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‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett Hospitalized In Alleged Racist/Homophobic Hate Crime

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UPDATE: Actor Jussie Smollett has broken his silence on the attack that he endured, exclusively to Essence.

“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett said in an exclusive statement to Essence on Friday. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words,” he added.

There have been false and inaccurate reports, mostly from right wing media, which Smollett challenges in his remarks.

“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served,” he says.

“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me. With Love, respect & honor … Jussie.”


UPDATE: The letter sent to the studio where Empire is filmed prior to the attack contained a white powder, CNN reports. Chicago PD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that the powder-filled letter, received at Cinespace Studios Jan. 22, prompted a response from a HAZMAT unit, though its contents were later determined to be aspirin.


UPDATE: Jussie Smollett’s family has responded to the Chicago Police Department in a statement, per Buzzfeed News. Smollett is resting at home in recovery from his injuries.


UPDATE: Chicago Police Department said late Wednesday that detectives have found video footage of suspects who attacked “Empire” star Jussie Smollett. Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that potential people of interest were seen on the surveillance video and photos of the suspects are expected soon.


UPDATE: Here is the image of the persons of interest.

 

Detectives are seeking to identify and interview the two subjects depicted in the picture above, in order to determine whether they may have any involvement in the reported incident, or if they may have witnessed the incident. (Chicago Police)

Guglielmi said the pictures, in “really dark” frames do not show the attack or any contact between them and Smollett.

“They are outside on a street walking. They are in the area that we have determined it could have taken place… in the time and the area,’’ Guglielimi said. “It certainly leads us to have questions for them.’’

Now, detectives will backtrack to find them.

“They still have a lot more cameras to look at,’’ Guglielmi said. “But now that we’ve got potential persons of interest, the focus will be following their paths. Where did they come from and where did they go?”


Sources directly connected to Jussie tell TMZ, the actor arrived in Chicago from New York late Monday, and at around 2 AM he was hungry and went to a Subway. We’re told when he walked out, someone yelled, “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?”

The 2 men — both white and wearing ski masks — viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they allegedly yelled, “This is MAGA country.”

Jussie was taken to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated. He was discharged later Tuesday morning.

ThatGrapeJuice.Net first posted this letter which was sent to Fox Studios in Chicago with cut out letters spelling, “You will die black f**.” Our sources say the letter was sent 8 days ago.

The envelope the letter arrived in appears to say MAGA in the upper left corner.

Chicago PD tells us they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, and they are canvasing the area for any video.

The attack on the black actor, who came out as gay in 2015, is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

There have not been any arrests in connection to the incident, nor have any suspects been identified. Police said Tuesday night that they’d reviewed hundreds of hours of video at that point and were expanding the search area.

The suspects fled the scene after ambushing Smollett, who managed to take himself to Northwestern Hospital following the incident.

Chicago Police Department has released a statement on the possible hate crime.

The letter threatening Smollett before the attack was sent to the Fox studio in Chicago on Jan. 22, police said. The letter contained threatening language and was laced with a powdery substance that investigators believe was likely Tylenol.

The FBI is now investigating that prior threat, police said.

“Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com,” police said in their earlier statement.

This story is developing. This will be updated.

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Four U.S Troops Killed In Kabul Airport Attack

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4 U.S. soldiers have been killed and three others wounded in attacks on Kabul airport.

A U.S. official says several Marines were killed and a number of other American military were wounded Thursday in an attack on Kabul’s airport.

U.S. officials have said that information is still coming in and they are trying to determine exact numbers of casualties.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing military operations.

The Pentagon would not say what troops were involved but acknowledged that “a number of U.S. service members were killed.”

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Amazon’s palm print recognition raises concern among U.S. senators

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Three U.S. senators, including Democrat Amy Klobuchar who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, wrote a letter to Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) to express concern about its palm print recognition system, Klobuchar’s office said Friday.

Amazon began rolling out biometric technology at its Whole Foods stores around Seattle in April, letting shoppers pay for items with a scan of their palm. The system, called Amazon One, lets customers link a credit card to their palm print.  read more 

Klobuchar, who was joined by Senators Bill Cassidy, a Republican, and Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, expressed concern in the letter dated Thursday about both privacy and competition related to Amazon One.

“Our concerns about user privacy are heightened by evidence that Amazon shared voice data with third-party contractors and allegations that Amazon has violated biometric privacy laws,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

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WHO seeks to take political heat out of virus origins debate

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The World Health Organization said on Friday it was setting up a new group to trace the origins of the coronavirus, seeking to end what it called “political point scoring” that had hampered investigations.

The inability of the WHO to say where and how the virus began spreading has fuelled tensions among its members, particularly between China, where COVID-19 cases were first identified in Wuhan in late 2019, and the United States.

The WHO called for all governments to cooperate to accelerate studies into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and “to depoliticise the situation”.

It specified that a new advisory group called the International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens would support “the rapid undertaking” of further studies.

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