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Police confront barricaded protesters at UCLA

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Protesters formed a roving pro-Palestinian camp on UCLA’s campus Monday afternoon to recite the names of thousands of people who had died in Gaza.

After several hours of mostly peaceful demonstration, however, the situation turned chaotic, with Los Angeles police and private security guards forming a skirmish line and confronting protesters who stood behind barricades.

A crowd formed on the opposite side of the skirmish line, with protesters chanting, “Let them go!”

Earlier, police had ordered the demonstrators to disperse at least twice, and the crowd quickly dismantled tents and barricades and moved to different locations on campus.

As protesters marched, one among them was reading aloud names of Palestinians killed.

“They will not die in vain,” protesters chanted after each name. “They will be redeemed.”

Some protesters set roses down next to a coffin painted with the Palestinian flag that sat alongside fake bloodied corpses. A helicopter hovered overhead.

Many protesters declined to give interviews, saying they were not “media liaisons” or “media trained.”

The event was organized by the Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA. Several faculty members followed the crowd with a banner showing support for the students and the demonstration.

Monday’s event marked the third pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA in recent weeks, the handling of which has drawn outrage and questions about how ill-prepared the university was for such an event.

The first one was set up April 25, sparking mixed reactions and a largely peaceful counterprotest on April 28.

Two days later, however, UCLA declared the encampment unlawful and directed campus members to leave or face discipline.

Later that night, a violent mob attacked the camp. The few police officers on duty were quickly overwhelmed, and the violence continued for three hours until authorities finally brought the situation under control.

At Monday’s demonstration, most protesters wore surgical masks, and those at the edges of the moving encampment held makeshift wooden shields or set up chicken wire to barricade themselves in. The crowd moved from the courtyard outside Royce Hall to the bottom of the Tongva steps, to the patio behind Kerckhoff Hall, to a courtyard outside Dodd Hall.

A line of men in dark uniforms, some in riot gear, face lines of protesters in a grassy area of campus.

Los Angeles police and private security guards formed a line as an unlawful assembly was declared Monday at UCLA.

(Alene Tchekmedyian / Los Angeles Times)

As evening set in, the protesters set up their barricades in the Dodd Hall courtyard. The confrontation escalated as an unlawful assembly was declared. Police and guards formed a line, with protesters shouting, “Cops off campus!”

UCLA professor Yogita Goyal, who teaches English and African American studies, was among faculty on campus Monday expressing support for the protesters. Goyal said police should not have declared an unlawful assembly on Monday — or on April 30 when students were protesting peacefully.

“UCLA leadership should be out here and should be allowing our students to express their political views.”



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Suspect charged in shooting of Philadelphia police officer who remains ‘on life support’

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A 36-year-old man was charged with attempted murder in connection with a traffic stop shooting that left a Philadelphia police officer fighting for his life, authorities said.

Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez was charged with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated assault, evading arrest, home invasion and other related charges.

The shooting happened around 8 p.m. Saturday in the city’s Kensington neighborhood.

The 31-year-old officer and his partner conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle with four individuals inside, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel told reporters outside Temple University Hospital late Saturday.

SHERIFF’S DEPUTY SHOT TO DEATH IN ‘AMBUSH’ WHILE TRACKING STOLEN SUV IN DETROIT

police at scene

The 31-year-old officer was shot in the neck around 8 p.m. Saturday during a traffic stop. (FOX29 Philadelphia WTXF)

While the officers were taking inventory of the vehicle, they spotted someone with a gun holster, Bethel said. 

One man fled and fired three shots at the officers, Bethel said. One officer was struck in the neck, while the other officer returned fire. 

Philadelphia police officer shot

City officials asked the public to pray for the officer. (WPVI)

The wounded officer’s partner drove him to the hospital, where he remained in critical condition. 

POLICE OFFICERS DRIVEN OUT BY PROGRESSIVE TREATMENT OFFER NEXT-GENERATION LAW ENFORCEMENT A BLUNT WARNING

Mayor Cherelle Parker said that the officer was “on life support. On a breathing machine. Fighting for his life.”

individual in custody

Police were seen with an unidentified individual who appeared to be in custody. (WPVI)

“As your mayor, it is not lost on me that on today a husband, a father and a son met his partner and went to work to do a job that he’s been doing for about six and a half years,” Parker told reporters. “He didn’t expect that he would be in a fight for his life right now.”

Vazquez was taken into custody following two barricade situations. All other individuals inside the car at the time of the shooting were also taken into custody, police said.

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Officials have yet to publicly name the wounded officer.



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I almost died trying to get salt from the sea

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By Angie BrownBBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter

Darren Peattie Darren PeattieDarren Peattie

Darren Peattie put everything into his dream of building a sea salt company

When Darren Peattie decided to revive the 200-year-old salt harvesting industry in a Fife coastal village he was “absolutely terrified of failing”.

The father-of-two had bought £300,000 worth of equipment including a huge salt pan and hired a factory in the quaint East Neuk village of St Monans.

The 41-year-old had put everything into his dream, working all hours and sleeping in his factory to keep an eye on all the dials and gauges monitoring pressure and brine levels.

But Darren’s punishing work schedule and the conditions in the factory took a terrible toll on his health.

After months of surviving on 20-minute power naps on the factory floor his heart started palpitating wildly, he felt out of breath and dizzy.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance where they told him he had developed a heart condition called atrial fibrillation – an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm.

Darren was told that the constant 45C heat of the factory and the extremely salty air was damaging his heart but after being given three bags intravenous fluids he returned to work.

The extreme heat and the salt in the atmosphere meant Darren continued to be dehydrated – suffering more episodes where his heart “was going bonkers”.

The second time he was taken to hospital the doctor took his bloods and said: “It’s like you have been in the desert for a month.”

Darren Peattie Darren PeattieDarren Peattie

Darren Peattie spent £300,000 on equipment to start The East Neuk Salt Company

Darren was given three more bags of fluids, which put his heart into its normal rhythm.

“He let me go but I didn’t learn and I kept on working and sleeping in the factory,” he said.

He was rushed to hospital for a third time.

“I was dizzy and breathless and I thought I was going to die,” he said.

“I thought ‘this is it but I have a big order to get out of bespoke whisky sea salt’.

“I had a company expecting a big American order so I got to the hospital and said ‘It’s ok just give me the fluids and I’ll be out of your hair’.

“She took my bloods and said ‘Right, we will start with seven bags of fluids’.”

‘Worst pain ever’

After 12 hours his heart was still beating rapidly.

Darren said he was given a drug that works directly on the heart tissue to slow the nerve impulses and keep his heart rhythm normal.

“It’s the worst pain ever,” he said. “All my veins went black and then the next thing I was out cold. It jump-starts you, basically.

“I finally went back into a normal rhythm and I said ‘right, I need to get back because I have work to do’.

“The cardiologist took me aside and said ‘Do you realise how lucky you are? You should not be walking out of here’.”

Darren is now on a daily does of a drug to treat serious – possibly fatal – irregular heartbeats.

Surgeons are planning to operate to give him a catheter ablation – a procedure involving guiding a tube into the heart to destroy small areas of tissue that may be causing an abnormal heartbeat.

“The doctor said the dehydration has adjusted the structure of the electrical signals in my heart,” he said.

“That’s because I slept in the factory, which was boiling and breathing in salty air.

“I would wake up in the mornings and I would feel like I was in the desert and I would rush straight to the tap to get water down me.”

Darren Peattie Darren PeattieDarren Peattie

Darren Peattie takes 6,000 litres of sea water and evaporates it – leaving salt crystals behind

Ruth Goss, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said severe dehydration could cause heart and circulatory system problems.

“When you are dehydrated, there is less blood travelling around the body,” she said.

“This can lead to low blood pressure, dizziness and fainting.

“In response, the heart may start beating faster to help move blood around the body and this can lead to palpitations.

“Dehydration can also thicken the blood, increasing the risk of blood clots and heart attacks.

“At the same time, high temperatures mean that your body has to work harder to keep its core temperature to normal levels, and this puts extra strain on your heart, lungs and kidneys.”

Bill Bruce Darren PeattieBill Bruce

Darren Peattie has stopped sleeping in his factory in East Neuk in Fife

Mr Peattie said the pressure of running a salt factory on his own had caused him to become a workaholic.

Now, although he still works seven days a week and never goes on holiday, he only does emails during the night, which he can do from his house.

