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Florida school shooting timeline: Seven minutes, three floors and 17 dead

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 11:32 AM

Victims of the Florida High School Mass Shooting

Nikolas Cruz, the gunman charged with killing 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school Wednesday afternoon, has reportedly confessed to the shooting and, his attorney says, is now on suicide watch.

Cruz, according to a timeline put together by police, set off alarms as he entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, the school he had been expelled from, hoping to get more people into the hallways and into his line of fire.

After firing into classrooms and at students in the hallways, Cruz dropped the weapon he had with him, an AR-15 weapon purchased legally one year ago, and blended in with the crowd of students fleeing the building.

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From the school, he headed to a Subway and bought himself a soft drink, went to a McDonald's to sit for a few minutes, left the restaurant and was arrested a short time later without incident.

On Thursday, he was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Here, from information from the Broward County’s Sheriff’s Office, is a timeline of the events that happened that day.

Feb. 14, 2018 (all times are local Florida time)
  • 2:06 p.m.: An Uber driver picks up Cruz, who asks to be driven to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
  • 2:19 p.m.: It takes 13 minutes to get to the front of the school where the Uber driver drops Cruz off. He has with him an AR-15 inside of a soft gun case and a backpack filled with ammunition. According to a police report, a school employee recognizes Cruz and radios to a colleague that Cruz is headed toward the school’s Building 12.
  • 2:21:18 p.m.: Cruz enters the east stairwell of Building 12 with a rifle inside of the case. Police said the 19-year-old also had smoke grenades and a gas mask.
  • 2:21:30 p.m.: Twelve seconds later, Cruz has taken the rifle from the bag and readied it to fire. At some point, he pulls the fire alarm. Students would later say they were confused by the sound of a fire alarm because they had had a fire drill earlier that morning.
  • 2:21:33 p.m.: As students began to leave the building after the fire alarm, Cruz begins shooting into rooms 1215, 1216 and 1214. Students and teachers, hearing the gunshots, head back into the classrooms. Cruz goes back to rooms 1216 and 1215 fires into them again, then walks to 1213 and fires again. Cruz then takes the west stairwell to the second floor and shoots a person in room 1234.
  • 2:24:39 p.m.: Three minutes after the first shots are fired, Cruz heads up the east stairwell to the third floor of Building 12. According to some reports, he tries to bust out a window on the third floor to shoot at students as they flee the building. The windows in that part of the facility are shatterproof, and Cruz is unable to fire down from the third floor.
  • 2:27:37 p.m.: Three minutes after he gets to the third floor, he goes back into the stairwell, drops the rifle and his backpack and runs down the stairs.
  • 2:28:35 p.m.: Among the fleeing students and staff, he leaves Building 12 and runs west toward the school’s tennis courts, then turns and heads south.
  • 2:29:51 p.m.: A little more than a minute later, Cruz crosses a field and runs west, meeting up with others running from the school.
  • 2:50 p.m.: Some 30 minutes later, he arrives at Walmart. He goes to the Subway located inside the Walmart and buys a soft drink. He then leaves on foot.
  • 3:01 p.m.: Cruz goes to a McDonald’s and sits in the restaurant for a few minutes. He leaves the restaurant on foot.
  • 3:41 p.m.: Forty minutes later, an officer from the Coconut Creek Police Department spots Cruz on Wyndham Lakes Drive in Coral Springs. The Broward Sheriff’s Department responds to the call that the young man who is now a suspect in the shootings has been spotted. He is positively identified by officers and taken into custody without incident.

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Why leaving a water bottle in your car could be dangerous

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 11:09 PM

You might not want to leave water bottles in your car, according to officials at the Midwest Fire Department in Oklahoma.
Art-Of-Photo/Getty Images/iStockphoto
You might not want to leave water bottles in your car, according to officials at the Midwest Fire Department in Oklahoma.(Art-Of-Photo/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

On scorching summer days, taking a nice cold bottle of water for your drive seems like a natural fit.

But it could lead to startling consequences, firefighters say.

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One Oklahoma fire department and a power company in Idaho recently demonstrated how a partly filled water bottle could magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire.

David Richardson, of the Midwest Fire Department in Oklahoma, told KFOR the sunlight “uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam, and sure enough, it can actually cause a fire.”

“The sunlight will come through (the bottle) when it’s filled with liquid and act as a magnifying glass as you would with regular optics,” said Richardson.

A test at the fire department, outside a car, showed sunlight going through a water bottle raised the temperature of a piece of paper to 250 degrees, KFOR reported.

Representatives from Idaho Power also showed the same potential problem in a Facebook post in July, with a video showing direct sunlight going through a water bottle leaving smoke and burn marks in car seats before the bottle was removed.

While the risk of fire is relatively small, officials recommend keeping water bottles out of unattended vehicles, KFOR reported.

Read more at KFOR.

 

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The difference between meteorological and astronomical seasons

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 9:36 PM

File photo
Carsten Koall/Getty Images
File photo(Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

June 1 marked the official start to the summer season based on the meteorological calendar.

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Typically, many think of the first day of summer arriving in late June, usually on or around June 21, but there are major differences when comparing the meteorological and astronomical seasons.

Dating back to the early-to-mid 20th century, meteorologists have set official seasons based on the same date each year. Summer starts June 1, lasting until Aug. 31. Fall runs from Sept. 1 until Nov. 30, followed by winter from Dec.1 through Feb. 28, and finally spring season from March 1 to May 31.

Meteorologists believe that keeping the exact three-month pattern can reflect accurate climatological statistics when comparing year-to-year.

Meanwhile, astronomical seasons are based on the position of the Earth in relation to the sun.

This year, astronomical summer starts June 21, the date of the summer solstice. This date typically varies between June 21 or 22, depending on the solstice.

Astronomical winter also varies between Dec. 21 or 22, the date of the solstice. Spring and fall both depend on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.

Since it takes 354.24 days for the earth to travel around the sun, an extra day is needed every four years, known as Leap Year. This can cause the dates of solstices and equinoxes to vary.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

That, combined with the fact that the elliptical path of the Earth around the sun can cause the length of the path and seasons to be inconsistent, makes keeping climatological statistics confusing year-to-year.

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After Trump visit, Republicans try to rally behind immigration bill

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 11:07 PM

President Donald Trump tried on Tuesday evening to push Republicans in the House to pass an immigration reform bill later this week, basically telling GOP lawmakers he would support whatever they could pass, as Republicans struggled to find the votes to do that, and pressed the White House to back off a new policy that separates some illegal immigrant kids from their parents after being picked up at the border.

“The system’s been broken for many years,” the President told reporters at the Capitol before the unusual Tuesday evening gathering.

“The immigration system, it’s been a really bad, bad. system, probably the worst anywhere in the world. And we’re gonna try and see if we can fix it.”

Earlier in the day, the President had told a gathering of business leaders that he would not back off his calls for major changes in U.S. immigration laws.

“When people come up, they have to know they’re never going to get in, or else it’s never going to stop,” Mr. Trump said of the flow of illegal immigration across the southern border with Mexico.

But complicating matters for the President was the recent move to force the separation of children and parents, if the parents were being charged for illegally entering the United States, as that continued to draw stern opposition from GOP lawmakers of all stripes.

“All of us are horrified at the images that we are seeing,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“We ought to stop separating families,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS). “The Administration disagrees,” as GOP lawmakers said the conflict wasn’t really discussed during the Tuesday night meeting with Mr. Trump.

“We can have strong border security without separating families,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).

13 GOP Senators signed a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking the Trump Administration to “halt current policies leading to the forced separation of minor children from their parents,” but that missive fell on deaf ears at the White House, as GOP lawmakers scrambled for kind of legislative answer.

House GOP leaders on Tuesday night posted two different immigration bills for possible House votes – one was a more conservative plan backed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), which was unlikely to get close to a majority; a second was a more moderate bill that lacked the support of conservatives.

It left many unsure what would happen if votes occurred this week on the House floor.

“I’m still working through whether I can vote for the compromise bill,” said Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), as more conservative lawmakers withheld their support from the only all-GOP plan that has a chance for approval.

Meanwhile, even as Mr. Trump tried to push Republicans to stick together on immigration, he managed to cause some internal GOP pain, as lawmakers said the President – during the closed door meeting with House lawmakers – took a verbal shot at Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who lost his primary a week ago to a candidate backed by the President.

“Is Mark Sanford here? I just want to congratulate him on running a great race,” the President reportedly said, drawing quiet groans and hisses from some GOP members.

One Republican, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) said later on Twitter, that the jab was uncalled for.

“This was a classless cheap shot,” Amash wrote.

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The 14 most dangerous sunscreens for kids, according to experts

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 9:33 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 9:33 PM

The 14 Most Dangerous Sunscreens For Kids, According To Experts

Whether you and the kids are on the beach, in the backyard or just strolling around under the scorching sun, not using sunscreen under those harmful rays could increase risk of sunburn, potentially doubling your little one’s risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

But according to new study, nearly three quarters of products on the market don’t even work.

For their 12th annual sunscreen guide, researchers at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group evaluated the UV-ray protections, toxic ingredients and other health hazards in approximately 900 sunscreens, 500 SPF-labeled moisturizers and more than 100 lip products.

In 2017, the group found 73 percent of the 880 tested sunscreens either contained “worrisome” ingredients or didn’t work as well as advertised.

Of the products examined that were marketed toward children (using terms like “baby,” “kids,” “pediatric,” etc.), 46 items scored between 7 and 10, with 10 being the worst score on the 1-10 scale.

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The products on the list had multiple strikes against them, EWG researchers said. Many contained toxic ingredients oxybenzone (a hormone disruptor) and retinyl palmitate (a form of Vitamin D with the potential to increase skin cancer risk).

Several also had SPFs above 50 — high SPFs contain more sun-filtering chemicals than others and can lead to other types of sun damage. 

Five aerosol sprays on the list, which scientists have long argued negatively impact sensitive lungs and don’t offer coated protection, also earned a strike against them.

Here are the 14 worst sunscreens marketed for children, according to EWG:

  1. Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100 (10)
  2. Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100 (10)
  3. Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70 (7)
  4. Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray Kids, SPF 70 (7)
  5. Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Kids, SPF 70 (7)
  6. Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Water Babies, SPF 70+ (7)
  7. Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Kids, SPF 55 (7)
  8. Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Water Babies, SPF 55 (7)
  9. Coppertone Sunscreen Water Babies Foaming Lotion, SPF 70 (7)
  10. CVS Health Children’s Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55 (7)
  11. Equate Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70 (7)
  12. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 60+ (10)
  13. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+ (7)
  14. Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Sticks, SPF 55 (7)

More about each product listed and its calculated score at EWG.org.

(File photo)
To read more about EWG.org and its platform to battle chemicals in everyday products, the food you consume and the water you drink, click here.

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