Review Category : Top Stories

Buckingham Palace Repairs May Force Queen Elizabeth to Relocate

claudiodivizia/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Even the Queen of England has to worry about home repairs.

Queen Elizabeth II may have to start packing as the heavy-duty remodeling work gets going at Buckingham Palace.

In desperate need of renovations, the palace hasn’t been substantially redecorated since the queen took to the throne in 1952.

“There are leaks throughout the building,” the queen’s former Press Secretary Dickie Arbiter told the BBC. “There’s still asbestos in the building. Rewiring needs to be done. Replumbing needs to be done, so a lot of work needs to be done and it’s gonna cost.”

Costs could fall in the neighborhood of $240 million for a complete upgrade.

“It is part of our heritage. It is a tourist attraction,” Arbiter believes. “Even if we didn’t have a monarchy, the building would still be there, the building would still be open to the public, so yes, we got to keep it going.”

The 82-year-old monarch has several other residences where she can stay during the renovation period, but she does spend about a third of her time in the palace.

Her ancestor Queen Victoria was the first to use Buckingham Palace. It’s the site of summer garden parties and scores of ceremonial events each year.

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Turkish Citizen Arrested in Germany over ATM Thefts in US

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A hacker kingpin has returned to the U.S. to face charges in a scheme to siphon cash from ATMs all over the world.

The thieves struck in coordinated fashion February 19, 2013, hacking into banks, copying debit card numbers, and in mere hours, stole 45 million dollars from thousands of ATMs in two dozen countries.

“In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and malware,” then-U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said at the time, while calling it “a massive 21st Century” heist.

Now, the alleged mastermind is on U.S. soil to face charges.

The Secret Services caught the Turkish citizen in Germany where a court called him the “most-wanted” computer hacker in the world.

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Obama Speaks with French President on Spying Allegations

Presidence de la Republique(WASHINGTON) — President Obama spoke with French President Hollande on Wednesday after new reports of American spying sparked anger from the French.

Obama tried to smooth things over with Hollande, personally assuring him the U.S. is not and will not spy on his phone calls and other communications.

The leaders spoke by phone after the French expressed outrage over new revelations from WikiLeaks alleging the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Hollande and previous French presidents.

According to the White House, President Obama told Hollande that the U.S. is abiding by a commitment Obama made in 2013 not to spy on the French leaders, after whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the extent of U.S. surveillance.

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US Radicals Bigger Terror Threat Than Jihadis in America

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Since the 9/11 attacks, many Americans have considered radical Muslims as the preeminent threat to homeland security. But non-jihadist extremists have been responsible for nearly twice the number of deaths as jihadist attacks in the United States, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.

Non-Muslim extremists have carried out 19 such attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, killing 48 people, according to the report. In contrast, self-proclaimed Muslim extremists, such as Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, killed 26 people in seven attacks in the same time period.

The U.S. Patriot Act defines “domestic terrorism” as activities that: “(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended—(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

The non-Muslim extremist attacks, which range from ambushing police officers to deliberately crashing a plane into a government building, were carried out by white supremacists, anti-government extremists and other non-Muslims. The slaying of nine African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, last week, marks the deadliest of these attacks yet.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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US Radicals Bigger Terror Threat Than Jihadis in America

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Since the 9/11 attacks, many Americans have considered radical Muslims as the preeminent threat to homeland security. But non-jihadist extremists have been responsible for nearly twice the number of deaths as jihadist attacks in the United States, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.

Non-Muslim extremists have carried out 19 such attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, killing 48 people, according to the report. In contrast, self-proclaimed Muslim extremists, such as Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, killed 26 people in seven attacks in the same time period.

The U.S. Patriot Act defines “domestic terrorism” as activities that: “(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended—(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

The non-Muslim extremist attacks, which range from ambushing police officers to deliberately crashing a plane into a government building, were carried out by white supremacists, anti-government extremists and other non-Muslims. The slaying of nine African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, last week, marks the deadliest of these attacks yet.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Infant’s Unusual Head Shape Reveals Dangerous Condition

Courtesy Megan Boler(NEW YORK) — At 2 months old, Will Boler had bright eyes, chubby cheeks and an odd-looking head that was narrow and oblong.

Will’s mother Megan Boler just thought her new baby had bucked the family trait of large round heads.

“We definitely thought it looked a little unusual. We thought maybe he has an unusual-shaped head,” said Boler. “We didn’t think about any of the ramifications.”

But during Will’s 2-month checkup, the pediatrician looked at Boler and told her she couldn’t find Will’s soft spot on his head and that he might have a possibly dangerous condition called craniosynostosis.

“Don’t take this lightly, I want to refer you to the neurosurgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital,” Boler remembered her pediatrician saying.

At Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, doctors found that Will had a type of craniosynostosis called sagittal synostosis, meaning his skull had fused on the back of his head too early. As a result, his brain had no place to grow, which led to his odd head shape.

“His brain was growing underneath but the skull doesn’t allow for it because of the way it’s fusued,” said Dr. Sandi Lam, director of Craniofacial Surgery Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. “There’s no medicine that will unfuse the bone, the treatment is surgery and basically we have to cut out the bad bone.”

Lam said Will’s young age helped him because doctors could do the surgery with smaller cuts and his brain would help reform his skull post-surgery.

“The skull is very, very thin, we’re able to use different types of instruments and use endoscope to see everything,” said Lam. “Because of all of this growth that is happening the brain really helps make the baby’s new head shape. It rounds everything out from inside out and helps guide how everything heals up.”

Additionally Lam said it’s important to catch the condition early because about 10 percent of children with the condition can end up with high pressure in the brain in the skull which can be dangerous. In rare cases the condition can lead to developmental delays because the brain was unable to grow properly.

Will had his surgery at just 10 weeks of age, and within 72 hours was able to get back to being his smiley, bubbly self. Doctors estimated he would have to wear a special helmet almost 24 hours a day for three to 12 months. But he only had to wear it for four months.

“In a 10-hour period the swelling went down and ever since then he hasn’t looked back,” said Boler, who admitted that the 72 hours after surgery “was definitely challenging.”

Just a few weeks from Will’s first birthday, Boler said you can’t tell anything was wrong with Will’s skull. She said she hoped her story would help other parents catch warning signs for craniosynostosis early on.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Infant’s Unusual Head Shape Reveals Dangerous Condition

Courtesy Megan Boler(NEW YORK) — At 2 months old, Will Boler had bright eyes, chubby cheeks and an odd-looking head that was narrow and oblong.

Will’s mother Megan Boler just thought her new baby had bucked the family trait of large round heads.

“We definitely thought it looked a little unusual. We thought maybe he has an unusual-shaped head,” said Boler. “We didn’t think about any of the ramifications.”

But during Will’s 2-month checkup, the pediatrician looked at Boler and told her she couldn’t find Will’s soft spot on his head and that he might have a possibly dangerous condition called craniosynostosis.

“Don’t take this lightly, I want to refer you to the neurosurgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital,” Boler remembered her pediatrician saying.

At Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, doctors found that Will had a type of craniosynostosis called sagittal synostosis, meaning his skull had fused on the back of his head too early. As a result, his brain had no place to grow, which led to his odd head shape.

“His brain was growing underneath but the skull doesn’t allow for it because of the way it’s fusued,” said Dr. Sandi Lam, director of Craniofacial Surgery Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. “There’s no medicine that will unfuse the bone, the treatment is surgery and basically we have to cut out the bad bone.”

Lam said Will’s young age helped him because doctors could do the surgery with smaller cuts and his brain would help reform his skull post-surgery.

“The skull is very, very thin, we’re able to use different types of instruments and use endoscope to see everything,” said Lam. “Because of all of this growth that is happening the brain really helps make the baby’s new head shape. It rounds everything out from inside out and helps guide how everything heals up.”

Additionally Lam said it’s important to catch the condition early because about 10 percent of children with the condition can end up with high pressure in the brain in the skull which can be dangerous. In rare cases the condition can lead to developmental delays because the brain was unable to grow properly.

Will had his surgery at just 10 weeks of age, and within 72 hours was able to get back to being his smiley, bubbly self. Doctors estimated he would have to wear a special helmet almost 24 hours a day for three to 12 months. But he only had to wear it for four months.

“In a 10-hour period the swelling went down and ever since then he hasn’t looked back,” said Boler, who admitted that the 72 hours after surgery “was definitely challenging.”

Just a few weeks from Will’s first birthday, Boler said you can’t tell anything was wrong with Will’s skull. She said she hoped her story would help other parents catch warning signs for craniosynostosis early on.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Check Out 2015’s Top Airlines Before Booking Your Next Flight

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Among domestic carriers, fliers usually rank JetBlue, Virgin American and Southwest among their favorites.

Not one of those made the top 10 list from Skytrax, an airline review site, that was unveiled at this month’s Paris Airshow.

Turns out there’s a whole world of airlines ranked far superior to most Americans’ favorites, at least according to the company’s World Airline Awards, based on millions of passenger surveys.

Qatar Airways came out on top, the third time in five years the Doha-based carrier has won.

Favorite American carriers did break the top 100 though: Virgin America: 26; Delta Air Lines, 45; JetBlue, 50; and Southwest, 57.

Here are the Top 10 Airlines of 2015, according to Skytrax:

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Cathay Pacific Airways
  4. Turkish Airlines
  5. Emirates
  6. Etihad Airways
  7. ANA All Nippon Airways
  8. Garuda Indonesia
  9. EVA Air
  10. Qantas Airways

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Check Out 2015’s Top Airlines Before Booking Your Next Flight

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Among domestic carriers, fliers usually rank JetBlue, Virgin American and Southwest among their favorites.

Not one of those made the top 10 list from Skytrax, an airline review site, that was unveiled at this month’s Paris Airshow.

Turns out there’s a whole world of airlines ranked far superior to most Americans’ favorites, at least according to the company’s World Airline Awards, based on millions of passenger surveys.

Qatar Airways came out on top, the third time in five years the Doha-based carrier has won.

Favorite American carriers did break the top 100 though: Virgin America: 26; Delta Air Lines, 45; JetBlue, 50; and Southwest, 57.

Here are the Top 10 Airlines of 2015, according to Skytrax:

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Cathay Pacific Airways
  4. Turkish Airlines
  5. Emirates
  6. Etihad Airways
  7. ANA All Nippon Airways
  8. Garuda Indonesia
  9. EVA Air
  10. Qantas Airways

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Female Prison Employee May Have Had Sex with Other Inmates: Investigators

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Investigators are looking into whether upstate New York prison employee Joyce Mitchell may have had sex with inmates other than escaped convict David Sweat, who, along with Richard Matt, have been on the run for nearly three weeks, multiple sources told ABC News.

Investigators have confirmed that her alleged sexual relations with inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, is part of their ongoing investigation.

“On her behalf all I can say is that she has consistently denied having any sexual relationship with inmate Sweat,” her attorney Steve Johnston said Wednesday in a statement to ABC News.

Mitchell, 51, is charged with a felony count of promoting prison contraband and a misdemeanor count of criminal facilitation for allegedly helping Sweat and Matt escape from the maximum security facility on June 6. She has entered a not guilty plea.

Prior to the escape, Mitchell had been investigated for a suspected relationship that she had with Sweat sometime in the past year, sources said. Her suspected connection with Sweat was investigated but not enough evidence was found to take any action against her at that time, sources said.

Mitchell is not the only Clinton employee to come under scrutiny during the investigation. Corrections officer Gene Palmer took and passed a polygraph test, according to Johnston.

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told ABC News on Tuesday that Palmer would collect meat from the prison tailor shop and pass it on to Matt and Sweat in their cells. Hacksaw blades and other tools were allegedly stored in the meat. Palmer told investigators he did this unknowingly and Palmer does not face charges at this time, Wylie said.

The search for the convicted killers has been focused in the area of Owls Head, New York, about 30 miles east of the prison.

A series of clues have been found in the area, authorities said, and investigators believe one of the inmates may now be barefoot after finding a pair of boots in a cabin that they are believed to have robbed.

Though State Police Maj. Charles Guess would not specifically confirm reports that there was a bloody sock found in the cabin, he did say that it does not necessarily mean that one of the inmates is injured, though he said investigators appreciate anything that would “impede” their movements.

“Let’s face it — a bloody sock could mean that somebody had a blister,” Guess said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Guess said there has been “no substantiated sightings” of either man, even though investigators have “virtually 100% assurance that they were in the area” of the cabin over the weekend. They interviewed a man who said he saw someone running into the woods, but Guess would not officially rule that a sighting.

“We’ve received reported sightings each day,” Guess said Wednesday afternoon. “So far, none of the sightings have been substantiated.”

There are currently more than 1,000 law enforcement officers involved in searching 70 square miles, Guess said. There have been more than 2,200 leads in the case.

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