A US police officer has become the third suicide among those who defended the Capitol building from rioters in January.
Washington DC police officer Gunther Hashida was found dead at his home on 29 July, leaving a wife and three children.
Mr Hashida, 43, was part of the emergency response team in the Special Operations Division of the Metropolitan Police Department.
He had joined the police department in May 2003 and a fundraising page has been set up seeking donations to “support his memorial service and his family in the loss of his love and guidance”.
A police spokesperson confirmed Mr Hashida’s death to Sky News, adding: “We are grieving as a department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends.”
The officer’s suicide follows that of his colleagues Jeffrey Smith and Howard Liebengood, both of whom died within a month of the riot.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent her “deepest condolences” to Mr Hashida’s family and colleagues, describing him as “a hero who risked his life to save our Capitol, the congressional community, and our very democracy”.
She added: “All Americans are indebted to him for his great valour and patriotism on 6 January and throughout his selfless service.
“May Officer Hashida’s life be an inspiration to all to protect our country and democracy, and may it be a comfort to Officer Hashida’s family that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.”
The Capitol was invaded by supporters of then-president Donald Trump on 6 January as a joint session of Congress was officially confirming Joe Biden’s win in the election a few months earlier.
More than 500 people were arrested, with around 140 police officers injured and one – Brian Sicknick – collapsing in his office after responding to the riot and dying the following day after two strokes.
Late in July, a congressional committee investigating the riot heard from four police officers who told them about the violence and abuse they experienced that day.
One of the officers, Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, said that for many in the police, the trauma resulting from the riot “has not ended”.
“That day continues to be a constant trauma for us literally every day, whether because of our physical or emotional injuries, or both,” he said.
One of his police colleagues Michael Fanone added: “What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many people I put my life at risk to defend, are downplaying or outright denying what happened.
“I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room, but too many are telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually wasn’t that bad.
“The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.”
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email email@example.com in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.
Kevin McCarthy: US House Speaker removed from office for first time in history
US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been removed from office after a historic challenge to his leadership from his own party.
The Republican faced a motion to vacate, which was triggered by Donald Trump ally Matt Gaetz on Monday, just months after securing the position in 15 rounds of voting.
It is the first time in the country’s history that House representatives have voted the Speaker out.
Behind closed doors early on Tuesday, Mr McCarthy told fellow Republicans: “If I counted how many times someone wanted to knock me out, I would have been gone a long time ago.”
Several Republicans, however, had said they were sticking with Mr McCarthy as they emerged from the meeting, during which they said he received standing ovations.
It follows a decision made by Mr McCarthy over the weekend to cooperate with the Democrats to keep the government running rather than risk a shutdown.
It is a move that angered Mr Gaetz and other far-right Republicans, as Mr McCarthy relied on Democratic votes to pass a temporary funding extension on Saturday that avoided a partial government shutdown.
A band of about 20 Republicans had forced Mr McCarthy’s hand by repeatedly blocking other legislation.
Mr Gaetz and his allies said they were frustrated by the slow pace of spending legislation on Mr McCarthy’s watch.
Republican Representative Tim Burchett, who said he would vote to oust Mr McCarthy, said: “We took a whole month of August off. I think that that’s pretty telling.”
Another day of history in US politics
It’s political pantomime, without the laughs.
To look at the House of Representatives is to see the turbulence of America’s political ecosystem.
The ousting of Kevin McCarthy leaves the lower chamber of Congress in a state of paralysis.
There will be an interim Speaker but his or her role will effectively amount to finding a permanent replacement.
It is a dysfunction at the heart of power, an extension of the fault lines that fracture the modern-day Republican Party.
Never before has a House Speaker been ejected in this way, another day of history in US politics
The history-makers at the wheel have travelled a distance from the party fringes to positions of influence.
Matt Gaetz is the high-profile House representative who tabled the motion to oust McCarthy.
He’s prominent amongst a hard-line conservative core of House Republicans, Trump-aligned, and bent on reshaping party traditions and reorientating its trajectory to the right.
It is a tail that can wag the dog and this episode is clear evidence of it.
The rules dictate that just one representative – Mr Gaetz in this case – can trigger a vote to oust the Speaker.
That arrangement was a deal Mr McCarthy struck in January to appease his party’s right wing and enable his accession to the position of Speaker.
It didn’t look like clever politics by Mr McCarthy at the time and it looks even less so today.
Today, politics are harder in a party whose politics have changed.
Not all are convinced by Mr Gaetz’s intentions, with some Republicans believing he is angling for a change at a higher office.
“It seems very personal with Matt. It doesn’t look like he’s looking out for the country or the institution,” Mr McCarthy said.
Mr Gaetz has denied he is spurred on by a dislike of Mr McCarthy.
Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to three firearm charges
Hunter Biden, the son US President Joe Biden, has pleaded not guilty to three federal firearm charges filed against him after a plea deal collapsed.
He is accused of lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun, which he kept for around 11 days.
Abbe Lowell, his lawyer, told the court in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday he plans to file a motion to dismiss the case, challenging their constitutionality.
While the president’s son has admitted to struggles with a crack cocaine addiction over the period in question, his lawyers insist he didn’t break the law.
These kind of gun charges are rare, and an appeals court has found banning drug users from guns violates the Second Amendment.
The case remains on track for a possible trial just as the 2024 election looms.
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.
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Woman sues Disney theme park over claims water slide gave her ‘painful wedgie’
A woman is suing Disney over claims a water slide at one of its theme parks left her with serious injuries.
In a lawsuit filed in Orange County, Florida, last week, the woman claims the Humunga Kowabunga slide at Walt Disney World gave her “severe vaginal lacerations”.
Warning: The article below contains details some people may find distressing
After going on the ride at Typhoon Lagoon as part of her 30th birthday celebrations in 2019, she was taken by ambulance to a local hospital before being moved to another that specialised in gynaecological injuries, court documents say.
There medics found she had a “full thickness laceration” of the vagina, which “caused the plaintiff’s bowel to protrude through her abdominal wall and damage her internal organs”.
She is seeking $50,000 (£41,400) in damages from Disney, Sky News’ US partner network NBC News reports. The lawsuit said the Humunga Kowabunga slide puts riders at risk of a “painful wedgie”.
According to court documents, she went on the ride wearing a one-piece swimming costume with her mother and daughter after being instructed to cross her legs.
“The slide caused [her] clothing to be painfully forced between her legs and for water to be violently forced inside her,” the documents read.
“She experienced immediate and severe pain internally and, as she stood up, blood began rushing from between her legs.”
It adds that “risk of injury as a consequence of water being forced inside a woman’s body” is “far greater than it is for a man”.
Disney has not responded to NBC News’s requests for comment.
Humunga Kowabunga is Typhoon Lagoon’s fastest and steepest waterslide. It sends people down a five-storey descent at speeds of up to 40mph, according to Disney’s website.
The theme park was built in 1989.
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