Review Category : National News

WATCH: Dramatic Video Shows Fatal St. Louis Police Shooting

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — Police in St. Louis released video showing officers shooting and killing a man — a shooting that occurred only 10 days after an officer in nearby Ferguson fatally shot unarmed teen Michael Brown.

Police said the man in Tuesday’s shooting, identified as Kajieme Powell, had a knife. Cell phone video of the incident, recorded by a witness, shows the man refusing to back down, staggering about, walking toward police despite repeated orders to stop.

“Put your hands out of your pocket!” the officers yell. “Drop the knife!”

“Shoot me now,” the man can be heard saying, as onlookers watched on the sidewalk nearby.

The officers fired a dozen shots at the man, authorities said Wednesday.

Powell was involved in a shoplifting prior to the shooting, police said.

The officers who shot the man are now on administrative leave.

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Does Cool Summer Signal Another Cold and Snowy Winter?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s been an unusually cool summer for much of the eastern United States. But does this mean the upcoming winter season will be colder and snowier than normal?

For clues, let’s take a look at previous cool summers and how the following winter played out.

For example, Indianapolis averages 15 days per summer of 90 degrees, but through Aug. 20 it had none. Last time this happened was in 2004 when Indianapolis had zero 90 degree days. The following winter was warmer than normal for the city.

Let’s look at the Washington, D.C., area for August 2014; at Dulles Airport and Baltimore-Washington International, the first 15 days of August were the third coolest on record. The coolest ever for both reporting locations was 1964; the following winter (1964-65) was near normal.

What about Chicago, which averages 14 or 15 days of 90 degrees and above? So far this summer, only three days recorded temperatures at or above 90 at O’Hare International Airport (at the city’s official weather observation station). Also, Chicago had below-normal July and August temperatures. Last time Chicago had a cool summer like that was in 2009 when June, July and August averaged below normal. The 2009-10 winter in the Windy City was colder than normal.

We also have to look at phenomena known as El Niño — warmer than normal ocean water along the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean. Usually, El Niño means warmer than normal and slightly wetter than normal winter in the Midwest and the Northeast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting El Niño to develop this winter.

NOAA says: “In summary, we continue to favor the emergence of El Niño in the coming months, with the peak chance of emergence around 65% (i.e. there is a 35% chance of El Niño not occurring). ENSO forecasters do not expect a strong El Niño (we can’t eliminate the chance of one either), but we are not expecting El Niño to ‘fizzle.’ In fact, just in the last week, we have started to see westerly wind anomalies pick up near the Date Line. Literally and figuratively, we may be witnessing the start of ENSO’s second wind.”

With that said, looking back at warmer than normal winter 2004-05 in Indianapolis, El Niño was present. In the Washington, D.C. area, winter 1964-65 was near normal and there was no El Niño. But in Chicago, 2009-2010 was a cooler than normal winter and had a moderate El Niño.

Each year is unique and many variables could alter the winter forecast in either direction. In the recent years, weather patterns have been slower to move, due to weaker jet streams and lesser temperature contrast between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes. Once you are stuck in one pattern, warm or cold, it seems to continue for months, in some cases even a full year.

So far this year, we have been stuck in a colder than normal weather pattern in the eastern United States and warmer than normal weather in the West. We would need a significant pattern shift to change the current set up.

El Niño could be that trigger mechanism but it would need to be a strong El Niño in order to affect the world weather pattern. With NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center not forecasting a strong El Niño, we could wind up with an early fall and colder than normal winter for the Northeast and Midwest.

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Ferguson Cop Had ‘Serious Facial Injury,’ Source Tells ABC News

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager suffered “a serious facial injury” in the altercation before firing the fatal shots, according to a source close to the officer who spoke to ABC News Wednesday.

The characterization about Officer Darren Wilson being injured in his confrontation with Michael Brown emerged on the day that a grand jury was expected to begin hearing evidence in the shooting.

Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Wilson on Aug. 9, and protesters have been angrily calling for Wilson’s arrest and indictment since that day.

St. Louis County Prosecutor David McCullough cautioned on Wednesday that a decision on whether or not the officer would be indicted will not come quickly. He told ABC News “our target date is the middle of October” for wrapping up the evidence and asking the jury to decide whether to charge Wilson. Grand juries typically meet one day a week.

A source close to Wilson told ABC News that during the struggle at the patrol car, Wilson suffered “a serious facial injury.”

The injury was not described, but last week Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that Wilson had swelling to the side of his face.

