By Jeff Fish and Sean Teehan, Globe Correspondents
A major water main break in Cambridge has closed down large sections of Broadway and Cambridge Streets, according to the Cambridge Police department.
The break occurred at the intersection of Broadway and Trowbridge Streets. Broadway Street has been shut down from Ware Street to Ellery Street and Trowbridge Street has been shut down from Harvard Street to Broadway Street.
Officials are urging motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to avoid the area.
Residents in the area may have decreased water pressure, but the city is preparing to temporarily switch over to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA), said the statement.
Diana Yousef, 39, who lives a block away from the break on Broadway Street said she has experienced decreased pressure in her home, where running water works on the first floor, but not the second.
“My husband went to the local grocery store to get bottled water and I guess he got the last two” packs, Yousef said in a phone interview.
Francesca Cornelio, 29, who also lives nearby on Broadway Street, also noticed decreased water pressure, but stopped short of running for bottled water, she said.
Dripping wet cars covered in sediment were being towed on the street at about 10:30 p.m., Yousef said.
Cambridge Police, Fire, and the Department of Public works are all responding to the break.
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
CAMBRIDGE -- As she stood to receive her honorary degree at Harvard's graduation ceremony today, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was surprised when tenor Placido Domingo, who had just received his degree, burst into song. Sitting between them are commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Click here to see harvardmagazine.com's video of the moment.
Missing journalist Dorothy Parvaz, who was held by Iranian authorities after being detained in Syria, arrived in her company's home base of Qatar today after winning her freedom – generating sighs of relief among her Nieman Foundation colleagues.
“We are all just delighted that this happened,’’ said Bob Giles, curator of the Nieman Foundation where Parvaz was a fellow in 2009. “We are so pleased that she is free and well.’’
Giles said that the foundation and its fellows spread around the world publicly campaigned for Parvaz’s release, but also tried numerous “back channels’’ with governments and officials who they thought might prod Iran into releasing her.
“I don’t know, exactly, what the most effective outreach was,’’ he said. “But we are delighted that she has been released.’’
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
WOBURN – A New York man was sentenced today to life in prison without parole for murdering a Cambridge man inside a Harvard residence hall in 2009.
Jabrai Jordan Copney, 22, was essentially living at Harvard with his girlfriend, who was a student, when he masterminded a plot to rob Justin Cosby at gunpoint of money and marijuana inside Kirkland House in May 18, 2009. When Cosby refused to comply with the robbers, Copney fatally shot him, according to Middlesex prosecutors.
A jury of three men and nine women returned their guilty verdict shortly after noon today. Judge John Lu sentenced Copney after a brief sentencing hearing. Life without parole is the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder.
Copney's mother, Yvette, broke down and wept after the verdict was announced. Denise Cosby, the victim's mother, who attended with about a half dozen friends and relatives, was quietly exultant.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.’s office had singled out Copney as the person most responsible for the slaying.
Key evidence came from Copney’s former friend, Blayn Jiggetts, who plead guilty to manslaughter in return for taking the stand as a prosecution witness.
Jiggetts identified Copney as Cosby’s killer. At the same time, Jiggetts acknowledged that he had brought the 9mm handgun from New York City that was used in the murder. He faces less than 20 years in prison.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN – Arguing that the prosecution case relied on the imaginary physics of Wile E. Coyote, a defense attorney today urged a jury to acquit a New York man in a 2009 slaying at a Harvard residence hall.
Delivering his closing argument in Jabrai Jordan Copney’s first-degree murder trial, attorney John Amabile told a Middlesex Superior Court jury that Copney is wrongly accused of shooting Justin Cosby, a Cambridge man who was on campus on May 18, 2009, to complete the sale of some marijuana.
“It’s very hard to prove an innocent person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,’’ Amabile said. “He is totally innocent. That’s the explanation for their failure of proof.’’
Prosecutor Daniel Bennett said that Copney was the mastermind of a plot to rob Cosby that proved fatal.
"Jabrai Copney took away everything that Justin Cosby was. And Jabrai Copney, through his decision, took away everything thing Justin Cosby might have been," Bennett told the jury.FULL ENTRY
Three Boston firefighters involved in today’s dramatic rescue of a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority worker said they drew on their specialized training and also had the help of the injured man who was determined to escape his concrete trap.
“He was in a lot of pain and clearly he was anxious,’’ said Gary Dardia, who was one of two firefighters lowered some 30 feet into a concrete shaft underneath the elevated tracks at the Red Line’s Charles Street/MGH station this morning.
"He wanted out of that hole,’’ Dardia added. “He was cooperative. He helped us the best he could under the condition he was in.’’
Dardia, firefighter Ballin Wright and Fire Captain Richard Connelly were lead players in the rescue of Edward Rowe, an MBTA electrician who was cutting power to the third rail so repair workers could safely get on the Longfellow Bridge around 4:20 a.m.FULL ENTRY
The US State Department decided today it will grant Afghan activist Malalai Joya a visa for a three-week speaking tour, reversing an earlier decision denying her entry to the country.
The announcement came after nationwide protests, including one in Harvard Square Wednesday night, and support for Joya from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. She is now expected to speak Friday evening with Noam Chomsky at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard.
“We hope the decision to grant a visa to Ms. Joya is a signal that the Obama administration is committed to facilitating, rather than obstructing, the exchange of ideas across international borders,” Carol Rose, the executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN -- Two of the three men charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 slaying of a Cambridge man at a Harvard dorm will plead guilty to reduced charges and cooperate with prosecutors in the case against the third defendant.
Blayn Jiggetts and Jason Aquino have reached the agreement with Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.’s office, freeing prosecutors to direct their full attention on Jabrai Jordan Copney who allegedly shot Justin D. Cosby inside Kirkland Hall on May 18, 2009. All three men are from New York City.
Aquino’s attorney, Matthew A. Kamholtz, said today that his client will be in the Woburn courthouse next Thursday to formally acknowledge his role in the death of Cosby. “There will be a change of plea to manslaughter,’’ Kamholtz said of Aquino. He declined further comment.FULL ENTRY
CAMBRIDGE -- Authorities are investigating the shootings of two people, one fatally, in a car near Central Square in Cambridge early this morning.
About 12:15 a.m., police responded to the shooting and found a white car with the two victims and another person inside, according to a statement released this morning by the Office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone.
James Lauture, 30, of Cambridge, was pronounced dead after he was taken to an area hospital, according to the statement. The other victim is expected to survive.
After the shooting, at Watson and Brookline streets, the victims drove from the scene and flagged down a fire truck, and firefighters alerted police, according to the statement.FULL ENTRY
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more