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Pipe bomb suspect’s social media reveals flashes of violence – National

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Long before Cesar Sayoc was arrested on Friday for allegedly sending pipe bombs to critics of U.S. President Donald Trump, the 56-year-old former stripper had shown flashes of violent anger, threatening to bomb a power company and posting vitriolic screeds online.


READ MORE:
Here’s what we know about Cesar Sayoc, the pipe bomb suspect arrested in Florida

In 2002, he was charged with threatening to bomb a power utility for trying to shut off his lights, telling a company representative it would be “worse than September 11th,” according to a Miami police report. Over the years, he was arrested for domestic violence, theft and fraud.

In recent months, Sayoc, a registered Republican, railed against Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Facebook and posted venomous broadsides against liberal philanthropist George Soros on Twitter. One anti-Soros tweet came on Wednesday, two days after federal authorities say he mailed a bomb to Soros’ home.

Hours after federal authorities arrested him in Plantation, Florida, his social media posts and peripatetic work history began to offer the first sketch of a man whose rudimentary bombs launched a nationwide manhunt.

WATCH: Coverage about Cesar Sayoc


He is charged with sending package bombs to Obama, Clinton and other public figures Trump has frequently derided.

Sayoc has worked as a male stripper, a professional wrestler, a store manager and a club promoter, according to public records, social media profiles and interviews with people who interacted with him.

His white van, which authorities seized, had numerous pro-Trump signs in the windows, including a drawing depicting the president standing on top of a tank emblazoned with “Trump.” The van also had photos of Clinton and other Democrats with bullseyes superimposed on their faces.


READ MORE:
Cesar Sayoc arrested in U.S. pipe bomb investigation, faces up to 48 years in prison

It was not immediately clear where Sayoc has been living or working most recently. His social media profiles offered varying accounts that could not be verified.

David Cypkin, 39, a documentary filmmaker, recalled seeing the van parked outside a shopping center near his home for more than a year and as recently as this summer.

“It often had an open door or an open window, which led me believe there was somebody inside,” Cypkin said in a phone interview. “It stayed overnight. I saw it dozens of times.”

WATCH: DOJ confirms a total of 13 pipe bombs were sent across the U.S.






Angry posts

Sayoc’s social media accounts are filled with anti-Democrat sentiments and racist diatribes.

Two Twitter accounts that appear to belong to Sayoc are largely made up of retweeted posts condemning prominent Democrats, including Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for Florida governor, and Soros.


READ MORE:
Trump-supporting conspiracy theorists say pipe bombs are a ‘false flag’ set up by Democrats

Two weeks ago, Sayoc threatened a former Democratic congressional spokeswoman on Twitter after her appearance on Fox News. The tweet warned her to “hug your loved ones real close every time you leave” home. The woman, Rochelle Ritchie, reported him to Twitter, but the company found he had not violated any conduct rules.

A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment, citing an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

A Facebook profile that appeared to belong to Sayoc featured videos and photos of him at multiple Trump rallies, including at least one in Florida. Several posts contained anti-Muslim statements.

WATCH: Cesar Sayoc appears in handcuffs as FBI agents transport bomb suspect to new location






In 2015, Sayoc reported that $7,150 worth of Donald Trump-related clothing was stolen from his car while he worked out at a gym, along with a laptop and other items, according to Broward County Sheriff’s Office records. There was not enough evidence to identify a suspect, according to the records.

A high school soccer teammate, Tom Assam, 57, said he and Sayoc were “pretty good friends” at the time, though they lost touch after graduation.

“He was a regular guy, not quiet, but he wasn’t outspoken or anything,” Assam said.


READ MORE:
Trump says he knows pipe bomb suspect was his supporter, says he bears ‘no blame’ for actions

Sayoc attended Brevard College in North Carolina and the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and played soccer for both schools, though he did not graduate either one, according to school representatives.

From 1996 to 2002, he worked as a male exotic dancer for Gold Productions Inc, according to a company employee.

Sayoc left to pursue a professional wrestling career and later started his own company. He is a promoter, booking agent and “live entertainment owner,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

WATCH: Trump says he’s been ‘toned down’ in rhetoric but can ‘tone it up’






He filed for bankruptcy in Miami in 2012, according to court records. At the time, Sayoc said he lived with his mother and had recently left a store manager job that paid less than $12,000 a year. He listed a $1,150 tax refund and a 2001 Chevy Tahoe vehicle as his only assets.

His LinkedIn page said he was pursuing veterinary medicine at High Point University in North Carolina, but a school spokesman said he did not attend the school.

One of his Twitter accounts said he worked at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida, but the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which owns the casino, said it could find no evidence to confirm that.

Court records in Florida listed Sayoc’s birthplace as Brooklyn, New York.

WATCH: Trump says they’ll ‘probably pass’ on calling Obama after bomb scare








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FOREIGN NEWS

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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