News in Brief: Man Who Shot and Killed Nine, Including Self, Faced Racial Harassment at Work, and More

Democracy Now! reports a man who was bullied, and the only African-American at his workplace in Connecticut, shot and killed nine people including himself in a gun-fire attack on Tuesday. Reports tell varying stories, but it seems that Omar Thornton, 34, was fired from his job yesterday following allegations that he stole beer produced at the facility, and shortly thereafter went on a shooting rampage.

Reports by CBS News found that Thornton faced years of racial harassment at the facility and despite not being a violent person, “just snapped,” according to a family member. Despite Thornton’s complaints to the union, a Teamster official said Tuesday, “It’s got nothing to do with race … This is a disgruntled employee who shot a bunch of people.” But his family described a different picture: hanging nooses in the bathroom and racial epithets on the wall. Thornton, family members say, was clearly “singled out for being the only African-American at the company.”

Election Night News: Anti-Washington Fervor Still Exists Despite Many Incumbents Retaining Seats

Tuesday was Election Day in three states and the evening results provided a mixed bag, reports Politico. While embattled Democratic Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kirkpatrick (D-Michigan) lost her party’s primary and is now the fourth House incumbent to lose her seat this year, Congressional incumbents facing challengers in Michigan, Missouri and Kansas retained their seats in comfortable victories. Indeed, two present Republican members of Congress went on to clinch their party’s nominations for higher office. Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri won his nomination for the US Senate, beating out a Tea Party activist, while US Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas won the nomination for governor.

Despite the retention of seats by Congressional incumbents, The Epoch Times reports that a recent poll reveals that almost 60 percent of voters would prefer a candidate with no background in Congress over one with Congressional experience.

Also on Tuesday, Missouri voters approved a law that directly challenges the federal health insurance mandate, the first vote of its kind in the nation, the Kansas City Star reports. Proposition C was overwhelmingly approved by voters 71-29 percent and challenges the law’s requirement that citizens buy insurance or face a fine. While largely of symbolic importance and seen to have little to no impact on the actual legislation, it sends a message to Washington, DC, that many, including GOP activists, dislike the new law. Other states including Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma have similar votes coming up.

BP’s “Static-Kill” Procedure Successful So Far, but Work Remains

The Miami Herald reports that BP’s attempt to block further oil from gushing into the Coast is working. The procedure, called “static-kill,” involves inserting drilling mud into the well. While still in the monitoring period, the procedure is just “one more nail in the coffin” that should be followed by the completion of a relief well. The combination of the two should stop the gusher completely, a BP spokesperson said.

Israeli’s Were on “Right Side,” Says UN Group

A UN peacekeeping force concluded that the Israeli Army was on its own side of the dividing border line when attacked by Lebanese forces yesterday on the Israeli-Lebanese border, the BBC reports. Yesterday’s attack left four dead, including two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist as well as an Israeli. Despite heightened tensions between the two countries and the international community on alert, both sides committed to complying with the UN-drawn border known as “The Blue Line,” created in 2000, which resulted in the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Lebanese border.