TIME cities

Detroit Holds ‘Night of Healing’ for Driver Beaten By Mob

Crash Mob Attack
Retired nurse Deborah Hughes saved a man's life when she shielded him from an attacking mob. Here she is seen at praying during a vigil at Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit on Thursday April 10, 2014. Ryan Garza—Associated Press

Hundreds of people attended a vigil for Steve Utash, who remains in a medically induced coma after an angry mob attacked him earlier this month. He was beaten after his truck struck a 10-year-old and he tried to help the child, who is expected to fully recover

Hundreds of people held a vigil in Detroit on Thursday to call for racial harmony and for the health of a white man beaten by a black mob, with the attack continuing to exacerbate fears of racial division in the city,

Steve Utash was attacked by a mob when he accidentally struck a 10-year-old with his pick-up truck on April 2, the Associated Press reports. He is currently in critical condition and in a medically-induced coma, while the 10-year-old has been treated and is expected to make a full recovery.

The attack on the Utash was stopped by a retired nurse who lived next to the site of the accident.

Worshipers at the service in the historic Little Rock Baptist Church prayed said prayers for Utash’s health. His relatives were present.

“We have to thank God that in the midst of evil we still have good Samaritans,” the Greater Grace Temple Bishop Charles Ellis III told the crowd. “We are here to celebrate good neighbors. They come in all age groups … all ethnicities … all colors.”

He was joined by the Mayor Mike Duggan and clergy of various faiths for what was labeled “a night of healing.”

Chuck Gaidica, a pastor at a church in the Detroit suburb of Troy, was one of several clerics calling for peace.

“We are all part of the fabric that makes up this great city and our proximity to one another makes us all brothers and sisters,” he said.

Four men and one 16-year-old have been arrested for the attack. The 16-year-old faces charges of ethnic intimidation and assault, while the others face charges of intent to murder and assault.

[AP]

TIME Music

Kiss and Nirvana Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Gene Simmons, a member of the rock band Kiss, poses during an announcement that Kiss and Def Leppard will team up this summer for a 42-city North American tour, at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California March 17, 2014 Jonathan Alcorn—Reuters

Former Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic performed at the ceremony together for the first time since Kurt Cobain's death two decades ago. Joan Jett, Lorde, St. Vincent's Annie Clark and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon stepped in for grunge trailblazer

Theatrical rockers Kiss, Grunge pioneers Nirvana and troubadour Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) were among the artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York Thursday.

Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, the two surviving members of Nirvana, performed with four female singers — Joan Jett, Lorde, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth and Annie Clark from St. Vincent — stepping in for the late Kurt Cobain, Rolling Stone reported.

It was the first time the two remaining members of Nirvana performed their music together since Cobain killed himself 20 years ago.

Two of the other inductees, Kiss and Linda Ronstadt, announced ahead of the ceremony that they would not perform, while the other inductees — the E Street Band, Peter Gabriel, Islam, and Hall and Oates — graced the stage with several of their respective hits

[Rolling Stone]

 

 

 

TIME Iran

Iran to Challenge U.S. on Visa Denial for Envoy Pick

United Nations
If Congress has it its way, Hamid Aboutalebi will not be darkening the doors of this building anytime soon Getty Images

Tehran plans to challenge the U.S. decision to deny a visa to diplomat Hamid Aboutalebi over his involvement in the 1979 hostage-taking of Americans. A Foreign Ministry official said that Iran would take the matter to the United Nations

Updated April 12, 7:23 a.m. ET

A day after the U.S. said it would not allow Iran’s proposed U.N. envoy Hamid Aboutalebi, a diplomat with links to the 1979 hostage crisis, to enter the country, Iran has dismissed the decision and affirmed it would take the issue directly to the U.N.

“We do not have a replacement for Mr. Aboutalebi and we will pursue the matter via legal mechanisms anticipated in the United Nations,” said Abbas Araghchi, a senior Foreign Ministry official, as quoted by Iran’s official IRNA news agency.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday the U.S. had informed the U.N. and Iran it would not issue the visa. Asked whether the Obama Administration is concerned the action may impact ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, Carney said, “We do not expect them to.”

Under a 1947 treaty establishing the headquarters of the UN in New York, the U.S. is generally required to expeditiously approve visa requests for UN diplomats. But on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said visas can still be denied on “security, terrorism, and foreign policy” grounds.

However, neither Psaki nor Carney would expand on the reasons for denying Aboutalebi’s visa.

“We’ve been very clear with the Iranians that this nomination is not viable,” Psaki said Friday. “So there has been no secret of that, but I think they understand what the reasons are.”

In 1988, the U.S. denied a visa to then Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat to visit the U.N. on account of his group’s ties to terrorism.

Carney’s comments came after Congress gave final passage this week to legislation to formally bar Aboutalebi, Iran’s choice to be its new United Nations ambassador, from entering the country.

Outraged by his involvement in the 1979 hostage-taking of Americans in Tehran, the House unanimously passed the bill Thursday. That followed Senate passage on Monday, which was also unanimous. If signed by President Barack Obama, the bill would bar representatives to the United Nations from entering the U.S., where the U.N. is headquartered, if such persons have engaged in espionage or terrorist activities against the United States.

Carney said Friday that the Administration is “reviewing the legislation and will work to address any issues related to its utility and constitutionality.” It remains unclear if Obama will sign or veto it. Lawmakers sponsoring the bill have called on the President to “act quickly.”

“We, as a country, can send an unequivocal message to rogue nations like Iran that the United States will not tolerate this kind of provocative and hostile behavior,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex) said in a statement.

Aboutalebi previously served as Iran’s ambassador to the European Union, Australia, Belgium and Italy.

TIME justice

Lower Sentences for Drug Offenses Could Come Into Effect Soon

Inmates serving a jail sentence make a phone call at Maricopa County's Tent City jail in Phoenix
The U.S. is moving toward cutting prison sentences for dug offenders as part of an effort to cut the surging prison population © Joshua Lott —Reuters

The U.S. Sentencing Commission said on Thursday that prison sentences for low-level drug offenders should be cut by an average of almost a year, unless Congress blocks the change, to help deflate the surging federal prison population

Prison terms for most drug offenses in the U.S. should be cut by an average of close to a year, the U.S. Sentencing Commission recommended Thursday.

The commission voted unanimously to cut lower-level drug penalties, and its recommendations will go into effect in November if Congress doesn’t block them.

Around 70% of drug trafficking defendants would qualify for the reduction, and their sentences would be mostly cut by around 11 months, from 62 to 51 months on average, according to the commission.

The move is part of an effort to reduce the growing federal prison population, and the policy is supported by the Obama administration.

“This modest reduction in drug penalties is an important step toward reducing the problem of prison overcrowding at the federal level in a proportionate and fair manner,” the U.S. District Judge Patti Saris, the commission’s chairwoman, said in a statement.

“Reducing the federal prison population has become urgent, with that population almost three times where it was in 1991.”

The lower prison sentences could cut the overall federal prison population by more than 6,500 inmates over five years, the commission said. Currently around 216,000 Americans are in prison for drug offenses.

TIME Accident

10 Killed After Truck Hits Students’ Bus in California

Investigators are trying to understand why a semi-truck crossed the median of a northern California interstate and struck a bus full of students. About 36 or 37 people received injuries ranging from severe to minor burns, broken bones and lacerations

Updated 2:01 p.m. ET Friday

A fatal collision on a northern California highway Thursday afternoon left at least 10 people dead, including a number of high school students who were traveling on a bus to a local university.

Officials have confirmed that the bus, a FedEx truck and a Nissan Altima were involved in the deadly collision at about 5:30 p.m. local time near Orland, Calif., about 100 miles north of Sacramento. The FedEx semi-truck was heading southbound when it crossed the median for unknown reasons and crashed head-on into the charter bus full of students, according to local broadcaster KRCR. Officials said early Friday that the driver of the truck was among those killed.

According to a first responder who arrived at the scene, about 36 or 37 people received injuries ranging from severe to minor burns, broken bones and lacerations, the AP reports.

FedEx representatives confirmed that they were cooperating with officials in the ongoing investigation into the accident. Investigators are still unclear why the FedEx truck swerved before the crash, the Associated Press reports.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the tragic accident on I-5 in California,” FedEx spokeswoman Bonnie Kourvelas said in a statement Thursday night.

“We are cooperating fully with authorities as they investigate.”

The students on the bus were reportedly high schoolers from Los Angeles traveling to a spring-preview event at Humboldt State University, scheduled for Thursday evening. The bus was one of two vehicles charted by the university to transport students to the open-house event. As news broke of the deadly accident, the university’s president offered his condolences to the families of the prospective students.

“Humboldt State University is deeply saddened by a tragic accident that occurred earlier this evening involving a charter bus filled with prospective students. They were on their way to visit campus for the April 11 Spring Preview event,” Humboldt State University President Rollin Richmond said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, and we are here to support them, and their families, in any way possible.”

TIME Health Care

What Sebelius Left Undone

Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius takes her seat to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about issues and complications with the Affordable Care Act enrollment website, on Capitol Hill
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius takes her seat to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about issues and complications with the Affordable Care Act enrollment website, on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 30, 2013. Jonathan Ernst—Reuters

The resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius leaves her expected successor Sylvia Mathews Burwell with a lot on her plate, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act still incomplete

Kathleen Sebelius may have launched the Affordable Care Act, bungled its rollout and managed the subsequent repair effort, but she is leaving the Obama Administration long before the full effects of the law are known or felt by the vast majority of Americans. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, is expected to be nominated to replace Sebelius, who will officially resign on Friday. If confirmed by the Senate, Burwell will be tasked with turning the page on the Administration’s embarrassing early implementation of the ACA while managing the critical next steps in the effort to reform the U.S. health care system.

“Secretary Sebelius has soldiered through, but now really is a good time for somebody new who can say, ‘That was then. This is now,’” says Gail Wilensky, an economist, health policy expert and former official under Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. “Now we are really getting ready for round two.”

The top agenda item for Round Two is preparing for the next open enrollment period on the insurance exchanges, which begins this fall. More than seven million Americans signed up for private insurance during the enrollment period that began in October 2013 and ended in March, but the Congressional Budget Office estimates 24 million Americans will get coverage this way by 2017.

Overseeing the exchange program and the federal subsidies to blunt the cost of coverage for millions of Americans will fall squarely on Burwell’s shoulders. She will need to enforce regulations intended to ensure the networks of doctors and hospitals included in future health plans sold through the exchanges are adequate. And Burwell will be in charge of guiding ACA programs designed to keep insurance premiums stable in the coming years, which is crucial to keeping coverage affordable for Americans who do not receive insurance through employers or government programs.

Burwell’s top priority, says Wilensky, will be “trying to ensure the next enrollment is nothing like the last enrollment period.” Computer software problems with the ACA’s federal exchange hobbled enrollment last fall and drew criticism that Sebelius and the entire Obama Administration were incapable of managing the ACA, the most significant and sprawling piece of health legislation since Medicare became law in 1965.

Also on Burwell’s plate are a number of critical ACA provisions not yet in place. The employer mandate, which was originally supposed to go into effect this year, has been put off until 2015. Insurance exchanges for small business owners, which were also originally planned for a 2014 launch, are still not operational. The so-called Cadillac tax, a fee to be levied against high-cost health plans, is scheduled to fall into place in 2018.

In addition to implementing provisions of the ACA, Burwell will also need to do some finessing and negotiating. The expansion of the Medicaid program, a primary way the ACA was expected to reduce the number of Americans without insurance, has only happened partially—so far. About half of all states have opted not to expand eligibility for the program, forgoing billions of dollars in federal funds, because their political leaders oppose the ACA. But behind the scenes, Sebelius had been cajoling a number of red-state governors to try to get them on board with creative compromises that would allow expansions of their programs without whole-heartedly endorsements of the ACA’s approach.

“There are a lot of Republican governors who have indicated an interest,” says Wilensky. Burwell will no doubt continue this effort and may have more success than Sebelius by the end of this year. “After the 2014 election cycle, it could be a lot easier for some of the state legislatures,” says Wilensky.

Unlike Sebelius, who oversaw HHS while the ACA was being written and debated, Burwell will take the reigns at a time when the health reform policy-making is largely over and pure management experience is more in demand. This is a role Burwell, a veteran of the Clinton administration and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is well suited for, says Jonathan Gruber, a professor at MIT who worked as a paid consultant to the Obama Administration on the ACA.

“I know lots of people who think incredibly highly of her. She’s not really a health person, but she’s a manager’s manager,” says Gruber. “Right now, we need to just manage that policy and and I think she’s a great choice in that sense.”

And finally, Burwell will walk into her first day of work at HHS surely wanting to improve morale at the Department of Health and Human Services, where bureaucrats have fallen under heavy and relentless criticism in the past six months.

TIME justice

Judge: California Is Mistreating Mentally Ill Inmates

A federal judge has ruled that California is treating its mentally unstable prisoners unlawfully after videotapes released to the public showed guards pumping pepper spray into cells and throwing chemical grenades toward inmates

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that California is violating the Constitution in its treatment of mentally ill patients in correctional facilities. He said that too much use of pepper spray and isolation constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton in Sacramento said the corrections department would have to update its policies on pepper spray and isolation within 60 days. The ruling came after videotapes were released to the public showing prison guards pumping copious amounts of pepper spray into cells and throwing chemical grenades. Some of the mentally ill patients in the video are screaming. “Most of the videos were horrific,” Karlton wrote in his order. He also concluded that too much isolation can cause ill inmates psychological harm and increase their risk of suicide.

Mentally ill inmates make up 28% of California’s 120,000 total prisoners. The ruling is only one of many changes in the California prison system prompted by a 24-year-old lawsuit.

[AP]

TIME TIME 100

Which U.S. Political Figures Should Be on the 2014 TIME 100?

While TIME’s editors will choose the TIME 100 our annual list of the most influential people in the world we want readers to have a say too. Cast your vote here for the people in U.S. politics you think have changed the world this past year, for better or worse. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 22, and the winner of our reader poll will be announced April 23. This year’s official TIME 100 list will be announced April 24.

Click here to vote in other categories: World, Business & Tech, Culture & Fashion, Movies & TV, Music, Media and Sports. See the poll results in real time here.

  • Barack Obama

    The U.S. President spent much of the year encouraging uninsured Americans to sign up for the Affordable Care Act and — after initial website setbacks — eked out the Administration’s goal of 7 million sign-ups.

  • Hillary Clinton

    The question on everyone’s lips is whether 2016 will be Hillary’s year, but 2014 will see the publication of her memoir, sure to be a blockbuster.

  • Chris Christie

    The once rising GOP star could still be felled by investigations into the closing of a New Jersey bridge.

  • Kirsten Gillibrand

    This New York Senator is an accomplished lawmaker who is now one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars. She made headlines for her efforts to change the way the military handles rape and sexual assault.

  • Michael Bloomberg

    After 12 years as mayor of New York City, Bloomberg was appointed U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change, giving the billionaire a new platform to effect change.

  • Jerry Brown

    With shrewd budget cuts and taxes, the Democratic governor of California rescued the state from the brink of financial ruin.

  • Ted Cruz

    The Tea Party favorite for 2016 shifted the GOP — and the country — further to the right when he won his Texas Senate seat in 2012. His influence in the state shows that the Tea Party’s not dead yet.

  • Wendy Davis

    Davis skyrocketed into the national spotlight after her 11-hour filibuster of antiabortion legislation went viral, which led to her clinching the Democratic nomination in the upcoming Texas governor’s race.

  • Bill de Blasio

    This liberal Brooklyn dad once seemed like a long shot for New York City mayor, but de Blasio won the competitive race by a landslide after running as an anti-Bloomberg who pledged to end the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk program.

  • Eric Holder

    Although Obama’s Attorney General continues to grapple with the NSA, he has encouraged the recognition of gay marriage on the state level and has taken a leading role in pushing for criminal-justice reforms.

  • Anthony Kennedy

    As the court’s swing vote, this longtime Justice wrote the majority opinion that struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.

  • Sheldon Adelson

    Adelson spent at least $100 million backing Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other conservatives in 2012. Now the GOP race for this billionaire’s support in 2016 is heating up.

  • John Kerry

    This busy Secretary of State made high-level contact with Iran while grappling with crises in Syria and Ukraine and attempting to broker peace between Israel and Palestine.

  • David and Charles Koch

    The billionaire brothers known for backing GOP candidates are key players in the midterm elections through their network of outside groups.

  • Elizabeth Warren

    Since joining the Senate last year, the former Harvard law professor has become a favorite of the left by pressing Wall Street banks and presenting herself as a megaphone for the middle class.

  • Claire McCaskill

    The former sex-crimes prosecutor turned Missouri Senator has reformed the U.S. military’s approach to sexual-assault cases after her bill unanimously passed in the Senate this year.

  • Mitch McConnell

    The Senate minority leader will be facing challenges from the left and the right this November. His biggest hope, should he outlast his competitors as expected? A new title next year: majority leader.

  • Michelle Obama

    The U.S. First Lady spent most of the year advocating for childhood fitness while campaigning for young people to get covered by the Affordable Care Act.

  • Rand Paul

    The freshman Senator from Kentucky, who has become a lightning rod in Washington, is expected to run for President in 2016.

  • Harry Reid

    The Nevada Senator must keep the Democratic Party together, with its control of the U.S. Senate and his spot in the majority leader’s office in the balance this year.

  • Scott Walker

    The Wisconsin governor sparked debate with his controversial budget cuts in 2011, which limited collective-bargaining rights. He’s up for re-election in November.

  • Janet Yellen

    As the newly appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, Yellen holds the keys to the world’s largest economy.

    Which business and tech titans should be on the TIME 100? Vote now.


    Click here to vote in other categories: World, Culture & Fashion, Movies & TV, Music, Media, and Sports. See the poll results in real time here.

TIME Crime

Los Angeles Police Accidentally Kill TV Production Assistant

In a deadly case of mistaken identity, John Winkler was confused for a stabbing suspect.

Officers of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department accidentally shot and killed a production assistant on the Comedy Central show Tosh.0 on Monday Night in West Hollywood.

John Winkler, 30, had reportedly gone to a West Palm apartment to help neighbors who had been taken hostage. Authorities confused Winkler for a stabbing suspect as he rushed out of the apartment with another victim and the suspect, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. Three deputy officers shot three times at Winkler. He was hit once and killed, according to Variety.

“The apartment door suddenly opened and a male victim came rushing out,” the statement said. “He was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from the neck. Simultaneously, victim Winkler ran out of the door, lunging at the back of the fleeing victim. Both ran directly at the deputies.”

[THR]

[Variety]

TIME Crime

Stabbing Suspect’s Family Is ‘Like the Brady Bunch’

Alex Hribal, the suspect in the multiple stabbings at the Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., is escorted by police to a district magistrate to be arraigned in Export, Pa.
Alex Hribal, the suspect in the multiple stabbings at the Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., is escorted by police to a district magistrate to be arraigned in Export, Pa., April 9, 2014. Keith Srakocic—AP

Police have charged 16-year-old Alex Hribal as an adult with four counts of attempted homicide in Wednesday's stabbing attack, which injured 21 people at a Pennsylvania high school. Authorities are still struggling to decipher the motive behind Hribal's alleged crimes

Stabbing suspect Alex Hribal is a nice kid from a normal family, says his lawyer. “This is not a dysfunctional family,” Patrick Thomassey told CNN on Thursday. “They’re like the Brady Bunch. These parents are active with their two sons, and we’re trying to figure out what happened.”

Police charged Hribal as an adult with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault after a stabbing spree that left 22 people (including Hribal) injured in a high school outside Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Authorities are still struggling to decipher the motive behind Hribal’s alleged crimes.

Hribal had a reputation as a quiet teenager at his school. Some have alleged that Hribal was bullied in school, pushing him to his limit. His lawyer denied that was the case. “I heard these rumors about being bullied. I don’t believe that’s true,” Thomassey said. “I’m sure that at a certain point, we’ll find out what caused this. Maybe there is something that was going on at school that I’m not aware of yet or his parents aren’t aware of yet.”

Thomassey said he wants a psychiatrist to evaluate his client and that he plans to file a motion to have the case moved to juvenile court. “I’m not sure he knows what he did, quite frankly,” Thomassey said, adding that Hribal is remorseful. “He’s scared. He’s a young kid.”

Police also had little insight into the reasons for the attack. “We believe, through the investigation, that this was random,” Murrysville police chief Tom Seefeld told CNN. “We don’t have anybody that was targeted, as far as we know at this point.” Police are investigating a possible phone threat made by Hribal the night before the incident but have not yet confirmed that such a call was made.

A student who witnessed the incident said the attacker was silent as he stabbed his victims with kitchen knives. “He was very quiet. He just was kind of doing it,” Mia Meixner said. “And he had this, like, look on his face that he was just crazy, and he was just running around, just stabbing whoever was in his way.”

Hribal allegedly wounded 20 students and a security guard before the assistant principal, Samuel King (a neighbor of the Hribals), tackled him, according to police. Students outside the school heard a fire alarm go off during the attack, and one student, Matt DeCesare, saw two of his classmates emerge from the school covered in blood. He then saw teachers running in to pull other students out of the building. “We all took our hoodies off and handed them to the teachers to use as tourniquets to stop the bleeding,” DeCesare said.

One of the stabbing victims, Brett Hurt, said everything happened quickly. He was goofing off with a classmate, Gracie Evans, when he was stabbed from behind. “I didn’t even know it was going on at the time. I was just walking down hall and he stabbed me with a knife,” Hurt said in a press conference on Thursday, according to ABC News. “Everything went … I didn’t even know it was going on. I couldn’t move.” Evans took Hurt into a classroom and put pressure on his wounds, saving his life.

Hurt said he didn’t know Hribal well and had only met him a few times. “I don’t know his reputation, but after today he’s going to have a bad one,” Hurt said.

Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck argued in front of a judge against bail Thursday. He cited “statements [made by Hribal] when subdued by officials that he wanted to die.”

Hribal is being held without bail at a juvenile detention center. He has been treated for injuries to his head and hands.

Many of the victims have been hospitalized, and at least four were in critical condition on Wednesday, though all are expected to survive.

[CNN]

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