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Army Officer on White House Staff Reported Concerns on Trump’s Ukraine Dealings

Westlake Legal Group 28dc-testimony1-facebookJumbo Army Officer on White House Staff Reported Concerns on Trump’s Ukraine Dealings Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) impeachment House of Representatives Biden, Joseph R Jr

WASHINGTON — A White House national security official who is a decorated Iraq war veteran plans to tell House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he heard President Trump appeal to Ukraine’s president to investigate one of his leading political rivals, a request the aide considered so damaging to American interests that he reported it to a superior.

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman of the Army, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, twice registered internal objections about how Mr. Trump and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, out of what he called a “sense of duty,” he plans to tell the inquiry, according to a draft of his opening statement obtained by The New York Times.

He will be the first White House official to testify who listened in on the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, in which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Colonel Vindman said in his statement. “I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.”

Burisma Holdings is an energy company on whose board Mr. Biden’s son served while his father was vice president.

“This would all undermine U.S. national security,” Colonel Vindman added, referring to Mr. Trump’s comments in the call.

The colonel, a Ukrainian-American immigrant who received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb and whose statement is full of references to duty and patriotism, could be a more difficult witness to dismiss than his civilian counterparts.

“I am a patriot,” Colonel Vindman plans to tell the investigators, “and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend our country irrespective of party or politics.”

He was to be interviewed privately on Tuesday by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees, in defiance of a White House edict not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.

The colonel, who is represented by Michael Volkov, a former federal prosecutor, declined to comment for this article.

In his testimony, Colonel Vindman plans to say that he is not the whistle-blower who initially reported Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. But he will provide an account that corroborates and fleshes out crucial elements in that complaint, which prompted Democrats to open their impeachment investigation.

“I did convey certain concerns internally to national security officials in accordance with my decades of experience and training, sense of duty, and obligation to operate within the chain of command,” he plans to say.

He will testify that he watched with alarm as “outside influencers” began pushing a “false narrative” about Ukraine that was counter to the consensus view of American national security officials, and harmful to United States interests. According to documents reviewed by The Times on the eve of his congressional testimony, Colonel Vindman was concerned as he discovered that Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, was leading an effort to prod Kiev to investigate Mr. Biden’s son, and to discredit efforts to investigate Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his business dealings in Ukraine.

His account strongly suggests that he may have been among the aides the whistle-blower referred to in his complaint when he wrote that White House officials had recounted the conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky to him, and “were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call.”

Colonel Vindman did not interact directly with the president, but was present for a series of conversations that shed light on his pressure campaign on Ukraine.

He will also testify that he confronted Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, the day the envoy spoke in a White House meeting with Ukrainian officials about “Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the president.”

Even as he expressed alarm about the pressure campaign, the colonel and other officials worked to keep the United States relationship with Ukraine on track. At the direction of his superiors at the National Security Council, including John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, Colonel Vindman drafted a memorandum in mid-August that sought to restart security aid that was being withheld from Ukraine, but Mr. Trump refused to sign it, according to documents reviewed by the Times. And he drafted a letter in May congratulating Mr. Zelensky on his inauguration, but Mr. Trump did not sign that either, according to the documents.

Colonel Vindman was concerned after he learned that the White House budget office had taken the unusual step of withholding the $391 million package of security assistance for Ukraine that had been approved by Congress. At least one previous witness has testified that Mr. Trump directed that the aid be frozen until he could secure a commitment from Mr. Zelensky to announce an investigation of the Bidens.

While Colonel Vindman’s concerns were shared by a number of other officials, some of whom have already testified, he was in a unique position. Because he emigrated from Ukraine along with his family when he was a child and is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, Ukrainian officials sought advice from him about how to deal with Mr. Giuliani, though they typically communicated in English.

On two occasions, the colonel brought his concerns to John A. Eisenberg, the top lawyer at the National Security Council. The first came on July 10. That day, senior American officials met with senior Ukrainian officials at the White House, in a stormy meeting in which Mr. Bolton is said to have had a tense exchange with Mr. Sondland after the ambassador raised the matter of investigations he wanted Ukraine to undertake. That meeting has been described in previous testimony in the impeachment inquiry.

