Fox News

Six Officers Shot, One Fatally In Separate Attacks

Three people were in custody Friday night, including a “strong suspect,” after one police officer was fatally shot and another suffered grave injuries in Kissimmee, Fla., south of Orlando.

At a press briefing, Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said police Officer Matthew Baxter succumbed to his wounds, and Officer Sam Howard was in critical condition, but the “prognosis does not look good,” O’Dell said.

Initial reports said both officers had died.

The two officers were in the area of Palmway and Cypress, checking out a report of a suspicious person at approximately 9:27 p.m. Soon afterward, a 9-1-1 call came in, saying the officers had been shot, O’Dell said.

The area is known for high drug activity, the chief said.

O’Dell said the officers did not return fire, and it appears they were “surprised.”

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Fox News

Family Mourns American Victim Of Barcelona Attack

The father of a Northern California man identified as the American citizen killed in the deadly truck ISIS terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, says his only consolation is that 42-year-old Jared Tucker likely died happy.

His father, Dan Tucker, said he had not seen his son happier than he had been in the last year.

Jared Tucker with his wife, Heidi Nunes.

He had “a magnetic personality and people loved him,” his dad said. He liked to fish, play golf and other sports, and he was deeply in love with his wife, his father said.

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Fox News

CIA Warned Barcelona About Impending Terror Attack

The CIA warned local police in Barcelona two months ago that the city’s popular tourist area, Las Ramblas, could be the target of a terrorist attack just like Thursday’s deadly vehicular attack, a Spanish newspaper reported.

The warning from the American intelligence agency followed repeated vehicular attacks across Europe — including in London, Nice, Berlin and Stockholm, El Periodico reported, although Fox News has not independently confirmed the report’s contents.

“The CIA warned the Mossos [local police] two months ago that Barcelona, and in particular the Rambla, could be the scene of a terrorist attack like the one that occurred this afternoon,” the report said.

“The CIA warned the Mossos [local police] two months ago that Barcelona, and in particular the Rambla, could be the scene of a terrorist attack like the one that occurred this afternoon.”

At least 13 people were killed when a van rammed into pedestrians along the popular thoroughfare in central Barcelona on Thursday. More than 100 were injured.

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AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Trump’s Desperation Leads To Firing Of Steve Bannon

President Trump’s controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon is leaving the White House, in another major staff shakeup announced at the close of another tumultuous week in Washington.

The White House confirmed in a brief statement that Bannon, a hardcore populist who often sparred with his West Wing colleagues, would make Friday his last day — just over a year after he joined the Trump presidential campaign.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

One White House aide told Fox News the departure was a long time coming, and that Bannon actually submitted his resignation in writing two weeks ago.

This would have been just days after Kelly joined as chief of staff. Kelly was said to have been the driving force in the ouster of former communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and speculation swiftly centered on Bannon as the next one to go.

Sources say Bannon has become increasingly isolated in the White House. Adding to the pressure, some critics also publicly attacked Bannon in the wake of last weekend’s Charlottesville violence, in which a counter-protester was killed at a white nationalist rally. Trump came under intense criticism for his response to that violence, and some blamed Bannon for the tone — though it’s unclear how much influence he had in Trump’s remarks.

Bannon formally joined Trump’s team last summer, when the former head of Breitbart News was tapped as chief executive of the campaign. After Trump won the presidential race, Bannon was appointed to a senior adviser role at the same time Reince Priebus was named chief of staff.

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ISIS Desperation Will Lead To More Attacks Worldwide

The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) claimed responsibility Thursday for two deadly van attacks on crowds of civilians in two Spanish cities, the jihadis’ latest acts of violence following an extensive history of strikes against foreign targets perpetrated by the group or those inspired by it. As ISIS loses its once expansive foothold in Iraq and Syria, experts say its desire and capacity to inflict damage on the West appears to be increasing.

Just one day after the dual vehicle rammings in Barcelona and Cambrils killed at least 14 people, an attacker reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) before stabbing at least eight people, killing two, in the Finnish city of Turku. ISIS has not yet said whether it was behind the latest attack, but the method echoes similar assaults across the U.S., Europe and beyond committed by individuals claiming allegiance to the global jihadi network. ISIS and its supporters have used knives, guns, bombs and cars to slaughter Westerners they brand infidels and apostates according to their ultraconservative brand of Sunni Islam. Now local governments may face a serious challenge in stemming violence from both returning fighters and alienated local communities.

“We see a correlation, we see that as ISIS has lost territory, that they have greater and greater interest in the U.S. and Europe,” leading terrorism expert Dr. Jessica Stern, who serves as a research professor at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, told Newsweek.

read more at newsweek.com

Getty Images

Stock Market Cheers As Bannon Is Fired

U.S. stock markets rallied and traders cheered Friday afternoon as the news of Stephen Bannon’s departure from the White House was learned.

CNBC aired a clip of a reporter and anchor discussing the news, where the cheers could be heard in the background.

After a morning of drooping stock prices, the Dow Jones rose 27 points in the minutes following the news, according to MarketWatch, while the S&P 500 gained 8 points and the NASDAQ composite index rose 30 points.

Oil prices rose, while traditional safe havens such as gold retreated, according to Bloomberg.

Bannon’s economic nationalism was often at odds with big business. He was a proponent of protectionist policies, argued for trade wars, and he pushed to reduce immigration, legal and otherwise.

He was also quick to label corporations as “globalist,” in their views, meaning that they supported free trade and immigration, which Bannon viewed as destructive to American workers.

Earlier in the week, a slew of business leaders and CEOs distances themselves from President Trump over his remarks blaming “both sides” for deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Bannon was reportedly supportive of such remarks and has been accused of playing on racial anger to promote his policies.

read more at thehill.com

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At Least 13 People Murdered In Latest Terrorist Attack

A van drove into a crowd of people on a popular pedestrian street in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, killing at least 13 people and injuring at least 50, Catalan Interior Minister Joaquim Forn says.

Regional police are describing the deadly incident on Las Ramblas boulevard as a terrorist attack but emphasized they do not know the motive.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, the SITE Intelligence Group reports.

As NPR has previously reported, an ISIS claim of responsibility can mean a number of things. Some claimed attacks were planned by ISIS leaders, while others were planned independently. This time, the ISIS statement said that the “perpetrators” were “from the ranks of the Islamic State” and were responding to calls for attacks.

The white van slammed into scores of people after it jumped a curb and drove down the famous pedestrian walkway that runs down the middle of the Las Ramblas boulevard.

“It wasn’t slowing down at all. It was just going straight through the middle of the crowd, in the middle of the Ramblas,” an eyewitness told the BBC.

read more at npr.org

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Phoenix Mayor Tells Trump To Stay Home After Recent Chaos

The mayor of Phoenix, Ariz., issued a statement Wednesday night urging President Trump to delay his campaign-style rally in the city while “our nation is still healing” from the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

“It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays his visit,” Mayor Greg Stanton (D) said in a statement, also saying he is “disappointed” with the president.

Stanton also warned Trump against any plans to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt last month for disobeying a judge’s order to stop detaining people over suspicion of being undocumented. Arpaio was a controversial sheriff because of his hard-line immigration stances.

Trump told Fox News earlier this week that he was seriously considering pardoning Arpaio, whom he called a “patriot.”

“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?” Trump told Fox News. “He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

Stanton also said that while he disagreed with Trump’s visit, he wouldn’t attempt to prevent Trump from renting his rally venue, the Phoenix Convention Center.

read more at thehill.com

Fox News

Trump Says Country Being Torn Apart By Monument Removals

President Trump on Thursday refused to back down from critics who’ve ripped him for failing to condemn protests surrounding the removal of Confederate monuments, doubling down on his belief the statues should stay and questioning if the progressive movement would turn on America’s Founding Fathers next.

In the aftermath of a deadly car attack Saturday — following clashes at a largely white nationalist rally protesting the University of Virginia’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee — Trump bemoaned the accelerated effort by many on the left to take down other symbols of the Confederacy.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!” Trump wrote in several tweets.

He added: “Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

Trump’s remarks echoed those he made during a controversial news conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday. While Trump condemned members of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups who were present during the Charlottesville protests, he also contended that not all of the demonstrators “were neo-Nazis, believe me.”

“Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Trump said Tuesday. “So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

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NBC News

White Nationalists Praise Trump as ‘Most Honest President’

Many white nationalists have been praising President Trump after he doubled-down on blaming “both sides” in the deadly Charlottesville protests.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump asked reporters in an explosive press conference Tuesday. “What about the fact they came charging with clubs in hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do.”

The remarks were widely panned as an endorsement of white supremacy following the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, but were embraced by some racist hate groups.

“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists,” tweeted former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Baked Alaska, another far-right-wing activist, thanked Trump for “condemning the alt-left antifa [anti-fascist] thugs who attacked us in Charlottesville.”

Members of Trump’s staff told NBC News they were stunned by the direction the president took at the press conference, which was supposed to focus on infrastructure, a day after the White House had quelled the controversy over Trump’s initial response to the protests.

After reacting to critics on Monday who argued he didn’t take a strong enough stance the first time, Trump doubled down a day later on his insistence that both the white nationalists and the counter-protesters shared responsibility for the violence over the weekend.

read more at nbcnews.com

Raqqa Media Center via AP

ISIS Terrorists Abusing Amphetamines In Order To Fight

Starving ISIS defenders who have surrendered or been captured in the siege of Raqqa have shown signs of using amphetamines to stay in what is described as a “brutal fight” for the Syrian city, a U.S. military spokesman said Wednesday.

The ISIS fighters taken into custody recently by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and questioned by “coalition” advisers have been malnourished and emaciated, with track marks on their arms.

The SDF, a mix of Arab and Kurdish fighters, and advisers who have seen detainees with “pocked needle marks” on their arms have concluded ISIS fighters are using amphetamines to boost their “murderous fervor,” said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Those are the signs we assessed to be amphetamine,” he said.

In a phone briefing to the Pentagon from Baghdad, Dillon said the initial reports from Raqqa, the so-called capital of the ISIS caliphate, are the first he has heard of ISIS fighters “using some sort of drugs to keep them alert and keep them going.”

read more at military.com

ABC News

Top FBI Investigator Resigns From Trump-Russia Collusion Investigation

One of the FBI’s top investigators, tapped by special counsel Robert Mueller just weeks ago to help lead the probe of Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, has left Mueller’s team, sources tell ABC News.

The recent departure of FBI veteran Peter Strzok is the first known hitch in a secretive probe that by all public accounts is charging full-steam ahead. Just last week, news surfaced that Mueller’s team had executed a search warrant at the Virginia home of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. And the week before that ABC News confirmed Mueller is now using a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., to collect documents and other evidence.

It’s unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller’s team of nearly two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staff. Strzok, who has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases and has been unanimously praised by government officials who spoke with ABC News, is now working for the FBI’s human resources division.

He is no stranger to complex and controversial investigations.

read more at abcnews.go.com