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Battle of the Phones: Samsung vs. HTC

Battle of the Phones: Samsung vs. HTC

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge faced off in a beauty contest with the HTC One M9, it would be hard to say which phone would take the crown.Samsung and HTC's new devices are sleek, but ultimately what's on the inside will help guide people in the market for a new Android phone as to which device is right for them.Samsung's Galaxy S6 smartphones are available for pre-order beginning Friday and will be available in the United States on April 10. HTC's One M9 will be sold directly from their site on Friday to customers in the U.S. with the device reaching stores on April 10.Keeping in mind that the key difference between the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge is the latter's curved side that comes with additional functionality, here's a breakdown of how Samsung and HTC's offerings stack up against each other:PriceThe HTC One M9 will cost around $649 for an unlocked device with 32 GB of storage. Samsung hasn't released pricing for the Galaxy S6 devices, however expect them to start at a comparable price point for the 32 GB option, with the 64 GB and 128 GB choices costing more.Screen SizeSamsung's phones have a 5.1-inch display, and HTC's latest flagship offering measures 5 inches.CameraThe camera is often the tipping point for most people when deciding between similar smartphones. Bother cameras are sharp but have their differences.Samsung boasted that it would have the "fastest, brightest camera on the market" and showed how it was able to illuminate a night scene and turn on with a quick double tap of the home key in less than a second.The Galaxy S6 phones have a 5 megapixel selfie camera with a 120-degree wide angle lens, while the rear camera packs 16 megapixels.The HTC One M9 also boasts a wide angle, ultrapixel front facing camera that can take in more light, while the rear camera has 20 megapixels.ChargingSamsung's new devices are outfitted with wireless charging, making power cords obsolete. In 10 minutes, Samsung says the devices can get enough charge for four hours of everyday use.Samsung's Galaxy S6 devices are powered with 2,550 mAh of battery life. Comparably, HTC's One M9 has a battery capacity of 2,840 mAh which packs up to 25.4 hours of talk time, according to the company's website.Standout FeaturesSamsung's latest flagship devices standout for ditching the plastic backing of their ancestors in favor of a sleek aluminum and glass body. Also expect Samsung Pay, a contact-less payment system to rival Apple Pay, to come to users of the phones sometime this summer.HTC's One M9 looks a lot like its predecessors but comes with a newly enabled customization feature, letting users change the look and feel of their phone's interface.Another standout offer from HTC is "Uh Oh Protection." The free insurance policy promises to replace your new phone if it's damaged in the first year.

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What We Know About Germanwings Flight’s Final 10 Minutes

What We Know About Germanwings Flight’s Final 10 Minutes

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Details about the final 10 minutes of the Germanwings flight that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps are becoming a bit clearer Thursday.Audio from inside the cockpit indicates co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, a 28-year-old German citizen, was in control of the Airbus A320. That's according to Brice Robin, public prosecutor of Marseille, who spoke at a news conference Thursday."The intention was to destroy the plane," Robin said.Here's a breakdown of what we know about Flight 9525's last moments, based on information released by authorities:At 10:30 a.m., the plane is flying at 38,000 feet.At some point around this time, the pilot is heard asking the co-pilot to take over the controls. A chair is heard moving and a door is heard closing.At 10:31 a.m., the plane starts losing altitude.The co-pilot is alone at the controls, and the accelerated descent is made manually. The pilot is heard knocking on the door and asking over the speaker to enter the cockpit. There is no response from the co-pilot.The plane’s altitude drops down to roughly 6,000 feet.Air traffic control can be heard calling, but there is no response. The pilot is heard “violently” banging on the door, as he tries to get back into the cockpit, according to Robin. The co-pilot is heard breathing until the final moment of impact, leading officials to believe he was alive until the crash.At 10:40 a.m., the plane crashes, and the radar contact is lost.

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“Downton Abbey” Will End After Next Season

“Downton Abbey” Will End After Next Season

ITV(NEW YORK) -- It appears the rumors are true. Popular PBS drama Downton Abbey will end after its sixth season.

Series executive producer Gareth Neame announced the news Thursday. In a statement, he says: "Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end andDownton is no exception."

"We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the story lines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans," the statement continues. "We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up."

"We, like the fans, simply cannot wait to see what will happen to the Crawley family and their beloved staff as this incredible series culminates in Season 6," PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger said in a staement. "The series has enjoyed such success over the past five seasons and we’ll certainly be working alongside Carnival, Masterpiece and PBS member stations to make Season 6 the biggest yet. Until then, Sunday nights on PBS continue to offer fans a full slate of ‘must view’ British and, soon, American historical drama."

Season five of Downton Abbey just ended in the U.S. on PBS. The cast is currently filming the show's sixth season.

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NASA Studies Kelly Twins to Understand Space’s Impact on Human Body

NASA Studies Kelly Twins to Understand Space’s Impact on Human Body

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NASA will examine how a year of zero gravity will affect the human body when Scott Kelly blasts off for an extended stay on the International Space Station.But NASA isn’t just going to look at Kelly and fellow astronaut Mikhail Kornienko. The team also will be following Scott Kelly’s identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, as an earthbound control group.Officials hope to understand what exactly happens to a human body hundreds of miles above Earth's surface.“We need to figure out how people are going to live in space for really long periods of time, especially if we want to send somebody to Mars or maybe we want to build a base on the moon," Mark Kelly told ABC News' David Kerley.There are a number of studies being conducted, with collaborations among various universities, including Stanford University, Colorado State University, Johns Hopkins University and Cornell University.The astronauts will be subject to a battery of tests looking at things such as muscle mass, bone loss and even the shape of their eyeballs. In a previous NASA study, some astronauts reported a change in vision after the physical shape of their eyeballs changed.NASA medical officer Dr. Steven Gilmore said being able to compare samples between identical twins would be helpful for the research.“You can look at, in detail, how the genes and the proteins that are made from them change as a result of this unique environment," he told ABC News.Researchers will look at how genes go "on and off" during space flight and if being away from Earth in the vacuum of space affects proteins in the body.NASA wants to know how the stressors unique to space flight could change the body. This means seeing how microgravity, confinement in the space station and radiation changes affects the proteins and metabolic systems in the body.NASA also wants to discover how blood flow changes -- a result of microgravity -- can have unexpected effects on the body. One hypothesis is that astronauts' eyes change shape in space because blood volume on their upper body increases without gravity.“Your nose gets stuffy, your eyes get a little bit of pressure,” said Jennifer Fogarty, a clinical transitional scientist in a NASA video. "You feel like you have a really bad head cold."The study results could be key in finding a way to send humans to Mars to create a permanent colony on the moon.“That's one of the things that make it exciting and something I’m really happy to be a part of," Scott Kelly said on ABC News' This Week.Scott Kelly is scheduled to lift off Friday for his year in space.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

DEA ‘Sex Parties’ Funded by Drug Cartels, IG Report Says

DEA ‘Sex Parties’ Funded by Drug Cartels, IG Report Says

DEA.gov(WASHINGTON) — Senior Drug Enforcement Administration agents working overseas allegedly participated in “sex parties” with prostitutes funded by drug cartels, according to a newly-released Department of Justice Inspector General report on the handling of sexual misconduct allegations by law enforcement agencies.The conduct occurred over a period of years, according to the report. In addition to soliciting prostitutes, the foreign officers interviewed for the report allege three DEA supervisory special agents were “provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members."Some DEA agents who participated in the parties denied knowing about cartel involvement, but the IG report says, “information in the case files suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds.”The sex parties occurred in government leased living quarters where “agents’ laptops, BlackBerry devices and other government-issued equipment were present,” posing a security risk and “potentially exposing them to extortion, blackmail, or coercion.”In another instance, two DEA special agents allegedly solicited prostitutes for a farewell party for a senior DEA official.That official, an acting assistant regional director, allegedly had “sexual relations with prostitutes” and there were “allegations operational funds were used to pay for the party and the prostitutes,” according to the report.The report also alleges that one prostitute was assaulted by someone associated with DEA supervisors following a payment dispute. The report was critical of DEA’s treatment of allegations of sexual misconduct, often dealing with incidents as local management issues and not reporting information up the chain of command.The report also looked at allegations of misconduct against the U.S. Marshals Service, ATF and the FBI.One case of alleged sexual harassment involved an FBI “Supervisory Management and Program Analyst’s repeated unprofessional behavior, including cornering his subordinates in their cubicles and displaying the size of his genitals by tightening his pants,” the report details. Subordinates of that employee endured his conduct for three years before it was reported to headquarters. The analyst was eventually suspended, demoted and reassigned to another office.The Department of Justice said in a statement that it is working “with the law enforcement components to ensure a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment and misconduct is enforced and that incidents are properly reported." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

