MIAMI: Florida’s governor on Friday suspended the sheriff who oversaw the response to last year’s Parkland school shooting over failings in his handling of the massacre.
Governor Ron DeSantis said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel had “repeatedly failed” and “demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership” following shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Fort Lauderdale airport in 2017.
At a press conference, the newly-elected Republican went so far as to say the Parkland massacre, which killed 17, “might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff’s department.”
But Democrat Israel, 62, accused DeSantis of having political motives — arguing that that there were no suspensions following a 2016 shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, which left 49 dead.
“The difference is I spoke out against gun violence,” he said.
“This is about politics, not about Parkland,” he added, vowing to fight the “unjustified” suspension in court and the Florida Senate.
A commission investigating the school shooting published a report last week lamenting the “abysmal response” of the in-school police officer and a lack of action upon Broward sheriff’s deputies’ arrival at the building.
DeSantis named Gregory Tony, a veteran of the police department in Coral Springs, Broward County, as Israel’s replacement.
He is the president of Blue Spear Solutions, a private security firm that specializes in providing training for responding to shootings and attacks like that seen in Parkland.
Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz is awaiting trial, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty for 17 murder charges and 17 attempted murder charges.
Pakistan seeks greater partnership with WB: PM
ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan has told WB that Pakistan looked forward to greater partnership with World Bank (WB) in critical areas including eco-tourism, mountain, and religious tourism.
Talking to a delegation of World Bank headed by Vice President South Asia Hartwig Schafer in Islamabad today Imran Khan said that these sectors which have a huge potential towards the uplift of the poor and poverty alleviation. He highlighted various steps being taken by the government towards economic stability, poverty alleviation and improving ease of doing business in the country. The delegation comprised of Vice President Human Development Annete Dixon, Country Director Illangovan Patchamuthu, Operations Manager Melinda Good and Senior Country Manager IFC Nadeem Siddiqui. Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeem-ul-Haq, Secretary Finance Arif Ahmed Khan and others were also present in the meeting.
The delegation appreciated Prime Minister’s vision on the economic stability of the country, human development and addressing the issue of stunted growth due to malnutrition. It briefed the Prime Minister about various ongoing projects of the World Bank in various sectors including water supply, sewerage and waste management, transportation and connectivity, capacity building and ease of doing business in the country. It also offered WB’s assistance in attracting foreign investments, analytics, sharing of expertise and technical knowledge in various sectors to help the Government translate its vision into reality. Welcoming the offer, the Prime Minister appreciated World Bank’s continued engagement with Pakistan and its support towards capacity building, infrastructure development and economic growth.
NATO condemns Russian ‘build-up’ in Crimea
BRUSSELS: NATO today condemned what it called Russia’s “ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea” on the fifth anniversary of Moscow’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula.
As Russia celebrated what it terms its “reunification” with Crimea, NATO hit out at Moscow over its plans to further militarise the Black Sea.
The annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and Russia’s role in the Ukraine conflict sent ties between NATO and Moscow plunging to post-Cold War lows. NATO said there would be no return to “business as usual” with Moscow until there was “a clear, constructive change in Russia’s actions.
“We condemn Russia’s ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea, and are concerned by Russia’s efforts and stated plans for further military build-up in the Black Sea region,” NATO’s ruling North Atlantic Council said in a statement. NATO holds that it would never recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and urged Moscow to return the territory to Ukraine.
Tokyo stocks open higher!
TOKYO: Stocks opened here higher today, tracking gains on Wall Street due to optimism over US-China trade talks, with investors closely eyeing the US Federal Reserve’s meeting later this week.
The Nikkei 225 index added 0.65 percent, or 139.64 points, to 21,590.49 in early trade, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.43 percent, or 6.82 points, to 1,609.45.