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UC Berkeley’s Black Student Union schedules protest following “false arrests” on campus

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RACHAEL GARNER

Students of color at The University of California-Berkeley’s Black Student Union have announced plans to orchestrate protest today (March 20) following the charges filed against two of the institution’s students.

The university’s public-affairs department released a statement on Tuesday revealing news regarding the recent arrest made by University of California police in response to a March 8 report.

The two students were allegedly spotted on campus by authorities, with one carrying a stun-gun, which is prohibited on campus by property by law.

“Following standard practice, officers asked her not to touch the weapon and told her that, due to safety concerns, he would need to take it from her,” the statement said.

“When the officer then reached for the stun device, a struggle ensued between the officer and the owner, as well as the second individual who sought to intervene.”

In that statement, Marc Fisher, UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for administration, said that “we recognize this arrest has become a racial issue for some of our community members. We are committed to supporting a fair and thorough investigation, and to taking the steps necessary to maintain a relationship of trust with our community and our guests while ensuring their safety.”

BSU plans to rally outside the campus near Golden Bear restaurant at noon Wednesday and asked that participants wear black to protest what it called police brutality.

“The constant targeting and harm directed at Black people is repugnant and unacceptable. We are calling on the black community and our allies to advocate for black lives on this campus through direct action,” demanding that all charges against the students be dropped, the statement said.

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Watch Live Coverage as firefighters work to cease the Notre Dame Cathedral fire

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Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt / AFP-Getty Images

A fast-moving fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday in a massive blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, an unfortunate loss for the city and for the world.

Flames reportedly began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which collapsed, quickly followed by the entire roof.

A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city and ash fell over a large area. Parisians watching from the other side of the River Seine gasped as the spire folded over onto itself and fell into the inferno.

President Emmanuel Macron said the whole nation was moved. “Like all our compatriots, I am sad this evening to see this part of all of us burn,” he tweeted.

At around 1930 GMT, nearly three hours after the fire started, a Fire Department spokesman said the next 90 minutes would be crucial in seeing if the blaze could be contained.

“Basically the whole rooftop is gone. I see no hope for the building,” said witness Jacek Poltorak, watching the fire from a fifth-floor balcony two blocks from the southern facade of the cathedral, one of France’s most visited sites.

Firefighters tried to contain the blaze with water hoses and cleared the area around Notre-Dame, which sits on an island in the River Seine and marks the very center of Paris. Witnesses said the whole island, the Ile de la Cite, was being evacuated.

The French Civil Security service, possibly responding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that firefighters “act quickly” and employ flying water tankers, said that was not an option as it might destroy the entire building.

“Helicopter or plane, the weight of the water and the intensity of dropping it at low altitude could weaken the structure of Notre-Dame and cause collateral damage to surrounding buildings,” it tweeted.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May said their thoughts were with the French people. Merkel called the cathedral a “symbol of France and our European culture”.

The Vatican said the blaze had caused “shock and sadness” and said it was praying for the firefighters.

The cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, featured in Victor Hugo’s classic novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts millions of tourists every year.

For live coverage, click here.

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Watch Steve Mnuchin Go head-to-head with Maxine Waters during heated testimony

Mnuchin was scheduled to testify before Maxine Waters’ committee today, and at the last minute he informed Waters that he had an important meeting this evening with the leader of Bahrain, and that he would be leaving the hearing at 5pm whether it was finished or not. Either way, Maxine Waters wasn’t having it. She told Mnuchin that he was free to get up and walk out, but she made no movement to call the hearing to a close.

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Trump mocks Rep. Ilhan following supporter charged with threatening to kill her

“Special thanks to Rep. Omar of Minnesota,” Trump said. “Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel. I forgot. I’m so sorry.”

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