Nine stories you may have missed over the Thanksgiving weekend

December 2, 2013

First responders at the site of the Metro-North derailment on Sunday. (Craig Ruttle/Associated Press)

If you traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s possible you haven’t been able to keep up with the news over the long weekend. Maybe you saw snippets of something on CNN while hurrying through an airport, or maybe you skimmed the breaking news alerts on your phone, or maybe you just ignored everything while gorging on turkey and leftovers.

Here’s a refresher on what you may have missed since Wednesday and what you need to know on Monday:

Fatal Bronx train derailment

A Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx on Sunday morning, killing four people and injuring more than 60. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said speed may have been the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating this crash, the third serious Metro-North accident this year.

Ukranian protests

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched through Kiev, demanding new elections and the impeachment of Ukraine’s president. The protesters are demanding that President Viktor Yanukovich and his government resign after the president backed away from signing a deal that would have strengthened relations with the European Union. But the protests became violent as police used tear gas and flash grenades to drive back the demonstrators, injuring dozens (including multiple journalists).

Paul Walker killed in car crash

The actor, best known for starring in the “Fast and Furious” film franchise, was killed Sunday in a car accident. Walker, 40, had been attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out WorldWide when he and a friend took a Porsche for a drive in Santa Clarita, Calif. Authorities said speed may have been a factor in the crash, but they said it will take time to determine how fast the car was going. Friends and colleagues publicly mourned the deaths of Walker and Roger Rodas, the driver of the car.

Amazon Drones

Jeffrey P. Bezos, chief executive and founder of Amazon, told “60 Minutes” that he wants to use drones to deliver packages. (Disclosure: Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Here’s a look at what may be flying over your head at some point in the future (that future being some years hence, according to Amazon)

And here’s a video from Amazon:

Spending declines over Black Friday shopping weekend

Shoppers spent about $1.7 billion less over the holiday weekend than they did last year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation, with the expected total spending for the weekend falling to $57.4 billion from $59.1 billion. About 2 million more people shopped than did last year, but the average consumer’s spending dipped. Meanwhile, online spending reached a record $1.2 billion on the shopping holiday.

Coalition apologizes for killing Afghan child

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan apologized on Friday for accidentally killing a 2-year-old boy during an airstrike last week. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., commander of the U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to apologize. The target of the operation, a mid-level Taliban commander, was also killed. Officials wouldn’t say whether the strike was carried out by a drone or by a manned aircraft.

Obama may stay in Washington

President Obama said in an interview with Barbara Walters that he and first lady Michelle Obama may stay in the nation’s capital after his second term ends in 2017. The news was somewhat surprising, because Obama has regularly used D.C. as a punchline in his speeches and because he’d be the first former president to stay in town since Woodrow Wilson’s presidency ended in 1921. He said the family could stick around to allow their youngest daughter, Sasha, to graduate from Sidwell Friends School. (She would be a high school sophomore when Obama’s second term ends.)

Panda cub receives a name

The National Zoo’s panda cub has a name: Bao Bao, meaning precious or treasure. It was announced at a ceremony on Sunday following an online poll that saw more than 123,000 votes cast.

HealthCare.gov meets deadline for fixes

The Obama administration announced Sunday that it had met its goal of fixing the health-insurance marketplace, saying that HealthCare.gov is now working more than 90 percent of the time. But Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is still urging people to visit during off-peak hours.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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