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Entries in Photos (11)

Monday
Jun032013

Pistorius Family 'Shaken' by Photos of Crime Scene

Photo by Waldo Swiegers/Heat Magazine/Gallo Images/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Oscar Pistorius' family is "shaken by the graphic images" released by a British media news outlet that show the bloody crime scene where the Olympian fatally shot his model girlfriend earlier this year.

"We were shaken by the graphic images, leaked into the public domain this week, of the accident scene at Oscar's house," the family said in a statement Sunday after Sky News released images Friday of the blood-stained bathroom where Pistorius fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

Pistorius, 26, says he shot girlfriend Steenkamp, 29, by accident, mistaking her for an intruder.

Pistorius, dubbed "Blade Runner" for his prosthetic legs, is accused of premeditated murder. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday in a pretrial hearing.

"It has always been our plea that the legal process be allowed its run its course with integrity," the Pistorius family said. "The leaking of evidential material into the public domain, before the court case, does not advance this process."

One of the images released by Sky News shows a large pool of blood near the toilet in the bathroom along with two police markers that appear to indicate bullet holes below the door handle. Some analysts say the low position of the bullet holes supports the runner's claim that he was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot Steenkamp.

Her family has not commented publicly on the photos.

Prosecutors alleged that Pistorius took a moment to put on his prosthetic legs, indicating that he thought out and planned to kill Steenkamp when he shot her three times through the bathroom door.

Others say these photos are inconclusive.

"It's very difficult to assess crime scenes from photos when you have an incomplete set," ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Brad Garrett said.

Police say they don't know "the origin of the photos," although sources told ABC News that a police officer took them on a cell phone.

Sky News said it "obtained" the collection of photographs of Pistorius' home, but did not divulge the source.

One picture shows bloody shoe footprints, possible evidence that investigators contaminated the crime scene. Former lead investigator Hilton Botha previously admitted police had walked through the crime scene without wearing protective foot covers.

"I would be surprised if it were enough to cause a judge to throw out the case," Garrett said.

Meanwhile, the Paralympian's uncle, Arnold Pistorius, told CNN in an interview that his nephew has grown a beard, surrounded himself with photos of Steenkamp and barely goes outside anymore.

"What can you say if the person you love the most dies," Pistorius said, "and you were the instrument? How would you feel?"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep142012

French Magazine Publishes Topless Photos of Kate Middleton

John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Just when the furor over Prince Harry’s naked romp in a Las Vegas hotel room seemed to have subsided, comes news that a French magazine has published topless photos of his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.

According to Britain’s Mirror, the French magazine Closer claims to have exclusive photos of Middleton topless on the terrace of a guest house in France.  The royal couple was in France last week.

The Closer website shows an image of the magazine’s front cover with a pixilated woman with dark hair about to remove her bikini top.  The magazine claims it is Middleton.

Middleton and her husband, Prince William, are said to be “saddened” by the news.  The couple, whose official title is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are on a tour of Southeast Asia and are currently in Malaysia.

The Mirror reports the two were told about the French publication’s plans to publish the photos on Friday.

A source tells the newspaper, “They’re saddened their privacy has been breached -- if it has been breached.  It’s very disappointing.”

The source added, “We will talk to our lawyers in London and counterparts in Paris to see what options are available.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug282012

Mars Rover Sends Stunning New Shots from the Red Planet

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology(PASADENA, Calif.) -- The Mars rover Curiosity has sent some spectacular new images to Earth, giving a detailed view of the landing site in Mars Gale Crater and the surface of the Red Planet.  NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), mission control for the project, put them together in a giant mosaic.

“The mosaic, which stretches about 29,000 pixels across by 7,000 pixels high, includes 130 images taken on Aug. 8 and an additional 10 images taken on Aug. 19,” said JPL.

The images have been combined to provide a 360-degree panoramic view of the landing site, including the 3.4-mile high Mount Sharp. Exploring Mount Sharp is one of Curiosity’s primary objectives, largely because previous spacecraft in orbit spotted evidence of possible past exposure to liquid water at the mountain’s base.

The Rover also made history by sending the first audio recording of a human voice from Mars to Earth. The voice was that of NASA administrator Charles Bolden, who congratulated the mission team on its success in getting the rover to Mars. In the recording, Bolden said, “Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not-too-distant future.”

Curiosity landed on Gale Crater on Mars on Aug. 5. It is set to explore the crater over the next two years, looking, among other things, for evidence to determine whether the planet could have ever supported life. The rover, with a $2.5 billion budget, is equipped with an array of instruments to aid in its quest, including a rock-cutting laser and an onboard chemistry lab.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug092012

Mars Rover: NASA's Curiosity Spacecraft Sends Color Panorama

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS(NEW YORK) -- The Mars rover Curiosity has been very busy on Twitter.

"Gale Crater Vista, in Glorious Color!" it tweeted today.

The tweets, of course, come from the press office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., mission control for the rover. It has more than 890,000 followers.

Curiosity's mission is to wander a Martian crater, looking for signs of whether it ever had the right chemistry, or building blocks, for microbial life. If anything ever lived there, Curiosity is equipped to find it.

Mission managers showed off the first color panorama today of the area where the rover landed, showing a pebble-strewn plain in the foreground and the rim of Gale Crater, slightly obscured by haze, on the horizon a few miles away. The crater was chosen as a landing target because it may have exposed bedrock -- a good place to look for life that was wiped out eons ago and, for the most part, buried over time.

[ CLICK HERE for Pictures: Mars Rover on Alien Plain ]

Looking at the panorama, Dawn Sumner, a mission scientist from the University of California at Davis, enthused about how the ship made an almost pinpoint landing after a long, elliptical 350-million-mile trip to Mars.

"In the hills in the distance," she said, "you see these beautiful knolls, recording the history of Gale Crater. It's very exciting to think about getting there, but it's quite a ways away."

Curiosity, about the size of a small car, has now raised the mast on its top deck on which its highest-resolution cameras are mounted. Its next job, to be completed in the next couple of days, sounds fairly mundane: Mission Control will send an upgrade of its computer operating system.

"It's a little like upgrading the software on your computer at home," said mission manager Michael Watkins. Curiosity's current software, he said, was written for the landing phase of the mission; it must now be replaced with commands for roving.

It will still be days before engineers, satisfied the rover is ready, will actually move it from its landing spot.

So far, aside from the rusty hue in the pictures, scientists concede that Curiosity has landed in a place that looks eerily like Earth -- never mind that it's 150 million miles away, drier than dust and perpetually frozen.

"You would really be forgiven for thinking that NASA was trying to pull a fast one on you, and we actually put a rover out in the Mojave Desert and took a picture," said project scientist John Grotzinger. "The first impression you get is how Earthlike this seems, looking at that landscape."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr272012

Judges Rules Osama Bin Laden Slay Photos Must Stay Under Wraps

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Immediately after Osama bin Laden's death last year, there's was an outcry from some quarters to release the gruesome photos of the slain al Qaeda leader in an effort to prove to the world that he was really dead.

The White House, with bipartisan backing, refused to do so, arguing that images of bin Laden, who had been shot in the face and chest by Navy SEALs, would only inflame his followers and possibly put Americans in danger at home and abroad.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg refused a request by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch to release the photos, upholding administration concerns about inciting al Qaeda as well as compromising classified intelligence about the Special Forces operations that resulted in bin Laden's assassination.

Boasberg, who was appointed to the bench by President Obama, wrote, "A picture may be worth a thousand words.  And perhaps moving pictures bear an even higher value.  Yet, in this case, verbal descriptions of the death and burial of Osama bin Laden will have to suffice, for this court will not order the release of anything more."

Judicial Watch sought the photos under the Freedom of Information Act.  It filed an appeal following the judge's ruling on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr182012

US Apologizes for Photos of Soldiers With Enemy Remains

Creatas/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- For the second time in three months, the most senior U.S. officials in Afghanistan have had to condemn images of soldiers disrespecting the bodies of their enemies.

On Wednesday, even before the Los Angeles Times had published photos it had obtained that appear to show American soldiers posing next to the mutilated remains of Taliban insurgents in 2010, America's top diplomat and military commander rebuked the soldiers in the photos and promised investigations.

The U.S.'s quick response Wednesday, and in January -- when video of U.S. Marines urinating on insurgents' bodies was called "inexplicable" -- appear to be attempts to convince an already skeptical Afghan public that not all Americans serving in Afghanistan treat dead bodies in ways that are forbidden by Islam.

But in this case, Afghan and American officials both said they did not expect that the new photos -- only two out of 18 given to the Los Angeles Times, according to the newspaper -- would incite widespread protest. Many Afghans shrug when they see evidence of U.S. mistreatment of Taliban fighters, and in the case of previous scandals, many Afghans have shown they are more incensed by mistreatment of religious texts, most notably the Quran, than they are of fellow Afghans.

Still, U.S. officials rushed to try and get ahead of the story, releasing almost simultaneous statements approved by senior officials in the State Department and the military.

"This behavior and these images are entirely inconsistent with the values of ISAF and all service members of the fifty ISAF countries serving in Afghanistan," said Gen. John Allen in a statement, referring to the U.S.-led coalition, the International Security Assistance Force. "These actions undermine the daily sacrifices of thousands of ISAF troops who continue to serve honorably in Afghanistan."

Added U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker: "Such actions are morally repugnant, dishonor the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers and civilians who have served with distinction in Afghanistan, and do not represent the core values of the United States or our military."

The Los Angeles Times reported that the photos were taken in 2010, when members of the 1st brigade, 82nd airborne served in Zabul, a small province in southern Afghanistan.

The photographs depict two separate incidents, according to the newspaper. In one, the soldiers arrived at a police station to inspect body parts of a bomber who had blown himself up. As Afghan police officers are holding up the corpse's legs, two Americans pose for a photo, grinning with their thumbs up.

In the second incident, which the newspaper said occurred a few months later, the same platoon was called by Afghan police to take fingerprints of Taliban fighters who had mistakenly blown themselves up when a bomb they were burying in the road exploded early. One soldier places the dead bomber's hands on another soldier's shoulder as the photo is snapped.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a soldier from within the unit provided the photos on condition of anonymity. He told the newspaper that, in the second case, the soldiers in the photograph "were frustrated, just pissed off -- their buddies had been blown up by IEDs [improvised explosive devices]… so they sort of just celebrated" when they realized the insurgents had accidentally killed themselves.

U.S. officials did not dispute the authenticity of the photos, which they said the newspaper first showed them in the last few weeks.

"It needs to be fully investigated and that investigation is already underway," Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Wednesday in Brussels. "Wherever these facts lead we'll take the appropriate action."

The newspaper reported that seven soldiers appear in the photos, and the military has "identified almost all the individuals," according to Christopher Grey, spokesman for the Army's Criminal Investigative Command.

The Los Angeles Times reported that military officials requested they not to print the photos, but that it decided to go ahead in part because the soldier who gave the newspaper "expressed the hope that publication would help ensure that alleged security shortcomings at two U.S. bases in Afghanistan in 2010 were not repeated."

That seemed to suggest that the soldier objected to what his fellow soldiers had done and believed their actions and possibly those of his commanders helped reduce the unit's security. Around the time the photos were taken, two Taliban attacks on two of the brigade's bases killed half a dozen soldiers -- bases that the soldier who provided the photos told the newspaper were not sufficiently protected.

Los Angeles Times editor Davan Maharaj said that publication "would fulfill our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan, including the allegation that the images reflect a breakdown in unit discipline that was endangering U.S. troops."

In Brussels, however, Panetta chastised the newspaper, saying its decision could endanger troops serving in Afghanistan.

"This is war and I know that war is ugly and it's violent. And I know that young people sometimes caught up in the moment make some very foolish decisions. I am not excusing… but neither do I want these images to bring further injury to our people or to our relationship with the Afghan people," Panetta said. "We had urged the L.A. Times not to run these photos and the reason for that is those kinds of photos have been used by the enemy to incite violence and lives have been lost as a result of the publication of similar photos in the past. So we regret that they were published."

The same brigade is now back in Afghanistan, although not the entire unit. U.S. officials Wednesday suggested that few, if any, of the soldiers in the photos had been redeployed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr182012

Photos Appear to Show US Soldiers Posing with Suicide Bombers

ISAF/Pfc. Cameron Boyd(NEW YORK) -- The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan along with the U.S. embassy there have strongly condemned photos released Thursday by The Los Angeles Times that appear to show American soldiers in Afghanistan posing with the bodies of suicide bombers.

According to the Times, the photos were taken in 2010 and involved paratroopers with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.  The newspaper obtained the photos from one of the division's soldiers.

In a statement Thursday, Gen. John Allen, head of the International Security Assistance Force, said, "The actions of the individuals photographed do not represent the policies of ISAF or the U.S. Army.  This behavior and these images are entirely inconsistent with the values of ISAF and all service members of the fifty ISAF countries serving in Afghanistan."

Allen said the incident is being "thoroughly investigated by U.S. national authorities."

"We will collaborate with Afghan authorities and carefully examine the facts and circumstances shown in these photos.  As part of this process, we will determine responsibility and accountability of those involved," he added.

An Army spokeswoman told the Times that most of the soldiers pictured have been identified.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, also issued a statement on Thursday, calling the actions "morally repugnant" and saying they "dishonor the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers and civilians who have served with distinction in Afghanistan, and do not represent the core values of the United States or our military."

The incident comes as relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan have been strained by recent events, including the inadvertent burning of Qurans at Bagram Air Field in February and the shooting rampage allegedly at the hands of a U.S. Army sergeant that left 17 Afghan civilians dead in March.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep282011

CIA Provides List of 'Gruesome' Osama bin Laden Death Photos

CNN via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The CIA has 52 separate photos and videos of Osama bin Laden's body, the U.S. raid that killed him and his burial at sea, according to a Justice Department document filed earlier this week. A top CIA official argues that the government is "wholly exempt" from releasing the images, however, because publication might inspire terror attacks on U.S. targets.

The image count came in response to a lawsuit by the conservative group Judicial Watch, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request on May 4, three days after the raid on bin Laden's Pakistan compound, for the release of the death images. The Department of Justice responded with a declaration from John Bennett, director of the National Clandestine Service of the CIA, arguing that disclosure of the images is a security risk.

Bennett reports that the CIA conducted a search of its records to determine how many images of the raid and its aftermath it possessed. "The CIA located a total of fifty-two (52) unique records that are responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request. These records are photographs and/or video recordings taken of UBL on or about 1 May 2011, the day that the United States conducted an operation that resulted in his death."

The pictures include "post-mortem images of UBL's body" that Bennett describes as "quite graphic, as they depict the fatal bullet wound to UBL's head and other similarly gruesome images of his corpse." He says that many images were taken inside the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound where bin Laden died, and others were taken when his body was being transported from Pakistan out to sea for burial. "Several other images depict the preparation of his body for burial, as well as the burial itself." According to Bennett, some pictures were taken for facial recognition purposes.

"Because of the highly classified nature of these images," writes Bennett, "I cannot further describe their contents or the circumstances in which they were obtained on the public record without potentially causing harm to national security." Bennett says he has determined that all the images should be designated Top Secret, and thus exempt from release, because disclosure "reasonably could be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security."

Bennett does not specify how many of the images are photos and how many are videos. Previous media reports had indicated that there might be footage from cameras on the helmets of the Navy SEALs who carried out the May raid, but a New Yorker article published several months ago asserted that no such helmet-cam footage exists. A U.S. official familiar with the matter confirmed the New Yorker's account.

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch blasted the Obama administration's refusal to release the images as a "political" decision that "has no basis in law."

"We shouldn't throw out our transparency laws because complying with them might offend terrorists," said Fitton. "The historical record of Osama bin Laden's death should be released to the American people as the law requires."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May042011

Osama Bin Laden Escape Plan: Money Found Stitched in His Clothes

CNN via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Osama bin Laden appeared to be ready to run at any time with money stitched into his clothes on the day he was shot dead by elite Navy SEALs.

Bin Laden's clothing had 500 euros sewn into it, sources told ABC News.  Intelligence officials are also analyzing 10 cell phones, 10 computers and a 100 thumb drives confiscated from the sprawling compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, during the 40-minute raid that resulted in bin Laden's death.

The cell phones and thumb drives were likely used by the two couriers living with bin Laden.  Officials are going through each computer running keyword searches using words like "explosives" or "weddings."  Weddings is a word often used by al Qaeda to signify a bombing.  They are also tracing the phone numbers found.

"There's a lot we have to go through, some encryption, some coding.  It's in another language.  It's in Arabic, so there's a lot to go through before we really find out what we have, but remember small pieces of information can be critically important," said Mike Rodgers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

Street Execution Highlights Need for Kenyan Police Reform

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NAIROBI, Kenya) -- Kenyan officials confirmed Thursday that three officers have been suspended and placed under investigation after photos surfaced showing them murdering three men who had surrendered in the middle of a busy Nairobi roadway.

The Daily Nation, a leading news outlet in Kenya, first published the photos -- which show an undercover officer pointing a gun at the victims lying on the ground -- Thursday.  A driver at the scene had captured the incident on camera Wednesday morning, according to The New York Times.

The Kenyan police have been called out before regarding "extrajudicial killings." In 2009, the United Nations expressed cause for removal of the country's police commissioner and attorney general at the time.  The Daily Nation has called for an impartial third party to investigate, saying, "This is an instance where the police cannot be entrusted with the task of investigating themselves."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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