Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The Justice Department will perform its own autopsy on the body of Michael Brown as part of its independent investigation into the Missouri teenager’s shooting death, officials announced Sunday.

“Due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family, Attorney General Holder has instructed Justice Department officials to arrange for an additional autopsy to be performed by a federal medical examiner,” the Justice Department said in a statement Sunday.

The autopsy will take place “as soon as possible.”

In addition to the Justice Department’s autopsy, the St. Louis County Medical Examiner and forensic pathologist Michael Baden, who was hired by the Brown family, are conducting their own autopsies.

According to preliminary results from the county’s autopsy, Brown died from gunshot wounds. Justice Department officials will also consider that autopsy in their investigation.

Brown was killed last Saturday when he was shot by a Ferguson police officer, identified by the department as Darren Wilson. The shooting has sparked protests and racial tensions in the city, and the state has since imposed a curfew that began this weekend.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(THOMASTON, Ala.) — A 1,000-pound gator is breaking records in Alabama.

Five members of the Stokes family caught this monster alligator Saturday in Thomaston, Alabama.

It took them 10 hours to wrangle the mammoth beast.

Biologists at Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries easily measured the alligator at 15 feet, but weighing it was a big more tricky.

The alligator was so large it destroyed the winch used to lift average-sized alligators.

Eventually, a biologist had to use a backhoe to lift the alligator onto the scale.

It weighed in at 1,011.5 pounds, making the gator the largest ever killed in Alabama.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Buda Mendes/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) — Pope Francis made a strong gesture to reach out to China, saying the Catholic Church is not coming in as conquerors, and the important thing is to walk together.

At a meeting with about 80 of Asia’s bishops on Sunday in Seoul, the Pope called for them to engage with people of different cultures empathetically.

According to ABC’s Joohee Cho, although the Pope did not mention China specifically, the Vatican spokesman said it is goodwill for dialogue with China, considering other Asian countries like North Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar have no diplomatic ties with the Vatican.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — They came from Serbia, the Middle East, Chicago, and New York. Fifteen young women with one dream: to meet their idol, teen activist Malala Yousafzai.

“Malala Yousafzai is a giraffe,” Chloe Schneider, 12, wrote in a school essay about how Malala “stuck her neck out” and “taught children all over to stand up and fight for what they believe.”

Malala Yousafzai, the 17-year-old who was shot in the head on Oct. 9, 2012, by the Taliban for advocating for girls education in Pakistan, was in New York for the publication of the young readers edition of her book, I Am Malala.

Chloe was one of more than a dozen young students, ages 7 to 17, selected to be on the set of Good Morning America when Malala was interviewed by ABC News’ Amy Robach. They were chosen because of their involvement with groups like the U.N. Foundation’s Girl Up and Girls Who Code, a non-profit devoted to reaching gender parity in the technology industry.

In the greenroom backstage before the taping, the girls were nervous and excited. They treated Malala like a celebrity. “She’s so pretty,” one girl said. “I wonder what her favorite color is?” asked another. Others whispered, “I hope she’ll sign our books.”

Asked why she believes so strongly in Malala’s cause, Gillian Schneider, 14, said she looks up to Malala because “she showed women and girls all over that they have a voice and when used, they can make a change in the world.”

Elena Avramovic, 13, said, “Malala can be anyone’s idol because everybody deserves the right to an education — girls and boys everywhere.”

All the girls had questions for Malala, including Joyce Gomez, 17, of Girls Who Code, who asked: “How are you so brave?”

“I think that bravery is when you overcome your fears and when you think that yes, you can stand up for your rights and you can speak,” Malala answered. “So I think you all are brave because you are joining these campaigns for education. You are struggling your best. … We just need to recognize the abilities we have, the talents we have and you all are brave.”

Razan Nasser, 13, who attends the UN International School, wanted to know: “What can privileged girls such as ourselves do to help your cause?”

“I think the role of every person in society is very important,” said Malala. “If there is one child that we know about who is deprived of education and who needs our help, I think we should definitely support that child. …There are artists, there are musicians, there are poets and so many other people who can motivate children all over the world through their beautiful voices– to come and continue their learning and stand up for it.”

The young girls took Malala’s words to heart.

“All my life I have had trouble standing up for myself and for other people, and [Malala] inspires me and other people like me to do this no matter the cost,” Chloe said.

Although still in high school, Malala has become an international icon for people of all ages. For the second year in a row, Malala was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and should she be awarded, she will be the youngest recipient of the award by over a decade. She also co-founded the Malala Fund.

As the girls gathered their belongings and headed home, they seemed almost awestruck. More than one was heard saying, “I wish I could be more like Malala.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(DENVER) — Starting pitcher Homer Bailey was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Cincinnati Reds Saturday with a strained right elbow.

Bailey had an MRI that revealed he had a flexor mass injury in his elbow. He will not need surgery and is expected to return to the mound this season.

The 28-year-old Bailey has pitched 145 2/3 innings this season, compiling a 9-5 record, 3.71 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 45 walks and 124 strikeouts.

The Reds promoted pitcher Dylan Axelrod from Triple-A Louisville to take Bailey’s place.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The United States has launched airstrikes around the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq in support of a ground operation by Kurdish and Iraqi forces to retake the strategic dam which was seized by ISIS fighters earlier this month.

The status of the dam has been a concern for Iraq and the U.S. because a breach could release a torrent of water that could flood Mosul and possibly reach as far down as Baghdad.

U.S. officials confirm that fighter planes and drones launched airstrikes near the Mosul Dam. Earlier Saturday, Kurdish local media cited eyewitness reports that airstrikes had taken place by the dam on Friday night.

At the time it was unclear if the airstrikes had been launched by U.S. or Iraqi aircraft.

According to one official “the strikes are in support of ground operations” by Kurdish and Iraqi forces to retake the dam. The official labeled the strikes as significant.

The size of the Iraqi and Kurdish ground operation is unclear, but it would have to be sizable to counter the large number of ISIS fighters located at or near the dam. One U.S. official said it is believed that there are a few hundred ISIS fighters in the vicinity of the dam.

The official said the strikes are allowed by the presidential authorization “to protect US personnel and support humanitarian efforts” that was issued last week. The airstrikes helped slow an ISIS advance on the Kurdish capital of Erbil and helped alleviate the humanitarian crisis of Yazidis trapped atop Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq.

On Thursday the Pentagon said that airstrikes could still take place and were authorized for anywhere in Iraq. The Mosul Dam is located 90 miles west of Erbil and 60 miles east of Mt. Sinjar.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said at a news conference “the airstrikes that we have been conducting and authorized to do so are predominantly to protect U.S. personnel and facilities in and around Erbil, although the president was very clear that we have the authority to conduct airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel and facilities anywhere in Iraq, including down in Baghdad.”

Kirby also reiterated that President Obama had said the U.S would help the Iraqi government but “we’re not going to become the Iraqi air force. This is their fight to fight. We’re willing to help to the degree we can.”

While the U.S. has both military and civilian personnel in Erbil, there is not a U.S. presence in Mosul, which is south of the dam. There has been concern that a dam breach could lead to a torrent of water reaching as far south as Baghdad, where the large U.S. embassy is located on the banks of the Tigris River.

Predators conducted airstrikes Friday on ISIS vehicles near the village of Kawju, which had been attacked by ISIS fighters. A defense official said that is the same village where reports emerged Friday that ISIS fighters had killed 80 Yazidi civilians.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) — Crowds holding yellow and white flags stood cheering in the sunshine as Pope Francis conducted mass in Seoul, where he beatified 124 South Koreans.

Francis spoke of the great sacrifices of the men and women who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, were killed for refusing to renounce their Catholic faith.

Beatification is the first step toward sainthood and ceremonies like this one have taken place with increasing frequency in the last number of decades– a surefire way of drawing media attention to the Catholic church as its church attendance numbers dwindle in the West.

The importance of the ceremony is especially strong in Asia, where the Vatican has its sights set on growth. In the past 50 years, the South Korean Catholics have gone from comprising 1% of the population to 10%.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — More than 50 human remains were found during an investigation into a now shuttered funeral home.

Officials first discovered six decomposed bodies inside the Pennine Funeral home in Providence, Rhode Island in July, the same month the funeral home owner Alfred Pennine committed suicide.

This week three other bodies, including an infant, were found in a storage unit owned by Pennine.

And now it’s been revealed Pennine also kept 45 cremated remains, some of which date back to 2001.

Officials are working to identify the bodies and notify next of kin.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Apple press(VANCOUVER) — A former Apple retail employee is using his coincidental name, Sam Sung, to raise thousands for charity.

Sung, a former “specialist” at the Pacific Centre Apple store in Vancouver, British Columbia, auctioned off a framed employee T-shirt, lanyard name tag and business card Friday. The proceeds will benefit a chapter of the Canadian Charity Children’s Wish in Vancouver, which grants wishes to ailing children.

Sung managed to raise $2,653 for charity, a decent sum but far lower than some of the highest bids he received. After starting the auction last week with a starting price of just 99 cents, the bids topped out around $80,000.

However, Sung stopped excepting the excessive bids because he did not believe they were real.

“There have been a number of fake bids and I’m trying to protect buyers with positive feedback and eliminate fake bids,” wrote Sung on eBay.

Sung took to twitter after the auction closed and said he’s still happy with the final sum.

Sung’s identity went viral in 2012 when an intrigued customer tweeted a photo of Sung’s business card, as Apple and Korean electronics giant Samsung were entrenched in an intellectual property legal battle.

Sung, 25, said the idea for the auction was inspired when one of his old business cards fell out of a book, he wrote on his eBay page.

“I had a great time working for Apple and would recommend it to anyone,” he wrote. “I hope my old business card will go to another fellow Apple enthusiast with a sense of humour [sic] and the desire to help raise some money for a good cause.”

He worked at Apple for three years before joining recruitment firm Holloway Schulz in July 2013.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Got a spare $133,000? Consider purchasing this entirely edible chocolate bathroom. We’re talking a bathtub, toilet, sink, basin and bidet all made of 100 percent Belgian chocolate.

Created as a funny response to the fact that online shoppers looking to buy a new bathroom suite are commonly misspelling the word and searching for bathroom “sweets,” Bathrooms.com partnered with British chocolatier Choccywoccydoodah to create this lavish lavatory.

“We decided to answer their search, literally,” Bathrooms.com CEO Ian Monk said in a press release. “[It] was initially a bit of fun, but once we realized it was possible to actually make, we decided to buy Bathroomsweets.com and list the product.”

Yes, that’s right; you can actually order this bathroom and get it shipped worldwide (note: it’s not functional). The full suite retails for £80,000, or around $133,000 and clocks in at a whopping 9.4 million calories. If you’re feeling a little thrifty, you can also purchase items a la carte, like the toilet for a mere $23,000 and 980,000 calories.

Eighty-eight pounds of chocolate comprise the entire suite, which has a six-month shelf life, and if not eaten, can be kept at room temperature for years.

“We couldn’t say no to being involved,” a Choccywoccydoodah spokesperson said. “We’ve made lots of things out of chocolate, but never a bathroom, so this will be a challenge and we look forward to our first order.”

Bathroom.com spokesperson Rebecca Lee told ABC News that there have been several inquiries so far, mostly for the bathtub, which, as the centerpiece item, costs around $80,000 and contains nine million calories.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →