EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 15, 2013

Around the World and Nation


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — A teenager who opened fire at a suburban Denver school, wounding a fellow student before killing himself, entered the school with a shotgun, a machete and three incendiary devices in his backpack and had ammunition strapped to body, authorities said Saturday.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Friday’s shooting at Arapahoe High School by 18-year-old Karl Pierson likely was motived by retaliation against a faculty member, probably a librarian at the school.

Robinson said it appears the librarian was the initial target, but that the gunman planned to hurt multiple people.

He says the teen bought the pump-action shotgun gun legally Dec. 6 at a local store.

Anyone over 18 is allowed to buy a shotgun in Colorado; only those over 21 can legally buy a handgun.

Bells toll in Newtown, Conn., to mark year since 26 died in shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Bells tolled 26 times to honor the children and educators killed one year ago in a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School as local churches held memorial services and the country marked the anniversary with events including a White House moment of silence.

With snow falling and homes decorated with Christmas lights, Newtown looked every bit the classic New England town, with a coffee shop and general store doing steady business. But reminders of the private grief were everywhere. “God bless the families,” read a sign posted at one house in the green and white colors of the Sandy Hook school, and a church posted that it was “open for prayer.”

Ryan Knaggs, a chef who lives in Newtown, said that as the bells tolled he thought of two young victims who played soccer with his 7-year-old daughter.

“The echo of the bells, knowing some of the children personally, you feel the exactitude with each bell ... the exactitude of the loss and the grief,” Knaggs said.

The bells rang 26 times at St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown beginning at 9:30 a.m. — the moment the gunman shot his way into the school on Dec. 14, 2012 — and names of the victims were read over a loudspeaker. Connecticut’s governor had asked for bells to ring across Connecticut and directed that flags be lowered to half-staff.

Mandela’s casket arrives in Qunu; mourners gather along motorcade route

QUNU, South Africa (AP) — Nelson Mandela came home Saturday.

A hearse carrying Mandela’s body drove into his hometown in rural South Africa ahead of burial Sunday, returning the country’s peacemaker to the place where he had always wanted to die.

It was here in Qunu that Mandela roamed the hills and tended livestock as a youth, absorbing lessons about discipline and consensus from traditional chiefs. From here he embarked on a journey — the “long walk to freedom” as he put it — that thrust him to the forefront of black South Africans’ struggle for equal rights that resonated around the world.

As motorcyclists in uniform and armored personnel carriers escorted the vehicle carrying Mandela’s casket to the family compound, people lining the route sang, applauded and, in some cases, wept.

“When I saw the hearse passing, I couldn’t hold my excitement. I felt like I was holding him by the hand,” said Norma Khobo. “It was very exciting, I saw him!”

Desmond Tutu changes plans, says he will attend Mandela funeral

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu changed course Saturday night and announced plans to attend the funeral of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela after all.

Spokesman Roger Friedman did not explain Tutu’s abrupt reversal but said Tutu would catch a flight early in the morning and be in attendance at Mandela’s funeral Sunday in the village of Qunu.

He did not explain the reason for Tutu’s dramatic change of plans.

Tutu had earlier in the day said he would not go because the government had not made him feel welcome and he did not want to “gatecrash” the funeral of his longtime ally and friend.

Tutu, 82, is — like Mandela — the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his groundbreaking work in the ultimately successful struggle against apartheid.

Bloomberg: 3-term NYC mayor’s impact unquestioned, but his legacy still hotly debated

NEW YORK (AP) — When Michael Bloomberg took the oath as mayor nearly a dozen years ago, he was a political neophyte faced with a city still smoldering from a terrorist attack that crippled its economy, wounded its psyche and left a ragged scar across lower Manhattan.

Bloomberg is now poised to leave office Dec. 31 having dramatically reshaped the city, from its government to its skyline. He steered it through a series of crises, both natural and man-made, and his innovative public health policies appear to have added years to residents’ lives. The city has never been safer or cleaner, a teeming metropolis transformed into a must-see attraction for more than 50 million tourists a year.

But Bloomberg’s approach to governing as the billionaire businessman he is, employing hard data and the free market to drive much of the city’s renaissance, sometimes left him without an ability to connect with those who felt left behind. Income inequality grew during his years. The number of homeless has soared. And some ethnic and religious minorities complain that a steep drop in crime has come at the expense of their civil liberties.

As Bloomberg’s three terms trickle down to their final days, he leaves as a singular figure with an unquestioned impact but as one whose legacy is still being debated. Polls show his policies are far more popular than the man.

“He is a public-spirited and visionary man of great wealth who took advantage of the failure of politics as usual to deal with extraordinary circumstances,” said Kenneth Sherrill, a retired political science professor at Hunter College. “He largely succeeded doing what he pleased and he didn’t damn well care what you thought of it.”

Pope’s crackdown on order that celebrates old Latin Mass riles traditionalist Catholics

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis may have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, but he has come under scathing criticism from a growing number of traditionalist Catholics for cracking down on a religious order that celebrates the old Latin Mass. The case has become a flashpoint in the ideological tug-of-war going on in the Catholic Church over Francis’ revolutionary agenda, which has thrilled progressives and alarmed some conservatives.

The matter concerns the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a small but growing order of several hundred priests, seminarians and nuns that was founded in Italy in 1990 as an offshoot of the larger Franciscan order of the pope’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

Then-Pope Benedict XVI launched an investigation into the congregation after five of its priests complained that the order was taking on an overly traditionalist bent, with the old Latin Mass being celebrated more and more at the expense of the liturgy in the vernacular.

Benedict, a great admirer of the pre-Vatican II Mass, had relaxed restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass in 2007.

While the order was in turmoil over this liturgical issue, the dispute at its core comes down to differing interpretations of the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council, which include the use of local languages in Mass that some considered a break with the church’s tradition.

Braves stadium move to suburbs highlights longtime lines of race, class in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — For the Braves, abandoning downtown Atlanta for the suburbs means moving closer to the team’s fan base and developing money-making restaurants and amenities. Team officials say it’s simply good business.

But the decision also highlights long-standing disparities over wealth, where people live and transportation — all facets of life connected to race and social class in Atlanta. The Braves will be moving from an area that’s predominantly black and relatively poor compared to whiter Cobb County — where the team says more ticket-buyers live. Although it is long past segregation, the hometown of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is far from integrated, and the city’s politics, business and even sports teams reflect that gap.

Consider what Rick Grimes views from his home blocks from Turner Field each time there’s a game: fans, mostly white, streaming past on the sidewalk.

“I would say the large majority of people who support the Braves are white folks,” said Grimes, who is African-American.

While no one would reasonably accuse the Braves of making a decision based on race or class, one scholar says major attractions often migrate toward money.