Review Category : Top Stories

Kentucky Same-Sex Couple Denied Marriage License for Third Time

iStock/Thinkstock(MOREHEAD, Ky.) — A same-sex couple from Morehead, Kentucky, were denied a marriage license for a third time at the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on Thursday, and the emotional exchange was caught on video.

The denial comes just one day after the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Rowan County Clerk Kimberly Davis’ appeal to U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s ruling from two weeks ago, ordering her to issue marriage licenses after she had been refusing to do so, citing her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious liberty, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

William Smith, Jr. told ABC News that he and his partner, James Yates, walked together to the Davis’ office on Thursday, hopeful that because Davis’ appeal was denied, he and Yates would finally be able to get an official marriage license that first requested in July and again just a few weeks ago.

“We’re here to see if you’re giving out marriage licenses,” Yates, 41, can be heard saying in the video Smith filmed on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, at the time, we are not giving out marriage licenses,” an employee at Davis’ office replies. When Yates asks the employee if this is a direct order from Davis, he nods yes and adds, “Sorry, guys.”

Yates and Smith told ABC News they know who the employee is, though they declined to identify him, explaining that they did not want to embarrass him “for his boss’ decision.” The employee also reportedly declined to identify himself to media at the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on Thursday.

“Breaking the law is all it is,” Smith, 33, can later be heard saying in the video. “They’re discriminating and using religion to hide behind it is all it is.”

Yates and Smith can then be seen in the video, visibly upset, walking out of the office, disappointed for the third time.

“We’ve been together for almost 10 years,” Smith told ABC News on Thursday. “He proposed a day after the initial ruling on marriage equality by the Supreme Court on June 26. On the 27th, James got down on one knee, and I said yes.”

The couple first headed down to the Rowan County Clerk’s Office on July 6, shortly after the proposal, but Smith said the same office employee they talked to on Thursday told them at the time that Davis “wasn’t handing out licenses because her objection to gay marriage.”

The denial put a damper on their plans to have a summer wedding this year, Smith added.

Smith and Yates later came down again on Aug. 13 after a U.S. district court upheld the U.S. Supreme court’s ruling. The court had ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued her and Rowan County on behalf of four couples — two same-gender couples and two opposite-gender couples — who were also denied marriage licenses by Davis, according to a court complaint. Davis had apparently stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.

But on Aug. 13, Smith said an employee told them Davis still wasn’t handing out any licenses because she wanted to appeal the ruling.

“And then [on Thursday], trying again for a third time, that was very hard,” Smith said. “It was nerve-wracking and harder than the previous two times because we’ve been rejected so much and humiliated.”

Though they’ve thought about getting married in another county or state in the past, Smith said he and Yates wanted their marriage to be first officially recognized in their hometown and county “where we live and pay taxes.”

“We love each other very much, and we already consider ourselves married and live like we’re married,” he said. “We just think this is wrong, and we don’t want this to happen to future couples.”

He added they plan on going back to the Rowan County Clerk’s Office at the end of the month or the beginning of September to try to get a marriage license for a fourth time.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Keyless Ignitions Led to Carbon Monoxide Deaths and Should Have Been Recalled, Suit Says

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Some of the world’s biggest automakers should have recalled millions of vehicles with keyless ignitions because the cars, which don’t shut off automatically if the driver fails to press the start/stop button, could be a deadly carbon monoxide risk, according to a new lawsuit.

According to the suit, filed in Los Angeles Federal Court on behalf of keyless car drivers Wednesday, there have been at least 13 deaths — and a number of close calls — from carbon monoxide poisoning after consumers failed to manually shut off their engines. The suit claims, “Reasonable drivers mistakenly believe that removing the Keyless Fob from the vehicle turns off the engine.”

Keyless cars allow drivers to start their engines without inserting a key into the ignition switch, but instead pressing a start/stop button. To shut off the car, they must manually press the button again.

The lawsuit claims the defendants — Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, GM, BMW, Volkswagen, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Kia — knew or should have known of these risks. Yet according to the suit, they allegedly sold keyless fobs “without instituting adequate safeguards, warnings, or other safety features,” including a relatively inexpensive auto-off feature that automatically switches the engine off if the car is left unattended.

Some of the cars were equipped with audible alerts, which sounded when drivers exited the vehicle with the engine still on.

The lawsuit claims that, “for years the Automakers have known about the deadly consequences that can result when a driver exits a vehicle with our without the keyless fob and without having depressed the Start/Stop button. Nevertheless, even though an Auto-Off feature can be implemented without significant effort or cost, the Automakers have refused to act.”

Several consumers complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the lack of the auto-off feature, and in 2007, Ford and General Motors even filed patents to address the issue — supposedly demonstrating, according to the lawsuit, that automakers (who read one another’s patents) allegedly “recognized the dangerous consequences associated with keyless fobs.”

Though some of the car companies installed auto-off in later models, they allegedly failed to recall the earlier model cars, or provide reasonable auto-off software updates.

While there have been lawsuits brought by victims of carbon monoxide poisoning (or their families), some of which have settled, the lawyers bringing this lawsuit are seeking class action status to represent all owners of the models of cars with keyless entry named in the lawsuit.

The car makers also allegedly failed to include warnings in car manuals or sales brochures and allegedly “continue to conceal” the safety risk from the public at large. Meanwhile, they profited from sales of keyless fobs, which are often part of a costly upgrade package.

Most car companies declined comment to ABC News, but Ford said, “Ford takes the safety of our customers very seriously; the keyless ignition system has proven to be a safe and reliable innovative feature that has been well-received by customers. Ford vehicles equipped with keyless ignition alert drivers when the driver’s door is open and the vehicle’s engine is running.”

Volkswagen said, “Volkswagen Group of America and its brands consider the safety and satisfaction of its consumers and passengers as a top priority. All brands within the Volkswagen Group are engineered to meet or exceed all government regulations.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Real On-Air Violence Can Traumatize Viewers

iStock/Thinkstock(ROANOKE, Va.) — The shooting on live television in Virginia Wednesday could have a psychological effect on the thousands of viewers who were exposed to the traumatic event, according to some experts.

Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were shot to death as they did a live interview for Roanoke station WDBJ-TV. Viewers to the daily morning show saw shots ring out as Parker and the woman she was interviewing attempted to flee before the camera falls.

Carolyn Ievers-Landis, a clinical psychologist at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, said people who saw it may experience their own trauma in the face of such sudden and unexpected violence, and then be powerless to do anything about it.

“They weren’t expecting and weren’t choosing” to watch, Ievers-Landis told ABC News. “It really can have effects on people, especially people who are prone to anxiety.”

She said children, who might have been getting ready for school, are also at greater risk and may feel unsafe in their environment. She speculated that both adults and children who watched it “were vicariously traumatized by this.”

“They might experience flashbacks…it might be difficult to get it out of their minds. They might experience nightmares relating to it,” Ievers-Landis said of possible symptoms related to trauma.

She said it’s key that people do not take symptoms lightly just because they were not directly involved in the shooting and that they seek help for any symptoms of anxiety or depression they or their children experience.

“Baby yourself for a while because you’re going through almost like a grief [or] traumatic process,” she said.

A 2013 published study examined the effects of media exposure to events such as 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombings and Superstorm Sandy and found an association between post-traumatic stress disorder and viewers of the media coverage, especially those who watched a lot of it.

As for his most recent event, Ievers-Landis recommended that parents talk to children about avoiding videos of the shooting online.

“Once something is in your mind, you cannot erase it,” Ievers-Landis said, explained she’s had many children tell her after witnessing a violent event, “I wish I could take this out of my brain.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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New “Star Wars” Teaser Released

Buena Vista(NEW YORK) — There has been an awakening, this time on Instagram.

A new teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released on Instagram using the platform’s new landscape orientation, which allows users to post widescreen videos.

The short teaser concludes with the shot of villain Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, and his red, cross-guarded lightsaber, and then cuts to Finn, played by John Boyega, holding a blue lightsaber.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also starring Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisherand Mark Hamill, hits theaters December 18.

Lucasfilm, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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New “Star Wars” Teaser Released

Buena Vista(NEW YORK) — There has been an awakening, this time on Instagram.

A new teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released on Instagram using the platform’s new landscape orientation, which allows users to post widescreen videos.

The short teaser concludes with the shot of villain Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, and his red, cross-guarded lightsaber, and then cuts to Finn, played by John Boyega, holding a blue lightsaber.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also starring Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisherand Mark Hamill, hits theaters December 18.

Lucasfilm, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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New “Star Wars” Teaser Released

Buena Vista(NEW YORK) — There has been an awakening, this time on Instagram.

A new teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released on Instagram using the platform’s new landscape orientation, which allows users to post widescreen videos.

The short teaser concludes with the shot of villain Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, and his red, cross-guarded lightsaber, and then cuts to Finn, played by John Boyega, holding a blue lightsaber.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also starring Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisherand Mark Hamill, hits theaters December 18.

Lucasfilm, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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How WDBJ Was Able to Get Through This Morning’s Newscast After On-Air Slayings

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(ROANOKE, Va.) — The heartbreaking task of getting back to work was the first assignment of the day for the staffers at WDBJ-TV in Virginia.

They returned to the news desk a day after two of their colleagues were fatally shot during a live interview.

“They’re doing as well as can be expected,” station general manager Jeff Marks told ABC News of his colleagues this morning. “They’re choking back tears and their emotions show, but they’re covering the news.”

Anchor Kimberly McBroom, who was on-air Wednesday when the shooting happened, led the broadcast and the ensuing moment of silence in honor of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, who died in the shooting.

Everyone on air Thursday morning was wearing maroon and turquoise in honor of the pair; maroon is the color of Ward’s alma mater, Virginia Tech, and Parker loved the color turquoise.

In addition to the support from outsiders, the CBS affiliate received physical support from sister stations in the Midwest, with Mark noting that several staffers from other stations have flown to Virginia to help.

“We’re very gratified by that and all the support from the people who have been here all night camped out and have brought flowers and placards and just want to say something to us,” Marks said.

More than anything, the WDBJ staff appeared determined to share memories of their lost colleagues. They have been posting special stories on the station’s Twitter account, including meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner’s memories of Ward’s coming over to his desk daily and hiding a candy wrapper so it would be visible in any segments he did later that day.

For Parker, they highlighted a sign reading “Hope” that she had on her desk to remind her of a child abuse victim she had worked with.

“She was doing what she enjoyed to do when she was killed and that makes it all the more heartbreaking but it also gives us here at the station and me and her family the slightest bit of comfort to know that she died at her happiest,” said Chris Hurst, Parker’s boyfriend who worked as one of the station’s evening anchors.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Apple Ready For September Event

Apple(NEW YORK) — It’s official: After plenty of speculation, Apple Thursday confirmed it will hold an event Sept. 9 in San Francisco where it is widely expected the company will show off an iPhone 6S.

The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. PT and will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Apple is remaining tight-lipped about the agenda for the event and in a characteristically coy invitation teased, “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”

Among the biggest updates expected for the possible new iPhone release are an even sharper camera, faster processor and force touch technology, allowing users to press parts of the screen the same way they would a button, according to reports.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Hubble Telescope Captures Shimmering ‘Cosmic Butterfly’

ESA/NASA(NEW YORK) — The cosmic butterfly, or as its known more formally, the twin jet nebula, was captured in a vibrant new image taken from the Hubble Telescope.

The glowing colors and expanding gas seen in the image are the final gasps of life for an old star, according to NASA.

The old star shed its layers, leaving its core exposed and illuminating the layers to create a rainbow colored light show in space.

Planetary nebula have one star at the center, but the twin jet nebula is characterized as a bipolar nebula because it has two stars which help give it the wings that have led to the nickname cosmic butterfly.

While the larger star is nearing death, its companion star has already crossed over to the other side becoming a small white dwarf, essentially the corpse of a star. The butterfly-like shape is likely caused by the motion between the two stars orbiting their common center of mass, according to NASA. The gas from the larger star forms the two lobes instead of taking on a spherical appearance.

The cosmic butterfly’s wings are expected to continue to spread, according to NASA’s measurements. It may look pretty, but this cosmic butterfly is vicious. The growing lobes are twin jets of gas streaming into space at more than 621,400 miles per hour.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Clinton Addresses Possible 2016 Biden Run

Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America(ANKENY, Iowa) — Hillary Clinton left her Hamptons vacation Wednesday to get back on the campaign trail in the critical state of Iowa, where she fielded questions about Vice President Joe Biden and his potential run for president.

“I mean Joe has had more terrible events than most people can even contemplate. Losing his first wife, losing his first daughter, now losing his son. I think everybody should — he has to do what he has to do, but I’m just going to continue with my campaign,” Clinton said. “I’m going to do what I believe I should be doing and he will have to decide what he should be doing.”

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