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9

Scenes from Las Vegas mass shooting

A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas casino unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 50 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

More than 400 other victims were taken to the hospital, authorities said.

SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room and found he had killed himself, authorities said. He had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.

There was no immediate word on the motive for the bloodbath.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities believe it was a “lone wolf” attack. And the U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman opened fire from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.

The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. (AP)

Photo credits: David Becker/Getty Images (4), John Locher/AP (2), Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Paul Buck/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock, Ronda Churchill/AP,

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Live updates: Las Vegas mass shooting >>>

10

Deadly van attack in Barcelona claimed by ISIS

A white van plowed into a packed summer crowd Thursday in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, killing some people and sending dozens fleeing. Barcelona police called it a terror attack and local media reported up to 13 dead.

Catalan police tweeted “there are mortal victims and injured from the crash” without specifying any numbers. Spanish media, including Cadena SER radio station and TV3, reported up to 13 dead, while other media had varying death tolls.

Police cordoned off the broad street that is so popular with tourists, ordering stores and nearby Metro and train stations to close. They asked people to stay away from the area so as not to get in the way of emergency services. A helicopter hovered over the scene.

Quoting unnamed police sources, the El Pais newspapers said the two perpetrators of the crash were holed up in a bar in Tallers Street. Armed police ran down the streets and through a market, checking in stores and cafes, presumably in search of them.

In photographs and videos, at least five people could be seen lying on the ground in the streets of the northern Spanish city Thursday afternoon, being helped by police and others. Other video recorded people screaming as they fled the van.

Las Ramblas, a street of stalls and shops that cuts through the center of Barcelona, is one of the city’s top tourist destinations. People walk down a wide, pedestrian path in the center of the street but cars can travel on either side.

Keith Fleming, an American who lives in Barcelona, was watching TV in his building just off Las Ramblas when he heard a noise and went out to his balcony.

“I saw women and children just running and they looked terrified,” he said.

He said there was a bang — possibly from someone rolling down a store shutter — and more people ran by. Then police arrived and pushed everyone a full block away. Even people leaning out of doors were being told to go back inside, he said.

Fleming said regular police had their guns drawn and riot police were at the end of his block, which was now deserted.

“It’s just kind of a tense situation,” Fleming said. “Clearly people were scared.”

Carol Augustin, a manager at La Palau Moja, an 18th-century place on Las Ramblas that houses government offices and a tourism information center, said the van passed right in front of the building.

“We saw everything. People started screaming and running into the office. It was such a chaotic situation. There were families with children. The police made us close the doors and wait inside,” she said.

Cars, trucks and vans have been the weapon of choice in multiple extremist attacks in Europe in the last year.

The most deadly was the driver of a tractor-trailer who targeted Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice in July 2016, killing 86 people. In December 2016, 12 people died after a driver used a hijacked trick to drive into a Christmas market in Berlin.

There have been multiple attacks this year in London, where a man in a rented SUV plowed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four people before he ran onto the grounds of Parliament and stabbed an unarmed police officer to death in March.

Four other men drove onto the sidewalk of London Bridge, unleashing a rampage with knives that killed eight people in June. Another man also drove into pedestrians leaving a London mosque later in June. (AP)

Photo credits: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images (2), Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images, Manu Fernandez/AP, Oriol Duran/AP (2), David Armengou/EPA/REX/Shutterstock, Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images, Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

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4

Nearly 500 bodies recovered from devastating Sierra Leone mudslide

Rescue workers have unearthed 499 dead bodies since last week’s devastating landslide near the Sierra Leone capital Freetown, the city’s chief coroner told Reuters on Sunday.

One of Africa’s worst flooding-related disasters in years occurred when the side of Mount Sugar Loaf collapsed on Monday after heavy rain, burying parts of Regent town and overwhelming relief efforts in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Authorities this week buried 461 bodies in quickly-dug graves in the nearby Waterloo cemetery, near the site of a mass burial for victims of the Ebola crisis that killed 4,000 people in the former British colony between 2014 and 2016.

Thirty-eight more bodies were found on Sunday, said chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya, bringing the official death toll to 499. They were being sent for immediate burial, he said.

The Red Cross said on Friday that over 600 are still missing.

An increasingly desperate search continued on Sunday on the steep hillside under the wet red mud, as the likelihood of finding survivors was all but extinguished. (Reuters)

Photo credits: Seyllou/AFP/Getty Images, Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters (2),  Seyllou/AFP/Getty Images

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2

Aerial images capture beautiful autumn landscape

This beautiful autumn landscape comes to life as the leaves change color ready for fall. The aerial pictures, taken by Matt Benedetto, 28, from Burlington, Vermont, show the forests of his home state as they transition into their autumn foliage. (Caters News)

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5

How the world mocks Trump in performance art

Americans aren’t the only ones with strong feelings about President Trump. Protest art and other depictions have cropped up in countries like Indonesia, Serbia, France and Japan, mocking and belittling the U.S. leader.

These depictions range from Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of Trump on “Saturday Night Live” to portrayals of Trump as a human buttocks or even Adolf Hitler.

Click through to see how the celebrity president is represented both in the U.S. and abroad. (Colin Campbell/Yahoo News)

Photo credits: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Will Heath/NBC via AP, Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News, Michael Probst/AP, Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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6

Massive earthquake rocks Mexico

Mexico’s president says that the magnitude of the earthquake that hit the country is 8.2, the biggest the country has seen in a century.

Enrique Pena Nieto confirmed that at least five people have died in the temblor. He also said that major damage has been caused and that 1 million initially had been without power following the quake, but that electricity had been restored to 800,000 of them.

He said that there have been 62 aftershocks and it’s possible one as strong as 7.2 could hit.

The U.S. Geological Survey has reported that the quake had a magnitude of 8.1. It hit off the coast of southern Mexico, toppling houses in Chiapas state, causing buildings to sway violently as far away as the country’s distant capital and setting off a tsunami warning. (AP)

Photo credits: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images, Rebecca Blackwell/AP, Victoria Razo/AFP/Getty Images

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7.1 magnitude earthquake rocks Mexico City

More than 200 people, including 21 schoolchildren, are dead after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, hitting on the 32nd anniversary of the biggest quake to strike the country’s capital.

Yesterday’s earthquake was centered about 75 miles southeast of Mexico City and caused extensive damage, leveling at least 44 buildings, including homes, schools and office buildings, according to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who did a flyover of the city Tuesday afternoon.

Among the dead are at least 25 people — 21 students and four teachers — at a collapsed primary school in the south of the capital. So far, 11 people have been rescued, but two students and one teacher remain missing, according to Education Minister Aurelio Nuno.

Rescuers continued to comb through the wreckage, looking for survivors Wednesday, pausing to listen for voices. Relatives told The Associated Press they received WhatsApp messages from two girls inside.

“Children are often the most vulnerable in emergencies such as this, and we are particularly concerned because schools across the region were in session and filled with students,” said Jorge Vidal, the director of operations at Save the Children in Mexico. (GMA)

Photo credits: Omar Torres/AFP/Getty Images, Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images (2), Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images (3), Hector Vivas/Getty Images (2), Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images, Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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4

Venezuela’s symphony of protests

Protesters play violins, flutes and guitars as they take to the streets of Caracas in demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela’s opposition renewed nationwide protests to pressure the president into holding elections and improving a collapsing economy. (Reuters)

Photo credits: Marco Bello/Reuters, Ivan Alvarado/Reuters, Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters (2)

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5

Tears and tributes at Virginia memorial for Heather Heyer

Hundreds of purple-clad residents have packed a historic American theatre to remember the 32-year-old woman killed when a suspected white nationalist crashed his car into anti-racist demonstrators.

Heather Heyer, a paralegal whom colleagues said was dedicated to social justice, was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, after clashes on Saturday between white nationalists attending a “Unite the Right” gathering and counter-protesters.

“We are absolutely in awe at this outpouring of affection,” Elwood Shrader, Heyer’s grandfather, told the service at the city’s 1930s era Paramount Theater, near where she died. “She wanted respect for everybody. In our family, all lives matter.”

In the crowd were Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, US Senator Tim Kane and Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer. Many of those attending wore purple, Heyer’s favourite colour, at the request of her family.

“I came here today and I was overwhelmed by the rainbow of colours in this room,” said Heyer’s father, Mark Heyer, his voice cracking with emotion. “That’s how Heather was … for that, I am truly proud of my daughter.”

Fallout from Heyer’s death and the street fights among protesters has become President Donald Trump’s biggest domestic challenge. Trump was assailed from across the political spectrum over his initial response blaming “many sides” for the violence.

On Monday, the Republican president bowed to political pressure and denounced neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan by name, but on Tuesday he again inflamed tensions by insisting counter-protesters were also to blame. In a tweet on Wednesday morning, in a first mention, Trump described Heyer as “beautiful and incredible … a truly special young woman. She will be long remembered by all!”

