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Katherine Johnson, the black woman whose mathematical genius took her from a behind-the-scenes job in a segregated NASA as portrayed in the film “Hidden Figures” to a key role in sending humans to the moon, died on Monday at the age of 101, NASA said.


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“Our NASA family is sad to learn the news that Katherine Johnson passed away this morning at 101 years old,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine posted to Twitter. “She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten.”

Johnson was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2015, and in 2016 he cited her in his State of the Union Address as an example of America's spirit of discovery.

“She's one of the greatest minds ever to grace our agency or our country,” then NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said when Johnson was presented the presidential medal.

In 2016, NASA named a research facility for Johnson in her hometown of Hampton, Virginia, and a year later her alma mater, West Virginia State, marked her 100th birthday in August 2018 by establishing a scholarship in her name and erecting a statue.

Johnson and her black colleagues at the fledgling NASA were known as “computers” when that term was used not for a programmed electronic device but for a person who did computations. They were little known to the public for decades but gained overdue recognition when the book “Hidden Figures” was published and the 2016 Oscar-nominated movie hit the screens. Johnson attended the 2017 Oscars ceremony, joining the film's cast in presenting an award for documentaries, and was given a standing ovation.

Johnson had a groundbreaking career of 33 years with the space agency, working on the Mercury and Apollo missions, including the first moon landing in 1969, and the early years of the space shuttle program. Astronaut John Glenn thought so much of her that he insisted Johnson be consulted before his historic earth-orbiting flight in 1962.


"Thank you to all the friends and fans who supported B. and our family during her journey," Gasby said. "Thank you to everyone for respecting our privacy during this agonizing time.""Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.'s dazzling and unforgettable smile." Smith, whose full name was Barbara Elaine Smith, was a multi-faceted and multi-talented personality.In addition to building restaurants and a home decorcollection, over the years, Smith was a fashion model, actress, broadcast talent and bestselling cookbook author. In 1976 she became one of the first African American women to appear on the cover of"Mademoiselle" magazine. "B. Smith with Style," her syndicated talk show, aired nationally on NBC stations for several years. She also ran three popular restaurants. Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of 64 in 2013. "It feels like crying," she told CBS in a 2014 interview. "Things like that make me very sad." But she was also determined to raise awareness of Alzheimer's, particularly for the African American community.Smith collaborated on a book, "Before I Forget," to share her fight against the disease and practical adRead More – Source


For almost her entire life, her seminal work in American space travel went unnoticed. Only recently has Johnson's genius received national recognition. Johnson, a pioneering mathematician who, along with a group of other brilliant black women, made US space travel possible, died this week. She was 101. NASA announced Johnson's death on Monday. Johnson was part of NASA's "Computer Pool," a group of mathematicians whose data powered NASA's first successful space missions. The group's success largely hinged on the accomplishments of its black women members. Her work went largely unrecognized until the release of 2016's "Hidden Figures," a film portrayal of Johnson's accomplishments while the space agency was still largely segregated.

Her talent was evident early on

Johnson was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in 1918. Her preternatural talent for math was quickly evident, and she became one of three black students chosen to integrate West Virginia's graduate schools, according to her NASA biography.She started her career as a teacher but had her sights set on mathematical research. Following an executive order that prohibited racial discrimination in the defense industry, Johnson was hired at NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and NASA's predecessor. She was one of several black researchers with college degrees hired for the agency's aeronautical lab through the initiative. She started in 1953 in the facility's segregated wing for women before she was quickly transferred to the Flight Research Division, where she remained for several years. But midway through the '50s, the space race between the US and the Soviet Union began to intensify. So did Johnson's career. NASA renames facility for real-life 'Hidden Figures' hero Katherine JohnsonShe was tasked with performing trajectory analysis for Alan Shepherd's 1961 mission, the first American human spaceflight. She co-authored a paper on the safety of orbital landings in 1960 — the first time a woman in the Flight Research Division received credit for a report. Despite often being the only woman in briefings, she quickly gained notice for her accuracy. John Glenn requested her help before his orbit around Earth in 1962. He was skeptical of the computers that calculated his spacecraft's trajectory, so he told engineers to "get the girl" and compare Johnson's handwritten calculations to the computer's. "'If she says they're good, then I'm ready to go,'" Johnson remembered Glenn saying. She gave the OK, and Glenn's flight was a success. His mission — and Johnson's role in it — helped nudge the US ahead in the space race. By the time Johnson retired from NASA in 1986, she'd mapped the moon's surface ahead of the 1969 landing and helped astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 safely land back on Earth.

Her work was ignored for decades

After the release of the book "Hidden Figures," which was published in 2016 and turned into a film the following year, officials lobbed heaps of praise on Johnson and two other black women mathematicians in the agency's Computer Pool, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Katherine Johnson, who hand-crunched the numbers for America's first manned space flight, is 100 todayNASA renamed a facility for Johnson in February 2019. A street in front of NASA headquarters in Washington was renamed "Hidden Figures Way" for the three women in July. And in November, the three women plus engineer Christine DardenRead More – Source


Dixie Crush, which bills itself as "the Midwest's Ultimate Country Party Band," said Lagestee was a founding member of the group in 2015 and praised her as an "incredible performer, great friend, and the best bandmate." She died on Monday."Above and beyond her beautiful voice, Lindsey just had a way of connecting with every audience leaving an indelible impression," the band said on Facebook. "Not only would she give an amazing performance, but after every show, Lindsey would come offstage, take time to meet anyone who wanted to say hi, take pictures, and build friendships."Dixie Crush said it had played more than 250 shows over the past five years."Like a true professional, it made no difference to Lindsey whether we were playing to 40,000 people at Arlington Racecourse, a few thousand people at Parkway Bank Park in Rosemont, a few hundred people at a community festival, or the last 25 patrons at 1:00am at a club, Lindsey cherished every moment on stage and put her heart and soul into every song…every performance," the group said.According to its website, the band performs Top 40 hits from country music&Read More – Source


It's sure to be emotional Monday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Bryant fans, Lakers fans and celebrities — an A-list cast by even Hollywood standards — will pack the arena to remember one of their own.Astronomers say when the biggest stars die they become supernovae, shining brighter than the Milky Way and capable of spurring the formation of other stars. Bryant was one such supernova. "A 6-6 guard from Lower Merion High School" in Pennsylvania, he joined the NBA in 1996 as a child. Over 20 seasons, he won five championship rings and forged an extraterrestrial reputation as a suffocating defender and one of the greatest scorers to ever bounce a Spalding. Though his playing career ended in 2016, his drive and passion never waned. In bidding the game he loved farewell, he wrote a short film that won an Oscar. He poured his retirement into his family, his production company and his Mamba Sports Academy, where the formation of young stars is part of its mission. The trifecta forms the foundation of Bryant's legacy, which since his death has become its own universe. Meanwhile, the tears and remembrances — from fans, fellow players and those he lifted up — haven't stopped.

His death stunned the world

Bryant was stolen from this Earth on January 26 when a helicopter carrying him, daughter Gianna and seven others to a competition at his Newbury Park academy crashed into the Santa Monica Mountains in Calabasas.He'd planned to coach 13-year-old Gianna's team that day as part of his post-career goal of empowering the next generation and instilling in them his storied Mamba mentality. When his vision was cut short that Sunday, the world stopped — first in incredulity, then in sorrow. "This can't be!" morphed into "How, how, how?" Tears fell from Lower Merion to the streets of L.A. and beyond. Tributes arrived from Argentina, the Philippines, the Australian Open and all over Europe, Africa and Asia. In China, his death topped trends on Weibo, the social media platform, briefly outpacing posts about coronavirus. Perhaps not since Prince has the world so collectively and deeply mourned one of its beloved. And as with Prince, the legacy Bryant leaves behind is complicated. It's easy to recall the times he shined, but there were also dark moments that left his faithful struggling to reconcile a dichotomy that's inherent in all humans but especially visible in those who spend their lives on stage.

He was a baller in everything he did

Every generation has its GOAT. They tend to go by one name. Before Kobe, the NBA had Kareem and Jordan. Now, LeBron. Of the 11 numbers the Lakers have retired — among them, Kareem's, Worthy's, Wilt's, Magic's — two belong to Bryant: the No. 8 he wore in his early days with the Lake Show and the No. 24 he resurrected from high school for the latter half of his pro career. In everything he did, Bryant was a baller, literally and figuratively — from taking Brandy to prom to challenging His Airness Michael Jordan during his first All-Star Game to putting 60 on the Utah Jazz in his farewell performance. When he jumped from high school to the NBA in 1996, the path was uncharted for a guard. Few had achieved the feat without struggles — Moses Malone, Darryl Dawkins, Shawn Kemp and Kevin Garnett — and they were all big men, or bigger than Bryant.What he lacked in size, which was not much, he made up for in preparation. He trained relentlessly, whether shooting thousands of jumpers to perfect his stroke or running sand dunes to improve his conditioning. Anyone who's witnessed him in person saw the product of his devotion, how he glided into position, feinted like an apparition and lobbed impossible jumpers that had no chance of dropping — only they did. There were times he couldn't be covered with a fishing net. If you aren't part of Laker Nation, chances are he broke your heart more than once. In letting the game he loved go after 20 seasons, Bryant continued to exude an air of excellence, snaring an Oscar for his animated ode to the sport, "Dear Basketball.""I did everything for you — because that's what you do when someone makes you feel as alive as you've made me feel," he said in the short film. "My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it's time to say goodbye, and that's OK. I'm ready to let you go."

To some he was polarizing

When a revered man dies, the lines between hagiography and history are blurred, but anyone who's lived a life worth living deserves to see his legacy fully explored.Humans struggle when their favorite people leave complex legacies. Look no further than Michael Jackson. They'll struggle again when Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Mike Tyson meet their makers. Bryant's been remembered in glowing terms these past four weeks, but his shortcomings, too, are part of his lore, no matter how painful they are to remember. In what now looks like prescience, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, who covered much of Bryant's career, said during a 2017 interview, "I don't think Kobe was beloved in his time. He may be somebody who is remembered more fondly by history than he was in his time. The guy was very polarizing when he played."As great as Bryant was, he snared only one MVP. He was labeled cocky, a ball hog, a bad teammate. He was accused of quitting in the 2006 playoffs. Phil Jackson, one of basketball's most innovative minds, called him "uncoachable." He was fined for hurling a gay slur at a referee. In the middle of his career, he threatened to play for the loathed crosstown rival Clippers, or on Pluto, one being no worse than the other to Lakers fans. And, of course, there were the 2003 sexual assault allegations in Colorado, which ended with him being cleared of criminal charges. He and his accuser later settled a civil suit out of court. Any one of these things, let alone two or three, could have killed most mortals' careers — forget their legacies. Yet in Bryant's oh-so-Kobe way, he dealt with them directly and effectively.

But he never lacked confidence

To bring up his perseverance in the face of shortcomings is not to castigate him in death but to cast light on important parts of his legacy. Yes, he silenced haters with Ws and trophies, but for someone with his drive and talent, that wasn't the difficult part. Even as a teenage newbie to The Association, he saw himself as ready for any challenge. Take his first All-Star Game in 1998, which he started despite not starting for the Lakers. Undeterred, he irked veteran (and future teammate) Karl Malone, telling him he didn't need his screens. It was seen as brash for a young buck, but everyone in Madison Square Garden knew what Bryant was up to: He wanted a piece of Jordan. "Kobe has challenged Michael," color commentator Isiah Thomas pointed out to the home audience. "Michael comes out and says, 'Not tonight, young fella. I'm bringing all my tricks.' Kobe comes back, he says, 'Michael, I'm steaRead More – Source


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Haitian police demanding better working conditions shot up the army headquarters on Sunday, killing two servicemen and wounding a dozen more, the Defence Ministry said, prompting the government to cancel an upcoming carnival.


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In a statement issued Sunday evening, the government said it had observed "with concern and dismay that terror has reigned in certain arteries of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area."

In order to avoid a "bloodbath… it has been decided to cancel the carnival," which was scheduled to take place Tuesday, the statement said.

Media reports had said six people were wounded in the attack in Port-au-Prince by what the ministry said were gunmen wearing masks.

"We are under siege. We are coming under fire with all kinds of weapons — assault rifles, Molotov cocktails, tear gas," said General Jodel Lessage.

He said soldiers had returned fire but did not give an injury toll, nor could he say how many people were at the army headquarters, near the presidential palace, at the time of the attack.

The situation remained tense as night fell in the city.


The Colorado Avalanche Information Center on Saturday shared a video on Facebook showing the terrifying incident, which partially buried one of the riders.In the video, the snowmobilers are riding up a mountain when the one in front sets off an avalanche that sweeps the other down the mountainside.There were people skiing in the same area just moments before the avalanche. However, their presence did not cause the event, CAIC said."The skiers were fortunate to not trigger an avalanche," CAIC said. "Moments later the snowmobiler, a larger trigger, was able to collapse the weak layer and trigger an avalanche."The avalanche occurred on February 11 near Leadville in Birdseye Gulch, according to the CAIC. The elevation in the area ranges from 10,000 to 12,000 feet."It's really quite terrifying," CAIC Director Ethan Greene told CNN affiliate KDVR. "Fortunately, the fellow that was caught in the avalanche ends up with his head above the snow."Greene told KDVR that the center recommends checking the state's avalanche forecast before venturing out.Two snowRead More – Source


Evelyn Boswell of East Tennessee was last seen in December but authorities issued an Amber Alert for her Wednesday. Her mother, Megan Boswell, said she left her daughter with someone she trusted to keep an eye on her while she was at work. "Well the reason I didn't report it or anything was I knew the person who had her, and I didn't want them to run away with her," Boswell told CNN affiliate WCYB on Friday. "And as soon as they thought anything was going on they just kinda vanished. So I'm just kinda worried, you know, about where they are at. What they're doing with her at this point in time."She declined to provide any names. "In a way I knew that as soon as anything went down this person was going to disappear and they have," she told the affiliate. "They won't answer phone calls. They just kinda disappeared."Investigators arrested a man and a woman Friday and held them on charges unrelated to her disappearance, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said. Angela Boswell, 42, — the baby's grandmother — and William McCloud, 33, were found traveling in a gray 2007 BMW and arrested in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Tennessee authorities had said they were looking for the vehicle and believed its occupants would have information about the toddler's whereabouts.

The connection to the car

Megan Boswell was in the process of buying the BMW in question for her mother, Angela Boswell, the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. A purchase agreement was never completed, and no money was exchanged for the vehicle. The owner of the BMW was unable to contact Megan or Angela Boswell, and the car was reported stolen, the sheriff's office said. Angela Boswell and McCloud are both Tennessee residents. They are being held in the Wilkes County Jail, each charged with theft over $2,500, according to the sheriff's office. Angela Boswell is also being held on a violation of probation warrant for theft. It's unclear whether they have attorneys.Both are awaiting extradition hearings before being transported to Sullivan County in Tennessee. They're scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Conflicting statements complicating investigation

Investigators said Evelyn's mother is cooperating, but has given conflicting statements."During the investigation, authorities have received a number of conflicting statements. That, combined with the fact that Evelyn was not immediately reported mRead More – Source


David Forney, 22, was found unresponsive Thursday in Bancroft Hall, the Naval Academy said in a statement posted on the school Facebook page. After a midshipman administered CPR, Forney was transported to Anne Arundel County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:28 p.m., the statement said.The cause of death is under investigation, but no foul play is suspected, the Naval Academy said in a statement. Bancroft Hall is the massive dormitory complex where all 4,500 midshipmen at the Naval Academy live.Forney was a senior from Walkersville, Maryland. A political science major, he would have graduated May 22 and been assigned to commission as a cryptologic warfare officer, the academy said in a statement.An offensive lineman for the school football team and a three-year letterman, Forney was named First-Team American Athletic Conference and First-Team All-East, the statement said. He was the anchor of an offensive line that set a school record and led the nation in rushing, averaging 360.5 yards per game during the 2019 season, according to the statement."Words cannot express our pain and sorrow," Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "First and foremost, our deepest condolences to the Forney family. The Navy Football Brotherhood is not a team, we are a family. We are devastated to have lost one of our brothers."The 2015 graduate of Georgetown Prep is survived by his parents, Rick and Erika Forney, younger brothers Chris and Erik, and sister, RebekRead More – Source


Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told CNN in an email that a Cessna 305A took off about 9:15 a.m. local time from Dillingham Airfield, crashed for unknown reasons and came to rest upside down.The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating, Gregor said. Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara told CNN affiliate KITV that the lead NTSB investigator is expected to arrive Sunday.Bill Star, the vice president and general manager of Honolulu Soaring, a flight school, told CNN that two men were "getting familiar with the airplane" during a flight at the airfield when the plane crashed.Star said the men were an instructor and a pilot who had "lots of experience" with different types of aircraft.Earlier in the day, Star said at least one person died. Sakahara later confirmed the second death. One of those on board was pronounced dead at the scene while the other was pronounced dead at a hospital.Star says they are "trying to figure out what went wrong." The plane's tail number, provided by the Hawaii Department of Transportation in a tweet, is registered to Honolulu Soaring.A fatal crash occurred at the airfield less than a year ago.Eleven people were killedRead More – Source