Browsing articles from "January, 2018"

25 Years After The Tanks, Tear Gas And Flames, ‘Waco’ Returns To TV

Jan 24, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on 25 Years After The Tanks, Tear Gas And Flames, ‘Waco’ Returns To TV

Michael Shannon plays FBI negotiator Gary Noesner, who gets called in to try to bring a peaceful end to the government standoff with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians in Waco.

Paramount Channel


hide caption

toggle caption

Paramount Channel

Michael Shannon plays FBI negotiator Gary Noesner, who gets called in to try to bring a peaceful end to the government standoff with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians in Waco.

Paramount Channel

Twenty-five years ago, all eyes were on Waco, Texas — where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was attempting to raid a compound owned by a fringe Christian group called the Branch Davidians, just outside of the city. ATF agents suspected the group was illegally stockpiling weapons.

Four agents and six Branch Davidians died in the initial raid, and for the next 51 days, we watched a siege play out on TV. But eventually, it all ended with tanks, tear gas, and flames.

The story is back on our television screens now, this time as a six-part miniseries called Waco. It’s largely based on the accounts of two men who were there: Gary Noesner, a retired FBI chief hostage negotiator, and David Thibodeau, one of the few people who survived the siege.

Branch Davidian leader David Koresh had a surprising sideline as a rock musician, and Thibodeau says that’s what drew him into the group.

Interview Highlights

Branch Davidian members Jaime Castillo (L) and David Thibodeau (C) are led from the federal court building after their 1993 arraignment in Waco, TX. The men were two of nine members to survive the blaze that destroyed the Branch Davidian compound.

TIM ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

TIM ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images

Branch Davidian members Jaime Castillo (L) and David Thibodeau (C) are led from the federal court building after their 1993 arraignment in Waco, TX. The men were two of nine members to survive the blaze that destroyed the Branch Davidian compound.

TIM ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images

On how Thibodeau got involved with The Branch Davidians

Thibodeau: Over the course of six months, I got to know the guys, you know, we’d jam a little bit and then sometimes they would come over and give studies. They made it very clear that a big part of their music is about scripture. One of the things that impressed me most was one of the first times I had to study with Steve Schneider, he opened the Scripture. He had one of those quarter inch margin bibles, and every single page was color-coded. The notes were just studious, it was like like an intellectual thing more than just proselytizing to someone, and that really interested me. That’s kind of — I always listen to the TV preachers on television and you just see right through them. David wasn’t that easy to see through.

On negotiating with Koresh during the siege

Noesner: We got 35 people out through the negotiation process, including 21 children. I feel confident that [if] we had done things a bit differently, we could have secured the safe release of a good many more, perhaps everyone.

What I like about this TV series so much is they do look at this very complex incident from two perspectives — from inside looking out [and] outside looking in. We always knew that everyone in there was legitimately enthralled and believed in David Koresh’s message, and that’s why we’re there. And it’s also one of the reasons that complicated our resolution efforts because David’s religious philosophy was that the end times are coming and the forces of evil will come against us. And in essence, the ATF raid validated that prophecy.

Mount Carmel burns to the ground at the end of a 51 day standoff between David Koresh, the Branch Davidians and the FBI in Waco.

Paramount Network


hide caption

toggle caption

Paramount Network

Mount Carmel burns to the ground at the end of a 51 day standoff between David Koresh, the Branch Davidians and the FBI in Waco.

Paramount Network

Thibodeau: But even more so than that … I believe the negotiators were really trying, there’s no doubt about that, is the fact that the tactical commanders would come in and override things that the negotiators would say to us. I won’t even say promise, but during the course of conversation, certain things would be said and certain alliances or rapport built. And then the commanders would come in and just destroy all that work that they had done, and made us so much more mistrustful and so much more into, “There’s no way out of this. The world is fighting against the last message.” And it just — it made it so much truer.

On meeting each other for the first time on the set of Waco

Noesner: A bit of a funny story is when we were on set, [had] been there a few days, and we were having lunch, and we ended up being at a table together by ourselves, and David’s back was to everyone, so I don’t think he saw them, but through my peripheral vision, I’m seeing literally everybody in the crew is transfixed to say, “Are these guys gonna break out in a fist fight or yell at each other?” And we got along fine. There’s clearly some areas where we have different perceptions about events.

Thibodeau: This is the kind of dialogue that needs to happen more often with American citizens. Everyone should be talking to each other to find out why they have the views that they do instead of just getting on Facebook and yelling at each other. Nobody really, really talks. They don’t listen.

On what they wish people understood about Waco

Thibodeau: I mean, I really just want the people to be humanized in a way. They’ve honestly just been demonized through the press. There are real children, real mothers, real dynamics going on. It is very complex when there’s that many people, and that many people that are focused in the same direction. Honestly it’s about them and I want them to be, you know, honored. You know, no matter what you think of David Koresh or the people that died there, they died for what they believed in. And that’s more than I can say for a lot of people.

Prolific Science Fiction And Fantasy Author Ursula K. Le Guin Dies At 88

Jan 24, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Prolific Science Fiction And Fantasy Author Ursula K. Le Guin Dies At 88

Author Ursula K. Le Guin has died at age 88. She was a prolific writer of science fiction and fantasy who brought feminism into her work and raised the genres into literature.

Death Toll for German Serial Killer Nurse Goes Up, Another 97 Victims Suspected

Jan 23, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Death Toll for German Serial Killer Nurse Goes Up, Another 97 Victims Suspected

A German nurse serving a life sentence for murdering two patients is suspected of killing another 97 people by lethal injection.

If convicted, Niels Högel would become Germany’s most deadly serial killer ever.

Högel, now 41, was charged with 97 further counts of murder on Monday. His third trial in the northern city of Oldenburg, Germany, is expected to start later this year, according to Reuters.

Police investigator Arne Schmidt told Deutsche Welle the killings are “unique in the history of the German republic.”

Högel was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 on two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. But during his trial, he confessed to killing many others.

He admitted to injecting 90 of his patients with a lethal cocktail of drugs in order to induce heart failure or circulatory collapse so he could try to revive them. Högel believed bringing dying patients back from the brink of death would help him shine as a hero and garner respect from his peers and superiors.

The New York Times reported Högel said he acted “out of boredom” and Reuters added that he described feeling euphoric after bringing someone back to life, although he often failed.

In statements to a psychologist he revealed over 30 killings — on top of the two for which he was convicted. That prompted authorities to launch an investigation and exhume scores of bodies buried between 1999 and 2005 and test them for the killer’s drug cocktails.

Serial Killer Dubbed 'Angel Of Death' Dies After Prison Beating

As NPR’s Laurel Wamsley reported in August, Högel’s career as a nurse was ghastly throughout:

Also troubling is that Högel’s lethal practices went unreported by fellow hospital staff. Though others noticed that the number of deaths in the intensive care unit at Delmenhorst doubled during his time there, nothing was done.

In 2005, a colleague saw Högel injecting a patient with ajmaline, but management didn’t do anything about it for two days, during which Högel killed his final patient. Six employees at the hospital at Delmenhorst are now charged with negligent manslaughter for their failure to act. An investigation into neglect at Oldenburg is ongoing.

“The murders could have been prevented,” [chief of police Johan] Kühme told the Guardian, noting that Högel was given a clean reference which allowed him to move to the Delmenhorst hospital and continue killing people. “People at the clinic in Oldenburg knew of the abnormalities.”

On Monday, Oldenburg prosecutors told Reuters they had charged Högel with 97 additional murders but toxicology tests did not find conclusive proof in three more cases.

Of the newly discovered cases, 62 patients died in the Delmenhorst hospital near the northern city of Bremen and 35 in a clinic in Oldenburg.

What Happens When Suburban Police Departments Don’t Have Enough Money?

Jan 23, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on What Happens When Suburban Police Departments Don’t Have Enough Money?

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart in Robbins, Ill., on Nov. 19, 2013. Dart says many suburban departments have a hard time just getting officers to patrol the town.

M. Spencer Green/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

M. Spencer Green/AP

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart in Robbins, Ill., on Nov. 19, 2013. Dart says many suburban departments have a hard time just getting officers to patrol the town.

M. Spencer Green/AP

In suburbs just outside the city of Chicago, some police officers are paid fast-food wages; they work part-time patrolling high crime areas, just so they can use their badge to get better paying security jobs.

Many police chiefs say the low-wages and part-time positions are consequences of inadequate funding. That means departments can’t pay for ongoing training, can’t afford to fire problem officers and don’t have the capacity to investigate police shootings.

Experts say it’s created a system where there’s often no accountability for bad actions, and no real effort to learn from policing mistakes.

Lack of resources leads to lack of accountability

Two years ago, Robert Collins took over as police chief in the Chicago suburb of Dolton — population 22,000.

“When I first came aboard, one of my first things to do was to look at the history of the department,” he says. “And I did notice that there were quite a few officer-involved shootings.”

Dolton has had nine police shootings since 2005 — tied for the most in suburban Cook County.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know how we would explain it to people,” Collins says.

One explanation could be who Dolton hires for its police force, and how they’re trained and monitored once they join the force. Experts say in many budget-strapped towns such as Dolton, a lack of resources leads to a lack of accountability for bad actions.

An Off-Camera Police Shooting, A Trial And The Questions Left Behind

There’s one officer on the Dolton police force who has killed one man and wounded three others in separate shootings. Before he was hired by Dolton, that officer had already been suspended by one department for a shooting, and fired by another for misconduct.

For most police forces, that background would raise a red flag. But for cash-strapped suburbs like Dolton, it made him affordable.

The Chicago Police Department estimates it costs $140,000 for the first year of hiring a new recruit — that’s money many suburbs just don’t have — so they’d rather take a fully-trained up officer with some baggage, than pay to put someone through the academy.

Milwaukee Reaches Tentative Settlement Agreement Over Fatal 2014 Police Shooting

Chief Collins says since he’s taken over in Dolton, he’s raised the department’s standards, but he’s quick to acknowledge the struggle between budgeting and policing.

“Unfortunately, sometimes there’s not a lot of money to hire what you need, you just have to make do with what you have,” Collins says.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart spends a lot of his time working with distressed suburban police departments and says, departments having to make do means “you get officers bouncing around the departments, and it’s not good, it’s not good. I just don’t know what the mechanism is to stop that.”

Fewer opportunities to learn from mistakes

One town just outside Chicago — the village of Robbins — has almost all part-time police officers. The pay there is $10.50 an hour. That’s less than the starting rate at Walmart.

The pay for a Robbins cop was $10 an hour in 2008 when a part-time officer accidentally shot an innocent 13-year-old in the back.

Nothing happened to the officer involved, or to the officer in Dolton who’s been involved in five shootings since 2005.

In fact, according to an investigation by WBEZ and the Better Government Association, there are rarely consequences for suburban officers after questionable shootings.

Out of more than a hundred shootings since 2005, no officer has been charged with a crime for any of them. No officers have been disciplined in any way or even ordered for re-training.

Our investigation found only a handful of instances in which a department even did a review.

“The reality is that in a lot of these different towns that you named, they have a hard enough time getting officers to patrol the town, let alone to have a separate part of their office set aside that just analyzes police-involved shootings,” Sheriff Dart says.

Peter Moskos spent a couple years as a cop in Baltimore, and now teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He says in suburbs and small departments throughout the country, these issues often get overlooked.

Ray Tensing Police Shooting Case Goes To A Jury, For The Second Time

“And so we just don’t know because there’s no account,” he says. “And yeah, if there is shady stuff going on I think it’s much more likely to happen in small towns where there’s no oversight.”

In the Chicago suburbs, that means the departments struggling with high-crime and low-budgets can miss out on opportunities to learn from mistakes and improve training or policies.

It means residents who most need help from police often have to deal with poorly trained officers — some who can stay on patrol despite numerous shootings.

That Dolton officer involved in all those shootings was recently promoted to detective.

Government Shutdown Coming To An End After Senate Agreement

Jan 23, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Government Shutdown Coming To An End After Senate Agreement

The three-day partial government shutdown is coming to an end. Senate Democrats agreed to a stopgap funding measure after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell committed to a vote on immigration legislation.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Voting Map

Jan 23, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Voting Map

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state’s congressional district map today, saying it “clearly, plainly and palpably” violates the state Constitution.

The justices ruled 4-3 just days after hearing oral arguments in the case.

State legislators are being given an opportunity to redraw the map in time for the May 15 primary election, subject to the governor’s approval, and file it with the court by Feb. 15.

But the decision also invites “all parties and interveners” to submit their own proposed replacement maps. If lawmakers can’t make it happen on time, the justices will choose a new map based on the court record.

The order requires the new map to divide the state’s voters into districts that are contiguous and have equal populations, which federal law already requires. But the districts also have to avoid dividing political jurisdictions like counties and municipalities, which isn’t a legal mandate but is recognized as “best practice” in redistricting.

Not-So-Fun Run: Joggers In 'Gerrymander 5K' Must Run Oddly Shaped Route

Eighteen registered Democrats — one for each of the state’s districts — claimed the congressional map violates multiple parts of the Pennsylvania Constitution, including its free expression clause, because it discriminates against them for their political viewpoint.

The case names Republican legislative leaders as defendants because the GOP controlled the General Assembly, and thus redistricting, the last two times maps were drawn.

Drew Crompton, chief counsel for Senate Republicans, says they will seek a stay of the decision and are encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s granting one in a similar case out of North Carolina.

Mimi McKenzie represents the plaintiffs and the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania. The organization initiated the lawsuit before being dropped for lack of standing. In a conference call with reporters, McKenzie referred to the map as “one of the worst gerrymanders in American history.”

A separate, federal lawsuit out of Pennsylvania is also before the nation’s top court, along with similar matters from Wisconsin and Maryland.

WITF’s Katie Meyer and WHYY’s Lindsay Lazarski contributed to this report.

1 Year Later, Where Does The Women’s March Go From Here?

Jan 22, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on 1 Year Later, Where Does The Women’s March Go From Here?

This weekend marks the first anniversary of the Women’s March. NPR’s Michel Martin talks with Medea Benjamin, Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa and Raquel Willis about how they view the movement progressing.

For Speed Skater Headed To First Olympics, Bright Lights And Stage Are Familiar

Jan 22, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on For Speed Skater Headed To First Olympics, Bright Lights And Stage Are Familiar

Speed skater Kimani Griffin will make his first Olympic appearance in Seoul next month, but he’s no stranger to the spotlight. NPR’s Michel Martin talks with Griffin about the trip.

After Arrival In Jerusalem, Pence Talks Government Shutdown, Embassy Relocation

Jan 22, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on After Arrival In Jerusalem, Pence Talks Government Shutdown, Embassy Relocation

Vice President Pence is visiting Jerusalem after stops in Egypt and Jordan. The visit comes after the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

After Praying At His Inauguration, Pastor Splits With Trump Over Immigration Views

Jan 22, 2018   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on After Praying At His Inauguration, Pastor Splits With Trump Over Immigration Views

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, prayed at the inauguration. Now, NPR’s Michel Martin asks how he talks to his church about Trump’s immigration views.

Pages:«1234567...12»

Categories

Current Times

  • NPT: 2019-08-22 08:28 PM
  • EDT: 2019-08-22 10:43 AM
  • PDT: 2019-08-22 07:43 AM