May 29

Navy SEAL killed in parachuting accident during Fleet Week

iStock/Thinkstock(JERSEY CITY, N.J.) — A member of the Navy SEAL Elite Parachute team “The Leap Frogs” was killed in a parachuting accident during Fleet Week Sunday in Jersey City, New Jersey.

According to Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, the parachute of one of the team members failed to open properly and he landed in the water adjacent to Liberty Park.

The Coast Guard and the Jersey City Fire Department Marine Unit immediately responded and got the SEAL out of the water and he was brought to the Jersey Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:10 p.m.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today,” Scorby said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation and the SEAL’s name was being withheld until the next of kin are notified, the Navy said.

Video taken by ABC station WABC-TV showed part of the parachute coming down after the parachutist separated from his chute and landed in the water.

 

Fleet Week parachute accident. https://t.co/Wk5K1w8j0A parachutist cut away, landed in water, & injured. Courtesy Aaron Moss Stay w/@ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/3OXxKOWoYJ

— Stacey Sager (@staceysager7) May 28, 2017

 

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May 28

Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning dies at age 85

Hunter Martin/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) — Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning died overnight at the age of 85, the Philadelphia Phillies announced Saturday.

Over a 17-year career, Bunning pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1971. He was one of only 18 Major League Baseball pitchers to throw a perfect game in recent times. In 1996, the nine-time All-Star was chosen for the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee.

He was the second pitcher to record 100 wins and 1,000 strikeouts in the American and National leagues.

We mourn the passing of Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator. He was 85. pic.twitter.com/NVTdhQuYmr

— MLB (@MLB) May 27, 2017

After his baseball career, Bunning turned to politics. He became the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress.

The Kentucky Republican retired from the Senate after two terms, but he served 12 years in the House. He did not seek re-election in 2010.

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May 28

NYPD officer makes epic basketball shot on Bronx court

Amana Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One New York City police officer may want to trade in his uniform for a basketball jersey.

Officer Garthlette James was on duty Friday in the NYPD’s 50th precinct, which covers several neighborhoods in the Bronx, when he stopped in front of a basketball court, a now-viral video shows.

He then asks for a ball to attempt a seemingly impossible shot from outside the basketball court.

“We’re going to make it. Trust,” he says in the video to naysayers.

After three dribbles, the 29-year-old officer fires off the shot from the sidewalk — and it goes in.

Cheers erupt from the court, the video depicts.

The officer, who has been with the department more than five years, celebrated with a huge grin.

See the shot in the video below.

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May 28

Scoreboard roundup — 5/27/17

 iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Miami 8, L.A. Angels, 5

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Oakland 4, N.Y. Yankees 1
Toronto 7, Texas 6
Kansas City 6, Cleveland 4
Boston 3, Seattle 0
Tampa Bay 5, Minnesota 2
Houston 2, Baltimore 0
Detroit at Chicago White Sox, postponed

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cincinnati 5, Philadelphia 2
Washington 5, San Diego 1
N.Y. Mets 8, Pittsburgh 1
Arizona 4, Milwaukee 2, 10 Innings
Colorado 10, St. Louis 0
L.A. Dodgers 4, Chicago Cubs 0
Atlanta 2, San Francisco 0

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Minnesota 82, Connecticut 68
Washington 88, Chicago 79
Seattle 87, N.Y. Liberty 81

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May 28

Manchester Police release CCTV images of suicide bomber on night of attack

Greater Manchester Police(MANCHESTER, England) — Greater Manchester Police has released CCTV images of suicide bomber Salman Abedi from the night of the deadly attack at Manchester Arena.

In a statement, police said 14 locations are still being searched in connection with the investigation and at least 13 people have been arrested.

“The investigation is making good progress and we know one of the last places Abedi went was a city centre flat and from there he left to make his way to the Manchester Arena,” Greater Manchester Police said.

Twenty-two people were killed in the attack on Monday night, including seven children.

On Saturday morning, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced the U.K. threat level was lowered from critical to severe. According to BBC, May said significant police activity in the last 24 hours led to the decision to reduce the level.

Greater Manchester Police said around 1,000 people are involved in the investigation and hundreds of officers are involved in security around Greater Manchester.

“This is still a live investigation which is not slowing down,” police said. “Our priorities are to understand the run up to this terrible event and to understand if more people were involved in planning this attack.”

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May 28

Trump calls foreign trip a 'home run' in remarks to US troops

Mandel Ngan/Getty Images(SICILY, Italy) — President Trump, addressing U.S. troops at Sigonella Naval Air Station in Italy in the final event of his first foreign trip, called his international tour a “home run.”

“I think we hit a home run no matter where we are,” the president said.

He again said money is pouring into NATO, though he did not offer details on any specific new commitments that have been made by NATO countries. He also reiterated the U.S. commitment to the North Atlantic alliance.

“Money is actually starting to pour into NATO from countries that would not have been doing what they’re doing now had I not been elected, I can tell you that,” the president said. “We are behind NATO all the way. All of us will be more safe and secure if everyone fulfills their obligations the way they’re supposed to, right?”

