TIME chicago

Chicago Mayor to Face Runoff Against County Commissioner

US-POLITICS-OBAMA-PULLMAN
Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduces President Obama to deliver remarks and announce the Pullman National Monument at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago on Feb. 19, 2015

Emanuel pledged to rev up campaigning immediately

(CHICAGO) — After failing to persuade a majority of Chicago voters to back his re-election bid, Mayor Rahm Emanuel could face an even stiffer challenge in April against a runoff opponent aiming to consolidate the support of residents unhappy with how the former White House chief of staff has managed the nation’s third-largest city.

In a race Tuesday against four challengers, Emanuel discovered it wasn’t enough to spend millions of dollars on TV ads, earn the backing of the city’s business leaders, and secure the hometown endorsement of President Barack Obama. In order to keep the job, he’ll need to win another race in six weeks against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County commissioner who claims the backing of teachers, unions and neighborhood residents disillusioned with Emanuel.

Emanuel pledged to rev up campaigning immediately, starting Wednesday morning by shaking hands with residents at Chicago Transit Authority stops.

“We will get back out there, talking to our friends and families and neighbors as they make a critical choice about who has the strength, who has the leadership, who has the ideas to move this great city forward,” Emanuel told supporters Tuesday evening.

But Garcia and his supporters said they’d be ready for another contest, with national groups poised to weigh in on the mayor’s race.

“This city deserves a mayor who will put people first, not big money, special interests,” Garcia said. “I will be that mayor.”

Garcia, born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, billed himself as the “neighborhood guy.” He drew on his contacts with community organizers and support from the Chicago Teachers Unions, whose leader, Karen Lewis, considered a mayoral bid before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

With nearly all the votes counted, Emanuel had 45 percent, Garcia 34 percent, and the three other candidates divided the rest.

During the campaign, Garcia and the three other challengers played on discontentment in Chicago’s neighborhoods, where frustrations linger over Emanuel’s push to close dozens of schools. They also criticized Emanuel’s roughly $16 million fundraising operation — more than four times his challengers combined — and attention to downtown improvements.

The American Federation of Teachers said the election showed “a real yearning” for a mayor who listens to working families. Also, at least one of Emanuel’s other challengers — businessman Willie Wilson who captured more than 10 percent of the vote — said he wanted to meet with Garcia.

Garcia, Wilson and the other challengers — Alderman Bob Fioretti and activist William Walls — also critiqued the mayor on his handling of violence.

Voters noted both issues at the polls, with estimates signaling lower turnout than 2011 after former Mayor Richard Daley retired, leaving the mayor’s race wide open. About 42 percent of eligible voters came to the polls then, compared with roughly 34 percent Tuesday.

Emanuel won his first mayoral race in 2011 without a runoff.

Joyce Rodgers, who is retired, said she believed the school closings cost Emanuel the trust of the African-American community — and possibly the president’s. Most Chicago Public Schools students are minorities.

“There is total disappointment (in Emanuel),” she said. “I believe that Obama’s been let down, too, he’s just not going to say it.”

Still others said they were supporting Emanuel because of his work on job creation, education and safer neighborhoods.

“Rahm has all (those) contacts and he is getting those corporations here, so he is giving people hope they can get a good job,” said Willie King, a 56-year-old retired janitor.

On the campaign trail, Emanuel said his first term saw some tough decisions and payoffs, including budgets that didn’t rely on property tax increases, drawing business to the city, getting a longer school day and raising the minimum wage.

“We have come a long way, and we have a little bit further to go,” Emanuel told supporters.

TIME Soccer

Barcelona, Juventus Win in Champions League

Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates during the Champions League round 16 match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium, in Manchester, England, Feb. 24, 2015
Rui Vieira—AP Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates during the Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, on Feb. 24, 2015

The Spanish club is in command to reach the quarterfinals for the eighth straight year

(MANCHESTER, England) — Luis Suarez marked his return to England by scoring both Barcelona’s goals in a 2-1 win over Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday night, putting the Spanish club in command to reach the quarterfinals for the eighth straight year.

Suarez, who transferred from Liverpool last summer, scored close-range goals in the 16th and 30th minutes.

Sergio Aguero got City’s goal in the 69th, and the hosts played a man short after defender Gael Clichy was given his second yellow card in the 73rd by German referee Felix Brych.

Lionel Messi could have boosted Barcelona’s lead, but City goalkeeper Joe Hart saved his penalty kick in the final seconds of stoppage time after a foul by Pablo Zabaleta. Messi sent a header wide off the rebound.

The second leg of the total-goals series is March 18 in Spain. Man City was knocked out by Barcelona on 4-aggregate at the same stage last season and had a player ejected in both legs.

In the night’s other first-leg, second-round match, Juventus beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in Turin.

Carlos Tevez put the hosts ahead in the 13th minute, but Marco Reus tied the score five minutes later when he came in alone on goal after defender Giorgio Chiellini slipped.

Alvaro Morata created the opener with a cross/shot that goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller parried into Tevez’s path and scored the tiebreaking goal in the 43rd.

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo got hurt and left in the 37th,

The Bianconeri have lost one of 15 European games since moving into Juventus Stadium in 2011, a defeat to Bayern Munich two years ago.

TIME Illinois

Lawmaker Facing Expenses Questions Hires Lawyers, PR Experts

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 in Peoria, Ill.
Seth Perlman—AP U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 in Peoria, Ill.

Schock is facing an ethics inquiry for his travel and entertainment expenses

(WASHINGTON) — Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock has hired top lawyers and public relations experts in the wake of recent questions surrounding his travel and entertainment expenses.

Schock, a rising Republican star already facing an ethics inquiry, had spent taxpayer and campaign funds on flights aboard private planes owned by some of his key donors, an Associated Press review found. There have also been other expensive charges, including for a massage company and music concerts.

By Tuesday, Schock brought on board Washington attorneys William McGinley and Donald McGahn, a former Federal Election Commission member. Schock also retained GOP communications experts Ron Bonjean and Brian Walsh, according to a person familiar with the changes who was not authorized to speak publicly. Politico first reported the hires Tuesday.

Schock’s expenses, detailed by the AP and other news organizations in recent weeks, highlight the relationships that lawmakers can have with donors who fund their political ambitions. It’s an unwelcome message for Schock, a congressman billed as a fresh face of the Republican party.

The AP’s review identified at least one dozen flights worth more than $40,000 on donors’ planes since mid-2011, tracking Schock’s reliance on the aircraft partly through the congressman’s penchant for uploading pictures and videos of himself to his Instagram account. The AP extracted location data associated with each image then correlated it with flight records showing airport stopovers and expenses later billed for air travel against Schock’s office and campaign records.

Asked to comment Monday, Schock said he travels frequently throughout his Peoria-area district “to stay connected with my constituents” and also travels to raise money for his campaign committee and congressional colleagues. Schock was in Washington Tuesday evening to cast votes on the House floor.

Schock said he takes compliance with congressional funding rules seriously and has begun a review of his office’s procedures “concerning this issue and others to determine whether they can be improved.”

The AP had been seeking comment from Schock’s office since mid-February to explain some of his expenses, but his office would not provide any details about them. The new hires may signal a shift that Schock could begin to respond to those questions publicly.

Schock’s high-flying lifestyle, combined with questions about expenses decorating his office in the style of the TV show “Downton Abbey,” add to awkward perceptions on top of allegations he illegally solicited donations in 2012. The Office of Congressional Ethics said in a 2013 report that there was reason to believe Schock violated House rules by soliciting campaign contributions during a 2012 primary.

Lawmakers can use office funds for private flights as long as payments cover their share of the costs. But most of the flights Schock covered with office funds occurred before the House changed its rules in January 2013. The earlier rules prohibited lawmakers from using those accounts to pay for flights on private aircraft, allowing payments only for federally licensed charter and commercial flights.

Schock also spent thousands more on tickets for concerts and car mileage reimbursements, and took his interns to a sold-out Katy Perry concert in Washington last June.

The AP’s review covered Schock’s travel and entertainment expenses in his taxpayer-funded House account, in his campaign committee and the “GOP Generation Y Fund,” a political action committee. Records show more than $1.5 million in contributions to the fund since he took office in 2009.

Schock’s reliance on donor-owned planes is the most recent example of lawmaker use of donors’ planes for transportation. After Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., took two 2010 flights on a private jet owned by a wealthy eye doctor and major donor, a 2013 ethics investigation prompted his $58,500 personal reimbursement to the donor for the flights. His office noted that Menendez did not use taxpayer funds to pay for the flights.

Records show Schock also requested more than $18,000 in mileage reimbursements since 2013, among the highest in Congress. His office has previously said it was reviewing those expenses.

TIME Arizona

Agency Issues Recommendations After Girl Kills Man With Uzi

Girl with Uzi
John Locher—AP An employee smokes outside an office for the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Ariz., on Aug. 27, 2014

New recommendations issued to prevent accidental shootings

(FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) — The state’s workplace safety agency has issued several recommendations that it says could help prevent accidental shootings like the one at a northwestern Arizona shooting range last year involving a 9-year-old girl using an Uzi.

Charles Joseph Vacca died in August of a gunshot wound to the head after he stepped back to let the New Jersey girl hold the fully automatic machine gun by herself. The gun’s recoil wrenched its barrel upward, and a bullet hit him in the head, killing him.

An investigation by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the outdoor shooting range in White Hills found no serious violations. But the agency recommended having a range-safety officer on site, limiting weapons selections for certain shooters and ensuring shooters are comfortable with weapons before they are placed on automatic.

A safety officer isn’t required, but the agency said that person could have pointed out that Vacca was out of position when instructing the girl and called to cease fire at the range. The state agency said Vacca should have been standing completely behind the girl, rather than to her side, and should not have had his hand below the magazine so that he could prevent the gun from rising when she fired.

Some of the recommendations already are in place at the private shooting range, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas. Children now must be at least 12 years old or five feet tall to handle a variety of semi-automatic rifles and machines guns, but the range coaches have discretion based on the shooter’s experience, the state agency’s report noted.

Sam Scarmardo, who operates the outdoor range in the desert, declined to comment Tuesday. He previously has said the girl’s parents had signed waivers saying they understood the rules and were standing nearby, video-recording their daughter, when the accident happened.

Prosecutors declined to file charges, saying Vacca was the most culpable.

Regulations at shooting ranges around Arizona vary. Some do not rent automatic weapons and have no age limits, while others leave it up to range instructors.

Rep. Sonny Borrelli, a retired Marine who represents Lake Havasu City, said he doesn’t believe state regulations are needed.

“That person that was there that was accidentally killed was a qualified individual,” Borrelli said. “I’d like to see the industry come together and come up with their set of standards because they actually know the industry better than a lot of these legislators around here.”

In a meeting of the Industrial Commission earlier this month where the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health presented its findings, commission member Michael Sanders said the focus at the gun range appeared to be on recreation instead of safety.

The stop at the shooting range was set up by a Las Vegas tour company. Another range coach who was working that day, Ross Miller, told the state agency that he voiced his concerns to the tour driver that the mini Uzi was not appropriate for the 9-year-old girl but was told it was not his call.

The girl fired five shots from a 9 mm pistol before firing a single shot with the Uzi on the semi-automatic setting, although the policy at the range was to allow at least two shots, the state agency’s report said. Vacca then switched the Uzi to automatic and said “all right, full auto,” without gauging whether she was comfortable, the state agency said.

“Allowing a shooter to fire two rounds on semi-automatic does not prepare an inexperienced shooter for firing the weapon on automatic,” the report said.

Range coaches now have the final say on what weapons are appropriate for customers, Scarmardo told the state agency.

TIME Somalia

Obama Nominates First U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Since 1991

New diplomat will fill a post that has been vacant since the country collapsed into chaos more than two decades ago

(WASHINGTON) — President Barack Obama has nominated a career diplomat to be the first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in nearly 25 years, filling a post that has been vacant since the Horn of Africa country collapsed into chaos in 1991, forcing the closure of the American embassy.

Obama on Tuesday tapped Foreign Service veteran Katherine Simonds Dhanani for the job, which will be based in neighboring Kenya until security conditions permit the embassy in the Somali capital of Mogadishu to reopen, the State Department said. Dhanani, currently director of regional and security affairs in the department’s Africa bureau, has previously served in India, Mexico, and Guyana and has significant African experience, having been posted in Zimbabwe, Gabon, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo.

The State Department said the nomination is a sign of the U.S. commitment to Somalia.

“This historic nomination signals the deepening relationship between the United States and Somalia,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. “It also allows us to mark the progress of the Somali people toward emerging from decades of conflict. Somalia has considerable work ahead to complete its transition to a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous nation.”

Somalia has been ravaged by conflict and instability since the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre 24 years ago, despite the formation of successive governments that have been plagued by civil strife, piracy and political uncertainty and continues to battle the al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabab militant group, which has staged attacks around east Africa and earlier this week threatened shopping malls in the United States and other Western nations.

Al-Shabab controlled much of Mogadishu during the years 2007 to 2011, but was pushed out of Somalia’s capital and other major cities by African Union forces.

Despite major setbacks in 2014, al-Shabab continues to wage a deadly insurgency against Somalia’s government and remains a threat in Somalia and the East African region. The group has carried out many attacks in Somalia and in neighboring countries, including Kenya, whose armies are part of the African Union troops bolstering Somalia’s weak U.N.- backed government.

The U.S. Embassy closed in 1991 when Somalia’s government collapsed in civil war. The situation quickly deteriorated, prompting the deployment of a U.S.-led U.N. peacekeeping mission. American troops withdrew from Somalia in 1994, months after the humiliating “Black Hawk Down” debacle when Somali militiamen shot down two U.S. helicopters. Eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed in the battle, which marked the beginning of the end of that U.S. military mission to bring stability.

TIME cities

NYC, Orthodox Jews Reach Deal on Circumcision Suction Ritual

Health officials have linked 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000 to the ancient ritual

(NEW YORK) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision.

Health officials have linked 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000 to the ancient ritual of sucking blood from the wounds on the infants’ penises.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration said mohels, as the circumcisers are called in Yiddish, should no longer be required to obtain signed consent forms before the rites.

Administration officials said they will ask the Board of Health to vote to rescind the requirement while working with a coalition of rabbinical leaders and medical experts to educate members of the ultra-Orthodox community about the possible dangers of the practice, known as metzitzah b’peh in Hebrew. A vote is expected in June.

If an infant is found to have herpes after a circumcision, officials will ask a rabbinical coalition to identify the mohel who performed it so his DNA can be tested. If he is found to have infected the infant, he’ll be banned from performing the ritual.

Oral suction circumcisions first came under scrutiny in 2012 during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, which asked parents or guardians to sign consent forms indicating they understood the medical risks.

But the city’s mohels, believed to perform more than 3,000 rites each year, say they apply strict medical procedures, including testing for herpes, sterilizing their hands and rinsing with mouthwash before the ceremony.

Rabbi A. Romi Cohn, who has performed 35,000 circumcisions, said he believes babies could have contracted the herpes virus from sources other than mohels.

Officials said Tuesday that DNA testing by health officials would likely prove or disprove whether there’s a match between an infected infant and a mohel. If not and a baby still tests positive, health officials will try to seek the source of the herpes, which often results in blisters on the skin.

Officials said the new agreement fulfills the mayor’s commitment to find a more effective policy that protects children and religious rights.

“Increasing trust and communication between the city and this community is critical to achieve the administration’s ultimate goal of ensuring the health and safety of every child, and this new policy seeks to establish a relationship based on engagement and mutual respect,” the administration said in a statement.

Details of the agreement haven’t been finalized, but officials concede it’s impossible to enforce the proposed measures in a community that practices its religious freedom in private.

Mohels have produced only one signed consent form in recent years, and rabbis have urged their faithful not to comply.

Of the 17 cases cited since 2000, two were reported in 2013 and four were reported last year. Families refused to name four of the six mohels, and the other two declined to be tested, the city’s Department of Health said.

De Blasio’s administration will ask hospitals, obstetricians and pediatricians who serve the community to distribute information about infants’ health risks associated with herpes, which they say can lead to brain damage or death.

The rabbinical coalition has pledged to cooperate with city health officials in identifying any mohel in question and asking him to undergo testing, administration officials said.

The new protocol roughly mirrors that of Rockland, a county north of New York City that’s home to thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews.

TIME

Justice Dept.: No Federal Charges in Trayvon Martin Death

George Zimmerman
Joe Burbank—AP George Zimmerman leaves the courtroom for a lunch break during his trial in Seminole Circuit Court, in Sanford, Fla. on July 9, 2013.

(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department says George Zimmerman will not face federal civil rights charges in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

The department announced its decision Tuesday, saying that there was not enough evidence to bring federal civil rights charges, which would have required proof that the killing was motivated by racial animosity.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, was acquitted of second-degree murder in July 2013. He has said he shot Martin in self-defense during a confrontation inside a gated community in Sanford, Florida.

The case created a national conversation about race and self-defense gun laws. Martin, who was unarmed when he was killed, was black. The teen’s relatives have accused Zimmerman of starting the fight and racially profiling Martin.

TIME

Toddler Dies of Measles in Berlin, 1st Death in Outbreak

(BERLIN) — An 18-month-old boy has died of measles amid an outbreak in Berlin, a hospital in the German capital said Tuesday.

An autopsy on the child, who wasn’t inoculated against measles, showed that he had an unspecified other disease as well but that wouldn’t have led to his death without the measles infection, the Charite hospital said.

It is the first known death in an outbreak in which Berlin has recorded more than 570 cases since October.

Officials believe the outbreak began with a child asylum-seeker from Bosnia. They said it spread to the wider population partly because immunization rates among over-45s are low, and younger adults also are at risk because many only received one shot instead of two, as is now recommended.

Although it’s rare for measles to be fatal in developed countries, the measles virus kills up to 10 percent of children infected in developing countries that have high levels of malnutrition and poor health care. Most measles deaths are caused by complications associated with the disease and are most common in children under five.

Measles is highly contagious and health officials say more than 90 percent of a population needs to be vaccinated to prevent outbreaks. Vaccination rates across Europe fell after a now-discredited study that suggested a link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.

Health Minister Hermann Groehe called Monday for increased efforts to ensure that children are vaccinated and even suggested if that doesn’t succeed, authorities might consider making it mandatory, though he said that isn’t currently on the agenda.

A Berlin secondary school was closed as a precaution Monday because a student had measles, but reopened Tuesday. Officials checked students’ and teachers’ vaccination records and local health official Sibyll Klotz said five students who couldn’t show that they were properly vaccinated were sent home, news agency dpa reported.

The German measles outbreak coincides with smaller ones in the United States tied to Disneyland in California and an Illinois day care center, which in total make up less than 150 cases. Officials say at least two of the measles cases in Berlin have been linked to the U.S. — one person who developed symptoms there before traveling to Germany, and another who developed the infection after returning from the U.S.

TIME Transportation

California Commuter Train Crash Injures Dozens

A firefighter climbs into the wreck of a Metrolink passenger train that derailed on Feb. 24, 2015, in Oxnard, Calif.
Mark J. Terrill—AP A firefighter climbs into the wreck of a Metrolink passenger train that derailed on Feb. 24, 2015, in Oxnard, Calif.

At least 30 injured, with fatalities feared

(OXNARD, Calif.) — A commuter train bound for Los Angeles derailed before dawn Tuesday in a fiery collision with an abandoned commercial pickup after the truck’s driver took a wrong turn and got stuck on the tracks.

There was a loud boom and the screech of brakes before three of the train’s five cars toppled over, sending 30 people to hospitals. Four were in critical condition, including the engineer.

“It seemed like an eternity while we were flying around the train. Everything was flying,” said passenger Joel Bingham. “A brush of death definitely came over me.”

Lives were likely saved by passenger cars designed to absorb a crash. They were purchased after a deadly collision a decade ago, Metrolink officials said. The four passenger cars remained largely intact, as did the locomotive.

Police found the disoriented driver of the demolished Ford F-450 pickup 1.6 miles from the crossing 45 minutes after the crash, said Jason Benites, an assistant chief of the Oxnard Police Department.

That driver, Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, 54, of Yuma, Arizona, was briefly hospitalized then arrested Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, Benites said.

Sanchez-Ramirez, who delivers produce, was driving a pickup with an empty bed pulling a trailer with some welding equipment in it. He told police he tried to turn right at an intersection but turned prematurely and his truck got stuck straddling the rails.

Police said they tested Sanchez-Ramirez for drugs and alcohol but they would not discuss the results.

The crossing where the crash happened has been the scene of many collisions over the years.

The train, the first of the morning on the Ventura route, had just left its second stop of Oxnard on its way to downtown Los Angeles, about 65 miles away, when it struck the truck around 5:45 a.m. There were 48 passengers aboard and three crew members who were all injured.

The engineer saw the abandoned vehicle and hit the brakes but there wasn’t enough time to stop, Oxnard Fire Battalion Chief Sergio Martinez said.

Bingham said the lights went out when the train fell over. He was banged up from head to toe but managed to find an escape for himself and others, many of whom had been asleep when the crash happened.

“I was just shaking,” he said. “I opened the window and told everybody, ‘Come to my voice.'”

Firefighters set up red, yellow and green tarps to categorize people according to their injuries, taking 28 to hospitals by ambulance. Two of the 22 people treated at the scene later showed up at hospitals, but only eight people had been admitted by the end of the day.

“Patients have complained of dizziness, of headaches, of lower back pain, of pains related to being bumped, thrown, hit and so forth,” said Dr. Bryan Wong, chief medical officer at Ventura County Medical Center.

One patient described how he had been working on his laptop and a moment later there was a sudden jerking motion that happened so quickly he wasn’t able to grab hold of anything, Wong said. He was violently tossed against a wall of the train.

The train typically would be accelerating out of the Oxnard station past verdant farm fields at about 55 mph, Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson said. With braking, he estimated it would have hit the truck at between 40 mph and 55 mph.

The train was pushed by a locomotive in the rear, allowing trains to change direction after their run without having to turn around or swap engines. It’s a configuration that has been criticized for putting passengers in a vulnerable position in a crash.

After such a crash killed 11 people and injured 180 others in Glendale in 2005, Metrolink invested heavily to buy passenger cars with collapsible bumpers and other features to absorb impact.

Metrolink spokesman Jeff Lustgarten said the Oxnard crash showed the technology worked.

“Safe to say it would have been much worse without it,” he said.

The city of Oxnard has wanted to build a $30 million bridge over the crossing for 10 years, but is only at the environmental review stage, said Darren Kettle, executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission.

There have been six accidents at the crossing in the past seven years, including one in which a driver accidently turned onto the tracks in 2010 and was struck by a Metrolink train and injured, according to federal railroad accident reports. Two people were killed at the crossing last year when a car struck an Amtrak train.

Sanchez-Ramirez, the driver in Tuesday’s crash, told police he turned onto the tracks before the crossing arm came down, which occurs 29 seconds before a train arrives. It wasn’t clear how long his truck was stuck before the train hit it.

His wife, Lucila Sanchez, said he jumped out when he saw the train coming and couldn’t restart his engine.

“It’s not his fault,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

The accident happened on the same line as Metrolink’s worst disaster when 25 people were killed Sept. 12, 2008. A commuter train engineer was texting and ran a red light, striking a Union Pacific freight train head-on in the San Fernando Valley community of Chatsworth. More than 100 people were hurt in what was one of the worst railroad accidents in U.S. history.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration were sending investigators to the Tuesday crash in Oxnard.

Cranes moved the trains at the end of the day, but the tracks, which are also used by Amtrak and freight trains, remained shut down.

TIME czech republic

8 Dead in Czech Restaurant Shooting

Czech Republic Shooting
Dalibor Gluck / AP A police officer patrols near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire injuring at least one person in Uhersky Brod, in the east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015

The shooter, a man about 60, was among the dead

(PRAGUE) — A mayor in the Czech Republic says a local man has opened fire in a restaurant in a clash that has left at least eight people dead.

Patrik Kuncar, mayor of the southeastern town of Uherske Brod, also said the shooter, a man around 60, was among the dead.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec was also quoted by two Czech media outlets as saying that eight people had been killed. He was heading for the town, located 300 kilometers (185 miles) southeast of Prague.

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