Category: RTM News Reel Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
(CNN) If you're off school or work Monday in observance of Presidents Day, you've got it all wrong, at least according to the federal government.Federal offices are closed Monday because it's Washington's Birthday, a holiday to honor the first U.S. president, Geroge Washington.
Confused? Here's what the National Archives says on its website:
"This holiday is designated as 'Washington's Birthday.' Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is Federal policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law."
Washington's actual birthday was February 22, and that's when the holiday was originally celebrated. However, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act , which designated the third Monday in February as Washington's Birthday, beginning in 1971.
The Presidents Day moniker evolved later, at least partly to honor Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday was February 12, but some hoped it could be a day to honor all presidents.
Of course, states, local governments and businesses are not bound to honor the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, so they can call Monday whatever holiday they like or not have one at all.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 10:54
Category: RTM News Reel Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis woman says her 2-year-old son was traumatized by a man accused of slapping the boy and calling him a racial slur during an Atlanta-bound flight.
The boy’s mother, Jessica Bennett, said in a statement Saturday that her son has become “apprehensive to strangers” since the Feb. 8 flight from Minneapolis.
Joe Rickey Hundley, of Hayden, Idaho, has been charged with simple assault. His attorney said he will plead not guilty.
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Bennett, 33, told authorities her son was crying as the Delta Air Lines flight prepared for landing. Hundley, 60, was sitting next to her and slapped the boy in his face, causing a scratch under his right eye, she said.Hundley “told her to shut that (N-word) baby up,” FBI special agent Daron Cheney said in a sworn statement. “Ms. Bennett received assistance from several people on the plane.”Watch news video here:Bennett said the infant began crying louder after he was hit.“Hundley’s comments w...
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 08:11
Category: RTM News Reel Written by Lateef Mungin and Steve Almasy, CNN
(CNN) -- Finally, after days of listing on a disabled Carnival cruise ship without electricity and working toilets, thousands of passengers finished disembarking early Friday morning at the Port of Mobile.
The frustration that many felt was typified by Janie Esparza, one of the first passengers to get back on land.
"It was horrible. Horrible," Esparza told a scrum of reporters. "The bathroom facilities were horrible and we could not flush toilets. No electricity and our rooms were in total darkness. Honestly, think that this ship should have ever sailed out."
The Carnival Triumph, became a major media story, when it caught fire off the coast of Mexico. The blaze left the vessel listing to the side, drifting in Gulf of Mexico currents and the more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board in limbo. It took five days for the ship to dock at the Alabama Cruise Terminal, three days after it was due.
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Family members cheered as the ship pulled in and in the crowd also was Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill. The CEO had his own message for the weary passengers: Sorry.
"We pride ourselves in providing our guests with a great vacation experience, and clearly we failed in this particular case," he said.
The beleaguered CEO went on the ship as passengers departed and delivered another apology.
But for some, like passenger Norma Reyes, it was too little too late.
"The hallways were toxic," said Reyes, who said she would never go on a Carnival cruise again. "Full of urine. It was horrible. If that ship caught on fire, and they had not contained it where would we be? Floating in the ocean or dead."
Others were more forgiving.
"They did a good job of managing expectations," said Brett Klausman. "The information that trickled out was probably well thought out to kind of keep people safe and calm."
Despite the ordeal, many passengers had nothing but praise for the crew, saying they had worked long shifts to make sure their guests were as comfortable as possible.
"No power, no toilets, nothing. Nothing. I mean, it was was disgusting, but the staff, they did such an amazing job," said Joseph Alvarez. "And I give them so much props because they were amazing through it all. I mean, they worked their tails off to accommodate everybody's needs."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, Coast Guard members and a Carnival team boarded the ship before it arrived in port to help speed efforts to get passengers off as quickly as possible, he said.
Some families gathered at the Alabama Cruise Terminal, far from where the ship was originally supposed to dock in Galveston, Texas. Marissa Jenks said her family reported they had a hot meal Thursday morning and crew members were trying to clean up the ship as it neared port.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 07:00
Category: RTM News Reel Written by The Grio
Many Americans found the story of 102-year-old Desiline Victor to be heartwarming; the 102-year-old Miami woman, who was born in Haiti and labored as a farm worker before retiring, stood in line for hours waiting to vote last October, eliciting cheers when she finally emerged from the polling place with her “I voted” sticker.
On Tuesday, she became the oldest person ever invited to attend the State of the Union. She was a guest of first lady Michelle Obama. However at Fox News, Desiline’s story was written off as a “non-issue.”
From the liberal watchdog group Media Matters:
On Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade & Friends, host Brian Kilmeade and Fox’s Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer laughed off the difficulties 102-year-old Desiline Victor endured in order to vote in the 2012 election. Victor, who was invited to the State of the Union address and whom President Obama applauded for enduring a long wait to vote, had to make two trips to the polls and wait in line for over three hours before she was able to cast her ballot. Discussing Victor, MacCallum wondered, “What’s the big deal?” and said, “This is such a non-issue. Ridiculous.” Hemmer added that at the State of the Union, “They held her up as a victim. What was she a victim of?”
Studies have found that Florida had the longest wait times to vote in the recent presidential election, and that nationwide, black and Hispanic voters waited longer to vote than white Americans. Florida’s Republican legislature passed a law limiting the early vote period to eight days, when it had been 14, and many believe that, coupled with lengthy ballot measures proposed by the same state legislature, contributed to the long lines like the one Desiline confronted.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 07:56
Category: RTM News Reel Written by Matt Smith, CNN
(CNN) -- Medical examiners have positively identified the body of the renegade former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner, the man authorities say killed four people and wounded three others in a vendetta against his old comrades.
That announcement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department came two days after a shootout, standoff and fire at a cabin in the mountains east of Los Angeles. Dorner's remains were identified through dental records during an autopsy, the department said.
The charred remains of a man believed to be Dorner were found in the burned cabin late Tuesday. The cause of death was not released with the identification.
Dorner was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2009 for falsely accusing his training officer of kicking a subdued suspect. After unsuccessfully challenging his dismissal in court, police say, he launched a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the LAPD, targeting numerous officers involved in his case and their families.
Former girlfriend: Dorner was stressed out
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Dorner was cornered and died Tuesday afternoon in the San Bernardino Mountains, about 100 miles east of the city he had once sworn to protect and serve.
The 33-year-old former Navy officer holed up in the cabin after a shootout with law enforcement that left a sheriff's deputy dead and another wounded, San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon said.
The cabin caught fire when police shot tear gas canisters into it, McMahon told reporters Wednesday.
Although the canisters included pyrotechnic tear gas, which generates heat, "We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," he said.
The city of Los Angeles and other communities in southern California had issued a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner's capture and conviction. What to do with that reward was under discussion Thursday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.
"More than 20 jurisdictions and entities are involved in this reward, so all of them will be coming together to collectively determine whether any individual or individuals qualify for it,'" they said in a joint statement. "Our personal hope is that the reward will be distributed, but we must follow the rules and respect the procedures of each entity."
Dorner's mother, Nancy Dorner, expressed condolences for the victims in a statement given to Robin Sax at Fox 11 Los Angeles.
"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we express our deepest sympathies and condolences to anyone that suffered losses or injuries resulting from Christopher's actions. We do not condone Christopher's actions.
The family has no further comments and ask that our privacy be respected during this difficult time."
Dorner was first named a suspect in two shooting deaths on February 3: Monica Quan, the daughter of his police union representative, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence.
Police say he then killed Michael Crain, a police officer in suburban Riverside, and wounded Crain's partner in an ambush on their patrol car February 7. The partner, Officer Andrew Tachias, was in stable condition at a local hospital, Riverside police said.
They say Dorner also wounded an LAPD officer who chased him into nearby Corona.
In addition, LAPD officers guarding one of Dorner's targets in suburban Torrance opened fire on a pickup truck that resembled Dorner's, wounding two women inside. Beck called the shooting "tragic" and "horrific."
In a manifesto announcing his planned rampage, Dorner said nothing had changed in the LAPD since its scandals of the 1990s, the Rodney King beating and the Rampart police corruption case. Those allegations have struck a chord with some who say that, despite the four killings, Dorner was seeking justice.
Shadowed by that history, Beck announced Saturday that the department would re-examine its proceedings against Dorner. The review is "not to appease a murderer," but "to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all things we do," he said.
CNN's Erica Henry contributed to this report.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 07:54
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