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The Early Edition: October 4, 2017

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.


The 2015 Iran nuclear agreement serves the U.S.’s national security interests, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, adding that “absent indications to the contrary, it is something the president should consider staying with.” Nancy A. Youssef reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Mattis made the comments ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline for the president to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal and contradicted Trump, who has repeatedly castigated the agreement, revealing yet another instance of national security advisers disagreeing with the president. Thomas Gibbons-Neff and David E. Sanger report at the New York Times.

Trump’s national security team has devised a strategy to de-certify Iran’s compliance and then work with Congress and European allies to exert pressure on Iran without immediately withdrawing from the deal, according to a yet-to-be-finalized plan led by national security adviser H.R. McMaster, the strategy attempts to take a hard line against Tehran without drawing the ire of the international community. Eliana Johnson reports at POLITICO.

European countries have turned their focus to Congress in the face of the possibility of Trump de-certifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. Julian Borger charts the efforts of European leaders to influence the Trump administration and attempts to lobby Congress at the Guardian.

A member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team has been sentenced to five years in jail, according to the Tasnim news agency, the report did not include a source or further information. Reuters reports.

The Trump administration’s generals have been consistent in their support for the Iran nuclear deal but it is unclear whether Trump is listening and it is possible that the matter would be left to Congress. Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.


The State Department ordered Cuba to withdraw 15 officials from its embassy in Washington yesterday, a State Department official stating that the decision “does not signal a change of policy or a determination of responsibility for the attacks on U.S. government personnel,” referring to the mysterious attacks on more than 20 U.S. diplomats and their families which have caused a range of health symptoms. Felicia Schwartz reports at the Wall Street Journal.

“Cuba’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats” was the reason behind the decision to expel Cuban diplomats, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday, adding that the U.S. would maintain diplomatic relations and continue to cooperate with Cuba in relation to the investigation into the mysterious attacks. Gardiner Harris, Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Ernesto Londoño report at the New York Times.

The U.S. decision was “irresponsible” and “hasty,” Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said in response, saying at a news conference that the foreign ministry “strongly protests and condemns this unfounded and unacceptable decision as well as the pretext used to justify it,” the latest developments marking a significant blow to efforts to improve U.S.-Cuba relations. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.


“I do not see the divergence as strongly as some … have interpreted it,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday during testimony to the Senate Armed Service Committee, referring to the conflicting comments by the president and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the efficacy of pursuing talks with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, Trump having said on Sunday that Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate to Pyongyang. Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali report at Reuters.

The U.S. has imposed an “economic blockade” on North Korea, North Korea’s ambassador to the U.N. Ja Song Nam told the U.N. General Assembly committee yesterday, stating that North Korea would “continue to uphold the line of simultaneous development of the state nuclear force and the economy.” Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother died due to VX poisoning, according to a postmortem report submitted to the trial in Malaysia yesterday, Malaysian officials also said during the trial that they believed the two women suspected of murdering Kim Jong-Nam were acting under the directions of the Pyongyang regime, allegations that North Korea has denied. Ben Otto and Yantoultra Ngui report at the Wall Street Journal.

Trump should stop the war of words with North Korea as the heightened rhetoric increases the possibility of nuclear war through miscalculation, instead the president would be wise to understand that diplomacy is possible if conducted from a position of strength. Former Defense Secretary William J. Perry writes at POLITICO Magazine.

The “fake news” that reported talks between Tillerson and North Korea has dangerous implications, a closer look at the transcript of Tillerson’s comments on Saturday revealed a “willingness to discuss” denuclearization rather than stating that active negotiation has been taking place, this narrative provoked a capricious reaction from the president, the State Department then had to play catch-up. Jeffrey Lewis writes how the spread of false information could provoke a conflict at Foreign Policy.

“Bureaucratic obstruction” could provide the key to stopping a war with North Korea in a similar way that advisers prevented former President Richard Nixon from carrying out impulsive attacks. David Ignatius writes at the Washington Post.


A series of Russian-linked Facebook ads were specifically targeted at voters in Michigan and Wisconsin, two battleground states that were instrumental to Trump’s victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, according to four sources, the ads promoted divisive messages and were intended to sway public opinion. Manu Raju, Dylan Byers and Dana Bash reveal at CNN.

