SAN DIEGO — The man who opened fire on a Poway synagogue in a deadly antisemitic attack was sentenced in San Diego federal court Tuesday to life in prison, plus 30 years. The hearing marks the final chapter in the dual prosecution of John T. Earnest and adds to the life term that was handed down to him three months earlier in state court. Earnest, 22, pleaded guilty in September to a 113-count federal indictment that charged him with civil rights, hate crimes and weapons charges stemming from the April 27, 2019, attack on the synagogue at Chabad of Poway and arson at the Dar-ul-Arqam mosque in...
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Ray Liotta, one of the greatest actors of his generation who starred in groundbreaking films such as Goodfellas, has died, Deadline reports.
Sources tell Deadline that Liotta he "died in his sleep" in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the film Dangerous Waters.
Liotta was 67 years old. He eaves behind a daughter, Karsen, and was engaged to be married to Jacy Nittolo.
"Liotta was on a big resurgence. Recent turns included The Many Saints of Newark, Marriage Story and No Sudden Move," Deadline writes. "He finished the Elizabeth Banks-directed Cocaine Bear and was due to star in the Working Title film The Substance opposite Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley."
Black Panther star Letitia Wright says she got so close to co-lead Tamara Lawrance in "The Silent Twins", competing at Cannes, that both actors began to behave exactly like the siblings in the drama based on the true story of two black sisters in 1970s Wales.
The film tells the incredible story of June and Jennifer Gibbons, identical twins who refused to communicate with anybody except each other, and created a rich inner life that is both fascinating and dangerous.
Guyanese-born British actress Wright was catapulted to stardom with Marvel movie "Black Panther", as well as "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame", and dystopian TV show "Black Mirror".
"The twins were so enamored with each other, so obsessed with each other. That's the same I was with Tamara," Wright told AFP.
"I'd say things like, oh my god, you're amazing with this or that, I love the way you do this, I love the way you think, I love the books that you're reading," she said. "And then in a split second: What am I doing here?", she laughed. "Life really imitated art".
Fellow Brit Lawrance, best known for the BBC's King Charles III, said she, too, felt like a sister to Wright during the shooting for "The Silent Twins".
"It wasn't always plain sailing, it was very much a sisterhood," Lawrance told AFP. "We got very close, and it's that closeness that gives you the capacity to get in each other's face," she smiled.
The film's Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska told AFP she was "blown away" when she first heard about the story of the twins that became famous after Sunday Times journalist Marjorie Wallace published a book about the case.
The real June and Jennifer Gibbons were born in 1963, daughters in Caribbean immigrants. They were the only black children in their Welsh community, spoke only to each other and were ostracized at school.
They spent all their time together, writing plays, poems and novels. Later they experimented with alcohol and drugs, committed petty crimes and got locked up in Broadmoor, a high-security mental health hospital, for 11 years.
"I thought: What an incredible story," said Smoczynska. "I couldn't imagine that it had really happened, 30 years ago. This is the moment that I knew I wanted to do this movie."
She said her film has "many layers". It's about "two sisters who love each other so much that they can't live without each other, but they also can't live together", she said.
The movie explores the notions of sacrifice and misunderstood artists, but also racism "and what the system did to these young black girls," said Smoczynska, though the theme remains understated.
"To make it just about race would be reductive, because race doesn't exist in isolation from everything else," said Lawrance.
"In this film it's interesting to look at its intersection with class, and the time you're born in, the generation you're born in."
Critics gave "The Silent Twins" a warm reception, with Deadline calling the lead actresses' performances "unforgettable", and The Guardian awarding four stars to the "well acted, disturbing drama" which the paper added was "heartfelt" and "absorbing".
It is competing in the Cannes Festival's Un Certain Regard section which showcases mostly young and innovative film-makers.
© 2022 AFP
Questions swirl about Uvalde police as photos, videos, witness accounts appear to tell story of inaction during massacre
Barely days after 19 elementary school children and two teachers were shot to death by an 18-year old with two AR-15 style assault rifles, questions are swirling about the actions of local law enforcement, supported by video and photos apparently taken by those who were outside Robb Elementary School during the massacre. NCRM has not confirmed the authenticity of the photos or videos posted to social media.
“Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team,” the Associated Press reports.
“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.
Multiple reports state police waited outside for those 40 minutes, or more, before taking action to neutralize the shooter. During that time, some have noted, it’s possible children who had been shot died of their wounds rather than receiving medical attention.
CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto:
\u201cTexas police are saying a lot of things. They\u2019re not saying why it took so long to go into the classroom.\u201d— Jim Sciutto (@Jim Sciutto) 1653565974
Veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien:
\u201cIf these were the reporters\u2019 children they\u2019d be more blunt and less delicate. Why did police wait to rush in? Why did they ignore the pleas from parents\u2014who we see in video begging the police to help their kids? These are not \u2018tough questions\u2019. But journalists are often reluctant\u201d— Soledad O'Brien (@Soledad O'Brien) 1653569646
Indeed, additional reports appear to show not only did police not storm the school, for reasons yet unknown, they appear to have prevented desperate parents from doing anything to help save their children, even using force, including a taser, to stop them. And in one case (below,) from the account of one of the children who survived published by CBS affiliate KENS5, police action may have led to the death of one of the students.
VICE News reports “Texas law enforcement officials are being strangely opaque about what actually happened during the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.”
“When asked how much time passed between the gunman arriving at the school and the gunman being killed, Texas’ Director of Public Safety Steve McCraw offered an indefinite response.”
“Forty minutes, an hour,” he said. “But I don’t want to give you a particular timeline.”
VICE adds that “officers ‘were responsible’ for containing the gunman in a classroom, McCraw said. (Spokespersons for the Texas Department of Public Safety had repeatedly told news outlets earlier that the suspect barricaded himself into the classroom and immediately started shooting.)”
NBC News correspondent covering national security and intelligence Ken Dilanian:
\u201cThe Texas officials have glossed over this, but by their account, the gunman was first spotted outside the school by an armed school resource officer who did not fire at him, but instead confronted him and \u201cfollowed him in\u201d to the school. That needs to be explained.\u201d— Ken Dilanian (@Ken Dilanian) 1653503322
Matt Novak, a senior writer at the tech site Gizmodo, posted these tweets:
\u201cThis video make so much more sense now. The cops literally stopped parents from helping their kids.\u201d— Matt Novak (@Matt Novak) 1653532453
\u201cNot only did cops with long guns have their tasers out, ready to stop parents from saving their own children, it looks like the cops have one parent pinned to the ground. \n\nYou can hear one person yell, "what the fuck are you doing to him? Let him up!"\u201d— Matt Novak (@Matt Novak) 1653532453
This one is tragic:
\u201cAt least one additional kid died directly because the cops were incompetent.\n\n\u201cWhen the cops came, the cop said: 'Yell if you need help!' And one of the persons in my class said 'help.' The [shooter] overheard and he came in and shot her," the boy said. https://t.co/T89PC9ljcH\u201d— Matt Novak (@Matt Novak) 1653532453
Sawyer Hackett, a senior advisor to Julián Castro, the former Obama HUD Secretary and former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, reposted these videos and offers some commentary:
\u201cThis also took place hours after the shooting, and the officer is sharing lots of false information with news networks.\n\nWas he misinformed by local police? Or intentionally spinning the story?\u201d— Sawyer Hackett (@Sawyer Hackett) 1653570363
\u201cThis video is insane.\n\nDozens of cops outside the school as the shooter continues rampage. Parents almost ran inside since police wouldn\u2019t. All of a sudden police are gun shy?\u201d— Sawyer Hackett (@Sawyer Hackett) 1653569017
Even this editor from the right wing website Daily Caller says “it appears the police did everything wrong once the shooter was in the room.”
\u201cPolice reportedly waited for up to an hour before breaching and killing the suspect. This goes against everything police are taught in the post-Columbine world. \n\nBefore Columbine, protocol was to sit and wait assuming it was a hostage situation. Not anymore. (2/8)\u201d— David Hookstead (@David Hookstead) 1653566762
\u201cBreaching a room with multiple windows and a door, again without getting into tactics, is very doable. Why did police not attempt it?\n\nIn close quarters combat done in light (this doesn't apply to night vision and the dark), speed is everything. The fastest guys win. (5/8)\u201d— David Hookstead (@David Hookstead) 1653566762