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Kenya’s Jepkosgei, Ethiopia’s Lemma triumph at London Marathon

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Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei won the women’s London Marathon on Sunday as Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma triumphed in the men’s race in the first full-scale staging of the event since the coronavirus pandemic.

Brigid Kosgei, aiming to become the first woman to win three consecutive London Marathon titles since Germany’s Katrin Doerre in 1994, came fourth.

Jepkosgei won in a personal-best time of 2hr 17min 43sec. Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw finished second in 2:17.58 and compatriot Ashete Bekere was third in 2:18.18.

Lemma failed to finish the Olympic marathon in Japan in August but bounced back to win in the British capital in 2:04.01.

Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba was runner-up for the second year running in 2:04.28 and Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew came third with a time of 2:04.41.

The London Marathon returned to normality for the first time since 2019 after being held without amateur runners or spectators last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The pandemic forced the event to be moved from April to October in 2020, with a small number of elite runners completing laps around St James’s Park.

But this year more than 40,000 amateur runners joined the elite athletes in covering the traditional 26.2-mile course from Blackheath, southeast London, to The Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace.

Another 40,000 runners competed virtually as the race got under way to cheers and applause from returning spectators, with mass participants’ start times staggered to avoid large gatherings.

The elite women set a ferocious early pace, completing the first 10 miles in 52min 10sec.

Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, Kosgei, Jepkosgei, Bekere and Azimeraw formed a breakaway group after half-way.

Reigning New York Marathon champion Jepkosgei broke away after 1hr 55min, establishing an insurmountable lead with a few miles to go.

It is the first time five women have completed the London Marathon in under 2hr 19min.

The men’s pack was touted as arguably the strongest in history despite the absence of Kenyan four-time London Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge, with six runners holding best times of under 2h 05min.

Defending champion Shura Kitata of Ethiopia, who failed to finish the Olympic marathon in Sapporo and entered the race carrying a hamstring injury, faded quickly.

The runners passed half-way in 1:01.25 –12 seconds faster than Kipchoge’s split when he set the men’s London Marathon record of 2:02.37 in 2019.

A five-strong pack featuring Kenyans Evans Chebet and Kipchumba and Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, Lemma and Geremew broke away as the race progressed.

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Full List of Republican Senators Who Receive Funding From the NRA —Newsweek

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BY  (Culled from the Newsweek)

The political influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) is once again in the spotlight in the wake of the mass shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The shooting reignited the debate regarding gun control laws in the U.S. after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at the Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.

While several Republicans tweeted after the shooting that they are offering their thoughts and prayers to the victims, others have pointed out that there are a number of GOP senators who have received millions of dollars of donations from the NRA over the years.

According to data compiled by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in 2019, about two dozen sitting Republican senators have received contributions from the NRA. Of those senators, 16 have received more than $1 million.

Topping the list is Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who received more than $13 million in NRA contributions. The NRA money donated to Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, was raised by a number of social media users after Romney tweeted his condolences in the wake of the Uvalde mass shooting.

Some of Texas’ highest-ranking Republicans will take part in a massive National Rifle Association convention being held in Houston this weekend. Their participation, and long ties to the gun lobby, is seen by some voters as obscene after the school shooting in Uvalde on Tuesday that killed 21 people including 19 children.

“Grief overwhelms the soul. Children slaughtered. Lives extinguished. Parents’ hearts wrenched. Incomprehensible,” Romney wrote. “I offer prayer and condolence but know that it is grossly inadequate. We must find answers.”

Jemele Hill, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, tweeted in response to Romney: “Grief does not overwhelm the soul nearly as much as $13M from the NRA overwhelms your bank account. The answer you seek is the money you continue to take.”

Broadcaster Soledad O’Brien added: “The NRA gave you just under 14 million dollars, sir. I frequently call this man a coward. Maybe one day the words he says and what he actually does, will match.”

Senators Richard Burr and Roy Blunt followed Romney on the list of GOP lawmakers who received the highest amount of NRA contributions, with North Carolina’s Burr receiving close to $7 million and Blunt of Missouri taking in over $4.5 million from the NRA.

Other Republicans who received significant money from the NRA include Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell and Josh Hawley of Missouri.

Ted Cruz, who is due to appear at an NRA meeting in Houston over the weekend, just days after the mass shooting in Uvalde, has received more than $175,000 from the group.

In the wake of the Uvalde massacre, Cruz has frequently pushed back on calls for gun law reforms in the only country in the world where school shootings regularly occur.

Republican Senators Who Receive Funding From the NRA

  • Mitt Romney (Utah) $13,647,676
  • Richard Burr (North Carolina) $6,987,380
  • Roy Blunt (Missouri) $4,555,722
  • Thom Tillis (North Carolina) $4,421,333
  • Marco Rubio (Florida) $3,303,355
  • Joni Ernst (Iowa) $3,124,773
  • Rob Portman (Ohio) $3,063,327
  • Todd C. Young (Indiana) $2,897,582
  • Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) $2,867,074
  • Tom Cotton (Arkansas) $1,968,714
  • Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) $1,475,448
  • Josh Hawley (Missouri) $1,391,548
  • Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee) $1,306,130
  • Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) $1,269,486
  • Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) $1,267,139
  • Mike Braun (Indiana) $1,249,967
  • John Thune (South Dakota) $638,942
  • Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) $341,738
  • Richard Shelby (Alabama) $258,514
  • Chuck Grassley (Iowa) $226,007
  • John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana) $215,788
  • Ted Cruz (Texas) $176,274
  • Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) $146,262
  • Steve Daines (Montana) $123,711
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi) $109,547
  • Roger Wicker (Mississippi) $106,680
  • Rand Paul (Kentucky) $104,456
  • Mike Rounds (South Dakota) $95,049
  • John Boozman (Arkansas) $82,352
  • John Cornyn (Texas) $78,945
  • Ben Sasse (Nebraska) $68,623
  • Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma) $66,758
  • Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) $55,961
  • Mike Crapo (Idaho) $55,039
  • Jerry Moran (Kansas) $34,718
  • John Barrasso (Wyoming) $26,989
  • John Hoeven (North Dakota) $22,050
  • Susan Collins (Maine) $19,638
  • James Lankford (Oklahoma) $18,955
  • Jim Risch (Idaho) $18,850
  • Tim Scott (South Carolina) $18,513
  • Kevin Cramer (North Dakota) $13,255

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Uvalde Shooting horror: Families, community hold makeshift memorial at elementary school

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A makeshift memorial for the students, families and staff of Robb Elementary School has formed outside the campus after the shooting.

Family, friends and community members came to pay their respects adorning the campus’ welcome sign with bouquets of roses, sunflowers and balloons, American-Statesman reporter Luz Moreno-Lozano reported.

The last week of classes at Robb Elementary School ended in terror when a gunman opened fire, killing 21 people on Tuesday. Instead of making summer plans, the families of these 19 school children and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde are making funeral plans. Their young, innocent lives were ended by an 18-year-old gunman with just two days left in the school year during what is now the deadliest elementary school shooting since Sandy Hook. All of the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom. Before they were victims, they were children, brothers, sisters, and elementary school students.

Rosa Gonzalez, who visited the campus Wednesday, said she wanted to show support for her community and her friends who lost their children.

“This is so hard to explain,” she said, fighting back tears. “My kids went to school here. My grandkids went to school here. We never thought this would happen here.”

 

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Enough is Enough! O’Rourke Confronts Gov. Abbott during the Uvalde Press Conference

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“You’re all doing nothing,” O’Rourke said to Texas officials who were giving updates on the mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school.

UVALDE, Texas ― In a stunning moment on Wednesday, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) confronted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over gun control policy at a press conference where officials were giving updates on the mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school.

“You’re doing nothing. You’re all doing nothing,” O’Rourke told the officials assembled on the stage.

UVALDE, Texas ― In a stunning moment on Wednesday, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) confronted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over gun control policy at a press conference where officials were giving updates on the mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school.

“You’re doing nothing. You’re all doing nothing,” O’Rourke told the officials assembled on the stage.

One of them repeatedly shouted back, “Sir, you are out of line!”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) told O’Rourke he was “an embarrassment.”

An 18-year-old ran into Robb Elementary School in the small west Texas town on Tuesday, killing 19 children and two teachers with an AR-15 rifle. Seventeen more were injured, Abbott said earlier at the press conference. The man, who was killed by responding officers, had shot his grandmother in the face before driving over to the school. He posted his intentions to Facebook shortly before the rampage, Abbott said.

As Abbott finished his remarks and introduced Patrick, O’Rourke approached the stage to interrupt. His initial remarks were drowned out by crosstalk from different attendees ― some cheering him and many others jeering.

O’Rourke made a clear comment directed at Abbott while law enforcement moved to escort him out.

“This is on you,” O’Rourke said. “Until you choose to do something different, this will continue to happen. Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday.”

A man standing near O’Rourke interjected: “This is propaganda, bro. Get out of here. You’re trash, man.”

As O’Rourke exited, some of his supporters chanted, “Let him speak!” One person asked, “How about the First Amendment?”

The Republican elected officials at the dais criticized O’Rourke with varying degrees of subtlety once he was out of the room.

“There will be plenty of time to discuss and analyze what happened yesterday,” Patrick said.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) concurred. “Mayor, I’m sorry you had to witness that outburst,” Phelan said to Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin. “Now is not the time to politicize pain and suffering.”

In his initial remarks, Abbott had acknowledged that “people are rightfully angry about what’s happened,” but did not offer gun policy solutions. “Now more than ever,” Abbot said, what the Uvalde community needs “is our love.”

“What they need is uplifting from all of our fellow Texans and all of our fellow Americans,” the governor said. “And let me emphasize something that I know you all know, but the reality is as horrible as what happened, it could’ve been worse. The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do.”

Abbott called for better mental health care in the west Texas region. But when asked by a reporter whether he would reconsider accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid to that end, he said no.

Patrick similarly suggested there was little policy action that could be taken, saying, “Evil will always walk among us.”

“In times like this, I’ve seen it … in these other shootings, Sutherland Springs, El Paso, Odessa, Santa Fe, it’s God that brings a community together,” he added, referencing previous mass shootings in the state. “It’s God that heals a community.”

Following the outburst, Abbott criticized the relatively strict gun control policies of states with the nation’s larges cities, including California, Illinois and New York.

“There are, quote, real gun laws in Chicago,” Abbott said, then claimed such measures do not work. “Hate to say this, but there are more people who were shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas.”

Chicago has strict gun control laws, but nearby states like Indiana do not, which allows people to easily access weapons.

Outside the venue, O’Rourke continued his call for stronger gun control measures and better access to mental health care.

“Now is the time to stop the next shooting,” he said. “Right after Santa Fe high school was the time to stop the next shooting. Right after El Paso was the time to stop the next shooting. Right after Midland, Odessa was the time to stop the next shooting.”

“In each case, we say, ‘This isn’t the time.’ Now is the time.”

Culled from the HUFFPOST

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