Facebook

Twitter

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Thursday
Mar052015

Viral Video of Skeletons Proves 'Love Has No Labels'

Ad Council/YouTube(NEW YORK) -- A viral video released by the Ad Council is warming hearts all over the globe.

The public service announcement, titled "Love Has No Labels," features a large LED screen tracking two skeletons kissing and hugging each other.

The first pair steps out in front of the crowd, revealing that they are two women.

Later, more skeletons show an interracial couple, an elderly couple and people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

The campaign's mission shown on their website reminds us that: "Before anything else, we are all human. It’s time to embrace diversity. Let’s put aside labels in the name of love."

Since being posted on YouTube on March 3, the video has racked up over 15 million views.



Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

16-Month-Old Has Egg-cellent Cooking Skills

Courtesy Ashley Quarella(NEW YORK) -- If you have ever bitten down on an egg shell in your baked goods or spilled yolks into your egg whites, a video of a New Jersey toddler in the kitchen may make you feel even more inferior.

The video shows 16-month-old Anna Quarella perfectly cracking an egg on her first-ever try.

“We were baking cookies in the kitchen and wanted to get her involved so we gave her a little bowl of chocolate chips to eat and play with,” Anna’s mom, Ashley Quarella, told ABC News.

When Anna, decked out in a chef’s apron and hat, started reaching for the eggs on the counter, her parents gave one to her to try.

“We both thought she was going to make a mess, which would have been fine,” Quarella said of her and her husband, Tony. "But she took the egg and completely shocked us by cracking it and putting it perfectly in the bowl.”

Quarella says that Anna is frequently in the kitchen while the couple cooks and also watches her dad make scrambled eggs nearly every morning.

Still in some disbelief, Anna’s parents put her back in the kitchen for another test of her egg-cracking skills.

“We tried it out again last night and she definitely knows how to crack an egg,” Quarella said of her first child. “She was walking at eight months so everything she does is pretty ahead of schedule."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Delta Airlines Plane Skids Off Runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York

@KristinaGrossmann/Instagram(NEW YORK) -- A plane skidded off an icy runway into a fence at New York’s LaGuardia Airport Thursday while landing during a winter storm, shutting down the airport's runways, officials said.

Delta Flight 1086, an MD-88 arriving from Atlanta, skidded off Runway 13 around 11:05 a.m., according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The Port Authority confirmed that all 127 passengers and five crew members, "were safely taken off plane."

The runway where the plane landed had been plowed just minutes before and two other pilots reported "good braking action" as they landed, according to Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye.

Once the plane landed, it veered sharply left about 4,500 to 5,000 feet down the 7,000-foot runway, skidding off to the side and nearly ending up in the water, according to Foye.

Two people were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

An Instagram video shot shortly after the crash showed a man at the scene leaving in a stretcher.

LaGuardia's runways were closed for most of the day, but one runway reopened at 2 p.m., according to Foye.

Officials said they were checking for a fuel leak.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced it would send an investigator to secure the flight data recorders and document the damage.

Images of the plane taken by eyewitnesses showed that it apparently crashed through a fence after skidding off the runway.

"Customers deplaned via aircraft slides and have moved to the terminal on buses," Delta Airlines said in a statement. "Our priority is ensuring our customers and crew members are safe. Delta will work with all authorities and stakeholders to look into what happened in this incident."

Passengers on the plane included New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell, who said he was "safe and sound" after the crash.

"I feel fine physically and hopefully all the other passengers did not have any significant injuries," read a portion of Donnell's statement. "We were all shocked and alarmed when the plane started to skid, but most importantly, as far as I know, all of the passengers and flight crew were able to exit the plane safely."


World News Videos | US News Videos


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Jodi Arias Trial: Why Jury Couldn't Reach a Verdict

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- All but one of the jurors tasked with deciding convicted killer Jodi Arias’ fate wanted to sentence her to death, they revealed Thursday after the judge declared a mistrial.

There was one female juror who refused to sentence Arias to death for killing her boyfriend Travis Alexander, leading to an impasse and the hung jury.

“Eleven of us strived for justice for Travis, but to no avail,” one of the jurors said in a group audio news conference Thursday morning. “We absolutely thought [the punishment] should be death.”

The jurors, with the exception of the holdout, spoke about their feelings on the case but did not want their names or faces revealed.

The apparent holdout, who was initially an alternate juror, seemed to come in with more knowledge about the case than others, having said she had seen “bits and pieces” of the Lifetime movie about Arias that aired after the initial trial.

“I think she came in and expected to see a monster in there because of what she saw on TV and the news and when she came in and saw it wasn’t,” one female juror said.

A male juror said he was angry with the holdout.

“I feel that the one holdout had her mind made up from the beginning and what angered me was the biggest thing that angered me was that she alluded that the death penalty would be a form of revenge,” he said.

They also revealed they sent a note to the judge requesting the consideration of an alternate to remove the holdout but that was denied, the jurors said.

The group was not always committed to sentencing Arias to death, with one juror explaining that during their initial deliberations they were split down the middle. But that evolved and led to all but one in support of capital punishment.

Now, Judge Sherry Stephens is tasked with deciding whether Arias should be sentenced to life in prison or life in prison with the possibility for parole in 25 years.

“We really feel like we made a huge effort into trying to get what we believe was deserved, and I cannot say enough how sorry I am,” one female juror said, breaking into tears mid-sentence.

The jurors who addressed the media appeared sympathetic to Alexander and his family, saying that “like they put Travis on trial, [and] focused on that rather than the reason we were there.”

Tensions seemed high throughout the news conference, with several moments where jurors broke down in tears.

“I was emotionally struggling for five months,” one person said.

“We've had nightmares,” one female juror said. “I think every single one of us has had nightmares and I hope they go away.”



Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Boston Bombing Survivor: 'Coward' Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ‘Wouldn’t Look at Me’

ABC News(BOSTON) -- When Boston Marathon bombing victim Rebekah Gregory took the stand to testify against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, she said the alleged killer couldn’t meet her stare.

“I could not look into his eyes because he wouldn't look at me,” she told ABC News Thursday after testifying Wednesday. “But I tried and I looked him in the face several times and I wanted him to know I was not scared of him.”

She said when she looks at Tsarnaev now, she sees a “coward.” Tsarnaev couldn’t look at her, Gregory said, because she believes he’s unable to “face what he’s really done.”

“I see somebody who wouldn’t look me in the eye when he tried to kill me,” she said. “I took my place at the witness stand and I looked at him and it was just exhilarating for me to be sitting in front of the person who tried to destroy my life but knowing that I’m so much stronger because of it.”

Gregory lost her left leg in the April 2013 attack that killed three people -- including an 8-year-old boy -- and injured 260 others. Gregory was one of 16 to lose limbs.

Her son, Noah, was sitting at her feet when the bomb went off, but after the explosions, when she tried to help him, she realized she couldn’t get to him.

“I was like, ‘This is it. I’m gone. I can’t even help Noah as a mother. I am completely helpless at this point,'” she said, adding she thought she was going to die that day.

Noah survived with minor injuries.

Gregory said before arriving at court she experienced a flood of emotions, and she reflected back on how fearful she used to be.

“I had been for a very long time. And I didn’t realize I was so fearful, but I truly was and until yesterday, I had this sense of insecurity because of how much I had lost at the finish line that day and I took so much of that back,” she said.

Tsarnaev’s defense said in opening statements they’re not going to contest the fact that their client, along with his late older brother Tamerlan, was responsible for detonating the two bombs that day.

Legal experts told ABC News the defense is likely focusing only on trying to avoid the death penalty for Tsarnaev in the penalty phase of the case.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Jodi Arias Trial: Judge Declares a Mistrial After Hung Jury

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- The jury could not reach an unanimous verdict in the sentencing of convicted killer Jodi Arias and the judge declared a mistrial.

The verdict, announced Thursday, comes after a second jury considered her case because the first jury, which convicted her of murder two years ago, could not agree on whether to sentence her to death.

Arias was found guilty in May 2013 for killing her on again-off again boyfriend Travis Alexander after a lengthy trial.

Her first case gained national attention as the testimony was live-streamed and she shared extensive, explicit details about her alleged sexual encounters with Alexander that led up to her stabbing him multiple times in the shower at his Arizona home in 2008.

The trial jury found her guilty of first-degree murder but deadlocked on whether to sentence her to life in prison or death.

A second jury, which was handed the case on Feb. 25, was called in for the penalty retrial with cameras prohibited after the spectacle of the first. The judge has ruled that the announcement of the decision will be televised, however.

Another difference from the first trial came in the form of Arias' participation, or lack thereof. The now-34-year-old photographer testified for 18 days during the first trial but she never took the stand in her retrial.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Michael Brown's Family to File Civil Suit Against Ferguson, Darren Wilson

Brown Family / Facebook(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Lawyers for the family of Michael Brown announced on Thursday that they will file a civil suit for the teen's death.

At a news conference, the attorneys for the Brown family confirmed that the city of Ferguson, Missouri and former police officer, Darren Wilson, would be named in the suit. They did not say when exactly the suit would be filed.

Brown was fatally shot by Wilson last August, sparking numerous protests in Ferguson.

"We believe that there were other alternatives available to him," Daryl Parks, an attorney for Brown's family, said of Wilson. "He did not have to kill Michael Brown."

The news comes a day after the Department of Justice announced it would not be prosecuting Wilson for Brown's death.

Attorney Anthony Gray, speaking on behalf of Brown's family, said they "disagree with those findings."

Brown's parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., attended the news conference but did not speak to reporters.

Also this week, the Department of Justice released a scathing report that found the Ferguson Police Department had a pattern and practice of discriminatory policing.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

SMU Fraternity Chapter Suspended After Alleged Neighbor Harassment

iStock/Thinkstock(UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas) -- A Texas fraternity at Southern Methodist University was placed on indefinite suspension amid a neighbor’s claims that students have been harassing him for months, a fraternity official said.

Tim O’Connell said he and his wife have faced problems after complaining about the students’ noise. The couple’s security cameras appear to capture their neighbors urinating on their property, writing obscenities in the snow and throwing what’s believed to be raw meat into the O’Connell’s backyard.

“They told me they pay rent and they can do whatever they want,” O’Connell said.

Some of the students living in the Dallas house are members of Sigma Chi fraternity at Southern Methodist University. The fraternity’s national chapter announced an indefinite suspension of the SMU chapter because of the dispute.

“We do not condone or endorse the actions we have been made aware of,” Sigma Chi’s national chapter said in a statement to ABC News.

O’Connell’s neighbors have not commented, but the university said it is working with police to identify the students involved.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Kentucky Drivers Get Stranded on Snowy Interstate

@oh2preshus/Twitter(ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky.) -- Many Kentucky drivers on Wednesday spent the snowy evening in their cars, counting down 12 hours or more via Twitter and foraging for food, after two serious accidents on a major interstate.

The state police estimated the backup to be 20 miles long.

Because of a steep hill that police say is almost impossible to climb in the heavy snowstorm, the biggest backup is in the southbound lane of I-65, four miles north of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Another backup on northbound I-65, south of Elizabethtown, has been as long as 10 miles, according to police.

Kentucky State Police said Interstate 65 and Highway 71 were virtually shut down. The National Guard and Red Cross were called in to rescue motorists in Hardin County, ABC affiliate station WHAS-TV in Louisville reported.

Stranded drivers and passengers lamented about their predicament on social media. Some drivers left their cars to try to help shovel snow from around cars. They used hashtags like: #needrescue.

State police are offering driving tips to motorists, saying slippery roads were the contributing factor in 26,427 crashes last year.

Meanwhile, the governor declared a state of emergency, the second declaration in less than a month, which allows Kentucky to deploy National Guard troops, if necessary.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Boston Marathon Bombing: Inside Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's 'It Was Him' Defense Strategy

FBI(BOSTON) — The trial of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev enters its second day Thursday, but the defense has already made a curiously blunt admission: "It was him."

One of the first things Tsarnaev's attorney Judy Clarke told the court Wednesday was that he was responsible for the "senseless, horrific, misguided acts." The defense would only contest the "why" of it all, she said, indicating it was Tsarnaev's late older brother, Tamerlan, who pushed her client down the dark path.

All day, the defense did not cross examine witness after witness from the prosecution while they recounted the horror of that April 15, 2013 day when three were killed -- including an eight-year-old boy -- and 260 injured after dual explosions ripped through the crowds near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The defense's move surprised many federal officials, who said day they are asking why a court should spend potentially months proving what the defense has already admitted.

Legal experts told ABC News that while the defense's strategy may appear odd from the outside, that's only because they're not focusing on winning this phase of the trial, but avoiding the death penalty later.

"Given the amount of evidence the government has, I would suggest it's the only strategy," said Robert Bloom, a Boston College law professor. "I think their objective is to develop a rapport with the jury. They certainly don't want to go and cross examine victims very hard. By developing a rapport with the jury, when their turn comes to talk about the death penalty phase of it, they will have a rapport with the same jurors that are hearing all this evidence."

Charles Ogletree, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, agreed.

"Their point is there's no question that what he did was wrong, being involved in the marathon bombing, but they're also saying that life imprisonment is enough punishment that would appropriate," he said.

So why not just plead guilty to the 30 charges related to the bombing in the first place?

First, Olgetree said the defense likely lobbied for a deal in which Tsarnaev pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty, but the government didn't go for it -- potentially under pressure from the Obama administration, after Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the government to seek the death penalty last January.

"So they don't think life imprisonment is justified, is not enough," Ogletree said.

"They're not taking the death penalty off the table for [Tsarnaev]," ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams said on Good Morning America, noting that in most cases, prosecutors would have gone for such a deal.

So there was little incentive for the defense to plead guilty now.

Second, Bloom said that by pleading not guilty, the defense is preserving its right to an appeal, should it choose to do so later on.

Ogletree said he thinks the defense's strategy is a good one, and that they will accomplish what they set out to.

"I think it's a strategy that's going to work," he said. "Now that you're going to trial, having to make sure that [you're] looking around and you're saying that my client is guilty of what he's done. He's guilty of his crimes. And he needs to be punished. The punishment has to fit the crime... Life imprisonment is a very serious punishment."

Graphic, Emotional Testimony

As Tsarnaev sat impassively in court Wednesday, the court was shown for the first time new videos from the day of the blast.

One, shot by a bystander, showed the horror and chaos in the immediate aftermath of the blasts, as emergency responders attempted to prioritize those who needed help the most, and family members frantically searched for their loved ones. Another video from inside a nearby sports store showed people ripping clothes of the racks to use as makeshift tourniquets for the injured.

"It's hard reliving the situation, and the circumstances that happened that day, when we mentioned the ones that we lost that day, the ones that really should be remembered," said Marc Fucarile who was at the race.

Similar testimony is expected Thursday, potentially with other new videos that captured the horrific event.


World News Videos | US News Videos


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio