WASHINGTON – A man set himself on fire on the National Mall in the nations capital as passers-by rushed over to help douse the flames, officials and witnesses said Friday afternoon.
The reason for the self-immolation was not immediately clear, and the mans identity was not disclosed. But it occurred in public view, on a central national gathering place, in a city still rattled by a mass shooting last month and a high-speed car chase outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday that ended with a woman being shot dead by police.
The man on the Mall suffered life-threatening injuries and was flown to a hospital, said Tim Wilson, District of Columbia fire department spokesman.
He was standing by himself in the center portion of the Mall when he emptied the contents of a red gasoline can on himself and set himself on fire, said Katy Scheflen, who witnessed it as she walked across the area.
Red Cross to aid those still displaced after Sandy
The Red Cross has stepped in to help hundreds of Superstorm Sandy evacuees thrown into housing limbo after New York City stopped paying to put them up in hotels.
Nearly 300 people displaced by the October storm were still staying in 27 hotels at city expense this week, but their last night on the citys dime came Thursday. As of Friday, they were to be on their own.
The Red Cross said Friday it has committed up to $1 million to extend the hotel stays of many of those families. It wasnt immediately clear, though, whether all would get help in time to avoid eviction.
Foster dad 1 of 2 slain at deer camp by boy, 14
One of the two men shot and killed in a deer-hunting camp in northeastern Oregon was the foster father of the 14-year-old boy identified as the shooter, authorities said Friday.
Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer also said two guns were involved – a hunting rifle and a revolver – and the shootings both occurred around midnight Wednesday, with one victim shot inside a cabin and the other one outside.
Michael Piete, 43, was the foster father of the suspect, whose name has not been released because of his age, authorities said. The other victim was Kenneth C. Gilliland, 64.
Palmer would not say whether a motive had been established, but said investigators did not believe it was alcohol-related.
Navy may redo building where slayings occurred
The Navy is considering an extensive redesign of the Washington Navy Yard building where 12 workers were gunned down last month.
A contract for repairs to Navy Yard Building 197 directs the contractor to create a different sense of place to soften the impact on returning occupants.
The Navy says it hasnt decided whether Naval Sea Systems Command will still be headquartered in the five-story, red brick building damaged by the shootings on Sept. 16.
Bethesda, Md., consultant Rich Harwood helped Newtown, Conn., devise a proposal to demolish the elementary school were 26 people were killed in a shooting last December, and to build a new school nearby.
He says the Navys decision isnt about a building, but about whether people are ready to move from trauma and despair to healing and hope.
Special visas OK’d for Iraqis who helped US
The White House says President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure providing special visas for Iraqis who risked their lives to help the United States.
The special visa has allowed more than 12,000 Iraqi contractors, interpreters and others who aided U.S. efforts, and their family members, to move to the U.S. since 2007. It expired this week, with about 2,000 applications still pending.
In a rare instance of bipartisanship, both chambers of Congress passed the measure within hours of each other this week.
Protracted shutdown may threaten Amtrak
Amtrak, the U.S. intercity passenger railroad, may have trouble staying on track if a U.S. government shutdown is prolonged for a month or more.
The Washington-based railroad, which has never made money, gets 12 percent of its operating budget and most capital and debt-service funding from U.S. appropriations through the Transportation Department.
Ticket revenue for Amtrak may also decline, further crimping cash flow, with government workers not traveling, said Ross Capon, president of the National Association of Railroad Passengers, a Washington-based advocacy group.
Washington is Amtraks second-busiest market by ticket sales after New York, with 5 million passengers a year coming or going from the citys Union Station.