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What Happened the Day Hollywood Exec Gavin Smith Went Missing

What Happened the Day Hollywood Exec Gavin Smith Went Missing

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — Hollywood executive Gavin Smith, whose remains were just found two years after his disappearance, was leaving a friend's house in southern California on the night he vanished, never to be seen again by his wife and children.The mystery started in May 2012, when Smith went to stay with a family friend, but never returned home. The family declined to tell ABC News at the time why Smith wasn't sleeping at home that night, but said he had a cellphone charger, shaving kit and other belongings at the friend's place.Before his disappearance, one of Smith's sons reportedly tweeted that his dad had left the family. The tweet was later deleted, ABC News reported at the time.Smith was last seen wearing his son's purple workout pants, a sign he had no intention of going anywhere in public, the family has said.He drove away from the friend's home without any warning around 10 p.m. on May 1, a Tuesday, in his black Mercedes.Other Notable Dates:May 2, 2012: Smith's wife reported him missing on Wednesday morning after he failed to pick the couple's son up from school.May 7, 2012: Smith was reportedly seen at a taco restaurant with another woman, according to local media.July 2012: Family offers $20,000 reward for information leading to Smith's whereabouts.February 2013: Police find Smith's car, a black 2000 Mercedes-Benz 420E, in a storage facility in Simi Valley, prompting authorities to reclassify the case as a homicide investigation. The storage facility is connected to a convicted drug dealer named John Creech. Creech was named a person of interest but has not been charged in Smith's death.May 2014: Smith is officially declared dead, KABC-TV reported.November 2014: Hikers find remains in a rural area of Palmdale, northern Los Angeles County, that are later identified as Gavin Smith's.

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Remains of Missing Hollywood Executive Gavin Smith Found

Remains of Missing Hollywood Executive Gavin Smith Found

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — The remains of Gavin Smith -- a 20th Century Fox executive missing since 2012 -- were found and identified in California, authorities told ABC News.The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, which is handling the investigation, plans to release additional information on the case this morning.Smith, 57, a married father of three, disappeared in early May 2012 after leaving a friend's home in Ventura County's Oak Park neighborhood. The night he went missing, authorities say Smith drove off, without a word, and never came back.The disappearance was originally considered a missing person’s case, but reclassified as a homicide in February 2013, after Smith’s car -- a black 2000 Mercedes-Benz 420E -- was found at a storage facility.No one has been charged with Smith’s death.Smith played basketball at UCLA in the mid-1970s under legendary coach John Wooden. He later spent 18 years in the movie industry, helping to distribute movies such as Avatar and the Star Wars trilogy.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

TSA Has Found Record Number of Firearms in Passengers’ Carry-On Luggage in 2014

TSA Has Found Record Number of Firearms in Passengers’ Carry-On Luggage in 2014

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Wednesday that the Transportation Security Administration found more firearms in luggage at U.S. airports through the first 10 months of 2014 than in any full year since 2005.In a statement, Johnson notes that 1.8 million people are screened by TSA officers each day. Through October, 1,855 firearms were found in carry-on luggage of individuals about to board an aircraft. A shocking 1,471 of those firearms were loaded.Even just within the last week, Johnson's statement says that the TSA found 41 firearms, 16 stun guns, four replica grenades, a cane sword and a box cutter in luggage. The previous record for firearms found in luggage in a single year was 1,813 in 2013. The total number of firearms found by TSA has increased every year since 2008.

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Missouri Attorney General Appeals State Court Ruling that Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional

Missouri Attorney General Appeals State Court Ruling that Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional

moodboard/Thinkstock(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster appealed a state judge's ruling on Wednesday that the Missouri ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.Koster released a statement saying that he had appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court. "The constitutional challenge to Missouri's historically recognized right to define marriage must be presented to and resolved by the state's highest court," he said.Koster did note that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant stays in cases in Idaho and Alaska involving "identical facts." As such, Koster said that he would not seek a stay of the state court's order.

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Supreme Court Hears Fishy Tale

Supreme Court Hears Fishy Tale

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Sometimes, the Supreme Court hears cases of monumental constitutional import. Other times, it hears fish tales.On Wednesday, it was a case about a Florida fisherman who, in 2007, got caught at sea with some red grouper that measured smaller than commercial fishing regulations allow. A deputized federal agent allegedly told the fisherman to return to shore with some of the undersized fish to face authorities with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

But, according to the government, Capt. John Yates, the skipper of the Miss Katie, had other ideas. He allegedly instructed his crew to throw the red grouper in question overboard and replace them with bigger fish.Once ashore, federal officials weren’t fooled.But what happened next triggered the Supreme Court case. Yates was prosecuted under a 2002 law that was passed in the wake of the Enron crisis and the shredding of thousands of financial documents. The law was meant to stop the destruction of a “record, document or tangible object” with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. But the issue before the court is whether the law was meant to cover an act of throwing fish overboard.Justice Antonin Scalia had a hard time getting over the fact that prosecutors used the statute in the first place. The statute has a 20-year maximum, although Yates received much less time.“Is there any other provision of federal law that has a lesser penalty than 20 years that could have applied to this captain throwing fish overboard?” Scalia fumed. “What kind of sensible prosecution is that?”Roman Martinez, a lawyer for the government, said that the law encompasses all types of physical evidence.“Mr. Yates was given an explicit instruction by a law enforcement officer to preserve evidence of his violation of federal law,” Martinez said. “He enlisted other people, including his crew members, in executing that scheme and lying to the law enforcement officers about it.”But Chief Justice John Roberts interjected, “You make him sound like a mob boss or something.”Joking aside, however, the justices were puzzled over what to do.A lower court affirmed Yates’ convictions and concluded that the term “tangible object” in the law “unambiguously applies to fish.”Justice Elena Kagan wondered if Congress, in passing the law, did mean to look more broadly than corporate fraud. “Congress gives very strict penalties to lots of minor things,” she said.But Roberts was concerned about the leverage a broad interpretation might give the government. “Every time you get somebody who is throwing fish overboard you can go to him and say, ‘Look, if we prosecute you, you’re facing 20 years, so why don’t you plead to a year?'” he said.Lawyers for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a brief in the case in support of Yates. They voiced fear that if the law is read so broadly to punish small-scale fisherman, it could place “significant burdens on the business community.” They argued that the law was passed in response to massive document destruction and that the government’s position “threatens every corner of the American economy.”Justice Samuel Alito seemed sympathetic to that view. “You are really asking the court to swallow something that is pretty hard to swallow,” he told Martinez.“Do you deny,” Alito asked, “that this statute , as you read it, is capable of being applied to really trivial matters?”John L. Badalamenti, an assistant federal defender representing Yates, said the law should be interpreted to cover data storage or record keeping devices, not the red grouper allegedly thrown off the Miss Katie.

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Former Ravens Cheerleader Charged with Rape of 15-Year-Old

Former Ravens Cheerleader Charged with Rape of 15-Year-Old

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- A former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader and mother of three has been arrested and accused of having a sexual relationship in Delaware with a 15-year-old boy who attended the same school as her children.Molly Shattuck, 47, who was the oldest professional cheerleader in the NFL before retiring to raise her children, now faces two counts of third-degree rape, four counts of unlawful sexual contact and three counts of providing alcohol to minors.Shattuck reportedly began flirting with the 15-year-old via Instagram in May, four months before her millionaire husband, Mayo Shattuck, 60, filed for divorce, according to The Baltimore Sun, which cited a Baltimore County court affidavit.Baltimore County Court officials told ABC News the search warrant and affidavit for the case have been sealed in keeping with state law.The boy has not been identified because of his age and the nature of the charges.Both the boy involved in the case and Shattuck's 15-year-old son attend McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland, and the headmaster of the school sent a letter home to parents Wednesday about the case.

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Near-Disastrous Preemie Birth Uplifts Battered Community

Near-Disastrous Preemie Birth Uplifts Battered Community

Courtesy Jordan Family(IRVINE, Calif.) -- Sarina Jordan may have created havoc when she went into near-catastrophic premature labor at home this week, but the timing couldn’t have been better for a California community in desperate need of a boost.“We needed this in Orange County,” Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi told ABC News Wednesday. “We’ve had so many tragedies. We’ve had six people killed on Halloween night. Then we’ve had the rest of the weekend some other tragic calls and we needed a good uplifting story just that makes everybody feel good.”The situation unfolded Monday morning when Orange County Fire Authority dispatcher Mishele Richards received a 911 call from Jon Jordan of Irvine at 11:36.His 34-year-old wife, Sarina, was in labor and was not due for another two weeks, Concialdi said.“I was not scared,” the mom told ABC News Wednesday. “Deep down I knew everything was going to be OK; my husband would take care of everything.”The husband successfully delivered the baby girl -- their second -- at home with the help of the 911 dispatcher.“The dad did a phenomenal job staying calm and helping his wife safely deliver a healthy baby girl,” Concialdi said.On the 911 recording, Richards can be heard explaining to Jon Jordan how to untie the umbilical cord that had wrapped itself around the baby’s neck.“Mishele Richards did a phenomenal job keeping the dad calm and walking him through every step,” Concialdi said. “Because the baby was blue, the father had to remove the cord form around the baby’s neck.”Within minutes, a healthy 7-pound, 5-ounce baby girl was born. The couple named their daughter Amalyn, who came in at 19.25 inches long.Sarina Jordan and her newborn were transported to the Women’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, where they were being discharged on Wednesday.

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Woman in Philadelphia Abduction Found Alive, Kidnapper Arrested, Police Say

Woman in Philadelphia Abduction Found Alive, Kidnapper Arrested, Police Say

Philadelphia Police Department(PHILADELPHIA) -- The woman who was kidnapped on Sunday off a desolate Philadelphia street -- a harrowing crime that was caught on surveillance camera -- was found alive Wednesday in Maryland, while her abductor was arrested, authorities said.Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, 22, was found by FBI agents inside a parked car in Jessup, Maryland.Her alleged abductor, Delvin Barnes, 37, was arrested at the scene, according to the FBI.Ed Hanko, the special agent in charge of the Philadelphia FBI field office, said that because of tips called in from the public, investigators were "able to identify this individual, identify his car and track it into Maryland."FBI agents were joined by U.S. Marshals and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents who located the car and approached when Barnes stepped out of the vehicle.

Law enforcement officials told ABC News that authorities tracked Barnes' car because he had GPS installed in it. Freeland-Gaither was found inside the car and is now being treated at a local hospital, police said.Hanko said that she is "in good shape," but police still have not had a chance to interview her.Freeland-Gaither's mother, whose name was not released, attended Wednesday night's news conference and said that she has been able to speak to her daughter by phone from the hospital, but will be reunited on Wednesday night."She was very upset. She was crying," she said of her daughter."Thank you for keeping me up. Thank you for being there for us. I'm taking my baby home," she added.Barnes is being held as a result of an outstanding attempted capital murder warrant that was issued for him in Virginia, though he is expected to face federal charges once the ongoing investigation into Freeland-Gaither's case is complete.Investigators said that they have no reason to believe Barnes knew his victim before the abduction."He's a thug and this is what he does apparently," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told reporters. "People like this, there's nothing that makes sense."In the surveillance video released Monday, Freeland-Gaither can be seen fighting to get away from her attacker during Sunday's abduction.Freeland-Gaither was pulled down the street in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia toward the man’s car, which police believed to be a 2000 or 2002 gray Ford Taurus. At one point, she even fell to the ground to try and get away before she was pushed into the car.

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What Eric Frein Kept in His Airport Hangar Hideout

What Eric Frein Kept in His Airport Hangar Hideout

Kena Betancur/Getty Images(MILFORD, Pa.) — Accused cop killer Eric Frein had contact lenses, first aid supplies, toilet paper, a book of the New Testament, a religious plaque and even DVDs stashed in the abandoned airport hangar near where he was captured, authorities revealed Wednesday.The long list of supplies reveals just how prepared Frein, accused of shooting two state troopers in September, was to survive a manhunt.Police also found cooking supplies including pots, a propane stove, silverware and even seasoning, soy sauce and salt and pepper.Frein, who evaded capture for nearly seven weeks in the woods of Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, had stored maps, a radio, multiple pieces of camouflage clothing, a raincoat, binoculars, a shaving kit, dental supplies and more in the old Birchwood-Pocono Airpark hangar, according to the search warrant.The hangar, abandoned for 16 years, served as Frein's final hideout before he was captured near there last Thursday, ending a massive manhunt that sent fear throughout rural Pennsylvania, closed schools and hurt local businesses.Police recovered Frein's notebooks, a 14-page note and typed pages with random prayers, along with various ammunition, in the search. Police previously found weapons, ammunition, food and other supplies scattered throughout the woods in weeks leading up to the capture.Frein, 31, appeared in court on Friday and was charged with first-degree murder, homicide of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder and possession of weapons of mass destruction.He is accused of opening fire on the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12, killing one trooper and injuring another, before he fled to the woods.

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Ray Rice Squaring Off Against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

Ray Rice Squaring Off Against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other league executives will face off against Ray Rice in a New York City law office Wednesday at the start of the running back’s arbitration hearing.Rice, 27, is appealing his indefinite suspension from the league, arguing that he was forthcoming with NFL executives after he was arrested for a February domestic violence incident inside an Atlantic City, N.J. hotel elevator -- and that the indefinite suspension represented double jeopardy.After meeting with Goodell in June, Rice was suspended for two games. But when new video from the attack emerged online months later, Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the league, with the NFL considering the second video clip to be new evidence.The NFL Players Association appealed Rice’s suspension, arguing that he should not be punished twice for the same offense.According to ESPN, Goodell has been ordered to testify about his knowledge of the video of the brutal attack and when he knew about it. The hearing should continue Thursday.Rice’s court appearance comes one day after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson agreed to a plea deal after being accused of child abuse charges for allegedly beating his 4-year-old son with a switch. The former NFL MVP agreed to a reduced sentence of misdemeanor reckless assault, receiving a deferred judgment of guilt for two years.As part of the deal, he will have to complete 80 hours of community service and pay a $4,000 fine.Following Tuesday’s proceedings, Peterson spoke publicly for the first time since being indicted in September.“I’m anxious to continue my relationship with my child,” he said.The cases against Rice and Peterson -- and the players’ suspensions -- have amplified controversy over the case of U.S. women’s soccer star Hope Solo, who’s accused of assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew in June. Solo appeared in court Tuesday, with a judge setting a Jan. 20 trial date.While her case has been pending, Solo has been allowed to play and has had the full support of U.S. Soccer.Jill Loyden, one of Solo’s former teammates, chided the federation in an Oct. 6 op-ed in USA Today.“I believe that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, but in failing to take action against players' behavior off the field, the league is not living up to its responsibilities,” Loyden wrote. “U.S. Soccer needs to send the right message. They need to communicate that domestic violence is never OK and that it will not be tolerated.”

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Kansas Could Start Allowing Same-Sex Marriages Next Week

Kansas Could Start Allowing Same-Sex Marriages Next Week

iStock/Thinkstock(TOPEKA, Kan.) — Same-sex marriage may have finally come to America's heartland.Declaring a state ban on homosexual nuptials as unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled Tuesday that gay and lesbian couples in Kansas should be free to marry.However, Crabtree issued a stay on his own injunction until next Tuesday to allow the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to appeal, which indicated it would.The ACLU had challenged the ban by suing the Kansas DHE on behalf of two lesbian couples from Kansas who were denied marriage licenses.Last month, the Supreme Court said it would not hear the appeals of five states, including Kansas, which sought to keep their bans in place.More than 30 states and the District of Columbia now allow same-sex marriage.

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US Soccer Star Hope Solo Heads to Trial on Domestic Violence Charges

US Soccer Star Hope Solo Heads to Trial on Domestic Violence Charges

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images(KIRKLAND, Washington) — U.S. women’s soccer star Hope Solo will go to trial on domestic violence charges next year.Solo, the 33-year-old, two-time Olympic gold medalist and star goalie for the U.S. women’s team, appeared in Kirkland Municipal Court in Washington on Tuesday, where a judge set a Jan. 20 trial date. A Jan. 6 hearing also was scheduled.Solo has been accused of assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew at a party on June 21 at her sister’s home in suburban Seattle.She was charged with two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault, and has pleaded not guilty.Since the charges surfaced, Solo has become a symbol of controversy as some alleged she represents a double-standard in the world of sports, particularly in light of recent, high-profile domestic violence cases in the NFL.While her case has been pending, Solo has been allowed to play and has had the full support of U.S. Soccer.In a statement, U.S. Soccer said it “takes the issue of domestic violence very seriously” but “stands by our decision to allow her to participate.”ABC News sports commentator Christine Brennan said there is “absolutely a double standard."“Hope Solo continued to play, some of these National Football League players did not, and that’s all about the fact that she’s a woman and they’re men,” Brennan said.In a rare move, Jill Loyden, one of Solo’s former teammates, broke ranks, chiding the league in an Oct. 6 op-ed in USA Today.Loyden said U.S. Soccer must be the gold standard on and off the field, adding: “I believe that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, but in failing to take action against players' behavior off the field, the league is not living up to its responsibilities. U.S. Soccer needs to send the right message. They need to communicate that domestic violence is never OK and that it will not be tolerated.”

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Mom Charged with Throwing Autistic Son Off a Bridge

Mom Charged with Throwing Autistic Son Off a Bridge

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWPORT, Ore.) — An Oregon mother was arrested for the murder of her six-year-old autistic son after police said Jillian Meredith McCabe threw the boy off a bridge into Yaquina Bay Monday night.Authorities in Newport, Oregon, said that McCabe, 34, then called 9-1-1 to report what happened.At her first court appearance Tuesday, McCabe gave no pleas to charges of aggravated murder, murder, and manslaughter.According to family members, McCabe was overwhelmed by a series of personal setbacks. In addition to caring for her severely autistic son, London, she was dealing with a husband diagnosed with MS and a mass found on his brain stem as well as the death of her father.McCabe also went on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTune and Google Plus to describe her problems and plead for donations.Yet, despite the help she received, McCabe also spoke of pulling a "Thelma and Louise," a reference to a movie of the same name in which the two main characters end their lives.

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Police Release Surveillance Video of ‘Person of Interest’ in Philadelphia Abduction Case

Police Release Surveillance Video of ‘Person of Interest’ in Philadelphia Abduction Case

Philadelphia Police Department(PHILADELPHIA) -- Philadelphia police released surveillance video Tuesday showing a man they called a "person of interest" in the abduction of Carlesha Freeland-Gaither.The mystery man who police say they'd like to question is seen on a surveillance camera browsing the aisles of a convenience store, picking out a drink and a snack. He then pays for his purchases at the register and leaves.From the surveillance video, authorities were able to capture two images of the man's face, which is partially obscured by his black hoodie.The new video was released one day after a man clad in dark clothing was seen using Freeland-Gaither's bank card in Aberdeen, Maryland, about 70 miles south of Philadelphia. Police said they have surveillance video of the withdrawal and that it was made by a man wearing dark clothes.Freeland-Gaither, 22, was grabbed off the street at 9:40 p.m. Sunday while walking in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia.In a chilling video of the abduction, Freeland-Gaither is seen being wrestled down the sidewalk. She falls to the ground just outside her assailant's car and then is seen being forced into his car, which police believe is a 2000-2002 gray Ford Taurus.Police told ABC News Tuesday that there is footage from a second angle of the attack that they are analyzing for clues.Witnesses said that after Freeland-Gaither was forced into the back of the car, they heard the car door shut and then heard breaking glass. Police believe the young woman kicked out the rear window of the car in her desperation. Her glasses and cell phone were found on the street.The video that recorded the kidnapping also caught on tape a car that pulled up and stopped, pointing its headlights at the man struggling to get the abducted woman into his car, and then slowly backing away.As Freeland-Gaither struggles with her attacker, a dark sedan is seen turning onto the street. The car stops, pauses, and then slowly backs up before the video ends.Philadelphia police told ABC News that the driver was a witness and had been interviewed by police, along with a second person seen running in the video.Anyone with information is being asked to call the Philadelphia Police Department's Northwest Detective Division at 215-548-4756. On Monday, the Philadelphia Police Department also enlisted the FBI's help to solve the case.

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Newly Released Emails Show Holder Blasting ‘Fast and Furious’ Critics on Hill

Newly Released Emails Show Holder Blasting ‘Fast and Furious’ Critics on Hill

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Private emails tied to the "Fast and Furious" scandal reveal Attorney General Eric Holder fiercely attacking his critics, saying the Republican lawmaker leading a congressional probe into the matter just wanted to "cripple" a law enforcement agency and "suck up to the gun lobby."At the time, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was raising alarms over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation in Arizona that put guns into the hands of criminals in Mexico, two of which ended up at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.As Issa was looking to bring more witnesses before his committee to testify in April 2011, Holder's chief of staff warned the attorney general in an email that the matter "keeps escalating.""Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country," Holder shot back in an email. "All they want to do -- in reality -- is cripple ATF and suck up to the gun lobby. Politics at its worst."That email was just one of more than 64,000 pages turned over to lawyers within the House on Tuesday -- just hours before polls across the country close in a hotly contested battle between Republicans and Democrats for control of the Senate.The Election Day dump of documents came after a lengthy court fight over whether the Justice Department must turn over certain documents detailing the department's response to media reports uncovering "Fast and Furious." Over the summer, a federal judge refused to let the department withhold those documents.Among other documents turned over Tuesday was an email offering the first contemporaneous evidence that Holder knew nothing about the ill-fated gunrunning probe while it was under way.Memos briefly describing "Fast and Furious" had been sent to Holder's office at the time, and Justice officials have long accused Republicans of leaking those memos to the media in an attempt to tie him to the botched investigation.But when news reports mentioning those memos were forwarded to Holder in late 2011, he privately responded to colleagues by saying, "I didn't read them. I rarely do."Nevertheless, many of the documents released contain redactions, and Issa and other Republicans believe they contain pieces of information "that embarrass or otherwise implicate senior Obama administration officials" in a cover-up, Issa told ABC News."I am deeply concerned that some redactions to these documents may still be inappropriate," Issa wrote in a statement, adding that the production of the documents was "a victory for the legislative branch, a victory for transparency, and a victory for efforts to check Executive Branch power."

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OSHA Cites Circus for Hair-Hanging Stunt Gone Wrong

OSHA Cites Circus for Hair-Hanging Stunt Gone Wrong

Choreograph/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a report on Tuesday that showed that the hair-hanging stunt gone wrong in May was caused by overloading of the carabiner that was holding the performers up.On May 4, a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show was held in Providence, and during the show, eight performers took part in a "Hair Hang Act" that ended when the eight performers fell more than 15 feet to the ground. A ninth employee of the circus was struck by falling performers while working on the ground.According to OSHA, the company improperly loaded the carabiner -- attaching two pear-shaped steel rings to the device, and running three wire cables to each steel ring from the corners of the apparatus that the performers were to hang from. The overloading of the carabiner caused it to fail and the rigging to fall to the ground.As a result, OSHA cited the company running the circus, Feld Entertainment Inc., for one serious safety violation and proposed a penalty of $7,000 -- the maximum fine allowed by law. A serious violation, by definition, occurs "when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known."Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels called the incident a "catastrophic failure by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus." "While the $7,000 penalty is the maximum allowable by law, we can never put a price on the impact this event had on these workers and their families," Michaels added.

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NFL Star Adrian Peterson Pleads No Contest to Reckless Assault in Child Abuse Case

NFL Star Adrian Peterson Pleads No Contest to Reckless Assault in Child Abuse Case

Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Embattled Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless assault on Tuesday in the case involving alleged abuse of one of his children.A judge placed Peterson on deferred adjudication for two years and levied a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of community service against Peterson. As part of the plea, he cannot appeal, but he has not been given jail time.After Peterson entered his plea on Tuesday, he spoke to reporters outside the courtroom. "I truly regret this incident," he said, adding that he would "take responsibility for my actions.""I love my son more than any one of you can imagine. I'm anxious to repair my relationship with my child," he added. "I'm just glad this is over, so I can put this behind me and me and my family can begin to move forward."

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Think Twice Before Taking that #BallotSelfie

Think Twice Before Taking that #BallotSelfie

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Does a vote even count if you can't show your Twitter followers your #ballotselfie? For voters in most of the country, it's going to have to.Ballot selfies, popular photos of a voter posing with his or her filled ballot, are technically illegal in most of the country.Only six states have no expressed laws prohibiting voters from photographing or recording their "own marked ballot," according to the Digital Media Law Project. These states are Alabama, Delaware, North Dakota, Vermont, Tennessee and Wyoming.If you do live in one of those states, go ahead and Instagram your democratic participation.And if you don't, you can still take a selfie with that little sticker they give at the polls. It beats getting charged with a felony.

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Map Shows Where People Are Voting on Election Day in Real Time

Map Shows Where People Are Voting on Election Day in Real Time

Facebook.com(NEW YORK) -- Think of it as the modern day equivalent of an "I voted" sticker.Facebook is tracking users who sound off about casting their ballot in the midterm elections on Tuesday, and putting the results in an interactive map that updates in real time as more people share with the social network that they voted.So far, it appears that most people are voting -- or at least clicking the "I voted" button on Facebook -- in the Northeast, particularly around New Jersey, according to the map. But that could change as it gets later and the West Coast starts heading to the polls.More than four million people have clicked the button on Tuesday, Facebook said.

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Accused School Plotter Allegedly Wrote of Being ‘1st Female School Shooter’

Accused School Plotter Allegedly Wrote of Being ‘1st Female School Shooter’

iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- A 17-year-old Pennsylvania girl who allegedly wrote a letter to the parents of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold has been taken into custody on charges of making terroristic threats against her school, police told ABC News.

The 17-year-old senior at Radnor High School outside Philadelphia is undergoing a psychological evaluation, according to Radnor Township Superintendent of Police Bill Colarulo.

"I could be the first female school shooter," the girl allegedly wrote in a journal, according to ABC News station WPVI in Philadelphia. "I'd want to trap them pick them off one by one."

She was not being prosecuted as an adult, and Colarulo said it was unclear whether she would have actually carried out an attack. Nevertheless, he said, authorities must take every threat seriously, and her personal journals and other writings raised concerns.

"It was kind of frightening because those events have happened in other places, and you don't want it to happen in your hometown," Radnor High School senior Alex Bowden told WPVI. "But realistically, it can happen to anybody."

In a letter to the parents of Dylan Klebold, who along with Eric Harris killed 12 fellow students and a teacher 15 years ago, the 17-year-old girl allegedly said she "recently began studying the tragedy" and "connected very strongly" with Klebold.

In particular, she allegedly wrote that she saw in his journals "many phrases that have appeared in my own journals," including themes of love and loneliness. And she suggested that if they could have been friends or even lovers, perhaps the Columbine tragedy never would have happened.

The letter was undated and it was unclear if she ever mailed it, Colarulo told ABC News.

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