iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The FBI is investigating several suspicious packages found at military installations and government facilities around the Washington, D.C., area, the agency confirmed Monday.The FBI says each package was collected for further analysis, but it was not clear as of Monday evening whether they contained any active explosive devices or anything else potentially harmful.Officials at Fort Belvoir in suburban Virginia confirmed to ABC News Monday evening that a suspicious package was found there Monday afternoon, but is now contained and rendered safe.Officials at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, in southeast Washington, D.C., which was reported to also have received a suspicious package Monday, would not confirm whether something was found at that installation.A statement from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling said: “Please refer all questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We cannot confirm or deny there was a suspicious package on the installation.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) — Some fifth-graders in Tampa, Florida got an Easter surprise recently that they won’t soon forget.Last week, before the holiday weekend, Sheehy Elementary School teacher Brent Walker was out shopping for school supplies when he took to Facebook with an idea: He asked whether 20 friends would be interested in donating $10 apiece so that he could buy premade Easter baskets for his 20 students.“Would anyone like to sponsor a student? I don’t know how many of them will get an Easter basket this year, but I know it would make their day!” he said, in part, in the post.Within an hour of his posting, Walker had raised more than $700. He then decided to buy and hand out Easter baskets to all three classes of fifth-graders at his school. The baskets were delivered Thursday.“I was like, ‘Wow!’” student Rai’seania Simmons told ABC affiliate WFTS-TV. “That was surprising.”Rai’seania said her Easter basket had contained art supplies, which she appreciated because she loves to paint.The night before the delivery, Walker posted a video outside of a local Walmart, showing five store carts filled with premade baskets and thanking everyone who’d donated as well as Walmart, which had given him a discount.“I’m probably going to start crying here in just a minute,” he said in the Facebook post. “This is just unbelievable.”Walker said the extra money from the donations would be used by all three fifth-grade teachers for incentives, prizes and parties for the students.“This has been an amazing thing to see,” he told WFTS.Rai’seania said she’d never received an Easter basket from a teacher before Thursday.“He deserves a thank you,” she said of Walker, who teaches math and reading. “He’s really a good teacher. He’s a generous teacher. … [And,] he expects the best from us.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Antonio Perez-Pool/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — A Chicago police officer was found guilty of second degree murder and aggravated battery in connection to the shooting death of African-American teen Laquan McDonald four years ago.Jason Van Dyke was on trial for the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting death of McDonald.He was found not guilty of official misconduct.McDonald, who was 17 years old at the time, was shot 16 times by the officer.Video that was released during the course of the investigation showed that McDonald was armed with a knife but did not appear to be moving towards the officers.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Carsten Koall/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — For the third year in a row, women across the world came out in the thousands Saturday to protest the Trump administration and to fight for women’s rights.But the Women’s March looked different from the first one in 2017.Back then, it was organized in response to the incoming presidency of Donald Trump and yielded a global movement. On the day after his inauguration, crowds marched across the U.S. in the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.But this year, the event was mired in controversy over the Women’s March Inc.’s leadership amid accusations of anti-Semitism and racism.Echoing 2017, this year’s formal main march was held in Washington, D.C., with more than 100 other marches planned for cities around the world.In Europe, the protests kicked off early Saturday. Hundreds of Londoners took part in a “Women Demand Bread & Roses” protest, rallying in Trafalgar Square. In Berlin, women marched holding signs that said, “My body, my rules.”In the U.S. Capital, pink “pussy hats” dotted the crowd, and thousands of protesters held up signs protesting Trump while others held signs in support of transgender rights, reproductive rights and gun control. Protestors also invoked Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and signs that read: “Believe survivors.”One marcher shouted, “Get your tiny hands off my underpants!”Much of the buildup before the rally, however, focused on the controversy and how organizers were seemingly at odds.For months, women who had previously participated in the marches exchanged text messages and Facebook posts about whether one of the founders of the movement was anti-Semitic. In the week leading up to the event, the march drew as much attention for controversial comments made by the organizers as the upcoming event itself.Though the conversation has been ongoing for the past year, the allegations were formalized in an article in the online Jewish magazine Tablet.On Monday, two of the march’s organizers appeared on “The View,” fueling the controversy. Co-president Tamika Mallory defended her relationship with Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, who has long fielded charges of anti-Semitism.