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Mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats; revisiting the Rittenhouse stabbing | Morning Newsletter

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Looking west on Chancellor Street between 17th & 18th Streets October 22, 2018. It was on Chancellor Street where developer Sean Schellenger was stabbed on July 12, 2018 after dining at the restaurant Rouge, on the east side of Rittenhouse Square.
Looking west on Chancellor Street between 17th & 18th Streets October 22, 2018. It was on Chancellor Street where developer Sean Schellenger was stabbed on July 12, 2018 after dining at the restaurant Rouge, on the east side of Rittenhouse Square.Read moreTOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

    The Morning Newsletter

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You've likely heard by now about the mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats yesterday. We have the latest updates for you this morning, and surely there's more to come on the political tension the thwarted attacks have both highlighted and heightened. We're also featuring a special report today on a killing that shook Center City this summer. My colleagues have taken a deep dive into the stabbing of a local developer in Rittenhouse this July to discover the story isn't as simple as it seems. It's a must-read.

P.S. Do you have questions about how our Opinion coverage works? Send them our way by replying to this email and we may feature them in an upcoming Q&A with Deputy Opinion Editor Erica Palan right here in the Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

» READ MORE: Rittenhouse Square stabbing: How two lives – and two Philadelphias – led to a fatal night

In July, a wealthy developer and a young food delivery man entered an argument over traffic in Rittenhouse. Moments later, the developer, Sean Schellenger, was dead and the delivery man, Michael White, was seen running off into the night.

After the killing shocked the neighborhood and stoked the city's racial tensions, reporters Barbara Laker, Wendy Ruderman, Chris Palmer, and Jacob Adelman began piecing together exactly what happened that night.

Their report shows the stabbing wasn't all black and white.

» READ MORE: As political strain grows, pipe bombs target Democrats, CNN

Pipe bombs sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Maxine Waters, and former CIA Director John Brennan (addressed to CNN's New York offices) were intercepted by authorities Wednesday.

None of the bombs detonated, and nobody was hurt, but the targeting of several prominent Democrats and a news organization heightened political tensions just before the midterm elections.

The targets of the bombs are frequently the objects of President Trump's criticism. At a rally Wednesday night he decried political violence while calling on the media to end its "hostility."

» READ MORE: Michael Africa of MOVE 9 paroled to wife he hasn’t seen in 40 years

On Wednesday, Michael Africa Sr., a member of the radical back-to-nature group MOVE, was paroled. He was reunited with his wife, Debbie, who was paroled in June; they had not seen each other for close to 40 years.

Both Michael and Debbie were convicted of third-degree murder alongside seven others after a 1978 police standoff during which Oficer James J. Ramp was killed. They are the first of the "MOVE 9" to be paroled.

Michael and Debbie are both are staying with their son, Michael Jr., who was born in a Philadelphia jail cell 40 years ago.

What you need to know today

  1. Remember that nor'easter that might interrupt the weekend? Computer models and forecasters are saying rain and wind are headed our way as soon as Friday.

  2. Reporter Holly Otterbein has taken a look at Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick ahead of next month's elections and wonders, can the self-described "centrist" survive in the Philly suburbs?

  3. Pennsylvania special elections mean voters in some regions get to vote for the U.S. House twice, sometimes for different candidates. Because voting isn't already complex enough.

  4. Parents of students more than 700 miles away in Kentucky are calling a New Jersey mom a hero after her calls to police about a threatening Facebook message may have prevented a school shooting there.

  5. Seven children have died after being infected with a virus at a nursing center in Passaic County, New Jersey, officials said Wednesday. State health officials are continuing to investigate the outbreak.

  6. A Mexican man taken into custody in January after meeting with immigration authorities in West Philly to try to resolve his status was ordered released on bond Wednesday. He'll continue to fight to remain in the U.S. with his husband.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Thanks for sharing this photo of Tuesday's Rally for Trans Existence, @mr_breig.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  1. Odette's, the historic restaurant in New Hope, has moved to make way for a new boutique hotel. No, literally — the building was physically moved 1,000 feet away yesterday. Very slowly.

  2. The Sixers fell flat in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks last night, and Joel Embiid fell to the ground in a flop for the ages.

  3. Start up a new to-do list, foodies: at least 15 new restaurants are headed to the region, and at least one includes a refrigerated conveyor belt that delivers food.

  4. Some entrepreneurial inspiration: It's not easy to get your own spot in Reading Terminal Market, but Amina Aliako, a Syrian refugee who was cleaning toilets at the market just last year, just made that dream come true.

  5. If you're headed to London for the Eagles game Sunday — first of all I'm very jealous, but second of all, you should check the many ways you can cheer them on across the pond.

  6. In the mood for a party? Tomorrow the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be all abuzz with celebrations in honor of its 100th birthday. (And yes, there will be road closures.)


"I don't really like to go out places and wave signs, but I felt that it was important to show up for my community and be present. People seeing other people being openly proud of who they are is what makes tiny changes. I can only sit in my house for so long." — Eli Lynn, one of six attendees who shared their experiences at Philly's Rally for Trans Existence Tuesday.
  1. In their latest endorsement ahead of the midterm elections, the Inquirer Editorial Board endorses Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania's first district.

  2. Improving Philadelphia's affordable housing should mean making better use of public housing available, not forcing landlords to accept housing vouchers, writes Howard Husock of the Manhattan Institute.

What we’re reading

  1. PhillyVoice's look at what it calls questionable hires at the Navy Yard's civilian police force, including of a former Philly police officer accused of having a Nazi tattoo, is an alarming read.

  2. As the city plans to clear out the last of those living under Kensington bridges, Philadelphia Weekly had enlightening conversations with those who will be evacuated this winter.

  3. The Washington Post's explanation of how President Trump's administration is scrambling to meet his false promise of an imminent middle-class tax cut is a revealing look inside the White House.

  4. Who knew selling pumpkins to Philly stores was so cutthroat for Pennsylvania farmers? Billy Penn has the scoop on the stressful-sounding season.

  5. Just for fun: find out why scientists use different pasta shapes to explain neutron stars, via the Atlantic. It's a great conversation starter.

Your Daily Dose of | Memories

Remember when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008? Of course you do. Share your memories of the win with us as we gear up for the 10th anniversary next week.