Deputy Chief Correspondent, West & Central Africa
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Jun 21, 2013

Witness recalls escape from death in Bulger trial

BOSTON (Reuters) – (Attention, graphic material) Frank Capizzi was on his way to see his mother in Boston’s North End when a torrent of gunfire struck the car he was in, riddling him with lead and decapitating one of his friends.

“I was hit in the head and could feel warm blood running down my neck,” the 78-year-old testified on Friday. He said he reached for a fellow passenger “and my hand went into his neck where his head should have been.”

Jun 20, 2013

Man sues NFL player for allegedly shooting him in the eye

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Connecticut man has sued New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez for allegedly shooting him in the face after the two left a strip club in Miami in February, the plaintiff’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

Hernandez, who plays tight end for the National Football League team, is also being questioned by police in Massachusetts in a separate case after a body was discovered near his home in North Attleborough, according to local media.

Jun 19, 2013

Man sues NFL player for shooting him in the eye

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Connecticut man has sued New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez for allegedly shooting him in the face after the two left a strip club in Miami in February, the victim’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

Hernandez, who plays tight end for the National Football League team, is also being questioned by police in Massachusetts in a separate case after a body was discovered near his home in North Attleborough, according to local media.

Jun 19, 2013

‘The Executioner’ under microscope in trial of accused U.S. mobster Bulger

BOSTON (Reuters) – Attorneys for accused mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger will seek on Wednesday to paint star witness John “The Executioner” Martorano as a heartless killer whose testimony cannot be trusted in the trial of one of Boston’s most feared men.

Martorano, a former altar boy who has confessed to 20 murders, has spent two days on the stand for federal prosecutors describing chilling executions he said were either ordered or conducted by Bulger, head of the ruthless Winter Hill Gang during the 1970s and 1980s.

Jun 18, 2013

Convicted killer testifies ‘Whitey’ Bulger shot Boston bar owner

BOSTON (Reuters) – Accused Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and one of his associates shot dead a bar owner in a phone booth for bragging about helping the “Winter Hill Gang” with another killing, an ex-convict and confessed murderer testified on Tuesday.

John Martorano, who previously described Bulger as a “partner in crime,” is the first of the accused mob gang leader’s top associates to take the stand in what is expected to be a three- to four-month trial in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Jun 17, 2013

Nearly 250 apply for Boston bomb charity money

BOSTON (Reuters) – Nearly 250 people have applied to receive money from a $51 million charity fund set up for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, the fund’s deputy administrator said on Monday.

Twin explosions at the finish line of the world-renowned race on April 15 killed three people and injured 264 others, many of whom lost legs in the blasts.

Jun 7, 2013

Massachusetts teen accused of Facebook terror post freed

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Massachusetts teenager jailed a month ago for a Facebook post that suggested he could do worse than the Boston Marathon bombers was released, a court official said on Friday, after a grand jury refused to indict him.

Cameron D’Ambrosio was arrested on May 1 and accused of “communicating a terrorist threat.” The 18-year-old aspiring rapper from Methuen, 30 miles north of Boston, posted lyrics online that included the words “a boston bombing wait till u see the shit I do.”

Jun 6, 2013

Democrat Markey in Massachusetts Senate debate

By Richard Valdmanis

(Reuters) – Democratic congressman Ed Markey, who has a strong lead in the polls over Republican rival Gabriel Gomez in the race for Massachusetts’ open seat in the Senate, rebuffed criticism and embraced his liberal base in a debate against his opponent on Wednesday.

The Massachusetts seat is one of two at play in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats now have a majority of 54 seats, including two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Republicans hold 45 seats.

Jun 3, 2013

Honeybee food may contribute to U.S. colony collapse – study

BOSTON (Reuters) – Bee keepers’ use of corn syrup and other honey substitutes as bee feed may be contributing to colony collapse by depriving the insects of compounds that strengthen their immune systems, according to a study released on Monday.

U.S. bee keepers lost nearly a third of their colonies last winter as part of an ongoing and largely unexplained decline in the population of the crop-pollinating insects that could hurt the U.S. food supply.

Jun 3, 2013

Boston fire chief resigns under fire over bomb response

BOSTON (Reuters) – Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira resigned on Monday, citing public criticism from his deputies over his response to the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.

Abraira’s deputies complained in a letter to the mayor that their chief had failed to assume command when he reached the scene at the race’s finish line on April 15, where twin pressure-cooker bombs had exploded in a crowd of thousands. Three people were killed and 264 others injured.

    • About Richard

      "Richard is based in Reuters' Dakar bureau where he has helped lead coverage of two dozen countries in West and Central Africa since September 2009. He previously ran Reuters' energy coverage in the Americas as a senior editor based in New York."
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