California synagogue shooting, Rod Rosenstein resigns, and Southern California terror plot thwarted

A California synagogue shooting over the weekend, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein resigns, a Southern California terror plot thwarted, and much, much more.


Good evening, it’s Monday, April 29th, here’s what you need to know…


1. California synagogue shooting


Four people were shot, including one woman who was killed, as a gunman opened fire at a San Diego, California, synagogue on Saturday. The shooting occurred shortly before 11:30 AM at the Chabad of Poway synagogue as nearly 100 people gathered to celebrate the last day of Passover. A 19-year-old man, identified as John T. Earnest, entered the synagogue with an assault-style rifle and fired more than 10 rounds at the congregation before fleeing. Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, was killed during the attack as she shielded Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein from gunfire. Rabbi Goldstein sustained serious injuries after being shot in the hand, while 8-year-old Noya Dahan and 34-year-old Almog Peretz suffered shrapnel wounds. The gunman appears to have been motivated by recent attacks on Jews and Muslims, and reportedly posted an anti-Semitic manifesto online before perpetrating the attacks. Earnest was arrested two miles from the synagogue after surrendering to police and has since been charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder. He could also face additional hate crime charges as authorities investigate the shooting.


2. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigns


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein formally submitted his resignation to the White House on Monday, effective May 11. Rosenstein was subject to harsh political criticism during his turbulent two-year tenure at the Justice Department for his role in appointing and overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans frequently targeted the deputy attorney general for alleged bias and defying congressional document requests related to Mueller’s investigation. Trump even accused Rosenstein of “planning a very illegal act” after deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe said he had privately discussed secretly recording and potentially removing the president after FBI Director James Comey was fired. Rosenstein was expected to leave his position in mid-March but had agreed to stay on through the completion of the Mueller investigation. “We enforce the law without fear or favor because credible evidence is not partisan, and truth is not determined by opinion polls,” Rosenstein wrote in his resignation letter.




3. Southern California terror plot thwarted


Federal authorities have foiled a terror plot in Southern California after a man was arrested for allegedly planning to attack a white supremacist rally that was scheduled on Sunday. Mark Domingo, 26, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, was arrested on Friday after police and the FBI learned that he planned to place home-made explosive devices at a Long Beach park as neo-Nazis and counter-protestors gathered there over the weekend. He also reportedly considered bombing the Santa Monica Pier. Domingo, who converted to Islam, planned to carry out the attacks in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attacks in March, federal prosecutors said. Authorities say that he supported “violent jihad,” mentioned becoming a martyr, and spoke about pledging allegiance to the Islamic State terror group if it had a presence in the United States. Domingo was charged with one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.




4. Filmmaker John Singleton dies


Academy Award-nominated filmmaker John Singleton has died Monday after being taken off life support following a stroke on April 17. Singleton was best known for directing “Boyz N the Hood,” in which he was nominated for best director at the 1991 Academy Awards, and became a trailblazer as the first African-American and youngest person to be nominated for the award. He was also behind the films “Poetic Justice” and “2 Fast 2 Furious” and numerous television series. He was 51.




5. Seattle crane collapse


On Saturday, a large construction crane collapsed and fell from a building in downtown Seattle, killing 4 people and causing significant property damage. The collapse occurred during a storm that brought strong wind gusts as the crane sat atop Google’s new Seattle campus that remains under construction and crashed onto one of Seattle’s busiest streets. Among those killed are two ironworkers at the construction site, an unidentified male in a vehicle, and Sarah Wong, a freshman at Seattle Pacific University who was in a car when the crane fell. Several others sustained minor injuries and one person remains hospitalized in satisfactory condition. The exact cause of the crane collapse in unknown and remains under investigation.




6. Baltimore neighborhood cookout shooting


One person was killed and six others were wounded on Sunday afternoon after a gunman opened fire on a neighborhood cookout in Baltimore. The suspect responsible for the shooting immediately fled the scene and remains at large. The Baltimore Police Commissioner said the gunman “began firing indiscriminately into the crowd” and appeared to be “targeting one, if not more people in [the] crowd.” Authorities are asking for help in identifying the person responsible for the shooting.




7. “Avengers: End Game” smashes box office records


Marvel’s “Avengers: End Game” has broken nearly all box-office records as it quickly proved to be an instant hit with moviegoers and critics alike. Marvel’s latest superhero film was released on April 24 and grossed a record $1.2 billion worldwide during its opening weekend, far exceeding expectations. Of that total, $350 million was brought in from North America. “Avengers: End Game” broke the record for the largest worldwide opening and the biggest ever in the United States. The film also grossed $1 billion in revenue faster than any other movie before it – taking only 5 days.




8. Former Senator Richard Lugar dies


Former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar died Sunday morning at the age of 87 from a rare neurological disorder. Lugar served as a U.S. Senator from 1977 to 2013, and was the longest-serving senator in Indiana history. During his time in the Senate, the six-term Republican served as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Agriculture Committee. Among Lugar’s accomplishments was establishing the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program that prevented the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons around the world, most notably after the Cold War. After retiring from the Senate, he continued his work in advocating for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, food security, and the importance of foreign aid. Former President Obama called Lugar “an American statesman” and applauded his ability to work in a bipartisan manner to solve problems. “America is safer because of Dick; the world is, too,” Obama added. Lugar was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.




9. Virginia men’s basketball team rejects White House invitation


The University of Virginia men’s basketball team has turned down its invitation to celebrate its NCAA championship at the White House. The UVA Cavaliers’ head coach Tony Bennett made the announcement Friday on Twitter saying, “With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together.” “We would have to respectfully decline an invitation,” he added. UVA isn’t the only team to not follow in the tradition of visiting the White House after a championship win, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers were both declined an invite by President Trump last year, and so was Villanova, the 2018 NCAA basketball champions. As for the 2018 Superbowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles, their invitation was withdrawn by the president.


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