Target shooting, March for Our Lives, Auschwitz guard and Einstein’s violin

UMBC headed to NCAA Tournament

For the first time since 2008, University of Maryland Baltimore County is headed to the NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers will take on top-seeded Virginia in the first round on March 16. UMBC is the only Maryland team in the men’s tournament this year. The Retrievers beat Vermont 65-62 in the American East Championship game on March 10.

Read more: Buzzer-beater puts UMBC in NCAA Tournament for 1st time in a decade

March for Our Lives

The March for Our Lives takes place in Washington, D.C. on March 24. (Screenshot)

March for Our Lives: Baltimore

According to Baltimore Fishbowl, some Baltimore City students are planning their own march here instead of going to D.C. on March 24. The gathering, dubbed “March for Our Lives Baltimore” in a flyer disseminating online, would begin at 10 a.m. at 100 Holliday St., and run until noon, which is when organizers expect they would reach Little Havana at the edge of the Inner Harbor. The March for Our Lives movement aims for families around the country to “take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that we end gun violence in our schools and communities,” according to the national website. The pro-gun control protests — nearly 700 of them are planned around the country — were inspired by the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 students dead and 14 others wounded. As first reported by WBAL, Baltimore Polytechnic student Anna Hilger, who helped found the school’s Student Activist Association, is helping to organize the Baltimore march. She told Baltimore Fishbowl she initially planned to join other students in D.C., but was inspired to keep the demonstration here after reading USA Today‘s article that named Baltimore “the nation’s most dangerous city.” Last week, after hundreds of students from Baltimore’s public and private schools banded together to march downtown for the #GunsDownGradesUP protest, Mayor Catherine Pugh greeted them and offered to bus thousands of them to D.C. for the March 24 protest on the National Mall.

Read more: Baltimore students plan their own March for Our Lives from City Hall on March 24

Jmore is looking for young adults who will be attending the March for our Lives on March 24 and would like to contribute to our live coverage that day. If you’re interested, please contact

Shooting at Owings Mills Target

According to WBAL-TV 11, a shooting occurred March 12 inside the Owings Mills Target. Around 5:40 p.m., surveillance video shows two men got into a verbal altercation at the 11200 Reisterstown Road Target, Officer Jennifer Peach said. Another man was in the cafe area, she said. One of the men in the argument started to walk away, turned back around and shot at the other man, Peach said. Peach said the shooter and the third man who was in the cafe are then seen running out of the Target, followed by the victim. Police are reviewing surveillance as they try to find the person who pulled out the gun in the store. Officials are not sure if the man who was shot at was struck by the bullet. Anyone with information is asked to police call 410-307-2020.

Read more: Police Investigate Shooting Inside Owings Mills Target

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner, left, shown with U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and his fellow Middle East peace negotiator Jason Greenblatt at a United Nations conference in New York, Feb. 20, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Peace in the Mideast?

The Trump administration is finishing up its Middle East peace plan and intends to make it public soon, The New York Times reported. According to the report published March 11, the plan does not call for a two-state solution. The White House must now figure out how to present the plan so that it is not immediately rejected by the Palestinians, the newspaper reported, citing three unnamed senior administration officials. According to the report, the officials said the plan does not have a set of guiding principles. It gives the outlines of a peace plan and leaves the Israelis and the Palestinians to fill in the details. Also, they said, the plan does not specifically call for a two-state solution as a goal nor for a “fair and just solution” for Palestinian refugees, though it will offer suggestions on both points. The aides told The Times that the document proposes solutions to all the key disputes: borders, security, refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The Palestinians have said they will not consider a U.S.-proposed peace plan due to their anger over Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intent to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv in May. Netanyahu is less likely to be willing to make compromises, as he faces early elections due to coalition disputes and fears fallout from possible corruption charges. The report points out that no one outside of the Trump administration has seen the plan document, and that the people who wrote it — Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman – had no previous experience in diplomacy.

Read more: Trump Administration Ready to Make Mideast Peace Plan Public

Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening dies

Oskar Groening

Oskar Groening, 93, arrives for the first day of his trial in Lueneburg, Germany, to face charges of being accomplice to the murder of 300,000 people at Auschwitz, April 21, 2015. (Andreas Tamme/Getty Images)

Oskar Groening, the former Auschwitz guard convicted in his 90s for his role in the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews at the concentration camp, has died in Germany. Reports of his death surfaced on March 12. He was 96. Groening, who was sentenced to four years in prison for his crimes, died without spending a day serving his term. The man known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz” was convicted in July 2015. “The death of Oskar Groening just before he was scheduled to begin to serve his sentence in a German jail following his conviction three years ago for accessory to murder is quite unfortunate, at least on a symbolic level,” Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and an expert in Nazi war criminals, said in a statement issued  March 12. Zuroff pointed out that two other Nazi war criminals — John Demjanjuk, who was convicted in 2011, and Reinhold Hanning, who was convicted in 2016 — also died while awaiting decisions on their appeals. “As fate would have it, [Groening] too has now escaped justice, casting a shadow of sorts on the judicial processes,” he said. “Without at least symbolic justice these trials, as important as they are, lose an important part of their significance. …” Groening had admitted to being tasked with gathering the money and valuables found in the baggage of murdered Jews and handing it over to his superiors for transfer to Berlin. He said he had guarded luggage on the Auschwitz arrival and selection ramp two or three times in the summer of 1944. During the trial, Groening asked for forgiveness while acknowledging that only the courts could decide when it came to criminal guilt.

Read more: ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ Oskar Groening dies while prison sentence under appeal

Rambam, Stanford to cooperate on future of medicine

Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa and Stanford Medicine signed a cooperation agreement to work together on the future of medicine. The institutions announced March 9 that they will cooperate in areas including medical innovation; research in collaboration with Big Data and Machine Learning; cutting-edge drug development; and trauma and emergency preparedness. The announcement came in California during the Stanford Medicine-Rambam Symposium on Planning for the Next Generation, an event where the two institutions explored ways to share resources and collaborate. Rambam is a regional hospital with 1,000 beds and 130,000 visits to the emergency room annually, and an annual budget of $400 million. Stanford is a 600-bed hospital with 60,000 visits to its emergency room annually and a budget of $7 billion a year. “During the conference we discussed precise, personalized health issues and the issue of health in Israel, including the complex relations in Israel between its local diverse population and with its neighbors,” Professor Rafi Beyar, director of Rambam, said in a statement.–JTA

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein shown playing a violin in 1931. (Keystone/Getty Images)

Einstein’s violin

A violin once owned by Albert Einstein sold for $516,500 at the New York-based Bonhams auction house on March 9. The instrument, which reportedly was gifted to the scientist in 1933 by Oscar Steger, a member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, went for more than three times its estimated price. Steger made the violin himself and inscribed it with the words “Made for the Worlds[sic] Greatest Scientist Profesior[sic] Albert Einstein By Oscar H. Steger, Feb 1933 / Harrisburg, PA.” Later, while working at Princeton University, Einstein gave the instrument to the son of Sylas Hibbs, who worked as a janitor at the school. It had remained in Hibbs’ family ever since.–JTA

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