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Killer-vandal who attacked Paul Pelosi charged with attempted homicide

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The husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was attacked and severely beaten with a hammer by an assailant who authorities said broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday, searching for the Democratic leader and shouting: “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?”

The assault on the 82-year-old Paul Pelosi injected new uneasiness into the nation’s already toxic political climate, just 11 days before the midterm elections. It carried chilling echoes of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol when rioters chanted menacingly for the speaker as they rampaged through the halls trying to halt certification of Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.

Speaker Pelosi, who was in Washington at the time of the California attack, arrived in San Francisco late Friday.

Forty-two-year-old David DePape was arrested on charges of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary, police said. Paul Pelosi underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, the speaker’s office said. His doctors expect a full recovery.

Biden quickly called Speaker Pelosi with support after the “horrible attack,” and Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress condemned the assault.

“The president is praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “The president continues to condemn all violence.”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell tweeted he was “horrified and disgusted” by the assault.

The nation’s political rhetoric has become increasingly alarming, with ominous threats to lawmakers at an all-time high. The House speaker and other congressional leaders are provided 24-hour security, and increasingly more other members now receive police protection. This as crime and public safety have emerged as top issues for voters in the election.

In San Francisco on Friday, police were called at about 2.30 a.m. to the Pelosi residence to check on Paul Pelosi, said Chief William Scott.

Investigators believe the intruder gained entry to the home in the upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood by breaking through glass-paneled doors, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Inside, police discovered the suspect DePape and Paul Pelosi struggling over a hammer, Scott said. DePape yanked the hammer from Pelosi and began beating him with it before being subdued by officers and arrested, Scott said. The FBI and Capitol Police are also part of the joint investigation.

Police said a motive for Friday’s intrusion was still to be determined, but three people with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that DePape targeted Pelosi’s home. Those people were not authorized to talk publicly about an ongoing probe and spoke on condition of anonymity. He was booked in the county jail.

The speaker had returned to Washington this week after being abroad and had been scheduled to appear with Vice President Kamala Harris at a fundraising event Saturday night for the LGBTQ group Human Rights Campaign. Pelosi canceled her appearance.

Paul Pelosi’s condition was not immediately available, but Speaker Pelosi’s office has said he would recover.

An address listed for DePape in the Bay Area college town of Berkeley led to a post box at a UPS Store.

He was known locally as a pro-nudity activist who had picketed naked at protests against laws requiring people to be clothed in public

Gene DePape, the suspect’s stepfather, said the suspect lived with him in Canada until he was 14 and was a quiet boy.

“He was reclusive,” said Gene DePape, adding, “He was never violent.”

The stepfather said he hadn’t seen DePape since 2003 and tried to get in touch with him several times over the years without success.

Lawmakers from both parties reacted with shock and expressed their well wishes to the Pelosi family.

“What happened to Paul Pelosi was a dastardly act,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “I spoke with Speaker Pelosi earlier this morning and conveyed my deepest concern and heartfelt wishes to her husband and their family, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy reached out privately to the speaker “to check in on Paul and said he’s praying for a full recovery,” spokesman Mark Bednar said.

But some Republicans declined to pause from politics.

Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin, at a campaign stop for a congressional candidate, said of the Pelosis: “There’s no room for violence anywhere, but we’re going to send her back to be with him in California.”

In 2021, Capitol Police investigated around 9,600 threats made against members of Congress, and several members have been physically attacked in recent years. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head at an event outside a Tucson grocery store in 2011, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was severely injured when a gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball team practice in 2017.

Members of Congress have received additional money for security at their homes, but some have pushed for yet more protection as people have shown up at their residences.

Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line of succession to the president, has been viciously lampooned in campaign ads by Republicans and outside groups this election cycle that will determine control of Congress. Her protective security detail was with her in Washington at the time of Friday’s attack in California.

Often at her side during formal events in Washington, Paul Pelosi is a wealthy investor who largely remains on the West Coast. They have been married for 59 years and have five adult children and many grandchildren.

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence charges related to a May crash in California’s wine country and was sentenced to five days in jail and three years of probation.

The Pelosi home in the wealthy neighborhood has been the scene of several protests in the past few years. After Nancy Pelosi was seen on video getting her hair done at a salon while many were shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, stylists protested outside with curling irons. Members of the Chinese community protested recently before Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

During debates over the federal stimulus package, protesters scrawled anarchy signs in black paint across the garage door, along with “cancel rent,” and “we want everything.” They left a pig’s head on the driveway.

Yet the dominant feelings on Friday were of support and concern.

“We have been to many events with the Pelosis over the last 2 decades and we’ve had lots of occasions to talk about both of our families and the challenges of being part of a political family. Thinking about the Pelosi family today,” tweeted Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

At the Capitol, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Senate president pro-tempore and third in the presidential line of succession, said he had known Paul Pelosi “forever.” He said, “It’s just horrible.”

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At least 162 killed and 700 hurt as earthquake hits Indonesia’s Java island

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Hundreds of homes were damaged, in addition to a boarding school, a hospital and several government buildings, the national disaster agency chief said.

