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Israeli airstrike reportedly kills at least seven Palestinians

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At least seven Palestinians were reported killed in Gaza City by an Israeli airstrike early Saturday as the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas since 2014 ground on with no quick end in sight, despite efforts by the U.S. and Egypt to broker a ceasefire.

Palestinian media quoted by The Times of Israel reported that children were among the dead, while several other people were trapped in the rubble of a house.

If the death toll is confirmed, it would be the highest number of civilian casualties from a single airstrike in the current conflict, which began Monday.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) did not respond directly to the report of the deadly airstrike, but said in a statement reported by the Times of Israel that it had targeted several rocket launching sites and two Hamas “terror squads.”

“The attacks were carried out through a quick closing of the circle, lethal fire capability and accurate intelligence of the Gaza Division,” they said.

A nurse holds a baby who was pulled from a building wreckage following an Israeli air strike at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on May 15, 2021.

AFP via Getty Images

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Nurses care for a baby who lost seven family members after an Israeli air strike struck a refugee camp in Gaza City on May 15, 2021.

AFP via Getty Images

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Earlier in the evening, the IDF tweeted dramatic footage of a fireball caused by a rocket fired from Gaza hitting a fuel depot in the Mediterranean port of Ashdod.

“Barrages of rockets are being fired non-stop from Gaza into southern Israel,” the IDF wrote. “Tonight, a rocket hit the city of Ashdod—see the damage for yourself. This won’t go unanswered.”

An explosion from rockets from Gaza land on Ashdod in southern Israel.
An explosion from Gaza rockets land on Ashdod, Israel.
Israel Defense Forces / Twitter

No injuries were reported from the rocket strike in Ashdod, which was the third in the city across Friday night into Saturday morning. An earlier strike on the port and a direct hit on an apartment building also caused no reported injuries.

Nine Israelis have died during the latest conflict, including a 6-year-old boy and a soldier. Authorities in Gaza have reported that at least 126 people have been killed, including 31 children and 20 women. Israel claims that many of those civilian casualties have been caused by Hamas-launched rockets falling short of their targets.

Officials from Washington and Cairo are in the region trying to coax a halt to the fighting and the United Nations Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting Sunday morning. An Egyptian intelligence official told the Associated Press that Israel has already turned down an Egyptian proposal for a one-year cease-fire that Hamas had accepted.

Hamas has fired some 2,000 rockets toward Israel since Monday, according to the Israeli military.

With Post wires

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system responds to rockets launched from the northern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2021.
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system responds to rockets launched from the northern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2021.
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Kentucky community and technical colleges freeze tuition

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Kentucky community and technical colleges freeze tuition

VERSAILLES, Ky. — The Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s Board of Regents voted Friday to keep tuition flat for the coming year.

“The pandemic has taken a toll on our students who’ve been affected in numerous ways, including job loss,” Board Chair Gail Henson said in a news release. “The board wanted to help students, and we felt keeping our tuition at the same rate would help thousands of families.”

The schools of the community and technical college system already have the lowest tuition in the state, at $179 per credit hour, according to a news release. Out-of-state students from counties contiguous to Kentucky pay $358 per credit hour. All other out-of-state students pay $627 per credit hour.

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Teacher not guilty of sexual abuse of student

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Teacher not guilty of sexual abuse of student

Meredith Susan Barry Martin, a former Arundel County, Maryland, high school teacher, has been acquitted of charges that she sexually assaulted a teen student, the Capital Gazette reports.

Once a biology teacher at South River High School, 39-year-old Martin, who hails from Davidsonville, was found not guilty of five counts of having intercourse while in a position of authority.

She was also found not guilty on five counts of a similar but different charge — five counts of sexual offense by a person in authority.

The other charge, of which she was found not guilty, was count of unnatural or perverted practice and sex abuse of a minor. 

A jury acquitted a former South River High School biology teacher Thursday of charges that she had sex with a student.

Former South River High teacher found not guilty on all sex offense charges

It took the jury only two hours to return not guilty verdicts on all the charges against Meredith Susan Barry Martin.

Martin’s attorney, Thomas Morrow, stressed to the jury during his closing arguments that the student who accused her of sexual assault had lied under oath.

Morrow used this fact as leverage against prosecutors’ attempts to chip away at Martin’s own credibility.

“My job is to try and test a witness’ credibility, recollection and establish they aren’t telling the truth,” Morrow said, according to the Baltimore Sun.

“I was able to establish the student wasn’t telling the truth.”

Former South River High teacher found not guilty on all sex offense charges

Morrow further noted that everyone who had testified on Meredith Susan Barry Martin’s behalf had characterized her as a “caring teacher.”

Maryland authorities arrested Martin in February 2020.

The arrest was prompted by a written statement that a student submitted to the Anne Arundel County school board claiming that Martin had repeatedly molested the teen in the Davidson and Edgewater area.

WBAL TV reports that in the immediate wake of Martin’s arrest, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto released a statement that read: “The charges against Meredith Martin sicken me to my core and besmirch the incredible work teachers across our county do with children every single day.”

We place teachers in positions of responsibility and as a society we entrust to them the most precious thing we have: our children. No one who acts in the way in which Meredith Martin has been accused of acting should be around any children in any school.”

Anne Arundel County teacher charged with sex abuse of minor

Meredith Susan Barry Martin’s attorney said that she had once driven the teenage boy home because it was cold out.

On another occasion, she let him drive her car to help teach him how to drive.

Morrow accused the prosecution of attempting to ruin Martin’s life despite her never having engaged in inappropriate contact with the teen. 

People magazine reports that the alleged sexual incidents occurred between November and December 2018.

He said the teacher had proposed exchanging phone numbers, and they later traded text messages before agreeing to meet for their first encounter in the Kmart parking lot.

Md. Biology Teacher Accused of Sexually Abusing Boy, 16, Multiple Times in Car: ‘Sicken[ing]’

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Police searching for motorcyclist accused of shooting Texas officer

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Police searching for motorcyclist accused of shooting Texas officer

Texas authorities are searching for a motorcyclist who allegedly shot a police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday night, a report said.

The suspected shooter was identified by authorities as 43-year-old Royce Wood. He allegedly shot a Rhome police officer in the leg near the intersection of Farm-to-Market roads 407 and 2264 in Wise County, NBC DFW reported.

Wood was driving a motorcycle with a female passenger when they were stopped. One of them matched the description of the suspect wanted in a Saturday night home invasion, authorities said.

After the shooting, Wood fled the scene on foot. The female passenger was taken into custody.

The injured officer was hospitalized in stable condition.

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