What We're Following Friday Afternoon, 9/11

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Updated on September 11 at 1:45 p.m.

A tragedy in Mecca: Dozens of people are reported dead in Islam’s holiest city as a crane crashed into the Grand Mosque. Saudi-owned Al Arabiya said 52 people were killed and several others were wounded. It quoted the Saudi General Directorate for Civil Defense. This is a developing story and we will update it with more news. Update: More here.

A possible shooting in Washington, D.C.: We’re just getting word of this story. This is a tweet from Chad Pergram, a reporter for Fox News:

But the D.C. police department responded:

And there’s now an update from the department:

An announcement in Baltimore: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she won’t run for reelection next year. As my colleague David notes, the Democratic rising star “has been buffeted by a rising homicide rate and fallout from the death of Freddie Gray in April.”

A gesture in Havana: Cuba says it will release more than 3,500 prisoners, including some foreigners, ahead of Pope Francis’s visit next weekend. Granma, the state-run newspaper, said many of those who will be freed are eligible for parole next year. Update: More here.

Ceremonies in the U.S.: The nation is marking the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.