Follow the events from Johannesburg as the world honors the life of the late Nelson Mandela at his memorial service.
An Instagram user has captured on video the moment the statue of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin was toppled by anti-government protesters in central Kiev:
President Obama will deliver a statement on the passing of Nelson Mandela.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s president says Nelson Mandela has died at age 95. Jacob Zuma says ‘‘we've lost our greatest son.’’
Boston.com political editor Jim O'Sullivan will take readers' questions at noon on Friday, Dec. 6. Join the conversation.
By Jim Fitzgerald and Frank Eltman, Associated Press
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) — A commuter train that derailed over the weekend, killing four passengers, was hurtling at 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve, a federal investigator said Monday. But whether the wreck was the result of human error or brake trouble was still unclear, he said.
Asked why the train was going so fast, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said: ‘‘That’s the question we need to answer.’’
Weener said the information on the locomotive’s speed was preliminary and extracted from the Metro-North train’s two data recorders, taken from the wreckage after the Sunday morning accident in the Bronx.
He also said investigators had begun interviewing the crew members, but he would not disclose what the engineer had told them.
Weener said the throttle went to idle six seconds before the derailed train came to a complete stop — ‘‘very late in the game’’ for a train going that fast’’ — and the brakes were fully engaged five seconds before the train stopped.
He said investigators were also examining the engineer’s cellphone — apparently to determine whether he was operating the train while distracted.
Asked whether the tragedy was the result of human error or faulty brakes, Weener said: ‘‘The answer is, at this point in time, we can’t tell.’’
As investigators mined the data recorders for information, workers righted the fallen cars along the curve, a bend so sharp that the speed limit during the approach drops from 70 mph to 30 mph.
The engineer, William Rockefeller, was injured and ‘‘is totally traumatized by everything that has happened,’’ said Anthony Bottalico, executive director of the rail employees union. He said Rockefeller, 46, was cooperating fully with investigators.
‘‘He’s a sincere human being with an impeccable record that I know of. He’s diligent and competent,’’ Bottalico said. Rockefeller has been an engineer for about 11 years and a Metro-North employee for about 20, he said.
The NTSB has been urging railroads for decades to install technology that can stop wrecks caused by excessive speed or other problems. Congress in 2008 required dozens of railroads, including Metro-North, to install the ‘‘positive train control’’ systems by 2015.
But the systems are expensive and complicated and cannot prevent an accident if there is a brake failure. Railroads are trying to push back the deadline a few years.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs Metro-North, awarded $428 million in contracts in September to develop the system for Metro-North and its sister Long Island Rail Road. But the MTA has asked for an extension on the deadline to 2018, saying it faces technological and other hurdles in installing such a system across more than 1,000 rail cars and 1,200 miles of track.
While the train’s seven cars and locomotive were gradually returned to their tracks Monday, the 26,000 weekday riders on the railroad’s affected Hudson Line faced a complicated commute.
Many used shuttle buses and cars to get to work. But no major delays were reported during the early rush hour, railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan said.
Marketing worker Leanne Bloom normally takes the Hudson Line to work but drove to a stop on another line instead. She was surprised to find the train nearly empty.
‘‘I was expecting long lines’’ at the station, she said. ‘‘But I made it very easily.’’
On Sunday, the train was about half full, with about 150 people aboard, when it ran off the rails around 7:20 a.m. while rounding a bend where the Harlem and Hudson rivers meet. The lead car landed inches from the water. In addition to the four people killed, more than 60 were injured.
Many victims had been released from hospitals by Monday afternoon.
Seven were still in an intensive-care unit at St. Barnabas Hospital, some with spinal injuries, emergency department director Dr. David Listman said. And two patients were reported in critical condition at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
The injured included five police officers who were heading to work, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and a 14-year-old boy who was taking a weekend ride with his father on the same train the youngster usually takes to school.
The train’s assistant conductor, Maria Herbert, suffered an eye injury and a broken collarbone, Bottalico said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on NBC’s ‘‘Today’’ show that he thinks speed will turn out to be a factor in a crash he called ‘‘your worst nightmare.’’
The MTA identified the dead as Donna L. Smith, 54, of Newburgh; James G. Lovell, 58, of Cold Spring; James M. Ferrari, 59, of Montrose; and Ahn Kisook, 35, of Queens. Three of the dead were found outside the train; one was inside.
Lovell, an audio technician who had worked the ‘‘Today’’ show and other NBC programs, was traveling to Manhattan to work on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, longtime friend Janet Barton said. The tree-lighting ceremony is Wednesday night.
‘‘He always had a smile on his face and was quick to share a friendly greeting,’’ ‘'Today’’ executive producer Don Nash said in a message to staffers.
The derailment came amid a troubled year for Metro-North, and marked the first time in the railroad’s 31-year history that a passenger was killed in an accident.
In May, a train derailed in Bridgeport, Conn., and was struck by a train coming in the opposite direction, injuring 73 passengers, two engineers and a conductor. In July, a freight train full of garbage derailed near the site of Sunday’s wreck.
Eltman reported from Mineola, N.Y. Associated Press writers Kiley Armstrong, Verena Dobnik, Deepti Hajela, Ula Ilnytzky, Colleen Long, Jake Pearson and Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.
Walker's Facebook page has confirmed his death.
The reports say Walker, 40, was a passenger in a vehicle driving in southern California when it crashed into a tree.
The car reportedly burst into flames, killing both Walker and the unidentified driver.
Some have taken to Twitter to post photos from the scene.
One person tweeted what they said was the last photo of Walker.
Last photo of Paul Walker pic.twitter.com/830aUZBfAe— Sampah Remaja (@SampahRemajaKL) December 1, 2013
The crash apparently occurred Saturday afternoon in the town of Santa Clarita.
Celebrity gossip site TMZ also posted a photo that showed plumes of black smoke billowing from what looks like the curb of an empty street.
Friends and colleagues of Walker also took to Twitter to express their grief at the news.
Please everyone go with #RIPPaulWalker P.s. Thanks you so much all!— Vin Diesel (@OffVinDiesel) December 1, 2013
"Time is long but life is short" #rippaulwalker— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) December 1, 2013
My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real Father God I pray that you send… http://t.co/CnKblb3PWu— Vision Implementer (@Tyrese) December 1, 2013
RIP Paul Walker— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 1, 2013
Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark,… http://t.co/nUiPPIU9Bb— Ludacris (@Ludacris) December 1, 2013
We will have more on the accident and Walker's death as information becomes available.
Good news for fans of J.D. Salinger: three previously unreleased short stories by the reclusive author who passed away in 2010 have begun circulating online for the first time after an illegally printed collection was auctioned off on eBay.
Buzzfeed's Summer Anne Burton broke the story on Wednesday.
The three works, "Paula," "Birthday Boy," and "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls," were previously available to researchers at the libraries at Princeton and the University of Texas, but the general public had never seen them until they uploaded to file-sharing sites Imgur and MediaFire this week.FULL ENTRY
Traffic on the Southeast Expressway as seen from Boston Globe building webcam on Morrissey Blvd.
Adam Lanza was obsessed with video games, drove repeatedly to a theater to play Dance Dance Revolution for four to ten hours, and had a strained relationship with both parents, to the point where they communicated with him only by e-mail.
These are among the findings in a report into Lanza and his life following his attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School last year. The report has revealed a detailed look into the life of the shooter.
Dance Dance Revolution
During the search of 36 Yogananda Street, a global positioning system (GPS) device was located in the shooter’s room with various routes in the memory from April 25, 2012, through December 13, 2012. Investigation revealed that the GPS was purchased for the shooter. The routes taken indicate a number of trips from 36 Yogananda Street to the area of a local theater where a commercial version of the game “Dance Dance Revolution” is located. Over that time period, trips were made that took the driver in the vicinity of some schools in Newtown, including SHES. On December 13, 2012, a trip was recorded from 2:09 p.m. to 2:32 p.m. starting and ending on Yogananda Street and driving in Sandy Hook, which is in the area of SHES, though the route does not indicate the shooter drove up to the school.
Several videos of him playing DDR were found on digital media taken from the home. The GPS found in the home and reportedly belonging to the shooter indicated that he regularly went to the area of a theater that had a commercial version of the DDR game in the lobby. In 2011 and up until a month before December 14, 2012, the shooter went to the theater and played the game. He went most every Friday through Sunday and played the game for four to ten hours.
The shooter was specific about the clothes he wore. He typically wore the same clothing when at the theater: a grey hoodie and slacks. After a snowstorm in 2011 the shooter was not seen at the theater until about February 2012. At that time he seemed more anti-social and no longer played DDR with others.
An acquaintance of the shooter from 2011 to June 2012 said that the shooter and the acquaintance played DDR quite a bit. They would play the game and occasionally see a movie. They did not play first person shooter games at the theater.46 The shooter had stamina for DDR and never appeared winded unless really exhausted.
The acquaintance said the shooter seemed to enjoy nature and mentioned the possibility of going hiking more than once. The shooter was capable of laughing, smiling and making jokes, though always in a dry fashion. The shooter never mentioned being bullied while growing up. Topics of conversation included world and current events, and included chimpanzee society and how they interacted.
In the course of their conversations, the shooter indicated that he had an interest in mass murders and serial killing. They never spent a lot of time discussing them, but it would be a topic of conversation. There were no conversations about weapons or shooting at a gun range.
Lanza's home and bedroom
The shooter’s second floor bedroom windows were taped over with black trash bags. The second floor computer room also had its windows covered. There, investigators found a computer hard drive that appeared to have been intentionally damaged. To date, because of the extensive damage, forensic experts have not yet been able to recover any information from that hard drive.
The home also contained many edged weapons, knives, swords, spears, etc. A prescription bottle in the shooter’s name for acetaminophen with codeine was found in the mother’s bathroom, which was part of the master bedroom.
Numerous video games were located in the basement computer/gaming area. The list of video games includes, but is not limited to:
-“Left for Dead”
-“Metal Gear Solid”
-“Call of Duty”
-“Grand Theft Auto”
-“Shin Megami Tensei”
Physical and digital items found during searches
- A Christmas check from the mother to the shooter to purchase a CZ 83 firearm;39
- A New York Times article from February 18, 2008, regarding the school shooting at Northern Illinois University;
- Three photographs of what appear to be a dead human, covered in blood and wrapped in
- The book Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, Jossey-Bass, 2007, by
Donald B. Kraybill, Steven Nolt and David Weaver-Zercher;
- -Photocopied newspaper articles from 1891 pertaining to the shooting of school children
The following selected topics or items were found within the digital evidence seized:
- Bookmarks pertaining to firearms, military, politics, mass murder, video games, music,
books, Army Ranger, computers and programs, ammunition, candy, economic books
- Two videos showing suicide by gunshot
- Commercial movies depicting mass shootings
- The computer game titled “School Shooting” where the player controls a character who
enters a school and shoots at students
- Screen shots (172) of the online game “Combat Arms”
- “Dance Dance Revolution” (DDR) game screen shots
- Videos of shooter playing DDR
- Images of the shooter holding a handgun to his head
- Images of the shooter holding a rifle to his head
- Five-second video (dramatization) depicting children being shot
- Images of shooter with a rifle, shotgun and numerous magazines in his pockets
-A document written showing the prerequisites for a mass murder spreadsheet
- A spreadsheet listing mass murders by name and information about the incident
- Materials regarding the topic of pedophilia and advocating for rights for pedophiles (not child pornography)42
- Large amount of materials relating to Columbine shootings and documents on mass murders
- Large amount of materials on firearms
- Comedy videos
- Images of hamsters
-Images of Lego creations
Relationship with father
The shooter’s father saw him regularly until he turned 18. They would go hiking, play video games and other activities. They went shooting twice. The shooter had a cell phone but never used it. Calls all went to voice mail. His father would just e-mail him when he wanted to reach him.
The shooter’s relationship with his father deteriorated in the last quarter of 2010 and the father last saw the shooter in that year. After that the father would reach out to the shooter by mail or through e-mails regularly, asking him to join him at various places for different activities. The shooter stopped responding at some point prior to December 2012.
Relationship with mother
A person who knew the shooter in 2011 and 2012 said the shooter described his relationship with his mother as strained because the shooter said her behavior was not rational.
The shooter was particular about the food that he ate and its arrangement on a plate in relation to other foods on the plate. Certain types of dishware could not be used for particular foods. The mother would shop for him and cook to the shooter’s specifications, though sometimes he would cook for himself. Reportedly the shooter did not drink alcohol, take drugs, prescription or otherwise, and hated the thought of doing any of those things.
The mother did the shooter’s laundry on a daily basis as the shooter often changed clothing during the day. She was not allowed in the shooter’s room, however, even to clean. No one was allowed in his room.
The shooter disliked birthdays, Christmas and holidays. He would not allow his mother to put up a Christmas tree. The mother explained it by saying that shooter had no emotions or feelings. The mother also got rid of a cat because the shooter did not want it in the house.
When the shooter had his hair cut, he did not like to be touched and did not like the sound of clippers, so they were not used much. He would sit with his hands in his lap and always look down, giving one word answers if the cutter tried to engage him in conversation.
Those who worked on the property at 36 Yogananda Street never entered the home. They spoke with the mother outside in the yard or at the bottom of driveway. They were instructed never to ring the doorbell and to make prior arrangements before using power equipment as her son had issues with loud noises.
Watch as the library marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination.
Senate Democrats eased the way for swift approval of President Obama’s current and future nominees on Thursday, voting unilaterally to overturn decades of Senate precedent and undermine Republicans’ ability to block final votes. (Associated Press)
A man, a woman, and two infants were found dead in an Arlington home this afternoon by a police officer who had been asked to check on their well-being.
The home is on Newland Road, off of Summer Street, near the Peirce Elementary School. The map below gives a precise location.
Fans of "Breaking Bad" will get a kick out of this video in which the show's star, actor Bryan Cranston, awakens as a character he brought to life years earlier -- Hal from "Malcom in the Middle."
In the clip, Hal wakes up and tells his wife, Lois (actress Jane Kaczmarek) about the dream he's just had... which is the entire plot of "Breaking Bad." Here's the clip:
If this seems familiar, it should. Bob Newhart did the same thing in the 1990 series finale of "Newhart," awaking as the character from his 1970s "The Bob Newhart Show" to explain his dream to '70s TV wife, actress Suzanne Pleshette.
In one of the most heart-warming stories of the year, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is transforming a city into a dream-come-true for a 5-year-old boy with Leukemia.
The boy's name is Miles and today is his big day. He told Make-A-Wish that he wanted to be Batkid and the foundation responded with a superhero effort.
Today, they've enlisted the help of public officials and hundreds of volunteers to turn downtown San Francisco into Gotham City, all for Miles' wish.
Commuting through the city in a Batmobile, Miles will be given several missions by San Francisco's Police Chief, including saving a damsel in distress from cable car tracks and stopping a bank heist.
The hungry hero will get to stop for lunch before being summoned by a large group of volunteers, asking him to help rescue the city's kidnapped mascot, Lou Seal.
After saving Lou Seal, Miles will meet the Mayor of San Francisco at City Hall to be given a key to the city.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation has said this is not their typical wish, but that interest in Miles has been so high, that they had to go above and beyond for his day as Batkid.
Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.
Boston.com political editor Jim O'Sullivan will take readers' questions at noon on Friday, Nov. 15, on local and national politics, including mayor-elect Marty Walsh's transition plan, Revere casino plans, William Lantigua's request for a recount in Lawrence, and more.
Federal judge Denise Casper sentenced notorious Boston gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger today to two life sentences plus five years, bringing to a close the saga of the FBI's 16-year manhunt, his capture, and his racketeering trial. Bulger, 84, was convicted in August of participating in 11 murders, drug trafficking, racketeering, money laundering, extortion, and other crimes.
Bulger was also ordered to pay $19.5 million in restitution to his victims’ families and to forfeit $25.2 million to the government.
Live at 11:35 p.m: President Obama is expected to announce a fix Thursday for people losing their health insurance under his signature law.
Read the full story here.
Boston has a new mayor for the first time in 20 years. Get to know the new face of City Hall with these 10 things about mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh.
1. He's lived in Dorchester for 46 years.
2. He is a New England Patriots season ticket holder.
3. Walsh has been with his longtime partner, Lorrie Higgins, for eight years.
4. McKenna's Cafe in Savin Hill is essentially his kitchen.
5. He is Boston's first mayor from Dorchester since John B. Hynes, who left office in 1959.
6. Walsh's mother Mary still lives in the apartment on Taft Street where he grew up.
7. Walsh's parents came to Boston from Ireland in the 1950s, and his office and home are filled with many mementos and souvenirs from his family in Ireland.
8. In 1974, he was afflicted with a type of cancer called Burkitt's lymphoma, which he overcame after years of treatment.
9. Walsh struggled with alcoholism, but says he has been sober since April 23, 1995.
10. He credits his high school job in an office-supply store with his love of stationery stores.