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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The State Department issued a travel alert for the world on Friday.

The alert reminds Americans to be “extra cautious” when they travel. The alert, which expires in March, also tells Americans to “maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security.”

The alert is allegedly prompted by the lone wolf attack in Sydney earlier this week.

According to a State Department official, a similar warning was issued in August 2013 to warn U.S. citizens of the potential for terrorist attacks, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa. That month there was a large car bomb explosion in Beirut.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The State Department issued a travel alert for the world on Friday.

The alert reminds Americans to be “extra cautious” when they travel. The alert, which expires in March, also tells Americans to “maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security.”

The alert is allegedly prompted by the lone wolf attack in Sydney earlier this week.

According to a State Department official, a similar warning was issued in August 2013 to warn U.S. citizens of the potential for terrorist attacks, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa. That month there was a large car bomb explosion in Beirut.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) — Following the discovery of eight children’s bodies in an Australian home Friday morning, police have arrested the the woman who was also found injured at the scene.

Police confirm that the woman who was found with stab wounds to her head and neck has been arrested in her Cairns hospital bed.

Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said, “We will look at everybody and anybody that we need to look at and there might be at a point later down the road, we’ll be talking to more people, we may even have more persons of interest.”

The victims ranged in age from 18 months to 15 years. Seven of them were the suspect’s children and the eighth was her niece.

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JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The president and first family have arrived in Hawaii, for a 16-day tropical vacation that’s become their annual tradition over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

“The president himself is eagerly looking forward to” the time away, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said last week.

They will remain on the island until after the New Year.

While there’s no such thing as a work-free vacation for an American president, Obama will likely spend plenty of time soaking up the sun, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, hiking and biking with his daughters, and enjoying the local cuisine.

He’s also expected to play several rounds of golf and squeeze in a few workouts at the Marine Base Kanehoe.

The White House says he plans to hold no public events. But as with past years, there’s the possibility Obama’s two-week getaway will be punctuated with breaking news around the world to which he’ll need to respond.

It will be the Obamas’ sixth trip to Oahu for family vacation since moving into the White House. The president has deep roots on the island, which is where he was born and spent most of his childhood.

The first family typically rents a multi-million dollar beach-side home in the town of Kailua, on the east side of the island, footing the several thousand-dollar per night bill with personal funds, the White House says.

Obama has taken fewer vacation days overall outside Washington than his predecessor, according to unofficial White House chronicler of presidential travel Mark Knoller of CBS News. While the meaning of “vacation day” is a matter of debate, by one measure, Obama had taken at least 140 days of R&R through August, per Knoller.

That compares to 533 days in George W. Bush’s two terms, including trips to his Crawford, Tex., ranch; 174 by Bill Clinton; and 390 for Ronald Reagan.

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Terroa/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Trade Commission announced on Friday a settlement with T-Mobile for charges that it engaged in “cramming,” or the practice of placing unwanted third-party charges on its customers’ bills.

T-Mobile will pay at least $90 million in the settlement, plus $18 million in fines and penalties to the attorneys general of all 40 states and the District of Columbia and $4.5 million to the Federal Communications Commission. “Mobile cramming is an issue that has affected millions of American consumers,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said Friday, “and I’m pleased that this settlement will put money back in the hands of affected T-Mobile customers.”

“Consumers should be able to trust that their mobile phone bills reflect the charges they authorized and nothing more,” Ramirez added.

The FTC filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile accusing the company of placing millions of dollars of unwanted third-party charges — such a horoscopes, love tips and celebrity gossip — on customers’ bills. The company, the FTC said, received 35 to 40 percent of every charge placed.

In recent months, the FTC has brought multiple cramming cases in recent months, including a settlement with AT&T and a recently filed case against Sprint.

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Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) — Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with first baseman Corey Hart.

The 32-year-old Hart can also earn $2.5 million in performance bonuses.

Hart has dealt with multiple injuries the past two seasons. He didn’t play at all in 2013 after having surgery on both knees. In 2014, Hart played in only 68 games for the Seattle Mariners due to hamstring and knee issues.

Before the last two seasons, Hart was enjoying a productive major league career as a Milwaukee Brewer. He was selected as an All-Star twice, and in 2010 he hit .283 with 31 home runs, 91 runs scored, 102 RBIs and a .340 on-base percentage.

“We looked at what he’d done, really solid seasons from (2007) to ’12 but in particular ’10, ’11 and ’12,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Coming off the knee surgeries, typically you don’t see a guy back to 100 percent until a year or two after. We’re working that, this is going to be year two, this is the first offseason he’ll have to truly work and get in baseball shape and not rehab.”

Hart provides the Pirates with a right-handed bat at first base. Pedro Alvarez, a left-handed hitter, plays the position as well.

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Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — 7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins says he is “absolutely not” a pedophile, claiming that the three underage girls he confessed to having sexual misconduct with were isolated incidents.

“I’m absolutely not attracted, physically or sexually attracted to children,” Collins told Yahoo Global Anchor Katie Couric in an exclusive interview that will air on ABC News’ 20/20.

Watch the full interview on ABC News’ 20/20 FRIDAY at 10 p.m. ET

Collins also denied that there have been any more victims, saying if more come forward, claiming he had been inappropriate with them, “it would not be the truth.”

“I didn’t white-knuckle this… I’m not fighting. It’s not like if I miss therapy next week something’s going to happen,” he added. “I’m a human being. I have faults, and I’ve done things that I deeply regret.”

The 67-year-old actor, best known for his role as Pastor Eric Camden, the family patriarch on the TV show, 7th Heaven, confessed this week to sexual misconduct with three underage girls years ago, a shocking revelation that has made him an entertainment industry pariah.

Allegations of Collins’ wrongdoing first surfaced in October when a 2012 audio recording of his confession during a marriage counseling session with his estranged wife, Faye Grant, was released by TMZ. The audio included Collins admitting to the three incidents of sexual misconduct.

Collins said Grant had secretly recorded every disturbing word, and he didn’t know his wife was wearing a wire until she told him after one of those sessions.

“She took me into a stairwell, and she told me there,” Collins said. “She revealed that–she said, ‘I recorded. I was wearing a wire. I recorded that session.’ … and she said, ‘Here’s our settlement. You’re going to sign it now. Or … that recording is going to find its way to the media.’”

“I’ve always said this, marriage is absolutely unfathomable,” he added. “You think you understand someone else’s marriage, nobody does. Nobody does.”

Grant denies being the source of the leak, and in a statement to ABC News Friday, she said, “Stephen’s statements about me are false and appear to be an attempt by him to deflect from his conduct. I sincerely hope Stephen gets the help he needs.”

But the fallout from the leaked audio recordings was fast for Collins. He was dropped from a recurring role on ABC’s Scandal and fired from the soon-to-be-released movie, Ted 2.

In talking with Couric, Collins described an inappropriate encounter with one of the underage girls, saying he knew he had done something “unthinkably wrong” that he couldn’t take back.

Collins said there were two times in 1973 where he exposed himself to the “young woman.” He was 25 years old at the time, and she was 10.

According to Collins, the underage girl had come to visit and stay with him and his first wife, and after his wife had gone to sleep, he and the girl were watching TV together.

“And I took her hand and moved it in such a way that she was touching me inappropriately,” he said. “I knew that something unthinkably wrong had just happened that I couldn’t take back, And I–I think we both just sat there. We really didn’t move a muscle.”

“And after about–what I recall was about 45 seconds, I took her hand and moved it back,” Collins continued. “I waited a couple of minutes, because I just didn’t know what to do or say. And then I got up and left the room.”

Collins also confessed to exposing himself to a 13-year-old girl in 1982, the same year he met Grant on the set of Tales of the Gold Monkey, and to a third girl, a 14-year-old, in 1994. But he said “there was no physical contact of any kind with either of them.”

“The look on the one in 1982 was such that it immediately… just stopped everything cold,” he said. “It was clear that she was disoriented and frightened, and that just made me want to stop and cover up, and I did.”

“It was not exciting. It was not gratifying. There was no gratification,” he added.

For the past 20 years, Collins said he has been in intensive therapy, which has included therapeutic workshops, religious counseling and a 12-step program. In discussing his difficult past, Collins speculated that the reason he committed these acts was because of something he experienced in his own childhood.

“The thing that makes the most sense to me, and it’s not an excuse, because none of this is an excuse… but I did have someone in my life when I was between the age of about 10 and 15, an older woman, who repeatedly exposed herself to me,” Collins said.

Collins said that older woman would appear in “various states of undress, or complete undress” on several occasions.

“And I think that that distorted my perception in such a way that some part of me thought–because–I never felt like I was molested. Never occurred to me, that word never crossed my mind as a 10- to 15-year-old boy. It was a very intense experience. But I think somewhere in my brain I got the equation of, ‘well, this isn’t so terrible. I mean this person who I trust is doing it,’” he said.

“It’s not why I did it,” Collins continued. “I’m not blaming her … I’m just saying, I think that’s an aspect that went into my own distorted thinking as a young man.”

When asked why he did these things, Collins said, “It was a combination of poor impulse control, arrogance, 25-year-old arrogance.”

“I think it is about power, but not consciously,” he said. “There is a statement that says ‘figuring it out is the booby prize.’ Now that sounds odd. What that means to a lot of people in recovery is you can figure it out, you can intellectually understand it, but what’s important is what your behavior is. I’m still in regular therapy. I always will be out of respect for those women and it’s just not going to happen again and it hasn’t and I feel very confident that it won’t.”

Until now, Collins had kept a low public profile, avoiding questions about the scandal and his nasty divorce to Faye Grant. He said he wanted to do this interview because he hoped it will help him move forward.

“The truth [is] painful and it is less painful than the stuff that was flying around the Internet and some of the rumors, and I feel very, very sure that these things are behind me,” he said.

But Collins said he is constantly atoning for the harm he caused three young girls years ago.

I think of those women–every day,” he said. “And I would say, ‘With all my heart, I am sorry for what I put you through… and I want you to know… that nothing like that will ever happen again.’”

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Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — 7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins says he is “absolutely not” a pedophile, claiming that the three underage girls he confessed to having sexual misconduct with were isolated incidents.

“I’m absolutely not attracted, physically or sexually attracted to children,” Collins told Yahoo Global Anchor Katie Couric in an exclusive interview that will air on ABC News’ 20/20.

Watch the full interview on ABC News’ 20/20 FRIDAY at 10 p.m. ET

Collins also denied that there have been any more victims, saying if more come forward, claiming he had been inappropriate with them, “it would not be the truth.”

“I didn’t white-knuckle this… I’m not fighting. It’s not like if I miss therapy next week something’s going to happen,” he added. “I’m a human being. I have faults, and I’ve done things that I deeply regret.”

The 67-year-old actor, best known for his role as Pastor Eric Camden, the family patriarch on the TV show, 7th Heaven, confessed this week to sexual misconduct with three underage girls years ago, a shocking revelation that has made him an entertainment industry pariah.

Allegations of Collins’ wrongdoing first surfaced in October when a 2012 audio recording of his confession during a marriage counseling session with his estranged wife, Faye Grant, was released by TMZ. The audio included Collins admitting to the three incidents of sexual misconduct.

Collins said Grant had secretly recorded every disturbing word, and he didn’t know his wife was wearing a wire until she told him after one of those sessions.

“She took me into a stairwell, and she told me there,” Collins said. “She revealed that–she said, ‘I recorded. I was wearing a wire. I recorded that session.’ … and she said, ‘Here’s our settlement. You’re going to sign it now. Or … that recording is going to find its way to the media.’”

“I’ve always said this, marriage is absolutely unfathomable,” he added. “You think you understand someone else’s marriage, nobody does. Nobody does.”

Grant denies being the source of the leak, and in a statement to ABC News Friday, she said, “Stephen’s statements about me are false and appear to be an attempt by him to deflect from his conduct. I sincerely hope Stephen gets the help he needs.”

But the fallout from the leaked audio recordings was fast for Collins. He was dropped from a recurring role on ABC’s Scandal and fired from the soon-to-be-released movie, Ted 2.

In talking with Couric, Collins described an inappropriate encounter with one of the underage girls, saying he knew he had done something “unthinkably wrong” that he couldn’t take back.

Collins said there were two times in 1973 where he exposed himself to the “young woman.” He was 25 years old at the time, and she was 10.

According to Collins, the underage girl had come to visit and stay with him and his first wife, and after his wife had gone to sleep, he and the girl were watching TV together.

“And I took her hand and moved it in such a way that she was touching me inappropriately,” he said. “I knew that something unthinkably wrong had just happened that I couldn’t take back, And I–I think we both just sat there. We really didn’t move a muscle.”

“And after about–what I recall was about 45 seconds, I took her hand and moved it back,” Collins continued. “I waited a couple of minutes, because I just didn’t know what to do or say. And then I got up and left the room.”

Collins also confessed to exposing himself to a 13-year-old girl in 1982, the same year he met Grant on the set of Tales of the Gold Monkey, and to a third girl, a 14-year-old, in 1994. But he said “there was no physical contact of any kind with either of them.”

“The look on the one in 1982 was such that it immediately… just stopped everything cold,” he said. “It was clear that she was disoriented and frightened, and that just made me want to stop and cover up, and I did.”

“It was not exciting. It was not gratifying. There was no gratification,” he added.

For the past 20 years, Collins said he has been in intensive therapy, which has included therapeutic workshops, religious counseling and a 12-step program. In discussing his difficult past, Collins speculated that the reason he committed these acts was because of something he experienced in his own childhood.

“The thing that makes the most sense to me, and it’s not an excuse, because none of this is an excuse… but I did have someone in my life when I was between the age of about 10 and 15, an older woman, who repeatedly exposed herself to me,” Collins said.

Collins said that older woman would appear in “various states of undress, or complete undress” on several occasions.

“And I think that that distorted my perception in such a way that some part of me thought–because–I never felt like I was molested. Never occurred to me, that word never crossed my mind as a 10- to 15-year-old boy. It was a very intense experience. But I think somewhere in my brain I got the equation of, ‘well, this isn’t so terrible. I mean this person who I trust is doing it,’” he said.

“It’s not why I did it,” Collins continued. “I’m not blaming her … I’m just saying, I think that’s an aspect that went into my own distorted thinking as a young man.”

When asked why he did these things, Collins said, “It was a combination of poor impulse control, arrogance, 25-year-old arrogance.”

“I think it is about power, but not consciously,” he said. “There is a statement that says ‘figuring it out is the booby prize.’ Now that sounds odd. What that means to a lot of people in recovery is you can figure it out, you can intellectually understand it, but what’s important is what your behavior is. I’m still in regular therapy. I always will be out of respect for those women and it’s just not going to happen again and it hasn’t and I feel very confident that it won’t.”

Until now, Collins had kept a low public profile, avoiding questions about the scandal and his nasty divorce to Faye Grant. He said he wanted to do this interview because he hoped it will help him move forward.

“The truth [is] painful and it is less painful than the stuff that was flying around the Internet and some of the rumors, and I feel very, very sure that these things are behind me,” he said.

But Collins said he is constantly atoning for the harm he caused three young girls years ago.

I think of those women–every day,” he said. “And I would say, ‘With all my heart, I am sorry for what I put you through… and I want you to know… that nothing like that will ever happen again.’”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — 7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins says he is “absolutely not” a pedophile, claiming that the three underage girls he confessed to having sexual misconduct with were isolated incidents.

“I’m absolutely not attracted, physically or sexually attracted to children,” Collins told Yahoo Global Anchor Katie Couric in an exclusive interview that will air on ABC News’ 20/20.

Watch the full interview on ABC News’ 20/20 FRIDAY at 10 p.m. ET

Collins also denied that there have been any more victims, saying if more come forward, claiming he had been inappropriate with them, “it would not be the truth.”

“I didn’t white-knuckle this… I’m not fighting. It’s not like if I miss therapy next week something’s going to happen,” he added. “I’m a human being. I have faults, and I’ve done things that I deeply regret.”

The 67-year-old actor, best known for his role as Pastor Eric Camden, the family patriarch on the TV show, 7th Heaven, confessed this week to sexual misconduct with three underage girls years ago, a shocking revelation that has made him an entertainment industry pariah.

Allegations of Collins’ wrongdoing first surfaced in October when a 2012 audio recording of his confession during a marriage counseling session with his estranged wife, Faye Grant, was released by TMZ. The audio included Collins admitting to the three incidents of sexual misconduct.

Collins said Grant had secretly recorded every disturbing word, and he didn’t know his wife was wearing a wire until she told him after one of those sessions.

“She took me into a stairwell, and she told me there,” Collins said. “She revealed that–she said, ‘I recorded. I was wearing a wire. I recorded that session.’ … and she said, ‘Here’s our settlement. You’re going to sign it now. Or … that recording is going to find its way to the media.’”

“I’ve always said this, marriage is absolutely unfathomable,” he added. “You think you understand someone else’s marriage, nobody does. Nobody does.”

Grant denies being the source of the leak, and in a statement to ABC News Friday, she said, “Stephen’s statements about me are false and appear to be an attempt by him to deflect from his conduct. I sincerely hope Stephen gets the help he needs.”

But the fallout from the leaked audio recordings was fast for Collins. He was dropped from a recurring role on ABC’s Scandal and fired from the soon-to-be-released movie, Ted 2.

In talking with Couric, Collins described an inappropriate encounter with one of the underage girls, saying he knew he had done something “unthinkably wrong” that he couldn’t take back.

Collins said there were two times in 1973 where he exposed himself to the “young woman.” He was 25 years old at the time, and she was 10.

According to Collins, the underage girl had come to visit and stay with him and his first wife, and after his wife had gone to sleep, he and the girl were watching TV together.

“And I took her hand and moved it in such a way that she was touching me inappropriately,” he said. “I knew that something unthinkably wrong had just happened that I couldn’t take back, And I–I think we both just sat there. We really didn’t move a muscle.”

“And after about–what I recall was about 45 seconds, I took her hand and moved it back,” Collins continued. “I waited a couple of minutes, because I just didn’t know what to do or say. And then I got up and left the room.”

Collins also confessed to exposing himself to a 13-year-old girl in 1982, the same year he met Grant on the set of Tales of the Gold Monkey, and to a third girl, a 14-year-old, in 1994. But he said “there was no physical contact of any kind with either of them.”

“The look on the one in 1982 was such that it immediately… just stopped everything cold,” he said. “It was clear that she was disoriented and frightened, and that just made me want to stop and cover up, and I did.”

“It was not exciting. It was not gratifying. There was no gratification,” he added.

For the past 20 years, Collins said he has been in intensive therapy, which has included therapeutic workshops, religious counseling and a 12-step program. In discussing his difficult past, Collins speculated that the reason he committed these acts was because of something he experienced in his own childhood.

“The thing that makes the most sense to me, and it’s not an excuse, because none of this is an excuse… but I did have someone in my life when I was between the age of about 10 and 15, an older woman, who repeatedly exposed herself to me,” Collins said.

Collins said that older woman would appear in “various states of undress, or complete undress” on several occasions.

“And I think that that distorted my perception in such a way that some part of me thought–because–I never felt like I was molested. Never occurred to me, that word never crossed my mind as a 10- to 15-year-old boy. It was a very intense experience. But I think somewhere in my brain I got the equation of, ‘well, this isn’t so terrible. I mean this person who I trust is doing it,’” he said.

“It’s not why I did it,” Collins continued. “I’m not blaming her … I’m just saying, I think that’s an aspect that went into my own distorted thinking as a young man.”

When asked why he did these things, Collins said, “It was a combination of poor impulse control, arrogance, 25-year-old arrogance.”

“I think it is about power, but not consciously,” he said. “There is a statement that says ‘figuring it out is the booby prize.’ Now that sounds odd. What that means to a lot of people in recovery is you can figure it out, you can intellectually understand it, but what’s important is what your behavior is. I’m still in regular therapy. I always will be out of respect for those women and it’s just not going to happen again and it hasn’t and I feel very confident that it won’t.”

Until now, Collins had kept a low public profile, avoiding questions about the scandal and his nasty divorce to Faye Grant. He said he wanted to do this interview because he hoped it will help him move forward.

“The truth [is] painful and it is less painful than the stuff that was flying around the Internet and some of the rumors, and I feel very, very sure that these things are behind me,” he said.

But Collins said he is constantly atoning for the harm he caused three young girls years ago.

I think of those women–every day,” he said. “And I would say, ‘With all my heart, I am sorry for what I put you through… and I want you to know… that nothing like that will ever happen again.’”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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