

"In 1988, Clevelanders erected a statue to Christopher Columbus in Little Italy. Today it sits in front of Tony Brush Park, and it is the centerpiece of the annual Columbus Day Parade," the petition states. "It is allegedly a monument to a legendary Italian explorer and a symbol of Italian-American pride. Except it isn't. Columbus is not someone we should celebrate."

Chef Boiardi (

It adds that Columbus was a "racist monster who initiated the genocide against indigenous Americans" and "pioneered the Transatlantic slave trade and likely sent more enslaved people across the sea than any other person."


Instead of Columbus, the petition circulators have suggested replacing the Columbus statue with Clevelander Ettore "Hector" Boiardi, who is better known as Chef Boyardee.


Boiardi, who was born in Italy in 1897 and moved to New York when he was 16. Boiardi opened his first restaurant, "The Garden of Italy," in Cleveland in 1926 and founded the Chef Boyardee brand in 1929.


"It's time for Cleveland to remove its statue to a genocidal sociopath with a bowl cut and erect a statue to an immigrant success story who enriched our community with his food and iconic mustache," the petition concludes.


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Ohio school district to retire ‘Redskins’ name for sports teams

NFL will most likely start on time: Abby Hornacek

Fox Nation host Abby Hornacek says the National Football League will do whatever it takes to make its season start on time.

An Ohio school district has decided that its high school sports teams should no longer be known as the Redskins.

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The Forest Hills Board of Education voted 4-1 on Thursday to “retire” the name and mascot at Anderson High School. A new name has not been chosen, and officials plan to soon announce a timeline and process for how a new name and mascot will be selected.


The Redskins logo will be phased out in stages beginning in the 2020-21 school year, officials said. Anderson Township is an eastern Cincinnati suburb.


Board members had discussed the name change at length during a meeting on Tuesday, with some noting they had resisted efforts to change the name in recent years but now felt it had become too divisive.


Board member Patty Taylor cast the lone vote against the motion, saying it should be postponed because there has been little public discussion on the matter outside of emails.

Taylor said the decision should go to a public vote and also voiced concerns about the cost of removing imagery from the school.


Amid the national reckoning with racial injustice, pressure has been mounting on schools to abandon the name called a “dictionary-defined racial slur” by experts and advocates.

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Washington Redskins to review team name, consider change amid sponsor pushback

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The Washington Redskins will review their team name and consider a potential change after FedEx and other sponsors pressured the franchise, the team announced Friday.

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Officials said the review “formalizes the initial discussion the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.” Critics, including Native American groups, have long argued that the Redskins team name and logo are racist.


“This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement.

The announcement comes one day after FedEx, the naming rights partner on Washington's home stadium, asked the team to change its name. Nike, the official supplier of NFL uniforms and sideline gear, scrubbed Redskins apparel from its website.


The NFL's Washington franchise adopted its current team name in 1933. Snyder has said for years that he would never change the name. As recently as January 2018, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said a name change was unlikely to occur.

Goodell expressed support for the team's decision to review the name in a statement Friday.


"In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step," Goodell said in the statement.

Redskins officials have been under mounting pressure to consider a change amid nationwide protests against racial injustice. Earlier this week, a group of 87 investment firms, with assets worth a combined $620 billion, sent separate letters to three key team sponsors — FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo.

In the letters, the firms urged each sponsor to pressure Washington officials to change the name and sever business ties if they refused to comply.

On Thursday, FedEx said that it had asked the team to drop the Redskins name. FedEX CEO Fred Smith holds a minority ownership stake in the franchise.

“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” FedEx said in a statement.

PepsiCo, one of Washington's title sponsors, praised the team's decision to conduct a review.

“We have been in conversations with the NFL and Washington management for a few weeks about this issue. We believe it is time for a change," a PepsiCo representative told FOX Business. "We are pleased to see the steps the team announced today, and we look forward to continued partnership.”


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Japan asks US to extradite two men over Ghosn case

Japan has asked the US to extradite a former special forces soldier and his son for allegedly helping ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn flee Japan last year.

Ex-Green Beret Michael Taylor and his son Peter were held in Massachusetts in May, several months after Japan had issued warrants for their arrest.

The US authorities confirmed a formal extradition request was submitted.

Mr Ghosn, who was detained in Japan on financial misconduct charges in 2018, made a dramatic escape last year.

The former Nissan boss denies the charges against him.

Despite being under house arrest and monitored 24 hours a day, on 29 December he managed to fly to the Lebanese capital Beirut via Turkey.

Details of the Taylors’ alleged involvement in the escape are unclear. But Japanese prosecutors have said the two were in Japan at the time and helped Mr Ghosn evade security checks as he left.

