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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Two gunmen opened fire Sunday evening outside an anti-Islam event at a Dallas-area school district's event center. The men pulled up in a vehicle and shot a Garland school district officer, then were fatally shot by Garland police. The center was hosting the American Freedom Defense Initiative's Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, which offered a $10,000 prize for the best cartoon depicting the prophet and was an intentional effort to antagonize Muslims. The group is led by Pamela Gellar, an anti-Islam blogger in New York who has been banned from entry to the U.K.


Joining other religious right activists who warn that the Supreme Court will spark a civil war if the it strikes down bans on same-sex marriage, Alan Keyes writes for WorldNetDaily that a ruling in favor of gay rights will "be just cause for war." Keyes claims that such a decision "will be an attack on the very foundation of constitutional government, of by and for the people of the United States" that, "like the Dred Scott decision that heralded the onset of the first Civil War ... will bring the nation to the brink" and represent "a high crime and misdemeanor that effectively dissolves the just bonds of government between and among the states, and among the individuals who compose the people of the United States."


Jenna Mullins, E! Online: Wells Fargo just released a heartwarming ad that will warm your heart to the warmest heart temperature in heartwarming existence. It's about a couple who is adopting a child, so they have to learn sign language together. When these two moms finally meet their new daughter in the end and sign to her "Hello, beautiful," you'll probably lose it. We did read more


More than 300 Yazidi prisoners have been slaughtered by Islamic State militants near Mosul in Iraq. According to the Yazidi Progress Party, hundreds were murdered by Isis on Friday in the Tal Afar district, although it is not known how they were killed.Around 40,000 people were kidnapped at gunpoint when the terrorists attacked Yazidi villages last summer. The Yazidi have for centuries been one of the most persecuted minorities of the Middle East. Successive waves of persecution -- they claim to have survived 72 genocides -- by the Ottoman Turkish rulers of what is now Iraq, by Saddam Hussein and now by Islamic militants, have reduced the number of Yazidi from millions to an estimated 700,000. read more


John Blake, CNN: He was a quiet man who once stood watch on his front porch, just three blocks away from where a riot erupted in West Baltimore this week. We called him "Mr. Shields" because no one dared use his first name. He'd step onto his porch at night in plaid shorts and black knit dress socks to watch the Baltimore Orioles play on his portable television set. He was a steelworker, but he looked debonair: thin mustache always trimmed; wavy salt-and-pepper hair touched up with pomade; cocoa brown skin. He sat like a sentry, watching not just the games but the neighborhood as well. I knew Mr. Shields' routine because I was his neighbor. I grew up in the West Baltimore community that was rocked this week by protests over the death of a young black man in police custody. read more


Bob Beckel, a liberal who appears on Fox News as a co-host of The Five, has been missing from the air since February and is undergoing treatment for a painkiller addiction, the network announced. "Bob Beckel has entered a rehab facility for treatment of an addiction to prescription pain medication," the network said Thursday. "His relapse developed over the last several months as he tried to cope with extensive back pain before and after he underwent major back surgery." Beckel was Walter Mondale's presidential campaign manager in 1984 and ran Alan Blinken's 2002 Senate campaign until he was targeted for extortion by a prostitute. He has admitted on-air to being an alcohol and cocaine addict in the past.


The residents of Bilal Town in Abbotabad, Pakistan, have voted to turn the plot of land where Osama Bin Laden's house once stood into a playground or girl's college. Children have been playing cricket there. A notice was issued, inviting claimants of ownership to turn in documentary proof within 15 days. When nobody came forward as the plot's owner, the government took over the land formally and cleared the compound of rubble. A local said of the girl's school idea, "Our daughters, the future mothers, will disseminate the message of peace and non-violence across the area, if the authorities allow the construction."


Newly declared presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said today he hopes to lead a "political revolution" for working families and against money in politics in his bid for the White House. "I think I'm the only candidate who's prepared to take on the billionaire class," Sanders, I-Vermont, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on This Week. "We need a political revolution in this country involving millions of people who are prepared to stand up and say, enough is enough, and I want to help lead that effort." read more


The technological challenge of getting to Mars may seem like a huge hurdle but it may be biology that holds humanity back from venturing to the Red Planet. Astronauts could develop irreversible dementia on their journey because their brains are being bombarded with destructive space radiation, scientists fear. The University of California found that exposure to highly energetic charged particles - much like those found in the galactic cosmic rays -- can cause significant damage to the central nervous system, resulting in brain impairments. "This is not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two to three year round trip to Mars," said Charles Limoli, professor of radiation oncology in UCI's School of Medicine. "Performance decrements, memory deficits, and loss of awareness and focus during spaceflight may affect mission-critical activities, and exposure to these particles may have long-term adverse consequences to cognition throughout life."


Evan Hurst, Wonkette: Your favorite brand-new, wet-behind-the-ears senator from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, is doing his ankle-biting, yappy Pomeranian thing at Iran again. After Cotton's letter managed to elicit LOL giggles from Ayatollah Fucking Khamenei himself, Cotton though it would be a super idea to see if he could give Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif a good Arkansan talkin'-to on the Twitter machine. Why? Because Zarif made fun of him, saying Wednesday at New York University that once the Iranian nuke deal is signed, sealed and delivered, he fully expects the UN Security Council to drop sanctions against his country, "whether Sen. Cotton likes it or not."


The first women ever to enter the Army's elite Ranger School are finding more than dirt, sweat, and a historic opportunity. They're finding acceptance. Between January and April, 113 women tried to qualify for Ranger School, but only 20 did. Of the 19 women who started the course -- one had to drop out before school began -- eight are still in the running one week later. "I'd be glad to serve with them on the battlefield anywhere, anytime," says Brig. Gen. James Rainey, a Ranger who commanded a battalion in the Battle of Fallujah, and is now the Infantry School Commandant. "They're phenomenal soldiers."


Lt. Brian Rice, the top Baltimore city police officer suspended following Freddie Gray's death, was hospitalized in April 2012 over concerns about his mental health. These concerns led deputies to confiscate his guns and contact high-ranking police officials. Rice was the cop who initially pursued Gray on a Baltimore street when the man fled. Rice, 41, faces six charges in Gray's death, including manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.


Floyd Mayweather outboxed and outmaneuvered Manny Pacquiao to claim a unanimous points victory in the most lucrative boxing match in history Saturday, taking his unblemished professional record to 48-0 and cementing his place as one of the greatest fighters of all time. "I was a smart fighter, I out-boxed him," said Mayweather, shaking off boos from the crowd which was unimpressed with his defensive style. "We did what we had to do tonight. I knew he was going to push me. He had moments in the fight but I kept him on the outside."


Michael Luciano, Daily Banter: Twelve years ago today ... in one of the most otherworldly political spectacles ever seen, President George W. Bush stood on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq as a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner hung behind him. In the months following the speech, it became brutally clear that the sectarian pressure cooker some analysts had warned of was about to burst. When it did, causalities of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians skyrocketed. Al Qaeda, which wasn't in Iraq before the invasion, made itself at home, battling Shiite militias and creating the chaos that's allowed ISIS to exist in the present day. Yes, Americans will never forget the absurd image of their head of state arriving on that aircraft carrier in a jet and disembarking in a Navy flight suit, much like a tinpot tyrant of some distant Third World dump would.


Thursday night, the House of Representatives voted to make using employer-based health insurance for in vitro fertilization or birth control pills a fire-able offense in Washington, D.C. Planned Parenthood has been mobilizing its network against the bill. "Your boss shouldn't be able to fire you for using birth control," the organization states. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dubbed the bill "Hobby Lobby on steroids."


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