Horror on the elevator

December 14, 2011 1:32:15 PM PST
There are many leaps of faith living and working in a vertical city.

You have to trust that air conditioners don't come tumbling out of windows. Or that a stiff wind doesn't blow some piece of furniture off a balcony. And you can't really think too much about elevators suddenly not working and doing something horrible when you're onboard.

Today in Midtown Manhattan, something horrible happened on an elevator with people on board.

Two people were already in the elevator, and a woman was getting on when the elevator suddenly started going up without warning.

The details aren't yet clear, but somehow the woman became trapped between the elevator and its shaft wall.

Gruesome to be sure - the two people who saw it happen were treated for trauma.

And frightening for millions of people who ride elevators everyday - in office and apartments building.

So how did it happen? We're following the story, tonight at 11.

As the nearly 9-year war in Iraq winds down, it's fascinating to look at this unpopular war by the numbers. I use the word "unpopular" because the polling done - from late 2004 through last month - was consistent; Americans did not think that the war in Iraq was worth fighting, given its costs versus its benefits. It was 62 percent in 2004; a poll last month showed 63 percent opposed the war.

And those numbers helped make George W. Bush the most unpopular second-term Commander In Chief in the post World War II era.

So, by the numbers, here are some of the Iraq War's biggest hits:

  • One million U.S. troops have served at various times in Iraq.
  • 4,487 Americans died. 32,226 were wounded.
  • An estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians died.
  • There were 505 bases created by the U.S. in Iraq; today there are just 2 - staffed by 5,500 troops and 500 Dept. of Defense contractors.
  • $712 billion spent on war since Sept. 11, 2011.
  • Monthly war expenditure this year: $3.8 billion.
  • 145 attacks per day at the people of the war; today it's in the teens.

    Also at 11, two stories we're following on the subject of rape and domestic violence. The first: A new government survey reaffirming tonight that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the U.S. And in some cases, it's far more common than most believed.

    The numbers, once again, tell it all: Nearly 1 in 5 women in the survey say they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point in their lives. And 1 in 4 said they had been beaten by an intimate partner.

    Just shocking numbers.

    The other rape story is that after nearly 90 years, the FBI is changing its definition of rape. It is broadening that definition, to include men as victims (still relatively minor compared to the number of female victims) and it will include as rape any kind of "penetration, no matter how slight ?. Or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

    About time, is how many people feel.

    Also at 11, a way to end migraines? Our Kemberly Richardson tonight looks at a procedure now being used in our area that, some say, indeed ends migraine headaches. Does it work? Or is it just a placebo?

    We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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