California governor won't free Manson follower Van Houten

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Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, who has spent nearly half a century in prison, is still a threat to society despite reports of good behavior and rehabilitation California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday in overruling a parole board’s decision to free her.

Newsom’s overruling marks the third time a governor has stopped the release of the youngest member of Manson's murderous cult.

FILE: Leslie Van Houten attends her parole hearing at the California Institution for Women in Corona, Calif. California Gov. 
(Stan Lim/Los Angeles Daily News via AP)

"While I commend Ms. Van Houten for her efforts at rehabilitation and acknowledge her youth at the time of the crimes, I am concerned about her role in these killings and her potential for future violence," he wrote in his decision. "Ms. Van Houten was an eager participant in the killing of the LaBiancas and played a significant role."

Van Houten, now 69, was 19 when she and other cult members stabbed to death wealthy Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in August 1969. She said they carved up Leno LaBianca's body and smeared the couple's blood on the walls.

Newsom's decision on Van Houten, 69, outlined her participation in graphic detail, noting that after the killings, she "drank chocolate milk from the LaBiancas' refrigerator" before fleeing.

The slayings came the day after other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in violence that spread fear throughout Los Angeles and riveted the nation.

No one who took part in the Tate-LaBianca murders has been released from prison. It was the first time Newsom rejected parole for Van Houten, while former Gov. Jerry Brown denied her release twice.

Brown rejected parole for Van Houten in 2017 because he said she still blamed the cult leader too much for the murders. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge upheld Brown's decision last year, finding that Van Houten posed "an unreasonable risk of danger to society."

An appeals court will decide whether to uphold or reject that ruling by the end of July.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Let's deepen economic ties, Britain's May tells Trump

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May will call on U.S. President Donald Trump to deepen transatlantic economic cooperation on Tuesday, saying a bilateral trade deal could make their partnership “greater still”.

Despite hosting Trump in the dying days of her premiership after her failure to deliver Brexit on time forced her to resign, May will also distance herself from the U.S. leader on trade by championing “free, fair and open” markets.

At a meeting with 10 British and U.S. businesses at St James’ Palace, the Queen’s official residence, May will tell companies such as defense contractor BAE Systems and pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline that greater cooperation would boost the two countries’ economic partnership.

“It is a great partnership, but one I believe we can make greater still,” she will say, according to advance extracts from her office.

“With a bilateral free trade agreement, with broader economic co-operation, and by continuing to work together to underpin, shape and influence the global economy and its rules and institutions – keeping markets free, fair and open, and keeping our industries competitive.”

The discussions, which will also involve senior representatives from the National Grid, Barclays, consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs International, construction company Bechtel and cyber security and data analytics firm Splunk, are expected to focus on research and development and on infrastructure investment.

The United States is by far Britain’s biggest single trading partner, and for decades, the two shared a desire to open up world markets to free trade. But Trump has shaken trade and markets by putting tariffs on goods from the European Union, Canada, Mexico and China.

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Michael Wolff claims Trump bragged about sleeping with black women

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Horndog’ Trump bragged about sleeping with black women to ‘get a little chocolate in his diet’, says he needs the opposite of Viagra ‘to make my erection go down’ and was obsessed with knowing ‘who’s f***ing’ Hope Hicks, claims author

  • Author Michael Wolff has written a new explosive book, Siege: Trump Under Fire, the sequel to his bestselling Fire and Fury
  • The book describes Trump as obsessed with sex and quotes the president saying: ‘I don’t need Viagra. I need a pill to make my erection go down’
  • Wolff claims that former UN ambassador Nikki Haley once gave Donald Trump oral sex, leaving her ‘enraged’ before she resigned 
  • Trump once bragged to Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he occasionally likes to sleep with black women, Wolff writes 
  • Wolff alleges that Trump has cheated on First Lady Melania since taking office, spending his Christmas in the White House where he was ‘banging’ a staffer
  • He also writes that Hope Hicks was a ‘frequent subject of [Trump’s] prurient interest’, and would demand to know ‘Who’s f**king Hope?’

Donald Trump spent hours giving Robert Kraft legal advice after he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute and told him: ‘You’re innocent’.

The President took time out from running the country to give ‘copious’ amounts of briefings to the New England Patriots owner, a new book says.

Trump supposedly told him to reject a plea deal and ‘don’t give an inch’ – advice he said was better than anything Kraft would get from a lawyer.

The claims are made in the book Siege: Trump Under Fire, Michael Wolff’s latest expose about the Trump White House, a sequel to his explosive Fire and Fury.

In Siege, Wolff depicts a President who is obsessed with sex and says that he needed the opposite of Viagra – a pill to make his erection go down.

Michael Wolff’s new book Siege: Trump Under Fire describes the president as obsessed with sex, having cheated on First Lady Melania and quotes him saying: ‘I don’t need Viagra. I need a pill to make my erection go down’

Wolff claims that Trump advised New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft not to ‘give an inch’ to investigators after he was busted for receiving sex acts at a spa in Florida 

Wolff includes anecdotes that he admits were trashed by Trump’s staffers, such as the President’s astonishing claim that his former UN ambassador Nikki Haley once gave him oral sex, leaving her ‘enraged’.

Author Michael Wolff has written a new explosive book, Siege: Trump Under Fire following his bestseller Fire and Fury obtained a copy of the book ahead of its launch tomorrow, June 4, amid controversy over how much of the book is accurate.

Among the most outrageous anecdotes is that Trump once bragged to Fox News host Tucker Carlson about his taste for black women.

Trump is said to have liked to sleep with them every now and then to ‘get a little chocolate in his diet’.

The morning after one such encounter Trump was ‘ridiculed’ by his friends.

In a rare moment of self-reflection Trump ‘looked at himself in the mirror and was reassured that nothing had changed – he was still the Trumpster’.

Trump offered this as an ‘anecdote to show that he was not racist’, Wolff writes.

On another occasion ‘horndog’ Trump told a Hollywood friend who visited him in the White House: ‘I only f*** beautiful girls – you can attest to that’.

In a voicemail to Carlson, writes Wolff, Trump once bragged: ‘It’s true you have better hair than I do but I get more p***y than you’.

Trump’s coarseness led to him routinely embarrassing his former communications director Hope Hicks by asking: ‘Who’s f****** Hope?’

Trump’s son Don Jr also got in on the act and talked about wanting to ‘f*** Hope’ even though he was married at the time, Wolff claims.

Hope Hicks was a ‘frequent subject of [Trump’s] prurient interest’, and would demand to know ‘Who’s f**king Hope?’ Wolff writes 

Wolff claims that former UN ambassador Nikki Haley once gave Donald Trump oral sex, leaving her ‘enraged’ before she resigned

Trump once bragged to Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he occasionally likes to sleep with black women to ‘get a little chocolate in his diet’, Wolff writes

Wolff also alleges that Trump has cheated on First Lady Melania Trump since he took office.

He supposedly did not go to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate, last Christmas with her because he was ‘banging’ a White House staffer that he liked, though Wolff does not provide any more details or a name.

Wolff says that the #MeToo era is a long way from reaching Trump who privately called Harvey Weinstein a ‘good guy’.

His advice to Kraft was not to admit to anything even though police had a video of him visiting a massage parlor in Palm Beach, Florida.

Wolff writes that even though he was supposed to be the Leader Of The Free World, Trump ‘seemed to find comfort in counseling Kraft on his legal peril, offering him copious amounts of advice and maintaining he was much better than any lawyer’.

Wolff writes: ‘He (Trump) knew what to do. He knew how to handle it. They always wanted you to plead out. But don’t give an inch’.

Bragging about his virility, Trump once said: ‘I don’t need Viagra. I need a pill to make my erection go down’.

The confirmation of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh was another instance when Trump’s views on sex were on full display, Wolff writes, as Trump at one point said: ‘If it wasn’t true she would have claimed rape or something, not just a kiss’

When Kavanaugh said he was a virgin at the time of the alleged assault on Christine Blasey Ford, Trump said: ‘My virgin justice. This man has no pride! Man? Did I say man? I don’t think so’, Wolff writes

Wolff claims Trump privately called Harvey Weinstein a ‘good guy’ after the #MeToo scandal, pictured together in 2009 

The confirmation of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh was another instance when Trump’s views on sex were on full display, Wolff writes.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were nearly derailed when Christine Blasey Ford claimed that he assaulted her in 1982 when she was 15 and he was 17.

According to Wolff, Trump ‘could not get enough’ of the story, asking: ‘He pushed her down on the bed and that’s it?

‘How long had he held her down? Did he just fall on her and go in for a kiss? Or was it humping?’

When Trump was told Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge had written a book about their drunken high school days, Trump whacked his head and said: ‘What kind of idiots did you get me here?’

As the scandal built Trump thought that the appointment of Kavanaugh could be part of a Catholic conspiracy to get another one of their own the Supreme Court.

When Kavanaugh defended himself poorly over the allegations Trump speculated that he had been ‘abused by a Catholic priest’, Wolff claims.

