Review Category : Top Stories

Texas ‘Black Widow’ Killer Found Guilty of Murder

Comstock/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Michele Williams, the Texas woman accused of killing her husband over his insurance policy, was found guilty of murder and tampering with evidence on Monday.

Williams, dubbed “the Black Widow” by Dallas-based media, had stood accused of shooting her husband in the head on Oct. 13, 2011. After closing arguments concluded at about 11 a.m. on Monday, the jury deliberated for about seven hours.

Then, on Monday night, the jury returned with a verdict. Williams was found guilty of murder and tampering with a firearm.

The punishment phase of the case is expected to begin on Tuesday morning.

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CEO Indicted for Spyware App That Records Calls, Nearby Conversations

scyther5/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — For the first time, criminal charges have been brought against a suspect for allegedly advertising and selling spyware for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry – software that’s purportedly capable of intercepting phone calls, text messages and emails, and even eavesdropping on offline conversations happening within a few yards of the smartphone carrier.

The Department of Justice announced Monday the indictment of Pakistani national Hammad Akbar, CEO of InvoCode Pvt Ltd, the U.K.-based company that sells StealthGenie software online, in part marketing it to suspicious spouses and lovers. Akbar was arrested in Los Angeles on Saturday.

“This application allegedly equips potential stalkers and criminals with a means to invade an individual’s confidential communications,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Andrew McCabe said in a DOJ release. “They do this not by breaking into their homes or offices, but by physically installing spyware on unwitting victim’s phones and illegally tracking an individual’s every move. As technology continues to evolve, the FBI will investigate and bring to justice those who use illegal means to monitor and track individuals without their knowledge.”

The FBI says a potential user would need to be alone with a target device for “only a few minutes” to install the software and then could monitor the phone without physical contact again – using software that is “undetectable by most users and was advertised as being untraceable.”

In addition to monitoring basically all communications on the target smartphone, the StealthGenie user could “call the phone and activate it any time to monitor all surrounding conversations within a 15-foot radius,” the FBI said.

The DOJ release said that part of StealthGenie’s marketing plan was to sell to customers who suspect their significant others are cheating on them.

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Why Mitt Romney, Barbra Streisand and Karl Rove Keep Emailing You

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) — You’ve been getting a lot of emails, so I’ll make this quick:

These past few days Mitt Romney has been flooding inboxes with emails that begin exactly like the sentence above. The chances you’ve received an email from Mitt Romney are high if you have subscribed to any Republican political e-mail list.

So why has the former GOP presidential nominee been personally reaching out?

The inbox barrage is all part of an effort to boost campaign, party and committee donations before Tuesday’s deadline. Sept. 30 marks the Federal Election Committee’s final quarter report – the fundraising cutoff for campaigns to tout their fundraising prowess before the November election.

Mitt Romney has sent three emails out so far for the National Republican Congressional Committee. And Daniel Scarpinato, the group’s national press secretary, told ABC News that Romney has been effective in raising money, raking in more contributions than anyone else emailing the same list.

“It’s no surprise he’s our number-one sender because a lot of Americans want to see him as president,” Scarpinato said.

But Romney isn’t the only one sending email.

A big contributor to Democratic candidates, actress and singer Barbra Streisand, recently hit up inboxes to support New Hampshire incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. The subject line read, “I’m asking for a favor.”

The message began:

“Hi, Friends – It’s me, Barbra. I was struck by something and had to write: My friend Jeanne Shaheen, the first woman to be elected both as a governor and U.S. senator, is facing attacks from right-wing men desperate to undo 30 years of social progress.”

Former George W. Bush political guru Karl Rove expressed urgency in an email sent on behalf of the National Republican Senatorial Committee — “TIGHT AS A TICK.” (Note the all-caps).

“President Obama’s approval ratings keep dropping, no reliable poll shows battleground Senate Democrats with over 50% support, and GOP voters are excited to cast their ballots in 41 days,” Rove wrote. “The midterm environment is toxic for Democrats, yet there’s a chance Republicans may not take the Senate.”

And then there was singer Carole King’s email for New York candidate Domenic Recchia’s campaign, which was much more personal. The New York native recalled trips to Staten Island where she played on the swings, wolfed down hot dogs, and felt the strong sense of community.

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Microsoft to Open Flagship Store in New York City

LornaWu/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Microsoft announced on Monday that it would open its first flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

According to a blog post written by David Porter, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Retail Stores for Microsoft, the New York City store will “serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience.” It will contain retail space in addition to experiential space to allow for further engagement with customers and partners.

While the flagship store is under construction, the company also plans to open up other stores. The blog post notes that 10 new locations — not including the Fifth Avenue store — will open in time for the holiday season.

The flagship store, which Porter says is “five years in the making,” will be “worth the wait.”

Furthermore, Porter says, “we could not be more excited to join one of the most visited streets in America.”

Microsoft currently has 104 retail stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, and online stores in 189 countries.

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Ben Affleck Reveals How Much the Batsuit Cost for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — Like most people would be, Ben Affleck was pretty impressed with his batsuit.

However, even he couldn’t convince the powers that be to let him keep it.

“I asked them, ‘So, how about maybe taking the suit home at the end of this thing?'” the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice star said during a visit to Live with Kelly and Michael. “They were like, ‘For $100,000 we could!'”

Affleck, 42, explained that “a lot goes into it,” which is why it’s such a pricey item. In fact, because every element of the film is meant to be perfect, the actor explained that it’s forced him to hit the gym a little more often than usual.

“Audiences have an increasing expectation,” he said. “You see guys like Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans and all these guys whose bodies are just like, you think, ‘How is that even possible?!’ So, exercising is as much of the job now in some ways as the rest of it.”

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Twins Part Ways with Longtime Manager Ron Gardenhire

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — After 13 seasons, Ron Gardenhire is out as manager of the Minnesota Twins. He had one year remaining on his contract.

Gardenhire took the helm in 2002, leading the Twins to six American League Central Division titles. He compiled a record of 1,068-1,049 (.507), trailing only Tom Kelly on the Twins’ all-time managerial wins list. In the postseason, Gardenhire went 6-21, advancing out of the first round once during his tenure.

Since 2011, Gardenhire and the Twins have lost at least 92 games each season. He’s only the fourth manager in Major League Baseball history to lose 90 games or more for four straight seasons with the same team.

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Pentagon’s Field Hospital Arrives in Liberia to Help with Ebola Outbreak

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kelly Goonan(WASHINGTON) — A U.S. military 25-bed field deployable hospital arrived in Monrovia, Liberia, this weekend, three weeks after the Pentagon announced plans to send the hospital there to help with the Ebola outbreak.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said on Monday the hospital was shipped to the African country aboard three C-17’s. Additional military personnel also arrived in Liberia this weekend, pushing the total up to 150.

The extra 40 personnel who arrived include 34 who will set up the hospital and six who will set up a mobile lab. The plan all along has been that military personnel will set up the facility but not staff it or treat Ebola patients.

The hospital, which is intended to be used to treat health care workers who become infected with Ebola, is expected to be up and running in mid-October.

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Netanyahu Stresses Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities Must Be Dismantled

Uriel Sinai/Getty images(NEW YORK) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said “the world’s hopes for peace are in danger” because of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

“Iran, the world’s most dangerous regime, in the world’s most dangerous region, would obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons. Allowing that to happen would pose the gravest threat to us all,” Netanyahu said, addressing the United Nations General Assembly.

He said Iran must not be allowed to acquire the ability to make atomic bombs.

“Iran’s nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled,” the prime minister stressed.

While he acknowledged “ISIS must be defeated,” Netanyahu said having Iran as a nuclear power would be a graver threat than the militant group.

“[T]o defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war,” he said.

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White House Fence Jumper Got Further Than Previously Thought, Sources Say

DesignforU/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The man who broke into the White House two weeks ago was able to make his way farther into the White House than previously believed.

A law enforcement official confirmed to ABC News on Monday that Omar Gonzalez, 42, made his way through the entrance hall and cross hall — passing a stairwell to the president’s quarters — before being tackled in the East Room, the room where President Obama and so many other presidents have made some of their most important announcements.

The development calls into question the narrative originally released by the Secret Service, which suggested Gonzalez, of Texas, had been taken into custody near the front doors of the White House.

News of how far Gonzalez breached the White House was first reported on Monday by the Washington Post.

“Gonzalez failed to comply with responding Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers’ verbal commands, and was physically apprehended after entering the White House North Portico doors,” the Secret Service said in a statement on Sept. 20.

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Amanda Bynes Arrested on DUI Charge

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Amanda Bynes has been arrested for alleged DUI, ABC News has confirmed.

The California Highway Patrol confirmed that the actress was arrested at 4:10 a.m. on Sunday and charged with a misdemeanor. She was booked by the Los Angeles Police Department at a station in Van Nuys, California at 7 a.m. and held on $15,000 bail. Bynes was released that day at 12:44 p.m. on her own recognizance.

Last year was a troubling one for the 28-year-old actress. She was arrested in May 2013 for allegedly throwing a bong out of her New York City apartment window, though the case was dismissed in June 2014. Later in 2013, she entered rehab after being detained for a mental evaluation when she was involved in a disturbance in Thousand Oaks, California. Afterwards, her mother acted as her conservator, though it was not clear if she still was functioning in that role.

Things seemed to be improving for Bynes, who left rehab in December and, shortly thereafter, enrolled in fashion school.

“She’s doing extremely well. Her primary focus is bonding with her family and being a student,” her attorney, Tamar Arminak, told People magazine in April, adding that Bynes was on “zero medication.”

People also reported that, around that time, Bynes got her driver’s license back following earlier legal troubles, including a 2012 DUI arrest. The magazine added that this past February the actress pleaded no contest to a lesser alcohol-related offense in her DUI case to avoid jail time. As a result, she was placed on three-years probation and had to attend a three-month alcohol education course and pay fines.

Bynes is due in court on this new charge on October 23.

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