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Trump threatens university's funding

SACRAMENTO: US President Donald Trump threatened yesterday to cut funding to the University of California, Berkeley, after protesters smashed windows and set fires at the school, forcing a far-right Breitbart News editor to cancel his appearance.

Mr Trump's threat in a tweet provoked a response from California lawmakers, who called it distasteful and an abuse of power, marking the latest clash between the Republican President and officials in the Democratic-majority state.

In the state, where lawmakers have already begun preparing legislation to combat Mr Trump's policies on immigration and climate change, the response was swift.

Lawmakers said they would look into whether Mr Trump could actually take funds from the university, which receives $400 to $450 million in funding for research annually.

Mr Trump's tweet was in response to violence that broke out on the university's flagship campus amid demonstrations against the appearance of Mr Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News, the right-wing website formerly headed by presidential adviser Steve Bannon.

Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks condemned the violence.

"Last night, the Berkeley campus was invaded by more than 100 armed individuals clad in all black who utilised paramilitary tactics to engage in violent, destructive behaviour," he said.

He added that the 38,000-student campus respected Mr Yiannopoulos' right to speak.- REUTERS

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