Monday, May 21, 2018

Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister reportedly 'in talks' with producers to turn her tell-all into a film or TV show

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Meghan Markle’s estranged half-sister Samantha Grant may be causing more trouble for the new Duchess of Sussex.

Grant is reportedly in talks with Hollywood producers to turn her tell-all book into a film or TV series.

The 53-year-old did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment Sunday.

Grant told UK’s The Sun Friday she is considering selling the rights of her yet unreleased autobiography, titled “The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.”

“I have been approached to sell the rights,” she told the publication.

However, Grant slammed rumors of the family allegedly pitching a Kardashian-style reality TV series titled “Meet the Markles.”

“That’s crazy,” she said. “I put a joke out about a year ago. I said someone should do a reality show called ‘Meet the Markles.’ I guess they are casting people, but it never involved me.”

The news came just days after Grant’s boyfriend Mark Phillips told TMZ a “paparazzi confrontation” forced the couple to swerve their car into a concrete barrier near a toll booth in Florida. Grant shared an image of herself at the hospital.

However, Lieutenant Kim Montes, a spokeswoman for Florida Highway Patrol Troop D, told Fox News they’ve been unable to find any record of such an event taking place, despite citizens being legally obligated to call 911 in the event of a car accident in which there was property damage.

Montes noted the detail of the crash taking place near a toll both helped narrow the investigation significantly as there are only so many roads that fit the couple’s description. There have been no reports of damage to a concrete barrier.

Montes added that because no report has been filed and no evidence of the event has been found, there’s no justification for authorities to open an investigation into Grant’s claims at this time.

Back in January, Grant told Fox News her memoir doesn’t slam Markle, who married Britain’s Prince Harry on Saturday.

“I have to say, my book’s not what all of these people are saying it is,” she said. “Just because it has the word ‘pushy’ doesn’t mean it’s a slamming tell-all… I was making fun of the tabloids.

“And I think she believed that I was slamming her and writing a nasty tell-all… My sister is not pushy. I was making fun of the media and the tabloids in choosing that title. My goal is really to show how lovely and amazing she is. I look forward to the both of us hopefully laughing over this.”

Grant said her book is one that will honor both the former “Suits” star and the royal family.

“My book is honoring, warm, witty and something that I think both my sister and the royal family would be proud of,” she said. “And when we’re all dead 100 years from now, hopefully, people who read it would not only be proud of it but will feel enlightened in a positive way. And it was my goal to leave something good on the planet when we’re all gone.

“I want her to have peace and happiness in her marriage without wondering if someone out there is going to drop a negative, disgusting, disparaging bomb. That’s not the case. I love her… I would never do that to her, to myself or to future generations. I don’t believe in putting out filthy, damaging literature to the world.”

Grant admitted the last time she spoke to Markle was in 2014. Still, the half-sister has caused lots of chaos for her famous younger sibling.

Grant recently revealed on Twitter she came up with the idea to have their father, Thomas Markle, be photographed in Mexico, where he lives.

The patriarch, who was confirmed to walk Markle down the aisle, told TMZ he wouldn’t be attending the wedding after suffering from a heart attack, as well as the fallout over the photographed which he admitted were staged. Harry’s father Prince Charles took Thomas’ place and walked Markle halfway down the aisle.

“The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault,” Grant tweeted. “The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family.”

She added, “We had no idea he would be taken advantage of. It was not for money.”

According to the Daily Mail, Markle’s father received $135,000 for the photos, which included him getting fit for a suit for the wedding.

Meghan Markle's father Thomas Markle drops off flowers at Meghan's mother Doria Ragland home days before the wedding. 10 May 2018 Pictured: Thomas Markle. Photo credit: Rachpoot/MEGA TheMegaAgency.com +1 888 505 6342 (Mega Agency TagID: MEGA217895_009.jpg) [Photo via Mega Agency]

Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle admitted his paparazzi photos were staged.  (Mega)

However, Grant insisted her father didn’t call the paparazzi for money.

“I’m entirely the culprit,” she said. “I said to him to show the world ‘I’m getting in shape and getting healthy’ so I suggested it,” she admitted on Britain’s “Loose Women.”

TMZ reported Grant, who wasn’t invited to the royal wedding, hosted a viewing party at her Florida home with her boyfriend and some friends. 

Grant previously told Fox News she and her family are new to the spotlight and it can be difficult to cope with the worldwide interest in their personal lives.

“As much as I love and respect Meg, she’s got security and a publicist and can be protected from all that,” she said. “She and Harry can tell the media to stop. The rest of the family doesn’t have that luxury. I love her, [but] she may not want me saying anything.

“I refuse to be a victim of the media. I’m not going to let them disparage me, embarrass me personally and professionally and not defend myself… I can only hope she would respect and understand that… In fact, if I were Meg, I would probably put something out there so that there was some sort of protective mechanism in place where the family couldn’t be tortured as much.”

Grant added she’s an “outspoken” and “sensitive person” who has to defend herself and her family, whether Markle likes it or not.

“The media was getting out of hand,” she said. “Maybe that’s how the royals do business. And I guess as a family, we will experience that. But as a family, we’ve always been free-thinking Americans culturally raised in freedom of speech… We have our own lives and interesting stories to share.”

LGBT community cheers pope's 'God made you like this' remark

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Pope Francis’ reported comments to a gay man that “God made you like this” have been embraced by the LGBT community as another sign of Francis’ desire to make gays feel welcomed and loved in the Catholic Church.

Juan Carlos Cruz said Monday he spoke to Francis about his homosexuality during their meetings at the Vatican. Cruz was the main whistleblower in Chile’s clerical sex abuse and cover-up scandal, and met last month with Francis to discuss it.

Cruz, a victim of a predator priest, said he had been discredited by Chile’s bishops for being gay and told Francis of the pain their slander caused. “He said ‘Look Juan Carlos, the pope loves you this way, God made you like this and he loves you.'”

The Vatican declined to comment.

Hawaii volcano's two-story lava wall blocks crucial escape route, residents urged to steer clear of toxic cloud

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Lava gushing out of cracks caused by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano over the weekend formed a two-story wall blocking parts of a highway crucial for residents to escape. as authorities warn them to steer clear of the plumes of acid and extremely fine shards of glass billowing into the sky.

The active flows from some of the 22 fissures that have opened up on the Big Island since volcanic activity began more than two weeks created a 20-foot wall of lava on Highway 137. Scientists said the new lava is hotter and moves faster to cover a wider area.

By Saturday night, the lava flow crossed over the highway, cutting off the route for thousands of residents in the Lower Puna communities, officials said. 

Members of the media record a wall of lava entering the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Kilauea volcano, oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii's Big Island, has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with rivers of molten rock pouring into the ocean and flying lava causing the first major injury. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Members of the media record a wall of lava entering the ocean near Pahoa.  (AP)

“(Look at) how huge this thing is,” Herman Andaya with Maui Emergency Management, told Hawaii News Now. “The magnitude in the flow, and everything.”

He added, “I’m speechless.”

HAWAII VOLCANO ACTIVITY PROMPTS NEW THREATS AS MAN SERIOUSLY INJURED FROM LAVA SPATTER

Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency announced parts of Highway 137 was closed between Kamaili and Pohoiki roads. Highway 130 was open to residents, but cracks that began forming on the road also threatened to shut down that route. Authorities attempted to stiffen the cracks last week with metal plates.

Hawaii Volcano Map 1

The lava has cut off Highway 137, a major escape route for residents in the area.  (Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency)

Road closures, however, isn’t the only issue Hawaiians near the volcano are worrying about.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony wears a gas mask as he stands next to a wall of lava entering the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Kilauea volcano, oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii's Big Island, has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with rivers of molten rock pouring into the ocean and flying lava causing the first major injury. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The 20-foot lava wall was seen after active flows from fissures dumped the molten rock in neighborhoods.  (AP)

The Civil Defense Agency said Sunday night two lava flows that entered the ocean formed a toxic steam cloud caused by a chemical reaction when the lava touches seawater. The laze is a mix of hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles that causes health hazards including trouble breathing and irritated eyes and skin.  

Joseph Kekedi, an orchid grower who lives and works about 3 miles from where lava dropped into the sea, said luckily the flow didn’t head toward him.

“Here’s nature reminding us again who’s boss,” Kekedi said.

Scientists said the acid in the plume was about as corrosive as diluted battery acid. The glass was in the form of fine glass shards. Getting hit by it might feel like being sprinkled with glitter.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Anthony, of the Hawaii National Guard, measures sulfur dioxide gas levels at a lava flow on Highway 137 southeast of Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 20, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester - RC123CF989A0

A lava flow on Highway 137 southeast of Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano.  (AP)

The toxic plume traveled about 15 miles west of where the lava met the ocean.

HAWAII VOLCANO CREATES TOXIC STEAM CLOUDS AS CORROSIVE AS DILUTED BATTERY ACID

The active lava flows and bush fire was still a threat Monday morning. Officials added that sulfur dioxide levels have tripled and warned people to take action to limit exposure.

Plumes of steam rise as lava enters the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii Sunday, May 20, 2018. Kilauea volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii's Big Island has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with rivers of molten rock pouring into the ocean Sunday and flying lava causing the first major injury. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Plumes of steam rise as lava enters the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii.  (AP)

Kilauea has burned some 40 structures, including two dozen homes, since it began erupting in people’s backyards in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on May 3. Some 2,000 people have evacuated their homes, including 300 who were staying in shelters. One man has been injured after being hit with lava spatter on his shin that “shattered everything from there down on his leg.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

TeenSafe leaks thousands of kid's email addresses and passwords

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TeenSafe advertises itself as a service allowing parents to monitor what their children are doing on smartphones in order to keep them safe. It does this through the use of an iOS or Android app, which allows parents to view the texts, call logs, web history, and location of a phone. The problem is, TeenSafe didn’t secure its servers or the data it stored properly.

As ZDNet reports, in order for TeenSafe to work it requires two-factor authentication be turned off on a device, and in the case of an iPhone, for the parent to know a child’s Apple ID and password. TeenSafe stores these details for each account on servers hosted by Amazon Web Services and did so without encrypting the data. Two of those servers were not protected properly, which meant anyone could access the information.

As you’ve probably guessed, the inevitable happened. TeenSafe has been forced to take the servers offline and alert customers whose details were exposed that they may be at risk. It’s unclear exactly how many accounts were exposed, but one of the servers contained 10,200 records from the past three months. Some of those were duplicates, but it’s safe to assume thousands of customers need to be contacted.

More From PCmag

What leaked includes parent TeenSafe and child Apple ID email addresses, device unique identifiers, and the password associated with each Apple account. ZDNet verified with several parents over iMessage that the leaked data was correct. To be clear, most of the leaked data allows acces to the devices of children because that’s what was stored to allow parents to gain access to the devices through TeenSafe.

If you use TeenSafe (more than a million parents do according to its website), then I’d suggest not waiting to find out if your data was accessed. Get your kids to change their passwords and turn on two-factor authentication. You’ll lose the ability to use TeenSafe, but this is a service running unsecured servers and storing your children’s account information in plaintext. Why would you want to keep using it?

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

Two off-duty Indiana police officers shot during late night bar brawl

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Indiana prosecutors may have run out of time Monday to file charges against a man taken into custody after two off-duty police officers were shot over the weekend during a late night bar altercation.

O’Neill Cruz-Burgos, 25, of Burnham, Ill., was detained early Saturday morning after the shooting outside Growlers bar in Highland. But a prosecutor told the Times of Northwest Indiana on Sunday afternoon that police can only hold him for 48 hours without filing any charges. His status Monday is unclear and a message to Highland Police from Fox News was not returned.

The shooting around 2:30 a.m. Saturday unfolded after two men, one of whom police believe is Cruz-Burgos, had left the bar and then “returned and were advised by Growlers security staff that the business was no longer allowing patrons inside as it was near closing time,” police were quoted as saying.

“A disturbance evolved between these two males and the two victims, which became physical and it ultimately ended up outside near the east parking lot,” police added in a statement, according to NBC Chicago.

Two officers ended up getting struck by gunfire – East Chicago Police Officer David Aguilera in the head, and off-duty Gary officer Dwayne Brown, who was working as a bouncer in the bar, sources told the Times of Northwest Indiana.

“All of a sudden there was a lot of yelling, and a lot of pushing and then there were gunshots and … everyone who was inside the bar – probably a crowd of about 60 people – we all got pushed back to the bar in the back of the room, and they told us to stay down until everything was clear,” Matthew Potacki, a bar patron, told WLS.

Both officers were taken to hospitals and have since been released, the sources added. They also said Aguilera was shot after identifying himself as a police officer.

“Officer Aguilera is being discharged from the hospital today! Thank you to everyone for your kind words and prayers,” the East Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 59 posted on Facebook Sunday.

Police that arrived on-scene then took into custody two men walking away from the bar, but one was released hours later after questioning.

Inmate: No bodies 'I know of' at dig site for missing girls

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An inmate whose reported boasting in prison inspired police to dig for the remains of up to seven girls who have been missing for decades in suburban Detroit says he’s not aware of any bodies at the site.

