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The Inquisitr offers a constantly updated mix of the latest stories to hit the web, covering news, entertainment, technology, news, sport, health and everything else.

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    Jonathan Franzen

    On Thursday, Literary Hub published acclaimed novelist Jonathan Franzen’s “10 Rules For Novelists”. Franzen, one of modern literature’s enfantterribles who famously rejected the inclusion of his breakout novel The Corrections in Oprah’s Book Club because he didn’t want it associated with the other “schmaltzy” and “one-dimensional” novels included in her list, is a favorite whipping boy for literary critics and internet trolls alike, who bemoan his pompous self-importance while envying his talent. On Friday, another Literary Hub article compiled some of their favorite responses to Franzen’s list, including satirical missives from comic writer Patton Oswalt and novelist Chuck Wendig.

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    US Department of justice logo

    Guccifer — the notorious hacker from Romania who revealed that Hillary Clinton has a private email server — has begun serving his more than four-year prison sentence in the United States.

    According to a report published by the Information Security Media Group (ISMG), the 46-year-old hacker, whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, previously worked as a taxi driver. He admitted that he perpetrated a string of social media and email account takeovers while using his hacker handle Guccifer — a portmanteau of Gucci and Lucifer.

    As the report detailed, Romania’s Alba Iulia Court of Appeal ruled in September that once Lazar finishes his seven-year-long prison sentence in Romania’s Deva city for his hacking crimes, he would be extradited to the United States to serve a 52-month sentence.

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    Michael Avenatti

    Embattled lawyer Michael Avenatti has had a string of negative publicity recently, making headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

    As Fox News details, Avenatti was recently dealt a major blow as one of his law firms, Eagan Avenatti, was ordered to be evicted from its current rental space in a California complex. The lawyer and his firm have been told that they must vacate the office space, which is currently located in the Newport Beach area. Avenatti responded to the ruling, saying that it was a “non-event” as he was in the process of moving from that locale in any case.

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    Financial records

    While the American economy is posting strong growth indicators and the lowest unemployment rates since the late 1960s, those improvements have yet to be felt among the nation’s working class, which is shouldering the highest debt load in American history. Last quarter, American household debt reached $13.5 trillion, shattering the previous high from 2008– just before the recession– by more than $800 billion, according to NBC News.

    The record debt load, coupled with an unusual jump in student loan delinquencies, could signal an impending downward trend in the economy. After a period of improvement in student loan delinquencies, the rate of serious delinquency of 90 days or more jumped from 8.6 percent to 9.1 percent last quarter. This change, along with the rising rate of credit card debt nonpayment since last year and a six-year trend in the rise of auto loan nonfeasance, raises red flags across the board for economists. Last quarter saw the largest jump in overall U.S. delinquency rates in seven years, according to Reuters.

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    White Lion

    A wildlife sanctuary is engaging in what is likely to be a protracted legal battle with the South African government over a rare white lion in the sanctuary’s custody, Fox News reports. The three-year-old white lion, named Mufasa by his keepers, currently resides at the Rustenburg Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

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    Picture of baby giraffe with its mom

    A baby Masai giraffe calf died suddenly of unknown causes at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Saturday morning. The baby calf’s name was Ubumwe, which means “unity” in Kinyarwanda. Ubumwe was a female, and she was only 18 days old when she passed away at 8:30 a.m.

    The Columbus Zoo posted information about the sad event on a series of Facebook posts, according to the Springfield News-Sun. Zoo officials wrote that the baby giraffe was thriving in her first two weeks and that she had been nursing well and seemed energetic. A week ago, Ubumwe weighed an estimated 130 pounds, they said.

    A team of animal care professionals monitored the giraffe calf and her mother 24/7 since the birth. On Friday afternoon, things took a turn for the worse, however, and they said that Ubumwe’s “behavior and appearance began to change,” and that she started to experience “gastrointestinal discomfort.”

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    guantanamo bay

    When President Trump signed the order to keep Guantanamo Bay open, he simultaneously shut down the Special Envoy For Guantanamo Closure, a State Department office that was not only responsible for closing the facility, but also for resettling and tracking released detainees. Now several have gone missing, according to CBC Radio.

    The office of U.S. Ambassador Nathan Sales was handed the responsibility of tracking the former inmates, but the original staff who had negotiated all of the resettlement deals for the Special Envoy For Guantanamo Closure were deployed elsewhere, said Carol Rosenberg, a journalist who uncovered the problem.

    “They now have brand new staffers– Trump appointees– trying to catch up and manage these deals that went untended for at least a year,” Rosenberg said.

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    A model poses for photographers wearing jewelry previously belonging to Marie Antoinette, at Sotheby's

    One single piece of Marie Antoinette’s jewelry just sold at auction over its estimate for $36 million. The Bourbon pearl necklace with pearl and diamond pendant alone (not including the matching earrings) went for a price which surprised all at the Sotheby’s auction.

    Town and Country says that while all of the items from the Italian Bourbon-Parma family line exceeded their estimates, the pearl necklace with the pearl and diamond pendant was the star of the Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, Italy. The auction house thought that the item would sell for around $2 million, but the bidders kept going until the hammer hit at $36 million.

    The French queen’s pearl necklace set the record, exceeding the prior record by three times the selling price for Elizabeth Taylor’s pearl necklace in 2011, which sold for $11 million.

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    Benjamin Netanyahu

    Israeli police have submitted their recommendation to the Public Prosecutor’s Office that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be prosecuted for corruption, according to the Middle East Monitor. The recommendation, submitted after the investigation into what is known as the Bezeq Case, also known as Case 4000, will be the third recommendation for prosecution against Netanyahu, following similar recommendations in Case 1000 and Case 2000. Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the prime minister, will also be investigated for her suspected involvement in the Bezeq case.

    The Bezeq Case is an investigation into Netanyahu’s alleged dealings with Shaul Elovitch, the head of telecoms giant Bezeq Communications and owner of the news website Walla. Netanyahu allegedly made a deal with Elovitch to trade government favors and services in exchange for positive coverage from the news media under Elovitch’s control. The arrangement, allegedly made while Netanyahu was the communications minister, is said to have earned Bezeq hundreds of millions of dollars.

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    Teddy bear with a gun

    In a very tragic incident that took place on Thursday, November 15, a 2-year-old baby boy accidentally shot himself dead after finding a handgun under a pillow at his home.

    According to police in Jonesboro, Georgia, they responded to reports of a child shot on Thursday and upon examination, they found a toddler with a gunshot wound to his body, a report published by NBC News stated.

    Captain Scott Stubb, a spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department, didn’t identify the boy for legal reasons but detailed that the boy entered a room where his father — 31-year-old Johnathan Butler — was sleeping in their home in the 300 block of Blackhawk Trail. The unfortunate incident took place around noon when the toddler found a handgun under a pillow and shot himself with it.

    According to a report by AJC, the mother of the deceased toddler, 24-year-old Naterika Pearman, was sleeping in the front room when the accident occurred.

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    crime

    A 78-year-old Texas inmate has confessed to the murder of 90 people over the course of four decades, according to Sky News. Samuel Little, who is already serving a life sentence for three murders in California, revealed to officers key details of the murders. If all of Little’s claims turn out to be true, he would rival Gary Ridgway (“The Green River Killer”) as the most prolific killer in American history.

    Based on Little’s claims, investigators in Louisiana and Georgia have already been able to close four unsolved murder cases. Little provided officers with details on two murders in Houma, Louisiana that “only the murderer would have known,” allowing investigators to solve the 1982 murder of 59-year-old Dorothy Richard and the 1996 murder of 40-year-old Daisy McGuire. Both women were strangled.

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    Starving dog

    In a tragic incident related to animal abuse, a woman in Raleigh has been accused of killing eight cats and starving seven dogs.

    Per a report by WNCT, the accused — identified as Brigette Baldwin — broke down in tears while a Wake County prosecutor described the conditions of the animals when officers found them. Speaking in a court on Friday, the prosecutor said the following.

    “There were six dogs in the house. Four were in the living room with no food and water. Two were locked in the bedroom with no food and water. Every dog was extremely emaciated. There were feces and urine everywhere.”

    Officers learned about the tragic condition of the animals when they went to serve an eviction notice at a Garner apartment where Baldwin lived. They found four dead cats and six starving dogs at Baldwin’s house. In the police warrants, the condition of all the dogs was described as “extremely emaciated.”

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    British Airways Airplane

    A man has recently come forward to sue British Airways for being seated next to an obese passenger on a flight more than two years ago. According to the man, the seating arrangement left him injured.

    According to a report by USA Today, the man — identified as Stephen Prosser — said that he was seated next to an extremely large passenger which made the journey very unpleasant. The airline issued a statement on Saturday in which it confirmed that the incident took place.

    “We welcome all passengers aboard our aircraft and our crew are trained to ensure passengers have a comfortable journey,” the statement read. “We are pleased that our crew provided additional pillows and blankets to help Mr. Prosser have a more restful trip.​”

    The statement added that British Airways is “resisting the claim,” but further comments could not be provided to media because the case is still in progress and is subject to ongoing proceedings, the report said.

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    A man wearing a Proud Boys scarf walks across the venue floor before a campaign rally with President Donald Trump a

    The far right, all-male group Proud Boys held a rally today in Philadelphia around the National Constitution Center with two dozen members in an event they called “We the People.” But around the location where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Liberty Bell still sits, hundreds of people showed up to protest the racist and sexist collective.

    The Daily Beast reports that police set up a barricade to keep the two dozen Proud Boys safe while the protesters yelled and chanted.

    Proud Boys, created by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, must follow a list of rules including restrictions on how often they can masturbate, and a sort of points system that can grow based on how many fights they can get into for their cause.

    The trouble in Philadelphia started when some Proud Boys moved into the section of protesters behind the barricades and started a scuffle, which the police quickly broke up, ejecting the Proud Boys.

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    Queen Elizabeth sends a message.

    It’s not often that Queen Elizabeth II comments on the happenings in the United States, but the devastating wildfires in California have prompted her to issue a formal statement offering her sympathies, detailed People.

    “Prince Philip and I offer our deepest sympathies to the people of California, who continue to suffer from the devastating fires across the state. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims, and to all those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. I pay tribute to the courage and dedication of the US emergency services and the volunteers that have provided support.”

    Notably, Meghan Markle is from California. Her first home that she lived in was in Woodland Hills, which residents feared could be ruined by the Woolsey fire, detailed the Daily Express.

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    gwen stefani and blake shelton

    Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are facing increased speculation that they plan to have a baby via a surrogate. Hollywood Life recently reported that the couple is “determined” to have a child together. Stefani is already a mother to three boys from her previous marriage to Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale. But Shelton isn’t a dad, not yet anyway.

    Hollywood Life’s alleged source claims that Stefani wants to make her boyfriend’s fatherhood dreams a reality,

    “Gwen is madly in love with Blake and is open to doing anything to make him feel happy, complete and satisfied — that includes having a child via surrogacy,” the purported insider alleged. “Gwen and Blake have discussed all avenues of growing their family, including adoption, surrogacy, and even traditional pregnancy.”

    The “source” goes on to say that the “Hollaback Girl” singer is concerned about her fertility now that she’s 49 years old, which is presumably why the surrogacy option is allegedly being discussed. Shelton is 42.

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    Deseriee Edman lost her home to a wildfire just hours after she survived a deadly bar shooting in California.

    Deseriee Edman was inside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, when a gunman burst in and opened fire, killing 12 people.

    Edman was able to make it out of the bar with her life, but wasn’t able to escape the next disaster to strike the area — a raging wildfire that destroyed her home just hours after she survived the shooting.

    The California woman is opening up about her tragic week, telling CBS Los Angeles about how the tragedy of the bar shooting was followed almost immediately by one of the most destructive wildfires the state has seen in years.

    “Two near-death experiences that you just don’t expect,” Edman said. “I’m trying to stay strong as possible for my family and my friends. And I’m trying to look at everything as positive as I can in these types of situations.”

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    Jamal Khashoggi

    Jamal Khashoggi may have already been married when he was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month. The Washington Post reports that an Egyptian woman has come forward claiming to be the slain journalist’s wife.

    As many media outlets have reported, Khashoggi was at the consulate that day to drop off paperwork which would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz. Cengiz told the Washington Post that she has never heard of Khashoggi’s alleged wife who is being identified as H.Atr to protect her identity.

    “Jamal never told me about this woman,” Cengiz said.

    “Why is she trying to change the picture people have of Jamal? What does she want? … I suspect that this is an attempt to discredit him and hurt his reputation.”

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    Picture of hunter with rifle taking aim

    When Bob Long left to go deer hunting in Ballard County in Northern Kentucky, it’s a pretty sure bet that he had no idea he was going to bag a headline-making oddity. He did, though, and the double-headed buck the hunter killed will no doubt provide quite a conversation piece for folks back home.

    Long described taking aim at the buck, saying that all he saw was a huge set of antlers, reports RT. When he went to recover his kill; however, he began to realize how unique his harvest was. The buck laying at his feet appeared to have two heads, and it also looked like it had its antlers entwined together.

    Bob Long’s double-headed buck wasn’t a conjoined twin or a completely new species of deer, and on closer inspection, he saw that his find was a grisly one. The buck’s second head was dead and decomposing.

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    Dolphins jumping

    With more than a week having passed since a common dolphin was apparently shot dead at a Los Angeles-area beach, a local rescue group announced that it is doubling its original reward and offering $10,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the shooter’s conviction.

    Speaking to USA Today on Saturday, Marine Animal Rescue president and founder Peter Wallerstein said that the dolphin corpse was found on November 8 at Manhattan Beach with an “unusual hole” in its body. A subsequent examination revealed that the animal suffered a gunshot wound and was likely shot by a boater. Wallerstein described the act as a “brutal, senseless act of aggression” that likely wasn’t done in self-defense, based on his past observations that dolphins do not usually act aggressively toward humans.

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