Though it has a wingspan of 9 feet, the 3-D-printed drone unveiled at the Dubai Airshow earlier this week only weighs 33 pounds.
It can reach speeds up to 150 mph thanks to its lightweight build, owed to specific materials and overall design, and its jet engine.
“A primary goal for us was to show the aerospace industry just how quickly you can go from designing to building to flying a 3-D-printed jet-powered aircraft. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest, fastest and most complex 3-D-printed UAV ever produced,” said Dan Campbell, aerospace research engineer at Aurora Flight Sciences, which made the drone along with the 3-D printing company Stratasys.
Watch the drone in flight:
According to a news release from the company, Campbell said in a statement that the 3-D printing technology allowed them to cut design and build time by 50 percent. Overall, the drone was made with 80 percent 3-D-printed parts.
Special techniques were used to make sure the drone’s materials would be able to withstand the components they put on board.
“We elected to laser sinter the nylon fuel tank, and our thrust vectoring exhaust nozzle was 3-D printed in metal to withstand the extreme heat at the engine nozzle,” Scott Sevcik, aerospace and defense senior business development manager at Stratasys, said in a statement.
“Because Stratasys is able to produce parts that meet the flame, smoke, and toxicity requirements set by the FAA, ULTEM has become the 3-D printing material of choice for many of our aerospace customers for final production applications,” he continued.
The production of this drone using specialized lightweight materials can help reduce fuel use, thus lowering operational costs and environmental impacts, Sevcik said.
It had already been a tough year for Christopher Saulsberry.
“My mom was diagnosed with cancer in April, and she was gone in July,” he told KTVT-TV of his difficult 2014. ”We had just gotten back to Dallas from the funeral and everything.”
So in October 2014, Saulsberry’s wife suggested they get pedicures together at Hollywood Nails and Spa in McKinney, Texas — just a little treat to help them feel better.
Even though Saulsberry isn’t a pedicure enthusiast, he went along with it.
But after he and his wife sat down next to each other, Saulsberry said she looked over and said, “What’s going on with your feet?”
Submerged in water for just a few minutes, they were “blistering, bubbling up,” he told KTVT.
Saulsberry is a diabetic and said neuropathy in his feet dulled his sensory receptors, preventing him from feeling right away how hot the water was.
“I couldn’t put my socks and shoes on,” he told KTVT, adding that his feet were wrapped in towels for a trip to urgent care.
“The nurse had to get me a wheelchair and wheel me to the back,” Saulsberry told the station. “The doctor said, ‘You need a burn specialist.’”
“I’m thinking, ‘Do we have to cut a toe off or amputate?’” Saulsberry added.
No, but Saulsberry said he ended up with second-degree burns on his feet, which led to eight days in the hospital and six months with a home health-care nurse.
Tom Carse, Saulsberry’s attorney, has now filed a lawsuit against the salon for gross negligence, KTVT reported. He added that an engineer inspected the establishment’s water heaters and discovered both of them were set near 140 degrees.
And it takes less than five seconds to get a serious burn in water that hot, the station said, citing the Shriner’s institute.
Carse also filed a complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, KTVT said.
“Just a little bit of due diligence, you could protect so many people,” Saulsberry noted.
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University of Missouri students are reportedly encouraging one another to start arming themselves with “non-lethal weapons” in order to protect their “safe places” on campus.
According to a message obtained by the Young America’s Foundation that is being circulated among Mizzou students, black students and their “closest allies” plan to “occupy” the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center to hold a study hall in what has been deemed their “safe place.”
“Have pepper spray, taser, whatever non lethal weapon if possible,” the message, which students are encouraged to pass along through non-public platforms, states. “Help protect our safe place and spread the word so blacks can be protected.”
“What this is doing is creating a bunch of hysteria on campus,” a black Mizzou student in a campus leadership position, who wished to remain anonymous, told TheBlaze Wednesday afternoon. “Students are already scared and antsy on campus.”
Students and supporters on social media have also called for black students to arm themselves while on campus.
I hope the students at #Mizzou are safe I seen threats posted, protect and arm yourselves ! Don't run in fear because they are in plain view
— Dani (@thegiftedmuse) November 11, 2015
Students at Mizzou need to arm themselves if possible.
— Grizzito Bolivar (@ItsMeGrizz) November 11, 2015
Is mizzou a gun free zone? If not, then black students need to legally arm themselves. Its YOUR 2nd Amendment too. #PrayForMizzou
— Augustus Caeser (@Caese_Rulez) November 11, 2015
— Favorite (@InFamousFav) November 11, 2015
So if any Mizzou students follow me don't let these threats scare you but don't be careless. If you're gonna be on campus arm yourself
— Concrete (@Slick_Conseco) November 11, 2015
Arm up MIZZOU black students the cops or the university is not going to help you.
— Alex Mitchell Esq. (@CaptainRamshack) November 11, 2015
Black #Mizzou students should not be in fear of their lives!! We must arm ourselves. We have to start defending ourselves.
— Madame Afro Goddess (@colegirl_) November 11, 2015
@Mizzou black students please arm yourselves. Guns are your American right to possess.
— Brother Mouzone (@the5ivestrikes) November 11, 2015
The campus has been embroiled in racial tensions of late after a group of faculty and students — including black members of the school’s football team — demanded the resignation of the university’s president over the way he handled racial issues on campus. President Tim Wolfe resigned Monday.
A Mizzou journalism professor recently came under fire — and subsequently apologized — after a video of her attempting to bully a student reporter out of one of the so-called “safe spaces” on the public university’s campus went viral.
Mizzou’s student body president Payton Head also had to apologize after he published a Facebook status that claimed he was working with campus police, state troopers and the National Guard as the Ku Klux Klan had been spotted on campus. Head eventually deleted the status and posted a new one in which he apologized for spreading the “misinformation” he had received from “multiple incorrect sources.”
On Wednesday, police said they arrested a 19-year-old white teenager who is suspected of posting online threats to black students and faculty members on social media. The student, who goes to a sister campus, has not been formally charged.
