Wednesday, February 21, 2018

MD Flags Ordered to Half Staff To Honor Slain PG Officer

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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.”


 

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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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

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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”

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

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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.”

More on this…

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 FoxNews.com.

Advance Auto Parts and Alphabet rise; Devon Energy drops

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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'

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Secret new charges filed against Manafort, Gates in Mueller probe

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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.

Prosecutors charge health company in Milwaukee jail death

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Prosecutors say the company that cares for inmates at the Milwaukee County jail faces criminal charges because employees lied about checking on a man who died of dehydration after water to his cell was shut off.

The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday charged Miami-based Armor Correctional Health Services Inc. with seven misdemeanor counts of intentionally falsifying health records.

The company is the latest defendant to face charges in the death of 38-year-old Terrill Thomas. He spent seven days without water in his cell as punishment in 2016. Prosecutors say Armor’s staff claimed to have checked on Thomas while he was wasting away but surveillance video shows they hadn’t.

Armor didn’t immediately comment.

Three jail employees already were facing charges in Thomas’ death.

Ferry explosion injures 18 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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Mexican authorities say an explosion on a ferry has hurt 18 people in the Caribbean beach city of Playa del Carmen, but none of the injuries are life-threatening.

The municipal government reports that 15 of the wounded are Mexicans and three are Canadians. It says in a statement that they sustained cuts and were taken to a hospital for treatment.

Videos obtained online by the newspaper Quintana Roo Hoy show the blast sending a fireball and debris flying sideways from the vessel as it was alongside the dock, with people nearby.

The municipal statement said it happened when passengers were getting off the boat Wednesday, and the cause was not yet known.

Disney and “Black Panther” Obliterate Talk of Superhero Fatigue

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With the ongoing success of Marvel Studios’ superhero movies came prognostications that the space would eventually become saturated — and the public would finally succumb to “superhero fatigue.” Never mind that Marvel’s offerings each explored a different genre. Spider-Man: Homecoming depicts a coming-of-age tale, Captain America: Winter Soldier is a political thriller, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a sci-fi movie, and Ant-Man is a heist flick.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and Marvel’s Black Panther broke a number of records in its opening weekend and it will likely surpass several more. In three days over Presidents Day weekend, the movie achieved the fifth-highest, all-time opening weekend domestic box office, joining an elite group of movies that went on to become monster hits — and in doing so silenced the voices predicting the genre’s inescapable demise.

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But for Disney investors, the success of Black Panther is about more than mere bragging rights.

You sound like a broken record

It’s worth noting that every movie on that list went on to join the coveted billion-dollar box-office club and are all among the 15 top-grossing films of all time worldwide. It’s also telling that eight of the top 10 biggest openings belong to the House of Mouse.

Black Panther clawed its way to becoming the highest-ranking February opener ever, the highest-ranking Friday-through-Sunday non-sequel, the biggest superhero debut, and the largest opening weekend for a pre-summer movie.

Over the long holiday weekend, the movie posted another notable achievement: Black Panther generated domestic ticket sales of $242 million, second only to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which still holds the title for the largest four-day box office draw.

It wasn’t just box-office records that fell, either. The movie also sports the highest Rotten Tomatoes rating for any superhero movie, currently at 97%, while also garnering a A+ CinemaScore. Black Panther also generated more ticket pre-sales for Fandango, AMC theaters, and IMAX than any previous superhero film. It made for the fourth highest opening weekend in IMAX’s history, garnering $35 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Internationally, Black Panther landed as the 25th highest foreign debut of all time — even though it didn’t open in three of the largest international markets of China, Russia, and Japan.

Black Panther also smashed cultural barriers, featuring a virtually all-black cast — unprecedented in a big-budget tentpole film. Director Ryan Coogler, who gained prominence for his work in Creed and Fruitvale Station, gets the nod for the biggest opening for an African-American director.

Why it should matter to Disney investors

As Disney deals with the effects of cord-cutting and the decline of its flagship ESPN sports network, other segments of the business have had to step in and fill the void. In its most recent quarter, Disney’s revenue grew 4% year over year, led by the parks and resorts segment, which increased sales by 13% over the prior-year quarter.

As my colleague Daniel Sparks pointed out, investors may be underestimating Disney’s movie segment. Operating income from Disney’s studio entertainment division has quadrupled since 2011, and with its “four powerful, proven franchises — Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Disney — showing no signs of weakness,” Daniel said, “Disney’s content engine may be just getting started.”

If the opening weekend of Black Panther is any indication, it will be the next Disney production to smash the $1 billion barrier for movie ticket sales, while also showing that superheroes are here to stay. More importantly, Disney’s box office reign is likely to continue for years to come.

10 stocks we like better than Walt DisneyWhen investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Walt Disney wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

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Danny Vena owns shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings, IMAX, and Walt Disney and has the following options: long January 2019 $85 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends IMAX and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Why Conduent Inc. Stock Popped Today

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What happened

Shares of Conduent Inc. (NYSE: CNDT) were up 12.9% as of 2 p.m. EST Wednesday after the IT service management specialist announced solid fourth-quarter 2017 results.

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More specifically, Conduent’s revenue declined slightly from last year’s fourth quarter to $1.493 billion. That translated to adjusted net income of $67 million, or $0.31 per share, up from $61 million, or $0.29 per share in the same year-ago period. By comparison, consensus estimates predicted adjusted earnings of only $0.24 per share on roughly the same revenue.

So what

The results mark a strong end to Conduent’s first year of independence after spinning off from Xerox (NYSE: XRX) in early 2017. Further, Conduent says it “overachieved” relative to its 2017 strategic transformation goals, leaving it well positioned to drive further savings in 2018.

“We focused around our core business and aggressively addressed our cost structure to deliver meaningful improvements in our margins and cash flow,” added Conduent CEO Ashok Vermuri. “This will enable investments to modernize technology, improve our workplace, and strengthen our positioning as a digital interactions company.”

Now what

Looking forward to the full-year 2018, Conduent expects revenue to be flat to down 3% from 2017, the midpoint of which compares favorably to estimates for a 2.6% decline. Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA this year should increase 8% to 12% from $672 million last year, and free cash flow should arrive in the range of 25% to 35% of adjusted EBITDA. Conduent notes that this outlook is essentially in line with its previously communicated long-term goals.

All told, given Conduent’s surprising profitability improvements, there was little not to like about Conduent’s strong end to the year. With shares down nearly 10% (as of yesterday’s close) from their post-spin-off highs set last May, it’s no surprise to see Conduent stock surging today in response.

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Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Woman caught on camera allegedly stealing from restaurant tip jar

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Police are looking to social media to help them catch a gray-haired bandit accused of stealing from a Lobster Trap tip jar in Bourne, MA.

The older woman was standing near the jar at the takeout counter on Monday evening, worker Olivia Slayton told WBZ.

“I turned around and I saw that her hand was near the top of the tip jar, but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t want to accuse her of anything,” Slayton said to WBZ.

The woman had ordered fish and chips and was waiting while restaurant workers buzzed around her.

“I didn’t even think twice as I was walking by,” employee Lainie Hatch said.

SCANTILY CLAD WOMAN WHO STOLE MONEY FROM UBER DRIVER’S TIP JAR SAYS SHE’S BEING HARASSED

Employees remembered the woman was rude and complained about the service during her visit, but did not notice that money was missing from the jar until later. When they did, they went to the surveillance tape for answers.

In the surveillance footage, the woman is seen dipping her hand into the jar and pulling out cash at least three times.

“It looks like she went in three times to grab some cash and maybe look for bigger bills, we’re not sure,” server Alaina Hatch said to FOX 25 Boston.

“We make obviously a lower wage, it’s not a minimum wage. Most of the money we make comes from tips and as hard as we work it’s really discouraging that someone would take that cash from us,” Hatch added.

This isn’t the first time the woman has allegedly stolen from the tip jar. In October, a worker said the same woman came to the restaurant and stole from the Lobster Pot.

“It’s just kind of scummy, low. I don’t get why you would come in here and take money from hard working kids no matter what your situation is,” worker E.J. Baraccchini told FOX 25 Boston.

Employees estimate this time around, the woman got away with $20 from the jar.

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The Bourne Police Department is investigating the incident and posted the surveillance video on Facebook – which has now gone viral – for help identifying the accused thief.

The restaurant owner has stated he doesn’t want to press charges – he just wants the woman to come back and apologize to the workers for stealing the money.

“It’s basically the principle of it. These are hard-working people that deserve their tips. We would just like to identify this woman and hold her accountable,” Police Sgt. Mike Mulligan said to FOX 25 Boston.

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

Woman caught on camera allegedly stealing from Red Lobster tip jar

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Police are looking to social media to help them catch a gray-haired bandit accused of stealing from a Red Lobster tip jar in Bourne, MA.

The older woman was standing near the jar at the takeout counter on Monday evening, worker Olivia Slayton told WBZ.

“I turned around and I saw that her hand was near the top of the tip jar, but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t want to accuse her of anything,” Slayton said to WBZ.

The woman had ordered fish and chips and was waiting while Red Lobster workers buzzed around her.

“I didn’t even think twice as I was walking by,” employee Lainie Hatch said.

SCANTILY CLAD WOMAN WHO STOLE MONEY FROM UBER DRIVER’S TIP JAR SAYS SHE’S BEING HARASSED

Employees remembered the woman was rude and complained about the service during her visit, but did not notice that money was missing from the jar until later. When they did, they went to the surveillance tape for answers.

