RNC chairwoman rips Michelle Obama for ‘false’ claim GOP is ‘all men, all white’

The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee blasted former first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday for her suggestion that Republicans are essentially “all men, all white.”

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“It’s unfortunate Michelle Obama would disregard the contributions of conservative women and people of all backgrounds with one sweeping, false accusation,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News on Thursday.

The former first lady spoke at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on Tuesday and said it was important to have different types of people to gather different perspectives, saying “we should be working actively to mix it up.”

Obama recalled visiting Congress for State of the Union addresses, and drew a stark contrast between the two sides of the aisle.

“What you can see is this real dichotomy—on one side of the room, it’s a feeling of color,” Obama said. “On one side of the room, it’s literally gray and white. Literally, that’s the color palette on one side of the room.”

FILE - In this July 12, 2017, file photo, former first lady Michelle Obama presents the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Obama said at a women's conference in Philadelphia on Oct. 3, 2017, that the lack of diversity among some segments of the political landscape is a reason that “people don’t trust politics.” (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

File picture of Michelle Obama during the ESPYS  (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

MICHELLE OBAMA SLAMS WOMEN WHO VOTED FOR TRUMP

She continued, “On the other side of the room, there are yellows and blues and whites and greens. Physically, there’s a difference in color, in the tone. … Because one side—all men, all white. On the other side – some women, some people of color.”

Obama pointed to that scene and said, “No wonder people don’t trust politics.”

Not only is the head of the RNC a woman, but dozens of women and minorities are Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Mia Love of Utah and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

In the 115th Congress, there are 14 minority Republicans in the House and four in the Senate. There are currently 24 Republican congresswomen and five female Republican senators.

The Obama comments came after the former first lady also angered Republicans by criticizing women who voted for President Trump

“Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice,” Obama told the audience during a talk at a marketing conference last month in Boston, according to Boston.com.

She was taking a swipe at a large swath of the population — according to exit polls, 41 percent of women voted for Trump in November.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

Courtesy: Fox News

2 million may die if North Korea nukes Seoul and Tokyo – report

2 million may die if North Korea nukes Seoul and Tokyo – report
As tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, a new report has estimated that, should North Korea deploy its nuclear arsenal on Seoul and Tokyo, the death toll could be up to 2.1 million, with around 8 million injured.

Over the past few months, the stand-off, with Pyongyang on one side, and the US and its allies on the other, has been escalating, with belligerent rhetoric and provocative military posturing on both sides. Amid these tensions, a study by 38 North – a site on North Korean affairs run by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies – has revealed the potential consequences of a nuclear strike launched by the North on its neighbors.

The report’s author, Michael J. Zagurek Jr., notes that “history is replete with ‘rational actors’ grossly miscalculating, especially in crisis situations,” and that another nuclear or missile test might trigger a hostile reaction from the United States, prompting a nuclear strike from the North Korean regime.

Estimating that Pyongyang has a nuclear arsenal of 25 warheads, Zagurek calculated what would happen if leader Kim Jong-un decides to launch all of them at Seoul and Tokyo, since both Japan and South Korea are key US allies. Accounting for missile defense systems such as the THAAD, deployed in South Korea, and the Aegis Ashore ABM, due to be installed in Japan, he said that “not all 25 North Korean nuclear missile warheads will detonate on their targets.”

Zagurek gave estimates of the casualty rates from 20 percent, 50 percent and 80 percent of the missiles hitting their targets. According to the highest estimates, 2.1 million people would be killed and another 7.7 million wounded.

Japan is the only country to have had two atomic bombs detonate on its territory as an act of war. On August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first deployed nuclear weapon over Hiroshima, Japan, killing 80,000 and obliterating 90 percent of the city. This was followed three days later by another bomb dropped on Nagasaki, which killed another 40,000. Earlier that year, Tokyo was firebombed by American planes, leading to 100,000 civilian deaths.

READ MORE: USS ‘Ronald Reagan’, watched by China, conducts drills as North Korea tensions flare

However, as the report notes, population density in metropolitan Japan and South Korea is a lot higher than it was several decades ago. Also, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had a strength of around 15-25 kilotons, while the device tested by North Korea in September had a likely strength of 108-205 kilotons.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula is being aggravated by both North Korea and the US and its allies. Pyongyang has carried out a number of nuclear tests and missile launches, while the United States has continued to carry out joint exercises with South Korea and Japan while escalating its rhetoric against Pyongyang.

Russia and China have proposed a ‘double-freeze’ solution, in which the US ceases its drills with South Korea in exchange for the North suspending its weapons programs. The US, however, has not accepted the proposal, saying it has every right to carry out exercises with its allies.

Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly stated that the crisis can be resolved only through peaceful means.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin also pointed out that should someone decide to attack North Korea in “a disarming strike,” the aftermath of it would be uncertain as “no one knows for sure what is where.”

Washington earlier said that it would only talk to Pyongyang about bringing back Americans who are being detained in North Korea.

“Beyond that, there will be no conversations with North Korea at this time,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders stated.

Courtesy: RT

Trump urges Senate to probe American ‘Fake News Networks’

Trump urges Senate to probe American ‘Fake News Networks’
While the Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election, President Donald Trump has urged the body to look into American media to see why “so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”

“Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning, the day after the Senate Intelligence Committee updated reporters about its months-long investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the US election.

Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!

Some news outlets will be left “with egg on their face” over their reporting on the Russia investigation, committee chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) told CNN when asked about Trump’s statement.

“If, in fact, we find that news organizations have not covered it factually, I think that you’ll see that in our report,” Burr said, after the committee announced that they have yet to come up with any “findings” in their Russia probe.

Burr, however, clarified that the Senate committee is not investigating news outlets. Instead, the panel will be “holding them accountable for what they say with no sources to substantiate the facts,” he said, without elaborating on specific outlets.

READ MORE: US media dilute facts with false ‘Russian hacking’ stories – top state election official

The US president has long complained about major US media outlets being against him during and after the election. He labeled a number of them, including the Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN, “fake news.”

On Wednesday, Trump blasted NBC for its “fake news” reporting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson supposedly called Trump a “moron” and threatened to resign, only to be talked out of it by Vice President Mike Pence

The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is . They should issue an apology to AMERICA!

Tillerson told reporters he had “never considered leaving” his post and described the story as “erroneous” and “petty nonsense.”

The vice president likewise denied the claims in the NBC story.

“At no time did he and the secretary ever discuss the prospect of the secretary’s resignation from the administration. Any reporting to the contrary is categorically false,” said Jarrod Agen, Pence’s spokesman.

In late September, the Washington Post was forced to retract its claim that former President Barack Obama had told the head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, to tackle the alleged Russian meddling in the election. The retraction came after Facebook denied that such a conversation took place.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

WaPo “updated” significant info to digital version of story that removed “Russia” from headline, while print version included it 

The Post was previously forced to walk back one of its major stories shortly after the election when it reported that Russia hacked into the Vermont power grid. Authorities later confirmed that it never happened.

While the Senate Intelligence Committee has yet to come up with any “findings” on Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election, congressional investigators are now focused on “the Russians’ use of social media platforms,” – committee chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and its ranking member, Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), told reporters.

READ MORE: $100k ‘Russian’ Facebook ads are a drop in the bucket, pretext to discredit Trump – senator

“The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?” Trump tweeted on September 22, after the social media giant said it found 3,000 ads on “divisive” social issues which were “likely” run from Russia.

The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?

“The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media ‘screaming’ for Crooked Hillary Clinton,” Trump added.

Moscow has repeatedly denied interfering in the US election.

The deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s committee on information technologies and communications, Andrey Svintsov, said Thursday that the US media are making up “scare stories” about Russia to undermine President Trump.

“This hysteria and the spreading of pretty dirty smears against their own president, who fairly and squarely won the election, shows that trust in democracy is unfortunately undermined,” Svintsov said in reaction to Trump’s latest statement.

Courtesy: RT

FBI must work undercover with ISIS, even during attacks, to climb group’s ranks – criminal attorney

FBI must work undercover with ISIS, even during attacks, to climb group's ranks - criminal attorney
Entrapment is never good, it is always harmful, and it is never a way to find the perpetrators of an attack because criminals are going to be able to carry this out, Jennifer Breedon, international criminal law attorney, told RT.

The FBI is being sued by a victim of an ISIS-inspired attack in 2015, during a controversial ‘Draw Muhammad’ cartoon drawing contest in Texas. The lawsuit alleges the bureau may have been complicit in the terrorist incident by not acting upon early warnings signs.

RT spoke with Jennifer Breedon, international criminal law attorney, for her take on the case.

RT:  What do you think about the Garland terror attack controversy?

Jennifer Breedon: Obviously this new case that is coming out is very shocking and surprising. More details are going to be emerging, as the only security guard that was injured, besides the two terrorists that died, is now suing the FBI. It is very troubling to know that not only was the FBI aware of this attack, but likely perhaps complicit in carrying it out and even enticing the two terrorists to carry out the attack in Garland, Texas.

RT:  Why, in your opinion, did the FBI fail to prevent the attack, since they knew about it?

JB: That is what the case is boiling down to. Some of the facts are indicating that they had an undercover agent that was trying to get in with ISIS – trying to find out these ISIS groups, and he wanted to make himself higher up in ISIS ranks to know more of their fighters. Apparently, he stayed in the car behind them, which came out in another case filing with the FBI. They did not prevent it because if the attack had been carried out successfully, and people died, it was likely this undercover agent and his supervisors in the FBI felt that this would promote him up to high ranks within ISIS – the undercover agent would be promoted up, because the attack was then successful. So he did not prevent it for that reason. Now, he didn’t have a legal duty to prevent it, but it is certainly is negligence at the very least, especially if he enticed the two terrorists to come all the way from Arizona over to Texas just so that he could follow them – see that they were doing, and if the attack carried out then he would be able to be further on the ISIS web.

RT:  According to statistics, undercover sources are used in more than half of ISIS-related terror cases in the US. So, this is a common thing for the US now?

JB: It is. And it is very sad, because it shows a complete disconnect between lots of US investigative sources. For example, under the Obama administration, news came out under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), it was shown that they told the (DHS) to stop looking at religious inspiration, in fact if ISIS declares that they are a radical Islamist ideology, you’re not allowed to even consider Islam; you’re not allowed to even investigate if mosques are extremist, if there is extremist preaching coming out. The DHS says law enforcement isn’t even allowed to look at that.

We’ve updated our ISIS in America numbers (100) and added a new statistic: Average prison sentence (10.1 years).

Because of that you have the FBI now going out needing to do these undercover operations to get inside their minds to find out, where the links are, because there is literally no other way under US laws for them to investigate, who’s going to be an extremist and who’s not, unless they pretend to be ISIS themselves and go into this, carrying out things such as the Garland Texas attack, and other things like that. So it is very troubling to see the complete disconnect and how in the DHS – specifically under the Obama era – they were trying to pass these laws to say: “You can’t do anything. You can’t even consider the religion,” when ISIS themselves says: it is all about their religion, and I would just spend time in the Middle East.

Muslims in the Middle East, Muslim governments, look at the religion, they look at the mosques, the extremist teachings all the time to find ISIS affiliates. So it is very troubling to think that because we have such a disconnect here in the US between our law enforcement, our FBI agents have to go undercover and commit these egregious things to make sure there is an attack just to get evidence to find ISIS sources.

RT:  What do you think about the entrapment practice as a whole? Is it doing more harm or good?

JB: I think right now it is doing more harm. Entrapment always does more harm. So legally speaking, entrapment is just a defense. So it is a defense against a criminal charge. If somebody is charged with a crime, then they can say, “Well, I was entrapped into carrying this out.” Legally it just acts as a defense; it can’t be something that you would sue over per se, but entrapment is basically when the government or government affiliates come in and either coerce somebody they think might be linked to terrorism or criminal activities, coerce them into committing a crime, or encourage them to commit this crime, so that the government can then arrest them.

