Series of Bomb Threats Targets Jewish Community Centers


A series of bomb threats targeted Jewish community centers on Monday, the JCC Association of North America reported. At least 10 community centers received bomb threats, forcing many to evacuate while officials searched the premises, according to NBC News. The threats reportedly targeted community centers in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Birmingham, Alabama; Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Tampa, Florida. "We are aware of a number of bomb threats at JCCs. Js are working directly w/local authorities to make sure people & premises are safe," the JCC Association of North America wrote in a tweet. Jewish centers have seen a spike in bomb threats in 2017, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

The FBI and the Department of Justice are reportedly investigating the incidents as "possible civil rights violations". Asked about the attacks, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told NBC News that "hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the premise of individual freedom. The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable."


Simon & Schuster Cancels Milo Book Deal

Drew Angerer

Publishing company Simon & Schuster has cancelled a book deal for alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos, following the circulation of a video in which he condoned pedophilia. "After careful consideration @simonschuster and its @threshold_books have cancelled publication of Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos," the company's spokesperson Adam Rothberg tweeted on Monday. Yiannopoulos confirmed the cancellation on Facebook, writing "they cancelled my book."

The company had previously defended its decision to offer Yiannopoulos a $250,000 book deal, saying that the book would not contain the hate speech for which Yiannopoulos is famous. But after a video of Yiannopoulos condoning sexual relationships between boys and older men went viral Sunday night, the publishing company faced renewed pressure to drop the deal. Earlier Monday, the Conservative Political Action Conference organizers announced that they had rescinded Yiannopoulos's invitation to speak at the conference. Yiannopoulos has since defended himself, saying he does not support pedophilia, and that his statements were taken out of context.

"I would like to restate my utter disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors. I am horrified by pedophilia and I have devoted large portions of my career as a journalist to exposing child abusers,” Yiannopoulos said in an interview with The Daily Beast. "My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted on this subject, no matter how outrageous, but I understand that my usual blend of sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy.”


Five Dead in Australian Plane Crash

Joe Castro/REUTERS

All five people in a small plane died when the aircraft crashed into a shopping mall in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday morning, local time. The propeller plane had taken off from a nearby airport, when it experienced an engine failure, officials said. It exploded upon collision with the shopping center. The plane had been headed for King Island, a popular tourist destination. Officials have not released the names of the victims. No one else was harmed in the incident.

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4. SAD

‘Partridge Family’ Star David Cassidy Says He Has Dementia

Andrew Shaw/Reuters

Former Partridge Family star David Cassidy has revealed that he’s suffering from dementia. The 66-year-old’s announcement comes after fans noticed he seemed confused during recent performances in California, appearing to forget the words as he was singing and at one point reportedly stumbling around. “I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” the former 1970s heartthrob told People magazine. He said he plans to stop touring in order to “focus on what I am, who I am and how I've been, without any distractions.” Cassidy, famous for such hits as “I Think I Love You” and “Cherish,” has suffered a public fall from grace in recent years, with three arrests for drunk driving before being sent to rehab in 2014.


U.N. Declares Famine in South Sudan

REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

Over 40 percent of South Sudan's population is facing famine, the United Nations has declared. Nearly 5 million people, including over a million children are suffering from acute malnutrition, and require urgent aide, the organization said. "Our worst fears have been realized," Serge Tissot, a representative for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said. "Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive."

The famine follows six years of increasing economic insecurity, after South Sudan declared independence in 2011. Since its independence, the country has faced rapid inflation, civil war, and a refugee crisis, which saw approximately 1.5 million South Sudanese flee to neighboring Uganda. A U.N. food program spokesperson told CNN that the organization's funds and resources were dwindling in the country, and that the U.N. expected to run out of food supplies unless it received approximately $205 million in funding within the next six months.


11 People Get Through Unattended Security Checkpoint at JFK

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Eleven people reportedly went through an unmanned security checkpoint at JFK airport on Monday morning, prompting authorities to scramble to make sure they didn’t pose a threat. Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, told the Associated Press the incident took place in Terminal 5, and that three of the individuals were identified and set to be screened upon their arrival in California. The remaining eight passengers were believed to have boarded various flights. The Transportation Security Administration released a statement after the incident confirming that a screening lane had been left open and unattended. Three passengers “did not receive required secondary screening after alarming the walk-through metal detector,” the statement said. The administration said the incident posed “minimal risk,” as the passengers’ luggage had been properly screened and a K9 unit present in the area had not detected anything amiss.


Uber Hires Eric Holder in Sexism Probe

Andrew Kelly for ICSS

Uber will hire former attorney general Eric Holder in a new investigation into allegations of sexism and discrimination at the Silicon Valley company, CEO Travis Kalanick said in a Monday statement. Uber board member Arianna Huffington, Uber human resources head Liane Hornsey, and Uber Associate General Counsel Angela Padilla will also work on the investigation. Critics have already suggested that the team, composed mostly of Uber stakeholders, would be too lenient on the company. The probe follows an essay by a former Uber engineer, who said she and her fellow female coworkers were repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment, denied opportunities for advancement, and threatened when they brought their complaints to HR. The essay also alleged widespread dysfunction among staff. In a memo to Uber employees, Kalanick said the company would release a diversity report, which has previously declined to do, despite calls from public officials.


Canada Police Reorganize to Manage Surge in Refugees from U.S.

REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

A sharp increase in refugees from the United States has strained Canada's immigration resources, Canadian police said Monday. In January, 452 people made refugee claims in Quebec after crossing the U.S.-Canada border, the Canadian Border Services Agency said. In 2016, only 137 people made refugee claims in Quebec after leaving the U.S. The CBSA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they were reassigning officers and converting buildings into refugee processing centers to handle the influx of immigrants. Under Canadian immigration policy, refugees caught crossing the border are detained and questioned. If they are determined not to pose a risk, they are allowed to apply for asylum in the country.


Study: Teen Suicide Rates Down After Gay Marriage Legalization

REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

Teen suicides, particularly among LGBT teenagers, have decreased following the legalization of gay marriage, a new study finds. The study, published by the American Medical Association, examined attempted suicide rates in teenagers from 1999 to 2015, when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. In the 32 states that enacted marriage equality before the 2015 ruling, teen suicides saw a sharp decline, with attempted suicides down seven percent among all students and 14 percent among LGBT students. States without marriage equality saw no change in suicide rate. Researchers believe the change might be due to a decrease in bullying, or a more optimistic outlook for LGBT teens.


Two Police Officers Shot in California

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Two police officers were shot, one fatally, while responding to a traffic accident in Whittier, California on Monday. Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said the suspected shooter was a "known gang member" armed with a semi-automatic weapon. The man allegedly rear-ended multiple vehicles with a stolen car. When officers responded to a call regarding the traffic accident, the suspect reportedly opened fire on the officers, who shot back. All three men were transported to a hospital, where one of the officers died. The surviving officer and the suspect are reportedly in stable condition.