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Tennessee church suspect may have sought Charleston revenge

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 12:41 PM
Updated: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 12:40 PM


            This undated photo provided by Metro Nashville Police Department shows Emanuel Kidega Samson. A gunman entered a church in Tennessee on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, and opened deadly fire an official said. Authorities identified the attacker as Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident. (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)
This undated photo provided by Metro Nashville Police Department shows Emanuel Kidega Samson. A gunman entered a church in Tennessee on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, and opened deadly fire an official said. Authorities identified the attacker as Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident. (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)

A note found in the car of a man charged with spraying deadly gunfire at a Tennessee church made reference to revenge for a white supremacist's massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, two years earlier, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

The note could offer a glimpse into Emanuel Kidega Samson's mindset at the time of Sunday's shooting and a possible motive for the rampage, which left a woman dead and six other people wounded. The Associated Press has not viewed the note, but it was summarized in an investigative report circulating among law enforcement. Two officials read parts of the note to the AP.

The report said that "in sum and in no way verbatim," the note referenced revenge or retaliation for Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine black worshippers at the South Carolina church in 2015 and has since been sentenced to death. It wasn't clear what precisely Samson is alleged to have written about the Roof shooting, or whether his note contained other important details that might also speak to a motivation or state of mind.

The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to publicly discuss an ongoing investigation. Metro Nashville Police declined to comment, saying it had not released the information.

Samson has been charged with murder, and the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Nashville quickly opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting. His public defender did not immediately return calls for comment. And spokespeople for the FBI, the U.S. attorney's office and District Attorney General Glenn Funk declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Police have said Samson, masked and wearing a tactical vest, fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle and then entered the rear of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ and shot six other people, walking silently down the aisles with a .40-caliber handgun. The case immediately called to mind the killings at Emanuel AME Church, in Charleston, South Carolina. But unlike that church, which is mostly black, Burnette Chapel in the Nashville neighborhood of Antioch has a diverse congregation with people of various ethnicities, a detail noted in the report. And church members told investigators that Samson had attended services a year or two ago.

All of the victims in Nashville were white, but it is not clear whether Samson specifically targeted them based on their race.

Samson, who is black, came to the United States from Sudan as a child in 1996 and is a U.S. citizen. His past was recently troubled.

Police records say he had expressed suicidal thoughts in June, struggled to hold a job and had a volatile relationship with a woman that twice involved police this year. Officers in Murfreesboro, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of the church, responded to a call from Samson's father, who had reported that his son had texted him June 27 to say: "Your phone is off, I have a gun to my head, have a nice f------ life."

Hours before the shooting, he made bizarre Facebook posts, including one that read: "Everything you've ever doubted or made to be believe as false, is real. & vice versa, B."

Metro Nashville Police say investigators recovered four guns after the shooting that were bought legally from in-state retailers: the 40-caliber handgun allegedly used in the shooting; a military-style AR-15 rifle found in a case in Samson's vehicle; and a 9 mm handgun recovered from the church. Police say a relative gave the guns to Samson for safe keeping.

Police say Samson bought a .22-caliber pistol found in his SUV.

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Husband cuts off wife’s arm with steak knife in Brooklyn, flees, police say

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:34 PM

Yong Lu, 35, is wanted in Brooklyn, New York after police said he allegedly cut off his wife's arm with a steak knife during a domestic dispute.
New York Police Department
Yong Lu, 35, is wanted in Brooklyn, New York after police said he allegedly cut off his wife's arm with a steak knife during a domestic dispute.(New York Police Department)

A man who cut off his wife’s arm with a steak knife in Brooklyn on Thursday is still at large, New York police say.

The woman’s arm was severed just above the elbow, investigators told WNYW. Police said she also lost two fingers in the attack. 

Yong Lu, 35, is wanted by New York police after he fled the scene, New York police tweeted

>> Read more trending news 

The 35-year-old victim is pregnant, WCBS reports. She is hospitalized in stable but critical condition. 

The couple has a 7-year-old son, WNYW reports.

Hospital officials said she is expected to survive. 

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2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest: Contestants, how to vote and past winners

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

The 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest is happening Saturday, June 21st at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.
Dale Godfrey
The 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest is happening Saturday, June 21st at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.(Dale Godfrey)

The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition is getting underway at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, and this year, fans around the world can vote for their favorite to win the People’s Choice Award.

>>PHOTOS: 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog contestants 

The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition takes place Saturday, June 23, after each contestant struts their stuff down the red carpet.

 

The California fair tradition dates back 30 years. Most of the World’s Ugliest Dog contestants are up for adoption and the event helps raise awareness of pet rescue and adoption.

>> Read more trending news 

Past winners have been rescued from animal shelters and puppy mills.

Last year’s winner was Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff who was being fostered by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Group.

Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff, was crowned 2017's World's Ugliest Dog.(World’s Ugliest Dog Competition)

Martha has since been adopted.

The first place winner of the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition wins $1,500 and the grand trophy. The second place winner will receive $1,000 and third place will be granted $500. 

One dog will also be awarded the Spirit Award, which highlights one special dog and owner who have overcome obstacles or provided service in the community -- such as visiting nursing homes, reading at local libraries with children or spending time with patients in hospitals.

Cast your vote for People’s Choice Award in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog competition here

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Hundreds of children reunited with parents; Trump tweets after Republicans delay immigration vote 

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:05 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

Watch – President Trump Signs Executive Order Ending Migrant Family Separations

Republican leaders have delayed a vote on a compromise immigration reform bill until next week, hoping to rally more support for the measure even as President Donald Trump casts doubt on its chances of success.

>> Read more trending news

Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 22: Experts with the United Nations’ Human Rights Office said Friday that the executive order signed this week by Trump is inadequate to address the separation of migrant children and parents at the border.

Officials with the U.N. called for the U.S. “to release these children from immigration detention and to reunite them with their families based on the best interests of the child and the rights of the child to liberty and family unity.”

The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of entering the country illegally. The enforcement plan led authorities to separate children from adults who were detained as part of immigration proceedings.

The executive order signed Wednesday by the president ended his administration’s family separation policy, but U.N. officials noted that no mention was made of the fate of children already separated from their parents as a result of the enforcement push.

Authorities have said efforts are being made to reunite parents and children, although details about those efforts were not immediately available.

Update 10:00 a.m. EDT June 22: President Donald Trump on Friday morning accused the Democrats of telling “phony stories of sadness and grief” and wielding the immigration issue for political gain in a series of tweets calling for immigration reform.

>> What does the new executive order on immigration do; can migrants be held indefinitely?

“We must maintain a Strong Southern Border,” Trump wrote.

Earlier Friday he said America “has pathetically weak and ineffective Immigration Laws” and accused the Democrats once more of obstructing efforts to address immigration.

The House is set to vote next week on a Republican immigration reform bill after a more conservative measure failed Thursday. It was unclear whether the bill would be successful.

Update 7:34 a.m. EDT June 22: A senior Trump administration official told the Associated Press that approximately 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from families at the border have been reunited since May. But the official did not specify if the children remained detained with their families or if they have been released, the AP reported

The official, who spoke with AP on the condition of anonymity, said that many parents and children were reunited after a few days. But some parents have told reporters that they don’t know where their children are and can’t get answers from officials. Some say mothers were deported without their children, the AP reported.

After Republicans delayed the vote on immigration reform plans, President Donald Trump posted on Twitter Friday morning, telling lawmakers to wait until November to take on the bill, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported

Trump also called Democrats obstructionists who won’t give the bill the 10 votes needed to pass.

>>From Jamie Dupree: Trump: GOP should give up on immigration until after 2018 elections

Update 9:30 p.m. EDT June 21: Despite President Donald Trump’s executive order on Wednesday rescinding his own policy of separating migrant children from their families during illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, multiple states are suing the Trump administration over the policy, according to The Hill.

The states involved in the lawsuit contend the executive order does not solve the problems created by the separation of  families, The Hill reported.

 

Democratic attorneys general from Washington state, Maryland and Massachusetts, among others, contend the administration “violated the due process rights of parents and children who were separated.” The lawsuit was expected to be filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington state.

Some 2,300 children have been separated from their families during the past six weeks the administration has been enforcing its “zero tolerance” policy.

Update 7:30 p.m. EDT June 21: President Donald Trump is criticizing Democrats for their opposition to the hard-line Goodlatte immigration bill, which was defeated in the U.S. House Thursday.

Tweeting that “they won’t vote for anything,” the president complained that Democrats are blocking reform.

“You cannot pass legislation on immigration whether it be for safety and security or any other reason including “heart,” without getting Dem votes. Problem is, they don’t care about security and R’s do,” Trump tweeted Thursday night.

 

Update 7:00 p.m. EDT June 21:  House Republicans are delaying a vote on a so-called compromise immigration measure until next week, according to The Associated Press.

A vote on the legislation was first rescheduled from Thursday until Friday after another, more severe immigration measure was defeated.

Republican leaders reportedly hope they can get more support for the compromise measure by delaying the vote.

 

Update 5:00 p.m. EDT June 21: The more conservative of two immigration bills in the U.S. House of Representatives went down in defeat Thursday as 41 Republicans joined the Democrats in a 231-193 vote against the measure, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree

The hard-line measure called for extreme limits on legal immigration and only temporary protections for “Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children by their parents.

 

The second bill is seen as more of a compromise measure, but it’s unclear if Republican leadership can manage to get the votes needed to pass it on Friday, and even if they do, it faces an even bigger hurdle in the Senate, where Republicans don’t have the votes to pass an immigration bill on their own. They’ll need Democrats’ support to get it done.

The Washington Post is reporting an important House moderate in the immigration debate, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) has said he won’t support the compromise measure.

Hurd has said he opposes the measure because it includes funding for a border wall, a campaign promise Trump made to supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign.

