East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 12, 2017, Page Page 7A, Image 7

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 7A
Pipe bomb attack hits NYC subway
Associated Press
NEW YORK — A would-be
suicide bomber inspired by Islamic
State extremists strapped on a crude
pipe bomb, slipped unnoticed into
the nation’s busiest subway system
and set the device off at rush hour
Monday in a scenario that New
years, authori-
ties said.
only serious
wounds were
to the suspect
identified as
Akayed Ullah, Akayed Ullah
a 27-year-old
immigrant and former cab driver.
But the attack sent terrified
commuters fleeing through a smoky
passageway, and three people
suffered headaches and ringing
ears from the first bomb blast in the
subway in more than two decades.
“This was an attempted terrorist
attack,” Democratic Mayor Bill de
Blasio said. “Thank God the perpe-
trator did not achieve his ultimate
The suspect had looked as
Islamic State propaganda online and
told investigators he acted alone in
retaliation for U.S. military aggres-
sion, law enforcement officials said.
In Washington, President Donald
Trump said the explosion high-
lighted the need to change immigra-
tion policies, including the type of
family-based visa Ullah obtained to
come to the U.S. in 2011. Such visas
are “incompatible with national
security,” the Republican president
said in a statement.
“America must fix its lax immi-
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
Police stand guard inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal following an explosion near Times Square
on Monday, in New York. Police said a man with a pipe bomb strapped to his body set off the crude
device in a passageway under 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
gration system, which allows far
too many dangerous, inadequately
vetted people to access our country,”
said Trump, who campaigned on
cracking down on immigration.
The attack near Times Square
came less than two months after
eight people died near the World
Trade Center in a truck attack
authorities said was carried out by
an Uzbek immigrant who admired
the Islamic State group.
Law enforcement officials
said Ullah was inspired by IS
but apparently did not have any
direct contact with the group. Gov.
Andrew Cuomo said there was no
evidence, so far, of other bombs or
a larger plot. He said officials were
exploring whether Ullah had been
on authorities’ radar, but there was
no indication yet that he was.
Cuomo said there was reason to
believe the attacker looked at bomb-
making instructions online.
Investigators described the bomb
as a low-tech explosive device
attached to Ullah with “Velcro and
plastic ties.” It was ignited with
a Christmas light, matches and a
nine-volt battery. The short pipe
was packed with explosive powder
but did not work as intended. It was
not powerful enough to turn the pipe
into deadly shrapnel, the officials
Investigators said the suspect
was seen on surveillance footage
putting the circuits together with his
hands and igniting the bomb.
Some of the bomb-making
materials may have been bought
commercially. The pipe may have
been obtained from his job where
he worked as an electrician, one
official said.
Authorities were searching
Ullah’s Brooklyn home and a nearby
Alabama foes make final push before big Senate vote
Facing voters at last after the year’s
most bitter U.S. campaign, Alabama
Republican Roy Moore cast himself
Monday as the victim of a national
barrage of unjust allegations of sexual
misconduct with teenagers. Rival Doug
Jones, hoping to become the state’s first
Democratic senator in two decades,
declared their race was Alabama’s refer-
endum on “who we are and what we’re
going to tell our daughters.”
Allegations aside, President Donald
Trump said in a robocall to Alabama
voters that he badly needs Moore’s
own vote in the U.S. Senate. Former
President Barack Obama and his vice
president, Joe Biden, recorded calls for
Jones seeking to break the GOP’s lock
on statewide office in Alabama.
Whether the calls would sway anyone
so late in such a highly publicized
campaign was an open question. So was
the impact of a rash of false news stories
that have appeared on social media
spreading misinformation.
One website wrongly claimed that
one of the women who have accused
Moore of sexual misconduct had
recanted. Meanwhile, Moore’s detrac-
tors took to social media to claim he had
written in a 2011 textbook that women
shouldn’t hold elected office. He didn’t.
On election eve, Moore called in to a
conservative talk radio show in Alabama
to lament the tone of the campaign and
portray himself as the victim of the
sexual misconduct allegations.
“We’ve seen things happen in this
campaign that I can’t believe to this
day,” said Moore, who has denied all
wrongdoing in contacts with the women
who said he behaved inappropriately
when they were in their teens and he
was a local prosecutor in his 30s. One
said he initiated sexual contact when she
was 14.
“It’s just been hard, a hard campaign,”
said Moore, a former Alabama Supreme
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore holds up pages with a news story about
himself as he speaks at a campaign rally, Monday, in Midland City, Ala.
Court chief justice who was twice
removed from that post for violating
judicial ethics.
At an evening rally in the state’s rural
southeast, Moore told voters, “If you
don’t believe in my character, don’t vote
for me.”
Former White House strategist Steve
Bannon, who also spoke at the Moore
rally, argued that the election is “greater
than Judge Moore and even greater than
the people of Alabama,” casting it as a
referendum on Trump’s agenda.
Meanwhile, Moore’s wife, Kayla,
stirred up another ruckus while
defending him against claims of being
anti-Semitic. “Well, one of our attorneys
is a Jew,” she said. “We have very close
friends who are Jewish and rabbis.”
Alabama has been a solidly Repub-
lican state for years, and Moore said he
is much more in tune with the issues that
matter to voters — and to the president.
Jones acknowledged Monday in
Montgomery, “Look, I’m not going
to be the senator that everybody in the
state can agree with 100 percent of the
time.” But he added: “They’ll know I’m
somebody that will sit down with them.
I will learn from them. ... I will try to be
the public servant I think a U.S. senator
ought to be.”
Former professional basketball star
Charles Barkley, speaking at a Jones
rally Monday night, urged voters not
to embarrass his home state by electing
Moore. “I love Alabama, but at some
point we’ve got to draw a line in the
sand and say, ‘We’re not a bunch of
damn idiots,’” Barkley said.
Following Barkley’s remarks, Jones
urged Alabama voters to say, “Enough
is enough.”
Voters seemed as divided as ever,
including young Alabamians, some
going to the polls for the first time.
rented space, interviewing witnesses
and relatives, reviewing his subway
fare card and looking for surveil-
lance footage that might show his
movements in the moments before
the 7:20 a.m. attack.
Security cameras captured the
attacker walking casually through
a crowded passageway under
42nd Street between Seventh and
Eighth avenues when the bomb
went off amid a plume of white
smoke, which cleared to show the
man sprawled on the ground and
commuters scattering.
“All we could hear was the
chaos,” said Elrana Peralta, a
worker who was working at the
Port Authority bus terminal near
the blast, though she did not hear it.
Instead, she heard people yelling,
“Get out! Get out! Get out!”
Port Authority police said offi-
cers found the man injured on the
ground, with wires protruding from
his jacket to his pants and the device
strapped to his torso under his coat.
They said he was reaching for a cell-
phone and they grabbed his hands.
A photo published by the New
York Post showed a bearded man
crumpled on the ground with his
shirt apparently blown off and black
soot covering his bare midriff.
Law enforcement officials said
the suspect was speaking with
investigators from the hospital bed
where he was being treated for
burns to his hands and abdomen.
He was “all over the place” on
the question of motive, but indicated
he wanted to avenge U.S. aggres-
sion against the Islamic State, one
official said.
The officials spoke to The
Associated Press on condition of
anonymity because they were not
authorized to speak publicly about
the blast.
#MeToo spotlight increasingly
pointed at past Trump conduct
Donald Trump sailed past a
raft of allegations of sexual
misconduct in last year’s
presidential election.
#MeToo spotlight is turning
back to Trump and his
past conduct. Several of
his accusers are urging
Congress to investigate his
behavior, and a number of
Democratic lawmakers are
demanding his resignation.
With each day seeming
to bring new headlines that
force men from positions
of power, the movement to
expose sexual harassment
has forced an unwelcome
conversation on the White
House. In a heated exchange
with reporters in the White
House briefing room on
Monday, press secretary
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
accusations against the
Republican president and
suggested the issue had
already been litigated in
Trump’s favor on Election
But to Trump’s accusers,
the rising #MeToo move-
ment is an occasion to
ensure he is at last held
“It was heartbreaking last
year. We’re private citizens
and for us to put ourselves
out there to try and show
America who this man is
and how he views women,
and for them to say, ‘Eh,
we don’t care,’ it hurt,”
Samantha Holvey said
Monday. The former beauty
queen claimed that Trump
ogled her and other Miss
USA pageant contestants in
their dressing room in 2006.