Trump supposedly said: ‘This is embarrassing. Catholic school boys’.

Michael Wolff new book Siege promises to be as controversial as his bestseller Fire and Fury

The rest of the Trump family was in Mar-a-Lago over the Christmas holiday, while Donald was in the White House during the government shut down 

While Trump was ‘alone’ in the White House during the holidays, Wolff claims he was actually ‘banging’ a staffer

It got worse for Kavanaugh when he said in an interview he was a virgin at the time.

Trump said: ‘My virgin justice. This man has no pride! Man? Did I say man? I don’t think so’.

When Trump learned that former President George W Bush had come to Kavanaugh’s defense, he said: ‘The drunks stick together…Virgin-man will sell me out’, referring to Bush’s arrest for drunk driving in his youth.

During Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump offered his own commentary and suggested he believed her.

He said: ‘If it wasn’t true she would have claimed rape or something, not just a kiss’.

As the testimony continued Trump said that ‘she’s good’ but watching Kavanaugh he said ‘I wanted to slap him’, branding him a ‘Virgin crybaby’ when he broke down in tears.

Later on Trump changed his tune and said: ‘After 40 years she’s still upset? Give me a break. Give. Me. A. Break’.


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Man found dead in fire west of Slave Lake unrelated to Alberta wildfires

The death of a man whose body was found while firefighters were putting out a blaze west of the Town of Slave Lake was not connected to the wildfires.

RCMP said the Major Crimes Unit is investigating the man’s death and an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, June 4 in Edmonton.

Slave Lake RCMP and firefighters were dispatched just after 1:30 a.m. on May 31 to a fire about 20 kilometres west of the town.

“While putting out this fire, a body was discovered at the scene,” RCMP said in a news release. “This fire was not a part of the wildfire that continues to burn in the area.”

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit was called in and identified the man as 30-year-old Darren Dawson, an Alberta resident.

Anyone who has information about this case is asked to contact the Slave Lake RCMP at (780) 849-3045.

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Amber Alert issued for three children in Alberta

An Amber Alert has been issued for parts of Alberta.

According to the alert, three children were believed to be abducted from their home in Fox Creek at 1:30 Saturday morning.

Four-year-old Isabella Darnel, three-year-old Elijah Darnel, and nine-month-old Arlo Darnel were believed to be taken by their mother Charmaine Darnel.

All three children have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Charmaine is described as five feet eight inches tall, weighing 230 pounds with blond hair and green eyes.

According to the alert, they were last seen leaving a residence in Fox Creek driving a 2014 medium grey Dodge Ram pickup truck with Alberta license plate BWZ8645.

The vehicle was last seen leaving Fox Creek heading towards Edmonton.

According to police, do not approach the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact RCMP at Fox Creek at 780-622-3740 or 911 if you have any information.

-More to come.

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As meetings begin and U.S. tariffs loom, Mexico hopes for migration deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mexico can reach an agreement with the United States to resolve a dispute over migration that prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to threaten punitive tariffs, Mexican officials said on Monday as high-level talks were set to begin in Washington.

Trump has proposed the tariffs on Mexican imports to pressure Mexico into action against migrants passing through on the way to the United States, as well as drug cartels.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, speaking at his regular morning news conference in Mexico City, also reiterated that he believed a deal could be reached to avert the tariffs.

The Mexican officials, speaking to reporters in Washington, warned that Trump’s tariffs could backfire.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said such tariffs would be devastating and would not stop waves of Central American migrants from crossing the southern U.S. border.

“Tariffs, along with the decision to cancel aid programs to the northern Central American countries, could have a counterproductive effect and would not reduce migration flows,” Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Martha Barcena, also said at the news conference.

The tariffs also “could cause financial and economic instability,” reducing Mexican authorities’ capacity to address migration flows and “offer alternatives” to migrants fleeing Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, she said.

The discussions in Washington will include a meeting of Mexican Agriculture Minister Victor Villalobos and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday, Mexican officials said.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan also are expected to participate in talks, Mexican officials said.

Mexican Economy Secretary Graciela Marquez and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will meet this week, as will Ebrard and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump’s latest threat of tariffs further roiled global markets, which are already under pressure amid a trade war between the United States and China.

U.S. stock index futures fell on Monday as the multi-front trade war made investors increasingly risk averse and fueled worries of a recession.

Mexico has cited the economic risk of U.S. tariffs on its goods as it seeks to soothe relations with Washington. A separate trade deal involving Mexico, the United States and Canada also is pending.

