FBI agents storm JetBlue plane at JFK after hijacking ‘false alarm’

first_img@JoshEiniger7/Twitter(NEW YORK) — FBI agents descended upon a packed JetBlue flight in New York after a radio error signaled that the plane may have been hijacked, authorities said.Authorities at John F. Kennedy International in Queens, New York, activated the airport’s hijacking protocols at around 8 p.m. Tuesday, just before takeoff, when the aircraft lost radio contact, and triggered a massive police response.Flight crew members re-established the connection about 15 minutes later and indicated that it was a false alarm, but the breach proceedings couldn’t be recalled at that point, Port Authority officials said.“There was a false alarm sent to tower as a result of a radio communications failure. Aircraft was inspected and cleared with no security threat,” Port Authority said in a statement.The incident was treated as a possible hijacking situation until authorities could confirm otherwise, leaving nearly 160 passengers in a complete panic.Terrified passengers were seen with their hands up in the air as heavily armed FBI and Port Authority officers inspected the Los Angeles-bound flight, according to social media video.“Woah. My worst nightmare,” one passenger wrote in a tweet. “I honestly thought we were going to die. I AM ALIVE THANK GOSH I MEDITATE.” Another passenger described the incident at “traumatizing.”The travelers were ordered to keep their hands up until authorities could deem the flight safe.JetBlue confirmed the incident in a statement late Tuesday, saying the protocols were carried out due to “an abundance of caution.”“While communication was reestablished via alternate channels, authorities responded in an abundance of caution,” the airline said. “The aircraft was cleared and returned to the gate for inspection.”There was no word on what may have caused the error. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Shayna Hubers found guilty in retrial over ex-boyfriend’s brutal murder

first_imgABC News(HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.) — The Kentucky woman whose trial garnered national attention three years ago was convicted of murder for the second time on Tuesday in a retrial over her ex-boyfriend’s brutal death.Shayna Hubers, 27, was found guilty of murder on Tuesday more than five years after she allegedly shot and killed her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Ryan Carter Poston, when he allegedly tried to break up with her.Poston, a 29-year-old lawyer, was found dead in his home in Highland Heights, Kentucky, northeast of Louisville, in October 2012. Hubers claimed Poston was abusive and that she shot him in self-defense, but the jury didn’t believe her.The retrial jury found her guilty of murder charges after about five hours of deliberation.Poston’s family said it is “eternally grateful” to the officers who helped them achieve justice after “six long and heartbreaking years.”“Those who love Ryan now move forward with the integrity, dignity, and kindness that Ryan exemplified throughout his life,” the family said in a statement Tuesday. “Today we embrace justice, and yet we do not feel joy. It has been six long and heartbreaking years without our beloved Ryan.”Evidence, including bizarre video of Hubers dancing and celebrating in an interrogation room just hours after the shooting, led to a conviction against her in 2015, but the verdict was overturned after a jury member was revealed to be a felon. She was originally sentenced to 40 years in prison, but she was granted a retrial.Hubers once told police officers that Poston was abusive and claimed she shot him in self-defense. Prosecutors used her own words to build their case.“He’s very vain. One of our last conversations we had that was good was that he wants to get a nose job,” Hubers told police in a recorded conversation. “And I shot him right here. I gave him his nose job he wanted. I broke it.”Her attorney, David Eldridge, said Poston had physically abused and made her afraid for her life.“He was grabbing her hair, jerking her head back and forth like she thought her neck was going to snap,” Eldridge said in court, according to Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO. “The commonwealth has been unable to accept the truth about Mr. Poston. They don’t want you to see the whole picture of Mr. Poston and Miss Hubers.”Hubers is scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

NBA legend Shaq on paying for Jazmine Barnes’ funeral: “It was just the right thing to do”

first_imgLorenzo Bevilaqua/ESPN Images(HOUSTON) — Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has done it before, he will do it again, and he does not want much of praise for it.The basketball legend, who often goes by “Shaq,” paid for the funeral of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Texas.O’Neal explained his decision to pay for the funeral in an exclusive conversation with ABC News. For him, it was a matter of right and wrong:“Funerals… ten, fifteen thousand [dollars], that’s not going to hurt me, but for people to have to try to scrum money together to bury their little, beautiful daughter… nobody should ever have to go through that. So, I didn’t want them to have to go through that… It was just the right thing to do.”A local of Houston, Shaq was disturbed by Jazmine’s death and wanted to take action.“I’m watching the news, and I saw the story, and it just touched my heart. And I saw how devastated that mom was. And then to end the story… they had to raise money for the funeral? I can’t have that.”This is not the first time Shaq has paid for the funeral of a grieving family. He says he does not want credit for his altruism. Rather, he feels he is fulfilling a duty to ease the pain of a grieving family that he has the means to help.Jazmine was riding with her mother and three sisters through northwest Houston on Dec. 30 when a gunman opened fire. Jazmine, who was sitting in the backseat of their car, was shot in the head and killed. Her mother was wounded in her left arm. Two men were charged in her death.Houston Texans’ wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins also pledged to donate his $29,000 game check from the team’s playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts to help pay for Jazmine’s funeral.https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/video/nba-star-shaquille-oneal-dr-jonathan-greenburg-talk-60264478Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Mississippi prison system under increased scrutiny after killings, escapes