The intelligence community’s assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election is expected to be largely endorsed by Senate Intelligence Committee leaders Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) today when they give an interim status update on the committee’s investigation at a public event, it is not expected that they would release an interim report. Karoun Demirjian and Greg Miller report at the Washington Post.

Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.) met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer at the center of a controversial meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign officials in June 2016, during a visit to Moscow in April 2016, prompting questions about Rohrbacher’s relationship with Russia. Elias Groll reports at Foreign Policy.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (D.H.S.) decision to stop federal agencies and departments from using Kaspersky Lab software was based on the “totality of evidence, including on the most part open-source information,” a senior D.H.S. cybersecurity official said yesterday, making the comments after the D.H.S. directed the removal of Kaspersky software in September due to alleged links with Russian intelligence. Morgan Chalfant reports at the Hill.

Some Russian-linked Facebook pages tried to pass for local content, with four accounts continuing to post divisive messages as recently as August 2017. Georgie Wells reports at the Wall Street Journal.


The Russian military critically wounded one of the leaders of the al-Qaeda-linked Tahrir al-Sham militant group and 12 of his commanders in an airstrike, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement today, Reuters reports.

The Islamic State group yesterday claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on a police station in the Syrian capital of Damascus, and also released a video appearing to show captured Russian soldiers in Syria. The AP reports.

A member of the Syrian Army was convicted of a war crime in a ruling issued in Sweden last week, marking the first conviction since the beginning of the war in Syria and offering the possibility that courts out of Syria would be able to hold some violators to account, even as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s position as leader of the country looks increasingly secure. Anne Barnard explains at the New York Times.

The U.S. has ignored the opportunity to raise questions about enemy combatants and the media, Executive and Congress have shown indifference to the issue. Just Security co-editor-in-chief Steve Vladeck writes at Just Security referring to the recent capture of a U.S. citizen in Syria who allegedly fought with the Islamic State group.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 10 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on October 2. Separately, partner forces conducted four strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]


Iraqi forces launched an operation today to fully recapture the town of Hawija near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, the military said in a statement, in an offensive intended to retake one of the two territories still in the hands of the Islamic State group. Reuters reports.

The Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan will discuss the outcome of the Iraqi Kurdish referendum with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today and other regional issues, both countries fearing the impact of the vote on their own ethnic Kurdish populations. Ted Regencia reports at Al Jazeera.

The fears that last week’s Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum would result in war have not been realized as both the central government and the Kurdish Regional Government (K.R.G.) seem willing to avoid a crisis and the Kurds have not given up hope that the overwhelming vote in favor of independence would provide a mandate for negotiations with Baghdad over secession. Rod Nordland and David Zucchino explain at the New York Times.


Reconciliation talks between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and the Hamas militant group have stalled due to Hamas’s refusal to disarm, with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas warning that Hamas would not be able to maintain its armed wings in a unity government. Rory Jones reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday offered his support for a “Greater Jerusalem” billwhich would effectively annex 19 settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Peter Beaumont reports at the Guardian.


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) grilled Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chaimran Gen. Joseph Dunford over the Afghanistan strategy yesterday during their testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, noting the lack of details since the plan was announced Aug. 21. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

The Pentagon will no longer provide information about troop numbers or destinations, Mattis said yesterday, stating that U.S. soldiers would be on combat duty but the Afghan forces would “remain in the lead for the fighting.” Paul McLeary reports at Foreign Policy.

The U.S. would “try one more time” to work with Pakistan on its Afghanistan strategy, Mattis said yesterday, separately Dunford stated his belief that Pakistan’s main spy agency had connections to terrorist groups. Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart report at Reuters.

Mattis wants to see more evidence about the level of support Russia provides to the Taliban, the Defense Secretary said yesterday, adding that what he’s seen “doesn’t make sense.” Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.


The newly-appointed U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. met with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, and vowed to improve relations between the U.S. and Russia. Andrew Roth reports at the Washington Post.

Kurdish rebels killed four soldiers and wounded four others in a bomb attack, according to Turkish officials. The AP reports.

A federal lawsuit was filed Monday against Trump’s latest travel ban by the Iranian Alliance Across Borders, Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yesterday to discuss “cooperation between the two countries,” according to a statement by the Qatar News Agency, amid the crisis in the Gulf triggered by Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5. Al Jazeera reports.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have launched bipartisan bills targeting the Shi’ite Hezbollah militia group in Lebanon, including new congressional sanctions aimed at foreign financial institutions and the group’s ability to fundraise from abroad. Rhys Dubin reports at Foreign Policy.

