Orlando first responders had to make their way through a 'cacophony of ringing unanswered cellphones'
As authorities piece together the details of Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando, a horrifying picture is starting to emerge of the three-hour attack and hostage situation that occurred inside the Pulse nightclub.
Pulse was nearing closing time when Omar Mateen reportedly entered with an assault rifle around 2 a.m. The music was blaring and the estimated 300 people were still enjoying the night in the darkness of the club when the first shots rang out. Initially, the staccato of Mateen's discharging semiautomatic weapon blended with the beat of the music, survivors said.
"No one put two and two together until the fifth and sixth [shot]," one survivor told CNN. "Between 10 and 20, that's when everything really started getting real."
The crowd scattered, fleeing for exits and taking cover. Those who couldn't escape hid in bathroom stalls, a dressing room, behind doors, under the DJ booth, and in air conditioning vents. One survivor told CNN she hid under bodies. Around 5 a.m., a SWAT team smashed down the door of the club with an armored vehicle, confronted Mateen in the doorway, and killed him.
When first responders were finally able to enter the nightclub, they had to step across the bodies strewn over the dance floor as a "cacophony of ringing unanswered cellphones" surrounded them. To locate survivors, the crew called out, "If you are alive, raise your hand."
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Carpenter v. United States on Friday that law enforcement needs a warrant in order to track a person's location information from cellphone towers over an extended period of time, NBC News reports. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberals on the decision, writing in the opinion that people "compulsively carry cellphones with them at all times," making monitoring that data "near perfect surveillance" akin to attaching "an ankle monitor to the phone's user."
The government had argued unsuccessfully that "cellphone users voluntarily reveal to their providers information about their proximity to cell towers" so customers "cannot reasonably expect that the providers will not reveal that business information to the government." Jeva Lange
Argentina's loss to Croatia in the World Cup on Thursday didn't knock them out of the tournament — yet — but the odds of the national team advancing out of the Group Stage are not looking good. The team, a perennial favorite at the World Cup, has only failed to win either of its first two Group Stage games once before; its 3-0 loss to Croatia was its worst defeat since falling to Czechoslovakia 6-1 in 1958, ESPN reports.
Naturally, this amounts to nothing less than a national tragedy in Lionel Messi-crazed Argentina. Argentine TV broadcasters went as far as to hold an extremely dramatic moment of silence after the defeat Thursday, which is much more hilarious that it sounds. Watch the somber affair below. Jeva Lange
— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) June 22, 2018
President Trump values loyalty above nearly all else, but he's apparently willing to give Alabama Rep. Martha Roby (R) the benefit of the doubt.
Trump endorsed Roby on Friday, calling her a "consistent and reliable vote for our Make America Great Again agenda," despite her past questioning of Trump's morals.
Congresswoman Martha Roby of Alabama has been a consistent and reliable vote for our Make America Great Again Agenda. She is in a Republican Primary run-off against a recent Nancy Pelosi voting Democrat. I fully endorse Martha for Alabama 2nd Congressional District!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
After The Washington Post published a tape from Trump's 2005 appearance on Access Hollywood in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women, Roby withdrew her support for the then-presidential candidate. "I cannot look my children in the eye and justify a vote for a man who promotes and boasts about sexually assaulting women," Roby said.
Later, Roby seemed to come around to the man she had once called "unacceptable," eventually sitting down for a meeting with him in the Oval Office, reports Politico. She said she "looked the president in the eye and told him I was with him." Even though she was initially opposed to Trump, her aggressive effort to show him her newfound commitment to his administration has paid off — she reportedly called House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to thank him for helping spur the president's wholehearted endorsement in her upcoming primary battle. Summer Meza
Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade defends Trump's treatment of immigrant children: He's not 'doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas'
Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade had a rather stunning requirement for treating children in a way that isn't considered by doctors to be "government-sanctioned child abuse": their citizenship status. Speaking on Fox News on Friday morning, Kilmeade defended President Trump's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, saying: "Like it or not, these are not our kids. Show them compassion, but it's not like he's doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas."
Kilmeade added as justification: "These are people from another country." Trump signed an executive order Wednesday asking a federal judge to amend a court ruling to allow children to be detained indefinitely with their parents, rather than have them be separated at the border.
What he leaves out, of course, is that they aren't just people — they're children. While distinguishing between citizens and non-citizens is reasonable in certain situations when the people in question are adults, it's of course a whole different story when you're talking about unaccompanied minors. Watch Kilmeade's comments below. Jeva Lange
.@kilmeade on children who have been split from their parents as a result of Trump administration policy: "Like it or not, these are not our kids. Show them compassion, but it's not like he's doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country." pic.twitter.com/s24zwyDfNc
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 22, 2018
The heart-wrenching photo of a 2-year-old Honduran girl in tears, peering up at her mother and a Border Patrol agent, has quickly become the defining image of President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which for weeks resulted in the separation of immigrant children from their parents. While the image, taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Moore, has spread like wildfire, appearing on the cover of Time as well as on this website, CBS News writes that the picture "might be a little bit misleading," because the daughter and mother were not actually separated, as other families have been.
"We were patrolling the border. It was after 10 o'clock at night," recalled Border Patrol agent Carlos Ruiz, who was the one to come across mother Sandra Sanchez and her daughter in Texas. "We asked her to set the kid down in front of her ... So the kid immediately started crying as she set her down. I personally went up to the mother and asked her, 'Are you doing okay? Is the kid okay?' and she said, 'Yes. She's tired and thirsty. It's 11 o'clock at night.'"
Moore, who captured the photo during a ride-along with Border Agents, feared the mother and daughter would be separated after being taken to a Customs and Border Protection processing center. "I took only a few photographs and was almost overcome with emotion myself," Moore told Getty Images' blog "Foto."
The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, claims to have spoken to the father of the 2-year-old, who told the paper, "You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. It broke my heart." Read more of the backstory behind the picture at "Foto," and about the mother and daughter's status at CBS News. Jeva Lange
President Trump said Friday that "Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration" until enough GOP senators are elected to override a potential Democratic filibuster. "Even if we get 100 percent Republican votes in the Senate, we need 10 Democrat votes to get a much-needed immigration bill," Trump said in a tweet, vowing that if more Republicans get elected, "we will pass the finest, fairest, and most comprehensive immigration bills anywhere in the world."
Elect more Republicans in November and we will pass the finest, fairest and most comprehensive Immigration Bills anywhere in the world. Right now we have the dumbest and the worst. Dems are doing nothing but Obstructing. Remember their motto, RESIST! Ours is PRODUCE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Although the Republican Party has control over both chambers of Congress, Trump insisted that "we can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!" On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pushed back a compromise immigration bill vote because leadership felt they did not have the 218 votes needed to pass the measure; there are 235 Republicans in the House. Jeva Lange
Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, who is embroiled in multiple investigations into his ethics and spending, allegedly sent only one email to anyone outside the EPA in his first 10 months in office, the department told the Sierra Club in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. That set off alarm bells for oversight groups, which say they are hard-pressed to believe that an administrator as active and involved with industry leaders as Pruitt has merely sent one email in all that time, Politico reports.
"Americans should know what the EPA is doing, why it's doing it, and who's influencing those decisions," said Melanie Sloan of American Oversight. Watchdog groups are now probing if Pruitt ever used a private email account for EPA business — while it would not be illegal for him to do so as a government official, the account would be required to be searched for a response to something like the Sierra Club's FOIA request.
It is understood that Pruitt often uses other methods than email to communicate, including phone calls and the like. He used text messages in at least one instance to set up a meeting, and nine texts were included in the EPA's response to the Sierra Club. It can be difficult for watchdogs to get their hands on such alternative forms of communication than email.
There is also some question of if the EPA is concealing more emails. Pruitt possesses multiple email accounts, and the Sierra Club excluded from its request two that the EPA said are solely for public comments and scheduling. Read more about Pruitt's missing emails at Politico. Jeva Lange