Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Woman catches mugger, takes him for coffee


A woman leapt into action and chased down a man after he stole another woman’s purse – and then she took the alleged mugger to coffee.

Tess Aboughoushe spotted a struggle between two strangers when she was returning from a chiropractor appointment Wednesday.

“I was walking back to my office and crossing the street and a lady calls out, ‘Stop. Thief. He took my wallet,’” Aboughoushe told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

Aboughoushe, a long-distance runner, said her instincts kicked in and she began to chase the man.


“Just like in the movies, she screams and I see this man start to run. I didn’t stop to think or anything. I just kind of took off after the guy,” she told CBC.

After two blocks, the Canadian woman said she found him hiding behind a dumpster. Aboughoushe said she approached the man, cautiously, fearing he may have a knife. Instead of attacking her, she said the man began to cry.

“He came out from behind the dumpster and says, in a conciliatory way, ‘Here is the wallet, I can’t do this anymore, I’m sorry, just take it, take it.’” she said to CBC.

Aboughoushe took the wallet and gave it back to the woman, who caught up with the pair in the alleyway.

“I gave it back to her and he stayed there, apologizing a lot,” she said.

“He said, ‘I’ve never done anything like this before. I just really need the money. I don’t know where to go. I’m lost,'” she continued.

That’s when Aboughoushe’s story takes a turn from “just like in the movies.”

“I offered the guy a coffee because you could tell he was very distraught and upset,” Aboughoushe said.

She said the two walked to Credo, a coffee shop in Edmonton, where she bought him a large black coffee.


The purse thief told Aboughoushe he had been visiting the city with his friends from Calgary, but they left him stranded without any money. He told her he was trying to get back home.

Aboughoushe said the man looked “very lost,” and she gave him directions to the public library to find the social workers on staff, CBC News reported.

Though Aboughoushe knows she puts herself in a risky situation, she has no regrets.

“You kill more flies with honey than you do with vinegar,” she said. “I wanted to show him some compassion.”

Aboughoushe reported the incident to the Edmonton police later that afternoon.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

MD Flags Ordered to Half Staff To Honor Slain PG Officer


Governor Larry Hogan has ordered Maryland flags to half- staff in honor of Corporal Mujahid Ramzziddin.  He is a Prince George’s County police officer who died while intervening in a domestic violence dispute on Wednesday.  Ramzziddin is a 14 year veteran and a Medal of Valor winner.   Flags will return to full-staff at sunset on the day of interment which has not yet been set.

Statement from Governor Larry Hogan –

“The murder of Prince George’s County police officer Corporal Mujahid Ramzziddin in the line of duty today is an unspeakable tragedy. The First Lady and I are praying for his family, loved ones, and the department during this difficult time. Corporal Ramzziddin was a military veteran and a distinguished law enforcement officer who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of his neighbors and community. His memory and service will never be forgotten.

“I have extended my full support to County Executive Rushern Baker, Police Chief Hank Stawinski, and all of the dedicated men and women of the Prince George’s County Police Department as they mourn their fallen fellow officer. The state is standing by to offer any assistance needed to Prince George’s County as they investigate this terrible and senseless crime.”


The new blood pressure watch that could save your life


Omron, a company best known for its home blood pressure monitors, is now trying its hand in the watch industry.

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Omron Healthcare President Ranndy Kellogg on Wednesday said its new watch, the HeartGuide, has the potential to save lives and is cheaper than the Apple Watch.

“It could save your life because if you’re hypertensive, that is the first signal that there is something wrong with your heart. You need to take care of it and the sooner you take care of it, the sooner you can get healthy,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

Competing against the Apple Watch, however, will not be an easy task. According to a report by Canalys, Apple sold approximately eight million watches last quarter, outselling competitors Rolex, Swatch and Omega combined.

Though the deck is stacked against Omron, Kellogg is confident that its watch’s health benefits will outweigh the features of the Apple Watch.

“So there [are] now 103 million people in the United States that are hypertensive. That’s literally one out of every two adults. They need to know what they’re blood pressure is so they can take care of their heart. You can’t do that just with your Apple Watch or your Fitbit,” he said.

Kellogg said that Omron will roll out the watch toward the end of 2018, after the company receives its final FDA clearance.

“It will be less than an Apple Watch, but we have blood pressure monitors that range from $50 to $100. [The watch] will be a little higher than that because of the technology, but it will still be very affordable to everybody,” he said.

Kellogg also listed some of the additional functions of the watch, aside from its ability to monitor blood pressure.

“It tells the time, it will track your steps, your distance walking, calories burned, it will monitor your sleep [and] tell your sleep efficiency… it will also do alerts or notification,” he said.

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Rick Pitino says Louisville should sue NCAA over vacated wins, title


Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino believes the school should consider taking legal action against the NCAA after the governing body ordered the vacation of the Cardinals’ 2013 men’s basketball champion as part of sanctions for a sex scandal.

Louisville announced on Tuesday that the NCAA had denied its appeal of sanctions that included vacating 123 victories and the return of about $600,000 in conference revenue from the 2012-15 NCAA Tournaments. The school later removed banners of the 2013 championship and 2012 Final Four appearance.

Pitino said Wednesday from his attorney’s offices in New York that the NCAA’s decision was unfair. The former coach did take responsibility for assistant coaching hires such as Andre McGee, who an escort said hired her and other dancers for sex parties on campus with players and recruits and leading to the NCAA investigation.

But Pitino said once again that he did not know anything about the sex shows that took place in the dorms.

Asked about legal action, Pitino said he was defenseless in this instance but that Louisville’s Board of Trustees should consider legal action.

“I don’t know if this Board of Trustees will do that,” he said, “but they should because the players deserve it.”

The sex scandal was not the reason Louisville fired Pitino, who has sued the university over his dismissal.

The school fired the Hall of Famer in October after acknowledging that the university was being investigated for allegations that the family of former recruit Brian Bowen was bribed in an effort to get him to Louisville. Bowen has since transferred to South Carolina.

Pitino also issued a statement saying that he was cooperating with federal authorities in its investigation of corruption in college basketball.

Pitino is not named in the court complaint but said in the statement he received a grand jury subpoena last September and that his attorneys have met with U.S. attorneys in the case.

“I knew nothing about any agreement to make improper payments,” the statement said, “and had no reason to suspect any illegality in the recruitment of any athlete in my programs.”

Canada, Mexico officials: trade pluses should outweigh fear


Senior Canadian and Mexican officials on Wednesday expressed frustration with current American skepticism about free trade, saying the benefits for all three countries should be kept in mind during the current renegotiation of NAFTA.

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Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton told a gathering of business and academic leaders at Arizona State University that better messaging is needed to turn around U.S. fears so the countries can successfully rework the North American Free Trade Agreement hammered out a quarter century ago. He said all three countries must recognize that they stand to gain by lowering tariffs and other barriers to international commerce.

“There is no one in the world who wants the U.S. to be successful more than Canada, because your prosperity is our prosperity” MacNaughton said. “We all need to roll up our sleeves and work hard at this.”

“It makes it difficult if the attitude is, ‘We haven’t got a fair deal and therefore all the changes have to be concessions by the other parties,” MacNaughton said in a brief interview after the panel, referring to the U.S. government stance on NAFTA. “We need to better communicate the benefits of trade.”

Ambassador Mario Chacon, of the Mexican government’s ProMexico trust that promotes trade and foreign investment, told the group that much of the American job loss that U.S. politicians blame on free trade is the result of technology. “We are losing jobs to robots, to machines,” said Chacon, adding that countries need to better train workers for new jobs in evolving economies.

Chacon said he was optimistic NAFTA would be successfully renegotiated no matter who wins Mexico’s presidential election this summer. Just as President Donald Trump has questioned whether NAFTA is beneficial to the United States, the leftist front-runner for Mexico’s presidency Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has criticized free trade deals that he says don’t put the Mexican people first.

Neither MacNaughton nor Chacon are directly involved in NAFTA renegotiations, and did not reveal details about the talks. But both expressed confidence a new deal would be reached despite U.S. and Mexican politics. Chacon noted that Mexico has lawmakers who back NAFTA no matter who wins the presidency.

“We will have a new NAFTA sooner than later,” he said, adding that he expects talks will wrap up by the year’s end.

In the afternoon, conservative pollster Frank Luntz told the group that the current anti-NAFTA sentiment in the Republican Party had existed for about 15 years but “became an avalanche when Donald Trump took office.”

“I never dreamed the Republicans would be hostile to trade,” Luntz said. “It’s going to take a huge effort to flip that back.”

He said that for a renegotiated NAFTA to succeed and be supported by both Democrats and Republicans, the United States must write the rules, hold other countries to its standards, insist on enforcement of the rules and hold all nations accountable.

“If these are the four priorities,” Luntz said, “you will get support for trade across America.”

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Reports suggest GOP House hopeful got racy texts from aide


A Christian minister seeking the congressional seat of a disgraced Arizona congressman is labeling reports that that he traded suggestive texts with a female staffer who included a topless photo of herself in one of the exchanges as “tabloid trash.”

But former state Sen. Steve Montenegro didn’t deny that he received the messages.

Meanwhile, one of the other Republican front-runners in the race to replace former Rep. Trent Franks, former state Sen. Debbie Lesko, is under fire for transferring $50,000 from her old state campaign fund to an independent group backing her congressional election bid.

The revelations are likely to roil the 12-way GOP race in the final days leading up to Tuesday’s special primary election to fill the vacant U.S. House seat in the state’s 8th Congressional District, a Republican stronghold in the western Phoenix suburbs.

Montenegro called the Arizona Republic and KPNX-TV 12 reports “tabloid trash that conservatives around this country have to deal with on a regular basis.”

“I am blessed with an amazing wife and marriage,” he said in a statement. “The media wants to drag us down with just a week to go, but we are not going to dignify this false tabloid trash with any further response.”

Montenegro was Franks’ district director and touts himself as a Christian minister and family man with a wife and young daughter.

The Republic said it reviewed a series of flirtatious messages on a cellphone account Montenegro has used in conversations with its reporters. The junior-level staffer who sent the messages repeatedly declined to speak with the newspaper.

The messages The Republic reviewed run between June 15 and Feb. 1. Much of the time, the messages involve work, personal lives, the weather, swimming pools and hot tubs, and the World Series.

But during one exchange in November, the woman sent him a topless photo of herself, which came while he was in Tennessee at a summit on education reform.

Montenegro reportedly responded: “You should have come.”

Franks resigned in December after acknowledging he had discussed surrogacy with two female staffers. A former aide told The Associated Press that he pressed her to carry his child and offered her $5 million to be a surrogate.