Catalonia will declare independence from Spain at the end of this week or the beginning of the next week, Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont said today, following the controversial vote held in the region last week and the heavy-handed response by the national police. The BBC reports.

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Putin says Trump is listening to Russia’s views on North Korea crisis

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October 4, 2017 / 8:02 AM / Updated 4 minutes ago

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump was listening to Russia’s views on the North Korean missile crisis which emphasize diplomacy over further sanctions or military action.

Putin, speaking at an energy forum in Moscow, called for all sides to dial down the rhetoric on North Korea.

Reporting by Jacks Stubbs and Katya Golubkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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Signed in as mikenova

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Trump poised to be ‘counselor in chief’ as he visits Las Vegas | News

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President Donald Trump will reckon with the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas as he meets Wednesday with survivors and law enforcement officials in a time of grief.

Trump heads to the city days after a gunman on the 32nd floor of a Vegas Strip hotel and casino opened fire on people at an outdoor country music festival below. The Sunday night rampage by Stephen Craig Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527, some from gunfire and some from a chaotic escape.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump said he’d be in Las Vegas to “pay our personal respects and condolences to everybody. What happened is such a tragedy. So unnecessary. Who can believe what happened to Las Vegas?” He later added that it was “a very horrible thing even to think about.”

Trump was to be joined by first lady Melania Trump. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he and Rep. Mark Amodei, a Nevada Republican, also would make the trip.

Trump’s trip to Las Vegas follows his Tuesday travel to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. During that trip, he highlighted Puerto Rico’s relatively low death toll compared with “a real catastrophe like Katrina,” when as many as 1,800 people died in 2005 as levees protecting New Orleans broke. He also focused on the best of the reviews he and his administration are getting rather than criticism of the federal response to Hurricane Maria.

As he departed the White House for Puerto Rico, Trump called the Las Vegas gunman “demented” and a “very, very sick individual.” Trump also praised Las Vegas police, saying they had done an “incredible job.”

Asked about gun laws, the president said “we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”

Las Vegas Shooting: Gunman Wired Thousands to Philippines Days Before Attack

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LAS VEGAS — Stephen Paddock, the gunman who massacred dozens of people in Las Vegas this week, was a high-stakes gambler who wired thousands of dollars to the Philippines just days before the shooting, a federal official said.

The authorities would not confirm to whom the transactions were intended. On Tuesday, F.B.I. agents met Marilou Danley, Mr. Paddock’s girlfriend and a “person of interest” in the case, at Los Angeles International Airport after she arrived on a flight from the Philippines.

Investigators said Mr. Paddock had installed at least three video cameras in his hotel suite and in the hallway outside of it before the shooting, apparently to keep an eye on potential threats. But they have not yet offered a motive for his killing spree.

• Mr. Paddock had bought 33 firearms in the past year, Jill A. Snyder, the special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Wednesday.

• The police revised the number of victims killed on Sunday to 58. All but three of the people have been identified. These are some of their stories.

• Of the many weapons found in Mr. Paddock’s luxury hotel suite, 12 were rifles outfitted with a “bump stock,” a device that would enable them to fire hundreds of rounds per minute.

• The police confirmed the authenticity of leaked photographs of the deceased gunman with a revolver by his side and of his hotel suite, showing ammunition and rifles.

Body camera footage captured the officers’ response.

Las Vegas police officers took cover and directed concertgoers to safety as gunshots rang out on Sunday, newly released body camera footage shows.

“Hey, you guys, get down,” one officer shouted at bystanders between volleys of gunfire. “Go that way. Get out of here. There are gunshots coming from over there. Go that way.”

But some people did not believe they were under attack and rebuffed orders to evacuate. “That’s fireworks,” one bystander shouted at officers. Another yelled expletives when told to take cover.

As sirens blared and gunfire crackled, the video showed, officers strained to find the source of the shots.

“Hey, they’re shooting right at us, guys,” one officer said as he and his colleagues crouched behind a wall with their weapons drawn. “Everybody stay down, stay down.”

“North of the Mandalay Bay, it’s coming out of a window,” another officer says.

The three-minute video released by the police on Tuesday was a compilation of footage from the cameras of several officers at the scene.

“There’s multiple people shot up there,” someone says in one clip.

“We see muzzle blasts from the Mandalay Bay,” someone, apparently an officer, said in another clip.

The gunman had stockpiled weapons.

Mr. Paddock, 64, had been buying weapons since 1982, Ms. Snyder of the A.T.F. said, including more than 30 in the past year. “From Oct. 2016 to Sept. 28, 2017, he purchased 33 firearms, the majority of them rifles,” Ms. Snyder told CBS on Wednesday.

Asked if such purchases would set off any alarms, she clarified that the bureau would not have been alerted. The Gun Control Act of 1968 requires sellers to report the sale or disposition of two or more handguns to the same buyer, only if those purchases occur at the same time or within five business days of each other. There is no federal law requiring sellers to alert the bureau to the sale of multiple rifles.

Twelve of the rifles Mr. Paddock had in his luxury suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino were outfitted with a “bump stock,” a device that enables a gun to fire like a machine gun, with hundreds of rounds per minute, which may explain how he was able to rain such devastation on the crowd below, law enforcement officials said.

Such devices are generally legal, and the possibility that he may have used them set off a fresh round of calls by Democratic lawmakers in Washington to pass more gun regulations after the tragedy.

Semiautomatic rifles, like those the gunman had, are made to fire a single round with each pull of the trigger. But recordings and witness accounts of the shooting made it clear that Mr. Paddock was firing much faster, at a rate comparable to that of a fully automatic weapon, which quickly fires round after round with a single pull of the finger. Undersheriff Kevin McMahill of the Las Vegas police said that Mr. Paddock fired on the concertgoers for nine to 11 minutes, in about a dozen bursts.

The police have found a total of 47 firearms in his two houses and the hotel suite. Ms. Snyder said on Tuesday that almost all had been traced, and that they had been bought in Nevada, Utah, California and Texas.

The gunman’s girlfriend has returned to the U.S.

Ms. Danley boarded a flight from Manila to Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to Antonette Mangrobang, a spokeswoman for the Philippine Immigration Bureau.

The authorities, who met Ms. Danley at the Los Angeles airport, have called her a “person of interest” in the shooting investigation, which does not necessarily mean that she is suspected of committing a crime. She was out of the country when the shooting occurred.

More than three hours after her flight came in from Manila, an airport police officer confirmed that she had been taken out of the terminal through a side exit.

Ms. Danley met Mr. Paddock when she was working at a Nevada casino and he was a high-limit player, casino employees said. She worked at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno from 2010 to 2013, according to her LinkedIn account.

John Weinreich, an executive casino host at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa at the time, said he believed that Ms. Danley frequently attended to Mr. Paddock, serving him food and pointing out which machines might be ripe for a payout, eventually becoming his regular host. Read more about Ms. Danley here.

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Digital Disaster: Facebook, Google carry fake news on Las Vegas shooting

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The scourge of fake news has met the carnage of Las Vegas.

For weeks now, Facebook and Twitter, and to a lesser extent Google, have been on the defensive about how their platforms were exploited by Russian propagandists and neo-Nazis. The two social networks have been so laissez faire toward both advertisers and purveyors of bogus stories that they’ve been drawn into Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump team.

The root of the problem is Facebook and Twitter won’t acknowledge that they’re hugely influential media companies and refuse to take all but the smallest steps to screen their content. Instead, they perpetuate the fiction that they’re just neutral outfits relying on algorithms.

After the massacre on the Las Vegas Strip, here’s what people found on Facebook and Google: The shooter was an anti-Trump liberal who liked Rachel Maddow and <a href=”http://MoveOn.org” rel=”nofollow”>MoveOn.org</a>, that the F.B.I. had already linked him to the Islamic State, and that mainstream news organizations were suppressing that he had recently converted to Islam.

All of these “gruesome” revelations are “entirely false,” says Kevin Roose in a disturbing column in the New York Times.

Here are the gory details:

“In Google’s case, trolls from 4Chan, a notoriously toxic online message board with a vocal far-right contingent, had spent the night scheming about how to pin the shooting on liberals. One of their discussion threads, in which they wrongly identified the gunman, was picked up by Google’s ‘top stories’ module, and spent hours at the top of the site’s search results for that man’s name.”

So another man was falsely accused of this heinous crime.

“In Facebook’s case, an official ‘safety check’’page for the Las Vegas shooting prominently displayed a post from a site called ‘Alt-Right News.’ The post incorrectly identified the shooter and described him as a Trump-hating liberal. In addition, some users saw a story on a ‘trending topic’ page on Facebook for the shooting that was published by Sputnik, a news agency controlled by the Russian government. The story’s headline claimed, incorrectly, that the F.B.I. had linked the shooter with the ‘Daesh terror group.'”

Asked for comment, their spokesmen blamed the algorithms.

A key problem, Roose points out, is that Facebook and Google users would have seen these fake Vegas stories right next to legitimate reports from major news organizations. Facebook used to have news editors work on its “trending topics” list, but after accusations of bias, Mark Zuckerberg’s company fired them and automated the process—which creates its own difficulties.

No company of this scale could catch every instance of Moscow operatives or fake-news profiteers trying to game the system. But Facebook, Google and Twitter barely try.

Investigators work at a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the casino and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at the music festival on Sunday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Investigators work at a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the casino and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at the music festival on Sunday.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

As Alexis Madrigal writes in the Atlantic: “Imagine a newspaper posting unverified rumors about a shooter from a bunch of readers who had been known to perpetuate hoaxes. There would be hell to pay—and for good reason. The standards of journalism are a set of tools for helping to make sense of chaotic situations, in which bad and good information about an event coexist. These technology companies need to borrow our tools—and hire the people to execute on the principles—or stop saying that they care about the quality of information that they deliver to people.”

It’s not that established news organizations always get it right. CBS reported early Monday afternoon that Tom Petty had died, but the rock star was in critical condition after a heart attack and did not die until shortly before midnight. The premature news ricocheted around the web. CBS blamed faulty information provided by the L.A. Police Department.

Still, the network corrected the report, something that propagandists and profiteers don’t do.

(The Washington Post carried a fitting headline: “Heartbroken.”)

It was not a good day for CBS, which fired a vice president for criticizing some victims of the Las Vegas massacre as “Republican gun toters” who did not deserve sympathy.

Hayley Geftman-Gold made the comments—including that “Repugs” wouldn’t do anything about gun control—on Facebook.

They were first reported by the Daily Caller.

CBS told the Post she was dismissed for her “deeply unacceptable”remarks about the shooting. Geftman-Gold apologized for her “shameful” and “indefensible” comments.

Her posting on Facebook wasn’t fake news. It was all too real—and horrifyingly insensitive.

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Las Vegas Shooting: Gunman’s Girlfriend Arrives in U.S. and Is Expected to Be Questioned

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A federal law enforcement official earlier said two rifles were outfitted with scopes and set up on tripods in front of two big windows. Another official said that among the weapons were AR-15-style assault rifles. Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge details of the investigation.

Sheriff Lombardo said that Mr. Paddock brought at least 10 suitcases into his hotel room over a period of time.

The sheriff said that Mr. Paddock fired through his hotel room door at security guards, striking one in the leg. The guard is still alive, he said. SWAT officers went in after the guard was shot.

In addition to the weapons at the hotel, the sheriff said the police retrieved 19 firearms, as well as explosives, several thousand rounds of ammunition and “electronic devices” from Mr. Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nev.

Paddock raised no suspicions at a store where he bought firearms.

The investigation into Mr. Paddock’s gun arsenal led investigators to New Frontier Armory, a large North Las Vegas dealer, distributor and manufacturer of firearms.

David M. Famiglietti, the company’s president, issued a statement on Tuesday confirming that Mr. Paddock purchased “several” rifles and shotguns from the business last spring — all at the same time. It’s not uncommon for customers to do this to save money on background check fees, Mr. Famiglietti said.

“The firearms he purchased did not leave our store capable of what we’ve seen and heard in the video without modification,” he said. “They were not fully automatic firearms, nor were they modified in any way — legally or illegally — when they were purchased from us.”

Mr. Famiglietti said that nothing about Mr. Paddock raised red flags with the store’s sales clerk. On the contrary, according to Mr. Famiglietti, Mr. Paddock seemed to be interested in competitive shooting, asking the clerk a lot of questions about three-gun shooting matches — an increasingly popular sport in which players use a rifle, a shotgun and a pistol.

“He just seemed like a normal guy,” said Mr. Famiglietti, whose store has been the target of hate mail, threatening phone calls and fake reviews since the shooting. “We obviously did not sell him these firearms with the intent that he would use them to hurt anyone in any way.”

On Monday, a Mesquite, Nev., gun dealer, Guns & Guitars, acknowledged having sold two rifles and a handgun to Mr. Paddock. Like the purchases at Frontier, those were cleared by state and federal background checks.

The gunman was ‘not an avid gun guy at all,’ said one of his brothers.

Mr. Paddock, 64, was described as a high-flying gambler who lived in a quiet retirement community and played golf. Officials said he had no significant criminal history and drew little attention to himself.

Investigators are trying to piece together his financial history to search for clues that could help determine what set him off.

Mr. Paddock often bet heavily at the major casino hotels, and his girlfriend, Ms. Danley, 62, who was out of the country at the time of the shooting, had worked for some of those hotels. They lived in Mesquite, Nev., 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, and he also owned a home in Reno.

Ms. Danley boarded a flight from Manila to Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to Antonette Mangrobang, a spokeswoman for the Philippine Immigration Bureau. The authorities, who met Ms. Danley at the Los Angeles airport, have called her a “person of interest” in the shooting investigation, which does not necessarily mean that she is suspected of committing a crime.

‘I’ve never been that scared in my life,’ said one witness.

The police estimated that when the shooting began, there were 22,000 people at the Harvest Festival, listening to Jason Aldean, the final act of the three-day event.

Video of the shooting captured nine seconds of continuous, rapid fire, followed by 37 seconds of silence from the weapon and panicked screaming from the crowd. Gunfire then erupted again and again in extended bursts. Some concertgoers thought the noise was fireworks, but as it became clear what was happening, people fled, many of them unsure where the shots were coming from, or where they should go.

“Everyone was running, you could see people getting shot,” said Gail Davis, one of the witnesses. “I’ve never been that scared in my life,” she added. “To have this happen, I can’t wrap my mind around it.”

Video from the shooting showed Mr. Aldean running off the stage as the gunfire erupted.

Within minutes, a police officer on the scene radioed to report cases of gunshot wounds “to the chest, legs, terminal arteries at the medical tent.”

A few minutes later, an officer said, “We’re making tourniquets out of blankets, but I’m running out of blankets here.”

Patients surged into Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where at least 124 “met the criteria for trauma activation,” said Dr. Jeff Murawsky, the hospital’s chief medical officer. They included patients with single and multiple gunshot wounds to the head, face, chest, body, arms and, in one case, a finger.

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Las Vegas gunman recorded his deadly rampage inside hotel room

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Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock installed video cameras inside and outside his hotel room before the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, officials said Tuesday.

The 64-year-old killer mounted one camera inside the 32nd floor hotel suite where he assembled a massive, deadly arsenal of rifles and ammunition for the Sunday night slaughter.

Other cameras were placed in the hallway to detect any law enforcement presence, including one hidden on a room service cart from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

“There were cameras outside of the room and inside of the room, along with the firearms,” said Sheriff Joe Lombardo at an afternoon briefing. “I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody.”

Las Vegas terrorist fired 280 rounds in 31 seconds into crowd

Lombardo said the FBI had all digital and electronic evidence along with the cameras, and declined to say if there was actual video of Paddock firing down on the 22,000 revelers at a concert across Los Vegas Boulevard.

Paddock, apparently alerted by the camera, shot and wounded a hotel security guard in the hallway outside his door during the Sunday night rampage, police said.

Although authorities had yet to establish a motive, Lombardo remained certain that investigators will uncover what sent Paddock on the 80-mile ride into Las Vegas with a small arsenal.


“I expect a substantial amount of information to come in over the next 48 hours,” he added.

Las Vegas shooting survivor watched as life-loving boyfriend died

Paddock also mysteriously sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines in the days before slaughtering 59 people in his furious killing spree.

Authorities reported another 527 people were injured as Paddock, armed with 16 high-powered rifles and another seven weapons, fired fusillade after fusillade of bullets for nine terrifying minutes.

NBC News reported the money was sent to the home country of Paddock’s live-in girlfriend Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines when he opened fire Sunday night on the crowd below.

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mass shooting at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Law enforcement officials told NBC it was unclear if the money was meant for Danley and her family or for some other purpose. Paddock shared a home with Danley in Mesquite, Nev.

