Published: 10:04 pm, Thu. Nov. 24th, 2022Updated: 9:04 pm
Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The Walmart supervisor who fatally shot six co-workers at a store in Virginia bought the gun just hours before the killings and left a note on his phone accusing colleagues of mocking him, authorities said Friday.
“Sorry everyone but I did not plan this I promise things just fell in place like I was led by the Satan,” Andre Bing wrote on a note that was left on his phone, the Chesapeake Police Department said Friday.
Police said the 9 mm handgun used in the Tuesday night shooting was legally purchased that morning and that Bing had no criminal record. They released a copy of the note found on his phone that appeared to redact the names of specific people he mentioned.
It was not clear when the note was written, but in it Bing claimed he was harassed and said he was pushed to the brink by a perception his phone was hacked.
He wrote, “My only wish would have been to start over from scratch and that my parents would have paid closer attention to my social deficits.” Bing died at the scene of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Emboldened Biden, Dems push ban on so-called assault weapons
WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Joe Biden speaks about the “scourge” of gun violence, his go-to answer is to zero in on so-called assault weapons.
America has heard it hundreds of times, including this week after shootings in Colorado and Virginia: The president wants to sign into law a ban on high-powered guns that have the capacity to kill many people very quickly.
“The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick,” Biden said on Thanksgiving Day. “I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons.”
After the mass killing last Saturday at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, he said in a statement: “When will we decide we’ve had enough? … We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets.”
When Biden and other lawmakers talk about “assault weapons,” they are using an inexact term to describe a group of high-powered guns or semi-automatic long rifles, like an AR-15, that can fire 30 rounds fast without reloading. By comparison, New York Police Department officers carry a handgun that shoots about half that much.
Colorado Springs reckons with past after gay club shooting
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — When officials unfurled a 25-foot rainbow flag in front of Colorado Springs City Hall this week, people gathered to mourn the victims of a mass shooting at a popular gay club couldn’t help but reflect on how such a display of support would have been unthinkable just days earlier.
With a growing and diversifying population, the city nestled at the foothills of the Rockies is a patchwork of disparate social and cultural fabrics. It’s a place full of art shops and breweries; megachurches and military bases; a liberal arts college and the Air Force Academy. For years it’s marketed itself as an outdoorsy boomtown with a population set to top Denver’s by 2050.
But last weekend’s shooting has raised uneasy questions about the lasting legacy of cultural conflicts that caught fire decades ago and gave Colorado Springs a reputation as a cauldron of religion-infused conservatism, where LGBTQ people didn’t fit in with the most vocal community leaders’ idea of family values.
For some, merely seeing police being careful to refer to the victims using their correct pronouns this week signaled a seismic change. For others, the shocking act of violence in a space considered an LGBTQ refuge shattered a sense of optimism pervading everywhere from the city’s revitalized downtown to the sprawling subdivisions on its outskirts.
“It feels like the city is kind of at this tipping point,” said Candace Woods, a queer minister and chaplain who has called Colorado Springs home for 18 years. “It feels interesting and strange, like there’s this tension: How are we going to decide how we want to move forward as a community?”
Russia steps up missile barrage of recaptured Ukrainian city
KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Natalia Kristenko’s dead body lay covered in a blanket in the doorway of her apartment building for hours overnight. City workers were at first too overwhelmed to retrieve her as they responded to a deadly barrage of attacks that shook Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson.
The 62-year-old had walked outside her home with her husband Thursday evening after drinking tea when the building was struck. Kristenko was killed instantly from a wound to the head. Her husband died hours later in the hospital from internal bleeding.
“Russians took the two most precious people from me,” their bereft daughter, Lilia Kristenko, 38, said, clutching her cat inside her coat as she watched on in horror Friday as responders finally arrived to transport her mother to the morgue.
“They lived so well, they lived differently,” she told The Associated Press. “But they died in one day.”
A salvo of missiles struck the recently liberated city of Kherson for the second day Friday in a marked escalation of attacks since Russia withdrew from the city two weeks ago following an eight-month occupation. It comes as Russia has stepped up bombardment of Ukraine’s power grid and other critical civilian infrastructure in a bid to tighten the screw on Kyiv. Officials estimate that around 50% of Ukraine’s energy facilities have been damaged in the recent strikes.
Inflation hovers over shoppers seeking deals on Black Friday
NEW YORK (AP) — Cautious shoppers hunted for the best deals at stores and online as retailers offered new Black Friday discounts to entice consumers eager to start buying holiday gifts but weighed down by inflation.
Due to elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other essentials, many people were being more selective, reluctant to spend unless there was a big sale. Some were dipping more into savings, turning to “buy now, pay later” services that allow payment in installments, or running up their credit cards at a time when the Federal Reserve is hiking rates to cool the U.S. economy.
Sheila Diggs, 55, went to a Walmart in Mount Airy, Maryland early Friday looking for a deal on a coffee maker. To save money this year, she said the adults in her family are drawing names and selecting one person to shop for.
“Everything’s going up but your paycheck,” said Diggs, who manages medical records at a local hospital.
This year’s trends are a contrast from a year ago when consumers were buying early for fear of not getting what they needed amid supply-network clogs. Stores didn’t have to discount much because they were struggling to bring in items.
US earns respect at World Cup, but wins remain elusive
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Respect achieved. Wins await.
American players wanted more than a 0-0 draw with England on Friday night, likely the most-watched match of their lives.
The U.S. shut out a European opponent in the World Cup for the first time since 1950 yet left the tent-like stadium in the Arabian desert knowing a win in Tuesday’s politically charged matchup with Iran is a must to reach the knockout stage.
“We dominated the game. We had the more clear-cut chances. Obviously, it sucks that we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net,” said midfielder Weston McKennie, standing out with red, white and blue streaks in his hair. “There’s a lot of people that obviously thought we were going to get blown out.”
The British tabloid The Sun ran a headline calling the result “Yawn in the USA.” England supporters booed loudly at the final whistle and American fans cheered.
Iran government supporters confront protesters at World Cup
AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Tensions ran high at Iran’s second match at the World Cup on Friday as fans supporting the Iranian government harassed those protesting against it and stadium security seized flags, T-shirts and other items expressing support for the protest movement that has gripped the Islamic Republic.
Some fans were stopped by security guards from bringing in Persian pre-revolutionary flags to the match against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Others carrying such flags had them ripped from their hands by pro-government Iran fans, who also shouted insults at fans wearing T-shirts with the slogan of the protest movement gripping the country, “Woman, Life, Freedom.”
Unlike in their first match against England, the Iran players sang along to their national anthem before the match as some fans in the stadium wept, whistled and booed.
The national team has come under close scrutiny for any statements or gestures about the nationwide protests that have wracked Iran for weeks.
Shouting matches erupted in lines outside the stadium between fans screaming “Women, Life, Freedom” and others shouting back “The Islamic Republic!”
Biden, family attend Christmas tree lighting on Nantucket
NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — The Biden family’s tradition of eating lunch, shopping and watching a Christmas tree lighting in downtown Nantucket on Friday became mostly about keeping the president’s 2-year-old grandson from having a meltdown.
There was President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley, dancing and clapping with nephew Beau to “Jingle Bell Rock” to keep him entertained as they waited with the crowd that had gathered for the 48th annual tree lighting ceremony on Main St.
There was Beau perched on the shoulders of his dad, Hunter Biden.
There was Beau being carried by his father, then not being carried by his father, then appearing to say things that suggested he wanted to get out of the cold and intermittent heavy rain.
Beau’s grandfather walked with him at various points.
Brazilian protests intensify; Bolsonaro stays silent
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The two men were sitting at a bar on Nov. 21, sipping drinks for relief from the scorching heat of Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, when police officers barged in and arrested them for allegedly torching trucks and an ambulance with Molotov cocktails.
One man attempted to flee and ditch his illegal firearm. Inside their pickup truck, officers found jugs of gasoline, knives, a pistol, slingshots and hundreds of stones — as well as 9,999 reais (nearly $1,900) in cash.
A federal judge ordered their preventive detention, noting that their apparent motive for the violence was “dissatisfaction with the result of the last presidential election and pursuit of its undemocratic reversal,” according to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
For more than three weeks, supporters of incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro who refuse to accept his narrow defeat in October’s election have blocked roads and camped outside military buildings in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s soy-producing powerhouse. They also have protested in other states across the nation, while pleading for intervention from the armed forces or marching orders from their commander in chief.
Since his election loss, Bolsonaro has only addressed the nation twice, to say that the protests are legitimate and encourage them to continue, as long as they don’t prevent people from coming and going.
Netflix nights still come wrapped in red-and-white envelopes
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — Netflix’s trailblazing DVD-by-mail rental service has been relegated as a relic in the age of video streaming, but there is still a steady — albeit shrinking — audience of diehards like Amanda Konkle who are happily paying to receive those discs in the iconic red-and-white envelopes.
“When you open your mailbox, it’s still something you actually want instead of just bills,” said Konkle, a resident of Savannah, Georgia, who has been subscribing to Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service since 2005.
It’s a small pleasure that Konkle and other still-dedicated DVD subscribers enjoy but it’s not clear for how much longer. Netflix declined to comment for this story but during a 2018 media event, co-founder and co-CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings suggested the DVD-by-mail service might close around 2023.
When — not if — it happens, Netflix will shut down a service that has shipped more than 5 billion discs across the U.S. since its inception nearly a quarter century ago. And it will echo the downfall of the thousands of Blockbuster video rental stores that closed because they couldn’t counter the threat posed by Netflix’s DVD-by-mail alternative.
The eventual demise of its DVD-by-mail service has been inevitable since Hastings decided to spin it off from a then-nascent video streaming service in 2011. Back then, Hastings floated the idea of renaming the service as Qwikster — a bungled idea that was so widely ridiculed that it was satirized on “Saturday Night Live.” It finally settled on its current, more prosaic handle, DVD.com. The operation is now based in non-descript office in Fremont, California, located about 20 miles from Netflix’s sleek campus in Los Gatos, California.