TIME Mixed Martial Arts

MMA Fighter Could Face Life in Prison if Convicted for Savage Domestic Attack

Jonathan Koppenhaver
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/AP Johathan Koppenhaver who appeared in UFC's Ultimate Fighter TV show in 2007.

Jonathan Koppenhaver is facing 32 felony charges in a Las Vegas court for the alleged attack

A former MMA fighter who goes by War Machine was informed of the 32 felony charges he’s facing in Las Vegas on Wednesday following an August attack on his ex-girlfriend. If convicted, the 32-year-old could face a life sentence for charges of attempted murder, domestic battery by strangulation, first-degree kidnapping, and sexual assault, ESPN reports.

In August, War Machine, whose birth name is Jonathan Koppenhaver, allegedly attacked his former girlfriend, adult film star Christy Mack. Mack posted graphic images of her injuries following the attack on social media. After a weeklong hunt, Koppenhaver was arrested in a California suburb.

Though he legally changed his name to War Machine in 2008, ESPN reports, he is being referred to by his birth name, Jonathan Koppenhaver, in the Las Vegas court. Koppenhaver was a contestant on the UFC reality series The Ultimate Fighter, and has served time before in 2012, for attempt to commit battery with substantial bodily harm.


TIME faith

Mormon Church Offers Rare Glimpse at Faith’s Relics

Mormon Church Holds General Conference In Salt Lake City
George Frey—Getty Images The Salt Lake Temple of the Mormon church on April 5, 2014 in Salt Lake City,

The artifacts will be on display in a new exhibit opening in Salt Lake City, where the Mormon Church is based

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are offering an unprecedented look at ancient Mormon artifacts as a part of a new exhibit at the Mormon church’s historical library.

The “Foundations of Faith” exhibit will feature a collection of 26 books, manuscripts, and documents that trace back to the faith’s founding in the mid-1800s, the Associated Press reports. The LDS church has long been known for its secrecy, but the religion’s leaders are hoping the exhibit will increase non-Mormon understanding of the faith.

“We need to be open and transparent,” Steven Snow, a Mormon historian and recorder, told the AP. “There are questions that arise occasionally, and we need to deal with them in an honest, forthright way, which we are trying to do.”

The artifacts will be on display in the Salt Lake City-based church’s library starting this week.




TIME tragedy

Steven Sotloff’s Parents Deliver Statement in Wake of Son’s Killing

Arthur Sotloff, father of slain journalist Steven Sotloff, leaves their family home in Pinecrest, Florida on Sept. 2, 2014.
Andrew Innerarity— Reuters Arthur Sotloff, father of slain journalist Steven Sotloff, leaves their family home in Pinecrest, Florida on Sept. 2, 2014.

“He was no hero. He was a man who tried to find good in a world full of darkness.”

The family of Steven Sotloff released a statement Wednesday, breaking silence for the first time since the journalist was brutally murdered by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

“Steve had a gentle soul that this world will be without,” said representative Barak Barfi, reading remarks from Sotloff’s parents before crowd of reporters in Miami. “But his spirit will endure in our hearts.”

The statements read by Barfi revealed intimate details about Sotloff, who wrote for TIME among other outlets. He was a fan of South Park, junk food and the Miami Dolphins, who always found time to Skype his dad about his golf games. He was also a passionate journalist who “merely wanted to give a voice to those who had none.”

“He was no hero,” Barfi said. “He was a man who tried to find good in a world full of darkness.” The family also offered condolences to the family of James Foley, another American journalist killed by ISIS terrorists. Barfi said Sotloff’s family has asked for privacy in the wake of his death before delivering an additional statement in Arabic.

Though the Sotloff family’s statement clearly expressed their grief, they noted that they will “emerge from this ordeal.”

“Our village is strong,” Barfi said. “We will not allow our enemies to hold hostage the sole [thing] which they possess, fear.”


TIME weather

New Ultra High-Def Satellite Shows Mind-Blowing View of a Forest Fire

A forest fire at the Happy Camp complex in California’s Klamath National Forest imaged with (left) and without (right) SWIR, in Aug. 2014.
Courtesy of DigitalGlobe A forest fire at the Happy Camp complex in California’s Klamath National Forest imaged with (left) and without (right) SWIR, in Aug. 2014.

The new technology can penetrate thick clouds of smoke to reveal clear images

State-of-the-art imaging technology on board DigitalGlobe’s recently launched WorldView-3 satellite offers unprecedented views of world events. The technology, known as Shortwave Infrared Imagery, or SWIR, can penetrate thick clouds of smoke, as shown in the above image of a forest fire. The photo reveals a clear image of an August fire at the Happy Camp complex in California’s Klamath National Forest.

Previous images of the event were covered in a dense cloud of smoke.

TIME Drugs

Finally, Some Hard Science on Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy Patients

Matt Figi, Charlotte Figi
Brennan Linsley—AP Matt Figi hugs his 7-year-old daughter Charlotte inside a Colorado greenhouse. The plants are a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte's Web, which was named for Charlotte after she used the plant to treat epileptic seizures

A groundbreaking clinical trial may provide some answers to medical marijuana as a seizure treatment

Correction appended, Sept. 5, 2014

For years, some parents have turned to medical marijuana to treat their children’s debilitating epilepsy, crediting the drug with dramatically reducing seizure activity. A groundbreaking clinical trial about to begin recruiting test subjects may finally provide some science to back their claims.

In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will study the genes of those with a kind of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome who have been treated with a strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web. The study will attempt to determine if specific genetic components can explain why some epilepsy patients see positive results from ingesting Charlotte’s Web, while others do not.

The plant, grown by five brothers in Colorado through a non-profit organization called Realm of Caring, is low in THC, the compound that produces marijuana’s psychoactive effects, and high in CBD, a compound believed to reduce seizures in those suffering from certain forms of epilepsy. It is administered to epilepsy patients, including many children, in the form of an oil. The plant is named after Charlotte Figi, a young girl who was the first epilepsy patient successfully treated with the strain.

While anecdotal evidence suggests Charlotte’s Web can be highly effective in treating such conditions, scientific investigation of the product has been stymied by federal drug laws that severely limit marijuana research. Edward Maa, the principal investigator of the Charlotte’s Web study, says the new trial could be a first step toward building a body of research on how and why medical marijuana can be used to treat epilepsy. “This is the first attempt to get the information people are interested in that is observational in nature,” says Maa, an assistant professor at the CU School of Medicine and chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Programs at Denver Health.

The new study will recruit epilepsy patients who have already taken Charlotte’s Web. The patients will be divided into two groups—those who have seen seizure activity reduced by at least 50 percent on Charlotte’s Web and those who have had less dramatic or no results from taking the marijuana oil. Genetic analysis of the patients in both groups will then be performed in hopes of discovering what genetic components may cause a patient to be responsive to medical marijuana. Interventional studies, in which patients would be given Charlotte’s Web to measure its efficacy, are far more difficult to conduct. “That would be the Holy Grail,” says Maa.

Still, researchers on the CU Anschutz team will collect data on dosages used by patients in the study, for example, which could allow for further research down the line. “The more data we are able to collect in a large sample, the closer to the truth we will get,” says Maa. He says the study could allow children with Dravet Syndrome to be genetically screened before taking Charlotte’s Web so parents could know ahead of time if their children would benefit. It’s possible to conduct the study in Colorado because Charlotte’s Web is grown there legally and is home to many families who have moved to the state to specifically to access the marijuana strain.

“Do you uproot and move your entire family to not have an effect? I think this could be very helpful to answer this question,” says Maa.

Recruiting for the new study will begin within a month and data will be collected until February 2016.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the location where a study on medical marijuana will take place. It is the University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Campus.

TIME Crime

Missouri Governor Lifts Ferguson State of Emergency

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man
Scott Olson—Getty Images Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri speaks to the media on Aug. 15, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Governor Jay Nixon said he saw encouraging signs of 'folks getting back to their normal routines'

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon lifted a state of emergency for the city of Ferguson Wednesday, arguing that weeks of unrest over the shooting of an unarmed teenager had finally subsided.

“Over the past week, we’ve seen students getting back to school, businesses reopening their doors and folks getting back to their normal routines,” Nixon said in a statement. “This progress is a testament to the efforts of community and faith leaders, working alongside state and local law enforcement officers, to bring peace to the streets of Ferguson and much-needed stability to its citizens.”

Nixon declared the state of emergency on August 16 after demonstrators spilled into the streets to protest the shooting of Michael Brown, 18, by police officer Darren Wilson. The governor’s declaration mobilized the National Guard, which set up a unified command center with local police in an attempt to exercise crowd control and enforce nightly curfews. The National Guard was dismissed and the command center closed last week.

TIME Transportation

Knee Defender Passenger Says He Never Reclines His Seat

Finnair Oyj Becomes First European Airbus A350 Customer
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The economy class passenger seating of an Airbus A350 XWB aircraft is seen during a media event by Finnair Oyj at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Vantaa, Finland, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014.

He says he's embarrassed by how the altercation ended

An airline passenger who got in a fight over reclining seats and was later booted off his flight says he now feels bad about the altercation.

James Beach was on an August flight in which he used a product called a “Knee Defender” which prevented the seat in front of his from reclining. Beach, who is six feet, one inch tall, told the Associated Press Wednesday that he doesn’t always use the device, but he needed to do some work on his computer during the flight. Beach also said he never reclines his own seat.

After the woman seated in front of Beach figured out he had installed the Knee Defender, preventing her from reclining her own seat, the pair got involved in an altercation. Things got messy, with bad language and tossed beverages. The pilots ultimately diverted the flight to Chicago and removed Beach and the woman from the plane.

“I’m pretty ashamed and embarrassed by what happened. I could have handled it so much better,” Beach told the Associated Press.

Beach says his Knee Defender was a gift from his wife. “I put them in maybe a third of the time. Usually, the person in front tries [to recline] their seat a couple of times, and then they forget about it,” Beach said. “I’d rather just kind of let them think the seat is broken, rather than start a confrontation.”

After getting kicked off his first flight, Beach says he took a Spirit Airlines flight, since the airlines does not use reclining seats.



Federal Judge Upholds Louisiana’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Ruling ends a string of decisions in favor of same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act

A federal judge in Louisiana ruled in favor of the state’s same-sex marriage ban Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman said in his ruling that the plaintiffs failed to show the state’s ban violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law and a right to due process. He also held that Louisiana has the authority to set its own definition of marriage.

The plaintiffs in the case included same-sex couples who were married in states outside Louisiana and want their marriage to be recognized there, an unmarried couple who wanted to tie the knot in Louisiana and the advocacy group Forum for Equality Louisiana. That latter group plans to appeal Feldman’s decision, USA Today reports.

Feldman’s decision breaks a pattern of judges ruling in favor of same-sex marriage following the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, a 2013 ruling in which part of the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down. Over 20 cases involving same-sex marriage have been decided in federal courts since the highest court’s decision in Windsor.

[USA Today]

TIME People

Bernie Madoff’s Only Surviving Son Dies

Peter Kramer—NBC/NBC NewsWire TODAY -- Pictured: Andrew Madoff appears on NBC News' "Today" show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Andrew Madoff had fought allegations that he knew about his father's infamous Ponzi scheme

Andrew Madoff, the last surviving son of jailed financier Bernie Madoff, died Wednesday, his lawyer said. He was 48 and had been suffering from lymphoma, CNBC reports.

Martin Flumenbaum, a long-time attorney to the Madoff sons, told CNBC that Andrew Madoff “died peacefully,” surrounded by family, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Flumenbaum defended Andrew and his brother Mark from allegations that they knew about their father’s infamous $60-billion Ponzi scheme while running part of his firm. The sons declared themselves to be “shocked” by their father’s crimes, and were the first to tip off federal investigators in 2008.

Mark Madoff hanged himself on the two-year anniversary of his father’s arrest, while his brother cut off all contact with his father. Bernie Madoff is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence.


TIME Education

See the First Day of School for Students Around the World

Sharpen your pencils, TIME looks at the first day of school from the U.S. to Ukraine

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