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  • The body of a 32-year-old man was found Friday morning in south DeKalb County with multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. Detectives, who learned about the body about 9:25 a.m., are working the scene in the 4500 block of Golf Vista Circle, spokesman Lt. Lonzy Robertson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The vehicle he is next to may have also been struck by gunfire,” Robertson said. Police have not released the victim’s name, and no one has been arrested in connection with the deadly shooting. “We don’t believe he lives in this area,” Robertson said, “but we won’t release that until we notify next of kin.” Robertson said police are waiting on the medical examiner’s office to determine how long the body had been at that location. This is the second time this week authorities have been called to the scene of a dead body in DeKalb County.  A man was found dead early Tuesday outside an apartment in the 2000 block of Gladeview Parkway near Stone Mountain, police said. The man, believed to be in his late 20s, was dressed for a “construction or industrial” type of job, according to police. He was wearing work boots, work pants and a hard hat. Channel 2 Action News reported that he was shot in the head, and was shot multiple times. MORE: Man wearing work clothes found fatally shot outside DeKalb apartment We’re working to learn more about both shootings. — Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news:
  • Black ice is to blame for a crash that sent a Fulton County police officer and another driver to the hospital, authorities said. The crash happened about 1 a.m. Friday on Old National Highway and Pleasant Hill Road, according to Fulton police Cpl. Partrena Smith. RELATED: Roads refreeze, travel still dangerous The officer may have a broken arm and the other driver may have a head injury, Smith said. The names and conditions of both drivers have not yet been released. —Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news:
  • The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence's trip to the Middle East (all times local):11:30 a.m.Vice President Mike Pence still plans to travel to the Middle East on Friday night, despite the potential for a shutdown of the federal government.The vice president's spokeswoman says Pence's trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel will proceed as scheduled, and that it's 'integral' to U.S. national security and diplomacy.President Trump has scrapped plans to travel to his Florida resort amid the threat of a shutdown. Congress must act by midnight or the shutdown will go into effect.Air Force Two is scheduled to refuel in Ireland after midnight Saturday en route to Cairo.Pence is set to meet Saturday with Egypt's president and Sunday with the king of Jordan. He meets Monday and Tuesday with Israeli leaders.___1:17 a.m.Vice President Mike Pence is making his fifth visit to Israel, returning to a region he's visited 'a million times' in his heart.An evangelical Christian with strong ties to the Holy Land, Pence this time comes packing two key policy decisions in his bags that have long been top priorities for him: designating Jerusalem as Israel's capital and curtailing aid for Palestinians.Since his days in Congress a decade ago, Pence has played a role in pushing both for the shift in U.S. policy related to the capital and for placing limits on funding for Palestinian causes long criticized by Israel.Traveling to Israel just as Palestinians have condemned recent decisions by President Donald Trump's administration.
  • President Donald Trump will not make a planned trip to Mar-a-Lago today because of a looming federal government shutdown, a White House official told The Palm Beach Post on Friday morning. >> Read more trending news Trump was scheduled to arrive at Palm Beach International Airport tonight for a weekend trip that included a Saturday fundraiser for his 2020 re-election campaign at Mar-a-Lago. The official who confirmed today’s travel is off did not address the president’s plans for the remainder of the weekend. Trump was planning to make the 12th Palm Beach visit of his presidency. But Congress has not reached a spending agreement to keep the federal government operating past midnight. Saturday is the one-year anniversary of Trump taking office. The Trump campaign recently announced a “special sweepstakes” in which a winner will get to attend dinner Saturday at Mar-a-Lago with Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
  • Kathleen Dawn West described herself as a full-time wife and mom on Facebook but lived another life on other social media platforms, calling herself an exhibitionist and posting risque photos with a chance for subscribers to see sexier images for $15.99 a month.West, 42, was found dead outside her home near Birmingham, and authorities are now faced with a question: Did West's online activities play a role in her death?Police have classified West's death as a homicide, but they haven't said how she died. What appears to be the remainder of a blood stain darkens the asphalt across the street from the two-story brick home she shared with her husband and middle school-age daughter.No charges had been filed by Friday, six days after she died. But the mysterious nature of West's death — she was found dead early Saturday in the quiet bedroom community of Calera, a town of 14,000 people about 35 miles south of Birmingham — has people buzzing.At least two Facebook groups with more than 2,200 members total have been created to discuss the case, and neighbors are concerned in West's subdivision, where homes are still under construction.'It's shocking that it happened so close to home, so all you can do is worry and think about your family, and that's all I've been doing,' Xavier Lee, who lives two door down, told WIAT-TV.Word of West's death was met with sadness at the gym where she worked out until dropping her membership a few months ago.'She'd come in, do her thing and leave. She kind of kept to herself,' said Austin Lockhart, owner of Fit 24 Calera. 'She'd wave and smile. She was a nice lady.'On Facebook, West posted lots of selfies and commenters often mentioned her attractiveness. But there were also photos of her wedding to longtime husband William Jeffrey West and images of West and her daughter playing in the snow last month.But West, a Florida native with blonde hair and a resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, seemed like a different person on other online accounts.With a personal description that included 'exhibitionist,' West had a private Instagram account with nearly 52,000 followers that linked to a paid site that featured adult content and 'naughty fun.' Some of the images were included on a site for 'mature hotties.'Similar content was posted on Twitter, where West's presence began March 2016.Initially, West just tweeted links to a site where she sold clothing items, including dresses, coats, shoes and kid's clothing. The feed took a sharp turn Aug. 11, when she tweeted: 'Happy Frisky Friday - Let's get this party started,' with a link to the pay-per-view site. The description included a link to a 'wish list' page where viewers could purchase lingerie for her.The posts continued until the morning before her death, when West tweeted a link to sell a women's wool jacket. A few days earlier, she had posted a lingerie photo showing her bare buttocks that linked to her adult site.In Calera, neighbors don't know what to think about West's slaying.'This child doesn't have their mother anymore. Don't know why, don't know what happened, that led up to the incident, but to wake up to that news, it makes you think,' Lee said.
  • Countering China's rapidly expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russia are now the U.S. military's top national security priorities, outpacing the threat of terrorism, the Pentagon said Friday.A new national defense strategy says that competition with China and Russia has threatened America's military advantage around the world. And it will require increased investment to make U.S. forces more lethal, agile and ready for war.'We will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists, but great power competition -- not terrorism -- is now the primary focus of U.S. national security,' Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in prepared remarks at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.He declared the defeat of the Islamic State group's 'physical caliphate' in Iraq and Syria, but warned that IS, al-Qaida and other extremists continue as threats across the globe.The document reflects persistent U.S. worries about China's military build-up in the South China Sea, its moves to expand its political and economic influence around the globe, and what has long been described as Beijing's systematic campaign of cyberattacks and data theft from government agencies and private U.S. corporations.And it underscores American concerns about Russia's aggressive military moves, including the invasion of Ukraine and involvement in the Syria war, as well as its meddling in the 2016 election.Pentagon officials released an 11-page unclassified version of the strategy on Friday, saying it mapped out a 'fundamental shift' in focus for the military.'We've been doing a lot of things in the last 25 years, and we've been focused on really other problems and this strategy really represents a fundamental shift to say, look, we have to get back, in a sense, to basics of the potential for war,' said Elbridge Colby, the deputy assistant defense secretary for strategy. 'This strategy says the focus will be on prioritizing preparedness for war and particularly major power war.'Previous defense chiefs have long warned about a rising China -- triggering the Obama administration's move to put a greater focus on the Asia Pacific region, including added ships and troops. And the new strategy's call for strengthening alliances sounds more like previous administrations, rather than the 'America First' message of President Donald Trump's national security strategy that was released in December.The Pentagon document says that allies and partners are crucial and can provide additional capabilities and access to other regions.'This is not 1999, when some would say the U.S. can do everything by itself,' said Colby. 'There is a practical reality that we need to be able to do things together, to be more interoperable, to be able to divide up missions in a constructive way.'Asked if terrorism is no longer a top priority, Colby said it remains a 'serious, pressing threat', and that Iran and North Korea are 'urgent problems.' But, he said that the central challenge for the U.S. military is 'the erosion of U.S. military advantage vis-a-vis China and Russia, which unaddressed could ultimately undermine our ability to deter aggression and coercion.'Colby, however, added that the U.S. continues to seek areas of cooperation with Russia and China, saying that 'this is not a strategy of confrontation.'The U.S. has been urging China to take a more active role in convincing North Korea to set aside its nuclear ambitions, and the U.S. has held talks with Russia to ensure there are no conflicts or accidents in the skies over Syria, where both nations are flying in the war against the Islamic State group.In the strategy's conclusion, Mattis makes clear that his goal is to 'pursue change at significant scale' with sustained investment and creative approaches. That plan, however, will face grim budget hurdles.Congress has been deadlocked and unable to pass a spending bill, bringing the federal government once again to the brink of a shutdown at midnight Friday. And lawmakers are still constrained by the Budget Control Act of 2011, which put mandatory spending caps in place.The Pentagon strategy acknowledges the budget limits, and calls for greater spending discipline and management, as well as a commitment to again seek more base closings to save money. Congress has repeatedly rejected additional base closings.The new plan cannot survive, Mattis said, without needed and stable funding.