Samuel L Jackson says he carries a firearm and is against gun control

Actor says guns are a natural way for Americans to defend themselves and he would use one on an intruder in his home

The actor Samuel L Jackson has spoken out against gun control and revealed he carries a weapon that he would not hesitate to use against a burglar.

In a week when Barack Obama made a tearful plea for new rules to limit gun ownership in the wake of numerous mass shootings, Jackson, a lifelong Democrat, defended US citizens right to bear arms.

The 67-year-old said it was a natural way for Americans to defend themselves and their property.

Speaking to the Times, Jackson said he had continued carrying a gun after becoming a successful actor. I am not an unarmed citizen now, he said.

He added that he would use his gun against anyone trying to break into his home. He said he would tell any intruder: Get the fuck out of my house. I have a gun, adding that if the warning was ignored a big tongue of fire will come out of the end of this weapon.

Jackson is best known for his Oscar-nominated performance as a hitman in Quentin Tarantinos film Pulp Fiction, when he quoted passages from the book of Ezekiel about vengeance before killing his victims.

Jackson has expressed opposition to gun control before. In the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012, he told an interviewer: I dont think its about more gun control.

But in the latest intervention, he recalled how he grew up in an armed and segregated area of Tennessee. He said following the assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963, guns gave his neighbours a sense of security amid fears of white supremacists.

In my black community, everybody was loading their guns because we were just sure that, OK, they killed Kennedy, the Klan is coming for us, he said.

In the interview, Jackson also joked that he blamed Tarantino for the fact that he has never won an Oscar, after the director cut scenes out of the film Django Unchained.

He said: I talked a lot in Django. Its just not on screen because he cut it out. I looked at him like, Dude you left my Oscar on the floor.

But the actor insisted he was not bitter, claiming no one remembered Oscar winners.

Who won an Oscar for best actor last year? … I guarantee you, if you ask somebody who is the highest-grossing actor in the history of movies, theyll go, Oh, Samuel L Jackson.

Unfortunately for Jackson, however, he was overtaken in the last few days by Harrison Ford star of the record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the highest-grossing actor of all time.

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Human Drivers Are Afraid to Hand the Wheel to Robots

Davy Andrews is so adept at technology that he’s become the de facto IT troubleshooter in his office. But there’s one bit of tech he won’t touch: self-driving cars.

“I wouldn’t want to be the first to jump into something with that kind of risk,” said Andrews, 33, an administrative assistant at a New York investment firm. “I would have to see enough evidence that it is safer, considerably safer. From where we are right now, it’s hard to imagine getting to that point.”

Autonomous autos are advancing so rapidly that companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo are beginning to offer robot rides to everyday consumers. But it turns out the traveling public may not be ready. A recent survey by the American Automobile Association found that more than three-quarters of Americans are afraid to ride in a self-driving car. And it’s not just Baby Boomers growing increasingly fearful of giving up the wheel to a computer, a J.D. Power study shows — it’s almost every generation.

“One of the greatest deterrents to progress in this field is consumer acceptance,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told Bloomberg News last week at a department-sponsored conference in Detroit. “If there’s public concern about safety, security and privacy, we will be limited in our ability to help advance this technology.”

Most commuters don’t have access to a self-driving car, so Chao has called on Silicon Valley to “step up” and explain how they work. She and other regulators advocate for autonomy as a solution for curbing the hundreds of horrific collisions that happen every day in regular automobiles. Among those that end up being fatal, 94 percent are caused by human error, according to U.S. authorities.

Test Drives

Consumers will only become comfortable with driverless cars after they ride in them, Mary Barra, the chief executive officer of General Motors Co., said this week. The largest U.S. automaker is testing 180 self-driving Chevrolet Bolts and ultimately plans to put them in ride-hailing fleets, though it won’t say when.

Barra speaks at GM’s Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township, Michigan, on June 13.

Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

“You can talk about it, but until you experience it,” self-driving cars are hard to comprehend, Barra told reporters at the GM factory building the Bolts north of Detroit. “Once you’re in the vehicle and you see the technology, you understand how it works.”

A Michigan test facility for autonomous autos is looking at opening its proving grounds to the public to promote acceptance of driverless technology, said John Maddox, president of the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti.

“What we’re considering in Michigan is the second Sunday or the fourth Sunday of every month, we would invite the public in and let them actually experience this technology,” Maddox told a panel of lawmakers on Wednesday. “Driving it and experiencing it is worth a thousand words and pictures.”

Sit Back, Human Driver. Computers Will Take the Wheel: QuickTake

The opportunity for autonomy to make a meaningful impact on public safety is immense. Last year, 40,200 people died in motor-vehicle accidents on U.S. roads, the National Safety Council estimates. That was up 6 percent from the year before.

“Forty thousand people a year is unacceptable,” Alex Epstein, the council’s senior director of digital strategy, said during a panel discussion at the TU-Automotive technology conference in Detroit last week. “It’s a jumbo jet going down every couple days.”

‘Dark Space’

Dangerous as it may be to operate cars themselves, many drivers are anxious about autonomous technology because they associate it with the fragility of electronic devices. Laptops crash and calls drop with nagging regularity. The consequence of a computerized car crash is much greater.

“While it might be convenient to have a car drive for you, driving is a very high-stakes pursuit,” said Andrews, who has no interest in letting a robot take the wheel of his Volvo. “When things go wrong, it’s not the same as a normal computer error.”

Another culprit killing consumer confidence has been automakers over-hyping the capabilities of today’s driver-assist technologies. That’s led some drivers to drop their hands from the wheel even with systems built to require constant attention of the traffic environment, as was the case with the fatal crash last year of a driver in a Tesla operating in the semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

Respondents to J.D. Power’s survey made mention of Tesla crash and recognized vehicles with autonomous features can still get into accidents, said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of J.D. Power’s driver-interaction research.

“When you’re not in control and the vehicle is in control, now you’re in this dark space where you wonder ‘What actually happens if the technology fails?”’ she said. “This fear of failure is the major reason” consumers are wary.

Mercedes Ads

Regulators investigated the Tesla crash and cleared the company’s Autopilot system of fault in January. And the company hasn’t been the only one to come under scrutiny — Daimler AG last year pulled Mercedes-Benz ads that consumer groups complained had wrongly suggested its E-Class sedan with driver-assist features was fully autonomous.

The television spot showed the driver removing his hands from the wheel, even though the automaker’s Drive Pilot system requires resuming control every 30 seconds.

“The fastest way to make sure the public does not accept these technologies is to over-promise and then have some horrific crash because the consumer believed the capability was higher than it actually was,” Epstein said.

Another impediment to consumer acceptance may arise from semi-autonomous features, which should inspire confidence and instead feel unnatural and annoying, said Lukas Kuhn, chief technology officer at Tourmaline Labs Inc., a California company that analyzes driving behavior for insurance and ride-sharing companies.

Read more: Automakers bet gradualism will ease consumers’ anxieties

Driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, which adjusts speed to the flow of traffic and lane keeping that steers a car back into the lines, can feel intrusive rather than intuitive.

“In order to make the user buy into the feature, we have to make it feel more natural,” Kuhn said. “If I can drive this car way better than the machine, why should I take my hands off the wheel?”

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    Autonomous Vehicles Will Mean the End of Traffic Stops

    This article was published in partnership with The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the US criminal justice system. Sign up for their newsletter, or follow The Marshall Project on Facebook, or Twitter.

    If African-American motorists—or drivers of any color—deplore being pulled over for a broken taillight only to be socked with more serious charges, they can take heart that the practice should disappear within the next 20 years. Not that racial harmony will be achieved or that a new polymer will make taillights indestructible. Rather, its that human beings wont be doing the driving.

    “I think you would see the end of traffic stops,” Joseph A. Schafer, the criminal justice department head at Southern Illinois University, says of the coming of driverless cars. “It radically changes police-public encounters.”

    Schafer is a co-author of The Future of Policing and a member of Police Futurists International, a group describing itself as law enforcement and allied professionals focused on “improving criminal and social justice” through “long-range planning and forecasting.” Schafer predicts it would be futile to ticket the occupants of self-driving cars. The drivers may not own the vehicles, which could be part of a Google or General Motors fleet that picks up and drops off riders all day long. In that case, he passengers may not have any responsibility for operating or maintaining these vehicles.

    While driverless vehicles may seem like a distant fantasy, theyre not far off. Uber has begun offering its service using semi-autonomous Ford Fusions in Pittsburgh. Automakers and tech companies are spending billions of dollars battling to be the first to bring fully autonomous vehicles to the market, with Ford promising to do so by 2021.

    There are driverless taxis in Singapore and minibuses in Switzerland and, if you or your neighbor has a recent-model car with adaptive cruise control, lane assist and collision avoidance, it already possesses the technology to drive itself. All thats needed to remove human drivers from the equation is for the cars to better learn to read and respond to the roads.

    Various predictions envision a driverless society within 10 to 30 years. That means police departments mustbegin to develop tactics and equipment that arent dependent on cruising and pulling people over. They havent done so.

    “For the last decade, Ive been talking to police executive training programs about the future of policing,” says Schafer. “I would talk about autonomous cars. People looked at me like I was nuts”—until media attention focused on Googles testing of autonomous cars.

    Since then, officials have become more aware but still havent begun serious planning, Schafer says. “Im dealing with people in the second half of their career,” he says. “Most assume they won’t be in law enforcement by the time it becomes an issue. Some are banking on it: ‘Man, this is going to be a headache. Im glad I won’t be around to take care of it.’”

    Losing the pretext stop—where officers stopa motorist for a minor violation in order to investigate a potentially more serious crime—is no small thing. Schafer estimates such stops, along with traffic accidents, account for roughly half of all encounters with the public. Bernard Levin, a retired professor of psychology at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia., and a co-author of The Future of Policing, calls it the “major means of catching people when we dont know who were going for.”

    Other innovations also are poised to make cruising obsolete, including cameras at stoplights and speed monitors that offer 24/7 traffic enforcement at a fraction of the cost of humans officers and that already capture video of more serious crimes as they occur.Schafer sayspatrol drones might be the next stage.

    “You could have multiple drones with one person back at the station applying human judgment when something pops up,” says Schafer. “Unlike today driving around, they might observe a fight in process.”

    Levin is skeptical that surveillance will supplant live policing.

    “Most of policing isn’t about technology, its about people, and the technology is an add-on,” he says. “There still will be tremendous need for a street cop, a patrol cop, to go to where the problem is and help people solve the problem. Sometimes you help people by arresting them. Most of the time, you just talk people out and help them wind up better than they were. The drone doesn’t help you do that.”

    The experts do agree, however, that innovations will make it far easier for police to quickly get to a scene, regardless of how theyre notified. Google already has received a patent on light detection and spacial recognition technology directing its driverless vehicles to clear the way for emergency vehicles. Expect future squad cars to add to a layer of redundancy by electronically announcing their presence to the traffic stream.

    As for old-fashioned cops-and-robbers, high-speed chases are becoming obsolete too, says Levin. After John Dillinger and friends souped-up their getaway cars to leave Keystone Kops-style wagons in the dust, the high-performance squad car made its debut. But with the information explosion and cameras everywhere, the police chase today is not worth the risk, especially with accidents involving civilians, Levin says.

    “I can go rob a bank in Sheboygan and 20 minutes later, they will have figured out who it is,” he says. “Once they know who it is, its not hard [to find them.] Its very hard to go anywhere without leaving footprints.

    Yet like Dillinger, expect criminals also to embrace driverless technology. “A cop will tell you very quickly, ‘Gee, what you have now done is create a wonderful system for the transport of contraband,’” Levin says.He offers a solution: With fully autonomous cars and highways all interconnected, roads and vehicles could simply be powered off.

    “Think of it as a bumper car ride in an amusement park,” he says. “You can certainly have central control.”

    If authorities know which vehicle carries the suspect , it could be disabled remotely (or for that matter, the car could be instructed to lock its doors from the inside and drive itself to the police station.) But its more difficult if its a manhunt involving a random car among several miles of vehicles on Interstate 95. “How far back (do you go)?” asks Levin. “Are you going to stop the whole country every time you have one bad guy in Springfield, Virginia?”

