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Bowe Bergdahl charged with desertion, lawyer says

Bowe Bergdahl charged with desertion, lawyer says

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- American soldier and former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion for allegedly walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, Bergdahl's attorney told ABC News Wednesday.Bergdahl was freed after five years in Taliban captivity in a controversial deal last year in which the U.S. agreed to release five mid- to high-level Taliban figures from detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President Obama called it a "good day" when Bergdahl was freed, but critics, including some high-ranking Republicans, loudly denounced the deal, likening it to negotiating with terrorists. Also, lawmakers complained that Congress had not been consulted about the exchange, as they said the law requires.After Bergdahl's dramatic return to the U.S., the Army launched an investigation into whether the soldier willfully left his post in Afghanistan before he was taken by the Taliban in 2009, as some Afghan war veterans alleged.

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Philadelphia Says It Needs 10,000 Volunteers for Pope Francis’ Visit

Philadelphia Says It Needs 10,000 Volunteers for Pope Francis’ Visit

Buda Mendes/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says it needs 10,000 volunteers or more for Pope Francis’ visit there in September.In his weekly column, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote that advance teams from the Holy See have already visited the city.Francis will attend the final two days of the World Meeting of Families on Sept. 26 and 27.For comparison, the BBC reported the London Olympics required 70,000 volunteers for the two-week Olympiad.All volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old. Chaput wrote that registration will soon be open on the event’s website.Organizers are expecting up to two million people to attend the Pope’s closing mass. That’s 500,000 more than the population of the city.

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Park Service Turns to Dogs to Fix National Mall’s Ongoing Problem

Park Service Turns to Dogs to Fix National Mall’s Ongoing Problem

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Spring in Washington, D.C. means cherry blossoms and hordes of tourists flocking to the National Mall. And with peak season right around the corner, the National Park Service is dealing with a “crappy” problem as well.Large swaths of the National Mall are covered in feces, courtesy of the very large population of Canada Goose that make their home on the picturesque grounds.The National Park Service says that just one goose produces as much as "2-3 pounds" of waste per day.It’s not just disgusting for the folks who step in it. The geese waste may be causing major damage to the infrastructure on the National Mall, including the famous Reflecting Pool that runs between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.“The presence of geese is leading to the degradation of the [Reflecting] pool water due to defecation in and on walkway near the [Reflecting] pool,” the Park Service said.The Park Service announced it has launched a new program that it calls “goose harassment services” -- and it could be a very clever solution to a really crappy situation. Cue the Collies -- the Park Service wants to use border collies to fix the goose problem.These dogs are bred to herd sheep so the Park Service's goal is to have them do the same with the geese, forcing them into different areas to do their business and enabling park officials to clean up the mess and maintain some spots as “geese free.”This is not a job for rookies. The Park Service says that dog handlers must have five years of experience with Canada Goose harassment with dogs in order to take part.Wildlife on federal lands is not a new issue for the Park Service, which oversees 23 national parks just within the District of Columbia.In 2012, it launched a project to cull the exploding population of white-tailed deer in the Washington’s Rock Creek Park. Sharpshooters were used to hunt the deer and the meat was later donated to local soup kitchens.But don’t worry -- the geese on the Mall will be kept safe.The National Park Service specifically says in its contract: “No water fowl or other living creature shall be killed, harmed or injured in any way.”

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Amy’s Kitchen Recall: What to Know About Spinach Listeria Outbreak

