Review Category : Top Stories

Germanwings Crash Co-Pilot Seemed Like a ‘Normal Guy,’ Fellow Pilot Says

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images(DÜSSELDORF, Germany) — A German pilot who recently flew with the co-pilot accused by French prosecutors of deliberately crashing a Germanwings plane said he seemed like a “normal guy,” and he “had plans for the future.”

French prosecutors have said co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately slammed the passenger plane into a mountain on Tuesday. Authorities have since said he hid evidence of an illness from his employers, including a sick note that was found torn up inside his apartment in Dusseldorf dated from the day of the crash.

Frank Woiton, a Germanwings pilot, told German TV station WDR that he saw nothing unusual about Lubitz when he flew with him less than a month ago.

“The impression that I got was that he was a normal guy,” Woiton said. “He had plans for the future. He wanted to fly long distance flights for Lufthansa.”

German State Prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said on Friday that “a torn-up current sick note … valid for the day of the incident” had been found inside Lubitz’s apartment in Dusseldorf, adding that it “would — according to preliminary evaluation — support the assumption that the [pilot] had concealed his illness towards his employer and his occupational environment.”

Kumpa said the note found indicated Lubitz, 27, “was declared by a medical doctor unfit to work.”

The disclosure of torn medical documents at the co-pilot’s home came shortly before Germanwings’ parent company, Lufthansa, announced that it would be changing company policy to require two “authorized persons” remain in the cockpit at all times during the flight, in light of the finding that Lubitz apparently stopped the captain from re-entering the cockpit and forced the plane to crash.

In addition to the findings suggesting Lubitz was hiding an illness, a search of his apartment in Dusseldorf yielded no suicide note and the city’s prosecutor announced that there was no evidence that political or religious factors were involved in the crash.

The New York Times reported that Lubitz sought treatment for vision problems that may have put his future as a pilot at risk, two officials with knowledge of the investigation told the newspaper.

It’s unclear how severe the eye problems were but one official with knowledge of the investigation hadn’t ruled out that it was caused or enhanced by psychological factors, the Times reported.

ABC News was unable to independently confirm the report.

Dusseldorf University Hospital said Lubitz was a patient there and his last visit was two weeks before the crash. The hospital denied that the treatment was related to depression, but they have handed over all of his medical records to German investigators.

During a news conference on Thursday, the Lufthansa CEO said that Lubitz had undergone a medical examination that included a psychological evaluation before being hired in 2013 but, unlike physicals, mental evaluations are not required annually.

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Seven Injured, One Critically, in Panama City Beach Shooting

Alex_Schmidt/iStock/Thinkstock(PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla.) — Seven people were injured after a shooting at an apartment in Panama City Beach, Florida early Saturday morning, officials said.

One person was hospitalized in critical condition, according to Bay County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Ruth Corley.

The shooting, which occurred just before 1 a.m., appeared to take place at a Spring Break-related party, according to the sheriff’s office.

Officials said they would release more information later on Saturday.

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Obama Calls Saudi King Over Yemen Developments

vichie81/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Obama spoke with the new king of Saudi Arabia on Friday over recent developments in Yemen, as Saudi Arabia continues to conduct airstrikes against rebels in parts of the country.

“The President reaffirmed the strong friendship between the United States and Saudi Arabia and emphasized the United States’ support for the action taken by Saudi Arabia, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, and others in response to President Hadi’s request and in support of the legitimate government of Yemen,” National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said in a statement.

In addition to underscoring the commitment by the U.S. to Saudi Arabia’s security, President Obama and King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud agreed on a collective goal to achieve “lasting stability” in Yemen through a negotiated political solution, according to Meehan.

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Decorated Boston Police Officer in Coma After ‘Unprovoked’ Shooting

ABC News(BOSTON) — A police officer decorated for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing remains in critical condition in a medically-induced coma after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop, the city’s police commissioner said Saturday.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans called the shooting of officer John Moynihan on Friday night “unprovoked” during a news conference on Saturday. Moynihan and five other officers had pulled over a driver in Roxbury, Massachusetts, when the driver began firing at the officers, according to police.

The officers hadn’t drawn their guns when the driver began shooting, said Evans. As the officers chased after him, the driver continued to fire, emptying his revolver as he ran.

The officers later shot the driver, who died on scene, police said. Evans identified him as 41-year-old Angelo West, adding that he had a violent criminal past.

Moynihan, 34, was shot underneath his eye and the bullet became lodged behind his ear, Evans said.

“We’re hoping and praying there’s no further damage,” he said.

Evans said video shows the officers approaching the vehicle very “low key.” The video then shows the suspect pointing his gun at the officers’ faces.

Police hoped to release the video soon in order for the department to be “as transparent as possible” in its investigation, Evans said.

“I can’t say enough about the great work we did out there,” he added.

Two other suspects were in custody “on unrelated matters,” police said.

Moynihan, a six-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, was one of seven officers who came to the aid of MBTA Officer Richard Donohue during the Watertown, Massachusetts, shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers in 2013 shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston. He was honored at the “Top Cops” ceremony at the White House in 2014.

After Friday’s shooting, Donohue tweeted his best wishes for Moynihan.

Hoping for the best for our BPD brother tonight

— Dic Donohue (@DicDonohue) March 28, 2015

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Denise Huskins’ Boyfriend’s Attorney Says He Received Email From Her Abductors

Courtesy Mike Huskins(VALLEJO, Calif.) — The alleged kidnappers of a California woman sent an email detailing their motive to the office of her boyfriend’s attorney, he said Friday, saying it proves her disappearance was real and not a hoax as police have claimed.

Aaron Quinn’s attorney Dan Russo declined to specify what was said in the six-page email that he claimed detailed the kidnappers’ motivation for abducting Denise Huskins on Monday morning.

“These people are real,” he told ABC News. “They’re really motivated.”

Police in Vallejo, California, said Wednesday that they found “no evidence to support the claims” that Huskins was abducted from Quinn’s home before she was found alive two days later more than 400 miles away in Huntington Beach, California. They declined to comment on Russo’s claims about the email his office received.

Huskins, 29, and Quinn, 30, have denied any involvement in a hoax through their attorneys. Russo has said that Quinn was tied up and drugged by at least two assailants the day his girlfriend was taken, which he said explains why Quinn was unable to call police until hours later.

Police said that Quinn told investigators that Huskins’ abductors made a $8,500 ransom demand.

Both police and the San Francisco Chronicle said Wednesday that they received emails allegedly from Huskins’ kidnappers. While police declined to detail the specifics of the email, the newspaper reported it received an email the day before from an “anonymous person claiming to be holding Denise Huskins.”

The newspaper reported on Thursday that it received a second email from a person claiming to be one of the kidnappers that said the abduction was real.

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James Bond Film “Spectre” Releases Teaser Trailer

Sony / Columbia(NEW YORK) — The teaser trailer for Spectre, the next installment in the James Bond series, picks up right where the last film left off.

The trailer opens with the famed 007, played for the fourth time by Daniel Craig, learning some “personal effects” recovered from his ruined family estate and childhood home of Skyfall contain a dark secret of his.

The trailer features some familiar faces – like Naomie Harris, who played Moneypenny in Skyfall – as well as some franchise newcomers, including an eerily silhouetted Christoph Waltz who closes the trailer.

“Welcome James,” he says “It’s been a long time, and finally, here we are.”

Spectre is set to be released November 6. It will be the 24th James Bond film.

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Lonely Bros Can Grow Their ‘Wolfpack’ With New App

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — There’s a new app for bros looking for other bros to hang with, and it could be the salvation of the modern male heterosexual friendship.

It’s called Wolfpack and, yes, it does howl.

The brainchild of Nile Niami, a movie producer turned real estate developer, he said a recently divorced friend inspired him to create the app.

“A lonely guy that lost track of all his buddies because he was married for 20 years and when they got divorced he had … nobody to do anything with,” Niami said.

Women just seem to be better about keeping close friends around than men, he said.

“I think the women, they keep in touch or they have a group of women that they stay close with,” Niami said. “So if anything happens in their life, they would have somebody to talk to.”

Here’s how the app works: After users log in, they list their hobbies, interests and a few other details about themselves. Then guys can either sign up to attend a Wolfpack event or create their own, basically a group man date, such as a pick-up softball game or bar meet-up for a drink or a movie night.

Just launched in January, Niami says Wolfpack has 4,000 users so far, mostly in the Los Angeles area. With Wolfpack, users can pick and choose friends, and discard ones they don’t connect with, not so unlike today’s online dating apps, but Niami said Wolfpack is not meant to be a dating app.

“We were very cognizant from the very beginning to make this a manly site,” he said.

One user named Kevin Thomsen said he was married for 10 years, and is recently divorced.

“I used to be on a bowling team… but the bowling team was literally my brother-in-law, and his uncle, and another co-worker of hers,” he said. “And at some point you just kind of had to slice that out and try filling the holes in other ways.”

Thomsen said he tried other apps, like Meetup, but felt that it was too broad to find others with whom to connect.

“There would be people there but not a whole lot that I had things in common with,” he said. “I like to hike, so I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll join a hiking group and make some new friends,’ and no offense to people, but I get there and there’s like a 65-year-old woman, which, awesome that she hikes, more power to her, but we’re not going to go hang out after.”

Wolfpack, which is available for iOS devices, narrows the interest field, letting guys bond over “guy stuff,” however they want.

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Amanda Knox ‘Grateful’ Conviction Overturned

ABC News(SEATTLE) — After Italy’s highest court decided to overturn Amanda Knox’s reconviction in connection with her roommate’s slaying, Knox said late Friday she was still processing the court’s decision.

“I just wanted to say that I am incredibly grateful for what has happened, for the justice I’ve received, for the support that I’ve had from everyone,” Knox told reporters. “What comes to mind is my gratitude for that life that has been given to me.”

Knox, 27, was initially convicted by an Italian court of killing British student Meredith Kercher in 2007, but that decision was overturned on appeal in October 2011 after she had spent four years in prison.

She was then reconvicted last year and an appeal of the reconviction began this month. There is no possibility of any further appeals after Friday’s ruling.

“Meredith was my friend and she deserved so much in this life,” Knox told reporters.

Knox has rebuilt her life in her hometown of Seattle, writing freelance theater reviews for a local paper and working at a bookstore. In February, her family said that she was engaged to Colin Sutherland, a friend whom she has known since middle school.

Her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito faced the same appeal and was also annulled. While he has been present in the Rome court throughout the week, Knox has remained in America.

“I will never go willingly back,” she told ABC News in January 2014.

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Joey Logano Wins Pole at Martinsville Speedway

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(MARTINSVILLE, Va.) — Joey Logano edged out Ryan Newman on Friday to win the pole at Martinsville Speedway for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.

Logano finished with a third round lap of 98.461 mph and took home his second pole of the season and tenth in his career.

“You win anything at Martinsville, it’s a big deal,” said Logano, who already won the Daytona 500 this year. “Nothing but good things happen from starting first.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Martinsville for the first time in his career last October.

“We head to Martinsville,” Earnhardt said on the “Dale Jr. Download” on Dirty Mo Radio this week. “We want to try to go down there and win another clock. I think we’ve got plenty of places we can put one around here so looking forward to this week.”

Both Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have eight career victories at one of NASCAR’s smallest race tracks.

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Michigan State Beats Oklahoma, Back in Elite Eight

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) — Tom Izzo has done it again. Michigan State (26-11) is back in the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year after beating third-seeded Oklahoma (24-11) 62-58 on Friday night.

The seventh-seeded Spartans have won their last 11 of 14 games and can thank junior guard Denzel Valentine for guiding them past the Sooners with his 18-point effort.

“The first half, I felt like that was my first time playing basketball,” Valentine said, who scored 13 in the second half. “But I just kind of snapped out of it. I was like, `I’m in Sweet 16, and we’ve got a chance to go to the Final 4. I’m a junior, what the heck.’ I just smacked the ground and I woke up I guess.”

Izzo will take on a familiar face in Rick Pitino and the fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinal in the East final on Sunday.

“I get to work another day. I can’t tell you how excited that makes me,” Izzo said. “I’m just tickled to death to still be playing.”

It was a great season for the Lon Kruger led Sooners, who were seeking their first trip to an Elite Eight matchup since 2009.

“Their defense definitely bothered us in the long run,” Oklahoma forward TaShawn Thomas said. “They’re tough. They got stops when they needed to and we didn’t.”

Thomas finished with 16 points in the loss. Sooners guard Buddy Hield added 21.

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