MLB agrees to new intentional walk rule

moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Major League Baseball has approved a change to its intentional walk rule on Tuesday in an effort to speed up the pace of game play. According to ESPN, instead of throwing four balls to a batter, the umpire will receive a signal from the dugout allowing the hitter a free pass to first base. According to studies performed by MLB, an intentional walk takes about one minute. The rule change would eliminate that and keep the game moving along. This comes after Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to the press earlier on Tuesday about how he did not anticipate any rule changes for the 2017 season and blamed the players’ association for the delay. “There really won’t be any meaningful change for the 2017 season,” Manfred said. “Due to a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA.” Any rule changes that were to go into effect for the upcoming season had to be agreed upon between the league and the union prior to the start of spring training games….

Trump denounces anti-Semitic threats as ‘horrible’ after facing criticism

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump denounced anti-Semitism Tuesday after facing criticism that he has not come out strongly enough against recent threats directed at U.S. Jewish centers. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump remarked after touring the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. “This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said from a podium set up at the museum. Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, found fault with Trump’s statement, arguing that his “too little, too late acknowledgement of anti-Semitism” is “not enough.” “The president’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own administration,” Goldstein wrote in a statement posted on…

Police: No injuries, no suspect after gunfire reported at Houston hospital

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, Texas, has been given an all-clear after police responded to reports of gunfire on Tuesday. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said no one was shot and no suspect was found despite initial reports about an active shooter, a suspect described to police as a white male, on the second floor of the hospital. Two searches were conducted by police, according to Acevedo, and there was “no evidence of shooter or shooting.” “I am confident that if there was a threat, that threat is not here now,” he said.When the hospital was in lockdown mode, some sheltered in place while hundreds of others, including staff, patients and family, were evacuated. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Owen Labrie is back in court, seeking a new trial

iStock/Thinkstock(CONCORD, N.H.) — A lawyer who was a member of the original defense team for Owen Labrie, the former prep school student convicted in 2015 of sexually assaulting a classmate, got emotional on the stand Tuesday as she recounted seeing what she says was an unprepared expert witness getting ready to testify during the trial for which she was a local co-counsel. “That was possibly the most terrifying moment of my legal career,” attorney Jaye Rancourt said Tuesday. “I was sitting in that room, thinking, I’m [going] to have to go in that courtroom and interrupt this trial and step in and say, ‘I can’t let it go on.’” The testimony is part of an effort to argue that Labrie’s counsel was ineffective and secure a new trial. Labrie, 21, was found guilty in August 2015 of a felony charge of using a computer to lure an underage female schoolmate at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, into a sexual encounter. Although Labrie was acquitted of felony sexual assault,…

Dozens of migrants found dead on Libya’s coast

iStock/Thinkstock(ZAWIYA, Libya) — Dozens of bodies have washed ashore on the coast of Libya. At least 74 bodies were found in Zawiya, according to a spokesperson for the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration. They are believed to be migrants who were trying to reach Italy by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The UN spokesperson said a torn dinghy that was found nearby on the beach had departed from Sabratha on Saturday with 110 people on board. Smugglers are using new boats in order to carry more migrants, but the large rubber dinghies are weak, according to BBC. Ayoub Gassim, spokesman for Libya’s coast guard, said according to BBC that the new boats are “going to be even more disastrous to the migrants.” Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pilot of plane that crashed near Melbourne called ‘mayday’ several times, authorities say

Michael Dodge/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The pilot of a plane that crashed into an Australian shopping center called “mayday” several times before the crash on Tuesday, authorities said. The pilot did not specify the nature of the emergency before the twin-engine Beechcraft crashed near Melbourne, killing four American tourists, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a press conference Wednesday morning local time. Portions of the aircraft are still on the roof of the shopping center and in the parking lot, ATSB officials said. Investigators have completed of sweet of the runway for plane parts. Officials are also interviewing people who were on the runway at the time of the ill-dated takeoff, including pilots who also fly the Beechcraft and may have some helpful observations as to what they dash. The crash was also documented on dashcam video, which investigators are looking into for clues. The sister of one of four Americans killed when remembered her brother as “handsome” and “athletic.” “Dear friends and family, my handsome athletic big brother…

White House says mass deportation not goal of immigration memos despite fears among many

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — New memos unveiled by the Trump administration Tuesday outline a sweeping plan to detain and deport certain undocumented immigrants as well as add more than 15,000 immigration, border patrol and customs agents, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer said mass deportation is not the goal. One of the memos — signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly — says that the agency will “no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement” with certain exceptions including children. That memo calls President Obama’s prioritization of deporting certain undocumented immigrants “failed” and says that “Department personnel may initiate enforcement actions against removable aliens encountered during the performance of their duties.” The memos, released publicly Tuesday morning, offer the clearest picture yet of how the Trump administration plans to tackle the issue of undocumented immigration, including calling for enlistment of local law enforcement to help detain and remove unauthorized individuals, construction of the promised border wall and expansion of detention facilities at the southern border. In…

Jimmy Kimmel considers retiring from late-night TV: “I want to go out on my own terms”

ABC/Jeff Lipsky(LOS ANGELES) — Right now, Jimmy Kimmel is focused on hosting the Academy Awards on Sunday night, but he also has his sights on 2019, when his late-nigh TV hosting contract is up. That might spell the end of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, according to the host. Speaking to Variety, the comedian says he’s considered retiring from his show when his contract is finished, adding, “I want to go out on my own terms. If we ever feel like we’re repeating ourselves, I think it’s a good indication that it’s time.” Variety notes that the landscape has changed in the 14 years he’s spent on late-night TV, with growing competition from Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert making it a dog-eat-dog world during the late-night hours. But if Kimmel does retire, what would he do with his time? “I like to draw. I like to make sculptures,” he tells Variety. “I’d like to write a book at some point. Doing the show every day doesn’t leave time for that.” As for…