Review Category : Top Stories

British Govt. Fighting to Stop Prince Charles’ Secret Letters from Publication

Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images(LONDON) — When Prince Charles made rare public comments to criticize the lack of Shakespeare teaching in state school curricula, the British government was not too happy.

Now, it appears Prince Charles subsequently sent a letter to Britain’s education minister of the time to apologize for not giving prior notice of his views and also to detail his perspectives on education policy, according to an ongoing case involving the government and a British journalist who filed a freedom of information request in 2005 to access the prince’s correspondences.

If the letters from Prince Charles to seven government offices are published, it could be a problem for the heir because it might jeopardize the throne’s traditional political neutrality, according to former Attorney General Dominic Grieve. As attorney general, Grieve blocked an earlier court decision to reveal the letters, dubbed the “black spider memos” because of the prince’s small writing.

The government has put up a tough fight for nine years against Guardian journalist Rob Evans to stop publication of the letters.

This week, hearings on the matter at the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court could be the government’s last fight.

“My request was driven by a wish for transparency,” said Evans to ABC News. “The monarchy should be neutral. So, are they really?”

At the core of the case is whether public interest is sufficient to warrant publication of confidential letters, and who has the final word on what the public interest is.

“Confidentiality should be the starting point,” said the Guardian’s lawyer, Dinah Rose. “But an Upper Tribunal ruled that the public interest from a public figure was sufficient to overrule it.”

“Advocacy letters are very different to personal letters,” said Rose, who added Charles “sees himself as performing a public function.”

Evans sought disclosure of a number of written communications between the prince and the following government departments between 2004 and 2005: Business, Innovation and Skills; Health; Children, School and Families; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Culture, Media and Sport; Northern Ireland and Cabinet Office.

When Evans’ request was denied by the information commissioner, the journalist appealed to the Britain’s Upper Tribunal. In Sept. 2012, the tribunal ruled that the Prince’s communications should be disclosed to the extent that they fell into a category defined as “advocacy correspondence,” according to legal documents seen by ABC News.

However, Grieve, who as attorney general was a member of government and had an advisory role, vetoed the court’s decision. He said the public could interpret the letters to be disagreeing with government policy, which would be seriously damaging to Charles’ role as a likely future monarch, according to legal documents.

The overruling of an independent and impartial court by a government minister is extremely rare in the U.K., and this week’s hearing will determine whether he acted lawfully and on reasonable grounds.

The case addresses the question of whether public interest is best guarded by the judiciary or the executive branch of British government.

According to Rose, “Parliament has given little consideration” to the veto power given to an executive.

“The Upper Tribunal is much better equipped than a minister to make a decision,” said Rose, adding a minister only gives “an opinion based on cabinet consultations.”

The constitutional power to veto a court decision was given to the attorney general to protect the public interest where real and significant issues arise, said government lawyer James Eadie, who said it had followed a “carefully considered, deliberate decision” from parliament.

Prince Charles is known for his strong opinions on a range of topics from education to farming and health. Last week, The Guardian ran a long piece on how Charles would reset the sovereign’s role by making heartfelt public interventions when he becomes king.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Michael Brown’s Family Gets Sympathy from Congress

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Members of Congress from around the country posted messages of sympathy for the family of Michael Brown after a grand jury cleared the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot the teenager on Aug. 9. But the elected officials included in their messages calls for peace and changes in the criminal justice system.

Rep. Lacy Clay, a Democrat who represents the Browns’ congressional district, and Missouri’s two senators, Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt, sent messages meant to soothe their state.

I am extremely dissapointed, but not surprised. The pursuit of justice for Mike Brown is not over. #Ferguson #Justice4MikeBrown #peace

— Lacy Clay (@LacyClayMO1) November 25, 2014

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.: “My thoughts are with Michael Brown’s family today, as well as those in law enforcement who continue to protect the rights of all they serve, the National Guard members we ask to step forward during difficult times in our state, and all of their family members. Michael’s death was tragic, and the months since this tragedy have marked a challenging time in Ferguson and across Missouri. Together, I know we can move forward and heal as we work to find better job opportunities in and more investment for challenged communities.”

Lawmakers around the country took to Twitter to express their frustration and urge peace.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: “However disappointed we may be in the decision by the grand jury in St. Louis County, we must hold the family of Michael Brown in our hearts…As the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.'”

Remember, young people of #Ferguson, your pain is not wrong. Your feelings are valid. We understand you’re hurt.

— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) November 25, 2014

The tragedy in Ferguson (and the prosecutor’s description of eyewitness accts) makes the strongest possible case for police body cameras.

— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) November 25, 2014

Injustice and violence cannot be cured by more injustice and violence. Civil protest is what moves mountains.

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 25, 2014

To the officers in Ferguson: You are there to serve and protect those in the community. Be patient. Be calm. Avoid escalation. #Ferguson

— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) November 25, 2014

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.: “From Ferguson to Brooklyn, the zip codes may be different but the issue of police officers shooting young, unarmed African-American men without justification is exactly the same. Throughout this country, we need a dramatic change in the manner that law enforcement authorities engage communities of color. The failure of the grand jury to indict Officer Darren Wilson is a miscarriage of justice.”

Only love can overcome hate. Only nonviolence can overcome violence. #FergusonDecision

— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) November 25, 2014

President #Obama & true civil rights leaders must calm tensions and educate people that mob justice destroys rights for all people #Ferguson

— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) November 25, 2014

I am deeply disappointed & disturbed by #FergusonDecision. We need to stand together in peaceful protest in order to move forward.

— Gregory Meeks (@GregoryMeeks) November 25, 2014

My thoughts are with #MichaelBrown‘s family tonight. We must work together to end racial profiling and police violence. #Ferguson

— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) November 25, 2014

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.: “Once the news trucks have left St. Louis and the city of Ferguson is calm, a family will still be without their son…Michael Brown’s family will always mourn the senseless shooting of their child — a shooting which should never have taken place.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Thanksgiving in Space: NASA Reveals What’s on Astronauts’ Menu

NASA TV(NEW YORK) — These explorers may be from several different countries but on Thanksgiving, the six astronauts at the International Space Station will sit down for an out-of-this-world feast.

The group, which includes two Americans, will be treated to all of the Thanksgiving staples, with a few necessary tweaks for their home orbiting 260 miles above Earth.

While Americans back on Earth deep fry or wait for their birds to roast in the oven, the astronauts will be treated to a main course of irradiated smoked turkey.

Also on the menu: Thermostabilizaed candied yams, freeze-dried green beans and mushrooms. The astronauts will also dine on NASA’s freeze-dried cornbread dressing, which requires one simple step to cook: Just add water.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Thanksgiving feast without dessert. The astronauts will be treated to thermostabilized cherry-blueberry cobbler, according to NASA.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Eleven Things Not to Buy on Black Friday

Michael Nagle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The frenzy of Black Friday shopping is often about excitement and tradition, but don’t buy into all the hype. There are some things that may seem like a great deal, but aren’t.

Deals site DealNews.com recommends that you wait on buying 11 products until after Black Friday.

Like always, take any advice with a grain of salt, as these recommendations are based on DealNews’ historical data and anecdotal experience. And if you are in need of something immediately, sometimes it might be worth paying a little more to check it off your list.

1. Winter gear

These items, including coats and boots, often have deeper discounts during winter clearance sales in January and March.

2. Designer clothing

People who love designer clothing labels should stick to outlet shopping on Black Friday, according to DealNews, because high-end clothiers don’t really offer great “sales.”

Otherwise, shoppers could get not-so-great discounts of 20 to 30 percent off on designer clothing, which DealNews calls “yawn-worthy.”

3. Latest Amazon Fire tablets

While you can likely find deals on Amazon’s older Fire tablets, you likely won’t find many great discounts on the newest Fire lineup, according to DealNews. Last year, during Cyber Week, DealNews saw only two discounts on the then-new Kindle Fire HDX.

4. High-end laptops

While November may be a great month to buy laptops, shoppers should hold off on “powerhouse” computing machines.

“High-performance machines that boast a powerful CPU like Intel’s Core i7 models actually see better prices during the summer back-to-school sales,” DealNews’ features writer Marcy Bonebright states.

July and September can offer deals that are 9 percent cheaper (about $50 on average) than even November’s best deals, DealNews states.

5. Tools

While there may be great Black Friday deals on cheap household hand tools, last year, there were 16 percent more tool offers in December than those of November, according to DealNews.

6. Gift cards

“Discounted gift cards practically rain from the sky in December, especially those from iTunes,” according to Bonebright. “Last year, we saw so many gift card deals in December, we had to publish a weekly feature just to keep track of them all.”

7. Brand-name smart TVs

While Black Friday’s door-buster deals often feature deep discounts on flat-screen televisions, brand-name TVs tend to have better prices after the Consumer Electronics Show. During that January event, manufacturers reveal their new product lineups in Las Vegas. But, DealNews points out, last year the best 55″ name-brand TV deal came in September, which was 10 percent cheaper than November’s best deal.

