Several killed in Spain anti-terror operation after Barcelona attack

Several killed in Spain anti-terror operation after Barcelona attack

Police in Spain announced early Friday they killed five people in a suspected second terror attack in Cambrils, hours after a van rammed into a crowd about 70 miles away in Barcelona, killing at least 13 people.

State-run broadcaster RTVE reported the suspects attempted to carry out a similar attack to the one in Barcelona, by driving a vehicle into pedestrians. It said seven people were injured — two seriously — by the suspects.

Authorities said the suspects were wearing bomb belts.

He did not explain what connected the attacks.


Meantime, authorities were on the hunt for the van driver that killed at least 13 people and injured more than 100. It was not immediately clear how the suspects killed in Cambrils may have been connected to the Barcelona attack.

At least three people have been arrested as suspects in the Barcelona incident, according to the regional president of Catalonia. One of the suspects is a Spanish national from Melilla, and the other is a Moroccan citizen who lived in Spain legally.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the terror attack on Thursday through its propaganda arm, according to SITE Intel Group.

“The perpetrators of the attack in #Barcelona are Islamic state soldiers and carried out the operation on command of [ISIS’ leader] of targeting coalition countries,” the ISIS release stated.

A senior police official said the van attack is connected to a gas explosion inside a house in the town of Alcanar Wednesday, in which one person was killed and seven were injured.

Authorities confirmed that police fatally shot the driver of a vehicle that drove through a police checkpoint and struck two officers earlier, but a Catalan police official said the dead driver “doesn’t have any connection with the terrorist attack we are investigating.”

Police initially named Driss Oukabir, the Moroccan, as a suspect in the attack. However, local media are reporting a man with that name told police that his identification documents were stolen, possibly by his younger brother.


The white van jumped onto a promenade and sped through a pedestrian zone on Las Ramblas of Barcelona, the famous main pedestrian walk way that crosses the city. The van swerved from side to side as it plowed into tourists and residents.

“It was clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible,” senior police official Josep Lluis Trapero said at a news conference.

RTVE reported that investigators think two vans were used — one for the attack and a second as a getaway vehicle.

Police killed a gunman in a shootout a few miles from Barcelona soon after the crash, El Mundo newspaper reported. However, police said later the gunman was not linked to the terror attack.

Local media originally reported two men involved in the attack had been holed up in a bar, but that was dispelled by Catalan police.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau announced a minute of silence will be held Friday in the city’s main square “to show that we are not scared.” The moment of silence will be followed by three days of mourning.

“We are a strong city in its diversity and values. Barcelona is a city of peace, of dialogue, of democracy, valient, open to the world. The cowards that have tried to plant terror will not get away with it,” Colau said.

“London, Brussels, Paris and some other European cities have had the same experience. It’s been Barcelona’s turn today,” said Carles Puigdemont, the head of the regional government.

Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy tweeted that he is going to Barcelona.


A grisly video of the incident appeared to show at least five people lying motionless on the ground, with legs twisted and heads bloodied.

“It was real chaos, people started running, screaming. There was a loud bang,” eyewitness Ethan Spibey told Sky News.

Footage from reporters on the ground shows armed officers combing a market.

Albert Tort, a 47-year-old nurse who lives near Las Ramblas, told El Pais that what he saw at the scene was an “authentic disaster.”

“Police would not let me go through but I identified myself as a nurse and I went in,” he said. “What I saw was an authentic disaster. I counted at least 6 dead, I tried to revive a young [man] but it was impossible.”

“I heard a lot of people screaming and then I saw the van going down the boulevard,” another witness, Miguel Angel Rizo, said, “You can see all the bodies lying through Las Ramblas. It was brutal. A very tough image to see.”

Barcelona resident Keith Fleming told the Associated Press he was watching television in his building on a side street just off Las Ramblas when he heard a noise and went out to the balcony to investigate.

Fleming said he saw “women and children just running and they looked terrified,” he then heard a bang, possibly from someone rolling down a store shutter, as more people raced by.

The American living in the Spanish city said police arrived, and pushed everyone a full block down the street. He says the officers still are there with guns drawn and riot police stationed at the end of the block.

Speaking from Panama, Vice President Pence called the day “tragic.” He acknowledged that ISIS took credit for the attack, and said “whoever is responsible should know, together with our allies, we will punish those responsible” and rid “Islamic terror” from the world.


“This latest attack, the worst terror attack on Spanish soil since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, shows us again that radical Islamic terrorism is one of the greatest threats that we face today,” Pence said.

“ISIS has taken credit for this barbaric attack, but whoever is responsible should know that the United States of America, together with our allies, will find and punish those responsible and drive the evil of radical Islamic terror from the face of the Earth.”

Emergency services in Catalonia say they have asked the Metro and train services in the area to close. Police cordoned off the broad street and shut down its stores, and asked people to stay away from the area so as not to get in the way of the emergency services.

Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature that lets users notify friends and family that they are safe following the Barcelona attack.

The U.S consulate in Barcelona said on Twitter it was “aware of a reported incident at Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Please avoid the area and monitor local police @mossos for updates.”

“Americans in Spain: If you are safe, be sure to notify friends and loved ones. If you use social media, be sure to update your status,” the consulate tweeted.

The National Counterterrorism Center, the government hub for threat analysis, confirmed to Fox News the center is monitoring the events in Barcelona and note the use of a vehicle as a weapon.


The Department of Homeland Security said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke has been briefed on the situation. “DHS has reached out to Spanish authorities, and the Department is standing by to support our allies as they respond to and recover from this horrendous attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and those affected,” the agency said in a statement.

On Twitter, the Department said those who need information on U.S. citizens in Spain, to call 888-407-4747 if in the U.S. or Canada.

Spain has been the target of numerous terror attacks in the last few years, drawing the attention of the U.S. State Department.

The attack was the country’s deadlist since 2004, when Al Qaeda-inspired bombers killed 192 people in coorindated attacks on Madrid’s commuter trains.

Since July 2016, vehicles have been used to ram into crowds in terror attacks across Europe, killing well over 100 people in Nice, Berlin, London, and Stockholm.

Las Ramblas is a packed tourist area in central Barcelona whose central feature is a broad promenade leading to the water. The stretch is lined with numerous shops, restaurants, a sprawling market and Gaudí architecture.

People walk down a wide, pedestrianized path in the center of the street, but cars can travel on either side of the area.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, Lucia Suarez, Jake Gibson, Cody Derespina, James Rogers, Judson Berger, Michael Arroyo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

National Battle Over Confederate Monuments Renewed After Charlottesville Violence

National Battle Over Confederate Monuments Renewed After Charlottesville Violence

In Kentucky, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced plans to move two Confederate statues from a public area near a historic courthouse in the city that is being turned into a visitor’s center.

