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Couple looking after Florida shooting suspect say they had no idea there was a 'monster living under our roof'

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:02

The stunned couple who took in Nikolas Cruz after the death of his mother has spoken for the first time about the troubled teenager suspected of killing 17 students and staff at his former high school in Florida on Valentine's Day. Kimberly and James Snead described the 19 year-old as immature, quirky and depressed - but pleasant and growing happier and giving no clues of the horror he was about inflict as he plotted the massacre under their roof. “We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.  “We didn’t see this side of him.” “Everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know,” James Snead said. “It’s as simple as that.” The Sneads agreed to take in Cruz after their son had asked whether his friend could move into their home after the death of his adoptive mother left him an orphan last November. Gun related incidents at US schools this year “I told him there’d be rules and he followed every rule to the T,” said Mr Snead, 48, an Army veteran who was happy for the teenager to have guns at home as long as they remained in a gun safe. They told Cruz he needed to ask permission to take out the guns. He had asked only twice since November. They said “yes” once and  “no” once. The night before the shooting was uneventful and he went to bed around 8pm after eating dinner, the couple said. On Wednesday morning, Cruz told them he didn’t need a ride to school: “It’s Valentine’s Day and I don’t go to school on Valentine’s Day,” he said. Mrs Snead last saw him around 10am before she left to run errands. He told her he was going fishing and was gone when she returned. The nurse went to sleep ahead of a nightshift. Around 2.30pm on Wednesday, their son called his father sounding panic-stricken. He assured them he was safe but had heard shots  fired on campus and had helped classmates flee by climbing a fence. Read more | Florida school shooting He told his son to walk to a nearby store and he’d come and collect him. As he drove there, a SWAT commander called his mobile phone and asked where his "son" Nik was. He explained he wasn't his son and he had no idea where he was.  After putting the phone down, he started to put together the pieces and called the officer back and, worried for his wife, he told him: “I need a police presence at my house. Go make sure my wife is OK." Police banged on her door with guns drawn and escorted the couple to a police station. As they waited to be reunited with their son, Cruz was led in to the building, handcuffed and wearing a hospital gown, surrounded by officers. Kimberly tried to run at him and yelled: “Really, Nik? Really?” “He said he was sorry. He apologised. He looked lost, absolutely lost,” said Mr Snead. “And that was the last time we saw him.”

Israeli PM Netanyahu to Iran: Don't test Israel's resolve

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 11:30

MUNICH (AP) — The nuclear deal with Iran has emboldened Tehran to become increasingly aggressive in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, warning that Iran should "not test Israel's resolve" as he showed off what he said was part of a downed Iranian drone.

Olympic Analyst Laments Hockey Player's 'Unfortunate' Domestic Abuse Incident

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 11:03

NHL analyst Mike Milbury referred to one hockey player’s domestic abuse conviction as an “unfortunate incident,” as he offered commentary for NBC’s coverage of the men’s match between Team USA and the Olympics Athletes from Russia on Saturday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif on Israel: ‘We Will Act if Necessary’

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:53

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Iran’s foreign minister commented on its tenuous relationship with Israel as well as on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.

'Do not test Israel's resolve', Netanyahu warns Iran

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:26

Munich (Germany) (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran on Sunday over aggressions by Iran and its "proxies" in Syria, saying he would not allow them to "put a noose of terror around our neck".

Top German lawmaker in security row with Turkey at Munich meeting

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 08:52

By Paul Carrel and Andrea Shalal BERLIN/MUNICH (Reuters) - A row broke out on Sunday between a leading German politician of Turkish origin and Turkey's delegation at the Munich Security Conference, with the lawmaker being given police protection after what he said was a tense encounter with Turkish bodyguards. Cem Ozdemir, co-leader of Germany's ecologist Greens until late last month and a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he was given protection at the conference after police told him Turkish security, staying in the same hotel, had accused him of being a "terrorist". "(The police) told me there was a problem with Turkish security, that they had pointed out that a terrorist, or a member of a terrorist organization, was staying (in the hotel) -so me," Ozdemir told reporters after returning to Berlin.

Nigeria frees 475 Boko Haram suspects for lack of evidence

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 08:34

Nigeria has freed another 475 Boko Haram suspects following a series of mass trials in which most cases were dropped for lack of evidence, the justice ministry said Sunday. Over the course of the week, hundreds of suspected Boko Haram extremists have appeared before a court at the Kainji military base in central Niger state. The release order was issued on Friday, with the 475 suspects to be returned to their home states for "proper rehabilitation" before being sent back to their families, ministry spokesman Salihu Othman Isah said.

Saudi Arabia welcomes push for U.N. action against Iran on missiles

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 08:02

By Andrea Shalal MUNICH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia on Sunday welcomed a draft United Nations resolution offered by Britain, the United States and France that would condemn Iran for failing to stop its ballistic missiles from falling into the hands of Yemen’s Houthi group. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters the measure, if passed, would help hold Iran accountable for what he described as its "exports of ballistic missiles" to the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, and "radical and aggressive" behavior in the region, including support for terrorist groups.

The Latest: Iran vows to respond if US gives up on nuke deal

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 07:48

MUNICH (AP) — The Latest from the Munich Security Conference (all times local):

LeBron James Speaks Out on Laura Ingraham's 'Shut Up and Dribble' Comments

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 07:17

MSNBC's David Gura and panel discuss the LeBron James/Laura Ingraham feud.

Olympic Skier Ted Ligety’s Son 'Could Give 2 S***s That Daddy Sucked At Work'

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 06:45

U.S. alpine skier Ted Ligety may have had a tough time on the slopes at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Sunday.

Fire at sacred Tibetan Buddhist temple sparks suspicion about censorship

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 04:43

A fire broke out at one of the most sacred temples in Tibetan Buddhism, prompting concern and suspicion that information on the incident is being controlled by authorities. Chinese State media said the fire at "part of" Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, the capital of the south-western Chinese region of Tibet, "was soon put out" after it began at 6.40pm on Saturday. Images posted online showed flames billowing from a pagoda at the sacred building, which was built in the seventh century. Some of the clips showed flames appearing to engulf the Unesco World Heritage Site when it was dark, suggesting that the fire might have continued for longer than an hour. Jokhang houses the Jowo Shakyamuni, a glittering statue believed to have been blessed by Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of the religion. It is said to be just one of just three to be crafted during his actual lifetime. Devastating news from Lhasa of the Jokhang temple on fire.— Robert Barnett (@RobbieBarnett) February 17, 2018 Observers on Twitter - which is blocked in China - claimed that information relating the fire was being censored online. Robert Barnett, a British expert on Tibet, Tweeted: "Sources in Lhasa claim police have threatened anyone distributing pictures or unofficial news about the fire. "Locals afraid to talk. Official information extremely limited, raising concern about extent of damage. Access to area round temple said to be restricted." #Jokhang fire: sources in Lhasa claim police have threatened anyone distributing pictures or unofficial news about the fire; locals afraid to talk. Official information extremely limited, raising concern about extent of damage. Access to area round temple said to be restricted.— Robert Barnett (@RobbieBarnett) February 17, 2018 China has ruled Tibet since the 1950s, and Beijing claims that it has helped improve the lives of ordinary Tibetans by bringing economic growth to a traditionally poor region. However, many accuse China of suppressing rights in the region and stifling the local Buddhist culture. Tibet has seen outbreaks of ethic tension, including riots in 2008 and a wave of self-immolations carried out in protest of Beijing's tightening grip. State media reports on the fire have contained few details. China is deleting posts about the alleged fire in the Jokhang Temple. The topic has been one of the hottest topics and most searched topic today on Chinese social media. Yet there is no single personal post and was removed in the cyberspace immediately.— Tseringkyi (@dreamlhasa) February 17, 2018 Tibetans began celebrating traditional Tibetan New Year that last Friday. The temple would have been expecting thousands of visitors  over the next few days. Tsering Woeser, a Tibetan writer in Beijing told The New York Times: “I pray that the fire isn’t serious and that the old buildings haven’t suffered too much damage. “For Tibetans, the Jokhang is the holiest of holy sites.”

A Commercial Plane Has Crashed in Southern Iran, Likely Killing All 65 People on Board

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 03:55

Iran's commercial passenger aircraft fleet has aged under crushing sanctions

Canada's Trudeau begins India trip with Taj Mahal visit

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 03:54

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday toured the Taj Mahal with his wife and children as he began a week-long visit to promote trade and investment with India. Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire and their three children posed for a family portrait before marvelling at the legendary marble monument frequently visited by foreign leaders during roadshows to India. It was Trudeau's first visit to India since taking office in 2015.

Top GOP Donor Won’t Back Candidates Unless They Support Assault Weapons Ban

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 02:52

Following Wednesday’s shooting massacre at a Florida high school, a top Republican political donor has taken a stand for gun control ― by tightening his purse strings.

Bernie Sanders: 'Maybe [Obama] should have done more' on Russia

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 02:13

In an exclusive interview with Meet the Press, Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders says that President Obama was in a difficult position when it came to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Paul Manafort Accused Of Bank Fraud In New Mueller Court Documents

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 01:58

Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been accused of bank fraud that wasn’t part of the original indictment against him, according to court documents filed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

U.S. still unsure who directed Syria attack, despite Russian dead

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 00:52

By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is still unsure who directed a Feb. 7 attack on U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday, even as he acknowledged accounts that Russian civilian contractors were involved. Reuters has reported that about 300 men working for a Kremlin-linked Russian private military firm were either killed or injured in Syria. The U.S. has estimated about 100 pro-Syrian government forces were killed by U.S. strikes to repel the Feb. 7 attack.

Media, Democrats Have Created 'More Chaos' Than Russians, Says White House Spokesman

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 00:41

.@hogangidley45: “There are two groups that have created chaos more than the Russians and that’s the Democrats and the mainstream media.”

Pacific cruise liner brawl sends guests fleeing to cabins

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 00:13

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A South Pacific cruise was interrupted by brawls apparently caused by a 23-member family who threw punches at other passengers, some of whom said they locked themselves in cabins to escape three days of violence.