TRUMP, SANDERS ROLL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
Republican billionaire businessman Donald Trump and Democratic Senator and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders notched impressive wins in yesterdayâ€™s New Hampshire presidential primary.
- Hillary Clinton will have to work hard to minimize her defeat in the Democratic race, while Ohio Governor John Kasich hopes a surprise second-place showing can catapult him as the moderate alternative on the Republican side.
- By dawn today on the East Coast, the New York Times was reporting that Trump had finished with 35.1% to Kasich's 15.9%, with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Texas Senator Ted Cruz following close behind.
- Sanderâ€™s won in a landslide, with 60% of the votes over Clinton who garnered 38%. "The government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their super PACs,â€ Sanders said after his victory.
- Hereâ€™s the front page of the Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire. For more, see The Washington Post coverage.
GERMANY TRAIN CRASH BLACK BOXES RECOVERED
Two of three black boxes from the two trains that collided head-on in yesterdayâ€™s deadly crash in southern Germany have been recovered by rescue teams, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. These boxes will likely provide details on the cause of the accident, which killed 10 and injured scores, including at least nine in critical condition. News reports said an automatic braking system had been switched off to allow one of the trains to make up time, but German police have rejected this as â€œpure speculation,â€ the local broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk quoted a spokesperson as saying.
Photo: Richard Ellis/ZUMA
Mardi Gras revelers in traditional costumes participated in the Courir de Mardi Gras run yesterday near Eunice, Louisiana.
SOUTH KOREA SUSPENDS JOINT OPERATIONS WITH NORTH
South Korea announced today it would suspend activities at the jointly run Kaesong industrial park in North Korea in the wake of Pyongyangâ€™s recent rocket launch and nuclear test, The Straits Times reports. Seoul said all operations at the park would halt, to stop the North using its investment "to fund its nuclear and missile development.â€ Meanwhile, U.S. officials have reported that the North Korean satellite launched Sunday had achieved stable orbit but is so far not transmitting.
MADAYA AGAIN FACING STARVATION
Just one month after the United Nations delivered much-needed supplies in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya, its residents are again facing starvation, The Guardian reports. The UN has been accused of severely underestimating the number of people living in besieged locations in the country. According to a recent report published by the Syria Institute, more than one million civilians currently live in government and rebel-besieged towns and villages.
â€œIn our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts,â€ Israelâ€™s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday during a tour on the Jordan border, after announcing plans to build a â€œmulti-year project to encircle Israel with a security fence,â€ The Jerusalem Post reports. The plan is already facing criticism from the Israeli PMâ€™s own cabinet, including from the far-right education minister Naftali Bennett, who said the country was â€œwrapping itself in fences.â€
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER LEAVES
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced today he was leaving the government. Le Monde quoted Fabius as saying that he would move to a post presiding over the Constitutional Council, which ensures that the French Constitution is correctly upheld. Fabius, 69, who in the 1980s became Franceâ€™s youngest ever prime minister at 37, contributed to the signing of two major international agreements in his latest stint as foreign minister: the Iranian nuclear deal in July 2015 and the COP21 climate change agreement in December 2015.
U.S., INDIA CONSIDER JOINT SOUTH CHINA SEA PATROLS
After ramping up military ties in recent years, the U.S. and India could now be set to hold joint naval patrols, including in the disputed South China Sea, within the year, a U.S. defense spokesman has told Reuters. Such a move is likely to anger Beijing, which has been claiming most of the maritime territory and seven man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago. This comes as U.S. President Barack Obama is set to host the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in California on Feb. 15 and 16, where China will not be represented.
ON THIS DAY
The times, they have been a-changing for 52 years. This and more in your 57-second shot of history.
U.S. SUPREME COURT HALTS KEY CLIMATE PLAN
President Barack Obamaâ€™s key climate change initiative, the â€œClean Power Plan,â€ was blocked yesterday by the Supreme Court, which ruled by 5-4 that it could not go forward until all legal challenges had been heard, USA Today reports. The plan, which aimed to cut the countryâ€™s gas emissions by 32% by 2030, was introduced last August and faced a petition last month signed by 29 states and industry leaders claiming the initiative was an infringement on statesâ€™ rights.
Fed up of waiting for Brussels to act, countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans are building an anti-migrant fortress bloc with Hungary's Viktor Orbán as the architect. â€œNow the barbed wire stretches as far as the eye can see along Hungaryâ€™s border with Serbia. Except for the occasional patrol, there is not a single human being in sight, especially no refugee,â€ Manuel Bewarder and Boris Kálnoky write for Die Welt. â€œNobody even dares to think about passing through Hungaryâ€™s border fence. Those who get caught go straight to prison. Only approximately 10 migrants per day enter the country illegally. The border fence seems to be the solution for Hungaryâ€™s refugee crisis, for now. No sentimentalism, no â€˜solidarity,â€™ only national interests. Prime Minister Viktor Orbánâ€™s popularity ratings prove him right. And in Europe too he feels like a winner. He calls Austriaâ€™s new border regime a "victory of reason."
Read the full article, The Anti-Migrant "Eastern European Union" â€" With Orban As Emperor.
MY GRAND-PÈREâ€™S WORLD
A DEADLY BUT LIVING WEAPON
Joshua James, a 23-year-old man from Florida, is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after attacking a Wendyâ€™s drive-thru window in Palm Beach County and leaving with a drink without paying. His weapon? He threw a live three-and-a-half foot-long alligator through the window.
With Halloween arriving, we have dug up the would-be ghosts of documented evil and bloodshed from the past.
When Hallows Eve was first introduced as a Celtic festival some 2,000 years ago, bonfires and costumes were seen as a legitimate way to ward off ghosts and evil spirits. Today of course, with science and logic being real ghostbusters, spine-chilling tales of haunted forests, abandoned asylums and deserted graveyards have rather become a way to add some mystery and suspense to our lives.
And yet there are still spooky places around the world that have something more than legend attached to them. From Spain to Uzbekistan and Australia, these locations prove that haunting lore is sometimes rooted in very real, and often terrible events.
Shahr-e Gholghola, City of Screams - Afghanistan
The ruins of Shahr-e Gholghola, the City of Screams, in Afghanistan
According to locals, ghosts from this ancient royal citadel located in the Valley of Bamyan, 150 miles northwest of Kabul, have been screaming for 800 years. You can hear them from miles away, at twilight, when they relive their massacre.
In the spring 1221, the fortress built by Buddhist Ghorids in the 6th century became the theater of the final battle between Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, last ruler of the Khwarezmian Empire, and the Mongol Horde led by Genghis Khan. It is said that Khan's beloved grandson, Mutakhan, had been killed on his mission to sack Bamyan. To avenge him, the Mongol leader went himself and ordered to kill every living creature in the city, children included.
The ruins today bear the name of Shahr-e Gholghola, meaning City of Screams or City of Sorrows. The archeological site, rich in Afghan history, is open to the public and though its remaining walls stay quiet during the day, locals say that the night brings the echoes of fear and agony. Others claim the place comes back to life eight centuries ago, and one can hear the bustle of the city and people calling each other.
Gettysburg, Civil War battlefield - U.S.
View of the battlefields from Little Round Top, Gettysburg, PA, USA
Even ghosts non-believers agree there is something eerie about Gettysbury. The city in the state of Pennsylvania is now one of the most popular destinations in the U.S. for spirits and paranormal activities sight-seeing; and many visitors report they witness exactly what they came for: sounds of drums and gunshots, spooky encounters and camera malfunctions in one specific spot… just to name a few!
The Battle of Gettysburg, for which President Abraham Lincoln wrote his best known public address, is considered a turning point in the Civil War that led to the Union's victory. It lasted three days, from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863, but it accounts for the worst casualties of the entire conflict, with 23,000 on the Union side (3,100 men killed) and 28,000 for the Confederates (including 3,900 deaths). Thousands of soldiers were buried on the battlefield in mass graves - without proper rites, legend says - before being relocated to the National Military Park Cemetery for the Unionists.
Since then, legend has it, their restless souls wander, unaware the war has ended. You can find them everywhere, on the battlefield or in the town's preserved Inns and hotels turned into field hospitals back then.
Belchite, Civil War massacre - Spain
Old Belchite, Spain
Shy lost souls wandering and briefly appearing in front of visitors, unexplainable forces attracting some to specific places of the town, recorded noises of planes, gunshots and bombs, like forever echoes of a drama which left an open wound in Spanish history…
That wound, still unhealed, is the Spanish Civil War; and at its height in 1937, Belchite village, located in the Zaragoza Province in the northeast of Spain, represented a strategic objective of the Republican forces to take over the nearby capital city of Zaragoza.
Instead of being a simple step in their operation, it became the field of an intense battle opposing the loyalist army and that of General Francisco Franco's. Between August 24 and September 6, more than 5,000 people were killed, including half of Belchite's population. The town was left in rubble. As a way to illustrate the Republicans' violence, Franco decided to leave the old town in ruins and build a new Belchite nearby. All the survivors were relocated there, but they had to wait 15 years for it to be complete.
If nothing particular happens in new Belchite, home to around 1,500 residents, the remains of old Belchite offer their share of chilling ghost stories. Some visitors say they felt a presence, someone watching them, sudden change of temperatures and strange sounds. The ruins of the old village have been used as a film set for Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - with the crew reporting the apparition of two women dressed in period costumes - and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. And in October 1986, members of the television program "Cuarta Dimensión" (the 4th dimension) spent a night in Belchite and came back with some spooky recordings of war sounds.
Gur Emir, a conquerer’s mausoleum - Uzbekistan
Gur Emir (Tomb of Timur) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
The news echoed through the streets and bazaars of Samarkand: "The Russian expedition will open the tomb of Tamerlane the Great. It will be our curse!" It was June 1941, and a small team of Soviet researchers began excavations in the Gur-Emir mausoleum in southeastern Uzbekistan.
The aim was to prove that the remains in the tomb did in fact belong to Tamerlane — the infamous 14th-century conqueror and first ruler of the Timurid dynasty who some historians say massacred 1% of the world's population in 1360.
Still, on June 20, despite protests from local residents and Muslim clergy, Tamerlame's tomb was cracked open — marked with the inscription: "When I Rise From the Dead, The World Shall Tremble."
Only two days later, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, with the people of Samarkand linking it to the disturbing of Tamerlane's peace. Amid local protests, the excavation was immediately wrapped up and the remains of the Turkish/Mongol conqueror were sent to Moscow. The turning point in the war came with the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad — only a month after a superstitious Stalin ordered the return of Tamerlane's remains to Samarkand where the former emperor was re-buried with full honors.
Gamla Stan, a royal massacre - Sweden
The red house of Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden
After Danish King Kristian II successfully invaded Sweden and was anointed King in November 1520, the new ruler called Swedish leaders to join for festivities at the royal palace in Stockholm. At dusk, after three days of wine, beer and spectacles, Danish soldiers carrying lanterns and torches entered the great hall and imprisoned the gathered nobles who were considered potential opponents of the Danish king. In the days that followed, 92 people were swiftly sentenced to death, and either hanged or beheaded on Stortorget, the main square in Gamla Stan (Old Town).
Until this day, the Stockholm Bloodbath is considered one of the most brutal events in Scandinavian history, and some people have reported visions of blood flowing across the cobblestoned square in early November. A little over a century later, a red house on the square was rebuilt as a monument for the executed — fitted with 92 white stones for each slain man. Legend has it that should one of the stones be removed, the ghost of the represented will rise from the dead and haunt the streets of Stockholm for all eternity.
Port Arthur, gruesome prison - Australia
Port Arthur Prison Settlement, Tasmania, Australia
During its 47-year history as a penal settlement, Port Arthur in southern Tasmania earned a reputation as one of the most notorious prisons in the British Empire. The institution — known for a brutal slavery system and punishment of the most hardened criminals sent from the motherland— claimed the lives of more than 1,000 inmates until its closure in 1877.
Since then, documented stories have spanned the paranormal gamut: poltergeist prisoners terrorizing visitors, weeping children roaming the port and tourists running into a weeping 'lady in blue' (apparently the spirit of a woman who died in childbirth). The museum even has an 'incidence form' ready for anyone wanting to report an otherworldly event.
Poveglia Island, plague victims - Italy
Poveglia Island, Italy
Located off the coast of Venice and Lido, Poveglia sadly reunites all the classical elements of a horror movie: plagues, mass burial ground and mental institute (from the 1920's).
During the bubonic plague and other subsequent pandemics, the island served as a quarantine station for the sick and anyone showing any signs of what could be Black Death contamination. Some 160,000 victims are thought to have died there and the seven acres of land became a mass burial ground so full that it is said that human ash makes up more than 50% of Poveglia's soil.
In 1922 a retirement home for the elderly — used as a clandestine mental institution— opened on the island and with it a fair amount of rumors involving torture of patients. The hospital and consequently the whole island was closed in 1968, leaving all the dead trapped off-land.
Poveglia's terrifying past earned it the nickname of 'Island of Ghosts'. Despite being strictly off-limits to visitors, the site has been attracting paranormal activity hunters looking for the apparition of lost and angry souls. The island would be so evil that some locals say that when an evil person dies, he wakes up in Poveglia, another kind of hell.
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