TIME Television

Game of Thrones Season 5 Actor Dies Shortly After Filming New Role

Actor J.J. Murphy, who was slated to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch in the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, died on August 8, 2014 at the age of 86.
Actor J.J. Murphy, who was slated to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch in the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, died on August 8, 2014 at the age of 86. Independent Agency—Youcef Boubetnikh

The 86-year-old was set to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch in the show's upcoming fifth season

Belfast-born actor J.J. Murphy, who was slated to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night’s Watch in the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, died on Friday at the age of 86. He had begun filming his scenes in Northern Ireland — where much of the popular HBO drama is filmed — last week. HBO has not yet said whether the role would be recast or Murphy’s scenes would be re-written.

According to The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Murphy served as a mentor to many young actors in the region, including Liam Neeson.

It’s not clear whether Murphy’s untimely death will cause a snag in production for the upcoming season, but — given the size of the role — it isn’t likely to have a significant impact on scheduling.

[via Belfast Telegraph]

MONEY Estate Planning

What Parents Can Learn From Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Victoria Will—Invision/AP

When it comes to deciding who inherits what, the law gives the dead wide latitude to impose a number of conditions.

On Tuesday, the will of Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman was released to the public. In addition to dictating who would receive various parts of his estate, the document also contained a more esoteric request: that his son, Cooper, be raised in one of three cities—New York, Chicago, or San Francisco—to ensure that he would grow up in a rich cultural environment.

It’s an understandable request (and as a New Yorker, I’m flattered we made the list), but is it really legal to dictate where your children grow up after you’ve already passed on? And, more broadly, to what extent can one control their descendants’ actions post-mortem?

By law, Hoffman could not have ordered his child’s guardian to keep Cooper in a particular place. Gerry W. Beyer, a professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, explains that wills can do no more than transfer property from the deceased to their survivors. That said, there are plenty of ways the dead can use property to encourage (or, some might say, coerce) descendants into living a certain kind of life.

If you want to influence your survivors to do something—finish college, go to mass, take good care of Fido, etc.—the best way to do it is to promise them money on the condition they fulfill your request. For example, if you want to make sure your son takes his education seriously, you can leave him $10,000 on the condition he is admitted to a top-ranked college. If Junior knows too many late homework assignments could mean missing out on a huge payday, he’s probably going to hit the books.

Because the deceased have no obligation to give away anything after death, courts tend to give them wide latitude in how their wealth is distributed. The only clear restriction is that inheritance cannot be conditioned on an illegal act (kill the neighbor and you’ll get my car). Otherwise, the condition must simply avoid acting against “public policy”—it can’t encourage something the state doesn’t like—and defining what that includes is almost entirely up to an individual judge.

Ample room for interpretation can sometimes lead to controversial results. In a landmark 2009 ruling, a judge upheld the will of a Chicago dentist that denied funds to any of his grandchildren who married a non-Jew. Various family members sued, arguing the clause provided monetary incentive towards racism. “It is at war with society’s interest in eliminating bigotry and prejudice, and conflicts with modern moral standards of religious tolerance,” one (disinherited) granddaughter wrote in a brief to the Illinois Supreme Court. The verdict? Too bad. The judge found no reason why her grandfather could not choose to favor those descendants who followed his religious traditions.

According to Beyer, this type of decision isn’t uncommon. “This is something the court is doing in its equitable powers,” says the professor. “You can even find similar cases in the same state that go different ways.”

Highlighting this issue, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania had previously ruled against a different will that also attempted to mandate religious observance. In that case, the document required a son to “remain faithful” to his father’s religion in order to receive any money. Unlike the Illinois case, this court found that the will contradicted the state’s Bill of Rights, which declared no human authority could interfere with acts of conscience. Does that sound inconsistent? Now you’re getting the hang of it.

Luckily, there are some relatively standard limits to what strings one can attach to their will. Beyer advises that courts will often use public policy arguments to deny provisions that are “manifestly unfair or unreasonable.” For example, a provision that would grant a person money for divorcing their spouse would be ruled invalid.

However, when it comes to the more contentious issues, there’s no telling how a case will turn out. Hoffman graciously chose to merely suggest that Cooper be raised in a cultural center, leaving the final decision completely up to Mimi O’Donnell, the mother of his children and inheritor of his estate. However, had Hoffman chosen to stake O’Donnell’s inheritance on keeping his son in a major city, Beyer says, the outcome would rest on the relevant court’s prerogative.