In May, prosecutors in Turkey charged seven people over the escape. The suspects – four pilots, two flight attendants, and an airline executive – are also accused of helping Mr Ghosn flee.

They go on trial in Istanbul on Friday, with Turkish prosecutors seeking up to eight years in jail for the four pilots and the airline executive.

Full details of the escape have never been fully explained. Mr Ghosn, who holds Brazilian, French and Lebanese nationalities, ran Renault and Nissan as part of a three-way car alliance.

He is accused of misreporting his compensation package, but has insisted he can never get a fair hearing in Japan.

Since his arrival in Lebanon, he has told reporters he was a “hostage” in Japan, where he was left with a choice between dying there or running.

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Christchurch mosque shooter to be sentenced on August 24

Court sets date for sentencing of Australian man accused of killing 51 Muslim worshippers in March 2019.

The sentencing hearing for an Australian man accused of killing 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand’s worst mass shooting has been set to begin on August 24, the court said on Friday.

Brenton Tarrant pleaded guilty to all charges in a Christchurch High Court hearing earlier this year.

Justice Cameron Mander said the hearing is estimated to last three days, but it will take as long as is necessary. 

New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shooting took place on March 15 last year when the lone attacker opened fire on Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch, broadcasting his attack live on Facebook.

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Polis creates board to reconsider names of Colorado mountain peaks, other places

Amid a renewed public interest in removing symbols of racism, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis created a board Thursday to evaluate proposed name changes for geographic and public places across the state.

“This new board will play a critical role in the ongoing celebration of our Colorado history through place names and ensure that we have inclusivity and transparency around the naming process,” Polis said in a statement announcing the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board through an executive order.

“This bipartisan board will ensure that a broad spectrum of Coloradans, local communities and Colorado’s land-based Tribes can collaborate on any potential naming or renaming of Colorado geological points or landmarks.”

The board will be tasked with providing recommendations on name change proposals to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Fourteen petitions are pending to rename locations in Colorado, including Mount Evans in Clear Creek County, Redskin Mountain in Jefferson County and Squaw Mountain in Clear Creek County, according to the federal board’s records.

Mount Evans was named after John Evans, a territorial governor who was forced to resign because of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. U.S. soldiers attacked and killed the Cheyenne and Arapahoe people in southeastern Colorado territory, even after they had tried to broker peace.

Redskin and squaw are both slurs used against Native Americans, with the latter being used to degrade women.

There also were requests to change names such as Negro Creek, Negro Draw and Negro Mesa in Delta and Montezuma counties, as well as Chinaman Gulch in Chaffee County.

And some also have objected to Kit Carson Mountain, named after the Colorado rancher who helped crush a Navajo uprising in the 1800s.

“The people whose names are on these places are people who really did some terrible things to Native people,” said Colorado historian Sam Bock of History Colorado. And for many tribes, these incidents weren’t in the distant past but affected family members in recent history.

Colorado historians have been working with 48 different tribes that lived in Colorado before they were driven out, most recently the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes.

“Many of those geographic locations have been celebrations of European invasion and colonialism and sometimes Spanish invasion and colonialism,” said Glenn Morris of the American Indian Movement of Colorado, a Shawnee. Plus, all of these places had indigenous names with meanings for indigenous people, Morris said.

Eugene Black Bear Jr. of the Cheyenne Tribe in Oklahoma reflects on his own family’s history every time he hears names like that of Mount Evans. He had family members who were killed in the Sand Creek Massacre. His great-great grandmother survived and his family was pushed out to Oklahoma.

“It has a traumatic impact on our spiritual well-being,” he said of the Evans namesake. “This massacre that happened, it was tragic.”

Although this movement has been a “long time coming,” it was reignited after the latest Black Lives Matter protests and calls for removing statues from racist regimes, said Fred Mosqueda of the southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. Mosqueda said he’s glad to see calls for name changes in his ancestral homeland.

But it’s about more than just a name for many Native Americans.

It’s about seeing Native Americans “not as savages or fiends or anything like that, but we’re actually humans,” Mosqueda said.

The heightened attention to names and the histories they represent has led to an increase in inquiries to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, said researcher Jennifer Runyon, but it has not yet increased the petition requests. They require a lot of work and discussion with tribes and other affected communities. They also have to include a suggestion for a new name that has been well-researched.

Colorado used to provide input to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names for changes through a state advisory board before it was eliminated and the task fell to the Colorado State Archives. But since the archivist retired in 2016, the U.S. board has been waiting for a new person or group to be named to make recommendations. It didn’t happen until Thursday, leaving Colorado as one of only two states in the last four years without an entity to provide naming recommendations to the federal agency, Runyon said.

