News Daypop Archives

Boy From Viral Police Photo Missing After Fatal Family Car Crash

Back in 2014, a picture of a Devonte Hart, tears streaming down his face and gripping a white police officer in an embrace during Ferguson-related protests, went viral.  But now Devonte is missing and feared dead after his parents and three of his siblings were killed in a car crash.  On Monday, a passerby spotted the family’s vehicle flipped onto its roof in the Pacific Ocean at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff in a rural part of California’s Mendocino County, according to officials. Devonte’s parents Jennifer and Sarah Hart, both 38, were both found dead inside the S.U.V., rocked by waves washing in and out, say police. Three of their children: Markis, 19, Jeremiah, 14, and Abigail, 14 were recovered outside the vehicle. However Devonte, now 15, and his two sisters Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12, remain missing, say police.  Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said at a press conference Wednesday that while police cannot say with certainty that Devonte, Hannah and Sierra had been in the vehicle, “We have every indication to believe that all six children were in there.” Police are seeking the public’s to help in piecing together the family’s final 24 hours before the crash. The Harts are from Woodland, Wash.... [Read Full Story]

Detroit Man Exonerated Of Murder After 45 Years In Prison

71-year-old Richard Phillips, a Detroit-area man whose murder conviction was thrown out after he spent 45 years in prison, was exonerated Wednesday and won’t face a second trial.  A judge granted a request to permanently drop the case against Phillips, whose conviction was erased last year. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said a new investigation by her office backed his claim that he had no role in a 1971 fatal shooting. She said a key witness lied at his 1972 trial. The case was reopened at the urging of the Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school after a co-defendant at the ’72 trial told the state parole board that Phillips wasn’t involved in the slaying of Gregory Harris. Phillips had been free on bond since December. He likely will be eligible for more than $2 million under Michigan’s wrongful conviction law. Phillips told reporters when asked about his decades in prison that “I’ve never carried bitterness around, so I’m not a bitter man.”... [Read Full Story]

Attorney For Stormy Daniels Seeks To Depose President Trump And His Attorney

The attorney for former adult star Stormy Daniels filed a motion Wednesday in federal court seeking to depose both President Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen over a $130,000 payment made to Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels attorney, Michael Avenatti, filed the documents in U.S. District Court in California. Daniels has publicly claimed she had a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump, and also said Cohen orchestrated a payment to keep her quiet during the election. The White House has denied her claims. At issue is whether the non-disclosure agreement that was signed by Daniels – but not by Trump – is valid. If successful, it would be the first deposition of a sitting president since President Bill Clinton in 1998 had to answer questions about his encounter with Paula Jones.... [Read Full Story]

Larry Nassar’s Former Boss At Michigan State Arrested For Sexual Misconduct

Larry Nassar’s former boss at Michigan State has been arrested, and charged with sex crimes. Dr. William Strampel, 70, is facing criminal charges for allegedly inappropriately touching a student and storing nude photos of female students on his work computer. Strampel also has been accused of failing to monitor Nassar and enforce guidelines put into place after Nassar was investigated in 2014 for sexual harassment. The former dean of the Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine was charged Tuesday with a felony, a high court misdemeanor and two misdemeanors and is due to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon. Michigan State confirmed Strampel’s arrest, but didn’t provide any other details at the time. Nassar is in prison for possessing child pornography, has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years for sexually assaulting girls and women across multiple sports at Michigan State and with the national gymnastics program, including U.S. Olympic teams. ... [Read Full Story]

Linda Brown, Student At The Center Of “Brown v. Board of Education” Dies At 76

Linda Brown Thompson, who as a young girl was the student at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case “Brown v. Board of Education” that declared school segregation unconstitutional, has died in Topeka, Kansas. She was 76. Born in 1943, Brown was in third grade in 1950 when she was denied admission to an all-white elementary school in her hometown of Topeka. She lived 20 blocks from her segregated school, but just five blocks from the all-white school. Kansas schools at the time were segregated by state law. Brown’s father, Rev. Oliver Brown, sued the school district in 1951. The NAACP took up the case, with future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall as the lead attorney for the NAACP. In a unanimous ruling in 1954, the court declared school segregation an unconstitutional violation of the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. ... [Read Full Story]

Chinese Space Station Expected To Crash To Earth On Sunday

China’s first prototype space station is to crash to Earth over Easter scientists expect, amid rumours that the Chinese space agency has lost control of the craft. Known as Tiangong-1 (meaning “heavenly palace” in Chinese) the craft is expected to drop out of orbit over the next week and plummet through Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of seven kilometres per second. Some scientists fear that debris could survive the atmosphere and land anywhere 43 degrees either side of the equator, though most predict the bus-sized spacecraft is most likely to burn up upon re-entry. Reseachers have warned that a number of the spacecraft’s parts – including its dense rocket engines – would be unlikely to burn up, leaving chunks of the craft to crash towards the planet’s surface.... [Read Full Story]

Facebook Stock Plunges As FTC Investigate Privacy Policies

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook’s privacy practices following a week of privacy scandals including allegations a Trump-affiliated political consulting firm got data inappropriately from millions of Facebook users. Facebook’s stock, which already took a big hit last week, plunged as a result. Acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Tom Pahl, said the probe would include whether the company engaged in “unfair acts” that cause “substantial injury” to consumers.  Facebook’s privacy practices have come under fire after revelations that Cambridge Analytica got data on Facebook users. Facebook said in a statement on Monday that the company remains “strongly committed” to protecting people’s information and that it welcomes the opportunity to answer the FTC’s questions. News outlets reported on the FTC investigation last week, but the FTC hadn’t confirmed it until Monday. ... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Will Not Add Lawyers To Legal Team, Despite Announcement

Despite announcing otherwise last week, President Donald Trump will not be adding attorneys Joseph diGenova or Victoria Toensing to his legal team. Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, said in a statement issued Sunday that “The President is disappointed that conflicts prevent Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing from joining the President’s Special Counsel legal team. However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the President in other legal matters. The President looks forward to working with them.” Toensing and diGenova’s hiring would have replaced John Dowd, who served as Trump’s lead counsel in the Russia probe until he resigned last Thursday. Sekulow did not state specifically what conflicts the two lawyers faced; the duo head the Washington law firm diGenova & Toensing and are married.... [Read Full Story]

Facebook Ads Apologize for Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook’s CEO apologized for the Cambridge Analytica scandal with ads in multiple U.S. and British newspapers Sunday, saying the social media platform doesn’t deserve to hold personal information if it can’t protect it. The ad, signed by Mark Zuckerberg, said a quiz app built by a Cambridge University researcher leaked Facebook data of millions of people four years ago. “This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” the ads said. Facebook’s privacy practices have come under fire after Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm affiliated with President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, got data inappropriately. The firm is alleged to have created psychological profiles to influence how people vote or even think about politics and society. Facebook’s stock value has dropped more than $70 billion since the revelations were first published.... [Read Full Story]

Fired FBI Official Authorized Perjury Investigation Against Attorney General

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe authorized a perjury investigation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions nearly one year ago, looking at whether Sessions lied in his testimony about contact with Russian operatives. The investigation ended without criminal charges, according to Sessions’s lawyer, and was not known to Sessions last week when he made the decision to fire McCabe, according to a Justice Department official.  McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told lawmakers about the probe in a closed-door meeting last year. The inquiry eventually went to special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump’s Top Lawyer In Russia Investigation Resigns

The lead attorney representing President Donald Trump in the ongoing Russia investigation has resigned, according to reports Thursday. Attorney John Dowd’s exit comes as Trump appears to shift to a more combative strategy against Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, as well as potential obstruction of justice on the part of the president. According to the New York Times, Dowd tendered his resignation after finally concluding that Trump was “increasingly ignoring his advice.” Mr.Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia probe, describing it as a “witch hunt” and an “American disgrace.” He largely avoided directly calling out Mueller.... [Read Full Story]

‘Exotic’ Batteries And Surveillance Video Aided Police To Locate Austin Bomber

Austin authorities say the use of “exotic” batteries helped them track down the Austin bombing suspect, which resulted in his death early Wednesday morning. After working to track and find the suspect responsible for the various bombings around Austin, Texas, authorities are confident in identifying the man as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt. Officials say Conditt used “exotic” batteries that one could not find in a regular convenience store or even an electronic store. Most likely these unusual batteries originated in Asia and had to be ordered online; however they became the signature property that allowed investigators to quickly connect the various explosions to the same suspect after they took surveillance footage from a FedEx store which showed Conditt dropping off packages containing the explosives. Conditt died in his vehicle after detonating a bomb on the side of Interstate 35, after SWAT forces began encircling him to bring him into custody.... [Read Full Story]

Congress Set To Unveil $1.3 Trillion Spending Package

Congress plans to unveil a massive bipartisan $1.3 trillion spending package Wednesday that will keep the government funded until the end of September. Lawmakers have agreed on funding levels for every corner of the government with $700 billion budgeted for defense and $591 billion slated for non-defense spending, but the legislation also is expected to include policy riders like a bill that incentivizes state and federal authorities to report more data to the country’s gun background check system. Lawmakers have until Friday at midnight to pass the bill before the government runs out of money. The House is expected to vote on the plan later this week, however the main obstacle will be whether the Senate can move quickly enough to avert a shutdown given its rules. If one lawmaker objects, it could force Senate leaders to run out the clock and even face a temporary shutdown into the weekend.... [Read Full Story]

FedEx Explosion In San Antonio Is Being Linked To Austin Blasts

A package that exploded at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday is being linked to four blasts in Austin this month, according to sources. Tuesday’s explosion occurred around 12:25 a.m. local time (1:25 a.m. ET) in the sorting area of a facility in Schertz, Texas, officials said. At a news conference Tuesday morning, authorities declined to make a connection between the FedEx explosion and the Austin incidents, but a source briefed on the investigation later said that the blasts are indeed linked. Schertz is located 50 miles away from Austin; the bomber is thought to have mailed two packages from a FedEx drop-off center on Brodie Lane in Austin. One of the packages made it to Schertz where it exploded before it was to be sorted and returned to Austin, while the other arrived at a FedEx facility near the Austin airport, according to the source. Both packages are believed to have contained nails, the source said. They were both thought to be bound for Austin.... [Read Full Story]

2 Injured, Gunman Dead In Maryland High School Shooting

A 17-year-old student shot and critically wounded two fellow students at a Maryland high school on Tuesday morning. The gunman was shot and killed after exchanging gunfire with a campus security officer, the county sheriff said.  The shooting occurred just before 8 a.m. at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, county Sheriff Timothy Cameron said. A 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were wounded and taken to hospitals. The girl was in intensive care with life-threatening critical injuries, the sheriff said, while the boy was in good condition. The gunman was identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins. Sheriff Cameron said there was “an indication” of a prior relationship between him and the female student, though he said that was still under investigation. Rollins pulled out a Glock semiautomatic handgun around 7:55 a.m. in a hallway and shot the students, the sheriff said. The attack lasted less than a minute, ending after the school resource officer, Deputy 1st Class Sheriff Blaine Gaskill, ran inside the building and engaged with Rollins, with both firing a single round almost simultaneously. The officer was not harmed, however Rollins was confirmed deceased after being taken to a hospital.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump’s Opioid Addiction Plan To Include Harsher Penalties

President Donald Trump unveiled a plan to combat the opioid epidemic that will include increased funds for treatment and harsher sentences for drug traffickers. One of the major components of the plan will be to pursue the death penalty against drug traffickers. “The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when it’s appropriate under current law,” Andrew Bremberg, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council said on Sunday. Mr. Trump’s plan will also ask Congress to pass legislation that lowers the amount of illegal drugs needed to invoke federal mandatory minimum sentences for drug traffickers “who knowingly distribute certain illicit opioids that are lethal in trace amounts.”... [Read Full Story]

Austin Police Seek ‘Serial Bomber’ After Fourth Explosion

After the fourth explosion in less than three weeks in Austin, Texas, officials said on Monday that it appears to be the work of a serial bomber. Authorities warned that the devices appear to be getting more sophisticated. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said “we are clearly dealing with a serial bomber,” adding that he was unable to answer questions about whether the incidents should be considered domestic terrorism. “We will have to determine if we see a specific ideology behind this.” The most recent occurrence was on Sunday just after 8:30 p.m. local time, when two bicyclists received non-life-threatening injuries after apparently setting off a tripwire in the southwest of the city. “With this tripwire, this changes things,” said Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio division. “It’s more sophisticated, it’s not targeted to individuals … a child could be walking down a sidewalk and hit something.”  The two latest victims, white men ages 22 and 23, set off the bomb that had been left next to a fence and were recovering in the hospital with “significant injuries,” Manley said. ... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Claims Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s Memos Are ‘Fake’

President Donald Trump on Sunday questioned special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and raised doubts about whether a fired top FBI official kept personal memos outlining his interactions with Mr. Trump. In a series of tweets, the President elevated his tension with Mueller, whose team is examining Trump campaign ties to Russia; former-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who was fired on  Friday by the attorney general; and former FBI Director James Comey, fired by the President last year.  Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said this past week that they had completed a draft report concluding, after a yearlong investigation, that there was no collusion or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia; committee Democrats vehemently disagreed.... [Read Full Story]

