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James Holmes 'Never Harmed Anyone' Until Massacre, Mom Says

Thursday July 30, 2015

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) -- Arlene Holmes smiled at her son James as she sat down in the witness box Wednesday, stuttering as nerves caused her to misspell her middle name.

But she soon had the courtroom’s attention as she made a desperate bid to save his life as he faces the death penalty for the 2012 Aurora, Colorado massacre.

She revealed how three years ago, her life changed forever when an early morning phone call woke her and her husband and she was told that there had been a mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater.

At first, the Holmes thought their son had been shot; but they were shocked to find out he was actually the one with the guns.

“He never harmed anyone…ever…ever…until July 20, 2012," Arlene Holmes said.

The defendant was convicted of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more that night. The jury is now in the penalty phase deciding whether or not the former neuroscience graduate student should receive life in prison without parole or death by lethal injection.

Arlene Holmes, who has only missed two days of the three-and-a-half month trial, appeared to blame the psychiatrist who saw her son seven times from March 2012 until about a month before the shooting.

Dr. Lynne Fenton was treating James Holmes for social anxiety when he abruptly left her care and quit the University of Colorado on June 11. Concerned, the psychiatrist called Arlene Holmes that same day to let her know that her son had quit school, but did not tell her that James had confided to her his thoughts of killing people three to four times a day.

“Do you wish she had?” asked public defender Rebekka Higgs.

“Of course,” Arlene Holmes’ voice broke. “We wouldn’t be sitting here if she would have told me that...He never said he wanted to kill people. She didn’t tell me. She didn’t tell me. She didn’t tell me.”

Reaction among the jury ranged from what appeared to be sadness to no emotion at all as home movies played showing a young defendant in happier times.

The gallery, which is often crowded, has been almost empty during this mitigation phase. Families who have shown up during this time bring books and crossword puzzles to keep their minds off of the humanization of the man many of them call a “monster.”

On Thursday, the jury will deliberate to decide whether the mitigating factors will prevail, meaning James Holmes would get life without parole. But if the jury believes the horrors of the murders outweigh his Americana upbringing, they will then enter a third phase during which they will decide if he should get the death penalty.

Arlene Holmes’ husband, Bob, testified before her, telling the court in a soft-spoken voice that their son was an “excellent kid.”

But District Attorney George Brauchler pointed out that Bob Holmes rarely emailed or called his son, and couldn’t remember that as an 8-year-old, his behavior was so severe that they took him to multiple therapy sessions.

When the jury found him guilty, the nine women and three men soundly rejected James Holmes’ insanity plea.

Still, Arlene Holmes hopes her testimony will sway them not to kill her son.

“Schizophrenia chose him. He didn’t choose it,” she told them. “And I still love my son. I still do.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Your Body: Taking Care of the Men in Your Life

Thursday July 30, 2015

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

As much as we love them, we all know how stubborn men can be.

Unfortunately, guys can be stubborn with their health, too, and that can have some major consequences.

Men are more likely to engage in risk behaviors and less likely to take diagnoses and prescriptions seriously.

Here’s what you can do to help the men in your life lead longer and stronger lives:

  • Encourage them to stay active and eat well, and stay educated on health issues.
  • Make sure everyone is making their regular doctor’s appointments.
  • Lead by example and be consistent. Make this an act of love, and your man will surely thank you.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What Future Looks Like for Youngest Dual Hand Transplant Recipient

Thursday July 30, 2015

Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The youngest recipient of a dual hand transplant may be through his surgery, but the real test of the transplant’s success may come as he starts to recover and gain use of his new hands.

Doctors are hopeful that the new hands for Zion Harvey, 8, will hold up during his lifetime, but they also acknowledged that he is in uncharted territory.

Zion lost his hands and feet from a dangerous infection at age 2 and has largely coped with the disability through prosthetics for his feet, but his doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia wanted to give him a more permanent solution.

“We wanted to really make sure that this was going to work for our patient and work for a lifetime, not just a year,” Dr. Benjamin Chang, co-director of the Hand Transplantation Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said in a video released by the hospital.

After the 10-hour surgery earlier this month, Zion has months of recovery ahead of him, but he’s already reached the record books. Before Zion's groundbreaking surgery, hand transplants had been performed only on adult patients. Chang said because the procedure is so new, they do not know whether Zion's new hands will last forever.

"We just don’t know," Chang said of the transplant's durability. "The adults that have had transplants have had a least one rejection episode after the transplant."

Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, chairman of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University, said the first successful hand transplant occurred in 1999.

“We think it can go indefinitely, but I have to tell you the longest hand transplant was performed just 16 yeas ago,” said Lee, who was not involved with Zion's surgery. “That’s the track record.”

Other issues the boy might face include the immune system rejecting the tissue or possibly other long-term health consequences of being on immuno-suppressing drugs, Lee said. Zion was already on immuno-suppressants because he had a kidney transplant when he was younger, hospital officials noted.

“In the case of hand transplant, the problem will manifest as rejection of the transplant hand,” Lee explained of possible complications. “If the rejection is mild it can be treated with medication. If it is severe or if it happens repeatedly then it becomes more and more difficult to treat.”

As patients go through physical therapy, they can regain a significant portion of their dexterity, Lee said.

Chang said the goal is currently to get Zion to simply make a fist and open his hand. He said the therapy is complicated because Zion's hands are completely numb as he recovers.

"We’re waiting for him to regain the ability to feel," explained Chang. "The nerves have to grow back from his own native nerves into the transplanted hands...It will grow about an inch a month. It’s going to be six months before he gains feeling in the hands."

Chang said that the hands were attached in a way so that the bone's "growth plate" was left unharmed.

"The area where we [used] the metal plates to join the bones together, we don’t cross over the growth plate," explained Chang. He said the bones would be expected to grow until Zion was through puberty.

In video released by the hospital, Zion is able to move his new hands in physical therapy and even seems to scratch an itch on his face. According to his Chang, Zion's big goal "is to climb the monkey bars."

But prior to the surgery, the 8-year-old said he knew he would be happy as long as he had his family.

“When I get these hands I will be proud of the hands I get,” he says in a video released by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If it gets messed up, I don’t care because I have my family.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

AK-47 Bandit Strikes Again, Robs Credit Union in Iowa

Thursday July 30, 2015

FBI(MASON CITY, Iowa) -- A man dubbed the "AK-47 Bandit," who the FBI says shot a police officer after robbing a bank three years ago, has struck again.

The FBI released photos of the man robbing a credit union in Mason City, Iowa, on Tuesday. Armed with his signature AK-47, the man drove off with an undisclosed amount of cash and left behind a device that the bomb squad later said was safe.

The FBI said the man shot and wounded an officer in Chino, California, in 2012 following a bank robbery. He has been linked to four other bank robberies across several states.

A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Malaysia Airlines 370 Searchers Treating Debris as Major Lead

Thursday July 30, 2015

YANNICK PITOU/AFP/Getty Images(CANBERRA, Australia) -- Investigators are treating a piece of airplane debris that washed ashore on a small French island near Madagascar as a major lead in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the Australian deputy prime minister said on Thursday.

Warren Truss called finding the flaperon on Reunion Island Wednesday morning the first real evidence that a piece of the plane had been discovered. MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board, all of whom are presumed dead.

"If it entered the Indian Ocean in the place where a current search operations are being undertaken, [it] could have reached the Reunion Islands in the 16 months since," he said. "It's the first real evidence that there is a possibility that a part of the aircraft may have been found."

Truss said marine researchers have been asked to examine the photographs of the debris to assess whether barnacles seen on the flaperon are consistent with something that was floating in the ocean for more than a year.

"Clearly, we are treating this as a major lead," he said.

While identifying the debris as part of the missing plane won't make it easier to find, Truss said it would help put some of the theories about the flight to bed.

"There are a lot of very wild theories that have been around, including it landed in Russia," he said. "It won't positively prove it is in any other location other than I guess the Indian Ocean."

Truss added that he hoped identifying the debris would bring some closure to the families of those on board the flight.

"If this wreckage [is] from MH370, it's an important breakthrough, particularly for families," he said. "The families who have been involved with this long, long, long, long wait, for them to have some degree of closure would be great comfort."

The debris appeared to be from the same plane as MH370, a Boeing 777, a source familiar with the investigation told ABC News.

Malaysian authorities said a team was headed to Reunion Island to determine whether the debris belonged to MH370. The Malaysians were also in touch with the French's air crash investigation agency.

Former National Transportation Safety Board aviation safety official and current ABC News consultant Tom Haueter said investigators would likely try to match serial numbers found on the flaperon with those from MH370.

"If it is a 777 part, it’s most likely from MH370," he said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Police Looking to Identify Sixth Victim of 'Happy Face Killer' After 20 Years

Thursday July 30, 2015

Palm Beach County Sheriff(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Police are looking for the public's help in identifying the sixth victim believed to have been killed by the Happy Face murderer, authorities said.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said the victim was likely from Florida or Nevada and named Suzy, Suzanne or Susan.

The killer, Keith Hunter Jesperson, claimed that he killed the woman but did not provide accurate details of the killing, in the Florida Panhandle, police said.

In 2014, the county's forensic imaging specialist Paul Moody worked with Jesperson to come up with a sketch of the victim.

They then used that, superimposed on the skull found with the remains to generate a 3-D image of the woman.

The sheriff's office also released a video in which they interviewed investigators on the case.

"The killer says this is her," the caption on the video reads. "Now, we need your help to identify this Jane Doe and bring closure to the family and friends connected to her."

The victim's body was found decomposed over 21 years ago, police said.

Jesperson, who is serving life in prison, killed eight women from 1990-1995.

The mystery victim is believed to be the sixth.

"You could help solve a mystery that has haunted my investigators for over 21 years," police said.

Palm Beach County has no connection to the case aside from the fact that Moody's services are being used by the Florida Division of Law Enforcement in helping to determine the identity of the victim.

Jesperson became known as the "Happy Face Killer" for smiley faces he would leave on notes at crime scenes.

His murderous spree went unnoticed until he turned himself in.

“We are secondary crime victims. We carry that shame and we want to remove that,” his daughter Melissa Moore told ABC News. “I feel in a sense I am related to my father, but I didn’t cause the pain. But knowing that my father caused some pain causes me pain.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

'Happy Birthday to You' Should Be Copyright Free, Lawyers Say

Thursday July 30, 2015

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Some "newly discovered evidence" may be just the silver bullet that could put the classic song "Happy Birthday to You" in the public domain.

The decades-old song that nearly everyone in America can sing is owned by music company Warner/Chappell, which charges licensing fees to people who use it commercially. One of those customers is filmmaker Jennifer Nelson, who produced a documentary movie about the song called Happy Birthday.

Nelson wasn't so pleased about paying $1,500 to use the song in the film, so she sued Warner/Chappell in the hope of having the tune in the public domain for all to use for free.

She filed a class action lawsuit under her company Good Morning to You Productions in June 2013 in Los Angeles federal court. But lawyers for her side are pointing to a 1920s children's music book called The Everyday Song Book from music publisher The Cable Company, which includes a song called "Good Morning and Birthday Song." Book editions with the song go as far back as 1922, the lawyers claim in the lawsuit.

The tune can be traced to sisters Mildred and Patty Smith Hill, who in the late 1880s wrote a song with the same melody called “Good Morning to All.” In 1988, Warner/Chappell bought Birchtree Ltd., a company that held the rights to the birthday song.

The new information about the 1920s songbook was not highlighted when both sides of the case had to produce facts during the discovery process by June 27, 2014. But this week, attorneys for the plaintiffs asked the court to consider "newly discovered evidence mistakenly withheld by [the] defendants during discovery as well as evidence discovered by [the] plaintiffs."