National Guardsman and His Cousin Arrested for Trying to Join ISIS

National Guardsman and His Cousin Arrested for Trying to Join ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI has arrested two men -- one of them a current member of the Illinois National Guard -- for allegedly trying to join ISIS, the terrorist group wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, authorities said Thursday.Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, was arrested Wednesday at Chicago Midway International Airport as he was trying to fly to Egypt, according to authorities. His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home.Both men are from Aurora, Illinois, and appeared in federal court on Thursday. They were formally charged with conspiring to provide material support to a known foreign terrorist organization. They face a maximum penalty if convicted of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.Hasan Edmonds first came onto the FBI’s radar in late 2014 as he hatched a plan for him to join ISIS overseas while Jonas Edmonds launched an attack inside the United States, according to the Justice Department.This comes a week after a former U.S. Air Force veteran was indicted by federal authorities for allegedly trying to join ISIS.Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 47, who is from New Jersey but had been living overseas for years, was secretly arrested two months ago after being deported back to the United States.On his laptop, FBI agents allegedly discovered more than 180 jihadist propaganda videos and noticed he had been conducting online searches for such phrases as "borders controlled by Islamic state," "kobani border crossing," and "who controls kobani."Last month, three New York City men were arrested on charges they allegedly conspired to join ISIS but also expressed willingness to carry out attacks on the terror group's behalf in the United States. The men had planned to travel to the Middle East and had also pledged to launch attacks in this country, including one on President Obama or planting a bomb in Coney Island, Brooklyn, federal officials said.Over the past 18 months, about 30 people have been charged with joining terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq or trying to do so.

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What Drew Barrymore Said About Her Post-Baby Body

What Drew Barrymore Said About Her Post-Baby Body

Peter Kramer/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- For every star who seemingly bounces back to her pre-pregnancy size weeks after giving birth, there's Drew Barrymore to keep it real.

"After making two babies, holy cow, does your body do some crazy stuff! It’s hard to stay positive and love yourself," the 40-year-old actress admitted about her post-baby body in Glamour magazine. "You feel like a kangaroo with a giant pouch; everything’s saggy and weird. But you think about how beautiful it is that you’re able to make children."

She added, "When I lose sight of that, I exercise, read Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, and spend time with my kids. Then I start to see things that are bigger than myself."

Barrymore isn't afraid to look less than perfect in public, either.

"You don't always have to look stunning on Instagram," she told Glamour. "I've been makeup-less, pregnant, and stuffing food in my face in many pictures; that makes it all the more exciting when I do do something more attractive. I don't like it when everyone looks so perfect all the time. Where's the humor in that?"

Barrymore is married to Will Kopelman, with whom she has two children -- Olive, 2, and Frankie, 11 months.

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Andreas Lubitz, Germanwings Co-Pilot, Received Training in Arizona

Andreas Lubitz, Germanwings Co-Pilot, Received Training in Arizona

Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The co-pilot who was at the controls when the Germanwings flight crashed this week received some of his training in America, the airline's CEO revealed Thursday.Andreas Lubitz, 28, was a German citizen and started working for Germanwings' parent company Lufthansa at a flight training center outside of Phoenix in 2008, company officials said.The facility, called Airline Training Center Arizona, was owned by Lufthansa and is used by its pilots in addition to other training locations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, officials said.A spokeswoman for Germanwings told ABC News that he also received some of his training in Bremen, Germany.In spite of undergoing some of his training in 2008, he reportedly took breaks during the process and only became an official Germanwings pilot in 2013."Six years ago there had been an interruption to his training," Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said at a news conference Thursday. "We checked his skills and his competence and then he went back to training school. After that he was successful."He went on to explain that the interruption lasted for a few months but he did not elaborate on the reason and said it was something that could happen regularly in their program.Spohr said Lubitz passed training school "with flying colors.""He was fit in all areas, 100 percent," Spohr said.He had 630 hours of flying experience by the time he was at the controls during Tuesday's fatal crash into the French Alps, only 100 hours of which were on the same model plane, the Airbus A320, officials said.U.S. law enforcement officials have offered cooperation on the investigation."The FBI has offered assistance to our French partners, who are leading the investigation into the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525," the agency said in a statement Thursday. "We stand ready to fulfill any requests for information or assistance by crash investigators, as we work with partner nations whose citizens were impacted by this tragedy."

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Lawmakers Told Top DHS Official Played Politics, Appeared to Violate Ethics

Lawmakers Told Top DHS Official Played Politics, Appeared to Violate Ethics

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Homeland Security Inspector General told Congress Thursday that the federal agency's second in command violated his own ethics policy at least three times by giving special access -- or the appearance of favorable treatment -- to powerful political insiders seeking help with immigration matters.Asked directly by lawmakers if Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had violated the ethics policy he had put in place, Inspector General John Roth said yes."We believe that policy was not followed," Roth said.The questions before the House Committee on Homeland Security came two days after the agency's internal watchdog issued a lengthy report about Mayorkas' management at the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of an obscure immigration program that grants visas to foreigners who agree to invest $500,000 in a qualified, U.S. job-creating venture.The IG report came on the heels of an ABC News investigation that revealed that a number of visa recipients were approved despite objections from career officials, who found instances where foreign applicants accused of fraud, money laundering, even involvement in child pornography, had received permission to move to the U.S. The ABC News investigation also found evidence that spies and even possible terrorists had attempted to exploit the visa program to enter the country.The IG report focused on alleged political favoritism by Mayorkas and specifically highlighted three cases where Mayorkas intervened after being contacted by powerful Democrats, including a past and current governor and the brother of Hillary Clinton."We believe there was an appearance of favoritism," Roth told the committee.House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he was "extremely troubled" by the findings."The alleged exertion of undue influence ... that resulted in benefits for politically connected and powerful individuals is extremely concerning,” he said.Mayorkas had denied favoring anyone based on political considerations, saying he was seeking to reform a program rife with problems.Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson said he believed the Inspector General had misunderstood the actions Mayorkas took in cases where powerful Democrats had reached out to him.Thompson called him "an activist manager" who was shaking up a department with low morale."I'm a little concerned you went along way to say he didn't do anything wrong," Thompson said.Roth said, "He violated an ethical cannon, Congressman."The three cases studied were developments that sought funding from foreign investors who would receive visas in exchange.One was an electric car venture headed by Terry McAuliffe, now the Virginia governor, and supported by a business run by Anthony Rodham, Clinton's brother. Both McAuliffe and Rodham made contact with Mayorkas while the car venture was being reviewed, the investigation found. The probe found Mayorkas intervened and reversed staff decisions to assist the project.Similar findings related to a Las Vegas hotel backed by Sen. Harry Reid and film projects pushed by former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.“The juxtaposition of Mr. Mayorkas’ communication with external stakeholders on specific matters outside the normal procedures, coupled with favorable action that deviated from the regulatory scheme designed to ensure fairness and evenhandedness in adjudicating benefits, created an appearance of favoritism and special access,” the IG report said.Earlier this week Mayorkas wrote a robust response to the IG report, saying his efforts were focused on improving a troubled program, and were always vetted by agency attorneys.

On Tuesday, he issued a statement saying, "While I disagree with the Inspector General’s report, I will certainly learn from it and from this process.""The EB-5 program was badly broken when I arrived at USCIS," he said. "I could not and did not turn my back on my responsibility to address those grave problems. I made improving the program a priority and I did so in a hands-on manner, through cases, policies, and sweeping personnel and organizational changes."

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Lyft Aims to Out-Uber the Competition with New Feature

Lyft Aims to Out-Uber the Competition with New Feature

Lyft(NEW YORK) -- No longer will your Lyft driver assume you don't like to listen to Taylor Swift in the car just because you're wearing a business suit.The ride-sharing company is inviting drivers and passengers to share personal details with each other, including hometown, favorite music and a short bio. The new app feature will launch early next week for iOS users, "with Android soon to follow," Lyft says."We chose hometown because we know roots grow deep," Lyft wrote in a blog post. "We added favorite music because music is both a universal and personal connector."Lyft emphasizes that sharing any information is completely optional. Drivers can choose to include their star rating and ride count also."Profiles is a new feature that gives passengers and drivers the option to share fun facts about themselves and discover mutual friends and interests," the company wrote in a blog post Thursday.The basic premise of Lyft will stay the same: users who have already provided their credit card information request a ride in an app. Then they get automatically matched with a Lyft driver in the vicinity. After the ride, passengers can choose to add a tip.

Last year, Lyft introduced Lyft Line, giving passengers the ability to share a Lyft ride with other customers going in the same direction for a fixed lower price, up to 60 percent less.Uber has already tried its hand at a more personalized experience. Starting last November, Uber allowed passengers to control the music in their cars through a partnership with music streaming service Spotify.Lyft, based in San Francisco, serves 65 U.S. cities, most recently launching in Philadelphia in late January. Its mega-competitor Uber, also based in San Francisco, has faced a number of publicity hurdles, including driver safety concerns and transportation regulation, as it has expanded to 55 countries, or over 270 markets around the globe.On Wednesday, Uber released an informational safety video that emphasizes that Uber drivers pass federal, multi-state and county background checks and that each ride is covered by a $1 million commercial insurance policy. Like Lyft, Uber champions the safety benefits of having a digital record of a trip history.A spokesman for Uber told ABC News that regulatory frameworks have been approved in 24 jurisdictions for ridesharing.

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Vatican Opens Doors to Homeless for Special Tour, Dinner

Vatican Opens Doors to Homeless for Special Tour, Dinner

iStock/Thinkstock(VATICAN CITY) -- The Vatican will open its doors on Thursday to the homeless of St. Peters’ Square, allowing the people who usually only see its steps outside to observe its beauty inside.A group of 150 homeless men and women were invited to take a guided tour of the museum and gardens, participate in private prayer in the Sistine Chapel and receive a free dinner in the Vatican Museum’s cafeteria.The tour will pass the Casa Santa Marta, where Pope Francis has chosen to live instead of the stately Papal apartment, and include a stop at a recently opened room in the museum that houses the pope’s historical carriages.When the group reaches the Sistine Chapel for prayer, they will be the only ones there. ANSA reports the chapel, which contains Michelangelo’s fresco masterpieces, will close early to allow for the exclusive tour.The invitation is just one of a string of actions taken by the pontiff to reach out to the poor. To mark his birthday in December, Pope Francis had sleeping bags distributed to the homeless in and around St. Peter’s Square. In February, the Vatican built showers and hired barbers for the homeless around the square.And in mid-June, Francis will lunch with some of Turin’s homeless on a visit there, the Vatican announced Wednesday.Pope Francis’ outreach to the poor echo one of the central messages of his papacy.

"Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent," Francis said in 2013.The Vatican has called on the homeless to help distribute gospels or prayer booklets to the faithful in the square on Sundays during the pope’s noontime prayer.The tour and dinner was organized by the Office of Papal Charities, which regularly distributes meals to the homeless who live in Rome.

