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Judge asks for a ladder and a visit to Statue of Liberty before sentencing protester who scaled base on July 4

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johnandersonphoto/iStock(NEW YORK) — A New York federal judge wants a ladder and a visit to the Statue of Liberty before he sentences a woman who has come before his court. The woman in question is Staten Island resident Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, who was arrested last July 4 for scaling the base of the iconic statue and taking up temporary residence on Lady Liberty’s right foot. Liberty Island, where the statue is located, was evacuated and all visitors were taken off the island via ferry, a National Parks spokesperson said at the time. Footage from helicopters showed her sitting at the base of the statue, occasionally lying on her stomach and kicking her feet up behind her, ABC station WABC reported. Police were seen on the base of the Statue of Liberty, apparently trying to verbally engage with Okoumou before physically apprehending her. Footage from the scene showed the officers wearing harnesses and using ladders to scale the statue’s base. Okoumou was seen holding a t-shirt displaying the words “Rise and Resist” and “Trump Care Makes Us Sick.” She later

Runnin' with the Devil: New Eddie Van Halen high-top sneakers celebrates his band's 1978 debut

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Credit: Joe LengsonVan Halen erupted onto the music scene with their self-titled debut album 41 years ago this month, and to commemorate the band’s arrival, a new pair of high-top sneakers featuring a vintage photo of Eddie Van Halen onstage has been made available at the guitar legend’s online store. The EVH brand’s 1978 High Top is black with a white rubber sole, decorated with a pic of Eddie playing guitar during Van Halen’s ’78 tour on the outer side. In addition, a circular badge reading “1978 Eddie Van Halen” appears on the inner ankle area, the EVH logo is featured on the tongue and the back of the sole, and a back panel boasts the black-and-white stripe pattern that’s seen on Eddie’s classic “Eruption” guitar. The sneakers are priced at $64.78 and can be purchased at EddieVanHalenStore.com. Van Halen has been idle since its last tour ended in October 2015, although frontman David Lee Roth hinted in an interview with Vulture this past December that the band would be mounting a new trek this year. No official word about

President Trump names Kelly Knight Craft new pick for US ambassador to United Nations

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mizoula/iStock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump has named a new pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tapping Kelly Knight Craft, the current U.S. ambassador to Canada, to fill the role. Craft, a native of Glasgow, Kentucky, becomes the second nominee the president has selected to replace former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who resigned in October. Her nomination was applauded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who personally recommended Craft to the president for the post. “The President made an exceptional choice for this critical post,” McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement. “Kelly Craft is a strong advocate for American interests and will be a powerful representative of our great nation at the U.N. She has a long record of service to her state and the nation and I’m confident she will continue to serve with distinction as America’s voice to the world at the United Nations. I was proud to recommend this remarkable Kentuckian to President Trump.” Trump’s first nominee, Heather Nauert, the former State Department spokeswoman, withdrew her name from consideration last Saturday after problems arose in her

US opioid-related deaths have quadrupled in past 18 years, affecting young adults and northeast the most: Report

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Charles Wollertz/iStock(NEW YORK) — A new study details the destructive nature of opioids, reporting that the number of opioid-related deaths in the U.S. has more than quadrupled in the past 18 years. All told, there were 351,5630 people who died as a result of opioid-related deaths between 1999 and 2016, according to the study in JAMA Network Open. For context, that figure is just above the estimated population of Honolulu, Hawaii. The actual opioid-related death rate went up from 2.9 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 13.2 per 100,000 people in 2016, the report states. The study also concluded that while opioid-related deaths were previously viewed as being a problem largely in the Midwest and Appalachia, the issues have shifted toward the northeast in the past decade-and-a-half. The reason the opioid problem has become so bad, according to the report, is not because it has been one continuous epidemic, but because it has come in three waves. The first wave of the epidemic, the report states, was tied to the use and abuse of prescription painkillers from 1999 to 2010.

'Roughly 400' US troops to remain in Syria as observers in 'safe zone'

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Juanmonino/iStock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump on Friday denied he was “reversing course” on his order that all 2,000 U.S. troops be withdrawn from Syria despite an unexpected White House announcement Thursday night that hundreds would remain as a “peacekeeping force.” “Roughly 400” American troops will stay on in Syria, a senior administration official said Friday. “A small U.S. presence will remain in northeast Syria as part of a multinational monitoring and observer force,” the official said. The sudden adjustment to what Trump had said would be the total withdrawal of U.S. forces is intended, the official said, to maintain stability in Syria and prevent a resurgence of ISIS after the majority of the U.S. troops leave. Initial plans call for the U.S. troops to participate in a force of “up to 1,500” from other partner nations. “Separately, the U.S. will maintain a presence at the Al Tanf Garrison” in southern Syria near the border with Jordan, the official said. “The goal will be to main stability and prevent an ISIS resurgence,” said the official, who added that the multi-national observer

Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw shut down over arm issue

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Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have shut down ace Clayton Kershaw indefinitely after he reportedly didn’t feel right during an early throwing session. Kershaw didn’t elaborate on the issue following the team’s Friday workout. He did say that he expects to be kept off the mound for only a few days. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the issue wasn’t related to Kershaw’s back, which has sent him to the injured list each of the last three years. Roberts called it “just an arm kind of thing,” but said “no one is alarmed or worried” because it is still early in Spring Training. The 30-year-old lefty has won the National League Cy Young Award three times, and signed a three-year contract extension with the Dodgers in November. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Democratic House chairman asks attorney general for 'full disclosure' of Mueller's findings

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US Congress (Office of Jerry Nadler, D-NY)(WASHINGTON) — The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee wrote to Attorney General William Barr Friday to demand access to the full scope of records and evidence gathered by special counsel Robert Mueller during the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. The letter is an attempt to lay the foundation for Democrats to ensure they can obtain the report and the underlying materials from the Mueller probe amid concerns about the records’ full release. There is, wrote Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, “a significant public interest in the full disclosure of information learned by the Special Counsel about the nature and scope of the Russian government’s efforts to undermine our democracy.” His letter is co-signed by a handful of Democrats leading other committees investigating the president or his administration, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel. Nadler’s committee would oversee any impeachment investigation should Democrats decide to pursue that

Led Zeppelin launches online playlist generator, invites Jack White and other artists to try it out

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Atlantic/Swan Song/Warner MusicIn honor of Led Zeppelin‘s ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations, the band has launched a new playlist generator program that allows anyone to build a list of tunes from the rock legends’ entire catalog. To mark the debut of the program, three artists have been recruited to try it out: ex-White Stripes frontman Jack White, U.K. hard-rock duo Royal Blood and Mexican rockers Maná, all of whom consider Led Zeppelin a major influence. White’s 10-track playlist begins with the Physical Graffiti track “The Rover,” and includes popular tunes such as “The Lemon Song,” “Moby Dick” and “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” It also features a couple of gems from the BBC Sessions collection: “The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair” and “Traveling Riverside Blues.” “They are an immovable force in music,” White says of the mighty Zep. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like them.” Led Zeppelin Playlist Generator also creates personalized cover art to accompany each list of songs generated, and allows users to share their lists via social media. In addition, the program can

Where's the beef? Wolfgang Puck's got it this Oscar Sunday

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ABC(LOS ANGELES) — As sure as a winner will forget to thank their significant other on the podium, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck will be running the kitchen for the famed Governors Ball after the Oscars Sunday night.  It’s the 25th year that Puck’s been crafting A-list edibles for A-list guests at the official after-party of the Academy Awards, and once again, he caught up with ABC Radio to talk about the most indulgent items on the menu this year. “We all know black truffles are expensive, we have 30 pounds of that,” he explains. “You know, caviar is not cheap, either. We brought in enough Miyazaki beef, and you know, that’s expensive. It cost as much as a Mercedes with all the beef we got.” Puck also explained some of his inspiration for one of Sunday night’s delicacies, Spanish ham, came from a Best Picture nominee — accidentally. “The inspiration for the ham started really when I saw Roma, the movie, where they spoke Spanish. And I was thinking right away of Spain,” Punk explains. “But then afterwards, I found

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