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FBI arrests man connected to Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect – National

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A self-described white nationalist with a social media connection to the suspect in last month’s Pittsburgh synagogue massacre faces gun-related charges after his relatives reported concerns about his behaviour and violent rhetoric to the FBI, according to court records.


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11 dead, 6 injured in shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh

Jeffrey Clark Jr., 30, of Washington, D.C., was arrested last Friday after relatives told FBI agents they feared he could be a danger to himself or others. Clark became “really riled up” after his younger brother, Edward, shot and killed himself within hours of the Pittsburgh attack, the relatives told agents.

The relatives believed 23-year-old Edward Clark may have been planning to carry out an “act of violence” that day before he went to Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington and killed himself, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit.

“According to (two relatives), Jeffrey and Edward Clark believed that there would be a race revolution, and they wanted to expedite it,” the affidavit says.

WATCH: Accused in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting pleads not guilty






Clark made his initial court appearance Tuesday on charges that he illegally possessed firearms and high-capacity magazines for rifle ammunition. A federal magistrate ordered Clark held without bond pending a detention hearing Friday.

A federal public defender assigned to represent Clark didn’t immediately respond to a call or email Wednesday.

After a gunman killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue Oct. 27, Clark posted social media messages describing shooting suspect Robert Bowers as a “hero” and warning of a “dry run for things to come,” FBI Special Agent Michael Bauknight wrote in his affidavit.


READ MORE:
Father of Pittsburgh shooting suspect was accused of rape, died by suicide in 1970s

Clark was one of Bowers’ followers on Gab, a social media platform that became a haven for far-right extremists who have been banned by Twitter for racist and harassing messages. Bowers posted a slew of anti-Semitic messages on Gab before the shooting. Domain registrar GoDaddy dropped Gab after the shooting, knocking it offline for several days.

Jeffrey Clark became more outspoken about his “radical views” in his relatives’ presence after his brother killed himself, the FBI affidavit says.

“During these conversations, Jeffrey Clark defended Robert Bowers’ killings at the Tree-of-Life Synagogue. Jeffrey Clark also stated that he and Edward Clark had both fantasized about killing ‘Jews and blacks,”‘ the agent wrote.

WATCH: Trump visits Pittsburgh synagogue after massacre






Clark told FBI agents who arrested him last Friday that he was a member of white nationalist groups “and followed their ideology,” a court filing says. He also said he and his brother became interested in guns after the 2016 presidential election “because they believed there was going to be a civil war,” the filing adds.

The brothers attended the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that erupted in violence in August 2017. Their relatives believe the brothers were photographed standing next to James Alex Fields, the man charged with plowing his car into a crowd of Charlottesville counterprotesters and killing one of them, Heather Heyer.

Jeffrey Clark’s Gab username was “DC Bowl Gang,” an apparent reference to the haircut style of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who shot and killed nine black people in 2015 at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.


READ MORE:
Pittsburgh shooting suspect who wanted to ‘kill all Jews’ was treated by Jewish doctors

Clark’s relatives told the FBI he abused drugs. On his Gab page, he described himself as, “Meth-Smoking, Pipe Bomb making, mailman-murding,#Fed,#DemoKKKrat, Che Guevara of the altright.” The “alt-right” is a fringe movement that’s a loose mix of white nationalism, anti-Semitism and other far-right extremist views.

Clark told FBI agents he had contact with Bowers on Gab but became “evasive” when asked about those conversations, a court filing says. Clark also was reluctant to talk about his brother but told agents he believed his suicide had nothing to do with Bowers, the filing adds.



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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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