Crusin In Cruces

ABC News Radio's Blog

Exclusive: Newly Released Ray Rice Video Shows Aftermath of Elevator Incident

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Turns out there’s even more surveillance video Ray Rice doesn’t want you to see.

ABC News on Friday exclusively obtained a copy of the security-camera video that shows the ugly aftermath of the assault earlier this year when Ray Rice punched his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino and knocked her unconscious.

The nearly 45 minutes of never-before-seen footage shows a clearly distraught Janay Palmer, Rice’s then-fiancée and now wife, unwilling to talk to him after the NFL star had punched her inside an elevator on Feb. 15 at the now-closed Revel casino.

Palmer is seen physically pushing Rice away from her when he approached her immediately after the incident. Palmer was then protected by hotel security guards as Rice attempted to move closer.

The video then shows Palmer going through something of an emotional evolution in the middle of the night. Almost immediately after the assault, she appears angry. Soon after, Palmer begins to cry. And by the time she and Rice are both escorted into an elevator — handcuffed — she appears to kiss and nuzzle the one-time NFL star.

Both Rice and Palmer were arrested that night and charged with one count of assault each. The charge against Palmer was later dropped for “insufficient evidence,” while the charge against Rice was upgraded to aggravated assault.

The former Baltimore Ravens running back is a sports celebrity in New Jersey because of his college career at Rutgers. He was admitted to a probationary program that would allow the criminal charge to be dismissed next year. Once a video of the assault appeared online, the Ravens cut Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. The league’s penalty was later overturned.

Rice went to court to stop ABC News from obtaining the recording, but lost. Rice’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, was disappointed that the new video was made public.

“This is a time of healing and he, quite naturally, doesn’t want another media showing of what must have been the worst event of his life,” Ginsberg said in an interview Friday. “What the media ought to be focusing on is the issue of domestic violence and why the NFL never did anything to construct a personal conduct program that works and why the NFL ignored the issue of domestic violence. Showing yet another Ray Rice video is simply a distraction.”

During a two-hour hearing in Trenton, N.J., on Wednesday, Ginsberg said that Rice “literally does not talk to me about the events [at the casino] without crying — to this day.”

The new video shows hotel staffers concerned with Palmer’s condition, bringing a wheelchair to her in case she had trouble walking and then giving her first aid. It shows Rice agitated at times, being kept at a distance from Palmer and talking on the phone at one point.

By the time cops and hotel security are prepared to move the player out of the lobby area, Rice is handcuffed and led away by the arm. A cop can be seen pulling the hood of his sweatshirt over Rice’s head.

The startling moment comes in the elevator – the same or similar elevator as the one where the assault occurred – when Palmer stretches her neck so she can kiss and nuzzle Rice. The two are then walked separately to waiting police cars.

The new video was turned over to ABC News in response to a public-records request filed with the N.J. Gaming Enforcement Division.

Since winning his appeal of the NFL’s indefinite suspension, Rice has started re-emerging into public life. He appeared on NBC last month. On Thursday night, aware that the new video would be released, Rice appeared at a charity event in Baltimore and talked about the incident.

“I made a horrible mistake in my life, but if you truly believe in second chances, they will forgive me,” Rice said at the event. “I think all the fans have looked deep into who I am.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Double Your Dollars

Cost of US Airstrikes Targeting ISIS Surpasses $1 Billion

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

pablographix/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The cost of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria has surpassed $1 billion, the Pentagon said Friday.

The U.S. has been conducting airstrikes targeting ISIS in Iraq since Aug. 8. Strikes in Syria began in September.

The Pentagon said Friday that the total cost of operations has reached $1.02 billion as of Dec. 11. The average daily cost is $8.1 million.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Stephen Colbert’s Portrait to Hang Between Bathrooms at the Smithsonian Once Again

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Photo Credit: Scott Gries/PictureGroup/Comedy Central(WASHINGTON) — Following the end of his nine-year run on Comedy Central, and in advance of his move to CBS to take over The Late Show, Stephen Colbert will have a portrait hung in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery for the second time.

The comedian’s eponymous hit show, The Colbert Report, ran from October 2005 through Thursday, capping off a run over more than 1,400 episodes.

The National Portrait Gallery confirmed the second portrait on its blog on Friday. The new portrait, the gallery says, “shows the shameless self-promoter reflected in a mirror.” Outdoing Colbert’s 2008 portrait — which featured a three-deep image of the performer — the new portrait features six images of Colbert, wearing different ties and holding different props from his show, including a pair of Emmy awards and his best-selling book.

The new portrait will grace the same space as Colbert’s first — between the second-floor restrooms.

It will be on display until April 19, 2015.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

LAFD Says Apartment Complex Fire Was Arson

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The Los Angeles Fire Department determined on Thursday that the Dec. 8 apartment complex fire was an act of arson.

The fire destroyed a seven-story apartment complex that had been under construction, and also damaged at least one nearby structure and the 110 Freeway.

Investigators from the LAFD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Response Team say they have sufficient evidence to determine that the blaze was set on purpose.

The fire caused between $20 and $30 million in damages, just to the destroyed apartment complex.

Investigators are seeking information on two potential witnesses who were spotted in video footage taken the morning of the fire. Those two people are not considered suspects or persons of interest, the LAFD says.

“The work at the crime scene is finished, however our investigation is not over,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Carlos Canino said. “ATF will continue to work together with our state and local partners to investigate this crime and bring those responsible to justice.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Lynyrd Skynyrd to Perform First Two Albums at Special Hometown Concerts in February

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in Music News

Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideLynyrd Skynyd has scheduled a pair of special hometown shows in Jacksonville, Florida, early next year that the Southern rock legends are planning to capture for a television special and home-video release.  The concerts will take place at the Florida Theatre on February 12 and 13, and will feature the band performing, respectively, its first two albums, 1973’s Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd and 1974’s Second Helping.

“We’ve been wanting to go back and recreate these live records for a long time,” Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant tells the Florida-Times Union.  “We decided to come back to our hometown, Jacksonville, and play at the legendary Florida Theatre.  Can’t wait to rock it.”

The shows also will include performances of other well-known songs from throughout the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s career.

Tickets for both concerts will go on sale to the general public on Monday at 10 a.m. ET, and are priced at $49.50, $69.50 and $99.50.

Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd features such memorable tunes as “Tuesday’s Gone,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “Simple Man” and “Free Bird,” while Second Helping includes Lynyrd Skynyrd’s biggest hit, “Sweet Home Alabama,” and the band’s version of J.J. Cale’s “Call Me the Breeze.”

In other news, Lynyrd Skynyrd will bring some Southern rock to a newly announced country festival called the Big Barrel Country Music Festival, which is scheduled to take place June 26-28, 2015, at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware.  The three-day event will be headlined by a trio of country music’s biggest stars — Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Other artists on the lineup include Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jake Owen, Chris Young, Gary Allan and Kacey Musgraves.  Visit BigBarrelFestival.com for more information.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Loyal Listeners Club

These American Fugitives May Be Hiding Out in Cuba

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

FBI(NEW YORK) — Former prisoner Alan Gross was thrilled to return to America from Cuba earlier this week but there are dozens of other Americans who are in the country for other reasons — and probably don’t plan on leaving.

Cuba has been a haven for American fugitives for decades, but now that the two countries are restoring diplomatic relations their hideout might not be an option much longer.

“We will continue to press for the return of U.S. fugitives in Cuba to pursue justice for the victims of their crimes in our engagement with the Cuban government,” the Department of Justice said in a statement emailed to ABC News.

There is no official number of Americans who have fled to Cuba, but reports suggest there could be dozens.

Federal officials have publicly placed at least one fugitive, Joanne Chesimard, in Cuba. However, they did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation on the whereabouts of the other fugitives named below.

Here are some of the most notorious Americans who have been reported as possibly hiding in the island nation just 90 miles off the coast:

1. Joanne Chesimard

Joanne Chesimard has been living in Cuba under the name Assata Shakur since 1984.

She was a member of the Black Liberation Army in 1973 when she shot and killed Trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop. She was convicted in 1977 and escaped prison two years later.

Chesimard, who became the first woman on the FBI’s Most Wanted list last year, hid in a series of safe houses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before fleeing to Cuba.

Anyone who helps bring Chesimard, now 66, into custody stands to get $2 million in rewards, according to the FBI.

2. Guillermo Morales

A bomb maker who fought for Puerto Rican independence is one of the American fugitives who has been living in Havana.

Guillermo “William” Morales was sentenced to 99 years in prison after being linked to two explosions in New York City — one in 1975 that killed four and injured 60, and a second in 1977 that killed one, The New York Post reported.

Morales escaped from the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital in 1979 and, though he was reportedly held in a Mexican prison for several years in relation to a different crime, he fled to Cuba after his release in 1988.

“The U.S. press looks at me one way, but the press in Puerto Rico looks at me in a positive way because I’m a person that defends their homeland,” he told The Post in 1999.

3. Victor Manuel Gerena

Victor Manuel Gerena fled custody in the United States following a 1983 robbery in Connecticut.

Gerena, now 56, allegedly robbed a security company of $7 million and “took two security employees hostage at gunpoint and then handcuffed, bound and injected them with an unknown substance in order to further disable them,” according to the FBI.

A representative from the New Haven branch of the FBI confirmed to ABC that Gerena is still considered a fugitive but would not comment on his suspected whereabouts.

Published reports suggest that he could be in either Mexico or Cuba.

4. Charlie Hill

Like Chesimard, who was publicly praised by Fidel Castro, not all of the fugitives are trying to hide their whereabouts.

Charlie Hill is wanted by New Mexico officials after he allegedly killed a state trooper and hijacked a plane in 1971.

Hill, a native of Illinois, spoke to The New York Times in 2007 and discussed what he thought would happen to him if his longtime protector, Castro, died.

“I don’t think there will be much change if Fidel dies,” Hill told The Times in 2007. “There might be, but I think it’s 60-40 that not much will happen. If it does, well, what can I do?”

5. Ishmael LaBeet

Ishmael LaBeet reportedly has been hiding in Cuba, though his troubles stem from a different island.

LaBeet and others were charged in the murder of eight people in St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in 1973.

According to The St. Thomas Source, LaBeet was being flown to the mainland U.S. in 1984, got control of one of the armed guards escorting him, and forced the commercial plane — full of other passengers — to Cuba.

After the plane landed in Cuba, LaBeet reportedly was welcomed to his new country. The plane then was allowed to fly back to the U.S.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



How Scientists Found Deepest-Ever Fish 5 Miles Down

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

University of Aberdeen(NEW YORK) — An underwater voyage has found an unidentified species of fish more than 5 miles down — deeper than any other fish has ever been found before.

The white, translucent fish, found in early December in the Mariana Trench below the Pacific Ocean, was 8,145 meters, or about five miles, below the surface, breaking the previous record of 7,700 meters set in 2011 by the pink gelatinous snailfish in the Japan Trench of the Pacific Ocean by almost 500 meters, or 1,640 feet. The species has not yet been identified.

“We’re pretty confident it’s a snailfish,” Dr. Alan Jamieson from the Oceanlab at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland told ABC News. “Not that we know. It’s a new species.”

The Ocean Schmidt Institute and Oceanlab carried out the 30-day voyage on the ocean vessel, the Falkor, as part of the Hadal Ecosystem Studies (HADES), an international project funded by the National Science Foundation that explores trench and hadal ecosystems.

The Falkor, using unmanned landers, encountered the critter with two or three other new species of fish while recording 104 hours of footage at depths as low as 10,990 meters.

The fish is 20 centimeters in length, with a distinct snout similar to that of a cartoon dog. It also has long and very thin and fragile fins described as “tissue paper underwater,” though scientists will not be able to identify it until a physical sample is captured, according to Jamieson.

“If you don’t have a sample, a physical sample in your hand, you cannot do it,” he told ABC News. “Which is why we can’t do it for the fish.”

