Saturday, May 26, 2018

US Gulf Coast prepares as Alberto brings wind, rain north

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Florida, Alabama and Mississippi launched emergency preparations ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend.

Heavy downpours were expected to begin lashing parts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday. The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued tropical storm warnings for parts of Florida and Alabama, saying tropical storm conditions are possible there by Sunday night. The governors of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

About 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of rain are possible along affected areas in eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida Panhandle. Isolated areas could see as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters).

Under overcast skies and occasional drizzle, several Gulfport, Mississippi, residents lined up to fill 10- and 20-pound (5- and 9-kilogram) bags with sand they will use to block any encroaching floodwater expected as a result of Alberto.

Tommy Whitlock said sandbagging has become a usual event in his life since he lives next to a creek.

“I’m doing this because every time we have a hard rain, it floods at my house,” Whitlock said. “We get water from other neighborhoods, and water can get up to a foot deep in some places.”

Eddy Warner, a retired consultant for a construction company, filled bags while waiting for his nephew to come help transport them home to protect his garage.

“I’m 65 years old and too old to be doing this,” he said, laughing.

Alberto — the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season that officially starts June 1 — is expected to strengthen until it reaches the northern Gulf Coast, likely on Monday night.

The NWS said waves as high as 18 feet (5.5 meters) could pound the popular Gulf beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama, and northwestern Florida on Monday. A high surf warning was in effect through 7 p.m. Tuesday local time.

At 11 p.m. EDT Saturday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was about 400 miles (645 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida, and moving north-northeast at 13 mph (20 kph). The storm had top sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and was expected to strengthen as it moves over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes.

A tropical storm warning expired for Cuba’s western Pinar del Rio province, where heavy rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said.

The downpours could dampen Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer tourist season along Gulf beaches. Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.

Tracey Gasper and her 6-year-old son, Chase, traveled to Biloxi Beach from Donaldsonville, Louisiana, for a day of fun in the sun with a group of friends from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The weather had scared off the usual crowds expected for the holiday weekend.

“It was a 50-50 chance of whether to come down and we decided to chance it,” Gasper said.

Backchannel with 'Dracula' helped free Utah's Joshua Holt from Venezuela jail

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A secret backchannel led by a veteran Republican Senate staffer and a flamboyant Venezuelan official nicknamed “Dracula” broke through hostile relations between the two governments to secure the release of American prisoner Joshua Holt, who traveled to the South American country for love and ended up in jail, without a trial, for two years.

A week ago the chances of Holt’s long ordeal ending any time soon looked slim.

On the eve of Venezuela’s May 20 presidential election, the Utah native appeared in a clandestinely shot video from jail railing against Nicolas Maduro’s government, saying his life had been threatened in a prison riot. In retaliation, he was branded the CIA’s spy boss in Latin America by the head of the ruling socialist party. Hours earlier Maduro expelled the top American diplomat over the refusal of the U.S. to recognize his re-election.

But the arrival in Caracas on Friday of Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led to a surprise breakthrough. Maduro handed over Holt and his wife, Thamara Caleno, to Corker in what his government said was a goodwill gesture to promote dialogue and mutual respect between the two antagonistic governments.

FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2017 photo, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "The Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Administration Perspective" on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrat James Mackler says he's dropping out of the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee to replace Corker, a move that appears to clear the path to the Democratic nomination for former Gov. Phil Bredesen. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.  (Associated Press)

Holt, 26, traveled to Caracas in June 2016 to marry a fellow Mormon he had met online while looking to improve his Spanish. The couple was waiting for Caleno’s U.S. visa when they were arrested at her family’s apartment in a government housing complex for what the U.S. considered trumped-up charges of stockpiling an assault rifle and grenades.

Although Corker sealed the deal in a few tense hours in Venezuela’s collapsing, crime-filled capital, the push to secure Holt’s release began months earlier by Corker’s top Latin American policy aide, Caleb McCarry, who both Corker and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, credited with leading the painstaking, behind-the-scenes negotiations.

McCarry leveraged a 15-year-old relationship with Maduro from their time together in the Boston Group, an informal gathering from across the political spectrum — Democrats, Republicans, socialists and capitalists — from both countries that worked discreetly to repair relations between the two countries following a coup in 2002 against then-President Hugo Chavez.

Relationships formed in the now-defunct group were also instrumental in securing the release of another American accused of spying, documentary filmmaker Tim Tracy, who spent a month in a Venezuelan jail in 2013.

McCarry secretly traveled to Venezuela in February to discuss Holt’s imprisonment with Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores. The U.S. Embassy was kept at an arm’s length, for fear of derailing the talks, although the initiative was backed by Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, who also knew Maduro from his days as political officer in Caracas at the outset of Hugo Chavez’s revolution in the 1990s, several senior U.S. officials said.

Holding McCarry’s hand throughout the delicate talks was “Dracula” — Rafael Lacava, the governor of central Carabobo state and a trusted ally of Maduro who also was close to the Boston Group members.

Holding McCarry’s hand throughout the delicate talks was “Dracula” — Rafael Lacava, the governor of central Carabobo state and a trusted ally of Maduro who also was close to the Boston Group members.

Shortly after McCarry’s visit, Lacava traveled to Washington in March to speak with several lawmakers including Hatch, Corker, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., according to several senior U.S. officials. All the officials agreed to discuss details of the negotiations only on condition of anonymity.

However, after word of Lacava’s visit was leaked by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has Trump’s ear on policy toward Venezuela, the administration refused to meet with Maduro’s envoy. Rubio warned that Lacava, who embraces the nickname Dracula for his habits of tweeting and patrolling around his state late at night in a Batmobile-like vehicle, was reportedly involved in money laundering, making him too toxic for a White House bent on punishing such criminal activity.

When The Associated Press reported on the politically fraught backchannel in March, few imagined it would succeed.

Speculation swirled that the government was demanding an all-but-impossible prisoner exchange for Flores’ two nephews, who in 2016 were convicted in New York of drug trafficking, after it was learned that a government-connected Venezuelan tycoon was paying Holt’s legal fees as well as those of the men branded the “narco-nephews.”

At the same time, the Trump administration was intensifying a campaign to isolate Venezuela’s government, sanctioning dozens of officials — including Maduro and Flores — for human rights abuses and drug trafficking while threatening a more crippling ban on oil shipments.

An official with the National Security Council stressed that nothing had been offered to secure Holt’s release. President Donald Trump found out Friday that Holt would be released, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while welcoming Holt’s release, stressed that “U.S. policy toward Venezuela remains unchanged.”

“The United States stands steadfast in support of the Venezuelan people and their efforts to return to democracy,” he said in a statement.

“The United States stands steadfast in support of the Venezuelan people and their efforts to return to democracy.”

– Mike Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy think tank, in Washington, Monday, May 21, 2018. Pompeo is threatening to place “the strongest sanctions in history†on Iran if its government doesn’t change course. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo  (Associated Press)

Alfredo Romero, a lawyer who defends some of the opposition activists who were held alongside Holt, said that Maduro may be looking to win over some political sectors in the U.S. to temper Trump’s hardline approach toward Venezuela.

“Holt’s continued imprisonment was a thorn in the side,” he said.

The talks were encouraged by Pompeo, who met privately with Corker on Thursday morning and finalized details of the senator’s trip ahead of testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the State Department budget. “We’re doing all the right things. We have an American there that we desperately want to get back, Joshua Holt. And so know that we are engaged,” Pompeo told lawmakers at the hearing.

The government of Cuba was also helpful in pressuring Maduro as well as former Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, one official said. Zapatero has been leading a three-year push to bring the government and opposition together to help resolve Venezuela’s economic and political crisis.

Still, when Corker left for Caracas on Friday it was still unclear if Maduro would follow through on his pledge to release Holt, the officials said.

On Saturday, a beaming Lacava could be seen in a video boarding the Venezuelan government plane that transported Holt to Washington wearing aviator glasses and a dark suit. He walked by the camera shouting “Dracula on the attack!” and flashing a “V for Victory” sign.

In a photograph taken at the airport in Caracas, Holt can be seen standing alongside Lacava holding a Venezuela national soccer team jersey emblazoned with the governor’s name.

There was one last-minute scare. Taxiing down the runway, the plane suddenly slowed and its pilot turned back the craft to look into an instrument failure. When the once-unimaginable voyage resumed Holt had a big smile on his face, Corker told Trump in an Oval Office meeting Saturday night surrounded by the Utah man and his family.

“Probably the only time anybody was ever happy that there was a bad instrument on an airplane,” said Trump.

Goodman reported from Bogota, Colombia. Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

Backchannel with ‘Dracula’ helped free Utah’s Joshua Holt from Venezuela jail

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A secret backchannel led by a veteran Republican Senate staffer and a flamboyant Venezuelan official nicknamed “Dracula” broke through hostile relations between the two governments to secure the release of American prisoner Joshua Holt.

Japan ex-PM Nakasone, witness to war and success, turns 100

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One of Japan’s most prominent former leaders, Yasuhiro Nakasone, has turned 100, fitting in a country known for longevity.

As a World War II naval officer, he witnessed the depth of Japan’s defeat and devastation. He presided over Japan in the 1980s at the pinnacle of its economic success. In recent years, he has lobbied for revision of the war-renouncing, U.S.-drafted constitution, a longtime cause neither he nor his successors have achieved.

His office says Nakasone, cared for by his daughter at their Tokyo home, is slowing down but in fine health.

In his written statement marking his birthday on Sunday, Nakasone says he is blissful to have worked for Japan’s postwar reconstruction and witnessed success.

He also vows to do more work.

The Latest: Trump says Korea talks 'going along very well'

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The Latest on diplomatic efforts involving the Koreas (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump says negotiations over a potential summit with the leader of North Korea are “going along very well.”

Trump told reporters Saturday that: “We’re doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea,” adding that “there are meetings going on as we speak.”

Trump said they are still considering June 12 in Singapore for the summit with Kim Jong Un. He said there is a “lot of good will” and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would be “a great thing.”

Trump also said that talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have “gone very well.”

___

10:20 a.m.

South Korea’s president says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un remains committed to holding a summit with President Donald Trump and to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Kim at the border on Saturday for the second time in a month to discuss how to keep Kim’s summit with Trump on a track. The Kim-Moon meeting followed a whirlwind 24 hours that saw Trump cancel the highly anticipated June 12 meeting before saying it’s potentially back on.

Moon told reporters Sunday that Kim reaffirmed his denuclearization commitment and told Moon he’s willing to cooperate to end confrontation for the sake of the successful North Korea-U.S. summit.

Moon says his meeting with Kim was arranged at Kim’s request.

Seoul: North Korea committed to US summit, denuclearization

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South Korea’s president says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un remains committed to holding a summit with President Donald Trump and to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Kim at the border on Saturday for the second time in a month to discuss how to keep Kim’s summit with Trump on a track. The Kim-Moon meeting followed a whirlwind 24 hours that saw Trump cancel the highly anticipated June 12 meeting before saying it’s potentially back on.

Moon told reporters Sunday that Kim reaffirmed his denuclearization commitment and told Moon he’s willing to cooperate to end confrontation for the sake of the successful North Korea-U.S. summit.

Moon says his meeting with Kim was arranged at Kim’s request.

Trump meets with Utah man who's back in US after long captivity in Venezuela

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Joshua Holt, who flew back to the U.S. on Saturday after being jailed in Venezuela since 2016, met with President Trump at the White House following his return.

Trump said it was “a great honor” to have the Holts there after they endured “a very tough ordeal in a Venezuelan prison.”

It’s “amazing that you were able to take it,” Trump said.

The president praised the lawmakers involved in securing Holt’s return, including Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who said in a statement earlier in the day that he was accompanying the Holts back to the U.S.

“We’re home,” Corker tweeted Saturday evening. “Honored to greet Josh Holt’s parents at the airport. So happy for them.”

The 26-year-old’s long-awaited arrival comes after he spent roughly two years incarcerated in Venezuela after traveling to the country in the summer of 2016 to marry Thamara Candelo. The pair planned to return to the U.S. after their nuptials, but were jailed in El Hilcolde on what human rights groups said were largely trumped-up charges.

Following Holt’s return, the office of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who previously said he had worked for “the last two years” on securing a release, shared an emotional video of Holt reuniting with his family.

UTAH MAN INCARCERATED IN VENEZUELA JAIL IS ON HIS WAY HOME, OFFICIALS SAY

An earlier video was also shared by the office showing Hatch hugging members of Holt’s family before going to the tarmac.

The family was expected to meet with President Trump at the White House Saturday evening, according to the president, who earlier tweeted that he was “looking forward” to it.

A senior administration official confirmed to Fox News that “nothing” was offered in exchange for Holt’s release.

josh holt

Joshua Holt and Thamara Candelo on their wedding day. Thamara’s daughter, Nathalia, 7, is in the foreground.  (Courtesy of Laurie Holt)

Venezuelan authorities claim Holt and his wife were stockpiling weapons, and have suggested they were part of a U.S. plan to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. But witnesses say they saw Venezuelan police, accused of demanding $10,000 from Holt and Candelo, plant weapons just before arresting the couple — and announcing the discovery of the arms.

UTAH MAN IN VENEZUELAN JAIL SAYS PRISON ‘HAS FALLEN,’ TAKEN OVER BY PEOPLE WANTING TO KILL HIM

Laurie Holt, Joshua’s mother, told Fox News in February that her son’s ordeal has taken an emotional and physical toll on her. A week ago, the 7-year-old daughter of Candelo from a previous marriage arrived in the United States on a humanitarian visa to live with Joshua Holt’s parents in Utah.

Upon Holt’s return, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, saying he was “very glad that Josh Holt is now back home with his family – where he has always belonged.”

“Sanctions continue until democracy returns to Venezuela,” Pence added.

Utah Rep. Mia Love also tweeted after Holt’s flight had landed.

“Josh Holt is on American soil again!” Love tweeted. “His flight just landed in DC. Looking forward to seeing him!”

Fox News’ Matt Leech and Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.

Utah man jailed in Venezuela returns to US at last, officials say

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Joshua Holt, who was headed back to the U.S. on Saturday after being jailed in Venezuela since 2016, has landed on home soil, according to an official who traveled with him.

“We’re home,” Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee tweeted, hours after saying in a statement that he was accompanying the Holts back to the U.S. “Honored to greet Josh Holt’s parents at the airport. So happy for them.”

The 26-year-old’s long-awaited arrival comes after he spent roughly two years incarcerated in Venezuela after traveling to the country in the summer of 2016 to marry Thamara Candelo. The pair planned to return to the U.S. after their nuptials, but were jailed in El Hilcolde on what human rights groups said were largely trumped-up charges.

Following Holt’s return, the office of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who previously said he had worked for “the last two years” on securing a release, shared an emotional video of Holt reuniting with his family.

UTAH MAN INCARCERATED IN VENEZUELA JAIL IS ON HIS WAY HOME, OFFICIALS SAY

An earlier video was also shared by the office showing Hatch hugging members of Holt’s family before going to the tarmac.

The family was expected to meet with President Trump at the White House Saturday evening, according to the president, who earlier tweeted that he was “looking forward” to it.

A senior administration official confirmed to Fox News that “nothing” was offered in exchange for Holt’s release.

Venezuelan authorities claim Holt and his wife were stockpiling weapons, and have suggested they were part of a U.S. plan to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. But witnesses say they saw Venezuelan police, accused of demanding $10,000 from Holt and Candelo, plant weapons just before arresting the couple — and announcing the discovery of the arms.

josh holt

Joshua Holt and Thamara Candelo on their wedding day. Thamara’s daughter, Nathalia, 7, is in the foreground.  (Courtesy of Laurie Holt)

UTAH MAN IN VENEZUELAN JAIL SAYS PRISON ‘HAS FALLEN,’ TAKEN OVER BY PEOPLE WANTING TO KILL HIM

Laurie Holt, Joshua’s mother, told Fox News in February that her son’s ordeal has taken an emotional and physical toll on her. A week ago, the 7-year-old daughter of Candelo from a previous marriage arrived in the United States on a humanitarian visa to live with Joshua Holt’s parents in Utah.

Upon Holt’s return, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, saying he was “very glad that Josh Holt is now back home with his family – where he has always belonged.”

“Sanctions continue until democracy returns to Venezuela,” Pence added.

Utah Rep. Mia Love also tweeted after Holt’s flight had landed.

“Josh Holt is on American soil again!” Love tweeted. “His flight just landed in DC. Looking forward to seeing him!”

Fox News’ Matt Leech and Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.

Man in custody after swastikas found painted on gravestones

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Authorities in southwestern Illinois say a suspect is in custody after swastikas were found spray-painted on several homes and dozens of grave markers at a nearby cemetery.

Edwardsville police announced on Facebook that a 34-year-old man was apprehended on Saturday. Additional information on the suspect was not immediately available.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports employees at Sunset Hill Cemetery in neighboring Glen Carbon found swastikas on 150 to 200 headstones. Cemetery grounds superintendent Mark Johnson says the vandalism was discovered Saturday morning.

Glen Carbon is roughly 15 miles (24 kilometers) northeast of St. Louis.

Edwardsville police Sgt. Justin Towell says multiple homes in a subdivision were also vandalized. He says the same person may be responsible for both incidents.

Johnson says crews were called to clean the markers ahead of Memorial Day.

Vintage pair of Levis, 125 years old, go for close to $100,000

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The vintage look just got a whole lot more expensive. A buyer in Southeast Asia has purchased a pair of 125-year-old Levis for almost $100,000.

And you thought your jeans cost a pretty penny.

The jeans, originally bought in 1893 by Solomon Warner, a storekeeper in the Arizona Territory, have a drastically different look than today’s Levis. Warner’s jeans had but a single pocket, a button fly and no belt loops — remember, men favored a good set of suspenders back in the day.

The denims, size 44 with a 36-inch inseam, suggest that Warner was no small man.

Warner, it turns out, had a colorful history that had nothing to do with his jeans. He established one of the first stores selling American dry goods in Tucson, and survived being shot by Apaches in 1870.

The jeans were in good condition when they were purchased earlier this month because Warner had only worn them a few times before becoming ill.

The identity of the buyer and the exact amount of the sale have remained under wraps, because the Levis were sold through a private sale and not by way of an auction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Why do people become killers? There are only three reasons — Here they are

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Following the most recent school mass shooting – this time in Santa Fe, Texas, where 10 students and teachers were killed and 10 were wounded Friday – family members, friends and investigators find themselves searching for illusive answers.

Why did this happen? How do you make sense of such a senseless tragedy?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pointed out that unlike other recent mass shootings, “there were not those types of warning signs. The red-flag warnings were either nonexistent or very imperceptible.”

The accused shooter’s parents said the media reports of the shooting seemed “incompatible with the boy (they) love,” and the 17-year-old boy’s best friend said he was “one of the most responsible people I knew. He didn’t drink or do drugs, to my knowledge … he was academically proactive, making all A’s.”

Given the profile that is emerging, investigators have not yet identified the motive for the shooting.

I, however, know precisely why this latest killer did what he did. And I also know what will motivate the next killer to act in a similar way.

Many years ago, as I began investigating high-profile murders in Los Angeles County, I carefully chronicled the motives for every homicide that occurred in our region. You might think there are a million reasons why someone would commit a murder, but there are only three possibilities.

At least one of these three motives is the driving force behind every homicide, theft, burglary and robbery. In fact, these three motives lie at the heart of every conceivable crime or misdeed.

Human misbehavior is motivated by: financial greed, sexual – or relational – lust, and the pursuit of power.

You might be wondering if there is a fourth category. There isn’t. What about jealousy? What about anger? Ask yourself the question: What is causing the jealousy or anger? There are only three answers to this question, and now you know them.

The notorious gang, MS-13, inadvertently confirmed these three motives when leaders chose the motto for their criminal organization: Kill, Steal, Rape, Control.

All murders (kill) are motivated by financial greed (steal), sexual lust (rape) or the pursuit of power (control). Sometimes only one of these motives is the driving force behind a crime. Sometimes two or more are involved.

The latest school shooting is a good example. While there doesn’t appear to be any financial motive, the killer does appear to have been driven by the other two motivations I’ve described:

Sexual Lust – A 16-year-old girl killed in the Santa Fe shooting, Shana Fischer, was apparently pursued by the accused killer in the days and weeks prior to the shooting. Her mother said the accused shooter “kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no.” According to Shana’s father, she “told her mother two weeks ago he was going to come and kill her.”

The Pursuit of Power – This form of motivation can be very nuanced and includes one’s sense of respect, authority, embarrassment, prestige or control. For example, as the accused killer became “more aggressive” in his advances toward Shana (approximately one week prior to the shooting), Shana eventually “stood up to him” and “embarrassed him in class.”

In addition, several news organization have reported that the accused shooter was bullied and “mistreated at school.” Episodes of perceived disrespect and embarrassment are often the motive for murder. This would also explain why some of the accused killer’s friends said that he recently “started wearing a trench coat” and telling students he was “buying knives off Amazon.”

The accused shooter incrementally sought the respect (and fear) of others, a classic example of the pursuit of power. During the attack, the killer even selectively spared students he liked “so he could have his story told.” This effort to elevate his fame and prestige after the fact is consistent with the motive I’ve described.

Since only three motives lie behind school shootings like the ones we’ve seen recently, I sadly expect to see more shootings in the future.

Unless we, as a nation, are willing to embrace and promote a worldview that helps us understand the proper role of money and financial stewardship, promotes sexual purity and restraint, and helps us place the needs of others ahead of our own desires, we can expect more of the same.

Those restorative values may sound familiar to you; they used to be part of our collective heritage and our common worldview. They are also our last and greatest hope if we ever expect to minimize and contain the only three reasons anyone commits a crime.

George H.W. Bush says he met with veterans at pancake breakfast in Maine

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Former President George H.W. Bush said he was “delighted” to spend some time with veterans in Maine on Saturday, while there over the Memorial Day weekend.

Yemeni officials say airstrike in Sanaa kills at least 4

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Yemeni security officials say a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in the capital has killed at least four civilians and wounded over 10 others.

IRVFC Battle Smokey Fire in Pot Nets Bayside Home

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Indian River Vol Fire Co responded to a residential fire at this home on Minnow Lane, Pot Nets Bayside, near Millsboro.

Indian River Vol Fire Co responded to a residential fire at this home on Minnow Lane, Pot Nets Bayside, near Millsboro.

Firefighters from Indian River were called for a structure fire just after 1 Saturday afternoon on Minnow Lane at Pot Nets Bayside.  Multiple calls to 9-1-1 said there was smoke coming from the home.  Crews arriving at the scene found heavy white smoke – no one was home and they forced entry into the home to battle the fire.  Crews from Lewes and Millsboro assisted.  The State Fire Marshal is investigating.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICTURES


 

Man says cockroach laid egg in his ear: ‘I heard it die in my head’

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Blake Collins said a cockroach got into his ear and laid an egg due to his roach-infested apartment in Florida.

“Sailor’s Life for Me” Some Programs Canceled Sunday because of Weather

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Selected “Sailor’s Life for Me” programs in Lewes, Del. on Sunday, May 27, 2018 cancelled due to severe weather.

For more information, contact the Zwaanendael Museum at 302-645-1148.

A Sailor’s Life for Me” cancelled activities – Sunday, May 27, 2018

×        Living-history encampment, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. – Canal Front Park

×        Wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of James Drew, captain of the DeBraak, 2:30 p.m. – Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church cemetery

×        Wreath-laying ceremony honoring crew members of the DeBraak, apx. 3 p.m. –
Zwaanendael Museum

×        Tours and sound-pipe demonstrations, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. – Lightship Overfalls, 219 Pilottown Road, Lewes (next to Canal Front Park)

×        Hull tour of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, Noon – Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes


 

Fire started by rioting inmates in Iraqi jail kills 7

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The local government of a Kurdish province in northern Iraq says seven inmates have died of asphyxia in a fire started as part of a prison riot instigated to cover a foiled breakout attempt.

Campaign contributor helped Obamas score Netflix deal

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Barack and Michelle Obama are raking in the cash, thanks to the influence of a former campaign supporter.

The couple last week signed a creative production deal with Netflix that one entertainment-industry source said could be valued at more than $50 million.

Ted Sarandos, a major campaign contributor for Obama and the streaming giant’s creative-content chief who oversees an $8 billion budget, helped to broker the deal, the source told The Post.

Sarandos and his wife, Nicole Avant, bundled nearly $600,000 in contributions to Obama from their friends and associates during the 2012 presidential campaign.

The couple is friends with the Obamas, and Avant served as the US ambassador to the Bahamas from 2009 to 2011, during the former president’s first term.

Click here to read more from The New York Post.

White House team heading to Singapore amid signs North Korea summit could be back on

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The White House said Saturday that a pre-advance team is heading to Singapore in case a much-anticipated summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un goes ahead — the latest sign that the meet-up could be back on despite its cancellation by Trump earlier this week.

“The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.

President Trump wrote to the North Korean dictator on Thursday, saying the June 12 summit was being nixed after comments by a North Korean official that had threatened nuclear war.

“Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in his letter to Kim. “Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

He called the imploded summit a “sad moment in history.”

“You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used,” Trump wrote to Kim. “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth.”

But on Friday night, Trump tweeted that “very productive talks” about reinstating the summit were underway, and he said that June 12 could still be the date for such a meeting.

TRUMP WELCOMES STATEMENT FROM NORTH KOREA, SAYS TALKS TO REINSTATE SUMMIT ‘PRODUCTIVE’ 

He also told reporters Friday that “everybody plays games” and said: “They very much want to do it, we want to do it, we’ll see what happens.”

Trump had also blasted Democrats, saying that they were “rooting against” the U.S. in its negotiations after House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Kim was the winner from Trump’s decision.

The North Koreans had also expressed willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format,” 

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said, according to Yonhap News (which cited the Korean Central News Agency) that Trump’s move to call off the summit highlighted the tensions between the two countries, further emphasizing the need for a meeting. The official added that Kim had been preparing for the summit.

Fox News’ Jennifer Bowman and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.

Ocean View Bicycle Rider Struck by Vehicle on Rt 26

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bicycle-accident
01-Bicycle-Accident-shutterstock_235500148

An Ocean View man was flown to Christiana Medical Center after he was struck by a vehicle making a left turn on Route 26 just after 10 Saturday morning.  Ocean View Police say the 76 year old man suffered life threatening injuries – he was wearing a helmet.  Police say as the driver started to turn into a parking lot, he failed to see the bicycle and struck him.  Alcohol is not a factor in the crash.  The investigation is continuing – no charges have yet been filed.


 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declares state of emergency due to subtropical storm

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Amid an approaching subtropical storm over a busy holiday weekend, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties.

The storm is expected to bring significant rain and the declaration from the governor’s office allows state and local governments the time and resources to prepare.

“As we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Alberto’s northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that all Florida counties have every available resource to keep families safe and prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring,” Scott said in a news release. “Today, I have declared a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties to make sure that our state and local governments are able to coordinate with federal partners to get the resources they need.”

SUBTROPICAL STORM, DUBBED ALBERTO, IS EXPECTED TO BRING ‘TROPICAL STORM-FORCE WINDS’ THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND

The storm is already hitting Cuba, bringing heavy rain and raising the threat of flash flooding, National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Saturday afternoon. Rain totals for the island could range between 10 and 15 inches “with isolated totals of 25 inches across western Cuba,” they said.

Heavy rain has already begun in Florida as well, the NHC said, adding that parts of the Florida Keys, as well as southern and southwest Florida, could see as much as 10 inches of rainfall.

A cyclist tries to stay dry along Collins Ave. in Miami Beach, Fla., Friday, May 25, 2018. Rain from Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to will drench the Memorial Day weekend. (Jim Rassol /South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

A cyclist tries to stay dry along Collins Ave. in Miami Beach, Fla., on Friday.  (Jim Rassol /South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

The weather service indicated that heavy downpours were expected to hit “the central Gulf Coast region into the southeastern United States,” by Sunday.

“Rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches with maximum amounts of 15 inches are possible along the track of Alberto from eastern Louisiana, across much of Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida panhandle,” the NHC said.

ALBERTO IS FIRST NAMED STORM OF 2018

Scott urged Floridians to get ready for the storm and develop an emergency preparedness plan.

“Remember, the track of these storms can change without notice,” Scott said. “Do not think that only areas in the cone will be impacted – everyone in our state must be prepared.

Alberto, the first storm to be named ahead of the official June 1 start of hurricane season, is expected to gain strength until it reaches the northern Gulf Coast by Monday night, the NHC said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

J.Crew comes under fire for selling feminist T-shirt for young boys

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A popular retailer has come under fire after sharing a photo to Instagram featuring a young boy in a pink T-shirt emblazoned with the words “I am a feminist too.”

J.Crew posted a photo on Friday that featured a young male model in the pink shirt. The post, which received in excess of 15,000 likes, was shared with a caption: “Start ‘em young.”

The pictured spark a heated debate in the comments section, with most of the comments criticizing the clothing brand for injecting itself in politics.

“I agree with quality, but I don’t need a clothing brand to teach my kids anything – whether it’s something I agree or disagree with,” one user said.

“Unfollow,” another added.  

“Unfollowing. Just sell clothes, @jcrew, not political agendas,” was another person’s comment.

Other users accused J.Crew of not taking a real stance, but rather tapping a hot-button political issue in the pursuit of profit.

One commenter’s criticism: “Supporting something for real and pretending to, to market to a larger audience are two very different things.”

Even those that were in favor of the shirt were disappointed in the company’s decision to use a child to make political statement.

“Keep children out of it. They are too young to understand,” one user commented. “Yay for them. Political graphic tees for kids are still not cute,” another said.

The controversial shirt has already sold out in some sizes. On the website, under the item’s details, was the following statement: “Proud to be creating a legacy of feminists. We believe in teaching boys, from an early age, about the importance of gender equality and respecting the physical and emotional boundaries of girls. Prinkshop is proud to partner with J Crew on this limited edition capsule collection that celebrates Moms, Women, and the empowerment of Girls around the world.”

Prinkshop is a clothing brand that creates “wear-what-you-care-about” clothing that gives people “a voice” and helps them “to create change in the world around them,” according to the company website.

J.Crew did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.

We can’t ignore Venezuela’s crisis

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Last weekend’s controversial presidential election in Venezuela has reminded Americans of an economic and humanitarian crisis we have ignored for far too long.

We can’t ignore Venezuela’s crisis

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Last weekend’s controversial presidential election in Venezuela has reminded Americans of an economic and humanitarian crisis we have ignored for far too long.

7 germiest places in your hotel room

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It can be hard to relax on vacation when you imagine that your hotel room is a petri dish of previous guests’ germy discards, even if there aren’t the usual telltale signs of uncleanliness.

Here, germ experts give us all the grody details — and the best ways to protect yourself while hitting the road this summer.

Shower surfaces

The hotel tub is teeming with existing bacteria, so it’s best to skip the bath and limit exposure by showering. “Keep in mind there’s a [film] that forms over time in the tub and that holds organisms,” says Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU School of Medicine.

But even showering isn’t without concern — the moist setting is a breeding ground for fungus (which can cause athlete’s foot), and mold (which can trigger allergies in people with sensitivities, prompting sneezing, nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes). “If you smell mildew, you’ve got mold exposure,” says Dr. Clifford Bassett, medical director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York.

SADDAM HUSSEIN’S $30 MILLION SUPERYACHT IS NOW A HOTEL FOR MARITIME PILOTS

Tierno advises running the hot water for one minute and squirting some shampoo or shower gel onto the bath surface before stepping in. “You’re reducing the number of organisms that collect,” he says.

Shower head

Ideally, these fixtures should be replaced every year. If they’re not, or if they’re not properly cleaned, Legionella exposure is a potential concern. This bacterium, which appears in potable water supplies, can spray out and — for older adults or those with weakened immune systems — lead to deadly Legionnaires’ disease. Again, run the hot water for a minute or two before stepping in, says Tierno. “Whatever’s loose can drop out — and that’s ideal.”

Toilet

When it comes to handling the toilet, use common sense. If it’s visibly soiled, request a room change — or head to another hotel. Even if it isn’t, you can’t be too careful. Tierno advises traveling with alcohol wipes — heck, even buying some Lysol — to clean the seat and the flush handle for safety. “The chances of you coming down with something are slim,” says Tierno, but exposure to fecal particles can bring about norovirus, the technical name for a stomach bug.

WHY YOU SHOULD THINK TWICE ABOUT THE HOTEL POOL ON YOUR SUMMER VACATION

Remote control

The remote — handled by many hands — can house all sorts of gross stuff in its many crevices. “There’s human hair, bodily excretions based on what [people] touch before they touch the remote . . .  insect parts that may be part of the room’s dust . . .  cosmetics, even food,” adds Tierno. “Of course, you perspire, and that serves as a nice medium that assists in the growth of organisms over time.”

Before channel-surfing, Bassett recommends placing the remote in a large Ziploc bag.

Bed

When you arrive, take off the bedspread — a layer long suspected to house semen, urine — you name it. “If [it’s] put away in the corner, you don’t have to worry about it,” says Tierno, who adds it’s useful to place a note on top telling housekeeping not to put it back on the bed. Beyond bodily fluids, allergens are the primary concern here, due to dust mites.

To lessen an allergic reaction, handle the fabrics gently. And keep medications, such as steroid nose sprays, inhalers or eye drops, on hand during hotel stays.

Carpet

Carpeting can also be a source of those pesky dust mites. If allergens are a major concern, Bassett suggests seeking out a hypoallergenic room with in-room medical-grade air purification, as well as microfiber pillow cases and mattress covers to nix dust and dander.

Under humid conditions, fungal spores can also grow, so Tierno recommends walking around in slippers.

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Soft furniture

It’s best to avoid that comfy-looking upholstered recliner. “People sit there nude,” says Tierno, potentially spreading staphylococcus bacteria via their underarms and rectal cavities, which can potentially lead to staph infections.

This story originally appeared in the New York Post.