The National Guard is being dispatched to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday alongside numerous federal security agencies after a pro-Trump insurrection in Washington, D.C. managed to overrun the building and halt the Electoral College vote count.
The deployment of the National Guard comes as chaotic and violent scenes of looting in the nation’s capital and legislative chambers flooded news outlets and social media. In some of the scenes, armed pro-Trump militants including QAnon, the Proud Boys, and far-right militias could be seen looting the offices of elected lawmakers.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office urgently requested that the National Guard intervene to suppress the uprising at the Capitol, reports CNBC.
The U.S. Army has activated the entire D.C. National Guard – comprised of 1,100 troops – who are en route to the D.C. Armory, where they will then be deployed across the Capitol and other points across Washington.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has also confirmed that the National Guard was en route along with various federal agencies.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also announced that he has orderd that the state National Guard and 200 Virginia state troopers be sent to the Capitol to suppress the insurrection. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has also said that he instructed his state’s National Guard to send a force to the Capitol.
Pentagon officials had been hesitant about deploying uniformed National Guard units to the Capitol in hopes to avoid scenes of the military battling election protesters. However, the inability of Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police to control the rioters prompted them to deploy troops.
On Wednesday afternoon, mobs of protesters wearing battle dress uniform and red “Make America Great Again” hats could be seen roaming through the halls of the House and Senate, snapping self-incriminating selfies and forcefully breaking into the offices of lawmakers. One man was reportedly smoking cannabis in one office room, while other man could be seen stealing framed photographs from officials’ offices. One man in a leather jacket tore apart a scroll with Chinese characters, reports New York Times.
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 unprecedented invasion of the legislative chambers forced lawmakers, including some who had to wear gas masks to traverse thick clouds of tear gas, to flee to secure locations. House staffers were also forced to shelter-in-place.
An improvised explosive device was also reportedly found at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in Washington, while the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee nearby was evacuated after a suspicious package was discovered there on Wednesday.
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!”
In a separate video, Donald Trump called on protests to go home. However, he also repeated his false claims that the election was “stolen” from him.
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.