A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago. Tuesday's news most likely closes the case that shocked a nation and galvanized the modern civil rights movement. Leflore County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson says the grand jury determined that there was insufficient evidence to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham on charges of kidnapping or manslaughter. The decision comes despite recent revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and the 87-year-old Donham’s unpublished memoir. A cousin of Till's called the latest news “unfortunate, but predictable.”
Kobe Bryant’s widow is taking her lawsuit against the Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire departments to a federal jury seeking compensation for photos deputies shared of the remains of the NBA star, his daughter and seven others killed in a helicopter crash in 2020. Jury selection begins in U.S. District Court on Wednesday in the invasion of privacy case. The county has argued that the photos, which were ordered deleted, have never been in the media, on the internet or otherwise publicly disseminated. Bryant is seeking unspecified millions because she fears the photos may eventually surface.
Today in History
There are legions of fans of Spider-Man, who this month marks 60 years in the vast, imaginative world of comic books, movies and merch. The fans say Spider-Man character’s classic costume, complete with wide-eyed and web-patterned mask, is a key ingredient to the character’s appeal across race, gender and nationality. Almost anyone can imagine themselves behind it as this everyman — an underestimated smartypants who, after a quick change into head-to-toe spandex, becomes a force for good. Because of this appeal, says Angélique Roché, an author and host of the “Marvel’s Voices” podcast, “we should be open to the possibilities” of diverse representations of the beloved superhero.
Police have announced a breakthrough in the killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A man from Afghanistan — himself a Muslim — was charged Tuesday with two of the slayings, and authorities identified him as a prime suspect in the other killings that put the entire community on edge. Muhammad Syed, who is 51, was taken into custody a day earlier after a traffic stop more than 100 miles away. Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said it was not clear yet whether the deaths should be classified as hate crimes or serial killings. Police were still looking into possible motives, including an unspecified “interpersonal conflict.”
A federal judge in California has ruled three golfers who joined Saudi-backed LIV Golf will not be able to compete in the PGA Tour’s postseason. U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman made her decision in San Jose after attorneys for the sides each spoke about an hour.The golfers were seeking a temporary restraining order, which Freeman denied. Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford claimed they should be able to play where they want to. They are among 10 players who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour last week — including Phil Mickelson.
A Nebraska woman has been charged with helping her teenage daughter have an abortion. The charges come after investigators uncovered Facebook messages in which the mother and daughter discussed using medication to end the approximately 24-week pregnancy. Nebraska law prohibits abortion after 20 weeks. Prosecutors charged 41-year-old Jessica Burgess with helping her then 17-year-old daughter end her pregnancy and then burning and burying the fetus. Madison County Attorney Joseph Smith says he's never had a case involving an illegal abortion in his 32 years as the prosecutor.
Serena Williams says she is preparing to step away from tennis after winning 23 Grand Slam titles, turning her focus to having another child and her business interests. “I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” Williams wrote in an essay released Tuesday by Vogue magazine. Williams said she does not like the word retirement and prefers to think of this stage of her life as “evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.” Williams is playing this week in Toronto, at a hard-court tournament that leads into the U.S. Open. The year’s last Grand Slam event begins in New York on Aug. 29.
After winning 23 Grand Slam titles, Serena Williams says she is turning her focus to having another child and her business interests as she readies to step away from tennis. Williams, one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of her — or any other — sport, has seven titles apiece at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, six U.S. Open wins, plus three at the French Open, across a career remarkable for its peaks and its longevity. She also owns 14 Grand Slam doubles championships, all won with her older sister, Venus.
Veteran “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kenan Thompson will host next month’s Emmy Awards. Thompson calls it “ridiculously exciting” to be part of the ceremony honoring TV's best. Thompson has been with NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” since 2003, earning a trio of Emmy supporting acting nods. He won a trophy in 2018 as co-writer of the lyrics for “Come Back, Barack,” featured on “SNL.” Last year, Thompson earned a lead acting nomination for his sitcom “Kenan,” which NBC canceled in May after two seasons. The Emmy ceremony will air live on NBC on Sept. 12. Top nominees include “Succession,” “Squid Game” and “Ted Lasso.”
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The birds no longer sing. The cows die. And if the people in this northern Myanmar forest complain, they too face the threat of death from militias. This forest is the source of key metallic elements known as rare earths, often called the vitamins of the modern world. Rare earths turn up in everything from hard drives to elevators, and are vital to the fast-growing field of green energy. But an AP investigation found their cost is environmental destruction, the theft of land and the funneling of money to brutal militias. The AP tied rare earths from Myanmar to the supply chains of 78 companies. Nearly all who responded said they took environmental protection and human rights seriously.
A Palestinian hunger striker who his family says has refused food for the past five months and is wasting away in an Israeli jailhouse infirmary has suddenly been thrust into the center of efforts to firm up a Gaza cease-fire. Khalil Awawdeh is in the spotlight because the Islamic Jihad group sought his release as part of Egyptian-brokered talks that ended three days of fighting between the Gaza-based militants and Israel over the weekend. Prospects for his release are uncertain. But his case highlights the plight of hundreds of Palestinians who are being held by Israel under a system that critics say denies them the right to due process.
Jury selection has started in the second trial of two men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 over their disgust with restrictions early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Prosecutors are putting Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. on trial again after a jury in April couldn’t reach a verdict. Two other men were acquitted and two more pleaded guilty. Prospective jurors reported Tuesday to the federal courthouse in Grand Rapids. The government says the plot to kidnap the Democratic governor followed training in Wisconsin and Michigan and two trips to scout her second home in northern Michigan. Defense attorneys will hammer away at the credibility of undercover FBI agents and informants. They say Fox and Croft were victims of entrapment.
After the disruption of online learning, first-year college students are arriving arrive on U.S. campuses unprepared for the demands of college-level work, experts say. Colleges from New Jersey to California have expanded summer bridge programs aiming to get students up to speed in math and English before they arrive this fall. Experts say it's clear remote instruction caused learning setbacks, most sharply among Black and Hispanic students. The stakes are high: Research shows that students who start college a step behind are less likely to graduate.
Actor Ezra Miller has been charged with felony burglary in Vermont, the latest in a string of incidents involving the embattled star of “The Flash.” Vermont State Police said in a report Monday that they responded to a burglary complaint in Stamford on May 1. Police found that several bottles of alcohol were taken from a residence while the homeowners weren’t present. Police charged Miller after consulting surveillance footage and interviewing witnesses. Police said they located Miller shortly before midnight on Saturday and issued a citation to appear in Vermont Superior Court on Sept. 26 for arraignment.
The white father and son convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting after they chased the 25-year-old Black man through a Georgia neighborhood have been sentenced to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime. A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael on Monday in Brunswick. Both were previously sentenced to life without parole in a state court for Arbery’s murder. The McMichaels armed themselves with guns and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after he ran past their home on Feb. 23, 2020. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who recorded cellphone video of the slaying, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Authorities have identified the fourth victim in a series of killings of Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as the deaths sent ripples of fear through Islamic communities nationwide. Three of the slayings happened in the past week. Now law enforcement officials are seeking help finding a vehicle believed to be connected to the killings in New Mexico’s largest city. The common elements were the victims’ race and religion. Naeem Hussain was killed Friday night, and ambush shootings killed three other Muslim men over the past nine months. Police are trying to determine if the homicides are linked.
Father, son get life for hate crime in Arbery death
The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers are central arms of California's water system. But they are becoming too salty to use for some farmers and cities that rely on them as the state's punishing drought drags on. In dry times, less fresh water flows from the mountains through California's rivers and into an estuary known as the Delta. That means saltier water from the Pacific Ocean is able to push further into the system, which supplies water to millions of people and acres of farmland. The Delta's challenges foreshadow the risks to come for key water supplies from drought and sea level rise made worse by climate change.
With a cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants holding after nearly three days of violence, Gaza’s sole power plant resumed operations. That came as Israel began reopening crossings into the territory Monday. Israel also lifted security restrictions on southern Israeli communities after the Egyptian-mediated truce took effect late Sunday. It was the worst round of violence since an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas last year. Since Friday, Israeli aircraft had pummeled targets in Gaza while the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group fired hundreds of rockets at Israel. The Palestinian Health Ministry said 46 Palestinians were killed. Islamic Jihad said 12 were militants. Israel said some of the dead were killed by misfired rockets.