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Prosecutors present chilling scene footage from deadly California synagogue shooting

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iStock(NEW YORK) — Prosecutors presented disturbing surveillance video in a court hearing Thursday related to the deadly shooting at a California synagogue in April. The video shows the gunman storming the house of worship and targeting congregants with an assault rifle, killing a woman and injuring three others. The video was presented as evidence in a preliminary hearing for 20-year-old John Earnest, who is charged with murder and attempted murder for allegedly killing Chabad of Poway synagogue member Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, and shooting other worshipers, including an 8-year-old girl. Earnest has been charged with a hate crime, which could make him eligible for the death penalty if convicted. The multi-day hearing will ultimately decide if Earnest will face trial or not. Surveillance cameras from inside and outside of the synagogue near San Diego captured the entire scene on video, starting from the moment the gunman drove up to the church and ending with congregants chasing him away. In the video, the shooter began to open fire even before he opened the synagogue’s doors. Gilbert-Kaye saw him immediately and tried to

Sheriff reveals deadly realities of illegal immigration across US southern border

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iStock(PIMA COUNTY, Ariz.) — Thousands of miles from Washington D.C. in Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff Mark Napier works on the front lines of the border crisis. He showed Nightline a section of the border barrier that “was and still is a major drug trafficking and human trafficking corridor,” he said. “We know that somebody came here with a kid,” he said, pointing out refuse along the barrier. “There’s children’s clothing, diapers, a small container of baby oil.” From there, people traversing the desert would have 40 miles to go before “they get to something that would resemble civilization where they can be picked up by somebody else,” Napier said. For more than three decades, this has been Napier’s home — the largest border county on the southern border. On the national stage, what happens here has become a political flashpoint. Just this week, President Donald Trump touted his campaign promise of building a wall at the U.S. southern border while speaking south of San Diego. “It’s a very powerful, very powerful wall, the likes of which probably to this extent

Texas declares disaster as torrential rain wreaks havoc, grounds hundreds of flights

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iStock(HOUSTON) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a disaster in 13 counties as Tropical Storm Imelda brought torrential rain and dangerous flash flooding to the Houston area, stranding residents in their homes, drivers in their cars and canceling hundreds of flights at local airports. Over 900 flights were canceled into and out of Houston area airports due to the severe rain, which reached over 40 inches in some spots. The storm claimed its first life on Thursday as well. A man in Jefferson County was “electrocuted and drowned” while trying to move his horse, according to the sheriff’s office. The family of Hunter Morrison, the man killed, said he was not trying to rescue any people, as had been reported locally, and wanted to correct false reports. The town of Hamshire, Texas, saw six months’ worth of rain in 48 hours. More than 33 inches of rain has fallen in Hamshire since Tuesday — and over 2 feet of that rainfall within 12 hours. In the small town of Winnie, Texas, the conditions are “horrible,” with rapidly-rising floodwaters making

El Paso shooting victim says his story is 'genuine' after police dispute his heroism

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iStock(EL PASO, Texas) — The El Paso shooting victim whose story of heroism was disputed by police said he’s standing by his recounting of the attack at the Walmart. Chris Grant was supposed to be one of 11 people honored by the White House for bravery in early September before he was detained by Secret Service over an open arrest warrant. El Paso police later said video from the shooting did not match Grant’s claims of throwing bottles to distract the gunman. “[His actions] were basically human instincts, survival instincts, but they were not heroic or as he described,” police spokesman Enrique Carillo previously told ABC News, declining to answer specific questions. Grant now wants to tell his version of the events. His lawyer said on Wednesday that Grant “stands by his statements and his recollections he made to police, to Chris Cuomo and others following the shooting.” “He is still recovering from his physical injuries, but his recollection of the events on August 3, 2019 are genuine,” his lawyer, Rosana Narvaez, read from a statement. Grant, a 50-year-old Texas

New Jersey man arrested for allegedly spying for Hezbollah: Feds

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iStock(MORRISTOWN, N.J.) — A New Jersey man was indicted Thursday on charges he supported Hezbollah by scouting possible targets for an attack. Alexei Saab began training with Hezbollah operatives overseas and surveilled multiple locations in the U.S., the FBI said. According to the indictment, Saab joined Hezbollah in 1996 in Lebanon where he observed and reported on the movements of Israeli troops. He trained to handle and fire an AK-47, an M16 and other weapons. He also was trained to construct explosive devices, with the federal records showing diagrams of bombs he had built. Saab entered the U.S. in 2000 and applied for citizenship in 2005. He became a naturalized citizen three years later. Federal prosecutors said he continued to receive training in Lebanon and surveilled “dozens” of locations in New York City, including the New York Stock Exchange, U.N. building, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center and local airports, tunnels and bridges. “In particular, SAAB focused on the structural weaknesses of locations he surveilled in order to determine how a future attack could cause the most destruction. SAAB’s reporting to

Colorado mother puts injured bobcat in car with her child

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iStock(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — A Colorado mother is facing criticism from wildlife officials who said she put an injured bobcat into her car next to her child. Parks and Wildlife officials in the southeast region of the state issued a warning to the public on Twitter after describing a “lucky” Colorado Springs woman who put the injured predator in her car and escaped unscathed. The officials stressed to “NEVER PICK UP WILD ANIMALS” and asked anyone who comes in contact with them to contact their department. The bobcat was mortally wounded, officials said, and was too injured to react to being picked up and placed in the car. “No one should ever try this. This could have been tragic,” parks officials said. Parks officials throughout the state agreed with that assessment, with the main Colorado Parks and Wildlife Twitter page retweeting the information with one word: “speechless.” Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US and Canada have lost nearly 3 billion of bird population in last 50 years: Study

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iStock(NEW YORK) — The bird population in the U.S. and Canada has declined more than 29% percent — or by nearly 3 billion birds — in the last 50 years, according to a new study. The stark losses signals a “widespread ecological crisis,” as the bird population is an indicator of environmental health, according to the study, published Thursday in the journal Science. The decline has affected a diverse group of birds and habitats, including songbirds such as meadowlarks, long-distance migrants such as swallows and backyard birds such as sparrows. Grassland birds were hit especially hard, with a 53% reduction in population — or more than 720 million birds — while shorebirds that frequent sensitive coastlines have lost more than one third of their population. In addition, the volume of birds that participate in spring migration has dropped by 14% in just the last 10 years. While researchers expected to see a continuing decline in the population, the results of the study showed “pervasive losses among common birds across all habitats,” Ken Rosenberg, senior scientist at the Cornell Lab of

Murder charges dropped against 5 teens after 14-year-old killed during burglary attempt in Illinois

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iStock(CHICAGO) — Felony murder charges have been dropped against five Chicago teenagers after a 14-year-old who was with them during a burglary attempt was shot and killed by a homeowner, prosecutors announced. The teens were initially charged with murder after the youngest member of their group died after they allegedly tried to break into a car in front of a home in Old Mill Creek, Illinois, about 47 miles north of Chicago, on Aug. 13, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. When the 75-year-old homeowner went outside to confront the teens, he told deputies that two of the people in the group “quickly approached him,” one of whom was “holding something in his hand,” prompting him to fire his gun at least three times. A 14-year-old boy was struck by gunfire and was pronounced dead after the group fled the scene and dropped him off near a Gurnee Police officer who was tending to an unrelated traffic stop about three miles away. Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said in a statement on Thursday that his office decided to

Man allegedly confesses to murder of woman missing since 2003: DA

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iStock(PHILADELPHIA) — A Philadelphia man is in custody after allegedly confessing to the murder of a woman who has been missing for 16 years, prosecutors said. The arrest of Jade Babcock, 49, came after a tip in the 2003 missing person’s case of Brenda Jacobs, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. The tip — which Lycoming County District Attorney Kenneth Osokow said came Monday — led to the discovery this week of human remains in a storage facility in Northeast Philadelphia. The remains are suspected to be of Jacobs, who was believed to be in a relationship with Babcok, said Osokow. Jacobs, who was about 39 when she went missing, lived in Lycoming County in central Pennsylvania, about 180 miles away from Philadelphia. She had been missing since 2003 but was not reported missing by family until 2013, prosecutors said. Osokow would not comment on why it took so long for the missing person’s case to be filed. Babcock was interviewed in 2013 or 2014 when Jacobs was reported missing, Osokow said, and has now allegedly confessed to Jacobs’

'It could be anybody': Family awaits answers in desperate search for missing 5-year-old girl

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Bridgeton Police Department(BRIDGETON, N.J.) — An Amber Alert remains in effect in New Jersey for 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez amid a statewide manhunt for an unidentified individual who police say was seen leading the little girl into a red van. Dulce was last seen Monday afternoon in the area of City Park in Bridgeton, N.J. Dulce’s mother reported to authorities that she saw her daughter playing on the swings with her 3-year-old brother, about 30 yards away, while she remained in her car with an 8-year-old relative. The mother said the toddler returned to her car without his sister and she was unable to find her, according to a press release from the Bridgetown Police Department. Local, state and federal authorities have been searching for the little girl ever since. FBI Newark on Thursday urged the public to “not spread rumors on social media” with respect to the investigation or Dulce’s disappearance. “Information is being released through official channels. Don’t be responsible for distracting the focus of everyone’s efforts,” the FBI tweeted. A spokeswoman for the agency said the tweet