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California Shooting Update Incident brings troubled San Bernardino an unwelcome new distinction

He noted the contrast between San Bernardino and Paris, site of deadly attacks last month that mobilized an outpouring of support across the world, could not be more stark.

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Leaving behind baby and bombs, couple sows panic in California play

Leaving behind baby and bombs, couple sows panic in California

(Reuters)

The list of challenges confronting this blue-collar Southern California enclave was already long: a devastating municipal bankruptcy, high unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness, crime - even a nagging yellow smog that often hung over the flat desert community.

Then came last week's deadly rampage by two heavily armed shooters, which took the lives of 14 people and brought the city an even less welcome distinction: site of the United States' latest "terrorist attack," according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its worst gun violence in three years.

"It's like kicking someone when you're down," said resident Joko Manullang.

He noted the contrast between San Bernardino and Paris, site of deadly attacks last month that mobilized an outpouring of support across the world, could not be more stark.

"When you think of Paris, you think of the Eiffel Tower ... When it's San Bernardino, it's crackheads, foreclosures," Manullang said. "There's nothing memorable here, really - except now this tragedy."

Sitting at the base of the San Bernardino mountains, this working-class community lies just 65 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles, a pass-through point for tourists heading to ski resorts in nearby Big Bear or to the golf courses of Palm Springs.

In bankruptcy since August 2012, the city of 215,000 people still carries the scars of an economic doldrums from which most of the nation has managed to recover.

Check-cashing stores in rundown strip malls, billboards hawking lawyers who specialize in evictions, pawnshops, chain-link fences surrounding homes with dried-up lawns - all are visible signs of the one-third of city residents living below the poverty line.

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