Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

Q&A: Young Romney's harrowing car crash; Obama's BlackBerry

Romney's harrowing car crash

I've just discovered that when Mitt Romney was working in France, he was driving a car in which deaths occurred. Can you tell us who died and who was at fault?

Romney was 21 years old at the time of the crash on June 16, 1968. He was driving five other people when a Mercedes, which was driven by a Catholic priest, passed a truck, missed a curve and smashed nearly head on into Romney's Citroen DS near the town of Bernos-Beaulac in southwestern France.

Leola Anderson, 57, who was sitting in the middle of the front seat between Romney and her husband Duane, the president of the Mormon mission in France, took the worst of the impact and died in an ambulance. Romney was so badly injured that a French police officer who saw him wrote "Il est mort" on his passport, French for "He is dead." Duane Anderson also was seriously injured.

"It happened so quickly that, as I recall, there was no braking and no honking, it was like immediate," Romney told the Boston Globe in 2007. "I remember sort of being hood-to-hood. And then pretty much the next thing I recall was waking up in the hospital."

Romney had completed his Mormon mission and was Duane Anderson's assistant at the time. He recovered from his fractured ribs, a concussion and a broken arm to help fill the church's leadership void in France during Anderson's recovery and time away to bury his wife.

Did Obama keep the BlackBerry?

President Barack Obama lamented the loss of his BlackBerry when assuming office, and there was a mention in the media that he could retain it, albeit with special modifications for security and for the ability to memorialize his communications. Did he keep a BlackBerry (or other mobile device), and does he still have one?

The president kept a BlackBerry after his 2009 inauguration, the New York Times reported on Jan. 22, 2009, but not without rules. A spokesman told the paper that he would be allowed to communicate only with his senior staff and several personal friends with a BlackBerry with enhanced security. Other rules included:

• Only a select group had Obama's email address.

• People on the list received a briefing from the White House counsel's office.

• The president's emails were designed so they couldn't be forwarded.

MSN.com reported in April that Obama was still using a BlackBerry, although iPhones are becoming more popular on Capitol Hill, National Journal reported.

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