“As a leader, as a black leader in a country that is still dealing with some very serious unresolved issues as it relates to the black experience in this country, I go into a lot of difficult spaces,” Mallory said on the show. “Wherever my people are, there that’s where I must also be.”On Tuesday, the NAACP and the Democratic National Committee pulled out as partners. Planned Parenthood stayed on board.By Saturday afternoon, Mallory appeared to throw out an all-inclusive olive leaf to the crowd, as she had recently drawn criticism for remarks and affiliations that some called anti-Semitic.“To all my sisters, I see you. To my Muslim sisters, I see you. To my Latina sisters, I see you. To my Asian sisters, I see you. To my Jewish sisters, I see all of you. I see your pain. And to my black sisters, I SEE YOU!” Mallory said to the thousands of women and supporters gathered on the National Mall.Speakers from Black Lives Matter, Women of Piscataway, Oglala Lakota Nation Couchiching First Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Nation also took the podium.In addition, union leaders spoke, at the end of a particularly precarious week for organized workers in the U.S. The National Federation of Federal Employees was represented, as the partial U.S. government shutdown continues into its 29th day.Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, also spoke, as the teachers’ strike in Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest public school system, threatens to stretch into its second week.Despite the controversy, thousands of protestors came from around the U.S.A 5-year-old girl named Isabella came with her family from Chicago to send a message to Trump. She told ABC News that “Donald Trump needs to be kinder.”Her father, Eddie Navarrete, is a Mexican-American emergency room doctor who came to the U.S. when he was 8 years old. He says today’s important message is, “As a country, we are loving and caring for people, and I think we’ll come through.”Beyond Washington, D.C., protesters joined rallies in Los Angeles, New York and Iowa, where presidential hopeful New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand kicked off her campaign.“I will make this very clear. We know there is no room for anti-Semitism anywhere in our movement. We know this. We know that our movement is empowered when all of us lift each other.” Gillibrand said.In New York City, which is hosting three disparate marches, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivered a unifying message.“It is so incredibly important to uplift all of our voices. And to make sure the least among us advocated the most. That means we will not be quiet when it comes to the rights of black women. That means we will not be quiet when it comes to the rights of trans women. That means we will not be quiet when it comes to the rights of poor women. And middle-class women. And working-class women. And all women in the United States and in the world,” she said.“Last year we brought the power to the polls, and this year we need to make sure we translate that power into policy,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “That means we will not let anyone take our rights away. In fact, we will expand them.”She listed priorities including the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay for women workers, and paid parental leave.In Texas, women took to the streets in temperatures that dipped into the 30s. Sandra Parker, a 59-year old retired air traffic controller, headed to Denton for her third Women’s March. As a child of government workers with many family members still in public service, the stalemate in Washington is cause enough for protest.“Our country is a joke. Women are not taken seriously and called hysterical or ‘bitch’ if they are as forceful as a man. Strong women are not silent. I march for myself, my daughter and my granddaughters!” Parker said. “Sick sick sick of this shutdown and our supposed leaders! I care!”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
MCCAIG/iStock(HARRISONBURG, Va.) — A dog once thought to be lost to a fire in an apartment building in Virginia is now back with his grateful owner.On Thursday, a five-alarm blaze tore through a three-story apartment building in the Hills at Southview apartment complex in Harrisonburg, leaving dozens displaced, including James Madison University student Kayla Blake.Blake, who was not home at the time of the fire and who got the devastating call, told ABC News affiliate WHSV-TV that she was a “wreck” after hearing about her third-floor apartment and was particularly concerned about whether firefighters and first responders had rescued her dog, Rebel.She’d adopted Rebel three years ago from the Richmond Animal League, according to WHSV-TV.Blake said, however, that a K-9 unit had told her parents it was unlikely that Rebel had survived because of the flames, the smoke and the possibility that the floors had given way in the building.But two days later, when Blake and a friend returned to the complex to assess the damage, she heard a familiar and welcoming sound from a window: Rebel’s bark. She then called the police and fire department, she said.