The family and friends of the 23-year-old man suspected of carrying out the Austin bombings have spoken of their shock, saying Mark Anthony Conditt was a smart and kind “computer geek.” Conditt is suspected of carrying out the bombings that killed two people and wounded four others—he blew himself up Wednesday after being hunted down by the FBI and local SWAT teams. Conditt’s uncle told the Associated Press: “I mean, this is coming from nowhere. We just don’t know what. I don’t know how many ways to say it but everyone is caught off guard by this.” The suspect’s neighbor described him as “smart” and “polite,” while his grandmother Mary Conditt said: “We don’t have any answers. We are just shocked. This is not the Mark I knew.” Other local residents said the Conditt family was very religious and hosted large religious gatherings every Sunday. “I know that they were church-going people,” said one neighbor, with another woman who home-schooled with the suspect saying of him: “He seemed like a normal boy.”
*Chilling – New CCTV Footage Shows Las Vegas Shooter Assembling His Arsenal at Hotel:
Previously unseen CCTV footage from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where Stephen Paddock shot 58 people dead last October, shows the murderer methodically planning his attack and duping staff into carrying his stash of deadly weapons to his room in more than 20 suitcases. The footage, obtained by The New York Times, also shows Paddock eating and gambling alone in the hotel in the days leading up to the attack. Over the course of seven days, Paddock tricked staff into bringing 21 bags to his suite on the 32nd floor, which contained 23 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The shooter asked to stay with his luggage each time it was brought up to his room and the footage shows staff taking him and his bags to the 32nd floor via a service elevator. Paddock is also shown frequently driving to and from his hotel, returning with bags picked up from his home in Mesquite—an hour north of the hotel. The last sighting of Paddock is of him arriving at the 32nd floor in an elevator around nine hours before he began the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
*Zuckerberg, Facing Facebook’s Worst Crisis Yet, Pledges Better Privacy:
Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, on Wednesday publicly addressed for the first time the misuse of data belonging to 50 million users of the social network and described the steps the company would take to safeguard the information of its more than two billion monthly users. Although his statement addressing a chorus of criticism fell short of a full-throated apology, Mr. Zuckerberg said that Facebook would contact users whose data had been harvested through a personality quiz app and passed along to the political data firm Cambridge Analytica. “We have a responsibility to protect your data,” Mr. Zuckerberg said Wednesday in a Facebook post, “and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.” Mr. Zuckerberg, 33, was trying to quell the crisis over the disclosure last weekend that Cambridge Analytica had used data that had been improperly obtained from Facebook as the firm worked on behalf of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign.
*Poll: Only 7 Percent of Teachers Want to Carry Guns in Schools:
Only 7 percent of the nation’s teachers want to carry guns to school, according to the results of a new Gallup poll released Thursday. More than a third of teachers surveyed said they want tougher gun-control legislation; 20 percent favor an assault-weapons ban, while 10 percent want background checks for potential gun owners. Preventative measures against school shootings regained national attention following the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre that left 17 people dead. Last month, President Trump suggested training and arming teachers as a way to prevent new school shootings; the National Rifle Association has doubled down on its effort to arm school staff, a talking point the group has held since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, several teachers told The Daily Beast that arming teachers is “irresponsible” and they would “resign immediately” if ordered to carry a weapon in class.
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*John Dowd To Resign As Trump’s Lead Lawyer In Russia Probe:
John Dowd is resigning as President Donald Trump’s lead attorney assigned to handle Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported Thursday. Dowd’s reported resignation comes just days after Trump added former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova to his legal team. Rumors of Dowd’s imminent departure have been swirling for several months. The Times reported earlier this month that Trump hoped to add to his legal team Emmet Flood, a veteran Washington attorney who represented President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s during his impeachment hearings. Trump immediately denied the report and tweeted that he was “VERY happy” with his legal team
*Trump Says He Could Beat Up Joe Biden:
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*LBN-HEALTH WATCH: ***A leading AIDS researcher and proponent of medication-assisted therapy for addiction was appointed Wednesday to oversee the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alex M. Azar II, secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, announced that the agency’s new director would be Dr. Robert R. Redfield, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and co-founder of the Institute for Human Virology.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: American Life In 1957. What A Time! —https://youtu.be/R6bHs8Vm3EQ
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*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:
*LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Kim Cattrall supports her “Sex and the City” co-star Cynthia Nixon‘s run for New York governor.On Thursday, Cattrall, 61, responded to a fan on Twitter who asked about Nixon, writing: “I support & respect any former colleague’s right to make their own career choices.” Nixon, 51, announced her bid for New York governor on Monday. Soon after, Kristin Davis — who played Charlotte on “Sex and the City” — shared her support of Nixon by tweeting: “I know she would be an excellent Governor.” ***Rod Stewart didn’t quite approve of his friend Elton John’s recent announcement about retiring with a three-year global goodbye tour. “I did email [John] and said, ‘What, again, dear?’” the rocker, 73, quipped on Wednesday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live.” “And I didn’t hear anything back.” The friendly pair has always acted cheeky toward each other — spiritedly calling each other women’s names. Stewart calls John “Sharon,” while John calls Stewart “Phyllis,” reports Entertainment Tonight.