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(NEW YORK) -- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has reportedly reached a plea deal as part of his impaired driving case. That according the Indianapolis Star, citing court officials.
Irsay was arrested in March on a pair of misdemeanor charges. The Colts owner was arrested near his home after failing a field sobriety test. Officers on the scene said he had trouble reciting the alphabet. Police reports showed that Irsay had various prescription drugs and $29,000 in cash in his position at the time of the arrest.
"I cannot provide any details of -- or even verify the existence of -- an agreement unless and until one would be tendered to the Court at such a hearing," said Andre Miksha, a spokesman for the Hamilton County prosecutor.
The trial, originally scheduled for Oct. 30, was reportedly rescheduled for Tuesday. While details of the plea agreement were not released, the announcement of the plea will allow NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to deliver his punishment of Irsay.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/30/2014 06:28:47 AM
(WASHINGTON) -- With Labor Day just around the corner, President Obama outlined the arguments behind his continued push for an increased minimum wage in his weekly address.
Obama reiterated once again that Congress should act to help hardworking Americans around the country. Obama raised the minimum wage for federal workers to $10.10 per hour using an executive order earlier this year, and in his address he praised the 13 states and the District of Columbia who have followed his lead.
"America deserves a raise," Obama said, because the country built "the greatest middle class the world has ever known" by ensuring that all hardworking Americans can get ahead.
Read the full transcript of the president's address:
Hi, everybody. Whether you’re firing up the grill, fired up for some college football, or filling up the car for one last summer roadtrip – Happy Labor Day weekend.
We set aside Labor Day to honor the working men and women of America. And this Labor Day, we’ve got more to celebrate. Over the past 53 months, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs. Last month, for the first time since 1997, we created more than 200,000 jobs for six straight months. And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders worldwide have declared, two years running, that the number one place to invest isn’t China – it’s America.
So there are reasons to be optimistic about where we’re headed. And the decisions we make now will determine whether or not we accelerate this progress – whether economic gains flow to a few at the top, or whether a growing economy fuels rising incomes and a thriving middle class.
Think about it this Labor Day. The things we often take for granted – Social Security and Medicare, workplace safety laws and the right to organize for better pay and benefits, even weekends – we didn’t always have these things. Workers and the unions who get their back had to fight for them. And those fights built a stronger middle class.
To build a stronger middle class in today’s changing economy, we’ve got to keep fighting. We’ve got to fight for the right to affordable health insurance for everybody. The right to fair pay, family leave, and workplace flexibility. The right to a fair living wage.
Let me focus on that last one for a minute. In America, no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. And raising the minimum wage would be one of the best ways to give a boost to working families. It would help around 28 million Americans from all walks of life pay the bills, provide for their kids, and spend that money at local businesses. And that grows the economy for everyone.
The bottom line is, America deserves a raise. But until we’ve got a Congress that cares about raising working folks’ wages, it’s up to the rest of us to make it happen. And in the year and a half since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, Americans of all walks of life are doing just that.
Thirteen states and D.C. have done their part by raising their minimum wages. Four more states have minimum wage initiatives on the ballot this November. And the states where the minimum wage has gone up this year have experienced higher job growth than the states that haven’t.
Business leaders at companies like The Gap are doing their part. They’re raising base wages for tens of thousands of workers because they know it’s good for business.
Mayors across the country are doing their part. Mayor Emanuel in Chicago and Mayor Garcetti in L.A. are working to lift their cities’ wages over time to at least thirteen dollars an hour.
I’ve tried to do my part by requiring companies that get contracts with the federal government to pay their workers a fair wage of ten dollars and ten cents an hour.
And earlier this month, the president of Kentucky State University set a great example by giving himself a $90,000 pay cut, so that he could give raises to his lowest-paid employees. His sacrifice will give more of his workers and their families a little extra money to help make ends meet.
That’s how America built the greatest middle class the world has ever known. Not by making sure a fortunate few at the top are doing well, but by making sure that everyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead. That’s the bedrock this country is built on. Hard work. Responsibility. Sacrifice. And looking out for one another as one united American family.
Let’s keep that in mind this Labor Day, and every day. Have a great weekend, everybody.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/30/2014 06:01:29 AM
(TORONTO) -- New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka returned to New York on Friday with what is being called "general soreness". The right-hander was attempting to return from a torn ligament in his elbow suffered in July.
"I want to be a little bit cautious. I haven't been throwing for a couple of weeks and then I started throwing again and built up the number of pitches that I've been throwing,'' said Tanaka via his interpreter, Shingo Horie. "I think that's the reason why there's a little bit of extra soreness in the arm itself."
Tanaka, almost a lock for American League Rookie of the Year before the injury, threw 49 pitches in a simulated game prior to the Yankees taking on the Detroit Tigers on August 28. Following his performance, Tanaka said he was experiencing a feeling of soreness which then raised questions about his return this season.
"I don't have percentages,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We'd like him to pitch for us, too. But as I've said all along, this is something we're either going to know or not know when he gets into competition.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/30/2014 03:45:47 AM
(EAST LANSING, Mich.) -- A 64-yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook to Tony Lippett opened the scoring for Michigan State football in 2014. It also started a brief injury scare as Cook needed to be helped off the field following a hit to his leg.
That scare did not last long as Cook returned to throw three touchdowns in helping the eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans to a 45-7 win over Jacksonville State. The junior completed his first nine passes of the game and finished the day going 12-for-13 for 285 yards before sitting out the second half.
The defending Big Ten Champions led 38-0 at halftime before resting the majority of their starters. The Gamecocks, considered a top team in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), didn't get on the board until the Max Shortell found Markis Merrill for a nine-yard strike.
"I was proud of our kids on how we finished the game," said Jacksonville State head coach John Grass. "We dug a hole early, and you can't do that against a team like Michigan State. They've got a team that's going to make a run at a national championship. I really believe that."
The Spartans will have a much tougher task next week when they take on the No. 3 Oregon Ducks.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/30/2014 03:12:00 AM
(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (70-64) - Cincinnati Reds 1 (65-70)
New York Mets 4 (63-72) - Philadelphia Phillies 1 (61-73)
Baltimore Orioles 9 (77-56) - Minnesota Twins 1 (59-75)
New York Yankees 6 (70-63) - Toronto Blue Jays 3 (67-67)
Atlanta Braves 5 (71-64) - Miami Marlins 2 (65-68)
Boston Red Sox 8 (59-75) - Tampa Bay Rays 4 (65-70)
Chicago Cubs 7 (60-74) - St. Louis Cardinals 2 (71-62)
Texas Rangers 13 (53-81) - Houston Astros 6 (57-79)
Detroit Tigers 7 (73-60) - Chicago White Sox 1 (60-74)
Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (56-78) - Colorado Rockies 2 (53-81)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4 (81-53) - Oakland Athletics 0 (78-56)
Washington Nationals 8 (76-57) - Seattle Mariners 3 (72-61)
San Francisco Giants 13 (72-62) - Milwaukee Brewers 2 (73-61)
San Diego Padres 3 (63-70) - Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (76-59) 12 Innings
Top 25 College Football: Michigan State 45 (1-0) - Jacksonville State 7 (0-1)
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 23:28:00 PM
(LINCOLN CITY, Ore.) -- A girl playing on an Oregon beach died Friday when a large hole she was playing in collapsed and buried her, officials told ABC News.
Frantic efforts by others on the beach were unable to rescue the 9-year-old girl.
“When we arrived on the scene with some of our officers, people were trying to dig the girl out of a fairly large hole, but the thing kept collapsing back in on them,” Lt. Jerry Palmer of the Lincoln City police department said.
“When they finally got her out she was unconscious and not breathing,” Palmer said.
Fire Rescue Capt. Jim Kusz said the girl was under the sand for about five minutes.
Palmer said his officers performed CPR on the girl until medics arrived, but when she was taken to the hospital "she was not breathing." She was later pronounced dead.
The lieutenant said he did not know whether the girl, who was not immediately identified, had dug the hole or was playing in a hole that she had found on the beach.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 22:37:18 PM
(MONROVIA, Liberia) -- The World Health Organization on Friday issued a Roadmap Situation Report on the ongoing Ebola outbreak that contained data on the spread thus far and the international response.
Thus far, the WHO says, the total number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in West Africa number 3,052, with 1,546 deaths. The report details the cases found in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, though isolated cases have been noted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal.
Last week, the WHO says, saw the highest weekly increase in Ebola cases in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. That figure "highlights the urgent need to reinforce control measures and increase capacity for case management."
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 22:27:04 PM
(GOLAN HEIGHTS, Syria) -- The United Nations said on Friday that it had received assurances that the 44 peacekeepers kidnapped from their positions on Thursday are safe and in good health.
According to a statement from the U.N. spokesperson, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force has not had direct contact with the peacekeepers. They were informed, however, that the intention behind the holding of the peacekeepers was to remove them from an active battlefield for their own protection.
The UNDOF has been in contact with the other groups of peacekeepers who are being confined to their current positions and confirm that they have not been harmed.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 21:19:29 PM
(LOS ANGELES) -- The lawyer for Josh Shaw, the USC football captain suspended for lying about how he injured himself, has advised Shaw to stop talking to police investigators, he told ABC News Friday.
The football player spoke twice with Los Angeles Police, lawyer Donald Etra told ABC News, but he has advised Shaw to not do any more interviews with the cops.
"It is now time to move on," Etra said.
Shaw originally claimed that he sprained both his ankles last Saturday leaping from a second floor balcony to save his young nephew who was floundering in a swimming pool. He later admitted the story was bogus as police reports surfaced that they were called to a Los Angeles address that same night after receiving calls about a woman screaming.
Police initially investigated whether the apartment of Shaw's girlfriend had been burglarized, but police spokeswoman Nuria Vanegas told ABC News that they are now trying to determine whether Shaw and his girlfriend were involved in a domestic dispute.
Detectives from the LAPD said they would like to speak to Shaw regarding the possible domestic dispute.
Vanegas pointed out that a domestic dispute is different from domestic violence, which is a crime. A domestic dispute is not a crime.
Shaw is not a suspect or considered a person of interest in the burglary investigation, she said.
USC has suspended Shaw indefinitely.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 20:51:46 PM
(AUSTIN, Texas) -- A federal judge rejected part of the state's abortion law that would have required abortion clinics to meet hospital-level operating room standards by Sept. 1 or close.
The law would have left just seven facilities in Texas as legal abortion sites. For now, at least 19 such facilities will remain open. An appeal from the state is expected.
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis called the decision "a victory for women's health care." Davis notably filibustered the abortion bill for 11 hours before it passed during a special session. "These decisions," Davis said, "should only be made between a woman, her doctor and her God -- not Austin politicians like Attorney General Greg Abbott, who would make abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest."
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 20:21:20 PM
(ATLANTA) -- Tony Stewart spoke for the first time since killing sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. on August 9.
Stewart will race on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and had missed the last three races following the tragic death.
"This has been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with, both professionally and personally. This is something that will definitely affect my life forever," said Stewart, who has missed the past three Sprint Cup races after Ward's death Aug. 9. "This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one has to experience in their life. That being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward's family and friends are experiencing is something that I can't possibly imagine."
Stewart was granted the right to still compete for the Chase for the championship, despite the rule stating that each driver must attempt to either qualify or race the car in every points-paying event to be eligible for the Chase.
"As a league and our responsibility to try to make decisions that are correct and right, sometimes we evaluate circumstances that are given us, and then make those decisions as correctly as we can," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "After evaluating the circumstances around this occurrence, we've come to the conclusion that Tony would be eligible to participate, if he were to earn a spot in it."
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 20:13:00 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and his administration imposed new sanctions on six companies, including four based in Iran on Friday, citing their having engaged in activities that support Iranian weapons of mass destruction.
A statement from Caitlin Hayden, National Security Council spokesperson, noted that the companies and individuals sanctioned on Friday have supported terrorism or aided Iran's evasion of existing sanctions. The U.S. and its P5+1 partners will continue to work towards a solution, Hayden said, to ensure the Iranian nuclear program is "exclusively peaceful."
Among the companies sanctioned was the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, which was started by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, considered the father of Iran's nuclear research program. He has been on the United Nations sanctions list for about six years. The company was created in 2011, and was not subject to sanctions until Friday.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 19:57:00 PM
(NEW YORK) -- A new study tested the efficacy of the experimental drug ZMapp on treating Ebola-infected monkeys, with potentially promising results.
According to the study, published in the journal Nature, a small group of monkeys, infected with the Ebola virus, were given either the ZMapp antibody cocktail or another antibody combination. Of the six monkeys given the ZMapp cocktail, all six were cured.
Researchers note that the study is just the very beginning, as the study involved a small sample size and animal subjects. The Ebola strain the monkeys were infected with was also a different strain than the current outbreak in West Africa.
Because of the nature of the study, it cannot provide insight into whether Americans Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly were aided by having been given the ZMapp cocktail.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 18:54:42 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Google, Amazon and Domino's Pizza are big fans. The FAA is feeling it out. But one person clearly not a part of "Team Drone" is Matty Rose, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran and retired mail carrier.
Google announced Wednesday that it tested drone delivery of items like dog treats, vaccines and candy to farmers in Australia. Though companies like the search giant are figuring out the legalities of FAA rules regarding commercial drone use, the realities of food and product deliveries by small aircraft appear to be closer than ever before.
Though no companies have declared they will replace mail delivery, Rose says you can count him out of the fan club if they ever decide to do so when it comes to packages and letters.
"I don’t think letter carriers can be replaced. Everything else can be automated or bar-coded to every state for the same price," he said. "But somebody has to deliver it."
A former union officer for the National Association of Letter Carriers, Rose delivered mail for more than 12 years in Hollywood, Florida, north of Miami, after his military service in 1966. He is now the president of Nalcrest Trustees, a 500-unit retirement community in Central Florida for former letter carriers.
"The Postal Service is part of the fabric of this nation," said Darleen Reid, a spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service. "Postal employees make a difference in every community across the country."
Here are some of the reasons mail carriers may be better than drones:
1. Drones can't cheer up lonely residents.
"Everybody’s working and busy these days, but in most neighborhoods, especially with people who are seniors, letter carriers are sometimes the only people they get to meet during the course of the day," Rose said. "Letter carriers keep an eye on the elderly and the neighborhood.
2. Mail carriers have saved lives.
"Letter carriers are saving people’s lives and they can stop crimes," he said.
Exhibit A: One mailman in Akron, Ohio, Keith McVey, is credited with saving three lives, including saving a drowning girl from a lake, helping a teen who jumped off a bridge on a snowy day and performing CPR on an unconscious man.
Reid said that in 2013 the Postal Service recognized 262 "employee heroes."
3. Drones can't be Santa Claus.
Since 1912, postal employees, charities and individual and corporate volunteers have helped children and families in need experience the magic of the holiday season by answering letters to Santa.
4. Mail carriers won't drop packages on your head.
"A drone could hover over your head. I don’t know if people would trust drones," whereas many Americans would prefer the "personal touch" of a letter carrier, said Rose. "Something about delivering a letter is special. Look at what we have now. Drones dropping packages on your head. You certainly don’t want that."
5. Your postal worker knows everything about you, hopefully, in a good way.
"The letter carrier knows everything about you: the kind of mail you get, your hobbies, magazines and who you’re fooling around with," Rose said.
6. Drones can't hold food drives.
Reid said the Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers held the largest one-day food drive in the nation. In 2013, more than one million pounds of food were collected. More than one billion pounds of food have been collected since the drive began in 1993.
7. Postal service workers will take a dog bite for you.
Medical expenses from dog attacks cost the Postal Service more than $1.4 million last year, based on data through June 2013. Each year in May, the Postal Service supports National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The campaign raises awareness concerning animal attacks. Last year, 4,734 postal employees were attacked in more than 2,200 cities.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 17:32:29 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. State Department issued an updated travel warning on Ukraine on Friday, citing the latest clashes between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian military.
The memo from the State Department warns U.S. citizens that travel to eastern Ukraine is dangerous and that all travel to the area should be deferred. The warning covers both Crimea, which was annexed by Russia earlier this year, as well as the area near the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Americans who opt to remain in those regions are urged to keep a low profile and avoid large crowds and gatherings. because the situation in Ukraine is unpredictable, Americans should be prepared to remain indoors and sheltered for extended periods of time if clashes occur in their region.
Additionally, the State Department notes that U.S. government personnel have had their travel to the regions in question restricted, making it more difficult to respond to emergencies involving U.S. citizens.Published: 8/29/2014 17:18:55 PM
(DALLAS) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized President Obama on Friday at the annual Americans for Prosperity summit in Dallas.
Calling out the commander in chief for his admission that the administration does not yet have a strategy on how to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Thursday, Perry called the militant group a "clear and present danger to the free world." Obama, he said, needs to understand that "the peace of the free world requires presidential decisiveness, not dithering and debating."
Addressing the conservative crowd, Perry called for action, declaring that "presidential leadership is needed now, more than ever."
Changing topics, Perry also criticized Obama's overreach on immigration. "On the one hand we're seeing a willful neglect of clear presidential responsibility," Perry said, "and on the other, we're seeing an aggressive overreach into powers that don't even belong to a president."
Perry was indicted earlier this month on charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official for his threat to veto funding for the Texas state public integrity unit when District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign following a DUI.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 17:02:52 PM
(LOS ANEGLES) -- Grammy winner Cee Lo Green pleaded no contest on Friday to a felony charge of furnishing ecstasy to a woman in 2012.
Green's plea came just before a preliminary hearing was to begin, with the singer saying that he wanted to put the case behind him. Green received three years probation.
Speaking outside the Los Angeles courtroom, Green said that he and his attorneys were "very pleased to have finally resolved this matter with an amicable understanding and we're satisfied."
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 16:27:08 PM
(NEW YORK) -- After a day of losses, Wall Street returned to its form from the beginning of the week, with all three major indices posting gains and the S&P 500 posting a record close.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17098.38, up 18.81 from Thursday.
The Nasdaq gained 22.57, finished the day at 4580. 27, while the S&P 500 climbed 6.62, finishing the day at a new high close of 2003.36. The S&P 500 finished the month up 3.8 percent, its best August in 14 years.
The market gains come after Google, earlier this week, announced that it is working on a system that would allow the company to delivery goods using drones. Other companies, including Amazon and Dominos Pizza have previously tested similar drone delivery systems.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 16:16:13 PM
(MOSUL, Iraq) -- U.S. fighter and attack aircraft were involved in four more airstrikes in the area of the Mosul Dam, the U.S. Central Command said on Friday.
The latest strikes bring the ttoal since Aug. 8 to 110 within Iraq. The most recent strikes destroyed four armed vehicles and three support vehicles, while severely damaging another armed vehicle, all controlled by militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
As with other strikes conducted in Iraq in recent weeks, the U.S. military says it has acted to support Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defense forces, as well as in the interest of protecting key infrastructure and U.S. interests in the region.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 16:10:45 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing questions this week after a tea party candidate for her seat filed a letter with the Louisiana Secretary of State urging them to investigate Landrieu's residency status.
Retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, a tea party candidate for the Louisiana Senate seat said that while Landrieu owns a home in Louisiana, she lists a home in Washington, D.C. as her home address on a number of forms and has referred to the D.C. home as her residence. This, Maness says, should disqualify her from the requirements to represent the state. Specifically, Louisiana statutes require a Senator to be an "inhabitant of this state."
In his letter to the Louisiana Secretary of State, Maness cites numerous media interviews and paperwork in which Landrieu has called Washington her home. Her campaign website refers to the Louisiana home as "the house she grew up in," and not her current home.
Landrieu is registered to vote at the Louisiana home and is a joint owner of the home along with a limited liability corporation set up for her family's estate planning. However, Maness argues, that is not the same as being an inhabitant of the state.
Still, Landrieu's daughter still attends high school in Louisiana and lives in the state regularly, and Landrieu is listed as the partial owner of a home in the state, making it difficult for Maness to prove that she is not legally a Louisiana resident.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 15:49:43 PM
(NEW YORK) -- It's a weekend we all knew would come too quickly. Labor Day marks the final "unofficial" weekend of summer.
Dangerous weather is expected in the center of the country this weekend. From the Dakotas to the Great Lakes and into the Plains -- damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible. Cities that will see these conditions are Bismarck, N.D.; Minneapolis; Des Moines; Iowa; Omaha, Neb.; Kansas City and Wichita, Kan.
In addition, these storms could bring rainfall, producing flash flooding on the interstates from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast.
In addition, two tropical systems, Marie in the Pacific and Cristobal in the Atlantic, have been stirring up high waves and strong rip currents on both coasts this week. Luckily, the beach conditions improve just in time for the holiday weekend, on both the east and west, as the storms weaken and move away.
The heat and humidity is on the rise for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. After what's been a rather mild summer, a burst of above normal temperatures takes over much of the area over the weekend and into next week. Temperatures will generally be in the upper 80s, with some spots in the 90s further south. It looks to be an unsettled weekend for the east coast, but not a washout. Some days will be better than others, with the best chance for storms falling on Labor Day for areas like Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston.
The place to be for abundant sunshine will be the Southwest, and most of the west coast, where a stretch of dry weather dominates the region.
The Southwest stays hot with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, but much cooler air will filter into the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures could struggle to even reach the 70s. Seattle is looking at highs in the 60s with the chance of showers each day.
According to the American Automobile Association, some 35 million people will be on the roads and at airports starting Saturday.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 15:44:06 PM
(LONDON) -- The British government Friday raised the threat level for international terrorism to “severe,” indicating a terrorist attack is “highly likely” but based on intelligence not necessarily “imminent.”
U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May released a statement Friday saying the increased threat is “related to events in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West, and that some of those attacks are likely to involve fighters who have travelled from the U.K.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was the first time in three years the threat has been raised to such a level in the U.K.
“What we’re facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before,” Cameron said in an address to the nation, noting that the terrorist group, also known as ISIS for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has recruited hundreds of British citizens to its ranks.
Western security officials have been concerned for months that ISIS recruits with Western passports could travel to Syria and Iraq and then return home with deadly skills to wreak havoc.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 15:42:38 PM
(NEW YORK) -- The Senegalese Health Ministry has reported its first Ebola case, a Guinean student who had been in contact with sick people in Guinea and was later hospitalized in Senegal.
Earlier this week, the Democratic Republic of Congo -- 800 miles from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa -- reported 24 suspected Ebola cases, including 13 deaths. None of the patients or their close contacts had traveled to West Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
“At this time, it is believed that the outbreak in [the Democratic Republic of Congo] is unrelated to the ongoing outbreak in West Africa,” the agency said in a statement, adding that samples from the Congo cases are currently being tested for the virus.
The first known case in Congo occurred in a pregnant woman who became ill after butchering a “bush animal” that her husband killed, according to the WHO. She died on Aug. 11. Health care workers who tended to her, including a doctor, two nurses and a ward boy, developed similar symptoms and died, the agency said.
Ebola was first discovered in the Congo in 1976 and is named for the Ebola River.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 15:16:36 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Comic icon Joan Rivers has been unconscious since she arrived at New York City's Mount Sinai hospital on Thursday, a source familiar with the situation tells ABC News.
Doctors are keeping Rivers sedated and under close supervision, the source said, until they're comfortable with her condition, which is described as "serious."
In a statement, Rivers' daughter Melissa said, "My mother would be so touched by the tributes and prayers that we have received from around the world. Her condition remains serious but she is receiving the best treatment and care possible. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts as we pray for her recovery.”
Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital in critical condition when she went into cardiac arrest at a nearby clinic while undergoing what her network, E!, called "a minor endoscopic procedure."
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 14:59:00 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Add Donald Trump to the list of celebrities taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Trump -- nominated by ex-boxer Mike Tyson, World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon and The Simpsons patriarch, Homer Simpson -- completed the challenge with the help of Miss Universe, Gabriela Isler, and Miss USA, Nia Sanchez.
The 68-year-old business mogul also ended the long-running debate as to whether or not his hair is really his own.
In a video taped atop New York's City's Trump Tower, The Donald announces, "I've been called out by everybody for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge -- Homer Simpson, Mike Tyson, Vince McMahon -- like everybody is going crazy over this thing." He adds, "I guess they wanna see if whether or not this is my real hair, which it is.”
He then challenges his sons Donald and Eric, as well as President Obama. The president already passed on the challenge earlier this month when he was called out by Ethel Kennedy, the 86-year-old widow of Robert Kennedy.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $88 million for Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 13:41:56 PM
(ATLANTA) -- NASCAR driver Tony Stewart made an emotional return into the spotlight Friday as he explained that he sees his return to the race track nearly three weeks after fatally hitting another driver as a necessary part of the healing process.
"This has been one of the toughest tragedies that I’ve ever had to deal with... both professional and personally, and this is something that will definitely affect my life forever," Stewart said at a news conference.
Stewart hit fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. when Ward got out of his car during a race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York earlier this month. Footage of the incident appears to show that Ward may have been trying to confront Stewart and he was seen gesturing at Stewart’s car just moments before it ran into him.
"This is a sadness and a pain I hope no one has to experience in their life," Stewart said. "That being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward’s family and his friends are experiencing, is something I can’t possibly imagine."
"I’ve taken the last couple of weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family and to cope with the accident my own way. It’s given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted."
The news conference came ahead of Stewart's return to the racetrack this Sunday as he is scheduled to compete in the ORAL-B USA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
"I miss my team, my teammates, and I miss being back in the race car. And I think being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time," he said.
Stewart refused to take questions, saying that he was not emotionally ready at this time, but gave his condolences to each member of Ward's family, listing the 20-year-old's relatives by name in his statement.
In spite of that personal connection, it was confirmed later that Stewart has not spoken to any of Ward's relatives directly. Brett Frood, the executive vice president of Stewart-Haas racing, said after Stewart left the press conference that the driver had sent flowers and a note to Ward's relatives around the time of the memorial services but had not spoken with them.
The investigation into the fatal August 9 incident remains open, though no charges have been filed. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said earlier this month that they did not find any evidence of criminal behavior in their initial investigation.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 13:39:22 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- More than 3 million people have sought refuge from the fighting in Syria, the United Nations’ refugee agency announced Friday.
That means the Syrian crisis, which has persisted since a civilian uprising began in 2011, is the biggest refugee operation in the UNHCR’s 64-year history, the agency said.
Antonio Guterres, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, said the international effort to help Syrian refugees was insufficient to meet their growing needs and number.
“The world is failing to meet the needs of [Syrian] refugees and the countries hosting them,” Guterres said, adding that, while the response to the crisis has been generous, “the bitter truth is that it falls far short of what’s needed.”
In addition to the 3 million people who have sought shelter in neighboring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, another 6.5 million refugees have been displaced within Syria, the agency said, adding that half of those people were children. The UNHCR concluded that almost half of the Syrian civilian population has had to leave its homes.
Not only are the refugees fleeing violence, but because they frequently bounce from village to village before finally leaving their home country, they arrive in neighboring countries in increasingly “shocking states[s],” according to a UNHCR statement.
“There are worrying signs too that the journey out of Syria is becoming tougher, with many people forced to pay bribes at armed checkpoints proliferating along the borders,” the statement said.
Long-term medical conditions, steep food and commodity prices and unemployment are also problems that Syrians are plagued with once they escape the areas of greatest danger, the UNHCR added.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 13:31:16 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Summer is coming to an end but the cooler weather heralds the beginning of some of the best sales of the year. First up: Labor Day weekend’s big bargains.
Ashley Lutz of the website Business Insider says shoppers should be on the lookout for washers and dryers, bicycles, mattresses, and clothing that will take people out of the summer and into fall and winter.
Lutz explained why washers and dryers and vacuum cleaners tend to be available at such good prices this year, saying: "A lot of retailers are clearing out their merchandise and they're going to start offering the new models for the holidays...so they want to clear out that merchandise now to make way for the new models."
Here's a list of some of the weekend's sales:
- Abercrombie & Fitch is offering everything in stores and online for up to 60 percent off. They’ll also have jeans for $39.
- Shop Gap.com for up to 40 percent off select items today and tomorrow, and get 40 percent off your entire in-store and online purchases through Tuesday. Online shoppers must use the code DAY.
- Banana Republic is offering discounts of up to 40 percent off through Tuesday.
- Sears is offering deep discounts on bicycles, including a men’s Schwinn. At $286, it’s nearly $50 off.
- The sales at Lowe’s include the offer of a Maytag dryer for about $380. That’s nearly $170 off the regular price.
- At Macy’s, the weekend will bring major markdowns on mattresses, including a Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress that was regularly $769 that will be offered for just $297.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 12:45:45 PM
(IRVINE, Calif.) -- A retrial is underway for a California attorney accused of trying to frame a PTA volunteer by planting drugs in her car, allegedly in retaliation for the way she treated his son.
Kelli Peters broke down in tears in court Thursday after coming face to face with Kent Easter, the man accused of framing her.
Easter remains free on bail, facing charges of false imprisonment by fraud or deceit. A previous trial ended in November in a deadlock, 11-1, in favor of convicting Easter.
Prosecutors say Easter called 9-1-1 Feb. 16, 2011, accusing Peters of being under the influence of drugs. Easter has never denied making that phone call.
After authorities found the drugs in Peters’ car, they detained her for two hours and searched her home, but didn’t find any other drugs, leading investigators to shift their attention to Easter.
Prosecutors say the Easters accused Peters of not properly supervising their son, a student at the elementary school where Peters volunteered.
In opening statements, Easter’s lawyer said it was the man’s wife, Jill, who planted the drugs. “Jill was the operator behind the incident,” the lawyer said.
Jill Easter pleaded guilty last year to false imprisonment and was sentenced to 120 days in jail, a term she completed.
If convicted, Kent Easter faces three years in prison.
The trial continues next week with Peters back on the stand.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 12:01:54 PM
(MIAMI GARDEN, Fla.) -- Even though Michael Sam has yet to learn if he's made the St. Louis Rams after a productive preseason, he expressed confidence that once the weekend is over, he'll officially be an NFL player.
"You know what, it's not going to be like the draft," Sam said. "I'm very confident that I'm going to sleep really well tonight and I'm very confident I'm going to be on a team, the Rams or any other team in the NFL."
Sam made headlines before the NFL scouting combine when he announced that he's gay. He'd be the first openly gay player in NFL history.
Already with a chip on his shoulder, Sam needed to prove to Rams coaches that as a seventh round pick, he should make the team.
He's had a very productive preseason. In four preseason games, he's recorded 11 tackles while also registering three sacks.
The deadline for NFL teams to submit their final 53-man rosters is at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 11:06:25 AM
(CRESTED BUTTE, Colo.) -- One small mountain town in Colorado is apparently "up for whatever."
The town council in Crested Butte, Colorado, approved a special permit allowing Bud Light to take over the town for a three-day event "of unexpected fun," ABC affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver reported Thursday.
Bud Light, one of Anheuser-Busch's beer brands, doubled its original donation for the town to $500,000. The event will turn the town into a fictitious one: Whatever, USA.
"Ever since we were first approached by Bud Light earlier this summer, we've been impressed with the creativity and level of detail they've put into the planning process for Whatever, USA,” Crested Butte Mayor Aaron Huckstep said in a statement released by the beer brand. "This is going to be an incredible event for our community that will help bring the beauty of Crested Butte to 1,000 new visitors."
Crested Butte was selected because of "its breathtaking natural beauty and colorful cast of characters," according to a statement from Bud Light.
The plan had its critics. One resident, former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, called the originally proposed $250,000 donation a "paltry and insulting sum."
"My own view is that this is truly an inappropriate function for a town that has built its reputation so carefully," Wirth told ABC News. "It should cost them a pretty penny and they won’t even notice it."
Bud Light's "UpForWhatever" ad campaign began during the Super Bowl, in which random people on the street, seemingly between the ages of 21 and 35, are whisked off to celebrity-laden adventures. In Bud Light commercials for the town of Whatever, USA, there's a fake, bearded mayor.
For this specific campaign in Colorado, the company will select 1,000 Bud Light fans across the United States who auditioned with a 10-second video explaining why they should be flown into Whatever, USA. Winners will be notified 48 hours before the trip.
The audition deadline is next Thursday and more than 150,000 people have applied so far.
The proposed plans include street performers, a parade, music, dancing, closing off the local Big Mine Ice Arena and, of course, lots of Bud Light.
"There are a lot of different opinions in the town," town manager Ted Crossett said. "There are a lot of people who support it and a lot of people who do not for a variety of reasons."
Crossett's staff report about the weekend describes some of the activities, including "stumble upon events, which are low impact activities such as games, low-key races and curiosities. Most would be open to the public."
"Some would be closed to contestants. Activities would take place on both the street and in private businesses," the Aug. 23 report states.
Prior to the approval, Wirth said the town council has "allowed themselves to be put into this dreadful corner" that has divided the town. He proposed Bud Light pay $10 million to host the event.
David Ochs, executive director at the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, argued that the event will bring an unknown amount of extra cash to local businesses and the town coffers, as the high tourist summer season comes to an end.
"Keep locals working, keep paychecks coming and keep everything rolling," he said. "Bud Light has been very good in incorporating retail businesses into the event, but the real benefit might be in the long term: the exposure and marketing of it is what they will see and want to come back to Crested Butte, and that's our bread and butter."
Kevin McGruther, a town resident of 18 years, attended the most recent hearing about the proposed event Monday. He said he wasn't arguing for or against the event, but pointed to the local government's failure to adhere to its typical town-event application process.
"The issue is the transparency, the preemption of the process and disenfranchisement of the community," he told ABC News.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 09:18:03 AM
(CHICAGO) -- Access to Chicago O'Hare Airport is limited after a shuttle bus crashed into a concrete barrier in the westbound lanes of I-190 Friday morning.
Police have blocked the lanes that lead to the airport creating a major traffic jam.
Fifteen people were injured in the crash. Their conditions are unknown.
O'Hare Airport officials have confirmed that the bus accident occurred on a road leading to the terminals, but declined to provide anymore information.
This story is developing...
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 08:41:42 AM
(NEW YORK) -- On Wednesday, the Pierce Brosnan film The November Man opened in theaters, earning an estimated $862,000 in its first day of release, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Another new movie opens Friday, in time for the Labor Day weekend: As Above/So Below. In the film, a team of explorers search the catacombs underneath the streets of Paris, and experience horror along the way.
Mad Men actor Ben Feldman, Perdita Weeks and Edwin Hodge star in As Above/So Below, which is rated R.
If you're in a nostalgic mood, the original Ghostbusters film is being re-released in select theaters Friday in honor of its 30th anniversary.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 08:24:01 AM
(NEW YORK) -- Nashville is about American as apple pie. Maybe even more so now that the personal finance website WalletHub has named it 2014’s most American U.S. metro area.
To reach that conclusion, WalletHub graded 366 metro areas on a series of 26 metrics that included age, gender and income.
Nashville scored at near the top of key rankings such as socio-demographic makeup, housing, economy and education to capture the crown.
Interestingly, WalletHub determined that Tulsa, Oklahoma, most closely resembled the U.S. in terms of age while Denver looked most like America in regards to race.
At the bottom of the list was McAllen, Texas.
Here are the top 25 most American cities:
- Nashville, TN
- Cincinnati, OH
- Indianapolis, IN
- Charleston, SC
- Jacksonville, FL
- Greenville, SC
- Oklahoma, OK
- Phoenix, AZ
- Albuquerque, NM
- Winston, NC
- Birmingham, AL
- Greensboro, NC
- Orlando, FL
- Charlotte, NC
- Columbus, OH
- Louisville/Jefferson County, KY
- Lexington, KY
- Tulsa, OK
- Baton Rouge, LA
- Columbia, SC
- St. Louis, MO
- New Orleans, LA
- Kansas City, MO
- Tucson, AZ
- Little Rock, AR
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 07:36:28 AM
(COVENTRY, England) -- One of the slang meanings of “pigeon” is someone who can be easily duped.
Perhaps then it’s no surprise that British researchers have determined that people who like to gamble exhibit the same tendencies as pigeons when it comes to decisions that involve risk.
Psychology expert Dr. Elliot Ludvig of the University of Warwick asserts that “Both humans and pigeons were shown to be less risk averse for high rewards then they were for low rewards and this is linked to our past memories and experiences of making risky decisions.”
Never mind that human have brains that are so much more advanced than any other species. According to Ludvig, the same mental processes drive gamblers and pigeons when they’re faced with risk.
So why does this happen? Ludvig says it may have to do with “shared common ancestry or similar evolutionary pressures.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 07:29:55 AM
(SAN FRANCISCO) -- San Francisco Giants pitcher Yusmeiro Petit set a major league record by retiring 46 consecutive batters.
Petit set the record during his start against the Colorado Rockies Thursday, when he struck out Charlie Culberson in the third inning.
The 29-year-old had retired 38 batters in seven previous appearances before breaking Mark Buehrle's record of 45, which was set in 2009.
"What a roll to get on to have that kind of record," Giants skipper Bruce Bochy said. "As long as this game's been going on, now he's got it."
Petit began his streak during the end of a start against Philadelphia on July 22. He then appeared in six games in relief before setting the record in the Giants (71-62) 4-1 win over the Rockies Thursday.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 07:21:00 AM
(NEW YORK) -- Just when you were getting used to the idea of the airlines charging you extra for things that used to be included in the price of a ticket comes a report about the U.S. hotel industry that is bound to raise more hackles.
NYU professor Bjorn Hanson says that hotels managed to collect over $2 billion from fees and surcharges alone in 2013 and this year they’ll make an even bigger profit.
Hotel guests are regularly socked with resort or amenity fees, early departure fees and early reservation cancellation fees.
In some instances, guests pay for the safe in their rooms that they don’t even use. And of course, there’s the added cost of restocking the minibar.
Just like the airline industry, hotels seem reluctant to raise their prices to reflect market value, which Hanson said would actually eliminate the need for fees.
However, customers seem more willing to put up with the surcharges than pay a little extra for a room even if it costs them more money in the long run.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 07:16:01 AM
(NEW YORK) -- The found footage horror flick As Above/So Below revolves around Scarlet (Perdita Weeks), an archeologist of sorts who speaks multiple languages -- two of them dead -- and is a black belt in Krav Maga. Totally believable, right? Scarlet's immediate goal in life is to fulfill her late father’s quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone, and she won’t let anything stop her...not even a silly thing like death.
When Scarlet discovers that the stone may be hidden in the catacombs of Paris, she recruits a team to accompany her on her underground descent, including a few people who know their way around the place. There, they encounter human remains, a guy who used to live in the catacombs but who disappeared two years ago, plenty of sudden, loud noises, and dozens of other obvious signs that they should leave before they all come to a horrible and violent end.
Then, there’s the most disturbing sign something is amiss: objects and people from each member of the team's past begin to pop up. There’s a spooky piano, an even spookier dead brother and a burning car from an accident. All of this, mind you, is taking place nearly a thousand feet under the streets of Paris. Yes, it’s pretty creepy, but perhaps no more creepy than riding that New York City subway line you recently found out is infested with bedbugs.