“When you take on something like this, when you know it’s come out of an idea and ends up reality, you don’t want to fail so you have got to slog your guts out,” he said.

“This salt company has been a massive struggle, it’s nearly swallowed me up financially twice.

“The average person would not have done what I have done.

“But I’ve done it and I’ve got to live with it and I’ve got to make sure it’s a success.

“That’s my driver, I’m absolutely terrified of failure.”

Two years on since launch, his East Neuk Salt Company is producing up to six tonnes of salt a month and distributing it around the world.

He collects 6,000 litres of salt water from the Firth of Forth and uses the distilled water which is the by-product to make mineral water.

Darren said: “My wife would come into the factory and say ‘You’re going to kill yourself’ or ‘this is getting out of hand’.

“But I think she is the only one who understands me and now she leaves me to it.”



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Gunmen Attack Synagogues and Churches in Russian Republic

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Gunmen attacked synagogues and churches in two cities in southern Russia on Sunday, killing multiple police officers and a priest, in an apparently coordinated assault that underscored Russia’s vulnerability to extremist violence.

Officials said six of the gunmen were killed after shootouts in the two cities, Makhachkala and Derbent, in the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea. Wielding rifles and Molotov cocktails, they attacked a synagogue and a church in each of the two cities, according to the authorities and religious organizations.

Sergei Melikov, Dagestan’s governor, described the attack as the latest assault “on our fraternity, on our multiethnic unity.”

The precise death toll was not immediately clear. Mr. Melikov said that “more than 15 police officers fell victim to today’s terrorist attack,” without specifying how many of them were killed and how many were wounded.

The motives and identities of the gunmen were also unclear, and there was no claim of responsibility for the attack. Russia’s Investigative Committee, an analogue to the F.B.I., said it had begun a terrorism investigation.

The attack was the latest outburst of apparent extremist violence inside Russia as the country fights its war against neighboring Ukraine. Four gunmen killed 145 people at a Moscow concert hall in March in an attack for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility. And in Dagestan last October, an antisemitic mob stormed a plane arriving from Tel Aviv.

In Derbent, the attackers set fire to a synagogue after shooting and killing the police officers who were guarding it, the Russian Jewish Congress said. They also killed a priest, Nikolai Kotelnikov, according to a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church. The priest was the only confirmed victim of Sunday’s attack who was not a law-enforcement officer, although Mr. Melikov said “several” civilians had been killed.

At about the same time, early Sunday evening, gunmen also opened fire on a traffic police post in Makhachkala, according to state media reports. The attackers’ targets also included Makhachkala’s Cathedral of the Assumption, according to state media reports, and a synagogue, according to the Russian Jewish Congress.

Videos posted by Dagestan’s interior ministry showed gunmen on the loose in the city of Makhachkala, opening fire and forcing people out of their cars. At one point, police said roads leading out of the city were blocked. It remained unclear late Sunday whether any gunmen remained at large, though Mr. Melikov said the “active phase” of the police response was over.

The mayhem highlighted the long-running ethnic and religious tensions in Russia, particularly in the country’s southern Caucasus region, which includes Dagestan. Patriarch Kirill I, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, said it was “no coincidence” that the attack took place on the day Orthodox Christians observe Pentecost.

“We see that the enemy is not giving up on attempts to destroy interreligious peace and harmony within our society,” Kirill said in a statement.

Left unsaid was who, exactly, the enemy was. There was no comment from the Kremlin and the authorities said little about the identities of the attackers, though some state media reports said some of the gunmen may have been sons of a local official.

After the March shooting at a Moscow concert hall — Russia’s deadliest terrorist attack in 20 years — Russian officials repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that Ukraine and the West were behind the violence, even though the Islamic State claimed responsibility for it.

On Sunday, some Russian politicians also pointed a finger at the West, without evidence. Leonid Slutsky, a senior lawmaker, claimed that the attacks had “the aim of sowing panic and dividing the people of Russia” and that “the blood of the victims” was also on the hands of the United States.

The attacks were the latest incident to rattle Russia’s Jewish community, which has faced increased threats since the beginning of the war in Gaza, according to community leaders. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was in contact with Jewish community leaders in Dagestan, and that there were no known casualties among that community.



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