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Monday
May162011

California Girl Injected with Botox Removed from Mom's Custody

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A California mother has lost custody of her 8-year-old daughter after she injected the girl with botox in preparation for a beauty pageant.

A person with knowledge of the situation told ABC News that the girl, Britney, is doing well but did not offer more detail on the ongoing investigation into the girl's mother, Kerry Campbell.

On Friday, the San Francisco Human Services Agency launched an investigation into Campbell after she admitted to ABC’s Good Morning America that she injected botox into her daughter's face to help her in beauty pageants.

"It's pretty unusual for a mom to be injecting an 8-year-old with botox and certainly is grounds for an investigation," said Trent Rohrer of the San Francisco Human Services Agency on Friday.

Campbell and daughter Britney, appeared on Good Morning America last week defending the 8-year-old pageant contestant's use of botox.

"I just, like, don't, like, think wrinkles are nice on little girls," Britney said.

Britney admitted it hurt to get the injections on her face, but said she was used to the pain.

The admission sparked an uproar online, in the medical community and by child advocates.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May162011

Obama Surprises Tennessee High School Seniors at Graduation

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- Amid tears and shrieks, President Obama on Monday surprised a roomful of high school graduates in Memphis, Tennessee. The president was to speak later at the Booker T. Washington High School Commencement ceremony but the unknowing high school seniors, moments before attending their graduation ceremony, were surprised to have some extra face time with the president.

"I just want to say how inspired we were," Obama said to the surprised students waiting to go into their graduation ceremony. "We were inspired by the video you sent, inspired by the stories you told. We were inspired by how you turned this school around. Obviously a lot of that has to do with your outstanding principal."

The school had won the second annual "Commencement Challenge" this year issued by the White House, awarding the school with a winning entry video demonstrating the school's commitment to preparing students for college and a career.

The high school is in an impoverished area close to the site of Martin Luther King's assassination and where Benjamin Hooks, the late head of the NAACP, attended high school. Memphis has been hit hard by recent flooding as well.

Many among the 155 graduates, dressed in green and yellow caps and gowns, were crying, and President Obama at one point consoled a girl in the front row with her head down sobbing.

"This is just the beginning, this is not the end," Obama said noting that he has "big expectation" for them.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May162011

Jury Selection Enters Second Week in Casey Anthony Trial

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(CLEARWATER, Fla.) -- A week into jury selection in the trial of Casey Anthony, the woman charged with the murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, eight jurors are still needed.

Judge Belvin Perry had hoped to open the guilt phase of the trial by Tuesday.  Instead, jury selection enters a seventh day Monday.

The snail-like pace of juror selection forced the trial into a marathon 10-hour session on Saturday.

"Next week, we're going on the Perry plan," Judge Perry told the court on Saturday, hinting he would step up the pace.  Perry wants 12 jurors and eight alternate jurors selected.  Then, he'll begin swearing the jurors in.

Some potential jurors have been caught posting to Facebook the rules of jury selection, others have admitted to having posted opinions about Casey Anthony in the past.  Other snags in the process have included a potential witness being included in the juror pool.

On Friday, day five in the case, six jurors were dismissed from the pool of prospective panelists, and the defense used its first peremptory strike against juror #1011 -- a man who had lied about a DUI in 2006.

The time commitment to the trial -- two months sequestered in a hotel -- has also made finding jurors difficult.

Potential jurors undergo two rounds of questioning and are asked their stance on the death penalty.  If they don't believe in the death penalty, they are automatically excluded since Anthony could face the death penalty.

Jury selection was moved from Anthony's hometown of Orlando, Florida to Clearwater, Florida in an attempt to avoid a media circus.  Judge Perry has hinted that the trial could be bigger than the O.J. Simpson trial.

The selected jurors will be transported to Orlando for the length of the trial.  The trial is expected to last two months.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May162011

Billy Graham Back Home After Being Hospitalized for Pneumonia

George Walker/Liaison(ASHEVILLE, N.C.) -- Evangelist Billy Graham is now back home after spending five days at a North Carolina hospital for pneumonia.

The 92-year-old was admitted to Mission Hospital in Asheville on May 11 and was released Sunday afternoon.  His doctors said he responded well to treatment and has gained strength but noted that his recovery will be gradual.

"He has responded very well to treatment, with progressive improvement since his admission," said Dr. Lucian Rice, Graham's primary care physician. "We expect continuing recuperation at home with very gradual recovery, returning to normal activities over several weeks. I'm delighted that he has come back this fast."

Dr. Rice added that Graham has not experienced any complications since returning to his Montreat, North Carolina home.

Before leaving the hospital, Graham thanked all those who treated him.

"I am grateful for this wonderful hospital so close to my home," he said. "The physicians and staff have shown such skill and compassionate care.  I am deeply touched by the prayers and best wishes of so many people for me, and I look forward to returning home and resuming my normal activities soon."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May162011

Suspended Connecticut High School Student Can Go to Prom

WTNH/ABC News(SHELTON, Conn.) -- After becoming an adolescent folk hero, James Tate can go to his senior prom after all.

The Connecticut teen who attends Shelton High School was transformed into a media sensation last week, when it was revealed that he was being banned from attending the dance after pulling off a grand romantic gesture. Tate and two friends posted huge cardboard letters on the side of the school that asked a girl "will you go to the prom with me? HMU." The last three letters mean "Hit Me Up," as in "Let Me Know."

Sonali Rodrigues, a friend of Tate's, agreed to accompany him, but the school slapped a one-day, in-house suspension on her suitor for his abuse of school property -- which also meant the prom was also out of bounds.

News of Tate's predicament spread quickly. A Facebook page dedicated to getting school administrators to change their minds attracted plenty of support. Tate also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Today, and other shows. All the attention apparently worked: last Saturday, the Shelton High School headmaster reversed her decision.

Dr. Beth A. Smith said the school was altering its policy that lifts the ban forbidding Tate from going to the big dance on June 4.  Administrators will now decide what to do about suspended students on a case-by-case basis.

Smith admitted that the "international notoriety" the case received factored into the decision-making process.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May162011

Space Shuttle Endeavour Fully Fueled; Moving Closer to Final Launch

NASA(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- Space shuttle Endeavour is one step closer to leaving for its mission to the International Space Station after its external tank was loaded with over 500,000 gallons of super-cooled liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen Monday morning, just hours ahead of its launch.

The six-man crew, headed by Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, have completed their medical exams and are making preparations for the shuttle's final launch at 8:56 a.m.  They will be suiting up close to 5 a.m. and will be briefed on the weather, which forecasters predict as 70 percent favorable for lift-off.

Endeavour's launch will mark the second to last flight for NASA's space shuttle program.  The shuttle's crew will embark on a 16-day mission into space, where they will will install a $2 billion alpha magnetic spectrometer on the ISS.  The instrument could prove or disprove the Big Bang Theory of how the universe was formed.

Rep. Giffords, who was critically wounded during the shootings in Tucson, Arizona in January, is expected to be on hand at the Kennedy Space Center to watch Kelly and the other five astronauts ascend into space.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May152011

Three Children Among Six Killed in Illinois Fire

Stockbyte/John Foxx(AURORA, Ill.) -- A deadly fire in Illinois on Sunday, has claimed the lives of six people, among them three children.

The fire reportedly broke out shortly after 4 a.m. at a three-story apartment building in the city of Aurora. Officials say when fire crews arrived on the scene they were met by heavy flames coming from the first floor of the building. Firefighters were reportedly able to pull several people from the burning structure, however, not everyone survived.

Three people were reportedly pronounced dead on the scene, while the other three died after being taken to local hospitals. Among the dead are three boys, two women and one man. The ages of the boys have been given as nine years, six years, and eight months, according to the Chicago Tribune.

At least 12 other people suffered injuries in the fire, two of which were said to be in critical condition.

The cause of the fire was being investigated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May152011

Are Navy SEALs More At Risk Following Bin Laden's Death?

MILpictures by Tom Weber(WASHINGTON) -- They are revered as the smartest, bravest and most elite in the American military and yet, there is concern for their safety.

The U.S. government believes there are publications offering money to find out the identities of the Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden.

During a town hall meeting at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted bin Laden's death has intensified the threat of extreme retaliation against them.

"When I met with the team last Thursday, they expressed a concern about that, and particularly with respect to their families," Gates said.

The Department of Defense is looking into ways to "pump up security" for the commandoes. For years, bin Laden was the world's most wanted man, and some fear his death has shifted the crosshairs directly onto Team 6.

In Virginia Beach, where the Seals are based, there's a dangerous new pastime called "SEAL spotting," in which journalists and fans try to pick out members of the elite team.

Don Mann, a former member of SEAL Team 6, said he has been approached by at least 25 reporters asking him to identify one of the SEALs involved.

"A lot of reporters are trying to get interviews. They are trying to get the story, and I wish they would stop," he said. "We are only doing harm to the SEAL community."

Some in the military and intelligence communities are calling it an unprecedented breach of confidentiality to even identify them specifically as Team 6. After all, they were a part of, at least in name, a "top secret operation."

The defense secretary himself said he was surprised about the amount of information that's been disclosed.

"Frankly, a week ago in the situation room we all agreed we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden, and that all fell apart on Monday -- the next day," Gates said.

Government officials are discussing plans to make sure the SEALs and their families are safe, and are also considering legal action to stop any publication that might identify any of the SEALs involved.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May152011

Water Works: More Spillway Flood Gates Opened

ABC News(BUTTE LAROSE, La.) -- The flood gates along the Morganza spillway continued to open Sunday, as authorities try to divert the rushing waters of the Mississippi River away from the masses.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened two more flood gates on Sunday, this after opening two other gates the previous day. There are a total of 125 gates along the Morganza spillway.

Flood gates are expected to remain open for up to three weeks, forcing thousands of people who reside in the path of the diverted water to have to flee their homes. The move to open the spillway gates is being undertaken with the hope of inconveniencing the few in order to save the majority. The diverted water will travel several miles through a path made up of homes and farmland.

Officials say the flood gates are being opened at a relatively slow pace for several reasons such as ensuring the diverted water doesn’t scour the spillway structure, giving wildlife a chance to escape, and allowing residents in the flood’s path more time to pack up and leave.

Experts say if the gates remained closed and the levees along the Mississippi failed, Baton Rouge and New Orleans could both be flooded -- leaving a disaster worse than Katrina.

President Obama is expected to meet with families affected by flooding along the river when he travels to Memphis, Tenn., on Monday. Friday, Republicans on the House Appropriations panel awarded $850 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA) for disaster payments.

The Coast Guard also is likely to close the river to barge traffic in the coming week, costing the U.S. economy $295 million a day. It's just the latest in a costly year of extreme weather disasters.

The massive Mississippi floods -- a seven-state, 560-mile liquid trail -- are adding to the nation's laundry list of expensive destruction. Already, there have been five separate billion-dollar storms and floods this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May152011

Astronaut: Space Shuttle Launch 'Like Going into Combat' 

NASA/Kim Shiflett(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- The number is bleak and every astronaut who flies into space knows it: There is a one in 75 chance they will not return home.
 
Mike Fincke, who will set a U.S. record for time in space, 380 days, during STS 134 Endeavour's mission scheduled launch Monday, said the risk became more real to him when he became a father.

"I know it is risky, but I have chosen to do this because of what we learn," he said. "Think of everything you have that makes life easier -- smart phones, wifi, that is the result of microelectronics developed for the space program. Whole worlds are opened up to my children because of the Internet."

The memory of the Columbia accident in 2003 is still vivid for them -- the seven astronauts were colleagues, and friends. If it were not for the Columbia accident the space shuttle program would probably not be ending this year.

Greg Johnson, Endeavour's pilot, is cool, competent with a devilish sense of humor and a calm acceptance of the danger ahead.

"I feel the risk, and I compare launching on the space shuttle a little like going into combat," he said. "Any sane astronaut will feel the fear, or concern just prior to liftoff. If they don't admit they are lying to you."

Johnson is a veteran fighter pilot; he flew 38 combat missions for the Air Force during Operation Desert Storm. He remembers sitting in Endeavour's cockpit before his first flight in 2008 waiting for the engines to ignite.

"I had a sense of wow, I don't have control over this, and I was hoping all the engineers and everybody that was on the team making this mission happen did their homework when they were in college," he said.

The explorers flying on Endeavour are led by Commander Mark Kelly, flying on his fourth mission. Kelly was thrust into the spotlight after the assassination attempt on his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, earlier this year.

He considered withdrawing from the mission to stay by his wife's side, but ultimately chose to command Endeavour's last flight, which is expected to be a complicated 16-day mission to deliver and install the $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a science platform to prove or disprove the Big Bang Theory of the formation of our universe.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio