Review Category : National News

FBI Paid More Than $1 Million for Help Hacking San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(LONDON) — The price tag for help hacking into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters was more than $1 million, according to an answer FBI Director James Comey gave today when discussing the high profile encryption case.

At the Aspen forum in London, Comey was asked by interviewer Brooke Masters of the Financial Times how much the agency paid to get into the phone.

The iPhone 5c used by Syed Farook did not contain any identities of suspected co-conspirators or overseas contacts that investigators believe may be related to the attacks, law enforcement sources previously told ABC News.

Comey’s response was indirect but the first major hint he’s given about how much the FBI paid to the unidentified third party who came forward to help unlock the phone as the Justice Department waged a contentious legal battle with Apple.

“More than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months, for sure,” Comey said.

The FBI director was sworn into office on Sept. 4, 2013. The FBI director, by law, is appointed for a 10-year term. According to the FBI, director’s salary is set at approximately $183,000, which if multiplied by 7 years and 4 months comes to $1.342 million.

One month after federal officials dropped their court case against Apple, the method to access the iPhone 5c and the identity of the third party who helped are still unknown. Comey said earlier this month the tool purchased from a private party and used to access Syed Farook’s iPhone only works on a “narrow slice” of phones, such as the iPhone 5c running iOS 9.

Apple has been staunch in its position that creating a backdoor for government officials would undermine the security of millions of users.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Body Found in National Park ‘Preliminarily Identified’ as Missing Virginia Firefighter

Courtesy, Va.) — A body “preliminarily identified” as Virginia firefighter Nicole Mittendorff was found Thursday in Shenandoah National Park, state police have confirmed.

The discovery ended an exhaustive six-day search for the 31-year-old Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighter.

The body was located around 2 p.m., Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement Thursday evening. She said the body is being transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas, Virginia, for “autopsy, examination and positive ID.”

Geller added, “The physical and digital evidence collected during the course of this investigation — to include a note recovered from her car — leads to believe there was no foul play involved in her death.”

Earlier in the day, a joint statement from the National Park Service of Virginia and Virginia State Police, confirmed the search for Mittendorff had been called off, following the discovery of female remains in a remote location of the park.

Following the aforementioned joint statement’s release, Mittendorff’s family took to Facebook, writing “Our hearts are broken.”

Mittendorff, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was reported missing Friday morning when she didn’t arrive for work at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. An intensive rescue effort involving approximately 100 federal, state and volunteer search-and-rescue teams have been combing the Shenandoah National Forest, according to officials, with no success.

Her husband, Steve Mittendorf, pleaded for his wife’s safe return during the press conference, held at the fire department. According to her family, they last heard from her via text message last week on Wednesday.

“Sweetheart I love you. I am praying for you,” said Mittendorf, appearing to restrain tears. “I’m not sure where you are, but know we are all looking for you and I look forward to your safe return.”

The search was concentrated around White Oak Canyon Trail, where Nicole’s 2009 Mini Cooper was found Saturday evening.

“Very motivated, very dedicated firefighter paramedic,” Fairfax fire chief Richard R. Bowers Jr. said. “Always happy, always wanting to help people, and she fit right into the fire and rescue department.”

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Earth Day 2016: Where to Recycle Batteries, Gadgets

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Old batteries, cell phones and laptops can easily pile up, turning any office into an electronic wasteland.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates for every one million mobile devices recycled, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered. One million recycled laptops can also save the equivalent electricity used by 3,500 U.S. homes per year, according to the agency’s website.

Earth Day is a great opportunity to get rid of tech clutter and recoup some precious resources for the environment, at the same time.

Recycling electronics is surprisingly easy. Here’s how to get started:

Before You Recycle

As a safeguard, make sure your personal information is wiped from your devices. For old phones, the best way to do this is by doing a factory reset in setting, wiping your data from the device. The EPA also advises some batteries may need to be removed from products for separate recycling.

iPhones and Other Apple Products

Apple Renew, the company’s recycling program, allows customers to bring older Apple products to their stores for recycling. Alternatively, they can print a pre-paid mailing label online and send the devices to the company for recycling.

The iPad 2, iPhone 4, Macs from 2007 or newer may be eligible for gift cards, depending on the condition. Customers can still bring in old iPods, excluding the iPod Shuffle, to an Apple store and get 10 percent off a new one, according to Apple’s website.

What happens to those old iPhones?

Meet Liam, Apple’s robot, which made its world debut last month. He can take apart more than 1.2 million iPhones in a year, extracting different components to be re-used or recycled. Liam can “rescue” cobalt and lithium from iPhone batteries, separate gold and copper from the camera and extract silver and platinum from the main logic board, according to Apple.

Other Smartphones

Many smartphone manufacturers and carriers offer mail-in and in-store recycling options. Samsung and LG let customers mail-in their old devices, while carriers such as Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile all offer various recycling programs — some as simple as dropping off an old device at a store.


Many single-use batteries contain materials that can be recycled, including zinc, manganese and steel. Rechargeable batteries also contain materials such as lead, plastic and metal, that can be used again. Call2Recycle offers a quick search tool to show drop-off locations for batteries in your area.