In the surveillance footage, the woman is seen dipping her hand into the jar and pulling out cash at least three times.

“It looks like she went in three times to grab some cash and maybe look for bigger bills, we’re not sure,” server Alaina Hatch said to FOX 25 Boston.

“We make obviously a lower wage, it’s not a minimum wage. Most of the money we make comes from tips and as hard as we work it’s really discouraging that someone would take that cash from us,” Hatch added.

"Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - February 17, 2012: The Red Lobster restaurant on Rochester Road in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Red Lobster is a chain of casual dining seafood restaurants with over 700 locations."

The employees said this isn’t the first time this woman has come to the restaurant and stolen from the tip jar.  (iStock)

This isn’t the first time the woman has allegedly stolen from the tip jar. In October, a worker said the same woman came to the restaurant and stole from the Red Lobster Pot.

“It’s just kind of scummy, low. I don’t get why you would come in here and take money from hard working kids no matter what your situation is,” worker E.J. Baraccchini told FOX 25 Boston.

Employees estimate this time around, the woman got away with $20 from the jar.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

The Bourne Police Department is investigating the incident and posted the surveillance video on Facebook – which has now gone viral – for help identifying the accused thief.

The restaurant owner has stated he doesn’t want to press charges – he just wants the woman to come back and apologize to the workers for stealing the money.

“It’s basically the principle of it. These are hard-working people that deserve their tips. We would just like to identify this woman and hold her accountable,” Police Sgt. Mike Mulligan said to FOX 25 Boston.

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

Mexico finds illegal avocado plantation in Monarch reserve

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Mexican environmental inspectors say they’ve found 7.4 acres (3 hectares) of illegal avocado plantations in the Monarch butterfly wintering grounds west of Mexico City.

It’s apparently the first time that a wave of avocado planting has directly affected the heart of the Monarch area, a protected nature reserve.

Monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. and Canada to pine and fir forests that thrive at about the same altitude as prime avocado-growing land.

Previously deforestation linked to lucrative avocado planting had been seen in areas to the west and south of the reserve.

But on Wednesday, the environmental protection office said one man had been arrested for weapons possession at the site.

Without pine trees to provide thermal cover and roosting sites, the butterflies can freeze to death.

Philadelphia DA drops cash bail for 'low-level' crimes

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Philadelphia’s top prosecutor says his office will stop asking for cash bail for a number of misdemeanor and non-violent felony crimes.

District Attorney Larry Krasner says that requiring people to post bail for minor crimes unfairly targets defendants who cannot afford to pay to keep themselves out of jail.

Krasner’s announcement Wednesday aligns with ongoing reforms in the city that seek to drive down the municipal jail population by diverting some defendants toward treatment programs and issuing tickets instead of arresting people for certain low-level offenses.

The move away from cash bail has gained national traction with the support of ranking judges and politicians. New Jersey last year all but eliminated cash bail and has since reported a 20 percent decrease in the number of jailed people awaiting trial.

50 girls missing from Nigerian town after Boko Haram attack

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About 50 young women remained missing Wednesday after Boko Haram extremists attacked a village in northern Nigeria that is home to a boarding school for girls, provoking fears that they may have met the same fate as those kidnapped from the town of Chibok nearly four years ago.

Abdullahi Bego, a spokesman for the governor in Yobe state, said that authorities had no credible information that those missing from the village of Dapchi were taken by Boko Haram. Some witnesses, however, recalled seeing young girls being taken by the armed militants who also abducted 276 girls from the school in Chibok in April 2014.

“I share the anguish of all the parents and guardians of the girls that remain unaccounted for,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted Wednesday evening. “I would like to assure them that we are doing all in our power to ensure the safe return of all the girls.”

Armed Boko Haram fighters invaded Dapchi on Monday evening, forcing residents, including students of Government Girls Secondary school, to flee into the bushes.

Police and the state ministry of education had initially denied claims that students were abducted.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Bego said that more than 50 of the 926 students were still missing. Earlier reports indicated that about 90 were not in class Tuesday, suggesting that some had returned within the past 24 hours.

Aishatu Abdullahi, a student at the school, was among those who escaped on foot and spent the night hiding in an abandoned house.

“They were shooting guns and everyone was confused. Then we started running all confused,” she told reporters, speaking in the Hausa language. “We saw some people pushing some of the students to enter their vehicles.”

“Many of us are traumatized,” she said, adding that the school had given students a one-week break after the ordeal. “But, in all honesty, I am not willing to come back here because we are scared of what could happen to us in the future.”

About 100 of the 276 girls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok in 2014 are still believed to be with their captors. Some escaped, while others were released as part of negotiations.

Billy Graham dead: Queen Elizabeth sends condolences

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England’s Queen Elizabeth II will be reaching out to Rev. Billy Graham’s family following his death, Fox News has learned Wednesday.

“The Queen will be sending a private message of condolence to the family of Billy Graham,” Buckingham Palace told Fox News in a written statement.

The Christian evangelist whose worldwide crusades and role as adviser to decades of U.S. presidents made him one of the best known religious figures of his time died Wednesday at age 99 at his home in Montreat, N.C., from natural causes.

Netflix’s hit series “The Crown,” which tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s journey as a monarch, briefly focused on the now-91-year-old’s interaction with Graham in the sixth episode of the second season.

In the episode, the Queen is depicted as being enthralled while watching Graham’s sermon on television with the Queen Mother.

She becomes so captivated by the charismatic preacher that she invites Graham to give a sermon in Windsor Chapel and then hosts him for lunch at the palace. 

People magazine reported that in real life, the pair shared an unlikely friendship. Whenever Graham visited the U.K., the Queen would reportedly invite him to preach. And when she traveled to the United States, she would find time to visit him.

Graham was regularly listed in polls as one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World.”

“My one purpose in life,” he said, “is to help people find a personal relationship with God, which, I believe, comes through knowing Christ.”

Police: Officer shot, killed intervening in domestic dispute

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An off-duty police officer who answered a neighbor’s request for help in a domestic dispute was shot and killed Wednesday in Maryland, officials said.

The suspect in the officer’s shooting was later shot and killed by police after a chase.

Prince George’s County police Chief Hank Stawinski said Officer Mujahid Ramzziddin was confronted by a man with a shotgun when he left his home in suburban Maryland to help a woman who lived a few doors away and knew Ramzziddin was a police officer.

“He stood his ground,” Stawinski said at a press conference. “He saved her life by giving his own.”

The man who shot Ramzziddin then fled the scene in a vehicle. Stawinski said the chase carried briefly into neighboring Charles County, and ended when the suspect was shot and killed by two Prince George’s County officers. Police have not yet identified that suspect.

State Route 210, a major highway in southern Maryland connecting Prince George’s and Charles counties, was closed for several hours Wednesday near the scene of where the suspect was shot and killed, several miles from where Ramzziddin was shot.

Stawinski said the initial shooting occurred about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Brandywine area, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of the nation’s capital.

Ramzziddin, a married father of four, had been with the department for 13 years, and in 2006 received a Valor Award from the department, Stawinski said.

“Today was not the first time he demonstrated his heroism,” Stawinski said.

The man who shot Ramzziddin had a history of domestic incidents, Stawinski said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is conducting its own investigation, but Stawinski said he has reason to believe that those domestic incidents should have barred the suspect from legally owning a firearm.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said his sadness over Ramzziddin’s death is mixed with pride for his willingness to help a member of the community.

“He didn’t have to answer the door,” Baker said. “He didn’t have to walk out that door.”

Terry Crews still has to pay agency that employs his molester

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At Esquire’s 2018 Mavericks of Hollywood party, Terry Crews discussed his lawsuit against Adam Venit, the longtime head of WME’s motion picture group, who Crews claims groped him at an industry event in 2016.

“This is the deal. What’s so strange and crazy is that I’m still paying them. I go to work, and I still have to send a check to my molester,” Terry Crews told a group of reporters outside Tuesday night’s event.

“This is Hollywood, it is insane. I look at my bank statement, and I’m like, ‘Damn, this is the most wrong thing of all time.’ I’m calling it, I’m going to play this whole thing out. If I don’t get justice, nobody can,” the actor added.

Crews added that he feels some vindication now that his allegation is under review by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

“[Venit] tried to tell everyone it wasn’t sexual. How do you do that? How is that possible? The level of ridiculousness that this has gone to, and they’re looking at me as if I’m ridiculous for even saying anything,” Crews continued. “I’m like, ‘Nope, I’m not putting up with it.’ No one should. No woman, no child, no man, anywhere, in whatever business, should ever put up with being treated less than a human being, ever.”

Crews also thanked his wife of 28 years, Rebecca, as she stood alongside him on the carpet. The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star credited his wife for being an “invaluable” source of truth and someone who encourages his fearlessness.

“You can talk about those things once you’ve gone through your process and you’re overcoming. There’s no talking about it if you’re still in bondage,” Rebecca said, adding, “You can’t go public when you’re in that phase. Once you’ve decided to privately handle things, that’s when you can help people by telling your story.”

Before entering the party, Crews also stated, “There’s a lot of people benefiting off of what you don’t know. It’s always been my thing to demystify.”

The party hosted the magazine’s cover star Donald Glover as well as other Hollywood talent including Ron Howard, Kumail Nanjiani, Edwin and Aldis Hodge, and Billy Eichner.

This article originally appeared in Variety.