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Shooting at Florida gay nightclub, 50 killed

Mass shooting is being investigated as an "act of terrorism."

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando Image: VOA
  • Shooting at Florida gay nightclub in Orlando
  • Omar Saddiqui guMateen has been identified as the gunman behind the incident
  • Another 53 people were killed when the police shot the suspect and rescued the club-goers inside

A gunman behind the worst mass shooting in US history that left 50 people dead at an Orlando, Florida gay nightclub has reportedly been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent.

The early Sunday attack ended when police stormed the Pulse nightclub, fatally shooting the suspect and rescuing club-goers trapped inside. Another 53 people were wounded.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said Sunday that a state of emergency has been declared.

An FBI official said the mass shooting is being investigated as an “act of terrorism.”

 Christina Grimmie performs as the opener for Rachel Platten at Center Stage Theater, in Atlanta, March 2, 2016. Grimmie was shot by a gunman as she signed autographs for fans after a show, killing the onetime star of "The Voice" late Friday Image: VOA
Christina Grimmie performs as the opener for Rachel Platten at Center Stage Theater, in Atlanta, March 2, 2016. Grimmie was shot by a gunman as she signed autographs for fans after a show, killing the onetime star of “The Voice” late Friday
Image: VOA

The White House issued a statement indicating President Barack Obama has been briefed by his counterterrorism and homeland security advisor and has asked to receive regular updates.  The statement said the president ordered the federal government to provide investigators with “any assistance necessary.”  It also said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims.”

On the gay club’s Facebook page, a post around 2 a.m. gave early indication of the tragedy that was unfolding.

“Everyone get out of pulse,” a page administrator wrote, “and keep running.

Why the club was targeted remains unclear. The shooting comes as many cities around the world celebrate June as LGBT Pride Month. The mass shooting follows another grim night in Orlando. Singer Christina Grimmie, a 22-year-old YouTube star and one-time contestant of the TV talent show “The Voice,” was fatally shot by a man during a meet-and-greet session with fans outside her concert in the same city Friday night. (VOA)

 

  • AJ Krish

    Everyone has the right to be who they are.They needn’t be afraid of it. But the recent killings show that people are yet to accept them.This is truly sad.

  • devika todi

    such acts of violence, i feel are acts against humanity.

  • Paras Vashisth

    Pray for the victims of the family. It is indeed a tragic incident and this is the time for all of us to stood in unity.

  • Chetna Karnani

    A total act of hindering world peace. While the LGBT community had always been targeted as the ‘other’ in the society, this act in the US has brought men together as one standing against violence.

  • sahil nandwani

    I pay my heartiest griveance to the people of America.I think that from this violence people should stand in unity and should fight against it. So that this incident should not happen in future.

  • AJ Krish

    Everyone has the right to be who they are.They needn’t be afraid of it. But the recent killings show that people are yet to accept them.This is truly sad.

  • devika todi

    such acts of violence, i feel are acts against humanity.

  • Paras Vashisth

    Pray for the victims of the family. It is indeed a tragic incident and this is the time for all of us to stood in unity.

  • Chetna Karnani

    A total act of hindering world peace. While the LGBT community had always been targeted as the ‘other’ in the society, this act in the US has brought men together as one standing against violence.

  • sahil nandwani

    I pay my heartiest griveance to the people of America.I think that from this violence people should stand in unity and should fight against it. So that this incident should not happen in future.

Next Story

UN Expert Vitit Muntarbhorn Warns Against LGBTQ Rights Violations

"More than 70 countries around the world today still criminalise same-sex relations, and in some of them the death penalty may be applied," believes Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN' first independent expert on the rights of LGBT

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LGBTQ
A protester to support all students sign from National Center for transgender equality, Source : Wikimedia

United Nations, October 28, 2017 : Immediate action is needed to stop human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, a UN human rights expert has said.

“It is unconscionable that people with an actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression different from a particular social norm are targeted for violence and discrimination in many parts of the world,” said Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN’ first independent expert on the rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people.

“LGBT people are suffering a crucible of egregious violations, including killings, rape, mutilation, torture, arbitrary detention, abduction, harassment, physical and mental assaults.

“They are subjected to lashings and forced surgical interventions, bullying from a young age, incitement to hatred and pressures leading to suicide,” he told the UN General Assembly on Friday.

“More than 70 countries around the world today still criminalise same-sex relations, and in some of them the death penalty may be applied,” Xinhua quoted Muntarbhorn as saying.

Even where there is no law criminalising consensual same-sex relations, laws on public decency, public order and social peace are used to incriminate people under the umbrella of sexual orientation, gender identity and related gender expression, he noted.

Muntarbhorn who is from Thailand said all laws criminalising same-sex relationships should be removed from the statute books, and no other legal measures should be used to target sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression for the purpose of consolidating power and suppressing dissent.

It was also imperative to remove the death penalty for all cases related to the criminalization of sexual orientation, gender identity and related gender expression, he stressed.

ALSO READ Women-Only Murray Edwards College of Cambridge University to Accept Transgender Students

“There is a need for effective anti-discrimination measures covering both the public and private spheres. Not only formal but substantive, not only de jure but also de facto, in addition to the building of a community open to understanding and respecting sexual and gender diversity,” said the expert.

To be effective, anti-discrimination frameworks should provide for effective measures to investigate alleged violations, redress for victims and accountability for alleged perpetrators, he said.

Muntarbhorn also expressed concern that human rights defenders were being increasingly targeted for their work in raising issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. (IANS)

Next Story

Las Vegas Massacre Begs the Question: Who Regulates Gun Selling?

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Lass Vegas massacre
Las Vegas Metro Police and medical workers stage in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 1, 2017. VOA
  • By Salil Gewali

Oct 08, 2017: Money can do any harmful thing. Yes, now it seems that one can buy lethal weapons as easily as he buys his bread and butter from a store and the recent las vegas massacre proves this. How many have such violent cases happened in a couple of years? They are countless. They all have instantly extinguished the lives of endless innocent people. Sometimes Mississippi, Newtown, Texas, Las Vegas, and sometimes France, Kuwait, Manchester, Landon Bridge, Lahore…! In each case, if we go deeper, the big boss America is directly or indirectly responsible.

Well, as to the rise of gun culture in the USA, I totally blame its Government. The very recent Las Vegas massacre shocked the entire the world. How can the US Government allow Tom, Dick, and Harry to purchase the weapons? The police have found a stockpile of arsenal from the possession of perpetrator Stephen Paddock who killed 59 people, leaving 527 wounded. How did he procure this all deadly stuff? And what had stopped the government from totally banning gun selling in any manners in the wake of the cruel instances of shootings at various spots? Small kids are shooting themselves, schoolboys shooting their classmates for fun, sons gunning down fathers and mothers in a rage, wives shooting their hubbies over petty issues.

Las Vegas Massacre
Assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield. VOA

Also Read: Las Vegas Mass Shooting Reignites Gun Debate in US Congress 

This is how the most advanced country in the world is now virtually reeling from a stream of horrific tragedies. Are not the leaders and business houses insanely stupid who all have been resisting the gun control legislation? They have not realized yet the “evil” also roars from gun barrels. Bluntly speaking, can these leaders give sharp daggers to their own kids? It is exactly like that. People may have grown up but their minds are cluttered with gory thoughts and sadism. And, the results are nowhere to make the world shudder with fear and anguish.

One wonders, how much more such dangerous tragedies should strike the mankind before the leaders come to sense and then act sensibly. No one should gamble with the life of the innocent. Explosive America cannot hit the jackpot for the humanity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali

Next Story

For the First Time in USA, 53-year-old convict Mark Asay was Executed using Etomidate in Lethal Injection

Etomidate is the drug which was used for Mark Asay's execution

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Mark Asay was executed using Etomidate
Mark Asay was executed using Etomidate. Pixabay
  • Etomidate was invented by scientists from Janssen Pharmaceuticals 
  • The reason behind conviction of Mark Asay last year was that in 1988 he racially motivated killing of 2 men in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Before he shot Booker, he called him a racial epithet

Florida (USA), August 25, 2017: A 53-year-old convict Mark Asay was executed using a new drug called Etomidate for lethal injection on 24 August 2017. This drug has not been used before in the US.

Mark Asay was executed reportedly and one of the three drugs used for lethal injection was etomidate. It’s the first time that in execution they used the drug etomidate.

Earlier midazolam was used for executions but now it is harder to get this drug as some drug manufacturers didn’t want it to be used for executions. Now, Etomidate is a substitution for midazolam.

According to CNN report, Greg Panico, spokesman for the company said, “Etomidate, an intravenous anesthetic, was invented by scientists from Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the 1960s

According to WJAX report, “This month, the Florida Supreme Court rejected arguments from Mark Asay’s attorneys that the new drug would cause too much pain.”  Florida’s highest court said that the inmate Mark Asay had not shown that it would result in more pain and dismissed a motion to block the execution.

The reason behind conviction of Mark Asay last year was that in 1988 he racially motivated killing of 2 men in Jacksonville, Florida.

Also Read: Women-Centric Drug Rehabilitation Centers in Hyderabad is Saving Young Girls from Recreational Drugs like LSD

The two men whom the jury found him guilty of murdering were Robert Lee Booker, who was black and Robert McDowell.  “Before he shot Booker, he called him a racial epithet. Prosecutors say he killed McDowell, who was dressed as a woman, after saying he would pay him for sex,” mentions WJAX report.

“The execution marks Florida’s first since The US Supreme Court ruling temporarily halted the practice in early 2016, saying the state’s sentencing process was unconstitutional because it gave judges, rather than juries, too much power in deciding whether to execute an inmate,” mentions CNN report.

On 24 August 2017, US Supreme Court denied a stay for execution request in Asay’s case and it was scheduled that he would die by injection after 6 p.m. EST. It was also revealed that Asay didn’t have any pending petitions along with the Florida Supreme Court.

In 1979, the death penalty was reinstituted by the state and since then, Mark James Asay is the first white man to be sentenced for the death penalty in Florida for killing a black man.


 

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