TIME Cambodia

Cambodian Tribunal Opens 1st Genocide Case

Khieu Samphan
Khieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, sits in the court room during a hearing at the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal, in Phnom Penh on Oct. 17, 2014 Nhet Sok Heng—AP

An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died from starvation, exhaustion, disease and execution during the Khmer Rouge regime

(PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA) — A U.N.-backed Cambodian tribunal has begun hearing the first genocide case against the country’s brutal 1970s Khmer Rouge regime.

Khieu Samphan, the regime’s head of state, and Nuon Chea, right-hand man to the goup’s late leader, Pol Pot, have already received life sentences in August after being found guilty of charges including crimes against humanity.

They are now facing separate charges of genocide related mostly to the group’s forced movement of millions of people to the countryside when it took power in 1975. The radical policies are blamed for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians from starvation, exhaustion, disease and execution.

Both men have appealed their convictions.

On Friday, the prosecution began opening arguments in the genocide trial.

TIME Religion

Pastor Accused of Affairs Temporarily Banned

Pastor-Adultery Accusations,  pastor Juan D. McFarland, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church
Rev. Juan McFarland walks into the courthouse for a hearing on Oct. 16, 2014, in Montgomery, Ala. Brynn Anderson—AP

(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) — A minister who confessed to having sex with church members and neglecting to tell them he had AIDS was temporarily banned from acting as pastor on Thursday.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price issued a preliminary injunction, as sought by deacons and trustees of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. Price ruled that the Rev. Juan McFarland, 47, must turn in his church keys and his church Mercedes vehicle and then stay away from the church he led for 24 years.

Church members hugged and prayed after the ruling. “Now we’ve got the church back, and the healing can begin,” said Lois Caffey, a member for 21 years.

The judge scheduled a hearing Dec. 1 to decide whether to issue a permanent injunction.

Lee Sanford, chairman of the board of trustees, said the challenge now is to reunite the 170 active members of the congregation. “I’m confident with God’s help we will be able to do that,” he said.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that the congregation voted to fire McFarland after his confessions but that he refused to leave and changed the church’s locks and control of church bank accounts.

McFarland said nothing inside or outside the courtroom Thursday during two hearings. He attended without an attorney.

The boards of deacons and trustees sued both McFarland and church parliamentarian Marc Anthoni Peacock, who was involved in changing the locks and bank accounts. Peacock resigned from the church after testifying in court Thursday and was dropped from the suit.

One of the plaintiffs, Deacon Nathan Williams Jr., said church leaders had no suspicions about McFarland until he delivered sermons in in August and September, during which he confessed to having sex with church members in the church building, but not in the sanctuary; having AIDS but not telling sex partners; and using illegal drugs. Williams and Sanford said McFarland told the congregation that God directed him to make a public confession.

Williams testified that the congregation first tried to help the pastor but that when it didn’t work, members took a vote during a service Oct. 5 to fire him.

Parliamentarian Marc Anthoni Peacock testified that the meeting wasn’t officially called as part of the Sunday service and described it as “holy hell.” Peacock was originally a defendant in the lawsuit but resigned from the church Thursday and was dropped from the litigation.

Price said the courts have no role in religious matters, but they sometimes have to step in when congregations can’t settle their differences over control of buildings and money. “If it could be resolved in the church, it would have been already,” the judge told the courtroom packed, with more than 100 people.

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church is more than 90 years old and is part of the National Baptist Convention. Church members on both sides of the pastoral dispute said the convention gives churches autonomy in personnel decisions.

TIME Crime

Deputies Shot, Suspect on the Loose Near Chicago

(HOLIDAY HILLS, Ill.) — Authorities were searching for a man suspected of shooting two sheriff’s deputies in suburban Chicago early Thursday, warning that he should be considered “armed and extremely dangerous.”

Investigators believe that 52-year-old Scott Peters fled after opening fire with a rifle as deputies responded to a domestic dispute around 1:30 a.m. at a home in Holiday Hills, McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said. He said deputies are going door-to-door in the small village to make sure everyone is safe.

“We simply don’t know his whereabouts at this time,” Nygren said, adding that “many, many” deputies are involved with the search.

The sheriff said Peters, a military veteran, is being sought on two counts of attempted murder and should be considered “armed and extremely dangerous.”

Nygren said the two deputies who were shot are in stable condition, but no other details about their injuries were provided. The suspect’s wife and child, who were in the home, weren’t injured, he said.

Holiday Hills is about 45 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.

Nygren said he had little information about the circumstances surrounding the incident. He said Peters was a military veteran, and that local police didn’t have “much of a past history” with him.

TIME Autos

Chrysler Recalling Nearly 907,000 Cars, SUVs

(DETROIT) — Nearly 907,000 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep SUVs and cars are being recalled for alternators that can fail and heated power mirror wiring that can short and cause minor fires.

The recalls, posted Thursday by U.S. safety regulators, push the total number of recalls so far this year to over 500, totaling more than 51 million vehicles. That’s a full-year record on both counts, due mainly to massive General Motors recalls of more than 30 million vehicles.

The largest of Thursday’s recalls covers nearly 470,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees, Chrysler 300s, and Dodge Chargers, Challengers and Durangos from the 2011 through 2014 model years. The alternators can fail, causing the 3.6-liter V6 engines to stall unexpectedly.

The problem also can cause the electrical system to fail, as well as knock out power-assisted steering, antilock brakes and electronic stability control. It can even cause fire or smoke, according to documents Chrysler filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA opened an investigation into the problem in July, and Chrysler began its own probe in August. The company analyzed warranty complaints and alternators that had failed. The alternator generates electricity to recharge the battery and run other devices.

Chrysler investigators traced the problem to heat fatigue in an alternator diode. Chrysler said it received 322 complaints about the problem, while 55 people complained to NHTSA. The company said it knows of one crash related to the problem, but no injuries or fires.

The company will replace the alternators with upgraded versions for free. Owners will be notified in November. The company says customers who see warning lights or suspect a problem should contact their dealers.

The recall affects cars and SUVs sold mainly in the U.S. and Canada, but some were sold in Mexico and overseas markets.

The second recall covers almost 437,000 Jeep Wranglers from 2011 through 2013. Water can find its way into the heated power mirror wiring harness and cause corrosion. That can cause a short and could cause a minor fire and smoke, as well as cause loss of function of the mirror.

The problem was discovered in February after three Wranglers in Canada were damaged. Chrysler says it has 26 complaints about the problem, but it knows of no fires, crashes or injuries.

Dealers will move the wiring and install a protective shield to keep water out at no cost to owners, starting in December. Most of the Wranglers are in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, but more than 78,000 were sold overseas.

The total number of recalled vehicles already has shattered the old full-year record of 30.8 million that was set in 2004.

TIME ebola

U.N. Rights Chief: Ebola, Extremists ‘Twin Plagues’

(GENEVA) — U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein drew comparisons between the Ebola outbreak and the Islamic State group Thursday, labeling them “twin plagues” upon the world that were allowed to gain strength because of widespread neglect and misunderstanding.

At his first news conference since becoming the U.N.’s top human rights official last month, Zeid focused on the “two monumental crises” that he said would inevitably cost nations many billions to overcome.

“The twin plagues of Ebola and ISIL,” he told reporters, using an acronym for the group, “both fomented quietly, neglected by a world that knew they existed but misread their terrible potential before exploding into the global consciousness during the latter months of 2014.”

Zeid said the U.N. human rights office has begun drawing up guidelines for Ebola-hit nations to follow if they impose health quarantines on people, because such efforts can easily violate a wide range of human rights if imposed and enforced unjustly.

Along the border of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic fighters who are seizing ground represent “a diabolical, potentially genocidal movement” that is the product of “a perverse and lethal marriage of a new form of nihilism with the digital age,” he said.

The veteran diplomat and prince from Jordan also urged Iraq to join The Hague-based International Criminal Court and to take the “immediate step” of accepting its jurisdiction to allow for the prosecution of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity that a U.N. Human Rights Council-appointed mission is investigating.

Syria has signed the treaty establishing the ICC, but has not ratified it.

TIME Nepal

Nepal Blizzard, Avalanche Death Toll Rises to 25

(KATMANDU, Nepal) — Search and rescue teams flying on army helicopters spotted the bodies of eight more trekkers killed in a series of blizzards and avalanches that have hit central Nepal in recent days, raising the death toll in the region to 25, officials said Thursday.

About 70 people were still missing along or near the popular Annapurna trail, said Ganga Sagar Pant of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal, and the death toll there was expected to rise.

The route, 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of the capital, Katmandu, was filled with international hikers because October is peak trekking season, when the air is clear and the weather is cool. There were also many Nepalese on the trails because of local festivals.

At least 12 people died when they were caught in a sudden blizzard Tuesday in the Thorong La pass area.

As the weather improved, rescue workers recovered the bodies of four hikers — two Poles, an Israeli and a Nepali — from around Thorong La. Two trekkers from Hong Kong and 12 Israelis were airlifted Wednesday to Katmandu, where they were being treated at Shree Birendra Hospital.

The blizzard, the tail end of a cyclone that hit the Indian coast a few days ago, appeared to contribute to an avalanche Wednesday that killed at least eight people in Phu village in the neighboring Manang district. The dead included one Indian and four Canadian trekkers as well as three villagers, said government official Devendra Lamichane. The villagers’ bodies were recovered Wednesday, he said.

But digging out the foreigners’ bodies, which are buried in up to two meters (6 ½ feet) of snow, will take days, he said. Three Canadian trekkers who survived the avalanche were taken by helicopter to a shelter in a nearby village. No update was immediately available on their condition.

Meanwhile, authorities said five climbers were killed in a separate avalanche some 75 kilometers (46 miles) to the west, at the base camp for Mount Dhaulagiri. The climbers, two Slovaks and three Nepali guides, were preparing to scale the 8,167-meter (26,800-foot) -high peak, the world’s seventh tallest, said Gyanedra Shrestha of Nepal’s mountaineering department. Their bodies were recovered Thursday.

An avalanche in April just above the base camp on Mount Everest killed 16 Nepalese guides, the deadliest single disaster on the mountain. Climate experts say rising global temperatures have contributed to avalanches in the Himalayas.

TIME Congress

Record Number of Black Candidates Seeking Office

Cory Booker
Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker visits a campaign center Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Willingboro, N.J. Mel Evans—AP

(WASHINGTON) — More than 100 black candidates will be on the ballot in statewide and congressional races next month, a post-Reconstruction record that some observers say is a byproduct of President Barack Obama’s historic presidency.

At least 83 black Republicans and Democrats are running for the U.S. House, an all-time high for the modern era, according to political scientist David Bositis, who has tracked black politicians for years. They include Mia Love in Utah, who is trying to become the first black Republican woman to be elected to Congress.

Four other black women — Bonnie Watson Coleman in New Jersey, Brenda Lawrence in Michigan, Alma Adams in North Carolina and Stacey Plaskett in the Virgin Islands — are expected to win seats as Democrats, Bositis said. If they all win, and no black female incumbents lose, there should be 20 black women among House members, an all-time high, Bositis said.

There are at least 25 African-Americans running for statewide offices, including U.S. senator, governor or lieutenant governor, also a record number.

The previous record for black candidates seeking House seats was 72 in 2012, the year Obama, the nation’s first black president, was re-elected to a second term. The previous record for statewide contests was 17 in 2002, said Bositis, formerly of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank in Washington that focuses primarily on issues affecting African-Americans.

Those statewide numbers include Democrat Cory Booker of New Jersey and Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina, the U.S. Senate’s only black members.

Booker is seeking a full term next month, having won a special election last year to replace the deceased Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Scott, appointed last year, is seeking to finish out the two years remaining in the term of former Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned from the Senate in 2013.

An Obama “coattails effect” is partly responsible for this large candidate pool because it spurred blacks to vote, and encouraged them to pursue offices they might not have sought in the past, said political science professor Fredrick C. Harris, director of Columbia University’s Center on African-American Politics and Society. America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It may be that this is a reflection of political opportunity,” Harris said. He noted a similar increase in black candidacies in 1988, when Jesse Jackson made a second, unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bositis said the increase may also be a result of changing political demographics in regions like the South. “The fact is that many of the increases are occurring in states (especially in the South) where most whites are withdrawing from Democratic Party politics — leaving black candidates the nominations by default,” Bositis said.

Republicans have been heavily courting minorities, spending millions to woo black voters and to recruit women and minorities to run for state and local office. “If elected, these candidates will be great representatives for all their constituents and will continue to play a major role in the party’s efforts to expand the electorate,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Orlando Brown.

While the GOP is building up its numbers, the Democrats have a record number of African-Americans running for statewide and congressional offices, according to Bositis. There are at least 65 Democratic nominees, surpassing the previous high of 59 in 2012.

“The historic number of black Democrats running for office at all levels this year once again confirms that the Democratic Party is a broad coalition of Americans from diverse ethnic and professional backgrounds, focused on expanding opportunity for all and building ladders to the middle class,” said Kiara Pesante, Democratic National Committee spokeswoman.

TIME Afghanistan

Wounded AP Reporter Vows to Return to Afghanistan

(NEW YORK) — Over and over, Kathy Gannon has re-lived the decisions that led to the death of her close friend Anja Niedringhaus and her own severe injuries, as they went about their jobs chronicling the story of Afghanistan.

Gannon, a veteran Associated Press correspondent, and Niedringhaus, an award-winning AP photographer, had worked together on countless stories and negotiated many dangers for five years. But they were always “very smart with how we went about doing the stories, because we wanted to keep doing the stories,” Gannon recalled.

Then, on April 4, they were sprayed with gunfire by an Afghan police commander as they prepared to cover the presidential election the next day.

Were she to go back in time, would she do anything differently? The answer, firmly, is “No.”

“We weren’t careless or cavalier about the security arrangements …,” Gannon said at AP headquarters in New York last week, in her first interview since the attack. “We really made sure that we had a safe place to stay, we knew who we were traveling with, we knew the area in which we were going. Honestly, I’ve thought it through so many times — I know neither Anja or I would have done anything differently.”

The stakes in the election were high for Afghanistan, a country already wracked by 13 years of war that was facing both the prospect of Western forces leaving and a renewed Taliban insurgency.

The two women had driven from Kabul, the capital, to the eastern city of Khost, then connected with a convoy under the protection of Afghan security forces that was transporting ballots to an outlying area. Their goal was to get a first-hand sense of how ordinary Afghans would respond to this window of democracy in a province considered a Taliban stronghold.

As they sat in their vehicle in a well-guarded compound amid scores of police and security officers, one of the men supposedly assuring their safety walked up, yelled “Allahu Akbar,” and fired on them with his AK-47. Then, he dropped his emptied weapon and surrendered.

Niedringhaus, 48, died instantly of her wounds. Gannon, 61, was hit with six bullets that ripped through her left arm, right hand and left shoulder, shattering her shoulder blade.,

“I looked down and my left hand was separated from my wrist,” Gannon said. “I remember saying, ‘Oh my God, this time we’re finished.’ … One minute we were sitting in the car laughing, and the next, our shoulders were pressed hard against each other as if one was trying to hold the other up. The shooting ended. I looked toward Anja. I didn’t know.”

As the AP driver sped their bullet-riddled car over bumpy roads to the nearest hospital, a municipal facility 45 minutes away, the AP translator told Gannon, “Kathy, don’t leave us.” She was sure she was dying.

“That time was very much about really making peace,” Gannon recalled. “I was so trying to just breathe and just go peacefully.”

At the hospital, Gannon was placed on a gurney, in excruciating pain. Yet there were reassurances.

“At one point the doctor said to me, ‘Your life is as important to me as it is to you. We really are working trying to save it.'”

In the operating room, she was sedated. When she woke up, she’d already been airlifted from a U.S. base near Khost back to Kabul. It was only there, still only half-conscious, that she realized her friend was dead.

Within days, Gannon flew by an air ambulance jet to a hospital in Germany, and, later, to the United States, to continue her treatment at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

The months of physical recovery and therapy have been grueling. Gannon raves about the care she has received, in particular the reconstruction work overseen by Dr. Duretti Fufa at the New York hospital that involved rebuilding her left arm with bone, fat and muscle from her left leg.

“It’s so minute. You have to attach the nerves, you have to attach the arteries, the vessels,” Gannon said. “I had a gaping six-inch (15-centimeter) hole right through where several bullets had just smashed through the arm. There was nothing there. She has completely rebuilt it.”

“She has continued at every stage to do wonderfully,” Fufa said. The hand and reconstructive specialist praised the surgeons abroad for stabilizing the complex injuries enough to allow Gannon’s arms to be salvaged, and Gannon for doing all the hard work of a patient that followed. “She is an incredibly motivated person. I could not ask for a more motivated and pleasant patient to work with.”

Said Gannon: “As horrible as everything was, there were so many times you think, ‘My God, I’m so fortunate.’ Every nerve, even the smallest nerve in my left hand, was intact. How is that possible?”

Her recovery remains a work in progress; the fingers of her left hand are still immobile. As soon as she can, she wants to visit Niedringhaus’ grave near her birthplace in Germany to say a last goodbye. And she is determined, after further surgery and therapy, to return to Afghanistan — and to report again from there for the AP.

“Neither Anja or I would ever accept to be forced out by some crazy gunman,” Gannon said. (Their attacker has since been convicted of treason and sentenced to death by an Afghan court.)

Both her tight-knit family in Canada and her husband and stepdaughter in Pakistan worry, but know her well enough to understand she will go back.

Gannon has established a strong bond with Afghanistan over three decades of covering it. As she put it, “There’s history still to be told there.”

“Afghanistan is a tremendous story of people who have really been caught in such successive traumas that they always seem to come out on the losing end,” she said. “Afghans, through 35 years, have come through one war after another always believing that it’s going to get better. … I have a tremendous affinity for that struggle that they have constantly, constantly endured and never succumbed to hopelessness.”

Moreover, Gannon says Niedringhaus would want her to go back.

Niedringhaus loved shooting all sorts of subjects, including sports, but she spent much of her working life in trouble spots — Iraq, the Gaza Strip, Israel, Kuwait, Turkey — and was one of 11 AP photographers who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for coverage of the Iraq War.

She and Gannon started working together in 2009 in Kabul, when Niedringhaus had just finished an assignment embedded with a military unit. The photographer was mildly irked when Gannon voiced some skepticism about such reporting arrangements.

But “That evening we were talking about stories,” Gannon recalled. “We just hit it off … it was as if we had known each other for ever.”

The partnership flourished as the two journalists found much in common in their approaches to their jobs. They did not do their work from a distance. Instead, they got away from officialdom and spent time in villages, sleeping on the floors of mud houses.

“I loved the way Anja got so excited about the stories,” said Gannon. “She loved getting up close with the people.”

Gannon recounts all the firsts they accomplished together. They were the first international journalists to embed with both the Pakistani and the Afghan armies. They traveled from Quetta in Pakistan to Kandahar aboard an oil tanker carrying fuel to U.S.-led coalition forces. They got details of the massacre of 16 Afghans by a U.S. soldier from survivors, and visited poppy fields deep in Taliban country.

Now, Gannon insists she will do it again — without Niedringhaus, but in her memory and with her spirit.

“If it was reversed, Anja would be out there telling those stories too — she’d be telling them in the most amazing pictures,” she said.

“I want to go and try and tell them. It might be physically half a team, but emotionally and every other way, when I go back, it’s a two-person team. We’re together on this.”

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

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