Charlottesville Wounds Still Fresh, Boston Girds for Dueling Protests – New York Times

BOSTON — Thousands of people gathered at Boston Common on Saturday as this city braced for demonstrations that, one week after fatal violence erupted in Virginia, could draw free speech advocates, white nationalists and counterprotesters.

A few thousand people — most of whom appeared prepared to demonstrate against Nazism and white supremacy — had descended on the well-guarded Common by midmorning, and tensions increased as noontime neared. Pockets of protesters held forth as large masses of counterdemonstrators shouted them down.

“Shame! Shame! Shame!” some in the crowd shouted as Massachusetts state troopers, clad in bright yellow vests, used their bikes to hold back the crowd. “No Nazis! No K.K.K.! No fascist U.S.A.!”

The dueling demonstrations in Boston, along with rallies expected over the weekend in a handful of other cities, come at an extraordinarily tense moment, a week after violence broke out in Charlottesville, Va., and as a national debate unfolds over questions of race, violence and the fate of Confederate symbols.

Here, in a city accustomed to frequent demonstrations on Boston Common, the nation’s oldest public park, no one seemed certain what to expect on Saturday. City officials said they would enforce a policy of zero tolerance for violence, and police officers ringed the area on Saturday.

“If anything gets out of hand,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said on Friday, “we will shut it down.”

Other protests were expected around the country this weekend on the heels of the deadly rally in Charlottesville, where white supremacists led a protest that deteriorated into one of the bloodiest confrontations to date over the removal of a Confederate monument. A woman, Heather D. Heyer, was killed when a car was driven into a crowd of counterprotesters.

In Hot Springs, Ark., demonstrators on Saturday were expected to rally in support of preserving monuments to Confederate history. In Dallas, demonstrators said they would meet on Saturday night to protest white supremacy, and other demonstrations in opposition to white supremacy were announced for cities such as Chicago and Houston.

On Friday evening, several hundred people gathered in downtown Portland, Ore., for an “Eclipse Hate” rally. Later, others joined in, and more than 1,000 protesters marched on downtown streets, chanting: “No K.K.K. N fascist U.S.A. No Trump.”

The march was loud but relatively peaceful. Protesters swarmed two of the city’s bridges, halting traffic in both directions. At one point, they chanted: ”Whose bridge? Our bridge.” Then protesters returned quietly to where the rally had started.

The Dallas event on Saturday comes with added emotion and strain. Thirteen months ago, a gunman fired on officers in downtown Dallas at a demonstration against police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed in the deadliest attack on law enforcement in America since Sept. 11, 2001. The ambush began blocks from City Hall Plaza, the site of the rally on Saturday.

Dallas officials said they planned to form a barricade around the demonstration site using buses and heavy equipment in an attempt to “lock down” the area and prevent any cars from getting too close to the crowd.

Here, a Boston Free Speech Coalition rally was to begin at noon on the Common. The demonstration was scheduled before the deadly clash in Charlottesville, and its organizers with the Boston Free Speech Coalition have denounced the violence there and said they had no connection with it. Rather, they say, they are appealing to “libertarians, conservatives, traditionalists, classical liberals, Trump supporters or anyone else who enjoys their right to free speech.”

Yet some who attended the demonstration in Charlottesville last weekend were expected to be here, though others have dropped out, citing security concerns.

Kyle Chapman, who founded a group of right-wing vigilantes called the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, was among those expected to speak here.

“It is estimated that 10,000 #AltLeft Terrorist will be protesting and potentially attacking us,” he wrote on Facebook, using his nickname, Based Stickman. “We all knew this time was coming. Honor your ancestors. Defend our Republic. This event is for the brave. Cowards stay home.”

In addition, news reports circulated Friday that some members of the Ku Klux Klan planned to attend, though they said they would remain inconspicuous.

The Boston Free Speech Coalition said it would “not be offering a platform to hatred and bigotry.” And John Medlar, a spokesman for the group, said it would not allow its platform “to be hijacked by the K.K.K.”

The Boston police, who have worked intensely over the last week to prepare, said they would be out in force with perhaps 500 officers, some of them under cover. Multiple security cameras are already in place, they said. And officers in riot gear will be nearby in case they are needed, William B. Evans, the police commissioner, said Friday.

Officials cleared the Common of vendors and their carts, and they were shutting down the Swan Boats, a major tourist attraction in the nearby Public Garden. Marchers were banned from bringing weapons, bats, sticks, flagpoles or anything that might be used as a weapon or a projectile, and backpacks will be subject to search.

The permit for the free speech rally confines the group to the Parkman Bandstand, where the police have set up metal barricades. The permit said that perhaps 100 “free speech” marchers would attend, but Facebook postings suggest that many more could show up.

Robert Trestan, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s New England office, said the Boston Free Speech Coalition appeared to be more “alt-light” than “alt-right,” but, he added, the language it used appealed to bigots and white supremacists.

“In the aftermath of Charlottesville,” he said, “they have a very large platform with a very big spotlight on their message.”

Mr. Walsh, the mayor, said the city had consulted the Southern Poverty Law Center on how to handle hate groups. He said the center warned that “interacting with them gives them a platform to spread their message of hate” and that it recommended that people “not confront” them.

“So we’re urging everyone to stay away from the Common,” Mr. Walsh said. “At the same time, we can’t look away.”

The mayor had begun the week by telling hate groups they were not welcome in Boston. By Friday, he acknowledged their right to assemble and express their views.

“The courts have made it abundantly clear they have the right to gather, no matter how repugnant their views are, but they don’t have the right to create unsafe conditions,” Mr. Walsh said. “So we’re going to respect their right of free speech, and in return they must respect our city.”

As the demonstrations neared, the area around Boston Common included fliers showing symbols of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. The leaflet, which protesters appeared to have prepared, urged people to “learn to identify these symbols and let anyone displaying them know that they are not welcome in our city!”

“Boston is an anti-fascist zone!” it added.

Part of the police strategy is to keep the free speech rally separate from those joining the counterprotest, which will consist of several groups.

An estimated 10,000 people were expected to march with groups such as Black Lives Matter and Occupy Boston under the umbrella name of “Fight Supremacy! Boston Counter-Protest & Resistance Rally.”

“Charlottesville is what forced me out here,” said Rose Fowler, a retired teacher who is black and was among the people who had gathered to march from Roxbury toward the Common, about two miles away. “Somebody killed for fighting for me. What is wrong with me if I can’t fight for myself and others?”

Monica Cannon, an organizer of the counterprotest and the founder of a local anti-violence group, said 10,000 people had indicated on Facebook that they intended to be there, but plans were being made for many more.

“When we heard that the nationalists had planned a free speech rally here, we were like, ‘No, not in our city,’ ” Ms. Cannon said.

She said she believed that anti-fascist demonstrators — a loose affiliation of radical activists known as antifa who have openly scuffled and sparred with white supremacists and right-wing extremists — would be present. But she added that she could not speak to their plans.

“They stand alone,” she said.

Still, tensions here have been rising all week. On Monday night, a teenager threw a rock at the New England Holocaust Memorial, shattering the glass; passers-by quickly tackled the youth before the police arrived.

And with the national spotlight on the debate over Confederate monuments in the South, John W. Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, said he was “haunted” by the racist legacy of his predecessor, Tom Yawkey, who resisted integrating the ball club long after every other club in Major League Baseball had hired black players. Mr. Henry said he wanted to lead an effort to rename Yawkey Way, a public street outside Fenway Park, “in light of the country’s current leadership stance with regard to intolerance.”

Duke University announced early Saturday that it had removed a recently vandalized statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from the entrance to its campus chapel in Durham, N.C.

“I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university,” Vincent E. Price, the university’s president, said in an email to students, employees and alumni.

