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Florida sheriff says only one deputy at fault in Parkland school shooting

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Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel

Only one sheriff’s deputy failed to stop the gunman who killed 17 people at a Florida high school, the Broward County sheriff said on Sunday, dismissing reports that other deputies did not enter the school during the attack as unverified.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel also said his department acted properly in at least 16 of the 18 calls it received before the massacre, warning that Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspect, was dangerous.

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Israel rejected a call for his resignation from a state legislator and defended his department on the CNN program “State of the Union” on Sunday from criticism that deputies missed warning signs about Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Governor Rick Scott on Sunday asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the law enforcement response to the shooting, his office said in a statement, adding that the department would begin the probe immediately.

Authorities accuse Cruz of opening fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on Feb. 14, killing 14 students and three faculty members.

The shooting reignited an intense debate about gun safety laws, with Stoneman students emerging as national voices calling for gun control. They have challenged the National Rifle Association, a politically powerful defender of the U.S. constitutional right to bear arms.

Israel has acknowledged that an armed deputy assigned to the school, Scot Pederson, remained outside during the seven minutes that Cruz was inside the school.

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Pederson resigned after he was suspended with the intent to fire him, Israel said.

News organizations, including CNN and NBC, have reported that at least three other Broward deputies also failed to enter the campus during the shooting, citing unnamed sources from the Coral Springs Police Department, which also responded.

“Our investigation to this point shows that during this horrific attack, while this killer was inside the school, there was only one law enforcement person, period, and that was former deputy Scot Pederson,” Israel said.

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Israel did not rule out that the investigation could find other deputies who were guilty of dereliction of duty.

The sheriff’s office is also investigating whether it missed danger signs about Cruz from two phone calls warning he might be dangerous, Israel said. Proper steps were taken after 16 other calls about Cruz.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation also said it failed to follow proper protocols after it received a tip that Cruz possessed a gun, had indicated the desire to kill and could potentially commit a school shooting.

FBI officials have told families of victims they “deeply regret” their mishandling of the matter.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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Trump is trying Middle East Peace plan 2.0 after the first one flopped

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President Donald Trump is scheduled to submit his second Middle East peace plan after the first one senior son-in-law Jared Kushner came up with didn't go over very well.

"We will get this done," Trump claimed in May 2017.

“We'll start a process which hopefully will lead to peace,” Trump said. “Over the course of my lifetime, I've always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Let's see if we can prove them wrong, okay?”

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Rage-filled Trump has crippled his presidency because he can’t let go of a grudge no matter how small: report

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According to a report in Politico, many of Donald Trump's problems are the direct result of his inability to get over the smallest of slights leading him to make poor decisions because he can't see his way to let go of a grudge.

The report notes, "Whether in the privacy of his clubs or out on the campaign trail, the president can’t help but hold onto a grudge. Even as Trump heads into an election year with a record that he claims ranks him among the best presidents of all time, political grievances continue to drive everything from policy decisions to rally speeches to some of the biggest scandals of his presidency — including his impeachment."

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George Conway reveals Trump is being shunned by law firms because young lawyers ‘want nothing to do with him’

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Conservative attorney George Conway asserted in a column over the weekend that President Donald Trump's history of mistreating law firms is catching up with him.

In a Sunday op-ed for The Washington Post, Conway explains that Trump is now faced with sparse choices for legal representation in his impeachment trial after years of not paying attorneys and generally being a bad client.

Pointing to Trump's choice of Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, Conway writes:

?The president has consistently encountered difficulty in hiring good lawyers to defend him. In 2017, after Robert S. Mueller III became special counsel, Trump couldn’t find a high-end law firm that would take him as a client. His reputation for nonpayment preceded him: One major Manhattan firm I know had once been forced to eat bills for millions in bond work it once did for Trump. No doubt other members of the legal community knew of other examples.

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