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President Obama Heads to Europe, NATO Summit to Discuss Tension in Ukraine

President Obama Heads to Europe, NATO Summit to Discuss Tension in Ukraine

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will head to Europe on Tuesday to take part in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit to discuss, among other things, the continued tension caused by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

Obama will first land in Estonia, where he is expected to reaffirm the U.S.’ stance that Russia should not get involved in the independent nations. At his second stop, the president will meet with other NATO leaders, but without Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Wales.

While Ukraine is not a NATO member, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was invited to this week’s summit.

In a statement, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, highlighted the importance of “collective defense,” “crisis management” and “partnerships,” in handling the situation in Ukraine. The summit, initially planned to mark an end to the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan, will still touch on that subject as well, Vershbow said.

NATO is expected to form a “spearhead” force in response to Russian actions, which will be “ready to respond at short notice.”

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Accused Killer in Florida Faces ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Pass

Accused Killer in Florida Faces ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Pass

Creatas/Thinkstock(BROWARD COUNTY, Fla.) — A Florida man charged in a gruesome slaying faces an all-or-nothing offer that could set him free from jail.

Gustavo Dubon could also spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted in the 2007 killing of Francisco Cuevas. The businessman’s remains were uncovered months after his death, located inside a rusted metal box found in a wooded area.

Dubon was charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder last year, after police said he confessed. Dubon has pleaded not guilty.

In a newly released recording, the two detectives working the case were caught on a recording telling their supervisor they think Dubon is innocent.

“Seriously. Serious, serious doubts that Dubon had anything to do with this,” Det. David Young is heard saying to Brian Koenig on the recording.

That interaction was recorded when one of the detectives failed to remove his microphone after interviewing an unrelated suspect on another case. The recording was later released to the attorney for Dubon.

On the audio, the detectives claim Dubon gave a false confession rife with errors about key case details.

Despite the presence of the audio, Broward County assistant state attorney Gregg Rossman is still moving forward with the trial.

“What you hear in that audio is an intelligent debate between two very good detectives and their sergeant, and has no impact, no effect at all on the case,” Rossman said.

But authorities are offering Dubon the polygraph as a possible “get out of jail free” pass.

“Both parties agree that it’s admissible in court and if, in fact, the defendant passes the polygraph examination as to their involvement in the crime, we drop the case, or dismiss the case,” Rossman said. “If the party fails, and is deceptive on the exam as to their involvement in the case, then the stipulated polygraph is admissible in court in front of a jury and can be used as evidence against them.”

Dubon is still undecided about whether he will take the polygraph.

Proponents say the tests are accurate about 90 percent of the time, according to the American Polygraph Association, while critics argue that the accuracy is closer to 70 percent.

The next hearing is set for Thursday.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Opens First ‘Full Expression’ Locations in California

Dunkin’ Donuts Opens First ‘Full Expression’ Locations in California

Oliver Hoffman/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(SANTA MONICA, Calif.) — Dunkin’ Donuts opened its first traditional stores in California on Tuesday, bringing its full assortment of coffee and baked goods to West Coast residents for the first time.

“Today we continue to celebrate our highly anticipated expansion to California, starting with the opening of our new restaurants in Modesto and Santa Monica,” said Paul Twohig, President of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada.

The company plans to open approximately 200 new restaurants in California over the next several years, and perhaps over 1,000 in the long-term.

Dunkin’, an East Coast staple, had locations in California, but the new restaurants are the brand’s first “full expression locations on the West Coast.”

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‘AK-47 Bandit’ Resurfaces in Nebraska Bank Heist

‘AK-47 Bandit’ Resurfaces in Nebraska Bank Heist

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEBRASKA CITY, Neb.) — A manhunt is underway for a notorious bank robber known as the “AK-47 Bandit,” suspected in a slew of brazen heists across the northwest and now in Nebraska.

At a press conference in Chino, Calif., on Monday where the heavily armed suspect’s spree is believed to have begun, police said the bandit is armed, dangerous and at it again.

“We’re going to do whatever we can do, use every resource available to us to hunt this guy down and take him into custody,” Chino Police Chief Miles Pruitt said.

The unidentified bank robber is a suspect in five bank robberies in four states, including an Aug. 22 robbery at the First National Bank Branch in Nebraska City, Neb. In the recent robbery, the suspect ordered employees to empty out the vault, making off with a duffel bag full of cash.

And just like each heist before, he was seen during the Nebraska heist carrying a high-powered assault weapon, complete with a round drum magazine.

Investigators suspect the man may have been a law enforcement officer at some point. He’s been seen wearing a sheriff’s vest during some of his holdups.

“His tactics suggest he may have had military or law enforcement experience,” Pruitt said.

The spree started two years ago at the California Bank and Trust in Chino. The bandit allegedly called 911 to report a bomb threat, apparently to create a diversion before carrying out the 2012 robbery.

During the escape, he opened fire on a police officer, seriously wounding the officer. That officer has since recovered from his injuries.

After the heist in California, the FBI says the man robbed banks in Idaho, Washington and Nebraska. Each time, he’s worn a black ski mask to hide his face, and he’s always been seen carrying the same AK-47.

According to the FBI, the suspect has been seen leaving the scene of robberies in a dark gray Nissan Maxima. He’s described as white, about 5-feet-10 and 180 to 220 pounds.

Authorities have offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

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Eric Cantor to Join Investment Bank

Eric Cantor to Join Investment Bank

US House of Representatives(NEW YORK) — Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been appointed Vice Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors of Moelis & Company, a global investment bank.

According to a release posted to Moelis & Company’s website, Cantor will “provide strategic counsel to the Firm’s corporate and institutional clients on key issues.” He will also be involved in client development.

Cantor said that when considering his post-politics career, he “wanted to join a firm with a great entrepreneurial spirit that focused on its clients.” Citing admiration of the vision of Moelis & Company, Cantor said that he felt the company was “a place where I knew my skills could help clients succeed.”

The company’s Chairman and CEO, Ken Moelis, called the former Republican Congressman “a pro-business advocate and one who will enhance our boardroom discussions with CEOs and senior management as we help them navigate their most important strategic decisions.”

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US Marine Corps Helicopter Crashes in Gulf of Aden

US Marine Corps Helicopter Crashes in Gulf of Aden

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Manuel A. Estrada/Released(WASHINGTON) — A U.S. Marine Corps helicopter crashed into the water in the Gulf of Aden on Monday as it attempted to land aboard the U.S.S. Mesa Verde.

According to the U.S. Navy, all 25 people on board the helicopter, including 17 Marines and eight Navy sailors were safely pulled from the water. Some of the individuals suffered minor injuries and were treated aboard the U.S.S Mesa Verde.

The Navy noted that the crash was not the result of “hostile activity.”

A joint investigation into the crash will be launched by the Navy and the Marine Corps.

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Texans Sign Watt to $100M Deal

Texans Sign Watt to $100M Deal

Scott Halleran/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Houston Texans have rewarded one of the top defensive players in the league with the top contract ever for a defensive player. J.J. Watt and the Texans have agreed to a new six-year deal worth a reported $100 million.

The contract will have a guaranteed $51.8 million payday for Watt, the highest amount ever for a defensive player in the NFL. Watt will earn an approximate $16.6 million per year, also a record total for a defensive player.

Watt had hoped in August to work out a new deal with the team that drafted him with the 11th overall pick in 2011.

“I think when a team gives a big contract after the third year, they’re saying, ‘Listen, we think you’ve earned this,’” Watt said. “I don’t know if [the Texans] feel that way or not, but I sure hope I’ve put in all the work, and I’ve put in everything I can do to hopefully earn it.”

The 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, Watt has racked up 36.5 sacks during his first three seasons.

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More Women Renting Wedding Gowns

More Women Renting Wedding Gowns

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What bride-to-be would actually rent her gown for the big day?

More than you think. With an increasing number of women shifting away from preserving gowns for family heirlooms, many of today’s brides are more interested in saving some money on the way from the boutique to the chapel.

Longstanding designer rental website Rent the Runway offers 4- and 8-day rentals of upscale gowns by designers ranging from Badgley Mischka to Monique Lhiullier.

“I think some women value the experience over the ownership of their gown,” said a representative for Rent the Runway. “If they already use Spotify or Uber, services where you’re not necessarily owning something versus experiencing it, they will also feel comfortable with renting a wedding gown.”

For instance, a sleek, long-sleeved, cocktail-length wedding dress by Dsquared that would normally retail for approximately $830 can be rented for $125 on Rent the Runway.

Big discounts leave lots of funds still in the wedding budget for food, music or other desirable decor elements. It stands to reason that if the groom isn’t planning to keep his morning jacket, proponents say his betrothed should be able to follow suit with her tulle.

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School Lunches Don’t Skimp on Fruits and Vegetables

School Lunches Don’t Skimp on Fruits and Vegetables

XiXinXing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As much as kids resist eating healthy, most can’t say that their schools aren’t giving them the opportunity to do so.A national survey from the School Nutrition Association finds that 63 percent of the 1,110 school dis…

Anticipation Is Half the Fun of Any Experience

Anticipation Is Half the Fun of Any Experience

moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What do you look forward to more: a new tablet hitting the market or an upcoming vacation?

Researchers at Cornell University and the University of California in Berkeley and San Francisco say if you’re like most people, you value the anticipation of an experience rather than something you can touch.

The researchers called their study “Waiting for Merlot,” a clever play on words about the title of a famous play.

Based on a series of experiments built on previous studies, it was found people get a bigger kick out of waiting for an experience, such as a concert, rather than the anticipation of buying something concrete, such as new furniture.

Meanwhile, the researchers discovered that there’s something about waiting in line to make a purchase that also gives people a bit of an adrenaline rush.

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Plants Are Key Ingredients to Better Work Environments

Plants Are Key Ingredients to Better Work Environments

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — That colleague of yours who likes adorning his or her work area with all kinds of plants is on to something.

Marlon Nieuwenhuis from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology in Wales says that a plant-enriched workplace make everybody happier in the short and long run.

And here’s something that should make the boss happier: Nieuwenhuis’ study claims that productivity jumps by 15 percent when plants are added to the office.

Previous studies have demonstrated that green offices appear to enhance workers’ attention spans while lowering stress.

By comparing and contrasting green offices to so-called “lean” workplaces, that is, without plants, Nieuwenhuis and his team concluded that quality of air, level of concentration and workplace satisfaction were better wherever vegetation was prominent.

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Dakota Fanning on How She’d Like to Spend Her 21st Birthday

Dakota Fanning on How She’d Like to Spend Her 21st Birthday

Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images(NEW YORK) — It’s hard to believe Dakota Fanning isn’t 21 yet, considering her career in Hollywood. And although the starlet doesn’t hit that milestone birthday until next February, she already has ideas on how she’d like to spend it…and it’s not in a bar.

“I was just thinking about it,” Fanning told E! News. “I kind of want to go do karaoke even though I’m terrified to do it. But I think if I’m 21 maybe I can have something to help me.”

Perhaps Fanning will return to one of reality show star Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurants in Los Angeles. “I love Lisa,” she said. “I met her actually. I had my 16th birthday at her restaurant before the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was a thing. I saw this fabulous woman with this cute dog and then it turned out it was Lisa Vanderpump.”

Fanning most recently starred in The Last of Robin Hood.

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Jerry Lewis Receives Australian Honor for Muscular Dystrophy Fundraising

Jerry Lewis Receives Australian Honor for Muscular Dystrophy Fundraising

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS(LAS VEGAS) — Jerry Lewis is no longer involved in the Muscular Dystrophy Association annual telethon that aired Sunday, but he was honored Friday for his decades-long fundraising efforts to find a cure for the disease by Australian officials who presented him with their country’s highest civilian award.

The Las Vegas Sun reports Australian officials with the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, which is not formally associated with the MDA, flew to Las Vegas and honored Lewis as a Member of the Order of Australia. The 88-year-old Lewis received a gold medal and a lapel pin. Lewis has helped raise more than $2 billion for MDA during his 45-year association with the group, and has also visited Australia and raised millions of dollars for that country’s MDF.

Sunday’s two-hour MDA Show of Strength Telethon on ABC raised more than $56 million.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association severed its fundraising relationship with Lewis after the 2010 MDA Labor Day Telethon.

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“Downton Abbey” Season 5 Trailer Released

“Downton Abbey” Season 5 Trailer Released

Credit: Courtesy of ©Nick Briggs/Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE(NEW YORK) — Britain’s ITV network has released the trailer for Downton Abbey’s fifth season.According to Deadline.com, Season 5 will open in 1924 as Ramsay MacDonald becomes Bri…

Louisville Dominant in Petrino’s Return

Louisville Dominant in Petrino’s Return

iStockphoto(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — The Louisville Cardinals (1-0) defense held Miami to 1-for-13 on three downs, helping lead the team to a 31-13 win over the Hurricanes on Monday in their season opener.

It was also the first victory for head coach Bobby Petrino in his return to Louisville.

“I thought it would be a real battle and we would have to work extremely hard,” said Petrino. “Obviously, we made some mistakes on offense and on special teams. I thought the defense really did a great job all night long, especially on third down.”

The Cardinals opened the scoring in the first quarter when Will Gardner hit Charles Standberry on a two yard touchdown pass. The Hurricanes countered with 10 straight points before Louisville regained the lead just prior to halftime when Corvin Lamb went 97 yards on a kickoff return.

Coming out of the locker room it was all Louisville as they scored 17 straight points after Miami closed the gap to 14-13 just four minutes into the third.

The game also saw a pair of quarterbacks making their first career starts. Gardner was 20-for-28 passing for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman Brad Kaaya did not fare as well for Miami (0-1), tossing a pair of interceptions and going just 17-for-29 in his debut.

“We did not do a good enough job protecting a first-start quarterback. Period,” said Hurricanes coach Al Golden.

Louisville opened their tenure in the Atlantic Coast Conference, dominating a mainstay program in the ACC. Petrino led the Cardinals to a 41-9 record from 2003-06 as head coach. 

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Over 30 Juveniles Escape from Tennessee Detention Center

Over 30 Juveniles Escape from Tennessee Detention Center

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — A number of “students” at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center escaped from their dorm on Monday night, fleeing from the detention center.

According to Rob Johnson, Communications Director for the Tennessee Department of Child Services, 32 of the teens, aged 14 to 17, were able to climb under the anti-climb chain-linked fence at around 11 p.m. At least some of the juveniles have felonies on their records.

Johnson said that the escape occurred during a shift change. “As the staff were trying to get the youth back into the dorms and out of the yard, they realized that some of them had managed to pull up a fence and crawl underneath it,” he said Tuesday morning.

Many of the teens had histories that included aggravated burglary or robbery, theft, violent crimes including robbery or assault, among other legal issues.

The Metro Nashville Police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol are searching the surrounding neighborhood for the escaped children.

By 11 a.m. ET, all but eight of the teens had been captured or had surrendered. Johnson said he was confident that all of the escapees would be found.

Watch more news videos | Latest from the US

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Falcao Joins Manchester United on Loan

Falcao Joins Manchester United on Loan

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Striker Radamel Falcao has joined Manchester United on a season long loan from Monaco. 

United will reportedly pay Monaco between five and six million pounds for the striker and have an option to buy Falcao at the end of the loan period.

The transfer required an extension past the deadline, allowed by Premier League rules when all three parties are committed to finalizing the deal. 

Despite an injury-shortened 2013-14 season, Falcao scored nine goals in 17 games for Monaco. The injury also kept him out of the World Cup for his native Colombia. Prior to his season with Monaco, Falcao scored a combined 52 goals in two years with Atletico Madrid.

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Snoop Dogg Drops in on Chicago Couple’s Wedding

Snoop Dogg Drops in on Chicago Couple’s Wedding

ABC/Randy Holmes(CHICAGO) — Two newlyweds in Chicago got a unique wedding photo Sunday, when Snoop Dogg dropped in and crashed their nuptials.

A photographer for Allusion Photography, which had shot the wedding ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, spotted the rapper as he stepped out of a limo, according to the photography studio’s president, Sherry Hagerman.

The groom’s mother, Mary Rose Frank, told the photographer “she was Snoop’s biggest fan,” and the photographer convinced the artist’s entourage to make the introduction, Hagerman said.

“They had a great conversation and a ton of laughs inside the bar,” she said. “Snoop was a blast to be around.”

Snoop Dogg, who performed at the North Coast Music Festival on Sunday, posted a photo of himself and the smiling couple, Joe Scheller and Neesha Ghadiali, on his Instagram account.

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Survivor Lead Singer Jimi Jamison Dead at 63

Survivor Lead Singer Jimi Jamison Dead at 63

Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Redferns via Getty Images(NEW YORK) –  Jimi Jamison, the lead singer of the rock band Survivor, has died, the band announced. Jamison was 63.

“Survivor is very shocked & saddened by the passing of our brother Jimi Jamison,” the band wrote on its Twitter page. “Our thoughts, love & prayers go out to his friends and family.”

Jamison grew up in Tennessee, meeting music icon Elvis Presley when he was 10 years old – a chance encounter in a drug store. He later fronted a local band, Target, during the 1970s.

He first found national fame in the early 1980s as the lead singer of the band Cobra.

But his biggest successes came after joining Survivor. The group had drawn international acclaim for 1982’s “Eye of the Tiger” from the hit movie Rocky III, but struggled to replicate the song’s success. In 1983, lead singer Dave Bickler was forced to leave Survivor due to vocal issues.

Jamison initially wasn’t interested in joining Survivor because the group was more pop-focused than his previous acts.

“I really didn’t want to do it, because I was in a heavy band, I always played really heavy music, and their stuff was a little lighter than I was used to,” he said of Survivor in a 2008 interview with Living Legends Music.

But Jamison joined on, and a string of hits followed – “I Can’t Hold Back,” “High on You” and “The Search Is Over,” as well as “Burning Heart,” which was featured in the movie Rocky IV.

Jamison was one of the great power-ballad singers, a tour de force vocal presence that was perfect for energetic arena rock.

Jamison contributed that energy for the theme song of TV’s Baywatch, co-writing and singing “I’m Always Here” for the popular television series.

In recent years he returned to Survivor – that’s him pumping up office climber “Glen” in a popular 2005 Starbucks Doubleshot commercial – and also released his third solo album, 2012’s “Never Too Late.”

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New “Once Upon a Time Trailer” Teases the Arrival of Elsa from “Frozen”

New “Once Upon a Time Trailer” Teases the Arrival of Elsa from “Frozen”

ABC/Katie Yu(NEW YORK) — Winter has come a little early to Storybrooke, Maine, the fictional location of ABC’s fairy tale drama series Once Upon a Time.

In a new trailer teasing the show’s upcoming fourth season, Elsa, from Disney’s blockbuster film Frozen, is seen walking past some of the town’s signature landmarks, leaving a chill in her wake.

The trailer also shows Elsa getting a chilly reception from Once Upon a Time‘s other characters.

Fringe actress Georgina Haig has been tapped to play the Disney princess with the power to produce ice, snow and frost.

John Rhys-Davies, who played the dwarf Gimli in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will play Pabbie, whose healing powers in Frozen helped Elsa’s sister Anna. Tyler Jacob Moore, who plays Tony Markovich on Showtime’s Shameless, will play Hans, Frozen‘s good prince-turned-bad prince from the Southern Isles.

The fourth season of Once Upon a Time premieres September 28 on ABC.

Disney is the parent company of ABC.

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