Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz sentenced to life in prison | Gun Violence News

US choose sentences Cruz to life with out parole for 2018 assault at Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty that killed 17 individuals.

A gunman who opened fireplace at a US highschool in Parkland, Florida in 2018, killing 17 and wounding 17 others, has been sentenced to life in jail with out parole, capping two days of emotional statements from members of the family of victims.

Wednesday’s sentencing, which was handed down by Decide Elizabeth Scherer, was an all-but-forgone conclusion after a jury in October couldn’t unanimously agree that 24-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 on the time of the assault, deserved the demise penalty.

They voted 9-3 in favour of his execution, falling wanting the authorized requirement and as an alternative recommending life with out parole.

Whereas the difficulty has divided survivors and members of the family of the victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty, many advised Cruz he had averted true justice within the case.

“He has escaped this punishment as a result of a minority of the jury was given the ability to overturn the bulk choice made by individuals who have been capable of see him for what he’s – a remorseless monster who deserves no mercy,” stated Meghan Petty.

Petty’s 14-year-old sister Alaina was killed by Cruz when he fired greater than 140 pictures from an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle in the course of the February 17, 2018, assault.

PArkland school shooting
Tony Montalto embraces his son, Anthony, after giving sufferer statements forward of the sentencing of Nikolas Cruz [Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP Photo]

She was amongst a lot of members of the family who took to the lectern within the courthouse about six metres (20 ft) from Cruz, the primary time they’d the chance to confront the convicted attacker straight.

“I want no peace for you,” stated Ines Hixon, whose father-in-law, faculty athletics director Chris Hixon, was killed within the assault. “I want nothing however ache. And I hope that each breath you’re taking you do not forget that’s a breath that you simply stole.”

Others avoided talking on the hearings, with Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed within the taking pictures, tweeting “it merely gained’t change actuality or the best way I really feel”.

“The fact is that I’ll nonetheless go to Jaime on the cemetery and the monster’s destiny won’t change. It has already been determined.”

The sentencing capped a greater than four-and-a-half-year-long saga that started with the assault and Cruz’s arrest an hour later.

In 2021, Cruz pleaded responsible to homicide and tried homicide, together with his defence arguing throughout his penalty listening to that Cruz’s mom’s use of medication and alcohol had completely broken his mind.

Through the two days of hearings, Cruz, shackled and carrying a crimson jail jumpsuit, stared quietly on the audio system, however confirmed little emotion.

The choose recommended the households and wounded who testified, calling them sturdy, sleek and affected person. “I do know you’ll be OK, as a result of you’ve got one another,” Scherer stated.

The assault galvanised a renewed youth motion calling for gun management in america, which has the best charge of personal gun possession on this planet and the place mass shootings and gun assaults at colleges have turn into common occurrences.

A number of survivors of the assault have been outstanding proponents of a federal gun security invoice that gave funding for disaster intervention to states and expanded a ban on gun possession for individuals convicted of home violence in opposition to a romantic companion.

The laws was the primary gun management measure handed by the federal authorities in a long time, however was thought of by advocates to be solely a modest success, with efforts for extra stringent controls, together with a federal ban on assault weapons, persevering with to fail.

In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation agreed to pay practically $130m to settle a number of lawsuits accusing the company of failing to correctly examine tips about Cruz forward of the assault. The FBI stated the settlements didn’t quantity to an admission of fault.

The murder of Somalia’s brave journalists must stop | Media

Somalia can lay declare – by way of no alternative of its personal folks – to being the most harmful nation for journalists in Africa. Information collected by the Worldwide Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the testimonies of native journalists exhibit that media rights are flagrantly violated each day. Threats and violent actions meant to terrorise media practitioners are routine. The concept is easy: to silence them.

On November 2, the world celebrates the Worldwide Day to Finish Impunity for Crimes towards Journalists, a United Nations-recognised occasion. There are few different nations the place this problem has the identical chilling significance because it does in Somalia.

