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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 352)

Plane with 6 people on board crashes in Lafayette near Walmart

Westlake Legal Group Plane-Crash-Google-Maps Plane with 6 people on board crashes in Lafayette near Walmart Robert Gearty Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc eea09745-c561-5e14-a878-fed7282adaa1 article

A twin-engine plane with six passengers on board crashed in Louisiana on Saturday morning, about a mile from Lafayette airport, police told Fox News.

The plane crashed near a Walmart and U.S. Post Office at the intersection of Verot School Road and Fei Follet, local media reported.

Lafayette Police Lt. Scott Morgan told Fox News the incident took place at 9:22 a.m. local time.

“We know it came down in a parking lot,” he said, adding that it had taken off from Lafayette Regional Airport.

Additional information about casualties was not immediately available, however, Morgan said he doesn’t believe there were any injuries on the ground.

KATC reported that the Walmart store on Pinhook Road was closed and evacuated.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

It was not immediately known if there was a distress call from the plane before the crash.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group Plane-Crash-Google-Maps Plane with 6 people on board crashes in Lafayette near Walmart Robert Gearty Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc eea09745-c561-5e14-a878-fed7282adaa1 article   Westlake Legal Group Plane-Crash-Google-Maps Plane with 6 people on board crashes in Lafayette near Walmart Robert Gearty Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc eea09745-c561-5e14-a878-fed7282adaa1 article

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Fort Worth’s top cop, 52, captured on video nabbing suspect after foot chase

The top cop in Fort Worth, Texas, showed he can still hoof it when it comes to chasing down a fleeing suspect.

Chief Ed Kraus’ pursuit of the suspect Friday morning through backyards and over fences was recorded by a police helicopter over the scene.

Police said the suspect took off after causing a multi-car crash on I-20, Fox 4 Dallas reports. Kraus happened to be in the area in his police vehicle.

Westlake Legal Group Fleeing-Suspect-Fort-Worth-PD Fort Worth's top cop, 52, captured on video nabbing suspect after foot chase Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc f2463f76-a859-5bc2-a305-c28621320688 article

Image from video shot by a police helicopter shows Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus nabbing a suspect after a foot chase through backyards and over fences. (Forth Worth Police Department)

TEXAS POLICE CHASE, CAPTURE MAN ACCUSED OF RAPING WOMAN, STUFFING HER IN TRUNK, BODYCAM VIDEO SHOWS

“The bad guy decides to take a wrong turn and runs toward the chief,” police spokesman Buddy Calzada told the station. “The bad guy jumped the fence and the chief jumped the fence to keep going after him. He runs through the middle of a yard, and the suspect jumps another fence. So what does the chief do? He jumped the fence with him.”

Calzada said as the chief started closing in on the man, “I think he realized at that point, I’m not going to make it. I’m not going to get away from this.”

KENTUCKY ESCAPEES BACK IN CUSTODY AFTER POLICE CHASE IN OHIO: REPORTS

Westlake Legal Group Fort-Worth-Chief Fort Worth's top cop, 52, captured on video nabbing suspect after foot chase Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc f2463f76-a859-5bc2-a305-c28621320688 article

Chief Ed Kraus, 52, is a 26-year veteran of the force who was only named permanently to the role earlier this month after performing the role on an interim basis since May. (Fort Worth Police Department)

The fleeing suspect, who was not immediately identified, was facing a charge of fleeing the scene of an accident, the station reported.

Kraus, 52, a 26-year veteran of the force who was only named permanently to the role earlier this month after acting as the chief on an interim basis since May, had to be coaxed into commenting on the chase, Fox 4 reported.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“I’m just proud to be one of 1,700 officers, who do this kind of work every day,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group Fleeing-Suspect-Fort-Worth-PD Fort Worth's top cop, 52, captured on video nabbing suspect after foot chase Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc f2463f76-a859-5bc2-a305-c28621320688 article   Westlake Legal Group Fleeing-Suspect-Fort-Worth-PD Fort Worth's top cop, 52, captured on video nabbing suspect after foot chase Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc f2463f76-a859-5bc2-a305-c28621320688 article

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In China’s Crackdown on Muslims, Children Have Not Been Spared

Westlake Legal Group merlin_166073571_65b74708-0e9c-49d1-a018-5c979325078e-facebookJumbo In China’s Crackdown on Muslims, Children Have Not Been Spared Xi Jinping Uighurs (Chinese Ethnic Group) Istanbul (Turkey) Hotan (China) Han Chinese (Ethnic Group) Communist Party of China Chinese Language China

HOTAN, China — The first grader was a good student and beloved by her classmates, but she was inconsolable, and it was no mystery to her teacher why.

“The most heartbreaking thing is that the girl is often slumped over on the table alone and crying,” he wrote on his blog. “When I asked around, I learned that it was because she missed her mother.”

The mother, he noted, had been sent to a detention camp for Muslim ethnic minorities. The girl’s father had passed away, he added. But instead of letting other relatives raise her, the authorities put her in a state-run boarding school — one of hundreds of such facilities that have opened in China’s far western Xinjiang region.

As many as a million ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and others have been sent to internment camps and prisons in Xinjiang over the past three years, an indiscriminate clampdown aimed at weakening the population’s devotion to Islam. Even as these mass detentions have provoked global outrage, though, the Chinese government is pressing ahead with a parallel effort targeting the region’s children.

Nearly a half million children have been separated from their families and placed in boarding schools so far, according to a planning document published on a government website, and the ruling Communist Party has set a goal of operating one to two such schools in each of Xinjiang’s 800-plus townships by the end of next year.

The party has presented the schools as a way to fight poverty, arguing that they make it easier for children to attend classes if their parents live or work in remote areas or are unable to care for them. And it is true that many rural families are eager to send their children to these schools, especially when they are older.

But the schools are also designed to assimilate and indoctrinate children at an early age, away from the influence of their families, according to the planning document, published in 2017. Students are often forced to enroll because the authorities have detained their parents and other relatives, ordered them to take jobs far from home or judged them unfit guardians.

The schools are off limits to outsiders and tightly guarded, and it is difficult to interview residents in Xinjiang without putting them at risk of arrest. But a troubling picture of these institutions emerges from interviews with Uighur parents living in exile and a review of documents published online, including procurement records, government notices, state media reports and the blogs of teachers in the schools.

State media and official documents describe education as a key component of President Xi Jinping’s campaign to wipe out extremist violence in Xinjiang, a ruthless and far-reaching effort that also includes the mass internment camps and sweeping surveillance measures. The idea is to use the boarding schools as incubators of a new generation of Uighurs who are secular and more loyal to both the party and the nation.

