Home » Archives by category » National News (Page 8)

Remains of Texas Ebola Patients Cremated, Texas Dept. of Health Confirms

Remains of Texas Ebola Patients Cremated, Texas Dept. of Health Confirms

Will Montgomery(DALLAS) -- The remains of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Dallas Ebola patient who passed away at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, were cremated on Friday.Duncan died on Wednesday, according to hospital officials. He had initially gone to the hospital's emergency room on Sept. 26, but left the same day. He was then brought back to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 28 in an ambulance and was admitted and kept in an isolation unit.The hospital released a statement on Wednesday that his body would be enclosed in two bags, which were to be disinfected and cremated. A family spokesperson said the ashes will be given to Duncan's son.Four of Duncan's relatives are being monitored for the deadly disease and are in isolation. The family is waiting until after his girlfriend Louise Troh's incubation period ends to hold a funeral service. Troh, who is referred to as Duncan's wife by his family, currently has no symptoms of Ebola.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

American Hostage’s Mother Gives Emotional Speech at Islamic Center

American Hostage’s Mother Gives Emotional Speech at Islamic Center

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images(PLAINFIELD, Ind.) -- Dressed in a white headscarf and pausing to compose herself from time to time, the mother of the latest American hostage to be threatened by ISIS spoke Friday at an Islamic Center, saying she’s “proud” of her son.“His work has cast a huge footprint,” Paula Kassig said of her son Peter, who changed his name to Abdul-Rahman when he converted to Islam in captivity. “He has also left a footprint on the hearts of those who knew him in his youth here.”Paula Kassig spoke at the Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield, Indiana, not far from where her son grew up. In her speech, she read a letter from a boyhood friend of Kassig’s, saying she hoped somehow the words would make it to his ears.“We have been told by some of the released captives that they get news inadvertently, shared by the jailers,” Paula Kassig said. “It may involve a slap to the face and a little bit of punishment when they get this news, but they say it’s well worth it."Kassig was kidnapped in Syria in October 2013, almost exactly a year before he was first revealed to be in ISIS captivity, appearing at the end of a video allegedly depicting the execution of British aid worker Alan Henning. When he was grabbed, Kassig had been working for Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA), an NGO he had founded in 2012.Prior to founding SERA, Kassig served as a U.S. Army Ranger in the Iraq War. According to military records, he was honorably discharged for medical reasons in 2007.Ed and Paula Kassig have reached out to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on social media, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Over the course of their campaign, the Kassigs have described their son as a devout Muslim and have appealed to his captors in English as well as Arabic.“Our son’s journey culminated in him embracing Islam,” Ed Kassig says in their English appeal. “Sadly, he was taken captive and not free to continue his life’s work serving the people of the region.”Speaking to the BBC Wednesday, Kassig’s former cellmate, French journalist Nicolas Henin, said Kassig had already converted to Islam when they first met in captivity.“He introduced himself orally to all the guards as Abdul-Rahman, which was a name that he decided to take right after his conversion,” said Henin.Henin said the aid worker and his cellmates would sometimes practice two additional nightly prayers, as well as regular fasts on Mondays and Thursdays.In addition to Henning, three Western hostages have been killed on camera by ISIS: American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker David Haines.In each execution video the next victim is shown, and so far, in each case ISIS has followed through on its threats, despite heart wrenching pleas from the hostages’ loved ones.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Guardrail Company Accused of Deadly Safety Cover-Up, Fraud

Guardrail Company Accused of Deadly Safety Cover-Up, Fraud

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The company that makes many of the safety guardrails found next to highways across the country will defend itself in court next week against accusations of a massive cover-up and fraud against the U.S. government that the company’s accuser says is linked to dozens of gruesome injuries and deaths.Jury selection begins Monday in Marshall, Texas in a federal suit brought against Trinity Industries of Texas by Joshua Harman, who claims the company defrauded the government when it sought for, and was granted approval to sell its ET-Plus guardrail end terminal to state departments of transportation without disclosing all of the design changes it had made.

Harman claims small but crucial alterations made the device defective, causing severe injuries or deaths to some highway drivers who hit the guardrails in accidents. The federal government has chosen to not participate in this case.The ET-Plus guardrail end terminal was the subject of an ABC News investigation in September, which found Trinity made the design modifications to the device in 2005 but didn’t tell the Federal Highway Administration about all of them at the time. In an internal email obtained by ABC News, a company official calculated one change -- shortening a particular metal part from five inches to four -- would save $2 per guardrail end terminal, or $50,000 a year.Harman says the changes cause the guardrails to “lock up,” rather than retracting and ribboning to absorb the vehicle’s impact. Instead, the guardrail can slice through the car -- and its occupants -- like a spear.Lawsuits filed against Trinity show mangled vehicles with the guardrail pierced through the passenger cabin. Drivers who survived have lost limbs when the guardrail skewered the car. There are reportedly half a million of the devices on state highways today.Harman is seeking damages on behalf of the government in order to recall or replace every modified ET-Plus currently in use -- which could cost Trinity a reported $1 billion.The company has vigorously defended itself against Harman in both court and in the press, calling him an opportunist and a liar. Trinity maintains its popular ET-Plus is safe, has passed crash tests and meets all federal standards.At issue in the federal case is the approval of the ET-Plus by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2005, which then allowed the device to be included on states' approved purchasing lists.

Upon Harman's discovery in 2012 that changes made seven years before were not disclosed, the FHWA admitted it had approved the device without knowledge of the modifications, but insists Trinity has since proven the ET-Plus meets standards. As a result, the federal body continues to approve it for use by state highway authorities.A spokesperson for the FHWA has told ABC News the agency considers this a "business dispute" between Harman and Trinity Industries.Three states have removed the ET-Plus from the Qualified Products List, or QPL, meaning at least for the time being, they will not purchase new units. Nevada removed the device from its QPL earlier this year, with Massachusetts and Missouri announcing just last month the states would also be launching investigations into whether the end terminal is safe enough to be on its highways.In a previous statement to ABC News, Trinity Industries says, "The Federal Government has confirmed -- time and time again, since October 2012 -- that the current version of the ET-Plus System remains eligible for highway funding reimbursement, and has been continually eligible since September 2005."Joshua Harman is no stranger to Trinity Industries. Harman discovered the ET-Plus changes were not disclosed to the government during the discovery process of a previous patent infringement lawsuit, in which Trinity had sued Harman, accusing him of ripping off the ET-Plus design in order to manufacture and sell a competing product. That case has since settled.The current federal case was originally brought by Harman as a qui tam, or whistleblower lawsuit, on behalf of the U.S. government.

Harman, who spoke to ABC News about the allegations, says Trinity knew the modifications may not pass muster and deliberately and fraudulently withheld knowledge of them from the FHWA. In his federal complaint, he says the company was driven by a desire to cut the manufacturing cost of the end terminal, as well as an opportunity to sell a new ET-Plus each time it was damaged.Trinity denies any of its changes were made to boost profits or would render the ET-Plus not reusable in order to sell more units. The company maintains that since the 5-inch to 4-inch change didn't affect the performance of the ET-Plus, it "did not feel an independent announcement was necessary." As for turning over the required design documentation to the FWHA, Trinity admits it was "inadvertently omitted."Next week will not be the first time the two sides have squared off in the small courthouse in East Texas. The case previously went to trial this summer and ended in a mistrial amid allegations that a top Trinity executive intimidated a potential witness in the case. Trinity has strongly denied those claims.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Eric Frein Manhunt Prompts Town to Cancel Halloween Festivities

Eric Frein Manhunt Prompts Town to Cancel Halloween Festivities

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- A Pennsylvania town has banned trick-or-treating this year while hundreds of cops search nearby woods for accused cop killer Eric Frein.

The Barrett Township said its annual Halloween parade and 5K Scarecrow Race are canceled indefinitely, and trick-or-treating is banned this year, as the dragnet for Frein is now in its fourth week. The suspect is believed to be hiding out in thick woods near the town."This parade is probably one of the biggest events that the town has every year," Ralph Megliola, chairman of the township's Board of Supervisors, told ABC News Friday. "Everyone looks forward to the parade. Myself and my family personally have been away and cut our vacation short to get home in time for the parade. Thousands of people line the streets."Megliola said that this year would have been the town's 50th anniversary parade. It was scheduled for Oct. 26.The dragnet for Frein has residents of the normally sleepy town in the Pocono Mountains on edge."I'm the father of a 9-year-old," Megliola said. "We do things a little differently now. I'm not so comfortable with him going outside and playing anymore."The manhunt and increased police presence is also hurting tourism and businesses in the Poconos. Frequent road blocks, hunting restrictions and school closures right after the shootings add to the inconvenience."Now we have that question in the back of our mind -- is he here? Where is he?" Megliola added. "Any time you drive through town, it's not uncommon to see 20 to 40 police cars or a helicopter or two or three flying above."Many people worried that Frein could escape during the Halloween activities with the help of disguises or costumes, ABC News affiliate WNEP reported.If he's found before Halloween, Megliola said the town will reconsider its Halloween activities. For now, a "trunk-or-treat" will be held in the parking lot of a Catholic school in a nearby township.Police have been searching the woods, focusing on the border of Pike and Monroe counties, since after the shooting at the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12. Frein allegedly killed one officer and injured another.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Child Injured After Falling into Jaguar Pit at Arkansas Zoo

Child Injured After Falling into Jaguar Pit at Arkansas Zoo

Thinkstock(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- A dramatic rescue took place at the Little Rock Zoo Friday morning after a child fell into the jaguar exhibit, zoo officials said.Staffers at the zoo in Arkansas managed to hold off the big cats with fire extinguishers as another employee lowered a ladder into the exhibit and retrieved the child, who officials said was conscious and responding.The child was then handed to the father, according to a statement from the City of Little Rock and zoo officials. Both were taken to the zoo's back entrance, where the child was transferred via ambulance to a nearby hospital.It was not immediately clear what injuries the child sustained from the incident.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital only said in a statement that the child was in critical condition."We respect the wishes of the child’s guardian who asked that the child’s name and any additional information not be shared at this time," the hospital added.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New York Court Hears Case of ‘Personhood’ for Tommy the Chimp

New York Court Hears Case of ‘Personhood’ for Tommy the Chimp

iStock/Thinkstock(ALBANY, N.Y.) -- In what could be a landmark case in the way chimpanzees are treated under the law, a New York court is deliberating whether chimps are entitled to “legal personhood” under the law.A panel of judges in Albany heard opening arguments Wednesday in the case of Tommy, a 26-year-old chimpanzee who is owned by a man and lives in upstate New York.In the groundbreaking case, the Florida-based Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) is asking a court to free Tommy from what they describe as a "small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed" in Gloversville, New York.The group hopes to have Tommy become the first animal in this country declared a person, protected by the same rights as humans.At issue is Tommy's living condition, which NhRP describes as a small cage in a small room. Though Tommy used to live with five other chimps, NhRp says he now lives alone.The group’s founder, Steven Wise, described Tommy Wednesday as a “being” who ought to be freed.“Someone who is an autonomous and self-determining being out to be a legal person who has a right to get out of being held for his entire life inside solitary confinement in a cage,” Wise told reporters outside the courtroom.Tommy’s owner, Pat Lavery, claims he rescued the chimp from an abusive home more than 10 years ago and says Tommy has access to a color TV and receives “enrichment daily.”“He’s got a professionally-built primate area,” Lavery told local ABC News affiliate WTEN-TV. "He's not in a trailer."“He’s a wild, dangerous animal and how can you treat a wild, dangerous animal like a human?” Lavery said.A ruling in the case is expected in four to six weeks, according to WTEN.Wise said he will ask the judge to transfer Tommy to the North American Private Sanctuary Alliance in Wauchula, Florida. Founded in 1993, the 120-acre facility houses 45 great apes, many of them former research animals, according to its website.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Missing Hiker Turned to Mushrooms, Tree Bark to Survive

Missing Hiker Turned to Mushrooms, Tree Bark to Survive

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- A missing hiker was found alive in Washington state after three days in the wilderness, relying on ingenuity to survive.Paula Reuter, 21, along with her dogs, Gracie and Addie, had been missing since Monday, when Reuter lost her way while hiking in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle."She was trapped in a place where there was no way to get out," her mother Isabelle Reuter said.

Paula Reuter faced difficult circumstances, little food and no shelter, wearing a skirt as temperatures plunged into the 40s overnight.Detective Jason Stanley said Reuter relied on clever survival skills."She ate some mushrooms, maybe even ate some tree bark," Stanley said. "She built fires and she was pretty resourceful."Rescuers turned to social media, using an Instagram photo Reuter posted before going missing as a guide. Search crews located her car, and they didn't give up hope.After days of searches, Reuter and her dogs were spotted Thursday by a sheriff's helicopter and airlifted to safety, one by one.Reuter is scratched and bruised, but otherwise fine. Her dogs are OK, too.Friends and relatives were thankful after Reuter's rescue. "We're just happy to have her back," her mother said. "She's our life."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Solving the Mysterious Death of 58-Foot Whale that Washed Ashore in New York

Solving the Mysterious Death of 58-Foot Whale that Washed Ashore in New York

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Suffolk County park officials have teamed up with the Riverhead Foundation to remove a nearly 60-foot dead whale carcass that washed up at a park in Long Island, New York.The whale washed ashore Thursday morning at Smith Point County Park in Shirley. It is about 58-feet long and is said to be a male finback whale, according to WABC-TV in New York City.The animal had been dead for some time, the station reported. A cause of death has not yet been determined and officials are working with the foundation to quickly remove the body.Neither the Riverhead Foundation nor Suffolk County park officials immediately responded to ABC News' requests for comment.

More ABC news videos | ABC Entertainment News

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Adrian Peterson Facing Jail After Pot Remark

Adrian Peterson Facing Jail After Pot Remark

David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson could soon be arrested for violating his bond as he awaits trial on child abuse.ESPN reports that during a hearing in Houston Wednesday in which the NFL star did not enter a plea, Peterson allegedly told a court staffer that he had smoked marijuana before a drug test.Now, Texas officials have filed a document to put Peterson in jail for this alleged transgression.Peterson already faces charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after allegedly hitting his son with a switch, leaving welts and bruises. If convicted, he could face between six months and two years in prison.After briefly reinstating Peterson last month, the Vikings benched their star pending the outcome of his trial scheduled for Dec. 1. Peterson was also placed on the commissioner's exempt list, meaning he is still collecting $11.75 million in salary this season.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ebola Remark Causes Officials to Meet Plane After Leaving Philadelphia

Ebola Remark Causes Officials to Meet Plane After Leaving Philadelphia

Juha Remes/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- An Ebola scare on a US Airways flight leaving Philadelphia prompted officials to meet the plane when it arrived in the Dominican Republic after a passenger reportedly said they had Ebola.US Airways flight 845 to Punta Cana was inspected upon arriving Wednesday, "due to a possible health issue on board," the airline said in a statement.An airline spokesperson told ABC News the report they have is that another passenger heard the comment and alerted a flight attendant. The flight attendant then alerted the captain. The comment was made while the flight was on approach to its final destination.Dominican Republic officials cleared the plane after checking it in adherence with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the airline."We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused but the safety of our customers and employees is our first priority," read the airline's statement.

More ABC news videos | ABC Entertainment News

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Must Be Providence: The Best US Cities

Must Be Providence: The Best US Cities

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Travel + Leisure is out again with it annual list of the nation's top cities in a variety of categories.Providence, Rhode Island, topped the list as the overall best city. Interestingly, it also finished first in the category of "Geeky."

The magazine based its findings on 50,000 votes, ranking 38 cities.Here are several of the winners:Top Cities Overall

Providence Houston Kansas City Minneapolis/St. Paul Los Angeles

Affordability

Kansas City Oklahoma City Cleveland Pittsburgh Houston

Historical Sites

Washington, D.C. Philadelphia Charleston Boston New Orleans

Cleanliness

Minneapolis/St. Paul Salt Lake City Kansas City Charleston Tampa

Attractive People

Miami San Diego Charleston Los Angeles Providence

Rude People

New York City Tampa Miami Los Angeles Boston

Bars

New Orleans Nashville Austin Houston Providence

Christmas Lights

Kansas City New York City Salt Lake City Albuquerque Cleveland

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Former NFL Exec Knew of ‘Hundreds’ of Domestic Violence Incidents

Former NFL Exec Knew of ‘Hundreds’ of Domestic Violence Incidents

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Domestic violence happens regularly in the NFL, according to a former football executive, who tells USA TODAY that he regrets not doing anything about it during his time in the league.Jerry Angelo, who started as a scout in 1980 with the Dallas Cowboys and served as general manager for Chicago Bears from 2001 to 2011, claims he did not discipline players despite being aware of "hundreds and hundreds" domestic violence incidents.Angelo says that part of his reasoning is that he didn't want to put his team at a competitive disadvantage by benching a player, adding, "I didn't stand alone."The issue of domestic violence in the NFL has come and front center since Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended by the league and released by the team for punching his then-fiancee in the face while riding an elevator in Atlantic City last winter.The incident was caught on video, which Angelo says, changed his perspective of domestic violence.

"I made a mistake,'' he told USA TODAY Sports. "I was human. I was part of it. I'm not proud of it.''Between the Bears and Cowboys, Angelo also worked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

WV Attorney General Won’t Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban

WV Attorney General Won’t Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban

zimmytws/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, W.Va.) -- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a statement on Thursday saying that his office will honor the Supreme Court decision that struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.Earlier this week, the Supreme Court decided not to take up the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which deemed the Virginia law unconstitutional. "By refusing to consider the appeal, the Supreme Court has caused the Appeals Court's decision to become final and binding on West Virginia," Morrisey said."While we disagree with the Supreme Court's decision to allow the Fourth Circuit's opinion to stand and believe it improperly displaces state and local decision-making, we will respect it," the West Virginia Attorney General said.Before same-sex marriage licenses can be given to couples in the state, the State Registrar must alter marriage forms and the Secretary of State's office must authorize marriage celebrants to solemnize marriages, according to Morrisey. "While we will take steps to seek to end the litigation," he said, "the conclusion of the lawsuit cannot and will not along effectuate the Fourth Circuit's mandate."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dallas Deputy Does Not Have Ebola, Tests Confirm

Dallas Deputy Does Not Have Ebola, Tests Confirm

Will Montgomery(DALLAS) -- The deputy sheriff in Dallas who visited Thomas Eric Duncan's apartment does not have Ebola, tests confirmed Thursday.Deputy Sheriff Michael West Monnig sought medical attention Wednesday because he did not feel well more than a week after going into the apartment where Duncan had been staying with relatives when he was showing symptoms. Monnig was part of a team that delivered an order quarantining the other residents of the apartment.It was determined on Thursday that he was not suffering from the symptoms commonly associated with Ebola."We have completed testing of the specimen submitted today by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. The result is negative for #Ebola," the Texas Department of State Health Services announced via Twitter.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Alleged NFL Laser-Pointer Fan Charged, Banned from Lions Games

Alleged NFL Laser-Pointer Fan Charged, Banned from Lions Games

Joe Sargent/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- The man who allegedly shined a laser pointer at Buffalo Bills players as the team took on the Detroit Lions last weekend has been identified, charged and banned from Ford Field, according to a statement from the team.The alleged laser-pointing fan faces a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge from the Detroit City Prosecutor's Office. The fan's name was not given in the statement. ESPN reported police were able to track him down after he allegedly bragged about the incident on social media.The Lions also announced that the season ticket holder who gave the individual their tickets for the game will have his seats revoked for the rest of the 2014 season.“Our guest behavior expectations for all Ford Field events are very high," Lions team President Tom Lewand said in a statement. "Additionally, this occurrence was unique in that it could have affected the integrity of the game and more importantly could have jeopardized player safety."All the major sports leagues ban laser pointers from their games. Dozens of incidents have been reported across the U.S. of the devices being pointed at airplanes and helicopters, possibly blinding pilots.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lawyer: Evidence Won’t Support Terror Charges for Alleged ISIS Wannabe

Lawyer: Evidence Won’t Support Terror Charges for Alleged ISIS Wannabe

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A lawyer for a 19-year-old American accused of trying to fly halfway around the world to join ISIS said Thursday he doesn’t think the government has the evidence to justify the charges against his client."I don't believe that the evidence is going to show that it was his desire to provide material support to ISIS," attorney Tom Durkin said after a preliminary hearing in Chicago Thursday.Durkin’s client, Mohammed Hamzah Khan from Chicago’s Bolingbrook suburb, was arrested Saturday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport by the FBI’s Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force. Investigators allege Khan was attempting to leave the country in order to eventually sneak into Syria and join up with ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.“…[W]hile Khan was at the airport, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at [Khan’s home],” a complaint by an FBI special agent says. “During the search, agents recovered multiple handwritten documents that appeared to be drafted by Khan and/or other persons, and which expressed support for ISIL [ISIS].”The documents purportedly included plans for travel to Syria and a letter left for Khan’s parents in which Khan allegedly wrote that there is an obligation to “migrate” to the “Islamic State” now that is has “been established.” Earlier this year, ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, announced his group had set up an Islamic State and declared himself “caliph,” leader of all Muslims.Khan is charged with “knowingly attempting to provide material support and resources, namely personnel, to a foreign terrorist organization…”Khan has not entered a plea in his case. Durkin said Thursday he is a very intelligent young man and a very fervent believer in Islam.Top U.S. security officials have estimated that around 100 Americans have traveled at some point to the Middle East to take part in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, including around a dozen who are currently fighting with terrorist groups there.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

American Hostage’s Mom Tweets Plea Directly to ISIS

American Hostage’s Mom Tweets Plea Directly to ISIS

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a desperate move, the mother of the latest American hostage threatened by the terror group ISIS has taken to social media to try and contact ISIS’ shadowy leader, and says she and her husband are getting “no help” from the U.S. government.“I am trying to get in touch with the Islamic State about my son’s fate,” read an image tweeted by Paula Kassig late Wednesday through a new account, tagging apparently pro-ISIS Twitter accounts. The tweets said the message was a "letter from Abdul Rahman Kassig's mother to IS [ISIS] Caliph [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi.""I am an old woman, and Abdul Rahman is my only child. My husband and I are on our own, with no help from the government. We would like to talk to you. How can we reach you?" Paula Kassig said.The Twitter account, first used Wednesday, features two pictures of Abdul Rahman Kassig, the name 26-year-old Army veteran Peter Kassig took on after converting to Islam while in captivity.Kassig was first seen in an ISIS video last week in which another captive, British aid working Alan Henning, was apparently beheaded by a black clad ISIS militant. Henning was the fourth Western hostage to be killed in such a brutal, public manner, after American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker David Haines.In each execution video the next victim is shown, and so far, in each case ISIS has followed through on its threats, despite heart wrenching pleas from the hostages’ loved ones.

Paula Kassig is also not the first relative of a hostage to criticize the U.S. government over its handling of the ISIS hostage crisis. Last month, after the murder of her son, Diane Foley told ABC News her family was repeatedly threatened by U.S. officials over the idea of raising money to pay James’ astronomical ransom.“I was surprised there was so little compassion,” Foley told ABC News in September of the three separate warnings she said U.S. officials gave the family about the illegality of paying ransom to ISIS. “It just made me realize that these people talking to us had no idea what it was like to be the family of someone abducted…I’m sure [the U.S. official] didn’t mean it the way he said it, but we were between a rock and a hard place. We were told we could do nothing… meanwhile our son was being beaten and tortured every day.”U.S. government policy is not to negotiate with terrorists for U.S. citizens, but the government does have a large, inter-departmental team assembled to handle hostage cases in Syria, including officials who are tasked with keeping the hostages' families informed of efforts. The process can be ham-handed at times, as was the case with the Foleys, according to a former U.S. official familiar with that situation.The U.S. State Department and the FBI, both of which deal with American hostage situations abroad, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Paula Kassig’s allegation.Kassig is a former Army Ranger who served in the mid-2000s, according to military records, before being medically discharged in 2007. Kassig later became an emergency medical technician and volunteered as a medical assistant in border hospitals in Lebanon in 2012, treating Palestinian refugees and those fleeing from the Syrian conflict. Later, Kassig formed an NGO and began delivering food and medical supplies to the growing [refugee] camps on both sides of the Turkish-Syrian border. He was abducted in Syria in October 2013.Prior to the Twitter blasts, Kassig’s parents released a video message to their son.“Know that we love you, and our hearts ache for you to be granted your freedom so we can hug you again and then set you free to continue the life you have chosen, the life of service to those in greatest need,” Paula Kassig said to the camera. “We implore those who are holding you to show mercy and use their power to let you go.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Airline Cabin Cleaners Strike over Ebola Exposure Fears

Airline Cabin Cleaners Strike over Ebola Exposure Fears

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hundreds of airline cabin cleaners have walked off the job, striking over health and safety issues that include fears over possible exposure to Ebola.The strike involves Air Serv cabin cleaners in Terminal D at New York’s LaGuardia airport, a contractor that serves Delta, as well as supporting workers from LaGuardia and JFK International airports.

Striking workers carried signs and chanted during Thursday’s rally, protesting against conditions that often find them encountering hypodermic needles, vomit and blood.The strike comes as additional screening is scheduled to begin at JFK and four other main U.S. airports, a means of trying to catch any travelers from Ebola-ravaged countries who may be carrying the disease.The ebola virus has killed more than 3,000 people in West Africa and the death toll is still rising. On Wednesday, Thomas Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., died from the disease.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

WATCH: Motorist Rescued from Van in Arizona Flooding

WATCH: Motorist Rescued from Van in Arizona Flooding

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- The dramatic moment when Arizona firefighters navigated through a flooded roadway Thursday morning to rescue a stranded motorist was captured on video.Apache Junction, Arizona, located just east of Phoenix, was slammed with up to 2 inches of rain Thursday morning, causing several roadways to flood, according to an alert from the National Weather Service.A video taken by ABC News' Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV shows a white van was stalled in the roadway, as rushing water as high as the wheel well flows past.Firefighters then carefully pull up parallel to the vehicle and help the motorist climb to safety into the fire truck, leaving behind his van.An alert cautions that flooding could affect the warning area "into the late morning hours before receding."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Husband’s Defense in Vermont Teacher Murder: My Wife Did It

Husband’s Defense in Vermont Teacher Murder: My Wife Did It

iStock/Thinkstock(BURLINGTON, Vt.) -- A husband accused of kidnapping and killing a schoolteacher in Vermont says his wife committed the crime -- and that he initially confessed to protect her.Allen Prue, 32, and his wife Patricia Prue, 35, face kidnapping and first-degree murder charges in the 2012 death of Melissa Jenkins, 33. The husband and wife are being tried separately, with testimony continuing Thursday in Allen Prue’s trial. Patricia Prue’s trial is expected to begin next month.In opening statements in Vermont Superior Court Wednesday, prosecutors said the couple lured Jenkins from her home with a phone call, claiming their car had broken down. Allen Prue had previously performed snowplow work for Jenkins.The prosecution claims that Allen Prue told police that the couple's plan that night was to “get a girl,” somebody “they could play with,” according to Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren's opening statement.But defense lawyer Robert Katims claimed that Allen Prue was unaware of his wife's intention to kill Jankins.“In her crazy, twisted mind she had become obsessively jealous of Melissa Jenkins. The evidence will show that Patricia Prue strangled Melissa Jenkins without telling him she was going to do it, without planning it with him and without Allen Prue aware in any way shape or form,” Katims said.Jenkins agreed to help her neighbors, and that act of kindness cost Jenkins her life, the prosecutor said.“She got out of her vehicle, and as she did, she was strangled and beaten to death,” Warren said.Police found Jenkins’ car abandoned, with her 2-year-old son in the back seat.“Someone pulled on mommy’s neck,” the boy later told officers.While Allen Prue confessed to the crime in 2012, he’s pleading not guilty, with his defense stating that he only confessed to protect his wife. Allen Prue didn’t realize his wife’s intentions and was easily manipulated due to his low IQ, Katims said.Authorities say Patricia Prue, who has also pleaded not guilty, was the one who called Jenkins, convincing the science teacher to come to the couple’s aid.Legal analyst Mark Eiglarsh said the relationship between husband and wife will be a major focus of the trial.“Theoretically, he could argue that his wife did it all, get acquitted, and testify in her trial that he did it all,” Eiglarsh said.Patricia Prue’s legal team is expected to focus on her history of mental illness. If convicted, Allen and Patricia Prue could spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Advertise With Us

Would you like to advertise on East Idaho News? Fill out this form to contact a representative.
  • Full and Last
  • The name of your company, business or brand.