At least 21 killed in Texas elementary school shooting
Nineteen children, aged between 7 and 10, and a teacher in her erly 40’s were killed when a teenage gunman, who had earlier killed his grandmother, started shooting at a Texas elementary school Tuesday. The 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, was dead, believed to have been killed by officers, Gov. Greg Abbott said. The gunman, who was wearing body armour, crashed his car outside the school before going inside, Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN.He killed his grandmother before heading to the school with two military-style rifles he had purchased on his birthday, according to state Senator Roland Gutierrez. The man opened fire at at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 85 miles west of San Antonio. The teacher ha been an educator for 17 years and had a daughter in college. The school has an enrollment of 600 students. All schools in the district were locked down.
“I am sick and tired… We have to act!” – Biden
President Biden appeared ready for a fight, calling for new gun restrictions in an address to the nation hours after the attack. “As a nation we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done?” Biden asked. “Why are are willing to live with this carnage?” This was the deadliest shooting at a US grade school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago. The attack also came just 10 days after a deadly, racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket that added to a yearslong series of mass killings at churches, schools and stores. And the prospects for any reform of the nation’s gun regulations seemed as dim as in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook deaths.
11 dead in central Mexico shooting
Eleven people were killed in a coordinated attack that targeted a hotel and two bars carried out by an armed commando in Celaya, Guanajuato, in Mexico. Authorities said a 911 call was placed alerting them masked assailants attacking guests inside Hotel Gala and nearby businesses late Monday. After the shooting, the men drenched the hotel and two adjacent bars with gasoline, burning the businesses and victims inside. Police said seven women and three men were found inside the burned establishments. A man and a woman were found injured at the site and rushed to the hospital. Subsequently, the woman reportedly died from her wounds. There were no reports of suspects, with the National Guard, army and police working on the case.
West condemns China for its treatment of minorities in Xinjiang
The British and German foreign ministers and senior United States and European officials renewed their condemnation of China for its treatment of minorities in Xinjiang on the heels of a new leak showing Uyghur men, women and teenagers detained in prison-like conditions. The unprecedented leak, dubbed the “Xinjiang Police Files”, contains confidential government records and chilling photographs taken inside internment camps in Xinjiang – the first of their kind to be released without government authorisation. Together, the photos and documents show the highly-militarised nature of the detention facilities and refute Chinese government claims that the camps are mere educational and training centres. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the media reports were “the latest example of the anti-China forces’ smearing of Xinjiang”, adding “Xinjiang enjoys peace and stability, its economy is thriving and its people live and work in peace and contentment.”
Russia launches all-out assault to encircle Ukraine troops
Russian forces conducted an all-out assault on Tuesday to encircle Ukrainian troops in twin cities straddling a river in eastern Ukraine – a battle which could determine the success or failure of Moscow’s main campaign in the east. Three months after President Putin ordered Russian forces into Ukraine, authorities in its second-largest city Kharkiv re-opened the underground metro, where thousands of civilians had sheltered for months under relentless bombardment. The move was evidence of Ukraine’s biggest military success in recent weeks: Pushing Russian forces largely out of artillery range of Kharkiv, as they did from the capital Kyiv in March. But the decisive battles of the war’s latest phase are still raging further south, where Moscow is attempting to seize the Donbas region of two eastern provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk, and trap Ukrainian forces in a pocket on the main eastern front.
‘4,000 civilians dead’ – UN
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that 3,942 civilians have died and 4,591 have been injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Ukrinform reports that among the victims there are almost 260 children. The toll, according to the office, is even more dramatic, considering that the information from some places of intense fighting was delayed and many reports were still awaiting confirmation.
200 bodies found in Mariupol shelter
About 200 bodies were found in Mariupol among the rubble of a shelter during the dismantling of blocks of a skyscraper, the spokesman for the mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko announced on Telegram. He said the bodies remained there for some time due to the state of decomposition and that a large number of corpses were crammed by the Russians in a makeshift morgue near the subway, on the road.
‘Russia using food supplies as a weapon’
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday called for talks with Moscow on unlocking wheat exports now trapped in Ukraine because of a Russian blockade in the Black Sea.Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum held in Davos, von der Leyen said Russia was using food supplies as a weapon with global repercussions, acting the same way it does in the energy sector. She said “global cooperation” was the “antidote to Russia’s blackmail”, adding that “In Russian-occupied Ukraine, the Kremlin’s army is confiscating grain stocks and machinery and Russian warships in the Black Sea are blockading Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds.” The EU has pledged to open “solidarity channels” with Ukraine – alternative logistics routes to help the country export grain. The Commission has said Europe’s own food supply is not at risk from the fallout of the war, given the EU’s own production, but it expects the drop in Ukraine’s exports of maize, wheat, oil and rapeseed to still hit food and animal feed prices in the EU, putting pressure on the bloc’s farmers.
‘Israeli forces deliberately shot Al Jazeera journalist’ – CNN
CNN claimed that Israeli Defence Forces operating in Jenin deliberately targeted a group of journalists, resulting in the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh. Quoting an “explosive weapons expert, forensic analysis, witness testimony, and analysis of video from the scene”, the US media station claimed, that there was no gunfire from terrorists before the shots which killed Abu Aqleh, at least at the time of the shooting. The group of journalists had gathered to cover the Israeli raid on Jenin when the soldiers opened fire on them, killing Abu Aqleh. Israel has maintained that the journalist was killed during a firefight with terrorists in the area, and that it is unclear which side fired the bullet which killed her, while CNN claims that the firefight began only after Abu Aqleh was shot.
FBI uncovers plot to assassinate ex-US President Bush
The FBI uncovered a plot by an ISIS-linked suspect to assassinate former US President George W. Bush, Forbes revealed on Tuesday. The Ohio-based suspect reportedly said during interrogation that he sought to kill Bush because he sees the 43rd president of the United States as responsible for the killing of Iraqis in the Iraq War, the invasion of the Middle Eastern country by US forces in 2003 in order to overthrow Saddam Hussein as part of Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The suspect even went as far as to travel to Dallas, Texas in November to take videos of the former president’s home, Forbes further reported. The assassination plan also included recruiting a team of Mexicans smuggled through the US’ southern border.