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US Air Force missed four chances to stop Texas shooter buying guns

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The U.S. Air Force missed four chances to block the shooter in 2017’s deadly church attack in Texas from buying guns after he was accused of violent crimes while in the military, a report by the Department of Defense’s inspector general said on Friday.

Because the Air Force failed to submit Devin Kelley’s fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the former airman was able to clear background checks to buy the guns he used to kill 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

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A Reuters investigation last year found that the Air Force missed multiple chances to submit Kelly’s fingerprints into the FBI’s criminal databases after the November 2017 attack.

Kelley, who was 26, was shot by a bystander as he fled and was found dead soon after, having shot himself in the head.

According to the inspector general’s report, the first missed chance came in June 2011, after the Air Force Office of Special Investigations began investigating a report of Kelley beating his stepson while Kelley served at a base in New Mexico.

The second chance came in February 2012, after the Air Force learned of allegations that Kelley was also beating his wife, the report said.

The third was in June 2012, when Kelley confessed on video to injuring his stepson, the report said.

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The fourth was after Kelley’s court-martial conviction for the assaults in November 2013.

“If Kelley’s fingerprints were submitted to the FBI, he would have been prohibited from purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer,” the inspector general’s report said.

Each missed instance was a breach of Department of Defense policy, the report said. Multiple Air Force officials involved in Kelley’s case did not understand these policies or were unable to explain why they were not followed in interviews with the inspector general’s office.

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The inspector general recommended that the Air Force improve its training of staff on submitting fingerprints and examine whether officials involved in Kelley’s case should face discipline.

Previous inspector general reports have found widespread lapses in the military’s reporting of criminal histories to the FBI going back years.

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The Air Force agreed with the inspector general’s findings and said they matched the conclusions of its own investigation last year, a spokeswoman said. The Air Force said it has been correcting other instances where it failed to submit fingerprints to the FBI going back to 1998.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by David Gregorio


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Trump administration kills endangered species — and there’s a $2.3 million Bill Barr connection, too

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Trump’s Fish and Wildlife Service has pushed an endangered freshwater mussel closer to extinction in its efforts to placate an energy company where Attorney General Bill Barr was once on the board.

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy want to route the proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline through Hackers Creek in West Virginia, the site of the endangered clubshell mussel. Trump’s Fish and Wildlife Service authorized trying to rescue mussels which could be smothered by sediment from pipeline construction instead of rerouting the pipeline. Sixty-nine mussels were collected from the creek to be taken to the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery, and most of them died.

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Ticking time bomb: Coronavirus pandemic could strike at the heart of America’s health care crisis

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As fears continue to mount over a potential widespread outbreak of the coronavirus here in the U.S., a special fear is mounting for those who lack health insurance. Speaking to the Daily Beast, 30-year-old restaurant manager Terryl Banta said having no health insurance makes the a potential virus outbreak extra nightmarish.

“If I actually had to go the doctor, it would absolutely drain my savings and change everything," Banta said. "I wouldn’t be able to get married this fall, wouldn’t be able to contribute to a down payment on a house, and I’d probably have to sell my car and cash out my 401k from a previous job.”

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Nancy Pelosi blisters Trump’s latest ‘anemic’ response to Coronavirus: ‘What he’s doing is too late’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lashed out at President Donald Trump on Wednesday over his response to the Coronavirus.

While speaking to reporters at the U.S. Capitol, Pelosi slammed the president after he promised the epidemic "is going to go away."

"This is shameful," Pelosi said. "He puts forth a proposal now that is meager, anemic in terms of addressing this. Ebola, we did $5 billion. And now they're trying to take the ebola money and spend it here."

"What he's doing is late, too late, anemic," she added. "Hopefully we came make up for the loss of time but we have to have professionals in place, resources that are adequate and not use scare tactics about people coming back to our country."

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