“I think in times like this it’s extremely important that elected officials communicate clearly with their constituents — it’s time to stand up and speak out, not sit back and relax,” he told NBC News on Monday.

Gray added that he had already made the decision to relocate the monuments from the prominent area of the city beforehand, but decided to make the announcement following the chaos in Charlottesville.

On Friday and Saturday, rallies supported by white nationalist groups in Charlottesville ended in a woman being killed and at least 19 others wounded after a man plowed his car into a crowd. Organizers said the rallies were held to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Related: Days After Charlottesville Violence, Trump Condemns Hate Groups

On Monday in Maryland, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said in a statement: “It is my intention to move forward with the removal of Baltimore City’s confederate statues.” Pugh added that she had read the recommendations of an earlier task force and had taken steps to appoint a working group to lead the process.

U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray, D-Ky., speaks at the 11th annual Alben Barkley Dinner hosted by the Mccracken County Democrats in Paducah, Kentucky, on Aug. 4, 2016. Gray, who is the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, is running against Sen. Rand Paul. Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Baltimore City Councilman Brandon M. Scott told NBC News on Monday night that a resolution he proposed calling for the deconstruction of the city’s Confederate monuments had been unanimously approved by the City Council.

“What no one who saw what we saw in Charlottesville … should do is sit back and just say that we should allow these monuments to stay up across our country, so these folks have lightning rod to come to,” he said.

Scott’s resolution calls for melting down the Confederate monuments.

“They should be melted down and re-purposed to honor true American heroes,” he said. Scott said after his resolution was approved, the final decision would still be in the hands of the mayor.

 Trump Condemns Hate Groups Days After Charlottesville Protest 2:31

And in Florida, two cities on Monday were moving on initiatives to haul off controversial Confederate symbols.

Anna Lopez Brosche, president of Jacksonville’s City Council, said in a statement that she was asking city officials to conduct an inventory of all of the Confederate symbols on public property in order to develop a plan of action to relocate them.

Brosche said she intended to propose legislation to move them to museums and other institutions where they would be preserved and given historical context.

Workers begin removing a Confederate statue in Gainesville, Fla., on Aug. 14, 2017. Jason Dearen / AP

Meanwhile, about 70 miles south, the city of Gainesville had torn down a statue known as “Old Joe” outside of the Alachua County Administration Building to be returned to the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which erected it in 1904.

City officials said the statue’s removal had already been planned for months before what happened in Charlottesville.

Symbols of the Confederacy have once again become a source of intense controversy as protesters on both sides have engaged in heated protests over their removal.

On Monday night, protesters toppled a Confederate monument in Durham, North Carolina, using a ladder and rope, according to NBC affiliate WRAL.

The decision to remove the Confederate Soldiers Monument was not condoned by authorities. The Durham County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that they want to identify those involved and will seek vandalism charges.

“I am grateful the events that unfolded Monday evening did not result in serious injury or the loss of life, but the planned demonstration should serve as a sobering example of the price we all pay when civil disobedience is no longer civil,” Sheriff Mike Andrews said in a statement.

Related: Charlottesville Suspect Denied Bond at First Court Appearance

On Saturday, hundreds protested the presence of a Confederate statue in San Antonio, Texas, after a similar rally was held last month. And last week, protesters clashed in Dallas over another monument, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

In May, New Orleans authorities removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis during tense demonstrations.

And in the capital of Virginia there is an ongoing debate on whether Confederate monuments there should stay or go. In June, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said the monuments could stay but announced the formation of a 10-person committee to help “redefine the false narrative” of the statues and add more context.

A Confederate heritage rally at one of the statues is planned for September 16. The request was filed on July 28 and is pending approval, officials said.

Image:  Police stand watch near the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the center of Emancipation Park
Police stand watch near the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the center of Emancipation Park the day after the ‘Unite the Right’ rally devolved into violence on Aug. 13, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In light of the events in Charlottesville, Stoney has said he still believes the monuments should stay but allowing a rally should be carefully considered.

Christy Coleman, co-chair of the commission, said any changes made to their focus will come from Stoney.

“However, we are not blind to the conversations taking place not only around the country but in our community,” Coleman said in an email to NBC News.

Public outcry and support for removing Confederate monuments and symbols from publicly-owned areas and buildings escalated after white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

In Lexington, Gray said on Monday his move must now be approved by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council and Kentucky Military Heritage Commission.

The plan was to possibly move them to a park honoring veterans and create an area dedicated to the Civil War and include context along with the statues, alongside additional works including those of Union troops and perhaps an African American unit.

The timing of his announcement, was “also influenced by American values and what we hold dear — liberty, freedom, justice for all — and clearly these values were being challenged in Charlottesville,” Gray added. “There was no going back.”

McMaster calls violence in Charlottesville ‘terrorism,’ as Trump pressed to reject groups

McMaster calls violence in Charlottesville ‘terrorism,’ as Trump pressed to reject groups

H.R. McMaster told ABC’s “This Week” that “anytime that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism.”

One person died Saturday when a car rammed into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville as tension boiled over at a white supremacist rally.

McMaster called it “a criminal act against fellow Americans. A criminal act that may have been motivated — and we’ll see what’s turned up in this investigation — by this hatred and bigotry, which I mentioned we have to extinguish in our nation.”

Trump remained out of sight and silent as pressure mounted from both sides of the aisle for him to explicitly condemn white supremacists and hate groups involved in deadly, race-fueled clashes.

Trump has been at his New Jersey golf club on a working vacation. He is set to make a one-day return to Washington on Monday to sign an executive action on China’s trade practices. But he will likely be unable to escape questions and criticism for his initial response to the Saturday’s violence, for which he blamed bigotry on “many sides.”

The White House tried to stem the damage on Sunday. Senior aides were dispatched to the morning news shows, yet they struggled at times to explain the president’s position. A new White House statement on Sunday explicitly denounced the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups, but it was attributed to an unnamed spokesperson and not the president himself.

Vice President Mike Pence, traveling in South America, condemned “these dangerous fringe groups” and said they “have no place in American public life and in the American debate.”

Trump said nothing, save for a few retweets. One was about two Virginia state policemen killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the Charlottesville protests, another about a Justice Department probe into the violence.

In the hours after a car plowed into a group of anti-racist counter-protesters on Saturday, Trump addressed the violence in broad strokes, saying that he condemns “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

Speaking slowly from his New Jersey golf club while on a 17-day working vacation, Trump added: “It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”

White nationalists had assembled in Charlottesville to vent their frustration against the city’s plans to take down a statue of Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee. Counter-protesters massed in opposition.

