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Friday
Sep242010

Bank of America Hostage Crisis Over

Photo Courtesy - ABC News

UPDATE: The FBI says the device was indeed composed of explosive materials.  A bomb squad was called in to defuse it, and it remains inside the bank.  No injuries were reported.

(CORAL GABLES, Fla.) -- A hostage situation at a Bank of America held under siege after an employee was reportedly kidnapped from his home and forced into the bank with explosives strapped to his body, has ended.  Local police have led away a suspect from the crime scene.  It is unclear whether the suspect was involved in the home invasion or hostage taking.  The Bank of America employee, who has not been identified, was abducted from his South Miami apartment complex, news station WFOR reported, and forced into the bank before its 9 a.m. opening with a bomb strapped to his body.  Police are still trying to determine the nature of the device.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep232010

Facebook Experiencing Second Outage in Two Days

Image Courtesy - ABC News(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Having trouble connecting to Facebook? So is everyone else. For the second time in two days, Facebook users reported problems Thursday with the popular social networking site. Some Facebook members said the site was slow, others said they couldn't access the website at all.

When contacted by ABC News, Facebook confirmed the problem. "We're currently experiencing some site issues causing Facebook to be slow or unavailable for some users. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.

Thursday
Sep232010

NTSB Investigating Near Mid-Air Crash Involving US Airways Flight

Image Courtesy - ABC News Radio(WASHINGTON) -- The NTSB is investigating a near mid-air collision over Minneapolis involving a US Airways jetliner. Flight 1848 was carrying 90 passengers and five crewmembers from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Philadelphia on Sept. 16 when it came within an estimated 50 to 100 feet of a small cargo plane. There were no reports of damage or injuries as a result of the near-miss.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.

Thursday
Sep232010

Zuckerberg's Donation: Good PR or Just Generosity?

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is preparing to announce a $100 million charitable donation to Newark, N.J. public schools.  News broke Wednesday that Zuckerberg, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are expected to announce the philanthropic effort, believed to be Zuckerberg's largest-ever public charitable donation, on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Friday.  But the timing of Zuckerberg's announcement has led some to speculate whether the donation could be part of an effort to help bolster the young CEO's public profile, as well as the image of a company that's weathered a few PR storms over the past couple of years.  The Oprah-worthy announcement comes just one week before the release of "The Social Network," a Hollywood movie expected to depict Zuckerberg as a socially-awkward genius hungry for power and prestige.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep232010

An Apology And No Apologies From Iowa Egg Farmers 

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images.(WASHINGTON) -- The “egg men” appeared on Capitol Hill Wednesday to answer lawmakers’ questions about the recent salmonella outbreak that made more than 1,700 people sick and called into question the conditions on farms that produce the tainted eggs that caused the illnesses.  Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, asked farm owner Austin "Jack" DeCoster to comment on the damage done to Iowa's egg industry caused by the revelation of filthy conditions at his farm.  DeCoster replied, "I feel very bad about it, very very bad.  It's a horrible thing."  DeCoster offered an apology to individuals sickened by eating eggs from his farm. Hillandale Farms chief executive Orland Bethel chose not to answer questions and invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating himself.  All told, more than 500 million eggs were recalled from the two Iowa farms in the largest such action in U.S. history, with dozens of brands in 22 states affected by the recall.

Copyright ABC News Radio 2010.

Thursday
Sep232010

Texas Board to Vote on Whether Textbooks Glorify Islam

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(AUSTIN, Texas) -- According to some state education leaders in Texas, students may be getting a glorified view of Islam.  They are pushing for a resolution that would denounce social studies textbooks as biased against Christianity.  Though the president of the Texas State Board of Education supports the measure as promoting religious equality in schools, faith leaders and activists have condemned the board's proposal as intolerant and anti-Muslim.  "It's clearly just an attempt to propagandize the state's student population against the faith of Islam," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington D.C.-based Council on Islamic-American Relations. "Somehow they were getting too rosy a picture of Islam."  The board of education is set to vote Friday on the resolution.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep232010

Woman to Be Executed in Virginia

(WASHINGTON) -- When Teresa Lewis is put to death Thursday she will leave behind a trail of statistics.

- She will be the first woman executed in Virginia in nearly a century.
- Her death will leave 60 women on death row nationally, constituting less than 2% of the total death row population.
- She will be among about 40 women who have been executed in the United States over the past 100 years.

The statistics are according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a group which opposes the death penalty and tracks its impact.

A judge determined that Lewis was the “mastermind” of a grisly plan to hire two hit men to kill her husband and stepson in 2002. Teresa Lewis pleaded guilty for her role in the crime and repeatedly expressed regret. But while the triggermen received sentences of life in prison, Lewis was sentenced to die.

The Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal earlier this week, and Gov. Bob McDonnell denied her petitions for clemency.

Those opposed to her death sentence say the fact that she is a woman should not cause her to be treated differently. But they say what is unfair is that she has been diagnosed as borderline mentally retarded and her sentence is more severe than that of the triggermen.

Teresa Lewis will become the 12th woman put to death in the United States since 1976.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio. Image Courtesy: ABC News.

Thursday
Sep232010

Burned in Sex Sting, Hacker Attacks Computers

Image Courtesy: ABC News.(NEW YORK) -- A computer programmer who launched a virus that infected about 100,000 computers and directed them to attack media outlets that republished stories about him was found guilty in federal court in New Jersey Wednesday. Bruce Raisley, a 49-year-old former volunteer for Perverted Justice, an organization that worked with the NBC television show Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" series to identify and apprehend pedophiles, was convicted on one count of a federal indictment that charged him with creating a malicious program that attacked computers and websites.  After a falling out with the group and its founder, Xavier Von Erck, Raisley became an outspoken critic of Perverted Justice and Von Erck, according to Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.  Later, two popular magazines, Rolling Stone and Radar, published articles in 2006 and 2007 that discussed the TV show and its techniques and included references to an online sex sting involving Raisley. This urged Raisley to launch a virus designed to attack computers and websites.  The count carries a maximum sentence of up to ten years and a maximum fine of up to $150,000. In addition, Raisley will be required to make restitution for the estimated $100,000 in economic harm that he did to the web sites. 


Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio. 



Thursday
Sep232010

Top Israeli Warns Iran

ABC News Radio Correspondent Jim Hickey(New York) -- A top Israeli official warned a few targeted airstrikes could cripple Iran's nuclear program for years.  Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said in an exclusive interview with ABC News Radio that while Iran's nuclear operations are vast, well-aimed airstrikes could create bottlenecks and effectively shut down the program.

In New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad issued a warning of his own on Monday.  He promised "War without Boundaries" if the United States allowed Israel to attack Iran's nuclear plants. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep232010

U.S. Security Officials: Threat From Within Remains Concern

Image Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The nation’s top counterterrorism officials were blunt. The threat from within -- of Americans willing to commit terrorist acts -- is growing.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said at a Congressional hearing Wednesday that a spike in recent terror cases is direct evidence of the evolving threat.

“It appears domestic extremism and radicalization appears to have become more pronounced based on the number of disruptions and incidents,” Mueller said. The FBI chief appeared before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee along with Department of Homesland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and National Counterterrorism Center Chief Michael Leiter.

“During the past year our nation has dealt with the most significant developments in the terrorist threat to the Homeland since 9/11,” Michael Leiter told the committee.

In addition to the failed New York subway plot of Sept. 2009, the Christmas Day bombing attempt during the holiday season, and last spring’s foiled Times Square car bombing attempt, scores of Americans have been charged with terror-related offenses.

“We are all seeing increased activities by more diverse set of groups, and a more diverse set of threats," Napolitano said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio. Image Courtesy: ABC News.







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