TIME Crime

Scientist Who Faked HIV Vaccine Research Sentenced to Prison

Dong-Pyou Han AIDS research
Charlie Neibergall—AP In this July 1, 2014 file photo, former Iowa State University researcher Dong-Pyou Han leaves the federal courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa.

He was sentenced to more than 4 ½ years in prison

(DES MOINES, Iowa)—A former Iowa State University scientist who altered blood samples to make it appear he had achieved a breakthrough toward a potential vaccine against HIV was sentenced Wednesday to more than 4 ½ years in prison for making false statements in research reports.

Dong-Pyou Han, 58, also must pay $7.2 million to a federal government agency that funded the research. He entered a plea agreement in February admitting guilt to two counts of making false statements.

Government prosecutors said Han’s misconduct dates to 2008 when he worked at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland under professor Michael Cho, who was leading a team testing an experimental HIV vaccine on rabbits. Cho’s team began receiving NIH funding, and he soon reported the vaccine was causing rabbits to develop antibodies to HIV, which was considered a major breakthrough. Han said he initially accidentally mixed human blood with rabbit blood making the potential vaccine appear to increase an immune defense against HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. Han continued to spike the results to avoid disappointing Cho, his mentor, after the scientific community became excited that the team could be on the verge of a vaccine.

Iowa State recruited Cho in 2009, and his team — including Han — continue the research with NIH funding. A group of researchers at Harvard University found in January 2013 the promising results had been achieved with rabbit blood spiked with human antibodies.

Han’s attorney Joseph Herrold, a federal public defender, asked for probation instead of prison.

“Here, there is little reason to believe that Dr. Han has not already been deterred from any future criminal conduct. His conduct is aberrational in an otherwise admirable life,” Herrold wrote in a sentencing report filed Monday. “He regrets the hurt he has caused to his friends and colleagues, the damage he has caused to government funded scientific research, and the pain he has caused any members of the public who had high hopes based on his falsehood.”

Herrold said Han has lost the ability to work in his field of choice and is likely to be deported by immigration officials “and possibly never permitted to return,” separating him from his wife and two adult children who are U.S. citizens. Han, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, is a lawful permanent U.S. resident.

Government prosecutors sought prison time to serve as a deterrent to Han and others who might consider research fraud.

“It is important that we stand up not just for punishing the fraud committed against the United States government, but for the research that should be legitimately taking place on this devastating disease,” U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt said in a statement.

Judge James Gritzner sentenced Han to 57 months in prison and three years of supervision upon release. Han must repay the National Institutes of Health $7.2 million.

Cho’s team continues to work on the vaccine at ISU and has subsequently obtained funding.

TIME Courts

Kentucky Clerk Sued for Not Issuing Gay-Marriage Licenses

Gay Marriage Clerks kentucky lawsuit
Timothy D. Easley—AP Beth Barnes-Bass waves the United States flag, and the Rainbow flag, during a protest of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis on the lawn of the Rowan County Judicial Center on June 30, 2015, in Morehead, Ky.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of four couples

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.)—Four Kentucky couples are suing a clerk who is refusing to issue gay-marriage licenses — or any marriage licenses at all — following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that same-sex couples have a legal right to marry.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis on Thursday afternoon on behalf of two homosexual and two heterosexual couples, all of whom were turned away when they tried to get marriage licenses from Davis’ office this week.

Davis had told The Associated Press that her Christian beliefs prevented her from complying with the Supreme Court decision, so she decided to issue no more marriage licenses to any couple, gay or straight. She is among a handful of judges and clerks across the South who have defied the high court’s order, maintaining that the right to “religious freedom” protects them from having to comply.

Hours after the Supreme Court’s ruling last Friday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear ordered all clerks to fall in line. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway followed up with a warning that failing to do so might open them up to civil liability.

Officials have also warned that the defiant clerks could be risking criminal charges. Warren County Attorney Ann Milliken, president of the Kentucky County Attorneys Association, said clerks could be charged with official misconduct, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Some Kentucky clerks who at first resisted issuing same-sex marriage licenses changed course this week and agreed to sign them. But a few, Davis included, stood firm, despite the dozens of protesters outside her office in Morehead earlier this week.

She pledged to never issue a marriage license to a gay couple.

“It’s a deep-rooted conviction; my conscience won’t allow me to do that,” Davis said Tuesday. “It goes against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life.”

David could not be reached Thursday after the lawsuit was filed. Her office was already closed and she did not respond to an email.

The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Ashland, Kentucky, requests an injunction ordering Davis to begin issuing licenses. It alleges that her policy is unconstitutional and asks for punitive damages for violating the four couples’ rights.

April Miller and Karen Roberts, a couple for 11 years who live in Morehead, told The Associated Press that they asked for a license Tuesday and were told to try another county.

Another gay couple, L. Aaron Skaggs and Barry Spartman, called the Rowan County clerk’s office Tuesday and asked to apply for a license. An employee on the phone said, “Don’t bother coming down here,” according to the lawsuit, and told them the clerk was refusing to issue licenses.

Two opposite-sex couples also tried to get licenses and were told by staff that none would be issued, the lawsuit alleges.

The clerks have argued that if they issue a license to no one, they cannot be accused of discrimination. Kentucky state law allows adult couples seeking marriage licenses to get them from any county. If a marriage involves minors, however, they must get their license in the county where they live.

The four couples who filed suit say that because they live, work, vote and pay taxes in Rowan County, they have a right to file for a marriage license there.

In the lawsuit, ACLU legal director William Sharp wrote that Davis’ religious conviction “is not a compelling, important or legitimate government interest.”

One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, Laura Landenwich, wrote Davis “has the absolute right to believe whatever she wants about God, faith, and religion, but as a government official who swore an oath to uphold the law, she cannot pick and choose who she is going to serve, or which duties her office will perform based on her religious beliefs.”

TIME Military

Women in the Navy, Marine Corps Get More Maternity Leave

Ray Mabus navy maternity leave
Molly Riley—AP Navy Secretary Ray Mabus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 10, 2015.

Women now have triple the amount of time they were provided before July 2

Women in the U.S. Marine Corps and the Navy can now take 18 weeks of maternity leave, triple the amount of time they were provided prior to July 2.

Women are not required to take all of the leave at once, but they must take it within the first year of their child’s life.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Thursday allowing women to take more time off will be beneficial to both their families and their service.

“We have incredibly talented women who want to serve, and they also want to be mothers and have the time to fulfill that important role the right way. We can do that for them,” Mabus said in a statement. “Meaningful maternity leave when it matters most is one of the best ways that we can support the women who serve our county. This flexibility is an investment in our people and our Services, and a safeguard against losing skilled service members.”

The new policy is effective immediately and applies to women who took leave after Jan. 1, 2015.

TIME new orleans

Essence Festival Day of Service Offers Snapshot of New Orleans Recovery

The annual Essence Festival kicked off with a day of community service

Thursday morning was bittersweet for Shanti Taylor.

The 34-year-old had returned to the old Frederick Douglass High School building in New Orleans’ Upper Ninth Ward, where she was a student in the mid-’90s. As she walked through the building at 3820 St. Claude Avenue, she recalled the artwork that once lined the hallways, including images of the school’s Bobcats mascot.

“It was a little dated, but we liked it,” she said. “It was fun.”

But Taylor hadn’t just returned to reminisce—she was part of a team of volunteers carrying in stacks of chairs and sorting books in the library, getting the building ready for KIPP Renaissance High School to move in next month.

The school was one of a handful of locations the Essence Festival chose as host sites for its day of community service on Thursday. The annual festival, thrown by Essence Magazine, which is also owned by TIME’s parent company Time Inc., devoted a day to giving back to the local community ahead of the weekend’s entertainment.

The day of service at KIPP Renaissance High school was like a snapshot of the work that has taken place across New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In the 10 years since the levees broke and flooded 80% of the city, 94% of metro New Orleans’ 2000 population has returned. The economy is on the rebound with big businesses and startups popping up all across the area, though poverty remains pervasive in pockets of the city. The city’s all-charter school system has been held up by local officials as a potential model for the rest of the country, though reports from Mother Jones and Think Progress have found there is cause for concern in some areas, namely standardized test scores. Ask anyone—from the Mayor to Thursday’s volunteers—and they’ll acknowledge how far the city has left to go, but they can’t help but note how far it has come.

“There’s a lot to be proud of,” Ericka McConduit-Diggs, the president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, told TIME via telephone. “The city has made tremendous progress, but [the] reality is communities of color face real inequities.”

“I don’t think there’s any city in America that has suffered as much as we have suffered and as broadly,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu told TIME last week, naming storms including Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav, the national recession and the BP oil spill among the disasters the city has faced. “It has been amazing, the resilience that the people of this city have shown and how much they’ve built back and how fast they’ve built back.”

That recovery is due in large part to the individuals and community groups who put the city back together piece by piece. That work was on full display Thursday in a steamy stairwell in Renaissance where an assembly line of folks in sweat-stained powder blue T-shirts carried desks to the second and third floors of the building. As that team worked, older volunteers lent a hand by sorting books in the school library. At every turn, there was movement. Some volunteers, like Efua Darley of Washington, D.C., had come to help out ahead of the weekend’s more lively festivities. Others, like Taylor and her mother Linda Fernandez, 58, felt compelled to give back given their past connection to the school.

Kyle Jones, dean of operations at KIPP Renaissance High School, said Thursday that it was important to have the community’s help in getting the school ready.

“Obviously, as a school we give education, but we want to make sure we give more than just educating somebody’s children,” Jones told TIME. “I’m hoping to become more of a part of the community.”

Jones, a New Orleans native, now works down the street from where his mom Jocelyn Jones spent a part of her 34-year career as an educator. He’s seen a lot of change in the city over the years, which he said can be difficult even as some of the changes are positive.

“It’s always bittersweet, but it’s always great to see new traditions and new growth happen in a city that hasn’t always had new growth,” Jones said. “And to see people come and embrace it is great too.”

One of those changes is KIPP, a nationwide network of charter schools aimed at helping kids in underserved communities succeed, which took over the old Frederick Douglass school after it suffered academically. KIPP Renaissance opened in the Frederick Douglass building in 2010 but moved elsewhere for the past several years as part of a school reshuffling. The program is now returning home to its original spot.

For Taylor, KIPP Renaissance will represent a new tradition for her family as her 14-year-old daughter Breon will start ninth grade at Renaissance when school begins on Aug. 3.

Breon was on hand Thursday, sporting the same powder-blue shirt as the other volunteers, and helping carry desks and chairs to the classrooms she’ll soon occupy.

“It’s going to be her school,” said Fernandez, who brought three of her five grandchildren to Thursday’s service event. “She should be here to help get the school together.”

TIME Greece

New York’s Greek Community Shares the Pain of Bailout Crisis

"Whatever they feel, I feel it too"

With Greece now technically in default of its debts to the International Monetary Fund, voters there are preparing to cast their ballots in a referendum where the future of the country is at stake. Do they vote ‘Yes’ to support accepting a bailout plan from Greece’s creditors, and potentially condemn themselves to yet more spending cuts and tax hikes? Or do they vote ‘No’ and face the prospect of Greece leaving the eurozone?

The weight of that decision is being felt far beyond Greece’s shores, all the way to the neighborhood of Astoria in New York City, where the significant Greek and Greek-American population has been monitoring the developments from afar.

Frances Petradellis says that the “Second Athens” of Astoria is gripped by the crisis, despite being thousands of miles away. The 46-year-old, who moved from Greece to Astoria in 1976, said she hasn’t made her mind up which way she wants to vote to go. “Obviously we don’t want [Greece] to default. But sometimes you have to not give in.”

But others in Astoria are sure that a ‘no’ vote would give Greece time to recover from five years of austerity imposed by its creditors. “Greece needs 10 years just to normalize, forget grow,” said George Patrikis, 28, a first-generation Greek- American who works in Ditmas Flowers & Gifts with his brother Bill. “The whole economy has to change. The country has to change.”

For that to happen, he says, Greece must leave the eurozone — no matter the potentially dire consequences to the global economy. Patrikis says that although he does not absolve Greece from blame, he feels the conditions of the so-called “Troika” of the IMF, the European Central Bank and European Commission have been excessively punitive. “At this point, Europe is screwing Greece over,” he says.

Some earlier immigrants to the U.S. believe a yes vote is inevitable. George Katsihtis and Nicolas Makrides, who have each been in the U.S. for decades, told TIME they thought Greece would likely vote to accept the bailout terms out of financial necessity. “The majority of people don’t want to lose the little money they’re getting every month,” said Makridis, 55.

Katsihtis, who moved from Greece in 1967 and owns The Neptune Diner in Astoria, said he would prefer Greek and its creditors to reach a fair compromise than a vote in which neither result is favorable. “If they vote ‘no’ now, we’ll go back to 1950,” he said, but added he remains “in-between” because Europe is already squeezing Greece a lot. “From here, we can see things much better.”

Despite the distance the crisis can seem close to home, though — especially to the Greek-Americans who have family still there. Konstantinos Daniil, 31, the working manager at Taverna Kyclades, says his retired father in Athens didn’t receive any pension this month, and his sister didn’t receive her most recent wages. He shares their pain and anger, he said. “Whatever they feel, I feel it too.”

As for the referendum, Daniil is hopeful that no matter Sunday’s result, the country will have “better days” ahead. “We say in Greece, if you fall down, you’ll get back up again,” said Daniil, adding: “Hopefully.”

TIME Crime

Sister of South Carolina Shooter Crowdfunds For Cancelled Wedding

Funds will be for "dream honeymoon," but she'll donate 10% to A.M.E. Church

When Dylann Roof allegedly killed nine people at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, he didn’t just destroy families and prompt a national reckoning with the racial legacy of the Confederate flag. He also ruined his sister’s wedding, which was scheduled for four days later.

Dylann Roof’s sister Amber was scheduled to marry her fiancee Michael Tyo on June 21, according to a registry on TheKnot.com. Amber Roof was the one who called authorities after she saw her brother’s face on the surveillance footage from the church, the Washington Post reports, and Roof’s fiance Tyo lives in Shelby, N.C,, near where Roof was captured.

The wedding was cancelled because of the massacre, but Amber and her fiancee had started a GoFundMe page to help them recoup lost wedding expenses and go on a “dream honeymoon.” The website was live as of Thursday morning, but had been deleted by early Thursday afternoon.

The GoFundMe page called “A Fresh Start for Michael and Amber” appeared to have been created by Amber Roof. On it, she wrote:

As many of you know Michael and I had to abruptly cancel our wedding day, due to the tragedy that occurred in Charleston. June 21st was suppose to be the happiest day of our lives. It is the day every girl dreams of, it was the day we dreamed of. We had each other, we have the perfect venue, and we had our vows ready to be read. We were ready! We had planned out every detail for months and months. It was going to be the PERFECT day!

Our wedding day was suppose to be the most important and special day of our lives. It was suppose to start our lives together with our new family. Our day was the exact opposite. Our wedding day was full of sorrow, pain, and shame, tainted by the actions of one man…

We cancelled our wedding to protect our family and mourn the lives of those lost…

She noted that “money cannot replace the wedding we lost and our perfect day, however it will help us to create new memories and a new start with our new family.” Roof wrote that she wants to start her new family on a “positive note.”

Money raised will be used to cover lost wedding costs, to pay bills, and to send us on our dream honeymoon. 10% of all funds raised will be donated to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The page had raised just over $1,500 of the $5,00o requested before it was taken down Thursday afternoon.

TIME Religion

The Fight Over Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments Monument Rages On

Oklahoma Capitol Ten Commandments
Sue Ogrocki—AP The Ten Commandments monument is pictured at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Oklahoma’'s Supreme Court says the monument must be removed because it indirectly benefits the Jewish and Christian faiths in violation of the state constitution.

State officials are calling for amendments to the state constitution

Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a measure that would amend the state’s constitution after a court ruled that a Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol violated a ban concerning religious symbols on public property.

Republican leaders in Oklahoma’s House of Representatives said Wednesday they will work to pass a resolution that will let voters decide whether to repeal part of the state’s constitution that bans faith-based monuments from state grounds.

“The state Supreme Court misapplied an archaic and progressive section of our state Constitution and used that to apply a ruling that goes against the belief structure of the majority of Oklahomans,” Republican state Rep. Jon Echols said, according to The Oklahoman.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that a 6-foot Ten Commandments granite monument had to be removed, calling it “obviously religious in nature.”

State officials have said that the monument is historical and similar to one in Texas that was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.

“Quite simply, the Oklahoma Supreme Court got it wrong,” Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt saud in a statement. “The court completely ignored the profound historical impact of the Ten Commandments on the foundation of Western law.”

The controversial monument was installed in 2012 and funded by a Republican representative, who donated it to the state. The monument has been the subject of numerous debates over the separation of church and state in Oklahoma. Other religions, including the Satanic Temple, have argued that monuments symbolizing their faiths should be included as well. Last year, a man smashed his car into the monument, saying Satan made him do it.

TIME Civil Rights

Montana Polygamist Seeks ‘Legitimacy’ After Supreme Court Ruling

"Ours is a happy, functional, loving family," Nathan Collier tells TIME

On Tuesday, Nathan Collier went to the Yellowstone County Courthouse in his hometown of Billings, Montana, to register to get married to his partner Christine. The problem? Collier has been married to wife Victoria since 2000. And under Montana law, bigamy is outlawed except for faith reasons; Collier is not marrying Christine and Victoria due to his religious beliefs, making his marriage license illegal under bigamy laws.

“Everyday, we have to break the law to exist as a family,” Collier said in an interview with TIME. “We’re tired of it.”

The Montana trio argue that under Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriage across the country as legal, their polygamous relationship should be legally recognized and guaranteed the same rights as heterosexual and homosexual marriages. “If you read the justice’s statement, it applies to polygamists,” Collier said.

He’s referring to the dissent by Chief Justice John Roberts, who argued that the reasoning for giving same-sex couples the right to marry “would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.”

Spurred by Roberts’ words, the three decided to go to the courthouse Tuesday armed with the Supreme Court ruling. County clerks initially denied to give a marriage license upon learning that Collier’s marriage with Victoria had not been dissolved. But the clerk returned afterwards, saying that they would refer to the county attorney’s office before making a decision. The county’s chief civil litigator is looking to have a formal response by early next week:

Collier and his two “wives” have a long and complicated history since meeting in 1999. In 2000, Collier legally married Victoria; he and Christine had a “religious ceremony” that year as well. After breaking up, Christine legally married another man; that marriage ended in divorce in 2006. In 2007, Collier and Christine again had a religious ceremony, and Christine joined Victoria and Collier in their home. Together, the family has five children.

The way Collier, Victoria, and Christine were treated at the courthouse made the family feel “violated,” Collier said. “We feel entitled for a legal legitimacy and for [the Yellowstone County Courthouse] to deny this is a violation of our civil rights … We feel the marriage equality law applies to us.”

Collier says that all his family seeks to do is be legally recognized and not live in fear anymore. If that means that he can bring polygamous relationships to the national conversation, Collier says he’d be willing to be arrested or sue the state if his license gets denied. “Ours is a happy, functional, loving family,” he said. “I’m not trying to redefine marriage. I’m not forcing anyone to believe in polygamy. We’re only defining marriage for us. We just want legitimacy.”

TIME States

Why This July 4th Will Be The Biggest One Yet

The numbers don't lie

As Americans prepare to toast the Founding Fathers and the spirit of 1776, the American Pyrotechnics Association has estimated that this year’s sales of sparklers, cones, fountains and other “backyard” fireworks could exceed $725 million, a record for this category of fireworks.

But that’s not the only dazzling number to expect for this July 4th. From purchasing 700 million pounds of chicken to spending $1 billion in beer, Americans will celebrate their independence on a larger scale than ever this year.

 

TIME Civil Rights

The Meaning Behind the Civil Rights Act’s Signing Date

Johnson Signs Civil Rights Act
PhotoQuest / Getty Images President Lyndon B Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act in a ceremony at the White House, Washington DC, July 2, 1964 .

President Johnson signed the bill into law on July 2, 1964

For President Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964, was a no-brainer: the date was a Thursday, just as it is this year, and the symbolism of marking the hard-fought victory just before Independence Day would be a shame to waste.

But, as TIME noted in its original 1964 coverage of the landmark legislation, the Fourth of July wasn’t the only significant date in play. The date on which the Senate passed the bill was June 19, 1964—precisely one year after “President John Kennedy sent to Congress a civil rights bill, [and] urged its speedy passage ‘not merely for reasons of economic efficiency, world diplomacy or domestic tranquility, but above all because it is right.'” Though Kennedy had been assassinated the previous fall, the law he had advocated for had actually grown in strength and scope.

After the House also passed the bill and it went on to the President, the season of its signing—and not just the calendar date—would also prove significant.

The bill included many obviously important provisions affecting matters of great weight, like voting rights and equal employment. But, as TIME pointed out, it would take months to see the voting rules take effect, and the labor matters included a period during which businesses could adjust. On the other hand, one of the parts of the law—a part that may seem today to be far less important—was, as TIME put it, “effective immediately, and likely to cause the fastest fireworks.”

The law entitled all persons to equal use of public accommodations, from hotels and movie theaters to soda fountains and public swimming pools. In the run up to the final vote, St. Augustine, Fla., proved why pools—long a contentious point, for the necessary closeness that comes with sharing the water with other people—would be a hot topic:

There, five Negroes and two white fellow demonstrators dived into the swimming pool at the segregated Monson Motor Lodge. The motel manager, furious, grabbed two jugs of muriatic acid, a cleansing agent, tried unsuccessfully to splash the stuff on the swimmers. Cops moved in, one of them stripped off his shoes and socks, leaped gracelessly into the water and pummeled the swimmers with his fists. When the fracas was over, 34 people, including the swimmers and other civil righters who kept dry, were hauled off to jail.

Due to the time of year, the new law’s effects would be immediately visible at swimming pools around the country.

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