Day: March 15, 2017

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Veteran who helps homeless vets aims to make it a nationwide movement


Kyle Cornwell was having dinner with some friends in Sacramento several months ago when he spotted a man wearing a military jacket and Vietnam vet hat sitting on the sidewalk. The man was visibly shivering.

Cornwell, a disabled veteran himself, started to walk away but turned around and took off his $200 jacket and gave it to the man. He then gave the man his leftovers from dinner and sat down for a talk.

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“He started crying. And I just sat with him for like 10 minutes and talked to him and got his story,” Cornwell told Fox News. “I thought if I had this effect on just one person, what effect would have I have on many more.”

From that night on, Cornwell has a new mission: to help the more than 300 homeless veterans in his northern California community and to inspire others around the country to do the same.

“I want this to be a movement,” he said. “I want this to blow up and for people all over the country to do this. I can only help so many veterans in my community and others need to step up (as well).”

He added: “I ask ‘how many people care?’ How many people will donate $5 instead of buying a coffee at Starbucks?’”

SHIRT WITH $8G IN POCKET ACCIDENTALLY DONATED TO GOODWILL

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that there are more than 39,000 homeless veterans at any given night nationwide. In California, HUD estimates there are more than 9,600 homeless veterans.

Cornwell said there are about 300 homeless vets living in his community and he has helped upwards of 50. The goal is to double that number.

“I drive around town and spot them. I talk to them and get their story,” he said. “I want to put warm clothes on them and food in their stomach.”

Part of talking to these veterans is also to get an idea of what kinds of things they need.

“I write their names – it’s like a modern-day Santa Claus,” Cornwell said. “Then I go out and see how much of that stuff I can get.”

He added: “And I keep my word. I go back to the spot I met them.”

COMMUNITY RAISES $60G FOR HOMELESS TEENAGER IN JUST ONE DAY

Goodwill and Salvation Army stores are Cornwell’s go-to places to shop for clothes. He usually takes his 6-year-old daughter for the shopping trips.

“I am a single father and I want to set a good example about paying it forward,” he said. “She’s always asking to go shopping for the vets.”

Word has been getting around about Cornwell’s mission and have reached out to help. At one point, they have a U-Haul truck full of donations from clothes to food to sleeping backs and even tents.

“One time I had five cars full of stuff to give out,” he said. “Many times we have come back with empty cars.”

Aside from actually giving these veterans clothes or food, Cornwell said the most important part is actually to talk to them – to let them know that someone who cares.

“Just talking to them, you can see the change in them,” he added.

Cornwell said he is still looking into making this project into a non-profit, but in the meantime, donations can be made through GoFundMe.

“I am learning as I go along,” he said.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a US/World News Editor/Writer for FoxNews.com.

She can be reached at lucia.suarez@foxnews.com.

Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang



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'MADELEINE IS DEAD' Expert says British girl was never actually abducted


A crime expert who has analyzed the high-profile case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann claims the three-year-old was not abducted.

Investigative criminal profiler and “Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann” author Pat Brown told news.com.au that Scotland Yard bungled the investigation and slammed the crime fighting agency for “wasting time and money” on Madeleine’s case.

“Madeleine is dead,” Brown said.

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“There’s no point spending all of this money as nothing they do is going to make that child alive.”

While profiling the case, Brown developed a theory about what happened to Madeleine before her disappearance in Portugal.

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“When I do a crime scene analysis it is a theory based on evidence to then be given to police and used to look for more proof and evidence suitable for prosecution,” she said.

“When I analyzed (Madeleine’s) case, it led me to believe evidence does not support an abduction.

“An abduction was extremely unlikely based on the amount of time, evidence at the scene, and every other shred of evidence there has ever been.”

Brown said Madeleine most likely died an accidental death that was “covered up”.

“The evidence supports the theory of an accident occurring through neglect and possible medication,” she said.

“It’s my belief the body was moved to a desolate location and will never be found.”

Kate and Gerry McCann have always denied any involvement in her death and vowed to “never give up” hope of finding their daughter.

“As a parent of an abducted child, I can tell you that it is the most painful and agonising experience you could ever imagine,” Kate McCann wrote on the couple’s ‘find Madeleine’ website.

Click for more from news.com.au



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Amy's special a huge flop?


Amy Schumer’s highly anticipated stand-up special for Netflix is getting overwhelmingly negative reviews from users who are tuning in and rating it.

“Amy Schumer: The Leather Special” hit Netflix last week, and as the streaming service’s subscribers are starting to watching it, less-than-stellar reviews have been pouring in.

“I made it 10 minutes into this and shut it off,” one viewer review read. The user gave the special one-star out of five.

Another viewer added, “SO BAD!! I did stay and watch the whole show in hopes that it would get better, and it didn’t.”

Yet another one-star user review added, “It just drags on and on. I’m really disappointed.”

The special has nearly 1,200 user reviews and an overall average rating of 1.5 stars.

The stand-up special hasn’t done much better with TV critics.

The LA Times’ reviewer said the special was too over-the-top when it came to the R-rated content Schumer is known for. “’The Leather Special’ not only relies on… explicit themes, but kicks it all up a notch so there’s more of it — with more frequency and extremities. And as it turns out, that’s not a good thing.”

Newsday’s TV critic gave a similar message, rating the special with a C grade, writing it’s “too much” and “too carnal.”

The Detroit News called the special “funny but predictable.”

Schumer’s stand-up special for the streaming service was announced back in January.

At the time a Netflix exec stated, “Totally fearless and always hilarious, Amy Schumer’s bold and singular voice in comedy is a brilliant match for Netflix and our global comedy fans.”

Schumer previously released a 2015 stand-up special on HBO.
 



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Queen Mary liner corroded; fix could cost $300M, survey finds


The Queen Mary is so corroded that it’s at urgent risk of flooding or collapse, and the price tag for fixing up the 1930s ocean liner could near $300 million, according to a survey done by experts.

It would likely take five years to rehab the ship, a tourist destination docked permanently in Long Beach Harbor south of Los Angeles, according to documents obtained by the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

During its heyday, the Queen Mary carried Hollywood celebrities, such as Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor, royalty, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries, such as Winston Churchill. It also spent several years ferrying 765,000 Allied troops during World War II, when it was nicknamed the “Gray Ghost.”

But now, naval architects and marine engineers who compiled the survey warn that the vessel is probably “approaching the point of no return.”

The hull is severely rusted and certain areas, including the engine room, could be prone to flooding, according to the newspaper report published Monday. And because the bilge system is inoperable, large amounts of water can’t be pumped out and could cause the ship to sink to the lagoon floor.

In addition, the pillar supports for a raised floor in an exhibition space are corroded throughout and could face “immediate collapse” under the weight of just a few people, the survey said.

Roughly 75 percent of the repairs were deemed “urgent.”

The Queen Mary made Long Beach its permanent home in 1967. Now a floating hotel with shops, restaurants and event spaces, the ship attracts some 1.3 million visitors annually.

City officials said the findings are being discussed with the ship’s current leaseholder, Urban Commons, and both sides are committed to preserving the historic asset and making sure it can safely remain open to the public. In November, Long Beach approved $23 million to address the ship’s most urgent repairs, and Urban Commons is working to secure additional funding.

“We have a timeline in which the engineers believe they can complete those immediate projects,” said John Keisler, economic and property development director. “These are major challenges we can only address over time; it can’t all be done at once.”

The condition has become so dire that politicians in Scotland, where the Queen Mary was built, have called for an international fundraising campaign to restore the former Cunard liner. They’ve urged Prime Minister Theresa May to put pressure on the U.S. government to step in and save their architectural treasure, according to a recent report in Scotland’s national newspaper.



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Volcano erupts near tourists


National Park Service authorities have fined 13 French tourists for going beyond the safety boundary surrounding the active volcano Kilauea in Hawaii.

The visitors were on an unauthorized tour that promised to bring them close to the volcanic action.

While the 13 members of the tour were fined $100 and asked to leave the park, the tour guide faces fines up to $5,000 and even jail time, according to local station KHON2.

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Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on Hawaii, and its bubbling lava attracts visitors from all over the world to see the volcano, standing 4,190 feet above sea level.

A photographer recently captured a stunning phenomenon of the volcano, in a video that appears to show blue lava streaming from Kilauea. The blue color is an optical illusion caused by the changing light at dusk, according to The Telegraph.

Another mesmerizing aesthetic phenomenon at Kilauea took place in December 2016, when bubbling lava formed “lava lakes,” or two deltas within the Pacific Ocean.



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'Mad Men' star's big move


Former “Mad Men” star Jessica Par is set for a key series regular role opposite Jim Caviezel in CBS’ untitled Navy SEAL drama pilot from former “Justified” executive producers Ben Cavell, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly and “Shameless” executive producer Chris Chulack.

Written by Cavell and directed by Chulack, the project follows the lives of the elite Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions our country can ask. Par will play Mandy, a whip-smart CIA analyst driven to rid the world of evil and get the bad guys. Cast also includes Max Thieriot, Neil Brown Jr., A.J. Buckley, and Toni Trucks.

Par, known for her starring role as Megan Draper in “Mad Men,” was recently seen in Oscar-nominated film “Brooklyn” opposite Saoirse Ronan.



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Lawmakers push Tillerson to investigate US funding of billionaire's political meddling


Republican senators are asking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to investigate claims that U.S. taxpayer money is being used to back left-wing billionaire George Soros’ political meddling and similar efforts overseas.

