TIME wrestling

Wrestling Legend ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper Dies at 61

He was known for his battles with Hulk Hogan

The wrestling entertainment legend known as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died at his Hollywood, California, home, law enforcement officials said Thursday. He was 61.

The cause of death appears to be natural, officials said. Piper’s agent, Jay Schacter, confirmed the death to Variety, and told the publication Piper died in his sleep Wednesday night.

Piper, whose real name is Roderick George Toombs, joined World Wrestling Entertainment in 1984; before that he wrestled in the NWA.

After joining the WWE became a star and was known for his battles with Hulk Hogan, according to the entertainment company.

Piper grappled with Hogan…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME India

India Pays Tribute to ‘People’s President’ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Kalam died on Monday aged 83

India continued to mourn one of its most beloved Presidents and iconic leaders on Tuesday, as tributes and condolences poured in for A.P.J. Abdul Kalam following his sudden passing Monday evening.

The Indian government declared a seven-day state mourning until Aug. 2 during which national flags across the country will be flown at half-mast, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Kalam, 83, collapsed from an apparent cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to a group of students in India’s northeastern city of Shillong and was declared dead at the hospital about two hours later. His body was flown to the country’s capital, New Delhi, on Tuesday afternoon, where it was received by the chiefs of all three military branches as well as several politicians including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and current President Pranab Mukherjee. It will then be taken to his residence in the city in order for people to pay their respects before being flown to his hometown Rameshwaram, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, for the last rites, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported.

Modi earlier mourned Kalam’s loss on Twitter, calling him “a great scientist, a wonderful President and above all an inspiring individual.”

Mukherjee, who took office after Kalam’s successor Pratibha Patil, also tweeted a heartfelt tribute before announcing that he would make an unscheduled return to New Delhi from his tour of the country’s south.

International leaders like former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also added their condolences via social media.

Although the office of the President in India is a largely ceremonial one, with the Prime Minister as the de facto head of state, Kalam used his tenure to reach out to the masses — India’s youth in particular — which earned him the moniker the People’s President.

He is also commonly referred to as the Missile Man of India, a reference to his role in shaping India’s missile program during his tenures at India’s space and defense-research agencies respectively from the 1960s to the 1990s. He was also a key player in India’s emergence as a nuclear power, playing an integral part in the country’s infamous nuclear tests of 1998.

Few Indian leaders in the 21st century enjoyed the kind of popular support experienced by Kalam, evidenced by the near-unanimous backing of his election as India’s 11th President in 2002 among all the parties across India’s fractious political spectrum, as well as the overwhelming outpouring of grief at his death.

Born in a small town in Tamil Nadu in 1931 to a boatman father, Kalam always encouraged young people to follow their dreams and genuinely believed India could be the next superpower. He advocated as much through his best-selling books like India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium and Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India, as well as his iconic autobiography Wings of Fire.

“My message, especially to young people, is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed,” he once said. “These are the great qualities that they must work towards.”

TIME remembrance

Sandra Bland Remembered as ‘Courageous Voice’ at Funeral

Funeral for Sandra Bland
Tannen Maury—EPA Sharon Cooper, left, talks with supporters as she arrives for the funeral service for her sister, Sandra Bland, at the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Illinois on July 25, 2015.

Hundreds attended her funeral

(LISLE, Ill.)—Family and friends of an Illinois woman found dead in a Texas jail remembered her Saturday as a “courageous voice” for social justice and promised to keep fighting for clarity on the circumstances surrounding her death.

Hundreds of people attended Sandra Bland’s funeral near the Chicago suburb where she grew up. They celebrated her life, but some also said they were still struggling to understand how a traffic stop for failing to use a turn signal escalated into a physical confrontation and landed her in the cell where authorities say she killed herself three days later.

The Harris County, Texas, medical examiner’s office determined through an autopsy that Bland hanged herself with a plastic bag. The 28-year-old woman’s family has questioned the finding, saying she was excited about starting a new job and wouldn’t have taken her own life.

The Rev. Theresa Dear told reporters outside the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church that friends and family continue to have those doubts, even as authorities release documents in support of their conclusion it was suicide.

“When you are about to start a new job, when you know your family is about to bring the money for your release, when you are an activist and a fighter, you don’t take your own life,” she said.

