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Hostages released by man armed with machete at Tennessee bank

iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, Tenn.) — All hostages have been released after a man entered a bank in Columbia, Tennessee, armed with a machete Friday afternoon, according to police.

The 54-year-old man initially took nine people hostage at the Community First Bank & Trust before releasing four people, a spokesperson for the Columbia Police Department said. Hours later, the remaining five hostages were released, said Columbia Police Capt. Jeremy Alsup.

No one was injured during the ordeal, but the suspect remains inside the bank, Alsup said.

Emergency dispatchers responded to a call for an armed robbery in progress, police said, though officials later clarified that the hostage situation “does not appear to be a robbery at this time.” The motive is unknown, Alsup said.

Further details on the incident were not immediately available.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Doctors, insurance companies and patient groups slam Graham-Cassidy

Purestock/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Insurance companies, doctors, patients, hospitals and other patient-provider groups are rallying together against the Graham-Cassidy plan, saying it could result in millions losing access to affordable health care and coverage.

It’s not often you see these interest groups align, but the latest Republican repeal-and-replace effort has done just that.

The effort led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., works by eliminating the individual and employer mandates, halting Medicaid expansion and redistributing those funds that would have been used for Medicaid to states in the form of block grants. Republicans say this gives states flexibility to design coverage plans that fit their constituent’s needs, but groups opposed are concerned about loss of Medicaid coverage and how the law might affect people with pre-existing conditions. While people with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage by law, states could allow insurers to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.

Groups like the American Medical Association, which represents the nation’s doctors, and the American Health Insurance Programs, representing big insurers like Anthem and Humana, along with patient advocacy groups, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association have joined a growing list of organizations opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill.

The AARP is asking members to call their lawmakers, saying it will harm the nation’s elderly. AARP released a study saying that Graham-Cassidy would mean big premium increases for older Americans, and would “decrease coverage and undermine preexisting condition protections.”

The American Medical Association said that the Graham-Cassidy bill violates the Hippocratic Oath taken by all doctors, “first do no harm.”

The National Association of Medicaid Directors released a statement saying that they’re “strong proponents of state innovation,” but they said that reforms need to be done with careful consideration and “not rushed through without proper deliberation.”

On Wednesday, insurance companies — who remained quiet about the bill for weeks — came out in opposition to Graham-Cassidy, saying they’re concerned about consumers losing coverage and paying more.

Some of the groups say they instead support short-term measures that would stabilize insurance marketplaces and make cost-sharing payments. Many say they will continue to support the kind of work that was attempted the bipartisan work of Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that failed in committee.

This past summer, many of the same patient, physician and insurance groups also voiced opposition to Republicans’ “skinny repeal” health care push.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg vows to combat election interference

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg condemned Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and promised to do more to stop it in the future in remarks on Thursday after announcing the social media giant would release some 3,000 ads believed to bought by Russian operatives during the 2016 election.

His comments come after Facebook revealed earlier this month that fake accounts linked to a Russian company bought more than $100,000 worth of political ads during the presidential election, adding a new dimension to the ongoing investigations into allegations of Russian election interference.

In Zuckerberg’s remarks, in a Facebook live post on his profile, he said that after finding ads linked to Russian accounts that were believed to be attempting to interfere in the 2016 election, Facebook turned them over to the special prosecutor.

“We’ve been investigating this for many months now, and for a while, we had found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russia running ads. When we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special prosecutor we also briefed Congress and this morning. I directed our team to provide the ads we found to Congress as well,” Zuckerberg said in the video.

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook is going to “strengthen our ad review process for political ads” and use “an even higher standard of transparency” than exists for television and other media already.

At another point in the video, he noted the decisive role that social media played in campaign strategies, and touted Facebook’s voter registration initiative that helped 2 million people register to vote.

“Many of these dynamics were new in this election and in a much larger scale… and they were much larger in scale than any of the interference that we have found,” he said.

He said that dealing with the threat of nation states interfering in elections was not an issue that the company has had to deal with before but “if that’s what we must do then we are committed to rising to the occasion.

“We don’t check what people say before they say it and frankly I don’t think society wants us to,” Zuckerberg said.

He said that if people break Facebook’s code of conduct or the law “there will be consequences.”

“We won’t catch everyone immediately but we can make it harder to try to interfere,” he said.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook would “continue working with the government” and strives “to be a force for good and democracy everywhere.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Immigrant Hurricane Victims Turn to Churches Amid Fear

HOUSTON (AP) – Places of worship and private charities in Texas and Florida are playing a pivotal role for people in the country illegally as they recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They are ineligible for federal disaster aid but children qualify if they have legal status and are under 18 years old. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s application warns parents who apply on behalf of their children that addresses and other information may be shared with immigration officers. It suggests consulting an attorney or other immigration expert with questions. The storms struck as immigration arrests have spiked under President Donald Trump, putting many people on edge. Authorities say information on immigrants seeking disaster relief generally isn’t shared, but those assurances may not appease some who fear getting deported.

Jimmy Kimmel rips senator for lying about new health care bill

United States Congress(NEW YORK) — Jimmy Kimmel ripped into Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on his show Tuesday night for proposing new health care legislation that Kimmel said fails the “Jimmy Kimmel test” that Cassidy himself had proposed in an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in May.

Cassidy appeared on the program earlier this year after Kimmel made an emotional plea for health care legislation that would insure affordable health coverage for all, including people with pre-existing conditions and with no lifetime caps, in the wake of Kimmel’s newborn son needing life-saving heart surgery.

But Kimmel said Wednesday night the new legislation Cassidy and co-sponsor Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have proposed in the Senate did not meet those requirements.

“Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test,” Kimmel said. “He failed his own test.”

Kimmel didn’t mince words for Cassidy, who Kimmel said “wasn’t very honest” when he appeared on the show in the spring.

“I don’t know what happened to Bill Cassidy, but when he was on this publicity tour he listed his demands for a health care bill very clearly. These were his words: He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle class families and no lifetime caps. And guess what? The new bill does none of those things,” Kimmel said.

Speaking directly to Cassidy, Kimmel said, “Stop using my name, all right, ’cause I don’t want my name on it. There’s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you, it’s called a lie detector test, you’re welcome to come by the studio and take it any time.”

Kimmel also had strong words for critics on social media unhappy that he has turned his son’s health into a political cause.

“Before you post the nasty Facebook message saying I’m politicizing my son’s health problems, I want you to know, I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to,” he said.

Kimmel listed the many health care organizations that have opposed the legislation and called on viewers to take action saying of bill’s backers.

“They’re counting on you to be so overwhelmed with all the information, you just trust them to take care of you. But they’re not taking care of you,” Kimmel said. “They’re taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies, and we’re all just looking at our Instagram accounts, liking things, while they’re voting on whether people can afford to keep their children alive or not.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 9/18/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
N.Y. Yankees 2, Minnesota 1
Boston 10, Baltimore 8; 11 Innings
Oakland 8, Detroit 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 4, L.A. Dodgers   3
Milwaukee 3, Pittsburgh 0
Miami 13, N.Y. Mets 1
San Diego 4,  Arizona 2

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Detroit 24, N.Y. Giants 10

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Donald Trump has added another GIF to his history of controversial retweets.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The president on Sunday morning retweeted a fake GIF that shows him hitting a golf ball that slams Hillary Clinton in the back, knocking her down.

The tweet was captioned “Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary” and was originally posted by a user who lists their name as “CNN SUCKS” and uses the handle @Fuctupmind.

The White House did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment about the GIF retweet.

This is not the first time that the president’s sharing of a GIF with his 38.6 million Twitter followers has raised eyebrows.

In July, Trump retweeted a video mockup showing the president body-slamming a person whose head was a CNN logo.

The GIF was apparently created from a real video clip of a 2007 stunt in which the then-real estate mogul body-slammed and repeatedly punch World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Chairman Vince McMahon.

A Reddit user at the time, with the handle Han——Solo, claimed to have posted the original mockup of Trump body-slamming the CNN logo. The Anti-Defamation League published an analysis of that user’s Reddit history which found a number of posts that the organization said expressed hate against African-Americans, Muslims and Jews.

The White House said the GIF the president retweeted of him body-slamming the CNN logo didn’t come from Reddit but did not disclose where the image had originated.

The president’s retweet Sunday of the GIF of him hitting a golf ball at Clinton was one of about eight retweets that he shared over the weekend.

Trump retweeted one user, who lists the name “Trumpism 9.0TM” and the handle @Team_Trump45, four times. Each of those tweets had a photo, including one of a train with a “Make America Great Again” hat and another of a cartoon of Trump appearing to drag industries, such as coal and car manufacturing, and individual companies, such as Carrier, Nabisco and Apple, presumably back to the U.S. from overseas.

It is hard to identify some of the Twitter users whom Trump retweets. The user who tweeted the GIF ofTrump’s golf shot hitting Clinton, for example, has listed as an account name “CNN SUCKS,” and as a handle @Fuctupmind. The account’s bio is a series of hashtags like #Trump, #LockHerUp and #IStandWithHannity.

Similarly, the user Trumpism 9.0 uses as a profile image a photo of actor Mark Wahlberg in what looks like a military helmet, and the Twitter bio says only, “Trumpism epitomizes Conservatism, Capitalism, patriotism, & respect for the Constitution. #MAGA,” with a link to a cancer treatment fundraising page, though it is unclear how the user may be associated with the fundraising effort.

Another Twitter user whom Trump retweeted twice over the weekend goes by the name “Lana del Fenty,” which appears to reference both singers Lana del Ray and Rihanna. The profile picture is of model Kendall Jenner with a dog image filter from Snapchat.

The Twitter users retweeted by Trump have come under scrutiny before he was elected too. In January 2016, candidate Trump retweeted a post about his then-rival for the GOP nomination, Jeb Bush, by a user with the handle “WhiteGenocideTM.” That account has since been suspended by Twitter.

Some accounts whose posts Trump has retweeted have posted anti-Semitic tweets in the past. Buzzfeed highlighted tweets in which @Fuctupmind, for example, blasted Hasidic Jews.

Trump does not follow any of the aforementioned Twitter users himself, but one way that he may have spotted the tweets he chose to retweet this past weekend is that the original posts tagged the president’s handle. The president would be able to see all tweets that tag his handle in his Twitter notifications.

Trump only directly follows 45 accounts, among them relatives, businesses, members of his administration, Fox News accounts and personalities, and television producer Mark Burnett who helped create “The Apprentice.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

Scoreboard roundup — 9/17/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Oakland 6, Philadelphia   3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 6,  N.Y. Yankees 4
Tampa Bay  3,  Boston 2
Detroit 12, Chi White Sox  0
Cleveland 3, Kansas City 2
Houston  7, Seattle 1
Minnesota 13, Toronto 7
Texas 4,  L.A. Angels 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cincinnati 5, Pittsburgh 2
N.Y. Mets 5,  Atlanta 1
Milwaukee 10,  Miami 3
Chi Cubs 4,  St. Louis 3
San Diego 4, Colorado 3
San Francisco 7,  Arizona  2
Washington 7, L.A. Dodgers   1

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Minnesota 81, Washington  70
L.A. Sparks 89 , Phoenix  87

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Baltimore  24, Cleveland 10
Pittsburgh  26,  Minnesota  9
New England 36,  New Orleans 20
Tampa Bay 29,  Chicago 7
Tennessee  37, Jacksonville 16
Arizona 16,  Indianapolis 13; OT  
Kansas City 27,  Philadelphia 20
Carolina  9,  Buffalo 3
Oakland 45, N.Y. Jets 20
Miami 19,  Los Angeles 17
Denver  42,  Dallas 17
Seattle 12,  San Francisco  9
Washington  27,  Los Angeles 20
Atlanta  34,  Green Bay  23

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Philadelphia  0, New York  0

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sean Spicer crashes Stephen Colbert’s monologue at the 2017 Emmys

ABCNews.com(LOS ANGELES) — Stephen Colbert didn’t hold back Sunday night while addressing politics and President Trump at the 2017 Emmy Awards — and he also had a surprise guest in former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

The late night host and master of ceremonies at Sunday’s award show immediately fired jokes aimed at Trump and the current administration when he took the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Colbert called Trump the “biggest TV star of the last year,” and then turned his monologue to blaming the Emmys for inspiring Trump’s run for the presidency.

“He was nominated [three times] for “Celebrity Apprentice,'” Colbert said, quipping that “If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president… in some way, this is your fault.”

“You guys love morally compromised heroes,” he continued, saying that “he never forgave you and he never will.”

Colbert then brought up past times Trump had fumed over his Emmy losses, including during one of 2016’s presidential debates with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Then the host snarked that unlike the presidency, the “Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote” — alluding to Clinton winning the popular vote, but losing the electoral college to Trump.

Then, a surprise guest entered the stage, fronted by a satire of the White House press secretary’s podium. Spicer himself poked fun of his infamous presser following Trump’s inauguration, saying, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys — period.”

Hollywood stars in the audience were stunned — including Melissa McCarthy, who imitated Spicer on “Saturday Night Live.”

 

Spicer resigned from his role in the White House back in July.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 9/16/17

iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Philadelphia 5, Oakland 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Houston 8,  Seattle 6
N.Y. Yankees 9,  Baltimore 3
Cleveland 8,  Kansas City 4
Chi White Sox 10,  Detroit  4
Boston 3, Tampa Bay 1
Toronto 7, Minnesota 2
L.A. Angels 2, Texas 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE
L.A. Dodgers 3,  Washington 2
Chi Cubs 4,  St. Louis 1
Cincinnati  2, Pittsburgh 1
Miami 7, Milwaukee 4
N.Y. Mets 7,  Atlanta 3
Colorado 16,  San Diego 0
Arizona 2, San Francisco 0

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
(1) Alabama 41, Colorado St. 23
(2) Oklahoma  56,  Tulane 14
(3) Clemson 47, (14) Louisville 21
(4) Southern Cal 27,  Texas 24; 2OT
(5) Penn St. 56, Georgia St. 0
(6) Washington 48,  Fresno St. 16
(7) Michigan 29, Air Force 13
(8) Ohio St. 38, Army 7
(9) Oklahoma St. 59, Pittsburgh 21
(10) Wisconsin 40,  BYU  6
(17) Miami at (11) Florida St.; postponed
Mississippi St. 37, (12) LSU 7
(13) Georgia 42,  Samford 14
(15) Auburn 24,  Mercer 10
(16) Virginia Tech 64,  East Carolina 17
Vanderbilt 14, (18) Kansas St. 7
San Diego St. 20, (19) Stanford 17
(20) TCU 56, SMU 36
(21) Washington St. 52, Oregon St. 23
(24) Florida 26,  (23) Tennessee 20
Memphis 48, (25) UCLA 45

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Orlando 3, Atlanta 3

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Juggalos,’ Trump supporters hold separate National Mall rallies

Joey Foley/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Supporters of President Donald Trump and fans of the hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse held separate rallies on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

The unrelated events brought hundreds of demonstrators to the area stretching between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol. Both had attracted widespread attention.

Fans of Insane Clown Posse, known as “Juggalos,” held the “Juggalo March” to protest their classification as a gang by the FBI and Department of Justice. A 2011 report on emerging trends by the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center listed Juggalos under “nontraditional gangs.”

“Many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence,” reads the report. “Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft and vandalism.”

Insane Clown Posse, composed of members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, voiced intentions to sue the FBI in 2012 over their fans’ inclusion in the report, according to Rolling Stone. A lawsuit on the matter in 2014 was dismissed and eventually revived by a federal appeals court in 2015, according to the ACLU, which filed the case.

The official “Juggalo March” website describes personal and professional hardships faced by fans over the gang description, including the loss of employment and denial of admittance into the armed forces. The Saturday event will feature speakers and an organized protest march on the western end of the Mall, and will culminate with an Insane Clown Posse performance.

The pro-Trump rally, labeled the “Mother of All Rallies,” was billed as an opportunity for participants to “demand protection for traditional American culture while they express their love for the United States and the ‘America First’ agenda,” according to its website. The event included speakers and musical performances near the Washington Monument in the center of the Mall.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Arizona Air National Guard F-16 crashes, status of pilot unknown

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — An F-16 fighter jet with the Arizona Air National Guard crashed Tuesday afternoon in southeastern Arizona, officials said.

“Rescue efforts are underway and the status of the pilot is unknown at this time,” read a statement on the Facebook page of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing, of which the F-16 Fighting Falcon is based out of.

The crash happened at 3 p.m. about 20 miles northwest of Safford, Arizona.

The U.S. Air Force has assembled an interim safety board to investigate the incident.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Smith County Murder Trial Delayed

TYLER – The capital murder trial of a Smith County man is being delayed. State District Judge Jack Skeen has granted the motion to delay the proceedings for 24 year old Gustavo Zavala-Garcia. He has been charged with the death of 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco. She was abducted from a Bullard church last November. Her body was found four days later in a well on the suspect’s property. Both the prosecution and defense had requested the delay because of the large amounts of evidence and DNA testing results that have not been received and will be presented during the trial. No new date for the trial has been set.

Marshall Assault Suspect Surrenders

MARSHALL – Marshall police have an assault suspect in custody after putting out the word Tuesday that they were looking for him. Police say 23-year-old Dillon Burr of Marshall surrendered Wednesday at approximately 11:15 a.m. and was booked into the Harrison County Jail. An arrest warrant had been issued for Burr, charged with injury to the disabled, which is a felony. He was also wanted for a parole violation warrant out of Harrison County. Shortly before 12:30 on Sunday morning, Burr is said to have repeatedly hit a man and knocked him to the ground at the Chevron Service Station on East End Boulevard North.

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Hostages released by man armed with machete at Tennessee bank

Posted/updated on: September 23, 2017 at 8:37 am

iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, Tenn.) — All hostages have been released after a man entered a bank in Columbia, Tennessee, armed with a machete Friday afternoon, according to police.

The 54-year-old man initially took nine people hostage at the Community First Bank & Trust before releasing four people, a spokesperson for the Columbia Police Department said. Hours later, the remaining five hostages were released, said Columbia Police Capt. Jeremy Alsup.

No one was injured during the ordeal, but the suspect remains inside the bank, Alsup said.

Emergency dispatchers responded to a call for an armed robbery in progress, police said, though officials later clarified that the hostage situation “does not appear to be a robbery at this time.” The motive is unknown, Alsup said.

Further details on the incident were not immediately available.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Doctors, insurance companies and patient groups slam Graham-Cassidy

Posted/updated on: September 22, 2017 at 2:33 am

Purestock/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Insurance companies, doctors, patients, hospitals and other patient-provider groups are rallying together against the Graham-Cassidy plan, saying it could result in millions losing access to affordable health care and coverage.

It’s not often you see these interest groups align, but the latest Republican repeal-and-replace effort has done just that.

The effort led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., works by eliminating the individual and employer mandates, halting Medicaid expansion and redistributing those funds that would have been used for Medicaid to states in the form of block grants. Republicans say this gives states flexibility to design coverage plans that fit their constituent’s needs, but groups opposed are concerned about loss of Medicaid coverage and how the law might affect people with pre-existing conditions. While people with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage by law, states could allow insurers to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.

Groups like the American Medical Association, which represents the nation’s doctors, and the American Health Insurance Programs, representing big insurers like Anthem and Humana, along with patient advocacy groups, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association have joined a growing list of organizations opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill.

The AARP is asking members to call their lawmakers, saying it will harm the nation’s elderly. AARP released a study saying that Graham-Cassidy would mean big premium increases for older Americans, and would “decrease coverage and undermine preexisting condition protections.”

The American Medical Association said that the Graham-Cassidy bill violates the Hippocratic Oath taken by all doctors, “first do no harm.”

The National Association of Medicaid Directors released a statement saying that they’re “strong proponents of state innovation,” but they said that reforms need to be done with careful consideration and “not rushed through without proper deliberation.”

On Wednesday, insurance companies — who remained quiet about the bill for weeks — came out in opposition to Graham-Cassidy, saying they’re concerned about consumers losing coverage and paying more.

Some of the groups say they instead support short-term measures that would stabilize insurance marketplaces and make cost-sharing payments. Many say they will continue to support the kind of work that was attempted the bipartisan work of Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that failed in committee.

This past summer, many of the same patient, physician and insurance groups also voiced opposition to Republicans’ “skinny repeal” health care push.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg vows to combat election interference

Posted/updated on: September 21, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg condemned Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and promised to do more to stop it in the future in remarks on Thursday after announcing the social media giant would release some 3,000 ads believed to bought by Russian operatives during the 2016 election.

His comments come after Facebook revealed earlier this month that fake accounts linked to a Russian company bought more than $100,000 worth of political ads during the presidential election, adding a new dimension to the ongoing investigations into allegations of Russian election interference.

In Zuckerberg’s remarks, in a Facebook live post on his profile, he said that after finding ads linked to Russian accounts that were believed to be attempting to interfere in the 2016 election, Facebook turned them over to the special prosecutor.

“We’ve been investigating this for many months now, and for a while, we had found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russia running ads. When we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special prosecutor we also briefed Congress and this morning. I directed our team to provide the ads we found to Congress as well,” Zuckerberg said in the video.

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook is going to “strengthen our ad review process for political ads” and use “an even higher standard of transparency” than exists for television and other media already.

At another point in the video, he noted the decisive role that social media played in campaign strategies, and touted Facebook’s voter registration initiative that helped 2 million people register to vote.

“Many of these dynamics were new in this election and in a much larger scale… and they were much larger in scale than any of the interference that we have found,” he said.

He said that dealing with the threat of nation states interfering in elections was not an issue that the company has had to deal with before but “if that’s what we must do then we are committed to rising to the occasion.

“We don’t check what people say before they say it and frankly I don’t think society wants us to,” Zuckerberg said.

He said that if people break Facebook’s code of conduct or the law “there will be consequences.”

“We won’t catch everyone immediately but we can make it harder to try to interfere,” he said.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook would “continue working with the government” and strives “to be a force for good and democracy everywhere.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Immigrant Hurricane Victims Turn to Churches Amid Fear

Posted/updated on: September 20, 2017 at 11:35 am

HOUSTON (AP) – Places of worship and private charities in Texas and Florida are playing a pivotal role for people in the country illegally as they recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They are ineligible for federal disaster aid but children qualify if they have legal status and are under 18 years old. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s application warns parents who apply on behalf of their children that addresses and other information may be shared with immigration officers. It suggests consulting an attorney or other immigration expert with questions. The storms struck as immigration arrests have spiked under President Donald Trump, putting many people on edge. Authorities say information on immigrants seeking disaster relief generally isn’t shared, but those assurances may not appease some who fear getting deported.

Jimmy Kimmel rips senator for lying about new health care bill

Posted/updated on: September 20, 2017 at 1:54 am

United States Congress(NEW YORK) — Jimmy Kimmel ripped into Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on his show Tuesday night for proposing new health care legislation that Kimmel said fails the “Jimmy Kimmel test” that Cassidy himself had proposed in an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in May.

Cassidy appeared on the program earlier this year after Kimmel made an emotional plea for health care legislation that would insure affordable health coverage for all, including people with pre-existing conditions and with no lifetime caps, in the wake of Kimmel’s newborn son needing life-saving heart surgery.

But Kimmel said Wednesday night the new legislation Cassidy and co-sponsor Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have proposed in the Senate did not meet those requirements.

“Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test,” Kimmel said. “He failed his own test.”

Kimmel didn’t mince words for Cassidy, who Kimmel said “wasn’t very honest” when he appeared on the show in the spring.

“I don’t know what happened to Bill Cassidy, but when he was on this publicity tour he listed his demands for a health care bill very clearly. These were his words: He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle class families and no lifetime caps. And guess what? The new bill does none of those things,” Kimmel said.

Speaking directly to Cassidy, Kimmel said, “Stop using my name, all right, ’cause I don’t want my name on it. There’s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you, it’s called a lie detector test, you’re welcome to come by the studio and take it any time.”

Kimmel also had strong words for critics on social media unhappy that he has turned his son’s health into a political cause.

“Before you post the nasty Facebook message saying I’m politicizing my son’s health problems, I want you to know, I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to,” he said.

Kimmel listed the many health care organizations that have opposed the legislation and called on viewers to take action saying of bill’s backers.

“They’re counting on you to be so overwhelmed with all the information, you just trust them to take care of you. But they’re not taking care of you,” Kimmel said. “They’re taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies, and we’re all just looking at our Instagram accounts, liking things, while they’re voting on whether people can afford to keep their children alive or not.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 9/18/17

Posted/updated on: September 19, 2017 at 6:01 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
N.Y. Yankees 2, Minnesota 1
Boston 10, Baltimore 8; 11 Innings
Oakland 8, Detroit 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 4, L.A. Dodgers   3
Milwaukee 3, Pittsburgh 0
Miami 13, N.Y. Mets 1
San Diego 4,  Arizona 2

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Detroit 24, N.Y. Giants 10

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Donald Trump has added another GIF to his history of controversial retweets.

Posted/updated on: September 18, 2017 at 2:41 pm

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The president on Sunday morning retweeted a fake GIF that shows him hitting a golf ball that slams Hillary Clinton in the back, knocking her down.

The tweet was captioned “Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary” and was originally posted by a user who lists their name as “CNN SUCKS” and uses the handle @Fuctupmind.

The White House did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment about the GIF retweet.

This is not the first time that the president’s sharing of a GIF with his 38.6 million Twitter followers has raised eyebrows.

In July, Trump retweeted a video mockup showing the president body-slamming a person whose head was a CNN logo.

The GIF was apparently created from a real video clip of a 2007 stunt in which the then-real estate mogul body-slammed and repeatedly punch World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Chairman Vince McMahon.

A Reddit user at the time, with the handle Han——Solo, claimed to have posted the original mockup of Trump body-slamming the CNN logo. The Anti-Defamation League published an analysis of that user’s Reddit history which found a number of posts that the organization said expressed hate against African-Americans, Muslims and Jews.

The White House said the GIF the president retweeted of him body-slamming the CNN logo didn’t come from Reddit but did not disclose where the image had originated.

The president’s retweet Sunday of the GIF of him hitting a golf ball at Clinton was one of about eight retweets that he shared over the weekend.

Trump retweeted one user, who lists the name “Trumpism 9.0TM” and the handle @Team_Trump45, four times. Each of those tweets had a photo, including one of a train with a “Make America Great Again” hat and another of a cartoon of Trump appearing to drag industries, such as coal and car manufacturing, and individual companies, such as Carrier, Nabisco and Apple, presumably back to the U.S. from overseas.

It is hard to identify some of the Twitter users whom Trump retweets. The user who tweeted the GIF ofTrump’s golf shot hitting Clinton, for example, has listed as an account name “CNN SUCKS,” and as a handle @Fuctupmind. The account’s bio is a series of hashtags like #Trump, #LockHerUp and #IStandWithHannity.

Similarly, the user Trumpism 9.0 uses as a profile image a photo of actor Mark Wahlberg in what looks like a military helmet, and the Twitter bio says only, “Trumpism epitomizes Conservatism, Capitalism, patriotism, & respect for the Constitution. #MAGA,” with a link to a cancer treatment fundraising page, though it is unclear how the user may be associated with the fundraising effort.

Another Twitter user whom Trump retweeted twice over the weekend goes by the name “Lana del Fenty,” which appears to reference both singers Lana del Ray and Rihanna. The profile picture is of model Kendall Jenner with a dog image filter from Snapchat.

The Twitter users retweeted by Trump have come under scrutiny before he was elected too. In January 2016, candidate Trump retweeted a post about his then-rival for the GOP nomination, Jeb Bush, by a user with the handle “WhiteGenocideTM.” That account has since been suspended by Twitter.

Some accounts whose posts Trump has retweeted have posted anti-Semitic tweets in the past. Buzzfeed highlighted tweets in which @Fuctupmind, for example, blasted Hasidic Jews.

Trump does not follow any of the aforementioned Twitter users himself, but one way that he may have spotted the tweets he chose to retweet this past weekend is that the original posts tagged the president’s handle. The president would be able to see all tweets that tag his handle in his Twitter notifications.

Trump only directly follows 45 accounts, among them relatives, businesses, members of his administration, Fox News accounts and personalities, and television producer Mark Burnett who helped create “The Apprentice.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

Scoreboard roundup — 9/17/17

Posted/updated on: September 18, 2017 at 12:34 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Oakland 6, Philadelphia   3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 6,  N.Y. Yankees 4
Tampa Bay  3,  Boston 2
Detroit 12, Chi White Sox  0
Cleveland 3, Kansas City 2
Houston  7, Seattle 1
Minnesota 13, Toronto 7
Texas 4,  L.A. Angels 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cincinnati 5, Pittsburgh 2
N.Y. Mets 5,  Atlanta 1
Milwaukee 10,  Miami 3
Chi Cubs 4,  St. Louis 3
San Diego 4, Colorado 3
San Francisco 7,  Arizona  2
Washington 7, L.A. Dodgers   1

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Minnesota 81, Washington  70
L.A. Sparks 89 , Phoenix  87

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Baltimore  24, Cleveland 10
Pittsburgh  26,  Minnesota  9
New England 36,  New Orleans 20
Tampa Bay 29,  Chicago 7
Tennessee  37, Jacksonville 16
Arizona 16,  Indianapolis 13; OT  
Kansas City 27,  Philadelphia 20
Carolina  9,  Buffalo 3
Oakland 45, N.Y. Jets 20
Miami 19,  Los Angeles 17
Denver  42,  Dallas 17
Seattle 12,  San Francisco  9
Washington  27,  Los Angeles 20
Atlanta  34,  Green Bay  23

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Philadelphia  0, New York  0

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sean Spicer crashes Stephen Colbert’s monologue at the 2017 Emmys

Posted/updated on: September 18, 2017 at 5:23 am

ABCNews.com(LOS ANGELES) — Stephen Colbert didn’t hold back Sunday night while addressing politics and President Trump at the 2017 Emmy Awards — and he also had a surprise guest in former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

The late night host and master of ceremonies at Sunday’s award show immediately fired jokes aimed at Trump and the current administration when he took the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Colbert called Trump the “biggest TV star of the last year,” and then turned his monologue to blaming the Emmys for inspiring Trump’s run for the presidency.

“He was nominated [three times] for “Celebrity Apprentice,'” Colbert said, quipping that “If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president… in some way, this is your fault.”

“You guys love morally compromised heroes,” he continued, saying that “he never forgave you and he never will.”

Colbert then brought up past times Trump had fumed over his Emmy losses, including during one of 2016’s presidential debates with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Then the host snarked that unlike the presidency, the “Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote” — alluding to Clinton winning the popular vote, but losing the electoral college to Trump.

Then, a surprise guest entered the stage, fronted by a satire of the White House press secretary’s podium. Spicer himself poked fun of his infamous presser following Trump’s inauguration, saying, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys — period.”

Hollywood stars in the audience were stunned — including Melissa McCarthy, who imitated Spicer on “Saturday Night Live.”

 

Spicer resigned from his role in the White House back in July.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 9/16/17

Posted/updated on: September 17, 2017 at 5:43 am

iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Philadelphia 5, Oakland 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Houston 8,  Seattle 6
N.Y. Yankees 9,  Baltimore 3
Cleveland 8,  Kansas City 4
Chi White Sox 10,  Detroit  4
Boston 3, Tampa Bay 1
Toronto 7, Minnesota 2
L.A. Angels 2, Texas 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE
L.A. Dodgers 3,  Washington 2
Chi Cubs 4,  St. Louis 1
Cincinnati  2, Pittsburgh 1
Miami 7, Milwaukee 4
N.Y. Mets 7,  Atlanta 3
Colorado 16,  San Diego 0
Arizona 2, San Francisco 0

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
(1) Alabama 41, Colorado St. 23
(2) Oklahoma  56,  Tulane 14
(3) Clemson 47, (14) Louisville 21
(4) Southern Cal 27,  Texas 24; 2OT
(5) Penn St. 56, Georgia St. 0
(6) Washington 48,  Fresno St. 16
(7) Michigan 29, Air Force 13
(8) Ohio St. 38, Army 7
(9) Oklahoma St. 59, Pittsburgh 21
(10) Wisconsin 40,  BYU  6
(17) Miami at (11) Florida St.; postponed
Mississippi St. 37, (12) LSU 7
(13) Georgia 42,  Samford 14
(15) Auburn 24,  Mercer 10
(16) Virginia Tech 64,  East Carolina 17
Vanderbilt 14, (18) Kansas St. 7
San Diego St. 20, (19) Stanford 17
(20) TCU 56, SMU 36
(21) Washington St. 52, Oregon St. 23
(24) Florida 26,  (23) Tennessee 20
Memphis 48, (25) UCLA 45

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Orlando 3, Atlanta 3

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Juggalos,’ Trump supporters hold separate National Mall rallies

Posted/updated on: September 17, 2017 at 3:00 am

Joey Foley/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Supporters of President Donald Trump and fans of the hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse held separate rallies on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

The unrelated events brought hundreds of demonstrators to the area stretching between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol. Both had attracted widespread attention.

Fans of Insane Clown Posse, known as “Juggalos,” held the “Juggalo March” to protest their classification as a gang by the FBI and Department of Justice. A 2011 report on emerging trends by the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center listed Juggalos under “nontraditional gangs.”

“Many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence,” reads the report. “Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft and vandalism.”

Insane Clown Posse, composed of members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, voiced intentions to sue the FBI in 2012 over their fans’ inclusion in the report, according to Rolling Stone. A lawsuit on the matter in 2014 was dismissed and eventually revived by a federal appeals court in 2015, according to the ACLU, which filed the case.

The official “Juggalo March” website describes personal and professional hardships faced by fans over the gang description, including the loss of employment and denial of admittance into the armed forces. The Saturday event will feature speakers and an organized protest march on the western end of the Mall, and will culminate with an Insane Clown Posse performance.

The pro-Trump rally, labeled the “Mother of All Rallies,” was billed as an opportunity for participants to “demand protection for traditional American culture while they express their love for the United States and the ‘America First’ agenda,” according to its website. The event included speakers and musical performances near the Washington Monument in the center of the Mall.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Arizona Air National Guard F-16 crashes, status of pilot unknown

Posted/updated on: September 5, 2017 at 7:19 pm

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — An F-16 fighter jet with the Arizona Air National Guard crashed Tuesday afternoon in southeastern Arizona, officials said.

“Rescue efforts are underway and the status of the pilot is unknown at this time,” read a statement on the Facebook page of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing, of which the F-16 Fighting Falcon is based out of.

The crash happened at 3 p.m. about 20 miles northwest of Safford, Arizona.

The U.S. Air Force has assembled an interim safety board to investigate the incident.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Smith County Murder Trial Delayed

Posted/updated on: June 30, 2017 at 3:58 pm

TYLER – The capital murder trial of a Smith County man is being delayed. State District Judge Jack Skeen has granted the motion to delay the proceedings for 24 year old Gustavo Zavala-Garcia. He has been charged with the death of 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco. She was abducted from a Bullard church last November. Her body was found four days later in a well on the suspect’s property. Both the prosecution and defense had requested the delay because of the large amounts of evidence and DNA testing results that have not been received and will be presented during the trial. No new date for the trial has been set.

Marshall Assault Suspect Surrenders

Posted/updated on: June 28, 2017 at 2:40 pm

MARSHALL – Marshall police have an assault suspect in custody after putting out the word Tuesday that they were looking for him. Police say 23-year-old Dillon Burr of Marshall surrendered Wednesday at approximately 11:15 a.m. and was booked into the Harrison County Jail. An arrest warrant had been issued for Burr, charged with injury to the disabled, which is a felony. He was also wanted for a parole violation warrant out of Harrison County. Shortly before 12:30 on Sunday morning, Burr is said to have repeatedly hit a man and knocked him to the ground at the Chevron Service Station on East End Boulevard North.

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