The White House statement Sunday went further. “The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.” It added: “He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”

The White House did not attach a name to the statement. Usually, a statement would be signed by the press secretary or another staffer; not putting a name to one eliminates an individual’s responsibility for its truthfulness and often undercuts its significance.

Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing the president for not specifically calling out white nationalists. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. said on NBC Sunday that “This isn’t a time for innuendo or to allow room to be read between the lines. This is a time to lay blame.”

White nationalists had assembled in Charlottesville to vent their frustration against the city’s plans to take down a statue of Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee. Counter-protesters massed in opposition.

Trump’s initial comments drew praise from the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, which wrote: “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. … No condemnation at all.” The website had been promoting the Charlottesville demonstration as part of its “Summer of Hate” edition.

North Korea holds mass rally to show support for Kim Jong Un

North Korea holds mass rally to show support for Kim Jong Un

Cody Derespina

Tens of thousands of North Koreans gathered in a Pyongyang square Wednesday to cheer on their country’s dictator, hailing Kim Jong Un’s fiery rhetoric and saluting the tinpot tyrant’s nuclear lust – even as it inches the impoverished nation toward an apocalyptic confrontation with the United States.

A mammoth army of the country’s workers, dressed alike in white button-down shirts, and with many sporting matching red ties, raised banners lauding the North Korean military and raised their right fists in the air in a public gesture of solidarity with Kim Jong Un. The images of a united North Korea come with a caveat, however; the participants in the rally likely had little choice but to attend and cheer enthusiastically, as freedom of expression is a punishable offense in the autocratic regime.

The stunning rally comes amid escalating North Korean threats to attack the U.S. territory of Guam; Pyongyang’s continuing tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles; a Tuesday report that North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons; and President Trump’s own statement that additional North Korean threats would be met with “fire and fury.”

Images of the rally were released by North Korea’s state media organ, KCNA, the outlet which has also carried the country’s uniquely-worded statements dismissing Trump as “bereft of reason” and warning “only absolute force can work on him.” Pictures of the rally could not be immediately independently verified.

One of the large propaganda signs carried by protesters stretched nearly 20 people across and showed a trio of fierce North Korean military members, holding grenades and rifles, and seemingly ready for battle.

Other attendees, dressed in black, belonged to the country’s elite class, The Independent reported. They applauded the animated displays of the white shirt-wearing workers.

Glen Campbell dead at 81

Glen Campbell dead at 81

Country music icon Glen Campbell has died at the age of 81, Fox News has learned.

His family announced, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.”

The star’s publicist confirmed that he died Tuesday morning in Nashville. The legend behind hits including “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” recently released his final studio album. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease six years ago.

He won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and 75 chart hits, including No. 1 songs with “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”

His performance of the title song from “True Grit,” a 1969 release in which he played a Texas Ranger alongside Oscar winner John Wayne, received an Academy Award nomination. He twice won album of the year awards from the Academy of Country Music and was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Seven years later, he received a Grammy for lifetime achievement.

He released more than 70 of his own albums, and in the 1990s recorded a series of gospel CDs. A 2011 farewell album, “Ghost On the Canvas,” included contributions from Jacob Dylan, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins

“Glen’s abilities to play, sing and remember songs began to rapidly decline after his diagnosis in 2011,” the singer’s wife Kim Campbell said in a press release in April. “A feeling of urgency grew to get him into the studio one last time to capture what magic was left. It was now or never.”

Campbell revealed he had Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, but he went on to record two albums and play more than 150 concerts. At the time, Kim Campbell said the tour was a way to help her husband combat the brain-ravaging disease and spend time with family members who made up his band and traveled with him.

He also starred in a documentary about life with Alzheimer’s, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.” He won a Grammy for his song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” which plays at the conclusion of the documentary. The song also was nominated for a 2015 Oscar.

His wife revealed in March that the singer could no longer play guitar or sing.

In an interview in April, Kim Campbell said, “Faith has always been the central part of our relationship. I’m so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it’s evident that he has retained his awareness of God. That really comforts me to know that he has that sense of God’s presence in his life, that he’s not alone.”

He was married four times and had eight children. As he would confide in painful detail, Campbell suffered for his fame and made others suffer as well. He drank heavily, used drugs and indulged in a turbulent relationship with country singer Tanya Tucker in the early 1980s.

The music legend is survived by his wife, Kim, their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; 10 grandchildren, great and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.

In late 2003, he was arrested near his home in Phoenix after causing a minor traffic accident. He later pleaded guilty to “extreme” DUI and leaving the scene of an accident and served a 10-day sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Family of Ohio Boy Who Committed Suicide After Bully Attack Sues School

Family of Ohio Boy Who Committed Suicide After Bully Attack Sues School

The family of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who committed suicide in January after a bullying attack accused the child’s school on Monday of “withholding” critical details about the assault and covering up the “treacherous” environment that led to his death.

In a 41-page lawsuit filed in federal district court in Cincinnati, lawyers for the family of Gabriel Taye said that the school only notified the boy’s mother after he had recovered completely from an assault inside a bathroom at Carson Elementary School on January 24, 2017.

That “concealment,” the suit says, “prevented his mother from seeking appropriate treatment. Had she known of the extreme violence at Carson, she never would have continued to send him to school there.”

 8-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide After Being Bullied 1:33

During the incident, a classmate knocked the third grader unconscious, the suit says. In the seven minutes that Gabriel remained on the floor, other students kicked, poked and stepped over him, according to surveillance video released in May.

Two days later, Gabriel used a necktie to hang himself from his bunk bed, the suit says.

The suit also describes a culture of “aggression, violence, bullying, intimidation and harassment” among students at Carson Elementary School — even though its district reported only a handful of bullying incidents there during the 2016-2017 school year.

Image: Gabriel Taye
Gabriel Taye, seen here, at age 6. Family photo

In a report on bullying released by the Cincinnati Public Schools district, which includes Carson, the assault on Gabriel and its aftermath were not mentioned, the suit says.

The lawsuit points to Carson’s own behavior logs — which include examples of students choking, threatening, taunting, punching and harassing other students — to show that bullying was routine at the school.

Related: Suicide Searches Increased After Release of ’13 Reasons Why’

In one episode, the lawsuit where to buy metronidazole gel says, a third grader threw a chair at a girl and said: “I wish I had a gun so I could rape her.” In another, a student stomped on a classmate as she tried to flee.

Cincinnati Public Schools did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The district has previously said that school officials didn’t know Gabriel was attacked, and that he initially told a nurse that he fell.

“At no point did Gabriel indicate that he had been hit, yanked, pulled, pushed or assaulted in any way,” the district said in a statement in May. “He had no visible abrasions and there had been no report of a fight of any kind.”

