Kansas Clerk Shot By Suspected Killer In Manhunt Recalls Ordeal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

Kansas Clerk Shot by Suspected Killer in Manhunt Recalls Ordeal

A 19-year-old store clerk in Kansas who was shot by a murder suspect on the run from authorities Wednesday said he’s lucky to be alive.

Alex Deaton, who police suspect in two murders and two other shootings, shot Riley Juel at point-blank range after taking his car keys hours before his alleged crime spree would come to an end.

“This can’t be real at all, and then, I mean it came back to me, this is real,” Juel told NBC affiliate KSNW in Wichita, a day after he was shot by suspect Alex Deaton in Pratt.

“I was just scared I was going to die,” Juel told the station.

Convenience store clerk Riley Juel recovers at the hospital in Wichita, Kansas, on March 2. Maria Loving / Christi Health via AP

Deaton, 28, fled in Juel’s Cadillac and was caught after a high-speed chase with the Kansas Highway Patrol that ended in a fiery crash, police said.

Deaton is suspected in the murder of his girlfriend, 30-year-old Heather Robinson, whose body was found at her Rankin County, Mississippi home on Friday. He is also suspected of being involved in the death of a woman found fatally shot at her Neshoba County church on Thursday.

Deaton had been chased by sheriff’s deputies earlier Wednesday morning, but the stolen car he was driving was disabled by stop sticks and he entered the Kwik Shop and demanded Juel’s keys, authorities said.

After Juel handed the keys over, he said Deaton shot him at point-blank range and fled. Juel called 911 and thanked the dispatcher and a police officer who arrived on the scene. “If it wasn’t for them, I probably would have been dead,” he told the station.

image: Alex Deaton
Alex Deaton, 28, is suspected of killing two people and shooting a store clerk in a three-state crime spree. MBI via WLBT

Juel is stable at a hospital. Jule’s sister, Brooke Juel, told the KSNW her brother’s call to police helped catch the suspect, and called him a hero.

Deaton also allegedly shot a jogger at random from his vehicle in Mississippi on Friday, and carjacked and briefly kidnapped a couple at a trailhead near Albuquerque on Tuesday.

During the carjacking and kidnapping, Deaton shot a man in the buttocks and a bullet grazed a woman as they escaped, the Rankin County, Mississippi, sheriff’s office said.

Also Friday, Deaton’s family said in a statement that they are “in a state of disbelief” and are fully cooperating with law enforcement.

“Our family is deeply shocked, saddened and horrified at all that has unfolded since last Wednesday,” Deaton’s family said in a statement to NBC affiliate WLBT in Jackson.

“We are devastated and completely heartbroken for all that has happened. Our family is in a state of disbelief. We don’t understand why or how this could ever happen and are just thankful it has now come to an end,” the statement said. The family expressed condolences to the victims and their families.

Rankin County, Mississippi, Sheriff Bryan Bailey says investigators hoped to talk to Deaton Thursday afternoon. Authorities are expected to seek extradition to Mississippi.

Image:
This handout photo shows an overturned vehicle following a police chase that ended in the capture of suspected killer Alex Deaton on March 1, 2017 near Wilson, Kansas. Kansas Highway Patrol via AP

Public Transportation Nice, Côte d’Azur French Riviera

Source: Public Transportation Nice, Côte d’Azur French Riviera    THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE BLOG SITE OF MS. PENNEY VANDERBILT—PLEASE CHECK OUT HER SITE IF YOU LIKE TRAINS AND OR TRAVEL OR ARE A FAN OF TRANSPORTATION LOGISTICS.

Israel becomes a gas exporter with first delivery to Jordan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Delek Drilling says it started implementing 2014 agreement to export gas in deal worth $771 million

Source: Israel becomes a gas exporter with first delivery to Jordan

New York police: Anti-Semitic incidents nearly doubled over last year

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

US Jewish leadership group welcomes Trump repudiation of anti-Semitic vandalism; Israel said to again deny entry to Human Rights Watch official

Source: New York police: Anti-Semitic incidents nearly doubled over last year

20 Israelis arrested for multimillion-dollar international fraud

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Police say suspects tricked companies, created ‘unprecedented damage’ to country’s image by casting it as hub for such crimes

Source: 20 Israelis arrested for multimillion-dollar international fraud

Republican Congressman Defends His Comments About Democratic Congresswomen Wearing White Outfits

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Washington (CNN) Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer defended his comment Wednesday that the Democratic women who wore white to President Donald Trump’s joint address were “poorly” dressed, telling CNN that they looked “silly” and that he didn’t buy their argument that it was done in honor of the suffrage movement.

The at-large congressman from North Dakota also reiterated that he hasn’t ruled out a Senate bid next year for the seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, and he said Trump has already pledged his support should Cramer decide to run.
The women, who represented the House Democratic Women’s Working Group, said they were wearing white not only in memory of the suffrage movement but also to show Trump their support for a number of issues affecting women, such as affordable health care, reproductive rights, equal pay and paid leave. The effort was also a nod to the start of Women’s History Month, they said.
Cramer, however, said the women “were really there to be rude to Donald Trump.”
“That was obvious, not just, not by their clothes, but in addition to their clothing, their gestures, their hand gestures, their thumbs down, their quick exit from the gallery ahead of the President,” he said. “Their behavior in general.”
Earlier Wednesday, Cramer poked fun at the women’s outfits — which consisted of a mix of white dresses, dress suits and pantsuits — during a radio town hall, saying their coordinated effort was akin to a “disease.”
“But by the way, did you notice how poorly several of them were dressed as well?” he said, responding to a constituent on the call. “It is a syndrome. There is no question, there is a disease associated with the notion that a bunch of women would wear bad-looking white pantsuits in solidarity with Hillary Clinton to celebrate her loss. You cannot get that weird.”
Cramer acknowledged some Democrats stood up and applauded during parts of Trump’s speech, and said both parties could work together on issues like jobs and infrastructure.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz responded to Cramer’s comments during CNN’s “Erin Burnett ” on Wednesday, saying the North Dakota Republican just didn’t get it.
“He obviously misses the point,” the Florida Democrat told Burnett. “When we are sitting right in front of (Trump) with a sea of white attire, that we are not going to allow him to roll back women’s progress in this country, it’s actually patriotic and shows that we care about the issues that are important to women and won’t let them roll back our progress.”
Wasserman Schultz jokingly added that she chose to wear a sleeveless white dress — “that I have gotten lots of compliments on.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi responded to Cramer’s comments on Twitter.
“Thank you for illustrating why we so badly need to honor #WomensHistoryMonth,” Pelosi tweeted, along with a link to a Politico article about his comment. 
She added that they wore white “in solidarity with the suffragists in unity against Republican attempts to roll back the hard-earned progress that has been made on behalf of women and girls.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois, tweeted a sarcastic comment about Cramer. “The @HouseGOP is off to a great start for #WomensHistoryMonth.”
“But at the same time, they looked silly,” he said, again stating that the women were being rude.
“I don’t buy their argument that it was a celebration of suffrage. I think they should be celebrating the fact that there were women members of Congress sitting in a joint session, listening to the President of the United States on equal footing as a co-equal branch — and sort of get over this notion that somehow we have to be offended all the time.”
As for a 2018 Senate bid, Cramer said he has not “ruled it out,” but added that it’s “not a top-of-the-mind issue for me right now, and it won’t be for several months.”
He added that Trump has spoken to him about the topic. “He’s pledged his support should I run for the Senate — and in a big way.”
CNN has reached out to the White House to confirm that Trump has already committed his support.

US Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Rate Ever – At Least Since Records Began

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FORBES)

US Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Rate Ever – At Least Since Records Began

Jobless claims are the number of people who have made a first claim for unemployment insurance in the particular week under discussion. They’re thus a useful proxy for layoffs and a slightly not so good one for firings. Those fired for cause may well not be able to claim unemployment benefits and so on. The number of people claiming these benefits in any one week has been low for some time now. The number is in fact back down to the sort of numbers we have in the early 1970s. However, a point I’ve made before, while the number is down to that of 45 years ago (actually, 44), the rate, a slightly different statistical construct, is the lowest it has ever been. Or at least the lowest it has been since we started collecting this particular statistic.

The news itself:

The fewest Americans in almost 44 years filed applications to collect unemployment benefits last week, indicating the job market continues to power forward.

Ah, no, that’s not quite what it means. The “jobs market” is a measure of how many people are being hired, jobs being created. This here is a measure of how many jobs are not being eliminate. Sure, a closely related phenomenon but not quite the same thing:

Just 223,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, fewest in nearly 44 years.

THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department says unemployment claims dropped by 19,000 from 242,000 the previous week to the lowest level since March 1973 when Richard Nixon was president. The four-week average, which is less volatile, fell by 6,250 to 234,250, lowest since April 1973.

This is not just some weekly blip either:

Jobless claims have remained below 300,000 for 104 consecutive weeks, the longest such streak since 1970–when the U.S. workforce and population were much smaller than they are today.

It’s that last bit that is my argument here. For we shouldn’t really be using the number of claims but instead should be using the rate. Think about unemployment itself. Saying that there are 2 million unemployed doesn’t tell us all that much. In the US 2 million would be around the rate of frictional unemployment (just due to the time it takes to get interviewed, decide which job you’d like, fill out the paperwork and start) and in my native Britain it would be large enough to be a cause of concern, in Portugal it would be a disaster of depression era size and Luxembourg couldn’t do that at all, that’s a number larger than the entire population of the place. So, we report unemployment as a rate.

And we should probably report jobless claims as a rate. And over time the population–and the size of the labour force–has changed considerably. The labour force:

From Fred database, public domain

From Fred database, public domain

Call that 160 million people now, 83 million back in the early 1970s. And the jobless claims numbers:

From Fred database, public domain

From Fred database, public domain

Same number as the mid-70’s but in a labour force twice the size? That’s therefore half the rate, isn’t it? And the series only starts in the late 60s so the rate is in fact lower than it ever has been, even as the number is higher than it was right back then.

I think we probably should change the way we report upon, and thus think about, this jobless claims data. A rate would be more informative therefore we should use a rate.

French Government Proves It Will Not Tolerate Free Speech Or Truth Concerning Islamic Terrorism?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN NEWS)

Marine Le Pen loses immunity over violent ISIS images

(CNN)Marine Le Pen’s bid to become the next French president has hit another stumble after members of the European Parliament voted to lift her immunity from prosecution.

The move, formally confirmed on Thursday, will allow French prosecutors to investigate her over tweets she sent in December 2015, which showed images of killings by ISIS militants.
French law prohibits the distribution of violent images or incitement of terrorism.
Announcing the result of the vote on whether to lift the immunity, Parliamentary President Antonio Tajani said a “clear majority” of members backed the motion.
Le Pen declined to comment when contacted by CNN.
As an MEP, Le Pen, leader of the National Front, enjoys immunity which covers freedom of speech — but that immunity can be lifted if a request is made by the authorities of the person’s member state.
In this case, the request was made by a prosecutor in Nanterre, in the west of Paris.
Under French law, the maximum penalty for distributing violent images is three years in prison and a fine of up to €75,000 ($79,000).
The lifting of her immunity relates to this case only and any action is unlikely to occur before the first round of voting on April 23.
Le Pen’s chief of staff under investigation 02:06
This is not the first time Le Pen’s immunity has been lifted by the EU Parliament, which also took a similar step in 2013.
That allowed her to be prosecuted in 2015 with “incitement to discrimination over people’s religious beliefs” after she compared Muslims praying in public to the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War. She was acquitted by the court in Lyon.
Le Pen is already under scrutiny over allegations that members of her staff were paid for non-existent jobs at the European Parliament.
Le Pen initially admitted they had been paid while not working, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) said. She later denied having said so.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Lied In His Confirmation Hearing About His 2 Meetings With Russia’s Top Spy?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian ambassador

