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Texas mom charged with killing 1 and 6-year-old daughters



Texas mom charged with killing 1 and 6-year-old daughters

A Texas mother was charged with killing her two young daughters, a report said, allegedly turning herself in and confessing to the murders Monday night.

Madison McDonald, 30, allegedly told authorities she sedated her children — 1-year-old daughter Lillian Mae McDonald and 6-year-old Archer Hammond — before smothering them to death, Fox 4 reported, citing police.

The Irving Police Department said McDonald entered their headquarters and used a lobby phone to call 911 to confess the crimes.

The mother, who lives alone with her two daughters, told police her children were abused, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the outlet.

As a result, McDonald claimed she would do anything to protect her children, including “eliminating them,” the affidavit said.

Police who responded to McDonald’s apartment found the victims’ bodies.

An autopsy will determine the girls’ official causes of death.

“We’re trying to figure out the why,” the mother allegedly killed her daughters, Irving Police Officer Robert Reeves said, according to the report.

“We may not ever know the why because there’s not going to be a definition or a reason that would ever justify the murder of two small children,” Reeves said.

McDonald is charged with two counts of capital murder, the report said.

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Minnesota State Patrol updates guidance on reporters during protests



Minnesota State Patrol updates guidance on reporters during protests

Credentialed members of the press can no longer be subject to Minnesota State Patrol dispersal orders, and troopers will halt the practice of photographing them before letting them go while covering protests and have been prohibited from taking other actions against the media.

“A free press is foundational to our democracy, and the ability of journalists to cover civil unrest in our communities must be protected and encouraged,” the MSP said in a statement Saturday.

The MSP began photographing journalists, their driver’s licenses and their press credentials amid widespread protests over police brutality and racial injustice. It was purportedly intended as a means to identify members of the press amid chaotic demonstrations that sometimes devolved into riots, but some members of the media reported authoritarian-like treatment.

Critics alleged that police were using retaliatory measures against journalists who covered the anti-police demonstrations, and the American Civil Liberties Union took the issue to court, resulting in a temporary restraining order.

“Any law ‘abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press’ is prohibited under the First Amendment.” U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright wrote in the order.

In addition to detaining and photographing reporters, police were accused of shooting them with rubber bullets, spraying them with chemical irritants and placing them under arrest, all in the past week during protests over the death of Daunte Wright in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.

The MSP said in a statement that it had briefly detained and released a number of journalists under the now-nixed policy but hadn’t arrested any.

And members of the press have also been attacked by the protesters themselves.

“Following feedback from media, and in light of a recent temporary restraining order filed in federal court, MSP will not photograph journalists or their credentials,” the statement said. “However, troopers will continue to check credentials so media will not be detained any longer than is necessary.”

Under the new policy, members of the force are banned from arresting or threatening to arrest members of the media unless they are suspected of a crime. They cannot use or threaten to use force on journalists who are not suspected of a crime.

The MSP will also no longer use chemical spray on members of the media and is prohibited from seizing their equipment or ordering a journalist to stop recording.

“The MSP has not and will not target media for doing the important work of showing those who are exercising their First Amendment rights to express themselves, or those who are engaged in the violent, illegal activity law enforcement is trying to prevent” the statement concluded. “Any journalist or member of the public is encouraged to contact the DPS Internal Affairs/Affirmative Action division to file a complaint of they believe a trooper has engaged in misconduct.”

The state patrol said it was advising partner law enforcement agencies of its new policy.

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US and China agree to cooperate on new climate agreement



US and China agree to cooperate on new climate agreement

SEOUL, South Korea — The United States and China, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency, just days before President Joe Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue. 

The agreement was reached by U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua during two days of talks in Shanghai last week, according to a joint statement. 

The two countries “are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” the statement said.

China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter, followed by the United States. The two countries pump out nearly half of the fossil fuel fumes that are warming the planet’s atmosphere. Their cooperation is key to a success of global efforts to curb climate change, but frayed ties over human rights, trade and China’s territorial claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea have been threatening to undermine such efforts.

Meeting with reporters in Seoul on Sunday, Kerry said the language in the statement is “strong” and that the two countries agreed on “critical elements on where we have to go.” But the former secretary of state said, “I learned in diplomacy that you don’t put your back on the words, you put on actions. We all need to see what happens.”

Noting that China is the world’s biggest coal user, Kerry said he and Chinese officials had a lot of discussions on how to accelerate a global energy transition. “I have never shied away from expressing our views shared by many, many people that it is imperative to reduce coal, everywhere,” he said.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, to the April 22-23 summit. The U.S. and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or at the meeting, along with pledging financial help for climate efforts by less wealthy nations.

It’s unclear how much Kerry’s China visit would promote U.S.-China cooperation on climate issues. 

While Kerry was still in Shanghai, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng signaled Friday that China is unlikely to make any new pledges at next week’s summit. 

“For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered,” Le said during an interview with The Associated Press in Beijing. “Some countries are asking China to achieve the goals earlier. I am afraid this is not very realistic.”

During a video meeting with German and French leaders Friday, Xi said that climate change “should not become a geopolitical chip, a target for attacking other countries or an excuse for trade barriers,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

On whether Xi would join the summit, Le said “the Chinese side is actively studying the matter.” 

The joint statement said the two countries “look forward to” next week’s summit. Kerry said Sunday that “we very much hope that (Xi) will take part” in the summit but it’s up to China to make that decision. 

Biden, who has said that fighting global warming is among his highest priorities, had the United States rejoin the historic 2015 Paris climate accord in the first hours of his presidency, undoing the U.S. withdrawal ordered by predecessor Donald Trump.

Major emitters of greenhouse gases are preparing for the next U.N. climate summit taking place in Glasgow, U.K., in November. The summit aims to relaunch global efforts to keep rising global temperatures to below 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit as agreed in the Paris accord.

According to the U.S.-China statement, the two countries would enhance “their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.” 

It said both countries also intend to develop their respective long-term strategies before the Glasgow conference and take “appropriate actions to maximize international investment and finance in support of” the energy transition in developing countries.

Xi announced last year that China would be carbon-neutral by 2060 and aims to reach a peak in its emissions by 2030. In March, China’s Communist Party pledged to reduce carbon emissions per unit of economic output by 18% over the next five years, in line with its goal for the previous five-year period. But environmentalists say China needs to do more. 

Biden has pledged the U.S. will switch to an emissions-free power sector within 14 years, and have an entirely emissions-free economy by 2050. Kerry is also pushing other nations to commit to carbon neutrality by then.

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FedEx shooter Brandon Scott Hole bought guns legally last year: police



Brandon Scott Hole

The former FedEx worker who murdered eight people in Indianapolis legally bought the two weapons he used, police said Saturday night — even though he should have been barred from doing so after a previous gun was seized due to mental health issues.

Brandon Scott Hole, 19, purchased the two assault rifles in July and September, Indianapolis police said Saturday.

Earlier Saturday, police declined to give The Post any further details about the make and model of the weapons, citing the ongoing investigation.

Authorities had seized a shotgun from Hole last year after his mother called police, saying she was worried he would try to commit suicide by cop, according to the FBI. The shotgun was not returned.

But the seizure should have prevented Hole, who killed himself following the Thursday night rampage, from legally buying another weapon, Indianapolis Police Chief Randal Taylor told The New York Times.

Police caution tape blocks the entrance to the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
Police tape blocks the entrance to the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
AFP via Getty Images

Indiana’s “red flag” laws allow a judge to bar someone deemed dangerous from having a firearm, but it’s unclear if Hole ever had a red flag hearing, Taylor told the paper.

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