Monday morning news: October 29, 2018


Synagogue shooting » Prosecutors in Pittsburgh filed 29 federal charges against Robert Gregory Bowers on Sunday. That was less than 24 hours after a shooting rampage at Tree of Life Synagogue. Here’s U.S. Attorney Scott Brady.

BRADY: There are 11 counts of murdering victims who were exercising their religious beliefs. There are 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder. And each of these counts is punishable by death.

Authorities say the 46-year-old Bowers used an AR-15 rifle and three handguns to kill 11 people and wound six others—including four police officers. The attack came shortly after services began Saturday morning.

A tactical response team quickly tracked down Bowers on the building’s third floor and shot him. During his arrest, Bowers allegedly told officers, quote—“I just want to kill Jews.” According to a police affidavit, Bowers accused the Jews of committing genocide against his people.

Most of the victims were elderly or middle-aged: The oldest was 97, the youngest 54. Jeff Finkelstein of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh mourned the deaths.

FINKELSTEIN: This is an awful, awful period for our Jewish community, and especially for the families who have been affected.

Bowers remained hospitalized Sunday but is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday. FBI investigators believe he acted alone.


Feds arrest accused bomber » Meantime, Cesar Sayoc is set to appear in a Florida courtroom today after allegedly sending 13 explosive devices to prominent Democrats last week.

Investigators arrested Sayoc on Friday after a nationwide manhunt. Although none of the bombs exploded, FBI Director Christopher Wray said they were not fakes.  

WRAY: Each device consisted of roughly 6 inches of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, some wiring, and what is known as energetic material, which is essentially potential explosives and material that give off heat and energy through a reaction to heat, shock, or friction.

Prosecutors say Sayoc is a former pizza delivery man and stripper who has a long criminal history. He was a vocal supporter of President Trump on social media.

The devices went to frequent targets of the president’s criticism, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


Kentucky murder investigated as a hate crime » The FBI is also investigating a shooting in Kentucky as a possible hate crime. Prosecutors have charged 51-year-old Gregory Bush with murder. They say he allegedly shot and killed a man and a woman at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown on Wednesday. Both victims were African-American.

A bystander in the parking lot exchanged fire with Bush, who allegedly told him not to shoot because, quote—“whites don’t shoot whites.” Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers said investigators are aware of those statements.

ROGERS: We’re pursuing all avenues of the investigation, no matter where that takes us or what it involves. All crimes are investigated to the fullest extent by us.

Rogers said Bush has a history of mental illness. His ex-wife, who is African-American, took out protection orders against him after he used racial slurs during violent outbursts.

Shortly before the grocery store shooting, surveillance video showed Bush trying to enter Jeffersontown First Baptist Church—a historically black church.


Calls for civility » After the string of violent acts, federal officials and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for more civil public discourse. Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen spoke to Fox News Sunday.

NIELSEN: I firmly believe in the First Amendment, but anybody who uses the First Amendment as a cover to threaten or commit an act of violence, uh, will not be tolerated. There is no place for hate in this country. Hate is hate, violence is violence…

Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma told CBS’ Face the Nation that Americans have lost the ability to talk to one another with civility.

LANKFORD: Our social media rhetoric, our intensity of our dialog is no longer about having dialogue and conversation. It’s shouting someone else down that you disagree with and trying to silence them, rather than having dialogue with them.

President Trump called for national unity at a rally over the weekend. But Democrats said he should look in the mirror. Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware called on all political leaders to do better.

COONS: I think those of us in national office—our president, those who would hope to be president, those of us in Congress—who have louder microphones and who are heard from and seen more regularly, need to take responsibility for ways in which we lower the temperature.


Brazil election » In Brazil on Sunday, 57 million voters propelled far-right candidate Jair Boslonaro to a win in that country’s presidential election.

BOLSONARO: [Speaking in Portuguese]

The populist Bolsonaro beat leftist Fernando Haddad by just over 10 points. He built his winning coalition on promises to defeat rampant corruption and rising crime.

The 63-year-old Bolsonaro will take office on January 1st.


Red Sox win World Series » The Boston Red Sox are World Series champions—again.

Left-hander David Price pitched seven strong innings last night to lead Boston to a 5-1 win and a 4-1 series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

PRICE: This is why I came here. I knew we were going to have an opportunity to get to this point every year, and to finally get here, and to come out on top—I’m at a loss for words right now.

First baseman Steve Pearce won MVP honors after hitting three home runs and driving in eight over five games.

The title is Boston’s ninth all time and fourth in the last 15 years.


I’m Jill Nelson. Straight ahead on Legal Docket: Coverage of recent oral arguments at the Supreme Court. And later—J.C. Derrick on coping with loss.


(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) A memorial of flowers and stars line the sidewalk outside the Tree of Life Synagogue Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in remembrance of 11 people killed when a shooter opened fire during services Saturday, Oct. 28, 2018 in Pittsburgh. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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