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Police officers guard home of deputy assigned to Florida HS who ‘never went in’ during shooting: report

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Several Palm Beach County police officers are guarding the home of the former school resource deputy who stayed outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as last week’s massacre unfolded, Fox’s WSVN-TV reported.

Deputy Scot Peterson, of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, was armed and stationed on the school’s campus when Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, leaving 17 people dead and others wounded.

He resigned Thursday after video surveillance showed he never entered the school, even though he “clearly” knew there was a shooting taking place, officials said. The revelation prompted widespread outrage.

When a WSVN-TV reporter tried to approach Peterson’s Boynton Beach home for an interview Thursday, he said he encountered a contingent of six police officers standing guard.

“They prevented us from approaching the house,” WSVN-TV’s Frank Guzman tweeted.

TIMELINE OF FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING

Sheriff Scott Israel during a press conference Thursday said video showed Peterson arriving at the west side of the high school where the shooting took place. Peterson, Israel said, took up a position but “never went in.”

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attend a memorial following a school shooting incident in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018.  REUTERS/Thom Baur - RC1AFD9727E0

Officials said Thursday that the resource deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, never entered the building during Feb. 14’s mass shooting.

 (REUTERS/Thom Baur)

Peterson, according to the sheriff, “was absolutely on campus through this entire event.” The deputy was armed and in uniform during the shooting, but never entered the building despite “clearly” knowing a shooting was happening, Israel said.

The sheriff said he believes Peterson remained outside of the building for roughly four minutes, while the shooting in total lasted around six minutes. Israel said the officer never fired his weapon.

The sheriff told reporters he’s “devastated. Sick to my stomach. There are no words.”

When asked about what law enforcement agencies entered the building first, and at what time, Israel said that it “doesn’t matter who went in first” or “what order you went in.”

“What matters is that when we, in law enforcement, arrive at an active shooter, we go in and address the target,” the sheriff said. “And that’s what should’ve been done.”

Peterson, according to Israel, should’ve “went in. Address the killer. Kill the killer.”

FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. A week after a shooter slaughtered more than a dozen people in the Florida high school, thousands of protesters, including many angry teenagers, swarmed into the state Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 21, calling for changes to gun laws, a ban on assault-type weapons and improved care for the mentally ill. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

Sheriff Scott Israel said he believes Stoneman Douglas resource officer Scot Peterson remained outside of the building where the shooting was taking place for around four minutes, while the shooting in total lasted around six minutes. Israel said the officer never fired his weapon.

 (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVORS DREAD PARKLAND CAMPUS RETURN

The sheriff said that he suspended Peterson without pay pending an internal investigation, but the officer resigned and retired.

In February 2016, the sheriff’s office received a call from someone who was concerned that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school.” That information was forwarded to the Stoneman Douglas resource officer.

More on the Florida school shooting…

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to WTVJ that Peterson’s family requested privacy and protection following Peterson’s resignation.

In 2014, Peterson was named School Resource Officer of the Year in Parkland, WSVN reported. The district stated “Deputy Peterson has proven to be reliable in handling issues with tact and judgment.”

Two other deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office have been placed on restrictive duty as officials investigate “whether or not they could have done more, should’ve done more.”

The officers were identified by WSVN as Edward Eason and Guntis Treijis.

Their restricted assignments come as the bureau found it responded to 23 calls regarding Cruz or his brother since 2008. In two of the instances, Col. Jack Dale said, protocol might not have been followed.

Israel said an investigation remains ongoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com.

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Queen unveils statue of herself in South Australia – with the help of technology | UK News

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The Queen has unveiled a statue of herself in Australia, despite being thousands of miles away in Windsor Castle.

The 94-year-old has continued her work virtually during the coronavirus pandemic, like many of those in her family.

But after almost 70 years on the throne she was able to joke about the technology that has allowed her to unveil a statue virtually for the first time.

In a video call with the governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le and the state’s premier Steven Marshall, she said: “I would think possibly it might be quite alarming to suddenly see it out of the window – you’d think, gracious, has she arrived unexpectedly?”

The sculpture depicts the monarch in a coat and hat carrying her trademark Launer handbag and it sits in the grounds of Government House in Adelaide, South Australia.

When told it had become the most popular place for people to take photographs, the Queen chuckled and said: “Oh really?”

Mr Le said: “They feel very close to you through standing in front of the statue.”

Sculptor Robert Hannaford also presented the Queen with a “maquette”, a scale model of the statue, which will be sent as a memento.

The Queen remarked: “That’s very kind. I’m glad it’s not quite as big as the original statue.”

At the start of the call, the Queen had joked about what time of day it was in Australia.

“Good morning,” she said. “Well that’s good morning to me. It looks… I don’t know what time of day it is to you.”

She was also briefed on other developments in South Australia, including the early stages of the vaccine programme, the response to COVID-19 and the lifting of restrictions.

She also heard about the region’s recovery from drought and bushfires.

Staff were shielding a patient entering an ambulance with umbrellas
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Staff were seen shielding a patient entering an ambulance with umbrellas

The video call took place on Wednesday last week but it was released by Buckingham Palace on Monday, the same day the Duke of Edinburgh was moved from King Edward VII’s hospital to St Bartholomew’s.

Philip, 99, has been in hospital for almost two weeks and will undergo testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition.

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Nicolas Sarkozy: Former French president to appeal guilty verdict in corruption trial | World News

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Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is set to appeal after he was handed a one-year prison term and two-year suspended sentence for corruption and influence peddling.

The 66-year-old was convicted by a court in Paris on Monday for having tried to illegally obtain information from a senior magistrate in 2014 about a legal action in which he was involved.

The court said Sarkozy will be entitled to request to be detained at home with an electronic bracelet, meaning he is unlikely to go to jail.

He left the court without speaking, but his lawyer said he would appeal, and prove his innocence, describing the ruling as “extremely severe and wholly unjustified.”

And a post on his wife Carla Bruni’s Instagram account read: “What a senseless witch-hunt, my love @nicolassarkozy …. The fight will continue, the truth will see the light #injustice.”

Nicolas Sarkozy
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Sarkozy spent five years as French president

The trial at the end of last year heard how the former politician, who was president from 2007 to 2012, forged a “corruption pact” with his lawyer Thierry Herzog, 65, and senior magistrate Gilbert Azibert, 74.

The trial focused on phone conversations that took place in February 2014. At the time, investigative judges had launched an inquiry into the financing of the 2007 presidential campaign.

During the investigation, they incidentally discovered that Sarkozy and Herzog were communicating via secret mobile phones registered to the alias “Paul Bismuth”.

According to wiretapped conversations, Sarkozy instructed Herzog to promise Azibert a job in Monaco in exchange for leaking information about another legal case in which he was involved.

The court said the facts were “particularly serious” given that they were committed by a former president who used his status to help a magistrate who had served his personal interest.

In addition, as a former lawyer, he was “perfectly informed” about committing an illegal action, the court said.

Sarkozy’s two co-defendants – Herzog and Azibert – were also found guilty and given the same sentence.

Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni in 2008
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Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni in 2008

This is the first time in France‘s modern history that a former president has gone on trial for corruption.

Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty in 2011 of misuse of public money and given a two-year suspended prison sentence for actions during his time as Paris mayor, but he did not end up having to appear in court because of ill health.

Sarkozy will face another trial later this month along with 13 other people on charges of illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign.

His party is suspected of having spent 42.8m euros, almost twice the maximum authorised, to finance the campaign, which ended in victory for Francois Hollande.

Nicolas Sarkozy and Muammar Gaddafi attend a ceremony for the signature of 10 billion euros of trade contracts between the two countries at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 2007
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Sarkozy and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi attend a ceremony for the signature of 10bn euros of trade contracts between the two countries at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 2007

In another investigation opened in 2013, Sarkozy is accused of having taken millions from then-Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi to illegally finance his 2007 campaign.

He was handed preliminary charges of passive corruption, illegal campaign financing, concealment of stolen assets from Libya and criminal association. He has denied wrongdoing.

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Yemen: Criticism as UK announces it will cut aid to war-torn country by more than half | Politics News

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The UK government has announced it will cut the aid it provides to Yemen by more than half.

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly revealed at a virtual United Nations pledging conference that the UK’s contribution in the next financial year will be “at least £87m”, taking its contribution since the conflict began to more than £1bn.

This is a fall of 59% from 2020/21, when the figure stood at £214m.

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Yemen: The analysis of a war crime

It follows the government’s decision to cut foreign aid across the board by billions of pounds – from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%.

“The UK remains steadfast in our support to Yemeni people as one of the biggest donors of lifesaving aid and through our diplomatic efforts to bring peace,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

“Since the conflict began, we have supported millions of vulnerable Yemenis with food, clean water and healthcare, and will continue to do so. We are using our UN Security Council seat and working with our allies to push for a lasting resolution to the conflict. Yemen’s leaders must meaningfully engage with the UN to agree a ceasefire.”

Mr Cleverly told the conference that the UK’s contribution would “prioritise those most vulnerable and at highest risk” and provide at least 1.6 million people with access to clean drinking water and support 400 clinics to provide healthcare and feed 240,000 of the most vulnerable Yemenis every month.

The UN has launched an urgent appeal for more funding for aid in Yemen to avert a looming famine – which would drastically worsen the already devastating impact of the civil war.

The UK government’s decision drew swift criticism.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said it was a “deeply depressing statement of intent from the government”.

She added: “Despite all the talk of Global Britain this is us abandoning our moral obligations, pulling further away from our allies and stepping back just as the USA steps up.”

Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt, a former foreign secretary, said he was “deeply disappointed” with the decision.

“Abandoning a forgotten country and people is inconsistent with our values, weakens our moral authority and reduces our influence,” he said.

“We should be increasing the scale of our support in the face of such suffering; to cut it at this moment of extreme peril is incomprehensible.”

Labour’s Sarah Champion, chair of the Commons International Development Committee, slammed the move as “utterly appalling”.

“It sends a message that the UK is turning its back on the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” she said.

“This is completely at odds with the government’s assertions that the UK should be a global leader, especially in the year with the G7 and COP presidencies.

“It is an astonishing move, particularly as the UK has the power – as penholder within the UN Security Council for Yemen – to lead the way to create a political solution to the conflict.”

Speaking to Sky News before the decision was announced, former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell said: “Any cut, let alone one of nearly 50%, will mean that four million Yemenis – mainly children – will continue the slow, agonising and obscene process of starving to death.”

He also predicted the government would have the greatest difficulty pushing its wider foreign aid cut through parliament.

“We are a generous country and every single elected member of the House of Commons promised in their manifesto just over a year ago not to cut the 0.7% spending on development,” said Mr Mitchell.



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