Journalists killed in helicopter crash

Journalists killed in helicopter crash

Four journalists, including photographer Larry Burrows of Life magazine, Kent Potter of United Press International, Nenri Huett of the Associated Press and Keisaburo Shimamoto of Newsweek, die in a South Vietnamese helicopter operating in Laos. The journalists had been covering Operation Lam Son 719, a limited attack into Laos by South Vietnamese forces, when their helicopter crashed.

Vietnam was one of the most reported conflicts in the history of warfare. In 1964, when the massive American buildup began, there were roughly 40 U.S. and foreign journalists in Saigon. By August 1966, there were over 400 news media representatives in South Vietnam from 22 nations. The Vietnam War correspondents in the field shared the same dangers that confronted the front-line troops, risking their lives to witness and report the realities of the battlefield. Sixteen Americans lost their lives while covering the war. American journalists are among the 42 U.S. civilians still missing in action and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, including NBC News correspondent Welles Hangen and Time photographer Sean Flynn, both of whom disappeared while covering the war in Cambodia.

READ MORE: Vietnam War Timeline


Journalists killed in helicopter crash - HISTORY

T he Band of Brothers came together on April 3 to put to final rest the remains of four of their own, killed more than 37 years ago when the helicopter carrying them into Laos was downed by North Vietnamese gunfire.


It was probably the hardest single blow suffered by the tight-knit group of correspondents and photographers that worked out of Saigon for the long years of the Vietnam War.

These were not ordinary photographers in any sense of the word. They were simply the best to cover that war. Two of them, Henri Huet and Larry Burrows, had been honored with the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal "for superlative photography requiring exceptional courage and enterprise." They were "old hands" at covering Vietnam, having been there since the start of the U.S. advisory role in 1963. Kent Potter, on the other hand, was only 23. I hired Kent while he was a student in Philadelphia in the early '60s, and I was UPI's picture bureau chief. He took over my job when I was sent to Vietnam in 1965, and five years later followed me to Saigon.

When I think back on Kent in Philadelphia he was "the kid." He accepted the assignment from UPI to go to Vietnam against the wishes of his family, who were Quakers. From then on, his parents refused to talk to him. On a brief home-leave in late 1970 he visited me in New York, and I was surprised by how he had changed. He was older, more mature, his body had filled out and toughened and he was movie star handsome. He couldn't wait to get back to Vietnam.


Photographers and reporters did not go to Vietnam against their will. They competed to get the assignment. For a whole generation of journalists, their careers were forged by the war.

On Feb. 10, 1971, the four comrades were trying to catch up with the forces that had led an assault across the border between Vietnam and Laos. Due to the dubious international laws regarding violation of another country's space, the U.S. military banned all press from riding on American helicopters into the battle zone. A South Vietnamese colonel invited Burrows, Huet, Potter and Shimamoto aboard his command aircraft. Soon afterwards, they were all dead when the pilot got lost over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and wandered into the sights of a North Vietnamese gunner.

"It wasn't the first multiple loss for the Saigon press corps, but the deaths at one time of four photojournalists so well-known and respected was a staggering blow," Associated Press correspondent Richard Pyle said. "At that time the list of dead and missing Vietnam war correspondents stood at 50, and would eventually reach 74 at war's end in 1975 - the most news media casualties of any war in the 20th century.


In 2003 Pyle offered the remains to the Newseum, which was in the process of being built on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. "This was an exception . . . for an exceptional case," said Susan Bennett, the Newseum's deputy director.

The photographers' remains have found their final resting place in a stainless-steel box beneath a metal nameplate set in the floor of the Newseum's memorial gallery at the foot of a towering glass wall bearing the names of 1,843 journalists who have died doing their jobs since 1837.

They came from everywhere. Tad Bartimus brought flowers from her garden in Hawaii Horst Faas, in his wheelchair, came from Munich. He has been paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a viral infection suffered while teaching a workshop in Vietnam in 2005. They were nearly all there, older and greyer, but still with that same special light in their eyes. One of them couldn't be there he was greatly missed: David Halberstam, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author who was killed in a car crash last year.


Thirty-seven years after that fateful day in 1971, the emotional scar tissue remains for the photographers' families and friends. "When you lose somebody close to you, it doesn't scab over and heal," said Sherry Potter Walker, Kent Potter's sister, who cried inconsolably during the interment ceremony. "A zipper is installed. And anytime you come across the memory, it opens up and all of your sadness falls out."

"All these years, we've never forgotten them," former AP correspondent George Esper, who covered Vietnam for 10 years, said of his four friends. "We talk about them all the time. And we remember them all the time &hellip "

There were a lot of tears in that elegant new rotunda, a lot of memories of a time long ago, but also a sense of pride and closure that they were together again.

"It's wonderful to see so many aged faces of the good and bad days of old Saigon," Horst Faas said. He spoke about his visit by helicopter to the crash site with Pyle. "It almost felt like a combat assignment," he said. "The old adrenaline in me rose . . ."

Dirck Halstead covered the Vietnam War in 1965 and 1966 for United Press International, and returned in 1972 and 1975 for Time magazine. In 1975 he was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal for his coverage of the fall of Saigon.

[With reporting by Michael E. Ruane, The Washington Post and Donald Winslow, News Photographer magazine]


Nicknamed Gigi, Gianna Bryant, 13, was following in her father’s basketball footsteps. The second oldest of four children Bryant and his wife, Vanessa Bryant, Gianna attended Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, the Los Angeles Times reports. Bryant said in 2018 that Gianna was “hellbent” on playing basketball at the University of Connecticut. She planned, eventually, to play for the WNBA.

Gianna played basketball at the Mamba Sports Academy, a training facility in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and was reportedly on her way to the academy, along with her father and some teammates, to play in a basketball tournament. Bryant coached the facility’s team, according to the Times.


2 killed in KREM crash

Television photojournalist Gary Brown and helicopter company owner Cliff Richey were lifting off under a bright blue sky Sunday to film the Bloomsday race from the air.

Fiery tragedy struck in the parking lot of KREM-TV when the rotor blade of the Hughes 500D helicopter struck a television tower guy wire, about 60 feet off the ground.

It was the first tragic event associated with the nine-year history of Bloomsday.

Richey, a highly decorated Vietnam copter pilot, was a fill-in for Dale McCormick, who flies Chopper 2, owned by Price Airmotive.

“I was set up to fly it, early on, about three weeks ago,” said McCormick of the Bloomsday assignment.

McCormick, 38, said he was grounded by a flight surgeon who had prescribed a medication for a skin infection. On Friday, the TV station made arrangements for Richey’s company, Spokane Helicopter Service, to handle the assignment.

McCormack had logged dozens of hours with Brown, 28, and his camera, including spectacular aerial footage of 1983 and 1984 Bloomsdays.

The Chopper 2 pilot said he has landed in the parking lot’s northeast corner, not far from the crash site, hundreds of times.

Richey didn’t put his craft down in exactly the same spot, said Jeff Burke, the station’s operations engineer, who saw the landing on a security camera monitor.

While Brown loaded his equipment in the helicopter, Burke said he briefly took his eyes off the monitor to shut off a piece of equipment.

“When I looked back up, the whole monitor was full of flame,” he recalled. “I didn’t know what happened then I realized the helicopter had crashed.”

He called the 911 emergency number, but it was too late for Brown and Richey.

Their bodies, burned beyond recognition, were taken to Ball & Dodd Funeral Home, where funeral arrangements were pending today.

McCormick said he “just couldn’t make myself” visit the crash site.

“If I could have been there, it wouldn’t have happened,” he said Sunday evening, his voice breaking. “That’s the way you feel. It crosses your mind.”

His sadness was expressed by others who knew Brown as a humble, quiet, conscientious professional who had won numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

His awards included second place in 1981 for spot news reporting of the Bunker Hill shutdown and a 1983 award for excellence in photography for a story about a wagon train.

“Gary was doing what he loved to do, and that was covering news,” said KREM news anchor Dennis May as he walked away, head bowed, from the fire-blackened crash site.

Richey, 49, likewise, was a pro.

He had hundreds of hours of flying helicopters.

He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Air Medal while an Army chief warrant officer in Vietnam in 1966.

He opened his helicopter business in 1971 and later did flying for Washington Water Power Co., the Forest Service and crop dusting work.

Richey, born in Albuquerque, N.M., is survived by his wife, Mildred three children, Shannon, Sherry and Cliff Jr. three stepchildren, Billy, Jimmy and Margaret Evers and two brothers and two sisters, Johnny Richey of Detroit, Willie Richey of Spokane, Lorraine Pearce of Hawaii and Sandra Richey of Spokane. He also has four grandchildren.

His parents, John and Rosie Richey, live in Spokane.

“He on several occasions had volunteered his equipment and his time to provide police officers the opportunity to train in and around a helicopter,” said Police Sgt. Robbin Best, who knew Richey.

In the station’s newsroom, there were a lot of tears as 10 photographers and reporters returned from covering Bloomsday and learned the grim details.

“We always hear about this kind of thing happening, but it’s always somewhere else,” said weather anchor Shelly Monahan.

“I don’t think it’s hit us yet,” she added, her voice trailing off.

News director Jan Allen said the station’s chief photographer “was a creative and imaginative photographer as well as a wonderful human being.”

“Gary could just tell the whole story with pictures,” she said. “With him, you didn’t need words.”

Photojournalist Ed Springer, who hired Brown to work for KREM, gazed at the crash that darkened the otherwise joyous day for the working press.

“He had a true love for his job and always aspired to be one cut above everyone else,” said Springer, now a photographer for KHQ-TV.

Brown, who attended Shadle Park High School and Eastern Washington University, worked part time for KHQ and KTVB-TV in Boise before joining KREM in March 1979.

He and his wife, Lynn, had a daughter, Leslie, Allen said.

As the station’s chief photographer, Brown essentially pulled rank and assigned himself to again handle the aerial coverage, his colleagues explained.

Photographers regard that assignment as the “coup de grande,” said Springer, himself a veteran aerial photographer.

“You can’t hear the screams and yells up there,” he said, “but you can feel the spirit of Bloomsday in a unique way.”

“It’s always a rush to look out from the helicopter and see all those people…”


Ex-Girlfriend of Journalist, 26, Killed in N.Y.C. Helicopter Crash Speaks Out: 'I'm in Shock'

The ex-girlfriend of Trevor Cadigan, the 26-year-old journalist who was one of the five passengers killed in the helicopter crash in New York City’s East River on Sunday, is reeling after hearing the tragic news that he didn’t survive.

“He was always, very happy, joyous and ambitious,” says Jordan McDaniel, 22, of St. Louis, Missouri. “That’s why he moved to New York City. He was doing great things.”

McDaniel, who remained good friends with Cadigan after they split last year, says that he moved from Dallas to N.Y.C. six months ago for a video journalism internship at Business Insider and was destined for success.

“It’s heartbreaking to never know what bigger things he was going to do in life,” she says, 𠇋ut I think what he’s already done speaks volumes about him and shows the type of person he was.”

Cadigan and McDaniel first met in April 2017 when he was in St. Louis for his sister’s wedding.

“We got very close into the summer and the fall,” she says. “Some of my happiest memories are with him.”

After the duo met, McDaniel visited Cardigan in Dallas and he came back to St. Louis to see her. Cadigan also planned a trip for them to South Padre Island in Texas.

“It was the worst thing ever because it turned out to kind of be a food desert. We were there for 24 hours and were kind of miserable, so he booked a flight to Miami and we went there instead for a couple of days,” recalls McDaniel, who says she spent hours on the phone and FaceTiming with Cadigan.

“He hated when people were unhappy,” she recalls. And “really cared” about those who were close to him.

In the fall of 2017, the two went to New York City, which happened to be McDaniel’s first visit to the city. It was on this trip that she thinks he made the decision to move there.

It was also around that time that they decided to break up so he could focus on his career, but looking back, she says, “I think that was just us being scared of something serious.”

Although they were no longer a couple, they still remained friends and were texting the day before the tragic accident.

She also responded to Cadigan’s video on his Instagram story of him on the helicopter as it took off from New Jersey.

“I sent him shocked-looking emojis,” she says, 𠇊nd he didn’t respond.”

McDaniel says the fact that Cadigan decided to embark on the helicopter excursion didn’t surprise her �use he was very adventurous,” she adds. “He had also just started his website and was making cool videos, so it made sense.”

After the crash, Cadigan’s family filed a lawsuit against the helicopter company, the pilot and others.

His parents hope to “prevent what happened to their son from ever happening to anyone else” by stopping open-door chopper flights for taking aerial photos, said their lawyer, Gary C. Robb.

Later in the evening on Sunday, still unaware of the deadly crash, McDaniel says she felt compelled to text Cadigan photos of the two of them together.

“I couldn’t sleep very well and I was thinking of him so I texted him a bunch of pictures of us, which was kind of out of character because we’re not dating,” she says. “I was just thinking of all the time we spent together.”

The next morning she heard what happened and has since been �vastated.”

“I’ve never able to find one negative thing about him,” she says. “He’s one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever known. I’m still in so much shock.”


Firefighting equipment hit helicopter blades prior to fatal crash in Leesburg, NTSB report shows

The Black Hawk helicopter that crashed in Leesburg killing four onboard was conducting a test flight with a newly installed piece of firefighting equipment when a piece came off and swung into the blades, the preliminary crash report from the National Transportation Safety Board shows.

The Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training exercise May 25 near the Leesburg airport. Leesburg city officials said all four crew members died. Their bodies were recovered in the wreckage but officials have yet to release their names.

The aircraft was registered to Brainerd Helicopters Inc./Firehawk Helicopters, which contracts with the federal government for firefighting and other services.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating the crash. On Wednesday, the NTSB released its aviation accident preliminary report.

Previously the FAA said the aircraft was conducting a water drop exercise and lost control of the bucket, causing the rotor section to separate. The chopper went down in a wooded area near the airport and caught fire.

According to the NTSB document, a new water tank and snorkel were recently installed on the helicopter for firefighting operations. Snorkels are hoses that allow hovering helicopters to suck loads of water out of natural and man-made sources, according to the Associated Press.

After several days of ground testing and calibration, the chopper took its first flight on May 25 with the new equipment.

Witnesses told NTSB investigators the helicopter made six passes by the air hangar conducting water drops from a nearby lake before the snorkel came loose. Two employees of Brainerd Helicopters Inc./Firehawk Helicopters noticed and attempted to alert the pilot, according to the report.

One employee said he called the Leesburg air traffic control and told the controller to ask the pilot to slow down and land immediately. Before contact was made, the helicopter began gaining altitude and the witness said the snorkel was “violently” swinging. He then heard a loud bang, which the witness believed was the snorkel hitting the main rotor blades.

The chopper then started to spin and fell below the tree line, according to the NTSB report.

Another employee for the helicopter operator said she saw several passes before she noticed the snorkel swinging and coming close to hitting the main rotor blades. The employee also noted that the water being dropped from the tank was “very dirty.”

She told investigators she immediately started waving her arms at the pilot in an attempt to alert him to the problem. She said as the chopper transitioned to forward flight she ran alongside and continued waving her arms to no avail. The witness said she heard a load bang and saw multiple rotor blades separate and hit the tail of the aircraft.

NTSB investigators wrote the helicopter came to rest on its left side and the rail rotor was about 78 feet north of the main crash site. The newly installed water tank and snorkel assembly were found on the west edge of runway 3 at the airport.

The majority of the helicopter was destroyed in the post-crash fire, according to the report.

A final report by the NTSB will be released after the investigation is complete.


