Manhunt for drive-by shooters in Texas after 30 people injured in Odessa & Midland

Up to 30 people have reportedly been shot in Texas in two separate locations in Midland and Odessa. Police say there are two shooters in two vehicles involved. Manhunt is ongoing.

In Odessa, active shooter situation was reported near a Home Depot. The rifle-wielding gunman shot a state trooper and then opened fire on civilians from a vehicle. 20 people have been shot in total, according to CBS News.

Midland Police Department then reported that there were two shooters in two separate vehicles in Midland. One of the alleged gunmen is driving a gold-white Toyota truck and the second had reportedly hijacked a USPS postal van.

Update * We believe there are two shooters in two separate vehicles. One suspect is believed to be at the Cinergy in…

Публикувахте от Midland Police Department в Събота, 31 август 2019 г.

“A subject (possibly 2) is currently driving around Odessa shooting at random people. At this time there are multiple gunshot victims. The suspect just hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck and was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut,” Odessa Police Department said on its Facebook page.

Witness reports on Twitter suggested several separate locations have been hit as the gunman drove through Odessa. 

Following reports that one of the shooters is driving a postal truck, US Postal Service have issued a recall for all its vehicles in the area, according to local channel KOSA-TV.


Collision course with Israel? Palestinian Authority claims sovereignty over ENTIRE West Bank

The Palestinian Authority has announced that it will cease to recognize the division of the West Bank into three areas of differing Israeli and Palestinian control, and will lay claim to the entire territory.

The pronouncement, if acted upon, will end the current division of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C, as set forth in the Oslo Accords, signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1993 and 1995.

The news comes a month after PA President Mahmoud Abbas decided to halt all agreements with Israel, and several weeks after newly-appointed Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh tweeted that “we will deal with all the lands belonging to the State of Palestine as Area ‘A’, including occupied East Jerusalem.”

Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Area A comprises 18 percent of the West Bank, and includes all large Palestinian cities. This area is under the full control of the PA. Area B – 22 percent of the West Bank – is under Israeli security control and Palestinian administrative control. Area C occupies 60 percent of the West Bank’s land but is sparsely populated. This area is under full Israeli control, and has seen a controversial expansion of Israeli settlements since the 1980s.

Though the division is more than two decades old, it was originally intended to last for five years, until a more long-term peace agreement could be reached. That never happened, and the divisions have since become entrenched. As such, it remains unclear how the PA will exercise this newly-claimed authority, especially in the settlements of Area C and in East Jerusalem, which was not placed in any of the three categories by the accords in the first place.

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Though Tel Aviv has yet to formally respond to the announcement, it is extremely unlikely that Israel will relinquish its control of Area C and East Jerusalem. Indeed, the policy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the exact opposite. The hardline leader has overseen a steady expansion of settlements and declared upon taking office in 2009 that “all of Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

Netanyahu also declared in June that any future peace deal must guarantee an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, which makes up much of Area C.

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The Palestinian Authority has threatened to shred the Oslo Accords before, most notably in a 2015 speech before the United Nations General Assembly. His speech then was met with more shrugs than gasps, as the accords actually established the Palestinian Authority, and abandoning them would see Israel assume full occupation of the West Bank. A new, potentially fairer agreement would then have to be debated, but this agreement could see PA leaders lose power.

Unless Israel triggers conflict by annexing Area C completely, or the PA follows through on its declaration and attempts to reorganize the West Bank by force, the move will likely remain a symbolic one for now.

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(L) © Reuters / Mussa Qawasma; (R) © Reuters / Mohamad Torokman
Palestine’s Abbas suspends ALL agreements with Israel

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Fakes for me, not for thee: US govt to use false social media profiles to monitor immigrants

US Citizenship and Immigration officers can now use fake social media accounts to surveil foreigners seeking visas and citizenship, even after years of US lawmakers blasting foreign rivals for supposedly doing the same.

Officers have until recently been banned from creating fictitious profiles, but a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) privacy review dated July 2019 but posted online on Friday has reversed that ban. According to the review, officers with the department’s Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate can keep an eye on the social media profiles of suspicious visa applicants, as they decide who to allow entry to. 

Twitter told AP that it would evaluate the DHS proposal, while Facebook has yet to comment. Yet, the move seems to directly contradict the policies of both social media giants, which explicitly ban impersonation on their platforms. Both platforms just recently shut down more than 200,000 “fake accounts,” supposedly operated by the Chinese government to discredit the Hong Kong protest movement.

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Moreover, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were caught earlier this year using fake Facebook profiles to catch illegal immigrants enroling in the University of Farmington, a fictitious university set up by the agency to entrap people committing immigration fraud, including nearly 600 Indian students.

Kudos to the DHS, it has at least given a nod towards privacy, with agents not allowed to interact with the profiles they monitor, and are forbidden from “friending” or “following” them. They are therefore restricted to combing through the information that these people choose to make public. 

However, no matter how careful the DHS is, the fact remains that setting up fake accounts in the first place is forbidden by Facebook and Twitter. Whether they will acquiesce to the demands of the government in this case is an open question. To date, the Silicon Valley tech giants have had a testy relationship with the current administration, with Donald Trump lambasting the platforms for their supposed anti-conservative bias.

The tech titans have also been accused by both parties of overbearing data collection and monitoring of users, particularly in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal last year.

‘US bots’ unleashed?

That a government agency would advocate the use of fake accounts is shockingly ironic, given the noise that American lawmakers have raised over the proliferation of similar fakes from their adversaries. In a pair of hearings last year, Democrats grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the alleged spread of ‘misinformation’ by Russian accounts during the 2016 election in the US. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also faced a similar line of questioning later last year, at a Senate hearing into foreign election interference, during which he attempted to win over lawmakers from both parties by trumpeting his platform’s anti-Russian crackdown since 2016.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year © Reuters / Jim Bourg

Since the hearings, both platforms have embarked on sporadic purges of accounts they say were faked by Russia, China, and Iran. Facebook uses the term “co-ordinated inauthentic activity” to justify its crackdows, while Twitter has also targeted “inauthentic accounts” in its clearouts.

So, with America’s law enforcement agencies getting into the business of inauthentic activity, will there be any congressional hearings or mass purges of DHS-linked accounts? Unlikely. Facebook determines what constitutes “inauthentic activity” by liaising with certain groups like the Atlantic Council (AC), a NATO-backed think tank funded by the US government and a slew of arms manufacturers. Twitter has also offered money to the AC to fund “research” into flimsy claims of Russian election-meddling.

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While politicians on both sides of the aisle pilloried Facebook for its data-harvesting practices last year, they have never shied away from using these data troves themselves. After Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people in a shooting rampage in San Bernardino in 2015, legislation authorizing social media checks for foreigners seeking US visas enjoyed bipartisan support.

Four years later, the Trump administration upped the ante, with the State Department announcing in June that all applicants for US visas will have to submit their social media usernames and five years’ worth of email addresses for scrutiny. The tightening-up of rules has already seen at least one Palestinian student barred from entry, for posts containing “political points of view that oppose the US.”

The view from Washington was perhaps best summed up at Dorsey’s hearing by Republican Senator Tom Cotton (Arizona). After asking Dorsey whether he believed that the US should “remain the world’s dominant global superpower,” Cotton went on to suggest that Facebook and Twitter should actively work on behalf of the US government, and not act as “even-handed or neutral arbiters.”

Allowing a few fakes here and there might be the price these companies pay to keep Washington’s favor – for now.

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Mane rages at Liverpool teammate Salah as fans accuse Egyptian of selfishness

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane launched into a furious touchline rant in apparent anger at Mohamed Salah after the Egyptian failed to square the ball to his teammate during the Premier League win at Burnley.

Senegalese star Mane was substituted in the 85th minute of the clash at Turf Moor, which Liverpool won 3-0 thanks to an own goal from Chris Wood and strikes by Mane and Roberto Firmino.

But after making his way to the bench, Mane appeared to be furious that Salah had not squared the ball to him moments earlier when he had been well-placed.

The normally mild-mannered Mane was seen remonstrating on the Liverpool touchline before being calmed down by teammates James Milner and Firmino.

The incident was quickly picked up on by social media users, some of whom believed the Senegalese star had every right to be angry at his teammate.

The scenes took the shine off what was Liverpool’s 13th straight Premier League win as they returned to the top of the table with four victories from four games this season. 

It is also not the first time Salah has been criticized for not passing. He was labelled “selfish and greedy” by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher during the victory over Fulham last season. 


‘Devastating’: Tributes paid to F2 driver Hubert after tragic death aged 22 in Belgian Grand Prix

The world of motorsport has been paying tribute to Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert after the Frenchman died at the age of 22 following injuries sustained in a horrific crash at the Belgian Grand Prix.

READ MORE: French Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert dies aged 22 in crash at Belgian Grand Prix

BWT Arden driver Hubert collided with the barriers while passing through the Raidillon swerves section on lap two of the race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

His vehicle was then struck at high speed by the Sauber Junior car of Juan Manuel Correa, which was reportedly traveling at around 170mph.

Hubert’s car was smashed into two by the impact, while the crash left Correa’s feet exposed as the front section of his car broke away, keeping him trapped in the cockpit.

Correa, 20, is said to be in a stable condition in hospital, although governing body the FIA confirmed that Hubert had tragically died of his injuries.

The wreckage of Hubert’s car is removed from the Spa track. © AFP / ANP / Remko de Waal

After the news, tributes came in from the motorsport community for a talented young driver who was rising through the ranks, and who had picked up two victories in his first year in F2.

Responding to the news on Instagram, current F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton wrote: “This is devastating. God rest your soul, Anthoine. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family today.

“If a single one of you watching and enjoying this sport think for a second what we do is safe your hugely mistaken. All these drivers put their life on the line when they hit the track and people need to appreciate that in a serious way because it is not appreciated enough,” he added. 

“Not from the fans nor some of the people actually working in the sport. Anthoine is a hero as far as I’m concerned, for taking the risk he did to chase his dreams. I’m so sad that this has happened. Let’s lift him up and remember him. Rest in peace brother.”

Instagram @lewishamilton

Fellow drivers past and present also shared their condolences on social media, as did motor racing teams as well as commentators and fans. 

Organizers of the F1 race at the same venue on Sunday are yet to announce how that event will be affected by Saturday’s tragic incident.

French Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert dies aged 22 in crash at Belgian Grand Prix

French driver Anthoine Hubert has died after he was involved in a huge crash during the Formula 2 race at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

BWT Arden driver Hubert hit the wall while driving around the Raidillon bend on the second lap at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, spinning before Sauber Junior team driver Juan Manuel Correa collided with his car.

The race was canceled as emergency crews were sent to the scene, although the FIA later confirmed that Huber, 22, had died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

The statement added that Ecuadorian-American racer Correa, 20, was in a stable condition in hospital.  

Hubert had stepped up to the F2 championship at the start of this year, and had claimed two wins in 16 races this season, in Monaco and France.

After the news of his tragic death was reported, tributes poured in from the world of motorsport, including F1 team Mercedes.