FROM THE TRAIL
In a speech in New York, Hillary laid out her vision for a strong, growing economy that works for everyone.
FROM THE TRAIL
During a speech at Texas Southern University in Houston, Hillary Clinton called for expanding Americans’ voting rights while decrying Republican efforts to restrict them.
FROM THE TRAIL
At a roundtable discussion at Rancho High School in Nevada, Hillary Clinton had a conversation with DREAMers about her commitment to fighting for young people and their families.
FROM THE TRAIL
Hillary makes the case for equal pay.
General jihadist propaganda on the Internet may have inspired Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, the man accused of killing five servicemen in Tennessee on Thursday before being shot dead himself, a source
General jihadist propaganda on the Internet may have inspired
Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, the man accused of killing five servicemen in Tennessee on Thursday before being shot dead himself, a source close to the investigation said on Monday.
The source, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, told Reuters that authorities had not established a direct link between Abdulazeez and specific groups such as Islamic State.
The attack is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
Abdulazeez had drug abuse problems and was worried about debt according to his family and a diary he left behind, ABC News reported on Monday, citing a family representative.
Close friends told Reuters previously that the suspected shooter drank alcohol and smoked marijuana, had received treatment for drug problems, and struggled to reconcile those habits with his Islamic beliefs. His family said in a statement at the weekend that he suffered from depression.
Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was killed in a gunfight with police on Thursday after he sprayed gunfire at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, then drove to a nearby Naval Reserve Center where he shot and killed four Marines. Three people were wounded, including a sailor who died on Saturday.
The shooting follows a series of attacks, or thwarted attacks, in the United States and other countries by Muslims claiming to be inspired by Islamic State or other militant groups.
U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday they will examine possible shortcomings in law enforcement or intelligence in the case, which highlighted growing concern about possible Internet-based directives from Islamic State leaders in Syria.
Abdulazeez, an engineer, wrote about having suicidal thoughts and “becoming a martyr” as far back as 2013 after losing his job due to drug use, both prescription and non-prescription, the family representative told ABC news.
ABC did not name the family contact, who said Abdulazeez abused sleeping pills, opioids, painkillers, marijuana and alcohol.
ABC said that Abdulazeez was taking sleeping pills to deal with an overnight shift at work, and was considering filing for bankruptcy because he was thousands of dollars in debt.
(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Peter Galloway and James Dalgleish)
U.S. – Cuba
As Cuba and the U.S. officially resume diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years, a CBS News Poll shows 58 percent of Americans favor re-establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries, while just 24 percent oppose it. But the poll shows the support for normalization varies greatly when the respondents’ parties are considered.
An elevated section of Interstate 10 collapsed yesterday amid heavy rains in the California desert, injuring one driver, stranding many others, and halting travel for thousands by cutting off both directions of a main corridor between Southern California and Arizona. CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports interstate 10 is closed completely and indefinitely.
Federal investigators say they’ve received hundreds of leads, but are still trying to figure out why Chattanooga gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire on two military sites in Tennessee last week. A source close to the family tells CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan Abdulazeez’s parents encouraged his seven-month trip to Jordan last year because they hoped visiting relatives there would help him recover from what they say was his state of depression. A government source tells CBS News Abdulazeez did not travel outside Jordan during that visit, and did not go to Iraq or Syria to fight or train with ISIS.
After Donald Trump’s comments about Sen. John McCain, the majority of the Republican presidential contenders immediately shot out sharp statements leaping to McCain’s defense. But, based on the diverse, noncommittal opinions of a gathering of Republican voters in Ames, Iowa, it is hard to tell if Iowa voters will turn on “The Donald” over his comments.
Campaign trail selfies
Meeting a presidential candidate is a dream for some voters. Getting a photo with a politician can be tougher. But, CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman reports, two New Hampshire sisters who are not even old enough to vote are headed for a landslide victory with a mission to snap a selfie with every potential presidential candidate.
Dodd – Frank at five
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the U.S. undertook the most comprehensive overhaul of its financial sector since the Great Depression. The “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” aimed to strengthen the nation’s financial system, preclude another bank bailout by taxpayers, and protect consumers from the kinds of rapacious lending and investment practices that shook the American economy to its core. Is Dodd-Frank, which President Obama signed into law on July 21, 2010, working?
For half a century, Beach Boys songs like “Fun, Fun, Fun” have promised unending summers of fun in the sun — not at all like the life founding Beach Boy Brian Wilson actually led for many years, as Anthony Mason tells us.
Defending world champion Mick Fanning learned the hard way that a surfer’s paradise can — in the blink of an eye — become anything but. Yesterday, at the finals of the World Surf League competition in South Africa, the Australian was attacked by a shark, and it was captured live on TV. CBS News correspondent Debora Patta spoke to Fanning about the close call.