Residents of the usually quiet, liberal-leaning Virginia city were horrified by the weekend violence they said was brought by outsiders. Amid concerns trouble could erupt outside Wednesday’s memorial, a small group of anti-racist protesters wearing pink helmets and carrying baseball bats and purple shields stood quietly near the theatre. One of the group, who declined to be identified, said they brought weapons to defend themselves in case the white supremacists returned.

“The cops didn’t protect us on Saturday and we don’t trust them to do so today,” the group member said. Also outside the theatre, artist Sam Welty was chalking a large portrait of Heyer on a memorial wall where many tributes to the slain woman have been written. “The way she lost her life, doing what she did, really stood for Charlottesville. It makes me wish that I knew her,” said Welty, 42. (AP)

Photo credits: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images (2), Andrew Shurtleff/Getty Images, Evan Vucci/AP (2)

Read:  At service for Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, a call for ‘righteous action’  »

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5

73rd Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy

June 6th marks the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day landings which saw 156,000 troops from the allied countries including the United Kingdom and the United States join forces to launch an audacious attack on the beaches of Normandy. Many people gather each year in Normandy to mark the anniversary of World War II’s D-Day landing. (Getty)

Photography by Chesnot/Getty Images and Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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8

Demonstrations against Venezuela’s President Maduro’s government in Caracas

Venezuela’s opposition blocked streets in Caracas on Tuesday to denounce a decision by unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro to create a new super-body known as a “constituent assembly,” a move critics say is a veiled attempt to cling to power by avoiding elections.

After a month of near-daily protests by opponents demanding early general elections, Maduro announced on Monday he planned to set up a new popular assembly with the ability to rewrite the constitution. Some 29 people have been killed, more than 400 people have been injured and hundreds more arrested since the anti-Maduro unrest began in early April.

The government has responded with shows of force by security forces and counter-demonstrations by Maduro supporters. At least 13 people were killed and 37 injured when a bus crashed while carrying state workers back to Bolivar state after a May Day rally organized by the government, according to the state governor.

While many details remain unclear about the constituent assembly, Maduro said political parties would not participate and that only up to half of its 500 members would be elected. (Reuters)

Photo credit: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

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4

Final curtain: Haunting images of abandoned theaters across the U.S.

A photographer with a passion for decaying buildings has captured a hauntingly beautiful series of images from theaters crumbling across the U.S. after the final curtain has fallen. Matt Lambros, a photographer from Brooklyn, N.Y., began creating his series of images of abandoned theaters across America in 2009.

Photography by Matt Lambros

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4

Hero dogs help rescue survivors after Mexico City quake

Rescue dogs joined search teams to look for trapped survivors after the powerful 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico City on Tuesday, killing at least 245 people.

These canine heroes include the goggle-clad Frida, who has reportedly already saved 52 people and stolen hearts across the globe.

Click through the slideshow above to see more of the dogs’ rescue efforts. (Yahoo News)

Photo credits: Edgard Garrido/Reuters, Carlos Cisneros/AP, Dan Trotta/Reuters

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7

Wild horse border patrol

Prisoners participating in the Wild Horse Inmate Program train mustangs that will eventually be adopted by the U.S. Border Patrol, providing the agency with inexpensive but agile horses, and inmates with skills and insights they hope to one day carry with them from prison. (Reuters)

Photo credits: Mike Blake/Reuters, Jim Urquhart/Reuters

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4

Cat visits every national park

This adventurous feline really is an outdoors cat — as he is currently making his way around every national park in the United States. So far, Vladimir the cat has visited 52 of America’s 59 national parks, which have included deserts, mountains, forests, beaches and even volcanoes.

That has meant trips to Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and the Great Smoky Mountains for adventurous Vladimir, who is traveling in a 1989 Toyota motor home with his owners, Cees and Madison Hofman, from the Bay Area in California. Through their website, Our Vie (their RV is nicknamed “Vie”), and social media, Cees and Madison are documenting their travels. (Caters News)

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7

Aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Cuba

At least 10 people were killed in Cuba by Hurricane Irma, most of them crushed by collapsing buildings, authorities said on Monday, bringing the death toll from the ferocious storm to 38 in the Caribbean.

Seven of the dead were in the province of Havana, while fatalities also were reported in Matanzas, home to the tourist resort of Varadero, and the regions of Ciego de Avila and Camaguey farther east, according to a statement from civil defense authorities.

The storm crashed into Cuba late on Friday as the first Category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of than 157 mph (253 kph), to make landfall on the island since 1932, state media reported.

The eye of the hurricane scoured the islands on Cuba’s northern coast. Even its outer reaches were powerful enough to send waves of up to 36 feet (12 meters) chasing into Havana’s historic seafront boulevard on Sunday.

“Given the immensity of its size, practically no region escaped its impact,” Cuban President Raul Castro said in a statement published in state-run media on Monday. He called for Cubans to unite in order to rebuild the country.

“The task we have before us is immense but with a people like ours, we will win the most important battle: the recovery.”

Irma, which had winds of more than 160 mph (260 kph) by the time it reached Cuba, progressed for some 200 miles (322 km) along the island’s northern shore before the eye of the storm turned northward on Sunday to batter Florida.

Its winds tore off roofs, felled trees and downed electricity poles, causing flooding in many coastal towns, including the capital Havana, and leaving millions without electricity.

Two of the victims died in Central Havana, infamous for its creaking infrastructure, when a balcony crashed down onto their bus. Authorities attributed two other deaths to a collapsed roof and three to building collapses. (Reuters)

Related Slideshows:

Hurricane Irma pounds Florida »
Not a beach day in Miami, but the people-watching is fine »
Aerial photos of Hurricane Irma destruction »
Hurricane Irma thrashes the Caribbean »
Preparations underway ahead of Hurricane Irma »

Photo credits: Yander Zamora/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images, Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images (6)

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4

Rebuilding Aleppo’s Old City

Aleppo’s Old City, shelled, burned and shot up during years of fighting in Syria’s civil war, can be rebuilt, the local representative of the United Nations cultural body UNESCO said.

“Our vision is to rebuild the Old City exactly as it was before the war, with the same stones where we can,” said Mazen Samman, UNESCO’s associate program coordinator in Aleppo.

There are detailed plans for the Old City’s great medieval mosques, souks, bathhouses and citadel from an earlier restoration that should allow exact reconstruction, he said.

But while that may be true of the most treasured monuments, whole districts of less celebrated alleyways and traditional houses that gave the Old City its character are also now rubble.

Reviving the Old City is important for Syrian President Bashar Assad both as a symbol of the returning power of his state, but also because of Aleppo’s economic importance.

The fighting in Aleppo ended in December when the Syrian army drove out rebels, but they still hold swaths of the country, and Assad’s government is hobbled by Western sanctions.

Now gradual efforts are being made to revive the city, one of the oldest in the Middle East.

The United Nations and international cultural agencies say they are committed to preserving and restoring Syrian heritage, but it will ultimately rely on local effort.

Local government will need to ensure work fits the character of the Old City, both architecturally and in how land is divided between shops, houses and public spaces.

Reconstruction depends on the Old City’s 100,000 former residents choosing to return to their homes and businesses, many of which are now piles of stones and concrete.

But it also requires the skills of Aleppo craftsmen, many of whom left the city during the war, some killed, others departing with the rebels or starting new lives as refugees abroad. (Reuters)

Photo credits: Ali Hashisho/Reuters, Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters, Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

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4

Police brutality protests in Paris suburbs

Protests continue in the Paris suburbs over the assault of a young black man allegedly sodomized with a police baton.

The police accused “several hundred” individuals of various “acts of violence and damage.”

The rioting capped a week of nightly clashes in the northern Paris suburb over the treatment of Theo, a 22-year-old youth worker, who claims a police officer sodomized him with his baton after a stop-and-search check in a housing estate.

One officer has been charged with rape over the affair, and three others with assault. All four have been suspended from their duties.

Theo’s case has revived long-simmering frustrations over policing in immigrant communities, where young men accuse the police of repeatedly targeting them in aggressive stop-and-search operations and using excessive force during arrests.

The police for their part complain of being drawn into a cat-and-mouse game with delinquents and drug dealers operating out of housing estates. (AFP)

(Photos: Christian Hartmann/Reuters, Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images [2], Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)

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5

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

An estimated 900 stray dogs live in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, many of them likely the descendants of dogs left behind following the mass evacuation of residents in the aftermath of the 1986 nuclear disaster.

Volunteers, including veterinarians and radiation experts from around the world, are participating in an initiative called the Dogs of Chernobyl, launched by the nonprofit Clean Futures Fund.

Participants capture the dogs, study their radiation exposure, vaccinate them against parasites and diseases including rabies, tag the dogs, and release them again into the exclusion zone.

Some dogs are also being outfitted with special collars equipped with radiation sensors and GPS receivers in order to map radiation levels across the zone. (Getty Images)

Photography by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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