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Johnna Woolfolk , a jealous wife from California, allegedly called in a bomb threat to prevent her husband getting on a plane from Los Angeles to Atlanta, where she believed he was to visit his mistress.

In a last ditch attempt to save her marriage of 30 years, Johnna Woolfolk called AirTran Airways on November 27 and said her husband was carrying a bomb, the FBI said.

But her romantic gesture didn’t quite work out like the movies.

Johnna Woolfolk’s husband, who was intercepted at the airport, explained he was having marital problems, the Torrance Daily Breeze reported. She has now been charged with providing false and misleading information.


The woman broke down in tears after authorities replayed her conversation with the AirTran operator, according to FBI Special Agent David Gates.

“She stated that she was not thinking, she did not want to hurt anyone and did not want to cause harm,” David Gates wrote in an affidavit.

Defence attorney Gordon E. Turner said on Thursday that Johnna Woolfolk, who is about 50, admitted in court and to the FBI that she made the call.

“She now realizes it was wrong,” Gordon E. Turner said.

Johnna Woolfolk is caring for her dying mother at the couple’s Lynwood home and it has been stressful, the attorney said.

She also believes he is having an affair and was boarding the flight to meet the woman, the lawyer said.

Johnna Woolfolk is expected to plead guilty during a January 9 hearing having struck a plea bargain, US attorney’s office spokesman Thom Mrozek told the Torrance Daily Breeze.

Warren Beatty was trying to solidify his relationship with Stephen, his teenage daughter who became a man and was previously called Kathlyn, at a special family dinner in Hollywood on Saturday, according to the National Enquirer.

A source told the National Enquirer the special family meal at Italian restaurant il Covo was a way for Warren Beatty to publicly give his support to the 19-year-old, who decided she wanted to switch genders last year, but had been living as a man for at least two years previously.

The source said: “The dinner was an unofficial public display that he’s proud of his family, especially Stephen, for having the courage to be who he truly is.

“It wasn’t easy for Warren. But he learned a lot about the transgender community over the past year.”

As a result Warren Beatty, 74, is now bragging to friends about his “intelligent and courageous son Stephen”.

The source added: “Warren even made an emotional toast to Stephen during the dinner and said he was proud to have such a brave son.”

The person who was most pleased by the Bugsy actor’s new found understanding was his 54-year-old wife Annette Bening.

The source added: “Annette was simply glowing. She said the evening was the best Christmas present she’s ever received.”

Warren Beatty was trying to solidify his relationship with Stephen, his transgender son, at a special family dinner in Hollywood on Saturday

Warren Beatty was trying to solidify his relationship with Stephen, his transgender son, at a special family dinner in Hollywood on Saturday

Despite the fact it has taken some time for the Shampoo favorite to come to terms with his former daughter, who was named after his beloved mother, his feelings for him were never in doubt.

The source said: “Warren never stopped loving their child, but he had plenty of issues and fears to overcome.

“The bottom line is he missed his little girl. But he’s finally resigned himself to the fact that one day Stephen will probably have gender reassignment surgery and legally become a boy.

“Warren still slips up and calls Stephen <<her>> or by his birth name Kathlyn, but the bottom line is he’s totally onboard with his child’s new lifestyle.”

Stephen Beatty is one of four children the Oscar winning sex symbol has with Annette Bening.

Warren Beatty and Annette Bening have another two daughters, Isabel and Ella, and a son Ben.

Greenhill & Co investment banker Jeffrey Buckalew, his wife and his children are believed to be among five people killed after a small aircraft crashed on to a New Jersey motorway.

The small plane went down on Interstate 287 by the town of Harding in the north of the state, said aviation officials.

The single-engine plane spiraled out of the sky and exploded upon impact, said witnesses.

TV news helicopter footage showed wreckage strewn across the motorway, which was closed in both directions.

Investment bank Greenhill & Co said in a statement that the dead were believed to include its managing directors Rakesh Chawla, 36, and Jeffrey Buckalew, 45.

Jeffrey Buckalew’s wife, Corrine, and their children, Jackson and Meriwether, are also thought to have died, the bank added.

Greenhill said the plane had belonged to Jeffrey Buckalew, describing him as “an experienced pilot, whose passion was flying”.

Robert Greenhill, chairman of the bank, said: “The firm is in deep mourning over the tragic and untimely death of two of its esteemed colleagues and members of Jeff’s family. Jeff was one of the first employees of Greenhill.

“He and Rakesh were extraordinary professionals who were highly respected by colleagues and clients alike. They will be sorely missed and our sympathies go out to their families and friends.”

A dog, also aboard the plane, is said to have been killed, authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said the aircraft was a turboprop Socata TBM-700.

It took off from New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport before disappearing from radar, he added.

The aircraft was bound for DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.

Witnesses said a wing came off the plane in mid-air, and debris was scattered across almost a quarter of a mile.

A section of the aircraft landed in a tree near a home before it crashed in the middle of the motorway.

Interstate 287 is a busy motorway that wraps around the New York City area.

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Dutch researchers who developed a deadly strain of bird flu to help create vaccines have been told their research is a terrorist threat.

Scientists have for the first time been able to mutate the H5N1 strain of avian influenza so that it can be transmitted easily through the air.

Previously it was thought that H5N1 bird flu could only be transmitted between humans if they came into very close physical contact.

The research team of the Erasmus Medical in Rotterdam was hoping their work would help with the development of drugs and vaccines to counter mutations of the disease.

However, the groundbreaking investigation may never see the light of day amid fears that it could be used to develop a biological weapon.

Last month it was reported that there were fears the modified strain of the H5N1 virus is more dangerous than anthrax.

At the time, virologist Ron Fouchier admitted the strain is “one of the most dangerous viruses you can make”, but is still adamant he wants to publish a paper describing how it was done.

Last month it was reported that there were fears the modified strain of the H5N1 virus is more dangerous than anthrax

Last month it was reported that there were fears the modified strain of the H5N1 virus is more dangerous than anthrax

The findings had been due to be published in the American journal Science, but the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity is now reviewing the paper to assess whether it should be blocked from publication.

One senior scientific advisor to the U.S. Government was last night quoted as saying: “The fear is that if you create something this deadly and it goes into a global pandemic the mortality and cost to the world could be massive. The worst-case scenario here is worse than anything you can imagine.”

The mutated virus is being stored under lock and key in a basement building at the centre in Rotterdam, but is without armed guards.

Dr. Ron Fouchier, who led the study, said that by experimenting on ferrets, whose immune system is very similar to humans, it is possible to create a highly-infectious strain through just a few mutations.

The decision on whether the findings should be published has divided academics as well as security specialists.

Thomas Inglesby, of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, told the New Scientist: “The benefits of publishing this work do not outweigh the dangers of showing other how to replicate it.”

Some critics have said that the research should never have been carried out because there is a risk that the dangerous form of flu could escape from the laboratory.

But Dr. Ron Fouchier defended the experiment, saying: “We know which mutation to watch for in the case of an outbreak and we can then stop the outbreak before it is too late. Furthermore, the finding will help in the timely development of vaccinations and medication.”

A second team of independent researchers at the universities of Wisconsin and Tokyo have carried out a similar study and are thought to have found similar results, which show how easy it is to create a more contagious strain.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu is fatal in 60% of human cases, but its spread has been limited because it is not passed between humans easily.

It has led to the deaths of millions of birds, but has only killed around 300 people since 2003.

There are more than a dozen strains of bird flu in the wild. The most virulent are H5 and H7, while the H5N1 subtype is the deadliest.

Scientists have previously warned that H5N1 could mutate into a new, deadly form of human flu.

Paul Keim, chairman of NSABB, said: “I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one. I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.”

Traditionally scientific research has always been open so that fellow scientists can review the work of others and repeat their methods to try and learn from them.

But numerous scientists have said they believe research on the avian flu should be suppressed.

However bio-defense and flu expert Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said the work carried out was medically important.

He added he could not discuss the papers because he was a member of NSABB but said if they were published certain information could be withheld and made available to those who really need to know.

“We don’t want to give bad guys a road map on how to make bad bugs really bad,” Michael Osterholm said.

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A model in an advert for Bloomingdales appears to have lost her entire pelvis thanks to some creative use of Photoshop as she presents the latest sweater dress.

The description for the Max & Cleo turtleneck sweater dress says it “boasts a waist-cinching belt for the most flattering fit”.

Models tend to be on the skinny side, but it looks like this woman’s belt has managed to squash her hips and completely remove her bottom.

A close-up of the dress shows it has been digitally altered to make it “drape” over her body.

The software is regularly used to create the ideal look for magazine or advertising purposes.

The description for the Max & Cleo turtleneck sweater dress says it “boasts a waist-cinching belt for the most flattering fit”

The description for the Max & Cleo turtleneck sweater dress says it “boasts a waist-cinching belt for the most flattering fit”

In May this year, Grazia magazine came under fire after a picture of the Duchess of Cambridge on its cover appeared to have been altered to slim down her waistline.

Less than a week after the Royal Wedding, the image of Kate in her wedding dress revealed a discrepancy between the line of her corset and the fabric of her Alexander McQueen skirt.

The Duchess of Cambridge was already slim, so it hardly seemed necessary to doctor the image.

H&M was also guilty of altering its images after a campaign featuring model Gisele Bündchen this year was deemed too risqué for the Middle East.

Despite revealing only her bare arms or a hint of cleavage, t-shirts or vests were Photo-shopped into the images for adverts running in Dubai.

In November, Beyoncé’s usually voluptuous legs were shaved until they were virtually stick-thin for the front cover of Harper’s Bazaar.

The image also did not show any hint of a baby bump – despite the fact her first child is thought to be due in February.

Harry Judd, the Strictly Come Dancing champion and the now clean-cut drummer of McFly has revealed he once had a crazy night Lindsay Lohan.

Harry Judd, 25, and Lindsay Lohan, 25, met on the set of movie Just My Luck in 2005 when the boy-band had a cameo in the film.

According to Harry Judd, he and LiLo clicked and she invited him back to her hotel room.

Speaking to The Daily Mirror newspaper Harry Judd said: “At the time I thought, <<This is awesome>>, but I was really nervous. Lindsay invited me back to her hotel. I left at eight o’clock next morning.”

Harry Judd, the Strictly Come Dancing champion and the now clean-cut drummer of McFly has revealed he once had a crazy night Lindsay Lohan

Harry Judd, the Strictly Come Dancing champion and the now clean-cut drummer of McFly has revealed he once had a crazy night Lindsay Lohan

 

But despite having to do the walk of shame the next day, Harry Judd confesses they didn’t sleep together.

“I didn’t s**g her,” the drummer said.

“But we spent the night and had a fumble.”

Harry Judd added: “We did things teenagers do. We went far enough but not the full home run.”

However Lindsay Lohan denies the encounter ever happened.

Whatever the case, it was certainly an eye opener for Harry Judd, who had attended a posh $30,000-a-year boarding school two years before the alleged incident.

Harry Judd does admit to spending McFly’s early days in a drunken haze but has since given up his wild ways.

“I stopped drinking last year and that has been a good think for me on Strictly as I’ve had no hangovers and I’ve been really able to focus,” he said.

Harry Judd is now completely in love with his long term girlfriend Izzy Johnston and his former rock and roll lifestyle seems a life time ago.

Izzy Johnston has been very supportive for him and was at the Strictly final on Saturday night.

They met back in 2005 when Izzy Johnston was a member of the string section during McFly’s arena tour.

Harry Judd and Izzy Johnston have previously revealed how she was “banned” from speaking to the drummer for the entire tour, but the pair got together during a party to celebrate the end of the tour.

Now it looks like Harry Judd may soon pop the big question.

“She’s the only girl in the world for me,” he gushed.

“I absolutely know 100 per cent that in her I have found The One, and yes I do want marriage, kids, the whole deal. I’m lucky to have her.”

And, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Harry Judd and Izzy Johnston split briefly around 18 months into their relationship.

Then, after six months apart, Izzy Johnston turned up on his door step in tears.

“She was standing there in tears with make-up running down her face,” Harry Judd said.

“I knew then that I couldn’t ever be without her.”

Sales of latest issue of Playboy picturing nude Lindsay Lohan, which hit the shelves on Friday, have failed to shift and it seems there is not much interest in the actresse’s impersonation of Marilyn Monroe’s famous cover.

Playboy hoped Lindsay Lohan‘s issue would be a big money-maker for the magazine, which saw its circulation numbers fall from 2.6 million to 1.5 million last year but after pictures from the spread were leaked online Playboy was forced to release the issue early.

According to shopkeepers spoken to by FoxNews.com, no-one is buying it.

“I’m not surprised at all. Despite Playboy’s hype, there was nothing particularly shocking or new about this shoot,” said adult blog editor Lux Alptraum to FoxNews.com

“While these shots may have been slightly closer to full frontal than Lindsay’s previous shots, they weren’t actually full frontal; there was also nothing particularly new about Lindsay dressing up as Marilyn Monroe.”

Lux Alptraum added that he found the shots boring and said it needed a fresher, more interesting concept.

Sales of latest issue of Playboy picturing nude Lindsay Lohan, which hit the shelves on Friday, have failed to shift

Sales of latest issue of Playboy picturing nude Lindsay Lohan, which hit the shelves on Friday, have failed to shift

 

Playmate of the Year 2010 Hope Dworaczyk has also come out saying she thinks Lindsay Lohan’s photos are a bit of a letdown.

The centerfold model who appeared on Celebrity Apprentice earlier this year, shared her thoughts on the matter as she left a beauty salon in Los Angeles.

Hope Dworaczyk initially refused to be drawn into commenting on the photos when quizzed by TMZ, but when pressed she replied: “I saw that spread… and I was not impressed.”

“I just feel like if I would have known I was doing a Playboy shoot, I would have worked out more maybe.”

Hope Dworaczyk ‘s Play Mate of the Year pictorial was in the June 2010 issue of Playboy and included a 3-D fold out image of the model from Texas.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner himself also admitted being initially unsure as to whether he even wanted Lindsay Lohan for the magazine cover.

“I kind of had mixed emotions about it initially, and then it turned into something bigger than life,” Hugh Hefner told E! News during an interview.

“I wasn’t quite sure where she was at in her life, obviously. It depends on whether it’s Tuesday or Thursday.”

After shelling out big bucks for the shoot to the cash-strapped starlet, Hugh Hefner also told E! News that he had ordered a re-shoot.

Hugh Hefner said the first set of images were unflattering and not as polished-looking as he would have liked.

He said that he didn’t speak to Lindsay Lohan directly about the redo but that he had explained to the crew exactly what he wanted and is over the moon with the final results.

“The pictorial and the concept for the pictorial came from me,” Hugh Hefner boasted.

“She had done semi-nudes before. I wanted to do something that would be memorable.”

“What is more natural, since she is a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, than do something that is a tribute to the red-velvet Tom Kelley photo shot of Marilyn Monroe that was our very first Playmate?”

When asked about the rumor that Lindsay Lohan didn’t want to pose completely naked at first, but that Hugh Hefner pushed for it, he confirmed that story was true.

At least four people are dead and about 50 are missing after a Russian oil drilling rig sank in freezing seas in the Sea of Okhotsk.

The Kolskaya rig was being towed some 200km (125 miles) off Sakhalin island when it capsized in a fierce storm.

14 people have been rescued alive but it is feared the rig overturned before the rest of the 67 people on board could escape on to life rafts.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by poor weather conditions.

