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Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon steps down
latestnews1947: Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's embattled chief strategist has departed the White House after a turbulent seven-month tenure, the media reported.
Bannon's exit, the latest in a string of high-profile West Wing shake-ups, came as critics have accused Trump of channeling him when he equated white supremacists and neo-Nazis with the left-wing protesters who opposed them during last week's violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, reports The New York Times.
"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today (Friday) would be Steve's last day," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a statement on Friday.
"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."
Bannon's outsized influence on the President was captured in a February cover of Time magazine with the headline "The Great Manipulator".
By Friday night, Bannon was already back at the far-right Breitbart News, chairing an editorial meeting at the organisation he helped run before joining Trump's campaign last year.
His departure comes just seven months after Trump took office and three weeks after retired General Kelly took over as Chief of Staff, looking to instil order in a chaotic White House beset by internal divisions, staff infighting and a storm of controversies.
Bannon was supposed to step down two weeks ago, a White House official told CNN, but it was put off.
The President's initial plan was to fire Bannon and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus at same time, the official said. But Representative Mark Meadows, the influential chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and others urged Trump to keep Bannon on board.
Bannon, an economic nationalist and former executive chairman of Breitbart News, once described the right-wing news outlet as a platform for the "alt-right", a term that has become associated with white supremacy.
As chief strategist, he is believed to have pushed for Trump's travel ban on refugees and citizens from several Muslim-majority countries and to have urged him to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord, reports Efe news.
Trump praised Bannon personally when asked about him following the events in Charlottesville but also cast doubt on his future in the White House.
"I like him. He's a good man. He's not a racist ... But we'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Trump said in a news conference on Tuesday.
latestnews1947: Natasha, a trans woman who hails from Kolkata, was named the first Miss Transqueen India here on Sunday. Natasha, 26, is currently pursuing Masters in Business Management in Kolkata.
Loiloi from Manipur bagged the first runner-up position and Ragasya from Chennai was crowned the second runner-up.
The 16 finalists represented some of the Indian states. They were chosen after a rigorous hunt involving more than 1,500 trans women across India.
"The winner will go to Thailand for Miss International Queen, the first runner-up will compete at Miss Transsexual Australia. We are looking for another international pageant so that we can send the second runner-up too," pageant organiser Reena Rai, founder and chairperson of Suhani Dream Catchers Pvt Ltd, had earlier told IANS.
Miss Transsexual Australia 2017 Laeticia Phylliscia Raveena had crowned the first Miss Transqueen India.
Raveena also performed to the Lady Gaga track "Born this Way".
latestnews1947: Two hundred Indian students of the University of Houston have been marooned in floods in the wake of tropical storm Harvey causing heavy rains and flooding in America's fourth largest city. Two Indian students are in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday.
"@CGHoust has informed me that 200 Indian students at University of Houston are marooned. They are surrounded by neck deep water," Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
"We made efforts for delivery of food but US Coast Guard did not allow as boats were required for rescue operations," she said.
Stating that Indian Consul General in Houston Anupam Ray was organising the rescue operations, Sushma Swaraj said in a separate tweet: "Indian students Shalini and Nikhil Bhatia are in ICU. We are ensuring that their relatives reach there at the earliest."
According to a media report, at least two people have been killed as the Houston area continues…
latestnews1947: A US jury on Monday decided in favour of pop star Taylor Swift, who had filed a lawsuit claiming that DJ David Mueller had groped her in 2013 and sued him for symbolic compensation of $1.
The pop icon claimed that the radio host grabbed her bare bottom at a pre-concert meet-and-greet, claiming that it was a clear case of sexual assault, Efe reported.
The eight-person jury -- six women and two men -- sided with her and also found that her mother Andrea and one of her representatives, Frank Bell, had been within their rights to report the attack to Mueller's radio station employer -- a move that resulted in his firing.
Mueller had sued both Swifts and Bell for up to $3 million for ruining his career.
Swift -- who is both a singer and a songwriter -- had said in her countersuit that she wanted only $1 in symbolic compensation and the chance to stand up for other women who have been the victims of sexual assault.
Last week, Judge William Martinez had released Taylor Swift f…