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Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) — Oscar Pistorius’ neighbors could have heard the terrified screams of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp the night she was shot to death, an expert conceded under cross-examination Tuesday.

On Tuesday, defense attorneys for Pistorius called on acoustics expert Ivan Lin to bolster claims that neighbors were wrong when they said they had heard the screams of a woman on the night of the shooting. Instead, the defense suggested that the neighbors had heard Pistorius’ cries after realizing that he had fatally shot Steenkamp.

Prosecutors allege that Pistorius, 27, a champion paralympic sprinter known as the Blade Runner, and Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, were fighting the night of the shooting, with a woman’s screams potentially bolstering that claim. The defense has claimed that the screams came from a grief-stricken Pistorius.

Pistorius admits that he shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in the middle of the night, but insists he believed he was shooting at an intruder.

After cross-examination by chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel, however, Lin conceded that he could not definitively say what the neighbors actually heard, even after conducting tests for no

Pistorius’ manager Peet van Zyl also took the stand Tuesday, testifying that the athlete — nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic legs — planned to take Steenkamp to his athletic events in England and Brazil, the first time Pistorius had made such a request.

He wanted Steenkamp to understand his world, Van Zyl said.

Pistorius also hoped to take Steenkamp to an Andrea Bocelli concert in Tuscany, the manager said.

Van Zyl says he was planning the trip hours before he received a call about the shooting.

Van Zyl recalled two occasions when Pistorius lost his temper, including an interview when Pistorius was accused of cheating for wanting to compete against able-bodied athletes.

Pistorius often drove over the speed limit and carried a gun because “he was fearing for his own safety,” Van Zyl said.

At the time of the shooting, Pistorius was on the brink of raking in five to six times the money than before the London Olympics due to his heightened profile.

“I think people will agree that the London Olympics was about two people, Husain Bolt and Oscar Pistorius,” Van Zyl said. Bolt was the top sprinter at the Olympics.

Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder.

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iStock/Thinkstock(DALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.) — A fatal hit-and-run investigation in Michigan has now turned into a homicide investigation, after authorities say a jogger was mysteriously shot to death while exercising.

Rebekah Bletsch, 36, was found Sunday along a quiet country road less than a mile away from her home in Dalton Township, an 8,000-population township in the western part of the state.

Despite efforts to resuscitate her, the wife and mother was pronounced dead at the scene.

The physical therapist’s last contact with a family member was around 5 p.m., officials said. She was found a little over an hour later, fatally wounded, with her headphones and cellphone arm band, leaving authorities to believe she was out for a run or jog.

Investigators initially suspected a hit-and-run death. “The first witnesses that found her thought she had been hit by a car until some evidence pointed us in the other direction,” Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler said.

Investigators say the evidence included shell casings near Bletsch’s body, as well as a small bullet wound.

The wife and mother had been shot in the head.

Now, Michigan State Police are forming a task force with the Sheriff’s Office to investigate the death, Dalton Township’s first homicide of the year.

Relatives are devastated by Bletsch’s death. “There’s no scenario that makes sense, can bring any kind of understanding to what transpired,” Tim Donkin, her husband’s uncle, said.

Bletsch was found with several valuables, making robbery an unlikely motive.

Her husband and 11-year-old daughter were out of town during the time of the shooting, and investigators say her husband is not a suspect.

Donkin described Bletsch as vibrant, the kind of person who would always bring a smile to people’s faces.

“She was always willing to pitch in and help, always seemed to be concerned about others,” he said. “Becky was not just a person running down the road — she had a life.”

Police are now checking Bletsch’s cellphone records to uncover whether she was in contact with anyone before the shooting.

Bletsch’s autopsy results, which are expected back Tuesday, could also provide clues.

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Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) — Oscar Pistorius’ neighbors could have heard the terrified screams of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp the night she was shot to death, an expert conceded under cross-examination Tuesday.

On Tuesday, defense attorneys for Pistorius called on acoustics expert Ivan Lin to bolster claims that neighbors were wrong when they said they had heard the screams of a woman on the night of the shooting. Instead, the defense suggested that the neighbors had heard Pistorius’ cries after realizing that he had fatally shot Steenkamp.

Prosecutors allege that Pistorius, 27, a champion paralympic sprinter known as the Blade Runner, and Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, were fighting the night of the shooting, with a woman’s screams potentially bolstering that claim. The defense has claimed that the screams came from a grief-stricken Pistorius.

Pistorius admits that he shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in the middle of the night, but insists he believed he was shooting at an intruder.

After cross-examination by chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel, however, Lin conceded that he could not definitively say what the neighbors actually heard, even after conducting tests for no

Pistorius’ manager Peet van Zyl also took the stand Tuesday, testifying that the athlete — nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic legs — planned to take Steenkamp to his athletic events in England and Brazil, the first time Pistorius had made such a request.

