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One of the last survivors of the USS Arizona was interred on the sunken warship

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Lauren Bruner, one of 334 crew members to survive the December 7, 1941 attack, died on September 10, just months before his 99th birthday.
Loved ones gathered at sunset at the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii. Family and friends handed Bruner’s ashes over to divers who placed the urn inside the well of the barbette on gun turret No. 4. A barbette is an armored structure protecting a gun turret on a warship.

The ceremony included a rifle salute, flag presentation and plaque presentation in honor of the veteran. A barbette is an armored structure protecting a gun turret on a warship.

The memorial can only be reached by boat as was built above the submerged hull of the sunken battleship. The hull is a tomb for more than 900 sailors who remain within and serves as an artificial reef providing habitat for marine life.

Only the remains of USS Arizona survivors can be interred on the sunken battleship. Pearl Harbor survivors can have their ashes scattered over the harbor.

Bruner was on the sky control deck when the ship was struck by several bombs, igniting explosions which killed 1,177 Arizona crew members. He was one of a handful of sailors on deck to survive the catastrophic explosion when a bomb struck the Arizona’s forward magazine.
After the explosion, he swam across 70 feet of burning water to reach the repair ship USS Vestal. Bruner suffered burns on nearly 80 percent of his body and was wounded by Japanese gunfire.

He recovered from his wounds and returned to sea, serving aboard the destroyer USS Coghlan in eight more battles against the Japanese, according to the Navy. He finished the war as a fire control chief on Coghlan, steaming into Nagasaki harbor only days after the atomic bomb explosion.

Bruner is the 44th and last USS Arizona survivor to be interred, according to Emily Pruett, a spokeswoman for the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.

“The wrecks of only two vessels remain in the harbor — the Arizona and USS Utah — so survivors of those ships are the only ones who have the option to be laid to rest this way,” Pruett told CNN.

The rest of the ships which were struck that day were either repaired or scrapped, she said.

The last three living survivors of the USS Arizona plan to be laid to rest with their families.



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Fairway Is So Crowded! How Can It Be in Bankruptcy?

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In 2016, Fairway filed for bankruptcy. But while that process wiped away some of the company’s debt, it did not result in any fundamental changes to the business, according to Leo Crowley, who leads the insolvency and restructuring practice at the law firm Pillsbury.

“There was no attempt to renegotiate any store leases, there was no attempt to renegotiate any union contracts, there was no attempt to critically evaluate the existing store footprint,” Mr. Crowley said. “The operation was left 100 percent as is.”

Burt P. Flickinger III, a consultant for retail chains, said the bankruptcy proceeding also saddled Fairway with exorbitant legal fees. Some lawyers were billing at rates over $1,000 per hour, according to documents from the 2016 bankruptcy filing.

After the bankruptcy, Sterling Investment Partners walked away from Fairway, and GSO Capital Partners, the credit arm of Blackstone, the private equity giant, had at one point a 45 percent stake in the company. (It said it ended its investment in 2018.)

M. William Macey Jr., managing partner and founder of Sterling Investment Partners, said in a statement that the private equity group invested in Fairway “to provide liquidity sought by the family owners, and to support their and management’s objective to expand Fairway’s platform.”

Sterling, he said, assisted Fairway “through a consensual reorganization supported by the company’s management, owners and creditors in which all employees, including union employees, were retained, all vendors were fully paid, all stores remained open and the company was left well capitalized under its new owners.”

Sterling “had no involvement” with Fairway after its 2016 reorganization, Mr. Macey said.

Fairway also appointed a new chief executive, Abel Porter, who is known as a turnaround expert.



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Libyan Militant Is Sentenced to 19 Years in Deadly Benghazi Attacks

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A Libyan militant was sentenced on Thursday to more than 19 years in prison by a federal judge for his role in the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including the United States ambassador.

The militant, Mustafa al-Imam, was convicted by a jury last year of conspiring to provide material support to the terrorists who were responsible for the siege on the main diplomatic mission and a nearby C.I.A. annex.

During the trial in United States District Court in Washington last spring, the jurors also convicted Mr. al-Imam of destroying the complex and endangering lives, but deadlocked on murder charges.

Mr. al-Imam, 47, was the second person sentenced in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, which became the subject of a contentious congressional inquiry sought by Republican critics of the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state at the time of the siege.

“We have not rested in our efforts to bring to justice those involved in the terrorist attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, which led to the death of four courageous Americans — Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Ambassador Christopher Stevens — and we never will,” John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement on Thursday. “Those responsible for these crimes must be held accountable.”

Judge Christopher R. Cooper, who presided over the case, sentenced Mr. al-Imam to 19 years and six months in prison.

Matthew J. Peed, a lawyer for Mr. al-Iman, said in an email on Thursday night that an appeal was in the works.

“We are disappointed by the sentence, which was based on allegations the jury did not believe,” Mr. Peed wrote. “The judge did find that Mr. al-Imam played a minor role in these events and harbored no animus towards America, which was encouraging. We look forward to an appeal, and hope those truly responsible for this attack are brought to justice.”

Federal prosecutors had argued that Mr. al-Imam, who was captured in 2017 in Libya, should have received the maximum sentence of 35 years.

They said that cellphone records placed him at the complex during the attack and that he spent 18 minutes on the phone talking to the militia leader who orchestrated the siege, Ahmed Abu Khattala, while it transpired. The prosecutors said that Mr. al-Iman acted as the “eyes and ears” of Mr. Khattala, whom Judge Cooper sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2018, well short of the life sentence sought by the Justice Department.

In a sentencing motion for Mr. al-Imam, Mr. Peed wrote that his client was a frail, uneducated and simple man, “not a fighter, an ideologue or a terrorist.” The lawyer for Mr. al-Imam wrote that his client made a tremendous mistake when he agreed to help his friend, Mr. Khattala, damage and loot the complex.

In contrast to the five men awaiting military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay on charges that they plotted the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Mr. al-Imam was tried in federal court, a venue opposed by the Trump administration.

Mr. Stevens, the ambassador, and Mr. Smith, another State Department employee, were killed when a mob of militants tried to storm the main United States diplomatic mission, which was set on fire. Mr. Woods and Mr. Doherty, who were contractors for the C.I.A., died later when a separate annex run by the agency was hit by mortars.

In 2016, an 800-page report by the House Select Committee on Benghazi delivered a broad rebuke of the State Department, Defense Department and C.I.A. for their failure to grasp the acute security risks in Benghazi and for maintaining diplomatic outposts that they could not protect. The report found no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Mrs. Clinton.



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Indian women politicians face online abuse: Study | India News

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Nearly 100 Indian women politicians faced abuse, including rape and death threats, on social media during elections last year, with researchers raising concerns over rising online violence against women globally.

A study by Amnesty International India said 95 female politicians received nearly 1 million hateful mentions on Twitter between March and May, one in five of which was sexist or misogynistic. In all, there were 724 women candidates.

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Digital rights experts said gender-based online violence was increasing which was intimidating women and deterring them from putting themselves forward for public office.

“People should know what women in politics endure, what they have to put up with and how unequal it becomes for them,” said Shazia Ilmi, a member of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the report.

It was unclear if online abuse against women politicians was worsening or improving as the research was the first of its kind and scale in India, said an Amnesty spokesperson.

But Adrian Lovett, head of the World Wide Web Foundation, said gender-based online violence was on the rise globally in developed and well as developing countries.

He said this was exacerbating the digital divide between men and women which was getting worse as the number of people going online increased and more men than women logged on.

“Gender-based online violence is increasing,” Lovett told Reuters news agency at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting on Davos in the Swiss Alps.

“It is not particular to one country or one region. It is a reality in developing countries and an increasing challenge in North America, Europe and across the world.

“This is affecting political participation by women, especially young women being put off by the online harassment of women in public life.”

‘Silencing voices’

Amnesty declined to name the politicians in its study of India, where women hold 14 percent of seats in the lower and 11 percent in the upper house of parliament, compared to the global average of 24.5 percent, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Similar research conducted by Amnesty in Britain and the United States in 2018 studying 323 women politicians found that about 7 percent tweets mentioning them were hurtful or abusive.

Several female politicians in Britain chose not to stand again in the general election on December 12 last year, citing the level of online abuse they faced.

Two-thirds of female politicians told a survey by a British parliamentary committee last November that progress on tackling violence and online abuse against women in politics impacted their willingness to stand for re-election.

Amnesty urged Twitter to step up its response to violations and bring in more policies to protect women.

Twitter said abuse and harassment had no place on its platform, adding 50 percent of hateful content was identified by technology and not reports from people with the company aware that abuse stifled people’s ability to speak freely.

“We will never be done with our efforts to address abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance – particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized, such as women,” a spokesperson said.


SOURCE:
Reuters news agency





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