first_imgDanHenson1/iStock(NEW YORK) — A streak of inmate killings and the escape of two violent felons from a maximum security facility put Mississippi’s penitentiaries on lockdown — and under a microscope that’s revealing how a state with one of the nation’s highest incarceration rates is struggling to manage its prisoners. Since Sunday, four inmates have been killed during what officials described as “major disturbances” at three Mississippi prisons, including the state’s oldest and most notorious lockup, Parchman, where a fire also erupted on a cell block, officials said. A fifth inmate was killed at Parchman prison in recent days, but officials said the death is unrelated to the near-riots at the facility.Inmates also have been killed since Sunday at prisons in Leakesville and in Houston, state authorities said. The chaos has so overwhelmed corrections officials that they decided to move some of the more than 19,000 inmates at Parchman to a once-notorious maximum security section, Unit 32, which was closed a decade ago after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the inhumane conditions. “In Parchman, there ain’t nothing up there but some suffering,” June Thornton, whose son was among the inmates moved to Unit 32, told ABC affiliate WABG-TV in Greenwood, Mississippi. Prisoners now housed on Unit 32 have used contraband cellphones to post online photos of conditions that include no running water and six inmates being assigned to a one-person cell, with some prisoners forced to sleep on the concrete floor. The conditions at Parchman gained notoriety in the 1999 film Life, starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. According to The Sentencing Project, a Washington-based research and advocacy center working to reduce imprisonment in the United States, Mississippi boasts the third-highest incarceration rate behind Louisiana and Oklahoma.Amid the bloodshed at Parchman, two inmates recently escaped, prompting a massive manhunt. Both were recaptured, and investigators said they may have received outside help in escaping. Dillion Williams, 27, who’s serving a 40-year sentence for residential burglary and aggravated assault, was caught around 2 p.m. local time on Monday in a wooded area near Rossville, Tennessee, about 100 miles from the facility in Parchman, officials said. Williams and David May, 42, were discovered to be missing from Parchman when officers took an emergency headcount at 1:45 a.m. on Saturday, officials said. May, who’s serving a life sentence for two aggravated assaults, was caught on Sunday morning near where Williams was captured, officials said. “We are thankful for the coordinated efforts to capture these two violent offenders without incident,” Pelicia E. Hall, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, said in a statement.The two escapes from the prison, about 120 miles north of Jackson, came during a tumultuous period for the prison system and prompted a temporary lockdown of inmates across the state, resulting in increased scrutiny at the historically cash-strapped penitentiaries. The lockdown, which began Jan. 2, was lifted at 11 facilities on Tuesday.Thornton demanded that officials investigate the conditions at Parchman immediately to get a better understanding of why the facility has become such a powder keg.“Instead of just standing outside and listening to what is going on in Parchman, somebody needs to turn around and walk through there, visit some of these units and listen to some of the inmates,” Thornton said. “And if you turn around and visit some of these units and see what’s actually going on and the conditions that they live in … maybe things won’t happen the way it is.”In April, the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica reported on a rash of prisoners being beaten and burned by fellow inmates, particularly at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville, where one prisoner was killed in recent days. At that prison, inmates outnumber guards 23 to 1, according to the report. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who is scheduled to leave office on Jan. 14, blamed inmates and prison gangs for the deadly violence that occurred at the state’s prisons in the past week.“Someone asked earlier, Who’s responsible for what’s happening at Parchman? The inmates,” Bryant said at a news conference on Monday. “The inmates are the ones that take each other’s lives. The inmates are the ones that fashion weapons out of metal. … So, I would say look to the inmates.” However, Bryant conceded that the state legislature has failed to fully fund his proposed investments in the prison system over the last four years, which include hiring more corrections officers and paying them more.“At $25,000 a year working at Parchman, it’s not always easy to find people who want to dedicate themselves to a career in corrections,” Bryant said. “We need to work on that. We need to fix that.” Hall, the corrections commissioner, who announced her resignation this week to take a job in the private sector, warned state lawmakers almost a year ago about problems in the prison system due to lack of funding. “I’m almost at capacity in my facilities. That’s not a good place for us to be in the state of Mississippi,” Hall testified at a Jan. 16, 2019, House appropriations subcommittee hearing.The budget for the Department of Corrections has declined by $185 million since 2014, according to Clarion-Ledger of Jackson. At the same subcommittee hearing where Hall testified, Lt. Manisa Ragsdale of the Corrections Department said conditions for corrections officers had gotten increasingly dangerous. “One of the main concerns that I see happening every day is low staffing,” Ragsdale said at the time. “If we were to have a major incident to happen, there is no one there to respond to the incidents. If I’m in a major crisis, who is going to come and see about me?”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Pitbull attack on elderly woman may have uncovered illegal dog fighting ring

first_imgkatifcam/iStock(HICKORY GROVE, S.C.) — A vicious pitbull attack on a 71-year-old woman who was looking after 14 dogs at a family member’s property may have accidentally revealed an illegal dog fighting ring. The incident occurred on Saturday, Jan. 18, in York County, South Carolina, when police responded to a home in Hickory Grove after reports of a dog attack. When responding deputies arrived they found a 71-year-old woman lying on the ground after being attacked by a pitbull she was helping take care of.Police discovered in their investigation that the woman was on the property to help look after the 14 dogs on site when the pitbull somehow managed to get loose and attack the unsuspecting woman. The victim was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, for her injuries. The woman’s condition and the severity of her injuries is currently unknown.Upon further investigation following the attack, deputies discovered the 14 other dogs on the premises as well as “evidence of state violations of the dogs being improperly restrained, aggressive, and lacking adequate food, water, and shelter,” said the York County Sheriff’s Office in a statement. “In addition, code enforcement officers are also investigating the possibility the animals were used for fighting. All 14 dogs were taken to York County Animal Control.”“This incident speaks to the viciousness and violent nature of raising animals for the purpose of fighting and unfortunately caused very serious and unnecessary harm to an innocent and unintended victim. This activity is cruel, unnecessary and criminal,” said York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson. The animals are currently being held by York County Animal Control and the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attack as well as into violations discovered by authorities is ongoing. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Man allegedly kills pro-Trump boss after argument, throws American flag on his body

first_imgOrange County Sheriff’s Office(ORLANDO, Fla.) — A construction worker in Florida has been accused of murdering his pro-Trump boss with a trowel after a political argument on the construction site where they both worked and then throwing an American flag on the man’s body. The incident occurred on Monday at approximately 10:30 a.m. when emergency dispatchers received a call from co-workers saying that Mason Trever Toney, 28, had stabbed and killed their boss, 28-year-old William Steven Knight, on the Florida Turnpike job site, according to the arrest affidavit obtained by ABC News’ Orlando affiliate WFTV.The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says that the murder appears related to a political dispute between the men. Knight was a big supporter of President Donald Trump while Toney was anti-government. “[Toney is] anti-government and very outspoken about his beliefs that the government is bad and out to get him,” said Toney’s arrest affidavit.When deputies arrived they found Knight’s body lying next to an excavator on the job site with a brand new American flag thrown onto the side of the victim’s body that didn’t belong to anybody on the site, according to the arrest affidavit. A preliminary report determined that the weapon used to murder Knight was a trowel, according to ABC News’ Houston station KTRK-TV.After Toney allegedly killed Knight, he stole a white pick-up truck and fled the scene of the crime but was taken into custody shortly after crashing the vehicle in a brief pursuit in Brevard County, Florida. Police confirmed that Toney was arrested and taken into custody without incident in a statement on social media. Toney is currently being held in Orange County without bond. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

US coronavirus death toll reaches 61 as cities, states close bars and other venues

first_imgiStock(NEW YORK) — There are at least 3,244 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the United States and at least 61 coronavirus-related deaths in the country as of Sunday. COVID-19 has reached 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. More restaurants and schools are closing across the nation to try to stop the spread. Globally, there are more than 162,600 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 5,800 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and ABC News reporting.Here’s how the news unfolded Sunday. All times Eastern:12:21 a.m. Washington to shut down bars, eliminate in-person diningWashington state is following the national trend shuttering entertainment venues and recreational facilities, and limiting restaurants to delivery and take-out.Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement Sunday night local time announcing that he will sign the statewide proclamation on Monday.The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies, although other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy, the statement said.“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease,” Inslee said.Washington’s King Country, which includes the county seat of Seattle, has been one of the centers of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.12:11 a.m. Los Angeles closing bars, clubs and gymsLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city will be closing bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.Restaurants will remain open only for takeout and delivery.The order extends to libraries, recreation centers and zoos.Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will remain open, the mayor said. In addition, the announcement included a moratorium on evictions for renters.The executive order, which came an hour after New York City made a similar announcement, puts the United States’ two largest cities under unprecedented restrictions during a national health crisis.The Los Angeles closures go into effect Sunday at midnight local time.“This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together,” Garcetti said in a statement.11:17 p.m. Peace Corps to suspend worldwide operationsThe Peace Corps is suspending all activities around the world in 60 countries, effectively shutting down the service for the time being.The move will evacuate thousands of volunteers from host countries.The 59-year-old organization, founded by President John F. Kennedy, had already recalled volunteers from China and Mongolia because of COVID-19.10:05 p.m. NYC to shutter bars, limit restaurants to takeout and deliveryNew York City becomes the latest city in the U.S. to order the mandatory closure of all bars, movie theaters and entertainment venues, per an announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio.In addition, restaurants and cafes will be limited to food take-out and delivery only.The closures will go into effect Tuesday at 9 a.m.“This is not a decision I make lightly,” De Blasio said in a statement. “These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.”The announcement came just hours after the mayor announced the cancelation of classes in the city’s public school system.Several other U.S. cities have announced similar restrictions.8:40 p.m. Red Cross in urgent need of bloodThe number of blood drive cancellations is “growing at an alarming rate,” according to the Red Cross. About 1,500 blood drives have been canceled so far, resulting in 46,000 fewer blood donations, according to the organization.In light of coronavirus concerns, the organization is taking additional precautions at blood-donation facilities, including monitoring the temperature of staff and donors, providing hand sanitizer, increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment, and spacing beds where possible.Red Cross officials are reminding people that donating blood is a safe process, and that they should not hesitate to donate if they are healthy and eligible to give blood.8 p.m. CDC recommends eliminating large gatheringsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new recommendations that mass gatherings of 50 or more people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.The types of events include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other similar assemblies, according to a statement from the CDC.The recommendation does not apply to day-to-day operations such as schools or businesses.7:50 p.m. Wynn, MGM Resorts to close hotels on Las Vegas stripWynn Las Vegas and Encore on the Las Vegas strip will be temporarily closed.Wynn Resorts will continue to pay all of its full-time employees, according to a statement from the company.A limited number of employees and management will remain at the resorts to secure and maintain the facilities.The closure will take effect on Tuesday and will last for at least two weeks.All MGM resorts on the strip will close as well, MGM announced. Casino operations will close on Monday, and hotel operations will close on Tuesday.MGM will reopen its resorts “as soon as it safe to do so” and will provide support to employees, according to a statement. Reservations for arrivals prior to May 1 will not be taken.7:10 p.m. Another NBA player tests positiveA member of the Detroit Pistons has become at least the third NBA player to become infected with the coronavirus.The player, who was not identified, has been isolated since Wednesday and is under the care of medical staff, the Pistons said in a statement.Last week, Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the virus. 5:52 p.m. New York City closes public schoolsNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that the city’s public school system is canceling classes as of Monday morning to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The mayor said that all New York City public schools will be closed through at least Monday, April 20, at a minimum, and at a maximum the entire remaining school year could be canceled. The unprecedented decision will shutter schools for the nation’s largest school system, leaving more than a million students at home. De Blasio said the Department of Education is working to roll out an ambitious remote learning program that is slated to begin next week. School officials said they had determined that approximately 300,000 of the system’s 1.1 million students do not have a connected device, and administrators were working with Apple to purchase 300,000 iPads to loan to those students so they could participate in the school system’s distance learning program. “I am distraught at having to take this action, but I became convinced over the last few days that we have no other choice,” de Blasio said about the decision to close the city’s schools. “We’ve seen the latest models [regarding the spread of the virus] … it’s a sacrifice that has to be done.” The mayor said that as of Sunday, New York City has 329 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from a few dozen last week. Five city residents have died from the coronavirus. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont also announced Sunday that schools would close from Tuesday through at least March 31. Students who receive meals through the school lunch and breakfast program will be able to continue receiving meals while classes are canceled — similar to the way summer meals are operate, Lamont said. 5:50 p.m. Starbucks to close some storesStarbucks is temporarily switching to a “to-go” model and will close some stores in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Seattle-based coffee company will pause all seating at restaurants, including inside the café and on outside patios, according to a letter sent to partners. Customers will still be able to order at the counter or via the mobile app. 5:40 p.m. All coronavirus testing will be freeVice President Mike Pence announced that coronavirus testing will now be free for all Americans. Nearly two million tests will be available by the end of the week, officials said during a press conference at the White House Sunday afternoon.5:25 p.m. Fed lowers interest rates to near zeroThe Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates to near zero amid the coronavirus outbreak. The new rate is to 0.25%, according to a press release from the Federal Reserve. “In light of these developments, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to 1/4 percent,” the release read. President Donald Trump praised the decision during a White House news conference on Sunday. “It’s really good news,” Trump said. “It’s something that’s really great for our country.”4:50 p.m. Germany closes borders to neighboring countriesGermany will close its borders with France, Luxembourg, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland starting Monday in an effort to stave off the COVID-19 pandemic. “The spread of the coronavirus is progressing rapidly and aggressively,” German Interior Minister Horst Seehoder said in a press conference Sunday. Seehoder said that one of the most important measures is to “cut off the source of infection,” by limiting social events and travel. 4:45 p.m. Illinois bans dining outIllinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that all bars and restaurants in the state will be closed from Monday to March 30. Restaurants will still be allowed drive-thru and delivery services. “This is not a joke. No on one is immune to this,” Pritzker said during a news conference Sunday. 4:06 p.m. Ohio shutters all restaurantsAll restaurants and bars in Ohio are ordered to close beginning at 9 p.m. Sunday, said Gov. Mike DeWine. The state has 36 COVID-19 cases including one person who started showing symptoms in early February, DeWine said. “Establishments can stay open for carry-out and delivery,” DeWine tweeted. “What we can’t have is people congregating and seated.” “Every day we delay, more people will die,” the governor tweeted. 2:53 p.m. Louis Vuitton to make free hand sanitizerFrench luxury goods company Louis Vuitton says it’s dedicating its perfume and cosmetics production facilities in France to make large quantities of hand sanitizer for hospitals free of charge.2:38 p.m. National Institutes of Health employee tests positive for COVID-19An employee with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has tested positive for COVID-19, NIH said Sunday.“The individual works for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases but is not involved in patient care,” the NIH said in a statement.The employee — who is quarantined at home and “doing well” — did not have symptoms while at work “which is believed to lower the risk of transmission,” the NIH said.The NIH added that it anticipates more cases among its staff.Tune into ABC News Live at noon ET every weekday for the latest news, context and analysis on the novel coronavirus, with resources from the full ABC News team.1:58 p.m. 368 people dead in 24 hours in ItalyItaly, hard-hit by the coronavirus, has seen nearly 3,600 new cases and 368 deaths in 24 hours.This brings the total number of fatalities in the country to 1,809, according to the Italy Civil Protection Agency.12:45 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day changes for Chicago and South Boston Two days before St. Patrick’s Day, one of Chicago’s most celebrated days of the year, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said businesses selling liquor must reduce their capacity, with no more than 100 people inside.Bars and restaurants also can’t allow revelers to line up outside, she said.Meanwhile, in South Boston, bars and restaurants are closing Sunday, according to a tweet from State Sen. Nick Collins.Some South Boston bars appeared packed with St. Patrick’s Day partygoers on Saturday.“We are in uncharted waters,” Collins tweeted. “We are in this together & it’s imperative now that we do all that we can to keep our communities safe.”12:00 p.m. Self quarantine recommended in New Jersey townThe northern New Jersey town of Teaneck is “ground zero” for infections in the state, Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin told ABC News.The town of 41,000 people had 18 cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday.Teaneck is in Bergen County, which has 31 reported cases. Among the confirmed cases in Bergen County is a hospital worker. Staff in contact with that worker are now in self-quarantine.Hameeduddin said county officials decided to close all schools, municipal buildings, parks and other places where people congregate.The mayor recommends Teaneck families stay home and only leave for food and medicine. Hameeduddin said residents should assume they’ll be infected if they go out.The self-quarantine is completely voluntary, Teaneck Township Manager Dean Kazinci said Sunday.11:36 a.m. New York governor wants federal troops to be mobilized to fight coronavirusIn an op-ed in The New York Times, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging President Donald Trump to let states take over coronavirus testing.Cuomo also asked the president to mobilize the Army Corps of Engineers to expand hospital capacity.“States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough. At this point, our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities — like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers,” Cuomo said.“We believe the use of active duty Army Corps personnel would not violate federal law because this is a national disaster,” Cuomo wrote. “Doing so still won’t provide enough intensive care beds, but it is our best hope.”There are 729 cases of COVID-19 in New York, the most of any state in the country. Of those 729 people, 137 are in hospitals.At a news conference Sunday, Cuomo urged private businesses to “aggressively consider” working from home and voluntary close. He did not rule out taking more action.  10:20 a.m. More universities stop classesYale is joining the growing list of universities to cancel in-person classes for the rest of semester.One Yale community member has tested positive for COVID-19 and two others who were in contact with that person are awaiting test results, university officials said Saturday. All three are at a New Haven, Connecticut, hospital, officials said.Students are to remain off-campus and learn online for the rest of the spring semester, including final exams, officials said.“It is too soon to say whether Commencement Weekend, scheduled for mid-May, will be carried out in the traditional way,” the officials said.Michigan State University officials also decided Saturday that classes will only be offered online for the rest of the semester.MSU said graduation is postponed.9:27 a.m. Holy Week celebrations closed to public, says VaticanVatican officials said Sunday that Holy Week celebrations — the week before Easter — will be closed to the public because of the coronavirus. Easter is on April 12.Why is Italy being hit so hard?Italy is on lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 which has killed over 1,400 people in the country.Two of the pope’s weekly gatherings, on Wednesdays and Sundays, will continue to be livestreamed until Easter Sunday, said Vatican officials.8:38 a.m. Nike closes storesNike is closing its stores in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, company officials said Sunday.The closures will last from March 16 through March 27.8:03 a.m. Hospital workers contract coronavirus in BostonA spokesperson for Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has confirmed that an undisclosed number of their health care workers have contracted coronavirus.“As the novel coronavirus spreads across the globe, it is inevitable that health care workers will be infected, as is now the case at the Brigham. We are in the process of contacting patients and staff who may have been exposed,” the spokesperson said. “We have been in close contact with the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health and the Boston Public Health Commission and we will continue to follow their and CDC’s guidance, as well as the advice of our own infectious diseases experts as the situation continues to evolve.”5:55 a.m. People over 70 to self-isolate in U.K.People over the age of 70 will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months as the United Kingdom escalates its fight against the coronavirus.Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that it is a “very big ask,” but it is for their own “self-protection.”The U.K.’s coronavirus death toll rose on Saturday from 11 to 21 and the total number of people testing positive passed 1,000.5:31 a.m. Muslim holy sites closeThe Islamic Waqaf, the highest Islamic authority in Jerusalem for Muslims, has decided to close down the third holiest place in Islam for prayer because of the coronavirus. The prayer will only be allowed at the plaza in the open air area but not inside the two buildings, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.3:57 a.m. Tom Hanks tweets Australian-themed update“Thanks to the Helpers. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other,” tweeted actor Tom Hanks, along with a photo of a kangaroo, koala and vegemite on toast.Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, are in Australia where they tested positive for COVID-19 last week.3:10 a.m. Israeli Prime Minister’s corruption trail postponedA Jerusalem district court announced it was postponing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal trial for two months because of restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The hearing will now begin on May 24.2:50 a.m. Long lines at airports as travelers wait for screeningsAs President Trump’s European travel restrictions go into effect, thousands of airline passengers are facing hours-long waiting lines for enhanced coronavirus screenings by the CDC and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at airports across the country.Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tweeted, “The crowds & lines [Chicago’s] O’Hare [airport] are unacceptable & need to be addressed immediately.”Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, is calling wait times “unacceptable.”Morgan tweeted Sunday that “some of the resources of our partners are stretched thin” and that CBP is continuing to adjust its resources.The Department of Homeland Security said: “Upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to enhanced entry screening where the passenger will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will then be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to proceed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices.”Trump said in a tweet Sunday, “We are doing very precise Medical Screenings at our airports. Pardon the interruptions and delays, we are moving as quickly as possible, but it is very important that we be vigilant and careful. We must get it right. Safety first!”1:30 a.m.: Trump tests negative for COVID-19Trump has tested negative for COVID-19, a White House physician said Saturday.While hosting the Brazilian delegation at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last week, Trump came in close contact with at least two people who later tested positive for the virus. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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White dog owner calls 911 on black man in viral-video leash-law dispute

