Delaware becomes first no-kill state for animal shelters, activists say

U.S. NEWS Delaware becomes first no-kill state for animal shelters, activists say

lesliejmorris/iStock(DOVER, Del.) — Delaware has become the first no-kill state in the U.S. for animals that enter shelters, according to animal welfare activists.

The Best Friends Animal Society, which tracks no-kill rates by state, announced the state’s achievement at its annual conference in Dallas last month.

For a state to be considered no-kill, it must save at least 90% of dogs and cats entering shelters.

In Delaware, 11,900 animals were saved out of 12,800 that entered shelters, according to the Best Friends Animal Society. The state has a total of 59 no-kill shelters.

Last year, about 733,000 dogs and cats were killed in the U.S., according to the Best Friend Animal Society. About 2,000 animals die every day in shelters, with a rate of two cats for every dog, according to the Brandywine Valley SPCA in Pennsylvania.

Activists are focusing on states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, due to limited resources and pet overpopulation, according to the Brandywine Valley SPCA.

The Best Friends Animal Society aims to achieve no-kill status for dogs and cats nationwide by 2025.

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Posted On 12 Aug 2019

Trump administration announces rule that could limit legal immigration

Political News Trump administration announces rule that could limit legal immigration

Eblis/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Trump administration announced a new rule on Monday that could curb legal immigration by limiting who is allowed into the United States based on whether they are “self-sufficient,” according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has changed the scope of the so-called public charge rule to now “incorporate consideration of more kinds of public benefits received,” according to a news release from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The rule includes individuals “who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months, in the aggregate, within any 36-month period (such that, for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months),” the release said.

Certain forms of Medicaid, Social Security Income and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) — or food stamps — are all considered as public benefits under the new rule, among other things.

“For over a century, the public charge ground of inadmissibility has been part of our nation’s immigration laws. President Trump has delivered on his promise to the American people to enforce long-standing immigration law by defining the public charge inadmissibility ground that has been on the books for years,” said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli in a statement.

“Throughout our history, self-sufficiency has been a core tenet of the American dream. Self-reliance, industriousness, and perseverance laid the foundation of our nation and have defined generations of hardworking immigrants seeking opportunity in the United States ever since. Through the enforcement of the public charge inadmissibility law, we will promote these long-standing ideals and immigrant success,” he added.

The final rule is part of the Trump administration’s broad immigration platform that has continuously pushed for hard-line policies. It also comes just a week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement descended on seven work sites in Mississippi in what officials called the largest, single-state immigration enforcement action in history.

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Posted On 12 Aug 2019

Attorney General Barr: Epstein co-conspirators ‘should not rest easy’

Political News Attorney General Barr: Epstein co-conspirators 'should not rest easy'

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead(NEW ORLEANS) — Under heightened pressure from lawmakers over the suicide death of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, Attorney General William Barr said Monday that Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators “should not rest easy” just because Epstein won’t have his day in court.

“Let me assure you that case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” Barr said in remarks to a law enforcement group in New Orleans on Monday. “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. Victims deserve justice and will get it.”

Barr additionally said he was “angered” about what he described as the Manhattan Correctional Center’s “failure” to secure Epstein, and highlighted what he called “irregularities” in the MCC’s system that have already surfaced in the early stages of the DOJ investigations.

“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” Barr said. “We will get to the bottom of it, and there will be accountability.”

The day after Epstein’s death in prison, Barr announced he had asked the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General to investigate the circumstances surrounding the matter, in addition to an FBI investigation that already launched. A source familiar with the investigation told ABC News on Sunday that Barr instructed FBI deputy director David Bowdich to update Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen every three hours on their investigation and that Rosen has been in constant communication with Barr.

“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in a statement Saturday. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”

Barr’s remarks follow several scathing rebukes of the Justice Department from lawmakers like Sen. Ben Sasse, who in a statement Saturday said that there was no excuse for Epstein to be approved to be taken off of suicide watch.

“Every single person in the Justice Department — from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer — knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him,” Sasse, R-Neb., said. “Given Epstein’s previous attempted suicide, he should have been locked in a padded room under unbroken, 24/7, constant surveillance. Obviously, heads must roll.”

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Posted On 12 Aug 2019

With a glance, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman teases as Queen Elizabeth in ‘The Crown’ S3

Entertainment News  With a glance, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman teases as Queen Elizabeth in 'The Crown' S3


Netflix(NEW YORK) — Netflix has just announced that the third season of The Crown will debut on November 17 by offering fans just a glimpse of Oscar-winner Olivia Colman in full regal attire as Queen Elizabeth.

And it really is just a glimpse: The Favourite star strides into the frame, glances directly at camera, and walks out of frame.

However, that’s more than enough to get fans of the series buzzing.

Vanessa Kirby, who played Queen Elizabeth’s sister Princess Margaret in the series’ first two seasons, told ABC Radio that The Crown‘s popularity took all involved by surprise.

“It almost felt like we were just doing a little theater show, because it was just a little family,” she explained. “I honestly thought it was going to be a sort of period drama that is interesting to some people like my granny and goes away.”

She laughs, “It was really weird when it first landed on Netflix, and then within a couple of weeks it became clear that it was somehow touching people in quite a universal way, and you didn’t have to be British and over 70 to like it,” calling the reaction, “a complete revelation to all of us…”

And how far flung are the show’s fans? “The strangest moment for me was when … we just landed in Jordan with my charity War Child … and loads of people came up to me in the airport,” she recalled.

“That…was…when it sort of struck me, the level of interest in the royal family — and I think actually we care about [them] the least in England. Oddly, I think you guys are much more into than we are at home.”

This upcoming season, set in the years from 1964-1977, has Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner Helena Bonham Carter playing Kirby’s former role. Other stars inlcude Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, and Marion Bailey as the Queen Mother.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 12 Aug 2019

Woman with Parkinson’s disease surprised with service dog

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A woman whose early onset Parkinson’s disease diagnosis flipped her entire life upside down was surprised Monday with a special furry friend to lend her a helping paw.

Six years ago, Tennille Strode was a practicing nurse when she first noticed a twitch in her finger. That twitch became a hand tremor, and eventually the entire right side of her body was affected.

“I was going to lose my career,” Strode, 40, told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “That was the only thing I could think of … I worked so hard to get there and now I can’t get there.”

Strode shifted roles from nurse to lactation consultant as everyday tasks became nearly impossible due to the condition.

“If [my medication] is not working then it’s like I can’t really do dishes, I can’t really do anything,” Strode told GMA. “If I don’t take my medication I can’t even get dressed. I can’t even wash my hair by myself, I can barely pull up my pants … my mind says I can, but my body says no you can’t.”

Now, thanks to an increased awareness and understanding of Parkinson’s disease, new therapies are being studied, Dr. Fiona Gupta, neurologist and director of Movement Disorder Outreach for Mount Sinai Hospital, explained.

One method that just might help Strode in everyday life: a service dog.

“Service dogs can help with helping the patient with balance, getting up from a chair … getting the medicine or a water bottle, turning a light off or shutting a door,” Gupta explained to GMA. “Service dogs promote so much transformation with Parkinson’s disease. I wish all my patients could have access to one.”

The woman who gave her life to helping others is getting something in return. On Monday, Strode was surprised live on GMA with her very own service dog.

The puppy goldendoodle, dubbed in her litter as “Light Fury,” was bred by Nevada-based 4E Kennels and raised to become a service dog.

“[Dogs] will always be there and heal our hearts in ways that people cannot do, that food cannot do,” 4E Kennels founder Jeanette Forrey told GMA. “The innate ability to read our emotions, to want to serve and to help us. The loyalty, the non-judgment …Your dog will never leave you.”

Strode is not only gifted the puppy, but also the subsequent training that will enable the two to truly work and grow together.

Brad Norton, owner and CEO of Norton Dog Training in Las Vegas, will work with Strode and her goldendoodle for four to six months, or however long is needed, to make sure Strode’s dog can cater to her needs.

“Every dog needs a task and a person to task for … They can’t be taught to do everything but they can do a lot of things,” Norton said.

As puppy training can be costly and Norton Dog Training is on average working with 30 to 40 dogs at a time, the owner’s love for the dogs and the community is clear as he trains five Helping Hearts dogs a year on his dime, with Strode’s new puppy being one of them.

“I enjoy watching their eyes glow as the dog helps them do these things and make their lives a little bit easier,” Norton said. “The payment comes from the smile at the end.”

The service puppy will join Strode’s life in Nevada to help lessen the impact of Parkinson’s on her daily life — and maybe give some furry cuddles, too.

“I’m very blessed. That is so nice,” Strode said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump administration announces changes to endangered species rules

Political News Trump administration announces changes to endangered species rules

1001slide/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Trump administration announced changes to how the government handles endangered species on Monday, a move that advocates say could make it more difficult to protect species that are threatened by human activity and climate change.

The newly finalized rules would change the requirements for how the government decides to add or remove species from the list of endangered animals that are regulated by the government, including limiting how much habitat can be protected to areas where the animals currently live. The changes would also require that each species listed as threatened in the future have its own plan for how it will be protected and if any hunting of that species is allowed, instead of issuing blanket policies that apply to every threatened species.

The changes would not alter the protections for species currently listed as threatened or endangered, but would apply to future decisions about changing listings.

Administration officials said the changes will still protect critical species and habitat but will also make the process more efficient and follow President Donald Trump’s mandate to eliminate regulations.

One of the new rules announced on Monday also formally defines “endangered” and “threatened,” which will be used to decide if species should be protected or removed from the endangered species list. Under the rule, “endangered” means a species is in danger of extinction now, while “threatened” means it is in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.

Conservation advocates say the changes will weaken protections for many species and that they plan to challenge them in court.

“These changes represent an unprecedented weakening of the Endangered Species Act that will kneecap our ability to save wildlife from extinction,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Advocates say changing the way the government decides which areas to protect could be a threat to species like polar bears, that are moving out of their traditional habitat as it faces increasing threats from climate change.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 12 Aug 2019

Flying umbrella impales teenage boy at Massachusetts beach

U.S. NEWS Flying umbrella impales teenage boy at Massachusetts beach

mbbirdy/iStock(BOSTON) — A teenage boy was rushed to the hospital Friday after being impaled by a flying umbrella on a Massachusetts beach, authorities said.

The 13-year-old boy was at Good Harbor Beach in Glouchester on Friday afternoon when a gust of wind picked up the umbrella, which then struck and punctured his shoulder, according to the Gloucester Fire Department.

Witnesses told ABC Boston affiliate WCVB-TV that the teen was bleeding profusely and bystanders helped apply a tourniquet before emergency crews arrived on scene.

“I was sitting right here, and a little gust of wind came up, and the umbrella popped straight up in the air,” one witness said. “The kid was standing in the way on the beach. He couldn’t get out of the way.”

First responders carried the boy off the beach and transported him to a local hospital.

The teen sustained serious injuries but is expected to survive, according to the Gloucester Fire Department.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 12 Aug 2019

‘Avengers: Endgame’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Riverdale’ win big at Teen Choice Awards

Entertainment News  'Avengers: Endgame', 'Aladdin' and 'Riverdale' win big at Teen Choice Awards


Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX(LOS ANGELES) — The Marvel Cinematic Universe dominated at Sunday night’s Teen Choice Awards on Fox.

As expected, Avengers: Endgame collected all the Infinity Stones — that is, Teen Choice Awards for which it was nominated.  The epic Marvel saga won Choice Action Movie, Choice Action Movie Actor for Robert Downey Jr., Choice Action Movie Actress for Scarlett Johansson, and Choice Movie Villain, for Josh Brolin as Thanos.

Accepting his awards, Robert Downey Jr. took the stage surrounded by kids dressed in Iron Man costumes.  After thanking the screaming crowd, he counted down with the kids to deliver his character Tony Stark’s Avengers: Endgame line, “We love you 3000!”

Superheroes again proved to be extremely popular with the teen voters, with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far from Home winning Choice Summer Movie, Choice Summer Movie Actor and Actress for Tom Holland and Zendaya, respectively.

Disney’s Aladdin remake was another big winner, taking home four surfboards for Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie, Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actor for Will Smith, Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actress for Naomi Scott, Choice Song from a Movie for “A Whole New World,” sung by ZAYN and Zhavia Ward.

Disney owns both Marvel Studios and ABC News.

On TV, the CW drama Riverdale dominated, sweeping every category in which it was nominated for: Choice TV Drama Show, Choice Drama TV Actor for Cole Sprouse, Choice Drama TV Actress for Lili Reinhart, and Choice Ship for Reinhart and Sprouse.

Netflix’s Stranger Things earned three wins: Choice Summer TV Show, Choice Summer TV Actor, for Noah Schnapp, and Choice Summer TV Actress for Millie Bobby Brown.

Here’s the complete list Teen Choice Awards movie and TV winners:

Choice Action Movie
Avengers: Endgame

Choice Action Movie Actor
Robert Downey Jr. – Avengers: Endgame

Choice Action Movie Actress
Scarlett Johansson – Avengers: Endgame

Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie

Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actor
Will Smith – Aladdin

Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actress
Naomi Scott – Aladdin

Choice Drama Movie

Choice Drama Movie Actor
Hero Fiennes Tiffin – After

Choice Drama Movie Actress
Josephine Langford – After

Choice Comedy Movie
Crazy Rich Asians

Choice Comedy Movie Actor
Noah Centineo – The Perfect Date

Choice Comedy Movie Actress
Laura Marano – The Perfect Date

Choice Movie Villain
Josh Brolin – Avengers: Endgame

Choice Summer Movie
Spider-Man: Far from Home

Choice Summer Movie Actor
Tom Holland – Spider-Man: Far from Home

Choice Summer Movie Actress
Zendaya – Spider-Man: Far from Home

Choice Drama TV Show

Choice Drama TV Actor
Cole Sprouse – Riverdale

Choice Drama TV Actress
Lili Reinhart – Riverdale

Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show

Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor
Jared Padalecki – Supernatural

Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress
Katherine McNamara – Shadowhunters

Choice Action TV Show

Choice Action TV Actor
Stephen Amell – Arrow

Choice Action TV Actress
Gabrielle Union – L.A.’s Finest

Choice Comedy TV Show
The Big Bang Theory

Choice Comedy TV Actor
Jaime Camil – Jane the Virgin

Choice Comedy TV Actress
Nina Dobrev – Fam

Choice TV Villain
Cameron Monaghan – Gotham

Choice Reality TV Show
America’s Got Talent

Choice Throwback TV Show

Choice Summer TV Show
Stranger Things

Choice Summer TV Actor
Noah Schnapp – Stranger Things

Choice Summer TV Actress
Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 12 Aug 2019

Simone Biles lands history-making moves, gets sixth national title

Sports News Simone Biles lands history-making moves, gets sixth national title

simonkr/iStock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — Simone Biles made history this weekend, becoming the first female gymnast to land two new moves in competition — and easily earned herself her sixth title at the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Kansas City, Missouri.

Between preliminaries on Friday and finals Sunday, Biles made history three times over with two new moves and a record-tying all-around win.

First, on Friday, she cleanly completed a double-double dismount (a double twist and double somersault) on balance beam.

Also on Friday, she attempted a triple-double in floor — but just barely missed a clean finish, which left her “really frustrated because I know how good I am and how well I can do,” she said then.

She returned to competition Sunday rearing to get it right, and she did, becoming the first woman to cleanly complete the triple-twist, double-flip move in her first pass on floor.

In doing so, Biles sailed to a first-place finish. With that, she tied Clara Schroth Lomady for most national titles; it’s a record that was set in the 1950s.

And it wasn’t just the all-around. Biles also got first place in individual events for vault, balance beam and floor. She finished third in uneven bars.

“I’m really happy with the beam dismount and how it’s come along, because if you had asked me after [U.S. Classic] if I was going to complete it, I would’ve said no,” Biles told Team USA at the competition of the beam move. “I feel like in those short two weeks we did a lot of work on a couple of the events, so I’m pretty excited with how it turned out.”

If she successfully completes the floor and/or beam feat at an international meet, the skill will be named after her. The floor triple-double would be called the Biles II, as she already has one floor trick named after her. Her next chance to do so would be at the world championships in Germany in October.

This year’s U.S. Gymnastics Championships has courted controversy in the wake of a massive sexual abuse scandal involving the disgraced, and now imprisoned, former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Biles was among the hundreds of other gymnasts to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse.

Since then, USA Gymnastics, the sports’ organizing body, has struggled to regain its athletes’ trust, as Biles made clear Wednesday, saying, “It’s hard coming here for an organization and having had them fail us so many times.”

Biles had to adjust from that mood to compete this weekend and complete both her moves.

“I feel like the first day I was doing angry gymnastics and I was just really upset,” she said Sunday, per Team USA, “and then today it was it was just like that’s normal and happy.”

“[Biles] shouldn’t be saddled with that weight, but she’s handling it with incredible grace,” Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast and the first to publicly accuse Nassar, told ABC News last week. “Her voice has a lot of power, and I hope she feels that, and she deserves that; she has earned that power.”

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Posted On 12 Aug 2019