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Grasse School Shooting: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The town of Grasse, located in the south east of France. (Wikipedia)

Authorities in France have said that “multiple people” have been injured following a shooting at high school in the town of Grasse. The small city is located in the southeastern part of the country, less than 30 miles west of Nice in Alpes-Maritimes. The school involved is the Alexis de Tocqueville high school. The gunfire erupted on the afternoon of March 16.

Here’s what we know so far:


1. One of Those Wounded is the School’s Principal

Le Figaro reports that three people have been shot and it’s possible that another has been stabbed. One of those wounded is the school’s principal. None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

BFMTV reports that the principal was targeted by the gunman. One student told the station that he heard “four shots” and that the scene was “total panic.”


2. A 17-Year-Old Student Was Armed With 3 Guns & 2 Grenades: Authorities

Reports from the scene say that a 17-year-old student who is not known to police has been taken into custody. Le Figaro reports that the student was “heavily armed.”

Reports of a second gunman were later proven to be false.

BFMTV reports that the suspect was armed with three guns and two grenades.


3. The Suspect Watched Videos of ‘American High School Shootings’

Grasse Shooting Text Alert

This illustration picture taken in Rennes, western France on March 16, 2017 shows the screen of a smartphone displaying French government attack alert.
(Getty)

Le Monde reports that the suspect is from Tocqueville and that he watched “videos of mass killings.”

L’Express reports that the suspect “consulted” websites relating to American high school shootings.

French journalist Nicholas Henin has referred to the suspect as a “fragile young man” on Twitter.


4. A Massive Police Response Is on Site in Grasse

Grasse School Shooting Photos Pictures

A photo from the scene of the attack. (Facebook)

Authorities in France have issued a text alert saying that there has been a possible terror attack. Le Monde reports that no links have been established between this shooting and Islamic terrorism.

The anti-terror force in France, RAID is on scene at the school, reports the Daily Telegraph. While France Info reports that the security forces have evacuated the school. Parents have been asked to avoid the school.


5. There Is No Confirmation That the Attack Is Linked to the Several Terror Attacks That Have Rocked France Over the Last 2 Years

Grasse is known as the capital of France’s perfume industry. There are no indications that the attack is related to terrorism. Over the past two years, France has been rocked by the multiple attacks linked radical Islamist fighters. In July 2016, 86 people were killed in Nice when a truck rammed into a crowd of people on a promenade. France is still under a general state of emergency over the attacks.

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McDonald’s Deletes Tweet Calling Donald Trump a ‘Disgusting Excuse of a President’

McDonald’s deleted this tweet about President Donald Trump.

McDonald’s has deleted a tweet from its corporate Twitter account calling President Donald Trump a “disgusting excuse of a president” with “tiny hands.”

The tweet was posted at 9:16 a.m. on Thursday and deleted shortly after.

“@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands,” the deleted tweet read.

McDonald’s responded with a second tweet about an hour later, saying its account was “compromised.”

“Twitter notified us that our account was compromised,” the follow-up tweet said. “We deleted the tweet, secured our account and are now investigating this.”

The account has 151,000 followers and has continued to respond to McDonald’s customers since the tweet. McDonald’s hired Robert Gibbs, the former press secretary to President Barack Obama, in 2015 to be its global chief communications officer.

Trump does have a history with McDonald’s, he once appeared in a commercial alongside Grimace:

And he posted a photo of his McDonald’s meal on his plane last May during a campaign trip:

Instagram Photo

Trump has talked about being a fan of the fast food brand, praising it for its cleanliness and saying he prefers fish sandwiches, Big Macs and Quarter Pounders in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper last February.

“It’s great stuff,” Trump told Cooper during the town hall interview. “One bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald’s. One bad hamburger and you take Wendy’s and all these other places and they’re out of business. I like cleanliness, and I think you’re better off going there than maybe some place that you have no idea where the food is coming from.”

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Killian Barbey: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

(Getty)

The suspect in a French high school shooting allegedly watched videos of American high school attacks in preparation. He has been named a Killian Barbey, 16. Authorities have said that he was heavily armed with a rifle, two handguns and two grenades. The gunfire erupted at the Alexis de Tocqueville high school in Grasse at around 1 p.m. on March 16. The small city is located in the southeastern part of the country, less than 30 miles west of Nice in Alpes-Maritimes. The motive for the attack is “to be determined” by authorities.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Suspect Has Been Referred to as a ‘Fragile Young Man’

Grasse Shooting Text Alert

This illustration picture taken in Rennes, western France on March 16, 2017 shows the screen of a smartphone displaying French government attack alert.
(Getty)

French journalist Nicholas Henin has referred to the suspect as a “fragile young man” on Twitter. While Nice Matin reports that the suspect was the victim of “harassment.”

Kylian Barbey Grasse school shooting

This is the last photo posted on Kylian’s Facebook page.

Le Monde reports that the suspect is from Tocqueville and that he watched “videos of mass killings.”

L’Express reports that the suspect “consulted” websites relating to American high school shootings.

Killian Barbey Photos: Pictures of Alleged Grasse School Shooter

The alleged gunman in Grasse has been referred to as a “fragile young man.”

