High School Shooting in Aztec, New Mexico: Two Students Killed, Student Gunman Dead; Sen. Al Franken Announces Resignation; Former South Carolina Police Officer Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Shooting Death of Unarmed Male; Gay Man Denied Kentucky Marriage License by Clerk Kim Davis Will Run To Unseat Her; Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman Is Mystery Buyer of $450 Million Da Vinci Painting; Deaf Couple Describes "Rye Fire"
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, December 7. Ready for news?
In Aztec, New Mexico — there was a school shooting at the Aztec High School that killed two students. The shooter, also a high school student, is dead. There is no information yet on their ages/identities.
Police said nobody else was injured, but there were previous reports of 15 injured. That part is not clear.
This is in northwest NM, in the four corners region and near the Navajo Nation. The school has around 900 students. News pictures showed a large police presence with many concerned parents. Terrible to see.
Sen. Al Franken has announced he will resign in a speech today on the Senate floor.
He said he was inspired two months ago by the new conversation about sexual harassment and assault, but then that conversation turned to him. He said some of the accusations were not true, some of them he remembered differently, but that he was ready to cooperate with the ethics committee — yet found that he couldn’t effectively do his job during the investigation, so that he will resign within the next few weeks.
Yesterday more than 30 Democratic Senators called for him to resign. At least six women have accused him of sexual misconduct.
In Franken’s speech, he pointed to Trump, saying he is leaving while a man who has bragged about sexual assault sits in the Oval Office. He also criticized Republicans for supporting Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (who was accused of seeking sexual relationships with minor girls).
He said he will keep his “voice.” He thanked his staff, encouraged others to keep on working, and had positive words for Minnesota. He said he is lucky to have a beautiful family and will be just fine. He was elected in 2008 — before that he was a comedian who worked with Saturday Night Live.
Now with Minnesota’s empty Senate seat — the state governor Mark Dayton (D) will appoint a replacement, who will remain there until a special election in 2018 during the midterm elections. Then in 2020 there will be another election to give the next Senator a 6-year term.
Minnesota is a “purple” state — split across Democrats and Republicans, so there is a possibility that seat could be flipped to Republicans next year.
Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was found guilty of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice by a federal judge and sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting and killing an unarmed man, Walter Scott in 2015, then lying to investigators about it.
This shooting was caught on cell-phone camera by a bystander. It showed the officer and Walter close to each other, then Walter turns away and runs away. Slager then raises his gun while standing up and shoots at him eight times, with five hitting his back, killing him.
Before the shooting, Slager had pulled over Walter’s car because one of his brake lights was not working. For some reason, Walter ran away, with Slager chasing him. He then deployed his taser, causing Walter to fall down, but he got up again (that’s when the video started). As he ran away, he was shot.
There was previous state court cases, but it went to a mistrial when the jury deadlocked. But Slager got federal charges for violating Walter’s civil rights which he pled guilty to in May, and after court proceedings, he’s now headed to prison for 20 years.
Remember Kim Davis, the Kentucky Rowan County Clerk, who sparked a national controversy two years ago when she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses due to her religious beliefs (she didn’t want her name on the license), causing her to be jailed for five days for contempt of court?
Now a gay man who was denied a marriage license by Kim will run against her for County Clerk during next year’s elections. His name is David Ermold. He said he wants to restore the integrity of that office, that he was unfairly treated.
He did eventually get his license after the state of Kentucky changed how they issued the licenses — they removed the county clerks’ names from it.
Kim said she helped David with his paperwork to run as a candidate, that she shook his hand and said, “Congratulations, may the best candidate win.”
So this is another case of a LGBTQ person running for political office against an incumbent who has expressed opposition to LGBTQ rights.
During this year’s elections in September, Democrat Danica Roem, a transgender woman, defeated Republican Bob Marshall to win a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Marshall had refused to debate her during the campaign, saying her behavior was against the laws of nature and nature’s God. Danica won by nearly 10%.
So there will be a lot of attention in Rowan County as time nears to the 2018 elections.
Last month there was someone who paid $450.3 million in an auction for a painting by famous artist Leonardo da Vinci — the “Salvator Mundi,” which is a painting of Jesus Christ. It was painted in 1500.
At that time, it was not known who bought it — but now various media news has revealed it to be Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). He used a proxy (another person, who was another Saudi prince) to buy it so he could remain anonymous. This was known by U.S. government intelligence and people in the Middle East art community.
This is the most money every paid for a painting, $450 million, and it raises eyebrows towards MBS, since he has led a purge/round of arrests of several wealthy royal and business figures in the country, saying they were corrupt. This is one of the reasons why U.S. intelligence has been watching him closely, and probably how they knew he bought this painting.
It is said there is a competition between Middle East royal families and Chinese billionaires to buy rare pieces of art as “trophies.”
The painting will be displayed at the Louvre Abu Dhabi at the United Arab Emirates.
[Deaf Couple Describes “Rye Fire”]
Alicia: Hello my name is Alicia Miller.
Arleta: My name is Arleta Meeker. So, the Rye Fire. Do you want to explain our situation?
[Map of location of Rye Fire]
Alicia: It was horrible, our first experience of evacuating and having roads blocked, just seeing the fires and smoke everywhere.
[Video of smoke rising above mountains]
Alicia: It felt like a normal day yesterday (Monday). We got up and was ready to go to the store. I saw fires, but it was far away — 30 minutes away. I thought it was nothing.
Arleta: It was nothing, it was small.
Alicia: When I got to the store, our neighbor texted us and freaked us out. I was like, we better leave.
Arleta: When we got outside, there were strong winds. It felt like a hurricane (although I’ve never experienced a hurricane before). When I got in the car, it was shaking along with the trees and everything else.
[Video of traffic on the road with smoke rising beyond the mountains]
Arleta: Then when we got on Rye Road, it was blocked.
Alicia: I saw fire on the Rye Road. I was like, “No way!”
Arleta: We were stuck, so we took another road, but that was blocked as well. So we took an old road, but that was blocked as well.
Alicia: It was only five minutes from my home. I was like, “No way!” We had to pull over and saw the smoke continue to rise. It was scary, we were so worried that it would reach our home, our neighbors, we thought about our roommates and our cats, we were concerned. We were stopped close to Six Flags, where we worked. We were concerned about our co-workers/friends as well.
Arleta: Fortunately Six Flags had already evacuated around 11:30 that morning because their power went out.
Alicia: I saw the flames approaching Six Flags. I was like, “No way!” I had to film it, and I saw a plane actually drop water.
[Video of plane dropping water near Six Flags rollercoaster]
Alicia: I was like, “That’s real close to Six Flags.” But it was safe, the fire didn’t hit the park.
Arleta: It was amazing and lucky. The fires stopped just before the park, the water doused it away. When we got home, we checked the area, there was smoke around.
Alicia: Our neighbors said the fire just missed us, it went around our area and around Six Flags, it just missed us, we are lucky, it’s amazing.
Arleta: There are basically four fires that happened yesterday, and we were in the middle of it all. We are thankful for the fire department for their hard work in the winds.
Alicia: And the police officers too, for blocking the roads. But they allowed some to go through to pick up kids from school. We are thankful to people who have prayed for help for the California wildfires. It’s a terrible experience and we have to learn a lesson to be better-prepared. It’s scary.
Arleta: But I’ve got a lot of experience with fires.
Alicia: It’s my first experience.
Arleta: But it’s my first with evacuating.
Alicia: Me too.
Both: Thank you, thank you for watching us, ILY
That is all for today. I will post more news tomorrow on FB and YouTube, and email you all as well. Have a wonderful evening and stay with the light!