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Ex-Dolphins cheerleader claims she faced discrimination after admitting being a virgin

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A former Miami Dolphins cheerleader claims that she was discriminated against by the team and the NFL for talking about her Christian faith — and mocked after she admitted that she was a virgin.

Kristan Ann Ware, who cheered on the Dolphins for three years, charged in a complaint filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations that the workplace turned hostile after she told some of her fellow cheerleaders that she was waiting until she was married to have sex.

 Kristan Ware at a news conference on March 1, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro. Luiz Souza / NurPhoto, via Getty Images file

It got even worse, Ware charged, when she posted an image of her baptism along with a Bible verse on social media.

“Let’s talk about your virginity,” cheerleader director Dorie Grogan allegedly said when Ware arrived for an interview for returning dancers in April 2016, according to the complaint. “As far as we are concerned you have taken something that was once upon a time pure and beautiful and you’ve made it dirty.”

Ware, who is no longer with the Dolphins, is now seeking arbitration from the Florida commission and a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. She said female cheerleaders should be allowed to express their faith publicly the way the male players do.

“I loved my job,” Ware said Thursday in an emotional interview with NBC affiliate WFLA. “It was great, but after that things just started to change. …It became unbearable.”

A team source told NBC News that the team was aware of the incident Ware described and that Grogan has already been reprimanded.

“In 2016, we were made aware of an incident with our cheerleaders that fell short of our standards and expectations,” the source said. “We immediately addressed the issue and reprimanded the supervisor, who subsequently apologized to the entire team.”

But Grogan, who is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, is still on the team.

Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL, said he can’t comment on Ware’s complaint because he has not seen it. He said cheerleaders work for the teams, not the NFL.

“The NFL and all NFL member clubs support fair employment practices,” an NFL statement read. “Everyone who works in the NFL, including cheerleaders, has the right to work in a positive and respectful environment that is free from any and all forms of harassment and discrimination and fully complies with state and federal laws.”

Ware is now 27 and lives in South Carolina. Her lawyer, Sara Blackwell, insisted that Ware never proselytized on the job and only spoke about her virginity because she was asked about it and “because she’s too honest to lie.”

“She never once witnessed to anyone, she never once asked anyone if they believed in Jesus,” Blackwell told NBC News. “She is the friendliest person you will ever meet. If she talked about her faith in God, it’s because that’s who she is, not because she is trying to convert anyone.”

Ware’s secret spilled out in October 2015 while on a bus ride in London, where the Dolphins were playing the New York Jets at Wembley Stadium. The other dancers were talking about their “sex playlist” and Ware “was pushed to give her playlist.”

“Kristin told her teammates that she was waiting until she was married because of her personal relationship with God,” the complaint states. “She was sensitive to everyone around her having different beliefs and ideals so she further stated that it was her personal conviction.”

 The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders during a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 25, 2016, in Orlando, Florida. Don Juan Moore / Getty Images file

Ware said she complained to the team’s human resources department but continued to be ridiculed by Grogan and other members of the cheerleading team.

At a 2016 rehearsal for a fashion show, during which the cheerleaders walked the runway in bikinis, Ware said she was teased by being made to don a big set of “angel wings.” And when she wrote a “Motivation Monday” story for the Dolphins’ blog describing her cheerleader audition, her references to God and Christ were edited out.

Ware said she was also falsely accused of “groping a fan’s breast and butt at an appearance.”

Blackwell also represents former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis, who has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the team after it fired her for posting a photo of herself in a lacy bodysuit on her private Instagram account.

Ware said she was motivated by Davis’ example to come forward and rid herself of “the chains of silence.”

“I still love football,” she said. “I am still a fan.”

All but five NFL teams — the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers — have cheerleading squads, McCarthy said.

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Canadian man who claimed to be IS killer charged with lying about terrorism | World News

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A Canadian man who claimed he was an Islamic State killer has been charged with lying about his terrorist activity.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said the charge against Shehroze Chaudhry stems from numerous media interviews in which he described travelling to Syria in 2016 and committing acts of extremism.

Islamic State fighters take part in a military parade in Raqqa province in June, 2014
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Islamic State fighters take part in a military parade in Raqqa province in Syria in June 2014. File pic

Chaudhry, 25, from Burlington, Ontario, reportedly portrayed himself as a former IS member living freely in Canada.

He has been posting on social media and telling reporters and others since 2016 that he was a former member of the jihadist group’s religious police in Syria, according to Canadian media.

He claimed to have conducted at least two executions on the group’s behalf and gained further notoriety by appearing on The New York Times’ Caliphate podcast, describing in detail the grisly murders of innocent civilians, some blindfolded and tied-up – provoking outrage in the Canadian parliament.

He said he was known within the terror group by his jihadi alias, Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi (Abu Huzaifa the Canadian), and that he started out in the Syrian city of Manbij.

Choudhry reportedly recalled witnessing violence such as regular public lashings, beheadings and crucifixions, and claimed he suffered from nightmares.

His media interviews led opposition politicians to question whether the federal government was doing enough to protect Canadians from IS fighters who have returned to Canada.

But now, the RCMP has accused him of perpetrating a hoax related to terrorist activity.

Superintendent Christopher deGale said in a statement: “Hoaxes can generate fear within our communities and create the illusion there is a potential threat to Canadians while we have determined otherwise.

“As a result, the RCMP takes these allegations very seriously, particularly when individuals, by their actions, cause the police to enter into investigations in which human and financial resources are invested and diverted from other ongoing priorities.”

Chaudhry will appear in court on 16 November and, if convicted, could face up to five years in jail, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) reports.

Federal police have also announced terrorism charges against an unnamed 30-year-old man from Alberta, who detectives allege joined IS in 2013 and committed acts of terrorism including kidnapping.

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Coronavirus: Two million global deaths ‘not impossible’ even with vaccine, warns WHO | World News

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The number of global coronavirus deaths could reach two million before a vaccine is found and widely used, the World Health Organisation has warned.

It comes as the death toll in the nine months since the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, nears one million.

Dr Mike Ryan, director of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said the figure could be higher without concerted action to curb the pandemic.

“It’s certainly unimaginable,” he told a briefing. “But it’s not impossible, because if we look at losing a million people in nine months and then we just look at the realities of getting a vaccine out there in the next nine months, it’s a big task for everyone involved.

“There’s the issue of funding these vaccines. There’s the issue of distributing these vaccines and then the issues of acceptance.

“And beyond that, with the work we still have to do in controlling this disease. And remember, we have things we can do now to drive transmission down and drive down the number of deaths.”

Dr Ryan said there was a “worrying” spike of COVID-19 infections across Europe, which have triggered local lockdowns.

These are in part due to improved and rigorous testing, he added.

“But what is worrying to us is an increase in hospitalisations and an increase in bed occupancy for hospitalisations and also in ICU. We’re at the end of September, not even towards the end of September, and we haven’t even started our flu season yet,” he said.

“So what we are worried about is the possibility that these trends are going in the wrong direction. Now, on the other hand, we are in a much different situation now than we were in a few months ago. We have tools in place to be able to reduce transmission and to save lives.”



WHO chief cautions against vaccine nationalism







‘Vaccine nationalism will prolong pandemic’

Infections have risen to almost 32.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the coronavirus outbreak.

Many countries are experiencing a second surge as winter approaches.

It is unknown what impact the cold months will have on the disease, and how it will interact with other seasonal respiratory viruses.

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Charlie Hebdo: Terror investigation after attacks near magazine’s former offices in Paris | World News

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French terrorism authorities are investigating an attack that wounded two journalists near the former offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Emergency services were called to the scene in Rue Nicolas Appert, in the 11th arrondissement, near the Richard Lenoir Metro station, at around 11.40am local time.

French firefighters load one of the several people injured into a waiting ambulance near the former offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo following an alleged attack by a man wielding a knife in the capital Paris on September 25, 2020. - The threats coincide with the trial of 14 suspected accomplices of the perpetrators of the massacres at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket that left a total of 17 dead. (Photo by Alain JOCARD / AFP) (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Image
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French firefighters load one of the several people injured into a waiting ambulance

Prime Minister Jean Castex, who went to the scene, said two people who work for documentary film company Premieres Lignes were seemingly attacked at random while they were having a cigarette break.

One witness told Europe 1 radio: “I was in my office. I heard screams in the road. I looked out of the window and saw a woman who was lying on the floor and had taken a whack in the face from what was possibly a machete.”

Kader Alfa, another witness, told Associated Press: “I saw a guy that was in his 30s or 40s with an axe in his hand who was walking behind a victim covered in blood…I can’t tell you how many victims there was, I just saw one.”

Paul Moreira, who is the founder of Premieres Lignes, confirmed two of his colleagues were injured.

He said: “It’s somebody who was in the road with a meat cleaver who attacked them in front of our offices. It was chilling.”

Mr Castex said the main attacker had been arrested, a second person was in custody and that the victims’ injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Emergency services flocked to the scene in the 11th arrondissement
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Emergency services flocked to the scene in the 11th arrondissement

“This attack happened in a symbolic place at the same time as the trial of the terrible attacks on Charlie Hebdo,” he added.

He promised the government’s “unfailing attachment to freedom of the press, and its determination to fight terrorism”.

A blade found at the scene was described by police sources as a machete or a meat cleaver.

Armed officers were seen patrolling the road after the attack on Friday
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Armed officers were seen patrolling the road after the attack on Friday

Europe 1 Radio quoted police officials as saying the main suspect was 18 and was known to security services.

The incident comes three weeks after 14 people, who have suspected links to homegrown Islamist militants, went on trial following the Charlie Hebdo attack in the same street.

A total of 12 people died and 11 people were injured after two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, stormed the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper with guns and began shooting in January 2015.

The brothers escaped and were later shot dead by police after a stand-off.

The motive for the latest stabbing is unclear, and it is not known whether it is linked to Charlie Hebdo, which has now moved out of the area.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex (centre) speaks to journalists with the French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (right) and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (left)
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French Prime Minister Jean Castex (centre) speaks to journalists with the French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (right) and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (left)

On the opening day of the trial, the magazine re-ran a series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, which Muslims consider blasphemous.

The trial, which will see the attackers’ widows testify, was still set to go ahead this afternoon.

The writers of Charlie Hebdo showed their solidarity with the victims of the attack on Friday.

They posted on Twitter: “Charlie’s entire team provides support and solidarity to his former neighbours and colleagues @PLTVfilms and to those affected by this heinous attack.”

Since the Charlie Hebdo mass shooting, France has faced several other terrorist attacks.

In November 2015, there were a series of bombings in Paris and a mass shooting at the Bataclan music venue during an Eagles of Death Metal concert. A total of 130 people died and more than 400 were said to be injured.

Eight months later, in July 2016, an Islamist militant drove a truck through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, which killed 86 people and injured more than 450.



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