Click here to read more


2. He’s the Son a Far-Right French Politician

Killian Barbey dad Franck

Barbey pictured with his family, father Franck Barbey, is at the head of the table. (Facebook)

La Depeche reports that Barbey is the son of Franck Barbey. Franck Barbey is a former Grasse city counselor where he represented the far-right Front National party. Since then, Barbey has left that party for the similarly right-wing RPF.

Franck Barbey posted a photos of him and his son in Ireland on a vacation in the summer of 2016.


3. Barbey Posted a Video of Himself With a Gun to His Head on Facebook

Killian Barbey photos pictures

Killian Barbey pictured in 2015. (Facebook)

In November 2016, Barbey posted a video to his Facebook page. It shows the suspect wearing a Slipknot-esque mask. He’s holding a revolver. Barbey takes turns showing the unloaded gun to the camera and pointing it at his temple while pulling the trigger. In the comments section, a friend asks Barbey is he stole the gun.

The rest of Barbey’s Facebook page is adorned with various memes showing various incarnations of The Joker character from the Batman series of movies. While on his YouTube channel, Barbey’s background image is from surveillance footage during the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.


4. The Shooter Targeted the School’s Principal

RAID Grasse

French police at the entrance to the school. (Getty)

Le Figaro reports that three people have been shot and it’s possible that another has been stabbed. One of those wounded is the school’s principal. None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

BFMTV reports that the principal was targeted by the gunman. One student told the station that he heard “four shots” and that the scene was “total panic.” While another witness told RTL that students had to climb over fences to get out of the staff parking lot.

Reports from the scene say that Barbey has no criminal record in Grasse. Le Figaro reports that the student was “heavily armed.”

Reports of a second gunman were later proven to be false.

BFMTV reports that the suspect was armed with three guns and two grenades.

Killian Barbey Photos: Pictures of Alleged Grasse School Shooter

The alleged gunman in Grasse has been referred to as a “fragile young man.”

Click here to read more


5. A Terror Alert Was Issued Throughout France

Grasse School Shooting Photos Pictures

A photo from the scene of the attack. (Facebook)

Authorities in France have issued a text alert saying that there has been a possible terror attack. Le Monde reports that no links have been established between this shooting and Islamic terrorism.

The anti-terror force in France, RAID is on scene at the school, reports the Daily Telegraph. While France Info reports that the security forces have evacuated the school. Parents have been asked to avoid the school.

Grasse is known as the capital of France’s perfume industry. There are no indications that the attack is related to terrorism. Over the past two years, France has been rocked by the multiple attacks linked radical Islamist fighters. In July 2016, 86 people were killed in Nice when a truck rammed into a crowd of people on a promenade. France is still under a general state of emergency over the attacks.

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Who Are the Judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals?

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit building is seen February 6, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Getty)

President Donald Trump again criticized the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week, the court that will hear any appeal of a Hawaii judge’s recent decision to halt the administration’s revised travel ban.

In a campaign-style rally on Wednesday night, Trump referred to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as being “much overturned” and complained that his new travel ban was blocked even though it was written to address the 9th Circuit’s complaints.

Trump said in his Nashville speech that the judge who blocked his travel ban, Derrick Watson, is part of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That is actually not the case; although the 9th Circuit has jurisdiction over Hawaii, Derrick Watson is a part of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii.

Still, if the Trump administration is to appeal Watson’s decision, they will have to return to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that decided last month not to reinstitute the travel ban. So who are the judges who make up this 9th Circuit, and where do they all fall politically?

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is the largest appellate court in the United States. It is so large, in fact, that Republican Senator Jeff Flake recently introduced a bill, the Judicial Administration and Improvement Act of 2017, which has the express purpose of breaking the court into two. Congress has been attempting to break up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals since the 1990s.

A total of 29 judges make up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, although four of those seats are currently vacant. Of the 25 currently-active judges, there are 10 Clinton appointees, six George W. Bush appointees, seven Barack Obama appointees, one Ronald Reagan appointee, and one Jimmy Carter appointee.

On Wednesday, five judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, all George W. Bush appointees, voiced support for President Donald Trump’s travel ban, saying that the president has the authority to suspend immigration as Trump did. Those judges were Alex Kozinski, Jay Bybee, Consuelo Callahan, Carlos Bea and Sandra Ikuta.

Here’s a look at the judges who are currently active on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:

  1. Sidney Runyan Thomas – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 1996. In 2014, he became the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit. Thomas was one of President Barack Obama’s possible choices to replace John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, but Obama ended up picking Elena Kagan instead.
  2. Stephen Reinhardt – A Jimmy Carter appointee who assumed office in 1980. Reinhardt is known for being extremely liberal. “I was a liberal from a very young age,” he told California Lawyer. “I think I was born that way.” His decisions are reversed by the Supreme Court at a higher rate than most other judges.
  3. Alex Kozinski – A Ronald Reagan appointee who assumed office in 1985. In 1993, he reached a notable decision in an intellectual property case in which Wheel of Fortune‘s Vana White sued Samsung for parodying her likeness in a TV ad. Kozinski said, “Overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as underprotecting it. Creativity is impossible without a rich public domain.” In another case, in which Mattel sued MCA Records over the song “Barbie Girl,” Kozinski wrote, “The parties are advised to chill.”
  4. Susan P. Graber – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 1998. In 2013, she ruled that a California law prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in gay conversion therapy is constitutional, writing, “Without a doubt, protecting the well-being of minors is a legitimate state interest,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
  5. M. Margaret McKeown – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 1998. One notable decision of hers came in 2007 when she said the display of a cross at a nature reserve was unconstitutional because it was akin to the federal government endorsing a religion. This decision was reversed by the Supreme Court.
  6. Kim McLane Wardlaw – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 1998. Before serving on the 9th Circuit, Wardlaw volunteered for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, and she was also a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in 1992.
  7. William A. Fletcher – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 1998. He authored the decision of Demers v. Austin, which said that academic faculty members are protected by the First Amendment; the plaintiff in that case was a professor who was criticizing his school’s administration and who was punished for doing so.
  8. Ronald M. Gould – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 1999. In 2002, he removed an injunction against a rule prohibiting the building of new roads in underdeveloped areas of national forests, according to The Recorder. He has been described as a moderate.
  9. Richard A. Paez – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 2000. When Clinton nominated Paez, Jeff Sessions, who is now the U.S. attorney general but was then a senator, lead a campaign against him. Sessions took issue with Paez having accepted a plea agreement allowing John Huang, a central figure in the 1996 campaign finance controversy, to avoid going to jail, according to The New York Times.
  10. Marsha S. Berzon – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 2000. In 2009, she ruled that a San Francisco resolution which condemned the Vatican for its position on same-sex marriage was constitutional, saying that it would be a difference case if the resolution condemned the Vatican for its teaching on something like transubstantiation.
  11. Richard C. Tallman – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 2000. However, Tallman himself is a Republican. He is also a judge on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, a court which reviews denials of FISA warrants.
  12. Johnnie B. Rawlinson – A Bill Clinton appointee who assumed office in 2000. She is the first African-American woman to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2014, she ruled in favor of keeping protections intact for the delta smelt, an endangered species of fish.
  13. Jay Bybee – A George W. Bush appointee who assumed office in 2001. He previously served as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, and he authored the 2002 torture memos which said that enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding are legal.
  14. Consuelo María Callahan – A George W. Bush appointee who assumed office in 2003. She was floated as a possible Supreme Court nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor in 2005, but Bush ultimately selected Samuel Alito.
  15. Carlos T. Bea – A George W. Bush appointee who assumed office in 2003. He is from Spain and was almost deported for allegedly dodging the draft during the Korean War, but a judge ruled in his favor. He later became a nationalized citizen. Above the Law refers to him as “refreshingly conservative, on a famously (or infamously) liberal court.”
  16. Milan D. Smith, Jr. – A George W. Bush appointee who assumed office in 2006. He has authored the most opinions of any judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In United States v. Henry, he upheld the conviction of a man who had made a homemade machine gun, saying that this is not protected by the Second Amendment because machine guns are “dangerous and unusual weapons” that law abiding citizens don’t usually have.
  17. Sandra Segal Ikuta – A George W. Bush appointee who assumed office in 2006. She wrote the opinion in United States v. Baldrich, a case involving a man who plead guilty to six counts of robbery and who argued that the court violated his right to due process because it did not disclose a probation officer’s confidential sentencing recommendation, according to Ninth Circuit Blog. The court ruled against the defendant.
  18. N. Randy Smith – A George W. Bush appointee who assumed office in 2007. He wrote the dissent in Perry v. Brown, the case in which the 9th Circuit found that California’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.
  19. Mary H. Murguia – A Barack Obama appointee who assumed office in 2011. In 2011, she acquitted Elton Simpson, who had allegedly lied to the FBI about intending to travel to Somalia to commit acts of terror. She felt that there was not enough evidence of Simpson’s intentions. He later attacked an art exhibit featuring cartoon images of Mohammad in Texas.
  20. Morgan Christen – A Barack Obama appointee who assumed office in 2012. She previously served as a Planned Parenthood board member in the 1990s, and her nomination was opposed by some pro-choice advocacy groups. However, she was confirmed by the Senate in a 95 to 3 vote.
  21. Jacqueline Nguyen – A Barack Obama appointee who assumed office in 2012. She is the first Asian-American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge. She was floated as a possible pick to replace Antonin Scalia, but Barack Obama ended up nominating Merrick Garland.
  22. Paul J. Watford – A Barack Obama appointee who assumed office in 2012. He authored the opinion in City of Los Angeles v. Patela case in which the court ruled against a city ordinance in which police could conduct unannounced investigations of hotel registries without a warrant. He was also floated as a possible Supreme Court nominee of Barack Obama’s in 2012.
  23. Andrew D. Hurwitz – A Barack Obama appointee who assumed office in 2012. In Citizen Publishing Co. v. Miller ex rel Elleithee, he ruled that a newspaper that ran an ad calling for the murder of Muslims was protected by the First Amendment.
  24. John B. Owens – A Barack Obama appointee who assumed office in 2014. He earned some attention in 2016 for referencing the HBO series Game of Thrones during a decision. In the case of Flores v. City of San Gabriel, he wrote that the court’s interpretation of a part of the Fair Labor Standards Act was “very close to a qyburnian resurrection of [a rejected case law] standard,” according to Above the Law.
  25. Michelle Friedland – A Barack Obama appointee who assumed office in 2014. She was one of three judges who in February 2017 rejected the Trump administration’s request to lift the restraining order against the first travel ban.