Vladimir Putin Overwhelmingly Wins Another 6 Years As Russian Leader

Vladimir Putin won in a crushing re-election victory Sunday for six more years as Russia’s president.  He told cheering supporters in a brief speech that “we are bound for success.” There was little doubt that Putin would win in his fourth electoral contest as he only faced seven minor candidates. Putin had amassed 76 percent of the vote with ballots from 80 percent of Russia’s precincts counted by early Monday in Russia.  Putin became President in Russia on New Year’s Eve 1999 after Boris Yeltsin’s surprise resignation.... [Read Full Story]

Fatalities Reported In Florida International University Bridge Collapse In Miami

Several fatalities were reported after a newly installed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University collapsed Thursday, leaving several vehicles trapped underneath the sprawling wreckage. Florida Highway Patrol said there were several fatalities after the structure, called the “Instant Bridge,” collapsed just before 2 p.m. at the Miami-area university. No official number was released at press time. Miami police confirmed that Miami-Dade Fire Rescue had recovered six people with injuries. The bridge, projected to be finished in early 2019, was set to link the university’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, where an estimated 4,000 students live. The bridge is a $9.3 million project and was just installed on Saturday, with many celebrating the new construction. ... [Read Full Story]

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley Tells U.N. That Russia Was Responsible For Chemical Attack

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the United States believes Russia is responsible for a chemical attack in Britain on a former Russia double agent and his daughter, and the U.N. Security Council should take action. “The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent,” Haley said before the UN Security Council on Wednesday.  “The United States stands in absolutely solidarity with Great Britain.”  The former agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were found collapsed on a bench in southern England on March 4. They were poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent, that was smeared on his car door.  The UK has already responded to the incident. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, who she said were Russian spies. May also said the UK would freeze the assets of Russians living in the UK under suspicion of undermining British interests.... [Read Full Story]

Dog Dies On United Flight After Flight Attendant Allegedly Told Passenger To Put Pet Carrier In Overhead Bin

The seven-year-old daughter of the woman whose French bulldog died after being told to put his carrier in overhead bin by a United Airlines flight attendant is speaking out. Sophia Ceballos, speaking on behalf of her mother, Catalina Robledo, said  “while we were flying, the dog started barking and barking and there was no flight attendants coming. We couldn’t stand up because there was a lot of turbulence so we weren’t allowed to.” Ceballos said that attempts to inform the flight attendant of the situation during the four-hour flight from Houston to New York was unsuccessful. Ceballos also said the United employee lied about what happened during the flight. United Airlines spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin gave the following statement: “This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”  The cause of death is not yet known, but, while the overhead compartments are not airtight, lack of oxygen may have been a factor.... [Read Full Story]

Students Demand Action On Gun Violence With Nationwide Walkout

One month after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, survivors joined tens of thousands of students across the U.S. by walking out of school on Wednesday morning. The mass protests were held at 10 a.m. local time in each time zone and lasted 17 minutes, one for each of the Parkland victims. Organizers said the purpose was to highlight “Congress’ inaction against the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.” An estimated 185,000 people in 50 states were expected to join the walkout, with around 3,100 schools planning to participate. At Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, the walkout lasted 30 minutes — 17 minutes for the Parkland victims, and 13 for each victim of the massacre at the high school in 1999. During the half-hour of silence, students released red, white or blue balloons, one at a time, in memory of those killed.  In Parkland, crowds that had gathered cheered as students exited the high school and gathered in the center of the football field.... [Read Full Story]

House Republicans Say Investigation Found No Evidence Of Russia-Trump Collusion

House Republicans who investigated foreign interference in the 2016 election say they have found no evidence that Russians colluded with any members of the Trump campaign.  This report disputes key findings from the intelligence community that Russia had developed a preference for the Republican nominee during the election. This was the initial statement made from the 150-page report from GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee, who formally brought the panel’s lengthy investigation to an end over the objection of Democrats. Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas said the probe ultimately found no definitive proof that the Trump campaign actively cooperated with any Russians to influence the vote.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Replaces Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson With CIA Chief Mike Pompeo

President Donald Trump announced a major shakeup in his Cabinet on Tuesday, replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.  Mr. Trump made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday morning. “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” Trump tweeted.  White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Trump had asked Tillerson to step aside. Tillerson said his job would terminate at midnight March 31 and that he plans to effectively delegate duties to his deputy, John Sullivan.... [Read Full Story]

Pilot Says Passenger Bag May Have Hit Fuel Switch, Leading To New York City Helicopter Crash

According to a federal official, the pilot who survived a helicopter crash that killed five passengers told investigators he believes a passenger’s bag might have hit an emergency fuel shutoff switch in the moments before the chopper went down. Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board also is scrutinizing why an emergency flotation device apparently didn’t deploy properly when the tour helicopter went down in the East River. The floats are supposed keep a helicopter upright; the Eurocopter AS350 that crashed Sunday overturned and submerged.  The National Transportation Safety Board investigators began working to find out what caused the crash, which killed a Texas firefighter, an Argentine woman, a young video journalist and two others who were on a charter flight to take photos. Pilot Richard Vance managed to free himself from the rapidly sinking chopper, and was the only survivor. The owner of the helicopter, Liberty Helicopters, has been involved in at least five incidents in the last 10 years, according to FAA data. An August 2009 collision over the Hudson River between a Liberty chopper and a small, private plane killed nine people, including a group of Italian tourists. ... [Read Full Story]

Third Austin Texas Package Explosion Now Linked To Two Deadly Incidents

Police in Austin say there are “similarities” between three package explosions in Texas’ capital city this month, two fatal, lead them to believe the incidents are related. The latest fatal incident was reported Monday morning, killing a 17-year-old boy and wounding a woman. The boy died at the scene and the woman in her 40s was taken to the hospital with potentially life threatening injuries after the explosion at the East Austin home before 7 a.m.  In an earlier incident on March 2, Anthony Stephan House, 39, was killed when a package exploded at his northeast Austin home. Police also responded Monday morning to a report of an explosion in southeast Austin in which a woman was badly injured. A 75-year-old woman and is listed in critical but stable condition; her injuries are considered life threatening.  A task force had been formed to investigate the incidents, and authorities are urging residents to be careful and not to open suspicious packages. If residents encounter any packages left at their homes they aren’t expecting they are urging them to call 911.... [Read Full Story]

Elon Musk Reveals That SpaceX Is Planning To Launch Rocket To Mars In 2019

The founder and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, says the company is planning to launch a spacecraft to Mars and return it to Earth by 2019.  Musk said to the crowd during a surprise appearance at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, on Sunday that “I think we’ll be able to do short flights, sort of up-and-down flights, probably some time in the first half of next year. I can tell you what I know currently is the case is that we are building the first ship, the first Mars interplanetary ship right now,”   A successful mission to Mars in 2019 would be a historic achievement for SpaceX, the private company founded by Musk in 2002 with the mission of enabling travel between planetary bodies. The firm successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket in February, catapulting Musk’s own Tesla Roadster toward the Red Planet to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”  Musk said at SXSW that SpaceX’s Mars rocket would have twice the liftoff thrust of the Saturn V, the rocket NASA used to send astronauts to the Moon. He said the company is focused on ensuring the rocket’s boosters are reusable in subsequent launches, which dramatically reduces the cost of each flight.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump’s School Safety Proposal Calls for Arming Staff, Raising Gun-Buying Age

President Trump will propose arming school staff and raising the minimum age to purchase certain firearms to 21 in a school safety proposal the administration will release on Sunday, a White House spokesman said.  Sunday’s announcement came two days after the NRA filed a lawsuit against a measure signed into law by Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, that included raising the age limit on buying a gun from 18 to 21.  Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah said the President was also likely to back a bipartisan Senate bill that Republican John Cornyn and Democrat Chris Murphy introduced to improve federal compliance with criminal background checks. Shah did not say if Trump’s proposal to raise the minimum age for buying certain guns would involved supporting federal legislation or encouraging states to act, and also said there would be a provision that would involve having “trained individuals” in schools, including staff.... [Read Full Story]

Trump Orders New Tariffs With Exemptions For Mexico And Canada

On Thursday, President Donald Trump approved new steel and aluminum tariffs. Shortly before he signed proclamations imposing the tariffs, Trump said in the White House Roosevelt Room, flanked by steel and aluminum workers from Pennsylvania and Kentucky, that “Today, I’m defending America’s national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel.  You don’t have steel, you don’t have a country.” The tariffs — 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum — will take effect March 23, a senior administration official told reporters.... [Read Full Story]