“Where you draw the line can be kind of fuzzy,” Beyer says. “People have done a lot of strange things.”

TIME Interview

Innocents in the Crossfire: Alessio Romenzi’s Shocking Photographs From Gaza

Correction appended, July, 22.

Italian photographer Alessio Romenzi harbors no illusions that his images of dead civilians—many of them children—caught in the crossfire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip will have an impact on the conflict. But he can’t stay away from the story.

Romenzi, 40, has lived for the last five years between Israel and Palestine. In 2012, he documented Gaza during the Israeli Defense Forces’ “Operation Pillar of Defense,” which ended after just eight days.

This year, as Israel enters the third week of “Operation Protective Edge,” Romenzi doesn’t see a way out of the conflict. “I don’t think the different sides know how to get out of this situation,” he told TIME in a phone interview. “I can see that both sides are very determined to keep on fighting.”

According to U.N. figures, 479 Palestinians and 27 Israelis have been killed since July 8. The U.N. says that 121 Palestinian children have been killed. Since the murder of three Israeli teenagers – which, along with the killing of a Palestinian teen, partly led to the start of the war – no further Israeli children have died in the fighting. Doctors say armed operations – from Israel Defense Forces airstrikes to Hamas rocket attacks – have traumatized a large number of children on both sides of Gaza’s borders. Critics of Israel say its military is killing too many civilians in its war against Hamas. The Israeli military says it does everything it can to avoid killing civilians and claims Hamas members deliberately seek shelter in civilian homes, putting those civilians in harm’s way.

“It’s a common theme to all wars,” Romenzi says. “You have two sides, and civilians—people who are guilty of nothing—are caught in the middle. Sometimes people die because they were at the wrong place at the wrong moment. They were near a target. But nobody knows exactly where these target are and why they are targets.”

Romenzi is used to covering conflicts—he was in Syria in 2012 and in Libya the year before. Each time, he deliberately chose to focus on civilian victims. “Children should never be touched by war,” he says. “But here . . . a very high percentage of victims are children.” And while his images can be tough on viewers, Romenzi doubts his work will have any short-term effect on public opinion. “[Every] day, people stop me and ask me why the world is not intervening to stop [what’s going on]. They ask me why all these children, all these innocents, are going through all of this once again. I don’t think the world is prepared to do anything. There’s been a lot of talk, a lot of [outrage], but there’s nothing happening on the ground.”

The problem, Romenzi tells TIME, is that these images of dead kids are not effective anymore. “We’ve seen them before and we are again in the same situation,” he says. But he takes comfort in the thought that his work will be remembered later on. “We, photographers, are doing this for the future.”

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the number of casualties in the Gaza conflict. According to official U.N. figures, 479 Palestinians and 27 Israelis have been killed since July 8.


Alessio Romenzi is an editorial, corporate and portrait photographer whose work has appeared in TIME, Newsweek, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, among others. See his earlier work ‘Syria Under Siege‘ on LightBox.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent


 

TIME Behind the Photos

Malaysia Airlines Ukraine Crash: ‘Unreal’ Scenes from Photographer Jerome Sessini

Warning: Graphic images and details can be found in the photographs above and in the text below.

Late Thursday afternoon, a field of sunflowers in the village of Torez in eastern Ukraine was transformed into a scene of a tragedy when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile.

Jerome Sessini, a French photographer with the agency Magnum Photos, was one of the first people to arrive at the scene. A veteran war photographer who has worked in conflict sites like Iraq and Somalia, Sessini says he wasn’t prepared for the weight of what he saw.

Sessini, who had been working in a nearby mining village in Donetsk, first heard about the crash when his driver received a call from a local journalist, who explained that a plane had been downed in nearby Torez, apparently by pro-Russian rebels. Initially assuming it was a Ukrainian military plane—the pro-Russian rebels had already destroyed a military transport plane and reportedly brought down two other military aircraft—Sessini and his driver headed out.

“As we made our way to Torez, we learned that it was in fact a civilian plane,” the photographer told TIME. It didn’t take the pair long to reach the scene and they had no trouble accessing the crash site, as there were very few people in the area at the time. Yet the rebels soon arrived, and they initially gave Sessini trouble, taking his memory card away. They eventually returned it and allowed Sessini to take photographs.

“[What I saw] was horrific, almost unreal,” he says. In addition to the charred wreckage and debris of the destroyed Boeing 777 plane, there were bodies strewn across the fields. Some were still attached to their seats. “I was in shock. I don’t think I ever felt so sick.”

More than a hundred bodies have been found so far, with some located as far as 6.2 miles (10 km) away from the crash site. “I found one body that went through the roof of a house and landed in someone’s bedroom,” says Sessini. “It’s a real nightmare.”

Sessini noted that while some of the bodies were virtually intact, others had broken apart in the explosion and crash. But for the seasoned photographer, one of the hardest sights to take in wasn’t the dead themselves, but the mementos from their lives, strewn across the ground. “One of the saddest parts was to see all of their luggage in the grass,” he says. “All these Duty Free bags, the swimsuits, the children’s books.”

“I don’t think I’ll be able to board a plane without thinking about these images,” Sessini says.

-interview by Olivier Laurent


Jerome Sessini is a French photojournalist represented by Magnum. Megan Gibson is a writer and reporter at the London bureau of TIME. Find her on Twitter at @MeganJGibson. Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent.


TIME History

15 Years Later: Remembering JFK Jr.

JFK Jr. TIME Cover
The cover of TIME's July 26, 1999 issue: "John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. 1960-1999" Ken Regan—TIME

The son of the 35th president was 38-years-old when his plane was lost at sea

Fifteen years ago Wednesday, a shocked nation grieved as the Kennedy family lost another one of their own. John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., 38, died in a plane crash with his wife and sister-in-law on July 16, 1999.

“He was lost on that troubled night, but we will always wake for him, so that his time, which was not doubled but cut in half, will live forever in our memory and in our beguiled and broken hearts,” then-Sen. Ted Kennedy said in a eulogy for his nephew, an American icon turned magazine editor. Kennedy outlived his nephew by 10 years, passing away in 2009 after nearly a half-century in the U.S. Senate.

In that same eulogy, Kennedy praised the “lifelong mutual admiration society” shared between JFK Jr. and his sister Caroline, who now serves as the United State ambassador to Japan.

Kennedy was often asked whether he would further the political legacy of his father, who died when his son was only two years old. JFK Jr. once said of his father, “He inspired a lot of hope and created a sense of possibility, and then the possibility was cut short and never realized.”

Read TIME’s special 1999 cover story marking JFK Jr.’s death here.

TIME Crime

15-Year-Old Shooting Survivor Quotes Harry Potter at Memorial for Her Family

The teen says her family is "in a much better place" and that she "will be able to see them again one day"

The sole survivor of a shooting rampage that killed her parents and four siblings, quoted a line from the Harry Potter series at a memorial for her family on Saturday.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times,” Cassidy Stay said, citing Dumbledore’s advice in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, “if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

More than 400 people attended the “celebration of life,” NBC News reports, which took place following Wednesday’s shooting in the Houston area.

MONEY Shopping

Sitting At Your Desk Is Killing You. Here’s What It Costs To Stop the Destruction

This could be you if you don't get up and move around during the work day. TommL—Getty Images/Vetta

Sitting all day is a real killer. Here's a few products to help you be more active at the office.

The science is in: Sitting at your desk all day is really, really, bad for you. Studies have shown long periods of sitting is bad for the elderly, drastically increases your risk of cancer, and now new research confirms that being a couch potato at work is hazardous to your heart’s health.

Worst of all, your daily (or weekly) trip to the gym isn’t enough to offset the damage that prolonged sitting can cause. As a New York Times survey of the scientific literature concluded:

It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death.

How can you avoid this death-by-lethargy? The key is not exercising more, but sitting less. Luckily for desk jockeys everywhere, there are plenty of products and services that promise to get you moving about during the work day. Here’s a quick survey of the market, and how much each solution will cost you.

Standing Desk

Cost: $20-$1,497

The most obvious way to prevent the problems of sitting is to, well, stand. A standing desk is pretty much the same as a normal desk, but much taller, and usually adjustable. The idea is that by standing you’ll be more active—flexing your legs, fidgeting, moving around, shifting your weight, etc—and therefore avoid the complete stasis that makes sitting so damaging.

Standings desks run the gamut from virtually free to obscenely expensive. If you don’t want to spend any money at all—something standing desk advocates actually recommend for newcomers—you can just use a sufficiently high counter top or table. As long as your new workstation meets a few ergonomic requirements (this graphic from Wired is very helpful), you should be all set.

If you like the standing desk lifestyle (and the ability to literally look down on your seated co-workers), it might be time to splurge on the real thing. On the low end, there’s a $20 IKEA hack for the DIY type. A good mid-range product is the $400 Kangaroo Pro Junior, an adjustable (if small) option with a special mounting for your computer monitor.

The top of the line is the NextDesk Terra. At almost $1,500, the Terra is not for anyone on a budget, but it certainly offers some great features. In addition to great build quality, Terra’s electrical motor allows you to easily adjust its height using a small console on the right corner. It also remembers three different heights, allowing for sharing or an easy transition back to sitting position. All this was enough to impress the Wirecutter, which picked the Terra as their favorite standing desk.

Treadmill Desk

Cost: ~$700-$1,500+

Standing desk not hardcore enough for you? Try combining it with an actual treadmill. Surprisingly, these contraptions aren’t that much more expensive than a standing desk, with some options coming in around $700. Consumer Reports recommends the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5, which retails for $1,500.

Treadmill desks are a great way to remain active while working, but try not to go overboard with the exercise (especially if you can’t wear gym clothes to work). Business Insider’s Alyson Shontell walked 16 miles in one day on a treadmill desk and described the experience as less-than-enjoyable.

Office Yoga

Cost: Classes start at $250 a session

Yoga is a great way to de-stress while also getting some needed exercise. The problem? You can’t exactly break out the tights and yoga matts in the middle of your office without getting, at the very least, some weird looks from everyone nearby.

Or at least that’s been the problem until now. A company called Yoga Means Business offers offices group yoga classes that don’t require a change of clothes. YMB’s signature class is the 30-minute method, which features 15-20 minutes of standing and stretching and another ten minutes of meditation and breathing. Half an hour isn’t too much time, but it’s a great way to get out of your chair and be active for a little while during the work day.

In terms of cost, YMB’s classes are free—assuming you can convince your company to pick up the charge. Each 30-minute session starts at $250 and YMB recommends two sessions per week. If yoga isn’t enough, you can also book an appointment with an office fitness expert. Larry Swanson, a Seattle message therapist and personal trainer, offers appointments where you can learn exercises, posture awareness, and other strategies for staying active during work.

Apps

Cost: Free

If all these fancy desks and yoga classes sound like too much, you can make yourself more active using only a smartphone or tablet. StandApp, available for both iOS and Android, allows users to set custom break intervals and then alerts them when its time to get out of their chair. In addition to these periodic reminders, StandApp also has video guides for various office-compatible exercises and tracks how many calories you’ve burned by getting up more often.

Posture Sensor

Cost: $149.99

If you are going to sit for a while, it’s important to have good posture. The LumoBack posture sensor straps around your waist and tracks how your sitting or standing. If it detects you slouching, the device vibrates to let you know you’re doing it wrong. The LumoBack also integrates with your iPhone to track your steps and how many times you stand per day, making it useful for anyone who wants to make sure they’re not sitting for too long.

Get a New Job

Cost: ????

At the end of the day, the problem is your modern work life. Most white collar jobs require sitting behind a desk for 8+ hours instead of moving around. On the other hand, jobs in manual labor offer plenty of opportunities for exercise. Maybe you’ll have to take a pay cut (not always, many manual jobs have pretty great compensation), but you’ll probably be healthier for it. And you can’t put a price on your health, right?

TIME Crime

Teen Killed While Chasing iPhone Thief

Kritina Lee Knief—Getty Images
Kritina Lee Knief—Getty Images

California teen killed chasing her Iphone

Police are asking for the public’s help tracking down a thief who stole a California teen’s iPhone last week. The young girl was killed after jumping onto the hood of a speeding car in an attempt to retrieve the device.

15-year-old Rubi Rubio of Santa Ana was walking her 7-year-old sister home from school around noon last Thursday when a thief took her iPhone and jumped into a car. Rubio briefly held on to the burglar’s car before falling off and hitting her head, said police corporal Anthony Bertagna.

“According to witnesses, the vehicle was swerving in an attempt to get her off,” Bertagna told the Orange County Register.

The teen died of her injuries while surrounded by family members in Western Medical Center Santa Ana on Saturday. Rubio’s mother, Marisol Hernandez, said she gave her daughter the phone after Rubio received good grades in her sophomore year of high school.

“She was my support all the time and she deserved it,” Hernandez told the Register. “I don’t know exactly what happened,” she said, questioning her daughter’s decision to chase the vehicle.

Superintendent of Santa Ana Unified School District Rick Miller said in a statement that grief counseling will be available for friends, family, teachers and others affected by Rubio’s death.

TIME Crime

Police Say the Hot-Car Toddler Died While His Dad Was Sexting

Justin Ross Harris
Justin Ross Harris, the father of a toddler who died after police say he was left in a hot car for about seven hours, sits during his bond hearing in Cobb County Magistrate Court, Thursday, July 3, 2014, in Marietta, Ga. Kelly J. Huff—AP

Detectives say man sent explicit messages to women as son died in car

On Thursday a judge denied bail to Justin Ross Harris, a man whose 22-month-old son died after being left in his hot car, after finding probable cause to charge him with felony murder and child cruelty. Harris, of Cobb County, Georgia, has pleaded not guilty.

At the hearing, detectives shared incriminating evidence that had been found on Harris’ computer, tablet and smartphone. Lead investigator Phil Stoddard testified that Harris had been sending explicit text messages to six different women through an app called Kik — including a picture of his erect penis to a 16-year-old girl — while his son Cooper Harris was trapped in the car for hours and subsequently died. According to Stoddard, Harris may also be charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

Detectives also found evidence on Harris’ computer that he had been reading articles on a Reddit page called “child-free”— a thread for people who do not have or want children — in the months leading up to the incident. Harris had also twice watched a public-service-announcement video that dramatized the results of leaving an animal in a hot car. The last time it was watched was only five days before his son died on June 18. Detectives say that Internet searches also revealed Harris was looking for tips on how to survive in prison.

Harris’ wife Leanna explained to police that they had watched the video after she saw a public-service announcement reminding parents not to leave children in cars, CNN reported.

During the hearing, detectives also claimed that Harris was exhibiting strange behavior after he had been interrogated. In the interview room, his wife asked him what he told police. “And she looks at him, and she’s like, ‘Well, did you say too much?'” Stoddard testified.

The Cobb County medical examiner’s office has said that Cooper’s cause of death was “consistent with hyperthermia and the investigative information suggests the manner of death is homicide.”

Cooper’s funeral was held in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday.

TIME Caffeine

Prom King Died From Caffeine Powder Overdose

Logan Stiner, 18, died after ingesting a toxic amount of caffeine

Correction appended

The death of an Ohio high school senior just shy of his graduation has officially been attributed to a caffeine overdose.

On May 27, recently elected prom king Logan Stiner, 18, came home for lunch and ingested enough caffeine powder to cause an irregular heartbeat and seizures. His brother found him dead next to the white powder.

“I never thought it would hurt an 18-year-old child,” neighbor Lora Balka told WKYC.

Lorain County Coroner Steven Evans said Saturday that 1/16 a teaspoon of power has the caffeine equivalent of one can of Mountain Dew or a high-power energy drink. No one saw how much powder Stiner drank or knows where he got it from, but Evans said that it can be purchased online.

In October 2013, a British man died from a caffeine overdose after eating too many Hero Instant Energy Mints. Every mint contains the caffeine found in a can of Red Bull and the label advises taking no more than five in a 24-hour period. The coroner did not disclose how many pills John Jackson, 40, ingested.

“I am as certain as I can be that Mr. Jackson did not know he was exposing himself to danger,” said Coroner Robin Balmain, who vowed to write to the U.K.’s Department of Health regarding the potential dangers of high energy products.

In 2010, a 23-year-old man died in Nottingham, England after ingesting two spoonfuls of caffeine powder at a party with friends, which is the equivalent of 70 cans of Red Bull. The label warned to only take one-sixteenth of a teaspoon.

“Caffeine is so freely available on the internet,” coroner Nigel Chapman said, “but it’s so lethal if taken in the wrong dose and here we see the consequence.”

This article originally misstated how Lora Balka was related to the victim. She is a neighbor.

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