At least seven people are dead following a shooting spree at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The attack occurred Sunday morning when a gunman entered the Oak Creek Sikh temple and opened fire, killing at least six people and critically wounded three others before a police officer shot him dead. The shooter has reportedly been identified as a 40-year-old white man named Wade Michael Page, who had previously been discharged from the Army. Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards called the shooting an act of domestic terrorism.
John Edwards: “We’re treating this as a domestic terrorist-type incident, and therefore the FBI has the resources needed to help investigate that. The ATF is also involved with this, along with the Milwaukee Police Department, is assisting us with the DA’s office in the officer-involved shooting portion of this investigation.”
The attack comes two weeks after the shooting massacre in Aurora, Colorado, that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.
Violence continues to rage in Syria where government forces and rebels are clashing in the two main fronts of Damascus and Aleppo. Earlier today, a bombing struck the headquarters of Syria’s state broadcaster, injuring several people. The regime of Bashar al-Assad appears to be preparing a ground assault in Aleppo with reports of some 20,000 troops surrounding the city. At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern for Aleppo residents.
Ban Ki-moon: “Aleppo, one of the most ancient and storied cities in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the epicenter of a vicious battle between the Syrian government and those who wish to replace it. The acts of brutality that are being reported may constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes. Such acts must be investigated and the perpetrators held to account.”
The Assad regime has suffered another major defection. Earlier today, Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Farid Hijab announced he had fled to Jordan and joined Syria’s opposition. Hijab was appointed prime minister of Syria in June in a bid by the Assad regime to claim it was enacting political reforms.
Deadly violence erupted near Egypt’s border with Israel on Sunday when armed militants killed 16 Egyptian border guards. The militants were apparently attempting to cross from the Sinai into Israel and ambushed the border guards as they ate a meal breaking the Ramadan fast. Israel says the militants were likely planning to capture Israeli soldiers on the other side of the border crossing. The Egyptian government says foreign fighters carried out the assault.
In the Gaza Strip, at least one Palestinian was killed and another wounded in an Israeli air strike on Sunday. Both victims were apparently members of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees.
At least 45 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in southern Yemen. The attack targeted a funeral service attended by members of a militia that aided a government offensive against al-Qaeda in June.
At least 40 people were arrested in Bahrain on Friday in a government crackdown on a pro-democracy rally. Bahraini forces fired tear gas and birdshot to disperse the crowd, wounding at least 45 people. Among those detained was pro-democracy activist Zainab Alkhawaja, the daughter of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, who ended a more than three-month hunger strike in May. Bahrain is a key U.S. government ally, hosting the Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
Japan is commemorating the 67th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima today amidst mounting protests over the country’s nuclear woes. The acute effects of the 1945 Hiroshima bombing eventually killed an estimated 166,000 people. Japan, meanwhile, has seen record numbers take to the streets in recent months to demand an end to nuclear power more than one year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. At a ceremony marking the anniversary, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui linked Fukushima to the Hiroshima bombing.
Kazumi Matsui: “With the cataclysmic disaster at the nuclear plant, it has become very difficult for humanity to forget. Even now, those trying to live with the aftermath of disaster, their experiences overlap with those who experienced that day 67 years ago.”
Celebrations are being held in Jamaica and around the world today honoring the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. On August 6, 1962, Jamaica became a free nation after more than 300 years of British rule. Jamaica is celebrating the day with national festivities, as are members of the Jamaican diaspora across the globe.
A new study from one of the nation’s leading climate scientists concludes that the recent spate of extreme weather seen in the United States and around the world cannot be attributed to anything but human-caused global warming. The study concludes that the odds of extreme temperature occurrences have grown from one in 300 through the 1980s to one in 10 today. The study was led by James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Over the weekend, Hansen discussed his findings with PBS News.
James Hansen: “What we show is that there is a connection to these extreme weather events that we’ve been seeing. The probability of these unusually hot hot spells, forest fires and extreme droughts has increased substantially over the last few decades.”
More than 3,100 daily heat records were set in the United States last month, a rate of more than 100 per day. In an article previewing his study, Hansen writes: “It is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.”
Firefighters continue to battle 18 wildfires in Oklahoma amidst the widespread drought covering most of the United States. The current heat wave in Oklahoma has brought the state its highest temperatures since the Dust Bowl of 1936. Oklahoma City set an all-time record on Friday with a high of 113 degrees.
New figures show the official U.S. unemployment rose to 8.3 percent in July, up from 8.2 percent the month before. Despite the slide, non-farm jobs saw an increase of 172,000, ending a three-month run below 100,000. At the White House, President Obama welcomed the newly created jobs and said Republican policies would only further weaken continued growth.
President Obama: “We’ve now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year. Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work. But let’s acknowledge, we’ve still got too many folks out there who are looking for work. We’ve got more work to do on their behalf. The last thing that we should be doing is asking middle-class families who are still struggling to recover from this recession to pay more in taxes.”
Republican challenger Mitt Romney seized on the unemployment news, saying President Obama’s policies have failed. Romney spoke during a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mitt Romney: “The official unemployment number, 8.3 percent. That’s the longest period of time, 42 months, the longest period of time we’ve had unemployment above 8 percent in American history, since this has been recorded. This is an extraordinary record of failure. The president’s policies have not worked because he thinks government makes America work. He’s wrong.”
The suspect in last year’s Tuscon, Arizona, shooting spree is expected to plead guilty on Tuesday. Jared Loughner is charged with the killing of six people and wounding of several others, including former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Loughner was initially declared unfit to stand trial after undergoing psychiatric evaluation. He is currently being treated for mental illness at a psychiatric facility in Missouri.
Protesters continue to target the fast-food chain Chik-fil-A after its founder openly declared his opposition to equal rights for LGBT people. In recent weeks, Chik-fil-A president Dan Cathy has acknowledged funding anti-LGBT groups and has denounced same-sex marriage. On Friday, activists and LGBT rights supporters across the nation held a national “kiss-in” outside of Chick-fil-A locations.
Protester: “He’s promoting hatred. He’s promoting that people still have to be in the closet and not live the life that they were born to be, and promotes suicide, promotes bullying, promotes every of the bad stuff. And that’s why we’re — I mean, I’m OK with someone exercising their First Amendment right, but not if it’s hatred against someone else.”
A NASA science rover has landed safely on Mars after an eight-month journey. The rover, Curiosity, had traveled more than 350 million miles as part of an eventual two-year mission. White House science adviser John Holdren praised the landing.
John Holdren: “Landing the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, on the surface of the Red Planet was by any measure the most challenging mission ever attempted in the history of robotic planetary exploration. And if anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of U.S. leadership in space, well, there’s a one-ton automobile-size piece of American ingenuity, and it’s sitting on the surface of Mars right now, and it should certainly put any such doubts to rest.”
The Mexican singer Chavela Vargas has died at the age of 93. Vargas was a legend in Mexico, defying gender stereotypes in her music before coming out as a lesbian at the age of 81.
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