The resignation triggered a special election, with the primary on Tuesday and the general election on April 24. Two Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination.

On the day Franks resigned, the staffer sent a message alluding to the scandal: “Yeah, you would never, ever have to worry about me. So I hope that puts you at some ease,” adding, “I just saw that Trent Franks thing.”

She received the response: “Crazy.”

The allegations against Montenegro prompted a powerful state Capitol player, Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod, to say he should step aside.

“There comes a time when one has to speak out regardless of how difficult it might be when it regards a friend,” Herrod tweeted Wednesday. “Absent a clear denial or evidence to the contrary, I call upon him to withdraw from #az08 race.”

Lesko transferred $50,000 from her old state Senate campaign fund to an independent group that is backing her congressional campaign. Debbie Lesko’s campaign consultant supplied a legal opinion that called the transfer above-board.

The transfer was first reported by an affiliate of the Arizona Capitol Times and disclosed in a Federal Election Commission filing earlier this week.

Former state Rep. Phil Lovas, another GOP contender in the crowded primary, said Lesko should quit the race, and if the allegations are true, Montenegro also should step aside.

“Think about what’s happened in this congressional district in the last two-plus months,” Lovas said Wednesday. “The congressman had to resign due to a sexual harassment scandal. His hand-picked successor has reportedly had racy texts sent to him. Another candidate is running an illegal money laundering scheme with state money in a federal account.”

How major US stock indexes fared Wednesday


A late-afternoon sell-off pulled U.S. stocks broadly lower Wednesday for the second straight day.

Stocks gave up their early gain following a spike in bond yields. Investors sent bond yields higher after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting showed bullish sentiment among policymakers, signaling more interest rate hikes ahead.

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On Wednesday:

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 14.93 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,701.33.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 166.97 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,797.78.

The Nasdaq gave up 16.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,218.23.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 1.84 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,531.84.

For the week:

The S&P 500 is down 30.89 points, or 1.1 percent.

The Dow is down 421.60 points, or 1.7 percent.

The Nasdaq is down 21.24 points, or 0.3 percent.

The Russell 2000 is down 11.71 points, or 0.8 percent.

For the year:

The S&P 500 is up 27.72 points, or 1 percent.

The Dow is up 78.56 points, or 0.3 percent.

The Nasdaq is up 314.84 points, or 4.6 percent.

The Russell 2000 is down 3.67 points, or 0.2 percent.

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Crews to leave Puerto Rico as $830M Fluor contract nears end


Crews who are helping restore power in Puerto Rico as part of an $830 million federal contract are leaving as nearly a quarter of a million customers remain in the dark more than five months after Hurricane Maria.

A Texas-based Fluor Corp. spokesman told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the contract and funding provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is ending. Brian Mershon did not say how many crew members are leaving the U.S. territory but those who remain for the upcoming weeks will continue to restore power based on available funding and materials.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the contract ends. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had contracted Fluor and said more than 3,600 people remain in Puerto Rico to help restore power.

Who is Peter Madsen, the Danish inventor charged with murdering Kim Wall?


In August, 30-year-old Swedish reporter Kim Wall stepped aboard the UC3 Nautilus, a 58-foot submarine built by Danish inventor Peter Madsen and was never seen alive again.

Wall, who had plans to move to Beijing with her boyfriend, skipped her going-away party to interview the well-known engineer and entrepreneur for a story.

Shortly after stepping onto the submarine, Wall disappeared and Madsen, the subject of her interview, soon became her suspected killer.

Police believe Madsen intentionally sank the submarine the day after Wall accompanied him on the vessel. He initially told police Wall disembarked on an island near Copenhagen hours after their trip began. But he later changed his story, claiming that she died during an onboard accident and he had “buried her at sea.”

Wall’s body was later found dismembered — her naked torso washed up on the coast of southern Copenhagen. The torso had been repeatedly stabbed, both in and around the genitalia, police said, adding that a heavy metal object was used in an attempt to sink it to the ocean floor.

Divers found Wall’s head, legs and clothes in bags in Koege Bay near Copenhagen on October 7, two months after the alleged murder. Her arms were found at a later date.


Kim Wall, left and Peter Madsen, right.  (Reuters )

“We found a bag with Kim Wall’s clothing; shirt, skirt, socks and shoes, and also a knife and lead pieces weighing them down,” Copenhagen police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen said at the time. “Around noon we found a leg, then another leg, and shortly thereafter we found a head, also in a bag weighted down by several metal pieces.”

Madsen has denied the murder, but did admit to throwing Wall’s body parts into the sea.

Prosecutors said Madsen tied up and tortured Wall before he either cut her throat or strangled her during the trip on his private submarine.

Days before he met Wall, Madsen allegedly texted an ex-lover that he had “a murder plan ready in the submarine.”

Madsen, who’s been charged with murder, dismemberment and indecent handling of a corpse, is currently the only suspect in Wall’s death.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of his March 8 trial.

Early life

Born in 1971, Madsen grew up in a town near Copenhagen. His mother, Annie, had three sons from two previous marriages, according to Wired. When Madsen was just six-years-old, his mother left with her three other children — leaving Madsen behind with his father, Carl.

Madsen’s father, who owned a pub, was allegedly abusive, Madsen once told a biographer (though his father was allegedly only abusive toward his three stepsons, Wired reported).

Madsen became interested in science at a young age; his father, who died when Madsen was 18, sparked his son’s interest in rockets, according to Wired.

After dropping out of various apprenticeships, Madsen focused on building submarines and rockets.

A career in science

Peter Madsen, Danish inventor, engineer, rocket- and u-boat builder, talks about entrepreneurship during Danish Business Day event held in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 9, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Ida Marie Odgaard/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK. - RC1CD2A65820

Peter Madsen has been charged with murder, dismemberment and indecent handling of a corpse.  (Reuters)

Madsen co-founded Copenhagen Suborbitals in 2008. The organization is the “world’s only manned, amateur space program,” according to its website. The program is funded by “fans and supporters.”

One volunteer at the organization told Wired Madsen “would behave like a child who just lost his toy or dropped his ice cream or something” when he was angry, adding that he would occasionally throw hammers and other tools.

Madsen also co-founded Rocket-Madsens Space Laboratory, a space exploration company that also receives its fundings through donations, according to the BBC.

Both organizations are attempting to be the first non-government, volunteer-based groups to send someone to space, the BBC reported.

Amateur submariner

In addition to the UC3 Nautilus, Madsen also built submarines UC2 Kraka and UC1 Freya.

The UC3, which Madsen reportedly created with a submarine club called Freya, is the largest privately built submariner in the world, he once told a Danish publication.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ford executive Raj Nair steps down after 'inappropriate behavior'


Raj Nair, Exective VP, Product Development and Chief Technical Officer for Ford, announces the new line of 2017 Ford Fusion cars at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch – TB3EC1B1ERMYU (Reuters)

Ford (NYSE:F) executive Raj Nair, president of the automaker’s North America division, departed the company Wednesday following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior.

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The investigation determined that Nair’s behavior was “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct,” according to Ford. The company did not disclose details of the allegations.

“We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said. “Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”

Nair served as president of Ford North America since June 2017. He previously ran Ford’s global product development and served as chief technical officer.

“I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the Company and I have always espoused,” Nair said in a statement.

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Ford said it will announce Nair’s replacement in the near future.

In a separate case, Hackett visited Ford’s Chicago plants last month to address accusations of sexual harassment. He called those accounts “gut-wrenching” and promised to investigate inappropriate behavior within the company.

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Dover PD Charge 2 with Firearms & Drug Offenses after Traffic Stop


Images courtesy Dover PD

Two people have been arrested on drug and firearms charges after a traffic stop by Dover Police Tuesday morning.  Police stopped a car driven by 29 year old Larry Benson and smelled marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.  When officers tried to arrest Benson and the passenger, 26 year old Makia Benson, they became disorderly and uncooperative.  However Makia Benson kicked equipment in the vehicle, tried to spit at officers and caused cuts to an officer’s arm as they tried to subdue her.   Both face multiple charges and are free on bond.


'God understands': Quotes from the Rev. Billy Graham


The Rev. Billy Graham died Wednesday at age 99. He was the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history. Here are some quotations from the man who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism.


On hope

“The cross tells us that God understands our sin and our suffering, for he took upon himself in the person of Jesus Christ our sins and our suffering. And from the cross, God declares, ‘I love you. I know the heartaches and the sorrows and the pains that you feel. But I love you.’ The story does not end with the cross, for Easter points us beyond the tragedy of the cross to the empty tomb that tells us that there is hope for eternal life, for Christ has conquered evil and death and hell. Yes, there is hope.”

– at the National Cathedral after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks


On preaching

“I’m always afraid, afraid that I may give the wrong word to someone and that it might affect their eternal destiny. I worry every time I go to the platform that I’m unworthy to be there. I often wish that the platform would just open up and drop me through.”

– quoted in “Billy Graham Speaks” by Janet Lowe


On his 1934 conversion experience:

“When I came to Christ, I was head of the young people’s society. The clergyman thought that I was the finest Christian among the young people, but he didn’t know me very well. He didn’t know the hunger of my heart. He did not know the sins of my life. When I was 17 years of age I gave my life to Christ and he changed me.”

– preaching during the 1974 Lausanne evangelism congress


On a 1948 decision to avoid pitfalls of earlier evangelists:

“We determined to do all we could to avoid financial abuses and to downplay the offering and depend as much as possible on money raised by local committees in advance. … From that day on, I did not travel, meet or eat alone with a woman other than my wife. … We were determined to cooperate with all who would cooperate with us in the public proclamation of the Gospel and to avoid an anti-church or anti-clergy attitude.”

– in his autobiography, “Just As I Am”


On the arms race

“The nuclear arms race has already indirectly caused a hidden holocaust of unimaginable proportions in our world. Every day, millions upon millions of people live on the knife-edge of survival because of starvation, poverty and disease. At the same time, we are told the nations of the world are spending an estimated $600 billion per year on weapons. If even one-tenth of that amount were diverted to long-range development programs that would help the world’s poor and starving, millions of lives could be saved each year.”

– quoted in the biography “A Prophet with Honor” by William Martin


On regrets

“I have failed many times and I would do many things differently. For one thing, I would speak less and study more and I would spend more time with my family. … Becoming involved in strictly political issues or partisan politics inevitably dilutes the evangelist’s impact and compromises his message. It is a lesson I wish I had learned earlier.”

– in his autobiography “Just As I Am”

Ford ousts top exec over 'inappropriate behavior'


Ford Motor Co. has ousted one of its top executives over allegations of inappropriate behavior.

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North America President Raj Nair is leaving the company effective immediately, Ford said in a statement. His replacement has not yet been named.

Ford didn’t say what behavior led to Nair’s departure. Ford investigated after a recent anonymous complaint about Nair was made to the company’s 24-hour hotline.

“We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett. “Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”

Nair expressed regret in a statement distributed by Ford.

“There have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the company and I have always espoused,” Nair said.

Nair had served as an executive vice president and head of North America since June 1, 2017. Before that, he was Ford’s head of global product development and chief technical officer.

Nair joined Ford in 1987 as a mechanical engineer. He held numerous leadership positions in Europe, Asia and South America. Prior to being named head of global product development, Nair oversaw engineering for all Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

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Florida student brought knife to school, had list of student names, cops say


A Florida high school student was arrested Monday after law enforcement said he brought a knife to school alongside a list of student names.

Benjamin Mendoza, 18, was taken into custody after the Collier County Sheriff’s Office discovered questionable items in his backpack at Palmetto Ridge High School, the department said in a news release.

Mendoza was found to have a “realistic looking” fake Los Angeles Police Department badge in his backpack. Police said he was also in possession of a list of student names, accompanied by “a drawing of a student with bullet holes to the chest” with the words “dead ha ha dead” written on it.

The man also reportedly had a note that said “shoot up school” and “shoot shoot animae dead,” a map of Palmetto Ridge High School, and a notebook with “stories and drawings depicting students as victims and suspects in murders and other crimes.”

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Deputies said they received a tip on Friday about Mendoza’s behavior. The person claimed Mendoza had brought a gas mask to school on Thursday, and had made comments in the past about the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October.

Witnesses told detectives about the gas mask, and said they also saw a knife in Mendoza’s bag.

Mendoza was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds and disruption of a school function, and was booked at the Collier County Jail, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Another Palmetto Ridge High School student on Tuesday was taken into custody after “making disturbing statements on the school bus.” An investigation from law enforcement found there was nothing dangerous at the student’s home.

The disturbing behavior comes as schools nationwide have strengthened security amid reports of threats from students.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for

An Innovation that Sparked the ETF Revolution


Twenty-five years ago, State Street Global Advisors came out with the little known SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY). Since then, the ETF industry has evolved with ground-breaking innovative products and ushered in a new era in investment management for investors, financial advisors and institutions around the world.

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On the upcoming webcast, An Innovation that Sparked a Revolution, Jim Ross, Executive Vice President of State Street Global Advisors and Chairman of Global SPDR, and Noel Archard, Global Head of SPDR Product for State Street Global Advisors, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the S&P 500 ETF stalwart, look at how SPY fundamentally changed the way many investors view the markets and outline what is in store for the next 25 years.

SPY, which tracks the benchmark S&P 500 Index, was the first ETF to come to market in the U.S. back in January 22, 1993.

“SPDR S&P 500 ETF offers diversified exposure to U.S. large-cap stocks. A reasonably representative and broadly diversified benchmark leaves this fund well-positioned to continue its long streak of producing superior risk-adjusted returns over the long haul,” Morningstar analyst Adam McCullough said in a note.

Since its inception, SPY has gathered $270.1 billion in net assets under management, becoming the single largest ETF in the world, and has attracted heavy trading interest with daily average volumes of over 100 million shares changing hands. SPY has also generated an average annualized 9.77% return over its 25-year run.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF was the first of its kind to be listed in the U.S., providing investors with an easy and cheap way to access the benchmark S&P 500 index. Over the years, it has done what is promised to do. For instance, over the past decade, SPY has generated an average annualized return of 9.42%, compared to the S&P 500’s 9.50% – the difference my be attributed to the ETF’s expense ratio of 0.09%.

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Advance Auto Parts and Alphabet rise; Devon Energy drops


Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Wednesday:

Advance Auto Parts Inc., up $8.65 to $114

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The auto parts retailer’s results surpassed Wall Street estimates in the fourth quarter.

Devon Energy Corp., down $4.08 to $30.57

The energy company reported a smaller-than-expected profit and analysts were concerned about its 2018 forecasts.

La-Z-Boy Inc., up $2.85 to $31.75

The furniture company had a better fourth quarter than analysts anticipated.

Tile Shop Holdings Inc., down $2.27 to $6.18

The stone tile retailer had a weak fourth quarter and said it expects “volatility” in its results.

Alphabet Inc., up $10.16 to $1,113.75

Technology companies continued to lead the market’s recovery following the plunge in stocks earlier this month.

EQT Corp., down $1.59 to $49.81

The energy company said it plans to split into two separate publicly traded companies.

Bloomin’ Brands Inc., up $1.13 to $22.02

Barington Capital said the restaurant chain should cut spending and spin off some of its smaller brands.

Southwest Airlines Co., up 30 cents to $58.03

Transportation companies such as airlines and railroads did better than the rest of the market on Wednesday.

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The Latest: Gay pride parade backers eye suit over denial


The Latest on a Mississippi city’s denial of a gay pride parade (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

A Mississippi State University student who unsuccessfully sought a city permit for a gay pride parade and related events says she intends to sue the city.

Starkville aldermen voted 4-3 to deny the event permit Tuesday. None of the aldermen who voted against the permit have explained their reasoning.

