Review Category : Top Stories

Report: Selena Gomez Will Be a Mentor on “The Voice” Season Nine

ABC/Randy Holmes (NEW YORK) — Selena Gomez is coming to The Voice. The singer will reportedly appear on season nine of the NBC singing competition series as a mentor to Gwen Stefani’s team.

A source tells Us Weekly Selena has already impressed the cast and crew. “She was surprisingly amazing as a mentor even though she’s so young,” the source says. “She exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

Rapper Missy Elliott will serve as Pharrell Williams’ mentor, rock legend John Fogerty will help out Adam Levine’s team, and country star Brad Paisley will be the mentor for Blake Shelton’s contestants.

The mentors appear on the show during the battle rounds, right after blind auditions. The new season ofThe Voice returns on September 21, at 8 p.m. ET.

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Meet Earth’s Closest Rocky Neighbor Outside the Solar System

Artist’s rendering. NASA/JPL-Caltech(WASHINGTON) — Earth’s closest rocky neighbor outside of the solar system has been confirmed using NASA’s Spitzer telescope.

The alien rocky planet has been named HD 219134b and is 1.6 times the size of Earth, according to NASA. What makes this exoplanet special is it’s 21 light-years away from Earth, while most other exoplanets that have been located are hundreds of light years away.

In fact, it’s so close that the star that the exoplanet orbits is visible to the naked eye, in the constellation Cassiopeia, NASA officials said.

While the exoplanet was first discovered using the Italian Galileo National Telescope in the Canary Islands, Spitzer has taken infrared measurements, allowing scientists to learn more about the exoplanet’s size and confirm its rocky terrain.

The exoplanet is transiting in front of its star, making it an ideal body for scientists to study and a potential gold mine of scientific data, according to NASA scientists.

“Transiting exoplanets are worth their weight in gold because they can be extensively characterized,” Michael Werner, project scientist for the Spitzer mission, said in a statement on Thursday. “This exoplanet will be one of the most studied for decades to come.”

One thing scientists know they won’t find though is alien life. According to NASA, the exoplanet rotates too close to its star, making it unable to sustain life.

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Hillary Clinton Challenges Jeb Bush On His Home Turf

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — Appearing in the same city and at the same event as Jeb Bush on Friday, Hillary Clinton took aim at the candidate who could be her future Republican presidential rival in the state where he lives and governed for eight years.

Without mentioning Bush by name, Clinton sunk her teeth into a phrase that has become synonymous with the Bush campaign.

“I don’t think you can credibly say that everybody has a right to rise and then say you’re for phasing out Medicare or for repealing Obamacare,” Clinton said at a gathering of the National Urban League, referring to the name of Bush’s Super PAC, as well as a line he often uses in his campaign speech, “Right to Rise.”

“They can’t rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on. They can’t rise if their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. And you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise, and support laws that deny the right to vote,” she continued.

Bush, who delivered remarks to members of the non-partisan civil rights group shortly after Clinton, did not offer a direct response to her. But his campaign did.

“These are just more false, cheap political shots to distract from the fact that Secretary Clinton has no record of accomplishment to run on this race,” spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said in a statement. “The Urban League deserved better today.”

Later Friday, Clinton plans to deliver a speech in Miami meant to tweak Bush and other Republicans. She will call for a lifting of a full-scale end to the U.S. embargo with Cuba.

“The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all. We should replace it with a smarter approach that empowers the Cuban private sector, Cuban civil society, and the Cuban-American community to spur progress and keep pressure on the regime,” Clinton said in her speech. “Today I am calling on Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to step up and answer the pleas of the Cuban people.”

Bush is opposed to the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

“It’s insulting to many residents of Miami for Hillary Clinton to come here to endorse a retreat in the struggle for democracy in Cuba,” Bush said in a statement. “This city has become a home and a refuge to thousands and thousands of Castro’s victims. Secretary Clinton’s call to abandon the embargo — and the principles of democracy and freedom for the Cuban people — in exchange for nothing in return from the regime in Havana adds insult to the pain they and their families feel.”

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Coast Guard Will Suspend Search for Teens Missing at Sea

US Coast Guard(MIAMI) — The Coast Guard is expected to suspend its search for two Florida teenagers who’ve been missing at sea for one week.

The search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, will be suspended at sunset tonight, Capt. Mark Fedor, of the Coast Guard’s 7th District in Miami, said at a news conference Friday.

The search, which spanned eight days and 50,000 nautical miles, remains active and open Friday, Fedor said. Fedor said the suspension means if new information comes to light, they will reopen the case.

Perry and Austin’s families said in a statement Friday that they are “committed to continue the search and rescue efforts of our boys with the aid of volunteer pilots and aircraft.” They said they established a GoFundMe to raise money for private planes, boat fuel and other resources.

“The case is not closed,” the family said. “And if pertinent details emerge or credible information comes forward that we will have the assistance of the US Coast Guard to investigate this information.”

Fedor on Friday offered his “heartfelt condolences” to Austin and Perry’s families. He said he’s met with them and that the decision to suspend the search was excruciating and gut-wrenching.

Fedor said he hopes the families “can take solace from the fact that hundreds of people searched thousands of miles.”

Austin and Perry left on a fishing trip in Florida last Friday morning and they were reported missing Friday evening, authorities said.

On Sunday, their boat was found capsized and damaged off the Ponce de Leon Inlet in central Florida, the Coast Guard said, noting that neither boy was in or around the boat.

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JetBlue Responds to Family Kicked Off Flight Over Toddler’s Seating Arrangement

Getty Images(NEW YORK) — JetBlue Airlines has responded to the online controversy that erupted after a family says it was kicked off a flight Monday because their 2-year-old son was sitting in his mom’s lap instead of his own seat.

The airline told ABC News in a statement that, “If a customer is unable to follow federally-mandated safety regulations, it is our crew’s responsibility to put safety first and may accommodate those customers on a future flight.”

Mona Doshi, of Arlington, Virginia, says she and her family of four were on a flight from Boston to Baltimore Monday when she put her son, Milin, in her lap because he was fussy. After one flight attendant told her Milin needed to be in his own seat, according to flight rules, Doshi says a second flight attendant came up to her and repeated the same message.

Doshi, who declined to comment to ABC News, told WUSA-TV she put Milin in his own seat but then noticed the plane turning around and taxiing back to the gate, where she, Milin, her husband, Prashant, and their 3-year-old daughter, were escorted off the plane.

The incident caused a firestorm on social media, starting with tweets from passengers on the Doshi family’s same flight.

The family was able to return home on another flight later Monday without incident but told WUSA they are still awaiting a response from JetBlue.

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Texas Man Says His iPhone Survived 9,300-Foot Fall

File photo. (iStock Editorial/Thinkstock)(NEW YORK) — This is one extreme way to lose — and later find — your iPhone.

Ben Wilson, a Texas businessman, said he was riding in a Beechcraft Bonanza airplane from Houston to Wichita Falls, Texas, on Tuesday when a change in pressure caused a door latch to open a few inches.

While Wilson noticed a newspaper fly out of the plane, he told the Wichita Falls Time Record News he didn’t notice his smartphone was missing until the plane landed.

Wilson said he assumed he may have left it in a rental car until he opened the “Find My iPhone” app and discovered his device was still operational and appeared to be just outside of Joplin, Texas.

With the help of his co-worker, a satellite image and a map, Wilson said he set off to find his iPhone. Traveling down a ranch road, he said a donkey followed the two men as they searched for the device, which they finally located on the side of the road under a mesquite tree.

What makes the reported reunion even more miraculous is the iPhone’s condition. The device, which was kept in a Mophie charger case, was found in one piece, Wilson said.

“It was in one piece, scratched a bit on the corners but it still worked,” he told the newspaper.

Wilson got what he was looking for and as a reward he said he also took care of the curious donkey, feeding it ginger snaps.

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‘Skinny’ the Fat Cat Reveals 22-Pound Weight Loss

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Skinny, as he is now appropriately called, was found abandoned in a Dallas suburb back in 2012. The cat weighed a whopping 41-pounds and had a hard time walking more than five steps.

But all that changed when he was adopted by veterinarian Dr. Brittney Barton, of HEAL Veterinary Hospital, in 2013.

Barton started Skinny on a workout regimen including sit ups, underwater treadmill walking and playtime.

But when it came to walking on land, the feline still needed a bit of extra encouragement. In the beginning, the vet would place treats on the treadmill as inspiration to get moving, but Skinny has now learned to hop on the treadmill with the simple sound of treats shaking around.

“The secret is basically the same secret for all of us,” Barton explained of Skinny’s 22-pound weight loss on ABC News’ Good Morning America Friday. “It’s about calorie intake and calories burned. It’s not just about the diets that we used, but trying to figure out ways to get them moving.”

Barton recommends giving pets “green beans and blueberries in lieu of the commercialized [foods].”

Most importantly, she adds, “Try not to love them with food but try to love them with your attention and your time.”

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Facebook’s Internet Drone: How It Works

Mark Zucerkberg/Facebook(NEW YORK) — Facebook is ready to take to the sky.

Mark Zuckerberg revealed the social network has completed production on Aquila, its first solar-powered drone that could one day help beam the Internet into some of the world’s most remote areas.

The months ahead will involve plenty of testing for the unmanned, solar powered drone.

The aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but is lighter than a car.

Running completely on solar power, Zuckerberg said it’s expected the plane could fly for months at a time. Once Aquila is airborne, it will use a new laser capable of transmitting data at 10 gigabits per second, Zuckerberg said, making it 10 times faster than any previous system.

The system is so precise, according to Zuckerberg, that it can connect with a dime-sized object from more than 10 miles away.

“Using aircraft to connect communities using lasers might seem like science fiction. But science fiction is often just science before its time,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. “Over the coming months, we will test these systems in the real world and continue refining them so we can turn their promise into reality.”

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Car Crashes into Barricade at US Capitol Building, Police Say

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A car smashed into a barricade at the U.S. Capitol building Friday morning, police said.

The Nissan Altima, which had Florida plates, hit a security gate at Independence Avenue and New Jersey Avenue Northwest.

The driver, who was the only one in the car, was taken into custody by the U.S. Capitol Police.

The car did not make it through the secure perimeter that guards the actual Capitol building, police said.

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Hillary Clinton to Call on Congress to End Trade Embargo with Cuba

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MIAMI) — Hillary Clinton will deliver a speech in Miami on Friday, calling on Congress to end the trade embargo with Cuba.

Given that Republicans have forcefully criticized President Obama’s rapprochement, this will draw some bright lines between Clinton and GOP rivals in a major general election state with a big Cuban-American population that also happens to be Jeb Bush’s and Marco Rubio’s backyard.

According to excerpts of her speech, the former secretary of state will say, “The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all. We should replace it with a smarter approach that empowers the Cuban private sector, Cuban civil society, and the Cuban-American community to spur progress and keep pressure on the regime.”

“Today I am calling on Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to step up and answer the pleas of the Cuban people,” Clinton plans to say. “By large majorities, they want a closer relationship with America. They want to buy our goods, read our books, surf our web, and learn from our people. They want to bring their country into the 21st century. That is the road toward democracy and dignity. We should walk it together.”

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