Dr. Price said the statue would be “preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Posted in Vaporizer E-Cigarette Stocks News | Comments Off on Charlottesville Wounds Still Fresh, Boston Girds for Dueling Protests – New York Times

What Trump’s Increasing Isolation Could Mean For His Presidency – NPR

Enlarge this image

President Trump speaks on the phone Jan. 28 with Russia’s Putin, flanked by top aides, from left, Reince Priebus, Vice President Pence, Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer and Michael Flynn. Only Pence remains.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

There’s a telling photo that has gotten some attention in social media following Steve Bannon’s exit as President Trump’s chief strategist. (You can see it above.)

It shows President Trump behind the desk in the Oval Office, surrounded by his top advisers – seated are Vice President Pence and National Security Adviser Mike Flynn; standing, from left to right are Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

That was Jan. 28, eight days after Trump was inaugurated.

Today, they are all gone, except for Pence.

(NBC Nightly News modified the photo in a graphic that makes everyone disappear except Pence and the president:)

7 months into the Trump era, Steve Bannon is the latest top Trump aide to depart the White House.

— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 18, 2017

There were countless stories about the infighting between the Bannon and Priebus wings of the White House staff. The duo tried to quash the drama with a joint appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, where they looked more like the Blues Brothers than Cain and Abel.

“We share an office suite together,” Priebus said glowingly of his colleague at CPAC. “We’re basically together from 6:30 in the morning until about 11 o’clock at night.”

Bannon picked right up: “I have a little thing called The War Room. He has a fireplace with, you know, nice sofas.”

Now, neither has any place in the White House.

It’s all a reminder, as this reporter has written before, that for the many stories of palace intrigue in this White House, Trump is Trump. He makes the final call. No one is pulling his strings. And he wants everyone to know that.

In February, Bannon was on the cover of Time as “The Great Manipulator.” By April, Trump was signaling, he could be out.

“I like Steve, but you have to remember, he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said.

When a book came out about Bannon’s influence in the campaign, Trump tweeted sarcastically that he loved reading about all the “geniuses” who helped get him elected. “Problem is, most don’t exist,” he said.

I love reading about all of the “geniuses” who were so instrumental in my election success. Problem is, most don’t exist. #Fake News! MAGA

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2017

There has been a pattern — that if anyone gets too much attention for being influential, they become a target. Remember when U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was getting lots of positive attention for how she spoke out on Syria?

“Does everybody like Nikki, because if you don’t—,” Trump said. “Otherwise she can easily be replaced, right?”

And there was Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who stood awkwardly behind the president when he spoke at the Boy Scouts Jamboree last month, when Trump said: “By the way, are you going to get the votes? He better get them. He better get them. Oh, he better. Otherwise I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired.’ I’ll get somebody.”

(Nevermind that Price had relatively little influence in getting those votes.)

Two days later, the health care bill failed. Price is still on the job, but in an effort to separate himself from Congress and hold onto his base, Trump began to lash out at congressional Republicans, especially Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell.

Translation: Trump is all about Trump.

The ousters at the White House, taken together, amount to a Trump purge. It’s the president asserting himself and saying no one is above No. 1.

But will that make him even more isolated?

Republican elected officials have broken with him post-Charlottesville, from Bob Corker in Tennessee questioning his “stability” and “competence” to South Carolina’s Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, saying the president’s “moral authority is compromised.”

Imagine if in his first seven months, Barack Obama had accused Harry Reid of not living up to his promises, fired David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs from his White House, and Democratic leaders questioned his “stability,” “competence” and “moral authority.”

When a president has his back against the wall, his loyal White House team is often what he has left. In most presidents’ cases, those aides are also key campaign aides. Ousting them could have real consequences for a president’s reelection, too.

But Trump is betting that his brand is above any aides and more durable than his fellow Republicans. As Wisconsin voter Katie Matson told NPR this week, “There’s been a lot of things that he’s done and said since he’s been in office that I don’t agree and that, you know, a person thinks twice about. And then I think we have to remember he is not a politician. But we knew that going into this.”

So his supporters might be forgiving even now, but Priebus was able to supplement his campaign with staffing in key states and holding the establishment together, and Bannon had major influence with that conservative base.

