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First American Victim Identified in Paris Attacks Was A Proud First-Generation Mexican-American

Nohemi Gonzalez was eating dinner with friends at La Belle Equipe in Paris, France when armed terrorists shot indiscriminately into the restaurant, killing 19 people. The attack on La Belle Equipe was just one part of the six-piece coordinated terror attack that devastated the French capital from the Stade de France just north of the city to a concert in the heart of Paris. Nohemi Gonzalez was one of the 129 victims who died that night and the news stunned her family and her community. She was just 23 years old.

Nohemi was a proud Latina trying to make a future for herself.

Credit: Nohemi Gonzalez / Facebook

“I am Mexican American,” Nohemi wrote on a class assignment she did before studying in Paris. “And I also happen to be first generation born in the United States. I grew up in Whittier and had a very hard working mother that raised me to be extremely independent.”

Nohemi Gonzalez was proud to be a first-generation Mexican-American going to college.

We will miss you #nohemigonzalez

A video posted by Matt Grant (@mladx) on

Nohemi was in Paris studying industrial design with 17 other foreign exchange students when the attacks happened.

Credit: Nohemi Gonzalez / Facebook

Gonzalez was studying abroad at Strate, École de Design à Sèvres et Paris.

Her parents want her remembered as a Latina who was chasing her dreams and succeeding.

Members of the Long Beach community, including mayor Robert Garcia, are still coming to terms with Nohemi’s sudden death.

Hundreds attended a vigil in honor of Nohemi at CSU Long Beach.

Those who spoke at the vigil remembered her commitment and passion to the things and people she loved.

It was certainly a hard pill to swallow. Thinking about how just a year I was in your shoes. Nohemi you were a little tiggres who was one of the hardest working ppl I've met. Since you were always in the shop it was great to have you as company! You'd let me take tools from the shop without signing in (shhh) and would give me some good tips for whenever I needed design help. I'll never forget how cheery you were, and how fun it was to hangout with you once at that party. Seeing how our design family grouped up just for you showed me and a lot of people how much of a special person you are. 100s of ppl came to see you and I know you were watching from the heavens. Say hi to the real Pocahontas for me, and you will always be remembered… My favorite TA Nohemi. #paris #prayforparis #prayfornohemi #sad #life #rip #loveyou #nohemigonzalez #csulb

A photo posted by Null (@chiiwolff) on

“What I saw in her was a beautiful soul who practiced goodness and compassion in her friendships and relationships with others,” CSULB Department of Design chairman Martin Herman, told the crowd of mourners.

Credit: Nohemi Gonzalez / Facebook

Friends have started a Donation To page to help raise money for her funeral costs. Her body will be staying in Paris for three weeks as the investigation into the attacks continue.

Watch an interview with her mother and stepfather below:

Share this story so Nohemi Gonzalez can be remembered as the strong and dedicated Latina her friends and family knew her to be.

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Trump Labels Cuba A State Sponsor Of Terrorism As His Own Supporters Face Similar Allegations

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Trump Labels Cuba A State Sponsor Of Terrorism As His Own Supporters Face Similar Allegations

In a move that is sure to complicate things for the incoming Biden administration, Trump has moved to put Cuba back on the list of nations that allegedly sponsor terrorism.

Obama had taken Cuba off of that list in 2015 and with four years to Cuba back on the list, many agree that Trump has simply put Cuba back on the list to make life difficult for President Biden.

The Trump administration has put Cuba back on the list of countries that “sponsor terrorism.”

With just days left in office, Trump has moved to label Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism” in a last-minute move that is sure to complicate things for the incoming Biden administration.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo justified the controversial move which reverses Barack Obama’s 2015 decision to remove Cuba from the list after more than three decades – by accusing Havana of “repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbour to terrorists”.

Pompeo also alleged Cuba was engaging “in a range of malign behavior across the region”, highlighting its support for Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro who Trump has unsuccessfully tried to overthrow.

The controversial step places Cuba alongside Iran, North Korea and Syria as state sponsors of terror.

However, most officials agree that Trump’s claims about Cuba are bogus.

Many international observers – including U.S. allies – aren’t impressed by the administration’s claims that Cuba is sponsoring terrorism.

In an interview with The Guardian, Christopher Sabatini, a senior fellow for Latin America at Chatham House, said “These are trumped up charges. Terrorism as an international definition is committing acts of violence against unarmed civilians intended to frighten the population. Cuba doesn’t do that. Yes, it represses its own people – but so does Saudi Arabia.”

Groups that favor greater U.S. engagement with Cuba criticized the announcement.

“There is no compelling, factual basis to merit the designation,” according to Ric Herrero, executive director of the Cuba Study Group, a Washington DC-based organization that supports engagement with the island. “Instead it appears to be another shameless, last-ditch effort to hamstring the foreign policy of the incoming Biden administration and set the stage for the next election in Florida, all at the expense of the Cuban people and relations between our countries.”

