Happening Today: Las Vegas Massacre, Bump-Stock Devices, Harvey Weinstein, Netflix

What to Know

  • The Las Vegas gunman booked rooms over other music festivals in the months before opening fire on a country music festival, authorities say
  • The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has won the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Harvey Weinstein announced he was taking a leave of absence from the company that bears his name following charges of sexual harassment

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Thousands Mourn Slain Officer as Las Vegas Probe Goes on

Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock booked rooms over other music festivals in the months before opening fire on a country music festival, authorities said, while thousands came out to mourn a police officer who was one of the 58 people he killed. Paddock booked rooms overlooking the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago in August and the Life Is Beautiful show near the Vegas Strip in late September, according to authorities reconstructing his movements before he undertook the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Fenway Park in Boston also came up during the investigation of Paddock, Boston police Lt. Detective Mike McCarthy said Thursday, though he provided no further details. It was not clear if he contemplated massacres at the other sites. The details came to light as investigators struggled to figure out why the 64-year-old high-stakes gambler opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 Sunday night from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel casino. He killed 58 and injured nearly 500 before taking his own life. Thousands raised candles and surrounded the widow and two children of Officer Charleston Hartfield, who was killed in the shooting.

NRA, White House Express Support About Restricting Bump-Stock Devices

The National Rifle Association joined the Trump administration and top congressional Republicans in a swift and surprising embrace of a restriction on Americans' guns, though a narrow one: to regulate the "bump stock" devices the Las Vegas shooter apparently used to horrifically lethal effect. The devices, originally intended to help people with disabilities, fit over the stock and grip of a semi-automatic rifle and allow the weapon to fire continuously, some 400 to 800 rounds in a single minute. Bump stocks were found among the gunman's weapons and explain why victims in Las Vegas heard what sounded like automatic-weapons fire as the shooter rained bullets from a casino high-rise, slaughtering 58 people in a concert below and wounding hundreds more. The endorsements of controls came almost simultaneously from the NRA and the White House. The NRA, which famously opposes virtually any hint of new restrictions, said in a statement: "The National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations." Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders praised the announcement.

Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Anti-Nuclear Weapons Group

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee honored the Geneva-based group "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons." The Norwegian committee that chooses the Nobel Peace Prize winner sorted through more than 300 nominations for this year's award, which recognizes both accomplishments and intentions. The prize announcement in the Norwegian capital Oslo culminates a week in which Nobel laureates have been named in medicine, physics, chemistry and literature. The Norwegian Nobel Committee does not release names of those it considers for the prize, but said 215 individuals and 103 organizations were nominated.

Tropical Storm Nate Blamed for 22 Deaths, Threatens U.S. Coast

The National Hurricane Center has issued storm surge, hurricane and tropical storm advisories for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Nate approaches. A storm surge watch has been issued from Morgan City, La., eastward to the Alabama-Florida border, including the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain. A hurricane watch is in effect from Morgan City eastward to the Mississippi-Alabama border, including metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Punta Herrero, Mexico, to Rio Lagartos was also included. A tropical storm watch has been issued from the Mississippi-Alabama border eastward to Florida's Okaloosa-Walton County Line. A tropical storm watch was also declared west of Morgan City to Intracoastal City. Tropical Storm Nate was blamed for at least 22 deaths in Central America as it dumped rain across the region on a path that would carry it toward a potential landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane over the weekend. Louisiana officials ordered some people to evacuate coastal areas and barrier islands, and evacuations began at some offshore oil platforms in the Gulf. The NHC said the storm could cause dangerous flooding by dumping as much as 15 inches of rain in western Nicaragua and southern Honduras.

Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein Taking Leave of Absence

Hollywood powerhouse Harvey Weinstein announced he was taking a leave of absence from the company that bears his name following charges of sexual harassment that date back decades, from employees to actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, The New York Times reported. The article includes first person accounts of Weinstein's alleged conduct, including from Judd, who recounts an incident from two decades ago in which she said she was asked to meet Weinstein in his hotel room. Weinstein greeted her wearing a bathrobe and asked her if she would give him a massage or watch him shower, the paper reported. In a statement to the Times, Weinstein said: "I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment."

Netflix Raising U.S. Prices for Most Popular Plan

Netflix is raising the price for its most popular U.S. video streaming plan by 10 percent— a move that could boost its profits but slow the subscriber growth that drives its stock price. The change affects most of Netflix's 53 million U.S. subscribers. Netflix will now charge $11 per month instead of $10 for a plan that includes HD and allows people to simultaneously watch programs on two different internet-connected devices. The price for another plan that includes ultra-high definition, or 4K, video, is going up by 17 percent, to $14 from $12 a month. A plan that limits subscribers to one screen at a time without high-definition will remain at $8 a month. The increase would be the first in two years for Netflix, although it won't seem that way for millions of subscribers. That's because Netflix temporarily froze its rates for long-time subscribers the last two times it raised its prices, delaying the most recent increases until the second half of last year for them. Netflix isn't giving anyone a break this time around. It will start emailing notifications about the new prices to affected subscribers, giving them 30 days to accept the higher rates, switch to a cheaper plan or cancel the service.

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