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Nearly two dozen US schools on lockdown as FBI hunt for ‘armed & extremely dangerous’ teenager

More than 20 schools, including the notorious Columbine High School, have been placed on lockdown in Colorado as police investigate a “credible threat” from a “suspicious individual.” It's been almost 20 years since the shooting.
An “armed and extremely dangerous” woman, identified as Sol Pais, had been making “credible” threats and traveled to Colorado on Monday night, the FBI and local authorities have warned. Authorities requested the lockout in Jefferson County on Tuesday afternoon as they searched for the suspect, whose description was released on Twitter with a warning not to approach her.
Classes continued as normal at most of the affected schools, except for Columbine, which canceled after-school activities. No one was allowed to enter or exit the premises until the end of the school day.
According to a BOLO (Be on the Lookout) notice sent out by Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, 18-year-old Pais is “infatuated with Columbine school shooting” and was “attempting to buy firearms.” She was most recently seen in the “foothills” of Jefferson County.
Local authorities are on edge as Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the deadly Columbine massacre, in which two students gunned down 12 students and a teacher.
Nearly two dozen US schools on lockdown as FBI hunt for ‘armed & extremely dangerous’ teenager
 
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    Viral

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    The U.S. Now Ranks As A 'Problematic' Place For Journalists



    The United States has become a less safe place for journalists, and the threats they face are becoming the standard, according to a new report by an international press freedom organization.
    Reporters Sans Frontières, or Reporters Without Borders, dropped the U.S. to No. 48 out of 180 on its annual World Press Freedom Index, three notches lower than its place last year. The move downgrades the country from a "satisfactory" place to work freely to a "problematic" one for journalists.
    "Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection," the report stated.
    Ten journalists have been physically attacked this year, and 46 since 2017. In January, one reporter was punched in the face and her phone stolen, while interviewing voters in California.
    Last June, five people were killed while working at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md. The man accused of shooting them had threatened the publication for years leading up to the attack.
    The report also pointed a finger at President Trump who, it said, "exacerbates" press freedom problems with his repeated declarations that journalists are an "enemy of the American people," his accusations of "fake news," his calls to revoke broadcasting licenses and his efforts to block specific outlets from access to the White House.
    "The president's relentless attacks against the press has created an environment where verbal, physical and online threats and assault against journalists are becoming normalized," RSF Interim Executive Director Sabine Dolan tells NPR.
    She calls the situation in the United States "unprecedented" but says Trump enhanced an environment that had grown even worse under President Barack Obama.
    "Even before President Trump, the Obama administration was aggressively using the 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute more whistleblowers than any previous administration combined," she says.
    Courtney Radsch, advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists, tells NPR that RSF's findings are not surprising. Reporters in the United States have been attacked by both police and protesters while covering demonstrations, and others have been targeted at the border by authorities, she says. "The anti-press rhetoric, coming from the highest office, can kind of set this tinder on fire," says Radsch.
    Accusations of fake news have led to exponential increases in imprisoned journalists. In 2016, nine journalists were imprisoned on false news charges worldwide, according to the CPJ. That number rose to 28 in 2018, with an increasing number of authoritarian leaders relying on the term to repress journalists.
    The Americas experienced the greatest press freedom corrosion in the world, according to the index, from attacks at protests in Brazil to coordinated killings in Mexico.
    Researchers identified the most oppressive countries as North Korea and Turkmenistan, where the governments maintain a strong grip on their countries' flow of information and silence journalists who defy them through harassment, arrest, torture or killing.
    Norway ranked as the safest country for the third year in a row, followed by Finland.
    And Ethiopia offered a glimmer of hope under the new leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who released detained journalists. The country rose 40 spots in the index ranking.
    Yet only 24% of the 180 countries and territories in the assessment were classified as having a safe or satisfactory environment for the press.
    Dolan says that globally, minorities and female journalists under the age of 35 have experienced a growing number of threats and online harassment.
    People are consuming information that "already confirms their opinions and views" regardless of veracity, says Dolan. "And so it's reinforcing these antagonistic feelings that people cultivate against the media, amplifying this discourse for certain segments of the population."
    The report also stated that disinformation, spread on social media, has become a grave problem for journalists and minorities. In Myanmar, hate speech online targeted the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, setting the backdrop for a brutal crackdown and the imprisonment two Reuters journalists who were investigating Rohingya killings.
    RSF's rankings were determined by a multi-language, 87-question survey for media professionals and experts. The responses were then combined with data on abuses against journalists.
    "There is this growing trend of this climate of fear for journalists as hate against them from heads of states percolates into large segments of the population and this degenerates into violence," says Dolan.
     
