Busboy Who Held Dying RFK Speaks of Lingering Pain
6/11/2018 1:43:08 PM

By Russell Contreras   LOS ANGELES—Juan Romero was a teenage Mexican immigrant working as a hotel busboy 50 years ago when he was thrust into one of the seminal moments of the decade. Romero had just stopped to shake the hand of Robert F. Kennedy on the night of his victory in the California presidential primary on June 5, 1968 when a gunman shot the New York senator in the head. Romero held a wounded Kennedy as he lay on the ground, struggling to keep the senator's bleeding head from hitting the cold floor of the Ambassador Hotel kitchen. For almost a...

Guatemala Volcano Death Toll up to 62, Expected to Rise
6/11/2018 1:40:44 PM

EL RODEO, Guatemala—Rescuers pulled survivors and bodies Monday from the charred aftermath of the powerful eruption of Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire, as the death toll rose to 62 and was expected to go higher from a disaster that caught residents of remote mountain hamlets off guard, with little or no time to flee to safety. Using shovels and backhoes, emergency workers dug through the debris and mud, perilous labor on smoldering terrain still hot enough to melt shoe soles a day after the volcano exploded in a hail of ash, smoke and molten rock. Bodies were so thickly...

Roseanne Barr Blames Ambien for Racist Tweet
5/31/2018 1:46:46 PM

By David Bauder   The maker of Ambien said Wednesday that "racism is not a known side effect" after Roseanne Barr cited the insomnia drug in explaining the tweet that led ABC to cancel her show. Hours after ABC pulled the plug on "Roseanne" because of her offensive tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett — and quickly breaking a promise to stay off Twitter — the comedian was busy posting on the social media platform. Barr tweeted that what she did was unforgiveable and urged supporters not to defend her. She said of the Jarrett...

Starbucks Changes Bathroom Policy Following Racial Firestorm
5/16/2018 12:17:58 PM

WASHINGTON—Starbucks has adopted an open-bathroom policy following the arrest last month of two African American men at a coffee shop in Philadelphia. Chairman Howard Schultz says he doesn't want the company to become a public bathroom, but feels employees can make the “right decision a hundred percent of the time,” if that choice is removed at the store level.   One of the men arrested on April 12 was denied use of a bathroom. He and his partner sat down to await a business meeting they had scheduled at the store, but were arrested minutes later by...

South African Photographer of Iconic Protest Image Dies
5/16/2018 12:11:19 PM

By Andrew Meldrum   JOHANNESBURG—Tributes are being paid following the death of Sam Nzima, the South African photographer who took the iconic image of a Black high school student carrying a fatally wounded fellow pupil away from the gunfire of apartheid police in 1976. Nzima, 83, died Saturday night in a hospital in the northwestern city of Nelspruit, said his son, Thulani Nzima. The photographer had collapsed two days earlier but did not recover in the hospital, he said. Nzima's photograph of the Soweto student uprising galvanized international public...

Settlement Reached in LA Shooting of Homeless Black Man
5/16/2018 12:10:03 PM

LOS ANGELES—A settlement of $1.9 million was reached last week in a civil lawsuit stemming from the fatal police shooting of a homeless Black man on Skid Row in Los Angeles three years ago, attorneys said. A jury found two police officers liable for financial damages in the shooting death of Charly “Africa” Keunang, a transient from Cameroon. Jurors were set to begin the damages phase of the trial when the settlement was announced. The agreement, which requires City Council approval, resolves all fees, costs and claims and closes any future litigation over...

Smithsonian Museum to Install Henrietta Lacks Portrait
5/16/2018 12:06:31 PM

WASHINGTON—A portrait of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were taken without her consent and widely used in groundbreaking research, will be installed at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. The portrait was painted by Kadir Nelson and jointly acquired by the gallery and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Lacks died of cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins University, where researchers discovered her cells reproduced indefinitely in test tubes. HeLa cells have since contributed to the treatment of thousands of patients and many scientific...

Marley's Granddaughter Wants Accountability for Police Stop
5/16/2018 12:04:57 PM

By Deepti Hajela   NEW YORK—Bob Marley's granddaughter said last week that she felt like her life was put in danger when a woman saw her and three friends leaving an Airbnb rental in California, got suspicious and called the police. Donisha Prendergast and her friends, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall and Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan, all of whom are Black, plus an additional friend who is white, were leaving the home in Rialto on April 30 when a white neighbor called 911 and reported strangers carrying bags out of the house. Police officers stopped the renters and questioned...

Feds Want Negotiations with California on Auto Gas Mileage
5/16/2018 11:56:20 AM

By Tom Krisher and Ken Thomas   WASHINGTON—Addressing a key concern for manufacturers, President Donald Trump has instructed his administration to explore negotiations with California on achieving a single fuel economy standard for the nation during a meeting with auto industry executives. The president met with top auto executives to discuss the standards and tasked Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to handle the talks with California officials, according to two people briefed on the meeting. The...

Honoring Birmingham’s Great Children’s Crusade Which Changed Our Nation
5/16/2018 11:48:09 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman   “Daddy,” the boy said, “I don't want to disobey you, but I have made my pledge. If you try to keep me home, I will sneak off. If you think I deserve to be punished for that, I'll just have to take the punishment. For, you see, I'm not doing this only because I want to be free. I'm doing it also because I want freedom for you and Mama, and I want it to come before you die.”   This teenage boy overheard talking to his father by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the many hundreds of Birmingham...