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Dark cloud of White supremacism: US church shooting revives 2012 Wisconsin gurdwara attack memories

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Officials gather near the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek in Wisconsin August 5, 2012 following a mass shooting inside and outside the Sikh Temple. A shooting during Sunday services at a Sikh temple left at least seven people dead, including a gunman, and at least three critically wounded, police and hospital officials said. REUTERS/Allen Fredrickson (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST)
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Washington: The shooting in a historic US church on Wednesday night has come to haunt those who lost their dear ones in a similar traumatic attack about three years ago by a White supremacist in a Wisconsin state gurdwara, killing six Indian-origin people.

“It’s very similar to what happened in Oak Creek,” FOX6 News quoted Amar Kaleka, who lost his father in the Sikh temple shooting, as saying.

On August 5, 2012, Wade Page entered the Sikh temple of Wisconsin and began shooting indiscriminately. He killed six worshipers, including Satwant Singh Kaleka, who was the temple president. Page later committed suicide after a police officer shot him in the stomach.

All those killed were members of the Sikh community.

“Your heart sinks. It just — it’s heartbroken for all those people, because you’ve lived it. You know that their life is never gonna be the same,” Kaleka said.

The US law enforcement authorities have started investigating the shooting at Charleston city’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which claimed nine lives, as a hate crime. The church is one of the oldest in the US, and was founded in 1816.

“I do believe this is a hate crime,” US media quoted Charleston police chief Greg Mulle as saying after the shooting.

“You feel for them, and you want to reach out and hug them, and you want to make sure that they’re okay,” Kaleka said, referring to the shocked Charleston community and victims’ kin.

The uncanny similarity between the Oak Creek and Charleston shootings was that in both the cases the shooting took place when people were offering prayers.

“I’m hoping to God that we can forgive — we can get past the trauma that this man has caused and work on the deeper issues of socio-economics or of racial tension that has long been there,” Kaleka said.

Kaleka is planning to visit Charleston to reach out to the community and promote his organisation Serve2Unite, which has the motto of “Uniting to defy hate and build peace through creativity and service”.

“What I’m gonna do is have conversations with community leaders, help where I can help, volunteer where I can volunteer, and then I’ll have conversations with certain families that want to have those conversations,” he said.

Although the suspect behind the Charleston shooting, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, has been arrested, the incident has once again stirred up the debate on gun laws in the US.

In a statement, President Barack Obama on Thursday said the US must eventually reckon with all too frequent mass shootings and gun violence.

“Now is a time for mourning and healing… But let’s be clear. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency,” he said. (IANS)

 

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US Planning For Space Force To Stay Ahead in War

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility

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Air Force Gen. Carlton D. Everhart, the Commander of Air Mobility Command, left, holds a binder with a photograph of Air Force One on the cover as he speaks to Navy Adm. Bill Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, second from left, while arriving with other generals and admirals for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 21, 2016. (VOA)

It might sound like science fiction, but the general in charge of the U.S. military’s air transports across the globe says refueling and resupplying the military may soon be a job that’s literally out of this world.

“If I can resupply from space I can go across globe in about 30 minutes,” Air Force General Carlton Everhart, the head of Air Mobility Command, told VOA. “I do truly believe that is the next step. We can really make inroads.”

Everhart says the time gained by using hypersonic craft in space could keep him ahead in “the speed of war,” where competitors China and Russia have been trying to make gains.

The idea of using space deliveries isn’t as far out as it may seem. In fact, industry leaders, companies Everhart hopes to partner with, are already working on this type of technology.

Launch vehicles from companies like SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and even foreign ventures could “provide tremendous strategic advantage to the U.S. government,” according to Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

But it’s an advantage that would come with an astronomical price tag of thousands of dollars per kilo.

Experts say the need to transport via space must outweigh these costs, perhaps only being used during the most important of missions.

Todd Harrison, a space and defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, points to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as a situation where time necessities could overpower cost concerns.

“Imagine if we had been able to launch a SEAL team and put them right down in that compound within 45 minutes of knowing that it was under attack. It could have made the difference,” he said.

The general is not just focused on launching from one point on Earth to another, Everhart also wants to use satellites to preposition cargo in space.

Stallmer said a lot of spaceflight companies are looking at this idea of space refueling depots, including plans to convert those refueling vehicles to habitats within space once they’ve been used.

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The future is full of possibilities, but it is unclear when these technologies will be fully developed. Experts give estimates ranging from a couple of years to more than a decade, but that doesn’t stop Everhart from dreaming.

“The train is leaving the station and we’re going to be on it. And I’m not going to be on the caboose. I want to be in front of, I’m going to be in the front,” he said.

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility. (VOA)