“Within a few minutes, you know, five, six minutes, one of the firefighters, I heard him yell, ‘We got him!’ And, he looked out the window and gave me a thumbs up,” she told WHSV-TV.Video from the scene posted to social media showed first responders carrying out Rebel as a crowd of onlookers cheered.The dog had reportedly been hiding under a desk and a James Madison University flag, an area of the apartment that had not been destroyed by the fire.According to WHSV-TV, Rebel suffered a burn on his nose and a few dropped pounds due to lack of food. Otherwise, a veterinarian had checked him out and determined him to be OK, Blake said.“He goes everywhere with me,” she said, “so he’s definitely gonna be a part of the part of my journey wherever I end up after this.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — Fifty years ago this week, the Apollo 11 astronauts — Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins — suited up as America waited with bated breath: would the trio be the first Americans to set foot on the moon?It was a grand, new goal that was first set by President John F. Kennedy.“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said in May 1961.Astronauts who were preparing for the U.S. first lunar mission followed a complex training program. There were simulations. They walked in their spacesuits. They completed tests in the water.Americans counted the days — with so many questions about the mission — as did NASA. And then it was time.On July 16, 1969, families across the U.S. gathered in their living rooms — and hundreds of millions around the world — watched as the Apollo 11 lifted off into space.After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered in a lunar orbit. The next day, the lunar module Eagle, with Armstrong and Aldrin inside, separated from the command module where Collins remained.Hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the moon. But then, there was an alarm.“12-02. Standby,” Mission Control could be heard saying.Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston housed the engineers and flight directors who worked tirelessly to ensure Apollo 11’s mission was a success.A “12-02” alarm meant that the lunar module’s computer was overloaded. If the problem could not be corrected, the landing would need to be aborted.“Give us a reading on the 12-02 program alarm,” Armstrong could be heard saying.The control room responded with silence.They would continue with the mission.Armstrong flew the lunar module manually, evading boulders in their planned landing location. With the fuel running critically low, Apollo flight director Gene Kranz, back in Mission Control, gave a 60-seconds-to-abort warning.Critical minutes passed and then Armstrong could be heard saying: “The Eagle has landed.”“Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot,” Mission Control could be heard responding.“Thank you,” Aldrin said.Then, there was the sound of applause in Apollo Mission Control in Houston as some wiped away tears.Armstrong bounded across the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969. From the moon, he said those famous words: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”Nineteen minutes later, it was Aldrin’s turn to take his first steps.“Beautiful view!” he said.President Richard Nixon spoke to Aldrin and Armstrong while they were in space, telling them: “I just can’t tell you how proud we all are.”Yet, back in Apollo Mission Control in Houston, after the cheering and the tears, they knew they had a lot of work still left to do as they guided the men back home.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Evgen_Prozhyrko/iStock(NEW YORK) — The man who is accused of fatally shooting a New York City mob boss in a brazen crime that shocked observers and the law enforcement community allegedly thought he had the protection of President Trump and was trying to arrest him as part of a battle against the “Deep State,” new court documents claim.Anthony Comello is charged with the murder of Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, the reputed head of the infamous Gambino crime family.Authorities initially feared a possible mob war in the wake of Cali’s shooting death in March, but later Comello, who has no known mob ties, was identified as the suspect. He has entered a not guilty plea to murder and weapons possession charges.In new court documents submitted Friday, Comello’s defense attorney details how his client — who he is arguing suffers from mental defect — allegedly was a believer in the “conspiratorial fringe right-wing political group” QAnon.QAnon has found its way out of the recesses of the internet with references on Alex Jones’ “InfoWars” and from celebrities like Roseanne Barr. Trump supporters were also spotted wearing “Q” T-shirts at rallies in June 2018. Then-press secretary Sarah Sanders said the “president condemns and denounces any group that would incite violence against another individual” in response to a question about QAnon.Comello’s family “began to notice changes in his personality” following the presidential election in 2016, noting that he took an interest in politics, which was “something he had not previously been involved in,” the court document states.Comello allegedly “became increasingly vocal about his support for QAnon,’” about a month-and-a-half before Cali’s murder, the documents state.