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Monday, July 26, 2021
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Fatal shooting outside a convenience store becomes the first homicide of 2021 in Fort Bend County

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A man was shot and killed after two separate groups exchanged gunshots outside a convenience store in Stafford late Monday night.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office received a call last night regarding a male who was found shot on the side of the road here at 812 FM 1092, also known as Murphy Road around 11:56 p.m.

Camerron Long was the 22-year-old victim who was shot several times and was immediately transported to the Sugar Land Methodist Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

This event marks the first homicide of 2021 in Fort Bend County, just four days into the new year where in the previous year, there were a total of 12 homicides in Fort Bend County.

No arrests or motives have been announced in the shooting at the moment, but The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet that authorities don’t have any further information.

Anyone with information that could help Fort Bend County investigators should call their Crime Stoppers at 281-342-TIPS.


Produced by Shivani Parmar

Top Harris County Health Official to step down

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Dr. Umair Shah addresses the Houston public in a press conference with Fort Bend County Judge, KP George

In Harris County, throughout the pandemic, one key individual has assisted in advising the county on COVID-19 recovery. Dr. Umair Shah, the primary advisor to County Judge Lina Hidalgo on the coronavirus, is stepping down. 

Two county officials revealed this news to the Houston Chronicle earlier today. 

Shah has taken a job in Washington state, and this decision comes only days after Houston area-hospitalizations have hit a high since Labor Day.

Shah has been head of the Harris County health department since 2013. 

With his unexpected departure from the county, the Commissioners Court will appoint an interim public health authority at its Dec. 1st meeting. His last day will be December 18th. 

This is a developing story. More details to follow soon.

Two police officers shot, suspect found says HPD Chief Acevedo

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One officer has been injured, and another has died in a shooting with a suspect this morning in Southwest Houston.

The fallen officer, Sgt. Preston, served for the Houston Police Department for 41 years. The other officer who is endured non-fatal injuries is Officer Courtney Waller.

A press briefing with the police chief provided more details. The suspect, is a 51 year old Hispanic male, with a criminal history of family abuse. The family of the suspect called to report disturbances and reports of abuse multiple times before the incident.

The suspect has been transported to a Memorial Hermann hospital near the scene. His 14 year old son was also injured in this incident.

Police Chief Art Acevedo and Mayor Turner provide a press briefing for the shooting on Tuesday morning.

HPD Police Chief, Art Acevedo tweeted on Tuesday morning that a suspect is being searched for after two police officers have been shot.

The shooting occurred in the Southwest area of Houston, in the 2600 block of Hollyhall, according to reports from KPRC.

One officer was transported to the Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center.

Lina Hidalgo and Mayor Sylvester Turner also tweeted at her followers asking for them to keep the officers in their thoughts.

The scene is no longer active. A criminal invesitigation is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

This is a developing story, check back for more information soon.

Bodies recovered from Monday building collapse

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A partial building collapse in West Houston with three confirmed fatalities, one victim transported to nearby hospital in stable condition.

On Monday afternoon around 2 p.m, a building collapsed near west Houston– resulting in the deaths of at least three people.

All bodies from this collapse were recovered on Wednesday.

The incident occured near the I-10 Katy Freeway in the area of Town & Country Boulevard.

Rescue technicians and a hazmat team cut through rubble mounting three-stories high in order to recover the bodies.

The collapse injured one person, however, the 240 construction workers on the scene were not injured.

Assistant Fire Chief Ruy Lozano said on Monday in a press briefing that the collapse appeared to involve newly constructed stairs that began at the 13th and 14th floor of the 15-story building.

Harvey Builders, the company hired to take on the project, issued the following statement to ABC13:

“Harvey Builders is working with the Houston Fire Department, our subcontractor East Texas Precast, and Hines, the project’s development manager, to investigate a fatal accident involving the collapse of a stairway on the construction site of the future Houston headquarters of Marathon Oil. Construction is an inherently dangerous activity and in recognition of this Harvey and its subcontractors observe very strict protocols on every project. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with each of the families involved during this difficult time.”

Trump says name of whistleblower in impeachment inquiry should be revealed

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday (November 3) said the name of the whistleblower whose concerns prompted an impeachment inquiry should be revealed because that individual had given false information.

Trump, without giving evidence, suggested the whistleblower could potentially be guilty of fraud. 

“The whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave false information,” Trump told reporters at the White House. 

Trump also took the opportunity to lash out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He said she “has lost her mind” and that “her district is going to hell.”

Trump’s comments came as the whistleblower offered to answer questions directly to Republicans on the intelligence committee leading the inquiry, one of his lawyers said on Sunday.

Mark Zaid said the action was taken to counter Republican efforts, led by Trump, to unmask the whistleblower, a member of the U.S. intelligence community whose identity has not been released.

(Production: Kristin Neubauer)

Landslide kills nine in northern Indian state

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Nine people were killed by a landslide in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday (July 25) after boulders fell on the vehicle they were travelling in, news agency ANI reported.

The vehicle was carrying 11 people and the two other passengers were injured, along with passers-by.

Video footage of the landslide showed Batseri bridge in the Kinnaur district being destroyed by rolling boulders from the adjacent hillside. The falling rocks also damaged other vehicles parked nearby.

ITBP teams rushed to the spot near Badseri village in the Kinnaur district of hilly Himachal Pradesh to conduct a rescue operation.

Local media said the people in the vehicle who were killed were visiting from the Indian capital Delhi and from other parts of India. One of the injured was a local resident..

About 1,700 kilometres south, in the western state of Maharashtra, at least 125 people died in the last two days after torrential monsoon rains sparked major landslides and flooding there.

(Production: Kristian Brunse, Soren Larson)

Biden adamant about citizenship for Dreamers but path “remains to be seen”

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U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday (July 25) said he remained adamant about the need to create a pathway for U.S. citizenship for so-called Dreamer immigrants, but said it “remains to be seen” if that measure would be included in a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.

(Production: David Grip)

US men fall to France in first loss since 2004

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The U.S. men’s basketball team suffered a shock 83-76 defeat at the hands of France on Sunday (July 25), losing at the Olympics for the first time since 2004 and for just the sixth time in the history of the tournament.

The French had upset the U.S. men when they last met in the 2019 FIBA World Cup quarter-finals and they had their number again on the first day of group play at the Saitama Super Arena, powered by a game-high 28 points from Evan Fournier.

The Americans got out to a good start in the first half, leading 45-37 at the break on the back of their defensive energy, but were outscored 25-11 in a disastrous third-quarter with France taking the lead.

Team USA clawed back to briefly regain the lead in the fourth quarter, but the French wouldn’t go away and took their first ever Olympic win versus the United States.

The United States is always the team to beat at basketball – they now have a 138-6 record and have won gold 15 times since joining the Olympic programme in 1936 – boasting more depth than any other country with their star-studded NBA line-ups.

But their recent form suggested reaching the top of the podium would not be as easy as in the past, after they dropped two straight exhibition games this month including a surprise loss to world 22nd-ranked Nigeria.

Preparations were also disrupted by the absence of players due to this year’s late NBA playoffs and late replacements due to COVID-19 tests and injury.

China claimed two Olympic gold medals in men’s weightlifting as Chen Lijun and Li Fabin won the 67kg and 61kg categories.

With Zhihui Hou winning the women’s 49kg category on Saturday, China has collected all three gold medals so far at the Tokyo Games.

Chen won his first gold with a combined lift of 332kg, seven kg short of his own world record.

Colombia’s Luis Javier Mosquera Lozano took silver with 331kg and Italy’s Mirko Zanni bronze with 322kg.

China’s Li won the gold and amused the small audience at Tokyo International Forum with his signature “flamingo” move.

Indonesia’s Eko Yuli Irawan won the silver medal, the 32-year-old becoming his country’s most decorated Olympian after adding to his silver in Rio and bronzes at the London and Beijing Games. He also became only the fifth weightlifter in history to win four Olympic medals.

Kazakhstan’s 22-year-old Igor Son took the bronze medal.

U.S. fencer Lee Kiefer clinched her first ever gold medal in the individual women’s foil fencing event, beating defending champion Inna Deriglazova in the final.

Deriglazova, who was ranked no. 1, was a favourite to win the gold medal and steadily won her bouts throughout the tournament.

In the final, the two went point for point, with Kiefer maintaining a slight lead throughout the match.

Deriglazova sometimes attacked with vigor, pushing Kiefer to the edge of the piste, but Kiefer fought back with decisive stabs, the cheers from her team mates growing louder with each point.

After her win, Kiefer screamed with joy and hugged her coach, before rushing to the stands to hug her husband, fellow U.S. foil fencer Gerek Meinhardt.