Entrapment is never good, it is always harmful, and it is never a way to find the perpetrators of an attack because criminals are going to be able to carry this out. What we need instead of entrapment, we need to allow investigative bodies – like the DHS and others – to look at the intention of groups like ISIS, whether that’s their religious institutions or other things like that. We need to allow them an investigative authority so that they don’t have to resort to such a dangerous practice like entrapment.

Courtesy: RT

Iraq army recaptures Hawija from ‘Islamic State’

Iraqi forces have cleared out fighters from the “Islamic State” from their last stronghold in the country. IS now holds just a narrow slither in the country’s west.

Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and Iraqi army members gather on the outskirts of Hawija, Iraq

US-backed Iraqi forces recaptured the town of Hawija on Thursday, forcing Islamic State (IS) fighters out of their last stronghold, Iraq’s prime minister announced.

The recapture now means that the only IS territory in Iraq is a narrow strip along the Syrian border.

Read more: UN creates team to investigate IS war crimes in Iraq as ‘caliphate’ crumbles

Infografik Syrien Irak IS Entwicklung Juli bis Oktober 2017 animierte GIF ENG

Troops, police and paramilitary forces “liberated the whole of the center of Hawija and are continuing their advance,” operation commander Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah said in a statement.

The offensive was led by Iraqi government troops and Iranian-trained and armed Shi’ite paramilitary groups known as Popular Mobilisation.

The United Nations estimated that 12,500 people had fled the town since the launch of the offensive last month. It said on Tuesday there could have been as many as 78,000 people left in the town.

Hawija, 230 kilometres (140 miles) north of Baghdad, had remained an insurgent bastion since soon after the US-led invasion of 2003. It was labeled “Kandahar in Iraq” for its similarities to the Taliban militia’s citadel in Afghanistan.

Journalists on the ground shared images of dozens of IS fighters surrendering.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed the recapture after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. “Only the outskirts remain to be recaptured,” he said.

“This victory is not just a victory for the Iraqis, but for the whole world.”

He his forces would now focus on the border zone with Syria in their fight against IS.

The Sunni Arab town of Hawaji was complicated to take given its hostility to both to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad and to the neighboring Kurds. It comes under the Kirkuk governorate, which is disputed between Baghdad and the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region.

aw/rt (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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Catalan independence: Spain rejects calls for mediation by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont

Catalan independence: Spain rejects calls for mediation by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy asked Carles Puigdemont to abandon the independence drive as a prerequisite to talks. The Catalan parliament is expected to unilaterally declare independence from Spain next week.
Catalan leader Puigdemont
Spain on Wednesday turned down calls by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont for mediation to find a way out of the violent political crisis sparked off by the region’s controversial referendum for independence on Sunday that ended with a rash of violence that left hundreds injured.
“If Mr. Puigdemont wants to talk or negotiate, or wants to send mediators, he knows perfectly well what he must do first: Return to the path of the law,” Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s office said in a statement.
Rajoy was responding to a call for mediation by Puigdemont made earlier during a televised address.
“This moment calls for mediation. We have received various offers in the last hours and we will receive more,” Puigdemont said. “But we have never received a positive response from the state.”
Puigdemont criticized Spain’s King Felipe VI who on Tuesday lashed out at “irresponsible behavior” of the Catalan leaders. The Catalan leader accused the king of ignoring the Catalans by calling on them to give up their bid for independence. The king’s address did not mention those injured during the vote.
“The king has adopted the (national) government’s position and policies which have been disastrous with regard to Catalonia,” Puigdemont said. “He is deliberately ignoring millions of Catalans.”
Read more: Catalan separatist movement driven by more than just economics
Watch video00:24
Catalan president criticizing Spain’s King Felipe
Independence declaration imminent
Without specifically mentioning plans for an independence declaration, Puigdemont added: “I am sure that in the next few days we will show the best of our country when the institutions of Catalonia will have to apply the results of the referendum…Today we are closer than yesterday to our historic wish.”
Catalonia is expected to declare independence as early as Monday, when a special parliamentary session has been called to evaluate the results of the October 1 vote and discuss the plan for secession.
Mireia Boya, a Catalan lawmaker from the pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) said it would be “a plenary to proclaim the republic” of independent Catalonia.
According to the Catalan government, 90 percent of the people voted for independence in Sunday’s referendum, which was declared illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court and was marred by police violence. But turnout was only about 43 percent as Catalans who favor remaining part of Spain mainly boycotted the ballot.
Read more: Catalonia to South Sudan: A world of separatist movements
Two police officers drag a protester off another policeman on the ground (Getty Images/D. Ramos)
CATALONIA VOTES ON INDEPENDENCE – IN PICTURES
Police ‘forced’ to use violence
Security forces used batons and fired rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowds. Many were injured. “We were forced to do what we did not wish to do,” said Spanish government delegate to Catalonia, Enric Millo. “Puigdemont and his team are solely responsible” for the violence, he added.

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No takers for mediation call
European leaders have so far sided with Spain and have called on both sides to talk with each other.
European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said on Wednesday there was a “general consensus that regional government of Catalonia has chosen to ignore the law when organizing the referendum.”
During an emergency session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, leaders from the two biggest party groups warned Catalan leaders not to forge ahead with independence.
Germany said on Wednesday that it hoped tensions between Madrid and Catalonia would soon calm down, but emphasized the conflict was an internal Spanish matter.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said that Merkel wasn’t seeking to mediate the dispute between Madrid and Catalonia’s regional government in Barcelona.
“Chancellor Merkel is not pursuing a mediation mission. It is an internal matter for Spain,” he said.
ap/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)
Watch video01:10
Pique to carry on for Spain despite Catalonia backing
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Catalan president criticizing Spain’s King Felipe
Pique to carry on for Spain despite Catalonia backing
Date 04.10.2017
Related Subjects Spain, Catalonia
Keywords Catalonia, Spain, referendum, Catalonia independence, Carles Puigdemont, Mariano Rajoy

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy asked Carles Puigdemont to abandon the independence drive as a prerequisite to talks. The Catalan parliament is expected to unilaterally declare independence from Spain next week.

Catalan leader Puigdemont

Spain on Wednesday turned down calls by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont for mediation to find a way out of the violent political crisis sparked off by the region’s controversial referendum for independence on Sunday that ended with a rash of violence that left hundreds injured.

“If Mr. Puigdemont wants to talk or negotiate, or wants to send mediators, he knows perfectly well what he must do first: Return to the path of the law,” Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s office said in a statement.

Rajoy was responding to a call for mediation by Puigdemont made earlier during a televised address.

“This moment calls for mediation. We have received various offers in the last hours and we will receive more,” Puigdemont said. “But we have never received a positive response from the state.”

Puigdemont criticized Spain’s King Felipe VI who on Tuesday lashed out at “irresponsible behavior” of the Catalan leaders. The Catalan leader accused the king of ignoring the Catalans by calling on them to give up their bid for independence. The king’s address did not mention those injured during the vote.

“The king has adopted the (national) government’s position and policies which have been disastrous with regard to Catalonia,” Puigdemont said. “He is deliberately ignoring millions of Catalans.”

Read moreCatalan separatist movement driven by more than just economics

Watch video00:24

Catalan president criticizing Spain’s King Felipe

Independence declaration imminent

Without specifically mentioning plans for an independence declaration, Puigdemont added: “I am sure that in the next few days we will show the best of our country when the institutions of Catalonia will have to apply the results of the referendum…Today we are closer than yesterday to our historic wish.”

Catalonia is expected to declare independence as early as Monday, when a special parliamentary session has been called to evaluate the results of the October 1 vote and discuss the plan for secession.

Mireia Boya, a Catalan lawmaker from the pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) said it would be “a plenary to proclaim the republic” of independent Catalonia.

According to the Catalan government, 90 percent of the people voted for independence in Sunday’s referendum, which was declared illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court and was marred by police violence. But turnout was only about 43 percent as Catalans who favor remaining part of Spain mainly boycotted the ballot.

Read moreCatalonia to South Sudan: A world of separatist movements

No takers for mediation call

European leaders have so far sided with Spain and have called on both sides to talk with each other.