    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    Legendary Member
    The U.S. Now Ranks As A 'Problematic' Place For Journalists



    The United States has become a less safe place for journalists, and the threats they face are becoming the standard, according to a new report by an international press freedom organization.
    Reporters Sans Frontières, or Reporters Without Borders, dropped the U.S. to No. 48 out of 180 on its annual World Press Freedom Index, three notches lower than its place last year. The move downgrades the country from a "satisfactory" place to work freely to a "problematic" one for journalists.
    "Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection," the report stated.
    Ten journalists have been physically attacked this year, and 46 since 2017. In January, one reporter was punched in the face and her phone stolen, while interviewing voters in California.
    Last June, five people were killed while working at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md. The man accused of shooting them had threatened the publication for years leading up to the attack.
    The report also pointed a finger at President Trump who, it said, "exacerbates" press freedom problems with his repeated declarations that journalists are an "enemy of the American people," his accusations of "fake news," his calls to revoke broadcasting licenses and his efforts to block specific outlets from access to the White House.
    "The president's relentless attacks against the press has created an environment where verbal, physical and online threats and assault against journalists are becoming normalized," RSF Interim Executive Director Sabine Dolan tells NPR.
    She calls the situation in the United States "unprecedented" but says Trump enhanced an environment that had grown even worse under President Barack Obama.
    "Even before President Trump, the Obama administration was aggressively using the 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute more whistleblowers than any previous administration combined," she says.
    Courtney Radsch, advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists, tells NPR that RSF's findings are not surprising. Reporters in the United States have been attacked by both police and protesters while covering demonstrations, and others have been targeted at the border by authorities, she says. "The anti-press rhetoric, coming from the highest office, can kind of set this tinder on fire," says Radsch.
    Accusations of fake news have led to exponential increases in imprisoned journalists. In 2016, nine journalists were imprisoned on false news charges worldwide, according to the CPJ. That number rose to 28 in 2018, with an increasing number of authoritarian leaders relying on the term to repress journalists.
    The Americas experienced the greatest press freedom corrosion in the world, according to the index, from attacks at protests in Brazil to coordinated killings in Mexico.
    Researchers identified the most oppressive countries as North Korea and Turkmenistan, where the governments maintain a strong grip on their countries' flow of information and silence journalists who defy them through harassment, arrest, torture or killing.
    Norway ranked as the safest country for the third year in a row, followed by Finland.
    And Ethiopia offered a glimmer of hope under the new leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who released detained journalists. The country rose 40 spots in the index ranking.
    Yet only 24% of the 180 countries and territories in the assessment were classified as having a safe or satisfactory environment for the press.
    Dolan says that globally, minorities and female journalists under the age of 35 have experienced a growing number of threats and online harassment.
    People are consuming information that "already confirms their opinions and views" regardless of veracity, says Dolan. "And so it's reinforcing these antagonistic feelings that people cultivate against the media, amplifying this discourse for certain segments of the population."
    The report also stated that disinformation, spread on social media, has become a grave problem for journalists and minorities. In Myanmar, hate speech online targeted the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, setting the backdrop for a brutal crackdown and the imprisonment two Reuters journalists who were investigating Rohingya killings.
    RSF's rankings were determined by a multi-language, 87-question survey for media professionals and experts. The responses were then combined with data on abuses against journalists.
    "There is this growing trend of this climate of fear for journalists as hate against them from heads of states percolates into large segments of the population and this degenerates into violence," says Dolan.
    Nonsense.
     
    Picasso

    Picasso

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Trump Takes On China and Persia at Once. What’s to Worry About?

    He’s imposed pain. Now, if he only had defined plans and goals.

    By Thomas L. Friedman

    If you’re keeping score at home on the Trump foreign policy, let me try to put it in a nutshell: The president has engaged America in a grand struggle to reshape the modern behavior of two of the world’s oldest civilizations — Persia and China — at the same time.

    Pressing both to change is not crazy. What’s crazy is the decision to undertake such a huge endeavor without tightly defined goals, without allies to achieve those goals, without a strong and coherent national security team and without a plan on how to sync up all of President Trump’s competing foreign policy objectives.

    After all, Trump is unilaterally breaking the 2015 denuclearization deal with Iran’s dictator while trying to entice North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, into a denuclearization deal that he’s supposed to trust the U.S. president will honor. Trump is sanctioning China on trade while trying to enlist its help to denuclearize North Korea. Trump is imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on America’s European allies while needing their help to confront China on trade and Iran on nukes.

    And last week Trump came within 10 minutes of bombing Iran — but wisely pulled back — in retaliation for its shooting down of a U.S. drone, at a time when we cannot stabilize Iraq, or get out of Afghanistan without leaving chaos behind, absent the cooperation of Iran.

    But we are where we are, and I will give Trump credit for one thing: He has imposed real pain on Iran — virtually choking off all of its oil production through sanctions — and on China — with $250 billion of tariffs on its exports to the U.S. and a total ban on products from its biggest telecom equipment company, Huawei. In short, Trump has created real leverage for transactional or transformational deals with both countries.

    A president who acts just a little crazy can be good at times. Who else would have squeezed Beijing and Tehran this hard and at once? But a president who acts a lot crazy — who creates pain without clear goals, who always insists on being seen to win and the other guy being seen to lose, with no compromise escape route — is not good.

    Does Trump want regime change in Iran or just a change of behavior? Does he want to shrink the trade deficit with China or just get fair access for our companies? It’s not clear to me and doesn’t seem clear to him.

    The big question is can the president be disciplined enough, patient enough and deft enough — cue the skepticism — to translate the pain he’s imposed on them into specific, tangible and lasting gains for America?

    Because China and Iran are two very different problems. China makes real stuff of value, while Iran makes real trouble of concern.

    China has its eye on dominating the two most important industries of the 21st century: artificial intelligence and electric cars. It intends to use A.I. to perfect its authoritarian control at home and electric cars and batteries to liberate itself from dependence on the “old oil” of the last century. China knows that data is the “new oil,” so the country whose government and companies can capture the most data, analyze it and optimize it will be the superpower of this century.

    Iran, by contrast, is led by a narrow-minded, aging cleric who’s been focused on acquiring the most important technology of the 20th century, nuclear weaponry, to help it dominate its region, push the U.S. out and win a struggle with the Sunni Arabs over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad from the seventh century — Shiites or Sunnis. In the process, Iran’s clerical leaders are suppressing a hugely talented and culturally rich people, blocking them from realizing their full potential.

    Iran is also relying almost entirely on selling the oil that powered the 20th century — crude oil. Good luck with that. America is now the world’s largest oil producer — not Saudi Arabia, Russia or Iran. If Iran sinks oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, it will create gasoline lines in China, not America.

    For all of these reasons, we can settle for a transactional deal with Iran, but we need a transformational deal with China.

    If Trump is smart, he’ll quickly use his leverage to strike a limited deal with Iran. With our reduced exposure to the Middle East today, we have no interest in getting embroiled in a war with Tehran, let alone engineering its “obliteration,” as Trump threatened if Iran hits U.S. forces in the region.

    Trump should invite Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — our partners in the 2015 Obama-Iran nuclear deal that Trump tore up — to join us in improving that deal with a simple offer: The U.S. will lift oil sanctions if Tehran agrees to extend the restrictions on its ability to make a nuclear bomb from the original 15 years to 30 years, and agrees to a ban on testing Iranian missiles that can reach beyond the Middle East.

    Keeping Iran and the Arab states away from nuclear weapons for another couple decades would be a good achievement. It could be a simple transaction — easy to verify and one that our allies could sign on to, as well as China and Russia. Iran, given the economic pain it is under, would have a very hard time saying no.

    Then we could sit back and let transformation emerge from within Iran, the only place it can emerge from, through its own people, who deserve better and eventually will get rid of this suffocating, rotten regime. Yes, it may take years, but we outsiders can’t rush Iranian history. Trying to force regime change on Iran right now could unleash disorder and refugees of massive proportions there.

    Once we have Iran’s nuclear program curtailed for 30 years, our coldblooded interest is not to get any more deeply embroiled in this region’s pathologies. Israel can take care of itself. And we can arm the Sunni Arabs to keep Iran at bay. Sure, Iran is a bad actor, but Saudi Arabia murdered, dismembered and apparently boiled in acid the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and it’s been jailing women who pushed for driving rights.

    The insight of Karim Sadjadpour, a Middle East expert at the Carnegie Endowment, should always be kept top of mind: “America has bad enemies in the Middle East. It also has bad allies.”

    China poses a much more profound challenge. Quite simply, China grew out of poverty using a strategy of hard work, delayed gratification, smart investments in infrastructure and education and big investments in research and manufacturing the innovations of others. Alongside those, China also stole others’ intellectual property, forced technology transfers from companies doing business there, imposed nonreciprocal trade arrangements, provided huge government subsidies to its exporters and ignored World Trade Organization rulings.

    If we were to allow China to use those same abusive practices it employed to dominate the manufacturing and assembly of low-margin, high-volume goods to now compete directly with us for the high-value-added, high-margin technologies of the 21st century — like 5G telecom, new materials, AI, aerospace, microchips — we’d be crazy.

    But China’s current growth model — both its strengths and abuses — is central to keeping the Communist Party in power. It’s not something Beijing will abandon easily. That is why I believe the market is underestimating how difficult it will be to strike any transformational deal that gets China to fully abandon its abuses. And a small transactional deal won’t cut it.

    And that’s why I also keep saying: This is no ordinary moment. This is the big one, folks. What’s at stake with Trump and China is what kind of global economy we’re going to have going forward. What’s at stake with Iran is what kind of global nuclear nonproliferation regime we’re going to have going forward.

    The stakes simply could not be bigger, which is why I believe 2019 will be a pivotal year — like 1945 and 1989. I just hope it ends as well.


    NYTimes
     
    epedep

    epedep

    New Member
    SHOOTINGS IN CALI, EL PASO, AND DAYTON, LEAVING 34 DEAD, INCLUDING 2 SHOOTERS AND 32 INNOCENTS
     
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