Tag Archives: After

'Forever haunted' Parkland mourns a year after shooting

'Forever haunted' Parkland mourns a year after shootingSchool buses brought only a handful of students to a shortened class day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a former student with an assault gun killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018. Leaders of March for Our Lives, a national student movement formed in the aftermath of the Parkland tragedy to fight gun violence, were not in the spotlight, having noted they would “go dark” or cease most communications during the anniversary. “Every day it feels like the shooting is happening again, or happened yesterday, or will happen tomorrow,” said Gonzalez, who rose to prominence by urging her fellow students to “call B.S.” on supporters of the gun lobby.



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Denver teachers back at work after winning deal with raises

Denver teachers back at work after winning deal with raisesDENVER (AP) — Denver teachers ended a three-day walkout and returned to their classrooms Thursday, greeted by hugs and high-fives, after their union reached a tentative deal raising their pay, the latest win in a national movement by educators to raise their wages and advocate for changes in schools.



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Amazon cancels plans to build second headquarters in New York after local protests

Amazon cancels plans to build second headquarters in New York after local protestsAmazon has announced it has cancelled plans to build its second headquarter campus in New York City following protests. “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Amazon spokesperson Jodi Seth said in a statement on Thursday. Incentivised by a $ 3bn subsidy deal with New York City, Amazon had originally planned to build a massive complex in Long Island City, Queens.



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Ocasio-Cortez takes a victory lap after Amazon scraps plans to build in New York

Ocasio-Cortez takes a victory lap after Amazon scraps plans to build in New YorkThe Democratic phenom scores a victory over the "richest man in the world."



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Texas Mom Arrested After Kids Found Locked in Dog Cage and Covered in Feces

Texas Mom Arrested After Kids Found Locked in Dog Cage and Covered in FecesThe two eldest children were found in a 3 by 3 foot dog cage and the two other children were discovered nearby, covered in urine and feces.



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Pompeo meets EU's top diplomat after Pence's Iran accusations

Pompeo meets EU's top diplomat after Pence's Iran accusationsPompeo’s meeting with Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, was scheduled before Pence’s rebuke of European powers, during a Middle East peace conference in Warsaw on Thursday. Mogherini, who helped seal the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, greeted Pompeo at EU headquarters in Brussels. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Pence’s speech was not raised during the hour-long meeting, which he said was friendly and constructive.



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Parkland shooting: How the NRA is more vulnerable than ever after a year of protests and a wave election

Parkland shooting: How the NRA is more vulnerable than ever after a year of protests and a wave electionOne year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.



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Wreck of long-lost WWII aircraft carrier USS Hornet found after 76 years, nearly 17,500 feet under water

Wreck of long-lost WWII aircraft carrier USS Hornet found after 76 years, nearly 17,500 feet under waterFor 76 years, she lay on the ocean floor, a quiet tomb for 140 sailors who died the day she sank. Now, for the first time since then, humans have laid eyes on the Hornet.



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Former US intelligence officer charged with spying for Iran after defection

Former US intelligence officer charged with spying for Iran after defectionA former US Air Force intelligence officer has been charged with helping Iran target ex-colleagues with cyberattacks after defecting to the country in what was dubbed a “betrayal” of America.  Monica Witt, 39, was accused of switching sides after more than a decade of US military service and identifying American intelligence officers and their personal Facebook accounts for the Iranian regime.  Messages quoted in an indictment unsealed yesterday showed Witt saying that she wanted to “put the training I received to good use instead of evil” around the time of her defection.  Four Iranians said to have been involved in the cyber-attacks were also charged along with two Iran-based businesses, New Horizon Organization and Net Peygard Samavat Company.  The five individuals charged are all at large, meaning the chances of a successful prosecution remain unclear. The investigation to uncover the alleged crimes was being run for years.  John Demers, the US assistant attorney general, said: “This case underscores the dangers to our intelligence professionals and the lengths our adversaries will go to identify them, expose them, target them, and, in a few rare cases, ultimately turn them against the nation they swore to protect." Image released on February 13, 2019 showing the missing person page of the FBI website for Monica Witt Credit: HO/AFP/Getty Images Witt, a US citizen, worked for the US Air Force as an intelligence specialist and special agent between 1997 and 2008. She worked with the Defence Department as a contractor until 2010.  During her service she was given access to secret and top secret information relating to counterintelligence, including material that contained the true names of secret agents and sources.  Early in her career she was taught the Farsi language and was deployed in a number of overseas locations, carrying out missions to counter America’s enemies.  Witt repeatedly promised to act in America’s interests and not share classified information she accessed, according to US prosecutors – pledges which she is accused of flagrantly breaking.  The first signs of Witt’s alleged defection came when she attended the Iranian New Horizon Organization’s “Hollywoodism” conference in February 2012.  The gathering was sponsored by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of Iran’s armed forces which was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration for its “malign” activities.  The conference was partly aimed at “condemning American moral standards and promoting anti-US propaganda”, US prosecutors said. By August 2013, just 18 months later, Witt had fled to Iran.  Messages between Witt and an unnamed Iranian-American who helped arrange the trip which were published in the indictment give an insight into her thinking before the defection. “Should i thank the sec of defense . . u were well trained,” the unnamed individual allegedly wrote to Witt in one message before her trip, appearing to reference the US defence secretary, her old boss.  Witt responded: “LOL thank the sec of defense? For me? Well, I loved the work, and I am endeavoring to put the training I received to good use instead of evil.” She added a smiling emoji and the words: “Thanks for giving me the opportunity.” In another message Witt wrote “If all else fails, I just may go public with a program and do like Snowden :) ”. The apparent reference is Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who leaked classified material in 2013 and then fled to Russia.  Once Witt was in Iran she was given housing and computer equipment by Iranian government officials, according to US prosecutors.  She is then accused of disclosing classified information about secret US projects and combing Facebook under an alias to identify former colleagues, putting together “target packages” that would help the Iranians find, track and “neutralize” the threat posed.  The four Iranians charged in the indictment then began a “malicious” campaign of targeting Witt’s former colleagues, according to US prosecutors.  The allegations included using fictitious or imposter Facebook accounts to send messages with links that would compromise their computers once clicked.  The Iranian nationals charged with computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft are Mojtaba Masoumpour, Behzad Mesri, Hossein Parvar and Mohamad Paryar.  Terry Phillips, a US special agent with the Air Force, said: “The alleged actions of Monica Witt in assisting a hostile nation are a betrayal of our nation’s security, our military, and the American people.   “While violations like this are extremely rare, her actions as alleged are an affront to all who have served our great nation.”  It is not known how those charged will plead if the case came to court. The five individuals charged had not commented publicly in the hours immediately after the indictment was unsealed.



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Kremlin, after summit, says no offensive planned in Syria's Idlib

Kremlin, after summit, says no offensive planned in Syria's IdlibPutin, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s closest allies, was speaking after hosting a summit in southern Russia to weigh the future of Syria with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. All three countries have forces on the ground in Syria, where they have coordinated their efforts despite sometimes differing priorities and interests. Before the summit, the Kremlin had made clear it wanted a green light for action in Idlib where it says Islamist militants have made significant inroads despite the area’s technical status as a Moscow- and Ankara-backed demilitarized zone.



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