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Deadly Norway Attack Appears to be ‘Act or Terror’ by Man Converted to Islam

The suspect, armed with a bow and arrow, killed five people

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Norway Attack

On Wednesday night, 37-year-old Danish citizen Espen Andersen Brathen went on a killing spree with a bow and arrow, murdering four women and one man in the southern town of Kongsberg. Brathen “had converted to Islam and there were fears he had been radicalized” reports the BBC.

Norwegian police sent out a press release on Thursday saying the suspect is due to appear in court on Friday at 09:00 local time. Residents have been deeply traumatized by the attack, and are flying at half-mast while flowers and other memorials are being placed in the town’s square.

Victims were all between the ages of 50 and 70, police told reporters of the attack which was first reported at 18:12 on Wednesday. “Police confronted the man six minutes later, but he shot several arrows at them and escaped. He was eventually caught about 30 minutes later” reports the BBC.

The police chief said the man killed his victims after escaping police and before his arrest roughly 30 minutes later. Police told Norwegian news agency NTB that the attacker also used other weapons, without giving more details.

Residents were ordered to stay indoors so authorities could process and examine what is being determined as a large area of ground that the attacker covered. Police searched surrounding gardens and garages with the help of sniffer dogs.

A police lawyer told the public broadcaster NRK that the suspect will be assessed by psychiatrists. Police officers “nationwide were ordered to carry firearms as an extra precaution, but there is ‘no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level’ said the directorate’s statement.

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International

Iran Launches Missile Into Space As Biden Admin Fails To Negotiate New Nuclear Deal

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Joe Biden

On Sunday, Iran’s state television announced that the country had launched a solid-fueled rocket into space, drawing criticism from the United States ahead of plans for continued negotiations over the Iranian nuclear deal.

“It’s unclear when or where the rocket was launched, but the announcement came after satellite photos showed preparations at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s rural Semnan province, the site of Iran’s frequent failed attempts to put a satellite into orbit,” the Associated Press reported. “Iran had previously acknowledged that it planned more tests for the satellite-carrying rocket, which it first launched in February of last year.”

“Ahmad Hosseini, spokesman for Iran’s Defense Ministry, said Zuljanah, a 25.5 meter-long rocket, was capable of carrying a satellite of 220 kilograms (485 pounds) that would ultimately gather data in low-earth orbit and promote Iran’s space industry. Zuljanah is named for the horse of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad,” the Associated Press added.

According to the report, the White House is aware of Iran’s announcement and said the move was “unhelpful and destabilizing.”

Iran’s state-run media aired dramatic footage of the missile launch amid heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, which has accelerated as President Biden’s administration has failed to negotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran.

According to a report earlier this year, three Biden administration negotiators working on a renewed nuclear deal with Iran gave up and left the team because they thought that President Biden was being too weak in dealing with Iran during negotiations.

“U.S. officials confirmed over the weekend that Richard Nephew, the deputy special envoy for Iran, has left the team. Mr. Nephew, an architect of previous economic sanctions on Iran, had advocated a tougher posture in the current negotiations, and he hasn’t attended the talks in Vienna since early December,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Two other members of the team, which is led by State Department veteran Robert Malley, have stepped back from the talks, the people familiar said, because they also wanted a harder negotiating stance.”

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Economy

Biden Suggests Only Solution To Gas Prices Is Letting Putin Invade Europe

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Joe Biden

On Wednesday, President Biden suggested that the only solution to high gas prices is to allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade parts of Europe.

“For all those Republicans in Congress criticizing me today for high gas prices in America, are you now saying we were wrong to support Ukraine?” Biden said. “Are you saying we were wrong to stand up to Putin?  Are you saying that we would rather have lower gas prices in America and Putin’s iron fist in Europe?”

“I don’t believe that,” he continued. “Look, I get the easy politics of the attack.  I get that.  But the simple truth is gas prices are up almost $2.00 a gallon because of Vladimir Putin’s ruthless attack on Ukraine, and we wouldn’t let him get away with it.  And we’re doing everything we can to reduce this pain at the pump now.”

However, the increase in gas prices since Russia invaded Ukraine is closer to $1 than it is to $2. On February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, national gas prices were at $3.54 per gallon, and on June 22, the day of Biden’s speech, gas prices were at $4.95 per gallon – which is an increase of $1.41.

Gas prices began rising shortly after Biden took office. From January 20, 2021, to February 24, 2022, gas prices soared from $2.40 per gallon to $3.54 per gallon – an increase of nearly 50 percent.

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