Alabama man injured after gun explodes in freak accident at range

Megan Harman says her dad, Chris, was with family at the Firing Pin in Opelika when the gun he was shooting exploded in his face in a freak accident.

“He’s on his way to Birmingham now for them to try and save his left eye,” said Harman.

The accident happened just after Harman’s mom shot her Taurus 380. She had loaded the clip and fired six rounds when the last one jammed. She removed the clip and got the bullet out. Harman says her dad shot the gun next. The family recalls Chris loaded the clip and had fired three times when the gun exploded, and Chris went down.

Chris is on his way from the hospital via ambulance for surgery at a Birmingham eye clinic. He has blow out fractures in his left orbit, and the family is praying doctors can save his eye. The family is scared but very thankful Chris was wearing safety glasses when the explosion or the injuries could have been much more severe.

Airport Deploys ‘Virus-Killing Robots’ During Holidays As Mall Santas Turn To Plexiglass Barriers And ‘Sanitation Elves’

Airlines, meanwhile, are jumping through all sorts of hoops to keep regulators and worried passengers happy – mandating that passengers wear masks throughout their flights, while airports employ measures of their own such as thermal imaging to scan for fevers (which has ‘accuracy issues‘ per experts). Airports are also employing touchless kiosks and attempting to enforce social distancing recommendations.

San Antonio International Airport in Texas has gone one step further – deploying a virus-fighting robot that shoots powerful bursts of UV light onto surfaces, according to the Washington Post.

It’s called LightStrike, and other airports are considering whether to invest in the $125,000 device that has been shown to be effective against the coronavirus. Some airports are watching to see whether travel improves over the coming weeks, according to officials at Xenex, the company behind the device.

Xenex says that its robot business has increased 600 percent amid the pandemic. Most of the increase is related to the health-care industry, but the robot also has entered new markets such as hotels, professional sports facilities and police stations. –Washington Post

“When you bring something like SARS-CoV-2 into focus, institutions like hotels, airlines, professional sports teams, they’re looking for what’s best-in-class to kill it,” according to Xenex CEO, Morris Miller.

The 43″ tall UV-producing robots with a seven-foot effective radius were initially developed for hospitals as a method of eliminating viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and was recently picked up by a local school district in Texas, according to the report.

It’s been known for decades that UV radiation can destroy viruses by chemically altering their genetic material. However, different pathogens are susceptible to UV light at varying wavelengths. Many traditional UV devices use low-intensity mercury bulbs, which means they may take longer to kill organic material such as viruses. By contrast, LightStrike robots have a powerful xenon UV-C light source capable of damaging the DNA and RNA of viruses in a matter of minutes. –Washington Post

In a test conducted by the Texas Biomedical Research Instituted in San Antonio, the LightStrike robot destroyed COVID-19 in two minutes, and has shown to be effective at killing certain superbugs such as C. diff. 

Meanwhile, mall santas have also been forced to adapt to Christmas with COVID – with some now appearing for photos from inside ‘acrylic snow globes’ and other barriers.

Old Saint Nick will pose for photos from inside an acrylic snow globe in Richmond. He’ll be barricaded behind a eight-foot picture frame in Lakewood, Colo. And in Gruene, Tex., Cowboy Kringle, who wears red leather chaps and a cowboy hat, will keep socially distant by asking visitors to sit on a saddle positioned six feet away.

This year’s holiday photos will have a decidedly pandemic feel: No more sitting on Kriss Kringle’s lap or whispering in his ear. Instead, venues are increasingly requiring reservations, masks and temperature checks. Santa is hosting drive-through events, attaching face shields to his hat and trading in his white cloth gloves for disposable ones to protect himself — and others — as coronavirus cases skyrocket to new highs around the country. –Washington Post

“Everything is different this year, but people are finding a way to keep that traditional Santa experience,” said Mitchell Allen, owner of the Hire Santa staffing firm – where ‘virtual bookings have grown tenfold,’ yet only constitute a fraction of the company’s total revenue according to the report.

“It’s unexpected, to be honest.”

At Bass Pro Shops, which also owns Cabela’s, Saint Nick is stuck behind an acrylic shield, while elves serve as “Santa’s sanitization squad,” as some 95,000 families stopped by for photos during Santa’s first week at 176 stores.

Santa’s helper works to keep things disinfected at the Springfield Bass Pro Shops store. (Annaliese Nurnberg/The Washington Post)

With struggling retailers being sent into bankruptcy thanks to a sharp dropoff in foot traffic during the pandemic, mall santas have been a longstanding reason for families to set foot in malls. And with Santa-booking companies reporting a 40% dropoff in appointments, and many Santas dropping out of the workforce over health concerns.

Santas are also nervous. Many are in their 70s and 80s and have health conditions such as diabetes that put them at particularly high risk of coronavirus complications. Brenneman, who owns the booking firm Santa Claus and Co. in Phoenix, said about half of the 30 white-bearded men he employs are sitting the season out, and a few are doing only outdoor events. -WaPo

In trying to adjust to the ‘new normal,’ mall owners “have spent months — and tens of thousands of dollars — trying to reimagine Santa’s Wonderland for the coronavirus era. The goal, they say, is to spread holiday cheer (but not the virus),” according to the report.

“Santa can’t give out hugs or candy canes this year, but people still want to see him,” said 70-year-old Mark Brenneman, who has been playing Santa for nearly 50 years. “They want hope. They want normal.

https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/airport-deploys-virus-killing-robots-during-holidays-mall-santas-turn-plexiglass-barriers

Head Of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Project Assassinated

From ZH

Iranian state media reported that the country’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Damavand, east of Tehran. He was reportedly accompanied by his bodyguard when they were attacked by a “suicide” attacker at the entrance of Absard town.

According to Iran Front Page News, Fakhrizadeh was killed by shooting, but before the shootout, his car has been stopped with an explosion at Mostafa Khomeini Blvd. Several others are also reportedly killed in the incident, but haven’t been identified yet.

Fakhrizadeh was a brigadier general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) and headed Iran’s nuclear weapons project.

He was a professor of physics at the Imam Hussein University in Tehran and was former head of Iran’s Physics Research Center.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

While there has been no official confirmation of the death yet, and Iran Atomic Energy organization has denied the reports, saying that no incident involving nuclear scientists took place according to ISNA News Agency, Iran’s revolutionary guards commander wrote on Twitter that Iran will avenge the killing of scientists as it has in the past according to the Jerusalem Post.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the assassination, but the Israeli regime has a history of hiring hit men to assassinate nuclear scientists in Iran.

In 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “remember that name” after he announced that the Mossad had obtained 100,000 files from Iran’s secret nuclear archives. The files retrieved by Mossad focused on the secret Iranian nuclear program that was developed from 1999 to 2003 called Project Amad, which was led by Fakhrizadeh. When Iran entered the 2015 nuclear deal, it denied that such a program existed.

After the April 2018 killing of several nuclear scientists in Iran, a “protective shield of secrecy and security” had been thrown around Fakhrizadeh, in an effort to protect him against Israeli assassins.

In 2003, Iran was forced to shelve Project Amad, but not its nuclear ambitions. It reportedly split its program into an overt program and a covert one that continued the nuclear work under the title of scientific knowhow development, Netanyahu said at the time. It continued this work in a series of organizations, which in 2018 were led by SPND, an organization inside Iran’s Defense Ministry led by the same person who led Project Amad – Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Netanyahu said.

According to the WSJ, Fakhrizadeh is often described as Iran’s Robert Oppenheimer, the developer of the world’s first atomic bombs, and not because of the Iranian’s latent pacifist convictions. His name came to light about a decade ago as the elusive head of Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, widely believed to be the group conducting Iran’s nuclear-weaponization work. In 2012 the Journal’s Jay Solomon reported that, after lying low for a few years, Fakhrizadeh had “opened a research facility in Tehran’s northern suburbs involved in studies relevant to developing nuclear weapons.”

Army Fires Long Range Rockets Capable Of Hitting Crimea Into Black Sea

This week the US conducted rocket-launch tests of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket (HIMARS) vehicles transferred from Germany.

The rocket test was so close to Russia that its Defense Ministry deployed what Russian media said was “advanced hardware” on the Crimean peninsula should it be needed to neutralize any “surprise missile attack.”

M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket (HIMARS) launchers previously in exercises in Poland, via US Army.

Forbes reported the maneuvers in the following way:

The U.S. Army sneaked a pair of long-range rocket launchers near Russia’s Black Sea outpost on Thursday, fired off a few rockets then hurried the launchers back to the safety of their base in Germany. All within a few hours.

The one-day mission by the Army’s new Europe-based artillery brigade was practice for high-tech warfare. It clearly also was a message for Moscow. The U.S. Army in Europe has restored its long-range firepower. And it wants the Russians to know.

According to Russian media reports over 130 NATO soldiers and 30 units of military equipment were involved. The missiles were reportedly fired into the Black Sea.

Forbes, “The [US] brigade’s rapid deployment to Romania last week could prove even more provocative. Especially considering the new munitions the Army is developing for the HIMARS and MLRS. These include an anti-ship missile and a replacement for ATACMS that can travel as far as 310 miles.”

Via NPR

It’s just 250 miles across the Black Sea from the Romanian coast to Crimea. Army HIMARS flying in and out of Romania pose a serious, and unpredictable, threat to Russian forces in the region,”