"The songbook that we tracked down shows that the publisher authorized the publication of the lyrics to 'Happy Birthday to You' in 1921 or 1922," one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, Daniel J. Schacht, told ABC News. "That puts them in the public domain in 1949 or 1950."

The new information came just in time for the plaintiffs. Judge George King had planned to hold a hearing this week about whether or not the song's writer, Patty Hill, abandoned her rights to the lyrics.

In the recent document filed by the plaintiffs, they call the songbook "proverbial smoking-gun evidence," because it predates the music company's 1935 copyright.

The lawyers for the plaintiffs say that the songbook documents "conclusively prove that any copyright that may have existed for the song itself" had "expired decades ago."

Warner/Chappell and the attorneys that represent the company did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Is Bullying Genetic?

Thursday July 30, 2015

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Conventional wisdom has it that bullies are made, not born, but that might not be the case.

A new Canadian study finds bullying behavior could also be genetic, linked to a genetic trait that causes some people to seek social status and sexual attraction through aggressive acts, reports The National Post. If true, it would seem to contradict the notion that bullies are products of their own abuse, harassment or dysfunction.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University based their idea of a survey of students at a Vancouver high school, where they found bullies had the highest self-esteem and social rank, and were the least likely to be depressed.

“When you’re in high school, it’s a very limited arena in which you can establish your rank,” said Jennifer Wong, lead author and a professor of criminology, “and climbing the social ladder to be on top is one of the main ways…Bullying is a tool you can use to get there.”

The results of the study could drastically change how schools approach bullying. Wong says most anti-bullying programs are ineffective because they aim to change behavior of bullies. She instead recommends revamping bully programs to bring more competition into schools, in order to provide bullies a better means of managing their domineering ways.

Of course, not everyone agrees with that assessment. Rob Frenette, co-founder of the anti-bullying advocacy group Bullying Canada, says he has yet to meet a bully who doesn't have deeper mental or emotional issues -- a category of bullies called “bully-victims.”

“I don’t want parents who have a child who is considered a bully to think, ‘Well, it’s something they’re born with and there’s nothing we can do to adjust their behavior,’” says Frenette.

Wong admits there is more research to be done, but still recommends rethinking how bullying is dealt with, adding that mere punishment is usually ineffective, and sometimes even improves a bully's social status.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

How a Supermodel Inspired the Luxury Hermes Birkin Bag

Thursday July 30, 2015

MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former supermodel Jane Birkin, who said she no longer wants to be associated with Hermès' Birkin handbag, inspired the ultra-luxury product through a random encounter on a plane.

Birkin said she doesn't want her name to be on the bag after PETA released a report about the farming methods of crocodiles and alligators that make the French product. Crocodile Birkin bags can cost around $60,000 in Hermès stores and leather Birkin bags can retail for around $10,000.

According to Agence France-Presse, Birkin said: "Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermès bags carrying my name, I have asked the Hermès Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag."

The story of how the bag, carried by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, was named after her began on an Air France flight in 1981 to London. At the time, she was sitting next to Jean-Louis Dumas, the chief executive of Hermès.

"I'm not quite sure what type of bag I had with me -- my husband, Jacques Doillon, had reversed his car over my basket, crushed it on purpose not two days before," Birkin told The Telegraph in March 2012. "Little did he know that on this airplane journey, when everything fell out of whatever bag I had, the man next to me said, 'You should have one with pockets.' I said: 'The day Hermès makes one with pockets I will have that', and he said: 'But I am Hermès and I will put pockets in for you.'"

She then told The Telegraph that she drew a prototype on an airplane sickbag.

Birkin said about the naming, "I was very flattered!" according to The Telegraph. The company gives money as a form of royalty to Birkin to charities of her choice. In 2012, that figure was 30,000 British pounds or about $47,000, according to the British newspaper.

On Wednesday, Hermès said it agrees with Birkin's shock at PETA's investigation of cruelty to animals.

"Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles. Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years," Hermès said Wednesday, according to Vogue. "Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast."

