Miami Beach condo set for demolition collapses early

A vacant, 12-story condominium building scheduled for demolition in Miami Beach, Fla., collapsed Monday, injuring one person.

Police said the 55 year-old building on popular Collins Avenue, known as the Marlborough House, had a demolition permit but no implosion license on file.

Sitting on beachfront property, it was in the process of demolition to make way for a new 19-story tower.

The injuries to the victim are not believed to be serious.

Witnesses were startled by the sudden fall of the building Monday and the smoke and ash the collapse produced.

“The front of the building looked so flimsy the past couple days I was surprised it was able to stand,” witness Adam Thompson said.

Preservationist Nany Liebman, a former Miami Beach commissioner who led a fight for a 15 foot-wide walkway that’s part of the development plan, was also surprised the building fell inadvertently.

“Nobody was worried about demolishing that building. It was too small,” she said.

The Miami Beach Fire Department closed the street and requested the public avoid the area.

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Potentially dangerous rain forecast for East Coast this week

Heavy rainfall on the East Coast this weekend is expected to last for a few more days, forecasters said Monday, and with it might come life-threatening weather.

Heavy rain is expected particularly in the mid-Atlantic region, and might lead to dangerous situations, the National Weather Service warned.

Flood watches or warnings have been issued from Pennsylvania to North Carolina that cover at least 10 million people.

The weekend saw 2 inches to 7 inches of rain in some areas. Forecasters said 3 inches to 5 inches more are expected over the next three days.

“A cycle of daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms is likely to repeat on most days this week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott said.

On average, Northeast areas see 3 inches to 4 inches of rain in July, but Baltimore broke a 131-year-old rainfall record last weekend with 4.79 inches Saturday alone. The city’s previous record from 1887 was 2.76 inches.

The weekend rain also broke a record in Washington, D.C., and marked the fourth wettest July to date.

The downpour is due to a stream of tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea moving into the East around high pressure in the Atlantic.

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2 dead, 13 injured, gunman killed in Toronto shooting

Two people were shot dead and 13 were injured, including a child, when a shooter opened fire on a busy Toronto street late Sunday.

Witnesses said they heard between 10 and 20 shots around 10 p.m. EST Sunday along several blocks of busy Danforth Avenue in an area of Toronto known as Greektown. A section of Danforth Avenue remained closed on Monday morning.

Witness Andrew Mantzios told The Globe and Mail he was having coffee with friends at a restaurant when he saw a black-clad man “with this horrible expression on his face” firing at a crowd of people standing at an intersection.

“A lady tried to run and she fell down,” Mantzios said. “He turned around and shot her point blank, two or three times.”

The shooter then entered an alley after an exchange of shots with police and was killed in the gunfire. It wasn’t initially clear, though, if he was shot by police.

Witnesses said the assailant shot randomly at people walking the street and inside restaurants.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders earlier said a woman died in the attack and a young girl was critically injured. The woman was not immediately identified. It wasn’t initially clear if the young girl was the second victim who died.

The attack was one of several in Toronto involving gun violence recently. It came three months after a van attack in which 10 people died and 16 were injured.

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One dead after Nevada man opens fire in Mormon church, police say

A Nevada man is in custody after he allegedly walked into a Mormon church during Sunday services and fatally shot one person and injured another, police said.

John Kelley O’Connor, 48, is suspected of walking into the Fallon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Fallon, Nev. at about 1 pm on Sunday and firing two shots, one of them killing 61-year-old Charles “Bert” Miller and injuring another person in the leg.

O’Connor, who is a member of the church, walked to his home across the street after the shooting, police said.

“Officers and sheriff’s deputies surrounded the home while a hostage negotiator called in,” Fallon City Police Chief Kevin Gammon said, KSTU-TV reported. “After placing phone calls to the home, Mr. O’Connor agreed to exit the property and surrendered to officers.”

“It’s really too early to understand the motive,” Gehman added, according to KOLO-TV.

The shooting is still under investigation.

According to the Nevada Appeal, O’Connor is a longtime resident of Fallon and unsuccessfully ran for a Stata Assembly seat in 2010.

Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev., said she was “devastated” by the shooting.

“Thank you to the first responders on the scene. My heart goes out to all of those impacted. Places of worship should be a safe haven. The gun violence across this country must end,” she said in a statement.

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Trump: Iran will ‘suffer consequences’ if threats continue

– President Donald Trump said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will “suffer consequences” if he continues rhetoric that has been perceived as threatening to the United States.

“To Iranian President Rouhani: Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence & death. Be cautious!”

The tweet was written in all capital letters.

The tweet comes a day after Rouhani gave a televised speech in which he spoke directly to Trump.

“Mr. Trump: We are the honest men who have throughout history guaranteed the safety of this region’s waterways,” Rouhani said. “Do not play with the lion’s tail, it will bring regret.”

Cmdr. Gen. Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar, a senior officer in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, dismissed Trump’s remarks as “psychological warfare,” CNN reported on Monday, citing Iran’s semi-official INSA news agency.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday accused the Iranian leader and other government officials of trying to spread a violent revolution across the Middle East while profiting from corruption.

“The ideologues who forcibly came to power in 1979 and remain in power today are driven by a desire to conform all of Iranian society to the tenets of the Islamic revolution. The regime is also committed to spreading the revolution to other countries, by force if necessary,” Pompeo said during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Pompeo added: “The level of corruption and wealth among regime leaders shows that Iran is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government… These hypocritical holy men have devised all kinds of crooked schemes to become some of the wealthiest men on earth while their people suffer.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded to Pompeo’s comments on Monday, calling them “hypocritical and absurd statements” and “a propaganda move.”

“Pompeo’s words constituted very clear evidence showing the U.s. efforts to meddle in Iran’s internal affairs,” Qasemi said.

The tough words between Rouhani and the Trump administration follow Trump’s plan to reimpose sanctions on Iran over the country’s efforts to develop nuclear technology, which could cause Iran’s oil exports to fall by as much as a third by the end of 2018, Sky News reported.

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Zuckerberg tops Buffett on Bloomberg world’s richest list

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg topped Warren Buffett on Bloomberg’s list of the world’s richest people.

Zuckerberg passed Buffett Friday as Facebook shares rose 2.4 percent, Bloomberg reported. Above Zuckerberg were Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in the No. 1 spot, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

The daily rankings of the world’s 500 richest people listed in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index showed the top 3 remained the same Saturday.

Zuckerberg is now worth $81.6 billion, nearly $400 million more than Buffett, chairman of the Berkshire Hathaway investment group, rankings show.

Zuckerberg’s California-based social network business has more than 2 billion active monthly users.

The company’s stock has reached a record high despite ongoing scrutiny over its Cambridge Analytica data breach that leaked personal information of up to 87 million people, MarketWatch reported.

Zuckerberg has pledged to give away 99 percent of his Facebook stock away in his lifetime, his Bloomberg profile shows. Further, Zuckerberg has given $3.58 billion in stock sales away this year alone to a charity initiative he set up with his wife, Priscilla Chan, in 2015.

Buffett has donated about 290 million of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway to charities — an equivalent of about $50 billion.

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Facebook probing analytics firm with Russian ties

– Facebook said it is suspending an analytics firm that used social network data to assist the Russian government while it investigates.

The Boston-based Crimson Hexagon has had contracts in recent years to analyze public Facebook data for the U.S. government and a Russian nonprofit tied to the Kremlin among other clients, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter and federal procurement data. Crimson Hexagon boasts that it has a large collection of social media posts, including more than one trillion from sites that also include Twitter and Instagram.

Facebook is investigating whether Crimson Hexagon violated its platform polices. A similar investigation led to the suspension of Cambridge Analytica, the British data-mining firm accused of inappropriately accessing personal information for millions of Facebook users.

The suspension of Crimson Hexagon is seen as a preemptive move in light of the Cambridge Analytica breach.

Crimson Hexagon’s chief technology officer, Chris Bingham, said in a statement obtained by the Washington Post on Friday, “Crimson Hexagon is fully cooperating with Facebook who has publicly stated its investigation to date has found no wrongdoing.”

The Journal first reported Crimson Hexagon worked with a Russian nonprofit called the Civil Society Development Foundation that had Kremlin ties and used data to study people’s opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a 2015 report from the group.

Other governments including Turkey and the United States used Crimson Hexagon’s data. Turkey used Crimson Hexagon’s service in a decision to briefly suspend Twitter in 2014 over public dissent. The U.S. has paid Crimson Hexagon more than $800,000 for 22 contracts, federal procurement data show. The firm secured a contract worth more than $240,000 with the U.S. State Department in June.

A State Department spokeswoman said one of its divisions uses Crimson Hexagon “to identify and analyze trends in publicly available social and digital media data.”

Bingham said in a statement on the analytics firm’s website Friday the company does not collect private data, which distinguishes it from Cambridge Analytica.

“Cambridge Analytica raised alarm surrounding the potential for misuse of private Facebook data, but public data appears to be coming under increased scrutiny as well,” Bingham said. “To be abundantly clear: What Cambridge Analytica did was explicitly illegal, while the collection of public data is completely legal and sanctioned by the data providers that Crimson engages with, including Twitter and Facebook, among others.”