Check with local city websites to see if they have programs. Alternatively, Call2Recycle offers a quick search tool to show drop-off locations for batteries and other electronics, with many recycling points located at stores, such as Radio Shack, Lowe’s and Home Depot.

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Transcript of Prince 911 Call Released

iStock/Thinkstock(CHANHASSEN, Minn.) — Police have released the transcripts from the 911 call made when Prince’s body was found in an elevator in his estate in Minnesota.

The call was made at 9:43 a.m. Thursday by an unidentified male, according to the transcript, provided by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.

At first, the male caller could not provide their location, simply replying “we’re at Prince’s house” when the CCSP dispatcher asked for the address.

The caller described the person as “dead” and said the people around were “distraught” as the dispatcher pleaded for him to find the address.

When asked how the person in question died, the caller said he didn’t know. After telling the dispatcher they were at Paisley Park, he confirmed the person was Prince.

“Yes, it’s Prince,” he said.

The dispatcher then called for an ambulance to head over to Paisley Park Studios at 7801 Audubon Road. She described prince as “down” and “not breathing.”

Later on, an ambulance dispatcher cancelled all emergency services heading to Paisley Park, describing the situation as a “confirmed DOA.”

Prince was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. His publicist later confirmed to the public that the music icon had died at his home.

In Minnesota, the audio of a 911 call is considered private data and not eligible for public release. However, transcripts of the 911 call are public data, police said.

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Man Captures Breathtaking Mountaintop Proposal With Drone

iStock/Thinkstock(LINVILLE, N.C.) — One man, quite literally, shouted his love for his now-fiancé from the mountaintops this weekend.

Jordan Nelson, of Boone, North Carolina, captured his absolutely breathtaking proposal atop MacRae Peak on Grandfather Mountain with a drone.

The Proposal at MacRae Peak from Nelson Aerials on Vimeo.

“Our first date was to the exact same spot three years ago yesterday,” Nelson, 27, told ABC News. “We hiked there again for our one-year anniversary. And one month in we camped out on top of the mountain at the highest peak, Calloway Peak. We spent a lot of time on top of Grandfather Mountain. That’s why I wanted to go back to that spot for the proposal.”

Needless to say, he made the right choice.

His bride-to-be, Meghan Frye, had absolutely no idea the proposal was coming because Nelson is as an aerial drone videographer and always has his camera with them on hikes.

“She didn’t have the slightest clue,” he said of her surprise. “I normally film and take pictures along the way. I do drone stuff for a living so she didn’t think anything of it when I took the drone.”

As he bent to one knee amid the stunning scenery, at first she thought he was pulling a late April Fools’ prank.

Their love is no joke though, and now the happy couple is planning a beautiful wedding for fall 2017. They’re even hoping to keep the gorgeous mountain theme going.

“For the wedding venue, we really want to do it at Linville Ridge Country Club,” said Nelson. “It’s on the mountain peaks across from Grandfather. We want it on top of that mountain with Grandfather in the background.”

Now we’re just curious if “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” will be their first dance song.

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Missing Priest Allegedly Slain by ‘Troubled Man He Was Just Trying to Help’

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.) — The 71-year-old Florida priest reported missing over a week ago is believed to have been slain in Georgia by a “troubled man he was just trying to help,” according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.

The Rev. Rene Robert, a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of St. Augustine, “did a lot of jail and ministry work” and had recently traveled to Jacksonville, Florida, to meet with Steven James Murray, according to Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert was reported missing April 12, and Murray was identified the next day as a person of interest in his disappearance, Mulligan told ABC News Thursday.

“Based on interviews and whatnot, it appears Murray was a troubled man he was just trying to help as part of his ministry work,” Mulligan said. “But it looks like Murray overtook the priest’s car, drove him to Georgia and murdered him.”

Murray, 28, was apprehended last Thursday in a wooded area in Aiken, South Carolina, after officials in the area received a “credible tip” he had traveled there, according to Capt. Eric Abdullah, public information officer for the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina.

Murray was found driving the priest’s blue Toyota and led law enforcement on a brief pursuit before he crashed and was arrested, Abdullah told ABC News Thursday. Murray was then extradited back to Florida, where officials had been looking for him, he added.

Murray directed authorities from Florida to Georgia Monday and showed them the location of Robert’s dead body in “an isolated, wooded area” in Waynesboro, Georgia, according to Scott Dutton, director of public affairs for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Though an autopsy performed Wednesday indicated “the manner of death was homicide and cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds,” the condition of Robert’s body was so bad that it was only positively identified as the priest’s Thursday after dental records sent from Florida showed a match, Dutton told ABC News Thursday.

Murray was charged with the murder of Robert on Wednesday, when Murray also had his first appearance at Burke County Superior Court and was denied bond, Dutton said.

“If anybody really loves Father Rene, they’ll forgive me because he was a man of God and forgiveness is forgiveness,” Murray told reporters on video. “I have mental problems, and I lost control of myself, and I apologize.”

Murray has not yet entered a plea, and it was not immediately clear whether he had obtained an attorney as of this morning, according to Augusta Judicial Circuit trial court administrator Shaun Brooks.

Murray’s next appearance will likely be scheduled in a few weeks, Brooks told ABC News.

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Neighborhood Trash Collector Makes Little Girl’s Birthday

iStock/Thinkstock(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) — Sometimes it takes a child to remind adults of the way seemingly ordinary people make our lives better each day.

Brooklyn Andracke, a 3-year-old from Bloomington, Indiana, had the best birthday because of a man she’s been admiring from afar for the past year — the town’s trash collector.

In a now-viral post to the City of Bloomington’s City Hall Facebook page, Brooklyn’s mom, Traci Andracke, recounts the moment her daughter got to meet the man who “makes our day every Thursday.”

As it turns out, Delvar Dopson also enjoys the “hello” waves he’s been getting from Brooklyn. He told Andracke that he tries to leave his regular Thursday morning meeting quickly so he can see them too.

For her birthday, Brooklyn presented Dopson with a cupcake.

“Smiling and waving is part of a regular 3-year-old’s day and then to get it back from a guy that she thinks is pretty cool, it sends her over the moon,” Traci Andracke told ABC News.

Andracke and Dopson have since become friends. Dopson even brought Brooklyn a gift the next Thursday.

“We are both a little taken back and excited that everyone has enjoyed the story,” said Andracke. “If it inspires one person to smile or wave or show some kind of act of kindness, then that makes us happy.”

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Girl May Be the Reason Harriet Tubman Was Chosen for $20 Bill — An 11-year-old Massachusetts girl may have been the driving force behind the Treasury Department’s move to put a woman on the $20 bill.

Sofia wrote a letter to President Obama two years ago asking why there were not any women represented on U.S. paper currency, her mother Kim told ABC News Thursday.

“She came home from school one day and she said, ‘Mom, I need to write to the president’ so I gave her a piece of paper and that became the really famous letter,” Kim recalled. “She really is just a regular, average, little girl who noticed something that was unfair and decided to do something about it.”

In the letter, Sofia, who was then a third grade student, makes a few compelling points for why a woman should be put on U.S. currency, including the astute observation that “if there were no women there wouldn’t be men.”

The preteen also included a list of potential female candidates. Harriet Tubman was on her list.

On Wednesday she got a call from Treasury Sec. Jack Lew who told her directly that Tubman will be put on the $20 bill, according to Kim.

Sofia also had a long phone call with Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who tweeted Sofia’s letter.

“She’s overjoyed,” Kim said.

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Texas Man Uses Monster Truck to Rescue Neighbors During Flood

VStock/Thinkstock(MILLSAP, Texas) — A Texas man used his monster truck to rescue neighbors in Millsap, Texas, during major flooding that struck the region this past week.

Deborah Wright, a local resident, was trapped in her home on Monday morning when her longtime neighbor and friend Cole Geeo drove through the flooded roads to her rescue.

“The water came up so fast this time and we didn’t have the warning that we usually get,” Wright told ABC News. “It just came up so rapidly, it was like somebody was turning on a huge water faucet.”

“Before you know it, here comes Cole who comes riding through all that water to come get me,” he added.

The top of Geeo’s self-built 1978 Ford F-150 pickup truck is 10 feet off the ground and the tires are 63 inches tall, so he was able to drive down the flooded roads, he told ABC News. Because the monster truck is so tall, Wright said he had to use a ladder to get inside.

All residents of Parker County, Texas were advised on the city website not to drive through flood-waters and to call 911 if trapped by the floods. On Monday, Parker County Judge Mark Riley declared a disaster.

Geeo said he is passionate about using his monster truck for good.

“I drove down the night prior when all the roads were flooded and helped this one husband and wife who were trying to leave. But the water was all the way up to their headlights so they ran off the road,” he said.

“Years ago, this community flooded and my father, who is kind of the reason that I built my monster truck, helped a lot of people out during those floods,” Geeo continued.

Wright agreed that the people of the town have a history of coming together to help.

“When I saw him coming across that, what looked like a lake at the time,” he said, “it was such an emotional thing for me, that everyone just pitched in and did what they thought they needed to do for our community.”

Wright added that the small town has impressed him with how much they take care of each other in these kinds of situations.

“I came here from Fort Worth, the Big City,” he said, “and as long as I have been here the community has always gone into action and helped people.”

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Delaware High School Student Dies After Fight with Classmates

iStock/Thinkstock(WILMINGTON, Del.) — A Delaware high school student died Thursday morning after a confrontation with other teens in the bathroom of her school.

The student, a sophomore at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, was 16 years old. She was involved in an altercation with two other teens, said Alexandra M. Coppadge, the director of communications for the Wilmington mayor’s office. The altercation turned physical, which ended in the student’s death.

Medics performed CPR on the student on campus, ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reported, and was airlifted to a local hospital.

Coppadge could not confirm what sparked the fight but said it was not gang related.

The incident happened in the girls bathroom around 9 a.m. Two students are being questioned in relation to the incident by police. Their identities have not been released.

It is unclear what injuries the student sustained that led to her death.

Students were kept in class following the incident.

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