Naked man driving wrong way on I-95 causes massive traffic delay

U.S. NEWS Naked man driving wrong way on I-95 causes massive traffic delay

WPVI-TV(PHILADELPHIA) — A naked man who drove at least 10 miles the wrong way on Interstate 95 Wednesday night has been captured by police.

No one was harmed, but traffic was backed up for miles, according to ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV.

Police have not revealed the identity of the man, who was apprehended near Philadelphia International Airport after authorities deployed spike strips to flatten his tires.

The naked suspect, whose journey apparently began in Delaware, was unharmed after his vehicle slowed and struck a state police car and finally came to a stop. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Charges have not yet been filed against the man.

The investigation is ongoing.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jan 2019

Driver who admitted to leaving woman in burning car gets 12 years in prison

U.S. NEWS Driver who admitted to leaving woman in burning car gets 12 years in prison

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — A New York man was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Wednesday after he admitting to leaving the scene of a fiery crash that trapped and killed his friend.

Saeed Ahmad, 24, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the October 2017 death of his friend Harleen Grewal, who died after Ahmad abandoned her in a burning vehicle on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Grewal, 25, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ahmad allegedly was “driving at an excessive rate of speed” when he attempted to pass another vehicle and crashed into a highway barrier, causing his car to explode and burst into flames, according to prosecutors, who said he hailed a cab and fled without calling 911 or alerting anyone a passenger was in his car.

Ahmad was arrested later that morning and treated for burns to his neck, arms and legs. Tests determined that his blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was above the legal limit of .08, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.

“This defendant’s senseless and reckless actions caused the death of a young woman who had her entire life ahead of her,” Gonzalez said. “He showed complete disregard for human life and for the safety of everyone using our roadways.”

Hopefully, he added, the victim’s heartbroken family will “find some solace” in sentencing.

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Posted On 10 Jan 2019

Trump heads to Texas as part of public relations campaign for border wall

Political News Trump heads to Texas as part of public relations campaign for border wall

Official White House Photos by Joyce N. Boghosian(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is set to travel to the southern border Thursday as he continues to make his case for building a barrier along the southern border amid an ongoing partial government shutdown triggered by the president’s demand for a border wall.

The White House has said the president’s trip is designed to allow him to meet with those individuals who are “on the front lines” of what they have called a “national security and humanitarian crisis.”

The White House has provided few details about Thursday’s trip, citing security considerations.

The White House has struggled to make the case that there is, in fact, a crisis at the border, with the number of illegal apprehensions trending downward over the last two decades. But the administration points to an uptick of illegal border crossing apprehensions in recent months as evidence.

Trump’s visit comes after negotiations between the president and Senate Democrats broke down in a contentious, 14-minute meeting that ended with the president walking out of the room after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not agree to fund the president’s wall if he agreed to reopen the government.

The president said he continues to weigh the possibility of declaring a national emergency as a way to circumvent Congress and have the military construct the border wall, but Trump has yet to make a final decision on whether to follow through with that.

The question of whether the president has the legal authority to build a wall through a national emergency declaration remains an open question and is under review by White House lawyers. Should the president go forward with the move, it would almost certainly be challenged in court.

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Posted On 10 Jan 2019

“It’s an onion”: Kevin Hart tells Stephen Colbert that Oscar controversy “just doesn’t stop”

Entertainment News  "It's an onion": Kevin Hart tells Stephen Colbert that Oscar controversy "just doesn't stop"


Scott Kowalchyk/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.(NEW YORK) — Kevin Hart’s got one big message in the wake of the controversy over his hosting the Oscars.

“I’m over it,” the comic and actor said again during Wednesday night’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert, echoing the message he’d delivered earlier in the day on ABC’s Good Morning America.

In response to Colbert asking if there’s anything about the way he’s handled the conversation over the last few weeks, Hart delivered an emphatic no.

“It’s an onion,” Hart said, referring to the number of times he says he’s apologized for the ten-year-old homophobic tweets that sparked the controversy.  “No matter how many times you keep peeling it, it’s just endless…it just doesn’t stop, there is no end to it,” Hart insisted.  “I’m done.  I did it.  I’m over it.  There is no more that I can do.”

Hart also said that because there seemed to be no number of apologies that would satisfy everyone, he had to stop apologizing and move on order to be true to himself.

“I’m now compromising myself,” Hart said of offering further apologies.  “At some point you just have to be okay with you.  I’m okay with me and all decisions that I’ve made in my life.  This is the decision I’ve made to say, ‘I’m over it.’”

As for what we might have seen with Hart as Academy Awards host, he said one bit he’d planned would have warned the A-list audience to “not be a meme,” as Colbert showed photos of Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington caught in goofy moments from past Oscars that then circulated online.

Hart also talked up his new film with Bryan Cranston, The Upside, opening nationally Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jan 2019

Kim Jong Un has Xi Jinping’s support for second Trump summit

WORLD NEWS Kim Jong Un has Xi Jinping's support for second Trump summit

Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images(BEIJING) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has the support of Chinese President Xi Jinping for an expected second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

According to the official readout by China’s Xinhua News Agency of Kim and Xi’s meeting this week in Beijing, Xi “supported [North Korea] and the United States holding summits and achieving results.”

While the exact details of the discussion were not revealed, Xi is quoted by Xinhua as saying, “China hopes that the DPRK and the United States will meet each other halfway” and that “China stands ready to work with the DPRK and relevant parties to play a positive and constructive role in maintaining peace and stability and realizing denuclearization on the peninsula and lasting peace and stability in the region.”

Many observers, including China’s nationalistic newspaper Global Times, felt the timing of Kim’s trip, on Xi’s invitation, was intentional. As Kim’s armored train pulled into Beijing Railway Station on Tuesday, a few blocks away a U.S. trade delegation was hammering out differences with their Chinese counterparts in an effort to end the trade war between the two countries. The two sides have a truce that expires March 1.

Kim “came to Beijing at a critical juncture, when the ongoing Sino-US trade negotiations were poised to produce a breakthrough and the second summit between him and U.S. President Donald Trump is slated to take place soon,” observed an op-ed in the Global Times.

Kim previously met with Xi before and after the Singapore Summit with Trump. However, after the June summit, progress between North Korea and the U.S. stalled over fundamental disagreements on their respective definitions of “denuclearization” and a timeline for said denuclearization.

The Global Times wrote, “The second summit is so important that Kim feels it is necessary to break protocol and consult Chinese leaders before shaking hands with Trump once again.”

Despite sanctions, China remains North Korea’s main trading partner and benefactor, accounting for 90 percent of the reclusive nation’s imports.

Before Kim’s first visit to China last March, the relationship between Kim and Xi was anything but warm — they kept each other at arm’s length despite years of propaganda claiming the two countries were as close as “lips and teeth.”

But since North Korea’s rapprochement with South Korea and the U.S., Kim and Xi have thawed their frosty relationship, as each wants to negotiate with Trump on a key topic: Kim on denuclearization and Xi on trade.

Prior to departing Beijing, North Korean state media reported that Kim once again extended an invitation to Xi to visit Pyongyang, which Xi reportedly accepted. Xi also reportedly accepted a previous invitation to visit the North Korean capital last year but has yet to go.

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Posted On 10 Jan 2019

South Korean president optimistic on progress toward denuclearization

WORLD NEWS South Korean president optimistic on progress toward denuclearization

Jung Yeon-je-Pool/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in painted a rosy picture of the ongoing denuclearization process on his nation’s peninsula Thursday and said a second summit between leaders from the U.S. and North Korea could happen “soon.”

After that summit, Kim Jong Un may visit Seoul, added Moon, who, during his annual New Year’s press conference at the presidential office, or Bluehouse, also urged China to continue to play a “positive role.”

Kim’s recent visit to Beijing to meet with Xi Jinping stands out as a “good sign,” the South Korean president said.

Moon also noted that Pyongyang has offered concessions during the process of denuclearization and that he expects Washington to carry out similar corresponding measures “in order to gradually build trust.”

“This time, North Korea suggested a much more detailed process of denuclearization,” said Moon, adding that North Korea would halt missile firings, dismantle nuclear and test sites, and scrap its Yongbyon research center.

Moon spent most of the 20-minute speech talking about South Korea’ economy, but the topic dominating the following question-and-answer session with 200 journalists was North Korea.

Washington and Pyongyang, Moon said, have now narrowed differences over the past seven months since the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, and it’s time to take “bold steps.”

“The reason why the deal with North Korea is being delayed is because the two sides have spent a long period of time distrusting each other,” Moon added.

Regarding his relationship with Kim Jong Un, Moon said the letter he received from him at the end of last year was “very special, and, first and foremost, very sincere,” expressing regret and explaining why Kim could not deliver the promise of a reciprocal visit in December.

“By exchanging these letters, I expect more frequent meetings with Kim regarding inter-Korean relations and denuclearization issues,” Moon said. “I hope to achieve accelerated progress in the future.”

Kim returned to Pyongyang Thursday from his four-day-long trip to China.

North Korea is making an effort to achieve similar results from Kim’s second potential summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, reported Xinhua, China’s state news agency, quoting Kim.

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Posted On 10 Jan 2019

Meghan Markle’s first patronages as member of royal family announced

WORLD NEWS Meghan Markle's first patronages as member of royal family announced

Clodagh Kilcoyne – WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) — Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, marked another first in her eight months as a member of Britain’s royal family.

Meghan, who wed Prince Harry in May, will now assume her role as the royal patron of several charitable organizations. Kensington Palace announced Meghan’s official patronages Thursday morning in a statement.

The Duchess of Sussex will now become Patron of four organizations that “reflect the causes and issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare,” Kensington Palace announced in the statement.

Meghan, 37, will start the new roles immediately. She plans to visit one of the charities later Thursday, according to Kensington Palace.

Meghan will now be patron of The National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, women’s charity Smart Works and animal charity Mayhew. Her Majesty The Queen was previously patron of two of these organizations — The National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities. She has now passed on the responsibility to the Duchess of Sussex.

“The Duchess is delighted to become Patron of both national and grassroots organisations that are part of the fabric of the UK, and is very much looking forward to working with them to bring wider public attention to their causes,” the statement added. “Her Royal Highness feels she can use her position to focus attention on, and make a particular difference to these organisations and, more widely, the sectors they each represent.”

“Over the last year, Her Royal Highness has held meetings and conducted private visits with each of these organisations,” the Palace said. “The Duchess will today visit Smart Works and over the next few weeks will undertake public visits to the other three organisations.”

The organizations were delighted to have Meghan’s endorsement.

The Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, said it was a “privilege to welcome The Duchess of Sussex as our new Patron,” adding that Meghan “shares our deeply-held conviction that theatre has the power to bring together people from all communities and walks of life.”

Joanna Newman, chief executive and secretary general of the ACU, said she was “thrilled” Meghan had become their new patron.

“The Duchess shares our passion for the transformational power of higher education, and Her Royal Highness’ support will help champion higher education as a force for good in the Commonwealth and beyond,” she said. “We would like to thank Her Majesty The Queen for her support, and we look forward to working closely with The Duchess as our Patron.”

Juliet Hughes-Hallett, chair and founder of Smart Works, said she was “thrilled” to have the Duchess on board.

“An acknowledged champion of women and their rights worldwide, The Duchess will motivate ever more women to come to our centres and get the job that will transform their lives,” she said. “The Duchess’ patronage will inspire the women we serve and help them reach for the stars.”

Caroline Yates, CEO of Mayhew, said, “We are so excited that HRH The Duchess of Sussex has chosen to be our Patron. Mayhew works to improve the lives of dogs, cats and the people in our community.”

Royal patronages are not necessarily for life and the younger royals usually have fewer patronages than older royals, as they steadily acquire more. Queen Elizabeth II is a patron of more than 600 charities and Prince Philip of more than 700.

Meghan began her public charitable work in the U.K. soon after she wed Prince Harry in May. She became the fourth member of the Royal Foundation, started by William, Kate and Harry, at the time of her wedding.

In her first high-profile, solo charity project, Meghan collaborated with women at the Hubb Community Kitchen in West London on a charity cookbook that quickly became a bestseller. Her mom, Doria Ragland, flew from her home in Los Angeles to the U.K. to be with her daughter for the launch of the cookbook.

She also marked the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand and touted the importance of equal access to education for women during her 16-day royal tour of New Zealand, Australia, Tonga and Fiji with Prince Harry.

Official patronages are a hugely important aspect of what it means to be a royal, according to royal expert Victoria Murphy.

“Members of the royal family can use their patronages to shape their legacy as members of the royal family,” Murphy told ABC News. “By showing a consistent interests in certain issues they can create a significant impact in that area.”

The announcement of Meghan’s official patronages comes as she prepares for a busy 2019.

She is expecting her first child with Harry in the spring. The couple also plan to move from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of Windsor Estate, about 30 miles from London.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jan 2019

Harvey Weinstein gets Ashley Judd’s sexual harassment claim tossed out of court

Entertainment News  Harvey Weinstein gets Ashley Judd's sexual harassment claim tossed out of court


ABC Image Group LA(LOS ANGELES) — Harvey Weinstein scored a partial victory Wednesday in in his ongoing court battle with Ashley Judd, after a federal judge dismissed her claims of sexual harassment against him.

Judd has accused the disgraced movie mogul of blacklisting her from movie roles, including Peter Jackson’s blockbuster Lord of the Rings franchise, as retaliation for turning down his sexual advances. She sued Weinstein, claiming “sexual harassment in professional relationship.”

However, in court documents obtained by ABC News, the judge ruled Judd and Weinstein did not have a relationship that fell within the language of the law.  The court stressed that it was not determining whether Judd had been sexually harassed, but whether her claim met the legal definition of workplace harassment.

Ironically, the law was changed in 2018 to cover such relationships, in part because of the avalanche of sexual misconduct claims against Weinstein and others.  However, it couldn’t not be applied retroactively, as Judd had requested in her suit.

Judd can, however, still proceed with her defamation claim against Weinstein.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jan 2019

Former Guantanamo Bay commander indicted for obstructing justice in 2015 death

WORLD NEWS Former Guantanamo Bay commander indicted for obstructing justice in 2015 death

zudin/iStock(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — The former commander of the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay has been indicted on federal charges of obstruction of justice related to the January 2015 death of a base employee who had confronted the officer with allegations that he was having an affair with his wife.

Christopher Tur was found drowned in the waters of Guantanamo Bay two days after confronting Capt. John Nettleton about the alleged affair.

Nettleton was arraigned Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida exactly four years to the day that Tur disappeared following the confrontation and subsequent fight between the two men.

At the time, Nettleton was the commander of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Nettleton’s command did not include the detention facility at the base that is overseen by a one-star flag or general officer. Tur was a civilian employee of the commissary on the base.

According to the indictment, on the night of Jan. 9, 2015 Tur confronted and yelled at Nettleton at a party at the Officers’ Club with allegations that the Naval officer had had an affair with his wife, Lara.

A short time later Tur went to Nettleton’s nearby residence and the two men engaged in a physical altercation that left Tur injured.

Investigators found texts from Nettleton’s daughter, the only other person in the residence at the time, describing a loud commotion in the house. When she went to investigate she saw an unknown man hovering above her father, who was lying on the floor, attempting to use a cellphone.

The person that Tur phoned told investigators that Tur had told him he was “at the Skipper’s house” and “just knocked out the Skipper.”

Nettleton’s daughter’s texts described loud arguing and fighting that lasted for another half hour.

The next day Navy personnel went looking for Tur after he had not returned home.

Tur’s body was found on Jan. 11 floating in Guantanamo Bay after an intensive search at the base.

An autopsy determined he had drowned but had suffered fractured ribs and a laceration on his head.

From the moment the search for Tur began and throughout the subsequent investigation Nettleton did not mention to base personnel, investigators or his superior officer that Tur had last been seen at his home. He falsely claimed that he had last seen Tur at the Officers Club.

He also did not disclose that Tur had accused him of engaging in an affair with his wife, engaged in a physical fight at his home and that Tur had been injured.

Investigators later determined through DNA testing that blood stains found at Nettleton’s home belonged to Tur. They also determined that Nettleton and Lara Tur had engaged in an affair in 2014.

Three weeks after Tur’s disappearance Nettleton was relieved of command and placed in an administrative job in Jacksonville pending the results of a joint Naval Criminal Investigative Division and Justice Department investigation.

ABC News cited a U.S. official who said information had come to light during the investigation into Tur’s death that led the Navy to relieve Nettleton of command. The official said the investigation found that Nettleton had allegedly been having an affair with Tur’s wife Lara, the director of the Fleet and Family Services Center at the base.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jan 2019

Trump threatens to cut FEMA funds to aid California fires

Political News Trump threatens to cut FEMA funds to aid California fires

Official Whte House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump threatened to end federal emergency funding to help aid California’s destructive wildfires on Wednesday.

Trump tweeted that “billions of dollars” are sent to California and with proper forest management, the forest fires “would never happen.”

“Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money,” he stated in his tweet.

Although the president is casting blame on California officials, most of California’s forests are owned and managed by federal agencies. Federal agencies manage 57 percent of the approximately 33 million acres of forest in the state, according to research done by the University of California.

This time of the year, the forest management teams are busy — removing brush, dead trees, and clearing trails. But as the government shutdown lingers, the U.S. Forest Service can only respond and try to put out fires, while they aren’t being paid. That means there is little to no work being done to manage forests while the government is closed, except responding to immediate safety issues.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fired back stating the president’s statement “insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes.”

The threat comes one day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom attacked Trump for his oval office address on the southern border calling on the president to end the government shutdown. Newsom fired back against Trump’s desire to cut FEMA funds.

“Disasters and recovery are no time for politics,” Newsom said in a tweet Wednesday.

The newly elected governor stated he, along with the governors of Washington and Oregon sent a letter to the federal government asking for their help in relief efforts.

“The people of CA — folks in Paradise — should not be victims to partisan bickering,” Newsom stated, saying he’s ready to take action on modernizing forest and emergency responses.

Trump surveyed the devastation from the California wildfires in November touring Paradise and Malibu, two areas charred by the flames. At the time, he pledged the full support of the federal government in recovery efforts. Trump also met with then governor-elect Newsom and former governor Jerry Brown.

During that trip, the president also blamed “poor forest management” for the severity of the fires.

More than 13,000 families lost their homes from the fires that ripped through Butte County in Northern California. At least 85 people died from the blaze.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jan 2019