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At least five people have been killed and 18 injured after a gunman opened fire inside a gay club in the US state of Colorado on Saturday night.

A suspect is in police custody and is being treated for injuries. Two "heroic" people in the club subdued the attacker, police say.

Club Q, in Colorado Springs, wrote on Facebook that it was "devastated by the senseless attack" on its community.

US President Joe Biden said Americans "cannot and must not tolerate hate".

Police asked people to be patient while they worked to identify victims and finalise the number of casualties, adding that some people had taken themselves to hospital.

Officers received an initial emergency call about an active shooter at 23:57 (06:57 GMT) on Saturday, they said.

The suspect was found inside the club. Two firearms were found at the scene, and the attacker is thought to have used a long rifle.

Police did not suggest a motive for the shooting but said the investigation would consider whether it was a hate crime, and if more than one person was involved.

A fire department spokesman said casualties had been transported to hospitals very quickly because of training for such events.

The FBI in nearby Denver said it was assisting local police with the incident.

Police chief Adrian Vasquez thanked the two club-goers who intervened to stop the shooter.

"Initial evidence and interviews indicate that the suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting at people inside as he moved further into the club," he told a news conference on Sunday.

"While the suspect was inside of the club, at least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others. We owe them a great debt of thanks."

A statement on the Club Q Facebook page thanked "the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack".

The club was hosting a dance party at the time, and had planned to hold a performance event on Sunday evening to celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Joshua Thurman, 34, was in the club at the time of the shooting.

At first he thought the shots were part of the music, he told the Colorado Sun, but he later ran to take shelter in the club dressing room.

"When I came out there were bodies on the floor, shattered glass, broken cups, people crying," he said.

"There was nothing keeping that man from coming in to kill us. Why did this have to happen? Why? Why did people have to lose their lives?"

Mr Thurman, who lives near the club, said it was an important part of the local gay community. He believes he knows one person who was killed.

Colorado Springs mayor John Soothers called the event a tragedy.

"We are a strong community that has shown resilience in the face of hate and violence in the past, and we will do that again," he said.

The suspect in custody was named as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22.

In 2015, three people were killed and nine injured in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs.

The state of Colorado has seen other mass shootings, including at a supermarket in Boulder in 2021 in which ten people were killed.

Governor of Colorado Jared Polis, who is gay, praised the "brave individuals who blocked the gunman, likely saving lives in the process".

"Colorado stands with our LGTBQ Community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn," he wrote in a Facebook post.

In a statement from the White House, President Biden said: "Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence. Yet it happens far too often. We must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people."

Club Q's Facebook page has been inundated with comments and condolences from around the world.

One person wrote that the club had been "like a home" for her for many years, and she was "absolutely shattered" by the news.

"[I] met so many great people, I literally met my husband there, so it holds such a special place in my heart. Everyone was always so welcoming and kind through the years," she wrote.

"I am so broken by this news," another comment added.

"Club Q has been the heart of our community for so long and I am devastated and angered that this happened."

In 2016, 49 people were killed and more than 50 injured in a shooting at the Pulse gay club in Orlando, Florida. At the time it was the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

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"We’re heartbroken. We’re sad. We’re mad, angry," Stephanie Clark, Paugh's sister, told NBC News in an exclusive interview.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Ashley Paugh capped off a day trip in this city with a night of fun at the LGBTQ nightclub Club Q when a lone gunman opened fire, killing her and four others, her sister told NBC News in an exclusive interview.

Stephanie Clark said Paugh, 35, was a loving mother and wife who was devoted to her family, including her 11-year-old daughter.

"My niece is devastated," Clark said, adding that Paugh "lived for her daughter."

In a phone interview Monday, Clark sobbed and described an intense swirl of emotions in the wake of her sister's death.

"It just doesn't seem real," Clark said. "We're heartbroken. We're sad. We're mad, angry."

Paugh, whose sister said she was not part of the LGBTQ community, spent Saturday in Colorado Springs with a female friend. They had driven up from La Junta, Colorado.

Follow along for live coverage of the shooting.

The two friends got a bite to eat, went shopping and planned to end the night at Club Q, where they were expecting a stand-up comedian to perform, Clark said.

Paugh's hobbies included fishing and hunting; just last week, she shot a deer, her sister said.

Clark said that Thanksgiving will be extraordinarily difficult without Paugh.

"Nothing will ever be the same without her," Clark said. "Right now, I don’t want to laugh. She was a loving, caring person who would do anything for anybody. We're gonna miss her so much."

Paugh and four others were killed and 25 injured after a gunman started shooting indiscriminately at Club Q on Saturday night, sending people scrambling for cover and leaving horror in the wake.

A suspect is in custody after being subdued by at least two people inside the club, officials said.

Club Q on Sunday decried "disgusting rhetoric" aimed at the LGBTQ community and thanked those who "moved immediately to stop the gunman" and likely prevented "more loss of life."

"Club Q is in shock, and in deep mourning, with the family and friends who had loved ones senselessly taken from them.

"We condemn the horrific violence that shattered an evening of celebration for all in the LGBTQ community of Colorado Springs and our allies," the club said in a statement released through GLAAD.

Deon J. Hampton reported from Colorado Springs, Colorado; Daniel Arkin reported from New York.

CORRECTION (Nov. 22, 2022, 12:04 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misspelled the victim’s last name. It’s Paugh, not Pogue.

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump's last-ditch plea to block the release of his tax records to House Democrats, paving the way for their possible disclosure to the lawmakers.

The decision by the court in a brief order noting no dissenting votes means the committee can try to access the documents before Republicans take over the House in January. The committee, however, has not said how quickly it expects to get the documents. Upon taking control, Republicans are expected to withdraw the request.

Earlier this month, Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked the Ways and Means panel from accessing Trump’s tax records while the court decided how to act on Trump’s request.

Trump, who, unlike other recent presidents, refused to make his tax returns public amid scrutiny of his business affairs, turned to the justices after an appeals court in Washington refused to intervene. The court has recently rejected similar requests from Trump.

The former president's lawyers contested the House Ways and Means Committee’s assertion that it needed the information to probe how the IRS conducts the auditing process for presidents, saying it did not stand up to scrutiny.

House Democrats, as well as the Biden administration, urged the court to reject Trump's request, saying their demand for the tax documents reflected a valid legislative purpose.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined last month to reconsider a three-judge panel’s ruling in August that the Ways and Means Committee could obtain the tax returns.

Tax returns are confidential under federal law, but there are some exceptions, one of which allows the chairman of the committee to request them.

The legal battle began in April 2019, when Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the panel's chairman, asked for Trump’s returns and those of related business entities. He said he sought the information as part of the committee’s inquiries into whether tax law concerning presidents should be amended.

The Treasury Department, then under Trump’s control, refused to comply, saying Neal did not have a valid purpose, prompting the committee to sue.

Following the election of President Joe Biden, the Treasury Department said that it would comply last year, but Trump himself objected. A federal judge ruled in December that the request was lawful, prompting Trump to appeal.

Among other things, Trump claims not just that the request is invalid, but also that the statute is unconstitutional because it is overly broad, and that the Biden administration’s decision to disclose the materials was an unconstitutional form of retaliation that violates Trump’s First Amendment rights.

Democrats have been calling for Trump to release his tax returns ever since the 2016 presidential campaign. While no law requires presidential candidates to release their tax returns, it has become the norm for both Democrats and Republicans to do so.

In a separate case, the Trump Organization — Trump’s closely held company — is on trial over allegations it was involved in a 15-year scheme to compensate top executives “off the books” to help them evade taxes.

Trump faces other legal battles, including in the House committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by his supporters. The committee has issued a subpoena seeking Trump’s testimony, calling for him to testify at the Capitol or by videoconference Monday at 10 a.m. ET.

Although the Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority, including three justices he appointed, Trump has not recently fared well in other such emergency applications, including his attempt to prevent White House documents from being handed over to the House Jan. 6 committee and his bid to avoid disclosing his financial records to prosecutors in New York. Most recently, the court last month rejected Trump’s request that a special master be allowed to review classified papers seized from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

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Before playing Japan, the squad declared on Twitter that human rights were nonnegotiable.

The German national soccer team staged a silent protest against its World Cup hosts in Qatar and the sport's governing bodies Wednesday, declaring that human rights were nonnegotiable.

Before Germany kicked off against Japan at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, the starting 11 posed for a picture covering their mouths.

Human rights activists have long criticized Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ people.

Team captains of several European teams had planned to do "One Love" armbands to signal support for the "One Love" campaign for human rights. But the national soccer federations of those squads, instead, adhered to the world body FIFA's demand to not stage that in-game messaging, amid threats of punishment.

That move apparently did not sit well with Germany, a perennial contender to win the world's most famed soccer tournament.

"It wasn’t about making a political statement," according to a post on the team’s English-language Twitter feed. Human rights are nonnegotiable, it said. "That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us."

Germany led through much of Wednesday night's match before Japan scored two late goals to secure a stunning upset.

Takuma Asano's winner came from a sharp angle in the 83rd minute, as the Samurai Blue captured an unlikely three points from the heavily favored Germans.

Germany next plays Sunday against Spain before ending Group E play Dec. 1 against Costa Rica.

Entering the World Cup, Germany and Spain were listed as the No. 5 picks to win it all, at about 10-to-1 odds.