Amy’s Kitchen Recall: What to Know About Spinach Listeria Outbreak

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Amy's Kitchen and at least three other organic food companies have recalled products this week because of listeria found in organic spinach, which may cause you to think twice before you reach for foods containing Popeye the Sailor Man's favorite ingredient.Here's what you need to know:What was recalled?Amy's Kitchen, which makes organic products, recalled nearly 74,000 cases of them because of the listeria scare this week. For a full list of which products and what dates were on them, click here.Three other companies -- Rising Moon Organics, Superior Foods, Inc., and Twin City Foods, Inc. -- also recalled products because of contaminated spinach from an organic supplier. Twin City Foods said its products were sold at Wegmans Supermarkets, Inc., which also issued a separate recall because the spinach was sold under the Wegmans brand name.Who supplied the greens?The Food and Drug Administration said its policy is not to name the supplier or comment on whether it is investigating, but Coastal Green LLC in Oxnard, California, told ABC News it supplied leafy greens to all three companies.Coastal Green said it notified the Food and Drug Administration as soon as it detected listeria during routine testing and realized some of its shipped product may have been contaminated, said spokesman Paul Fanelli. Coastal Green processes organic and conventional vegetables and is working with the FDA to resolve the listeria problem, he said."We're in the middle of an investigation here as to what the root cause was of the listeria," Fanelli said. "Once we determine what that is, we'll change our policies and our procedures accordingly."Who got sick?There have been no reported listeria illnesses tied to any of these products, but Wegmans and Twin City Foods said they issued recalls to be cautious.Amy's Kitchen, Rising Moon Organics, and Superior Foods did not immediately respond to requests for comment.What is listeria monocytogenes?Listeria is a bacterium that lives in animals' digestive tracts but can cause an illness called listeriosis when consumed by humans. This happens when fruit and vegetable crops are contaminated by animal waste. That can happen because of tainted irrigation or wash water, or because animals got into the field."It's very difficult to wash them so completely and disinfect them so completely that they become completely clean and sterile," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, explaining that this is one of the reasons it is recommended to give vegetables an additional wash at home before consuming them.What are the symptoms?Listeria usually results in a fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's especially harmful to older adults, newborns and pregnant women, but healthy people may consume the bacteria without getting sick, according to the CDC.Listeriosis can prompt dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea and can be especially harmful to people with underlying health conditions, Schaffner said. The bacterium can also get into the bloodstream, he said.Laboratory tests can confirm diagnosis, and doctors will usually treat with antibiotics and fluids, he said.How serious is listeriosis?The deadly bacteria sickens about 1,600 people each year and kills about 260 people, according to the CDC. But healthy people who consume it don't always become ill.Why is listeria problematic?If food hasn't been heated thoroughly, listeria can live on even after it's been cooked, Schaffner said. And unlike other bacteria, listeria can continue reproducing in cold temperatures such as a refrigerator and doesn't die in a freezer, he said."This is a rascal," he said. "It may create an infectious dose even though you've kept the food in the fridge."What does the outbreak show us?Food safety lawyer Bill Marler said the listeria outbreak illustrates how complex the food system has become, but that routine testing is effective."Products like frozen spinach travel all over the country and make it into multiple brands," he said. "It does make doing a recall a challenge, and if an outbreak [occurs, it can be] difficult to pinpoint the cause.""On the plus side of the recall, it shows that testing of products [for harmful bacteria] works and being transparent with that information, as required by the FDA, will save lives," Marler added.

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Boston Marathon Bombing: Tale of the Gun

Boston Marathon Bombing: Tale of the Gun

DOJ(BOSTON) -- Three days after the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon explosions, investigators say bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev used a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun to murder MIT police officer Sean Collier, carjack a young businessman and, hours later, to fire on police in a vicious gunfight.

Now, with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on trial, witnesses and court documents have shed new light on the pistol’s curious path through a criminal underground and purportedly into the hands of the brothers who were once the most wanted men in America.The gun’s serial number was “obliterated” by the time U.S. law enforcement got to it, but federal investigators were able to forensically “raise” the numbers and trace its purchase to a gun store more than three years ago and 100 miles from Boston.In November 2011, Los Angeles native Danny Sun Jr. bought the 9mm Ruger P95 at a Cabela’s hunting and fishing store in South Portland, Maine as part of a “multi-gun” purchase, law enforcement officials and a Cabela manager told ABC News. Sun Jr. later told police that at some point over the next year, he gave the weapon to Biniam “Icy” Tsegai.When Tsegai, an Eritrean immigrant, received the gun, federal prosecutors in Maine said he and others were the target of a multi-agency federal investigation into crack dealing out of Portland hotel rooms. Tsegai would plead guilty to drug charges in 2014.But back in 2012, Tsegai handed the gun off to 21-year-old Merhawi “Howie” Berhe, according to recent testimony from Stephen Silva, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s “best friend.” Berhe is also Eritrean and was arrested in South Portland on a burglary charge last year, according to a police log.

It remains unclear how Berhe, a Cambridge, Massachusetts resident, knew Tsegai. An attorney for Berhe declined to discuss specifics of his case with ABC News and an attorney for Tsegai did not respond to request for comment.Silva testified that he then took the gun from Berhe, who he said was “a friend of mine from my neighborhood.”“He asked me if I could do him a favor and hold down a firearm for him because he needed to get it out of his house,” Silva testified, adding that Berhe's “mother had searched his room.”Berhe was charged earlier this month possessing a firearm with an “obliterated” serial number, presumably the same one he gave to Silva and would eventually end up in Tsarnaev’s hands.

Berhe has pleaded not guilty and was released on $10,000 bond on March 17, the same day Silva outlined from the witness stand in Tsarnaev’s trial how the gun made it from a ceiling panel in his apartment where it was secreted in a tube sock, to the accused marathon bombers.Silva described the gun as “black…looked a little rusty…the serial number was obliterated on a silver panel and it said ‘P95’ on top slide and it also says Ruger on the side of the gun.”While he had it, Silva decided to make use of the gun himself, he said, and ripped off buyers in a drug deal in Cambridge, Massachusetts later in 2012.Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly first saw the gun after Silva brought it to a New Year’s Eve party that same year. Tsarnaev asked about borrowing the gun, Silva testified, but Silva didn’t get around to giving it to him until February 2013.

Silva testified that Tsarnaev wanted the gun to “rip some URI students,” presumably referring to the University of Rhode Island, which is close to his college dorm at University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth. Tsarnaev also demanded bullets, asking Silva for the “food for the dog,” Silva said.Over the next few weeks, Silva said he was annoyed with Tsarnaev because he refused to return the gun, always “coming up with excuses,” up until the first week of April when he last saw Tsarnaev and allegedly sold him marijuana.The Marathon bombs exploded on April 15, 2013 and three days later, MIT police officer Sean Collier was murdered in his patrol car, allegedly with six bullets fired from the Ruger.

Tsarnaev’s attorney Judy Clarke admitted in her opening arguments that the Tsarnaev brothers were responsible for the 27-year-old officer’s murder.

Prosecutors said Collier was shot three times in the head and three times in the hand, by the Tsarnaev brothers, though it’s unclear which one pulled the trigger.A short time after Collier’s death, Tamerlan knocked on the window of a young businessman, Dun Meng, and pointed the Ruger at his head several times during a harrowing carjacking and robbery, Meng testified. Meng was able to escape when the brothers stopped at a gas station.A few miles and hours later after Meng escaped, the Tsarnaevs became pinned in by police and engaged in a firefight. Police say Tamerlan fired the Ruger until it was empty and then threw the handgun at the officers.

Massachusetts State Police Lt David Cahill testified on Tuesday that the Ruger was fired 56 times in Watertown during the Tsarnaevs’ crime spree.Tamerlan died after being shot in the firefight, and then run over by his brother as Dzhokhar fled the scene, according to witness testimony. Dzhokhar managed to elude capture for 16 hours before being pulled off a dry-docked boat in a Watertown, Massachusetts backyard.The Ruger was recovered at the scene of the firefight in Watertown and now serves as a key piece of evidence in the trial against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts related to the bombing, Collier’s murder, and the businessman’s carjacking.

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How the New Kraft Heinz Co. Is About to Take Over Your Kitchen

How the New Kraft Heinz Co. Is About to Take Over Your Kitchen

PRNewsFoto/Kraft Foods Group(NEW YORK) -- If you have Kool-Aid, Bagel Bites, Oscar Mayer or Planters products in your pantry, you're already supporting the expected third-largest food company in North America.

Products like those are now part of the planned merger of Kraft Foods and Heinz to create the Kraft and Heinz Co., which the companies say would have a presence in nearly 100 percent of U.S. homes.Kraft Heinz products would trail in North America only behind gigantic brands PepsiCo and Nestle. Already, Kraft alone has a 98 percent penetration in North American households, the companies say. And there are already more than 50 countries where Heinz products have the largest or second-largest market share.Kraft Heinz, which would be the fifth-largest food company in the world, is expected to be headquartered in Pittsburgh, where Heinz is based, and Northfield, Illinois, where Kraft is headquartered. The H.J. Heinz Co., which was founded by Henry Heinz in 1869, actually first sold bottled horseradish from a recipe from the founder's mother. Ketchup followed in 1876.Oscar Mayer is among the oldest of the Kraft brands. Oscar F. Mayer, an immigrant from Germany, leased a failing meat market in Chicago with the help of his brothers in 1883.

In the same city in 1903, James Lewis “J.L.” Kraft bought wholesale cheese and sold it to small stores. He incorporated J.L. Kraft & Bros. Co. with four brothers in 1909.H.J. Heinz is buying Kraft Foods Group, pending Kraft shareholders' approval, which split from Mondelez International in 2012. The combined company would have eight brands with annual sales of over $1 billion each, one of which includes Heinz ketchup, which sells over $650 million bottles globally in sales of more than $1.5 billion in more than 140 countries. Five Kraft Heinz Co. brands would have annual sales between $500 million and $1 billion.The two companies would not only carry the Kraft and Heinz brands, but products from Lunchables, Velveeta, Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, Bagel Bites, Planters, Kool-Aid, Maxwell House, Philadelphia cream cheese, Lea & Perrins, Classico pasta sauces, TGI Fridays and Ore Ida.

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Body Cam Footage Shows Police Sergeant Rescuing Child from Fire

Body Cam Footage Shows Police Sergeant Rescuing Child from Fire

Denniro/iStock/Thinkstock(GRIFFIN, Ga.) -- A Georgia police officer’s body camera showed his heroic rescue of a 3-year-old boy in a burning house.Told by the home's occupant that her young grandchild was inside the house on March 16, Sgt. Joe Hudson, a 14-year veteran of the Griffin Police Department, ran into the house and started to search for the child.His rescue effort can be seen in the body camera footage below.

“I got a little panicked for a second," he said. "The smoke was so thick so I grabbed clothes off the bed and put them in front of my face.”When Hudson couldn’t find the child, he ran back to the front of the house and the occupant, identified on a police incident report as Lynne Brown, told him that there was another room in the back out the house.Hudson made his way back through the thick smoke that filled the home. He tried searching for the boy again, and finally saw him lying on a bed.“I was definitely relieved to see him there," Hudson said. "I grabbed him, and another officer opened up a side door for me. We ran outside.”Hudson said that the child was “scared” after the ordeal. Hudson, who has three kids of his own, wanted to calm him down, so he decided to make the boy laugh by putting his glasses on his head. The boy’s grandmother gave Hudson a “big hug and kiss” and thanked his for rescuing her grandchild, he said.Initially, Hudson did not want speak about the rescue, but decided to open up about it after reflecting on recent events involving police officers.“After talking with some of my co-workers who pointed out everything that’s been going on nowadays with police, I wanted to," he said. "It’s good for people to see we are human and we have children of our own. Ninety-nine percent of us aren’t trying to arrest people. We are trying to protect people and take care of our community.”

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NASA Finds New Evidence of Life-Supporting Ingredient on Mars

NASA Finds New Evidence of Life-Supporting Ingredient on Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS(NEW YORK) -- NASA's Curiosity rover has found new evidence of nitrogen on Mars, proving that the red planet has -- or at least had -- the right stuff to sustain life.The rover drilled into Martian rocks and discovered evidence of nitrates, which are essential compounds to the building blocks of life."The discovery adds to the evidence that ancient Mars was habitable for life," NASA said in a blog post.Despite the finding, the space agency said "there is no evidence to suggest that the fixed nitrogen molecules found by the team were created by life."The nitrates are believed to be ancient and likely came from meteorite impacts or lightning events, according to NASA, which also pointed out that the surface of Mars is currently inhospitable to known life forms.Curiosity has also found signs that other elements needed for life once existed on the red planet, including liquid water and organic matter, which were located in the Gale Crater billions of years ago, according to NASA.

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Zayn Malik Is Leaving One Direction

Zayn Malik Is Leaving One Direction

Eric McCandless / ABC(NEW YORK) -- Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction.The singer said on Facebook that the decision was a personal one, and apologized to fans who may be disappointed by his choice."My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band," he wrote. "I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.""I know I have four friends for life in Louis [Tomlinson], Liam [Payne], Harry [Styles] and Niall [Horan]," he continued. "I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."Malik announced last week that he was leaving the group's tour to "recuperate" at home in the U.K. At the time, there were reports that his relationship with his fiancée, Little Mix's Perrie Edwards, was strained."We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends," Malik's bandmates said in a statement. "The four of us will now continue. We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."Added Simon Cowell, who assembled the band: "I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction. Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond -- and immensely proud -- of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave. As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."

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Get Your First Look at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

Get Your First Look at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

Warner Bros(LOS ANGELES) -- Entertainment Weekly just got the first look of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and he looks every bit like Superman's arch nemesis.

Here's your exclusive first look at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in @BatmanvSuperman! http://t.co/wG87toA3li pic.twitter.com/BjvWQZvSdm

— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 25, 2015

The movie, featuring Ben Affleck as Batman, along with other legendary superheros like Aquaman and Wonder Woman, is set to come out next March.“He’s not any of the Lexes that you’ve seen, that’s for sure,” director Zack Snyder told the magazine, “other than him being a captain of industry and one person to the world and another person to himself. And bald, of course.”

 

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Brock Lesnar Signs New Contract with WWE, UFC Career Over

Brock Lesnar Signs New Contract with WWE, UFC Career Over

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar announced on Tuesday that he won't be headed back to the octagon. Instead, he's re-signed with the WWE.

"I'm officially closing the door on MMA," Lesnar told ESPN. "It was hard. I re-signed last night with the WWE."

Lesnar said he weighed out this decision for a year, but in the end, he thought about his kids and his health.

"It was a very hard decision at this stage of my career," Lesnar said. "The fighter inside me wants to compete. The father and husband -- I'm an older caveman now. I make wiser caveman decisions. So, I'm here to say my legacy in the Octagon is over."

Lesnar's last appearance in the UFC was in December 2011 at UFC 141 when he lost to Alistair Overeem. He's scheduled to appear in a title match at this Sunday's Wrestlemania 31.

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Ultrasound Study Reveals How Some Fetuses React to Smoking Moms

Ultrasound Study Reveals How Some Fetuses React to Smoking Moms

Dr Nadja Reissland, Durham University(DURHAM, England) — Smoking has long been known to cause complications in pregnancy but a new study aims to show how the unborn baby of a smoking mother reacts differently.A small pilot study published earlier this week in Acta Paediatrica found that fetuses of smoking moms touch their face and mouth much more than fetuses of nonsmoking mothers.Using high-definition, 4-D ultrasounds, researchers, led by Dr. Nadja Reissland of Durham University in the United Kingdom, investigated minute mouth and hand movements of the fetuses in both the smoking and nonsmoking mothers.Four out of the 20 pregnancies studied involved mothers who smoked. Each woman had scans at four intervals between their 24th and 36th weeks of pregnancy.Reissland said fetuses of the smoking mothers had a 58 percent increase of mouth movement and a 69 percent increase in self-touch, where the fetuses touched their face or head, compared to the unborn babies of women who didn't smoke.Reissland said previous studies have shown that mothers with high levels of stress are connected to a high level of fetal movements, also causing stress in the unborn baby."Fetal facial movement patterns differ significantly between fetuses of mothers who smoked compared to those of mothers who didn’t smoke," Reissland said, adding that a bigger study is needed to confirm the findings."These results point to the fact that nicotine exposure per se has an effect on fetal development over and above the effects of stress and depression."The extra-movements made by the fetuses of smoking pregnancies could indicate that nicotine or other toxins from the smoke are having an effect on a fetus' development. Traditionally, Reissland said, the fetus' movement starts to lessen as they develop to full-term pregnancy."The brain...matures indicates certain movements for the fetus that the fetus can make, it’s a proxy for brain development," said Reissland. "As they grow older, they integrate the movement [and] they make fewer but more complex movements."All infants in the study were born at a healthy weight and size with no obvious health issues.“Technology means we can now see what was previously hidden, revealing how smoking affects the development of the fetus in ways we did not realize," study co-author Professor Brian Francis of Lancaster University said. "This is yet further evidence of the negative effects of smoking in pregnancy.”Reissland says she hopes to follow up with the infants of smoking mothers to see whether they show any new signs of health effects or developmental delays related to their exposure to nicotine in the womb.Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Clevelend, said the study was interesting but she wanted to see more evidence connecting the extra movement in the fetuses to any health effects after birth.“I think the study is interesting in that it gives us the window to look at the effects of looking at the window on a baby,” Greenfield said. “I think it’s kind of dramatic in that, look, we can see this behavior that’s already different.”Greenfield said the dramatic images could potentially help discourage other women from smoking during pregnancy, but said she finds the patients who continue to smoke usually have other stressors in their life or other issues that keep them from quitting smoking.“There isn’t any mom who wants to hurt their kids,” she said. “They feel like they can’t manage without the cigarettes.”According to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 10 percent of women reported smoking during the last three months of pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy has been connected a number of complications, including low birth weight, miscarriage, or premature birth.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

#CardsForCops Project Aims to Heal ‘Broken’ Relationship Between Police, Civilians

#CardsForCops Project Aims to Heal ‘Broken’ Relationship Between Police, Civilians

Shaddrack Boakye/The Truth Urban Theater Group(NEW YORK) — One activist theater group in Long Island, New York, is hoping to repair what they see as the "beaten and broken relationship between law enforcement and civilians."Their tool? Thank you cards to police officers."We were very angry and frustrated after the non-indictment of Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown in Ferguson," Truth Urban Theater Group's co-founder Shadrack Boakye told ABC News Wednesday. "But rather than constantly arguing about it, we decided we needed to do something."The group, which performs on issues that affect urban youth, Boakye said, was inspired by the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."That's when they came up with the idea of #CardsForCops after brainstorming positive ways to get a dialogue started between cops and civilians, Boakye said."We had kids in our community make thank-you cards, and we went out to the streets of New York City the Sunday after the Million March," Boakye said. "We thought it'd be the best time to go because they'd probably really be on guard from the protests." 

A big thanks to @thetruthutg for visiting our cops today on #UpperEastSide #UES #PoliceandCommunity #CardsforCops http://t.co/hDIjxvRkmt

— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) March 11, 2015

Boakye added that the members of the group talked about their fear of going up to cops doing this and the "very real possibility someone could be misunderstood and get hurt or shot" while doing the project.

"We were fearful for our lives," Boakye said. "The first cop we went up to seemed very apprehensive, and we could feel tension, but then when they realized what we were doing, there was a complete transformation."The cop said what we were doing was amazing and couldn't believe it," Boakye said. "We could feel the love at that moment."The Urban Truth Theater Group has gone out to hand out thank you cards several more times since then, Boakye said, adding he's even bringing along children from their community sometimes.“These children were also scared at first," Boakye said, “but once they saw the positive reaction from the officers, their eyes lit up, they smiled and there was a connection.”After a YouTube video of the #CardsForCops project went up, Boakye said they got a lot of positive response from the community and got in touch with city officials.

"We’re going to hold a public dialogue in Brooklyn [on] May 2,” Boakye said. “The focus will be on the idea of a trigger -- what triggers the officers and what triggers a civilian to help us better understand each other.” 

Thank You For This Amazing Article! This is only the beginning. Let's Do It People! #theTruthUTG #CardsForCops http://t.co/JrvNjUXo7g

— The Truth UTG (@TheTruthUTG) January 5, 2015

The Urban Truth Theater Group also plans to drive down to Ferguson and expand their project there.

“The fact is that there are officers out there that do not know how to do their jobs well or know how to communicate with civilians and vice versa,” Boakye said. “What we want is to facilitate better communication with each other to rebuild trust and unity within our communities.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alice Leading Name for Royal Baby, UK Betting Company Says

Alice Leading Name for Royal Baby, UK Betting Company Says

Samir Hussein/WireImage(LONDON) -- Britain’s Prince William and Duchess Kate will welcome a blonde-haired girl named Alice on a Thursday in April, if bookmakers have their say.The U.K.-based, online betting company Betfair announced on Tuesday that the name Alice has overtaken the name Elizabeth as the most popular bet for William and Kate to name their next child after an “unexpected rush of support for Alice over the last 24 hours.”“The public love a royal announcement and we’re expecting the arrival to be the novelty betting heat of the year,” Betfair’s Cormac Dowling said in a statement.William, 32, and Kate, 33, are expecting their second child in April.The royal couple has revealed neither Kate's exact due date nor the sex of their second child.Betfair says that bets are evenly split over whether the new royal will be a boy or a girl, but girls’ names are leading the way in the betting for a name.Alice is followed by Elizabeth and Charlotte and then Richard and James, to round out the top five.The name Alice is in William’s royal lineage. The aunt of William’s grandmother, the Queen, was named Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. She died nearly 11 years ago at the age of 102, according to the monarchy’s website.Betfair says bookies got the name correct when Prince William and Duchess Kate had their first child, Prince George. George took over 70 percent of the bets prior to the birth, according to Betfair.The 1-year-old prince's full name is George Alexander Louis.Another U.K.-based online betting and gambling company, Ladbrokes, says it has also seen a surge in support for the name Alice in recent days."A mystery gamble has developed on Alice in the last few days, and such is the support it's now the joint favorite with Elizabeth at 5/1," Ladbrokes spokeswoman Jessica Bridge told ABC News. "Punters in the U.K. are desperate for Prince George to be joined by a little sister next month, and with a few weeks to go baby betting is booming."Ladbrokes held what it billed as the first-ever corgi race earlier this month to predict a baby name for Prince William and Kate.In that race, the winner was Alexandra, though the odds-on favorite for the girl’s name had been Elizabeth, the namesake of the baby’s great-grandmother, and James for the boys, an 8 to 1 favorite.Here is the full list of Royal Baby Odds as provided by Betfair:Royal Baby Name

Alice 3/1 Elizabeth 5/1 Charlotte 11/2 Richard 10/1 James 12/1 Victoria 12/1 Arthur 12/1 Alexandra 12/1 William 14/1 Charles 14/1 Diana 14/1 Philip 14/1 Catherine/Kate 14/1 Mary 14/1 Henry 16/1 Frances 16/1 Alexander 20/1 Albert 20/1 Spencer 20/1 Christopher 20/1 Florence 25/1 Francis 25/1 Eleanor 25/1 Michael 25/1 Rose 25/1 Margaret 25/1 Ella 28/1 Alfred 33/1 Anne 33/1 Anthony 33/1 Ava 33/1 Caroline 33/1 David 33/1 Frederick 33/1 John 33/1 Philippa 33/1 Sarah 33/1 Amelia 40/1 Edward 40/1 Emily 40/1 Helen/Helena 40/1 Louis 40/1 Sophie 40/1 Andrew 40/1 Penelope 50/1 Carole 66/1 Jane 66/1 Louise 66/1 Robert 66/1 Stephanie 80/1 Camilla 100/1 Trevor 100/1 Raheem 500/1 Sepp 500/1

Hair color of baby

Blonde 6/4 Brown 7/4 Black 7/2 Red 5/1

Gender of baby

Male EVS Female 8/11

Day of birth

Thursday 5/1 Friday 11/2 Monday 11/2 Tuesday 11/2 Wednesday 6/1 Saturday 6/1 Sunday 6/1

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Romney on Emerging 2016 Field: I’m ‘Going to Be Aggressively Neutral’

Romney on Emerging 2016 Field: I’m ‘Going to Be Aggressively Neutral’

ABC/ DONNA SVENNEVIK(WASHINGTON) — As the 2016 presidential race looms ahead, former Republican nominee Mitt Romney assessed the fresh crop of potential Republican nominees Tuesday, starting with newly-minted presidential candidate Ted Cruz. “He is a person of very sound capability and I think you’re going to hear a lot from him,” Romney said of Cruz, who announced the launch of his campaign on Monday. Romney said that he remembers Cruz speaking at the RNC in 2012 without notes and noted the Texas senator “spellbound the audience there.” On his own 2016 endorsement, Romney said, “I’m going to be very, very aggressively neutral in this process.” “I like Jeb Bush a lot. I think he’d be a terrific president. I like Marco Rubio. Scott Walker, I like a lot…Chris Christie, boy the guy tells the truth in your face if he disagrees with you.” Asked if Christie can overcome low poll numbers, Romney said, “America loves a comeback, and Chris is poised to do that.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Teen Drivers: Nearly 60% of Crashes Involve Distractions

Teen Drivers: Nearly 60% of Crashes Involve Distractions

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Distracted driving is far more prevalent among teens than previously believed, a new study out Wednesday finds.The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed nearly 1,700 videos of teen drivers, focusing on the six seconds leading up to a crash. Researchers found that distractions were a factor in 58 percent of all the crashes they studied.That's "four times higher than the official government estimate," points out Peter Kissinger, the foundation's president and CEO.He says the leading distraction for teen drivers is other passengers."If you add a second teen passenger to a teen driver in the car, that doubles the risk typically of being, that person being in a crash," Kissinger says.Cellphones are the second biggest distraction, representing about 12 percent of the cases the foundation studied, he notes.Kissinger says states should consider tougher restrictions for teens with phones and passengers in cars, and hopes the findings encourage parents to get more engaged.

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Jeb Bush Calls US Approach to Iran ‘Foolish’

Jeb Bush Calls US Approach to Iran ‘Foolish’

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In an op-ed posted Wednesday in the National Review, Jeb Bush says that in the Middle East, Iran is “primary instagator” of the region’s conflict, and calls the United States “foolish” in its approach for handling that nation.“Consider American policy towards Iran, a nation that has waged a relentless campaign of terror and war-by-proxy against U.S. troops and American allies for more than three decades. The administration believes Iran will become a responsible partner for peace once it signs up to a deal that largely leaves in place its nuclear infrastructure,” the 2016 presidential hopeful writes. “In a region that is in a near-constant state of conflict -- with Iran as a primary instigator -- this approach is foolish.” Bush notes that he’s previously criticized President Obama’s foreign policy, most recently at the Chicago Global Forum, where he called Obama’s foreign policy “weak and uncertain.” With Iran, Bush writes, “Instead of projecting American determination and leadership, [Obama] has either withdrawn from the stage or chosen to trust our enemies.”In recent days, Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the P5+1, a six-nation group of global powers, have achieved “substantial progress” on an agreement, which would allow Iran nuclear capability, providing they will not use it to make an atomic bomb.Bush says, however, that the deal is too risky.“It is clear that nothing -- not public opinion, not opposition from his own party in Congress, and not even the facts -- will deter President Obama from a potentially risky agreement that may well allow Iran to intimidate the entire Middle East, menace Israel, and, most of all, threaten America.” Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What Facebook Plans to Discuss at F8 Developer Conference

What Facebook Plans to Discuss at F8 Developer Conference

Facebook(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Facebook's annual F8 developer conference, the spring board for some of the company's biggest ideas, kicks off Wednesday in San Francisco.Mark Zuckerberg is slated to open the two-day event with a keynote speech.While the event focuses on creatives and developers instead of the site's 1.39 billion users, it has been used in previous years to announce changes, including the social graph, timeline features and the like buttons now seen on many websites.Facebook hasn't said what news it will break at F8 this year, however, a glance at the conference schedule gives an idea of what themes will be in store for 2015.Virtual reality will be huge as the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift gets closer to its goal of releasing gaming headsets to consumers. Only the developer's version of Oculus are currently available.A keynote on Thursday called "Why Virtual Reality Will Matter to You" will be hosted by Oculus' chief scientist Michael Abrash.The Facebook-backed Internet.org initiative to bring mobile connectivity to people in lesser developed countries has taken off over the past year, coming to countries spanning the globe, from Colombia to India."Building for the Next Billion" at F8 will take a look at how developers can help build experiences for people who are coming online for the first time.Also expect to hear news from Facebook regarding its Messenger app, which Facebook announced last week would begin supporting peer to peer payments. Some reports have raised the possibility that Facebook may turn Messenger into a platform, opening it up to outside developers.

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Italian Police Arrest Three Suspected Recruiters for ISIS

Italian Police Arrest Three Suspected Recruiters for ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Police in Italy have arrested three suspected members of an Islamic extremist cell believed to be recruiting jihadists for ISIS.Two of the suspects were taken into custody in northern Italy Wednesday after authorities searched their property. Police say one suspect -- a 20-year-old Italian of Moroccan descent -- is accused of posting 64 pages of pro-ISIS propaganda on the Internet. The document was posted on Facebook and other sites and was written in Italian -- evidence, police say, of an attempt to recruit jihadists in Italy. The two other suspects, an uncle and nephew, have Albanian citizenship. One lives in northern Italy and the other in Albania. Police say all three were in touch with an ISIS fighter with links to Italy.Wednesday's arrests were the result of a long, covert operation, according to authorities. Italy has been on high alert for terrorist attacks since ISIS threatened it would invade Rome in a video several months ago.

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Kelly Osbourne ‘One Day’ to Have Same Surgery as Angelina Jolie

Kelly Osbourne ‘One Day’ to Have Same Surgery as Angelina Jolie

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — After Angelina Jolie revealed earlier this week that she has had her ovaries removed to prevent a future cancer diagnosis, Kelly Osbourne revealed she also plans one day to have the same surgery."I agree with this 100 percent," Osbourne, 30, said Tuesday on The Talk.She added, "I know that one day I will eventually have to do it, too."Osbourne said that if she has children down the road, "I want to be there to bring them up. I want to be there to support them in every way I can."Osbourne's mother, Sharon, is actually a survivor of colon cancer, back in 2002, so Kelly has seen the disease firsthand."I'm so lucky to have the mother I have, the brave mother I have that has taught me so much. ... I actually do have the cancer gene," Kelly added on Tuesday's show. “My mom made all of us get tested after she found out that she had it and got her double mastectomy.”Osbourne didn't say when she would have the surgery. Jolie wrote in an op-ed article for the New York Times that after having her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, she is now "in menopause," and, “I will not be able to have any more children."Jolie and husband, Brad Pitt, have three biological children and three adopted children together.

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