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Mon, 25 Jan 2021
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Pistol

2 dead in murder-suicide on Vegas Strip

Excalibur hotel

Excalibur hotel and casino
A man shot and fatally wounded a woman, then killed himself Friday night at the Excalibur hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip, sending frightened patrons fleeing.

Las Vegas Police Lt. Ray Steiber said the shootings happened at about 8:30 p.m. near the high-rise hotel's front entrance.

Steiber said the man shot the woman, who was a vendor at the hotel's concierge desk, and then turned the gun on himself. The man was found dead at the scene.

The woman was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Neither the gunman nor the victim was identified. However, Steiber said the woman worked as the concierge desk, where tourists can get show tickets and restaurant reservations. He said the relationship between the shooter and the victim wasn't immediately clear.

Better Earth

War criminal Hillary Clinton concussed after 'falling at home'

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton laughing about Gaddafi's lynching
Secretary of state, 65, likely to miss congressional hearings into Benghazi attack next week after fall brought on by stomach virus

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is recovering at home after suffering concussion in a fall brought on by illness, her spokesman said on Saturday.

Clinton, 65, had already been forced to cancel a planned trip to the Middle East and north Africa this week. It is thought that she will now miss congressional hearings due next Thursday into the September attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans including the ambassador, Chris Stevens.

A spokesman for Clinton, Philippe Reines, said the secretary of state came down with a stomach virus last weekend. "While suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion," he said.

"She has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors," Reines said in a statement.

Bizarro Earth

Why are mass shootings becoming more common?

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The news on Friday was horrific. A man shot and killed 27 people, including 20 children, at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Yet these sorts of headlines are also becoming gut-wrenchingly familiar. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in U.S. history, six have taken place since 2007. (The Newton school shooting will likely rank second on that list.) Mass killings appear to be on the upswing - even as other types of homicides and violent crimes are becoming less frequent.

David Brooks highlighted this discrepancy back in July. For much of the 20th century there were, on average, a handful of mass killings per decade. But that number spiked in 1980, and kept rising thereafter. In the United States, there have now been at least 62 mass shootings in the past three decades, with 24 in the last seven years alone. This has happened even as the nation's overall violent crime and homicide rates have been dropping.

So what explains the rise in mass killings?

Santa

Anti-smoking authoritarian follower changes classical Christmas poem: No smoking for Santa

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Santa Claus clenches pipe in his teeth in the 1901 McLoughlin Bros. edition of "A Visit From St. Nicholas."
''Twas the Night Before Christmas' gets a patch

Santa, dear Santa, don't say ho-ho-ho. Just say no-no-no.

To smoking, that is.

That is the plea of a Canadian entrepreneur, who has self-published an abridged version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," the poem also known as "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and "The Night Before Christmas."

First published anonymously in 1823, the poem is generally attributed to New York scholar Clement Clarke Moore (though at least one academic believes it was written by a distant relative of Moore's wife).

Generations of children have grown up reading this poem on Christmas Eve. It has inspired many of the ideas we hold about Santa, a "right jolly old elf" who drives a reindeer-powered sleigh full of toys and enters homes via chimneys to deliver those toys on Christmas Eve.

With its vivid rendering of Santa - his roselike cheeks, cherrylike nose, and a belly that shakes, when he laughs, "like a bowl full of jelly" - the poem is pure joy in verse form.

Alas, not everyone sees it that way.

Comment: Pamela McColl clearly exhibits the traits of an authoritarian follower. For information about the benefits of tobacco, please read:
Nicotine - The Zombie Antidote
Let's All Light Up!
First They Came for the Smokers... And I said Nothing Because I Was Not a Smoker
Study finds smoking wards off Parkinson's disease
Nicotine helps Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Patients
Nicotine Lessens Symptoms Of Depression In Nonsmokers
Scientists Identify Brain Regions Where Nicotine Improves Attention, Other Cognitive Skills
Can Smoking be GOOD for SOME People?


Bizarro Earth

Police kill suspects in separate shooting incidents in Alabama

3 wounded in hospital shooting; 2nd shooting east of Birmingham.

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© Joe Songer/Associated Press
St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Ala. was the location of a shooting on Saturday.
Police in Alabama killed two suspects Saturday following separate shooting incidents 120 kilometres apart that left three other people dead and several injured, including two officers.

Authorities said Jason Letts, 38, of Jemison opened fire early Saturday morning at a hospital in Birmingham, wounding a police officer and two employees before being shot and killed by another officer.

Police were sent to St. Vincent's Hospital around 4 a.m. to check on a report of an armed man inside the facility. Two officers who arrived separately converged on the suspect on the hospital's fifth floor.

A handful of cardiac patients and several staff members were on the fifth floor, hospital spokeswoman Liz Moore told reporters during a news conference. She said the hospital is secure and stable, and patient care was not interrupted.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said in a statement, "In light of the recent mass shooting in Connecticut, too many of these incidents end with unimaginable tragedy."

