He’d done it almost 200 times before, but Saturday’s fight was his last.
Anucha died after being knocked unconscious and suffering a hemorrhage at his brain stem, according to Sub. Lt. Rawin Nasomsong, of the Royal Thai Police’s Institute of Forensic Medicine.
The death of the young fighter from Kalasin Province in Thailand’s northeast has led to calls for reform to the sport and its practice of using boys and young men — sometimes as young as seven years old — to compete in professional bouts.
Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat has vowed to introduce further legislation to the country’s Boxing Act to protect young fighters, the Bangkok Post reports.
Deceased Muay Thai boxer Anucha Tasako first fought in the ring when he was 8 years old.

The amendment to the country’s Boxing Act would ban all fighters younger than age 12, and require all those between 12 and 15 years old to be provided with safety equipment, especially head guards.
“This draft stipulates the criteria concerning ages of young people who want to compete in this sport,” he said, adding that the Ministry “will rush through the process to forward it to the cabinet for consideration as quickly as possible.”

‘He died like a warrior’

Anucha started practicing Muay Thai at the age of seven or eight, said Damrong Tasako, the teenager’s uncle who raised him from the age of three. Tasako added the teen was “very talented.”
He first fought in the ring when he was eight years old, his uncle told CNN, winning his first match that came with a prize of 300 Thai Baht ($9). The prize money for his match on Saturday was 2,000 Thai Baht ($60).
Anucha died as a result of a hemorrhage at the brain stem.

Anucha died as a result of a hemorrhage at the brain stem.

Anucha wanted to train in Muay Thai because he wanted to earn money to buys things, said Tasako. To date, Anucha has taken part in an estimated 170 fights.
“His dream was he always wanted to be a champion at Lumpini Stadium or Ratchadamneon Stadium,” he said, referring to the two main Muay Thai venues in Bangkok. “Also, if he could he wanted to enter military cadet school.”
When asked about Anucha’s death, his uncle said he didn’t blame anyone. “He died like a warrior. He was a fighter.”
A religious ceremony in honor of the teenager took place Wednesday in Samutprakarn Province, in central Thailand, where his final fight took place. His is body will be cremated Thursday.
Damrong said that they had met his opponent, a boy two years older than Anucha, who paid his respects at the temple where the 13-year-old’s body had been laid in repose.
The older boy had started boxing even earlier, at age 6. He told CNN he had his first paid fight just a year after that.
After Anucha’s death, he says he received a lot of vitriol on social media, but also enormous support.
To honor Anucha’s memory, he’s participating in the boy’s cremation ceremony as a novice monk; Thais can temporarily join a monastery.
However the death of his opponent has not deterred him from stepping into the ring.
“I want to continue on this road as a Muay Thai boxer, and see how far I can go,” he said.

Shining light on the issue

Activists and doctors have tried several times to amend the child boxing bill, but their attempts have never been successful, said Dr. Witaya Sungkarat, chief of the Thai Child Boxers Research Project at Mahidol University, adding that the news of Anucha’s death has just shone a big light on this issue again.
“We have never recommended a total ban of Muay Thai boxing,” said Sungkarat. “But we want them to avoid hitting the head of the child until they are at least 15 years old.”
His institute has carried out research scanning the brains of children who take part in Muay Thai and comparing them against children who don’t.
The result has clearly shown that brain development of kids who don’t compete in Muay Thai are different from kids whose heads were hit in matches, said Sungkarat. The results were heeded by the new draft bill, which remains with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Promotion to review, he added.
The President is angry at his rebuke from voters in the midterm elections. The oppressive prospect of action by special counsel Robert Mueller hangs like an immovable cloud over his White House. Staff chaos in the West Wing is producing lurid palace intrigue stories in the media that the President hates.
Abroad, he feuds with allied world leaders, and he’s been so effective in implementing his “America First” policy that he’s the odd man out at summits.
And things are unlikely to improve quickly. Many legal observers expect new indictments could come soon in the Mueller probe, potentially bringing the investigation closer to Trump’s inner circle in its final stages.
Trump's mood takes a foul turn: 'He's pissed -- at damn near everyone'

