Monthly Archives: April 2013

Dragnet Shuts Boston; One Suspect Is Slain but Second Man Is on Loose

(From The New York Times)

The two suspects were identified by law enforcement officials as brothers. The surviving suspect was identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., a law enforcement official said. The one who was killed was identified as his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. The authorities were investigating whether the dead man had a homemade bomb strapped to his body when he was killed, two law enforcement officials said.

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Witness: ‘I saw blood everywhere’

(From CNN)

Linda Claire Willits crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon in a time of 3 hours and 34 minutes, setting a personal best in her 29th marathon.

No matter how many races one runs, there’s nothing like that euphoric moment of pushing through the pain to complete 26.2 miles. Willits soaked in the atmosphere along Boylston Street. People lining the road cleared a path when they saw she was a runner. They congratulated her and made her feel like a celebrity.

She texted a friend waiting down the street at the bar at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. “I’m on my way,” Willits said.

Her friend, Stephanie Douglas, prepared to celebrate.

Then, a small explosion went off, followed seconds later by a thunderous boom that tore through the area.

“It was so strong the bar filled up with smoke and chairs tipped over,” Douglas said. “I saw people — it was like they were on a trampoline literally flying through the air.”

Bedlam ensued. Smoke poured into the bar. People began shouting that another bomb had been found, and everyone scrambled to escape.

Outside, one man’s legs were blown off, and he kept trying to stand up.

Douglas fled, unable to contact Willits. Panic for her friend sunk in.

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Venezuela Gives Chávez Protégé Narrow Victory

(From The New York Times)

CARACAS, Venezuela — In an unexpectedly close race, Venezuelans narrowly voted to continue Hugo Chávez’s revolution, electing his handpicked political heir, Nicolás Maduro, to serve the remainder of his six-year term as president, officials said late Sunday.

But the thin margin of victory could complicate the task of governing for Mr. Maduro, emboldening the political opposition and possibly undermining Mr. Maduro’s stature within Mr. Chávez’s movement.

His opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski, refused to recognize the results, citing irregularities in the voting and calling for a recount.

Mr. Maduro, the acting president, narrowly defeated Mr. Capriles, a state governor who ran strongly against Mr. Chávez in October. Election authorities said that with more than 99 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Maduro had 50.6 percent to Mr. Capriles’s 49.1 percent. More than 78 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

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Thatcher: A divisive force even in death

(From CNN)

In the week between her death and her funeral, Britons are having an awkward time coming to terms with the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, a prime minister who last held office 23 years ago — meaning no one under 40 could have voted for her, yet the mix of anger and admiration is spread across the generations.

The emotional outpouring in this famously undemonstrative nation is matched in recent memory only by the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, when flowers piled up outside royal palaces and Elton John’s mawkish “Candle in the Wind” surged to the top of the charts. But while Diana was mourned in unity by millions as the “people’s princess,” Thatcher’s death is being marked in widely different and unpredictable ways.

WATCH: Not everyone’s mourning Thatcher’s death

It has become an overused adjective in the media that Thatcher was “divisive.” Some countries might put aside political differences and unite to respect the passing of a leader — especially the first and only female PM, who won three successive general elections. But in the UK debate about Thatcher is raging almost as fiercely as it did in the 1980s over issues like the privatization of industries, the Falklands War, tax and social policy, her close relationship with American President Ronald Reagan and combative stance against the European Union.

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600 evacuated from Taiwan train after explosives found

(From CNN)

Six hundred passengers were evacuated from a high-speed train in Taiwan on Friday after explosives — attached to a timer and apparently close to detonation — were found in luggage inside a restroom, police said.

The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. train stopped at Hsinchu City after someone found the explosives in two pieces of luggage shortly after 9 a.m., according to police.

Police said the luggage was emitting white smoke, and people nearby could smell gas. The setup included 5 liters of gasoline and an activated timer device to trigger them, police said.

Investigators believe the explosives would have detonated had authorities not intervened, according to police. They said they believe the blast would have taken out one carriage.

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NYPD: For this ‘Cookie Monster,’ it was ‘Me want money!’

(From CNN)

C is for “Cookie,” or is it “Cash”?

A man dressed as the TV character Cookie Monster allegedly shoved a 2-year-old after the child’s parents refused the man’s demand for $2 for posing for a photo, New York police say.

The child was not physically injured during the incident, according to police.

Detective Kelly Ort told CNN that 33-year-old Osvaldo Quiroz-Lopez of Queens was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a minor after the incident Sunday in Times Square.

Quiroz-Lopez was dressed as the Cookie Monster character to make money by posing for photos with passersby, according to police, who added that there was no connection between the man and the TV series “Sesame Street,” which counts Cookie Monster among its characters.

Quiroz-Lopez was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday and held with bail set at $1,000 cash, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. His next court date is scheduled for May 1.

Attempts to reach Lopez and his attorney, Beth Unger from the Legal Aid Society, were unsuccessful.

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Invoking Newtown Dead, Obama Presses Gun Laws

(From The New York Times)

President Obama came here on Monday before a roaring, enthusiastic crowd to remember the tragedy of 20 children and 6 educators slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School and put new pressure on a recalcitrant Congress to honor them with gun-control legislation.

In an impassioned speech that at times took on the tone of a campaign rally, Mr. Obama told an audience of 3,100 at the University of Hartford that he came to Connecticut to ensure that the deaths in the school in Newtown would not recede and to remind Americans how important their voice is as the gun debates unfold.

“If you’re an American who wants to do something to prevent more families from knowing the immeasurable anguish that these families here have known, then we have to act,” Mr. Obama said. “Now’s the time to get engaged. Now’s the time to get involved. Now’s the time to push back on fear and frustration and misinformation. Now’s the time for everybody to make their voices heard, from every statehouse to the corridors of Congress.”

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