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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

Qatar Receives List Of Demands It Must Meet To End Sanctions

1 hour 55 min ago

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Qatar is reviewing a list of demands it must meet to end sanctions against it — but the country says the demands aren't fair.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates wrote the 13-point list of demands, originally obtained by The Associated Press. Those four countries were among those that imposed unprecedented sanctions against Qatar earlier this month over the country's alleged support of terrorism.

Yemen, Libya and the Maldives also imposed sanctions on Qatar.

SEE MORE: Saudi Arabia Suddenly Has A New Crown Prince

Those countries want Qatar to cut ties with any terrorist organization or political opposition groups, "hand over" fugitives living within their borders, remove a Turkish military base, curb diplomatic ties with Iran, pay a fine and even shut down news outlets funded by the country, including Al Jazeera and a handful of others.

Qatar was given 10 days to meet those demands, or the sanctions would continue indefinitely. But Qatar has pushed back, claiming the sanctions are aimed at "limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy," rather than fighting terrorism.

Qatar has repeatedly denied it funds or supports extremism.

Here Are The Fraud Accusations Against Bernie And Jane Sanders

1 hour 56 min ago

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Jane Sanders, wife of Bernie Sanders, is under federal investigation for possible fraud.

Investigators are looking into claims that Jane Sanders misrepresented donor numbers to get a loan for the now-closed Burlington College. She was the institution's president from 2004 to 2011.

In 2010, Sanders was trying to get a $10 million loan to expand the school's grounds. To get the loan, the college had to have a minimum of $2.27 million in grants and donations to pay the loan back.

Documents show she claimed to have $2.6 million in donations.

SEE MORE: Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare for All' Health Care Plan, Explained

But according to Brady Toensing — the chairman of President Donald Trump's Vermont campaign and the man who filed the complaint in January 2016 — those numbers were inflated.

Now, Politico reports the Sanders have hired two high-profile attorneys to defend them against the allegations.

Politico also reports feds may be looking into claims that Bernie Sanders used his political influence to urge the bank to approve the loan. Sanders has called all of the allegations "nonsense."

Why Trump Made It Easier To Fire VA Employees

2 hours 31 min ago

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The president just made it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire "failing" employees and protect whistleblowers.

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act in an effort to improve the administration of the department — specifically in response to a series of scandals from 2014.

"We all remember the nightmare that veterans suffered during the VA scandals that were exposed a few years ago," Trump said.

In a yearlong investigation, CNN found that up to 40 veterans had died waiting for care in the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

CNN's report led the FBI to open a criminal investigation of the department.

Employees responsible for the faulty system — which involved a "secret waiting list" that left veterans with no care — stayed on the government payroll even after they were removed from their positions.

The VA accountability law will increase the powers of the department secretary, currently David Shulkin, to fire employees for misconduct and reduce benefits for hires "convicted of certain crimes."

SEE MORE: Ivanka Trump Leads White House Discussion For Workforce Policy Week

Before the signing, Shulkin claimed that the department had to take in employees convicted of multiple DUIs, as well as employees who watched pornography while caring for veterans.

"A system that allows this is clearly broken," Shulkin said.

The law also mandates improved training for whistleblower disclosures and procedures.

Despite heavy support in Congress, the AFL-CIO called it a "destructive piece of legislation." The union argues the law hurts VA employees — many of whom are veterans themselves — and won't actually solve systemic issues of the department.

California Has Its Own Travel Ban, And It's Expanding

2 hours 53 min ago

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President Donald Trump isn't the only one pushing for travel restrictions. The state of California has its own travel ban, but instead of blocking people from coming in, it blocks state-funded travel to certain places.

The state just announced it won't pay to send its employees to Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota or Texas anymore. The measure is part of a law that curbs travel to states with laws that target people due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

That law was passed in September in response to North Carolina's now-defunct House Bill 2. The so-called "bathroom bill" mandated people use the bathroom that matched the gender listed on their birth certificate.

House Bill 2 also blocked local governments from passing ordinances that banned discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.

SEE MORE: DeVos Won't Commit To Banning LGBTQ Discrimination At Private Schools

Three of the new additions — Texas, Alabama and South Dakota — were added because of laws that could prevent LGBTQ parents from adopting or fostering children. Kentucky was added to the list for a new law that lets student organizations discriminate against LGBTQ classmates.

California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he added the four to the Golden State's blacklist because of the "discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states."

They join a growing list. Aside from North Carolina, California also bans state-funded travel to Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

As ISIS Homes In On Southeast Asia, Diplomats Talk Counterterrorism

16 hours 59 min ago

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Countries in Southeast Asia are fighting back against violent extremism.

