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5 dead, others injured in White Island volcano eruption in New Zealand

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  • At least five people are dead and several others injured after one of New Zealand’s most active volcanoes erupted on Monday afternoon local time, sending huge plumes of smoke into the sky. 
  • New Zealand’s geological monitoring agency, GeoNet, said the eruption began at around 2:11 p.m. on Whakaari, also known as White Island.
  • According to the agency, the volcano sent ash plumes 12,000 feet into the air. 
  • New Zealand police officials said, around 6 p.m. on the night of the explosion, that the area is too dangerous for rescuers to try to retrieve anybody. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

At least five people are dead and several others were injured after one of New Zealand’s most active volcanoes erupted on Monday, sending huge plumes of smoke into the sky. 

The eruption occurred at Whakaari, also known as White Island, which is located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the east coast of country’s North Island.

White Island map


Screenshop/Google Maps


According to New Zealand’s geological monitoring agency, GeoNet, the eruption began at around 2:11 p.m. local time.

Activity at the volcano diminished after the short-lived eruption.

At a press conference around 6 p.m. local time, New Zealand Police confirmed that at least five people died, while others were being treated in nearby hospitals for burns. 

Police added it is still too early to confirm how many people are involved and how many people are still on the island. 

Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims said that the volcano is currently too unstable for rescuers to enter.

“It is important that we consider the health and safety of those who are going to rescue those on the island,” said Tims.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said that about 100 people were believed to have been on the island when the volcano erupted, according to the New Zealand Herald. That figure was around double an earlier estimate of 50 given by police.. 

“All our thoughts are with those affected at this stage,” Ardern said on Monday afternoon after a cabinet meeting. 

New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency said that the immediate vicinity of the volcano remains hazardous.

 

GeoNet said the volcano sent ash plumes 12,000 feet into the air. 

A no-fly zone has been established above the island. 

According to GNS Science, New Zealand’s geoscience agency, White Island has been New Zealand’s most continuously active volcano for the last 40 years. 



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Conor McGregor hugged ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone’s grandma after his knockout win

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  • Conor McGregor dominated in his return to UFC action on Saturday night, knocking out veteran fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds.
  • After the fight, McGregor was quick to show respect to Cerrone, going in to hug his fallen opponent, as well as his grandmother, who had entered the ring for support.
  • Fans on Twitter expressed excitement to see McGregor showing love to the legendary fighter.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Conor McGregor made a statement in his return to UFC action on Saturday night, knocking out veteran fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds.

McGregor charged right at the opening bell, and after missing a rocket of a left hand, clinched Cerrone and beat into his nose with his shoulder. After connecting with Cerrone’s jaw with an impressive kick, McGregor sent his opponent to the ground and finished him off while some fans were still chewing their first bite of popcorn.

While McGregor has been disrespectful of some opponents in the past after his thunderous knockouts, he was quick to show love to Cerrone after his victory.

With 34 UFC bouts under his belt and a record 16 UFC finishes to his name, Cerrone is a legend of the sport. McGregor acknowledged as much after his knockout win, rushing over to hug his opponent.

McGregor’s lovefest didn’t stop there, as he also gave Cowboy’s grandmother, Jerry Cerrone, a big hug in the ring as she entered to support her grandson.

On Twitter, fans loved the interaction.

While the amount of respect McGregor shows in his next fight will largely depend on his opponent, it’s clear fans were excited to see the Irish fighter back in action on Saturday night.

Dan Bilzerian lost a monstrous pile of cash betting against Conor McGregor

A 21-year-old American’s dream of becoming the UFC’s youngest-ever champion was crushed by a classy flyweight veteran in a brutal and bloody win

How Conor McGregor went from Dublin plumber to the king of combat sports

An American southpaw knocked his UFC opponent down with a crafty left hand, held him down with one fist, then punched him 11 times while he lay defenseless on the canvas

Photos show how Conor McGregor’s body has drastically changed as he’s accelerated through the UFC



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Trump legal team official response calls impeachment case ‘dangerous’

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  • President Donald Trump’s legal team argued in a six-page letter that House Democrats’ articles of impeachment were a “dangerous attack.”
  • The letter was the first formal response to the House’s two impeachment charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
  • The letter revealed the strategy Trump’s legal team will use in the Senate trial beginning next week, arguing that the articles of impeachment don’t include any criminal actions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump’s legal team issued its first formal response to the House Democrats’ articles of impeachment on Saturday, calling the case a “dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President.”

Trump faces two impeachment charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The charges are based on allegations that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine after urging its president to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

The White House’s six-page formal response called the charges “an affront to the Constitution of the United States, our democratic institutions, and the American people,” lambasting the House impeachment proceedings as a “rigged process” conducted by vengeful Democrats.

“This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election — now just months away,” the letter said. “The highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated and continues to this day.”

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he welcomes the 2019 NCAA National Championship Football team the Louisiana State University Tigers to the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he welcomes 2019 National Championship Football team the Louisiana State University Tigers to White House in Washington
Reuters


The letter also revealed the strategy Trump’s legal team will be adopting — mainly arguing that the articles of impeachment don’t include any criminal actions and are therefore unconstitutional.

The Constitution allows Congress to remove a president from office after determining the president is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the definitions for which have stoked much debate in recent months.

Yet the White House’s letter urged senators to reject the articles of impeachment in the trial that begins next week, arguing that both articles failed to state impeachable offenses, crimes, or violations of law.

