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Oct. 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM   |   Comments

Three dead in day spa shooting rampage

BROOKFIELD, Wis., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Three people are dead and four are wounded after a gunman opened fire inside a day spa in Brookfield, Wis., officials said.

Police were searching Sunday afternoon for alleged gunman Radcliffe F. Haughton, 45, of Brown Deer. Witnesses reported seeing a man with a handgun chasing a young woman into Moorland Road.

Thomas Ahern, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told CNN, the shooting rampage is being investigated as a possible domestic-related incident.

The shooting occurred around 11 a.m. CDT at the Azana Salon & Spa on Moorland Road, across the street from Brookfield Square shopping mall.

Efforts to clear the two-story building that houses the day spa were hampered by the presence of what appeared to be an improvised explosive device, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Victims were taken to Froedtert Hospital. The newspaper said three of the victims had died.

Leonard Peace, spokesman for the FBI's Milwaukee office, said a SWAT team, hostage negotiators, victim specialists and command staff were deployed to the scene in support of Brookfield Police, the newspaper reported. ATF agents were also on the scene.

Multiple roads were blocked off, including the ramps to Interstate 94. Brookfield Square mall and Westmoor Country Club were under lockdown.

Gov. Scott Walker said he and his wife, Tonette, were sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims. "Senseless acts of violence leave us with heavy hearts and many questions," Walker said in a statement. "Our state will stand with the victims and their families, and we will provide them with the law enforcement and community support they need to heal in the coming days."


Candidates claim high ground in Florida

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will focus on the economy in hotly contested Florida, officials of their respective campaigns said Sunday.

Florida is considered a critical state as the U.S. presidential race hits the home stretch, and both candidates will be campaigning hard to win over voters.

Romney adviser Kevin Madden said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Florida was grappling with the same economic malaise, rising energy prices and high federal debt the rest of the United States has been contending with since Obama was elected.

"I think right now there's a lot of anxiety amongst the American people, particularly people here in Florida, about the state of the economy," said Madden. "And Gov. Romney has focused on that, and he's focused on what he would do better over the next four years, versus the failed policies that we've seen over these past four years."

Madden contended the president remained fixated on relatively trivial issues in his campaign jousting with Romney rather than on articulating a workable economic plan for the next four years.

Stephanie Cutter, deputy manager of the Obama campaign, argued it was Romney's plan that lacked specifics. "His singular economic policy is a tax cut that gives a $250,000 tax cut to those at the top and forces the middle class to pay for it," she said. "That's not a way to move this economy forward and I think the people of Florida know that."

Cutter said Obama would benefit from the economic recovery, which while slow had started to re-energize the housing industry and had created jobs in the alternative-energy sector. "We have made significant progress here in Florida," she said.


Rahm says Obama turned tables on Iran

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- A former top aide to President Obama said Sunday the United States now held the upper hand in relations with Iran.

Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said world opinion has changed since Obama took office and isolated Iran on the issue of its controversial nuclear program.

"Three and a half years ago, the world was criticizing us on Iran," Emmanuel said on ABC's "This Week." "Today, the world is criticizing Iran on its attempt to acquire nuclear weapons. That's a direct change."

Emanuel declined direct comment on a New York Times report the Obama administration was open to direct talks with Tehran; however, he opined the Iranian government now found itself in a position where its economy was hamstrung by international sanctions and its international allies were few and far between.

"The tables have been turned," Emanuel said. "And the result of that is because of the steady leadership and the course the president has done in building a coalition and forcing now a set of sanctions that Europe would never have considered three and a half years ago."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., dismissed the idea Obama was showing strong leadership on Iran. He reiterated the GOP's stance the president was conducting a hands-off policy that was actually strengthening Iranian influence in the Middle East and accelerating its nuclear program.

"So much of our relationship with Iran under this president was defined early in his administration when folks (in Iran) took to the streets in that Green Revolution, and the president took his hands off and said he wasn't going to get engaged or involved," said Rubio. "That unfortunately, set a tone where now Iran thinks they can go much faster and much harder than they used to think they could go, and today they are closer than they've ever been to a nuclear capability."


San Andreas produced 5.3 quake in Calif.

KING CITY, Calif., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- California's central valley was jiggled by a magnitude 5.3 earthquake Sunday, days after the anniversary of the big Bay Area quake of 1987, seismologists said.

Sunday's shaker occurred shortly before midnight PDT and was centered outside King City, about 160 miles south-southeast of Sacramento, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

There were no reports of damage or injury in the rural area.

The USGS said the quake occurred along California's famed San Andreas Fault, which triggered the famed 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and the Loma Prieta quake in Oct. 17, 1989, which killed 64 people and caused significant damage in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Seismologists said the fault in the King City area has been largely a mystery. "The fault in this region is locked, exhibiting no creep at the surface and generating very few microearthquakes that are associated with minor slipping at depth," the USGS said.

California held its annual statewide series of earthquake drills Oct. 18. Students learned about earthquake science and safety and practiced diving under their desks in preparation for a genuine shaker.

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