first_imgChris Cooper spoke with “Good Morning America” about his experience. – (ABC News)By BILL HUTCHINSON, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A cellphone video has gone viral and is sparking widespread outrage after capturing a white dog owner calling 911 and claiming an African American birdwatcher who told her to keep her pet leashed was “threatening myself and my dog” in New York City’s Central Park.The confrontation occurred on Memorial Day in a wooded area of the urban oasis known as the Ramble, a popular destination for wildlife fans looking to spot rare birds. By Tuesday morning the dog owner had returned her pet to the rescue shelter she adopted it from, was placed on administrative leave from her job at the Franklin Templeton investment firm, and issued an apology for her behavior in an interview with CNN.“The video out of Central Park is racism, plain and simple,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Twitter post Tuesday morning. “She called the police BECAUSE he was a Black man. Even though she was the one breaking the rules. She decided he was the criminal and we know why. This kind of hatred has no place in our city.”Chris Cooper told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that he was walking through the Ramble looking for “incredibly gorgeous” rare birds when he said he noticed a dog off its leash tearing through the vegetation despite signs telling dog owners to keep their canines on a leash while in the area.“I said to the young woman, ‘Dogs in the Ramble have to be on a leash at all times,’” Cooper said, adding that he told the woman she was standing right next to a sign displaying the leash laws.But the incident quickly escalated to an ugly confrontation amid the beauty of nature.He said the owner initially refused to leash her cocker spaniel, telling him the animal needed exercise.Cooper said he was trying to lure the dog out of a planted bed with some treats he had on him when the pet owner allegedly became furious.“She didn’t like that at all. She immediately grabbed the dog as you can see from the video and started hauling it around by its collar.”Cooper started to record her on his cellphone.In the video, posted on Cooper’s Facebook page, the woman, whose identity has not been independently confirmed by ABC News, is heard telling Cooper, “Please take your phone off.”When Cooper refused, the woman allegedly became irate and threatening.“Then I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” she says in the footage. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”Responding, Cooper tells the woman, “Please tell them whatever you’d like.”The woman then calls 911 and in an increasingly frantic voice says, “There is an African American man … I am in Central Park … he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. I am being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately.”The New York Police Department confirmed to ABC News that they sent officers to the scene of a reported assault, but says there were no arrests or summons issued for what they described as a “verbal dispute.”Cooper’s video of the encounter has been viewed tens of thousands of times on Facebook and has spawned more than 130,000 retweets on Twitter with the hashtag BirdWatchingWhileBlack becoming a trending topic. Many posters called the woman out as a racist and said she should be fired from her job.In an interview Tuesday morning with CNN, the woman issued a public apology.“It was unacceptable and I humbly and fully apologize to everyone who’s seen that video, everyone that’s been offended … everyone who thinks of me in a lower light. And I understand why they do,” she said.“I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” she added. “I think I was just scared. When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”In a statement, the woman’s employer, Franklin Templeton, said, “We take these matters very seriously, and we don’t condone racism of any kind. While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administrative leave.” In response to an incident involving an employee on May 25th, Franklin Templeton issued the following statement. pic.twitter.com/8f2lMwK0r5— Franklin Templeton (@FTI_US) May 26, 2020Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, Inc., also issued a statement on its Facebook page confirming that the woman in the video adopted her cocker spaniel from its shelter and returned the dog Monday evening.“The owner has voluntarily surrendered the dog in question to our rescue while this matter is being addressed,” the organization said. “Our mission remains the health and safety of our rescued dogs. The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health.”The incident marks the latest in a string of encounters in which white people have called 911 to report black people seemingly going about their normal lives. Many of the incidents have been recorded on cellphone videos — and have exploded on social media and gone viral.Most of the callers have garnered nicknames pertaining to the routine activity of African Americans they found suspicious enough to call authorities, including barbecuing in a park, playing golf, entering an apartment building where they live and even napping in the common area of a college dorm.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Coronavirus live updates: 25 million infected in Iran, president says

