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FBI has found ‘no connection with an international terrorist group’ in Vegas shooting

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Update: Despite claims by the Islamic State that Vegas shooter Steven Paddock had converted to Islam and joined the terrorist organization, the FBI has said they’ve found no connection between him and any international terror groups. That doesn’t mean they won’t find any, but for them to release this statement now means they may have indicators pointing to other factors.

Reported earlier:

BREAKING: The Associated Press has tweeted that Las Vegas shooter Steven Paddock converted to Islam months ago. They have, without evidence, claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Trump is about to speak to the nation and give his comments.

Various news sources are reporting that shooter Steven Paddock committed suicide. His hotel room was packed with rifles, according to reports and tweets. Paddock is believed responsible for the worst mass shooting on U.S. soil in history. So far, the death toll is at least 50, with over 200 injured.

Reports

Who Is Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas Shooting Suspect?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/02/us/stephen-paddock-vegas-shooter.html?smid=tw-share* Mr. Paddock was found dead on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the police said, and authorities believe he committed suicide.

* At least 10 guns were found in Mr. Paddock’s hotel room, including several rifles.

* Mr. Paddock was a resident of Mesquite, Nev., about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Quinn Averett, a spokesman for the Mesquite police, said the department has had no previous contact with Mr. Paddock.

Latest: Mandalay Bay Shooter Committed Suicide – The Truth About Guns

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2017/10/daniel-zimmerman/latest-mandalay-bay-shooter-committed-suicide/According to Twitter reports from local journalists, Steven Paddock’s location was discovered when the smoke alarm in his room went off as he opened fire from the 32nd floor on a concert below, killing at least 50 and wounding over 400 people. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo stated that the shooter killed himself as police entered the room where they found “in excess of ten rifles.”

In his latest update, he noted an FBI hotline number (1-800-225-5324) asking for any information on the shooter and any video taken of the event. They also appealed for blood donations for the hundreds of wounded being treated in Las Vegas hospitals.

Las Vegas shooting: What we know about gunman Stephen Paddock – Business Insider

http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-paddock-las-vegas-shooting-marilou-danley-2017-10The 64-year-old from Mesquite, Nevada, targeted concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at about 10 p.m. PDT on Sunday. The police say Paddock had been in his hotel room since Thursday.

Following the attack, the Las Vegas police said Paddock was dead, possibly as a result of suicide. They discovered at least 10 rifles in his hotel room, said Joseph Lombardo, the sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

 

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Final thoughts

We all grieve for the victims and their families in this terrible event. We don’t know the motive behind the killing, although many on the left are already claiming it was the guns, white privilege, or some other of their favorite gripes about America that precipitated this. We can be fairly sure, for now, that this isn’t radical Islamic terror.

Paddock’s suicide will make investigators’ jobs all the more difficult, but if Marilou Hanley, Paddock’s companion, is arrested alive, that will shed more light. Obviously, this was a premeditated, well-thought-out act of evil.

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Economy

US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico

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US pledges 106B aid for Central America southern Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The United States pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment Tuesday for strengthening government and economic development in Central America, and another $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico.

The U.S aid aims to promote better security conditions and job opportunities as part of a regional plan to allow Central Americans and Mexicans to remain in their countries and not have to emigrate.

The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.

“In sum I think this is good news, very good news for Mexico,” Ebrard said.

Newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waxed poetic about the plan to provide jobs so people won’t have to emigrate.

“I have a dream that I want to see become a reality … that nobody will want to go work in the United States anymore,” Lopez Obrador said at a morning news conference before the announcement.

The combination of public and private investment for the stay-at-home effort doesn’t require congressional approval, unlike Trump’s signature project to stem illegal immigration — a border wall.

The U.S. State Department issued a simultaneous statement saying “The United States is committing $5.8 billion through public and private investment to promote institutional reforms and development in the Northern Triangle,” a term that refers to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Lopez Obrador’s administration has said it is also interested in agricultural, forestry and tourism projects in southern Mexico, and the U.S. said it will contribute to those efforts.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation “is prepared to invest and mobilize $2 billion in additional funds for projects in southern Mexico that are viable and attract private sector investment,” according to the statement. “This amount is in addition to the $2.8 billion in projects for Mexico through OPIC’s current investment pipeline.”

Ebrard said “The commitments established here signify more than doubling foreign investment in southern Mexico starting in 2019.”

Southern states like Chiapas and Oaxaca are home to many of Mexico’s poorest communities. Lopez Obrador, who took office Dec. 1, has sought to make development in that region a priority, including plans for a “Mayan train” stretching from touristy parts of the Yucatan Peninsula down to Chiapas.

It was unclear if Mexico would give anything in return. A planned announcement about Mexico’s migration policy was postponed until Wednesday.

The United States has reportedly wanted Mexico to allow migrants seeking asylum in the United States to remain in Mexico while their applications are processed.

Ebrard had previously suggested that about $25 billion in U.S. investment would be an appropriate figure for what Mexicans and Central Americans have dubbed “The Alliance for Prosperity” in the region.

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Culture and Religion

Doctors baffled as inoperable brain tumor in 11-year-old Roxli Doss miraculously disappears

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Doctors baffled as inoperable brain tumor in 11-year-old Roxli Doss miraculously disappears

It was the worst news Scott and Gena Doss could have received. Their 11-year-old daughter, Roxli, was suffering from diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, a very aggressive brain tumor. To be sure, her parents sought multiple opinions to see if the worst-case scenario perhaps wasn’t what they thought it was.

Everyone agreed. It was bad.

“At Dell Children’s, Texas Children’s, at Dana-Farber, at John Hopkins, and MD Anderson, all agreed it was DIPG,” said Scott.

The prognosis was grim, but then something miraculous happened.

Texas girl’s inoperable brain tumor miraculously vanishes

https://nypost.com/2018/12/18/11-year-old-girls-inoperable-brain-tumor-miraculously-vanishes/Roxli underwent weeks of radiation as her Buda community rallied by holding a benefit for her in August, when all her parents could do was pray for a miracle.

“And we got it,” an overjoyed Gena said.

“Praise God, we did,” Scott added.

“When I first saw Roxli’s MRI scan, it was actually unbelievable,” Harrod said. “The tumor is undetectable on the MRI scan, which is really unusual.”

Doctors have no idea why the tumor vanished.

My Take

Those of us who share faith in God and His plan are rarely surprised to hear stories like this one. Medical science can only go so far before a higher power must be called on to intervene. We hope and pray the Doss family’s story can inspire others.

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Foreign Affairs

Sens. Cotton, Cruz to introduce resolution recognizing Israeli sovereignty of Golan Heights

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Sens Cotton Cruz to introduce resolution recognizing Israeli sovereignty of Golan Heights

“Israel gained possession over the Golan Heights in a defensive war over 50 years ago and has responsibly controlled the area ever since,” stated Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “It’s past time for the United States to recognize reality by affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

 Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are planning to introduce a Senate resolution on Tuesday urging the United States to formally recognize Israeli control of the Golan Heights.

Jewish Insider first reported this development.

The outlet reported that the resolution states that “Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights is critical to Israel’s national security,” and that “Israel’s security from attack from Syria and Lebanon cannot be assured without Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

“It is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure that the [Bashar] Assad regime faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for the killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Sunnis and the use of weapons of mass destruction,” it adds.

“Israel’s northern border is threatened by Iranian forces and their proxies in Lebanon and Syria, including Hezbollah’s 150,000 rockets, armed drones, newly discovered terror tunnels and more,” said Cruz and Cotton in a joint statement released by their offices. “Meanwhile, with the Ayatollahs’ help, Bashar al-Assad’s regime is on the verge of securing victory in Syria’s civil war. He may soon turn his attention back to threatening the Jewish state.”

“Israel gained possession over the Golan Heights in a defensive war over 50 years ago and has responsibly controlled the area ever since,” they added. “It’s past time for the United States to recognize reality by affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

“Protecting the Syrian interest on the Golan Heights means protecting the Iranian interest,” former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold told JNS. “Does anyone seriously want to do that? Besides the Golan has been in Israeli hands many more years than it was in Syrian hands. The time to recognize our sovereignty has come.”

Groups such as the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) have advocated for this U.S. acknowledgment.

“U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is an issue that is critical to the national security interests of the United States of America,” EMET founder and president Sarah Stern told JNS. “Largely because of President [Barack] Obama’s failure to enforce his red lines, Syria has become a failed state, and because of this vacuum that has been left over by the previous administration, Iranian, Russian and Turkish forces have swooped in to fill the void.”

“U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan is particularly important because Iranian backed forces, including the IRGC and Hezbollah, are attempting to dominate the region and form a land bridge from Tehran all the way to the Mediterranean Sea,” she continued. “By having American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, we are sending a strong message to Tehran that their hegemonic aspirations must not go on unchallenged.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has not taken a position on the resolution, “but given current political and security circumstances in Syria, it is inconceivable to imagine Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights,” a spokesperson told JNS.

However, Washington-based geopolitical strategist and diplomacy consultant John Sitilides told JNS that this move is unnecessary considering Israel’s control of the Golan and the backlash Israel could receive were there to be such a recognition.

“Israel has been skillfully capable of controlling the Golan and defending its own national sovereignty and recognized borders, even against terror organizations and nation-states, without annexing the region,” he said. “Optimally, any change of sovereign borders in the aftermath of war and military occupation should involve and be approved by the disputing nations. This is an ill-timed and unproductive measure that may compel Israel’s closest Western allies to forsake it for the sake of international law and treaties.”

But according to Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “U.S. recognition of Israel’s claims to the Golan is a recognition of reality.”

“In this sense, the move is long overdue,” he told JNS. “The Israelis will no longer consider ceding control of the Golan Heights to Syria now that the country effectively ceases to exist. Indeed, Israelis today cringe at the notion that their government might have made a deal with Bashar al-Assad.”

Nonetheless, he cautioned about possible negative ramifications behind a possible move by the United States, saying “after the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after it undermined the UNRWA narrative, and perhaps now, recognizing the Golan, Israel could be asked to acknowledge all that it has received and show flexibility to accommodate Trump’s peace plan. From the Israeli perspective, this could be the only real downside of a possible Golan move on the part of the administration.”

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