“The long-term strategy is to conquer, to captivate, to win over the young generation from the beginning,” said Adrian Zenz, a researcher at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington who has studied Chinese policies that break up Uighur families.

To carry out the assimilation campaign, the authorities in Xinjiang have recruited tens of thousands of teachers from across China, often Han Chinese, the nation’s dominant ethnic group. At the same time, prominent Uighur educators have been imprisoned and teachers have been warned they will be sent to the camps if they resist.

Thrust into a regimented environment and immersed in an unfamiliar culture, children in the boarding schools are only allowed visits with family once every week or two — a restriction intended to “break the impact of the religious atmosphere on children at home,” in the words of the 2017 policy document.

The campaign echoes past policies in Canada, the United States and Australia that took indigenous children from their families and placed them in residential schools to forcibly assimilate them.

“The big difference in China is the scale and how systematic it is,” said Darren Byler, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado who studies Uighur culture and society.

Public discussion in China of the trauma inflicted on Uighur children by separating them from their families is rare. References on social media are usually quickly censored. Instead, the state-controlled news media focuses on the party’s goals in the region, where predominantly Muslim minorities make up more than half the population of 25 million.

Visiting a kindergarten near the frontier city of Kashgar this month, Chen Quanguo, the party’s top official in Xinjiang, urged teachers to ensure children learn to “love the party, love the motherland and love the people.”

Abdurahman Tohti left Xinjiang and immigrated to Turkey in 2013, leaving behind cotton farming to sell used cars in Istanbul. But when his wife and two young children returned to China for a visit a few years ago, they disappeared.

He heard that his wife was sent to prison, like many Uighurs who have traveled abroad and returned to China. His parents were detained too. The fate of his children, though, was a mystery.

Then in January, he spotted his 4-year-old son in a video on Chinese social media that had apparently been recorded by a teacher. The boy seemed to be at a state-run boarding school and was speaking Chinese, a language his family did not use.

Mr. Tohti, 30, said he was excited to see the child, and relieved he was safe — but also gripped by desperation.

“What I fear the most,” he said, “is that the Chinese government is teaching him to hate his parents and Uighur culture.”

Beijing has sought for decades to suppress Uighur resistance to Chinese rule in Xinjiang, in part by using schools in the region to indoctrinate Uighur children. Until recently, though, the government had allowed most classes to be taught in the Uighur language, partly because of a shortage of Chinese-speaking teachers.

Then, after a surge of antigovernment and anti-Chinese violence, including ethnic riots in 2009 in Urumqi, the regional capital, and deadly attacks by Uighur militants in 2014, Mr. Xi ordered the party to take a harder line in Xinjiang, according to internal documents leaked to The New York Times earlier this year.

In December 2016, the party announced that the work of the region’s education bureau was entering a new phase. Schools were to become an extension of the security drive in Xinjiang, with a new emphasis on the Chinese language, patriotism and loyalty to the party.

In the 2017 policy document, posted on the education ministry’s website, officials from Xinjiang outlined their new priorities and ranked expansion of the boarding schools at the top.

Without specifying Islam by name, the document characterized religion as a pernicious influence on children, and said having students live at school would “reduce the shock of going back and forth between learning science in the classroom and listening to scripture at home.”

By early 2017, the document said, nearly 40 percent of all middle-school and elementary-school age children in Xinjiang — or about 497,800 students — were boarding in schools. At the time, the government was ramping up efforts to open boarding schools and add dorms to schools, and more recent reports suggest the push is continuing.

Chinese is also replacing Uighur as the main language of instruction in Xinjiang. Most elementary and middle school students are now taught in Chinese, up from just 38 percent three years ago. And thousands of new rural preschools have been built to expose minority children to Chinese at an earlier age, state media reported.

The government argues that teaching Chinese is critical to improving the economic prospects of minority children, and many Uighurs agree. But Uighur activists say the overall campaign amounts to an effort to erase what remains of their culture.

Several Uighurs living abroad said the government had put their children in boarding schools without their consent.

Mahmutjan Niyaz, 33, a Uighur businessman who moved to Istanbul in 2016, said his 5-year-old daughter was sent to one after his brother and sister-in-law, the girl’s guardians, were confined in an internment camp.

Other relatives could have cared for her but the authorities refused to let them. Now, Mr. Niyaz said, the school has changed the girl.

“Before, my daughter was playful and outgoing,” he said. “But after she went to the school, she looked very sad in the photos.”

In a dusty village near the ancient Silk Road city of Hotan in southern Xinjiang, nestled among fields of barren walnut trees and simple concrete homes, the elementary school stood out.

It was surrounded by a tall brick wall with two layers of barbed wire on top. Cameras were mounted on every corner. And at the entrance, a guard wearing a black helmet and a protective vest stood beside a metal detector.

It wasn’t always like this. Last year, officials converted the school in Kasipi village into a full-time boarding school.

Kang Jide, a Chinese language teacher at the school, described the frenzied process on his public blog on the Chinese social media platform WeChat: In just a few days, all the day students were transferred. Classrooms were rearranged. Bunk beds were set up. Then, 270 new children arrived, leaving the school with 430 boarders, each in the sixth grade or below.

Officials called them “kindness students,” referring to the party’s generosity in making special arrangements for their education.

The government says children in Xinjiang’s boarding schools are taught better hygiene and etiquette as well as Chinese and science skills that will help them succeed in modern China.

“My heart suddenly melted after seeing the splendid heartfelt smiles on the faces of these left-behind children,” said a retired official visiting a boarding elementary school in Lop County near Hotan, according to a state media report. He added that the party had given them “an environment to be carefree, study happily, and grow healthy and strong.”

But Mr. Kang wrote that being separated from their families took a toll on the children. Some never received visits from relatives, or remained on campus during the holidays, even after most teachers left. And his pupils often begged to use his phone to call their parents.

“Sometimes, when they hear the voice on the other end of the call, the children will start crying and they hide in the corner because they don’t want me to see,” he wrote.

“It’s not just the children,” he added. “The parents on the other end also miss their children of course, so much so that it breaks their hearts and they’re trembling.”

The internment camps, which the government describes as job training centers, have cast a shadow even on students who are not boarders. Before the conversion of the school, Mr. Kang posted a photo of a letter that an 8-year-old girl had written to her father, who had been sent to a camp.

“Daddy, where are you?” the girl wrote in an uneven scrawl. “Daddy, why don’t you come back?”

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she continued. “You must study hard too.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Kang was generally supportive of the schools. On his blog, he described teaching Uighur students as an opportunity to “water the flowers of the motherland.”

