Review Category : National News

One Dead, Four Injured in Austin, Texas, Following Two Separate Overnight Shootings

iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN) — One person was fatally shot and four others were shot and injured in Austin, Texas, early Sunday morning, following two separate, unrelated incidents that put the city on edge, police said.

Initially police described the shootings as an “active shooter incident,” but later Sunday morning, that description was revoked.

In regards to the first incident, police received a call at 2:17 a.m. about multiple shots fired in downtown Austin. The suspect fired into a crowd on 6th Street, police said, adding that it is unknown if the shooter had a connection with any of the victims.

Police are actively looking for the suspect. A possible person of interest is still being questioned.

One person — a woman in her 30s — was fatally shot and died at the scene. Three other females — all in their 30s — who were shot and injured were transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin with serious, but not life-threatening injuries. The fifth person is a male who was injured but refused care, police said.

Police tweeted there were “separate shootings within the same area. Both scenes are secure at this time. PIO responding to identify staging area.”

Then, at 2:24, police received a call of an individual being assaulted in a parking garage elsewhere in downtown Austin. A weapon was pulled out and shots were fired, police said. But witnesses stopped the suspect, and took him down. The suspect, believed to be in his 20s, was then transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No one was struck by any bullets.

The only person injured in this incident is the suspect.

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13-Year-Old Dog Up for Adoption After Waiting Months Outside for Deceased Owner

Courtesy Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue(TEHACHAPI, Calif.) — An Australian Cattle Dog was rescued this month in California after waiting in the yard for his deceased owner, officials said.

Ricky Bobby, 13, was found outside a boarded-up home in Mojave, according to Zach Skow, founder and executive director at Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue in Tehachapi, California.

“We named him Ricky Bobby because it was ironic,” Skow wrote to ABC News, referring to the fictional race car driver from the movie “Talladega Nights.”

“He is so big and fat but when he walked on a leash, tried to run,” Skow said, noting that the dog is 108 pounds. “He likes to try and go fast, but just can’t quite get there.”

He was fed hamburgers and Spam by a neighbor who was helping the pooch survive. Ricky Bobby had been waiting out in the yard for his owner, who had died months before. A neighbor had alerted Skow about the dog’s situation, said Amy Klein, media liaison for Marley’s Mutts.

“At first, he was very defensive, but is now starting to warm up to everybody,” Klein told ABC News. “There’s no thyroid problem or nothing, nothing. He’s just obese. His foster mom is taking him for long walks and giving him the correct amount of food for a good diet.”

Klein said Ricky Bobby has become more trusting of shelter volunteers and is currently searching or a forever home.

“We WILL get him adopted,” Skow said in his email to ABC News.

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Muslim Family of Fallen Army Captain Responds to Trump: ‘Shame on Him’ YORK) — The grieving Khan family reacted Saturday night to Donald Trump’s latest comments, telling ABC News in an emotional interview that “running for president is not an entitlement to disrespect Gold Star families and [a] Gold Star mother.”

In his first response to a searing charge from bereaved Army father Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention that he’d “sacrificed nothing” for his country, Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he had in fact sacrificed by employing “thousands and thousands of people.” He also suggested that Khan’s wife Ghazala didn’t speak at the DNC because she was forbidden to as a Muslim and questioned whether Khan’s words were his own.

“Sacrifice — I don’t think he knows the meaning of sacrifice, the meaning of the word,” Ghazala Khan, mother of slain Army Captain Humayun Kahn said. “Because when I was standing there, all America felt my pain. Without saying a single word. Everybody felt that pain.”

While Ghazala Khan grew visibly upset, her husband, Khizr Khan was livid, urging Trump’s children to “tell him to learn to behave, learn to be decent.”

“Running for president is not an entitlement to disrespect Gold Star families and [a] Gold Star mother not realizing her pain. Shame on him! Shame on his family!” Khizr Khan said, struggling to hold back his anger. “He is not worthy of our comments. He has no decency. He is void of decency, he has a dark heart.”

In response to Trump’s suggestion that Ghazala Khan did not speak at the DNC because it was forbidden by her religion, she said Saturday the real reason she remained silent was her all-consuming grief.

“I didn’t feel anything except the pain,” she said through tears, before pleading: “Mr. Trump feel that pain and you will feel better. Please. I am very upset when I heard when he said that I didn’t say anything. I was in pain. If you were in pain you fight or you don’t say anything, I’m not a fighter, I can’t fight. So the best thing I do was quiet.”

Khizr Khan said he asked his wife of 42 years to speak, but she declined, knowing she would be too emotional.

