Friday, May 27, 2022

Wake-Up Call: Gunman Met No Resistance

Questions continued to swirl Thursday about exactly what happened two days earlier in the 90 minutes between when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos crashed his truck outside Robb Elementary School in Ulvalde, Texas, and when he was fatally shot by a Border Patrol agent after he'd killed 19 children and two teachers. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Regional Director Victor Eschalon said yesterday that Salvador Ramos wasn't confronted by police before he entered the school, contradicting earlier comments from officials that a school resource officer had "engaged with him," and raising more questions about the police response and how long it took for them to go in after the gunman. Escalon said, "He walked in unobstructed initially."

NY Post 5/27/22
Escalon said that after crashing the truck, Ramos got out and shot at two people across the street. He then approached the school and shot at the building multiple times before walking in through an apparently unlocked door. There was no school resource officer on site at the time. Escalon said Ramos then walked into a classroom and fired more than 25 times, with most of the gunfire in the beginning of the attack. When police officers arrived, they came under fire when they went to confront Ramos and took cover, according to Escalon. He said officers called for more resources and personnel, evacuated students and teachers in other parts of the school, and at some point began negotiations with the suspect. After about an hour, a U.S. Border Patrol tactical team forced its way into the classroom and fatally shot Ramos.

Responding to the criticism of how long it took before police went in after the gunman, Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez defended his officers' response in a statement yesterday, saying, "It is important for our community to know that our officers responded within minutes." Protocol in response to situations like Tuesday's school shooting has been since the Columbine school shooting in 1999 to end the threat as quickly as possible.

Powerful image
 Husband Dies of Heart Attack Two Days After Wife Killed in School Shooting: Two days after 48-year-old Irma Garcia was killed in the Uvalde school shooting, one of the two teachers who died, her 50-year-old husband suffered a fatal heart attack, according to a family member. Joe Garcia had the heart attack after returning home from leaving flowers at his wife's memorial, his nephew John Martinez told the New York Times. The couple had been married for 24 years and had four children, the oldest a U.S. Marine and the youngest in seventh grade.

Biden to Visit Uvalde on Sunday: President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will go to Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday to meet with and console the families of those killed in the school and honor the victims. The White House said Biden will also meet with community and religious leaders.

➤RUSSIA PUSHES WEST TO LIFT SANCTIONS, SHIFTS BLAME FOR FOOD CRISIS: Russia yesterday pushed the West to lift sanctions imposed on the country over its invasion of Ukraine, and also sought to shift blame for a growing food crisis that's been made worse by Ukraine being unable to ship millions of tons of grains and other food products because of the war and a Russian blockage of its ports. President Vladimir Putin said in a call with Italy's prime minister that Russia, quote, "is ready to make a significant contribution to overcoming the food crisis through the export of grain and fertilizer on the condition that politically motivated restrictions imposed by the West are lifted." The U.K. accused Russia of, quote, "trying to hold the world ransom." Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said, "He’s essentially weaponized hunger and lack of food among the poorest people."

➤SOUTHERN BAPTISTS RELEASE LIST OF ABUSERS: The Southern Baptist Convention late yesterday released a list of hundreds of pastors and other church-affiliated personnel accused of sexual abuse that had previously been secret. There are more than 700 names from cases that largely range from 2000 to 2019. The existence of the list became known after the release of a report from an independent investigation showed that the denomination's Executive Committee mishandled allegations of sex abuse, stonewalled survivors, and prioritized protecting the Southern Baptist Convention. Executive Committee leaders Rolland Slade and Willie McLaurin said releasing the list is a, quote, "initial, but important, step towards addressing the scourge of sexual abuse and implementing reform in the Convention."

➤N.Y. APPEALS COURT SAYS TRUMP MUST TESTIFY IN A.G.'S INVESTIGATION: A four-judge panel of a New York state appeals court rejected former President Donald Trump's appeal, saying that he and his two oldest children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, must testify in depositions in Attorney General Letitia James' civil investigation. James is investigating alleged fraud by Trump's company, the Trump Organization. Trump has denied the allegations and called the probe a politically-motivated witch hunt. The appeals court rejected Trump's argument that he not be compelled to testify because his answers could be used in a parallel criminal probe.

Amber Heard testified on Thursday as a rebuttal witness for her defense in Johnny Depp’s defamation trial. The Aquaman actress said she “just want[s] Johnny to leave me alone.”

Heard called the trial “agonizing” and humiliating. "I am harassed, humiliated, threatened every single day — even just walking into this courtroom [and] sitting here in front of the world, having the worst parts of my life things I've lived through used to humiliate me,” she said.

Heard continued, "People want to kill me and they tell me so every day. People want to put my baby in the microwave. They tell me that. Johnny threatened, promised me if I ever left him, he'd make me think of him every single day that I lived.”

Heard fought back tears as she talked about the death threats she’s received since the trial began. "I received hundreds of death threats regularly, if not daily, since this trial started — people mocking my testimony about being assaulted ... I hope no one has to go through something like this. I just want Johnny to leave me alone. I've said that for years now."

Closing arguments will be heard on Friday (May 27th), and jurors will begin deliberating on Tuesday (May 31st).]

NY Post Graphic 5/27/22
  The Goodfellas actor died in his sleep while filming Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic. According to TMZ, no foul play is suspected.

Liotta made a name for himself after starring in Field of Dreams in 1989 and Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas in 1990. His career had been flourishing in recent years as well, as he held roles in The Many Saints of Newark, Marriage Story, and No Sudden Move.

“Yeah, I’m not complaining. But I worked for it. I had to live through a period where things were down instead of up. I’ve definitely had an up-and-down career. But I’m extremely persistent and competitive where I just wanted to get to a certain place again,” he told The New York Post in October of 2021

Liotta is survived by his 23-year-old daughter, Karsen, and his fiancée, Jacy Nittolo.

Many stars took to social media to honor the late actor on Thursday, including Jennifer Lopez, Lorraine Bracco, and Alessandro Nivola.

If you’re hosting a Memorial Day BBQ this year you may want to brace yourself for the cost. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ April Consumer Index (CPI) rose 8.3 percent compared to April’s 2021 number, and includes the cost of food rising 9.4 percent and the at-home food category rising 10.8 percent. And when it comes to individual food items, the price of bacon jumped the most year-over-year, 17.7 percent, followed by chicken legs (bone-in) which increased in price 16.4 percent, the price of ground beef also increased 16.4 percent, while the price of uncooked beef steaks jumped 11.8 percent, and the price of hot dogs increased 6.2 percent. The price increases are all due to inflation. To break it down further, a pack of hot dogs cost $3.81 in April 2021, and in April 2022 they cost $5.22, while the cost of 100% ground beef jumped from $4.10 to $4.92, and the cost of bacon jumped from $6.22 to $7.42. The good news? The cost of certain items, including strawberries, red and white wines, and tomatoes either did not increase, or stayed roughly the same.

➤FROZEN FOOD CATEGORY SURGES AMID INFLATION:  Inflation has people changing their food purchasing habits. Saffron Road manufacturers clean-label frozen food products and better-for-you meals, and they’ve seen a big increase in sales over the past few months. Adnan Durrani, Saffron Road CEO, says the frozen food category outgrew fresh by 230 percent this year—a growth rate he’d never seen in his decades-long career. When asked why, Durrani said, “Frozen is nature’s pause button,” and emphasized that frozen products, especially organic and locally sourced food items, “preserve that freshness” over time and allow for longevity with “over a year of shelf life.” Market research firm Mordor Intelligence notes the jump in sales in various frozen food items, noting that COVID-19 “positively impacted the frozen food market.” Durrani also adds, “A lot of folks are really conscious of [food waste] now—looking at their grocery bills, looking at how much they really throw away, looking at what they keep. Frozen has become a go-to in terms of reducing that problem.”

