An Orlando survivor’s story | Dems demand gun control | Net neutrality wins | and more
Reports are flying that the Orlando shooter was a closeted homosexual. But does it matter? We explore the development in our big story. The rest of the top news is below!
After the devastating mass shooting on Saturday, one victim, Angel Colon, has told his story. Colon’s frightening tale gives us a window into what that horrific night was like.
What happened to him?
As Omar Mateen sprayed bullets into Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando, Colon got hit three times in the leg. The bullets put Colon in a wheelchair, but they didn't stop him from sharing his story:
“I tried to get back up, everyone started running everywhere, and I was trampled over. I shattered and broke bones in my left leg. I couldn’t walk at all, all I could do is lay there as people ran over me”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 14, 2016
Colon remembered watching Mateen shoot people who were already lifeless on the ground to make sure they were dead. Colon shakily described how he felt after Mateen shot a woman next to him:
"I don’t know how, by the grace of God, I survived. He shot towards my head, and missed. He hit my hand and the side of my hip. I was prepared to just sit there, so he didn’t know I was alive.”
Angel Colon has inspired me today. Such strength and such vision for the future after surviving something so horrific.
— Cordell (@cordellsimmons) June 14, 2016
Colon still can't walk, but he knows an unnamed hero pulled him out of Pulse and saved his life. He remembered being dragged over glass and blood but never saw who helped him.
Recently, Donald Trump released yet another inflammatory tweet saying we need to call ISIS what it is: “radical Islam.” This pissed off a number of people, not the least of whom was President Barrack Obama, who had a few choice words for the presumptive GOP nominee.
I have been hitting Obama and Crooked Hillary hard on not using the term Radical Islamic Terror. Hillary just broke-said she would now use!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2016
What did Obama say?
The President explained that not using the term “radical Islam” has nothing to do with political correctness. It’s just a blatant mischaracterization of these extremist militant groups.
Pres. Obama: If we imply "that we're at war with an entire religion then we are doing the terrorists' work for them" https://t.co/6jatCwwSA9
— ABC News (@ABC) June 14, 2016
Beyond that, Obama made one thing glaringly obvious--labeling ISIS with a different term does absolutely NOTHING to help the fight:
"What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? ... Would it make ISIL less committed to try and kill Americans?"
Does it magically give us a way to defeat terrorists? No. Does it shed light on the best military practices to use overseas? No. Does it do anything of any importance? No.
What did Obama say about Trump as a candidate?
Basically, what many other Democrats have been saying: Trump is a threat to America, to our values, and to all the country stands for.
“We are now seeing how dangerous this kind of mindset and this kind of thinking can be. We're starting to see where this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness about who exactly we're fighting, where this can lead us."
Oh, and he referred to Trump and as “politicians who tweet and appear on cable news shows.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 14, 2016
When Obama endorsed Hillary last week, we knew he would start taking down Trump on the political stage. After this tirade, the world (and Trump) can be sure that Obama’s just getting warmed up.
Time for some good news. London Mayor Sadiq Khan (the city's first Muslim mayor) is changing the face of the London subway. From retouched, thin models to the unthinkable: Men and women with realistic body shapes.
What exactly did he do?
In short, Khan banned all advertisements on the London subway that promote an unhealthy body image:
“As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies. It is high time it came to an end.”
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 14, 2016
The decision comes after a 2015 weight-loss ad in Hyde Park with unrealistic body proportions sparked outrage. A protest against the ad gathered over 70,000 signatures.
— i-D (@i_D) June 14, 2016
When will the changes be implemented?
Starting in July, Transport for London (TFL) will stop producing ads that “demean” women or make them feel bad about their bodies.
The changes will affect only some of TFL’s 12,000 ads, but will probably still make a difference.
Graeme Craig, the Commercial Development Director for TFL, noted how you can't avoid offensive ads:
“Our customers cannot simply switch off or turn a page if an advertisement offends or upsets them and we have a duty to ensure the copy we carry reflects that unique environment. We want to encourage great advertising that engages people and enhances the transport network."
The US just invested a whopping $200 million to help lower the waitlist for patients who need organ transplants. This is huge news for the more than 120,000 people currently on the list.
What does this mean?
The investment was announced at a White House summit concerning innovation in organ transplant technology.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) June 14, 2016
80% of the 120,000 men and women on the waitlist need kidneys. Kidney failure alone costs Medicare $34 billion a year (AKA over 7% of Medicare's total budget), so getting these transplants could help the US health budget in general.
— STAT (@statnews) June 10, 2016
The money will mainly go toward tissue repair and manufacturing tech.
Who else is working to support organ transplant patients?
Facebook, Tinder, and Twitter are all developing software to increase donor registration and hope to have 1 million more sign-ups by the end of the year.
This marks a trend towards declaring organ registry on social media.
Larossi Abballa, an ISIS sympathizer, slaughtered a policeman and his partner in Paris just before he pledged allegiance to ISIS. Abballa targeted the couple because of their professions.
What exactly happened?
Abballa attacked Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, a policeman, outside of his home in Maganville, Paris and then took his partner and 3-year-old son hostage inside the victim’s home. Abballa allegedly yelled “allahu akbar” when he knifed Salvaing.
This was the first terrorist attack in Paris since the horrific massacre in November.
The assailant got into a three-hour standoff with police and told them how he would kill all non-believers. Eventually, law enforcement got into the home, killed Abballa and saved the couple’s young child. Jessica Schneider, Salvaing's partner and a civil servant who worked at a police station, was already dead.
Abballa had posted a 12-minute video on Facebook Live that's since been deleted. The attacker talked about the couple's 3-year-old behind him in the video:
“I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with him.”
What else did he say in the video?
First, know that al-Baghdadi, a senior ISIS leader, has called for attacks on Europe and the US during Ramadan.
This may have been one of those attacks. Few doubt Abballa’s link to ISIS and he had actually been jailed before for recruiting jihadists in the past.
At one point in the Facebook Live video, Abballa said the Euro 2015 (soccer) match would “be like a cemetery,” and urged others to make a “month of calamity for infidels.”
Europe and the US have warned attendees about potential terrorist threats at the game. This warning was echoed by French President Francois Hollande:
“It was undeniably an act of terrorism, both because the perpetrator ... wanted it to be recognized as an act of terrorism, and the organization he had pledged his allegiance to also claimed the attack ... France is confronted by an extremely high terrorist threat.”
Russian hackers (given the code names Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear) infiltrated the Democrat's National Committee's (DNC) computer systems and accessed a mammoth amount of data. The DNC has finally been able to kick them out of the network, but it's left a lot of questions unanswered and heightened concerns.
What did they get?
First things first: No donor, financial, or personal information was accessed.
But the hackers did get a hold of a database of opposition research against Trump, as well as emails and chat communication.
UPDATE: This is the file the hackers apparently grabbed, detailing the dirt the Dems plan to dish on Trump.
US Representative and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said they moved as fast as possible to kick the hackers out:
"The security of our system is critical to our operation and to the confidence of the campaigns and state parties we work with. When we discovered the intrusion, we treated this like the serious incident it is and reached out to CrowdStrike immediately. Our team moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network."
Fancy Bear was the group who got access to Trump's opposition information and Cozy Bear is apparently the cohort who hacked into the White House's unclassified email servers in 2014. The Russian government denies any ties to either group.
But CrowdStrike, the cyber security company working for the government to remove the hackers' access, said the hacker groups may be in cahoots with Russia's military intelligence and the Federal Security Service.
How did they get in?
Both hackers employed hugely technologically advanced methods to infiltrate the servers. One group actually "flew under the radar" for an entire year.
Shawn Henry, the president of CrowdStrike, explained the foreign hacking threat the US faces:
"We know with certainty my time in the bureau and now at CrowdStrike that foreign intelligence services are constantly interested in political processes. They're interested in strategies. They're interested in foreign policy, et cetera. And the DNC and other NGOs that have been targeted over the years by this very, very sophisticated group with a high degree of capability and some very, very sophisticated technology."
People have responded by harkening back to Watergate and fearing for the safety of important information. One Senator, Richard Burr, actually pointed to Hillary Clinton in light of the breaches:
"It gives me pause to believe that Secretary Clinton's [email] wasn't hacked"
Officials have removed both groups access to the DNC. The Democratic Party's servers are secure ... for now.
Typically known for their hilarious jabs at politicians and comedic skits, three late night show hosts collectively had a very different tone when talking about the Orlando shooting.
Trevor Noah, who took over "The Daily Show" when Jon Stewart left, couldn't contain his grief:
“I have to talk about Saturday night’s devastating attack. I couldn’t be more sad and sickened by the events.”
He called attention to how mass shootings have characterized President Obama's two terms:
"I wonder if President Obama ever thought to himself that mass shooting speeches would be such a big part of his job. Because, you know, at this point he’s hosted 12 state dinners, but he’s had to give 16 mass shooting addresses.”
Noah also touched on something many of us have felt while scrolling through social media:
“Because we know how this always plays out. We’re shocked, we mourn, we change our profile pics and then we move on. It’s become normal. But I’m sorry, maybe it’s because I’m new, but it’s not normal.”
Stephen Colbert, who has been on the air longer than Noah, seemed resigned and angry:
"We each ask ourselves what can you possibly say in the face of this horror? But then sadly you realize, you know what to say because it has been said too many times before."
He also explained how we already know what everyone will say because mass shootings have happened so many times.
But Colbert concluded with a more uplifting note.
“And there have been outpourings of love throughout the country and around the world … love allows us to change the script. So love your country, love your family, love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando.”
Watch Colbert interview Bill O'Reilly on Orlando below:
Fallon focused on the diversity of our country and how we must accept and support everyone around us, no matter his or her religion, sexual orientation, gender, or race:
"This country was built on the idea that we do not all agree on everything, that we are a tolerant free nation that encourages debate, free thinking, believing, or not, in what you choose. I as a new father am thinking, ‘What do I tell my kids?’ What do I--what do I tell them about this? What can we learn from this? What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them?"
Watch Fallon's reaction below:
Today is the #StateofWomen summit and if you aren't psyched about it yet, you will be. Fantastic, powerful female leaders from all over are coming to talk about the biggest issues facing us today.
Give us all the details.
From talks on domestic violence and combatting gender roles to discussions concerning sex trafficking and pay equity, the day is filled with some of the most important conversations going on around us.
Everyone from Michelle Obama to Amy Poehler to Kristen Avery (from It's On Us) to Cecille Richards attended.
Watch the live stream of the event below:
Here's some highlights via Twitter:
— Mic (@mic) June 14, 2016
— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) June 14, 2016
— jamiaw (@jamiaw) June 14, 2016
— DigitalBridget (@BridgetMarie) June 14, 2016
— UN Foundation (@unfoundation) June 14, 2016
— The Aspen Institute (@AspenInstitute) June 14, 2016
— AmyPoehlerSmartGirls (@smrtgrls) June 14, 2016
Democrats interrupted Congress' moment of silence for Orlando and demanded gun control. There have been endless calls for action rather than prayers or silences in light of the massacre on Saturday.
What exactly happened in Congress?
As Speaker Paul Ryan tried to maintain order, Democrats repeatedly shouted at him for a bill rather than a few moments of quiet reflection. Some congresspeople actually left the floor during the silence.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 14, 2016
Jim Clyburn, the House Democratic whip, attempted to ask the Speaker about a few Democratic gun control measures. Ryan matter-of-factly shut Clyburn down and moved on.
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats in Congress have had enough:
"Members have just had enough of having a moment of silence on the floor and take no action."
Congressman Jim Himes promised to boycott the silence:
"We meet this tragedy week in and week out with smug, self-empowering moments of silence in the House that do absolutely nothing for anybody ... I’d love to interview one of the parents down in Florida and say: What does 16 seconds of silence in the House of Representatives mean to you?”
He also said he's done with the "obnoxious expressions of smug incompetence" and that silence after a shooting is the perfect example of how Congress handles gun control.
I will not attend one more"Moment of Silence" on the Floor. Our silence does not honor the victims, it mocks them. pic.twitter.com/VWWdOkliWN
— Jim Himes (@jahimes) June 13, 2016
The event echoes sentiments across the country:
.@HouseGOP routinely holds “Moments of Silence” after each mass shooting--underscoring their cowardly silence on even VOTING on gun reform.
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 14, 2016
— Shannon (@shannonrwatts) June 14, 2016
No more silence. Totally agree. Sick of moments of silence. Time to talk about it / do something about it preferably https://t.co/W1x1Hm5kRr
— LSAClassOf2000 (@LorneEC3) June 14, 2016
Our voices need to be heard. "2nd Amendment Yes. Assault Rifles, NO!" Write to congressmen/women. Tweet! spread the word. No more silence.
— Arlene Alda (@TheArleneAlda) June 14, 2016
What does Speaker Ryan think about gun control?
"This was another act of war against America by radical Islam ... This is an ideology that rejects who we are as a country: open, tolerant, free. It preys on the vulnerable and the insecure, seeking to radicalize them into murderers ... This is a threat that cannot be contained. This is a threat that simply must be defeated ... Right now, the president doesn't have a plan to get the job done."
A federal court has decided cable companies must treat all internet equally (AKA they can't block Internet traffic at their own discretion). This comes at the end of a decade-long fight, but it may not be over yet.
What happened today?
In a 2-1 ruling, a court upheld the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net neutrality rules. No longer can internet providers slow their delivery of content. They must ensure their internet services are equally available to all Americans.
Tom Wheeler, the head of the FCC, celebrated the decision:
"After a decade of debate and legal battles, today’s ruling affirms the commission’s ability to enforce the strongest possible Internet protections — both on fixed and mobile networks — that will ensure the Internet remains open, now and in the future"
Google and Netflix already support net neutrality and said companies who don't are harming customers. With the ability to slow downloads or force users to buy extra services, companies without regulatory limits could unfairly control the web.
Gene Kimmelman from the internet advocacy group Public Knowledge was equally excited about the ruling:
“This is an enormous win for consumers ... It ensures the right to an open Internet with no gatekeepers.”
Is anyone opposing it?
The providers who don't support net neutrality certainly are. The new limitations would hurt their business and companies like AT&T have promised to fight back.
David McAtee II, the senior executive vice president of AT&T, guaranteed the company would appeal the decision:
“We have always expected this issue to be decided by the Supreme Court, and we look forward to participating in that appeal"
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) June 14, 2016
Oh, and Ted Cruz also called net neutrality "ObamaCare for the Internet."
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Samantha is a senior at Georgetown studying English and studio art. She has written for USA TODAY College, The Hoya, DC Life Magazine, and Smithsonian, among others, and is the current co-editor-in-chief of Georgetown campus publication Venture Capitol, which covers entrepreneurship and startups in DC. When not reporting or shooting with her Nikon, she's surrounded by books on Greek mythology and neuroscience or listening to tech podcasts on her way to Bikram yoga.