Reelection is still 39 months away. Until then, aides in the White House can have significant influence in how to shape White House policy and messaging. It’s hard to see how getting rid of all of them will make things easier for Trump.

The ouster could mean less chaos in the White House, but more outside. Shortly after Bannon’s ouster, there were signs Trump could not only be fighting the mainstream media, what he sees as the “fake news,” but also the Breitbarts of the world. Bannon was in charge of the conservative outlet there before joining the Trump campaign.

After news of Bannon’s exit, Breitbart editor Joel Pollack tweeted simply, #WAR. And a headline on Breitbart’s site was: “WITH STEVE BANNON GONE, DONALD TRUMP RISKS BECOMING ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER 2.0.”

“It Begins”

— Dusty (@DustinGiebel) August 18, 2017

Hours later, another Breitbart headline read: “‘Populist Hero’ Stephen K. Bannon Returns Home to Breitbart.”

For his part, Bannon said Friday evening that he’s going to “war for Trump.”

“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,” Bannon told Bloomberg’s Joshua Green.

He painted his exit in stark terms in an interview with the conservative outlet TheWeekly Standard: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.”

However Bannon decides to fight, what’s clear is he’s not going quietly.

What’s left in the White House is Trump’s family, “globalists,” like former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn, and the generals, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, who has orchestrated much of the shakeup. The latter two are arguably part of “the swamp” his base so detests.

But that’s not to say any of them become ascendant for an extended period. Kelly has already been on the cover of Time, hailed as “Trump’s Last Best Hope.” What happens if the magazine credits him for righting the ship, or the narrative becomes that the Pentagon is dictating policy?

The narrative that really seems to irk President Trump is one of the “adults” leading him around like he’s a “child.”

A president needs a staff of professionals to help shape messaging, so he can lead on policy and running the government. But what if the president winds up not being the traditional driver of policy? What if his influence winds up being limited to Twitter? That wasn’t enough to sell health care, something Republicans had run on for years and years.

What if government runs itself? It’s possible. Republicans in Congress could go about their usual policy agenda, and Trump is reduced to a pen. (Of course, he still could assert himself on the world stage, and that’s the one with the biggest consequences.)

But does anyone really think Trump is willing to shrink away and allow that to happen?

Anything’s possible. Nothing is normal. So don’t be surprised if in another seven months, the country is looking at a completely new White House again — though Trump is running out of people who will take jobs in his administration.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Posted in Vaporizer E-Cigarette Stocks News | Comments Off on What Trump’s Increasing Isolation Could Mean For His Presidency – NPR

Questions abound as Spanish officials investigate terrorist attacks – Washington Post

By James McAuley, William Booth and Souad Mekhennet,

BARCELONA — Two days after a devastating vehicle attack on one of Europe’s most iconic tourist destinations, many questions remained as Spanish authorities continued an investigation into the cell of suspected terrorists responsible for the brutal assault that killed 14 and injured hundreds more.

Compared with other recent vehicle attacks in Europe, the two that took place Thursday in Barcelona and early Friday in the nearby seaside city of Cambrils displayed an unusual degree of sophistication and coordination. Authorities are investigating what they believe to be a terrorist cell with possible bases in different locations across the region of Catalonia.

The investigation continued throughout the night with few new discoveries. Early Saturday, Spanish police announced via Twitter that they had searched two buses in the northwestern Spanish cities of Girona and Garrigas overnight but to no avail.

Currently, authorities believe that at least eight suspects were involved in the attacks on Barcelona and, hours later, on Cambrils, about 70 miles southwest of Barcelona. While police fatally shot five suspects early Friday — and later arrested three others — at least one suspect remains at large. The fate of the driver of the van that plowed through this city’s famous La Rambla boulevard remains unknown. Despite the visibility of the attack, the driver managed to flee on foot in the aftermath.

[People from 34 countries were hurt or killed in the Spain attacks. Here are their stories.]

Late Friday, Spanish media reported that the driver could have been among those killed by police. While authorities continued to investigate that possibility, it has not been confirmed.

As details slowly began to emerge, they painted a picture of an attack that local authorities believe could have been far worse.

Police said they believed the assailants were planning to use propane and butane canisters in an explosive assault against civilians across Barcelona. On Wednesday night, however, the gas ignited prematurely in Alcanar, a small town a little more than 100 miles southwest of Barcelona that is one of the bases the suspects used. The massive explosion killed at least two people and injured 16, including police officers and firefighters investigating the site.

On Thursday afternoon, one of the suspects in the cell then headed for the crowded Las Ramblas area of Barcelona in a rented white delivery van, which he then used to mow down pedestrians strolling along the tree-lined promenade, packed with shops and cafes. Hours later, other suspected members of the cell struck Cambrils in a similar attack. One more victim was killed in Cambrils, and police killed five of the suspected attackers at the scene.

By late Friday, Spanish intelligence officials were circulating at least four names among their European counterparts, according to a Spanish intelligence official and a European intelligence official, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the situation.

The four men, all holding Moroccan citizenship, ranged in age from 17 to 24. Three were born in the North African country: Said Aallaa, 18; Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22; and Mohamed Hychami, 24. The fourth was identified in a Spanish police document as Moussa Oukabir, 17, but the European intelligence official said Spanish officials had flagged someone with the same family name but a different first name. All lived in or near the Catalan town of Ripoll, close to the French border.

At least three of the men were killed in the attack in Cambrils, the Spanish intelligence official said, without identifying which were dead.

Two Spanish security officials said police originally sought Oukabir’s older brother because his identity card was found in the truck used for the Barcelona attack. The older brother, who is in custody, denies any connection to the attack and said his brother may have stolen his identity card, the official said.

“We cannot rule out further attacks,” Maj. Josep Lluís Trapero, a Catalan police official, told reporters Friday in Barcelona.

Authorities were not aware of any previous connection to extremism among the detained men, he said.

All five men involved in the second attack in Cambrils were shot dead after plowing an Audi into people along the corniche about 1 a.m., Trapero said. He added that authorities were not aware of any previous connection to extremism among the detained men.

Early Saturday, however, police reportedly raided the home of a local imam in Ripoll whom they suspected to be among the dead in the Alcanar explosion, according to the Spanish newspaper El País.

Meanwhile, the city and the nation continued to mourn the international group of 14 victims — including at least one American — who were fatally struck in the heart of Barcelona and in Cambrils. On Saturday, Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau opened a book of condolences at city hall, where residents could pay their respects.

“We are closer than ever,” she told reporters Saturday. “I stand with all officials and citizens to condemn this terrorist attack, and we are together with all families of the victims, as well as those who remain in serious condition fighting for their lives.”

As the identities of the victims became known, the American was identified by his family as Jared Tucker, 42, of Lafayette, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area, who was on a belated European vacation with his wife to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

[American confirmed dead after Barcelona terrorist attack shatters honeymoon]

In Washington on Friday, the State Department said that Spanish authorities still have not identified all of the dead. The U.S. Consulate in Barcelona is working with them to determine whether any more Americans were killed or injured.

The bloodshed prompted France to announce that it was reinforcing its frontier with Spain, a sign of fears that further violence could spill beyond borders. Anti-immigrant Central European leaders seized on the suspects’ nationalities to call for tighter controls on migration.

In Finland, two people were killed and six others wounded in a stabbing Friday in the southwestern city of Turku, police said. On Saturday, they classified the incident as terrorism, and Finnish intelligence services joined the investigation.

The Islamic State claimed that its “soldiers” carried out the Barcelona attack, but the level of actual involvement by the terrorist group was unclear.

The nationality of the suspects was sure to raise alarm in European counterterrorism circles. Moroccan networks also were connected to major terrorist attacks in France and Belgium in recent years. Spain has a significant Moroccan population, and there has been a spike in arrivals of migrants from Morocco by sea this year.

Their background also prompted Europe’s anti-migrant politicians to condemn what they said was a connection between migration and terrorism, even though there was no evidence that the men were part of the waves of migration from Africa and the Middle East in recent years.

“It is evident to everyone that there is a correlation between illegal immigration and terrorism,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told his country’s MTI news agency. “Europe must protect itself, and the security of the people must be guaranteed.”

Less than 24 hours after the attack — and before many details were confirmed — a fierce debate erupted in Barcelona over the meaning of what had happened. Demonstrations materialized Friday evening over the place of Islam in Europe. A small group of far-right demonstrators gathered in Barcelona’s main square to protest what they called the “Islamicization of Europe.” They were met by thousands of counterprotesters who decried Islamophobia, waved rainbow flags and shouted slogans such as “Barcelona! Anti-fascist!”

In several tweets, President Trump said U.S. agencies were “on alert” and charged that court challenges and opposition from Democrats have made security “very difficult.” He gave no specifics.

“Radical Islamic Terrorism must be stopped by whatever means necessary!” Trump wrote. “The courts must give us back our protective rights. Have to be tough!”

[French mayor who witnessed carnage seek to make Europe’s streets safer]

The attacks Thursday and Friday marked the latest uses of vehicles in terrorist strikes against civilians, following attacks since the middle of 2016 in Britain, France, Germany and Sweden.

Spain’s civil protection agency said 120 people were injured in the Barcelona attack and an additional six in Cambrils. The casualties included people of at least 34 nationalities, underscoring the international draw of the cosmopolitan Las Ramblas area, which has long stood at the heart of the city. France’s Foreign Ministry said 26 of its citizens were injured, 11 of them seriously.

Residents of Barcelona said they had long feared an attack on their bustling city.

“This is a huge city, and somehow we were always expecting something like this, but of course you’re never prepared,” said Cristina Nadal, 44, an aide for the Catalan government, who came to Friday’s moment of silence.

The crowd was “exactly what we wanted to show — that although the terrorists want to beat us, we can show to the world that we can still stand strong,” she said.

Two longtime Muslim residents of Barcelona said they were furious about the violence.

“What Islam teaches us is that killing one person is like killing all of humanity,” said Nagma Jawed, 40, who moved to the city 20 years ago from her native India and runs a textile shop in the city.

“First of all, we are human beings. Our religion comes after that,” said Jawed, who was wearing a headscarf Friday as she stood in the square with her husband for the mourning ceremony.

Read more:

Was the Charlottesville car attack domestic terrorism, a hate crime or both?

In France, murder of a Jewish woman ignites debate over the word ‘terrorism’

An attack on Muslims leaving a mosque in London is exactly what ISIS wanted

Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world

Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news

Booth, Mekhennet and Raúl Gallego Abellan in Barcelona, Paul Schemm in Addis Ababa, Ethi­o­pia, and Brian Murphy in Washington contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Posted in Vaporizer E-Cigarette Stocks News | Comments Off on Questions abound as Spanish officials investigate terrorist attacks – Washington Post

1 Florida police officer killed, 3 others injured in separate shootings – CBS News

Last Updated Aug 19, 2017 7:33 AM EDT

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — One police officer was killed and three wounded in nighttime shootings in two Florida cities where the officers were responding to suspected drug activity and reports of a suicide attempt, police said Saturday.

One officer was killed and another gravely injured late Friday night in Kissimmee in central Florida just south of the theme park hub of Orlando. The other two officers were injured a couple of hours later in Jacksonville, one of them shot in both hands and the other in the stomach. Three of four suspects in the Kissimmee shooting were arrested, and the shooter in Jacksonville was shot and killed when police returned fire. 

In Kissimmee, officers Sam Howard and Matthew Baxter were checking suspects in an area of the city for drug activity when they were shot, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said at a news conference. They did not have an opportunity to return fire.

“They were surprised,” O’Dell said. When asked whether they were ambushed, he said, “It’s too early to tell, but it’s leading that way.”

Officer Howard and Officer Baxter were shot when they responded to a call. Chief O’Dell: Looks as though it may have been an ambush.

— Kissimmee Police (@kissimmeepolice) August 19, 2017

Baxter died later in a hospital and Howard was in serious condition, O’Dell said.

O’Dell said Baxter was a three-year veteran and Howard is a 10-year veteran, CBS affiliate WKMG-TV reports. Both men are husbands and fathers.

“Right now, as you can imagine, (the families) are completely heartbroken and devastated,” O’Dell said.

The officers were checking three of the suspects when a fourth opened fire. One of the original three suspects fled and was being sought, and the other three were arrested. Broadcaster WFTV showed aerial footage of police cars with lights flashing swarmed a housing complex as the search continued early Saturday morning.   

President Trump tweeted early Saturday about the shooting, posting “we are with you!”

My thoughts and prayers are with the @KissimmeePolice and their loved ones. We are with you!#LESM

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017

In the northern Florida city of Jacksonville, police responded to reports of an attempted suicide at a home where three other people were thought to be in danger, Sheriff’s Office Director Mike Bruno said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) said on Twitter that two police officers were shot in the west side of the city. The officers were responding to an attempted suicide call, JSO Director Mike Bruno told CBS affiliate WJAX-TV.

A team of officers heard gunshots inside and feared “an active shooter situation” so they approached the house, Bruno said. The suspect then came out firing a high-powered rifle. He was shot and killed, and two of the police officers were wounded in the exchange of fire. The three other people in the house were safe, Bruno said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted about both shootings, writing that he was “heartbroken to hear of the loss” of the Kissimmee officers. About Jacksonville, he wrote he was “praying” for the officers.

Just learned of two @JSOPIO in danger tonight – we stand with ALL law enforcement in Florida.

— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) August 19, 2017

Tonight we lost a brave officer – Matthew Baxter. Husband/father/hero. Praying for @kissimmeepolice

— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) August 19, 2017

UPDATE: Heartbroken to hear loss of @kissimmeepolice officer Matthew Baxter. Praying for a quick recovery for officer in critical condition.

— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) August 19, 2017

When O’Dell held his brief news conference outside the hospital where the two fallen Kissimmee officers had been taken, reports already had surfaced of two more officers shot in Jacksonville to the north. 

“It’s a tough time for law enforcement,” O’Dell said of those reports. “It’s getting tough to do the job.”

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Posted in Vaporizer E-Cigarette Stocks News | Comments Off on 1 Florida police officer killed, 3 others injured in separate shootings – CBS News

Russian Hacker Targets Australian Poker Giant – PokerTube

19 Aug


Astute gamblers usually see video poker and slot machines as money pits. They’re good on the short run, maybe, but awful on the long run. That is, unless you’re running with “Alex”, a Russian mathematician and hacker

“Alex” (if that’s his real name) figured out how to predict when a slot or video poker machine is ready to give out the most cash and turned it into a profitable -if legally gray- global startup. His operation is simple, his agents record footage of slot machines, which he uses to determine when the machine is ready to pay. He then sends the data to his agent’s phone through a custom app that lets them know when to act. 

Doing this fairly simple trick, a regular team of four could make him more than $250k a week.

“We, in fact, do not meddle with the machines,” “Alex” told Wired, “My agents are just gamers, like the rest of them. Only they are capable of making better predictions in their betting. Yes, that capability is gained through my technology, it’s true. But why should it be against the law?” 

While in most places, his agents would just get sorted out of the casino when caught, in Missouri, four of his agents were indicted with federal fraud charges. Similar consequences exist in other parts of the world.

After eight years of these headaches and legal fees, he planned to retire by reaching out to Aristocrat Leisure, a vulnerable Australian slot machine manufacturer, and offer them a deal… 

In an email to Aristocrat’s global head of regulatory and product compliance Tracy Elkerton, “Alex” offered to stop targeting their machines, and help their developers patch the design flaws.  

In return, Aristocrat would have to pay an undisclosed amount, but

Read More Here...

Posted in Casino Gambling Stocks News | Comments Off on Russian Hacker Targets Australian Poker Giant – PokerTube
« Older