(USA Today) – Police: Woman jumps from car after seeing spider, causes crash

Authorities say an Indiana woman jumped form her moving car after seeing a spider on her shoulder.(Photo: Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department)

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a car crash involving a school bus and a “driverless” vehicle near Syracuse, Indiana, that left a 9-year-old boy injured.

The department says that the boy’s 35-year-old mother, Angela Kipp of Syracuse, had been backing the car out of her driveway on Sept. 18 when she discovered a spider on her shoulder and jumped out of the car while it was in reverse.

According to authorities, the boy climbed into the driver’s seat as the car was in reverse and attempted to step on the brake but instead hit the gas, sending the Dodge Avenger into a passing Wawasee Corporation School bus.  The boy was found lying outside the Dodge Avenger when police arrived.

The boy was transported to Goshen General Hospital in stable condition with minor head injuries. No children were on the bus, and its driver, Becky Dunithan, 62, of Syracuse, wasn’t injured, police said.

Source: Police: Woman jumps from car after seeing spider, causes crash

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(NY Daily News) – Start time for Brian Williams’ anchor debut revealed 

On his first day of work at MSNBC, Brian Williams can sleep late.

The former high-flying anchor of “Nightly News” will begin his new life as a cable news anchor at 3 p.m. Tuesday, The Daily News has learned.

He plans to anchor coverage of The Pope’s visit to the U.S., but his official capacity afterward will be to handle “breaking news” as part of the struggling cable channel’s new shift from left of the aisle opinion to hard news.

Williams will be working out of several studios at MSNBC’s 30 Rockefeller Center headquarters, including a “phone booth” sized room that was recently constructed.

It’s a marked difference from Studio 3B, where “Nightly News” originates from. Williams and the show had moved back in 2011 into the sprawling news gathering mecca that once housed the “Today” show.

**FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY AND CANNOT BE ALTERED, ARCHIVED OR RESOLD. SPECIFIC CLEARANCE REQUIRED FOR COMMERCIAL OR PROMOTIONAL USE. CONTACT YOUR NBCU REPRESENTATIVE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION**VIRGINIA SHERWOOD/VIRGINIA SHERWOOD/NBC

Brian Williams will start his first shift in the MSNBC anchor chair on Tuesday afternoon, the Daily News has learned.

Now at MSNBC there will not be specific dedicated studio for Williams.

RELATED: NBC NEWS SETS END FOR WILLIAMS’ SUSPENSION

This week his is expected to be anchoring mostly from MSNBC’s main news desk.

The new, small “phone booth” studio will also come into play as the cable channel’s new direction calls for much more breaking news during the day than in the past.

Williams's career at NBC came under fire for embellishing facts during his time reporting in Iraq.NBC NEWSWIRE/NBC NEWSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES

Williams’s career at NBC came under fire for embellishing facts during his time reporting in Iraq.

Williams is returning to the air after serving a six-month suspension for lying, not a desirable quality in a major network news anchor.

An internal investigation by NBC investigators allegedly uncovered 11 instances where Williams is accused of embellishing facts about his role in world events – in addition to claiming to be shot down while riding in a military helicopter during the Iraq war. In one damning example, he boasted during an appearance on “The Daily Show” to have looked into the eyes of mounted Egyptian soldiers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, and had seen armed men beat protesters.

Despite the investigation and pressure to resign, Williams dug in and reassigned to MSNBC. His “Nightly News” successor, Lester Holt, has been a solid replacement, regularly beating his close competition, David Muir at ABC’s “World News.”

On his first day of work at MSNBC, Brian Williams can sleep late.

Source: Start time for Brian Williams’ anchor debut revealed – NY Daily News

(Reuters) – Russia starts Syria drone surveillance missions: U.S. officials

 

Russia has started flying drone aircraft on surveillance missions in Syria, U.S. officials said on Monday, in what appeared to be Moscow’s first military air operations there since staging a rapid buildup at a Syrian air base.

