TIME Asia

The Exodus of Rohingya Muslims

Thousands of migrants are believed to be at sea

Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Burma were spotted in the Andaman sea on Thursday as the exodus has fueled an intensifying migrant crisis.

At least 6,000 migrants from Burma and Bangladesh are believed to be at sea, and neighboring countries have become increasingly reluctant to take responsibility for them.

Earlier this week, more than 1,500 refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh landed ashore in Indonesia and Malaysia, but both countries say they plan to turn away other boats.

Meanwhile, a recent crackdown in Thailand on human smugglers may have led smugglers to abandon boatloads of refugees at sea. Though Thai forces provided food to one abandoned boat of migrants pictured above, the New York Times reports that it was unclear if the Thai navy would provide more help. Passengers said that the crew had abandoned them six days ago and that 10 people had died during the voyage, according to the Times.

Some 25,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis have fled their countries by sea in the first three months of 2015, according to the United Nations, or nearly twice as many as last year.

Read next: The Rohingya, Burma’s Forgotten Muslims by James Nachtwey

TIME Transportation

Freight Train Derails in Pittsburgh

At least 10 cars of a freight train derailed, days after the deadly Amtrak passenger crash in Philadelphia.

A freight train derailed in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, raising alarm days after a deadly Amtrak passenger train derailment in Philadelphia.

No injuries were reported at the scene of the accident in Pittsburgh, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

Separately on Wednesday, a train collided with a truck in Johnston, South Carolina, though details remain unclear.

On Tuesday, an Amtrak Northeast Regional bound for New York City derailed as it traveled at more than 100 mph through a curve where the speed limit was 50 mph. At least seven people were killed and more than 200 were injured.

TIME Germany

102-Year-Old Who Fled Nazis to Become Oldest Doctorate Recipient

German pediatrician Ingeborg Rapoport, 97, speaks during an interview in her house in Berlin
Thomas Peter—Reuters German pediatrician Ingeborg Rapoport, 97, speaks during an interview in her house in Berlin on July 3, 2009.

Ingeborg Rapoport was refused an opportunity to defend her thesis in Nazi Germany.

A 102-year-old retired neonatologist successfully defended her doctoral thesis on Wednesday, 77 years after the Nazi regime denied her the opportunity.

Ingeborg Rapoport will become the oldest person to receive a doctoral degree at a ceremony at the University of Hamburg next month, the Wall Street Journal reports. Her thesis, which she submitted in 1938, focused on diphtheria, an infectious disease that was the leading cause of death among children in Europe at the time.

Rapoport was raised a Protestant but her mother was Jewish, leading officials at the time to deem her ineligible for academic advancement. She emigrated to the United States in 1938 and eventually received an M.D. from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

TIME Appreciation

Watch: This Act of Kindness Will Warm Your Morning

A Qdoba worker’s act of compassion, caught on camera, proves "there’s still some good people in the world."

 

The woman in a wheelchair passed through the Qdoba restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky so often that the staff knew her order: a taco salad with hot sauce and cheese for lunch, and a burrito with hot sauce and cheese for dinner.

But Ridge Quales, who worked at the Qdoba, says that one day he asked if there was anything else he could do for her. Her response and his swift act will warm your heart.

“I had helped her through the line and sat her out in the lobby, got her a drink, got her utensils and napkin and kind of started to walk off and I was like, you know, ‘Is there anything else I can help you with?’ and she turned around and she was like, ‘Sir, if you don’t mind could you help me eat?’” Quarles told local news source Wave3.

Another customer, David Jones, caught Quarles helping the woman on camera.

“He didn’t stop to think about, ‘Well, should I help her, should I not,’ he just went over, put the gloves on and started feeding her,” said Jones, who soon decided to start recording. “I said, I don’t know, I think I’ll just send it out to some of my friends and say, ‘there’s still some good people in the world.”

[Wave3]

TIME Research

A Limp Handshake Could Predict an Early Death Say Scientists

450741727
Caspar Benson—Getty Images/fStop A fist holding a wrench up triumphantly

Grip strength could determine chances of an early death.

A new large-scale study suggests that grip strength could serve as a “simple, inexpensive” test for heart disease and other health risks.

The study, published in the medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday, found that people whose grip strength declined the fastest faced higher risks of health problems, including strokes and heart disease. In fact, the study found, grip strength can be better than blood pressure at predicting risk,

According to the study, every 11lb drop in grip strength was correlated with a 16 percent rise in the risk of early death.

The researchers, who studied more than 140,000 people in 17 countries between 2003 and 2009, say more work is necessary to further explain the connection between grip and health risks.

TIME Crime

Lawyers for Baltimore Police Officers Want Prosecutor Off Freddie Gray Case

Marilyn Mosby
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announces that criminal charges will be filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore on May 1, 2015.

The lengthy filing cites alleged conflicts of interest and bias

Lawyers for the Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray filed a motion Friday calling for the case to be thrown out and/or State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby to be removed or dismissed from it.

The motion filed in Baltimore City District Court cites multiple concerns, CNN reports, including potential bias and conflicts of interest, in arguing for the prosecutor to be taken off the case.

The filing alleges that Mosby has a personal relationship with potential witnesses and says that a lawyer for Gray’s family is a friend and attorney for Mosby, among other potential conflicts of interest. It says Mosby and her husband, City Councilman Nick Mosby, stand to benefit financially and professionally from the case.

Gray died on April 19 one week after being fatally injured during his arrest by six Baltimore police officers. His death sparked days of protests by demonstrators, along with pockets of violence and looting.

Mosby, the 35-year-old prosecutor who was elected Baltimore City State’s Attorney last November, announced on Friday the six would face charges including second degree murder and manslaughter.

[CNN]

TIME Courts

Judge Declares Mistrial in Case of Etan Patz, Missing 36 Years

Missing NYC Boy
Bebeto Matthews—AP Stanley Patz, father of Etan Patz, pauses during a news conference, after a judge declared a mistrial for Pedro Hernandez at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York on May 8, 2015.

A judge declared a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a verdict for the third time

Prosecutors’ attempt to finally close a missing child case that has mystified New York City for more than three decades collapsed on Friday, after jurors failed to reach a verdict for a third time.

A judge declared a mistrial in the murder case trial of Pedro Hernandez, 54, a factory worker in New Jersey who confessed to killing 6-year-old Etan Patz 33 years after Patz disappeared in 1979.

Prosecutors must now decide whether to attempt a new trial against Hernandez or let him go free. “We believe there is clear and corroborated evidence of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement, without indicating whether he plans to retry Hernandez.

Patz’s family expressed outrage that the jury failed to reach a verdict. “This man did it. He said it. How many times does a man have to confess before you believe him and it’s not a hallucination?” Stanley Patz, Etan’s father, told reporters on Friday.

TIME Syria

Undeclared Chemical Weapons Traces Reported at Syrian Military Site

Children react after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Assad near the Syrian Arab Red Crescent center in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus
Bassam Khabieh—Reuters Children react after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad near the Syrian Arab Red Crescent center in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus on May 6, 2015.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said to have found sarin and VX nerve agents

International inspectors reportedly discovered traces of chemicals used to make weapons at a Syrian military research site that had not been declared.

Reuters, citing unnamed diplomatic sources, reports that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons took samples in December and January from a Syrian military research site that tested positive for chemical precursors used to make sarin and VX nerve agents.

The Syrian government last year handed over 1,300 metric tons of chemical weapons after it pledged to eliminate its stockpile.

“This is a pretty strong indication they have been lying about what they did with sarin,” one diplomatic source said. “They have so far been unable to give a satisfactory explanation about this finding.”

The Hague-based OPCW did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.

Read more at Reuters

TIME Madagascar

Madagascar Treasure May Be Notorious Pirate Captain Kidd’s Loot

Captain Kidd in New York Harbour.
Universal History Archive—UIG via Getty Images Captain Kidd in New York Harbour by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. Captain William Kidd welcoming a young woman on board his ship; other men and women crowd the deck as another woman steps aboard.

Kidd was hanged for piracy in London in 1701

Divers recovered a roughly 50 kg (110 pounds) slab of silver off the coast of Madagascar that some suspect may have belonged to the 17th century Scottish pirate Captain William Kidd.

U.S. explorer Barry Clifford led the team that found the bar around the wreck of what is believed to be Kidd’s ship, the Adventure Galley, which Clifford first discovered over a decade ago, the BBC reports.

The bar was ceremoniously presented to Madagascar’s President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, during a ceremony on Thursday attended by British and American diplomats. The office of the president described the handover on Twitter as “symbolic.”

Kidd, whose image as one of the most notorious pirates has been challenged in recent years, was hanged for piracy in London in 1701.

See images of the slab here:

TIME Football

Tom Brady’s Agent Slams ‘Deflategate’ Report

In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speaks at a news conference about the NFL investigation into deflated footballs, in Foxborough, Mass.
Elise Amendola—AP In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speaks at a news conference about the NFL investigation into deflated footballs, in Foxborough, Mass.

“It is a sad day for the league,” Don Yee said in a statement.

The agent who represents New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady accused investigators of bias in an outraged rebuttal to Wednesday’s “Deflategate” report.

“The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment,” Don Yee said in a statement released Thursday. “It’s omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later.”

A report from attorney Ted Wells found that it was “more probable than not” that two Patriots employees deliberately deflated balls below regulation levels during January’s AFC Championship Game. Brady, the report said, was probably “at least generally aware” of their operation.

[See more: 6 Surreal Takeaways From the Deflategate Report]

Though he did not address Brady’s culpability, Yee said Brady fully cooperated with the investigation and “made himself available for nearly an entire day.”

“For reasons unknown, the Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom’s testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks.”

See Yee’s full statement:

The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment. It’s omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later.

One fact alone taints this entire report. What does it say about the league office’s protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game? This suggests it may be more probable than not that the league cooperated with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation. The Wells report buries this issue in a footnote on page 46 without any further elaboration.

The league is a significant client of the investigators’ law firm; it appears to be a rich source of billings and media exposure based on content in the law firm’s website. This was not an independent investigation and the contents of the report bear that out — all one has to do is read closely and critically, as opposed to simply reading headlines.

The investigators’ assumptions and inferences are easily debunked or subject to multiple interpretations. Much of the report’s vulnerabilities are buried in the footnotes, which is a common legal writing tactic. It is a sad day for the league as it has abdicated the resolution of football-specific issues to people who don’t understand the context or culture of the sport.

I was physically present for my client’s interview. I have verbatim notes of the interview. Tom made himself available for nearly an entire day and patiently answered every question. It was clear to me the investigators had limited understanding of professional football. For reasons unknown, the Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom’s testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks.

Mr. Wells promised back in January to share the results of this investigation publicly, so why not follow through and make public all of the information gathered and let the public draw its own conclusions? This report contains significant and tragic flaws, and it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser.

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