The Lookout
  • File photo of hands resting on prison bars (Dick Luria/Thinkstock)File photo of hands resting on prison bars (Dick Luria/Thinkstock)

    A prisoner who has spent 25 years in solitary confinement wrote about what it's like to spend a quarter of a century cut off from human contact.

    William R. Blake's essay appeared on Solitary Watch, a prisoner advocacy group. Blake was also given an honorable mention in the Yale Law Journal’s Prison Law Writing Contest.

    In 1987, Blake, 23 at the time, shot two law enforcement officials, killing one. He had been on his way to appear in court for drug and robbery charges. Though handcuffed, he grabbed a gun from Deputy Bernie Meleski and began shooting. Deputy David Clark, who was married with two children, died. Maleski was gravely wounded, but survived.

    The judge, Blake said, told him he deserved "an eternity in hell" for the shootings. "Apparently he had the idea that God was not the only one justified to make such judgment calls."

    The essay begins by acknowledging the gravity of his crime:

    Even by the standards of my own belief system, such as it was back then, I deserved to die for

    Read More »from After 25 years in solitary confinement, a prisoner explains what it’s like
  • Jorge Bergoglio in Argentina in 2009 (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)

    A broken heart led Pope Francis to the priesthood. At least, that’s what a 76-year-old Argentinian woman claims, Sky News reported.

    The old flame, Amalia Damonte, told Argentine TV that Jorge Bergoglio, as he was known then, declared his love for her in a letter. “He said that if I didn't say yes [to his marriage proposal], he would have to become a priest. Luckily for him, I said no.” The future pope was 12 or 13, she recalled.

    The two grew up in the same neighborhood in Buenos Aries, where Damonte still lives.

    Although she turned down her admirer, the old friend remembers him fondly. "He had a crush on me. ... We used to play on the streets here. It was a quiet neighborhood then. He was very nice," she said.

    "We were 12, 13 years old, no more than that," she added. "He was a proper guy."

    That the new pope is the first South American to lead the Church has led to interest in his background. Like most of the world, Damonte was as shocked as anyone else by his selection. The

    Read More »from Broken heart may have led Pope Francis to priesthood
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  • Final Glance: Railroad companies

    Shares of some top railroad companies were mixed at the close of trading: CSX rose $.20 or .6 percent, to $31.49. Canadian National Railway Co. fell $.18 or .2 percent, to $72.50. Canadian Pacific Railway ...

  • Nasdaq stocks posting largest percentage decreases

    A look at the 10 biggest percentage decliners on Nasdaq at the close of trading: Aquasition Corp. fell 16.8 percent to $7.07. NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. fell 16.6 percent to $27.29. SinoCoking Coal and Coke ...

  • FBI probes traffic stop that left Missouri teen in critical condition
    FBI probes traffic stop that left Missouri teen in critical condition

    By Kevin Murphy KANSAS CITY Mo. (Reuters) - The FBI is investigating allegations of excessive force by a Missouri police officer during a traffic stop that left a teenage motorist in critical condition, authorities said on Monday. The FBI said in a statement that it is investigating whether police officer Tim Runnels overstepped his authority and violated the civil rights of Bryce Masters when he pulled over the 17-year-old and used a stun gun on him on Sunday in Independence, Missouri, a Kansas City suburb. ...

  • First U.S. airstrike in expanded Iraq fight
    First U.S. airstrike in expanded Iraq fight

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials said Monday the United States has taken the first step in its planned expanded fight against Islamic State militants, going to the aid of Iraqi security forces near Baghdad who were being attacked by enemy fighters.

  • Tiny Qatar plays outsize role in US war strategy
    Tiny Qatar plays outsize role in US war strategy

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Just miles (kilometers) from where former Guantanamo Bay terror suspects have resettled, American warplanes take off from Qatar's al-Udeid air base in the global war on extremism.

  • South Sudan bans foreign workers despite looming famine
    South Sudan bans foreign workers despite looming famine

    Juba (AFP) - Authorities in war-torn South Sudan announced Tuesday a ban on foreign workers, including aid agency staff, and ordered their jobs to be given to locals.

  • Pope Francis Marries 20 Couples at Vatican: Why It's Important
    Pope Francis Marries 20 Couples at Vatican: Why It's Important

    Some of the Couples Had Lived Together and One Had a Child Out of Wedlock

  • Hurricane Odile slams Mexico's Baja California
    Hurricane Odile slams Mexico's Baja California

    CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Odile blazed a trail of destruction through Mexico's Baja California Peninsula on Monday that leveled everything from ramshackle homes to luxury hotels and big box stores, leaving entire neighborhoods as disaster zones.

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