Many observers agree that Trump’s move is simply a gift to party hardliners in Florida, and likely a deliberate attempt to make life difficult for the incoming Biden administration who may wish to end deténte with Cuba.

Of course, Cuban officials reacted angrily to the announcement.

After the announcement, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted: “We condemn the US announced hypocritical and cynical designation of #Cuba as a State sponsoring terrorism. The US political opportunism is recognized by those who are honestly concerned about the scourge of terrorism and its victims.”

Reversing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s action would require the Biden administration to certify to Congress that there has been a fundamental change in leadership in Cuba and that the government is not supporting acts of international terrorism, has not for the previous six months and will not do so in the future.

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Students Under Investigation After Flashing White Power Symbols On National TV During Army/Navy Football Game

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Students Under Investigation After Flashing White Power Symbols On National TV During Army/Navy Football Game

The United States Military Academy has opened a formal investigation into whether Army cadets and Navy midshipmen flashed white power symbols during a nationally televised broadcast of the Army-Navy football game Saturday. At least three individuals flashed the upside-down “ok” hand gesture, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a hate symbol meant to signify “white power.” Footage of the gestures went viral on Twitter as folks circulated allegations that the military students were flashing white power symbols on nationally televised media “because they fully understand that most people in the dominant society share their views, and there will be no serious punishment against them.” President Trump attended the game and visited both locker rooms before the start of the match.

“The United States Military Academy is fully committed to developing leaders of character who embody the Army values,” Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, The United States Military Academy’s superintendent, said in a statement. Meanwhile, Naval Academy officials appointed a preliminary inquiry officer to head up the internal investigation. 

Twitter is calling for the expulsion of the students who flashed the symbol, which seemed especially telling when flashed behind the head of a black cadet.

CREDIT: @BIGKAHUNAVAN / TWITTER

Two cadets clearly flash white power hand signals; one of them does it right behind the head of a black cadet. This is on live TV at the Army-Navy game. The @NavalAcademy should kick these students out,” one Twitter user called out. Another person wants to expel them and fine them for the taxpayer dollars that went toward their education thus far. “Imagine how these young black men will feel when they see this footage of their classmates flashing white power signals directly behind their heads. This is shameful and horrific behavior,” comments another user. 

Meanwhile, others are saying that the gestures are far more sophomoric. “IT’S THE FREAKING CIRCLE GAME!,” tweeted one POC. The alleged game is based on tricking someone into looking at the hand gesture which would allow you to playfully punch that person. If you ever played the VW Beetle game as a kid, it’s pretty similar. Others don’t buy it. “Right behind the head of the black guy? Come on…” asks one user. “I ain’t buying it either. If it were true, the black guy or other minorities would be playing the “game” as well. Funny, the “game” signal givers hands are NEVER BROWN. Why’s that now?” asks another Twitter user.

That said, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) details a much more insidious and increasingly common use of the “O.K.” hand gesture that began in 2017.

CREDIT: @GININATEACUP1 / TWITTER

Both the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Anti-Defamation League have described the symbol as hate speech. White nationalists first started using the symbol because of how it creates a “W” and a “P” to denote “white power.” In 2017, internet gateway to the alt-right, 4chan, started disseminating the symbol as a way to “trigger liberals.” SPLC says that the symbol is a “deliberate attempt to “trigger liberals” into overreacting to a gesture so widely used that virtually anyone has plausible deniability built into their use of it in the first place.” According to SPLC, the hoax started when the following post went viral: “We must flood twitter and other social media websites with spam, claiming that the OK hand signal is a symbol of white supremacy. Make fake accounts with basic white girl names and type shit like: OMG that’s so truuuuu…” It seems to be working. 

Before the 4chan hoax went viral and spread to anyone who was simply anti-liberal, it was used by alt-right figures and white nationalists. In fact, the white supremacist who murdered over 50 worshippers in the Christchurch mosque flashed the symbol in court.

Plausible deniability remains the crux of the issue. The “O.K.” signal is so ubiquitous, it makes it difficult to prove malicious intent.

CREDIT: @HAMDIA_AHMED / TWITTER

Still, at least three different young men flashed the symbol on national television this weekend, knowing President Trump was in the audience. Several Trump supporters have expressed glee in using the symbol simply because of its underlying intent to prove liberals and minorities as triggered.

Military officials feel its “inappropriate” to speculate any further on the students’ intent while the investigation is underway. 

CREDIT: @HAMDIA_AHMED / TWITTER

The SPLC cites the use of the “O.K.” hand gesture as a ploy to “trigger” liberals as participation in a “toxic subculture.” The Center cites such a troll as someone with a “direct gateway not just to the alt-right, but also to even more poisonous cultures such as that of woman-hating “incels.” The Center says that “it’s easy” for a simple “troll” to morph into a white supremacist surreptitiously signaling your presence to other white supremacists.

READ: A Family At Universal Studios Had Their Trip Ruined By A Character From ‘Despicable Me’ Who Flashed A White Power Symbol

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