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September 13 2016

spiritualknoll484

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman offers $5M to see Donald Trump's tax returns - CNET

gettyimages-603238240.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has refused to publicly release his income tax returns, despite repeated calls to do so.

Brian Blanco, Getty Images

LinkedIn founder and Silicon Valley billionaire is offering to donate up to $5 million to charity if Donald Trump releases his income tax returns.

Hoffman made his offer Monday in a post on Medium calling attention to a veteran's crowdfunding effort challenging Trump to release his returns. If the Republican nominee releases his returns before the final presidential debate on October 19, the CrowdPac effort launched by Marine Corp veteran Pete Kiernan will donate the money raised to a handful of veterans groups.

Despite numerous calls to publicly disclose his tax returns, Trump has refused, saying he would only release them once the IRS finishes an audit. Mike Pence, Trump's running mate, has already released his tax documents, as have Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

Hoffman said if Kiernan's campaign reaches or exceeds its funding target, he will contribute to the campaign with a donation equal to quintuple (five times) the total raised, up to $5 million. Thanks to Hoffman's attention, the campaign surpassed its initial target in a few hours Monday.

"Given Trump's vocal support of veterans, I imagine he will recognize the great good that can come from Kiernan's proposal," Hoffman offered in his post.

As of this writing, the campaign had raised $50,000 toward a revised goal of $1 million.

Representatives for Trump's presidential campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

July 09 2016

spiritualknoll484

Global economy 'grim' and G20 must step up to fix it: China - Reuters

SHANGHAI The global economic situation is grim and major economies must lead the way in tackling problems including sluggish growth and weak trade, China's trade minister Gao Hucheng said on Saturday.

Gao made the remarks at the start of a two-day meeting of trade ministers from G20 economies in Shanghai, as uncertainty hangs over the outlook for a slow-growing global economy now beset by post-Brexit reverberations.

The global economic recovery remained "complicated and grim", Gao said.

"Global trade is dithering, international investment has yet to recover to levels before the financial crisis, the global economy has yet to find the propulsion for strong and sustainable growth.

"In the current circumstances, the international community expects the G20 to show leadership in resolving the prominent problems we are facing and inject impetus for recovery and growth," he said.

In April, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2016 global growth forecast for the fourth time in a year, to 3.2 percent from 3.4 percent, amid weakening global demand and geopolitical risks. A fifth straight global growth markdown by the IMF looks almost certain.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) expects 2016 to be the fifth consecutive year of less than 3 percent growth in global trade, and Director-General Roberto Azevedo said on Friday trade would remain sluggish going into the third quarter of the year.

The ministers meeting in Shanghai were likely to agree to a set of non-binding principles to enhance investment as well as a declaration on protectionism, South Africa's Minister for Trade and Industry Rob Davies told Reuters.

"The bigger context of course is there has been a very sharp reduction in trade growth," he said. "We heard from the WTO today that it has been well below the rates of GDP growth, which are in any case fairly depressed."

The specter of protectionism also hangs over the meetings in Shanghai.

China's huge but struggling steel sector has relied on exports to offset the impact of slowing domestic demand, but it has been accused of using unfair pricing to push foreign competitors out of business.

Chinese trade officials have repeatedly stressed that the country has been the victim of overzealous anti-dumping actions by foreign countries, which fail to take into account Chinese efficiency or its low labor and production costs.

Davies said ministers had not yet reached consensus on how to handle overcapacity and rising protectionism in the steel sector, which remains a "contested space".

"It's not that it is not important, but a number of us don't feel a comprehensive discussion has taken place ... A lot of the European countries and the United States want to see something, but what exactly is going to be said is still an issue."

Uncertainty over Britain's vote to leave the European Union will dampen near-term economic growth for Britain and the rest of Europe and will affect output globally, according to the IMF.

British and EU representatives in Shanghai on Saturday were at pains to stress that they would come up with a "sensible and mature new arrangement", Davies said.

(Reporting by David Stanway and John Ruwitch; Editing by Ed Davies and Catherine Evans)

http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNEId_rgtw6l68UZrhRckM01BCX69Q&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779152775903&ei=5GGBV_CEDtuYugKG65BY&url=http://www.reuters.com/article/us-g20-china-trade-idUSKCN0ZP09V

April 16 2016

spiritualknoll484

The Daily Trail: The Trump-GOP cold war heats up - Washington Post



Not ready to make nice. (Neither is anyone else.) (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

NO LOVE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY: This is the part of the year where primary season rivals usually (permanent 2008 asterisk) come together, unearth the platitudes andbury the hatchet. This year, everyone's busy buying more hatchets. And brass knuckles. And rocket launchers.

The GOP ismoving efficiently into circular firing squad formation."Tensions between the Republican Party and its own front-runner erupted into a full-blown public battle as top party officials rebuked Donald Trump Friday for alleging that the GOP primary system was 'rigged'against him,"report Ed O'Keefe and Jenna Johnson.

The dispute, which has been simmering for days, centers on Trumps failure to win any delegates last weekend in Colorado, which selected its 34 delegates at a party convention rather than a primary or caucus attended by voters. All went to Trumps chief rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

The outcome prompted a daily stream of complaints and allegations this week from Trump, who wrote in an op-ed published in Fridays Wall Street Journal that the system is being rigged by party operatives with double-agent delegates who reject the decisions of voters.

A senior Republican National Committee official fired back with a thinly veiled response, writing in a Friday memo to reporters that each process is easy to understand for those willing to learn it.

It ultimately falls on the campaigns to be up to speed on these delegate rules, wrote communications director Sean Spicer. Campaigns have to know when absentee ballots are due, how long early voting lasts in certain states, or the deadlines for voter registration; the delegate rules are no different.

Just received email from a delegate candidate's publicist. I'm glad, it's helpful, but man - a delegate w/ PR.

David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) April 15, 2016

Ron Bonjean, a former top adviser to Republican congressional leaders, called the Trump-RNC showdown unprecedented and warned that taking a flame thrower to the Republican party machine could backfire on Trump.

This is like a general severely criticizing his own special forces before ordering them to go into battle, he said in an email. Trump runs the risk of demoralizing grassroots party organizers when he is going to need every asset to help him beat the Democratic nominee.

One of the keys to Trumps success up until now has been his willingness to harshly criticize the party establishment, but he will need the support of the RNC in fundraising and get-out-the-vote efforts if he wins the nomination. This has left Trump boomeranging between fighting the party and trying to embrace it.

Early this week, for example, Trump used Twitter and his rally speeches to call the nomination process corrupt, rigged and one that rewards candidates who play dirty tricks in order to pick up delegates. In an interview with The Hill on Tuesday, Trump said that RNC chairman Reince Priebus should be ashamed of himself because he knows whats going on.

Priebus responded on Twitter: Nomination process known for a year + beyond. Its the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break.



The weather's warming up. The trail is turning frosty. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Democratic race has trailed the Republican contest in displays of sheer hostility. But they're doing their level best to catch up.

"Bernie Sanders lost last nights debate, but Democratic unity may be the biggest loser," James Hohmann noted this morning. "Each candidate oozed disdain for the other."

The Brooklyn brawl Thursday"highlighted the degree to which the Democratic race has grown raw in its later stages and also highlighted the apparent animosity that now exists between the two candidates,"says Dan Balz.

And the healing is unlikely to start anytime soon."The tone and tenor suggested the degree to which both sides are now dug in for a contest that, despite Clintons advantages in pledged delegates, will go all the way to the end of the primary season.The real question is how long it continues after that."



Not New York. (Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP)

And so Clinton and Sanders remain miles apart. As of today, that distance was roughly4,000 miles and one ocean.

Bernie Sanders's Vatican trip seemed to speak volumes about his assessment of his odds next Tuesday, reports Anne Gearan:

"Sanderss decision to leave the tightening race in New York days before the state primary on Tuesday suggests he is looking past his dwindling chances in the primary contest with Clinton to what may be a newly prominent role as a global social justice leader. ...

"Sanderss trip came four days before the crucial New York primary, where he is trailing by double digits in polls and needs a win to maintain momentum in his spirited but improbable bid to catch Clinton in the delegate count.

"Aides worked to minimize Sanderss absence and said he is planning to campaign in New York on Saturday after returning from Rome. They also noted that Clinton will be absent from New York over the weekend as she raises money for her campaign in California at events with actor George Clooney."

And here's the ad they're planning to run while she's on the West Coast. The title: $27.

[embedded content]

Today, Clinton was still on the trail in the Big Apple;as Sanders deliveredhis remarkson social and economic issues to a Vatican conference, shespoke about affordable housing at a Harlem seniors' center. Then this happened.

Hillary Clinton got really excited when she won dominoes today in East Harlem. Video: pic.twitter.com/kHJYAcW6Za

Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) April 15, 2016

Also on the trail today: Bill Clinton, saying things.

Bill Clinton jokes about Sanders supporters: "just shoot every 3rd person on Wall Street & everything will be fine" pic.twitter.com/vH9DLkXoTB

Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 15, 2016

In the Bronx, the former president did his best Bernie Sanders, bashing the Vermont senator's "sneering reference" last night to Hillary Clinton's Southern wins: "'Oh it's just the South. We know how conservative they are...Well, excuse me, but Democrats need to win Florida and North Carolina not only to get elected, but they are states of the future,highly diverse. And she won a big victory there."

(Clinton backer Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) went a step further, saying that the Sanders statement amounted to"essentially dismissing the South" and represented "a slight at African American voters.")

[embedded content]

Sanders wasn't the only candidate heading out of town: Ted Cruz stopped upstate today, but he'll be in Wyoming tomorrow at he GOP convention. You can't blame him for taking an Empire Statebreak.Here, from what hisappearance last night at the New York GOP gala near Grand Central, is the Texas senator's Big Apple campaign, perfectly summarized in 15 seconds of puredistilled awkward.

The scene as Cruz speaks at NYC GOP Gala pic.twitter.com/Pwx8I0Ci25

Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) April 15, 2016

He found a more welcoming crowd upstate.

24 hours later, a different reception for Cruz in Rochester. A good 1200ish here upstate pic.twitter.com/KKZ9F1VCHs

Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) April 16, 2016

And his campaign is still in a New York state of mind, releasinga spot that featuresDonald Trump praising liberal New York mayor Bill de Blasio.

[embedded content]

Trump himself also left town for Connecticut, which votes April 26.

Hartford waiting for Trump. Rally was announced just two days ago pic.twitter.com/ymjKiUQZel

John Santucci (@JTSantucci) April 15, 2016

Outside the venue:

Man burns @realDonaldTrump rally sign here in Hartford pic.twitter.com/Quis8v5L03

Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) April 16, 2016 Thousands of Donald Trump fans coming face to face with hundreds of protesters: pic.twitter.com/bPqV0JTaeA

Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) April 16, 2016 As protesters block Donald Trump supporters from easily leaving, Trump fans chant: "Get a job! Get a job!" and "USA! USA! USA!"

Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) April 15, 2016 There's lots and lots of yelling but I don't see any fighting -- which, frankly, is amazing given so many people packed into a small place.

Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) April 15, 2016

Out West, Trump'sColorado supporters headed to the state capitol to protest the lack of a primary there this year.

Rally organizers said they were expecting a thousand. I'll let you count. #9news pic.twitter.com/YQLJZVYJiJ

Steve Staeger (@SteveStaeger) April 15, 2016

John Kasich may be wishing he'd headed out of state too: At a town hall in Watertown, he was asked about sex assault preventionon college campuses. His adviceto women:"Dont go to parties where theres a lot of alcohol." It did not land well.

After controversial sex assault comments at a town hall earlier, Kasich team goes on Twitter spree pic.twitter.com/qULiovvcw9

Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) April 15, 2016

And there was pushback from elsewhere:

He said that only at the end of a long, practical answer. This is a pretty bogus story. https://t.co/fYxGpVRF1j

daveweigel (@daveweigel) April 15, 2016

Speaking of controversial remarks: theOhio governor is still defending hispizza-with-a-fork misstep (although he does also concede it was "a terrible mistake.")

[embedded content]

FOR THE RECORD:



The New York Post's endorsement of Donald Trump graced the paper's covertoday. As Callum Borchers points out, it isn't the first time Trump has hit a Post cover this year;he just may not have quite ashappy with some of the others. Like, say, thisone:

Today's cover: Iowans didn't just vote for Ted Cruz they denied Donald Trump https://t.co/bYabYMNOnN pic.twitter.com/ZyOfdMX80Z

New York Post (@nypost) February 2, 2016

This one probably isn't hanging in the study either:

Donald Trump says Sen. John McCain is "not a war hero" and "a loser" http://t.co/UAyy8APgHH pic.twitter.com/cR7vgfDfuh

New York Post (@nypost) July 19, 2015

#FLASHBACKFRIDAY: The flood of super PAC money this cycle feels new. Technically, it is. Functionally, it's not.

"A small core of super-rich individuals is responsible for the record sums cascading into the coffers of super PACs for the 2016 elections, a dynamic that harks back to the financing of presidential campaigns in the Gilded Age," report Matea Goldand Anu Narayanswamy.

Close to half of the money 41 percent raised by the groups by the end of February came from just 50 mega-donors and their relatives, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal campaign finance reports. Thirty-six of those are Republican supporters who have invested millions trying to shape the GOP nomination contest accounting for more than 70 percent of the money from the top 50.

In all, donors this cycle have given more than $607 million to 2,300 super PACs, which can accept unlimited contributions from individuals and corporations. That means super PAC money is on track to surpass the $828 million that the Center for Responsive Politics found was raised by such groups for the 2012 elections.

The staggering amounts reflect how super PACs are fundraising powerhouses just six years after they came on the scene. The concentration of fundraising power carries echoes of the end of the 19th century, when wealthy interests spent millions helping put former Ohio governor William McKinley in the White House.

(Here are the top 10donors.)



He hasn't needed much super PAC love. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Despite the mixed record so far -- the GOP candidate with the biggest super PAC war chest exited the race quickly, while the major candidate with the least super PAC support is the prohibitive delegate leader --party strategists say the Trump phenomenon makes this campaign the exception to all rules. And donors are still expected to shell hundreds of millions of dollars more this year.

I dont believe that phenomenon is replicable in future cycles, and certainly not in down-ballot races, said Republican campaign attorney Charlie Spies, who served as treasurer of the pro-Bush super PAC Right to Rise, which spent more than $100 million before Bush dropped out of the race. So it is very hard to draw broad lessons from super PACs in this presidential election because of the overwhelming earned media advantage Donald Trump has had.

They may not have aided his rise, but Trump isn't without super PAC support now; the pro-Trump Great America PAC released a spot today highlighting his assistance in funding the search two decades ago for a Manhattan rapist:

[embedded content]

TRAIL MIX: At last night's debate, Bernie Sanders said he'd release his tax returns today. He did, at 7:18 p.m., reports John Wagner; the2014 federal filing"showed income of just more than $200,000 and some relatively modest gifts to charity.... [Sanders]released the top pages of his 2014 federal and state returns back in June, and the attached schedules did not include many new revelations, beyond a reported $8,350 in charitable contributions.

"The vast majority of Sanders and his wife's income came from his $174,000 Senate salary and Social Security benefits that both he and his wife, Jane, a former college president, receive.Jeff Weaver, Sanderss campaign manager, said the couple will release their 2015 returns, which will be filed Monday unless they seek an extension, shortly after theyre finished."

--GOP foreign policy elites are saying theydont know whether theydserve if Trump were to be electedpresident. (Interesting factoid:That Trump adviser who bragged about doing Model UN -- may not have.)

--Bernie Sanders had hoped to meet with Pope Francis today. He didn't. Instead, he annotated one of the pope's speeches.

--Donald Trump will be meeting with a diversity coalition Monday, including a group of Muslims who support his candidacy.

--A fabulous explainer to round out the week: "State-specific weirdness is baked into the Republican delegate process, and it will guide which Republican ends up as the party's nominee." Here's a round-by-round breakdown of exactly what that could look like.

--A past winner of The Apprentice and three contestants denounced Donald Trump today. He called them failing wannabes."

--AnewSecret Service credentialing rolecould mean additionallimits on press access to political events.

--More tax returns released today: in his 2015 returns,President Obama reported hislowest annual income since taking office.

SPOTTED ON THE TRAIL:

Quite the ride pic.twitter.com/MPt18yfcyk

Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) April 15, 2016 Packing office to move to different floor & found this early '16 oppo book from Dem group. Notice who's missing? pic.twitter.com/lHn1BlevkO

amy walter (@amyewalter) April 15, 2016 This is known in the trade as an "error card." @RickSantorum @GovernorPerry pic.twitter.com/nPrJfwEif5

Rick Klein (@rickklein) April 15, 2016

YOUR DAILY TRAIL PIT STOP: Have you ever wondered what it's like to report from the campaign trail this year? Now you can have the 2016 journalist experiencefor 8 action-packed seconds, from the comfort of your own home!

(Happy weekend, all.)

As Donald Trump slammed the media, many in the crowd turned around to share their own thoughts: pic.twitter.com/ag5Sa41yPD

Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) April 16, 2016

January 25 2016

spiritualknoll484

HVAC? This Article Has The Tips You Need

Facilities Maintenance Companies can help. HVAC is a subject that a lot of people want to know about, but they don't know where to get some advice. Thankfully for you, this article is full of great guidelines to help you out. If this sounds like something you're interested in then you should continue reading to learn more.

Check the entire house before contacting someone to come for repairs if problems arise with the HVAC system. Know what part of the house is cold and which is hot. That knowledge can help the technician figure out what is going on.

When a contractor gives you a list of references, be sure to make use of it. Call the people on the list and ask about the quality of the work, how closely they came to their quote and whether or not the work was completed according to the promised timeline.

Be sure to get every quote or estimate in written form. You have no recourse on a verbal agreement, so a written contract is a must. If something goes wrong or you don't get what you were promised, protecting you from shady contractors, this will allow you to follow up.

Condenser units for the outdoors should be shut off when it starts to get cold outside. This should be done when the temperature drops below 60ยบF to avoid damage. This simple tip will help keep the system running efficiently for many years to come.

Consider installing fans in your home if you want to cool your home in the summer without using your air conditioning on full. An attic fan can blow hot air out while sucking in cool air into your basement, and ceiling fans help distribute the air in your rooms evenly.

Ask for references and be sure to call them as well. You are dealing with a high ticket item here, so you'll want to do your due diligence to make sure you are getting the best for your money. Ask for references, but don't stop there. Call each reference to check. A lot of people don't take that important last step.

If your HVAC system needs to be fixed or needs to be replaced, sometimes, it can be hard to figure out. If your bills are too high, it may pay to have it replaced, if your system frequently breaks down, is always turning on or off on its own, or. Otherwise, little things can just be fixed.

Make sure things don't get too hot or cold where your thermostat is. Any electronics or heat sources like lamps or televisions nearby can trick the thermostat into thinking the home is warmer than it actually is. This just means it runs your air conditioning longer than necessary, wasting energy and money.

Try to get as many quotes from contractors that you can. Getting several quotes will ultimately help you save lots of money. Ideally, you should call five to six contractors to get a good idea of what a reasonable rate is.

Look for leaks in the ducts if your system isn't working right. You can call a utility company in your area to help you with testing, and that doesn't cost much or nothing at all usually. Once you fix the leaks, the savings will be more than worth the hassle.

Never hire an HVAC contractor that does not hold a valid license from your state. There are people out there that will offer to do less expensive work since they have no license. While it may seem like a bargain, you will have lots of issues in the event that something goes wrong.

Try to stay away from HVAC contractors that ask for upfront payments before they are willing to get started on the work they were hired to do. In many cases, this means that they are more concerned about getting paid than they are about making sure the job is done well.

The energy efficiency of a unit should be taken into consideration when purchasing a new cooling and heating system. Although you should be concerned about the price of a unit, the efficiency of the unit will save you thousands over the lifetime of the heating and cooling system and should weigh heavily on your buying decision.

While price should be one of the considerations you make when you are hiring an HVAC contractor, do not allow it to cloud your judgement. There are other factors that need to be considered in order to make a sound decision. Experience level, work ethic and positive reviews are a few things that should be considered as well.

For top efficiency, figure out what direction your home faces. It's possible to block some of the morning sunlight so your home won't become overheated if you strategically place trees. If there's less heat inside your home, your AC will work less.

When looking for an HVAC company, find one that is available when you need them. Reliable companies can be reached easily at any time. This includes both day and night. A prospective company should also values your time and resources. They should be able to schedule service calls at your earliest convenience.

You should focus on finding an HVAC contractor that can offer you a warranty on the work they are doing. This is a sign that they are confident in their ability to get the job done well. This will protect you in the event that is not done right and needs to be fixed.

When you have a short list of contractors to consider, ask the people on their reference list about not only the service they received, but also how well the system is still running. Did they need more work down the road? Has the company come back to make things right?

Look for deals on equipment. The equipment you need to update, maintain or repair your HVAC system tends to be expensive. Keep your eyes open for available coupons, store discounts and rebates on this equipment. Stock up on things you always need, like filters, when they are on sale.

The idea of having to hire an HVAC professional may seem daunting if you don't have the right knowledge. The right knowledge makes the process less daunting, however. Now, hopefully are feeling prepared to get help as soon as you can when you have a problem with your HVAC systems.

facility maintenance companies

December 05 2015

spiritualknoll484

Stories of those who died in the mass shooting in California - Aurora Sentinel

Most of the 14 people killed at a holiday banquet in San Bernardino County, California, worked in the same county public health department as the man who showed up with his wife and sprayed the hall with gunfire.

An official list of the dead was released Thursday, and families, friends and co-workers came forward to share some of their stories:

Nicholas Thalasinos

This undated photo provided by Kuuleme Stephens shows Nicholas Thalasinos and his wife, Jennifer, in a wedding photo. Nicholas Thalasinos was killed in the shootings at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Thalasinos Family via AP)

California Shootings

People arrive for a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif for multiple victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A heavily armed man and woman opened fire killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, they died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

California Shootings Victims

This undated photo provided by George Velasco shows Yvette Velasco. She was one of the victims of a shooting at a social service facility in San Bernardino, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Courtesy of George Velasco via AP)

California Shootings

People attend a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. for multiple victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A heavily armed man and woman opened fire killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, they died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

APTOPIX California Shootings

People hold candles during a vigil for shooting victims on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

California Shootings

A woman cries during a vigil for shooting victims at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

APTOPIX California Shootings

A woman cries during a candlelight vigil for shooting victims on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

ADDITION California Shootings

ADDS NAME OF WOMAN - Denise Adams holds a sign for her friend Robert Adams, who died in a shooting on Wednesday, during a vigil for shooting victims on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

ADDITION California Shootings

ADDS NAME OF WOMAN - Denise Adams holds a sign for her friend Robert Adams, who died in a shooting on Wednesday, during a vigil for shooting victims on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

California Shootings

At Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino, Calif., the Los Angeles chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community hold a vigil for shooting victims Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday in San Bernardino. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (Yihyun Jeong/The Arizona Republic via AP) MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

California Shootings Victims

This photo provided by Church of the Woods shows Michael Wetzel, who was killed in the shootings at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Jenilee Burns/Turtle Dove Photography/Church of the Woods via AP)

Michael Raymond Wetzel

Michael Raymond Wetzel, left rear, is seen with his family in this undated, family handout photo. Wetzel was one of 14 killed Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 in a commando-style assault on a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif. (Wetzel Family via AP)

NICHOLAS THALASINOS, 52

He identified as a Messianic Jew and passionately defended Israel, actively debating about religion in online forums and in person, his friends said.

Only two weeks ago, Thalasinos, of Colton, was having a heated on-the-job discussion about the nature of Islam with Syed Rizwan Farook, his fellow restaurant inspector and one of the shooters.

Thalasinos friend, Kuuleme Stephens, told The Associated Press that she happened to call him while he was working with Farook and that he brought her into their debate, loudly declaring that Farook doesnt agree that Islam is not a peaceful religion.

She heard Farook counter that Americans dont understand Islam, and Thalasinos responded by saying, I dont know how to talk with him, she said.

Thalasinos wife, Jennifer, told the AP the two probably did have debates but I never got the impression it was in a bad way.

It was more, you know, just having discussions about religion and faith, she said.

She said she believes her husband died a martyr because of his faith but he never indicated that Syed had radicalized. She said she did not believe her husband was individually targeted.

They all got along really well. So its shocking, she said.

AURORA BANALES GODOY, 26

Godoy was married and the mother of an infant son, her aunt, Rebecca Godoy, said in Facebook post that linked to Godoys own page.

Yesterday in the shootings in San Bernardino many families were affected. Ours was one of them, Rebecca Godoy wrote. We will keep her flame alive so that her young son does not forget his special mother.

Cindy Quinones, a cousin of Godoys, said her husband was devastated by the death of his wife.

I feel like numb. It hasnt hit us yet. Were still trying to make sense of all this, Quinones said at a vigil held Thursday night in San Bernardino.

YVETTE VELASCO, 27

Velasco is being described by her family as smart, motivated and full of life.

In a statement, her relatives said she was loved by all who knew her.

We are devastated about what happened and are still processing this nightmare, the family said.

Velasco is survived by her parents and three sisters.

Please pray for our family and the other families who have lost a loved one as a result of this terrible tragedy, her relatives wrote.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Velascos relatives searched everywhere for her. Mindy Velasco, her aunt, called hospitals, police and evacuee centers in a harrowing search for information, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Im fearing the worst, she told the paper. She would definitely be in contact after something like this.

Elizabeth Faron, a friend of Velascos from college, remembered her friend as amazing, very sweet, friendly and affectionate.

BENNETTA BETBADAL, 46

She was born in Iran in 1969 and came to the United States at age 18 to escape the persecution of Christians after the Iranian Revolution, according to a family statement on a fundraising account set up in her name.

Her cousin, Melani Betbadal, referred reporters to the statement and declined further comment.

She first settled in New York City but eventually moved to Rialto, California. She and her husband, a police officer, were married in 1997 and have three children ages 10, 12 and 15.

Betbadal graduated from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona with a degree in chemistry and took a job as a health inspector with San Bernardino County.

Her husband, Arlen Verdehyou, told The Daily Breeze that he and his wife exchanged texts at 8 a.m. Wednesday. He told her that he had withdrawn money from the bank and would do some Christmas shopping. Betbadal had recently decorated the familys Christmas tree.

