Trump administration preparing to roll out Kushner’s Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace plan’: Sources

WORLD NEWS Trump administration preparing to roll out Kushner’s Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace plan’: Sources  https://linewsradio.com/trump-administration-preparing-to-roll-out-kushners-israeli-palestinian-peace-plan-sources/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Gelia/iStock(WASHINGTON) — With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection victory now secured, the Trump administration is preparing to roll out Jared Kushner’s “peace plan” as early as this month, sources familiar with the plan tell ABC News.

President Donald Trump has been briefed on the plan, which Kushner and a small “peace team” have been quietly working on for months. The text itself remains a closely guarded secret — even within the White House — and has only been seen in its entirety by four people within the administration, the sources said.

Its text has not even been shared with any allies, including the Israeli government, according to the U.S. officials.

Those officials familiar with the peace plan said it aims to bring a non-traditional approach to addressing the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict by including a robust economic development package for the Palestinian people and seeks to address the political elements of the conflict.

Kushner and his team traveled to several Arab countries in February to brief diplomats on the economic aspects of the peace plan. An official said some of the broad concepts of the economic aspects of the plan were warmly received, in principle, during that trip.

Though the plan’s release could come this month, sources cautioned that a release date has not been finalized and that the administration is weighing a variety of factors. Potential causes for delay could include the upcoming holidays of Passover and Ramadan.

Early on in his presidency, Trump tasked his son-in-law with working on the Israeli-Palestinian issue as one of his high-profile assignments in the White House. In describing his hopes of achieving peace, Trump has referred to a prospect as “the ultimate deal.”

Trump expressed optimism Wednesday for peace plan’s prospects now that Netanyahu has been reelected.

“The fact that Bibi won, I think we’ll see some pretty good action in terms of peace,” Trump said at the White House when asked by a reporter if Netanyahu’s victory meant he would soon release the administration’s peace plan.

Two weeks ago, the president received Netanyahu at the White House in an effort to shore up support for his friend in the final stretch of a tough reelection bid.

“Everybody said you can’t have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said Wednesday. “I think we have a chance. And I think we have, now, a better chance with Bibi having won.”

Netanyahu has said he welcomes the opportunity to review the plan.

“I look forward to receiving the plan, and we will look at it once it’s presented,” Netanyahu said during a meeting attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Kushner in Poland in February. “I have to say that I know the Trump administration seeks to ensure the security of Israel for generations.”

The White House declined to comment when asked for any details of the plan.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Apr 2019

Superbug fungus a ‘serious global health threat’ as over 600 in US are infected: CDC

Teeranan Sukkong/iStockBY: DR. JOSHUA ROSENBLATT

(NEW YORK) — A type of fungus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling a “serious global health threat” is sparking a great deal of concern among the medical community after the number of cases has risen across the United States.

Candida auris first popped up on the CDC’s international radar in 2016, and it wasn’t long before the first cases of infection were reported in the U.S. According to the CDC’s latest figures, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has risen to 617, with the majority of them clustered in New York City, New Jersey and Chicago. Outside the U.S., C. auris has been discovered in over 20 countries worldwide, according to the CDC.

Multiple factors have created the perfect storm for C. auris to spread. Unlike other species of Candida, for example, C. auris has been found to spread more easily from person to person, according to the CDC. What’s more, it can survive on surfaces even after routine cleaning, making health care settings like hospitals and nursing homes the ideal breeding ground.

“If we don’t change the way we clean rooms, then the Candida could potentially infect the next person that enters the room,” infectious disease expert Dr. Todd Ellerin told ABC New York station WABC-TV.

To make matters worse, C. auris is commonly resistant to one, if not all, of the antifungal medications that are available, making the infection highly difficult to treat. This degree of resistance has never been seen in other Candida species, and might have something to do with our current usage of antifungal medications, the CDC says.

Adding to the problem is that lab tests don’t always identify C. auris as causing an illness, so patients are often misdiagnosed or given inappropriate treatment, prolonging their infection, according to the CDC. Between 30% and 60% of patients die from the infection.

According to the CDC, those who are most likely to be affected by C. auris are patients who are hospitalized for a long time, those who have a central venous catheter or other lines or tubes entering the body and those who have previously received antibiotics or antifungal medications.

The C. auris infection has been diagnosed in people of all ages, the CDC says, and it can cause infections in a wide range of areas, from wounds to the ears to the bloodstream.

Joshua Rosenblatt is an internal medicine resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Your days are numbered!’ House lawmakers get angry over insulin prices

digicomphoto/iStock(WASHINGTON) — A House hearing on the affordability of insulin turned tense Wednesday, as visibly frustrated lawmakers repeatedly pressed pharmaceutical executives to explain how a drug patented for $1 ballooned to as much as $280 per vial for Americans.

The hearing, by the House Energy and Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee, was a rare display of bipartisanship as both Republicans and Democrats chastised the nation’s three biggest insulin makers for high list prices.

For their part, the company executives returned repeatedly to carefully scripted talking points. List prices can be high, they said, because of a convoluted system of rebates negotiated with prescription benefits plans. The officials also said that their companies were using much of their profits to develop other innovative products that would benefit diabetic patients. And they noted that their companies offered special pricing programs for people who qualify.

But lawmakers like Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois were having none of it. At one point, Schakowsky suggested illegal price collusion might even be in play, calling insulin costs “curiously close” and declaring “you’re in trouble.”

“I don’t know how you people sleep at night,” said Schakowsky, D-Illinois.

“If you think you can out-talk us without any transparency, without any accountability, I just want you to know your days are numbered,” she said.

Kathleen Tregoning of Sanofi, which makes Lantus, said the company will start as of June offering uninsured patients the ability to access insulin for $99 a month. But Rep. Joe Kennedy said the companies only seemed to be moving toward lowering costs when facing pressure from the public and potential regulation from Congress.

“No one should be rationing insulin,” Tregoning said at one point.

“And they do every day!” Kennedy, D-Mass., interrupted.

Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which can be controlled by a person’s diet, people with Type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar.

The Senate Finance Committee this year launched a bipartisan investigation into insulin prices, citing skyrocketing prices. According to that panel, the insulin drug NovoLog cost 87 percent more in 2019 compared to 2013, while Sanofi’s Lantus drug jumped 77 percent. And Eli Lilly’s drug Humalog increased 585 percent between 2001 and 2015.

Republican Rep. David McKinley said he couldn’t understand why a drug that had been around for nearly 100 years would suddenly spike in cost. The inventors of insulin originally sold the patent to the University of Toronto for a single dollar.

“I’m a strong, strong supporter of innovation,” said McKinley of West Virginia. “But help me out a bit … Innovation is supposed to drive the price down, not up.”

Doug Langa, president of Novo Nordisk Inc., which makes NovoLog, said drug companies are researching innovative ways to make life easier for diabetics patients, such as limiting the number of shots they need per day. He also said there were “perverse” incentives when it comes to pricing, noting the $18 billion a year his company spends on rebates, discounts and fees.

“The higher the rebate, the higher the list price,” he said.

Tregoning of Sanofi said the money negotiated through rebates don’t always make it back to the customer.

“We don’t have visibility on how those rebates are used,” she told the panel.

Rep. Diana DeGette, who chaired the hearing, said: “it seems to me what is happening is that every component of the drug system is contributing to an upward pressure on the drug price.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Treasury to miss Democrats’ deadline for Trump’s tax returns, he doubles down: ‘I won’t do it’

Political News Treasury to miss Democrats' deadline for Trump's tax returns, he doubles down: 'I won't do it' https://linewsradio.com/treasury-to-miss-democrats-deadline-for-trumps-tax-returns-he-doubles-down-i-wont-do-it/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his agency won’t make the Wednesday deadline House Democratsset for the IRS to respond to their request for President Donald Trump’s tax returns and is consulting with the Department of Justice on how to proceed.

“The legal implications of this request could affect protections for all Americans against politically-motivated of personal tax information, regardless of which party is in power,” Mnuchin wrote in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.

Meanwhile, the president on Wednesday doubled down on his position that he won’t be making them public — at least for now.

In doing so, the president reiterated his oft-cited rationale for withholding his tax information — claiming they were under audit — although that has never been confirmed.

“I would love to give them, but I’m not going to do it while I’m under audit. It’s very simple,” Trump told reporters gathered on the White House South Lawn as he left for a trip to Texas. “Remember, I got elected last time — the same exact issue, with the same intensity, which wasn’t very much because, frankly, the people don’t care.”

But less than 24 hours earlier, the president’s IRS commissioner, Charles Rettig, told lawmakers there are no rules prohibiting taxpayers under audit from releasing their tax information.

“I think I’ve answered that question,” Rettig told the House Appropriations Committee during a budget hearing on Wednesday. “No,” he said.

Rettig faced a Wednesday deadline to respond to a letter from Neal who last week formally requested Trump’s business and personal tax information dating back to 2013.

In a hearing Wednesday morning before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Rettig declined to say whether he would comply with Democrats’ request.

“We received the letter, we’re working on the letter with counsel, and we anticipate responding,” Rettig told the panel.

The White House has repeatedly rebuffed calls to release the president’s tax returns, maintaining its position that any effort to disclose them amounts to little more than partisan politics.

In a letter to the Treasury Department’s general counsel last week, a new lawyer for Trump, William Consovoy, called the move by Democrats “a gross abuse of power” and encouraged the IRS to “refrain from divulging the requested information.”

Over the weekend Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said Democrats will “never” see Trump’s tax returns, and the president’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, slammed Democrats on ABC’s “This Week,” claiming they were using the president’s taxes as “a political weapon.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Apr 2019

Trump calls Mueller investigation ‘attempted coup,’ Barr says ‘spying’ needs to be investigated

Political News Trump calls Mueller investigation 'attempted coup,' Barr says 'spying' needs to be investigated https://linewsradio.com/trump-calls-mueller-investigation-attempted-coup-barr-says-spying-needs-to-be-investigated/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as an “attempted coup” that failed and praised Attorney General William Barr for saying he is investigating how the probe began — a move congressional Republicans have long advocated.

“This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president and we beat them. We beat them,” Trump told reporters at the White House ahead of his departure for Texas. “So the Mueller report, when they talk about obstruction, we fight back. You know why we fight back? Because I knew how illegal this whole thing was: It was a scam.”

At about the same time, Barr, on Capitol Hill, said “I think spying did occur” on the Trump campaign and he wanted to look into how it began and whether it was legally justified.

Trump also blasted what he called the “haters of Trump” and “dirty cops” and bad people” who worked on the investigation but, according to him, still found no evidence of the campaign colluding with Russia to influence the presidential election.

“What has been found during this period of time are the illegal acts of getting this whole phony investigation started. And hopefully that’s where people are going now. That’s where people are going, and it’s very interesting. It was an illegal investigation,” Trump said.

Trump said he still has not read the Mueller report and said he’s not interested in the report, beyond the possibility that the Justice Department could look into the origins of the investigation.

“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care about the Mueller report. I’ve been totally exonerated. No collusion, no obstruction,” Trump said. “I am not worrying about something that never, ever should have taken place.”

As Democrats grilled Barr at a Senate hearing over his handling of the Mueller report, the attorney general said that “spying” on a political campaign was a “big deal,” that he believes “spying” did occur and that the question that needed to be answered was whether the “spying” was justified.

“I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur,” Barr said. “But the question is if it was predicated, adequately predicated, and I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated.”
Barr did say “There’s a basis for my concern” without revealing more.

“I need to explore that,” Barr continued. “Congress is usually very concerned about intelligence agencies and the enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane, and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen.”
After one senator raised concerns about his use of the term “spying,” Barr switched to saying “surveillance.”

Barr said he has not set up a team yet, but has “in mind having some colleagues help me pull all this information together.”

 

 

Barr has assembled a team inside the Department of Justice to look into the start of the entire Trump-Russia probe and review whether the threshold for initiating a counterintelligence probe should be adjusted, according to a DOJ official.

That news was applauded by congressional Republicans who have long-challenged the genesis of the Russia investigation.

“I say God bless him,” Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said. “I think that’s exactly what needs to happen, the American people I think want that to happen. We’ve certainly called on that for, I don’t know, almost two years, I guess?”

“I’ve been very impressed with the way the attorney general’s handled himself and I think the fact that he’s going to go back and figure out what took place when this whole crazy thing got going,” Jordan, R-Ohio, continued. “I think that that’s exactly what he should be doing.”

Barr testified publicly at a congressional hearing Tuesday that DOJ was “reviewing” this matter.

Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, claimed he has reviewed the same documents he believes have piqued Barr’s interest.

“I think his statement is consistent with documents that Jim Jordan and I have seen in private, and so his statement doesn’t come as a surprise to either one of us. In fact it’s consistent with what we have long believed and and have long trusted in in terms of the documents we’ve seen,” Meadows, R-N.C., said. “The Attorney General knows those facts, and he said he’s gonna start from the beginning and I trust that he’ll do the kind of investigation that we want the United States Attorney General to do.”

During Barr’s confirmation hearing three months ago, he pledged to look into whether a counterintelligence investigation was improperly opened up by the Obama administration against Trump. For more than a year, the DOJ inspector general has been investigating allegations that early actions in the probe were improper.

“What I’m most interested in is getting started,” Trump said Wednesday.

“Hopefully, the attorney general — he mentioned it yesterday — he’s doing a great job — getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started, because this was an illegal witch hunt and everybody knew it, and they knew it too. And they got caught. And what they did was treason. What they did was terrible. What they did was against our Constitution and everything we stand for.”

The matter dates back to Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign. The FBI began monitoring Page in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election because they alleged he had been recruited by the Russian government, which Page denied.

“The FBI believes the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Trump’s] campaign,” an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said. Since then, the president’s advocates on Capitol Hill and elsewhere have used the FBI’s surveillance of Page as evidence of a deep-state effort to subvert the Trump campaign.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Apr 2019

Bill Murray zombie movie ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ to open Cannes Film Festival

Entertainment News  Bill Murray zombie movie 'The Dead Don't Die' to open Cannes Film Festival https://linewsradio.com/bill-murray-zombie-movie-the-dead-dont-die-to-open-cannes-film-festival/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

Focus Features(LOS ANGELES) — The Dead Don’t Die, a zombie film starring big names like Bill Murray, Danny Glover, Rosie Perez, Selena Gomez, Chloe Sevigny, Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton, will open this year’s Cannes Film Festival on May 14, according to Variety.

The movie, from acclaimed director Jim Jarmusch, is about zombies attacking the peaceful, tiny town of Centerville. Murray, Sevigny and Driver play sheriff’s deputies who have to fight the undead as they rise from their graves.

Selena plays a character named Zoe, and she’s not the only musician in the film: Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Iggy Pop and Tom Waits also appear, as does Wu-Tang Clan founder, actor, and The Man with the Iron Fists director RZA.

The dark comedy will compete for the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.

The Dead Don’t Die opens in U.S. theaters June 14.  A trailer, in which Selena briefly appears, is out now.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Apr 2019

Skeptical Democrats, Republicans question Barr on why DOJ not defending Obamacare

Political News Skeptical Democrats, Republicans question Barr on why DOJ not defending Obamacare https://linewsradio.com/skeptical-democrats-republicans-question-barr-on-why-doj-not-defending-obamacare/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday continued his tepid defense of the Trump administration’s decision not to defend Obamacare and, instead, to side with 21 conservative states mounting an effort to tear down the landmark health care law covering millions of Americans.

“The attorney general should be able to advance positions that he believes are defensible and reasonable legal positions, even if they are not positions that the attorney general would adopt if the attorney general was a judge deciding the case,” Barr told lawmakers at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

When a federal appeals court judge ruled two weeks ago that Trump-era legislation and other recent actions meant the entire Affordable Care Act should be overturned, the Justice Department decided to reverse itself and support the ruling — rather than appeal using the same argument it had used previously.

That DOJ decision is opposed by a bipartisan group in the Senate, so much so that the Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, recently told the president that the chamber would not be accommodating Trump’s desire to revisit the Affordable Care Act this year ahead of the crucial 2020 elections. It was a decision that essentially forced Trump to delay his plans to try to repeal and replace the legislation until next year.

“I disagree strongly with the department’s decision not to defend the ACA,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told Barr at the hearing, noting that the ACA has a severability clause that enables pieces of it to be removed without the entire law falling.

And though the attorney general was reportedly opposed to the idea of reversing course on Obamacare at first, he then expounded on his reasoning for eventually deciding that his department would step back from defending the law, doing so in a way that drew more questions.

Barr referenced the 2012 Supreme Court ruling upholding the so-called individual mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. The court ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the majority, that the mandate was unconstitutional under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause but that it could stay as part of Congress’ constitutional power to tax Americans.

“I’m really surprised … because the Supreme Court did uphold the law – the ACA – and now the attorney general is saying we will not defend it, regardless,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., scoffed. “It seems to me that that’s a problem. Something that’s duly passed and upheld as legal, that the attorney general has a duty to defend it.”

But Congress last year struck down the law’s mandate when it approved tax cut legislation, and that appeared to be a pivotal move to Barr.

“Well, the law was originally upheld because the mandate was held as a tax. Justice Roberts’ opinion said it can be upheld as a tax even though it couldn’t otherwise be upheld,” Barr said, calling the mandate “unconstitutional in my opinion,” and adding, “But for finding it a tax you would have had five votes against it. Once the penalty was removed — the financial penalty was removed — that provision could no longer be justified as a tax which means that it would have to fall.”

“At the end of the day I felt that this was a defensible legal position to take,” Barr reasoned.

“This struck me like lightning that one person decide – I assume the president wants you to – made this decision and everything that was done by way of proper legislative action has been taken and signature of a president, I just don’t ever recall anything like this happening in the past quarter of a century,” Sen. Feinstein said.

Barr did leave open the question that Congress may have actually intended Obamacare to remain in place, precisely because it has never been able to repeal that law or strip out any other provisions in it.

“I know there’s an additional point there, which is the fact that Congress did take out the penalty from the mandate and, therefore, should that act be viewed as essentially validating the rest of this statute.

“I would just make the point that Congress had the opportunity to strike other provisions, and it chose not to,” Sen. Collins said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, told Barr that the administration’s current position has hindered Congress’ ability to make changes to Obamacare.

And the senator asked, “Are you going to be in a position to defend the law” now that DOJ is against it?

Barr, without hesitation, said, “Yea, yes, senator.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Apr 2019

Trump says he’s the only one in charge of setting his immigration policy

Political News Trump says he's the only one in charge of setting his immigration policy https://linewsradio.com/trump-says-hes-the-only-one-in-charge-of-setting-his-immigration-policy/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump offered praise for White House aide and immigration hardliner Stephen Miller on Wednesday but pushed back on the notion that Miller is the force behind his tough approach to border security and the ongoing leadership shakeup at the Department of Homeland Secretary.

“Frankly, there is only one person that is running it. You know who that is? It’s me,” Trump said, pointing at his head, when asked about the Department of Homeland Security and whether he would ever consider appointing Miller to lead DHS.

Even as he pushed back, the president offered warm words for Miller.

“Stephen is an excellent guy. He is a wonderful person. People don’t know him. He has been with me from the beginning. He is a brilliant man,” he said of Miller.

The president’s comments come amid reports that Miller has been heavily influencing the president’s decision-making as he has executed top firings at DHS and is looking to crack down on border crossings and make it harder for migrants to apply for asylum.

The president did not directly answer a question about whether he’s weighing implementing a so-called “binary choice” policy to allow migrant parents the choice of being separated from their children or submitting to their children remaining in long-term detention with them as their appeals for asylum are being heard in a U.S. immigration court.

Trump did, however, blast the nation’s asylum rules more broadly.

“I think that the whole asylum rules, laws, and regulations have been taken advantage of by people that are very bad people in many cases. These are the people running the cartels. They are gaming the system,” Trump said.

President Trump’s outgoing DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is set to formally resign Wednesday, after initially submitting her forced resignation on Sunday. The current leader of Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan, will assume the role of Acting DHS secretary at the president’s request.

Trump’s appointment of McAleenan resulted in another forced resignation of the department’s acting deputy, Claire Grady, who was next in line to succeed Nielsen under DHS rules. The administration also announced on Monday that the head of the Secret Service would soon be departing the administration.

Trump continued railing against the nation’s immigration laws later in the day during an impromptu press spray of a fundraiser in San Antonio, where he said several attendees had been telling him graphic stories about the dire situation on the southern border.

For 30 minutes, Trump and the group painted a dark portrait of the dangers of illegal immigration both for the migrants making the trip north and those in communities near the border, and why it justifies Trump’s calls for a wall.

“If we had the wall, the good people will not be able — you’ll see them on the other side of the wall,” Trump said.

Speaking of ranchers living near the border, the president said, “They’re told never to leave their house at night. And during the day, always carry a gun and know how to use it.”

Referring to what one attendee told him, Trump at one point suggested that migrants from the Central American countries are “much more dangerous” than those from Mexico.

“People from, you said before, Colombia, and also, you said Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador are much tougher people, much more dangerous people?” he asked.

At one point, one of the attendees at the table said of some of those who cross the border illegally wear all-black outfits and stand on the porches of people’s houses to intimidate them.

“They’ve got hoodies on,” the unidentified person said. “These are not good guys.”

Trump also falsely claimed that Democrats are only fighting against his border policies because they want to get votes from those who come into the country illegally.

“We’re represented by Democrats who don’t want to hear it, because to them, they will take anybody, they don’t care about crime, they just want to get votes,” Trump said. “They think these will all be votes to them someday, and other reasons. Maybe they want to make the country look bad.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Apr 2019

One dead, 15 injured from fiery explosion in Durham, North Carolina: Officials

U.S. NEWS One dead, 15 injured from fiery explosion in Durham, North Carolina: Officials https://linewsradio.com/one-dead-15-injured-from-fiery-explosion-in-durham-north-carolina-officials/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

WTVD(DURHAM, N.C.) — One person has died and 15 others were injured after a fiery explosion in Durham, North Carolina, Wednesday morning, according to officials.

The blast was felt city-wide, according to Durham Fire Chief Robert Zoldos.

The explosion was caused by a gas leak after a contractor drilling into the sidewalk struck a 2-inch gas line, said Durham police.

The explosion impacted five buildings, causing catastrophic damage to one, police said. The fire has since been contained.

At least six people were hospitalized in critical condition, according to officials.

A firefighter is among the injured and underwent surgery, Zoldos said. His condition is considered serious but not life threatening, Zoldos said.

A Dominion Energy worker was also hurt, according to the city.

Construction worker Tyler Headrick said he saw a cloud of smoke before the building crumbled and people started to flee, he told ABC Raleigh station WTVD-TV.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Apr 2019

Georgia police officer pinned, dragged by DUI suspect he was about to arrest, dashcam video shows

U.S. NEWS Georgia police officer pinned, dragged by DUI suspect he was about to arrest, dashcam video shows https://linewsradio.com/georgia-police-officer-pinned-dragged-by-dui-suspect-he-was-about-to-arrest-dashcam-video-shows/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

Fedorovekb/iStock(ALPHARETTA, Ga.) — A Georgia police officer was seen on his own dash camera video being dragged by a suspect he was about to arrest for drug possession and driving under the influence.

The officer conducted a traffic stop on Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta, Georgia, on April 5 after he noticed the driver, 24-year-old Dennis Aguirre, driving “recklessly,” according to a press release from the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety.

Aguirre was then ordered to get out of his car after the officer suspected he had illegal drugs in the car and that he may be impaired due to his “responses and behavior,” authorities said.

A struggle ensued while the officer was arresting Aguirre, who then got back into his car and attempted to drive off while the officer was still holding on to him, dragging him for several feet, according to the release. The officer then was able to turn the car off, authorities said.

“Our officer’s arm was pinned inside of the car by the suspect, which is why he wasn’t able to let go and disengage from the suspect,” the release stated. “Once stopped, Mr. Aguirre continued to fight with and attempt to run with our officer until he was tackled to the ground and taken into custody.”

Dashcam footage shows the officer struggling with the driver, who then accelerates the white sedan. After the car stops, the officer is able to get the suspect out of the car, but he breaks free just as the officer throws him up against a fence.

The officer then tackles the suspect to the ground, and within seconds several more officers arrive and assist in the arrest.

Aguirre and the officer suffered minor cuts and scratches from the incident. Aguirre was taken to the hospital before he was transported to jail, police said. The officer was checked out by paramedics on the scene and did not require a hospital visit.

Aguirre was slapped with a laundry list of charges, including aggravated assault against a peace officer, driving with a suspended or revoked license, driving while under the influence, driving with an obscured or missing license plate, possession and use of drug-related objects, reckless driving, sale of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and willful obstruction of law enforcement, according to online jail records.

Alpharetta DPS did not release the officer’s identity.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Apr 2019