Today, The New York Times staff photographer Tyler Hicks won a Pulitzer for breaking news photography for his work capturing the terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. And trust me, that coveted prize is well deserved. Here's what happened:
On Sept. 21, 2013, at least 16 armed assailants from the Somali Islamist militant group al Shabab attacked the Westgate. The terrorists lobbed grenades and fired automatic weapons into a crowd of weekend shoppers, holding many hostage. After a four-day assault, at least 67 people were killed and more than 170 were injured.
Hicks was at a frame shop in an adjacent mall when the attack started. He ran over and within minutes witnessed blood-covered and frightened people running out of the mall.
"From the beginning I wanted to get some security forces inside the mall," Hicks said in an interview. He hooked up with a group of police doing security sweeps, and stayed inside the mall for two hours taking photographs of the tense stand-off. He never caught sight of any of the assailants but he did see about a dozen people who had been killed.
Hicks was awarded the Pulitzer "for his compelling pictures that showed skill and bravery in documenting the unfolding terrorist attack." Here is just one of those stunning and heartbreaking shots. For more photos from Hicks' Nairobi series, go to The New York Times. Click here for a full list of Pulitzer winners. --Lauren Hansen
(AP Photo/Tyler Hicks, The New York Times)
The retired neurosurgeon called the refugees he met in the Azraq camp "very hard working, determined people, which should only enhance the overall economic health of the neighboring Arab countries that accept and integrate them into the general population." Carson said the American people, as opposed to the government, should collect billions of dollars to improve the conditions of refugee camps in the Middle East.
Many Republican presidential candidates, governors, and legislators have called on the White House to modify its plan to accept up to 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, citing security concerns in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris terrorist attacks carried out by the Islamic State. In response, President Obama and other White House officials have said that the current U.S. process for vetting refugees is already thorough. Julie Kliegman
Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains President Vicki Cowart vowed Saturday to reopen the Colorado Springs, Colorado, clinic soon, The Guardian reports. None of the clinic's 15 employees in the building at the time were wounded in Friday's attack, when a gunman fatally shot three people and injured nine others.
"We will adapt," Cowart said. "We will square our shoulders and we will go on."
The clinic went under lockdown as the gunman reportedly entered the building, but wasn't able to make it past a locked door leading to the main part of the facility. During the five-hour standoff between the gunman — allegedly 57-year-old Robert Dear — and police officers, about 300 people sheltered in place at nearby shopping center, The Associated Press reports. Dear has been held without Bond since Friday, and is due to appear in court Monday.
"We share the concerns of many Americans that the continued attacks against abortion providers and patients, as well as law enforcement officers, is creating a poisonous environment that breeds acts of violence," Cowart said. "But we will never back away from providing critical health care to millions of people who rely on and trust us every day." Julie Kliegman
Researchers are now 90 percent sure there's a hidden chamber behind the tomb of King Tutankhamun, Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said at a news conference Saturday.
British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves published a paper earlier in 2015 with his findings from examining detailed scans of King Tut's tomb, suggesting there are two secret doorways that have gone untouched since the 14th century B.C. One might lead to a storeroom, and the other to the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, whose burial site has long been a mystery for researchers.
Though Reeves' theory isn't a sure thing, researchers are more confident they'll at least find something behind Tut's tomb, Reuters reports, so long as they can avoid damaging the structure.
"The key is to excavate slowly and carefully and record well. The fact is this isn't a race," Reeves said at the news conference. "All archaeology is disruption." Julie Kliegman
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is speaking not once, but twice in Sarasota, Florida, on Saturday to accommodate the 14,000 people who want to see him, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.
But he isn't the only star there:
There is an actual elephant at the Trump rally. GUYS - AN ACTUAL ELEPHANT. pic.twitter.com/WoHWCz3LAs
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) November 28, 2015
Trump supporter Frank Murray of Gainesville lent the campaign his elephant for free Saturday.
"The man knows how to make money," Murray told the Herald-Tribune. "He knows what America is all about and he can get America back on track."
The term "political circus" has never felt quite so literal. Julie Kliegman
Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is being held without bond in connection with Friday's fatal shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dear, who authorities say has an address in Hartsel, about an hour away from Colorado Springs, is reportedly well-known to law enforcement officials in South Carolina, where BuzzFeed News reports he used to live.
Suspect confirmed as Robert L. Dear date of birth of 4/16/1958 pic.twitter.com/4v2GtIsUgT
— Springs Police (@CSPDPIO) November 28, 2015
Authorities in North and South Carolina have investigated Dear as many as nine times, according to BuzzFeed's public records search.
In 1997, Dear's wife alleged he hit her and pushed her out of a window in Walterboro, South Carolina, but did not file charges against him. He was twice found not guilty of cruelty to animals, and an allegation that he was a peeping tom was dismissed at a preliminary hearing, BuzzFeed reports.
Three days after the city of Chicago released video footage of the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a police officer, protesters took to the Magnificent Mile to disrupt Black Friday shopping.
Some shoppers, blocked from entering big-name stores like Apple, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and Brooks Brothers, told the Chicago Tribune they supported protesters, who are calling for the resignation of Chicago's police superintendent and increased awareness of police brutality against black people. But others didn't take kindly to being barred from shopping by lines of protesters, as the newspaper reports:
At Zara, a Schaumburg man who gave his name only as Scott, 31, violently burst through the line and then through a revolving door like a running back looking to make a first down.
"I'm looking for a sports jacket," he said as he got his breath back. "Compared to what's happening in Syria, what's happening here is nothing much.
"The only thing new is that there's a video of this shooting," Scott said. "It's been going on forever. None of these people could even tell you why they're protesting." [Chicago Tribune]
Nilo Khan, another shopper turned away from Zara, told the Tribune, "We're not trying to stop them from protesting, so why should they stop us from shopping?"
More than 100 black religious leaders signed an op-ed published on Ebony's website Friday strongly discouraging their colleagues from supporting or endorsing Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. The real estate mogul had announced he'll receive endorsements from a group of prominent black ministers Monday.
"By siding with a presidential candidate whose rhetoric pathologizes Black people, what message are you sending to the world about the Black lives in and outside of your congregations?" the op-ed read. "Which Black lives do you claim to be liberating?"
After several white people allegedly physically attacked a black protester at a Trump campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, on Nov. 21, the presidential hopeful said, "Maybe he should've been roughed up."