In addition, there are 19 Ninth Circuit judges who have senior status: Alfred Theodore Goodwin, J. Clifford Wallace, Procter Ralph Hug, Jr., Mary M. Schroeder, Joseph Jerome Farris, Harry Pregerson, Dorothy Wright Nelson, William Cameron Canby, Jr., John T. Noonan, Jr., Diarmuid Fionntain O’Scannlain, Edward Leavy, Stephen S. Trott, Ferdinand Francis Fernandez, Andrew Jay Kleinfeld, Michael Daly Hawkins, A. Wallace Tashima, Barry G. Silverman, Raymond C. Fisher, and Richard R. Clifton.

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Cristy Campbell: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Cristy Campbell is being sought by the Glen Carbon, Illinois Police. (Facebook)

An Illinois woman has been found dead after she drove her SUV into a lake with her infant son inside following a fire at her home that killed a man, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Six children escaped from the Thursday morning fire at the home in Glen Carbon, Illinois, owned by Cristy Lynn Campbell, 32, and rescuers were also able to save the infant from Campbell’s SUV, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Campbell’s body was found at the lake about four hours after driving into the water. Her baby son is expected to make a full recovery, police say. Authorities have said the fire and the incident at the lake are connected, and had called Campbell a “person of interest” in the blaze, before she was found dead.

Police said they are still investigating both incidents and say many details about what happened have not yet been determined. No information about the person who died in the house fire has been released by authorities. A neighbor told the newspaper that Campbell lives at the home with her husband and seven children.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Campbell’s Children Sought Help at a Nearby Walmart After Escaping From the Blaze

Firefighters responded to the blaze at Cristy Campbell’s two-story home at 15 Dogwood Lane about 5:30 a.m., police told the Belleville News-Democrat.

Two of Campbell’s children ran to a nearby Walmart to seek help after the fire started. The six kids, all siblings, were all accounted for after the fire, but an adult was found dead inside the house, police said.

The children, who range in age from toddlers to teens, were placed into the care of relatives, according to authorities.

“They are receiving emotional support,” Glen Carbon Police Lieutenant Wayne White told reporters.

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2. Her Infant Son Was Pulled From the Lake by Paramedics, Who Performed CPR on the Baby Before He Was Flown to a Hospital

cristy campbell family, cristy campbell facebook, cristy campbell children, cristy campbell kids

Cristy Campbell with her family. (Facbeook)

Not long after the fire, rescuers responded to Silver Lake in Highland, Illinois, about 15 miles away from Campbell’s house in Glen Carbon. A silver Nissan Armada was found in the lake with an infant inside. No one else was in the SUV. Campbell’s neighbor, Sherry Ricker, said the SUV pulled from the lake belongs to Campbell’s husband.

“That’s her car,” Ricker told the Belleville-News Democrat.

A passerby saw the SUV in the lake and called police. Paramedics jumped into the frigid lake to pull the infant to safety, KMOV-TV reports.

“One of our paramedics had jumped in the water already and retrieved an infant from the water,” Highland Fire Department Captain Brad Menz told the news station. “They did do CPR on the infant, took the child to the hospital, child was eventually flown to a St. Louis hospital.”

Menz said, “We had guys go into the water with cold suits and we were able to pull the vehicle out of the water.”

The baby boy’s condition isn’t known.

Campbell’s body was later found at the lake, at about 11:30 a.m., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.


3. Campbell Gave Birth to Her Son in December & Has 6 Other Children

Campbell gave birth to her son in December, according to posts on her Facebook page.

“My baby boy turned 2 months old yesterday! He weighs 10 lbs 2oz. Hes gained an oz a day since birth!,” she wrote on February 11.

She has six other children and posted several photos of them on her page.


4. She Was an Illinois Native Who Worked in Accounting & Finance

cristy campbell, cristy campbell glen carbon, cristy campbell illinois

Cristy Campbell. (Glen Carbon Police)

Campbell was a native of Illinois. She attended Edwardsville High School in 2003 and studied accounting and finance at American InterContinental University, according to her Facebook page. She graduated from the online university in 2006 with a degree in business administration, accounting and finance.

She worked as a billing clerk at T-J Transport, a Highland, Illinois-based shipping company, according to her Linkedin profile.

Campbell also says she worked at the Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel in St. Louis, and previously at Accountemps, Domino’s Pizza, Scott Credit Union and Taco Bell.


5. A Neighbor Called Campbell & Her Husband ‘Nice People’

(Facebook)

A neighbor, Mitchell Langenhorst, told the Belleville News-Democrat that Campbell, her husband and children were a “normal” family.

“They were nice people,” another neighbor, Sherry Ricker, told the newspaper. “I was really surprised, but I’m glad the kids are OK.”

Glen Carbon Police Lieutenant Wayne White said police had responded to the home “several times” in the past for “day-to-day” calls, but didn’t provide any other details.

