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Editorial: Tay Anderson should be censured and must earn back trust

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Editorial: Tay Anderson should be censured and must earn back trust

After a month of inquiry, investigators hired by Denver Public Schools could not substantiate rape allegations against school board member Tay Anderson. In the end, not a single victim came forward.

However, the 96-page investigation released Wednesday by the Denver Public School Board found Anderson had recently had private conversations via social media and text messages with two high school seniors. In one case, Anderson aggressively pursued dates with a 17-year-old from a high school in Douglas County. She described her discomfort with the advances to investigators. In the other, the messages show he flirted with a 16-year-old who refused to be interviewed.

Anderson, who cooperated fully with investigators, admitted to both conversations and said he stopped talking to the 16-year-old after he learned her age via social media.

This is unacceptable behavior from any 23-year-old, and it’s egregious for a person in a trusted position of power and authority over approximately 92,000 students in Denver Public Schools.

Additionally, the investigation found Anderson more likely than not made “two social media posts during the investigation that were coercive and intimidating toward witnesses.”

We feel strongly that the school board should vote to censure Anderson on Friday.

Until trust is regained, the board should demand that Anderson not contact or communicate with students — from any school district — unless another adult in a position of authority is present.

The school district’s number one job is to protect students from harm.

Anderson has maintained his innocence from the very beginning and investigators questioned the credibility of a woman who made public an allegation that she knew of more than 60 women who had accused Anderson of inappropriate sexual behavior. The investigation also noted, however, that if any other victims existed they may have been afraid to cooperate, including a woman who detailed allegations to others about Anderson raping her in the parking garage area at the downtown doughnut shop where they worked together.

Anderson’s position on a school board makes any accusation of impropriety especially damning. He’s not a politician in the state Capitol operating almost exclusively in a world full of adults. Students are particularly vulnerable, and we’ve seen too many times as a society how young victims are unable to speak out about their trauma for years. The risk is too large for the board not to take action based on what they know.

The exchanges between Anderson and the student were clearly flirtatious. Anderson asked the 16-year-old if she had her own place and where she worked. He asked her to teach him to make pizza. The most direct flirtations were eye emojis at a photo and writing “Let’s be friends lol.” She was a student in the district Anderson is charged with overseeing.

With the other young woman, who was 17 at the time and attended school in Douglas County, Anderson was far more aggressive in pursuit of a romantic relationship.

“I would say I live in my parents [house] in high school. He would try to make me feel bad that I wouldn’t go out with him, a 20-something-year-old,” she told investigators. Most of the messages between the two occurred in Snapchat where they are deleted shortly after being sent and investigators were unable to substantiate the exact content of the messages.

Anderson confirmed talking with the woman and “acknowledged that he was flirtatious with her” and had asked her to go stargazing.

Anderson’s behavior with these two women and his inappropriate, possibly threatening, social media posts illustrate a blatant disregard for the responsibilities he assumed when he became a school board member. The voters who put him there, the people he represents, and the students whose best interest he should have at heart deserve better.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

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Norway town absorbs horror of local’s bow-and-arrow attack

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Norway town absorbs horror of local’s bow-and-arrow attack

KONGSBERG, Norway — Residents of a Norwegian town with a proud legacy of producing coins, weapons and silver grappled Friday with the horrible knowledge that someone living in their community used a bow and arrow to attack people doing their grocery shopping or other evening activities — and succeeded in killing five of them.

On a central square in Kongsberg, a former mining town of 26,000 people surrounded by mountains and located southwest of Norway’s capital, people lay flowers and lit candles in honor of the four women and a man who died in Wednesday’s attack. The victims ranged in age from 50 to 70, police have said.

“This a a small community so almost everybody knows each other, so it’s a very strange and very sad experience for us,” Ingeborg Spangelo, a teacher who brought her students to the impromptu memorial, said. “It is almost surreal or unreal.”

Officers arrested a Kongsberg resident identified as Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, about a half-hour after he began firing arrows in a supermarket where police tried to confront him but lost sight of him when he fired at them and they had to take cover, law enforcement authorities have said.

Andersen Braathen proceeded from the supermarket into a quiet downtown neighborhood of wooden houses and birch trees, where he fired at people on the street and inside some apartments, police said. Along with the five people killed, three were injured.

