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Second British-Australian woman jailed in Iran identified as Middle East researcher Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert

Second British-Australian woman jailed in Iran identified as Middle East researcher Dr Kylie Moore-GilbertA British-Australian woman who has been sentenced to 10 years in a notorious Iranian prison has been identified as Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Cambridge-educated academic specialising in Middle Eastern politics.  Dr Moore-Gilbert, who was working as a lecturer and researcher for Melbourne University's Asia Institute and has published work on authoritarian governance and activism in the Middle East, was jailed in October 2018. However, her detention had not been reported in case it harmed the prospects of her release.  On Saturday, the Australian government confirmed Dr Moore-Gilbert was being held in prison in Iran. A statement from the family of Dr Moore-Gilbert, who is incarcerated in Evin prison, said they were in close contact with Australian authorities on the matter.  "Our family thanks the Government and the University of Melbourne for their ongoing support at this distressing and sensitive time. "We believe that the best chance of securing Kylie's safe return is through diplomatic channels." It is not known what Dr Moore-Gilbert was charged with, but 10-year terms are routinely given in Iran for spying. She is one of two British-Australian women whose detentions in Iran have come to light in the past week. Jolie King with her partner Mark Firkin Jolie King, a travel blogger, and her Australian fiancé Mark Firkin were arrested near a military site in Jajrood near Tehran on August 9, it was revealed on Thursday. They had reportedly been using a drone to film aerial footage in the area.  They too have been sent to Evin prison, the main detention centre for Iran's political prisoners, which also houses 41-year-old Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian mother of one who is midway through a five-year sentence on spying charges. Tehran has pursued a campaign of detaining Iranian and dual nationality academics in recent years, raising fears the Islamic Republic is using them as diplomatic leverage. The Australian government has said it is lobbying Tehran to ensure all three are appropriately looked after. Iran is believed to be holding the trio captive in the hope of exchanging one of them for an Iranian imprisoned in the US on charges of evading American sanctions. Tensions between Britain and Iran escalated dramatically after it emerged the women were being held in the first recent case of Tehran arresting British citizens who do not also hold Iranian nationality.  Sources said Tehran sees the women as bargaining chips to secure the release of Negar Ghodskani, a 40-year-old Iranian woman facing jail in the US after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to export prohibited technology to Iran.  Ghodskani was arrested in Australia in 2017 at the request of US government and gave birth to a baby boy while in custody in Adelaide. She was extradited to the US and now faces five years in federal prison.   Negar Ghodskani Credit: AP While Iran has not commented publicly on any of the arrests, in April the country's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, proposed swapping Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe for Ms Ghodskani.   According to the University of Melbourne's website, Dr Moore-Gilbert "specialises in Middle Eastern politics, with a particular focus on the Arab Gulf states," and has published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings, authoritarian governance, and on the role of new media technologies in political activism. In 2018 she was awarded a grant to investigate "Iran’s relationship with Bahrain’s Shi’a after the Arab Uprisings". Dr Moore-Gilbert's LinkedIn profile shows her first degree came in Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge, where she also completed her Master of Arts. Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she has raised the cases of the three prisoners "many times" with Mr Zarif, and denied the arrests were politically motivated. "We have no reason to think that these arrests are connected to international concern over Iran's nuclear programme, United Nations sanction enforcement or maritime security concerning the safety of civilian shipping," Senator Payne said. What appears to be the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 off the coast of Tartus, Syria, Credit: Reuters News of the three prisoners has come amid a downturn in relations between Britain and Iran, sparked by issues including the Royal Marines' seizure near Gibraltar in July of an Iranian oil tanker, the Grace I. Iran responded by seizing British-flagged oil tanker the Stena Impero. While Britain released the Iranian tanker, the Stena Impero is still being held.  Australia also said in July that it would join the US and the UK in protecting shipping in the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats. Relations between Tehran and the West, especially the United States, have deteriorated significantly since the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions, prompting Iran to ramp up restricted enrichment.



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'We are heartbroken': Death toll rises to seven in Texas shooting; gunman identified

'We are heartbroken': Death toll rises to seven in Texas shooting; gunman identifiedThe death toll rose to seven after a gunman's rampage that left 22 injured following what began as a routine traffic stop in Odessa, Texas.



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Texas shooter who killed 7 in Odessa identified

Texas shooter who killed 7 in Odessa identifiedPolice refused to release the gunman's identity in the shooting in Odessa and Midland, Texas, so as not to give him additional notoriety.



