7 American Service Members Killed In Helicopter Crash

Army Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, the director of operations for the combined task force leading the fight against ISIS in the region, said all personnel aboard the HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter were killed.

The military said the crash, which is under investigation, “does not appear to be a result of enemy activity.”

The names of those aboard the helicopter were not immediately released pending the notification of next of kin.

President Donald Trump offered his condolences to the families Friday morning.

“Their sacrifice in service to our country will never be forgotten,” the President tweeted.


read more at msn.com

Associated Press

Man Murdered By Boulder Thrown Off Overpass

PASADENA, Calif. –  The pregnant wife of a man killed by a boulder that crashed through the window of their car near Los Angeles is pleading for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for pushing the rock off an overpass.

The California Highway Patrol says someone pushed the 35-pound (16-kilogram), basketball-sized rock off a freeway overpass in Pasadena late Tuesday, sending it smashing through the windshield.

Twenty-three-year-old Christopher Lopez, who was in the passenger seat of the Toyota driven by his wife, was killed.

Guadalupe Gutierrez was unhurt, as was their 4-year-old daughter in the back seat.

Gutierrez fought back tears Thursday as she asked for potential witnesses to come forward.


read more at foxnews.com

ricardo / zone41.net

Over 90% Of Bottled Water Found To Contain Plastic Contamination

A new study of 259 water bottles has found tiny pieces of plastic in more than 90 percent of them, prompting a review by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As Graham Readfearn reports for the Guardian, the study was conducted by scientists at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Fredonia on behalf of Orb Media, a non-profit journalism organization based in the United States. Researchers analyzed water bottles from nine countries—the U.S., China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Lebanon, Kenya and Thailand—and found that 93 percent showed at least some sign of contamination from microplastics, or plastic debris less than five millimeters in length.

To identify the microplastics, scientists used a dye called Nile Red, which binds to free-floating pieces of plastic and causes them to fluoresce, according to David Shukman of the BBC. The researchers discovered an average of 10 plastic particles per liter of water, and another 314 particles per liter that they assume to be plastic, but cannot positively identify because they are too small.

Out of all the bottles tested, only 17 had no traces of microplastics. Some had numbers ranging into the thousands. A total of 11 different water bottle brands were tested, among them Nestlé Pure Life, Evian, Dasani and San Pellegrino. There were big differences within brands and even within the same pack of bottles.


read more at smithsonianmag.com


Bridge Collapse In Florida Leaves “Several” Victims Dead

Miami police have said there are a number of victims after a newly installed pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University.

Images of the buckled structure at the college in Miami were shared across social media on Thursday afternoon.

A Florida Highway Patrol official said there were several fatalities, but police have yet to confirm a number.

It was unclear how many people were still trapped in eight vehicles beneath the bridge, Miami officials said.


read more at bbc.com

New York Post

Disgraced Deputy Shown Outside School On Video

Chilling surveillance video released Thursday of the deadly attack at a Florida high school shows the actions of a disgraced security resource officer who stayed outside as 17 people were slaughtered inside.

The footage shows Scot Peterson taking up positions at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, at times running and talking on his radio.

Peterson can be seen with an unidentified school worker walking toward a room at 2:22 p.m. — less than a minute after the first shots were fired, allegedly by Nikolas Cruz, 19.

Less than a minute later, three people — Peterson and two others — are seen on a golf cart driving through campus.


See video at here nypost.com

Pratham Gokhale—Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Trump Organization Is Subpoenaed By Mueller’s Team

(‘WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s company said Thursday that it has been turning over documents for months in response to requests from federal investigators looking into Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates.

An attorney for The Trump Organization said in a statement to The Associated Press that the company has been “fully cooperative” with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation since July 2017. The company has been in routine contact with the prosecutors, turning over documents and regularly discussing the scope of requests.

“This is old news and our assistance and cooperation with the various investigations remains the same today,” said Alan Futerfas, who represents the company.

Mueller’s interest in extracting information from Trump’s private company has put a new spotlight on comments he made in an interview with The New York Times last year. Asked if Mueller would be crossing a “red line” by looking into the president’s finances and those of his family unrelated to Russia, Trump said he thought that would be “a violation” of Mueller’s authority.

Trump would not say whether he would fire Mueller if he did look into his finances.

Asked Thursday about the president’s previous comments, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred questions to the Trump Organization. “We’re going to continue to fully cooperative out of respect for the special counsel,” Sanders said.


read more at time.com


Students From Across The Country Stage Walkout To Protest Gun Violence

Students at thousands of schools across the country walked out of class Wednesday morning to protest gun violence. The 17-minute walkout is a tribute to the 17 victims who were fatally shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month.