    Another futurist paints a more chilling picture, where the driverless world intersects with terrorism.

    The FBI actually put out a warning bulletin two or three years ago on what are called VBIEDs vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, says Marc Goodman, a global security consultant and author of Future Crimes. “Take the suicide bomber out of the mix and now you can have that very same threat delivered to your doorstep autonomously.”

    You dont have to wait for the future: Somecars alreadycan park themselves with no one inside, and options like Teslas Summon feature allow the car to pull out of a space and drive itself to you a few dozen feet away. Thats just enough time and distance for a terrorist to set an explosive device and walk away into a crowd leaving little time for police to react.

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    Suspect in fatal Texas cop shooting captured

    The suspect in the fatal shooting of a Texas trooper with the Department of Public Safety was captured after an hours-long manhunt on Thursday.

    Officials in Limestone and Freestone counties conducted a massive, hours-long search for the suspect, Darbrett Black, who fled the scene of the shooting in a grey Chevy Malibu. He was arrested in a neighboring county after a stand-off with law enforcement.

    “Suspect in today’s fatal TXDPS trooper shooting in Freestone County has been captured in Waller County near Prairie View. Excellent operation by numerous agencies to take this suspect into custody with no additional casualties,” the Navarro County Office of Emergency Management said on Twitter.

    According to police scanner traffic, two women may have also been in the suspect’s vehicle when the shooting happened, says a report on

    The Texas Department of Public Safety said on Twitter that the shooting occurred before 4 p.m. Thursday on Interstate 45 south of Fairfield, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Dallas. The agency said the suspect shot and killed the trooper with a rifle during a traffic stop. The suspect then fled the scene.

    The trooper has not been identified.

    Hours later, the Waller County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect’s vehicle was spotted in Hempstead, more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) south of Fairfield. Waller County authorities said shots were fired, but did not indicate who opened fire.

    Authorities from multiple agencies were able to end a brief standoff, subduing the suspect and placing him under arrest.

    Online jail records show that Black was last booked into the Smith County jail in Tyler on September 7, 2017 on charges of evading arrest, aggravated assault of a public servant and reckless driving, according to KBTX.

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has released a statement that says: “I am saddened to hear of the tragic death of a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper killed today in Freestone County. This trooper died selflessly serving Texas.”

    Governor Greg Abbott also released a statement on Thursday evening during the height of the manhunt.

    “With heavy hearts on this Thanksgiving, Cecilia and I express our most sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the trooper who was callously killed today in the line of duty,” he said in the statement. “…The killer will face justice, and the State of Texas will continue to offer our unwavering support for the men and women in law enforcement who keep our communities safe.”

    Thursday’s shooting marked the second in the line duty death for the Texas DPS.

    Senior Trooper Thomas Nipper, 62, was conducting a traffic stop on the southbound shoulder of I-35 in Temple at approximately 3:05 p.m. on Saturday, November 4 when his patrol unit was struck from behind by a Chevrolet pickup, according to Fox 7 Austin.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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    Why George Michael’s ‘Freedom! 90’ lives on

    (CNN)It’s one of the decade’s most iconic music videos, an unforgettable 1990’s style moment and an enduring reminder of the rise of the supermodel.

    Wind back the clock to October 1990, when five of the biggest supermodels on the planet: Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Tatjana Patiz, starred in the David Fincher-directed video for George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90.”
    Michael, who died on Sunday aged 53, had requested the models after seeing the same five pose for fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh’s iconic Vogue cover.
    “UK Vogue’s editor Liz Tilberis asked me to capture the ‘new’ woman of the Nineties,” Lindbergh tells CNN.
      That cover showcasing the five natural beauties, stripped down, in black and white catapulted each woman’s career to stardom.
      “The idea was not to photograph women on social status but women independent of themselves who didn’t need to look at their husbands. It [the photo] turned out to be the new thing that everyone was waiting for. People could see they represented a different world.”
      “They were strong, intelligent, they knew what a woman was and they were really clever. After this came the explosion of supermodels. Everyone jumped on them.”

      #May you R .I.P GeorgeMichael the man with the Golden Angelic voice . #freedom90 was an honor #faith

      A photo posted by Naomi Campbell (@iamnaomicampbell) on Dec 25, 2016 at 8:01pm PST

      Linda Evangelista, sporting a platinum blonde crop and an oversized black turtleneck, opens the “Freedom! ’90” video, spliced between Michael lip-syncing the lyrics: “I won’t let you down, I will not give you up, gotta have some faith in the sound, it’s the one good thing that I’ve got.”
      What follows are smoldering scenes of the models, lip-syncing to the then 27-year-old’s third single off his “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1” album.
      Campbell, Evangelista, Turlington and Crawford would later sing along to “Freedom! ’90” to close Versace’s Fall/Winner 1991 runway.
      “25 years later, this video and not my magazine covers is what people mention the most when they approach me on the street. It’s pretty incredible,” Evangelista told Harper’s Bazaar during the 25th anniversary of the video’s debut.
      Lynnette Peck, a fashion retailer and style journalist who worked at Vogue in the 90s, vividly remembers seeing the video for the first time.
      “I was at university and MTV was on at the student’s union. It was one of the only videos that was playing at the time. We already knew those models from the Vogue cover and before.”
      Peck said she suspects that Michael understood the power of these women, and sought to give them a platform for their empowerment, long before the “Girl Power” movement seen years later.

      I am beyond heartbroken and devastated by another tragic loss. R.I.P. dearest Georgy. #GeorgeMichael #ripgeorgemichael

      A photo posted by Linda Evangelista (@lindaevangelista) on Dec 25, 2016 at 3:55pm PST

      “I remember at the time it was controversial that George didn’t really appear in the video — but to have all these beautiful women instead?”
      “But now I suspect that he was making a statement … women didn’t have any power in videos back then. They were normally just cast as the girlfriend.”
      Lindbergh says he had no personal contact with Michael but did watch the video.
      “The girls were really excited. They were on this major video, a little bit ridiculously proud to be doing it — so I had to laugh and not take them so seriously in it.”
      In September, Vogue produced a modern, colorful tribute starring the likes of Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls and Liu Wen to celebrate the video’s anniversary and New York Fashion Week. Each model in the video, wore a look straight from the runway.
      Following the announcement of his death on Sunday, Campbell, Evangelista, Turlington and Crawford paid tribute to Michael.
      “I am beyond heartbroken and devastated,” wrote Evangelista, while Crawford wrote: “His bravery inspired all of us.”

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      Jobs for all? In the US that notion is about to be tested to destruction | John Harris

      Donald Trump says hell bring back full employment. But perhaps no politician has the power to deliver this

      The story has instead got lost in the midst of Donald Trumps statements this week about his fabled wall, the merits of torture, and all the other stuff that has underlined the frightening nature of his arrival in power but on Monday, the new chairman hosted a remarkable meeting.

      In the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Trump held talks with the leaders of US trade unions: among them, the presidents of the Laborers International Union of North America, the Smart( it stands for sheet metal, air, rail and transportation) Union, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Despite US unions overwhelmingly backing Hillary Clinton the carpenters, for example, lately warned that Trumps legacy will ruin America all was apparently warmth and cordiality.

      The respect that the president of the United States just showed us was nothing short of incredible, said Sean McGarvey, president of the umbrella organisation North Americas Building Trades Unions. He then praised Trumps plans for infrastructure, trade and energy policy, and appeared ahead to the administration putting America back to run, with the middle class chores our members and all Americans are demanding.

      Welcome, once again, to the element of Trump-ism that liberal dismay drowns out, but which partly accounts for the fact that this most unqualified of chairpeople is in office and which, for all his dismal approval ratings, is surely playing pretty well in the post-industrial places whose support took him over the line in November.

      Understand that, and you may realise why his aloud ridiculed inauguration speech may have sounded potent and promising to millions of Americans. Through the same prism, furthermore, you might be able to discern something too often overlooked: that amid Trumps lies and intolerance, there may lurk a political project of spectacular daring. In the way it put Trump on political ground long assumed to belong to the Democrats, one US columnist said the summit with the unions represented a great act of political theft. The same applies to his economic policy on the whole.

      Put simply, Trump and his people want to eat the American lefts lunch. At the same hour, its intention to shred the Republican partys ingrained belief in laissez-faire economics, reset rightwing politics somehow bagging 60% of the white vote, and 40% of the black and Hispanic vote whereupon a new daybreak will transgress and well govern for 50 years. The quotes come from the interview Trumps infamous strategist Steve Bannon dedicated to the writer Michael Wolff, a few days after Trump was elected. Like[ Andrew] Jacksons populism, were going to build an entirely new political motion, he said. Its everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy With negative interest rates throughout the world, its the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Shipyards, ironworks, get them all jacked up It will be as exciting as the 1930 s, greater than the Reagan revolution conservatives, plus populists, in an economic patriot movement.

      Trump puts this in his customary route, with a familiar sense that he hasnt fully guessed things through: We are going to put a lot of people back to run. We are going to use common sense and we are going to do it the way it is supposed to be done.

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      Proof That Even Your Favorite Star Wars Characters Are Human

      1) Harrison Ford as Han Solo, 1980 and 2015

      You cant turn on any media device without seeing something about Star Wars: The Force Awakens these days. And its hard to believe that almost two generations have passed since the first Star Wars film was released in cinemas.

      Over the last 38 years, a total of seven feature-length movies in the franchise have been shown on the silver screen. And while the appeal remains the same to Star Wars fanatics, the way some of the actors and actresses look has changed throughout the years because, well, theyre human (even if some of them dont play a human in the movies).

      2) Ewan McGregor as young Obi-Wan Kenobi, 2005 and 2015
      3) Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, 1977 and 2015
      4) Kenny Baker as R2-D2, 1977 and 2015
      5) Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, 1977 and 2015
      6) Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, 1977 and 2015
      7) Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala, 2003 and 2015
      8) Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, 1980 and 2015
      9) Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, 1980 and 2014
      10) Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, 1977 and 2015
      11) Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, 2005 and 2015<
      12) Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, 2005 and 2015
      13) David Prowse as Darth Vader, 1977 and 2015
      14) Denis Lawson as Wedge Antilles, 1980 and 2015
      15) Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine, 2005 and 2015
      16) Ray Park as Darth Maul, 1999 and 2015
      17) Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn, 1999 and 2015
      18) Jake Lloyd as Young Anakin Skywalker, 1999 and 2015
      May the Force be with you!

      Via: Bored Panda

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      Former Saints defensive aim Will Smith shot and killed in New Orleans

      Smith, 34, shooting multiple times in apparent road-rage incident, and police arrest and charge suspect with murder

      Former New Orleans Saint player Will Smith was shot and killed Saturday after a traffic accident, and police apprehended a suspect in the shooting on Sunday.

      New Orleans city coroner Jeffrey C Rouse said in an emailed statement that Smith succumbed of multiple gunshot meanders after a traffic accident in the citys Lower Garden District. The former defensive objective was 34 years old.

      Cardell Hayes, 28, was apprehended on a charge of second-degree murder in Smiths death, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Tyler Gamble said Sunday. Police said Hayes was the driver of a Humvee H2 that rear-ended Smiths Mercedes G6 3 at about 11.30 pm on Saturday. A passenger in Hayes vehicle was questioned and released, he said.

      Gamble said the investigation was continuing. Online court records present Hayes plead guilty in 2014 to one count each of possessing an illegal weapon and possessing narcotic paraphernalia.

      Saints owner Tom Benson and family released a statement mourning the loss of a player who had been their No. 1 draft pick in 2004.

      The Saints family is hurting and devastated as it has lost a member too young and too soon, the statement said.

      The Smith family released a statement through a public relations firm.

      On behalf of the Smith family, we are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers. We ask that you continue to respect the familys privacy as they mourn the loss of a devoted husband, parent and friend, the statement read.

      NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement offering his condolences to the family.

      The former defensive end was driving through an upscale part of the city called the Lower Garden District when his auto was rear-ended and pushed into a Chevrolet Impala occupied by two acquaintances of Smiths, police said. The acquaintances were not injured.

      Police said Smith and Hayes argued and Hayes pulled out a gun, shooting Smith and Smiths wife. Racquel Smith, 33, was hit in the leg and taken to a hospital. Smith succumbed at the scene.

      Smith, a aborigine of Queens, New York, played for Ohio Nation 2002 national championship team and was a first-round draft selection by New Orleans in 2004.

      He resulted the Saints with a career-high 13 sacks in 2009, when the club won its merely Super Bowl. Smiths career sack total ranks fourth in Saints history. He had 457 career tackles, 20 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
      He last played in an NFL regular season game in 2012, finishing his career with 67{ bags.

      During the 2013 preseason, a knee trauma forced him onto injured reserve. He was signed in the 2014 offseason by New England but did not build the Patriots regular season roster.

      Smith was defensive captain for much of his career, but it was also that leadership role that landed him at the center of the NFLs bounty probe in 2012. The league concluded that Smith and fellow defensive captain Jonathan Vilma helped run a locker-room pool that paid cash bonuses for heavy and even injurious makes.

      Smith was initially suspended four games by Goodell, but Smith and three other implicated players successfully appealed their suspensions and was ever compelled to miss games, even as Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended the entire 2012 season.

      A year earlier, however, Smith did have to serve a two-game suspension that stemmed from findings back in 2008 that he and several other NFL players had used a weight-loss product called StarCaps, which contained a diuretic that had been banned by the league because it was known to mask steroid utilize. That suspension was enforced after legal challenges the spanned several seasons.

      Off the field, Smith took an active role in trying to improve the lives of children in New Orleans. He established a foundation called, Where Theres A Will, Theres A Way, in 2007. Its stated mission is to motivate, educate and provide opportunities for women and children.

      After football, he settled in Louisiana, his wifes native country. His shooting came during the course of its weekend of the French Quarter festival, a popular festival featuring local music and food.

      Smith leaves behind his wife and three children.

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      Downtown Seattle is now basically Amazon central

      Businesswoman working on digital tablet on deck of office overlooking cityscape

      Image: Thomas Barwick/ Getty Images

      Walk down Seventh avenue in downtown Seattle and you can’t miss them: Three gigantic spheres resembling melted-together Milk Duds rising in the shadow of Amazons new 500 -foot-tall office tower.

      The architectural oddity has already become a tourist attraction and social media phenomenon. Passersby snap photographs and watch building crews attach glass panes to the steel frames. Images stream through Instagram and Twitter.

      When they open in 2018, the 100 -foot-tall orbsAmazon calls them Biosphereswill host more than 300 plant species from around the world, generating what the company sees as the workplace of the future. Amazonians will be able to break from their daily labors to walk amid the greenery along suspension bridges and climb into meeting spaces resembling bird nests perched in mature trees, where the company expects them to brainstormand perhaps even fabricate the next billion-dollar opportunity.

      The future Inc headquarters is insured near the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington. Seattle has watched significant development since the arrival of, Inc.

      Image: David Ryder/ Bloomberg

      Amazon’s new headquarters was designed to project a forward-thinking company eager to help employees be more productive, creative and happy by providing a connection to nature. But the most trend-setting and appealing feature of the new complex is most likely its locating: plopped between glass and steel high-rises on a busy street in downtown Seattle where food trucks are abundant, apartments are within strolling distance and Happy Hour greets employees at quitting time.

      Over the years, founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has made clear his dislike for the free lunch, massages and other perks commonplace in the suburban enclaves of Google, Apple and Facebook. His big advantage in the amenities arms race is a commitment to preserving an urban campus , no matter how big his company gets.

      Other tech companies are following his leading by squeezing new offices into cities where millennials prefer to live. LinkedIn consolidated personnel scattered around San Francisco into a 26 -story tower in March. will be the anchor renter in a 61 -story skyscraper a few miles away that will be the city’s tallest upon completion in 2018. Uber has plans for a new headquarters in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. Industrial-age leviathans are doing it, too. General Electric is shifting from suburban Connecticut to Boston, while McDonald’s is moving from Oak Brook, Illinois, to Chicago.

      SEE ALSO: Tesla Solar wants to be the Apple store for electricity

      Amazon’s is the most ambitious gambit of them all. When its realms and three surrounding towers are completed, the company will have 10 million square feet of office space in Seattle, more than 15 percent of the city’s inventory, on a campus that occupies more than 10 square blocks. That will provide space for Amazon to more than double in size, to 50,000 Seattle workers in the next decade. “How big can Amazon get and stay in Seattlethats what theyre trying to find out, ” says Glenn Kelman, founder and CEO of online real estate company Redfin. “Can you create a massive company in the middle of a city? “

      Amazon’s commitment to Seattle began long before the realms were conceived. In 2010, the company moved to South Lake Union from leased space it was outgrowing in an old medical building. Amazon leased retail space on the ground floor of its office builds to hand-picked bars, restaurants and coffee shops, speeding the neighborhood’s transformation from a potpourrus of auto dealerships and second-hand stores into a vibrant business district where people could run, live and hang out.

      Construction employees are pictured at the future Inc headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Seattle has seen significant development since the arrival of, Inc.

      Image: David Ryder/ Bloomberg

      Veteran fine-dining restaurateur Tom Douglas was among the businesses seduced by a growing concentration of well-paid tech workers. His survey of Amazon employees indicated they wanted cheap burgers and beer, which encouraged him to break from his traditional model and open the Brave Horse Tavern with a wide assortment of local brews, taverns fare and long tables for family-style seat. “I’m sure glad we did that survey, because we might not going to go with this concept otherwise, ” Douglas said. “At the time , none of us realized how big and fast Amazon would grow.” The economic ripplings from Amazon have since pushed beyond burger joints and cafes. Yellow cranes mark the skyline where new office towers, hotels and luxury apartments are rising.

      Just six years after relocating, Amazon has outgrown South Lake Union and is marching toward the city’s urban core. The realms are the company’s boldest architectural statement yet in the first project it’s constructing from the ground up.

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      They were inspired by Amazon research indicating that a key thing missing from typical work environments is a link to the natural world, said John Schoettler, the company’s global real estate director. The challenge was creating an environment is contributing to plants without being hot and muggy like a greenhouse; the spheres had to be comfortable for humans.

      A staff horticulturist scoured the globe for species that they are able thrive in a cool, dry environment. Many of the plants are endangered species, meaning that the spheres double as a preservation project. Schoettler said the design was chosen to be an architectural focal point in the city, similar to the iconic Space Needle. “We wanted to create a place employees would be proud of and proud to bring their families, ” he said.

      Inevitably, the company’s growing presence is inducing it a scapegoat for common urban woes such as traffic jam and rising rents. New, luxury, one-bedroom apartments packed with amenities that appeal to young urban tech employees fetch upwards of $4,000 a month, putting them out of reach of the Starbucks barista.

      To some long-time Seattleites, the new South Lake Union feelings sterile, like an open-air mall. Wide sidewalks are devoid of cigarette butts and shattered brew bottles. Street people banging bongos and strumming acoustic guitars with mangy dogs in tow, a common sight in Seattles retail and fiscal districts, are conspicuously absent. South Lake Union has become “a dormitory for Amazon and now Facebook and Google, ” said Jeff Reifman, a tech consultant.

      Seattle, South Lake Union, Amazon campus, Kindle, new technology and science office builds, employees at lunchtime,

      Image: Joel Rogers/ Getty Images

      Meanwhile, the Space Needle’s owneds have complained that all the towers being thrown up by Amazon and developers hoping to house its workers are crowding out views of the aging tourist attraction.

      For now, Amazon’s growth seems unstoppable, and it will continue to redefine Seattle, one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Nathan Wilhite, 36, helped gasoline that growth when he moved from Chicago to Seattle four years ago. He rides his motorcycle to work, parks it in an Amazon bike locker and rains before starting at about 8 a. m. He’ll break for a spinach, avocado and almond milk smoothie while catching some sun in a courtyard where other Amazonians congregate to eat lunch.

      Wilhite is glad he picked the Amazon job over opportunities he considered in Silicon Valley that would have necessitated long commutes by auto. The style he considers it, “one of the best recruiting tools Amazon has is if people come interview on a nice day, and people are sitting outside having lunch from a food truck.”

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