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At Least Two People Shot In Shooting On UCLA Campus

At least two people have been shot on the University of California at Los Angeles campus during a mid morning event that seems to be ongoing.

According to local authorities, an active shooter is still on the loose.

The Daily Bruin, the student newspaper for UCLA reports that the shooter is wearing a black jacket and black pants and that he is a white male, around six foot tall.

This is breaking news. Stay with RISE NEWS.

Cover Photo Credit: Chris Radcliff/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

In Hong Kong, Young Demosistō Activists “Greet” Chinese Official In Tense Encounter

Chairman of the Standing Committee of the People’s National Congress, Zhang Dejiang spent three days in Hong Kong, between May 17th and May 19th.

Zhang is a member of the Chinese Politburo (the central governing organization of the CCP and therefore the country), and chief official in affairs related to both Macau and Hong Kong.

Zhang was met with some resistance from democracy advocates, including the youth led organization Demosistō.

Activists took actions to voice their displeasure with Zhang, such as displaying large banners with pro democratic messages.

Large scale protests were largely foiled by the impressive security measures taken, which ranged from utilizing divers and scores of police, to confiscating yellow towels and umbrellas; symbols of the 2014 Occupy Movement that gripped Hong Kong.

Read More: Here’s Why This Hong Kong College Student Scares The Shit Out Of The Chinese Government

The most dramatic of these protests was a premeditated “ambush” of Zhang’s convoy outside his hotel.

Several Demosistō members took part in the attempt, standing on the side of the highway or in the median. The police response was swift.

 #NathanLawKwunChung@demosisto was pressed down to ground and others were oppressed by police during protest#HongKong

The activists were detained for a short while, reportedly receiving further abuse, as shown below.

Though all the activists were released today, the trouble seems to have not ended in relation to this incident.

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Demosistō’s Facebook page reports that five activists related to this display had their residences raided by police.

Zhang has been described as a rising star of the CCP by the Brookings Institute, having studied at Kim Il-Sung University, and been integral in Chinese policy towards that country in the early 1990s.

During Zhang’s visit, he made claims that the CCP was not attempting to subvert Hong Kong’s unique identity, or the principle of “one country, two systems”.

Despite these reassurances to the group of banquet invitees, security officials do not seem to think these arguments are compelling to a significant number of Hong Kongers, due to the significant police presence, and the gluing of bricks to the sidewalk to prevent their use as improvised weapons.

Are you in Hong Kong and have a tip about this story? Send us an email to [email protected]

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: 羅冠聰 Nathan Law/ Facebook Video (Screengrab)

Florida GOP Senate Candidate Calls Obama An “Animal”

Carlos Beruff, a businessman running for the United States Senate in Florida called President Barack Obama an “animal” at a St. Johns Republican party meeting last Thursday according to the Huffington Post.

Beruff was caught saying the racially tinged statement by a campaign tracker.

“Unfortunately, for seven and a half years this animal we call president, because he’s an animal, OK, seven and a half years, has surgically and with thought and very smart, intelligent manner, destroyed this country and dismantled the military under not one, not two, but three secretary of defenses,” Beruff said during a speech at the meeting. “And they’ve all written books about it.”

Beruff is not expected the win the GOP primary in August since he is only polling around 1 percent in a leading polling average.

The leading Democratic candidate in the race, Congressman Patrick Murphy blasted Beruff’s comments in a statement.

“Mr. Beruff’s statement is not only offensive, but extremely disrespectful to President Obama’s incredible service to our nation,” Murphy said in a written statement obtained by Politico Florida. “I call on Mr. Beruff to immediately apologize for his disrespectful comments. In the U.S. Senate, our diverse state deserves better than Mr. Beruff’s clear record of bigotry.”

Beruff is a member of the Southwest Florida Water Management District and a close ally of Gov. Rick Scott.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Peter Sherman/ Youtube

Donald Trump “Does” Europe: He Has No Frickin Clue About NATO

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has made several claims regarding the utility of NATO in relation to its costs.

This is a strange claim indeed.

While Trump has said he would through the sheer will of his personality achieve Defense Department reform, which was tried and failed by the last two presidents, simultaneously increasing the size of the military across the board seems to indicate the result would be an increased military budget.

Regardless of the hypothetical effects on defense spending of a Trump administration, and the missing logic as to why the United States would need a larger military when it would be disengaging from the world, accurately assessing how much the American contribution to European defense actually costs would be a worth while endeavor.

Donald Trump has not taken the time to do this.

First, lets look at the easiest metric to measure American contributions to NATO, the direct funding of the alliance.

According to the funding page of NATO’s website, direct funding for the alliance is decided “in accordance with an agreed cost-sharing formula based on Gross National Income” of which the United States has agreed to foot 22.1446% of the bill.

So what is the grand total of NATO’s budget? The budget is divided into three sectors: civil, military, and the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP).

The civil budget broadly covers both PR and diplomacy. The military budget provides funding for staff colleges, communally owned assets like deployable radar, and administrative functions.

The NSIP provides for constructing various military assets which could not be reasonably funded by national defense budgets, including harbors and runways.

The budgets set forth in June of 2015 indicate that the civil budget is about €222 million ($251 million), the military budget at €1.16 billion ($1.31 billion), and the NSIP at €690 million ($780 million).

Adding these all together we get a total budget of about €2.03 billion ($230 billion).  Already this is a very small number in terms of US spending, but the US only foots a little over one fifth of this, which comes out at around $500 million.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC by S.A. 2.0)

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC by S.A. 2.0)

In contrast, Mr Trump has claimed that his border wall would cost in the range of $8 billion, not including maintenance.

This claim is also largely understood to be underselling the true cost for a fixed fortification, of which his apparent idol General Patton is noted as remarking on such structures as a “monument to the stupidity of man”.

Regardless, it seems that between the build up within United States, and the $8+ billion ineffectual wall, the United States’ $500 million to NATO seems downright microscopic.

Perhaps then Mr. Trump is referring to the nearly $600 billion US defense budget, which outspends the next few countries combined, including a number of allies.

North American allies provide about three quarters of total defense spending in the alliance, and Canada’s hilariously atrophied military is not a big boost to the North American value.

So this must be what Mr. Trump is referring to, right? The US spends close to as much as the rest of the alliance, therefore the United States is being ripped off.

This is certainly a reasonable viewpoint, if you consider the 25th Infantry Division based in Hawaii, United States Forces Korea (USFK), or the US 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan as contributing to European defense.

While these assets might be used in a large conflict in Europe, if it were to last long enough, they are of little deterrent value in the Pacific.

A Reasonable appraisal of the American footprint in Europe will look at assets in or around Europe.

Using the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) cost as a rough average, we can begin the calculate the costs of the US Army in Europe. At 16 brigades, and our rough approximation of $285 million for full readiness over a year, leaves us $4.56 Billion.  Note we are making the annual cost of the European Dental Command as expensive as a combat unit.

The one battalion of US marines in Europe can also be easily factored in, at $55 million.

The US Air Force combines its commands in Europe and Africa.  As a result we will count Air Force assets in Djibouti in addition to Europe.

This gives us 26 squadrons, which for simplicity’s sake we will count universally as F-16s, despite Pavehawks being less expensive to fly, and F-15s slightly more expensive to fly. Our DoD numbers give us $135 million per year, resulting in annually $3.51 billion per year.

This number may be fudged based on the limited information available on maintenance costs for various aircraft, but will do well as a stand in for our purposes of a rough estimate.

The cost of US Navy forces is even less readily available The Center for New American Security claims that a Carrier group costs $6.5 million per day to operate, which comes out at about $2.37 billion per year.

The US Navy had twelve surface ships in the Mediterranean in October of 2015, which for our purposes we will equate to two Carrier groups, which include two attack subs, four to six surface ships, plus an aircraft carrier with a compliment of aircraft.

The cost for our substitution is $4.74 billion.

The total cost of American assets in europe is about $13.36 billion per year.

That includes all the indirect costs of European defense, and direct NATO funding.  This is of course not the exact value.

This is a rough estimate through open source channels that is willing to substitute jets for helicopters, and two carrier groups for a dozen surface ships.

That’s a small chunk of the overall defense budget, that is of significant strategic value. For reference, that’s in the ballpark of Italy’s contribution to European defense, and less than half of much maligned Germany’s contribution.

The Americans are not being taken for a ride by NATO.

This begs the question; why is the presumptive Republican nominee not able to have someone crunch publicly available numbers to assess the bargain price that the United States buys a Europe whole free and at peace for?

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Holger Vaga/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Fighterjocks From Portland Are In Finland Right Now, Spooking The Russians

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.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Photo Credit: cryogenic666/Flickr (CC by SA 2.0)

Announcing The Launch Of The RISE NEWS Show With Rich Robinson

RISE NEWS GROUP LLC is excited to announce the launch of our latest digital project, an online radio program geared towards the interests of the global millennial.

The RISE NEWS Show With Rich Robinson will be a weekly news magazine program that features the best that RISE NEWS has to offer.

It will also feature thought provoking interviews with newsmakers and interesting people from around the world.

Of course, it will also be presented in an irreverent and funny way that helps young people connect to the news.

The show will launch on Monday May 16, 2016.


Rich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of RISE NEWS, a millennial focused news and information brand.

Robinson is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a native of Miami.

While in Tuscaloosa, Robinson hosted a daily radio program geared towards young people and did sports broadcasting on television and radio. He also has a background in politics and community organizing.


Rich Robinson.

Be sure to like RISE NEWS on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with information about the show.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Israel Jails Palestinian Beautician Over Facebook Post

Bethlehem, occupied West Bank – As uniformed men burst through her front gate last month, Nidal Atwan first thought they had come to her Bethlehem-area home to arrest her 16-year-old son, Mohammed. “It was two o’clock in the morning. If you saw the number of military jeeps, you’d think Osama bin Laden was in the neighbourhood,”… Read More

Landslides In Northern Rwanda Kill 49

At least 49 people have been killed and hundreds of homes destroyed by landslides in northern Rwanda following torrential rains over the weekend, a government official told Reuters Monday. The downpours also injured another 26 people and damaged infrastructure in the small East African nation. Rwanda’s Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs Minister Seraphine Mukantabana told the… Read More

The US Army Has Just Shrunk To Its Smallest Size Since WWII

The size of the U.S. Army has been reduced to the fewest number of active soldiers in more than 70 years, Army Times reported. After more than 2,500 enlistees ended their service last month, their positions have not been replaced, shrinking the number of soldiers on active duty to less than what it was during World… Read More

Study: Reading On Tablets, Laptops May Hinder Abstract Thinking

Amy Olson, Dartmouth College Tablet and laptop users beware. Using digital platforms such as tablets and laptops for reading may make you more inclined to focus on concrete details rather than interpreting information more abstractly, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of ACM CHI ’16, the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing… Read More

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