In response to knowledge collated by the Nationwide Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), 54 journalists have been murdered over the previous decade. The latest sufferer, TV journalist Mohamed Isse Hassan was killed on October 29 in a automobile bombing whereas he and others have been overlaying one other explosion within the capital Mogadishu. The dual bombings killed greater than 100 folks in complete.

But, barring one conviction earlier this yr, these chargeable for these killings have by no means been delivered to justice. Nor have those that ordered the assassinations. An finish to this marketing campaign of terror remains to be nowhere in sight.

Some Somali journalists have died in a hail of bullets, others have misplaced their lives in suicide bomb assaults, and a few others have been killed within the line of obligation – as occurred on October 29. Some have been despatched loss of life threats and lived in worry till their killers lastly tracked them down. Others have been attacked with out warning.

Along with the appalling loss of life toll, 50 journalists have been severely injured since 2012. That features two journalists who have been wounded on October 29.

Many others – each women and men – have confronted arrests, threats and harassment. There isn’t a expectation that, as soon as arrested, a journalist will obtain a good trial. Generally, the infamous phrases “convicted as charged” are pronounced.

Amid the battle between completely different armed teams and the federal government that continues to rage within the nation, there’s a lack of political will from any main actor to finish this lethal violence towards journalists. Every political facet needs to manage and manipulate information and data, and unbiased and significant journalism attracts retaliation. There may be an unspoken compact between political forces that there want be no worry of any accountability for such crimes.

Regardless of these dangers, journalists – who’re largely younger adults – are becoming a member of each government-controlled and personal media. Information organisations are mushrooming and there’s a rising unbiased media panorama. They symbolize hope for a greater future and their optimism should not be extinguished.

Feminine reporters particularly moreover face the specter of gender-based violence and harassment. On social media, feminine journalists routinely obtain messages warning them that they are going to be killed or raped in the event that they pursue a specific line of reporting.

The psychological wellbeing of journalists is one other essential security problem. Along with overlaying tales in high-risk, hostile environments, many Somali journalists are traumatised by fixed threats and harassment. The worry that they might be intentionally focused at any time provides to their sense of unease.

The widespread acceptance of impunity for individuals who assault journalists in Somalia is a serious trigger for concern. In the meantime, the federal government makes use of out of date, oppressive legal guidelines – just like the nation’s archaic 1964 penal code that UN consultants have additionally criticised (PDF) – to legally prosecute journalists reasonably than those that hound them.

This, in flip, encourages people throughout the judicial system – together with within the provinces away from Mogadishu – and non-state actors to imagine that they will harass and assault journalists with none adversarial penalties.

With out agency political will, it’s unlikely that this violence will abate.

In September, Somali journalists adopted a Nationwide Motion Plan on the Security of Journalists, backed by the African Union, UNESCO, the Worldwide Labour Group and NUSOJ. The plan – a Somali-led, Somali-owned, journalist-centred blueprint – addresses urgent occupational security and safety points. It encompasses the whole lot from security abilities for journalists and partnerships for the authorized and bodily defence of media professionals, to methods to tackle gender-based violence towards ladies journalists and the broader tradition of impunity inside which assaults proceed.

What’s now required is the vigorous implementation of that plan by all sectors of society, not simply journalists. The federal authorities, state governments and judiciary too should embrace the plan. The time for grief and condolences alone is over. It’s time to behave.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

Netanyahu tipped to return as Israel PM after far right surge | Elections News

Lydd (Lod), Israel – On the Lydd (Lod) department of the Arab-Jewish Hadash celebration, six activists sat in a semicircle of plastic chairs watching the exit polls of the fifth Israeli election in just below 4 years on the massive TV display on the wall.

The three older males smoked water pipes as they waited patiently to listen to whether or not Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been prime minister longer than anybody else in Israel however is now on trial for corruption, and the Palestinian-hating hardliner, Itamar Ben-Gvir, could be those to kind the nation’s subsequent authorities.

The numbers rolled out and the excellent news was that their slate, Hadash-Ta’al, had made it over the brink to get into parliament, often called the Knesset, and would most likely get 4 seats.