She was planning to give a presentation at the annual holiday meeting Wednesday and was excited about it, the family said.

It is the ultimate irony that her life would be stolen from her that day by what appears to be the same type of extremism that she fled so many years ago, the family said in the statement.

SIERRA CLAYBORN, 27

Her friends say she stood out as someone who always had an encouraging word.

Timothy J. Lee remembers meeting Clayborn in a hip-hop class at the University of California, Riverside. She was active and outgoing, praising classmates when they mastered a routine.

She always had something encouraging to say, Lee said.

After graduating in 2010, Clayborn worked jobs in retail and at a bank before landing a position at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. Like a number of other victims, she inspected restaurants.

Matthew Peairs, 27, a manager at Red Baron Pizza in Big Bear Lake, California, said Clayborn visited the restaurant a day before the shooting to complete an inspection.

She was one of the nicest health inspectors that weve ever had, he said. She talked to us like normal people, not just doing her job.

He said they discussed their holiday plans and she mentioned she was going to the departments Christmas party Wednesday.

She was stoked about the party, Peairs said.

Word spread Wednesday among Clayborns friends that she was missing. FBI agents later visited her familys house to tell them that she was killed in the attack.

Its definitely going to be different without her, Lee said.

ROBERT ADAMS, 40

The Yucaipa resident, who worked as an environmental health specialist for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, met his wife when they were teenagers and the two became high school sweethearts before eventually getting married.

Before the tragedy, they were planning their 20-month-old daughters first trip to Disneyland next week.

Our worst fears were confirmed today: our beloved Robert will not be coming home to us. He was a loving son, brother, husband and daddy to Savannah, his family said in a statement Thursday.

Adams loved his job and considered his colleagues family, the statement said. His wife, Summer, also worked for the county.

A fundraising page for Summer and their daughter has raised more than $25,000.

Megan Neforos, who set up the page, said she knew Adams wife through a Facebook group for mothers of young children.

He was her high school sweetheart. This is tragic for her, she said. He was an incredibly loving father and devoted husband.

LARRY DANIEL KAUFMAN, 42

The Rialto resident, who went by Daniel, ran an independently owned coffee shop inside the Inland Regional Center where the county health workers were using a hall for their holiday banquet. The shops workers included people with developmental disabilities, which can include epilepsy, autism and intellectual disabilities.

Eileen Richey, the executive director of the Association of Regional Center Agencies, said his death fills us with sorrow, knowing so many families are in mourning.

Kaufman was an avid participant in the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California each spring, said friend Katherine Panowicz, who had known him for 15 years.

She said he typically participated in parades, carrying either a pennant on a lance or a make-believe horse. The fair community is devastated to lose a friend with such a big smile, she said.

It would change the entire environment of a room just because he had a big brilliant smile, she said.

MICHAEL RAYMOND WETZEL, 37

Friends and fellow church members appealed for help supporting his widow, Renee, a stay-at-home mom in Lake Arrowhead, California, and children.

Michael was the most amazing person, Renee Wetzel said in a statement, issued through her friend Celia Behar. The couple had five children from previous marriages and one child together.

He was my best friend and an incredible father who was loved by all. I have never known a better person, the statement said. He loved his work and his family so very much. Without him, this family will never be the same. We appreciate all the love and support that everyone is showing.

Behar runs a blog for mothers where Renee Wetzel frequently posted, and she turned there to ask for prayers shortly after learning that her husband, an environmental health supervisor, could have been attacked.

My husband was in a meeting and a shooter came in. There are multiple people dead/shot. I cant get a hold of him, she wrote.

After last months deadly shootings in Paris, she posted a vacation photo on Facebook, overlain by the colors of the French flag.

After her husbands death was confirmed, she posted a Bible passage: When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

The Lil Mamas blog set up an online fundraiser for the Wetzel family on Thursday and quickly raised tens of thousands of dollars.

Church of the Woods also asked its members to pray for the extended family: Please continue to pray for Renee, his children, and his former wife Amy as they process this terrible tragedy and loss of their husband and father, the church said in a statement.

DAMIAN MEINS, 58

He was passionate about serving his community, a message he took from the priests at his Catholic high school in Riverside and carried throughout his life.

Meins never strayed far from his church or its teachings, said Walter Hackett, who met Meins some 40 years ago in high school.

Service to others, helping others. He very much took that to heart, Hackett said.

Hackett called his friend a good, good guy.

Funny and smart and tall. A real quick smile, very friendly and outgoing, he said. Its a real hard hit for all of us who knew him.

Meins married his high school sweetheart, now a Catholic school principal, and they raised two daughters, one a teacher. Meins was fondly remembered as the guy who dressed up as Santa for school pictures, according to a parents social media posting Thursday.

Meins Facebook page, where he can be seen smiling with his family in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, says he studied business administration at the University of Redlands starting in 1991. In 1979, he graduated from UC Riverside. He was also retired from the Riverside County after working there for 28 years.

In addition to working in the public health department in San Bernardino, Meins was an extended care coordinator at St. Catherine of Alexandria School in Riverside, where he also helped kids create Christmas art projects and religious murals, Hackett said.

Meins received a community award for his work in Riverside, which was based on compassion, courage, forgiveness, generosity, humility, inclusiveness, integrity, kindness, respect and service.

A living Rosary for the Meins family was held Thursday.

SHANNON JOHNSON, 45, of Los Angeles.

