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Friday
Oct082010

'Heroes' Tackle Gunman Firing at School Children

Photo Courtesy - Getty ImagesCARLSBAD, Calif. -- Two children were injured when a gunman opened fire at Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad, Calif. Friday.  The children were taken to a children's hospital with minor wounds to their arms.

The suspect, described only as an adult male, is in custody after being chased and tackled by witnesses at the scene.

Jordan Sears was driving by the school when he heard a shot.  "We heard one gunshot go off and we looked up and we saw a gentleman in all black with a jack-o-lantern running sideways shooting toward the kids," he told ABC News.

Carlsbad Mayor Claude "Bud" Lewis praised the men who subdued the gunman.  "I would also like to commend our local citizens for their heroic efforts to stop the shooter," Lewis said. "I am proud of the quick and thorough response of Carlsbad safety personnel and all of the other agencies (that) assisted throughout the incident."

A school administrator said that Kelly Elementary will be open on Monday if the school is no longer a crime scene.  Counselors will also be available for students.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

'I Want Damage': Surveillance Video Shows Suspects in N.Y. Bomb Trial 

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The jury in a New York terrorism trial is deliberating the case of four men who were charged with plotting to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx.

The FBI arrested the men in May 2009 as they were planting bombs outside  a house of worship.  The suspects believed the bombs were real, but they were actually made with fake explosives.

The case is built on the FBI's use of an informant, Shahed Hussain, who discussed with defendants James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen how they planned to carry out attacks in New York.

Undercover videos key to the prosecution's argument reveal the defendants in precarious situations.

In one tape from April 2009, Cromitie is heard telling the informant, "You think the World Trade Center was something bad?  That was nothing.  That was like one match lit and then you blow it up.  That was nothing.  Don't worry, the worst is yet to come for you guys."

In another tape, Hussain and Cromitie are in a storage facility handling a shoulder-fired missile.  Hussain shows Cromitie how to use it, "This is the handle, OK? ... Once we shoot it, then we destroy the thing."  Cromitie responds, saying, "Easy. ... I wish you had a blank, so we could take a shot."

The prosecution claims that the plan was to use this rocket launcher against planes at an upstate New York Air National Guard Base.

Despite the videos, the outcome of the case before the jury is unclear.  During the contentious trial, defense attorneys claimed that there was entrapment by the FBI after agents inserted an informant into a mosque in Newburgh, N.Y.

Cromitie had allegedly expressed his interest in joining Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistani terrorist group that the informant was allegedly linked to.

FBI agents believe that Cromitie was the group's ringleader, and surveillance tape captures him bragging about possible attacks.

"I want it to be like, I need to be right in the middle.  You feel me?"  Cromitie said.  "I wanna just get the whole middle. ... I want damage, to let them know it's not a joke.  Damaged."

In another instance, he said, "Imagine all of those planes in one spot.  Imagine if we hit all of them. ... Then one of them would blow up.  And they [would be] close to each other, and they all got gas too."

Defense lawyers have argued that their clients were entrapped and that Hussain is not a credible witness, so the outcome of the case is unclear.

Hussain's testimony, at times, angered the judge, who called him "slippery" in front of the jury.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

Amtrak Rail Security Drill Underway: K-9 Technology Still Man's Best Friend

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rail passengers across the country may have noticed more police and heavily armed guards on trains today as part of a national rail security exercise, but they probably did not realize that the most specially trained officer at the station might be the Labrador retriever standing on the platform.

The Department of Homeland Security and Amtrak today held Operation RAILSAFE, which stands for Regional Alliance Including Local, State and Federal Efforts.  It included the deployment of increased security patrols, more passenger bag inspections and K-9 units, including "Vapor-Wake Detection" (VWD) dogs that can hone in on explosives that may be on a moving person or bag passing through the station.

Amtrak police have been increasing their use of K-9s and getting more vapor wake dogs deployed on trains as more of the dogs are trained.

While traditional bomb detection dogs have the ability to sniff out explosives and residues that may be on a person or an item at close range, the vapor wake dogs can sense the explosives at a greater range for as long as 15 minutes and track down where the scent is coming from.

The term "vapor wake" comes from the fact that air swirls behind people as they walk, according to Dr. Robert Gillette, director of the Animal Health and Performance Program at Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine.  The Canine Detection Research Institute also is part of the Auburn program, which has been the only place where the VWD dogs are trained since 2008.

"These are the Michael Jordans of the explosive detection world," Amtrak police inspector William Parker said of the vapor wake dogs in an interview with ABC News at Union Station.

Unlike screening technology and x-rays, the dogs can quickly learn new types of explosives that they may need to search for. "It detects all type of explosives," Parker said. "If something new comes out, all we do is introduce the odor to the dog and after a couple of hours the dog will pick it up."

Amtrak has held the RAILSAFE exercises before, but this exercise was one of the first to take place nationwide. Despite the elevated threat environment in Europe over possible attacks there, officials said the event was planned far in advance to take place on the long Columbus Day weekend.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

Average "Digital Birth" Happens at Six Months, Survey Says

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The average American toddler might be a decade away from her own Facebook account, but chances are she's already made her online debut.

According to a new survey on "digital births" from computer security company AVG Technologies, 92 percent of American children have an online record by the time they're two years old.

About a quarter (23 percent) of children start their online lives before birth, when their parents post prenatal sonogram scans to the Web, the survey said.

The study surveyed 2,200 mothers in 10 countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Australia and Japan, and found that the average "digital birth" happens at around six months.

