US accuses Russia of denying medical access to ex-Marine held as spy

WORLD NEWS US accuses Russia of denying medical access to ex-Marine held as spy

Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. embassy in Moscow has accused Russia of preventing a doctor from visiting Paul Whelan in the jail where the former Marine has been held for months on espionage charges that he says are trumped up.

The embassy’s Twitter account on Monday wrote that while Whelan was receiving “basic medical care” his condition required more than could be provided in the pre-trial detention center where he is locked up.

“Our petition for a consultation with a visiting doctor was denied,” the embassy wrote, saying Whelan’s “condition worsened” afterwards.

Whelan’s brother, David, on Monday told ABC News that he wasn’t willing to identify Paul’s medical conditions but said that his brother, 49, had made prison authorities aware he has “medical concerns that are common to men our age.”

“For the most part, he has received adequate first aid care: ibuprofen for aches, etc.” David Whelan wrote in an email. “But he needs to get a doctor’s opinion to get an assessment of risk,” he wrote, because he is unable to know whether his conditions might be becoming dangerous.

Whelan is being held in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, a former KGB jail that is known for housing suspected spies and political prisoners. Whelan has been kept there since his arrest in late December, when agents from Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, the FSB, detained him in his hotel room while he was visiting Moscow for an American friends’ wedding.

Russia has charged him with spying but has not made public any details.

Whelan has denied the charges and during recent court hearings to prolong his detention, he has accused Russia of kidnapping him for political purposes. Whelan’s family and his lawyer have alleged he is the victim of a set up by Russia’s security services.

Whelan in court last month accused Russian authorities of violating his rights and deliberately isolating him with the intent of pressuring him to make a false confession.

The U.S. State Department has increasingly criticized Russia’s treatment of Whelan, demanding it provide evidence against him and accusing Russia of hindering consular access to him. Last week, the U.S. embassy said it had requested Russia’s foreign ministry investigate Whelan’s “inappropriate treatment”.

In response, the deputy head of Russia’s Federal Prison Service, Valery Maximenko denied there was any threat to Whelan, telling the Interfax news agency Whelan’s “safety was ensured to the full extent.”

Lefortovo is one of the most closed jails in Russia. As in other Russian prisons, inmates rely on their relatives for even basic toiletries and it is often hard to receive medicine, and requests for medical check ups are frequently ignored.

Human rights monitors who briefly visited Whelan in January told ABC News then that Whelan’s cell was relatively clean and comfortable, but expressed concern that he was prevented from talking with them.

Whelan has British, Irish and Canadian citizenship in addition to American, and Britain has also complained its access has been delayed.

The case remains wrapped in secrecy but Whelan’s lawyers say he is accused of receiving a memory card that contained state secrets and which they allege the FSB planted on Whelan by co-opting a long-time Russian friend of his.

Former U.S. intelligence officials have said the case resembles a classic KGB frame up. There has been speculation that Russia may have seized Whelan in the hope of trading him for a Russian held in America.

The speculation was revived on Monday when Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov called on the U.S. to free a jailed Russian pilot in exchange for an American held in Russia. The pilot, Konstantin Yaroshenko, has been serving a 20-year-sentence in an American jail for drug smuggling since 2011.

“Free Yaroshenko, exchange him for an American or Americans, who are serving their punishment here,” Ryabkov told reporters on Monday, saying it could be a “small step” to help start improving relations.

Speculation around a possible swap has previously focused on Maria Butina, the Russian gun rights activist convicted in 2018 by a U.S. court as a foreign agent for attempting to infiltrate American conservative political groups.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 01 Jul 2019

Baseball player Tyler Skaggs dead at 27

Sports News Baseball player Tyler Skaggs dead at 27

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Tyler Skaggs, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, has died, the baseball tean announced Monday.

Skaggs was just 27 years old.

He died in Texas where the Angels were set to play the Texas Rangers Monday.

His cause of death was not immediately clear.

Police in Southlake, Texas, said officers found Skaggs when they responded to a report of an unconscious man in a hotel room around 2:15 p.m. Monday. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

No foul play is suspected at this time, police said.

“It is with great sorrow that we report Tyler Skaggs passed away earlier today in Texas,” the Los Angeles Angels announced on Twitter. “Tyler has, and always will be, an important part of the Angels Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Carli and his entire family during this devastating time.”

“All of us at Major League Baseball extend our deepest condolences to Tyler’s wife Carli, their family, their friends and all of his Angels’ teammates and colleagues,” Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said in a statement. “We will support the Angels’ organization through this most difficult period, and we will make a variety of resources available to Tyler’s teammates and other members of the baseball family.”

The Rangers in a statement offered “deepest sympathies to the family of Tyler Skaggs and to the entire Angels organization on this shocking loss.”

“The thoughts and prayers of every member of the Texas Rangers and all of their fans are with the Angels organization at this difficult time,” the team said.

Monday’s Angels vs. Rangers game has been postponed.

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Posted On 01 Jul 2019

First trailer debuts for Mindy Kaling’s ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Hulu series

Entertainment News  First trailer debuts for Mindy Kaling's 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' Hulu series


Jay Maidment/Hulu(LONDON) — The first trailer has been released for Mindy Kaling’s limited series remake of the classic 1994 rom-com Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Game of Thrones’ Nathalie Emmanuel stars as Maya, a young communications director who travels to London after receiving a wedding invitation from a college friend. In the trailer, we see Maya at the airport, where she meets a handsome guy named Kash, played by Nikesh Patel. She later finds out Kash is dating her best friend, Ainsley, played by Rebecca Rittenhouse.

The trailer also includes an appearance by Andie MacDowell, who starred in the original movie, along with Hugh Grant.

Four Weddings and a Funeral, also starring John Reynolds and Brandon Mychal Smith, premieres July 31 on Hulu.

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Posted On 01 Jul 2019

Hugh Jackman helps couple get engaged during Minnesota tour performance

Entertainment News  Hugh Jackman helps couple get engaged during Minnesota tour performance


Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for HJ(ST. PAUL) — Love was in the air at a recent performance of Hugh Jackman’s The Man. The Music. The Show.

The actor helped a couple get engaged at his June 22 tour stop at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“I don’t normally do this and you’ll understand why afterward, but I got a letter from a guy named Joe,” Jackman told the crowd as seen in a YouTube video that’s just now making the rounds. “Joe told me he was going to be here in the audience.”

Jackman then stepped off the stage and approached Joe Kripal, who was at the show with his girlfriend, Sanaa Ahmed.

“Hi Joe, how are you doing? It’s good to meet you. Say hi to everyone,” Jackman said, before handing the mic over to Joe.

Joe then turned to his girlfriend and said, “Sanaa, I want to spend every day with you. That’s why I asked a superhero to help me out with this.”

As the crowd cheered, he got down one knee and asked Sanaa to marry him. She said yes through happy tears.

Jackman then gave the couple a hug before continuing with the rest of his show.

And at his show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden this past Saturday night, Jackman showed some love for his own wife of 23 years, Deborra-Lee Furness, who was in the audience. In a clip posted to Page Six, he’s seen serenading her with their wedding song, Frank Sinatra’s “All the Way”

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Posted On 01 Jul 2019

Body of man believed to have fallen from airplane found in London garden

WORLD NEWS Body of man believed to have fallen from airplane found in London garden

studioportosabbia/iStock(LONDON) — A man found dead in a garden in London is believed to have fallen out of the landing gear of a flight where he was a stowaway, according to police.

The body of the unidentified man was found in a garden at a residence in the Clapham area on June 30, according to the Metropolitan Police Service, which responded to the scene with the London Ambulance Service.

Police said a post-mortem examination would take place “in due course” but the death was “not being treated as suspicious.”

The man’s body was traced back to Kenya Airways flight 100, which originated from Nairobi, according to a tweet from Kenya Airports.

“A bag, water and some food were discovered in the landing gear compartment once it landed at the airport,” police said.

Police said they would work with the airline and international authorities to investigate what happened.

“We are saddened and shocked by this incident and our thoughts are with everyone affected,” a Heathrow Airport spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News. “As a priority, we are working with all relevant stakeholders including the Police, Kenyan Airways and Kenyan authorities to establish the facts surrounding this.”

A representative from Kenya Airways did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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Posted On 01 Jul 2019

‘Boy Meets World’ star Danielle Fishel delivers son four weeks early after “nightmare” complication

Entertainment News  'Boy Meets World' star Danielle Fishel delivers son four weeks early after "nightmare" complication


Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Boy Meets World star Danielle Fishel and her husband, Jensen Karp, are the parents to what Karp calls a “miracle” baby.

The new parents shared on Instagram that their son, Adler Lawrence Karp, was born four weeks early on June 24 after a doctor discovered fluid in his lungs during an ultrasound.

The baby is still in the hospital, and Fishel and Karp both noted in their posts that they’ve leaned on each other during what has been both an exciting and trying time.

“We feel helpess [sic] and powerless and useless and we wanted so badly to follow our ‘birth plan,’ unsurprisingly none of which involved leaving our beautiful baby boy at the hospital for the first weeks of his life,” Fishel writes.

She adds, “We have also struggled with making this announcement – we are THRILLED Adler is here and we want to shout it from the rooftops but we know posting about his birth and its complications opens us up to prying eyes – aka paparazzi staked outside our house, following our every move they way they did several times during my pregnancy.”

“We are much too fragile for that right now and I pray wholeheartedly that we can have some space as we navigate these next few weeks,” Fishel concludes.

Fishel, 38, and Karp, 39, married last year and announced that they were expecting a baby boy a few months after their wedding.

Though the birth of their son did not go as expected, Karp added that Adler is “already the center of my universe.”