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said on Wednesday there was a “general consensus that regional government of Catalonia has chosen to ignore the law when organizing the referendum.”

During an emergency session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, leaders from the two biggest party groups warned Catalan leaders not to forge ahead with independence.

Germany said on Wednesday that it hoped tensions between Madrid and Catalonia would soon calm down, but emphasized the conflict was an internal Spanish matter.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said that Merkel wasn’t seeking to mediate the dispute between Madrid and Catalonia’s regional government in Barcelona.

“Chancellor Merkel is not pursuing a mediation mission. It is an internal matter for Spain,” he said.

ap/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

Watch video01:10

Pique to carry on for Spain despite Catalonia backing

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Las Vegas gunman planned to escape, may have had help says sheriff

Authorities in Las Vegas have said that there is evidence Stephen Paddock planned to make it out of the massacre alive. His girlfriend has said she had no clue he intended to carry out the shooting that killed 58 people.

People gather to mourn, light candles and leave items at a makeshift memorial on South Las Vegas Boulevard (picture-alliance/N.Otto)

The shooter who killed 58 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas before turning the gun on himself initially planned to escape, US authorities said late on Wednesday night.

Watch video04:52

Trump visiting Las Vegas – DW correspondent Carsten von Nahmen reports

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters that there was evidence Stephen Paddock planned on surviving the shooting and escaping, but declined to give further details.

Investigators are still stumped for clues as to why the 64-year-old opened fire on Sunday evening from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, wounding a revised total of 489 people.

Read moreHow fake news spread in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting

“What we know is that Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” Lombardo said.

Lombardo added that Paddock may have had help since authorities find it hard to believe the shooter assembled his arsenal of weapons, ammunition and explosives by himself.

“You have to make an assumption that he had some help at some point,” Lombardo said.

US President Donald Trump traveled to Las Vegas on Wednesday to speak with survivors of the shooting.

Note found in hotel room

The Clark County sheriff outlined other new details in the shooting, including:

— Paddock may have scouted the location by renting a room at the Ogden, a nearby hotel, during another music festival one week earlier.

— Investigators found a note in the room where Paddock carried out the shooting. Lombardo did not elaborate on its contents, but said it was not a suicide note.

— Police found 1,600 rounds of ammunition and 50 pounds (23 kilograms) of an explosive used in target shooting in Paddock’s car.

Read moreStephen Paddock: What we know about the Las Vegas shooter

Infografik Karte Las Vegas Schiesserei ENG

Girlfriend didn’t know about massacre plan

Paddock’s girlfriend said on Wednesday she had no idea that he was plotting a massacre when he asked her to visit family in the Philippines.

Marilou Danley, who has been called a “person of interest” by investigators, issued the statement after returning to the US from the Philippines and being interrogated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents.

“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man,” Danley said in a statement read by her attorney. “He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.”

She said she was initially pleased when Paddock wired her $100,000 (€85,000) in the days before the shooting but she later feared it was a way to break up with her.

“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” Danley said.

Watch video02:06

Las Vegas gunman prepared ‘extensively’ for attack

Some Republicans ready to talk about gun control

The shooting has relaunched the ongoing debate in the US about gun laws, which tend to not be restrictive.

Read moreLas Vegas shooter converted guns to automatics with gadget

Some senior Republicans in Congress have even expressed a willingness to discuss some gun control measures — specifically legislation that would ban “bump stocks” like the ones used by Paddock in the Las Vegas shooting.

Republican Texas Senator John Cornyn said he had spoken with Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley about convening a hearing on the matter.

“If somebody can essentially convert a semi-automatic weapon by buying one of these and utilizing it and cause the kind of mayhem and mass casualties that we saw in Las Vegas, that’s something of obvious concern that we ought to explore,” Cornyn told reporters.

The devices, known as “bump stocks” are legal in the US and were originally intended to help people with limited hand mobility more easily fire semi-automatic rifles. The device can increase a rifle’s firing rate from 45 and 60 rounds per minute to between 400 and 800 rounds per minute.

Watch video00:51

Has Vegas changed how Americans feel about gun control?

rs/msh (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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