Johnson was the lone victim who lived in Los Angeles, a long commute to San Bernardino County where he worked as a health inspector.

He rose before dawn every morning to get to his job from his home in Koreatown, which he shared with his girlfriend, Mandy Pfifer, who was a longtime member of LA Mayor Eric Garcettis Crisis Response Team.

The mayors office said in a statement Thursday night that we have learned that one of our own is among those who lost their lives.

TIN NGUYEN, 31

Born in Vietnam, Nguyen was 8 when her family left that country for the United States. After attending Cal State Fullerton, Nguyen worked as a food inspector with the county health department.

On Thursday, some of the small businesses that she inspected posted condolences about Nguyen.

It was such a pleasure to have her as our Inspector, wrote Darlas Cake Design. Many food facilities are nervous when the Health Inspector shows up.but we always had a pleasant experience along with laughter.

Her heart was bigger than the sun and her personality was addicting, wrote friend Kim Oanh on Facebook.

She was supposed to get married at a Catholic church in 2017, her family told media outlets, and had been planning the wedding alongside her mother.

The day before Nguyen was killed, she celebrated her fiances 32nd birthday.

ISAAC AMANIOS, 60

Isaac Amanios, 60, was a supervising environmental health specialist.

NFL player Nat Berhe wrote on Twitter that Amanios was a relative.

My cousins name is Isaac Amanios and he was a great human being. Thoughts and prayers are with my family back in CA.

Berhe, who is on the injured reserve list for the New York Giants, is from San Bernardino. He began tweeting about the shooting when it happened and then discovered his cousin was a victim.

Just got word that one of my cousins was among the 14 killed yesterday, Im so sick right now.

The LA Times wrote that Amanios is survived by his wife and three children.

A witness told the USA Today Network that he was sitting next to Syed Farook, the gunman, at the meeting before Farook left.

HARRY BOWMAN, 46, of Upland.

The lover of the outdoors worked as a statistical analyst for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, his family said.

Hes remembered as a loving father to his two daughters. The dedicated member of the Roman Catholic Church, who was raised in Pennsylvania, frequently taught religious classes. He also spent much of his free time hiking.

This is a tragic loss for our family, much like it is for all families around the world who have experienced this kind of violence, the family said in a statement. There are no words that express our sadness in losing such a special person.

JUAN ESPINOZA, 50.

Espinoza, of Highland, was remembered by a former co-worker.

Scott Wyatt met Espinoza about 10 years ago when Wyatt worked in a juvenile court teacher and Espinoza was a corrections officer.

He was a simple guy, quiet, a person who didnt like attention, just liked to do what he had to do, said Wyatt. This hits close to home.

According to media reports, Espinoza was a health inspector with San Bernardino County.

A Mexican federal official said Espinoza was born in Mexico and emigrated to the United States more than 20 years ago. Mexican consular officials contacted Espinozas family anyway to offer assistance, but the family said none was needed at the moment. The official was not authorized to be quoted by name.

Associated Press writers Gillian Flaccus in Anaheim, California; Michael Kunzelman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Mark Stevenson in Mexico City; and news researchers Rhonda Shafner, Barbara Sambriski and Adriana Mark contributed to this story. Drew reported from Raleigh, North Carolina and Lush from St. Petersburg, Florida.

November 29 2015

spiritualknoll484

Source: Suspect spoke of 'baby parts' after Planned Parenthood shooting - CNN

Story highlights Official says suspect talked about "baby parts" after putting down his gunSuspect Robert Dear, 57, is held without bail and set to appear in court Monday afternoonPlanned Parenthood says suspect was motivated by opposition to abortionLaw enforcement officials caution it's too early to determine a motive in the case until all evidence is gathered and examined. That process is still ongoing. Though the state is taking the lead, the FBI is conducting its own investigation to determine whether federal charges would be filed.

The official told CNN that propane tanks were found in the area of Dear's car in the parking lot, and that authorities believe he was trying to shoot them to cause an explosion.

The siege ended Friday when the suspect dropped his gun and surrendered in a hallway once the SWAT team brought in a BearCat armored vehicle and Dear was cornered.

'crime against women'Attorney General Loretta Lynch has called the shooting, which killed three people and wounded nine more, a "crime against women;" Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has said it's "a tragedy that is beyond speech."

Among the victims was Garrett Swasey, a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs police officer who rushed to the clinic to offer his assistance. "There was no way any of us could have kept him here," UCCS Police Chief Brian McPike said of Swasey during a Saturday evening vigil. "He was always willing to go...he had an enthusiasm that was hard to quell."

Officer Garrett Swasey was killed in Friday's Planned Parenthood shooting.Officer Garrett Swasey was killed in Friday's Planned Parenthood shooting.Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey said that the identities of the other two victims likely will not be released until Monday, after autopsies have been performed.

In addition to the three killed, five officers and four civilians were hospitalized for wounds sustained in the shooting. Lt. Catherine Buckley said Friday night all were in good condition. By late Saturday afternoon, officials said five patients remained in two hospitals.

One of those is Colorado Springs SWAT team officer Dan Carter, according to his parents, who told CNN that their son was recovering from a gunshot wound.

Opposition to abortion eyed as motive"I'm not going to say the perpetrator's name," a sullen Hickenlooper said Saturday, referring to Dear, the man authorities suspect was the shooter.

