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State Department Proposes Rollout of Clinton Emails Starting June 30

Wednesday May 27, 2015

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a federal court filing submitted late Tuesday night, the State Department proposed a new plan to rollout heavily scrubbed versions of 55,000 emails belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The State Department said it will begin posting the emails on its website starting on June 30 and then continue posting them every 60 days -- aiming to have them all posted by Jan. 15, 2016.

Judge Rudolph Contreras will consider the request. Earlier this month, he quickly ruled against a State Department request to hold onto all the emails until 2016, demanding instead a “rolling production.”

Although Clinton has said she wants the State Department to make all of her emails public, the matter was brought to court after a news organization sued the State Department, demanding the emails be released pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

State Department officials have argued that the process of clearing the emails for release is an arduous and time consuming task that often involves the participation of multiple government agencies. 

“Keep in mind that we are reviewing a huge amount of material from Secretary Clinton’s tenure at State on a wide range of issues,” one senior State Department official said on Tuesday.

Last Friday, the State Department release 300 of Clinton’s emails that related to the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya. Those emails had previously been released to the House Select Committee on Benghazi that’s been investigating the attack for over a year.

The chairman of that committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has said he won’t be satisfied until Clinton hands over her private email server, which she used exclusively throughout her tenure at State to conduct official business. Clinton has said she won’t make that available.

Gowdy and Clinton's Republican rivals argue that because her emails were kept private she was the ultimate arbiter in determining which emails to release and which to delete -- and therefore the process is flawed.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Houston-Area Flash Flooding Leaves at Least Five Dead

Tuesday May 26, 2015

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(HOUSTON) -- Floodwaters that inundated Houston, bringing the city to a standstill, were blamed Tuesday for at least five deaths, and statewide, the disaster claimed at least 12 lives, authorities said Tuesday.

Houston Mayor Annalise Parker did not identify the fatalities, but said that two were found inside vehicles and another was found in a bayou and police suspect that the individual suffered from a heart attack while trying to push their vehicle.

A fourth person was also found in a bayou, and officials said it is possible he was a man who was lost during a rescue attempt earlier on Tuesday. Another man had a heart attack trying to push his car out of flood waters.

"Given the magnitude and how quickly it happened, in such a short period of time, I've never seen this before," said Rick Flanagan, Houston's emergency management coordinator.

There are still 30 people unaccounted for in Hays County, according to the latest figures from a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson.

Some of the underpasses in Houston that flood in normal rainfalls were the first areas affected when 6 to 10 inches of rain fell by early Tuesday morning. Parker said there have been more than 1,000 cars left stranded on highways and roadways.

Parker explained the rain created two problems: the first being that the ground was largely saturated and couldn't absorb all of the evening's rainfall because of "several weeks of really heavy rainfall." On top of that, the small rivers that surround and run through Houston began overflowing their banks and flooding neighborhoods.

"It's still a dangerous situation along the bayous, they're flowing very, very rapidly," Parker said.

A city official noted that they responded to 968 incidents overnight into Tuesday, 531 of which were water-related.

As a result of the rainfall and flooded roadways, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the Texas counties of Harris and Fort Bend.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Danny Perez encouraged area commuters to take the day off.

"We're just asking folks to, if you're at home, stay put," Perez said. "If you need to be on the roadway, make sure you're checking in with supervisors or whoever you need to check in with. It's not worth it if you can stay home."

The high water shut down the Katy Freeway eastbound and westbound at the 610 West loop.

Hundreds of homes are currently impacted by the flooding, Harris County Emergency management said.

The White Oak Bayou in Houston is rapidly rising and spilling over highways, currently at major flood stage and expected to rise to more than 40 feet, according to the National Weather Service. The last time the bayou crested to this level was during Hurricane Ike in 2008.

The Brays Bayou is expected to expand to 45 feet before receding, while the Keegans Bayor, which feeds into Brays Bayou, has reached record levels.

Those conditions caused some fans at Houston's Toyota Center to remain in their seats following Monday's Western Conference Finals basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

Fans and players were asked not to leave the arena following the Rockets' 128-115 Game 4 victory.

When someone's phone beeped loudly with a flash flood warning during Rockets center Dwight Howard's postgame press conference he shook his head and said: "It's bad outside."

Howard stayed at the arena, hoping to wait out the storm.

The flash flooding follows a series of deadly, powerful storms across the southern Great Plains. Earlier Monday, a tornado ripped through Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, a city on the U.S. Mexico border, killing at least 13 people.

The deadly tornado was one of at least 15 reported Monday. It tore a baby from its mother's arms, ripped apart buildings, tossed cars and trucks around, in some cases leaving them standing on end.

In weekend flooding that hit parts of Texas, one driver had to be rescued as the surge of water swept away his SUV outside San Antonio. At least five people were killed over the weekend as a result of flash floods along the Blanco River between Austin and San Antonio, officials said Monday.

Among the dead was 14-year-old Damien Blade, who was found with his dog in a suburban Dallas storm drain. Investigators said they apparently had drowned but their investigation continues. According to police, Damien's family reported him missing about 10 p.m. Sunday after one of his two dogs showed up alone at the house, wet and extremely muddy.

In the town of Wimberley alone, as many as 400 homes have been destroyed.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott added 24 counties Monday to the list of those where he has declared a state of emergency, and he said with more rain in the forecast, he could add additional counties.

The weekend storms were blamed for three deaths, including two in Oklahoma and one in Texas, where a man's body was recovered from a flooded area along the Blanco River.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Florida Bounce House Incident Was 'Freak Act of Nature,' City Manager Says

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Brandon Burchett(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- Fort Lauderdale City Manager called Memorial Day's beach bounce house incident "a freak act of nature that no one could have prepared for or predicted."

"The change in weather was sudden and severe," the statement from City Manager Lee Feldman said. "An intense water spout came ashore rapidly and without warning bringing forceful winds that meteorologists have estimated were between 65 and 85 miles per hour. Its powerful unpredictable path knocked down street lights and destroyed a cement basketball support structure."

After a waterspout came ashore on the Florida beach, it hit an inflated bouncy castle, tossing it into the air and injuring three children.

The video, provided to ABC News by Brandon Burchett, shows the swirling column of wind and ocean water head straight towards the amusement ride. The bouncy castle then got caught in the wind and flipped over repeatedly before it was swept even further up in the air.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department said three children, whose identities would not be released, were injured. One was held overnight for observation and two were treated for minor fractures and released, police said.

Feldman's statement added: "Under the circumstances, our Police, Public Safety and Fire-Rescue personal responded quickly and appropriately to minimize injuries and damage. While our thoughts and prayers remain with the injured children and their families for a speedy recovery, we are grateful that this act of god did not cause any more serious harm given the large number of people who were enjoying the beach on Memorial Day."

The city said it has already put the bounce house vendor, All Star Events, on notice of their responsibility as "we continue to investigate the incident."

All Star Events declined to comment to ABC News.


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Feds Reach Settlement to Overhaul, Re-train Cleveland Police Department

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Ricky Rhodes/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Days after protests over a police shooting verdict rocked Cleveland, the Justice Department reached a settlement with the city over police conduct that has shown a “pattern and practice” of unnecessary force. The settlement comes after a Cleveland patrolman was acquitted Friday for his role in the fatal shootings of two unarmed black people in 2012.

Announcing the agreement, Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said, “Today, Cleveland demonstrates to the rest of the country that people can come together across perceived differences to realize a common vision of a safer, more just city.”

The agreement will require the Cleveland Police to provide improved training and guidance on when and how officers use force. “Officers will be trained to use de-escalation techniques, rather than force, whenever possible. In addition, if force is used, officers will immediately provide emergency first aid as necessary,” Gupta said. The agreement also sets up a new Community Police Commission of faith-based organizations, civil rights advocates, police unions and other community leaders who will partner with police to work towards "bias-free" policing.