About a third of children make their Internet premiere within weeks of their birth, as parents share pictures and birth announcements with family and friends.

A few lucky babies even have e-mail addresses (seven percent) and social networking profiles (five percent) created for them by their online-happy parents.

But before you go and make your child a digital denizen, you might want to consider the implications of a life entirely documented online. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

10/10/10 Internet Virus? Nope, Just a Rumor

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It has all the makings of a sci-fi doomsday scenario: at 10 minutes and 10 seconds past 10 o'clock on Oct. 10, 2010 (10/10/10), a malicious computer virus will sweep the Internet and topple our tech-savvy society.

Despite online fears that the symmetry in this Sunday's date will spell danger, Internet security experts say that for cybercriminals, Oct. 10, 2010, is just another day.

Echoing Y2K concerns that a specific date and time would cause computers to go haywire, a Facebook group asks, "Will my computer still work at 10.10.10 at 10:10 a.m.?"

In the lead-up to March 3, 2003 (03/03/03), Internet users worried the Internet would stop working, he said. And we all remember the ticking time bomb fears surrounding Jan. 1, 2000 (Y2K).

But just like those fears, Clulely said, the 10/10/10 concerns are equally unfounded.

He said every 24 hours, Internet criminals churn out 60,000 new pieces of malicious software -- that's about one new attack every second and a half.

"Focusing on a particular day is just daft," Cluley said. "You need to take computer security seriously all year long."

He said some computer geeks might attach extra significance to 10/10/10 because 101010 is binary code for the number 42, which in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy signifies the answer to "Life, the Universe and Everything." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

Employers Cut 95,000 Jobs in September; Unemployment Rate Steady

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The nation’s employers cut 95,000 jobs in September, significantly worse than economists were expecting, according to a government report released Friday.

This marks the fourth straight month the nation has seen headline jobs loss.

The government sector shed 159,000 workers, while private sector companies added 64,000 jobs during September.

The nation’s unemployment rate remained steady at 9.6 percent.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

West Virginia Has Highest Risk of Deer-Car Accidents

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BLOOMINGTON, Ill.) -- For the fourth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where a driver is most likely to collide with a deer.  Auto insurer State Farm determined a driver's odds of hitting a deer in the state is one-in-42.

Iowa ranks second on the list, with odds of one-in-67, followed by Michigan with one-in-70.  Hawaii finishes off the list in last place,  with the odds of striking a deer standing at one-in-13,011.

State Farm said while the number of miles driven by U.S. motorists over the past five years has increased just two percent, the number of deer-vehicle collisions in this country during that time has grown by 10 times that amount.

Using its claims data, the company estimated 2.3 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. during the two-year period ending on June 30. That's 21.1 percent more than five years earlier.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities each year. The average damage to a car or truck is $3,103.

The deer migration and mating season falls in the months of October, November and December, which happens to be the time period with the highest number of deer-car collisions.  More accidents are expected this year than in past seasons, since the deer population is growing and their habitats are being displaced by urban sprawl.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

Double Standard? Lou Dobbs Fires Back at 'Smear Piece'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Lou Dobbs, the former CNN anchor who is under fire for reportedly relying on illegal immigrants to care for his horses and properties, said a "smear piece" by The Nation magazine and reporter Isabel MacDonald is holding him to a double standard.

"I never, ever used a contractor as a way in which to indirectly hire an illegal immigrant purposefully. Never, never, never," Dobbs told ABC News on Friday.

The article, entitled "Lou Dobbs, American Hypocrite," does not state that Dobbs directly hired illegal workers but that contractors he employed did, suggesting he should be made liable.

Dobbs has been critical of employers who hire illegal workers and had previously suggested they should face felony charges. He insists that he did ask the landscaping firm at his West Palm Beach, Fla., home for assurances that there would not be illegal immigrants working on his property, but there was no legal way to guarantee that for himself.

"Unless you're asking me and millions of other Americans to engage in racial profiling -- because that's the only way you can satisfy the objections that The Nation has raised -- that would be racial profiling on my part to make sure this thing doesn't happen. That's what you're suggesting," he said.

"I have never hired an illegal immigrant, never will. None of my companies have hired illegal immigrants and we work very hard to make certain we do not do so," he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

FTC to Consider Online 'Do Not Track' Marketing List

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Federal Trade Commission is considering a proposal that would make it illegal for companies to trade private information about young people who don't consent to online tracking by marketers.

The proposal, along with the suggestion for an online "do not track" list, will be part of an upcoming report.

A Zogby International poll released Friday found that 92 percent of parents fear their children were sharing too much information online, and that 85 percent of parents were more concerned about online privacy than they were five years ago.

It also found that 91 percent of parents think search engines and social networking sites should not be able to share kids' physical locations with other companies until parents give authorization.

Zogby surveyed 2,100 parents and 401 teens between the ages of 15 and 18. The poll was conducted between Aug. 13 and 20.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct082010

Postal Workers Union Ballots Lost in the Mail 

Photo Courtesy - American Postal Workers Union(WASHINGTON) -- The election committee for the American Postal Workers Union was scheduled to begin tabulating ballots this week for the election of national officers, but the count has been delayed because voting forms have apparently been lost in the mail.

The union tells FederalNewsRadio.com that less than 40,000 completed ballots have been received so far, a small percentage of the total membership, and many members have complained about never receiving theirs in the mail.

The APWU has decided to extend the voting until Oct. 14, and is directing members who need additional forms to contact union officials by telephone or e-mail.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio