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Cue ‘Law & Order’ dun-dun, because trial starts for widow of Orlando nightclub gunman

Reuters

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By Joey Roulette

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) – The federal trial for the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, began on Thursday with the selection of jurors, who will decide whether she aided her husband in one of the deadliest U.S. mass shootings.

Noor Salman, wife of Omar Mateen, is the only person charged in the June 2016 attack on the Pulse nightclub and faces up to life in prison if convicted. Mateen, 29, died in an exchange of gunfire with police at the club.

Salman was at home with the couple’s then 3-year-old son at the time of the attack. But prosecutors said she knew of her husband’s plans to launch an attack and did nothing to stop it.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials collect evidence from the parking lot of the Pulse gay night club, the site of a mass shooting days earlier, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo

Some protesters gathered outside the Orlando courthouse Thursday morning held posters encouraging a guilty verdict and calling for the death penalty. The trial could take as long as a month, court officers said.

Although she initially denied the accusations, Salman later told federal investigators she knew that her husband was watching recruitment videos for Islamic State in Iraq and that he had purchased an assault rifle and examined three possible attack locations, they said in court documents.

“The defendant aided and abetted her husband in this mass-murder and repeatedly lied to law enforcement during and after the attack in an effort to obstruct the FBI’s ongoing investigation,” they said in a court filing.

Defense lawyers contend the U.S. government could not show any direct links between Mateen and Islamic State before the attack and has provided no evidence that Salman aided her husband.

“It was Mateen, not Noor, who decided to attack the Pulse Night Club, Mateen who chose to drive to the club, Mateen who purchased the weapon and ammunition, and Mateen who alone carried out the attack,” they said in court filings.

Salman, 31, was indicted on two charges: obstruction of justice for alleged false statements to federal investigators and aiding and abetting Mateen in his attempt to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

In December, the judge denied a request by Salman’s attorneys to hold the proceedings outside of Orlando.

Mateen opened fire shortly after the last call for drinks on the club’s popular Latin night. He gunned down patrons on the dance floor and sprayed bullets at others hiding in bathroom stalls.

Holding hostages during his standoff with police, Mateen claimed allegiance to a leader of the Islamic State militant group before he was fatally shot.

(Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Frances Kerry)

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Video of Man Calling 911 On Hood of Speeding Car Will Blow Your Mind

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What would you do if you were driving, looked over at the car beside you, and saw a Mercedes with a man on the hood as it’s powering 70 mph down the freeway? You’d take out your fucking phone and capture it. That’s what a driver in Miami did.

As for the guy on the hood, well, just watch the video and see for yourself.

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Parents Hiring Fortnite Coaches to Help Improve their Kids’ Gaming Skills

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Fortnite Battle Royale is dominating the world of video games. Now parents are beginning to invest in coaches to help their kids kick some Fortnite ass in the same way they would for sports or academics. Sorry, math tutors, you might not fit in the budget.

The Wall Street Journal reported some parents are spending between $10 and $20 per hour so their kids can level up and improve their gaming.

“There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it,” Ally Hicks, who purchased four hours of lessons for her 10-year-old son, told the WSJ. “You can imagine what that was like for him at school.”

Players are able to purchase skins as well as accessories such as gliders, pickaxes, back bling and emotes using V-Bucks, the game’s digital currency. Those add-on elements present no in-game competitive advantage but have generated massive revenue. Fortnite is on track to generate $2 billion for its parent company in 2018, according to a Bloomberg report.

Fortnite is available to play on PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and your iPhone. But unless you can afford your own coach, you’ll probably suck balls and lose.

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Better than the Weekend Actually Got Nominated for Something

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Well, two things, actually.

And this shit got me in my feelings.

When I found out Better than the Weekend was nominated for two Steamtown Music Awards, I was just happy to be invited to a work affair happening at a bar. The annual event celebrates the talent and hard work of regional musicians and entertainment industry professionals set in Northeastern Pennsylvania — and BTTW is nominated for Publication/Blog of the Year and Journalist of the Year. (Directions on how to vote at the end of the article.)

As the founder of an online publication still in its early development, getting recognized by the community and being in the company of publications that have been around in our HQ city for as long as 25 years is pretty rad and a solid win on its own.

When I launched BTTW in the summer of 2016, I wanted to create an online community of people who want an escape from the negative bullshit in their lives and need help getting through the week. And the way that community continues to grow is by focusing on sharing stories about who people really are outside of their IG feed and how they live their lives. Because understanding each other and finding common interests and values is how we connect and feel less alone in the world.

There was the time I spoke to a white college-educated liberal who wanted Donald Trump to be the next president. The Associated Press even circulated that story.

Then there was the time I visited a sleepaway camp for grownups. That might be the greatest place to unplug and make great new friends. Ever.

There was also the time BTTW hosted and moderated Scranton’s first-ever live streamed political debate with candidates running for public office or the time we threw an epic election party.

All the while, musicians from Northeastern PA have been part of that story, whether it was with a live performance at our office or a BTTW hangout —

Live entertainment at the HQ for Scranton’s First Friday with Mike Baresse

Posted by Better than the Weekend on Friday, April 6, 2018

 

— or having discussions with musicians beyond their music; deep from the soul. This is SMA nominee Jami Kali posing for ‘Dreams, Exposed,’ photographed by nominee Lisa Petz. 

To vote Better than the Weekend for Publication of the Year and me (Justin Adam Brown) for Journalist of the Year, click right here. Scroll down to the Recent Posts and you’ll find the categories and be able to vote.

If you’re from Northeastern PA, vote for your favorites. If you’re not, vote for everyone!

Win or lose, I’m just happy BTTW is capturing your attention.

I’ll be at the event Thursday, Sept. 13 at The V Spot in Scranton rooting on all the nominees and celebrating their hard work. Hope you’ll make it, too.

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