Although the federal board isn’t required to seek official state recommendations, its members prefer to hear from the states themselves. Colorado state officials asked the U.S. board to hold off on voting on any of the state’s name change requests until they had established a new board.

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NFL to play Black anthem before national anthem, AP source says – The Denver Post

“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” will be performed live or played before “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to each NFL game during Week 1 and the league is considering putting names of victims of police brutality on helmet decals or jersey patches, a person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.

The person said the league is working collaboratively with players to recognize victims of systemic racism throughout the season in a variety of ways. The person spoke to the AP on Thursday on condition of anonymity because discussions between the league and the NFL Players Association are ongoing.

Additional plans include the use of educational programs and storytelling about the victims and their families similar to the league’s PSA on Botham Jean released in January and the Super Bowl commercial on Corey Jones featuring his cousin, former NFL star Anquan Boldin.

“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is traditionally known as the Black anthem. It’ll be played first when the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans to kick off the NFL regular season on Sept. 10.

It’s uncertain whether fans will be in attendance Week 1 or at all this season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league is considering asking fans to sign a waiver and wear masks, according to a person familiar with those conversations.

The NFL announced last month it is committing $250 million over 10 years to social justice initiatives, targeting what it calls “systemic racism” and supporting “the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African Americans.”

Following the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell denounced racism in a video prompted greatly by a players’ video seeking NFL action.

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From big cities to backyards, July 4 not usual blowout bash – The Denver Post

NEW YORK — The idea sounds almost un-American.

The Fourth of July was always a time for communities to come together, daylong celebrations with patriotic parades in the morning and fireworks finales to cap it off.

This year, people are being urged to stay home.

If they want a show, watch it on TV.

“This is traditionally a weekend for gathering in large groups for historic ceremonies and social events,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. “This is not something that we can do this year here in Boston or in Massachusetts.”

Or in many cities around the U.S., where leaders grapple with how to honor the country’s Independence Day while forced because of coronavirus concerns to limit some freedoms their citizens so deeply covet.

The Fourth of July remains a party, though America’s 244th birthday won’t be the usual blowout bash.

Fireworks will still crackle over the National Mall in Washington and other places, though with fewer people packed together watching them.

Backyard barbecues will replace some traditional trips to beaches or ballparks, as virus fears keep some home for this holiday.

Marching bands blaring tunes while kids wave their handheld flags can’t happen as usual with the virus refusing to let go of its grip on some places and even strengthening in others.

So, no live Boston Pops performance on the Charles River Esplanade, no live concert from the West lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, and no Navy Pier fireworks show in Chicago.

Even personal events will have a different look. Jason Wanzer has hosted a party in Danbury, Connecticut, for more than a decade, with a professional disc jockey, organized games and fireworks.

He trimmed this year’s guest list from 100 to 30, fearing bringing older people more susceptible to the disease or young children who could easily spread it. And the activities he spends days setting up are on a hiatus.

“This year is basically just the food,” he said.

But whether it’s big cities or small towns bursting with pride, there’s a desire to make sure some show goes on, no matter what it looks like.

In New York, the Macy’s annual summer spectacle was replaced by a series of smaller, surprise shows. They’ve been ringing out all week, leading into the televised finale Saturday.

By not announcing the locations and keeping the performances to five minutes, crowds can’t gather in large numbers like they usually do along the riverfront.

Crowds are being welcomed on the National Mall, where U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt promised a fireworks display that would be “the largest in recent memory,” with more than 10,000 to be launched following a Defense Department air show.

But while President Donald Trump is eager for excess, Washington’s mayor is not. The city’s parade is canceled and Muriel Bowser reminded those considering the National Mall show — held on federal grounds and not under the city’s jurisdiction — to “Ask yourself, do you need to be there?”

That was never a concern, when July 4 was a day for dressing up in red, white and blue, coming out to salute military heroes, then staying out until dark to watch fireworks light up the sky.

This year, many celebrations will be virtual. Outdoor events such as the Boston Pops performance or Philadelphia’s fireworks will have to be watched on TV or streaming devices — and some will be replays.

Bryan Williams is ready for either.

The owner of the Keller Feed & Wine Company in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, is advertising items such as ribs and pulled pork for people who want to order catering for an at-home holiday weekend. But with the virus numbers low in his county even as they climb elsewhere in the state, his town’s fireworks are still on and he thinks people will be eager to go.

“Unfortunately tourism is down, and with so many large area events canceled, and so many locals still furloughed or without work, I think our town is really looking forward to celebrating the Fourth this weekend,” Williams said. “It will be the first real chance for this tight-knit community to get together — with social distancing of course — since March.”

Some places won’t have that option.

Beaches are closed in parts of Southern California and South Florida, where many fireworks shows are canceled and everyone who attends the ones that remain are being told to watch them from inside their cars.

