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Appearing on MSNBC's "The Katie Phang Show," a retired NYPD detective expressed disgust with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over his attempts to dismiss the idea of new gun laws to protect children in schools and instead is insisting America needs to turn schools into fortresses.
In interviews and appearing at the NRA convention this weekend in Houston, Cruz has vociferously disregarded the easy availability of high-powered weapons and instead focused on a door that was left open at the elementary school where the shooting occurred.
After host Phang shared a clip of the Texas Republican making his case, she asked former law enforcement detective Marq Claxton his thoughts on what Cruz was proposing.
Calling the controversial senator "boldly ignorant," he proceeded to rip Cruz's proposal apart.
"Marq, I was a prosecutor for half my career, I never prosecuted somebody for leaving a door open. How absurd is this proposal by Ted Cruz that the solution is to make sure that we don't have too many doors at our schools?' host Phang asked.
"Ted Cruz's statements were boldly ignorant and dismissive of the clear obvious danger that is faced by so many people in society because of the prevalence of violence and gun violence in particular," he replied. "It really shows just how so many political electeds lack the fortitude to move forward and do the right thing: save lives."
"Instead of sloganeering, Mr.Cuz and his other elected colleagues really should be working on legislation that provides, or minimizes the risk of damage, and could quite possibly and probably save lives," he continued. "That is some additional gun restrictions, some background checks, there are other things that are out there that will undoubtedly be effective and save lives, and prevent these gun violence deaths."
Watch the segment below or at this link.
MSNBC 05 28 2022 07 23 35 youtu.be
'Taking us all for fools': Critics slam Greg Abbott’s defense of his actions in wake of school shooting
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement's widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being "misled."
"I am livid about what happened," Abbott declared, blaming others for his "recitation of what people in that room told me."
"I was misled ... the information that I was given turned out in part to be inaccurate. And I'm absolutely livid about that" -- Greg Abbott on his initial false statement portraying Uvalde first responders as heroes pic.twitter.com/dUIdxnicjm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 27, 2022
Critics aren't buying his claims.
Abbott, who's in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.
“Let's be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all," Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune's Sewell Chan noted.
"No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.
"The answers fell pretty flat," opined MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers "stood outside and did nothing," which was 47 minutes.
Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying "unbelievable."
Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: "Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn't have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system."
Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott's remarks.
"No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children," Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott's announcement an anonymous donor is putting up $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.
Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it's been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:
.@GregAbbott_TX responding to a question on long rifles "it seems like only in the past decade or two we have had school shootings." Governor, the assault weapons ban ended in 2004. See the connection? You have actively helped to sell millions of weapons since then.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 27, 2022
And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic "killing machines."
"The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you're talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn't have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then. He can easily make a distinction and say, 'you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here's an assault-style rifle.'"
"If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he's taking us all for fools."
German judges and experts have arrived at the edge of a melting glacier high up in the Peruvian Andes to examine a complaint made by a local farmer who accuses energy giant RWE of threatening his home by contributing to global warming.
The visit by the nine-member delegation to the region is the latest stage in a case the plaintiffs hope will set a new worldwide precedent.
Leading the demand for "climate justice" is 41-year-old Peruvian farmer Saul Luciano Lliuya, who lives in the mountains close to the city of Huaraz.
He has filed suit against the German firm RWE, saying its greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for the melting of nearby glaciers.
The trip was ordered by the Higher Regional Court in the northern German city of Hamm, where Lliuya submitted his claim against RWE, having previously had his case dismissed by another court in Essen.
The delegation must determine what risk the melting glaciers pose to the city of Huaraz and its 120,000 inhabitants below the Palcacocha glacier.
"We want the RWE company to be held responsible for environmental damages," Lliuya, a farmer and tourist guide supported by the German environmental NGO Germanwatch, told AFP.
"In general they have polluted all over the world and with this claim we are trying to do something," added Lliuya.
RWE operates in 27 countries in the world, including Chile and Brazil, but not Peru.
The claim "was rejected in the first instance because it did not have any legal basis and did not respect German civil law," RWE spokesman Guido Steffen told AFP.
"We are confident this will happen again with the appeal."
RWE insists that "according to law, individual emitters are not responsible for universal processes, that are effectively global, such as climate change."
Lliuya and Germanwatch met during the COP20 climate change conference in Lima in 2014, after which the German NGO's activists traveled to Huaraz to discuss a potential claim in Germany.
Lliuya says his greatest fear is that the melting glaciers result in the Palcacocha lake overflowing.
At an altitude of 4,650 meters (15,000 feet), the huge blue-turquoise lake sits below the Palcaraju and Pucaranra glaciers in the Huascaran national park, and could flood Huaraz below if it bursts its banks.
"As a farmer and citizen I don't want these glaciers to disappear, they're important," said Lliuya.
But he says he feels "impotent" because "you know you're in a risk zone and there are businesses and industries that have caused this."
Lliuya owns a half hectare "chacra" -- the Quechua word for a small farmstead -- on the slopes of the mountain.
He owns chickens and sheep and grows corn and quinoa.
Lliuya lives a modest life with his wife and two children. Their kitchen has few utensils and a wide tree trunk that serves as the dining table.
He is also afraid that a drought in the underground aquifers could threaten local agriculture and Huaraz's water provisions.
Battle in German courts
The case against RWE was brought in 2015 and the German company won at the first instance the following year. But in 2017, the court in Hamm agreed to hear the case.
The visit by experts, which was ordered in 2019, was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Germanwatch and Lliuya want RWE to pay for the costs to protect Huaraz from any eventual flooding.
"This case refers to our historic emissions of greenhouse gases, and we have always complied with governmental limits, including our carbon dioxide emissions," says RWE, which has stated a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040.
Peru has lost 51 percent of its glaciers over the last 50 years, the national water authority said in 2020.
Noah Walker-Crawford, a climate change researcher at University College London (UCL) and Germanwatch analyst, told AFP that 1,800 people died in 1941 when Palcacocha flooded Huaraz due to a glacial avalanche.
Since then, the volume of Palcacocha dropped by 96 percent over three decades.
"But then, due to the rapid recession of the glaciers due to global warming, the lake has grown rapidly," said Walker-Crawford.
© 2022 AFP