Monday, Feb. 20 marked the 14th anniversary of the Station nightclub fire in West Warwick. The Station Fire Memorial Foundation observed the anniversary with a private prayer service and meeting. A permanent memorial for the disaster which killed 100 people during a concert in 2003 will open later this year.
Last week, Democratic lawmakers in the Rhode Island State Senate and House of Representatives proposed bills that would prohibit doctors and other healthcare providers from treating homosexuality as an illness in children under 18. The controversial practice, also known as conversion therapy, is banned in six other states and in Washington District of Columbia.
In Warwick, police arrested a thief known as the ‘Sharpie Swindler,’ after he stole over a hundred dollars in Sharpie products from Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain. Despite stealing the items more than a month ago on Jan. 18, police were unable to make the arrest until Saturday, Feb. 19.
Milo Yiannopolous, editor for Breitbart News, a far-right media organization, was disinvited from the Conservative Political Action Conference and lost his book deal from Simon and Schuster on Monday. The reaction was prompted after video resurfaced on social media of Yiannopolous seeming to defend pedophilia. Yiannopolous, a controversial figure often associated with the “alt-right,” disputed the video as misleading. The decisions to drop Yiannopolous come just weeks after the University of California Berkeley was forced to cancel his speaking event amid protests and riots.
President Donald Trump has appointed Lt. General H.R. McMaster to serve as his National Security Advisor. Unlike his predecessor Michael Flynn, who resigned amid controversy over misleading Vice President Mike Pence about talks with Russia, McMaster has not been affiliated with Trump or his campaign in the past. McMaster is also a distinguished military commander and academic who, as the author of the book “Dereliction of Duty,” published in 1997, explored and criticized military leadership’s role in the Vietnam War.
According to the Transportation Security Administration, 11 people made it through a security checkpoint without being properly screened at JFK airport in New York. Early Monday morning, the New York Port Authority and the TSA issued somewhat conflicting reports, with the TSA reporting that three individuals set off a metal detector and were not subject to secondary screening, while others walked through an unattended security line.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has died suddenly. The day before his 65th birthday, the widely esteemed ambassador suffered from cardiac arrest while in New York City on diplomatic business. On Monday, the UN observed a moment of silence in the ambassador’s memory.
In Melbourne, Australia, five people were killed when a small charter flight crashed into a mall early Tuesday morning. Four of the victims were U.S citizens, and the fifth was the pilot. According to Australian police, the crash was a result of an engine failure. No one outside of the plane was injured in the crash.
In France, police searched the offices of presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s party, The National Front. The search took place over an investigation into the far-right nationalist party’s potential misuse of European Union public funding. Le Pen and her party dismissed the allegations claiming they are intended to disrupt their election campaign.