Sister of Charleston Church Shooter and Two Others Arrested for Bringing Weapons to School on day of Walkout

On Wednesday Morgan Roof, who is the 18-year-old sister of Dylann Roof, was arrested for having weapons on her at school. This happened the same day of the nationwide walkouts against gun violence.

A school resource officer at A.C. Flora High School in Columbia, South Carolina, allegedly discovered marijuana, pepper spray and a knife in Morgan Roof’s possession.

Morgan Roof is being charged with simple possession of marijuana and two counts of carrying weapons while on school grounds. Roof was also granted a $5,000 bond and ordered not to attend school while out, WIS reported.

NBC reported that Morgan Roof made a post on Snapchat that couldn’t be verified, that they say stated “your [sic] walking out for the allowed time of 17min, they are letting you do this, nothing is gonna change what tf you think it’s gonna do? I hope it’s a trap and y’all get shot we know it’s fixing to be nothing but black people walkin out anyway.”

In her social media post, Ms Roof seemed opposed to her classmates joining the thousands of students across the US walking out of class in memory of the 17 people killed at a Florida school last month.

Her racially charged post said in part, “I hope it’s a trap and y’all get shot”

Two other students were also arrested on Wednesday for carrying weapons on the grounds of Ms Roof’s school, AC Flora High School, local media reported.

Authorities found an unloaded handgun which students reportedly saw one of the 16-year-olds throw into a bush.

The incidents at the school are being treated separately, according to the school’s principal, who shared a letter on the school’s Twitter page.

Currently her brother Dylann Roof is waiting for execution at the Terre Haute Federal Prison in Indiana after he was sentenced to death last year in January. The self-proclaimed white supremacist killed nine black worshippers at a Charleston church in 2015.


North Western University on lockdown after shots fired in dorms

Evanston police tweeted Wednesday afternoon that people should stay out of the area of Emerson Street and Maple Avenue due to a shooting investigation, after a report came in of shots fired.

At 3:11 p.m. on Wednesday, Evanston police tweeted they checked the area and found “no evidence of a victim, scene or gunman.” Police said they are continuing to search and secure the area.

An emergency notification was sent out to staff and students at 2:40 p.m., according to the Daily Northwestern.

Northwestern tweeted out people should seek shelter and stay in a safe place. People were urged to stay away from the area.

This story is developing and will be updated when all clear is given.

Illinois Governor says No to Common Sense Gun law that would License Gun Dealers

On Tuesday, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner voted against a popular bill that would have licensed gun dealers. The previous day many Chicago leaders, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson, reached out to Rauner, saying that he should support the bill. The bill has been awaiting his signature for over two weeks now.

The bill that was vetoed was Senate Bill 1657, which would require criminal background checks for all gun shop employees. It would also require training that would help gun shop employees identify a buyer purchasing a gun for someone else.

(Photo via Chicago Tribune)

In a statement on Tuesday, Emanuel said:

“With one week left in his campaign, Governor Rauner just put his primary election ahead of his primary responsibility to protect the safety of the people of Chicago and Illinois. The governor’s decision was cruel, it was cold and it was calculated to benefit his own politics at the expense of public safety. This veto is a slap in the face to crime victims, faith leaders and police who have pleaded with Governor Rauner to protect public safety by signing the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. This failure will be his legacy.”

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Rauner said that Senate Bill 1657, “created onerous, duplicative bureaucracy that does little to improve public safety.”

Early Tuesday morning, Bruce Rauner appeared on a radio interview with WJPF News Radio. Where he said in the interview that, “I’m going to veto the bill, it’s just not right.”

Rauner continued to say in the radio interview that state laws should be tougher on repeat gun offenders. While also make schools safer, he suggested that “highly trained, highly well-armed security personnel at our schools who are very, very talented and able to protect our students.”

The NRA released a statement Tuesday night saying:

“The bills Gov. Rauner vetoed today were a dramatic overreach designed specifically to shut down as many Illinois federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) as possible. Now the law-abiding gun owners of Illinois need to let their lawmakers know this type of infringement upon their fundamental Second Amendment rights is completely unacceptable. Punishing legitimate businesses for the criminal actions of others is exactly why communities continue to suffer as their elected officials appear more concerned about making headlines instead of addressing the real problem; actual criminals.”

Featured video via Politico

Rex Tillerson removed as Secretary of State

On Tuesday Morning, United States President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, naming Mike Pompeo as his replacement.

President Trump tweeted that the new state secretary would do “a fantastic job”.

Rex Tillerson has only been in the role for just over a year, now joining the handful of others to leave the administration.

To replace the vacancy left by Pompeo, the U.S. president nominated Gina Haspel. If she is elected, then Haspel will be the first female director of the CIA.

In regards to why Trump dropped Tillerson, the president said he had differences that came down to personal “chemistry” between the two.

Rex Tillerson is the latest to be removed from the Trump administration, something that might sound like to a dream to others still in the administration.