Holvey was one of
four women to make her
case against Trump on
Monday, both in an NBC
interview and then in a
news conference. Rachel
Crooks, a former Trump
Tower receptionist who said
the celebrity businessman
kissed her on the mouth
in 2006 without consent,
called for Congress to “put
aside party affiliations and
investigate Trump’s history
of sexual misconduct.”
“If they were willing to
investigate Sen. Franken,
it’s only fair that they do the
same for Trump,” Crooks
Franken, the Democratic
senator from Minnesota,
announced last week that he
would resign amid an ethics
probe into accusations that
he sexually harassed several
women. Reps. John Conyers,
D-Mich., and Trent Franks,
R-Ariz., also resigned after
misconduct accusations.
But a Capitol Hill investi-
gation into Trump’s conduct
appears unlikely. The Senate
and House Ethics Commit-
tees investigate members
of Congress, not presidents,
committees are not apt to
investigate Trump on sexual
misconduct unless there is
some sort of connection to
the ongoing Russia probe.
Ash falls like snow
as celebrities flee
California community
fell like snow and heavy smoke
had residents gasping for air
Monday as a huge Southern
California wildfire exploded in size
again, becoming the fifth largest in
state history and driving celebrities
from a wealthy hillside enclave.
Tens of thousands have fled
their homes as flames churn
through foothill towns near Santa
Barbara, the latest flare-up after
a week of wind-fanned wildfires
throughout the region.
With acrid smoke thick in
the air, even residents not under
evacuation orders were leaving,
fearing another shutdown of a key
coastal highway that was closed
intermittently last week.
Officials handed out masks to
those who stayed behind in Monte-
cito, an exclusive community
about 75 miles northwest of Los
Angeles that’s home to stars such
as Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and
Drew Barrymore.
Kenneth Song/Santa Barbara News-Press via AP
Firefighters keep watch on a wildfire blaze burning the mountain-
side Sunday near the Cate School campus in Carpinteria, Calif.
Some glitches seen
in deadline week for
‘Obamacare’ sign-ups
Consumer advocates reported
some glitches Monday in the final
days for “Obamacare” sign-ups,
although the Trump administration
largely seemed to be keeping its
promise of a smooth enrollment
In Illinois, some consumers
who successfully completed an
application for financial assistance
through HealthCare.gov got a
message saying they would likely
be eligible to buy a health plan,
“but none are available to you in
your area.”
That information was incorrect
because every county in the nation
currently has at least one health
insurer offering plans under the
Affordable Care Act for next year.
Friday is the last day to enroll
for subsidized private coverage
in 39 states served by the
federal HealthCare.gov website.
Consumer interest has remained
brisk, even as the Trump admin-
istration cut the sign-up season in
half, reducing it from roughly from
90 days to 45 days.
Former President Barack
Obama offered encouragement
Monday for the closing push,
posting on social media and
joining a conference call with
enrollment counselors.
Pentagon to allow
transgender people to
enlist in military
gender recruits will be allowed to
enlist in the military beginning Jan.
1, the Pentagon said Monday, as
President Donald Trump’s ordered
ban suffered more legal setbacks.
The new policy reflects the
difficult hurdles the federal
government would have to cross
to enforce Trump’s demand
earlier this year to bar transgender
individuals from the military.
Three federal courts have ruled
against the ban, including one
Monday in Washington state.
In October, U.S. District Judge
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly barred
the Trump administration from
proceeding with its plan to exclude
transgender people from military
service. Part of the effect of the
ruling was that the military would
be required to allow transgender
people to enlist beginning Jan. 1.
The government had asked
Kollar-Kotelly to put the Jan. 1
date on hold while they appealed
her full ruling but she declined
Monday, reaffirming the Jan. 1
start date. The Department of
Justice is now asking a federal
appeals court to intervene and put
the Jan. 1 requirement on hold.