The traffic stop, which was captured on police dash cam video and on a bystander’s cellphone, and Bland’s death in custody have resonated on social media, with many grouping it with other prominent U.S. cases involving confrontations between the police and blacks over the past year.

Bland had spoken out about that issue and others in a series of videos she posted online this year with the hashtag “SandySpeaks.”

Mourners at Saturday’s funeral wore T-shirts with the tag. One person had it scrawled across a car window. Some took to Twitter with the hashtag “SandySTILLSpeaks.”

The July 10 traffic stop became heated when Bland refused the officer’s request to put out a cigarette and his subsequent order to get out of the car. He threatened to shoot Bland with a stun gun unless she obeyed his order and said she kicked him during the tussle. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Dear told mourners that Bland should be celebrated for standing up for herself.

“She challenged and asked the question why, ‘Why should I put out the cigarette?'” Dear said. “She asked 12 times, ‘Why am I being arrested?’ And so we celebrate that part of her personality.”

Her story so moved people that her funeral even drew some who never met her.

“I don’t know Sandra, and I don’t know what happened,” Hank Brown, of Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune. “But I do know she didn’t have to die. There’s an epidemic of police terror in this country, and people need to stand up.”

TIME Books

Read TIME’s Original Reviews of E.L. Doctorow’s Books

His characters "discover the submerged foundations of the American psyche"

The death on Tuesday of E.L. Doctorow ended a decades-long career built on emphasizing the “story” in history.

As TIME described it in a 1975 bio that accompanied the review of his masterwork Ragtime, the story of how he became a writer was one built on belief in himself: “Not long after he got out of the Army in 1954, E.L. (Edgar Lawrence) Doctorow sat down on a wooden crate in front of his typewriter and told his wife Helen, ‘This is the way we are going to survive.’ He had $135 to his name. Forty-eight hours later, he had $50 left and a lot of blank paper. For the next 20 years, Doctorow fought the blank page—and won four times.” During those decades he had several other jobs (airline clerk, editor, teacher) but from that point on he was what he had intended to be: a writer.

Here’s what TIME said about several of his best-known works:

The Book of Daniel (1971):The Book of Daniel, transparently based on the Rosenberg case, is a bold novel that, all things considered, is surprisingly successful. Doctorow‘s biggest gamble was sinking his energies into the Rosenberg case in the first place. Not that successful fiction cannot spring from old newspapers, as Dostoevsky and Dreiser both demonstrated. But the Rosenberg trial was a kind of drawn-out, draining and rather grisly national ordeal.”

Read the full review

Ragtime (1975): “In Doctorow‘s hands, the nation’s secular fall from grace is no catalogue of sin, no mere tour de force; the novelist has managed to seize the strands of actuality and transform them into a fabulous tale.”

Read the full review

Loon Lake (1980): “The written surface of Loon Lake is ruffled and choppy. Swatches of poetry are jumbled together with passages of computerese and snippets of mysteriously disembodied conversation. Narration switches suddenly from first to third person, or vice versa, and it is not always clear just who is telling what. Chronology is so scrambled that the aftereffects of certain key events are described before the events occur. Such dislocations are undeniably frustrating at first, but they gradually acquire hypnotic force. Reading the book finally seems like overhearing bits of an oddly familiar tune.”

Read the full review

World’s Fair (1985):Doctorow calls it a novel. But the book reads like a memoir, and is unmistakably based on the author’s early boyhood in the Bronx. The account begins with a bed wetting in the middle of the Depression and ends on the eve of World War II with a nine-year-old Edgar Altschuler burying a cardboard time capsule containing a Tom Mix decoder badge, his school report on the life of F.D.R., a harmonica and a pair of Tootsy Toy lead rocket ships, ‘to show I had foreseen the future.'”

Read the full review

Billy Bathgate (1989): “[Doctorow] is mixing elements from his other novels in a manner that proves combustible and incandescent. Part of the allure springs from the subject, which plays upon the mysterious fascination that outlaws and gangsters have always held for law-abiding American citizens.”

