What do you get when you bring three Purple Heart recipients together on the floor of Congress? One awesome f*cking photo.
On Thursday, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) shared this fantastic photo of himself with fellow wounded veterans Jim Baird and Dan Crenshaw during their swearing-in at the start of the 116th Congress.
5 eyes. 5 arms. 4 legs. All American.
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) January 3, 2019
Baird, recently elected to represent Indiana’s 4th congressional district, lost his left arm while serving in the Army during the Vietnam War, while Crenshaw, a Navy SEAL veteran, lost his right eye to an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2012. Mast himself lost both legs to an Afghan IED in 2010.
“5 eyes. 5 arms. 4 legs. All American,” Mast, who has served in Congress since January 2017, wrote of his fellow Republicans and incoming freshman congressman. “Welcome to Congress, @ElectJimBaird and @DanCrenshawTX.”
According to Military.com, all three of the men are Bronze Star recipients as well.
The man who chased away the gunman
The 48-year-old is responsible for singlehandedly stopping the Christchurch shooter from continuing the massacre at the Linwood mosque, the second mosque he targeted during Friday’s mass shootings. Identified as Abdul Aziz, the man said he didn’t like to be called a hero but for an entire nation, he is.
Aziz told the AP how he picked up a credit card reader and ran outside to confront the gunman. The father of four, Aziz was attending Friday’s prayers with his sons when he heard the gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant, approach the mosque. After he finished his killing spree, the gunman left the mosque.
He was followed by Aziz. At one moment, the gunman fired on Aziz, but he was able to dodge him by weaving through parked cars, which prevented the gunman from having a clear aim. In a matter of a second, Aziz spotted a gun the suspect had forgotten on the floor, picked it up, aimed at the attacker and pulled the trigger, but nothing came out.
Aziz said the man ran back to his car to possibly pick up another firearm.
“He gets into his car and I just got the gun and threw it on his window like an arrow and blasted his window,” he said.
The gunman then got into his car and drove away yelling at Aziz that he would kill them all. The Christchurch resident said he chased the attacker down the street to a red light before he made a U-turn and drove away. Police caught the man a few minutes later.
The suspect killed 49 people in total after attacking two mosques in Christchurch in the country’s deadliest mass shooting in modern history. The gunman killed 41 people at the Al Noor mosque before heading across town to the Linwood mosque where he killed seven others. One other person died at the hospital later.
Cuba claims US deploying Special Forces as part of ‘covert’ plan
U.S. Marines and other Special Operations troops are thought to have flown in from the US to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands, Cuba believes. The US plans to use Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis as a reason for the intervention, Havana believes. Food is said to have been stockpiled in warehouses on Venezuela’s border with Colombia ahead of a humanitarian mission.
A Cuban government spokesman claimed Washington wants to ”forcibly establish a humanitarian corridor under international protection, invoking the obligation to protect civilians”.
US special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams branded Cuba’s claim “a new lie”. Donald Trump has refused to rule out US military action in Venezuela and insisted “all options are on the tale”. Communist-run Cuba – along with Russia and China – has continued to back under-fire Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro.
Donald Trump has demanded president Maduro resigns and hands power to opposition leader Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly. A “Declaration of the Revolutionary Government” from Cuba alleged that recent events in Venezuela amounted to an attempted coup.
A Cuban government spokesman said: ”Between February 6 and 10 military transport aircraft have flown to the Rafael Miranda Airport of Puerto Rico, the San Isidro Air Base, in the Dominican Republic and to other strategically located Caribbean islands, probably without knowledge of the governments of those nations.
“These flights originated in American military installations from which units of Special Operations and Marine Corps operate, which are used for covert actions.”
Cuba claimed US sanctions are causing damage “1,000 times greater” than the aid it is trying to force on the country. The Dominican Republic’s Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas said no US military transport planes had landed in his country. He reiterated his government’s support for a peaceful solution to the Venezuelan crisis.
Venezuela is being rocked by a severe economic crisis with soaring inflation wreaking havoc on the livelihoods of residents. An estimated three million Venezuelans have fled to neighboring countries.
Communist-run Cuba has been a key backer of the Venezuelan government since the Bolivarian Revolution that began under former leader Hugo Chavez in 1998. Most Western and Latin American countries, including the UK, quickly recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state.
They have pledged millions of dollars in humanitarian aid in support. Guaido said on Tuesday the aid would roll across the border on February 23 despite the Maduro government’s objections, setting up a possible flashpoint.
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