“But Mr. Comello’s support for QAnon went beyond mere participation in a radical political organization, it evolved into a delusional obsession,” the legal memorandum states.According to the memo, QAnon follows the “postings of an individual (or group of individuals) who write using the pseudonym ‘Q’.” Devotees believe that there are people working in the so-called “Deep State” who are trying to ruin America and President Donald Trump and his supporters are battling against them.“As part of his delusion, the defendant believed that he had been given secret knowledge about the Deep State, and that Q was communicating directly with him so that the defendant could play a grand role in the conflict to save the American way of life. Because of his self-perceived status in QAnon, Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full support,” the court document states.His attorney’s document notes how Comello tried to make citizen’s arrests of three prominent politicians, all of whom are Democrats and vocal critics of Trump — New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, and Representatives Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff. All three of those citizen’s arrests, in February 2019 or shortly after, were unsuccessful.In the de Blasio case, the mayor’s security detail thwarted him and in the case with the members of Congress, U.S. Marshals did not help him, which Comello allegedly believed they would. His lawyer said Comello believed de Blasio was guilty of “election fraud” and the two members of Congress were “guilty of breaking the law.”Comello allegedly intended to perform another attempted citizen’s arrest when he went to confront Cali as well, but the incident escalated, according to the court document.“In addition to politicians and celebrities, Mr. Comello concluded that the Deep State also includes individuals associated with organized crime. He ardently believed that Francesco Cali, a boss in the Gambino Crime Family, was a prominent member of the Deep State, and, accordingly, an appropriate target for a citizen’s arrest,” the memorandum states.The documents detail how Comello drove to Cali’s Staten Island home on March 13 and “struck” the mob boss’s car which was parked outside of the residence.The noise apparently prompted Cali to leave the house and speak to Comello about the damage to the car.“While the two men were standing near their respective vehicles, Mr. Comello informed Mr. Cali of his true intention to effect a citizen’s arrest, and ordered Mr. Cali to submit to detention,” the document states, adding that Comello “brought handcuffs with him, and planned to restrain Mr. Cali and bring him to the appropriate authorities to answer for the criminal actions which Mr. Comello believed he had taken part in.”“After a heated exchange, Mr. Cali made a furtive action with his hand and Mr. Comello became afraid for his life. He reached into his vehicle, withdrew his gun, and shot Mr. Cali in self-defense,” the document states.Comello’s defense attorney has already submitted a notice of intent to show evidence of mental disease or defect, the documents state.“Had Mr. Comello simply intended to lure Mr. Cali out of his house and murder him, there would have been no need to bring any elements of restraint,” the document states. “The presence of these handcuffs demonstrates that Mr. Comello was actually planning to effect a citizen’s arrest on Mr. Cali, rather than shoot him.”A judge denied Comello’s attorney’s request for bail in May.The documents were filed in connection to a request for specific pieces of evidence to be submitted as discovery, and the next court appearance is slated for Aug. 13.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Marilyn Nieves/iStock(ATLANTA) — An Atlanta attorney has been charged with murder after he fatally rammed his Mercedes sedan into a real estate investor, according to authorities.The encounter began after 60-year-old Hamid Jahangard “accidentally” hit the 2011 Mercedes CLS550 belonging to corporate lawyer Bryan Schmitt with a golf ball on July 30, according to a news release from the Fulton County District Attorney.Schmitt then “purposely steered” the luxury car into Jahangard in the driveway of one of his rental properties on River Valley Road in Sandy Springs, prosecutors said.Initially, Schmitt told detectives that he was driving home on River Valley Road that afternoon when he saw a man on the side of the road next to a trash can making “a throwing motion with his arm” before he “saw a white object” strike his car, ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV reported, citing the criminal complaint, which contains the statement Schmitt gave to authorities before he was arrested.Schmitt said he then made a U-turn and pulled into the driveway of the home to confront Jahangard, according to the station. Schmitt allegedly said that when he asked Jahangard why he threw the object, the victim yelled, “It’s none of your business!” and “pushed a trash can” at him.“I swerved to right to miss it and ended up hitting a second trash can,” Schmitt told detectives, according to the station. “When I came to stop, he was lying on the other side of the first trash.”However, surveillance footage and witness statements contradicted Schmitt’s account, the criminal complaint states. One neighbor, a nurse, allegedly witnessed Schmitt attempting to pull Jahangard’s body from underneath his car and told him to stop and wait for paramedics to arrive, stating that Schmitt “ran him over” rather than knocked him down, according to WSB-TV.In addition, Jahangard was talking to his brother, Manoucher Jahangard, on the phone when he was struck, according to court documents obtained by the station.Manoucher Jahangard also told investigators that he last heard his brother say, “I did not throw anything! I did not throw anything! Get out of my face,” before the call was cut off. Jahangard was waiting for painters to arrive at the time, his brother said.Police found a golf ball on the scene but did not see any damage to the car, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.Jahangard suffered a massive skull fracture, swelling in his brain and multiple leg fractures, WSB-TV reported. He died in the hospital two days later, prosecutors said.The medical examiner ruled Jahangard’s death a homicide by “blunt force injury of the head,” according to the station.Jahangard, who was originally from Iran, was a “prominent real estate investor” and a graduate of Walton High School in Cobb County and Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, according to prosecutors.He is survived by his two daughters and four siblings, according to an obituary.Schmitt is an associate corporate counsel and director of contracts for Atlanta-based supply chain and software company Manhattan Associates, according to Law.com.He was charged with murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, prosecutors announced Friday. He is currently being held at the Fulton County jail without bond, jail records show.ABC News could not immediately reach representatives for Schmitt or Manhattan Associates for comment.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Dorian made landfall along Cape Hatteras, N.C., Friday as those on the state’s low-lying islands battled ferocious rain and braced for flash flooding and dangerous storm surge.Hundreds may be trapped on Ocracoke Island where the deadly storm “is raging” and “waters are rising quickly,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday.“I don’t think rescue crews can get in at this point, but they are ready to go as soon as they possibly can,” Cooper said.The Hyde County Sheriff’s Office called the flooding on Ocracoke Island “catastrophic.”Leslie Lanier, who lives on Ocracoke Island, said some residents had to climb into their attics to escape the water.Lanier is OK but “nervous and worried,” she told ABC Raleigh station WTVD.“Hatteras Island is literally drowning… the flooding is insane,” Outer Banks resident Sarah Ashley, who evacuated inland but said her husband stayed behind, told ABC News via email. “We’re praying that these winds die down before high tide [Friday afternoon].”The governor urged those in Dare and Hyde Counties to move to the highest point in their homes as the fierce waters rise.At least four people have died in the Southeast as a result of Dorian, according to The Associated Press, including an 85-year-old man who fell off a ladder in North Carolina while preparing his home for the storm.At least 379,000 homes and businesses were without power across the Carolinas and Virginia on Friday as a result of the storm, now a Category 1 hurricane.Dorian is expected to dump up to 8 inches of rain in northeast North Carolina through Saturday, with as much as 15 inches of total rainfall in some spots.The combination of downpours and storm surge as high as 7 feet could cause life-threatening flash floods.South Carolina has already seen more than 10 inches of rain since the storm barreled up the coast on Thursday.At least 20 tornadoes were reported in the Carolinas on Thursday. One tornado ripped through Emerald Isle, N.C., upending mobile homes and strewing debris across the roads.Another tornado was reported in Little River, S.C., where one resident told ABC Florence affiliate WPDE that they heard what sounded “like a large airplane or a large train coming through.”By Friday afternoon and evening, Dorian’s gusty winds and heavy rain will move out to sea, but the storm is still set to bring heavy rain and up to 4 feet of storm surge to southern Virginia.Even the Northeast will see impacts from Dorian when the storm grazes the coast with heavy rain Friday night into Saturday morning.A coastal flood advisory was issued for parts of New Jersey, New York and coastal Connecticut, while a tropical storm watch was issued for Cape Cod and eastern Maine.Before approaching the United States, Dorian slammed into the Bahamas on Sunday afternoon as a Category 5 hurricane, making the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record.At least 30 people have died in the Bahamas due to Dorian, but the country’s health minister told a local radio station Thursday that the final death count will be “staggering.”The storm hovered over the archipelago’s northern islands for nearly two days, flattening homes, submerging roads and flooding an international airport.Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Dorian left “generational devastation” across the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, which are both in the archipelago’s northern region, east of southern Florida.“Everybody’s, like, in a state of shock right now. We lost everything,” one woman said. “So right now we’re in survival mode.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.