Tag Archive for: Buffalo shooting



Buffalo supermarket shooter pleads guilty to terrorism, murder charges. White House working to avert railroad strike. China: Rare antigovernment protests over lockdown policies





Buffalo supermarket shooter pleads guilty to terrorism, murder charges

Payton Gendron, the 19-year-old gunmen who carried out a mass shooting in May at a Topps supermarket in Buffalo, NY, has pleaded guilty to all state charges against him. There 15 total charges, including murder, attempted murder, and domestic terrorism motivated by hate. The last charge comes with a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Gendron still faces dozens of federal charges, some of which carry the possibility of a death sentence.

Gendron killed 10 Black people at the supermarket and has admitted that he was motivated by racism. In fact, several days before the incident, Gendron drove 200 miles from his home in Conklin, NY, to a majority-Black neighborhood in Buffalo to identify a location where he would be likely to kill as many Black people as possible. During the pandemic, Gendron became indoctrinated online into a white supremacist ideology known as “white replacement”.

In light of many deadly mass shootings this year, including several just in the past two weeks, President Biden is once again calling on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban during the December lame-duck session. However, to pass such a measure, Senate Democrats would need to find 10 Republicans to vote with them, which is unlikely. 

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White House working to avert railroad strike ahead of holidays

President Biden said last week that his administration is working with railroad companies and unions to avoid a possible railroad strike. Federal officials helped to broker an agreement in September which at least delayed strike talks until after the midterms. Since then, three of the 12 major railroad workers unions have voted to reject terms of that deal.

The unions could call a strike as soon as Dec. 9. If they do, the US freight rail system will grind to a halt, stopping deliveries of food, gas and other vital goods. Congress has the power to force an end to the strike by imposing the terms of the contract proposed in September. Biden is hoping to broker a more favorable deal that the unions will accept to avoid a strike.

Although the proposal came with a hefty wage hike over the next 5 years, workers have pointed out the raises barely keep up with inflation. Also, the deal included no paid sick days and did not address workers’ grievances over unpredictable work schedules. Click here for a 3-minute video where railroad workers explain their reasons for rejecting the deal.

Record profits despite supply chain problems

Workers are especially angry with the stinginess of the proposed contracts since the industry has reported record profits during the pandemic. The companies have increased their profits in part by laying off workers, increasing the burden on those that remain. Instead of reinvesting in the company or hiring more workers, the companies have used those profits for stock buybacks to increase pay packages of their executives.

In February, billionaire Warren Buffett, owner of Berkshire Hathaway (parent company of major railroad company BNSF), told shareholders that BNSF had earned record profits in 2021. Buffett, noted for his philanthropy, also recently donated $750 million dollars to charities run by his family. 

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China: Rare antigovernment protests over lockdown policies

Cities all over China erupted in massive antigovernment protests over the weekend due to China’s Zero COVID policy. Premier Xi Jinping’s pandemic policy has caused huge cities of millions of people to go into strict lockdowns when even a few COVID cases are detected. People are forbidden from leaving their homes for days or even weeks. The lockdowns can come with no warning, leaving residents no time to gather adequate food and medicine. Lockdowns in major cities have also had a major economic impact.

Despite the draconian lockdowns, COVID numbers are still rising. Today, China broke its record for daily cases with 40,347 new cases. Rather than rethinking the policy, the government has responded with lockdowns in more cities with even more restrictive measures.

The protests were sparked by an incident in the western province of Xinjiang last week. Ten people died in an apartment fire because the entrances were locked to keep residents from going outside. The demonstrations have been growing and spreading across the country. Police have been out in force engaging in violent clashes with peaceful protesters. Demonstrators are now openly calling for Xi to resign. 

Chinese media has not acknowledged the protests and censors have been eliminating any mention of them on Chinese social media sites like WeChat and Weibo. Nevertheless, the ranks of the protesters are growing with each passing day.

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Breast milk donors step up amid baby formula shortage. Buffalo shooter deliberately sought out black victims. Israeli forces admit they may have killed journalist, attack her funeral.




Breast milk donors step up amid baby formula shortage

The shortage of commercial baby formula on shelves has increased interest in human milk banks. These institutions allow mothers to donate surplus breast milk to feed babies whose mothers can’t breast feed. Milk banks are normally connected with larger health institutions and prioritize donations for medically fragile babies.

Since formula producer Abbott shut down production in February due to contamination concerns, workers at milk banks say they are getting a lot more calls both from parents desperate to feed their infants and from potential donors. The Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast in Newton, Mass., typically receives 30-50 calls a month from women looking to donate. Last Thursday alone, 35 donors called in wanting to help.

Milk banks collect formula from donor moms and pasteurize it. Donor milk may not be a good option for some babies. The directors of the banks also say that since they are focused on feeding babies with medical issues, receiving more donations will help them to broaden their recipient pools. Some parents are also able to find breastmilk for their babies through social media, including a Facebook group called Human Milk 4 Human Babies.

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Buffalo shooter deliberately sought out black victims

On Saturday, 18-year-old gunman Payton Gendron drove more than 200 miles from his home in Conklin, NY, to a predominately black area of Buffalo, NY, to target black people, according to police. Police say Gendron had travelled to the area previously to decide where best to launch his attack. He chose a Tops grocery store, which was one of the few grocery stores in the area and was always busy. He struck there, killing 10 people, and planned more targets had he not been apprehended.

A 180-page racist screed apparently written by Gendron is still being authenticated. In it, Gendron expresses his desire to terrorize all white non-Christian people to get them to leave the country. It appears Gendron became radicalized online during the pandemic. Police are investigating whether he acted alone or had support from other individuals or organizations.

Gendron had previously been placed under observation after making “generalized threats” at his high school. However, the owner of the gun store where Gendron bought his weapons said there was no alert from the FBI when he sold him the guns. Gendron was not apparently under surveillance by any law enforcement agency.

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Israel admits it might have killed journalist, attacks her funeral

Last week, an Al Jazeera reporter was shot dead while covering Israeli police raids at a refugee camp in the West Bank.  Shireen Abu Akleh was wearing a helmet and vest that clearly identified her as a member of the press. Akleh received a fatal shot to the head and another journalist who was with her was injured. Following Akleh’s death, witnesses and fellow journalists at the scene were unequivocal in their statements that it was Israeli soldiers who killed Akleh, and it was deliberate. 

Israel’s prime minister and defense forces attempted initially to shift the blame onto Palestinian gunman. Local news reports even showed images of armed Palestinians, who turned out to be miles away from the scene. The journalists on scene insist there were no armed parties present other than Israeli military.

The military has now admitted that one of its soldiers may be responsible for killing Akleh. Israeli police also showed up to Akleh’s funeral and brutalized mourners. The police claim that rocks were thrown at them, but this appears to be false.

Palestinian authorities have refused to sign on to a joint investigation of the incident with Israeli authorities. Instead, they are referring the case to the International Criminal Court.

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