Tuesday July 23, 2019
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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.

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  • 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

Florida: American Crocodiles, Once Headed Towards Extinction, Thriving Outside Nuclear Plant

Crocodiles are shy and want nothing to do with us. Humans are too big to be on their menu

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crocodiles
Wildlife biologist/crocodile specialist Michael Lloret holds a baby crocodile on one of the berms along the cooling canals next to the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, July 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. VOA

American crocodiles, once headed toward extinction, are thriving at an unusual spot — the canals surrounding a South Florida nuclear plant. Last week, 73 crocodile hatchlings were rescued by a team of specialists at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear plant and dozens more are expected to emerge soon.

Turkey Point’s 168-mile (270-kilometer) man-made canals serve as the home to several hundred crocodiles, where a team of specialists working for FPL monitors and protects them from hunting and climate change.

From January to April, Michael Lloret, an FPL wildlife biologist and crocodile specialist, helps create nests for the creatures. Once the hatchlings are reared and left by the mother, the team captures them. They are measured and tagged with microchips to observe their development. Lloret then relocates them to increase survival rates.

“We entice crocodiles to come in to the habitats FPL created,” Lloret said. “We clear greenery on the berms so that the crocodiles can nest. Because of rising sea levels wasting nests along the coasts, Turkey Point is important for crocodiles to continue.”

crocodile

Wildlife biologist/crocodile specialist Michael Lloret points out a crocodile nest on one of the berms along the cooling canals next to the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, July 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. VOA

Now ‘threatened,’ not ‘endangered’

The canals are one of three major U.S. habitats for crocodiles, where 25% of the 2,000 American crocodiles live. The FPL team has been credited for moving the classification of crocodiles on the Endangered Species Act to “threatened” from “endangered” in 2007. The team has tagged 7,000 babies since it was established in 1978.

Temperature determines the crocodiles’ sex: the hotter it is, the more likely males are hatched. Lloret said this year’s hatchlings are male-heavy because of last month’s weather — it was the hottest June on record globally.

ALSO READ: Dog Mounted Camera Allows Dogs to Live Stream from Higher Risk Areas

Because hatchlings released are at the bottom of the food chain, only a small fraction of them survive to be adults. Lloret said they at least have a fighting chance at Turkey Point, away from humans who hunted them to near-extinction out of greed and fear, even though attacks are rare. Only one crocodile attack has ever been recorded in the U.S. — a couple were both bitten while swimming in a South Florida canal in 2014, but both survived.

“American crocodiles have a bad reputation, when they are just trying to survive,” Lloret said. “They are shy and want nothing to do with us. Humans are too big to be on their menu.” (VOA)