Foreign affairs representatives from the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia met this Thursday in Manila to discuss terrorism concerns. 

In light of recent terrorist attacks in the region, the countries agreed to take immediate actions — like sharing intelligence and continuing to deploy trilateral patrols on their borders.

For future meetings, the three countries also plan to block the flow of terrorist financing, weaponry and extremist content on social media. 

In the Philippines, the epicenter of the region's war on terrorism is the island of Mindanao. After more than a month of fighting, crisis management officials say up to 40 percent of Marawi City has been destroyed.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who declared martial law in the island, has apologized for the damages, but promised that he would work to rebuild the city. 

"I would like to say to the Maranao people that I am very, very, very sorry," Duterte said.

In Indonesia, terrorist attacks hit Jakarta last month. A suicide bombing in a bus terminal left five dead and 10 wounded.

Malaysia's deputy prime minister links both attacks to the killing of a Malaysian Islamic State leader. The country's most wanted terrorist, Mahmud Ahmad, is still fighting in Marawi City. 

SEE MORE: The UN Puts Pressure On Philippines To Investigate President Duterte

In an effort to continue strategizing, the three countries will hold their next meeting this October in Indonesia.

Rep. Steve Scalise Is Out Of The ICU After Baseball Field Shooting

17 hours 19 min ago

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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been transferred out of the ICU and is in fair condition.

According to a release from MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Scalise was transferred out of the ICU on Thursday. He has been in fair condition since Wednesday.

That good news comes just nine days after Scalise and three others were shot at a Republican congressional baseball practice in northern Virginia.

Scalise underwent several surgeries after a single rifle shot to his hip caused injuries to internal organs. 

SEE MORE: Lawmakers At Shooting Say Scalise's Security Prevented A 'Massacre'

Lobbyist Matt Mika, who was shot in the chest, has also been transferred out of the ICU and is in good condition, according to local media outlets. He was even visited at the hospital by Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.

A member of Scalise's security detail, Special Agent Crystal Griner, was shot in the ankle. She was released from the hospital last week. 

Griner threw out the first pitch at the Congressional Women's Softball Game on Wednesday. 

Another member of Scalise's security detail, Special Agent David Bailey, was injured during the shooting. He was released the same day and threw out the first pitch at last week's Congressional Baseball Game.

Congressional staffer Zack Barth, who was shot in the leg, was released from the hospital the same day. 

Earlier this week, lawmakers gave blood in honor of Scalise and the other victims of the shooting.

The Military Might Delay Policy That Lets Transgender People Enlist

18 hours 28 min ago

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Earlier this month, some branches of the military started giving sensitivity training to officers and civilian employees on how to assist and include transgender troops.

But now Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is considering stalling the policy that allows transgender people to enlist altogether.

The ban on transgender service members was lifted last year, thanks to a directive from former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

SEE MORE: Jim Mattis Now Has The Power To Send More Troops To Afghanistan

"Transgender Americans may serve openly and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender," Carter said.

A ban on transgender troops enlisting was supposed to be lifted on July 1, 2017. But leaders from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have reportedly asked Mattis to push the deadline back by as much as two years.

 A Pentagon spokeswoman says Mattis is still making his decision. 

The Theory Of Evolution Is Being Banned In Turkish Schools

18 hours 51 min ago

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The theory of evolution is being banned from Turkish high schools. 

A Turkish education official recently announced the changes to the country's national curriculum, saying, "We have excluded controversial subjects for students at an age unable yet to understand the issues' scientific background." 

The measure has reportedly already been approved by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It calls for removing chapters on evolution from biology course books, and overall, the curriculum changes could result in less secular education in Turkish schools.

That's cause for alarm for some Turkish citizens. The country was founded in the 1920s under strict secular ideals. Stripping evolution from school curriculum seems contradictory to that.

Critics say this is an attempt by Erdogan to move the country toward a more Islamist governance. 

SEE MORE: Erdogan's Latest Move Tightens His Grip On Turkey Even More

While Erdogan has served in Turkey's government under various roles, the number of religious vocational high schools has increased from roughly 60,000 to over 1.6 million.

And other members of Erdogan's AKP party have been particularly vocal against evolution. Earlier this year, the country's deputy prime minister said, "Scientifically, the theory of evolution is already an archaic and disproven theory."

Trump Taps Campaign Fundraisers For UK And Belgium Ambassadorships

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 23:19

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President Donald Trump plans to nominate two wealthy campaign supporters as his ambassadors to the United Kingdom and Belgium.

On Thursday, Trump announced his intent to nominate Johnson & Johnson heir Robert Wood Johnson IV, better known as Woody, to the U.K. post. Johnson, who is a longtime friend of Trump, owns the New York Jets and is also a philanthropist.

According to CNN, Trump told people gathered at a luncheon in January that Johnson would be the next ambassador to the U.K. 

Jamie McCourt, an entrepreneur, attorney and philanthropist, has been tapped for the Belgium post. She was previously co-owner and CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers. And she speaks French, which is helpful if you live in Brussels. 

Both Johnson and McCourt served as bundlers — or fundraisers — for Trump's campaign. 

SEE MORE: Trump Nominates A Familiar Name To Be The Vatican Ambassador

Johnson served as vice chair of the Trump Victory Committee and McCourt was one of the state finance chairs for California.

Trump isn't the only president to reward campaign fundraisers with ambassadorships. His predecessor, President Barack Obama, faced criticism for the same thing. 

According to The Center for Public Integrity, Obama nominated 31 bundlers to ambassadorships during his second term. And like Trump, he nominated donors to the U.K. and Belgium posts. All but one of those fundraisers ended up being confirmed. 

George Tsunis, who Obama nominated to become U.S. ambassador to Norway, let his nomination expire.

Key members of Trump's campaign team — including his finance chairman and fundraising trustee — are now serving in Cabinet posts.

Hollywood Walk Of Fame 'Class Of 2018' — How Celebs Get Their Stars

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 23:16

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The Hollywood Walk of Fame just got a little longer after the announcement of 34 new inductees.

The Walk of Fame "Class of 2018" includes celebrities such as Mark Hamill, RuPaul Charles and Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as fictional Disney darling Minnie Mouse.

Posthumous stars were also awarded to environmentalist Steve Irwin and comedian Bernie Mac. 

Irwin's kids took to Instagram to celebrate their late father's achievement, as well as show their reaction to the news. 

So, how does a celebrity get a star on the Walk of Fame? It isn't easy. For one thing, the nomination process is more involved than the judging process for an Oscar.

The process begins with a lengthy nomination application by a third party. The Walk of Fame committee reportedly receives an average of 200 applications a year, and the committee has less than one month to make the decision. 

Even after being selected, honorees still need to do some work to get their star. Within two years, they have to raise $40,000 for their ceremony — and if they fail to have their ceremony within two years, their selection will expire. 

Celebrities who have refused stars include Hollywood heavy hitters such as Clint Eastwood, Bruce Springsteen and Julia Roberts. 

Springsteen originally accepted his star, but never showed up to his ceremony. After that, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce required nominees to attend their ceremonies, or else they forfeit their stars. Committee members have jokingly referred to the rule as the "Springsteen policy."

Another tricky Walk of Fame rule involves posthumous awards, which can only be awarded five years after the star's death. Historically, only one posthumous award is given out each year, but this year, the committee gave out two.

SEE MORE: Someone Destroyed Donald Trump's Hollywood Star With A Sledgehammer

Actor and rapper Ice Cube was the most recent person to have a star ceremony. No other ceremonies have been scheduled for the near future. 

Judge Declares Another Mistrial For Ex-Cop Who Fatally Shot Sam DuBose

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 22:03

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The murder trial of a former University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man almost two years ago has ended in another hung jury.

Ray Tensing shot and killed driver Sam DuBose during a July 2015 traffic stop. His death, which one prosecutor called "senseless," fueled the debate over race relations in policing. 

After 30 hours of deliberations, jurors said they couldn't reach a unanimous decision on either of the two charges Tensing faced — murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Tensing testified that he thought his life was in danger. His legal team argued that his arm appears to be inside DuBose's car as DuBose starts to drive away. Tensing said he was being dragged down the street.

SEE MORE: National Police Orgs Recommend De-Escalation Be Adopted Across The US

But prosecutors said DuBose's car didn't start moving until after he was shot and that Tensing had a choice to let DuBose drive away rather than shoot him. 

His first trial in November ended the same way — a hung jury and a mistrial. DuBose's family has called for another retrial.

The mistrial comes just days after a Minnesota officer was acquitted of all charges in the shooting death of Philando Castile. 

2 Nations Are Vying To Be The New Heavyweights Of Space Exploration

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 21:57

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Power players of space exploration are relatively few and far between, but the list is growing. India and China are making strides to keep up with and even surpass mature programs like those in the U.S. and Russia.

India recently sent 31 satellites from 15 different countries into orbit. And in early 2017, it sent 104 satellites into orbit at once — the most ever for a single rocket. It surpassed the previous record of 37 set by Russia in 2014.

China is set to send an unmanned probe to the moon to bring back the first soil samples in more than 40 years. By 2018, it's expected to be the first country to soft-land a probe on the far side of the moon.

India and China are also two of six space agencies in the "heavy-lift" rocket club. China joined at the end of 2016, and in June, India successfully launched satellite into orbit that's several tons and 13 stories tall.

SEE MORE: A NASA Engineer Has A Creative New Way To Find Missing Rockets

And it doesn't look like they're ready to slow down, either. In the next five years, India plans to send 25 rockets into space and spend $6 billion on its space program.

Meanwhile, China is set to build its own space station. Construction will start in 2019, and it's expected to be done by 2022. That's two years ahead of the possible retirement of the International Space Station.

Ferguson Settles Wrongful Death Suit With Michael Brown's Family

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 20:35

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The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is settling the lawsuit over 18-year-old Michael Brown's death.

Ferguson's insurance company will pay Brown's family $1.5 million to settle the wrongful death lawsuit. The city agreed to cover the family's attorney fees.

The lawsuit said Officer Darren Wilson used "unlawful and unjustified" force when he shot and killed Brown. A grand jury decided not to indict Wilson for the shooting.

SEE MORE: 'Whose Streets?' Asks What Really Happened In The Ferguson Protests

Brown's death sparked several nights of protests in Ferguson. It also prompted a U.S. Justice Department investigation into Ferguson's police department amid allegations of racial bias.

Trump Suggests His 'Tapes' Tweet Was To Keep Comey Honest

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 18:13

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In an interview on Fox News, President Donald Trump said his story didn't change in regards to the possibility of recorded conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.

"My story didn't change; my story was always a straight story; my story was always the truth," Trump said on "Fox & Friends."

 The day before, Trump tweeted that he never actually recorded his conversations.

Let's back up: Trump fired Comey on May 9. Shortly after, The New York Times reported details of a private dinner between the two men.

After the report, Trump tweeted that Comey had "better hope that there are no tapes" before he "starts leaking to the press."

SEE MORE: Acting FBI Head Gets More Comey, Russia Questions — At Budget Hearing

Now, Trump's suggesting there was a strategy behind the mention of "tapes" — to keep Comey honest.

Over the course of several months, and prior to his Senate hearing, Comey privately told Trump he wasn't being investigated in the ongoing Russia probe — something Comey was reluctant to say publicly.

Comey confirmed those conversations one day before his Senate hearing when he released his opening statement. After that statement was published, Trump's personal lawyer said the president felt "completely and totally vindicated."

Johnny Depp Spoke Of Assassination — And The Secret Service Noticed

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:41

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Johnny Depp asked a crowd at the Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. on Thursday, "When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?"

Depp was introducing a screening of his 2004 movie "The Libertine" when he commented on President Donald Trump.

The actor said Trump "needs help, and there are a lot of wonderful dark, dark places he could go."

For those with a hazy knowledge of U.S. history, actor John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

Depp has been pretty vocal about his feelings toward Trump.

"But what he is, I believe, is a brat," Depp said during an appearance at Arizona State University in March 2016.

And he even portrayed the president in Funny or Die's 2016 spoof of Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal."

SEE MORE: A New Lawsuit Claims Trump Illegally Destroyed Presidential Records

But now Depp is talking about a sitting president, not a candidate.

A Secret Service staff assistant told CNN the agency is aware of what the actor said but wouldn't comment further "for security reasons."

Under U.S. federal law, "knowingly and willingly" making a threat to kill, kidnap or injure the president is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Still, it's unlikely Depp would be charged with a crime here.

One expert told USA Today, in order to truly threaten someone, "you need words that encourage some sort of action."

Trump has yet to respond to Depp's comments. But a White House official told NBC the actor's remark was "sad."

Democrats Try To Push Nancy Pelosi Out To Win Back House Majority

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:29

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Nancy Pelosi's time as the House minority leader might be winding down.

New York Rep. Kathleen Rice and a group of Democrats met privately Thursday to brainstorm ways to replace the Democratic House leader.

Pelosi has been the target of campaign advertisements aimed at weakening the party's brand, including the recent special election in Georgia's 6th District.

Advertisements tried to tie Pelosi to the Democratic candidate in that election, Jon Ossoff. But The New York Time reports he hadn't committed to supporting Pelosi as the House minority leader.

SEE MORE: Republicans Hold On To Congressional Seat In Georgia Special Election

Republicans, on the other hand, want Pelosi to keep her job. Her left-wing agenda is easy for the GOP to attack — something they'll likely keep doing.

President Donald Trump weighed in Thursday, tweeting, "I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party."

Pelosi says she has no plans to step down, and Democrats haven't found any viable replacements yet.

Pelosi has led the Democratic Party since 2003, and replacing her wouldn't be easy. In 15 years, she's raised almost $570 million for Democratic campaigns. That includes over $140 million for the 2016 election cycle.

'Wonder Woman' Is Set To Lasso Another Box Office Record

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:21

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In the box office world, "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins is a superhero herself.

The film is set to become the highest-grossing live-action movie directed by a woman.

It would take the crown from "Mamma Mia!" The movie-musical directed by Phyllida Lloyd grossed just over $609 million worldwide after its 2008 release.

It's a fitting honor for Jenkins, who also holds the title for the most lucrative domestic opening among female directors.

Still, the critical acclaim "Wonder Woman" has received and its continued box office success are nice wins for female directors in general.

It's no secret that Hollywood relies mainly on male directors, but this season is turning out to be a strong one for films with women at the helm.

SEE MORE: Women Will Direct Every Episode Of 'Jessica Jones' Season 2

Sophia Coppola recently became only the second woman ever to win best director at the Cannes Film Festival for her movie "The Beguiled," which debuts in some theaters June 23.

And "Rough Night" starring Scarlett Johansson is the first female-directed R-rated comedy from a major studio since 1998.

However, "Wonder Woman" still has a really long way to go if it wants to take the title for all-time highest-grossing movie directed by a woman. Disney's "Frozen," co-directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, holds the record with almost $1.3 billion worldwide.

A New Lawsuit Claims Trump Illegally Destroyed Presidential Records

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 14:31

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President Donald Trump is facing yet another lawsuit. This time, it's over his record keeping.

Two watchdog groups have accused Trump and his office of violating federal law by destroying presidential records.

The suit alleges White House staffers have been using "certain email messaging applications" that automatically delete messages after they're read.

On top of that, the groups claim that Trump has deleted tweets on his personal Twitter account.

SEE MORE: Lawsuit Says Trump Doesn't Have The Right To Block People On Twitter

The lawsuit alleges those actions violate the Presidential Records Act. It requires the preservation of certain White House communications so they can eventually be released to the public.

But a White House official denied those accusations, telling Newsweek the Trump administration "works diligently" to make sure all staffers follow the act.

This new suit comes after an Illinois congressman introduced the COVFEFE Act. It would officially classify a president's social media posts as presidential records that can't be destroyed.

By ProPublica's count, Trump has deleted 20 tweets from his personal Twitter account since taking office.

There Could Be A Link Between Car Wrecks And Marijuana

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 14:11

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There could be a link between marijuana and car wrecks — let us explain.

new study found a correlation between some states with legalized recreational marijuana use and the frequency of collision claim reports.

Researchers compared collision records in Colorado, Oregon and Washington from before and after recreational pot was legalized, as well as with neighboring states without recreational marijuana.

Combined, insurance claims in those states were about 3 percent higher than what would be expected without legalization.

SEE MORE: Vermont's Governor Vetoes A Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Now, the study didn't indicate that drivers under the influence of marijuana directly caused the increase.

So far, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and even more are considering legislation.

Still, it's difficult to determine if the crashes were caused solely by marijuana use. The researchers note many high drivers also test positive for alcohol in their systems.

Police Announce Cause Of Grenfell Tower Fire, And It Wasn't Arson

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 13:14

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We finally know what caused the fire that swept through Grenfell Tower in West London: a faulty fridge.

The fridge manufacturer, Hotpoint, hadn't recalled that model prior to the fire, but it's now asking customers to check their model numbers and contact the company.

A fridge had been one theory behind what caused the blaze before Metropolitan Police announced its findings. A resident of Grenfell Tower had been overheard telling people that his fridge started the fire.

Police are still trying to determine how the June 14 blaze spread so quickly. So far, samples of cladding and insulation collected from the building have failed safety tests.

SEE MORE: Brits Are Upset With The Prime Minister's Response To The London Fire

Authorities are conducting similar safety tests on 600 buildings across the U.K. to determine if the same combustible cladding was used in their construction.

As of Friday morning, they've found it in 11 residential buildings.

At least 79 people died or are presumed dead as a result of the Grenfell Tower blaze. Police are considering criminal charges, including manslaughter.

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