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Wall Street Gains on Positive Economic Reports

Wall Street Gains on Positive Economic Reports

JaysonPhotography/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A pair of positive economic reports boosted Wall Street to another day of gains on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 24.95 to a 17156.92 finish.

The Nasdaq jumped 9.43 to 4562.19, while the S&P 500 closed back above 2000, gaining 2.59 to a close of 2001.57.

The Federal Reserve announced in a statement on Wednesday that its stimulus program will end next month, as planned, and short term interest rates will increase sometime next year.

In a separate report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that consumer prices dropped by 0.2 percent in August, the first drop in 16 months.

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Australia Counterterrorism Operation Results in Multiple Arrests

Australia Counterterrorism Operation Results in Multiple Arrests

TkKurikawa/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia) — Police executed a raid in the northwest suburbs of Sydney on Wednesday, the result of a counterterrorism operation.

The New South Wales police did not immediately disclose the number of arrests made as part of the execution of multiple search warrants. The operation was undertaken by the New South Wales police and the Australian Federal Police.

Police are expected to release more information.

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Tropical Moisture from Odile Will Bring Historic Rain to Southwest

Tropical Moisture from Odile Will Bring Historic Rain to Southwest

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Odile has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression as it continues its track into Southeastern Arizona — and flash flood warnings are now in effect for California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Some places, including Tucson, Arizona, could see 4 to 6 inches of rain over the next two days, with the heaviest falling Wednesday and Thursday.

The wettest September on record for Tucson is 5.6 inches.

The highest two-day rain total for Tucson was 4.17 inches back in October 1983. This was from the devastating floods brought by Tropical Storm Octave. Known as “The Flood of 1983,” it killed 13 people, injured hundreds and left many homes, businesses, buildings and bridges heavily damaged or destroyed.

Now, eyes are beginning to turn to Tropical Storm Polo, the next named storm in the Eastern Pacific, which is following in Odile’s footsteps.

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Enterovirus D68 Prompts Hospital Wards to Ban Child Visitors

Enterovirus D68 Prompts Hospital Wards to Ban Child Visitors

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Several hospitals have banned children from visiting patients amid fears of a respiratory virus that has sent some children to the hospital gasping for breath.

Hospitals in upstate New York — including SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse — are the latest to restrict young visitors as Enterovirus D68 spreads primarily among children nationwide. State health departments have reported possible cases in 27 states, and experts say the virus likely infected thousands.

“In the upcoming weeks, more states will have confirmed cases of EV-D68 infection,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website.

ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser noted this practice of keeping kids away from the hospital isn’t uncommon. It also happens during the regular flu season.

“Frequently during periods when particularly contagious viruses are spreading in communities, hospitals implement restrictions on visitations by children,” Besser said.

Enterovirus D68 starts off like the common cold but can quickly turn serious and cause children to have difficulty breathing — especially if they have asthma. In the most extreme cases, children are so sick they need to be put on a ventilator in a hospital’s intensive care unit. No children have died from the illness so far.

The age restrictions on visitors vary from hospital to hospital. For instance, Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis is only restricting people under 18 from visiting its neonatal intensive care unit. Meanwhile, SUNY Upstate isn’t allowing people under 16 to visit its children’s hospital at all, according to ABC News’ Syracuse affiliate WSYR. And American Fork Hospital in American Fork, Utah, isn’t allowing anyone under 14 to visit its nursery or pediatric ward.

Hospitals are also restricting people who are sick — with perhaps a cough or a cold — from visiting these wards.

The CDC has officially confirmed only 130 enterovirus D68 cases in 12 states, but experts say this number probably doesn’t reflect the scope of the outbreak as a whole.

Since the CDC does not require hospitals or state labs to report enterovirus D68 cases, and many state health departments are unable to test for it, experts say the reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg.

New Jersey became the 27th state to announce possible enterovirus D68 cases.

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Yelp, TinyCo Settle with FTC over Child Privacy Violation Accusations

Yelp, TinyCo Settle with FTC over Child Privacy Violation Accusations

evergreenpics/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A pair of companies settled charges filed by the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday after being accused of collecting personal data on children under the age of 13.

Online review company Yelp and mobile app developer TinyCo each settled separate charges that they collected children’s information in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. “As people — especially children — move more of their lives onto mobile devices, it’s important that they have the same consumer protections when they’re using an app that they have when they’re on a website,” Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said. 

“Companies should take steps as they build and test their apps to make sure that children’s information won’t be collected without a parent’s consent,” Rich added.

Between 2009 and 2013, Yelp allegedly collected personal information including names, e-mail addresses and locations of its users, including those who registered with a date of birth that showed they were under 13 years old. Yelp, the FTC says, failed to utilize a functional age screen in its apps. The company settled on Wednesday, agreeing to a $450,000 civil penalty and a promise that they will delete all information collected from users who were under the age of 13 when they registered with Yelp.

TinyCo similarly collected e-mail addresses from users, including those under the age of 13, in some cases in exchange for in-game currency. TinyCo will pay a $300,000 civil penalty, delete all information from users under the age of 13, and submit a compliance report detailing its adherence to COPPA in one year.

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Obama’s Unexpected Air Force One Routine Causes Suspense

Obama’s Unexpected Air Force One Routine Causes Suspense

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — There was a moment of suspense and mystery surrounding President Obama’s arrival at Andrews Air Force Base Wednesday when the highly choreographed routine took a peculiar turn.

All seemed to be running as usual when the president arrived on Air Force One at 3:28 p.m. Wednesday, after delivering a speech to troops in Florida.

But after stepping off the plane, the president spent several minutes chatting with several Secret Service agents before getting into the presidential limo, known as the Beast.

Then, instead of pulling off the tarmac, his motorcade made a loop and pulled up next to an unidentified, smaller plane. The president then walked up the steps of the plane and spent several minutes aboard before walking back down the steps and getting into his motorcade and pulling away.

“Prior to heading back to the White House, the president stopped to chat briefly with FLOTUS prior to her departure for her trip,” according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, referring to the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

Minutes later, the first lady was spotted stepping off that plane and walking across the tarmac to another plane that is part of the usual Air Force One fleet. She is scheduled to speak in Memphis, Tennessee, Wednesday afternoon. There was a maintenance issue with her plane.

“The First Lady is delayed by approximately an hour and a half. The delay was caused by an aircraft maintenance issue. As previously planned, the First Lady is looking forward to visiting with the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their families,” according to the White House.

Adding to the mystery, the TV pool coverage that customarily carries the arrival and departure of Air Force One live was blocked from the tarmac by base officials. White House officials said they don’t know why the cameras were blocked, contrary to policy.

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Bill Hader to Return to “Saturday Night Live” as a Host

Bill Hader to Return to “Saturday Night Live” as a Host

Ben Gabbe/NBC(NEW YORK) — After leaving Saturday Night Live last year following eight years on the hit NBC sketch-comedy show, Bill Hader is returning to the series.

NBC announced Wednesday that Hader will return to SNL as a host on Oct. 11. He’ll be joined by musical guest Hozier.

This may be good news for fans who miss Hader’s signature character, Stefon.

He recently joked on ABC’s Good Morning America that viewers “will never see him again. No, I’m joking.  I don’t know. I do miss him.”

Previously, Hader told GQ magazine that he was done for good with Stefon, the infamous club kid with insider knowledge of the most ridiculous hot spots in New York City.

“Sometimes people say to me, ‘I want a Stefon movie!’ and I’m like, you think you want a Stefon movie, but then you’ll see the poster for it and think, ‘Wait, I don’t want this!’” he said. “There’s no emotional through-line.”

Hader is currently starring with another SNL alum, Kristen Wiig, in the film The Skeleton Twins.

Chris Pratt hosts the season premiere of SNL on Sept. 27.

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Mapping Obama’s Strategy to Defeat ISIS in Iraq

Mapping Obama’s Strategy to Defeat ISIS in Iraq

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Obama administration’s strategy for defeating ISIS in Iraq envisions the Islamic terror group squeezed on three sides and from the air, making their grip on northern Iraq “untenable.”

The strategy was laid out Tuesday by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a Senate hearing.

The plan includes:

  • Training a force of 5,000 moderate Syrian rebels to take the areas that border Iraq, although Dempsey acknowledged it may take a force of 12,000 to wrest the area from ISIS forces. If the U.S. trained rebels were attacked by Syrian government forces, the U.S. would help them, Hagel said.
  • Advise Iraqi troops for an offensive that would launch northward from west and north of Baghdad.
  • Kurdish forces in the north of Iraq would push south into areas held by ISIS.
  • Combined with U.S. air power, the multi-pronged attack would put ISIS “in an untenable position,” Dempsey said.
  • Get help from Arab countries that hopefully will provide special forces, trainers, tankers and strike aircraft.

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Neil Patrick Harris Reveals Details About His Wedding

Neil Patrick Harris Reveals Details About His Wedding

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) — Neil Patrick Harris stopped by ABC’s The View Wednesday and revealed all the details of his Italian wedding to David Burtka, which took place earlier in the month.

“We’ve been together over 10 years and I think when our kids got to the age they were having reasonable conversations, when they are asking lots of why questions, to have a clear-cut explanation of who their daddy is, I think is great,” Harris said of why he tied the knot. “He’s my husband and it was easier than partner or boyfriend or something like that.”

The former How I Met Your Mother star said only about 45 people were at the wedding and “I just wanted to be able to say nice things about David, to David, in front of the people that matter the most to us. It was less about a proclamation and more of a declaration.”

Harris, 41, and Burtka have been together since 2004 and their twins via a surrogate — Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girl — were born in 2010. The wedding was at a rented castle, where they also had Elton John perform.

“It was so crazy, because when you watch other people say their vows and get all chocked up, you say ‘Come on! Pull it together man,’” Harris added. “Then when you are standing there and it’s you and you have this piece of paper in your hand and it’s shaking … you can’t help but just get super-duper chocked up.”

Harris also explained how his daughter was the flower girl and his son was supposed to be the ring bearer, but he decided he wanted to be “the orange boy” and hand out oranges to the guests.

“We said, ‘What is an orange boy?’ and he explained this whole thing where he comes down with a basket of oranges,” Harris said. “Then, we were trying to find a plan like we’ll tie the rings to an orange.”

While Harris was originally worried about his son doing the “orange thing,” he quickly learned during the wedding, it was his daughter, Harper, who caused a bit of a fuss when the wedding was about to begin and she was to throw the flowers.

After the wedding director said it was time for Harper to go, Harris said, “She doesn’t go, she won’t go. She panics and she’s refusing to go and she’s clinging to legs and she’s starting to cry and we’re all stressed like, ‘You have to go now, we’ve timed this to the sunset.’”

“I say, ‘David, let’s just pick her up and we’ll all go together.’ Then David says, ‘Well, if Gideon goes first, then will you go?’ Gideon goes, ‘OK’ and he picked up his little orange basket and by himself, he walked confidently all the way down 20 steps, got halfway and just stopped!’ And we’re behind, ‘You can do it buddy, you got this!’ And he just took a breath and he walked all the way down,” he said.

Harris said Gideon ended up handing out the oranges and it was “very special.”

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Accused Pennsylvania Cop Shooter Played Soldiers in War Films

Accused Pennsylvania Cop Shooter Played Soldiers in War Films

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation(CANADENSIS, Pa.) — The suspect in the shooting of two Pennsylvania state troopers has spent years reenacting military history and has shaved the sides of his head into a bizarre Mohawk as “part of the mental preparation” for his alleged attack, police said Wednesday.

Eric Matthew Frein, 31, is charged with killing one trooper and wounding a second last Friday.

There is a massive manhunt underway for him. He is considered dangerous, possibly armed with a rifle and an AK-47. Schools in the district were closed Wednesday because of the search.

Lt. Col. George Bivens said Wednesday that Frein “belongs to a military simulation unit” that focused on Eastern European armies. “He has his head shaved on the sides with long hair on top,” wider than a Mohawk.

Bivens said the hairstyle is “completely different from what he had worn for years… Investigators believe it was part of his mental preparation” for the alleged assault.

The officer also had a message for Frein during the news conference: “If you are listening to this broadcast… while cowering in some cool, damp hiding place, I want you to know know we are coming for you.”

Jeremiah Hornbaker, who’s known Frein through the film industry for nearly a decade, told ABC News that Frein was frequently hired as a military and weapons expert in films. Frein played the part of a German soldier in the 2007 short film, Lustig, according to its IMDb page.

Hornbaker said he was shocked to hear that Frein is wanted after allegedly opening fire at the State Police Barracks in eastern Pennsylvania last Friday. Frein worked mostly as a “background guy” who helped ensure historical accuracy of the films, he said.

“I’m still kind of dumbfounded by it,” Hornbaker said. “He was kind of a jokey guy, he liked to have fun.”

Hornbaker, 36, said Frein also helped out in the prop department and occasionally acted in films. He’s an expert on guns, the military and history, he said.

Frein’s father, a retired Army major, told police his son was a skilled shooter who “doesn’t miss.” Frein’s father said there is a .308 rifle and an AK-47 assault rifle missing from his home.

Hornbaker, who is also from Pennsylvania, said Frein’s love for guns isn’t out of the ordinary in the state.

“That’s the nature of our business,” he said. “I have a large gun collection as well… That’s why I hired him — his knowledge of the weaponry and firearms.”

“He was always an upbeat guy and enjoyed his work,” Hornbaker said. “Clients always respected him for the information he brought. I got good reports on him.”

Bivens said Frein bounced between odd jobs and never stayed in one position for long. He belonged to a group of military simulation enthusiasts obsessed with Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

“For many of these people, that’s as far as they would take it,” he said. “They make or obtain uniforms and study the history of that period, and I would liken it to almost a re-enactment.”

He also said Frein had traveled to Europe in the “past few years.”

Police warned residents to be alert during the dragnet for Frein. Bivens recommended people lock their doors and keep outside lights on, and be on the lookout for opened shed doors.

“More likely than not, he remains somewhere in this general area,” Bivens said.

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Benghazi Committee Probes Progress to Improve Diplomatic Security

Benghazi Committee Probes Progress to Improve Diplomatic Security

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A little more than two years since four Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya, the Benghazi Select Committee held its first public hearing Wednesday, examining the steps the Department of State has taken to improve diplomatic security around the world in the wake of the deadly attack.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the committee, pointed out that the Benghazi attack “was not the first time one of our facilities or our people have been attacked,” citing Beirut, Kenya and Tanzania as three instances when Americans were targeted overseas.

He said it is incumbent on Congress to ensure steps are taken to prevent similar failures in the future.

“We do not suffer from a lack of recommendations. We do suffer from a lack of implementing and enacting those recommendations, and that has to end,” Gowdy, R-S.C., said. “To those who believe it is time to move on, to those who believe that there is nothing left to discover, that all the questions have been asked and answered and that we’ve learned all the lessons that there are to be learned, we have heard all of that before, and it was wrong then.”

While Democrats have complained that Republicans are keen on repeating the work of several other investigations into the attacks, Gowdy said he “would rather run the risk of answering a question twice than run the risk of not answering it once.”

“I intend to find all of the facts and I intend to do it in a way that is worthy to our fellow citizens,” Gowdy added. “They expect the government tell the truth in the aftermath of a tragedy. Always.”

While Democrats have consistently complained that Republicans have launched a “witch hunt” as they continue to probe the attack, the subject of Wednesday’s hearing was proposed by a Democrat on the panel.

“This is our watch,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, responded. “This is bigger than us. The things that we do today and over the next few months will have lasting effects even when we’re gone on to heaven, and that’s how we have to look at this.”

Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Greg Starr told the panel that the State Department has made “tremendous progress” implementing the recommendations made by the Benghazi Advisory Review Board. Starr said that 22 steps have been fully implemented while seven others “are in progress or are nearing completion.”

“We want to keep our people safe,” he said. “Today, we’re better prepared, better protected and informed to manage the risk.”

After the hearing, Cummings stressed that it is inadequate for the State Department to say it is working to implement the ARB’s recommendations, nearly two years after the panel submitted its proposals.

“We will definitely hold the State Department’s feet to the fire,” Cummings, D-Md., said. “It is not enough to say what you’re going to do. It is not enough to say that you have accepted and are working on seven recommendations with the others complete. We want to make sure that all of them are complete.”

While there is intense speculation that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be asked to appear at the committee in the coming months, Gowdy would not reveal whether he intends to invite her to testify.

“I want the person who can answer the questions. I’m not interested in titles,” Gowdy said. “I want whoever can answer the questions, but I expect we’ll talk to all witnesses.”

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Biden Rolls into Iowa with Nuns on a Bus

Biden Rolls into Iowa with Nuns on a Bus

The White House(DES MOINES, Iowa) — Just three days after Hillary Clinton visited the presidential testing grounds of Iowa, Vice President Biden was right behind her with a populist speech that sounded at times like it was 2016. Although this trip was an official White House visit, in Iowa the topic of presidential politics can’t be avoided.

Biden’s address focused on raising the minimum wage and making life better and fairer for the middle class. He came to the Iowa Capitol to help launch a nationwide tour of the liberal group “Nuns on the Bus.” The vice president joined about a dozen nuns on stage who are heading out their rolling nunnery on a 10 state, 36 city tour of the country registering voters and preaching their message of social justice.

Biden, the nation’s first Catholic vice president, noted his 12 years of Catholic education telling the crowd of about 300, “I was asked by the press why am I going out with Nuns on the Bus? I said because they are nuns. It’s a simple proposition,” adding to laughs, “I woke up every morning saying, ‘Yes sister, no sister, yes sister, no sister.’”

He thanked the nuns for their work for health care reform saying in his signature colorful style, “The Nuns on the Bus fought like the devil for health care.”

The audience cheered Biden who appeared with his sleeves rolled up on a warm, sunny Iowa day, but Hillary Clinton cast a shadow over the appearance.

Mike Winjum was wearing an Obama-Biden T-shirt and enthusiastically spoke about how his father still talks about meeting Biden at last year’s Harkin Steak Fry. He called the vice president a “great guy,” saying “when he talks, people listen.” But, when asked about whether he could caucus for Biden in 2016, he didn’t hesitate: “Nope, I’m for Hillary. If Hillary jumps out, I’ll be for Joe. He’s number two.”

Arloene Yungclas was at the event to celebrate her 80th birthday and although she likes the vice president, she said without a pause, “I’d like to see a woman be president of the United States and I think she (Clinton) is pretty knowledgeable about the world.”

Her husband Jim agreed saying Biden is “probably” in Iowa because of possible presidential ambition, but “I would like to see a woman become president and Hillary would be a good president, she would be a good representative for us.”

Mazie Johnson, a Democratic activist, was wearing a blue “Ready for Hillary” T-shirt.

“I am personally a huge fan of Hillary, I’m very supportive of what she is doing for women in the political world. She brings a lot of power and she also has an incredible track record of supporting fellow women, so I would absolutely say I am very supportive of Hillary,” Johnson said.

On Sunday, Clinton returned to the first caucus state of Iowa for the first time since 2008 when she came in third in the Iowa caucuses behind Barack Obama and John Edwards.  Over 6,000 people attended the Harkin Steak Fry Sunday where she headlined, along with former President Bill Clinton.

Biden, who hasn’t ruled out another presidential bid, made no mention of Clinton, but did at times sound like he was on his third presidential campaign trail railing against income inequality, as well as restrictions on voting rights.

This was Biden’s first trip to the state since the last Harkin Steak Fry last year. He will hold a photo line fundraiser for multiple candidates while in Des Moines, but he won’t stump for any 2014 Democratic candidates, including Bruce Braley who is running to succeed Harkin in the Senate. A poll out Wednesday from Quinnipiac University showed his Republican rival Joni Ernst with a six point lead.

After his speech, Biden boarded the nuns’ bus, stopping at the Waveland Café, a Des Moines diner. He added his signature to the side of the bus, signing it with a black Sharpie.

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Storage Problems Plague Users on First Day of Apple iOS 8 Release

Storage Problems Plague Users on First Day of Apple iOS 8 Release

Apple(NEW YORK) — Apple’s new iOS 8 was released Wednesday, but users are already hitting a snag when it comes to freeing up storage space.

While the operating system refresh takes up around 1 GB of space, it requires at least a whopping 5 GB be free on your device in order to complete the download over the air — something many users simply don’t have.

The operating system makeover is being hailed as Apple’s biggest ever because it comes with a slew of new updates to popular apps, including messages, photos and the keyboard.

If you don’t want to delete your apps or get rid of your photos, there is another way to get the iOS update.

Connect your device to your computer and make sure you’re running the latest version of iTunes. (You can check this by going to the iTunes help menu and clicking “check for updates.”)

Once you’re connected, it’s time to update. If you’re not prompted on your device, go to settings, general and software update to begin the download.

As the new iOS downloads, go watch a movie or sit down for a lavish meal as it may take a while.

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US Military Launches Seven Airstrikes Against ISIS Targets in Iraq

US Military Launches Seven Airstrikes Against ISIS Targets in Iraq

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. military conducted seven more airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets across Iraq, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said Wednesday.

One strike was northwest of the Haditha Dam and “destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle,” CENTCOM said in a statement, using one of several acronyms for the militant Islamic group.

“[T]wo airstrikes destroyed two ISIL armed vehicles northwest of Irbil, and four airstrikes southwest of Baghdad destroyed several small ISIL ground units and a small boat on the Euphrates River that was re-supplying ISIL forces in the area,” the statement continued.

The fighter, attack and remotely piloted aircraft used in the strikes all managed to exit the area safely.

With these latest attacks, which were conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, CENTCOM says it has carried out 174 airstrikes across Iraq since Aug. 8.

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Why One Congressman Is Tweeting Out the Whole Constitution

Why One Congressman Is Tweeting Out the Whole Constitution

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Wednesday is the U.S. Constitution’s 227th birthday, celebrated as a federal holiday called Constitution Day.

Here’s a look at how some lawmakers are celebrating Constitution Day 2014:

  • Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, 81, made us all feel out of shape when the Republican tweeted a picture Wednesday morning after running over 6 miles from his house to the Capitol, in a shirt that says “Rural Power.”
  • California Rep. Darrell Issa tweeted the entire Constitution. Article I alone was over 130 tweets, and took over an hour to type and send. The Republican probably lost some followers along the way, too.
  • Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who live-tweeted his visit to the hospital last week, responded to Issa’s idea with an easier way to read the Constitution in full.
  • Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware tipped his hat to Sen. Robert Byrd, who passed the bill founding the holiday 10 years ago.
  • Kansas Rep. Jim Ward spent the day speaking to classes of eighth-graders, a task he called “exhausting.”
  • The White House tweeted a photo of President Obama, along with a news release about the day. ”As we celebrate our Nation’s strong and durable framework, we are reminded that our work is never truly done,” Obama said. “Let us renew our commitment to these sacred principles and resolve to advance their spirit in our time.”

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Twitter Sleuths Lead Cops to Suspects in Philadelphia Hate Crime

Twitter Sleuths Lead Cops to Suspects in Philadelphia Hate Crime

Philadelphia Police Department(PHILADELPHIA) — Twitter users may have given Philadelphia police a big lead in investigating a violent hate crime.

Thanks to social media, police said they now know who they’re looking for in connection with an alleged attack late Sept. 11 in downtown Philadelphia.

A group of “well-dressed” and “clean-cut” white men and women held down two men and beat them, making disparaging comments about their sexual orientation and stealing one victim’s bag, police said. Both victims landed in the hospital, one beaten so badly he had his jaw wired shut and required facial surgery.

On Tuesday night, Twitter users determined to identify the suspects shared surveillance video police had released and asked for help.


Seriously it’s 15 people someone knows someone who knows someone.

— FanSince09 (@FanSince09) September 16, 2014


Another Twitter user named @GreggyBennet joined in the search, sharing a photo allegedly showing the same suspects at a restaurant earlier that night. He said a “friend of a friend of a friend” saw the video and sent him the photo.


Philly hate crime:

— Greg Bennett (@GreggyBennett) September 17, 2014


Even more Twitter users retweeted that photo and worked together to identify the restaurant in the background.

Then, @FanSince09 described on Twitter using Facebook Graph Search to see who checked in at La Viola on Facebook the night of the attack. @FanSince09 said he matched faces of people who had checked in to the restaurant to faces in the photo and contacted police.

@FanSince09 did not respond to ABC News’ request for additional comment.

“We started getting all kinds of calls in terms of tips,” Lt. John Stanford of the Philadelphia Police Department told ABC News Wednesday.

Another officer, Det. Joseph Murray, applauded Twitter users for helping, but said no arrests have been made.

Police said they were questioning suspects on Wednesday, but no one has been charged with a crime. The investigation was ongoing.

For years, the Philadelphia Police Department has been lauded for its use of social media to fight crime and engage the public.

“It’s been a great tool,” Stanford said.

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Pelosi Unsure How House Vote to Train Syrian Rebels Will Turn Out

Pelosi Unsure How House Vote to Train Syrian Rebels Will Turn Out

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — As the House prepares to vote on Title X authorization to arm and train Syrian moderates in the fight against ISIS Wednesday afternoon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would not predict what the outcome of the vote would be.

“I don’t know how the vote will turn out. It’s not a vote we whip,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a news conference Wednesday. “I do think that as members weigh the facts, that they will, I think, give points to the president for all that he has done diplomatically, politically, humanitarian wise and ask for this discreet piece. It is not to be confused with any authorization to go further.”

Asked about the possibility of sending ground troops to combat ISIS, Pelosi said, “I will not vote for combat troops to be engaged in war.”

“We are not there to support combat troops in any of these engagements,” she added. “Our purpose is not to engage in civil war in Syria and our purpose is not to continue the war in Iraq. Our purpose is to stop ISIS from its brutality. ISIS conforms outside the circle of civilized human behavior. It is a threat to our friends in the region. It is a threat to us and it’s a threat to stability and it must be stopped.”

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Liberian Refugee Befriends Family of Ebola-Infected Doctor

Liberian Refugee Befriends Family of Ebola-Infected Doctor

iStock/Thinkstock(OMAHA, Neb.) — As an American doctor recovers from Ebola at a Nebraska hospital, a Liberian refugee who works at the hospital has tried to provide extra comfort to the doctor’s family.

Dr. Richard Sacra arrived at the bio-containment unit at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha earlier this month after being infected with Ebola in Liberia. When Sacra arrived for treatment, Patricia Taye, a housekeeper at the medical center, immediately asked if she could meet with Sacra’s family.

Taye, who works on the same floor as the bio-containment unit, left Liberia as a refugee in 2001 and has not been back since. Since her mother and sister still live in Liberia, Taye told ABC News she was eager to thank the Sacra family for their work providing help and medical relief in the country.

“I asked the doctor and nurses to show me the family. When they showed me the family, I greeted them and was so happy to see them,” Taye said. “I’m really praying for him right now.”

Taye even cooked them a favorite Liberian dish, cassava leaves, as a way to thank them for their work.

“When I met them and I asked them, ‘When you were in Liberia what kind of food did you eat?’” said Taye. “I cooked them traditional food and brought it to them.”

Sacra was infected in Liberia, where he was treating patients in a maternity ward.

The Ebola outbreak has devastated the county, straining an already weak health system. According to the World Health Organization, 1,137 of the 2,218 known deaths have been in Liberia. The other West African countries affected by the unprecedented outbreak include Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.

“Every time my mom [in Liberia] calls me, crying. It’s a lot of suffering there,” Taye said. “It’s like World War II back home, because every day people die on the street.”

Taye said she has been praying with Sacra’s family for his recovery and hopes she can one day thank the doctor in person.

“I really want to talk to him about my people. My people really need attention and need medical care,” Taye said.

Sacra’s family told reporters Tuesday that the 51-year-old physician continues to recover. He is one of four American health workers known to have contracted Ebola while treating patients in West Africa.

Debbie Sacra said that her husband’s appetite “has returned in a big way,” noting he was able to eat enchiladas and chicken soup.

Debbie Sacra also cheered President Obama’s announcement this week that 3,000 people, including troops and support, would be deployed to fight the Ebola outbreak, which the president described as “spiraling out of control.”

“I’m encouraged that more help is going to be on the way,” she said. “I hope it gets there as soon as possible.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Financial Guru Suze Orman Backs Elizabeth Warren for President

Financial Guru Suze Orman Backs Elizabeth Warren for President

CNBC/Barbara Nitke(WASHINGTON) — CNBC TV host and finance expert Suze Orman really likes Sen. Elizabeth Warren — and she wants to tell everyone about it.

Asked if she would vote for Warren over Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, Orman offered a hearty “yes” in front of an audience at Politico’s “Solving for Y: Exploring Opportunities for the Next Generation” event, featuring both Orman and Warren speaking on student debt.

Although Orman said she thinks Clinton would make an excellent candidate for the Oval Office, the 63-year-old financial guru said she’d vote for Warren because she identifies with the struggle the democrat from Massachussetts is taking on.

“Warren is my political voice,” Orman said.

“Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider for 2016?” Orman jokingly asked Warren, who just smiled.

Unfortunately for Orman and other Warren supporters, Warren has said multiple times she is not going to run for president in 2016.

This isn’t the only time Orman has expressed her opinions on Warren for president. She told Larry King in May on his show PoliticKING that she would vote for Warren “hands down.”

Orman and Warren also have another connection: Both made Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People in 2009.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

NYPD on Alert After ISIS Blog Targets Times Square

NYPD on Alert After ISIS Blog Targets Times Square

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The New York Police Department said Wednesday it is increasing its presence in Times Square after a blog post to an ISIS chat room called for attacks on the famous tourist spot.

“We are as prepared as any entity can be to deal with threats,” said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. “But the reality is that we are living in a newer era of potential terrorism.”

There is no specific threat and the post appears to be from a 2010 al Qaeda Inspire magazine article.

The NYPD said it believes this is nothing but propaganda, one of many such postings over the years.

However, Bratton said that the ability to inspire lone wolves is the biggest threat ISIS poses to the United States.

Bratton added that none of the posts are specific or worrying in and of themselves.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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