News Briefs – National and International




Shooter Kills 26 in Texas Community Church

An Oct. 5 shooting at a community church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, has left 26 people dead and dozens more wounded. Witnesses said that a man later identified as Devin Kelly, 26, walked towards First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs firing an assault rifle, killing two people before proceeding to enter the building. After releasing a torrent of bullets into the congregation, Kelly attempted to leave the scene but was found soon after with his SUV crashed into a ditch. A regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety said that the victims ranged in age from 5 to 72. Authorities have not yet figured out the motive behind the attack, but posts on social media suggest that Kelly had a vendetta against religion and religious believers. The investigation is ongoing.

U.S. Senator Assaulted By Neighbor

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was assaulted last week in his front yard, allegedly by his own neighbor. Paul suffered five broken ribs and bruised lungs after his neighbor, Rene Boucher, allegedly tackled him. The reason behind the altercation is unknown, but Boucher has since been taken into custody. Some have speculated that the assault stemmed from a landscaping dispute, which Paul denies, while others have said that it had a political emphasis, a claim that Boucher has denied. Boucher was taken into custody after the incident and appeared in Warren County District Court on Thursday, where he pleaded not guilty. Boucher, who was charged with fourth-degree assault, could face a 12-month sentence and a $500 fine if convicted.

Democrats Win Big in Several State and Local Elections

The Democratic Party saw huge victories in several elections across the country on Nov. 7, including the New Jersey and Virginia governor’s races. New Jersey, which has spent eight years governed by Republican Chris Christie, turned blue after Christie’s lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno was unable to overcome the cloud created by some of the state’s scandals in the past few years. In Virginia, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, easily overcame his Republican opponent in a state that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election. Virginia also elected the first openly transgender state lawmaker in the country, one of many victories that Democrats are calling groundbreaking in the year since President Donald Trump’s election.


Ballistic Missile Intercepted Above Saudi Capital

A ballistic missile released by Yemen rebels on Nov. 4 was headed towards Riyadh, Saudi, Arabia’s capital city, before being intercepted. The launch was directed at the Riyadh airport and “shook the Saudi capital,” said Yemen’s Defense Ministry. The missile was intercepted by the US-made Patriot missile defense system before detonating over an uninhabited area east of the intended target. Rebels also targeted Yemen’s capital Sanaa, as tensions continue to escalate dramatically in the region. The Houthi rebels, backed by the Iranian government, has been fighting a coalition of states led by Saudi Arabia since taking over Yemen’s government in 2015, and the missile launch represented the first time the center of the Saudi capital has been attacked.

Changes Implemented in U.S. Policy toward Cuba

After promising to throw away President Obama’s “Cuba deal” in June, President Trump and his administration have begun implementing several changes to the policy. These changes include restrictions for US tourists and companies on engaging with entities that have alleged ties to the Cuban military, intelligence or security services. In addition, American tourists will not be able to travel to Cuba individually. The new changes require that all tourist travel must be done with a sponsoring organization, such as a university for educational travel. The changes, which will be enforced by the Treasury Department’s Office for Foreign Assets Control, will not affect business contracts signed before the Oct. 9 implementation or individuals who booked trips to Cuba before June 16.

Murder Alleged by Argentine Prosecutor in Case of Colleague’s Death

An Argentine prosecutor has brought forth allegations of murder in the case of a fellow prosecutor who died in 2015 under suspicious circumstances. Eduardo Taiano made this announcement to Judge Julian Ercolini as Taiano continues to investigate the death of another prosecutor, Alberto Nisman. Nisman died in January 2015, just four days after he formally accused then-President Christina Fernandez of covering up the role played by Iranian officials in a 1994 bombing that killed 85 people at a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. He was scheduled to present his findings to the Argentine Congress the day after his body was found, which furthered peoples’ suspicions. Ercolini must now decide whether to move on Taiano’s accusation and declare the ongoing case a murder investigation.’s-death-was-murder