In another upset, French fencer Romain Cannone, ranked 47th, rose through the ranks to beat top-ranking Hungarian Gergely Siklosi and take the gold medal.

His win was secure when he and Siklosi both lunged, Siklosi missing his target while Cannone landed his blow on Siklosi’s back.

Cannone took his mask off after the last point and raised his arms in stunned silence. His team mates rushed over onto the piste to crowd around him, jumping in excitement before throwing the gold medalist into the air three times.

Uzbekistan’s Ulugbek Rashitov and the United States’ Anastasija Zolotic won gold in taekwondo but Iranian Kimia Alizadeh took the spotlight as she came up just short of nabbing the first medal for the Refugee Olympic Team.

On the second day of the taekwondo tournament, top Chinese and South Korean athletes lost their chance of gold, putting the focus on Alizadeh, one of three athletes competing under the Refugee Team’s white flag.

Though she missed her chance to make history – for a second time – Alizadeh was a clear favourite throughout the day in the Makuhari Messe arena, entering each time to applause and cheers from team members and others in the venue at which no general public spectators were allowed.

Five years ago in Rio, Alizadeh became the only Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal when she took bronze. She fled to Germany last year, saying she was fed up with being used as a propaganda tool.

Alizadeh’s first three matches were all notable: the first, against erstwhile compatriot Nahid Kiyani Chandeh – coached by her previous instructor – and the second against double Olympic champion Jade Jones of Britain.

In the third, the 23-year-old refugee defied the odds by beating Chinese gold medal favourite Zhou Lijun, who paced around the octagonal mat in disbelief as she conceded the match.

Alizadeh ultimately lost to Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgun in the bronze medal match. She left the tournament without speaking to media, covering her face with a towel as she walked past reporters.

Her victories over Jones and Zhou were among many upsets on day two of the four-day taekwondo competition. Gold medal contenders in the men’s -68kg category, South Korea’s Lee Dae-hoon and China’s Zhao Shuai, both lost a chance for the crown.

The silver medals went to Tatiana Minina of the Russian Olympic Committee and Britain’s Bradly Sinden.

In the men’s football tournament, Spain winger Mikel Oyarzabal ended his country’s 21-year wait for an Olympic goal in a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Australia in Group C.

(Production: Andy Ragg)

Can’t take the heat at the Olympics? Expert offers tips to stay cool

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 Intense heat and humidity could force competition schedule changes at the Tokyo Olympics and the International Olympic Committee said on Sunday (July 25) it would back any such plans if needed.

Athletes across several sports have complained that competing in midday heat, where temperatures regularly hit or exceed 33 degrees Celsius (91.4°F), has hampered their performances.

High humidity has added to discomfort, and athletes have failed to find much relief from ice bags and hoses blowing cool air, part of a series of contingency measures brought in by organisers’ to battle the stifling heat.

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev – the world’s top two men’s tennis players – led calls to organisers on Saturday (July 24) to move matches to the late afternoon for the rest of the competition to save players from the stifling conditions.

World No. 2 Medvedev suggested moving all matches to the evening.

“Competition schedules have been built where possible to avoid the hottest parts of the day but that is not possible with every sport,” the IOC’s sports director Kit McConnell said on Sunday.

In the tennis tournament, the first of four matches in the early rounds currently starts at 11:00 a.m. (0200 GMT), meaning players have to endure the hottest parts of the day on court.

Competitions at the Games are the responsibility of the respective international sports federations.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said the weather was monitored constantly and should temperatures rise, an advisory group would decide on possible suspension of play.

“If the temperatures increase, the Wet Bulb Globe temperature (WBGT) threshold for a possible suspension of play will be determined by an internal advisory group,” the ITF said in a statement.

The WBGT is a measure of the heat stress in direct sunlight, taking into account temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover.

“In planning for a possible suspension of play, the group will convene once the WBGT threshold reaches 30.1°C to consider the weather forecast for the current day plus the prior 1-2 days and next 1-2 days, as well as expert medical advice and all variables that determine player safety,” it said.

Skateboarders, who made their Olympic Games debut on Sunday at the unshaded Ariake Urban Sports Park on the Tokyo waterfront, said the heat was already unbearable at 9 a.m. and that it was a distraction from performing their tricks.

Yahoo Tenki, one of Japan’s most popular weather apps, offered caution over the risk of heatstroke, saying users should “avoid exercising under the sun” and “minimise vigorous exercise”.

(Production: Iain Axon)

Austrian Kiesenhofer stuns Dutch to win road gold while Biles falters

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Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer caused one of the biggest shocks in Olympic road racing history with an audacious solo victory in the women’s race as a quartet of Dutch champions apparently paid for a bizarre communications meltdown on Sunday (July 25).

The 30-year-old Kiesenhofer was allowed to build up a lead of around 10 minutes in a five-rider group that escaped right at the start of the 137km route into the hills west of Tokyo.

She then went solo on the approaches to the Fuji International Speedway circuit with around 40km remaining as the favourites, including reigning world and Olympic champion Anna Van der Breggen, failed to organise a proper chase, seemingly unaware of what was happening ahead.

In searing heat, Austrian time trial champion Kiesenhofer, who does not even ride for a professional team, kept her head down and her legs spinning, powering around the undulating curves to protect her advantage in tenacious fashion.

As she ground out the final agonising kilometres Kiesenhofer was clearly suffering and the only fear was that she might cramp after putting in such a monumental effort.

Her earlier escape partners Anna Plitcha of Poland and Israel’s Omer Shapira were caught in the final five kilometres by the chasing pack who belatedly put the hammer down.

Kiesenhofer was straining every sinew and often glancing over her shoulder expecting to an orange armada closing in.

She held firm to claim a wildly-unexpected gold medal in three hours 52 minutes, one minute and 15 seconds clear of Dutch rider Annemiek Van Vleuten who was celebrating like she had won the race as she crossed the line with arms held aloft.

“I thought I was one,” Van Vleuten was heard saying to her team masseur Ruud Ziljmans on Dutch TV. “Ruud have I got that wrong?”

Simone Biles’ shot at a record five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics suffered a blow when the U.S. gymnast failed to qualify for the final on the asymmetric bars.

Already regarded as one of the sport’s all-time greats, Biles arrived in Tokyo targeting a record haul, including the mark of five gold medals at a single Olympics by a woman gymnast.

That target became much harder to hit, however, when she was bumped from the eighth and last spot in the bars final by Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz.

There will now be no room for error if Biles hopes to rewrite the record of four gold’s at a single Olympics she shares with the former-Czech Republic’s Vera Caslavska, Russia’s Larisa Latynina and Hungary’s Agnes Keleti.

The 24-year-old was expected to launch an all-out assault on the podium and record books in Tokyo but might not even match her five-medal effort at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Biles will still have a packed program in Tokyo leading the U.S. defence of their team title and her all-around crown while qualifying for the finals in the vault and floor exercise.

Shi Tingmao and Wang Han earned China their first diving gold medal when they triumphed in the women’s synchronised 3-metre springboard, keeping the country’s winning streak in the sport rolling.

Aiming for a clean sweep of all eight diving golds on offer in women’s and men’s events, the Asian powerhouse struck gold with Shi and Wang leading the five-round final from the very start, finishing on 326.40 points.

Cheers from team mates and coaches rang around the mostly empty venue when the duo plunged into the pool with almost no splash on their last dive, showing once again their dominance of the event.

Russian shooter Vitalina Batsarashkina won the women’s 10-metre pistol event to claim the gold medal that narrowly eluded her five years ago in Rio.

Batsarashkina mounted a spectacular charge over the closing shots to win gold at the Asaka Shooting Range with an Olympic record of 240.3. Bulgarian Antoaneta Kostadinova won silver with 239.4, while the bronze went to Jiang Ranxin of China.

Later, American William Shaner won the men’s 10-metre rifle event with an Olympic record of 251.6, ahead of Sheng Lihao in a battle for the gold between the 20-year-old from Colorado and his teenaged Chinese opponent.

Japanese judoka Uta Abe triumphed in the women’s 52kg category, hours before her brother Hifumi took gold in the men’s 66kg final, making history as the first siblings to win gold medals on the same day.

Uta, 21, dominated her bouts in the 52kg category, but was taken deep into Golden Score overtime in the final against Amandine Buchard of France, eventually pinning her down on her back and holding on for the win.

In the men’s final, Hifumi Abe, 23, defeated Georgia’s Vazha Margvelashvili to take gold. Bronze medals went to Baul An of South Korea and Daniel Cargnin of Brazil.

France got their Olympic men’s soccer campaign back on track as Teji Savanier netted a stoppage-time winner in their 4-3 victory over South Africa.

Les Bleus, hammered 4-1 by Mexico in their Group A opener, trailed 3-2 with 10 minutes left but striker Andre-Pierre Gignac converted an 86th-minute penalty to complete his hat-trick before Savanier’s late goal.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori advanced to the second round of the men’s singles, triumphing over fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4 on home soil.

Nishikori, who won the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said he was happy to be back playing high-level tennis after struggling with injuries in recent years.

(Production: Andy Ragg)

U.S. women rebound with 6-1 win, Brazil and Netherlands draw in thriller

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The United States women’s soccer team returned to winning ways with a clinical 6-1 victory over New Zealand at Saitama Stadium on Saturday (July 24).

After suffering a first defeat in 30 months to Sweden in their Group G opener, the Americans, who are world champions, made a much-improved start against New Zealand, breaking the deadlock inside 10 minutes with a Rose Lavelle strike.

With U.S. first lady Jill Biden watching from the stands, the four-times Olympic gold medallists turned on the style with waves of attacks and went on to double their lead just before halftime through a Lindsey Horan header.

Two second-half own goals compounded New Zealand’s problems and U.S. substitutes Alex Morgan and Christen Press also got on the scoresheet as the pre-tournament favorites moved back into contention for a final-eight spot.

NETHERLANDS V BRAZIL

The Dutch and Brazilian teams played out a thrilling 3-3 draw.

A Dominique Janssen free kick in the 79th minute rescued a point for the Netherlands in a 3-3 draw with Brazil, with the Oranje retaining the top spot in Group F on goal difference.

Brazil legend Marta also got on the scoresheet yet again with a penalty.

CHINA V ZAMBIA

After scoring a treble for Zambia in their 10-3 drubbing by the Netherlands on Wednesday, striker Babra Banda enhanced her status as the competition’s breakout player with another hat-trick in a 4-4 draw with China in Group F.

China had a goal machine of their own in Wang Shuang, who scored four times including a late penalty to earn her side a deserved point at Rifu’s Miyagi Stadium.

Wang became only the third player to score four goals in a match at the Games and the second in the tournament after Dutchwoman Vivianne Miedema.

(Production: Francis Maguire)

Wildfires threaten California homes and prompt evacuations

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The so-called “Fly Fire” in California’s Plumas County prompted evacuations as it expanded rapidly on Thursday and Friday (June 22+23).

By Friday morning the fire had grown to cover 1600 acres (647 hectares), NBC reported. The fires are burning in an area already threatened by the Dixie Fire, currently the largest blaze in California.

Bright orange flames could be seen from the town of Quincy where residents remain on high alert. Areas north and west of the town have been ordered to evacuate, NBC reported

In 2020, California suffered its most damaging wildfire season on record in terms of acreage burned. As of May, California authorities documented over 1,000 more wildfires across the state this year than had erupted by the same time last year.

U.S. President Joe Biden said last month the country was behind in preparing for what could be a record number of forest fires this year because of drought and high temperatures.

(Production: Pavithra George)

Empire State Building illuminated in honor of Tokyo Olympic Games

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The Empire State Building was lit up on Friday night (July 23) in honor of the Tokyo Olympic Games. The iconic New York City landmark brightened the skyline displaying the flag colors of nations competing in Tokyo. The scene was enhanced by a spectacular full moon that posed perfectly by the decorated spire.

The colors of each of the competing 205 nations were illuminated for 10 seconds on a loop for for more than five hours.

The 102-storey Empire State Building was completed 90 years ago in 1931.

(Production: Jeenah Moon and Kia Johnson)

Drone footage shows damaged cars in Chinese luxury showroom and on roads

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Damaged cars were seen outside a luxury car retailer and strewn across roads in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou on Saturday (July 24), as the clean-up operation continues following heavy flooding.

The city of 12 million is still recovering after it received the equivalent of a year’s worth of rain in just a few days.

The death toll in Henan province, where Zhengzhou is located, is 56 and five people are missing, according to state media.

Tens of thousands of rescue workers, including the military, have been deployed across Henan to help with the search for survivors.

(Production: Thomas Suen)

Flash flooding hits parts of Arizona

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Swollen waters hit New River, Arizona Friday (July 23) causing a deluge along freeways.

The National Weather Service warned that rains of up to two to four inches could produce flash flooding in parts of Arizona.

The flash flooding could continue well into the night, especially over recent burn scars and other flood prone areas, Arizona Public Radio reported

(Production: Deborah Lutterbeck)