An earthquake shook Indonesia‘s main Java island Monday afternoon, killing at least 162 people, local officials said.

Around 700 people were injured, National Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Suharyanto said.

“Many were hurt because they were hit by collapsed buildings,” he added.

The death toll reached 162 Monday night, local media reported citing West Java Gov. Ridwan Kamil.

More than 5,300 people had been displaced, the Indonesian disaster mitigation agency said in a statement. It added that at least 25 people were still trapped under collapsed buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck West Java at 1:21 p.m. local time (1:21 a.m. ET). It was centered in the Cianjur region at a depth of 6.2 miles — about 47 miles southeast of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

At least 25 aftershocks were recorded by the country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency.

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WAP’S Prof. Chris Ulasi Leads Election Reporting Project in Nigeria

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The co-founder of The West African Pilot News, Professor Chris Ulasi, led a United States-sponsored Election Reporting Project (ERP) in Nigeria.

ERP was a two-day workshop to equip, train and support Nigerian journalists, videographers and photojournalists to adequately cover the 2023 elections in an accurate, objective, balanced and safe way.

The workshop was organised by the West Africa Broadcast and Media Academy (WABMA) and the Enugu Literary Society (ELS) in partnership with the US consulate-general in Lagos, Will Stevens.

At the opening of the two-day workshop, Stevens said the US government allocated $50 million for the training as a way to ensure that the 2023 general elections are peaceful and credible.

“We are supporting more than 100 journalists with this workshop in Ibadan, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Lagos as part of U.S. efforts to support Nigeria’s elections,” the consul-general said.

“Over the last three years and into the next year too, the US government has allocated more than 50 million dollars for technical assistance, support, training, for INEC, and for civil society, among others.

“We are committed to initiatives here in Nigeria to build needed capacity. We have funded training for hundreds of journalists on topics ranging from fact-checking, health reporting, defence and national security reporting, investigative journalism, election reporting and media ethics.

“These training, together with other programmes we offer virtually to demonstrate our commitment to this partnership that we have long enjoyed here in Nigeria.”

The lead facilitator for the workshop was the co-founder, The West African Pilot News, Dean, School of Communication and Chair, Department of Radio, Television and Films, Texas Southern University Houston, USA., Prof. Chris Ulasi.

Some other facilitators include Prof. Lai Oso, fmr. Dean of Communications, Lagos State University; and Miss Grace Ekpu, an investigative reporter with the Associated Press (AP).

According to the lead facilitator, the project was in three phases. Phase one was the workshops which included training held in several zones.

Phase two was the content stage. In phase two, trained journalists were plugged into an election reporting website and online community for support and fact-checking of content pre-during-and-after elections coverage season. Phase three is the awards stage when outstanding participating journalists would be given awards after the elections season.

The two-day intensive training, which was held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on 14 and 15 November was attended by journalists from different states in the southwest. The training included practical skills in fact-checking, digital security, and interaction among journalists from different backgrounds among others.

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Elon Musk fired Twitter’s head of sales after she refused to sack more employees

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He had previously begged her not to resign

  • Elon Musk sacked Twitter exec Robin Wheeler after she refused to fire more staff, sources said.
  • Wheeler was sacked despite Musk persuading her to stay after she tried to resign, per Bloomberg.
  • Some Twitter sales staff found out over the weekend and on Monday they were fired, per Platformer.

Elon Musk fired a top Twitter executive after she refused to sack more employees in the ad sales team, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Insider.

Robin Wheeler, Twitter’s global head of advertising sales, handed in her resignation on Thursday 10, but Musk persuaded her to stay in the job, the sources told Insider’s Lara O’Reilly, and as Bloomberg earlier reported.

One week later, the billionaire changed his mind. Two sources said Wheeler was fired on Friday after she refused to cut the headcount of Twitter’s ad sales team — a department that was already depleted.

Wheeler, whose Twitter bio now says “proud Ex-Twitter Sales Exec,” tweeted on Friday in the past tense, saying: “To the team and my clients….you were always my first and only priority.” She concluded the tweet with a salute emoji, a sign that has recently become symbolic for Twitter employees leaving the company amid layoffs and firings.

Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that some Twitter staff in the sales team found out over the weekend and on Monday that they had been sacked after they couldn’t access Twitter’s systems.

This came after Musk sent an email to employees about his expectations for building “Twitter 2.0.” If staff didn’t sign up for “the new Twitter” by Thursday 5 p.m., they would receive three months of severance, Musk wrote in the email.

Twitter and Wheeler didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment made outside of normal US operating hours on Tuesday.

Wheeler joined Twitter in 2012 as a senior director of sales, which involved managing relationships with some of the company’s biggest clients such as Coca-Cola, Google, and Microsoft, according to her LinkedIn page. She became the head of ad sales in April this year.

Chris Riedy, Twitter’s former vice president of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, replaced Wheeler at the weekend, per multiple Insider sources.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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