He called the proposed wall “an expensive and ineffective 4th century border security tool that takes private property away from hundreds of Texans,” according to the Post.

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT June 21:  The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to change the rules around the detention of child migrants one day after the president ended his administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the border, The Associated Press reported.

Officials aim to change rules governed by the Flores settlement, which requires the government to release children from custody after 20 days to their parents, adult relatives or other caretakers, in order of preference.

>> Time cover: Photo of little girl crying at border, Trump illustrates immigration debate

The move is aimed at stopping the separation of children from their families amid a new policy where anyone caught crossing the border is charged criminally.

Update 2:25 p.m. EDT June 21: The House of Representatives on Thursday rejected one of two proposed GOP immigration reform bills, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.

 

Meanwhile, aides said the House will wait until Friday to vote on a second immigration bill, The Associated Press reported.

 

Update 1:18 p.m. EDT June 21: Trump discussed the need for immigration reform during a cabinet meeting Thursday, citing national security concerns.

 

Update 12:20 p.m. EDT June 21: First lady Melania Trump is making an unannounced visit to the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday.

 

Melania Trump was in Texas on Thursday morning and planned to tour two facilities holding child immigrants, CNN reported.

She previously spoke out against the policy of separating migrant children and parents at the border.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," said her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, according to CNN. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

The Trump administration policy was ended Wednesday by an executive order from the president.

>> Photos: Melania Trump visits facilities for migrant children in Texas

Update 12:10 p.m. EDT June 21: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called a pair of proposed Republican immigration reform bills a “compromise with the devil.”

She said that the bills make Republicans complicit in Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The policy, which directs prosecutors to pursue cases against any person suspected of coming to the country illegally, resulted in the separation of hundreds of children from their parents at the border.

 

Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 21: House Speaker Paul Ryan said officials are working on reuniting families that have been separated in recent weeks at the border.

“I believe (the Department of Homeland Security) is working on that,” Ryan said Thursday at a news briefing. “We obviously want to have families reunited.”

>> Airlines taking stand in immigration crisis, refusing to fly separated migrant children

He said DHS officials are working with the Department of Health and Human Services to bring the families back together.

“What we’re trying to do is put the families at the head of the queue so they can be adjudicated faster,” he said.

 

The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents were separated from their children as they faced prosecution. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

>> First lady Melania Trump makes unannounced visit to child migrant detention center

Trump ended the policy Wednesday with an executive order days after he first started calling on Congress to stop the separations through legislation.

The House is set to vote Thursday on a pair of Republican immigration reform bills, although neither appeared likely to succeed.

 

Original report: “The Border has been a big mess and problem for many years,” Trump wrote. “At some point (Senate Minority Leader Chuck) Schumer and (House Minority Leader Nancy) Pelosi, who are weak on Crime and Border security, will be forced to do a real deal, so easy, that solves this long time problem.”

   

The president’s tweet comes one day after he ended his administration’s much-derided policy of separating migrant children from parents at the border and as the House readies to debate and vote on a pair of Republican immigration reform bills.

>> Trump signs executive order ending migrant family separations

It was not immediately clear whether the bills would be successful. House Republican leaders were still trying Thursday morning to build support for one negotiated among conservative and moderate factions of the GOP, although the measure is unlikely to pick up much, if any, Democratic support.

 >> From Jamie Dupree: House to vote on two GOP immigration bills – both may fail

Ahead of the planned vote, the president accused Democrats of “only looking to Obstruct” the immigration bills in order to gain political clout ahead of the mid-term elections.

“What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms),” Trump wrote Thursday morning in a tweet. “Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!”

 

>> Trump ends migrant family separations: Read the executive order

Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to end his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from parents suspected of coming to the country illegally at the border. The controversial policy was a result of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement push announced in April.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Toys R Us announces day stores will close for good

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 8:36 AM

Toys R Us To Close All U.S. Stores

Toys R Us will be no more after next week.

The toy retailer, which started liquidating in March, has said that all Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations will close on or before next Friday, June 29 via posts on the company’s social media pages.

 

The locations that are still open are currently offering what’s left for up to 70 percent off. Many stores are also selling the fixtures, NJ.com reported.

>> Read more trending news 

 

There had been hope that some of the 735 stores in the U.S. could remain open after Isaac Larian, MGA Entertainment CEO and the creator of Bratz dolls, offered $675 million to buy some of the U.S. locations, in addition to $215 million for some Canadian stores, but Toys R Us said no, claiming the offer “was well below the liquidation value of the assets he was seeking,” NJ.com reported.

It’s not just North American shoppers who are losing the toy store. It was announced this week that the Toys R Us Australian locations will close. There were 44 stores that some had hoped were going to survive, but now are expected to close over the next few weeks, ABC in Australia reported.

People walk by a Toys R Us store in Brooklyn on June 8, 2018 in New York City. All 735 Toys R Us stores in America are set to close by the end of June leaving 33,000 workers without a job or severance pay. Many of the employees losing their jobs have worked for the company for decades. Toys R Us has been owned by the private-equity giant Bain Capital. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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