Earlier this week Rex Tillerson canceled a trip to Kenya after suddenly falling ill. It isn’t certain if this was something Tillerson knew ahead of time, or if the President randomly decides to remove him from the position.

Featured photo is via VOA News as Rex Tillerson is sworn in as Secretary of State

Turks surround Kurdish-held Afrin

Turkish forces said on Tuesday that had surrounded the Kurdish-held city of Afrin, the main objective of Turkey’s offensive into northwest Syria.

A statement from Ankara said the armed forces, along with allied Syrian rebel groups, had also taken control of several key areas.

A Kurdish source confirmed that all road into the city are under attack by Turkish shellfire, reported BBC News.

Reports a day before described hundreds fleeing the city to nearby areas controlled by forces loyal to the Syrian government.

Ankara considers the YPG, or People’s Protection Units, as associated with the Kurdish Workers’ Party terror group in eastern Turkey, a claim Kurds in Syria and their western allies have vehemently denied.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan launched the offensive against Syrian Kurds on Jan. 20, to much condemnation from the United States.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, considered the most effective ground-fighting force against so-called Islamic State, is led and largely made up by Kurds.

The SDF is currently pushing back the last remnants of IS, along with Syrian government forces.

Damascus sent government-loyal troops to Afrin to support the Kurds against the Turkish aggression but it is not clear what their role has been in the last few days.

Kurdish spokesperson Nouri Mahmoud told Reuters news agency that Afrin had long been surrounded on all sides by enemy forces.

The only road out of a siege that was confirmed on Tuesday by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights in within the range of Turkish artillery fire and therefore unusable.

The Observatory reported that the city of Afrin, 90 villages and a nearby town were under siege.

The United Nations chief told the Security Council that the battle for Afrin, which is also the name for the territory, had resulted in “significant civilian displacement” with reports of “numerous casualties and damage to infrastructure”.

Some 324,000 were living in the Kurdish enclave before the Turkish offensive launched, according to U.N. figures.

More coverage to follow. Image of forces near Afrin, Syria from Hurriyet Daily News. 

Elizabeth Warren: “I’m Not Running for President”


Giovanni LoPiccolo

“For the people of Massachusetts, and for the people across this country… This government is working better and better and better for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. I am in these fights, and I am in this fight to retain my Senate seat in 2018. That’s where I’m focused. That’s where I’m going to stay focused. I’m not running for president.” are the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts while on State of the Union on NBC with Chuck Todd.

Elizabeth Warren is one of the few highly qualified progressives who would have a true shot at winning the White House in 2020, and like many Senators, is up for re-election in 2018. She has been a law professor, specializing in bankruptcy law, for decades, and now a member of the Senate since 2013. Bernie Sanders, however, is most likely going to run. He continues to traverse the states spreading his message of a better America, a future to really believe in. This is a clear way to keep not only himself prevalent in Americans’ lives, but also the progressive message. And one more thing to remember, Elizabeth Warren has been doing the same thing. I do not think she said she’s not going to run for President in 2020, she’s making it clear what she’s doing right now.

Right after the 2016 Presidential election, Bernie Sanders was continuously asked if he would’ve won if he were the Democratic Nominee, and if he is going to run in 2020. Bernie became frustrated with the media asking these what-ifs, as they distracted us from the real issues. The 2016 election was nasty, it was filled with and hate on both sides, both the Democratic and Republican primaries. I personally think Elizabeth Warren is seeing how with each passing day, the more atrocities the Trump Administration commits, the more she is pressed on running for President. It is a way to ease people’s minds, of course, for this entire article itself is somewhat speculation.

Warren has a more important task ahead of her at the moment, securing her seat in 2018 so she can continue to do progressive work in Congress for another six years. If she loses the Senate seat in 2018, that makes her lose all her credibility, and even “electability”. I do not think she’s made up her mind on 2020, and right now is just telling the media to shut up about 2020. There’s too much going on in this country, too much suffering, inequality, anger, and neglect of the everyday citizen to constantly run stories of who might run for President. It would become an endless cycle, something the American people are tired of.

But what we’re really tired of is that millions of people still do not have health insurance, Republicans tried taking away health care from those who already have it, college can and will put you into debt, minimum wages are still $7.25 in some states, thousands of people die each year from preventable gun violence, the federal government is threatening to withhold funds to cities housing undocumented immigrants, the federal government is trying to ban Muslims… the list goes on. But, if Warren does decide to remain in the Senate by 2020, perhaps she can become the next head of the Democratic Party. Chuck Schumer is a career politician who’s been in office too long, and has not truly served the needs of the American people. And if worse comes to worst, Republicans maintain a Congressional majority in 2018 and 2020, we’ll need someone in the Senate to keep the Democrats on the right path.

Besides, we have the rest of the following to keep an eye out in the coming months; Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Nina Turner, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris. Of course, Warren is staying on this list, right after Bernie Sanders, what Senator goes around the country to talk about today’s issues if they weren’t trying to spread their name recognition and message?



The Latest – Your Berning Week

 collageGiovanni LoPiccolo

This week on The Latest – Your Berning Week, we discuss states’ actions on gun control, the opioid crisis, North Korea, discovering white supremacy in our schools, the EPA working on an agenda that contradicts its founding purposes, and more. You can find more information on many of these topics on the Berning Media Network homepage, as well as the full articles.


Monday, March 5th

  • Dayanna Volitich is a middle school teacher in Florida, and apparently has been running a white supremacist podcast, under the pseudo-name Tiania Dalichov. She proposed that Muslim terrorism will continue to occur until we eradicate Islam, according to our very own Berning Media article, Middle School Teacher in Florida Caught Running White nationalist Podcast by Patrick Vinson.

Racism and white supremacy in this country has never gone away, and many could argue it isn’t dwindling. Upon the election of Donald Trump as President, and even really when he was campaigning, he allowed the wretched and ill-spirited of this country to come out of the shadows. This President has allowed them to feel comfortable in their acts of hatred against our very own, as well as any non-white, non-straight, non-Christian individual. One of our many goals, to maintain the integrity of being American, is to condemn white supremacy and racism back into the cave it managed to crawl out of. Racists decry that the concept of political correctness is dictating their lives, and they’re just being honest – no, that’s being indecent.


Tuesday, March 6th

  • Florida State Senate passes gun control measures, including raising the age to buy a gun at 21, and also investing $400 million for mental health services.
  • North Korea willing to discuss “freezing nuclear assets”

This is a step in the right direction, and more recently it was announced that the Florida Governor signed the bill into law. For a state that gave its electoral votes to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, it is relieving to see them tackle gun control. This isn’t all that should be done, for that troubled individual can now wait until he’s 21 to buy an AR-15. Hint: the assault weapon itself is the problem.

The next small issue I have is the attention to mental health. Yes, attention to mental health is important, but it is not such a big factor in these mass shootings. The student who committed the shooting in Parkland, Florida was bullied throughout his high school career and was socially outcasted, it wasn’t about having a mental illness. He was a troubled child who needed someone to talk to. States need to invest in their schools more, invest in proper psychiatrists and therapists in schools, and invest in having many of them for each school. And if your argument is to arm teachers or have armed guards at schools; there was an armed sheriff at the high school in Parkland, and he didn’t go inside upon hearing gunshots.

In regard to North Korea freezing their nuclear assets, this is also a step in the right direction. At this point, North Korea wants the world to know they shouldn’t been seen as a joke, or just a rogue state. They have weapons capable of flattening cities and want to be taken seriously. If the US, or even Donald Trump, does meet with Kim Jong Un, it is imperative they do not come off as threatening and demanding. If Trump’s first thing he says to Kim Jong Un is to get rid of the nuclear program, the talks won’t go far. They need to develop a dialogue by listening to what they have to say, and go off of that.


Wednesday, March 7th

  • Former President Barack Obama’s Presidential Library raises property values in the south side of Chicago (has not been completed).

Barack Obama has his heart in the right place, for choosing his home city for his Presidential Library, but it’s having some negative repercussions on the community. I think, what we’re having here, is a situation where there are both positives and negatives to building the Obama Presidential Library in this location. And in this case, the positives outweigh the negatives. When I think of Presidential Libraries, I think of elite and untouchable buildings that represent the person whose been removed from society during their time as President. I can’t speak for everyone with my first thoughts. But what Obama is trying to do is take away that idea of being removed, or placed on a pedestal above everyone else. It’s more about honoring humble beginnings, and giving back to the community that helped you get to where you are.


Thursday, March 9th

  • President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agree to meet sometime by May, which would be the first meeting between our two countries’ heads of state.

Kim Jong Un’s goal is to establish international recognition of his power and prestige through the development and success of a nuclear weapons program. Nations around the world, like the US, China, Russia, the UK, and France have become world powers not only because of their economies, but also because of their nuclear stockpile. Kim Jong Un believes he’ll receive a spot at the table as a significant and major world leader if he has nuclear weapons, and the North Korean state will be legitimized upon meeting with the US President. He’s agreed to stop missile testing during the meeting, which shows, he isn’t an erratic or entirely unstable man. Donald Trump will most likely praise himself for establishing a meeting, and also having Kim Jong Un cease the missile tests. There’s nothing we can really change about that, but we really know why Kim Jong Un really stopped. It wasn’t because of Trump’s “fire and fury” comments.


Friday, March 10th

  • Oregon Governor Kate Brown spoke on Capitol Hill for the Senate’s special hearing on the opioid crisis and instructed lawmakers to treat drug addicts as patients, not criminals.

Oregon once again shines and leads by showing the rest of the country how to tackle this crisis. The biggest problem we could make because of our ignorance or stereotyping on people who use opioids is that they are criminals, and should be thrown in jail or left to die. The last thing we need is a country that is gearing up to just throw you in a prison for having been prescribed a drug that you’ve become addicted to, or live in such impoverished conditions that the only way to make yourself feel better is to take said drug. For when someone falls over, you don’t kick dirt in their face, you help them up.