Explosion in Harlem Kills 2, 12 Missing

Two residential buildings collapsed in Harlem in New York City today, leaving 2 dead, two dozen wounded, and 12 still missing. The explosion was caused by a gas leak, according to the official press release made by New York City mayor, Bill De Blasio.
The first call came into the New York Fire Department at 9:31. Nearly 200 firefighters from 44 units arrived, but they were still battling the resulting flames three hours later.
Many people were trapped in the buildings themselves or in their cars in the surrounding area. The magnitude of the explosion was so vast that it could be felt up to a mile away. Eye witness accounts from the scene describe the confusion and sheet panic in the wake of the explosion as residents searched frantically for their loved ones who might have been inside. The injured have been rushed to various hospitals, but very few are in critical condition.

Sources: 1. http://nyti.ms/1kiaJ2i
demand-progress:

The NSA “is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” (Washington Post)
Join us in protesting the National Security Agency’s wide-ranging invasion of privacy.
Take action →

demand-progress:

The NSA “is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” (Washington Post)

Join us in protesting the National Security Agency’s wide-ranging invasion of privacy.

Take action →

Kenyan Mall Terror Ends


Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta announced earlier today that they have successfully cleared the Westgate Premier Mall. The mall had been under siege since Saturday morning by terrorist group Al-Shahab. There are currently 5 of these terrorists among the dead and 11 more in custody. 
In total, there are approximately 61 civilians dead, as well as 6 members of security personal. There are also over 175 people injured and 65 missing. The Red Cross believes that the missing persons may be trapped underneath rubble from the mall. President Kenyatta has declared a national mourning period for the victims of the terrorist attack.
Sources: 
1. http://m.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/militants-kenyan-security-forces-locked-in-protracted-battle-at-mall-and-on-twitter/2013/09/24/5912ee72-251a-11e3-ad0d-b7c8d2a594b9_story.html

Mass Shooting in Kenya

Masked gunmen attacked a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, this morning, leaving 39 dead and approximately 159 injured, by the last count. The gunmen reportedly attacked using both guns and hand grenades.

The police are evacuating portions of the mall slowly, but gunmen are apparently keeping shoppers hostage in other parts of the mall that are still under their control. 


The Islamist military group Shahab has claimed responsibility for the attack. Some shooters reportedly shouted for all Muslims to move away before they opened fire. Shahab has said that the attack was in response to Kenyan military presence in Somalia. They have also claimed links to the infamous terrorist group Al Qaeda.


The mall, Westgate, had become a social and popular place in Nairobi. Most Saturdays, the mall is packed and security is light. 


As of late Sunday morning in Kenya, officials report having the upper hand, but Shahab posted on their twitter that the gunmen “The are still strong inside #Westgate Mall and still holding their ground.”


Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta gave a televised speech late Saturday, saying “We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to.” “We shall get them, and we shall punish them for this heinous crime.”

Sources: 


1. New York Times

2. CNN

Tags: kenya westgate

12 Dead in Navy Yard Shooting
At 8:20 this morning, in the Navy Yard neighborhood, near Capitol Hill in Washington D.C, a gunman opened fire, killing 12. The police have identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, from Fort Worth, Texas, whom is now dead. The police are searching for 2 additional subjects and have locked down the area.
Additionally, 6 D.C schools have been placed in lockdown, the New Jersey metro entrance to Navy Yard has been closed, and all outgoing flights from Ronald Reagan Airport have been halted.
President Obama briefly remarked on the shooting before a speech he was giving today, giving condolences to the families affected. He added that, “We will do everything in our power to make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible.”
This post will be updated with new information as it arises
Sources:
1. http://politi.co/14VrHj4
2. http://m.cbsnews.com/storysynopsis.rbml?&pageType=national&url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.cbsnews.com%252F8301-201_162-57603061%252Fwashington-navy-yard-shooting-leaves-at-least-12-dead%252F&feed_id=1&videoid=37&catid=57603061&nb_splitPage=4
3. MSNBC news
4. http://m.cbsnews.com/storysynopsis.rbml?&pageType=national&url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.cbsnews.com%252F8301-201_162-57603061%252Fwashington-navy-yard-shooting-leaves-at-least-12-dead%252F&feed_id=1&videoid=37&catid=57603061&nb_splitPage=4

Updates on Syria

After months of delays, the promised United States aid has finally entered Syria. Secratery of State John Kerry promised these shipments of non-lethal aid to the Syrian rebels back in April, but due to various delays, they have only been sent now. The shipments contain vehicles, communication equipment, and advanced medical kits.

Other than this aid, the United States has made no other definite decisions over what to do about the war-ravaged country. A large majority of Americans do not want to enter Syria, in fear that the situation will turn into a new Iraq or Afghanistan. Yesterday, President Putin wrote an op-Ed piece for the New York Times, urging Obama and Congress to wait before making any decisions to enter Syria, instead claiming that the shaky communications that has been going on between America, Russia, and Syria will be enough to fix the situation. In the meantime, Obama has reversed his earlier position on entering Syria and asked Congress to push off their vote about Syria, much to the relief of over 100 undecided congressmen and representatives. As of now, there is no official date set for the vote.

Sources:
1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-begins-weapons-delivery-to-syrian-rebels/2013/09/11/9fcf2ed8-1b0c-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html?_r=0 3. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/harry-reid-senate-syria-vote-96565.html

The Egyptian military opened fire on the pro-Morsi demonstrators protesting this morning, killing 235 protesters, as well as 43 police officers. So far, there has been over 1,000 reported injuries. The Morsi supporters attacked 21 police stations and many churches, even burning one down. There are rumors that a mosque, in front of which many of the demonstrators were protesting, Rabah Mosque, was burnt down as well.

Vice President Mohammed El Baradei resigned amidst all the violence, stating he "cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood." 

Included in the dead is 61-year-old Mick Deane, a British cameraman for Sky News, who was shot, while another journalist was killed.

Sources:

  1. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/08/14/egypt-camps-demonstrators/2651377/
  2. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/egypt-morsi-protests-live-updates-2164743
  3. http://24.media.tumblr.com/93a85aa704286fa304f8c7808d6f1b99/tumblr_mrjep014GL1s7libdo1_500.jpg
  4. http://24.media.tumblr.com/69f7fcbf0a602e4f2f0fe960b114d6be/tumblr_mrjdvluWvG1s7libdo1_500.jpg
  5. http://31.media.tumblr.com/4098792ed4886c2c59f7b267fd0f8202/tumblr_mrjdkzIItR1s7libdo1_500.jpg

News from Syria

This week, the U.N announced that the death toll of Syria’s revolution has exceeded 100,000. In addition, 4.25 million refugees have been displaced inside Syria itself, while 2 million of Syria’s residents have fled the war torn country.
The United States Government’s response to this has been to order the shipment of arms to rebels in Syria that may be sent in the coming weeks, as well as providing a stipend of $150 per month to the police in rebel-controlled parts of the country.

Sources:
1. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/25/world/meast/syria-violence/?hpt=hp_t3
2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/series/syria-refugee-crisis
3. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/23/syria-rebels-us-arms-shipments-congress
4. http://killerapps.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/07/19/arms_shipments_stalled_us_is_now_paying_syrias_cops#.UenYZ7nOjjU.twitter

breakingnews:


Pope: ‘Who am I to judge’ gay people?
NBC News: Pope Francis on Monday said “who am I to judge?” gay people as he discussed one of the most divisive issues affecting the Catholic Church.  
“I have yet to find anyone who has a business card that says he is gay,” the pontiff said at a press conference in which he addressed the reports of a “gay lobby” within the Vatican.
“They say they exist. If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” he added.

breakingnews:

Pope: ‘Who am I to judge’ gay people?

NBC News: Pope Francis on Monday said “who am I to judge?” gay people as he discussed one of the most divisive issues affecting the Catholic Church.

“I have yet to find anyone who has a business card that says he is gay,” the pontiff said at a press conference in which he addressed the reports of a “gay lobby” within the Vatican.

“They say they exist. If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” he added.

(via tazo16)