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Sudan to be Removed from U.S List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

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President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump announced Monday that he intends to lift Sudan’s state sponsor of terrorism designation.

What We Know:

  • President Donald Trump posted in a tweet:

“GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!”

  • Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok responded by saying the funds had been transferred, but there was no immediate U.S. confirmation.
  • Trump’s statement comes months after the U.S. and Sudan reached a bilateral settlement agreement. The tweet was welcome news for Sudanese officials and some of the American survivors and families of the victims of those bombings, who have prompted Congress to pass legislation so that it can be disbursed.
  • Sudan was placed on the list back in 1993 when al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden remained there as a guest of the government. The settlement relates to al-Qaeda’s 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa.
  • The U.S. president has the power to lift a nation from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Congress then has 45 days to object.
  • It is mentioned that around 200 people were killed, and thousands were hurt in 1998 when twin al Qaeda bombings rocked the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Under al-Bashir’s leadership, Sudan sheltered Osama bin Laden and was found to have helped the al Qaeda operatives.

However, others remain reluctant to the settlement, which pays lesser amounts to foreign nationals who worked at the embassy and employees who became U.S. citizens after the attack.

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News

Man Who Fell Through Bronx Sidewalk Into a Pit of Rats Sues Building Owner

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Plunging into a pit of rats is no longer an irrational fear for this Bronx man.

What We Know:

  • In late October, 33-year-old Leonard Shoulders was waiting to catch a bus at East 183rd Street near Third Avenue in Bronx, New York. Suddenly, the ground beneath him fell through plummeting him 12 feet below a side-walk sinkhole and into a dark vault filled with rats.
  • According to the Gothamist, Shoulders has since filed a lawsuit, claiming gross negligence of property maintenance, against the city and the owner of a nearby building. His attorney, Nicholas Bagley, told the Gothamist, “These rats were crawling all over him and he was fearful of screaming out because he didn’t want them to go in his mouth or further agitate them.”
  • His attorney also stated that the total amount of money Shoulders is seeking to gain in the lawsuit will be determined by the extent of his permanent injuries and psychological trauma. Since the incident occurred, Shoulders’s attorney states that he fractured his spine and was paralyzed in the fall. After undergoing spinal surgery, and currently living in a rehabilitation facility, it is unclear if he will ever regain full function of his body.
  • The whole thing was caught on a security camera in a nearby building. The video, obtained by NBC News, shows pedestrians leaning over the gaping hole in the sidewalk in an attempt to address Shoulders’s condition. After spending thirty minutes in the rat-infested pit, Shoulders was finally pulled out by the New York City Fire Department.

This story is truly a New Yorker’s worst nightmare!

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Crime

Mother of Florida Teen Who Was Shot and Killed By Sheriff’s Deputy Gets Shot at His Burial Service

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Courtesy of abcNews

Quesheda Pierce (39) was shot in the leg on Saturday by a single gunshot at the burial service of her son Sincere Pierce.

What We Know:

  • Her son, Sincere, was one of two Black teens that were fatally shot by a Brevard County deputy during an attempted traffic stop on November 13. Friends and family gathered on Saturday at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery to pay their final moments of respect.
  • As the Pastor was finishing his remarks and attendees placed flowers on Sincere’s casket, a single shot was fired and Florida Today reported that Ms. Pierce was heard yelling.
  • According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the gun that shot Ms. Pierce was an “accidental discharge” of a concealed weapon.
  • In a statement to NBC News, sheriff’s spokesperson Tod Goodyear stated, “Initial reports were that a male and female received non-life-threatening injuries when shot during a funeral service”. He continued, “The female victim is identified as 39-year-old Quasheda Pierce.”
  • Officials have not released the name of the 16-year-old male suspected of firing the shot and he is not cooperating with law enforcement.
  • Goodyear stated:

“The investigation to date, which includes witness testimony and physical evidence, has determined that the single shot allegedly originated from the 16-year-old who apparently experienced an accidental discharge from a firearm concealed on his person during the funeral service.”

  • The 16-year-old was injured as well. Goodyear explained the bullet “penetrated and exited his leg prior to impacting Quasheda Pierce’s leg”.

Goodyear also mentioned that multiple calls were made to sheriff dispatchers reporting that a male and female were injured during the funeral service.

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Headlines

Texas GOP Chairman Steps Down After Sharing Racist MLK Post

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Courtesy of ABC13 Houston

Keith Nielsen the chair-elect for the Republican Party in Houston, Texas, Harris County has resigned after racist posts referring to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as a monkey on social media.

What We Know:

  • Nielsen’s resignation comes less than four months on the job. The Texas Tribune reported Nielsen was heavily criticized for posting a meme on Facebook, which took MLK’s popular quote, “Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere,” juxtaposed with a banana earlier this year.
  • After the controversy, Nielson was advised by many high-ranking Republicans in Texas to drop out of the race for office. He continued his pursuit and defeated former party chairman Paul Simpson in March.
  • After his victory, Nielson announced on Facebook he would not take office in August days after defending his racial post.

“I have spent my entire adult life supporting conservative candidates and causes and I am grateful for the thousands of supporters who have reached out to me over the last several days.” Nielsen continued, “I regret that I must step aside as Chairman-elect of the Harris County Republican Party and will not be taking office on Aug. 3rd.”

  • Nielson continued to hold his position as Chairman well past August and officially quit on his own terms on November 30.
  • Nielson was one of several Texas GOP members to post racial remarks in correlation to protests that were prevalent in the state around the time.

The local party’s executive committee will be meeting to pick the new chairman.

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