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Colorado suspect got assault weapon 6 days before shooting
BOULDER, Colo. — The suspect accused of opening fire inside a crowded Colorado supermarket was a 21-year-old man who purchased an assault weapon less than a week earlier, authorities said Tuesday, a day after the attack that killed 10 people, including a police officer.
The suspect bought the weapon on March 16, just six days before the attack at a King Soopers store in Boulder, according to an arrest affidavit. It was not immediately known where the gun was purchased.
The suspect, who is from the Denver suburb of Arvada, was booked into the county jail Tuesday on murder charges after being treated at a hospital. He was due to make a first court appearance Thursday.
Investigators have not established a motive, but they believe he was the only shooter, Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said.
A law enforcement official briefed on the shooting said the suspect’s family told investigators they believed the alleged shooter was suffering some type of mental illness, including delusions. Relatives described times when he told them people were following or chasing him, which they said may have contributed to the violence, the official said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
No clear winner in Israeli election, signaling more deadlock
JERUSALEM — Israeli parliamentary elections on Tuesday resulted in a virtual deadlock for a fourth time in the past two years, exit polls indicated, leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with an uncertain future and the country facing the prospect of continued political gridlock.
The exit polls on Israel’s three main TV stations indicated that both Netanyahu and his religious and nationalist allies, along with a group of anti-Netanyahu parties, both fell short of the parliamentary majority required to form a new government. That raised the possibility of an unprecedented fifth consecutive election later this year.
The election was seen as a referendum on Netanyahu’s polarizing leadership style, and the initial results showed that the country remains as deeply divided as ever, with an array of small sectarian parties dominating the parliament.
The results also signaled a continuing shift of the Israeli electorate toward the right wing, which supports West Bank settlements and opposes concessions in peace talks with the Palestinians. That trend was highlighted by the strong showing of an ultranationalist anti-Arab religious party.
After three previous inconclusive elections, Netanyahu had been hoping for a decisive victory that would allow him to form a government with his traditional ultra-Orthodox and hard-line nationalist allies and seek immunity from corruption charges.
Spa witness, police reports detail carnage in Georgia
ATLANTA — When he heard the first two gunshots, Marcus Lyon dove behind the bed where moments earlier the massage therapist had been rubbing his neck.
He was hiding when the third shot rang out. The woman who had been kneading the FedEx worker’s sore muscles suddenly dropped to the floor. Lyon could see her, shot in the head, lying just a couple of feet from where he had taken cover.
“I’m thinking in my head, ‘I’m about to die. I’m gonna die,’” he recalled. “I started thinking about my son.”
Lyon waited in the room, less than a minute, he figures, until he heard the sound of bells signaling someone had opened the front door at Youngs Asian Massage. Hearing no more gunfire, he hurried back into his clothes and ran outside, grabbed a gun from his vehicle and made the first 911 call. Dispatchers took the call at 4:54 p.m.
“I wasn’t scared in the moment because it was kind of too late to be scared,” Lyon said in an interview. “I couldn’t believe it was happening.”
Biden’s disciplined agenda rollout tested by the unexpected
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has taken tremendous pride in methodically unveiling its agenda, particularly the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief measure the president hopes to trumpet over the next several weeks. But a growing list of unforeseen challenges is beginning to scramble the White House’s plans.
In less than a week, two mass shootings have overshadowed President Joe Biden’s “Help is Here” tour at which he planned to herald the ways his administration is helping Americans recovering from the pandemic. The White House has also struggled to respond to the growth in unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border or blunt a nationwide effort by Republican legislatures to tighten election laws.
From wire sources
Biden’s meticulous approach to the presidency is intended to serve as a stark departure from the chaos of his predecessor, Donald Trump. But the rapid developments over the past week are a reminder that even the most disciplined administration can only control so much.
“Every president and their staff make plans but every day the plans get blown up by reality,” said Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary to George W. Bush when that administration’s priorities were suddenly swamped by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “Outside events intervene and force you to play defense or improvise or change your plans nearly every day. If you can’t juggle, you don’t belong in the White House.”
The juggle is intensifying at a particularly critical moment for Biden. The most valuable asset of presidents is their time, especially in their opening months in office, when the concerns of future elections are most distant. There were signs on Tuesday that the patience of Biden’s diverse coalition may be fraying.
Missteps could mar long-term credibility of AstraZeneca shot
LONDON — AstraZeneca’s repeated missteps in reporting vaccine data coupled with a blood clot scare could do lasting damage to the credibility of a shot that is the linchpin in the global strategy to stop the coronavirus pandemic, potentially even undermining vaccine confidence more broadly, experts say.
The latest stumble for the vaccine came Tuesday, when American officials issued an unusual statement expressing concern that AstraZeneca had included “outdated information” when it reported encouraging results from a U.S. trial a day earlier. That may have provided “an incomplete view of the efficacy data,” according to the statement.
AstraZeneca responded that the results, which showed its shot was about 79% effective, included information through Feb. 17 but appeared to be consistent with more up-to-date data. It promised an update within 48 hours.
An independent panel that oversees the study scolded the company in a letter Monday for cherry-picking data, according to a senior administration official. The panel wrote to AstraZeneca and U.S. health leaders that it was concerned the company chose to use data that was outdated and potentially misleading instead of the most recent findings, according to the official, who discussed the contents on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.
“This will likely cause more vaccine hesitancy,” said Dr. Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia.
Hong Kong suspends Pfizer vaccines over packaging defects
HONG KONG — Hong Kong suspended vaccinations using Pfizer shots — known as BioNTech shots in the city — on Wednesday after they were informed by its distributor Fosun that one batch had defective bottle lids.
The suspension was immediate while Chinese pharmaceutical firm Fosun Pharma and BioNTech, the German company which created the vaccine with American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, investigate the matter, according to a statement by the Hong Kong government.
BioNTech and Fosun Pharma have not found any reason to believe the product is unsafe, according to the statement. However, vaccinations will be halted as a preventive and safety measure.
The defective lids were found on vaccines from batch number 210102. A separate batch of vaccines, 210104, will also be not be administered.
Macao also said Wednesday that residents would not receive the Pfizer vaccinations from the affected batch.
‘Virginia Woolf,’ ‘Goldbergs’ star George Segal dies at 87
LOS ANGELES — George Segal, the banjo player turned actor who was nominated for an Oscar for 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and worked into his late 80s on the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs,” died Tuesday in Santa Rosa, California, his wife said.
“The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” Sonia Segal said in a statement. He was 87.
George Segal was always best known as a comic actor, becoming one of the screen’s biggest stars in the 1970s when lighthearted adult comedies thrived.
But his most famous role was in a harrowing drama, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, based on Edward Albee’s acclaimed play.
He was the last surviving credited member of the tiny cast, all four of whom were nominated for Academy Awards: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton for starring roles, Sandy Dennis and Segal for supporting performances. The women won Oscars, the men did not.
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