TIME Crime

Cleveland Streets Calm a Day After Protest of Police Officer’s Acquittal

More than a dozen protesters were arrested Saturday night for failing to disperse

(CLEVELAND)—The streets largely remained calm Sunday morning after police in riot gear made numerous arrests overnight of protesters angered by a patrolman’s acquittal in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects in a barrage of police gunfire.

Michael Brelo, 31, faces administrative charges while remaining suspended without pay after he was found not guilty Saturday on two counts of voluntary manslaughter, but he no longer faces the prospect of prison. The anxious city now awaits a decision on criminal charges against a white officer in the fatal shooting of a black 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun.

Brelo and 12 other officers fired 137 shots at a car with Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams inside it on Nov. 29, 2012. The shooting occurred at the end of a 22-mile chase involving more than 100 Cleveland police officers and 60 cruisers after Russell’s Chevy Malibu backfired while speeding past police headquarters. During the chase, an officer reported that he thought he’d seen Williams with a gun. At the end, police mistook police gunfire for shots from Russell’s car.

Brelo fired 49 of those shots that night, but it was the final 15 fired into the windshield while he stood on the hood of Russell’s car that led to his indictment and a four-week trial. He faced up to 22 years in prison if convicted on both counts.

The shooting helped prompt an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice that concluded Cleveland police had engaged in a pattern and practice of excessive use of force and violations of people’s civil rights.

Angry but mostly orderly protests followed Saturday’s verdict. More than a dozen protesters were arrested Saturday night for failing to disperse from an alley in the city’s Warehouse District on downtown’s west side, deputy police chief Wayne Drummond said. Several other people were arrested elsewhere downtown.

The first protest formed outside the Justice Center Saturday morning while Judge John P. O’Donnell read from his 35-page verdict.

A larger protest of around 200 people gathered at noon near where Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty lives. Both protests later merged at a recreation center where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by a rookie patrol officer last November. While that demonstration became boisterous, with Eugene Rice angrily calling for justice for his grandson, it remained peaceful.

An investigation into the Tamir Rice shooting is nearly complete and will be given to the prosecutor’s office to decide whether to pursue criminal charges.

Alicia Kirkman, 47, of Cleveland, said she joined the march in honor of her son, killed in a police shooting eight years ago.

“I’m just so mad we never get justice from any of the police killings,” said Kirkman, who said she settled with the city after her son’s death but no charges were filed.

The judge said in his ruling that he wouldn’t “sacrifice” Brelo to the wave of anti-police sentiment that has swept across the nation in the wake of other police in-custody deaths. While protests in cities like Baltimore, New York City and Ferguson, Missouri, have erupted into violence, the demonstrations in Cleveland didn’t escalate.

The judge’s decision to acquit Brelo focused on which shots killed Russell, 43, and Williams, 30, two homeless drug addicts with a long history of mental illness. Four of the 23 gunshot wounds to Russell and seven of Williams’ 24 wounds were believed to have been fatal. O’Donnell said that while testimony showed Brelo fired some of the fatal shots, other officers fired kill shots as well.

A grand jury charged five police supervisors with misdemeanor dereliction of duty for failing to control the chase. All five have pleaded not guilty and no trial date has been set.

Prosecutors had argued that when Brelo stood on the hood of the Malibu that he meant to kill Russell and Williams instead of containing a threat to his and other officers’ lives. O’Donnell ruled that even the last 15 shots were justified based on Brelo’s belief that someone inside the car had fired at police at the beginning, middle and end of the chase.

“Officer Brelo risked his life on that night,” Brelo’s lead attorney, Patrick D’Angelo, said after the verdict.

McGinty said he respected O’Donnell’s decision, and added that the case would prevent police violence.

In addition to the Tamir Rice case, the county prosecutor’s office is looking into the death of a black woman who died in police custody while lying face first on the ground in handcuffs. The family of Tanisha Anderson, 37, has sued the city of Cleveland and the two police officers who subdued her. They say she panicked Nov. 12 when officers put her in the back of a patrol car after they’d responded to a call about Anderson having a mental health crisis.

Russell’s sister, Michelle, said Brelo would ultimately face justice, despite the judge’s decision. The city ofCleveland has paid the families of Russell and Williams a total of $3 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit.

“He’s not going to dodge this just because he was acquitted,” Michelle Russell said. “God will have the final say.”