Ebrard told reporters Lopez Obrador had not yet decided if he would attend the Group of 20 summit for the world’s leading economies in Japan but would do so this week.

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Israel election CRISIS: How Donald Trump fired WARNING – ‘Get your act together!’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to form a new governing coalition after the April elections meant lawmakers dissolved parliament on Thursday. It meant Israeli voters will return to the polls on September 17 – much to the frustration of their allies in Washington, including the President. Before embarking on his UK visit, an irritated Mr Trump said: “Israel is all messed up with their election – I mean that came out of the blue three days ago.

“So that’s all messed up. They ought to get their act together.

“I mean, Bibi [Netanyahu] got elected, now all of a sudden they’re going to have to go through the process again until September.

“That’s ridiculous. So we’re not happy about that.”

The April 9 election saw the ruling Likud Party – headed up by Mr Netanyahu – gain five seats, tying Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Alliance on 35 places apiece in the Knesset.

Despite forming successful coalitions in the last three elections, disagreements over national service meant that Likud failed to attract the support of the traditional right-wing and religious parties that have historically propped it up.

Negotiations reportedly broke down over a proposed Government law which would conscript ultra-Orthodox Jewish youth – who are currently exempt – into the military.

While Mr Netanyahu’s party was reluctant to advance the bill, the Yisrael Beiteinu Party wanted it passed with no changes at all – much to the horror of Israel’s religious parties.

Despite only winning five seats, Avigdor Liberman’s party proved to be the kingmaker in the negotiations but a compromise could not be reached in time.

This was a setback for Mr Trump, who had publicly intervened in the political crisis earlier in the week in order to back his strong ally.

He tweeted: “Hoping things will work out with Israel’s coalition formation and Bibi and I can continue to make the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever. A lot more to do!”

After the midnight deadline passed on Thursday, however, he said: “It’s too bad what happened in Israel. It looked like a total win for Netanyahu, who’s a great guy, he’s a great guy.

“And now they’re back in the election stage. That is too bad.

“Because they don’t need this. I mean they’ve got enough turmoil over there, it’s a tough place.”

The President has historically enjoyed a strong relationship with Mr Netanyahu ever since he entered the White House, with both leaders openly praising one another.

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Trump ‘deadly serious’ about imposing tariffs on Mexican imports: White House

WASHINGTON  — A top White House official said Sunday that President Donald Trump is “deadly serious” about imposing tariffs on imports from Mexico, but acknowledged there are no concrete benchmarks being set to assess whether the U.S. ally is stemming the migrant flow enough to satisfy the administration.

“We intentionally left the declaration sort of ad hoc,” Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said on Fox News Sunday.

“So, there’s no specific target, there’s no specific percentage, but things have to get better,” Mulvaney said. “They have to get dramatically better and they have to get better quickly.”

He said the idea is to work with the Mexican government “to make sure that things did get better.”

Top officials from the two countries sides will meet Wednesday in Washington. Leading the delegations are Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.

But Trump played down the effort. “Mexico is sending a big delegation to talk about the Border,” the president tweeted Sunday. “Problem is, they’ve been ‘talking’ for 25 years. We want action, not talk.”

Trump claims Mexico has taken advantage of the United States for decades but that the abuse will end when he slaps tariffs on Mexican imports next week in a dispute over illegal immigration.

“America has had enough,” he tweeted.

The president said last week that he will impose a 5 per cent tariff on Mexican goods on June 10 to pressure the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to block Central American migrants from crossing the border into the U.S.

Trump said the import tax will increase by 5 per cent every month through October, topping out at 25 per cent.

But the president has been here before, issuing high-stakes threats over his frustration with the flow of migrants only to later back off. They include his threat earlier this year to seal the border with Mexico.

Republicans on Capitol Hill and allies in the business community have signalled serious unease with the tariffs that they warn will raise prices for consumers and hurt the economy. Some see this latest threat as a play for leverage and doubt Trump will follow through.


GOP Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, called the tariffs a “mistake” and said it was unlikely Trump would impose them.

The president “has been known to play with fire, but not live hand grenades,” Kennedy said on CBS’s Face the Nation.

“It’s going to tank the American economy,” he said. “I don’t think the president’s going to impose these tariffs.”

Mexican officials are due to meet later this week with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a bid to come to a resolution.

“I think what the president said, what the White House has made clear, is we need a vast reduction in the numbers crossing,” Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Mulvaney, who also appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, said Mexico could take various steps to decrease the record numbers of migrants at the border.

He suggested the Mexican government could seal its southern border with Guatemala, crack down on domestic terrorist organizations and make Mexico a safe place for migrants seeking to apply for asylum.

