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Once-Jailed Oligarch 'Ready' to Challenge Putin for Presidency

Sunday September 21, 2014

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- The last Russian oligarch to challenge President Vladimir Putin politically -- and pay dearly for it -- says he's ready to try again.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was once Russia's richest man and the head of Russian energy giant Yukos. But after he made political moves against Putin, he was quickly tried and convicted on fraud charges in 2003. His company was dismantled and he would spend nearly the next decade in prison.

Khodorkovsky's takedown sent a strong signal to the rest of Russia's powerful tycoons not to meddle in politics, lest they suffer a similar fate. It seems the message got through. In the decade since then, none have tried.

But now Khodorkovsky is back. Putin pardoned him and released him from prison in December, a move that was widely seen as an effort to tamp down on international criticism of Russia before hosting the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

At the time, Khodorkovsky insisted he had no interest in challenging Putin.

"The struggle for power is not for me," he said.

It appears that is no longer the case. In interviews with European publications this weekend, Khodorkovsky said he was "ready" to become Russia's president and pledged to enact political reforms.

"I would not be interested in the idea of becoming president of Russia at a time when the country would be developing normally," he told France's Le Monde newspaper, according to AFP.

"But if it appeared necessary to overcome the crisis and to carry out constitutional reform, the essence of which would be to redistribute presidential powers in favor of the judiciary, parliament and civil society, then I would be ready to take on this part of the task," he added.

In a separate interview with Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, Khodorkovsky warned that the longer Putin remains in power, the more likely Russia is headed towards a bloody disintegration.

Khodorkovsky's comments come as he is set to help launch a group called Open Russia, which will seek to organize the opposition against Putin's rule.

Yet if Khodorkovsky dreams of personally wresting the Kremlin from Putin's grasp, he has a tough road ahead.

Putin remains firmly in power, having engineered a political system that has marginalized any meaningful opposition. He also controls most media, especially the powerful television stations.

Khodorkovsky, meanwhile, has limited leverage, living in self-imposed exile in Switzerland. Given what happened last time he got involved in politics, and also that shortly before his release last December prosecutors hinted at new charges against him, it's unclear what might happen to Khodorkovsky if he returns to Russia.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Cairo Explosion Kills At Least Two, Injures Four

Sunday September 21, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(CAIRO, Egypt) -- At least two people were killed in a bombing outside Egypt's foreign ministry in Cairo on Sunday.

The incident comes on the heels of numerous attempts over past months to evacuate street vendors who live and work in the building's area in the Boulaq neighborhood, as workers have not had the best relationships with government authorities.

The bomb was located behind a tree near the Sultan Abu Eala mosque by the foreign ministry in downtown Cairo. The incident prompted the evacuation of five schools, and all major roads leading to the site were closed.

While authorities did not disclose any suspects, they are calling the explosion an act of terrorism as an investigation continues.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Texas Hospital Investigates Tuberculosis Exposure in Newborn Area

Sunday September 21, 2014

Fuse/Thinkstock(EL PASO, Texas) -- The City of El Paso's Department of Public Health is investigating a tuberculosis exposure at a local hospital affecting more than 700 patients and 40 employees.

Individuals were exposed to a hospital worker with an active case of the disease in the post-partum and newborn nursery area of Providence Memorial Hospital, officials announced Friday. The incident occurred between September 2013 and August 2014.

Health workers are reviewing records to determine which infants and employees were exposed, and the families of patients are being contacted with instructions for free follow-ups and screening.

The employee involved is no longer working at the hospital and is receiving treatment, officials in a statement.

"The health and well-being of our employees and patients is our top priority," hospital representatives added.

While tuberculosis is not highly contagious and generally requires close contact over an extended period of time for spreading, the bacteria can remain dormant for months or years before becoming active. Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Police: Manhunt for Accused Cop Shooter Eric Frein Continues, Shelter Order Lifted

Sunday September 21, 2014

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- Pennsylvania State Police are continuing the hunt for a man accused of killing a state trooper and wounding another in an ambush, saying that they believe they are closer to catching the suspected shooter.

Eric Frein is thought to be armed and hiding in the woods, according to State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens.

"Up until now his advantage has been that this is his backyard," Bivens said. "He knows this rugged terrain.  Out tactical operations people now also know his backyard."

While a shelter in place order has been lifted for two area townships near eastern Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, residents are still being told to stay alert and avoid wooded areas. Officials also ask hunters preparing for archery season to refrain from frequenting the locations.

"The suspect is still considered armed and dangerous. We ask and remind residents to lock all doors as well as their vehicles. At night, keep the exterior of their homes well lit," Bivens said.

Police are looking into several possible sightings, along with a number of items believed to have been left behind by Frein after the shooting.

Though he is said to be armed, officials have no reason to believe Frein wishes to harm the public, since "he's had lots of opportunity" to do so.

The suspect made "extensive preparations" for the Sept. 12 attack, according to police, spanning months, if not years in his planning.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


"The Maze Runner" Dominates Weekend Box Office

Sunday September 21, 2014

20th Century Fox(NEW YORK) -- Three new releases held the top spots at this weekend's box office, with sci-fi action thriller The Maze Runner dominating at number one.

The film, based off the 2009 young-adult novel with the same name, stars Teen Wolf actor Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, and Game of Thrones' Thomas Brodie-Sangster. In its weekend debut, the movie brought in $32.5 million.

A Walk Among the Tombstones, directed by Scott Frank, and comedy-drama This Is Where I Leave You, rounded out the top three during their first week, pushing last weekend's leader, crime-thriller No Good Deed, down to number four.

Here are the top ten films of the weekend according to boxofficemojo.com:

1. The Maze Runner $32.5 million
2. A Walk Among the Tombstones $13.126 million
3. This Is Where I Leave You $11.86 million
4. No Good Deed $10.2 million
5. Dolphin Tale 2 $9.005 million
6. Guardians of the Galaxy $5.18 million
7. Let's Be Cops $2.675 million
8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $2.65 million
9. The Drop $2.05 million
10. If I Stay $1.835 million

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


General Motors Recalls 220,000 Sedans for Fire Risk

Sunday September 21, 2014

General Motors(DETROIT) -- General Motors is recalling more than 220,000 vehicles due to brake pad malfunctions that may result in a fire.

The defect can cause the pads to stay partly engaged, forcing the auto company to recall 205,309 vehicles in the United States and an additional 16,249 internationally, the New York Times reports.

Affected vehicles include 2014-15 Chevrolet Impalas and 2013-15 model Cadillac XTS cars, though the company says it is not aware of any injuries, deaths, or crashes related to the models.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


California Authorities Capture Four of Five Escaped Inmates

Sunday September 21, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(MADERA COUNTY, Calif.) -- Authorities in Central California captured four out of five inmates who escaped a correctional facility this weekend.

Officials originally believed one individual broke free from the Madera County Department of Corrections on Friday, but alarmed area residents a day later when they announced four other missing inmates.

The prisoners escaped about 9:15 PM PT on Friday, with all five men considered armed and dangerous, according to Madera County Sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stewart. One of the inmates, Abel Ramos, was jailed for attempting to murder a sheriff's detective.

Three were in for attempted murder, and most were held for robbery, strong-armed robbery, burglary, and probation violations, Stewart said.

While the fifth prisoner is still at large, officials highlight the importance that majority are captured. No shots were fired while authorities caught the individuals.

"The bottom line and the good news is, we do have four out of the five in custody," Stewart said. "The worst of the worst we have back behind bars, which is critical."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Kerry: U.S. 'Gravely Concerned' About Syria Chemical Attacks

Sunday September 21, 2014

U.S. Department of State(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. is "gravely concerned" about the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons's findings last week of systematic and repeated chlorine attacks in northern Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a written statement Sunday.

"The Assad regime must know that it will be held to account for such use in the international community," Kerry said, noting that the report raises "especially troubling concerns that continued chemical attacks on the Syrian people by the regime could occur."

The OPCW released its report on Wednesday. While it does not assign responsibility, Kerry pointed to witness accounts of helicopters being used in the attacks, which would indicate the Assad regime carried them out.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Couple Confesses in Socialite's Murder, Bali Police Say

Sunday September 21, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(DENPASAR, Bali) -- Indonesian authorities say Chicago native Tommy Schaefer admitted that he killed his girlfriend's mother while the family vacationed last month at the upscale St. Regis resort in Bali.

Schaefer's girlfriend, Heather Mack, who is three months pregnant, has also confessed to witnessing her mother's murder and helping to dispose of her body, police in Bali said.

"Both of them have confessed," Bali Regional Police Chief Colonel Djoko Heru Utomo said. "Tommy was the one who carried out the killing."

"Heather thought that Tommy did not mean to kill her mother," Utomo said.

Mack, 19, and Schaefer, 21, have been behind bars since the gruesome discovery of 62-year old Sheila von Wiese-Mack's body, found stuffed inside a silver suitcase left in the trunk of a taxi last month.

Mack previously claimed her mother died during an armed gang attack that she and Schaefer escaped. But Indonesian investigators say surveillance video shows Mack's mother and Shaeffer arguing in the hours before the murder.

Mack's attorney declined a request for comment from ABC News.

According to Bali authorities, Schaefer allegedly killed von Wiese-Mack because he was "hurt and offended" following an argument.

"In Indonesia, you get credit for admitting and cooperating. So he might think this will save him some time if he is ever sentenced," said defense attorney Janet Johnson, who is not involved in the case.

Despite these reported new confessions, the couple has yet to be formally charged.



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


White House Intruder Had Knife, Claims to Be Iraq Vet

Sunday September 21, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The man who jumped over a White House fence and made it all the way inside the executive mansion before being caught was carrying a three-and-a-half inch knife and told officials he was a veteran of three tours in Iraq, according to the complaint released Saturday.

In the wake of the incident Friday night, the Secret Service announced it is stepping up its security procedures at the White House complex.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson ordered an immediate increase in "officer patrols and surveillance capabilities along the Pennsylvania Avenue fence line" of the White House complex, the Secret Service said Saturday.

The steps went into effect Friday night after Omar Gonzalez, 42, scaled the White House fence, sprinted across the North Lawn, and entered the White House.

The Secret Service dealt with a second security incident in as many days on Saturday after a man was arrested at the White House after trying to enter a barricaded entrance to the White House complex with his car.

Gonzalez was arrested just after going through the North Portico doors of the White House. He appeared at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Saturday and was charged with unlawful entry while in possession of a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Gonzalez was carrying a Spyderco VG-10 black serrated folding knife in his front pants pocket when he was arrested, according to a police affidavit.

On Friday, Secret Service Spokesman Ed Donovan had initially said Gonzalez was unarmed at the time of his arrest.

The affidavit says after he was apprehended, the Copperas Cove, Texas man told a Secret Service agent "he was concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing and need to get the information to the President of the United States so that he could get the word out to people."

He told officials he served 18 years in the military and did three tours in Iraq, according to the affidavit. He also claimed to have lived in Washington, D.C., for three months but has no known address.

Army records indicate one deployment to Iraq from October 2006 to January 2008. The service record also shows Gonzalez enlisted twice, with a two-year between each. His first enlistment was from 1997 to 2003, then a second from 2005 to 2012 ended with retirement for an unspecified disability.

Gonzalez's drug test was negative and he has no verified criminal history and no convictions.

The suspect was ordered held without bond until he goes to federal court on Monday. The legal basis the judge used to detain him was that the government formally asked for a detention hearing, which gives her three days to hold him pending the hearing.

President Obama and his daughters had departed the South Lawn of the White House aboard Marine One just minutes before Gonzalez entered the residence of the White House.

Following Friday's incident, the White House said Obama has "full confidence" in the Secret Service.

"The President has full confidence in the Secret Service and is grateful to the men and women who day in and day out protect himself, his family and the White House," the White House said Saturday. "The Secret Service is in the process of conducting a thorough review of the event on Friday evening and we are certain it will be done with the same professionalism and commitment to duty that we and the American people expect from the United States Secret Service."

The agency said the arrest inside the White House was "not acceptable," and Pierson has ordered a review of the incident, which began Friday night with a physical assessment of the site and interviews with those involved.

In Sunday's incident, Kevin Carr, 19, was arrested and charged with unlawful entry after he drove his car up to a barricaded entryway to the White House complex and refused to follow orders from Secret Service officers, Brian Leary, a Secret Service spokesman, told ABC News.

Carr, from Shamong, N.J., did not hit the barriers with his vehicle.

Police temporarily closed the plaza in front of the White House and other streets in the area because of the incident. Police officers ordered pedestrians to get off Pennsylvania Avenue and onto the sidewalk in Lafayette Park just in front of the building.

Bomb technicians, fully suited, searched a white four-door sedan with New Jersey plates near the security area where Carr attempted to enter the White House complex with his car. At one point, a bomb squad robot was seen moving away from the car.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has been working with the Secret Service in investigating Friday evening's breach, a committee aide told ABC News. The findings of the Secret Service's review will be submitted to the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Syrian Opposition Leader: ‘We Need Your Assistance’

Sunday September 21, 2014

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The leader of what is referred to as the moderate Syrian opposition has a message for the world: give us the proper support and we can end the two-pronged war in Syria against dictator Bashar al-Assad as well as ISIS in “three years max.”

Syrian Opposition Coalition president Hadi al-Bahra will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday to plead for American and western aid to defeat Assad and ISIS militants in Syria.

“Currently I am sitting with you and fighting on two fronts. We are fighting in Damascus against the regime, we are fighting in Aleppo against ISIL,” Bahra said. “We are in the fight and will continue to fight. But we need your assistance. This danger now is not a Syrian issue. It is proved now that it is not a regional issue. It is also expanding now to be threat in Europe and even to the U.S.”

Bahra was elected president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces in July after serving as a representative for the coalition of rebel groups fighting Assad during peace negotiations in Geneva last spring. During an interview with ABC News’ Bob Woodruff, Bahra said he was proud of his Syrian countrymen who took up arms to fight for their country.

“Actually, we aspire and look back to the American Revolution and we see now this story repeating itself. We are the normal Syrians fighting for our freedom and to transfer our political system to democracy,” he said.

This week, Congress gave President Obama authority to provide funding and military training to Syrian opposition forces led by Bahra. Critics are skeptical that arms provided by the West could fall into the wrong hands and that the vetting and training process will take too long to effectively combat ISIS.

“I assure you all the aid will go to moderate national Syrian army, the Free Syrian Army, and we will be very careful with it,” Bahra said.

Bahra says he is confident in the opposition’s ability to win the fight in Syria without U.S. boots on the ground.

“We would like to win our own freedom,” he said. “By our own people, and we are ready to sacrifice everything to win back our freedom and our constitutional rights.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Doctor Explains Why Death at 75 is Right for Him

Sunday September 21, 2014

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Citing the increased chance of Alzheimer's disease among other quality of life factors, one doctor says he wants to die at 75.

Though he makes it clear he does not believe in euthanasia, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, raised some eyebrows when The Atlantic published an article written by him discussing the issue.

“I look at the data on disability, I look at the data on Alzheimer’s disease, I look at the data on loss of creativity. And 75 seems to be the right moment where the chance of disability, physical disability is low, you're still not in the high Alzheimer's risk of 30% or 50% and creativity has sort of come to an end,” Emanuel, who also serves as Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, told ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser during an interview for This Week.

“I coined this term called 'American immortals,' people want to do everything crazily to live as long as possible. Take these protein concoctions, change their diet, exercise like mad, that’s trying to put it off, that’s trying to say I am going to live as long as possible,” he said.

“I am trying to say alright you’re going to live in this amount of time. What are you going to do in that amount of time that is meaningful to you, meaningful to your family, meaningful to your community? That’s what I want people to think about,” Emanuel added.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan Names New President, Candidates Agree on Power-Sharing Deal

Sunday September 21, 2014

U.S. Department of State(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghanistan declared the country's next president on Sunday, naming Ashraf Ghani as the new leader with 55 percent of the popular vote, according to Afghan sources.

The announcement comes as Ghani and runner-up Abdullah Abdullah agreed upon a national unity government deal during a ceremony attended by current President Hamid Karzai and other senior officials.

The decision ends a months-long dispute that could have forced the full withdrawal of U.S. and foreign troops from the war-torn country. The transition, deemed "peaceful," is a first for Afghanistan since 1901, according to the BBC.

In a statement Sunday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the political agreement "helps bring closure to Afghanistan's political crisis, and restores confidence in the way forward."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the formation "a moment of extraordinary statesmanship," stating that the country "has an enormous opportunity to grow stronger from this recent moment of testing."

The recent Afghan presidential election faced much scrutiny with allegations of fraud. The accusations led to a full audit of all ballots, aided by the U.S.

"Nonetheless, the final outcome of the election process is legitimate and the results will be transparent," U.S. Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

"Although the candidates had disputes and serious reservations with the process that could not be resolved, they agreed for the good of the country to resolve the harmful political uncertainty and abide by the outcome of the election.  For this reason, the new administration has made electoral reform one of its chief priorities – a goal we support."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


This Week (9.21.14) Podcast

Sunday September 21, 2014

In today’s episode of the This Week Podcast , President Obama appears to be closing in on a decision to launch air strikes against the terror group ISIS inside of Syria. The president is banking much of his strategy for defeating ISIS on a group of Syrian rebels, many of them doctors and lawyers. ABC’s Bob Woodruff reports on this unique opposition force. Embattled NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally breaks his silence, but can he survive the latest allegations over what the Baltimore Ravens really knew about the Ray Rice domestic violence incident? And, Americans are living longer than ever, but not necessarily better than ever. ABC’s Chief Health and Medical Editor Doctor Richard Besser examines a provocative essay written by one doctor which asks how old is old enough?

 

 


Samantha Power Predicts: US Won’t Conduct Airstrikes in Syria Alone

Sunday September 21, 2014

ABC News(WASHINGTON) --  U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power made a bold prediction Sunday on This Week, saying that if the United States should go forward with airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, it would not do so alone — even though no country has yet to publicly commit to joining the U.S. in such an effort.

“I will make you a prediction, George, which is that we will not do the air strikes alone, if the president decides to do the air strikes,” Power told ABC News This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“It will be up to each country to announce for itself whether it’s prepared to participate, whether in a combat role or to provide military equipment,” the U.N. ambassador said earlier in the interview.

President Obama will appear in front of the United Nations General Assembly this week as he attempts to strengthen his case for international action against ISIS. Power told Stephanopoulos she believes the U.S. has the legal basis it needs to go forward with action against ISIS without a U.N resolution — one that Russia could potentially veto.

“The Iraqis have appealed to the international community to come to their defense not only in Iraq, but also to go after safe havens in foreign countries.  And what they mean by that of course is Syria,” Power said.  “So they have made an appeal to the international community for collective defense. And we think we have a legal basis we need.”

The ambassador insisted that the president and the nation’s top military leaders were on the same page regarding the president’s strategy to not use U.S. combat troops on the ground in the effort against ISIS — the extremist group that controls parts of Syria and Iraq and that is responsible for the recent beheadings of  American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines.

“The president is relying on military advice from Chairman [Martin] Dempsey and from Secretary [Chuck] Hagel.  They believe that the strategy the president has laid out can be successful in degrading and destroying ISIL [ISIS],” Power said.

“And there are troops on the ground, there are Iraqi troops, there are Kurdish troops, there are Syrian troops who have been fighting ISIL at great expense and great sacrifice; fighting on two fronts, fighting ISIL on the one hand and the regime on the other,” she added.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Miranda Cosgrove Talks NFL, Fashion and College Life at USC

Sunday September 21, 2014

Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Miranda Cosgrove is just your normal 21-year-old college student -- except for the fact that she's been starring in movies and TV for more than a decade on shows like iCarly and hit movies like School of Rock.

While Cosgrove is hard at work, trying to learn as much as she can at the University of Southern California, some of her classmates also happen to be fans.

She just got back to school and said being an actress has its ups and down.

"The weirdest part is after a day at school, I'll go on Instagram or the Internet and there will be pictures of me from school that random people took and I didn't know they took," she told ABC News. "So, that can be kind of weird sometimes."

The good? It helps her meet new people, she said.

"People come up to me and introduce themselves and it kind of opens the door, so that part of it's nice," she added. "I feel like I'm not the kind of person that would just go up to somebody and introduce myself, so it's helped me in a lot of ways."

Right before school, Cosgrove got her own place, but said she regrets it a little because she would love to live on campus and have the classic college experience.

"I might even try it for a semester at some point, because I do want that experience," she said, adding she decided on majoring in film and is interested in screenwriting classes.

In fact, she looks up to the likes of Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig, and admires their ability to both act and write.

"College really does help you grow up and figure out who you are. So, it's just helped me grow as a person, like even just getting to classes on time and figuring out where classes are," she added, laughing.

Cosgrove spoke to ABC as part of her partnership with the NFL as the Tweens/Juniors Apparel brand ambassador. She's a San Francisco 49ers fan and the love of the team comes from her father Tom.

"I'm personally a fan of Colin Kaepernick ... Football also kind of brings everyone together and my dad loves football and loves sports," she said. "For as long as I can remember I've watched football games with my family."

Cosgrove has always been a fan of fashion and sports, making the collaboration ideal, she said.

"Even now that I'm back at school, I like to dress comfortable and I think the shirts [jerseys] are comfortable and cute," she said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Thousands March in New York City to Fight Climate Change

Sunday September 21, 2014

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- More than 300,000 people turned out Saturday for the People's Climate March in New York City, making it the largest recorded demonstration calling for a response to climate change. The marchers just hope someone was paying attention.

"It was a really inspiring experience," Gideon Wolf, 21, of Washington D.C. said. "I hope politicians see what we did here."

Wolf and the other thousands of marchers gathered early Sunday morning along New York's Central Park West. Organizers instructed marchers to line up to 86th Street, but the larger-than-expected attendance had some would-be marchers waiting on the side streets.

"It was packed with so many people," said Laura Maranto, 22, of New York, New York. "Even when the front of the march had reached the end, there were still people waiting, they hadn't even begun to march."

The march began with a silent protest as thousands of marchers walked through Times Square with their fists in the air without making a sound.

Activists were organized into community groups and carried signs and chanted.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were also among the marchers.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Arrest Warrant Issued for Person of Interest in Missing UVA Student Case

Sunday September 21, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- An arrest warrant has been issued for a person of interest in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, but he is not being sought for activity related to the disappearance.

Charlottesville, Virginia, police said Sunday they are looking for Jesse L. Matthew, 32, on two counts of reckless driving, because he sped away from the police station Saturday after showing up there and asking for a lawyer.

Matthew is still a "person with whom we would like to talk to about the whereabouts of Hannah Graham," Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said.

The chief has reiterated that police are not calling Matthew a suspect, just someone who could have useful information about what happened to Graham.

Nearly a thousand volunteers spread out through Charlottesville on Saturday to help in the search, one week after the student was last seen.

The chief would not say whether he believed Graham was still alive.

"I will always be hopeful until we find Hannah," he said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Ukraine, Russian-Backed Rebels Agree on Buffer Zone in Peace Talks

Saturday September 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(KIEV, Ukraine) -- While efforts are progressing to end the conflict in Ukraine, tensions were renewed Saturday with fresh provocations from both sides.

Ukrainian officials and Russian-backed rebels moved to strengthen a ceasefire, agreeing to an 18-mile buffer zone that would prohibit overflights and be free of heavy weapons.

In addition to the decision, both groups reportedly agreed to swap prisoners.

Still, ideas of peace did not linger for long as an arms factory was targeted near rebel-held Donetsk, and Russia again sent an unauthorized humanitarian aid convey to rebel-held cities hit hard by fighting.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Officials Warn Virus Could Sicken, Kill Dogs

Saturday September 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Health officials are warning dog owners to be on the lookout for a deadly canine virus that could sicken or kill their pets.

Dozens of dogs have been killed by the canine parvovirus in New Jersey, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says the virus is highly contagious and can affect all dogs, although puppies and unvaccinated pets are most at risk.

The virus affects a dog's gastrointestinal tract and symptoms can include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

The virus is spread though dog-to-dog contact or from contaminated surfaces or items.

Trenton Health Officer Jim Brownlee told WPVI-TV that the virus can spread extremely easily in puppies.

"It's not easy to clean up, it's not easy to pick up and so you're stepping in it, animals are stepping in it and that is exactly the way it's transmitted," Brownlee said.

In worst-case scnearios some dogs have been so sick, that owners have reportedly asked that the animals be euthanized.

"They end up signing their dog over to us as a release and because the dog is very sick we end up having to euthanize the animal," Elaine Thaxton, manager of the Trenton Animal Shelter, told WPVI-TV.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


 






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