Like so many horror films, the decisions made by these characters are preposterous -- nearly as preposterous as the notion that you are watching found footage from a camera that was left behind with no hope of ever getting it back. I’m beginning to think it’s called “found" footage because people FIND it annoying. There’s nothing new here; aside from a couple of claustrophobic and aurally frightening moments, As Above/So Below is more boring than it is scary.
Two out of five stars.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 07:04:00 AM
(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama wore a tan suit at his press conference Thursday and the Internet exploded.
Although the president was making important statements about the Islamic State and Russia, supporters and critics focused more on Obama's attire, a departure from the usual dark suits or sports jackets he wears in public.
Some of the tweets included:
"Obama vows to defeat whoever made him wear this suit."
"Who gave President Obama that old church suit from my dad's closet?"
"I don’t care that Obama’s suit is tan. The problem with the suit is that it’s EMPTY."
"Obama's tan suit is a distraction from Benghazi."
"If Obama is catching hell for wearing a tan suit now, then God help him when he wears white after Labor Day."
"Message from senior White House official: 'He loves that suit.'"
Michigan Congressman John Dingell tweeted, "I see no problem with the suit," while also posting a photo of himself in a tan suit.
FYI: Obama was also photographed wearing what looks like the same suit after attending Easter Sunday services.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 06:45:02 AM
(POLK COUNTY, Ore.) -- Jesse Helt, the homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards, turned himself into authorities in Oregon and posted bail after being sought on an arrest warrant for a probation violation.
Helt was originally arrested in 2010 for “criminal mischief,” among other charges. He pleaded guilty/no contest to the charges and received probation, which he violated the following year, authorities said.
A booking photo released by Polk County Community Corrections officials shows Helt wearing a black shirt, his expression blank.
The arrest comes four days after Helt entered the public spotlight. He took the stage at Sunday’s awards show after Cyrus won the video of the year award for “Wrecking Ball.”
“I’ve survived in shelters all over this city, I’ve cleaned your hotel rooms, I’ve been an extra in your movies, I’ve been an extra in your life,” Helt told the award show audience. “Though I may have been invisible to you on the streets, I have many of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight.”
Helt and Cyrus had met through My Friend’s Place -- an organization that helps homeless youth find shelter, healthcare and education.
Linda Helt, Jesse’s mother, said she was thankful that he faced his legal obligation.
“I’m proud of him for doing what’s right,” she told ABC news. “I don’t condone running away from a problem.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 06:24:26 AM
(CANBERRA, Australia) -- Papua New Guinea's Tavurvur volcano spewed smoke and volcanic ash into the air Friday, with residents in the South Pacific nation evacuated and flights disrupted.
Communities near the volcano were evacuated, while residents of the town of Rabaul were advised to remain indoors to avoid falling ash, according to a statement from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Australia’s Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre issued an advisory due to the eruption. Authorities there are making sure that air travel in the region is safe. Qantas flights in the area are taking special care to avoid the volcanic cloud.
Tavurvur most recently erupted last year.
Friday's activity – which occurred on the eastern tip of the country’s New Britain island – offered tourists amazing views of the volcanic activity.
The volcano has erupted numerous times in recent years, destroying the town of Rabaul in 1994 when it erupted simultaneously with nearby Mount Vulcan.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 05:48:08 AM
(NEW YORK) -- The National Football League announced a change to its personal conduct policy following outcry regarding a controversial suspension for one of its players.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for two games in connection with a video that surfaced earlier this year in which he allegedly struck his now-wife, Janay, and knocked her unconscious during an altercation at an Atlantic City, N.J. casino. The outcry that the suspension, issued by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, was too light was fierce and immediate.
Goodell initially defended the decision, pointing out that the length of the suspension matched the NFL's existing policy.
Still, on Thursday, the commissioner sent a letter and an accompanying memo to each NFL team owner outlining changes to that very policy. Most notably, any player in violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy involving assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault will be subject to a suspension of six games for a first offense, with possible consideration for "mitigating factors," and a lifetime ban for a second offense.
Goodell's letter discusses "respect" and "the integrity of the game." He notes that the steps taken Thursday "are based on a clear, simple principle: domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They have no place in the NFL and are unacceptable in any way, under any circumstances."
In addition to the altered suspension policy, team personnel will be expected to undergo comprehensive training to help "understand and identify risk factors associated with domestic violence." Goodell also called upon expansion of the NFL's existing college, high school and youth football programs.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said that the announcement alone was not enough. The league, he said, "must match words with actions." While he applauded Goodell's action, Blumenthal said that "the real work begins" now in hopes of solving the problem of domestic violence.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/29/2014 00:09:35 AM
(HOLUHRAUN, Iceland) -- A volcanic eruption in northern Iceland began early Friday morning local time, prompting airspace closure of much of the area.
According to the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, the fissure from which the eruption occurred is about 300 meters long. There has not yet been any detection of volcanic ash, and the seismic data seems to indicate that the eruption is effusive, and not explosive.
Still, the Icelandic Air Traffic Control closed down airspace from the earth up to 18,000 feet within the area around the eruption site.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 23:55:11 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say that even though a baby in Mississippi who was initially thought to have been cured of HIV later relapsed, there may have been important information gleaned from the case.
The unnamed girl, dubbed the "Mississippi baby," was born to an HIV-positive mother in 2010. After being treated with high doses of antiretroviral medication, she was deemed cured, but four years later, detectable levels of HIV were found in her blood. Still, researchers said, they learned from that.
The girl's relapse helped to support the theory that CD4+ memory T cells, a specific type of immune cell, harbors the latent virus. Potential treatments, they note, could be aimed at reducing the number of those specific cells.
The article, published in the journal Science, also looked at two other patients who had been deemed "cured" before relapsing.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 23:32:55 PM
(NEW YORK) -- The new season of Survivor will have one of the more controversial castaways in the history of the show.
Former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker has been named one of the 18 contestants for the 29th season of Survivor, which premieres on CBS on September 24. Rocker, whose best days as a ballplayer came with the Atlanta Braves, gained infamy in the late 1990s when he made disparaging remarks about foreigners, among other groups of people, in a Sports Illustrated interview.
The new season of Survivor will see the return of Exile Island and the "Blood vs. Water" theme, in which castaways initially compete with loved ones. Rocker will be a castaway alongside his girlfriend.
Among the other notable castaways is Nadiya Anderson, a two-time Amazing Race contestant who will compete with her sister.
As always, a one-million-dollar grand prize will be on the line.
Here's a rundown of the cast:
Winter Park, Fla.
Traveling Sales Rep
Winter Park, Fla.
New York, N.Y.
New York, N.Y.
Singer, Actor, Writer
Las Vegas, Nev.
Former MLB Player
Model/Owner of Spray Tan Business
Crossfit Coach and Student
Crossfit Coach, Project Coordinator at Bridge2Peace
Father & Son
Mother & Daughter
Owner of a Competitive Cheerleading Gym
Father & Daughter
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 23:14:49 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- After the prosecution rested in the trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, closing arguments will begin on Friday.
The jury was sent home on Thursday afternoon and will hear four closing arguments before they will be asked to come to a verdict. McDonnell and his wife are accused of taking gifts from a businessman in exchange for special treatment.
The defense rested on Wednesday. Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams said that he provided the McDonnells with gifts in exchange for help with his business. The McDonnells, however, claim that he was never given special treatment.
The final witness for the prosecution was an FBI special agent who testified that the couple spent most of their nights together, the Washington Post said, a claim that would undermine their defense that their marriage was sufficiently damaged by his political status that they could not have engaged in a conspiracy.
After the testimony ended, defense attorneys moved to have the couple acquitted, but the judge denied that request.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 23:08:36 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Google is working to develop its own drone delivery program, called Project Wing.
In a video posted to YouTube by the company, Google says it tested the system in Queensland, Australia, and "successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water" to Australian farmers. The project is still early on in development.
The company states that it anticipates the potential to transport goods "more quickly, safely and efficiently." It is also looking for "partners who can help [them] bring this technology to the world safely."
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 22:58:27 PM
(STAUNTON, Va.) -- The pilot whose fighter jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia on Wednesday was killed in the crash, it was confirmed Thursday by military officials.
The pilot and jet were under the Massachusetts Air National Guard and were en route to Louisiana when the plane crashed. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick called it "a very sad day for the Guard and for Massachusetts." He also offered condolences to the family of the pilot, who was not identified, as well as the rest of the Massachusetts National Guard.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 22:28:06 PM
(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Detroit Tigers 3 (72-60) - New York Yankees 2 (69-63)
Cincinnati Reds 7 (65-69) - Chicago Cubs 2 (59-74)
San Francisco Giants 4 (71-62) – Colorado Rockies 1 (53-80)
Baltimore Orioles 5 (76-56) – Tampa Bay Rays 4 (65-69)
Atlanta Braves 6 (70-64) – New York Mets 1 (62-72)
Cleveland Indians 3 (68-64) - Chicago White Sox 2 (60-73)
Minnesota Twins 11 (59-74) - Kansas City Royals 5 (74-59) - 10 Innings
Top 25 College Football: (21) Texas A&M 52 (1-0) – (9) South Carolina 28 (0-1)
(18) Ole Miss 35 (1-0) - Boise State 13 (0-1)
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 22:00:00 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Researchers say that obese women, who have even more reason to try to limit weight gain during pregnancy, can do so by using conventional weight-loss methods.
The study, published in the journal Obesity, looked at 114 obese pregnant women. Half of the subjects received one counseling session on keeping a healthy diet, while the other half attended weekly support meetings and behavioral and dietary counseling, and kept a food and exercise journal. After 34 weeks of pregnancy, the women in the latter group had gained just 11 pounds on average -- at the lower end of the recommended weight gain for obese mothers by the Institute of Medicine.
Women in the control group, on the contrary, had gained an average of 18 pounds through 34 weeks.
Limiting weight gain among obese mothers can help to limit both complications during delivery and the future risk of obesity for the child.
The study found that participants in the more intense intervention group weighed six pounds less two weeks after giving birth than they did when they entered the study, while those in the control group weighed three pounds more. Those in the intervention group also were significantly less likely to give birth to babies deemed large for gestational age.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 21:26:06 PM
(MOSUL, Iraq) -- The U.S. military conducted another series of airstrikes against targets related to militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Thursday, with five more strikes confirmed.
Fighter aircraft conducted the strikes near the Mosul Dam, destroying an ISIS Humvee, a tank, four armored vehicles, and a construction vehicle, and damaging a checkpoint. The aircraft all escaped the area safely.
The U.S. military has been undertaking the strikes with the intent of supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces that are squaring off with ISIS forces, as well as to protect infrastructure and American interests in the area.
Since strikes began earlier this month, U.S. Central Command says that 106 airstrikes have been conducted across Iraq.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 20:42:45 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- The Internal Revenue Service said on Thursday that taxpayers continue to receive scam phone calls from individuals purporting to be with the agency.
The scammers, the IRS says, may claim that their victims have a refund due, or use another method to attempt to acquire personal information. Callers use fake names and fake IRS identification numbers.
"These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. He urged people not to fall prey to such calls, noting that the IRS has formal procedures for those individuals with tax issues. "The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business," Koskinen said.
The IRS also offered Americans five tips to help identify suspicious calls. The agency says that its agents will never call about your taxes prior to mailing you an official notice, demand payment without allowing you the chance to appeal, require a specific method of payment for taxes, ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or threaten to involve law enforcement groups.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 19:59:43 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama admitted Thursday that his administration does not have a strategy to combat the militant Islamic group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that has grabbed large chunks of Iraq and Syria.
The president said he would be meeting later Thursday with the National Security Council.
“The options that I’m asking for from the Joint Chiefs focuses primarily on making sure that ISIL is not overrunning Iraq,” Obama said during a news conference in the White House briefing room, using another acronym for the militant Islamic group ISIS.
When the president was asked if he would seek congressional approval for U.S. attacks on ISIS targets in Syria, he responded, "I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet...Some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are.”
Earlier this week, the president approved military surveillance flights over Syria, but airstrikes in that country have not been authorized. U.S. military planes have carried out over 100 airstrikes in Iraq.
“As commander-in-chief, I will always do what is necessary to protect the American people,” he said. “Our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader comprehensive strategy to protect our people and to support our partners who are taking the fight to [ISIS]."
Obama said he is dispatching Secretary of State John Kerry to the area to work with allies, and ordered Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to prepare “a range of options” as he considers future military action.
“It also means that states in the region stop being ambivalent about these extremist groups,” Obama said. “This should be a wake-up call to Sunni, to Shia, to everybody that a group like ISIS is beyond the pale; that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people."
“We've got to all join together -- even if we have differences on a range of political issues -- to make sure that they're rooted out,” he added.
The president promised to continue to consult with Congress in the days and weeks ahead.
"I do think that it’ll be important for Congress to weigh in, or that our consultations with Congress continue to develop, so that the American people are part of the debate." he said. “I will consult with Congress and made sure their voices are heard.”
Following Obama’s remarks, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted the president would have “significant congressional support” if he engages legislators in the development of his plans.
“The President needs to develop a regional strategy, working with our allies, to defeat ISIL and to use the full extent of his authorities to attack this enemy force,” McConnell, R-Ky., wrote in a statement. “But don’t forget, the threat from ISIL is real and it’s growing — and it is time for President Obama to exercise some leadership in launching a response.”
Secretary of State John Kerry has also consistently advocated for a powerful response.
“The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil,” Kerry said in a statement released last week. “ISIL and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed.”
Following his remarks, Obama was scheduled to meet with his National Security Council in the Situation Room, with Vice President Joe Biden and Kerry.
Since video emerged Aug. 19 showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley, Obama has fought back against fresh criticism of his foreign policy, promising to be “relentless” in his fight against the emerging threat posed by ISIS.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 19:00:28 PM
(KIEV, Ukraine) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko cancelled a trip to Turkey on Thursday, citing the ongoing "Russian invasion," prompting a United Nations Security Council meeting.
Heavy fighting was reported in the southeastern Ukrainian town of Novoazovsk Thursday as pro-Russian rebels allegedly opened up a new military front. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for the U.N. Security Council meeting, noting the "growing military threat from Russia," and claiming that "Putin started a war in Europe."
The U.N. Security Council expressed outrage at the latest actions by Russia. In a statement, the spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the international community "cannot allow the situation to escalate further, nor can a continuation be allowed of the violence and destruction that the conflict has wrought in eastern Ukraine."
The U.S. ambassador for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe released a harsh statement on Thursday as well, calling the crisis "man-made" and blaming the Kremlin for showing "disregard for international law."
Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, called the latest tensions a "military invasion" in a statement. Calling the latest actions anything else, they said, "is to inhabit President Putin's Orwellian universe."
"This is a moment to speak and act with clarity," the senators said, "a sovereign nation in the heart of Europe is being invaded by its larger neighbor. This runs completely contrary to the civilized world that America and our partners have sought to build since World War II."
Also on Thursday, President Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the situation in Ukraine. According to a readout of the call, the two agreed that Russia is to blame for the latest violence. They also agreed that the U.S. and the European Union must consider additional sanctions while working towards a diplomatic solution.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 18:08:29 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Singer and recent Voice coach Shakira is expecting her second child with boyfriend Gerard Pique.
"Yes, we are expecting our second baby!! Thank you all for your well wishes!" she tweeted Thursday.
Yes, we are expecting our second baby!! Thank you all for your well wishes!— Shakira (@shakira) August 28, 2014
The 37-year-old singer and her soccer player beau welcomed their son Milan in January 2013, who was born in Barcelona, Spain.
“The name Milan (pronounced MEE-lahn), means dear, loving and gracious in Slavic; in Ancient Roman, eager and laborious; and in Sanskrit, unification,” a statement read last year at the time of the birth. “Just like his father, baby Milan became a member of FC Barcelona at birth.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 17:51:56 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Instagram crashed Thursday afternoon, leaving Internet denizens without a place to post pictures of pets and food.
In a tweet, the company acknowledged the problem, saying that they are "experiencing some technical difficulties."
Instagram is experiencing some technical issues. We're aware and working on a fix.— Instagram (@instagram) August 28, 2014
The website "Is It Down Right Now" shows that Instagram's server is not responding.
The social media service's mobile app seemed to properly load older photos, but was unable to reload the service. The web client returned a "500 Internal Server Error" that prevented users from accessing the website.
On Twitter, the phrase "Why is instagram" was briefly trending worldwide, as users sought other means of sharing their selfies and Throwback Thursday photos.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 16:30:38 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Joan Rivers has been rushed to a New York City hospital after an emergency call that she was in cardiac arrest, according to a law enforcement source. According to the New York City Fire Department, Rivers is in critical condition.
Rivers was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital Thursday morning after receiving a call that a woman was in cardiac arrest at an Upper East Side clinic, ABC News confirmed.
TMZ reported earlier that Rivers was having surgery on her vocal chords at the clinic.
Rivers' rep had no other information immediately available when contacted by ABC News.
Later on Thursday, E! Online tweeted that Rivers was in "critical but stable condition."
Rivers, 81, had been hard at work of late, co-hosting her E! TV show Fashion Police and doing stand-up comedy. According to Ticketmaster, she had seven shows planned across the U.S. for November.
"Ignore aging: Comedy is the one place it doesn’t matter. It matters in singing because the voice goes. It matters certainly in acting because you’re no longer the sexpot. But in comedy, if you can tell a joke, they will gather around your deathbed," she wrote in The Hollywood Reporter in 2012. "If you’re funny, you’re funny. Isn’t that wonderful?"
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 16:10:34 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- For the second time in a month, progressive activists disillusioned with the Obama administration's immigration policies intentionally had themselves arrested outside the White House in what they called an act of "civil disobedience."
The highly choreographed sit-in, organized by a coalition of labor, immigration reform and religious groups, featured roughly 100 demonstrators who sat down on the sidewalk outside the president's residence in an area already cordoned off by law enforcement. After several warnings from law enforcement officers on standby, the scores of protesters were peacefully detained for obstructing sidewalk traffic.
The demonstrators are demanding the federal government cease an estimated 1,000 deportations a day of undocumented immigrants, a number likely to rise as the administration grapples with a surge of thousands who have overwhelmed Southwest states in the last several months, creating a humanitarian crisis. The migrants come mostly from Central America, fleeing violence and epidemic poverty.
Hundreds of their supporters looked on, waving picket signs that read "Don't deport my dad,” and, "Immigration reform is obstructed by racism."
A mile away at a pre-rally outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency headquarters, organizers said the undocumented "would have justice."
"Seventeen American citizen children, today, will be losing their moms or dads for a senseless deportation system that ICE does on daily basis," said AFL-CIO executive vice president Tefere Gebre. "The president can and will stop this. Yes, we can!"
Other groups present included CASA de Maryland, the National Organization for Women and the Sisters of Mercy.
Arrests were made by the National Park Service Police, which has jurisdiction over the park land adjacent to the White House compound. Officers were prepared with tents and foldout tables to quickly process those who were arrested.
Staged arrests inside the nation's capital are not an uncommon occurrence, and several of the groups present Thursday were veterans of the tactic, used to draw attention to their cause. Typically, detained demonstrators are handed over to the city's metropolitan police force for processing and released after a few hours, with no fine or further punitive action. Even members of the U.S. Congress have been known to participate.
In June, President Obama announced he would exercise his executive authority to circumvent congressional intransigence on long-term immigration reform. Senior officials told ABC News a decision would come by mid-September, but the end result will likely not be as sweeping as many progressive activists have hoped.
Early summer reports suggested the administration was considering measures that would allow millions of the undocumented to remain in the U.S. without deportation. Now, with the fall midterm elections rapidly approaching, red state Democrats fear comprehensive reform could tip a precariously balanced battle for majority control against them, particularly in the Senate.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 16:00:43 PM
(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- The wait is almost over.
Apple sent out mysterious invitations on Thursday for a Sept. 9 media event in Cupertino, California.
Much of the speculation has centered around the possible release of an iPhone 6 and a wearable device, however Apple isn't commenting on what it has up its sleeve.
A gray and white invitation sent out to members of the media on Thursday teases, "Wish we could say more."
The event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, at 10 a.m. PT.
It will be the first time Apple has held an event at the 2,405-seat theater since 1999, when it launched a new iMac, according to Mashable.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 15:52:40 PM
(LAS VEGAS) -- A woman has died at this year's Burning Man, a weeklong art festival in the Nevada desert.
Authorities say 29-year-old Alicia Louise Cipicchio, from Jackson, Wyoming, fell under a bus early Thursday morning and was killed.
Organizers say this is the first death at the festival in seven years.
The festival, which takes place in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada, will continue as planned.
Cipicchio's death remains under investigation.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 15:47:50 PM
(NEW YORK) -- A proposed new facility in Western Australia will provide a clearer picture of just how much space junk is orbiting earth.
The facility, which is a partnership between Lockheed Marin and Australia's Electro Optic Systems, will use lasers and optical systems, like those found in telescopes, to detect and learn more about man-made space junk. This includes how fast the debris is moving, what direction its spinning and what it's made of.
The space junk facility won't act as a space janitor -- but will instead make sure government and commercial organizations are aware of the location of junk so they can protect their investments in space, according to Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
Space junk, or as NASA calls it, "orbital debris," can range from items as small as flecks of paint released by thermal stress to as large as pieces from satellite explosions and collisions, according to NASA's Orbital Debris Programs Office.
More than 21,000 pieces of space junk larger than 10 centimeters are known to exist, according to figures released by NASA in 2012. There are an estimated half-million pieces of debris that range in size between one and 10 centimeters, while the number of particles smaller than the size of a fingernail is estimated to be more than 100 million.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 14:17:56 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- In her upcoming book Off the Sidelines, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., reveals she was the subject of insensitive comments about her weight from male colleagues in the House and Senate.
According to an excerpt posted by People, Gillibrand details an incident in her book where a male colleague saw her in the gym said, “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” According to the Huffington Post, Gillibrand responded, “”Thanks, a–hole.”
Gillibrand also discussed an episode where a senator commented on her weight after she lost 50 pounds. The senator grabbed her stomach and said, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!”
The New York senator has talked about struggling with her weight after giving birth to her sons, saying she’s fluctuated between a size 6 and size 16.
In her book, Gillibrand brushes off the comments from her male colleagues.
“It was all statements that were being made by men who were well into their 60s, 70s or 80s,” she writes. “They had no clue that those are inappropriate things to say to a pregnant woman or a woman who just had a baby or to women in general.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 13:52:41 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Whether they want to admit it or not, just about everybody at one time has gotten a little choked up watching a movie that pulls on the heart strings.
However, the assumption that a true story carries more of an emotional wallop than a fictional tale is wrong, according to researchers at Brandeis University and NYU.
For instance, people who want to avoid getting upset may decide to read a fictional book filled with tragedy because they figure it won’t affect them nearly as much as a tragic true-life story.
Yet, what the researchers discovered was that “fictional nature does not alter the impact of the tragic story, leaving them more emotionally distraught than if they had read the true story instead.”
If that indeed is the case, then movie producers and book publishers should greenlight more fictional stories.
Although sales of true stories may be stronger, the researchers contend realism “does not necessarily increase satisfaction.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 13:14:00 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. scientists will begin testing an Ebola vaccine in humans next week, health officials announced Thursday. But it could take 11 months to learn whether the vaccine is safe as the virus’ toll in West Africa continues to rise.
More than 3,000 people have contracted Ebola since March, a number projected to swell to 20,000 in the next six months, according to the World Health Organization.
The virus has killed at least 1,500 people in Ebola Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
The experimental vaccine, co-developed by the National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline, “performed extremely well in protecting nonhuman primates from Ebola infection,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s infectious disease branch, said.
Now it will be tested in 20 healthy adults to make sure it’s safe and effective in mounting an immune response.
“A vaccine will ultimately be an important tool in the prevention effort,” Fauci said in a statement, adding that the phase 1 study is “the first step in a long process.”
The 20 subjects will be followed for 48 weeks but initial safety results are expected later this year, according to an NIH statement.
The vaccine works by delivering fragments of genetic material from two Ebola strains into a healthy person’s cells. The cells then transform that genetic material into a protein found on the virus, and that protein triggers an immune response that should fend off the infection.
“It is important to know that the Ebola genetic material contained in the investigational vaccine cannot cause a vaccinated individual to become infected with Ebola,” the NIH said in a statement.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 13:12:00 PM
(CRESTED BUTTE, Colo.) -- Bud Light wants to know whether a small mountain town in Colorado is "up for whatever." The answer this time from the divided townspeople: maybe, although $10 million might be just enough to swing more support toward the beer-inspired party.
Bud Light, one of Anheuser-Busch's beer brands, is planning to host a three-day event "of unexpected fun" that will transform part of Crested Butte, Colorado, known for its outdoor activities and music festivals, into a fictitious town of Whatever, USA.
As part of the deal, Anheuser-Busch will donate $250,000 to the town, as a sign of gratitude, but some of the 1,500 residents are not thrilled with the idea of Whatever from Sept. 5-7.
One resident, former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, called the $250,000 donation a "paltry and insulting sum."
"My own view is that this is truly an inappropriate function for a town that has built its reputation so carefully," Wirth told ABC News. "It should cost them a pretty penny and they won’t even notice it."
Bud Light's "UpForWhatever" ad campaign began during the Super Bowl, in which random people on the street, seemingly between the ages of 21 and 35, are whisked off to celebrity-laden adventures. In Bud Light commercials for the town of Whatever, USA, there's a fake, mustached mayor.
For this specific campaign in Colorado, the company will select 1,000 Bud Light fans across the United States who auditioned with a 10-second video explaining why they should be flown into Whatever, USA. Winners will be notified 48 hours before the trip.
The audition deadline is next Thursday and more than 150,000 people have applied so far.
The town will host a public hearing and council vote Friday about the proposed plans, which include street performers, a parade, music, dancing, closing off the local Big Mine Ice Arena and, of course, lots of Bud Light.
"There are a lot of different opinions in the town," town manager Ted Crossett said. “There are a lot of people who support it and a lot of people who do not for a variety of reasons.”
