KONP.com Home

National News List

Honey Boo Boo Wants You to Do the 'Honey Boo Boo Bop'

Thursday October 01, 2015

TLC(ATLANTA) -- Even with the cameras dark in her house, Alana Thompson, better known as Honey Boo Boo, is still trying to make people laugh. The pint-sized former reality star recently released her first song and music video, "Movin' Up." 

The video -- which also features her mother, Mama June Shannon, her father, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, and her sister, Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon -- tells fans to "Do the Honey Boo Boo Bop."

Thompson with the help of singer/songwriter Adam Barta, sings, "Started out as a pageant queen/Then on TV doing my thing/Now movin' up in the world/New fun times with my girls." 

This is the first we've seen of the 10-year-old since her hit TLC show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, was cancelled in October 2014 after reports revealed June Shannon was dating a convicted child molester.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Student Shooter at Umpqua Community College Dead, Sheriff Says

Thursday October 01, 2015

iStock/Thinkstock(ROSEBURG, Ore.) -- A male student killed multiple people at a shooting Thursday at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, authorities said.

The shooter is now dead, police said. The shooter's identity has not been publicly released, though Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced that he was 20 years old.

Gov. Brown’s spokeswoman Kristen Grainger confirmed that the shooter was a student at the school.

Grainger also said that the number of fatalities and injuries totaled 20 people, but would not specify how many were dead and how many were injured. Neither the sheriff's office, governor's office or state police would specify the number of fatalities, though earlier on Thursday, State Police Lt. Bill Fugate told ABC News affiliate KATU-TV that at least seven people were killed.

"It is believed there is only one shooter who is no longer a threat," the Oregon state police said in a statement. "There is no current threat to the community."

Mercy Medical Center, a hospital located 5 miles from the school, reported that it has received nine patients and another three are en route.

"Please continue to pray," the hospital wrote in a post on its Facebook page.

Another local facility, Sacred Heart Medical Center, also tweeted that it was expecting at least three patients from the shooting.

The Douglas County Sheriff's office confirmed to ABC News that they responded to reports of a shooting at Umpqua Community College at 10:38 a.m. local time Thursday.

Sheriff John Hanlin said that the shooter was initially located in one of the school buildings and Hanlin confirmed that the shooter fired at officers.

"Police units from multiple jurisdictions have responded," the sheriff's department said in a post on its official Facebook page.

Students and faculty members are being bused to a local fairgrounds site, and relatives are being told to pick their loved ones up there. There will be counselors at the fairgrounds "for UCC students, staff and their families who need them," the sheriff's office tweeted.

Umpqua Community College Interim President Dr. Rita Cavin said that there is still one last bus of students and faculty that has not yet arrived at the fairgrounds.

"It is extremely sad right now to watch these families wait for the last bus," Cavin said at a news conference.

President Obama has been briefed on the situation, a White House official told ABC News.

Federal agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding to the scene. Due to the location, many agents are travelling great distances to get to the scene. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has offered a chopper from Blaine, Washington, which will transport additional ATF agents and a K-9 to the scene.

Since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, federal law enforcement agencies have taken a forward leaning approach to these types of incidents, pushing resources into the field as quickly as possible.

Umpqua Community College has about 3,300 full-time students and 16,000 part-time students. It is located about 70 miles south of Eugene.

The school has since announced that it will close its campus until Monday.

The situation at Umpqua Community College is the first school shooting with multiple fatalities since late October of last year. At that time, five people were killed and one injured at a shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Washington state.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Obama Says Mass Shootings Have Become 'Routine' After Oregon School Massacre

Thursday October 01, 2015

The White House(WASHINGTON) --  President Obama lamented the fact that he was making comments about yet another shooting – this time at a community college in Oregon – saying the process has become “routine” for him and new families who mourn the loss of loved ones.

“There’s been another mass shooting in America,” the president said in the White House briefing room.

“There are more American families – moms, dads, children – whose lives have been changed forever. That means there’s another community stunned with grief – and communities across the country forced to relive their own anguish and parents across the country who are scared because they know it might have been their family or their children.”

“I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again in my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families under these circumstances. But based on my experience as president, I can’t guarantee that,” the president said in the White House briefing room.

The president said that just as his remarks on shootings have become routine, so too have the reactions from politicians and opponents of stricter gun regulations.

“Somebody somewhere will comment and say, ‘Obama politicized this issue.’ Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic,” he said.

Rather than shying away from the political dimension to mass shootings, the president leaned in to it, saying that Thursday’s events were direct products of political decisions – those made by lawmakers and by those who elect them.

“We collectively are answerable to those families, who lose their loved ones because of our inaction,” he said.

In a veiled reference to groups like the National Rifle Association which has opposed most of the president’s efforts to tighten gun purchasing laws, he urged firearms owners to reconsider their affiliation with the group.

“I would particularly ask America’s gun owners, who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, or protecting their families, to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for you,” he said.

The shooting, which left at least 20 people dead and injured, according to the governor's office, took place Thursday morning at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

The identity of the 20-year-old shooter has not been released.

The president has said the failure to pass more stringent gun safety laws is one of the greatest frustrations of his presidency thus far.

"If you ask me where has been the one area where I feel that I've been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which, we do not have sufficient common-sense gun safety laws, even in the face of repeated mass killings," he told the BBC in July.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

FDA: 'All-Natural' Alternatives for ED Medication Could Be Dangerous

Thursday October 01, 2015

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that dietary supplements meant to improve sexual performance may contain ingredients that are found in prescription erectile dysfunction pills like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

The agency expressed concern on Thursday that high dosages or unintended combinations could make taking some such supplements dangerous for consumers. In total, the FDA says, nearly 300 suppements found online, in gas stations or in vending machines could contain some of these ingredients.

The supplements take a number of forms, including pills, coffees and chewing gums and are labeled "all natural" or "herbal." By not disclosing the hidden ingredients, the FDA says, even cautious consumers would be left unaware that they may be taking excessively high doses.

"We're finding an alarming number of these products sold online and in retail stores," the FDA's National Health Fraud Coordinator Gary Coody said in a statement. "Consumers have no way of knowing which drugs or ingredients are actually in the product just by reading the ingredients on the label."

The FDA reccomends being wary of products promising quick results, being advertised as alternatives to FDA-approved drugs, have labels written in a foreign language, or are sold in single servings.

"Some of these products," Coody added, "have as many as six different ingredients contained in FDA-approved prescription drugs and analog of those ingredients." He expressed concern that the agency can't tell what danger the drugs pose, "because these combinations have never been studied before they're sold to unsuspecting consumers."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Volkswagen America CEO to Testify Before House Subcommittee on Emissions Scandal

Thursday October 01, 2015

GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, will testify before a House subcommittee next week as part of the congressional investigation into the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Scheduled to appear before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations at 10 a.m. on Oct. 8, Horn will provide information on the "facts and circumstances surrounding Volkswagen's reported Clean Air Act violations." Subcommittee Chair Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., said he hopes to get answers including why the "defeat-devices" were used to fool emissions testers, how the decision to install them was made and how their use went undetected for so long.

"The very notion of a carmaker intentionally violating our environmental laws is beyond belief," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said. "Reports of Volkswagen selling cars with devices aimed at skirting the law cannot, and will not be tolerated."

Also scheduled to testify at the Thursday hearing is at least one representative from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why Ben Carson Keeps Talking About Hitler

Thursday October 01, 2015

Mark Lyons/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ben Carson has been talking about Hitler a lot lately on the campaign trail. Yes, Adolf Hitler.

The retired neurosurgeon and GOP front-runner is attempting to send a clear message to his supporters: Nazi Germany can happen in America.

“I’ve talked in the past about how the people in Nazi Germany did not agree with Hitler. A lot of them didn’t. But did they stand up? Did they say anything? No, they kept their mouths shut and look at the atrocities that occurred,” Carson said, speaking at Berean Baptist Church in North Carolina on Wednesday. "And some people think something like that can’t happen here but think again. Look at the world and all those examples of tyranny, it can happen here.”