Arthur Ream spoke by phone from prison with the Detroit Free Press . In remarks published Monday, he said there’s “no bodies there that I know of.”

Police were inspired to dig in Macomb Township this month after talking to Ream, who was locked up in 2008 for slaying a 13-year-old girl. Cindy Zarzycki’s remains were found a decade ago near the same woods about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Detroit.

In the newspaper interview, Ream repeats his claim that Cindy’s death was accidental and he denies killing anyone at all.

Trump touts China trade progress, says Obama and Dems 'did NOTHING'

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President Trump touted progress in trade negotiations with China on Monday following criticism that Beijing might be getting the better of the administration. 

“I ask Senator Chuck Schumer, why didn’t President Obama & the Democrats do something about Trade with China, including Theft of Intellectual Property etc.? They did NOTHING! With that being said, Chuck & I have long agreed on this issue! Fair Trade, plus, with China will happen!” Trump tweeted early Monday. 

The president’s tweet comes after high-level talks in Washington last week. Beijing agreed in a joint statement with the U.S. to  “substantially reduce” America’s trade deficit with China, but did not commit to cut the gap by any specific amount. The Trump administration has sought to slash the deficit by $200 billion.

MNUCHIN SAYS US HAS DEAL WITH CHINA TO CUT TRADE DEFICIT, WILL HOLD OFF ON TARIFFS 

In a written statement Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said: “President Trump has created a unique opportunity but the people doing the negotiating shouldn’t blow it. There is nothing wrong with these talks but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” 

He called for China to take “strong actions on intellectual property, cyber theft, and American companies having free access to sell goods in China.” 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said that the U.S. and China have reached a tentative deal to cut trade deficits that includes the U.S. putting China tariffs on hold, an agreement that potentially averts an economic standoff. Mnuchin said that tariffs would be put on hold while the countries try to execute the framework agreement. Mnuchin also said the U.S. expects to see farm sales to China increasing 35 to 45 percent this year alone.

“China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products—would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!” Trump tweeted Monday. “On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time.”

But Trump has faced criticism, including from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. 

“If putting tariffs ‘on hold’ means that while we ‘talk’ #China gets to continue to block U.S. companies but do whatever they want here & to steal intellectual property then #China has out negotiated the U.S. again,” Rubio tweeted on Sunday. “If we make a deal in which #China promises to buy $200 billion from U.S. in exchange for business as usual, the current administration will become the latest example of a White House so desperate for a deal they get beat badly by China in negotiation.”

The Trump administration proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, and Trump later ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to seek up to an additional $100 billion in Chinese products to tax.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., however, praised the administration’s actions, noting it was “smart to engage China on trade abuses” and would also be “smart to get them more involved in trying to help us with North Korea.”

The president echoed that sentiment on Twitter early Monday.

“China must continue to be strong & tight on the Border of North Korea until a deal is made. The word is that recently the Border has become much more porous and more has been filtering in. I want this to happen, and North Korea to be VERY successful, but only after signing!” Trump tweeted.

The president is slated to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12, though the rogue regime has threatened to cancel talks following military exercises practiced by South Korea and U.S. North Korea canceled a high-level summit with South Korea last week.

Fox News’ Joseph Weber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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

Beyonce bought a church in New Orleans, report says

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Beyonce’s latest splurge in the Big Easy? A church of her very own.

TMZ reported Monday the 36-year-old is the new owner of a stone structured 7,500 sq. ft. house of God in New Orleans.

The church, which is reported to be more than 100 years old, was listed at $850,000. However, it’s unknown how much the entertainer coughed up for her latest investment.

The celebrity gossip site revealed the church was built in the early 1900s but had been out of commission as a place of worship for some time due to its members passing away. Beyonce’s younger sister, fellow singer Solange Knowles, also lives nearby.

A rep for Beyonce did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Beyonce is hardly the first celebrity to buy a religious site. Katy Perry has been involved in a contentious lawsuit with nuns over an 8-acre convent she purchased.

Beyonce’s reported purchase comes just weeks after a San Francisco church held a mass devoted to the music and accomplishments of Beyonce.

“Come to The Vine SF to sing your Beyonce favorites and discover how her art opens a window into the lives of the marginalized and forgotten, particularly Black women,” the Grace Cathedral announced on their site. “The Rev. Yolanda Norton, Assistant Professor of Old Testament at San Francisco Theological Seminary who created the ‘Beyonce and the Hebrew Bible’ class at SFTS, will be preaching.”

The Vine is a service offered by the Episcopal cathedral that provides contemporary worship and progressive theology.

“In this year where there’s been so much conversation about the role of women and communities of color, we felt a need to lift up the voices that the church has traditionally suppressed,” Rev. Jude Harmon, The Vine’s founding pastor, told The San Francisco Gate in April. “The beauty of Beyonce’s music is she explores those themes in an idiom that is accessible to everyone. We can use it as a conversation starter. That’s what it’s designed to be.”

“I know there are people who will say using Beyonce is just a cheap way of trying to get people in the church,” Harmon added. “But Jesus used very provocative images in the stories he would tell to incite people to ask hard questions about their own religious assumptions. He regularly provoked. We’re following in the way of Jesus.”

NASA is launching a box of lasers to make the coldest spot in the universe

With an experiment launching to the International Space Station Monday (May 21), scientists will be able to create a temperature that’s 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space to focus in on atoms’ weird quantum behavior. 

The Cold Atom Laboratory  (CAL) is a physics research facility the size of an ice chest, designed and built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, that will chill clouds of atoms with lasers and magnets aboard the space station to this ultracold temperature — close to absolute zero, or the lowest temperature possible. 

Sunday’s cargo launch to the space station, which is scheduled for 4:39 a.m. EDT (0839 GMT), will carry a number of experiments, including CAL. You can watch the launch live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV, beginning at 4 a.m. EDT (0800 GMT). [Visibility Guide: How to See the Antares Rocket Launch Monday]

Researchers will be able to conduct remote experiments in CAL, without any help from astronauts, for up to 6.5 hours every day, according to NASA’s project page for CAL. 

More From Space.com

These ultracooled clouds of atoms are chilled to just about (but not quite) absolute zero. (Absolute zero is equivalent to minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 273.15 degrees Celsius.) Known as Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs), the clouds contain atoms that are so cold, they move extremely slowly. Under Earth’s gravity, the atoms in freely evolving BECs can’t be slowed down enough for physicists to observe them for any longer than a fraction of a second, so scientists hardly get a chance to study their quantum characteristics, NASA officials said on the project page. 

However, aboard the space station in a microgravity environment, things are much different. Without Earth’s gravity getting in the way, these atoms can be slowed down more than they can anywhere else, using lasers and magnetic forces in an “ice-chest-like” compartment. The lasers slow down the atoms, cooling them to “like one-tenth of a billion of a degree above absolute zero,” Robert Shotwell, CAL project manager and an engineer at JPL, said at a news conference on May 10. 

In using CAL to study the atoms’ quantum activity, physicists will be able to better understand how atoms behave at these extreme temperatures, a main thread in physics for over a century, according to a NASA overview.

After cooling the atoms, CAL will automatically load them into weak magnetic traps, where researchers can study them. With the atoms held in place, the teams will be able to observe them in a variety of quantum states and interactions, NASA officials said in the overview. At this extreme temperature, researchers can observe the quantum characteristics and behaviors of BECs for up to 10 seconds, according to the project page. This might not sound like a lot of time, but it’s significant when compared to the observation time possible on Earth. 

“Studying these hypercold atoms could reshape our understanding of matter and the fundamental nature of gravity,” Robert Thompson, a CAL project scientist at JPL, said in a statement. “The experiments we’ll do with the Cold Atom Lab will give us insight into gravity and dark energy — some of the most pervasive forces in the universe.”

The CAL mission began development in 2012 and will operate through 2020.

Visit Space.com Monday for complete coverage of Orbital ATK’s OA-9 Cygnus launch for NASA.

Original article on Space.com.

Meghan Markle opens up about new role as Duchess of Sussex

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Meghan Markle has offered a glimpse of how she sees her new role as the Duchess of Sussex in two new pages posted on the royal website hours after the former actress married Britain’s Prince Harry.

The newly minted duchess’ pages highlight her focus on social issues and notes that she campaigned successfully at age 11 to have a company change the sexist language it used to sell dishwashing soap. The “About the Duchess of Sussex” page also pointed out that she volunteered at a soup kitchen in Los Angeles’ Skid Row and worked at another kitchen in Canada while working as an actress in Toronto.

“I am proud to be a woman and a feminist,” the page quotes her as saying.

A second “biography” page mentions her education, first at the Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse, Immaculate Heart High School and Northwestern University, where she earned a double major in theater and international relations.

It also discusses the seven years she spent playing Rachel Zane in the U.S. television drama “Suits.”

“Whilst working on Suits, the duchess moved to Toronto, Canada where the show was filmed; she feels very connected to Canada, as it became a second home to her,” the biography said.

Prince Harry and Markle were named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they were married Saturday at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.

Funeral for Polish WWII hero held in Warsaw

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A funeral with military honors for a World War II hero and Warsaw Rising fighter has been held in the Polish capital.

Stanislaw Likiernik, who had Jewish roots, was 16 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, starting the war. He joined Poland’s resistance fighters, the Home Army, and took part in sabotage actions like blowing up German army transports and executions of Nazi informers. He fought and was injured in the failed struggle to liberate Warsaw in 1944. His heroics were an inspiration for a popular novel and film.

After the war he settled in Paris, where he studied political science. After the 1956 easing of the communist regime, he often visited Poland.

Likiernik died April 17 in France and his funeral Monday was at the military section of Powazki cemetery.

Headed to the International Space Station – from Virginia

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Antares launch - May 21, 2018

Antares launch – May 21, 2018 from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia

7400 pounds of science, supplies and hardware is on its way to the International Space Station.  An Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft full of supplies lifted off from the Wallops Flight Facility at 4:44 this morning.  Cygnus will dock with the ISS Thursday morning and remain there until July 15.


 

Pregnant woman, her father critically injured in shooting

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Authorities say a street shooting in Philadelphia has left a pregnant woman and her father critically injured on the day she was married.

The shooting occurred shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Authorities say the shooters fired at least 18 shots from two separate semi-automatic weapons before they fled the scene on foot.

Authorities say a 23-year-old woman, who is about five months pregnant with twins, was shot in the leg and hip. Her 74-year-old father was shot twice in the back.

The two were driven to a hospital in a private car and remained there Monday in critical condition. Their names and further details on their injuries have not been released.

Authorities say the motive for the shooting appears to be “domestic in nature.”

Janet Jackson pays emotional tribute to women and all victims of abuse in Billboard Music Awards

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Janet Jackson gave an emotional speech Sunday night in support of women who have been abused and the #MeToo movement during the Billboard Music Awards, where she received the Icon Award. 

Jackson, who became the first black woman to be honored with this award, took the stage to perform a medley of her hits, including “Nasty” and “If.” She then launched into her impassioned speech as the crowd chanted “Janet! Janet!”

“I’m deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I believe that for all the challenges, all of our challenges, we live a great moment in history,” Jackson said. “It’s a moment that at long last women have made it clear that we will not be controlled, manipulated or abused.”

She continued, “I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination, who support us in heart and mind.”

Jackson included a message on faith healing divisions, thanked her fans and God for giving her the energy to become an artist.

Icon award winner Janet Jackson performs a medley at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Janet Jackson performed a medley of hits before giving an impassioned speech.  (AP)

“I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist who every day seeks to expand my capacity to love,” the 52-year-old singer said.

Jackson has received 18 BBMA nominations throughout the years, winning 10 awards. She’s the seventh artist to win the Icon Award, joining Neil Diamond, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion and Cher. Bruno Mars introduced Jackson on stage as a “powerful woman” and described her family as “music royalty and the first family of entertainment.”

Bruno Mars, right, presents the Icon award to Janet Jackson at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Bruno Mars introduced Janet Jackson for the Billboard Icon Award.  (AP)

Jackson is set to kick off her State of the World Tour on July 11 in Austin. She postponed her Unbreakable Tour in 2017 due to her pregnancy.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Stars urge Indonesia's president to ban 'brutal' trade in dog meat

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International stars of acting, music and sports have urged Indonesia’s president to ban what they say is a “brutal” trade in dog and cat meat for human consumption.

The appeal comes after Indonesian campaigners against animal cruelty and Humane Society International in January exposed markets on the island of Sulawesi where dogs were bludgeoned by the thousands and blow-torched alive to remove their hair before onlookers, including children.

The letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo released Monday said if Indonesia joined other Asian nations that have already banned the cruel trade, it would be “celebrated globally” and end a stain on the country’s reputation.

The coalition of campaigners, calling itself Dog Meat-Free Indonesia, also warned of health risks posed by the trade due to its potential to spread rabies.

“These animals, many of them stolen pets, are subjected to crude and brutal methods of capture, transport and slaughter, and the immense suffering and fear they must endure is heartbreaking and absolutely shocking,” the letter said.

Actress Cameron Diaz, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, talent spotter Simon Cowell, comedian Ricky Gervais, Indonesian pop singer Anggun and musician Moby are among the more than 90 celebrities listed in the letter.

Dog meat is eaten by only a small percentage of Indonesians, but in a country of more than 250 million people it still represents a significant trade.

Thousands of dogs and cats are slaughtered weekly in North Sulawesi, most of which are imported from other provinces in Indonesia, according to the anti-animal cruelty groups.

After the blaze of bad publicity in January, the infamous Tomohon Extreme Market in North Sulawesi stopped the public slaughter of dogs, but video shot by campaigners showed dog carcasses were still being delivered from other locations.

“We are so grateful to these global and Indonesian superstars who have come together to support Dog Meat-Free Indonesia’s efforts to end this cruel and dangerous industry,” Humane Society International President Kitty Block said in a statement.

“We respectfully urge President Widodo to work with us on a solution that protects not only Indonesia’s dogs and cats but also the health of its people,” she said.

Survey: Japanese female journalists report sexual misconduct

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A survey of women working for Japanese newspapers and TV networks has found 156 cases of alleged sexual misconduct reported by 35 women, about one-third of which involved lawmakers, government officials and law enforcers.

Osaka International University Professor Mayumi Taniguchi, a gender studies expert, said Monday the survey was prompted by a recent widely publicized case of alleged sexual mistreatment of a journalist by a senior finance ministry official.

She said another one-third of the cases reportedly occurred at the journalists’ workplaces and the remainder involved their news sources and others.

Awareness about sexual misconduct has been slow to develop in Japan.

Taniguchi said the survey shows some women are beginning to speak out but others are still hesitant because of pressure from supervisors or fear of losing their sources.

Meghan Markle’s wedding dress gets criticized by Katy Perry

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Katy Perry’s going to tell it like it is!

4 charged in Greece over attack on Thessaloniki mayor

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Greek authorities have charged four men over a weekend mob attack on the 75-year-old mayor of the country’s second-largest city, carried out in an apparent venting of nationalist sentiment.

The suspects, aged between 17 and 36, were formally accused of grievous bodily harm and breach of the peace over Saturday’s attack on Yiannis Boutaris.

The mayor of Thessaloniki required hospital treatment after being thrown to the ground, kicked and punched by about 12 people during a ceremony honoring Greek victims of mass killings by Turks during World War I.

The three adults were to be tried later Monday, while the 17-year-old will appear before a court for minors.

One of the suspects allegedly told police he was angry at a recent statement by Boutaris, a liberal centrist, favoring friendlier relations with Turkey.

Wireless 'robofly' looks like an Insect, gets its power from lasers

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A new type of flying robot is so tiny and lightweight — it weighs about as much as a toothpick — it can perch on your finger. The little flitter is also capable of untethered flight and is powered by lasers.

This is a big leap forward in the design of diminutive airborne bots, which are usually too small to support a power source and must trail a lifeline to a distant battery in order to fly, engineers who built the new robot announced in a statement.

Their insect-inspired creation is dubbed RoboFly, and like its animal namesake, it sports a pair of delicate, transparent wings that carry it into the air. But unlike its robot precursors, RoboFly ain’t got no strings to hold it down. Instead, the miniature bot uses a lightweight onboard circuit to convert laser light into enough electrical power to send it soaring. [New Flying Robots Take Cues From Airborne Animals]

RoboFly’s creators will present their findings about the robot on May 23 at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, held in Brisbane, Australia.

Animals’ amazing abilities have inspired designs for robots that swim like manta rayshover like jellyfishjump like bush babies and even jog like humans. Prior to RoboFly, another insect-like bot, called RoboBee, demonstrated its ability to take off, land, hover and even perch midflight to conserve energy.

But RoboBee was leashed to its power supply and controller. RoboFly flies freely, thanks to a photovoltaic cell on its body that converts energy from a narrow laser beam. It produces about 7 volts of electricity, which a flexible onboard circuit boosts to the 240 volts required for liftoff. Meanwhile, a microcontroller on the circuit acts as RoboFly’s “brain,” sending pulses of voltage to the wings and making them flap much like an insect’s wings would, according to the statement.

However, the cell doesn’t store energy; the circuit must be within range of the fixed laser to generate power for the robot to take off, and once its cell moves beyond the laser’s reach, RoboFly’s flight is over. 

Tiny, highly maneuverable robots like RoboFly could quickly flutter into crevasses where bigger aerial drones simply wouldn’t fit. One possible task for future versions of RoboFly could draw even more inspiration from flies — particularly, their talent for tracking down “smelly things,” study co-author Sawyer Fuller, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington, said in the statement.

“I’d really like to make one that finds methane leaks,” he said. “You could buy a suitcase full of them, open it up, and they would fly around your building looking for plumes of gas coming out of leaky pipes. If these robots can make it easy to find leaks, they will be much more likely to be patched up, which will reduce greenhouse [gas] emissions.”

Original article on Live Science.

 

Sri Lanka storms, landslides kill 5, leave 1,000 displaced

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Heavy rain and lightning strikes across Sri Lanka have left at least five people dead and displaced more than 1,000.

Disaster Management Center officials said Monday that lightning killed three people and landslides killed two others.

Many parts of the country have been experiencing heavy rains since Sunday, prompting the government to issue landslide warnings for five districts.

The meteorology department has also warned of thunder showers with strong winds in the next 24 hours and asked people to take adequate precautions to minimize damage caused by lightning.

Flooding threat for the Mid-Atlantic and the Rockies

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Good morning everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

We’ve got strong to severe storms threatening parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes today.

storm reports

Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will be at risk.

severe

Moderate to major flooding is possible along the rivers in the Midatlantic and the Northern Rockies and Intermountain west with rainfall combined with snowmelt fueling the flooding potential.

west radar

And a warm up is coming for the Northeast.

southest flood

Here’s a look at your National Forecast:

today

JD 

Janice Dean currently serves as senior meteorologist for FOX News Channel (FNC). In addition, she is the morning meteorologist for FNC’s FOX &Friends (weekdays 6-9AM/ET). She joined the network in January 2004. Click here for more information on Janice Dean.

Defiant new Catalan leader wants jailed separatists in gov't

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Catalonia’s newly elected president is showing no sign of backing down from the region’s political standoff with Spanish authorities, insisting he wants jailed former lawmakers to join his pro-independence Catalan government.

Quim Torra says Jordi Turull and Josep Rull, prominent secessionists who are in pre-trial detention, are keen to become government ministers and have asked a judge to release them. Torra visited them at their jails near Madrid on Monday.

But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he won’t grant Catalonia independence and won’t allow anyone under criminal investigation to take office there.

Torra also wants Antoni Comin and Lluis Puig, separatists who fled to Belgium, in his Cabinet.

Torra’s four picks were members of a Catalonia government dismissed by Rajoy following October’s illegal declaration of independence by regional lawmakers.

Tracy Morgan says watching fatal car crash helped him heal

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Tracy Morgan went through physical therapy to physically recover from a fatal car crash nearly four years ago, but in order to heal mentally, “The Last O.G.” star used unorthodox methods.

“My son…he turned me onto ‘Key and Peele,’ that helped my healing process because that was the funniest thing. I was sitting there broken the f–k up not knowing my name, but I was laughing,” Morgan said in a conversation at New York Magazine’s Vulture Festival Saturday night.

“Months later I would watch it every day.”

Morgan’s love of “Key and Peele” inspired him to reach out to Jordan Peele, who now produces “The Last O.G.” The duo met for the first time hours before Morgan surprised the 2015 Emmys with an appearance, where he received a standing ovation.

In addition to Peele’s series, Morgan also watched footage of the car crash that took James McNair’s life and left Morgan in a coma.

“I would watch the accident on YouTube. It helped my healing process,” he shared. “I would watch where I got hit, where my friend died.”

“That was part of my healing, watching it.”

This article originally appeared on Page Six.

Russian billionaire Abramovich runs into UK visa issues

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Many wondered why Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich wasn’t in the stands to see his Chelsea soccer club win England’s FA Cup this weekend, and an associate confirmed Monday that his British visa hasn’t been renewed.

An associate of Abramovich, who spoke only on condition that he not be identified further because he was not authorized to comment publicly, told The Associated Press that Abramovich’s visa renewal application is taking longer than usual, saying it is unclear why.

Britain recently pledged to review long-term visas of rich Russians in the aftermath of the poisoning of a Russian former spy and his daughter.

Abramovich’s visa troubles were first reported Sunday by the Russian media outlet The Bell. It quoted two unnamed sources as saying his British visa expired last month.

Lava from Kilauea volcano enters ocean, creates toxic cloud

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White plumes of acid and extremely fine shards of glass billowed into the sky over Hawaii as molten rock from Kilauea volcano poured into the ocean, creating yet another hazard from an eruption that began more than two weeks ago.