  • The diplomat’s interactions with former Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn led to Flynn’s firing
  • The Justice Department disclosed the meetings

(CNN) Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice last year with the top Russian diplomat in Washington whose interactions with President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn led to Flynn’s firing, according to the Justice Department.

Sessions did not mention either meeting during his confirmation hearings when he said he knew of no contacts between Trump surrogates and Russians. A Justice official said Sessions didn’t mislead senators during his confirmation.
The Washington Post first reported on Sessions’ meetings with the official.
Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington, according to current and former senior US government officials.
Sessions met with Kislyak twice, in July on the sidelines of the Republican convention, and in September in his office when Sessions was a member of the Senate Armed Services committee. Sessions was an early Trump backer and regular surrogate for him as a candidate.
Sessions responded swiftly Wednesday, strongly stating that he never discussed campaign-related issues with anyone from Russia.
“I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign,” he said in a statement. “I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”
Key Democratic lawmakers immediately called for Sessions’ resignation after the news broke.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized Sessions’ comments in his confirmation “apparent perjury,” and said the attorney general should resign.
Kislyak’s potential proximity to Russian spying is one reason why Flynn’s interactions with him, and Flynn’s failure to disclose what he discussed with Kislyak, raised concerns among intelligence officials.
In his confirmation hearing to become attorney general, Sessions was asked about Russia and he responded at the time that he “did not have communications with the Russians.”
Sessions’ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said there was nothing “misleading about his answer” to Congress because the Alabama Republican “was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign — not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee.”
“Last year, the Senator had over 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian, German and Russian ambassadors,” Isgur Flores said in the statement.
A Justice Department official confirmed the meetings, but said Sessions met with the ambassadors “in his capacity as a senator on the Armed Serviced Committee.”
A White House official said: “This is the latest attack against the Trump Administration by partisan Democrats. (Attorney) General Sessions met with the ambassador in an official capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is entirely consistent with his testimony.”
In reaction to the report, Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, also called for Sessions’ resignation.
“There is no longer any question that we need a truly independent commission” to investigate potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Cummings said. “It is inconceivable that even after Michael Flynn was fired for concealing his conversations with the Russians that Attorney General Sessions would keep his own conversations for several weeks.”
Cummings called Sessions’ claim during his confirmation hearing that he did not have communications with the Russians “demonstrably false.”
Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken, who asked Sessions about Russia at the confirmation hearing, said if the reports of Sessions’ contacts with Kislyak were true, then Sessions’ response was “at best misleading.”
“It’s clearer than ever now that the attorney general cannot, in good faith, oversee an investigation at the Department of Justice and the FBI of the Trump-Russia connection, and he must recuse himself immediately,” Franken said.
News of Sessions’ contacts with Kislyak came as the New York Times reported Wednesday evening that officials under former President Barack Obama had sent information throughout government about potential Russian contact with Trump’s associates and interference in the 2016 election. The officials did so, the Times reported, in order to preserve the information after Obama left office.
Regarding the Obama administration efforts, Obama’s spokesman Eric Schultz told CNN: “This situation was serious, as is evident by President Obama’s call for a review — and as is evident by the United States response. When the (intelligence community) does that type of comprehensive review, it is standard practice that a significant amount of information would be compiled and documented.”
Two days before Trump’s inauguration, the State Department sent Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat and the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a batch of documents related to Russian attempts to meddle in elections worldwide, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
Cardin spokesman Sean Bartlett told CNN that the senator had received the classified documents on request and that they were shared with both Republican and Democratic committee staffers.

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