A letter sent Tuesday asked for a probe into how U.S. funds are being used by agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to back left-wing political groups in other countries. 

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, one of the co-signers, even said foreign officials and political leaders have come to him with “reports of U.S. activity in their respective countries.”

He said in a statement: “This includes reports of diplomats playing political favorites, USAID funds supporting extreme and sometimes violent political activists, and the US Government working to marginalize the moderates and conservatives in leadership roles. … This sort of political favoritism from our missions around the world is unacceptable.”

The letter to Tillerson also was signed by Sens. James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; David Perdue, R-Ga.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; and Bill Cassidy, R-La. It followed a letter in February from GOP lawmakers asking about whether U.S. tax dollars have been used in recent years to fund Soros-backed projects in the small, conservative-led country of Macedonia.

In particular, USAID funding to Soro’s Open Society Foundations in Macedonia sparked concern that the U.S. Embassy has been taking sides in the country’s fiery political fights. The group’s stated goal is “to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens” but critics claim it’s a front for Soros’ political maneuverings.

The USAID website shows that between 2012 and 2016, USAID gave almost $5 million in taxpayer cash to FOSM for “The Civil Society Project,” which “aims to empower Macedonian citizens to hold government accountable.” USAID’s website links to www.soros.org.mk, and says the project trained hundreds of young Macedonians “in youth activism and the use of new media instruments.”

The State Department told lawmakers that in addition to that project, USAID has recently funded a new Civic Engagement Project which partners with four organizations, including FOSM. The cost is believed to be around $9.5 million.

A citizen’s initiative called “Stop Operation Soros” has also published a white paper alleging U.S. money has been funding violent riots in the streets, as well as a Macedonian version of Saul Alinsky’s far-left handbook “Rules for Radicals.”

After being dissatisfied with responses to letters sent to the U.S. ambassador, the senators wrote to Tillerson, noting not only the situation in Macedonia, but also what they describe as “a pattern of alarming activity in this volatile region” — pointing in particular to the nearby country of Albania.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE LETTER

“Respected leaders from Albania have made similar claims of U.S. diplomats and Soros-backed organizations pushing for certain political outcomes in their country,” the letter said, citing a FOSM-backed push for Albanian judicial reform, which opponents say are aimed to give the socialist government full control over the country’s judiciary.

“The destabilizing effects of such actions in a NATO country are clear and the threat for further escalation eminent as Albania anticipates parliamentary elections later this year,” the letter said.

The senators went on to say that they are also concerned about reports coming in from countries in Africa and Latin America. 

“We respectfully ask that you use your authority to investigate all funds associated with promoting democracy and governance and review the programs, accounts, and multiplicity of U.S. entities involved in such activities,” the letter said.

Conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban last month expressed concern about Soros meddling in his country’s political fights, and warned about Soros’ “trans-border empire.” Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told Fox News last month that they hoped that with a change in administration in Washington, the Soros-led push against their government would decrease.

“I think it is no secret and everyone knows about the very close relationship between the Democrats and George Soros and his foundations. It is obvious that if Hillary Clinton had won then this pressure on us would be much stronger. With Donald Trump winning we have the hope that this pressure will be decreased on us,” he said.

Widely cited as an example of Soros’ influence during the Obama administration was a 2011 email (published by WikiLeaks) in which Soros urged Hillary Clinton to take action in Albania over recent demonstrations in the capital of Tirana.

Soros asked Clinton to “bring the full weight of the international community to bear on Prime Minister Berisha and opposition leader Edi Rama to forestall further public demonstrations and to tone down public pronouncements” and appoint a senior European official as mediator.

Within a few days, an envoy was dispatched.

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.



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Nelson returns to stage


Music fans who skipped out on Ray Benson’s birthday party on Tuesday during SXSW are now kicking themselves for missing a surprise appearance from Willie Nelson.

Nelson took the stage unannounced around 9:30PM at the showcase in Austin, Texas, after an already impressive set by both the Avett Brothers and Asleep at the Wheel. According to Austin360, Nelson played close to a dozen songs including “Whiskey River” and “On the Road Again” as well as “Still Not Dead” from his upcoming album God’s Problem Child, due out this spring. Highlights included a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho & Lefty” with Benson — which you can watch in the video above — and “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

Benson’s 66th birthday party featured performances from the Avett Brothers, Randy Rogers, Sunny Sweeney, Wade Bowen and more. Last year, George Strait made a surprise appearance during the event while in 2015 Gary Clark Jr. attended.

Benson’s birthday concert is an annual SXSW staple, and the show raises money for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM). According to Billboard, since 2005 the event has raised $4.9 million to help provide health care for more than 4,400 musicians.

Nelson recently canceled several concerts due to illness, and his appearance on Tuesday showed the country legend in good spirits while holding his own on stage. The singer is set to release his forthcoming album on April 28. The album includes 13 new songs, and according to a press release, God’s Problem Child “reflects on mortality while marveling at the beauty and absurdity of it all.”



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Goodyear killed the blimp


Goodyear has let the helium out of the last of its fabled fleet of blimps, but the company’s flight program will continue.

About two dozen employees were on hand early Tuesday to witness the deflation of California-based Spirit of Innovation.

But shed no tears, blimp fans, you’ll still see a familiar blue-and-gold form floating over your favorite sports event or awards show.

Although the blimp’s replacement, Wingfoot Two, will look about the same when it arrives at Goodyear’s airship base in Carson later this year, it will be a semi-rigid dirigible.

Such aircraft, one of which has already replaced Goodyear’s Florida blimp, have a frame, which means they maintain their shape when the helium is drained. Blimps, on the other hand, go flat. Wingfoot Two, currently operating in Ohio, will be replaced by yet another dirigible when it leaves there for Southern California.

Far more important to Goodyear is that the new airships are faster, quieter, larger, easier to fly and more maneuverable than the blimps it introduced more than 90 years ago. Still, the company plans to keep calling the new models blimps.

“Because a Goodyear Semi-rigid Dirigible doesn’t roll off the tongue,” laughed company airship historian Eddie Ogden.

Crew members Tuesday yanked a rip line to open a section at the top of the blimp’s big gas bag, known as an envelope. It took about two minutes for it to crumple to the ground.

Ogden said Goodyear employees watched the deflation with mixed emotions.

“There were a couple tears because they’ve been working with blimps for so long,” he said. “But the program has always changed over the decades and this is a step forward. The new model is incredible to watch fly.

“The switch to dirigibles offers a similar-looking, cigar-shaped flying machine but one that’s 246 feet long, nearly the length of a football field and 50 feet longer than the old blimps. With room for three engines instead of two, it will be able to hit freeway speeds of over 70 miles per hour and turn on a dime.

The quieter engines also will provide an advantage in covering golf tournaments, Ogden said, by eliminating the racket that can sometimes disrupt golfers lining up their putts. The ability to hover will allow a pilot to better position the aircraft to capture NASCAR race finishes and key moments in a baseball game.

And the ability to take off and land like a helicopter will put an end to those funny-looking runway pursuits by the ground crew.

Still, Spirit of Innovation was an innovator in its day and its deflation comes with some emotion.

Its gondola, originally christened Columbia in 1986, became Eagle in 2002 and finally Innovation following a public name-that-blimp contest in 2006.

With the lifespan of the envelope nearing an end, it was time to mothball it, said Matthew St. John, chief pilot at the Carson airship base and the man who took the blimp on its final flight above last month’s Academy Awards.

The craft’s historic gondola will be shipped to Goodyear’s century-old Ohio airship base to be put on permanent display. Other parts are going to museums, and the envelope is being recycled.

“The engines can be repaired and replaced, the gondola can be repaired and refurbished, the tail fins can be refurbished,” said St. John, who plans to fly “Innovation’s” replacement.

“But with the envelope, there’s a safety measure there that we take a very serious look at and say, ‘OK, this is the mark, and we’re not going to go beyond that mark,'” he said.



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A&E star slams ‘Flip’


Armando Montelongo was flipping houses in real life and on TV long before “Flip or Flop” came along.

On his new show “Flipping Nightmares” he told us he’s ready to take back his title of King of the flip.

“Our show is different because we’re literally showing the worst of the worst,” Montelongo told Fox News. “It’s not like other house-flipping shows that their budgets are subsidized by the network. These are real numbers and real budgets.”

Montelongo, who starred in the first season of “Flip This House” in 2005, said fans have grown tired of what he calls “cookie cutter flipping show.”

“Fans are tired of being bored of house flipping shows,” he told us. That’s why he decided to get back into the reality TV show business.

“[Fans told me], ‘We want the original house flipper back. We want the guy who started this all to do a house flipping show.’ And truth be told, I was bust my a– with my businesses for eight years but now it’s time and we’re having so much fun making the show.”

This time around, Montelongo is joined by his wife Whittney. At first, she was reluctant to appear on the show.

“She really didn’t want to be on the TV show,” Montelongo said. “But I kind of convinced her to be on the show against her will. She’s fantastic! She is America’s next sweetheart.”

The real estate developer said her good looks might be what he fell for at first, but he soon learned Whittney is the “sweetest person” he’s ever met.

“She’s the voice of calm and the voice of reality,” he said of his wife. “She not only helps decorate on the show but she’s really the voice of reasoning since I don’t have the most logic.”

Follow Fox News’ Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.



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