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Burning Man festival co-founder Larry Harvey dead at 70

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The creator of the annual week-long summer festival in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert was hospitalized April 4 after suffering a massive stroke. The Burning Man organization did not disclose his prognosis, only saying that he was getting round-the-clock care.

Burning Man takes place annually the week before Labor Day, attracting some 70,000 people who pay anywhere from $425 to $1,200 a ticket to travel to a dry lake bed 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of Reno, where temperatures can routinely reach 100 degrees (37.8 degrees Celsius) during the summer. There they must carry in their own food, build their own makeshift community and engage in whatever interests them.

On the gathering’s penultimate day, the giant effigy — or Man as it is known — is set ablaze during a raucous, joyful celebration.

“A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreamers and doers,” is how the gathering is described on Burning Man’s website.

An “esoteric mix of pagan fire ritual and sci-fi Dada circus where some paint their bodies, bang drums, dance naked and wear costumes that would draw stares in a Mardi Gras parade,” is how The Associated Press once described the gathering.

While tickets now sell out immediately, Harvey described in a 2007 interview how he had much more modest intentions when he launched Burning Man on San Francisco’s Baker Beach one summer day in 1986.

“I called a friend and said, “Let’s go to the beach and burn a man,” he told the website Green Living. “And he said, ‘Can you say that again?’ And I did and we did it.”

It wasn’t until afterward, Harvey recalled, that he had the epiphany that led to Burning Man.

“What really changed my life and what in some sense gave birth to the rest of my life and career is the fact that suddenly all these people, on that beach, who we didn’t know, strangers, came running towards that figure,” he said. “The spectacle was fine, but it was people who joined us in such a heartfelt and instantaneous way. It opened our hearts and that’s what made us feel and know in the end that we had to do it and keep doing it.”

Within a few years the event had outgrown Baker Beach and moved to the desert.

While Harvey would speak frequently about Burning Man in the years that followed, he would reveal little about himself and it was often hard to discern truth from fiction.

He believed he was conceived in the back of a Chevrolet by parents who abandoned him soon after his birth, he once told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

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Adopted by potato farmers and raised near Portland, Oregon, he said he hitchhiked to San Francisco at age 17, arriving just as the 1965 Summer of Love was ending.

After that first fire in 1986, Burning Man flourished as Harvey meticulously oversaw its every detail from the various communities that would spring up overnight to its annual arts theme to the beautifully crafted temple that accompanies Burning Man and is also burned.

He laid out 10 “principles” for those who attend, including interacting and sharing unselfishly with one another, developing self-reliance and, after the event’s conclusion, leaving the desert landscape unspoiled.

Harvey eventually formed a limited liability corporation to put on Burning Man, converting it in 2013 to a nonprofit with 70 employees and a budget of $30 million. He was president of its board and “chief philosophic officer.”

Although known for retaining its joyful celebrative atmosphere as it grew from a small gathering to one of gigantic proportions, Burning Man occasionally had its problems.

In 2017, a man ran into Burning Man’s flames, suffered burns over almost all of his body and died. In 1996, three people were injured when a drunken driver ran over their tent. That same year a man was killed when his motorcycle collided with a van carrying people to the festival.

In 2007, a prankster set fire to Burning Man four days early and it had to be frantically rebuilt while the man was charged with arson.

After the 1996 troubles, Harvey had a falling out with John Law, who had co-founded Burning Man with him and who sued to have its trademark placed in the public domain. They settled out of court and Harvey retained control.

“We don’t use the trademark to market anything. It’s our identity,” said Harvey, who often spoke against the commodification of popular culture.

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Nice terror suspect and second victim named – as man with links to attacker arrested | World News

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The Nice attacker who killed three worshippers in a church has been identified – and a second victim has been named.

Police sources said Thursday’s terror suspect – 21-year-old Tunisian Brahim Aouissaoui – arrived in Europe by boat last month and was unknown to security services.

A judicial source told Reuters news agency on Friday a 47-year-old man was detained late last night on suspicion of having been in contact with Aouissaoui, confirming an earlier report on BFM TV.

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Shots fired as police storm church

It comes as France’s interior minister warned further attacks are likely on French soil while the country is engaged in a “war against Islamist ideology”.

“We are in a war against an enemy that is both inside and outside,” Gerald Darmanin told RTL radio.

“We need to understand that there have been and there will be other events such as these terrible attacks.”

After reaching the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa on 20 September, Aouissaoui entered France, travelling through the southern Italian city of Bari on 9 October.

He arrived in Nice by train yesterday morning and changed his clothes at the station, before walking 400m to the Notre Dame church where he killed a 60-year-old woman and 55-year-old church worker Vincent Loques, a father-of-two.

She and Mr Loques died at the scene, while a 44-year-old Brazilian-born woman made it out of the church to a nearby cafe and raised the alarm before dying from her wounds.

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Aftermath of ‘knife attack’ near French church

Simone Barreto Silva had lived in France for 30 years and had three children, according to Brazilian media reports, which said although being a trained cook she was a care worker who looked after the elderly.

The mayor of her home city of Salvador, the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, paid tribute to her in a tweet, saying she was born in Lobato, a suburb of the city.

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Prosecutor details Nice attack timeline

France’s chief anti-terrorist prosecutor, Jean-Francois Ricard, said after the attack at the church, the suspect moved towards police in a “threatening way”, shouting “Allahu Akbar” [God is greatest] before being shot and seriously wounded by officers, who fired at least 14 bullets at him.

He remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The suspect had with him an Italian Red Cross identity document, a Koran and two phones, while a bag containing two unused knives was also found.

The blade used in the attack was 30cm long, with a cutting edge of 17cm.

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Witnesses described hearing “screams” after the attack and being told to run away quickly by police at the scene.

President Emmanuel Macron, who visited Nice on Thursday afternoon, said his country was “under attack” and expressed the “support of France towards the Catholic community”.

He added that the number of soldiers deployed to protect schools and religious sites would be increased from about 3,000 at the moment to 7,000.

It comes as the country remains under high alert for terrorist attacks following the beheading earlier this month of French middle school teacher Samuel Paty in Paris.

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US election 2020: Rival Trump and Biden supporters hurl insults at each other outside rally – some resort to spitting | US News

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In the tightly contested state of Florida, emotions are running high.

Outside a Joe Biden rally in Tampa, small but vocal groups of Democrats and Republicans are facing off.

“Why are you so dumb?” a Biden supporter shouts out of his car window, with an equally furious Trump fan yelling back.

Outside a Joe Biden rally in Tampa, small but vocal groups of Democrats and Republicans faced off
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Outside a Joe Biden rally in Tampa, small but vocal groups of Democrats and Republicans faced off

On Thursday, both presidential candidates went head to head at rallies in the US – and so too did some of their supporters.

Separate tribes line either side of a busy highway, each armed with brightly coloured opposing banners backing their man.

“Vote for Trump like true Americans. You want socialism move to Cuba,” a heavily tattooed biker named Ghost shouts to the chorus of beeping trucks.

“We’ve been getting middle fingers showed at us [by Democrats] for the past hour and a half that we have been here,” he tells me.

He’s passionate and angry – saying he’s voting Republican for the first time to protect his children’s futures.

A towering figure with huge muscles, he’s an imposing sight.

Ghost says he's voting Republican for the first time to protect his children's futures.
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Ghost says he’s voting Republican for the first time to protect his children’s futures.

He disputes that he could be accused of being intimidating, saying everyone has the right to choose who they vote for.

And he claimed that, when Biden supporters showed up at Donald Trump’s rally earlier in the day, no one abused them.

In fact, we saw a Democratic voter being heckled that morning, and Trump fans are definitely unwelcome guests at the evening’s Biden rally.

We watch as one man leans into Democrats’ cars to question them.

Eventually, aggregation sparks confrontation and a driver spits at him.

“He kept coming in our car. We told him not to, we had to do something to get him away,” Dee and driver Phil say as another argument breaks out in the background.

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What if the US election result is contested?

“My president is a racist,” one man shouts.

“Trump is not a racist,” someone chants back.

The polls in Florida are uncomfortably close and divisions are deepening.

“This is not going to be the worst,” warns Phil.

“When Biden wins next week, Trump’s going to say that it’s rigged and he’s going to tell all his people with guns to go out and start protecting their liberties,” Dee claims.

If there was any doubt about just how bitter this election fight has become, this teatime showdown makes it brutally clear.

There are just a few days to go until the election and in a battle this tight, tensions are growing.

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New Zealand votes to legalise euthanasia – but not marijuana | World News

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New Zealand has voted to legalise euthanasia, but looks set to reject a legal bid to allow the recreational use of marijuana.

Two referendums took place at the same time as the general election that saw Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern win a second term this month.

The first vote on assisted dying has already secured enough “yes” ballots – 65.2% – to become law, meaning New Zealand will become the seventh country in the world to legalise euthanasia.

But with almost half a million postal votes yet to be counted, 53.1% of New Zealanders have voted against joining Canada and Uruguay in making cannabis legal, the electoral commission said on Friday.

As a result of the vote on assisted dying, from November 2021, terminally ill patients with less than six months to live will be allowed to arrange their own death.

They must be 18 and have the approval of two doctors, newly passed legislation states.

The final results of both referendums will be announced on 6 November.

In 2017, Ms Ardern supported a referendum on cannabis in order to form a coalition government.

She refused to say which way she would vote, until Friday when her spokesman said she supported both referendums.

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