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James Foley’s Parents Recall Son’s ‘Big Heart’

Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) — The parents of James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded by a masked captor, graciously remembered their son’s big heart and said they were trying to not be bitter.

John and Diane Foley spoke outside their New Hampshire home Wednesday about their son’s legacy and asked for mercy for other Americans being held abroad.

“There is no reason for this slaughter. Jim was just a symbol for our country. Jim was there to hear the truth and bear witness to the love and suffering…and they knew that,” Diane Foley said, referring to the militant Islamic group ISIS that claimed responsibility for killing Foley.

“Jim had a big heart and that is what we shared with President Obama. We just pray that Jim’s death can bring our country together in a stronger way,” she said.

Her husband’s voice broke as he cited his son’s final words, that he wished he could have spent more time with his family. The father’s last sentence was interrupted by a sob as he paused to compose himself.

“We’re very proud of Jim,” his mother said while speaking at times emotionally about her son. “He was a courageous, fearless journalist. A very compassionate American.”

The parents showed remarkable grace while talking about the grisly execution of their son.

“Jim would never want us to hate or be bitter…We’re praying for the strength to love like he did,” Diane Foley said. “We are praying for mercy for the remaining hostages.”

Her husband added, “We’re just begging for mercy…They never hurt anybody. They were trying to help.”

The Foleys, who have five children, had been through the anguish of their son’s capture once before when he was held for 44 days in Libya.

Diane Foley said her son’s decision to return to work abroad made some of his siblings angry after they had worked tirelessly to raise awareness during his detention in Libya.

“Jim, you have so many gifts,” she said they told him. “Why are you doing this?”

John Foley said his son’s decision to work in conflict zones was driven by the passion for his work, which he said “gave him energy.”

“He was not crazy. He was motivated,” John Foley said.

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Indiana Police Investigate Possible Link in Moms’ Disappearances

iStock/Thinkstock(BOONVILLE, Ind.) — The mysterious disappearances of two Indiana moms who vanished within weeks of each other could be linked, according to police.

Police say they are actively investigating any possible connection between the disappearances of Joelle Lockwood, 30, and Kristy Kelley, 27, who vanished about 20 miles apart.

“It doesn’t happen frequently that we have two women of the same age group that go missing around the same time,” Warrick County Sheriff Brett Kruse said.

Police say they have nothing linking the disappearances at this point, but investigators on both cases are comparing notes daily.

Kelley was last seen at 1:30 a.m. Friday leaving a Boonville VFW club. Surveillance footage shows what police believe is Kelley’s car heading in the direction of her home. Authorities haven’t noticed any activity on Kelley’s bank accounts, and “no evidence pointing towards any type of struggle,” Kruse said.

Meanwhile, Lockwood was last seen July 9 leaving a party in Evansville, about 20 miles away. She, too, has disappeared without a trace, and her mother, Candace Lockwood, is grief-stricken.

“She’s faced a lot of different challenges in her life, and we’re very worried for her right now,” Candace Lockwood said.

Kelley’s mother, Kathy Scales, is stunned that her daughter is missing.

“I just can’t explain the pit that I have in my stomach. And just knowing that our daughter is out there and we can’t get to her. It’s very, very, very rough,” Scales said.

Both families are pleading for the public’s help, reassuring their grandchildren that they won’t stop searching.

“It’s been difficult to keep one foot in front of the other,” Candace Lockwood said. “But we are doing that, and we will find our daughter.”

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New Mexico Teen in Critical Condition After Lightning Strike at Football Practice

iStock/Thinkstock(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) — A New Mexico middle-school student is in critical condition and three others were injured after a lightning strike.

The lightning strike happened Tuesday at Picacho Middle School in Las Cruces in the southern part of the state. The school’s eighth-grade football team was practicing after school ended when it became overcast and started to drizzle, said Jo Galvan, director of communications for Las Cruces Public Schools.

The group started walking toward the school when lightning struck a nearby tree, sending several students and coaches falling to the ground, likely the lightning grounding itself, Galvan said.

Three 13-year-old boys and one coach were injured, Galvan said, with a parent and a coach performing CPR on the critically injured boy.

Kelly Duke, marketing director of Mountain View Regional Medical Center, confirmed to ABC News that the players and coach were taken to the hospital, with the critically injured boy later transferred to University Medical Center, listed in critical but stable condition.

The other two students were listed in stable condition, Duke said. The coach’s injuries aren’t life-threatening.

Counselors and district school physiologists will be at the school Wednesday to speak with students, Galvan said.

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Staten Island District Attorney to Convene Grand Jury in Police Chokehold Case

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Staten Island, New York District Attorney has opted to convene a Grand Jury to determine whether or not charges will be filed against the police officer who allegedly choked a man last month, leading to his death.

District Attorney Daniel Donovan assured the public that he is, “committed to conducting a fair, thorough, and responsible investigation” into the death of Eric Garner on July 17. The incident provoked outrage last month after a witness filmed NYPD cops placing Eric Garner in what appeared to be a chokehold while arresting Garner for selling cigarettes illegally. Garner, who was 6-foot-3 and 350 pounds, could be heard yelling that he could not breathe.

Earlier this month, the New York City Medical Examiner determined that the cause of Garner’s death was, “compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest, and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”

According to a statement from Donovan released on Tuesday, a Grand Jury will be convened and evidence will be presented beginning in September.

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Man Braves Muddy Flood Waters to Rescue Elderly Woman From Car

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — Heavy rain in Arizona has flooded streets and one major freeway, stranding cars and trapping drivers and passengers.

One dramatic rescue in Sun City West was caught on the camera by ABC affiliate KNXV.

In the video, a white minivan was swamped on a main street in Sun City West. The fast-moving stream had submerged the minivan to its hood.

One rescue worker from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office approached the vehicle with nothing in his hands but a stick. He didn’t have a security belt tied to his waist, only his co-worker pulling him from behind, just in case he lost his balance.

The rescue worker slowly approached the minivan, hitting the front window repeatedly with a stick and eventually breaking it. He tried to open the passenger door, but the water pressure from the flooding made it difficult to pop the door open.

After finally sliding open the door, he got inside the minivan and pulled out an elderly woman. Wrapping her arms around the worker’s neck, the woman appeared to be struggling with the muddy road.

As soon as the two rescue workers brought the woman to safety, the flood fully covered the minivan’s hood.

The two rescue workers brought the woman to a neighbor’s garage and sat her down on a chair. A neighbor offered the woman towels to keep her warm.

The several inches of rainfall in less than an hour caused havoc during the morning commute for commuters in the state.

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Alleged School Massacre Plot in California Foiled

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SOUTH PASADENA, Calif.) — Two Southern California male teenagers were being held in juvenile hall Tuesday after an investigation by authorities using social media led authorities to suspect taht the two were allegedly in the early stages of a plot to commit a mass shooting at South Pasadena High School.

“It was a very viable threat what they were plotting,” said South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller. “They were making a huge plan of a school massacre. … During our interviews with the suspects, they, more or less, confirmed what they had talked about, very cold-heartedly.”

Miller said the suspects, whom police did not identify, were 16 and 17. They were arrested Monday on suspicion of conspiracy and criminal threats.

The investigation started Thursday after an anonymous person informed the school’s staff about the alleged plot. The staff then contacted police about a possible school shooting in the works.

Miller said detectives watched the teens’ conversations on social media and eventually were able to get a search warrant Monday.

Miller said that three staff members were targeted by name as were “random” students.

“As they put it, they just wanted to kill as many people as possible,” Miller said.

On Monday afternoon, officers went to two homes in South Pasadena and removed two computers. Miller said a search of the teens’ computers found the students had researched weapons as well as how to make bombs.

He said the students were in the beginning stages of their plan and were also looking online about tactical training.

He said they told detectives they were prepared to die.

“[They were] very monotone, very matter-of-fact, and when you are talking about killing people, shooting them in the head and to be so calm about it. It’s very chilling,” he said. “It’s very frightening.”

No weapons were found in the houses. Miller did not reveal a motive or a target date and said that the parents were stunned.

“I can’t emphasize enough how that one phone call to us got the ball rolling,” he said. “This press conference today would have been a much different one, had we not acted.”

School is set to start Thursday.

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Coast Guard Responding After 8,000 Gallons of Diesel Spilled in Ohio River

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) — The U.S. Coast Guard is responding after 8,000 gallons of diesel oil spilled into the Ohio River near Cincinnati.

The spill took place at the Duke Energy W.C. Beckjord Power Station. Duke Energy has assumed responsibility for the cleanup and is working with an approved oil spill response organization.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were three Coast Guard vessels on scene helping to contain the oil.

An investigation into the cause of the spill is underway with local, state and federal officials. Cincinnati Waterworks and Northern Kentucky Waterworks have been contacted to address possible concerns regarding municipal water intakes.

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