Review Category : National News

Southwest Jet Turns Back After Smoke Reported in Cabin

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) — A Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight returned to Austin minutes after takeoff Sunday due to a report of smoke in the cabin, an airline spokesperson confirmed.

Flight 4625 left Austin at 9:18 p.m. Central Time. The smoke was reported after takeoff — and the plane turned back, landing after 9:30 p.m., according to FlightAware.

Firefighters responded to Austin Bergstrom International Airport after the plane landed, ABC affiliate KVUE reports.

According to a Southwest Airlines spokesperson, passengers boarded onto a new plane and arrived in Dallas about two hours behind schedule.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737, was taken out of service for inspection. No one was injured, and the cause of the situation remains under investigation.

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US Military Once Planned on Building Surveillance System on the Moon

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The United States military once planned to build a surveillance station on the moon, according to a report code-named “Project Horizon.”

The declassified report– released Sunday on the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic moonwalk– outlines the military’s detailed plans to install a moon-to-Earth surveillance system that would have been used for “facilitating communications with and observation of the earth.”

The report that was originally published in 1959 exceeds 100 pages.

Project Horizon also included a proposal to build a moon-based weapons system that would have allowed the military to launch offensives from the moon towards Earth and even into outer space.

The declassified documents also reveal that the military attempted to investigate the effects of detonating a nuclear weapon on and in the vicinity of the moon.

Although no such detonation occurred, the report tries to speculate the effects nuclear radiation would have had on alien lifeforms.

Another declassified report called “The Kidnapping of the Lunik” details how American operatives stole and later returned a Soviet space capsule called the Lunik during a Soviet exhibition tour in order to gather intelligence on Soviet space capability.

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NYPD Cop’s Chokehold May Not Have Caused Serious Injury to Man’s Throat

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A man who died after a New York City police officer took him to the ground in a chokehold appeared to have little damage to his neck and trachea, according to preliminary autopsy results, a law enforcement source said, but that may not be enough to keep him from being disciplined or even facing criminal charges.

Eric Garner, who was 6 feet 3 inches tall and about 350 pounds, died Thursday after police struggled to arrest him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island, according to the NYPD. Police said he appeared to suffer a heart attack.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, an 8-year veteran who was seen in a video that has sparked outrage putting Garner in a chokehold, has been placed on “modified assignment,” meaning he was stripped of his badge and gun, pending the outcome of the dual probes by the district attorney and Internal Affairs.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had announced Friday that the cop and his partner were on “desk duty,” but they still had their guns and shields.

A chokehold is a violation of NYPD police, regardless of whether the move causes any damage, but beyond that, prosecutors and police investigators will be looking at whether it caused or contributed to Garner’s death about an hour after he was taken into custody.

The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said Sunday it had not reached any finding on Garner’s cause of death.

“At this time, no determination has been made by the Medical Examiner’s office as to the cause and manner of death of Eric Garner,” ME spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said. “The cause and manner of death are pending further studies, and no findings will be released until the investigation is complete. Any other information or suggestion to the contrary is simply not true.”

Official preliminary results could come in the next few days.

Garner was arrested in Staten Island after he was allegedly seen selling “loosie” cigarettes, police said. Garner was known for selling individual cigarettes for 50 cents each in his Staten Island neighborhood.

Police said the cigarettes come from North Carolina and Garner is the end of the supply line. Because the Staten Island man allegedly sold cigarettes to children, the police called the cigarettes a “quality of life” issue in the neighborhood.

Garner’s death has led to outrage, especially after video obtained by the New York Daily News appeared to show that the man was put into a chokehold as he was arrested.

The chokehold is prohibited by NYPD departmental policy.

Mayor Bill De Blasio called the video of the arrest “very troubling” and delayed a planned vacation for a day after hearing about the incident. De Blasio said NYPD internal affairs and the local district attorney were investigating the incident.

The video shows officers approaching Garner, who initially denies that he’s selling loose cigarettes.

“I’m minding my business why don’t you leave me alone,” Garner can be heard saying.

Eventually when police officers move in, Garner appears to not comply and at least five officers wrestle him to the ground as they attempt to handcuff him.

As Garner is being held down, he can be heard telling police that he “can’t breathe.” Eventually when officers realize he is not responsive, they called in an ambulance, which took Garner to a hospital where he died a short time later.

The apparent violence of the arrest led to outrage and the internal investigation. On line, numerous people tweeted #JusticeforEricGarner, calling attention to the deadly incident.

Policeman’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, questioned by ABC News about what constitutes an appropriate use of force, said the public should not rush to judge before the official investigation is concluded.

“At times, when officers are required to make an arrest, they must employ the use of force in order to get compliance from an individual who NYPD policy requires must be rear-cuffed for transport to a precinct,” Lynch said. “Force, by its very nature, is an ugly thing to witness. Taken out of the context of what is happening, necessary force can be misinterpreted to be excessive by those who are not trained in law enforcement procedures.”

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Prisoners Hospitalized After Roof Collapses at Texas Jail

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Over one dozen prisoners have been hospitalized after part of a jail in Texas collapsed.

When portions of the roof collapsed at the Diboll Correctional Center– a privately-run jail near Houston– more than 80 inmates were temporarily trapped by debris.

Nineteen prisoners were taken to local hospitals, but Warden David Driskell says their injuries appear to be non-life-threatening.

The collapse was reportedly caused by water that built up on the roof after days of heavy rain in the area.

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Prisoners Hospitalized After Roof Collapses at Texas Jail

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Over one dozen prisoners have been hospitalized after part of a jail in Texas collapsed.

When portions of the roof collapsed at the Diboll Correctional Center– a privately-run jail near Houston– more than 80 inmates were temporarily trapped by debris.

Nineteen prisoners were taken to local hospitals, but Warden David Driskell says their injuries appear to be non-life-threatening.

The collapse was reportedly caused by water that built up on the roof after days of heavy rain in the area.

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NYPD Cop in Chokehold Death Loses Gun, Badge

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The New York Police Department says several officers are being investigated for alleged police brutality after video surfaced of at least one of the officers placing a suspect in a chokehold during an arrest.

Police say officer Daniel Pontaleo has been stripped of his gun and badge after video captured him allegedly chokeholding 43-year-old Eric Garner, who later died.

Police are investigating whether officers piled onto Garner after pinning him to the ground– a potential violation of NYPD policy. The video tape of the incident has gone viral.

An autopsy is being conducted on Garner, who died of an apparent heart attack.

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Sinkhole Opens Up in Florida

iStock/Thinkstock(SPRING HILL, Fla.) — A family remains out of its home after a sinkhole opened up in a Central Florida neighborhood.

The 120-foot wide and 30-foot deep sinkhole opened Saturday afternoon in Spring Hill.

“Out of nowhere the earth just went straight up in the air and exploded up in the air,” said Margaret Helmick, who lives in the neighborhood.

Police evacuated four homes but later allowed residents to return to three of them. The area was closed off until further notice.

Engineers were called out to assess the damage and the sinkhole may later be filled with sand and cement.

Officials say sinkholes are a way of life in Florida, where there have been nearly 300 ground depressions since 2010.

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Twenty-Two Shot in Chicago In 12 Hours; 11-Year Old Girl Among Dead

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Two people were killed and 20 others were wounded in a rash of gun violence over the course of 12 hours in Chicago, two weeks after the city was rocked by gunfire over the Independence Day holiday.

One of the victims was 11-year-old Shamiya Adams, who was shot in the head at a sleepover at a friend’s home in Chicago’s West Garfield Park neighborhood at around 9:35 p.m. Friday.

Adams was in a first floor bedroom when gunshots came in through the window, originating from somewhere outside the house, Chicago Police Department spokesman Officer Jose Estrada said.

Adams was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition where she was later pronounced dead, and police are investigating her death as a homicide.

Estrada told ABC News that 22 people were shot between the hours of 3 p.m. Friday and 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Of the people shot two were killed and twenty injured.

A second homicide occurred early Saturday morning at approximately 3 a.m. in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, where police found a man dead of multiple gunshot wounds, Estrada said.

The deadly 12-hour period comes in the wake of a violent Independence Day weekend, when shootings left nine dead and more than 60 injured in Chicago.

“We will keep building on our strategy, putting more officers on the street in summer months, proactively intervening in gang conflicts, partnering with community leaders,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement.

Marin Maloney at the Chicago Police Department’s Director of News Affairs did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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Bodies Found in Storage Unit Rented by Unlicensed Funeral Director

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — The bodies of 12 people have been discovered in a storage locker in Weymouth, Mass., and the cremated remains of another 40 people were found in another storage facility in Somerville, Mass.

Both storage units were rented by unlicensed funeral director Joseph O’Donnell.

Charlotte McLaughlin, of Quincy, Mass., wonders if one of those sets of cremated remains belongs to her father, who died in 2012. The family never received his ashes.

“I can’t believe somebody would take vulnerable people in this state of mind that they’re burying a loved one, and take complete advantage of their situation,” McLaughlin said.

O’Donnell is currently in jail, awaiting trial on two larceny charges to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say they are approaching this as a criminal investigation.

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Boy Battling Cancer Asks for Box of Birthday Cards

iStock/Thinkstock(FOXBORO, Mass.) — A 5-year-old Massachusetts boy battling cancer said all he wants for his upcoming birthday is a box of birthday cards.

Danny Nickerson, of Foxboro, Mass., will turn six on July 25. He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor this past October — one of the most chemotherapy-resistant cancers. As a result, he has since stopped going to kindergarten.

The boy gets lonely from time to time, and is always happy to get cards with his name written on them.

“He can recognize his name now,” Carley Nickerson, Danny’s mother told ABC News. “When he saw his name on the package from magical fairies on Easter, he was so happy.”

But the packages and cards stopped after Easter.

“He had 33 radiations from November through December last year,” Nickerson said. “We are now getting chemo therapy every two weeks.”

Doctors tell Nickerson that less than 10% of the children diagnosed with this type of cancer live longer than 18 months.

“I don’t really believe in that. He is doing great,” Nickerson said. “Every day is a blessing for us,”

So far, Danny has received about 40 letters.

“I gave him to key to the P.O. box,” Nickerson said. “He was so excited when he opened it.”

Nickerson said Danny loves Lego and Super Mario.

“I wish Lego makes Super Mario toys,” Nickerson chuckled. “That would really make him happy.”

Danny’s birthday is July 25. Cards can be mailed to: Danny Nickerson, P.O. Box 212, Foxboro, MA, 02035.

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