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California Bar Shooter Was A 28-Year-Old Former Marine Ian David Long

California: 

A 28-year-old former Marine opened fire in a California country music bar packed with college students, killing 12 people including a police officer as dozens of terrified youngsters stampeded towards the door, authorities said Thursday.

The gunman — who apparently killed himself — stepped into the Borderline Bar and Grill around 11:20 pm Wednesday and coolly began shooting, witnesses said, unleashing pandemonium as terrified patrons scrambled to escape.

“He had perfect form,” bar patron Teylor Whittler told Fox News. “He looked like he knew what he was doing, he had practiced.”

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference the suspect had been identified as Ian David Long, a veteran of the US Marine Corps.

He was found dead at the bar in Thousand Oaks, California, an upscale city northwest of Los Angeles.

Dean said authorities so far had no indication of a motive, or of any connection to terrorism. He said the victims were apparently targeted at random.

“We believe he shot himself,” said Dean, who earlier described it as a “horrific scene.”

Dean said his department had “several contacts” with Long over the years, for minor incidents including a traffic collision, and in 2015 when he was beaten up at a local bar.

In April this year, deputies were called to his house for a disturbance and found him “acting a little irrationally.”

“They felt he might be suffering from PTSD, the fact he was a veteran and had been in the corps,” Dean said.

“They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialists who met with him, talked to him, and cleared him.”

Dean said Long was believed to have been armed with a single handgun when he launched Wednesday’s attack.

“It appears he walked up to the scene. He shot the security guard that was standing outside. He stepped inside,” Dean said.

“It appears that he turned to the right and shot several of the other security and employees there, and then began opening fire inside the nightclub.”

‘Everyone dove to the floor’

Among those killed in the assault was a three-decade veteran of the sheriff’s department, 54-year-old Ron Helus, who was married and had a grown son.

“He went in there to save people and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Dean said.

The other 11 victims have yet to be identified by the authorities. Besides the dead, around a dozen other people were injured.

Matt Wennerstron, a 20-year-old college student who regularly attended events at the bar, said the shooter fired a short-barreled pistol that apparently had a 10-15 round magazine.

“Then, when (he) started to reload, that’s when we got people out of there and I didn’t look back,” Wennerstron said.

He said he and others smashed their way out of the bar onto a balcony and then jumped down to safety. “One bar stool went straight through a window,” he told reporters.

Jasmin Alexander, who was part of a group of around 15 friends at the bar, said there was chaos and confusion inside when shots first rang out.

“It was a normal Wednesday. We were just at the bar, having fun, dancing,” she told reporters after escaping.

“All of a sudden we heard the ‘bang, bang’ of the gunshots and it just started going crazy and people were pushing.

“We thought it was a joke, we didn’t take it seriously at first… because it sounded like firecrackers and everyone just dropped down to the floor.”

TV footage showed SWAT teams surrounding the bar, with distraught revelers milling around and using their cell phones as lights from police cars flashed.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he had “been fully briefed on the terrible shooting,” the latest chapter in America’s epidemic of gun violence that came just 10 days after a gunman killed 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Last year, a country music festival in Las Vegas was the scene of the worst mass shooting in modern US history. A gunman shooting from the 32nd floor of a hotel and casino with high power weapons killed 58 people.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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French Police Hit With Poo Bombs At “Yellow Vest” Protests

Saturday marked the 16th straight weekend of “yellow vest” demonstrations in France since November.

France: 

French police are facing a new form of weapon during “yellow vest” protests — bags of fecal matter thrown bomb-like by demonstrators.

On Saturday “bags filled with faeces were thrown at police and exploded. Three policemen were soaked through with it,” Rudy Manna from the Alliance police trade union in the southern port city of Marseille told AFP.

One policeman also suffered an elbow injury when hit by “a poop-filled projectile”, Marseille police headquarters said.

Similar incidents took place in the southern city of Montpellier, police trade union representatives said.

Police said there had been calls on social media ahead of Saturday’s demonstrations for demonstrators to arm themselves with ‘Caca-tovs’ — after Molotov cocktails but filled with “caca”, the French term for poo.

“The policemen were deeply humiliated,” Manna said, adding that none of the perpetrators, hidden in a crowd of about 1,000 demonstrators in Marseille, had been identified.

Saturday marked the 16th straight weekend of “yellow vest” demonstrations in France since November, which have often seen security forces targeted with stones and other projectiles. 

Authorities said nearly 40,000 people took part.

A total of 11 people have died during the demonstrations which began over fuel taxes but mushroomed into a revolt by people in rural and small-town France against French President Emmanuel Macron.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)







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Weeks After Ban Announcement, Hafiz Saeed’s Outfits Still Operate In Pakistan

Hafiz Saeed’s Jaamat-ud-Dawa had been kept on watchlist of the Pakistan’s interior ministry. (Reuters)

New Delhi: 

 

Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation have not been banned by Pakistan despite its announcement about 14 days ago. The two terror outfits continue to be only in the list of groups under watch, according to Pakistan government’s National Counter Terrorism Authority (NCTA).

On February 21, Pakistan government had announced that it had banned the JuD and FIF, amid intense global pressure to rein in the terror groups following the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives.

“This implies that Pakistan has lied on the ban on Jud and FIF. In fact, it has just altered the date of the watch list placement to fool the world,” a senior security official said.

A spokesperson of Pakistan’s Interior Ministry had said on February 21 that the decision to ban these two groups was taken during a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“It was decided during the meeting to accelerate action against proscribed organisations,” the spokesperson had said in a statement.

“It was further decided that Jamat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation be notified as proscribed organizations by the Ministry of Interior,” he added.

According to officials, JuD’s network includes 300 seminaries and schools, hospitals, a publishing house and ambulance service.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated its chief Hafiz Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a $10 million reward for any information.

The NCTA has so far banned 69 terror groups. A sizeable number of these groups are based in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).







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British PM Theresa May’s Lawyer Seeks Legal Fix To The Brexit Riddle

Ms May promised to seek “legally binding changes” to the Withdrawal Agreement.

LONDON: 

Prime Minister Theresa May’s top lawyer will try to clinch a Brexit compromise with the European Union this week in a last ditch bid to win over rebellious British lawmakers before crunch votes that could delay the divorce for three months.

The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29 but Ms May is hoping to win over at least 115 more British lawmakers by agreeing a legal addendum with the EU on the most controversial part of the deal – the so called Irish border backstop.

Concerns about the backstop, an insurance policy aimed at preventing a return to hard border controls between EU member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland, helped prompt lawmakers to reject Ms May’s deal on Jan. 15 by 432 to 230 votes.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, Britain’s top government lawyer, is due back in Brussels on Tuesday and will seek legally binding changes to the Irish border backstop.

“The attorney general continues with his work to ensure we get legally-binding changes to ensure that we are not locked in the backstop,” Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said. “The negotiations are at a critical and sensitive point.”

Brokenshire said the aim was to address lawmakers’ main concern: that Britain could be trapped in the backstop – and thus EU rules – indefinitely.

As Brexit goes down to the line, investors are watching to see if Ms May can win over enough lawmakers to her deal: if she cannot, then the exit date is almost certain to be delayed by lawmakers eager to avoid a potentially disorderly no-deal exit.

Ms May promised to seek “legally binding changes” to the Withdrawal Agreement, though the EU has refused to reopen the draft treaty. Parliament will vote on her tweaked deal by March 12.

If it rejects the deal, lawmakers will have a vote on whether to leave without a deal and then on whether to delay Brexit, probably by a few months until the end of June.

LEGAL FIX

In a bid to win over opposition Labour Party lawmakers, Ms May will on Monday set out plans for a 1.6 billion pound ($2.11 billion) fund to help to boost economic growth in Brexit-supporting communities.

The Labour Party’s finance spokesman, John McDonnell, said the fund was “Brexit bribery”.

“This towns fund smacks of desperation from a government reduced to bribing Members of Parliament to vote for their damaging flagship Brexit legislation,” he said.

As Ms May seeks to win over lawmakers, a group of prominent Brexit rebels set out the changes they want to see to her agreement in return for their support: it must be legally binding, clear and set out an exit route.

But the Daily Telegraph newspaper said Cox had abandoned attempts to secure a hard time-limit or unilateral exit mechanism for the backstop.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday that the bloc was ready to give Britain more guarantees that the backstop was only intended to be temporary and used for a “worst-case scenario”.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)







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