Crossett's staff report about the weekend describes some of the activities, including "stumble upon events, which are low impact activities such as games, low-key races and curiosities. Most would be open to the public."
"Some would be closed to contestants. Activities would take place on both the street and in private businesses," the Aug. 23 report states.
The town council has "allowed themselves to be put into this dreadful corner" that has divided the town, Wirth said.
Wirth and other residents decry the council's working behind the scenes with Bud Light to coordinate such a major event. But Wirth said he was proud of the “democracy in action” during Monday’s hearing at which residents spoke openly with town leaders.
"Crested Butte has every bit of leverage right now to say to Bud Light, 'We’ll approve your event if you send us a check for $10 million from a multibillion-dollar corporation,'" he said.
As for Anheuser-Busch, it is "optimistic" the town council will vote to approve the Whatever, USA activities, according to a company statement to ABC News.
"We’ve spent several months planning and preparing with the town and local vendors, and hope that Whatever USA’s temporary citizens will get a chance to experience everything Crested Butte has to offer," the statement reads. "We can’t imagine a better setting for a weekend of unexpected, unparalleled fun."
David Ochs, executive director at the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, told ABC News he believes the majority of the 300 active members in the organization support the event. He argues that the event will bring an unknown amount of extra cash to local businesses and the town coffers, as the high tourist summer season comes to an end.
"Keep locals working, keep paychecks coming and keep everything rolling," he said. "Bud Light has been very good in incorporating retail businesses into the event, but the real benefit might be in the long term: the exposure and marketing of it is what they will see and want to come back to Crested Butte and that’s our bread and butter."
Kevin McGruther, a town resident of 18 years, attended the most recent hearing about the proposed event Monday. He said he is not arguing for or against the event, but points to the local government's failure to adhere to its typical town-event application process.
"The issue is the transparency, the preemption of the process and disenfranchisement of the community," he told ABC News.
Wirth, the former U.S. senator, said if Anheuser-Busch can pay big money, possibly millions, for celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger to play table tennis in a Super Bowl ad, the company should cough up for using the resources of the town and its reputation.
"They paid him Schwarzenegger millions and they’re going to be here ripping up the town for a week for $250,000?" Wirth said. "That gets my indignant juices running."
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 11:54:17 AM
(NEW YORK) -- The outbreak spreading through West Africa has a 53 percent fatality rate, according to the World Health Organization, meaning 47 percent of people survive the gruesome infection. And experts say those people could hold clues to Ebola’s weakness.
“There’s something to be gained from understanding why certain people survive,” said Thomas Geisbert, a virologist studying Ebola at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
But studying survivors is a tall order in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria -- countries simultaneously plagued by Ebola and a dearth of medical infrastructure. “The number one priority for health care workers in this chaotic situation is stopping the outbreak, not a scientific study looking at survivors,” Geisbert said.
No one knows why some people recover from Ebola, but there are theories. It could be that they have a smaller viral load -- fewer deadly pathogens streaming through their bodies. It could also be that their immune systems are more adept at attacking the virus, which uses spike-like protrusions to invade cells and replicate. The immune response theory is supported by studies of Zmapp, the experimental Ebola drug given to American aid workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol.
The drug is a cocktail of three synthetic antibodies -- immune proteins that attack the virus’ cell-splitting spike, according to Geisbert.
“It’s a very specific response,” Geisbert said, explaining that antibodies that target other parts of the virus are thought to be less effective at slowing it down.
But no one knows whether ZMapp, which has only been tested in monkeys, helped Brantly and Writebol survive the virus. Of the six people known to have received it, four have lived and two have died. Brantly also received blood from an Ebola survivor -- blood that likely contained natural antibodies to the virus.
A 2009 study of blood samples collected during three Ebola outbreaks in Gabon found that antibody levels peaked 30 days after exposure and “declined slowly over several years.” But again, there’s no way to know if the blood helped Brantly.
A CDC study of blood samples collected during a 2000 Ebola outbreak in Uganda found that people who survived tended to have smaller viral loads and altered levels of immune biomarkers compared to people who perished. “That’s valuable information because it gives you insight into the immunobiology of the disease,” said Geisbert. “Then you can try to dissect what it means and look at treatments or interventions that mimic the response of a survivor.”
Geisbert said the best way to stop the current outbreak is “good old-fashioned epidemiology and outbreak control,” and the best way to prevent future outbreaks is a vaccine.
The first phase 1 safety study of an Ebola vaccine is set to start next week, the National Institutes of Health announced Thursday. “I really hope that the next time we’re talking about this, those vaccines are across the finish line,” Geisbert said.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 11:51:46 AM
(WASHINGTON) -- The prospect of another economically and politically crippling government shutdown looms over President Obama’s talk of taking executive action on immigration next month and Republican threats to thwart him by blocking certain funding measures.
Republicans insist they are not interested in another shutdown and that the possibility is being raised by fear mongering Democrats, but the GOP does raise the possibility of using a September vote on a continuing resolution to fund the government as a weapon against any executive action by Obama.
Obama is considering executive action to fix the country’s immigration system as Congress remains at a stalemate over immigration legislation passed in the Senate last summer. The White House has not laid out a concrete deadline, but it’s expected he will announce his decision in September.
In a letter to the president earlier this week, Rubio warned that any executive action on immigration would kill the prospect of immigration reform in Congress.
“If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future,” Rubio wrote.
Rep. Steve King, R-Ill., told the Des Moines Register “all bets are off” for passing a continuing resolution if President Obama decides to take executive action on immigration.
“If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear,” King said. “I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that.”
In an interview with Breitbart News, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., hinted at Congress potentially using the budget process to address any executive action on immigration this year.
“There will have to be some sort of a budget vote or a Continuing Resolution vote, so I assume there will be some sort of a vote on this,” Rubio said. “I’m interested to see what kinds of ideas my colleagues have about using funding mechanisms to address this issue. Beyond that, I’m not sure if the president is going to make this decision before we go back or after.”
Democrats are highlighting these statements as examples of Republicans threatening to allow another government shutdown to take place.
“As we near the 1-year anniversary of the Republican Government Shutdown of 2013 that cost our nation’s economy $24 billion Republican leaders, once again, prefer to threaten another government shutdown over advancing essential legislation,” said Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “It’s time to end the kowtowing to the Tea Party extremist elements, get serious about legislating for the American people, and take these ridiculous threats off the table.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said a government shutdown threat would not make the president reconsider potential executive action on immigration.
“No, it won’t because the president has determined to take the kinds of common sense steps that are required to address the worst problems of our…broken immigrations system,” Earnest said. “It would be a real shame if Republicans were to engage in an effort to shut down the government over a common sense solution like that, but they’ve done it before. Hopefully they won’t do it again.”
A spokesman for Rubio said the senator is not interested in shutting down the government over an immigration fight.
“The only people talking about shutting down the government are partisan extremists like Debbie Wasserman Schultz who are looking for a way to raise money and divert attention from the failed presidency of Barack Obama,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for Rubio. “All Senator Rubio has called for is for Senator Reid to allow votes on Republican solutions to the immigration catastrophe our nation faces. Let’s be clear: The only thing Senator Rubio wants to shut down is Harry Reid’s tenure as majority leader by winning a Republican majority this November.”
Congress is set to return from recess on Sept. 8 and will have only a few weeks to pass a continuing resolution to avoid another government shutdown. Last October, the government shutdown for 16 days after Republicans fought to defund the Affordable Care Act.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 11:38:45 AM
(NEW YORK) -- As we enter the most active part of the hurricane season in the Atlantic, we have our eyes on both coasts: Tropical Storm Marie in the Pacific and Hurricane Cristobal in the Atlantic.
In the past 24 hours, ABC News' Ginger Zee has fielded some frequently asked questions and wanted to share:
Ginger Zee's Answer: It does, but each ocean has its own list. The Pacific is already through to "M" and the Atlantic is now on "C".
Another question: I thought hurricanes were called typhoons if they are in the Pacific?
Ginger Zee's Answer: Not in the eastern Pacific. A hurricane is a typhoon is a cyclone -- just called different things in different parts of the world.
Follow NOAA's guide to pronouncing hurricane names here.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 11:24:23 AM
(NEW YORK) -- Running back Adrian Peterson has been carrying the Minnesota Vikings offense for years, but now he's excited to see how the rest of the team's playmakers have developed heading into the 2014 season.
“This is going to be the best offense I’ve played in. This is the offense I’ve been waiting for,” Peterson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We’ve got the pieces to facilitate moving the ball around. When Brett Favre was here, listen, when I saw those deep balls going up and guys making big plays, I was like, ‘Yeah!’ That makes your team very scary.”
During the offseason, the team hired Norv Turner to run their offense. Turner is one of the more proven coordinators in the game right now and will give the team a boost on game days.
As far as personnel goes, the team drafted quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, emerging playmakers Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph, as well as veteran Greg Jennings.
The 29-year-old Peterson has rushed for 10,115 yards in just seven seasons in the NFL.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 09:54:27 AM
(KIEV, Ukraine) -- Ukraine’s president called an emergency meeting of the nation’s security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday because of what he described as a “Russian invasion,” with rebel forces opening up a new front in the conflict.
Heavy fighting was reported in the southeast of Ukraine near the town of Novoazovsk.
Petro Poroshenko canceled a visit to Turkey for the inauguration of newly elected president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and called a snap session of Ukraine's security council.
"I have decided to cancel my visit to Turkey because of the sharp escalation of the situation in the Donetsk region ... as Russian forces have entered Ukraine," he said.
Control of the area would give Russia a direct land corridor between Russia and the Crimean peninsula. The maneuver points to long-term strategic planning by Russia, a spokesman for the Ukrainian anti-terrorist command told ABC News.
Colonel Konstantin Hivrenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, said Ukraine has “proof beyond any doubt” that Russian troops are now directly involved in the fighting.
“There are now steady and large-scale deliveries of Russian hardware. Armored convoys are crossing the border day and night,” he said. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also claims there are “uncountable” Russian tanks and artillery pieces at the Ukrainian border.
Ukrainian troops have been battling against separatist rebel forces in the region since April.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk told the Polish parliament that NATO had concrete proof of Russian troops operating on the territory of Ukraine. In a phone call early Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded an explanation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. French President Francois Hollande called a news conference Thursday morning saying that Russian incursions into Ukraine were “intolerable.”
The prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, told Russian TV that 3,000 to 4,000 Russian soldiers were supporting the rebels.
“We have never hidden from anyone that there are many Russians amongst us,” he said. “Without their help, we would have struggled and it would have been more difficult to fight.”
In reaction to Russia’s continuing military build-up on NATO’s eastern flank, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the preparation of a Readiness Action Plan. In an interview with German newspaper Suedduetsche Zeitung, Rasmussen said NATO would form a quick reaction force to counter a possible Russian threat to countries on NATO’s eastern border.
Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatseniuk appealed to the United Nations to call a Security Council meeting in response to "growing military threat from Russia."
“Putin started a war in Europe,” he said.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 09:33:07 AM
(LOS ANGELES) -- On Wednesday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Jimmy Kimmel reunited Friends castmates Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow -- on a rebuilt set from the sitcom, no less -- for a staged reading of Kimmel's Friends fan fiction.
Kimmel started subtly, by asking Aniston if she'd do a favor for him, and increasingly upped the ante by first handing her a script, then unveiling the rebuilt stage.
"What? What is this?!" Aniston asked incredulously.
"This is an exact replica...I actually spent $80,000 making it," Kimmel said. "To the 'T' every detail is correct."
Jennifer began reading, but balked when Kimmel pulled out a "Rachel wig." Aniston said, "I've gotta have boundaries."
Kimmel played Ross, and it became obvious why -- he wanted a love scene with Rachel. The crowd howled when Cox entered as Monica, who, like Rachel, was also scripted to compliment Ross' lovemaking -- as was Kudrow, who was also met with a roar from the crowd.
Eventually, we learn Kimmel had "killed off" Joey and Chandler in order to have all the actresses to himself. However, before the scene in which they "all make out," the actresses walk off, with Aniston saying, "Make love to yourself, Jimmy."
In other Friends news, the upcoming 20th anniversary of the sitcom's premiere will be honored with a pop-up replica of Central Perk -- the coffee shop where Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe spent countless hours. The replica will open in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. It will be open to the public from Sept. 17 to Oct. 18, and will feature free coffee, special appearances by the actor who played the barista Gunther, James Michael Tyler, as well as contests and more. Friends premiered on NBC on Sept. 22, 1994.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 09:23:36 AM
(LOS ANGELES) -- Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw told school officials that he lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend, according to a statement released by the school. He has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities by the university.
Shaw initially claimed he was injured after leaping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his 7-year-old nephew, who was struggling in the pool.
“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story.
“I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him.”
USC did not release details on how Shaw injured himself.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 09:18:47 AM
(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI is investigating a cyberattack earlier this month against JPMorgan Chase that may have been carried out by Russian hackers.
It is not clear whether customer data was compromised by the attack. The FBI released a statement on Wednesday saying that they were working with the U.S. Secret Service to determine the scope of the breach, noting that it may also have impacted other financial institutions.
JPMorgan Chase spokeswoman Trish Wexler told ABC News that "companies of our size unfortunately experience cyberattacks nearly every day." JPMorgan, she said, has "multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels."
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 09:00:16 AM
(NEW YORK) -- It didn't take long for defensive lineman Tommy Kelly to find a new team.
Three days after being cut by the New England Patriots, Kelly signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.The move comes on the heels of the Cardinals losing Pro Bowl defensive lineman Darnell Dockett for the season.The 33-year-old Kelly played five games with the Patriots in 2013 before enduring a season-ending ACL injury. Before the injury, Kelly had 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Throughout his 10 NFL seasons, Kelly has compiled 441 tackles, 37 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles.
To make room for Kelly on the 75-man roster, the Cardinals released defensive lineman Ryan McBean.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 07:12:00 AM
(NEW YORK) -- The Discovery Channel has cancelled Sons of Guns after the show's star, Will Hayden, was arrested on a rape allegation.
A spokesperson for the cable network said in a statement obtained by Deadline.com, "Given the serious and horrific nature of the charges against Will Hayden, we have decided to halt further production of Sons of Guns and cancel the series."
Hayden, whose show focused on his work with the Red Jacket Firearms company in Louisiana, was arrested Tuesday and charged with raping a child. He was previously arrested on Aug. 9 on charges of child molestation and aggravated crime against nature.
A statement posted on the Red Jacket Firearms website reads, "Red Jacket Firearms LLC. has initiated and received full legal separation as an entity, from William M. Hayden."
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 06:23:57 AM
(MILWAUKEE) -- With the election a little more than two months away, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker trails Democratic opponent Mary Burke in a new Marquette University poll.
Although the numbers 48.6 percent to 46.5. percent mean it's a statistical dead heat, the latest results are largely unchanged from a poll conducted in July.
Walker has been regarded as a rising star within the GOP and a possible candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination, having survived a recall election two years ago over his decision to weaken union workers' collective bargaining rights.
However, Walker has not been able to shake controversy during his four years in office, including the latest allegations that he illegally contacted outside groups for funding during his bid to avoid a recall in 2012.
Burke, an executive for the Trek bicycle company her father started, has made growing Wisconsin's economy her top priority.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 05:24:42 AM
(SAINT LOUIS) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon named a new head of the Missouri Department of Public Safety on Wednesday, selecting former St. Louis City Police Chief Daniel Isom for the position.
Isom will take over the position on Sept. 1 for current Director Jerry Lee, who is retiring. Isom currently works as the professor of Policing and the Community for the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
The decision comes just about three weeks after a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen. Isom will be the first and only black member of Nixon's cabinet.
Isom's selection is still subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/28/2014 00:08:20 AM
(NEW YORK) -- Alec Baldwin's character on 30 Rock was a pretty suave, cool customer, but the real-life person apparently is just as smooth.
While sitting in the stands at a U.S. Open match this week, a ball bounced off the court and started flying at Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria Baldwin.
Baldwin didn't even flinch. He just calmly put his hands up and caught the ball hurtling at his face.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 23:49:13 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Central Command acknowledged three more airstrikes conducted against targets related to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria near Erbil and the Mosul Dam on Wednesday.
Centcom said that the latest strikes destroyed an ISIS Humvee, a supply truck and three armored vehicles. An ISIS-held building was also damaged.
In total, the U.S. Central Command has conducted 101 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug. 8, in the interest of supporting Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defense forces and to protect infrastructure and U.S. personnel.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 23:25:25 PM
(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (69-64) – St. Louis Cardinals 1 (71-61)
Texas Rangers 12 (52-80) – Seattle Mariners 4 (72-60)
Tampa Bay Rays 3 (65-68) – Baltimore Orioles 1 (75-56)
Philadelphia Phillies 8 (61-72) – Washington Nationals 4 (75-57)
Toronto Blue Jays 5 (67-66) – Boston Red Sox 2 (58-75)
New York Yankees 8 (69-62) – Detroit Tigers 4 (71-60)
Atlanta Braves 3 (69-64) – New York Mets 2 (62-71)
Cincinnati Reds 7 (64-69) – Chicago Cubs 5 (59-73)
Kansas City Royals 6 (74-58) – Minnesota Twins 1 (58-74)
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 23:09:30 PM
(NEW YORK) -- The sister of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly threatening a Harlem woman.
According to the New York Police Department, Aliana Tsarnaeva, who lives in North Bergen, New Jersey, allegedly called the victim on Monday, saying, "I have people that can go over there and put a bomb on you." The NYPD believes that the alleged victim is the mother of Tsarnaeva's boyfriend's child.
Tsarnaeva was charged with aggravated harassment. She will have to appear in court on Sept. 30.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 22:31:12 PM
(CLEVELAND) -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will miss the entire 2014 season after his season-long suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy was upheld on appeal Wednesday.
The 2013 first-team All-Pro will be allowed to apply for reinstatement following the 2014 season.
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in a statement. “I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case.”
In 14 games last season, Gordon had 87 receptions for 1,649 yards and nine touchdowns. He was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2013.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 22:01:00 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Not only are wolves social animals, similar in some ways to humans and chimpanzees, but according to a new study, they may also share a propensity for contagious yawning, just like primates.
According to the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, wolves do yawn contagiously, but perhaps more interestingly, they are more prone to do so around other wolves with which they are closely bonded. Researchers at the University of Tokyo said that this could be a sign that wolves show empathy by yawning.
The study also found that female wolves were quicker to yawn and yawned more frequently when around a yawning "friend." Male wolves only yawned more frequently. Perhaps, researchers suggest, female wolves are more attuned to social clues.
The study also suggests that empathy may have existed farther back in mammalian history than previously known.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 20:12:26 PM
(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Clippers and head coach Doc Rivers have agreed to a contract extension through the 2018-19 season, the club announced on Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
“This is an important day for this organization,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in a statement. “I am excited to work with Doc for a long time as we build a championship culture that will deliver results both on and off the court. Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hard core, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent. It was one of my top priorities to ensure that he was firmly in place as the long-term leader of this team.”
In his inaugural campaign with the Clippers last season, Rivers led them to a 57-25 record and first place in the Pacific Division. They lost in six games in the NBA’s Western Conference Semifinals to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rivers led the Boston Celtics to an NBA Championship in 2008.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 18:09:00 PM
(DONETSK, Ukraine) -- Recent Russian activity in eastern Ukraine is concerning to the U.S. State Department, spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.
Psaki mentioned the presence of Russian troops pushing into Ukraine, recent reports of shelling towns near the border and heavy fighting near the Donetsk Airport during Wednesday's briefing. "These incursion -- incursions -- indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely under way in Donetsk and Luhansk. Clearly, that is of deep concern to us," Psaki said.
The U.S. is also worried that Russia is "sending its young men into Ukraine," according to Psaki, "but...are not telling them where they're going or telling their parents what they're doing."
"These are not steps that, certainly, you take when you are operating in a transparent manner," Psaki said of the Russian activity.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 17:36:26 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday that it was looking into reports that a second American may have been killed in the same battle that caused the death of Douglas McCain, an American jihadi.
"We've seen those reports," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said during Wednesday's briefing. She noted that the department did not have independent confirmation of those reports.
The White House confirmed on Tuesday that McCain, 33, was killed in Syria while allegedly fighting for the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. McCain was apparently killed in the city of Aleppo.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 17:21:23 PM
(NEW YORK) -- After consecutive days of gains and milestones, Wall Street was a bit of a mixed bag on Wednesday, with two of the major indices posting small gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial finished at 17,122.01, up 15.31 from Tuesday's finish.
The Nasdaq dropped 1.02 to 4,569.62, while the S&P managed -- barely -- to close above 2,000 again, finishing the day at 2,000.10, up 0.08. That is the second consecutive day -- and the second close ever -- above 2,000 for the S&P 500.
Also on Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office indicated that a slow first quarter may indicate lower-than-expected growth for the economy in 2014. The updated GDP growth estimate is just 1.5 percent for the 2014 fiscal year. Still, the CBO expects 3.5-percent growth in 2015 and 2016.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 16:11:02 PM
(HOUSTON) -- A jury returned a verdict of not guilty Wednesday for a Texas father accused of the shooting death of a drunk driver who killed his two sons.
David Barajas was accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Jose Banda in December 2012 after Banda plowed into a vehicle that Barajas and his two sons had been pushing on a rural road in Alvin, about 30 miles southeast of Houston.
The Barajas family broke into tears in the courtroom while Jose Banda's family sat in stunned belief.
"I am relieved but still in pain. My two boys are dead and nothing will bring them back," Barajas said afterward.
David Jr., 12, and Caleb, 11, were killed in the accident.
If Barajas had been convicted, he faced a potential life sentence.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 15:41:58 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- Two dozen suspected Ebola cases have emerged hundreds of miles from West Africa in what health officials are calling a second “unrelated” outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The virus has already killed more than 1,427 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization.
In fact, nearly half of all Ebola deaths recorded since the virus's discovery in 1976 have occurred in the last five months, according to WHO data.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 15:35:21 PM
(LONDON) -- A home in the U.K. was invaded by a monstrous colony of wasps, and the infestation was like a scene out of a 1960s Hitchcock movie, a local pest controller said.
"I couldn't believe my eyes," John Birkett, an employee at Longwood Services Pest Control, told ABC News on Wednesday, referring to the nest of an estimated 5,000 wasps. "It was like the horror film Birds but [with] wasps."
Birkett said he got a call from the homeowner’s son on Sunday about a nest that had taken over a bed in a spare bedroom in the home in Worchester, Hampshire. The colony was devouring the bedding.
In more than 40 years of working in the pest control business, Birkett said this was the largest nest he had ever seen.
"I got dressed up looking like Batman and Robin and went into the little tiny bedroom. I was spraying them left right and center," Birkett said.
After two hours of swatting and spraying, Birkett said he was able to get rid of the wasps and even salvage the crocheted blanket they were nesting on.
The nest had grown so large because the family rarely uses the room on the second floor of their five-bedroom home, he said.
The wasps snuck in through an open window and used the bed as their home for nearly three months, chewing through eight inches of the mattress and two pillows, according to Birkett.
The family most likely didn’t hear the wasps accumulating because they are silent while nesting, he said.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 14:47:25 PM
(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) -- Thousands of spectators lined the beach as surfers, bodyboarders, and other brave athletes went headlong into 20-foot waves at California's "The Wedge" wave break Wednesday.
The waves, which were categorized by Surfline.com as "Good to Epic" in size, were delivered by Hurricane Marie, swirling off the coast of California.
Surfing legend Laird Hamilton, who was at the beach Wednesday morning, helped rescue a stranded surfer who lost his board and his leash as the monstrous waves slammed into shore, according to ABC station KABC. Hamilton, who was on a paddle board when the surfer got into trouble, came to shore to put on fins and swam out to help rescue the surfer, who was injured but stable.
Newport Beach's The Wedge is known as one of the more difficult breaks on the West Coast for its power and shape: the wave breaks right on the beach, posing a danger to surfers who fall off their boards.
Tara Finnigan, spokeswoman for the city, said the waves had attracted about 3,000 to 4,000 spectators at The Wedge and another 500 at another break in town called The Point.
"There is no parking left at the beach at this point," Finnigan said.
The town is also experiencing beach flooding, with high tide expected at 11 a.m. Spectators have been getting soaked by waves come up over the berm, Finnigan said.
Extra lifeguards are on hand at The Wedge to try and educate surfers and swimmers and prevent less experienced swimmers from going in.
Emergency personnel lined the beach, and local news station KTLA reported that two swimmers had to be rescued after becoming stranded in the water.
One Twitter user described The Wedge as "shallow as a bathtub" because the waves crash right onto the shallow sand bottom of the ocean there.
The lifeguards have made three minor rescues, including a stand up paddle-boarder who got pulled beneath a pier by a strong current and lost his board on a piling, becoming trapped when his leash got caught.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 14:25:58 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. economy has grown just 1.5 percent in the 2014 fiscal year -- far slower than White House projections -- while more than $500 billion of deficit spending was added to the national debt, according to projections released Wednesday by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
Just last month the Obama administration forecast 2.6 percent GDP growth in 2014.
The CBO had some good economic news, predicting that the GDP will rebound and expand by 3.4 percent over the next two years due to increased demand for goods and services, businesses investments in new structures and equipment, improved consumer spending and improving on the housing front.
In its report released Wednesday, the CBO said growth was stymied partly by “bad weather” during the cold months of spring.
The report said that $506 billion was added to the national debt this year, but that was almost $170 billion less than last year. The CBO also estimated the annual deficit will shrink to $459 billion in 2015 if taxes and spending law remains the same. But the deficit would rapidly grow in years to follow, hitting a ceiling of $960 billion by 2024 unless Congress enacts changes to alter the trajectory.
In total, CBO says current law would create $7.2 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next 10 years.
CBO’s latest data also predicts the national unemployment rate will average 5.6 percent from 2018 through 2024.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 14:14:24 PM
(NIAGARA FALLS, NY) -- Two people were rescued from a disabled boat that was drifting dangerously close to Niagara Falls, authorities said.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the boaters weren’t in “dire” danger but had floated into the “exclusion zone,” about a mile from the brink of the falls, in the Niagara River.
A Coast Guard helicopter hoisted them to safety late Monday, around midnight. There were no injuries.
The boaters, who did not want to be identified, were in a 19-foot motor boat and had dropped anchor.
Earlier, a commercial rescuer tried to help but got caught on the rocks in the shallow water.
The boat was salvaged by a local company.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 13:34:53 PM
(NEW YORK) -- Even though the Kansas City Royals are in the midst of one of their best seasons in decades, manager Ned Yost decided to give the fans a piece of his mind on Tuesday night.
Despite their success this season, the team is just 25th in Major League Baseball in attendance.
“I mean, what, 13,000 people got to see a great game? ...We’re in a pennant race, yeah," Yost, who has been the Royals manager since 2010, said.
"We’ve been working on trying to build this team for the last three or four years to put ourselves in a position where we can contend for a championship. And not only the division, but we want to contend for a world championship. It’s really, really important we have our fans behind us at the stadium," he added.
"I know there’s different things you can do. You can watch it on the Internet. You can watch it on TV. But there’s a real need for our fans to be a part of this," Yost continued. "We had a great crowd last night, and I was kind of hoping we’d have another great crowd tonight, and we really didn’t.”
Heading into Wednesday night, the Royals hold a 1.5 game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. The team hasn't made the playoffs since 1985, which is the last time they also won a World Series.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 13:27:00 PM
(NEW YORK) -- The next star of ABC's The Bachelor is recent Bachelorette contestant Chris Soules. The news was revealed Wednesday morning on Good Morning America.
Soules, a 32-year-old farmer from Arlington, Iowa, was cut by Bachelorette's Andi Dorfman right before she chose her final two. After a date where the two went horseback riding, Dorfman didn't feel she could adapt to Soules' life on the farm.
Since his appearance on The Bachelorette, Soules has apparently been besieged by female admirers, one of whom was so ardent that she drove hundreds of miles just to knock on his door. Another professed her love for him by taking out an ad in Soules' local paper.
Soules is a self-proclaimed romantic. He was engaged once before but he ended the seven-year -relationship just months before he was expected to walk down the aisle.
Soules studied agronomy and agriculture at Iowa State University and used his skills to expand the family business.
The Bachelor will return in early 2015.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 13:16:05 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- It's not yet Labor Day, but the time to buy Thanksgiving weekend flights is right now.
Travel web site Hipmunk has the data to back up the claim that waiting past this week to book for Thanksgiving will mean paying more. Those who buy before Labor Day will save $140 on average as compared to those who wait until the last minute.
Average flight price for Thanksgiving travel booked this week is $424. Those who wait a few weeks and book the last week in September will pay 5 percent more. Won't be sure of your plans until late October? Prepare to pay a 17 percent markup.
If you wait until the last minute hoping to score a deal, you'll pay big: $561 on average, or a 32 percent increase over what you would pay for the same flight booked this week.
Skyscanner, a global travel search engine, concurs. Its data suggests that flight prices for Thanksgiving have dropped 8.3 percent this week and are at the lowest right now.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 13:01:41 PM
(PHILADELPHIA) -- The bodies of two men, who had been bound, were found Wednesday dumped in a Philadelphia river and a third man was repeatedly stabbed but narrowly escaped the abductors believed to be responsible for the double homicide, police said.
The survivor, a 20-year-old man, was taken off the street by four or five men early Wednesday morning and thrown into the back of a van, police said.
He was then stabbed about nine times, in the torso and legs, Philadelphia police said, and his hands were tied behind his back with duct tape while his ankles were bound as well. Duct tape was also placed over his mouth, and once in the van, he realized there were two other people in the van who had also been bound, police said.
All three were taken to the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park, where they were thrown into the water, police said, noting that the two other people were tethered to some kind of weight and drowned in five to 10 feet of water.
The 20-year-old was able to get out of the water, even though his legs and arms were still partially bound, and made it to a nearby road where he screamed at passing cars, triggering some drivers to call 911, police said.
The bodies were found just before 4 a.m., police said.
The victim told police he did not know the other two people in the van, nor did he know his kidnappers.
The man is in stable condition at Hahnemann University Hospital, police said.
Police declined to give the location where the man was abducted, but noted there are security cameras in the area and that they hope the abduction was captured on video.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 12:59:53 PM
(WASHINGTON) -- An unexpected issue popped up in the Arkansas Senate race this week -- Ebola.
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., released an ad titled “Emergency Response,” highlighting the recent Ebola outbreak, saying his opponent Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., voted against funding for medical disaster aid.
“Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola,” a male narrator says as news clips about the unprecedented Ebola outbreak play on screen.
“Congressman Cotton voted to cut billions from our nation’s medical disaster and emergency programs,” a female narrator says.
“He was the only Arkansas congressman to vote this way,” the male narrator says.
The Cotton campaign, which planned a news conference to rebut the TV spot, scoffed at the ad.
“Senator Pryor’s desperation is comical. In Senator Pryor’s world, he doesn’t have to take responsibility for rubber-stamping the Obama agenda over 90% of the time, but wants Arkansans to believe Tom Cotton is responsible for everything from Ebola to crabgrass and male-pattern baldness,” said David Ray, a spokesman for Cotton.
This is the first instance where the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been used in a political ad here in the U.S. The Arkansas Senate race has seen a number of issues come to the forefront, including religion and border security, in a midterm election where the president’s health care plan was expected to dominate the agenda.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 12:12:21 PM
(NEW YORK) -- The mother of an American writer being held hostage by ISIS pleaded directly with the leader of the Iraqi terror group in a new video, begging him to “please, release my child.”
“As a mother, I ask you justice be merciful and not [to] punish my son for matters he has no control over,” Shirley Sotloff says, speaking directly to the camera in the new video and addressing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the “caliph.” “I ask you to use your authority to spare his life.”
“I want what every mother wants, to live to see their children’s children. I plead with you to grant me this,” Shirley Sotloff says.
The new video appeared Wednesday on the Middle Eastern news outlet Al Arabiya and was obtained by ABC News.
Freelance reporter Steven Sotloff, 31, was last seen alive at the end of the disturbing video, which showed the beheading of American journalist James Foley. The black-hooded ISIS militant in the video spoke directly to President Obama, calling on him to end American airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq.
“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the masked man says, holding Sotloff by the collar of his shirt.
Despite the shocking video and strongly-worded message from Sotloff’s captors, the U.S. has not yet halted the air strikes.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 11:43:28 AM
(NEW YORK) -- A popular clothing brand has removed what some are calling a "concentration camp" shirt for kids from its shelves and website after coming under fire on social media.
Zara, a Spanish brand with outposts all over the world including the U.S., was selling in its kids' clothing line a white-and-blue striped shirt with a gold star. Some felt the stripes in combination with a gold star reminiscent of the Star of David looked far too similar to uniforms worn in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust.
The brand said the shirt was inspired by "classic American Westerns."
But on Twitter Wednesday, Zara apologized in several languages to its 520,000 followers.
@MiguelEL We honestly apologize, it was inspired by the sheriff’s stars from the Classic Western films and is no longer in our stores— ZARA (@ZARA) August 27, 2014
In a statement emailed to ABC News, Inditex, the company that owns Zara, said the t-shirts will be "reliably destroyed."
"The garment was available only for just a few hours and sales of the t-shirt have been marginal," the company said. "Inditex would like to reiterate its utmost respect for all cultures and religions. The Group is a Company where people from 180 nationalities work together representing all the cultures, races and religions of the modern world. Inditex is proud of its cultural diversity. In addition, respect and dignity feature among the principles which guide and define its corporate values. The Group condemns and rejects any form of discrimination."
This isn't the brands first misstep in regards to Nazi-inspired clothing. In 2007, the brand removed from stores a line of handbags with a symbol on them that resembled a swastika.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 11:27:46 AM
(BOSTON) -- Freed writer Peter Theo Curtis has spoken out for the first time Wednesday since being released by Syrian militants, thanking the "brave determined and big-hearted people" who helped save him.
In a brief news conference held down the road from his mother's home in Massachusetts, Curtis said how "total strangers" have been coming up to him and telling him how grateful they are for his release.
"I suddenly remember how good the American people are and what kindness they have in their hearts," he said.
"I had no idea that so much effort was being expended on my behalf," he added. "I am overwhelmed by emotion."
Curtis, 45, was held for nearly two years and his release came just days after militant group ISIS executed fellow American journalist James Foley. Al-Nusra's decision to release Curtis was seen by many as a move to distance themselves from ISIS as no ransom money was reportedly handed over as part of the deal.
He did not go into any details about his time in captivity, but appeared eager to move forward.
"I have to bond with my mother and my family now," he said before adding that he will not be giving any further statements in the near future.
The writer was released by Syrian jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra this past Sunday. He arrived back in the United States on Tuesday night.
His flight from Tel Aviv, Israel arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Tuesday evening but he was reunited with relatives -- including his mother Nancy -- when he flew from there home to Boston.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 10:45:19 AM
(NEW YORK) -- Time Warner Cable subscribers across the country experienced service problems Wednesday morning.
The problems started at 4:30 a.m. ET, said Bobby Amirshahi, Vice President of Public Relations for Time Warner Cable.
"During our routine network maintenance, an issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services," Amirshahi said in a statement.
Service was largely restored by 6 a.m., Amirshahi said, with updates ongoing to restore service to all customers.
Frustrated subscribes wrote about the situation online, making Time Warner a trending topic on Twitter.
“Nothing says good morning like a nationwide Time Warner Cable internet outage,” one person wrote on Twitter.
More than 11 million residents and companies across the United States subscribe to Time Warner Cable.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 09:15:36 AM
(BOSTON) -- Though doctors spend decades perfecting their crafts, they don’t exactly get dress rehearsals when it comes to performing complex surgeries on one-of-a-kind patients.
Enter the 3D printer.
At Boston Children’s Hospital, doctors perform practice surgeries with replicas of their patients’ body parts. Though the hospital has had a simulation program for about a decade, it started 3D-printing children’s body parts about a year ago, said Dr. Peter Weinstock, director of the hospital’s simulator program.
“They perfect what they want to do before ever bringing the child into the operating room or putting them to sleep,” Weinstock said.
The models are also used to help parents understand their children’s surgeries before the operation and to educate students afterward, Weinstock said.
The printer is precise, with a resolution of between 16 and 32 microns per layer. That means each layer is about the width of a “filament of cotton,” Weinstock said. And since the printer can print multiple resins or textures, doctors can work on replicas that model different tissue types, like brain matter and blood vessels.
The printer only takes a few hours to do their work once CT scans and other forms of imaging are collected and rendered into 3D models. A child’s finger might take three hours to print, but a chest replica they made last week took longer, Weinstock said.
The team has already printed about 100 body parts over the last year and demand is growing, Weinstock said, adding that the printer is running around the clock.
Dr. Ed Smith, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Boston Children’s, said he recently used several different 3D models to perform brain surgery on a 15-year-old patient with an abnormal cluster of veins above his optical nerve. One wrong maneuver and the patient could have gone blind.
He even used a see-through replica of the patient’s skull on a light box in the operating room as a reference.
“It’s kind of like being superman with X-ray vision where you can actually hold this up and see right through it,” Smith said.
The surgery, which would have normally taken five or six hours, wound up clocking in at 2 hours and 20 minutes, Smith said.
Though Boston Children’s hasn’t conducted any formal studies of how the models help surgeons, Smith said he’s heard anecdotally that they result in shorter surgeries because doctors know what to expect.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 07:55:57 AM
(NEW YORK) -- The relationship between Bishop Noel Jones and his "lady friend," Loretta, has been the center of the second season of Oxygen's Preachers of LA as fellow castmember Bishop Ron Gibson raises a question that many viewers have -- why don't the two just get married after being together for 16 years?
Bishop Jones tells ABC News Radio that Loretta has known from the start that they weren't ever going to marry because he had just ended a marriage when they began their relationship.
"When you marry young -- I was 20 years old, 20, 21, something like that -- and of course my ex-wife is older than I am and so she was probably more mature. I was forming and budding and becoming and we grew apart. So I wasn't in any mood for marriage [when I met Loretta]," he explains. "And Loretta didn't sign up in a relationship, in a friendship, with marriage in mind."
Bishop Jones adds that viewers falsely assume that Loretta has a desire to walk down the aisle.
"I think people are assuming that this woman is an inanimate object, who has no real choice as to whether or not she wants to be with me or not. If she's at the point where marriage is that critical to her and she knows my position, then it would seem to me that she would go find somebody to marry," he says.
Castmember Pastor Jay Haizlip defends Bishop Jones' reasoning for not wanting to walk down the aisle. "In my reading the Bible, I've never seen anything that would tell a guy, even if he's in ministry, that he can't have a girlfriend," he says.
Bishop Gibson, and his wife LaVette, have a different stance. On Wednesday's episode of Preachers of LA, the two sit down with Bishop Jones and Loretta to tell them they won't do community outreach with the two if they aren't married.
Oxygen's Preachers of LA airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioPublished: 8/27/2014 07:44:36 AM