Headlines » Nation http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines The latest Headlines, news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:13:59 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Locust Swarm ‘Like the Plagues of Egypt’ Descends Upon Madagascar’s Capital http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/locust-swarm-like-the-plagues-of-egypt-descends-upon-madagascars-capital/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/locust-swarm-like-the-plagues-of-egypt-descends-upon-madagascars-capital/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:01:55 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524748 ABC News’ Mustafa Hameed (@mustafahameed) reports:


YouTube/Sylvain Lathuy

A swarm of millions of locusts descended upon Madagascar’s capital of Antananarivo on Aug. 28, slowing traffic and blotting out the skies over the city.

Fully-formed clouds of the insects, which have plagued the African nation for more than two years, whizzed through the city’s streets after an urban heat wave attracted the bugs away from their usual rural surroundings.

“It reminds us of the 10 plagues of Egypt,” said Ronald Miller, a missionary working in Madagascar with his family.

Miller captured video of the incident and posted it to his Facebook page.


Facebook/Ronald Miller

The current plague began in April 2012, leading to a national disaster declaration in Madagascar in November of that year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The island nation’s government announced a three-year emergency plan in September 2013, when the locusts threatened food security of more than 13 million people, almost 60 percent of Madagascar’s population.

But while the images are alarming, FAO officer Annie Monard told Voice of America that the locust swarms in the city were caused by unusually high temperatures, not a new surge in the pest population. So far, the FAO and Madagascar’s government have succeeded in controlling the pests in over 4,600 square miles of agricultural land. Madagascar’s emergency plan will continue until 2016 and is expected to cost more than $41 million.

gty locust invasion madagascar jc 140829 16x9 608 Locust Swarm Like the Plagues of Egypt Descends Upon Madagascars Capital

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Check Out This Hilarious Madden 15 Glitch http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/check-out-this-hilarious-madden-15-glitch/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/check-out-this-hilarious-madden-15-glitch/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:11:37 +0000 Alyssa Newcomb http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524708 Since when are football players supposed to be acrobats?

An apparent glitch has turned the new Madden NFL 15 game into a football circus — sending a player flying into the air before he crash lands onto the virtual turf.

Madden NFL 15 was released on Tuesday. The apparent glitch was spotted by a user who posted a Vine of the insane play.

The game boasts “a new arsenal of pass rush moves, an intuitive tackling system, improved coverage logic, and immersive new camera angles,” according to a press release.  

EA Sports said the new additions make the “defense more exciting and fun than ever.”

You can say that again.

EA Sports did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.

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WATCH: Drama at 3,000 Feet When Parachutist Dangles in Air http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/watch-military-parachutist-gets-stuck-on-plane/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/watch-military-parachutist-gets-stuck-on-plane/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:47:47 +0000 Colleen Curry http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524696

A video posted to YouTube shows parachutists jumping out of a plane in quick succession before one of them becomes stuck in his lines and gets towed by the plane.

The jumpers are in military-type uniforms and a Mexican flag sticker is taped to the back of one helmet. The men appear to be practicing jumps out of the back of a plane from 3,000 feet.

At least seven jumpers successfully launch before one becomes stuck — his parachute chords becoming wrapped around something on the outside of the plane. The snag leaves him dangling.

The frightening scene ends when the man is pulled back into the plane.

 

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Luggage Drive for Foster Children Makes the Moving a Bit Easier http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/luggage-drive-for-foster-children-makes-the-moving-a-bit-easier/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/luggage-drive-for-foster-children-makes-the-moving-a-bit-easier/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:53:47 +0000 Steve Osunsami http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524682

When Zevon Moore, 14, and five other foster children arrived at Ollie Sharper’s home outside Richmond, Virginia, they carried their belongings in a black garbage bag.

ABC suitcases foster kids sk 140826 16x9 608 Luggage Drive for Foster Children Makes the Moving a Bit Easier

(ABC News)


Sharper, their foster mother, said that the children deserved “more than just a garbage bag” for their personal belongings and that the trauma of their lives could be eased with little things: the smell of her cooking in the kitchen, the sound of her voice calling when they come home from school  and a suitcase to hold and move their clothing.

Related: Camp reconnects siblings separated by foster-care system.

“These children’s lives are important,” Sharper said. “They’re not trash that can be discarded.”

Michele Jones, a restaurant owner, heard about the simple yet important need and started collecting suitcases from her friends and customers at Pasture restaurant in downtown Richmond.

“There are 288 kids in Richmond foster and that’s my goal for today,” she told ABC News recently.

So for the second time this year, Jones held a drive called A Case for Hope.

Restaurant owners across the city joined in, bringing new or barely used suitcases of every stripe and color. More than 500 pieces of luggage filled the restaurant’s floor and visitors continue to bring them in each day.

Jones and Sharper said the donated suitcases were an easy way to tell the children that the lives they carry with them deserved more than a trash bag.

“Not everyone can take in a foster kid,” Jones said. “I wish that everyone could. But if you can’t, this is something small that you can do.”

For more information, click here.

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Woman Pleads to Stop Alimony Paid to Ex-Husband Accused of Killing New Husband http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/woman-pleads-to-stop-alimony-paid-to-ex-husband-accused-of-killing-new-husband/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/woman-pleads-to-stop-alimony-paid-to-ex-husband-accused-of-killing-new-husband/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:43:21 +0000 Frank Elaridi http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524662 GTY court house mar 140826 16x9 608 Woman Pleads to Stop Alimony Paid to Ex Husband Accused of Killing New Husband

(Getty Images)

Paying alimony to an ex-spouse can be one of those grin-and-bear-it obligations for some, but it’s an especially galling burden for a Utah woman whose ex-husband stands accused of killing her new husband.

Joy Sidwell, from Lindon, Utah, asked a judge on Monday to allow her to halt the $500 a month alimony payments to her ex, Fred Lee, who allegedly killed her new husband, Mike Sidwell, in July.

Lee, 59, is in the Utah County Jail and set to face aggravated murder charges, among others, authorities said.

On July 3, he told police that he was searching for Sidwell “to kill her,” according to court documents. Lee entered a home in search of his ex-wife, but shot and killed her current husband, police said.

“My grandson called me and said, ‘Call [Mike] and tell him we saw grandpa [Fred] hiding behind the van.’ But it was too late, he had already been shot. It’s been a nightmare,” Joy Sidwell told ABC News.

Sidwell filed for protective orders and stalking complaints against Lee in 2005 and 2007, but said this alimony issue is another obstacle in the legal system.

“It should be a simple thing. I shouldn’t even have to go to court to do it,” Sidwell said. “They should just see that.”

Sidwell said Utah State Court Commissioner Thomas Patton told her she is over-reaching. “But I’m like, ‘You don’t know how this guy thinks,’” she said, referring to her ex.

A spokesperson for Patton told ABC News that commissioners and judges are not allowed to comment on pending cases.

Lee was awarded alimony because of a head injury that prevented him from working, Sidwell said.

Though the Utah government website does not address an unusual situation like this case, it does reference the role of material changes in modifying alimony payments.

According to Utah state law, “if there are substantial material changes in circumstances not foreseeable at the time of divorce, either party may petition the court for an order modifying alimony. However, the court may not modify alimony to address needs of the recipient that did not exist at the time the decree was entered, unless there are special reasons for doing so.”

“The court system needs to listen to women more and take us seriously,” Sidwell said. “I know there are women who abuse the system, but I was not doing that. When someone has a protective order against somebody, the judge should never make them pay money to that person.”

Sidwell said she plans to return to court Sept. 15 to once again request a stop to alimony payments, and Lee will have the legal right to contest her petition.

Lee’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

 

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Sign Up for Alerts for ABC News’ Live Weekend Digital Reports http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/sign-up-for-alerts-for-abc-news-live-weekend-digital-reports/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/sign-up-for-alerts-for-abc-news-live-weekend-digital-reports/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:34:29 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524628 ABC News now produces live digital reports at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays on ABCNews.com, ABC News for iPhone, ABC News for Android and ABC News for Apple TV.

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ABC News Digital properties include ABCNews.com and Goodmorningamerica.com on Yahoo! along with ABC News’ iPad, iPhone & Android apps, offering a dynamic, around the clock look at the news as it breaks. It’s the online destination for newsmaker access, investigative coverage, and exclusive footage from every big story. As part of the Yahoo!-ABC News network ABC News Digital content reaches over 82 million people a month and almost 50% of all news and information videos streamed online are from the #1 online news network.

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‘Savages’ Who Executed Foley Will Be Nabbed, FBI Chief Vows http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/savages-who-executed-foley-will-be-nabbed-fbi-chief-vows/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/savages-who-executed-foley-will-be-nabbed-fbi-chief-vows/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:41:13 +0000 Clayton Sandell http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524612 FBI director James Comey said today that the “full force” of the U.S. government will come to bear on the “savages” responsible for the kidnapping and gruesome death of journalist James Foley.

“I’m very, very, sorry to say that these savages have turned it into a homicide investigation,” Comey said today, speaking to reporters in Denver.

“So we’ll stay on it. We’ll work with our law enforcement, our intelligence and our military partners to try to bring justice to the Foley family and bring the full force of the United States to bear on these savages,” he said.

Video Appears to Show Beheading of Journalsts

 

Foley Executioner Appears to Be British

Foley was on assignment in Syria for the GlobalPost news outlet when he was kidnapped in November 2012.

Comey said he is concerned that the masked executioner seen in a video clip carrying out Foley’s murder speaks with a British accent, one of “thousands” of westerners Comey says have joined terror groups like ISIS.

“These people may have western passports. That’s a concern to Europe,” Comey said, adding, “it’s just a hop across the pond to the United States.”

Comey said he has met with Foley’s family and says he is confident his killers will eventually face justice.

“We are very, very patient and dogged people,” said Comey. “We will never forget.”

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James Foley Punished for Suspected Escape Plans, Fellow Hostage Says http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/james-foley-punished-for-suspected-escape-plans-fellow-hostage-says/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/james-foley-punished-for-suspected-escape-plans-fellow-hostage-says/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:20:02 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524605 By RYM MOMTAZ and BRIAN ROSS

Before the murder of American James Foley was captured on video and posted online recently, the journalist once suffered “brutal punishment” because his captors believed he was planning to escape, a former fellow hostage told ABC News.

“James was a bit punished for a presumed attempt to escape, but it had no real chance,” French freelance reporter Nicolas Henin told ABC News, after saying he once attempted to escape himself but was caught after wandering in the Syrian countryside for a few hours.

Henin said Foley was met with “brutal punishment” inspired both by his captor’s suspicions and, as Henin put it, “the American war on terror.” Out of respect for Foley’s parents, Henin declined to provide details about Foley’s punishment.

Visibly Angry Obama Denounces Beheading of James Foley

‘Apparent’ That James Foley Executioner Is British, Intel Agencies Race to ID Killer

White House Knew of Recent ISIS Threat to Kill US Journalist

Henin said he was captured last year and held by ISIS for 10 months – seven of which he spent alongside Foley before Henin was released this April. He didn’t say exactly when the violent incident with Foley took place, but it was while Henin was also in captivity.

Tuesday a gruesome video surfaced online showing a self-professed ISIS militant beheading Foley in retaliation for recent U.S. airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq.

Henin said that for him, watching the video was “extremely shocking” because he so easily could have been in Foley’s place.

“For instance, the shoes that he was wearing when he was taken to this place in the desert, I wore them. We had few shoes that we were using to go to the bathroom and we were sharing them,” Henin said.

Foley, Henin said, was always optimistic about his chances of being freed, even though the United States does not negotiate with terrorists by policy. Henin said eventually a large group of hostages from many countries had been released, leaving the Americans together.

The U.S. and the U.K., Henin said, “do not negotiate with jihadists” – a statement that echoed the findings of a New York Times report in late July that said that while European governments regularly pay ransoms to terror groups to recover their citizens, the U.S. and U.K. refuse.

In Foley’s last moments, when hope must have run out, Henin also recognized Foley’s bravery in the video.

“That is someone, I mean, a real man,” Henin said. “Many people would’ve freaked out and [been] terrified because he knew very well what was going to happen to him… But [he] was still standing up, looking forward and speaking with a clear voice.”

President Obama said today that the whole world was “appalled” by ISIS’s actions and vowed to continue to work to protect Americans everywhere. Hours later, the U.S. military announced it had continued bombing runs against ISIS targets.

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Middle Schooler Critical After Lightning Strike at Football Practice http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/middle-schooler-critical-after-lightning-strike-at-football-practice/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/middle-schooler-critical-after-lightning-strike-at-football-practice/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:08:11 +0000 Erin Mizraki http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524593
Five New Mexico middle schoolers are recovering today after they were struck by lightning during football practice, authorities say. Four of the boys were hospitalized including one who is in critical condition after he was completely unresponsive at the scene as two parents worked to revive him.

The sudden and unexpected jolts shocked the 8th grade football team at Picacho Middle School in Las Crucas around 5 p.m. Tuesday, injuring the students along with assistant coach Arnie Castaneda.

One 13-year-old was immediately transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center where he was later stabilized.

“He collapsed right away, and he was completely unresponsive,” Las Cruces Police Department Spokesman Dan Trujillo told ABC News. According to Trujillo, the other boys were responsive and in stable condition.

Las Cruces Public School Director of Communications Jo Galvan told ABC News that the bolts hit a nearby tree and spread along the ground just as the team was retreating into the school because of the drizzle. Bystanders ran inside to alert the boy’s mother, who works at the Middle School, Galvan said.

ABC News obtained the chilling audio recording of a 911 call from a hysterical female witness. The phone was transferred to a more composed male witness who listens to the operator as she tells him to put the boy on his side.

“The boys were very scared,” Galvan said. “Of course coaches were yelling, there were two parents trying to help the boy. It was very emotional, very stressful, and very fearful.”

Two fathers are being called heroes after performing CPR on the unresponsive boy and can be heard in the recording trying to resuscitate him, “He’s coming back around but he’s not looking very alert,” one man says. “Come on, buddy! Please,” says another in the background.

The boy was transferred from Mountainview Regional Medical Center to the Trauma unit at El Paso Children’s Unit where he is reported to have begun breathing on his own as of last night, where he remains in critical condition.

Galvan said that during monsoon season in New Mexico rapid downpours are expected so it was natural for the students to begin moving inside but that they did not expect lightning.

A team counselors and psychologists have spent the day at Picacho Middle School. Students and staff members were meeting with counselors today, officials said.

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South Pasadena Alleged School Massacre Plot Foiled http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/south-pasedena-alleged-school-massacre-plot-foiled/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/08/south-pasedena-alleged-school-massacre-plot-foiled/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:41:11 +0000 ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=524550

Two Southern California male teenagers were being held in juvenile hall today after an investigation by authorities using social media discovered the two were in the early stages of a plot to allegedly commit a mass shooting at South Pasadena High School.

“It was a very viable threat what they were plotting,” said South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller. “They were making a huge plan of a school massacre. … During our interviews with the suspects, they, more or less, confirmed what they had talked about, very cold-heartedly.”

Miller said the suspects, whom police did not identify, were 16 and 17. They were arrested Monday on suspicion of conspiracy and criminal threats.

The investigation started Thursday after an anonymous person informed the school’s staff about the alleged plot. The staff then contacted police about a possible school shooting in the works.

Miller said detectives watched the teens’ conversations on social media and eventually were able to get a search warrant Monday.

Miller said that three staff members were targeted by name as were “random” students.

“As they put it, they just wanted to kill as many people as possible,” Miller said.

On Monday afternoon, officers went to two homes in South Pasadena and removed two computers. Miller said a search of the teens’ computers found the students had researched weapons as well as how to make bombs.

He said the students were in the beginning stages of their plan and were also looking online about tactical training.

He said they told detectives they were prepared to die.

“[They were] very monotone, very matter-of-fact, and when you are talking about killing people, shooting them in the head and to be so calm about it. It’s very chilling,” he said. “It’s very frightening.”

No weapons were found in the houses. Miller did not reveal a motive or a target date and said that the parents were stunned.

“I can’t emphasize enough how that one phone call to us got the ball rolling,” he said. “This press conference today would have been a much different one, had we not acted.”

School is set to start Thursday.

ABC News’ Cecilia Vega contributed to this story.

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