Things That Matter

Latino Border Patrol Agent And Army Veteran Hailed As Heroes In Poway Synagogue Shooting In San Diego

When Oscar Stewart and Jonathan Morales when to the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, California on April 27, they went to worship. When they left, the two men, an army veteran and off-duty Border Patrol agent, were hailed as heroes for confronting a lone gunman. Here’s what we know about the two men who shortened the killer’s rampage of terror on the last day of Passover.

One person died and three were injured in a shooting at the Chabad Congregation in southern California.

Credit: @JoaquinCastrotx / Twitter

On the last day of Passover, a lone gunman entered the house of worship and opened fire. The news of another mass shooting broke the peaceful week of celebration in the Jewish faith.

According to the LA Times, the FBI was notified about a manifesto from the suspect but the shooting happened before the FBI could finish their investigation.

In the chaos, two men are being called heroes for their quick action that forced the shooter to flee.

Army veteran Oscar Stewart and off-duty Border Patrol officer Jonathan Morales were at the temple worshipping when the shooter entered. While Morales has been more withdrawn from the media, Stewart has shared their story.

The two men ran to the gunfire when they first heard the loud bangs echoing through the temple.

Credit: @IBEW569 / Twitter

Stewart, an Iraq war veteran, was the first person to confront the shooter. Stewart told journalists that he ran to the gunfire and started to scream at the shooter. Stewart’s actions forced the shooter to flee the temple and try to escape.

The Rabbi asked Morales to come to the service armed because we live in a time where gun violence is commonplace in society.

Credit: @philwillon / Twitter

According to USA Today, Stewart chased the shooter out of the temple and that’s when Morales told Stewart to duck. Morales, who works for Border Patrol, was armed and opened fire on the shooter’s car trying to disable it.

“Morales recently discovered his Jewish roots. He would travel three and a half hours from [the California town of] El Centro to pray with us at our shul,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein told media at a Sunday press conference, according to The Times of Israel. “He felt this was his house of worship. And many times I said, ‘Jonathan, you work for the border patrol. Please arm yourself when you are here; we never know when we will need it.’”

The shooting at Poway is another example of the kind of gun violence American’s face on a daily basis.

Credit: @nataliemorales / Twitter

Whether at school, work, concert, or a place of worship, Americans live with a constant understanding that any day can be the day they are involved in a mass shooting.

“Hate and violence against anyone because of their race, ethnicity or religion has no place in our society,” senior Customs and Border Protection official John Sanders said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Our thoughts and prayer are with the victims, their families, and their community as they recover from this tragic event.

READ: Anthony Borges Protected 20 Classmates During The Parkland Shooting And Just Got Released From The Hospital

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

Things That Matter

Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

When it comes to international happiness rankings, Mexico has long done well in many measurements. In fact, in 2019, Mexico placed number 23 beating out every other Latin American country except for Costa Rica. But in 2020, things looks a lot different as the country slipped 23 spots on the list. What does this mean for Mexico and its residents? 

Mexico slips 23 spots on the World Happiness Report thanks to a variety of compelling factors.

Mexico plummeted 23 places to the 46th happiest nation in the world, according to the 2020 happiness rankings in the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on Mexicans’ happiness in 2020, the new report indicates.

“Covid-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere,” the report noted, and that is especially true in Mexico, where almost 200,000 people have lost their lives to the disease and millions lost their jobs last year as the economy recorded its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Based on results of the Gallup World Poll as well as an analysis of data related to the happiness impacts of Covid-19, Mexico’s score on the World Happiness Report index was 5.96, an 8% slump compared to its average score between 2017 and 2019 when its average ranking was 23rd.

The only nations that dropped more than Mexico – the worst country to be in during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg news agency – were El Salvador, the Philippines and Benin.

Mexico has struggled especially hard against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started, Mexico has fared far worse than many other countries across Latin America. Today, there are reports that Mexico has been undercounting and underreporting both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. Given this reality, the country is 2nd worst in the world when it comes to number of suspected deaths, with more than 200,000 people dead. 

Could the happiness level have an impact on this year’s elections?

Given that Mexico’s decline in the rankings appears related to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic here, one might assume that the popularity of the federal government – which has been widely condemned for its management of the crisis from both a health and economic perspective – would take a hit.

But a poll published earlier this month found that 55.9% of respondents approved of President López Obrador’s management of the pandemic and 44% indicated that they would vote for the ruling Morena party if the election for federal deputies were held the day they were polled.

Support for Morena, which apparently got a shot in the arm from the national vaccination program even as it proceeded slowly, was more than four times higher than that for the two main opposition parties, the PAN and the PRI.

Still, Mexico’s slide in the happiness rankings could give López Obrador – who has claimed that ordinary Mexicans are happier with him in office – pause for thought.

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Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

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Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

Although the United States is seeing a growing movement for racial equality and justice, thanks in part to a growing national Black Lives Matter movement, racial minorities in this country continue to face violence.

We don’t yet know the exact motives behind the recent attack on the Asian-American community in Atlanta that has left eight dead, but it comes amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

Atlanta is mourning the loss of eight locals after gunman attacks Asian-American community.

A series of shootings over nearly an hour at three Atlanta-area massage parlors left eight people dead and raised fears that the attack was yet another hate crime against Asian-Americans.

The attacks began Tuesday when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor about 30 miles north of Atlanta. Two people died at the scene, and three were taken to a hospital where two died. About an hour later, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at another spa, near Atlanta’s Buckhead area. While there, the officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found another woman apparently shot dead.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the “horrific shootings” and administration officials have been in contact with the mayor’s office and the FBI.

“Our hearts are breaking for the victims and their families, and we’re certainly keeping them in our prayers,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “We’ll let the investigation continue, but it was a tragic night in our state.”

The gunman was apprehended by authorities and taken into custody.

Robert Aaron Long, a white man, 21, was apprehended in South Georgia Tuesday night and has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

“A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “I have remained in close contact with the White House and APD as they work with federal, state and local partners to investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city.”

Long told investigators he frequented the types of businesses targeted in the Tuesday shootings, calling them a “temptation he wanted to eliminate.”

The attack highlights the growing threats that the Asian & Pacific Islander community faces in the U.S.

The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

We don’t yet know exactly what motivated the alleged killer, but we do know that hate crimes against Asian Americans have been on the rise since the start of the Covid pandemic in the US.Asian Americans have reported being targeted at least 500 times in the first two months of this year, according to the organization Stop AAPI Hate with a total of 3,795 complaints received over the past year. The majority of these — 68% — were verbal harassment, while 11% involved physical assaults.

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