This is terrible
May 22, 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CBS News on Wednesday that a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador died while in the federal agency's custody last September.

Officials from the Office of Refugee Resettlement and Department of Homeland Security said this was the first death of a migrant child in federal custody since 2010. In the wake of her death, five other migrant children have died either while in U.S. custody or shortly after being released.

HHS spokesman Mark Weber said the girl was in a "medically fragile" state when she arrived in March at the Office of Refugee Resettlement in San Antonio. The girl had congenital heart defects, Weber said, and after undergoing surgery, she experienced complications that left her in a comatose state. In May, the girl was transported to a nursing facility in Phoenix, and on Sept. 26, she was moved to Omaha to be closer to family. She died on Sept. 29 from a fever and respiratory distress, Weber said.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) told CBS News he has "not seen any indication that the Trump administration disclosed the death of this young girl to the public or even to Congress. And if that's the case, they covered up her death for eight months, even though we were actively asking the question about whether any child had died or been seriously injured. We began asking that question last fall." Catherine Garcia

April 24, 2019

A 70-year-old woman died Tuesday afternoon at the Grand Canyon after falling over the edge of the South Rim.

Park authorities said they were notified at around 1 p.m. that an incident had occurred near the Pipe Creek Vista, The Arizona Republic reports. Using a helicopter, rescuers spotted the woman's body about 200 feet below the rim. Later in the afternoon, more than a dozen rescuers recovered the body. The woman's name has not been released.

Over the last two months, several people have fallen to their deaths at the Grand Canyon. In early April, a man tumbled over the edge of the canyon, and last month, a tourist from Hong Kong lost his balance while taking photos. Catherine Garcia

April 1, 2019

Only two days after Santa Anita Park reopened, another race horse died on the California track, the 23rd since Christmas.

The horse, Arms Runner, fell on a dirt track crossover. Another horse, La Sardane, tripped over him, but was able to get up and had no reported injuries, Santa Anita officials said in a statement. Because of the severity of Arms Runner's injury, he was euthanized.

Santa Anita was shut down March 3, due to the unexplained horse fatalities on its tracks. It reopened on Friday, although officials still do not know why so many horses have died there. "While this incident happened during competition on a track that has been deemed by independent experts to be safe, we are working closely with the California Horse Racing Board to understand if there was anything additional that we could have done to prevent today's tragedy," the park said in a statement. Catherine Garcia

March 29, 2019

Two visitors died in separate incidents this week at the Grand Canyon, including one person whose identity remains a mystery.

Early Thursday, a man in his fifties visiting from Hong Kong stumbled and fell while at Grand Canyon West, part of the Hualapai reservation outside the national park. The tourist was in an area known as Eagle Point and was taking photos when he fell into the canyon, The Associated Press reports. On Thursday afternoon, a helicopter lifted his body from 1,000 feet below the rim.

Previously, on Tuesday evening, a body was found in a wooded area south of Grand Canyon Village in Grand Canyon National Park. Authorities are trying to identify the person, believed to be a foreign national. A spokeswoman for the park told AP the cause of death isn't clear. The situation is being investigated by the National Park Service and the local medical examiner's office. Catherine Garcia

March 4, 2019

President Trump and immigration activists alike have decried how dangerous it is for migrants — and especially women — to trek through Mexico to the United States. Now, The New York Times has put a conservative estimate on that number, writing that it has compiled "more than 100 documented reports of sexual assault of undocumented women along the border in the past two decades."

The reported assaults come via "interviews with law enforcement officials, prosecutors, federal judges, and immigrant advocates around the country, and a review of police reports and court records in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California," the Times says. And seeing as undocumented women likely fear that filing reports with police will lead to deportation, officials tell the Times this number "likely only skims the surface" of assaults that actually occurred.

To get a sense of those unreported claims, the Times also interviewed migrant women and girls. One mother described how smugglers helped her cross into McAllen, Texas, then locked her in a room, drugged her, and "raped us so many times they didn't see us as human beings anymore." Other stories — some at the hands of border patrol agents — are similarly disturbing.

Trump said in January that "one in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico." That number seems to stem from "limited surveys," the Times says, but implies that assaults don't happen "after women reach the supposed safety of the United States." In fact, considering both these reported and unreported stories, sexual assault seems to be "an inescapable part of the collective migrant journey." Read more at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

January 14, 2019

The mayor of a city in Poland has died after being stabbed onstage during a charity event Sunday.

Pawel Adamowicz, who has been the mayor of Gdansk for 20 years, was attacked while live on television. The suspect who rushed the stage was recently released from prison, BBC reports. Adamowicz underwent five hours of surgery but died from his injuries, Poland's Health Minister confirmed.

Adamowicz, 53, was attending an annual charity event that raises money for hospital equipment. He was speaking onstage when a 27-year-old with a criminal record stabbed him in apparent revenge for his imprisonment. The suspect said Adamowicz's former Civic Platform party "had wrongfully imprisoned him" and that he was "tortured" in jail, BBC reports via local television footage. He is believed to have used a media pass to get past security, per Al Jazeera.

Adamowicz was re-elected to lead Gdansk, a city of about 500,000 people, for a sixth term in the fall. He had left the Civic Platform party to run as an independent, The Associated Press says. He was known as a progressive supporter of "sex education in schools, LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities," and "often mingled freely with citizens," AP writes. A spokeswoman for the opposing Law and Justice party said Adamowicz's murder should be "absolutely condemned by all" sides of the "political spectrum." Kathryn Krawczyk

January 3, 2019

The Holocaust's devastation may have ramped up faster than anyone imagined.

With limited data, previous reports have concluded that 6 million Jews were killed throughout the Holocaust. But just how quickly they were murdered has probably been vastly underestimated, a study published Wednesday found.

"Scholars have struggled to estimate death tolls" after retreating German forces destroyed records at the end of World War II, BuzzFeed News says. So for this study, Tel Aviv University biomathematician Lewi Stone looked at railroad records during the Holocaust's deadliest murder campaign. The yearlong Operation Reinhard saw 480 railway deportations from Polish towns, but three months of the campaign were especially deadly. About 1.5 million Jews were killed during just 100 days in 1942, the study shows.

This new finding reveals a "hyperintense kill rate" during Operation Reinhard, as the study puts it. While previous estimates put the Holocaust kill rate at an astounding 50,000 murders per month, the death rate may have been up to 10 times higher during those three months. That's about double the monthly death rate of 243,300 during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

A University of Bern historian suggested the new study's estimates are too high, saying the entire operation killed 1.32 million people, per BuzzFeed News. Still, seeing as "large-scale murder operations in the last 25 years" were possibly "preventable," the study says understanding the Holocaust and other genocides could be "the most important goal of social science."

Read more at BuzzFeed News, or read the whole study at Science Advances. Kathryn Krawczyk

December 14, 2018

Friday marked six years since 28 people, mostly children, were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On the same day, another threat to the school forced its evacuation.

At around 9 a.m. Friday, police say the Newtown, Connecticut school received a bomb threat and evacuated everyone inside, local ABC affiliate WCVB reports. Police later said the threat was likely not credible, but school was still canceled for the rest of the day, per local station Fox 61.

A wave of bomb threats were emailed to businesses, schools, and government buildings across the U.S. on Thursday, but were determined to be a hoax. Sandy Hook's threat didn't seem to be connected to these widespread threats, police told Fox 61. The building where the Sandy Hook shooting happened in 2012 was previously demolished and a new school was rebuilt. Police began sweeping the existing school after everyone was evacuated.

Local gun control group Newtown Action tweeted the news and asked readers to "please stand with our community as we attempt to survive another tragic anniversary." Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) quickly responded with the tweet below. Kathryn Krawczyk

See More Speed Reads