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John Earnest — physics teacher’s son, celebrated pianist, 8chan user, synagogue shooting suspect – National

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John Earnest — physics teacher’s son celebrated pianist 8chan user synagogue shooting suspect National

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The man accused of opening fire inside a Southern California synagogue was an accomplished student, athlete and musician whose embrace of white supremacy and anti-Semitism has dumbfounded his family and others who thought they knew him well.

John T. Earnest, 19, made the dean’s list both semesters last year as a nursing student at California State University, San Marcos.

In high school, he had stellar grades, swam on the varsity team and basked in the applause of classmates for his piano solos at talent shows.

WATCH: April 30 — California synagogue shooting: FBI says they were tipped off about shooting, but not soon enough





Earnest apparently became radicalized sometime over the last two years and is charged with murder and attempted murder in Saturday’s assault on the Chabad of Poway synagogue, which killed one woman and injured three people, including the rabbi.

He is also charged with arson in connection with an attack last month on a mosque in nearby Escondido.

Owen Cruise, 20, saw Earnest every day during senior year at Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego when the two were in calculus and physics together. They were also both in the school’s amateur radio club.

READ MORE: John Earnest, Poway synagogue shooting suspect, charged with murder, hate crimes — reports

Earnest’s piano performances drew audiences to their feet. He did a rendition of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and played Chopin and Beethoven.

“Crowds would be cheering his name,” Cruise said Monday. “Everybody loved him.”

Earnest counted Jews and black people among his friends. His father, John A. Earnest, is a popular physics teacher at Mt. Carmel, where he has worked for 31 years.

“He was very close to his dad,” Cruise said.

“He always hung out in his classroom, came to see him at lunch. He always seemed like a nice guy … He didn’t seem like the type of person who would go off the deep end.”

Earnest’s father volunteered to help students with exams and homework, said Cruise, who praised his former teacher for having a big impact on his life. On the morning of the shooting, the elder Earnest was hosting a study hour for an Advanced Placement exam and brought cookies, Cruise said.

Cruise, now a sophomore at the University of California, San Diego, said the suspect lived at home and saw his parents every day.

“The way John T. acted is not representative at all of the way he was raised,” Cruise said. “They are an outstanding family. Some of the finest people I’ve ever met.”

WATCH: April 29 — Rabbi remembers synagogue victim Lori Kaye ← ‘God took the rose, brought her up to heaven’





The suspect’s parents said their son and five siblings were raised in a family that “rejected hate and taught that love must be the motive for everything we do.”

“To our great shame, he is now part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries,” the parents said Monday in their first public comments. “Our son’s actions were informed by people we do not know, and ideas we do not hold.”

The parents, who are co-operating with investigators, do not plan to plan to provide legal representation to their son, whose initial court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday. Family attorney Earll Pott said a public defender will probably be appointed.

READ MORE: John Earnest, synagogue shooting suspect, is part of ‘history of evil,’ parents say

Earnest burst into the synagogue on the last day of Passover, a major Jewish holiday that celebrates freedom, and opened fire with an assault-style rifle on the crowd of about 100.

He fled when the rifle jammed, according to authorities and witnesses, avoiding an Army combat veteran and an off-duty Border Patrol agent who pursued him. He called 911 to report the shooting and surrendered a short time later.

Lori Kaye, a founding member of the congregation, was killed. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was shot in the hands, while Noya Dahan, 8, and her uncle Almog Peretz suffered shrapnel wounds.

WATCH: April 29 — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says anti-Semitism has “accelerated” since Trump





Kaye, 60, was remembered for her kindness Monday at a memorial service at the packed synagogue in Poway, a well-to-do suburb north of San Diego.

An online writing by a person identifying himself as John Earnest and published shortly before the attack spewed hatred toward Jews and praised the perpetrators of attacks on mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people last month and at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that killed 11 on Oct. 27.

Earnest frequented 8chan, a dark corner of the web where those disaffected by mainstream social media sites often post extremist, racist and violent views.

READ MORE: 1 dead, 3 injured in shooting at California synagogue — officials

“I’ve only been lurking here for a year and half, yet what I’ve learned here is priceless. It’s been an honour,” he wrote.

Earnest, who evidently intended to livestream the attack, offered a list of recommended songs for people to listen to while watching, including “Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys and the Pokemon theme song. He said he had planned the attack for four weeks.

“If you told me even six months ago that I would do this I would have been surprised,” Earnest wrote.

The FBI said it got tips about a social media post threatening violence against Jews about five minutes before the 11:30 a.m. attack.

The tips to an FBI website and hotline included a link to the anonymous post but did not offer specific information about its author or the location of the threat.

The bureau said employees immediately tried to determine who wrote it, but the shooting occurred before they could establish his identity.

A tipster told The Associated Press that he called the FBI tip line at 11:15 a.m. because the post linked to an online writing that said the author was responsible for the mosque arson in Escondido.

The tipster, who refused to provide his name because of security concerns, said the call with the FBI lasted four or five minutes. He described the FBI as quick and professional and said he did not know what the bureau could have done.



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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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