According to the Say #Enough website, which compiles the stories of shooting victims and advocates for change, there will be more than 3,000 walkouts held in communities coast to coast and in Puerto Rico. Students participating in the movement left or were leaving their classes at 10 a.m. in their respective time zone.

Students from 28 schools in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia marched to Capitol Hill, extending their protest, while inside lawmakers grilled officials from the ATF and FBI on how they proposed to tackle safety in schools in the wake of the school massacre. They gathered where just the day before, 7,000 pairs of children’s shoes were placed outside Capitol Hill to represent the children killed by guns since Sandy Hook.

As a crowd of lawmakers gathered to joing them, the first student speaker, Matt Post, started his speech by urging students to refuse compromise measures. “We will not sit in classrooms with armed teachers,” Post said. “We will not learn in fear.”


read more at cbsnews.com

City Of Seaside, CA

Students Injured By Teacher With A Gun

A California teacher who also serves as a reserve police officer accidentally fired a pistol inside his classroom while teaching about gun safety and injured three students, according to reports.

Dennis Alexander was teaching public safety awareness in his administration of justice class at Seaside High School when he fired a semi-automatic handgun and hit the ceiling, KSBW reported.

Teachers are not permitted to possess firearms in California schools.

The errant bullet ricocheted off the ceiling, sending out fragments that injured three students, including a 17-year-old who was struck in the neck, the boy’s dad, Fermin Gonzalez, told the station.


read more at nypost.com


Victims Of Austin Terrorist Package Bombings Identified

Two lives were cut short when explosive packages arrived on their doorsteps in Austin, Texas.

Anthony Stephan House was a senior project manager at Texas Quarries, a supplier of limestone from the state, according to his LinkedIn page.

Draylen Mason was a talented student and bass player accepted into the selective Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, CNN affiliate KXAN reported.

Three package bombs were delivered to Austin homes over the course of 10 days, shaking residents and prompting hundreds of calls to police.

One of the explosive packages was brought indoors and yielded parts that could be reconstructed, according to a law enforcement source, who told CNN the same person may have constructed the three devices. The devices were essentially pipe bombs rigged to explode upon opening, the source said.


read more at msn.com

Fox News

Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty For Florida School Shooter

Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz is formally charged with 17 counts of murder after Valentine’s Day attack.

Prosecutors on Tuesday filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 people in a Florida school shooting on Valentine’s Day.

Cruz is scheduled for a formal arraignment Wednesday on a 34-count indictment. Cruz, who walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15 and opened fire, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

Cruz’s attorney previously said the 19-year-old would plead guilty if prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty. Tuesday’s notice of intent does not necessarily mean a plea deal will not be reached.

The only other penalty option for Cruz is life in prison with no possibility of parole.


read more at foxnews.com

Getty Images

Trump Fires Secretary Of State Via Twitter

Tillerson praised State Department officials and Defense Department staff for their work during his tenure, while also thanking members of the military and the American people.

But Tillerson did not mention Trump by name, only referring once to the president.

“I received a call today from the president of the United States a little after noontime from Air Force One, and I’ve also spoken to White House chief of staff [John] Kelly to ensure we have clarity about the days ahead,” Tillerson said. “What is most important is to ensure an orderly and smooth transition during a time that the country continues to face significant policy and national security challenges.”

Tillerson also took a parting shot at Russia, saying “much work remains to respond to the troubling behavior and actions on the part of the Russian government.”

“Russia must assess carefully as to how its actions are in the best interests of the Russian people and of the world more broadly,” he added. “Continuing on their current trajectory is likely to lead to greater isolation on their part, a situation which is not in anyone’s interest.”


read more at thehill.com

ABC News

Judge Says That Manafort Could Spend Rest Of Life In Prison

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort could spend the rest of his life in prison, according to a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, assigned to oversee the case.

The longtime political lobbyist faces an 18-count indictment in Virginia, which was handed up by a federal grand jury as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III for the Eastern District of Virginia has set strict terms for Manafort’s home confinement. In it, the judge writes that it will include “24-hour-a-day lockdown” home incarceration with location monitoring in his Alexandria condo except for medical necessities, meetings with his defense attorneys and court appearances.

Ellis explained that Manafort is “a person of great wealth” and “has the financial means and international connections to flee and remain at large, as well as every incentive to do so” in the order made public on Tuesday.

“Specifically, given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison,” wrote Ellis.


read more at go.com