TIME animals

Donations Pour in for Arizona Dog Found Hanging From a Tree

This undated photo provided by the Pima Animal Care Center shows Sunny, a shepherd mix, in Tucson, Ariz.
Pima Animal Care Center/AP This undated photo provided by the Pima Animal Care Center shows Sunny, a shepherd mix, in Tucson, Ariz.

Sunny the dog is recovering slowly

(TUCSON, Ariz.)—More than $20,000 has poured in for an Arizona dog that was found hanging from a tree more than a week ago but is now recovering in a foster home.

Sunny the dog made headlines when someone found him on May 12. The shepherd mix was hanging from a tree in Tucson with a rope tied around her mouth.

José Ocaño, director of shelter operations for the Pima Animal Care Center, said Sunny has slowly begun to recover and is now being taken care of by a foster parent.

“She’s getting her spirit back. Even the look in the eye looks more trusting and hopeful, which is a testament to how resilient animals are,” Ocaño said.

Ocaño said Sunny’s story attracted attention from all over the country and even internationally, drawing in thousands of dollars for her recovery. The shelter has used its Facebook page to post updates and pictures, many of which have gained more than 1,000 “likes.”

Sunny’s medical bills cost about $2,500, and the rest of the money raised will benefit other animals at the county shelter.

The shelter has on average about 650 dogs and 300 cats on a daily basis, and has a small budget, Ocaño said.

Meanwhile, police are seeking tips regarding Sunny’s previous owner. The dog was not microchipped and appeared to have been neglected before she was found hanging from the tree.

TIME El Salvador

Salvadorans Celebrate Beatification of Slain Archbishop Romero

Pilgrims carry a portrait of Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero to Romero's beatification ceremony in San Salvador, El Salvador
Moises Castillo—AP Pilgrims carry a portrait of Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero to Romero's beatification ceremony in San Salvador, El Salvador, on May 23, 2015.

He was declared a martyr for his faith this year by Pope Francis

(SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador)—Huge crowds filled a square in the Salvadoran capital Saturday for a ceremony to beatify Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was cut down by an assassin’s bullet 35 years ago and declared a martyr for his faith this year by Pope Francis.

It is the first step toward possible canonization, although many of the 260,000-plus faithful expected at the Savior of the World Plaza already credit him with miracles and refer to him as “Saint Romero of the Americas.”

Delegations from parishes all over the nation, many of them bused in from the countryside, filed into the square carrying white and yellow flags of the Roman Catholic Church.

“They can kill the prophet, but not the voice of justice,” intoned pilgrims from Our Lady of the Assumption in a suburb outside San Salvador.

“His words will remain for eternity,” said Marlene Sanchez, 26.

In life, Romero was loved by the poor, whom he defended passionately, and loathed by conservatives who considered him too close to left-leaning movements in the tumultuous years ahead of El Salvador’s 1980-92 civil war.

Romero was celebrating Mass in a cancer hospital chapel on March 24, 1980, when he was shot through the heart by a sniper who apparently fired from a car outside. The day before, Romero had delivered a strongly worded admonition to the U.S.-backed military to stop repressing civilians.

The trigger man has never been identified, and no one has been prosecuted for the killing. Alleged paramilitary death squad leader Roberto d’Aubuisson, who was named by a U.N. truth commission after the war’s end as the mastermind of the assassination, died in 1992 having maintained his innocence to the end.

Romero’s beatification was held up for years by church politics until Pope Benedict XVI “unblocked” the case in late 2012, after it was determined he had not been an adherent of revolutionary liberation theology as many claimed.

Saturday’s ceremony constitutes official church approval of Romero’s legacy, even if some conservatives in the Vatican and Salvadoran society still view his memory with distaste.

“The beatification … is a cause for great joy for Salvadorans and for those of us who rejoice at the example of the greatest children of the church,” Francis said in a statement. “Monsignor Romero, who built peace from the strength of love, gave testimony of the faith with his life, committed to the very end.”

U.S. President Barack Obama, who visited Romero’s tomb in 2011, called him “an inspiration for people in El Salvador and across the Americas.”

“He was a wise pastor and a courageous man who persevered in the face of opposition from extremes on both sides,” Obama said. “He fearlessly confronted the evils he saw, guided by the needs of his beloved pueblo, the poor and oppressed people of El Salvador.”

Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Vatican’s saint-making office, began the ceremony in the late morning beneath a 60-foot-tall (18-meter-tall) monument depicting Christ atop a white pillar and blue globe. An urn held the shirt that Romero was wearing when he was shot.

Officials closed off about 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) of streets nearby to accommodate the crush of pilgrims and the hundreds of vendors selling commemorative T-shirts, key chains, bags, bracelets and coffee cups for $2 to $5 as well as copies of documentaries and movies inspired by Romero’s life.

Authorities set up 27 giant screens for the benefit of those far from the stage and deployed 3,700 police and soldiers to provide security. Hotels in the capital were at capacity, and officials predicted the event would generate $31 million in economic activity.

Celebrations were planned in Los Angeles, which is home to about 360,000 people of Salvadoran origin. Many of them arrived in the 1980s fleeing the Central American nation’s civil war, in which at least 75,000 people died and 12,000 more disappeared.

Also Saturday, tens of thousands of people gathered in the central Kenyan town of Nyeri to attend the beatification ceremony of Sister Irene Stefani, an Italian nun who worked for many years in the East African nation.

Stefani, who belonged to the Consolata Missionary Sisters, first came to Kenya in 1915 and died there in 1930 at the age of 39, according to a website dedicated to her beatification.

In her case, beatification comes after official verification of a 1989 miracle in Mozambique — a country Stefani never visited — that was attributed to her.

The miracle reportedly happened when a group of about 270 people in danger of death prayed to Sister Irene “and the little water in the baptismal font, measuring between four and six liters, was multiplied to enable them to drink and wash for four days, before help arrived from outside,” Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reported, citing a priest in charge of Nairobi’s Consolata Shrine.

TIME Courts

Cleveland Cop Acquitted in Shooting Deaths of 2 Unarmed Suspects

In this April 9, 2015, file photo, Cleveland police Officer Michael Brelo listens to testimony during his trial in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak—AP In this April 9, 2015, file photo, Cleveland police Officer Michael Brelo listens to testimony during his trial in Cleveland.

Michael Brelo could have faced up to 22 years in prison

(CLEVELAND)—A white Cleveland patrolman who fired down through the windshield of a suspect’s car at the end of a 137-shot barrage that left the two unarmed black occupants dead was acquitted Saturday of criminal charges by a judge who said he could not determine the officer alone fired the fatal shots.

Michael Brelo, 31, put his head in hands as the judge issued a verdict followed by angry, but peaceful, protests: Outside the courthouse police blocked furious protesters from going inside while across the city others held a mock funeral with some carrying signs asking, “Will I be next?”

The acquittal came at a time of nationwide tension among police and black citizens punctuated by protests over deaths of black suspects at the hands of white officers — and following a determination by the U.S. Department of Justice that Cleveland police had a history of using excessive force and violating civil rights.

Before issuing his verdict, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell reflected on the unrest. “In many American places people are angry with, mistrusting and fearful of the police,” he said. “Citizens think the men and women sworn to protect and serve have violated that oath or never meant it in the first place.”

But O’Donnell said he would not offer up Brelo to an angry public if the evidence did not merit a conviction.

“I will not sacrifice him,” O’Donnell said.

Brelo — who fired a total of 49 shots, including 15 down through the windshield while standing on the hood of the suspects’ vehicle — faced as many as 22 years in prison had the judge convicted him on two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths that happened after Timothy Russell’s beat-up Chevy Malibu backfired outside police headquarters.

Russell’s sister, Michelle Russell, said she believed Brelo would ultimately face justice.

“He’s not going to dodge this just because he was acquitted,” she said. “God will have the final say.”

The U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI will review the testimony and evidence and examine all available legal options, said Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

About 200 people walked in a mock funeral procession that had already been planned to mark six months since another deadly shooting that sparked anger in Cleveland’s black community: the killing of Tamir Rice, a black 12-year-old carrying a pellet gun who was shot by a white rookie officer.

Protesters carried a black, plywood coffin and softly sang “I’m going up yonder, we’re marching, we’re marching.”

Some carried signs saying “I Can’t Breathe” and “Freddie Gray Lynched,” references to a pair of deadly police encounters: the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City and the death of a Baltimore man who suffered a spinal injury while in custody.

After the verdict, sheriff’s deputies stood in front of the courthouse carrying clear shields as protesters chanted “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” — a rallying cry linked to the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. One demonstrator bowed his head, hands folded, in front of the phalanx of deputies, praying in silence. Demonstrators later marched through the streets toward the recreation center where Rice was killed.

The unusual timing of the verdict — a Saturday morning on a holiday weekend — was intentional, court officials said. The county’s top judge said it would prevent traffic issues downtown and lessen the impact on the community.

When he took the bench, O’Donnell spent nearly an hour explaining his decision, even using mannequins marked with the gunshot wounds the two motorists suffered on Nov. 29, 2012.

Brelo could have been convicted of lesser charges, but O’Donnell determined his actions were justified following the chase, which included reports of shots fired from Russell’s car, because officers perceived a threat.

Brelo’s lead attorney, Patrick D’Angelo, said Brelo had been unfairly prosecuted in a case that he called a “blood fight.”

“Officer Brelo risked his life on that night,” D’Angelo said.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said he respects the judge’s decision and urged others to do so, as well. He said the case illustrated hard truths.

“This tragic experience has already forced a culture change within the division of police and a needed reexamination of the use of deadly force,” he said.

Thirteen officers fired at the car with Russell and Malissa Williams inside after a 22-mile high-speed chase that involved 62 marked and unmarked cars and reached 100 mph. Brelo was the only officer charged because prosecutors said he waited until the pair was no longer a threat to fire his final 15 rounds.

Russell, 43, and Williams, 30, were each shot more than 20 times. Prosecutors argued they were alive until Brelo’s final salvo but medical examiners for both sides testified they could not determine the order in which the deadly shots were fired.

Brelo has been on unpaid leave since he was indicted last May. Police Chief Calvin Williams said it will continue during disciplinary reviews for him and the other 12 officers.

Authorities never learned why Russell didn’t stop. He had a criminal record including convictions for receiving stolen property and robbery and had been involved in a previous police pursuit. Williams had convictions for drug-related charges and attempted abduction. Both were described as mentally ill, homeless and addicted to drugs. A crack pipe was found in the car.

The shooting helped prompt an investigation by the Department of Justice, which concluded the department had engaged in a pattern and practice of using excessive force and violating civil rights. The city and DOJ are currently negotiating over reforms.

In addition to the charges against Brelo, a grand jury charged five police supervisors with misdemeanor dereliction of duty for failing to control the chase. All five have pleaded not guilty and no trial date has been set.

“Our pursuit of justice for Timothy Russell and Melissa Williams is not over,” McGinty said.

TIME Congress

Senate Blocks Patriot Act Extension

It's set to expire May 31

(WASHINGTON)—Unable to end a struggle over how to deal with government surveillance programs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a last-minute session to consider retaining the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of domestic phone records.

McConnell, R-Ky., warned against allowing the controversial NSA program and other key surveillance activities under the USA Patriot Act to expire at midnight May 31. He said he would call the Senate into session that day, a Sunday, and seek action before the deadline.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky’s other senator and a Republican presidential candidate, called the Senate’s failure to allow an extension of the surveillance programs during a late-night session Friday into Saturday a victory for privacy rights.

“We should never give up our rights for a false sense of security,” Paul said in a statement. “This is only the beginning — the first step of many. I will continue to do all I can until this illegal government spying program is put to an end, once and for all.”

By the time senators broke for the holiday, they had blocked a House-passed bill and several short-term extensions of the key provisions in the Patriot Act.

The main stumbling block was a House-passed provision to end the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic phone records. Instead, the records would remain with telephone companies subject to a case-by-case review.

The White House has pressured the Senate to back the House bill, which drew an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote last week and had the backing of GOP leaders, Democrats and the libertarian-leaning members.

But the Senate blocked the bill on a vote of 57-42, short of the 60-vote threshold to move ahead. That was immediately followed by rejection of a two-month extension to the existing programs. The vote was 54-45, again short of the 60-vote threshold.

McConnell repeatedly asked for an even shorter renewal of current law, ticking down days from June 8 to June 2. But Paul and other opponents of the post-Sept. 11 law objected each time.

Officials say they will lose valuable surveillance tools if the Senate fails to go along with the House. But key Republican senators, including McConnell, oppose the House approach.

In the near term, the Justice Department has said the NSA would begin winding down its collection of domestic calling records this week if the Senate fails to act because the collection takes time to halt.

At issue is a section of the Patriot Act, Section 215, used by the government to justify secretly collecting the “to and from” information about nearly every American landline telephone call. For technical and bureaucratic reasons, the program was not collecting a large chunk of mobile calling records, which made it less effective as fewer people continued to use landlines.

When former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the program in 2013, many Americans were outraged that NSA had their calling records. President Barack Obama ultimately announced a plan similar to the USA Freedom Act and asked Congress to pass it. He said the plan would preserve the NSA’s ability to hunt for domestic connections to international plots without having an intelligence agency hold millions of Americans’ private records.

Since it gave the government extraordinary powers, Section 215 of the Patriot Act was designed to expire at midnight on May 31 unless Congress renews it.

Under the USA Freedom Act, the government would transition over six months to a system under which it queries the phone companies with known terrorists’ numbers to get back a list of numbers that had been in touch with a terrorist number.

But if Section 215 expires without replacement, the government would lack the blanket authority to conduct those searches. There would be legal methods to hunt for connections in U.S. phone records to terrorists, said current and former U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. But those methods would not be applicable in every case.

Far less attention has been paid to two other surveillance authorities that expire as well. One makes it easier for the FBI to track “lone wolf” terrorism suspects who have no connection to a foreign power, and another allows the government to eavesdrop on suspects who continuously discard their cellphones in an effort to avoid surveillance.

TIME Congress

Senate Approves Trade Bill in Victory for Obama

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks to a Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington
Susan Walsh—AP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks to a Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, on May 22, 2015.

48 Republicans supported the measure, but only 14 Democrats voted for it

(WASHINGTON)—In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen the administration’s hand in global trade talks, clearing the way for a highly unpredictable summer showdown in the House.

The vote was 62-37 to give Obama authority to complete trade deals that Congress could approve or reject, but not change. A total of 48 Republicans supported the measure, but only 14 of the Senate’s 44 Democrats backed a president of their own party on legislation near the top of his second-term agenda.

Obama hailed the vote in a statement that said trade deals “done right” are important to “expanding opportunities for the middle class, leveling the playing field for American workers and establishing rules for the global economy that help our businesses grow and hire.”

Separate legislation to prevent parts of the anti-terror USA Patriot Act from lapsing on June 1 was caught in a post-midnight showdown between a pair of Kentuckians — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the one hand, and presidential hopeful Rand Paul on the other.

McConnell favored renewal of a program of bulk telephone collection by the National Security Agency, while Paul was unyielding in opposition. “My filibuster continues to end NSA illegal spying,” he tweeted.

By contrast, a two-month bill to prevent a cutoff in federal highway funding cleared with ease as lawmakers covetously eyed a weeklong vacation.

Senate passage of the trade bill capped two weeks of tense votes and near-death experiences for legislation the administration hopes will help complete an agreement with Japan and 10 other countries in the Pacific region.

McConnell, who was Obama’s indispensable ally in passing the bill, said it would create “new opportunities for bigger paychecks, better jobs and a stronger economy.

“The tools it contains will allow us to knock down unfair foreign trade barriers that discriminate against American workers and products stamped ‘Made in the USA,'” he said.

A fierce fight is likely in the House.

Speaker John Boehner supports the measure, and said in a written statement that Republicans will do their part to pass it.

But in a challenge to Obama, the Ohio Republican added that “ultimately success will require Democrats putting politics aside and doing what’s best for the country.”

Dozens of majority Republicans currently oppose the legislation, either out of ideological reasons or because they are loath to enhance Obama’s authority, especially at their own expense.

And Obama’s fellow Democrats show little inclination to support legislation that much of organized labor opposes.

In the run-up to a final Senate vote, Democratic supporters of the legislation were at pains to lay to rest concerns that the legislation, like previous trade bills, could be blamed for a steady loss of jobs.

“The Senate now has the opportunity to throw the 1990s NAFTA playbook into the dust bin of history,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. He referred to the North American Free Trade Agreement, passed two decades ago, and a symbol to this day, fairly or not, of the loss of unemployment to a country with lax worker safety laws and low wages.

Like Obama, Wyden and others said this law had far stronger protections built into it.

One final attempt to add another one failed narrowly, 51-48, a few hours before the bill cleared.

It came on a proposal, by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who supported the trade bill, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., who opposed it. They sought to made allegations of currency manipulation subject to the same “dispute settlement procedures” as other obligations under any trade deal.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned earlier that its approval could cause Obama to veto the legislation.

Portman, who was U.S. trade representative under former President George W. Bush, scoffed at the threat. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I think he (Obama) understands the importance” of his ability to conclude trade deals without congressional changes.

The bill also included $1.8 billion in retraining funds for American workers who lose their jobs as a result of exports. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said the program duplicated other federal efforts, but his attempt to strip out the funds was defeated, 53-35.

Allies on one bill, McConnell and the White House were on different sides on the Patriot Act legislation.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest prodded the Senate to accept a House-passed bill renewing anti-terrorism programs due to expire June 1, including a provision to eliminate the National Security Agency’s ability to collect mass telephone records of Americans. Instead, the material would remain with phone companies, with government searches of the information allowed by court order on a case-by-case basis.

But the bill was blocked on a vote of 57-42, three shy of the 60 needed, and Paul then blocked several bids by the majority leader to pass short-term extensions of the current programs. Finally, McConnell announced the Senate would return on the last day of the month — with only hours to spare — to try and resolve the issue.

The highway bill was the least controversial of the three on the Senate’s pre-vacation agenda, but only because lawmakers agreed in advance on a two-month extension of the current law. The House and Senate will need to return to the issue this summer.

TIME World

65-Year-Old German Woman Gives Birth to Quadruplets

She already had 13 children ranging in age from 9 to 44, from five fathers

(BERLIN)—A 65-year-old teacher from Berlin has given birth to quadruplets after a pregnancy that was widely criticized by medical professionals because of her age, RTL television said Saturday.

Annegret Raunigk, gave birth to a girl — Neeta — and three boys — Dries, Bence and Fjonn — by cesarean section at a Berlin hospital Tuesday, RTL said. The newborns weighed between 655 grams (1 lb., 7 ounces) and 960 grams (2 lbs., 2 ounces) each.

A spokeswoman for RTL said the babies stood a strong chance of survival but possible complications couldn’t yet be ruled out, because they were born in the 26th week of pregnancy. Their mother was doing well, the spokeswoman said.

“Ms. Raunigk basically has no medical risk anymore,” Heike Speda told The Associated Press. She said the woman had signed a contract granting RTL exclusive access in return for an undisclosed sum.

Raunigk already had 13 children ranging in age from 9 to 44, from five fathers. She told Germany’s Bild newspaper last month that she decided to become pregnant again because her 9-year-old daughter wanted a younger sibling. She also has seven grandchildren.

Raunigk traveled abroad to have donated, fertilized eggs implanted — a procedure that is illegal in Germany.

Her decision prompted criticism from doctors, who questioned whether her body would be physically capable of bearing four children.

But Raunigk defended her decision, telling Bild last month: “They can see it how they want to, and I’ll see it the way I think is right.”

 

TIME remembrance

B.B. King Viewing Draws More Than 1,000 People in Las Vegas

"Dad is just loving this. This is part of his homecoming"

(LAS VEGAS)—B.B. King kept drawing fans in Las Vegas, and a family feud simmered, during a public chance to say goodbye ahead of a weekend memorial service and a final King of the Blues road tour leading back home to the Mississippi Delta.

More than 1,000 people streamed past the body of the music legend during a four-hour public viewing Friday, said Matt Phillips, manager of the Palm South Jones Mortuary several miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

Ushers ran out of 900 printed cards bearing King’s dates of birth and death and lyrics to his signature song, “The Thrill is Gone.”

A steady string of King’s hit songs — “Everyday I Have the Blues,” ”Sweet Little Angel,” ”Why I Sing the Blues” — never stopped as ushers directed people to move past a casket framed by floral arrangements and two of his guitars, always called Lucille.

King died May 14 at home in Las Vegas. He was 89.

One of his 11 surviving children, daughter Rita Washington, greeted some of the 350 people in line when the doors opened. The day smelled like desert rain, but just stayed gray.

“Dad is just loving this,” she said. “This is part of his homecoming.”

Hours later, another daughter, Shirley King, said she was nothing but angry about the venue and the viewing.

“I’m very upset,” she said. “I don’t want to be out here disrespecting my father’s rest. But something’s wrong here.”

Shirley King lives in Chicago, and it was her first glimpse of B.B. King since December. She said she thought there should have been seats for people to sit and talk, not just an aisle to shuffle past the body.

People who brought guitars had to leave them outside. No photos were permitted, and ushers stopped several people from trying.

But Marilyn and Tommy Burress weren’t disappointed.

The couple from Milwaukee knew when they heard B.B. King had died that they had to pay their final respects. They were in Las Vegas this week for Tommy Burress’ 72nd birthday.

