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July 4 parade slaughter again shows nowhere is safe from America’s mass killing contagion—CNN



(CNN) America’s latest mass shooting turned a cherished July Fourth parade from a scene of patriotic joy into one of fear and death.

The rapid bursts of a high-powered rifle brought the chilling reality that no one can be sure they are safe, anywhere, to one of the nation’s most unifying gatherings.
In that instant, Highland Park joined Uvalde, Columbine, Newtown and Parkland and a long list of cities and towns known across the country for the massacre of innocents in a gun violence contagion that makes the United States an outlier in developed societies.
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet captured this from video on the morning of July 4, 2022, at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park. People begin running after they hear gunshots.

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet captured this from video on the morning of July 4, 2022, at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park. People begin running after they hear gunshots.Lynn Sweet/Sun-Times

Detritus strewn at the scene, a lone shoe, discarded backpacks, upturned camping chairs and empty strollers did not just tell the story of the hurried panic of those who fled for their lives. It reflected yet another scene of normality shattered by a mass shooting. In this case, six people who simply went out to celebrate America on its birthday are dead. More than two dozen — aged 8 to 85, according to doctors — are injured.
Only Monday’s venue — on a day dedicated to national celebration — was variable. Similar horror unfolded in May in an elementary school in Texas and a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. Mass shootings targeted graduation parties last month in Texas and South Carolina. In Philadelphia, shooters sprayed a nightlife crowd. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, there was carnage in a medical center. In Brooklyn, the shooter was on the subway.
Terrified parade-goers fled Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade after shots were fired, leaving behind their belongings as they sought safety.

Terrified parade-goers fled Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade after shots were fired, leaving behind their belongings as they sought safety.Lynn Sweet/ Sun-Times


Television pictures Monday of police vehicles in Highland Park rushing to help beneath a billowing American flag added an ironic, new dimension to this latest horror. It took place as Americans gathered to celebrate the 246th anniversary of the freedoms inherent in American independence. Yet what unfolded encapsulated the quintessentially American cycle of death by firearms. When a gunman killed three people in a mall shooting in Copenhagen, Denmark, over the weekend, it was shocking because it was unusual. But while Monday’s shooting outside Chicago was unexpected, another mass shooting in the US was hardly a surprise.
“It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “A day dedicated to freedom has put into stark relief the one freedom we, as a nation, refuse to uphold: The freedom of our fellow citizens to live without the daily fear of gun violence.”
Police escort people away from the parade scene after the shooting in Highland Park Monday.

Police escort people away from the parade scene after the shooting in Highland Park Monday.Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Shocked residents relate a day of terror

Still, residents of the affluent, largely White suburb with a thriving Jewish community expressed shock that such horror visited their town.
Some related scenes of wounded victims on the sidewalk, of families fleeing with their kids in terror and of one man who put his children inside a dumpster for safety.
This was “just inconceivable in a community like Highland Park,” Jeff Leon, an eye witness who at first thought the pops of the rifle were July Fourth fireworks, told CNN.
Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider, who represents Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, expressed similar disbelief. “No one thinks that this could happen in our community, but that is true across the country,” he told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. And Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness for NorthShore University HealthSystem, told reporters: “It is a little surreal to have to take care of an event such as this.”
Police from several local municipalities including the Illinois State Police search downtown Highland Park after the mass shooting at the Fourth of July parade Monday.

Police from several local municipalities including the Illinois State Police search downtown Highland Park after the mass shooting at the Fourth of July parade Monday. Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A common sentiment of people caught up in such mass shootings is disbelief that their community, which they had considered safe, has been hit. But in a nation awash in guns, nowhere is immune. Even at July Fourth celebrations across the country that were perfectly safe, how many of the attendees didn’t have a flash of concern about their security? Having to think about the possibility of mass shooting — at a school or a movie theater or a place of worship — has now become part of life since it’s happened so often. It’s another weight of anxiety and stress on a national psyche strained by the Covid-19 pandemic, soaring inflation and vicious political divides that contributed to a pessimistic mood this July Fourth.
Gun violence is hardly new in American society. But the proliferation of deadly weapons is now forcing people everywhere in the United States to face worries long endured by those familiar with the horrific toll of firearms in cities.
It’s gotten nowhere near as much coverage. But the high-profile shootings in Uvalde and Highland Park, for instance, are taking place against a backdrop of incessant killings elsewhere.
There have been at least the 311 mass shooting in the United States so far this year, including 14 in just the first four days of this month, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
And it’s only July.

The politics of gun control

The suspect, Robert E. Crimo III, has been taken into custody near Lake Forest, Illinois, authorities said during a brief news conference Monday night after an hours-long manhunt.
Sgt. Chris Covelli, of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said earlier in the day that the firearm used in shooting was a “high powered rifle” but declined to give further details. If that is borne out, it would just be the latest occasion when a weapon with the capacity to quickly fire multiple rounds with deadly effect has been used in a mass shooting.
Police name person of interest in July 4 parade shooting

President Joe Biden and firearms safety advocates have called for a reinstatement of a nationwide assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. There is no chance, however, that such a measure could get through Republican opposition in the US Senate because of filibuster rules that require a 60-vote majority for major legislation. It’s unlikely Democrats with their wafer-thin majority could pass it on their own, and they lack the votes needed to change the filibuster rules.
The Highland Park mass shooting is the first to come to national attention since the passage of the first major gun safety legislation in Congress in a generation. It is far too early to know whether that measure — which poured new money into mental health resources and potentially slowed the pace at which people under 21 can get guns — could have prevented this tragedy or whether the incident will expose its limited scope. Biden and families of the victims of recent gun massacres had pleaded with Congress to do far more, but Republican opposition makes it all but impossible to pass meaningful overhauls of firearm laws, including expanded background checks.
The July Fourth holiday meant that there was little immediate political reaction to Monday’s mass killing from Republicans, even as Democrats such as Vice President Kamala Harris and Pritzker demanded more gun restrictions.

President Joe Biden and firearms safety advocates have called for a reinstatement of a nationwide assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

The rituals of America’s incessant mass shootings will likely now see Republicans try to point to other factors besides the availability of guns. It’s true that most gun owners in America are law-abiding. But logic suggests that America’s massive proliferation of guns compared with other nations and the high incidence of mass killings are linked. And it’s clear that more people having guns — what the National Rifle Association would call “good guys with guns” — isn’t stopping all of these killings.
Second Amendment activists insist that the right to own high-powered weapons is within every American’s rights to bear arms. And the conservative US Supreme Court majority is setting about loosening existing gun restrictions. All of which suggests that Monday’s shooting will result in no action that makes America safer. The heavy lift in passing even the limited gun safety legislation last month suggests that a gridlocked political system has already done as much as it can bear.
Yet each recent mass shooting poses the same questions, which are especially acute on a day that America celebrates its freedoms.
Why do the rights of those who insist they have the constitutional blessing to own such deadly weapons outweigh the right of others to life — especially since a majority of Americans support more comprehensive gun control? And why, for instance, should moms, dads, kids or grandparents have to so often run for their lives?
“It can happen any place,” Miles Zaremski, who witnessed the shooting in Highland Park, told CNN on Monday afternoon. “I’ve been around many years on this planet and what I observed shook me to the core.”
“If it can happen on July 4, in a peaceful law-abiding community that we have in Highland Park … it can happen any place.

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US senator urges Kenyan president to aid peaceful transition



NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A visiting U.S. senator says he has encouraged Kenya’s outgoing president to participate in a “peaceful transition of power” amid the latest election crisis in East Africa’s most stable democracy.

“I’ll let the president speak for himself, but that was certainly a hope I expressed today,” Sen. Chris Coons told The Associated Press after his meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday. He said they discussed ways in which Kenyatta can play a “constructive peacemaking role” after leaving office.

Kenyatta has remained publicly silent since the Aug. 9 vote, adding to the anxiety as Kenya again faces post-election uncertainty and a likely court challenge by the losing candidate, Raila Odinga. Coons, leading a congressional delegation on a five-country Africa visit, was in Kenya in part to meet the key parties and urge that calm continue.

Sen. Chris Coons, second right, leading a U.S. congressional delegation, is accompanied by his wife Annie Coons, right, and Rep Dave Joyce, left, as he speaks to patient David Oduor, center, at his home, after visiting the Tabitha Medical Clinic run by CFK Africa in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. The delegation also met with current President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s new president-elect William Ruto, and opposition figure Raila Odinga who has said he will challenge his recent election loss in court. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Kenyatta had backed longtime rival and opposition leader Odinga in the close race against his own deputy president, William Ruto, who fell out bitterly with Kenyatta years ago. Ruto on Monday was declared the winner, but not before Kenya’s most peaceful election ever slid into chaos in the final moments.

The electoral commission split in two, each side accusing the other of trying to tinker with the results. It came as a shock to many Kenyans after an election widely seen as the country’s most transparent ever, with results from the more than 46,000 polling stations posted online.

Now Odinga almost certainly will challenge the results in Supreme Court. His campaign has seven days from Monday’s declaration to do so, and the court will have 14 days to rule. Odinga has urged supporters to remain patient instead of taking to the streets in a country with a history of sometimes deadly post-election violence.

After meeting with Kenyatta, Odinga and Ruto, Coons told the AP “I was encouraged that in all three meetings we heard a commitment to a call for calm and tranquility, to respect the legal processes established in the 2010 constitution.” He said the conversations were about the rule of law, the importance of free and fair elections and peaceful transitions.

“Obviously, the United States has had a very difficult experience with these issues for the past few years,” Coons said, referring to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as former President Donald Trump tried to remain in power. “I said in all three meetings we have things to learn from Kenya.”

Kenyatta told Coons that Kenya would uphold “its position of a shining example of democracy in the continent by maintaining peace during this transition period,” according to a statement issued by the president’s office.

Coons said he did not come to Kenya seeking anything like the handshake that Kenyatta and Odinga, after prodding, famously shared to end months of crisis after the 2017 election, whose results were overturned by the Supreme Court over irregularities, a first in Africa. Odinga boycotted the fresh vote and declared himself the “people’s president,” bringing allegations of treason.

This time, with Kenyatta’s backing, the Odinga campaign felt he would win the presidency after a quarter-century of pursuing it.

Kenyatta is stepping down after two terms, itself a notable act in a region where longtime presidents like Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda have been accused of clinging to power through changes in term limits, manipulation of elections and crackdowns on dissenting voices.

The U.S. delegation is also visiting Rwanda, where human rights and violent tensions with neighboring Congo are almost certainly on the agenda following Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit there last week. Coons said he looks forward to visiting again with Kagame.

Kenyatta has played a leading role in efforts to calm the Rwanda-Congo tensions and in trying to mediate in neighboring Ethiopia’s deadly Tigray conflict, with support from the U.S. Coons did not say what kind of peacemaking role he hoped to see Kenyatta play after stepping down.

Ruto’s public comments this week have been on domestic matters, not foreign, but Coons said the president-elect made an “expression of concern and intent in trying to help lead to positive resolutions” in such regional crises.

Coons also has played a role in trying to calm the Ethiopia conflict. But he told the AP the delegation was not having a meeting with Ethiopia’s government or the Tigray forces while in Kenya.

Coons, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and his delegation have already visited Cape Verde and Mozambique and will visit Tunisia as well.

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Woman who gave birth to black and white twins thought she was handed the wrong baby



Mother Nature never ceases to amaze. Judith Nowokocha, a photographer from Calgary, Canada, received one such surprise. In 2016 she gave birth to twins and was in utter disbelief. The reason was that one of her babies was black and the other an albino.

The different skin tones left her confused as she felt that the hospital staff did a mix-up.

The brown baby boy Kamsi and the Albino baby girl Kachi became an Internet sensation as soon as their mom uploaded their pictures on the internet. She was in shock and felt sure that the wrong baby was handed to her, but all she heard was congratulations.

Mother of black and albino twins reveals she first thought she was given  the wrong baby | Daily Mail Online

The girl was diagnosed with a rare case of Albinism. Judith was apprehensive about how society would see the twins, but she has never received any negative reactions. She had heard superstitions about albino babies in Nigeria, but counseling was of great help to her. Her daughter does get bullied sometimes, but the love she receives is much greater. She teaches her daughter to embrace her differences.

The kids have been receiving a lot of attention for their unique appearance, but their mom says that they are just regular kids who are extremely protective of each other and each other’s best friends. They get along like a house on fire. Judith struggled to get pregnant for eight years, after which she delivered these twins through a successful IVF.

Kachi is diagnosed with Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA), a condition in which the body produces an insufficient amount of melanin. It affects the eyes, skin, and hair. One in four children has the risk of this condition when both parents carry the Albinism gene. The doctors had told her that the girl would struggle with her vision. So she sees an eye specialist every six months.

Now, the twins have an Instagram account with over 18,000 followers.

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OMG: Ivanka Trump ‘Dumps’ Brothers Donald Jr. & Eric



Ivanka Trump ‘Dumps’ Brothers Donald Jr. & Eric As She ‘Doesn’t Want To Be Part Of The Family Business Anymore’

It looks like Ivanka Trump is moving on: the businesswoman was never close with her brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric, and now she wants to focus on the future — without them.

“Ivanka has basically dumped her brothers,” a source exclusively tells OK!. “She doesn’t want to be part of the family business anymore or even the controversial family. Her future is with her husband, Jared Kushner, and her kids. They are out of politics and won’t be campaigning with her father anymore or defending him on TV.”

The insider reveals that Eric is upset with his sister, while Donald Jr. isn’t sweating it, as more attention will be on him going forward.

“Ivanka was always their dad’s favorite. With her out of the picture it is his time to shine,” adds a friend.

As OK! previously reported, Ivanka and Melania Trump hope that Donald Trump doesn’t run for president in 2024 — especially because he is embroiled in many legal battles at the moment.

“They are a family divided,” a source told Radar, adding that Melania wants her hubby to stay away from Washington, D.C., as she believes it will “make all of the family’s legal problems go away.”

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In early August, Donald’s Mar-a-Lago home was raided, as the FBI believes he took documents from the White House that are classified.

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Source: mega

“It’s obvious all of this craziness is happening because some people are scared Donald is going to run again in 2024,” the source stated. “Melania and Ivanka do not get along about much, but both are begging him to announce he will not be running. They believe all of this will disappear if he ends all of the speculation.”

The insider said that the investigation isn’t “just affecting Donald, it affects the entire family,” the source said. “Melania and Ivanka are sick of the endless investigations and attention. They want to go back to their fabulous lives. They just want this all to end.”

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