“They are defective in their entirety. They are the product of invalid proceedings that flagrantly denied the President any due process,” the letter said. “They rest on dangerous distortions of the Constitution that would do lasting damage to our structure of government.”

Also on Saturday, House impeachment managers filed a 46-page trial memorandum arguing that Trump “abandoned his oath” by using “his official powers to pressure a foreign government to interfere in a United States election for his personal political gain,” and must be pulled from office.



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Police called after Target manager refuses to sell 1 cent toothbrush

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  • A man claiming to be an award-winning journalist churned up viral outrage after he says he called the police on a Target manager who refused to sell him an electric toothbrush for 1 cent.
  • David Leavitt tweeted a photo of the Target manager, a display that advertises an Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for $0.01, and a screenshot of Massachusetts law dictating that stores must sell items for the lowest price indicated on a sign or advertisement. 
  • A GoFundMe started by a third party has raised more than $16,000 so far for the Target manager, who has only been identified as “Tori” – but the GoFundMe account owner has yet to track down the real Tori, so it’s unclear where the money will actually go. 
  • Leavitt, who also claims he plans to sue Target, is verified on Twitter and says he has bylines with CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and the Examiner, but his journalism credentials are questionable and he’s repeatedly gone viral for outrageous, offensive tweets. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A self-identified “award-winning multimedia journalist” became the target of outrage on Twitter after he posted a picture of a Massachusetts Target manager and claimed he called the police on her because she wouldn’t sell him an electric toothbrush for one cent. 

David Leavitt, who is verified on Twitter, tweeted pictures of “Tori” the store manager, a display for an Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush with a price tag for $0.01, and a screenshot of a webpage about the Massachusetts Item Pricing Law, which requires that stores sell items at the lowest price indicated on a sign or advertisment.

That law also states that if there is a discrepancy between the price listed on the shelf and what the item rings up as, the customer should be given a $10 deduction from the lowest advertised price. Leavitt went on to claim that Target “refused” to sell him the toothbrush and so he called the police.

Leavitt then tweeted that the police “verified” that the price of the toothbrush was listed as $0.01 and that “Tori refused to sell me the toothbrush for the displayed price.” He said the police “said I need to sue them” and that they would make a report of the incident to “take to court.”

david leavitt twitter

A screenshot of the original tweet posted by David Leavitt.

Twitter/@David_Leavitt


“Corporations like @target are not above the law,” Leavitt tweeted. “The police officer told me they’d testify that they saw the price and that the manager wouldn’t sell me the item for the price listed.” 

Most of the angry responses to Leavitt’s tweet criticized him for blaming the store manager and for posting a photo of her. A GoFundMe was started by a third party on behalf of “Tori” called “Send #TargetTori on a Vacation” and has since raised more than $16,000. 

Many aspects of the viral moment are questionable, from the GoFundMe to Leavitt’s journalism credentials

Leavitt didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, and didn’t provide any evidence of his encounter with the police or the report he says the police officers made on Twitter, so it’s unclear if he really called the police. 

Additionally, he wrote in a follow-up tweet that “I have not been able to afford to go to a dentist in over three years. So yes I wanted a good toothbrush and was thrilled to see such an amazing prize on an @OralB but @target refused to honor it and now I have to take them to court.”

Other Twitter users pointed out that Leavitt tweeted “#YouAreWinningWhen you get the dentist’s office waiting room to turn off Fox News” on April 24, 2018, contradicting his claim that he hadn’t been to a dentist in over three years. 

Leavitt’s bio on Twitter is also questionable. He claims to be an “award-winning multimedia journalist” with bylines at CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and the Examiner – but he has repeatedly gone viral for outrageous, offensive tweets, and both CBS and AXS have tweeted that he is not affiliated with them.

He appears to have been a freelancer at one point, and a screen capture on the internet archive the Wayback Machine shows he authored at least one post for AXS in 2014, but his author page has since been removed from the website. 

When Leavitt last went majorly viral, it was because he tweeted “The last time I listened to Ariana Grande I almost died too” the day of the Manchester Arena bombing at a Grande concert that left 23 people dead. After that tweet received media attention for the backlash it sparked, both CBS and AXS disavowed him.

david leavitt ariana grande tweet

A screenshot of another David Leavitt tweet that went viral for sparking outrage.

Twitter/@rainkinsgreen


The only other recent writing Leavitt seems to have done is for his own blog, LuvItOrLeavitt. On his Muck Rack page, a site that collects journalist’s clips, most of the articles that appear to be authored by him are not actually written by Leavitt. Some are written by or are about the author David Leavitt, who is a different person. 

Additionally, the GoFundMe started on behalf of the manager “Tori” is not actually linked to the Target manager herself. Despite quickly raising more than $16,000 at the time of publication, the GoFundMe was started by someone who has yet to establish communication with the real “Tori,” so the money will actually go to the third party. 

The name of the GoFundMe account raising money is Carpe Donktum, who is a semi-prominent pro-Trump meme creator. They have over 200,000 Twitter followers, and used the platform to raise money for “Tori” quickly.

An update posted by Carpe Donktum, who didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, says “I am in the process of tracking her down to discuss how to transfer the funds.” On Twitter, Carpe Donktum also said they believe they have made contact with “THE TORI” and is working to confirm her identity. 

“You don’t know me, but many others do, and I hope they would say I have built my reputation as an honest person with integrity,” the account replied to someone asking how donators know the money is really going to “Tori.”

Target didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 



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