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NTSB questions duck boat safety 20 years ago, recommendations ignored

– Removing canopies so passengers could escape easily during an emergency, adding backup buoyancy so boats could stay afloat if flooded and requiring passengers to wear life jackets are recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board 20 years ago to tourist “duck” boats.

The NTSB spelled out additional safety measures in an accident report when the duck boat Miss Majestic sank May 1, 1999, during a tour of Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Ark. The tragedy killed 13 of the 21 passengers on board, including three children.

“If the vehicle had not had a canopy, the passengers would not have had a barrier to vertical escape. They would not have been trapped inside the vehicle, and fewer passengers might have been killed,” the report said. “The canopy on the Miss Majestic was a major impediment to the survival of the passengers.”

The report also said the crew did not require life jackets to be worn and did not demonstrate how to don one if needed. Also avoided was giving passengers instructions on what to do if the boat starts to sink.

Reports about the NTSB findings have resurfaced since the sinking of the “Ride the Ducks” boat in Stone County, Mo., Thursday.

The NTSB is investigating the incident, questioning everything from the weather to the life jacket situation to the actions of the crew.

The boat, carrying 31 people, sank in Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo., killing 17 passengers ages 1 to 76, including nine family members from a family of 11 on the boat. Tia Coleman, one of the two survivors of that family, spoke with news media from her hospital bed.

Coleman, whose three children and husband all drowned, said the captain of the boat told them they would not need life jackets.

“My husband would want me to say this — he would want the world to know that on this boat we were on, the captain had told us ‘don’t worry about grabbing the life jackets — you won’t need them’ so nobody grabbed them as we listened to the captain as he told us to stay seated,” Coleman told Fox News. “However in doing that, when it was time to grab them, it was too late and I believe that a lot of people could have been spared.”

The NTSB recommends passengers not wear life jackets on boats with canopies because when the they sink, the life jackets prevent escape by floating people to the top of the canopy and trapping them underneath.

The Coast Guard requires life jackets on boats but for amphibious tour boats, which are part boat and part bus, recommendations are left up to the captain on whether to request passengers to wear the jackets.

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Gunmen in custody after standoff at Los Angeles……

– A suspect being chased by Los Angeles police crashed his vehicle and ran into a Trader Joe’s store and opened fire, sending customers running for cover while the gunman barricaded himself inside.

After a tense stand-off, Los Angeles police tweeted the situation was resolved successfully.

“We have successfully taken the suspect into custody without incident. The situation remains fluid as officers move forward clearing the location.”

Aerial video showed several people leaving the store after the incident ended, one person was on a stretcher. Information about any injuries were not immediately reported.

Police said the suspect, who is in his late teens, shot his grandmother and a younger woman earlier in the day. Police spotted the suspect driving his grandmother’s car in the Hollywood area and a pursuit began, which led to the teen crashing into the Trader Joe’s and running inside the store.

A 20-year-old woman was taken to the hospital in fair condition, removed from a vehicle involved in the crash, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman said.

Aerial video showed officers carrying a injured person of the store and carrying children out from the store to safety. Other videos show an employee dragging a person out of the store and employees escaping on a rope ladder outside a window.

Shoppers described on social media the scene of gunfire, saying people were running for cover and hiding as the gunman ran into the store.

One shopper, who sought cover behind a wall, said a man opened fire and officers fired back.

NBC Los Angeles

Officers rescued a group of children after an armed suspect opened fire and barricaded himself inside a Trader Joe’s in the Hollywood area. Live updates:

5:54 PM – Jul 21, 2018
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President Donald Trump tweeted he was watching the situation “very closely,” and that the LAPD was working alongside federal law-enforcement officials.

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Big Bang singer Seungri releases new solo album, music video

– Big Bang singer Seungri is back with new solo music.

The 27-year-old K-pop star released the album The Great Seungri and a music video for the single “1, 2, 3!” Friday following news of Big Bang’s hiatus.

Yonhap News Agency saidThe Great Seungri was named after the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby. Seungri is known for his successful music career, flourishing restaurant business and lavish lifestyle.

Seungri co-wrote “1, 2, 3!” with Teddy, a producer with Big Bang’s agency, YG Entertainment. The retro-inspired “1, 2, 3!” video shows Seungri performing dance numbers with a woman who catches his eye.

“It was my first time working with Teddy, and he told me from the beginning that he wanted to make music only I was capable of. All five members of Big Bang have their own charm, but mine is my energy,” he said at a press conference Friday, according to The Korea Herald.

Big Bang consists of Seungri, T.O.P., G-Dragon, Taeyang and Daesung. The group will take a hiatus as G-Dragon completes his mandatory military service, with Taeyang and Daesung also poised to enlist this

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