NYC firm gives $10M in Sandy aid
Dozens of New Yorkers from a neighborhood ravaged by superstorm Sandy lined up in a school auditorium Thursday to receive $1,000 debit cards from a financial-services firm that lost hundreds of employees in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“This is such a help to my little son who is emotionally challenged and lost everything,” said Debbie Torres, clutching her cash card from the brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald. “God, thank you. These people here, thank you. Thank everybody.”
Cantor Fitzgerald, whose Sept. 11 death toll of 658 was by far the largest of any employer, announced Thursday that it will “adopt” 19 schools in communities hit hard by Sandy and give a total of $10 million to families in those schools.
Colo. shooting suspect to face trial
A judge ruled late Thursday that there’s enough evidence for James Holmes to face trial on charges that he killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a Colorado movie theater last summer.
Judge William Sylvester said prosecutors have established probable cause to proceed with all 166 felony counts they filed against him, including first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree murder with extreme indifference and attempted murder. He ordered that Holmes continue to be held without bail.
Holmes is due to be arraigned today, but his defense attorneys filed papers Thursday afternoon saying he’s not ready to enter a plea. Judge Sylvester noted Holmes’ attorneys likely will ask in court today that the arraignment be delayed.
Killer whales freed when ice shifts
About a dozen killer whales trapped under sea ice appeared to be free after the ice shifted, village officials in Canada’s remote north said Thursday, and residents who feared they would get stuck elsewhere hired a plane to track them down.
The whales’ predicament in the frigid waters of Hudson Bay made international headlines, and locals had been planning a rescue operation with chain saws and drills before the mammals slipped away.
Mali seeks help against extremists
Mali’s president asked France for help Thursday to counter an offensive by extremist and terrorist groups who control the northern half of the country and are heading south.
France’s U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters after an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that urgent action is needed against the groups who captured the city of Konna on Thursday and now are threatening the city of Mopti, which has 100,000 inhabitants.
Man abducted as 5-year-old is found
An Indiana woman whose young son was abducted 19 years ago was screaming and “jumping up and down” after learning he was living in Minnesota under a different name, her husband said Thursday shortly after police announced they had found him.
Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was 5 years old when he and his paternal grandparents, who were upset over custody arrangements, disappeared from Wolcottville, about 30 miles north of Fort Wayne.
Indiana State Police said the now 24-year-old Landers was found in Long Prairie, Minn., thanks in part to his Social Security number. His grandparents were living under aliases in a nearby town and confirmed his identity, investigators said.