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Virginia In Shock, Drug-Using Medical Students, Tomatina

VIRGINIA KILLER A "HUMAN POWDER KEG"

A man claiming to be Bryce Williams, the assumed name of the gunman who killed Virginia journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward during a live broadcast yesterday, sent a fax to ABC News afterward in which he described himself as a "human powder keg." Williams, whose real name was Vester Flanagan, died in the hospital after shooting himself during a police chase. In the 23-page document, he described racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying while he was a reporter for the local WDBJ TV affiliate, where the two victims worked. The fax, which the killer described as a "suicide note," also cited the Charleston church killings in June, when a white man murdered nine black people, as motivation for his attack. WDBJ manager Jeff Marks called the manifesto "nonsense" and described Williams as an "unhappy man" who had to be escorted out of the building when he was fired in 2013. According to internal WDBJ memos published by The Guardian today, Williams had been told "to seek medical help" after "colleagues repeatedly complained about him." Read more in our Extra! feature.


VERBATIM

"With all those reservations that we have, we will sign this document," South Sudanese President Salva Kiir told regional African leaders during a ceremony yesterday, before signing a peace agreement aiming to end a 20-month conflict that has killed thousands of rebels, Jeune Afrique reports. Under the deal, rebel leader Riek Machar will become the country's first vice president. Kiir refused to sign the peace agreement last week, but the UN's Security Council said it would take immediate action if he didn't sign it Wednesday.


50 BODIES FOUND ON MIGRANT BOAT

About 50 bodies were discovered in the hold of a wooden migrant boat off Libya's coast yesterday, La Repubblica quoted Italian authorities as saying. The deaths were likely caused by asphyxiation from the boat's gas fumes. The discovery was made by the Poseidon, a Swedish boat participating in migrant rescue missions as part of the EU Frontex border agency's operations. The ship also rescued 439 people who were on board. Frontex said it received distress signals from 10 other boats in the area and rescued at least 1,900 people Wednesday morning alone. Since the beginning of the year, at least 2,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration.


30%

According to a new study led by six French doctors on 1,700 medical school students and young graduates, about one in three of them is using psychostimulants to improve their mental capacities, the daily 20 minutesreports. And we're not talking Vitamin C or coffee.


12 ARRESTED FOR TIANJIN BLASTS

Chinese authorities have arrested 12 people for the two Aug. 12 explosions that killed at least 139 people in Tianjin, China, state news agency Xinhua reports. The president, vice president and three deputy general managers of the company, Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics Co. Ltd., are among them. Authorities have also accused 11 officials of abuse of power and dereliction of duty.


TOMAYTO, TOMAHTO, TOMATINA

Photo: Kai Fasterling/EFE/ZUMA

Thousands of people participated in today's traditional La Tomatina festival in Bunol, near Valencia, Spain. This year marked the 70th annual world-famous tomato battle, which boasted a record 150 tons of them.


LIFE SENTENCE FOR AURORA GUNMAN

James Holmes, the gunman convicted of the 2012 murders of 12 people at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole, The Denver Post reports. Jurors had previously decided against the death penalty after his lawyers argued he was mentally ill at the time of the shooting.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Le Monde made a visit to Kenya's training site after recent media revelations about performance-enhancing drugs cast a pall over the country's storied long-distance running team. "This should have been an occasion for smiles and good cheer," journalist Bruno Meyerfeld writes. "Instead the atmosphere is all gloom. We had already been warned that the team would not talk to the international press. Dennis Kimetto, the world's fastest marathon runner, isn't even here. The interview that had been planned was canceled at the last minute. The problem — the subject dominating everyone's silent thoughts — is the specter of doping, which has haunted the team since early August, when the German television network ARD and the British weekly The Sunday Times made bombshell revelations involving athletes from a number of countries, including Kenya."

Read the full article, Inside The Doping Crisis Facing Kenya's Legendary Runners.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



INDIA DEPLOYS ARMY TO RIOT-HIT AREAS

Indian authorities have deployed thousands of army troops to the western state of Gujarat after two days of caste-related riots left at least seven people dead, including protesters and one police officer, Al Jazeera reports. The violence was apparently sparked by Tuesday's detention of a Patel caste leader whose community was demanding preferential treatment for government jobs and university places. About 500,000 people rallied in the city of Ahmedabad Tuesday, when 40 police stations and 70 buses were set ablaze.


ON THIS DAY


It's thanks to the first Guinness Book of Records (now called Guinness World Records) being published 60 years ago today that we can track who made the farthest backwards basketball shot and who has the largest collection of Nintendo Entertainment System paraphernalia. That and more in today's shot of history.


TURKISH LINK PROBED IN BANGKOK BLAST

Thai authorities said today they were investigating the arrival of more than 20 Turkish nationals into Thailand days before the Aug. 17 bomb attack that killed 20 people, the Bangkok Post reports. Police have raised the possibility of a connection to the Uighur community, a Turkish-speaking minority from western China. In July, more than 100 Uighur were deported from Thailand to China, a move that sparked violent protests outside Thailand's consulate in Istanbul.


HOME ALONE'S TRAPS RANKED

Macaulay Culkin turned 35 yesterday (yeah, we know), so MTV ranked every single one of Home Alone's evil, genius traps.

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Society

Mahsa Amini, Martyr Of An Iranian Regime Designed To Abuse Women

The 22-year-old is believed to have been beaten to death at a Tehran police station last week after "morality police" had reprimanded her clothing. The case has sparked the nation's outrage. But as ordinary Iranians testify, such beatings, torture and a home brand of misogyny are hallmarks of the 40-year Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mahsa Amini

Firouzeh Nordstrom

-Analysis-

TEHRAN — The death in Iran of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — after she was arrested by the so-called "morality police" — has unleashed another wave of protests, as thousands of Iranians vent their fury against an intrusive and violent regime. Indeed, as tragically exceptional as the circumstances appear, the reaction reflects the daily reality of abuse by authorities, especially directed toward women

Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian girl visiting Tehran with relatives, was detained by the regime's morality patrols on Sept. 13, apparently for not respecting the Islamic dress code that includes proper use of the hijab headscarf. Amini was declared dead two or three days after being taken into custody. Officials say she fainted and died, and blamed a preexisting heart condition. But neither her family nor anyone else in Iran believe that, as can be seen in the mounting protests that have now left at least three dead.

For Amini's was hardly the first arbitrary arrest, or the first suspected death in custody under Iran's Islamic regime.

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