Macron wants fire-ravaged Notre Dame rebuilt within 5 years
PARIS (AP) — The inferno that raged through Notre Dame Cathedral for more than 12 hours destroyed its spire and its roof but spared its twin medieval bell towers, and a frantic rescue effort saved the monument's "most precious treasures," including the relic revered as Jesus' Crown of Thorns, officials said Tuesday.
French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the beloved Roman Catholic architectural landmark, and wanted to see it completed within five years.
"We have so much to rebuild," Macron said in a televised address to the nation. "We will rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral even more beautifully. We can do it, and once again, we will mobilize (to do so)."
Authorities consider the fire an accident, possibly as a result of restoration work at the global architectural treasure that survived almost 900 years of tumultuous French history but was devastated in the blaze on the second day of Holy Week.
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said the inquiry into the fire would be "long and complex." Fifty investigators were working on it and would interview workers from five companies hired for the renovations to the cathedral's roof, where the flames first broke out.
In Notre Dame fire, embers of unity for a fractured France
PARIS (AP) — In Paris' heart, a charred and gaping hole. But also a rallying cry.
The disfigurement of Notre Dame, the splendid cathedral that has watched over the French capital for centuries and is now a blackened wreck mourned around the globe, felt to Parisians like a body blow, as impossible to stomach as the eternal loss to New York of its Twin Towers, as unfathomable as the idea of Egypt shorn of its pyramids or London robbed of Buckingham Palace.
Which is why, even before the tears had dried and firefighters had extinguished the flames, the immediate, visceral imperative was to rebuild. Here's money. Here's wood. Donations poured in, from billionaires pledging hundreds of millions of euros to the more modest offerings of those who gave what they could spare.
A nation that for months of violent yellow-vest protests has been more divided than at any time since World War II suddenly found a shared mission in the ashes of disaster: Restore, for future generations, the gift of Notre Dame that previous generations handed down to us.
Experience says the new-found unity won't last. It didn't even after gunmen massacred 130 people at the Bataclan concert hall and other Paris sites in 2015 and killed 17 in the attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket. Then, France shared a slogan, "Je suis Charlie," in a similar way that it now shares the pain of Notre Dame.
Rebuilding Notre Dame will be long, fraught and expensive
LONDON (AP) — Notre Dame in Paris is not the first great cathedral to suffer a devastating fire, and it probably won't be the last.
In a sense, that is good news. A global army of experts and craftspeople can be called on for the long, complex process of restoring the gutted landmark.
The work will face substantial challenges — starting immediately, with the urgent need to protect the inside of the 850-year-old cathedral from the elements, after its timber-beamed roof was consumed by flames.
The first priority is to put up a temporary metal or plastic roof to stop rain from getting in. Then, engineers and architects will begin to assess the damage.
Fortunately, Notre Dame is a thoroughly documented building. Over the years, historians and archeologists have made exhaustive plans and images, including minutely detailed, 3-D laser-scanned re-creations of the interior.
YouTube's Notre Dame-9-11 flub highlights AI's blind spots
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — YouTube might need a few more humans. The machines whose job is to tamp down conspiracy theories are not cutting it just yet.
As people around the world Monday turned to YouTube to watch Notre Dame Cathedral burn in Paris, an automated system attached background information about the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York to livestream videos of the fire.
The cause of the blaze has not been determined, but authorities said it appeared to be accidental, not arson or terrorism.
The background note was posted by a system YouTube recently put in place to combat well-known conspiracies about such events as the moon landing or 9-11. In this case, the algorithm might have had the opposite effect, fueling speculation about the cause of the fire and who might be behind it.
It's the latest example of artificial intelligence misfiring — and a sign that we have a long way to go before AI becomes smart enough to understand nuance and context.
What you won't see in the Mueller report
WASHINGTON (AP) — The special counsel's Trump-Russia report will be out on Thursday for all to see. But not all of it.
The Democrats' demands for a full, unredacted version of Robert Mueller's report are likely to prompt a political and legal battle that could last for months, if not much longer.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, has said he is prepared to issue subpoenas "very quickly" for the full report on Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign if it is released with blacked-out sections. And that would set the legal fight in motion.
Attorney General William Barr has said he is redacting four types of information from the report, which the Justice Department says will be released Thursday. Congressional Democrats cite precedent from previous investigations in saying they want to see it all. But some Republicans defending Barr are also citing precedent, saying it is appropriate to keep at least some of the information from Congress and the public.
A look at what types of material Barr is redacting, and why Democrats say it should be released:
Correction: CBD Goes Mainstream story
NEW YORK (AP) — In a story April 15 about CBD, The Associated Press reported erroneously the parent company of Nine West. It is Authentic Brands Group, not Authentic Fitness.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Mainstream retailers embrace marijuana's less taboo cousin
Retailers take advantage of booming CBD industry even as legal status and health benefits of a compound derived from hemp and marijuana remain murky
By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO
Columbine survivors send kids to schools altered by attack
DENVER (AP) — Dropping her kids off at school used to be the hardest part of Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson's day. She would cry most mornings as they left the car and relied on texted photos from their teachers to make it through the day.
Now, the mother of four — and Columbine shooting survivor — sees mornings as an opportunity. She wakes early, makes breakfast and strives to send a clear message before her kids leave home: I adore you.
Twenty years after teenage gunmen attacked Columbine High School, Ruegsegger Johnson and other alumni of the Littleton, Colorado, school have become parents. The emotional toll of the shooting that killed 12 classmates and a teacher has been amplified by fears about their own kids' safety , spiking each time yet another shooter enters yet another school.
"I'm grateful I have the chance to be a mom. I know some of my classmates weren't given that opportunity," Ruegsegger Johnson said, tears springing to her eyes. "There are parts of the world I wish our kids never had to know about. I wish that there would never be a day I had to tell them the things I've been through."
As the survivors of Columbine entered adulthood, they watched the attacks at their school and so many others — Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Parkland — alter the American classroom.
Man who tossed daughter off bridge found guilty of murder
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — A Florida jury on Tuesday found a man guilty of first-degree murder for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge four years ago, despite arguments from his attorneys that he was insane and thought his actions would actually save her. He was automatically sentenced to life in prison.
Jurors in Clearwater, Florida, deliberated for about seven hours over two days before convicting John Jonchuck, whom prosecutors portrayed as a vengeful man who planned to kill his daughter to keep her away from her mother and grandmother.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that no one from Jonchuck's family was in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. And no friends or relatives spoke on behalf of Phoebe or her father before the sentencing. Jonchuck, who was stoic when the verdict was read, hugged his attorneys and said, "Yes, your honour," when asked if he understood that the verdict carries an automatic life sentence. He was then fingerprinted and taken out of the courtroom by bailiffs.
Jonchuck's lawyers had asked the judge to delay sentencing for a week because they have some issues to check. But when they failed to provide a reason, Judge Chris Helinger proceeded with the sentencing.
"I am satisfied that justice was done," the newspaper quoted Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe as saying. "My immediate reaction is killing children doesn't make one a very sympathetic character."
Minnesota cop's trial raises questions about code of silence
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Testimony in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home has shined a light on officers' actions at the scene and raised questions about whether they were trying to protect one of their own.
The incident commander turned her body camera off when talking to Mohamed Noor in the moments after the July 2017 shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, while other officers told him not to say a word, according to prosecutors and court testimony. Many responding officers turned their body cameras on and off at will; one had his camera recording while headed to the scene and shut it off upon arrival.
"These are extremely troublesome things," said Phil Turner, a defence attorney and former federal prosecutor in Chicago who is not connected to the case. "They're law enforcement officers and they are supposed to enforce the law equally, whether someone is a sworn law enforcement officer or not."
Noor, 33, is on trial for murder and manslaughter in the death of Damond, a 40-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia who was shot while approaching the squad car that Noor and his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, were in. Defence attorney Peter Wold said in his opening statement that Noor heard a loud bang on the squad car and feared an ambush. But prosecutors say there is no evidence of any threat to justify deadly force.
Noor and Harrity did not turn on their body cameras until after the shooting.
Marine running marathon for fallen friends crawls to finish
A Marine veteran said all he was thinking about as he crawled to the finish of the Boston Marathon was the men who died after an attack on their convoy in Afghanistan nine years ago.
Their names were written on his hand, his shoes and his race bib. They were the inspiration, Micah Herndon said, when he first started running to escape the horrors of war.
Herndon said he never considered giving up even when his legs started giving out about 4 miles (6 kilometres) from the end of the race Monday.
"That was the longest 4.2 miles I've ever run in my life," said Herndon, who's from Tallmadge, Ohio.
He said his military training kicked in when he dropped to his hands and knees and crawled, at times pulling himself on his stomach, for the final 100 yards (91 metres).