Gabriel’s family only discovered that he’d been assaulted after their lawyers reviewed police documents that described the surveillance video. No criminal charges have been filed in connection with Gabriel’s death.

 Family to Sue School District After 12-Year-Old Daughter’s Suicide 1:50

The lawsuit comes one week after relatives of 12-year-old Mallory Grossman said that they also planned to sue the girl’s New Jersey school district over her June 14 suicide.

Administrators at Rockaway School District “ignored months of pleas” from Mallory’s family over alleged cyberbullying, the Grossmans’ lawyer, Bruce Nagel, said during a news conference last week.

“[Mallory’s] life tragically ended when her own classmates used this cellphone to drive her into this tragedy,” Nagel said. “For months there were texts, Snapchat and Instagram — she was told she was a loser, she had no friends. She was even told, ‘why don’t you kill yourself.’”

Mallory began to experience chronic headaches and stomachaches, and she refused to go to school, said her mother, Dianne, adding that administrators only seemed interested in academics.

“They weren’t concerned with her emotional health,” she said.

Rockaway Township School District Superintendent Greg McGann declined to discuss the allegations with NBC News.

Breaking News: Lester Holt Has Sold His Airy $6.4 Million Flatiron Condo

Breaking News: Lester Holt Has Sold His Airy $6.4 Million Flatiron Condo

The Nightly News host purchased the apartment for $3.3 million in 2007, nearly doubling his investment in the past 10 years

Well-known NBC television personality Lester Holt and his wife, Carol Hagen-Holt, have officially sold their Flatiron condo for a cool $6.4 million according to Trulia. The pair, who first purchased the second-floor unit for $3.3 million in 2007, have nearly doubled their investment over the last 10 years, says the New York Post. The apartment, which sits just north of Madison Square Park, includes three bedrooms and two and a half baths, and is a spacious 2,168 square feet.

The space also features 11-foot ceilings, an open kitchen with bluestone counters, an eat-in island, and wood cabinetry. The master suite includes an en-suite Calacatta marble bathroom with a soaking tub and separate shower, and opens out onto an enviable 47-foot-long private terrace via a set of French doors. But that’s not all: Two secondary bedrooms also have access to the terrace, which overlooks the building’s courtyard.

Michelle Carter, woman in suicide texting case, to be sentenced

Michelle Carter, woman in suicide texting case, to be sentenced

A Massachusetts woman who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself, could face up to 20 years in prison at her sentencing Thursday.

Michelle Carter was 17 in 2014 when she persuaded Conrad Roy III, 18, to kill himself with a series of texts and phone calls, prosecutors said. Roy died when his pickup truck filled with carbon monoxide in a store parking lot in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

“You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t,” Carter wrote in one text.

Carter was tried as a youthful offender, so the judge can commit her to a Department of Youth Services facility until she turns 21 on Aug. 11. He could also combine a DYS commitment with an adult sentence, or can give her an adult sentence of anything from probation to the maximum 20-year term.

Roy’s aunt, Kim Bozzi, said in a statement that is set to be read at sentencing that Carter should be given the maximum amount of prison time, the Boston Herald reported.

“Twenty years may seem extreme but it is still twenty more than Conrad will ever have,” Bozzi said in her statement.

In a letter to the judge, David Carter, Michelle’s father, said his daughter made a “tragic mistake.” He asked for probation and continued counseling.

Joseph Cataldo, Carter’s lawyer, argued that Roy was determined to kill himself and nothing Carter did would have changed his decision. He also argued that Carter’s words were protected as free speech by the First Amendment.

On June 16, a judge found Carter guilty for telling Roy to “get back in” after he climbed out of his truck as it was filling with carbon monoxide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Van plows into crowd in Los Angeles; at least 9 hurt


Van plows into crowd in Los Angeles; at least 9 hurt

The van plowed into the crowd around 3:47 p.m. at 5055 W. Pico Boulevard, according to the LAFD. Overhead footage from a news helicopter showed a white van that apparently knocked down a white picket fence around the outdoor dining area of a restaurant — known as The Fish Spot — before stopping on a sidewalk.

The driver of the vehicle, who stayed at the scene, was arrested and taken to a hospital to be examined for possible intoxication, KABC reported.

The crash appeared to be accidental, not intentional, LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera told Fox News. Police added that there was no apparent link to terror.

Of the eight people transported, one is in critical condition, three are in serious condition and four are in fair condition.

The manager of The Fish Spot told ABC his 16-year-old cashier suffered minor injuries in the incident.

An initial report from the LAFD said seven people were injured and transported to a hospital, but that number has since been revised to eight.

Fox News’ Shira Bush and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Marine Corps KC-130Ts grounded until further notice

Marine Corps KC-130Ts grounded until further notice

WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps has grounded its fleet of KC-130Ts “out of an abundance of caution” following the events of the deadly crash earlier this month, the service has confirmed to Defense News.

The grounding affects 12 aircraft total, all operated by Marine Forces Reserve, said spokeswoman Lt. Stephanie Leguizamon.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Marine Corps took the prudent action not to fly our KC-130T aircraft in the wake of the mishap on July 10 until further notice,” she said.

Marine Corps KC-130Js, as well as Navy and Air Force C-130 variants are not affected by the temporary halt in flight operations. All C-130 variants are manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

On July 10, a KC-130T crashed in Mississippi, killing 15 Marines and one sailor. It was the deadliest crash for Marine aviation since 2005. The plane came from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 in New York, which flies KC-130s that are modified to provide aerial refueling capabilities.

Leguizamon declined to say when the Marine Corps had made the decision to ground its KC-130T fleet or whether it was due to initial findings from the investigation, which is still ongoing.

 Preliminary indications are that “something went wrong at cruise altitude,” Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James, commanding general of 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, told reporters on July 12. “There is a large debris pattern” and two major impact areas a mile apart, he added.

Conservatives lobbied White House on transgender policy but total ban wasn’t what they asked for

Conservatives lobbied White House on transgender policy but total ban wasn’t what they asked for


  • House Republican leaders knew the White House was already looking to change policy
  • President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military

(CNN)Republicans on Capitol Hill are scrambling to respond to President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday to reinstitute a ban on transgender people serving in the military after conservatives who lobbied the White House say they were pushing only to prevent the Pentagon from paying for medical costs associated with gender confirmation — not an outright ban.

Trump’s decision, announced Wednesday on Twitter and sparking bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill, comes after the White House was lobbied by conservatives on the issue, including Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who proposed an amendment on the defense authorization bill to ban the Pentagon from paying what Hartzler called “transition surgeries,” as well as hormone therapy. The Missouri Republican lobbied the White House in recent weeks to do something on the issue, a GOP congressional aide familiar with the situation told CNN.
House Republican leaders knew the White House was already looking to change policy related to transgender people, but only as it relates to how or whether taxpayer money is being used for medical treatments, two Republican leadership sources told CNN.
Trump’s announcement on a total ban of transgender people serving in the US military was “far beyond leaders’ expectations and caught many by surprise,” one of those sources told CNN.
Hartzler tried to engage with Defense Secretary James Mattis on service members’ gender-related medical costs before the House took up the defense authorization bill, the aide said. When her amendment to that bill failed, she went to the White House to “address the issue” before the security spending bill was brought to the floor, a GOP congressional aide familiar with the situation told CNN.
While Hartzler was pushing for her proposal on the cost issue, she still supported Trump’s decision to ban transgender service members.
A study from the Rand Corporation estimated the cost of medical services for transgender individuals in the military at $2.4 million and $8.4 million out of a $6.2 billion medical budget for the military.
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment on whether conservatives lobbied for the change and have not yet gotten a response. News of conservatives lobbying Trump on transgender issues was first reported by Politico.
The House Armed Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairwoman Vicky Hartzler on Capitol Hill in February 2015.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are having difficulty responding because the Pentagon is still trying to explain the actual policy and how it would be implemented.
There were no plans to have another debate on the House floor on the taxpayer pricetag for gender-related medical expenses for members of the military. The House defeated Hartzler’s amendment 209-214 on the defense authorization bill earlier this month, with 24 Republicans joining with Democrats to defeat the measure.
Aides stress that, among those who did not want the Pentagon to pay for these costs, there was concern about losing a second battle on the floor after Hartzler’s amendment on the defense bill had been defeated.
Some conservatives, such as Rep. Mark Meadows and others in the Freedom Caucus, had been threatening to try to kill the spending package if the transgender health provision was not included, but Republican leadership was confident they had the votes to get the bill over the finish line, according to congressional aides.
House conservatives were trying to avoid a roll-call vote, too, pushing leadership to add the amendment banning medical expenses for trans service members as a “self-executing” provision to the House Rule for the security bill, which would have avoided a specific vote, according to a senior GOP aide. But leadership rejected that idea. On Wednesday afternoon the final parameters for debate on the spending bill were set and no amendments or changes to the bill were allowed ahead of floor votes on the military portions of that legislation.
Congressional aides said none of the defense committees — House or Senate armed services and the defense appropriations panels — were given any kind of notice or briefing on the decision.
House armed services committee Chairman Mac Thornberry told CNN Trump’s decision appeared to catch the Pentagon by surprise, too, in addition to Congress.
“It was a complete surprise, not only to us but to the Pentagon apparently,” Thornberry said.
Asked if he agreed or disagreed with Trump’s decision, Thornberry said: “I don’t know what it means.”
Florida Rep. Tom Rooney, who served in the Army in the JAG Corps, admitted he didn’t know what the administration policy announcement was because he missed the tweets.
He supported the effort to ban the Pentagon from using taxpayer money to cover medical costs of transgender medical procedures. But he told reporters the President’s tweets on the new transgender policy “throws us off” the message about what the Republican Congress is accomplishing.
He pointed to the President tweeting about Attorney General Jeff Sessions when the Senate was making progress on repealing Obamacare, and the President tweeting last month about something off-topic on the same day that the House passed an immigration bill known as “Kate’s Law” that the administration supported.
But things may be different in the Senate, where Sen. John McCain — who criticized Trump’s move Wednesday — could soon be presiding over his defense policy bill when health care is done.
“I would assume there will be an effort on the floor to do something,” Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Armed Services panel, told CNN.

Paul Manafort subpoenaed by Senate Judiciary Committee

Paul Manafort subpoenaed by Senate Judiciary Committee

Brooke Singman

The abrupt move comes after lawmakers and Manafort apparently were unable to reach an agreement for a private, transcribed interview.

“While we were willing to accommodate Mr. Manafort’s request to cooperate with the committee’s investigation without appearing at Wednesday’s hearing, we were unable to reach an agreement for a voluntary transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee,” Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The hearing is part of the panel’s probe into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign officials in the 2016 presidential election. The Judiciary Committee is set to hold the hearing Wednesday morning and had invited both Donald Trump Jr. and Manafort to testify.


At first, it looked like both individuals would avoid any public appearance for now, with the committee saying it would arrange to meet with them privately and gather documents. Grassley and Feinstein said last week they would not need to issue subpoenas but would “reserve the right to do so in the future.”

However, according to Grassley and Feinstein, Manafort’s attorney then said he would be willing to provide only “a single transcribed interview to Congress” and it would not be available to Judiciary Committee members or staff.

Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni told Fox News that Manafort did, however, meet Tuesday with lawmakers on another Senate panel.

“Paul Manafort met this morning, by previous agreement, with the bipartisan staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee and answered their questions fully,” Maloni said.

“While the Judiciary Committee was willing to cooperate on equal terms with any other committee to accommodate Mr. Manafort’s request, ultimately, that was not possible,” Grassley and Feinstein said. The subpoena, issued Monday evening, forces Manafort to appear at the hearing on Wednesday.

Grassley had told Fox News on Thursday that the committees “can’t keep going back and forth” and “playing off of each other.”

“As with other witnesses, we may be willing to excuse him from Wednesday’s hearing if he would be willing to agree to production of documents and a transcribed interview, with the understanding that the interview would not constitute a waiver of his rights or prejudice the committee’s rights to compel his testimony in the future,” Grassley and Feinstein said.


Whether in private or public, lawmakers likely want to ask Manafort and Trump Jr. about their attendance at the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and her associates. Since revelations of that meeting surfaced, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner have been called to speak before two congressional panels. Kushner was in closed-door meetings Monday and Tuesday on Capitol Hill.


The Judiciary Committee also subpoenaed co-founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, after his research firm allegedly hired a British intelligence officer who compiled a dossier of allegations involving Trump and his ties to Russia. According to the Associated Press, Simpson will not testify publicly but will have an interview in private with the committee.

Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report. 

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

Texas’ lieutenant governor blames truck deaths on sanctuary cities that ‘enable human smugglers’

Texas’ lieutenant governor blames truck deaths on sanctuary cities that ‘enable human smugglers’

Patrick, a Republican, posted on Facebook that the ‘tragedy’ is why he pushed a bill to ban sanctuary cities.

“Sanctuary cities entice people to believe they can come to America and Texas and live outside the law. Sanctuary cities also enable human smugglers and cartels. Today, these people paid a terrible price and demonstrate why we need a secure border and legal immigration reform so we can control who enters our country. We continue to pray for the families and friends of the victims,” he posted.