He wanted Steenkamp to understand his world, Van Zyl said.

Pistorius also hoped to take Steenkamp to an Andrea Bocelli concert in Tuscany, the manager said.

Van Zyl says he was planning the trip hours before he received a call about the shooting.

Van Zyl recalled two occasions when Pistorius lost his temper, including an interview when Pistorius was accused of cheating for wanting to compete against able-bodied athletes.

Pistorius often drove over the speed limit and carried a gun because “he was fearing for his own safety,” Van Zyl said.

At the time of the shooting, Pistorius was on the brink of raking in five to six times the money than before the London Olympics due to his heightened profile.

“I think people will agree that the London Olympics was about two people, Husain Bolt and Oscar Pistorius,” Van Zyl said. Bolt was the top sprinter at the Olympics.

Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Migraine headaches are not just debilitating to sufferers but to the people around them as well, according to research from New York City’s Montefiore Headache Center.

Study author Dawn Buse was already familiar with the toll migraines take within a family through first-hand accounts but decided to quantify just how devastating the effects can be.

With help from a survey company, Buse and her team did research on 1,000 people, about 80 percent of them women, who complained of chronic migraines that last at least 15 days a month.

After migraine sufferers, their spouses and children filled out a questionnaire, three quarters of those with headaches said they would be better spouses and six in ten believe they’d be better parents if they were migraine-free in both instances.

Another major finding: people with chronic migraines admit they are more easily annoyed and miss out on families activities, including vacations, because of the condition.

Buse says the study shows that migraines, “are burdensome and difficult, not only for the people who live with it but also for the people they love.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Migraine headaches are not just debilitating to sufferers but to the people around them as well, according to research from New York City’s Montefiore Headache Center.

Study author Dawn Buse was already familiar with the toll migraines take within a family through first-hand accounts but decided to quantify just how devastating the effects can be.

With help from a survey company, Buse and her team did research on 1,000 people, about 80 percent of them women, who complained of chronic migraines that last at least 15 days a month.

After migraine sufferers, their spouses and children filled out a questionnaire, three quarters of those with headaches said they would be better spouses and six in ten believe they’d be better parents if they were migraine-free in both instances.

Another major finding: people with chronic migraines admit they are more easily annoyed and miss out on families activities, including vacations, because of the condition.

Buse says the study shows that migraines, “are burdensome and difficult, not only for the people who live with it but also for the people they love.”

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General Motors(NEW YORK) — The numbers are staggering.

In the first six months of this year, General Motors announced the recall of more than 29 million cars, including a new recall on Monday of 8.2 million more vehicles. That’s the largest number of recalls ever in one year by a single auto manufacturer. It’s also more cars recalled than what has been sold by the company in the last six years.

Still, customers appear to remain loyal to GM despite surpassing the record for single-year safety fixes. GM’s new car sales have not been hit hard by the dent to its reputation as the automaker announced Tuesday that it sold 260,000 cars in June, an increase of one percent from a year ago and beyond the expectations on Wall Street.

Though plagued by millions of recalls, the company said the first half of this year was its best since 2008. The company’s stock also remains largely unaffected.

The company says it will take an additional $500 million charge against earnings to pay for the newest recalls. So far, GM has said it will spend $2.5 billion to fix safety problems. But this does not include the newly announced compensation fund for victims of crashes linked to flawed vehicles.

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General Motors(NEW YORK) — The numbers are staggering.

In the first six months of this year, General Motors announced the recall of more than 29 million cars, including a new recall on Monday of 8.2 million more vehicles. That’s the largest number of recalls ever in one year by a single auto manufacturer. It’s also more cars recalled than what has been sold by the company in the last six years.

Still, customers appear to remain loyal to GM despite surpassing the record for single-year safety fixes. GM’s new car sales have not been hit hard by the dent to its reputation as the automaker announced Tuesday that it sold 260,000 cars in June, an increase of one percent from a year ago and beyond the expectations on Wall Street.

Though plagued by millions of recalls, the company said the first half of this year was its best since 2008. The company’s stock also remains largely unaffected.

The company says it will take an additional $500 million charge against earnings to pay for the newest recalls. So far, GM has said it will spend $2.5 billion to fix safety problems. But this does not include the newly announced compensation fund for victims of crashes linked to flawed vehicles.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Search engine giant Google could face a multitude of lawsuits after the U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to hear its appeal about allegedly violating the U.S. Wiretap Act in regards to its Street View mapping.

Google was accused of violating the wiretap law after emails, passwords and other data from unencrypted in-home Wi-Fi networks were inadvertently scooped up during the mapping.

In 2013, the company agreed to pay a $7 million fine for collecting personal data in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

Although Google promised to destroy the information it collected and promised to educate people on securing wireless networks, it filed an appeal, asking for an exemption from the Wiretap Act.

However, the high court’s rejection of the appeal lets stand a lower court ruling that protects privacy, meaning Google can be sued over the matter.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — North Korea is still open for Western tourists, according to the agencies that organize such trips, despite word that at least two Americans are being prosecuted there.

“If you’re looking for a vacation that comes with bragging rights, you’ve found it!” New Jersey-based Uri Tours’ website beckons.

“Nobody parties like the Workers Party of Korea!” New Korea Tours of Connecticut proclaims.

“We don’t know 100% [if hotel rooms are not bugged] but hey, that’s part of the excitement and mystery of such a journey!” the FAQ section of Pyongyang Travel, based in Germany, reassures.

The excitement and mystery have probably worn off for Americans like Kenneth Bae, who has been detained since 2012, and, most recently, Matthew Miller, 24 (who took an Uri tour), and Jeffrey Fowle, 56, who are reportedly being put on trial in the Hermit Kingdom for so-called “hostile acts.”

Bae, a Korean-American, has voiced concern over his deteriorating health, and his family has sought the help of U.S. citizens, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to get him out, to no avail.

Miller and Fowle were reportedly detained for separate infractions, and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that the United States has “humanitarian concern” for their safety.

U.S. tourist and Korean War veteran Merrill Newman, 85, was also held for a month last year, getting pulled from a plane Oct. 26 while preparing to leave the Communist nation after a 10-day tour. North Korea finally let him leave after he apologized for training and advising a U.S.-led North Korean partisan unit during the war.

The men didn’t visit for lack of warning by the United States. While North Korea welcomes U.S. tourism (just not journalists or professional photographers), the State Department’s latest travel warning for the country, issued May 20, 2014, strongly recommends against traveling there, citing the inability of tour groups to get visitors out of dangerous situations.

“Do not assume that joining a group tour or use of a tour guide will prevent your arrest or detention by North Korean authorities,” the warning states. “Efforts by private tour operators to prevent or resolve past detentions of U.S. citizens in the DPRK have not succeeded in gaining their release.”

And yet glossy websites still advertise the allure of skiing the Masik Pass, witnessing celebrations of what’s known as “Victory Day,” commemorating the cessation of Korean War hostilities, and even ringing in the New Year with the “Pyongyang Bell.”

And a number of Americans — albeit a dwindling one — are still drawn to North Korea each year out of sheer adventurism, interest in international relations or, in the case of Bae, a desire to expose the citizens of North Korea, where religion is forbidden, to Christianity and other faiths.

It’s that last goal that particularly riles the country’s dictator Kim Jong-un, said Mike Green, a member of President George W. Bush’s National Security Council and an Asia expert, noting that the Kim dynasty has gone to great lengths to portray itself as a sort of holy family.

“This is in some ways even more threatening than to a normal Communist regime because we’re not talking about religion versus godlessness; but we’re talking about the Kim family being gods,” Green said.

Fowle, who entered North Korea April 29, is accused of leaving a Bible in his hotel room, a criminal act in the country, although his family says he was not there on a mission for his church.

Miller, on the other hand, reportedly tore up his tourist visa upon entry on April 10, shouting that he wanted to seek asylum, which North Korea says was “rash behavior” and a “gross violation of its legal order.”

Tour groups who encourage Americans to visit North Korea say these are highly irregular situations, and that Americans in North Korea are usually treated with open arms.

“In more than 10 years of operation we have never before had an incident concerning the safety of our travelers,” Uri Tours wrote in a blog post shortly after news broke of Miller’s detention.

“Nobody can avoid certain crazy people who can get in any tourist group,” said “Mark,” a director for New Korea Tours who would not give his last name when reached on the phone.

“I think that if you follow instructions, certain rules, and you behave professionally, you will be out of danger,” he continued.

But it’s probably best, Psaki of the State Department said Monday, to stay out of the country altogether.

“The reason we provide information about a range of countries is to ensure people know what circumstances they’re walking into,” Psaki said, adding that while she didn’t have the travel warning in front of her, “I can assure you that it suggests strongly not to travel at all to North Korea.”

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Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — For years, Americans have been skeptical about whether the president and Congress really have their best interests at heart while the Supreme Court has appeared to keep their trust.

That can’t be said any longer, according to a new Gallup poll.

Americans’ faith in the high court has sunk to a new low with just three in ten now having confidence in the judicial branch.

It’s a far cry from 1988 when 56 percent said they had confidence in the Supreme Court. However, it’s been a slow, steady decline since then. In the last poll two years ago, 37 percent viewed the high court in a positive light.

As usual, Congress takes the biggest hit with a mere seven percent of respondents in the Gallup poll expressing confidence in D.C. lawmakers, a record low.

Meanwhile, President Obama has also seen his numbers tumble since first taking office in 2009 with just 29 percent expressing confidence in his performance, his lowest numbers in six years.

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