(H/T: Young America’s Foundation)
An evangelical pastor in Northern Ireland who is going on trial next month after calling Islam “satanic” and “spawned in hell” during a 2014 sermon is imploring his countrymen to support his right to free speech.
“Again I appeal to every born-again child of God and every true servant of God to support me in my coming trial, by your presence and prayers, regarding the issue of free speech, freedom of conscience and ‘lawful’ liberty,” Pastor James McConnell recently wrote on his website.
He also warned other pastors that their sermons could be the next ones to be scrutinized.
As TheBlaze previously reported, McConnell, 78, who previously preached at Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast, Northern Ireland, made his comments — which included calling Islam “heathen” — in a sermon delivered in May 2014, the BBC reported.
“The Muslim religion was created many hundreds of years after Christ. Muhammad, the Islam Prophet, was born around the year A.D. 570, but Muslims believe that Islam is the true religion,” he preached. “Now, people say there are good Muslims in Britain. That may be so, but I don’t trust them.”
McConnell continued, “Islam’s ideas about God, about humanity, about salvation are vastly different from the teaching of the holy scriptures. Islam is heathen. Islam is satanic. Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.”
Watch the pastor’s controversial comments below:
He initially defended his sermon, but relented and apologized for offending anyone after a public outcry; the police were subsequently called to investigate him for a potential hate crime.
In his most recent statement on his website, McConnell addressed these issues, while calling for support.
“It began with the Muslim issue when I protested (through my sermon) concerning the young Muslim woman who was pregnant and had been converted to Christianity,” the pastor wrote. “She was to receive 80 lashes and possibly martyrdom. Thankfully she and her husband are now living in the United States. This was not mentioned in any of the Nolan Shows.”
His mention of the Nolan Shows appears to be a reference to BBC host Stephen Nolan, whose show McConnell appeared on in the wake of his Islam sermon last year; Nolan could be mandated to appear at McConnell’s trail as a witness, though the BBC and the host have both pushed back against his potential involvement.
In addition to asking his countrymen for support, McConnell went on to also speak directly to Muslims.
“I also appeal and challenge every Muslim who lives in this country. No-one is questioning your right to worship here and practice your religion,” he wrote. “If I was living in many Muslim countries in the world, I would be forbidden to practice my religion and would probably be imprisoned or even put to death for doing so. Yet you, as a Muslim, have perfect liberty here. So I appeal to you, come with me and protest.”
McConnell warned that Christians and preachers should watch his case closely and also step in to protest in his favor, as he said that the ramifications could be profound for every person of faith.
“If I am put in prison then, in a sense, you are also put in prison with me; for every sermon you preach and record will be examined and scrutinized!” he wrote. “Are you content, like many other people, to sit on the fence or in your ‘comfort’ zone and compromise? Do you not realise the importance of this hour? Your faith is being questioned, curtailed and muzzled!”
These are reflective of comments that McConnell made at a hearing back in September.
“I will stand firm for the gospel. I will not relent one inch,” he said. “This is important, not only for me, it is important for every minister of the gospel of every denomination of freedom of speech and freedom of worship. This is, I believe, a test case.”
McConnell’s trail is set to unfold from December 14-16 at the Laganside Courts in Balfast. The details of the case against McConnell are complex, as he is accused of violating the law after reportedly denying the issuance of an “informed warning,” which is not a conviction, though it stays on a person’s criminal record for the period of one year.
Accepting the informed warning would have prevented the pastor from being prosecuted in court.
A representative for the Public Prosecution Service in North Ireland told the BBC that McConnell had violated the Communications Act 2003 and that his offence was “one of sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive.”
See a screenshot of this portion of the law below:
But McConnell — who retired from Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle following the controversy — isn’t backing down, proclaiming in a past interview that he is “not going to be gagged.”
“The police tried to shut me up and tell me what to preach. It’s ridiculous. I believe in freedom of speech. I’m going to keep on preaching the gospel,” he said, according to the Guardian. “I have nothing against Muslims, I have never hated Muslims, I have never hated anyone. But I am against what Muslims believe.”
McConnell continued, “They have the right to say what they believe in and I have a right to say what I believe.”
As TheBlaze previously reported, Ashers Baking Company in Northern Ireland was also recently convicted of discrimination after refusing to make a cake with a message supporting gay marriage. The bakery is currently appealing.
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AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities confirmed Wednesday that nine people were killed when a small business jet crashed into an apartment building, and seven of them were employees or executives in a Florida real-estate company.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Haymaker said two pilots and seven passengers were killed aboard the 10-seat Hawker H25 when it clipped utility wires and crashed into a four-unit apartment building Tuesday afternoon in Akron, sparking a fire that destroyed the building. Nobody was home at any of the apartments, and there were no other injuries.
Pebb Enterprises, based in Boca Raton, said on its website that two executives and five employees died Tuesday afternoon when the plane crashed and burst into flames.
“Our hearts are broken this morning with the news of the tragic accident that took the lives of two principals and five employees of Pebb Enterprises,” the website said. “We are shocked and deeply saddened for the families, colleagues and friends of those who perished.”
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the jet to strike the Akron building with a huge bang, shaking furniture in homes several blocks away and leaving behind fiery debris.
The Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and other state and local officials planned to hold a news conference around noon at the crash site.
Family members say they were told by Ohio State Police that executive Diane Smoot was among those who perished in the crash. The 50-year-old Smoot was with a group of executives from Pebb Enterprises, a company that scouts locations for shopping malls, her sister told Cleveland.com.
The Summit County coroner on Wednesday sought the expertise of a forensics team from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, to help local officials at the site of the crash. The team specializes in crime scene and airplane crash recoveries of human remains.
The jet took off from Dayton and planned to land at Akron Fulton International Airport, about 2 miles from where it crashed. Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Haymaker said it clipped utility wires on the way down and crashed into the building, which was destroyed by a subsequent fire. The plane then hit an embankment beyond the building, causing a nearby house to also burn.
The plane burst into flames and disintegrated after impact.
There were no reports of any injuries on the ground, Haymaker said.
Witnesses said they heard explosions when the plane hit.
Carrie Willis lives several blocks away.
“I heard a big bang, and my couch shook twice,” Willis said.
Another witness, Roberta Porter, lives about a block away from the Akron crash site. She was driving home when she saw the plane crash into the building and burst into flames.
“This plane just dropped out of the sky, veered and crashed into the apartment building,” Porter said.
She said it’s scary to think that if she had been driving faster the plane might have clipped her car.
Veterans Day 2015 marks the launch of a new, original series of short videos from TheBlaze Radio and director Matt Roman, spotlighting the problems facing American military veterans who rely on the VA hospital system for medical care. According to Doc Thompson, co-host of “The Morning Blaze,” “We’re trying to put pressure on the VA and get it fixed,” adding, “These powerful and tragic stories put a human face on the horrific situation facing the people we owe the most — the people who sacrificed for our freedom.”
The first episode tells the story of deceased U.S. Army vet Nick Cutter from the perspective of his grieving mother.
After Cutter returned home from his 15 months of overseas deployment on the front lines in Iraq, he moved back home with his mother.
Cutter was back from Iraq, but he also brought something with him. Army Specialist Nick Cutter was fighting the demons of PTSD. He reportedly became involved with drugs and alcohol, turning to crime to support his habits.
Following a few run-ins with the law and her son’s PTSD causing him to withdraw from the world, Mary Zielinski was relieved when Nick finally reached out to her, saying, ”Mom, I need your help. Something’s horribly wrong.” Cutter ended up in the West Palm Beach VA hospital.
Mary Zielinski and Nick Cutter believed help for Nick’s PTSD would be found in the VA hospital system. It was not.
Nick Cutter’s outpatient treatment for his drug problems and PTSD was unsuccessful at the West Palm Beach hospital, and he eventually was granted admission to an inpatient program at the VA in Miami.
Checking into the residential program Oct. 1, 2012, Cutter began an eight-month stay that would end with his death following a weekend that reportedly included his “celebrating” the government finally designating the vet as “100 percent disabled.”
On June 1, 2013, while under VA care, Cutter was found dead of a drug overdose.
The initial reason given by the VA, according to his mom: He choked on a sandwich. “They thought he choked on a sandwich because he wasn’t breathing, they couldn’t resuscitate him,” a visibly upset Zielinski said. Zielinski said that she found out the actual cause of death by reading an Inspector General’s report on the incident.
Watch Mary Zielinski share the story of her son’s passing.
Do you have a story about an encounter you or a family member had with the VA? Contact The Morning Blaze.
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“Yesterday I saw black smoke rising
from artillery strikes against insurgents. Dust
floats chest high, I breathe in. Boots kick up dust
My rifle is slung cross body;
it’s safe here but I tap the rifle’s magazine;
tapping it reminds me how to keep safe.”
That’s an excerpt from a poem delivered by U.S. Marine Corps veteran and poet Maurice Emerson Decaul who fought in the Iraq War.
Decaul delivered the poem as part of HBO’s “Got Your Six” program, which works to normalize the depictions of veterans on film and television to dispel common myths about the veteran population and empower leaders here on the home front.
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Residents who showed up to a city council meeting to discuss the foreclosure and subsequent selling of their homes are upset after their representatives left the meeting without public comment to attend a pizza party instead.
The incident took place in Garden City, Michigan, outside of Detroit, Monday, but the town’s mayor told WXYZ-TV the meeting was meant to be a simple swearing in for new members and not include a public comment period.
To WJBK-TV, Mayor Randy Walker wondered about residents who hadn’t paid their taxes for years resulting in foreclosures, asking “Now what’s the rush?”
“It’s a happy occasion. We had food waiting. We had pizza coming out of the oven at 7:45,” Walker told the Detroit News of the council’s prior engagement.
Andrea Rowe told WJBK she felt the mayor and council members’ actions were “disgusting.
“You would rather go eat pizza than, the very people that voted you in, tell them to their face why their house is being taken from them?” Rowe, who has two homes in tax foreclosure, told the news station.
Some residents like Rowe said they were making payments on a plan through the county, but contend that the city then sold them to a developer before a tax sale deadline.
“This is a public meeting, get back out here,” someone was heard saying in video taken as council members left the room.
Tarek Beydoun, a lawyer for some of these residents, told WXYZ that the city had “exercised its right of first refusal and bought the homes before the residents could make good on their payment plans with Wayne County.”
“These are owner-occupant homes,” he continued. “These are people who have lived in the city for decades. These are people that came to address the city council today at an open meeting and were denied that right.”
Watch WXYZ’s report:
The News has more on some of the legality surrounding public comment at such meetings as well:
Leonard Niehoff, a University of Michigan law professor and Detroit News attorney, said the law requires some form of public comment at public meetings. Violations are misdemeanors punishable by fines of up to $1,000.
Walker said he feels for these residents, but “they had plenty of notice,” he told WJBK.
The now-viral cellphone clip is difficult to watch.
“Hey, Willie, come here! You want a sandwich?” a McDonald’s worker was seen asking the panhandler standing to the side of the drive-thru lane. “Come on, let me give you a sandwich, man.”
But the worker — holding out a sandwich box — gave him something else instead.
Once the man approached the window, the employee pulled the food back and tossed a cup full of water in his face.
“Oh, why you do that?” the man responded before walking away in the rain.
If that weren’t enough, occupants of the vehicle where the video was seemingly recorded were heard laughing just after the incident.
Here’s the clip. (Content warning: Strong language and racial slurs):
THIS BOLD ASF Worrrlllldddstar this what happens to panhandlers at McDonald's and yaw want $15 a hour I feel bad for laughing but that shit was funny asf #DOYOUAGREE This Shit Bold Asf Support Fullblownentmusic.com #fbe #scm #skeez #fresh #WorldStar #sofbe #soofficial #bigmad #lilmad
Posted by Ebhate Skeez on Thursday, November 5, 2015
As you might expect, the owner of the Detroit franchise fired the employee.
“I am very disturbed by the inappropriate behavior of this employee,” Wise Finley said in a statement to WXYZ-TV. “This type of behavior is not tolerated in my organization. I expect my employees to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and this was unacceptable. This individual no longer works for my organization.”
And now the man targeted in the the prank, Willie Payne Jr., is left to deal with what happened to him last week.
“I just walked away. Just made me a little upset and everything,” the 63-year-old told WXYZ on Tuesday. “You know, I barely have a little change to buy the things that I need. And [I was] thinking he was going to give me something, but he didn’t.”
The video was uploaded to Facebook by local rapper Ebhate Skeez on Nov. 6: ”THIS BOLD ASF Worrrlllldddstar this what happens to panhandlers at McDonald’s and yaw want $15 a hour I feel bad for laughing but that s**t was funny asf …” the caption read.
WXYZ said Skeez recorded the clip: “I thought it was real bug … we didn’t even know he was going to do that,” he told the station regarding the water-throwing prank.
As for the laughter, Skeez added that Payne and the McDonald’s worker had been arguing earlier and that “it was hilarious.”
Most have found nothing funny about anything in the video.
“How would you feel if someone did that to you or anyone else?” Payne responded when WXYZ asked what he would say to the employee who threw water at him.
“He’s a human being,” Payne’s friend Frank told WXYZ. “He’s not a throwaway.”
The station added that criminal charges could be pending against the former McDonald’s employee.
This story has been updated.
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A new clip from the explosive documentary about ex-abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell includes horrific claims from three women who were patients at his Philadelphia clinic prior to his arrest and first-degree murder conviction.
Those three women — Desiree, Davida and Marquieta — explained their harrowing experiences in a scene from “3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy,” a documentary that released on Tuesday through Tugg, a crowdsourcing web platform for filmmakers.
The women each shared how Gosnell reportedly responded harshly to their fears and pain during abortion procedures at the Women’s Medical Society, his now-shuttered clinic that has been dubbed a “house of horrors.”
Watch the scene below (caution: graphic and disturbing themes):
One of the women recalled crying during the procedure, alleging that Gosnell’s staff laughed at her. She said that the then-abortion doctor called her “feisty” and said to “just suck it up.”
Another one of the women said that she felt as though she couldn’t go through with the procedure once they put a heart monitor around her belly. But, despite her fears, she claims that Gosnell had very little compassion.
“He’s like, ‘Stop being a little baby’ and he’s pounding on my legs — ‘Stop being a little baby! Stop being a little baby!’”
The third patient reiterated this same sentiment, explaining that she, too, was told to simply suck it up.
These are disturbing, yet personal, stories that ”3801 Lancaster” director David Altrogge said were essential to include his film.
“We could not have made the film without these incredibly strong and brave women. They wanted to tell their stories,” he told TheBlaze. “It wasn’t easy. But they wanted people to know what Gosnell has done.”
At the start of the filmmaking process, Altrogge said that he knew it would be “absolutely crucial” to include patients’ stories. It was after he produced a short film about Gosnell back in 2013 that he said several woman came forward to share what they experienced at his clinic.
“Talking to these women really showed me the human face of the abortion issue. I think for many of us abortion has become an abstract political issue,” Altrogge said. “We forget that abortion affects real people — women and babies. We can’t forget that when we think and talk about abortion.”
“Until I really completed my first Genesis to Revelation reading of the Bible — which I did since I was incarcerated — I really didn’t feel as comfortable as I am,” Gosnell told filmmakers. “I think it’s Genesis 2:7, expresses the breath of life as the beginning of life that God breathed breath — breathed life — into Adam.”
He continued, “The Bible, to me, is very clear that life does not happen until breath.”
Watch that clip as well:
Yet another scene focuses on a failed experiment in 1972 during which Gosnell was accused of performing botched abortions and seriously injuring nine impoverished women.
“One of the questions that we wanted to answer … is how did this happen? How did he go on for so long. Why wasn’t he stopped earlier?” Altrogge told TheBlaze in a previous interview. “[This clip is] the first exploration of the first incident where Gosnell ran into legal trouble, evading unsafe abortion practices.”
See that clip below:
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Tim Valentine of North Carolina has died at age 89.
Sherry Peace with Wheeler and Woodlief Funeral Home in Rocky Mount said Valentine, of Nashville, died Tuesday.
The Democrat served in the House from 1983 to 1995, representing what was then the 2nd Congressional District. It included parts of the Raleigh-Durham area.
Valentine also was in the North Carolina House from 1955 to 1960.
Valentine served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He graduated from the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1948 and graduated from law school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1952.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says he grew up two blocks away from the Valentines. He says Valentine loved Nash County and North Carolina.
Police say a 13-year-old boy was home alone in Charleston County, South Carolina, when he went to grab his mother’s gun after he heard two alleged burglars try to break in from the back.
The boy, who police say feared for his life, fired through the door at 28-year-old Ira J. Bennett of North Charleston and 31-year-old Lamar Brown of Summerville. One of them fired back and both escaped inside a car. The boy then fired several more times as the two men drove away.
Neighbors said that around the same time they heard gunshots, they also saw a gray car speed away from the house. Police responded to the scene and recovered a Colt .45 pistol from the area where the suspects allegedly tried to break in, WHNS-TV reported.
Bennett was later arrested and Brown was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital not long after.
Police said that Bennett initially reported that someone had shot at the car while the two men were on the interstate.
Bennett was charged with first-degree burglary and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
The mother of the 13-year-old said she’s never witnessed any crime in her neighborhood since living there. The family left their home for the night because they didn’t feel safe.
CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill was being pelted with harsh criticism on Wednesday after he posted a photo of communist Cuban soldiers in celebration of Veterans Day.
He quickly deleted the Twitter and Instagram posts after social media users expressed outrage, though nothing on the Internet is ever really “deleted.”
Just as surprising was Hill’s excuse for posting the photo afterwards — he claimed he didn’t realize they were Cuban soldiers.
@nharmon I just realized that. And deleted.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 11, 2015
He also shared his thoughts on what Veterans Day means to him.
