Review Category : Top Stories

Ravens Owner Disputes Ray Rice Report By ESPN

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(OWINGS MILLS, Md.) — Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti disputed a report by ESPN regarding the organization’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case.

ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported on Friday that Bisciotti, Ravens president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to be lenient in his punishment of Rice.

“It’s Ray’s attorney, its Ray’s agent, and it’s Ray’s friends,” Bisciotti said. “They are building a case for reinstatement and the best way to build a case for reinstatement is to make everyone else look like they’re lying.”

The Ravens parted ways with Rice following the release of a video by TMZ that showed the running back striking his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator at the Revel hotel in Atlantic City. The NFL originally suspended Rice for two games, then changed course and handed him an indefinite ban following the publication of the video.

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Ravens Owner Disputes Ray Rice Report By ESPN

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(OWINGS MILLS, Md.) — Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti disputed a report by ESPN regarding the organization’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case.

ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported on Friday that Bisciotti, Ravens president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to be lenient in his punishment of Rice.

“It’s Ray’s attorney, its Ray’s agent, and it’s Ray’s friends,” Bisciotti said. “They are building a case for reinstatement and the best way to build a case for reinstatement is to make everyone else look like they’re lying.”

The Ravens parted ways with Rice following the release of a video by TMZ that showed the running back striking his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator at the Revel hotel in Atlantic City. The NFL originally suspended Rice for two games, then changed course and handed him an indefinite ban following the publication of the video.

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Are You Living in the Best Small City in the US?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The results are in for the best small city in America.

The annual ranking of the 50 most livable small cities in the United States — based on more than 50 factors, including housing, property taxes, schools and safety — has been released by Money magazine, and the top spot goes to McKinney, Texas, for its Southern charm.

Rounding out the top 5 were Maple Grove, Minnesota; Carmel, Indiana; Castle Rock, Colorado; and Kirkland, Washington.

Below are the top 10:

  • McKinney, Texas
  • Maple Grove, Minnesota
  • Carmel, Indiana
  • Castle Rock, Colorado
  • Kirkland, Washington
  • Columbia and Ellicott City, Maryland
  • Clarkstown, New York
  • Ames, Iowa
  • Rochester Hills, Michigan
  • Reston, Virginia

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Are You Living in the Best Small City in the US?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The results are in for the best small city in America.

The annual ranking of the 50 most livable small cities in the United States — based on more than 50 factors, including housing, property taxes, schools and safety — has been released by Money magazine, and the top spot goes to McKinney, Texas, for its Southern charm.

Rounding out the top 5 were Maple Grove, Minnesota; Carmel, Indiana; Castle Rock, Colorado; and Kirkland, Washington.

Below are the top 10:

  • McKinney, Texas
  • Maple Grove, Minnesota
  • Carmel, Indiana
  • Castle Rock, Colorado
  • Kirkland, Washington
  • Columbia and Ellicott City, Maryland
  • Clarkstown, New York
  • Ames, Iowa
  • Rochester Hills, Michigan
  • Reston, Virginia

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Why Sarah Silverman Will Never Marry

ABC/Matt Brown(NEW YORK) — Sarah Silverman was quick to shoot down rumors that she is engaged to boyfriend Michael Sheen.

After a tabloid recently ran a story titled “Sarah Wants a Ring,” about the 43-year-old comedian leaving “pictures of engagement rings all over the place” so Sheen, 45, would get the “hint” and propose, Silverman responded on Twitter Sunday. She wrote, “Just read that I wanna get married which is hilarious b/c I will never get married.”

The comedian went on to explain why she will never tie the knot.

“Why would I want the govt involved in my love life? Ew. It’s barbaric,” she wrote.

Silverman and Sheen have been dating since last December. She has been a recurring guest star on his series, Masters of Sex.

In April, Silverman opened up to The View about her love for Sheen.

“Look, this is so awkward. Listen, I love his body, but I also love what’s inside,” she said, opening up for the first time about Sheen publicly.

“He speaks foreign, he’s foreign and on his show Masters of Sex he speaks perfect American,” she joked about her British boyfriend. “I’m like, ‘If you can talk normal, why don’t you do that all the time?’ And I like to get in his face and go, ‘USA, number one!’ and he’s like ‘Number one in what?’ and I’m like ‘Obesity?'”

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The Worst White House Security Breaches of All Time

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — After Omar Gonzalez of Texas scaled the north fence and entered the White House Friday, the Secret Service immediately began clamping down on security protocols.

But this is hardly the first time an intruder has managed to gain access to the White House grounds, one of the most historic and seemingly secure places in the world.

Here’s a look back at some of the most egregious breaches at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

July 1976: Chester Plummer

Armed with a 3-foot-long metal pipe, Chester Plummer, 30, climbed the 8-foot fence and advanced toward the White House in July 1976. After reportedly menacing a Secret Security agent, he was shot in the chest and died 90 minutes later.

October 1978: Anthony Henry

Dressed in a white karate uniform, Anthony Henry, 35, scaled the fence and charged the North Portico in an attempt to convince President Carter to remove the phrase “In God we trust” from U.S. currency. When officers approached, Henry adopted a karate stance and whipped a knife out of the Bible he was carrying. He slashed one officer in the face and another in the arm before being wrestled to the ground.

January 1985: Robert Latta

Just a few hours before President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration in 1985, Robert Latta, 45, sauntered into the White House with the Marine Corps band and wandered around for about 15 minutes before being apprehended by Secret Service.

September 1994: Frank Eugene Corder

In September 1994, during President Clinton’s first term, former Army mechanic Frank Eugene Corder allegedly stole a single-engine Cessna airplane and crashed it on the South Lawn. The plane skidded across the lawn and slammed into a wall just below the presidential bedroom. Corder, reportedly intoxicated at the time, was the sole fatality.

October 1994: Francisco Martin Duran

About a month later, Francisco Martin Duran, 26, pulled a rifle from under his trench coat and opened fire, unleashing at least 29 rounds at the White House, where President Clinton was watching football. When he stopped to reload, passersby managed to tackle and subdue him. Duran later claimed he was attempting to save the world from an alien “mist.” He was convicted of attempted assassination and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

February 2001: Robert Pickett

In February 2001, Robert Pickett, a former IRS accountant with a history of mental illness, allegedly fired several shots outside the White House and then refused to drop his weapon, spurring a tense 10-minute standoff that ended when a Secret Service agent shot him in the knee. Just 700 feet away, President Bush was exercising in his private residence. Pickett, 47, was eventually sent to a Bureau of Prisons psychiatric hospital for treatment.

January 2005: Lowell Timmers

Angry that his daughter’s undocumented fiancé could be deported, Lowell Timmers, 54, threatened to blow up his van near the White House in January 2005. “I want my son, and I’m not leaving until my son-in-law is out of jail,” Timmers reportedly told authorities during the ensuing four-and-a-half-hour standoff. He eventually surrendered peacefully, and later pled guilty to making a false explosive threat. He told the court, however, that he couldn’t “rule out” the possibility that he would do it again, but “the odds of that happening are 800 million billion [sic] to one.”

November 2009: Tareq and Michaele Salahi

In what may have been the most glamorous breach in White House history, aspiring reality stars Tareq and Michaele Salahi managed to slip through two security checkpoints and into a White House state dinner, where they mingled with the president, vice president and chief of staff in November 2009. The pair, who publicly maintained they had been invited to the event, pled the Fifth at a congressional hearing examining the breach.

November 2011: Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez

Apparently fearful of an impending apocalypse, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez fired at least eight rounds at the White House from the window of his Honda Accord, striking the building several times and severely damaging its façade. President Obama, whom Ortega, 23, reportedly called “the anti-Christ,” was away at the time. Ortega fled the scene and was apprehended in a hotel room in Pennsylvania five days later. He eventually pled guilty to firing an assault weapon at the White House and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Authorities agreed to drop an assassination charge as part of a plea deal.

June 2013: Joseph Clifford Reel

In June 2013, Joseph Clifford Reel, 33, rigged his driverless Jeep to crash into the White House security gate, hoping it would create diversion and allow him to paint a “don’t tread on me” sign on an exterior wall of the White House. According to prosecutors, the Jeep had two machetes as well as hundreds of bullets and eight knives. No one was injured in the crash, and Reel was apprehended with a can of spray paint in the courtyard. In a manifesto posted online, Reel slammed the Obama administration, saying “Every once in a while, bad people take over. .?.?. And every once in a while, regular people have to get up and say, ‘No.’?” Reel, who claimed he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

But not all the security snafus at the White House have been so serious. In perhaps the most adorable security breach to date, a 2-year-old squeezed through the bars of the north fence last month, spurring a lockdown and delaying the president’s impending address to the nation.

“We were going to wait until he learned to talk to question him,” a Secret Service spokesman said, ”but in lieu of that he got a timeout and was sent on way with parents.”

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Paris Locks Down on Bridge ‘Love Locks’

iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) — Tourists around the world know Paris as the city of love. But the river Seine will soon be without some of its most popular symbols of romance.

For years, visitors to the French capital have expressed their undying love by attaching padlocks, often with names or messages inscribed on them, to the railings of some of the city’s iconic bridges. But city officials in Paris announced a plan this weekend to remove the lock-laden railings and replace them with thick glass panels, paving the way for a potential end to the practice.

Authorities and residents of the City of Light have voiced disapproval for the budding tradition since the practice began. One of the leading critics of the locks is Lisa Taylor Huff, whose “No Love Locks” campaign began in January.

“Parisians, most of them, really hate these love locks,” Huff told ABC News. “It’s vandalism, and it’s taken the ambiance away from the bridges.”

François Charlottin, a graduate student in Paris, agreed. “Most people here find those locks really ugly,” he told ABC News. “Imagine you’re trying to get a perfect picture on the Seine and you can’t see past the locks on the bridge.”

