U.S. Pays Tribute To 9/11 Victims 15 Years After Attacks

september 11 victimsAmericans commemorated the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on Sunday with the recital of the names of the dead, tolling church bells and a tribute in lights at the site where New York City’s massive twin towers collapsed.

As classical music drifted across the 9/11 Memorial plaza in lower Manhattan, family members and first responders slowly read the names and delivered personal memories of the almost 3,000 victims killed in the worst attack on U.S. soil since the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Tom Acquarviva lost his 29-year-old son Paul, who worked at financial services firm, Canter Fitzgerald on the 101st to 105th floors of the North Tower, just above where the first plane struck. Acquarviva was one of 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees killed in the attack.

“We miss him terribly. Terribly, terribly, terribly. Not a day goes by that we don’t remember him,” Acquarviva told Reuters. But he said he felt a sense of hope: “There are more people here today than there ever have been.”

The ceremony paused for six moments of silence: four to mark the exact times four hijacked planes were crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon near Washington D.C., and a Pennsylvania field. The last two record when the North and South towers of the Trade Center crumpled.

It was held by two reflecting pools with waterfalls that now stand in the towers’ former footprints, and watched over by an honor guard of police and firefighters.

More than 340 firefighters and 60 police were killed on the that sunny Tuesday morning in 2001. Many of the first responders died while running up stairs in the hope of reaching victims trapped on the towers’ higher floors.

At the Pentagon, a trumpet played as U.S. President Barack Obama took part in a wreath-laying ceremony.

Pistorius Appeals Murder Conviction

PistoriusSouth African athlete Oscar Pistorius is to seek an appeal against his conviction for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete’s defence lawyer has filed an application to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, urging a review of his murder conviction.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after firing four times through a locked toilet door.

He claimed he mistook her for a bugler and prosecutors argued he did not plan to kill her.

The Supreme Court upgraded the 29-year-old athlete’s sentence to murder from culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter, for which he had received a five-year sentence.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

Known as “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he used to race, Pistorius now faces a minimum 15-year jail sentence for murdering his girlfriend.

Pistorius won six Paralympic gold medals and was the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympic Games.

Oscar Pistorius Found Guilty Of Murder

Oscar PistoriusA South African appeals court overturned an earlier manslaughter verdict on Oscar Pistorius with the paralympic star now found guilty of murder.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

Pistorious killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after shooting four times through a locked toilet door.

He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail. He will have to return to court to be re-sentenced, for murder.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, but judges can apply some discretion.

In October 2014, a South African court had sentenced Oscar Pistorius to five years in jail.

The paralympic runner was convicted of culpable homicide for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, issuing the ruling in court in Pretoria, also gave Pistorius a three-year suspended sentence for a firearms charge.

The prosecution had called for a minimum 10-year sentence, while the defence called for community service and house arrest.

Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide but cleared of murder.

Oscar Pistorius To Know His Fate By Tuesday

PistoriusThe judge handling the killing of Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend and athlete, Oscar Pistorius, who is presently undergoing trial is expected to announce his sentence on Tuesday.

The five-day sentencing hearing of athlete, Oscar Pistorius, was adjourned on Friday after both defense and prosecution gave their closing statements.

The five-day sentencing hearing was adjourned on Friday after both the defence and prosecution gave their closing statements.

Mr Pistorius is awaiting the sentence for the conviction of culpable homicide, after he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

The athlete could serve a maximum of 15 years in prison for the crime.

The prosecution has called for Mr Pistorius to be incarcerated for 10 years, while the defence has argued that the double amputee should receive a maximum sentence of three years occasional house arrest, community service, and no jail time, claiming that violent South African prisons would “break” the athlete.

Mr Pistorius is also facing sentencing for his conviction of the negligent use of a firearm, for which the maximum sentence is five years. The conviction is for Mr Pistorius’s actions a month before Miss Steenkamp’s killing, when he fired a gun into the floor of a crowded restaurant.