The attack by al-Qaeda-linked militants al-Shabab yesterday at an upscale mall in Nairobi has now killed at least 59 people and wounded 175, Kenya’s interior secretary said today. Multiple barrages of gunfire erupted this morning from inside the building where there is a hostage standoff with Islamic extremists nearly 24 hours after they attacked using grenades and assault rifles. “The priority is to save as many lives as possible,” Joseph Lenku said, reassuring the families of hostages in the upscale Westgate mall. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said. Lenku said there are 10 to 15 attackers involved, and Kenyan forces have control of the security cameras inside the mall. Read more on Newser…
The website Opposing Viewpoints revealed a rather sobering statistic this week: The number of people killed in the first five months of the year from gun deaths involving toddlers was nearly three times as many as from deaths involving terrorist attacks. Since January, there have been 11 deaths related to toddlers who somehow gained access to guns. In many of those cases, the toddlers themselves, or another young child, were victims. One child, though, fatally shot his father, a former Green Beret soldier. (And that doesn’t even cover the nine other deaths reported by kids 7 to 19 who were also accidentally killed while handling firearms.) Keep reading »
By now you’ve probably heard about a disturbing terrorist attack in London yesterday: two Islamic extremists murdered a British soldier by hacking him to death with knives and then ranting to passersby wielding camera phones that the murder was in retaliation for Muslim lives lost.
But many terrible stories have a hero inside them: Ingrid Loyau-Kennett. The 48-year-old British woman visiting her children after a trip to France happened to be riding a bus near the street in southeastern neighborbood of Woolrich, where the terrorist attack occurred. When she saw the soldier’s body lying on the ground (being “cradled” by another female passerby, who was praying over the dead body), she jumped off the bus to try and help. Then Loyau-Kennett walked up to the two blood-stained attackers, asked for their weapons, and engaged them in conversation so as to distract them from killing more people. Keep reading »
A letter containing a “suspicious substance” was sent to President Obama and intercepted at the White House’s off-site mail center, according to the Secret Service. It arrived yesterday, the same day as a letter addressed to a Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker that tested positive for ricin, CNN reports. A second letter sent to the US Senate has also been intercepted and is being tested for the poison, the AP reports; Terry Moran of ABC News tweets that that second letter also tested positive. (Police reportedly have a suspect in mind in the case of the letter sent to Wicker.) Read more on Newser…
The Frisky is going to go back to posting as usual today, but of course will be updating the site with any news about the attack in Boston. For now, here is a roundup of news from overnight.
- The name of the second victim killed in yesterday tragic bombing has been released. Her name was Krystal Campbell, and she was from Arlington. [Salon]
- Fox News interviewed the roommate of the Saudi man whose house was searched and who was interviewed by authorities. Video at the link. [Salon] Keep reading »
“Which has destroyed and ended the life of more people? Terrorism attack here in America or HIV/AIDS? In the last 20 years, 15 to 20 years, we’ve had maybe three terrorist attacks on our soil with a little over 5,000 people regrettably losing their lives. In the same time frame, there have been hundreds of thousands who have died because of having AIDS. So which one’s the biggest threat? And you know, every day our young people…they’re bombarded with ‘homosexuality is normal and natural. It’s something they have to deal with every day. Fortunately we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day, and that’s what I mean. It’s more dangerous, and yes I think that it’s also more dangerous because it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation.”
— That’s Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R), who is quite a sensitive and thoughtful lady. You heard it here first, folks: the cast of “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” is more dangerous than al-Qaeda! Someone needs to inform Rep. Kern that lots of people who contract HIV are not gay. [Think Progress] Keep reading »
A purse to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks doesn’t sound like it should be right. But hear me out on this. Handbag designers Jen and Chris Mascali lost their father, Staten Island firefighter Joe Mascali, on 9/11 and they are donating the wholesale portion of proceeds from these handbags to the 9/11 Memorial Fund. It’s a slick red leather tote with fringe detailing, which includes a flame printed with the words “Each life is a miracle that changes the world and leaves it a better place than it was before.” It’s chic, tasteful and doesn’t, in my opinion, egregiously capitalize on a horrific event. Still, the idea of selling 9/11-themed products unnerves me and I worry about what other products are coming down the pike. Do you think 9/11-themed products are all tasteless or are you OK with them if the money goes to charity? [Refinery 29] Keep reading »
I’ll keep this brief. At any moment now, President Obama, in a unplanned, last minute statement broadcast to the world, will announce that U.S. forces have killed Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. The White House has confirmed that bin Laden has been killed. His body is in U.S. custody. Once the President gives his statement and the video is available online, I’ll post it here. [NY Times
UPDATE: The President’s address is above. Keep reading »
I moved to New York City on July 1, 2001, a few weeks after graduating from college. That means it’s almost my nine-year anniversary in this city and next year’s anniversary will make me officially a “New Yorker.” But I think that if you lived here on September 11, 2001 and stayed, you get to call yourself a New Yorker regardless of how long you’ve had a 212, 917, 646, 718, or 347 area code.
Keep reading »
So apparently, some terrorist groups around the globe are getting into the Botox biz. No, they aren’t concerned with laugh lines or crow’s feet. Only eight companies in the world are licensed to make Botox, which contains a trace amount of clostridium botulinum, a serious toxin—but now, labs are making black market versions and working with much more concentrated forms of the stuff. They can make lots of money selling their concoctions for cheap to salons. But of much more concern is that the more powerful toxin could be used as a weapon. Researchers say that any master’s degree-holding biologist with $2,000 worth of equipment could be making the stuff. No need to panic, but just one more reason to avoid cheap Botox at all costs. The bigger the market, the more chance of something nasty happening. [Washington Post] Keep reading »