Crash of Rescue Helicopter Kills Pilot Times Reporter Is Injured

A helicopter, flown by pesh merga forces, delivered aid to members of the Yazidi ethnic minority fleeing Sunni extremists in northern Iraq.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

A helicopter, flown by pesh merga forces, delivered aid to members of the Yazidi ethnic minority fleeing Sunni extremists in northern Iraq.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

The Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter then picked up 20 to 25 Yazidi evacuees from the remote mountainous region.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

The helicopter crashed shortly after it took off from the remote mountainous region, killing the pilot and injuring other passengers, including a Yazidi member of Parliament and Alissa J. Rubin, a New York Times journalist.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff for the president of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, attributed the crash to an accidental loss of control by the pilot when the aircraft hit a boulder as it was lifting off. The precise cause was not clear.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

The pilot was the only fatality. Kurdish news media said the passengers included Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of Iraq’s Parliament, who had helped draw international attention to the plight of the thousands of Yazidis trapped in the Sinjar mountains by Sunni extremists.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

A passenger after the crash. Other Kurdish officials said the survivors had been under no danger at the crash site, and there was no evidence that Sunni militants were anywhere nearby.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

A passenger received water while waiting to be evacuated after the crash.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

Dazed Yazidi women and children waited for help.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

The body of the pilot lay on a road as a rescue helicopter arrived to evacuate crash survivors.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

Two rescue helicopters took the survivors to safety at a pesh merga base.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

An injured crew member was evacuated.

Credit. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

ERBIL, Iraq — A helicopter carrying aid from Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous government to stranded Yazidis in the Sinjar mountains of northern Iraq crashed on Tuesday, killing the pilot and injuring other passengers, including a Yazidi member of Parliament and a New York Times journalist.

Alissa J. Rubin, 56, The Times’s Paris bureau chief and a longtime war correspondent, apparently suffered a concussion, at least one broken wrist and possibly some broken ribs but was conscious. Adam Ferguson, 35, a freelance photographer working for The Times who was accompanying Ms. Rubin, said via cellphone text that he suffered a sore jaw and some minor bumps.

The Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter, with a four-person crew from Iraqi Kurdistan’s pesh merga militia force, had just delivered emergency aid and picked up 20 to 25 Yazidi evacuees when it crashed shortly after it took off from the remote mountainous region, said Mr. Ferguson. The aircraft landed upside down and survivors had to crawl out of the wreckage, he said.

“If we had been another 50 meters higher we’d all be dead,” he said.

Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff for the president of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, said two rescue helicopters later took the survivors to safety at a pesh merga base. They were then transferred to ambulances, and Ms. Rubin and Mr. Ferguson were taken to a hospital in Zakho, a town near the Turkish border, where Ms. Rubin received emergency medical care.

Aside from the pilot, there were no other fatalities. Mr. Ferguson said the aircraft might have been overloaded, but Mr. Hussein attributed the crash to an accidental loss of control by the pilot when the aircraft hit a boulder as it was lifting off. The precise cause was not clear.

Kurdish news media said the passengers included Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of Iraq’s Parliament, who had helped draw international attention to the plight of the thousands of Yazidis trapped in the Sinjar mountains by the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Ms. Dakhil’s condition was not immediately known.

Besides Ms. Rubin and Mr. Ferguson, at least two other journalists were aboard the aircraft, including Moises Saman, a freelance photographer on assignment for Time magazine.

Other Kurdish officials said the survivors had been under no danger at the crash site, and there was no evidence that Sunni militants were anywhere nearby.

Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, said in a statement that both Ms. Rubin and Mr. Ferguson were being evacuated from the region to receive medical care. “Alissa is a close friend and one of our most esteemed journalists,” Mr. Baquet said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with both Alissa and Adam.”


Contents

Herbaugh was born in Lamar, Colorado, and lived here until attending college at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism and served as an editor of the Baylor Lariat. [4] She was a trained pianist.

She started working at the Associated Press in 1978 as a vacation relief staffer in Denver, Colorado. She was moved to bureaus in Dallas, Houston and the International Desk in New York City before taking her first foreign posting in 1988 as news editor in New Delhi, India. In 1990, she was promoted to the bureau chief role in Islamabad, Pakistan. Herbaugh covered big stories of the subcontinent, including the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the country's subsequent civil was and rising insurgencies from the Taliban and Mujahideen. Herbaugh's last story was on Afghanistan's war-scarred capital. [5] At the time of her death, she was reporting a story on landmine removals facilitated by the non-governmental organization HALO Trust. The helicopter was owned by Sayed Jafar Naderi, governor of the northern Baghlan province and leader of the former Communist Ismaili militia he is considered to be one of the world's most dangerous warlords. [6] [7]

Herbaugh kept her personal life private from family, friends, and colleagues. After her death, many learned she had one daughter, who lived with Herbaugh's parents in a rural town in Southeast Colorado. Herbaugh's daughter, the writer and journalist Tracee Herbaugh, wrote a Washington Post essay in 2014 in which she said her mother kept the father's identity a secret from everyone, and it remains so. [8]


Dallas Journalist, Firefighter Among Those Killed In New York Helicopter Crash

A journalist and firefighter from Dallas were among the passengers killed Sunday night when a helicopter went down in New York City's East River.

The private charter helicopter hired for a photo shoot crashed into the river and flipped upside down in the water, killing all five passengers aboard, including video journalist Trevor Cadigan and Dallas Fire-Rescue Officer Brian McDaniel.

Cadigan, a Dallas native and Southern Methodist University graduate, recently moved to New York to start a career with Business Insider, WFAA-TV reports. Cadigan, 26, was a former WFAA intern and son of station production manager Jerry Cadigan.

Business Insider says Cadigan was “smart, talented, and ambitious” and “made a big contribution” during an internship there, which ended a few weeks ago.

Dallas-Fire Rescue confirmed Monday that Officer Brian McDaniel, 26, also died in the crash. He was hired by the department in May 2016 and assigned to Fire Station 36 in West Dallas.

McDaniel had been visiting Cadigan in New York this weekend, according to KXAS-TV. They both went to Bishop Lynch High School.

The Bishop Lynch community mourns the tragic loss of Trevor Cadigan ཆ and Brian McDaniel ཆ, and prays for the comfort of their families and friends and all who grieve their loss. https://t.co/KbFv39NdhF

&mdash Bishop Lynch High School (@BishopLynch) March 12, 2018

The cause of the crash Sunday hasn’t been determined. The pilot was heard on an emergency radio transmission saying there was an engine failure.

The pilot was able to free himself and was rescued by a tugboat.

Helicopter owner Liberty Helicopters is referring all inquiries to investigators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Cell video shows Alabama crash that killed 10

Fire crews pulled a boy Thursday morning from the rubble after Miami condo collapse. Nearly 100 people were still unaccounted for at midday, authorities said, raising fears that the death toll could climb sharply. (June 24)

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Lord Ashcroft’s Daughter-in-Law Breaks Silence on Shooting of Belize Cop

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Chief fires Miami’s most powerful police couple. They vow to fight for their jobs

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Mom of biracial teen seen on video being shocked with Taser by state trooper plans to sue

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Video captures the moment a high-rise condo building partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida

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Videos show tragic aftermath of condo collapse near Miami. ‘Like a bomb went off’

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CHP chase ends in crash near Fremont Auto Mall suspect arrested

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Bystander Stops Man Who Allegedly Pulled Out Knife, Yelled Anti-Asian Slurs at Woman in NYC

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Woman Caught on Camera Spewing Racist Insults at Asian Uber Driver in North Carolina

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Famous QAnon Couple Featured In Documentaries Arrested In Capitol Attack

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Judge Overturns 1989 Murder Conviction Rules State Withheld Incriminating Crime Scene Photos

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Police towed a black Suburban from Murdaugh murder scene, tow company says

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Watch the video: Τέσσερις στρατιώτες σκοτώθηκαν σε συντριβή ελικοπτέρου στην Κωνσταντινούπολη