Blog Posts by Claudine Zap

  • Postponed: ‘Last 5′ race for those who didn’t finish Boston Marathon

    Flowers placed at a police barricade near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Tuesday (Winslow Townson/AP)

    Boston College students who had organized “Boston Marathon: The Last 5” have decided to postpone the event.

    The five-mile walk, which had grown in popularity, had officials concerned that logistics would overwhelm the resources of the Boston police, the Heights reported.

    The organizers, Dani Cole and Michael Padulsky, had initially set up the route from Boston College to Copley Square in downtown Boston for those runners who had not been able to cross the finish line after two bombs went off near the end of the race, causing three deaths and injuring more than 170.

    Nearly 5,000 people had run 24 miles of the 26.2-mile course when the blasts occurred. The Last 5 event, organized on Facebook, had received more than 16,000 responses from people who expected to attend on Friday, with the term #thelast5 trending on Twitter.

    Accents CC ‏wrote, "Here is your chance to finish the #BostonMarathon."

    Stephen Wojnar ‏added, "We will walk to show that WE decide when our marathon ends."


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  • Soldiers complete Boston Marathon, then rush to help

    Members of the "Tough Ruck" team were steps from the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon and rushed in to help. (Military Friends Foundation)

    The 20 active-duty soldiers had just completed the Boston Marathon carrying supply-filled packs—some as heavy as 40 pounds—for the Tough Ruck charity event. Then the bombs went off—and they ran to help.

    The soldiers had gathered at 5:30 on the morning of the race to walk the 26.2-mile course together, led by 1st Lt. Stephen Fiola. The event is to honor comrades who had died in Iraq or Afghanistan, or from suicide or post-traumatic stress disorder after coming home, according to the group's Facebook page.

    Soldiers from the "Tough Ruck" team at the Boston Marathon. (Military Friends Foundation)

    The soldiers who followed the race course took about eight hours to complete the event. They were met at the end by Carlos Arredondo, recognizable in photos by his cowboy hat—and for his heroic acts.

    Carlos Arredondo, a Tough Ruck volunteer who helped those wounded in the blasts at the Boston Marathon. (Atlantic Wire)

    The Tough Ruck volunteer was father of Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. His second son committed suicide after suffering from depression from the death of his brother. Arredondo was carrying photos of the two of them.

    Then the double blasts went off at the

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  • Looking for one good man: Boston patient searches for her savior

    Site of one of the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon (Elise Amendola/AP/)

    A patient has a message for the man who picked her up and carried her to safety: Thank you.

    According to a report from the Boston Globe, one of 19 injured patients brought to Tufts Medical Center after the dual bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon was helped by a good Samaritan. She would like to relay her gratitude.

    The patient, who suffered severe leg injuries, remembers her hero as “Sergeant Tyler,” a former Marine, who may have been in uniform, and who, she recalls, had a scar on his left arm.

    [Slideshow: Boston Marathon bombing]

    Hospital spokeswoman Brooke Tyson Hynes said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that “He told her, ‘You’re going to have a scar, but you’re going to be OK. It’ll be like my scar.’ ” She added, the unidentified patient “believes he did indeed save her life.”

    Hynes said, “If there is a Sergeant Tyler out there, please call Tufts Medical Center Public Affairs, and she would very much like to thank him personally.”

    She added, “That’s an important part of

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  • 2 brothers each lose a leg in Boston bombings

    Liz Norden, mother of the injured brothers, with the brothers' uncle, Jim Casey. (Patricia Wen/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

    Two brothers each lost a leg while watching a friend compete in the Boston Marathon.

    The men, both roofers recently laid off from their jobs, had gone to the race on Monday to cheer on a friend. Instead, they became victims of the bomb blasts near the finish line at the Boston event, according to a story in the Boston Globe.

    The 31- and 33- year old brothers were separated in the confusion and were raced to different hospitals. Their mother, Liz Norden, told the paper that she was grocery shopping when she received a call from her younger son, who was being taken by ambulance to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

    He'd said, "Ma, I’m hurt real bad," Norden, who has five children, told the Globe. He also told her that he had severe burns on his legs.

    It took two hours for Norden to locate her other son, who had been taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He, too, had lost a leg in the blast. Both losses were from the knee down.

    Sitting outside the emergency room at Deaconess, she

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  • Who is Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s new leader?

    South Korea President Park Geun-hye (Reuters)

    Sworn into office on Feb. 25, 2013, South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye, took charge during a tense time in relations with North Korea. And things have only gotten worse. Which makes this a good time to take a look at the country's first female elected to that office—no small feat in a country with the largest gender gap in the developed world, according to the BBC.

    In fact, she is the first president of the country to win with an outright majority—52 percent of the vote.

    Here, some more details about the leader facing a major threat from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un:

    1. Park is the daughter of former authoritarian President Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea for nearly two decades. Her father, a general, seized power during a military coup in 1961 and stayed in charge until he was killed by his disgruntled spy chief in 1979.

    2. Views of her father’s legacy have divided the country—some credit the elder Park with bringing prosperity to modern Korea, while others accuse him of human

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  • Online outrage over ‘Canada’s Steubenville’

    Rehtaeh Parsons, center (Facebook)

    Outrage over a woman’s suicide after an alleged rape has spilled online. A petition to ask Canada’s minister of justice to review the case of Rehtaeh Parsons has already gathered over 88,000 signatures in just a few days.

    Nova Scotia's minister of justice initially said he would not open an independent investigation. Now the department is looking for ways to review the case.

    The incident involves the 17-year-old girl and an alleged sexual assault by four young men in November 2011.

    Sherri Bain of Halifax, a friend of Rehtaeh’s mother, Leah Parsons, started the petition. She wrote on the website that the Nova Scotia high school student never recovered from the attack.

    “Rehtaeh was destroyed by this ... She was called a slut. She was bullied. She faced depression.”

    Abandoned by friends, even switching schools to start fresh, she eventually attempted suicide last Thursday. Rehtaeh was taken off life support and died on Sunday.

    Rehtaeh’s mother noted on a Facebook page as a

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  • Deadline looms to claim cash man found in dumpster

    Dumpster diving isn’t usually considered a lucrative pursuit. But a man, known only as Carlos, had a wild find at the Wellesley Recycling and Disposal Facility in Massachusetts: about $20,000 stuffed into a hollowed-out book.

    The Brazilian immigrant was at the recycling center to pick up back issues of National Geographic and old books. One used book turned out to be very useful: When he opened it, he saw hundred dollar bills.

    Carlos told CBS Boston Local, “I quickly closed the book and I ran to the car. When I opened the book, the money fell all over the place, one-hundred-dollar bills here, one-hundred-dollar bills there.”

    No one would have blamed the man had he invoked the rule of “finders, keepers.” But last fall Carlos put an ad in a local paper with an email address, giving a six-month deadline for the owner of the cash to claim it. He said, “I can be guilt-free that I did search and try my best to find the person.”

    So far, according to CBS Boston, he’s received 180 responses,

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  • Marine won’t lend military the flag that covered Saddam Hussein statue’s face

    Saddam Hussein statue April 9, 2003 (Getty Images)

    The Marine whose flag was used to cover the face on the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s Firdos Square before it was toppled at the beginning of the war with Iraq, has refused to lend the memento to the Marines on the 10th anniversary—to the day—of that televised event.

    Former Lt. Tim McLaughlin told the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va., that he did not want the flag to be used in propaganda.

    "Over the years, I've become more aware of the symbolism that attached to the flag," McLaughlin told Jordan Heller from Salon. "But for me, it doesn't have any of those things—and I don't want it to again."

    As described by Salon, the flag was given to McLaughlin by Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office for his aid to victims on 9/11. He brought the flag to Iraq, thinking he'd take a photo of it overseas. Then, his commander asked to borrow it to drape over the head of the Iraqi dictator's statue.

    “There was no big intention behind it,” the marine told Salon. “My commander said,

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  • Jessica Lynch, 10 years after her rescue: ‘Happy to put Iraq in the past’

    Ten years, ago, 19-year-old Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch was rescued with multiple injuries after her supply unit had come under fire and she was taken captive in Iraq. Lynch was the first woman POW to be rescued in war.

    Lynch, on the 10th anniversary of her rescue, went on the "Today" show on Monday to talk about the intervening years and the difficulty she had had with being in the spotlight. Thanks to the story of the capture having been inaccurate, the Iraq war veteran had gone from being a media darling to the poster child for an ill-prepared war effort.

    She recalled, “I set the record straight as much as I can. I did Congress and testified to let everyone know … the real story.” For example, her many broken bones, attributed to enemy fire, came from her Humvee crash. And while it was reported that she used her M16 rifle, she said it actually had jammed.

    The West Virginia native is now a motivational speaker, teacher and mother—the latter is the role for which "she feels the most

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  • TSA agent accidentally pepper sprays fellow agents

    Pepper spray (ThinkStock)

    An incident that reportedly led a TSA agent to accidentally shoot five fellow employees with pepper spray left Kennedy International Airport with mud in its eye.

    According to the New York Post, the stinging substance that is meant to be aimed at the face, and can cause major eye irritation, sent all six airport security screeners to the hospital.

    The Post reports:

    The agent, Chris Yves Dabel, discovered the device at the Terminal 2 security checkpoint and tried to determine if it was real, a source told The Post.

    He told Port Authority cops that he “found the canister on the floor and thought it was a laser pointer.”

    “They were playing around with it,” said one Kennedy Airport official.

    The incident sounds more like something from "The Three Stooges" than something security experts would do.

    The TSA seemed to assert in a statement to ABC News that the agent was being professional, not playful. “Officers were examining an abandoned item to determine its contents and to move it out of

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