Hello Everyone! Here’s your Weekend Digest for Sunday, October 28.
1. Tragedy Strikes Pittsburgh
- Robert Gregory Bowers killed eight men and three women inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning.
- He has been charged with multiple accounts of hate crimes and told police after he was captured that “Jews were committing genocide and he wanted them all to die.”
- The victims ranged in age from youngest being 54 to the oldest being 97 years old.
- Mayor Bill Peduto called it the “darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history.”
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the charges “could lead to the death penalty.”
- News of the tragedy has swept across the world with leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel who offered her condolences on Twitter and said “all of us must confront anti-Semitism with determination — everywhere.”
- Pope Francis led prayers for Pittsburgh on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square and prayed for God “to help us to extinguish the flames of hatred that develop in our societies, reinforcing the sense of humanity, respect for life and civil and moral values.”
- Cries for gun control have not entered the fore front of the news coverage yet but President Trump said on Saturday that the outcome might have been different if the synagogue “had some kind of protection” from an armed guard.
- While Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, up for re-election, noted that once again “dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harm’s way.”
- Flags have been ordered by President Trump to be flown at half mast today and thousands gathered for a vigil in Pittsburgh Saturday night.
- Read more details about the shooting here.
How Alabama Reacted
- Here are how some of Alabama’s Delegation reacted to the news of the mass shooting:
Gov. Kay Ivey ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff at the request of the president.
Sen. Richard Shelby said on Twitter, “Saddened to hear about the horrible shooting in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue. We as a nation must strongly condemn acts of terrorism and hate in our communities and in places of worship, and stand together for unity and peace. My heart goes out to all of those affected.”
Sen. Doug Jones said on Twitter, “This is a horrific act of violence on a community of faith. It is heartbreaking & wrong on so many levels. No words can heal those families’ pain. No thoughts or prayers can fix what’s broken. Hate is driving some folks to say and do awful things in our country. It must stop—now.”
Rep. Martha Roby said on Twitter, “I am deeply saddened for the families who lost loved ones during the horrific events at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh today. These atrocious acts of evil have no place in our society & I am praying for all those affected.”
Rep. Terri Sewell said on Twitter, “I am horrified and saddened by the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue today. My prayers are with victims and their families. As a nation we must make it clear that anti-Semitism and hate have no place here, as lawmakers we must demand action on commonsense gun reform.”
Rep. Robert Aderholt said on Twitter, “My sincere condolences for the lives lost today at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. I offer my prayers to the families of those who have been lost. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” psalm 46:1.”
Rep. Bradley Bryne said on Facebook, “There is absolutely no place for hate and bigotry in America. My prayers are with all those impacted by this morning’s tragic shooting.”
What this means
- This is the third aggressive act of violence and hate towards American citizens this week.
- With the first being the home made pipe mobs sent to various Democrat politicians and supporters throughout this week and the second being a man who walked into a Kroger in Louisville, Kentucky killing 2 black people and tried to enter a predominately black church minutes before going to the Kroger.
- These events happening right on top of the other clearly points to a divided and troubled time America is currently facing.
- Many are accusing the president of inciting these actions with his rhetoric of being harsh against the media and the way he reacted to former acts of hate crimes like the rally in Charlottesville.
- Trump and other members of his administration are rejecting this notion and instead are shifting the focus back to the media and claiming their “misleading” stories are what is to blame.
- It’s hard to say if these tragic events will help either party in the midterms but it is safe to say that we as a nation need to come together during this time if we ever want to try and stop future senseless violence.
2. Mattis Presses Saudi Leaders
- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told members of the press on Sunday that he met with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister and urged a full and complete investigation into the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi.
- He said that Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir “had no reservations at all” about the need for the kingdom to be transparent.
- Mattis added that the evidence Turkey has collected “will ensure there is more than one review” of the incidents surrounding Khashoggi’s death.
- What has been said so far of the journalist’s death is that Turkish official believe a Saudi team of 15 men tortured, killed and dismembered the writer in a premeditated act.
- The kingdom initially said it knew nothing about what happened to Khashoggi, but on Thursday said evidence shows the killing was premeditated.
- President Trump has said he will press the Kingdom and will increase pressures to find out the truth, but what exactly those pressures will be has not been said yet.
- You can read more about Mattis’ statements here.
A Message from The Alabama Petroleum Council
- The United States is the global leader in production and refining of natural gas and oil. It’s an American energy revolution that impacts all 50 states – including Alabama.
- Alabama ranked 18th in oil production in 2016, 16th in natural gas output that same year and natural gas continues to be the leading source of electricity generation in the state.
- The Alabama Petroleum Council exists to support policies that maintain this national energy resurgence – benefiting consumers and producing good-paying Alabama jobs.
- Stay connected to the Alabama Petroleum Council via Twitter.
3. Migrant caravan experiences blockades and breaks
- Reports that the central American migrant caravan headed to the U.S. border has faced some physical blockades this week and stopped to rest Sunday morning, show the tough journey the travelers are on.
- Tapanatepec, Mexico in Oaxaca state is where the caravan stopped to rest and where the first acts of violence have been reported.
- The security chief there reported that the town was distributing sandwiches and water to migrants camped in the central square when a man with a megaphone asked people to wait their turn, some men hurled insults at him and eventually began to chase and beat him up based on false rumors that he grabbed a child to protect himself.
- The Mexican government has been mixed on their efforts to try and stop the caravan from continuing on and helping them with food and water.
- On Saturday, more than a hundred federal police dressed in riot gear blocked a rural highway in southern Mexico shortly before dawn to encourage the migrants to apply for refugee status in Mexico rather than continue to the U.S.
- Police let the caravan proceed after representatives from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission convinced them that a rural stretch of highway without shade, toilets or water was no place for migrants to entertain an offer of asylum.
- Then, not long after that blockade left, Grupo Beta, Mexico’s migrant protection agency, gave rides to stragglers and passed out water.
- The caravan still has roughly 1,000 miles till they reach the nearest U.S. border crossing at McAllen, Texas.
- According to the Associated Press the migrants have faced 104 degrees Fahrenheit on their journey and have already been traveling for around two weeks.
- Read more about the caravan here.
4. The Week in Good News
Here are some happy and hopeful reads that we all need after this last week:
Possibly the cutest baby Halloween costumes ever???
- Check out these unbelievably cute Toy Story themed baby Halloween outfits where they dressed up their children as slinky and Woody from the Disney movie.
- If this doesn’t warm your soul and make you smile, then you just might not be human.
- This family is very creative and I hope they keep going with there Disney theme as well.
- Check out the cute costumes and photos here.
She saved her husband’s life and had a baby
- This is a remarkable story. In the span of four days a woman who was 39 weeks pregnant save her husband’s life and then gave birth to their baby.
- Ashley Goette started giving her husband chest compressions when she noticed he wasn’t breathing in the middle of the night.
- He was taken to the hospital where it seemed like if he did survive, he would likely be brain dead.
- Her husband did wake up and appeared to be okay. He was able to hold his new baby girl when Goette gave birth just a few days later.
- You can read all about the story here.
A blind mountain climber helps others with their disabilities.
- Erik Weihenmayer has been blind since he was 13, but that didn’t stop him from climbing the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Everest.
- Now he wants to share what he has learned and has created his own nonprofit organization, No Barriers, which teaches outdoor skills to those with physical challenges.
- He is a remarkable guy and I highly suggest reading his interview with the New York Times.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mattis presses Saudi leader for full probe on writer’s death
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Migrant caravan takes a break in southern Mexico
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Police: Synagogue gunman said he wanted all Jews to die
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama gets specific on one highway’s speed limit: 26 mph
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former Alabama prison guard gets 6 years for drug smuggling
AL.COM – Alabama leaders speak out on Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: If you vote for Tom Parker, Alabama, the joke’s on you.
AL.COM – University of Alabama students spend fall break aiding Hurricane Michael clean-up.
AL.COM – Bradley Byrne eyeing Senate run, but first has to win in November.
AL.COM – Contributor Joyce Lanning: Outdated Alabama Public Service Commission needs change.
FACING SOUTH – The 2018 ballot measures that could help build a more just South.
FACING SOUTH – The new voting restrictions Southern voters face in the midterm election.
DECATUR DAILY – The Decatur Daily: Joffrion, Aderholt for US House.
DECATUR DAILY – Local officials believe Japanese trip could yield more industries for north Alabama.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Columnist Tommy Stevenson’s At Large: Ginning up fears about the ‘caravan’.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – The Tuscaloosa News: Political division is leading us to tragedy.
ANNISTON STAR – The Anniston Star: Maddox is the choice for Alabama.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – As the midterms approach, groups nationwide try to woo college students to vote.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – 3 questions for Supreme Court Place 4 candidates Mitchell, Smalley.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Jay Mitchell: I’ll fight for rule of law on Alabama Supreme Court.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Supreme Court hopeful Donna Smalley: We need a more balanced view.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Davis running for state House District 80.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Dothan/Houston County EMA Director reflects on Hurricane Michael damage, response.
WASHINGTON POST – Suspect in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting charged with 29 counts in deaths of 11 people.
WASHINGTON POST – For American Jews, Pittsburgh synagogue massacre is culmination of worst fears.
WASHINGTON POST – ‘He felt that somebody was finally talking to him’: How the package-bomb suspect found inspiration in Trump.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Refuse to become accustomed.
WASHINGTON POST – Columnist Max Boot: What is happening to our country?
WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Marian S.: I crossed the border seeking safety. Instead, they took my daughter away.
WASHINGTON POST – The Trump tax cuts were supposed to set off an investment boom. They haven’t so far.
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Calls for Unity After Synagogue Shooting, Then Swiftly Denounces Democrats
NEW YORK TIMES – Democrats Have Numbers on Their Side in Battle for the House. Republicans Have the Map.
NEW YORK TIMES – Driven by Trump Policy Changes, Fracking Booms on Public Lands
NEW YORK TIMES – The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor Brent Staples: A Fate Worse Than Slavery, Unearthed in Sugar Land
Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)