They were married for 62 years, and faced everything — even death — together.
Don and Maxine Simpson of Bakersfield, California, met at a bowling alley, and had an instant connection; after marrying, they raised two sons and enjoyed traveling around the world. Two weeks ago, Don was taken to the hospital after breaking his hip, but as his condition worsened, his family decided to bring him home to be with Maxine, who had been battling cancer for years.
During the last afternoon they spent together, Don and Maxine smiled and held hands. Maxine passed away first, and then four hours later, Don died. "I knew in my heart this is what's supposed to happen," granddaughter Melissa Sloan told KERO-TV. "Grandma and Grandpa are supposed to be together and Grandma and Grandpa are going to die together."
Sloan believes her grandparents had a special bond that was "absolutely beautiful," and an inspiration to all married couples. "It's a true love story," she said. Catherine Garcia
Stephen Colbert started off Wednesday's Late Show with an explanation of Ash Wednesday and a struggle over whether he could break the late-night rules by skipping the monologue and just running to his desk to discuss the New Hampshire primaries. The winner of the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, walked on to tell him he could, and provide comic relief.
Later in the show, when Sanders sat down for his interview, Colbert asked him why he thinks he crushed Hillary Clinton among young voters. Sanders had two theories. First, he said, "by definition, young people are idealistic, and they look at a world with so many problems and they say 'Why not?'" In this case, the "why not?" refers to free college tuition and single-payer health care. "The second part that I think young people are thinking about is how does it happen that with all of this technology and productivity in our economy, they are likely to have a lower standard of living than their parents, while almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent?" Sanders said. Colbert noted that he is part of the 1 percent, and the rich aren't just giving their money away.
Then Colbert turned to the winner of the New Hampshire Republican primary. "Do you think that there's a similarity in appeal between you and Donald Trump?" he asked, noting that some polls showed that plenty of New Hampshire voters didn't decide until the last minute whether they were going to vote for Trump or Sanders.
"Well, I think a lot of Donald Trump supporters are angry," Sanders replied. "They're in many cases people who are working longer hours for low wages, they're people who are really worried about what's going to happen to their kids." But unlike his supporters, Sanders added, these voters have "responded to Trump's false message" of Latino-scapegoating and Islamophobia. "People have a right to be angry," he added, "but what we need to be is rational in figuring out how we address the problems, and not simply scapegoating minorities." Watch Sanders also bash Bill O'Reilly and try to explain how he would enact his agenda below. Peter Weber
Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who famously got in an armed standoff after refusing to pay federal grazing fees, flew to Portland late Wednesday night, en route to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy had led an armed occupation until they were arrested last month. FBI agents were waiting for Cliven Bundy when he landed and arrested him; Bundy was booked into the Multhomah County jail before midnight on Wednesday, detained on a U.S. Marshal hold for his role in the 2014 armed confrontation with Bureau of Land Management agents at his Nevada Ranch.
Ammon Bundy's lawyer, Mike Arnold, said that the arrest of Cliven Bundy could complicate the planned surrender Thursday morning of the last four holdouts at the Malheur refuge. The elder Bundy owes the federal government $1 million in unpaid grazing fees and penalties, and when BLM agents impounded Bundy's cattle in 2014, he and armed militia members confronted the federal agents, who relented rather than shed blood. Peter Weber
Over the weekend, the Indian news media was abuzz over reports, picked up worldwide, that a bus driver at a college in southeast India had been killed Saturday by the impact from a meteorite, potentially making him the first known human killed by a meteorite. By Tuesday, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics was casting doubt on the claim. "Considering that there was no prediction of a meteorite shower and there was no meteorite shower observed, this certainly is a rare phenomena if it is a meteorite," Prof. G.C. Anupama told The New York Times in a phone interview.
On Wednesday, NASA all but slammed the door on the meteorite-death theory, saying in a statement that from public statements and photographs of the crash, it appears that the driver was killed by a "land-based explosion," not the impact of a space rock. Although no confirmed deaths have resulted from chunks of meteors falling to Earth, several people have been injured by meteorites, including some 1,200 when a space rock crashed into Chelyabinsk, Russia; no fatalities were reported. You can learn more about the near-record in the CNN video below. Peter Weber
The prime minister of the United Arab Emirates says "national happiness isn't a wish," and in order to make good on his promise, he's appointed a minister of state for happiness.
Ohood Al Roumi as Minister of State for Happiness. She remains responsible as DG of the Prime Minister’s Office. pic.twitter.com/1Omrzc9b8F
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 10, 2016
On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced his new cabinet, which includes five women. Ohood Al Roumi, the director general of the prime minister's office and former head of economic policy for Dubai, will keep her current job but also take on the role of minister of state for happiness. In this new position, she'll be tasked with aligning and driving "government policy to create social good and satisfaction," NBC News reports.
The prime minister is making it clear that this role is not just ceremonial. "Happiness in the UAE is not just a hope, there will be plans, projects, programs, and indicators," he said. Happiness will become "part of our lifestyle," he added, and to get the people motivated, he wrote a poem titled "Happiest Nation" and posted it to his website. Catherine Garcia
Under a plea deal, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pleaded guilty to a federal charge of lying to investigators, and will spend no more than six months in prison, if he serves any time at all.
In 2010, a grand jury began an investigation into corruption and abuse at the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, and since then, the U.S. Attorney's Office has charged 18 former and current deputies with such crimes as obstructing justice, beating inmates, bribery, and conspiracy, NBC Los Angeles reports. Baca previously claimed he had no knowledge of abuse at any county jails, deputies intimidating an FBI agent outside of her home, or a coordinated effort by deputies to keep an FBI informant from testifying to a grand jury; NBC Los Angeles reports that for two weeks in 2011, deputies moved the informant around to different jails using a false name every time so the FBI couldn't find the informant and have him or her testify.
Baca, who stepped down in 2014 after more than 15 years as sheriff, is the 18th former member of the department convicted in the case, and he will be sentenced on May 16. Prosecutors have been going up the ranks in the department, and in May 2015, former undersheriff Paul Tanaka was charged with obstructing justice. He is now facing trial. "No one is above the law," U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said Wednesday. "This is a fundamental principle in our society and when it is violated it's the job of the Department of Justice to step in and hold individuals accountable." Catherine Garcia
On Wednesday night, after five hours of live-streaming a phone call recording their standoff with federal agents, the four remaining holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside Burns, Oregon, said they planned to turn themselves in to the FBI on Thursday morning. The FBI, which encircled the refuge earlier on Wednesday, had agreed not to raid the refuge overnight, the armed occupiers said. The four militants — David Fry, 27, from Ohio; Jeff Banta, 46, from Nevada; and Sean and Sandy Anderson, 48 and 47, from Idaho — are the remnants of a group of armed anti-government protesters who took over the federal birding refuge on Jan. 2.
Before the livestream ended, Fry appeared to yell at the FBI negotiators, telling them: "You're going to hell. Kill me. Get it over with..... We're innocent people camping at a public facility, and you're going to murder us." At another point, he shouted that "the only way we're leaving here is dead or without charges," and telling the FBI to "get the hell out of Oregon." On Jan. 26, one of the occupiers had been wounded and another shot dead after running a police checkpoint; the occupation leader, Ammon Bundy, and other militants were arrested and most of the people at the refuge left after that.
"It has never been the FBI's desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully," FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing said in a statement Wednesday. Peter Weber
At a three hour hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sirhan Sirhan was denied parole again for killing Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, just after Kennedy won the pivotal California Democratic presidential primary. Sirhan, 71, maintained that he did not remember the shooting, though he clearly recalled going to a shooting range, getting drunk, and drinking coffee at a hotel in the hours before the assassination. The commissioners, in denying his parole request, said that Sirhan neither showed sufficient remorse nor seemed to understand the gravity of his crime.
Most of the drama at the hearing, Sirhan's 15th bid for parole, was provided by Paul Schrade, a 91-year-old former labor leader and RFK confidante who was shot in the head during Robert Kennedy's assassination. Schrade said that he believes Sirhan was the gunman who shot him but that Kennedy was slain by a second gunman, a theory he has espoused before. "I should have been here long ago and that's why I feel guilty for not being here to help you and to help me," Schrade told Sirhan, whom he was facing for the first time since Sirhan's 1969 trial. "Sirhan, I'm so sorry this is happening to you," he called out as Sirhan was leaving the room. "It's my fault."
The commissioners were not swayed by Schrade's theories, nor by Sirhan's protestation that he didn't remember the shooting. "This crime impacted the nation, and I daresay it impacted the world," said commissioner Brian Roberts. "It was a political assassination of a viable Democratic presidential candidate." Sirhan can petition for parole again in five years. Peter Weber