Review Category : Top Stories

One ISAF Soldier Dies After Attack in Afghanistan

iStock/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) — One service member of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) died following an attack in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday.

ISAF said the soldier “died of wounds as a result of an attack.” No other details were provided.

Per ISAF policy, the identification of the soldier has been deferred to national authorities.

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Jennifer Hudson to Perform on Stand Up to Cancer Charity Telecast

Heather Wines/CBS(NEW YORK) — Jennifer Hudson has signed on to perform on the upcoming fourth edition of the fundraising telecast Stand Up to Cancer. The show will air Friday, Sept. 5, across several TV networks, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Bravo, E!, HBO, Showtime, VH1 and more.

Other scheduled performers on the one-hour show, which raises money for cancer research, include rappers Lupe Fiasco and Common, and pop singer Ariana Grande.

The one-hour special also will feature a slew of celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, Jon Hamm, Rob Lowe, Keifer Sutherland, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jennifer Aniston and Mark Harmon, in a “digital lounge” hosted by Katie Couric.

The stars will be reaching out to viewers via phone, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. If you want to donate money to the cause and would like to receive a call, sign up at WereCallingYou.org.

While the telecast airs from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET/PT on Sept. 5, you also may receive a call on the 6th or 7th.

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Ferguson Library Becomes Refuge for Adults, Children Amid Strife

iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Amid all of the strife engulfing Ferguson, Missouri, this month, there is one spot in town that has become a refuge for children, parents and residents: the library.

The Ferguson Library has been an oasis of calm since the town’s residents erupted in anger at the police after a Ferguson cop shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9.

It has used Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to offer residents a place of respite for them to get bottled water, check their emails and avoid the unrest developing on Ferguson’s streets.

As the Ferguson-Florissant School District postponed the start of the school year for more than a week, teachers set up shop at the Ferguson library, providing activities and instruction for children awaiting the start of class.

The Library has also emphasized its role as a community institution, placing signs outside the building noting that it stands with community members, at a time when the town’s police department has battled protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.

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Billy Crystal to Pay Tribute to Robin Williams at Emmys

Art Streiber/CBS© 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc.(NEW YORK) — Billy Crystal, a longtime friend of the late Robin Williams, will present a tribute to the actor and comedian at the Emmy Awards this Monday night.

The news was announced Wednesday by Emmys executive producer Don Mischer, who had previously promised to give Williams “the proper and meaningful remembrance he so well deserves.”

Crystal’s tribute will come during the “In Memoriam” segment of the show, with singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles providing the musical accompaniment for that entire segment. It’s not clear what she’ll perform, though she recently dedicated her song “Hercules” to Williams during a concert.

Williams, who himself honored his hero Jonathan Winters during the “In Memoriam” segment at last year’s Emmys, was found dead on Aug. 11. He was 63.

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Hundreds Fly El Al to Immigrate from US to Israel During Gaza Crisis

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) — In the wake of the fighting in Gaza, U.S. airlines temporarily grounded flights to Israel last month, but that hasn’t stopped supporters in the West from traveling to and relocating there this summer.

More than 600 immigrants from the U.S. and Canada have flown on El Al Airlines, Israel’s national carrier, in the last two months to relocate their families, serve in the military and show solidarity with the Israeli citizens, according to the airline.

“Of those, over 100 young men and women will serve in the Israel Defense Forces and a total of 37 families with 107 children from 27 states and three Canadian provinces were on board the latest flight that recently landed,” a spokeswoman for El Al Airlines told ABC News.

Organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel and JNF-USA, charter flights that departed from JFK Airport in New York on July 21 and Aug. 11 were free to passengers moving to Israel. Future Aliyah group flights via El Al will continue to depart on a monthly basis out of Newark Airport in New Jersey.

Others who fly on alternate carriers to immigrate are given a flight credit from Nefesh B’Nefesh between $700 and $900 toward baggage and ticket fees.

The age of recent immigrants has ranged “from a 6-week-old baby to 93-year-old great-grandparent,” the El Al spokeswoman said.

Representatives from Nefesh B’Nefesh did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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Hertz Pulls 2014 Financial Forecast

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The picture isn’t so pretty at Hertz.

The world’s biggest car rental company says it’s withdrawing its financial forecast for the year and expects profits to be “well below the low end of its 2014 guidance.”

Hertz is blaming GM’s recent recalls for part of the problem, leaving the firm with fewer cars to rent, because the vehicles had to be pulled off the lot.

In a regulatory filing Tuesday, Hertz also cited higher-than-expected costs and weak demand for equipment rentals.

Shares of Hertz Global Holdings plunged 18 percent on the news.

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World ‘Appalled’ by James Foley Beheading, Obama Says

ABC News(EDGARTOWN, Mass.) — ISIS’ slaughter of American journalist James Foley was “brutal,” President Obama said Wednesday.

“The entire world is appalled,” the president said in Martha’s Vineyard. “No just God would stand for what they did yesterday or every single day … People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future’s won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley.”

The terrorist group beheaded Foley in a grisly video posted online Tuesday evening. The U.S. intelligence community verified the video’s authenticity Wednesday morning.

According to one senior U.S. official, ISIS had recently threatened to kill Foley to avenge airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq, and the White House was aware of the threat prior to the posting of the video.

“A group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century,” Obama said.

The president called Foley’s parents on Wednesday to offer his condolences. John and Diane Foley eulogized their son during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

“He was a courageous, fearless journalist,” Diane Foley said. “Jimmy had a big heart. … That’s what we shared with President Obama.”

“We just pray that Jim’s death can bring our country together in a stronger way in the values that Jim holds dear,” she said, before correcting herself to “held dear.”

“We beg compassion and mercy” for the other journalists held by ISIS, John Foley said. “There’s no reason for this slaughter.”

The video released Tuesday shows an ISIS militant wearing a black face mask addressing the president directly.

“Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their right to live in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people,” he says.

Foley, clad in an orange jumpsuit, kneels next to the militant, who is clutching a knife.

“I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope of freedom of seeing my family once again, but that ship has sailed,” Foley says before his on-camera execution.

After the gruesome beheading of Foley, the ISIS militant threatens the life of another American hostage — Steven Sotloff, who went missing in August.

Though he did not mention Sotloff specifically, Obama on Wednesday promised that, “the United States of America will continue to do what they must do to protect our people.”

“We will be vigilant. We will be relentless,” he added.

Foley was kidnapped by ISIS in 2012 while on assignment in Syria. Prior to his execution, U.S. officials say they used Turkish, Russian and Czech intermediaries to advocate for his release.

Earlier on Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron called the beheading “shocking and depraved.”

British officials said it was “apparent” that the ISIS militant in the video was from the United Kingdom and say they’re working to identify the individual.

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Grand Jury Could Decide on Ferguson Shooting in October

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The grand jury looking into the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown could take up to two months to hear all the evidence and decide whether or not to indict the police officer, the St. Louis County prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. Protesters have been angrily calling for Wilson’s arrest and indictment since that day.

Prosecutor David McCullough said that though the grand jury could begin hearing evidence in the case Wednesday, “our target date is the middle of October” for wrapping up the evidence and asking the jury to decide whether to charge Wilson. Grand juries typically meet one day a week.

The news came as protesters and police faced off again in Ferguson overnight, with a thrown water bottle briefly reigniting the turmoil, but authorities are hopeful the unrest in the St. Louis suburb is reaching a turning point.

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, speaking at an early-morning news conference, thanked volunteers, clergy and community activists for helping to quell the discontent that has lingered since the shooting.

“They had a calming influence on the younger people,” Johnson said. “Tonight, we saw a different dynamic.”

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to arrive in Ferguson Wednesday to meet with FBI and Department of Justice officials working the case.

Holder addressed the situation in an editorial for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Our investigation into this matter will be full, it will be fair, and it will be independent,” Holder wrote. “And beyond the investigation itself, we will work with the police, civil rights leaders, and members of the public to ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding — and robust action — aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve.”

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Iceland Braced for Volcano Eruption that Could Disrupt Air Traffic

iStock/Thinkstock(REYKJAVIK, Iceland) — Iceland has canceled many commercial flights for fear that its volcanoes might erupt soon since at least 2,600 small intense earthquakes have rocked the country since Saturday, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said on its website.

Iceland has raised its aviation alert level to orange — the second most serious level on the five-color scale, indicating an active or imminent eruption.

In April 2010, volcano eruptions rocked Eyjafjallajökull, a small ice cap in Iceland, leading to more than 100,000 flights canceled. More than 10 million passengers were affected due to the eruption and the airline industry lost $2 billion.

Volcano eruptions are a threat to jetliners because the volcanic ash can travel high into the atmosphere and the ash can severely damage jet engines.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office’s live update said there are no signs of magma moving to the surface at the moment.

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Owners Take Vevo Off the Market

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The owners of Vevo have ended the sales process of the popular video-streaming site because of expected continued growth, the New York Post reports.

Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Google and the Abu Dhabi Media Group have ended all sales talks with big-name companies such as Liberty Media and Guggenheim Digital Media, among many others.

Vevo, launched in 2009 by Universal Music, is expected to reach 227 million viewers worldwide as of Dec. 31, which the Post reports is just one reason the current owners have decided to keep the site.

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