Authorities were called to the parking lot late Saturday or early Sunday and found eight people dead inside the truck. A ninth victim died at the hospital, said Liz Johnson, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The victims “were very hot to the touch. So these people were in this trailer without any signs of any type of water,” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said. Authorities would not say whether the trailer was locked when they arrived, but they said it had no working air conditioning.

It was just the latest smuggling-by-truck operation to end in tragedy. In one of the worst cases on record in the U.S., 19 immigrants locked inside a stifling rig died in Victoria, Texas, in 2003.

Based on initial interviews with survivors of the San Antonio tragedy, more than 100 people may have been packed into the back of the 18-wheeler at one point in its journey, ICE acting Director Thomas Homan said. Officials said 39 people were inside when rescuers arrived, and the rest were believed to have escaped or hitched rides to their next destination.

Four of the survivors appeared to be between 10 and 17 years old, Homan said. Investigators gave no details on where the rig began its journey or where it was headed.

But Homan said it was unlikely the truck was used to carry the immigrants across the border into the United States. He said people from Latin America who rely on smuggling networks typically cross the border on foot and are then picked up by a driver.

“Even though they have the driver in custody, I can guarantee you there’s going to be many more people we’re looking for to prosecute,” Homan said.

Federal prosecutors said James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Florida, was taken into custody and would be charged on Monday in federal court. The local U.S. Attorney’s Office wouldn’t say whether Bradley was the alleged driver of the truck who was arrested. It was not immediately known whether Bradley had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department stepped in to take the lead in the investigation from San Antonio police. Department Secretary John Kelly said the incident demonstrates the brutality of smuggling organizations that “have no regard for human life and seek only profits.”

The truck had an Iowa license plate and was registered to Pyle Transportation Inc. of Schaller, Iowa. A company official did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

San Antonio is about a 150-mile drive from the Mexican border. The temperature in San Antonio reached 101 degrees on Saturday and didn’t dip below 90 degrees until after 10 p.m.

The tragedy came to light after a person from the truck approached a Walmart employee and asked for water late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, said McManus, the local police chief.

The employee gave the person water and then called police, who found the dead and the desperate inside the rig. Some of those in the truck ran into the woods, McManus said.

Investigators checked store surveillance video, which showed vehicles arriving and picking up people from the truck, authorities said. Walmart released a brief statement Sunday saying it was doing what it could to help investigators.

Bob Libal is executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based nonprofit that supports more liberal immigration policies.

“These tragedies are compounded when it’s incredibly dangerous and incredibly expensive and we push migration into the hands of illicit actors,” Libal told The AP in a phone interview. “Everyone’s thoughts today should be not in politicizing it but in making sure that everyone who survived this ordeal is treated with respect and get the protection they need.”

Sessions says he’ll stay on the job as long as ‘appropriate,’ after Trump slam

Sessions says he’ll stay on the job as long as ‘appropriate,’ after Trump slam

Brooke Singman

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he plans to stay on the job at the Department of Justice, on the heels of President Trump sharply criticizing him for recusing himself from the Russia probe.

In a press conference on Thursday scheduled to discuss cybercrime, Sessions’ appearance took a quick turn to the issue of whether the top law enforcement official plans to offer his resignation to Trump.

“We in this Department of Justice will continue every single day to work hard to serve the national interest, and we whole-heartedly join in priorities of President Trump,” Sessions responded. “I have the honor of serving as attorney general. It’s something that goes beyond any thought that I’ve ever had for myself.”

Sessions added: “We love this job, and we love this department and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate.”

Sessions was pressed as to how he could run the DOJ without the confidence of the president, after Trump told The New York Times that he never would have appointed him attorney general if he had known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

“We’re serving right now—the work we’re doing is the kind of work we intend to continue,” Sessions said.

Sessions, one of Trump’s early Republican supporters, recused himself from overseeing the FBI’s Russia probe on March 2, after media reports he had conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. that he did not disclose.

Trump slammed Sessions and told the New York Times his recusal was “very unfair to the president” and said he would never have appointed him attorney general if he had known he would do so.

“How do you take a job and then recuse yourself?” Trump asked. “If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.”

Sessions’ comments Thursday followed reports overnight that he could consider offering his resignation in the wake of those comments. Early last month, The New York Times reported that Sessions offered to step down from his post as attorney general, but the president declined.

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

Self-described drug dealer calls 911, reports stolen cocaine

Self-described drug dealer calls 911, reports stolen cocaine

Calling 911 to report a stolen bag of cocaine probably wasn’t the best idea for a self-described Florida drug dealer.

But Okaloosa Sheriff’s officials wrote on Facebook that 32-year-old David Blackmon did just that on Sunday morning.

The post says Blackmon called 911 to report a robbery in Fort Walton Beach. Blackmon told the responding deputy that someone entered his car and took $50 and about a quarter ounce of cocaine from the center console.


The report says the deputy spotted some cocaine and a crack rock on the console and a crack pipe on the floorboard by the driver’s side door.

Blackmon is charged with possession of cocaine and resisting arrest without violence. He was released from jail on Tuesday, but records don’t list a lawyer.

Australian woman shot dead by Minneapolis police after calling to report possible crime

Australian woman shot dead by Minneapolis police after calling to report possible crime

An Australian woman engaged to marry an American next month was shot and killed by a Minneapolis cop Saturday night after calling police to report an incident, leading her family and investigators to question what caused the deadly shooting.

The woman, identified as Justine Damond, 40, was killed in the late-night shooting in the city’s Fulton neighborhood, Fox 9 reported. She reportedly had called to report an assault.

“Two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call of a possible assault just north of the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue S. just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday,” the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release. “At one point, an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman.”

Police were trying to determine whether any video of the incident exists. The body cameras of the officers involved were not activated, according to police.

“Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know.”

– Zach Damond

Damond, an Australian national and instructor with the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, was engaged to be married in August and has a son, according to Fox 9. Her fiance, identified by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, as Don Damond, was reportedly on his way home from a business trip.

Damond, whose maiden name was Ruszczyk but went by her fiance’s last name, called police after hearing a sound in a nearby alley, according to their son, Zach Damond, 22.

“Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,” Zach Damond told the Star-Tribune. “I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence.”

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, at a press conference Sunday, called the shooting “tragic.”

Michelle Gross, from Communities United Against Police Brutality, released a statement on Damond’s death.

“Sadly we now [mourn the life of] Justine, a white woman living in southwest Minneapolis–who simply notified the police about an assault she was concerned about,” Gross said. “She was being a good neighbor! And she lost her life being a good neighbor.”

Both officers were placed on administrative leave.

The medical examiner’s office will be conducting an autopsy.

The shooting comes a year after a Minnesota officer shot Philando Castile, an elementary school cafeteria worker, several times during a traffic stop. The deadly police-involved shooting sparked nationwide outcry. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted and recieved $48,500 to leave the department.

