Day: August 19, 2017

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USS INDIANAPOLIS FOUND Tragic WWII wreckage discovered in Philippine Sea by billionaire's crew


Wreckage from the USS Indianapolis, which sank 72 years ago after being torpedoed during World War II, was found in the Philippine Sea by the expedition crew of billionaire Paul Allen.

The Indianapolis was hit by the Japanese on July 30, 1945 and sank in only 12 minutes, leading to the greatest single loss of life at sea in the Navy’s history. Of 1,196 crew aboard the ship, only 317 survived.

The men who didn’t go down with the ship faced dehydration, saltwater poisoning and shark-infested waters. 

“To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role during World War II is truly humbling,” Allen said in a statement.

Prior to being attacked, the Indianapolis had delivered components of one of the two nuclear weapons that were later dropped on Japan. 

“For more than two decades I’ve been working with survivors. To a man, they have longed for the day when their ship would be found, solving their final mystery,” Captain William Toti, retired, spokesperson for for the survivors of the USS Indianapolis told PaulAllen.com.

Previous Allen-led expeditions have resulted in the discovery of the Japanese battleship Musashi and the Italian WWII destroyer Artigliere. 

The 16-person team on Allen’s ship will continue to survey the full site and will conduct a live tour of the wreakage in the coming weeks. 

 



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OPIATE-FUELED CRASH Girl, 17, faces adult trial after accident kills 2


An Indiana teen has been charged as an adult after prosecutors say she was high on opiates when she crashed her car into a house at 107 mph, killing an 8-year-old girl and her older sister inside.

Alia Sierra, 17, appeared in court Friday on ten felony counts, including reckless homicide, causing death while operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance in the blood and criminal recklessness.

The July 12 crash in Clinton County killed Callie Fullerton, 8 and Haleigh Fullerton, 17.

Their mother Bridget Fullerton was also injured but is recovering.

Sierra and four other youths in the car — ages 12 to 17 — were treated at the hospital after the crash, WISH-TV reported.

“You do everything that you can to keep your child safe,” prosecutor Christine Smith said Friday, according to Fox 59 Indianapolis. “Your child is at home, they are in the living room, you know where they are and what they are doing and then within a matter of seconds, they are done. There is nothing that can bring that back for the family.”

Sierra was behind the wheel of a 2007 Honda Accord.

One of the kids in the Honda urged Sierra to slow down before the crash, the station reported.

Another said Sierra told them her car was “the beast” and talked about how fast it could go. He said he kept asking Sierra to let him out.

WTHR-TV told Bridget Fullerton that Sierra was being tried as an adult.

“It’s still not bringing the girls back,” she told the station. “That is what we want more than anything, some justice. She should have to… you know… serve her… I mean she was wrong.”

The station reported Callie and her sister were snuggling, watching TV when they were killed.

 

 

 



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Girl, 12, stabbed 16-year-old during Las Vegas school fight, police say


WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO

A 12-year-old female student stabbed a 16-year-old girl Friday during an altercation before classes started at the assailant’s Las Vegas middle school, a disturbing video showed.

The older student, who attends another school, confronted the 12-year-old in a public area of Thurman White Middle School’s campus, according to a statement by school principal Andrea Katona, according to Fox 5 Las Vegas. The two students’ names were not released.

The Clark County School District Police Department said the 12-year-old was charged with battery with a weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm, the Las Vegas Review-Journal said. The 16 year-old was transported to a hospital.

BABYSITTER, BARBER HELD IN SEX OFFENSES AGAINST CHILDREN

Students who witnessed the incident told Fox 5 that the older girl confronted the younger one to defend her younger sister, who had reportedly fought with the Thurman White Middle School student.

“So she came basically in her sister’s defense. She came specifically to fight this other girl,” Brian Morrison, a student at the school  who saw the fight, said. “My first period teacher, Mr. Cherry, he came over and grabbed somebody and got blood all over him.”

PENNSYLVANIA TEACHER DIES AFTER ‘LAUGHING TOO HARD’ AND FALLING OFF BALCONY IN MEXICO

Parents told Fox 5 Las Vegas that they were horrified by the incident and said they rushed to the school once they heard of the violent attack.

“It makes me feel unsafe sending my kid to a school where I know kids are bringing knives to school. I mean it’s crazy,” said Brian Morrison, a father of a student at the school.

