‘I’m barely breathing’: Synagogue survivor recounts terror PITTSBURGH (AP) — A survivor of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre described Sunday how he and other terrorized worshippers concealed themselves in a supply closet as the gunman stepped…
‘I’m barely breathing’: Synagogue survivor recounts terror
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A survivor of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre described Sunday how he and other terrorized worshippers concealed themselves in a supply closet as the gunman stepped over the body of a man he had just shot and killed, entered their darkened hiding spot and looked around.
“I can’t say anything, and I’m barely breathing,” recalled Barry Werber, 76, in an interview with The Associated Press. “He didn’t see us, thank God.”
The gunman, Robert Gregory Bowers, opened fire with an AR-15 rifle and other weapons during worship services inside Tree of Life Synagogue, killing eight men and three women before a tactical police team tracked him down and shot him, according to state and federal affidavits made public on Sunday. He expressed hatred of Jews during the rampage and later told police that “all these Jews need to die,” authorities said.
Six people were injured in the attack, including four officers.
Bowers targeted a building that housed three separate congregations, all of which were conducting Sabbath services when the attack began just before 10 a.m. in the tree-lined residential neighborhood of Squirrel Hill, about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh and the hub of the city’s Jewish community.
Shooting victims remembered: ‘The loss is incalculable’
PITTSBURGH (AP) — They were professors and accountants, dentists and beloved doctors serving their local community.
A day after the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead, officials released the names of the victims. The oldest of them was 97. The youngest was 54. They included a pair of brothers and a husband and wife.
Said Stephen Cohen, co-president of New Light Congregation: “The loss is incalculable.”
CECIL AND DAVID ROSENTHAL: ‘SWEET, GENTLE, CARING MEN’
Cecil and David Rosenthal went through life together with help from a disability-services organization. And an important part of the brothers’ lives was the Tree of Life Synagogue, where they never missed a Saturday service, people who knew them say.
Indonesia’s Lion Air says it’s lost contact with airplane
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s Lion Air said Monday it has lost contact with a passenger jet flying from Jakarta to an island off Sumatra.
A search and rescue effort has been launched for the Boeing 737-800 plane which departed Jakarta about 6.20 a.m. for Pangkal Pinang.
“We can confirm that one of our flights has lost contact,” said Lion Air spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro. “Its position cannot be ascertained yet.”
A telegram from the National Search and Rescue Agency to the air force has requested assistance with the search of a location at sea off Java.
Data for Lion Air’s Flight 610 on aircraft tracking website FlightAware ends just a few minutes following takeoff.
Brazil elects far-right congressman Bolsonaro to presidency
SAO PAULO (AP) — Jair Bolsonaro, a brash far-right congressman who has waxed nostalgic for Brazil’s old military dictatorship, won the presidency of Latin America’s largest nation Sunday as voters looked past warnings that he would erode democracy and embraced a chance for radical change after years of turmoil.
The former army captain, who cast himself as a political outsider despite a 27-year career in Congress, became the latest world leader to rise to power by mixing tough, often violent talk with hard-right positions. His victory reflected widespread anger at the political class after years of corruption, an economy that has struggled to recover after a punishing recession and a surge in violence.
“I feel in my heart that things will change,” Sandra Coccato, a 68-year-old small business owner, said after she voted for Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo. “Lots of bad people are leaving, and lots of new, good people are entering. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
In Rio de Janeiro, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters gathered on iconic Copacabana Beach, where fireworks went off. In Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, car horns could be heard honking and crowds celebrated as the results came in. There were also reports of clashes between his backers and opponents in Sao Paulo.
Speaking to supporters from his home in Rio, Bolsonaro recounted how he was stabbed while campaigning last month and almost died.
Enough is enough: Fed-up Americans crave unity amid violence
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — She flipped through television channels and radio stations, scanning from conservative to liberal media, searching for any sign that the polarized nation had finally reached its tipping point.
For days, Elisa Karem Parker had been seeing updates in the news: A pipe bomb sent to liberal political donor George Soros. One delivered to CNN. More to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other prominent political figures villainized by those on the right — a bizarre plot unfolding just ahead of the midterm election that will decide which party controls Congress.
“It’s like our country is becoming ‘The Hunger Games,'” Parker, who considers herself squarely in the middle of the political divide, told her husband and teenage son over dinner.
As authorities intercepted more than a dozen pipe bombs addressed to President Donald Trump’s most ardent critics — and then, on Saturday, as news broke of yet another mass shooting in America — political scientists and ordinary citizens observed again that rabid partisanship had devolved to the point of acts of violent extremism. Many wonder whether this latest spasm might be the moment that the nation collectively considers how poisonous the political culture has become and decides to turn the other way.
“If this isn’t it, I’d hate to think about what it will take,” said Parker as she cast her ballot in early voting last week in Louisville, Kentucky.
Synagogue attack shatters safety of longtime Jewish enclave
PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a city known for its Jewish population, the neighborhood was the faith’s spiritual heart and the synagogue a cornerstone of the community.
For generations, Squirrel Hill has been known as one of Pittsburgh’s most special enclaves, where the Tree of Life temple stood as a welcoming landmark. Residents marveled over their good fortune to live in a place that seemed open, accepting and secure.
“People always felt safe here,” said Jules Stein, a lifelong resident of Squirrel Hill who until recently belonged to Tree of Life. “In one day, that changed.”
A gunman opened fire Saturday at the synagogue, killing 11 people. It was the type of violence that seemed impossible to many who called the neighborhood home.
Tanya Cohen, who emigrated from Russia and lives near Tree of Life, always knew anti-Semitism existed but never thought it would strike so close.
First Person: A mass murder in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood
Harry Houdini, the Jewish escape artist who thwarted every attempt to cage him, died not long after being punched in the gut by a college student. Houdini’s abdominal muscles were legendary, but the student didn’t give him enough time to tense them before delivering a blow that ruptured his appendix.
Something like this happened to me on Saturday morning.
I grew up in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill — in fact, directly across the street and catty corner to the Tree of Life synagogue. Squirrel Hill is one of America’s leafiest and loveliest Jewish communities. Synagogues and Jewish shops abound in the hilly little Eden. Heavenly corned-beef sandwiches are easy pickings where orthodox, conservative, reformed, and unaffiliated Jews live harmoniously with their non-Jewish neighbors. The Jewish Community Center is a beehive of multi-faith activity.
People are nice to each other in Squirrel Hill. For crying out loud, it was literally Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood. We had a mass murder in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.
Until today, it seemed inconceivable to me that any American could, at this point, be shocked by a mass murder, even one in their backyard. Those expressing such shock have struck me as willfully self-delusional. Jewish Americans, in particular, are taught pretty much from day one that the veneer of “civilization” is perilously thin and that “It” could happen again. Here. In our lifetimes. And so we must be ever vigilant and wary — perpetually tensed.
Thai owner of Leicester soccer team died in helicopter crash
LEICESTER, England (AP) — Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha achieved what seemed impossible in modern soccer: Gaining promotion with a modest club and winning the English Premier League title within two years.
Bankrolling Leicester City but without the lavish spending of the bigger clubs, the Thai billionaire oversaw one of the greatest underdog successes in sports when the 5,000-1 outsiders won soccer’s richest competition in 2016.
In an era of often-absentee foreign owners in the Premier League, Vichai also broke the mold by forging close ties with supporters and the local community.
While Vichai did not seek the limelight and was far from flamboyant, the wealthy entrepreneur’s grandiose mode of transport from the King Power stadium named after his duty-free empire became symbolic of the club’s newfound status in the game. A helicopter would land on the field after matches and whisk away the owner.
Saturday night was the last journey for Vichai.
Analysis: Politics presses on amid election-season tragedy
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies continued. Attack ads stayed on the airwaves. Political combat largely carried on.
Amid a wave of election-season violence that left many Americans on edge, the contentious midterm campaign has barreled forward with little pause. Trump and other politicians disavowed the pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats and condemned the massacre of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue this past week. But the divisiveness that has dominated the nation’s politics kept creeping back.
During a rally Saturday night, Trump asked a crowd of red-hatted supporters if it was OK for him to “tone it down, just a little bit.” When the crowd roared back with a decisive “No!” Trump replied: “I had a feeling you might say that.”
The attacks are a grim capstone to a midterm campaign that will serve as a referendum on Trump, whose unorthodox approach to the presidency is particularly glaring in times of tragedy. With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, Trump was among many politicians who largely stuck to the script, raising questions about whether Americans are becoming increasingly desensitized in the wake of tragedy.
“It feels in this moment like there’s a numbness,” said Jennifer Psaki, who served as a campaign and White House adviser to former President Barack Obama. “When there’s a tragedy, the nation is a little rudderless.”
Dodgers bench Bellinger for elimination game vs Red Sox
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cody Bellinger is on the bench for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series.
His left-handed bat has been replaced in the lineup by Enrique Hernandez, who will hit third and play center field on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox.
First baseman David Freese leads off again for the Dodgers, who face elimination trailing 3-1 in the best-of-seven Series.
Third baseman Justin Turner hits second, followed by Hernandez, shortstop Manny Machado in the cleanup spot and left-handed-hitting second baseman Max Muncy.
Right fielder Yasiel Puig, who hit a three-run homer in Game 4, bats sixth. Left fielder Chris Taylor hits seventh, catcher Austin Barnes is eighth and left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw bats ninth.