Jonathan's Feed
Apr 17, 2014

After Nevada ranch stand-off, emboldened militias ask: where next?

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – Flat on his belly in a sniper position, wearing a baseball cap and a flak jacket, a protester aimed his semi-automatic rifle from the edge of an overpass and waited as a crowd below stood its ground against U.S. federal agents in the Nevada desert.

He was part of a 1,000-strong coalition of armed militia-men, cowboys on horseback, gun rights activists and others who rallied to Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville ranch, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, in a stand-off with about a dozen agents from the federal Bureau of Land Management.

Apr 10, 2014

‘Jesus’s Wife’ papyrus fragment not a forgery, scientists say

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – Scientists who examined a controversial fragment of papyrus written in Egyptian Coptic in which Jesus speaks of his wife concluded in papers published on Thursday that the papyrus and ink are probably ancient and not a modern forgery.

The existence of the fragment, known as the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” was made public at an academic conference in 2012. It is seen by some as a glimpse of how ancient Christians thought while decried by others, including the Vatican, as an absurd fake.

Apr 8, 2014

Passenger paralyzed in fatal N.Y. train crash sues railroad

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A passenger who was left paralyzed in the deadly December derailment of a Metro-North commuter train in New York City filed a negligence lawsuit against the railroad on Tuesday seeking $100 million in damages.

Samuel Rivera, 39, was traveling to New York City with his teenage son on Sunday, December 1, when the train entered a curve at nearly three times the speed limit and ran off the tracks as it approached a station stop in the Bronx.

Apr 7, 2014

Train driver in fatal N.Y. crash had sleep disorder: lawyer

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The driver of a train that derailed in December in New York City, killing four passengers, had an undiagnosed sleep disorder at the time of the accident, his lawyer said on Monday.

William Rockefeller, the engineer at the controls of the Metro-North commuter train that derailed in the Bronx on December 1, suffered from severe sleep apnea, which can cause drowsiness, his lawyer said.

Apr 6, 2014

Frigate nearing sailboat with sick baby in Pacific Ocean

April 5 (Reuters) – A U.S. Navy frigate was expected to
reach an American family and their seriously ill infant on a
faltering sailboat in the Pacific Ocean shortly after dark on
Saturday, a Coast Guard official said.

The frigate Vandegrift, carrying a helicopter and a crew of
200, left San Diego on Friday, bound for the sailboat of Eric
and Charlotte Kaufman.

Apr 5, 2014

U.S. military rescuing sick baby on family’s boat in Pacific Ocean

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – An American family that had been sailing across the Pacific Ocean for several weeks was the focus of a U.S. military rescue mission on Saturday after their 1-year-old daughter became severely ill, officials said.

Eric and Charlotte Kaufman, along with their daughters Cora, 3, and 1-year-old Lyra sailed from Mexico on March 19 toward islands in the South Pacific and eventually New Zealand, according to, where they have been writing about their sometimes stormy voyage.

Apr 2, 2014

N.Y. restaurant’s fragile Picasso fate hangs in court

NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) – The question of whether a
fragile Picasso painting that covers a wall in New York City’s
Four Seasons Restaurant will crumble if taken down to allow
repairs went before a state court judge on Wednesday.

The dispute between the restaurant’s landlord and the
painting’s owner takes place in a grand setting: Midtown
Manhattan’s Seagram Building, the landmark International Style
tower designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe that opened in 1958.

Apr 2, 2014

Fate of New York restaurant’s fragile Picasso heads to court

NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) – The question of whether a
fragile Picasso painting in New York City’s Four Seasons
restaurant will crumble if taken down to allow repairs to the
wall it hangs on will go to a state court judge on Wednesday.

The dispute between the restaurant’s landlord and the
painting’s owner takes place in a grand setting: The Seagram
Building, the influential masterpiece of International Style
corporate architecture designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Mar 25, 2014

CNN journalists arrested trying to sneak into World Trade Center

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two CNN journalists were arrested for trying to sneak past security at the World Trade Center in New York City on Tuesday in an attempt to report on recent security lapses at the site, police said.

Yon Pomrenze, 35, and Connor Fieldman Boals, 26, first tried to talk their way in through the main gate to the center in lower Manhattan, much of which is still a construction site, according to the police account. One was holding a video camera, the other had a video camera strapped to his head.

Mar 24, 2014

NYC jail guard charged in death of inmate who ate disinfectant

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – A former senior guard at New York City’s main jail complex was arrested on Monday on a federal charge that he deprived a mentally ill inmate of medical aid after he swallowed a corrosive disinfectant.

Terrence Pendergrass, 49, was a captain on duty at Rikers Island last August when an inmate in the mental health assessment unit swallowed a so-called “soap ball,” according to a criminal complaint.