Train engineer at center of Amtrak probe. An American is among the dead in Middle East terror attack. And it’s deadline day in Deflategate.
It’s Thursday, and here are five things to know for your New Day.
Focus on engineer: Philadelphia’s mayor says the engineer of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 is to blame for the derailment that’s left at least seven people dead. The National Transportation Safety Board says it’s too early to draw that kind of conclusion. After the NTSB announced yesterday that the train was traveling more than 100 mph as it entered a curve with a 50 mph speed limit, Mayor Michael Nutter lit into the engineer, identified as 32-year-old Brandon Bostian. Nutter called him “reckless” and said there was “no excuse” for Bostian to operate the train at such a high speed. An NTSB board member said we need more “facts before we start making judgments.” Bostian, after an initial interview with Philadelphia police, was brought in yesterday, but he declined to answer questions and left with a lawyer.
Terror attack: A U.S. citizen was among the five people killed yesterday when gunmen stormed a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. The siege started when gunmen attacked the Park Palace Guest House hotel, firing their weapons and trapping guests. It took five hours for Afghan special forces to kill the three men behind the attack and free about 50 people from the hotel. Of the dozens rescued, at least five people were wounded. The identities of the victims have not been released, and the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
No. 2 dead?: Iraq said yesterday that the No. 2 leader in ISIS — Abu Alaa al-Afri — was killed in a coalition airstrike. But the U.S. military said it hasn’t corroborated that. U.S. Defense Department spokesman Col. Steve Warren told CNN that the United States cannot independently confirm that high-value ISIS targets were killed in Iraq. Al-Afri also reportedly went by the name Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli — a name that’s on the State Department’s U.S. Rewards for Justice list with a $7 million bounty for information on him, the highest for any ISIS leader apart from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is valued at $10 million.
Coup attempt?: Conflicting claims in the African nation: A Burundian African Union official said yesterday that a military coup attempt is underway in Burundi, and a Western diplomat said that gunfire could be heard in the capital city of Bujumbura. But the government denied it was under threat, with a statement coming from President Pierre Nkurunziza’s office that some soldiers had mutinied but the coup attempt had been foiled. Nkurunziza has been seeking a third term, something prohibited by the agreement that ended the country’s civil war in 2003. Protesters determined to prevent his candidacy have demonstrated in the capital, and have been met with deadly force by police.
Blowback: The New England Patriots’ pushback against Tom Brady’s four-game suspension reaches a critical juncture today. That’s because Brady has until 5 p.m. today to appeal his Deflategate suspension. His agent had all but promised an appeal when the penalties — including a $1 million fine and loss of Patriots’ draft picks — were announced this week. The NFL Players Association said it will represent Brady in his appeal. Any hearing will begin within 10 days of the league’s receipt of his appeal. Brady’s appeal would be heard by either NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or an officer of his choosing.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
Singing Sandler: Adam Sandler is an actor and (sometimes) a singer. Watch his musical tribute to David Letterman.
Why?: An obviously insane man goes out for a “run” on the edges of a tall building.
Happy bunny: Somebody is super excited about their daily feeding.
Dr. Evil: A parrot announces his entrance with an evil laugh.