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Posted On 01 Jul 2019

Toddler twins get into grandma’s lotion and it’s equal parts messy and adorable

Facebook / Cynthia Bellamy(NEW YORK) — Little kids sure can make a big scene.

Twins Jax and Jai, 22 months, got into their grandmother’s lotion. The results are equally adorable and messy.

Cynthia Bellamy‎, the twins’ grandmother, submitted the video for the “GMA Moment” to Ginger Zee’s Facebook page.

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, woman says in the cute clip that she “fell asleep for two minutes.”

That’s all the boys needed. Jax even tried to blame his brother, though both boys are covered in lotion from the waist down.

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Cori Gauff, youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon at 15, just beat Venus Williams

Sports News Cori Gauff, youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon at 15, just beat Venus Williams

TPN/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A teen from Florida who became the youngest player to ever qualify for Wimbledon just beat her idol, Venus Williams, in the first round of the ladies’ singles.

Cori “Coco” Gauff, 15, said in a pre-match interview that Williams, 39, was one of her “idols” and she has “been dreaming to share the court with Venus.”

“Not many people get to play at Wimbledon at 15, so I’m just happy I’m one of them,” she added. Before Gauff was born, Williams had already won two of her Wimbledon titles.

On Monday, however, Gauff, who is currently ranked No. 313 in the world, ended up defeating Williams, ranked No. 44, winning both sets 6-4, 6-4.

 After her big win, Gauff grew visibly emotional as her parents jumped up and down in the stands.

According to the BBC, she said afterwards, “It’s the first time I have ever cried after winning a match.”

“My parents will be super happy; my dad was jumping up every time I won a point. I’m so happy they spent all their time on me and my brothers and making sure we’re successful,” she added.

 The teen said she is “literally living my dream right now” and added that she “never thought I would get this far.”

She might be a rising tennis superstar a la the Williams sisters, but the high schooler still had to take some exams remotely while in London at the tournament, according to a statement.

One has to wonder if an exam seems all that difficult after being Venus Williams.

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Posted On 01 Jul 2019

Lady Gaga, Sterling K. Brown, Elisabeth Moss invited to join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Entertainment News  Lady Gaga, Sterling K. Brown, Elisabeth Moss invited to join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — Next year, when stars stand onstage clutching their Oscars and say that they’d like to “thank the Academy,” among the people they’ll be thanking are Lady Gaga, Sterling K. Brown and Elisabeth Moss.

They’re among more than 800 members of the showbiz community who’ve been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — and that means they can now vote on who wins the Oscars.

Other notable new Academy members include Black Panther‘s Letitia Wright and Winston Duke, The Crown‘s Claire Foy, Spider-Man star Tom Holland, Amanda Peet and Alexander Skarsgard.

Music producer Mark Ronson, who won the Best Original Song Oscar with Gaga earlier this year for “Shallow,” was also invited to join, along with Adele and Eurythmics frontwoman Annie Lennox.

Fifty percent of the new members are women, and 29% are people of color.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 01 Jul 2019

Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, kick off July with push to save the planet

WORLD NEWS Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, kick off July with push to save the planet

Peter Nicholls – WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) — This July the Instagram account of the Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, @sussexroyal, is all about saving the planet and making a plea to the royal couple’s followers.

“There is a ticking clock to protect our planet — with climate change, the deterioration of our natural resources, endangerment of sacred wildlife, the impact of plastics and microplastics, and fossil fuel emissions, we are jeopardizing this beautiful place we call home – for ourselves and for future generations. Let’s save it. Let’s do our part,” the post said.

Every month the account changes to support a cause important to Harry and Meghan. Monday’s post explained “for the month of July we turn our attention to the environment.”

Harry and Meghan have highlighted 15 charities and are encouraging their supporters to visit these accounts “for more details on how you can make great change and help save our planet.”

“We can only do this together, and every little bit helps,” according to the post.

Among the charities listed are Rhino Conservation Botswana, African Parks Network and Elephants Without Borders — all charities that focus on wildlife conservation in Africa. The royal couple will be visiting Africa this fall and conservation is high on the list of causes they will be championing. Prince Harry is patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana and President of the African Parks Network.

Protecting the environment is a cause that is also dear to Prince Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales, who has been calling for better environmental awareness since the 1980s. The Duke of Sussex echoed his father’s words in a statement he gave on this latest Instagram post: “Environmental damage has been treated as a necessary by-product of economic growth. So deeply ingrained is this thinking that it has been considered part of the natural order that humankind’s development comes at the expense of our planet. Only now are we starting to notice and understand the damage that we’ve been causing. With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference.”

Other charities, or individuals, active in the fight against climate change listed by @sussexroyal this month are National Geographic, the World Wildlife Fund (of which Prince Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip was president for many years), Mike Bloomberg, a big donor to environmental protection campaigns, Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who has led worldwide student strikes calling for action and the Jane Goodall Institute, founded by the world famous anthropologist.

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Posted On 01 Jul 2019