TIME Crime

Police: Man Stabbing People on Bus Fatally Shot

(NORWALK, Conn.) — A man who stabbed passengers on a casino-bound tour bus on Interstate 95 in Connecticut was fatally shot by state police, officials said Wednesday.

The unidentified man began attacking passengers around 10 p.m., state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said. The bus driver flagged down a trooper at a construction site.

As the trooper approached the bus, the suspect and a passenger “were engaged in physical combat, rolled off the bus and onto the pavement of the highway,” Vance said.

The suspect acted aggressively toward the trooper and was shot when he refused to drop his weapon, described as a “cutting instrument,” Vance said.

The man died at a hospital. Two people were stabbed and another person suffered non-life threatening injuries when a bullet from the officer’s gun ricocheted off the pavement.

The trooper wasn’t injured.

The bus, carrying about 24 passengers, was headed from Chinatown in New York City to a Connecticut casino.

Police will “get all the facts and circumstances” from the passengers as part of the investigation, Vance said.

The northbound lanes of the interstate were closed more than seven hours from late Tuesday night until early Wednesday morning.

TIME justice

Supreme Court Halts Some Texas Abortion Restrictions

A group from Texas display their flags during a rally on the Mall for the March for Life anti-abortion demonstration on Jan. 22, 2014.
A group from Texas display their flags during a rally on the Mall for the March for Life anti-abortion demonstration on Jan. 22, 2014. Tom Williams—Roll Call/Getty Images

Justices suspended key parts of a law that has closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in the Lone Star state

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in America’s second most-populous state.

In an unsigned order, the justices sided with abortion rights advocates and health care providers in suspending an Oct. 2 ruling by a panel of the New Orleans-based U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that Texas could immediately apply a rule making abortion clinics statewide spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.

The court also put on hold a separate provision of the law only as it applies to clinics in McAllen and El Paso that requires doctors at the facilities to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The admitting privileges remains in effect elsewhere in Texas.

Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have ruled against the clinics in all respects.

The 5th Circuit is still considering the overall constitutionality of the sweeping measure overwhelmingly passed by the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry last year.

But even as it weighs the merits of the law, the appeals court said that it can be enforced in the meantime — opening the door for the emergency appeal to the Supreme Court.

The 5th Circuit decision had blocked an August ruling by Austin-based U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who had found that requiring hospital-style upgrades was less about safety than making access to abortion difficult. Yeakel’s ruling temporarily suspended the upgrade rules before they could go into effect Sept. 1 — and the order from the Supreme Court means they are on hold again.

Allowing the rules on hospital-level upgrades to be enforced — including mandatory operating rooms and air filtration systems — shuttered more than a dozen clinics across Texas.

Until the nation’s highest court intervened, only abortion facilities in the Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth areas remained open. And none was left along the Texas-Mexico border or outside any of the state’s largest urban areas.

Some other clinics, meanwhile, had closed even earlier amid enforcement of the rule on admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. That portion has already been upheld twice by the appeals court.

The fight over the Texas law is the latest over tough new abortion restrictions that have been enacted across the country. The office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican who is the favorite in next month’s governor’s race, is leading the defense of the law.

Critics call the measure a backdoor effort to outlaw abortions.

Attorneys for the state have denied that Texas women would be burdened by fewer abortion facilities, saying nearly 9 in 10 would still live within 150 miles of a provider. The law’s opponents, however, note that still leaves nearly a million Texas women embarking on drives longer than three hours to get an abortion.

Democrat Wendy Davis launched her campaign for governor behind the celebrity she achieved through a nearly 13-hour filibuster last summer that temporarily blocked the law in the state Senate.Justices stop parts of Texas abortion law

TIME Hong Kong

Hong Kong Police Clear Protesters Out of Tunnel

Police forces arrest a pro-democracy protester outside the central government offices in Hong Kong on Oct. 14, 2014.
Police forces arrest a pro-democracy protester outside the central government offices in Hong Kong on Oct. 14, 2014. Philippe Lopez—AFP/Getty Images

Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs

Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers moved in early Wednesday to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city government headquarters in the latest escalation of tensions in a weekslong political crisis.

Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades and concrete slabs around the underpass.

The operation came hours after a large group of protesters blockaded the tunnel, expanding their protest zone after being cleared out of some other streets.

They outnumbered the police officers, who later returned with reinforcements to clear the area.

Local television broadcast live footage of the operation and its aftermath, with officers taking away many protesters, their hands tied with plastic cuffs, and pushing others out to a nearby park.

The student-led protesters are now into their third week of occupying key parts of the city to pressure the Asian financial hub’s government over curbs recommended by Beijing on democratic reforms.

Positions on both sides have been hardening since the government called off negotiations last week, citing the unlikelihood of a constructive outcome given their sharp differences.

The protesters want Hong Kong’s deeply unpopular Beijing-backed leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, to resign. They also want the Hong Kong government to drop plans for a pro-Beijing committee to screen candidates for the inaugural election to choose his replacement.

Leung has said there is “almost zero chance” that China’s government will change its rules for the election, promised for 2017.

The demonstrations have posed an unprecedented challenge to the government. Organizers say as many as 200,000 people thronged the streets for peaceful sit-ins after police used tear gas on Sept. 28 to disperse the unarmed protesters. The numbers have seen dwindled.

Police have chipped away at the protest zones in three areas across the city by removing barricades from the edges of the protest zones, signaling growing impatience with activists’ occupation of busy streets.

The clearance operation was the latest in a day of tit-for-tat actions between authorities and demonstrators that began Tuesday morning when police used chainsaws and sledgehammers to tear down barricades on a road on the edge of the protest zone.

Activists responded Tuesday evening by barricading the tunnel with tires, metal barricades, water-filled plastic safety barriers and concrete slabs taken from drainage ditches.

They used the slabs to form the shape of an umbrella on the road.

Umbrellas have become a symbol of the protests after demonstrators used them to protect themselves against pepper spray and tear gas used by police in an attempt to disperse them two weeks ago.

TIME ebola

Nurse Infected With Ebola Says She’s ‘Doing Well’

(DALLAS) — The Texas nurse infected with Ebola says in a statement that she’s “doing well,” and her hospital remains optimistic about her recovery.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas released a statement on Nina Pham’s behalf Tuesday as she is treated for Ebola that she contracted while caring for a Liberian man who died from the disease.

In the statement, Pham says she wants “to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers.”

Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay Berdan says the doctors and nurses involved with Pham’s treatment “remain hopeful” about her recovery.

TIME Saudi Arabia

U.S. Citizen Killed by Gunman in Saudi Arabia

(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) — The official Saudi Press Agency says a gunman has killed an American citizen and wounded another at a gas station in Saudi Arabia’s capital.

A Riyadh police spokesman was quoted by SPA as saying Saudi security forces tracked down the gunman and exchanged fire with him, before wounding and arresting him. The gunman was not identified.

It was not immediately clear if the attack was related to terrorism.

The agency reported that the police spokesman, who was not identified, said the mid-afternoon attack occurred while the Americans were inside a vehicle at a gas station in the eastern part of the capital.

Saudi Arabia was hit by a wave of al-Qaida attacks around a decade ago that targeted security forces and foreigners.

TIME isis

Report: Turkish Jets Hit Kurdish Rebel Targets

TURKEY-SYRIA-CONFLICT-KURDS
Kurdish people wave Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) flags while attending a funeral ceremony for YPG (People's Protection Units) fighters in the town of Suruc, Turkey on Oct. 14, 2014. Turkish jets bombed targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in southeast Turkey, officials said on Oct. 14, 2014. Aris Messinis—AFP/Getty Images

(ANKARA, Turkey) — Turkish warplanes have struck suspected Kurdish rebel positions in southeastern Turkey, media reports said Tuesday, the first major airstrikes against the rebel group since peace talks began two years ago to end a 30-year insurgency.

Turkish media had varying accounts, but the private Dogan news agency said Turkish F-16 jets hit Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, targets in Hakkari province, near the border with Iraq on Monday. A military statement said the armed forces had responded “in the strongest way” to shelling of a military outpost by the rebels, without specifying that airstrikes were launched.

Firat news agency, which is close to the PKK, confirmed the airstrikes, saying at least five locations around Hakkari were targeted. The agency had a different version of events, however, saying that the military had attacked rebel fighters in the region with artillery for three days, forcing the PKK to retaliate by firing at a military unit.

The attack comes amid heightened tensions in Turkey over Islamic State militants’ advance on the Syrian town of Kobani. Kurds in Turkey accuse the government of standing idly by while Syrian Kurds are being slaughtered in the besieged town across the border.

The return to violence between Turkey and the PKK illustrates the complicated position Turkey faces as it negotiates its role with the U.S. and NATO allies in the anti-Islamic State coalition. The PKK is an important force on the ground in both Iraq and Syria fighting the Islamic State group. But Turkey still views it as a dangerous terrorist adversary.

Kurdish leaders, including jailed PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan, have warned that the fall of Kobani will end the peace process, while PKK commander Cemal Bayik has been quoted in Turkish media as saying that some fighters who had withdrawn from Turkish territory as part of the peace efforts have now returned to Turkey.

More than 30 people were killed last week as Kurds, angered at what they said was Turkish impediment to efforts to defend Kobani, clashed with police and supporters of an Islamist group in cities across Turkey. At least two police officers were among the dead, according to Turkish authorities.

Turkey has said it won’t join the fight against the Islamic State militants unless the U.S.-led coalition also targets Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The PKK has fought Turkey for autonomy for Kurds in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984.

Kurds, who make up an estimated 20 percent of Turkey’s 75 million people, have faced decades of discrimination, including restrictions on the use of their language.

___

Butler reported from Istanbul

TIME Ukraine

Clashes Erupt Outside Ukraine’s Parliament in Kiev

(KIEV, Ukraine) — Clashes broke out Tuesday between demonstrators and police in front of Ukraine’s parliament in Kiev as deputies inside repeatedly voted down proposals to recognize a contentious World War II-era Ukrainian partisan group as national heroes.

Thousands of Svoboda nationalist party supporters rallied earlier in the capital in celebration of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, whose struggle for independence for Ukraine was tainted by its collaboration with the Nazis.

Later, masked men attacked and threw smoke grenades at lines of police outside parliament as lawmakers met inside. The Interior Ministry said 36 people were detained by police.

Svoboda said its members were not responsible for the unrest, which police said was orchestrated by a small group of people at the rally.

The unrest overshadowed the passage of laws the government hopes will contain the galloping corruption that has long hindered Ukraine’s sclerotic economy. President Petro Poroshenko urged lawmakers to keep up the fight against corruption, a problem that he equated with terrorism.

One law backed by 278 out of the 303 registered deputies creates an anti-corruption bureau to fight graft. Other approved provisions included laws to stem money-laundering and to increase corporate transparency.

Parliament also approved a new defense minister — former National Guard head Stepan Poltorak — a pressing priority as Ukraine still faces daily clashes with pro-Russian separatists in its industrial eastern regions.

A cease-fire has been in place since early September but violations are reported daily. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Tuesday their positions had come under rocket fire more than 30 times in the last 24 hours.

Security spokesman Col. Andrei Lysenko said seven servicemen in the east had been killed over the same time period, six of them by mines.

Much of the fighting in the east has focused on the government-held airport in the main rebel-held city of Donetsk. A rebel commander leading that assault, who identifies himself only by the nom de guerre Givi, said 27 of his fighters have been killed in the last three weeks while fighting for the airport.

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Associated Press writer Mstyslav Chernov in Donetsk, Ukraine, contributed to this report.

TIME Autos

Indiana Police: Tour Bus Crashes, Several Injured

(GREENWOOD, Ind.) — A double-decker tour bus flipped onto its side early Tuesday on a highway near Indianapolis, badly injuring one person and hurting more than a dozen others, officials said.

The bus carrying between 50 and 60 people crashed about 4:30 a.m. on Interstate 65 when its driver apparently swerved to avoid a minor crash that had occurred about 10 minutes earlier, state police Sgt. Shawn O’Keefe said.

“The driver apparently didn’t see it because of the rain or something and swerved to avoid it,” O’Keefe said. “The bus driver swerved and ended up turning the bus over on its side, and it went into the median.”

The roadway was wet from overnight storms and some light rain continued in central Indiana about the time of the crash.

Greenwood Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Harrell told reporters at the scene that one person was taken to a hospital in critical condition, while four people had moderate injuries and 14 had minor injuries.

Indianapolis television stations reported the bus was operated by the Megabus line and was traveling from Atlanta to Chicago. Megabus officials didn’t immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.

Harrell said about 35 uninjured passengers were being taken by a city bus to a nearby hospital as a precaution and to regroup.

The northbound bus became entangled in the median’s cable barrier in the southern Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood. Both northbound and southbound lanes were closed for a time while crews removed the injured people and worked to clear the wreckage.

TIME Spain

Spain’s Catalonia Calls Off Independence Vote

(BARCELONA, Spain) — The leader of Spain’s separatist-minded Catalonia region called off a Nov. 9 independence vote on Tuesday but said an unofficial poll would still be held that day to gauge secessionist sentiment.

Separatists in the wealthy northeastern region of Catalonia, which has 7.5 million people, have been trying for several years to hold a vote to break away from Spain and carve out a new Mediterranean nation.

Catalonia leader Artur Mas insisted his regional government was not backtracking with the decision. He said it still intends to push ahead with an official vote at a later date but added the symbolic vote would serve as a “preliminary” ballot.

“The Catalan government maintains its goal of holding a referendum on Nov. 9, it means there will be polling stations open, with ballot boxes and ballots,” said Mas. “It will depend on the people for a strong enough participation to show that people here want to vote.”

Mas was forced to suspended the referendum after the Spanish government challenged its legality before Spain’s Constitutional Court, which suspended its staging while it deliberates on the issue.

Spain says only the Spanish state can call referendums on sovereignty and that all Spaniards would be entitled to vote.

Mas said with the referendum suspended, the Catalan government would rely on another law that allows a public consultation. He said the decision had caused a fracture among the region’s pro-vote parties.

TIME ebola

German Hospital: U.N. Worker Dies of Ebola

He was the third Ebola patient flown to Germany for treatment

(BERLIN) — A United Nations medical worker who was infected with Ebola in Liberia has died despite “intensive medical procedures,” a German hospital said Tuesday.

The St. Georg hospital in Leipzig said the 56-year-old man, whose name has not been released, died overnight of the infection. It released no further details and did not answer telephone calls.

The man tested positive for Ebola on Oct. 6, prompting Liberia’s UN peacekeeping mission to place 41 staff members who had possibly been in contact with him under “close medical observation.”

He arrived in Leipzig for treatment on Oct. 9 where he was put into a special isolation unit.

The man was the third Ebola patient to be flown to Germany for treatment.

The first patient, a Senegalese man infected with Ebola while working for the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone was brought to a Hamburg hospital in late August for treatment. The man was released Oct. 3 after recovering and returned to his home country, the hospital said.

Another patient, a Ugandan man who worked for an Italian aid group in West Africa, is undergoing treatment in a Frankfurt hospital.

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