(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)
Smoke rises from the scene after a small plane crashed in Goma, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Nov. 24, 2019.Pamela Tulizo / AFP – Getty Images
“Anyone who was in the restaurant at the time and believes they may be impacted by the incident should seek medical treatment immediately,” the fire department said in a statement.
Two customers and eight other employees were treated at hospitals, Patterson said. They were believed to have not been seriously stricken, he said.
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“What we believe happened is a worker at Buffalo Wild Wings used a cleaning agent on the floor. The cleaning agent is Super 8. The chemical definition or chemical identification is sodium hypochlorite,” Patterson said. “What sodium hypochlorite is a high concentration of chlorine.”
The building was evacuated at about 6 p.m. for a Tier 1 hazmat incident, Patterson said.
The fire department that there was no active threat to public safety and that the investigation was ongoing. It said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been notified.
Buffalo Wild Wings said in a statement Thursday evening that it was referring questions to local authorities.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of this horrific accident at our franchise-owned sports bar and are working closely with our franchisee and the authorities while they conduct an investigation,” the company said.
A 13-year-old boy charged with two murders in North Carolina is back in custody Thursday after escaping authorities earlier this week.
The boy escaped after an appearance at the Robeson County Courthouse in Lumberton, North Carolina, two hours southeast of Charlotte, following a court appearance, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said. He fled wearing leg restraints and no shoes, according to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
The juvenile had been held in the Cumberland Regional Juvenile Detention Center since October 14, and was facing charges of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. He was taken back into custody late Wednesday when his mother turned him over to the U.S. Marshals Service, the county sheriff said.
The 13-year-old boy appeared to be connected to a murder case from mid-October when deputies found two brothers, Frank Thomas, 34, and Adam Thomas, 33, dead in their home, according to NBC affiliate WRAL.
A 19-year-old and 13-year-old were arrested on two counts of first-degree murder in the case, WRAL reported on October 16.
Emergency responders attended to victims of a cliff collapse Friday at a beach in Encinitas, California.Paul Ecke / Reuters
A woman was killed and four other people were injured when a coastal bluff collapsed Friday along a popular beach north of San Diego, officials said.
The official Twitter account for Encinitas, California, confirmed the death at Grandview Beach, where warning signs are posted about the unstable bluffs.
Encinitas Fire Department Chief Mike Stein said two of the injured were said to be in critical condition, and the two others suffered minor injuries.
Authorities blamed the collapse on natural erosion, according to NBC San Diego.
An eyewitness told the station that onlookers immediately tried to free the victims before first responders arrived to find a group of beach goers under debris.
A few miles south of Grandview Beach, railroad tracks on bluffs in Del Mar, California, have been shut down multiple times as the earth has given way. The line is used by Amtrak and the Metrolink commuter rail system to carry more than 4 million riders a year between San Diego and Los Angeles.
“Since the summer of 2018, six bluff failures have been reported in the Del Mar Bluffs area resulting in train traffic delays,” the North County Transit District, which runs the tracks, said in June.
A mirrorverse could be just as real as our own universe but almost completely cut off from it. Jackson Gibbs / for NBC News
At Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, physicist Leah Broussard is trying to open a portal to a parallel universe.
She calls it an “oscillation” that would lead her to “mirror matter,” but the idea is fundamentally the same. In a series of experiments she plans to run at Oak Ridge this summer, Broussard will send a beam of subatomic particles down a 50-foot tunnel, past a powerful magnet and into an impenetrable wall. If the setup is just right — and if the universe cooperates — some of those particles will transform into mirror-image versions of themselves, allowing them to tunnel right through the wall. And if that happens, Broussard will have uncovered the first evidence of a mirror world right alongside our own.
“It’s pretty wacky,” Broussard says of her mind-bending exploration.
The mirror world, assuming it exists, would have its own laws of mirror-physics and its own mirror-history. You wouldn’t find a mirror version of yourself there (and no evil Spock with a goatee — sorry “Star Trek” fans). But current theory allows that you might find mirror atoms and mirror rocks, maybe even mirror planets and stars. Collectively, they could form an entire shadow world, just as real as our own but almost completely cut off from us.
Broussard says her initial search for the mirror world won’t be especially difficult. “This is a pretty straightforward experiment that we cobbled together with parts we found lying around, using equipment and resources we already had available at Oak Ridge,” she says. But if she unequivocally detects even a single mirror particle, it would prove that the visible universe is only half of what is out there — and that the known laws of physics are only half of a much broader set of rules.
“If you discover something new like that, the game totally changes,” Broussard says.
As with many grand scientific quests, the hunt for mirror matter grew out of a small, seemingly esoteric mystery. Starting in the 1990s, physicists developed high-precision experiments to study how neutrons — particles found in the nuclei of atoms — break down into protons, a process related to radioactivity. But those experiments took a strange turn.
Researchers found that neutrons created in particle beams, similar to the one Broussard will use, last 14 minutes and 48 seconds, on average, before “decaying” into protons. But neutrons stored in a laboratory bottle seem to break down a bit faster, in 14 minutes and 38 seconds.
Ten seconds might not sound like much, but the actual difference should be zero: All neutrons are exactly the same, and their behavior should depend not one bit on where or how they are examined.
“I take discrepancy very seriously,” says Benjamin Grinstein, a particle-physics expert at the University of California, San Diego. “It’s not just between two experiments. It is a collection of many experiments done independently by several groups. The newest experiments, conceived in part to resolve the disagreement, have “only made it worse,” he adds.
Grinstein has explored the possibility that some neutrons are unexpectedly breaking down into particles other than protons but has found nothing so far. Mirror matter offers a more elegant, if somewhat bizarre, explanation.
A decade ago, Anatoli Serebrov of Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute in Russia introduced the idea that ordinary neutrons sometimes cross over into the mirror world and transform into mirror neutrons. At that point, we could no longer detect them — it would be as if some of the neutrons simply vanished. “That would make the neutron lifetime look wrong,” Broussard explains, because some of the neutrons would have been disappearing from the test equipment while the researchers were studying them.
Connect the dots, and you reach a far-out conclusion: The neutron experiments might look screwy because physicists unwittingly opened a portal to the mirror world.
Broussard’s goal is to find out if that portal really exists and, if so, to open it in a methodical way. That’s where her neutron beam and impenetrable wall come in.
Oak Ridge has an 85-megawatt nuclear reactor that can shoot out billions of neutrons on demand, so getting enough raw material to work with isn’t an issue. The hard part is figuring out how to make some of the neutrons cross over into the mirror world, and then prove to her skeptical colleagues (and to her skeptical self) that it really happened.
Running the experiment will take about one day. Collecting the data and weeding out every possible source of error might then take a few weeks more. Broussard is looking for any telltale neutrons that managed to get past the barrier by turning into mirror neutrons, then turning back. “It all comes down to: Are we able to shine neutrons through a wall?” she says. “We should see no neutrons” according to conventional physics theory. If some of them show up anyway, that would suggest that conventional physics is wrong, and the mirror world is real.
Meanwhile, Klaus Kirch is working on a complementary experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Zurich. His plan is to capture slow-moving neutrons, hit them with a magnetic field and then count to see if all the particles are still there. “If some neutrons oscillated into mirror-neutrons, they would disappear from our apparatus,” he says. Kirch’s team has already run the experiment and hopes to have their results analyzed later in the summer.
Despite their conceptual simplicity, both Broussard’s and Kirch’s experiments are extremely delicate undertakings, dependent on assessing the strange behavior of a few subatomic particles within a crowd of billions. Other researchers have proposed that there might be more blatant signs of a mirror world. We might be seeing it everywhere in the sky.
Since the 1970s, astronomers have deduced that the universe is packed full of “dark matter,” a substance that cannot be observed directly but whose powerful gravitational pull helps keep galaxies from flying apart. The latest analyses indicate that dark matter outweighs visible matter by a factor of five. Yet dozens of intensive searches by astronomers around the world have failed to identify what dark matter is made of.
Zurab Berezhiani, a physicist at the University of L’Aquila in Italy who has conducted his own mirror neutron searches, offers an intriguing explanation: Dark matter has been hard to find because it is hidden away in the mirror world. In this view, dark matter and mirror matter are one and the same. If so, the mirror world is not just ubiquitous, it is far more massive than our own. At a recent physics conference, Berezhiani expanded on the idea, outlining a possible parallel reality full of mirror stars, mirror galaxies and mirror black holes. Maybe even dark life?
“Dark people is probably a bit farfetched,” says Broussard, who confesses that these ideas push her right to the edge of her comfort zone. “But dark matter is very likely as rich as our own matter. This kind of thing needs to be explored.”
If she can open a passage to the mirror world at Oak Ridge, that will be one heck of a start.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)
It was a Christmas wish that crossed international borders. An Arizona man fulfilled the Christmas list of an 8-year-old girl in Mexico whose letter to Santa reached him by way of balloon.
Earlier this month, Randy Heiss was hiking in Patagonia, Arizona, when he saw the ragged remains of a balloon with a note attached.
One side of the note read: “Dayami.” On the other was a numbered list written in Spanish.
Heiss’ wife translated the list and the pair identified its likely sender as a girl named Dayami. The note was intended for Santa and asked for art supplies, slime, a doll and a dollhouse, among other things. No contact information was left on the note.
“It really touched my heart to find it and I said, ‘Well, how in the heck am I going to be able to figure out how to make contact with this little girl and make her wishes come true?’” Heiss told NBC affiliate KVOA in Tucson.
Heiss believed the winds carried Dayami’s Christmas wish list about 20 miles away from Nogales, Mexico.
He shared the letter on his Facebook account. After a few days with no leads, he enlisted the help of Radio XENY, a station in Nogales. The station posted Heiss’ story to its Facebook page.
Within an hour, they were able to find Dayami, who lives in Nogales.
The radio station told NBC News on Monday that it helped to arrange for Heiss and his wife to meet Dayami and her family at its offices late last week.
Heiss and his wife delivered the toys to Dayami and her sister younger sister, Ximena, during the meeting. It brought him “healing joy” to see the children’s happy faces, Heiss told the “Today” show.
“Love has no borders,” he said. “That wall melted away for the day.”
As it turns out, the experience was a gift for the couple, too.
“We lost our son nine years ago,” Heiss told KVOA. “So we don’t have grandchildren in our future and so really getting to share Christmas with kids was something that’s been missing in our lives.”
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)
Lindsey Graham speaks with Chuck Todd on Meet The Press on Nov. 18, 2018.NBC News
WASHINGTON — Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday harshly condemned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over his alleged role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling him “unhinged” and pointedly refusing to work with the prince in the future.
“The fact that he didn’t know about it is impossible for me to believe,” Graham said on Sunday’s “Meet The Press.” The South Carolina senator said he hasn’t been given an official briefing on the matter, but maintained that the conclusion that the crown prince had a role in Khashoggi’s murder should be clear to anyone with knowledge about the country.
“If he is going to be the face of Saudi Arabia going forward, I think the kingdom will have a hard time on the world stage,” Graham added. “They are an important ally, but when it comes to the crown prince, he is irrational, he is unhinged, and I think he has done a lot of damage to the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia and I have no intention of working with him ever again.”
NOV. 18, 201803:49
The United States announced sanctions this week against 17 Saudi Arabian officials over the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
NBC News reported on Friday that the CIA has concluded that the crown prince himself ordered the assassination.
Graham said he doesn’t want to let the individuals who carried out the killing to become “the fall guy,” but instead, “I am going to do whatever I can to place blame where I believe it lies: I am going to put it at the feet of the crown prince who has been a destructive force in the Mideast.”
The senator noted that he previously had a lot of hope for the prince’s potential as a reformer in the region, but “that ship has sailed as far as Lindsey Graham is concerned.”
Graham’s language on Saudi Arabia stands in stark contrast to President Trump, who repeatedly told “Fox News Sunday” this weekend that the crown prince has continually denied involvement in the incident.
Asked whether the prince was lying, Trump responded, “he told me that he had nothing to do with it. He told me that, I would say, maybe five times at different points.”
The president also asked, “Will anybody really know? He did have certainly people that were reasonably close to him and close to him that were probably involved.”
On Sunday, Graham was asked about the bond between the crown prince, Trump, and Jared Kushner, and he said, “I’ll leave it up to the president to find out how to handle Saudi Arabia from the executive branch side.”
“From the legislative branch side, we’re going to do as much as we can, as hard as we can, to send a signal to the world,” he continued. “This is not how we expect an ally to act. What happened in Turkey violates every norm of civilized society and it will not stand. And if John McCain were alive today, he’d be the first one saying that.”
Graham also maintained that the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., the crown prince’s brother, Prince Khalid Bin Salman, should not be allowed back in to the United States as ambassador.
Also on “Meet The Press,” Graham publicly called on the president to move forward on the issue of criminal justice reform, asking him to “pick up the phone” and lobby Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring their bill on the issue to the floor.
“The Republicans are the problem here, not the Democrats,” Graham said.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC)
A man prays at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as he waits for Pope Francis to lead an open-air mass in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Sept. 27, 2015.Jewel Samad / AFP – Getty Images
It is time to face the horrible truth: The Catholic church is a pedophile ring.
According to the grand jury report of six dioceses in Pennsylvania, over a period of 70 years, 300 priests abused over 1,000 children in Pennsylvania and Church officials repeatedly covered it up. The release of the report is a searing indictment of the filth that has existed in the Catholic church.
Sexual abuse has been institutionalized, routinized and tolerated by the church hierarchy for decades. If you think this statement is hyperbole, consider that the grand jury report includes, but is by no means limited to, the case of a ring of pedophile priests in the Pittsburgh, who raped their male victims, took pornographic pictures of them and marked them by giving them gold crosses to wear so that they could be easily recognized by other abusers.
At an emotional news conference Tuesday, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro stood before some of the victims of the abuse in the six Pennsylvania dioceses (which includes Pittsburgh and the state capital Harrisburg). Announcing the report, Shapiro said that, for the first time, “we can begin to understand the systematic coverup of church officials”.
