In Brief | Nation & World 11-06-13


Toronto mayor admits smoking crack during ‘drunken stupor’

TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford acknowledged for the first time Tuesday that he smoked crack “probably a year ago,” when he was in a “drunken stupor,” but he refused to resign despite immense pressure to step aside as leader of Canada’s largest city.

Ford said he loves his job and “for the sake of the taxpayers, we must get back to work immediately.”

Allegations that the mayor had been caught on video smoking crack surfaced in news reports in May. Ford initially insisted the video did not exist, sidestepped questions about whether he had ever smoked crack and rebuffed growing calls to step down.

The mayor was forced to backtrack last week after police said they had obtained a copy of the video in the course of a drug investigation against a friend of Ford.

Facing grim prognosis, paralyzed hunter chooses to end life support

INDIANAPOLIS — Tim Bowers got to decide for himself whether he wanted to live or die.

When the avid outdoorsman was badly hurt Saturday in a hunting accident, doctors said he would be paralyzed and could be on a ventilator for life. His family had a unique request: Could he be brought out of sedation to hear his prognosis and decide what he wanted to do?

Doctors said yes, and Bowers chose to take no extra measures to stay alive. He died Sunday, hours after his breathing tube was removed.

The 32-year-old was deer hunting when he fell 16 feet from a tree and suffered a severe spinal injury that paralyzed him from the shoulders down. Doctors thought he might never breathe on his own again.

Shooting leaves baffled relatives, gunman’s friends shocked

TEANECK, N.J. — Relatives and friends of a young man who fired shots in New Jersey’s largest mall, trapping terrified shoppers for hours before killing himself, struggled Tuesday to reconcile those actions with a person they described as pleasant and well-liked.

Investigators don’t believe the gunman, identified as 20-year-old Richard Shoop, intended to shoot anyone when he began firing at the ceiling and elsewhere at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, about 15 miles northwest of New York City, shortly before the mall closed Monday night. There were no other injuries.

News of Shoop’s suicide stunned friends and relatives. As recently as last week, Shoop had spoken about a potential new job and seemed especially happy about it, according to a woman who said she had known him since they were little.

Movie of JFK shooting became unique record, crucial evidence

If anything of consequence occurs in this era of smartphones and multi-G wireless networks, a horde of “citizen journalists” will doubtless be on hand to capture and broadcast the sights and sounds. But of hundreds of witnesses in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963, only a handful managed to record the biggest news story of a generation: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

And of the documents they produced, only one stands out: the Zapruder film.

It’s not much: About 6 feet of narrow, cellulose material, containing fewer than 500 grainy images and running just 26 seconds long. And yet the home movie that clothier Abraham Zapruder shot with his Bell & Howell camera may be the single most important piece of evidence in perhaps the most argued-about crime in the nation’s history.

Zapruder was in a unique position to capture the events that day a half-century ago.

Standing on a 4-foot-high concrete pedestal, his receptionist bracing him from behind, the 58-year-old Russian immigrant followed the progress of JFK’s Lincoln limousine as it rolled toward him down Elm Street. He thought the popping noises he heard were part of some joke, he later told the Warren Commission, and “then I saw his head opened up.”

By wire reports