Kobe Bryant’s sudden death leaves the world grieving, searching for answers

first_imgHarry How/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The federal probe into the devastating helicopter crash that killed retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others has investigators exploring why the pilot took flight in weather so foggy it had prompted local law enforcement agencies to ground its choppers.An 18-member team from the National Transportation Safety Board, along with help from the FBI, continued on Monday to comb through the wreckage of the 1991 Sikorsky S-76 aircraft that slammed into a hillside on Sunday morning in Calabasas, California, killing everyone onboard and sending shockwaves across the globe.Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant were among those who were instantly killed after the helicopter faded from radar just before 10 a.m. local time on Sunday. Reports of the crash into the steep hillside followed soon after.The helicopter pilot, identified Monday as Ara Zobayan by Los Angeles aviation company Group 3 Aviation, the company that trained him, had climbed to more than 2,000 feet when the aircraft made an unusual and rapid descent just before it crashed, according to information from the aviation database Flightradar24.Investigators had no immediate explanation for the aircraft’s rapid descent.When it struck the ground, the helicopter was flying at about 184 mph and descending at a rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute, the data showed.The listed owner of the aircraft is Island Express, but it is unclear if Bryant rented it or had a long-term arrangement with the company to use it. The helicopter was painted with Bryant’s logo.Eyewitness Scott Daehlin described the fog as “like jumping into a pool of milk.”Daehlin told ABC News that he was setting up audio equipment for Sunday service at the Church In The Canyon in Calabasas when he heard a big thud and what sounded like a fuselage breaking apart inside the canyon.While Daehlin could hear the helicopter, it was impossible to see the crash because of the fog, he said. He then called 911 and told dispatchers that something horrible had happened.Members of the FBI were sent to the crash site and are assisting the NTSB with collecting and documenting the evidence.Jennifer Homendy, a member of the NTSB board, said investigators will look into the history of the pilot and maintenance records of the helicopter. It was not immediately clear if the helicopter was equipped with a black box.The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner said that because of the difficult terrain at the crash site, it could take several days to complete the recovery.The medical examiner’s Special Operations Response Team recovered three bodies from the wreckage on Sunday before recovery operations were suspended due to darkness and safety concerns, the agency said in a statement. The team returned to the crash site on Monday and were working to recover the remaining victims, according to the statement.The bodies are being taken to the medical examiner’s Forensic Science Center for examination and formal identification.The LA County Sheriff’s Department has asked the public to stay away, calling the scene a logistical nightmare.The Los Angeles Police Department said that Sunday’s weather conditions did not meet its standards for flying — an 800-foot cloud ceiling and 2 miles of visibility — at the time of the crash yesterday morning. The LAPD’s fleet was grounded at the time of the accident.Other victims killed in the crash included John Altobelli, a local college baseball coach, as well as his wife, Kerri Altobelli, and his daughter, Alyssa Altobelli. Christina Mauser, an assistant girl’s basketball coach for a private school in Orange County, was also killed in the crash, her husband confirmed on Facebook.Two other people aboard the doomed flight were identified as Sarah and Peyton Chester, ABC News has confirmed.The identity of the one other victim, the pilot, remains unconfirmed.Bryant and the others who perished were flying from Orange County, where Bryant has a home in Newport Park, to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, a sports facility where the former LA Lakers’ star hosted basketball clinics. Bryant’s daughter’s basketball team was scheduled to play in the Mamba Cup, a youth basketball tournament that’s named after Bryant’s moniker.The Lakers game against the Los Angeles Clippers scheduled for Tuesday night at the Staples Center has been postponed “out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday,” the NBA said in a statement. The game will be rescheduled for a later date.Meanwhile, tributes have been pouring in from all over the world. Bryant’s image was splashed across newspapers Monday morning as basketball fans and beyond begin to mourn the loss of the hoops legend. Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant’s former LA Lakers teammate who won three consecutive NBA championships with him in 2000, 2001 and 2002, posted a picture of the two embracing, and said that “there are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment.”Another close friend and retired basketball star Dwyane Wade paid an emotional tribute to Bryant on Instagram.Basketball legend and principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets Michael Jordan issued a statement saying that Bryant “was like a little brother to me.”Bryant was drafted to the NBA out of high school in 1996 and spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships. He was awarded NBA MVP in 2008 and NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010.Bryant won gold medals as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.Bryant’s career was marred, however, during a 2005 trial when he was accused of sexual assault by an employee at a Vail, Colorado hotel. Bryant always denied the encounter was nonconsensual and the case was later dismissed after the victim said she did not want to testify and the two parties settled a civil suit. Here is the front page of tomorrow’s paper and special section remembering Kobe Bryant: pic.twitter.com/FgRuABMZq4— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 27, 2020 Statement from Michael Jordan: pic.twitter.com/oI7w6e7HLI— Estee Portnoy (@esteep) January 26, 2020 LeBron James surpassed Bryant on the all-time scoring list on Saturday during the Lakers’ game against the Philadelphia 76ers.“I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant — one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers,” James told reporters after the game. “The man got two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”In 2018, Bryant won an Academy Award for his animated short “Dear Basketball,” which is based on a poem he wrote in 2015 when he announced his retirement. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

NXIVM founder Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison

first_imgMarilyn Nieves/iStockBy AARON KATERSKY, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Keith Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison at a Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday for running NXIVM, a self-help organization prosecutors labeled a “criminal enterprise” exploited by Raniere for power, profit and sex.To followers, he was known as Vanguard, but prosecutors cast Raniere as a con artist who did “immeasurable damage” to victims over 15 years of crime and exploitation. They had asked he receive a life sentence.“You have done irreparable harm to peoples psyches, to their self-esteem, their belief in themselves and their experience of sanity and well being,” filmmaker Mark Vicente, a former member of NXIVM turned whistleblower, said in an impact statement delivered at Raniere’s sentencing.“I believed in you. I believed in your mission. Because I thought it was the same as mine,” Vicente added. “I believed you knew what goodness was. Finding out the truth about you and your actual motives turned my world upside down.”“Raniere and his co-conspirators maintained control over the Enterprise by, among other means, obtaining sensitive information about members and associates of the Enterprise; inducing shame and guilt in order to influence and control members and associates of the Enterprise; isolating associates and others from friends and family and making them dependent on the Enterprise for their financial well-being and legal status within the United States; and encouraging associates and others to take expensive NXIVM courses, and incur debt to do so,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.The U.S. attorney in charge of the case said he was satisfied with the result.“The judge’s sentence incapacitates Keith Raniere for the rest of his life,” said Seth DuCharme, acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “Keith Raniere will not be able to victimize people anymore after today’s sentence and we’re very grateful for that.”Raniere has been jailed since his June 2019 conviction on charges including sexual exploitation, forced labor and sex trafficking.“Members of the Enterprise recruited and groomed sexual partners for Raniere … and many were themselves in sexual relationships with Raniere that involved pledges of loyalty, penances for ethical breaches and collateral,” the memo said.Unapologetic, Raniere asserted his “complete innocence,” defense attorneys said.“Simply put, he remains proud of his life’s work. He also remains determined to fight this case, which he views as a terrible injustice and, respectfully, an affront to what should be one of the great systems of justice to ever exist,” his attorneys said in their sentencing memo.The judge rejected Raniere’s latest bid for a new trial on Friday.“This complex situation of personal motives, individual regrets and life choices has no place in a federal courtroom. Yet, the government seeks a life sentence for Keith Raniere in a case that has no guns, no knives and no force. No one was shot, stabbed, punched, kicked, slapped or even yelled at,” the defense memo said.At trial, Raniere was accused of forming a group within NXIVM composed of female “slaves” who were branded with his initials and coerced into having sex with him after giving him nude photographs or revealing embarrassing secrets.“Every single person making the decision to get branded or not get branded … or to make any one of a thousand other decisions was a free-thinking adult,” the defense said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Ferry firms avoid Britain with ‘Brexit buster’ services from Ireland

first_imgDublin Port handles most of Ireland’s trade with continental Europe. But Brexit has suddenly made Dublin-Holyhead an avoidable pain for those using Britain only as a landbridge. The port’s customs authorities this week reported that, despite a decision to postpone enforcement of some rules, a third of truckers arriving from Britain still face clearance delays because their declarations are inaccurate or incomplete.Irish Ferries also confirmed it is withdrawing another ferry, the Epsilon, from the Dublin-Holyhead route on Friday.The greatest demand is reported on new services launched this month by Danish firm DFDS, which is using three ships for 12 sailings weekly between Rosslare and Dunkirk in France. It has reported virtually full sailings, with truckers placed on “standby” in the event their spots must be taken by shipments of high-priority medical cargo needed to tackle COVID-19.Hauliers say Ireland needs potentially 20 more weekly ferry sailings to keep supply chains working normally. They note that, once the pandemic subsides and travel restrictions are lifted, truckers will be competing with holiday-makers’ cars for deck space.Aidan Flynn, general manager of the Freight Transport Association of Ireland, questioned the government’s recent assessment that existing Ireland-Europe sea links were sufficient. “Drivers are being stranded overnight because of overbooking,” he said. DUBLIN — Ferry companies in Ireland are pulling some of their newest, biggest vessels from British routes to boost “Brexit buster” services direct to the Continent.Such sea routes were unpopular before Brexit, when the U.K. landbridge linking Dover in southeast England with Holyhead in Wales gave truckers a much faster path between Ireland and the Continent. But after new U.K.-EU trade rules kicked in January 1, a dysfunctional New Year’s rollout of customs checks is driving unprecedented demand for alternatives that avoid the hassle of Britain. At Rosslare, Ireland’s closest port to France, sailings and cargo capacity for roll-on, roll-off shipments by lorry have quadrupled in the past month. Other vessels are being rerouted from Belfast, Liverpool and Holyhead to launch more Dublin-France services.Stena Line, the biggest operator on Ireland-Britain routes, on Thursday night launched its brand-new Stena Embla on its maiden commercial voyage from Rosslare to Cherbourg in northwest France. The 41,700-ton vessel, which arrived this month from China, was supposed to serve the Belfast-Liverpool route.Paul Grant, the Irish Sea trade director for Stena Line, said Embla was being shifted from a U.K. route to an all-EU one because of “short-term market distortion.” He said Stena Line was determined “to respond to market and customer demands rapidly.”Stena Line said its cargo traffic this month versus a year ago is 26 percent lower on the Belfast-Liverpool route and down a staggering 70 percent on Dublin-Holyhead.Rosslare Europort manager Glenn Carr said the southeast Ireland facility was experiencing “unprecedented demand for capacity directly to and from the Continent.”Irish Ferries last week pulled its newest ship, the W.B. Yeats, from Dublin-Holyhead, the essential route for commerce with Britain — switching to the Dublin-Cherbourg route three months ahead of schedule.center_img Want more analysis from POLITICO? POLITICO Pro is our premium intelligence service for professionals. From financial services to trade, technology, cybersecurity and more, Pro delivers real time intelligence, deep insight and breaking scoops you need to keep one step ahead. Email [email protected] to request a complimentary trial.last_img read more

NEJC Chamber celebrates successes, reveals award winners at annual gala

first_img2013 Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce award winners were (from left) Lance McCarthy and Erik Haberkorn of ReTouch; Jay Senter and Dan Blom of the Prairie Village Post; Rex Taylor; Dale Warman; and Toni Cummins of the Overland Park Marriott. Photo courtesy g photography.Northeast Johnson County business owners, elected officials and administrators gathered Saturday at the Overland Park Marriott to celebrate a year of business successes.More than 300 attendees packed the hotel’s main ballroom for the annual Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Gala. The event, which also featured live and silent auctions, is the Chamber’s premier gathering of the year, and includes the announcement of the annual award winners.They were:Corporate Business of the Year: Overland Park MarriottSmall Business of the Year: ReTouch (hey, we know those guys!)New Business of the Year: Prairie Village Post (hey, we are those guys!)Volunteer of the Year: Roeland Park Police Chief Rex TaylorAmbassador of the Year: Prairie Village City Councilor Dale WarmanThanks to the Chamber for a great evening, and congrats to the award recipients! (…but not to us. Because we aren’t going to congratulate ourselves. Although I guess we already kind of have. Sigh…).(And additional thanks to g photography for the pic!)last_img read more

Coconut boost for Barbados, Region

first_img Jun 29, 2020 Aug 27, 2020 You may be interested in… Jul 14, 2020 Region in Danger of Failing SDG Hunger Target – UN Barbados and the region can have a bustling coconut industry, despite being smaller than major growers such as Indonesia and The Philippines. This assertion was made by Maurice Wilson, who is the Regional Coconut Industry Coordinator at the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). He was speaking with the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) following the inaugural meeting of the National Stakeholders Platform (NSP) on the coconut industry, recently held at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Graeme Hall offices. CARDI Working With Stakeholders to Bolster Agriculture… center_img Aug 19, 2020 Caribbean COVID-19 Food Security and Livelihoods Impact… World Bank Provides US$8M to Strengthen Agriculture and Food… Barbados is among 11 CARIFORUM countries participating in a European Union (EU)-funded Caribbean Coconut Industry Development project. The Euro 4 million project, being executed by CARDI, is geared towards enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s coconut industry, thereby ensuring food security, creating jobs and generating revenue. Mr. Wilson gave an overview of the undertaking, and noted that the Caribbean’s coconut industry was thrown into a tailspin decades ago, after coconut oil was deemed unhealthy. “In the 1970s, the coconut industry in the region virtually collapsed, because there was a soya bean lobby, which indicated that coconut oil was bad for the system. Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Coconut industry a main topic at Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2018The coconut industry is a major item on the agenda of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) which will be held in Bridgetown, Barbados next month. The Region’s mega agriculture event will be held 8-12 October under the theme ‘Strengthening agriculture for a healthier future in the Region’. Coconut is…September 25, 2018In “Agriculture”5 December is CARDI Day; coconut industry in focus(Barbados Government Information Service Press Release) The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute’s (CARDI) Country Office in Barbados will be celebrating CARDI Day under the theme ‘Celebrating the potential of the region’s coconut industry’. On Wednesday, December 5, there will be an opening ceremony followed by a field tour at…December 4, 2018In “Agriculture”Preparations move into high gear for Caribbean Week of Agriculture in BarbadosA Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) website was launched earlier this week as preparations moved into high gear for the event which will be held in Bridgetown, Barbados, 8-12 October, 2018. The premier agriculture event on the Region’s calendar will be held under the theme ‘Strengthening agriculture for a healthier…August 16, 2018In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

David Silva celebrates his ‘most special’ Premier League title

first_img Silva celebra su Premier más especial Mateo was born “extremely premature” at the end of 2017 after just six months in the womb. A complicated situation which forced the former Valencia player to miss some games to accompany his partner during the process. Upd. on 16/04/2018 at 00:14 CEST 15/04/2018 IN SPORT.EScenter_img Sport EN David Silva has won the Premier League again, for the third time. After winning it with Man City, as he also did in 2012 and 2014, the playmaker celebrated by posting a photo with his son Mateo on social media. “My third league but this one is the most special. Thanks to everyone for supporting me in this tough year,” he wrote on Twitter.last_img read more