“Kindness students” receive more attention and resources than day students. Boarding schools are required to offer psychological counseling, for example, and in Kasipi, the children were given a set of supplies that included textbooks, clothes and a red Young Pioneer scarf.

Learning Chinese was the priority, Mr. Kang wrote, though students were also immersed in traditional Chinese culture, including classical poetry, and taught songs praising the party.

On a recent visit to the school, children in red and blue uniforms could be seen playing in a yard beside buildings marked “cafeteria” and “student dormitory.” At the entrance, school officials refused to answer questions.

Tighter security has become the norm at schools in Xinjiang. In Hotan alone, more than a million dollars has been allocated in the past three years to buy surveillance and security equipment for schools, including helmets, shields and spiked batons, according to procurement records. At the entrance to one elementary school, a facial recognition system had been installed.

Mr. Kang recently wrote on his blog that he had moved on to a new job teaching in northern Xinjiang. Reached by telephone there, he declined to be interviewed. But before hanging up, he said his students in Kasipi had made rapid progress in learning Chinese.

“Every day I feel very fulfilled,” he said.

To carry out its campaign, the party needed not only new schools but also an army of teachers, an overhaul of the curriculum — and political discipline. Teachers suspected of dissent were punished, and textbooks were rewritten to weed out material deemed subversive.

“Teachers are the engineers of the human soul,” the education bureau of Urumqi recently wrote in an open letter, deploying a phrase first used by Stalin to describe writers and other cultural workers.

The party launched an intensive effort to recruit teachers for Xinjiang from across China. Last year, nearly 90,000 were brought in, chosen partly for their political reliability, officials said at a news conference this year. The influx amounted to about a fifth of Xinjiang’s teachers last year, according to government data.

The new recruits, often ethnic Han, and the teachers they joined, mostly Uighurs, were both warned to toe the line. Those who opposed the Chinese-language policy or resisted the new curriculum were labeled “two-faced” and punished.

The deputy secretary-general of the oasis town of Turpan, writing earlier this year, described such teachers as “scum of the Chinese people” and accused them of being “bewitched by extremist religious ideology.”

Teachers were urged to express their loyalty, and the public was urged to keep an eye on them. A sign outside a kindergarten in Hotan invited parents to report teachers who made “irresponsible remarks” or participated in unauthorized religious worship.

Officials in Xinjiang also spent two years inspecting and revising hundreds of textbooks and other teaching material, according to the 2017 policy document.

Some who helped the party write and edit the old textbooks ended up in prison, including Yalqun Rozi, a prominent scholar and literary critic who helped compile a set of textbooks on Uighur literature that were used for more than a decade.

Mr. Rozi was charged with attempted subversion and sentenced to 15 years in prison last year, according to his son, Kamaltürk Yalqun. Several other members of the committee that compiled the textbooks were arrested too, he said.

“Instead of welcoming the cultural diversity of Uighurs, China labeled it a malignant tumor,” said Mr. Yalqun, who lives in Philadelphia.

There is evidence that some Uighur children have been sent to boarding schools far from their homes.

Kalbinur Tursun, 36, entrusted five of her children to relatives when she left Xinjiang to give birth in Istanbul but has been unable to contact them for several years.

Last year, she saw her daughter Ayshe, then 6, in a video circulating on Chinese social media. It had been posted by a user who appeared to be a teacher at a school in Hotan — more than 300 miles away from their home in Kashgar.

“My children are so young, they just need their mother and father,” Ms. Tursun said, expressing concern about how the authorities were raising them. “I fear they will think that I’m the enemy — that they won’t accept me and will hate me.”

Fatima Er contributed reporting from Istanbul.

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Miami Heat’s Chris Silva breaks down after seeing mom for first time in years

Miami Heat forward Chris Silva received his most memorable Christmas gift two days late.

The Heat surprised Silva by reuniting him with his mother whom he hadn’t seen in several years. They tearfully embraced on the court Friday shortly before the team tipped off against the Indiana Pacers.

The 23-year-old rookie left his home country of Gabon in 2012 with a dream of making it to the NBA.

Westlake Legal Group Chris-Silva-Getty Miami Heat’s Chris Silva breaks down after seeing mom for first time in years Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/sports/nba/miami-heat fox-news/sports/nba/indiana-pacers fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/sports fnc article a18db64b-3aa2-5eee-b0c5-ebc0c2fc2367

Chris Silva, of the Miami Heat, received a heartwarming surprise by the NBA for the holidays this year. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

In the seven years since, he had only seen his parents and siblings once, when he returned to the African country for two weeks to renew his visa as a sophomore at the University of South Carolina.

ALEX TREBEK APPEARS AT NBA GAME AMID STAGE 4 PANCREATIC CANCER BATTLE

The Heat, the NBA and NBA Africa teamed up this holiday season to surprise Silva, flying in his mother, Carine Minkoue Obame, hours before Friday’s game.

A video shared on the team’s social media accounts showed a shocked Silva as his mother walked onto the court at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“The holidays also are really about being around the people you love and mostly everybody feels very grateful that you’re able to spend that quality time,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said in the video ahead of the surprise. “But I always think about Silva.”

“That’s my mom!” a very emotional Silva can be heard exclaiming after spotting her, as his teammates and coaches cheered and clapped.

Obame took an 18-hour flight from Gabon to Miami to see her son.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Silva had no idea that she would be making the trip, telling reporters afterward that they spoke days before when she was still in Gabon.

“I’m shook,” he said, adding that he couldn’t believe it was her at first. “I thought I was seeing a ghost, but, like, after I realized that that was her I couldn’t help myself. I was emotional.”

While Silva did not play, Obame stayed to watch the Heat beat the Pacers 113-112.

Westlake Legal Group Chris-Silva-Getty Miami Heat’s Chris Silva breaks down after seeing mom for first time in years Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/sports/nba/miami-heat fox-news/sports/nba/indiana-pacers fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/sports fnc article a18db64b-3aa2-5eee-b0c5-ebc0c2fc2367   Westlake Legal Group Chris-Silva-Getty Miami Heat’s Chris Silva breaks down after seeing mom for first time in years Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/sports/nba/miami-heat fox-news/sports/nba/indiana-pacers fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/sports fnc article a18db64b-3aa2-5eee-b0c5-ebc0c2fc2367

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December 2019 Metathread

Hello, r/politics users! Thank you for joining us for this “meta”thread. The purpose of this thread is for users to be able to present suggestions and discuss any issues with the mod team, and also for us to keep you informed with any recent changes. We will be monitoring the thread and responding to as much as we can get to.