Democrats are prepping a barrage of investigations that will make life in his White House a misery — from attempts to seize his tax returns and probe his business dealings to investigations into key policy areas like immigration.
“He’s pissed — at damn near everyone,” a White House official told CNN on Wednesday.
Trump is letting off steam where he can. He’s feuding with a former friend, Emmanuel Macron, mocking the French President’s approval rating (at 29%, it is lower than Trump’s) and the French jobless rate of over 9%.
In an interview with the Daily Caller on Wednesday, the President betrayed his disturbed equilibrium, claiming that voter fraud had cost Republicans key races.
“When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again,” Trump claimed, without evidence.

Not the first President to feel this way

Trump announces support for bipartisan prison reform

Trump announces support for bipartisan prison reform

Trump is not the first President to feel isolated, angry, rejected by voters or down in the dumps. Everyone who sits in the Oval Office feels that way sooner or later, though Trump’s temperament is more volcanic than most.
The question for Trump is, what can he do — other than a few restorative weekends on the golf course in Florida — to improve his position ahead of a crucial period that will define opening chapters of his re-election campaign?
Often when they are in trouble, Presidents engineer staff shake-ups to bring in new ideas and energy. They go looking for wins in foreign policy, an area that pesky congressional foes can do little to disrupt.
More fundamentally, Trump could examine his entire political approach. While his strategy of division and tearing at cultural and racial divides helped him win the White House, it seemed to backfire in key House races. Failure to win back the suburbs could harm his hopes of winning a second term in 2020.
If Trump never gave another angry news conference or swore off explosive tweets, it’s possible that his political situation — and his 39% approval rating in the latest CNN poll — would improve.
After all he’s kept many of his campaign promises. Unemployment is at its lowest point in half a century and economic growth is going gangbusters.
And conservatives will thank Trump for decades for his two successful Supreme Court nominations.
But the President is so identified with convention-tearing tactics that it’s probably impossible for him to change his style. It’s probably too late as well, since he’s made no effort to broaden his support base since taking office.
Trump’s tempestuous personality and unwillingness to be constrained also likely mean that another remedy available to other Presidents — a hotshot new staffer to shake up operations in the West Wing — is unlikely to work.
His first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, failed to impose order on Trump and was soon out the door. His successor, John Kelly, who is rumored to be on his way out, was soon drowned out by chaos.
The idea that Trump will look at election results, have some kind of political conversion and become a kinder, gentler President is also unthinkable.
He almost never admits he’s wrong and he’s been looking for people to blame for the GOP loss in the House.
For instance, the President listed GOP candidates who refused to accept his support — or what he called “the embrace” — at a post-midterm election news conference.

A boost on the horizon?

