Review Category : Top Stories

Thousands Attend Funeral for Palestinian Teenager

Saeed Qaq/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) — Thousands of mourners attended the funeral Friday for a murdered Palestinian teenager who is suspected to have been killed in a revenge attack.

The body of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was carried into the mosque above a crowd that chanted of martyrdom and vengeance.

Abu Khdeir was believed to have been taken from the mosque across the street from his family’s home on Wednesday morning. He was found dead in a west Jerusalem forest in an incident that many believe was retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teens.

Violence continued Thursday night into Friday in wake of the murders, as rockets fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip landed in Israel. At least four rockets were launched Friday morning, according to the Israeli military.

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12-Foot Python Trapped in Barbecue Grill By Florida Residents

iStock/Thinkstock(FLORIDA CITY, Fla.) — Residents in Florida City, Florida trapped a 12-foot long Burmese python in a barbecue grill on Thursday night.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s venom unit responded to the call from residents and captured the python at around 10 p.m. last night, according to Arnold Piedrahita Jr., public information officer at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

The snake is about 12 feet long, and will be turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, according to Piedrahita.

.@MiamiDadeFire #Venom1 team captured 12ft python @FloridaCity last night. Residents trapped it in a bbq grill. pic.twitter.com/8c69U3RIgL

— Arnold Piedrahita Jr (@mdfrpio) July 4, 2014

Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia. The Burmese pythons of South Florida are classified as an invasive species in the area. Due to their large body size, adult Burmese pythons have few predators within Florida except for alligators and humans.

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New Citizen Stumbles Over Pledge of Allegiance as Obama Consoles

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — In honor of the nation’s Independence Day, President Obama delivered remarks at a Naturalization Ceremony for active duty military personnel and civilians Friday.

Toward the end of the ceremony, one of America’s newest citizens had a little trouble while leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

After a sigh of relief from the young lady and chuckles from the crowd, the president can be heard saying “It’s ok,” and “I get nervous too,” while hugging her.

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Los Angeles Opens Area’s First Marijuana Farmers Market

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Medical marijuana users in Los Angeles will now be able to buy pot directly from a farmers market the same way they purchase fresh fruit and vegetables.

The California Heritage Market, set to be held at the West Coast Collective in a 15,000 square-foot open-air venue, will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. this weekend starting Friday, according to Adam Henry, general manager of the market.

“This is a chance for patients to learn directly from the growers,” Henry told ABC News. “Also, you get much competitive prices.”

Henry said patients can get one gram of marijuana for seven dollars at the market, compared to $20 in dispensaries.

“We cut down the price of overhead and middle man,” Henry said. “You need guards at dispensaries. You need employees. Rent is expensive. That drivers up costs.”

Some 50 vendors are at the market Friday selling everything from fresh buds to baked goods.

Henry said the market is completely legal, as it is not located within 100 feet of schools or 600 feet of parks, which is required by the city of Los Angeles.

The market is free to enter, but not open to the public. Customers will have to show their ID and medical marijuana recommendation upon arrival.

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Hillary Clinton ‘Bewildered and Confused’ By Supreme Court’s Contraceptive Rulings

Gary Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton said she’s “very bewildered and confused” by the Supreme Court’s ruling to further allow employers with religious objections to avoid offering contraceptives in their health care plans.

Just days after the Supreme Court issued its controversial Hobby Lobby decision and ruled in favor of a for-profit corporation seeking an exemption from the contraceptive mandate, the court issued an unusual order Thursday providing temporary relief to a non-profit college that also objects to the mandate.

Clinton, who is openly pro-choice, called the latest development “a serious breach of a woman’s right,” and called for government action: ”There has to be some action taken, in the Congress or by the executive to try to clarify what the court just did,” she said in an interview with ABC News’ Ann Compton.

On Monday, Clinton slammed the Supreme Court for their initial ruling in Hobby Lobby, warning that it was a ”really bad slippery slope” that should incite a “real outcry” from the American public.

Hillary Clinton also spoke about the surge of Central American immigrants illegally crossing the U.S. border. Clinton said she believes that the children and mothers crossing should not be allowed to remain in the country.

“If they do make it they cannot believe they have any opportunity to stay. They have to be processed appropriately and then returned,” Clinton told Compton.

Clinton, who is in London to promote her new memoir Hard Choices, touched on a range of topics, including America’s role in Iraq, her health, her high-dollar speaking fees, and her upcoming life as a grandmother (Clinton estimated she hadn’t changed a diaper in roughly 4.5 years).

The potential presidential candidate also had some advice for President Obama, whose oldest daughter, Malia, turns 16 Friday and will soon be getting her driver’s license.

While teaching a daughter to drive while in the White House can be a challenge, Clinton said that there’s one place her husband was able to do so: Camp David. While there are no roads at the president’s country retreat, Hillary Clinton said that’s where Bill Clinton helped Chelsea with her parallel parking skills.

“If you pass along to the president that going up to Camp David worked for us, maybe he can try it now,” Clinton said.

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Now Open: World’s Largest Underground Trampoline

iStock/Thinkstock(CARDIFF, Wales) — Three giant trampolines deep inside an old mining cavern are the latest attraction drawing tourists to Northern Wales.

Claiming to be “twice the size of [London’s] St. Paul’s Cathedral,” Bounce Below opened July 4 at the Zip World Titan, located in Llechwedd Slate Caverns near the mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.

It’s the “world’s first subterranean playground of its kind,” reads the web site. “These huge trampoline like nets are hung within two vast chambers at varying levels, linked together by walkways and slides, the biggest of which is a 60 foot slide.To add to the already awesome experience, the cavern is lit up with a technicolor light display that illuminates the cavern with vibrant colors showing off the remains of the Victorian slate mine.”

Cost of admission is about $25.

Zip World Titan was already the home to the Titan, the “largest zip zone in the world.”

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Lawmakers Urge Removal of Undocumented Immigrants During House Hearing

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(MCALLEN, Texas) — The House Homeland Security Committee held a field hearing in Texas on Thursday to address the surge of unaccompanied minors entering the United States.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on President Obama to secure the American border and asked that undocumented immigrants coming into the nation be detained and sent back to their home countries.

“Allowing them to remain here…will only encourage the next group of individuals,” Perry said.

The Republican governor also urged the federal government to station more Border Patrol agents in his state.

Homeland Security Chair Mike McCaul called the crisis a national security threat.

“The point is our military bases are turning into refugee camps,” McCaul said. “I never thought I would see this in the United States of America.”

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers criticized conservatives for their views on immediate deportation.

“The massive deportation policy for children, and a mandatory detaining for children is not a humane thing to do,” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said.

The Lone Star State is running out of room and resources, prompting officials to transfer hundreds of immigrants to California for processing. A facility at Bush Airport in Houston will serve as a staging point for the immigrant children, who will be flown to relatives’ homes or foster homes across the country.

The groups have been greeted by protesters, as anti-immigration activists see the steps as a form of amnesty. Individuals waving American flags Tuesday blocked buses of undocumented immigrants from getting through at a border patrol center in Murrieta, California. The Homeland Security vehicles were forced to retreat.

Others in support of the undocumented asked Americans to show compassion.

“We’re asking for people to view this from a humanitarian, from a global standpoint and realize that these are our children and these are children who oftentimes, it wasn’t their decision on whether to be brought or to come here on their own,” said Cesar Espinosa, a spokesman for the immigration advocacy group FIEL.

Protesters returned on Friday, camped outside the station as they grilled hot dogs and planned to once again stop the buses.

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Dad Charged with Son’s Hot Car Death Told Family How to Collect Life Insurance

Cobb County Sheriff’s Office(MARIETTA, Ga.) — The Georgia dad charged with killing his toddler son by leaving the boy in a hot car all day had given family members instructions on what they needed to do in order to collect $27,000 from the boy’s insurance policy, new documents made public today reveal.

Justin Ross Harris, 33, who has been denied bond and faces child cruelty and felony murder charges after he said he forgot his 22-month old son in his SUV while he was at work at Home Depot, “has made comments to family members regarding a life insurance policy that he has on Cooper and what they need to do in order to file for it,” according to search warrant affidavits.

The documents show that the family also had student and cars loans were about $4,000 in credit card debt. Harris had also just started a business with friends.

Harris told police he was “happily married,” however the investigation found Harris was sexting with other women, prosecutors said.

In the interview with police, both Justin Ross Harris and his wife Leanna Harris said leaving their child in a hot car was their worst fear. However, Leanna Harris stated she had the fear of her child being left in a hot car — but not the fear of losing a child, according to documents.

Harris had spent part of the day while his son was dying in the overheated car sending explicit messages and photos to “multiple women,” investigators said Thursday.

One of the females Harris sexted was 17, officials said.

The prosecutor said that he brought up the sexting during the probable cause hearing because it “goes to the state of mind” of the defendant.

“He wanted to live a child free life,” the prosecutor said during the court hearing on Thursday.

At the end of the three hour hearing, Judge Frank R. Cox denied bond for Harris because “this is a possible death penalty case.”

The affidavit made public Friday also outlines the events heard in court Thursday afternoon.

Police searched five computers, an iPad, and an iPhone for information on Harris’ finances, credit card, business information, life insurance, emails about the child, family issues, photos/ videos of Cooper, searches for car seat and car deaths, and his communications with others. They also searched the family condo for the need of light bulbs and his personal records, including life insurance and pay stubs from Home Depot.

There were nine search warrants and nine affidavits released dating back to June 24.

Cobb County Police Department Detective Phil Stoddard had told the court that before little Cooper Harris died, his father took him to a Chik-fil-A restaurant for breakfast and while buckling the boy back into his car seat, “Cooper gives him a kiss and he [Harris] gave him a kiss back.”

Harris sat impassively in an orange jail jumpsuit until the end of the hearing when he began to cry. He has insisted he forgot his son was in the car and that the boy’s death was an accident.

Stoddard testified that before the boy died, Harris had visited the website Reddit to search for articles on life without children, and viewed videos on Reddit that showed people dying — by suicide or execution, in some cases. Harris had also twice viewed a video that shows the painful death of animals left in hot cars, and had searched for how to survive in prison, according to searches of his laptop, Stoddard said.

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German Staffer Arrested on Suspicion of Spying for US

iStock/Thinkstock(BERLIN) — A German man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of spying for the United States, according to officials.

The 31-year-old German citizen was held on “urgent suspicion” of unauthorized intelligence services, the New York Times reported.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was informed of the arrest on Thursday.

The incident comes shortly after after two Americans, formerly National Security Agency workers, testified to the German government on U.S. data monitoring.

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ALS, Lou Gehrig’s ‘Bad Break,’ Still Fatal Today

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s been 75 years since Lou Gehrig said goodbye to baseball, declaring himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth” despite a diagnose that remains fatal today.

“I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for,” the Yankee slugger said July 4, 1939, roughly two weeks after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Gehrig died 23 months later from the disease that came to bear his name.

Despite decades of research, Lou Gehrig’s disease is still invariably fatal, trapping its victims inside paralyzed bodies and landing them on ventilators to breathe. Most people die from it in less than five years.

Gehrig died in two. He was just 37 years old.

Only one drug, riluzole, has been proven to slow the progression of ALS, though countless others have shown promise in preliminary studies only to fail in the clinical trials that count.

In a personal letter to his doctor, Gehrig described his hope that thiamin injections were working to boost his strength and slow his decline.

“I hope it is not my imagination,” he wrote of the injections, calling their effects “nothing short of miracles.” “Where I used to get exceptionally tired in the morning (especially in the right hand) from brushing my teeth, shaving, combing my hair, buttoning up tight buttons on my clothes, I would then feel like relaxing and resting, whereas now that tiredness is somewhat lessened, and I still have pep to go on.”

The letter, addressed to Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. Paul O’Leary, is a sweet “note to say ‘hello’” and invite O’Leary and his wife to the World Series.

“I sincerely HOPE AND URGE you and Ruth to be with us for this is probably the only way in which I can attempt to begin to show my appreciation,” Gehrig wrote in the typed letter dated Sept. 13, 1939, and signed “Lou.” The letter was auctioned by SCP Auctions in May.

As many as 30,000 people in the United States have ALS, according to the National Institutes of Health, and an estimated 5,000 Americans are diagnosed each year. The disease usually strikes people in the prime of their lives, between the ages of 40 and 60.

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