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Eighteen people killed many wounded in armed attack on Crimean college

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Eighteen people were killed and dozens injured at a college in the Black Sea region of Crimea on Wednesday when at least one attacker set off a bomb in the cafeteria and went through the building shooting at random, officials said.

Law enforcement officials said they were treating the incident, in which many of the victims were teenage pupils, as a terrorist attack.

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Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the Russian-backed administration in Crimea, a region Moscow annexed from Ukraine four years ago, said the main suspect was a male student a the college and that he had killed himself.

Video footage from the scene showed armored personnel carriers and military trucks lined up on the approach to the college, in the Crimean city of Kerch. Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the military was sending forces and supplies to help the victims.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, prompting international condemnation and Western sanctions. Since the operation to annex the peninsula, there have been no outbreaks of violence there.

Aksyonov, the regional head, told Russian state television the death toll from the attack now stood at 18, up from a previous estimate of 13.

Olga Grebennikova, the college’s director, described a scene of bloodshed at the college, which provides vocational training. Its pupils are mostly teenagers.

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“CHILDREN’S BODIES EVERYWHERE”
“There are bodies everywhere, children’s bodies everywhere. It was a real act of terrorism. They burst in five or 10 minutes after I’d left. They blew up everything in the hall, glass was flying,” Grebennikova told Crimean media outlets.

“They then ran about throwing some kind of explosives around, and then ran around the second floor with guns, opened the office doors, and killed anyone they could find.”

The Investigative Committee, the law enforcement body that investigates major crimes, said initial information was that an explosive device packed with metal objects had gone off in the cafeteria of the college.

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It said in a statement that there were around 50 people wounded in the attack.

Russian news agencies quoted a senior official with Russia’s National Guard, a law enforcement agency, as saying that the attack was being treated as terrorism. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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An employee at a hospital in Kerch was quoted as saying that 18 people had already been admitted with injuries from the explosion, and that doctors were expecting around 50 more wounded people to be brought in.

“There are already lots of people in the emergency room, and in the operating theater,” the TASS news agency quoted the employee as saying.

Anastasia Yenshina, a 15-year-old student at the college, said she was in a toilet on the ground floor of the building with some friends when she heard the sound of an explosion.

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“I came out and there was dust and smoke, I couldn’t understand, I’d been deafened,” she told Reuters. “Everyone started running. I did not know what to do. Then they told us to leave the building through the gymnasium.”

“Everyone ran there… I saw a girl lying there. There was a child who was being helped to walk because he could not move on his own. The wall was covered in blood. Then everyone started to climb over the fence, and we could still hear explosions. Everyone was scared. People were crying.”

Photographs from the scene of the blast posted by local media outlet Kerch.FM showed that the ground floor windows of the two-story building had been blown out, and that debris was lying on the floor outside.

Emergency services teams could be seen in the photographs carrying wounded people from the building on makeshift stretchers and loading them on to buses and ambulances.

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Reporting by Moscow newsroom; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Gareth Jones


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Stefanik voters turning on GOP lawmaker after she threw away her credibility to defend Trump

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Over the course of the impeachment hearings, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has gone from a relative backbencher who sells herself as a moderate to voters in Upstate New York, to a theatrical partisan grandstanding for President Donald Trump and a top target of ire from Democrats.

But according to Politico, at least some of her voters appear turned off by her new stance.

"While Stefanik once able to strike a delicate balance between her Republican identity and her positions on issues like climate change, some think those earlier convictions are gone, like Phillip Paige, a former Stefanik backer and a member of SUNY Potsdam’s College Republicans," wrote Politico's Anna Gronewald. "A native of the 21st district’s Madrid, New York, Paige said he started to lose faith in Stefanik when she began supporting Trump as the party’s nominee in 2016. Paige supported John Kasich’s candidacy in that election. 'A lot of her boots-on-the-ground young Republican crowd has really become quite disillusioned,' he said. 'We saw her as what we thought the future of the Republican Party was and that really has been disproven. Unless, maybe the future of the Republican party is Donald Trump.'"

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DOJ employees urged to revolt against Bill Barr for throwing IG report ‘in the trash’ to defend Trump

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his partisan suppression of the inspector general's conclusions about the FBI's Russia investigation.

"Here's the problem. The inspector general has already found that the — the investigation was not motivated in the way that Bill Barr is saying it is, and he's directly taking all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash," said Alksne. "And he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules, because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle, and he's done that. And it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, [U.S. Attorney John] Durham. He was talked into issuing a press release that was completely improper."

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2020 Election

GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed

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The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.

According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"

However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.

As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."

That was the general consensus in the comments.

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