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Seth Ator Identified as Odessa Gunman

Seth Ator Identified as Odessa GunmanTexas Department of Public SafetyODESSA, Texas—The gunman who killed seven people and injured roughly 20 others during a 20-mile trail of carnage across West Texas was identified by law enforcement on Sunday as 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator. Odessa Police refused to publicly identify Ator during a press conference on Sunday, stating that they were not going to give the gunman any notoriety for “what he did.” Police Chief Michael Gerke said the gunman’s name would be officially provided, just not in a public forum. The department instead chose to simply release his name and age, and confirm that he was an Odessa resident, in an update on the police department’s Facebook page later in the afternoon.Authorities were working to determine a motive for the Saturday shooting that took place in broad daylight and resulted in more than a dozen crime scenes across a stretch from Odessa to Midland. It claimed the lives of a high-school student and a U.S. Postal Service employee, among others.Odessa officials said Ator used an assault rifle-type weapon, but said how the gun was obtained is still under investigation. Police said that there is “no definite motive known,” and the FBI said that a preliminary investigation determined that the shooting is not connected to domestic or international terrorism. The FBI said during the press conference that they were executing a federal search warrant at a home linked to the gunman. Agents were later seen searching Ator’s house, located about 20 minutes west of Odessa. The home, set half a mile back from the main road, more closely resembles a shack, with what appears to be a makeshift tower placed on top. The area is surrounded by oil wells that easily outnumber the nearby trailers. Justin Hamel/For The Daily BeastAtor’s name was reported earlier in the day by several news outlets and initially confirmed to The Daily Beast by two law enforcement officials who shared the name on the condition of anonymity.Ator, who has a previous criminal record for trespassing and resisting arrest, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety records obtained by The Daily Beast, was killed in a shoot-out with police.Ator was pulled over by Odessa police shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday when he opened fire through the back window of his vehicle, before going on a shooting spree that spanned from Odessa to Midland—at one point, he hijacked a U.S. Postal Service van—and ended with him being killed during a gun battle with police in a movie theater parking lot. Odessa Victims Include Cops, a Baby, a High Schooler and a Postal CarrierHis victims ranged in age from 15 to 57 years old.This most recent shooting marks the third mass shooting in Texas in the past year, including the shooting in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22 people less than a month ago. “I have been to too many of these events,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) said at the press conference.“Words alone are inadequate. Words must be met with action,” Abbott said. “We must broaden our efforts to address (Odessa) and we must do so quickly. We need solutions that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals like the killer in Odessa while also ensuring that we safeguard rights.”Reporters pressed the governor for answers on what is being done to address the state’s repeated mass shootings, especially in light of a series of new firearm laws loosening gun restrictions in Texas that were enacted mere hours after the Odessa rampage. In response, Abbott said: “Some of these laws were enacted for the purpose of making our community safer,” making reference to a new law that will allows more school marshals to be armed.Reporters then asked Abbott if there are plans to ban assault rifles, like the one used by Ator in Odessa. In response, Abbott said it’s the “kind of thing legislators are already talking about,” and added that assault rifles weren’t used in all of the state’s mass shootings. “We’re gonna look at every issue. There's no issue that we will not look at,” he said.A reporter then pressed the governor further on the assault rifle ban, noting that law enforcement officers are better equipped to go up against someone with a handgun than an assault rifle. To which Abbott replied: “And the people we also talk to are law enforcement officers.”‘We Got One in a Ditch’: Inside the Odessa Shooting RampageMichael Daly contributed to this story.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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'We have to do something': Mayor calls for gun control after Philadelphia shooting; suspect identified

'We have to do something': Mayor calls for gun control after Philadelphia shooting; suspect identifiedA gunman is in custody after shooting six Philadelphia police officers in an hourslong standoff that ended early Thursday. Here's what we know now.



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At least 9 dead, 27 injured. Victims identified. What we know about the Dayton, Ohio shooting

At least 9 dead, 27 injured. Victims identified. What we know about the Dayton, Ohio shootingNine people were killed and at least 27 were injured when a gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio. Here's what we know.



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Ohio shooting: Police have identified 24-year-old man as suspect who killed 9 in Dayton shooting

Ohio shooting: Police have identified 24-year-old man as suspect who killed 9 in Dayton shootingA 24-year-old man has been identified as the shooter who killed nine people, including his 22-year-old sister, Megan Betts, in Dayton, Ohio.



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Patrick Crusius: El Paso shooting suspect identified as 21-year-old, reports say

Patrick Crusius: El Paso shooting suspect identified as 21-year-old, reports sayThe suspect in the El Paso shooting in which 20 people have been killed, has been named a young white man in his 20s – Patrick Crusius – and investigators are reportedly examining a racist online manifesto he is believed to have written.As the nation reeled from the latest act of mass gun violence to destroy lives and stun communities, multiple reports said police officials had said the 21-year-old, detained after the incident in which more than 20 people were shot, came from the city Texas city of Alen, 650 miles to the west of El Paso.Cell phone footage from the scene showed people running in fear from the Cielo Vista Mall, where a gunman entered a Walmart store armed with a rifle and opened fire.A spokesman for the El Paso police department later said the operation was now becoming a murder investigation after a person had been taken into custody. Sgt Robert Gomez said they did not believe any suspects were “outstanding”, but said the situation was fluid. Asked by the media about reports of a manifesto, he said he had no information. He did not name the suspect but said he was a young white man aged in his 20s. “This is unprecedented in El Paso,” said Mr Gomez said. The “manifesto” said to have been written by the suspect claimed the attack was a response to the “Hispanic invasion of Texas”. It refers to the so-called “Great Replacement”, a white supremacist conspiracy theory that claims people of European descent are being overwhelmed.“Even if other non-immigrant targets would have a greater impact, I can’t bring myself to kill my fellow Americans,” it reportedly said. “In short, America is rotting from the inside out, and peaceful means to stop this seem to be nearly impossible. The inconvenient truth is that our leaders, both Democrat AND Republican, have been failing us for decades.” It also voiced support for the suspect in the Christchurch mosque shootings, in which 51 people were killed in two consecutive attacks in March. It also said automation was people taking people’s jobs and that immigration ought to be ended.CNN said that Facebook was working with police in the aftermath of the shooting to remove a Facebook and Instagram account associated with the suspect. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families,” the company said in a statement. “Content that praises, supports or represents the shooting or anyone responsible violates our community standards and we will continue to remove as soon as we identify it.”Texas attorney general Ken Paxton said there were at least 15 fatalities and that the number could be higher. “You know that number keeps changing. I hate to pin down a certain number, but I think it was definitely a large number,” he said.Asked about the motivate and reports of a manifesto, Mr Paxton said he was not surprised if that was true. It said he was currently being questioned by officers.“That would perhaps why he did this,” he said.The manifesto said the plan to launch the attack pre-dated the election of Donald Trump.“I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric,” it said. “The media is infamous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely just confirm that.”



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El Paso shooting: 20 dead in 'evil act of violence' at Walmart as suspect identified as 21-year-old with interest in far-right

El Paso shooting: 20 dead in 'evil act of violence' at Walmart as suspect identified as 21-year-old with interest in far-rightAuthorities in Texas are quizzing a 21-year-old white man – suspected of posting a racist “manifesto” online – believed to be responsible for a gun attack on a shopping centre that killed 20 people and which police said was the “nexus of a hate crime”.Video phone footage taken inside a mall in El Paso showed people running in fear for their lives after the shooter entered a Walmart store with a semiautomatic weapon and opened fire. In addition to the 20 fatalities, at least two-dozen people were injured in the latest incident of gun violence to scar the nation.It appears the suspected shooter – named by multiple media accounts as Patrick Crusius – drove up to ten hours from Alen, a town near Dallas, to target the store in El Paso, a city on the border with Mexico that has long been a home to immigrants. An online posting apparently written several days ago, said the attack was a response to the “Hispanic invasion of Texas”.“Even if other non-immigrant targets would have a greater impact, I can’t bring myself to kill my fellow Americans,” it said. “In short, America is rotting from the inside out, and peaceful means to stop this seem to be nearly impossible. The inconvenient truth is that our leaders, both Democrat AND Republican, have been failing us for decades.” CNN said that Facebook was working with police in the aftermath of the shooting to remove a Facebook and Instagram account associated with the suspect. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families,” the company said in a statement. “Content that praises, supports or represents the shooting or anyone responsible violates our community standards and we will continue to remove as soon as we identify it.”At a press conference, Texas governor Greg Abbot who has long been a supporter of gun rights and and an opponent of effort to regulate the sale or carrying of weapons, described the incident as one of the of the “deadliest days in history of Texas”.On Twitter, he wrote: “Now in the beautiful city of El Paso. Texans grieve today for the people of this wonderful place. We ask God to bind up the wounds of all who’ve been harmed.”Meanwhile Donald Trump, who has placed anti-immigration rhetoric at the centre of his reelection campaign who was recently formally condemned by the House of Representatives for a series of racist tweets in which he told four Democratic congresswomen to “go back”, said the incident was “terrible”.“Working with state and local authorities, and law enforcement,” the president wrote. “Spoke to governor to pledge total support of federal government. God be with you all!”The document believed to have been written by the suspect claimed the president’s words had not been his inspiration. It also spoke in support of the Christchurch mosque shootings, in which 51 people were killed in two consecutive attacks in New Zealand in March.“I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric,” it said. “The media is infamous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely just confirm that.”El Paso police chief Greg Allen said authorities the manifesto from the suspect indicated “there is a potential nexus to a hate crime”. He said the suspect was taken into custody without incident, when confronted by police and was currently being questioned.Democrat congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who repents El Paso, said: “The manifesto narrative is fuelled by hate, racism, bigotry and division. El Paso is a community that has shown nothing but generosity and kindness to the least among us: those people arriving at America’s front door.”



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Recorder found in Texas plane crash; some victims identified

Recorder found in Texas plane crash; some victims identifiedFederal investigators said Monday that they have started analyzing the cockpit voice recorder from a small plane that struck a hangar after taking off from a suburban Dallas airport, and local officials have released the names of six of the 10 people killed in the fiery crash. Two crew members and eight passengers died when the Beechcraft BE-350 King Air crashed into the unoccupied building Sunday morning at Addison Municipal Airport, north of Dallas. Clay Jenkins, the top Dallas County official who presides over the board of commissioners, said Monday evening that the medical examiner’s office confirmed 52-year-old Brian Mark Ellard, 58-year-old Stephen Lee Thelen, 28-year-old Matthew Palmer, 15-year-old Alice Maritato and 13-year-old Dylan Maritato were among those killed.



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