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Shackled and in a wheelchair, stony-faced, silent synagogue massacre suspect held without bond

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Shackled and in a wheelchair, the man accused of shooting 11 worshipers to death at a Pittsburgh synagogue made a stony-faced and largely silent appearance on Monday in a federal courtroom, where he was ordered held without bond for the deadliest attack ever on America’s Jewish community.

Robert Bowers, 46, who was wounded in a gunfight with police at the synagogue on Saturday, acknowledged the 29 charges against him, which could lead to his execution if found guilty.

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Bowers, who has a history of posting anti-Semitic material online, will get a court-appointed attorney and was remanded to custody of U.S. marshals. His next hearing is set for Thursday.

“Robert Bowers murdered 11 people who were exercising their religious beliefs,” U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said after the arraignment, adding that a grand jury would hear details of the crime within 30 days.

The synagogue massacre has heightened debate over the rhetoric U.S. President Donald Trump uses with critics saying it has encouraged right-wing extremism, which the administration rejects. But a group of Jewish leaders told Trump in an open letter that he was “not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.”

Despite that, Trump and his wife, Melania, will travel to Pennsylvania on Tuesday to “express the support of the American people and grieve with the Pittsburgh community,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said at a briefing.

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Bowers’ arraignment was marked by a heavy security presence that included police officers with dogs and a team of sharpshooters at the federal court in Pittsburgh.

Wearing a blue sweatshirt, gray sweatpants, sandals and white socks, with a crewcut and bald spot, Bowers remained expressionless throughout the short hearing.

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The charges against him include violation of U.S. civil rights laws in what federal prosecutors say was a hate crime.

Bowers only spoke during the hearing to give his name, state that he understood the charges against him and to say that he lacked the funds to pay for an attorney to represent him.

He spoke in a calm voice and signed the papers handed to him with a steady hand.

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Only at the end of the hearing when he was wheeled out of the courtroom did Bowers appear unsettled, turning his head in apparent confusion.

Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault; Writing by Steve Gorman and Nick Zieminski; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Trott

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Greenland isn’t for sale but it is increasingly valuable*

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President Donald Trump's reported wish to buy Greenland may have been rejected by Denmark, but it underscores the rapidly rising value of the massive, ice-covered island due to global warming and to China's drive for an Arctic presence.

The accelerating polar ice melt has left sparsely populated Greenland, a self-governing part of Denmark, astride what are potentially major shipping routes and in the crosshairs of intensifying geopolitical competition between superpowers.

It also has untapped natural resources like oil, minerals and valuable rare earth elements that China, the United States and other major tech economies covet.

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US issues warrant for seizure of Iranian tanker in Gibraltar

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The US Justice Department issued a warrant Friday for the seizure of the Iranian oil supertanker Grace 1, one day after a Gibraltar judge allowed the release of the detained vessel.

The Justice Department alleged the ship was part of a scheme "to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps," which the US has designated a foreign terrorist organization.

The warrant says the vessel, which remained anchored in the British Mediterranean territory late Friday, and all the oil aboard are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as well as bank fraud, money laundering, and terrorism statutes.

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Medicare for All proponent Ady Barkan urges supporters to demand Dems have ‘real healthcare debate’

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"We want ABC and Univision to put healthcare front and center."

Citing his firsthand experience with "the dysfunction of our healthcare system," dying activist Ady Barkan—an outspoken backer of Medicare for All—on Friday urged supporters to join him in demanding the next Democratic presidential primary debate to be focused on the nation's healthcare crisis.

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