However the tally gave Netanyahu’s bloc a majority, with an anticipated 61 or 62 of the 120 Knesset seats, sufficient to kind a authorities.

Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s centrist bloc was projected to get 54-55 seats. And the anti-democratic, anti-liberal, anti-Palestinian, homophobic ‘Spiritual Zionism’ slate, whose leaders advocate undermining the Israeli justice system, creating loyalty assessments for Palestinian residents, and expelling these deemed ‘disloyal’, seemed set to turn into Netanyahu’s predominant accomplice. The far-right group is projected to win not less than 14 seats in contrast with six within the final elections.

“The extremism on this nation is rising,” mentioned Anwar Ghazal, 53, as he watched the display. “It’s harmful for the Arabs. That’s what we tried to elucidate in all our campaigning, they should vote. Netanyahu is as harmful. The state of affairs shouldn’t be good. It’s horrible.”

Supporters of Israeli far-right legislator and head of "Jewish Power" party, Itamar Ben-Gvir, wave Israeli flags and cheer as they celebrate his strong election performance.
Supporters of far-right Israeli legislator Itamar Ben-Gvir celebrated as exit polls confirmed a surge in assist  [Oren Ziv/AP Photos]

“I anticipated this,” mentioned Ihab Abukrubeia, 30, taking a look at Ben-Gvir’s individuals dancing on the TV display, waving Israeli flags as huge as individuals. “I believe nearly all of the Jews listed here are extremist right-wing. That’s why we get Likud and Ben-Gvir with so many seats.”

Palestinians usually are not alone of their concern of Ben-Gvir and the modifications he hopes to make.

“If the outcomes we’re seeing this night maintain true, the coalition that can kind the subsequent authorities is poised to suggest a collection of reforms that might search to politicise the judiciary and weaken the checks and balances that exist between the branches of presidency and function basic elements of Israeli democracy,” mentioned Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute.

Their plans embrace eradicating the offence of fraud and breach of belief — for which Netanyahu is on trial — from the felony code, stripping the Excessive Court docket of Justice of its skill to strike down unconstitutional legal guidelines and giving parliamentarians management over the number of judges.

“Whereas a few of these proposals appear aimed toward extracting former Prime Minister Netanyahu from his ongoing felony trial, there’s way more at stake. If applied, these proposals would threaten the independence of our judiciary and will expose Israel’s political system to systematic corruption.”

‘Nothing is over’

Some Jewish-Israeli commentators blamed the end result on Palestinian residents of Israel for not voting. The Palestinian turnout was decrease than previously, whereas the Jewish turnout was larger than beforehand.

Election authorities mentioned the general turnout was 66.3 % at 8pm native time (18:00 GMT), the very best since 1999.

“What most annoys me is that this vanity,” mentioned Maha Al-Nakib, one other activist on the Hadash workplace. “They blamed the Arabs for not going out to vote. Why are we at all times accountable for the s**t — sorry for my language — of the nation? Why isn’t the Israeli left-wing accountable? It’s chutzpah,” she mentioned, utilizing the Yiddish phrase for ‘cheeky’.

An Israeli Palestinian woman votes in a school classroom that has been turned into a polling station.
Turnout total was the very best since 1999, in keeping with election authorities, though the variety of Palestinians who turned out to vote was decrease than earlier than [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

The state of affairs might nonetheless change, nonetheless, and exit polls have been flawed previously. If the Balad celebration, one other Palestinian grouping, manages to go the brink of three.25 % of the entire votes, that might change the distribution of all of the votes.

“Nothing is over” till all of the votes are counted, Lapid informed supporters at a post-election occasion.

“Each Israeli must know tonight that we’ll proceed to struggle for Israel to be a Jewish and democratic state, liberal and superior.”

But when exit polls are proper, it will likely be Netanyahu, as soon as once more, who shall be ready to kind a authorities — one which may very well be extra steady than any since 2019, the yr when Netanyahu was indicted.

Election authorities are anticipated to finish the rely later this week.