Frank Russell Capra was an Italian-American film director and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles from the age of five, his rags-to-riches story has led film historians such as Ian Freer to consider him the "American Dream personified."Capra became one of America's most influential directors during the 1930s, winning three Academy Awards for Best Director from six nominations, along with three other Oscar wins from nine nominations in other categories. Among his leading films were It Happened One Night, You Can't Take It with You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. During World War II, Capra served in the U. S. Army Signal produced propaganda films, such as the Why We Fight series. After World War II, Capra's career declined as his films, such as It's a Wonderful Life, performed poorly when they were first released. In ensuing decades, however, It's a Wonderful Life and other Capra films were revisited favorably by critics.
Outside of directing, Capra was active in the film industry, engaging in various political and social activities. He served as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, worked alongside the Writers Guild of America, was head of the Directors Guild of America. Capra was born Francesco Rosario Capra in Bisacquino, a village near Palermo, Italy, he was the youngest of seven children of Salvatore Capra, a fruit grower, the former Rosaria "Serah" Nicolosi. Capra's family was Roman Catholic; the name "Capra", notes Capra's biographer Joseph McBride, represents his family's closeness to the land, means "goat". He notes that the English word "capricious" derives from it, "evoking the animal's skittish temperament", adding that "the name neatly expresses two aspects of Frank Capra's personality: emotionalism and obstinacy."In 1903, when he was five, Capra emigrated to the United States with his family, who traveled in one of the steerage compartments of the steamship Germania, the cheapest way to book passage.
For Capra, the journey, which took 13 days, remained in his mind for the rest of his life as one of his worst experiences: You're all together—you have no privacy. You have a cot. Few people have trunks or anything that takes up space, they have just what they can carry in a bag. Nobody takes their clothes off. There's no ventilation, it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you could be. Capra remembers the ship's arrival in New York Harbor, where he saw "a statue of a great lady, taller than a church steeple, holding a torch above the land we were about to enter", he recalls his father's exclamation at the sight: Ciccio, look! Look at that! That's the greatest light since the star of Bethlehem! That's the light of freedom! Remember that The family settled in Los Angeles's East Side, which Capra described in his autobiography as an Italian "ghetto". Capra's father worked as a fruit picker and young Capra sold newspapers after school for 10 years, until he graduated from high school.
Instead of working after graduating, as his parents wanted, he enrolled in college. He worked through college at the California Institute of Technology, playing banjo at nightclubs and taking odd jobs, which included working at the campus laundry facility, waiting tables, cleaning engines at a local power plant, he studied chemical engineering and graduated in the spring of 1918. Capra wrote that his college education had "changed his whole viewpoint on life from the viewpoint of an alley rat to the viewpoint of a cultured person". Soon after graduating from college, Capra was commissioned in the United States Army as a second lieutenant, having completed campus ROTC. In the Army, he taught mathematics to artillerymen at San Francisco, his father died during the war in an accident. In the Army, Capra contracted Spanish flu and was medically discharged to return home to live with his mother, he became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1920, taking the name Frank Russell Capra. Living at home with his siblings and mother, Capra was the only family member with a college education, yet he was the only one who remained chronically unemployed.
After a year without work, seeing how his siblings had steady jobs, he felt he was a failure, which led to bouts of depression and abdominal pains discovered to have been an undiagnosed burst appendix. After recovering at home, Capra moved out and spent the next few years living in flophouses in San Francisco and hopping freight trains, wandering the Western United States. To support himself, he took odd jobs on farms, as a movie extra, playing poker, selling local oil well stocks. During this time the 24-year-old Capra directed a 32-minute documentary film titled La Visita Dell'Incrociatore Italiano Libya a San Francisco. Not only did it document the visit of the Italian naval vessel Libya to San Francisco, but the reception given to the crew of the ship by San Francisco's L'Italia Virtus Club, now known as the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club. At 25, Capra took a job selling books published by American philosopher, Elbert Hubbard. Capra recalled that he "hated being a peasant, being a scrounging new kid trapped in the Sicilian ghetto of Los Angeles....
All I had was cockiness—and let me tell you that gets you a long way." During his book sales efforts—and nearly broke—Capra read a newspaper article about a new movie studio opening in San Francisco. Capra phoned them saying he had moved from Hollywood
The 2010 Papua New Guinea bus crash was a collision of two buses in Papua New Guinea on 14 January 2010. At least 40 people were killed after a Route 100 Coaster bus and a Route 3 public motor vehicle crashed head-on in Papua New Guinea's worst road accident; the accident happened 130 km outside of Lae, in Morobe province. It was described as "one of the saddest days in the history of road accidents", occurring in an "impoverished" country; the local morgue was unable to cope with demand. Two of the dead may have been taken elsewhere; the two buses were intended to carry only twenty-five people each but were overloaded at the time of the incident. They were said to have been speeding, travelling as fast as 100 km/h; the drivers could not avoid a collision. Bodies were thrown across the road, some onto tar, some onto grass. Broken heads and necks were seen by onlookers. A policeman said: "This accident appears to have occurred when both drivers tried to avoid potholes, in the process collided"; some local people rushed to assist those in need of attention, claiming they had never before seen such a "bloody and macabre" scene.
Many of those injured died on the scene quite quickly. Eight others received serious wounds. Many more died. Eighteen people were hospitalised in the aftermath of the accident. Eight of these people were left in intensive care; some of these eight are not expected to survive. One passenger, 22-year-old Gideon Jack, said he was asleep at the time of the crash and woke up to find his bloodied body being loaded into a truck. Media in Papua New Guinea posted what were described by ABC Radio Australia's News as "shocking photographs of bodies hanging out of the mangled wreckage of the two buses"; the buses were described by media in Australia as "mangled wrecks". Angau Hospital in Lae saw its morgue packed with bodies and relatives came to check if anyone they knew was amongst them; the morgue was unable to cope as bodies kept coming in, prompting requests for refrigerator donations. Assistant Police Commissioner Giossi Labi described the crash as follows: "It is one of the saddest days in the history of road accidents where we have such a number of commuters die at once".
He accused bus drivers of speeding so they could make more money by getting to their destinations quicker and picking up more passengers. Peter Guinness, a superintendent, said: "There are so many potholes along the highway; some of these potholes are like craters. Now they wanted to avoid those potholes". Koni Iguan, a parliamentarian, said it was "the most horrific accident" witnessed and described it as "This is the nastiest and bloodiest of accidents on the highway". Nearby villagers backed him up as he said no less than 10 deaths would be expected from such a horrific accident. Crash Photo
Guantanamo Bay homicide accusations were made regarding the deaths of three prisoners on June 10, 2006 at the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camp for enemy combatants at its naval base in Cuba. Two of the men had been cleared by the military for release; the United States Department of Defense claimed their deaths at the time as suicides, although their families and the Saudi government argued against the findings, numerous journalists have raised questions and since. The DOD undertook an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, published in redacted form in 2008. In April 2008, Murat Kurnaz, a former detainee released without charges and repatriated to Germany, published the English translation of his memoir, Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantánamo. In it he discussed the deaths of the three detainees in June 2006, as described by other prisoners from their cell block. Given the conditions at the camp and constant observation by guards, he and the other prisoners had "unanimously" concluded that the three detainees had been killed by beating or strangling.
Following release of the redacted NCIS investigative report in August 2008, which reaffirmed the DOD conclusions of suicide, Seton Hall University Law School's Center for Policy and Research published Death in Camp Delta, a report criticizing the Department of Defense account for inconsistencies and weaknesses. It suggested there was serious negligence at the camp, or potential cover-up of homicides resulting from torture. In January 2010, Harper's Magazine and NBC News released the report of a joint investigation, based on accounts by four former Military Intelligence staff, stationed at the time at Guantanamo, they suggested the military under the Bush administration had covered up deaths of the men that occurred under torture at a "black site" known as Camp No or Camp 7 in the course of interrogations. In 2011, Scott Horton's article on the Guantanamo events won the National Magazine Awards for Reporting; the award revived a round of criticism of the article, including from a publication associated with the advertising industry.
On 10 June 2006, three prisoners died in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. Their cases had been reviewed and al-Utaybi was less than three weeks away from being transferred to Saudi Arabia. Al-Zahrani was on a list of detainees to be repatriated to Saudi Arabia; the Washington Post carried a quote from a Combatant Status Review Tribunal review of Ahmed's case, which said there was no evidence of terrorist involvement. As Ahmed was from Yemen, the "difficult diplomatic relations" between his country and the US were delaying his repatriation; the Pentagon informed the media that three detainees had been found dead, having "killed themselves in an apparent suicide pact". U. S. President George W. Bush expressed "serious concern" about their deaths. Rear Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, said the men were dedicated terrorists and jihadists, he described the deaths as "an act of asymmetric warfare committed against us." The three prisoners, two Saudis and one Yemeni, were reported to have hanged themselves in their cells with nooses made of sheets and clothes, gone undetected by guards until after they died.
All three were former hunger-strikers, force-fed at times during detention. The government ordered an investigation, undertaken by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, their report was released publicly in 2008, in a redacted form. It found that conditions at the camp needed to be changed, but no guards or officers were prosecuted for any reason; the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that news of the deaths raised skepticism as to whether the Saudi men killed themselves. All three of the families of the dead men challenged the American post-mortems at the time, the Saudi government announced its suspicions that the true story was not being told; the families all took steps to have second post-mortems done. Patrice Mangin, the Swiss pathologist who headed the team that volunteered to examine Al Salami's body, said that it was routine to remove some organs before autopsy - those that decay rapidly; some family members had expressed concerns that the bodies had been returned to them missing the brain, kidney heart and other organs.
But, Mangin said that the US authorities had kept the organs of Al-Salami's throat, that is, the larynx, hyoid bone and thyroid. His team could not state an opinion as to whether the man had hanged himself without reviewing these, as they may have revealed another cause of asphyxiation. Despite his repeated requests, the US government never provided these organs. Murat Kurnaz is a former detainee, released without charges in August 2006, he is a Turkish-born German resident, eighteen when captured and is now a German citizen. His memoir of his experience, Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo was published in the German, Norwegian and Dutch languages in 2007. Excerpts were published serially by The Guardian beginning April 23, 2008. In his book, Kurnaz wrote including waterboarding, he wrote about the deaths of the three detainees in custody on June 10, 2006. Fellow prisoners knew that al-Utaybi had been told he was being released, Kurnaz said he was happy about it. Given the conditions at the camp and in the cells, where the detainees were always under observation, Kurnaz said that he and other prisoners "unanimously agreed, the men had been killed.
Maybe they had been beaten to death and strung up, or they had been strangled." In August