“I invited her, would you like to say something on the stage when the invitation came, and she said, ‘You know how it is with me, how upset I get,'” he said.

Ghazala Khan went on to say that she’s sorry Trump doesn’t understand their faith.

“I don’t know what type of Islam he has read or heard. I’m so sorry about that, that he has not had any idea what the Islam is,” she said.

“My faith, Islam, has given us strength, all the woman and man are equal in God’s eyes. We are equal, we are the part of our husbands, they are the part of us. We can tell them what to do, they can tell us what to do,” she said, noting she was trying to calm her husband down during his speech at the DNC.

“Our religion tells us to be very peaceful, to love each other, to stay with each other, just don’t say bad things to your neighbor, or anyone. That’s why I was trying to calm my husband down. Don’t say anything about Mr. Trump! That’s his character, not ours,” she said. “We are proud of our religion and our family and our children and this country.”

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How the Chandra Levy Murder Has Become One of the Nation’s Most Intriguing Cold Cases

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — More than 15 years after the 2001 murder of 24-year-old Chandra Levy, a killer has still not been identified and brought to justice, turning the young woman’s death into perhaps one of the most intriguing cold case mysteries in the country.

Levy, a Washington, D.C., intern, had an affair with California Congressman Gary Condit before she went missing. An undocumented immigrant named Ingmar Guandique was convicted of her murder in 2010. Condit was dismissed as a suspect in the case.

But on Thursday, a judge dismissed charges against Guandique at the request of prosecutors. The U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia concluded that “it can no longer prove the murder case against Mr. Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Susan Levy, Chandra’s mother, told ABC News she is “in a state of shock” at the judge’s decision while the Metropolitan Police Department said it “will continue to pursue any new leads that are uncovered or brought to our attention.”

Here is everything you need to know about the case.

Who Was Chandra Levy?

Like thousands of other ambitious, young students, 24-year-old Chandra Ann Levy, who earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Southern California, came to Washington, D.C., determined to find a career in the federal government.

Levy had the help of a powerful man, Congressman Gary Condit, a friend of her family and a Democratic representative from her hometown of Modesto, California. With Condit’s help, Levy landed an internship in 2001 at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and settled into an apartment near D.C.’s Dupont Circle.

Levy seemed to be thriving, her family said, and her career plans were on track. She had scheduled a visit home for early May, but she never made it. On May 1, 2001, Levy vanished.

The Search and Investigation

Levy’s family contacted police when they were unable to reach her. Investigators found her cellphone in her apartment and discovered she had searched for jogging routes in Rock Creek Park. But a search of the park found nothing.

Levy’s father told police that his daughter had been dating Condit, a married man 30 years her senior. Condit admitted to the affair but said he had not seen Levy for over a week, claiming he knew nothing about her disappearance.

During the summer of 2001, the case became a national scandal that dominated the headlines as investigators focused on Condit. He offered little help to investigators, dodging camera crews and reporters trailing him and refusing to comment about his relationship with Levy or the police investigation. Condit was not charged in the case.

The case was pushed out of the spotlight after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but police continued to search for any sign of Levy, or of her remains.

In 2002, Levy’s body was discovered in a remote area of Washington’s Rock Creek Park, and police directed their attention on Guandique.

Guandique had already pleaded guilty to assaulting two other women at knifepoint in the park in incidents around the time that Levy vanished. But because there was little physical evidence, prosecutors did not charge Guandique with Levy’s murder until 2009.

Guandique was convicted in 2010 of killing Levy while she was running through Rock Creek Park. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

The Jailhouse Snitch

A key part of the prosecution’s 2010 case against Guandique relied on testimony from Guandique’s former cellmate. According to court papers, the cellmate said Guandique confessed to killing Levy. Last year, a judge granted Guandique a new trial because prosecutors failed to disclose that the cellmate had previous contacts with the prosecutors, and may have been testifying in hopes of a reduced sentence in his own case.

On Friday, more evidence was released that cast further doubt on the former cellmate’s truthfulness. Sources told ABC News that an actress named Babs Proller alerted authorities that the former cellmate, Armando Morales, told her he had not been truthful in his testimony. Proller reportedly taped the conversation, but ABC News has not been able to verify the contents of that tape. Still, more potential damage to the government’s key witness was enough to prompt prosecutors to abandon a new trial for Guandique.

What Happens Now?

Guandqiue’s sentence for his 2001 assault convictions would have expired in 2010, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

According to ICE sources familiar with deportation procedures, it is highly unlikely that Guandique will be a free man in the U.S. again, despite the fact he has now been cleared in Levy’s murder.

Guandique – an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador – is now being held on an immigration detainer, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. An ICE spokesperson said Thursday that agents would take Guandique into custody within two days and move him to a prison or jail in Virginia.

Guandique will then have a hearing to determine if he is eligible for bond prior to his deportation hearing. Since Guandique has been convicted of assaulting two women and served a 10-year sentence, the possibility of bail is very slim. Gaundique will then have a deportation hearing, and again, the likelihood is that he will be sent back to El Salvador, in custody, on an ICE flight.

What About Condit?

Condit’s attorney L. Lin Wood said Thursday that prosecutors deciding not to retry Guandique “in no way alters the fact that Mr. Condit was long ago completely exonerated by authorities in connection with Ms. Levy’s death.”

Wood added Friday that Condit’s counsel was informed Thursday by prosecutors that Condit “is neither a subject nor a target of the investigation into the murder of Chandra Levy.”

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16 Dead in Texas After Hot Air Balloon Hits Power Line, Catches Fire

iStock/Thinkstock(LOCKHART, Texas) — At least 16 people are feared dead after a large hot air balloon struck a high-voltage power line, caught fire and crashed in a pasture near Lockhart, Texas, Saturday morning, according to Texas authorities and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call around 7:44 a.m. local time about a possible vehicle accident. The fire apparently broke out during flight in the basket portion of the hot air balloon.

“Investigators are determining the number and the identities of victims at this time,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife expressed their sympathy in a statement, saying “[We] extend our deepest condolences for all those who have been affected by today’s heartbreaking tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the Lockhart community.”

The FAA said its investigators are on their way to the crash scene and the National Transportation Safety Board, which will be in charge of the investigation, has been notified.

“The FAA and NTSB do not release the names of pilots or passengers. Names will be released by local officials after relatives have been notified,” FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said in a statement.

The balloon was operated by the Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides.

Saturday’s crash was the deadliest hot air balloon crash in U.S. history since NTSB records began in 1964. Since then, there have been 69 fatal accidents, resulting in 116 deaths in the United States.

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Son Replaces Family Photos With Steve Buscemi to Prank Parents

Kevin Manion(NEW YORK) — It took five days and a really good eye for Kevin Manion’s prank to reach its full effect, but it got better with each passing day.

Last weekend, the 21 year-old started replacing family photos around his house in Wisconsin with ones of Steve Buscemi, the veteran actor well-known for his roles in “Boardwalk Empire,” “Fargo” and more.

Manion said he cooked up the idea to prank his parents over dinner with his sister Clare, 19.

“If you’re not expecting to see [Steve Buscemi’s] face, it’ll catch you off guard,” Kevin joked. “I like him as an actor, but he has a very distinct face.”

Manion’s father caught on to the prank after just two days, but promised his “lips were sealed.”

“Dad pulled me aside one day and was like, ‘Alright Kevin, why is there a picture of Steve [Buscemi] replacing your senior photos?’” Manion told ABC News.

It was Clare who ultimately decided to share the prank on Twitter.

“After you get four [pictures], I’m going to put this on Twitter,” Manion recalled Clare telling him. “I think this will go viral.”

On Sunday, Clare tweeted that their mother still hadn’t noticed and shared photos of the prank in progress, and the rest was history. The internet jumped on board, and she had more than 33,000 retweets as of this afternoon.

Manion said that when his mother finally noticed the photos, she thought they were “hilarious,” and she and his dad “lov[ed] it.”

The photos of Buscemi may no longer be up in the Manion household, but Manion said his family remains “blown away” by the attention they’ve received online.

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Three Dead, One Injured, at House Party Shooting in Seattle Suburb

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Three people are dead and one injured following a shooting at a house party in Mukilteo, Washington, a suburb of Seattle located about 25 miles north of the city, police said early Saturday morning.

A suspect — apprehended in Lewis County, south of Seattle — is in custody, the city of Mukilteo tweeted.

“There was a shooting tonight in the Chennault neighborhood,” the city tweeted at 2:40 a.m. local time, subsequently adding that between 15 and 20 people were present at the home.

On scene of this shooting with multiple people shot..

— Jack Reale (@jackrealeEXP2) July 30, 2016

Thirty minutes later, the city tweeted, “We are sad to report 3 fatalities tonight, 1 injured and transported to Harborview [Medical Center in Seattle], we do not know the extent of injuries.”

We are sad to report 3 fatalities tonight, 1 injured and transported to Harborview, we do not know the extent of injuries #ChennaultShooting

— City of Mukilteo (@CityofMukilteo) July 30, 2016

The victims’ names will not be released until they are identified and next of kin are notified, officials said.

