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University of California at Santa Barbara begins ‘day of mourning’ for shooting victims

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By Dana Feldman

SANTA BARBARA Calif. (Reuters) – Students at the University of California at Santa Barbara returned to campus for a “day of mourning” on Tuesday, four days after the son of a Hollywood film director killed six students in a stabbing and shooting rampage across the seaside community.

The university canceled classes for Tuesday, the first day since the killings on Friday that the campus would have been open, but faculty were asked to be on hand to meet with distraught students.

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A memorial service for the six students who were slain on Friday night was scheduled for afternoon and eight large blackboards were erected on a street corner in the community of Isla Vista, near the campus, where students were encouraged to write messages in chalk.

“All of my friends are very strongly affected by this,” said William Tobolowsky, a 20-year-old microbiology major at UCSB. “Isla Vista is a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone to a certain extent.”

“It’s important that everyone has the opportunity to be sad and upset,” he said. “It’s important to have a day dedicated to it so we have time to reflect.”

Police say 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, the son of “Hunger Games” assistant director Peter Rodger, stabbed his two roommates and another young man to death in his Isla Vista apartment, then shot and killed three people near the campus before turning the gun on himself.

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All six of his victims, two women and four men, were between the ages of 19 and 22 and were students at the UCSB. Another 13 people were wounded, including eight who were shot by Rodger as he sped through town in his black BMW, exchanging gunfire with police.

Officers found Rodger, who was bent on revenge against women he believed had snubbed him sexually, dead in his car with three legally purchased pistols and some 400 rounds of ammunition.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials have acknowledged that deputies had visited Rodger at his apartment weeks before the shooting at the request of his mother, who had been disturbed by videos he posted online, but left after he assured them he meant no harm.

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Recounting that visit in a manifesto he sent to friends and relatives shortly before the shooting, Rodger said that if the deputies at his door had searched his room, they would have found the firearms and denied him the chance to carry out his violent plans.

That disclosure has led some to question whether police, who say they could not have searched the young man’s apartment without a warrant, could have done more to prevent the attacks.

“When it got to the point that the parents called the police, it makes me wonder if the police even looked at the videos,” neighbor Chris Pollard, 22, told Reuters. “If they’d looked at the videos, they could’ve done some sort of court order to do a search warrant.”

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(Writing and additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by G Crosse and Cynthia Johnston)


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‘Conspiracy, extortion and bribery’: Ex-prosecutor ticks off crimes Trump and Rudy may have committed with Ukraine gambit

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On MSNBC Saturday, former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah laid out all the ways that President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani could be breaking federal law with their apparent scheme to push Ukraine into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Extortion, conspiracy to engage in extortion, and violating federal election law," said host Alex Witt. "Do you agree with all those premises?"

"I do, Alex, and I would add one to that, which is federal bribery," said Rocah. "Here, Trump essentially was trying to get the Ukrainian president to bribe him, give him information about his political opponent in exchange for aid to the country. So, that is soliciting a bribe. And you know, look, we can get into this more. Obviously, this is my area of expertise, whether something violates federal criminal laws, but I do worry that we're going down a path that we went down with the Mueller investigation, because for the president of the United States, that is not the standard."

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Giuliani’s public invitation to Ukraine to interfere in US elections opened the door for other countries to run to Trump

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President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani turned heads with his bizarre, unhinged rant on national television that effectively urged Ukraine to continue trying to gather dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden — and for news outlets to take whatever they find seriously.

As Casey Michel wrote in The Daily Beast, even if this effort ultimately fails to turn up useful opposition research against Biden, this is a profoundly dangerous development for American democracy.

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Trump whistleblower needs to go directly to FBI because Bill Barr can’t be trusted: Ex-FBI director

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Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi blew up Donald Trump's claim that he is the victim of a "Ukraine Witchhunt."

He then added that the whistleblower who went to the inspector general with a serious charge against the president should take what he has and go to the FBI within a week if nothing happens.

"We've got to get to the bottom of this, and we can't rely on leaks and certain reporters getting certain tidbits of information," the ex-FBI man explained. "This needs to be explored and it's likely this could end up in a criminal investigation."

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