At a debriefing later that day attended by the colonel, Mr. Sondland again urged Ukrainian officials to help with investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals.

“Ambassador Sondland emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens and Burisma,” Colonel Vindman said in his draft statement.

“I stated to Ambassador Sondland that his statements were inappropriate” and that the “request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the N.S.C. was going to get involved in or push,” he added.

The colonel’s account echoed the testimony of Fiona Hill, one of his superiors, who has previously testified behind closed doors that she and Mr. Bolton were angered by efforts to politicize the interactions with Ukraine.

The colonel said that after his confrontation with Mr. Sondland, “Dr. Hill then entered the room and asserted to Ambassador Sondland that his statements were inappropriate.”

Ms. Hill, the former senior director for European and Russian affairs, also reported the incident to Mr. Eisenberg.

The colonel went to Mr. Eisenberg a couple of weeks later, after the president’s call with Mr. Zelensky. This time, the colonel was accompanied by his identical twin brother, Yevgeny, who is a lawyer on the National Security Council.

The picture painted by Colonel Vindman’s testimony has been echoed by several other senior officials, including William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, who testified last week that multiple senior administration officials had told him that the president blocked security aid to Ukraine and would not meet with Mr. Zelensky until he publicly pledged to investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals.

While the White House has urged witnesses subpoenaed by Congress not to participate in the impeachment inquiry, failing to comply with a congressional subpoena would be a risky career move for an active-duty military officer.

As tensions grew over Ukraine policy, the White House appears to have frozen out Colonel Vindman. Since early August, he has been excluded from a number of relevant meetings and events, including a diplomatic trip to three countries under his purview: Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.

Colonel Vindman said he had reported concerns up his chain of command because he believed he was obligated to do so.

“On many occasions I have been told I should express my views and share my concerns with my chain of command and proper authorities,” he said. “I believe that any good military officer should and would do the same, thus providing his or her best advice to leadership.”

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Nate Silver knocks liberals, saying many won’t let Trump have ‘one good day’ after al-Baghdadi death

FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver slammed many liberals Sunday, saying they weren’t letting President Trump have “one good day” following the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

On Sunday, Silver took a moment to react to a tweet made by actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who blasted Trump for comparing al-Baghdadi to a dog since dogs are “brave.”

“He may have died a coward @realDonaldTrump but ALL living things suffer when they are blown up,” Curtis wrote in the now-deleted tweet. “Anyone who has experienced warfare, unlike yourself, would know that. War is brutal. Dogs are brave, bold, loyal, loving and healing.”

Westlake Legal Group donald-trump-nate-silver-AP-Getty Nate Silver knocks liberals, saying many won't let Trump have 'one good day' after al-Baghdadi death Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e46b356f-f711-5277-8cc8-74fe45339e7a article

Nate Silver swiped at many liberals on Twitter over their treatment of President Trump. (AP/Getty, File)

Silver saw the actress’s tweet and expressed his amazement. “It[‘s] really amazing how many Libs can’t even permit Trump to have *one good day* (nobody will remember this stuff by Tuesday) after US forces kill perhaps the world’s most wanted terrorist,” Silver tweeted.

WASHINGTON POST FACES MORE BACKLASH AFTER COLUMNIST BLASTS TRUMP FOR CALLING AL-BAGHDADI A ‘COWARD’

After some progressives hit back at his tweet, the political analyst responded to the criticism Monday.

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“Not everything I tweet is meant to be taken literally; a lot is sarcastic, contextual, trollish, etc., or is spitballing ideas in real-time,” Silver said. “But I can’t really expect you all to know which things are in which categories. So think I need to stick to more literal-minded tweets.”

He added, “I do think the groupthink on here kinda sucks, I’m just gonna keep more of that stuff to myself or talk about it on our podcast, in articles at 538, etc.”

