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Washington shooter had no contacts with militant Islamic groups: authorities

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There is no evidence showing that a man charged with five counts of first-degree murder after confessing to a shooting rampage at a shopping mall in Washington state over the weekend had contact with any known Islamic militant groups or individuals, a law enforcement official told Reuters on Monday.

Turkish-born Arcan Cetin, a 20-year-old legal U.S. resident, was advised of the charges against him during a brief hearing in Skagit County District Court in Mount Vernon, Washington, on Monday and ordered held on $2 million bail.

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According to charging documents, Cetin admitted to police investigators that he brought a Ruger .22 caliber rifle into the Macy’s department store at Cascade Mall in Burlington, about 65 miles (105 km) north of Seattle, on Friday evening and fatally shot five people.

Skagit County District Attorney Richard Weyrich declined to discuss a motive for the shootings. But a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told Reuters there was nothing to suggest that Cetin had had contact with any known Islamic militants.

However, the source said Cetin’s motives for the attack were still unclear.

Cetin walked into the Macy’s shortly before 7 p.m. PDT (0200 GMT), gunning down a 16-year-old girl near a clothing rack, then opening fire on the other four victims in the make-up department before placing the gun on a cosmetics counter and walking out, prosecutors said in the court papers.

Representative Rick Larsen said on the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday that the slain girl was high school sophomore Sarai Lara, a cancer survivor.

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Also killed in the attack were Shayla Martin, a 52-year-old Macy’s makeup artist, Boeing employee and father of two Chuck Eagan, retired probation officer Belinda Galde, 64, and her 95-year-old mother, Beatrice Dotson, Larsen said.

Wearing red and blue jail garb and shackled at the waist, Cetin showed no emotion during Monday’s court appearance and spoke only to respond “yes, your honor” several times to the judge.

“It’s a terrible, terrible thing and a terrible tragedy for the whole community,” Weyrich told reporters after the hearing, adding prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty against Cetin.

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The attack follows a series of violent outbursts at shopping centers across the United States, including the stabbing of nine people at the Crossroads Center in Minnesota on Sept. 17. The FBI has said it considers that attack a “potential act of terrorism.”

Cetin was taken into custody without incident Saturday evening after police spotted him near his home in Oak Harbor, 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Burlington.

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According to the charging documents, Cetin initially walked into the mall unarmed, through a Chuck E. Cheese family entertainment and pizza restaurant, then went back to his car to retrieve the rifle from the trunk, moving the car closer to Macy’s.

According to prosecutors, Cetin’s father told them that he and his son had had a falling out recently.

The father said he last saw his son at dinner at about 4:30 p.m. on the day of the shooting and that his rifle, which matched the description of the murder weapon, was missing along with ammunition.

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(Reporting by Tom James; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington, D.C., Eric Johnson in Seattle and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Alan Crosby and Cynthia Osterman)


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Tulsa man shot for making ‘racial derogatory remark’ to random passerby — after being stabbed for the same thing

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According to Tulsa police, a man has been hospitalized after being shot in the back after using a "racial derogatory remark" to another man he encountered while walking home, a local ABC affiliate reports.

No one has been arrested for the crime. Speaking to police, the victim's girlfriend said this was the second time he's been attacked for using racist remarks, the first time being when he was stabbed by someone he racially insulted.

Watch Tulsa 8's report on the story below:

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DOJ argues Congress can’t stop Trump Org from taking foreign payments — despite Constitution’s emoluments clause

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The so-called emoluments clause has been the center of a case that many legal scholars have been making that President Donald Trump is regularly violating the Constitution by continuing to accept payments from foreign governments via his businesses.

The Washington Post reports that an attorney from the Trump Department of Justice argued on Monday that the emoluments clause doesn't actually prevent Trump from accepting payments from foreign governments, even though the clause specifically states that "no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

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Trump unleashes yet another maddening scandal as he opens the door to Saudi Arabian interference

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I don’t often talk about how mad I am. I don’t often talk about how mad I am, because talking often about how mad I am prevents me from speaking clearly and rationally. I want to speak clearly and rationally. There is so much need for speaking clearly and rationally amid the endless streams of waste and filth polluting our public discourse.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

But I can’t speak clearly and rationally at the expense of morality. Morality often begins with a feeling. The Gospels tell us of Jesus looking on the poor—he could hear and smell their misery—and he was “moved with pity.” But another way of putting it, another way of translating ?????????????, is that the rabbi felt compassion “in his guts.

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