The beginning of Russian drone flights underscored the risks of U.S.-led coalition planes and Russian aircraft operating within Syria’s limited airspace, without agreeing on coordination or objectives in Syria’s civil war.

The former Cold War foes have a common adversary in Islamic State militants in Syria. But Washington opposes Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, seeing him as a driving force in the four-and-a-half year-long civil war.

The Pentagon declined comment at a news briefing when asked about the Reuters report on Russian drones, saying it could not discuss intelligence matters. But it said the U.S. Department of Defense was “keenly aware” of what was happening on the ground in Syria.

The White House acknowledged that Moscow’s intentions were unclear and that the prospect of deepening Russian military backing for Assad was troubling.

“We’ve made clear both in public and in private that doubling down on supporting Assad is a losing bet,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the number of fixed-wing, piloted Russian aircraft stationed at the air base near Latakia, an Assad stronghold, had also grown dramatically in recent days.

That included Russia’s positioning of a dozen “Fencer” advanced-attack aircraft and a dozen “Frogfoot” jets, used for close air support. Those were in addition to Russia’s first deployment of fighter jets last week.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said over the weekend the United States welcomed Russia’s involvement in tackling Islamic State militants in Syria. But he said a worsening refugee crisis highlighted the need to find a compromise that could also lead to political change in the country.

Syria’s civil war has killed an estimated 250,000 people, and many continue to flee their homes, with 4 million refugees and another 7.6 million displaced inside the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to continue military support for Assad, assistance that Russia says is in line with international law.

It was also unclear whether Moscow might eventually target opposition fighters that the United States supports in Syria, seeing them as equal threats to Assad as Islamic State fighters.

U.S. and Russian defense chiefs agreed on Friday to explore ways to avoid accidental interactions, also known as “deconfliction” in military parlance. But those discussions were described as only at their inception.

It was unclear whether the U.S.-Russian talks might gain added urgency, now that Moscow has started drone flights.

Russia’s drone operations appeared to be staged out of the air base near Latakia, officials said.

Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not immediately clear how many Russian drone aircraft were operating or the scope of their missions.

At the State Department, spokesman John Kirby acknowledged concerns over the kind of Russian hardware being sent to Syria, saying it added to questions about whether Moscow’s aim was mostly to battle Islamic State or to “prop up the Assad regime.”

Meanwhile, Israel and Russia agreed to coordinate military actions over Syria in order to avoid accidentally trading fire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after talks in Moscow with Putin that they had “agreed on a mechanism to prevent such misunderstandings.”

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Grant McCool)

 

Source: Russia starts Syria drone surveillance missions: U.S. officials | Reuters

(washington post) – Scott Walker suspending presidential campaign 

Walker was in asterisk territory in one recent poll. REUTERS/Chris Keane
By Jenna Johnson, Robert Costa and Dan Balz September 21 at 4:23 PM
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is suspending his presidential campaign today, effectively ending a once-promising GOP presidential bid that collapsed over the summer, according to several Republicans briefed on his plans. He planned to deliver the news at a 5 p.m. CT press conference in Madison, Wis.

Walker, who tumbled from top-tier status amid tepid debate performances and other missteps, had pulled back from other early-voting states in favor of a heavy focus on Iowa, where he once led the field and has strong roots as a Midwesterner.

Many backers had directed their ire at campaign manager Rick Wiley, who some Walker supporters believe expanded the staff too quickly and failed to calibrate spending during the summer fundraising season. A recent count put the number of full-time Walker campaign staff at around 90.

Earlier this month, campaigning in New Hampshire, he was hammered with questions about how his campaign would handle falling poll numbers, and the rise of Donald Trump. “We just have to stay constant, stay who you are,” he told one supporter in Rochester.

Staying constant, however, was one of his biggest challenges. On key issues of the day — from calls to end birthright citizenship to the jailing of a Kentucky county official who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses — Walker struggled more than other candidates to clearly explain where he stands.

