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Rejected Man Opens Fire Striking A 10-Month-Old In The Head

[It's] very apparent that Marcos Echartea has no regard for human life, even a baby."

A 23-year-old man faces three attempted murder charges after authorities say he fired several rounds into a vehicle, with one of the bullets striking a 10-month old. The reason for the gunfire? A woman declined his advances.

Marcos Echartea attended a party in Fresno, Calif., Sunday (June 23) where 18-year-old Deziree Menagh and her daughter, Fayth Percy also attended. Echartea tried to grab Menagh's hand but she pulled away.

Later on, Echartea tried to pull Menagh onto his lap and she refused him again. The teen told a friend about Echartea's behavior before going back inside the home to get baby Fayth.

CNN reports Menagh carried her daughter and placed her inside a friend's vehicle. They drove about half a block away when the driver made a U-turn. It was then that Echartea could be seen approaching the vehicle and as he neared, he pulled out a handgun firing off three rounds and striking Faythe in the head.

Police received a 911 call at 4 AM in which the driver said he was taking the baby to a nearby hospital. The dispatcher said there were cops nearby who helped until paramedics arrived. Faythe was taken to a hospital to have bullet fragments removed from her head. Her condition is described as critical.

Along with three attempted murder charges, Echartea faces a host of other felonies including assault with a firearm, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, discharging a firearm at an occupied dwelling, discharging a firearm in a negligent manner, endangering and causing injury to a child and conspiracy to commit assault with a firearm.

This isn't the first time Echartea has had a run-in with the law. Last month, the 23-year-old was accused of firing off rounds at his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend's home. One of the bullets struck the wall about a foot away from the child.

"[It's] very apparent that Marcos Echartea has no regard for human life, even a baby," Police Chief Jerry Dyer said. "We have every reason to believe that Marcos Echartea knew that that baby, Fayth, was in that vehicle when he fired three rounds into that vehicle."

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The USC Annenberg School For Communication And Journalism Celebrates Commencement at The Shrine Auditorium on May 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

USC Will Offer Free Tuition For Students From Families Making Under $80,000

USC announced a new effort to make attending the university affordable to students from middle and low-income families. The school will offer free undergrad tuition for families making less than 80,000 a year, USC president Carol L. Folt announced on Thursday (Feb. 20).

Thanks to the new policies, owning a home will not be counted in calculating the student’s tuition needs.

“We’re opening the door to make a USC education possible for talented students from all walks life,” Folt said in a statement. “This significant step we are taking today is by no means the end of our affordability journey. We are committed to increasing USC’s population of innovators, leaders and creators regardless of their financial circumstances. Investing in the talent and diversity of our student body is essential to our education mission.”

The announcement comes as USC remains embroiled in an admissions scandal that became public last year.

As for the new policy, USC will increase undergraduate aid by $30 million annually which will expand financial aid for more than 4,000 students. The new policies will be implemented for incoming students beginning in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021.

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7.7. Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Jamaica, Cuba And Miami

A powerful earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday (Jan. 28) triggering temporary tsunami warnings and tremors felt as far away as South Florida. The 7.7. magnitude quake hit the waters between Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands, according to the United States Geological Survey and the International Tsunami Information Center.

The quake, which struck roughly 86 miles northwest off the coast of Montego Bay, Jamaica, resulted in multiple aftershocks including a a 6.1 tremor near the Cayman Island, and a 4.4 aftershock. “Light shaking” was also reported in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

“Despite the large size of the earthquake, the fact that it occurred offshore and away from high population areas lessened its societal impact,” the USGS said. The organization described the quake as “moderate shaking” in parts of Cuba and Jamaica.

The quake comes nearly a month after a 6.4. magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico, but the USGS said that the “seismic events” were unrelated.

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Black People Make Up More Than 50% Of U.S. Homeless Population, Study Finds

Black people in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by homelessness, per an Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Housing and Urban Department. According to the report, blacks account for more than 50% of the country’s homeless population, despite making up only 13% of the U.S. population.

“African Americans have remained considerably overrepresented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population,” the report states. “African Americans accounted for 40% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 and 52% of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children.

“In contrast, 48% of all people experiencing homelessness were white, compared with 77% of the U.S. population.” People identifying as Hispanic or Latino are bout “22% of the homeless population but only 18% of the populations overall.”

As of 2019, the U.S. homeless population swelled to 568,000, an increase of about 10,000 from the previous year. In 2019, Roughly 35,000 of those experiencing unaccompanied homelessness were under the age of 25, a 4% decrease from 2018. The number of those experiencing chronic homelessness increased by 9% between 2018 and 2019.

A staggering 52% of black families experience homelessness, compared to 35% for white families.

The goal of the report is to “demonstrate continued progress toward ending homelessness, but also a need to re-calibrate policy to make future efforts more effective and aligned with the unique needs of different communities.”

HUD, which is has been releasing the annual housing stats since 2007, shows a 3% bump in the number of those experiencing homelessness on any given night, a 16% increase in California, and a “decrease” in other states. California accounts for 53% (108,432 people) off all unsheltered homeless people in the country. Despite being only twice as large as Florida, California’s homeless population is nine times that of the Sunshine State, which came in at a distant second place with 6% (12,476 people). New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington have the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people.

Numerous variables come into play when determining the origin of the black homeless epidemic due to a longstanding system of oppression in housing, and beyond. Black families are twice as  likely to experience poverty in the U.S., compared to white families; and in spite of laws against open discrimination, black renters face overt and covert financial and racial prejudice, in addition to gentrification and the racial pay gap.

On Jan. 7, HUD unveiled a housing proposal that attempts to undue Obama-era housing mandates put in place to prevent racial discrimination. The newly-released proposal may end up further promoting racial discrimination.

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