Pistol

Another mall shooting: More than 50 shots fired at Fashion Island mall parking lot in Orange County; suspect held

Marcos Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove is suspected of firing a handgun in the mall parking lot in Newport Beach. No one was hit.

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California, Newport Beach - A gunman at Fashion Island in Newport Beach apparently fired more than 50 rounds in a parking lot at the busy shopping mall Saturday before he was apprehended by police, authorities said.

Marcos Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove, was arrested in the parking lot near the Macy's department store shortly after allegedly firing the shots about 4:30 p.m., said Kathy Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department. Officers on bike patrol apprehended Gurrola as he was standing by a white Honda.

Police searched the mall but did not find anyone who had been injured by the shots, which were apparently fired either into the air or at the ground.

More than 50 rounds from a handgun were recovered at the scene, said Deputy Chief David McGill. A handgun was also recovered at the scene, but police did not reveal any more details about the weapon. The state's landmark assault-weapons law, which went into effect in 2000, banned the use of handgun magazines with more than 19 bullets.

Pistol

Connecticut shooting - Man in camouflage pants grabbed by police. Was suspected of being second shooter

A witness to the aftermath of the terrible school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut on December 14th described police cuffing a man in camouflage pants and a dark jacket who was walked past him, and who looked at gathered parents and told them that he wasn't responsible for the shooting. At the time the witness was interviewed by CBS News, the man he described was not far away. In fact, he was sitting in the front of a police car that was nearby.
Witness: I saw them walk a guy earlier with handcuffs...he walked by us and said he didn't do it.

Reporter: It was a grown man?

Witness: A grown man, yeah. He's sitting in the front of the police car over there now. So, I mean...

Reporter: He didn't have a gun?

Witness: No, I didn't see any gun...just had him handcuffed and he walked by us and looked into parents' eyes and said "I didn't do it".

Reporter: How was he dressed?

Witness: Camo pants with a dark jacket.

Question

Nancy Lanza not a teacher?

Sandy Hook School
There have been a lot of factual errors in the chaotic rush to get details about today's shooting in Connecticut. But one fact that seemed established across the board was that victim Nancy Lanza, the mother of alleged shooter Adam Lanza, was a teacher at the Sandy Hook Elementary School - specifically that it was her class that Adam Lanza massacred.

But this story just out in the Journal suggests that's not true.

Oddly, it's buried down at the bottom of the story, almost as an afterthought ...
A former school board official in Newtown called into question earlier reports that Nancy Lanza had been connected to Sandy Hook Elementary School, possibly as part of the teaching staff.

"No one has heard of her," said Lillian Bittman, who served on the local school board until 2011. "Teachers don't know her.
"It's mentioned so offhandedly. And this apparent fact was so widely reported that I'm still wondering if I'm misreading these two grafs. But it seems hard to read it any other way.

Horse

The Hobbit movie is no fantasy for animals

Allegations of animal cruelty on the set of The Hobbit threaten to tarnish the film's reputation. So has director Peter Jackson done enough to answer them?

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"What do you fear, lady?" Aragorn asks in JRR Tolkien's The Return of the King. Éowyn replies, "A cage. To stay behind bars ...".

The animals, more than two dozen of them, didn't even get a cage: they lost their lives during production of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in freakish and no doubt preventable ways. A rep for Jackson acknowledged the lives lost but said that some died of natural causes. The deaths are worth remembering as the film is set to premiere in the UK, just two days after International Animal Rights Day is recognised around the world.

Unlike Frodo Baggins, animals don't aspire to do "great deeds" (although if you realise that the albatross was the first living being to circumnavigate the globe and that ants built boats out of leaves to cross mighty rivers before any human, they certainly can carry them out). They ask for far less: simply to be able to live their lives, seek out small pleasures and basic pursuits and go about their business without being captured and controlled, tormented and slaughtered.

In the production of The Hobbit, goats and sheep were reportedly corralled in crowded pens, kept on land full of burrows that caused them to lose their footing and exposed to a variety of other hazards from which they could not escape. Chickens, naturally timid birds, were left at the mercy of marauding dogs and were chased down and killed.

Pistol

Rape victim Sara Reedy, accused of lying and jailed by U.S. police, wins $1.5 million payout

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Pittsburgh woman raped at gunpoint and charged with fabricating her story has won a settlement after a marathon legal battle, changing federal law along the way, reports Joanna Walters


Sara Reedy remembers clearly the start of her ordeal, and how surprisingly painful it was to have a gun jammed to her temple. Then her attacker demanded oral sex, saying he would shoot her if she refused. She was shaking, gagging.

"I had images of my family finding me dead," she told the Observer. "I closed my eyes and just tried to get it over with."

Reedy was 19 when the man entered the petrol station near Pittsburgh where she was working to pay her way through college and pulled a gun. He emptied the till of its $606.73 takings, assaulted her and fled into the night. But the detective who interviewed Reedy in hospital didn't believe her, and accused her of stealing the money herself and inventing the story as a cover-up. Although another local woman was attacked not long after in similar fashion, the police didn't join the dots.