Posts by Holly Bailey

  • In wake of Ferguson grand jury decision, the investigations go on

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 2 days ago

    In the wake of Monday's grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., the investigation of the volatile case is far from over.

    Under the lead of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department is still pursuing two investigations related to the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

    "While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department's investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing," Holder said in a statement.

    Federal prosecutors are still looking into whether the officer, Darren Wilson, should face civil rights charges in the controversial case. At the same time, the Justice Department is continuing a broader inquiry into the widely criticized policing practices of the police department in Ferguson, a mostly black suburb of St. Louis that has had tensions for years with police and community officials who are mostly white.

    According to Holder, the Justice Department "continues to investigate allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns or practices by the Ferguson Police Department."

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  • As GOP-led Congress and White House brace for battle, some see Joe Biden as the last hope

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 10 days ago

    It was the day before New Year’s Eve two years ago, and Mitch McConnell was suddenly in search of, as he put it, someone to dance with.

    Talks had collapsed between McConnell, the Republican Senate minority leader, and his Democratic colleagues over a deal to ward off major tax increases and automatic spending cuts that threatened to send the nation’s economy off what officials apocalyptically described as a “fiscal cliff.” With the clock ticking, the staid Kentuckian and consummate behind-the-scenes legislator known for rarely showing his cards in public went to the Senate floor and made an unusually vivid appeal. “I am willing to get this done, but I need a dance partner,” McConnell declared.

    A few hours later, he found one in Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat with whom he’d sparred for nearly three decades. They were fierce political rivals who were polar opposites on every front, save one: Biden, like McConnell, was a creature of the Senate. He’d represented Delaware for nearly 36 years before relocating down Pennsylvania Avenue as Barack Obama’s No. 2, and, like his GOP colleague, he appreciated the fine art of dealmaking.

  • How a tech-savvy grandma is trying to lead Kansas Democrats out of the wilderness

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 27 days ago

    On Election Day 2010, Sam Brownback, a two-term, hard-line conservative U.S. senator and a 2008 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, won the governorship in a landslide. It was part of a historic GOP sweep in the state in which Democrats lost every statewide office, every race for Congress and more than a dozen seats in the state Legislature. Out of the 125 state House districts, Democrats went from 49 seats to just 33, a historic low.

    Around the state, Democrats were stunned and demoralized. While Kansas was considered among the reddest of red states, a place where the GOP had long ago claimed a clear advantage in voter registration, many elected Democrats had survived the political shift because of crossover support from moderate Republicans who voted their gut instead of the party line. With that support seemingly gone, many people wrote off the Democratic Party for dead.

    The 2008 campaign of Barack Obama famously rode Big Data all the way to the White House. But Wagnon didn't become a convert till a few years later, when she stumbled on a book about the science of targeting and turning out voters.

  • Boston bombing suspect Tsarnaev allegedly knew of brother's role in 2011 murders

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 1 mth ago

    Federal prosecutors have identified a witness prepared to testify that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev knew his older brother and alleged accomplice Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in a 2011 triple murder outside Boston.

    The disclosure was made by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team in a federal court filinglate Friday, as part of a larger push by his attorneys to gain access to “discovery” evidence compiled by the federal government in its case against Tsarnaev for the April 2013 bombings that killed three and injured several hundred near the marathon’s finish line.

    The Sept. 11, 2011, murders — which occurred in Waltham, Mass., a suburb of Boston — remain officially unsolved. But the murders, which were initially written off by local police as a drug deal gone bad, have become a plot point in the Boston bombings case amid evidence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved. This is the first time there’s been a suggestion that his younger brother might have been aware of his alleged participation in the murders — which some have said, if solved, might have prevented the marathon attacks.

  • A beheading in Oklahoma: Was it terrorism or workplace violence?

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 1 mth ago

    Just after 4 p.m. on Sept. 25, Colleen Hufford, a 54-year-old grandmother and worker at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Okla., was standing in the doorway of the front office in the food processing facility's main building when Alton Nolen, a co-worker who had just been suspended over an argument with another colleague, violently grabbed her from behind.

    As horrified employees watched, Nolen, a 30-year-old production line worker with a criminal history, savagely sawed at Hufford's throat with a large kitchen knife he had gone home to retrieve, severing her head.

    Nolen then went after Traci Johnson, a 43-year-old co-worker, viciously slashing her face and her throat in an attempt to decapitate her, too. But his bloody rampage came to an abrupt end when he was shot and wounded by the company's top executive, who also happens to be a reserve deputy sheriff. Johnson, while severely wounded, survived.

    But as residents of Moore grapple with the shock of what happened in their town, the gruesome nature of the crime has also sparked a politically charged question: Was it an act of Islamist terrorism or an extreme case of workplace violence?

  • Boston Marathon bombing suspect's sister appears in court for alleged bomb threat

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 1 mth ago

    On Aug. 25, a New York City woman caught up in a messy child custody battle with her ex-boyfriend got into a fight on the phone with her former flame’s new girlfriend. According to the police, heated words were exchanged, and the girlfriend, who also has a child with the man, was subsequently arrested and charged with harassment after she allegedly threatened the other woman’s life.

    It was an altercation that likely would have been buried in the reams of other ugly domestic disputes in New York. Except the accused was Ailina Tsarnaeva, the 24-year-old sister of alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. And, according to police, she allegedly threatened the other woman by telling her, “I have people. I know people that can put a bomb where you live.”

    Tsarnaeva appeared in New York Criminal Court on Tuesday. She entered a not guilty plea to two charges of aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor, for allegedly threatening her boyfriend’s 23-year-old former girlfriend, who has not been named in the dispute. (Tsarnaeva's friends have said the man is her husband, but police have referred to him as her boyfriend.)

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  • Photography from all over the world, in pop-up form

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 2 mths ago

    Jeff Bauman, bloodied and singed, his legs blown off by the first of two bombs detonated near the finish line of the 2013 race, was photographed as he was frantically wheeled away from the scene moments after the explosions. The Associated Press image, so graphic some news outlets chose to crop it, became one of the most famous photographs of the attacks, which killed three people and injured hundreds more.

    Bauman, who was 27 at the time, had just been a bystander, there to cheer on his girlfriend as she ran the race when the bombs went off. It was a story that encapsulated the tragedy visited upon all the victims that day. But in many ways, it was the next beat in the tale that was the most compelling: How could someone so viciously and publicly attacked, left with the kind of grievous injuries more normally seen on battlefields, find his way back to a normal life?

    But it's not just professionals. The photo-sharing network Instagram is also on hand with an exhibit presenting images taking my amateur photographers and those outside the photojournalism and art worlds.

  • A master of color in black and white

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 2 mths ago

    When Saul Leiter died last November at the age of 89, he was largely unknown outside the art world — and even within, he had been overlooked until relatively recently. And that was fine by him.

    A prolific photographer who spent six decades roaming and documenting the streets of New York City, Leiter was a reclusive figure who took pictures simply because he loved to — not because he sought recognition or accolades. “Fame,” Leitertold a photography blog in 2009, “is of no use.”

    “A lot of artists are consumed by their legacies and what will happen, but he wasn’t,” recalled Margit Erb, Leiter’s longtime assistant and one of the few allowed into his private world. “To him, creating was like breathing. It was something he needed to do everyday.”

    But the focus on Leiter’s color work has largely overshadowed his black and white photography, which uses shadows, light and reflections to capture New York in the same quiet, dream-like state that defined his later work.

  • Thirteen years after 9/11, a slow rise from the ashes

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 2 mths ago

    The view is among the most breathtaking in the world — floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a panorama of Manhattan and its surroundings 50 miles in every direction. The Empire State Building glistens to the north, the Statue of Liberty shimmers to the south. And on clear days, you can see as far as Princeton, N.J., to the west and Greenwich, Conn., to the east, from a vantage point so high that the cars below look like tiny ants.

    But when One World Trade Center finally opens later this year, many of the floors with the best views will be empty. Formerly known as the Freedom Tower, the 1,776-foot building, the tallest in the United States and third tallest in the world, has struggled to attract tenants. Just 58 percent of the nearly $4 billion office building has been leased so far — a smaller percentage than its developers had hoped ahead of November, when the building is set to formally open its doors.

    The building’s anchor tenant is publishing giant Condé Nast, which signed a deal in May 2011 to lease 1.2 million square feet — nearly a third of the building. The company will move into floors 20 through 44 in November — the lowest floors available for office space.

  • San Francisco approves funding for Golden Gate bridge suicide barrier

    Holly Bailey at Yahoo News 5 mths ago

    But when John Moylan looked at the bridge, he also saw a darker side to its majestic beauty. In the 27 years since he was first appointed to the 19-member board that oversees the Golden Gate, Moylan had also come to see the tragedy of the bridge. It came in the form of countless stories he’d heard from grieving families whose loved ones had leapt to their deaths from the iconic span.

    Moylan didn’t blame the bridge. But he did understand the anguish. He had lost a grandnephew to suicide. And the memory of that pain alone had convinced him that if something could be done to save lives, it should be done. So as the numbers of the dead ticked higher and higher — a record 46 suicides in 2013 — Moylan pursued the often lonely fight of trying to convince his colleagues and the public of the need for a suicide barrier on the bridge. Friday's passing of a $76 million bill to build such a barrier marks a bittersweet victory for Moylan.

    “Suicide is everyone’s problem, and we have to do something about it,” Moylan said at a board meeting last November. “My family has been touched by it, and I’ll tell you what, it tears a family apart.”