“There are specific things that the Mexicans can do,” he said.

Mulvaney insisted that Trump’s threat is real. “He’s absolutely, deadly serious,” Mulvaney said.

Economists and business groups are sounding alarms over the tariffs, warning they will hike the costs of many Mexican goods that Americans have come to rely on and impair trade.

But Mulvaney played down those fears, saying he doubts business will pass on the costs to shoppers. “American consumers will not pay the burden of these tariffs,” he said.

He also suggested the tariffs were an immigration issue, separate from the trade deal the United States is trying to negotiate with Mexico and Canada.


The tariff threat comes just as the administration has been pushing for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which would update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Several top GOP lawmakers have expressed concerns that Trump’s tariff threat could upend that deal. The chairman of the Finance Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said last week the tariffs would “seriously jeopardize” passage of that agreement, which needs approval in Congress.

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China warns students, academics of risks of studying in U.S.

BEIJING (Reuters) – China warned students and academics on Monday about risks involved in studying in the United States, pointing to limits on the duration of visas and visa refusals, amid a bitter trade war and other tension between the two countries.

Relations between China and the United States have nosedived because of their trade conflict, U.S. sanctions on Chinese tech firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and tension over the disputed South China Sea and U.S. support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

The Ministry of Education, in a short statement, said that recently some students seeking to study in the United States had encountered problems with the duration of their visas being limited and an increase in visa refusals.

“This has affected Chinese students going to study in the United States or smoothly completing their studies,” it added.

“The education ministry reminds students and academics of the need to strengthen risk assessment before studying abroad, enhance prevention awareness, and make corresponding preparations.”

However, state television cited ministry spokeswoman Xu Mei as saying despite the trade tensions, the “general situation” for Chinese students going to the United States remained stable, and U.S. institutes of higher education welcomed Chinese students and cooperation with China.

The ministry declined to offer any other details when contacted by Reuters.

At stake is about $14 billion of economic activity, most of it tuition and other fees generated annually from the 360,000 Chinese nationals who study in the United States.

Hu Xijin, editor of the widely read Chinese newspaper the Global Times, linked the warning to recent discrimination against students faced and the trade dispute.

“This warning is a response to recent series of discriminatory measures the U.S. took against Chinese students and can also be seen as a response to the U.S.-initiated trade war,” Hu wrote on his Twitter account in English.


The warning quickly became a top trending topic on China’s Weibo microblogging site, with some people expressing concern about going to the United States and others saying they would just go to other countries.

“This is really scary,” wrote one user.

“The world is so big, why do you have to go to the United States?” wrote another.

Last year, China’s embassy in Washington issued a security advisory to Chinese nationals traveling to the United States, warning tourists to be aware of issues including expensive medical bills, the threat of public shootings and robberies, and searches and seizures by customs agents.

A group of U.S. President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress introduced legislation last month intended to prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by the Chinese military from receiving student or research visas to the United States.

The bill would require the U.S. government to create a list of scientific and engineering institutions affiliated with China’s People’s Liberation Army, and prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by those institutions from receiving the visas.

The bill comes as some U.S. officials have expressed concern about the possibility of the theft of intellectual property or even espionage by Chinese nationals at U.S. universities and other institutions.

Many U.S. and university officials also warn about over-reacting, however, arguing it is important to acknowledge the important role Chinese scholars and students play at U.S. institutions while being aware of security risks.

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Sick fishermen filmed themselves hacking off shark’s tail and laughing

Two laughing fishermen filmed themselves cutting off an endangered shark's tail in a sickening video which has prompted an angry backlash.

A horrifying clip shows blood streaming from the shark after it was thrown back into the sea.

It was taken in Greenland, a Danish territory, and happened after the shark's tail got caught in a fishing line.

According to local news outlet RUV, both men have been fired from their jobs, and could face criminal charges.

The laughing men, whose faces are shown in the video, are heard shouting: "Good luck trying to swim, you punk!"

The endangered Greenland shark – which does not prey on humans – was seen struggling to swim away after the shocking attack.

As the video provoked outrage, it was quickly shared by others.

Fuming Christel Yr Johanse shared the distressing video on Facebook , branding them "sick losers".

She wrote: “The guy is so proud of himself that he disabled comments because no one seems to agree with him .. got a screengrab before he closed that … share at will."

The ship owners wrote in a statement: "This act is completely unjustifiable and those who committed it have no excuse.

"The owners have no other choice but to refuse any more services from the person displaying this kind of behaviour."

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