His performance contributed to mounting questions about the trajectory of his campaign. His verbal missteps — often the result of answering questions on the campaign trail with responses that he was forced to amend and later clarify — had been a topic of concern among his own loyalists. Last month, he twice found himself forced to clarify something he had said, first on whether he supported an end to birthright citizenship and again after an offhand answer suggesting he favored building a wall on the U.S.-Canadian border.

Walker had been urged repeatedly to be far more careful in answering unexpected questions, which have overshadowed positive reviews he’s gotten from conservative media and commentators about some of his policy proposals.

Source: Scott Walker suspending presidential campaign – The Washington Post

(USA Today) – At Alabama, doubt replaces a football dynasty

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No two college football dynasties are exactly alike, but they all look the same at the end. At first, they are so mighty it almost takes something from the cosmos to strike them down. Maybe an amazing effort from an opponent, maybe a bolt of bad of luck. Then the veneer of invincibility gets stripped away and those moments tend to come more frequently and forcefully. Before you know it, the run of excellence goes from difficult to maintain to impossible.

It’s hard to say exactly where Nick Saban’s Alabama falls on that spectrum traveled byUrban Meyer’s Florida Gators, Pete Carroll’s USC Trojans and so many others before them. But make no mistake, what happened here at Bryant-Denny Stadium late Saturday night in No. 11 Ole Miss’ 43-37 victory was the clearest sign yet this unbelievable epoch in Alabama football history is much closer to the end than the beginning.

Not because it happened, but because by now it wasn’t much of a surprise.

Source: At Alabama, doubt replaces a football dynasty

(ejpress.org) – America’s Zionist Organization calls on Fox News to dismiss conservative pundit Ann Coulter for anti-Semitic tweets

Written by Maureen ShameeWASHINGTON (EJP)—Following a series of tweets by conservative pundit Ann Coulterthat many considered as anti-Semitic, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged Fox News channel, where she regularly appears, to dismiss her if she fails to apologize.

Coulter made the controversial tweets earlier this week during the Republican presidential candidates debate. In the course of the debate, Coulter grew antagonistic towards GOP candidates speaking of the need to strengthen ties with Israel and assist her in potentially defending herself against a nuclear armed Iran.

“How many f—ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” Coulter said on Twitter at the end of the three-hour debate between Republican presidential candidates on Wednesday evening, when four of eleven candidates mentioned their support for Israel in their closing remarks.

The four candidates were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who said he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem as one of his first acts as president, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

At one point, Coulter took aim at Huckabee, writing: “Good Grief, Huckabee is running for prime minister of Israel.”

The backlash was instantaneous. Followers accused Coulter of being “anti-Semitic,” and “desperate for attention,” calling her statement “f—ing offensive.” Several followers mentioned they believed her account had been hacked while others suggested she was drunk after playing a drinking game while viewing the debate.

In a statement, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Last night, Ann Coulter made appalling, anti-Jewish remarks which evoked the classic, anti-Semitic trope about Jewish manipulation of America for the purposes of supporting Israel at America’s expense.’’

“When GOP candidates speak of strengthening the U.S/Israel relationship which has been harmed by President Obama within the context of the need to ensure that Iran doesn’t go nuclear; to strengthen America’s hand in the world when dealing with vicious totalitarian enemies who seek the demise of the U.S., they are defending America’s interests,,’ he said.

“Instead, and for reasons best known to her, she chose to misrepresent their entirely legitimate statements as pandering to Jews. She was thereby essentially calling them dishonest –– speaking out about the U.S./Israel relationship, not because they truly believed they should, but to pander to American Jews who, supposedly, are the key to the next election.’’

According to Klein, “The irony is that most American Jews would likely not vote for a GOP candidate, no matter how pro-Israel. The idea that the GOP candidates are insincere in their professions of support for Israel and are instead pandering to Jews, apart from being sinister and offensive, is also absurd.’’

“Ann Coulter is known for making harsh and sweeping statements, but I wonder, would she have ever dared spoken of ‘f—ing blacks’ or ‘f—ing Hispanics’? “I doubt it. This shows that it seems to be becoming permissible to say anything about Jews,’’ he added.

“Ann Coulter was gratuitously offensive and anti-Jewish in her remarks on twitter yesterday,” Klein said. “If such was not her intention, there is a simple remedy: she should immediately retract and make a heartfelt apology for her words.”

“Failing this, Fox News should dismiss her immediately,” Klein said.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2015 14:24

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(reuters) – White House says two U.S. citizens released in Yemen

Two U.S. citizens that were being held in Yemen were released on Sunday and have arrived in Oman, a White House official said. The Americans were being held by a rebel group in Yemen. Ned Price, spokesman for the National Security Council in the White House, said their families have been informed of their release.

Source: White House says two U.S. citizens released in Yemen

(ew.com) – Doctor Who season 9 premiere review: Fixing the future

Has any Companion ever had a rockier road than Clara Oswald? Jenna Coleman first appeared on Doctor Who three years ago, airdropped in the middle of the final run of Amy-and-Rory episodes. She died in her first appearance — and died again a few months later, in the 2012 Christmas special, playing a different character who was also the same character.

Clara’s first proper appearance came in “The Bells of Saint John,” but in her initial run of episodes, the show never quite figured out the specific nature of her Companionship. The Doctor looked at her as a mystery to solve — and you could feel the show trying to figure her out, too. This was only a problem insofar as the modern run of Doctor Who has been good at defining Companions almost immediately. Rose was the Doctor’s conscience; Donna was his pal; Amy was the little girl who spent a lifetime waiting for him.

(ASIDE: You shouldn’t necessarily read the Doctor’s Companions as will-they-won’t-they romantic partners—but Martha Jones was unquestionably the Doctor’s post-Rose Rebound. Previous Who showrunner Russell T. Davies always had a knack for portraying the Doctor as an occasional noble hero who is mostly a complete cad, and one of the best things about the Martha season is how the whole romantic subtext of the Martha-Doctor relationship becomes the actual text of Martha being in love with the Doctor and the Doctor treating Martha like the world-saving time-space equivalent of a booty call. END OF ASIDE.)

Coleman joined Doctor Who right as the hysteria for the show went truly global. This was a blessing and a curse. The blessing: Clara has gone on more elaborately expensive adventures than any previous Companion, and those adventures have played to record-breaking ratings. Curse: Clara’s run as Companion has coincided with the final act of the Eleventh Doctor, the first act of the Twelfth Doctor, and the 50th anniversary special, where Clara had to play believable second fiddle to the entire history of the Doctor Who idea.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that I’m not entirely sure the show has quite figured out what to do with Clara. Last season, the show gave her a sweet romantic subplot, which turned out to be a long-con set-up for a majestic-bummer season finale. That season finale felt like it could have been the end of the Clara story — and in the Christmas Special that followed, we actually saw a very old Clara, sharing one last meal with the Doctor. It wasn’t the best Companion final moment ever — I’ll always remember poor Donna, who saw infinity and forgot it—but it was a final moment. Until it wasn’t.

——————————————————

That final meal was just a dream. And Clara has returned for another season. (Current Doctor Who steersman Steven Moffat has said that Clara’s story was originally going to end last year, until Coleman agreed to another season. And this week, she confirmed her exit from the show.) When we meet her in the new season premiere, “The Magician’s Apprentice,” she is teaching a class on Jane Austen. Global crisis beckons, and she’s immediately off to UNIT headquarters, where she speaks with 24-support-staff fluency about potential terrorist-attack devastation. There’s also a scene where she tells the government’s top save-the-world scientist squad how to locate the Doctor at a specific moment in human history. It feels a bit like they’ve done to Clara what The Walking Dead did to everybody around season 3: Ditch the personal stuff and harden her into a no-nonsense badass.

This works until it doesn’t. I’ll throw up a SPOILER ALERT here, because this episode is filled to the brim from the third minute onwards. “The Magician’s Apprentice” starts with one of the all-time great Doctor Who bangs. We see a cute little boy, trapped on a battlefield full of hand mines. (Hand mines: Hands that appear out of the earth, an open eye on the palm, ready to grab you.) The Doctor appears, gives the boy a pep talk, looks like he’s going to rescue him. The Doctor asks the scared little boy his name. “Davros,” the boy says. Cue title-sequence!

Davros, of course, is one of the Doctor’s all-time archnemeses. The Creator of the Daleks was last seen seven years ago, in “Journey’s End,” which was more or less the series finale for the Russell T. Davies version of Doctor Who. (Davies produced four more David Tennant-starring specials, less an epilogue than a victory lap.) In “The Magician’s Apprentice,” Davros is dying. He’s dispatched a subordinate to track the Doctor down. The subordinate has a message: “Davros knows. Davros remembers.”

“Magician’s Apprentice” features the return of Missy, the feminized regeneration of The Master. The last time we saw Missy, she got vaporized. The Moffat script doesn’t even bother making a joke out of her return. Missy just explains, nonchalantly: “Not dead. Back. Big surprise. Never mind.” This is a smart move, I think. Intentionally or not, Gomez-as-Missy feels like she’s channeling Christopher Eccleston-as-Doctor: There’s that same friendly sociopathy, the same way of turning on a dime from kooky innocence into genocidal terror.

It’s great to see Missy back. But the problem is that bringing back Missy — and frontloading the whole Master-Doctor friendship dynamic — has the unintentional side effect of putting Clara on the backburner again. When she argues with Missy about who knows the Doctor better, you can’t help but side with Missy.

Doctor Who has become a bigger, more popular show under the Moffat regime. Which means the show’s setpieces have gotten bigger. In “The Magician’s Apprentice,” there’s a scene set in medieval times where the Doctor emerges, wearing sunglasses, playing electric guitar, freaking riding a tank. It’s a funny moment — current Doctor Peter Capaldi knows how to chew scenery into gold — but it’s also entirely frivolous, since nothing that happens in that scene really matters.

And there’s nothing wrong with frivolity! But “Magician’s Apprentice” cuts off the wacky stuff, quickly and firmly. The episode concludes with a bold, dark, weird twist that feels like a renewed attempt to challenge the basic precepts of the Doctor Who mythos. And it does that by…

Well…

Throwing up another SPOILER ALERT HERE just for added protection…

The season premiere of Doctor Who ends with Clara dying. Again. How this effects the Doctor is interesting — and I’ll withhold final judgment on this twist until next week’s conclusion — but it’s a minor bummer to see the show re-re-unbooting Clara right back to where we met her. One more time, she’s a dead girl the Doctor is trying to save.

“Magician’s Apprentice” is a confident hour of television. It puts several exciting pieces in place for the season ahead — and it proves once again that Moffat is great at situating a bold new Doctor Who direction within the half-century mythology of Doctor Whos past. (Any Doctor Who episode with a clip of Tom Baker gets at least partial grade inflation.) But it’s another weird chapter in the Clara Oswald story. How do you solve a problem like Clara? The show’s solution — yet again — is to get rid of her.

EPISODE GRADE: B+

Source: Doctor Who season 9 premiere review: Fixing the future | EW.com

(eonline) – 2015 Emmy Awards: All of the Best and Worst Moments From the Show!

2015 Emmy Awards

Andy Samberg, Emmy Awards 2015, Show Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images

The 67th annual Emmy Awards are here!Hollywood’s first step into awards season started tonight with the highly anticipated night dedicated to all things television, with the help of our host for the evening, Andy Samberg.

So between the jokes, the booze, the awards and the surprising moments, it can become quite the task to keep up with what’s going on.