Dear, 57, is being held without bail in a Colorado Springs jail, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Planned Parenthood shooting suspect Robert Dear.Planned Parenthood shooting suspect Robert Dear.While authorities said that a motive had not yet been established, Mayor John Suthers said "inferences (could be made) from where it took place," the Denver Post reported.

Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, went beyond an inference, saying the shooter "was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion." Lynch, who called the "unconscionable attack" a "crime against women receiving health care services," pledged the full resources of her office for the investigation.

Planned Parenthood, which delivers reproductive health care and sex education to women and men across the United States, has come under attack before.

At least three Planned Parenthood buildings have been vandalized since September, when the organization was criticized in Washington and by some Republican presidential candidates after an anti-abortion group released videos alleging that it sold fetal organs and parts for profit. Planned Parenthood has disputed the veracity of the videos, contending that they are heavily edited and provide a distorted account.

More about Planned Parenthood

Who is Robert Lewis Dear?Based on a public records search, Dear appears to have lived in Colorado for only about a year. In October 2014, Dear purchased property in Hartsel, a rural community about 65 miles west of the clinic, for $6,000. Zigmond Post, a neighbor, said one of the few interactions he had was when Dear brought him some anti-Obama pamphlets. "That's about all I've run into him," he said.

Prior to Hartsel, Dear appears to have spent much of his life in the Carolinas.

WLOS, a CNN affiliate in Asheville, North Carolina, photographed a dilapidated-looking mountain cabin that Dear reportedly called home in rural Buncombe County. The sheriff's office there said they only had one recorded contact with Dear, a civil citation issued in 2014 for allowing his dogs to run wild.

A decade before that, Dear was arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty while living in South Carolina, but he was found not guilty in a 2003 bench trial. In 2002, Dear was charged with being a peeping tom; those counts were dismissed in South Carolina. In 1997, Dear's wife accused him of domestic assault, although no charges were pressed, according to records provided by the Colleton County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office.

Dear is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. Monday before Chief Judge Gilbert Martinez, El Paso County court spokesman Rob McCallum said.

Scanners capture police plansConversations captured over the police scanner gave glimpses into the drama as well as the strategic debate about what to do.

Despite initial fears that the gunman might be running around outside, authorities later determined that he was inside the Planned Parenthood building -- once he got through the front door -- throughout the siege, Buckley said.

Joan Motolinia's sister was among those inside. She called her brother Friday afternoon, and "I heard the shooting," a tearful Motolinia said.

Fear, horror, disbelief among witnesses

"She couldn't say much because she was afraid," he said.

Kentanya Craion, who had visited the clinic for an ultrasound, said she saw the gunman shooting as she left outside in the parking lot, so she turned around and ran back inside. "He had no remorse," Craion said. "This was just a game to him."

Obama: 'Enough is enough'In a statement Saturday, President Barack Obama didn't mention the controversies surrounding Planned Parenthood, but he did offer praise for Swasey, condolences to the families of the victims and condemnation of the attack as another example of gun violence.

"The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence -- people who woke up in the morning and bid their loved ones goodbye with no idea it would for the last time," Obama said. "And yet, two days after Thanksgiving, that's what we are forced to do again."

As he has time and again after mass shootings, the President called on policymakers to do something to prevent them.

"This is not normal. We can't let it become normal," he said. "If we truly care about this -- if we're going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience -- then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business yielding them.

"Period. Enough is enough."

CNN's Dan Simon, Catherine E. Shoichet, Amanda Watts, Carma Hassan, Amanda Watts, Faith Karimi, Dani Stewart, Joe Sutton, Jason Hanna, Josh Berlinger, Kim Hutcherson, Michael Martinez and Nelson Quiones contributed to this report.

October 10 2015

spiritualknoll484

Mexico Says It Will Allow International Experts To Revisit Missing Students Case

A man holds a banner that reads in Spanish "Justice," during a march by parents and relatives of 43 missing students who were killed, in Iguala, Mexico. Rebecca Blackwell/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rebecca Blackwell/AP A man holds a banner that reads in Spanish "Justice," during a march by parents and relatives of 43 missing students who were killed, in Iguala, Mexico. A man holds a banner that reads in Spanish "Justice," during a march by parents and relatives of 43 missing students who were killed, in Iguala, Mexico.

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Mexico says that it will allow a team of international experts to revisit the case of 43 students who went missing last year.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the United Nations' top human rights official recommended the move after a visit to the country.

Carrie filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the U.N.'s High Commissioner on Human Rights, recommended the experts re-examine the site where the government says the bodies of the students were burned.

"Authorities contend the 43 were kidnapped, then murdered by a local drug gang. All the bodies were allegedly burned in one night at a garbage dump. That version has been publicly challenged by relatives and international experts.

"Mexico says it will allow seven experts from five countries to re-review the crime area.

"During his visit, the UN commissioner criticized Mexico's police and prosecutors. Referring to the tens of thousands of unsolved murders and disappearances.

"'No one in Mexico can feel safe. They're not enjoying the protection of the law,' he said."

El Universal reports that Arely Gmez Gonzlez, the country's attorney general, told senators today that it had assembled an international team to take part in the investigation.

"The case of Iguala is not closed," she said. "The investigations continue."

Back in January, Mexico declared all 43 students dead. The attorney general at the time made a multimedia presentation that said the students were kidnapped, taken to a trash dump, killed, set on fire, the remains put in bags and then thrown into a river.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/09/447236239/mexico-says-it-will-allow-international-experts-to-revisit-missing-students-case?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news
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