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Gunman kills 21 in Texas school shooting

WASHINGTON, May 25: The teenage gunman, identified by the Texas police as the suspect in the shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, went from classroom to classroom, killing at least 19 students and two adults, said officials.

Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two was a teacher.

The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. He acted alone and was killed by law enforcement.

The massacre at Robb Elementary School in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a US grade school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.

Investigators believe Ramos posted photos on Instagram of two guns he used in the shooting, and they were examining whether he made statements online alluding to the attack in the hours before the assault, a law enforcement official said.

Law enforcement officers were serving multiple search warrants Tuesday night and gathering telephone and other records, the official said. Investigators were also attempting to contact Ramos’ relatives and were tracing the firearms.

The attack began at about 11.30 am (10.30 pm IST) when the gunman crashed his car outside the school and ran into the building, according to Travis Considine, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. A resident who heard the crash called 911, and two local police officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter.

Both officers were shot, though it was not immediately clear where on the campus that confrontation occurred, or how much time elapsed before more authorities arrived on the scene.

Meanwhile, teams of Border Patrol agents raced to the school, including 10 to 15 members of a SWAT-like tactical and counter-terrorism unit, said Jason Owens, a top regional official with the Border Patrol.

One Border Patrol agent who was working nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school without waiting for backup and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk about it.

The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, the law enforcement source said. Owens confirmed that an agent suffered minor injuries, but would not provide details of that confrontation.

The gunman was wearing body armour and was reportedly armed with a handgun, an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Texas senator Roland Gutierrez said Ramos shot his grandmother before heading to the school with two military-style rifles he had purchased on his birthday. “That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” said Gutierrez.

Officials did not immediately reveal a motive, but the Texas governor identified the assailant as Salvador Ramos and said he was a resident of the community about 135 kilometres west of San Antonio.

10 dead in mass shooting in New York, suspect arrested

NEW YORK, May 16: The United States witnessed two mass shootings within 48 hours, one of which was confirmed as racially motivated.

In the Buffalo supermarket shooting, the gunman, identified as a white 18-year-old man, killed 10 and wounded three, most of them Black. He even live-streamed the shooting to a small audience on Twitch.

On Sunday, a gunman went on a rampage at a church near Los Angeles, killing one and leaving four others in "critical" condition, as per the officials. Police said that the churchgoers detained the shooter and "hogtied his legs with an extension cord and confiscated at least two weapons" before officers arrived to apprehend him.

Here's what we know so far about the two shootings:

The suspected gunman in the Buffalo shooting has been identified as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York. A document circulated widely online seemingly outlines the gunman's racist, anti-immigrant and antisemitic beliefs. It suggests that Gendron wanted to drive all people not of European descent from the US.

In portions of the video circulating online, the gunman, at one point, aimed his weapon at a white person but says "Sorry!" and doesn't shoot.

According to reports, Gendron, as a 17-year-old, had threatened to carry out a shooting at Susquehanna Valley High School around the time of graduation last year. He was sent for mental health treatment and was out of the hospital within a day and a half.

In the California church shooting, the suspected gunman was believed to be an Asian adult male in his 60s and the victims were mostly Asian and mostly of Taiwanese descent. Investigators were still searching for a motive, Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock told a press conference.

Officials were still sorting through the timeline and details with the witnesses who were inside the building. With the investigation still in its early stages, police said the many unanswered questions include whether the assailant was known to church members and how many shots were fired.

Muslims being targeted with violence around the world: Biden

WASHINGTON, May 3: Around the world, Muslims are being targeted with violence, US President Joe Biden said on Monday asserting that Muslims make America stronger every single day even as they still face real challenges and threats in the society that they live in.

At a White House reception to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, Biden said he has appointed the first Muslim to serve as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

“It’s especially important because today, around the world, we’re seeing so many Muslims being targeted with violence. No one, no one should discriminate against oppressed or be oppressed for their religious beliefs,” he said to applause from the select gathering at the White House.

Arooj Aftab, a Pakistani vocalist and composer, was one of the speakers at the event along with First Lady Jill Biden and Dr. Talib M. Shareef, Imam of Masjid Muhammad, known as ‘The Nation’s Mosque’ in Washington, DC.

“Today, we also remember all those who are not able to celebrate this holy day, including Uyghurs and Rohingyas and all those who are facing famine, violence, conflict, and disease,” Biden said.

“And honour the signs of hope and progress toward the world we want to see, including the ceasefire, which allowed the people in Yemen to honour Ramadan and celebrate Eid in peace for the first time in six years,” he added.

“But at the same time, we have to acknowledge that an awful lot of work remains to be done abroad and here at home. Muslims make our nation stronger every single day, even as they still face real challenges and threats in our society, including targeted violence and Islamophobia that exists,” he said.

Biden said, making the US more equitable, more inclusive for Muslim Americans is an essential part of the enduring work to form the more perfect union.

“We’re the only nation in all the history of the world that’s been organised not based on a religion, race, ethnicity, geography, but on an idea. Think about that. An idea,” he said.

In a tweet after the event, Biden said, “Jill and I were honoured to host an Eid al-Fitr reception at the White House tonight, and we send our warmest greetings to everyone celebrating across the world. Eid Mubarak!”

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris too wished people on the occasion.

“Doug and I send our warmest wishes to all who are celebrating Eid al-Fitr. Muslims in the US and around the world celebrate after a month of deep reflection, helping those in need, and connecting with community. From our family to yours, Eid Mubarak!” she said in a tweet.

Indian-Origin Man Appointed CIA's First Tech Officer

WASHINGTON, May 1: Nand Mulchandani, an Indian-origin man who studied at a Delhi school, has been appointed the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) first-ever Chief Technology Officer. The announcement for the coveted position was made by Director William J Burns in a blog post and also shared on social media.

As per the statement by the CIA, Mulchandani has over 25 years of experience working in Silicon Valley as well as the Department of Defense (DoD). It added that Mulchandani “brings substantial private sector, startup, and government expertise to CIA”.

Sharing the development, Burns said, “Since my confirmation, I have prioritized focusing on technology and the new CTO position is a very important part of that effort. I am delighted Nand has joined our team and will bring his extensive experience to this crucial new role.”

In his role as the CTO, Mulchandani will ensure that the Agency is leveraging cutting-edge innovations, the statement said. Additionally, “scanning the horizon for tomorrow's innovations to further the CIA's mission” will also be on Mulchandani's agenda as the CTO.

Following a degree in Computer Science and Math from Cornell, Mulchandani pursued a Master of Science degree in Management from Stanford as well as a Master in Public Administration degree from Harvard. Before his new role at the CIA, Mulchandani served as the CTO and Acting Director of DoD's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

He has co-founded and served as the CEO of several successful startups such as Oblix (acquired by Oracle), Determina (acquired by VMWare), OpenDNS (acquired by Cisco), and ScaleXtreme (acquired by Citrix).

Muchandani studied at Delhi's Bluebells School International between 1979-1987.

Speaking about his appointment, Mulchandani said, “I am honoured to join CIA in this role and look forward to working with the Agency's incredible team of technologists and domain experts who already deliver world-class intelligence and capabilities to help build a comprehensive technology strategy that delivers exciting capabilities working closely with industry and partners.”

 

 

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