Don’t you fret, friend. That’s what we’re here for! Here are some of the best and worst moments from the 2015 Emmy Awards:

Binge Truth: Anyone who has ever decided to binge-watch a TV series felt deeply connected to Samberg’s opening skit. Locking himself away for a year, without any connection to the outside world, to catch up on all of the series out there is real life for many of us.

Serving the LOLs: Samberg continued a strong opening with a successful monologue. There were laughs, there were successful punch lines, and, of course, the zingers (hey Bill Cosby and Kim Davis!).

RELATED: They said what?! Get the celeb red carpet quotes from the 2015 Emmy Awards

Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler

Amy-Squared: The geniuses behind the Emmys opted to pair Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer together to present the first award of the night, and obvs, it was the best decision.”And what an exciting two to four hours for women in comedy,” Poehler quipped.

“And let’s not forget what night is really about, celebrating hilarious women and letting the Internet weigh in on who looks the worst,” Schumer added. THE AMY’S FOR PRESIDENT! Or at least, host the Oscars?

Problem Solved: Ricky Gervais may or may not win tonight, so he had a plan. Why not play it safe and just hold an Emmy while presenting so pictures make it seem like he won? Boom. Problem solved.

Ricky Gervais, Emmy Awards 2015, Show Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Bow Chicka Bow Wow: John Stamos and Gina Rodriguez joined together on stage and did some flirting back and forth, and we can’t blame ’em.This Just Happened: Oh, Andy.

Rebel With a Cause: Jimmy Kimmel wants the power. He has the power. He has the card. And he decided to cut out the winner from the card (and eat it ) so he could give the award to whoever he wants. Congrats, Jeffrey Tambor!

Positive Message: Following a heartfelt speech from director Jill Soloway, who urged people to vote for trans rights, Transparent‘s Jeffrey Tambor dedicated his award to the transgender community. “Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for letting us be part of the change. God bless you.

Jimmy Kimmel, Emmy Awards 2015 Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Hooray, Accountants: James Corden made history tonight by getting the crowd to do a standing ovation when recognizing the accountants Ernest & Young. Hey, they deserve some solid cheers, too!
Awkward Alert: Terrence Howard went in for the kiss on the cheek while presenting with Empire co-star Taraji P. Henson, and she just rubbed it off and made a face, LOL!

Smokey Eye for the Win: While tearfully accepting her award, Schumer made sure to mention someone very important—her makeup artist. “Thanks everybody who has helped me and my…the girl who gave me sort of this smoky eye. I really love it.” LOL!

Sweet Mommy Moment: When accepting her award, Regina King concluded her speech with a sweet mention to a very important young man in her life. “My son, IanThe fact that I get to share this night with you, the best date in the house. Oh, man. You make being a mother my greatest accomplishment. I love you.

So Many Feelings: That montage of series finales from this year was too much. Seriously. The emotions are everywhere. WE WEREN’T READY.

Jon Hamm, Emmy Awards 2015 Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images

Aw, Jon Stewart: The former Daily Show host seems to miss the spotlight. When accepting yet another award tonight, he candidly told the crowd, “To everybody on television, I just want to tell you, cling to it, as long as you can, like death…I have been off of television for six weeks, seven weeks, whatever it is. This is the first applause I’ve heard. It is a barren wasteland out there.” We miss you, too, Jon.

Bleep Award:..goes to Game of ThronesD.B. Weiss who said, “When people say they didn’t plan things, I always thought they were full of s–t.”

Tissues, Please: Oh man, Uzo Aduba just made the waterworks come out.

All Together Now: FINALLY! Jon Hamm has taken home an Emmy for his role in Mad Men. About damn time.

Breaking Barriers: Viola Davis gave a powerful speech upon winning the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, the first woman of color to ever win this category.

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

Tracy’s Back: Making a surprise appearance, Tracy Morgan, who  made his return to the stage to present the final award of the night. “Thanks to my amazing doctors and the support of my family, my beautiful new wife, I’m here.”

And the jokes were back, too. “Only recently, I’ve started to feel like myself again, so, which means a whole lot of y’all women gonna get pregnant at the after-party. It’s going down.”

For all the fashion hits and misses, tune in to a brand-new Fashion Police Monday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m., only on E!PHOTOS: 2015 Emmys red carpet arrivals

 

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(CNN) – Civil War soldiers receive the funeral never held

The procession with a caisson bearing a ceremonial casket arrives for Andersonville service.

Story highlights

  • “Funeral for 13,000” remembers soldiers who died 150 years ago at Civil War prison in Georgia
  • Events through Sunday will recall stories of courage, despair at Andersonville
  • Observances coincide with annual National POW/MIA Recognition Day

(CNN)A simple wooden casket, placed on a raised bier, bore witness for thousands of Civil War soldiers who died while under the guard of fellow Americans.

Battlefields were the places for winners and losers. But survival was the only matter of magnitude at prisons in the North and South, the audience was told Saturday afternoon during the “Funeral for 13,000” at a national cemetery in southwest Georgia.

The juxtaposition of yesterday and today was apparent from the beginning of the memorial service at Andersonville National Historic Site: A bagpiper playing “Going Home” led a horse-drawn caisson carrying the ceremonial casket. Sheriff’s deputies and members of the armed forces walked in the procession toward the cemetery rostrum. Among those in the crowd were men and women portraying Civil War soldiers and civilians. One woman wore a black mourning dress and veil.

Despite the somber mood, there was a prevailing note of appreciation for the sacrifice of those who died at Andersonville and other prisons.

“It’s a great day to be a soldier,” said Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, referring to the role uniformed men played in the forging of a great nation through a bloody civil war that cost more than 600,000 lives.

Memorial illumination at the stockade site on Friday, September 18.

Events planned through Sunday at Andersonville are the culmination of the site’s sesquicentennial observance of an often-overlooked aspect of the war: Away from the battles that are famous today — Gettysburg, Antietam, Shiloh — thousands of prisoners endured wretched conditions. At Andersonville alone, nearly 13,000 Federal soldiers and civilian captives died over 14 months. Officials wanted those who died there 150 years ago to finally receive a proper, reverent funeral.

The observance coincided with the annual National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

Dailey, in an address carried nationally by C-SPAN, praised descendants for keeping alive the stories of prisoners.

He told the story of Sgt. Christian Kephart, a father of four girls who enlisted with the 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry in 1863. Kephart survived Andersonville but died of dysentery at another camp.

No one knows why he enlisted. Was it for an enlistment bounty? To save the country? End slavery?

Only about 1% of Americans serve in the military today. Dailey referenced the POW/MIA flag flying above the cemetery. Since the Civil War, he said, the United States has learned to provide humane treatment for prisoners, including enemy combatants.

Read more: Civil War prisoners clawed for survival

Speakers reminded Americans of the ordeals soldiers went through. And they prayed to the creator.

“Here at Andersonville, we are suffering from what we have forgotten,” said Judson Mitcham, poet laureate of Georgia. “Tell us again how to praise and grieve and witness. Give us this day, forgive us our trespasses.”

Some 45,000 men were at Andersonville prison over 14 months; 13,000 died.

Officials hope that visitors don’t see the weekend events just as a history lesson. There are larger questions of how soldiers transition to civilian life. How a nation binds its wounds after war and tells the story of those who were held captive in all wars.

Eric Leonard, former chief of interpretation at Andersonville, told C-SPAN that the number of Civil War prisoners proliferated after an exchange system broke down, partially because the Confederate government would not agree to exchange African-American captives.

At first, many prisoners that were moved by train from Virginia to Andersonville believed that conditions would be better. But the stockade’s main stream quickly became polluted. Officials had no real understanding of how germs and disease spread. They channeled water to create a latrine, hoping the flow of the creek would “flush” the toilet.

“They … completed the perfect breeding ground for dysentery,” Leonard said.

Source: Civil War soldiers receive the funeral never held – CNN.com

(daily mail) (nation.com) – Eiffel Tower closed to visitors after three ‘terror suspects seen’

Daily Mail Paris – The Eiffel Tower was shut to all visitors today after three ‘terrorist suspects’ with ‘large rucksacks’ were seen ascending France’s most popular tourist attraction.
Anti-terrorist police supported by a helicopter could be seen at the iconic landmark following the alarm being raised in the early hours.
But after a search which went on all morning it was thought they had escaped via parachute – prompting a theory that they had been extreme sportsmen all along. ‘There were reports of three people climbing the tower from the outside from about 5.30am,’ said a police source.
‘They were said to have large rucksacks so no chances could be taken. They completely disappeared, so enquiries are centered on them being extreme parachutists. ‘There were of course fears that they may have left dangerous material on the the tower before leaving.’
By 9am, hundreds of people, including visitors from Britain, were already waiting to go up the tower, but were told to vacate the area, as ticket booths were shut.
The tower has frequently been threatened by terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda and ISIS, with security stepped up since attacks by three radical gunmen in the city in January.
A police cordon was formed around the tower and people were moved to the banks of the nearby River Seine.
There have been numerous bomb alerts at the Eiffel Tower in recent years, and France is currently on the highest state vigilance alert. In 2005, a Norwegian parachutist died while attempting to jump off the tower with a parachute.
The 1,050ft tall iron lattice tower was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, and soon turned into a prestige symbol of modern France.
It is the most visited paid-for monument in the world, with some 7million people a year going up it.
For all these reasons, French security officials frequently highlight the tower’s vulnerability to terrorist attack.
The tower finally re-opened at around 2pm, following a closure of more than five hours which is likely to have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost revenue. Police were meanwhile ‘searching Paris’, for the culprits, said the source.
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(USA Today) – Audi shows off e-tron quattro luxury electric crossover

FRANKFURT—In the race to lure luxury customers into electric vehicles, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is making his ambitions clear.

As Silicon Valley automaker Tesla Motors preps the release of its third luxury electric vehicle this month and Porsche weighs a battery-powered concept called Mission E, Audi is readying its own offering: the e-tron quattro.

It’s a concept, but possibly a realistic vision of where Audi is headed. The company confirmed at Frankfurt Motor Show here that it will release a luxury electric crossover in early 2018.

At 16 feet long, 6.3 feet wide and 5.1 feet high, the four-seat e-tron quattro boasts what Audi described as a “coupe-like silhouette.” It’s longer than Audi’s Q5 crossover and shorter than its Q7.

It has three electric motors, with one in the front and two in the back. Audi said it’s drawing on the engineering expertise it’s gleaned from the R8 e-tron sports car.

The e-tron quattro’s introduction marks the latest sign that the luxury industry is taking Tesla seriously. The California company plans to release the Model X crossover later this month.

Stadler said his goal for the quattro is to “lead the industry in connectivity and energy efficiency.”

Asked how he would do that, he simply turned to his side and motioned to the e-tron quattro, as if to say it spoke for itself.

Audi said the e-tron quattro concept reflects “a concrete foretaste” of the company’s production-model electric crossover.

With a 95 kilowatt-hour battery pack, the vehicle can travel 310.7 miles on a battery charge and can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds. A full charges takes about 50 minutes. It can also be wirelessly charged, though that would take longer. A solar roof adds electrical input on sunny days.

Porsche on Monday introduced the Mission E luxury electric car, which can go 310 miles on a single charge and be recharged up to 80% capacity in 15 minutes. It can hit 62.1 mph in less than 3.5 seconds.

Porsche is expected to deliver a production model within five years.

USA TODAY’s Kim Hjelmgaard reported from Frankfurt. USA TODAY’s Nathan Bomey reported from McLean, Va.

Follow Hjelmgaard on Twitter @khjelmgaard. Follow Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

Source: Audi shows off e-tron quattro luxury electric crossover