Westlake Legal Group natesilver Nate Silver knocks liberals, saying many won't let Trump have 'one good day' after al-Baghdadi death Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e46b356f-f711-5277-8cc8-74fe45339e7a article   Westlake Legal Group natesilver Nate Silver knocks liberals, saying many won't let Trump have 'one good day' after al-Baghdadi death Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e46b356f-f711-5277-8cc8-74fe45339e7a article

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California Blackouts Hit Cellphone Service, Fraying a Lifeline

Westlake Legal Group 28cellular1-facebookJumbo California Blackouts Hit Cellphone Service, Fraying a Lifeline Wireless Communications Wildfires Power Failures and Blackouts Pacific Gas and Electric Co Federal Communications Commission Disasters and Emergencies California

California’s recent power shut-offs, meant to reduce the risk of potentially catastrophic fires, have had an unwelcome side effect. The blackouts have also cut power to many cellphone towers, blocking the main communications source for many in harm’s way.

“You don’t appreciate how essential cellphone service is until you lose it,” said Chris Ungson, deputy director for communications and water policy for the California Public Advocates Office, an independent agency within the state’s Public Utilities Commission. “It’s not just a matter of inconvenience; it’s a matter of public health and safety. It’s a lifeline to many, many people.”

Emergency calls to 911 are one indicator: The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said more than 80 percent of such calls in California last year were made by cellphone.

For years, state and federal regulators have pressed the cellular companies to better reinforce their networks for emergencies. The Federal Communications Commission said Monday that it was conducting “a comprehensive review of the wireless industry’s voluntary commitment to promote resilient wireless communications during disasters.”

The F.C.C. wrote to cellular carriers last month to express concern about service reliability as California’s wildfire season neared, asking for an account of steps being taken “to promote the continuity of communications for public safety officials and residents.”

Verizon, AT&T and other carriers said Monday that they were working to minimize disruption, but could offer no specific guarantees.

In Paradise, a Sierra foothill town rebuilding after it was devastated by fire last year, the combination of the power shut-off and uncertain communications was causing renewed anxiety on Monday.

Jess Mercer, who conducted her elementary-school drawing class by lantern light, said cellular service was spotty and wireless internet connections were out in many areas, leaving many parents and teachers uncertain about whether school was open.

Some parents, she said, were resorting to a 20th-century information source to stay updated. “A lot of people are telling me they’re getting into their cars and trying to get warm with their heaters, and they’re listening to the radio,” Ms. Mercer said. “People are trying any way they can to get information.”

In Sonoma County, where a major fire led to the evacuation of 180,000 residents over the weekend, one-quarter of the 436 cellphone towers were not functioning, the F.C.C. said Monday.

In nearby Marin County, more than half of the 280 towers were out of service. Most of the outages were related to the pre-emptive power cuts imposed by Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility.

The increasing connection between power failures and communications outages arises from the transformative effect of wireless devices, which many people have made their sole source of telephone service.

Most cell towers have some form of backup power. When they lose power, they resort to batteries. If the batteries run out, the towers draw power from generators, which rely on fuel. These methods can provide power for days or longer, depending on whether the generators can be refueled.

AT&T said all of its cell sites in California had some form of backup power. Verizon said most of its towers were equipped with batteries and generators. T-Mobile said it had built-in generators in its most critical sites, while others had batteries. Sprint said that some of its cell sites had built-in generators, and that it was deploying portable generators for others as quickly as possible.

“Providers invest significant resources to strengthen and harden networks so that they are able to maintain service during emergencies,” said a statement from CTIA, the wireless industry trade group.

There are limits to what carriers can do when the blackout is accompanied by wildfire. Some generators are inaccessible because of the fires and can’t be refueled. In other cases, sites lack generators because of zoning restrictions.

In 2007, after Hurricane Katrina, the F.C.C. ordered cellular companies to provide at least eight hours of backup support for their towers. But the Office of Management and Budget rejected the move on procedural grounds, and the commission dropped the plan.

In May, the California Public Advocates Office called on the Public Utilities Commission to exercise emergency powers to ensure that communications systems continue to operate in emergencies. It asked the commission to immediately order cellular companies provide backup generators and alternate routes in high-fire areas and flood plains.

“The failure of our communications systems in emergencies is a life-or-death matter, and one that must be addressed immediately,” the office wrote.

The commission directed the wireless providers to report how they were hardening their systems, but the Public Advocates Office said the responses were vague and ambiguous.

“There is a constant pushback from the utilities,” said Ana Maria Johnson, program manager at the Public Advocates Office. “They want to voluntarily do things. It has to be requirement that they do this. It is critical that wireless facilities have on-site backup power.”

To some extent, the Public Utilities Commission has put the responsibility on the public. In a recent report, it noted that wireless customers “may or may not have voice service in a power outage, depending on the backup power installed at cell sites,” and said the commission “does not have rules mandating backup power for this type of service.”

It added that it was “the responsibility of the customer to obtain the required backup power in the residence to have working telephone service during an outage event.”

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Nancy Pelosi hopes impeachment-related vote will bust Republicans’ ‘illegitimate’ process narrative, Brit Hume says

Westlake Legal Group Bret-and-Brit Nancy Pelosi hopes impeachment-related vote will bust Republicans' 'illegitimate' process narrative, Brit Hume says fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 9508d44d-e637-5a19-9e77-134a02536c7d

A vote to set the ground rules for the impeachment inquiry process is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s way of busting a key Republican argument, according to Brit Hume.

Pelosi, D-Calif., scheduled a vote to establish parameters of the Trump impeachment inquiry as a way to stop the GOP from claiming it’s an “illegitimate process,” Hume said Monday on “Special Report.”

“I think that what she’s doing is, she’s trying to take away the Republican argument that this whole thing is tainted because it’s the product of an illegitimate process — in part because there was never a full House vote to commence the impeachment inquiry,” he added.

Hume noted Pelosi’s planned roll call wouldn’t be that type of vote either.

PELOSI SAYS HOUSE WILL VOTE THIS WEEK ON RESOLUTION FORMALIZING IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

“This vote is, I gather, to approve the next steps in an investigation the House never authorized in the first place — at least that’s what I think Republicans will argue,” the Fox News senior political analyst said.

He added that Senate Republicans would hold the final vote in any impeachment process — whether or not to convict a president of offenses listed in House articles.

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Hume said any examples Republican senators could then cite to make claims about illegitimate inquiries and “tainted” investigations would help them make a case to acquit President Trump if the impeachment process were to reach the Senate.

Earlier Monday, in a letter sent to fellow House Democrats, Pelosi said the resolution “affirms the ongoing, existing investigation” and “establishes the procedure” for future investigative steps.

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She continued, “We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.”

Fox News has learned the vote is set to take place Thursday on the House floor.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Bret-and-Brit Nancy Pelosi hopes impeachment-related vote will bust Republicans' 'illegitimate' process narrative, Brit Hume says fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 9508d44d-e637-5a19-9e77-134a02536c7d   Westlake Legal Group Bret-and-Brit Nancy Pelosi hopes impeachment-related vote will bust Republicans' 'illegitimate' process narrative, Brit Hume says fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 9508d44d-e637-5a19-9e77-134a02536c7d

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Instagram removes fictional depictions of self-harm, suicide

Instagram is banning drawings, memes, video and comics that depict self-harm or suicide, along with other imagery that includes “associated materials or methods,” the company announced on Sunday.

The announcement from the Facebook-owned platform adds to its already existing policy against content that promotes or encourages self-harm or suicide.

Mental health and suicide prevention advocates have been pressuring the tech giant to take a stronger stance on the topic since the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell — who took her own life back in 2017 after viewing content about suicide on social media.

TIKTOK COULD THREATEN NATIONAL SECURITY, SENATORS CHARGE

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-07-09-at-4.54.03-PM Instagram removes fictional depictions of self-harm, suicide fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc d6d63f2e-c55a-507d-a16f-1b113c694323 Christopher Carbone article

The Instagram application is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017. (Reuters)

“To help us stay aware of new trends or cultural nuances, we meet every month with academics and experts on suicide and self-harm. We are also working with the Swedish mental health organization MIND to understand the role that technology and social media has on the lives of young people,” said Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, in a blog post

Earlier this year, Russell’s father spoke to BBC News about the images of self-harm and suicide he found on his daughter’s social media feeds.

According to the British news agency, her father said he believed Instagram “helped kill my daughter.”

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Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-07-09-at-4.54.03-PM Instagram removes fictional depictions of self-harm, suicide fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc d6d63f2e-c55a-507d-a16f-1b113c694323 Christopher Carbone article   Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-07-09-at-4.54.03-PM Instagram removes fictional depictions of self-harm, suicide fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc d6d63f2e-c55a-507d-a16f-1b113c694323 Christopher Carbone article

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Suspected gunman arrested in off-campus Texas party shooting that killed 2 people and injured 12 others

Police on Monday arrested the suspect in a deadly shooting at an off-campus party in Texas, which drew a Sunday vigil that also saw more shots fired.

Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, was taken into custody on a charge of capital murder. Authorities believe he may have been targeting one person, Meeks said, and shot others at random. 

Two people were killed and 12 others injured near a Texas A&M campus in Greenville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas, when shots rang out around midnight early Sunday.

“When the shots were fired, it was complete chaos as people fled for safety and deputies attempted to locate the shooter,” Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said.

Here’s what we know:

What happened during the shooting at the party?

Gunfire erupted as hundreds of people, mostly in their late teens or early 20s, were at a Saturday Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce, though officials have said it was not a school-sanctioned event.

Meeks said the shooter entered through the back door of The Party Venue, about 15 miles from the school’s campus, and began firing with a handgun.

After shooting a targeted victim, the gunman began firing at random, Meeks said. 

The rampage caused the 750 people in the venue to flee, including the shooter.

“The amount of people that were there, the overcrowdedness of it – it gave the opportunity for this shooter to be able to accomplish whatever he wanted to accomplish,” Meeks said, per the Dallas Morning News. “When you have this many people in one place, it’s an easy target for somebody.”

Meeks said deputies were at the venue when the shooting happened, responding to calls about parking complaints. Deputies heard gunshots coming from the back of the building but could not immediately determine whether the shots were fired from inside or outside, Meeks said.

Markeice Ford said he had just come out of the men’s bathroom when he heard six or seven gunshots. He said he ducked to the floor, looked around and saw “about three dead bodies.” He said he never saw the shooter.

“I must have been close to some of it because I got blood all over my clothes,” he told WFAA-TV. “I was trying to see if something happened to me because I had blood everywhere.”

Who are the victims?

Authorities on Monday identified the two male victims as Kevin Berry Jr., 23, of Dallas, and Byron Craven Jr., 23, of Arlington.

Among the 12 people injured, half were gunshot victims while the other half were trampled or hurt by glass in the chaos, said Sgt. Jeff Haines, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department.

One victim was in critical condition on Monday, Meeks said, and four others still in the hospital were in good condition. 

Berry’s uncle, Cloyse Caruthers Jr., told the Morning News his nephew was at the party with friends and was not a Texas A&M-Commerce student.

“I’m more angry than anything,” he told the newspaper. “What were they thinking involving innocent people in this mess? He had so much promise.”

Berry’s mother, Nakima Alexander, told WFAA-TV her son was a father of two and expecting another child.

Craven’s parents told KXAS-TV that their son, who worked as a security guard, was about to become an uncle early next year.

“There are no words to express the loss,” Bryon Craven Sr. said. “If there is anything we can do to make things better so it won’t happen to another kid, another family. This is not something I want anybody to go through.”

What happened during the vigil?

Berry’s friends and family gathered Sunday evening at a Dallas park to remember their relative and friend when at least one person opened fire.

Dallas police said the shooting stemmed from a “disturbance” at the vigil and that no injuries were reported.

At least one vehicle was struck with bullets as vigil goers ran for cover.

What do police know about the shooter?

Authorities arrested Gonzales at an auto dealership, where he worked, Meeks said at a press conference. Bond was set at $1 million.  

The motive for the shooting has not been identified, Meeks said. Investigators believe Gonzales, who lived in Greenville, acted alone. 

Other than a minor traffic incident, Meeks said Gonzales was unknown to police. 

What is Texas A&M University-Commerce?

Texas A&M University-Commerce is a satellite campus of the Texas A&M University System and the second-largest university in the system, according to its website.

University President Mark Rudin said in a statement that four current students were treated at local hospitals and released following the shooting.

“Last night’s tragedy in Greenville, Texas, has touched and saddened our university community,” Rudin said. “Our heartfelt sympathies extend to all victims, their families, and friends.”

The school is about 60 miles northeast of Dallas.

Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

Westlake Legal Group  Suspected gunman arrested in off-campus Texas party shooting that killed 2 people and injured 12 others

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Cornell student, 18, found dead in gorge after frat party, reports say

A top Ivy League student was found dead Saturday afternoon in a New York gorge after he left a fraternity party and disappeared Thursday night, according to reports.

Antonio Tsialas, 18, was reported missing Friday afternoon after he failed to meet up with his family for Family Weekend at Cornell University in Ithaca, the Cornell Sun reported.

The South Florida native was last seen at the Phi Kappa Psi house around 9:30 p.m the night before, the Miami Herald reported.

NEW YORK CITY MAN SHOVES WOMAN HEAD-FIRST INTO SUBWAY TRAIN, VIDEO SHOWS

“The circumstances of Tsialas’s death are still under investigation, but no foul play is suspected,” Cornell University police said in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group antonio-tsialas Cornell student, 18, found dead in gorge after frat party, reports say Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/education/college fox news fnc/us fnc article 742a9929-eeaf-52bc-80e4-39cf3f86e234

Antonio Tsialas, 18, was reported missing Friday afternoon after he failed to meet up with his family for Family Weekend at Cornell University in Ithaca, the Cornell Sun reported. (NY State Police)

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He had been a star student in Florida.

Tsialas had been a varsity soccer goaltender and received an award for his high AP test scores. He also, the Herald reported, had been a member of his high school’s statistics team.

Click for more from The New York Post.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.

Westlake Legal Group antonio-tsialas Cornell student, 18, found dead in gorge after frat party, reports say Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/education/college fox news fnc/us fnc article 742a9929-eeaf-52bc-80e4-39cf3f86e234   Westlake Legal Group antonio-tsialas Cornell student, 18, found dead in gorge after frat party, reports say Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/education/college fox news fnc/us fnc article 742a9929-eeaf-52bc-80e4-39cf3f86e234

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Man in his 80s arrested in connection with France mosque attack

An 84-year-old man with far-right ties was arrested Monday in connection with the shooting of two people outside a mosque in France who reportedly saw him trying to set fire to the building.

Claude Sinke allegedly opened fire on two men, ages 74 and 78, who saw him trying to set fire to the door of a mosque in Bayonne, in southwestern France, Agence France-Presse reported. Bayonne Mayor Jean-Rene Etchegaray told AFP at the scene that the suspect “approached the building by car and threw an incendiary device against the side door of the mosque.”

“The two people came out, he shot at them, hitting one in the neck and the other in the chest and arm,” he added. “He then fled.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19301651967406 Man in his 80s arrested in connection with France mosque attack Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 485e2820-f19f-5cf0-aaf0-e30c5ffa4c35

A police officer stands next to the entrance a mosque after an incident in Bayonne, southwestern France on Monday. French authorities say a suspect has been arrested for allegedly shooting and seriously injuring two elderly men who caught him trying to set fire to a mosque’s door. (AP Photo/Str)

The men were taken to a hospital with serious injuries, the Pyrenees-Atlantique Police said in a statement.

Sinke also tried to set fire to a car outside the mosque before fleeing, authorities said. He was later arrested at his home and admitted to being the shooter, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the attack in a tweet.

“I address my thoughts to the victims,” he wrote. “The Republic will never tolerate hatred. Everything will be done to punish the perpetrators and protect our compatriots of the Muslim faith. I commit myself to it.”

The attack came hours after Macron urged Frances’ Muslim community to fight against “separatism.” This, weeks after a fatal knife attack at HQ by a Paris police employee who’d converted to Islam.

“It is a fact that a form of separatism has taken root in some places in our Republic, in other words a desire to not live together and to not be in the Republic,” the centrist leader said.

Sinke was a candidate for Marine’ Le Pen‘s National Front in 2015 in local elections, the news outlet reported. He has since left the movement, according to local media reports.

In a tweet, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner expressed his “solidarity and support to the Muslim community.”

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Le Pen, a former French presidential candidate who advocated hardline immigration policies, has been highly critical of Islam. She described the alleged attack as “an unspeakable act”.

Sinke’s actions were “absolutely contrary to the values of our movement,” she said.

Westlake Legal Group AP19301645177422 Man in his 80s arrested in connection with France mosque attack Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 485e2820-f19f-5cf0-aaf0-e30c5ffa4c35   Westlake Legal Group AP19301645177422 Man in his 80s arrested in connection with France mosque attack Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 485e2820-f19f-5cf0-aaf0-e30c5ffa4c35

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Trump Reveals Photo Of Military Hero Dog Involved In Baghdadi Raid

Westlake Legal Group 5db75c93210000063334b4bc Trump Reveals Photo Of Military Hero Dog Involved In Baghdadi Raid

President Donald Trump on Monday released a declassified photo of a member of the U.S. military team responsible for the raid that led to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the so-called Islamic State. As it turns out, the hero is a four-legged fur ball.

An image of the dog ― whose name is being kept confidential ― was posted on Twitter along with a praiseful message from the commander in chief, who called the canine “wonderful,” crediting the dog, which appears to be a Belgian Malinois, for a job well done.

Naturally, the photo inspired Twitter users to begin “declassifying” images of their own pets, including parodies of the newly revealed pooch.

In a press conference Sunday, Trump announced that Baghdadi had died in northwestern Syria, delivering a vivid description of the operation that occurred the night before.

According to the president, American military dogs chased Baghdadi down a dead-end tunnel as he was “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way” before detonating a suicide vest and killing himself and three of his children whom he had dragged along with him. The tunnel then collapsed from the blast, Trump said.

The president told reporters a “beautiful” and “talented” dog “was injured and brought back.” On Monday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said the dog was “slightly wounded and fully recovering” but had already returned to duty.

According to New York Times correspondent Katie Rogers, the dog has a standing invitation to the White House “whenever he can get over here,” a senior official said.

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Katie Hill defended by ABC News analyst comparing her case to allegations against Trump, Supreme Court justices

Westlake Legal Group Matthew-Dowd-GettyImages-577703630 Katie Hill defended by ABC News analyst comparing her case to allegations against Trump, Supreme Court justices Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc bffaab08-6b38-5e31-b967-a97486ac7c3b article

ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd offered a bold defense of Katie Hill on Monday after the congresswoman announced her resignation, describing her behavior as “jaywalking” compared to the more serious, “credible” allegations of sexual assault or harassment made against President Trump and Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.

Dowd, who described himself as a “proud independent” on Twitter, weighed in on the sudden resignation of the California Democrat after multiple sex scandals emerged, including a reported affair with a congressional staffer that prompted a House Ethics Committee investigation.

“Katie hill resigning while we have a president and 2 Supreme Court justices all credibly accused of sexual harassment/assault is a bit like a jaywalker going to jail while al Capone roams free,” Dowd tweeted, in a reference to the notorious Chicago mob boss.

CNN, MSNBC LARGELY IGNORE DEM REP. KATIE HILL DURING PRIME TIME, 2 NIGHTS IN A ROW

Dowd offered similar rhetoric on Sunday evening in reaction to Hill’s resignation.

“There are two Supreme Court Justice and a President in DC today with credible accusations of sexual harassment/assault, and Katie Hill resigns. Ridiculous,” Dowd tweeted.

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This wasn’t the first time Dowd went after Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh. Last year, Dowd was slammed for calling Thomas a “sexual predator” as Kavanaugh was being confirmed.

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Matthew-Dowd-GettyImages-577703630 Katie Hill defended by ABC News analyst comparing her case to allegations against Trump, Supreme Court justices Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc bffaab08-6b38-5e31-b967-a97486ac7c3b article   Westlake Legal Group Matthew-Dowd-GettyImages-577703630 Katie Hill defended by ABC News analyst comparing her case to allegations against Trump, Supreme Court justices Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc bffaab08-6b38-5e31-b967-a97486ac7c3b article

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