TIME

Sailor Charged With Attempted Murder for Naval Base Stabbing

The Navy charged the alleged assailant, 3rd class petty officer Wilbur Harwell, in the barracks stabbing

The sailor who stabbed another serviceman at a naval base in Portsmouth, Virginia last month has been charged with attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, Navy spokesperson Jim Moir announced Friday afternoon.

The alleged perpetrator, Wilbur Harwell, an active-duty 3rd Class Petty Officer, is in the Navy’s custody and awaits a hearing scheduled for August 18, Moir wrote. The victim, Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin D. Powell, was released from the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center on June 20, two weeks after the stabbing in a barracks room of the Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads Portsmouth Annex.

It took more than eight hours for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to find Harwell at a “oceanfront hotel” in Virginia Beach, wrote Moir.

The stabbing spawned an emergency lockdown at the base. Moir, citing Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents, wrote that another service member may have aided Harwell’s escape before the gates closed.

TIME

Carjacked Vehicle Hits Crowd, Killing 2 Kids

(PHILADELPHIA) — Police say a vehicle that had been carjacked plowed into a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia, killing two children and critically injuring three other people.

Homicide Capt. James Clark says a woman was carjacked at gunpoint in the Tioga section of north Philadelphia on Friday morning by two men who drove off with her in the back seat.

Clark said “something obviously went horribly wrong” and the vehicle went out of control and struck a group of five adults and children on the corner around 11:15 a.m.

Two of the children were killed. Clark said an adult and two other children were taken to hospitals in critical condition. The two men fled the scene and are being sought.

TIME Crime

10-Month-Old Foster Child Left in Hot Car Dies in Wichita

Foster Child Car Wichita
NBC News/Today

Foster parents booked on a charge of child endangerment

A 10-month-old foster child died in Wichita, Kansas, after being left inside a hot car for two hours on a 90-degree day, police said Friday.

The foster parents, two men ages 26 and 29, were questioned and the older one, Seth Michael Jackson, was booked on a charge of child endangerment while the investigation in the Thursday evening tragedy continues.

Read more from our partners at NBC News

TIME Immigration

Migrant Girls Share Haunting Stories About Why They Fled

Central American Female Immigrants
Central American immigrants await transportation to a U.S. Border Patrol processing center on July 24, 2014 near Mission, Texas. John Moore—Getty Images

A recent UN report gives haunting accounts from some of the girls who fled

The number of young girls captured at the US-Mexico border has increased by 77 percent this year, according to Pew Research Center analysis released Friday.

The number of girls under the age of 18 apprehended at the border this fiscal year was 13,008 compared to last year’s 7,339, according to Pew. The number of boys under 18 apprehended is still much higher at 33,924, but that represents only an 8% increase from 2013.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees released a report earlier this year that included haunting accounts from some of the young girls apprehended, in an analysis of 404 children from Mexico and Central America who had been detained at the border.

“The head of the gang that controlled her neighborhood wanted Josefina to be his girlfriend and threatened to kidnap her or to kill one of her family members if she didn’t comply,” the report writes, of one 16-year-old from El Salvador. “Josefina knew another girl from her community who had become the girlfriend of a gang member and had been forced to have sex with all the gang members.”

Two-thirds of the children from El Salvador, both male and female, reported threats of violence from organized crime as one reason for fleeing. “One of [the gang members] ‘liked’ me. Another gang member told my uncle that he should get me out of there because the guy who liked me was going to do me harm,” said 15-year-old Maritza. “In El Salvador they take young girls, rape them and throw them in plastic bags. My uncle told me it wasn’t safe for me to stay there.”

Other girls reported domestic violence as a reason for leaving. Lucia, a 16-year-old from Guatemala, escaped her abusive grandmother’s home only to move in with an abusive boyfriend. “He beat me almost every day,” Lucia said. “I stayed with him for four months. I left because he tried to kill me by strangling me. I left that same day.”

The increasing numbers of children from Mexico and Central America seeking refuge in the United States has prompted a legislative battle in Washington. It remains unresolved.

TIME cities

This Drone Video Reveals Downtown LA’s Hidden Architectural Gems

See the City of Angels from a whole new perspective

+ READ ARTICLE

Downtown Los Angeles has been undergoing a visible revitalization for years, but this aerial video from a downtown resident shows that many of the city’s gems have been hiding in plain sight.

“One of the things you’re told growing up in New York City is that only the tourists look up,” said Ian Wood, who used a GoPro camera attached to a drone to capture the city. “Now with this project in mind I was looking up and seeing all these amazing things.”

Among the sights in the video are the colorfully-designed tiled tower atop the Los Angeles Public Library, breathtaking murals and street art, and a whole lot of art deco architecture.

Sit back and enjoy.

TIME

Andrew Cuomo Meddled With His First ‘Independent’ Commission, Too

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during an economic development news conference at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, N.Y. on July 15, 2014. Mike Groll—AP

The New York Governor pressured members of a utility commission to vote for privatization of the Long Island Power Authority, sources say

Before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo set up a supposedly independent commission to investigate political corruption in Albany—a commission he later shut down after it began poking around his own operations, a commission that is now causing him serious political headaches that could become legal headaches—he set up a supposedly independent commission to investigate the state’s electric utilities.

Mark Green, Cuomo’s fellow Democrat and onetime political opponent, says he was surprised when Cuomo tapped him to serve on the utility commission in November 2012. He says he was less surprised when Cuomo’s aides quickly began pushing the commission to propose privatizing the dysfunctional Long Island Power Authority, which was still struggling to get the lights back on after Superstorm Sandy. Several sources confirm the governor’s office pressured the commission to issue a report recommending privatization less than two months after its creation, and that Green threatened to resign when a Cuomo press release incorrectly suggested the recommendation had been unanimous.

“Independent?” Green said. “They tried to ram privatization down our throats. I told them I wasn’t going to be a fig leaf for Andrew.”

A spokesperson for Cuomo declined to comment.

Green, who lost to Cuomo in a Democratic primary for attorney general in 2006, was the commission’s most strident opponent of gubernatorial interference. But sources say members with no axe to grind—notably Peter Bradford, who had led the state Public Service Commission under Cuomo’s father Mario, and former attorney general Robert Abrams, a co-chair of the commission—objected as well.

“Several of us felt we needed to get further into our investigation before settling on one particular recommendation,” Bradford said. “There was definitely back-and-forth with the governor’s office about that. They had a viewpoint, and they wanted us to endorse it so quickly, we risked being perceived as a rubber stamp.”

Still, Bradford believes that Cuomo’s first Moreland Commission—the name comes from the state’s century-old Moreland Act—did good work without too much meddling. “It’s fair to say the governor didn’t have a truly independent process in mind,” Bradford said. “But nobody stopped us from issuing subpoenas. Nobody shut us down. The interference wasn’t as heavy-handed as it seems to have been later.”

Bradford was referring to Cuomo’s second Moreland Commission, the one that was supposed to root out corruption in state politics, the one that Cuomo disbanded in April. The New York Times reported this week that Cuomo’s aides forced it to withdraw a subpoena issued to the governor’s media-buying firm, and “objected whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo.” Federal prosecutors are now investigating what happened with the commission.

The response from Cuomo’s office, laid out in this 13-page letter to the Times, has been rather novel: The commission was never intended to be truly independent, because it was a creature of the executive branch. “You know that’s f-cking ridiculous, right?” Jon Stewart asked on The Daily Show.

In fact, Cuomo, who’s running for reelection, aired a campaign ad bragging about the “Independent Commission” he established to fight corruption, but apparently, independence is a matter of degree. The letter to the Times argued that a commission created by the governor that reported to the governor and had the power to investigate the governor “would not pass the laugh test.” In fact, Cuomo said last August that the commission would investigate “anything they want to look at—me, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general,” and so on.

It’s an awkward position for Cuomo, but he’s still an overwhelming favorite to beat his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, who recently lashed out at Republican Governors Association chairman Chris Christie for suggesting the race was a lost cause, as well as a liberal Democratic challenger, Zephyr Teachout. Cuomo has governed from the center on economic issues, working with Republicans to cut spending and cap property taxes, while tacking left on social issues, passing gay marriage and gun control laws. He lacks his father’s flair for rhetoric, but he’s seen as a more effective political operator, transactional rather than inspirational, pursuing the possible rather than the ideal. Albany has seemed a bit less dysfunctional during his tenure; politicians are still getting hauled off to jail but they’re at least finally passing budgets on time. Cuomo is often talked about as a potential presidential candidate—presumably not unless Hillary Clinton passes on the race in 2016, but quite possibly in 2020 or beyond.

The corruption commission could put a serious dent in that talk. It plays into the dark side of Cuomo’s reputation, persistent since he served as his father’s top aide, as a control freak and a bully. Several sources who declined to talk on the record cited fear of retribution. “I don’t want to poke that bear,” one official said.

On the other hand, Cuomo’s defenders say his aggressive approach has helped him break through the usual chaos of Albany to get things done—including, incidentally, the privatization of LIPA. Bradford said he was uncomfortable with the idea at first, and with Cuomo’s efforts to claim phantom unanimity. But by the time the commission finished its work, Bradford no longer felt uncomfortable.

“In the end, privatization seemed like the best way to shake things up,” he said. “Things worked out.”

TIME

Pictures of the Week: July 18 – July 25

From rising death toll on both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the return of MH17 victims to the Netherlands, to wildfires in Washington and the fight to protect flamingos, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

 

TIME Environment

Only 1/3 of Americans ‘Willing’ to Change Behavior for Environment

As Michael Grunwald noted in his piece on TIME’s recent energy poll, Americans lag far behind other nations in their willingness to help the environment. Here, only 33% of Americans say they “strongly agree” they would modify their behavior to reduce their carbon footprint, compared to 43% of people from other countries.

Americans Take Less Responsibility For Clean Energy

 

For more stories on the New Energy Reality, click here.

TIME Drones

Space Needle Guests Say Drone Crashed Into Window

Drone Enthusiasts
Similar drone design to that involved in the Space Needle incident. Ryan Lusher—Moment Editorial/Getty Images

There is no evidence to suggest Amazon’s drone delivery program has become sentient and gone rogue

Seattle’s iconic Space Needle looks to be completely undamaged after a small, white quadcopter drone operated by an Amazon employee may have crashed into an observation deck window Tuesday evening, police say.

Witnesses reported seeing an unmanned aerial vehicle buzzing around the Space Needle before “possibly” colliding with the structure, then zipping over to a nearby hotel room, they told police. The Seattle Police Department then contacted the resident of the room, who admitted to piloting the drone but said he merely approached, and did not collide with, the Space Needle.

The Amazon employee showed the police video of his drone flight, none of which suggested the drone actually hit the building. The video has been taken down from YouTube, but a few Vines posted by BuzzFeed have survived:

Commercial use of drones is generally prohibited in the United States while the Federal Aviation Administration works out how to integrate them into the national airspace. Flying drones recreationally, however, is allowed, though certain FAA rules and local laws apply. FAA guidance, for example, says recreational pilots should keep their aircraft below 400 feet above ground level and away from populated areas.

The Space Needle incident does not appear to have had anything to do with Amazon’s in-development drone delivery program.

TIME Opinion

The NFL Needs to Take Domestic Violence Seriously

Ray Rice Press Conference
Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens pauses while addressing a news conference with his wife Janay at the Ravens training center on May 23, 2014 in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rob Carr—Getty Images

Ray Rice's slap-on-the-wrist suspension shows the league doesn't respect women

On Thursday, the NFL issued a two-game suspension to Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice, who this spring was indicted for allegedly hitting his now-wife so hard that he knocked her unconscious. Rice was caught by a security camera dragging his unconscious then-fiancee out of an elevator in an Atlantic City Casino after the supposed incident. The video went viral, thanks to TMZ. It is truly disturbing: at one point the elevator keeps closing on the motionless fiancee’s feet. Considering his actions, Rice’s light punishment is a joke.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended players for longer because of DUIs, smoking pot and illegal tattoos. Fourteen other NFL players have been suspended in 2014, all for drug use—performance-enhancing or otherwise. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is currently appealing a one-year suspension for marijuana use. Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis will sit out four games for taking illegal fertility drugs in hopes of getting his wife pregnant, according to Mathis. Again, Rice will sit for just two games.

As fans, we can’t speculate on details of the altercation: Ray and Janay Rice have tied the knot since the incident, and he has publicly apologized for using violence. But what we do know is this: there’s a tape of Ray Rice dragging an unconscious woman out of an elevator; he was charged with third-degree aggravated assault; a grand jury indicted him; a trial never took place, and he has agreed to enter counseling.

We also know that the NFL has a long history of players accused of committing domestic violence. According statistics from U-T San Diego, 21 of 32 NFL teams employed a player with a domestic or sexual violence charge on their record last year. Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington and Minnesota Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson have all recently been arrested for assault in domestic disputes.

Excusing these players’ actions sends the message that the country’s number one sports league doesn’t care about women (unless they’re attending games or buying merchandise). And it perpetuates the idea that these actions are okay when already 25% of women will be the victim of domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

And such a light sentence opens the door to victim blaming. After the video leaked, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome speculated that perhaps a “different story” would come out, implying that maybe Janay Rice did something to deserve being hit. (To clarify, no victim of domestic violence, male or female, ever deserves to be hit.) Janay Rice fueled the fire herself in a news conference in May by saying, “I do deeply regret the role I played in the incident that night.” Some may rationalize the light punishment by pointing to Janay’s forgiving Rice and Rice’s one-on-one meeting with Goodell. That’s not the message the NFL should be sending.

The NFL’s actions have disturbed fans and players alike. Former player Scott Fujita tweeted:

Goodell promised in 2012 that the NFL would take a stand on domestic violence arrests. And two years later, Goodell is doling out two game suspensions. Get serious, NFL.

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