Day: April 3, 2017

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Southeast storms: Fifth person reported dead as severe weather moves east – FOX NEWS WEATHER CENTER


A powerful storm system tearing through the Southeast killed a fifth person Monday after it flipped a mobile home in South Carolina, emergency officials announced.

The storm could still unleash tornadoes and powerful wind gusts Monday from parts of Georgia to the Carolinas, forecasters have warned.

In Whitmire, S.C., an hour’s drive northwest of Columbia, the storms flipped the mobile home multiple times, killing a man inside, Union County Sheriff David Taylor told Fox Carolina.

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Johnny Thomas, the mayor of Glendora, Miss., which is about 140 miles north of Jackson, told Fox News heavy winds caused a massive tree to fall onto his home and, suddenly, his house went dark. Though he crawled out alive with minor injuries, his wife did not survive.

“Sitting here looking at TV my wife and I hear a loud wind and looked like it was instant – just a loud wind,” Thomas said. A few seconds later, he said, his wife was trapped under the fallen roof.

Bill Parker, the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service of Jackson said the weather began improving but flooding was still a concern.

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“When you have an extraordinary meteorological event like we had last night that produces a lot of rainfall it leads to a hydrological event,” Parker said on Monday, “so now we’re looking at how our rivers are going to rise, how our lakes are going to rise based on that heavy amount of rainfall we received last night.”

In Louisiana, a mother and her 3-year-old daughter were killed Sunday morning when a tornado flipped their mobile home off its foundation. The following morning, a Fisher-Price tricycle with yellow handles and purple wheels sat outside the wreckage. It was a visual reminder of just how quickly tornados can strike.

Francine Gotch, 38, and her daughter, Neville Alexander, were inside the trailer when the storm hit the rural community of Breaux Bridge, about 50 miles west of Baton Rouge, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office Maj. Ginny Higgins said.

“It hit the trailer, flipped it and tore its side off,” Higgins said.

Alexander’s dad had gone to the grocery store just before the storm occurred and arrived back home to find Gotch and his daughter dead, witnesses told KLFY-TV.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards put the entire state on “high alert” and urged residents to stay off the roads. He told people that their cellphones should be charged and close by so they can receive urgent weather alerts through Monday.

“It is an extremely dangerous weather event,” he said.

In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant confirmed the deaths of two people in the state.

In Jackson, Miss., about 60 people were evacuated to a nearby hotel because of rising flood waters. Local authorities used boats to transport people to dry land.  

Another hard-hit area was Alexandria, La., where winds blew off the roof of a gas station and knocked out power to thousands, KALB-TV reported. Customers and storm employees sought shelter in a beer cooler.

Authorities are asking for residents to have a plan in place – pick a room without windows or many doors, keep your cell phone charged and if you live in a mobile home try to find another place to stay during large storm systems.

Fire officials in the Texas village of Point Venture said several people witnessed an apparent funnel cloud there Sunday morning. Travis County Emergency Services District 1 Fire Chief Donnie Norman said there were several structures with severe damage.

“There was one home with pretty heavy damage. The roof was completely removed. There was one resident there at the time, but she received no major injuries,” Norman said.

A Texas state trooper reported seeing a suspected tornado touch down early Sunday morning near Center Point, Texas, about 55 miles northwest of San Antonio, Texas. National Weather Service meteorologist Yvette Benavides said there were no reports of major or structural damage.

Fox News’ Will Carr, Matt Finn, Willie James Inman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Trump getting late night show


President Donald Trump is getting his own late night talk show. Well, sort of.

Comedy Central announced a weekly late-night series to be hosted by Trump impersonate Anthony Atamanuik called “The President Show.”

“Laughing at the President is a proud American tradition and we hope not to disappoint anyone in that department,” Atamanuik said in a press release. “But our political system is too broken for us to be content joking about one man, even though he is a disastrous silly little toddler boy. Mostly I’d just like to thank Comedy Central for giving us this platform to speak truth to power and if we’re lucky, end up in prison!”

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According to the press release, Atamanuik’s Trump will bypass “the crooked media” by hosting his own late-night show from the Oval Office.

“No unfair questions from reporters, no awkward photo ops with German ladies, and no bedtimes,” Comedy Central said.

Peter Grosz will play Vice President Mike Pence in the 10-episode series premiering April 27.