Recent changes

We have recently instituted a change wherein users with young account ages are now able to only submit content from wire services listed on our whitelist.

We have recently enacted a change wherein users are required to have more than the starting score of 1 post karma to submit content. We believe this will give users a chance to familiarize themselves with the reddit ecosystem and good posting practices before contributing submissions to our subreddit.

Why have you made these changes?

Due to the partisan nature of political discussion and the vigor with which people tend to approach these conversations, we have seen a marked increase in young accounts generally not posting within our rules. Limiting new accounts to wire services while not allowing secondary discussion/opinion services lets new accounts contribute to the subreddit while keeping the rule breaking behavior at bay by allowing users a chance to become accustomed to our rules. It allows new accounts to join in rather than be excluded due to the actions of other potential bad faith actors.

In the past, megathreads would be sorted by “new” for the entire duration of the thread, which is typically 24 hours unless sticky space is needed for other threads. We have changed this so after 8 hours, the threads will be automatically shifted to “best”.

If you take a look at the relevant portion of our wiki here you will see the wording of this rule has been elaborated on to hopefully make our standards more clear.


The Importance Of Accurate Reporting

Please refrain from using the report function as a “super downvote” for posts you may not like or you may disagree with. We lean on our users to report things for us but when there’s an abundance of false reporting, it makes our jobs very difficult and diverts our attention from legitimate rule-breaking content.

Reporting something will not cause something to be removed, it still needs to be reviewed by someone first.


Looking For New Moderators

We are always looking for new moderators to join our team, especially now as we enter into the 2020 campaign season. If you’re interested, submit an application here and we’ll get back to you if we think you’re a good fit.

Generally we want people who can really devote time to moderating each week, who can moderate and enforce the rules objectively, and who have a long and healthy post history in this sub.


A Quick Note On Civility:

Political tension seems to be at an all-time high, and the rhetoric is getting more heated by the day. Our goal at r/politics has not changed, however: We have always sought to provide a space for users of all political stripes to participate, and the most important component of that is civility.

We want to remind everyone that no matter what side of the aisle you are on, no matter your specific political beliefs, the ability to have civil and reasoned debate with another person is the cornerstone of our subreddit.

It’s a lofty goal, especially in our current climate, and that is why we need and are humbly asking for your help, because we can’t do it on our own! As our subreddit grows, as we bring more and more people together under our roof, please help us with our mission to make and keep this a truly special place, where everyone is welcome to debate and discuss politics in a welcoming environment, because not only do you, the users deserve no less, but our discourse as a whole deserves and needs it as well.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. ”I see rule-breaking comments all the time, why aren’t they removed?”

Simple, comments that break the rules often go unreported. We receive thousands and thousands of comments a day and we rely on automation and our users to report comments that break our rules. If a rule-breaking comment is not reported, a moderator will almost certainly never see it.

Additionally, we are dealing with a large volume of reports each day so it takes us time to review everything. To put things into perspective, we receive about 7,000 reports each and every day.

The best thing to do to a comment that is clearly rule-breaking is to report and move on; especially in cases of trolling.

Q. “Why aren’t you mods doing more to combat the bots that troll this subreddit?”

Bots are something the team is constantly dealing with and we are always trying to automate ways to identify them more quickly, but truthfully our tools are quite limited and most of the work is done manually. We are a small team doing the best we can with our limited set of tools. If you think a user is a bot or troll, please report and move on.

Q. “There are websites on the domain whitelist that I don’t think should be there. Why can’t we remove them?”

In August of 2017 we moved from a domain blacklist – which targeted rule breaking domains – to a domain whitelist – that approved generally rule compliant domains. At that time, we were very sensitive to the impact of making this change, and were determined to make certain that the whitelist was not a round-about way of trying to curate our front page, or push submissions in a different ideological direction than what users were interested in submitting. To guide us, we created a ‘domain notability’ requirement, which would ensure that any domain that was sufficiently influential or remarkable would be permitted.

Over two years later, we’re extremely happy with the impact of the whitelist system. It has dramatically reduced the amount of spam and obvious rule breaking content that we have submitted to us. Things that were once incredibly commonplace – advertising spam, Macedonian fake news / click-bait websites, blogs, Youtube promoters etc – are now made instantly irrelevant. This has made r/politics/new much easier to browse, and has let the moderator team focus our efforts elsewhere – on enforcing comment guidelines, removing trolls, removing off topic content etc etc. There are many domains that we receive regular complaints about – their content may be inflammatory, controversial, or spurious. The fact is that we were very actively trying not to target those domains when moving to this system. We want to make user voting – the core mechanic that all of reddit is based around – the primary method of curation on our page. We still feel confident that our approach is sound – but of course we will discuss further below.

Please try to remember – inclusion on the whitelist is not an endorsement by the mod team or r/politics, or a reflection of reputability. Is is solely reflective of whether the domain is notable.

Q: How do you decide what gets a megathread?

We use an objective metric based on volume of posts, we do not initiate megathreads based on perceived importance of overall stories. If a certain amount of submissions based on a topic are threatening to overwhelm the subreddit, at that point it will get a megathread.


We want to hear from you!

What can we do differently?

How can we make this a more inclusive community?

What would you like to see from us during the 2020 election in terms of weekly or monthly threads?

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In China’s Crackdown on Muslims, Children Have Not Been Spared

Westlake Legal Group merlin_166073571_65b74708-0e9c-49d1-a018-5c979325078e-facebookJumbo In China’s Crackdown on Muslims, Children Have Not Been Spared Xi Jinping Uighurs (Chinese Ethnic Group) Istanbul (Turkey) Hotan (China) Han Chinese (Ethnic Group) Communist Party of China Chinese Language China

HOTAN, China — The first grader was a good student and beloved by her classmates, but she was inconsolable, and it was no mystery to her teacher why.

“The most heartbreaking thing is that the girl is often slumped over on the table alone and crying,” he wrote on his blog. “When I asked around, I learned that it was because she missed her mother.”

The mother, he noted, had been sent to a detention camp for Muslim ethnic minorities. The girl’s father had passed away, he added. But instead of letting other relatives raise her, the authorities put her in a state-run boarding school — one of hundreds of such facilities that have opened in China’s far western Xinjiang region.

As many as a million ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and others have been sent to internment camps and prisons in Xinjiang over the past three years, an indiscriminate clampdown aimed at weakening the population’s devotion to Islam. Even as these mass detentions have provoked global outrage, though, the Chinese government is pressing ahead with a parallel effort targeting the region’s children.

Nearly a half million children have been separated from their families and placed in boarding schools so far, according to a planning document published on a government website, and the ruling Communist Party has set a goal of operating one to two such schools in each of Xinjiang’s 800-plus townships by the end of next year.

The party has presented the schools as a way to fight poverty, arguing that they make it easier for children to attend classes if their parents live or work in remote areas or are unable to care for them. And it is true that many rural families are eager to send their children to these schools, especially when they are older.

But the schools are also designed to assimilate and indoctrinate children at an early age, away from the influence of their families, according to the planning document, published in 2017. Students are often forced to enroll because the authorities have detained their parents and other relatives, ordered them to take jobs far from home or judged them unfit guardians.

The schools are off limits to outsiders and tightly guarded, and it is difficult to interview residents in Xinjiang without putting them at risk of arrest. But a troubling picture of these institutions emerges from interviews with Uighur parents living in exile and a review of documents published online, including procurement records, government notices, state media reports and the blogs of teachers in the schools.

State media and official documents describe education as a key component of President Xi Jinping’s campaign to wipe out extremist violence in Xinjiang, a ruthless and far-reaching effort that also includes the mass internment camps and sweeping surveillance measures. The idea is to use the boarding schools as incubators of a new generation of Uighurs who are secular and more loyal to both the party and the nation.

“The long-term strategy is to conquer, to captivate, to win over the young generation from the beginning,” said Adrian Zenz, a researcher at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington who has studied Chinese policies that break up Uighur families.

To carry out the assimilation campaign, the authorities in Xinjiang have recruited tens of thousands of teachers from across China, often Han Chinese, the nation’s dominant ethnic group. At the same time, prominent Uighur educators have been imprisoned and teachers have been warned they will be sent to the camps if they resist.

Thrust into a regimented environment and immersed in an unfamiliar culture, children in the boarding schools are only allowed visits with family once every week or two — a restriction intended to “break the impact of the religious atmosphere on children at home,” in the words of the 2017 policy document.

The campaign echoes past policies in Canada, the United States and Australia that took indigenous children from their families and placed them in residential schools to forcibly assimilate them.

“The big difference in China is the scale and how systematic it is,” said Darren Byler, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado who studies Uighur culture and society.

Public discussion in China of the trauma inflicted on Uighur children by separating them from their families is rare. References on social media are usually quickly censored. Instead, the state-controlled news media focuses on the party’s goals in the region, where predominantly Muslim minorities make up more than half the population of 25 million.

Visiting a kindergarten near the frontier city of Kashgar this month, Chen Quanguo, the party’s top official in Xinjiang, urged teachers to ensure children learn to “love the party, love the motherland and love the people.”

Abdurahman Tohti left Xinjiang and immigrated to Turkey in 2013, leaving behind cotton farming to sell used cars in Istanbul. But when his wife and two young children returned to China for a visit a few years ago, they disappeared.

He heard that his wife was sent to prison, like many Uighurs who have traveled abroad and returned to China. His parents were detained too. The fate of his children, though, was a mystery.

Then in January, he spotted his 4-year-old son in a video on Chinese social media that had apparently been recorded by a teacher. The boy seemed to be at a state-run boarding school and was speaking Chinese, a language his family did not use.

Mr. Tohti, 30, said he was excited to see the child, and relieved he was safe — but also gripped by desperation.

“What I fear the most,” he said, “is that the Chinese government is teaching him to hate his parents and Uighur culture.”

Beijing has sought for decades to suppress Uighur resistance to Chinese rule in Xinjiang, in part by using schools in the region to indoctrinate Uighur children. Until recently, though, the government had allowed most classes to be taught in the Uighur language, partly because of a shortage of Chinese-speaking teachers.

Then, after a surge of antigovernment and anti-Chinese violence, including ethnic riots in 2009 in Urumqi, the regional capital, and deadly attacks by Uighur militants in 2014, Mr. Xi ordered the party to take a harder line in Xinjiang, according to internal documents leaked to The New York Times earlier this year.

In December 2016, the party announced that the work of the region’s education bureau was entering a new phase. Schools were to become an extension of the security drive in Xinjiang, with a new emphasis on the Chinese language, patriotism and loyalty to the party.

In the 2017 policy document, posted on the education ministry’s website, officials from Xinjiang outlined their new priorities and ranked expansion of the boarding schools at the top.

Without specifying Islam by name, the document characterized religion as a pernicious influence on children, and said having students live at school would “reduce the shock of going back and forth between learning science in the classroom and listening to scripture at home.”

By early 2017, the document said, nearly 40 percent of all middle-school and elementary-school age children in Xinjiang — or about 497,800 students — were boarding in schools. At the time, the government was ramping up efforts to open boarding schools and add dorms to schools, and more recent reports suggest the push is continuing.

Chinese is also replacing Uighur as the main language of instruction in Xinjiang. Most elementary and middle school students are now taught in Chinese, up from just 38 percent three years ago. And thousands of new rural preschools have been built to expose minority children to Chinese at an earlier age, state media reported.

The government argues that teaching Chinese is critical to improving the economic prospects of minority children, and many Uighurs agree. But Uighur activists say the overall campaign amounts to an effort to erase what remains of their culture.

Several Uighurs living abroad said the government had put their children in boarding schools without their consent.

Mahmutjan Niyaz, 33, a Uighur businessman who moved to Istanbul in 2016, said his 5-year-old daughter was sent to one after his brother and sister-in-law, the girl’s guardians, were confined in an internment camp.

Other relatives could have cared for her but the authorities refused to let them. Now, Mr. Niyaz said, the school has changed the girl.

“Before, my daughter was playful and outgoing,” he said. “But after she went to the school, she looked very sad in the photos.”

In a dusty village near the ancient Silk Road city of Hotan in southern Xinjiang, nestled among fields of barren walnut trees and simple concrete homes, the elementary school stood out.

It was surrounded by a tall brick wall with two layers of barbed wire on top. Cameras were mounted on every corner. And at the entrance, a guard wearing a black helmet and a protective vest stood beside a metal detector.

It wasn’t always like this. Last year, officials converted the school in Kasipi village into a full-time boarding school.

Kang Jide, a Chinese language teacher at the school, described the frenzied process on his public blog on the Chinese social media platform WeChat: In just a few days, all the day students were transferred. Classrooms were rearranged. Bunk beds were set up. Then, 270 new children arrived, leaving the school with 430 boarders, each in the sixth grade or below.

Officials called them “kindness students,” referring to the party’s generosity in making special arrangements for their education.

The government says children in Xinjiang’s boarding schools are taught better hygiene and etiquette as well as Chinese and science skills that will help them succeed in modern China.