The investigation of the Cleveland police by the Civil Rights Division found that the police had a disturbing record of shooting residents, striking them in the head, and spraying them with chemicals, when such extreme force was not needed. The highly critical report was issued last December, a month after Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African American boy, was fatally shot by police officers while he was holding a toy pistol. Video of the incident went viral, and drew national attention to Cleveland’s police department.

The protests in Cleveland over the Memorial Day weekend were triggered by the acquittal of Officer Michael Brelo on manslaughter charges in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams in 2012. Russell and Williams were killed after they allegedly led police on a long car chase across Cleveland that eventually grew to more than 60 police cars.

Prosecutors charged that once the car was finally stopped, more than a dozen officers fired more than 100 rounds into the vehicle. Officer Brelo was accused of climbing in the hood of the car and shooting 15 rounds through the windshield, striking Russell and Williams.

The Justice Department said it is continuing its investigation of that shooting, despite Brelo’s acquittal, and it could bring federal civil rights charges against the officer.


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Amtrak to Install Inward-Facing Cameras in Locomotives Following Deadly Derailment

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Amtrak announced on Tuesday that it will install new inward-facing video cameras in its new fleet of electric locomotives in service along the Northeast Corridor by the end of the year following a deadly derailment earlier this month in Philadelphia that killed 8 people.

Installation will first occur in 70 ACS-64 electric locomotives that will power all Northeast Regional and long-distance trains between Washington, New York and Boston, as well as Keystone Service between New York, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa.

“Inward-facing video cameras will help improve safety and serve as a valuable investigative tool,” said Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman in a statement. “We have tested these cameras and will begin installation as an additional measure to enhance safety.”

Amtrak is developing a plan for installation of inward-facing cameras in the rest of its locomotive fleet, including Acela Express power cars and diesel locomotives.

The railroad currently has outward-facing cameras on locomotives, along with advanced systems that monitor locomotive and engineer actions.

A camera mounted on the locomotive of Amtrak 188 focused on the track ahead and showed investigators the constant acceleration in the minute prior to that train’s derailment in Philadelphia.

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Missouri Man Catches 65-Pound Striped Bass on Lake

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation(TANEY COUNTY, Mo.) -- A Missouri fisherman who caught a record-setting 65-pound striped bass earlier this month quickly found out he needed more than just a strong line to reel the fish in.

Lawrence Dillman of Rockaway Beach, Missouri hooked the giant striped bass on Bull Shoals Lake near the Arkansas border on May 21 using just a rod and reel, the Missouri Department of Conservation said Tuesday in a news release.

Dillman used a 20-pound line and a minnow to catch the fish, but discovered he needed to get much more physically involved to get the big catch.

"I fought the giant for over 45 minutes until I got him to shallow water," Dillman said. "I then bear hugged the fish and got it out of the water on to the bank."

The bass weighed in at 65 pounds, 2 ounces, more than 49 inches in length and a girth of 36 inches, according to the agency, which broke the previous “pole and line” striped bass record of 60 pounds, 9 ounces caught on Bull Shoals Lake in 2011. Staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation verified the record-weight fish.

"Once the fish was on the line, I knew I had a decent one, but I didn't at all think it was a striped bass," Dillman said. "I thought it was a spoonbill or something else. But when I got him to the bank I knew I had something amazing!"

The longtime angler said the fish is now at Bass Pro in Springfield getting mounted, but his latest catch won’t have him stop fishing every day anytime soon.

"I've caught bigger fish in the ocean, but this fish is the biggest fresh-water fish I have ever caught,” Dillman said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Sen. Bernie Sanders Kicks Off Presidential Campaign

Tuesday May 26, 2015

ABC News(BURLINGTON, Vt.) -- The longest-serving Independent senator in U.S. history, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, kicked-off his presidential campaign for the Democratic nomination Tuesday with a colorful and lively event in Burlington.

With blue-grass music, tie-dye and free ice cream, the afternoon event felt half like a summer festival and half like a political rally.

A self-identified "Democratic Socialist," Sanders is known on Capitol Hill for speaking about income inequality and higher tax rates for corporations and the nation’s top earners. Sanders wasted little time getting to his favorite issues.

“Today, we say clearly enough is enough,” he said. “This great nation and its government belong to all of the people and not just a handful of billionaires.”

“There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much as wealth as the bottom 90 percent. This has got to change and, as your president, together we will change it," Sanders said.

In addition to campaign finance reform, Sanders made sure to hit on other hot-button progressive issues too, including equal pay for women and climate change.

When asked why they like him, many of the more than 5,000 Sanders fans gathered were quick to point to trustworthiness. Some said they feel like they know him. One of the senator’s first -- and most fun -- endorsements came from Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s, the popular Vermont-based ice cream company.

Speaking at the event, Cohen reiterated this idea of authenticity.

“Unlike some other Johnny-come-latelys, Bernie is the real thing. He has been saying the same thing and doing the same thing for 30 years,” Cohen said.

Kathy Granai, who works in Burlington, where Sanders was mayor for four terms, agreed. “He is speaking the truth,” she said. “He is the only one willing to say what’s what and what matters.”

Another Burlington local, Jacob Albee, said the question of trustworthiness was the reason he preferred Sanders to Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state.

“He is willing to speak the truth when others are unwilling,” Albee said. “I don’t think she speaks the truth."

During the rally, Sanders said his campaign was not about him, “Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush,” but “the needs of the American people.”

“As someone who has never ran a never negative political ad in my life. My campaign will not be run by political gossip. These are serious times, we need serious debates," he said.

While Sanders might be the best known politician here, he is relatively unknown in other parts of the country. He is polling in single digits nationwide. The Sanders team said its strategy for breaking through will focus on small, town hall-style events.

For supporters of Sanders, it’s about the rest of the country meeting the Bernie they know and love.

“For those of us that have been sitting on the sidelines, finally a candidate worth voting for,” Cohen said. “Sometimes the underdog wins.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


IRS Says Thieves Stole Tax Info From 100,000

Tuesday May 26, 2015

marcnorman/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -– More than 100,000 taxpayers may of had some of their private information stolen from IRS computers during this tax season.

The agency said on Tuesday that sophisticated thieves managed to steal some of that information outside the IRS to get in and get illegal refunds.

According to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the thieves got into their system through the front door, using social security and other numbers they found outside the IRS.

The thieves reportedly used an online service provided by the agency to gain access to information from more than one-hundred-thousand taxpayers. The service called “Get Transcript” has been temporarily shut down.

The commissioner told reporters in a teleconference that “of the 200,000 that tried and the 104,000 that got through, it’s likely that it’s gonna turn out that fewer than 15,000 fraudulent returns made it through as a result of this activity.”

The majority of the breaches happened from mid-February to mid-May when it was discovered.

Commissioner Koskinen reassured reporters on a conference call on Tuesday that his agency is getting better at detecting fraud, but it’s not perfect.


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Ramadi Fell to ISIS Fighters Even Though They Were 'Vastly Outnumbered' by Iraqi Troops

Tuesday May 26, 2015

zabelin/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The city of Ramadi is controlled by “hundreds” of ISIS fighters who were able to seize the city after Iraqi military commanders ordered the withdrawal of several thousand Iraqi troops from the city.

That’s according to a U.S. official who also confirmed that the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Ramadi may have been prompted by the unexplained pullout of the elite Iraqi counterterrorism force based in the city.

The pullout of the Iraqi counterterrorism unit from Ramadi first appeared in the Kurdish news agency Rudaw.

The departure of that elite unit led other Iraqi military commanders in the city to order the departure of their troops even though they held a significant numerical superiority, the U.S. official said.

Over the weekend, Defense Secretary Ash Carter criticized the “will to fight” of Iraqi forces in Ramadi because they withdrew from the city even though “they vastly outnumbered the opposing force.”

The motivations for the elite unit’s departure remain unknown, the U.S. official said, but it was another reason provided by American officials as to why thousands of Iraqi security forces left the city.

Taken together, it appears the fall of Ramadi was due to a domino effect of circumstances.

Officials said last week that ISIS fighters launched more than 30 car bombs inside Ramadi in an effort to take over the city where fighting has been raging for more than a year and a half.

The attacks came at the same time as a sandstorm that affected ground operations. The storm also led the Iraqi commander on the ground to mistakenly believe that the sandstorm would prevent coalition airstrikes from supporting his troops, according to U.S. officials. American officials have said that the deteriorating weather conditions would not have affected the ability to conduct airstrikes.

“The Iraqi security forces did not feel that they were supported as they could have been. They did not feel they had the resources, they did not feel they were in a position to win,” said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, speaking broadly about the Iraqi troop pullout from Ramadi.

Iraqi State Television announced on Tuesday the start of an operation to drive ISIS out of Anbar Province and retake the provincial capital of Ramadi, though no details were provided.

“We welcome the news from Prime Minister al Abadi that they will begin a counteroffensive to retake Ramadi and we will continue to support them,” Warren said.

American officials said the Iraqi offensive to retake Ramadi had not yet begun. One U.S. official said the expectation is that it will begin in a matter of days.

The Iraqi offensive will include a mix of Iraqi military forces serving alongside 3,000 militia forces, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, that have gathered in Habbaniyah outside of Ramadi.

Warren described “shaping operations” by the Iraqi military “to secure lines of communications, secure key road junctures and intersections and secure terrain prior to a full-on offensive.”

While the offensive had not yet begun, he said there had been clashes outside the city between forward elements of ISIS and Iraqi military forces, who are “both moving forward to conduct reconnaissance and probe each other’s positions.”

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Ireland Targets Same-Sex Weddings in New Tourism Campaign

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Patryk Kosmider/iStock/Thinkstock(DUBLIN) -- One day after an overwhelming majority voted yes to gay marriage in a historic referendum in Ireland, a new campaign from Tourism Ireland is already targeting the LGBT community by endorsing the country as a prime place to tie the knot.

The video, titled "Ireland Says I Do," promotes the most beautiful destinations for Irish weddings as well as LGBT events like The Outing, the world’s first ever same-sex matchmaking festival.

“Ireland boasts some of the most dreamily romantic locations to tie the knot in the world," Tourism Ireland wrote in its press release. "And YES, your big day will make your heart sing."

After Friday's referendum, the official tally announced Saturday showed that a resounding 62 percent voted to enshrine the right to same-sex marriage in its constitution -- a watershed moment for a country that was considered a bastion for the Catholic Church.

Tourism Ireland, the government's official agency promoting travel to Ireland, suggested five wedding locations for couples who are looking to say "I do" in Ireland.

1. Kinnitty Castle, County Offaly
2. Sirius Arts Centre, County Cork
3. Smock Alley, Dublin city
4. Lough Eske, County Donegal
5. Rosedale House, County Dublin

The campaign will run in markets including the United States, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and the Nordic countries.


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Rockets Launched at Israel by Militants in Gaza

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Joel Carillet/iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- After weeks of quiet, sirens blared across parts of southern Israel on Tuesday.

Militants in Gaza launched the first long-range rockets since the 50 day war last summer between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas.

Residents in the south reported hearing several explosions, but Army officials have confirmed just one rocket fired from Gaza hit near the Israeli city of Ashdod. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Palestinian sources in Gaza say Islamic jihad militants fired on Israel as a result of what they are calling “an internal dispute.”

Israel however says it still holds Hamas responsible, and the Israeli Air Force is expected to retaliate.

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Ancient Italian Artifacts Found in US

Tuesday May 26, 2015

EcoPic/iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Artwork stolen from the ancient city of Pompeii has been found in the United States.

Sixty years ago, thieves stripped three exquisite frescoes from the walls of Pompeii, an ancient city famously destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The first century artworks depict a young woman with a cupid on her shoulder, a woman carrying a wine pitcher and a man.

After the raid in 1957, authorities lost track of the frescoes. It wasn’t until the Italian police, with the help of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, discovered the pieces were headed for an American art auction block.

The pieces were about to be sold off. They were part of a private collection of an unnamed American tycoon who had died.

The ancient pieces were among a group of 25 works of stolen art returned from the United States to Italy.

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Australian Mother Reportedly Travels to Syria to Join Islamic State

Tuesday May 26, 2015

thekoala/iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) -- An Australian mother is reported to have left her young children with a babysitter to fly and join the Islamic State in Syria.

Counter-terrorism police have started an investigation into the disappearance of 26-year-old Jasmina Milovanov, who calls herself Assma Abdullah.

Milovanov, the mother of a five and seven year old left in the care of a babysitter, reportedly told the babysitter she was travelling to the Australian state of Queensland to buy a car. She hasn’t been seen since, and friends have confirmed police have been in touch after Milovanov’s ex-husband revealed he received a text message from her confirming her arrival in Syria. The text message was followed by a post on her Facebook wall.

A woman from the Australian city of Melbourne who flew to Syria last year to marry her boyfriend in the Islamic State, confirmed Milovanov’s arrival in the region.

However, one friend in Sydney stressed that she is no terrorist and was simply “lonely and looking for a husband,” a way that Islamic State recruiters convince women to join.

Australian media reports the two children are being taken care of by their father, with the very real prospect that they might never see their mother again.

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Receding Texas Floodwaters Can Leave Behind Health Hazards

Tuesday May 26, 2015

photoquest7/iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- Despite receding floodwaters in Texas and Oklahoma, dangers can persist as residents begin the process of cleaning up the mess left behind.

At least three people were killed in Texas and many more injured as floodwaters hit the state Monday night.

Bristel Minsker, spokeswoman for American Red Cross, said a big risk for residents is that remaining floodwater can be toxic after washing over roads and even bringing cars and other debris along.

"The Blanco River overflowed and it’s been running through the state and pushing all this debris down through the state," said Minsker, who called the water extremely toxic.

Minsker said it's important to keep young children and pets away from the water so they don't ingest any of it. For people who had to wade through dirty water to get to safety, Minsker recommends immediately showering and washing clothes to get out any toxins that were washed into the water during the flood.

Minsker said residents should only return home after officials have given the all-clear and always check for downed power lines, foundation cracks or broken gas lines before entering the home.

She also said any food that comes into contact with floodwaters, even bottled water or canned goods, needs to be thrown out.

Another unexpected hazard for those returning home: wildlife.

"We’re hearing a lot of reports of snakes getting washed on to people’s property," said Minsker, who warned that people should stay far away because the animals might be panicked or aggressive.

"They’ve been driven from their natural rural home. It’s an area they are not comfortable with," she said.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said as residents are able to clean up more and more, there will be other issues they face including mold or dust that can exacerbate asthma or breathing problems.

"You can get mold growing up on things that you’re then trying to clear out," Schaffner said.

Minsker of the Red Cross said it's key for residents with a flooded home to add fans or dehumidifiers to try and keep the mold from growing and causing health problems.

Also, as mud dries it can turn into dust that affects the lungs, said Dr. Schaffner, who recommends wearing a surgical mask.

Schaffner said anyone who had a wound exposed to floodwaters should seek medical attention to see whether they should get a tetanus booster shot.

In addition to short-term problems, Schaffner said, there's another hazard that could last long after the floodwaters recede. He said he's concerned that standing water could mean in increase in the West Nile virus carried by mosquitoes, especially as summer approaches.

"All this floodwater is going to leave puddles and pockets of water that will be great breeding grounds of mosquitoes," Schaffner said. "If there are a lot of mosquitoes, more mosquitoes will bit birds and then bite people," spreading the virus.

The Texas Department of Health has a full list of recommendations on flood safety here.

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Jessica Alba Admits She Hates Working Out

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jessica Alba rocks a sexy bikini on the latest cover of Shape magazine but admits her fit physique doesn't come easy.

"I’m not going to lie. Working out sucks," she told the June issue. "Which is why I love taking classes, because I’m surrounded by other people and that keeps me motivated and accountable."

The 34-year-old actress-turned-entrepreneur said she likes to mix up her workout.

"I have to break a sweat or I don’t feel like I’ve gotten anything done," she said. "These days, I do power yoga with light weights in a 105 degree room, so it’s a mix of hot yoga and strength training. I also spin. The key for me is good music, like 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Beyoncé."

If she only has 30 minutes, Alba said, "I'll do a series of burpees, mountain climbers, squat jumps, planks, and a few sun salutations."

Alba's road to fitness began more than a decade ago, while filming the Dark Angel series.

"I attribute my athletic body to the martial arts, gymnastics, dance, and strength training I did while filming Dark Angel," she told Shape. "That’s made me strong and really set the bar."

But it wasn't until having her children that she felt comfortable with her body.

"I wasn’t truly confident about my body until I had my daughters, Honor, 7, and Haven, 3. I felt more comfortable in my own skin after they were born," she said. "Plus, if I want them to be happy with their bodies, I need to walk the walk."

But this active mom and Honest Company founder has also found ways to be still.

"When I need to zone out and quiet my mind, I listen to a meditation podcast from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center [marc.ucla.edu]," she said. "Each one is literally just three minutes long, so I can go into a bathroom stall or do it in my car. But I’m really intrigued by Transcendental Meditation. Everyone I know who does TM has this inner peace and a glow. I want that."

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Microsoft's Cortana Is Coming to iOS, Android Devices

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Microsoft(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft's sassy virtual personal assistant Cortana will soon be staking out a spot on competing platforms.

Joe Belfiore, head of Microsoft's operating systems group, announced in a blog post on Tuesday that Cortana will be available as an option on Android and iOS devices later this year as a companion to Windows 10.

A phone companion app will be built into Windows 10, which will allow users to sync their mobile device, allowing users to seamlessly move between completing tasks on their PC or mobile device, Belfiore said.

Windows phone users will be ready to go after setting up the app, while Android and iPhone devotees will have to go through a few extra steps to get the necessary apps integrated onto their devices.

"You can have Cortana remind you to pick up milk the next time you're at the grocery store, and then your phone will wake up and buzz with the reminder," Belfiore wrote. "The Cortana companion app will help you complete tasks you begin on your PC wherever you are, on your phone."

Windows 10 is expected to be released later this summer along with a free update for select Windows users.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Lilly Pulitzer Accused of 'Fat Shaming' at Company Headquarters

Tuesday May 26, 2015

alexandradabija/iStock/Thinkstock(KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.) -- Lilly Pulitzer is again stirring up controversy along with its colorful cocktail-and-dress culture, but it has nothing to do with its Black-Friday-style team-up with Target last month.

The brand's King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, headquarters was the subject of an online story and slideshow Tuesday on New York Magazine's The Cut. Among the photos of pink-and-green clad and perfectly coiffed employees there's one photo that stands out.

In what appear to be hand-drawn illustrations, an overweight woman is captioned with the saying, "Just another day of fat, white and hideous. You should probably just kill yourself." Another depicts a similarly shaped woman in a bikini with the saying, "Put it down carb face."

In a slide prior to the one causing controversy, an employee is quoted as saying Lilly herself was "ultrainclusive." But social media has labeled the image as fat shaming.

The image in the slideshow was originally run with no information in the caption. The site later added: "(This image shows the personal illustrations of an employee not pictured in this story.)"

“These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work area," Jane Schoenborn, vice president of creative communications at Lilly Pulitzer, told ABC News in an emailed statement. "While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values. We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”

New York Media would not comment except to say the photo was taken in a Lilly Pulitzer employee's office. The photographer did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding the circumstances surrounding the photo.

The Target-Lilly Pulitzer collaboration was an overall hit with consumers, but some potential customers were upset when Target announced in January they would only sell up to size 18 in the stores. Larger sizes would be available online only.

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Wall Street Continues Slump After Holiday Weekend

Tuesday May 26, 2015

JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow suffered its worst day in a month on Tuesday as all of the sectors of the S&P 500 continued to drop after the holiday weekend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,041.54 on Tuesday, down 190.48 from its open.

The Nasdaq was down by 56.61 to close at 5,032.75. The S&P 500 was also down by 21.86, to finish the session at a close of 2,104.20.

Energy stocks were hit the hardest on Tuesday as the price of oil fell to about $58 a barrel.  

The cable business is getting smaller, as Charter Communications has reportedly agreed to buy the much larger Time Warner for almost $57 billion. The purchase will form one of the largest cable companies in the country, but still smaller than Comcast.

The IRS said on Tuesday that thieves used an online service provided by the agency to gain access to information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, including tax returns and other information on file with the agency.

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White House Offers No Apology for Ash Carter's Comment That Iraqis Lack ‘Will to Fight’

Tuesday May 26, 2015

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The White House is not disputing Defense Secretary Ash Carter's contention that the Iraqi Army lacks the will to fight.

“Well, that certainly has been a problem we’ve seen in the past; that's what allowed ISIL to make such significant gains last summer,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest told ABC News in Tuesday’s press briefing when pressed on whether the White House agreed with Carter's assessment about why Ramadi, the capital city of Iraq’s largest province, fell to ISIS.

Carter said Sunday in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, “What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not out-numbered but in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight.”

It initially appeared Monday that Vice President Joe Biden was patching up Carter's remark by placing a call to Iraq’s prime minister to “reaffirm U.S. support” and recognize “the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces.” But there was no hint of an apology in Tuesday's briefing.

“What the Iraqi government has acknowledged is that the setback that they experienced in Ramadi was at least in part attributable to a breakdown in some military command and planning,” Earnest told reporters on Tuesday.

Earnest did not directly answer the question when asked whether the president agreed with Carter and instead listed a variety of factors that he said contributed to a weak security situation in Ramadi.

“The first is that the Iraqi security forces who were fighting in Ramadi and had been fighting in Ramadi didn’t have benefit of the training of the US and our coalition partners,” Earnest said. “There were clearly, as the Iraqis have indicated, some military command and planning problems that occurred. And we saw a pretty effective tactic used by ISIL, and all of that led to a not unsubstantial setback in Ramadi.”

The White House press secretary went on to praise the offensive launched by Iraq Tuesday morning to reclaim western Anbar province but reiterated the administration’s intention to stay the course with its supporting role.

“This is not something the United States is willing to do for the Iraqi people,” Earnest said. “And the Iraqi central government, Prime Minister Abadi has made crystal clear on a number of occasions, he doesn't want anybody to step in and do this for them.”


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Merriam-Webster Adds 'Meme,' 'Photobombing,' 'Jeggings' to Dictionary

Tuesday May 26, 2015

chayathonwong/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Yes, texters rejoice. WTF is now a real word -- and so are some 1,700 other entries the editors at Merriam-Webster just added to their unabridged dictionary.

Photobombing, while still a culturally-questionable way to ruin a family portrait, is now in the book. So are all the picture memes exchanged between co-workers, and those other emails that are NSFW

In more contentious, less playful realms of online culture, additions included anonymous dark money contributions to political campaigns and the hotly debated net neutrality principle that treats all internet data equally.

Jeggings also made the cut-though some might wonder what took Merriam and Webster so long to try on the stylish stretchy jeans, which came on the market at least six years ago, and were picked up by Oxford Dictionaries in 2011.

World foods like delicate French macarons and savory Mexican chilaquiles were also officially appropriated by English-speakers.

You can check out some of the rest of their choicest entries here. Talk about clickbait.

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