8. Airline and vacation packages

While there are some “superior” hotel discounts on Black Friday, you might want to refrain from booking a flight or planning a vacation. DealNews recommends planning travel for January, which offers a higher number of deals.

9. Exercise equipment

“December consistently sees an uptick in both the quantity of exercise equipment offers and the quality,” writes Bonebright. Last year, DealNews marked almost 30 percent of December sports deals as Editors’ Choice, compared to just 15 percent in November.

10. Chocolates and flowers

November 2013 had the fewest offers in this category all year, according to DealNews. Better stick to the bigger gift-giving holidays of Christmas and Valentine’s Day, DealNews says.

11. Home and patio furniture

Most retailers discount these items heavily in the warmer months. The number of home furniture deals increase in July and August with patio furniture clearance sales “dominating” in August and September, Bonebright writes.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Thanksgiving in Space: NASA Reveals What’s on Astronauts’ Menu

NASA TV(NEW YORK) — These explorers may be from several different countries but on Thanksgiving, the six astronauts at the International Space Station will sit down for an out-of-this-world feast.

The group, which includes two Americans, will be treated to all of the Thanksgiving staples, with a few necessary tweaks for their home orbiting 260 miles above Earth.

While Americans back on Earth deep fry or wait for their birds to roast in the oven, the astronauts will be treated to a main course of irradiated smoked turkey.

Also on the menu: Thermostabilizaed candied yams, freeze-dried green beans and mushrooms. The astronauts will also dine on NASA’s freeze-dried cornbread dressing, which requires one simple step to cook: Just add water.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Thanksgiving feast without dessert. The astronauts will be treated to thermostabilized cherry-blueberry cobbler, according to NASA.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Eleven Things Not to Buy on Black Friday

Michael Nagle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The frenzy of Black Friday shopping is often about excitement and tradition, but don’t buy into all the hype. There are some things that may seem like a great deal, but aren’t.

Deals site DealNews.com recommends that you wait on buying 11 products until after Black Friday.

Like always, take any advice with a grain of salt, as these recommendations are based on DealNews’ historical data and anecdotal experience. And if you are in need of something immediately, sometimes it might be worth paying a little more to check it off your list.

1. Winter gear

These items, including coats and boots, often have deeper discounts during winter clearance sales in January and March.

2. Designer clothing

People who love designer clothing labels should stick to outlet shopping on Black Friday, according to DealNews, because high-end clothiers don’t really offer great “sales.”

Otherwise, shoppers could get not-so-great discounts of 20 to 30 percent off on designer clothing, which DealNews calls “yawn-worthy.”

3. Latest Amazon Fire tablets

While you can likely find deals on Amazon’s older Fire tablets, you likely won’t find many great discounts on the newest Fire lineup, according to DealNews. Last year, during Cyber Week, DealNews saw only two discounts on the then-new Kindle Fire HDX.

4. High-end laptops

While November may be a great month to buy laptops, shoppers should hold off on “powerhouse” computing machines.

“High-performance machines that boast a powerful CPU like Intel’s Core i7 models actually see better prices during the summer back-to-school sales,” DealNews’ features writer Marcy Bonebright states.

July and September can offer deals that are 9 percent cheaper (about $50 on average) than even November’s best deals, DealNews states.

5. Tools

While there may be great Black Friday deals on cheap household hand tools, last year, there were 16 percent more tool offers in December than those of November, according to DealNews.

6. Gift cards

“Discounted gift cards practically rain from the sky in December, especially those from iTunes,” according to Bonebright. “Last year, we saw so many gift card deals in December, we had to publish a weekly feature just to keep track of them all.”

7. Brand-name smart TVs

While Black Friday’s door-buster deals often feature deep discounts on flat-screen televisions, brand-name TVs tend to have better prices after the Consumer Electronics Show. During that January event, manufacturers reveal their new product lineups in Las Vegas. But, DealNews points out, last year the best 55″ name-brand TV deal came in September, which was 10 percent cheaper than November’s best deal.

8. Airline and vacation packages

While there are some “superior” hotel discounts on Black Friday, you might want to refrain from booking a flight or planning a vacation. DealNews recommends planning travel for January, which offers a higher number of deals.

