Guns are not perishable items. Kept in good repair a firearm lasts generations. So how is it that gun sales continue to set records when more than 100 million American gun owners already have over 300 million guns?
Last month, for example, was the busiest June for gun sales ever. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, says gun dealers completed 886,825 background checks in June 2015. The NSSF follows the FBI-administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) closely. Each time someone wants to buy a gun from a licensed dealer their name must be called into the FBI’s NICS database (or, in some cases, a state-operated database) to check if that person is barred from possessing a gun. The NSSF said the number of NICS checks last June was “the highest” on record “for the 17-year-old [NICS] system.” It was an increase of 10.1 percent over June 2014.
Now, some news reports say this jump in sales is all about gun owners’ fears about more gun control coming in the wake of the horrific attack on parishioners on June 17 at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The thing is this can’t be the whole story because in May 2015 some 918,707 background checks were called into the FBI’s database, making it the second-highest May ever.
For a deeper explanation I contacted Jim Curcuruto, director, industry research & analysis for the NSSF. He said, “Background checks were up over 19 percent in South Carolina, as compared to the previous June, but that one state isn’t enough to make the NICS checks jump 10 percent nationally. So, after making a lot of calls, we found that some of the bump was related to sales and other deals at retail chains. Some percentage of the rise in sales was definitely related to fear of more gun control. There are also typically spikes in sales regionally after something occurs that prompts people to look for ways to protect their own lives. But there has also been a steady rise in gun sales for some time. So there were multiple factors involved.”
Of course, we’re talking about NICS checks here, not actual gun sales. Just because someone undergoes a background check doesn’t mean they necessarily purchased a gun; also, someone could buy multiple guns after a single background check. This is why NICS is seen only as an indicator of the volume of gun sales.
Now, I started by asking why gun sales continue to set records when more than 100 million American gun owners already have over 300 million guns? This probably had a lot of gun aficionados asking, “What, the average gun owner only has three guns?”
Guns, you see, are heirlooms, works of art, and practical tools used for sport, self-defense and hunting. As works of art or tools—or both—guns have a specific purposes. Hunters will have a specific gun or guns for big game, for upland birds, for waterfowl and so on. Those who are into the shooting sports will find their collection expanding as they mature and try new sports. Those looking for self-defense guns will try new carry guns and more as technology and design adds options. As for collectors, well, by definition they just can’t get enough. So it’s actually not all that helpful to compare the number of guns in private hands to the number of gun owners.
>Earthquake: 4.1 quake strikes near Fremont, Calif.
A map shows the approximate location of the epicenter of Tuesday morning’s quake near Fremont, Calif. (Bing Maps)
By QUAKEBOT Earthquakes
A shallow magnitude 4.1 earthquake was reported Tuesday morning one mile from Fremont, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 2:41 a.m. PDT at a depth of 7.5 miles.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was one mile from Union City, four miles from Newark, and seven miles from Fairview.
In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.
This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service .
>North Korea’s government said Tuesday that it had no interest in pursuing a nuclear agreement of its own with the U.S. as long as Washington pursued what Pyongyang described as provocative U.S. policies.
The statement from the isolated, totalitarian country’s Foreign Ministry was its first official response to the agreement concluded earlier this month between Iran and six global powers, including the U.S.
The unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman said the North’s nuclear deterrent was “not a plaything to be put on the negotiating table” in the statement, which was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. There was no immediate comment form the U.S.
North Korea’s nuclear program is a major regional concern, with the country having conducted atomic weapons tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013. International nuclear disarmament talks have been stalled since early 2009, and outside analysts believe the North has built a small but growing nuclear bomb arsenal.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman said North Korea is different from Iran because it already has nuclear weapons. He said the North faces constant military and nuclear threats from the U.S., citing its regular military exercises with South Korea.
On Thursday, U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman had said that Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement, followed by the lifting of sanctions, “might give North Korea second thoughts.”
But Tuesday’s statement said that North Korea “is not interested at all in the dialogue to discuss the issue of making it freeze or dismantle its nukes unilaterally first,” adding that the North “remains unchanged in the mission of its nuclear force as long as the U.S. continues pursuing its hostile policy toward” the country.
