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Woman Struck by Lightning Near White House That Killed Three Others Confesses Survivor’s Guilt

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Amber Escudero-Kontostathis shared her survivor’s guilt during her first interview after the fatal lightning strike outside the White House (Pictures: GMA/ABC News/Reuters)

The sole survivor of a lightning strike near the White House earlier this month says she doesn’t know why she survived the strike, which killed three others.

Amber Escudero-Kontostathis had been canvassing outside the White House on her 28th birthday when she took cover underneath a tree at Lafayette Square as it began to rain, she told Good Morning America in her first interview since the incident on August 4.

EXCLUSIVE: “I don’t know why I survived.”

Amber Escudero-Kontostathis opens up for the first time about being the sole survivor of a lightning strike near the White House earlier this month and her road to recovery. @evapilgrim has more. https://t.co/C4P7Ec9r61 pic.twitter.com/4v8fbuZoN4

— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 16, 2022

Six bolts of lightning struck within half a second, killing a married couple in their 70s, James and Donna Mueller, and 29-year-old Brooks Lambertson.

The group had hid under a tree across the street from the White House during a summer storm when a massive bolt of lightning struck the ground. Escudero-Kontostathis was left with burns covering her body from the strike.

The lone survivor of a lightning strike that killed three people near the White House on Thursday night is a 28-year-old woman who works for a nonprofit (Picture: Instagram)

‘I don’t know why I survived,’ she told GMA. ‘I don’t feel good about being the only survivor, that’s for sure. I’m grateful, but I just don’t feel good about being the only one.’

One theory she has is that her shoes may have played a role in how badly she was burned.

‘They definitely didn’t save my life,’ she said of the chunky Doc Marten sandals with a thick rubber sole she’d been wearing. ‘I definitely think it contributed to potentially less of a burn.’

She believes her rubber soled shoes may have helped her not get as burned in the incident

Still, the lightning struck straight through her body, resulting her to be rushed to the hospital in critical condition. She remained in the hospital for several weeks, and was able to recover fairly quickly in spite of her severe injuries.

Despite this, her recover has been a challenge both mentally and physically.

‘I forget that I can’t just get up and do stuff. I have to use a walker, for example,’ she said.

‘You wake up and you think that you can just get up and go and brush your teeth or get a cup of coffee yourself and I can’t, my whole left sides like pretty charred,’ Escudero-Kontostathis said.

Escudero-Kontostathis works as the director of Threshold Giving, a nonprofit that helps refugees, and had been canvassing for the group at the time of the lightning strike. Being unable to work now, she says, has been frustrating.

A lightning strike hits a tree in Lafayette Park across from the White House, killing three and injuring a fourth person (Picture: Reuters)

‘I get to help people find their inner activist and bridge them to the work they want to see in the world,’ she said. ‘Not getting to do that every day is probably more painful than cleaning the burns, which is pretty painful.’

The 28-year-old said that while she doesn’t remember much about getting struck by the lightning itself, she’ll always remember and be thankful for the care she received from the ICU nurses who helped her recover.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Original Article: metro.co.uk

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France Hopes to Replace Notre-Dame’s Spire by the End of 2023

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Notre-Dame cathedral, badly damaged by fire in 2019, should reopen by the end of 2024, according to France’s Culture Ministry – too late for the Paris Olympics. The cathedral’s distrinctive spire should nonetheless be back in place by the end of this year.

While the culture ministry, which is responsible for the cathedral’s structure, says reconstruction work is progressing “at a good pace”, the cathedral will no

Original Post: bignewsnetwork.com

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LGBT+ History Month in London: 8 Events in the Capital in February 2023

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There are plenty of great LGBT+ events going on in the capital this month (Picture: Getty)

February is LGBT+ history month and there are so many ways to commemorate the occasion in London.

From LGBT+ history walking tours, to drag events and pub quizzes, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

This year’s theme is #BehindtheLens and celebrates LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from behind the lens so there are also plenty of film related events taking place across the capital.

Here’s our round up of the best events the month has to offer.

LGBT+ history walking tours

London With A Local is carrying out a number of free LGBTQ+ history tours in the capital across February.

Expert tour guides will give you an insight into everything from how the queer influence of the Roman’s shaped the city, to the Aids crisis and the history of the iconic Heaven nightclub.

The tours begin at 11am, last for two hours and take place on every Sunday in February (February 5, 12, 19 and 26).

To find out more info and to book tickets visit the London With A Local website.

The meeting point for the tours is The Clermont Hotel, Strand, London WC2N 5HX.

This year’s theme is Behind The Lens (Picture: Getty)

‘Quiztorical’ quiz night

Sports Media LGBT+ and the West London Queer Project are hosting a charity quiz night on February 9, to raise money for LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity akt.

The quiz will include questions on queer history but will also cover a wider range of topics.

It’s £5 to enter , starts at 7pm and is open to LGBTQ+ people and allies.

More info can be found on the Sports Media LGBT+ website.

The Duchess, W6 OXF.

Welcome to UK LGBT+ History Month from the co-founder of the month @suesanders03

Celebrating LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from #BehindTheLens.

Look ‘Behind the Lens’ and learn about the lived experiences of LGBT+ people.https://t.co/pOu1ug6flL#LGBTplusHM pic.twitter.com/vdB5Pj9t61

— LGBT+ History Month 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️ (@LGBTHM) February 1, 2023

Fierce Queens: All Aboard

On February 24, Fierce Queens will be taking over the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, for a night of cabaret, queer history and more, hosted by Drag King and Queen, Adam All and Apple Derrieres.

The event starts at 7pm and tickets are £14 for Royal Museums Greenwich members, £16 for non members and £12 for concessions.

For more information and to book tickets visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

Cutty Sark, King William Walk, London SE10 9HT

LQBTQ+ Film Day at the British Museum

The British Museum is celebrating this year’s LGBT+ history month theme, Behind the Lens, with a day showcasing LGBTQ+ short films Gay Black Group, What am I? and Sally Leapt Out of A Window Last Night.

There will also be a guided tour of some of the British Museum artifacts that have LGBTQ+ connections and there will be a live poetry reading from Simon Maddrell.

The event takes place on February 25 from 10:30-4 and is free to attend.

The British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

More: LGBT+ History Month

Kids storytime event with Dani the Storyteller

Under 5s can take part in a free immersive story telling experience on February 17, as Dani the storyteller takes them through the history of Islington’s Pride movement.

Dani will take the children on a journey as they play football with Stonewall FC, drive a red bus to the first-ever Pride March and celebrate under a giant rainbow flag.

The event takes place from 10-11am and more information can be found here.

Cally Clock Tower Centre, Caledonian Park Market Road London N7 9PL

Pride banner designing and making workshop

Pride banner making is just one of many great activities you can do this LGBT+ History Month (Picture: Getty)

El Warcha are putting on Pride Banner designing and making workshops at Wood green Library.

The designing workshop is on February 4 and then there is a separate workshop to make the banner you have designed on February 11.

The banners will celebrate inclusivity in the community and will be displayed in the library.

This event is for ages 14+ and is free to attend.

More info can be found here.

Nobody’s Perfect

Nobody’s Perfect is a film event that will take place at St Pancras hospital on February 15, that will explore representation of LGBTQ+ people has changed on the big screen over the decades.

The event will include research from students at The University of Westminster and an introduction by Professor Pippa Catterall.

The takes place from 6:30 to 8:30, is free to attend and light refreshments will be provided.

More info can be found here.

AIDS: A cultural history

Aids: A Cultural History is a lecture discussing the virus’s impact on the LGBT+ community (Picture: Getty)

Aids: A Cultural History is a talk by Professor Joanna Bourke which focuses on the period before antiretroviral drugs were developed to treat the virus.

The lecture also discusses: ‘questions of civil liberties, gender and sexuality, race, religion, and cultures of both harm and care’.

It takes place at 6pm on February 16 and is free to attend.

More information can be found here.

Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, London, EC1N 2HH

Lots more great events can be found here.


MORE : I tried not to think of past pain – but ignoring LGBTQ+ history does more harm than good


MORE : Terminally ill LGBT+ people should feel comfortable being themselves at the end

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Speeding Driver Who Killed ‘selfless’ Dad-of-two in Hit-and-run Jailed

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Dad-of-three John Wilson was sentenced at the Old Bailey (Picture: Central News/REX)

A motorist who killed a ‘selfless’ father-of-two in a hit-and-run on a pedestrian crossing has been jailed.  

John Wilson, 39, was travelling at 60mph on a 40mph dual carriageway when he hit Tarsem Randhawa, 55, while undertaking another car.  

Mr Randhawa, a financial advisor, died at the scene on Great West Road in Isleworth, west London.   

Wilson, a father-of-three, was driving his fiancee’s car without a licence or insurance when he hit the victim on April 28 last year.  

He only confessed after police arrived at her home to arrest her for the offence, the Old Bailey heard.  

Mr Randhawa, a devoted Chelsea fan, was described by his son, Marco, as ‘the most innocent, humble, selfless kind-hearted man’.  

‘He was adored by everyone and the amount of love and support we received following his passing was truly overwhelming.’  

His second son, Tiago, described his father as ‘his hero’ and ‘his rock’.  

‘I thought I’d have Paps for my whole life,’ he said.  

‘I thought he’d be there as I began my career, I thought he’d be there when I got married and I thought he’d be there when I had kids. 

‘The pain of knowing that that future has been robbed from Paps, from me, from everyone has left me in a deep dark hole which can never be filled.  

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‘We have lost someone so beautiful, everyone’s favourite person.   

‘The greatest pain is knowing how much pain Paps would have been in, to know that as quick as his death may had been there was also that split second when he knew he had lost it all.  

‘An entire life of dedication, laughter and loving, had just disappeared.  

‘To know my hero had to go through that hurts the worst, to know he was completely helpless as his life vanished as if he had never existed.’  

Wilson looked away when the brothers walked past him in the dock.  

Mr Randhawa’s sister, Binda Rai, said his death ‘tore our world apart and it remains so to this day.’  

‘My brother shouldn’t have died and he certainly didn’t need to die at such a young age and in such a brutal way. A part of me has gone with him,’ Ms Rai said in a victim impact statement.  

Sentencing him to 18 months in prison, Judge Charles Gratwicke told him: ‘You were driving above the speed limit.  

‘You were undercutting a vehicle which was observing the speed limit.   

‘Why you were speeding, only you know. If you had been observing the speed limit you could have swerved to the right and the collision could have been avoided.’ 

Wilson, of Brentford, west London, admitted causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving; causing death by driving a vehicle whilst uninsured and without a licence; and failing to stop after a traffic accident. 

He has been disqualified from driving for two years and nine months. 

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Original Source: metro.co.uk

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