The need for improved gun control measures in the United States took centre stage at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, as the party payed tribute to victims of some of the worst mass shootings in the country’s history.
The mother of one of the victims of last month’s Orlando massacre took the stage alongside two survivors of the shooting at the Florida nightclub.
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Christine Leinonen said her son Christopher, who died in the attack, was a “big” supporter of Hillary Clinton.
“I know common sense gun policies save lives,” said Leinonen.
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“The weapon that murdered my son fires 30 rounds per minute … Where was that common sense the day he died?”
Gunman Omar Mateen stormed Pulse nightclub in the early hours of June 12, and killed 49 people. The 29-year-old later died in a shootout with police.
Shortly after the massacre the U.S. Senate rejected gun control reform, including proposals for a beefed up system of background checks.
“I never want you to ask that question about your child,” Leinonen said. “That’s why I support Hillary Clinton.”
Erica Smegielski, who lost her mother in the Sandy Hook tragedy when a lone gunman took the lives of 20 young children and six educators, then addressed the crowd with a heart-wrenching speech. Dawn Hochsprung was the principal of the school, and died trying to protect her students.
“I should not be here tonight, I do not want to be here tonight,” Smegielski said as she addressed the crowd. “But my mom was murdered, so I am here.”
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“I’m here for those lives cut short in a school, in a movie theatre, in a church, at work, in their neighbourhoods or homes. Because those voices should never be silenced,” said Smegielski, bringing the crowd to its feet.
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“I’m here alone, without my mother, while too many politicians cower behind the gun lobby instead of standing with American families.”
While the Sandy Hook tragedy prompted a rallying cry for tighter gun control, many U.S. states have seen expanded gun rights in the years since.
Gabrielle Giffords also appeared on stage; the former Arizona politician survived being shot in the head in a 2011 targeted attack that left six people dead.
“In Congress I learned a powerful lesson: strong women get things done,” Giffords said. “Hillary is tough. Hillary is courageous. She will fight to make our families safer. In the White House she will stand up to the gun lobby —; that’s why I’m voting for Hillary.”
“Speaking is difficult for me. But come January I want to say these two words: madam President.”
Clinton, who is the first woman to be nominated by a major party to run for the White House‘s top job, has pledged to expand background checks to more gun sales, take on the gun lobby, and keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers and the severely mentally ill.
Americans will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Toad Fest is an annual tradition at Summit lake near Nakusp.
Visitors gather to help hundreds of thousands of tiny western toads migrate across a local highway.
However, the unique event will be a little different this year as many of the tiny amphibians aren’t ready to cross the road.
“The breeding happened earlier than [it has] for decades and we thought that this would actually be past the peak of the toadlet migration, but as you can see these toadlets they’ve got tiny tails,” event organizer Angus Glass said.
Those tiny tails mean the vast majority of toadlets are not far enough along in their lifecycles for the mass migration.
“If people are coming here to see a large migration, they’re not [going to see that], but you get a feel of kind of what is going on,” Glass said.
One of the key goals of the event is to teach people more about the tiny amphibians. So while visitors won’t be helping as many toads cross the road this year, they can still spot tadpoles massing on the shore of Summit Lake, see their predators in action and learn more about the toads.
“There is a good healthy population of tadpoles…and there [are] specific breading areas around the lake, but we want to keep it like that. They’ve been around for thousands of years we want to make sure that that is still the case,” Glass said.
Toad Fest will wrap up at noon on Thursday.
The mass migration of toads is expected to happen just a few days after the festival finishes.
The western toad has become a political issue in the Summit Lake area. An organization owned by the Village of Nakusp has plans to log in the region and some worry that could impact the toads.
Loggers say they won’t be logging cut blocks this summer, in part because of a larger number of young toads.
But they defend the logging saying precautions will be taken to protect the toads as part of their operations.
Saskatoon’s St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church greeted the Kursk-Root Icon Wednesday – an item believers say is capable of miraculous healing.
The gold and jewel-laden image depicts the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. The icon has been viewed by millions, according to Father Florin Soane with the church.
“In a visible way, we can say, the Mother of God, the Mother of Church, is coming to us,” Soane said.
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The icon was discovered in 1295 in a forest near Kursk, Russia. When a hunter picked up the artifact, its first miracle occurred and a gush of water appeared, church leaders said.
The Kursk-Root Icon was nearly destroyed multiple times, including an attempted burning during a Tatar invasion in 1383.
In 1918, during the Russian Revolution, the icon was stolen from the Cathedral of the Sign. It was later found and travelled with people displaced during the Second World War.
Since 1951, its permanent home has been in New York. However, it travels the world for people to see.
Darby Sovyn attended the church Wednesday in hopes of praying for health and wellness. She called it a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“I’ve got three children and that’s always a mother’s main goal to keep them safe and healthy and happy,” Sovyn said.
Twelve-year-old Anna Hrycay didn’t want to miss what she considered “a big deal.”
“To come here and venerate it, that’s a big opportunity. It doesn’t happen all the time, really,” she said.
After departing Saskatoon, the icon is scheduled to travel to Regina and Winnipeg.
A screengrab of Donald Trump’s late mother Mary surfaced recently and has been causing a stir on 桑拿会所.
The picture is from an interview Mary Trump conducted with Foxtel in 1997 which was recently re-aired in Australia as part of a documentary entitled “Who Is Donald Trump?”
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Mary Trump’s hair is swept over to one side and the resemblance to her son is pretty clear.
In the video, Mary Trump ironically reportedly says, “I don’t think the life of a politician would suit him. He’s too used to doing things his way and doing them right,” according to the New Daily.
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Of course, given how controversial a figure the Republican presidential candidate is these days, 桑拿会所 users have been pretty savage in comparing his mother to a character from a sci-fi film.
Mary Trump looks like the villain’s mother in a Dario Argento film. pic.twitter长沙桑拿/K5I2Kyt80I
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) July 26, 2016
Mary Trump was the inspiration for The Capitol in the Hunger Games. pic.twitter长沙桑拿/hxUbP93Re8
— Mark Moffitt (@Mark_theMoff) July 27, 2016
not even in terry gilliam’s wildest dreams could he dream up mary trump https://t.co/RxCKc5na2k
— raucous aurelius (@thetelemachy) July 27, 2016
I worry that the more you all tweet that photo of Mary Trump the more likely it is we’re actually awakening an ancient, blow dried evil
— Ash Warner (@AlsBoy) July 27, 2016
A whole host of other 桑拿会所ers are posting comparison photos.
Mary Trump via @sranysovok Dracula via F.F Coppola pic.twitter长沙桑拿/cp9ZkYo7yY
— Rojtszwaniec (@rojtszwaniec) July 27, 2016
Mary #Trump reminds me of someone … #Trump2016 pic.twitter长沙桑拿/OjRIXXpOl5
— Flo (@fco6464) July 27, 2016
Others are using the pic as a way to simply explain Trump’s oft-discussed hairstyle.
You know when sometimes suddenly everything sort of starts to make sense? Well this is Trump’s mother… pic.twitter长沙桑拿/YG218CPEOt
— Ed Brody (@chiefbrody1984) July 25, 2016
One man even took time to give her mane a name.
Mary Trump ‘s tasty wave pic.twitter长沙桑拿/8NAthPf4wr
— Mike Glazer (@glazerboohoohoo) July 27, 2016