From The Washington Post:
“After a week of media silence following the school shooting in Florida, the National Rifle Association went on the offensive in its first public response to the massacre, pushing back against law enforcement officials, the media, gun-control advocates and the teenage survivors of the massacre who have pleaded for stricter gun laws.
“The NRA also released an advertisement Thursday morning that said ‘the mainstream media love mass shootings’ and claimed that members of the media benefit from covering mass shootings in an effort ‘to juice their ratings and push their agenda.’”
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The Strange But True Story Behind How The Internet Discovered The Identity Of “Grateful Doe” 20 Years After His DeathBy Contributor
By Erika Hills
After over twenty years, a South Carolina family is able to have closure thanks to the help of some resourceful Internet sleuths.
Known only as “Grateful Doe” for two decades, Jason Patrick Callahan was involved in a fatal Emporia, VA car accident in June 1995 while following The Grateful Dead’s 1995 tour.
According to The Washington Post, authorities were able to quickly identify the driver but not the passenger.
Due to the extent of Callahan’s injuries, it prevented them from accurately sketching or describing him. Callahan was hitch-hiking along the East Coast, WSOC-TV reported, which further increased the difficulty in identification.
On Dec. 9, the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) confirmed that Grateful Doe was 19-year-old Callahan from Myrtle Beach.
Volunteers and amateur detectives on the true-crime forum WebSleuths began working on Grateful Doe’s case in July 2005.
Ten years ago users on the site started cross-referencing the case with hundreds of entries in the missing persons’ database, The Washington Post reported.
WMBF-TV reported that following an updated facial reconstruction of Grateful Doe this past year, the case caught fire once more. This time, users on Reddit and Facebook joined the efforts to give him a name and his family closure. On the Grateful Doe subreddit and Facebook page, many people came together to post tips, updates, photos, and even the original newspaper article describing the accident.
Information indicating that Grateful Doe may be Jason Callahan was received on social media a year ago. It led to the Myrtle Beach Police Department working diligently alongside other agencies to link both cases by collecting DNA samples.
As they waited in anticipation, many people following the case expressed their elation in the mere possibility of it being solved after so long.
11 months later, upon the news of Callahan being identified, people from different corners of the Internet united.The relentless support and hard work of countless strangers, in a mission to bring a name to the nameless and closure for a family, has finally paid off.
“Rest in peace, Jason Callahan. I am so thrilled you have your name back,” a Reddit user commented on Dec. 10.
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Cover Photo Credit: Grateful Doe Facebook GroupPost Views: 211
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By Staff Report
The University of Miami fired its head football coach a day after the storied program suffered its worst loss since the 1940s.
Al Golden, who had been the coach since 2010 was fired earlier this evening. The announcement was made by Blake James, the athletic director for UM.
“Coach Golden has led our program through some very difficult times and he has done so with class, integrity and a true desire to see our students succeed on the field, in the classroom and in the community.” James said in a statement. “However, we have a proud tradition of excellence at Miami, not just in football but in all sports, and we want to compete for ACC and national championships. I simply believe that now is the time to bring the Hurricane Family together and rally behind our young men.”
The firing game one day after UM lost 58 to 0 to a top ten Clemson team.
Assistant coach Larry Scott will serve as the Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the 2015 season.
Golden was 32-25 in his five seasons as the head football coach but only took the team to two bowl games during his tenure.
According to the UM press release, Scott has served as the tight ends coach and run game coordinator for the past three seasons at Miami, after spending eight seasons at the University of South Florida.Post Views: 216
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By John Massey
Some American flyboys are in Finland this month, in an effort to remind Russian President Vladimir Putin where his country’s borders really are.
The 123rd Fighter Squadron, based out of Portland, Oregon, is participating in exercises in Finland over the course of this month.
The F-15Cs of the 123rd will be assisting in improving the readiness of the Finnish Air Force, who has seen an increase in its necessity due to an increase in Russian airspace violations of sovereign airspace.
Finland is not a member of NATO, but has been a participant in the Partnership for Peace program, as well as assisting in ISAF operations in Afghanistan, and participating in NATO exercises, as demonstrated below.
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has solidified North American and European security interests to a degree that may even exceed that of the height of the Cold War.
This in turn has lead to an interest among some to extend the NATO security umbrella.
This has led most recently to Montenegro’s invitation to the alliance, and some suggestions that Sweden and Finland consider alliance membership.
Both Sweden and Finland have historically followed a policy of neutrality, but this has not been entirely adhered to.
Sweden has had intelligence sharing agreements with NATO states since 1954, as well as relying on NATO capabilities in the event of war against the Soviet Union, and in more recent times against simulated Russian airstrikes.
Both countries participate in NATO exercises, and operations, as well as having strong relations with both Denmark and Norway; both founding members of the Atlantic Alliance.
However, the two countries are not equally open to formally joining the alliance.
The Swedish public has rapidly shifted in favor of NATO membership, with 41% in favor, 39% opposed, and 20% undecided as of late 2015. While Finnish support for NATO membership is at a historical high, only 27% support membership.
This is why the American deployment of aircraft into non ally Finland is such a strong signal.
The Americans may be showing a preview of the kind of commitment they would offer if Finland joined NATO.
By creating stronger military and diplomatic ties with Finland through interactions between the 123rd with Finnish units, and other NATO-Finland interactions, the case for affiliation becomes more concrete.
That does not make the Portland based unit’s sale easy.
Greater affiliation with the EU and NATO has historically lead to an increase in likelihood for Russian counter actions, ala the 2008 Russia-Georgia War, and the two year old ongoing fiasco in Ukraine.
It is essentially out of the question that Finland join without Sweden, or vice versa. In addition to the two countries having strong historical ties, as well as sharing a highly convenient border to ferry troops and material over in the event of Russian intervention into Finland, while Sweden joining with Finland might trigger a response against neutral Finland, in order to guarantee buffer space against the perceived NATO threat.
The Oregon Air National Guard is thus pulling double duty in appealing to both the remaining non aligned Scandinavian countries, as well as improving Finland’s unilateral readiness.
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Photo Credit: cryogenic666/Flickr (CC by SA 2.0)Post Views: 213
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