Bailey Evans told The Associated Press that she contacted the Campaign for Southern Equality to seek a lawyer. The campaign connected her with Roberta Kaplan, a national leader in gay rights litigation, and a spokesman for Kaplan say she will represent Evans.

McDaniel says she and others wanted to have a parade to show the strength of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Mayor Lynn Spruill and an alderman who supported the permit say Starkville is more accepting of gay people than the vote indicates.


9:45 a.m.

City leaders in a Mississippi college town have denied a request to host the city’s first Pride Parade.

Starkville Pride, an LGBT support group, wanted to hold the parade March 24 in Starkville.

WCBI-TV reports that Starkville aldermen on Tuesday voted 4-3 against the permit. The Dispatch reports that three of the aldermen who voted to reject it left the meeting room through a back entrance, and that none of the alderman who voted no voiced their opinions at the meeting.

The newspaper reports that some Starkville Pride organizers left the meeting in tears.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill said she was disappointed with the decision.

The town is home to Mississippi State University. Spruill noted that Oxford, Mississippi, where the University of Mississippi is based, has held gay pride parades for several years.

Islamic State sympathizer pleads guilty in terrorism case


An Albanian who became a U.S. citizen but kept an Islamic State flag in his apartment pleaded guilty to terrorism charges Wednesday.

Sajmir Alimehmeti, 24, of the Bronx, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court to an indictment alleging he provided material support to the group.

His trial had been scheduled to begin in May. He faces a potential penalty of up to 45 years in prison when he is sentenced at a proceeding scheduled for June 7.

Alimehmeti, a onetime plumbing assistant who had studied funeral services, was arrested in May 2016 on evidence assembled over eight months by two undercover New York City police officers and an undercover FBI employee posing as Islamic State group recruits.

Authorities said Alimehmeti began collecting weapons such as combat knives that could be used in a “lone-wolf” style terrorist attack.

Arresting agents reported recovering terrorist propaganda, the flag and images of jihadist fighters.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Alimehmeti took steps to travel overseas to support the Islamic State group.

He said Alimehmeti also bought military-grade weapons and helped someone else get travel documents, equipment and encryption technology to fight with the group in Syria.

The case evolved after Alimehmeti twice was rejected trying to enter the United Kingdom after authorities saw his camouflage clothing and nunchakus at Manchester Airport in October 2014 and Islamic State flag images on his cellphone in December 2014 at Heathrow Airport.

According to court papers, Alimehmeti tried shortly before his arrest to provide advice and assistance to an undercover operative he thought was traveling from New York to Syria to train and fight with the Islamic State.

Authorities said Alimehmeti repeatedly expressed his desire to help the group, even claiming that music videos including one depicting its fighters decapitating prisoners kept him motivated while he exercised.

Argentina truckers gridlock traffic to protest Macri reforms


Tens of thousands of Argentines joined a demonstration on Wednesday organized by truckers and other labor unions in the first major protest so far this year against President Mauricio Macri’s austerity measures.

Argentines continue to lose purchasing power to a high inflation rate and many are frustrated with layoffs, increases in fuel and transportation costs and the slashing of subsidies for utilities.

Macri, a conservative, came into power in 2015 promising to cut government spending. He says the measures are necessary to attract foreign investment and boost Argentina’s economy. But he has faced labor unrest.

Bank workers recently staged a strike to demand higher salaries amid galloping consumer prices, and the government struggled to contain violent protests in December over a pension overhaul that triggered a general strike by labor unions.

“Stop carrying out policies that starve the most sensitive part of our society – our dear retirees and … that starve the future of our children,” Hugo Moyano, the leader of the powerful truckers union, told a crowd that gridlocked traffic in several streets and avenues of Buenos Aires.

Moyano and other unionists asked Macri to stop the layoffs in the public sector and end plans to set a limit on salary hikes at 15 percent, which they say is not in line with the inflation rate.

Before the demonstration, Macri had asked Argentines to remain open to dialogue without “extortions.”

Some government officials have accused Moyano of organizing the demonstration because he is being investigated in a case where he is accused of money laundering. Moyano has denied any wrongdoing. He said Wednesday he’s not afraid of going to prison, and that he’ll continue to defend the rights of workers.

Although the protest was large, some unions did not adhere because they said it was motivated by Moyano’s personal conflict with Macri. Other union leaders have threatened to hold other protests throughout the year, and even a nationwide strike, if the government doesn’t back down on its measures.

The Latest: Winning bid thrown out in casino license auction


The Latest on Pennsylvania’s casino license auction (all times local):

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Pennsylvania gambling regulators are invalidating an auction for the rights to a mini-casino after Las Vegas Sands Corp. submitted the highest bid.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Wednesday hours after the auction that Las Vegas Sands had selected a site in northwestern Pennsylvania that intruded on the 15-mile buffer zone around the location picked by the winner of the previous auction earlier this month.

The gaming board says it will meet Thursday to consider the second bid for the license, submitted by suburban Philadelphia’s Parx Casino, which is controlled by London-based businessman Watche Manoukian.

Las Vegas Sands had bid nearly $9.9 million and selected a site in Hempfield Township in northwestern Pennsylvania’s Mercer County. Mount Airy Casino Resort’s owners had picked a location in Lawrence County.

10:45 a.m.

The owner of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem has won the rights to build a mini-casino on the other side of Pennsylvania.