Helicopters and a plane helped scour the area amid high winds and waves of up to 12 ft (4 m) but the search was halted as night fell.

“According to reports from the scene of the rescue operation, the Kolskaya platform has sunk completely,” the regional head of the emergencies ministry, Taimuraz Kasayev, told a news briefing.

The Kolskaya rig was being towed some 200km (125 miles) off Sakhalin island when it capsized in a fierce storm

The Kolskaya rig was being towed some 200km (125 miles) off Sakhalin island when it capsized in a fierce storm

The accident happened at around 14:00 local time (02:00 GMT) in the Sea of Okhotsk, at temperatures of -17C, as the rig was being towed from the eastern peninsula of Kamchatka to Sakhalin by an icebreaker and a tug.

An unnamed regional emergencies ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency that the rig’s portholes had been “damaged by ice and waves, and water began going into the vessel”.

The crew had been waiting to be evacuated by helicopter but the platform capsized and sank before they could get to their rescue rafts, he said.

Two out of the four life rafts were reportedly found with nobody on board.

An investigation has been launched to decide whether any safety regulations were violated transporting the Kolskaya in bad weather.

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Mississippi Mayor Greg Davis, a Republican of Southaven, spent over $170,000 of city money on personal expenses including purchases at a gay lifestyle and sex shop, according to receipts.

According to Mississippi state auditor, it was an anonymous tipster who prompted a Freedom of Information request into two years “of Mr. Davis” records, discovering the expenses as well as his admittance of being gay.

“I gasped,” Greg Davis said at a press conference describing his reaction to the news of the expenses.

“It was an accounting error, book keeping error. We’ve learned our lesson, and we’ll pay back the funds and we’ll move forward,” Greg Davis assured a reporter for My Fox Memphis, which boarders the Mississippi state in Tennessee.

“While I have performed my job as mayor, in my opinion, as a very conservative, progressive individual – and still continue to be a very conservative individual – I think that it is important that I discuss the struggles I have had over the last few years when I came to the realization that I am gay,” Greg Davis announced, according to The Commercial Appeal.

Mississippi Mayor Greg Davis spent over $170,000 of city money on personal expenses including purchases at a gay lifestyle and sex shop

Mississippi Mayor Greg Davis spent over $170,000 of city money on personal expenses including purchases at a gay lifestyle and sex shop

State Auditor Stacey Pickering has since demanded Greg Davis pay back all the money within 30 days, exactly “$170,782.28,” or submit detailed receipts of his spending to not face a civil suit.

The auditor’s office has since received $96,000 from the mayor who is also providing receipts.

According to The Commercial Appeal, among Greg Davis’ expenses were thousands at a chop house and thousands more at local liquor stores.

The auditor’s office confirmed to The Associated Press that Greg Davis also billed the $67 Priape purchase, a Canadian store that describes itself as a gay sex shop, as well to the city.

Greg Davis told The Commercial Appeal he doesn’t remember what he bought at the shop.

In 2008, Greg Davis ran unsuccessfully for Congress on a family-values platform.

Greg Davis has been married to his wife Suzann for the past 19 years, according to the city’s website, whom he shares three daughters with.

Greg Davis says he plans to take time off during the holidays to be with his family as well as, “ensure that for the next year and a half that the city continues to grow.”

He added: “I will evaluate whether I will run again as mayor at a later time.”

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Sara McMeen, a mother-of-three from the small farm town of Emington, Illinois, who murdered her children and her boyfriend Daniel Warren, killed herself in front of horrified neighbors.

Daniel Warren, 29, 10-months-old Maggie, Skyler, 8, and Ian, 7 were the victims of the horrible murder-suicide.

A witness described the horrible moment Sara McMeen, 30, placed Maggie, her infant girl, on the ground, wrapped her in a blanket and shot her at point blank range with a semi-automatic pistol.

Sara McMeen had apparently already gunned down her boyfriend Daniel Warren and her two other children.

The neighbor ran for help and when she came back, Sara McMeen was dead, as well, after turning the gun on herself.

Sara McMeen and her boyfriend Daniel Warren with their newborn baby Maggie

Sara McMeen and her boyfriend Daniel Warren with their newborn baby Maggie

Authorities have given no clue what could have led the mother of three to massacre her family.

Sara McMeen’s mother Cynthia, who is a school bus driver in a town 12 miles north of Emington, issued a statement asking for privacy as the family copes with the deaths:

“The family grieves over the loss of their loved ones. They realize this (tragic) incident affects not only their family, but other families as well. The family is drawing together during this time, relying on God, and grieving. They would ask for your prayers for all the families involved and would like their privacy to be honored.”

The neighbor who witnessed the shooting told the Pontiac Daily Leader she walked outside when she heard the gunshots and saw Sara McMeen wrap her infant daughter in a blanket on the ground in the backyard of her home.

When the neighbor asked if she was alright, Sara McMeen responded: “No, everything is not OK,” then bent down and shot the baby at point-blank range.

Authorities did not confirm the Daily Leader’s report, but said have hinted the shooter was one of the dead family members.

The shootings occurred at a house in Emington, Illinois, a town of just 100 people, where Skyler and Ian Lemke, the two older children, were seen getting off a school bus just before they were killed.

“They were happy because it was the last day of school before Christmas break,” neighbor Ronald Groetsema said.

Ronald Groetsema lives near the home where the family was found and said he heard six to eight gunshots, then he heard a second round of four to six shots a few minutes later.

Neighbors reported seeing the school children playing in the backyard moments before they were gunned down.

The family had moved to the town of about 100 people about 80 miles southwest of Chicago this summer and the two older children attend school in nearby Saunemin.

The street where the family lived was closed off by police.

Livingston County Sheriff Martin Meredith said first responders found the bodies after Livingston County dispatchers received a call on Friday afternoon.

“We did have an awful disaster here,” said Emington Mayor Daniel Delaney, who’s been in office for 24 years.

“You never would have thought it would happen in our town of 100 people or less. It’s very sad. There were helicopters flying over earlier. Right now it’s just very, very, very sad for us here.”

Mayor Daniel Delaney said the town is not prosperous and has received help from the state.

Emington has a post office that’s been targeted for closure and just a handful of small businesses – a grain elevator, a dog groomer and a small beauty salon.

The town, Livingston County Board member Bob Young said, had never experienced anything like Friday’s shootings.

“I’ve lived here all my life. I guess, 60, 70 years ago we had a bank robbery, was the other big thing, but otherwise, nothing like this,” he said.

Christopher Artes and Medeana Hendershot, a couple who romanticized trains and lived a modern-day adventure by riding railroad cars across the U.S., were killed when a train dumped its load of coal on them at a Florida power plant.

Workers discovered the bodies of Christopher Artes, 25, and Medeana Hendershot, 22, this Sunday.

Though it’s unclear exactly how the young couple died, officials guess that Christopher Artes was buried alive and Medeana Hendershot was crushed to death by the weight of the coal.

Sometime over the weekend, the train pulled into the city of Lakeland’s power plant in Central Florida.

As the rail cars arrive, the bottom opens and cars drop coal several stories below onto a waiting truck.

Officials were not sure if the couple was sitting on top of the coal or were riding in an empty car and dropped onto a mound of coal, then hit or buried by another load.

Christopher Artes died from asphyxiation, meaning he was likely buried alive. Medeana Hendershot died from blunt force trauma to her middle section.

As a teenager in suburban Maryland, Christopher Artes had an illegal and dangerous kind of wanderlust – hitching rides on trains.

Over the summer, he fell in love with Medeana Hendershot, who shared his passion.

The couple travelled from Georgia to Chicago, then back to Tennessee, with Christopher Artes sending his mother pictures along the way.

They wanted to spend winter in Florida because it was warm.

This summer, with his girlfriend, Christopher Artes embarked on his longest trip yet, with no set plans other than the adventure

This summer, with his girlfriend, Christopher Artes embarked on his longest trip yet, with no set plans other than the adventure

“If he had to die so young, at least he died at a moment where he was on top of the world,” said Susan Artes, Christopher’s mother.

Christopher Artes was adopted when he was 5 days old. Growing up, he had dyslexia and other learning disorders, but he was a sweet boy, his mother said.

The boy was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder but didn’t like taking his medication. He used drugs and drank, but his mother said he had been clean in recent months.

In high school, Christopher Artes embraced the punk rock scene and met some “traveller kids”, his mother said. He started to dress in black and had a lot of different hair styles and colours.

It was then Christopher Artes began climbing aboard freight trains for short trips, either to get around, or for the experience.

This summer, with his girlfriend, Christopher Artes embarked on his longest trip yet, with no set plans other than the adventure.

Kevin Rice, from San Luis Obispo, California, who writes about his train hopping adventures from 20 years ago on his website, said:

“I don’t recommend it and I encourage people not to do it.”

Kevin Rice, 43, listed the dangers of riding the rails: falling off the car, getting robbed by a vagrant, being jolted or crushed when the train’s slack lessens.

He said he has heard of many different freight-hopping deaths, but nothing like the case of Christopher Artes and Medeana Hendershot.

Christopher Artes’ mother said her son had a train-hopping manual, but it was stolen at some point.

Susan Artes described her son as naïve and trusting. When he and Medeana Hendershot were in Miami several weeks ago, a trucker with whom they had caught a ride with stole Christopher Artes’ backpack.

“We were always worried about him. He always made so many bad decisions,” Susan Artes said.

“If he got an idea and something looked good to him, he would do it. He was always jumping into situations.

“This particular train was one of them. I’m sure they thought the train would go from one yard to another.”

Medeana Hendershot’s family couldn’t be located for comment.

The last time Christopher Artes spoke with his mother was last Saturday. He had been up north.

He told his mother he was in Georgia on his way to Florida because the weather up north was too cold.

Christoper Artes’ funeral will likely be next week in Maryland.

More than 430 people have been killed and many more missing in recent flash floods triggered by typhoon Washi in the southern Philippines, officials say.

Many of the victims were asleep when it struck Mindanao island, hitting the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.

Tens of thousands of people have fled to higher ground, the authorities say.

Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster rescue agency, said reports were still coming in and the casualty figures could rise.

He said the floodwaters had risen alarmingly fast overnight as people slept.

“Massive flooding had been reported over the region, especially in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City,” Benito Ramos said.

Rivers burst their banks after 25 mm of rain fell in 24 hours.

More than 430 people have been killed and many more missing in recent flash floods triggered by typhoon Washi in the southern Philippines

More than 430 people have been killed and many more missing in recent flash floods triggered by typhoon Washi in the southern Philippines

The Philippine National Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang said at least 430 people had been killed.

Gwen Pang said 215 people had been killed in Cagayan de Oro and 144 in Iligan.

Large areas were left without power and some domestic flights were cancelled as winds of up to 90 km/h (55mph) swept across the island.

A landslide killed at least five people in the east of the island, the national disaster agency said.

A military spokesman, Colonel Leopoldo Galon, said an entire army division – some 10,000 soldiers – was involved in the rescue efforts around Cagayan de Oro.

Forecasters said the eye of Tropical Storm Washi had passed close to Dipolog City, west of Iligan City, early on Saturday and it was now heading out into the Sulu Sea.

Floods had swamped a quarter of Iligan and at least 10 villages on its outskirts, said the city’s mayor, Lawrence Cruz.

“It’s the worst flood in the history of our city,” Lawrence Cruz told GMA television.

“It happened so fast, at a time when people were fast asleep.”

The coast guard and other rescuers were scouring the waters off the coastal city for survivors or bodies, he added.

GMA television broadcast dramatic footage of a family escaping their flood-hit home by climbing through a window.

Rescue workers were pictured helping survivors to safety in chest-deep floodwater.

Three people also drowned in Polanco town in Zamboanga del Norte province, said provincial disaster officer Dennis Tenorio. He said high winds had toppled trees.

The storm is set to hit the western island of Palawan later on Saturday, after crossing the Sulu Sea with winds of up to 75 km/h, according to state weather forecasters.

The Philippines are struck by about 20 major storms every year but most of them take a more northerly track, hitting Luzon island.

Benito Ramos said Washi’s toll may have been so high because Mindanao residents are unaccustomed to catching the full force of such storms.

He said officials had given four days of warnings that the storm was approaching but many people had chosen not to evacuate their homes.

Typhoons Nesat and Nalgae battered the country within days of each other in September, leaving more than 100 people dead. Both storms struck Luzon.

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Author, essayist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens, who waged verbal and occasional physical battle on behalf of causes left and right, died last night, after a long battle with cancer, at 62.

Christopher Hitchens‘ death was announced in a statement from Conde Nast, publisher of Vanity Fair magazine.

The statement says Christopher Hitchens died last night at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston of pneumonia, a complication of his oesophageal cancer.

A most engaged, prolific and public intellectual who enjoyed his drink (enough “to kill or stun the average mule”) and cigarettes, Christopher Hitchens announced in June 2010 that he was being treated for cancer of the oesophagus and cancelled a tour for his memoir Hitch-22.

Author, essayist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens, died last night, after a long battle with cancer, at 62

Author, essayist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens died last night, after a long battle with cancer, at 62

 

Christopher Hitchens, a frequent television commentator and a contributor to Vanity Fair, Slate and other publications, had become a popular author in 2007 thanks to his provocative best-seller, “God Is Not Great”, a manifesto for atheists that defied a recent trend of religious works.

His cancer humbled, but did not mellow him. Even after his diagnosis, his columns appeared weekly, savaging the royal family or reveling in the death of Osama Bin Laden.

“I love the imagery of struggle,” Christopher Hitchens wrote about his illness in an August 2010 essay in Vanity Fair.

“I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient.”

Eloquent and intemperate, bawdy and urbane, Christopher Hitchens was an acknowledged contrarian and contradiction – half-Christian, half-Jewish and fully non-believing; a native of England who settled in America; a former Trotskyite who backed the Iraq war and supported George W. Bush.

However, his passions remained constant and enemies of his youth, from Henry Kissinger to Mother Teresa, remained hated.

Christopher Hitchens was a militant humanist who believed in pluralism and racial justice and freedom of speech, big cities and fine art and the willingness to stand the consequences.

He was smacked in the rear by then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and beaten up in Beirut. He once submitted to waterboarding to prove that it was indeed torture.

Christopher Hitchens was an old-fashioned sensualist who abstained from clean living as if it were just another kind of church.

An emphatic ally and inspired foe, Christopher Hitchens stood by friends in trouble (Satanic Verses novelist Salman Rushdie) and against enemies in power (Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini).

His heroes included George Orwell, Thomas Paine and Gore Vidal (pre-September 11).

Among those on the Christopher Hitchens list of shame: Michael Moore, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong il, Sarah Palin, Gore Vidal (post September 11) and Prince Charles.

Christopher Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1949. His father, Eric, was a “purse-lipped” Navy veteran known as The Commander; his mother, Yvonne, a romantic who later killed herself during an extra-marital rendezvous in Greece.

Young Christopher would have rather read a book. He was “a mere weed and weakling and kick-bag” who discovered that “words could function as weapons” and so stockpiled them.

In college, Oxford, Christopher Hitchens met such longtime friends as authors Martin Amis and Ian McEwan and claimed to be nearby when visiting Rhodes scholar Bill Clinton did or did not inhale marijuana.

Radicalized by the 1960s, Christopher Hitchens was often arrested at political rallies, was kicked out of Britain’s Labour Party over his opposition to the Vietnam War and became a correspondent for the radical magazine International Socialism. His reputation broadened in the 1970s through his writings for the New Statesman.

Christopher Hitchens advocated intervention in Bosnia and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

No Democrat angered him more than Bill Clinton, whose presidency led to the bitter end of Christopher Hitchens’ friendship with White House aide Sidney Blumenthal and other Clinton backers.

As Christopher Hitchens wrote in his memoir, he found Bill Clinton “hateful in his behavior to women, pathological as a liar, and deeply suspect when it came to money in politics”.

Christopher Hitchens wrote the anti-Clinton book, “No One Left To Lie To”, at a time when most liberals were supporting the president as he faced impeachment over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

He also loathed Hillary Rodham Clinton and switched his affiliation from independent to Democrat in 2008 just so he could vote against her in the presidential primary.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, completed his exit. He fought with Vidal, Noam Chomsky and others who either suggested that U.S. foreign policy had helped caused the tragedy or that the Bush administration had advanced knowledge.

Christopher Hitchens supported the Iraq war, quit The Nation, backed Bush for re-election in 2004 and repeatedly chastised those whom he believed worried unduly about the feelings of Muslims.

He also wrote short biographies/appreciations of Paine and Thomas Jefferson, a tribute to Orwell and Letters to a Young Contrarian (Art of Mentoring), in which he advised that “Only an open conflict of ideas and principles can produce any clarity”.

A collection of essays, “Arguably”, came out in September 2011 and he was planning a “book-length meditation on malady and mortality”. He appeared in a 2010 documentary about the topical singer Phil Ochs.

Survived by his second wife, author Carol Blue, and by his three children (Alexander, Sophia and Antonia), Christopher Hitchens had well-crafted ideas about posterity, clarified years ago when he saw himself referred to as “the late” Christopher Hitchens in print.

For the May 2010 issue of Vanity Fair, before his illness, Christopher Hitchens submitted answers for the Proust Questionnaire, a probing and personal survey for which the famous have revealed everything from their favorite color to their greatest fear.

When will be completed, One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in Manhattan and one of incredible poignancy for New York City.

One World Trade Center reached its 90th floor this week – with just 14 more floors to go until the top. The structure can now be seen from all five boroughs of the city.

Amazing pictures showed how the area has been reborn since the 9/11 attacks more than a decade ago where almost 3,000 people lost their lives in the worst ever terrorist attack on American soil.

Picture captured from the 80th floor of One World Trade Center

Picture captured from the 80th floor of One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center is on track to be completed by 2013 with construction workers approximately finishing a floor a week in downtown Manhattan.

Electrical contractors at the tower agreed to give it a festive feel and wrapped the exterior lamps they use with coloured cellophane in time for Christmas.

Developments can be followed on One World Trade Center’s Twitter feed @WTCProgress. Glass now covers up to the 65th floor and concrete has been added up to the 82nd level. There will be 104 floors in the completed building, making it the tallest in Manhattan.

The site will be a place of reflection and contemplation for many and The National September 11 Memorial And Museum, designed by the winning team of Michael Arad and Peter Walker, was opened for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Picture captured from the 77th floor of One World Trade Center

Picture captured from the 77th floor of One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center, designed by renowned architect David Childs, standing in the north-west corner, is the site’s centrepiece.

The first cornerstone was laid down on July 4, 2004, and as the building rose it was known as Freedom Tower.

One WTC stands in the footsteps of the original twin towers among a small forest of oak trees in an eight-acre plaza. It features two 50ft-deep pools, each containing fountains, along with a museum with exhibitions and artefacts to teach visitors about the events of September 11.

At One WTC, there is almost 3million square feet of office space – half of which had already been leased. There is also an observation deck planned more than 1,241ft above ground, fine-dining restaurants and a sprawling public lobby boasting 50ft ceilings. There will be eventually be six skyscrapers on the site altogether.

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American transportation safety regulators want to ban the use of mobile devices while driving, going so far as to say they should never be used in cars unless in case of emergency.

The National Transportation Board said Tuesday that states should ban all driver use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices, even including hands-free devices.

NTSB made the radical recommendation following a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year when a 19-year-old pickup driver sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the crash which killed him and a 15-year-old student.

The pickup, travelling at 55 miles per hour, collided into the back of a tractor truck before the pickup was rear-ended by a school bus that overrode the smaller vehicle, and a second school bus rammed into the back of the first bus.

NTSB made the radical recommendation following a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year when a 19-year-old pickup driver sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the crash which killed him and a 15-year-old student

NTSB made the radical recommendation following a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year when a 19-year-old pickup driver sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the crash which killed him and a 15-year-old student

The recommendation, unanimously agreed to by the five-member board, significantly exceeds any existing state laws restricting texting and cell phone use behind the wheel.

While the NTSB doesn’t have the power to impose restrictions, its recommendations carry significant weight with federal regulators and congressional and state lawmakers.

NTSB has previously recommended bans on texting and cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers and beginning drivers, but it has stopped short of calling for a ban on the use of the devices by adults behind the wheel of passenger cars.

The problem of texting while driving is getting worse despite a rush by states to ban the practice, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last week. In November, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to forbid texting while driving.

About two out of 10 American drivers overall – and half of drivers between 21 and 24 – say they’ve thumbed messages or emailed from the driver’s seat, according to a survey of more than 6,000 drivers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Even more, many drivers don’t think it’s dangerous when they do it – only when others do, the survey found.

At any given moment last year on US streets and highways, nearly 1 in every 100 car drivers was texting, emailing, surfing the Web or otherwise using a handheld electronic device, the safety administration said. And those activities spiked 50 per cent over the previous year.

Driver distraction wasn’t the only significant safety problem uncovered by NTSB’s investigation of the Missouri accident.

Investigators said they believe the pickup driver was suffering from fatigue that may have eroded his judgment at the time of the accident. He had an average of about five and a half hours of sleep a night in the days leading up to the accident and had had fewer than five hours of sleep the night before the accident, they said.

Regardless of the personal contributions to the accident, the fatal Missouri crash is a “big red flag for all drivers”, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said at a meeting to determine the cause of the accident and make safety recommendations.

It is not possible to know from cell phone records if the driver was typing, reaching for the phone or reading a text at the time of the crash, but it’s clear he was manually, cognitively and visually distracted, she said.

“Driving was not his only priority,” Deborah Hersman said.

“No call, no text, no update is worth a human life.”

Missouri had a law banning drivers under 21 years old from texting while driving at the time of the crash, but wasn’t aggressively enforcing the ban, board member Robert Sumwalt said.

“Without the enforcement, the laws don’t mean a whole lot,” Robert Sumwalt said.

The Spanish aristocrat, Duchesse of Alba took to the red carpet with Tom Cruise at the premiere of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol.

Duchesse of Alba, a 85-year-old billionaire, posed for pictures with her 60-year-old husband and Tom Cruise, 49, who looked a little awkward.

The mother-of-six, who has more titles than Queen Elizabeth II, appeared more than happy to cozy up next to Tom Cruise and bask in the Callao cinema in the Spanish town.

While he is yet to turn down a Mission it appeared the prospect of entertaining the eccentric aristocrat for the evening proved too much for Tom Cruise, who appeared happy to get back to his glamorous co-stars.

Paula Patton looked simply stunning in a purple leopard print strapless gown which boasted lace detail.

The actress teamed the dramatic dress with her hair up and matching purple earrings.

The Spanish aristocrat, Duchesse of Alba took to the red carpet with Tom Cruise at the premiere of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

The Spanish aristocrat, Duchesse of Alba took to the red carpet with Tom Cruise at the premiere of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

While Tom Cruise has been looking dapper on the red carpet at the other Mission Impossible premieres it appears he decided to dress down for the Spanish screening.

Tom Cruise, who is married to actress turned fashion designer Katie Holmes, opted for a camel coloured leather jacket which he teamed with a cream polo neck and brown trousers.

His British co-star Simon Pegg was dressed in a grey suit which left Tom looking a little out of place.

Despite his casual attire, Tom Cruise was still in high demand from the crowd and many fans were eager to catch a glimpse or snap a photo of the actor.

But it appeared Tom Cruise’s biggest fan for the evening was the Duchess of Alba who was seen gazing at him with a look of admiration on her face.

The Duchess was joined by her 60-year-old husband who she married in a ceremony in October.

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Michael Jackson’s house items from the home where he spent his final days have been displayed at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, where his adoring fans turn the place into a shrine.

The display includes a Victorian baby grand piano, the wooden armoire where Michael Jackson had written a note to himself on the mirror and a kitchen chalkboard where his children inscribed the message, “I love daddy”.

About 25 members of the Official Michael Jackson Fans of Southern California spent the weekend making and delivering glitter-covered cards, handmade Christmas ornaments, flowers and pictures to the auction rooms. They will be passed on to the Jackson family.

Michael Jackson’s house items from the home where he spent his final days have been displayed at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, where his adoring fans turn the place into a shrine

Michael Jackson’s house items from the home where he spent his final days have been displayed at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, where his adoring fans turn the place into a shrine

Julien’s Auctions announced last month that it would sell the contents of the sprawling home where Michael Jackson died in 2009.

On Sunday, Julien’s Auctions invited Michael Jackson fans to preview its exhibit of the home’s art and furnishings before it opened to the public on Monday.

“This means a lot, because we don’t have a place to go to leave things for the family,” said Christine Tucker, spokeswoman for the fan club.

“He inspires us to create. We make these beautiful things and we want his kids and his mom to see it.”

Karen Jackson, a 57-year old fan, stayed up all night working on her creation – a charm-covered chain anchored by a metal “M” that includes tiny photos of Prince, Paris and Blanket.

“I’ve been working on this for a year,” Karen Jackson said.

“I hadn’t finished it because I didn’t know how to get it to them.”

Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, said he sought permission from the Michael Jackson’s family to include fans in the auction exhibit, and the megastar’s mother requested that he deliver any handmade items from fans to her.

“They put their hearts into it because they want the kids and Mrs. Jackson to see how much love they have for Michael,” Darren Julien said.

“Michael Jackson has played such an important part in our careers and lives, and this is a fun way to give back. This is Michael’s VIP reception.”

Julien’s Auctions sold the contents of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in April, 2009. The company also sold Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket for $1.8 million over the summer and his signature spangled glove for $350,000 in 2009.

For the auction of items from Michael Jackson’s rented mansion at 100 North Carolwood Drive, Julien’s Auctions has recreated the home’s various rooms inside the Beverly Hills showroom.

There is a formal dining room anchored by a long table and 10 carved chairs, an elegant living room with damask sofas, and several bedrooms – including the one where Michael Jackson died.

The headboard of his bed was removed from the auction at his family’s request, so fans filled the space where the bed would have been with their tribute.

Among the lots available for sale, fans were most interested in photographing the armoire with Michael Jackson’s handwritten message (expected to sell for at least $6,000) and the chalkboard note from his children (expected to fetch more than $400).

Other items for sale include carved wooden tables, antique statues and various framed paintings.

Darren Julien said he wanted Michael Jackson’s fans to be part of the exhibit “not because they’re going to buy anything, but to honor his legacy”.

“Fans are welcome to add to the tribute throughout the week,” he said.

The exhibit of items is free and open to the public. The auction will be held Saturday.

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Terry Joe “TJ” Volner, the babysitter of a 4-year-old boy from Wright County, Missouri, has been accused of slitting the boy’s throat and sending a photo of the mutilated body to his mother to prove that he had killed the toddler.

TJ Volner, 22, took a series of photos after allegedly killing the boy, including one showing the dead boy’s chin propped up by a stick.

Prosecutors said Terry Joe Volner took the gruesome “trophy” photos to prove to his mother Tina Miller that he had killed Dusty Guenther, the only son of Gina Guenther.

Police say that he was jealous of Gina Guenther’s new boyfriend, though it is unclear whether or not she and TJ Volner had ever dated.

TJ Volner was arrested after being found in Gina Guenther’s home with a self-inflicted stab wounds.

Love letters from TJ Volner to the boy’s mother were found in the home where the killing took place.

Terry Joe “TJ” Volner, the babysitter of 4-year-old boy Dusty Guenther, has been accused of slitting the boy’s throat

Terry Joe “TJ” Volner, the babysitter of 4-year-old boy Dusty Guenther, has been accused of slitting the boy’s throat

According to police, the mother’s boyfriend had visited the house the night before the toddler was killed. Gina Guenther is the mother of four, and at the time of the alleged murder one of her daughters was in the house but was not harmed.

At the time of the incident, Gina Guenther was at work while her two eldest daughters were at school.

According to court documents, TJ Volner used his cell phone to send pictures to his mother, though why he would want to prove that grizzly fact to her is beyond understanding.

The murderer boasted that he had killed all four of the children as well as Gina Guenther’s new boyfriend, though the three daughters were untouched and no other bodies were found.

One of the pictures of the dead boy showed part of a man’s arm with a tattoo, which helped investigators as they said TJ Volner has the same tattoo on his arm.

The toddler was found last week in an ice covered lagoon near his home.

TJ Volner, who was released from prison in March from a three year sentence for theft, had been staying with Gina Guenther on and off since his release.

Sergeant Casey Jadwin with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said that TJ Volner confessed to him that he’d killed the child by stabbing him in the neck with a folding-knife.

In addition to a murder charge, TJ Volner faces charges of armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse.

The killer is being held in jail on a $1million bond.

At least 13 people were killed, including two children after small plane has crashed in the Philippines into a school building in Paranaque near the capital, Manila, police and Red Cross officials say.

Paranaque’s Mayor, Florencio Bernabe, said no classes were in session when the plane crash landed shortly after take-off from an airport in Manila.

A fire at the school quickly spread to surrounding shanty houses. It is not clear how many people were on board.

At least 13 people were killed, including two children after small plane has crashed in the Philippines into a school building in Paranaque

At least 13 people were killed, including two children after small plane has crashed in the Philippines into a school building in Paranaque

Gwendolyn Pang, of the Philippine Red Cross, told the AFP news agency:

“The crash set fire to at least 30 houses. These are shanties, made of light materials.”

According to Ramon Gutierrez, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the light plane had sent out a distress call shortly after take-off, AP news agency reports.

The plane, bound for Mindoro Island, crashed at about 14:30 local time.

A resident told The Philippine Star newspaper that a Christmas party has just been held at the school.

Mayor Florencio Bernabe said at least 20 people had been taken to hospital with injuries, AFP reports.

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RQ-170 Sentinel, the U.S.’ most sophisticated spy plane, was captured by Iran and it was paraded on Iranian state television earlier today in near mint condition.

Iran claims the lost RQ-170 Sentinel was on a surveillance mission last week when it was detected by Iranians over Kashmar and was downed by their armed forces.

But the drone appears to be in good shape contradicting Iran’s claim it was shot down – and backing up U.S. claims that Tehran did not bring it down through electronic, cyber or any other means.

A senior U.S. official confirmed it was the drone earlier today.

“Yep, that’s it – it’s intact,” a source told Fox News.

“This is a big prize in terms of technology.”

Meanwhile the official added that President Obama decided not to retrieve or destroy the drone because that could have been seen as an act of war.

Iran displays the alleged captured US drone RQ-170 Sentinel in near mint condition on national TV

Iran displays the alleged captured US drone RQ-170 Sentinel in near mint condition on national TV

 

U.S. officials have admitted the drone was lost on a mission last week, but say it was probably because of a malfunction on board.

The officials also pointed out it would have probably been badly damaged – and therefore less sensitive – if it had fallen from a height of up to 50,000 ft. However the video shows the drone pretty much intact.

The tour of the drone on Press TV is clearly political maneuvering by Iran as the U.S. tries to find out more about the country’s nuclear programme.

Iran claims the drones are a violation of its sovereignty and feels they are an aggressive act against them, reported Yahoo News.

U.S. said earlier this week the drone was only supposed to fly over Afghanistan looking for insurgents then flew off course.

U.S. officials are concerned about the Iranians potentially sharing or selling what they could have recovered of the aircraft to China or Russia.

These fears will be heightened following the broadcast, as it shows the cream-coloured drone seemingly intact despite its crash.

Press TV also reported that Iran will now “carry out reverse engineering” on the drone, which was manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The RQ-170 was used to watch former Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden during the Navy SEAL mission that killed him, reported ABC News.

A senior U.S. official claimed any capture shines a light on the U.S. spying mission, but will not tell Iran much it did not already know.

Experts and officials acknowledge that there is no self-destruct mechanism on the Sentinels, which are used both by the military and the CIA.

This is bound to raise questions about why an aircraft would be developed that stays intact when it crashes and could get into anybody’s hands.

Iranian state radio reported on Wednesday that the country would soon broadcast video footage of the downed drone. It was shown on Thursday.

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Five people, including a pilot, died after a Sundance helicopter crashed Wednesday afternoon during a tour of Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam.

According to National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz, the helicopter crashed into the River Mountains surrounding Lake Mead just before 5:00 p.m.

A security guard from the national recreation area heard the crash and reported seeing smoke about four miles west of the lake’s edge.

Andrew Munoz told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was “saddened” that a search-and-rescue mission turned into a “recovery investigation”.

He added that it was too early to release the names of the victims.

The crash site about 30 miles from the Las Vegas Strip is not accessible by road.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said several witnesses reported smoke and what appeared to be wreckage in the area where police were investigating.

Ian Gregor said police were having troubling reaching the crash site because it’s in a ravine.

The tour helicopter was an Aerospatiale AS350, which can hold up to six passengers and are often used for air tours.

A spokesman for Sundance Helicopters, who declined to give his name, said the tour was not full. He declined to answer further questions.

The tour helicopter that crashed in Las Vegas was an Aerospatiale AS350, which can hold up to six passengers and are often used for air tours

The tour helicopter that crashed in Las Vegas was an Aerospatiale AS350, which can hold up to six passengers and are often used for air tours

It’s unclear what may have triggered the crash.

The weather was mostly clear near Lake Mead yesterday, with a low temperature around 29 and winds around 5 mph.

Sundance Helicopters is no stranger to fatal accidents.

Seven people were killed in September 2003 when a helicopter hit a wall near the Grand Canyon.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s report into that accident determined that: “The probable cause of this accident was the pilot’s disregard of safe flying procedures and misjudgment of the helicopter’s proximity to terrain, which resulted in an in-flight collision with a canyon wall.

“Contributing to the accident was the failure of Sundance Helicopters and the Federal Aviation Administration to provide adequate surveillance of Sundance’s air tour operations in Descent Canyon.”

There was video evidence to support passenger complaints that the pilot was prone to veering close to canyon walls, and performing risky maneuvers.

Sundance Helicopters received two complaints about the pilot in 2001 and though it initially said it would suspend the pilot, the ban was never enforced.

One tourist who recently took a similar tour said that his pilot prompted him to pay a tip in exchange for a more exciting flight.

The tourist said: “The pilot told us that he was so low-paid that all tips were gratefully received, and that in exchange for the tip he would perform some low-level flying.

“He flew close to the ground and close to the walls, on the edge of things, for more excitement.

‘I didn’t feel I was in danger at the time but I did think he was taking more risks than he needed to.”

Sundance Helicopters’ website promotes only one local tour that flies over Lake Mead.

The 30-minute “Twilight City Tour” spans downtown Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam and the Las Vegas Strip.

Packages start at $210 per person.

“Fly in a state of the art luxury air-conditioned 6 passenger jet helicopter,” Sundance Helicopters says on its website.

A September 2003 crash of a Sundance Helicopters flight killed its pilot and six passengers in Arizona.

Unsafe flying procedures and misjudgment were cited as the probable cause of that crash.

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David Silverstein, a wealthy chiropractor from Seattle, and his wife were living in a $1.2million waterfront home while claiming almost $2,000-a-month welfare benefits and even food stamps, according to documents.

A civil lawsuit has been filed against David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova, who are accused of making false claims which included more than $1,200 in public housing vouchers, plus state and government disability cheques and even food stamps.

Prosecutors are demanding they pay back more than $135,000 in federal housing assistance since 2003 and are seeking tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

It is thought the couple has spent some of the money they claimed over the last eight years flying to Moscow, Paris, Israel, Turkey, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

David Silverstein, a wealthy chiropractor from Seattle, and his wife were living in a $1.2million waterfront home while claiming almost $2,000-a-month welfare benefits and even food stamps, according to documents

David Silverstein, a wealthy chiropractor from Seattle, and his wife were living in a $1.2million waterfront home while claiming almost $2,000-a-month welfare benefits and even food stamps, according to documents

 

All the while, federal authorities say, David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova was collecting more than $100,000 in welfare.

Lyudmila Shimonova also received benefits under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, as well as Social Security cash reserved for people who can’t work due to age or disability and whose assets fall below a certain threshold – $3,000 for a married couple or $2,000 for a single person, the complaint said.

“Defendants have separately and, it appears, in conjunction with one another made false representations to various state and federal agencies in order to obtain federally funded benefits,” assistant U.S. attorneys Harold Malkin and Kayla Stahman wrote.

Meanwhile, David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova were traveling the world, according to Department of Homeland Security records.

Michael Radyshewsky, a federal welfare fraud investigator, wrote in an application to search the couple’s home that they took week-long trips to Moscow in 2003, Dominican Republic in 2005, and Mexico and France in 2009.

In 2007, David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova went for 12 days to Israel, and this past June they took a two-week trip to Turkey.

The investigation included surveillance of the three-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot home on Lake Washington, during which agents observed his black Jaguar parked there frequently.

Though Lyudmila Shimonova had claimed she was single and lived there alone, David Silverstein listed it as his residence on his driver’s license and passport application, the prosecutors said.

But in documents filed so that he could receive the housing assistance, David Silverstein listed his office as his residence to conceal that he was living with Lyudmila Shimonova – not her landlord, they said.

In addition to failing to disclose the marriage or living situation, Lyudmila Shimonova also failed to disclose bank accounts in her name containing tens of thousands of dollars, prosecutors said.

The lawsuit seeks to have the couple pay $11,000 in fines for each false claim the couple made. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on whether criminal charges are forthcoming.

According to Yahoo, the couple’s home includes gardens and a boat dock and that they accurately listed the address of the $1.2million property when applying for the benefits.

A federal official told the station that the couple likely took advantage of a loophole, which allows low-income individuals to receive financial assistance to help them pay their rent and move away from housing projects.

David Silverstein received the monthly benefits of $1,272 as Lyudmila Shimonova’s purported landlord, despite the fact he drives a Jaguar and has a successful chiropractor.

The government says that in gaining Section 8 housing assistance, Lyudmila Shimonova represented that she lived alone with her two children and that her household assets were less than $5,000.

On his website, David Silverstein states: “I am happily married with two children, whose careers are in medicine and Middle Eastern studies.

“As a family, we all enjoy snow shoeing, mountain climbing and ocean sports.”

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Lisa Alyounes, a 4ft 9in woman was caught on video pummeling her “cheating” boyfriend on a train.

A video showing Lisa Alyounes, 26, during her brutal revenge on a man aboard a New Jersey Transit train has gone viral on the YouTube channel “Train Fights”.

Lisa Alyounes, identified by police arrest records, curses her boyfriend and thumps him in the head with her fists, kicks him in the face with her Ugg-style boots and spits on him to show her contempt.

The woman’s assault delayed hundreds of commuters and held back all trains between Camden and Trenton New Jersey.

Lisa Alyounes, a 4ft 9in woman was caught on video pummeling her “cheating” boyfriend on a train

Lisa Alyounes, a 4ft 9in woman was caught on video pummeling her “cheating” boyfriend on a train

The fight took place November 29 on the River Line train at a station in Camden, outside Philadelphia.

The train was 20 minutes late leaving the 30th Street station because police had to pull the woman off the train and arrest her, transit spokesman John Durso Jr. said.

All other trains in both directions on the route were delayed 15 minutes as a result, John Durso Jr. added.

In the attack, which was filmed by two passengers, the boyfriend, who was not identified, remains seated and tries to shield himself from the angry volley.

The man does not hit her back. Lisa Alyounes seems to hurt him, but at 4-foot-9, she doesn’t appear to inflict much damage.

Horrified passengers in her train car yelled at the woman to stop and warned her police were on their way, but stood by during her violent tirade.

“Two f****** years with me, and you’re going to cheat on me!” Lisa Alyounes screams.

“That’s all for cheating? That’s all he did?” the woman behind the camera asks.

When officers arrived, they hauled Lisa Alyounes off the train. The camera keeps rolling as she resists their attempts to handcuff her and then kicks the officers as they take her away.

Lisa Alyounes was charged with resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, domestic violence assault and disorderly conduct.

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Two officers from Scotland Yard investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have flown to Spain as part of a review into the case.

Detectives travelled to Barcelona two weeks ago to liaise with officers as part of a review of the whole investigation.

Officers would not confirm their specific reasons for travelling to Barcelona, however it is thought they might be looking into reports the three-year-old was abducted and smuggled over the border from Portugal to Spain.

This morning Clarence Mitchell, McCann family spokesman said: “Kate and Gerry welcome the on-going work by the Metropolitan Police and they are pleased that the investigative review is making progress.”

Two officers from Scotland Yard investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have flown to Spain as part of a review into the case

Two officers from Scotland Yard investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have flown to Spain as part of a review into the case

The trip is part of the Met Police’s “investigative review” into all the work done since the investigation into the missing child began in 2007.

It was ordered by David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May in May last year.

As part of the review detectives have also travelled to Portugal three times to speak with officers who worked on the original investigation.

They also spent the first five months reading all the information from the case file which had to be translated from Portuguese to English.

There are no suggestions of any major breakthroughs in the case.

According to The Evening Standard, officers could be investigating one theory that the toddler was abducted by a paedophile gang and smuggled over the border to Spain either in a vehicle or by boat.

There were sightings of a girl matching Madeleine McCann’s appearance in Spain shortly after she vanished and Portuguese authorities were criticized for not informing border officials for 12 hours after they first knew she was missing.

In September 2009, the McCanns received 1,000 reports following an appeal of a Victoria Beckham lookalike seen in Barcelona who they thought may be connected to the disappearance of their daughter.

Investigators wanted to trace the woman, said to have been acting suspiciously, who asked a witness at a Barcelona marina if he was there to deliver her “new daughter” on May 7, 2007.

The well-dressed woman was described as possibly having an Australian accent and appeared agitated.

Madeline McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished from Portuguese holiday resort Praia da Luz in the Algarve in 2007. The girl was asleep in the family’s holiday apartment with her brother Sean and sister Amelie when she vanished on May 3, 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday.

Her parents Gerry and Kate McCann, both doctors, were eating at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends at the time.

A Met Police spokesman said two officers had travelled to Portugal three times for the investigative review and two officers travelled to the Spanish city between November 23 and 25.

The spokesman would not reveal any further details but added: “The investigative review is on-going.”

The official Portuguese and Leicestershire police investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance ended in July 2008. However private detectives working for the McCanns have been working to trace her ever since.

It looks as if DB Cooper case, the notorious skyjacking saga that baffled US authorities for 40 years may finally be coming to a close.

Marla Cooper from Oregon, who claims her uncle was the elusive criminal known only as DB Cooper says she has been told by the FBI that the case is about to be closed.

Burdened by guilt over her knowledge surrounding the case, Marla Cooper came forward earlier this year, claiming she had a 40-year-old family secret protecting her uncle, a man named Lynn Doyle Cooper.

It looks as if DB Cooper case, the notorious skyjacking saga that baffled US authorities for 40 years may finally be coming to a close

It looks as if DB Cooper case, the notorious skyjacking saga that baffled US authorities for 40 years may finally be coming to a close

Marla Cooper said she was eight years old when her uncle, whom she called LD Cooper, came to her home for Thanksgiving – the day after the infamous incident – and was badly injured.

She never saw her uncle again after that day and was told he died in 1999.

It was the FBI’s most promising lead after the Northwest Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle was hijacked and robbed following a bomb threat on the night of November 24, 1971.

Marla Cooper also provided investigators with a photograph of LD Cooper and a guitar strap that he owned for fingerprint testing.

While the results of the fingerprint test have not yet been determined, authorities seem eager to end the investigation.

Marla Cooper told NBC affiliate WFIE: “Regardless of the findings of the fingerprints, they would be closing the case after this. He said, <<I am certain your uncle did it. I feel certain that your uncle did it. And that, what’s the point in continuing the investigation?>>”

Marla Cooper also said that her uncle was fixated on a comic book character named “Dan Cooper”, the name the skyjacker gave the airline before boarding.

Marla Cooper provided investigators with a photograph of LD Cooper and a guitar strap that he owned for fingerprint testing

Marla Cooper provided investigators with a photograph of LD Cooper and a guitar strap that he owned for fingerprint testing

FBI officials told the station that they are conducting the tests, but would not comment on their next move in the case.

As for the $200,000 ransom, the woman believed Lynne Doyle Cooper lost it all as he parachuted to earth.

DB Cooper has intrigued everyone from federal agents to amateur sleuths.

On that day in 1971, the suspect, who was wearing a suite and sunglasses, boarded the flight after buying a $20 one-way ticket to Seattle.

After getting on the plane, the mysterious man ordered whisky and lit a cigarette before passing a flight attendant a note that read: “I HAVE A BOMB IN MY BRIEFCASE. I WILL USE IT IF NECESSARY. I WANT YOU TO SIT NEXT TO ME. YOU ARE BING (sic) HIJACKED.”

DB Cooper told the captain that in return for $200,000 and four parachutes, he would allow 36 people to leave the plane when it landed in Seattle.

The FBI agreed to the swap and the plane took off again under DB Cooper’s orders to fly towards Mexico at an altitude of under 10,000 feet.

Somewhere over the lower Cascade mountains in southwestern Washington, DB Cooper stepped out of the plane with a parachute strapped to his back.

DB Cooper was never seen again.

There were more than 1,000 possible suspects considered over the past four decades.

Several people even claimed to be DB Cooper at times, but were dismissed on the basis of physical descriptions, parachuting experience and, later, by DNA evidence recovered in 2001 from the cheap, clip-on tie the skyjacker left on the plane.

Items recovered from the skyjack include $5,800 of the stolen money, in tattered $20 bills and DB Cooper’s tie.

Many believe that DB Cooper was Richard McCoy, a Vietnam War veteran, experienced parachutist and BYU political science student who staged a similar hijacking several months later.

But the FBI has said that Richard McCoy – who was killed in a shoot-out with law enforcement officers after a prison break in 1974 – simply didn’t fit the description of DB Cooper provided by two flight attendants.

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