🏀WARRIORS TO PLAY FOR NBA TITLE AFTER BEATING DALLAS 120-110 TO WIN WESTERN CONF. FINALS: The Golden State Warriors will be playing for the NBA championship for the sixth time in eight seasons after beating the Dallas Mavericks 120-110 last night to win the Western Conference Finals 4 games to 1. Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 32 points and Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, but it was Stephen Curry, who had 15 points last night, who won the inaugural Western Conference Finals MVP, which is named for Magic Johnson. The Warriors will play the winner of the Boston-Miami Eastern Conference Finals for the NBA title. Boston is currently leading 3-2 with Game 6 tonight.

🏒OILERS TOP FLAMES 5-4 IN OVERTIME TO ADANCE TO CONFERENCE FINALS: The Edmonton Oilers topped the Calgary Flames 5-4 in overtime last night (May 26th) to win their second-round playoffs series 4 games to 1 and advance to the NHL's Western Conference Finals. Edmonton captain Connor McDavid scored the winning goal at 5:03 of overtime. The Oilers will play the winner of the series between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues in the conference finals. Colorado leads that series 3-2.

🏒NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Edmonton Oilers 5, Calgary Flames 4 (OT) - Edmonton wins series 4-1
  • Carolina Hurricanes 3, New York Rangers 1 - Carolina leads series 3-2

🎾SWIATEK, MEDVEDEV, KEYS WIN AT FRENCH OPEN, HALEP HAD PANIC ATTACK BEFORE LOSS: Top-seeded woman Iga Swiatek, Number 3 Paula Badosa, and Americans Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys were among the second-round winners at the French Open yesterday. Number 19 Simona Halep was upset by unseeded Qinwen Zheng, and said after the match that she'd had a panic attack in the second set. She said, "I didn’t know how to handle it because I don’t have it often." On the men's side, the day's winners included second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and Number 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

⚾YANKEES' DONALDSON APOLOGIZES TO JACKIE ROBINSON'S FAMILY: New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson apologized yesterday to Jackie Robinson's wife and family for referencing the iconic and groundbreaking player in a comment to the Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson that led to Donaldson being suspended for one game. Donaldson had called Anderson "Jackie" in reference to Anderson having said in a 2019 interview, "I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson." Donaldson said in a statement, "I would also like to apologize to Mrs. Rachel Robinson and the Jackie Robinson family for any distress this incident may have caused. Jackie was a true American hero and I hold his name in the highest regard." He also repeated that he'd apologized for offending Anderson and that he, quote, "absolutely meant no disrespect."

🏈REPORT: KAEPERNICK'S WORKOUT FOR RAIDERS WENT WELL: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's workout for the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday (May 25th) went well, the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted Thursday. He wrote, "On Colin Kaepernick’s workout with the #Raiders: Sounds like it went well and he impressed. The door is open…" The workout was the first by Kaepernick for an NFL team since 2016, the last year he played in the league and the year he carried out kneeling protest against racial injustice during the national anthem.

🌃MARS, JUPITER WILL CONVERGE BEFORE DAWN SUNDAY:  There are a few reasons to look up this weekend. Mars and Jupiter will make an exceptionally close encounter in the pre-dawn sky over Memorial Day weekend—and will appear closest on Sunday. The astronomical event is known as a conjunction, and will be visible in a cloud-free sky just before dawn over a three-day period (Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30th). Those who are awake can spot both planets about 60 to 90 minutes before sunrise, local time, in the eastern sky. Jupiter will be the brighter of the two planets with Mars appearing just below it. Venus will also be visible, and will appear lower in the eastern sky, as will Saturn, which will be higher in the southeastern sky. While Jupiter and Mars may appear close to one another in the sky, in reality, they are hundreds of millions of miles apart, it’s just from the perspective of Earth that they’ll seem so close. Anyone who misses this planetary conjunction will have to wait until August 14th, 2024 for the next chance to see Mars and Jupiter converge.

No comments:

Post a Comment