Weekend Review: Three Dead After School Shooting in Santa Clarita
Three teenagers are dead after a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California on Thursday morning. Nathaniel Berhow, who was a junior at the school, opened fire and shot five other students before using the last bullet on himself.
A 16-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy were reported dead after being transported to the hospital. Berhow also died on Friday from his self-inflicted wound. Three other victims required treatment but are expected to survive.
Berhow produced the gun from his backpack on the quad of the high school where students gathered to study, opening fire for 16 terrifying seconds. Witnesses report that Berhow seemed to be shooting other students at random.
No motive is known as he has not been linked to a diary or any hate groups or ideologies. Berhow carried out the shooting on his own 16th birthday. A friend reported that the day before, Berhow was “totally normal, cracking jokes as usual.” He was on the cross-country team, was a Boy Scout, and a good student and athlete according to accounts from those who knew him.
However, Berhow’s father passed away suddenly in December 2017 and that was something the teenager reportedly still struggled with.
It is yet unclear how Berhow obtained the .45-caliber handgun used in the shooting, though authorities reported finding numerous unregistered firearms in the home where he lived.
Roger Stone Guilty on Seven Counts
On Friday, longtime Republican consultant and Trump confidant Roger Stone was found guilty of all seven charges brought against him, including witness tampering and making false statements. Stone is the sixth Trump associate to be found guilty on charges which were catalyzed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Stone was accused by prosecutors of intimidating a witness via text and email, even threatening to take the man’s dog at one point. Randy Credico, a radio talk show host, testified and read emails aloud in which Stone claims his lawyers were “dying to rip (Credico) to shreds.“
Stone, who is 67, faces up to 20 years in prison and his sentencing is scheduled for February. He was arrested during a January raid and accused of lying to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 regarding his relationship with WikiLeaks.
Stone’s service to the Republican party extends back to Nixon’s presidency and his friendship with Trump has lasted decades. Following the announcement of the verdict, the president took to Twitter to accuse many others, including Hillary Clinton and Robert Mueller, of lying. Trump did not deny that Stone had lied, as accused.
Public Impeachment Hearings Underway
The first week of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against Trump has concluded. Multiple witnesses testified to hearing a call between the president and US envoy to the EU, Gordon Sondland, in which they spoke of investigations.
According to multiple accounts, Trump was instructing Sondland to help convince Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was also involved in establishing a confidential channel for discussing foreign policy with Ukraine.
Witnesses also testified that approval of suspended military aid to Ukraine was understood to be contingent on the Ukrainian president announcing the opening of investigations. Officials also questioned why Sondland was involved in foreign policy with Ukraine, as it is not a part of the EU, and suggested he was behind the development of an abnormal diplomatic process which allowed Giuliani to be included.
During anticipated testimony from the former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Trump tweeted an inflammatory message about the witness, who then admitted to being “very intimidated” by the tweets.
Yovanovitch alleged that she was fired because she was viewed as an obstacle in achieving Trump’s desired relationship with Ukraine. She reported a “smear campaign,” carried out by Trump, Guiliani, and two associates, designed to discredit and replace her.
Fiery Stand-Off Between Protesters and Police in Hong Kong
Anti-government protests in Hong Kong intensified this weekend as demonstrators threw petrol bombs and shot arrows at police. Police were also firing tear gas and a water cannon on protesters.
The police were trying to force the protesters away from a university they had been occupying. Witnesses reported that even as demonstrators were attempting to leave the campus, police were firing tear gas and forcing them to stay.
Police spokesman Louis Lau warned rioters that police would soon “have no choice but to use the minimum force necessary, including live rounds.”
The protests originated over the summer when a plan to extradite citizens of Hong Kong to mainland China was announced but eventually withdrawn. Now, protesters are demanding a better democracy, including investigations into the government and police.
Hong Kong police have routinely been arresting pro-democracy lawmakers and activists and earlier this week arrested more than 250 anti-government protesters.
Flooding in Venice: 3 of the Worst 10 Floods in 100 Years Have Happened in the Last Week
Venice has been hit with three consecutive floods in a week, some of the worst in a century. The city remains flooded and two deaths have been reported due to the conditions.
The city is just above sea level, so high tide frequently brings water into the streets, but the recent floods rank among the worst in Venice’s history. “This is the result of climate change,” Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro claimed on Twitter.