Bars aren’t serving alcohol there, either.

Beer may be out in Miami but hot dogs are still on the menu in New York — probably dozens of them for champion chomper Joey Chestnut.

The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest will be held in Coney Island, but without the usual crowd of live spectators on the boardwalk. A private venue will stage the competition, which will feature five eaters in the men’s and women’s competitions instead of the usual 15, allowing for more social distancing.

For Steve Edenbo, this Fourth of July is the biggest challenge of his career.

The professional actor portrays Thomas Jefferson and for the last 19 years has been at the National Archives in Washington to read the Declaration of Independence. That’s a Zoom performance this year, one he couldn’t practice in front of a live audience with theaters shut since March.

Plus, he knows he needs to dig deeper into Jefferson’s role as a slave owner, as the Black Lives Matter movement forces Americans to re-examine the country’s past.

“It’s, how do we deal with the Fourth of July?” Edenbo said. “This is unlike anything I’ve had in my career for those deeper reasons.”

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US tries to seize four Iranian tankers sailing towards Venezuela

Iran and Venezuela increased coordination in the face of a Trump administration which has pounded them with sanctions

US federal prosecutors are seeking to seize four tankers sailing towards Venezuela with gasoline supplied by Iran, the latest attempt to disrupt ever-closer trade ties between the two heavily-sanctioned anti-US allies.

The civil-forfeiture complaint filed late on Wednesday in the District of Columbia federal court alleges the sale was arranged by a businessman, Mahmoud Madanipour, with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, a US-designated foreign terrorist organisation.

“The profits from these activities support the IRGC’s full range of nefarious activities, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, support for terrorism, and a variety of human rights abuses, at home and abroad,” prosecutor Zia Faruqui alleges in the complaint.

The Associated Press news agency reached out for comment to the Iranian mission to the United Nations but did not receive an immediate response.

The Trump administration has been stepping up pressure on ship owners to abide by sanctions against US adversaries like Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.

In May, it issued an advisory urging the global maritime industry to be on the lookout for tactics to evade sanctions like dangerous ship-to-ship transfers and the turning off of mandatory tracking devices – both techniques used in recent oil deliveries to and from both Iran and Venezuela.

The campaign appears to be working.

On Thursday, the US Treasury Department lifted sanctions on eight vessels that were recently found to have transported Venezuelan crude.

The move followed an auction on Wednesday of 100,000 barrels of gasoline seized from a Greek-managed ship whose owner suspected the cargo was heading towards Venezuela.

As commercial traders shun Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government has been increasingly turning to Iran.

In May, Maduro celebrated the arrival of five Iranian tankers delivering badly needed fuel supplies to alleviate shortages that have led to days-long gas lines even in the capital, Caracas, which is normally spared such hardships.

Despite sitting atop the world’s largest crude reserves, Venezuela does not produce enough domestically-refined gasoline and has seen its overall crude production plunge to the lowest in more than 70 years amid the continuing crisis and fallout from US sanctions.

We are “two rebel nations, two revolutionary nations that will never kneel down before US imperialism,” Maduro said at the time. “Venezuela has friends in this world, and brave friends at that.”

The flotilla’s arrival angered the Trump administration, which struck back by sanctioning the five Iranian captains of the vessels.

The four tankers named in the complaint filed on Wednesday – the Bella, Bering, Pandi and Luna – are currently transporting 1.1 million barrels of gasoline to Venezuela, prosecutors allege.

Of the four, the Bella is currently sailing near the Philippines, ship tracking data shows, while the Pandi appears to have turned off its satellite tracking system on June 29 after having spent two weeks between Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The other two were last spotted in May – the Bering near Greece and the Luna sailing between Oman and Iran.

One of the companies involved in the shipment to Venezuela, the Avantgarde Group, was previously linked to the Revolutionary Guard and attempts to evade US sanctions, according to prosecutors.

An affiliate of Avantgarde facilitated the purchase by the Revolutionary Guard of the Grace 1, a ship seized last year by the United Kingdom on US accusations that it was transporting oil to Syria.

Iran denied the charges and the Grace 1 was eventually released. But the seizure nonetheless triggered an international standoff in which Iran retaliated by seizing a British-flagged vessel.

According to the asset forfeiture complaint, an unnamed company in February invoiced Avantgarde for a $14.9m cash payment for the sale of the gasoline on board the Pandi. Nonetheless, a text message between Mandanipour and an unnamed co-conspirator suggests the voyage had encountered difficulties.

“The ship owner doesn’t want to go because of the American threat, but we want him to go, and we even agreed We will also buy the ship,” according to the message, an excerpt of which was included in the complaint.

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