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Police charge second teen in US school shooting that killed two

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Police charge second teen in US school shooting that killed two

Authorities on Friday charged a second teenager with murder in the shooting deaths of two students at a Des Moines educational program.

Bravon Michael Tukes, 19, of Des Moines, faces two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of criminal gang participation.

The charges match those filed earlier in the week against Preston Walls, 18, who is accused of fatally shooting the two teenage students at the Starts Right Here education program Monday and wounding the program’s founder.

Police said evidence shows Tukes communicated with Walls before and immediately after the shooting and drove the vehicle in which Walls allegedly fled. Tukes and Walls are members of the same gang and committed the shootings “in connection with that gang membership,” police said in a news release.

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Police said they recovered four firearms during their investigation.

Online court records did not indicate whether Tukes had an attorney yet who could speak on his behalf.

The shooting left 18-year-old Gionni Dameron and 16-year-old Rashad Carr dead. Will Keeps, a former Chicago gang member who moved to Des Moines and later founded the program to help at-risk youth, was seriously wounded and remains in a hospital.

Police have said all four teens were gang members, but relatives and friends of Dameron and Carr dispute that, saying they were not involved in gangs and were close friends who were dedicated to their families.

Police say the shooting was premeditated and that Walls, who was on supervised release for a weapons charge last year, cut off an ankle monitor 16 minutes beforehand. Court documents say he had a concealed semiautomatic handgun with a high-capacity extended magazine when he entered a common area of Starts Right Here and opened fire.

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Classes at the education program, which works with Des Moines Public Schools to help students who haven’t succeeded in traditional schools, were cancelled this week. Keeps has forged deep ties with community leaders, and the city’s police chief serves on the program’s board.

Matt Smith, the interim schools superintendent, described Keeps as “Amazing. Incredibly passionate.”

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White-led DA party joins ANC in South African unity government

White-led DA party joins ANC in South African unity government

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White-led DA party joins ANC in South African unity government

 The African National Congress and its largest rival, the white-led, pro-business Democratic Alliance, agreed on Friday to work together in South Africa’s new government of national unity, a step change after 30 years of ANC majority rule.

Once unthinkable, the deal between two sharply antagonistic parties is the most momentous political shift in South Africa since Nelson Mandela led the ANC to victory in the 1994 elections that marked the end of apartheid.

“Today, South Africa is a better country than it was yesterday. For the first time since 1994, we’ve embarked on a peaceful and democratic transfer of power to a new government that will be different from the previous one,” DA leader John Steenhuisen said in a televised address.

“From today, the DA will co-govern the Republic of South Africa in a spirit of unity and collaboration,” he said, adding that multi-party government was the “new normal”.

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The ANC lost its majority for the first time in an election on May 29 and has spent two weeks locked in intensive behind-the-scenes talks with other parties, which came down to the wire on Friday morning as the new parliament was convening.

The DA’s entry into national government is a big moment for a country still processing the legacy of the racist colonial and apartheid regimes. The party has struggled to shake off its image as a defender of rich white people and convince a broad spectrum of South Africans that it reflects their aspirations.

Two smaller parties, the socially conservative Inkatha Freedom Party and the right-wing Patriotic Alliance, will also take part in the unity government, they said. 

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Hamas’ armed wing says Israeli airstrike killed two hostages in Rafah

Hamas’ armed wing says Israeli airstrike killed two hostages in Rafah

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Hamas' armed wing says Israeli airstrike killed two hostages in Rafah

Hamas’ armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government “does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins,” the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.

Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a hostage-freeing operation in central Gaza’s al-Nuseirat on June 8. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 250 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

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The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas militants stormed southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. 

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US attack sub, Canada navy patrol ship arrive in Cuba on heels of Russian warships

US attack sub, Canada navy patrol ship arrive in Cuba on heels of Russian warships

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US attack sub, Canada navy patrol ship arrive in Cuba on heels of Russian warships

A Canadian navy patrol ship sailed into Havana early on Friday, just hours after the United States announced a fast-attack submarine had docked at its Guantanamo naval base on Cuba, both vessels on the heels of Russian warships that arrived on the island earlier this week.

The confluence of Russian, Canadian and U.S. vessels in Cuba – a Communist-ruled island nation just 160 km (100 miles) from Florida – served up a reminder of old Cold War tensions and of current fraught ties between Russia and Western nations over the Ukraine war.

However, both the U.S. and Cuba have said the Russian warships pose no threat to the region. Russia has also characterized the arrival of its warships in allied Cuba as routine.

The Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, half submerged with its crew on deck, sailed into Havana harbor on Wednesday after conducting “high-precision missile weapons” training in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Canada`s Margaret Brooke patrol vessel began maneuvers early on Friday to enter Havana harbor, part of what the Canadian Joint Operations Command called “a port visit…in recognition of the long-standing bilateral relationship between Canada and Cuba.”

A Canadian diplomat characterized the Margaret Brooke`s arrival as “routine and part of long-standing cooperation between our two countries”, adding it was “unrelated to the presence of the Russian ships.”

Russia and Cuba were close allies under the former Soviet Union and tensions with Washington over Communism in its “backyard” peaked with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Moscow, which has maintained ties with Havana, has questioned the apparent nervousness of the West over the warships this week. 

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