The locks first started appearing on bridges in Paris around 2008, shortly after young couples in Italy began attaching padlocks to the Ponte Milvio, a bridge over Rome’s Tiber River, apparently mimicking the protagonists of a popular Italian novel.

“This really captured people’s imaginations,” Huff said. “After Rome started banning the locks, couples from all over Europe were coming to Paris.”

In Italy, officials began to crack down after the padlocks began to pile up, along with graffiti and chains, which damaged the ancient Roman bridge. A similar process is now under way in Paris.

Although groups like Huff’s have been petitioning the city government for months, it was only after a parapet on the Pont des Arts collapsed under the weight of the locks in June that the city got serious about putting an end to the practice. Another rail collapsed a month later, requiring repairs.

Now, city officials in Paris are experimenting with panels of thick, shatterproof and graffiti-resistant glass to protect the bridges from further lock-related damage. Two panels were put up on the Pont des Arts, replacing the older railings. Huff said she expected a third panel in the next few weeks.

“The Pont des Arts is a lightweight pedestrian bridge,” Huff said. “Some of the railings have 500 kilograms of locks by the time the city removes them. The one that collapsed in June weighed 700 kilograms.”

Other Parisians see the locks as a tourist gimmick that damages the legacy of the city’s architectural history.

“It’s becoming a part of city life, but it’s not a Parisian symbol,” said Charlottin. “It’s really only for the foreign tourists.”

Add those aesthetic concerns, the mounting costs of maintaining the bridges and replacing the railings every few weeks as they filled with locks, and the city’s decision appeared inevitable to lock critics such as Huff.

“They’re a costly problem for the city and also a safety hazard,” Huff said. “To us, this riverfront is something the city has an obligation to preserve.”

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Cuddlr App Lets You Hug a Stranger

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There are apps that link people up for dates, and others that guarantee meet-ups for more than that. But a new app called Cuddlr promises users something between the two: a hug.

Charlie Williams, a veteran of the music-finding app Shazam, developed the new app, which promises something different from other sites.

“Many features, such as chat, photo albums, shared interests and likes, can keep users from actually meeting: they just chat for months, or swipe left-or-right, or send photos. On Cuddlr, you get together straight away, have a little cuddle, and then part ways,” Cuddlr’s website says.

The site sends you a hug request from a willing participant, and it’s up to you to accept. If things go well, the site says, it’s on you.

“If you want to hang out again, you can exchange information then and there — but you already know what kind of cuddles they give,” the site reads.

The site acknowledges meeting a total stranger online for some affection — even a seemingly innocuous gesture such as a hug — is a risky proposition, so the site suggests meeting in public for a squeeze. Further than that, Cuddlr allows a ratings system to try to tamp down the creep factor.

“Users with a substantial proportion of [negative] reports are unlikely to have their requests accepted, and we ban anyone who is consistently using it improperly,” the site insists.

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White House Fence Jumper Had 800 Rounds of Ammo in Car

New River Valley Regional Jail(WASHINGTON) — White House fence jumper Omar Gonzalez had more than 800 rounds of ammo in his car plus two hatchets and a machete, prosecutors said Monday as Virginia authorities revealed the Army veteran was arrested last July and charged with possession of a sawed-off shot gun and eluding police in Wythe County, Virginia.

Police also found “several assault rifles” in the vehicle at the time of his July arrest, according to a criminal complaint obtained by ABC News.

After Virginia State Police received several calls about a reckless driver on July 19, Virginia State Police observed a grey Ford Bronco moving at high speeds.

After eluding police and nearly crashing, Gonzalez was eventually pulled over, according to the complaint.

Gonzalez has been homeless for the past three months after more than a decade in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Iraq, authorities said.

Virginia State Police confirmed to ABC News that Gonzalez had a map of Washington, D.C., with a circle drawn around the White House, along with 11 different guns in his vehicle when he was arrested in July on charges of reckless driving, eluding police and possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

Virginia State Police also confirmed that they alerted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as the Secret Service about their arrest of Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was also stopped on Aug. 25 while walking along the south fence of the White House, prosecutors said. He had a hatchet in his rear waist band but was not arrested after he permitted a search of his car, which was parked nearby. Police found camping gear and two dogs but no ammo, prosecutors said.

Asked by a judge Monday whether Gonzalez needed a mental health eval, his lawyer said no.

The next court hearing has been set for Oct. 1.

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Report: Chris Christie Has Lost 85 Pounds Since Surgery

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is continuing to shed pounds after having weight loss surgery.

The New York Times reports the governor told conservative donors behind closed doors last Friday that he has lost 85 pounds since undergoing lap-band stomach surgery in February 2013.

While the meeting at the Manhattan apartment was off limits to the press, someone in attendance told the newspaper Christie was pressed by donors about his health.

“He did not reveal his current weight, although he said he understood he had to slim down if he wanted to move beyond Trenton,” the Times reports.

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