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June 21, 2016

FBI release transcript of Orlando shooter\’s 911 call

FBI release transcript of Orlando shooter’s 911 call

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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An unredacted transcript and timeline of events of Omar Mateen’s attack at Pulse Nightclub was publicly released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s Tampa division on Monday, following the criticism of Paul Ryan, current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and others of an edited transcript initially released. The press release includes an uncensored 911 call between Mateen and an operator where he pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, the night he shot 49 people at the gay bar in Orlando, Florida.

According to friends and family, Mateen was a member of the gay community and had been to the nightclub several times.

Speaker Ryan made a public statement that selectively editing the transcript was “preposterous”. He said in his statement, “We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS […] The administration should release the full, unredacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this and why.”

During the 50-second phone conversation with the 911-operator, Mateen pledged his loyalty to al-Baghdadi on behalf of the Islamic State. However Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, has stated they were not able to find any connection between Mateen and the Islamic State.

Three negotiation calls lasting nine, fifteen and three minutes occurred after the initial 911 call. Throughout the calls Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier and said to the negotiators to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq, and this is why he was “out there right now.”

The transcript shows Mateen threatened he had a vest like the ones “used in France”, and that his vehicle outside of the club contained bombs. He also stated, “In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on.” A search of his vehicle and person on scene revealed no explosives or vests. Special agent in charge in Orlando, Ronald Hopper, said there’s no evidence Mateen was directed by a foreign-armed group.

The Tampa Divison stated in Monday’s press release they will not be releasing the audio of Mateen’s call, or any audio and transcripts of the victim’s calls out of respect for the victims and their families.



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June 12, 2016

At least 50 dead in shooting at Florida nightclub

At least 50 dead in shooting at Florida nightclub

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

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In the early morning hours of today, according to police, a man by the name of Omar Mateen entered Pulse Nightclub, a gay club in Orlando, Florida, and opened fire. 50 people were killed and 53 were hospitalized.

It is now the largest mass shooting in United States history, with the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary shootings the closest behind. The shooter today used an automatic rifle according to one account; took hostages, and was eventually killed in a gun battle with SWAT units.

Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, said in remarks to NBC News the attack was not about religion. The shooter allegedly called 911, the emergency phone number in the United States, and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. ISIS has claimed responsibility, according to a tweet from Reuters India. Reportedly, many have praised the attack on pro-ISIS forums.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has declared a state of emergency.

According to Orlando Police Chief John Mina, “It appears [Omar Mateen] was organized and well-prepared”.

“It’s just shocking […] just one after another after another […] It could have lasted a whole song”, commented Christopher Hansen, who was getting a drink when gunshots rang out.



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March 26, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, March 26, 2012.

Australian Broadcasting Company releases content to Wikimedia under free license

The first broadcast on ABC, November 5, 1956

In lieu of the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) turning 80 this year, they have decided to release a collection of historic audio and visual content under a Creative Commons free license for use on Wikipedia and for use by the public. Project officer Liam Wyatt hopes that “this release from the Australian public broadcaster will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship with the Wikimedia projects and the Wikimedia community, and encourage other broadcasters – especially those that are publicly funded – to join us.”

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3.1 earthquake aftershock rattles central Virginia

Another aftershock has rattled central Virginia last night. The 3.1-magnitude earthquake was focused around Mineral, Virginia which served as the epicenter for an August 2011 earthquake that was strong enough to damage American landmarks in Washington, D.C. like the Washington Monument. It was felt as far away as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Charlotte, North Carolina. As of press time, no damage was reported.

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Central Chile rocked by second earthquake in 24-hours

Central Chile experienced two earthquakes within 24 hours. Saturday morning, at 4:28 a.m., a magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook Santiago. No injuries or damages were reported. A second earthquake, of 7.1-magnitude, took place on Sunday, at 6:37 p.m. in Maule, which is approximately 219 kilometers south-south-west of Santiago. As of this report, no injuries or major damages have been reported. Coastal evacuations are being promoted by authorities, however, the Chilean Navy is doubtful of a tsunami.

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Tiger Woods secures first PGA Tour win in 30 months

Tiger Woods is back.
Image: Angela George.

American pro golfer Tiger Woods has secured his first PGA Tour win in 30 months, winning at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. This makes his seventh Arnold Palmer Invitational. Woods beat runner up Graeme McDowell, posting a score of two-under 70. “Tiger’s back,” stated Jay Busbee of Yahoo! Sports.

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New leader of Hong Kong chosen while protestors seek ‘true democracy’

Leung Chun-ying was declared the new Chief Executive of Hong Kong today. He won 689 out of 1,193 election committee votes. Pro-democracy protests took place throughout the weekend, including the protestors waiting for the election committee upon their arrival at the convention center to cast their votes. The demonstrators also attempted to storm the convention center, and when election results were announced the police used pepper spray to ward off the protestors. Demonstration organizer Avery Ng describes Hong Kong as not being a “true democracy,” with other protestors believing that Hong Kong would never gain the right to vote, which would be given to them by China.

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September 1, 2011

Florida schools begin to enforce new statewide ban on saggy pants and other revealing attire

Florida schools begin to enforce new statewide ban on saggy pants and other revealing attire

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

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Saggy pants
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With the start of a new academic year, schools throughout the US state of Florida are beginning to enforce a new law that bans students from wearing revealing attire.

The state legislature overwhelmingly voted earlier this year to prohibit male students from wearing their pants so low such that their underwear is exposed. Girls are also not allowed to wear low-cut and midriff-exposing shirts. Signed by Governor Rick Scott in June, the law comes into effect during the 2011-2012 school year. Florida joined Arkansas as the only states with such widespread bans against saggy pants.

The law only applies on school campuses. Principals are required to issue a verbal warning to first-time offenders and call their parents. Students who repeatedly violate the law may be punished with up to three days of in-school suspension and up to one month of suspension from extracurricular activities.

Gary Siplin, a Democratic State Senator from Orlando, had pushed for the ban for six years. An African American, he disagreed with accusations by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that the law infringes upon individual freedom and targets minority students. Citing a need to encourage professionalism and preparedness for college, he said “I’m not going to hire anyone, white or black, with saggy pants. I want to make sure our kids qualify.”

On Monday Siplin handed out a dozen belts donated by a local church to students wearing saggy pants at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando. Another 100 were donated to two other predominantly minority schools as students began their first week of classes last week.



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August 18, 2010

Lucas announces Star Wars for Blu-ray

Lucas announces Star Wars for Blu-ray – Wikinews, the free news source

Lucas announces Star Wars for Blu-ray

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lucas in 2009.
Image: Nicolas Genin.

After years of rumours George Lucas personally announced at Star Wars “Celebration V” Convention in Orlando the worldwide release of the Star Wars Saga on Blu-ray in autumn 2011. All six films will be released as a box-set with high video- and audio-quality and containing additional features.

Specific details have not been mentioned, but a “deleted scene” was shown at the convention, where Luke Skywalker assembles a lightsabre. “Blu-ray is the absolute best way to experience Star Wars at home – in pristine high definition,” said George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars Saga. “The films have never looked or sounded better.”

According to The New York Times, George Lucas said that they wanted to wait with the Blu-ray Disc release until market penetration was high enough, because they learned from the 1980s VHS release that an early release on a new home-video system can negatively influence sale figures.

Wikinews learned yesterday that Lucasfilm have issued copyright claims to YouTube regarding videos related to the convention and the deleted scene that is now slated for release. As a result, YouTube has removed at least two videos showing this content.



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February 25, 2010

Whale kills trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

Whale kills trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A trainer and a whale similar to the whale involved in the incident during a SeaWorld show on February 17, 2010.
Image: Patrick Mannion.

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Dawn Brancheau, a whale trainer, died in an accident at the SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, at around 14:00 local time. The incident involved an 18-year-old killer whale, Tillikum, also called Tilly. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office report that trainer Brancheau has 16 years of experience. Brancheau was reported dead after being recovered from the pool.

Witness to the incident Victoria Biniak told WKMG-TV, “He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent. [The whale] …took off really fast in the tank, and then he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing around, and one of her shoes flew off.”

In response to this accident, SeaWorld San Diego canceled its Shamu show, a show involving the whales at the San Diego location. “We’re terribly saddened by the loss of the member of our SeaWorld family, it doesn’t matter what park,” David Koontz, a spokesperson for SeaWorld San Diego said.



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November 27, 2009

Golfer Tiger Woods injured in car crash

Golfer Tiger Woods injured in car crash – Wikinews, the free news source

Golfer Tiger Woods injured in car crash

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Friday, November 27, 2009

File photo of Tiger Woods from 2008.
Image: Keith Allison.

American golfer Tiger Woods has been injured in a car crash near his home in Orlando, Florida. Woods was reported to have been leaving his home around 2:30 a.m. (EST) in his 2009 Cadillac Escalade, when he collided with a fire hydrant and a tree down the street.