“Our hearts and our thoughts and our prayers go out to the entire family for their terrible loss,” White told the News-Democrat.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Campbell was divorced in Madison County, Illinois, in 2012 from a man she refers to as the father of her children on Facebook. In the months before the divorce, Campbell obtained an order of protection against her then-husband, alleging abuse. The order was dismissed about two weeks later, the newspaper reports.

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Sebastian Gorka: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka was already a controversial member of President Donald Trump‘s team. Now, the London-born author is being accused of having membership in the Nazi-affiliated, Hungarian group Vitézi Rend. Leaders of the group told Foreward.com that Gorka is a “sworn member.”

In an interview with TabletMag.com, Gorka insisted that he has never been a member of Vitez Rand.

“I have never been a member of the Vitez Rend. I have never taken an oath of loyalty to the Vitez Rend. Since childhood, I have occasionally worn my father’s medal and used the ‘v.’ initial to honor his struggle against totalitarianism,” Gorka said.

The 46-year-old Gorka is a member of Trump’s Strategic Initiatives group, alongside Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon. He previously worked for Bannon as the National Security Affairs editor of Brietbart from 2014 to 2016.

Here’s a look at Gorka.


1. Vitézi Rend Leaders Say Gorka Is a ‘Sworn Member’ of the Group, Which Is Linked to the Nazis

Leaders of the Vitezi Rend (or Order of Vitez in English) group told Foreward.com that Gorka is a “sowrn member.” The site notes that the State Department considers the group as “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II.

The group was established in 1920 by Miklos Horthy, who was the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1920 to 1944 and cooperated with the Nazi government. After the war, the Order of Vitez was one of the pro-Hitler groups banned.

On the night of Trump’s inauguration on January 20, Gorka was seen wearing the badge of the Order of Vitez, a medal that was formally abolished by the Hungarian government by 1948. Gorka’s father received one from Hungarian exiles in 1979 and Gorka has claimed that he wears it to honor the memory of his father, who fled Hungary.

Leaders of the group told Forward.com that he took a lifelong oath of loyalty to the group. The site contacted Gorka for a comment, but he never responded.

Buzzfeed contacted Gorka. “Send a request to White House press,” he told the site.

When asked why Gorka didn’t just tell Forward.com that the allegations were false, a source told TabletMag.com, “These guys genuinely believed that the allegations were so blatantly false and so aggressively poorly-sourced, that no responsible journalist would ever publish them. Is Seb Gorka, whose family literally bears the scars of anti-fascist fights, a secret Nazi cultist? Come on now.”

Recently, Vitezi Rend has made a comeback, and there are actually two parties in Hungary that claim to be heirs to the group, Foreward.com notes. Gorka belonged to the one called “Historical Vitezi Rend,” which isn’t violent, but still follows the nationalist views of the original group.

“This administration has staff with shockingly anti-Semitic pasts and it is hard to imagine that they have nothing to do with the horrifically weak reactions to anti-Semitic hate crimes that we see coming from this administration,” Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, told Buzzfeed. “That Sebastian Gorka cannot even deny that he has links with a Nazi-affiliated group is symptomatic of the grotesque anti-Semitism that has infected the Trump White House.”

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2. Gorka Says He Wears the Medal to ‘Remind Myself Where I Came From’

In an interview with Brietbart Gorka said that he doesn’t wear the medal linked to Vitezi Rend because he’s a Nazi sympathizer. It’s to remind him of his parents, who fled Hungary to the U.K. during the communist regime.

“I’m a proud American now and I wear that medal now and again. Why?” Gorka, who has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2012, told Brietbart. “To remind myself of where I came from, what my parents suffered under both the Nazis and the Communists, and to help me in my work today because as far as I’m concerned, groups like the Islamist State, like Al Qaeda — they’re just another kind of totalitarian. They’re not Communists, they’re not Nazis, but they will enslave or kill you if you disagree with them.”

In February, Brietbart also ran a headline calling attempts to label Gorka as a Nazi sympathizer “fake news.” The site’s post was written specifically in response to a blog post by Eli Clifton.

After Gorka’s response was published, Clifton and his editors later updated the post. “Gorka evidently felt compelled today to respond (via Breitbart) indirectly to our post here about his public display of a Vitezi Rend medal at an inaugural ball and on other occasions,” the note reads. “We want to make clear that we respect his devotion to his parents and the commemoration of their experience and suffering. But we in turn are compelled to ask why his father joined a group with a known history of anti-Semitism and collaboration with the Nazis.”

Foreward.com noted in a previous article in February that Gorka did have ties to nationalist politicians in Hungary and was very active in the anti-government protests in 2006.

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3. Gorka Endorses Trump’s Use of ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ & Wrote ‘Defeating Jihad’

Gorka’s views mark a dramatic turn from the views of previous administrations. He endorses Trump’s use of the phrase “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” While the Bush and Obama administrations tried to frame the War on Terror as a war against terrorists, not Islam, Gorka doesn’t see it that way. In 2016, he wrote the book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War.

“Our enemy is the global jihadi movement, a modern totalitarian ideology rooted in the doctrines and martial history of Islam,” the synopsis for the book reads. “Taking his cue from the formerly top-secret analyses that shaped the U.S. response to the communist threat, Dr. Gorka has produced a compelling profile of the jihadi movement—its mind and motivation—and a plan to defeat it.”