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Pope Francis to Visit White House in September

Pope Francis to Visit White House in September

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Pope Francis will visit the White House on Sept. 23, White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced on Thursday.A day later, as previously reported, Francis will address a joint meeting of Congress, becoming the first pope in history to do so.During his visit to the White House, President Obama and the pope will pick up the conversation they started last March when the president visited the Vatican.Their discussion will cover "a wide range of issues, including caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities," Earnest said in a statement.Francis' trip to Washington, D.C. in September will mark his first visit to the U.S. as pope.

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Indiana Governor Declares Public Health Emergency to Battle Worst HIV Outbreak in State History

Indiana Governor Declares Public Health Emergency to Battle Worst HIV Outbreak in State History

iStock/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Thursday declared a public health emergency for an Indiana county battling what is believed to be the worst HIV outbreak in the state's history.Pence said 79 cases have been confirmed, and, with more testing underway, "We expect that number to go up."The cases have either been found in or are connected to Scott County, near the Kentucky border.The state health department has attributed the outbreak to an opioid painkiller called Opana. It's believed to be the worst HIV outbreak in the state history, a spokeswoman at the Scott County Health Department said."For years we've been fighting Opana in our county," said Brittany Combs, public health nurse at Scott County Health Department. "[Doctors] won't give [prescriptions] for Opana unless absolutely necessary. Our doctors aren't writing for it. It's coming from out of county."Combs said Opana is a painkiller normally given in pill form to patients, and it is used as "last resort" for pain relief. People recreationally using the drug often crush the pill and inject it for a longer-lasting high, according to Combs.Everyone who has tested positive for HIV has admitted to intravenous drug use, although some have also had sex with other users, meaning it is not always clear how the virus was spread, according to Combs.A public awareness campaign to alert residents about the increase in HIV cases has started in the region.In addition to local and state health officials, the CDC has sent a team to the area to assist with the response.

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Germanwings Crash: How Co-Pilot Kept Captain Out of the Cockpit

Germanwings Crash: How Co-Pilot Kept Captain Out of the Cockpit

iStock/Thinkstock(COLOGNE, Germany) -- The protocols that were put in place to stop an attacker from taking control of a plane were used against a captain by his co-pilot that resulted in the Germanwings crash in the French Alps, the airline's CEO suggested Thursday.The CEO of Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings, spoke on Thursday about the safeguards in place to separate the cockpit from the rest of the plane, saying that the co-pilot appears to have purposefully locked his colleague out in the minutes leading up to the fatal crash.CEO Carsten Spohr said that the Airbus A320 in question has a code on the outside of the door that will open it "electrically and automatically" but it can be stopped by whoever remains in the cockpit."This can be impeded by those in the cockpit by pressing a lever that says lock and the door will be closed for five minutes," Spohr said.The cockpit voice recorder was found in the wreckage and investigators have reportedly been able to hear the captain exiting the cockpit, leaving 28-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz at the controls.Tapping can be heard on the audio recording, progressing into louder banging, which is believed to be the captain trying to get back into the cockpit, Spohr said, noting that the company's planes had the doors to the cockpit reinforced so that access is not possible using force or weapons."Since the eleventh of September, the access to a cockpit has changed," Spohr said, referring to the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.Pilots and crew members know the code to get into the cockpit "by heart," Spohr said, suggesting that the co-pilot purposefully prevented the captain to get back inside.

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Leah Still’s Cancer in Remission, NFL Player Dad Says

Leah Still’s Cancer in Remission, NFL Player Dad Says

Oleg Nikishin/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- The cancer-stricken 4-year-old daughter of Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still is in remission, the football player announced on Wednesday.Doctors diagnosed Leah Still with stage 4 neuroblastoma on June 2, but they told Devon Still on Wednesday that Leah was in remission, he said on his Instragram account, adding that it was the best day of his life."After 296 days of day dreaming about what it would feel like to hear the doctors say my daughter is in remission, I finally know the feeling," he wrote. "Funny thing is there is really no way of describing it because I never knew this feeling existed. When I look at my daughter all I can do is smile and hug her."

 

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on Mar 25, 2015 at 1:29pm PDT

 

Still, 25, a defensive tackle, had originally been cut from the Bengals roster, but once the team learned his daughter had stage 4 cancer, they re-signed him to their practice squad. He has since been placed on the active roster.

Fans have rallied around Leah, who was part of a ceremony in December in which the Bengals presented the Cincinnati Children's Hospital with a check for more than $1 million to go toward pediatric cancer research. She also walked the runway at the New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February.

Still said on Wednesday that he's proud of how hard Leah fought and "kicked cancer's butt." He thanked her doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Bengals and everyone who supported Leah and sent her letters of encouragement over the last year.

Leah isn't done with treatment yet, but Still said he knows his "little warrior" will power through."She has made an impact on me and on the world, at the age of four, that I can only wish to make in a lifetime," he wrote.

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Brittany Maynard’s Family Releases Video in Support of Right-to-Die Legislation

Brittany Maynard’s Family Releases Video in Support of Right-to-Die Legislation

Compassion & Choices/YouTube(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Nearly four months after Brittany Maynard's death, her family has released a video of her testimony for a right-to-die bill in California. She recorded it before her death, and it was presented Wednesday to the California legislature ahead of a Senate committee vote.Maynard, a 29-year-old newlywed from California, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in early 2014, but had to move to Oregon for the legal right to end her own life. Oregon is one of five states that gives patients the right to obtain a prescription to die in their sleep. California and New York are considering adopting similar laws."I am heartbroken that I had to leave behind my home, my community, and my friends in California, but I am dying and I refuse to lose my dignity," she says into the camera in the video filmed weeks before her Nov. 1 death. "I refuse to subject myself and my family to purposeless, prolonged pain and suffering at the hands of an incurable disease."She died at home surrounded by family after spending 11 months completing her bucket list. Toward the end of her life, she said in one of the videos that she could feel herself getting sicker. One day, she had two seizures and couldn't say her husband's name, she said.In her legislative testimony, she said some people suggested that she do palliative or terminal sedation instead, in which a person is placed in a drug-induced coma and deprived of nutrients and water until death comes on its own. But she feared she would linger and be minimally conscious and in pain."Achieving some control over my passing is very important to me. Knowing that I can leave this life with dignity allows me to focus on living," she said. "It has provided me enormous peace of mind."California is considering the End of Life Option Act, which would allow terminally ill adults who are mentally competent to request medication that would allow them to die in their sleep, according to the nonprofit group Compassion and Choices, which advocates for death with dignity.

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Twitter Launches Periscope Live Streaming App

Twitter Launches Periscope Live Streaming App

Twitter, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Twitter launched its Periscope live streaming app on Thursday, gunning for the estimated hundreds of thousand of users and others that upstart streaming app Meerkat has attracted during its first month in existence.Broadcasts from around the world are featured on the home screen of the Periscope app showing off everything from friends dining at a fast food restaurant to a guy lounging in bed with his dog to a live view of the Eiffel Tower.Users have the option of choosing to push a link to their Twitter followers, allowing them to tune in to the live stream.While Meerkat was the darling of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, the biggest complaint users have with the app has been that by the time they click a live streaming link in Twitter, it's already dead.Periscope differentiates itself by offering broadcasters the chance to let viewers replay their stream when it is complete, while Meerkat is more bare bones, taking an ephemeral approach to live video.Audience love is also a huge aspect of the Pericscope app, which allows viewers to tap the screen and send hearts to the broadcaster, letting them know they appreciate what they're doing.Twitter revealed earlier this month it had acquired Periscope. Around the same time, Twitter stripped away Meerkat's access to Twitter's social graph.The move means users will have to individually re-build their network of friends inside of the app as opposed to getting a populated list of people they follow on Twitter. Meerkat users can still push links from their live streams to Twitter.While Periscope might be aesthetically nicer to look at and offers more users engagement opportunities, it's unlikely to be a Meerkat killer.The company announced on Thursday that it has received an investment for an undisclosed amount led by Greylock Partners -- providing more capital for Meerkat to continue on its explosive growth path.

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Houston Road Rage Victim Recounts Her Terrifying Experience

Houston Road Rage Victim Recounts Her Terrifying Experience

Courtesy Hadford Family(HOUSTON) -- A Houston woman who was shot in the head in a road rage incident said the fact that she's alive must be torture for her attacker -- and she has a message for aggressive drivers.Kay Hafford, 22, was on her way to work in Houston Friday morning when she honked at a driver of a white Chevy Tahoe who cut her off, she said.Police said that minutes later the driver pulled up right next to Hafford's car, fired a single shot through her passenger-side window and then took off.Despite being shot in the head, Hafford managed to pull over and call the authorities -- only realizing she was hit when she was on the phone."When I heard Siri, that's when I cried." she said. "When I heard her say, 'Who do you want to call?' I said 911 and a 911 operator picked up. That's when I lost it."Hafford was transported to a hospital where she had bullet fragments removed from her skull. She's expected to make a full recovery."His mission, although it was to kill me and I'm still living, I know that is killing him," she said.Hafford said her worry now is the fact that the gunman is still on the run. But, she has forgiven him."I forgave him right away," she told ABC News. "When I looked in his eyes, I knew there was something wrong with him."She added, "All I ask is for him to have a heart and turn himself in."Hafford urged other aggressive drivers to be more cautious on the road."As much as you want to retaliate, think twice," she said, "because you may be in the situation like I am, but you might not make it."

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Germanwings Crash: What We Know About the Co-Pilot

Germanwings Crash: What We Know About the Co-Pilot

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(MARSEILLE, France) -- The co-pilot who was at the controls of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps this week had logged relatively few hours, at least by U.S. standards, prior to the fatal flight.He has been identified by French authorities as German citizen Andreas Lubitz, 28, and his actions in the final minutes of the flight are believed to have caused the crash, Brice Robin, public prosecutor of Marseille, said Thursday at a news conference.“The intention was to destroy the plane," Robin said, speaking mostly in French.An airline spokeswoman said Lubitz had 630 hours of flight experience and only 100 of those hours were on this particular model of plane, an Airbus A320. By comparison, a U.S. first officer would be required to have at least 1,500 hours of experience to get hired by an airline.Investigators have been able to listen to the audio recording from inside the cockpit and the captain can be heard leaving the cockpit and then tapping on the door to re-enter but being denied, Robin said.The banging on the door grows louder while the co-pilot can be heard breathing throughout, he added, suggesting he was not incapacitated before the Tuesday crash that left 150 people dead.Robin said the co-pilot had no reason not to allow the captain back into the cockpit and he should not have gone silent on the radio to air traffic control."When you commit suicide, you die alone,” Robin said in response to a question. “With 150 on the plane, I wouldn't call that suicide.”

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Jason Garrett Backs Greg Hardy Signing

Jason Garrett Backs Greg Hardy Signing

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett backed the signing of defensive end Greg Hardy on Wednesday at the NFL meetings.

Garrett said that the Cowboys in no way support domestic abuse, but after meeting with Hardy and speaking with him for over three hours, they feel they made the right choice.

"We brought him in and spent a couple days with him, so we felt like understanding who he is as a person was a critical piece to this, evaluating who he is a player was a critical piece to it, the structure of the contract was critical to it," he explained. "At the end of the day, if we didn't believe he could become the right kind of guy for our football team, we wouldn't have signed him."

Hardy could be suspended for violating the league's personal conduct policy after being arrested and charged with assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would not say when that ruling would happen.

"They understood that we were reviewing his case for potential discipline," Goodell said on Wednesday. "That continues. We are trying to get as many facts as we possibly can to make the most informed decision we can so that we can uphold the standards that we put forth in our personal conduct policy. And so I expect that will conclude sometime in the near future and we’ll make a decision shortly after."

Garrett believes that Hardy's issues are in the past and that he can play well for Dallas.

"It's our job to bring the best out in all these guys, as players and as people," Garrett said. "So I think everyone understands we're trying to build the right kind of football team with the talent level, with also who they are. It's our job to create the environment, and it's the player's job to respond, and it's our job to hold the player accountable."

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