Fish contain osmolyte, a protein that allows their cells to function under high pressures, allowing them to thrive at low depths. Scientists theorize that the lowest level at which a fish can survive at is 8,200 meters below the surface.

Timothy Shank, the director of the program and an associate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said the program hopes to capture a physical sample in the near future.

“Absolutely. No doubt,” Shank said. “We put out fish traps. We put out landers that have baited traps on them. We very much want to capture these deep-sea living fish.”

Other voyages in the Mariana Trench through HADES will continue, with one set in the coming weeks on the Falkor again, according to Shank. The current voyage took one physical sample of another, unidentified species of snail fish. It will take approximately one year to formally declare a name for that species.

Jamieson told ABC News that deep-sea exploration is important and necessary for learning more about fish life and the depths at which they can thrive.

“There are still things to find because we weren’t expecting that,” Jamieson said. “And it shows that complex animals such as fish can exist much deeper than we thought.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Song of The Day

Putin Opposition Leader Facing 10-Year Prison Term

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in World News

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(MOSCOW) — The day after President Vladimir Putin insisted Russia was not repressing his political opponents, Putin’s biggest critic is facing a lengthy prison term. Russian prosecutors announced Friday they are seeking a 10-year prison term for opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
 
Navalny and his brother are on trial for what he says are trumped up corruption charges aimed at silencing Putin’s opponents.
 
On Thursday, Putin denied there is any campaign in Russia to repress political opposition.
 
Navalny was the ringleader of the massive protests against Putin back in the winter of 2011. After Putin returned to the Kremlin that spring, he started to crack down on his opponents, and Navalny soon found himself in court for another charge. Navally was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, but the sentence was quickly commuted.
 
Navalny ran for mayor of Moscow where he won a surprising 27 percent of the vote. For the past year, however, he’s been under house arrest for this case.
 
In court on Friday, Navalny was defiant, saying lies are the essence of today’s Russian government.
 
Sentencing for Navalny is scheduled for Jan. 15.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Why Natalie Portman Says “Star Wars” Actually Hurt Her Career

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Merrick Morton/Lucasflim Ltd.(NEW YORK) — When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, it became one of the highest grossing movies of all-time, but fans of the Star Wars franchise were torn about the series of new prequels.

Oscar winner Natalie Portman, who starred in all three of the prequels, said playing the female protagonist Padmé in the franchise actually hurt her career.

In an interview with New York magazine, where A-list stars paid tribute to the iconic director Mike Nichols, Portman shared a tale of how the late legend helped get her career back off the ground after Star Wars.

Portman, 33, starred in Nichols’ Seagull as part of the NY Shakespeare Festival summer season in 2001. Nichols helped get her into other movies like Cold Mountain in 2003.

Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress,” she said. “I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.'”

She continued, “And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. I worked with Milos Forman a few years later. He said, ‘Mike saved me. He wrote a letter so that I could get asylum in the U.S.’ He did that for 50 people, and it doesn’t make any one of us feel less special.”

Portman would end up winning the Oscar for her work in Black Swan in 2011.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nugget of Knowldege

Angelina Jolie Opens Up About Directing Brad Pitt in Love Scene

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will be back on screen together in By the Sea, which is set to be released next year and features the famous duo as a couple — much like their debut movie together in 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

While promoting her current film Unbroken, Jolie, 39, spoke to MTV news about directing a sex scene with her now husband in the future movie.

“I was the other person in the love scene, so it wasn’t that hard,” she quipped. “He knows what I need from him. He’s always known.”

As for people making assumptions of the duo in real life based off what happens in the movie, Jolie said “I haven’t thought that way for years. Because then you can’t make a creative move if you’re conscious of all the different interpretations. We wanted to be free and we wanted to play.”

She continued about the film, “It’s a very creative film. We wanted to try things, so we intentionally made bold decisions…we just wanted to be artists and play.”

By the Sea, set in 1970s France, centers on a couple who travel and write together. Their relationship is falling apart until they happen upon a small town on the water.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



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