‘We’ll be talking about gun laws’ after Las Vegas shooting: Trump

More than a dozen FBI investigators descended Tuesday morning on the concert site turned killing field, arriving in unmarked cars to scour the area for clues.

The agents wore blue protective shoe covers and jackets marked “FBI” as they returned to the scene of the crime on the Las Vegas Strip.

As of Tuesday morning, at least 45 victims of the shooting spree still remained in critical condition — 33 at Sunrise Hospital and another dozen at University Medical Center.

Authorities said the injured were struck by some of the hundreds of bullets fired, hit with shrapnel or trampled as the terrified concert crowd ran for cover.

GoFundMe for Las Vegas massacre victims raises more than $3.2M

President Trump, speaking before his trip to hurricane-battered Puerto Rico, focused his comments on the shooter rather than possible gun control legislation.

“He was a sick man, a demented man – a lot of problems, I guess,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’re dealing with a very, very sick individual.”

Danley, 62, was traveling through Asia as Paddock rented his room high above the city and stocked it with an assortment of weapons, each smuggled inside a piece of luggage, cops said.

The two began dating earlier this year, and authorities said Danley was in Tokyo on Monday. She was expected back in the U.S. to speak with authorities investigating the mass murder.

Authorities had questions about the arsenal kept in the house shared by the couple: 19 guns, thousands of rounds of ammo and explosives.

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The riddle of the Sphinx

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The riddle of the Sphinx

An important element in Sophocles, Oedipus the King is the Sphinx and her riddle. To be sure, the content of the riddle is never specified in the play. There are, however, a number of specific references or allusions to the Sphinx in the play (H&P, p. 707, line 37; p. 710, line 131; p. 717, line 382; p. 720, line 485)

Quite a few versions of the riddle are available, but most of these probably represent some distortion of the form in which it was familiar to Sophocles’ audience. The version which is most familiar today runs something like this, available on the web at History For Kids:“What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening?” (H&P give essentially the same version, p. 693, but with “legs” in place of “feet”.)

Ancient Greek sources, such as Apollodorus and Athenaeus, on the other hand, give a different emphasis to the riddle.Apollodorus’ version is the more widely available. It runs as follows:

“What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?”

Also important is Athenaeus’ somewhat fuller version, available at a Sophocles website, as follows:

“A thing there is whose voice is one;
Whose feet are four and two and three.
So mutable a thing is none
That moves in earth or sky or sea.
When on most feet this thing doth go,
Its strength is weakest and its pace most slow.”

Besides this relatively comprehensive version, there is also evidence for a shorter version, consisting of just one dactylic hexameter line, as follows:

“A thing there is whose voice is one;
Whose feet are four and two.”

One possible answer to this form of the riddle is “a pastoral society” (i.e., one in which humans and their animals live in close association with one another). Such a formulation of the riddle is important at various points in Oedipus Rex. For example, the plague is described near the beginning of the play (H&P, p. 707, lines 24-25) as affecting both the flocks and women of Thebes. Also, it is eventually the two shepherds (from Corinth and Thebes respectively), who have lived in close association with their flocks (H&P, p. 742, lines 1082-1090) who eventually provide the key evidence for explicating Oedipus’ background.

More generally, evidence for the importance of a variety of different forms of the riddle emerges in the confrontation between Oedipus and Teiresias (H&P, pp. 714-719, lines 289-453). This can be viewed in terms of Teiresias’ having realized that the riddle did not admit of any simple solution, whereas Oedipus, brilliantly, but with ultimately fatal consequences, picked out just the answer “man”.

Particularly striking evidence of the importance of a multitude of riddles in the play comes in the concluding lines, in which, finally, there is a reference to riddles – in the plural – rather than a single riddle. This point is, however, obscured in many translations (including Cook’s translation, in H&P), in which the Greek plural ainigmata (which Sophocles uses in place of the singular ainigma) is translated just as “riddle”. For the original form of the text, though, see an on-line essay which includes the following translation by David Grene. (The passage from Grene’s translation is found near the end of the essay.) [Emphasis on word “riddles” added]:You that live in my ancestral Thebes, behold this Oedipus,- him who knew the famous riddles and was a man most masterful; not a citizen who did not look with envy on his lot-see him now and see the breakers of misfortune swallow him! Look upon that last day always. Count no mortal happy till he has passed the final limit of his life secure from pain.

Signed in as mikenova

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