Los Angeles: Gunman who killed 10 at Chinese New Year celebration found dead – National & International News – MON 23Jan2023



Los Angeles: Gunman found dead after killing 10 at Chinese New Year celebration. What we know about the case so far.

DOJ finds 6 more classified documents at Biden home.

Canada: $2.9 billion settlement with First Nations over boarding school harm




Los Angeles: At least 10 dead after mass shooting at Chinese Lunar New Year celebration

On Saturday night, a group in the predominately Asian city of Monterey Park, near Los Angeles, had gathered at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio to celebrate Lunar New Year. A gunman entered and opened fire, sending the celebrants running. At least 10 people so far have died following the shooting, five men and five women, in their 50s and 60s or above. Ten others remain in the hospital. The FBI and ATF are assisting local authorities in the investigation. 

Police released these images of the suspect captured on surveillance.

After the Monterrey Park shooting, the gunman got in a white cargo van and drove to another dance hall in nearby Alhambra. There patrons managed to disarm the gunman and he again fled in the van. The gun was not an assault rifle but a pistol with an extended magazine, which is banned in California.

Midday on Sunday, about 12 hours after the shooting, police cornered the van in a shopping center parking lot in Torrance, CA, about 20 miles away from the Star Ballroom. As officers approached, they heard a single gunshot from inside the van. Police then called for tactical teams. When they made contact with the driver, he was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities have confirmed that the driver was the shooter. Police aren’t looking for any other suspects. 

Gunman identified; motive remains unclear

This event is now the most deadly mass shooting in the US since the school shooting in Uvalde, TX, last year.

Before the suspect was found, police released a surveillance image of the man they believed to be the shooter. Initial reports suggested it was an Asian male between 30 and 50 years old. He was in fact 72 years old, and his name was Huu Can Tran.

At present, there’s no clear motive for the shooting. Police say it is too early to determine whether or not it was a hate crime. California and Los Angeles in particular have been plagued by numerous anti-Asian hate crimes in the last two years. Tran being Asian himself  wouldn’t necessarily preclude it from being a hate crime. Monterrey Park was the first city in the mainland US to have a majority population of Asian ancestry. The area is home to people claiming ancestry from China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Japan.

Tran’s friend, ex-wife say he frequented the Star Ballroom

Tran’s ex-wife provided CNN with a copy of their marriage certificate which indicates that Tran was an immigrant from China. The ex-wife told CNN that she first met Tran at the Star Ballroom, where he was a regular patron, about two decades ago. Tran saw her dancing and offered her free lessons. They were married not long after, but the marriage didn’t last long. The ex-wife says she filed for divorce in 2005. She said Tran wasn’t violent towards her, but was quick to anger. He would berate her if she missed a step while dancing, saying it made him look bad.

A long-time friend of Tran’s said Tran was a frequent presence at the Star Ballroom from the early 2000s to the 2010s. It’s unclear whether or not he had continued visiting in recent years. The friend said that Tran accused other dance instructors at the hall saying “evil things about him” and that Tran was “hostile to a lot of people there.”

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DOJ finds 6 more documents at Biden home

News broke over the weekend that the Justice Department had conducted another search of President Biden’s private home in Wilmington, DE. The search yielded six more previously undiscovered documents within the home. President and First Lady Biden were not present in the home when the search took place. Biden has been cooperating with the DOJ since before the midterms. This search was arranged with his cooperation and consent.

Authorities haven’t said where in the home these documents were found. Previously, documents had been found in the home’s garage.

This is now the second weekend in a row that discoveries have been announced at the home. We don’t yet have an exact total of classified documents from Biden’s Wilmington home and his private office at a think tank in D.C. Before this weekend’s discovery, the total was only given as “roughly 20” which means we now stand at “roughly 26”.

There’s also been no official confirmation of what level of classification the documents have. At the time of the first finds in D.C., an anonymous source reported that some from that cache were TS/SCI documents. These documents are never meant to be removed from secure areas, known as SCIFs.

So far, authorities have said most of the documents date from the Obama administration, but others reportedly go back to Biden’s time as a US Senator. Biden represented Delaware in the Senate from 1973 to 2009, when he became Obama’s Vice President.

Any “high ground” left?

Republicans have roundly criticized Biden and the DOJ for a lack of transparency with regard to the investigation. The first cache of documents was found days before the midterms but did not become public knowledge until after the first of the year. Since then, there has been a gradual drip-drip of new discoveries. Twice now, these finds were conveniently announced over the weekend. This is a common tactic used when one wants to minimize press coverage. 

Even Democratic Sen. Dick Durban says there’s no question that Biden has lost the “high ground” when it comes to former Pres. Trump’s mishandling of documents. However, there are still some key differences between the Biden and Trump cases.

Trump had over 100 classified documents when his home was raided. Of course, there’s no way of knowing how many documents will be found in Biden’s various homes and offices when all is said and done.

At this point, the main difference between Biden and Trump is that Biden appears to be fully cooperating fully with the Justice Department. By contrast, Trump obstructed the efforts of the National Archives to retrieve the documents in his possession, even convincing his own lawyers to perjure themselves so Trump could keep “his” classified documents.

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Canada: $2.9 billion settlement with First Nations over boarding schools

From the 19th century up to the 1970s, the Canadian government funded 130 compulsory boarding schools for indigenous Native children throughout the country. Native children were taken from their families and sent to these schools to force their cultural, religious and linguistic assimilation.

Over the years these schools operated, some 150,000 Native children were sent to these schools. While there, they were forbidden to speak their Native languages and were beaten if they did. They suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The children were housed in poor conditions that made them vulnerable to disease and the cold. By the most conservative estimate, 3,200 children died while in the care of these schools.

Recent discoveries of unmarked graves of children at these now abandoned schools have reignited discussions over the harm done to generations of Native children by these schools. In 2012, 325 First Nations people, survivors of the schools, brought a class action lawsuit against the government of Canada. The survivors were demanding acknowledgement and compensation for the loss of language and cultural identity that resulted from their time in the schools. 

The Canadian government has now agreed to pay $2.9 billion to settle this case and to “address the collective harm caused by Canada’s past”.

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