A suspect was apprehended after killing three people and injuring one other Tuesday in downtown Fresno, California, in what authorities are calling “a random act of violence.” Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said at a news conference the suspect, who was identified as 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, allegedly shot and killed three people in the city’s downtown area, including a Pacific Gas & Electric employee and two others outside a Catholic Charities facility. Muhammad, who police say yelled “God is great” in Arabic before he was apprehended, was wanted by police on suspicion of fatally shooting a security guard outside a Fresno hotel last week. Dyer added the suspect’s Facebook page indicated “he does not like white people,” and also included “anti-government sentiments.” Authorities did not label the incident a hate crime, and said it is too soon to determine if it was an act of terrorism. Muhammad is believed to have acted alone and faces four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
This story is developing and we will update it as we learn more.
Pedro Hernandez Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Etan Patz Murder Case
Pedro Hernandez was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Tuesday for the kidnapping and murder of 6-year-old Etan Patz, marking an end to the infamous case that began nearly four decades ago. Hernandez was convicted by a New York jury in February at the end of the case’s second trial. The first, which took place in 2015, ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked. Hernandez confessed in 2012 that he lured Patz into the basement of the grocery store where he worked in 1979 and strangled him; Hernadez’s lawyers argued the confession was a product of police manipulation and that Hernandez is mentally ill. Patz, whose body was never found, was one of the first missing children to ever be pictured on a milk carton. The anniversary of his disappearance has since been commemorated as National Missing Children’s Day.
United Airlines CEO: No One Will Be Fired Over Dragging Incident
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said Tuesday no one would be fired from the airline over last week’s incident in which a passenger was dragged off what was thought to be an overbooked flight. The airlines’s executives added it was too soon to tell how the incident has affected ticket sales. Video of the incident, which showed police forcibly drag the 69-year-old passenger, Dr. David Dao, off his seat and down the plane’s aisle, generated global backlash against the airline and wiped nearly $1 billion off United Continental Holdings Inc’s value. Munoz condemned the event as a “system failure” and vowed the airline would no longer use law enforcement to remove passengers who are “booked, paid, seated.” The controversy prompted other airlines to revisit their policies, as well. Delta Airlines announced Friday it would increase its compensation to passengers removed from overbooked flights from $1,350 to $9,950, and American Airlines said it would no longer permit the removal of passengers who have already boarded the plane.
Police Say Facebook-Murder Suspect Steve Stephens Found Dead
Updated at 1:23 p.m.
Pennsylvania State Police announced Tuesday that Steve Stephens, the man authorities in Cleveland say shot and killed a 74-year-old man and uploaded video of the slaying to Facebook, killed himself in Erie County.
Steve Stephens was spotted this morning by PSP members in Erie County. After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams thanked the public for their help in finding Stephens, noting authorities had 400 tips on his whereabouts. He also warned of using social media to post videos of violence. “We can’t do this in this country,” Williams said in a news conference. “I think the people on social media kind of know the power and the harm it can do.” The video remained on Facebook for more than two hours before it was removed by the social-networking site. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “We will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.”
Stephens made several Facebook posts before the shooting, saying he’d lost all his money gambling and that he was upset with his girlfriend. He also claimed to have committed a dozen other murders, though police have not verified if that is true. The killing happened Sunday afternoon, and the video, as described byThe Washington Post, shows Stephens approach a man, then ask him to repeat the name of his girlfriend. The man does so, then Stephens says, “She’s the reason why this is about to happen to you.” Stephens then raises the gun and fires, according to the Post. The victim was identified as Robert Godwin Sr., and police said there was no indication the men knew each other. Authorities say they believe Stephens left the state, and they cautioned residents in Pennsylvania and New York that he is armed and dangerous. Stephens was last seen in a white Ford Fusion.
Following the killing, Facebook said it needed to respond to such videos more quickly. “We know we need to do better,” Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, said Monday in a blog post. As early as this morning, Stephens’s whereabouts were unknown. Rumors that Stephens had been spotted in other cities and as far afield as Texas were dismissed by authorities in those places. This is not the first time a crime has been committed and video of it found on Facebook.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined early Tuesday to vacate the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling halting a scheduled execution from taking place. The high court’s ruling, which came just minutes before the death warrant of 54-year-old inmate Don Davis expired, prevented the state of Arkansas from conducting the first of eight lethal injections scheduled to take place this month, as well as the first execution to take place in the state since 2005. The court provided no explanation for the denial, and no dissents were recorded. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said he was “disappointed” by the decision, but added the state “will continue to fight back on last minute appeals and efforts to block justice for the victims’ families.” As Garrett Epps noted, the state’s decision to schedule eight executions over the span of just 11 days—a rate the Death Penalty Information Center, which monitors executions in the U.S., called “unprecedented”—correlates with the state’s supply of execution-drug midazolam that is set to expire at the end of the month.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May Calls for New Elections on June 8
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has called for early general election on June 8, a date that marks almost one year since the country voted to leave the European Union. “The country is coming together but Westminster is not,” May said, referring to the U.K.’s Parliament. Lawmakers will vote tomorrow on May’s call, and they are expected to approve early elections; elections were previously scheduled for 2020. While political opposition to Brexit remains high, polls still narrowly support the vote; more good news for May is that her Conservative party is comfortably ahead of most of its rivals.
Judge Emmet Sullivan expressed “disdain” and “disgust” for Flynn’s crimes and, despite the government’s request for leniency, postponed a status hearing until March.
Lawyers for retired General Michael Flynn had every reason to celebrate. They managed to get their client—who lobbied against U.S. interests while serving as a top Donald Trump–campaign surrogate; tried to undermine the Barack Obama administration’s Russia policy while still a private citizen; and, as a sitting national-security adviser, worked to conceal it all from the Justice Department—a recommendation of no jail time from the government. But they appeared to have made a last-minute miscalculation that put Flynn’s potential lenient sentence in doubt.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, appeared to let Flynn off the hook for his crimes in exchange for his cooperation in the Russia probe and an investigation into illegal lobbying for the Turkish government that is being conducted out of the Eastern District of Virginia. Flynn is also cooperating in a third investigation, the nature of which remains unknown. Indeed, before Tuesday’s hearing, it had appeared all but certain that Flynn’s decision to assist the government early and fully would spare him jail time. But that leniency apparently wasn’t enough for Flynn’s lawyers.
A muscular public relations strategy is often a terrible litigation strategy.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Tuesday got an unpleasant lesson on the difference between politically effective arguments and legally astute ones. Backed by an array of well-wishers including President Trump, and buoyed by widespread conservative arguments that the FBI had violated his rights, Flynn walked into a federal courtroom in Washington hoping for the probationary sentence that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had recommended. Instead he was threatened with jail by a furious United States District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who accused him of selling America out and forced him to retreat from his evasions. Flynn’s lawyers hastily agreed to delay the sentencing until March 2019 so that he might strive to cooperate further with the Special Counsel and perhaps work off the custodial sentence that Sullivan was clearly contemplating.
“It’s street cred—the more sponsors you have, the more credibility you have.”
Tapping through Palak Joshi’s Instagram Stories recently, you might have come across a photo that looked like standard sponsored content: a shiny white box emblazoned with the red logo for the Chinese phone manufacturer OnePlus and the number six, shot from above on a concrete background. It featured the branded hashtag tied to the phone’s launch, and tagged OnePlus’s Instagram handle. And it looked similar to posts from the company itself announcing the launch of its new Android phone. Joshi’s post, however, wasn’t an ad. “It looked sponsored, but it’s not,” she said. Her followers are none the wiser. “They just assume everything is sponsored when it really isn’t,” she said. And she wants it that way.
The speaker’s account of his tenure in office is at odds with observable reality.
In so many ways, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump have little in common. Ryan is affable and well mannered; Trump, not so much. Ryan holds strong, consistent ideological beliefs; Trump, not so much. Paul Ryan is in splendid physical shape …
But there is one thing they do share: a sense of personal achievement strangely disconnected from their real-world records.
Over the past 24 hours, the @SpeakerRyan Twitter account has blasted to 3.6 million followers a startlingly self-congratulatory sequence of images and videos, detailing his career over the past 20 years. Their theme: Ryan is a man of destiny, committed to reform, steeled in his “wilderness years” (yes, the sequence actually applies that Churchillian label), to deliver a triumphant victory for the American people over grubby-minded special interests.
Last winter, a recipe for salted chocolate-chunk shortbread cookies spread through my social circle like a carbohydrate epidemic. One of my friends kept seeing the cookies pop up on Instagram and, relenting to digital peer pressure, eventually made them. She brought half the batch to a dinner party, and then it was off to the races. For months, it felt as if every time I showed up to a party, someone else was pulling a Tupperware container out of a tote bag, full of what was eventually known among us as just The Cookies.
The particular look of The Cookies—chunky and squat, with a right-angled edge rolled in Demerara sugar, finished with flaky salt—made them distinctive in a way that few recipes are, which in turn made the recipe, from the chef Alison Roman’s Dining In cookbook, an easy shorthand. As each subsequent friend made and presented their cookies, they’d note how the process went. It was as if everyone I knew had taken up baking. Via the social-media response to her book, Roman noticed the same thing. “It seemed to be a lot of first-time bakers making the cookies, like it was a fun, social art project,” she says. Beyond The Cookies, people I follow on Instagram and Twitter had also started turning out pies, cakes, tarts, and breads.
A guide to the new reality-melting technology in your phone’s camera
When a prominent YouTuber named Lewis Hilsenteger (aka “Unbox Therapy”) was testing out this fall’s new iPhone model, the XS, he noticed something: His skin was extra smooth in the device’s front-facing selfie cam, especially compared with older iPhone models. Hilsenteger compared it to a kind of digital makeup. “I do not look like that,” he said in a video demonstrating the phenomenon. “That’s weird … I look like I’m wearing foundation.”
He’s not the only one who has noticed the effect, either, though Apple has not acknowledged that it’s doing anything different than it has before. Speaking as a longtime iPhone user and amateur photographer, I find it undeniable that Portrait mode—a marquee technology in the latest edition of the most popular phones in the world—has gotten glowed up. Over weeks of taking photos with the device, I realized that the camera had crossed a threshold between photograph and fauxtograph. I wasn’t so much “taking pictures” as the phone was synthesizing them.
A collection of photographs that are just so 2018.
Not necessarily the top photos of the year, nor the most heart-wrenching or emotional images, but a collection of photographs that are just so 2018. From Gritty the Philadelphia Flyers mascot to Fortnite tournaments, from the airplane taken for a tragic joyride at SeaTac Airport to a caravan of thousands journeying through Mexico to the United States, from Mandarin Duck to Knickers the steer, and much more. This is 2018.
A new biography squares the decorous legal figure with the feminist gladiator.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not just having a “moment” in American feminist culture. She has rapidly become—in a time that craves heroines—the American ideal of power and authority for millions of women and girls. Beyond the movies (RBG, released in May, and On the Basis of Sex, out in December) and the biographies, not to mention the memes and T-shirts and mugs that proliferate like lace-collared mushrooms, Ginsburg at 85 is also the closest thing America has to the consummate anti–Donald Trump. Today, more than ever, women starved for models of female influence, authenticity, dignity, and voice hold up an octogenarian justice as the embodiment of hope for an empowered future.
If there’s no penalty for going without insurance, there’s no injury. That should be obvious.
Are you ever tempted to believe that right-wing judges are just passive umpires who call balls and strikes? That they only “enforce the Constitution” or “read the statute”? Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas should cure you of that misimpression. On Friday, when he declared the entire Affordable Care Act invalid, he said he was only doing what the Constitution requires. But in deciding the case, he violated the very document he claimed to be applying. And he did it without any plausible justification at all, in defiance of basic legal principles.
Article III of the United States Constitution says that the federal courts can hear only “Cases and Controversies.” The Supreme Court has read that to mean that you can’t bring any old political gripe into court. You’ve got to suffer a concrete injury if you want to make a federal case out of it. Otherwise, courts would have the power to resolve abstract disputes that should be left to the political process.
One of Beijing’s top goals is transforming China into a technology powerhouse, so what happens to Huawei matters beyond China’s own borders.
As Ken Hu, the “rotating” chairman at Huawei Technologies, made the case during a briefing in southern China that his company’s telecom equipment was trustworthy and above board, he did something mundane for many global executives, yet remarkable for the embattled Chinese giant: He took questions from foreign journalists.
Hu’s press conference on Tuesday was an all-too-rare attempt by Huawei’s top brass to engage with the world—and it comes at a critical moment. This month, Hu’s colleague and the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada, accused by Washington of misleading financial institutions to break U.S. sanctions on Iran. Meng’s arrest is the latest front in a multipronged standoff between Washington and Beijing, one that encompasses disputes over trade, intellectual property, naval lanes, and much else.