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Federal judge rules ISIS-bride Hoda Muthana not a US citizen

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  • A federal judge on Thursday ruled that Hoda Muthana, a 25-year-old woman born in New Jersey who joined ISIS in 2014, is not a US citizen. 
  • Hoda Muthana is currently staying in a refugee camp in Syria with her young son. Her family sued the US government in order to have Muthana and her son recognized as US citizens so they could return home. 
  • But on Thursday, the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that there was sufficient evidence to indicate that Muthana was born while her father held diplomatic status in the US. 
  • The Department of Justice has said that because Muthana’s father, a former Yemeni diplomat, was under diplomatic protection at the time of her birth, she did not obtain US citizenship by birth. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that Hoda Muthana, a 25-year-old woman born in New Jersey who joined ISIS in 2014, is not a US citizen. 

Judge Reggie B. Walton of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit brought forward by Muthana’s family in the hopes of retrieving her and her 2-year-old son from a refugee camp in Syria. 

The lawsuit, filed in February, sought to have Muthana recognized as a US citizen so that she and her son could be returned to the US. Muthana was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, and was living with her family in Birmingham, Alabama, before she made the decision to head to Syria in 2014 to join the Islamic State.

The Department of Justice said in March that Muthana “is not and has never been a US citizen.” The department said in its filing that Muthana’s father was a former Yemeni diplomat at the time of her birth, and was therefore under the diplomatic protection of his home country. For this reason, it said, Muthana did not obtain US citizenship by birth. 

Muthana’s lawyer disputed that assertion and showed Insider a letter from the United Nations that he said shows that Muthana’s father’s diplomatic status ended a month before Muthana’s birth. Muthana’s lawyers have said that he was under the impression that Muthana was considered to be a citizen by the US government because she was issued a passport, according to The New York Times. 

On Thursday, Walton said there was sufficient evidence indicating that Muthana was born while her father held diplomatic status in the US. 

Muthana has faced criticism for her decision to travel to Syria and for promoting ISIS propaganda during her time with the group. According to the Counter Extremism Project, Muthana posted photos on Twitter in 2014 announcing an intention to burn her US passport and called for violent attacks in the US. 

She married three ISIS fighters during her time in Syria. Muthana fled the group with her young son during its downfall and was captured by Kurdish forces in January and placed in a refugee camp alongside other ISIS women and children. 

Muthana expressed regret for her decisions, telling NBC News in an interview earlier this month that she “regrets every single thing” done by ISIS.

“Anyone that believes in God believes that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were,” she said.

In February, President Donald Trump tweeted that he instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to allow Muthana back into the country. Pompeo also issued a statement on the same day stating that Muthana “is not a US citizen and will not be admitted into the United States.” 



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Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight: Wilder blames 40lb ring-walk costume

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  • Deontay Wilder says that Tyson Fury didn’t hurt him “at all” during Saturday’s WBC heavyweight title defeat, and that it was his extravagant ring-walk costume that instead cost him his belt.
  • Wilder walked into the MGM Arena wearing a full leather suit of armor clad with rhinestones that weighed around 40 pounds.
  • “Fury didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is that my uniform was way too heavy for me,” he told Yahoo. “I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform.
  • Wilder’s trainer, Jay Deas, also suggested to Boxing Social the costume played a part in the defeat, as it was “very heavy.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Deontay Wilder says that Tyson Fury didn’t hurt him “at all” during Saturday’s WBC heavyweight title loss, and instead it was his 40 pound ring-walk costume that cost him his belt.

Wilder was beaten comprehensively by Fury in Las Vegas, with the “Gypsy King” knocking him to the ground in the third and fifth rounds, before the American’s trainer decided enough was enough and threw in the towel in the seventh. 

“Fury didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is that my uniform was way too heavy for me,” Wilder told Yahoo Sports.

The 34-year-old entered the MGM Arena wearing a full leather suit of armour, including a crown and face mask, which were bejeweled with rhinestones and LED lights. The costume, designed by Los Angeles-based designers Cosmo + Donato, weighed around 40 pounds, and cost $40,000, according to TMZ.

Wilder added to Yahoo: “I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. But I’m a warrior and people know that I’m a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn’t have legs or anything.”

“I was only able to put it on [for the first time] the night before, but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries.”

See below for pictures of Wilder’s extravagant, apparently defeat-causing, entrance outfit:



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Photos show Spain blanketed in orange dust from Saharan sand storm

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  • Sand and dust blanketed the Canary Islands over the weekend, causing chaos for tourists, and worsening wildfires in the area.
  • On Spanish national television, the Canary Islands’ regional president Angel Victor Torres said it was a “nightmare weekend.”
  • It’s not the first time it’s happened. The phenomena, called a “calima” is where a Saharan sand storm is blown across the Atlantic Ocean by strong winds. This one had winds up to 75 mph.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The sky turned orange in the Canary Islands.

Over the weekend, 75 mph winds blew a sandstorm from the Saharan desert across the Atlantic Ocean onto the Canary Islands.

The phenomena is called a “calima,” and it’s not the first time it’s happened. But on Spanish national television, regional president Angel Victor Torres said it was the worst sand storm he had seen in 40 years. He called it a “nightmare weekend.”

Along with disrupting hundreds of flights, the high winds also made wildfires in the region worse. On Gran Canaria, one of the islands, local reports said the air quality was the worst in the world.

One local, named Manuel Campos, told The New York Times, “I’m old enough to know all about the calima, but I don’t recall it that strong. Everything just turned red.”

Here’s what the sandstorm looked like from on the ground and in space.



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Revolut raises $500 million at $5.5 billion

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  • European challenger bank Revolut has raised $500 million in Series D funding from Silicon Valley growth fund TCV. 
  • The long-anticipated fundraising takes the startup’s post-money valuation to $5.5 billion, up from $1.7 billion previously, making it one of Europe’s most valuable fintech companies. 
  • Founded in 2015, Revolut claims to have around 7 million customers and has raised $836 million to-date. 
  • The company’s rapid growth has been marred by questions over its workplace culture and compliance procedures.
  •  Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Revolut, one of Europe’s buzziest neo-banks, has raised $500 million in Series D funding from Silicon Valley growth fund TCV taking its valuation to $5.5 billion. 

The long-anticipated fundraising makes Revolut one of Europe’s most valuable startups in the red-hot fintech sector. Other major European finance firms include payment firm Klarna, money transfer firm Transferwise, and OakNorth bank.

Revolut, founded in 2015 by the developer Vlad Yatsenko and the former Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse trader Nikolay Storonsky, says it has around 7 million customers.

Reports had previously indicated that Revolut would take on some form of debt alongside the equity fundraise, but the company said this wasn’t happening for now.

In 2018, filings show Revolut posted revenues of £58.2 million ($74 million) on a net loss of £32.8 million ($42 million). The company has yet to release figures for 2019, but says it has experienced considerable revenue and customer growth.

It is in the process of applying for a US banking license and has expanded into Europe, as well as into Australia.

The London-based company allows users to spend money worldwide in 150 currencies at a real-time exchange rate, with no fees, through a debit card. CEO Storonsky has previously outlined his goal of seeing the bank reach 100 million customers in the next five years and break into North American and Pacific markets. Revolut is available in 32 countries and previously signed a deal with Visa, with plans to take the number to 56. 

Revolut’s growth has come with increased scrutiny. Wired reported on the firm’s aggressive culture and tendency to ask job applicants for free work, while The Telegraph raised questions about the startup’s compliance procedures. Regarding the culture, Storonsky has acknowledged “mistakes” in the running of the firm. The firm has denied compliance lapses.



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