Matt Damon says 2011 film ‘Contagion’ predicted pandemic as he reveals stepdaughter had COVID-19

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Matt Damon revealed that his stepdaughter got the coronavirus while going to school in New York City at the onset of the worldwide pandemic.

The actor, 49, appeared for an interview on Ireland’s Spin 1038 “Fully Charged” radio show where he revealed the news of his kid’s illness. The actor has been stuck in Ireland, specifically the small Dublin suburb of Dalkey, for several weeks after travel restrictions took effect while he was there to shoot a movie.

Speaking to hosts Graham O’Toole and Nathan O’Reilly, Damon revealed that his stepdaughter Alexia, 21, was at school in New York City and had the coronavirus along with her roommates a few weeks ago. Alexia is the daughter of Damon’s wife, Luciana Barroso, from a previous relationship.

“Our oldest daughter is in college. Obviously that’s been shut down. But she’s in NYC and she had COVID really early on along with her roommates and got through it fine,” he revealed to the hosts. “So… I shouldn’t say our whole family is together. Of our four kids, we’ve got the three younger ones and our oldest one, we’ll reunite with her at the end of the month. But everybody’s OK.”

Matt Damon revealed that his stepdaughter had the coronavirus.
(Dominique Charriau/WireImage)

Damon’s stepdaughter appears to be out of the woods in terms of her battle with COVID-19. As a result, the actor noted that he’s relieved to be able to reunite with her in Los Angeles in an environment where people finally understand what they’re dealing with.

“Obviously for Luci’s mom and my mom, it’s scary for that generation,” he told the hosts. “I think we’ve all got the message now. Everybody is doing the isolation and social distancing and hand washing and kind of everything we can to mitigate this but it’s frightening, certainly, for our parents.”

The hosts couldn’t help but bring up the parallels of the coronavirus pandemic to a 2011 movie Damon starred in called “Contagion” in that depicted what turned out to be a surprisingly accurate response to a global pandemic. In the movie, Damon plays a father who loses his wife to the illness and must protect his only daughter from it at all costs.

“Anybody who said you couldn’t predict this, I mean, just look at ‘Contagion.’ Ten years ago we made a movie just talking to experts and asking them how this would look and kind of how this would go down,” Damon said.

The actor concluded by noting that he hopes the COVID-19 pandemic will prepare the world for similar outbreaks that may come in the future and be more severe.

“It’s upsetting, the whole thing is just… it’s tragic, you know? And sad,” he told the hosts. “I hope some good can come out of it. I hope that. Luckily, this isn’t as lethal as it might have been, so maybe this is a really good dry run for the big one that might come. Because these things do come along every few decades… best to be ready for it.”

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Will there be a draft? Young people worry after military strike | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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For decades, American men over the age of 18 have gone through the ritual of registering with the government in case of a military draft. In recent years, this action has felt more like going through the motions, simply checking a box.

But today, after a U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed Iran’s top security and intelligence commander, prompting concerns about the possibility of a new war in the Middle East, that oft-forgotten paperwork became a reason for spiking anxiety among many Americans.

“World War III” started trending on social media. Young men suddenly recalled registering after their 18th birthdays, many having done so while applying for college financial aid. One Twitter user posted that he had blocked the account of the U.S. Army, with the (faulty) reasoning that: “They can’t draft you if they can’t see you.”

Interest was so high that it apparently crashed the website for the Selective Service System, the independent government agency that maintains a database of Americans eligible for a potential draft. “Due to the spread of misinformation, our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time,” the agency said on Twitter, adding, “We appreciate your patience.”

Here is an explanation of the current military system and what it would take to enact a draft in modern times.

Is there going to be a military draft?

The United States first conscripted soldiers during the Civil War and continued to use the draft in some form on and off through the Vietnam War, said Jennifer Mittelstadt, a professor of history at Rutgers University who has studied the military.

But there has been no conscription since 1973, when the draft was abolished after opposition to fighting in Vietnam. “There was huge support for ending the draft across the political spectrum,” Mittelstadt said.

The modern-day military is now an all-volunteer force, with about 1.2 million active-duty troops.

To change that, Congress would have to pass a law reinstating the draft, and the president would have to sign it, actions that would likely require broad political support.

What is the draft age?

All men from 18 to 25 years old are required to register with the Selective Service System. Many young men check a box to register when getting a driver’s license. Others sign up when applying for federal student aid to attend college.

But just because you have registered does not mean you will be drafted. “Right now, registering for selective service really means nothing about the likelihood of you serving in the current military,” Mittelstadt said.

Joe Heck, chairman of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, a committee created by Congress to evaluate the Selective Service System, put it this way: “Registration is ongoing. A draft would require an act of Congress.”

What are the consequences if you don’t register?

If you do not register for Selective Service as a young man, you can be subject to lifetime penalties. For example, men who did not register cannot receive federal financial aid, and they cannot work for the federal government, Heck said.

To check if you have registered, visit the Selective Service System’s website (once it is up and running again).

Can women be drafted?

No.

Historically, only men have been eligible for the draft. But the question of whether to register women has gained traction in recent years, as women have taken on broader roles within the military.

In 2015, the Pentagon opened up all combat jobs to women. Last year, a federal judge in Houston ruled that excluding women from the draft was unconstitutional.

As part of its work, the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service is considering whether to expand the registration requirement to include women. The group’s final report, on that and other issues, is expected to be released in March.

Are there arguments for reinstating the draft?

In the 1860s, mobs of mostly foreign-born white workers took to the streets in New York City to protest conscription during the Civil War, burning down buildings and inciting violent attacks against black residents.

A century later, burning draft cards became a symbol of protest against the war in Vietnam.

“I think it’s fair to say that the draft has never been wildly popular,” Mittelstadt said.

But she said there were arguments in favor of a modern-day draft, including the potential to make the military more representative of society. The current all-volunteer force is more likely to recruit people from the working class, she said, with higher percentages of nonwhite Americans serving in uniform.

“I don’t know what it means in a democracy that you let some people fight your wars and everybody is not responsible,” she said. “American citizens are not implicated in the consequences — bodily human life, economically — of war, and they should be.”

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DJ Cuppy has stolen my heart — Afrobeat Artiste, Akeju – Vanguard News

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Budding star of Afro-music, a genre previously unknown to music fans in the United States, is a fast-rising Nigerian songwriter, a record producer known as Akeju. Akeju’s name is fast evolving into a household item in New York City, the city that never sleeps. He is so popular and influential, especially on the entertainment scene, that the entire city had to look forward to the unveiling of his latest single, Akeju, that was released earlier this year. The song has been on top charts since its release. A native of Kwara State, Akeju has lived in New York City for over a decade. He is an artist in every sense of the word. Not just a musical artist but an artist because he is all about expression, from his sense of style to his genre of music even down to working succinctly as an actor and movie producer. The artiste, in this interview, revealed his plans to collaborate with more A-list artists in Africa and more surprisingly his favourite woman crush.

Tell us about your background

My name is A. M Akeju, I was born in Ghana to Nigerian parents. My mom is from Ilorin and my dad is from Abeokuta.

Have you always wanted to be a musician?

Yes. I started out writing songs and listening to a variety of aristes as a child; Nate King Cole, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti to mention but a few.

How did you discover your talent in music?

Some people actually go through life trying to figure out which path they want to take but for me, Music has always been a part of me. I remember growing up, I was influenced by popular singers like Fela Kuti, Nate King Cole, Bob Marley among others. I  have always believed that someday I would do music too.

READ ALSO: Let’s see music as a spiritual exercise – Erelu Dosumu Abiola

What inspires your songs?

Many things inspire my songs. Experiences of friends, family, and myself; what is going on at the time in many communities. Many times I want my songs to make people feel good; sometimes people go through so much in their life.

Who are those top artistes you would want to have a collaboration with and why?

There are several, Seal, Youssou Ndour, 2Face Idibia, Nas, Shaggy, Sade, Sting, to name a few. I admire them and I remain true to my philosophy creating a bridge between African culture and other cultures.

Unforgettable performance and why?

My unforgettable performances would be Save Africa Foundation concert with the wonderful Winnie Mandela in the audience and Black Panther under the Stars. I have other unforgettable performances.

Other hobbies aside singing?

Other hobbies are soccer, swimming, and just getting away from time to time. It helps me rejuvenate, get me fired up to record more songs for my fans.

What is the greatest price you have paid for your career?

The greatest price I have paid, I don’t really have one. What I would say is the greatest lesson, having a tight inner circle you trust is important.

What project are you working on at the moment?

I have a few projects, I like to keep those details close and then surprise my fans. My EP “Akeju the EP ft Beenie Man and Lil scrappy (love and hip – hop) ” and also my mixtape with Dj Kaywise was recently released. Outside of music I am in corporate America working on several projects. I am the CEO and President of Aflik TV, an admin for international content at Amazon prime and I also provide content for several platforms, Netflix, Hulu, Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Nobles to name a few.

What is your relationship status now?

I am single and available.

You are single and available, so how do you handle your female fans?

I just appreciate them; they are fantastic; you can’t get too caught up. You can’t let it get into your head. You can’t indulge in a lifestyle where you start to slip up because you are single. But I do appreciate them and try to live up to everybody’s expectations.

Who is your female crush and why?

Well to put this straight, every woman out there deserves the best. One woman that has stolen my heart secretly is Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola (Dj Cuppy). I really love what she’s doing and how she has successfully carved a niche for herself in the industry. Hopefully one day we will go out on a date and have more Gelato..

Looking back, any regret so far?

I have no regrets. Before making any decision, I always pray and fast for divine directions. So far, God has really been faithful to me.

Any word for your fans out there?

Be loyal and true to yourself. If you have a dream, stay focused on it. Things don’t happen overnight, remain persistent and keep pushing. Bless up!!!

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Facebook now has a combined 70.9m monthly active users in Nigeria, SA and Kenya

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Last week, Juliani, Kenyan gospel hip hop artiste, posted a video from his visit to the Facebook office in Manhattan, New York City.

Forgot about this clip on the FB Manhattan office visit. real time view of active users on the platform across the world and per country.

Kenya sisi hao!! pic.twitter.com/OsZRENlNQl

— I am Eliud Kipchoge 🇰🇪 (@JulianiKenya) October 9, 2019

In the short clip, a screen shows the number of Facebook’s active users per country. It reveals that there are 2.7 billion Facebook users globally.

A member of the Facebook team then proceeds to show Juliani the number of monthly daily active users in his home country, as well as South Africa, and Nigeria.

It reveals that there are 9.9 million monthly active Facebook users in Kenya, with 4.7 million of them using the social media platform daily. While South Africa has 28 million monthly active users,  16 million are daily active users.

Nigeria is still Facebook’s biggest market in Africa with 33 million active monthly users and 16 million active daily users.

This means that between May 2018 — when Facebook was said to have 26 million active users in Nigeria — and now, about 7 million Nigerians have joined the platform and use it actively.

These numbers seem plausible considering that the number of Internet users in Nigeria grew from about 103 million in May 2018 to 122 million in May 2019, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

However, NCC’s numbers, judging from MTN’s recent data (pdf), appear questionable. Facebook’s user numbers have also raised eyebrows because it counted people who didn’t access the platform itself but shared content or activity via third-party apps or login-integrated websites.

This changed in 2015 when Facebook reviewed the definition of its monthly active users as “a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through our website or a mobile device, or used our Messenger app (and is also a registered Facebook user), in the last 30 days as of the date of the measurement.”

The number of daily active users is calculated the same way but on a given day. Whether or not we choose to believe NCC and Facebook’s numbers, the truth remains that more Nigerians now have access to the Internet and for many of them, the Internet is Facebook.

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Hello there! Did you know Techpoint works with some of the most innovative companies on the continent? Want to learn how we can work together with your brand/firm? Email Naomi at .

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Rudy Giuliani Laughs At Subpoena On Fox News: They Seem To Forget That Im A Lawyer

Just hours after being issued a subpoena from top congressional Democrats, Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News to defend his involvement with Ukraine, actions that have become central to an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump

Trump’s personal attorney appeared on Sean Hannity’s program as part of his latest effort to distance himself from the political whirlwind surrounding Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.

During the “Hannity” segment, Giuliani appeared to question the motives behind the subpoenas while defending his communications with officials in Ukraine about investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, a top Trump rival in the 2020 presidential campaign. He also reminded viewers that he was a professional lawyer as he pushed unfounded conspiracy theories targeting a spate of his boss’s political rivals.

“These people are such intellectual heavyweights, I don’t know if I could handle Schiff,” Giuliani said Monday, appearing to joke about Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee who recently sent him a subpoena.

Giuliani went on to push unfounded claims about the Biden family, Trump’s 2016 political rival Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.

“Wake up, Democrats. You are covering up corruption, and by the time this is over, you’re going to be the party of corruption,” Giuliani said. Earlier in the show, he noted that lawmakers “seem to forget that I’m a lawyer. If I were defending a terrorist, they’d be going crazy that I was called before a committee.”

The chairs of multiple House committees subpoenaed Giuliani and three of his associates Monday as part of the inquiry, demanding he produce communications and other documents related to his work for the president. The subpoena pertains to material from Jan. 20, 2017, the day before Trump’s inauguration, to the present.

“Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the president in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the office of the president,” said the letter, signed by Schiff and two other Democratic congressmen: Eliot Engel (N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Elijah Cummings (Md.), chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Giuliani must comply with the subpoena by Oct. 15, although the former New York City mayor has already pushed back on its merits, claiming on Twitter that it raised “significant issues concerning legitimacy.”

House Democrats are investigating Giuliani’s role in the unfolding scandal over Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as part of their impeachment inquiry.

During the July conversation, Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company for five years. A reconstruction of the call released last week showed Trump asking Zelensky for a “favor” shorty after Zelensky brought up millions in military aid the U.S. had appropriated for Ukraine.

Neither Biden has been accused of any wrongdoing, despite Giuliani’s claims.

Giuliani appears to be one of the central figures related to that favor, which Democrats have called an unprecedented quid pro quo for political dirt. The attorney is mentioned multiple times in a formal whistleblower complaint about the call, and he has admitted in television interviews that he met with Ukrainian operatives. But Giuliani has recently said he did so at the behest of the State Department. Trump has also denied any impropriety and moved to discredit the unnamed whistleblower.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also been issued a subpoena by House Democrats.

Giuliani’s whirlwind media appearances have prompted frustration from Democrats in recent days, including from the Biden campaign. The former vice president’s staff recently asked news executives to stop booking Giuliani on their shows, saying he was using the appearance to spread “false, debunked conspiracy theories.”

“Giuliani is not enlightening your viewers in any way. He’s not offering a unique or informed perspective,” the Biden camp wrote in the letter last week. “He’s certainly not introducing new facts, since his relationship with the truth is casual at best.”

House Democrats have, however, pointed to the lawyer’s own statements on CNN to back up their request for the subpoena.

“You stated more recently that you are in possession of evidence ― in the form of text messages, phone records, and other communications ― indicating that you were not acting alone and that other Trump Administration officials may have been involved in this scheme,” they wrote.

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Democrats Home In On Rudy Giuliani’s Meddling In Ukraine

Democrats are demanding more information about Rudy Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine following the release of a controversial call summary between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A group of Senate Democrats on Wednesday urged the Justice Department to review Giuliani’s consulting work abroad following repeated mentions of Trump’s personal attorney in the summary. Earlier this week, three congressional House committees also jointly sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatening a subpoena if he refuses to produce documents related to Trump’s and Giuliani’s interactions with Ukrainian officials.

“Rudy Giuliani seems to be working on behalf of the United States as an emissary from the president while at the same time benefiting the president’s personal political agenda,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), one of the senators who made the request, said Wednesday.

Giuliani’s name comes up repeatedly in summary of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky that was released Wednesday. Zelensky first brings up Giuliani on the call and invites him to visit Ukraine. Later in the conversation, Trump urges Zelensky to work with U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Giuliani in pursuit of dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.

“Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening, and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great,” Trump said, according to the call summary.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post published an article about Giuliani’s shadow diplomacy in Ukraine and how it had alarmed State Department officials who were in the dark about his work there. Giuliani seemed to acknowledge his mission to help Trump politically in an interview in May.

Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. President Trump to Ukraine’s president, according to a summary of their call

“We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” Giuliani said in the May 9 New York Times article. “I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”

In an interview on Fox News this week, Giuliani held up a cellphone, waved it around and told host Laura Ingraham that he was working on behalf of the State Department and said his phone records would confirm his contacts.

“You know who I did it at the request of?” he asked. “The State Department. I never talked to a Ukrainian official until the State Department called and asked me to do it. And then I reported every conversation back to them.”

But the State Department later pushed back on those claims, saying Giuliani did not speak for the U.S. government and calling him a “private citizen” who is acting in a “personal capacity as a lawyer for President Trump.”

Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine also puzzled some Republicans on Capitol Hill.

“I honestly have no idea. None,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Wednesday when asked why the president’s personal attorney got involved with U.S. policy in a foreign country. In an earlier interview on MSNBC this week, Kennedy called Giuliani “wilder than a March hare.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an ally of Trump who argued the president did nothing wrong in asking Zelensky to get involved in a U.S. election, also took issue with Giuliani’s wild series of television appearances this week.

“I don’t know what [role] he played,” Graham said. “Rudy’s saying a lot of things, and I’m not sure he’s helping the president by being on TV every 15 minutes.”

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Ground Zero Memorial and Rebuilding Fast Facts

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(CNN)Here’s a look at the rebuilding of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and the memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks.

April 28, 2003 – The World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition launches.
June 2003 – The Memorial Competition submission period closes. 5,201 submissions are received from 63 nations.
    November 19, 2003 – Eight prospective plans chosen from the submissions are displayed for the public in the World Financial Center in New York.
    January 6, 2004 – The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announces its choice of “Reflecting Absence” by Israeli-born architect Michael Arad.
    September 10, 2005 – Supporters of the Take Back the Memorial campaign protest the inclusion of an International Freedom Center in plans for the memorial.
    September 28, 2005 – In a written statement, Governor George Pataki announces that plans for the International Freedom Center adjacent to the planned memorial at the World Trade Center site have been abandoned.
    July 12, 2011 – More than 42,000 passes to the memorial are reserved in the first 24 hours they are made available.
    September 11, 2011 – The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the dedication of the memorial.
    September 12, 2011 – The memorial opens to the public.
    2012 – A dispute between the Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey delays construction of the 9/11 museum planned for the memorial site. The museum was originally supposed to open on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
    September 10, 2012 – The budgetary dispute delaying the opening of the museum is resolved when all parties enter into a “memorandum of understanding,” an agreement that allows them to restart construction.
    May 15, 2014 – The National September 11 Memorial & Museum opens its doors for the 9/11 community — survivors, families and rescuers. Within it are 12,500 objects, 1,995 oral histories and 580 hours of film and video.
    May 21, 2014 – The museum opens to the public.
    Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan:
    Fall 2001 – New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani create the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC). The mission of the LMDC is to “help plan and coordinate the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan.”
    The LMDC also administers the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition, a separate process from that of rebuilding the World Trade Center area.
    A 15-member board of directors governs the LMDC. The governor of New York and the mayor of New York City each appoint half of the members. The LMDC is also assisted by nine advisory councils.
    According to an audit conducted by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the rebuilding cost grew from approximately $11 billion in 2008 to $14.8 billion in 2012.
    August 12, 2002 FEMA and the Federal Transit Administration announce $4.55 billion in federal aid for transportation improvements in Lower Manhattan.
    September 26, 2002 Six design teams are hired, out of 407 submissions, to create land use plans for the 16-acre site.
    December 18, 2002 An exhibit of nine possible designs opens at the World Financial Center.
    February 27, 2003 Daniel Libeskind’s “Memory Foundations” is selected as the new design for the site.
    September 17, 2003 The LMDC releases a revised Master Plan for the site.
    November 23 2003 – PATH train service is restored, linking Lower Manhattan and New Jersey. Trains operate out of a temporary station in the area.
    December 19, 2003 Plans for the Freedom Tower to be built at Ground Zero are revealed.
    January 22, 2004 – Architect Santiago Calatrava unveils his plans for the area transportation hub.
    July 4, 2004 Construction at Freedom Tower begins. A 20-ton slab of granite, inscribed “the enduring spirit of freedom,” is laid as the cornerstone of one of the new skyscrapers that will stand on the site.
    May 4, 2005 Governor Pataki calls for a redesign of the new tower for safety reasons.
    June 29, 2005 – New York officials release the latest design for the signature building at the site after revising it to make the tower more secure.
    September 6, 2005 Architect Santiago Calatrava and public officials dedicate the first steel rail for the future transportation station.
    December 15, 2005 Architect Lord Norman Foster agrees to design the next major building planned for the site. Foster will design a 65-story tower for the northeast corner of the 16-acre site.
    April 26, 2006 The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and developer Larry Silverstein reach an agreement about the financing of Freedom Tower, resolving problems that had delayed construction.
    April 27, 2006 The formal groundbreaking of Freedom Tower takes place.
    March 26, 2009 The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announces dropping the name “Freedom Tower,” and that the first commercial lease in the building has been signed. Upon completion, the building will be named One World Trade Center.
    May 10, 2013 Construction workers bolt the last pieces of a 408-foot spire into place atop One World Trade Center, bringing the building to a height of 1,776 feet. This height references the year the United States declared its independence. It also makes the building the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest in the world.
    November 3, 2014 – One World Trade Center opens for business, when the first tenant, Conde Nast, moves in.
    May 29, 2015 – The observatory opens in the top three floors of One World Trade Center.
      March 3, 2016 – The first phase of the World Trade Center transportation hub opens.
      June 29, 2016 – Liberty Park opens to the public.

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      September 11 Hijackers Fast Facts

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      (CNN)Here’s some background information about the 19 hijackers of September 11, 2001.

      crime

        The 28 page report on 9/11 you can’t see

      — 8:46 a.m. ET (approx.) – American Airlines Flight 11 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles) strikes the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The plane is piloted by plot leader Mohamed Atta.
        — 9:03 a.m. ET (approx.) – United Airlines Flight 175 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles) strikes the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The plane is piloted by hijacker Marwan al Shehhi.
        — 9:37 a.m. ET (approx.) – American Airlines Flight 77 (traveling from Dulles, Virginia, to Los Angeles) strikes the Pentagon Building in Washington. The plane is piloted by hijacker Hani Hanjour.
        — 10:03 a.m. ET (approx.) – United Airlines Flight 93 (traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco) crashes in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The plane is piloted by hijacker Ziad Jarrah.
        Hijackers by Airplane:
        American Airlines Flight 11
        Mohamed Atta – Egypt, tactical leader of 9/11 plot and pilot
        Abdul Aziz al Omari – Saudi Arabia
        Wail al Shehri – Saudi Arabia
        Waleed al Shehri – Saudi Arabia
        Satam al Suqami – Saudi Arabia
        United Airlines Flight 175
        Fayez Banihammad – United Arab Emirates
        Ahmed al Ghamdi – Saudi Arabia
        Hamza al Ghamdi – Saudi Arabia
        Marwan al Shehhi – United Arab Emirates, pilot
        Mohand al Shehri – Saudi Arabia
        American Airlines Flight 77
        Hani Hanjour – Saudi Arabia, pilot
        Nawaf al Hazmi – Saudi Arabia
        Salem al Hazmi – Saudi Arabia
        Khalid al Mihdhar – Saudi Arabia
        Majed Moqed – Saudi Arabia
        United Airlines Flight 93
        Saeed al Ghamdi – Saudi Arabia
        Ahmad al Haznawi – Saudi Arabia
        Ziad Jarrah – Lebanon, pilot
        Ahmed al Nami – Saudi Arabia
        Hijackers by Nationality:
        Egypt
        Mohamed Atta
        Lebanon
        Ziad Jarrah
          Saudi Arabia
          Ahmed al Ghamdi
          Hamza al Ghamdi
          Saeed al Ghamdi
          Hani Hanjour
          Nawaf al Hazmi
          Salem al Hazmi
          Ahmad al Haznawi
          Ahmed al Nami
          Khalid al Mihdhar
          Majed Moqed
          Abdul Aziz al Omari
          Mohand al Shehri
          Wail al Shehri
          Waleed al Shehri
          Satam al Suqami
          United Arab Emirates
          Fayez Banihammad
          Marwan al Shehhi

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          Al Sharpton on Donald Trump: ‘He’s a white nationalist’

          The civil rights activist, who recently found himself at the sharp end of the presidents tweets, discusses his history with Trump and the recent mass gun violence

          Barack Obama

          Among the many framed mementoes that clutter the white vinyl walls of the Rev Al Sharptons midtown Manhattan office, there is one he treasures just a little more than the others. Its an official program for the state memorial service held for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg back in 2013.

          Sharpton, the American civil rights stalwart, had been unable to travel to the event in person, and received a copy in the mail signed by a close friend. Across the programs gold lettering, a short message is scrawled in thin black marker: To Rev Sharpton A fellow warrior for justice! The signature is Barack Obamas, who back on that wet December day gave a speech in honor of Mandela that framed his legacy and post-apartheid reconciliation as a clarion call for global justice and peace.

          Theres a degree of beleaguered nostalgia as Sharpton looks at the frame, now a relic not just of a previous presidency but a different era of politics, defined by optimism, ideas and nuance.

          The Obama years thrust Sharpton, often a divisive and radical figure in American politics, further into the mainstream. It was during this time that the Baptist minister, once a direct action campaigner at the heart of some of New York Citys most torrid racial disputes, was given a primetime show on the cable news channel MSNBC and described as the White Houses informal adviser on race.

          I dont care if Donald Trump does 20 tweets on me. Nothing will ever mean more to me than the first black president calling me a warrior for justice on the program of Nelson Mandela, in his own penmanship, he says, pointing to the signature.

          Barack
          Barack Obama walks alongside Amelia Boynton Robinson, the Rev Al Sharpton, Michelle Obama, and Georgia representative John Lewis, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama, on 7 March 2015. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

          It has been less than a week since the 64-year-old preacher, born across the East River in Brooklyn, found himself at the sharp end of a typically divisive and inflammatory tweetstorm from the current president of the United States.

          Last week, Trump labelled him a conman, a troublemaker who Hates Whites & Cops! as Sharpton travelled to the majority African American city of Baltimore, Maryland, which the president had earlier described as a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess in an attack on the districts veteran black Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings.

          It was just the latest salvo in Trumps culture war, which has seen a potent mixture of thinly disguised racism directed at black leaders, hardened anti-immigrant rhetoric and Islamophobic slurs.

          A few days later, a 21-year-old white gunman killed 22 people in the border city of El Paso, Texas, in a domestic terror attack allegedly fueled by white nationalism and immigrant hatred.

          Sharpton was shocked, but not completely surprised, when he heard the news. This country is in a very dangerous place if we do not legislatively deal with this and set a different moral tone than this president, he says, his voice rising with the crescendo and intonation you would expect of a lifelong preacher.

          Since Trumps online attack, he claims, he and his civil rights group, the National Action Network, have received a substantial increase in threats.

          They have probably tripled since hes come into office, and quadrupled since he tweeted about me, Sharpton says. Youve got a president of the United States saying Im a troublemaker, so what does that say to someone like the guy that shot up El Paso? Even though you hope that it doesnt lead to that, youd be foolish not to take precautions, because you dont know what nut he may wake up.

          Of course, Sharpton is no stranger to volatile politics. His career as a civil rights campaigner has spanned over 30 years, and he has met his fair share of controversy and, on occasion, violence. He points to the left side of his chest, where in 1991 he was stabbed by a white resident in Brooklyn as he led a protest over the death of Yusuf Hawkins, a black 16-year-old, at the hands of a white mob.

          I know what it is to be hurt. I mean, physically, Ive paid the price. But that stabbing got me past the fear of [being threatened].

          Since then, Sharpton has been on the frontlines of many of Americas most notorious police brutality cases. He marched with the family of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager from Florida gunned down by a neighborhood watchman in Florida. He attended the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police shooting of another unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. He has worked on nearly every high-profile police killing in New York City for the past two decades, none more so than the chokehold death of Eric Garner, who died on Staten Island in 2014.

          Sybrina
          Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of Trayvon Martin, talk to the lawyer Benjamin Crump and the Rev Al Sharpton on 11 April 2012. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

          Its a bright summer morning, and Sharpton is looking typically trim, his hair slicked back, a neatly fitted shirtdisplaying the weight loss he experienced about a decade ago. He leaves the television on throughout our conversation, keeping an eye on cable news and checking his phone, which buzzes constantly.

          Its a quirk he appears to share, ironically, with Trump also a cable TV addict. But their connection goes well beyond this and their recent spat. The pair have known each other for 25 years as flamboyant personalities in this citys social and political scene. Both are lifelong New Yorkers who moved from the outer boroughs to the bright lights of Manhattan, albeit under markedly different circumstances. Their paths have frequently collided.

          Sharpton recalls the first time he met Trump, on a helicopter ride to Atlantic City in New Jersey, accompanied by the boxing promoter Don King in the late 1980s. King and Trump were trying to broker a deal over venue and promotion rights to Mike Tysons fights and, according to Sharpton, had met resistance from the majority black city council. They lobbied him to get involved but he declined.

          I didnt even want to get on the helicopter because I didnt like Donald Trump, he says.

          Sharpton went on to protest outside a Trump building in the midst of the Central Park Five scandal, in 1989, during which the real estate tycoon took out advertisements in all the citys newspapers calling for the death penalty against five teenagers falsely convicted, and years later acquitted, over the rape of a white woman in the park.

          More than two decades later, in 2008, emails seen by the Guardian show that Trump called Sharpton to personally offer him a slot on The Apprentice. Sharpton declined.

          He begged me and I wouldnt do it.

          Trump, perhaps predictably, has characterized their relationship somewhat differently.

          Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He loved Trump! He would ask me for favors often, the president tweeted last week.

          Al
          Al Sharpton attends the 2016 Democratic national convention at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 25 July 2016. Photograph: Earl Gibson III/WireImage

          In 2002 and 2006 the billionaire appeared at Sharptons National Action Network conventions, now among the largest civil rights symposiums in America, as an invited guest. The pair posed for photos, both beaming.

          Does he regret bringing him now?

          I wanted to show bipartisanship, Sharpton says, striking a surprisingly defensive tone. You cant have a civil rights convention where you say Im only going to have one side, and so it was in that spirit.

          But it was after the election of Obama, he says, that his assessment of Trump went from being one of a cynical manipulator of race to a white nationalist, as he led the birther conspiracy movement.

          At our last sit-down meeting he argued with me about Barack Obama not being born here but being born in Kenya. If youre not one of us, youre one of them. Thats when I was convinced Thats who he is. Hes a white nationalist. This is not just some maneuver of his. He deep down inside believes that.

          In the years since Obamas presidential candidacy, Sharpton has played an increasingly prominent role during the Democratic primary season. In 2016, he invited Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to dine with him in Harlem, in carefully managed media events near the National Action Network headquarters. He declined to endorse either ahead of the New York primary.

          Barack
          Barack Obama and the Rev Al Sharpton greet patrons at the restaurant Sylvias before an Obama fundraiser in Harlem, New York, on 29 November 2007. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP

          He was present for both Democratic debates in Detroit last month, and says he has spoken in depth with all of the frontrunners during the campaign. It was telling that shortly after Trumps attack, most candidates were quick to tweet their support for Sharpton, many of them describing him as a personal friend.

          Hes equally coy on endorsements this time around, too, undoubtedly aware that playing it cool will lead to more courtship from the key players, eager to appeal to the African American vote, which will be crucial in the early voting state of South Carolina.

          He is not shy when asked to define his own political capital, though. He lists off his now weekly cable show on MSNBC, his daily radio show, his televised weekly rallies in Harlem, and National Action Network offices around the country. All of this, he claims, is a way to tap tens if not hundreds of thousands of prime voters in black America.

          My role is that I represent a constituency that rallies around these issues, he says. You can say you dont want that constituency. Or you can get to them another way. Be my guest. But we have a proven track record.

          So, candidates aside, what sort of politics does he think will have a chance of beating Trump next year?

          A movement of people who dont want to see a president that is the personification of white nationalism and nativism, he says. The only way the Democrats can miss it is if they have a candidate that is not courageous enough to use that issue. But if they stand up, Trump beats himself.

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