“As the president said, we will ‘obliterate’ groups like ISIS and wipe the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth,” Gorka told the Washington Times in February.

Gorka was also excited to hear Trump use the phrase “Radical Islamic Terrorism” during the inauguration. “When he used those three words today — radical Islamic terrorism — he put the marker down for the whole national security establishment,” Gorka said on Fox News, notes the Washington Post.

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4. Gorka’s Colleagues Question His Credentials as a ‘Counterterrism Expert’

The rest of the counterterrorism community has an overall negative view of Gorka, criticizing his credentials and wondering how he could be considered an expert on Islam. Gorka has been known to not take this criticism lightly. For example, in February, Newsweek obtained a recording of Gorka threatening to sue terrorism expert Michael S. Smith II, a Republican, for criticizing Gorka on Twitter. Gorka never responded to comment on the Newsweek story.

“I was like a deer in the headlights,” Smith told Newsweek. “I thought it was a prank. He began by threatening me with a lawsuit.”

Smith further explained, “Gorka asserted my tweets about him merited examination by the White House legal counsel. In effect, he was threatening to entangle me in a legal battle for voicing my concerns on Twitter that he does not possess expertise sufficient to assist the president of the United States with formulating and guiding national security policies.”

Gorka himself does use Twitter, but mostly retweets members of the Trump Administration.

“It’s always personal, always ad hominem,” he said told the Washington Times. “That tells you all you need to know about the other side’s true weakness. They can’t win on the merits of their case, so they ‘play the man, not the ball.’”

Gorka does have a Ph.D. in political science and studied at the University of London and the Corvinus University of Budapest. Before joining the Trump administration, he was a faculty member at Georgetown University.

“He thinks the government and intelligence agencies don’t know anything about radicalization, but the government knows a lot and thinks he’s nuts,” former CIA analyst Cindy Storer told the Washington Post.

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Donald Trump has picked David Shulkin, an Obama appointee, to be the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Here’s a look at his life and career.

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5. Gorka’s Wife Katharine Has Also Been Accused of Islamophobia

In July 1996, Gorka married Katharine Fairfax Cornell, according to a New York Times wedding announcement. Katharine’s father is M. Keen Cornell, president of Cornell Iron Works. She even wrote a book about the company’s history.

Katherine has also written for Brietbart and was an adviser on Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. She’s the president of the think tank Council on Global Security. Despite her work with Cruz, Katharine was a member of the Trump transition team.

Like her husband, Katherine has been accused of being Islamophobic. Many of her work on Brietbart focused on Islam.

In a 2014 piece, she defended the five Republican members of Congress who were criticized for calling for an investigation of possible “Muslim Brotherhood influence operations in the Obama administration.” She suggested that a 2014 New York Times article even indirectly confirmed the conspiracy theories.

“If members of Congress or the Department of Justice decide to dig deeper into this issue, their investigation cannot stop at influence-buying of US think tanks but must look into every aspect of America’s national security apparatus,” Katherine wrote.

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Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster met with President Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago and has been announced as his new National Security Adviser.

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Donald Trump Budget Cuts: What Do the 19 Agencies Cut Do?

Donald Trump, with members of his cabinet behind him, gives Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney a pen after signing an executive order on March 13. (Getty)

On March 16, President Donald Trump unveiled his proposed 2018 budget. It likely won’t be implemented in exactly the way he and his director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, dream it will be, but it does paint a clear picture of the administration’s priorities. In addition to cuts to all departments in the government but defense, the president is also proposing to stop funding to 19 independent agencies.

There has been an uproar over Trump’s targeting of the arts, cutting funding for the National Endowment of the Arts and Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. But Trump also wants to cut funding to the Chemical Safety Board and regional agencies like the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority. Many of these agencies have annual budgets less than $200 million, notes the Washington Post.

The budget as proposed will likely not be implemented as is because it has to pass through Congress. It’s only a proposal, showing how the president wants to spend taxpayer money in the future. The 2018 federal budget will not be in place until the start of the U.S. government’s 2018 fiscal year begins in October 2017.

Here’s a look at what these 19 agencies do.


African Development Foundation – This foundation was created in 1980 and began operations in 1984. The agency gives grants for up to $250,000 to communities and small businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its budget for 2017 is $28.2 million.

Appalachian Regional Commission – This is a commission set up to promote the economy in the Appalachian region, which stretches from Southwest New York through Mississippi and includes all of West Virginia and the majority of Pennsylvania. It has a $146 million budget.

Donald Trump budget, Donald Trump budget cuts, Donald Trump 2017 budget

PRES CEO Paula Kerger. (Getty)

Chemical Safety Board – The mission of the Chemical Safety Board is to lead independent investigations into chemical incidents and hazards, as well as promote chemical safety. It requested a $12.436 million budget for the 2017 fiscal year.

Corporation for National and Community Service – This is by far the largest agency Trump is proposing be cut in its entirety. The agency promotes community service across the country and requested a $1.1 billion budget for 2017 in an effort to meet President Barack Obama’s goal to get more Americans involved in their communities.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting – This is the most high-profile target for Trump’s budget cuts. It provides funding for NPR and PBS, as well as local public broadcasters, who take in the majority of the grants handed out. The CPB receives $445.5 million a year and has been an annual target for Conservative Republicans. The CPB says that half of its $445.5 million budget goes to grants for local public TV stations.

Delta Regional Authority – The Delta Regional Authority is much like its counterpart in Appalachia, but covers the states along the banks of the Mississippi River. It has a $25 million budget.

Denali Commission – This regional agency is for Alaska, helping to build that state’s infrastructure. It has a $20 million budget.

Institute of Museum and Library Services – President Obama requested a $230 million budget of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This agency helps fund local libraries and museums.

Inter-American Foundation – This is another foreign relations agency Trump wants to cut. It focuses on grants for non-governmental organizations throughout Latin America. Its budget is $22 million.

U.S. Trade and Development AgencyThis agency is key to promoting American exports around the world and helping to build the infrastructure to make sure the exports get to where they’re going. It has a $60 million budget.

Donald Trump budget, Donald Trump budget cuts, Donald Trump 2017 budget

Miami artist Claudio Roncoli is among the many recipients of a NEA grant. (Getty)

Legal Services Corporation – This is an agency that has been around since the Nixon administration and helps the poor and veterans have access to legal representation and assistance. It is one of the larger agencies Trump has targeted, with a $375 million budget.

National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities – These two agencies each have $145 million budgets. The goal of the NEA is to promote arts and culture through grants, while the NEH provides grants for arts education.

Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation – This agency‘s budget is $175 million. Also known as NeighborWorks America, the agency has local groups in every state, as well as Puerto Rico, that help lower-income people and communities. Trump has also proposed cutting Meals on Wheels funding.

Northern Border Regional Commission – This is another regional agency and it covers counties in Upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and most of Maine that are along the U.S.-Canada border. Its budget is $8 million.

Overseas Private Investment CorporationThis agency is focused on promoting U.S. investment in third-world countries. It has an $83.5 million budget.

Donald Trump budget, Donald Trump budget cuts, Donald Trump 2017 budget

Wilson Center CEO Jane Harman with David Petraeus at a 2016 summit. (Getty)

United States Institute of Peace – This agency was created by a law signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 to produce analyses of international crises. It has a $35 million budget. Strangely enough, back in 2011, Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz and then-Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner joined forces to push for the USIP’s federal funds to be dropped.

United States Interagency Council on HomelessnessThis agency has one goal in mind – helping the homeless. The group has a $4 million budget.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for ScholarsThe Wilson Center is a trust that acts as a think tank, conducting “its own original research on many of the most pressing major global issues and has unique expertise on countries and regions around the world.” In his 2017 budget, President Obama requested $10.4 million for the center.

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Mick Mulvaney represents South Carolina’s fifth Congressional district, but he’s got a new job: White House Budget Director for Donald Trump.

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Drake’s Top 5 Rap Feuds

When you’re at the top, people want to tear you down.

This is a lesson that Drake has learned over the years, as the Canadian emcee has been forced to deal with the wrath of several of his peers. From perceived love interests to subliminal shots fired on record, Drake’s catalogue of rap feuds is one to nearly rival that of his collaborative history– often times, with those same names overlapping. And with the upcoming release of his playlist project More Life, we decided now would be a good time to revisit them.

Since this list is comprised of “rap” feuds, that does leave off performers like Diddy and Chris Brown— both of whom had personal altercations with Drake, and didn’t air out their beef on record. We are also excluding feuds that were made up of rumor than they were hard evidence, i.e. the alleged Eminem beef in 2013 that never really went anywhere. So, now that the ground rules have been laid down, let’s get our bulletproof vests on and begin.


1. Jay-Z

Since they first collaborated on 2009’s “Off That,” Drake and Jay-Z have had a tentative relationship. The rap superstars have never overtly direct about their issues on record, but have spent the last six years airing them out through subliminal disses, shade-throwing interviews, and a general ambiguity as to whether they are friends or frienemies. Drake threatened to take the throne in 2011’s “I’m On One.” Jay threw shots back at him on his own instrumental with 2014’s “We Made It Freestyle,” and Drake responded with “Draft Day” later that year. It’s a back-and-forth the two have continued well into the present day, as Jay’s verse on “Shining” and Drake’s recent interview with DJ Semtex exemplifies.

When asked about Jay’s two-line cameo on his 2016 single “Pop Style,” Drake neglected to answer whether they had reconciled. According to him, the cameo was Kanye West’s idea, and the fact that Drake opted to go with a solo version of the song on his album suggests that he and Jay are still far from being cool. “I’ve expressed my admiration and respect for Jay countless times,” Drake told Beats 1 Radio, “[But] sometimes we just fall on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the rap world.” Read more about their history here.

WINNER: TBD


2. Common

When Common first started beef with Drake in 2011, it was reportedly over the rapper’s perceived softness. This was the focus of the diss record “Sweet,” where Common dished out lines like “Some ho-a*s n*ggas/Singing all around me man, la la la/You ain’t motherf**kin’ Frank Sinatra.” Being that this was the first time Drake had been personally called out by another rapper, as he recounted to HipHopDX in 2013: “I reacted in a very poised way. First of all, I made sure it would run in the club because that’s more painful than anything. As opposed to just being on a blog, I wanted to be on a record that you would have to stand around and hear every night for a few months. That was my whole strategy going into that.”

Drake fired back at Common with a guest verse on Rick Ross‘ “Stay Schemin,” which became a street hit and all but swayed the feud in his favor. Common hopped on the same instrumental for a response, but with Drake lyrics like “It bothers me when the gods get to actin’ like the broads,” and “Back when if a ni**a reached it was for the weapon/ Nowadays ni**as reach just to sell they record,” the beef was over. Common later admitted to MTV that his words were partially inspired by Drake’s relationship with Serena Williams (whom Common had previously dated), but that didn’t stop the rap vet from taking an L.

WINNER: Drake


3. The Weeknd

Drake took The Weeknd under his wing in 2011, promoting the singer’s debut mixtape House of Balloons and giving him multiple guest spots on his Grammy winning album Take Care. Still, as time went on, The Weeknd (born Abel Tesfaye) felt slighted by the arrangement between him and Drake, saying that he was being stifled as an artist. “I gave up almost half of my album. It’s hard,” he told Rolling Stone, “I will always be thankful—if it wasn’t for the light he shined on me, who knows where I’d be. And everything happens for a reason. You never know what I would say if this success wasn’t in front of me now.”

Drake felt some of way about the artistic severing, and took subliminal shots at The Weeknd on his 2013 song “5AM In Toronto.” The line “Cause I show love, never get the same outta n—as/ It’s funny how money can make change outta n—as” was seen as a direct reference to The Weeknd, who responded with his own subliminals on the song “Sidewalks.” In a happy turn of events, however, it looks as though the two have squashed their beef and made up. The Weeknd is even set to appear on More Life.

WINNER: Draw


4. Kendrick Lamar

It all started with a guest verse. Kendrick Lamar‘s scene-stealing turn on “Control” took the world by storm in 2013, as he called himself the King of both coasts and called out several rappers–Drake included– by name. The Canadian rapper was initially indifferent, but by the time he released “The Language” a few months later, it was obvious that he didn’t appreciate the name drop. “F–k any ni–a that’s talking sh-t just to get a reaction / f–k going platinum, I looked at my wrist and it’s already platinum,” he rapped. Lamar came even harder at the 2013 BET Cypher (watch below), where he mentions tucking a “sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes.”

The feud caused a mass divide in the culture, as fans were forced to choose between the crossover appeal of Drake and the hardened lyricism of Kendrick Lamar. It wasn’t long before things settled down, however, as Drake buried the hatchet, despite what many thought was a subliminal attack from Lamar in the 2015 song “Darkside/Gone.” For right now, this epic battle lies dormant. As for who’s currently winning, we may have to give the nod to K. Dot on this one.

WINNER: Kendrick Lamar


5. Meek Mill

Drake’s feud with Meek Mill has been the most discussed of his entire career. The two emcees had a friendly relationship in the past, collaborating on songs like “Amen” and “R.I.C.O,” but Mill reportedly took offense when Drake didn’t promote his album Dreams Worth More Than Money (2015). Mill hopped on Twitter and caused a media firestorm when he claimed that Drake didn’t write his own raps, and instead relied on ghostwriter Quentin Miller: “If I woulda knew I woulda took it off my album….. I don’t trick my fans! Lol.” Drake didn’t appreciate the call out, and released the ominous, subliminal-laden diss record “Charged Up” not long after. It went over decently, but many felt that a strong rebuttle from Mill could sway things his way.

A week went by with no new Meek Mill, and Drake decided to follow up his jab with the verbal knockout that was “Back to Back.” It was obvious with lyrics like “Trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers/You gettin’ bodied by a singin’ n*gga,” that Drizzy had all but solidified his victory. By the time Mill clapped back with the lukewarm “Wanna Know,” his rap tombstone was already etched. It’s no coincidence that his career has been one filled with beef and controversy ever since.

WINNER: Drake

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Downtown Raleigh Fire: Photos & Videos From the Scene

A massive five-alarm fire overtook and engulfed parts of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina on March 16.

According to the Raleigh Police Department, one minor injury was reported as a result of the fire.

The blaze reportedly started at an apartment complex that was under construction near 300 West North St.

Raleigh fire chief John McGrath said that there hasn’t been a fire in downtown as big since the 1920s.

Crews worked frantically to try to calm the blaze, and finally gained control after midnight.

Here are shocking photos and videos from the scene:


A Crane at a Construction Site Collapsed Because of the Flames


Firefighters Tried to Put Out the Blaze, But It Continued to Grow


A Video Shows the Moments After the Metropolitan Apartment Complex Project Lit on Fire


The Fire Reportedly Covered About 2.5 Blocks


Cars & Emergency Crews Fled From the Area to Avoid the Danger


The Blaze Was So Large & Hot That Its Smoke Particles Show Up on Radar

This post will be updated.

LIVE STREAM: Massive Fire Engulfs Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh is currently on fire as crews try to put out a massive blaze in the downtown area. Watch the live news coverage from the scene.

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