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US News: Pelosi Assault, St. Louis Shooting, Student Scores, and Kanye's Demise

This week's most important news stories in the United States.
US News: Pelosi Assault, St. Louis Shooting, Student Scores, and Kanye's Demise

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi, 82, was hospitalized early Friday after a violent assault at their San Francisco home, reports Axios.

Pelosi's husband "violently assaulted" during home invasion (Axios)

Excerpt from Axios: The attack comes amid an uptick in threats against members of Congress and a series of security incidents over the summer. Pelosi's spokesperson said in a statement, "Early this morning, an assailant broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and violently assaulted Mr. Pelosi. The assailant is in custody and the motivation for the attack is under investigation. Mr. Pelosi was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery." Nancy Pelosi was not in San Francisco at the time of the attack. The Capitol Police said in a statement they are investigating the attack jointly with the FBI and San Francisco Police. Special agents from the Capitol Police's California Field Office "quickly arrived on scene."
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According to the Associated Press, the intruder who attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband in their San Francisco home was searching for the Democratic leader, shouting “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?” before assaulting Paul Pelosi with a hammer.

Assailant shouted ‘Where is Nancy?’ in attack (Associated Press)

Excerpt from the Associated Press: That was a chilling echo of the chants during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, when rioters trying to stop Joe Biden’s election searched menacingly through the halls for the speaker. Paul Pelosi was attacked and severely beaten by an assailant with a hammer who broke into the Pelosi home early Friday. The intruder confronted him shouting for the speaker’s whereabouts. While the circumstances of the attack were unclear, the attack raised questions about the safety of members of Congress and their families. Threats to lawmakers are at an all-time high almost two years after the Capitol insurrection. The attack also came just 11 days ahead of midterm elections in which crime and public safety have emerged as top concerns among Americans.
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In Missouri, the 19-year-old gunman who forced his way into a St. Louis school and killed two people purchased the AR-15-style rifle from a private seller after an FBI background check stopped him from buying a weapon from a licensed dealer, according to ABC News. Officers confronted and killed the gunman, who graduated from the school last year.

FBI background check blocked gun sale to St. Louis shooter (ABC News)

Excerpt from ABC News: Orlando Harris tried to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer in nearby St. Charles, Missouri, on Oct. 8, St. Louis police said in a news release Thursday evening. An FBI background check "successfully blocked this sale," police said, though they didn't say why the sale was blocked. Harris then bought the rifle used in the school shooting on Monday at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School from a private seller who had purchased it legally in 2020, police said. Police noted in the release that Missouri does not have a red-flag law aimed at keeping firearms away from people who may be a danger to themselves or others. As a result, police "did not have clear authority to temporarily seize the rifle when they responded to the suspect’s home when called by the suspect’s mother on 10/15/22." Tenth-grader Alexzandria Bell and teacher Jean Kuczka were killed in the attack, and seven 15- and 16-year-olds were wounded. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening. Police believe Harris had intended targets. They have not said if any of the victims were among them.
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Meanwhile, America got a report card on Monday, and the results were pretty bad, writes Slate. There were alarming declines in math and reading skills among the country’s fourth and eighth graders, as assessed by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which has been testing broad samples of elementary-level students since the early 1990s.

Those Grade-School Test Scores Are a Really Bad Sign (Slate)

Excerpt from Slate: In this year’s test results, which are calculated as an average from 0 to 500, math scores dropped by five points for fourth graders, lower than all previous assessment years since 2005. Eighth graders’ math scores dropped by a whopping eight points compared with 2019. Reading scores fared slightly better, with both fourth and eighth graders recording only three-point drops compared with 2019. But for eighth graders, that score was lower than all previous assessment years going back to 1998. Even if you were to dice the scores by state, no single state in the country saw an increase in reading or math scores for either grade—it was all straight declines or no significant changes recorded. Though test scores are simply one predictor of children’s success, they tend to reflect whether a student will finish high school, succeed in college, and earn a good living. At a national level, test scores can predict economic growth, which means learning loss could quickly become a serious problem not only for individual students, but for the future of the country as a whole.
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And finally this week, Kanye West became the latest anti-Jewish conspiracy theorist to be undone by his own delusions. What began with a few unhinged social-media posts from the artist, who now goes by Ye, culminated in a week-long whirlwind of anti-Jewish invective, writes the Atlantic.

In interviews and online, Ye’s tirades took a depressingly familiar form: Unable to address his problems rationally, he resorted to the age-old avoidance strategy of pinning them on the Jews. By embracing anti-Semitism, he has become the author of his own demise.

Kanye West Destroys Himself (Atlantic)

Excerpt from the Atlantic: "Hatred destroys the hater." When it comes to anti-Semitism, the questionable cliché is sometimes literally true. That’s because societies that spend their time pursuing and persecuting Jewish bogeymen fail to address the real roots of their concerns, whether they are political, economic, or personal. In practice, this means that those who embrace the conspiratorial currents of anti-Semitism are frequently the authors of their own demise, flailing against phantoms instead of overcoming their challenges. Simply put, instead of honestly reckoning with the true causes of his pain, Ye offloaded it onto the Jews. Which meant that, in the end, the rapper was left with his pain and not much else. He was dropped by his talent agency. His clothing line was pulled from Gap stores. And Adidas, the distributor of Ye’s popular sneakers, severed its ties with him. It took one week of conspiracy theorizing to undo a lifetime of artistic attainment. 
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