The Morning Call of Allentown reports that Las Vegas Sands Corp. submitted a winning bid Wednesday of $9.9 million to build the casino within 15 miles of a point they picked in northwestern Pennsylvania’s Mercer County, along the Ohio border.

They beat out one other bidder for the fourth license under last year’s state law authorizing 10 new mini-casinos.

Each mini-casino can have 750 slot machines and license holders can pay another $2.5 million to operate 30 table games. The first three licenses raised over $110 million.

Bids are limited to the state’s licensed casino owners, for now.

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Trump on preventing mass shootings: 'we're going to get it done'


President Trump said Wednesday the administration is going to strengthen background checks for gun purchases and “put a strong emphasis on mental health,” as he promised students and families “we are going to get it done.”

The president, Vice President Mike Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos hosted students, teachers and families affected by the Parkland high school shooting for a “listening session”at the White House Wednesday.

Exactly one week ago, 19-year-old Nicholas Cruz opened fire at the high school and now is charged with killing 17 teachers and students with an AR-15 rifle.

“We are going to be very strong on background checks, and put a very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody,” Trump said at the beginning of the listening session. “We’re going to talk and get it done. It’s been going on too long, too many instances and we’re going to get it done.”

Students and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, along with Parkland city Mayor Christine Hunschofsky, attended the White House Session, along with members of Sandy Hook Promise, a national non-profit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic Dec. 14, 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Students from Friendship Public Charter School, Parkmont, and Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C. also attended.

Parkland Student Body President Julia Cordover opened the session with emotional remarks for the group.

“I’m a survivor. I want you all to emphasize the point that I survived,” Cordover said. “I was lucky enough to come home from school and it is very scary to know that a lot of people did not have the opportunity to be here.”

Cordover thanked the president for addressing bump stocks this week.

The president directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to create new regulations to ban firearm modifiers, including the “bump stock” used in the Las Vegas massacre in October 2017.

A memo released by the White House earlier this week directed the DOJ to propose a rule “banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns.”

The president has also signaled a willingness to raise the minimum age for purchasing certain firearms in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland.

A White House source told Fox News Wednesday that Trump is open to a number of measures to address mass shootings, including the rise in minimum age – a proposal that could face massive resistance from gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

Under current federal law, licensed firearm dealers cannot sell handguns to people under 21 and cannot sell long guns to people under 18, according to the Giffords Law Center, which tracks gun laws and advocates for more restrictions. Some states already impose laws with tighter minimum age requirements.

It is unclear, however, whether Trump will push for a change in federal law, or encourage a change at the state level.

The president has expressed support for the Second Amendment and said he’s against reflexive gun control measures that wouldn’t stop tragedies. The NRA endorsed Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and has yet to comment on the president’s current stance on gun control.

“Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

The listening session, Trump’s openness to tightening age restrictions, and the directive to the Justice Department reflect a different response from the White House than in the aftermath of previous tragedies.

Following the Las Vegas massacre, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that it was “premature to discuss policy when we don’t know all the facts,” and added, “we can have those policy conversations, but today is not the day.”

Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott also is slated to meet with students from Parkland Wednesday evening.

Fox News’ John Roberts and Alex Pappas contributed to this report. 

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

Brown University swim team barred from Ivy League meet


Brown University says its men’s swimming and diving team will not participate in this week’s Ivy League Championships as it investigates allegations of hazing.

The university says in a statement dated Tuesday its investigation and the student conduct review process are expected to reach a conclusion “in the coming weeks.” It began looking into the team’s conduct in November after an investigation by The Brown Daily Herald student newspaper found team members engaged in a night of drinking and vandalism on Oct. 7.

The Herald reviewed text messages, photos and recordings of conversations among team members, who described it as a night of “initiation” or “hazing.”

The team’s captains were captured on audio telling team members to deny any hazing if they were asked about it.

UPDATED: Blades Water System Flushing Continues; Waiting on EPA Test Samples


UPDATED – 2/21/18 – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Division of Public Health today continue to monitor the Town of Blades’ flushing of the public water supply through the town’s new carbon filtration system. As Blades prepares to return to full use of public water, town residents will be receiving instructions in the near future for flushing their home water systems.

As sampling results come in for private wells in the Blades area, DNREC and DPH will be reaching out to those impacted residents. Assistance will be provided with their drinking water supply if test results warrant it.

DNREC and DPH continue to provide the Town of Blades and area residents with alternative water for drinking and cooking needs. Hours for water distribution are Noon to 8 p.m. at the Blades Fire Hall, 200 East Fifth Street, Blades, DE 19973. While Blades flushes municipal water through the carbon filtration system, area residents are encouraged to continue using the water provided by DNREC and DPH.

For the drinking and cooking water provided daily by the Delaware National Guard at the Blades Fire Hall, area residents should remember to bring their own containers for filling.


UPDATED – 2/19/18 – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Division of Public Health, and the Town of Blades reminds town and area residents that the hours for water distribution changed today to Noon – 8 p.m. at the Blades Fire Hall, 200 East Fifth Street, Blades, DE 19973. The town’s public water system is on carbon filtration to remove perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), but Blades and nearby area residents are encouraged to continue using the water provided by DNREC and DPH for drinking, cooking and brushing teeth until results of samples taken Friday by EPA are returned later this week.

As Blades prepares to return to full use of public water, residents will be provided instructions this week for flushing their home water systems. While Blades continues flushing municipal water through the new filtration system, residents may see water flowing from town hydrants.

For the drinking water provided daily by the Delaware National Guard at the Blades Fire Hall, Town of Blades and nearby residents should remember to bring their own containers for filling.


UPDATED – 2/18/18 – Work to flush the Town of Blades water supply through the new carbon filtration system is continuing.  DNREC and Public Health officials say the town’s water system is now fully on the new carbon filtration which will remove the PFCs from the water supply.  Samples were taken Friday by the EPA – the results should be back next week.  However until those results are known, Blades and nearby residents are encouraged to continue using alternative water available at the Blades Fire Hall for drinking, cooking and brushing your teeth.


Original story – 2/15/18 – A new carbon filtration system arrived in Blades yesterday. DNREC, Public Health, and Blades engineers all working to install and connect the towns water supply to the system.

However, officials cautioned Tuesday night it could take up to 2 weeks before the system is installed, flushed, primed, and the water tested to make sure the filter is working properly.

Until then, residents should continue to get drinking and cooking water from the National Guard at the Blades Fire Hall, although officials say residents can use tap water for bathing, laundry, and other household chores.

Spike in bond yields upends US stock market rally


U.S. stocks closed broadly lower Wednesday, erasing an early gain, as investors reacted to a late-afternoon surge in bond yields.

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Bond yields climbed to their highest level in four years after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its latest policy meeting. The minutes showed bullish sentiment among policymakers, confirming their intention to raise interest rates this year.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose sharply after the minutes came out, touching 2.95 percent, its highest level since January 2014. Higher bond yields indicate investors expect more risk of inflation. They also can threaten stock prices by making bonds more appealing versus stocks.

“We’re moving back to normal volatility, we’re moving back toward normal interest rates, normal inflation,” said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “This is what normal looks like.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 14.93 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,701.33. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 166.97 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,797.78. The blue chip average had been 300 points higher before the late-afternoon slide.

The Nasdaq gave up 16.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,218.23. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed most of its gains from earlier in the day. It inched up 1.84 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,531.84.

The major stock indexes started the day on pace to recoup some of the market’s losses from a day earlier as investors sized up the latest crop of company earnings.

Technology companies, retailers and industrial stocks led the way for much of the day. The rally kicked into a higher gear shortly after the Fed minutes release.

Traders appeared to initially welcome the details in the meeting minutes, which show that a majority of Fed officials at the meeting believed that improving global economic prospects and the effects of recently passed tax cuts had raised the prospect for solid economic growth and for continued interest rate increases in 2018.

The Fed did not raise rates at the January meeting, which occurred before the February stock market plunge and turbulence.

Then bond yields began to climb, and the stock market rally began to evaporate. For a while, bank shares jumped in response to the rise in bond yields, which can benefit banks by allowing them to charge higher interest rates on loans. But soon banks stocks also slid into the red.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which is used as a benchmark for mortgages and other loans, has been rising in recent months from a recent low of 2.04 percent in September.

The pickup in yields has begun to make bonds more attractive as an alternative to stocks, which makes some investors uneasy.

Despite the broader market slide, investors bid up shares in some companies that reported better-than-expected earnings or outlooks Wednesday.

Advance Auto Parts vaulted 8.2 percent after reporting better earnings than analysts were expecting. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding $8.65 to $114. Shares in rival auto parts retailer AutoZone also rose, climbing $6.26, or 0.9 percent, to $719.49.

La-Z-Boy also got a lift from its latest quarterly report card, rising $2.85, or 9.9 percent, to $31.75.

Walmart shares continued to slide Wednesday, a day after posting its biggest single-day drop in 30 years. The stock lost $2.59, or 2.8 percent, to $91.52.

Devon Energy slid 11.8 percent after the energy company disclosed a smaller-than-expected profit and 2018 forecast that raised concerns with analysts. The stock gave up $4.08 to $30.57.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 11 cents to settle at $61.68 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 17 cents to close at $65.42 per barrel in London.

In other energy futures trading, heating oil was little changed at $1.93 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline added a penny to $1.76 a gallon. Natural gas rose 4 cents to $2.66 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The dollar rose to 107.78 yen from 107.30 yen on Tuesday. The euro weakened to $1.2300 from $1.2336.

Gold rose 90 cents to $1,332.10 an ounce. Silver added 18 cents to $16.62 an ounce. Copper gained 3 cents to $3.22 a pound.

Major indexes in Europe ended mostly higher. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.5 percent.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.2 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.8 percent. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent higher. The Kospi in South Korea added 0.6 percent. India’s Sensex gained 0.3 percent. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

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Secret new charges filed against Manafort, Gates in Mueller probe


Prosecutors have filed at least one new charge under seal in the case against President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates.

Fox News observed the filing in the clerk’s office at U.S. District Court in Washington Wednesday afternoon. The filing of new charges was first reported by Politico.

It was not immediately clear who the charge is against or whether it is part of a plea deal.

The filing comes days after prosecutors revealed that they had uncovered “additional criminal conduct” that includes “a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies” related to a mortgage on one of Manafort’s properties.

Prosecutors say Manafort obtained the mortgage fraudulently by providing the bank with “doctored profit and loss statements” for his political consulting business that overstated the company’s income by “millions of dollars.”

Manafort previously denied any wrongdoing regarding his mortgages.

Gates and Manafort were indicted last year on charges that they conspired to launder millions of dollars and directed a covert Washington lobbying campaign on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian interests. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.