About the author  ⁄ WFIN

TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Bill Gates topped Forbeslist of world billionaires for the second consecutive year, with his net worth nearing $80 billion.

In 2014, Gates’ net worth was placed by the magazine at $79.2 billion. For the second consecutive year, Forbes placed Gates one spot ahead of telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu. Helu, worth $77.1 billion, topped the list in 2013.

Investor Warren Buffett came in third place.

Forbes said that there were 1,826 billionaires on this year’s list — the most ever — including 290 newcomers. Additionally, a record 46 billionaires on the list are under the age of 40.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice called the relationship between America and Israel an “alliance…rooted in the unbreakable friendship between our two peoples.”

That enduring relationship has been tested somewhat in recent weeks, with Democrats griping about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday speech before a joint session of Congress. Nonetheless, Rice noted, “the relationship between the United States and the State of Israel is not a partnership between individual leaders or political parties.” That relationship, she noted, “has deepened and grown through different presidents and prime ministers for nearly 70 years.”

Netanyahu has spoken out in recent weeks against a deal with Iran that would leave them with the capability to one day produce a nuclear weapon.

“I want to be very clear,” Rice said Monday about the ongoing negotiations with Iran, “a bad deal is worse than no deal.” What makes a good deal? Rice says “a good deal is one that would invariably cut off every pathway for Iran to produce enough fissile material for a single nuclear weapon.”

As far as how those negotiations are proceeding, Rice said that “significant gaps remain between the international community and Iran.” She also echoed comments made by President Obama that “we are keeping all options on the table to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Bill Gates topped Forbeslist of world billionaires for the second consecutive year, with his net worth nearing $80 billion.

In 2014, Gates’ net worth was placed by the magazine at $76 billion. For the second consecutive year, Forbes placed Gates one spot ahead of telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu. Helu, worth $77.1 billion, topped the list in 2013.

Investor Warren Buffett came in third place.

Forbes said that there were 1,826 billionaires on this year’s list — the most ever — including 290 newcomers. Additionally, a record 46 billionaires on the list are under the age of 40.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Obtained by ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — Surveillance footage from a homeless shelter shows a new angle of an altercation between Los Angeles police officers and a transient man that turned fatal, where the man is seen entering his sidewalk tent as officers arrived on the scene.

The footage of the Sunday-afternoon incident shows the man going into his tent, and then officers trying to stop him and pulling their guns. The LAPD said the man was a suspect in a robbery.

The man, whose name has not been released, appears to talk with the officers before going into his tent. There is no sound with the homeless shelter footage.

In a press conference Monday afternoon, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that officers, who were called to the scene because of reports of a robbery, became concerned when the man entered his tent because they could not tell what he was trying to get.

“The individual may be arming himself and they opened the tent and that was when the altercation ensues,” Beck said.

The first footage that was released publicly of the interaction, which included the use of a stun gun against the man who was then shot several times, was taken by an onlooker on the ground. This latest surveillance footage from the Union Rescue Mission was shot from a further distance but at a higher angle.

Two investigations have been launched into the shooting.

World News Videos | US News Videos

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Marcio Silva/iStock/Thinkstock(GENEVA) — More than 6,000 people have been killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The fighting has brought with it “merciless devastation of civilian lives and infrastructure,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a press release. “More than six thousand lives have now been lost in less than a year due to the fighting in eastern Ukraine.”

Zeid called for both sides of the dispute to honor the Minsk agreements, which called for a cease-fire.

The situation, which calmed somewhat in December, “dramatically deteriorated” in the last two months, the OHCHR report said.

“The human rights situation in Ukraine remains grave,” Zeid said in a release. “Should this trend continue, this would represent a new and very deadly chapter in this conflict, expanding the areas where the rule of law and the protection of human rights are effectively absent.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — When it comes to nuclear negotiations with Iran, President Obama has said America’s goal is to prevent Iran from ever producing a nuclear weapon, while Israel has described a different one: denying Iran the capability of ever getting there.

“Our goal here is to be able to verify that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon,” Obama said after a meeting with the emir of Qatar last week.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a different take.

“We must prevent Iran from having the capability to produce nuclear weapons. And I want to reiterate that point. Not just to prevent them from having the weapon, but to prevent them from having the capacity to make the weapon,” Netanyahu said last year when he spoke at the 2014 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington.

So do the U.S. and Israel really want the same thing?

“I guess you could make the case that there is [a difference in goals]. I’m happy for someone else to do that if they would like to,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

“No one else has laid out a strategy for how to accomplish what apparently the prime minister has laid out as his goal. He hasn’t even laid out a strategy for how to accomplish his goal,” Earnest said.

Here’s Earnest’s full response, in which he defended the White House’s aims in pursuing the nuclear talks that have sparked so much controversy (transcript via FedNews):

KARL: Actually, the Israeli prime minister has articulated a different goal than what you did at this briefing. You said that the United States is committed to a position where Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon. What Bibi Netanyahu said today, and what he’s been saying all along is the goal, is to make sure Iran doesn’t get the capability to build a nuclear weapon.

EARNEST: Mm-hmm.

KARL: Which he says, and is, a different view. So, what do you say about his view, that the whole point of this effort is to ensure not just that Iran doesn’t get a weapon, but that Iran doesn’t get the ability to build a weapon?

EARNEST: Well, I assume that the — the prime minister will have an opportunity to elaborate on what he means when he says the ability to acquire a nuclear weapon.

KARL: I can tell you what he means.

EARNEST: OK.

KARL: He’s referring to an enrichment capability. He’s also talked about the fact that they have a ballistic missile program that would enable a delivery system for a nuclear weapon. That’s what he’s talking about. When Iran has the ability to produce highly enriched uranium, it is the fuel to make a nuclear bomb. He believes that’s a threat to Israel’s survival because it puts them on a path to getting or to building a bomb.

EARNEST: And has he laid out a strategy for how to prevent them from — how to accomplish the goal that he has laid out? I guess the point is, you don’t have to speak for him any longer. The point is, he has not — he has not laid out that strategy. The president has laid out a clear strategy that we are working to achieve that would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And that is a clearly stated foreign policy goal and it is a priority that this president has made because it’s in the clear national security interest of the United States. It also happens to be in the national security interests of our closest ally in the region, Israel.

KARL: So is he correct, though, to say that your goal, then, is not to prevent Iran from getting the capability to build a bomb. It’s to prevent them from getting a bomb.

EARNEST: Well, the… [CROSSTALK]

EARNEST: Well, if he says that there’s a difference there, he’s allowed to do that. The point that I’m making…

KARL: You don’t think there’s a difference between those two positions?

EARNEST: Well, I guess you could make the case that there is one. I’m happy for someone else to do that if they would like to. The point is that we believe — the president has made a strategic decision about what he believes is clearly in the best interests of the United States. And it happens to be in the best interests of Israel. No one else has laid out a strategy for how to accomplish what apparently the prime minister has laid out as his goal. He hasn’t even laid out a strategy for how to accomplish his goal. And by the way, I’m not even sure that the military option that some people consider to be an alternative to the president’s strategy would even accomplish his goal because it would require not just a detailed destruction of Iran’s infrastructure, but it also would require the removal of knowledge that Iran has already obtained.

So, the fact is the goal that the president has set out that would ensure that — or that is consistent with our national security imperatives here in this country, is to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon. And the best way for us to do this is at the negotiating table. Those negotiations are underway even as we speak. But the other thing that I have not mentioned so far in this briefing that’s important for everybody to realize is it continues to be the case that our likelihood of success when it comes to reaching a deal in the context of these negotiations is only at best 50-50. There are difficult decisions that need to be made by the Iranian government in terms of their willingness to sign onto this agreement. And this president has made clear that he’s not going to sign a bad deal.

World News Videos | US News Videos

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Getty Images(NEW YORK) — ISIS has been under attack in the last few days from Twitter, which has quietly suspended at least 2,000 accounts linked to the terror group and its supporters, according to people with knowledge of the operation.

The accounts shut down include some of the most important distributors of ISIS messages in a major escalation against ISIS’s propaganda and recruitment efforts, according to J.M. Berger, a terrorism analyst who monitors ISIS online messaging.

“Twitter has been doing a whole lot over the past week. They’ve slammed them pretty hard, including the official media distribution guys,” Berger said. He said 13 of the 16 major ISIS distribution accounts were among those shut down.

Top U.S. security officials previously said ISIS has successfully leveraged social media networks, including Twitter, as powerful recruitment tools to draw in fighters from 90 countries. But a person with knowledge of Twitter’s recent suspension spree said it was not done due to U.S. government pressure -– in fact, he said the U.S. intelligence community would prefer the accounts stay open for intelligence gathering purposes.

Instead, the suspensions have been a result of increased media reporting, which in turn spurred public awareness, which has created more user-generated policy violation reports, the person said. It’s against Twitter’s policy, for instance, to make direct, specific threats of violence against others.

The assault on ISIS social media was followed by an apparent threat Monday by supporters of the Syria-based network responsible for killing thousands of innocents while establishing an Islamic “caliphate” from Syria to Iraq and elsewhere. The message posted online called out Twitter founder Jack Dorsey by name and used his photo.

The Twitter spokesperson would only say that the company’s security team was “investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials,” and that content is constantly reviewed against Twitter’s rules.

“I would certainly be concerned if I were Twitter,” said Berger, co-author with Jessica Stern of ISIS: The State of Terror, set for release next week.

A counter-terrorism official told ABC News that the U.S. was looking into the threat and that for months ISIS’s ability to distribute its daily dose of beheading and murder videos has been “challenged.” Some airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria have targeted the ISIS media team, which analysts have assessed has limited the core leadership from releasing more than a handful of slick videos since September.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Tinder(NEW YORK) — Tinder is taking an extra-large swipe at the wallets of users 30 and over who sign up for Tinder Plus, a premium service the dating app rolled out Monday in the United States.

For the unindoctrinated, Tinder allows users to swipe right on their smartphone if they’re interested in a person and left if they are not. Many users swipe so fast that it’s common to occasionally nix a person they would have otherwise been interested in meeting.

For the privilege of undoing the damage of an itchy Tinder finger, a.k.a. a left swipe, users can sign up for Tinder Plus for the price of $9.99 a month — that is, if they’re under 30 years old.

The 30-and-over crowd will have to pony up $19.99 per month for the service, which also allows subscribers to use a passport feature and swipe with potential matches around the world. (Or if you look at it another way, it’s just another opportunity to be rejected by more people.)

“Younger users are just as excited about Tinder Plus, but are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger,” Rosette Pambakian, vice president of corporate communications at Tinder, told ABC News in an email.

After testing Tinder Plus in several countries, Pambakian said the tiered subscription model was created “based on a combination of factors, including what we’ve learned through our testing, and we’ve found that these price points were adopted very well by certain age demographics.”

Tinder users who don’t subscribe will also have to start carefully determining who is worthy of a right swipe. The app will begin placing limits on how many people a free user can right-swipe.

Explaining why you just can’t like everyone, a Tinder blog post said, “The validity of the swipe is core to the Tinder experience. Tinder works best when swipes are genuine reflections of a user’s desire to connect.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

The BBC(ISTANBUL) — Surveillance video released Sunday shows the three British teens who reportedly traveled to Syria last month to join ISIS.

Shamima Begum, 15, Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, were last seen February 17 when they boarded a flight from London’s Gatwick airport headed for Turkey.

The surveillance video obtained by the BBC shows the girls waiting in a bus station for around 18 hours. They then boarded a bus to Gaziantep, a Turkish border town that has gained notoriety for being a portal for foreign fighters travelling to Syria.

ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz visited the bus station in Istanbul. Watch the digital original video below to learn more.

World News Videos | US News Videos

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images(LONDON) — Maggie Smith just celebrated her 80th birthday, but says she’ll keep working in television and film as long as physically possible.

“When you’re not working it’s scary, and when you are working it’s scary, because you don’t know if you’ve got the energy to get through the day. But the bleakness of not doing it, and missing out on the friendships that you make, is too much to bear,” she told U.K.’s The Sunday Times.

In fact, Smith just started filming the sixth season of her hit show Downton Abbey, but admits this is probably the last season — at least for her.

“They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith added. “I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s.”

One drawback from this huge show has been that Smith now has to deal with real celebrity.

“What’s sad is I’ve gone through my whole life without any of that. I could go round galleries and things on my own and I just can’t do it now. If someone decides to get at you, you can’t get away,” she added. “What’s awful is it used to be just autographs, but now everyone wants photographs. You begin to feel like all those people who believed photographs took the soul away. There’s nothing like privacy, but nobody will have that soon. Nobody’s private anymore.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →