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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Sunday
Jul172011

Phoenix Police Arrest Woman for 'Squeezing and Twisting' TSA Officer's Breast

PRNewsFoto/Transportation Security (PHOENIX) -- Phoenix police arrested a 61-year-old Colorado woman for allegedly grabbing the left breast of a Transportation Security Administration officer with both hands and "squeezing and twisting" it at Sky Harbor Airport.

Police say Yukari Mihamae refused to go through the TSA screening Thursday and began arguing with officers, which led to the alleged grope.

According to the police report, Mihamae is accused of grabbing TSA agent Barbara O'Toole's "left breast through her clothing and squeezing and twisting it with both hands without the victim's permission," the New York Post reported.

The alleged grope occurred in Terminal 4 at Checkpoint D, according to police, who arrived and arrested Mihamae on felony sexual assault charges. Police say Mihamae admitted to grabbing O'Toole.

"Phoenix Police officers were summoned and investigated this incident," Martos said. "The suspect admitted to grabbing the TSA agent and continued being argumentative. Yukari was arrested and booked into jail."

"TSA officers work every day to protect the traveling public, and the agency will not tolerate assaults against its workforce," said a TSA spokesman, according to ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

Mihamae spent the night at Maricopa County jail, and was released from custody on Friday.

Facebook groups have already been created to help the alleged breast grabber.

In the group "Acquit Yukari Mihamae," one member commented, "She's a modern day Rosa Parks, standing up to 'Authority'!" Others are setting up a legal defense fund to help Mihamae.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul172011

Exodus Intl. Head Alan Chambers Compares Homosexuality to Obesity

Mario Tama/Getty Images(WINTER PARK, Fla.) -- Undercover videos taken by a gay rights group inside Michele Bachmann's family-owned Christian counseling clinic have sparked a fierce debate over a controversial therapy to turn gay men and women straight.

In an interview with ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, a leading figure in an "ex-gay" movement claims many evangelical Christians have been able to change their sexual orientation through faith, prayer, and therapy.

"Does counseling help people who are struggling to live through the filter of the faith over their sexuality? It definitely, absolutely does," said Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. Chambers says that the group's efforts to promote therapy to turn gays away from homosexuality have been unfairly criticized.

"We can look at other organizations who help people dealing with other life struggles. For instance, Weight Watchers, which has tremendously benefited my life. Should we go after Weight Watchers and tell them 'Don't say that there's anything beyond obesity' for people who are struggling with obesity and want an alternative to that?"

Mental health professionals came forward to strongly condemn gay conversion therapy after the undercover videos were first broadcast on ABC News on Monday night. Dr. Jack Drescher says the practice is not only ineffective but could seriously harm patients.

"This so far outside the mainstream it's practically on Mars," said Dr. Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist who has studied the practice of gay conversions. "We don't know what causes homosexuality, we don't know what causes heterosexuality, and since we don't what causes it, we don't know how to change it. There is no science that effectively states [that] this can work, this can change."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul172011

Casey Anthony Released From Jail

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony was released from an Orange County jail early Sunday morning in Orlando.

The recently acquitted 25-year-old, who had been accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter, was escorted out of the jail by two sheriff's deputies armed with semi-automatic rifles and was driven away by her attorney, Jose Baez, without speaking to anyone in the mob of reporters and demonstrators.

Hundreds of protestors, carrying signs reading "Travesty of Justice," "Justice for Caylee ... Bella Vita" -- a reference to the tattoo Anthony got after Caylee went missing -- and "Don't Be a Part of Blood Money," had gathered outside the jail to witness her release.

Jose Baez, Anthony's lead attorney, told ABC News she will not be going to stay with her parents and will not be going to Puerto Rico, which had been widely rumored.

He also said that while security is an immediate concern because of public outrage at the not guilty verdict, there are no plans for Anthony to alter her appearance with plastic surgery.

According to the sheriff's department, the plans for Anthony's release were that she would be driven by jail guards to a secret location away from the grounds, but after that she would be on her own.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul172011

Interstate 405 Closure Ushers Traffic-Free Weekend

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Despite the ominous closure of one of the nation's busiest thoroughfares, traffic around Interstate 405 in Los Angeles seems to be flowing freely.

A ten-mile stretch of I-405 was closed down on Friday as part of an extensive widening project. Crews have a matter of days to tear down the Mulholland Drive overpass.

Authorities reportedly gave the contractor a Monday, 6 a.m. deadline, with a $6,000 fine for every ten minutes the project goes over schedule.

Officials remain concerned that the lack of traffic over the weekend may encourage drivers on Sunday, creating widespread back-ups. That, however, remains to be seen.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul172011

Despite China’s Objection, Obama Meets with Dalai Lama 

PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama met with the Dalai Lama Saturday at the White House, despite objections from China.   

Just like last year, the Dalai Lama came in and exited the White House through a door that is not accessible to reporters or cameras.

The meeting took place in the Map Room on the ground floor, rather than the Oval Office. No president has ever welcomed the Dalai Lama to the Oval Office due to protocol that only political leaders meet with the president there.

The Tibetan leader, in Washington for a Buddhist ritual, celebrated his 76th birthday on Wednesday.  

There were questions about whether Obama would meet with the spiritual leader given China’s objections to his visiting the White House.

The White House says the president reiterated his strong support for the preservation of traditions of Tibet and the Tibetan people throughout the world. Representatives also said the Dalai Lama told Obama that he is not seeking independence for Tibet and hopes that talks between his representatives and the Chinese government resume.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul172011

Casey Anthony Is Out of Jail

Casey Anthony is surrounded by police as she and her defense attorney Jose Baez leave the Booking and Release Center at the Orange County Jail on July 17. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(ORLANDO) -- Casey Anthony was released just after midnight today from an Orange County jail, according to her attorney and jail officials.

Her release comes 12 days after she was convicted of four counts of lying to police and a day after she filed an appeal of those convictions.

Hundreds of protestors, carrying signs reading "Travesty of Justice," "Justice for Caylee ... Bella Vita" -- a reference to the tattoo Anthony got after Caylee went missing -- and "Don't Be a Part of Blood Money," had gathered outside the jail for much of the day.

People in the crowd lined up on both sides of the highway outside the jail chanted "Caylee, Caylee," and cars driving by honked their horns in response to a sign saying "Honk for Caylee."

Jose Baez, Anthony's lead attorney, told ABC News she will not be going to stay with her parents and will not be going to Puerto Rico, which had been widely rumored.

He also said that while security is the main immediate concern because of public outrage at the not-guilty verdict, there are no plans for Anthony to alter her appearance with plastic surgery.

According to the sheriff's department, the plans for Anthony's release were that she would be driven by jail guards to a secret location away from the grounds, but after that she would be on her own.

Her attorneys say she has received seven serious death threats, including one email photo with a bullet photoshopped through her head, but the sheriffs department said the threats aren't credible.

"We will not be providing any elaborate security or protection for Casey once she leaves," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.

With only a few hundred dollars in donations from strangers to her inmate account and no family support after her scorched earth defense made her mother look like a liar and painted her father and brother as abusers, where she will go is a mystery.

But security experts advise her to stay under the radar and protected around the clock.

Anthony, 25, was sentenced to four years for lying to investigators about Caylee's death, but she had already served three years and was credited for good behavior. Aside the jail time Anthony was fined $4,000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News

Saturday
Jul162011

TWA Flight 800: 15 Years Later and Still No Answers

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sunday marks the 15-year anniversary of Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800 that crashed and killed all 230 people on board in 1996.

The Boeing plane had taken off on its first flight in 1971, and was in service for almost 25 years.

The explosion of the 25-year-old plane occurred at 13,000 feet off the coast of Long Island, N.Y. where people who witnessed the event from the ground say the plane just appeared to drop from the sky and into the Atlantic Ocean.

The cause as to why the Boeing 747-131 exploded just 12 minutes into the flight still remains a mystery.

The TWA Flight 800 International Memorial at Smith Point County Park in Shirley, New York will be open Sunday in remembrance of the crash.

A memorial service will be held on 8 P.M. Sunday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jul162011

Precarious I-405 Construction Project Underway in LA

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The city of Los Angeles shut down a portion of the heavily-trafficked Interstate 405 at midnight on Friday as part of a billion-dollar project.

An estimated 500,000 cars pass over the affected 10-mile area, which links Los Angeles with the San Fernando Valley. Workers have until the Monday morning commute to tear down the Mulholland Drive bridge.

The city has threatened to find the contractor $6,000 for ever 10 minutes the construction project goes over the 5 a.m. deadline on Monday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jul162011

Suspect Arrested After Fatal Atlanta Parking Garage Shooting

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA, Ga.) – An arrest has been made in a fatal parking garage shooting that killed one woman and wounded two others in midtown Atlanta Friday.

Police arrested a 22-year-old suspect after finding a black Toyota Prius on the south side of town that belonged to one of the shooting victims who died.

The shooting occurred shortly before noon in a parking deck at 14th Street and Crescent Avenue.

The suspect shot one woman in the neck before driving away. As he exited the parking lot, the gunman fired several more shots, hitting two more women, according to police.

The other two women were shot in the leg and in the back. They were taken to an area hospital where they are listed in satisfactory condition.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jul162011

Aviation Experts Worry About Aircraft Mishaps on the Ground

John Foxx/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- With Thursday's collision of two commercial passenger aircraft on a runway at Boston's Logan International Airport in which the wing tip of a jumbo jet was sliced apart and the tail of the regional plane was badly mangled, aviation experts worry about the potential dangers that lurk on the runways of the nation's busiest airports.

Three months ago at New York's JFK airport, the wing of a giant Airbus clipped the tail of a regional jet, causing the smaller aircraft to spin like a top.

Ground mishaps are a major safety fret, and the Federal Aviation Administration has forced airports to improve the markings on runways and taxiways to help pilots stay on track. Although the FAA said serious runway incidents dropped 90 percent in the past decade, any close call can become potentially catastrophic.

In 2010, there were more than 900 runway incursions, which occur when planes get too close. Six were considered of the most serious type -- down from 12 in 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio