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US Military Conducts Two More Airstrikes Against ISIS in Iraq

US Military Conducts Two More Airstrikes Against ISIS in Iraq

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ERBIL, Iraq) — U.S. military forces conducted a pair of airstrikes against militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, bringing the total number of strikes in Iraq since Aug. 8 to 98.The strikes were confirmed by U.S. Central Command on Tuesday evening. Centcom says that the two strikes utilized attack aircraft and destroyed two of ISIS’ armed vehicles and damaged a third.The latest strikes were part of the ongoing effort to support Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defense forces. Centcom also says that the strike also served to protect critical infrastructure, U.S. personnel and facilities.
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Report: Clippers Trade Jared Dudley To Bucks

Report: Clippers Trade Jared Dudley To Bucks

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — The Los Angeles Clippers traded small forward Jared Dudley and a protected first-round pick in the 2017 NBA draft to the Milwaukee Bucks for small forward Carlos Delfino, center Miroslav Raduljica, and a 2015 second-round pick, according to ESPN.
The 29-year-old Dudley is a seven-year veteran of the NBA, having played with the Charlotte Bobcats, Phoenix Suns and Clippers. In 523 career regular-season games, he has averaged 8.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
The 31-year-old Delfino missed all of last season after suffering a fracture in his right foot during the 2013 NBA playoffs with the Houston Rockets. Last offseason, he signed a two-year contract with the Bucks.  During his eight-year career, Delfino has averaged 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
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President Obama Talks About VA Reform, Need for Improved Mental Health Care

President Obama Talks About VA Reform, Need for Improved Mental Health Care

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(CHARLESTON, N.C) — During his trip to Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, President Obama discussed the newly released report on the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the need for better mental health care to battle the growing problem of veteran suicide.
“Despite all the good work that the VA does every day, despite all the progress that we’ve made over the last several years, we are very clear-eyed about the problems that are still there,” Obama told the 96th national convention of the American Legion in Charlotte. “Those problems require us to regain the trust of our veterans, and live up to our vision of a VA that is more effective and more efficient and that truly puts veterans first. And I will not be satisfied until that happens.””We are going to get to the bottom of these problems,” Obama added. “We’re going to fix what is wrong. We’re going to do right by you, and we are going to do right by your families.  And that is a solemn pledge and commitment that I’m making to you here.”
Obama emphasized his aim to “end this tragedy of suicide among our troops and veterans” — pointing to 19 executive actions he announced Tuesday to improve veteran access to mental health care.”As a country, we can’t stand idly by on such tragedy,” Obama said. “So long as any servicemember or veteran is suffering, or feels like they have nowhere to turn, or doesn’t get the support that they need, that means we haven’t done enough.”  Obama highlighted his push to expand suicide prevention training across the military and the VA, “so colleagues and clinicians can spot the warning signs and encourage our troops and veterans to seek help.””We’re calling on Congress to help us ensure that our troops get coverage for mental health care that’s on par with the coverage for other medical conditions,” he said.  “We’re going to keep saying loud and clear to anyone out there who’s hurting, it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help; it is a sign of strength. Talk to a friend. Pick up the phone. You are not alone. We are here for you. And every American needs to know if you see someone in uniform or a veteran who is struggling, reach out and help them to get help. They were there for America. We now need to be there for them.”
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Obama Approves ISIS Surveillance Flights over Syria

Obama Approves ISIS Surveillance Flights over Syria

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) –  President Obama has approved U.S military surveillance flights over Syria to track the Islamic militant group ISIS, a group that American warplanes have been attacking in neighboring Iraq, ABC News has confirmed.The U.S. has not made any decision on expanding its air offensive against ISIS, also known by the acronym ISIL, into Syria, a U.S. official said.The decision on the surveillance flights emerged as the president told veterans at the American Legion’s National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., that airstrikes against ISIS must be part of a broader strategy.”Our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader strategy to protect our people and support our partners to take the fight to ISIL,” the president said. He cautioned that “we have to use our power wisely.”American jets and drones have helped halt the advance of ISIS in Iraq and roll back some of the territorial gains by the Islamic militants. The number of flights and air strikes has increased in recent weeks and top Pentagon officials have said they have considered whether to extend those attacks to ISIS forces in Syria. The U.S. has also been providing weaponry to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq who had been battling with ISIS fighters.”Rooting out a cancer like ISIL won’t be easy and it won’t be quick, but tyrants and murderers before them should recognize that kind of hateful vision ultimately is no match for the strength and hopes of people who stand together for the security and dignity and freedom that is the birthright of every human being,” he said.The president made clear that the U.S. can’t take on ISIS without the backing of allies.”History teaches us of the dangers of overreaching and spreading ourselves too thin and trying to go it alone without international support, or rushing into military adventures without thinking through the consequences,” he said.The president repeated his vow that the U.S. would not send ground troops back into Iraq for combat duty.Obama warned ISIS that the killers of American journalist James Foley will be hunted down. Foley was beheaded allegedly in retaliation for the U.S. air campaign, and after a $100 million ransom demand was rebuffed.”Our message to anyone who harms our people is simple. America does not forget, our reach is long, we are patient, justice will be done,” he said. “We have proved time and time again we will do what’s necessary to capture those who harm Americans — to go after those who harm Americans. And we’ll continue to take direct action where needed to protect our people and to defend our homeland.”There are indications that British investigators may be closing in on the identity of the masked ISIS member who spoke with a British accent and was videotaped carrying out the gruesome execution.Since the video of Foley’s execution shocked the West, Obama has endured a new round of criticism of his foreign policy and calls for a more aggressive response to the emerging threat posed by ISIS.”Even countries that criticize us, when the chips are down, they know who to call,” he said.
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Miley Cyrus’ Homeless VMAs Date Has Record, Warrant Out for Arrest

Miley Cyrus’ Homeless VMAs Date Has Record, Warrant Out for Arrest

ABC/Richard Harbaugh(LOS ANGELES) — The once-homeless man who was Miley Cyrus’ date at the MTV VMAs on Sunday has a police record and an open warrant out for his arrest.Jesse Helt, 22, gave a speech and accepted the award for Best Video on behalf of Cyrus on Sunday night at the MTV VMAs.Helt spoke about youth homelessness in America and had Cyrus, 21, in tears.However, Helt has a warrant out for his arrest in his native Oregon.Court records obtained by ABC News showed he was arrested for “criminal mischief” and “attempted burglary” in 2010. The burglary charge was changed to “criminal trespass” later that year. The records showed that Helt admitted he tried to enter an apartment by breaking a window amid a “marijuana” dispute.He pleaded guilty/no contest to the charges and received probation. An arrest warrant was issued in 2011 when Helt violated probation by failing to report to scheduled probation meetings and failing to complete urine tests, among other charges.Jon Troike, a judicial services specialist, told ABC News that Helt would be arrested if the police found him, and they might find him right in Oregon.Helt’s mother, Linda Helt, told The Oregonian for Monday’s editions that Helt would be returning.”He’s going to be traveling to Oregon today,” she told the paper.Helt grew up in Salem, Oregon, according to his mother, who added that Cyrus gave him money to go home and see his family.Cyrus and Helt connected through My Friend’s Place — a Los Angeles center for homeless youth, helping them to get food and shelter.
Cyrus tweeted on Tuesday that she was disappointed that the focus was on Helt’s past and not on the problem of youth homelessness.
 

The media never fails to disappoint. You’ve chosen to go after Jesse instead of covering the issue of youth homelessness :(
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2014

 
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The Sweet Nickname “19 Kids and Counting’s” Jill Duggar Dillard Has for Her Unborn Baby

The Sweet Nickname “19 Kids and Counting’s” Jill Duggar Dillard Has for Her Unborn Baby

Photo Credit: TLC(NEW YORK) — It’s only been a week since Jill and Derick Dillard from 19 Kids and Counting announced they were expecting their first baby, and only two months since they were married in June, but the Dillards already have a nickname for their future little bundle of joy.”We’re expecting!!! So grateful to God for this new little blessing!!! #babydilly #firsttimeparents #sogratefultoGod #derickdillard #jillmdillard,” she wrote next to a sweet picture of the couple holding tiny white baby shoes.
So “Baby Dilly” it is!When the couple announced the good news last week, they told People magazine, “Both of us want as many kids as God will give us,” Jill said.Jill’s father Jim Bob Duggar said everyone was surprised by the news but happy to have another baby running around someday.”Everyone was clapping and cheering, and we were in shock, too,” he said.
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Hagel Announces Increased International Aid to Kurdish Forces in Iraq

Hagel Announces Increased International Aid to Kurdish Forces in Iraq

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD, Iraq) — On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that a number of nations, in addition to the U.S., will commit to providing aid to Kurdish forces in need of arms and equipment in the battle against militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.Hagel commissioned a working group about two weeks ago in an effort to resupply the Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. Among the foreign nations now committed to supplying aid are Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France and the United Kingdom. Operations involving aid from those seven nations “have already begun,” Hagel said Tuesday, “and will accelerate in the coming days with more nations also expected to contribute.”Hagel also praised “the determination of the Iraqi people and the international community to counter the threat posed by [ISIS].”
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Two African Ebola Patients to Be Discharged After Receiving Experimental Drug

Two African Ebola Patients to Be Discharged After Receiving Experimental Drug

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — Two African health workers who received doses of the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp are set to be discharged from the hospital later this week, a Liberian health official told ABC News Tuesday.Three African health workers — two African doctors and one physician’s assistant — received the drug after contracting the virus earlier this month, according to Dr. Moses Massaquoi, who heads Ebola case management at Liberia’s health ministry.Though they were all showing signs of improvement at first, one of the doctors died on Aug. 24. He also had diabetes and hypertension, Massaquoi said.The remaining two patients improved soon after receiving the first of three doses of ZMapp — a cocktail of three antibodies meant to attack the virus. They are expected to be discharged on Friday.
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Perry Adds Republican Strategist, McCain Aide to Legal Team

Perry Adds Republican Strategist, McCain Aide to Legal Team

ABC/Matthew Putney(WASHINGTON) — Gov. Rick Perry has hired former aide to Sen. John McCain and longtime Republican strategist Steve Schmidt to work with his legal team following Perry’s indictment.Perry, who has downplayed the charges against him, brought Schmidt on to work with his legal team on public relations. Schmidt is being brought in only to help handle the indictment, not as part of a potential 2016 presidential campaign.Since having his mug shot and fingerprints taken last week, the Texas governor has toured battleground states and is believed to be considering whether another run for the presidency is in his future.
Perry was charged earlier this month with abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official after he allegedly threatened to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned following a 2013 DWI conviction.
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Kerry Praises Gaza Agreement, Hopes Cease-Fire is ‘Durable and Sustainable’

Kerry Praises Gaza Agreement, Hopes Cease-Fire is ‘Durable and Sustainable’

Credit: US Department of State(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement on Tuesday offering strong support for a cease-fire agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.Kerry has worked with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as Egyptian leadership who hosted negotiations in an effort to bring calm to the region. He said Tuesday that he hopes the new cease-fire will be “durable and sustainable,” ending rocket and mortar strikes. Kerry also called for increased delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza once “calm is restored.” He reiterated his eagerness to work with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on reconstruction and aid for the Gazan people. Meanwhile, he assured Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will continue to be engaged in long-term peace negotiations.Kerry is “aware of the challenges ahead,” but remains optimistic that the two sides can come to an agreement that will bring the “future that the people on both sides deserve.”
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Alleged Serial Stowaway Marilyn Hartman Arrested for Third Time this Month

Alleged Serial Stowaway Marilyn Hartman Arrested for Third Time this Month

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — Alleged repeat stowaway Marilyn Hartman was arrested Tuesday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on a criminal trespass charge, according to police.It was the third time the 62-year-old, who has a history of trying to board planes without a ticket, has been arrested this month.Airport employees recognized Hartman loitering around 11:30 a.m. in terminal 4 near the baggage claim area, according to Phoenix police, who said she was not in possession of a ticket.The arrest came after Hartman was caught on Aug. 14 trying to enter a Sky Harbor security checkpoint without a ticket. Hartman was let go with a warning at the time and was removed from airport property, police said. Phoenix police said they were requesting Hartman undergo a mental health evaluation.Hartman was arrested earlier this month on a misdemeanor trespassing charge after she flew on a Southwest Airlines flight from San Jose to Los Angeles without a ticket, authorities said.Several days after she was released from police custody, Hartman was seen scouting terminals for about an hour at Los Angeles International Airport, according to airport police. She was arrested and charged with violating the terms of her probation, which included staying out of airports unless she had a ticket to fly.Hartman was released from a Los Angeles jail earlier this month because of overcrowding, according to ABC News’ Los Angeles station, KABC.While she has an extensive history of trying to board planes, Hartman’s arrest earlier this month was the first time she successfully was able to fly without a ticket, authorities said.
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NFL, College Football Players to Utilize New Model of Helmet Intended to Reduce Concussion Risk

NFL, College Football Players to Utilize New Model of Helmet Intended to Reduce Concussion Risk

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Football equipment manufacturer Riddell has released a brand-new model of football helmet that it says flexes to help absorb impact, helping to minimize concussion risk, and a number of NFL and college football players and teams will be using the new technology this year.Riddell says its SpeedFlex helmets will be available in September and may be seen in use in the college football world as early as this weekend. A press release from the company describes the technology as ripples [force] outward instead of inward, reducing impact transfer to the athlete. The helmets also feature improved sightlines and a new style of chinstrap.Riddell said Tuesday that over half of Football Bowl Subdivision teams will have at least one player wearing the new helmet, as well as 80 percent of NFL teams. Among those donning the SpeedFlex helmets will be players from last year’s NCAA national champions Florida State University, as well as highly ranked college programs including Ohio State University, University of Florida, and the University of Texas, among others.In the NFL, Riddell expects players from both of last year’s Super Bowl teams, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, as well as members of the New York Giants and Jets, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, and more, to wear the helmets.
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Kindergartener Goes to School with Loaded Gun in Backpack

Kindergartener Goes to School with Loaded Gun in Backpack

iStock/Thinkstock(ALIQUIPPA, Pa.) — A five-year-old reportedly brought a loaded handgun to school in a backpack.A teacher at the school in Aliquippa — a town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — found the small revolver in a kindergartner’s bag.The school called police and no injuries were reported.The school sent letters home to parents saying the gun was never visible to any student. Police said no one handled the gun and it is not believed he intended to hurt anyone. Police are investigating how the gun ended up in the bag, and whether to file charges.
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Interim Director of Phoenix VA Facility Discusses Changes in Light of Critical Report

Interim Director of Phoenix VA Facility Discusses Changes in Light of Critical Report

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — After Tuesday’s report from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ independent investigation indicated that there is no proof that delayed treatment at VA hospitals caused any deaths, Glenn Costie, director of the Dayton VA Medical Center and interim director of the Phoenix Medical Center, discussed the work the agency has done to revamp the Phoenix center.The Phoenix center came under fire earlier this year for unethical scheduling practices. Since then, Costie says, they have added 250 staff members — more than 100 of whom were added within the last three months. The Phoenix VA Medical Center plans to continue adding staff, with 200 more hires expected “in the very near future.”All of the schedulers employed by the VA have been trained to properly use wait lists and other programs in what Costie calls the beginning of a “cultural transformation.” Costie acknowledged that the Phoenix medical center was “understaffed and under-resourced for many years,” but that out of the scandal from earlier this year, “we’re starting to get that resolved.”
The report detailed 28 instances of “clinically significant delays in care” and 17 unrelated instances of “care deficiencies.” These cases represent unacceptable and troubling lapses in follow-up, coordination, quality and continuity of care.”
The report also notes that investigations into the lapses will continue, with involvement from the Department of Justice and the FBI.
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American Airlines Taking Fares Off Orbitz

American Airlines Taking Fares Off Orbitz

American Airlines Newsroom(NEW YORK) — American Airlines says it is pulling fares from consumer travel site Orbitz.com.
The air carrier has announced it will withdraw the fares for American Airlines and U.S. Airways, effective September 1.
A statement from American Airlines says it had tried reach a deal with Orbitz but the economics would not allow it to compete with the low-cost carriers.
The airline says the move will not impact flights that have already been booked and will not affect corporate clients that use Orbitz for business.
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More Gains on Wall Street, Burger King and Tim Hortons Announce Partnership

More Gains on Wall Street, Burger King and Tim Hortons Announce Partnership

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street posted another day of gains on Tuesday, following up Monday’s milestone for the S&P 500 with another, amidst news that Burger King and Tim Hortons will combine efforts to create a fast-food powerhouse.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 17,106.70, up 29.83 from Monday.The Nasdaq rose 13.29 to a 4,570.64 close, while the S&P gained 2.1, finished at 2,000.02, the first time the index has ever closed above 2,000.Reports emerged on Monday that Burger King was looking to buy Tim Hortons. According to a press release from Tim Hortons on Tuesday, the two companies represent a combined $23 billion in sales and 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries. Each chain will continue to operate as independent brands, but will share common ownership.
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Woman Pleads to Stop Alimony Paid to Ex-Husband Accused of Killing New Husband

Woman Pleads to Stop Alimony Paid to Ex-Husband Accused of Killing New Husband

iStock/Thinkstock(LINDON, Utah) — Paying alimony to an ex-spouse can be one of those grin-and-bear-it obligations for some, but it’s an especially galling burden for a Utah woman whose ex-husband stands accused of killing her new husband.Joy Sidwell, from Lindon, Utah, asked a judge on Monday to allow her to halt the $500 a month alimony payments to her ex, Fred Lee, who allegedly killed her new husband in July.Lee, 59, is in the Utah County Jail and set to face aggravated murder charges, among others, authorities said.On July 3, he told police that he was searching for Sidwell “to kill her,” according to court documents. Lee entered a home in search of his ex-wife, but shot and killed her current husband, police said.Sidwell filed for protective orders and stalking complaints against Lee in 2005 and 2007, but said this alimony issue is another obstacle in the legal system.”It’s going to take a long time to see justice in the court for the trial of the murder, but this would at least be justice for right now,” Sidwell told KSL News on Monday.”I shouldn’t need an attorney to have it stopped,” Sidwell, who does not have an attorney, told KSL News. “It should be a simple cut-and-dried thing.”Sidwell said she plans to return to court Sept. 15 to once again request a stop to alimony payments, and Lee will have the legal right to contest her petition.Though the Utah government website does not address an unusual situation like this case, it does reference the role of material changes in modifying alimony payments.According to Utah state law, “if there are substantial material changes in circumstances not foreseeable at the time of divorce, either party may petition the court for an order modifying alimony. However, the court may not modify alimony to address needs of the recipient that did not exist at the time the decree was entered, unless there are special reasons for doing so.”
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Sarah Hyland and Matt Prokop Have Split

Sarah Hyland and Matt Prokop Have Split

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABC(LOS ANGELES) –  There’s a reason Sarah Hyland didn’t bring her boyfriend of five years, Matt Prokop, to the Emmys.They broke up, her rep told ABC News.The Modern Family star, 23, met Prokop, 24, in 2008, People magazine reported. They went on to co-star in Geek Charming on the Disney Channel.”We had our first formal date at Casa Vega, this little Mexican place. We got to talking and I think it was on the date that we realized we didn’t have to work to impress each other,” he told Seventeen in 2012. “We were both there for the right reasons. It just felt so natural.”In 2011, Hyland revealed on The View that the two were living together.
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Feds Say Two Men Robbed, Killed Violinist at Her Home in the Middle of the Day

Feds Say Two Men Robbed, Killed Violinist at Her Home in the Middle of the Day

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A New York City violinist who was at her summer home was brutally murdered when two men knocked on her door and attempted to rob her, federal authorities said.Mary Whitaker, 61, was a musician who played on Broadway, toured with Barbara Streisand, was a member of the Westchester Philharmonic, and spent her summers playing for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, according to the Philharmonic.She was at her summer home in Westfield, N.Y., when the incident occurred, according to federal documents.Two homeless men, Jonathan Conklin and Charles Sanford, approached her home in the early morning hours of Aug. 20 with the intent to rob her, according to the criminal complaint. Sanford told police that Conklin wanted to rob a homeowner so he could buy drugs and “live like a rock star,” the criminal complaint says. In a chilling series of events, Sanford allegedly knocked on Whitaker’s door and asked to the use phone because he had run out of gas. When she said yes, Conklin emerged from hiding and allegedly pointed a rifle at her, authorities said.”This is a robbery. Don’t make this any worse than it is,” Conklin said, according to the complaint.Whitaker screamed, prompting Conklin to allegedly fire a round from the rifle that hit Whitaker in the torso, authorities said.Whitaker then grabbed the rifle and struggled with Conklin for it, another shot was fired and hit Whitaker in the leg. Whitaker fell backward, hitting her head against the garage door, and Sanford dragged her inside the garage, authorities said.
The pair then robbed Whitaker’s home, taking her keys, credit cards, cell phone and checkbook, while Conklin ordered Sanford to finish killing Whitaker with a knife, according to authorities.They then took off in her Chrysler P.T. Cruiser and drove back to Pennsylvania, where they used the credit cards and cell phone, which allowed police to track them.Friends of Whitaker’s found her body in the garage and called police, who quickly tracked the pair. Sanford provided much of the information in the account to detectives.Both Conklin and Sanford are now charged with stealing the car, unlawfully using the firearms, and illegally transporting commerce over state lines, which are the crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction. A local grand jury in Westfield will consider the murder charges.Conklin and Sanford both entered pleas of not guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, N.Y., and are being represented by public defenders. Their detention hearings are set for Thursday morning.
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Late Summer Brings Extreme and Dangerous Heat Across the Country

Late Summer Brings Extreme and Dangerous Heat Across the Country

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It may be late August, but parts of the country are just now experiencing their hottest stretch of weather this year.Indianapolis hit 90 degrees on Monday afternoon, their first of the year. Typically, Indianapolis would …

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