The police said they were still investigating the violent episode, but the school’s campus was determined to be secure Friday afternoon.



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Florida police shooting: Second officer who was shot has died, officials said – Dan Bongino: It's time to re-humanize police


A second Florida police officer died Saturday after he and a colleague were shot while scuffling with a suspect.

The Kissimmee Police Department issued a statement late Saturday afternoon saying Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard had died of his injuries. His colleague, Officer Matthew Baxter, died Friday night.

Everett Glen Miller, 45,  has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Baxter, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said earlier Saturday at a news conference. 

O’Dell said it does not appear that Miller, a Marine veteran, has an extensive criminal history but authorities are still investigating.

TOTAL OF 6 POLICE OFFICERS SHOT IN FLORIDA, PENNSYLVANIA

The two officers were in the Palmway and Cypress area of Kissimmee checking out a report of a suspicious person at approximately 9:27 p.m. Soon afterward, a 911 call came in, saying the officers had been shot, O’Dell said.

The officers did not return fire, and it appears they were surprised, the police chief said, adding that authorities are still talking to witnesses to determine the timeline of events.

Sheriff’s deputies with a neighboring law enforcement agency later tracked Miller down to a bar and approached him. Miller started reaching toward his waistband when the deputies tackled and subdued him, O’Dell said.

“They were extremely brave and heroic actions were taken by the deputies,” O’Dell said.

The police chief said Miller would be taken to jail wearing the fallen officer’s handcuffs.

Authorities originally said they believed there were four suspects, but O’Dell said no others arrests were anticipated.

POLICE OFFICER SHOT IN NEW YORK CITY RESPONDING TO CALL

“We’ve got to come together as a nation and get our community involved,” O’Dell said of the police shooting.

Both officers are husbands and have children. Baxter was married to another Kissimmee police officer.

O’Dell said he has been in contact with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi. President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday: “My thoughts and prayers are with the @KissimmeePolice and their loved ones. We are with you! “

Also on Friday night, two police officers were shot in Jacksonville, Fla., and two state troopers were shot in Pennsylvania. The shootings are not related, authorities said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Finland stabbings 'a likely terror act;' ties to Spain eyed – 7 stabbed in Siberia; Russia skeptical of ISIS claim


The knife attack in western Finland that left two people dead and seven others wounded is
“a likely terror act,” Finland’s intelligence agency said Saturday, while police said Europol was investigating if it had any ties to deadly vehicle attacks in Spain.

The suspect — an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum-seeker — was shot and wounded in the thigh by police during his rampage Friday in the city of Turku. He was hospitalized under guard — still in intensive care Saturday — and is being investigated for murder with possible terrorist intent, police said.

His name has not been released but investigators say he came to Finland in early 2016 seeking asylum.

“It’s likely at this moment that we’re dealing with a terror attack,” intelligence agency investigator Pekka Hiltunen said, adding that it was investigating the suspect’s connections to the Islamic State group, since IS “has previously encouraged this kind of behavior.”

The agency however did not change the country’s threat assessment following the Friday attack.

Crista Granroth of the National Bureau of Investigation said the suspect’s attack was very focused.

“We think the attacker was going after women,” Granroth said, adding that one man was slashed with the knife when he tried to stand between the attacker and a woman.

The suspect has yet to be questioned, while four others, also Moroccans living in Turku who know him, were detained on suspicion of involvement. An international arrest warrant had been issued for a sixth person, police said, declining to elaborate.

The two dead were Finnish women, while the seven wounded included four Finns, and one Italian, one Briton and one Swedish man. Two of the wounded were still in intensive care. The youngest victim was 15, the oldest 67, police said.

Prime Minister Juha Sipila told a news conference that if confirmed as an act of terrorism, “it’s the first time Finland has encountered such a terror act.”

“Finland is not an island,” he said. “We have feared something like this but we have been prepared,” Sipila said, called the attack “a cowardly act.”

Sipila told reporters he had spoken with several European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, about the attack.

The NBI said investigators were working with colleagues from the Finnish Security Intelligence Service, police in Turku and the European Union’s police agency, Europol. Robin Lardot, head of the NBI, said Europol was helping to check whether there are connections to the vehicle attacks in Barcelona but refused to elaborate.

The Swedish security service said it was helping its Finnish colleagues.

In June, the Finnish Security Intelligence Service raised its threat assessment to the second level of a four-step scale, citing the Nordic country’s “stronger profile within the radical Islamist propaganda.” Finland was now considered part of the coalition against the Islamic State group, it said.

A man from Sweden who was stabbed in the arm had tried to help another victim who died.

“I tried to stop the violent bleeding from her throat … The woman was so badly injured that she died in my arms,” Hassan Zubier told the Expressen tabloid.

The Ilta-Sanomat tabloid said one of the dead was a local Jehovah’s Witness who was handing out leaflets at a central Turku square. The religious group told the tabloid they believed the woman was randomly attacked.

Flowers and candles were placed on a square in Turku, and Finnish flags flew at half-staff across the country.

“We need to stick together now, hate is not to be answered by hate,” Sipila, the prime minister, said in a tweet. A minute of silence was planned for Sunday at 10 a.m.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, wrote on Twitter that “Europeans stand with #Turku and called it “another cowardly terrorist attack on innocents.”



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Train derails in northern India, killing at least 23


Six coaches of a passenger train derailed in northern India on Saturday, killing 23 people and injuring at least 81, officials said.

Two of the coaches telescoped into each other, while four others toppled over after going off the track, said Arvind Kumar, a top official in Uttar Pradesh, the state where the derailment occurred.

Neeraj Sharma, a railway spokesman, said the incident took place near the small town of Khatauli.

The cause of the derailment was not immediately known, Sharma said.

Railway police and local volunteers helped pull passengers out of the upturned coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express, which connects the Hindu holy city of Haridwar with the temple town of Puri, in the eastern state of Orissa.

The injured were taken to a hospital, where doctors described their condition as stable.



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Powerball players have chance at $535 million jackpot


Powerball players will hold their breath as numbers are drawn for one of the nation’s biggest lottery jackpots.

The numbers for an estimated $535 million jackpot will be drawn Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time.

The prize has grown so large because no one has matched all six balls in more than two months, so the jackpot has grown after every drawing. The prize now ranks as the eighth largest in U.S. history.

The odds of winning the giant prize is one in 292.2 million.

Powerball is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The $535 million jackpot is the annuity option, paid over 29 years. A winner who opts for a cash payout would get $340.1 million, minus taxes.



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Police say man confessed to fatally stabbing younger sister, 2 cousins in Maryland


Three young girls were stabbed to death as they slept together in a bed and police have charged the older brother of one of the girls who was babysitting them with the murders, Maryland police said Saturday.

Prince George’s County Deputy Chief Sammy Patel called the slayings in a house in Clinton “one of the most difficult scenes” that the department’s officers have encountered.

Prince George’s County police in suburban Washington said Antonio Williams, 25, of Clinton, confessed to the murders, Fox 5 DC reported Saturday.

He has been charged with murder in the deaths of his Nadiara Janae Withers, 6, Ariana Elizabeth DeCree, 9, and Ajayah Royale DeCree, 6.

Williams is the brother of Nadiara. Ariana and Ajayah were sisters from Newark, N.J., who were visiting Nadiara for the summer. Their mother was the cousin of Nadiara’s mother, Andrena Kelley.

Police announced Williams had been taken into custody around 11 p.m. Friday.

They said Saturday they didn’t know why Williams killed the children.

“Detectives are working to establish a motive in this case,” a police spokesman said.

Kelley found the girls when she returned home early Friday after working overnight, NBC4 DC reported.

Police said a 2-year-old girl in the home was not harmed, the station reported.

Williams was jailed without bail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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NASA to help aliens take over?


Back in the optimistic early days of space exploration, everyone thought it was a great idea to offer aliens a chart telling them how to find Planet Earth.

But now the man who sent four maps into deep space fears this decision could prove to be disastrous.

 

Frank Drake, an American astronomer and famed alien hunter, worked with Nasa to design maps which were placed inside Pioneer 10 and 11 as well as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes.

All four of these spaceships have now left the solar system and are speeding through deep space.

The plaque placed aboard the Pioneer craft shows a man and a woman alongside a basic map which plots the position of Earth compared to a distant pulsar stars, which are bright and long-lasting so could still direct aliens our way if they are found millions of years from now.

Voyager was fitted with “golden records”, which can be played to reveal natural sounds and even images from Earth.

A similar pulsar map is engraved on the front of the records.

Frank Drake now fears it may have been a bad idea to send the maps into space.

Responding to a request for comment by Fox News, a NASA spokesperson said: “[T]he so-called Golden Records are unlikely to be found anytime soon, as space is largely empty and the Voyagers will not be encountering any other planets or stars in our lifetimes.”

“In those days, all the people I dealt with were optimists, and they thought the ETs would be friendly,” Drake told National Geographic.

“Nobody thought, even for a few seconds, about whether this might be a dangerous thing to do.”

The article about Drake was actually written by his daughter Nadia, who asked whether it may one day be seen as “foolish and dangerous” to have broadcasted details of our whereabouts to aggressive aliens.

Many scientists now believe contacting extraterrestrials is a spectacularly bad idea.

Professor Stephen Hawking recently warned that “meeting an advanced civilisation could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus”.

“That didn’t turn out so well,” he said. He claimed alien life could be “rapacious marauders roaming the cosmos in search of resources to plunder, and planets to conquer and colonize”.

This story has been updated with NASA’s comment.

 



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Trump hints at Afghanistan agreement with generals


President Trump hinted Saturday that he and top U.S. generals have agreed on a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, after huddling Friday at the presidential Camp David retreat.

“Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented Generals and military leaders,” Trump tweeted. “Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan.”

Since taking office, Trump has considered several options for Afghanistan, from sending in additional troops to walking away from the war, an unlikely move considering U.S. concerns about thwarting Islamic terrorism.

Solutions for Afghanistan, which include ending the longest war in American history, eluded the Obama administration and haven’t come easily to Trump.

The challenge is largely how to step up the fight against terrorism in a way that advances peace prospects — in large part because the Taliban has been gaining ground and shows no interest in peace negotiations.

Trump met at the presidential retreat, in nearby western Maryland, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, top intelligence agency officials and other top military and diplomatic aides.

Mattis said earlier this week the administration was “very close” to finalizing a new approach and that the talks in the Catoctin Mountains will help the president and his team move toward a decision.

“We are coming very close,” he said. “And I anticipate (a decision) in the very near future.”

Gen. Joseph Votel, the Central Command chief who is responsible for U.S. military operations in the greater Middle East, was not part of the meetings.

Votel said Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs chairman, represent him in the White House-led Afghanistan strategy review.

He also said he has not talked directly to Trump as part of the months-long review.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a brief statement earlier this week saying Trump had been briefed extensively on a new strategy to protect America’s interests in the region. But she did not specifically mention Afghanistan.

The U.S. has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan. Their primary roles are to train and advise Afghan forces and to hunt down and kill members of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Months ago, the Pentagon settled on a plan to send about 3,800 additional troops to strengthen the Afghan army, which is stuck in what some call a deteriorating situation with the Taliban insurgency.

Within the White House, questions persist about the wisdom of investing further resources in the war. Even if the administration decides to add more troops, it’s unclear whether they could get there quickly enough to make a difference in the current Afghan fighting season, which winds down in autumn.

The administration has said its Afghanistan strategy will be informed by a review of its approach to the broader region, including Pakistan and India. The Taliban have long used Pakistan as a sanctuary, complicating efforts to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan and stabilize the country.

The region includes other actors who pose political problems for Washington, including Iran, which has influence in western Afghanistan.

The outlook is clouded by the Afghan government’s struggle to halt Taliban advances on its own. The U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction has said the Taliban hold sway in almost half the country.

Government forces also are battling an Islamic State affiliate that has carved out a foothold, mostly in the east. Trump has vowed to crush IS, so its expansion in Afghanistan poses an additional challenge with no obvious solution. Just this week, a U.S. soldier was killed and nearly a dozen wounded in combat with IS fighters.

Trump has expressed frustration at the prolonged fighting in Afghanistan. Earlier this summer he raised the idea of firing the top U.S. commander there, Gen. John Nicholson.

Asked this week if Trump has confidence in Nicholson, Mattis demurred. “Ask the president,” he answered.

Trump is “looking at all aspects” of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan “as he must in his responsibilities as the commander in chief,” Mattis said.

Nicholson also was not participating in Friday’s talks at Camp David.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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