National News at a Glance
Posted October 29, 2018 10:13 p.m. EDT
Mail Bomb Suspect Had a List of 100 Potential Targets, Officials Say
Even as the Florida bombing suspect appeared in court Monday in connection with more than a dozen explosive devices sent to critics of President Donald Trump, an additional threatening package addressed to CNN was recovered and investigators said the suspect had prepared a list of about 100 possible targets. Officials did not publicly name the individuals and news organizations on the list that they believe Cesar Sayoc Jr. compiled before his arrest Friday, but they have begun notifying people who appeared on it. Meanwhile, postal officials intercepted the 15th suspicious package possibly linked to Sayoc, this one addressed to the Atlanta headquarters of CNN.
Pittsburgh Shooting Suspect Appears in Court; Prosecutors Vow to Pursue Death Penalty
Robert Bowers, the man accused of killing 11 congregants in a hate-filled attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, made his initial appearance before a federal judge Monday. Bowers, 46, arrived in a wheelchair pushed by a U.S. marshal. The judge gave an overview of the 29 criminal charges against Bowers, including obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs, which is a hate crime that can carry the death penalty, a sentence federal authorities said Sunday that they intended to pursue. He also faces state charges. Bowers was ordered held without bail, and his next hearing was scheduled for Thursday.
Trump to Visit Pittsburgh After Shooting at Synagogue
President Donald Trump plans to travel Tuesday to the Pittsburgh neighborhood that was the site of a synagogue massacre over the weekend, the White House said Monday, making a show of national solidarity in the face of anti-Semitism and hate even as he keeps up a steady stream of attacks on his perceived opponents. A question-and-answer session between Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, and reporters appeared aimed as much at absolving the president of blame for his divisive messaging and at lashing out at news organizations as it was at expressing outrage and grief over a shooting that killed 11 congregants gathered at their synagogue to observe Shabbat.
Muslim Groups Raise $130,000 to Support Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Victims
Two Muslim organizations have raised more than $130,000 to help victims and their families after the massacre of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The anti-Semitic attack also left six others wounded. Tarek El-Messidi, a Chicago-based activist, said he learned of the synagogue shooting from a friend who runs the Muslim fundraising website LaunchGood. His friend asked El-Messidi if he could do something to help the victims. Within two hours, he had created an online campaign with the backing of two Muslim groups, CelebrateMercy and MPower Change. He set an initial goal of $25,000, which was promptly shattered as donations flooded in.
A Sense of Alarm as Rural Hospitals Keep Closing
Hospital closings are rising, particularly in some rural and remote communities. Beyond the potential health consequences for people living nearby, hospital closings can exact an economic toll, and are associated with some states’ decisions not to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. Since 2010, nearly 90 rural hospitals have shut their doors. By one estimate, hundreds of other rural hospitals are at risk of doing so. In its June report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission found that of the 67 rural hospitals that closed since 2013, about one-third were more than 20 miles from the next closest hospital.
Bullying Led to Fatal Shooting of Student at North Carolina School, Police Say
A student at a high school in Matthews, North Carolina, fatally shot a schoolmate Monday during a fight before classes began, police said. Officials said bullying that had “escalated out of control” led to the fatal encounter at David W. Butler High School but would not say who had done the bullying. Police said Jatwan Craig Cuffie, 16, a ninth-grader, was fighting with Bobby McKeithen, 16, a sophomore, when Cuffie shot McKeithen. Police did not say what kind of gun was used or how many times McKeithen was shot. Police could not immediately say how a student was able to obtain a firearm and bring it onto campus.
Thousands of Troops Will Be Sent to Border
More than 5,000 troops will deploy to the southern border by week’s end, Defense Department officials said Monday, escalating a midterm election show of force against a caravan of Central American migrants that President Donald Trump has characterized as an “invasion of our country." The deployment comes as Trump has seized on the caravan as a closing political message in the final week before the midterm elections, warning without evidence that “Middle Eastern” people are part of a dangerous mob of migrants threatening to surge into U.S. communities. But the caravan, which has shrunk from 7,000 people to fewer than 3,500, is still weeks away from the United States.