Justin Trudeau’s Indian outfits mocked tirelessly on Twitter (PHOTOS)

Justin Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India has gone from bad to worse, not least because of his near-obsessive need to dress in over-the-top traditional garments.

The Canadian PM and his family have posed for countless photo-ops with praying-hand symbols and Bollywood-style dresses throughout the eight-day trip. However, what was deemed appropriate and respectful at first, has started to grind on even the most forgiving spectator.

Aside from the questionable outfit choices, Trudeau’s trip, intended to improve ties between the two nations, has been tarnished with criticism from both sides.

READ MORE: Convicted Sikh extremist invited to Trudeau dinner during India trip

Firstly, the Canadian first family received a frosty welcome by the Indian government when they were greeted off their plane by the Indian minister of state for agriculture, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, rather than by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For context, Modi has personally greeted leaders from the US, the UAE, and Israel on their respective state visits.

One of the greatest gaffes of the trip was the decision to invite Jaspal Atwal, a sikh extremist convicted of attempting to murder an Indian politician, to a dinner with Trudeau at the Canadian High Commissioner’s residence in New Delhi. The invitation was later withdrawn.

READ MORE: Trudeau apparently snubbed by Indian PM Modi on 1st state visit

Trudeau also reportedly used taxpayers’ money to fly a Vancouver-based celebrity Indian chef, Vikram Vij, to cook for diplomats. Not included in the entourage, however, as Canadian MP Michelle Rempel pointed out, was the country’s agricultural minister, despite India being one of Canada’s most important export markets.

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Armed deputy at Florida school who ‘never went in’ to confront the shooter resigns

The Broward County deputy who was on the Parkland, Florida school campus during the fatal shooting has resigned, after it emerged that he stood outside the building and did not confront the attacker.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, confessed to the police that he opened fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, killing 17 and wounding 15 people at the the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school last Wednesday. The former student then discarded the weapon and blended in with the students fleeing the building, the authorities said.

Cruz was eventually arrested by an officer from the neighboring town, some hours after the incident. Multiple news outlets questioned why he was never confronted by the armed school resource deputy who was on campus at the time.

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© Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Deputy Scott Peterson never entered the building, choosing instead to take up a position outside, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters on Thursday, adding that this was based on review of surveillance videos and interviews with witnesses, including Peterson himself.

Asked what Peterson should have done, Israel said he should have gone in and “killed the killer,” AP reported.

Peterson resigned from the sheriff’s department on Thursday, after being told that he would be suspended without pay over his conduct in the incident. Israel would not say if the deputy would face any criminal charges.

The revelation comes after President Donald Trump put forth a highly controversial suggestion to allow specially trained teachers and school staff to carry weapons on campus. Gun control groups and students from Stoneman Douglas and their families have called on the government to “do something” after last week’s massacre.

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‘Information war technique’: Russia’s UN envoy slams ‘mass psychosis’ over Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

Russia’s envoy to the UN has accused mainstream media of leading a “campaign of disinformation,” spearheaded by the so-called White Helmets group, that only complicates the situation in Syria’s militant-controlled Eastern Ghouta.

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, Russia rejected a proposed resolution for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria (submitted by Sweden and Kuwait) as “utopian,” while Vassily Nebenzia said that the “propaganda-driven” approach to the coverage of the conflict was making a peaceful resolution even harder to reach.

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A member of the controversial White Helmets group holds an injured woman in the rebel-held town of Hamouriyeh, eastern Ghouta. February 21, 2018 ©  Bassam Khabieh

The Russian diplomat said that “it is high time” to talk about Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus which, according to leading Western media outlets, has become a site for a government-led massacre in the past weeks, with frequent claims that civilians are being deliberately targeted there.

“The mass psychosis in global media outlets acting in coordination, disseminating the same rumors in recent days, in no way does anything to help improve understanding of this situation,” said Nebenzia.

“The impression from media reports is that Eastern Ghouta is composed exclusively of hospitals, and that the government is spending all its time fighting against them. This is a well-known technique in an information war. What we do know for a fact is that militants place their strongholds inside hospitals and schools. For some reason that inconvenient truth is not widely advertised.”

Nebenzia said that “several thousand staunch militants” with links to Al-Nusra terrorist group and other radical Islamist militias, remained in the district, and noted their frequent attacks on other parts of Damascus, which, the envoy noted, did not merit the same attention from international officials and journalists.

Nebenzia particularly singled out the controversial White Helmets group as a “primary source” of false and exaggerated stories coming from Eastern Ghouta, and noted that the organization “enjoys generous outside funding, and cooperates closely with terrorist groups.”

Russia, which had convened Thursday’s meeting, has offered a series of “realistic and actionable” amendments to the ceasefire resolution but has warned “that a hard and long road lies ahead if all sides are to sit down and negotiate.”

“There is no other way,” said Nebenzia. “If resolutions alone could impose peace, we would have long been living in a different world.”

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Russians hacked the English language too? US establishment's guide to ‘spy’ language

With so much talk of ‘Russian meddling’ around, some people in the public eye are picking up the language of the alleged meddlers.

It appears members of the Trump administration, congress, senators and political commentators have taken to using Russian terms when describing their ‘meddling’ ways.

The Russian terms for country house, a high-ranking party official, compromising material, people linked to the security service or military and spies stationed overseas are all phrases used by various members of the US establishment.

READ MORE: Who you gonna blame? Five times Britain used the Russian bogeyman in just the last 3 months

How long until Russians are accused of hacking the English language too?

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Merkel walks out of parliament after AfD leader lambasts her support for migrant quota system

German Chancellor Angela Merkel walked out of a parliamentary session after a leader from the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party criticized her support of a proposed EU refugee distribution system.

While Merkel and AfD have never been friends, one particular comment by the party’s co-founder, Alexander Gauland, prompted her to leave the Bundestag on Thursday. That remark slammed the chancellor’s support for an EU quota system for accepting refugees.

“Countries want to decide for themselves who they take in. There is no national duty with regard to multiculturalism,” Gauland said.

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Former Mossad agent Rafi Eitan.

AfD co-founder Alice Weidel also had a lot to say during the session, including her view that Merkel is trying to punish the UK for voting to leave the European Union.

“The EU wants to make an example of Great Britain, a punishment beyond any economic or political reason. This is not how one treats a European partner,” Weidel said. “Now Brussels, Paris, and Berlin are afraid that others could follow, that other states in Europe could take back their sovereignty.”

She went on to accuse the European Commission of “planning to restrict Britain’s access to the single market even during the transition period.” Such a plan against Germany’s biggest trading partner in the EU amounts to “taking free trade and competition as a hostage and making a failed EU ideology,” Weidel said.

“The good trading relationship with Great Britain and the rest of the continent have to be maintained – otherwise Europe will be at a disadvantage in global trade.” Merkel appeared to be less offended by Weidel’s comments, as she at least remained inside parliament while the AfD leader was speaking.

While some of the AfD leaders’ remarks were booed in the Bundestag on Thursday, the fact remains that it has seen a sharp growth in popularity. Recent polling found that it has garnered record-high support, becoming more popular than the Social Democrats (SPD) for the very first time. 

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Mueller charges Manafort & Gates with laundering over $30mn in Ukraine lobbying income

US special counsel Robert Mueller has filed a new indictment against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates, which appears unrelated to the 2016 US presidential election.

The 32-count indictment filed on Thursday at the federal court in Washington, DC charges Manafort and Gates with laundering more than $ 30 million in funds they earned from lobbying work in Ukraine, which ended in 2014.

Other charges include sixteen counts of fraudulent individual tax returns, as well as failing to disclose foreign bank accounts and misrepresenting more than $ 10 million in income, from Cyprus-based companies, as loans.

Mueller’s original indictment against Manafort and Gates, filed in October 2017, contained twelve counts, seven of which were “failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.” The rest referred to money-laundering, tax evasion and false or misleading Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) statements.

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Paul Manafort hides behind his car visor as he leaves his home in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. October 30, 2017. © Jonathan Ernst

Manafort and Gates worked as lobbyists for various governments in Ukraine from 2006 to 2015 and conspired to shield the income derived from the work from being taxed by the US government, according to the indictment.

“In total, more than $ 75,000,000 flowed through the offshore accounts. MANAFORT, with the assistance of GATES, laundered more than $ 30,000,000, income that he concealed from the United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury), the Department of Justice, and others,” the indictment reads.

Gates himself was accused of obtaining $ 3 million from the offshore accounts, and of concealing them from Treasury.

President Donald Trump has maintained that charges against Manafort and Gates have nothing to do with his campaign, which Manafort managed between June and August of 2016.

Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed special counsel in May 2017, after Trump fired James Comey from the FBI top job and Democrats accused him (Trump) of obstructing the probe into their claims that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

A grand jury in Virginia has filed a 32-count indictment charging ex-Trump campaign chiefs Paul J. Manafort, Jr., and Richard W. Gates III with federal tax and bank fraud allegations.

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Mounting a car, smashing rear window: Russian cop detains hijacker (VIDEO)

A Russian policeman was filmed mounting a hijacked car, and smashing in its rear window to gain access, in dashcam footage that resembles a blockbuster car chase.

The driver of the vehicle was pulled over by Lieutenant Maxim Mamaev in a town in Western Siberia for reportedly driving under the influence. When officer Mamaev made his way to the driver’s side of the vehicle, the Renault sped off in the hopes of ditching the officers.

However, in the footage uploaded onto the regional traffic police department’s Instagram page, officer Mamaev leaped onto the trunk of the moving car, and immediately began hitting its rear window with his pistol while the car continued to speed down a highway.

Meanwhile, Mamaev’s partner, officer Igor Afonin, chased the runaway vehicle in his patrol car with sirens blaring while repeatedly asking the driver, via a loudspeaker, to stop.

READ MORE: Snowball patrol: Russian police pelt runaway car with snow during high-speed chase (VIDEO)

The short chase came to an abrupt end when officer Mamaev gained access to the inside of the vehicle through the smashed rear window, and brought the driver to a halt. It later transpired that the driver was drunk, and was also a thief, as the car had been hijacked from a pensioner. Officer Mamaev said his risky mount was “was necessary to act to stop the drunk driver who could harm the surrounding people, including pedestrians.”

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LGBT sex education – Corbyn backs classroom changes

Gay sex should be part of the national curriculum, according to Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour Party leader backed the coverage of same-sex relationships in schools during an interview on Will Young’s Homo Sapiens podcast.

Currently sex education solely focuses on heterosexual couples practicing safe sex and healthy relationships. Teachers are not instructed to address the LGBTQ sexual experience.

During his appearance on the podcast, which was covered by the Gay Times, Corbyn asserted that he is fully behind a reform of the way sex, especially gay sex, is taught in schools. “Sex education should involve same-sex as well as heterosexual relationships – it’s about relationships.”

“Too much of it is not about relationships and understanding each other, having respect for each other and what is a genuine relationship and what’s an exploitative relationship; there’s a big difference. It’s giving young people the confidence to understand that a loving relationship is something to cherish and be proud of. An exploitative relationship is not.”

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FILE PHOTO © Eloy Alonso

Host and former pop star Young said growing up gay is made harder by people ignoring it. “That’s very important and it makes me think of pornography. I think it’s so rife and people can get… people have phones when they’re younger now and whether you’re heterosexual or gay, bisexual, whatever – people will formulate their opinions on what a relationship is by watching pornography. People are ashamed to talk about sex. We’re so ashamed to talk about it. It’s about loving and being safe.”

Corbyn added: “And those who were frightened to admit their sexuality because of repression, and that goes back a long way more in history. Lord Byron spent a lot of time in Switzerland because there was no prosecutable law there like there was here at that time, like many others. I think we’ve got to learn from our history. I give Alan Turing as an example, I give Oscar Wilde – there’s a lot of others.”

The Labour leader’s support for the issue comes as politics is increasingly being played out in the classroom. Former Tory Education Minister Justine Greening backed plans for compulsory LGBTQ-inclusive sex and relationships education, however, she is no longer in charge. Her replacement, Damian Hinds, caused controversy earlier this week when he backed the suggestion parents could exclude their children from sex education classes.

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NRA leader LaPierre draws fire from liberals over call for armed guards in schools

The National Rifle Association’s executive Wayne LaPierre lashed out at “elitist” Democrats for exploiting the Florida school shooting and “hating” freedoms, while liberals reacted angrily to his call for armed guards at schools.

No love was lost between the NRA’s executive vice-president and liberal gun control supporters as LaPierre gave his speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) near Washington, DC on Thursday. The NRA executive accused the Democratic party of using last week’s Florida school shooting to abolish the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“The opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain,” LaPierre said. “The Democrats hate the NRA. They hate the Second Amendment. They hate individual freedom.”

“Absolute control in every corner of our government is their ultimate dream. These intellectual elites – they think they’re smarter than we are… and they think they’re better than we are. They truly believe it and you know it,” he added.

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US President Donald Trump hosts a listening session to discuss school safety at the White House. February 21, 2018. © Jonathan Ernst

LaPierre called for “security shields” of armed guards around all schools as “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Banks, airports, workplaces, sports events, movie stars and politicians “are all more protected than our children at school,” Lapierre said.

He went on to accuse the gun control lobby of an attempt to “sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security, the failure of family, the failure of America’s mental health system, and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI,” which admitted last week it failed to act on a tip-off about the Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz.

Liberals quickly hit back at LaPierre’s comments, in turn accusing him of using the tragedy for his own gains.

“Gun manufacturers would profit immensely from militarizing our schools,” tweeted Shannon Watts, founder of the gun control campaign Moms Demand Action.

Austin Stang of the anti-Trump group Gun Control Now said LaPierre “made it very clear here that the NRA is playing politics by rejecting any and all democratic ideas merely because they don’t like the Democrats.”

Twitter conservatives, however, lauded the NRA leader’s words. NPR News political writer Dan Gonyea called the speech “defiant”, while Carmine Sabia hailed LaPierre as “a champion for our rights.”

One the comic relief side of things, there was former Bill Clinton White House staffer Claude Taylor claimed the NRA had received millions from… Russian President Vladimir Putin!

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Assad supporters celebrate in Afrin after pro-govt forces bolster Kurds (VIDEO)

Demonstrators waved Syrian flags in the central square of the Kurdish-dominated city of Afrin, as Damascus sent militias to reinforce locals in their resistance against the Turkish onslaught.

Amateur footage showed several dozen participants climbing on cars and monuments, while hoisting portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad, as a larger crowd observed without joining in.

Government-allied units relieved the city, which continues to be under siege from Turkish and anti-Assad forces, at the beginning of the week.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who ordered the incursion into Syria, known as Operation Olive Branch, last month, warned that the incoming militias would “pay a heavy price.”

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