Toll Keeps Rising in Deadliest U.S. Mass Shooting
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Toll Keeps Rising in Deadliest U.S. Mass Shooting

Gunman Sprays Las Vegas Concertgoers with Hundreds of Rounds; Latest Count: 58 Dead, More than 500 Injured 

Terror on the Strip. A gunman with an automatic weapon killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 in a shooting at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night. CNN said it was the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said shots were fired shortly after 10 p.m. from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay into the mass of as many as 30,000 people. Officers said the shooter killed himself; p[olice found 10 rifles in his hotel room. Police have identified the gunman as a local resident, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock.  Lombardo said early Monday that police believe they a woman earlier identified as Paddock’s companion and sought by police was later considered uninvolved. “Detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip,” he said.

Puerto Rico. Cities in Puerto Rico continue to struggle with little help from our federal government. The mayor of Lajas in Puerto Rico was issued a satellite phone to call FEMA, the agency that is supposed to be helping the island, but he said the agency never calls back. The shelter at Lajas is in an elementary school where the elderly sleep on cots without air conditioning, electricity, running water or working bathrooms. FEMA sent a shipment of 200 boxes of food and 786 24-packs of water for a town of 25,000. In Ciales, a mountain town, no one from FEMA had been to the town as of Saturday. The mayor said he had been promised a satellite phone, but it hadn’t arrived. Diesel fuel is stolen at night.

No talk. Trump again undercut Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with a fusillade of tweets Sunday saying negotiations with North Korea are futile. The tweets, which appeared to respond to a New York Times report of secret negotiations between Tillerson and North Korea, included the admonition to “save your energy, Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”

Children’s insurance. Congress has allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program which provided low-cost health insurance to 9 million children to expire. If the program isn’t funded, many of the children in the program will be unable to visit the doctor when sick or get routine care like immunizations. CHIP was created in 1997 under former President Bill Clinton. The program helped lower the uninsured rate for children from nearly 14% to 4.5% in 2015.

Border judges. Trump sent immigration judges to the border to speed up deportations and reduce backlogs in immigration courts, but the judges haven’t had much to do. “Judges were reading the newspaper,” said Denise Slavin, the executive vice president of the National Immigration Judges Association. The new policy went into effect in March. Judges have canceled cases to travel for border duty, making worse the immigration court backlog that now tops 600,000 cases. Judges delayed more than 20,000 hearings for their details to the border from March to May.

October 2, 2017