Senior police officer Per Thomas Omholt said Friday that three weapons in all were used in the attack, but he declined to identify the types or to reveal how the five victims were killed, saying investigators need to interview more witnesses and don’t want their accounts tainted by what they read in the news.

Officers who responded to the first alert, at 6.13. p.m., encountered the perpetrator in the supermarket. That is where an off-duty police officer who was shopping was injured, reportedly hit by an arrow in the shoulder. Police were shot at twice with arrows, and as they sought shelter and called for reinforcement they lost visual contact with the suspect who managed to escape. Investigators believe the five victims were killed after the suspect encountered the police.

“The killings were committed both outdoors and indoors. Among other things, (the suspect) has visited private addresses. In addition, arrows were fired at people in the public space,” Omholt told a press conference.

The regional prosecutor leading the investigation has said that Andersen Braathen confessed to the killings after his arrest, and police said they think he acted alone. Norway’s domestic intelligence agency said Thursday that the case appeared to be “an act of terrorism” but cautioned that the investigation was ongoing.

Norwegian broadcaster NRK said Friday that in 2015 the agency, known by its acronym PST, got information about Andersen Braathen and in 2017 they met the suspect. The following year, PST contacted Norwegian health authorities about the man and concluded that he was not driven by religion or ideology, but was seriously mentally ill.

Omholt said that as of Friday, investigators were continuing to explore possible motives or reasons for the attack but their ”strongest hypothesis for motive is illness.” Andersen Braathen’s “health has deteriorated,” the officer said, declining the give specifics.

“We work with several hypotheses. They are weakened and strengthened during the investigation,” Omholt said. “We will find out what has happened, and why it has happened,”

Andersen Braathen has been transferred to a psychiatric facility and “now the ball lies with the health authorities” on when police can question him. Omholt added that “at least” two experts will observe and evaluate Andersen Braathen to determine if he was legally sane at the time of the attack.

The suspect’s mental health meant that “it is important to obtain information about the accused’s past,” Omholt said and called for witnesses. Police said they wanted to map the suspect’s activities in recent years, including on social media.

Mass killings are rare in low-crime Norway, and the attack immediately recalled the country’s worst peacetime slaughter a decade ago, when a right-wing domestic extremist killed 77 people with a bomb, a rifle and a pistol.

“The screaming was so intense and horrifying there was never any doubt something very serious was going on,” said Kongsberg resident Kurt Einar Voldseth, who had returned home from an errand when he heard the commotion Wednesday. “I can only describe it as a ‘death scream,’ and it burned into my mind.”

Voldseth said he recognized the attacker, saying he lived nearby and “usually walks with his head down and headphones on.”

“I have only spoken to him a few times, but I have had the impression he might be a person with problems,” he said.

During an initial hearing Friday, a court in Kongsberg ordered Andersen Braathen held in custody for four weeks, including two weeks in isolation plus a ban on communicating with others.

“Reference is made to the extremely serious nature of the case, which has also led to great media interest both nationally and internationally. If the accused is not shielded from this and from other prisoners, important evidence could be lost,” the ruling read.

He was being held on five counts of preliminary murder and three counts of preliminary attempted murder. Preliminary charges are a step short of formal charges, and a terror-related charge could be brought later if the evidence supports it, Omholt said.

Andersen Braathen didn’t appear in court. His defense lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, told Norwegian news agency NTB he had no comments, saying of his client: “He has agreed to imprisonment, so then this really speaks for itself.”

Police described him Thursday as a Muslim convert and said there “earlier had been worries of the man having been radicalized.” But neither police nor the domestic intelligence service elaborated or said why they flagged Andersen Braathen or what they did with the information.

According to Norwegian media, Andersen Braathen has a conviction for burglary and drug possession, and last year a court granted a restraining order for him to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them.

Norway’s new prime minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, and Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl were expected to visit Kongsberg later Friday.

Kongsberg is located in a picturesque valley surrounded by mountains some 66 kilometers (41 miles) southwest of Oslo. Established in 1624 as a mining community after the discovery of silver in the area, it is where the Royal Norwegian Mint is based.

The community for decades had a weapons factory that initially produced guns, and now houses defense, and aerospace and technology companies.

___

Olsen reported from Copenhagen, Denmark.

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As a nod to his father, Vikings’ Alexander Mattison using platform in fight against cancer

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As a nod to his father, Vikings’ Alexander Mattison using platform in fight against cancer

In January 2010, Darrell Mattison was in a hospital in San Bernardino, Calif., after being diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia, a very rare form of cancer. Being in a weakened state, he didn’t let his four sons visit at first because he figured he would get better soon.

Then one day, Mattison sent word that his kids should come to the hospital.

“To be honest, I thought I was going to die,” he said. “I wasn’t getting better, so I told my wife at the time, ‘You need to bring them up and let them see me in case I don’t make it out of here.’ ”

Mattison finally did show improvement, and was released from the hospital in February after what was nearly a two-month stay. The cancer was in remission by May 2010, and Mattison, 49, said he is now fully healthy.

Mattison’s children, though, have not forgotten about his ordeal. And one, Vikings running back Alexander Mattison, has taken a visible role in the fight against cancer.

Mattison is one of two Vikings ambassadors for the American Cancer Society, along with defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, who lost his father to cancer when he was just 5. In October, the American Cancer Society has partnered with the NFL for Crucial Catch Month to help promote prevention and early detection of cancer, and to raise awareness for donations.

In the Vikings’ 19-17 victory over Detroit last Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, a game in which Crucial Catch was promoted, Mattison wore pink cleats that read “Crucial Catch” on them. Replacing injured Dalvin Cook in the lineup, he rushed for a career-high 113 yards.

It wasn’t the first time Mattison has given a nod to his father in an NFL game. As a rookie in 2019, during a December “My Cause, My Cleats” game, he wore cleats that read “City of Hope” for a cancer center in his hometown of San Bernardino that helped his father. And during a Crucial Catch Month game last October, he wore pink cleats adorned with a leukemia symbol.

“I want to use my platform to bring attention to cancer awareness,” said Mattison, whose Vikings play Sunday at Carolina. “It’s definitely something special for me, and I’m proud that the NFL is really making Crucial Catch a priority to make sure that we’re able to bring awareness. And I’m honoring my father, who fought leukemia for awhile. He’s doing great now, but I’m just honoring his fight and all those who are going through that.”

Mattison, 23, remembers well what it was like when he was 11 and his father was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia. It’s a form of cancer that affects only about 800 people a year and results in one’s bone marrow making too many B cells, a type of white blood cells that fight infection. That leads to not enough healthy blood cells being produced.

“It was really scary,” Mattison said of his father’s battled, which began when he first entered the hospital on Dec. 31 2009. “It was something that really affected me. I would kind of break down and be in a bad state of mind sometimes.”

It became especially difficult when Mattison first saw his father in the hospital after three weeks. He visited with his mother Pearl and brothers Trevon, now 26, and Darrell Jr. and Lamarr, twins who are now 24.

“It was really rough,” Mattison said. “During the time we’d go to the hospital, he’d just say he didn’t know if he was going to make it or how much longer he had. He had lost a lot of weight and just wasn’t looking like himself.”

Darrell Mattison lost nearly 50 pounds during his stay in the hospital, dropping from 220 to 171. He underwent chemotherapy, which was very difficult.

“I had aggressive chemo,” he said. “It was seven days, 24 hours a day, where they put a prickler in my arm. …. It was so bad that after the first day of chemo, I called my sister (Angel) and told her, ‘I’m not going to be able to do this. Take this out tomorrow. It’s so painful.’ She said, ‘You’ve got your sons looking up to you and they’re expecting you to come out of here and you need to fight,’ and so that changed my mindset.”

Mattison’s father also had four bone marrow biopsies. Even after he got out of the hospital, he was in weakened state at his San Bernardino home until the cancer went into remission.

Darrell and Pearl Mattison divorced in 2019. She now lives in Eagan with Alexander, and is a manager at a local Walmart. Darrell now lives in Dallas, where he is an account manager for an energy management system company.

Darrell Mattison attended four Vikings games when Mattison was a rookie in 2019 and one last year. He has been to three games this season: the Sept. 12 opener at Cincinnati, and home games on Sept. 26 against Seattle and Oct. 3 against Cleveland.

With Cook sidelined due to a sprained right ankle suffered Sept. 19 at Arizona, Mattison stepped in and tied his career high with 112 yards rushing in a 30-17 win over the Seahawks. Cook also sat out last week’s game against the Lions, and Mattison topped his career high by one yard. His father was thrilled to see him have a big game while helping bring awareness to cancer with his pink cleats.

“I love his spirit, I love his determination, and when he believes in something, he gives back,” he said. “Everybody doesn’t get this chance, and he’s taking full advantage of using his platform to help others.”

Mattison wasn’t perfect against the Lions. He lost a fumble at the Vikings 20 with 1:56 left that could have cost them the game. The Lions scored with 37 seconds left to take a 17-16 lead, but Greg Joseph kicked a 54-yard field goal on the final play to give Minnesota the win.

Mattison was obviously down after the fumble, but said Cook helped him keep his head up.

“I give a lot of credit to him in helping me get over that real fast because he said it happens to the best of us,” Mattison said. “So I’m understanding that I know I’ve got to do a better job of holding onto the ball.”

Cook went immediately over to Mattison after the fumble.

“I was just making sure (Mattison) was all right,” Cook said. “Being in a situation like that, having the ball slip away from you, when you’re trying to do so much to take care of the football, it just happens. … I was just making sure his mentals were good, and once he saw the field goal go in, he gave me a big hug.”

Cook, 26, and Mattison, 23, have developed a close relationship, and Mattison said he’s like a “big brother.” Cook, who is expected to play against the Panthers, has been thankful with how Mattison has “been answering that call every time” he has been out.

Cook also is impressed to see the work Mattison is doing with the American Cancer Society.

“Him being a part of that is obviously big and is big in his life because he experienced it first hand, so I’m proud of him for stepping in and stepping out of his comfort zone to be a part of that,” Cook said. “That’s bigger than football, that’s bigger than anything we’ve got going on right now.”

Still, the better Mattison performs on the field, the more his profile increases, and that can do nothing but help in his fight against cancer. Through five games, Mattison has 258 yards rushing and looks on the way to top his two previous season totals of 462 yards in 2019 and 434 in 2020.

“It’s been awesome, really, to take advantage of an opportunity to get on the field and help this team,” Mattison said of his two recent 100-yard games. “I’ve always been the type to use my platform to bring awareness and try to shed a positive light. I’m just blessed to be in a position where hard work is paying off on the field and off the field. And I can use my platform, use my voice, and reach more people the better I play.”

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Search and rescuers locate body of climber who became cliffed out, fell on Kit Carson Peak

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Search and rescuers locate body of climber who became cliffed out, fell on Kit Carson Peak

A search team fought “extremely challenging conditions” to locate the body of an experienced climber on Kit Carson Peak this week.

As of Friday morning, her body had not yet been recovered due to poor weather conditions.

On Oct. 11, the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 8:18 p.m. about a climber who was off-route and cliffed out below the standard route for Kit Carson Peak, which stands at about 14,165 feet in the Sangre de Cristo Range.

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#MeToo, 4 years in: “I’d like to think now, we are believed”

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#MeToo, 4 years in: “I’d like to think now, we are believed”

NEW YORK — To Charlotte Bennett, the new book that arrived at her Manhattan apartment this week — Anita Hill’s “Believing” — was more than just a look at gender violence.

It was a dispatch from a fellow member of a very specific sisterhood — women who have come forward to describe misconduct they suffered at the hands of powerful men.

Bennett’s story of harassment by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo helped lead to his resignation after an investigation found he’d harassed at least 11 women. And 30 years ago this month, Hill testified before a skeptical Senate Judiciary Committee that Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her.

“I can’t imagine what it was like doing that in 1991,” said Bennett, 26. “I’ve thought about that a lot.”

Hill’s history obviously predates the #MeToo movement, the broad social reckoning against sexual misconduct that reaches its four-year mark this week. But Bennett’s moment is very much a part of it, and she believes #MeToo is largely responsible for a fundamental change in the landscape since 1991, when Hill came forward.

“I’d like to think that now, we are believed,” Bennett said in an interview. “That the difference is, we are not convincing our audience that something happened and trying to persuade them that it impacted us. I would really like to think we’re in a place now where it’s not about believability — and that we don’t have to apologize.”

But for Bennett, a former health policy aide in the Cuomo administration, what emboldened her to come forward — and bolster the claims of an earlier accuser — was also the feeling that she was part of a community of survivors who had each other’s back.

“I was really scared to come forward,” Bennett said. “But something that reassured me even in that moment of fear was that there were women before me … (it wasn’t) Charlotte versus the governor, but a movement, moving forward. And I am one small event and one small piece of reckoning with sexual misconduct, in workplaces and elsewhere.”

There’s evidence Bennett is not alone in feeling a shift. Four years after actor Alyssa Milano sent her viral tweet asking those who’d been harassed or assaulted to share stories or just reply “Me too,” following the stunning revelations about mogul Harvey Weinstein, most Americans think the movement has inspired more people to speak out about misconduct, according to a new poll.

About half of Americans — 54% — say they personally are more likely to speak out if they’re a victim of sexual misconduct, according to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. And slightly more, 58%, say they would speak out if they witnessed it.

Sixty-two percent of women said they are more likely to speak out if they are a victim of sexual misconduct as a result of recent attention to the issue, compared to 44% of men. Women also are more likely than men to say they would speak out if they are a witness, 63% vs 53%.

Sonia Montoya, 65, of Albuquerque, used to take the sexist chatter in stride at the truck repair shop where she’s worked as the office manager — the only woman — for 17 years. But as news broke in 2016 about the crude way presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke about women, she realized she’d had enough. She demanded respect, prompting changes from her colleagues that stuck as the #MeToo movement took hold.

“It used to be brutal, the way people talked (at work). It was raw,” said Montoya, a poll participant who describes herself as an independent voter and political moderate. “Ever since this movement and awareness has come out, the guys are a lot more respectful and they think twice before they say certain things.”

Justin Horton, a 20-year-old EMT in Colorado Springs who attends a local community college, said he saw attitudes start to change as the #MeToo movement exploded during his senior year of high school.

He thinks it’s now easier for men like him to treat women with respect, despite a culture that too often objectifies them. And he hopes people realize that men can be sexually harassed as well.

“I feel like it’s had a lasting impact,” he said. “I feel like people have been more self-aware.”

Close to half of Americans say the recent attention to sexual misconduct has had a positive impact on the country overall — roughly twice the number that say it’s been negative, 45% vs. 24%, the poll shows. As recently as January 2020, Americans were roughly split over the impact of the movement on the country.

Still, there are signs the impact has been unequal, with fewer Americans seeing positive change for women of color than for women in general. That dovetails with frequent criticism that the #MeToo movement has been less inclusive of women of color.

“We haven’t moved nearly enough” in that area, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke told The Associated Press in an interview last month.

The AP-NORC Poll also showed generational differences: More Americans under 30 said they’re more likely to speak out if they are a victim, compared with older adults, 63% vs. 51%. And 67% of adults under 30 said they were they are more likely to speak out if they witness sexual misconduct, compared with 56% of those older.

There is a price for speaking out. Bennett said Cuomo, despite having resigned, is still not taking true responsibility for his actions, and so her struggle goes on.

“He’s still willing to try and discredit us,” she said. “And I am at a point where I’m exhausted. This has been a horrible experience.”

Bennett has said the 63-year-old Cuomo, among other comments, asked if her experience with sexual assault in college had affected her sex life, asked about her sexual relationships, and said he was comfortable dating women in their 20s. Cuomo denies making sexual advances and says his questions were an attempt to be friendly and sympathetic to her background as a survivor. He’s denied other women’s allegations of inappropriate touching, including an aide who accused him of groping her breast.

How is Bennett doing, two months after the resignation? She replies haltingly: “I’m doing OK. Every day is hard. It’s sad. It takes a piece of you a little bit. But … I would make the same decision every single time. The reason I was in public service was to be a good citizen and give back and do the right thing and contribute. I didn’t see my role like this, but that’s what it turned into. And that’s OK. I’m proud of myself for coming forward, and I will get through it.”

She muses about where the country might be in three more decades.

“I think reflecting on Anita Hill’s experience is a great way to understand how long 30 years is,” she said.

“So what do I feel like the next big change will be? I think it’s just not apologizing for being inconvenient. I could sit here and apologize. But I want to get to a place … where we’re not apologizing, where it’s our job to come forward if we have the means and ability to do so.”

And the #MeToo movement, she said, should be not only a community, not only “a soft landing place” for women who come forward.

“It should it be where leaders come from,” Bennett said. “We know how institutions act. We know the underbelly of these institutions better than anyone. We have a lot of solutions to fix it and we should be at the table.

“It should be OUR table.”


Sourcing & Methodology

The AP-NORC poll of 1,099 adults was conducted Sept. 23-27 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

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UK lawmaker stabbed in eastern England has died

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UK lawmaker stabbed in eastern England has died

By JILL LAWLESS

LONDON (AP) — British Conservative lawmaker David Amess has died after being stabbed Friday during a meeting with constituents at a church in eastern England. A 25-year-old man has been arrested.

The Essex Police force said officers were called to reports of a stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea just after noon Friday. It said “a man was arrested and a knife recovered.

“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident and do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the wider public,” police said.

The force said later that a man injured in the stabbing had died. It did not release his name. The suspect is being being held on suspicion of murder, police said.

Sky News and others said Amess was attacked during a regular meeting with constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in a residential area of Leigh-on-Sea, a seaside town east of London.

Aerial footage showed several ambulances and an air ambulance was waiting nearby to the church.

John Lamb, a local councilor, said Amess had not been taken to hospital more than two hours after the attack and the situation was “extremely serious.”

Amess, 69, had been a member of Parliament for Southend West, which includes Leigh-on-Sea, since 1997, but has been a lawmaker since 1983. He was a well-liked member of Parliament, best known for his ceaseless campaign to have Southend declared a city.

Politicians from across the political spectrum expressed shock at initial reports of the stabbing. Labour Party leader Keir Starmer tweeted that it was “Horrific and deeply shocking news. Thinking of David, his family and his staff.”

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative, tweeted: “Very alarming and worrying news reports coming from Leigh-on-Sea. My thoughts and prayers are with Sir David Amess and his family.”

Violence against British politicians is rare, but in June 2016 Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot in her northern England constituency. A far-right extremist was convicted of her murder.

Cox’s widower, Brendan Cox, tweeted that “Attacking our elected representatives is an attack on democracy itself. There is no excuse, no justification. It is as cowardly as it gets.”

British lawmakers are protected by armed police when they are inside Parliament, but have no such protection in their constituencies. Amess published the times and locations of his open meetings with constituents on his website.

Two other British lawmakers have been attacked this century during their “surgeries,” regular meetings where constituents can present concerns and complaints.

Labour legislator Stephen Timms was stabbed in the stomach and injured in May 2010 by a female student radicalized by online sermons from an al-Qaida-linked preacher.

In 2000, Liberal Democrat lawmaker Nigel Jones and his aide Andrew Pennington were attacked by a man wielding a sword during such a meeting. Pennington was killed and Jones injured in the attack in Cheltenham, England.

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Suicide attack on Shiite mosque in Afghanistan kills 37

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Suicide attack on Shiite mosque in Afghanistan kills 37

By SAMYA KULLAB and TAMEEM AKHGAR

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque packed with worshippers attending Friday prayers in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 70, according to a hospital official and a witness.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the carnage at the Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar province. It came a week after a bombing claimed by the local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan.

Murtaza, who and like many Afghans goes by one name, said he was inside the mosque during the attack and reported four explosions: two outside and two inside. He said Friday prayers at the mosque typically draw about 500 people.

Video footage showed bodies scattered across bloodstained carpets, with survivors walking around in a daze or crying out in anguish.

A local hospital official who was not authorized to speak to the media provided the casualty toll on condition of anonymity.

The Islamic State group, which like Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban is made up of Sunni Muslims, views Shiite Muslims as apostates deserving of death.

IS has claimed a number of deadly bombings across the country since the Taliban seized power in August amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The group, which also regards the Taliban as enemies, has targeted Taliban fighters in smaller attacks.

The Taliban have pledged to restore peace and security after decades of war. Both the Taliban and IS adhere to a rigid interpretation of Islamic law, but IS is far more radical. It has better-known branches in Iraq and Syria.

The Taliban have pledged to protect Afghanistan’s Shiite minority, which was persecuted during the last period of Taliban rule, in the 1990s.

___

Akhgar reported from Istanbul.

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Nuggets Podcast: Talking Michael Porter Jr.’s moment with The Ringer’s Rob Mahoney

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Nuggets Podcast: Talking Michael Porter Jr.’s moment with The Ringer’s Rob Mahoney

In the latest Nuggets Ink podcast, beat writer Mike Singer is joined by The Ringer’s Rob Mahoney to discuss his latest story “Michael Porter Jr. will get his moment… if he’s ready for it.”

After dropping to the 14th pick of the 2018 NBA draft, Porter’s future was uncertain due to back problems, which significantly dropped his stock in a class featuring future stars Trae Young, Luka Doncic and Deandre Ayton. Despite early career injuries and Porter’s outspoken stance on vaccinations heading into the 2021-22 NBA season, Mahoney’s report from within Nuggets camp paints a picture of a team ready for MPJ to finally break through as the star he was billed as entering his college career at Missouri.

Subscribe to the podcast
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Producer: AAron Ontiveroz
Music: “Follow the Leader” The Trujillo Company

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6 shot in 3 separate Minneapolis incidents within 45 minutes

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6 shot in 3 separate Minneapolis incidents within 45 minutes

Six people were shot and injured in Minneapolis in three separate incidents that occurred within 45 minutes of each other.

The shootings happened Thursday night.

Police say the first call came in at 9:06 p.m. Police responded to multiple 911 calls about a shooting on the 1800 block of Lowry Avenue and they arrived to find a man on the ground, who appeared to have been shot. He was taken to a hospital.

Another 911 call came in at 9:25 p.m. about a shooting on the 2000 block of 3rd Avenue South. Police arrived there to find a man who appeared to have been shot. He was also taken to the hospital.

At 9:46 p.m., police got multiple 911 calls about shots fired on the 800 block of Franklin Avenue East. Officers arrived to find two men appeared to have been shot. They were taken to the hospital. A third man had been grazed by a bullet and a fourth man went to the hospital on his own with an apparent gunshot wound.

Police say the medical conditions of all the victims were not immediately known.

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Colorado fugitive arrested in New York after his wife found dead

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Colorado fugitive arrested in New York after his wife found dead

A multi-state investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Colorado man in New York after his wife was found dead in Colorado Springs.

William Cruz, 31, of Colorado Springs, was arrested by New York State Police investigators as a fugitive from justice, based on an arrest warrant from El Paso County.

His wife, Masany Cruz, 29, was thought to be missing since approximately Sept. 14. Her body was discovered by Colorado Springs police at her last known address.

According to authorities, the Sag Harbor Police Department in New York received a report from the North Plainfield, New Jersey Police Department on Oct. 4 that Masany Cruz was missing. Officials looked to the Sag Harbor Inn, and when police arrived, they found William Cruz alone. Cruz was taken into custody without incident, police say.

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Shirtless North Korean soldiers break bricks with their heads, lay on glass and nails for Kim Jong-un

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North Korean soldier breaks bricks

A video of North Korean soldiers — some of them shirtless — performing extreme martial arts for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has gone viral on social media.

What’s going on: The performance, which originally aired on North Korean TV, was part of a “self-defense” military exhibition held on Monday. The rest of the event included a formal ceremony, a weapons display and flight stunts by combat pilots, according to KCNA.

  • The event marked the latest show of force from Pyongyang’s military. State media said it aimed to showcase the soldiers’ “iron fist” in protecting the country.
  • In the video, soldiers can be seen smashing bricks with their bare hands, bending an iron rod with their necks, and throwing knives at each other, among other stunts. Kim is seen clapping with other officials in the background.
  • Kim previously called out the U.S. for alleged hostilities and vowed to arm his hermit state with “invincible military capacity,” as per AP News. However, he pointed out that Pyongyang aims to increase war deterrence instead of engaging in war itself, according to Reuters.

Reactions: The video was first shared on Twitter by Martyn Williams, a journalist and researcher who is focused on covering North Korea. As of this writing, it has received 2.5 million views and a mix of reactions from users.

  • Some compared the soldiers to lethal fictional characters. “This looks like folks from District 1 in the Hunger Games,” one user wrote.
  • Meanwhile, some claimed that there was nothing impressive about the stunts. “To anyone who understands the physics behind this, it’s not impressive at all. Laying on a bed of nails or broken glass won’t puncture your skin so long as you don’t slide across it, and all breaking concrete shows is [that] the soldiers have good abs,” one noted. “Hardly ‘invincible.’”
  • Others simply responded with sarcasm, with one writing, “Wow! North Korea are [sic] gonna totally kick a** in the great ‘sticks and bricks’ war of the future!”

Featured Image via Martyn Williams

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