The report was written by 23 grand jurors wrote over the course of two years, and is very clear about how the authorities of the church protected the clergy while further abusing victims with payoffs, silencing and attempts to denigrate their character. Two cardinals, Cardinal Wuerl and the now-deceased Cardinal Bevilacqua (who also figured prominently in the Philadelphia grand jury report) are among those who disciplined but moved around clergy who sexually abused children.
While this report covers only six dioceses in Pennsylvania (there are eight in total, but the archdioceses of Philadelphia and the diocese of Altoona-Johnston were the subject of three previous grand jury investigations), it is breathtakingly horrific in documenting the scope of sexual abuse of children. It chronicles in detail how the Catholic hierarchy from the diocese to the Vatican worked not only mitigate the church’s legal exposure, but to maintain strategies to “avoid scandal.”
Sexual abuse has been institutionalized, routinized and tolerated by the church hierarchy for decades.
These strategies used to subvert stories of abuse were so common that the FBI reviewed a significant portion of the evidence collected and received by the grand jury and found a series of practices engaged in by church leaders to conceal the truth. For instance, church authorities who documented the cases for internal use never used the word “rape,” only “inappropriate contact.” Investigations were conducted by other clergy members, rather than trained personnel. Church-run health centers, not lay psychiatric facilities, were used to examine priests accused of pedophilia. Housing and funds were provided for priests, even when it was known they were raping children. Priests were moved from the area only if their communities found out, to other communities where the abusers and abuses were not known. Most importantly, the hierarchy was instructed to not inform law enforcement about abuses reported by parishioners, but to consider any such cases an “internal personnel matter”
These practices sanctioned by the church hierarchy allowed the abuse of children to continue.
The grand jury report is also rife with horror upon horror — anal rape, fondling, oral sex, child pornography, pregnancies, suicides — perpetrated upon children by priests, who were then moved about by church leaders who knew full well the despicable deeds they had done to children, and often did again.
For instance, one woman was raped by a priest at the age of seven in her hospital room after surgery on her tonsils, was raped again by the same priest at age 13, and then again at age 19 while pregnant; she considered suicide. What was the priest’s punishment for her and other rapes and molestations to which he admitted? Bishop Ronald Gainer of Harrisburg, in submitting the case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stated: “I believe the scandal caused by his admission of the sexual abuse of minor girls has been sufficiently repaired by acceptance of the penal precept.” In other words, Gainer did not want the priest defrocked and so, as punishment, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith decided, after reviewing his file, that the priest in question should lead a life of prayer and penance.
Prayer, and penance. An inadequate, paltry response for repeatedly raping a child.
What is clear from this report — as well as the previous grand jury reports from Philadelphia in 2005 and 2011 and Altoona-Johnston in 2016 — is that the Catholic church cannot be and never should have been trusted nor expected to root out pedophiles in the midst, let alone punish them appropriately. Mercy was not extended to victims, but to perpetrators.
Rules, it seems, were for the Catholics who continued to sit in the pews, not the ones who stood at the altars. The former were supposed to refrain from premarital sex, same-sex relationships, abortions and masturbation. The sexual prohibitions of the church did not extend to the clergy raping children, and priests in Pennsylvania even got a pass for paying for abortions for young girls they raped and got pregnant.
Adding insult to injury, the Catholic church in Pennsylvania is currently fighting an effort by Rep. Mark Rozzi, himself a victim of clergy sexual abuse, to have the civil statute of limitation in such cases eliminated. Currently, victims can file civil claims until the age of 30 and criminal claims until the age of 50; the church supports the latter but opposes the former. Once again, the desire to protect the church, not the victims of the clergy, continues to be the priority for bishops and cardinals in the Catholic Church.
Rules, it seems, were for the Catholics who continued to sit in the pews, not the ones who stood at the altars.
It is long past time for not only abusive priests, but monsignors, bishops and cardinals to be held accountable by local, state and federal law enforcement for their crimes against children. To date, the only administrator convicted of any crime was Monsignor William Lynn of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, whose conviction was subsequently overturned, and has been scheduled for retrial. But most of those who habitually moved abusers, such as Cardinal Wuerl, enjoy the prestige and perks of being high-ranking clergy, while many abused children must try to manage their physical and psychological pain.
What the now-multiple Pennsylvania grand jury reports show clearly is that the Roman Catholic church has treated the protection of its pedophiles, rapists and sexual abusers as their highest priority. They have been unwilling and unable to police clergy sexual abuse while determined to keep responsibility for doing so within the Church — but they don’t want to be held accountable for mishandling it. Like a criminal syndicate, it is time for the Church to be broken apart and cleaned out.
Anthea Butler is an associate professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of “Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making A Sanctified World” (The University of North Carolina Press) and her forthcoming book is tentatively titled “From Palin to Trump: Evangelicals, Race, and Nationalism” (The New Press).
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