A woman started an act of kindness chain that lasted for hours at a Starbucks drive-thru in Florida.
She ordered an iced coffee around 7 a.m. Wednesday in St. Petersburg and asked to pay for the caramel macchiato for the stranger in the car behind her. He returned the favor. The chain kept going as employees began keeping count.
The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1ndJ16p) reports the chain finally ended around 6 p.m. when customer number 379 pulled up and ordered a regular coffee. Barista Vu Nguyen leaned out the window and explained the chain that started earlier in the day, asking if she'd like to participate. She declined, saying she only wanted to pay for her coffee.
Nguyen says he doesn't believe she understood the concept of paying it forward.
Carried by soldiers and draped in the national flag, coffins carrying Malaysian victims of Flight MH17 returned home Friday to a country still searching for those onboard another doomed jet and a government battling the political fallout of both tragedies.
The bodies and ashes of 20 victims from the Malaysia Airlines jet that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July were given full military honors and a day of national mourning was declared, the first for civilians in the country's five-decade history.
Many people in offices in the nation of 30 million observed a minute's silence as the hearses were driven from the tarmac of Kuala Lumpur International Airport to private funerals. Some public trains in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, stopped operating.
All 298 people onboard died when the jet was shot down over an area of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The victims included 43 Malaysians and 195 Dutch nationals. An international investigation is ongoing, but no one has been arrested.
The return of the bodies also represented a political triumph for Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose already shaky popularity ratings were hit by his handling of the still unsolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and its 239 passengers and crew in March.
"Today we mourn the loss of our people. Today, we begin to bring them home," Najib said in a statement. "Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives. Today we stand with you, united as one."
Najib claimed personal credit for negotiating a deal with pro-Russian separatists for the return of all the bodies. Few details have been released over what the separatists were given in return, and some critics have said that the negotiations with people many regard as terrorists set a dangerous precedent.
"Everyone wants closure for the families, there is no question," said Bridget Welsh, a research associate at the National Taiwan University. "But on the other hand, they (Najib's advisers) saw this as an opportunity for him to look good. It was critical for the government to be seen as responsive and differentiate itself from the handling of MH370."
The victims were carried aboard a specially chartered Malaysia Airlines jet from Amsterdam, where they were taken from the crash site. Three had already been cremated. The coffins were individually lowered from the plane and slowly carried by teams of eight soldiers to waiting hearses.
"They were casualties of war, unfortunately, and the world community needs to work toward a solution to these conflicts," said Abdul Mueiem, a Malaysia Airlines pilot who attended the ceremony. "Everyone is feeling sad and depressed, but the important thing is that Malaysia Airlines is one big family, and we are together with the nation."
The repatriation was the first of the Malaysian passengers and crew on the flight. The government has said that the bodies of the remaining Malaysians would follow soon.
The country may never witness a similar homecoming for the victims on board Flight 370. The plane went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and is believed to have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.
After several surface and underwater searches have turned up nothing, a new underwater search is expected to begin in September and take up to a year to search 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles) of the Indian Ocean seabed.
Assuming the plane is found, the depth of the ocean will make recovery of any bodies difficult. Relatives might also prefer the bodies to stay where they are.
Police in Berkeley are looking for a 75-year-old woman suffering dementia who went missing Thursday night.
Carmen Dentamaro was last seen at about 11 p.m. in the area of Bowditch Street and Durant Avenue, police said.
She is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall with a medium build, thin straight gray hair and was last seen wearing a dark green puffy down jacket and blue pants.
She often goes to the College Avenue area and speaks Spanish but little English.
Anyone who finds Dentamaro has been asked to contact Berkeley police at (510) 981-5900.
Bay Area folks are showing their support for family of the 18 year old shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
About 100 protestors gathered at United Nations Plaza in San Francisco, but they quickly went on the move to express outrage and demand change. Organizers planned similar protests in 37 cities nationwide.
The protests were all in response to the deadly police shooting of an unarmed teen in Missouri. "I'm here for justice. We have to do something about the militarization of our police. Why aren't we trained better?" questioned Nancy Keiler, a protestor who lives in San Francisco.
Police officers on motorcycles and on foot escorted the marchers as they walked along Market Street, and turned onto Jones Street in the Tenderloin. They went on to block an intersection briefly before moving into Union Square.
One man says he joined the protest in part because he's been stopped by police more than once. The event started shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday.
The tone of the protest was peaceful but resolute. "It's time for our generation these systems of racism and oppression so our younger siblings and our future children don't have to go through these struggles," said Tia Hofmans. This event is part of what's called a "day of rage."
"Ask me what am I doing? Why am I walking down the street? Why am I in the area and I haven't done anything wrong," said Mohammed Cin'que of Oakland.
Activists with the Occupy movement and Anonymous publicized the event. The marchers say recent police shootings of unarmed young black men points to a culture of inequality. "Our country doesn't care about its citizens. All they care about is the police officers," said one protestor who wore a mask.
The march attracted to the attention of shopkeepers, people passing by and tourists.
Everyone who spoke with KTVU said they knew about the killing of the Ferguson teen. "We're not living here. We're just visiting here but it's not right," said Melanie Cross from London, England.
KTVU saw the protestors march to the Mission police station on Valencia.
The event appeared to remain peaceful.
All lanes have reopened after a collision involving multiple vehicles on state Highway 84 near Livermore blocked lanes heading in both directions Friday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The accident was first reported at 3:45 a.m. south of Vallecitos Road on Highway 84, according to the CHP.
A big-rig and two other vehicles were involved in the collision, along with a two vehicle head-on collision that blocked lanes going both directions on the highway, according to the CHP.
Debris from the traffic collision had to be removed prior to reopening the roadway.
No injuries have been reported.