Review Category : National News

Man Bitten by Pet King Cobra Fighting for Life

ABC News(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) — A North Carolina man is now fighting for his life after he was bitten by a king cobra snake he apparently kept as a pet, according to officials.

After he sustained the snake bite on Monday evening, Ali Iyoob tried to drive to a hospital for help. But he didn’t make it very far, according to the 911 call he made, obtained by ABC News.

“My vision’s kinda blurry,” Iyoob said on the call. “I’m sweating like crazy. I’m like panicking. I feel nauseous.”

Iyoob then apparently pulled over on a highway, where paramedics found him nearly unconscious, officials for Orange County Emergency Services told ABC station WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham. He was rushed to University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, officials added.

Iyoob remains in critical condition this afternoon, UNC Health Care spokesman Tom Hughes told ABC News.

King cobras are the world’s longest venomous snakes and can grow up to 18 feet, according to National Geographic. They can deliver enough venom in a bite to kill 20 people or an elephant.

Officers with Orange County Animal Services are currently working in coordination with several other agencies to remove the king cobra and around 20 other snakes Iyoob apparently was keeping as his house, communications specialist with the agency, Andi Morgan, told ABC News. She said further information would be made available at a later time.

In a statement released Tuesday, the agency said that its staff was “working closely” with other agencies to to determine if any state statues were violated.

“If a violation is confirmed, Animal Services will coordinate with those organizations to identify, seize, and care for the reptiles,” the statement said. “If no state violation is present, Animal Services will work internally to devise the best plan for the removal of the snakes. County ordinance does not permit the keeping of venomous or constricting snakes inside Orange County.”

Animal Services officials added it had “no reason to believe there is a reason for public safety concerns.”

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New Wind Energy Permits Would Raise Kill Limit of Bald Eagles But Still Boost Conservation, Officials Say

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new plan Wednesday that would allow energy companies to operate with permits lasting up to 30 years, while also raising the number of bald eagles they can kill or injure per year without incurring hefty penalties to 4,200, which is nearly four times the current limit.

A source within the Obama administration said this is the best plan put forward to actually help conservation efforts, maintaining this new proposal is a “strong protection” for bald and golden eagles.

Currently, wind power companies can hold permits for five years at a time, which, according to the source, doesn’t give companies good financial footing. By extending the permit to 30 years, it can encourage the development of wind energy, a key source of renewable power that has increased exponentially in recent years. The 30-year permits would still have to be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill or injure.

The proposal will grant access to critical data about eagles, the source said. It will also allow the administration to work with companies in where the companies place their machines — hopefully to help avoid possible eagle populations.

“The permitting system gives us access to eagles and eagle mortalities that we wouldn’t otherwise have,” the source said. “It’s a great mechanism for us to work proactively to prevent eagle deaths.”

Under the new proposal, companies would pay a $36,000 fee for a permit, which exempts them from the hefty penalties for killing or injuring eagles. Companies would have to commit to take additional measures if they kill or injure more eagles than estimated, or if new information suggests eagle populations are being affected.

Wednesday’s announcement kicks off a 60-day comment period. The source said the administration will consider public comments and issue a final rule by the end of the year.

The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates there are about 143,000 bald eagles and 40,000 golden eagles in the United States.

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Humpback Whale’s Dramatic Entrance Captured on Video

ABC News(KETCHIKAN, Alaska) — Up close and personal with a humpback whale.

Dramatic footage captured at an Alaskan fishing ground shows the majestic mammal emerging from the water in all its glory, much to the delight, or perhaps fright, of onlookers.

Whale sightings are not uncommon in Alaska, where whale-watching tours are easy to find. But seeing one at a dock was the real shocker.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game points out that humpbacks returning from their winter migrations — as many as 500 at a time — tend to converge along the state’s southeastern coast where food is in vast supply.

The Knudson Cove Marina in the coastal city of Ketchikan, where the whale was spotted, is reportedly home to large schools of herring. As the herring move closer to the docks to hide from their prey, the hungry humpbacks, in hot pursuit, follow.

“Feeding occurs almost exclusively during the summer months,” the department adds, explaining that the animal rarely feeds while migrating to tropical waters during the winter season.

“Each humpback whale eats up to 1.5 tons of food per day that consists mainly of euphausiids (krill), and various small schooling fishes.”

Over its lifespan of 40 to 50 years, the department estimates, the endangered species may grow up to 49 feet and weigh as much as 35 tons.

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Movers Allegedly Rob Family of Their Belongings

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images(DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga.) — A Georgia familysays that the movers they hired to ship their possessions on Friday disappeared, taking with them nearly everything they own.

“We built a life here, memories. We have items that are irreplaceable on that truck,” the homeowner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told ABC News affiliate WSB-TV.

Lieutenant Glenn Daniel of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to ABC News that they are investigating the incident as a theft, and said that Atlanta police recovered the U-Haul in a Southwest Atlanta neighborhood a few hours after it was reported missing, only to find a barren truck.

“They showed up and loaded the furnishings onto the truck and told the victims they’d meet them at their new residence,” Daniel told ABC News. “But then they never showed up.”

The victims say that their missing belongings are valued at approximately $75,000. The only items to have been recovered so far are “personal items,” which were found in a box.

“If I don’t get anything back, I want that box, because it has all of our social security, birth certificates in it. It has death records from my mom and son,” the homeowner said. “Of course, I had iPads and phones that were gone, but all the birth certificates, and all the records that I really needed were in that box, including my Bible, thank God.”

The family hired the moving company through Craigslist, according to Daniel. Craigslist did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Scott Michael, president and CEO of the American Moving & Storage Association, told ABC News, “It’s important to not to believe everything you see on the Internet.” He advised that movers do research before hiring a company, “especially since you’re hiring someone to take all your worldly possessions across town or cross country.”

“You should get at least three, free written estimates,” he said. “Avoid any that are too high or too low. Show the movers everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement, and including any sheds, garages and storage areas. Stay away from any companies that require a large deposit or payment up front. Choose a mover with a physical location near you, and consider visiting their facility. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something.”

He added: “A reputable mover will want to make sure you get all the answers you need. Read all documents carefully, make sure you get a copy of everything you sign, and never sign any blank forms. Keep all personal papers, including birth certificates, with you, as well as your phone.”

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‘Captain America’ Star Anthony Mackie Has Huge Surprise for Langley Air Force Base

Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage via GettyImages(NEW YORK) — Good Morning America received unprecedented access to the historic Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, the oldest in the country, celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Correspondent Jesse Palmer, along with our “GMA” television crew, is the first ever inside this national security nerve center, the Air Force surveillance operations where men and women keep watch over extensive drone surveillance of the Middle East every day.

“We’re looking at 560 hours of video, pieces of intelligence information to go to the war fighter, the president,” an officer explained to Palmer while showing him around the base.

After witnessing the critical work being done on the ground, it was time to see what the Air Force can do in the sky. But, first, Palmer had to get proper training.

He geared up to get down to business in true “Top Gun” style with Capt. Michael “Jigga” Watts.

“This is the real thing now,” Palmer said as he sat in the jet before takeoff. “The heart is starting to race.”

Then it was liftoff, where Palmer was taken aback by doing three of the iconic 360-degree aileron rolls in a row, with top speeds of 7.7 Gs.

“That is like being on the craziest roller coaster,” Palmer said.

But once back on the ground, Palmer had a huge “Captain America” superhero surprise for the brave men and women on the base. Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon in “Captain America: Civil War,” surprised the unsuspecting airmen and airwomen.

The crowd roared, jumping up and down and high-fiving Mackie as he ran down the line where they were standing.

“Airmen and women, yes!” he shouted.

Mackie, a former U.S. Air Force pararescueman himself, wanted to do something special for the Air Force so he joined Palmer at Langley Air Force Base. He, too, has flown in F16s and said it was “the scariest experience of my life.”

“I didn’t fly on the F22 which is by far the more superior plane,” Mackie added, while telling Palmer that he beat his flight’s speed on the F16. “I pulled 10 Gs. I broke the sound barrier.”

Mackie also explained why he is thrilled for fans to see the highly anticipated new “Captain America” film.

“Playing a character that’s an airmen, I think it’s great for people to see the camaraderie, the brotherhood of the U.S. military,” he explained. “When you have a common understanding of the experience and things like that, you appreciate each other.

“If you look at ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier,’ I was an airman in that movie, and then because HYDRA infiltration the S.H.I.E.L.D. I kind of lose my appreciation for government office,” he added. “When in this movie it comes up, do you side with the government or do you side with civil liberties? I side with civil liberties because we don’t know what their hidden agenda is.”

Mackie, 37, also had one more surprise up his sleeve for the men and women on base.

“Being a fellow airmen, you guys are more brave than I am because you’re airmen and women for real. We have a screening for you guys of “Captain America: Civil War” and I’m excited that you guys get to see it.”

They will get to attend a private screening of the film with Mackie today before it hits theaters nationwide Friday.

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Buffalo Zoo Names New Otter Pups Luke and Leia on ‘Star Wars Day’

iStock/Thinkstock(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — Two North American river otter pups at the Buffalo Zoo in New York have been named Luke and Leia to celebrate “Star Wars Day,” the zoo announced Wednesday.

On “behalf of the otter pups, the Zoo would like to say, ‘May the 4th be with you,'” the zoo told ABC News in a news release.

Luke and Leia were born earlier this year on Feb. 28, the zoo said. Their mother is an 11-year-old river otter named Ellie, and their father is a 9-year-old river otter named Rascal, the zoo added.

“Since their birth two months ago, Ellie has once again demonstrated attentive maternal care, including teaching them to swim in an inside pool adjacent to their den,” the zoo said. “Based on positive observations, Zoo staff is pleased to report that the public may get a glimpse of the pups in Otter Creek between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. daily, weather-dependent.”

According to the zoo, conservation efforts in the 1990s “have brought the North American river otter population to a stable status in the wild, after being on the verge of extinction.”

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Texas Gunman Kills Co-Worker, Self After Job Termination

iStock/Thinkstock(KATY, Texas) — Texas law enforcement officials say an active shooter situation at a trucking company outside of Houston is now under control.

Police responded Wednesday morning to a call at Knight Transportation in Katy, Texas, where a former employee reportedly shot one person and wounded another before taking his own life. He had been fired earlier in the day, according to police.

“It appears it may have been a disgruntled employee that was terminated earlier today,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said Wednesday morning. “Preliminary reports are that we have one employee who was shot and one who is wounded. The shooter, I believe has taken his own life.”

Police have not released the names of the gunman or the victims.

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Girls’ Night Out Transformed by Building Homes for Women in Need

Design Pics/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — This week, women are turning their girls’ nights out into chances to help families in need by building them homes.

Good Morning America correspondent Abbie Boudreau recently joined more than 100 women in San Diego to kick off a 10-city “Girls’ Night Out” tour in which women grabbed hammers and tools to build homes for those in need.

The tour is part of National Women Build Week, a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s, a GMA sponsor.

“It’s a special night because you have women who are empowered to build,” said Lori Pfeiler, the president of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.

The San Diego “Girls’ Night Out” event saw the women start a frame for a two-story home for a local veteran and learn construction lessons like what size hammer to use and how to get the perfect cut when sawing.

For Brittney Anthony, a single mom of four boys, living in a cramped three-bedroom apartment in Indianapolis led her to dream of owning her own home with more space.

Anthony is now watching her dream turn into a reality thanks to Habitat for Humanity, which is building Anthony a five-bedroom home with a yard for her boys to play in.

“I’m just filled with so much joy,” said Anthony, one of 1,000 families that will receive a Habitat for Humanity home this year.

Anthony’s home began to take shape with the help of 60 volunteers giving four hours of their time.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Anthony said of the effort. “It just means the world to me and my boys and to support this dream of mine.”

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Flint Family of 7 Forced to Cook, Bathe With Bottled Water

iStock/Thinkstock(FLINT, Mich.) — The city of Flint is in crisis.

For more than a year, the water flowing through the pipes under the city of Flint, Michigan, was coming from the Flint River. The corrosive water was not treated properly to prevent the decades-old pipes from corroding and leaching lead into the city’s water supply.

This water made its way into homes, hospitals and schools. Nearly 100,000 residents have been affected.

Residents Jacob Uherek, Jamila Marshall and their children cannot safely drink or use the water coming out of their faucets. They must rely on bottled water for drinking, bathing and cooking.

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FBI Nabs Man Suspected of Poisoning Produce at Grocery Store

iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — The FBI has arrested a Michigan man for allegedly spraying a poisonous mixture of chemicals on food at three grocery stores in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The FBI and Michigan Health Department are now looking at whether anyone was seriously ill from the low-scale chemical attack to contaminate food.

Authorities believe the unidentified suspect targeted at least three grocery stores in the past two weeks: Whole Foods, Meijer and Plum Market. Law enforcement officials are also now trying to determine whether he victimized other stores with his toxic mixture of hand-cleaner, water and Tomcat mice poison.

“What if he’s been doing this for weeks, or months, or even years, and just suddenly someone saw him?” one concerned citizen said. “Makes you think about everything you buy all the time.”

The suspect may have mental health issues, and so far there is no indication of terrorism, sources said.

The FBI had released photos of the suspect Sunday, seeking the public’s help in identifying him.

“The FBI and Ann Arbor Police want to thank the media for bringing attention to this matter, and the public for their assistance,” the FBI said in a statement Tuesday.

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