Shooting in Germany

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, nine people were shot and killed in the town of Hanau, Germany, reported BBC. A number of the victims are reported to be of Kurdish descent and investigators are treating the situation as an act of far-right terrorism.

The shooting took place in a hookah bar with most of the victims being young people.

Hanau is a small city in western Germany that has a reputation for tolerance and diversity, reported The New York Times. The attack shocked Germany but also drove home the notion that the changing German society still leaves room for potential violence.

Metin Kan, a 43-year-old who owns the hookah bar, is quoted as saying, “We have lived very peacefully together.”

On Thursday, Feb. 22, 2020 dozens of people gathered at the Kurdish community center in the afternoon. The father of Ferhat Unvar, a 23-year-old victim, was there and when asked if he wanted to speak he agreed, but was unable.

Following the event, some residents are wondering if the right-wing sentiment that is present in other regions has worked its way into Hanau, reported The New York Times.

Roger Stone Sentenced

A federal judge sentences Roger Stone to serve three years and four months — 40 months to be exact — in prison on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, reported The Washington Post.

Stone is the longtime friend and adviser to President Donald Trump. His sentence is for impeding a congressional investigation of Russian interference. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued the sentence on the case.

The judge is quoted by The New York Times in saying, “The dismay and the disgust at the attempts by others to defend his actions as just business as usual in our polarized climate should transcend party.”

Less than three hours after the sentence Trump stated that Stone should be "exonerated," reported The New York Times. Trump continued in saying that Stone faced a bad jury that was led by an anti-Trump activist. Said jury, convicted Stone of seven felony charges that included lying under oath to a congressional committee.

Berman Jackson is quoted by the New York Times in saying, “[Stone] was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”

License Plate Payout

Ben Hart was awarded more than $150,000 by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet after he was denied a vanity license plate, reported CNN. Prior to living in Kentucky, Hart lived in Ohio where his License plate read “IM GOD.” Upon trying to get the same plate registered in Kentucky, he was denied.

The transportation officials sent Hart a letter denying his request stating that it was not in good taste and could create potential distraction for other drivers.

In response, a lawsuit was filled on Hart’s behalf by the Freedom From Religion Foundation claiming that the denial of the vanity plate was a violation of his First Amendment rights.

Hart is a 78-year-old atheist and had the vanity plate for 12 years, reported The Washington Post.

Hart is quoted by The New York Times as saying, “The claim that I’m God is true because, according to the American Heritage dictionary, there are six definitions for God, and number five is ‘a very handsome man.’ And my wife says I’m a very handsome man, and nobody argues with my wife.”