Read the full review

The Waterworks (1994): “Even longtime readers, though, are likely to find The Waterworks Doctorow‘s strangest and most problematic invention so far. The setting is New York City in 1871, although the story of what happened there and then is told at an indeterminate later date by a man named McIlvaine, who notes, at one point in his narrative, ‘I have to warn you, in all fairness, I’m reporting what are now the visions of an old man.’ A number of similar caveats are interspersed throughout the story, and taken together they add another level of mystery to the point he makes over and over again: he has been a witness to horror and lived to tell the tale.”

Read the full review

City of God (2000): “The true miracle of City of God is the way its disparate parts fuse into a consistently enthralling and suspenseful whole. In such novels as Ragtime (1975) and Billy Bathgate (1989), Doctorow mixed historical and fictional figures in ways that magically challenged ordinary notions of what is real. His new novel repeats this process, with even more intriguing and unsettling consequences.”

Read the full review

The March (2005): “History. James Joyce called it a nightmare from which he was trying to awake. But for E.L. Doctorow it’s more of an ill-defined dream state that he doggedly revisits, working all the while to get the thing decoded. In his best books, like Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, Doctorow mixes historical figures with fictional characters to discover the submerged foundations of the American psyche. His spellbinding new novel, The March (Random House; 363 pages), is one to put beside those, a ferocious reimagining of the past that returns it to us as something powerful and strange.”

Read the full review

TIME fashion

The King of Stretch Jeans, Elio Fiorucci, Has Passed Away

Elio Fiorucci Next To A Sculpted Red Horse
Adriano Alecchi—Mondadori via Getty Images The Italian stylist Elio Fiorucci poses resting his left hand on a sculpted red horse in 1994

Fiorucci introduced stretch jeans to show off women's curves

Elio Fiorucci, the man behind stretch jeans, was found dead at the age of 80 at his home in Milan on Monday morning, according to New York magazine’s fashion news portal, the Cut.

He started his Milan-based fashion label in 1967, churning out pieces initially inspired by ’60s mod fashion in London.

But what he is best known for are form-fitting stretch jeans. Fiorucci got the idea for the pants after a trip to Ibiza, the Spanish island now known as one of the party capitals of Europe. He was impressed with the way wet jeans fit a woman’s body better, the Cut says, and wanted to re-create the effect.

At the time of waifish models like Twiggy, Fiorucci introduced his stretch jean silhouette to show off women’s curves. Once the 1970s hit, his designs spread globally, and he opened a store in New York City on 59th Street. Famous patrons like Andy Warhol, Liz Taylor and Cher came to buy up his designs, while a 15-year-old Marc Jacobs used the store as a hangout, the Cut reports.

Even in post-9/11 New York, Fiorucci fashioned a lasting legacy. His shop, which moved downtown, eventually transformed into a place for Fiorucci to sponsor and inspire new artists, among them DJ and design duo Andrew Andrew, who used the shop to launch their careers.

Fiorucci’s New York shop eventually closed down in 2003 because of financial troubles, but his iconic leopard-printed Americana style remains the inspiration of many designers and fast fashion labels.

[The Cut]

TIME remembrance

Jules Bianchi, Formula One Driver, Dies From 2014 Crash Injuries

Jules Bianchi
Valdrin Xhemaj—EPA File photo dated May 22, 2014 of French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of Marussia F1 Team walks in paddock during the first practice session at the Monte Carlo circuit in Monaco.

He had been in a coma since Oct. 5

Formula One driver Jules Bianchi died early Saturday in a French hospital from head injuries sustained in a crash at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The Bianchi family issued a statement which was posted on his official Twitter feed and later confirmed by the Manor F1 team.

Bianchi, 25, had been in a coma since the Oct. 5 accident, in which he collided at high speed with a mobile crane which was being used to pick up another crashed car.

The family statement said “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end. The pain we feel is immense and indescribable.”

Bianchi competed in 34 races over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, scoring the first ever championship points for Manor — then known as Marussia — by finishing ninth at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The Manor team tweeted: “We are devastated to lose Jules after such a hard-fought battle. It was a privilege to have him race for our team.”

Bianchi is the first driver to die of injuries sustained in an F1 race since three-time world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Bianchi died at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in his hometown of Nice, where he had been since his emergency treatment in Japan in the days after the accident.

“We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice’s CHU who looked after him with love and dedication,” the family statement said. “We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.

“Furthermore, we thank Jules’ colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times.”

Bianchi’s accident occurred at the end of the race at the Suzuka circuit. In rainy, gloomy conditions, Bianchi’s car slid off the track and ploughed into a crane picking up the Sauber of German driver Adrian Sutil, who had crashed out at the same spot one lap earlier.

The section of the track where the accident occurred was subject to double yellow caution flags from race marshalls, due to Sutil’s crash, but they failed to prevent a second accident.

A working group of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, investigated the accident and found that as Bianchi went off track into the run-off area, he “applied both throttle and brake together, using both feet” and thus over-riding the failsafe mechanism. His front wheels had also locked.

It also said that Bianchi “did not slow sufficiently to avoid losing control.”

The findings of the working group prompted F1 to alter its rules, allowing a ‘virtual safety car’ in which stewards can neutralize a race, forcing all cars to proceed slowly into the pit lane rather than continuing to lap the circuit.

The start times of some races were also moved forward to prevent them continuing in dim light conditions.

Current F1 drivers, many in the French motor racing world, and fans immediately began posting tributes and sympathy on social media.

British driver Max Chilton, who was Bianchi’s teammate at Marussia, tweeted: “No words can describe what his family and the sport have lost. All I can say (is) it was a pleasure knowing and racing you.”

Fellow French driver Romain Grosjean of the Lotus team said: “Yesterday we lost one of the best guys and best drivers I’ve ever met. I’ll miss you so much my friend.”

Bianchi’s family had already lost a member in a crash. In 1969, Bianchi’s great-uncle, Lucien Bianchi, died in an accident during testing at the Le Mans race track when he crashed his Alfa Romeo into a post, a year after winning the prestigious endurance race.

The family statement was issued by his parents Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Melanie.

His death came only days after Philippe Bianchi had said his son would not have wanted to go on living if he was severely disabled.

“If he had a severe handicap, we are convinced that is not what Jules would want,” Philippe Bianchi told France Info radio on Monday.

“We talked about it. He discussed with us that if one day he had an accident like that of Michael Schumacher, that even if his only handicap was not being able to drive, he would have a lot of difficulty living. Because it was his life.”

TIME remembrance

The World Marks the First Anniversary of the MH17 Aviation Disaster

One year on, investigations into the tragedy are still ongoing

Friday marks one year since Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

The Boeing 777 was on route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it crashed in pro-Russian rebel-held territory on July 17, 2014.

The Dutch Safety Board is due to release the final report into the cause of the crash in October, reports the BBC. It is widely believed by Kiev and Western nations that Russian-backed rebels shot down the plane. Moscow denies this and instead blames the Ukrainian military.

A criminal probe launched by a joint investigation team consisting of detectives from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine is also ongoing.

A public memorial service was held in Australia’s capital, Canberra, on Friday and a permanent memorial plaque was unveiled to commemorate the 38 Australians who died.

“In the worst of times you have displayed the strength of giants and the grace of angels and I am humbled by you,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the crowd, which included family members of those who perished. “We owe it to the dead to bring the guilty to justice.”

Memorial events are also being held in Ukraine as well as the Netherlands, from where 193 of the victims hailed.

In Kuala Lumpur, a service was held on July 11, a week before the anniversary as it would otherwise clash with the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“The end goal is clear — to bring the perpetrators to justice, and ensure they pay for this unforgivable crime,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement on the eve of the anniversary.

Malaysia is leading calls from several countries for a U.N. tribunal to prosecute those responsible for downing the flight. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected establishing an international tribunal, saying it would be counterproductive.

Meanwhile, a new video obtained by News Corp. Australia purports to show the rebels filming themselves ransacking the luggage of passengers from MH17.

In the footage, men appear to believe they have come across the wreck of a Ukrainian fighter jet but minutes later realize the aircraft is a commercial liner.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the video was “sickening to watch.”

Warning: The video contains graphic content that some viewers may find distressing


Teenager Completes Bucket List by Sacrificing Her Life to Save a Friend

Rebecca Townsend pushed a friend out of the way of a car

Kiss in the rain. Fly to Spain. Save a life.

Those were the items Rebecca Townsend put on her bucket list for a high school assignment in December 2012.

Over the next two-and-a-half years, she checked the first two off her list.

And on July 2, the 17-year-old from Connecticut fulfilled the final item by pushing her friend, Ben Arne, out of the way of an oncoming car.

But it came at a terrible price – her own life.

Police say the two friends were struck by a car while crossing a street near the campus of Western Connecticut State University, according to WTIC. Rebecca died and Ben, 17, was seriously injured.

When he was released from the hospital, Ben visited Rebecca’s family and told them about her heroic act.

“He said, ‘The last thing I remember is Rebecca pushing me and telling me to hurry up,’ ” Rebecca’s sister, Victoria, said.

After Rebecca’s death, her sisters and cousins said they were sitting in her bedroom sharing stories when they found a note lying on her bed, “as if laid out” for them.

It read simply: “For Future Rebecca Townsend,” according to the eulogy they posted on a Facebook page they created.

“Apparently, this was a high school assignment that was returned to the kids at the end of their senior year so that the students could remember who they were at the beginning of their high school days,” her sisters Monica and Victoria said in their eulogy.

They read the letter at her funeral and posted the eulogy online. The note also included her dreams of attending Fordham or Boston College, even though she was going to be a freshman at the University of Notre Dame this fall.

The sisters referred to the bucket list in their eulogy.

“To my parents, thank you for taking her to Spain,” they said. “To Niko, thank you for being the cute boyfriend she could kiss in the rain. And to Ben, thank you for letting her save a life.”

The sisters also encouraged others to share an act of kindness in Rebecca’s memory on the “Remembering Rebecca” Facebook page and Instagram account.

Printable cards were made to distribute and remind friends and strangers alike to do a good deed, as well.

“Rebecca was passionate about service work and charities, constantly working to better the lives of others,” the online post said.

“Whether paying a meal, volunteering time, or donating to a cause, we all have the opportunity to pay it forward everyday, just as Rebecca strived to do.”

Police say a 23-year-old woman from Brookfield, Connecticut, was driving the car that hit the teenagers, according to Fox8. No charges have been announced, and the accident remains under investigation.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Video Games

Nintendo Fans Mourn Death of Satoru Iwata on Social Media

Gamers posted fan art on Twitter

Nintendo fans took to Twitter after the death of the company’s president and CEO, Satoru Iwata, to mourn the loss. In spite of their sadness, some were able to get very creative in their tributes to the gaming icon.

Read unpublished quotes from TIME’s March interview with Iwata here.

TIME remembrance

Roger Rees, Tony-Winning Actor Known for Role on Cheers, Dies at 71

He played the snobbish Robin Colcord on Cheers

(NEW YORK) — Roger Rees, the lanky Tony Award-winning Welsh-born actor and director who made his mark onstage as Nicholas Nickleby and became a mainstay on Broadway playing Gomez in “The Addams Family” and Chita Rivera’s doomed lover in “The Visit,” has died. He was 71.

Rees died Friday night at his home in New York after a brief illness, said his representative, Rick Miramontez. Rees had abruptly left “The Visit” in late May to undergo a medical procedure.

Rees played the snobbish Robin Colcord on TV’s “Cheers” and the British ambassador, Lord John Marbury, in “The West Wing.” Other recent TV credits include “Elementary” and “The Good Wife.”

But he was probably best known playing the title character in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s original production of Charles Dickens’ “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” in England and on Broadway. He won an Olivier Award and then a Tony. When it was adapted to TV, he earned an Emmy Award nomination.

He earned two further Tony nominations in 1995 for “Indiscretions” and in 2012 for co-directing “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a Peter Pan prequel. Other Broadway roles were in “The Winslow Boy,” ”Uncle Vanya,” ”The Rehearsal,” ”The Red Shoes” and “London Assurance.”

Born in Aberystwyth, Wales, in 1944, he spent more than two decades with the Royal Shakespeare Company and served as the artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts from 2004 to 2007. He was also the associate artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic in England for two years starting in 1985.

In films, Rees played the Sheriff of Rottingham in Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” in 1993 and was in “The Scorpion King” in 2002 and “The Pink Panther” in 2006.

He is survived by his husband Rick Elice, the playwright, whose credits include the “Peter Pan” prequel “Peter and the Starcatcher,” which Rees co-directed.

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