TIME Uber

Uber Is Not in Kansas Anymore

After lawmakers overrode the Governor's veto of a restrictive new bill

Uber shut down its operations in Kansas on Tuesday after state lawmakers overrode Republican Governor Sam Brownback’s veto of a bill that would impose new rules on ride-sharing services.

The Republican-held Senate and House both had more than a two-thirds majority to override the veto of the bill, which would require drivers undergo Kansas Bureau of Investigation background checks and enhance its auto insurance, the Associated Press reports.

“We’re saddened by the loss of hundreds of jobs, safe rides and transportation choice for consumers in Kansas,” Uber spokeswoman Lauren Altmin said in a statement, the Kansas City Star reports. On Tuesday afternoon, users in Kansas were prompted with this message:

Only last month, Uber was celebrating an agreement with the city council in Kansas City and the continuation of its operations there. A main competitor, Lyft, has not operated in the city since the fall.

TIME

Did ISIS Really Mastermind Texas Shooting? Experts Doubtful

“What proof has ISIS offered?” said one longtime member of the CIA

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria claimed that the gunmen at a Texas cartoon exhibition were “soldiers of the caliphate,” but experts say that it’s still unclear if and what ties really existed.

On May 3, authorities say that roommates Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi injured a security officer when they fired assault rifles at the exhibition in a Dallas suburb that featured images of the Prophet Mohammed. Police killed both men.

A Twitter account reportedly run by Simpson posted a tweet moments before the attack that said, “”May Allah accept us as mujahideen,” according to CNN.

On Tuesday, a statement from ISIS’s Al Bayan radio claimed responsibility for the attack, marking the first such ISIS claim for an attack on U.S. soil. “We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of ISIS do terrible things,” the group said.

But experts are skeptical. “What proof has ISIS offered?” Bruce Riedel, a former member of the CIA and head of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institute, said in an email to TIME. He said police would have been able to confirm “fairly easily” whether the gunmen had received orders from ISIS by checking their phones and computers.

Others say that the links to ISIS may have been tenuous at best. One unnamed U.S. official told Reuters that it was possible ISIS played an “inspirational” role in the attack rather than an “operational” role. “They may not have had formal contact (with ISIS). They may have had email communication or read communications from ISIS, but I don’t think they were directed by ISIS,” former FBI agent Tim Clemente told CNN.

Though it’s still unclear what contact — if any — the gunmen had with ISIS, the FBI had been investigating Simpson since 2006 after recorded him talking about fighting nonbelievers for Allah. He was arrested in 2010, a day before he allegedly planned to leave for South Africa, according to the Associated Press. But he was charged only with lying to a federal agent and given three years of probation and $600 in fines and court fees.

The attack in Texas reawakened fears that extremists abroad could inspire terror attacks in the West, months after gunmen opened fire at the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January. While Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group’s Yemen-based affiliate, claimed responsibility for that attack, the suspect in related attacks, including the assault on a kosher supermarket two days later, had likewise pledged allegiance to ISIS.

TIME Crime

This ‘Toy Rifle’ Put a New Mexico Elementary School on Lockdown

A very real-looking toy sparked an emergency response.

An Albuquerque elementary school principal called police and ordered a lockdown after a woman was spotted outside with what appeared to be a high-powered rifle.

But when police arrived on the scene, they learned that it was a toy airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellets, local news station KRQE reports. The woman, Joanna Davidson, told police that she was trying to sell the toy and was at the time waiting on the street for her boyfriend.

The principal’s confusion can be better understood with a picture of the toy, shared by Albuquerque Police on Friday:

Davidson was charged with disorderly conduct, interference with the educational process and possession of drug paraphernalia (police say they found a glass pipe on her).

TIME States

Iowa Declares State of Emergency Over Bird Flu

Iowa Freedom Summit Features GOP Presidential  Hopefuls
Scott Olson—Getty Images Iowa Governor Terry Branstad speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 24, 2015 .

"While the avian influenza outbreak does not pose a risk to humans, we are taking the matter very seriously," the governor said on Friday.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad declared a state of emergency in his state on Friday to confront a spiraling bird flu outbreak.

Millions of birds across the country have been infected by the highly pathogenic H5 avian flu in the most recent outbreak, which could result in the biggest death toll in U.S. history according to Reuters.

“While the avian influenza outbreak does not pose a risk to humans, we are taking the matter very seriously and believe declaring a state of emergency is the best way to make all resources available,” Branstad said in a statement. “We’ll continue our work – as we’ve been doing since the first outbreak in Buena Vista County – in hopes of stopping the virus’ aggressive spread throughout Iowa.”

In Iowa, 21 sites have presumed or confirmed cases.

 

TIME justice

This Facebook Post About Baltimore Cost a Prosecutor Her Job

Facebook Removes Feeling Fat
Bloomberg via Getty Images The Facebook Inc. logo is seen on an Apple Inc. iPhone in London, U.K., on May 14, 2012.

“Solution. Simple. Shoot em. Period. End of discussion."

A woman in Michigan has lost her job after posting a note on Facebook that called for violent protesters to be shot.

Teana Walsh, an assistant prosecutor with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, resigned on Friday, the Detroit News reports.

On Wednesday, her Facebook account included a post that has since been taken down about the violence rocking Baltimore:

“Solution. Simple. Shoot em. Period. End of discussion. I don’t care what causes the protestors to turn violent…what the ‘they did it because’ reason is…no way is this acceptable. Flipping disgusting.”

Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said the post did not reflect her colleague’s true character. “During her tenure in the office, Teana Walsh has been known for her great work ethic and her compassion for victims of crime and their families,” she said. “Her post was up online briefly and she immediately took it down. The post was completely out of character for her and certainly does not reflect the person that we know.”

Walsh was not the only public official to find herself in hot water as a result of an insensitive post on social media. On Thursday, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson told reporters that the director of a city community relations board, Blaine Griffin, had been reprimanded after the board’s twitter account asked if the city should be “burned down like” Baltimore.

[Detroit News]

TIME Philippines

Filipinos Asked to Avoid Appliances Ahead of Pacquiao Fight

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JOHN GURZINSKI—AFP/Getty Images WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao pose during a news conference at the KA Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will face each other in a unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas.

So the Philippines can cheer on Manny Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather

Some residents in power-strapped parts of the Philippines are being asked to turn off their refrigerators to ensure there’s enough electricity to watch Manny Pacquiao compete in the “fight of the century.”

The Filipino boxer will take on Floyd Mayweather, the unbeaten American, in Las Vegas on Saturday in a years-in-the-making bout; the fight will air in the Philippines on Sunday. AFP reports Rante Ramos, the country’s secretary of the electrical cooperative on the island of Palawan, called for the conservation measures—including avoiding washing machines, irons and air conditioners—in a Facebook post on Wednesday. They can resume using them after the fight, Ramos said.

Puerto Princesa, the island’s capital, has already faced daily power outages recently, some lasting several hours. “Collectively we can do something,” Ramos said in the post. “On May 3, let’s all voluntarily switch off or disconnect as many appliances as we could.”

[AFP]

TIME Law Enforcement

Family of Homeless Man Killed in L.A. Police Shooting Files $20 Million Claim

Heleine Tchayou
Tami Abdollah—AP Heleine Tchayou, second from right, the mother of Charly Leundeu Keunang, a homeless man who was shot and killed during a confrontation on Skid Row by Los Angeles police, speaks at a news conference outside LAPD headquarters in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 30, 2015. The family of Keunang has filed a $20 million claim against the city. (AP Photo/Tami Abdollah)

"He did not have to die!"

The family of a homeless man who was shot and killed during a scuffle with Los Angeles police in March is suing the city, attorneys said Thursday, and seeking a $20 million for wrongful death.

“He did not have to die!” said Heleine Tchayou, mother of 43-year-old Charly Keunang, through a French translator, Reuters reports. “Charly was a thoughtful and caring son.” Keunang, originally from Cameroon, was shot and killed on March 1 after police say he reached for an officer’s gun as they tried to arrest him for suspected robbery.

The family’s claim labeled Keunang’s death “a cop-created killing in which six heavily-armed, highly-trained law enforcement officers initiated a conflict with an unarmed homeless man and then less than three minutes later, shot him six times in the chest, killing him as they held him down on the sidewalk.”

The incident, which was caught on video, came amid greater scrutiny of police tactics nationwide and sparked protests in Los Angeles.

[Reuters]

TIME Nepal

Why Rescuers Still Hold Out Hope for Survivors in Nepal’s Rubble

Pemba Tamang is carried on a stretcher after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and U.S. rescue workers from a building that collapsed five days ago in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 30, 2015.
Niranjan Shrestha—AP Pemba Tamang is carried on a stretcher after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and U.S. rescue workers from a building that collapsed five days ago in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 30, 2015.

If history is any measure, the ongoing rescue efforts in Nepal will continue to bear fruit

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, the first 72 hours were the most critical for first responders to reach victims buried under the rubble. After that, experts say, the chances of survival, particularly for those with injuries, become slim.

But human beings have a remarkable capacity for clinging to life even in the direst of circumstances. Proof of that was evident Thursday, five days after the quake, when rescuers pulled a dazed 18-year-old teenager from the rubble in Kathmandu, who was unharmed enough to thank his savior when they first made contact.

“There are always miracles,” Mike Davis, a team leader for the United States Agency for International Development Disaster and Relief Team in Nepal told TIME earlier this week. Past survival stories are as sensational as they are encouraging for rescuers:

In 1995, 19-year-old Park Sung Hyun was pulled from the rubble 16 days after a department store in Seoul collapsed, killing more than 500 others. Except for a scratch, she was uninjured. “I can’t believe that this is for real,” her brother told Yonhap Television at the time.

After the 2013 collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh—which represented the deadliest non-violence-related building collapse in history—emergency responders saved Reshma Begum after being buried for 17 days. An army seargent at the time said Begum had been breathing through a pipe inside the wreckage and was not seriously injured; Begum, a seamstress who had been working on the factory’s third floor, said she had survived off of biscuits in the bags of dead colleagues and rainwater that managed to reach her.

And in 2005, a 40-year-old woman was found alive in a tiny space in the kitchen of her home in Kashmir, which collapsed in an earthquake more than two months earlier. A doctor treating her afterward called it a miracle that she had survived, apparently off of fresh air and water that reached her and remaining food in the kitchen.

Experts say that survival can depend largely on the moments after the earthquake as structures come crashing down. “The ideal situation is you have become trapped and entombed but have some sort of oxygen supply from the outside world,” Julie Ryan, then a coordinator with the International Rescue Committee, told the BBC in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Access to water and food are also crucial; the average survival time without water ranges from three to five days. According to the BBC, the United Nations usually calls off search and rescue five to seven days after a disaster. But even when the last survivors are pulled out of the wreckage, the response operations for the impoverished nation will go on.

“Search and rescue is really the first thing,” says Garrett Ingoglia, the vice president for emergency response at AmeriCares, which is sending medical aid to Nepal. “But the recovery effort is going to take years.”

TIME conflict

Turkey and Armenia Host Clashing Centennial Memorials

ARMENIA-GENOCIDE-CENTENARY
Alain Jocard—AFP/Getty Images Armenian president Serge Sarkissian (2-R), his wife Rita (2-L) and their children arrive for a ceremony at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on April 24, 2015.

Commemorations of two 1915 events—the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey and the Turkish stand at Gallipoli—have caused tension

More than 60 leaders and representatives from around the world converged on the Armenian capital on Friday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of a period during which more than 1 million Armenians were killed in Turkey. Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President François Hollande both attended the ceremony, while the White House dispatched Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

The anniversary of the 1915 killings, in what was then the eastern edge of the Ottoman Empire, has coincided with a surge in international awareness. In the past month, global icons ranging from Pope Francis to Kim Kardashian (who has Armenian ancestry) have ruffled Turkish feathers by shedding light on the killings and using the term “genocide,” which the Turkish government rejects. And as world envoys gather in Yerevan, similar ceremonies will be held in cities around the world.

On April 24, 1915, the Ottomans rounded up Armenian intellectuals in Istanbul in the beginning of what historians widely consider a genocidal act of bloodshed. In an article years later about a violent Armenian campaign for vengeance, TIME described the killings like this:

During World War I, the Turks exterminated or deported virtually their entire Armenian population because they held the unfounded suspicion that members of the ethnic group were disloyal. The decision to undertake the genocide was communicated to the local leaders by the Interior Minister, Talaat Pasha, in 1915. One of his edicts stated that the government had decided to “destroy completely all Armenians living in Turkey. An end must be put to their existence, however criminal the measures taken may be, and no regard must be paid to age, or sex, or to scruples of conscience.”

The Turkish authorities rounded up all able-bodied men in the Turkish army and bludgeoned them to death. Intellectuals and community leaders in Istanbul were herded aboard ships, then drowned at sea. Armenian babies were thrown live into pits and covered with stones. Women, children and old people were forced to march hundreds of miles, over mountains, presumably to a place of deportation in Syria, but actually to their deaths. Forbidden supplies of food and water, they were waylaid by brigands. Turkish gendarmes raped and sometimes disemboweled or cut the breasts off women before finally killing them. While the horrified U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau Sr., appealed in vain to the Turks to stop the slaughter, hundreds of thousands of Armenians could be seen, as Morgenthau put it, “winding in and out of every valley and climbing up the sides of every mountain.”

But even today, the Turkish government still rejects the “genocide” label and says the killing of Armenians was a casualty of the World War. And to the dismay of Armenians, Turkey is hosting a separate centennial ceremony on Friday: a commemoration of the World War I Gallipoli military campaign, the unsuccessful British and French-led invasion of Turkey that also began in 1915.

The naval operation off the coast began on March 18, a day that is traditionally associated in Turkey with the onset of the campaign. Then, following the failure of the naval bombardment, the allies landed troops on Ottoman beaches on April 25, beginning the ill-fated land offensive. Today that date is observed in Australia and New Zealand as Anzac day, a national remembrance day.

Though the centenary events were bound to be close together, some observers say the timing of the Gallipoli memorial appears to be a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the Armenian anniversary, as it forces the world’s dignitaries to choose one or the other. “It certainly looks like an intentional move by Turkey,” said Thomas de Waal, a historian with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of Great Catastrophe, about the genocide and its aftermath.

Fatih Öke, a spokesperson at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, denied that charge, noting that Turkey has held a Gallipoli commemoration on April 24 since 2003. This year, because of the centennial anniversary, he said, the government invited foreign leaders. “Sorry, we already have this date,” he said.

Still, no matter the motivation, appearances count. “This may rebound against the Turkish government,” said de Waal. “Whereas if they for example had had it on the 25th, then a lot of officials could have gone to Yerevan one day and to Turkey on the next, and that would have been quite elegant.”

A dozen heads of state and five prime ministers were slated to attend the Gallipoli centennial celebration, including Australian Premier Tony Abbott. But with the exception of the British royalty and Irish President Michael Higgins, none are from Western Europe. Hollande’s presence at the Armenian memorial, rather than the Turkish memorial, is particularly conspicuous given France’s central role in the Gallipoli campaign. And though U.S. ambassador to Turkey John Bass was set to attend the Gallipoli memorial, the U.S. is not sending a separate representative from Washington.

Under rising pressure from the international community, the government in Turkey has recently appeared to ease its approach. On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressed “deep condolences” to descendants of the Armenians who suffered during that time.

But activists in the U.S. are skeptical that the Premier’s statements represent a long term change in attitude.

“Davutoglu was just trying to deter or derail recognition efforts. There’s no expression of regret, there’s no acceptance of responsibility,” said Aram Hamparian, the executive committee of the Armenian National Committee of America. “There’s no doubt in my mind that they organized this Gallipoli thing to detract attention from the Armenian genocide centennial.”

To be sure, Turkey continues to pressure foreign countries on the use of the term “genocide.” President Recep Erdogan warned the Pope not to repeat the “mistake” of using the word, and the White House remains reluctant to risk relations with a key ally in a tumultuous region. On Tuesday, White House officials informed Armenian American leaders that President Barack Obama would not use the term in remarks on Friday, despite a 2008 campaign pledge and vocal past support from people within his administration.

“While it is essential to ensure that Turkey continues to ‘treat the Americans all right,’ a stable, fruitful, 21st century relationship cannot be built on a lie,” Samantha Power, now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in TIME in 2007.

Read Power advocate for recognizing the Armenian Genocide in October, 2007: Honesty Is the Best Policy

TIME Switzerland

This Country Has the World’s Happiest People

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Dale Reubin—Getty Images/Cultura RF View of mountains and lakeside village, Switzerland

Life expectancy, social connections, personal freedom and the economy all play a role in happiness

The happiest people in the world live in Switzerland, a new study found.

The third World Happiness Report, released by the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network on Thursday, ranked 158 countries based on Gallup surveys from 2012-15 and analyzed the key factors contributing to happiness levels.

Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada were the top five happiest countries, while the West African nation of Togo was the least happy.

The report aims to provide policymakers around the world with new metrics that place a higher emphasis on subjective well-being. While income appeared to play a significant role in boosting happiness—the GDP per capita is 25 times higher in the 10 happiest countries than in the 10 least happy—it was far from the only factor. Life expectancy, social connections, personal freedom, generosity and corruption levels also helped explain the happiness scores, according to the report.

The U.S., for example, ranked 15th in the world, one below Mexico and three below Costa Rica, where per capita GDP is roughly a fifth of that in the U.S.

“This report gives evidence on how to achieve societal well-being,” Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, said in a statement. “It’s not by money alone, but also by fairness, honesty, trust, and good health.”

But sharp economic changes in a country can play a role in people’s happiness, the report found. Greece, where the global recession triggered prolonged economic turmoil, saw its happiness levels fall the most since 2005-07, compared to 125 other countries where data was available.

Still, the report warned policymakers against overemphasizing income levels.

“When countries pursue GDP in a lopsided manner, forgetting about social and environmental objectives, the results can be adverse for human well-being,” the report said. “Many countries in recent years have achieved economic growth at the cost of the sharply rising inequalities of income and grave damage to the natural environment.”

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