Vigils were held around the world on Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, as new extracts from his last interview show the former Beatle scoffed at fans who worshiped “dead heroes.”
From New York to Liverpool, Havana to Prague, fans gathered to lay flowers at memorials, sing classic Lennon songs like Imagine and light candles in memory of their idol.
In Tokyo, Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, who was with him when he was shot, marked the anniversary with a charity concert, saying the world still had so much to learn from his life and his songs.
“Today, on this painful anniversary, please join me in remembering John with deep love and respect,” she said in a Japanese-language tweet, as she prepared for the annual show.
Near the luxury Dakota apartment block in New York, where Lennon was shot four times in the back by a lone gunman in the evening of Dec. 8, 1980, hundreds of fans gathered at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park.
“For me, he was the spirit of peace,” said Kaoru Shimizu, a Japanese woman who joined others who had arrived from around the world to mark the day here.
An Argentine couple at the vigil had arrived on their honeymoon in the city a day after Lennon was shot, and had returned on this cold, clear winter day with their family to pay respects.
“We’re so moved to be here, and lucky to be here with our three daughters, 30 years later,” Romulo Audenci said at the somber gathering, where fans sang classic Lennon tunes like Don’t Let Me Down and Eight Days a Week.
In the former Beatle’s hometown of Liverpool in northwest England, the focus of the memorials were the Peace and Harmony monument unveiled earlier this year in memory of Lennon, who died shortly after his 40th birthday.
Fans lit candles and sang songs to remember the life of one of the port city’s best-loved sons, whose songwriting relationship with Paul McCartney produced some classic songs.
“Despite his short, 40 years of life, he gave so much to the world. The world was blessed with fortune to have known John,” Ono said in a message on Twitter.
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for
SPACE RACE: The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp mission aims to land a robotic rover and put a probe into orbit around the planet China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious Mars mission, which includes landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the Red Planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program in an effort to catch up with its rival, the US, and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is among a number of new space projects China is pursuing, including putting Chinese astronauts on the moon and having a space station by 2022. Beijing had been planning the Mars mission for some time this year,
Former US vice president Joe Biden on Friday said he “should not have been so cavalier” after he told a radio host that African Americans who back US President Donald Trump “ain’t black.” In a call with the US Black Chamber of Commerce that was added to his public schedule, Biden said he would never “take the African American community for granted.” “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.” Biden faced criticism after his comments earlier on Friday on The Breakfast Club, a