“It’s inspiring to see how many lives he touched,” Tommy Burress, a retired auto worker, said afterward, “how many people loved his music and loved his attitude — friendliness, friendship and love of the people.”

Pam Hargraves, 50, flew to Las Vegas from Providence, Rhode Island, because she couldn’t bear not to say goodbye to a performer she’d seen maybe 50 times at venues around the world.

“I just knew when he passed, wherever he was, I would be there,” she said.

The viewing was followed by a Friday night musical tribute at a rock ‘n’ roll venue on the Las Vegas Strip hosted by Shirley King, who performs as Daughter of the Blues.

A Saturday memorial was set at a Palm Mortuary chapel in downtown Las Vegas.

In King’s Mississippi hometown, Indianola, hundreds of people were expected to attend the B.B. King Homecoming Festival on Sunday, a free gathering he started 35 years ago.

A procession Wednesday on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, is scheduled to begin the last leg of his trip back to Indianola for burial May 30.

In Las Vegas, the family feud began weeks ago, when King was hospitalized and then brought home for hospice care. Several of his adult children accused his longtime business agent, LaVerne Toney, of endangering his health and raiding his wealth.

A judge said two investigations found no evidence that King was mistreated or abused.

Daughters Karen Williams and Patty King accuse Toney of keeping them from seeing their father for a week after he died — and of preventing them from taking photos of him in his casket.

They and three other children — Washington, Willie King and Barbara King Winfree — refer to themselves as a family board. They’ve hired a lawyer to handle their complaints.

“We’re his children,” Patty King said after a private family viewing of King’s body on Thursday. “We’re going to fight with every breath in our body.”

Toney, who worked for King for 39 years, said she’s doing what B.B. King said he wanted.

“They want to do what they want to do, which is take over, I guess,” Toney said of the family group. “But that wasn’t Mr. King’s wishes.”

TIME Ireland

Ireland Votes to Legalize Gay Marriage in Historic Referendum

"It's a very proud day to be Irish"

(DUBLIN)—Irish voters backed legalizing gay marriage by a landslide, according to electoral figures announced Saturday—a stunning result that illustrates the rapid social change taking place in this traditionally Catholic nation.

Figures from Friday’s referendum announced at Dublin Castle showed that 62.1 percent of Irish voters said “yes.” Outside, watching the results announcement live in the castle’s cobblestoned courtyard, thousands of gay rights activists cheered, hugged and cried.

The unexpectedly strong percentage of approval surprised both sides. Analysts and campaigners credited the “yes” side with adeptly using social media to mobilize first-time young voters and for a series of searing personal stories from Irish gay people to convince voters to back equal marriage rights.

Ireland is the first country to approve gay marriage in a popular national vote. Nineteen other countries have legalized the practice.

“We’re the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate. That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world, of liberty and equality. So it’s a very proud day to be Irish,” said Leo Varadkar, a Cabinet minister who came out as gay at the start of a government-led effort to amend Ireland’s conservative Catholic constitution.

“People from the LGBT community in Ireland are a minority. But with our parents, our families, or friends and co-workers and colleagues, we’re a majority,” said Varadkar, who watched the votes being tabulated at the County Dublin ballot center.

“For me it wasn’t just a referendum. It was more like a social revolution,” he added.

Michael Barron and Jaime Nanci, a gay couple legally married in South Africa five years ago, celebrated with friends at the Dublin City counting center as the reality sank in that, once Ireland’s parliament passes the complementary legislation, their foreign marriage will be recognized in their homeland.

“Oh.My.God! We’re actually Married now!” Nanci tweeted to his spouse and the world, part of a cavalcade of tweets from Ireland tagged #LandslideOfLove.

Political analysts who have covered Irish referendums for decades agreed that Saturday’s emerging landslide marked a stunning generational shift from the 1980s, when voters still firmly backed Catholic Church teachings and overwhelmingly voted against abortion and divorce.

“We’re in a new country,” said political analyst Sean Donnelly, who called the result “a tidal wave” that has produced pro-gay marriage majorities in even the most traditionally conservative rural corners of Ireland.

“I’m of a different generation,” said the gray-haired Donnelly, who has covered Irish politics since the 1970s. “When I was reared up, the church was all powerful and the word ‘gay’ wasn’t even in use in those days. How things have moved from my childhood to now. It’s been a massive change for a conservative country.”

Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Labour Party leader Joan Burton, said Ireland was becoming “a rainbow nation with a huge amount of diversity.” She said while campaigning door to door, she met older gay people who described how society made them “live in a shadow and apart,” and younger voters who were keen to ensure that Irish homosexuals live “as free citizens in a free republic.”

The “yes” side ran a creative, compelling campaign that harnessed the power of social media to mobilize young voters, tens of thousands of whom voted for the first time Friday. The vote came five years after parliament approved marriage-style civil partnerships for gay couples.

Those seeking a “no” outcome described their defeat as almost inevitable, given that all of Ireland’s political parties and most politicians backed the legalization of homosexual unions.

David Quinn, leader of the Catholic think tank Iona Institute, said he was troubled by the fact that no political party backed the “no” cause.

“We helped to provide a voice to the hundreds of thousands of Irish people who did vote no. The fact that no political party supported them must be a concern from a democratic point of view,” he said.

Fianna Fail party leader Michael Martin, a Cork politician whose opposition party is traditionally closest to the Catholic Church, said he couldn’t in good conscience back the anti-gay marriage side because “it’s simply wrong in the 21st century to oppress people because of their sexuality.”

Some in Martin’s party — the perennial heavyweight in Irish politics but decimated since its ouster from power following Ireland’s 2010 international bailout — did privately oppose the amendment, but only one spoke out in favor of the “no” side.

John Lyons, one of just four openly gay lawmakers in the 166-member parliament, waved the rainbow flag of the Gay Pride movement in the Dublin City counting center and cried a few tears of joy. He paid special credit to the mobilization of younger voters, many of whom traveled home from work or studies abroad to vote.

“Most of the young people I canvassed with have never knocked on a door in their lives,” Lyons said. “This says something about modern Ireland. Let’s never underestimate the electorate or what they think.”

TIME States

California Approves Historic Voluntary Water Cuts by Farmers

The state already has mandated 25 percent conservation by cities and towns and curtailed water deliveries

(SACRAMENTO, Calif)—California regulators on Friday accepted a historic offer by farmers to make a 25 percent voluntary water cut to avoid deeper mandatory losses during the drought.

Officials with the state Water Resources Control Board made the announcement involving farmers in the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers who hold some of California’s strongest water rights.

The several hundred farmers made the offer after state officials warned they were days away from ordering some of the first cuts in more than 30 years to the senior water rights holders.

California water law is built around preserving the water claims of those rights holders. The threat of state cuts is a sign of the worsening impacts of the four-year drought.

The state already has mandated 25 percent conservation by cities and towns and curtailed water deliveries to many farmers and communities.

The most arid winter on record for the Sierra Nevada snowpack means there will be little runoff this summer to feed California’s rivers, reservoirs and irrigation canals. As of Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor rated 94 percent of California in severe drought or worse.

About 350 farmers turned out Thursday at a farmers’ grange near Stockton to talk over the delta farmers’ bid to stave off deeper cuts.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll all participate” in the proposed voluntary cutbacks, said Michael George, the state’s water master for the delta. But based on the farmers’ comments, George said, he believed many will.

Under the deal, delta farmers would have until June 1 to lay out how they will use 25 percent less water during what typically is a rain-free four months until September.

The delta is the heart of the water system in California, with miles of rivers interlacing fecund farmland. It supplies water to 25 million California residents and vast regions of farmland that produces nearly half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S.

Agriculture experts, however, say they would expect only modest immediate effects on food prices from any reduction in water to the senior water-rights holders. Other states will be able to make up the difference if California moves away from low-profit crops, economists say.

State officials initially said they would also announce the first cuts of the four-year drought to senior rights holders on Friday. Water regulators said Thursday, however, that the announcement involving farmers and others in the watershed of the San Joaquin River would be delayed until at least next week.

It is unclear whether the delta farmers’ offer would go far enough to save drying, warming waterways statewide.

Farmers use 80 percent of all water taken from the land in California. Senior water-rights holders alone consume trillions of gallons of water a year. The state doesn’t know exactly how much they use because of unreliable data collection.

The 1977 cutback order for senior rights holders applied only to dozens of people along a stretch of the Sacramento River.

Although thousands of junior water rights holders have had their water curtailed this year, Gov. Jerry Brown has come under criticism for sparing farmers with senior water rights from mandatory cutbacks.

Increasing amounts of the state’s irrigation water goes to specialty crops such as almonds, whose growers are expanding production despite the drought.

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