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ABC sitcom Roseanne axed after star's 'abhorrent' racist tweet about ex-Obama adviser - Wednesday briefing

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Roseanne Barr likened former aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape and said she was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood

Anna Freeman

30 Mayo 2018 11:58

Hello, this is Anna breaking down Wednesday's top stories from around the world.

Today's headlines

Sitcom star’s show cancelled after racist tweet

Actor Roseanne Barr’s revived sitcom has been cancelled after she shared a racist and Islamophobic tweet that attacked former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. The sitcom star wrongly claimed that Jarrett, who was born in Iran to American parents, has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, and compared her to an ape. Barr wrote in a now-deleted: ‘Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,’ using Jarrett’s initials. ABC quickly announced the show’s cancellation. The network said in a statement: ‘Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.’

Russian journalist shot dead

A Russian journalist who had defected from the country has been shot dead at his apartment in Kiev in a murder that police said may have been tied to his reporting. Arkady Babchenko was shot three times in the back as he left his apartment to buy bread and was found bleeding to death by his wife. 41-year-old Babchenko died in the ambulance to the hospital, a government official said. The head of Ukraine’s police force said that two motives were being considered: his ‘professional work and civil position’. Babchenko had grown highly critical of the Russian government in recent years and Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea.

UPDATE:

Arkady Babchenko has turned up alive at a news conference in Ukraine. Babchenko emerged at a police press conference on Wednesday afternoon in front of journalists who had been expecting updates on the investigation into his murder. Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian security service, told reporters the agency had faked Babchenko’s death to catch people who were trying to kill him.

Hamas offers ceasefire to Israel

Fundamentalist group Hamas has said Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have agreed to a ceasefire if Israel also reciprocates, following the most intense escalation of fighting since the war in 2014. Following dozens of rocket and mortar launches at Israel throughout Tuesday and overnight, and Israeli tank and airstrikes in Gaza, there were no reports of violence more than two hours after the announcement of a truce by Hamas on Wednesday. The Israeli intelligence minister, Yisrael Katz, avoided questions on whether Israel had agreed to a ceasefire but said it was not interested in an escalation towards war. ‘It all depends on Hamas. If it continues [to attack], I don’t know what its fate will be,’ Katz said on Israel Radio.

Pregnant whales slaughtered

Over 120 pregnant whales were killed during Japan's annual hunt last summer, a report has revealed, prompting outrage among conservationists. Figures show that 128 of the 333 minke whales caught during the 12-week expedition in the Southern Ocean were female. 122 of them were pregnant.

Hurricane Maria death toll in Puerto Rico much higher

An estimated 4,645 people died in Hurricane Maria and its aftermath in Puerto Rico, according to an academic report published Tuesday in a medical journal. That figure strongly disputes Puerto Rico's official death toll of 64. The article's authors called a ‘substantial underestimate’ of Hurricane Maria's death toll. ‘These numbers ... underscore the inattention of the US government to the frail infrastructure of Puerto Rico,’ authors from Harvard University and other institutions wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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