For me, Veteran's Day is not just about celebrating courageous service. It's also about committing to end unjust war and invest in veterans.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 11, 2015
It's one thing to honor Veterans. It's another, more important, thing to invest in resources so they return home with dignity and honor.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 11, 2015
It means nothing to honor soldiers while placing them in harm's way through our growing use of war as a primary instrument of foreign policy
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 11, 2015
UPDATE: Marc Lamont Hill responded to TheBlaze on Twitter after the publication of this story to further explain the Veterans Day photo, calling it a “non-story.” See his comments below:
@theblaze this is a non-story. I attempted to post a West African female battalion. Posted the wrong pic and deleted.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 11, 2015
@theblaze Im not afraid to post controversial stuff and stand by it. But that wasn't the case this time.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 11, 2015
@theblaze I wanted to give love to freedom fighters around the globe, especially women. Plus the image was beautiful!
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 11, 2015
@theblaze My beliefs on Veterans and Veteran's Day are clear. Probably different than your readers. But certainly transparent.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 11, 2015
The Israeli government blasted the European Union over its decision Wednesday to approve special guidelines for labeling Israeli — but not Palestinian — products made in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, territories Israel captured during the 1967 war. The new requirements would force Israeli producers denote that the products’ origins are outside the internationally recognized borders of Israel and, therefore, not “made in Israel.”
Asked about the expected ruling a day before, the U.S. State Department issued a conflicting response that appeared to excuse the European decision that a top Israeli official has called “disguised anti-Semitism.”
The Israel Foreign Ministry issued a statement Wednesday, saying that it “condemns the decision of the EU to label Israeli products originating from areas that are under Israeli control since 1967.”
The Israeli government accused the EU of taking “an exceptional and discriminatory step, inspired by the boycott movement, particularly at this time, when Israel is confronting a wave of terrorism.”
“It is puzzling and even irritating that the EU chooses to apply a double standard concerning Israel, while ignoring that there are over 200 other territorial disputes worldwide, including those occurring within the EU or on its doorstep,” the Israeli foreign ministry added.
An unnamed European Commission source told Reuters, “This is a technical measure, not a political one. … The occupied territory is not part of the sovereign state of Israel, so goods cannot be sold as ‘made in Israel.’”
The State Department on Tuesday would not take a position on the expected labeling decision, explaining that, while it opposes a boycott of the Jewish state, Israel should not be surprised if Europe moves to limit commercial relations with Israeli settlements.
Responding to a reporter question before the EU decision, Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, “We oppose efforts to isolate to delegitimize the state of Israel. That said, the longstanding bipartisan position on — of the United States on Israeli settlements has also not changed.”
“We believe settlements are illegitimate and are harmful to prospects for peace and to Israel’s long-term security. That said, if Israel continues to expand settlement activity, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to — if some in the international community pursue steps to limit commercial relations with the settlements, and this underscores the urgent need for Israel to change its policies with regard to settlements,” Toner added.
“On boycotts, we’re against boycotts. On settlements, we’re against settlements,” Toner said.
Israeli cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said before the EU decision that “we cannot conceive it but as some disguised anti-Semitism.”
In contrast with the State Department, a bipartisan group of 36 U.S. senators Monday sent a letter to the European Commission urging it to back off the labeling guidelines.
Led by Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), the senators wrote, “We urge you not to implement this labeling policy, which appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East.”
After 17 years serving his country, Andy Stumpf was frustrated.
Medically retiring as a Navy SEAL in 2013, Stumpf didn’t pay much attention to the news at first. But then, little by little, he started watching again and saw, what he said, was “all the hard work, in literal blood, sweat and tears, literally eroding one inch at a time.”
“It got to a point where I couldn’t even watch news anymore,” Stumpf, who in his career completed two pre-9/11 deployments and eight post-9/11 combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, told TheBlaze. “It was frustrating to be out of the military and not be able to do anything. Before, I could literally and figuratively get into fight, but now I was sitting on couch and not…able to do anything.”
What Stumpf could do, however, is skydive. His adrenaline-junkie passion of leaping out of planes is what he’s using now as a way to give back and do something.
“I thought, the second best thing I can do is support the guys that I used to work with and their families,” Stumpf said.
Stumpf is on a “Man on a Mission” to raise $1 million for the Navy SEAL Foundation and he’s increasing awareness toward that goal, in part, by jumping out of planes.
Earlier this month, Stumpf’s mission, which involved jumping from a plane in a wingsuit, had the possibility to break four world records. What the footage:
Though he only ended up breaking two — longest distance traveled in a wingsuit while in free fall and longest total distance flown in a wingsuit, including after his parachute was deployed — but he said he still considers it a victory.
In fact, he said he could have broken no records and would have considered it a success.
“I don’t care about the records. [The jump] was the only thing that I know how to do at this station in my life that I could do to be sexy enough to get people to look at it, so I could shift their focus [to the Navy SEAL Foundation],” Stumpf said.
What will be a “failure,” he said, is if he can’t reach his fundraising goal, for which slightly more than $67,500 has been donated toward so far.
“If I have to I’ll just go rob a bank,” Stumpf said jokingly.
This Veterans Day Stumpf said he hopes that people will not only focus on appreciating veterans but also the freedoms that those service members have fought for and continue to fight for.
“There are plenty of flaws in our country … but instead of focusing on the flaws, I just wish that most people would focus on the liberties and freedoms that they have and take for granted on a day-to-day level,” Stumpf said.
“There are groups of people who hate us for those freedoms that we’re allowed to have and we need people in the military who are willing to write a blank check to stand up for their country,” he said, noting that the cost sometimes includes giving up one’s life.
“Veterans Day is about appreciating people who served in both peacetime and in wartime. If you know a vet, go give the guy a high five and say thanks. If you don’t, take a minute to appreciate the things that we have in this country — the flaws and the freedoms — and just be thankful for it.”
Stumpf’s fundraising campaign for the Navy SEAL Foundation Survivor Support Program can be found on Go Fund Me.
Two men who are being described as white supremacists were planning to illegally purchase an automatic weapon, bombs and a pistol with a silencer for use against synagogues and black churches, according to the FBI.
The men — 34-year-old Robert C. Doyle and 33-year-old Ronald Beasley Chaney III — allegedly tried to purchase weapons from undercover FBI agents posing as weapons dealers prior to their arrests, the Associated Press reported.
Another man named Charles D. Halderman, 30, is also accused of plotting to rob an unnamed jeweler in an effort to get money to purchase the weapons that would be used by Doyle and Chaney.
An affidavit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Richmond by FBI agent James R. Rudisill claims that Doyle and Chaney “ascribe to a white supremacy extremist version of the Asatru faith.”
It’s a religious construct that the AP describes as “a pagan sect that emphasizes Norse gods and traditions.”
Agents became involved after learning that Doyle allegedly planned to hold a meeting at his home in September to discuss either bombing or shooting parishioners at black churches and Jewish synagogues, among other purported offenses.
Following that Sept. 27 meeting, an agent went undercover as a weapons seller to meet with both men.
While Chaney had his suspicions as to the identity of the faux buyer and was recorded saying, ”It just sounds like, it sounds like ATF to me. It sounds like a … fed operation,” Doyle wasn’t so skeptical, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
Doyle proceeded to place an order anyway, reportedly meeting with three undercover agents on Sunday with cash on hand in an attempt to purchase the weapons; Doyle and Chaney men were subsequently arrested.
Authorities later found 30 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition in Doyle’s possession.
Doyle and Chaney will head to court on Tuesday, with Halderman going before a judge on Friday; all three face multiple felony convictions.
Additionally, 58-year-old Ronald Beasley Chaney Jr. — father of one of the accused — is also facing firearms and drug charges after a search warrant was issued for his home. Terry Gunn Chaney, 52, who is believed to be his wife, is also facing charges.
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They sit in an old fallout shelter underneath the Maryland State Police headquarters in Pikesville.
More than 300,000 bullet casings — each one photographed and sealed in its own barcoded envelope and then stacked in boxes from the floor to the ceiling.
They’re the voluminous remains of a program launched back in 2000 that created a database of bullet casings from every single gun sold in the state with the hope that the “gun fingerprint” information would lead to forensic breakthroughs and solved crimes.
And after 15 years and $5 million in costs, how many cases has the program cracked?
And now the state has scrapped the whole thing, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Maryland passed a law in 2000 that required gun manufacturers to fire every handgun for sale in the state and then deliver the bullet casings to authorities, the Sun noted. And that’s where the “gun fingerprint” database came into play.
While markings etched on a bullet casing can indentify the gun from which it was fired, technological issues doomed the Maryland program.
For one thing, when investigators submitted bullet casings from crime scenes, the computerized imaging program sometimes returned hundreds of matches. The state sued the manufacturer in 2009 for $1.9 million, settling three years later for $390,000, the Sun reported.
Indeed the program has helped investigations somewhat — 26 times since it was launched. But in each instance authorities already knew about the gun, state police told the Sun.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” former Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening, whose administration was behind the program’s launch, told the paper. “It’s a little unfortunate, in that logic and common sense suggest that it would be a good crime-fighting tool.”
Others disagree. “There’s things that they could have done that would have made sense,” Frank Sloane, owner of Pasadena Gun & Pawn in Anne Arundel County, told the Sun. “This didn’t make any sense.”
After a new gun control law passed in 2013, Maryland gun sales spiked and the “fingerprint” law triggered a huge backlog for the program, which had to hire eight people just to organize almost 60,000 new casings that had come in. By the fall of 2014, state police said the program had solved no crimes, the Sun reported.
“If there was any evidence whatsoever — any evidence — that this was helpful in solving crimes, we wouldn’t have touched it,” state Sen. Bobby Zirkin, a Democrat, told the paper. “The police came in and said it was useless. No one contradicted that.”
Gun manufacturers weren’t happy, complaining for most of the program’s existence that they were firing rounds from brand-new guns for no reason.
“It drove the gun collectors nuts,” Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley told the Sun. “It’s like a car. As soon as you drive it off the lot, it loses value.”
When the ballistic fingerprinting law was repealed effective Oct. 1, bullet casings were no longer required to be sent in — and the General Assembly said state police could sell off its inventory for scrap.
(H/T: Baltimore Sun)
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continued to express his dislike of eminent domain while defending it as at times “needed” — such as in the case of the Keystone Pipeline — after Tuesday night’s GOP debate.
Speaking with a reporter from MRC-TV after the debate, Trump said as president, he would “need it on occasion.”
“You need to build roads, you need to build highways. I don’t like eminent domain, but you do need it to build roads, highways, and as an example, the Keystone Pipeline,” Trump said. “You’re not going to build it unless you use eminent domain.”
Trump has previously discussed his caveat when it comes to eminent domain, saying he would use it only if it creates jobs. In an interview with Fox News last month, Trump admitted that he had battled with a woman in Atlantic City who refused to give him her property so that he could expand a hotel. However, he said he he was actually grateful that the woman didn’t concede to him as it “saved him a fortune” when he decided to pull out of the New Jersey beach town.
The business mogul has come under fire from conservatives for his opinions on the government taking private property as, at times, a “necessary thing.”
“I am all for private property rights,” Trump told the Washington Examiner last week while in New Hampshire. “There’s nobody who wants property taken away less than I do, believe me. I would lose a lot of money if my property were taken away. But when you’re building a road, when you’re building a highway, when you’re building whatever it is you’re building from a municipal standpoint, you may need a corner of a piece of property.”
“If you’re going to create 10,000 jobs for a town that’s in trouble and you need a piece of property, I’ll tell you what folks, I want to create jobs and I want to give the people that own that property more than it’s worth,” Trump said.
At least one protester reportedly stomped and attempted to burn an American flag in downtown Milwaukee outside of the GOP debate on Tuesday night.
But the protester likely didn’t expect the anti-America demonstration to result in an inspiring pro-America moment involving police officers.
When the protester was done trying to destroy the U.S. flag, three Milwaukee police officers reportedly used a fire extinguisher to put out the flag.
Police officers Joel Rossman, Jedidiah Thompson and Jutiki X were then captured on video picking up the flag, ceremoniously folding and then saluting it.
“The flag was taken to be inventoried for possible charges against the protester,” the Milwaukee Police Department wrote in a Facebook post. “Milwaukee police officers later conducted a small, dignified ceremony to properly fold the flag before placing it on inventory.”
Watch the video below:
OFFICERS CEREMONIOUSLY FOLD AMERICAN FLAG BURNED BY PROTESTER
OFFICERS CEREMONIOUSLY FOLD AMERICAN FLAG BURNED BY PROTESTERMilwaukee Police Officers Joel Rossman, Jedidiah Thompson and Jutiki X gave honors to a flag tattered and burned by a protester.This evening brought thousands to downtown Milwaukee for the theater, basketball game and the debate. During one demonstration, a protester set an American Flag on fire.Milwaukee Police Officers, seeing the burning flag in the crowd, immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. The plume from the fire extinguisher prompted reports of tear gas being used. These reports were false.The flag was taken to be inventoried for possible charges against the protester.Milwaukee police officers later conducted a small, dignified ceremony to properly fold the flag before placing it on inventory.
Posted by Milwaukee Police Department on Tuesday, November 10, 2015
(H/T: American Mirror)
Israelis took to Facebook this week to urge NBC to fire Ayman Mohyeldin, accusing the reporter of filing biased and inaccurate dispatches from Israel.
In a Hebrew video that has been viewed more than 650,000 times so far, the NBC foreign correspondent is presented Pinocchio-like, with a digitally-elongated nose.
The video, prepared by the Israeli group “The Kind Ones,” included photos of people holding up signs that read “#FireTheLiar.”
— orli sagi (@SagiOrli) November 8, 2015
The group pledged to screen a video in New York’s Times Square in two weeks, which will include more photos of people holding the “fire the liar” sign.
Mohyeldin has previously been accused of skewed reporting from Israel and Gaza. Most recently, he was corrected live on-air last month by MSNBC anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, who took issue with the reporter’s assertion that a Palestinian who charged at Israelis while holding a knife was empty-handed.
Mohyeldin’s camera crew captured video of the October incident in Jerusalem, which showed the Palestinian holding a knife. However, the NBC correspondent presented the incident as an unprovoked shooting by Israeli police, saying, “Both of his hands were open and both of his hands did not have a knife.”
The pro-Israel website The Tower recently surveyed other controversial reports from Mohyeldin:
During Operation Protective Edge last year, NBC pulled Mohyeldin out of Gaza after he sarcastically accused Israel of killing four teens in a Facebook post, writing: “The #US State Department Spokesperson just said that #Hamas is ultimately responsible for #Israel shelling and killing 4 boys who were cousins aged 9-11 because Hamas didn’t accept the #ceasefire. Discuss among yourselves.”
He was later sent back to Gaza, where he reported that an Israel drone had struck a hospital. NBC was forced to delete a portion of his report in which he claimed that he had seen an Israeli drone fire at the hospital. An Italian journalist who had actually witnessed the attack confirmed that Hamas, not Israeli forces, had been responsible for the rocket strike that destroyed the hospital.
Prior to joining NBC, Mohyeldin worked for Al Jazeera. In 2009 the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s ombudsman upheld a complaint against Mohyeldin, stating that one of his reports — asserting that some United Nations employees had “obviously been targeted” by Israel — “did not meet the standards of accuracy and fairness within the CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices.”
Israelis are on edge following a wave of multiple daily Palestinian stabbing attacks and other assaults that began in September, which have been enthusiastically encouraged on Palestinian social media and in official Palestinian Authority media outlets.
The Kind Ones – the group behind the #FireTheLiar video – describes its mission as encouraging Israelis to perform acts of kindness. It has also recruited citizen volunteers to guard Israeli pre-schools during the wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks.
TheBlaze emailed NBC seeking comment and will update this post with any response.
(H/T: Times of Israel)
Asked whether he would follow the lead of newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and hire 50 percent women in his cabinet, Donald Trump responded by saying he would not but noted that he already employs “about 50 percent” women at his companies.
MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Trump the question in New Hampshire Wednesday, just hours after the GOP frontrunner participated in the fourth GOP presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“The new prime minister of Canada has pledged to hire 50 percent women — 15 men, 15 women — in his cabinet and he was asked why, and he said because it’s 2015,” Brzezinski told Trump.
Brzezinski then asked the billionaire businessman if he would make a similar pledge to appoint women to his presidential cabinet.
“Well, I think you know a lot about my company, and I have many, many women in my company. Probably more than almost anybody, proportionally,” Trump replied. “It’s just about 50 percent. It might even be more than 50 percent.”
“So I’m not one that has to make a pledge, and I wouldn’t want that because I will tell you, I want the best person at each position,” Trump added.
Watch the interview below (relevant portion begins around 14:28):
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As two armed men walked into Daysi Baquiax’s title store to rob her, Baquiax’s reaction had one man focusing more on her well-being than on stealing from the store.
“I said, ‘You can shoot me, I just had surgery. I have a lot going on in my life,” Baquiax told one of the robbers, according to KHOU-TV.
Baquiax said that she lost it when the men walked into her store to rob her and that she didn’t realize the extent of her reaction or what really happened until she saw the surveillance footage later. As she was clearly distressed about what was taking place, she said one of the armed men approached her, but instead of harming her, he put his arm around her and attempted to comfort her.
“He said, ‘no, I’m not going to hurt you. God has a purpose for you,’” she recalled the one man telling her.
While the one robber comforted her, the other man stole a hard drive and cash, KHOU reported. The man who comforted the woman did take a laptop and warned her not to come out of the store.
According to KHOU, police are investigating the incident, which was all caught on surveillance footage,
“It’s kind of shocking, but like I said, you know, I do believe God has a purpose for me, and it’s not, I can’t go right now,” Baquiax told KHOU.
Somber faces. Slow nods. Tight lips. Matter-of-fact stories.
This was how veterans talked about the first time they killed someone at war and shared other thoughts about morality and killing and when it’s acceptable, or not, outside of wartime.
“I was down and all I could see was his head and shoulders. He had a hard hat on and then I saw the red emblem,” Lonnie, who served as an infantry soldier in the Vietnam War, said, pointing to his shoulder. “It was definitely, it was.
“And then when I could see a silhouette,” Lonnie continued, pausing for a good 10 seconds, “I blasted him.”
“Silhouettes, they’re not real people, they’re just targets,” he said, almost as if to himself.
Some of the veterans described killing during wartime as an “out-of-body experience,” and others got even more specific in the footage produced and posted by Watchcut Video.
“If there’s a hell, that’s probably what it smells like there. It penetrates you and it won’t go away for a long time,” Dan, an infantry machine gunner, during the Vietnam War said.
Then came how the veterans felt about the morality of it. Some expressed that they knew it was wrong, while others said they didn’t feel guilt over such deaths during war.
“I know it’s not right, it’s not right to do this but I have to,” Qassim, an infantry soldier in the Iraq-Iran War, said.
In contrast, Lonnie said, “I didn’t give a f*** who he was, I was trying to keep me alive.”
Watch the full less than 10-minute video where veterans share their personal thoughts on killing at war (Content warning: Some strong language):
COLUMBIA, Mo. (TheBlaze/AP) — University of Missouri police said Wednesday they have arrested a suspect accused of making online threats against black students and faculty, threats that added to racial tensions on campus that resulted in the departure of two senior university officials.
Police said they arrested 19-year-old Hunter Park around 1:50 Wednesday morning, the Columbia Tribune reported. Park was not on or near the university’s Columbia campus when the threat was made.
— R. Bowen Loftin (@bowtieger) November 11, 2015
“We had additional officers on patrol last night and the campus remained safe,” Major Brian Weimer said in a statement. “We investigated a number of reports and tips and take every one of them seriously.”
The online posts discovered on the anonymous location-based messaging app YikYak and other social media Tuesday threatened to “shoot every black person I see.”
The threats follow the resignations Monday of the university system’s president and the Columbia campus’ chancellor after student protests over the university’s handling of complaints about racism.
There were other threats, and authorities didn’t say if additional arrests are possible. Another threat said: “Some of you are alright. Don’t go to campus tomorrow.” The message seemed to echo one that appeared on the website 4chan – a forum where racist and misogynistic comments are common – ahead of the deadly campus shooting at an Oregon community college last month.
The posts were widely disseminated across the Internet and local media.
Weimer told The Associated Press additional officers were already on campus before the university learned of the threats. University police were working with other state and local agencies to ensure the campus was secure, he said.
A university spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for further comment, but the school’s online emergency information center tweeted, “There is no immediate threat to campus,” and asked students to not spread rumors.
— MU Alert (@MUalert) November 11, 2015
On campus about 8 a.m. Wednesday, student foot traffic was muted as Steven Loughrige made his way to class. He said he never took the threats seriously because they appeared on social media.
“I’m just disappointed that it escalated,” said Loughrige, a white junior studying engineering.
It has been a tumultuous week for the flagship campus of the University of Missouri system.
The student government president reported in September that people shouted racial slurs at him from a passing pickup truck, galvanizing the weekslong protest movement. A graduate student went on hunger strike to demand the resignation of university system President Tim Wolfe over his handling of racial complaints, then more than 30 members of the Missouri football team went on strike in his support. Those developments came to a head Monday with the resignation of Wolfe and hours later, the top administrator of the Columbia campus, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, was forced out.
A plaza that had been the site of a sit-in by protesters was entirely empty Tuesday night and only a handful of students were seen walking around campus. Police officers from the campus department and city of Columbia were on patrol.
Gaby Rodriguez, a senior, said she was at work when she heard about the online threats.
“It’s really disheartening and proves the point of why these protests and boycotts were necessary,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt this unsafe at Mizzou,” she said, referring to the college by its nickname.
Some students, faculty and alumni have said the protests and top leaders’ resignations are the culmination of years of racial tension.
Among other recent events, members of the Legions of Black Collegians, whose founders include a recently retired deputy chancellor, said slurs were hurled at them by an apparently drunken white student while practicing for a homecoming performance.
The university has promised changes.
Chuck Henson, a black law professor and associate dean, was appointed Tuesday as the university’s first-ever interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity.
The university system’s governing body, the Board of Curators, also announced a number of other initiatives, including more support for the hiring and retention of diverse faculty and staff and a full review of all policies related to staff and student conduct.
Former Vice President Al Gore declined to endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, even though he served eight years as her husband’s No. 2, People magazine reported.
“It’s still too early, in my opinion, to endorse a candidate or pick a candidate,” Gore told People.
Such a reluctance to back the likely Democratic presidential nominee could represent the long-suspected rift between Clinton and Gore.
“Everybody can look at how the presidential campaign is developing and get some pretty clear ideas about how they think it’s going to turn out, but I still think it’s premature,” Gore said. “The election is still a full year away. I think I’ll wait to wade into it.”
Clinton appears to be the overwhelming front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary, though Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has mounted a stronger than expected campaign.
Gore reportedly blamed Bill Clinton for his loss in the 2000 campaign to George W. Bush, asserting the Monica Lewinsky scandal made voters want to punish Democrats. Former President Clinton reportedly argued that Gore didn’t campaign enough on the Clinton record.
Since his losing campaign, where he won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College after a prolonged contest in Florida, Gore became a climate crusader, warning about the evils of global warming. He picked up a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar along the way.
Asked about reports that his supporters urged him to enter the 2016 presidential race, Gore was dismissive without outright denying it.
“I have taken no steps whatsoever in the direction of a candidacy and my answer has been the same for 10 years now — or more — and you probably heard my answer before: I’m a recovering politician and the longer I go without a relapse, the less likely one becomes,” the former vice president said.