Category Archives: Nation

Dallas Sniper Who Gunned Down Cops ‘Wanted To Kill White People’

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The sniper who killed five Dallas police officers Thursday night as they guarded protesters at an anti-police brutality march was angry about recent shootings by police and “wanted to kill white people,” according to authorities.

The Associated Press identified the gunman as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, who was blown up by a police robot while holed up on the second level of a parking garage early Friday morning after negotiations with police broke down.

The murderous rampage was the deadliest day in American law enforcement since 9/11 and prompted President Obama to declare it a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”

“We’re hurting,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown in a Friday morning news conference. “Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is this must stop, this divisiveness betweeen our police and our citizens.”

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State Department Reopens Internal Probe Of Clinton Emails

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The State Department is re-opening an internal investigation into whether Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her top aides mishandled classified information, Fox News confirmed late Thursday.

The investigation, which was first reported by the Associated Press, focuses on how classified emails to and from Clinton’s private server were categorized at the time they were sent.

The State Department started its review in January after declaring 22 emails from Clinton’s private server to be “top secret.” The investigation was halted after the FBI began investigating Clinton’s so-called “homebrew” email setup last April. On Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said there would be no indictments resulting from the FBI probe.

“Given the Department of Justice has now made its announcement, the State Department intends to conduct its internal review,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. “Our goal will be to be as transparent as possible about our results, while complying with our various legal obligations.”

Kirby set no deadline for the investigation’s completion.

Clinton was secretary of state until early 2013. Most of her top advisers left shortly thereafter.

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At Least Four Police Officers Killed By Snipers During Dallas Protest

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Dallas Police confirmed shortly before midnight local time that both suspects in the murder of four police officers were in custody, with one of the suspects captured after a shootout with SWAT members. A suspicious package discovered near that suspect’s location was being secured by bomb squad members.

A man who police identified as a “person of interest” had turned himself in, but it was not yet known what his relationship was to the shooting.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown confirmed the four fatalities — three Dallas officers and one transit officer — and said seven other officers and one civilian were wounded in the shooting. Three of the injured officers reportedly were in critical condition and two others were in surgery.

Dallas’ public transit agency, DART, confirmed on Twitter that one of its officers was shot and killed, while three of its officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Brown said the shooters positioned themselves in two parking garages in downtown Dallas and “planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could.”

“It’s a heartbreaking moment for the city of Dallas,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “I ask everybody focus on one thing right now, and that is Dallas police officers, their families, those that are deceased [and] those that are in the hospital fighting for their lives.”

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FBI Director To Appear Thursday To Explain Clinton Decision

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FBI Director James Comey will explain Thursday to House lawmakers his bombshell decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton over her handling of sensitive emails.

Comey, who took no questions after announcing his decision Tuesday, agreed to go before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after several lawmakers sought an explanation. In saying he would not press the Justice Department to pursue an indictment against the likely Democrat nominee for president, Comey nonetheless laid out a strong case that she had violated laws regulating government employees’ safeguarding of sensitive emails.

“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing,” Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said. “The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable. Congress and the American people have a right to understand the depth and breadth of the FBI’s investigation.”

Comey said 110 emails in 52 email chains discovered on Clinton’s unauthorized server were classified at the time they were sent or received, including some that were “top secret.” He also said that while the probe did not prove Clinton’s server was hacked, it may have been – and he pointedly noted that she used unsecure devices while visiting countries hostile to the U.S.

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FBI Recommends No Charges To Be Filed Against Clinton

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FBI Director James Comey announced Tuesday he will not recommend the Department of Justice seek criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her personal email use while secretary of state.

The decision helps remove what was arguably the biggest threat to her presidential campaign going forward – a criminal referral that could have led to an indictment – just weeks before her party’s national convention in Philadelphia where she is set to seal her nomination as the Democrat standard bearer.

Clinton consistently had downplayed the FBI investigation, even calling it a “security review,” and as recently as June 3 said there was “absolutely no possibility” she’d be indicted. Weeks ago, a scathing State Department inspector general report directly countered her long-running claim that her personal email use was allowed, though her campaign continued to defend the candidate’s actions.

In the wake of that report, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump stepped up his criticism of her email actions and said she belongs in “jail.”

The DOJ decision does not strip the email controversy as a campaign issue – Trump and the Republicans are sure to keep hammering it as the campaign lurches into full general election mode post-conventions – but shows the federal investigation did not determine the actions to be criminal, even if they were ill-advised and potentially damaging to national security.

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House Benghazi Report Slams Administration Response To Attacks

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A damning report authored by the Republican-led House committee probing the Benghazi terror attacks faulted the Obama administration for a range of missteps before, during and after the fatal 2012 attacks – saying top administration officials huddled to craft their public response while military assets waited for hours to deploy to Libya.

The report released Tuesday pointedly blamed a “rusty bureaucratic process” for the slow-moving response the night of the attack.

The report said one anti-terrorism security team sat waiting for three hours in Rota, Spain, as Marines changed “in and out of their uniforms four times,” and even debated whether they should carry personal weapons, according to one witness.

The report also said, “Security deficiencies plagued the Benghazi Mission compound in the lead-up to September 2012.”

The GOP report, released Tuesday, came after a report by the Democrats on the panel saying that security at the Benghazi, Libya facility was “woefully inadequate” but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never personally denied any requests from diplomats for additional protection.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans –foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Ty Woods and Glen Doherty — were killed in the attacks.

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law

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The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Texas law regulating abortion clinics, delivering a 5-3 decision that was the high court’s first major foray into the abortion issue in nine years.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion for the court, with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joining him. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

“We agree with the District Court that the surgical center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so,” Breyer wrote.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in a series of Tweets hailed the decision as “a victory for women,” but said there’s more work to be done.

“This fight isn’t over: The next president has to protect women’s health. Women won’t be ‘punished’ for exercising their basic rights. -H,” Clinton tweeted.

Texas abortion clinics had challenged a 2013 state law and regulations that cut the number of abortion providers in half, to roughly 20. Fewer than 10 would have remained open if the law was allowed to take full effect. The Center for Reproductive Rights had sued Texas, on behalf of a coalition of abortion clinics.

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Facebook Keeps Employees’ Politics In Check With New Training

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Facebook is training its top leaders and employees on how to manage their political bias, according to the social network’s COO Sheryl Sandberg.

The revelation comes less than two months after Facebook’s trending topics controversy, which saw the company fending off accusations of human bias affecting its news algorithm.

In a discussion with Arthur Brooks at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on Wednesday, Sandberg stated: “We have a managing bias class that all of our leaders and a lot of our employees have taken that I was part of helping to create. And we focused on racial bias, age bias, gender bias, national bias, and we’re going to add in a scenario now on political bias.”

“So that, as part of [how] we think about helping people understand different points of view and being open to different points of view, we’re dealing with political bias as well going forward.”

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Governor Eyes Ban On Using Food Stamps For Candy, Soda

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage is ramping up a battle over Mars bars and Mountain Dew, warning the Obama administration he’ll move to ban food stamp recipients in his state from buying such sugary sweets with taxpayer money – or halt the program entirely.

The warning comes after the Obama administration shot down his request for a waiver to institute the ban on candy and sugary drinks.

The firebrand Republican wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack objecting vociferously to the agency’s decision. In the June 17 letter, LePage called the ban “a commonsense proposition.”

Citing Maine’s rising obesity and diabetes rates, LePage said he will look “to implement reform unilaterally or cease Maine’s administration of the food stamp program altogether.”

“It’s time for the federal government to wake up and smell the energy drinks,” wrote LePage, who went on to accuse the Obama administration of a double standard in the way it polices school cafeterias, but not how taxpayer money is used on the food stamp program.

“The Obama administration goes to great lengths to police the menus of K-12 cafeterias but looks the other way as billions of taxpayer dollars finance a steady diet of Mars bars and Mountain Dew,” LePage said. “I can think of only one reason why the federal government would refuse to eliminate junk food from the EBT menu: special interests.”

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FL Terrorist Bought Nearly $9,000 Worth Of Jewelry Days Before Attack

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The Orlando nightclub terrorist Omar Mateen reportedly brought nearly $9,000 worth of expensive jewelry less than a week before committing the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

According to ABC News, Mateen made the purchase at a Kay Jewelers on June 6 in Jenson Beach. The store is located near the Lotus Gun Shop where Mateen was turned away after seeking to buy bulk ammunition and heavy-duty body armor.

Signet, which owns the jewelry store, didn’t confirm Mateen’s purchase but did say they were “working closely” with authorities in their investigation into the shooter.

Employees at the gun shop declined to sell Mateen anything after seeing him engage in suspicious behavior, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Robbie Abell, the Lotus Gun Shop’s co-owner, told The Journal that Mateen spoke on the phone in a Middle Eastern-sounding language and was repeatedly texting on his phone.

“[He] just seemed very odd,” Abell said. “The questions he was asking were not the normal questions a normal person would be asking.”

“If something is suspicious, it’s our discretion,” Abell said. “We are the gatekeeper.”

Federal investigators say that in the week before he murdered dozens people and wounded more than 50 others at the Pulse nighclub in Orlando, Mateen visited another gun shop, where he purchased a pistol and a .223 SIG Sauer semiautomatic rifle.

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