9. Exercise equipment

“December consistently sees an uptick in both the quantity of exercise equipment offers and the quality,” writes Bonebright. Last year, DealNews marked almost 30 percent of December sports deals as Editors’ Choice, compared to just 15 percent in November.

10. Chocolates and flowers

November 2013 had the fewest offers in this category all year, according to DealNews. Better stick to the bigger gift-giving holidays of Christmas and Valentine’s Day, DealNews says.

11. Home and patio furniture

Most retailers discount these items heavily in the warmer months. The number of home furniture deals increase in July and August with patio furniture clearance sales “dominating” in August and September, Bonebright writes.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Samsung ‘Eye Mouse’ Lets Users Control Computer with Blink of an Eye

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Samsung’s eye scrolling technology has been taken to a new level by a volunteer group of engineers who have developed a system that allows a user to surf the Internet, write and edit documents with the blink of an eye.

It sounds like a futuristic dream, but Samsung’s engineers on Tuesday showed off the result of their passion project, which they hope will allow people with disabilities to be better able to use computers.

Unlike similar technology, Samsung’s second-generation EYECAN+ doesn’t require the user to wear any equipment or be in any specific position. The system works when users are situated approximately 2 feet away from the monitor, according to Samsung.

The EYECAN+ device is a portable box that is positioned below a computer monitor.

First-time users will have to calibrate their eyes to the technology so it can remember their ocular characteristics. From there, users will be able to write and edit messages and browse the Internet while they’re seated or lying down — controlling the system with their subtle eye movements.

Samsung said they do not plan to sell the EYECAN+ and instead “will manufacture a limited quantity to donate to charity organizations.”

The technology and design of the breakthrough technology will soon be made open source, allowing other groups and companies free rein to commercialize the eye mouse, according to Samsung.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Exclusive: ABC News Interviews Police Officer Darren Wilson

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) — In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, police officer Darren Wilson breaks his silence about the shooting of Michael Brown.

Wilson told ABC News that he did not execute Brown but was in fear for his life and was just “doing his job.”

This is the first time Wilson has made public remarks about the Aug. 9 shooting.

The interview comes a day after the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson in an incident that sparked national outcry.

Tune into ABC News’ World News Tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST to see the interview.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Check Out Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard in First “Pan” Trailer

Warner Bros. UK/YouTube(NEW YORK) — Even wonder what Neverland was like before Peter Pan?

Well, Hugh Jackman, 46, stars as Blackbeard in Pan, a take on the magical world before Pan was the leader of Lost Boys and before Hook was Captain Hook.

The movie hits theaters next June and also features Garrett Hedlund as Hook, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily and Levi Miller as Peter.

It shows Peter as an orphan and how he makes his way to Neverland. Hook also looks as sweet as can be, while Blackbeard is the fierce leader and antagonist in the film.

Check out the first trailer for the film below:

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

New Beauty Tool Sterilizes Makeup Brushes, Cuts Drying Time in Half

Brush Medic(NEW YORK) — You wash your hair, body and clothes on a regular basis. But how often do you wash your makeup brushes?

Now, one product is vying to make the pesky task of cleaning your brushes an easier one.

It’s called Brush Medic, and it’s said to eliminate 99 percent of dirt and bacteria through a UV sterilizing system.

“It was really my wife’s idea who’s a makeup artist at a large cosmetic store,” says Billy Turner, co-founder of Brush Medic. “One night she was saying how it took way too long for the brushes to clean and dry, so we created something that would kill bacteria and take less drying time.”

How it works is you start by cleaning your brushes with soap and water. Or, try the Brush Medic Quick Clean Wipes. “They are alcohol free, so they won’t damage your brushes,” Turner says. Finish by placing them in the Brush Medic machine for a deep cleaning.

In addition to a bacteria free cleaning, the system promises a drying time that’s up to 10 times faster.

In the future, the company hopes to expand its reach to professional makeup artists.

“We are developing a larger product that we think would be great for commercial brands,” Turner says. “We’d like to spread the word throughout the makeup industry.”

One expert agrees that Brush Medic can be a useful tool for beauty buffs everywhere.

“Your makeup brushes should be cleaned every single day,” says green beauty expert Sophie Uilano. “If you don’t clean your brushes, you’ll absolutely break out.”

“The problem with brush cleaners is that they are highly toxic, so this is a fantastic solution,” Uilano says. “Brush drying time is also an issue, so it’s great that it cuts that too.”

The Brush Medic Pro will be available exclusively at indiegogo.com. Customers can preorder the system for a price of $199. A mini version is sold for $99.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →