TIME Crime

Gunman Among Four Dead in Jonesboro, Arkansas Shooting

Arkansas Shooting
Drug Task Force Detective Josh Talbott, left, and Jonesboro Police Department Patrolman First Class Duane Busby run across a field adjacent to Moore Road while responding to a May 3, 2014 shooting in Jonesboro, Ark. Sarah Morris—AP

Authorities say a weekend shooting in Jonesboro left four dead and four others injured after a gunman, later identified as a man newly released from a mental health treatment facility, opened fire at a home and business before later dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound

A mass shooting left four dead and four others injured on Saturday after a gunman opened fire at a home and a business in Jonesboro, Ark., before later dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police identified 40-year-old Porfirio Hernandez as the shooter, and said he had been recently released from a mental health treatment facility.

Hernandez first killed a 31-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl and injured several others at home where a family gathering or party was taking place, the Associated Press reports. He then moved on to a nearby business, where he shot another 31-year-old man to death.

Authorities say they Hernandez knew his victims, though a motive is unclear. It also wasn’t clear how he had obtained a weapon, as a former mental health patient.

The injured included a 10-year-old boy and a 8-year-old boy, who were in critical condition at a local children’s hospital on Saturday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

Hernandez was found dead in his vehicle later on Saturday, police said.

[AP]

TIME Washington D.C.

Al Franken, John Oliver Talk Politics And Comedy

SNL star-turned-U.S.-senator Al Franken tells ABC’s This Week the transition from comedy to Congress was smoother than it might seem, while new HBO host John Oliver thinks politicians provide great material.

TIME Education

Study: Less Than 1 in 5 Public-School Teachers Are Nonwhite

high school
Getty Images

While the population of minority students in public schools has risen steadily over the past few decades, new research finds that just 18% of teachers in those schools are nonwhite, raising concerns about lack of diverse role models for kids

New research on the “diversity gap” in U.S. public schools has revealed that a mere 18% of teachers are nonwhite, while roughly half of all students are minorities.

New studies from the National Education Association (NEA) and the Center for American Progress focus on the racial breakdown of staff and pupils at the elementary and high school levels, the Associated Press reports.

Of the approximately 3.3 million teachers working in 2012, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 82% were white, 8% were Hispanic, 7% were black and 2% were Asian.

Meanwhile, 48% of public-school students are nonwhite, according to the Center for American Progress: 23% Hispanic, 16% black and 5% Asian. The number of minority students has grown steadily. In 1993, they made up 31% of public-school students. In 2003, that figure was 41%. The number is expected to continue to grow.

Education groups want action at the political level to attract more African-American, Hispanic and Asian teachers. “Nothing can help motivate our students more than to see success standing right in front of them,” says Kevin Gilbert of the NEA’s executive committee.

[AP]

TIME Religion

First Openly Gay Anglican Bishop Announces Divorce

"Love Free Or Die" Portraits - 2012 Sundance Film Festival
Bishop Gene Robinson Larry Busacca—Getty Images

Recently-retired bishop Gene Robinson has opened up about his divorce from long-time partner Mark Andrew, whom he married after New Hampshire legalized gay marriage in 2010. Robinson was elected the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican church in 2003

Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop, is divorcing his partner and husband of 25 years, he announced Sunday.

In a post on The Daily Beast explaining his decision, the recently-retired Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire said he still believes in the importance of marriage even as he separates from Mark Andrew.

Robinson and Andrew entered into a civil union in 2008 and married in 2010 after New Hampshire legalized same-sex marriage, CBS reports. In 2003, Robinson was elected the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican church, a move that caused many conservative Episcopalians to break from the church.

“It is at least a small comfort to me, as a gay rights and marriage equality advocate, to know that like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples,” he wrote. “All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of ’til death do us part.’ But not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us.”

[The Daily Beast]

TIME

The Best Jokes From The White House Correspondents’ Dinner

The best jokes from Joel McHale and comedian-in-chief Barack Obama.

“House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me,” said Obama, “which means orange really is the new black.”

From jokes about Ted Cruz, to Fox News, to the Koch Brothers and Rob Ford, President Barack Obama and actor Joel McHale, doled out the laughs at the 2014 White House Correspondents Dinner.

Hillary Clinton was also a topic for laughter: “She has experience, she’s a natural leader,” said McHale, “and, as our first female president, we could pay her 30% less.”

Check out the best of the night’s jokes above.

TIME Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Favorites Saddle Up

APTOPIX Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
A horse goes for a workout at Churchill Downs prior to the race, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. Matt Slocum—AP

California Chrome is the runaway favorite to win the 140th Kentucky Derby Saturday, but Wicked Strong and Danza are hot on his heels

The biggest day of the year for horse-racing fans has arrived.

Nineteen horses will gallop out of the stalls for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday evening, with a tough field of jockeys looking to join a list of champions in the first leg of the Triple Crown. The 1.25-mile race at Kentucky’s Churchill Downs features a tight field, but the much-admired California Chrome is the clear betting favorite to win the race after number-two favorite horse Hoppertunity was forced to withdraw due to an issue in his front hoof.

Here’s a list of the top competitors at the 140th Kentucky Derby:

California Chrome may be the first California-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby in 52 years. The three-year-old chestnut colt has six wins and a second in 10 starts and has a huge hoof up in the betting odds, but was bred from comparatively humble origins. His trainer, Art Sherman, is trying to become the oldest to win the derby at age 77. Victor Espinoza, who as a jockey has already won the Derby before, will ride California Chrome Saturday.

Wicked Strong, the competition’s early second favorite, was named to honor Boston’s spirit after last year’s marathon bombings. The horse has strong odds, but he was placed on the outside gate, to the disappointment of trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Wicked Strong won the Wood Memorial in New York with a hard kick of the kind often seen at the Kentucky Derby. He’ll be ridden by jockey Rajiv Maragh.

Danza,another favorite of the race who emerged with second-place odds in Saturday betting,is named after Taxi star Tony Danza. The horse has powerful acceleration and won a big victory at the Arkansas Derby closing the last quarter of a mile in just 12 2/5 seconds. Joe Bravo will be Danza’s jockey.

Other top horses include Intense Holiday, ridden by John Velazquez, Samraat, ridden by Jose Ortiz, and Wildcat Red, whose jockey is Luis Saez.

Expect a winning time in the low 2-minute range as competitors push to beat the record 1:59 2/5 seconds winning time The winner will bring home $2 million.

TIME

Condoleezza Rice Backs Out of Rutgers Speech Over Iraq War Protest

Condoleezza Rice
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at the California Republican Party 2014 Spring Convention in Burlingame, Calif, March 15, 2014. Ben Margot—AP

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has backed out of a commencement speech at the university after students and faculty protested her involvement in the Iraq war. She said speaking at the event would be a "distraction for the university community"

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has chosen not to give a commencement speech at Rutgers University after students and faculty protested, speaking out against her role in the Iraq War.

Rutgers students and faculty had protested plans to have the George W. Bush administration cabinet member deliver the commencement speech, staging sit-ins and saying Rice was partially responsible for the war in Iraq, the Associated Press reports. The school’s board of governors and faculty had voted to pay Rice $35,000 for speaking at the event.

Rice defended her record in a statement, but said she did not want to detract from the May 18 ceremony.

“Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families,” Rice said. “Rutgers’ invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.”

[AP]

TIME justice

Obama Calls for Death Penalty Inquiry After Oklahoma Execution

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama answers a question during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, May 2, 2014. Charles Dharapak—AP

Lawmakers are defending the death penalty after President Obama called for a Justice Department inquiry into the practice, following a botched execution in Oklahoma. State Rep. Mike Christian suggested executions should be carried out by any means possible

President Barack Obama called for a Justice Department inquiry into the application of the death penalty nationwide after the botched execution of an Oklahoma inmate Tuesday.

In his first public comments on the execution of Clayton Lockett, Obama called the grisly incident in which the convicted murderer convulsed violently and died of a heart attack 43 minutes after being given a lethal injection “deeply troubling.”

Obama said the death penalty is appropriate in some cases, including mass murder and child murder, but he said the use of executions often reflects racial bias, and pointed to the exonerations of death row inmates, the Associated Press reports.

“[T]his situation in Oklahoma I think just highlights some of the significant problems there,” he said.

(TIME: Every Execution in U.S. History in a Single Chart)

Obama said he is asking Attorney General Eric Holder to analyze the death penalty’s application, and the Justice Department is reportedly examining how executions are carried out rather than issues of race and wrongful convictions.

The Justice Department announced it is placing a moratorium on federal executions while the investigation is underway.

Lockett was already a four-time felon when he was convicted of murder, rape, kidnapping and burglary in 2000. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has called for an investigation and a stay on the execution of Charles Warner, scheduled to be killed by the same drug cocktail that caused Lockett the apparent protracted suffering.

Some lawmakers flocked to defend the death penalty.

“I realize this may sound harsh,” said Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Christian, a Republican lawmaker who pushed to have state Supreme Court justices impeached for briefly halting Tuesday’s execution. “But as a father and former lawman, I really don’t care if it’s by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions.”

The White House implied on Wednesday that Lockett’s protracted death may have violated the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment established in the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

[AP]

TIME NBA

V. Stiviano Says Donald Sterling is Not a Racist

ABC handout of Barbara Walters interviewing V. Stiviano in Los Angeles
Barbara Walters interviews Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's female companion, V. Stiviano, in Los Angeles in this handout picture taken May 2, 2014, courtesy of ABC. ABC/Reuters

The woman who Clippers owner Donald Sterling made racist remarks to in a leaked audio recording blames the comments on his upbringing. "He was brought up to believe these things ... But through his actions he's shown that he's not a racist," she said

V. Stiviano says that the disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is not racist, but said she had “very many” conversations like the recorded one that led to his expulsion from the NBA.

“There’s been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one. This was one of very many,” Stiviano told Barbara Walters on ABC’s 20/20 in an interview that aired Friday night. “Part of what the world heard was only 15 minutes. There’s a number of other hours that the world doesn’t know.”

Stiviano is the woman heard on the audio recording of Donald Sterling making inflammatory racial remarks, including telling Stiviano she should not post online photos of herself with black people, or bring black people to Clippers games.

She is also said to be the girlfriend of Sterling and is currently being sued by the ex-LA Clippers owner for allegedly accepting millions in gifts from him, though Stiviano denied they are romantically involved.

“I’m Mr. Sterling’s everything. I’m his confidante, his best friend, his silly rabbit,” she said. “I joke around and I make him laugh. I do things that some people find very silly and I do things that sometimes people can’t understand our relationship.”

Stiviano said that she does not believe Sterling is racist, and that he “comes from a different generation than I am.”

“I think he was brought up to believe these things … segregation, whites and blacks. But through his actions he’s shown that he’s not a racist. He’s shown to be a very generous and kind man,” she said. When asked if Sterling should apologize for his remarks, Stiviano said “absolutely.”

Sterling paid a $2.76 million settlement in 2009 to resolve a federal lawsuit in which he was accused of systematically excluding blacks and Hispanics from his rental properties.

TIME Oklahoma

Inside Oklahoma’s Botched Execution

After he'd been declared unconscious, Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett twitched and gasped and said "something's wrong," before dying of a heart attack. The disorderly execution reignited the debate on states' ability to administer lethal injections that meet the U.S. constitutional laws

This week, Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett died following a 43-minute long execution gone awry. Exactly what happened during 25 of those 43 minutes is known only to the prison officials inside the execution chamber, as Lockett’s attorneys were told to leave the viewing room.

While authorities have released a timeline of his execution, many questions remain unanswered on exactly what went wrong in Lockett’s execution, the latest in a series of lethal injection executions that have not gone as planned. The United Nations human rights office in Geneva said on Friday that the process to which Clayton Lockett was subjected may have amounted to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” under international human rights law, and may have violated the US constitution.

Lockett’s case has fueled a renewed debate around the use of lethal injection in the United States — since a number of executions have gone awry after states began experimenting with different drug combinations.

Watch TIME’s Josh Sanburn in the video above talk about what we know — and what we don’t know — about Lockett’s execution, and what that says about the state of the death penalty carried out by lethal injection in the United States.

 

 

 

 

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