So what about a win on the world stage to boost the President’s spirits?
There’s not a lot of low-hanging fruit. US Middle East policy is in uproar since it’s anchored on Saudi Arabia, which is being ostracized over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
Still, a breakthrough in a joint US and British diplomatic bid to end the war in Yemen would not just boost Trump’s political prospects, it also would be a significant victory for humanity.
Trump’s hopes of a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have taken a dent, with Pyongyang angry at the lack of concessions by the US and new indications that it is pressing ahead with its missile program.
Later this month, Trump will head to the G20 summit. Progress in defusing his trade war with China at his talks there with President Xi Jinping — or even a ceasefire — could be spun as a foreign policy victory.
Trump is also expected to meet with Vladimir Putin at the summit in Argentina. But that’s a potential political landmine, given allegations of Russian election interference that have produced unflattering media coverage of his chats with the Russian leader, which has infuriated the President.
The chances of significant wins at home also seem slim, given the gridlock that will descend on Washington when Democrats take the House gavel.
But Trump mused after the midterm elections that the new arrangements might be more conducive to deal-making than had a thin GOP majority materialized.
“This way, they’ll come to me, we’ll negotiate. Maybe we’ll make a deal, maybe we won’t,” he said.
Trump seemed like someone trying to convince himself as much as the reporters in the room. But it’s possible there is common ground on issues like prescription drug prices or infrastructure.
There was actually a ray of light on Wednesday when Trump had Democrats and Republicans to the White House to sign a bill that represents a small step toward criminal justice reform.
“Did I hear the word bipartisan?” Trump quipped at the signing ceremony.
Once the Democratic subpoenas start flying, however, the room for compromise might shrivel.
So Trump will have one final option — elevate an enemy — a device he has effectively used throughout his political and business career.
He could choose to stage a showdown over a year-end spending bill to wring more financing for his border wall out of Congress. Though it’s not clear that the possible government shutdown that could result would help him politically.
There is an argument that Trump will actually profit from lining up against a Democratic-led House next year — especially if Nancy Pelosi, whose approval ratings are worse than his, gets her old job back as speaker.
When 2019 dawns, a flurry of Democrats are likely to begin launching presidential campaigns, giving him an excuse to head out to the place where he always feels best: among his adoring throngs on the campaign trail.
It’s been one week since a gunman killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar & Grill. One week of back-to-back vigils, fundraisers and emotional encounters — in addition to helping those affected by the wildfire.
The killer apparently predicted that nothing would change, but he was wrong. The shooting has united Thousand Oaks under the goal of not letting the massacre — or its victims — fade from memory.
“I’m just trying to stay strong for my family, for the press, for my kids and my wife,” said Jason Coffman, whose son died in the shooting. “But I promise you, when I have time to cry, I cry.”

Honoring the victims

At least one of the victims will be laid to rest this week; others have been remembered in memorial services.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, 54, was one of the first officers to arrive at Borderline Bar & Grill. He was shot several times as he tried to stop the gunman.
The sheriff’s department will livestream Helus’ funeral on Thursday starting at 11 a.m. (2 p.m. ET)
Coffman’s son, Cody Gifford-Coffman, was remembered in a memorial service on Wednesday. His friends and family say the 22-year-old lost his life shielding others from the gunfire.
These are the victims of the California bar shooting

By Wednesday evening, Coffman’s father was running out of steam. After greeting well-wishers at his son’s memorial service he stepped away to hit some golf balls at a course nearby.
“I’ve barely hit any golf balls. I’ve just been crying,” Jason Coffman said in a phone call from the golf course. “There’s nothing but grief going through my mind right now, grief and heartbreak.”
On Monday night, hundreds gathered to remember best friends and off-road enthusiasts Blake Dingman and Jake Dunham. The mourners revved trucks and flew American flags
“Such an outpouring of love,” Carol Smith, Dingman’s grandmother, told CNN affiliate KABC. “They were such fun-loving kids. They had a good time together.”
The tributes extend beyond Thousand Oaks. On Saturday, during warmups for a game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks wore shirts with the victims’ names. The front of the shirts said “enough,” an apparent call for action to end gun violence.
NBA Players wear T-shirts bearing the names of the 12 victims killed at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, before a game on November 10 in Los Angeles.

NBA Players wear T-shirts bearing the names of the 12 victims killed at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, before a game on November 10 in Los Angeles.

Where the investigation stands

How a night out turned into a night of horror at a bar in California

How a night out turned into a night of horror at a bar in California

Authorities are still trying to determine why 28-year-old Ian Long opened fire on a crowd of young people. And because the gunman killed himself, we might never know the motive.
But an ominous Facebook post apparently written by the killer predicted that not much would change.
“I hope people call me insane … (laughing emojis).. wouldn’t that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah … I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’.. or ‘keep you in my thoughts’… every time… and wonder why these keep happening,” the writer posted.

One tragedy after another

Shortly after the mass shooting, Thousand Oaks had to grapple with another tragedy: the Woolsey wildfire, which has torched more than 97,000 acres of Southern California and is still raging out of control.
Firefighters who responded to the Borderline bar massacre had to quickly shift gears and battle the Woolsey Fire hours later.
And many Thousand Oaks residents, still grieving the 12 victims killed at Borderline, had to evacuate.
Some of those residents were allowed to go back to their homes this week and see what’s left, CNN correspondent Scott McLean said. But on Tuesday, the Woolsey Fire kicked back up again, forcing Thousand Oaks residents to flee once again.
The back-to-back tragedies have been grueling for investigators handling the Borderline mass shooting.
“As you can imagine, dealing with a crime scene of that magnitude, wildfires, loss of homes, and in the midst of it trying to grieve, planning a funeral for a fallen officer — it’s extremely challenging,” Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow said Wednesday.
Buschow said shortly after the massacre, some investigators were evacuated from their homes — himself included. And the pace has been nonstop as authorities cope with exhaustion and grief.
They slept in their cars and returned to the scene early Friday morning, said Buschow, who lives in Thousand Oaks.
“Everyone is working long hours and trying to come to terms with horrible loss of life,” Buschow said.

How the community is moving forward

Borderline has been closed since the shooting, and its owner is not sure if he will ever reopen it. But he knows he has to decide soon.
“I don’t know if (reopening) is going to feel right. But once I stand inside that building, it’s going to be like going to my childhood home, and I’ll know. I’ll know then,” Brian Hynes told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Monday.
Also Monday, crowds formed long lines outside Cody Coffman’s favorite pizza store for a fundraiser. The proceeds will fund a baseball scholarship for the Pony League Cody Coffman served as an umpire for.
A flyer advertises College Country Night at Borderline Bar & Grill.

A flyer advertises College Country Night at Borderline Bar & Grill.

In the week since the mass shooting, some surviving victims and relatives of those killed said now is the time for tougher gun control.
Susan Orfanos lost her son, 27-year-old Telemachus Orfanos. The young Navy veteran survived the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year but was killed in the California massacre.
Her son died in the massacre, but she doesn't want your thoughts and prayers

Her son died in the massacre, but she doesn't want your thoughts and prayers

“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control, and I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers,” Susan Orfanos told CNN affiliate KABC.
The opening bid falls short of many of the core demands the White House has repeatedly detailed as must-haves in trade talks with Beijing, including addressing technology transfers and intellectual property theft, according to one of the people briefed. Instead, the proposal has been described as a rehash of previous commitments Chinese leaders have publicly announced, like selectively lifting tariffs.
“What they are offering is not new,” this person said. “I think the two sides remain at an impasse. The channels are now open again, but there’s a lot of work to get to — whether it’s a modest de-escalation or ceasefire.”
A Treasury spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday. The Chinese Commerce Ministry in Beijing didn’t immediately respond to a fax seeking comment on Thursday.
US, China revive trade talks ahead of Argentina meeting, Ross says

Beijing’s proposal comes after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by phone on Friday to jump start trade discussions ahead of an expected meeting between the two countries’ leaders. US President Donald Trump has said he will have a “good meeting” with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires later this month.
It remained unclear in recent days whether the Chinese government would be willing to present any offer ahead of the planned dinner between the two leaders in Argentina.
The United States was demanding that the Chinese come up with a clear offer before negotiations on a trade deal could start, while Beijing had been reluctant, seeking talks ahead of making any firm proposals.
Both sides have been working toward a path to end the escalating trade war, which has left investors jittery over its impact on consumers and companies in the world’s top two economies.
“What the offer did is now create an opportunity for the US government to respond,” said the person briefed.
China's trade war woes won't go away after Democrats' midterm gains

China's trade war woes won't go away after Democrats' midterm gains

Still, the reformulated offer — which includes easing restrictions on foreign investment and eliminating requirements for joint ventures with Chinese partners in some sectors raises the stakes over whether the two sides will be able to strike a framework agreement in the two weeks ahead of the G20 summit.
“They have a lot of work to do and they’re going to have to find a way to make up for lost time,” added the person, who described the bid as not “forward leaning enough” to push the negotiating process to a positive outcome.
The offer was first reported by Bloomberg News.
Even Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross raised doubts earlier this week over whether the governments could reach a deal anytime soon.
“The issue with China is not just tariffs,” Ross said at a Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit. “If it was just tariffs, I think we could work it out very, very, very quickly.”
“The real issue is intellectual property rights, forced technology transfers, industrial espionage, that kind of thing. We can’t tolerate abuses of that sort,” he said.
US-China fault lines on display as top officials meet

US-China fault lines on display as top officials meet

Top US officials have sent conflicting signals in recent weeks.
The Trump administration has been divided between free traders — including those with Wall Street backgrounds like Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow — and hardliners like US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.
Just last week, Navarro took a shot at Wall Street, warning “globalist elites” against meddling with the Trump administration’s policy on China.
“If and when there is a deal, it will be on President Donald J. Trump’s terms — not Wall Street terms,” Navarro, a former economics professor, said during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn Tuesday, Kudlow said that Navarro “misspoke” and “wasn’t authorized” to speak on the matter.
Forget the trade war, China's economy has other big problems

Forget the trade war, China's economy has other big problems

The Trump administration has already slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products since July. The tariffs on $200 billion of those goods are set to increase to 25% from 10% on January 1, which would further escalate the conflict.
China retaliated with tariffs on $110 billion of US products and is likely to respond with more if the United States goes ahead with the increase at the start of January.
Trump has made it a priority to take an aggressive stance against China for what he says are unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers. He’s threatened to escalate the trade war further by imposing tariffs on all the remaining goods that China sells to the United States.
Many American manufacturers, farmers and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say they appreciate the administration’s efforts to change China’s economic policies. But some argue the tariffs aren’t the best way to address the problems. They pose a dilemma for US importers who must decide whether to absorb the higher cost of the goods or pass it on to consumers, and some exporters are hurting from China’s retaliatory tariffs.
That’s the view of the esteemed Oxford Dictionaries, the British publisher that has been been defining language — and our times — for over 150 years.
It has chosen the word as its annual “Word of the Year,” arguing that it’s “the sheer scope of its application that has made it the standout choice,” a video posted on the Dictionary’s twitter page explains.
Strictly defined as “poisonous,” Oxford Dictionaries says that its research shows that “this year more than ever, people have been using ‘toxic’ to describe a vast array of things, situations, concerns and events.”
“In its original, literal use, to refer to poisonous substances, ‘toxic’ has been ever-present in discussions of the health of our communities, and our environment,” the video explains, pointing, among other examples, to the recent increase in discussion surrounding the “toxicity of plastics.”
But it adds that “toxic” has “truly taken off into the realm of metaphor, as people have reached for the word to describe workplaces, schools, cultures, relationships and stress.”
It adds the “Me Too” movement has “put the spotlight on toxic masculinity” whereas in politics more broadly “the word has been applied to the rhetoric, policies, agendas and legacies of leaders and governments around the globe.”
It certainly seems to have made its mark on CNN — with around 600 news stories and opinion pieces online featuring the word in 2018 so far, popping up in articles about everything from US President Donald Trump, to conspiracy website Infowars, the national debt, Michigan’s drinking water and Tide pods.
Part of Oxford University Press (OUP), a department of the University of Oxford, the dictionary has, in the past, turned to neologisms to describe the zeitgeist. In 2017, its Word of the Year was “youthquake,” defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”
Previous years have also been influenced by the political landscape, with 2016 taking its cue from the Brexit referendum and US presidential election to choose “post-truth” as its word. The year before, however, it broke with tradition to choose the “tears of joy” emoji.
The Word of the Year is chosen from a shortlist “drawn from evidence gathered by (its) extensive language research program, including the Oxford Corpus, which gathers around 150 million words of current English from web-based publications each month,” according to the publisher’s Word of the Year website.
The filing, from both the special counsel team and an attorney for Gates, told a federal judge in Washington not to begin sentencing yet, as Gates “continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations.”
The attorneys said they did not plan to submit another report to the judge until January 15.
Gates was a longtime associate of Manafort’s and was Manafort’s deputy during Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Gates was among those initially charged last year by Mueller, and he pleaded guilty to two charges last February. His testimony against Manafort made up a substantial portion of the former campaign chairman’s Virginia trial in August, where Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes. Manafort himself pleaded guilty in September in a separate case and agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.
Gates’ attorney said as recently as last month that his client was continuing to cooperate with the investigation, and Wednesday’s joint filing submitted by Mueller showed that cooperation was continuing still.
“big news Wednesday,” Randy Credico, a progressive New York political activist and radio host, texted Stone on October 1, 2016. “now pretend u don’t know me.”
“U died 5 years ago,” Stone, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, responded.
“great,” Credico texted back. “Hillary’s campaign will die this week.”
Stone provided the text messages in an effort to prove Credico was his source of information on WikiLeaks. The text messages appear to show Credico providing Stone with updates on Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and his document-dump plans just ahead of their public release in October. In some of the texts, Credico appears to indicate he has insights into Assange’s plans through Assange’s lawyer.
Credico’s messages came the same week Assange scheduled a news conference with much fanfare, promising an October surprise. Assange didn’t deliver any dirt on Clinton during the press event, much to the dismay of her critics.
But days later, on October 7, WikiLeaks released the first batch of emails hacked from Podesta’s personal account soon after The Washington Post published audio of Trump making disparaging remarks about women. The group would go on to release near-daily hacked emails in the closing weeks of the presidential race, altering the course of the campaign.
Stone has been a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether anyone from Trump’s campaign was involved. Mueller is looking into Stone’s potential back channels to WikiLeaks and his communication with then-candidate Trump during the campaign as part of the probe.
Grant Smith, Stone’s attorney, provided CNN with copies of the messages, which were first reported by NBC News. “I think these are completely vindicating of Roger,” Smith said. “It could not be any clearer.”
On August 27, 2016 — just days after Credico interviewed Assange for a radio show — Credico texted Stone, “Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary.”
While Stone made a number of public claims in 2016 that seemed to suggest he had advance warning of WikiLeaks’ plans, he has denied having early knowledge of hacked messages that could be damaging to Clinton’s presidential bid. He has said his statements during the campaign were based on public information and his back channel, Credico.
Credico denied that he acted as Stone’s intermediary with WikiLeaks and said his messages to Stone were based on Assange’s public statements.
“It’s two observers to a potential dump by Julian Assange. That’s it,” Credico told CNN.
Credico also accused Stone of cherrypicking the messages he released.
“He’s retroactively trying to invent something to cover his a–,” Credico said.
Credico has been interviewed multiple times by Mueller’s investigators and has testified before the grand jury. He noted that he has handed all of his communications with Stone over to the special counsel. Credico said he also gave investigators permission to retrieve messages from his cell phone provider that were no longer available on his devices.
Credico’s attorney said Wednesday that he believed Mueller’s investigators were finished questioning his client. After the latest text message release Wednesday, Credico said he wouldn’t be surprised if Mueller’s team followed up with additional questions.
Stone and Credico have a complicated history that spans more than a decade. Over the years, they’ve worked together on political campaigns and called each other friend. But it has been a rocky relationship, and at one point years ago, Stone started a rumor that Credico was dead.
In the released text messages, Credico repeatedly asks Stone not to name him as his connection to Assange. “Just remember do not name me as your connection to Assange you had one before that you referred to,” he texted Stone on September 18, 2016.
Credico also texts Stone selfies taken outside of what appears to be the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where Assange has taken refuge, days before Assange held his Oct. 4 news conference promising the big reveal. Credico said he never made it inside the embassy on his trip.
The woman, who has not been named due to the highly sensitive missions undertaken by the Green Berets, will next attempt the Special Forces Qualification Course, USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said.
The US Army Special Forces, commonly known as the Green Berets, specialize in unconventional warfare and international internal defense and counter-terrorism.
“Recently, a female successfully completed Special Forces Assessment and Selection and was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course,” Bymer said in a statement.
“We’re proud of all the candidates who attended and were selected to continue into the qualification course in hopes of earning their Green Beret,” Bymer added. “It is our policy to not release the names of our service members because Special Forces Soldiers perform discrete missions upon graduation.”