Local police said it also established a “reunification center” for parents and relatives of party-goers at a local church.

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Hot Air Balloon with 16 Passengers Catches Fire And Crashes in Texas

iStock/Thinkstock(LOCKHART, Texas) — A large hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people caught fire this morning and crashed in a pasture near Lockhart, Texas, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

There do not appear to be any survivors, according to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, which received a 911 call around 7:44 a.m. local time about a possible vehicle accident. The fire apparently broke out during flight in the basket portion of the hot air balloon.

“Investigators are determining the number and the identities of victims at this time,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The FAA said its investigators are on their way to the crash scene and the National Transportation Safety Board, which will be in charge of the investigation, has been notified.

“The FAA and NTSB do not release the names of pilots or passengers. Names will be released by local officials after relatives have been notified,” FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said in a statement.

This is a breaking news story, please check back for updates.

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Chelsea Manning May Face Solitary Confinement After Suicide Attempt, ACLU Says

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Chelsea Manning faces charges and possible solitary confinement following her suicide attempt in prison earlier this month, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Manning, a transgender woman who formerly went by the name Bradley Manning, used to work as an intelligence analyst in Iraq and was convicted in 2013 in military court of six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses. She is currently serving out her 35-year sentence at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth.

Earlier this month, Manning attempted suicide and was subsequently hospitalized.

The ACLU said Thursday that Manning now potentially faces “administrative offenses” for the suicide attempt. If convicted, she could face solitary confinement for the remainder of her sentence, according to the ACLU. The ACLU also included a charge sheet that Manning was allegedly given, notifying her that she was under investigation.

“It is deeply troubling that Chelsea is now being subjected to an investigation and possible punishment for her attempt to take her life. The government has long been aware of Chelsea’s distress associated with the denial of medical care related to her gender transition and yet delayed and denied the treatment recognized as necessary,” ACLU Staff Attorney Chase Strangio said in a statement.

“Now, while Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain. It is unconscionable and we hope that the investigation is immediately ended and that she is given the health care that she needs to recover.”

The U.S. Army’s military relations department told ABC News that it is “looking into” the ACLU’s allegations.

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FBI Investigating Cybertheft of Clinton Campaign Information

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The FBI is investigating the cybertheft of proprietary information collected by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but the campaign says no internal computer systems were hacked.

The investigation comes on the heels of two other FBI investigations into hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

As news surfaced of a potential hack into campaign computers, a campaign spokesman issued a statement late Friday saying, “An analytics data program maintained by the DNC, and used by our campaign and a number of other entities, was accessed as part of the DNC hack.”

The campaign’s computer system “has been under review by outside cyber security experts,” and so far “they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised,” the spokesman said.

The Clinton campaign shares some of its proprietary information — such as voter data — with the DNC, and that information was compromised, a campaign official told ABC News.

“Anytime there is hacking like that and release of proprietary information, it is a crime,” CIA Director John Brennan said Friday of the DNC hack. “Who is responsible for what happened there, I think, is to be determined.”

Nevertheless, government sources privately suspect Russian hackers are behind the cyber attacks on Democratic organizations.

Speaking at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, Brennan vowed that when the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement community determines who is behind it, “there will be discussions at the highest levels of the government” over how to respond.

“Obviously interference in the U.S. election process is a very, very serious matter, and I think certainly this government [would] treat it with great seriousness,” Brennan added.

Brennan said the nation will now have to look at “what the vulnerabilities are to the [election] system out there,” and while some locations may ultimately decide to go with paper ballots, the country should focus on strengthening the security of the relevant cyber systems.

Meanwhile, the FBI Friday said it “takes seriously any allegations of intrusions, and we will continue to hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”

“The FBI is aware of media reporting on cyber intrusions involving multiple political entities, and is working to determine the accuracy, nature and scope of these matters,” the FBI said in a statement. “The cyber threat environment continues to evolve as cyber actors target all sectors and their data.”

Not only did the hack into DNC apparently allow the cyber operatives to steal opposition research on Republican nominee Donald Trump, but many suspect it led to the theft of internal messages that show efforts by DNC officials to undermine Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders during the primary season. Those damaging emails have since been released by WikiLeaks, agitating Sanders supporters ahead of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said yesterday he’s “taken aback a bit by … the hyperventilation over” the hack of the DNC, adding in a sarcastic tone, “I’m shocked somebody did some hacking. That’s never happened before.”

The American people “just need to accept” that cyber threats and computer-based attacks are a major long-term challenge facing the United States, he said. Clapper added that Americans should “not be quite so excitable when we have yet another instance of it.”

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