Teacher, 40, who had sex with teen student, is re-arrested for violating probation

Teacher, 40, who had sex with teen student, is re-arrested for violating probation

A former Indiana teacher’s aide and substitute teacher who admitted to having sex with a student is back in jail for violating her probation by drinking alcohol and using Facebook, according to court documents.

Kisha Nuckols, 40, was taken into custody on Friday after a warrant was issued for her arrest, FOX 59 Indianapolis reported. Court documents obtained by the television station show that the arrest stems from social media use and the consumption of alcohol.

Officials searched Facebook and found a recently updated account for Nuckols that had not been registered with the sex offender registry, a requirement as part of her probation, according to FOX 59.

Nuckols was sentenced to two years of probation and two years of home detention in November, after prosecutors said she sent a 17-year-old student explicit photos of herself before the two later had sex in her home several times. According to court records, Nuckols admitted to having inappropriate relationships with multiple students while working as a substitute teacher at Mount Vernon High School.

During a visit by probation officers on June 28, officials found 14 bottles of alcohol, a red solo cup with chilled wine and a smartphone. The phone contained sexual images of Nuckols and had both Snapchat and Facebook Messenger applications installed, court documents said.

Nuckols at the time claimed that the alcohol and phone belonged to a friend, but portable breath test was administered and Nucklos was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.011 percent, documents stated.

The 40-year-old appeared in court Monday, and a fact-finding hearing for her case has been set for August 3.


‘Breaking’ news — an iceberg the size of Delaware just broke off Antarctica

‘Breaking’ news — an iceberg the size of Delaware just broke off Antarctica

The Larsen C ice shelf just calved, another reminder that sea level rise is coming for us.

A rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf. CREDIT: NASA

By Marlene Cimons

Aniceberg the size of Delaware has broken free from an Antarctic ice shelf, leaving the rest of the shelf vulnerable to collapse and serving as a harbinger of future sea-level rise that could pose a serious threat to coastal communities.

The break in the Larsen C ice shelf — the most northern major ice shelf in the region occurred Wednesday, according to Project MIDAS, a UK-based monitoring group.

Ice shelves are the thick, floating ice at the edge of the continent, and they serve as buttresses, keeping onshore glaciers from sliding into the sea. Researchers have been monitoring the rift in the Larsen C shelf for years and became alarmed in December when the breach widened dramatically. At one point this spring, the rift grew by 11 miles in less than a week, leaving only eight miles left and raising fears that a complete break was imminent. More than six months later — in the middle of the Antarctic winter — the break has occurred.

“The situation with the Larsen [C] ice shelf is a combination of fascinating and troubling, a tangible piece of a larger slow-motion disaster unfolding in front of our eyes,” said Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University. “We are seeing a microcosm of the future… a future that may already be inevitable and, if not, will likely be so if we transgress the 2º C warming target.”

Larsen C is about 1100 feet thick and rests at the edge of West Antarctica, blocking the glaciers that feed into it. All of the region’s ice shelves, including Larsens A, B, and C, impede the movement of Antarctic glaciers, which, if they float into the ocean, can hasten sea-level rise.

When ice shelves disintegrate, glaciers move out to sea. CREDIT: By Ted Scambos and Michon Scott, National Snow and Ice Data Center

The Larsen A ice shelf collapsed in 1995 and the Larsen B shelf suddenly crumbled in 2002 after a similar rift developed.

“One of the processes causing the disintegration of the Larsen… is also implicated in the rapid changes in the Amundsen Sea area of West Antarctica — Thwaites glacier, Pine Island glacier,’’ said Oppenheimer, a long-time participant in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. When land-based ice goes into the ocean, it causes sea-level rise.

“There is a relatively small amount of ice behind the Larsen, so even if it all disintegrated, the contribution to sea-level rise would be modest, a few inches,’’ he said. Still, even a few inches of sea-level rise is meaningful, especially when combined with storm surge in low-lying areas.

Antarctic ice shelves. CREDIT: Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center

And what is happening with Larsen C is not an isolated problem. Cracks in other Antarctic ice shelves also have developed.

“There is several meters worth of ice behind the other ice shelves and more behind vulnerable ice shelves in East Antarctica. So what we are seeing is a vivid demonstration of what warm water and warm air can do to an ice shelf and the land-based ice sheet that the shelf has been restraining,” Oppenheimer said.

With the break, Larsen C lost more than 10 percent of its area, leaving the ice front at the most retreated position on record, according to Project Midas, a UK-based Antarctic research effort.

“This is just the latest empirical evidence for what scientists have increasingly concluded in recent years,” said Michael Mann, professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and director of its Earth System Science Center. “Namely, that the West Antarctic ice sheet is less stable with respect to global warming than once thought, and its demise is occurring ahead of schedule, and with it, so is global sea-level rise.’’

Kevin E. Trenberth, a senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said there have been conflicting theories surrounding the impact of climate change on the region.

“Warming of the atmosphere means that moisture can be carried farther inland, and one prospect that has been mentioned is that more snow could occur in Antarctica, which could contribute to lowering of sea level, countering trends elsewhere,” he said. “Observations of precipitation are poor, and we do not have good information on this aspect.”

Trenberth explained that waters around Antarctica are warming more than anywhere, undermining ice shelves. “This has gained support from various studies over time, so once again the outcome is more icebergs breaking away from Antarctica.”

Antarctica. CREDIT: Pixabay

“The key question is, ‘What does this mean overall?’” he said. “Is the West Antarctic ice sheet unstable and may become ungrounded, resulting in it melting and 20 feet of sea-level rise ultimately? The uncertainties are huge and the topic is important.”

Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Pennsylvania State University, agreed. Alley believes the shrinking of Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves is likely do to warming, though uncertainties abound.

“Think of all the ceramic coffee cups you have ever seen dropped on the floor,” he said. “Some have bounced, some chipped, some broken in two, some smashed. We all know that dropping a ceramic coffee cup on the floor risks breakage, but we would be hard-pressed to predict exactly what one cup will do. Exactly where this break will go on Larsen C, and how it will affect the probability of additional breaks behind it, fall into the category of predicting one break.

“We can surely improve our data, our understanding of the setting, and our models, and reduce the uncertainties for similar events in the future,” he said. “But there will always be some uncertainty. If one wishes to avoid really costly breakage… leading to meters of sea-level rise, the approach… is to leave a wide safety margin, which would mean limiting warming.”

As for the fate of the breakaway iceberg, climate scientists have developed models that can predict its journey. Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research have figured outhow Antarctic icebergs drift through the Southern Ocean.

This map shows the trajectory of Antarctic icebergs of different sizes. Class 1 icebergs are the smallest. Class 5 are the largest. CREDIT: Thomas Rackow

When it comes to huge icebergs like the Larsen C, its motion is largely dictated by its weight and by the fact that the surface of the Southern Ocean is not flat but typically leans to the north. The sea level can be up to half a meter higher on the southern edge of the Weddell Sea or along the Antarctic Peninsula than at its center. How far it will drift depends on whether it remains intact or breaks up into smaller pieces, the researchers said. The iceberg also could run aground for a while.

“If it doesn’t break up, chances are good that it will first drift for about a year through the Weddell Sea, along the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula,” said Thomas Rackow, a climate modeler at the Wegener Institute and first author of the study. “Then it will most likely follow a northeasterly course, heading roughly for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.”

Because it is so heavy, Larsen C likely will survive for eight to ten years, according to the scientists’ computer models, a period regarded as the maximum life expectancy for even the largest of icebergs.

Drinking coffee could lead to a longer life, scientist says

Drinking coffee could lead to a longer life, scientist says

Whether it’s caffeinated or decaffeinated, coffee is associated with lower mortality, which suggests the association is not tied to caffeine

University of Southern California
Scientists have found that people who drink coffee appear to live longer. Drinking coffee was associated with lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. People who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. This association was even stronger for those who drank two to three cups a day — 18 percent reduced chance of death.

People who drink coffee live longer, new research suggests.
Credit: © iko / Fotolia

Here’s another reason to start the day with a cup of joe: Scientists have found that people who drink coffee appear to live longer.

Drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease for African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites.

People who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. This association was even stronger for those who drank two to three cups a day — 18 percent reduced chance of death.

Lower mortality was present regardless of whether people drank regular or decaffeinated coffee, suggesting the association is not tied to caffeine, said Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

“We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association,” Setiawan said. “If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”

The study, which will be published in the July 11 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, used data from the Multiethnic Cohort Study, a collaborative effort between the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and the Keck School of Medicine.

The ongoing Multiethnic Cohort Study has more than 215,000 participants and bills itself as the most ethnically diverse study examining lifestyle risk factors that may lead to cancer.

“Until now, few data have been available on the association between coffee consumption and mortality in nonwhites in the United States and elsewhere,” the study stated. “Such investigations are important because lifestyle patterns and disease risks can vary substantially across racial and ethnic backgrounds, and findings in one group may not necessarily apply to others.”

Since the association was seen in four different ethnicities, Setiawan said it is safe to say the results apply to other groups.

“This study is the largest of its kind and includes minorities who have very different lifestyles,” Setiawan said. “Seeing a similar pattern across different populations gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether you are white, African-American, Latino or Asian.”

Benefits of drinking coffee

Previous research by USC and others have indicated that drinking coffee is associated with reduced risk of several types of cancer, diabetes, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Setiawan, who drinks one to two cups of coffee daily, said any positive effects from drinking coffee are far-reaching because of the number of people who enjoy or rely on the beverage every day.

“Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention,” Setiawan said. “Although this study does not show causation or point to what chemicals in coffee may have this ‘elixir effect,’ it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

About 62 percent of Americans drink coffee daily, a 5 percent increase from 2016 numbers, reported the National Coffee Association.

As a research institution, USC has scientists from across disciplines working to find a cure for cancer and better ways for people to manage the disease.

The Keck School of Medicine and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center manage a state-mandated database called the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program, which provides scientists with essential statistics on cancer for a diverse population.

Researchers from the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that drinking coffee lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.

But drinking piping hot coffee or beverages probably causes cancer in the esophagus, according to a World Health Organization panel of scientists that included Mariana Stern from the Keck School of Medicine.

Hearing from the WHO

In some respects, coffee is regaining its honor for wellness benefits. After 25 years of labeling coffee a carcinogen linked to bladder cancer, the World Health Organization last year announced that drinking coffee reduces the risk for liver and uterine cancer.

“Some people worry drinking coffee can be bad for you because it might increase the risk of heart disease, stunt growth or lead to stomach ulcers and heartburn,” Setiawan said. “But research on coffee have mostly shown no harm to people’s health.”

Coffee by the numbers

Setiawan and her colleagues examined the data of 185,855 African-Americans (17 percent), Native Hawaiians (7 percent), Japanese-Americans (29 percent), Latinos (22 percent) and whites (25 percent) ages 45 to 75 at recruitment. Participants answered questionnaires about diet, lifestyle, and family and personal medical history.

They reported their coffee drinking habits when they entered the study and updated them about every five years, checking one of nine boxes that ranged from “never or hardly ever” to “4 or more cups daily.” They also reported whether they drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. The average follow-up period was 16 years.

Sixteen percent of participants reported that they did not drink coffee, 31 percent drank one cup per day, 25 percent drank two to three cups per day and 7 percent drank four or more cups per day. The remaining 21 percent had irregular coffee consumption habits.

Over the course of the study, 58,397 participants — about 31 percent — died. Cardiovascular disease (36 percent) and cancer (31 percent) were the leading killers.

The data was adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, smoking habits, education, preexisting disease, vigorous physical exercise and alcohol consumption.

Setiawan’s previous research found that coffee reduces the risk of liver cancer and chronic liver disease. She is currently examining how coffee is associated with the risk of developing specific cancers.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute contributed to this study. The study used data from the Multiethnic Cohort Study, which is supported by a $19,008,359 grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Police officer’s vehicle riddled with bullets in Third Ward

Police officer’s vehicle riddled with bullets in Third Ward


SWAT is at a home in a Third Ward Houston neighborhood where police say multiple shots were fired at officers sitting in a vehicle earlier in the morning.

Houston Police Department said the shooting was reported at 3:20 a.m. in the 2100 block of Sampson Street near the Gulf Freeway.

Houston PD Chief Art Acevedo, who spoke from the scene, said an unmarked undercover vehicle was hit and one of the bullets struck the driver’s seat where an officer was sitting. The officers did not return fire, Acevedo said.

“We had suspects that tried to kill a police officer on surveillance,” Acevedo said.

HPD Chief Art Acevedo said the suspects fired several shots at an unmarked police vehicle, missing one of the officers in the driver’s seat.

There were suspects who fled the scene southbound on Gulf Freeway. A traffic stop was made on their vehicle, and two people were detained.

There were no injuries reported in the shooting.

“It’s been a blessing this morning that there were no lives taken, despite the fact these individuals, if you see this car with bullet holes across the entire left side, you know they were trying to kill the driver of that car,” Acevedo said.

Police later served a warrant on a home that may be connected to the suspects. SWAT officers were called to the residence near Sampson and Webster, where they are concentrating on the rear of the property. Police did not immediately say why the tactical unit was needed.