More Top News
By Milad Marvasti • Monday, July 20, 2015
As of March 31, 2015, funds at Soros Fund Management, owned by George Soros, were valued at $10.0 billion. During the quarter, Soros Fund Management had 212 total holdings.
Let’s take a closer look at how these three stocks are positioned in the Soros’s portfolio and how they have performed over the last few months.General Motors Company (NYSE/GM)The giant automaker has a current yield of 4.6%, paying a quarterly dividend of 36 cents a share. General Motors Company (NYSE/GM) nearly comprised two percent of Soros’s portfolio as of March 31, 2015. (Source: GM, last accessed July 15, 2015.)In the first quarter of 2015, net income was attributable to common shareholders of $0.9 billion compared to $0.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Net revenue in the first quarter of 2015 was $35.7 billion, compared to $37.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014.You may be bored to read these numbers, but they suggest a bright outlook for the company. Although GM’s stock price changed little since the beginning of the 2015, evidence suggests we may see an increase in share prices in the next few months.Adecoagro S.A. (NYSE/AGRO)Adecoagro S.A. (NYSE/AGRO) is one of the leading agricultural companies in South America. The company deals in crops, rice, dairy, coffee, cattle, sugar, and other agricultural products. (Source: Adecoagro , last accessed July 15, 2015.)Adecoagro is one of Soros’ favorite stocks, holding up about four percent of his portfolio. This is a great under-the-radar stock. Many analysts expect growth in revenue, compelling growth in net income, and good cash flow from operations.On the latest earnings, Adecoagro reported net first-quarter income of $13.8 million—$11.2 million higher than in the same period last year. Hence, the company’s stock price rose 18% this year.Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ/CY)Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ/CY) is one of the latest disclosed equity positions for the Soros fund. This would indicate that the legendary hedge fund manager is confident and optimistic in the future of the company.All said; Cypress Semiconductor comprised 2.1% of Soros’ total portfolio. According to the most recently reported quarter, Soros increased his stake in the stock by 361.1% to 13.2 million shares.Cypress Semiconductor delivers high-performance, high-quality solutions at the heart of today’s most advanced embedded systems; from automotive, industrial, and networking platforms to highly interactive consumer and mobile devices. (Source: Cypress Semiconductor, last accessed July 15, 2015.)The company’s stocks rose roughly 13% this year. It’s currently trading at $11.68 per share. The company has a 3.4% dividend yield and pays a quarterly dividend of 11 cents per share.
Bottom line; George Soros is believed to be one of the greatest hedge fund managers of all time. His portfolio has grown significantly over the years. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to peek over his shoulder for inspiration on some of the best investments. GM, Adecoagro, and Cypress Semiconductor are among his beloved stocks.
Amid California’s historic drought, an even rarer weekend downpour that calmed wildfires also washed away a 30-foot bridge that carries commuters to Arizona.
An elevated area on Interstate 10 collapsed early Sunday evening near Southeastern California’s Desert Center, leaving a pickup truck trapped underneath. Firefighters launched a cut and rescue operation and the driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries, authorities told the Associated Press. California Highway Patrol have since stopped eastbound traffic near Joshua Tree National Park, a roadway from Palm Springs to the Arizona border.
Ezekiel Ekinaka, 1, with his parents Aaron and Juliet, wears a raincoat as he experiences rain for the second time in his life, at the San Clemente, Calif. (Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register via AP)
Drivers were stranded for miles, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“We are so stuck out here,” 53-year-old commuter Pamala Browne told the AP Sunday evening. “There’s no end to the cars that are stuck out here.”
The two-day rainstorm in southern and central California brought flash floods, thunder and lightning along the state’s drought-stricken breaches, forcing authorities to close a 70-mile stretch over the weekend.
Beachgoers were warned about strong surf and rip currents and swimmers were urged to steer clear of storm drainage flowing in the sea.
In this photo provided by the CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department, emergency crews respond after a pickup truck crashed into the collapse of an elevated section of Interstate 10, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Desert Center, Calif. (Chief Geoff Pemberton/CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire via AP)
Many Southern California residents were without power Sunday afternoon.
Outdoor concerts were canceled. The San Diego Padres had to postpone Sunday’s game and the Los Angeles had its first rainout in two decades.
By Sunday night, the rainstorm had caused a debris flow that trapped several residents in Silverado Canyon near the Santa Ana Mountains.
“We had a pretty significant mud and debris flow that went into the creek and then across Silverado Canyon Road, making the road impassable,” Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi told the Los Angeles Times. “We had a 1,000-acre brush fire back in September, so we have a pretty large burn scar,” he added. “So when we do have significant rain, that mud and debris come downhill toward the road, toward homes.”
Though Concialdi told the newspaper no homes were in danger.
The rainfall broke records in at least 11 areas, including Los Angeles and San Diego, for July, which is typically considered Southern California’s driest month.
“It looks like there’s a good chance the monthly record is going to go up,” National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirard said. “Really, this is super historic.”
On Saturday, Los Angeles, for instance, got 0.36 inches of rain, which beat its record on July 14, 1886, when it got 0.24 inches, Sirard told the Associated Press.
National Weather Service forecaster David Sweet told the Los Angeles Times that Los Angeles, in particular, is feeling the aftereffects of tropical storm Dolores.
The weekend rain did help contain several California wildfires, including Friday’s 3,500-acre blaze that crawled through Cajon Pass and jumped across Interstate 15, forcing commuters to flee their vehicles. The flames destroyed 20 cars before 40 MPH winds carried it to a nearby community called Baldy Mesa, where it torched seven homes and 44 more vehicles, authorities told the AP.
A vehicle proceeds slowly through water covering a road following a brief downpour in northwest Moreno Valley, Calif, Sunday, July 19, 2015. (John Bender/The Press-Enterprise via AP)
“People were screaming,” Russell Allevato, who was on vacation from Michigan with his family, told CBS San Francisco over the weekend. “It was just crazy.”
“We were surrounded by flames,” he said. “They were to the left, then in front of us and they came around to the right. We were in a big horseshoe in the middle.”
Firefighters worked to beat the blaze as light rain help them to gain ground.
“It’s pretty much burnt desert,” witness Keishawna Williams told the station.
Two people suffered minor smoke inhalation, authorities told the AP.
U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Lyn Sieliet told the Los Angeles Times the rainstorm could become blessing or curse as fire remnants continue to smolder.
“If it brings wind and lightning, it could make things more difficult for us,” she said. “But if it brings light, steady rain, that’s going to be the best-case scenario.”
Officials said the showers are expected to continue through Monday.
Lindsey Bever is a national news reporter for The Washington Post. She writes for the Morning Mix news blog. Tweet her: @lindseybever
By Associated Press July 19 at 7:18 PM
HENDERSON, Nev. — A small plane crashed near Henderson Executive Airport on Sunday, leaving two people critically hurt and two others with minor injuries.
Authorities say the single-engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee crashed around 1:20 p.m. about 3 miles south of the airport.
A fire ignited after the crash, and the plane is a total loss, said Clark County Department of Aviation spokesman Paul Bobson.
All four occupants were transported to the hospital, city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said. Two had critical burns, and the other two had injuries that were not life-threatening.
According to Bobson, the aircraft was traveling to Southern California and was not based at the airport.
It was not clear what caused the crash, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating.
According to the FAA’s online database, the plane is registered to Jody Stuckey, of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Paula Proxmire was surrounded by screaming street preachers, angry protesters and unsettled mourners who had just arrived from Sunday church.
Her son, Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26, had died Saturday from wounds suffered in a shooting rampage here. The attacker was an aimless, depressed, 24-year-old Muslim man whose online postings suggest he may have been motivated by radical Islamist movements.
Proxmire stood across from the bullet-riddled Armed Forces Recruiting Center, one of two military sites attacked by the gunman last week. She brushed back a strand of sweat-soaked hair and sobbed. Her son had been dead for barely one day. Around her people were screaming.
“I can’t believe these people even come here to this country!” one woman yelled. “Why do they come here?”
“Because they want to kill us,” another man answered.
The television cameras edged closer to get a tight shot of Proxmire’s tears. The agitated crowd, many of them carrying holstered pistols, wanted to know why the Obama administration and the military weren’t doing more to kill Islamist extremists in Iraq, in Syria or wherever they might be. They were furious at a U.S. military policy, enacted during the Clinton administration, that prevents recruiters from carrying firearms while on duty.
“How many more mothers have to go through this before we finally do something about it?” yelled Darrell Gibbs, 55, pastor at Highways and Hedges Ministries. “How many mothers have to suffer like this, having cameras shoved down their throats?”
The attack in Chattanooga, and the raw anger it has provoked here, illustrates the increasingly daunting odds that U.S. counterterrorism agencies face in an era marked by surging Islamist propaganda and a proliferation of disparate, self-radicalized, one-off threats.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have launched sweeping initiatives aimed at shoring up their ties to Muslim communities across the country, with special pilot programs underway in major cities such as Boston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
But in many ways the bureau is working against itself. Arrests of suspects accused of planning travel to Syria, sting operations and expanded surveillance have at times alienated the Muslim communities that security agencies depend on for cooperation.
FBI Director James B. Comey announced this month that the bureau had made at least 10 arrests over the past six weeks, part of a preemptive crackdown by authorities concerned about the prospect for a spike in attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Chattanooga is not among the cities involved in the FBI’s pilot program. But with a Muslim population in the low thousands, it serves as an example of dozens of midsize cities where the FBI and other agencies will need to devote considerable resources if they are to be held to the increasingly impossible-seeming standard of disrupting every domestic plot.
