U.S. Navy Rescues Sick Baby From Sailboat in Pacific

Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with their daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3.
Undated photo of Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with their daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3. Courtesy Sariah English —AP

A U.S. Navy frigate reached an ill child in a sailboat far off the Mexican coast Sunday whose parents had sought to circumnavigate the globe

A U.S. Navy warship arrived Sunday at a sailboat hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico in order to rescue a sick 1-year-old girl whose parents were attempting to circumnavigate the globe.

On Sunday the frigate USS Vandegrift reached the 36-foot Rebel Heart, where Charlotte and Eric Kaufman had issued a distress call three days before when they found their young daughter sick with a fever and a rash, reports USA Today. A crew from the California Air National Guard parachuted into the water Thursday and stabilized the girl until the Vandegrift arrived.

The 1-year-old girl was taken aboard the Vandegrift along with her parents and 3-year-old sister for medical treatment in San Diego, the Associated Press reports.

The couple and their children were almost 1,000 miles from Cabo San Lucas after setting out from San Diego to circle the globe, and did not have steering or communication abilities. In a post on the couple’s blog eight days after setting out, they called the trip “the stupidest thing we have ever done.”

[USA Today]


TIME Crime

Fort Hood Shooter Wasn’t In ‘Right Mind’, Father Says

Ivan Lopez Sr., the father of the alleged Fort Hood shooter, said his son could not have been "in his right mind" during Wednesday's deadly shooting. "I ask for prayers for the affected families, even more so when there is still an ongoing investigation," he said

The father of Spc. Ivan Lopez said Friday his son must have been out of his mind to go on a rampage at Fort Hood, killing three soldiers before shooting himself.

“This situation has caused great pain,” Ivan Lopez Sr. said in a statement. “I ask for prayers for the affected families, even more so when there is still an ongoing investigation. My son must not have been in his right mind. He wasn’t like that.”

The statement said Lopez—who lives in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico—is still in shock, and described his son as a “calm family man.”

Spc. Ivan Lopez opened fire Wednesday at several locations across the central Texas army base, reportedly after a heated argument with other soldiers over the denial of family leave. Sixteen soldiers were wounded in the attack, 10 of whom have since been released from hospital and returned to duty.

Lopez, who was being treated for anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and a variety of other issues mental issues, bought the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun used in the murders at a local gun store March 1.

[USA Today]


Send in the Drones: Judge Tosses Case Against Obama Officials Over Deadly Strikes

Predator Drone
Maintenence personel check a Predator drone on March 7, 2013 in Sierra Vista, Arizona. John Moore—Getty Images

A federal judge said that U.S. officials can't be "held personally responsible in monetary damages for conducting war." The drone attacks in question killed U.S. citizens in Yemen, including an al-Qaeda cleric

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Friday against Obama administration officials that was brought by family members of U.S. citizens, including an al-Qaeda cleric, killed in drone attacks in Yemen.

District Judge Rosemary Collyer raised questions over the killings without due process during oral arguments last July, but ultimately ruled that the plaintiffs could not bring a case against individual officials.

The “defendants must be must be trusted and expected to act in accordance with the U.S. Constitution when they intentionally target a U.S. citizen abroad at the direction of the President and with the concurrence of Congress,” she wrote. “They cannot be held personally responsible in monetary damages for conducting war.”

A drone strike in Sept. 2011 killed U.S.-born al-Qaida head Anwar al-Awlaki and propagandist Samir Khan, and another one killed al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son a month later.

The lawsuit was filed against then-Defense Scretary Leon Panetta, then CIA-director David Petraeus and two Special Operations commanders by the father of the elder al-Awlaki and the mother of Khan.


TIME cars

Spiders Force Mazda Recall, Again

Preparations Ahead Of The Geneva Motor Show 2014
The front grille and bumper of a red Mazda 6 automobile, produced by Mazda Motor Corp., is reflected in the floor of the company's stand ahead of the opening day of the 84th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, March 3, 2014. Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The car company said in recall announced Friday -- the second time in three years -- that the spider invasions can cause cracks and fuel leaks that raise the risk of fire, but it is not aware of any fires due to the spiders

Mazda told U.S. regulators that it was recalling 42,000 sedans with 2.5-liter engines from 2010 to 2012 because spiders that are attracted to the smell of gasoline weave webs that block an engine vent, Reuters reports.

It’s the second time in three years that spiders have forced a Mazda recall.

Mazda said in recall announced Friday that the spider invasions can cause cracks and fuel leaks that raise the risk of fire, but it is not aware of any fires because of the spiders.


TIME Crime

Army Official: Fort Hood Shooter’s Mental Health May Not Be to Blame for Massacre

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said investigators were now looking into an altercation with another soldier that occurred before the Fort Hood shooting

A senior Army official said Friday that the mental condition of the Fort Hood soldier who killed three soldiers earlier this week may not have been the “precipitating event” in the shootings, suggesting that an “escalating argument” prior to the shootings may have been what sparked the deadly massacre off.

The remarks by Lt. Gen. Mark Milley at a press conference were a reversal from his comments Thursday, when he highlighted the “unstable psychiatric or psychological condition” of suspected shooter Army Specialist Ivan Lopez as a “fundamental underlying factor” in the shootings.

Lopez, 34, allegedly shot and killed three fellow soldiers—named by media sources as Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ferguson, Staff Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez and Sgt. Timothy Owens—and injured 16 more before shooting himself dead. Army Secretary John McHugh, the army’s top civilian, told Congress on Thursday the suspect had been treated for depression, anxiety and sleep disorders.

But Milley said Friday that investigators were now looking into an altercation with another soldier that occurred shortly before the shooting as the primary cause. Theodis Westbrook, the father of one of the injured soldiers, told a CNN affiliate that his son had seen Lopez being denied a leave form on Wednesday afternoon. Shortly after, claimed Westbrook, the soldier returned with a gun and started shooting.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz (R—Tex.) visited Fort Hood on Friday to meet with wounded soldiers. “We’ll learn lessons about what occurred here and minimize the chances of this happening ever again,” Perry said.

TIME Autos

Your City Could Pay for Car Damage Caused by Potholes. But It Probably Won’t

It’s common to hear that if your car is damaged due to a pothole, you should file a claim to get the locality responsible for the road to cover the expenses. Good luck with that.

Flat tires, bent rims: This winter has been full of them, thanks to months of hellacious weather and an epically bad environment for potholes. Hand-in-hand with this year’s plague of potholes is a surge in pothole-related damage claims filed around the country.

For instance, the Sun Times reported this week that more than 1,100 pothole-related claims were recently submitted in Chicago. Not only did the figure represent a record high, it was nearly quadruple the number of claims introduced at a city council meeting in February (305), which at the time was the highest monthly total seen in four years.

In Chicago, and throughout the country, a driver has the right to file a claim when a car is damaged as a result of a pothole, or any other unsafe road condition that is supposed to be addressed by local public works crews. But for a wide range of reasons, most claims are rejected, and even when cities do pay up, they rarely cover the full costs of repair. Some towns, counties, and entire states are notorious for being ruthless when it comes to rejecting claims, paying off drivers under only the most egregious of circumstances.

(MORE: End of the Road for Speed Traps?)

In theory, Chicago can cover damage claims up to $2,000—above that, you have to take the city to court—but it maintains a general rule of paying no more than one-half of a pothole-related repair, “on the theory that motorists are at least partially responsible for hitting potholes instead of driving around them,” the Sun Times noted, understandably. According to Chicago Magazine, last year the city paid off 754 claims, at an average of $240 per claim.

Chicago appears generous compared to some other cities, such as Colorado Springs. Here, as in other municipalities, the city will refuse to pay if it hasn’t received complaints about the existence of the pothole that’s caused the damage, and also if road crews haven’t been given ample time to patch up the hole. A Colorado TV station recently looked into how Colorado Springs was rejecting pothole-related claims at a rate higher than 98%. In addition to other tactics—such as directing drivers to take up claims with private contractors if they’re doing construction work in the area—the city says that it considers one or two weeks as a reasonable amount of time to address a pothole after drivers start complaining. In other words, if you alert the city of a pothole one day, and then a week or 10 days later your son hits that same pothole and blows a tire, the city probably wouldn’t cover the repair costs.

Drivers in Virginia face an uphill battle as well. A spokesperson for Arlington Country, in Virginia, told a local newspaper that pothole claims were considered on a “case-by-case basis,” but that they were almost universally rejected. “Only in unusual circumstances would the county pay damages, because the county has sovereign immunity and, therefore, under the law, generally has no legal liability,” she said. “It would be a very unusual circumstance that would lead us to accepting a claim.”

The vast majority of drivers will be out of luck in Toronto as well, which was found to have a 96% denial rate according to a recent report. What’s more, in a sample of claims, more than half were rejected “automatically without an investigation.”

Drivers seem to have much better odds, relatively speaking, of getting some cash in Grand Rapids, Mich., where nine out of 55 pothole damage claims were approved for payment last year, for a total of $4,185 in compensation.

(MORE: Why 2014 Will Be an Epically Bad Year for Potholes)

Because claims can and are rejected for every reason under the sun—if cities paid everybody, it would lead to fraud, and they’d go broke, after all—drivers are advised to keep meticulous track of the incident, repair estimates, and expenses incurred. It’s a good idea to take photos of the offending pothole, as well as the damage it caused, and to fill out the local filing claim forms with close attention to detail, in a timely manner. Just don’t expect to hear back from the city in an equally timely fashion. The Chicago Magazine story says that reimbursement can take as long as 18 months.

It’s also advisable to not get your hopes up in general.

TIME Books

My Father Went To Jail For Dealing Weed… and I Would Keep Him There

Random House

Tony Dokoupil, whose new memoir The Last Pirate recounts his father's life as a drug baron, tells TIME that dealers like his Dad should not be freed from prison. He also explains his skepticism of marijuana legalization

In The Last Pirate author Tony Dokoupil writes about growing up with a father who was part of the largest pot ring of the Reagan era. The “Old Man” as his father was called, graduated to transporting ten and twenty thousand pounds of marijuana up and down the East coast right around the time he decided to have kids.

Naturally, Dokoupil’s early childhood wasn’t exactly ordinary. It was a hedonistic life of beach resorts, yachts and private schools paid for with drug money–a million of it stored in coolers and buried in backyards around the country. The Old Man, who became a kind of “Wolf of Miami” drug baron, eventually gets caught and the business of pot turns into a far more technical and far less glamorous enterprise.

The younger Dokoupil, now in his thirties with two children of his own, mines his father’s memories and his own to produce a funny, beautifully written and sometimes unsettling personal narrative that is entwined with the story of marijuana’s dramatic ascent in the United States over the last three decades. Because this book is hitting shelves in the middle of a national debate about pot laws, Dokoupil says he’s asked constantly what he thinks about legalization. He answers those questions here and talks about what he’ll tell his kids about their grandfather when they are older.

Your father and his friends see themselves as heroes—”the Rosa Parks of legalization.” Do you feel the same way?

Not at all. I don’t think marijuana smokers should face criminal charges. I think the number of arrests for pot possession in this country could fall from 750,000 a year to zero and there’d be no great harm to public health. But while I’ve got no beef with smokers, I don’t think we need to set the dealers free—and I certainly don’t think we should create a wide-open Coca-Cola-style free market for pot. That does strike me as a public health concern and for the very same reasons we already consider sugar, fat and salt to be a public health concern. Very big businesses have a way of using people’s freedoms against them.

In other words, you agree with war on drugs?

No. Look, I keep a New York Times clipping from 1982, a reminder of how ridiculous the war on drugs really got. It’s a news brief that says, a small scale pot smugglers boat ‘eluded two coast guard cutters, a Navy destroyer, and four jet fighters for 27 hours.’ Jet fighters! It’s crazy. Absolutely crazy. But the only alternative isn’t big business. So, yeah, it’s funny. My father went to jail for dealing weed and, to my surprise, I would keep him there.

If the marijuana smugglers of yore were pirates, how do their now-legal descendants see themselves in Colorado and Washington?

That’s a work in progress but one thing is certain: today’s pot barons are a hell of lot less interesting than the old timers. In general I think this country is suffers a criminal awe-deficit. It’s all hackers and leakers, who are massively influential and sometimes heroic, but rarely romantic and almost never sexy. I think this awe-deficit is greatest in the weed business, where yachtsmen and beach bums like my father have been replaced by botanists and above board business types. It’s a snore.

What’s the biggest difference between old pot and the new stuff?

The new stuff is stronger, of course, but that’s not all. It’s also gorgeous and explicitly commercial, a perfectly shaped chandelier of THC and electric sunshine. The old stuff was never less gnarly and shaggy and unpredictably weird than nature itself. Every item on the High Times Top 40 list from 1977, for example, looks like a piece of animal scat or something scraped off a lawnmower on a wet morning.

Do you think legalization as we’ve seen it so far will go national?

For a while, yes, but I expect a backlash eventually. It’s inevitable. Marijuana’s mostly left-leaning backers don’t usually support a genetically modified commercial product that’s getting play on the cover of Fortune and the Wall Street Journal weekend section. They do for now, but they won’t forever. It’s a delicate support, I think. A lot of people who vote for legal weed are really voting against the status quo, against prohibition. They don’t want a third major vice industry.

When did you turn against pot legalization?

I don’t know that I have. If legal marijuana stays small and out of sight, fine. But I started worrying about the big business part of this when I had kids of my own. My son is 5. He loves the kind of dance hits that are in all the kid’s movies these days. Ok, fine. But when we started watching the music videos online, what’s the 30-second ad we have to sit through? Beer. And the next morning when we open up the computer again—it’s all banner ads for beer. The internet wants my kid to drink. I want him to learn to read first.

Will you tell your kids about their grandfather?

Yes, eventually. I talked with my father about this the other day. He said, ‘Can’t you tell them that I imported tropical plants if they ever ask?’ Yes, Dad, I said. Tropical plants it is.

TIME Gay Marriage

Federal Judge Orders Ohio To Recognize Out-of-State Gay Marriages

Ohio gay marriage ban overturned
Attorney Al Gerhardstein, left, stands with several same-sex couples at a news conference, Friday, April 4, 2014, in Cincinnati. Al Behrman—AP

A federal judge says he will order Ohio's prohibition on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states unconstitutional by April 14. The state passed an amendment banning gay marriage in 2004

A federal judge in Cincinnati says he will soon issue a ruling ordering Ohio to recognize out-of-state marriages.

“I intend to issue a written decision and order by April 14 striking down as unconstitutional under all circumstances Ohio’s ban on recognizing legal same-sex marriages from other states,” says Honorary Timothy S. Black, according to a spokesperson. The announcement comes after civil rights attorneys delivered closing arguments in the matter Friday.

A local NBC affiliate reports that the plaintiffs, three lesbian couples, originally sued to place the names of both parents on the birth certificates of their newborns, but later expanded their request. Attorneys for the state argue that Ohio has the right to ban gay marriage, as voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 recognizing marriage as the union between one man and one woman.


TIME Crime

Fort Hood Victim Sacrificed His Life to Save Others, Says Fiancee

Three Soldiers Killed And 16 Wounded By Shooter At Fort Hood
From left: Bob Gordon and Bob Butler paint crosses they placed in front of 16 American flags as they build a memorial in front of Central Christian Disciples of Christ church for the victims of yesterdays shooting at Fort Hood on April 3, 2014 in Killeen, Texas. Joe Raedle—Getty Images

Kristen Haley said that her fiancé Danny Ferguson, a Sgt. First Class who had recently returned from Afghanistan, held a door shut with his body to protect people from the gunman. Ferguson was one of the three killed in the shooting

Danny Ferguson, a Sgt. First Class recently returned from Afghanistan, sacrificed his life Wednesday to keep the shooter out of a crowded room of military personnel, according to his fiancée and fellow soldier Kristen Haley.

Haley, who was reportedly near the shooting when it happened, said that when Army Specialist Ivan Lopez opened fire, Ferguson held a door shut with his body to bar the shooter’s way.

“He held that door shut because it wouldn’t lock. It seems the doors would be bullet proof, but apparently they’re not,” Haley explained to a Tampa Bay CBS affiliate. “If he wasn’t the one standing there holding those doors closed, that shooter would have been able to get through and shoot everyone else.”

Lopez killed three soldiers—Sgt. Timothy Owens, Sgt. Carlos Alberto Lazaney Rodriguez, and Ferguson—and wounded sixteen others before turning the gun on himself. Officials said that Lopez, 34, had no record of bad behavior but had been suffering from depression following a four-month tour in Iraq three years ago.

“I know that he did have a pleasure of serving. This was his life,” said Haley, who was reportedly nearby the shooting when it happened. “He was proud to be part of a great service.”

TIME Food & Drink

Paula Deen’s ‘Uncle Bubba’ Restaurant Shuts Its Doors

Paula Deen attends An Evening With Paula Deen at MotorCity Casino Hotel on April 25, 2013 in Detroit.
Paula Deen attends An Evening With Paula Deen at MotorCity Casino Hotel on April 25, 2013 in Detroit. Monica Morgan—WireImage/Getty Images

A year after an employee filed a suit against the restaurant alleging racial and sexual discrimination, Uncle Bubba's is shutting its doors

Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, a Georgia restaurant co-owned by Paula Deen and her brother Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers Jr., closed Thursday, according to its website.

The restaurant was at the center of a storm of controversy last year when an employee filed a lawsuit against Deen and her brother alleging racial and sexual discrimination. During a deposition, Deen admitted to having used a racial slur in the past, setting off a firestorm of bad publicity for the celebrity chef.

Though the suit was dismissed, the Food Network did not renew Deen’s contract, and she lost millions in endorsements from retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target. Hiers also drew negative attention to the restaurant when he admitted during his deposition that he had a history of abusing cocaine and alcohol and watched pornography at work. He also admitted taking money from the restaurant in 2010.

Though Uncle Bubba’s website now reads, “Thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba’s is now closed,” it seems many employees were not forewarned, according to Savannah Now. “I’ve worked there since I was 16. I woke up this a.m. to no job and no forewarning,” one employee posted on Uncle Bubba’s Facebook page (which has since been deleted).

Hiers decided to close the restaurant “in order to explore development options for the waterfront property on which the restaurant is located,” he announced in a statement.

Deen signed a deal with private investment firm Najafi Companies in February in hopes of staging a comeback. She announced that the firm would invest $75 million to $100 million to rebrand her image under a new umbrella company, Paula Deen Ventures, which will oversee her restaurants, cookbooks and product endorsements, the Associated Press reports. She has also announced plans for a new restaurant in Tennessee.

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