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Miranda keeps bag of booze


In case of an emergency…pass the vodka.

Miranda Lambert’s assistant always makes sure the country superstar has a bag of booze at all times.

“My assistant packs — I call it my nanny bag — she packs a bag of liquor for emergencies, for meltdowns and things like that,” Lambert told Sounds of Nashville.

The nanny bag came in handy recently when Lambert’s flight to the ACM Awards was canceled and her tour manager rented the singer and her crew a bus to drive to Las Vegas.

“I’m like okay, we’re good, I’m golden. We just need a cooler of ice and we’re going. It was fun.”

The “Vice” singer won album of the year and female vocalist of the year at this year’s ACM Awards which took place Sunday night.



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Robin Shahini released from Iran prison, but his freedom isn't guaranteed


An Iranian-American sentenced to 18 years in Iran on accusations of “collaboration with a hostile government” has been freed from prison on bail, according to relatives and activists — but instead of escaping from the Islamic Republic, he may be stuck there in a form of limbo.

Robin Shahini of San Diego got out recently on bail of about $62,000, according to Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran. He had staged a weeks-long hunger strike protesting his imprisonment alongside other dual nationals targeted by hard-liners — and reportedly wrote a suicide note last year.

AMERICAN IMPRISONED IN IRAN PENS SUICIDE NOTE

For now, he may be at the mercy of an appeals court. Shahini would not be able to leave Iran until that court gives the OK, a close friend of his told The Foreign Desk.

“Shahini’s release on bail is good news as his prosecution did not produce any credible evidence justifying charges against him,” Ghaemi told The Associated Press. “He is an innocent man who appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and his detention and prosecution was motivated by his dual nationality more than anything else.”

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Shahini, who traveled to Iran to see his mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, was detained on July 11. He left Iran in 1998 and had lived in San Diego for 16 years. He graduated in May 2016 from San Diego State University with a degree in International Security and Conflict Resolution and had been accepted to SDSU’s graduate program in Homeland Security.

At his trial, prosecutors apparently used social media pictures of Shahini standing near prominent Iranian exiles to secure his conviction. Hard-liners have been using such cases to challenge the administration of moderate President Hassan Rouhani ahead of the country’s coming May presidential election. Rouhani is expected to run in the vote next month.

“I ask myself and my fellow American neighbors: Where is the justice I have come to associate with America?” Shahini wrote his family in a recent letter.

Iranian officials and state media did not comment on Shahini receiving bail. The Iranian mission to the United Nations and the U.S. State Department did not immediately comment.

Iran does not recognize dual nationalities, meaning that those it detains cannot receive consular assistance. In most cases, dual nationals have faced secret charges in closed-door hearings before Iran’s Revolutionary Court, which handles cases involving alleged attempts to overthrow the government.

Analysts and family members of those detained have suggested that hard-liners in the Islamic Republic’s security agencies want to negotiate another deal with the West to free the detainees. A prisoner exchange in January 2016 that freed Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and three other Iranian-Americans also saw the U.S. make a $400 million cash delivery to Iran the same day.

Among the dual national held are Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his octogenarian father, Baquer Namazi, who are serving 10-year prison sentences for “cooperating with the hostile American government.” Another is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman sentenced to five years in prison on allegations of planning the “soft toppling” of Iran’s government while traveling with her young daughter.

Yet to be tried is Iranian-American Karan Vafadari, an art gallery manager held along with his Iranian wife. Iranian-Canadian national Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, a member of the country’s team that negotiated the nuclear deal, is believed to have been indicted.

Still missing is former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorized CIA mission.

Shahini began a hunger strike on Feb. 15 to contest his incarceration.

“My only sin was that as a responsible human being, I expressed my views about my homeland, which is the right of every citizen,” he wrote in a letter to his family published by the Center for Human Rights in Iran. “Don’t let me remain in this prison as an innocent man.”

Fox News’ Eric Shawn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from The Foreign Desk.



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Bed, Bath and Beyond the truth? Retailer says Ivanka Trump line still available


Is Bed, Bath and Beyond still carrying Ivanka Trump merchandise? THAT is the question.

Bed, Bath and Beyond (BBBY) backpedaled over the weekend after a customer service representative claimed last week in an email that the company was no longer carrying Ivanka Trump’s products.

Following a query from a member of the #GrabYourWallet campaign, which encourages consumers to boycott companies that carry Trump family products, a Bed, Bath and Beyond employee stated “At this time, we are no longer carrying Trump merchandise.” #GrabYourWallet tweeted a picture of the email along with text that read: This is a big one: @BedBathBeyond now confirming to customers it’s no longer carrying Trump products. Just removed it from boycott list.

Following a social media outburst, Bed, Bath and Beyond on Saturday denied claims it dropped Trump’s products, posting a written apology on its Facebook page and insisting the representative “inadvertently provided information to a customer that was not accurate.”

“We are not making our merchandising decisions based on anyone’s political beliefs. We have Ivanka Trump products in some stores and carry them where consumer demand and business performance justifies it,” the company wrote.

However, a quick search on the home goods giant’s website on Monday returned no items under “Ivanka Trump” — in any department. Still, as of Monday, the retailer was back on the #GrabYourWallet campaign’s boycott list.

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In recent months a few retailers have decided to stop selling Ivanka Trump’s products, citing apolitical motives. Nordstrom (JWN) announced in February it was dropping Trump’s line based on lackluster performance. The upscale retailer faced backlash from President Donald Trump who claimed the company was treating his daughter “unfairly.”

Some other retailers have followed Nordstrom’s lead, including Belk and ShopStyle.

In February, embattled retailer Sears (SHLD) and Kmart said they would stop offering Trump’s home furnishing products online.

On the contrary, in China, as FOX Business previously reported, following the U.S. election there has been a rush among companies to trademark “Ivanka” for their business. At least 65 applications had been filed as of late February among businesses looking to get a bump from an association with the First Daughter of the United States.

#GrabYourWallet still has its sight set on many popular targets including Amazon (AMZN), Zappos and Macy’s (M).

More from FOXBusiness.com…



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Texas deputy shot and killed, gunman at large near Houston – NYPD officer's killer sentenced to life in prison in East Harlem shooting


A Texas deputy was shot and killed near a courthouse Monday morning and the assailant remained at large, officials said.

Assistant Chief Deputy Constable Clint Greenwood, a 30-year veteran, was shot at least once at 7 a.m. local time, Baytown Police Lt. Steve Dorris said during a news conference.

Greenwood was shot in the neck, but was still able to radio for help, saying, “I’m bleeding out,” KTRK reported. He was quickly administered aid at the scene and eventually lifeflighted to a Houston hospital, however, none of the measures prevailed.

“He succumbed to his injuries. He did not survive,” Dorris said.

Though no information on a possible suspect was given, Dorris said authorities “don’t have any indication that tells us he’s gonna go out and target anybody else.”

Baytown Police are working the investigation in conjunction with a host of other agencies.

The shooting was intentionally done, Dorris said, however, a motive remained unclear.

“Whether or not he was specifically targeted, or whether this was because of the uniform he was wearing or the place he pulled up to in the morning, we just don’t know that right now,” Dorris said.



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Jeb Bush warns robots taking US jobs is not science fiction


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Sunday that people “should be marching in the streets” to demand changes to “antiquated” education systems that aren’t preparing students to be competitive in the job market against the robots of the future.

“The looming challenge of automation and artificial intelligence and the rapid advancement of technology brings great benefits but also creates huge challenges,” Bush told radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.

The threat of a number of jobs being lost to automation is “real,” he said. “This is not something that’s science fiction. This is happening as we speak. And yet we still have this big skills gap.”

Several studies in recent years show jobs at risk of being lost to robots as a real challenge for the labor market moving forward. A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers last month says up to 38 percent of jobs in the U.S. are “susceptible” to automation and artificial intelligence by the early 2030s.

Read more on WashingtonExaminer.com



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Chelsea goes after Trump


For the ninth annual Young Literati Toast on Saturday night, Chelsea Handler read a passage from Donald Trump’s 1987 autobiography, “The Art of the Deal.” However, she made sure to include her own commentary.

“I was browsing through the books in the library and came across a book that would change the course of my life forever,” said the 42-year-old comedian sarcastically, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter. “The story of this man’s struggles, successes and setbacks were exactly what I needed because of the impact it has made in my life.”

CHELSEA HANDLER: MELANIA TRUMP BARELY SPEAKS ENGLISH

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles held the sold-out event in support of the Los Angeles Public Library at NeueHouse Hollywood. It was co-hosted by Tom Hanks’ son Colin, who serves as the Young Literati chair with good friend, actress Busy Phillips.

Several guests participated in speeches to reveal how libraries affected their lives growing up. According to Ken Brecher, president of the Library Foundation, more than 650,000 children would be given library cards due to the funds raised.

The last speaker of the night was Handler, who started her speech by sharing her love of reading.

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“I was the youngest of six kids and my parents were big readers. They made me read because they thought I was going to be pretty and you have to back that up,” she joked. “I was so excited about being pretty, I was, like, ‘Sure, I’ll read.’”

The humorous speech quickly turned political after Handler read a passage from Trump’s autobiography.

“I think the way we have come together is so inspiring,” she explained. “I would have hoped that would have happened before the election, but I’ll f—ing take it because it’s so much better to be friends with people you would never talk to before just because we all know that Donald Trump is a f—ing loser.”



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Could Clint's stunt work?


Terry Schappert was basically born to host “Hollywood Weapons” on the Outdoor Channel.

As a former Green Beret with over 24 years of military experience, Schappert has an intimate knowledge of the weapons, explosives and war-time scenarios that most of us have only seen on the big screen — and now, he’s ready to show viewers where fact meets fiction.

The show’s producer, acclaimed actor Joe Mantegna, describes “Hollwood Weapons” as “’Mythbusters on steroids,” and he’s not exaggerating. Each week, Schappert and his team recreate the most explosively over-the-top scenes from blockbuster films and TV, all to answer one question: Can that really be done?

“There’s always scenes in different films, where someone shoots a gun or uses a weapon, and you think, ‘Alright, can you do really that?’” explains Schappert. “So we get into these different movies, and we see if these things can or cannot be done.”

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The upcoming season of “Hollywood Weapons” puts several of Schappert’s favorite scenes to the test, including the scuba-tank sniper shot from “Jaws,” the glass-shattering stunt from “Die Hard,” and the infamous noose scene from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

“We had all these different kinds of shots against hangman’s ropes, with the period guns you saw in the film,” says Schappert. “To get to use those weapons and to play the role of Clint Eastwood in those scenes, it was so much fun.”

Surprisingly, there’s also no shortage of silliness on set — especially between Schappert and the show’s armory expert Larry Zanoff.

“Larry is like the adult in the room, and I’m like the 10-year-old kicking his shins, going, ‘Hey, cmon! Let’s try this!’” laughs Schappert.

That’s not to say the two aren’t taking their jobs seriously. In fact, Schappert says his training with the Green Berets lends itself to these kinds of experiments.

“The last five years I was in the Green Berets, I was in charge of training,” says Schappert. “Training has got to be realistic, or else it’s not worth doing. We were constantly looking at risk assessment … We do (“Hollwood Weapons”) very safely, too,” says Schappert.

“Obviously, when you’re shooting or blowing stuff up, there’s inherent risk, but we really pay careful attention to that.”

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And when a stunt doesn’t play out exactly as it does in the movies? Schappert says he and his crew aren’t bummed.

“The goal is never to debunk the movie, and go, ‘Oh, this is BS.’” says Schappert. “What I hope ‘Hollywood Weapons’ does, honestly, is pay homage to these movies.”

“I always make it a point to say, ‘Maybe I couldn’t do that, but Bruce Willis as John McClane in “Die Hard” might’ve been able to.’ So I don’t think it’ll take the mystique away at all. I hope it doesn’t. I think it’ll increase people’s appreciation of the special effects guys.”

Schappert also tells Fox News he’s raring to recreate just about any stunt Hollywood can throw at him — even the famous frying-pan-to-the-face gag from “Tom & Jerry.”

“We haven’t tested any cartoons out,” Shappert says thoughtfully. “But that? That might be kinda fun … I’m game for it.”

Schappert’s new series “Hollywood Weapons” debuts tonight on Outdoor Channel at 9 p.m. EST.



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Stamos' big onstage whoops


John Stamos handled a wardrobe malfunction like a pro.

The 53-year-old was performing with the Beach Boys Sunday night in New York when the actor noticed a a “slight breeze in the buttocks area.”

The actor posted a video of the moment he realized he had split his pants.

Stamos was in the middle of playing “Fun, Fun, Fun” when he noticed the malfunction but decided the show must go on.



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