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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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."

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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.

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Crowds Protest Fatal Shooting of Man by Off-Duty Cop in South St. Louis

Crowds Protest Fatal Shooting of Man by Off-Duty Cop in South St. Louis

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- A white off-duty police officer fatally shot a black man in south St. Louis Wednesday, sparking a night of unrest and activism not far from where Michael Brown was killed last Aug. 9.Wednesday night’s shooting involved an officer working a department-approved secondary job for a private security company, police said in a statement.The officer approached a group of three men, police said, and one of the men took off running.  Then, all three ran so the officer chased them, eventually getting into a physical confrontation with one.The suspect then allegedly fired a gun at the officer so the 32-year-old officer returned fire, fatally shooting the man, according to the police report.A gun was recovered at the scene. The officer was not injured but was placed on administrative leave, as per department policy, police said.Following the shooting, activists took to the streets of St. Louis, demanding answers.People also shared their frustration on social media, with #shawshooting the most popular national trending topic on Twitter.Meanwhile, a cousin of the dead man claims he was holding a sandwich, not a gun.The St. Louis Post-Dispatch identified the black male as Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18.According to the Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said during a briefing that the off-duty officer fired off 17 shots after he was shot at three times.

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Texas Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan Has Died

Texas Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan Has Died

Will Montgomery (DALLAS) -- Thomas Eric Duncan, the patient who was being treated for Ebola in an isolation unit at a Texas hospital, has died, officials said Wednesday."It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 a.m.," the hospital said in a statement."Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing," the statement said.Duncan, a Liberian man who had traveled to Texas to visit family, was the first person to be diagnosed with the disease while in the U.S. and became the first person to die of the disease in the U.S.

Louise Troh, the mother of Duncan's teenage son and the woman referred to as his wife by family members, released a statement thanking local community and medical officials for their help treating Duncan."My family is in deep sadness and grief, but we leave him in the hands of God," wrote Troh. "I am now dealing with the sorrow and anger that his son was not able to see him before he died. This will take some time, but in the end, I believe in a merciful God."Duncan’s son, Karsiah Duncan, 19, told reporters Tuesday he was praying for his father’s recovery. Karsiah Duncan had not seen his father since he was 3, when he and his mother Louise Troh left Liberia, according to ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas.Troh and three other people are still in quarantine after they were exposed to Thomas Eric Duncan while he had symptoms of Ebola.

Duncan's daughter, Youngor Jallah, was distraught after learning of her father's death.“I am not okay and I don’t know what to do,” she told ABC News through tears.Duncan was admitted to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 28. He initially went to the hospital's emergency room with symptoms on Sept. 26. He returned in an ambulance two days later and had been in an isolation unit since then.On Saturday, Duncan’s condition was downgraded from serious to critical, as doctors worked to save his life. Hospital officials confirmed Tuesday he was on a respirator and receiving kidney dialysis.Duncan was the first person to be given the experimental drug brincidofovir.Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke at a city council meeting soon after Duncan's death was announced."This hurts deeply," said Rawlings. "We were hoping this was not going to happen.”Rawlings also stressed that health teams had taken steps to stop the spread of the Ebola virus in Dallas.“We will stop the Ebola virus in its tracts from spreading into our community," said Rawlings. “I want to reinforce to the public, that this was an isolated incident of the Ebola virus; contracted by the individual while residing in another country.”Judge Clay Jenkins, who helped move Duncan’s relatives from a cramped apartment to a donated house, said in a statement his “thoughts are with the family and friends."“We are also thinking of the dedicated hospital staff who assisted Mr. Duncan daily while he fought this terrible disease,” wrote Jenkins.According to Duncan’s neighbors in Monrovia, Liberia, Duncan might have contracted the deadly virus when he helped take a pregnant woman to a hospital while she was vomiting blood. He traveled with the woman to several facilities that turned her away and then helped carry her back into her home. She died the next day and it was later determined that she died of Ebola.When he departed Liberia on Sept. 19, his temperature was taken at the airport and he was determined to not have a fever. He checked a form at the airport before leaving indicating he had not been in contact with anyone infected by Ebola. It's not clear whether he was aware at the time whether the pregnant woman he helped was suffering from Ebola.Four health workers were brought back from West Africa where they contracted the disease and were treated and released. A fifth person, cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, is being treated at a Nebraska facility.The worst-ever Ebola outbreak has already killed at least 3,431 and infected least 4,000 others since it started in March, according to the World Health Organization.

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Aurora Releases After Action Report on 2012 Movie Theater Shooting

Aurora Releases After Action Report on 2012 Movie Theater Shooting

PHOTOGRAPH BY Barcroft USA/Barcoft Media via Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- On Wednesday, the City of Aurora released an after action review of the Century 16 movie theater allegedly perpetrated by James Holmes back in 2012.The report revisits the shooting, in which Holmes allegedly shot 70 people and killed 12, and an additional 12 or more people were injured trying to flee the theater. The report noted that, "no one who died could have been saved by EMS actions," and that, "while there are things to improve...the City of Aurora should be proud of its response to the largest civilian shooting in U.S. history." Among the recommendations made in the report are the implementation of emergency exists with alarms, educating the public on how to respond during a shooting, creating a larger evacuation zone, improving ambulance acess, and setting up a single fund for all donations for victims.The report also noted that, "several officers reported being required to return to work with little sleep and limited psychological assistance," a situation that should be avoided by relieving, "officers exposed to high levels of trauma."Parts of the 188 page report are redacted, and the Colorado Judicial Branch said it wouldn't release a statement.

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Bullied Players Who Came Forward ‘True Heroes’ on NJ Football Team, Superintendent Says

Bullied Players Who Came Forward ‘True Heroes’ on NJ Football Team, Superintendent Says

ABC News(SAYREVILLE, N.J.) --  The real football “heroes” of Sayreville, N.J., are the players who came forward to their parents, says the superintendent who canceled the season over the harassment of younger team members.“There was one or two courageous kids that stepped up and did the right thing and prevented one less child from being harassed, intimidated and bullied,” Sayreville School District Superintendent Richard Labbe said. “And to me, those are the true heroes of this. And we need more heroes like this.”In an interview with ABC News, Labbe said he was overwhelmed with “horror” when he first heard what was going on behind closed doors at his district’s high school. And he vowed that the proud football program in his community would be rebuilt -- the right way. But Labbe insisted he realizes that the wounds of the last days are still raw, and he certainly recognizes there are pockets of hostility directed toward him and the school board that backed him up during a heated session Tuesday night.“I understand how the seniors feel not to have that last game, not to walk out on the field for the last time with their mom and dad,” Labbe explained. “But based up on the information I received, the right decision that I knew in my heart was to make the one we made.”On Monday, Labbe canceled the entire football season for Sayreville War Memorial High School after reports of bullying and physical intimidation, with sexual overtones, were reported to the police and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. The authorities are now investigating.Before Labbe’s headline-grabbing move, Sayreville football had been known for being among the elite of the Garden State’s scholastic athletics programs. Now, the district has to rebuild.“Not only are we going to rebuild the image of this school district, the image of this high school, the image of this football team,” Labbe said. “But we are going to extend beyond that. We are going to become a very, very special place and that march toward getting people to take a stance is very important.”

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Eric Frein Described Killing Trooper in Handwritten Letter: Police

Eric Frein Described Killing Trooper in Handwritten Letter: Police

Pennsylvania State Police/FBI(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- Accused cop killer Eric Frein described in disturbing detail what it was like when he allegedly shot two state troopers, killing one and injuring another, in a handwritten note found by a police dragnet in the Pennsylvania woods.Frein, who has been on the run for nearly a month, appears to describe the murder of Cpl. Bryon Dickson in one handwritten letter."Got a shot around 11 p.m. and took it. He dropped. I was surprised at how quick," Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a press conference Wednesday, reading from the note police believe Frein wrote. "I took a follow-up shot on his head-neck area. He was still and quiet after that."The letter goes on to describe the shooting of a second officer. Frein is also accused of shooting and injuring Trooper Alex Douglass. Both officers were shot within minutes of each other outside the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12.Frein, 31, wrote that he ran back to his Jeep and drove into a road block about half a mile away, Bivens said."I didn't expect one so soon," Bivens said, again reading from the letter. "It was only 15 to 20 minutes. I did a K-turn a quarter mile from them and pulled into a development I knew had unfinished access road."The note describes how he missed a trail and ran his vehicle into a "run-off pool," describing it as a "disaster." He made an attempt to stash his "AK" before running, according to the letter.Police found Frein's Jeep in a swamp shortly after the shooting. They have also found two pipe bombs, an AK-47, food, ammunition, clothing and other supplies in the search. Police filed additional criminal charges against Frein on Wednesday because of the explosives."I can only describe Eric Frein's actions as pure evil," Bivens said after reading the letter. "Every so often, true evil rears its ugly head and we must deal with it."There's no indication that Frein knew the two troopers he allegedly shot, Bivens added.The FBI, which has added Frein to its 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list, released new images showing what Frein might look like with a short Mohawk and facial hair.The manhunt has stretched for more than three weeks as police focus on a few square miles near the border of Pike and Monroe counties in eastern Pennsylvania. There have been four new sightings since Friday, Bivens said.Frein, from nearby Canadensis, has been spotted several times, but always evaded police capture because of the thick terrain. He's a self-trained survivalist and war reenactor who focused on Eastern European militaries and weapons. He learned to shoot from his father, a retired Army major.Bivens has said the suspect may consider the chase "a game" and has repeatedly called for him to surrender."We're not going anywhere, we will get Frein," Bivens said. "It is a matter of time before we catch him."

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NFL Owners, Executives Watch Domestic Violence Video

NFL Owners, Executives Watch Domestic Violence Video

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- NFL team owners and executives were shown a video starring former linebacker Joe Ehrmann to kick off the league's domestic violence and sexual assault education session Wednesday.In the video, Ehrmann asks men to think about how they would act if another man sexually, physically or verbally assaulted a woman they loved, encouraging them to raise a generation of men who "have the moral courage to call out other men.""What's a team? A team is nothing more than a set of relationships for a cause," he says. "But every team is built on the trust the respect, the integrity and the dignity of ever team member."The anti-violence session will be rolled out to all 32 teams over the coming weeks.

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Football Star Adrian Peterson Gets December Trial Date

Football Star Adrian Peterson Gets December Trial Date

Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Football star Adrian Peterson tentatively received a trial date of Dec. 1 during an appearance in a Houston courtroom Wednesday, though prosecutors said they planned to request the judge hearing the case recuse himself.Peterson's attorney has indicated he plans to plead not guilty to charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after he allegedly hit his 4-year-old son with a switch, leaving welts and bruises. But Peterson did not enter a plea on Wednesday, as was expected.Instead, the hearing consisted largely of his defense attorney and the state prosecutor speaking at the judge’s bench and setting the tentative trial date. District Attorney Brett Ligon said he would seek to have the judge removed for allegedly calling state prosecutors and Peterson’s attorneys “media whores.”The Minnesota Vikings running back remained seated next to his wife in the court gallery as his attorney Rusty Hardin and Ligon spoke with Judge Kelly Case at the front of the court.Hardin asked for Peterson's court date to be scheduled as quickly as possible because "he has no ability to work" while the case is ongoing, though the prosecutor noted that he is still employed during the duration of the legal process."He's getting killed publicly," Hardin said of Peterson."He has been chomping at the bit to defend himself publicly and his lawyers have insisted that he not," Hardin added.As such, Hardin pushed for the trial to be scheduled before Thanksgiving, though the first week of December appeared more likely given the judge's response.However, Ligon said that he will be filing a motion to have Judge Case recuse himself from Peterson's trial because he allegedly called both Hardin and the state prosecutor "media whores" before Wednesday's hearing. The judge appeared shocked at the remark, immediately apologized and said "unfortunately sometimes humor is taken the wrong way." The hearing on a possible recusal was scheduled for Nov. 4.Peterson's attorney agreed to the court condition preventing the football player from having contact with the 4-year-old son involved in the charges until after the trial concludes, but asked for travel restrictions and curfew suggestions be lifted.The role of the media in the case was brought up by both sides, with the prosecutor expressing concerns about the alleged leak of the photos showing the bruises Peterson's son sustained.Hardin and the judge also agreed that other files describing past alleged incidents that the prosecution wished to include in the case remain sealed. Hardin did not explain what was in those files but said that they could "tremendously irreparably harm" Peterson's case.Peterson's court hearing was in Houston because the charges were filed in Montgomery County, where he has a home. Peterson could face between six months and two years in prison, if convicted.“This is a good man that I am incredibly proud to represent,” Hardin said at an impromptu press conference on the courthouse steps after the hearing. “This is a case about parenting decisions and something horrible happened.”Peterson didn’t speak as he walked out of court, but he maintained his innocence in a Sept. 15 statement through his lawyer, saying, "I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court.” “I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen,” Peterson said in his statement at the time.“I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury,” the statement added.

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JetBlue Passenger Says She Was Kicked Off Plane over Tweet

JetBlue Passenger Says She Was Kicked Off Plane over Tweet

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The list of taboo topics on airplanes keeps growing, and if you break one of the unwritten rules, you risk terrifying other passengers or, even worse, getting bounced from the flight.

That's what one New Hampshire woman says happened to her when she tweeted about her pilot taking a sobriety test before a JetBlue flight out of Philadelphia on Tuesday night."I'm standing here at 1 a.m. in the morning because I was denied access to the flight tonight," Lisa Carter-Smith told ABC News' Philadelphia station WPVI at the airport.The pilot demanded the test after a passenger made a joke about hoping the delayed plane was stocked with liquor, which the pilot misconstrued as an accusation that he had been drinking, Carter-Smith told the station.

JetBlue confirmed in a statement that the pilot passed the sobriety test, adding that it was a "precautionary measure" because of "a customer's accusation of a pilot being intoxicated."

JetBlue also released a statement regarding the passenger's accusation that she had been removed from the flight. "It is not our practice to remove a customer for expressing criticism of their experience in any medium," the company said. "We will remove a customer if they are disruptive and the crew evaluates that there is a risk of escalation which could lead to an unsafe environment. The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. If we feel a customer is not complying with safety instructions, exhibits objectionable behavior or causes conflict at the gate or on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane or will be denied boarding especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of accelerating in the air."In this instance, the customer received a refund and chose to fly on another carrier," JetBlue said.The lesson? Don't say the word "drunk" near your pilot. Speaking of words to skip, you should also steer clear of "Ebola."Passengers were on high alert on an American Eagle flight Tuesday night from Dallas to Midland, Texas, when a woman became violently ill and was vomiting -- a well-known symptom of the deadly disease.

The staff gave flyers face masks and contacted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the woman was rushed to Midland Memorial Hospital, ABC News affiliate KMID reported.

The hospital confirmed in a statement to ABC News that the patient does not have Ebola.

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Utah Man ‘Talked to Wife’s Feet’ After Shooting, Police Said

Utah Man ‘Talked to Wife’s Feet’ After Shooting, Police Said

iStock/Thinkstock(OREM, Utah) -- A Utah man on trial for his wife’s 2012 murder acted erratically following the shooting, kissing her feet and talking to her feet, responding officers testified in court.Conrad Truman, 32, is accused of shooting his wife Heidy Truman in the head after a night of drinking and watching Dexter, a show about a serial killer. Truman could be heard shrieking and speaking incomprehensively in his 911 call.Heidy Truman was killed by a single gunshot. Her husband has argued that she either accidentally shot herself while getting out of the shower, or she was shot by someone outside the home.Truman has pleaded not guilty.Investigators say they initially thought they were responding to a suicide. They found the Orem, Utah house in disarray, with blood splattered throughout. Authorities quickly turned their attention to Truman.“He was talking to her feet, kissing her feet, saying he was sorry,” Officer Chris Watson testified.Police audio recordings played in court featured Truman ranting. According to Officer Art Lopez, Truman was allegedly threatening to kill the officers if they didn’t save his wife.“I have been in law enforcement for 20 years. I’ve never seen anyone until this time threaten to kill the officers,” Lopez said.Additionally, police said Truman tried to take control of the crime scene, with the couple’s dogs walking through the evidence. Truman also went to the bathroom alone after investigators arrived.Prosecutors allege that Truman killed his wife to collect nearly $1 million of insurance money, but ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said it’s difficult to uncover a motive in the shooting.“We haven’t seen evidence that they had a bad relationship,” Abrams said. “As for his conflicting statements and odd behavior, the defense says it’s simple: He was drunk, and his wife had just been shot and killed. That’s not a frivolous argument.”“This could be one of those cases where you go, ‘He may have done it,’ but do they have enough evidence?” Abrams said.

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Utah Teens Admit to Faking Their Own Abduction

Utah Teens Admit to Faking Their Own Abduction

iStock/Thinkstock(BOUNTIFUL, Utah) -- Police in Utah are now unraveling what they say was a hoax by two teenage girls who claimed they were kidnapped off the street.For the past month, police in Bountiful, Utah, have searched for three suspects believed to have forced two girls, ages 16 and 17, into an SUV at knife point last month in the middle of the night.The girls called 911 and told authorities they were held captive for 19 hours before finally breaking free the night of Sept. 9.“They even went so far as to inflict injuries on each other to make it appear that they had been physically abused,” Bountiful City Police Lt. Dave Edwards told ABC News.The break in the case came not when police found a suspect, but when they found surveillance video showing the two girls sitting and having lunch on the day they were reported taken."The video in the convenience store shows the girls walk into a convenience store and take a seat at the table," Lt. Edwards said. "They proceeded to reach into their bags and take out some food and eat something and then walk out.""It’s very obvious that they are not under duress [and] that there are no problems," he added.When confronted with the video evidence, the pair admitted to faking their own abduction, police said.Both girls are now facing charges of filing a false police report, according to authorities, who noted the effect the abduction story had on the community."We were constantly being contacted and asked if there were any progress in locating these people, contacted on the streets about this case, if there was any progress," Edwards said. "This weighed heavily on the minds of the citizens in these communities."I don’t think these girls were aware of the impact they were having on not only the resources of law enforcement across this 100-mile stretch of Utah but upon the community that were hiding and watching their children," he said.One of the girls' mothers told ABC News that both girls are sorry for what they did. Neither has said why they faked the abduction."Neither of them would elaborate and give us a reason why they made this story up," Edwards said.

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Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse Returns to the Sky

Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse Returns to the Sky

NASA Ames Research Center/Brian Day(NEW YORK) -- A blood moon appeared over the United States early Wednesday morning, the second occurrence for the celestial sight this year.The total lunar eclipse with a majestic red hue occurred when the Earth positioned itself between the sun and the moon.Cloudy skies made viewing the blood moon difficult for people in some parts of the United States.The eclipse is the second in a rare series known as the tetrad, in which the moon is completely covered by the Earth's umbral shadow for four eclipses in a row, as opposed to only partial eclipses that fall in the outer penumbra.If you pressed snooze on your alarm, you’ll have two more chances to catch a blood moon next year. The next total lunar eclipse will be on April 4, 2015, according to NASA.

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Dead Bear Cub in Central Park Was Likely Hit by a Car

Dead Bear Cub in Central Park Was Likely Hit by a Car

(File photo) iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A black bear cub found dead in New York City’s Central Park Monday was likely run over by a car, authorities said.The female cub was about 6 months old and weighed 44 pounds, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation said in a statement. The cause of death was blunt force trauma consistent with a motor vehicle collision, authorities said.The 3-foot-long black bear cub was discovered by a dog walker, who alerted a Central Park Conservancy worker, police said.Authorities are still investigating how the bear cub ended up in the park. It’s still unclear whether the bear’s body was dumped there, or whether she wandered into the park while still alive.Potential Environmental Conservation law violations include the illegal possession, transport and disposal of an untagged bear, environmental conservation officials said.

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School Board Upholds Decision to Cancel NJ Football Team’s Season

School Board Upholds Decision to Cancel NJ Football Team’s Season

ABC News(SAYREVILLE, N.J.) -- Parents and students swarmed a school board meeting at Sayreville War Memorial High School in New Jersey Tuesday, demanding answers after the school canceled the football season amid a hazing investigation.This week's game and five others will be forfeited as the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office investigates claims of hazing, bullying and intimidation. Sayreville also forfeited last week’s game.The school board voted Tuesday in unanimous support of superintendent Dr. Richard Labbe’s decision to cancel the season.The investigation began after someone called police about the alleged abuse, a local official told ABC News."It was a parent of a younger kid being taunted, threatened, bullied," the official added.Younger players on the team were routinely taunted, bullied and intimidated by the older players, often with “sexual overtones,” the official said."They would live in fear of seniors and juniors," the official said. "They would race to the locker room to get changed and get out before the older kids got there."Parents believe it’s not fair that all the players -- on the school’s varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams -- are being affected.“I don’t understand why they’re being punished,” mother Madeline Valet said at Tuesday’s meeting. “The forfeited game was punishment enough.”Senior Derek Rodriguez is disappointed that his high school football career came to such a sudden, surprising end.“Now we’re not going to have that closure of going out and finishing our senior year,” Rodriguez said. “It got taken from us, from something we didn’t even know was going on.”Despite the public outcry, the board backed Labbe’s decision to cancel the season.“I can tell you, the school board members worked really hard,” school board attorney Jonathan Busch said. “This is a very difficult decision for them. They live in this community. They shop in the supermarkets with the members of the public. They are members of the public.”Labbe said he has received support in his decision from across the state, and even people from Kentucky and Kansas.“When I first heard of what was going on, my initial emotion was horror,” Labbe said. “While it was a difficult decision, I understand how the seniors feel not to have that last game, not to walk out on the field for the last time with their mom and dad. But based up on the information I received, the right decision that I knew in my heart was to make the one we made.”Detectives are interviewing parents, players and school employees, an official briefed on the investigation told ABC News.Sayreville police referred ABC News to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, which is investigating the case. The prosecutor's office declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.Sayreville is one of New Jersey's most successful football programs, winning three state sectional championships in the past four years. The team opened this season 2-1, before forfeiting last Thursday's game as the hazing allegations emerged.Separately, Charlie Garcia, an assistant coach for the team, was arrested last week on steroid possession charges. He later resigned.Garcia's first court appearance is scheduled for Friday, according to the Office of the Somerset County Prosecutor. Garcia's lawyer, Philip Nettl, did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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SAT Scores Stagnant, Some Minorities Falling Further Behind

SAT Scores Stagnant, Some Minorities Falling Further Behind

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- High school students are neither moving forwards nor backwards when it comes to Scholastic Aptitude Test scores.The latest report released Tuesday by the College Board found that SAT scores are largely stagnant across the U.S. with the mean score in critical reading 497, 513 in math and 487 in writing.However, what concerns College Board senior vice president Jack Buckley is that only 43 percent of the test-takers achieved the benchmark of being "college ready."Breaking it down by ethnicity, the new results show that 61 percent of Asian students and 53 percent of whites met the benchmark, compared to a third of Native Americans, a quarter of Hispanics and about one in six African-Americans.According to Buckley, "The SAT is holding up a mirror to the inequities we see across American education. If we look at state testing or the national assessment of educational progress, we see achievement gaps at all grade levels."However, some help might be on the way as major revisions in the SATs are planned for 2016 to get a better handle on what teens should be learning in high school and what they'll need to be successful in college.

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Headmaster of Private School Allegedly Caught with Drugs, Unconscious Woman

Headmaster of Private School Allegedly Caught with Drugs, Unconscious Woman

iStock/Thinkstock(MARIN COUNTY, Calif.) -- Former high school principal Thomas Woodrow Price's problems have just begun after police in Marin County, California, said they found the 54-year-old inside a motel room with a stockpile of illegal drugs and an unconscious 21-year-old woman.Price, better known as "Woody," was the headmaster of the exclusive Branson High School, which costs $40,000 annually to attend. He resigned Tuesday.Things started to fall apart for Price, according to prosecutors, when police, acting on a tip, went to a motel room in Rancho Cordova last Friday and discovered Price inside with a passed-out young woman who they eventually roused without medical help.More seriously, cops say they arrested Price on possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for sale and possession of cocaine.He apparently told them he had a "causal relationship" with 21-year-old Brittney Hall, who was also charged with drug possession. Price later made bail.

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