Woods was taken to Health Central Hospital, and treated for facial lacerations. Early reports described his injuries as “serious”, but he was released from a local hospital a short time later, and his publicist, Mark Steinberg, has since described the accident as “minor”. There are also reports that the car’s airbags did not deploy, which suggest a low speed collision. Windemere Mayor Gary Bruhn told CNN, “I think it’s nothing more than an accident.”

Police say alcohol did not play a role in the accident. An investigation is ongoing and reports say that charges could be filed against Woods.



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November 6, 2009

Shooting rampage in Orlando, Florida leaves one dead, seven injured

Shooting rampage in Orlando, Florida leaves one dead, seven injured

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Friday, November 6, 2009

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At least one person was killed after a shooting rampage at the Gateway Center office building in Orlando, Florida, at around 11.30 EST (16.30 UTC), according to authorities.

The gunman, who has been identified as Jason Rodriguez, aged 40, surrendered at his mother’s house, after police received reports that he had fled there. He is now in custody. He was described as wearing a light blue polo shirt and jeans. The building where the incident occurred was locked down, and police officers evacuated the building.

A resident living near the house where Rodriguez was arrested witnessed the police confront the gunman. “I just heard screaming. They [the police] said, Come out with your hands in the air. He didn’t resist,” he said, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

Barbara Jones said that Rodriguez used to work at the building. “I would consider him armed and dangerous,” she said, as quoted by the Press Association news agency.

“This is a tragedy no doubt about it, especially on the heels of the tragedy in Fort Hood that is on our minds,” said local police chief Val Demings. “I’m just glad we don’t have any more fatalities or any more injuries than we currently have.”

“We understand the shootings did take place in our office,” said Ken Jacobson, a spokesperson for the company owning the building, Reynolds, Smith & Hill. “People were shot in our offices.”

Some office workers reportedly barricaded themselves in their offices following the incident, fearing the gunman to be nearby. “We’ve got everybody in one office, with the door barricaded with a chest of drawers. There are about 20 of us in here. We’re scared,” said one woman, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. “We’re watching TV, trying to see what is going on, but we really don’t know. We’re scared. We’re safe right now, but we’re scared.”

Several police cars, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles were dispatched to the scene. According to the ABC news network, agents from the FBI were also sent, and police officials said that SWAT teams also were on the scene. Traffic near the building was diverted, and there is a heavy police presence.



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March 26, 2009

Girls in Florida sell pink lemonade, donate money to breast cancer research

Girls in Florida sell pink lemonade, donate money to breast cancer research

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two 8-year-old girls in Orlando, Florida, located in the United States, have made a big donation to the research and curing of breast cancer. Victoria Petrucelly and Jesse Theobald along with classmates from their third grade class at The Christ School, raised almost US$24,000 by setting up lemonade stands and selling pink lemonade.

The two girls were thinking about starting the lemonade stand in 2008, but were inspired to donate money when Petrucelly’s mother, who suffered from the disease, died on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

“When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, we decided to make it a pink lemonade stand to raise money for people with cancer,” Petrucelly said to the press. Other cash donations were made by companies like Publix Supermarkets and the restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A.

Between the students and two girls, nearly 65 gallons of the sweet and sour drink were sold on the weekend ending March 22. They hoped to raise just $50. MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is located in Orlando, received the donation, presented by the two girls in a ceremony earlier this week.



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December 11, 2008

Body of small child found in Orlando, Florida

Body of small child found in Orlando, Florida

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

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Police in Orlando, Florida have found the skeletal remains of a small child just a half mile from the location where 3-year-old Caylee Anthony went missing in June. According to WFTV, the remains appear to be that of Anthony, however there have been no confirmed reports from police regarding the find.

According to reports, the body was found just after 9:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time in the woods near the intersection of Chickasaw Trail and Suburban Drive in Orlando, when an electric company meter reader found a bag. When he opened it a skull fell onto the ground. WFTV says when police arrived on the scene, they called Equusearch, a specialized search and recovery team from Texas, and spoke to the company’s founder Tim Miller, saying “it looks like we got her”.

Caylee has been missing since June 9, but police were not notified of her disappearance until July 15. Caylee’s mother Casey, 22, was charged with her daughter’s murder after authorities found evidence of a decomposing body in Casey’s car.

Yesterday, Casey’s lawyer, Jose Baez, said that there was evidence that Caylee was still alive. He presented a photo to the courts that a woman took at a shopping center that he says appears to be Caylee. He has asked a judge to order that the security camera footage be released for examination.



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