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Fifth device explodes in Texas; White House sees no link to terrorism

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A package bomb blew up at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio on Tuesday, hastening investigators to seek the public’s help in determining if there is any link to four homemade bombs that have rocked the state capital of Austin this month.

Hundreds of federal investigators joined local authorities in probing the bombings, which the White House said do not appear to be linked to terrorism.

The latest blast knocked a female employee off her feet, police said. The package, filled with nails and metal shrapnel, exploded shortly after midnight local time at the FedEx Corp sorting facility in Schertz, Texas, about 65 miles south of Austin, the San Antonio Fire Department said on Twitter.

 Investigators were also examining a second suspicious package at the same facility, San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus told reporters.
“There was one other package that we believe was also loaded with an explosive device that they are looking at right now,” McManus told reporters in Schertz, about 20 miles northeast of San Antonio.

 
In Sunset Valley, a town within Austin, police surrounded a FedEx store on suspicion it was linked to the Schertz bombing.

“The FBI is currently investigating a confirmed link between packages involved in the Austin bombing investigation and a mail delivery office in Sunset Valley. It appears that the source of the suspect packages was a private package delivery office in Sunset Valley,” Sunset Valley police said in a statement.

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Even with the apparent Austin link, it remained unknown whether the latest incident was the work of what Austin police said could be a serial bomber who is responsible for the four earlier devices that killed two people and injured four others.

The blast at the FedEx facility in Schertz was the fifth in the state in the last 18 days and the first involving a commercial parcel service.

“We are committed to bringing perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice. There is no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time,” White House spokesman Sarah Sanders said in a Twitter post.

Investigators were trying to come up with a theory or intelligence regarding the motive for the bombings or identity of the bomber or bombers, a U.S. security official and a law enforcement official told Reuters.

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The FBI was investigating the FedEx package explosion as if there were a connection to the Austin bombings, the law enforcement official said. Both sources declined to be identified.

Federal authorities at the scene offered few details, telling reporters their probe was in the early stages and that the building would be secured before investigators could gather evidence.

Authorities offered a $115,000 reward to anyone providing information leading the arrest or conviction of the culprit, and public urged the bomber to communicate with them to explain the motivation for the attacks.

We need the public’s help right now,” said James Smith, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio office.

Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Mark Hosenball and Lisa Lambert in Washington; Writing by Scott Malone and Daniel Trotta; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Jeffrey Benkoe

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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2020 Election

New report targets 15 House Democrats who ‘deserve’ progressive primary challengers

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As progressive candidates continue to announce their intentions to oust corporate Democrats, a new report names 15 House Democrats to unseat in primary challenges.

Published Monday by the left-leaning group RootsAction, the new report is entitled Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be 'Primaried.'

The list, the report notes, "is by no means exhaustive—only illustrative."

"There may well be a Democratic member of Congress near you not included here who serves corporate interests more than majority interests, or has simply grown tired or complacent in the never-ending struggles for social, racial, and economic justice as well as environmental sanity and peace," the report notes. "Perhaps you live in a district where voters are ready to be inspired by a progressive primary candidate because the Democrat in Congress is not up to the job."

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‘A true public health emergency’: 70+ medical groups sound alarm on climate crisis

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Groups lay out action agenda to advance climate solutions and strengthen resiliency

Scores of medical groups on Monday called the climate crisis "a health emergency" and laid out what they framed as a blueprint for the public and private sector to take swift action.

The agenda is signed by over 70 groups, including the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the National Association of Social Workers.

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Citing CIA’s dark history, librarians protest agency’s recruiting at their conference

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"Everything they stand for is a violation of the values of librarianship, so we protested."

A group of librarians demanded the American Library Association abide by its values on Friday as they staged a protest of the CIA's presence and recruitment at the professional organization's annual conference.

At the convention, which is taking place June 20-25 in Washington, D.C., the CIA is among the hundreds of exhibitors.

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