In another act of vandalism to the Jewish community, as many as 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia were toppled and broken over the weekend. Police are now investigating the incident at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in the city’s Wissinoming section. This comes one week after vandals toppled more than 170 headstones in a Jewish cemetery in a St. Louis suburb. Vice President Mike Pence visited the cemetery later in the week to help clean up the damage, following widespread criticism of the silence from the White House following a wave of threats to the Jewish community. “We condemn this vile act of vandalism and those who perpetrated it in the strongest possible terms,” he said. Pence was joined by 1,000 volunteers who showed up to help restore the Chesed Shel Emeth Society Cemetery in University City, Missouri. Dozens of Jewish community centers across the country have received bomb threats since the election of President Trump, who after several weeks of pressure from Jewish leaders and the media said “anti-Semitism is horrible.”
—Bill Paxton, the prolific actor known for his roles in Titanic and Apollo 13, died. He was 61. More here
—Thousands took to the streets of Moscow, protesting the two-year anniversary of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov being gunned down out the Kremlin. More here
—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).
Nearly 100 Headstones Vandalized at a Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia
Remembering Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton, the prolific actor known for his roles in Titanic and Apollo 13, died Sunday. He was 61. In a statement, his family said he died “due to complications from surgery.” The statement continued, “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.” Born on May 17, 1955, in Fort Worth, Texas, Paxton had a long movie career spanning four decades, with roles in The Terminator, True Lies, and Twister, among nearly 70 other films. In recent years, he starred in the HBO series Big Love, which ran from 2006 until 2011. That role earned him three Golden Globe nominations. He was also nominated for an Emmy in 2012 for his role in History Channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. Before his movie career, Paxton grew up in Texas, giving him his signature accent. Paxton was in the crowd when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963. A photo of him as an eight-year-old boy watching the president’s motorcade is on display at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. Paxton was currently starring in a new CBS show Training Day, which started airing earlier this month.
Thousands Protest Putin in Moscow
Thousands took to the streets of Moscow on Sunday, protesting the two-year anniversary of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov being gunned down out the Kremlin. Protesters chanted, “Russia will be free,” and, “Putin is war,” while waving Russian flags and carrying banners denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin. Organizers say more than 15,000 people demonstrated, making it the largest protest since the march last year in Nemtsov’s honor. Police in Moscow put the number closer to 5,000. Nemtsov was a former deputy prime minister and fierce critic of Putin. He was shot several times in the back on a bridge near the Kremlin on February 25, 2015, walking home with his girlfriend. Police arrested several people during the protest Sunday. There were similar protests Sunday in St. Petersburg and other cities around Russia.
Dozens Injured After Truck Plows Into Mardi Gras Crowd
Updated at 12:48 p.m.
A pickup truck plowed into a crowd at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans Saturday night, injuring 28 people. No one was killed in the incident. Neilson Rizzuto, a 25-year-old, was arrested shortly after the crash at the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City neighborhood in “a highly intoxicated state,” police say. The crash was not terrorism related. New Orleans is abuzz this time of year, as thousands come together in the Louisiana city to celebrate Mardi Gras. The night of the crash featured a parade with elaborate floats and people throwing beads. The crash in New Orleans happened the same day as a similar incident in Germany, where a man veered into a group of pedestrians, killing one person and injuring two more. It was also not related to terrorism.
We are grateful that no one suffered any life threatening injuries.— Mitch Landrieu (@MayorLandrieu) February 26, 2017