first_imgGo Nakamura/Getty ImagesBY: WILLIAM MANSELL AND ELLA TORRES, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 600,000 people worldwide.Over 14.1 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 139,266 deaths.Here is how the news is developed Friday. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.9:14 a.m.: Miami Beach establishes 8 p.m. curfewMiami Beach residents are now under an 8 p.m. curfew amid rising cases in Florida.The curfew which went into effect Saturday at 12:01 a.m., is two hours before the countywide curfew and will run through July 24.All businesses in the area, including commercial, entertainment and restaurants, must close by 8 p.m. Take-out will also be prohibited from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., but kitchens can remain open during those times if they are providing delivery services.8:37 a.m.: 25 million infected in Iran, president saysIran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that a startling 25 million Iranians have been infected with the coronavirus, a figure that is much higher than the official toll of some 271,000 and surpasses the current confirmed cases globally.Rouhani said the 25 million was based off a new Health Ministry report, but did not detail why there was such a discrepancy.The president also said that another 35 million people “will be at risk.” Iran has a population of more than 80 million.“Our estimate is that as of now 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus and about 14,000 have lost their dear lives,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.Iran’s official toll of confirmed cases is 271,606, according to Johns Hopkins data, putting them in the top 10 countries hardest hit. Globally, there are more than 14 million confirmed cases.The 25 million infected would make Iran the hardest-hit country. The United States currently holds that position, with more than 3.6 million.7:02 a.m.: Florida Sheriff uses chopper to break up ‘COVID-19 parties’The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in Florida announced it is using helicopters to patrol and break up “COVID-19 parties.”The sheriff’s office released aerial footage from the helicopter Friday showing a large gathering happening in the street and then deputies pulling up to the gathering to break it up.Sheriff Russ Gibson told ABC affiliate WFTV-TV that many young people are gathering at a house party to either plan to catch the coronavirus or not care if they get infected.Gibson said his department plans to increase its patrols this weekend and focus on three subdivisions in the west side of the county where he said people are renting homes for the weekend and having large groups over for house parties, according to WFTV.The large gatherings come at a time when Florida is seeing a sharp surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.Florida has more than 327,000 diagnosed cases, with at least 4,805 deaths.The Sunshine state added 11,548 new cases on Friday, the third consecutive day the state has had a single-day case total over 10,000. Friday also marks the third consecutive day where the state reported over 120 deaths. Over 9,000 patients are also currently hospitalized, nearly 1,900 of them in Miami-Dade county.4:51 a.m.: US death count up 19%The number of new coronavirus cases is up 19.7% from last week and the national death count is up 19% during the same period, according to an internal Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News.Those figures aren’t the only increases. The national fatality rate is now 3.8% and the test positivity rate saw a slight increase in the last seven days, coming in at 10.1%. It was 9.8% during the week prior, according to the FEMA. memo.Other concerning rises include that 13% of COVID-19 inpatients are on a ventilator, which is the first weekly rise in this stat since early June. Also, 32% of in-use ventilators across the U.S. are occupied by COVID-19 patients. At the coronavirus peak in April, it was 45%. In early June, it was 17%, according to FEMA.The number of available ICU beds also continues to be a problem. The memo said that 19% of all medical facilities in the U.S. have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled.Two of the hardest-hit states, Florida and Texas, are still not seeing a slowdown in cases. From July 8-14, Florida had its highest test-positivity rate to date at 17.9%. It also had a record daily death toll of 156 on July 16. Hospitalizations in the sunshine state, according to the FEMA memo, are expected to peak in 10 days.Meanwhile in Texas, the state had record highs of cases and deaths on July 15.This grim news is not exclusive to the U.S., COVID-19 cases reached 14 million across the globe Friday. The world hit 10 million on June 28 — a 40% increase in less than three weeks.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Thousands of cockfighting roosters rescued from California ranch

first_imgFacebook/Los Angeles County Sheriff’s DepartmentBy JON HAWORTH, ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — Up to 3,000 cock fighting roosters, along with several hundred livestock animals, have been recovered from a California ranch following an investigation into animal cruelty.The recovery began at approximately 7 a.m. on Aug. 3 when Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies who were assigned to the Community Partnerships Bureau served a search warrant on a multi-acre ranch in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles.According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the operation was part of an investigation related to animal cruelty and possession of game fowl for the purpose of fighting and was conducted in conjunction with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control.“Several hundred livestock animals are held on the property in various states of health,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “Approximately two to three thousand cock fighting roosters are also being held on the property.Several occupiers of the property were detained during the operation although the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not disclose their identity or how many suspects were involved.Authorities said that investigators are on the scene to determine the animals’ ownership and if any crimes were involved and that all of the animals will be inspected and documented by Animal Care and Control officers.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more