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Colin Powell was 84

The former general and diplomat served Republican and Democratic presidents


Colin Powell Marcy Nighswander/AP

Colin Powell was 84
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Died

Colin Powell, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state, died Oct. 18 at age 84. His family said he died of complications of COVID-19. Powell was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and received treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., but suffered from multiple myeloma, which weakened his immune system. He also had been treated for Parkinson’s disease. Powell became the first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs and served under Democratic and Republican administrations, overseeing the U.S. invasions of Panama and Kuwait. He served as secretary of state under former President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. Powell drew criticism for a 2003 presentation before the UN Security Council in support of the U.S. war in Iraq in which he cited faulty information that Saddam Hussein had access to weapons of mass destruction

Pleaded

Nikolas Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty on Oct. 20 to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The plea came five days after he also pleaded guilty to four criminal counts related to an attack on prison guards in 2018. Jury selection for the penalty phase of Cruz’s case will start in November. Prosecutors still intend to pursue the death penalty, while attorneys for Cruz will ask for life in prison without parole. On Valentine’s Day 2018, Cruz killed 14 students and three staff members and wounded 17 more people at the school.

Fired

Washington State University’s athletic director announced the firing of head football coach Nick Rolovich and four assistants because they were not vaccinated against COVID-19 on Oct. 15. Rolovich was denied a religious exemption. Rolovich said he would not get the COVID-19 vaccine for private reasons when the mandate was announced in August. He wore a mask to all games and said he would comply with other state requirements. Because the university fired him for cause, it will not have to pay out the rest of his $3 million yearly contract through 2025. The team’s defensive coordinator will serve as acting coach while the school looks for immediate assistant replacements.

Killed

Sir David Amess, a 69-year-old member of British Parliament, was stabbed to death on Oct. 15 at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, 40 miles east of London, where he was holding an open meeting with constituents. Authorities arrested Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man with Somali heritage. Ali had been referred to a government-sponsored program aimed to steer people from extremism. Amess began his political career in 1983. He was known for socially conservative positions and for campaigning against abortion. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Amess in 2015 for political and public service. He was married and had five children. This was the second fatal attack on a member in five years.

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