Tennessee is home to three FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces, in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. Even though there’s no task force office in Chattanooga, law enforcement officials here have maintained close ties to the Muslim community.
When the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga held a ribbon cutting for its school and mosque complex in 2012, William C. Killian, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, was a featured speaker along with the mayor and chief of police.
“Bill Killian introduced us to the FBI,” said Bassam Issa, the president of the society. “It’s a very close relationship that we have with all law enforcement.” FBI officials and local law enforcement have come to the mosque’s open houses.
But the close relationship wasn’t enough to stop Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who had attended the mosque irregularly and struggled with depression and drug use after college, according to friends and family.
There are more than 100 FBI agents on the ground in Chattanooga, primarily from the FBI Knoxville Field Office, trying to piece together Abdulazeez’s path to radicalization and violence. “That’s going to take time,” one official said. “We may never know, but we are working toward that.”
Abdulazeez did not have an extensive social-media profile, officials said. U.S. officials are also looking for clues in his trips to Jordan, where he visited family.
One possibility is that Abdulazeez was just a troubled young man who responded to the torrent of hate-filled Internet messages from groups such as the Islamic State that are designed to inspire a single, troubled, lone gunman.
Such attacks are incredibly difficult to detect and stop, officials said. The growing signs that Abdulazeez had self-radicalized and acted alone were of little solace to many in Chattanooga who were convinced the government was not doing enough to protect them.
At Carl Poston’s family-owned gun shop, a few miles from Abdulazeez’s home, demand for concealed-carry classes doubled in the days after the shooting. Shooter’s Depot, another gun store on the other side of town, said it had seen a fivefold increase with as many as 100 people a day requesting spots in the gun classes.
“I just can’t agree that the best we can do is pray for Chattanooga,” Hamilton County Public Defender Steve Smith wrote on his Facebook page. “I think the best we can do is ascertain who our enemies are, whether foreign or domestic, and then kill them. . . . This same thing will happen again, likely soon, unless our government can do a better job of identifying our enemies.”
Even the Marines, who have grown grimly accustomed to combat casualties over the course of nearly 14 years of continuous war, viewed these deaths as somehow different and more unsettling.
“When you’re in a combat environment . . . and someone gets killed by an IED or a direct-fire engagement, as horrible as that is, its easier to accept,” said Maj. Mike Abrams, who lost four of his Marines in the attack. “When they are stateside in Chattanooga, in the heartland of America, and they kiss their wife and kids and say goodbye and go to work and they get shot . . . the shock of that is much harder to accept and much harder to find meaning in.”
Abrams said the Marines killed in the attack were being considered for Purple Hearts, an award traditionally reserved for troops killed or wounded in war zones.
Throughout Chattanooga, people were coming up with their own ways to mourn the losses. The Islamic Society in Chattanooga had planned a big celebration Saturday for Eid, the Muslim holiday closest to Christmas, with inflatable moon bounces and tables full of sweets, but canceled it. “This is not a time for us to celebrate anything,” said Issa, the society’s president.
Many left church services Sunday, changed out of their formal clothes and headed out to the two sites where Abdulazeez opened fire. Some huddled in small groups and prayed. Carl Ball, 70, planted an American flag in the ground in front of the building where the four Marines and the sailor had been shot. “How do you stop someone who wants you to kill them so they can go to heaven?” Ball asked. “How do you deter that?”
A few miles away at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center, the other shooting site, the crowd was larger and angrier. “We need to be stronger,” said Tim Litt, a Gulf War veteran who came to the rally with a holstered Ruger pistol. “We need a stronger White House. We need to do more.”
There were boisterous chants of “U.S.A.,” roaring motorcycles and television anchors doing live stand-ups. Proxmire, who had traveled from Delphos, Kan., was still trying to make sense of what had happened to her son, who was in surgery when she arrived in Chattanooga. “He was my hero,” she said. “He was my world.”
Behind her, people were waving American flags and protest signs.
A stranger pulled Proxmire out of the scrum, guided her toward a quiet spot near the road and hugged her. “I’m so sorry for your loss,” Alaina Fitzner, an Air Force wife, whispered to her. “We’re all behind you. You’re part of our military family and we love you.”
Greg Miller and Adam Goldman contributed to this report.
Former President George H.W. Bush left a Maine hospital Sunday four days after he fell at his Kennebunkport home and broke a bone in his neck, his spokesman announced.
Bush, who at 91 is the nation’s oldest living president, fractured his C2 vertebra Wednesday and was treated for four days at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to his spokesman, Jim McGrath. The fractured bone is near the base of the skull.
On Sunday, Bush returned to his home in Kennebunkport wearing a hard neck brace, McGrath said.
Bush “continues to have normal use of his limbs,” and his injury “neither impinged on his spine nor resulted in any neurological deficit,” McGrath said in a statement last week that was reiterated by Bush’s physician, Dr. William D’Angelo.
D’Angelo told reporters Thursday that he planned to let the bone heal without surgery and that he was hopeful Bush would make a full recovery.
Bush is the father of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is seeking the 2016 presidential nomination. Earlier this month, he and his wife, Barbara, hosted an event for top donors to Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.
Several years ago, the elder Bush was diagnosed with vascular Parkinsonism, which causes symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
This was at least the third time he has been hospitalized in recent years.
In December, he stayed in a Houston hospital for nearly a week after experiencing shortness of breath.
In November 2012, Bush went to a Houston hospital with a persistent cough. He developed a fever and stayed for nearly two months.
For more news, follow @raablauren on Twitter.
A man has drowned in the swimming pool at US actress Demi Moore’s Los Angeles home, officials say.
Police said the body of the 21-year-old man – whose name has not been released – was discovered floating in the pool on Sunday morning.
Demi Moore, 52, and her three children are thought to have been away at the time of the incident.
Police are investigating. One officer told the LA Times he believed the victim to be a member of staff.
Police were called to the house in the city’s Beverly Crest neighbourhood at 05:20 local time (12:20 GMT), the LA Times said.
They found paramedics treating the man by the poolside, but he was pronounced dead soon after.
The celebrity website TMZ quoted sources as saying a party had been taking place at the home, and it appeared the man may have fallen into the pool and not been able to swim.
Demi Moore bought the house together with her former husband Ashton Kutcher.
She was once the highest paid actress in Hollywood.
Before Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore was married to film star Bruce Willis.
2-Air strikes kill 20 Houthi fighters in Yemen’s AdenSaudi Arabia shoots down Scud missile fired from Yemen
India wraps up Yemen evacuation
Rebel fire kills 20 civilians in Yemen’s AdenSANAA: Shia rebels and their allies randomly shelled an area north of Aden on Sunday, killing at least 45 people and wounding over 100, officials said.The rebels are pushing back against an offensive by their Saudi-backed rivals that uprooted them from areas they control in the strategic port city last week, including the Aden international airport.The officials said hundreds of residents fled Dar Saad, north of Aden, amid shelling that intensified Sunday from the rebels. They said at least 45 people, believed to be civilians, were killed. Ambulances rushed to various areas in the town, taking the wounded to various hospitals, including some operated by the international aid group Doctors Without Borders.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to brief journalists. Abdu Mohammed Madrabi, a 65-year old resident of the town, said he was in line outside the post office to collection his pension when the shells hit, causing chaos in the area. Madrabi, who was wounded in the neck, back and leg, said many private cars carried the wounded to hospitals because ambulances couldn’t cope. “We are now sitting on the floor of the hospital waiting for treatment,” he said. The shelling was intense in the neighbourhood of Sharqiya, hundreds of meters (yards) from the post office. Residents said shelling since early dawn kept them hiding at home.” It’s been one shell after the other since the morning. We are feeling the house is going to collapse over our head,” said Arwa Mohammed, a resident of Sharqiya, who has been locked up in one room with her seven-member family for safety. She said a shack nearby was burning from the bombing, adding that its residents fled only minutes before the shell landed.
“Balls of fire are falling over our heads amid screams of children and women,” said Anis Othman, a neighbour of Mohammed. “Why all that shelling? There are no weapons or fighters here. They (the rebels) want to terrorize us and drive us out. This is only rancour and hate.”
Hassan Boucenine, the head of Doctors Without Borders in Yemen, said the situation is “very, very difficult,” describing random shelling in Dar Saad that is coming from the north and east, wounding mostly civilians. He said his medical facilities have received 50 wounded people and 25 corpses. “There will be more,” he said. The Saudi-backed fighters, backed by Saudi-led coalition air strikes, pushed the rebels out of Aden’s airport and two major neighbourhoods last week. The rebels vowed to retaliate. Aden has been the scene of some of the war’s most intense ground fighting since March.
During a week of revelations about the strange worlds at the edge of the solar system, I repeatedly heard a question that often comes up about space: “why bother?”
It’s a fair challenge. What is the point of spending taxpayers’ money on a venture to Pluto or some other frigid corner of the cosmos?
Or having some of our greatest brains devoted to studying alien rock and ice when they could be working on problems much closer to home?
And nobody should duck the question. So here goes: should journalists like me, along with camera crews, even cover an event like the New Horizons mission?
This was first brought home to me during the European Space Agency’s dramatic touchdown on a comet last November.
I thought the achievement was astounding and the excitement at the time was infectious. It even led to my first on-air hug.
But in the middle of it all, as my Twitter feed was in overdrive, I spotted a message from someone who was less than impressed. How would the knowledge gained from the venture, I was asked, benefit mankind?
And something similar happened a few days ago at the very moment that the first signals confirmed that the Pluto flypast had worked.
One person demanded to know why the money spent on the spacecraft had not been used to help hungry people here on Earth. Another suggested that the mission left him as cold as Pluto itself.
So what is the justification for making an effort to explore space?
Back in the Cold War, there was the obvious motive for the United States and the old Soviet Union of demonstrating technological prowess.
But since then the push to investigate the Solar System has been much more about basic research.
From conversations with several of the mission scientists in the past few days, it’s clear there’s a burning desire to explain things that have remained mysterious until now.
Some of these are fundamental – like how the planets formed or how the moons were created or why the solar system has such a bizarre outer zone inhabited by Pluto.
Others’ questions are more technical such as what processes are under way on Pluto’s surface to keep smoothing over the craters left by meteorites or whether there’s enough internal warmth to produce liquid water.
And for many people outside the field of planetary science, these issues might well be beguiling too – after all, they are essentially about the workings of our own neighbourhood in space.
The driver of the shuttle bus running between the Pluto press centre and the car park was among those fascinated by the mission – and the fact that after nine and half years of travel the New Horizons spacecraft arrived at its rendezvous 72 seconds early. To him, the feat was amazing in its own right.
But others still shrug their shoulders and ask what the fuss is about.
So when the “why bother?” question was put to me on air a few days ago, I found myself talking about our innate desire to explore.
I argued that our species has an instinctive curiosity. The same drive that urges us to climb to the brow of a hill in order to look over it also inspires a child to turn the next page.
And in the case of the chief scientist on the Pluto Mission, Alan Stern, it led him to repeatedly seek funding for his spacecraft when year after year he was rejected.
Persistence pays off?
So, I wondered, what would we have thought if Christopher Columbus or Captain Cook had spotted an unmapped coastline but turned away with a look of indifference and had not bothered to land?
To them, the lure of exotic new sights and undiscovered realms proved overwhelming. And nothing has changed.
The long trek to the edge of the Solar System paid off by producing staggering glimpses of alien worlds. When we all first saw the giant mountains of ice on Pluto and vast canyons on Charon, it took the breath away. And the images caught the imagination around the world.
The most powerful answer to the question “why bother?” may be the simplest: the thrill of witnessing discovery is its own reward.
Follow David on Twitter.
Council gave wood flour mill all-clear over dust levels as missing victims named as William Barks, Dorothy Bailey, Jason Shingler and Derek Moore
By Isabelle Fraser12:30PM BST 19 Jul 2015
A Cheshire factory destroyed by explosions was given the all-clear by council officials over dangerous dust levels a fortnight ago, it has emerged.
Four people remain missing after Friday’s blasts and fire at the wood mill in Bosley, and were named on Sunday by police as William Barks, 51, Dorothy Bailey, 62, Jason Shingler, 38, and 62-year-old Derek Moore.
Cheshire East Council said it had received complaints about the dust at the mill, but enforcement officers were on scene two weeks ago and were satisfied at the clean-up. It has also emerged there were two fires at the site in 2010 and 2012.
More detail emerged on Sunday about the four people still missing inside the destroyed wood mill. Dorothy Bailey lives in the cottages next the site, which were badly damaged in the explosion.
She has three sons, two of whom – Christopher and Edward – also work in the mill. She is divorced.
She is part of a large family – with five brothers and two sisters.
Ms Bailey works in the mill using a machine to clean up the large amounts of dust that accumulated using a big vacuum cleaner, and had that job for more than two years. Previously she worked as a cleaner in the mill.
Yesterday, her brother Philip said: “She would not hurt anyone. She was really pleased to get that job.”
“She was very kind, very honourable and very straight. She spoke her mind.”
Jason Shingler lives in nearby Congleton with his partner Nicola Webb. His Facebook account suggests that he is a fan of motor sports.
William Barks lives in Cheddleton near Leek, with his partner Deborah.
Cheshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive will take over the scene from the fire service in a few days to establish what happened.
Paul Hancock, from Cheshire Fire Service, said that the scene was “one of complete devastation” and said crews were working through the night.
He also said that search and rescue teams were concentrating on two locations in a “systematic and methodical way”, identified by witness statements and by using sniffer dogs.
Mr Hancock said: “At this moment in time we have not been able to locate anybody, but we firmly believe we are searching the right areas. Our thoughts continue to be with the family.
“The whole mental psyche of the crews down at the site is they are looking for people still alive. They will not give up hope until they locate these four individuals.”
Guy Hindle, assistant chief constable of Cheshire Police confirmed the names and said the search for them still continues more than 48 hours after the initial blast.
He said: “We are still in search phase, we are still looking for signs of life down at the scene.”
A church service was held in the village on Sunday morning for the families of those still missing.
Reverend Pam Butler, whose Methodist chapel is next to the now-destroyed mill, said: “Our hearts go out to the people who were there.
“People, it’s fair to say, are feeling angry as well as (having an) overwhelming feeling of sadness.”
The Rev John Harries, vicar of Bosley’s parish church, said: “Four people are missing, four are in hospital. Others are experiencing breathing difficulties, and still others are just suffering from the trauma, still seeing the flames in the sky.
“Homes have been destroyed, families are distraught, and the community is in deep distress. We are in shock, we are broken and distraught.”
Days after he was run over during a traffic stop in west Orlando, Officer William Anderson still has not been released from the hospital, police Chief John Mina said Wednesday.
Although Anderson’s injuries are not considered life-threatening, Mina said it’s possible that Anderson will never fully recover from those injuries and could have to deal with the aftermath of the impact for the rest of his life.
His injuries were so severe that police still have not been able to interview him about the incident, but witness statements and police radio traffic helped piece together the details.
Anderson, who was hired in 2007, was injured about 2:45 a.m. Monday after he was called off an extra-duty shift to assist other officers responding to a report of gunshots near the intersection of Kirkman Road and Vineland Road, police said.
Video recorded on the dashboard camera of Anderson’s patrol car showed what happened as Anderson attempted to stop a silver sedan with a 17-year-old driver behind the wheel.
In the 53-second video, Anderson rushes up to the car with his gun drawn. The sedan is seen repeatedly lunging forward, but another car stopped in front of the suspect’s car prevents it from speeding off.
Just as Anderson reaches the driver’s-side window, the front and back passenger door swing open. Another teenager who was sitting in the front seat jumps out and runs away, but the person who opened the back door stays in the car.
Anderson appears to run around the front of the car after the passenger, and at that moment the driver hits the gas and strikes Anderson, who fired his weapon at least twice during the incident.
Police said at least one of the bullets hit the teenage driver in the arm. Although he initially escaped, police said, he was also admitted to a local hospital, where he was arrested on charges of attempted second-degree murder.
The teenager “was behind the wheel of that vehicle,” Mina said. “We have physical evidence, we have forensic evidence and we have testimony that puts him behind the wheel of that vehicle that ran over our officer. He was shot by our officer, and he will face those charges.”
The teen suspect will be booked into the Juvenile Assessment Center when he is discharged from the hospital. It’s not clear how long the suspect will be hospitalized.
After the suspect’s car was seen speeding from the scene, the dash-cam video showed Anderson lying in the street for nearly 30 seconds before a bystander used his car to block traffic and protect the officer from further danger.
“Thank you to the citizen that blocked Officer Anderson’s body as he laid in the road after he was run over,” OPD spokeswoman Sgt. Wanda Ford said in a statement. “His actions prevented Officer Anderson from being struck by another vehicle.”
Despite the possible charges against her son and the two others in the car, police confirmed Tuesday that the mother of the 17-year-old driver filed an excessive-force complaint against Anderson with OPD’s Internal Affairs department.
Mina said the complaint was unnecessary because the incident is already under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is customary when any officer fires a weapon.
An internal investigation will also be conducted, and the results of both investigations will be sent to the State Attorney’s Office to make the final determination whether Anderson acted within the law.
By the time the complaint was filed, police had already identified the teen and his passengers as suspects, and based on the information already available, Mina said “there is no doubt” in his mind that Anderson acted appropriately when he fired his gun.
Late Wednesday night, police said a 17-year-old passenger in the car when Anderson was run over had been charged with tampering with evidence. The teen is being held at the Juvenile Assessment Center.
“Our officers need to protect themselves,” Mina said. “He’s responded to a call where shots are fired and possible suspects who, based on the video, were obviously trying to get away.”
firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5447
By Ashley Killough, CNN
Updated 5:40 PM ET, Sat July 18, 2015
Cruz told reporters he considers McCain “a friend” whom he respects and admires
But he declined to speak ill of Trump, his presidential rival
Ames, Iowa (CNN)Ted Cruz was unambiguous in his praise of John McCain on Saturday, calling his fellow senator a “hero” soon after Donald Trump made inflammatory remarks about the Arizona senator’s war record.
But the senator from Texas refused to join other 2016 Republican hopefuls in denouncing the real estate mogul.
Trump sparked an uproar when he suggested at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, that McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured. “He is not a war hero,” Trump said at a question-and-answer session. “He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you. He is a war hero because he was captured. OK, you can have — I believe perhaps he is a war hero.”
He later tried to clean up his comments, but a wave of Republicans had already condemned Trump’s remarks.
For his part, Cruz told reporters he considers McCain “a friend” whom he respects and admires.
“Not only did he sign up to defend our nation, putting his life in harm’s way, but when he was a POW, he was imprisoned, tortured, and most incredibly, he was offered the opportunity for early release, he was offered the opportunity to go home, and he turned it down because he believed it would be dishonorable to accept that.”
But he declined to speak ill of his presidential rival, with whom he met earlier this week in New York after becoming the most notable 2016 hopeful to side with Trump over his controversial remarks on immigration. Instead, Cruz on Saturday blamed the media for trying to pit Republicans against each other.
“You know I recognize that folks in the press love to see Republican-on-Republican violence, and so you want me to say something bad about Donald Trump, or bad about John McCain or bad about anyone else,” he said. “I’m not going to do it.”
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson suggested that Trump’s comments were stupid, but was also hesitant to wade into the debate. Asked by reporters whether he considered McCain a war hero, Carson said, “It depends on your definition of a war hero.”
“I think he has done some wonderful things, certainly history is consistent with what we would consider a war hero,” he added. “Do we take that away from him because some people disagree with him politically? I think that’s probably stupid.”
Asked again if, in his view, McCain was a war hero, Carson simply said, “I believe Senator McCain has done some wonderful things.”
(CNN)Sandra Bland was taking a new job in Texas at Prairie View A&M University, the historically black college from which she graduated in 2009.
The prospect of a becoming a student ambassador at her alma mater, however, began to unravel one week ago. Bland was arrested July 10, accused of assaulting an officer after a routine traffic stop more than 1,000 miles from her home in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois.
Bland, 28, was found dead Monday in a Waller County jail cell in Hempstead, Texas, after authorities said she hanged herself with a plastic trash bag. It is an act those close to her question.
“Based on the Sandy I knew, this is unfathomable to me,” Sharon Cooper, one of Bland’s sisters, told reporters in Chicago. “People who knew her, truly knew her, the depth of her, that’s unfathomable right now.”
Demonstrators on Friday marched from the city jail to the courthouse in Hempstead, CNN Chicago affiliate WLS reported.
The Texas Rangers and the FBI are investigating the death, which was discovered days after a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper pulled over Bland for allegedly failing to signal a lane change, authorities said.
“The death of Sandra Bland will not be swept under the rug,” Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis told reporters Friday. “There will be no one who is protected… The truth will come out.”
There were no cameras inside Bland’s cell but cameras in the hallway outside showed no one entering or leaving before her body was discovered, Mathis said.
The video and police dashcam video will be released publicly, he said.
“We cannot find where anyone goes into the cell from the hallway to do her any harm from the last time she was physically viewed alive,” the prosecutor said.
After last week’s traffic stop, Blank became “argumentative and uncooperative,” according to a public safety department statement.
Bland was arrested on a charge of assaulting a public servant, the statement said.
Cell phone video purporting to show part of Bland’s arrest was posted online. CNN could not verify the video was of Bland’s arrest, but an attorney for her family, Cannon Lambert, said there was “little reason to believe that it’s not her.”
The video shows an officer using his knee to hold a woman down on the ground. The woman is heard saying that she can’t “feel my arm” and that the trooper “slammed my f—— head to the ground.”
“Do you not even care about that?” she asked.
In a statement, the Texas Department of Public Safety said the officer involved in Bland’s arrest was assigned to administrative duties pending an investigation.
“We have identified violations of the department’s procedures regarding traffic stops and the department’s courtesy policy,” the department said in the statement.
Waller County paramedics were called to the scene of her arrest, but Bland refused a medical evaluation before she was booked, according to the public safety department.
Asked about reports that Bland kicked the trooper before her arrest, Lambert said: “It’s not characteristic that she would voluntarily and without any sort of provocation strike out at someone.”
On Monday morning, Bland was found dead in her cell, according to the Waller County Sheriff’s Office.
She was found “in her cell not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” a sheriff’s office statement said. Bland received CPR, and an ambulance was called, but she was pronounced dead a short time later.
“Any loss of life is a tragic incident and, while the investigation is being conducted by outside agencies, the Waller County Sheriff’s Office will continue to observe the daily operations of the jail to always look for improvements and/or preventions of these incidents,” the statement said.
Bland’s sister, Shante Needham, said her sibling called her from jail Saturday. Needham said her sister told her that a trooper had held her down with his knee on her back before her arrest and that she thought she had fractured her arm.
“She was very aggravated,” the sister said. “She seemed to be in pain.”
Holding back tears, Needham added: “I told her I would work on getting her out.”
Lambert said the family was securing the 10% of Bland’s $5,000 bail for her release.
“We don’t understand this,” the lawyer said of her death. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Cooper said she can’t believe her sister took her own life.
“To know Sandy was to love her,” she said. “She was someone who was extremely spontaneous, spunky, outgoing, truly filled with life and joy. So when you think through the circumstances shared with us through this point, this is unimaginable.”
But Mathis said investigators were examining online videos posted by Bland in March in which she talked about battling depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lambert said members of Bland’s family were traveling to Texas.
“This family is really looking to understand what happened,” he said at a news conference with relatives.
Mathis said investigators will meet with the family on Monday.
Since her death, posts with the hashtag #JusticeForSandy and #WhatHappenedToSandyBland have gone up on Facebook and Twitter.