Hermès and Birkin's representatives did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

California Boy Training to Climb Mount Everest

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Wassiliy/iStock/ThinkStock(LOS ANGELES) -- A Southern California boy who has already reached the peaks of some of the world's tallest mountains is training to become the youngest climber ever to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Tyler Armstrong is already a record climber. He reached the summit of Mount Whitney at the age of seven and scaled Argentina's tallest mountain at nine.

The 11-year-old is training for Everest while raising money to find a cure for Duchenne, a crippling muscle disease affecting 300,000 boys.

For Tyler's father, safety is first. They'll train in Russia this year.

If Tyler summits Everest next spring at age 12, he'll beat the current record held by a 13-year-old.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bernie Sanders Claims 100,000 Involved in Mega-Grassroots Event

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Bernie Sanders held what he said was the largest grassroots campaign event of the 2016 president race so far Wednesday night, broadcasting a video message over his website to tens of thousands of people at gatherings around the country.

“Tonight really is an historic night,” said Sanders. “To the best of our knowledge, there has never been a political online organizing event this early in the campaign which involved 100,000 people in 3,500 locations in every state in the United States of America. And that’s pretty impressive."

While those numbers could not be independently verified, there was a good deal of online chatter leading up to the live broadcast.

The number of people who RSVP'd to the events ranged from four to hundreds of people.

Michelle Tiegs in Souix Falls, South Dakota, said she was not sure what to expect, but then received RSVPs every hour after posting her event. She ended up moving her event to a new location after over 200 people signed up to attend. “We are just completely overwhelmed, mystified by how many people have signed up,” she said.

People signed up to host through the Sanders campaign website and volunteers helped answer questions. “What we gave seen across this campaign is RSVPs actually under-sell the Senator’s events, and we're expecting the same thing tonight,” said the campaign’s digital director Kenneth Pennington.
After the senator delivered his message, one of his campaign organizers spoke to viewers about need to turn their enthusiasm into a “coordinated grassroots movement.”

“To win this election and build a real political revolution we need to be everywhere. We need you to bring this movement to your community by doing un-glamorous but essential work like knocking on doors, calling voters,” digital organizing director for the campaign, Claire Sandberg, told those watching online.

Manisha Sharma, who hosted the house party in southeast Washington, D.C. where Sanders delivered his message, said that was why she volunteered to have a party.

“He doesn’t have name recognition,” Sharma said. “He has conscious recognition. I feel he's doing God’s work,” she said. She has a tech start up and said she believed in his message about regulating banks and supporting community banking.

Sharma signed up online like thousands of others about a week ago to host an event, and a few days ago was asked by the campaign if they would let the Senator deliver his message from her party.

Besides the network cameras and intensive internet setup, it looked like a regular house party with homemade signs, guacamole and Bernie cocktails.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

911 Dispatcher Who Hung Up on Friend of Teen Dying from Gunshot Resigns

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Ivan Kmit/iStock/ThinkStock(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- A 911 call dispatcher at the Albuquerque Fire Department has resigned after audio was released from a recent emergency call in which he told a teen, who called to report her friend had been shot, to "deal with it yourself" before abruptly hanging up.

This past June 26, Esperanza Quintero, 17, made a 911 call after her friend Jaydon Chavez-Silver, also 17, was shot in a drive-by shooting at a house party, the Albuquerque Police Department told ABC News Wednesday.

Matthew Sanchez, the dispatcher who answered the call, can be heard repeatedly asking if the victim is breathing in audio obtained by ABC News.

Quintero, who can be heard in the audio soothing her friend and telling him to "stay with me" in the call, said she got "frustrated" after Sanchez kept asking the same questions "over and over and over again," ABC News affiliate KOAT-TV reported.

After asking if her friend was breathing again, Quintero replies, "He's barely breathing. How many times do I have to f****** tell you?"

"OK, you know what ma'am? You could deal with it yourself," Sanchez responds. "I'm not going to deal with this, OK?

"No, my friend is dying," Quintero responds before the dispatcher seems to hang up and the audio cuts off.

Melissa Romero, a spokeswoman for the fire department told ABC News today that "the dispatcher did dispatch units prior to disconnect" and that the "response time was four minutes and 26 seconds, which exceeds national standards."

Chavez-Silver was taken to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his wounds and died, police public information officer Tanner Tixier told ABC News today. A homicide investigation is ongoing, and though no suspects have been arrested in connection with the drive-by shooting, police are following up on numerous leads, he added.

ABC US News | World News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rick Perry Challenges Donald Trump to a Pullup Contest

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Stewart F. House/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry challenged Donald Trump to a pullup contest Wednesday in response to the billionaire’s charge that Perry wasn’t smart enough to join the presidential debate — or as a reporter put it to Perry, not tough enough.

"Let's get a pullup bar out there and see who can do the most pullups,” Perry told a reporter, who told him that Trump “questioned your energy, toughness and quote-unquote, ‘brain power’ that it might require to run a successful campaign.”

In a story in the Daily Mail, Trump said that Perry was "trying so hard."

"But it's not about trying," he said, according to the story. "It's about energy, it's about brainpower, it's about toughness."

Trump, who is competing for the Republican nomination and is polling well ahead of Perry nationally, tweeted earlier this month that Perry "should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.”

Trump's camp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ABC US News | World News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

American Dentist Who Admitted Killing Cecil the Lion Sends Patients Letter About Incident

Wednesday July 29, 2015

lofilolo/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- Walter Palmer, the American dentist who admitted to killing Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, recently sent out a letter to the patients of River Bluff Dental, his Bloomington, Minnesota, dental practice that remained closed with the shades down as of Wednesday afternoon.

Palmer's letter to his patients sent via email Tuesday night began by explaining his hobby of hunting, which he referred to as "one of my passions outside dentistry."

"To my valued patients: As you may have already heard, I have been in the news over the last few days for reasons that have nothing to do with my profession or the care I provide for you," he wrote. "I've been a life-long hunter since I was a child growing up in North Dakota. I don't often talk about hunting with my patients because it can be a divisive and emotionally charged topic. I understand and respect that not everyone shares the same views on hunting."

Palmer then explained his involvement in the killing of Cecil the lion, almost exactly worded like the statement he released Tuesday. He explained he was in Zimbabwe during early July on a bow hunting trip for big game and that he "hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits."

He continued, "To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have."

"Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion," he added. "That was never my intention."

A small, growing memorial to Cecil remained outside Palmer's dental office today including stuffed animals, a flower, and a sign that read, "You are a coward and a killer! :-("

Palmer also explained he was receiving a "substantial number of comments and calls from people who are angered by this situation and by the practice of hunting in general," that "disrupted our business and our ability to see our patients."

He apologized for the inconvenience, adding that "we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible" and that they were working with patients with immediate needs to be referred to other dentists.

ABC US News | World News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Utah Boy Who Asked for 'Junk Mail' to Read Gets Over 500 Book Donations

Wednesday July 29, 2015

mikdam/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- A Utah postal carrier says he recently had a "life-changing" encounter during a delivery route when he met a 12-year-old boy who was reading grocery store advertisements because he said he didn't have any real books to read.

"I was putting mail in the individual boxes for the apartment residents last Thursday when I heard this kid reading through a grocery ad reading things like 'Bananas, 66 cents,' that kind of thing," mailman Ron Lynch, who lives in Sandy, told ABC News. "He later came up and asked if I had any newspapers or junk mail or anything he could read."

Lynch said he told the kid, whose name he learned was Mathew Flores, that he didn't have any extra mail, but that he should try going to the library.

"He said he couldn't afford the bus to the library, so he just walked off, and I thought wait, I got to do something to help this kid out," Lynch said. "So I came over and talked to his mom, who mostly spoke Spanish, but Mathew helped translate. She gave me permission to use a photo of him, which I posted to Facebook along with a plea asking for book donations to his address."

To both Lynch's and Flores' surprise, the post went viral and had over 8,000 likes and over 10,000 shares as of Wednesday afternoon.

Flores told ABC News he's received "packages upon packages from all over the world" and now has over 500 books at his home.

A bookshelf in the kitchen that was formerly used as a makeshift pantry is now in Flores' bedroom, his mother Laura Rojas told ABC News Wednesday. She added she's so proud of her son and grateful for all the kindness of the donors.

"I only get to read during school, but since it's summer and since we don't have any books and our dad takes the car to work, and we can't afford a bus pass to the library," Flores said. But he's excited for his new collection -- including the entire "Harry Potter" series, which he said he's most excited to start reading.

Lynch, who is also a fellow bibliophile, said he's incredibly happy for Flores.

"Books take you places you've never been before," he said, "and I didn't want him to be in a grocery store. I wanted him to be in other worlds."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russia Blocks UN Security Council Vote on MH17 Tribunal

Wednesday July 29, 2015

igmarx/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(MOSCOW) -- Russia has vetoed a United Nations resolution to create an international criminal tribunal that would prosecute those responsible for the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17.

Samantha Power, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations tweeted following the veto, "Russia just vetoed Malaysian-introduced UNSC resolution to create UN tribunal to hold accountable those responsible for the downing of #MH17".

The plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.  

Russia stood alone in voting against the tribunal at the UN Security Council, saying it was premature.

Many believe Moscow really blocked it because a tribunal will prove that pro-Russian rebels it supports were to blame for the disaster.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mike Epps on Bobbi Kristina Brown: 'Fame Will Kill You. It Kills Most of Us'

Wednesday July 29, 2015

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- When Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away earlier this week at the age of 22, Mike Epps tweeted: "I'd like to say f*** fame! It kills all of us."

Elaborating, Epps told ABC Radio, "Fame will kill you. It kills most of us. It's not ever a great ending. I don't hear too many great endings of really, really rich and famous people. Maybe a couple. So, it does, man. Fame is tough."

Brown passed away Sunday months after being found unconscious in her bathtub January 31. She'll be laid to rest Saturday at St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. The burial will be in Westfield, New Jersey at the Fairview Cemetery on Monday -- the same location where her late mother Whitney Houston is buried.

Epps said that many celebrities mishandle their fame.

"When you sit and add it all up, and you think about it, you find yourself doing it for legacy. It's only so much money you could have, it's only so many cars you can have, so many houses, so many friends," he explained. "You gotta be really prepared mentally to understand what was the most important thing of doing all of it. Some people never find out what was important of them doing what they did. They just accumulate things."

Epps added that he has no interest in fame. "If I can inspire someone else that came from nothing, my job is done. If I can leave a legacy for my children, my grandchildren, my job is done," he said. 

Epps is set to return to the small screen in the second season of Survivor's Remorse, returning to Starz on August 22. He's also starring in ABC's new family comedy, Uncle Buck. That reportedly premieres in 2016.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Delta Introduces Latest Commercial Airline Perk: Upgrades to Private Jets

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Delta Airlines(NEW YORK) -- For a few very frequent fliers, an upgrade no longer means a seat in first class. On Delta, the very best customers will have the option to fly private instead.

The airline calls the option to fly private "a new surprise-and-delight program" limited to Medallion members traveling on select commercial Delta flights. Being a Medallion member on Delta requires a minimum silver-level spend of $3,000 per year and 25,000 miles or 30 flight segments. The highest level of membership requires a $15,000 spend per year and 125,000 miles or 140 flight segments.

But by opting to travel in a private jet, “you are removed from the airport aggravation,” Delta Private Jets COO David Sneed told ABC. “You’re whisked away onto the airplane, the door closes, and we taxi toward the runway.”

The private upgrade opportunities will be limited to select passengers in specific markets where an available Delta Private Jets aircraft is otherwise not in use, the airline said. Customers will be contacted by Delta Vacations via email and offered the upgrade for a fee, which includes transportation to the airport’s private aviation area and complimentary on-board catering.

The cost of the upgrade is between $300 and $800.

Delta hopes that once passengers experience private travel, they won’t want to go back.

“If you’ve never been on a private jet, it’s very difference from what you experience in the commercial space,” Delta Private Jets president Erik Snell told ABC. “You’re essentially buying the entire plane, whereas on the commercial side, you’re buying a seat.”

“Private travel offers concierge-level services that Delta’s premium customers are sure to appreciate, and Delta Vacations is pleased to offer opportunities for these experiences,” said John Caldwell, president of Delta Vacations. “This is an innovative way for us to thank valued Delta customers for their loyalty.”

The new program, which the airline said is patent-pending, is a joint effort of Delta, Delta Vacations and Delta Private Jets.

Because Delta is the only U.S. airline that also owns a private jet company, Snell said, it’s uniquely positioned to offer the upgrade.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Donald Trump's Claims She Wanted to Pump Breast Milk In Front of Him 'Not True': Lawyer

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Robin Marchant/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump has responded to allegations he had a “meltdown” when a lawyer asked for a break from a deposition to pump breast milk for her newborn daughter by saying the attorney, Elizabeth Beck, wanted to pump in front of him.

In an interview with ABC News, Beck called the claims “not true” and explained she had been pumping in a private conference room during the week of the deposition.

“They don’t cite any support,” Beck said. “I was, for example, not in a state of undress.”

Trump told CNN Wednesday, "She wanted to breast pump in front of me and I may have said that's disgusting, I may have said something else. I thought it was terrible."

Beck said she instead gestured to her pump to explain why she needed to take a break, but stressed she was always going to “pump in private.” It was then Beck said Trump had a “meltdown.”

"He completely lost it," she said. "And he left, ran out of there and the lawyers were just standing there with their mouths hanging open. He didn’t return.”

She said he started to “shake, his face got really red, he pointed his finger and shook it and said, ‘You’re disgusting! You’re disgusting!' Then he bolted and no one saw him again.”

The incident was first reported in the New York Times. Beck also provided a copy of the November 2011 deposition to ABC News. In it Trump also seems to not want to stop the deposition even for a moment to let one of his own attorneys take a bathroom break.

The lawyer asks if he can “take a one-minute break for the restroom,” to which Beck says, “Yes, of course. I was going to say we take a five to ten-minute break.”

Trump then responds: “You have to take a one-minute break? Can we go on and finish this? Let's not take a one-minute break.”

Trump’s attorney Alan Garten — who was in the room during the incident — spoke to ABC News and vigorously denied the situation happened the way Beck described, saying, “she is completely distorting the facts. Her telling of the story is absolutely absurd. She should be ashamed of herself and she should be ashamed of her behavior.”

Garten continued, saying it “has nothing to do with breastfeeding, this is only about one thing, acting professionally in a legal proceeding.” He also said, like Trump, he did think she would pump in front of them.

“That would not shock me,” he said. “It was certainly bizarre behavior and that is consistent with her behavior throughout the case.”

Beck said when it comes to Trump’s presidential aspirations she’s concerned about his “inability to handle stressful situations.”

“If something so innocuous makes this man scream and run out, what else is going to make this man scream and run out? What other weird weaknesses does he have? And are we going to leave it to other countries to find out how our future president may behave when piece of plastic shows up at meetings?,” she said referring to parts of the breast pump.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Federal Reserve Indicates Interest Rate Increase

Wednesday July 29, 2015

stu99/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks rose higher on an indication from the Federal Reserve that it may be ready to raise interest rates later this year.

The Dow closed up 120 points while the NASDAQ rose 23 points. The S&P added 15 points.

Facebook reported its latest earnings after the close - it's second quarter numbers beat expectations.

If you're planning to make a big purchase, something you'll need to finance, you may want to do it soon. The Federal Reserve has indicated it could raise interest rates later this year but it still wants to see more growth in the economy. It won't offer a timetable for the increase.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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