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March 15, 2019

An Australian senator on Friday released a shockingly Islamophobic statement after a horrific attack on two mosques in Christchurch left 49 people dead.

Fraser Anning, who was elected as a Queensland senator in 2017, released a statement after an attack was carried out against Muslims, and it includes exactly one sentence condemning the violence followed by seven paragraphs suggesting Muslims themselves are to blame, per CNN's Jim Sciutto.

Anning writes that the attack "highlights" a "growing fear within our community" of "the increasing Muslim presence," and he claims that the "real cause" was "the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place." Anning goes on to write that "the entire religion of Islam" is a "violent ideology" and that Muslims are not "blameless."

This is hardly a first-time offense for Anning, who has advocated for ending Muslim immigration and in 2018 delivered a Senate speech calling for a "final solution to the immigration problem," evoking the infamous phrase referring to Nazi extermination of Jewish people, per BBC News. Anning refused to apologize for these comments even as he was condemned by members of Parliament.

Anning's statement was similarly condemned all around on Friday, The Washington Post reports, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying his comments are "disgusting" and "have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament." Brendan Morrow

2:33 a.m.

The Golden State Warriors eked out a 119-117 overtime win over Portland on Monday, sweeping the Trail Blazers 4 games to 0 in the NBA Western Conference finals. Monday's win sends the Warriors to their fifth consecutive NBA Finals. They have a week to rest before facing either the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks, and they hope to have one or both injured stars, Kevin Durant or Andre Iguodala, back in the game by then. The Bucks lead the Eastern Conference series 2-1, and Game 4 is Tuesday.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Draymond Green became the first teammates in NBA history to each get triple-doubles in a playoff game — Curry had 37 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists; Green, 18 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists. The Blazers were playing in their first conference finals since 2000. Peter Weber

1:37 a.m.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., handed House Democrats their first legal victory Monday in their fight to obtain President Trump's financial records, in this case from Trump's accounting firm Mazars USA. "It is simply not fathomable," Judge Amit Mehta wrote, "that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a president for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry." Mehta gave Trump a week to appeal, and Trump said he will do so.

The next legal battle involves a subpoena from the House Financial Services Committee for Trump's business and personal financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One. U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan is hearing Trump's motion to block that subpoena on Wednesday, and House lawyers quickly reminded Ramos that Mehta had just rejected "a substantially similar challenge by President Trump."

Ramos will be hearing Trump's request for a preliminary injunction, a step Mehta skipped, but Trump's basic legal argument is broadly similar in both cases: Congress is inappropriately investigating Trump's personal finances, without any legitimate legislative reason. If Ramos allows the subpoena, Trump's lawyers wrote last week, "nonstop investigations into the personal lives of presidents" will become "the new normal."

Trump refuses to release his tax returns, and his relationship with Deutsche Bank in has been a point of particular intrigue, most recently when The New York Times reported Sunday that Deutsche Bank money-laundering experts flagged several suspicious transactions from Trump-controlled accounts in 2016 and 2017, but executives in the private-banking division sat on the reports rather than passing them to government regulators. Peter Weber

1:37 a.m.

Céline Dion joined James Corden for a special, Las Vegas edition of "Carpool Karaoke," which involved much more than just singing.

Dion passed out pairs of her shoes to unsuspecting people on the sidewalk, discussed the pitfalls of fame, made some seriously great facial expressions, and with her rendition of "Baby Shark," proved that she can make any song dramatic.

Of course, no Céline Dion "Carpool Karaoke" can end without a taste of "My Heart Will Go On," and the pair hopped out of the car and into a boat waiting for them in front of the Fountains of Bellagio. As very confused tourists watched from the Las Vegas Strip, Dion and Corden channeled their inner Jack and Rose, even dropping a certain piece of jewelry into the water. Watch the video here. Catherine Garcia

12:53 a.m.

When Becca Bundy learned that Bill Cox needed a kidney, she had a feeling she would be the perfect match.

"I couldn't get it out of my head," Bundy told KARE 11. "I just said, 'I'm the one and I know it.'" The Cook, Minnesota, mother of four first met Cox two years ago, when her infant daughter, Hadley, had a seizure. She called 911, and Cox, a volunteer firefighter, was the first person to arrive. Bundy said she could tell Cox, 66, really cared about her daughter, and she remembered that when she ran into him at a benefit last year.

Cox was the bartender, and wore a T-shirt saying he was in kidney failure and looking for a donor. Cox was born with only one kidney, and by the time Bundy ran into him, he was losing hope of finding a donor. Bundy got tested, and after it was determined she was a match, the pair underwent surgery in February. "I feel pretty blessed to be chosen to be on his journey with him," Bundy said.

Cox is doing great — he's no longer on dialysis, and enjoys going with his wife, Terry, to visit Bundy and her family. "It's a lifetime bond that will never go away," Bundy said. Catherine Garcia

12:41 a.m.

"We have been waiting with bated breath and it's finally happened, the thing we've all been waiting for: A Republican finally read the Mueller report," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. That's not great for President Trump. Over the weekend, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) "read the redacted Mueller report and became the first Republican to say Trump 'engaged in impeachable conduct,'" he explained.

"So with that, I would like to offer the Republican Party this apology," Colbert said: "Now I know I give the GOP a hard time and often imply that you're a spineless group of self-interested toadies who'd rather see the country destroyed than stand up to an out-of-control narcissistic toddler. I was wrong — about one of you."

"Some say Amash has now made the calls for Trump's impeachment 'bipartisan,'" Colbert said, skeptically. "Well, yeah, technically. Like, technically, in high school once we had a girl at our Dungeons & Dragons party, but doesn't mean it was coed." Zero Republicans have joined Amash, and Colbert singled out Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) for shunning courage and then mocked Trump for publicizing Amash's impeachment comments; he even sang a song about Amash in Trump voice. "If Trump didn't tweet about it, Amash would be a Page 3 news story, like war with Iran," he said.

"Speaking of which, up until now, Trump has been the voice of reason on Iran," Colbert said, acting disoriented by his own words. Well, that ended on Sunday. Watch below. Peter Weber

May 20, 2019

Dressbarn is shutting down all of its stores in the United States, the retailer announced on Monday.

"This decision was difficult, but necessary, as the Dressbarn chain has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability in today's retail environment," Dressbarn CFO Steven Taylor said in a statement. There are about 650 Dressbarn stores, and the company said they won't all close down right away.

Dressbarn was founded in 1962, and is owned by the Ascena Retail Group, which also operates Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Cacique, and Justice. Catherine Garcia

May 20, 2019

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) warned former White House Counsel Don McGahn on Monday night that if he ignores a congressional subpoena and refuses to testify before his panel on Tuesday, "the committee is prepared to use all enforcement mechanisms at its disposal."

Earlier Monday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone notified Nadler that Trump had instructed McGahn to ignore the subpoena and skip the hearing. In a letter to McGahn, Nadler said "President Trump's order — which seeks to block a former official from informing a coequal branch of government about his own misconduct — is unprecedented," adding that this "does not excuse your obligation to appear before the committee."

Nadler listed several reasons why Trump cannot keep McGahn from testifying, including that "the president himself has already called your credibility into question." Nadler is referring to Trump tweeting earlier this month he "was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller," contradicting what McGahn told Special Counsel Robert Mueller. "In attacking your credibility and asking you to make public comments about these events, the president has not only further waived any possible privilege with regard to your testimony; he has also created substantial concerns about acts of witness intimidation and further obstruction of Congress' ongoing investigations," Nadler said. Catherine Garcia

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