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Report: Boulder shooter was ‘previously known’ to the FBI

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The suspected gunman charged in the shooting at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store was previously known to the FBI, a New York Times report revealed.

According to the report, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a 21-year-old from the Denver suburb of Arvada, was previously known to the FBI because he was linked to another individual under investigation by the bureau, according to law enforcement officials.

In 2018, Alissa was convicted of a misdemeanor assault against another student at Arvada West High School. Fellow classmates recall him as having a “fierce temper” that would flare in response to setbacks or slights, The Times report said.

Alissa’s brother described him as “mentally ill, paranoid and antisocial,” to the Daily Beast.

Court records show that Alissa was born in Syria in 1999 but had lived most of his life in the U.S.

Alissa purchased an AR-15-style rifle on March 16, six days before he opened fire at the King Soopers grocery store, killing 10 people, including a veteran Boulder Police Officer.

The victims of the massacre on Monday were Officer Eric Talley, 51; Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.

The Boulder shooting was the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than a week.

“Flags had barely been raised back to full mast after the tragic shooting in Atlanta that claimed eight lives, and now a tragedy here, close to home, at a grocery store that could be any of our neighborhood grocery stores,” Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis, said at a news conference.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Pope Francis calls for universal ban on ‘so-called surrogate motherhood’

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Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.

The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.

“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.

Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.

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