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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no longer 'working members' of royal family: Buckingham Palace

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Paul Grover- WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) —  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are no longer “working members” of the royal family, according to Buckingham Palace. With the queen’s blessing, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are embarking on the “next chapter of their lives” by stepping back from their royal duties and will no longer receive public funds. The new arrangement goes into effect in the spring of 2020 and will be reviewed in a year’s time. “This is seismic. It’s an abdication really,” said Alastair Bruce, ABC News’ royalty consultant. “He was given the opportunity to serve as a member of the royal family but he has essentially abdicated from that and it’s all been put into abeyance.” Alastair notes that the children of the Earl of Wessex — Harry’s uncle — have also chosen not to use their HRH titles, or have their titles in abeyance, so Harry and Meghan are not unique in this respect. Both will still be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, according to a palace source. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always

Michigan man finds $43,000 in couch he bought for $35

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Pineapple Studio/iStock(NEW YORK) —  A Michigan man made a shocking discovery inside a couch he purchased from a thrift store for just $35: an extra $43,000. Howard Kirby purchased a couch from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Owosso only to discover it came with the wad of cash inside one of the cushions, the store manager told ABC News on Saturday. Kirby decided to return the money to the couch’s owner. “He could use it. … He has needs, but he said he just felt this prompting from God that said, ‘This isn’t yours,'” store manager Rick Merlang said.  Kirby met with the couch’s original owners on Thursday to return the money. The store had called the family to say that Kirby found something “they’re gonna want back.” “It was very, very shocking to them,” Merlang said. The couch belonged to the grandfather of the family, who died about a year ago, according to Merlang. The family called the thrift store to ask them to pick the couch up and left their contact information. “I think they were hoping

Top prosecutor receives a racist voicemail, posts it on social media

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — Days after Baltimore City’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby rallied around a fellow top prosecutor to speak out about the racially charged attacks they have experienced while in office, she received a 60-second voicemail flooded with “hateful rhetoric.” The anonymous voice started by chastising Mosby for traveling to St. Louis, Missouri, to support St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner for filing a civil rights lawsuit against the city and their police union for allegedly coordinating racist conspiracies meant to force her out of office. Mixed with half-recited, profanity-laced proverbs and racially biased opinions, the caller ended the message with a shocking suggestion. “If we’d known you all were going to be this much f—–g trouble, we would have picked our own f—–g cotton,” the caller said. Mosby received the rambling “hateful rhetoric” on Wednesday and posted it on her Twitter page on Thursday to further reiterate why she supported Gardner earlier in the week. This is why #IStandWithKimGardner and this hateful rhetoric only strengthens my resolve to continue fighting for justice and working to undo the blight

Major storm slams East Coast after battering the Midwest

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — A major storm has now slammed the Northeast Saturday afternoon after battering the western states and the Midwest. Yesterday, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort in Northern California received 25 inches of snow within 24 hours between Thursday and Friday morning, resulting in an avalanche that killed one person and seriously injured another. This morning, blizzard conditions hammered parts of the High Plains and Upper Midwest from Iowa to North Dakota, where snow is falling and winds are gusting above 50 mph. Alerts are in place Saturday morning for millions of Americans from the High Plains to New England. As of 3:30 a.m. Saturday, radar showed hard winter weather affecting many major U.S. interstates, with icy conditions from Iowa through Ohio, heavy snow further north into the Great Lakes region, and heavy rain on the southern side of the storm. The storm moved east rather quickly this morning, reaching the Northeast by midday. The storm will impact a large area of the country bringing potential flooding from the Midwest south to the Tennessee River Valley, icy conditions along

London man reports fake bomb threat to delay flight he was running late for: Police

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Sussex Police Department(LONDON) —  A London man running late for his flight reported a fake bomb threat to try and delay it, police said. Rashidul Islam, 32, was going to meet his fiancee in Marrakech, but had issues with public transport on the way to his flight out of Gatwick and worried he would miss it, according to a statement from Sussex police on Friday. He then allegedly decided to anonymously call the police and report a fake bomb threat. “EasyJet flight 8897 leaves in 40 minutes … There may be a bomb on the plane, you need to delay it, you need to stop it now,” Islam told the operator, according to police. Passengers and crew on the flight were evacuated and held in a gate room as authorities investigated. Sussex Police Department EasyJet could not be reached for comment. When Islam arrived at the airport to check-in, police realized his number matched the one from the anonymous call, according to authorities. He was taken into custody and admitted to making the fake threat, police said.  Islam pleaded guilty

Delta Airlines faces air quality violation, lawsuit after dumping 15,000 gallons of jet fuel on dozens

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Jetlinerimages/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — A Delta Airlines flight that dumped 15,000 gallons of jet fuel onto multiple people, schools and buildings in the Los Angeles area during an emergency landing is facing a civil lawsuit and violations. Four teachers at the Park Avenue Elementary School were outside with their students last Tuesday when they noticed a plane flying at a very low altitude. “I began to feel drops of jet fuel raining from the sky. My students thought it was rain,” one of the four educators, who requested to remain anonymous, said at a press conference held on Friday by their attorney Gloria Allred. “Then the liquid overwhelmed our eyes, mouths, nose, lungs and skin. My students began screaming and crying because their eyes and skin were burning.” That flight was headed to Shanghai, China, from Los Angeles International Airport when an in-flight emergency occurred and caused the plane to return to the runway. During the landing, the pilot was specifically asked by the Air Traffic Control System Command Center if there was a need to dump fuel in order to

Australian wildfires prompt $11,000 fine for tossing lit cigarette out of car

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Brett Hemmings/Getty Images(SYDNEY) —  Drivers in Australia can now face a penalty of up to $11,000 if they are caught tossing a lit cigarette out of their car. The new punishment, which went into effect on Friday in New South Wales, can also apply to automobile passengers if they throw a cigarette. Passengers would be fined $1,320. The hefty fine would be given if the offense was committed during a total fire ban, which is declared on days of extreme weather and prohibits people from the lighting of any fires in the open or engaging in other activities that may start a fire. It is not immediately clear how much a person would be fined when there isn’t a fire ban. The penalty comes amid the Australia bushfires that have decimated parts of the country. New South Wales Rural Fire Service Association President Brian McDonough applauded the government’s move to crack down on cigarette tossers. More than 200 people were caught tossing a lit cigarette out of their vehicle in New South Wales in 2019, according to a government press

Fact checkers expose alleged news site run by far-right media company

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spyarm/iStock(NEW YORK) — EU DisinfoLab, in cooperation with newsroom fact-checkers, has uncovered a far-right Polish media operation running a website that was making slight changes to real, existing stories and re-posting them to sow discord. The non-governmental organization, which collaborates with newsrooms throughout the European Union to combat misinformation, discovered the alleged news site after being contacted by fact-checkers from Agence France-Presse. Roman Adamczyk, research coordinator for EU DisinfoLab, told ABC News he was contacted by the AFP fact-checkers after they saw suspicious activity on a site called France Libre 24. Adamcayk said a quick review of the site set off alarm bells for him. “First, because it was using a name close to France 24, which is a real mainstream media in France,” he said. “Then, we had a closer look at the content and we realized that a lot of articles in the website focused on polarizing topics such as identity, immigration, religion.” Adamczyk told ABC News that the articles cited mainstream media sources but were rewritten to change their meanings. “Many articles were presented as being sourced

Giuliani associate Parnas texted with Trump campaign donors, including about Ukraine efforts

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Stephanie Keith/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas was in contact with at least two major Trump campaign donors– one with an official role in the Republican National Committee– during his efforts to pressure Ukraine into opening politically motivated investigations, documents released by the House Intelligence committee this week revealed. Parnas’ interactions with the two men, Harry Sargeant III and Tommy Hicks Jr. — who have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to fundraising vehicles for the president — provides more fuel to assertions by the president’s critics that political motives – and not the nation’s foreign policy goals — drove the efforts in Ukraine. In an interview on CNN on Thursday, Parnas confirmed his work in Ukraine was all about ensuring President Trump remained in office. “It was all about 2020, to make sure he had another four years,” Parnas said. “That was the way everybody viewed it. That was the most important thing, for him to stay on for another four years and keep the fight going. I mean, there was no other reason for doing it.”

Trump impeachment trial complicates 2020 Democrats' time on campaign trail

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial has scrambled the Democratic primary, forcing senators in the race to overhaul their schedules in the final stretch before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. At a time when presidential candidates traditionally camp out in early voting states, the four senators will spend their afternoons at their desks in the Senate chamber, sitting in silence for six days a week, listening to evidence and debating over whether Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress in efforts to investigate the Ukraine affair. “I would rather be in Iowa today, there’s a caucus there in two and a half weeks,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told reporters Thursday at the U.S. Capitol amid impeachment proceedings. “But I swore a constitutional oath as a United States senator to do my job.”  He is hosting a rally in Iowa Wednesday evening and his campaign has said he’s willing to go back-and-forth to continue to squeeze in events during the trial. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who has made face-to-face campaigning and selfie lines a signature