“My heart suddenly melted after seeing the splendid heartfelt smiles on the faces of these left-behind children,” said a retired official visiting a boarding elementary school in Lop County near Hotan, according to a state media report. He added that the party had given them “an environment to be carefree, study happily, and grow healthy and strong.”

But Mr. Kang wrote that being separated from their families took a toll on the children. Some never received visits from relatives, or remained on campus during the holidays, even after most teachers left. And his pupils often begged to use his phone to call their parents.

“Sometimes, when they hear the voice on the other end of the call, the children will start crying and they hide in the corner because they don’t want me to see,” he wrote.

“It’s not just the children,” he added. “The parents on the other end also miss their children of course, so much so that it breaks their hearts and they’re trembling.”

The internment camps, which the government describes as job training centers, have cast a shadow even on students who are not boarders. Before the conversion of the school, Mr. Kang posted a photo of a letter that an 8-year-old girl had written to her father, who had been sent to a camp.

“Daddy, where are you?” the girl wrote in an uneven scrawl. “Daddy, why don’t you come back?”

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she continued. “You must study hard too.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Kang was generally supportive of the schools. On his blog, he described teaching Uighur students as an opportunity to “water the flowers of the motherland.”

“Kindness students” receive more attention and resources than day students. Boarding schools are required to offer psychological counseling, for example, and in Kasipi, the children were given a set of supplies that included textbooks, clothes and a red Young Pioneer scarf.

Learning Chinese was the priority, Mr. Kang wrote, though students were also immersed in traditional Chinese culture, including classical poetry, and taught songs praising the party.

On a recent visit to the school, children in red and blue uniforms could be seen playing in a yard beside buildings marked “cafeteria” and “student dormitory.” At the entrance, school officials refused to answer questions.

Tighter security has become the norm at schools in Xinjiang. In Hotan alone, more than a million dollars has been allocated in the past three years to buy surveillance and security equipment for schools, including helmets, shields and spiked batons, according to procurement records. At the entrance to one elementary school, a facial recognition system had been installed.

Mr. Kang recently wrote on his blog that he had moved on to a new job teaching in northern Xinjiang. Reached by telephone there, he declined to be interviewed. But before hanging up, he said his students in Kasipi had made rapid progress in learning Chinese.

“Every day I feel very fulfilled,” he said.

To carry out its campaign, the party needed not only new schools but also an army of teachers, an overhaul of the curriculum — and political discipline. Teachers suspected of dissent were punished, and textbooks were rewritten to weed out material deemed subversive.

“Teachers are the engineers of the human soul,” the education bureau of Urumqi recently wrote in an open letter, deploying a phrase first used by Stalin to describe writers and other cultural workers.

The party launched an intensive effort to recruit teachers for Xinjiang from across China. Last year, nearly 90,000 were brought in, chosen partly for their political reliability, officials said at a news conference this year. The influx amounted to about a fifth of Xinjiang’s teachers last year, according to government data.

The new recruits, often ethnic Han, and the teachers they joined, mostly Uighurs, were both warned to toe the line. Those who opposed the Chinese-language policy or resisted the new curriculum were labeled “two-faced” and punished.

The deputy secretary-general of the oasis town of Turpan, writing earlier this year, described such teachers as “scum of the Chinese people” and accused them of being “bewitched by extremist religious ideology.”

Teachers were urged to express their loyalty, and the public was urged to keep an eye on them. A sign outside a kindergarten in Hotan invited parents to report teachers who made “irresponsible remarks” or participated in unauthorized religious worship.

Officials in Xinjiang also spent two years inspecting and revising hundreds of textbooks and other teaching material, according to the 2017 policy document.

Some who helped the party write and edit the old textbooks ended up in prison, including Yalqun Rozi, a prominent scholar and literary critic who helped compile a set of textbooks on Uighur literature that were used for more than a decade.

Mr. Rozi was charged with attempted subversion and sentenced to 15 years in prison last year, according to his son, Kamaltürk Yalqun. Several other members of the committee that compiled the textbooks were arrested too, he said.

“Instead of welcoming the cultural diversity of Uighurs, China labeled it a malignant tumor,” said Mr. Yalqun, who lives in Philadelphia.

There is evidence that some Uighur children have been sent to boarding schools far from their homes.

Kalbinur Tursun, 36, entrusted five of her children to relatives when she left Xinjiang to give birth in Istanbul but has been unable to contact them for several years.

Last year, she saw her daughter Ayshe, then 6, in a video circulating on Chinese social media. It had been posted by a user who appeared to be a teacher at a school in Hotan — more than 300 miles away from their home in Kashgar.

“My children are so young, they just need their mother and father,” Ms. Tursun said, expressing concern about how the authorities were raising them. “I fear they will think that I’m the enemy — that they won’t accept me and will hate me.”

Fatima Er contributed reporting from Istanbul.

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Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say

Thousands of koalas are feared to have died in the wildfires raging in parts of Australia, with officials saying they believe up to a third of the iconic marsupial population may have been lost.

The mid-northern coast of New South Wales was home to up to 28,000 koalas before the blazes began scorching the region last month.

Sussan Ley, Australia’s environment minister, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday that “up to 30 percent of their habitat has been destroyed.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19357177839193 Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 6f403378-c5c1-5aec-8cd8-4308bc5898be

In this image made from video taken on Dec. 22, 2019, and provided by Oakbank Balhannah CFS, a koala drinks water from a bottle given by a firefighter in Cudlee Creek, South Australia. Around 200 wildfires were burning in four states, with New South Wales accounting for more than half of them, including 60 fires not contained. (Oakbank Balhannah CFS via AP)

“We’ll know more when the fires are calmed down and a proper assessment can be made,” she added. “In the meantime, I’ve convened experts, scientists, people who understand koala behavior, to work out how we build those corridors in the habitats and how best we reintroduce koalas from the hospitals.”

KOALA RESCUED FROM AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES DIES AFTER INJURIES WORSEN

Koalas are native to Australia and are one of the country’s most beloved animals. However, their natural habitat, Eucalyptus forests, has been threatened by wildfires and a years-long drought.

The dramatic rescue of a koala in New South Wales last month captured the hearts and attention of people around the world. A video of a woman pulling the badly burned, wailing koala from a brushfire and dousing it with water went viral.

But the severely injured koala, named Lewis by Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, woud die days later.

Images shared on social media in recent days showed koalas drinking water out of tubs and bottles after being rescued.

“I get mail from all over the world from people absolutely moved and amazed by our wildlife volunteer response and also by the habits of these curious creatures,” Ley said, adding that other native animals have also been heavily impacted by the fires.

AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES EXPECTED TO WORSEN AS ANOTHER ‘EXTREME HEAT WAVE’ LOOMS

Officials said more than 12.35 million acres of land have burned nationwide during the crisis. Nine people – including two firefighters – have been killed and more than 1,000 homes destroyed.

The fire danger in New South Wales – just north of Sydney – was upgraded to “severe” Saturday, as temperatures topped 100 degrees in parts of the region.

Westlake Legal Group AP19356361253350 Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 6f403378-c5c1-5aec-8cd8-4308bc5898be

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, photo, NSW Rural Fire Service crew fight the Gospers Mountain Fire as it impacts a property at Bilpin, New South Wales state, Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday, Dec. 22, apologized for taking a family vacation in Hawaii as deadly bushfires raged across several states, destroying homes and claiming the lives of two volunteer firefighters.(Dan Himbrechts/AAP Images via AP)

The high temperature in Sydney was expected to reach 88 degrees Sunday and 95 on Tuesday.

Canberra, Australia’s capital, peaked at 100 degrees Saturday, with more oppressive heat expected throughout next week.

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The hot weather, which has come in the first part of Australia’s summer, started early this year after an unusually dry and warm winter.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and Greg Norman, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19357177839193 Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 6f403378-c5c1-5aec-8cd8-4308bc5898be   Westlake Legal Group AP19357177839193 Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 6f403378-c5c1-5aec-8cd8-4308bc5898be

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Trump says New York, California must ‘politely’ ask for help to tackle ‘tremendous’ homeless problem

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118338936001_6118338447001-vs Trump says New York, California must ‘politely’ ask for help to tackle ‘tremendous’ homeless problem fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 8103345c-6726-525a-8d88-9afdfe8de263

President Trump on Saturday called on New York and California to tackle what he described as their “tremendous homeless problems” — suggesting they should ask the White House “politely” for help if they can’t sort it out by themselves.

“California and New York must do something about their TREMENDOUS Homeless problems. They are setting records!” he tweeted. “If their Governors can’t handle the situation, which they should be able to do very easily, they must call and “politely” ask for help. Would be so easy with competence!”

TRUMP WARNS NEWSOM: IF CALIFORNIA HOMELESS CRISIS PERSISTS, FEDS ‘WILL GET INVOLVED’

The Department of Housing and Urban Development this month reported a 2.7 percent national increase in the homeless population, driven primarily by a spike in California. The report found that the liberal stronghold had seen a 16.4 percent increase in its homeless population.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom responded by saying the state was doing more to combat the challenge, but called on the federal government to put “real skin in the game.”

“Federal leadership matters. Investments made during the Obama administration are proving effective and have contributed to more than a 50% drop in homelessness among veterans since 2010,” Newsom said.

According to that survey, first reported by The Associated Press, the states with the highest rates were New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington. Washington D,C, had a homelessness rate of 94 per 10,000 people, more than twice as high as New York.

HOMELESSNESS CRISIS: FROM HOUSEBOATS TO BOULDERS, UNCONVENTIONAL METHODS USED TO TACKLE PROBLEM IN 2019

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new initiative to end homelessness this month, spending an estimated $120 million in 2020 to get people off the streets in his ongoing effort to tackle homelessness.

Trump, who is from New York, has been vocal in his criticism of both states for failing to get a grip on the homeless crisis. This week he took aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., accusing her of having lost control of the situation in her district.

“Nancy Pelosi’s District in California has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U.S. when it come to the homeless & crime,” he tweeted.

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“It has gotten so bad, so fast – she has lost total control and, along with her equally incompetent governor, Gavin Newsom, it is a very sad sight!” he said.

On Wednesday, he warned Newsom that the feds could get involved if he can’t sort it out.

“Governor Gavin N has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California. If he can’t fix the problem, the Federal Govt. will get involved!” Trump tweeted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118338936001_6118338447001-vs Trump says New York, California must ‘politely’ ask for help to tackle ‘tremendous’ homeless problem fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 8103345c-6726-525a-8d88-9afdfe8de263   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118338936001_6118338447001-vs Trump says New York, California must ‘politely’ ask for help to tackle ‘tremendous’ homeless problem fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 8103345c-6726-525a-8d88-9afdfe8de263

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Mass Killings In U.S. Hit Record High In 2019, Most Were Mass Shootings

Westlake Legal Group 5e0765ff250000141198f48b Mass Killings In U.S. Hit Record High In 2019, Most Were Mass Shootings

The first one occurred 19 days into the new year when a man used an ax to kill four family members including his infant daughter. Five months later, 12 people were killed in a workplace shooting in Virginia. Twenty-two more died at a Walmart in El Paso in August.

A database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University shows that there were more mass killings in 2019 than any year dating back to at least the 1970s, punctuated by a chilling succession of deadly rampages during the summer.

In all, there were 41 mass killings, defined as when four or more people are killed excluding the perpetrator. Of those, 33 were mass shootings. More than 210 people were killed.

Most of the mass killings barely became national news, failing to resonate among the general public because they didn’t spill into public places like massacres in El Paso and Odessa, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Jersey City, New Jersey.

The majority of the killings involved people who knew each other — family disputes, drug or gang violence or people with beefs that directed their anger at co-workers or relatives.

In many cases, what set off the perpetrator remains a mystery.

That’s the case with the very first mass killing of 2019, when a 42-year-old man took an ax and stabbed to death his mother, stepfather, girlfriend and 9-month-old daughter in Clackamas County, Oregon. Two others, a roommate and an 8-year-old girl managed to escape; the rampage ended when responding police fatally shot the killer.

The perpetrator had had occasional run-ins with police over the years, but what drove him to attack his family remains unknown. He had just gotten a job training mechanics at an auto dealership, and despite occasional arguments with his relatives, most said there was nothing out of the ordinary that raised significant red flags.

The incident in Oregon was one of 18 mass killings where family members were slain, and one of six that didn’t involve a gun. Among other trends in 2019:

— The 41 mass killings were the most in a single year since the AP/USA Today and Northeastern database began tracking such events back to 2006, but other research going back to the 1970s shows no other year with as many mass slayings. The second-most killings in a year prior to 2019 was 38 in 2006.

— The 211 people killed in this year’s cases is still eclipsed by the 224 victims in 2017, when the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in Las Vegas.

— California, with some of the most strict gun laws in the country, had the most, with eight such mass slayings. But nearly half of U.S. states experienced a mass slaying, from big cities like New York, to tiny towns like Elkmont, Alabama, with a population of just under 475 people.

— Firearms were the weapon in all but eight of the mass killings. Other weapons included knives, axes and at least twice when the perpetrator set a mobile home on fire, killing those inside.

— Nine mass shootings occurred in a public place. Other mass killings occurred in homes, in the workplace or at a bar.

James Densley, a criminologist and professor at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, said the AP/USA Today/Northeastern database confirms and mirrors what his own research into exclusively mass shootings has shown.

“What makes this even more exceptional is that mass killings are going up at a time when general homicides, overall homicides, are going down,” Densley said. “As a percentage of homicides, these mass killings are also accounting for more deaths. ”

He believes it’s partially a byproduct of an “angry and frustrated time” that we are living in. Densley also said crime tends to go in waves with the 1970s and 1980s seeing a number of serial killers, the 1990s marked by school shootings and child abductions and the early 2000s dominated by concerns over terrorism.

“This seems to be the age of mass shootings,” Densley said.

He and James Alan Fox, a criminologist and professor at Northeastern University, also expressed worries about the “contagion effect,” the focus on mass killings fueling other mass killings.

“These are still rare events. Clearly the risk is low but the fear is high,” Fox said. “What fuels contagion is fear.”

The mass shootings this year include the three in August in Texas and Dayton that stirred fresh urgency, especially among Democratic presidential candidates, to restrict access to firearms.

While the large death tolls attracted much of the attention, the killings inflicted a mental and physical toll on dozens of others. The database does not have a complete count of victims who were wounded, but among the three mass shootings in August alone, more than 65 people were injured.

Daniel Munoz, 28, of Odessa, was caught in the crossfire of the shooting that took place between a 10-mile (16-kilometer) stretch in West Texas. He was on his way to meet a friend at a bar when he saw a gunman and the barrel of a firearm. Instinctively, he got down just as his car was sprayed with bullets.

Munoz, who moved to Texas about a year ago to work in the oil industry, said he had actually been on edge since the Walmart shooting, which took place just 28 days earlier and about 300 miles (480 kilometers) away, worried that a shooting could happen anywhere at any time.

He remembers calling his mother after the El Paso shooting to encourage her to have a firearm at home or with her in case she needed to defend herself. He would say the same to friends, telling them before they went to a Walmart to bring a firearm in case they needed to protect themselves or others during an attack.

“You can’t just always assume you’re safe. In that moment, as soon as the El Paso shooting happened, I was on edge,” Munoz said.

Adding to his anxiety is that, as a convicted felon, he’s prohibited from possessing a firearm.

A few weeks later, as he sat behind the wheel of his car, he spotted the driver of an approaching car wielding a firearm.

“My worst nightmare became a reality,” he said. “I’m the middle of a gunfight and I have no way to defend myself.”

In the months since, the self-described social butterfly steers clear of crowds and can only tolerate so much socializing. He still drives the same car, still riddled with bullet holes on the side panels, a bullet hole in the headrest of the passenger seat and the words “evidence” scrawled on the doors. His shoulder remains pocked with bullet fragments.

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Washington man accused of killing wife purportedly confessed to murder in tweets to NRA, Trump

A Washington state man accused of killing his wife the day after Christmas apparently confessed to the shooting in tweets to the NRA, President Trump, and Sen. Mitch McConnell.

A Twitter account purportedly owned by Kevin Heimsoth – a Bellingham man who is the main suspect in the shooting death of his wife Lynn Heimsoth – sent a series of four reply tweets shorting after 3 a.m. PT on Dec. 26 stating that the user shot and killed his “whole family.”

WASHINGTON WOMAN, 85, KILLED ROOMATE, SHOT ANOTHER BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO KILL HERSELF: POLICE

In a reply to the NRA’s Merry Christmas tweet, the account wrote: “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”

“Guns just make it a lot easier. AR-15 makes it super easy,” the post continued. “I jist (sic) killed my whole family, and i couldnt have done it without a gun! I’m too much of a coward, a knife would have been waaay too hard. So, thanks to everyone at the NRA.”

Similar tweets were also sent as replies to Trump’s personal and presidential accounts as well as to McConnell’s account.

NLF QB C.J. BEATHARD POSTS EMOTIONAL TRIBUTE TO SLAIN BROTHER CLAYTON BEATHARD

In a subsequent tweet, the user then thanks McConnell for making it possible and then requested a welfare check at an address on Marine Drive in Bellingham.

The rest of the account appeared to just be political commentary replying to President Trump.

Fox News’ has not independently verified that the Twitter account belongs to Kevin Heimsoth. As of Saturday morning, the tweets are still up.

However, the Bellingham Herald reported the account is associated with email accounts and phone numbers that belong to him and the account associated with Lynn Heimsoth followed it.

Westlake Legal Group Lynn-Heimsoth-split Washington man accused of killing wife purportedly confessed to murder in tweets to NRA, Trump Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 6376cd5a-8c9c-5133-b47f-66fecc26cd86

Lynn Heimsoth, 58, was shot and killed in her home. Her husband Kevin Heimsoth is the main suspect in her death.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said deputies were called to a home on the 900 block of Marine Drive around 10:28 a.m. Dec. 26 for a report of a murder-suicide.

Inside, they found a 58-year-old woman dead from a gunshot wound. The woman’s 56-year-old husband was also found inside the apartment with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

SEATTLE-AREA SUSPECTED DUI CRASH INTO CLOTHING STORE LEFT TODDLER CRITICALLY INJURED, 10 OTHERS HURT, AUTHORITIES SAY

The pair were later identified as the Heimsoths.

As of Friday, Kevin Heimsoth remained hospitalized in critical condition.

“This horrendous crime impacted many in our community,” Elfo told the Bellingham Herald. “While our investigation has not yet revealed any facts that would indicate a propensity for domestic violence prior to the murder, anyone with information that might be helpful to our investigation and review of this incident is requested to contact the Sheriff’s Office. As this case illustrates, the dynamics of domestic violence can escalate and lead to extreme violence.”

Deputies also found Lynn Heimsoth’s therapy dog, Sukha, and a cat, both dead from gunshot wounds, the Bellingham Herald reported.

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Lynn Heimsoth was the principal at Sunnyland Elementary in Bellingham since July 2017.

The school’s superintendent said in a statement Thursday that they are “heartbroken” by her death.

“Her death is a profound loss to our Sunnyland community, our school district and to our extended community,” Bellingham Public Schools Superintendent Greg Baker said. “Lynn was a passionate, equity-driven instructional leader. She loved kids to the core and always kept students’ needs at the center of her work.”

A vigil was held Friday.

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