The 24-day continuous assessment is an intense test of candidates’ mental and physical endurance. Several women have attempted the gender-neutral test since January 2016, when the Department of Defense began accepting women for all armed combat positions, Bymer said.
The female soldier’s success comes following remarks by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in September that “the jury is out” on the success of women serving in infantry roles due to an insufficient sample size.
“This is a policy I inherited, and so far the cadre is so small we have no data on it. We’re hoping to get data soon,” Mattis said.
He added that the department was still trying to “give it every opportunity to succeed if it can.”
“Right now, it’s not even dozens, it’s that few,” Mattis said.
In January 2017, the first three women joined the infantry Marines, serving in the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The first note came on Friday. Scrawled in pencil was: “You’re a terrorist.”
On Tuesday, the student found a second threatening note: “I will kill you.”
Neither the fifth-grader who received the notes nor the other students at the school are thought to be in imminent danger, Framingham School District Superintendent Robert Tremblay said in a news conference on Wednesday. “Safety is our priority,” he said.
In addition to the police investigation, the school district is conducting a separate internal investigation, Tremblay said.
The girl’s family requested her name not be published to preserve her privacy.
After the fifth-grader gave the first note to her teacher on Friday, the school didn’t immediately involve the police, hoping a student would come forward, according to Principal Elizabeth Simon.
The school emailed parents asking for any information they might have regarding the incident, but when the second note appeared on Tuesday, the police were involved.
The targeted girl is still going to school every day, said her uncle, Jamaal Siddiqui.
“All she said is she wants to be as normal as possible. She doesn’t want to be treated differently,” Siddiqui said.
The family has been an involved part of the Framingham community for decades, and he and his family members all attended Framingham School District schools, Siddiqui said.
“I’ve been through racism. My wife has been through racism. As adults we know how to cope with it,” Siddiqui said.
“But for our niece, she doesn’t know why she’s being targeted.”
Simon said this was the first discriminatory incident at the school. “We have not had something that was such a targeted, hateful message. … My staff is devastated.”
Tremblay said Wednesday that a bigger conversation around hate should be had around the state.
“This is a pervasive problem [that] we need to take a stand on and address,” he said.
“When you think about a child who’s in fifth grade,” said Tremblay. “That kind of hate, you know, where does that come from? It’s not an innate feeling that a child would have. And the concern that we have is, how is this a teachable opportunity for our classrooms?”
In an effort to bring students together, all fifth-grade students wrote nice notes to the student victim and the school is holding talks with each class to process the events, school officials said.
Vahid Mazloumin, a mogul known for his work in the gold coin trade and nicknamed the “Sultan of Coins,” and his accomplice Mohammad-Esmaeil Qassemi were found guilty of forming a “smuggling gang” that manipulated the domestic currency market and made “illegal deals,” Iran’s state-run IRNA news said.
Mazloumin, 58, was arrested in July and sentenced to death in October for allegedly hoarding the coins, a move which Iran said destabilized the country’s currency market, IRNA reported.
The Iranian rial has been in a nosedive this year, largely due to the Trump administration’s decision to reimpose sanctions against Tehran after the White House abandoned the Iran nuclear deal. Many Iranians have reportedly rushed to buy gold, foreign currencies and precious metals to protect their savings, as the rial is estimated to have plummeted by around 70%.
The IRNA report said that “in recent months, (the) economic situation and the instability in the Forex market have caused popular discontent.”
Amnesty International called the trial of the two men “grossly unfair” and condemned the decision to execute the men for non-violent crimes.
“With these abhorrent executions the Iranian authorities have flagrantly violated international law and once again displayed their shameless disregard for the right to life,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director.
“Use of the death penalty is appalling under any circumstances but it is even more horrific given that these men were convicted after a grossly unfair show trial that was broadcast on state television. Under international human rights law, the death penalty is absolutely forbidden for non-lethal crimes, such as financial corruption.”
International human rights groups have long criticized Iran for its use of capital punishment. Tehran has reportedly executed five minors this year — one of only four countries to do so since 2013, according to Human Rights Watch.
Earlier this year, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved a request by the head of the country’s judiciary to set up special courts to deal with financial crimes The courts have sentenced several people to death since then, according to Amnesty International.