In May, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.S., South Korea, China, Russia, and Japan were coordinating attempts to engage North Korea in preliminary talks about Pyongyang’s nuclear program. However, officials in Washington and Seoul told the Wall Street Journal that North Korea had not responded to overtures made by the U.S. and South Korea in recent months.
The so-called six-party talks began in 2003 to negotiate for North Korea’s denuclearization in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees. Talks have been stalled since late 2008. Earlier this year, the Journal reported that Chinese experts had warned U.S. officials that North Korea could double the size of its nuclear arsenal by the beginning of next year.
The U.S. stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
Under the Iranian nuclear deal reached by Tehran, Washington and others, Iran’s nuclear program will be curbed for a decade in exchange for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of relief from international sanctions. Many key penalties on the Iranian economy, such as those related to the energy and financial sectors, could be lifted by the end of the year.
My life changed forever when I was a young man on an exchange program in León Guanajuato, Mexico. Across a plaza, I saw a girl. She spoke little English, and my Spanish was a work in progress. But for me, it was love at first sight.
Monday, July 20
Should I win this election, you will not find me deferring to the settled ways of “Mount Washington.” The overspending, the overreaching, the arrogance, and the sheer incompetence in that city – these problems have been with us so long that they are sometimes accepted as facts of life…
Let’s Revive Veto Corleone
Monday, July 20
Jeb earned the nickname Veto Corleone because as governor, he vetoed over 2,500 separate line items in the budget. No one was safe from Jeb’s veto power. If a piece of the legislation was not in the best interest of the people of Florida, it was cut…
Conquering Mount Washington
Sunday, July 19
Jeb refused to go along with the establishment and be another member of the club, and it made all the difference.
Eight years as Governor and 8 years of hard work led to 8 balanced budgets, 8 years of tax cuts, and 8 billion in new reserves…
Silicon Valley Done Right
Friday, July 17
Just over a month after launching his campaign for President, Jeb made a visit to Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world. The visit was fitting for a man some called the “eGovernor.” A man who insisted his blackberry make it into his official portrait. And a man who now wears an Apple Watch to check Twitter throughout the day…
Silicon Valley Favorites
Wednesday, July 15
Jeb will be in Silicon Valley to tour Thumbtack, a company sometimes described as “the biggest startup you’ve never heard of.” Ahead of his visit, we thought we’d ask him about some of his tech-related favorites.
SPOILER: Jeb is the first politician in history to side against apple pie…
Jeb Bush on the Obama Administration’s Nuclear Deal with Iran
Tuesday, July 14
The nuclear agreement announced by the Obama Administration today is a dangerous, deeply flawed, and short sighted deal.
A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon – not simply delay – its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability…
Hillary Clinton is Wrong: Americans Want the Opportunity to Work
Thursday, July 9
In America today, more than 6.5 million people are stuck in part-time jobs. That is 6.5 million people who want a full-time job, but can’t find one in the anemic Obama economy. They are earning $30,000 less than those who are fully employed and they are falling behind…
Thursday, June 25
In his announcement speech, Jeb laid out a plan, an aspiration for 4% economic growth in our country, which would create 19 million jobs in eight years. Immediately he was blasted by the pessimistic, liberal Clinton allies in Washington who said the “new normal” was 2% growth and who don’t believe that America can grow again.
In this video, “4 Percent”, Jeb talks about how – regardless of what the defeatist…
Someone Who’s Done It
Tuesday, July 7
Jeb has never been afraid to make tough decisions. As governor of Florida, he faced many battles and won. He took on the teachers unions, the trial bar and other special interests to upend the status quo and put Floridians first…
INFOGRAPHIC: Florida’s Growth Under Jeb’s Leadership
Tuesday, July 7
Yesterday, Governor Bush wrote about the zombie economy created by the policies of Barack Obama. An economy where, no matter what else happens, most Americans are falling behind. And an economy more Americans believe is getting worse than those who think it’s getting better…
Getting Out Of The Zombie Economy
Monday, July 6
Barack Obama’s policies have given us a zombie economy where no matter what else happens, most Americans are falling behind. Last week we got news that the share of Americans at work or looking for work is at a 38-year low…
Today We Are All Patriots
Saturday, July 4
As you can see, it’s not just the fireworks, food and fun that complete a Fourth of July celebration. It’s the togetherness of community, family, and people from all walks of life uniting as one…
Jeb on the Fourth
Saturday, July 4
Find out what Jeb will be doing to celebrate Independence Day. Hint: It involves bands, floats, food and spending quality time with a certain former president and first lady of the United States. It doesn’t get much more patriotic than that…
Wednesday, July 1
Walk through this South Carolina based high tech company with Jeb as he tours the facility and meets the employees. Like many businesses in this country, Nephron is worried about the future of our country. Despite having world-class products, Nephron is still seeking its permit from the FDA to be able to move forward with commercializing its products. It’s frustrating…
Jeb On The Trail
Monday, June 29
Join Jeb on the trail as he travels to New Hampshire and Iowa, from town halls to the Tonight Show. Keep up with the campaign by going behind the scenes with Jeb as he engages directly with voters and meets people and families from all walks of life…
Henderson Town Hall and Hugs
Monday, June 29
More than 300 Nevadans came out on Saturday morning for the final stop of Jeb’s Announcement Tour. The town hall in Henderson included laughs, hugs and a commitment from Jeb that Nevada would see him a lot over the next 16 months.
And they all learned what happens when you tell Jeb you became a Republican after 50 years as a Democrat…
Statement: Governor Jeb Bush on Today’s Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage
Friday, June 26
“Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”
This is Not the End of the Fight Against ObamaCare
Thursday, June 25
I was disappointed by last week’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. But that decision is not the end of the fight against ObamaCare…
Tuesday, June 23
Denisha Merriweather had failed twice by the time she was in the third grade. Her public school was not meeting her needs, but her godmother, Johnell Jones, couldn’t afford a private school…
Behind the Launch
Tuesday, June 23
Go behind-the-scenes with Jeb in the final moments leading up to his presidential announcement at Miami Dade College…
The President Must Prioritize Cybersecurity
Monday, June 22
The United States helped drive the information revolution and created the internet. We benefit tremendously from the open and dynamic architecture of an internet that has become the backbone of global communication and commerce…
Monday, June 15
I am a candidate for President of the United States. We will take command of our future once again in this country. I know we can fix this. Because I’ve done it.
General jihadist propaganda on the Internet may have inspired Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, the man accused of killing five servicemen in Tennessee on Thursday before being shot dead himself, a source
General jihadist propaganda on the Internet may have inspired
Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, the man accused of killing five servicemen in Tennessee on Thursday before being shot dead himself, a source close to the investigation said on Monday.
The source, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, told Reuters that authorities had not established a direct link between Abdulazeez and specific groups such as Islamic State.
The attack is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
Abdulazeez had drug abuse problems and was worried about debt according to his family and a diary he left behind, ABC News reported on Monday, citing a family representative.
Close friends told Reuters previously that the suspected shooter drank alcohol and smoked marijuana, had received treatment for drug problems, and struggled to reconcile those habits with his Islamic beliefs. His family said in a statement at the weekend that he suffered from depression.
Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was killed in a gunfight with police on Thursday after he sprayed gunfire at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, then drove to a nearby Naval Reserve Center where he shot and killed four Marines. Three people were wounded, including a sailor who died on Saturday.
The shooting follows a series of attacks, or thwarted attacks, in the United States and other countries by Muslims claiming to be inspired by Islamic State or other militant groups.
U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday they will examine possible shortcomings in law enforcement or intelligence in the case, which highlighted growing concern about possible Internet-based directives from Islamic State leaders in Syria.
Abdulazeez, an engineer, wrote about having suicidal thoughts and “becoming a martyr” as far back as 2013 after losing his job due to drug use, both prescription and non-prescription, the family representative told ABC news.
ABC did not name the family contact, who said Abdulazeez abused sleeping pills, opioids, painkillers, marijuana and alcohol.
ABC said that Abdulazeez was taking sleeping pills to deal with an overnight shift at work, and was considering filing for bankruptcy because he was thousands of dollars in debt.
(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Peter Galloway and James Dalgleish)
As Cuba and the U.S. officially resume diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years, a CBS News Poll shows 58 percent of Americans favor re-establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries, while just 24 percent oppose it. But the poll shows the support for normalization varies greatly when the respondents’ parties are considered.
An elevated section of Interstate 10 collapsed yesterday amid heavy rains in the California desert, injuring one driver, stranding many others, and halting travel for thousands by cutting off both directions of a main corridor between Southern California and Arizona. CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports interstate 10 is closed completely and indefinitely.
Federal investigators say they’ve received hundreds of leads, but are still trying to figure out why Chattanooga gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire on two military sites in Tennessee last week. A source close to the family tells CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan Abdulazeez’s parents encouraged his seven-month trip to Jordan last year because they hoped visiting relatives there would help him recover from what they say was his state of depression. A government source tells CBS News Abdulazeez did not travel outside Jordan during that visit, and did not go to Iraq or Syria to fight or train with ISIS.
After Donald Trump’s comments about Sen. John McCain, the majority of the Republican presidential contenders immediately shot out sharp statements leaping to McCain’s defense. But, based on the diverse, noncommittal opinions of a gathering of Republican voters in Ames, Iowa, it is hard to tell if Iowa voters will turn on “The Donald” over his comments.
Campaign trail selfies
Meeting a presidential candidate is a dream for some voters. Getting a photo with a politician can be tougher. But, CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman reports, two New Hampshire sisters who are not even old enough to vote are headed for a landslide victory with a mission to snap a selfie with every potential presidential candidate.
Dodd – Frank at five
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the U.S. undertook the most comprehensive overhaul of its financial sector since the Great Depression. The “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” aimed to strengthen the nation’s financial system, preclude another bank bailout by taxpayers, and protect consumers from the kinds of rapacious lending and investment practices that shook the American economy to its core. Is Dodd-Frank, which President Obama signed into law on July 21, 2010, working?
For half a century, Beach Boys songs like “Fun, Fun, Fun” have promised unending summers of fun in the sun — not at all like the life founding Beach Boy Brian Wilson actually led for many years, as Anthony Mason tells us.
Defending world champion Mick Fanning learned the hard way that a surfer’s paradise can — in the blink of an eye — become anything but. Yesterday, at the finals of the World Surf League competition in South Africa, the Australian was attacked by a shark, and it was captured live on TV. CBS News correspondent Debora Patta spoke to Fanning about the close call.
By Milad Marvasti • Monday, July 20, 2015
As of March 31, 2015, funds at Soros Fund Management, owned by George Soros, were valued at $10.0 billion. During the quarter, Soros Fund Management had 212 total holdings.
Let’s take a closer look at how these three stocks are positioned in the Soros’s portfolio and how they have performed over the last few months.General Motors Company (NYSE/GM)The giant automaker has a current yield of 4.6%, paying a quarterly dividend of 36 cents a share. General Motors Company (NYSE/GM) nearly comprised two percent of Soros’s portfolio as of March 31, 2015. (Source: GM, last accessed July 15, 2015.)In the first quarter of 2015, net income was attributable to common shareholders of $0.9 billion compared to $0.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Net revenue in the first quarter of 2015 was $35.7 billion, compared to $37.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014.You may be bored to read these numbers, but they suggest a bright outlook for the company. Although GM’s stock price changed little since the beginning of the 2015, evidence suggests we may see an increase in share prices in the next few months.Adecoagro S.A. (NYSE/AGRO)Adecoagro S.A. (NYSE/AGRO) is one of the leading agricultural companies in South America. The company deals in crops, rice, dairy, coffee, cattle, sugar, and other agricultural products. (Source: Adecoagro , last accessed July 15, 2015.)Adecoagro is one of Soros’ favorite stocks, holding up about four percent of his portfolio. This is a great under-the-radar stock. Many analysts expect growth in revenue, compelling growth in net income, and good cash flow from operations.On the latest earnings, Adecoagro reported net first-quarter income of $13.8 million—$11.2 million higher than in the same period last year. Hence, the company’s stock price rose 18% this year.Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ/CY)Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ/CY) is one of the latest disclosed equity positions for the Soros fund. This would indicate that the legendary hedge fund manager is confident and optimistic in the future of the company.All said; Cypress Semiconductor comprised 2.1% of Soros’ total portfolio. According to the most recently reported quarter, Soros increased his stake in the stock by 361.1% to 13.2 million shares.Cypress Semiconductor delivers high-performance, high-quality solutions at the heart of today’s most advanced embedded systems; from automotive, industrial, and networking platforms to highly interactive consumer and mobile devices. (Source: Cypress Semiconductor, last accessed July 15, 2015.)The company’s stocks rose roughly 13% this year. It’s currently trading at $11.68 per share. The company has a 3.4% dividend yield and pays a quarterly dividend of 11 cents per share.
Bottom line; George Soros is believed to be one of the greatest hedge fund managers of all time. His portfolio has grown significantly over the years. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to peek over his shoulder for inspiration on some of the best investments. GM, Adecoagro, and Cypress Semiconductor are among his beloved stocks.
Amid California’s historic drought, an even rarer weekend downpour that calmed wildfires also washed away a 30-foot bridge that carries commuters to Arizona.
An elevated area on Interstate 10 collapsed early Sunday evening near Southeastern California’s Desert Center, leaving a pickup truck trapped underneath. Firefighters launched a cut and rescue operation and the driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries, authorities told the Associated Press. California Highway Patrol have since stopped eastbound traffic near Joshua Tree National Park, a roadway from Palm Springs to the Arizona border.
Ezekiel Ekinaka, 1, with his parents Aaron and Juliet, wears a raincoat as he experiences rain for the second time in his life, at the San Clemente, Calif. (Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP)
Drivers were stranded for miles, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“We are so stuck out here,” 53-year-old commuter Pamala Browne told the AP Sunday evening. “There’s no end to the cars that are stuck out here.”
The two-day rainstorm in southern and central California brought flash floods, thunder and lightning along the state’s drought-stricken breaches, forcing authorities to close a 70-mile stretch over the weekend.
Beachgoers were warned about strong surf and rip currents and swimmers were urged to steer clear of storm drainage flowing in the sea.
In this photo provided by the CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department, emergency crews respond after a pickup truck crashed into the collapse of an elevated section of Interstate 10, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Desert Center, Calif. (Chief Geoff Pemberton/CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire via AP)
Many Southern California residents were without power Sunday afternoon.
Outdoor concerts were canceled. The San Diego Padres had to postpone Sunday’s game and the Los Angeles had its first rainout in two decades.
By Sunday night, the rainstorm had caused a debris flow that trapped several residents in Silverado Canyon near the Santa Ana Mountains.
“We had a pretty significant mud and debris flow that went into the creek and then across Silverado Canyon Road, making the road impassable,” Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi told the Los Angeles Times. “We had a 1,000-acre brush fire back in September, so we have a pretty large burn scar,” he added. “So when we do have significant rain, that mud and debris come downhill toward the road, toward homes.”
Though Concialdi told the newspaper no homes were in danger.
The rainfall broke records in at least 11 areas, including Los Angeles and San Diego, for July, which is typically considered Southern California’s driest month.
“It looks like there’s a good chance the monthly record is going to go up,” National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirard said. “Really, this is super historic.”
On Saturday, Los Angeles, for instance, got 0.36 inches of rain, which beat its record on July 14, 1886, when it got 0.24 inches, Sirard told the Associated Press.
National Weather Service forecaster David Sweet told the Los Angeles Times that Los Angeles, in particular, is feeling the aftereffects of tropical storm Dolores.
The weekend rain did help contain several California wildfires, including Friday’s 3,500-acre blaze that crawled through Cajon Pass and jumped across Interstate 15, forcing commuters to flee their vehicles. The flames destroyed 20 cars before 40 MPH winds carried it to a nearby community called Baldy Mesa, where it torched seven homes and 44 more vehicles, authorities told the AP.
A vehicle proceeds slowly through water covering a road following a brief downpour in northwest Moreno Valley, Calif, Sunday, July 19, 2015. (John Bender/The Press-Enterprise via AP)
“People were screaming,” Russell Allevato, who was on vacation from Michigan with his family, told CBS San Francisco over the weekend. “It was just crazy.”
“We were surrounded by flames,” he said. “They were to the left, then in front of us and they came around to the right. We were in a big horseshoe in the middle.”
Firefighters worked to beat the blaze as light rain help them to gain ground.
“It’s pretty much burnt desert,” witness Keishawna Williams told the station.
Two people suffered minor smoke inhalation, authorities told the AP.
U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Lyn Sieliet told the Los Angeles Times the rainstorm could become blessing or curse as fire remnants continue to smolder.
“If it brings wind and lightning, it could make things more difficult for us,” she said. “But if it brings light, steady rain, that’s going to be the best-case scenario.”
Officials said the showers are expected to continue through Monday.
Lindsey Bever is a national news reporter for The Washington Post. She writes for the Morning Mix news blog. Tweet her: @lindseybever
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Paula Proxmire was surrounded by screaming street preachers, angry protesters and unsettled mourners who had just arrived from Sunday church.
Her son, Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26, had died Saturday from wounds suffered in a shooting rampage here. The attacker was an aimless, depressed, 24-year-old Muslim man whose online postings suggest he may have been motivated by radical Islamist movements.
Proxmire stood across from the bullet-riddled Armed Forces Recruiting Center, one of two military sites attacked by the gunman last week. She brushed back a strand of sweat-soaked hair and sobbed. Her son had been dead for barely one day. Around her people were screaming.
“I can’t believe these people even come here to this country!” one woman yelled. “Why do they come here?”
“Because they want to kill us,” another man answered.
The television cameras edged closer to get a tight shot of Proxmire’s tears. The agitated crowd, many of them carrying holstered pistols, wanted to know why the Obama administration and the military weren’t doing more to kill Islamist extremists in Iraq, in Syria or wherever they might be. They were furious at a U.S. military policy, enacted during the Clinton administration, that prevents recruiters from carrying firearms while on duty.
“How many more mothers have to go through this before we finally do something about it?” yelled Darrell Gibbs, 55, pastor at Highways and Hedges Ministries. “How many mothers have to suffer like this, having cameras shoved down their throats?”
The attack in Chattanooga, and the raw anger it has provoked here, illustrates the increasingly daunting odds that U.S. counterterrorism agencies face in an era marked by surging Islamist propaganda and a proliferation of disparate, self-radicalized, one-off threats.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have launched sweeping initiatives aimed at shoring up their ties to Muslim communities across the country, with special pilot programs underway in major cities such as Boston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
But in many ways the bureau is working against itself. Arrests of suspects accused of planning travel to Syria, sting operations and expanded surveillance have at times alienated the Muslim communities that security agencies depend on for cooperation.
FBI Director James B. Comey announced this month that the bureau had made at least 10 arrests over the past six weeks, part of a preemptive crackdown by authorities concerned about the prospect for a spike in attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Chattanooga is not among the cities involved in the FBI’s pilot program. But with a Muslim population in the low thousands, it serves as an example of dozens of midsize cities where the FBI and other agencies will need to devote considerable resources if they are to be held to the increasingly impossible-seeming standard of disrupting every domestic plot.
Tennessee is home to three FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces, in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. Even though there’s no task force office in Chattanooga, law enforcement officials here have maintained close ties to the Muslim community.
When the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga held a ribbon cutting for its school and mosque complex in 2012, William C. Killian, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, was a featured speaker along with the mayor and chief of police.
“Bill Killian introduced us to the FBI,” said Bassam Issa, the president of the society. “It’s a very close relationship that we have with all law enforcement.” FBI officials and local law enforcement have come to the mosque’s open houses.
But the close relationship wasn’t enough to stop Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who had attended the mosque irregularly and struggled with depression and drug use after college, according to friends and family.
There are more than 100 FBI agents on the ground in Chattanooga, primarily from the FBI Knoxville Field Office, trying to piece together Abdulazeez’s path to radicalization and violence. “That’s going to take time,” one official said. “We may never know, but we are working toward that.”
Abdulazeez did not have an extensive social-media profile, officials said. U.S. officials are also looking for clues in his trips to Jordan, where he visited family.
One possibility is that Abdulazeez was just a troubled young man who responded to the torrent of hate-filled Internet messages from groups such as the Islamic State that are designed to inspire a single, troubled, lone gunman.
Such attacks are incredibly difficult to detect and stop, officials said. The growing signs that Abdulazeez had self-radicalized and acted alone were of little solace to many in Chattanooga who were convinced the government was not doing enough to protect them.
At Carl Poston’s family-owned gun shop, a few miles from Abdulazeez’s home, demand for concealed-carry classes doubled in the days after the shooting. Shooter’s Depot, another gun store on the other side of town, said it had seen a fivefold increase with as many as 100 people a day requesting spots in the gun classes.
“I just can’t agree that the best we can do is pray for Chattanooga,” Hamilton County Public Defender Steve Smith wrote on his Facebook page. “I think the best we can do is ascertain who our enemies are, whether foreign or domestic, and then kill them. . . . This same thing will happen again, likely soon, unless our government can do a better job of identifying our enemies.”
Even the Marines, who have grown grimly accustomed to combat casualties over the course of nearly 14 years of continuous war, viewed these deaths as somehow different and more unsettling.
“When you’re in a combat environment . . . and someone gets killed by an IED or a direct-fire engagement, as horrible as that is, its easier to accept,” said Maj. Mike Abrams, who lost four of his Marines in the attack. “When they are stateside in Chattanooga, in the heartland of America, and they kiss their wife and kids and say goodbye and go to work and they get shot . . . the shock of that is much harder to accept and much harder to find meaning in.”
Abrams said the Marines killed in the attack were being considered for Purple Hearts, an award traditionally reserved for troops killed or wounded in war zones.
Throughout Chattanooga, people were coming up with their own ways to mourn the losses. The Islamic Society in Chattanooga had planned a big celebration Saturday for Eid, the Muslim holiday closest to Christmas, with inflatable moon bounces and tables full of sweets, but canceled it. “This is not a time for us to celebrate anything,” said Issa, the society’s president.
Many left church services Sunday, changed out of their formal clothes and headed out to the two sites where Abdulazeez opened fire. Some huddled in small groups and prayed. Carl Ball, 70, planted an American flag in the ground in front of the building where the four Marines and the sailor had been shot. “How do you stop someone who wants you to kill them so they can go to heaven?” Ball asked. “How do you deter that?”
A few miles away at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center, the other shooting site, the crowd was larger and angrier. “We need to be stronger,” said Tim Litt, a Gulf War veteran who came to the rally with a holstered Ruger pistol. “We need a stronger White House. We need to do more.”
There were boisterous chants of “U.S.A.,” roaring motorcycles and television anchors doing live stand-ups. Proxmire, who had traveled from Delphos, Kan., was still trying to make sense of what had happened to her son, who was in surgery when she arrived in Chattanooga. “He was my hero,” she said. “He was my world.”
Behind her, people were waving American flags and protest signs.
A stranger pulled Proxmire out of the scrum, guided her toward a quiet spot near the road and hugged her. “I’m so sorry for your loss,” Alaina Fitzner, an Air Force wife, whispered to her. “We’re all behind you. You’re part of our military family and we love you.”
Greg Miller and Adam Goldman contributed to this report.
Former President George H.W. Bush left a Maine hospital Sunday four days after he fell at his Kennebunkport home and broke a bone in his neck, his spokesman announced.
Bush, who at 91 is the nation’s oldest living president, fractured his C2 vertebra Wednesday and was treated for four days at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to his spokesman, Jim McGrath. The fractured bone is near the base of the skull.
On Sunday, Bush returned to his home in Kennebunkport wearing a hard neck brace, McGrath said.
Bush “continues to have normal use of his limbs,” and his injury “neither impinged on his spine nor resulted in any neurological deficit,” McGrath said in a statement last week that was reiterated by Bush’s physician, Dr. William D’Angelo.
D’Angelo told reporters Thursday that he planned to let the bone heal without surgery and that he was hopeful Bush would make a full recovery.
Bush is the father of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is seeking the 2016 presidential nomination. Earlier this month, he and his wife, Barbara, hosted an event for top donors to Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.
Several years ago, the elder Bush was diagnosed with vascular Parkinsonism, which causes symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
This was at least the third time he has been hospitalized in recent years.
In December, he stayed in a Houston hospital for nearly a week after experiencing shortness of breath.
In November 2012, Bush went to a Houston hospital with a persistent cough. He developed a fever and stayed for nearly two months.
A man has drowned in the swimming pool at US actress Demi Moore’s Los Angeles home, officials say.
Police said the body of the 21-year-old man – whose name has not been released – was discovered floating in the pool on Sunday morning.
Demi Moore, 52, and her three children are thought to have been away at the time of the incident.
Police are investigating. One officer told the LA Times he believed the victim to be a member of staff.
Police were called to the house in the city’s Beverly Crest neighbourhood at 05:20 local time (12:20 GMT), the LA Times said.
They found paramedics treating the man by the poolside, but he was pronounced dead soon after.
The celebrity website TMZ quoted sources as saying a party had been taking place at the home, and it appeared the man may have fallen into the pool and not been able to swim.
Demi Moore bought the house together with her former husband Ashton Kutcher.
She was once the highest paid actress in Hollywood.
Before Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore was married to film star Bruce Willis.
Officials Houthi militants look at a damaged car at the site of a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen’s capital Sanaa. (Reuters photo)
2-Air strikes kill 20 Houthi fighters in Yemen’s AdenSaudi Arabia shoots down Scud missile fired from Yemen
India wraps up Yemen evacuation
Rebel fire kills 20 civilians in Yemen’s AdenSANAA: Shia rebels and their allies randomly shelled an area north of Aden on Sunday, killing at least 45 people and wounding over 100, officials said.The rebels are pushing back against an offensive by their Saudi-backed rivals that uprooted them from areas they control in the strategic port city last week, including the Aden international airport.The officials said hundreds of residents fled Dar Saad, north of Aden, amid shelling that intensified Sunday from the rebels. They said at least 45 people, believed to be civilians, were killed. Ambulances rushed to various areas in the town, taking the wounded to various hospitals, including some operated by the international aid group Doctors Without Borders.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to brief journalists. Abdu Mohammed Madrabi, a 65-year old resident of the town, said he was in line outside the post office to collection his pension when the shells hit, causing chaos in the area. Madrabi, who was wounded in the neck, back and leg, said many private cars carried the wounded to hospitals because ambulances couldn’t cope. “We are now sitting on the floor of the hospital waiting for treatment,” he said. The shelling was intense in the neighbourhood of Sharqiya, hundreds of meters (yards) from the post office. Residents said shelling since early dawn kept them hiding at home.” It’s been one shell after the other since the morning. We are feeling the house is going to collapse over our head,” said Arwa Mohammed, a resident of Sharqiya, who has been locked up in one room with her seven-member family for safety. She said a shack nearby was burning from the bombing, adding that its residents fled only minutes before the shell landed.
“Balls of fire are falling over our heads amid screams of children and women,” said Anis Othman, a neighbour of Mohammed. “Why all that shelling? There are no weapons or fighters here. They (the rebels) want to terrorize us and drive us out. This is only rancour and hate.”
Hassan Boucenine, the head of Doctors Without Borders in Yemen, said the situation is “very, very difficult,” describing random shelling in Dar Saad that is coming from the north and east, wounding mostly civilians. He said his medical facilities have received 50 wounded people and 25 corpses. “There will be more,” he said. The Saudi-backed fighters, backed by Saudi-led coalition air strikes, pushed the rebels out of Aden’s airport and two major neighbourhoods last week. The rebels vowed to retaliate. Aden has been the scene of some of the war’s most intense ground fighting since March.