He continued: “I mean if people don’t speak up for what they believe, then other people will change things without them having a voice. That’s what I mean. That’s what facilitated [Hitler’s] rise."

Carson's campaign acknowledges the political perils associated with speaking of Nazi Germany and Hitler, and concedes that Carson should probably find a better example to make the same point.

"It's an example [Carson] has been using for years and to be honest with you he needs to find a better example because the problem is as soon as you say Hitler, nobody hears anything else you say,” Campaign Manager Barry Bennett told ABC News. "Its just so evil, so contemptible, that no one can hear anything else.”

Bennett said that Carson is not really talking about Hitler or the Holocaust but rather “talking about how a general population kept their mouth shut.”

“The example is too powerful perhaps,” Bennett said referring to Carson’s rhetoric. "I think that he will find other ways to say the exact same thing."

Carson himself acknowledged Wednesday that he probably shouldn’t draw the comparison between America and Nazi Germany, but did so nonetheless.

"You know I think back to Nazi Germany — and I know the politically correct police say you are not allowed to say Nazi Germany but I am going to say it anyway because I don’t care what they say,” Carson told a crowd in New Hampshire Wednesday. "And some people say 'Oh nothing like that could happen in America.' I beg to differ."

Carson emphasized that he was not comparing President Obama to Hitler.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Teen Dies After Ingesting Synthetic Psychedelic Drug, Police Say

Thursday October 01, 2015

The Snyder Family(MINNEAPOLIS) -- A Minnesota teen has died after ingesting a synthetic psychedelic drug, police said Thursday.

Alexander Snyder was found face up in a marsh on Sunday by police officers after he was reported missing, police said, noting the 17-year-old was found with his shoes off having a seizure in the water. Police officers were sent to the scene by the teen's father, who tracked his location through his cell phone GPS, police said.

The officers took him to a hospital, where he later died on Tuesday, police said.

Jason Kamerud, Chief Deputy at the Carver County Sheriff's Office, said investigators believe that Snyder died from an accidental overdose of a synthetic psychedelic drug that he snorted with a friend. Police did not name the drug. The medical examiner is looking into the cause of death, police said.

Another teen was found with Snyder and was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released for symptoms associated with the synthetic drug, police said.

Officials believe the teens got the drug from a Chinese manufacturer over the Internet, Kamerud said, noting the drug was likely not illegal because synthetic drugs can be altered so that they are chemically slightly different from banned substances.

Snyder's father, Jeremy Snyder, told ABC News that his son was on track to graduate six months early and had wanted to be an astrophysicist. He said he was frustrated that his son was able to get synthetic drugs online and said his son had recently been experimenting with different drugs, though trying just a single drug at a time. He said he believed this synthetic psychedelic drug was the second synthetic drug he tried. He said parents should be aware of how easy it can be to get certain synthetic drugs online and that they should do everything they can to intervene if their child starts to experiment with drugs.

"These things are really, really not safe," Jeremy Snyder told ABC News. "If the parents are suspecting [teens are using synthetics] they should probably cut them off all financially."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Afghan Military Claims Victory After Retaking Kunduz from Taliban

Thursday October 01, 2015

NASIR WAQIF/AFP/Getty Images(KUNDUZ, Afghanistan) — The Afghan government claims that its military forces have retaken the northern city of Kunduz that was seized by hundreds of Taliban fighters on Monday. A large Afghan force, supported by American airstrikes, retook the city in a bloody fight that the Afghan military says killed 150 Taliban fighters and injured 90. It is expected that Taliban fighters outside the city could soon launch a new offensive against Afghan military forces.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced Thursday that Afghan military forces had retaken Kunduz following a six-hour assault on hundreds of Taliban fighters.

“We thank God we had no fatalities," Ghani claimed as he praised Afghan security forces who “were able to foil one of the most significant operations to have taken place in Afghanistan in fourteen years.”

American officials had acknowledged that the Taliban’s takeover of Kunduz was a setback for Afghan security forces that have received U.S. and NATO training for more than a decade.

A U.S. official told ABC News that while Kunduz is back in the hands of the Afghan military, the city will likely remain contested as the Taliban has massed forces outside the city in an attempt to retake it.

Appearing alongside Ghani, Afghan Interior Minister Noor-ul-Haq Ulumi praised the performance of Afghan security forces.

"We never took our eyes off the ball," he said. "We had to protect citizens and so the security forces retreated."

The Afghan counteroffensive was supported by American and coalition special forces.

A U.S. military spokesman in Kabul confirmed that American military aircraft conducted as many as five airstrikes “to eliminate threats to coalition and Afghan forces.”

The U.S. still has 9,800 troops in Afghanistan, serving as part of a training mission that will conclude by the end of next year. After that planned draw down the only U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would involve several hundred personnel at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

The Taliban takeover of Kunduz has raised concerns that the Afghan security forces may not be ready to fend off expected Taliban offensives once American troops leave at the end of next year.

U.S. officials confirm that General John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has prepared troop level options that could keep a U.S. military force in Afghanistan beyond 2016.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hurricane Joaquin at Category 4: What to Expect

Thursday October 01, 2015

NOAA(NEW YORK) — What to know:

  • Hurricane Joaquin is picking up strength as it hits the Bahamas
  • It is a Category 4 hurricane, meaning sustained winds at 130 mph with higher gusts
  • The weather forecasting system that initially predicted it would hit the East Coast is now saying it will likely stay over the Atlantic Ocean
  • But officials warn East Coast residents not to let their guard down
  • The storm is expected to stay in the Caribbean until at least Friday morning

The Hurricane:

A looming hurricane that some thought was headed right toward the U.S. East Coast as it gained strength appears now to be headed out to sea.

But Hurricane Joaquin has been upgraded to a Category 4 storm, according to the latest reports from the National Hurricane Center.

Where Is It Headed Next?

The hurricane has now reached the Bahamas and is expected to stay in the area for at least another day before likely turning out over the Atlantic Ocean. There's "a lot of uncertainty" about whether it will hit the East Coast," National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “Just because the hurricane is in the Bahamas doesn't mean you’re not dealing with some very dangerous” conditions on the U.S. East Coast with flooding and rains.

The time that the hurricane spends in the Bahamas serves to strengthen it further, as the warm waters in the area enabled the storm to pick up steam and jump to a Category 4 storm, which is qualified as a storm with winds exceeding 130 mph.

“We still don't know where Joaquin will go next,” Craig Fugate, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said at today's new conference. “We’re not taking any chances; that’s why we’re telling the public to make sure you have a plan and get ready."

Will It Hit The East Coast?

While the potential impact on the Bahamas is clear, with weather experts predicting huge waves of up to 30 feet and a storm surge that could go up to 8 feet, the fate of the U.S. East Coast was uncertain earlier but now seems to be less troublesome.

The Global Forecast System, widely known as the model used to predict U.S. weather, now suggests that the hurricane is most likely to stay out to sea.

The GFS's earlier prediction that the storm would make landfall in the United States ran counter to the European model, which has been consistently saying the hurricane would remain largely over water.

What Is Being Done to Prepare?

Precautions are underway, nevertheless, with governors in many coastal states warning residents to be ready for wet storms, power outages and road closures.

States like New Jersey and New York that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 are particularly wary.

Thursday, Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency in New Jersey, as have governors in North Carolina and Virginia.

“The immediate threat is for severe flooding on Friday and Saturday, the second is tracking the path of Hurricane Joaquin as those forecasts become clearer over the next 24 to 72 hours,” Christie said in a statement Thursday.

Where Is the Storm Right Now?

ABC News will be running a live radar tracker throughout the day, seen below:

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why Blake Lively Is Shutting Down Preserve

Thursday October 01, 2015

Ray Mickshaw/FOX(NEW YORK) -- Blake Lively is shutting down her website Preserve. The actress, who launched the website last year, announced Wednesday that the site will go dark October 9.

"It’s very exciting and it’s also incredibly scary," the actress told Vogue magazine. "I never thought I would have the bravery to actually do that, to take the site dark and to say, ‘You know what? I haven’t created something that is as true and impactful as I know it can and will be. And I’m not going to continue to chase my tail and continue to put a product out there that we, as a team, are not proud of."

Lively started her own website in July 2014 in an effort to "touch millennials through storytelling...[and] create a shoppable lifestyle," she explained. However, now she's admitting that she "launched the site before it was ready, and it never caught up to its original mission."

"It’s not making a difference in people’s lives, whether superficially or in a meaningful way," she continued. "That’s the whole reason I started this company, not just to fluff myself, like, ‘I’m a celebrity! People will care what I have to say!’ It was so never meant to be that, and that kind of became the crutch because it was already up and already running, and it’s hard to build a brand when you’re running full steam ahead -- how do you catch up?"

While the former Gossip Girl star is expecting a bit of a backlash, she's already got a plan in place for a rebranded re-launch at some point in the future. That, she said, is what excites her most.

"I’ve finally summoned the strength to take on whatever anybody says because I know I’m going to come back with something stronger. I’m proud of it and I can take it, because I am a much harder critic on me than any nasty gossip rag," she said. "That’s a good thing and a bad thing, but I just want to make myself and my family proud. And this time around, I really think I’ve done that."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

'Disturbing' Voicemail May Hold Clues into Minnesota Man’s Disappearance, Police Say

Thursday October 01, 2015

KSTP-TV(MOUNDS VIEW, Minn.) — The "disturbing" voicemail a Minnesota woman received from the phone of her missing husband has been released, and she and investigators believe that it may contain important clues into his mysterious disappearance.

Kareen McCabe received the bizarre voicemail on Sept. 7 at 2:28 a.m., according to Mounds View Police Department Chief Tom Kinney. He told ABC News that Kareen had been away in California at the time while her husband Henry McCabe had stayed behind in Mounds View, Minn.

The voicemail, which was obtained by ABC News, features two minutes of undecipherable noises, including what sound like growls and moans of pain. Near the end of the voicemail, the sounds suddenly stop and a voice can be heard saying, "Stop it."

Police have been "unable to make any definite conclusions about the disturbing voicemail," Kinney said, adding that 31-year-old Henry McCabe was officially reported missing the following morning and that no one has reported seeing him for nearly four weeks.

Kinney added that the police department recently sent the audio recording to a local FBI office for "further analysis and cleaning up."

Kareen McCabe told ABC News affiliate KSTP that she believes sounds in the voicemail are from her missing husband.

"I try to picture where he was, what it might've been like, what circumstances would've made him sound like that," Kareen McCabe told KSTP.

Henry McCabe was reportedly last seen by an acquaintance who told police that he went with McCabe to a nightclub the same night Kareen got the voicemail, according to the police chief.

"The acquaintance told us that he dropped McCabe off not too far from the club a little after 2 or so in the morning at a local gas station's convenience store," Kinney said. "There's been some searching done by both volunteer groups and our own law enforcement personnel along possible routes he perhaps may have walked if he tried to get back home. Nothing of any significance has been discovered yet."

The police chief added that investigators "aren't ruling out any possibilities, whether it be that he disappeared on his own, or if there was some kind of accident involved, or if there was some other intentional act of harm someone tried to bring upon to Henry."

In addition to assistance from the FBI, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is also providing investigative help to the Mounds View Police Department, which is the lead law enforcement agency handling the missing person case, Kinney said.

The McCabes have been married for 11 years and their two children — ages 1 and 10 — are staying with Kareen's mother in California while she works with investigators to find her husband, according to David Singleton, who runs Minnesota Community Policing Services (MCPS). MCPS is a non-profit agency that has acted as a mediator between Kareen McCabe and law enforcement agencies, Singleton told ABC News.

The police chief said that Henry McCabe is an African American male, who is about 5-feet-11-inches tall and who weighs about 168 pounds. He asks that anyone with any information regarding the open case please contact the Mounds View Police Department at 763-717-4070.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

How Ken Jeong Helped His Wife Fight Breast Cancer with "The Hangover"

Thursday October 01, 2015

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- It's said laughter is the best medicine, and it turns out that's exactly what one of the most memorable comedic roles -- Mr. Chow in The Hangover films -- became for actor Ken Jeong and his wife, Tran, when they faced a medical crisis.

Jeong got the call for the 2009 hit movie right in the middle of Tran's grueling chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Tran, a physician who practices family medicine, says she found a hard lump in her breast in 2007 while breastfeeding the couple's twin daughters, and was diagnosed with breast cancer the next year, in 2008.

"Ken was so strong for me. I really needed that, but you know, I knew he was stressed out too," Tran said on Thursday's Good Morning America. "And when the opportunity of The Hangover came up, he really worried about [it]. He said, 'I don’t know if I should do this.'"

Jeong, of course, took the role.  Playing a Korean gangster in the movie also became therapy for the couple, whose twin daughters are now eight years old.

"I would ad lib, actually," said Jeong. "I'm Korean and I was speaking Vietnamese in the movie and like, I say 'ga chee' and all these things to get my henchmen to get out.  That's Vietnamese for 'chicken die'." Tran Jeong is Vietnamese, meaning "There were these inside jokes between me and Tran," Ken Jeong says. "I would sprinkle that all throughout the movie…it’s like the weirdest love letter to your wife in a very filthy movie."

"It would just make me laugh," Tran said.

Tran was declared cancer-free after the filming on The Hangover was complete.

Ken Jeong now stars in Dr. Ken, which premieres Friday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nancy Pelosi Confronted by Reporter on Abortion Views

Thursday October 01, 2015

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defended her position on abortion Thursday, responding forcefully to a confrontational question about whether a fetus is a human being at her weekly news conference.

"Leader Pelosi, in reference to funding of Planned Parenthood, is an unborn baby with a human heart and a human liver a human being?" asked the reporter, who did not identify himself.

"I am a devout, practicing Catholic," Pelosi, D-Calif., replied. "A mother of five children. When my baby was born, my fifth child, my oldest child was six years old.

"I think I know more about this subject than you, with all due respect," she continued. "I do not intend to respond to your question which has no basis in what public policy we do here."

Congress passed a spending bill Wednesday to keep the government open through Dec. 11, averting a shutdown. A majority of Republicans in the House voted against the measure, over objections to funding Planned Parenthood.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US and Russia Hold Talks to Clear Up Syrian Airspace

Thursday October 01, 2015

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The United States and Russia began talks via video link Thursday to keep their respective military aircraft from coming into contact over the skies of Syria, where both countries are now conducting airstrike operations.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials said that it was clear that ISIS was not targeted by Russian aircraft on Wednesday.

On Monday, President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that both nations should work out details to hold the talks as it appeared that Russia would soon begin air operations in Syria.

Two days later, U.S. officials were surprised that Russia began launching airstrikes in Syria even before details had been worked out for when to hold the talks.

The U.S. did not receive advance notification of the start of the Russian airstrikes until an hour before when a Russian general went to the American embassy in Baghdad to request that American aircraft vacate the area where the missions would strike.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter later described that initial Russian contact as a “drop in” and labeled that kind of notification as “unprofessional." He told reporters that his goals for the talks to “de-conflict” Syrian airspace would be “to facilitate the flow of information between coalition forces and Russian elements that will help us maintain the safety of our personnel in the region, which is critical. To ensure that any additional Russian actions do not interfere with our coalition's efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL. And to clarify that broader U.S. security commitments in the region remain unchanged."

Defense officials confirmed that the talks began Thursday morning via a secure video conference between officials at the Pentagon and their Russian counterparts.

The U.S. team is headed by Elissa Slotkin, the acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Affairs and vice Admiral Frank Pandolfe, the Joint Staff’s Director of Strategic Plans and Policy.

A military spokesman in Baghdad said the Russian strikes had not affected U.S. air operations over Syria.

Warren confirmed that Russian aircraft conducted more than half a dozen strikes on Wednesday, but did not have information as to how many airstrikes may have taken place today.

“In the last 24 hours, we have conducted several sorties over Syria,” said Col. Steve Warren. “We have not altered operations in Syria to accommodate new players on the battlefield.”

While noting that there is always the risk of a miscalculation or inadvertent contact involving aircraft from different nations over the skies of Syria, he also noted there are “a lot of square miles in Syria”and American pilots “have terrific situation awareness.”

Warren said that even though Russia has claimed that it is striking at ISIS targets inside Syria, “We don't believe that they struck ISIL targets.“

A U.S. official told ABC News that Wednesday's airstrikes near Homs and Hama struck al Nusra and Free Syrian Army locations. The Free Syrian Army is a moderate opposition force that has received assistance from the U.S. for several years. There were also reports that other groups that have received training and equipment from the CIA were also struck by Russian airstrikes.

“When they said that they planned to strike ISIL. And yet, where they struck yesterday, we don't believe there was any ISIL there,” said Warren using another acronym for ISIS. “So that's a problem, right?,”said Warren. “The Russians have said that they're going to do one thing, and here they are doing something different than that, which we, of course, have seen before."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Fire at California Planned Parenthood Was Arson, Police Say

Thursday October 01, 2015

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.) —  A fire Wednesday night at a Planned Parenthood office in Thousand Oaks, California, was deliberately set, investigators said.

The damage is minimal, but the target of the arson attack has detectives taking notice.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department tells ABC News, someone used an object to smash a window at the Planned Parenthood office, then tossed an accelerant — probably gasoline — inside and lit it.

Sprinklers put out what fire there was. No injuries were reported. 

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Al Gore Won't Give Outright 'No' to Presidential Bid

Thursday October 01, 2015

Kris Connor/WireImage(WASHINGTON) — Is Al Gore running in 2016?

He's been asked repeatedly — and often gives the same answer — but it is never a straight up "no."

“I am a recovering politician. The longer I go without a relapse the less likely one becomes,” the former Vice President and 2000 Presidential candidate told the Atlantic's James Fallows at the Washington Ideas Forum.

Gore admitted that he had overused this answer, but said, "I'm gonna give it anyway."

Gore gave a virtually identical answer to Fusion's Jorge Ramos, in an excerpts of an interview that will broadcast on Oct. 6.

After hearing Gore's first answer, Ramos subsequently asked, “Are you ruling out any possibility of running for president in this campaign?” and “I just wanted to know if you want to run for president again.”

Gore repeated his claim about being a recovering politician.

ABC News reported in August that a group of friends and former aides are having a “soft conversation” about the possibility that Gore run for president in 2016, but noted that no formal or informal moves had been made.

After reports about Gore considering a bid began surfacing, his spokesman denied any truth to them.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NASA's Dawn Probe Uncovers New Mysteries on Dwarf Planet Ceres

Thursday October 01, 2015

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA(NEW YORK) — NASA's Dawn probe has unlocked new mysteries about the terrain of the dwarf planet Ceres, including irregularly shaped craters and a solitary 4-mile-high mountain.

New images and data sent back to Earth from the mission have captivated scientists — while also raising new questions about the dwarf planet's topographical features.

"Ceres continues to amaze, yet puzzle us, as we examine our multitude of images, spectra and now energetic particle bursts," Chris Russell, Dawn's principal investigator, said in a statement.

One of the new mysteries includes observations from Dawn's gamma ray and neutron spectrometer, which found that three bursts of energized electrons could possibly be the result of interaction between Ceres and the sun's radiation, however the hypothesis is still being investigated.

Another shows the cone-shaped 4-mile-high mountain in the Occator crater, which is also home to some of Ceres' brightest spots. Scientists are still trying to determine what processes could have created the mountain or shaped Ceres' irregular craters.

Nearly 600 miles in diameter, about 25 percent of Ceres' mass is believed to be ice. Ceres is the largest body in the asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Dawn will begin this month descending to its lowest orbit of Ceres, reaching an altitude of 230 miles. The probe has been orbiting Ceres since March and will continue studying the dwarf planet through June 2016.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Your Body: Can Stress Affect Fertility?

Thursday October 01, 2015

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

From headaches to high blood pressure, stress can take a toll on you. But now, there are growing concerns that stress can also affect fertility.

A study from Ohio State University found that women with the highest stress levels took 29 percent longer to get pregnant compared to other women, and their risk of infertility doubled.

As an OB/GYN and as a woman, I know just how stressful it can be for a couple trying to conceive. The good news is that there are simple ways to reduce stress that could make a big impact:

  • Separate the tasks that need to be done from the those that would be nice to get done.
  • Stop smoking, and cut back on caffeine and alcohol.
  • Practice relaxation methods, such as yoga or my favorite, meditation.
  • And for fertility, relax -- there’s a reason so many couples conceive while on vacation.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

"Nashville" Recap: 'Till the Pain Outwears the Shame'

Thursday October 01, 2015

ABC/Mark Levine(NASHVILLE) -- Scarlett O'Conner's world was in a state of upheaval on Wednesday night's Nashville. Her mother, Beverly, came out of a coma after suffering a brain aneurysm during surgery to donate part of her liver to Scarlett's uncle, Deacon Claybourne. Just as it looked like Scarlett and Beverly were patching up their often-strained relationship, Beverly flatlined at the end of the episode.

On top of that, Scarlett decided to scale back her tour with ex-boyfriend Gunnar Scott so she could spend more time at home with her current doctor boyfriend, Caleb. Gunnar and Caleb had a tense confrontation over Scarlett, and it turns out Caleb isn't too enthused about his girlfriend pursuing her music career.

After getting advice from a high-powered PR rep, Luke Wheeler decided to drop the recently-outed Will Lexington from his label. He told Will the country community just isn't ready to accept a gay country singer.

The press started noticing that hard-partying Juliette Barnes hadn't been seen with her husband, Avery, and their daughter, Cadence, in several weeks. Juliette managed to patch things up with Avery just long enough to have him and their baby in the audience for her album release party in Nashville. After the event, Juliette got a brand-new mobile phone and left Avery without saying goodbye to fly to her next tour stop.

In an effort to save her fledgling Highway 65 record label, Rayna Jaymes took a commercial flight from Los Angeles to New York to stage a signing meeting with a rock star eager to enter the country market. Rayna's other artist, Layla Grant, played a show at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, but no one from the label was in the audience. Look for Layla to make changes in her record label and management deals soon.

ABC's Nashville returns next Wednesday night at 10 ET.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Netanyahu Stares Down UN General Assembly

Thursday October 01, 2015

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the Iran nuclear deal in a Thursday speech to the UN General Assembly.

With no way to defeat the deal with Iran signed by the U.S. and five world powers, Netanyahu spent most of his speech on other pressing issues, but he pulled no punches when discussing his concerns about a deal that he feels would allow Iran a route to a nuclear weapon.

"After three days of listening to world leaders praising the deal with Iran," Netanyahu said, "I begin my speech by saying, ladies and gentleman, check your enthusiasm at the door."

"This deal doesn't make peace more likely," he remarked. "By fueling Iran's aggressions by billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it makes war more likely."

"If Iran's rulers were working to destroy your countries, perhaps you'd be somewhat less enthusiastic about the deal," Netanyahu added. "If Iran's terror proxies were firing thousands of rockets at your cities, perhaps you'd be more measured in your praise."

And yet "the response from this body," Netanyahu said "has been absolutely nothing. Utter silence. Deafening silence."

He stared silently at a number of the representatives in attendance for more than 40 seconds, appearing frustrated, before remarking that "perhaps you can now understand why Israel is not joining you in celebrating this deal."

In addition to reaffirming his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu focused more on Iran's support of terrorism throughout the Middle East. He argued that Iran is helping Hezbollah to set up new terrorist networks on the Syrian side of Golan Heights.

Netanyahu also criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for failing to hold direct peace talks with Israel.

On the Temple Mount clashes, Netanyahu repeated that Israel has no intention to take over, divide or allow non-Muslim prayer at the holy site — all of which he called lies by the Palestinians.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Affinity Web Solutions
KONP.com Home