The run-down, paint-chipped Detroit house where U.S. civil rights icon Rosa Parks took refuge after her historic bus boycott is going on display in Italy in a setting that couldn’t be more incongruous: the imposing central courtyard of the Royal Palace in Naples, Italy. It’s the latest stop for the house in a years-long saga that began when Parks’ niece saved the tiny two-story home from demolition in Detroit after the 2008 financial crisis. She donated it to an American artist who rebuilt it for public display in Germany, and now Italy, after failing to find a permanent resting place for it in the U.S As racial tensions seethe across the Atlantic, the exhibition of the home starting Tuesday has taken on fresh relevance. The display is being accompanied by a repeating soundtrack entitled “8:46” and lasting that long. It's the time it took for a Black man, George Floyd, to be killed by white police officers in a May slaying that has fueled the Black Lives Matter movement and protests around the nation in a reckoning with America’s history of slavery and racial injustice.
Many Americans have vivid memories of Jan. 28, 1986. That was the day the space shuttle Challenger exploded over a chilly Florida, just seconds after liftoff. School children across the country had tuned in to see Christa McAuliffe become the first teacher in space. One person watching was Steven Leckart, a space-obsessed elementary school kid. Like everyone else, he was shocked by the blast and felt the slow, sickening realization that all seven aboard were gone. “I remember wanting to be an astronaut and I remember wanting to go to space. And then I remember Challenger completely shattering my dream for that,” he recalled. Leckart has returned to that dark day as co-director of the four-part Netflix documentary series “Challenger: The Final Flight,” executive produced by J.J. Abrams and Glen Zipper. It premieres Wednesday.
Once-standout DEA agent says he conspired with drug cartel
A once-standout U.S. narcotics agent admitted Monday to conspiring to launder money with the same Colombian cartel he was sworn to fight — one of the most egregious betrayals of the badge in the history of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The disgraced agent, Jose I. Irizarry, pleaded guilty to 19 federal counts, including bank fraud and having diverted millions of dollars in drug proceeds from DEA control. The prosecution was not only an embarrassment for the DEA but could have long-lasting implications on its undercover money-laundering operations. It also raised questions about the level of supervision Irizarry received during his career, in which he had been entrusted with the government's use of front companies, shell bank accounts and couriers to combat international drug trafficking.