Christchurch gun shop sold rifles online to accused shooter
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — A Christchurch gun shop on Monday acknowledged selling guns online to the 28-year-old white supremacist accused of killing 50 people in mosque shootings that have upturned New Zealand's reputation as among the world's most tolerant and safe nations.
At a news conference, Gun City owner David Tipple said the store sold four guns and ammunition to Brenton Harrison Tarrant through a "police-verified online mail order process."
He said none of the weapons were military style semi-automatic weapons. Calling for gun laws to be tightened, New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said the attacker used five guns, two of them semi-automatic, which were purchased with an ordinary gun license and modified.
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It was not clear if any of the firearms Tarrant purchased from Gun City were used in Friday's shootings.
"We detected nothing extraordinary about this license holder," Tipple said, referring to the shooter. Tipple said he and staff are "dismayed and disgusted" by Friday's shootings.
New Zealand citizens open to gun reform after massacre
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The New Zealand leader's promise of tightened gun laws in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings has been widely welcomed by a stunned population.
Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern said her Cabinet will consider the details of the changes on Monday. She has said options include a ban on private ownership of semi-automatic rifles that were used with devastating effect in Christchurch and a government-funded buyback of newly outlawed guns.
While curtailing gun owners' rights is a political battleground in the United States, Christchurch gun owner Max Roberts, 22, predicted Ardern won't face serious opposition to her agenda.
"There will be no opposition to it. There's no movement in New Zealand for that. Our media and politics are more left wing," said Roberts, a carpenter who uses guns for hunting.
Elliot Dawson, who survived the shooting at Christchurch's Linwood mosque by hiding in a bathroom, hopes New Zealand follows Australia's lead on gun control.
Stories of the victims of the New Zealand mosque attack
An attack on a New Zealand mosque took the lives of 50 worshippers Friday and left dozens more wounded when a white supremacist opened fire and live-streamed the shootings. Here are the stories of some of those killed and wounded.
Farid Ahmed refuses to turn his back on his adopted home, despite losing his 45-year-old wife, Husna Ahmed, in the Al Noor mosque attack. They had split up to go to the bathroom when it happened.
The gunman livestreamed the massacre on the internet, and Ahmed later saw a video of his wife being shot. A police officer confirmed she died.
Ethiopia minister: 'Clear similarities' in Boeing crashes
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Preliminary information from the flight data recorder of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed a week ago and killed 157 people shows "clear similarities" with an earlier disaster involving the same kind of Boeing aircraft in Indonesia, Ethiopia's transport minister said Sunday.
The disclosure came as thousands marched in the capital of Addis Ababa, accompanying 17 empty caskets at a funeral for the Ethiopian victims of Flight 302. The caskets were empty because authorities have said that recovering and identifying the remains will take months.
The crash of Ethiopian Flight 302 on March 10 and that of a Lion Air plane in Indonesia in October — both of them Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliners — have prompted the United States and other countries to ground the aircraft.
The flight recorders from Flight 302 that went down shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa for Nairobi were recovered "in a good condition that enabled us to extract almost all the data inside," Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges told reporters.
Information collected so far from the flight data recorder has indicated "clear similarities" between both crashes, she said. Both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were sent to Paris for analysis by the French air accident investigation agency BEA.
Zion sets doubts aside, gets ready for NCAA's biggest party
The clock is ticking. The rest of college basketball has three weeks to figure out how to stop Duke's freshman force of nature, Zion Williamson.
Williamson and the Blue Devils got the overall top seed in the tournament, while Gonzaga and two more Atlantic Coast Conference teams — North Carolina and Virginia — also received No. 1 seeds. Three teams in one conference on the top line matches a record, and offers the selection committee's guess as to who has the best chance to slow down Duke.
The Blue Devils opened as a 9-4 favorite to win it all.
Williamson, the 6-foot-7 man-child averaging 22 points and nine rebounds and a near-certain top pick in the upcoming NBA draft, is putting his future on the line — along with hundreds of millions in potential earnings — all in hopes of adding his own chapter to the history of America's most dream-indulged hoops extravaganza. He's doing it only four weeks after wrenching his knee when his Nike sneaker blew out and sent him crashing to the floor. He missed five games. He wouldn't dare miss this.
"Everybody has their right to their own opinion, but I knew I was coming back the whole time," Williamson said in his return last week, when he led Duke to its 21st ACC tournament title.
Puzzling number of men tied to Ferguson protests have died
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Two young men were found dead inside torched cars. Three others died of apparent suicides. Another collapsed on a bus, his death ruled an overdose.
Six deaths, all involving men with connections to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, drew attention on social media and speculation in the activist community that something sinister was at play.
Police say there is no evidence the deaths have anything to do with the protests stemming from a white police officer's fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, and that only two were homicides with no known link to the protests.
But some activists say their concerns about a possible connection arise out of a culture of fear that persists in Ferguson 4 ½ years after Brown's death, citing threats — mostly anonymous — that protest leaders continue to receive.
The Rev. Darryl Gray said he found a box inside his car. When the bomb squad arrived, no explosives were found but a 6-foot (1.8-meter) python was inside.
More evacuations in Midwest as floodwaters head downstream
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Residents in parts of southwestern Iowa were forced out of their homes Sunday as a torrent of Missouri River water flowed over and through levees, putting them in a situation similar to hundreds of people in neighboring Nebraska who have been displaced by the late-winter flood.
Heavy rainfall and snowmelt have led to dangerously high water in creeks and rivers across several Midwestern states, with the Missouri River hitting record-high levels in many areas. At least two deaths were blamed on flooding, and two other men have been missing for days.
While river depths were starting to level off in parts of Nebraska on Sunday, the water is so high in many places that serious flooding is expected to remain for several days. And downstream communities in Kansas and Missouri were bracing for likely flooding.
In Iowa, the Missouri River reached 30.2 feet (9.2 meters) Sunday in Fremont County in the state's far southwestern corner, 2 feet (0.6 meter) above the record set in 2011. People in the towns of Bartlett and Thurman were being evacuated as levees were breached and overtopped.
County Emergency Management Director Mike Crecelius said it wasn't just the amount of the water, it was the swiftness of the current that created a danger.
Beto O'Rourke says nothing in his past will hinder 2020 run
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke told supporters Sunday that he's never taken LSD and there's "nothing" he hasn't already revealed about his past that could come back to hurt his run for office.
The former Texas congressman — who has become known for his propensity for using the "f-word" — also promised again to clean up his language, despite breaking such past vows.
O'Rourke grabbed much attention as he wrapped up his first week of campaigning, but his challengers could be found at events from the Upper Midwest to the South. And looming over them all is the shadow of one prominent Democrat not in but not out, former Vice President Joe Biden. He has yet to announce a decision.
Speaking in front of a large map of Russia inside a coffee shop in Wisconsin's capital, O'Rourke promised to return often, addressing concerns Democrats raised in 2016 after Hillary Clinton never campaigned in the state after her party's primary and lost the state to Donald Trump by fewer than 23,000 votes.
"This state is fundamental to any prospect we have of electing a Democrat to the presidency in 2020," O'Rourke said, adding that he was "really glad" Milwaukee was chosen to host the 2020 Democratic national convention. The city, which O'Rourke was visiting later Sunday, beat out Miami and Houston.
Native Americans say movement to end 'redface' is slow
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — John Little can hardly go a week without a reminder that he and other Native Americans often are viewed as relics of the past: the Indian maiden on the butter container at the grocery store, the kids' teepees sold at popular retailers and the sports fans with their faces painted doing tomahawk chops at games.
But he doesn't hear widespread outrage over these images that many Native Americans find offensive, even as the country has spent most of the year coming to grips with blackface and racist imagery following the revelation of a racist photo on the Virginia governor's college yearbook page. Since then, new examples have surfaced regularly, most recently a TV host who painted her face brown in a parody of Oscar-nominated Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio.
"These are everyday realities for Native people," said Little, a Standing Rock Sioux tribal member.
Redface may get less attention because of ingrained misconceptions and feelings of entitlement to Native American culture and land, scholars say. Native Americans also are a relatively small group, making up less than 2 percent of the U.S. population. Blacks, by comparison, make up around 13 percent.
Convincing the masses that stereotyping Native Americans as savage, ignorant or humorless is insulting has been a slow movement, scholars say, and one they aren't sure will gain steam.
Dick Dale, King of Surf Guitar, 'Miserlou' composer, is dead
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dick Dale, whose pounding, blaringly loud power-chord instrumentals on songs like "Miserlou" and "Let's Go Trippin'" earned him the title King of the Surf Guitar, has died at age 81.
His former bassist Sam Bolle says Dick Dale passed away Saturday night. No other details were available.
Dale liked to say it was he and not the Beach Boys who invented surf music — and some critics have said he was right.
An avid surfer, Dale started building a devoted Los Angeles fan base in the late 1950s with repeated appearances at Newport Beach's old Rendezvous Ballroom. He played "Miserlou," ''The Wedge," ''Night Rider" and other compositions at wall-rattling volume on a custom-made Fender Stratocaster guitar.
"Miserlou," which would become his signature song, had been adapted from a Middle Eastern folk tune Dale heard as a child and later transformed into a thundering surf-rock instrumental.