An angry mob of thousands of pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, prompting a lockdown and forcing House and Senate lawmakers as well as Vice President Mike Pence to hastily flee.
Members of QAnon, the Proud Boys, and various far-right militias managed to breach the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. following a brief siege that saw federal police melt away in the face of the angry throngs of protesters. The militant tactics of the protesters makes good on the outgoing president’s promises of a “wild” rally.
Mobs of protesters roamed through the halls, snapping photos while breaking into the offices of lawmakers. One man puffed on cannabis in a room, while other men could be seen taking framed photos. One man in a leather jacket tore apart a scroll with Chinese characters, reports New York Times.
Some protesters even managed to invade the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose staff left so hastily that their computers were left on with open emails still on-screen, according to a tweet from The Blaze journalist Elijah Schaffer.
The protesters ripped photos from Speaker Pelosi’s suite of offices, flipped over tables and vandalized the office while posing for photos.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Trump supporters roared “U-S-A, U-S-A” in the basement “crypt” of the Capitol. The wet floors of the building were littered with shattered glass.
The riotous crowd was able to successfully halt Congress’s counting of the electoral votes to officially confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory as police hastily evacuated lawmakers from the building.
The proceedings were expected to be brief and ceremonial, but some Republican lawmakers – egged on by the outgoing president – objected to the election results.
However, their attempts to block Biden’s victories remain certain to fail.
President Trump, facing widespread bipartisan criticism for egging on the violent protests, has called on protesters to “stand down” and “remain peaceful” as the situation continues to spin out of control.
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful,” Trump said in a tweet. “No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
Vice President Pence followed the outgoing president’s message with his own tweets.
“The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now,” Pence tweeted.
“Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.”
“Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Pence added.
Protesters, including some wearing camouflage uniforms and waving “Trump 2020” flags, forcefully swarmed into the building, prompting the unprecedented evacuation of the Capitol.
In spectacular video played across national news networks, protesters in red “Make America Great Again” hats and holding placards could be seen freely walking around the floor of the Senate.
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that an armed stand-off has developed between federal law enforcement officers and Trump supporters at the door to the chamber of the House of Representatives.
Capitol Police have reportedly locked off the Senate chamber and have guns drawn as protesters pound on the doors and have been vandalizing the building.
One demonstrator was also reportedly shot in the chest by law enforcement during the storming of the Capitol.
This story is developing and will be updated as events unfold.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.