Reflecting upon the G7 summit over the last two days, the president said it was “productive.”

“It was a tremendously productive meeting where I strengthened America’s bonds. We have great bonds with other countries. We concluded a historic week for our country,” he said.

The president also expressed optimism about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, recalling his visit to Israel and his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, a city he noted is “so precious to so many.”

“[Abbas] assured me he’s willing to reach for peace with Israel in good faith, and I believe he will. And Israeli [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu — he assured me that he’s ready to reach for peace. He’s a friend of mine, and he means it,” he said.

At one point during the speech, the president seemed to be referencing the sound of an approaching helicopter and pondered aloud about who it was — again mispronouncing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s name in speculating it could be him or “Justin from Canada,” an apparent reference to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The president thanked the troops and their families for their service to the country and vowed that the U.S. will “win” the fight against terrorism.

“Terrorism is a threat. Bad threat,” he said. “Together we’ll overcome this threat. We’ll win.”

First lady Melania Trump introduced the president to the troops, telling the crowd that it has been a “very special” trip for her and a success for her husband in his role as president.

“We had a great time here. We did a lot of great stuff,” she said. “My husband worked very hard on behalf of our country. I am very proud of him. This trip has also been incredible for me as first lady.”

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May 28

Trump says he'll decide on Paris climate agreement next week

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(TAORMINA, Italy) — President Trump, coming off a G7 summit and meeting at the Vatican where he was pushed for the U.S. to stay in the Paris climate agreement, tweeted Saturday that he will make a decision next week.

 

I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017

The future of the United States’ involvement in the landmark agreement, which Trump repeatedly criticized as a candidate, was a sticking point at the G7 summit in Italy that ended on Saturday, with the Italian prime minister pointing to it as an “open question” at the end of the summit’s first day on Friday.

“There is one open question, which is the U.S. position on the Paris climate accords. … All others have confirmed their total agreement on the accord,” Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said. “We are sure that after an internal reflection, the United States will also want to commit to it.”

In addition to getting pushed on the topic at the G7 summit, the president also got an earful at the Vatican, where the pope presented Trump with one of his writings on the environment and the Cardinal secretary of state further raised the issue during a bilateral meeting.

Though the president has yet to make a final decision, his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, indicated Friday that the president was growing more attuned to the European stance on the issue.

“I think he is leaning to understand the European position,” Cohn said when asked which way the president was leaning. “Look, as you know from the U.S., there’s very strong views on both sides.”

Cohn told reporters the president’s views on the Paris climate agreement are “evolving.”

“He came here to learn,” Cohn said at the G7 summit. “So his views are evolving, which is exactly what they should be.”

The president’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, chimed in to say that the president’s decision about whether to remain in the agreement would ultimately be based on what’s best for the United States, to which Cohn concurred.

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May 28

Trump advisor says Kushner's contacts with Russia 'never came up' at G7 summit

Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images(TAORMINA, Italy) — President Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, repeatedly declined to answer media questions about reports that the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, sought backchannel communications with Russia prior to Trump’s taking office. But McMaster said, “generally speaking,” he would not be concerned about such an action.

“It’s not something that I’ve in any way been involved with or have any knowledge of,” McMaster said at a press briefing in Italy of the revelation that Kushner talked about communications in his discussion with Russia’s U.S. ambassador in December.

Asked whether he would be concerned as a general matter if someone in the administration or National Security Council sought backchannel communications with the Russian embassy, McMaster said he would not.

“No, we have backchannel communications with a number of countries. So, generally speaking about backchannel communications, what that allows you to do is to communicate in a discreet manner,” McMaster said.

Pressed in a follow-up question about whether he has any concerns at all about Kushner’s talking to the Russian ambassador about setting up such communications, McMaster stayed silent and simply did not respond.

Backchanneling is a practice at times used by government officials, but Kushner was not yet a government employee at the time of his contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December.

Another senior administration official, Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, said the topic of Kushner and his relationship to Russia was not raised at the G7 summit in Italy, which ended on Saturday.

“Never came up,” Cohn said when asked if the subject were discussed.

He also said issues around Russia, while discussed at the G7, were not raised in any of the president’s bilateral meetings.

“Russia as a country came up a lot. It was part of the communique; it was discussed many times, Russia as a country,” Cohn said. “Russia never came up in the bilaterals.”

Trump held no press conferences on trip

Asked about the absence of any press conferences by Trump during the trip, Cohn said the president has been very busy with a “robust schedule” and that he has “worked nonstop.”

When reporters said other world leaders are making time to hold press briefings, Cohn said, “I don’t know that that’s true.”

Paris climate deal

Cohn, asked to explain his comment Friday that the president’s view on the Paris climate accords is evolving, said Trump is “continuously talking to people about the issue to gain more knowledge about the issue.”

‘Amazing deals’

Speaking broadly speaking about Trump’s foreign trip, Cohn said the “the president was able to make some of the most amazing deals that have been made by an administration ever.”

Cohn specifically cited the arms deal and private business deals announced in Saudi Arabia, saying they amount to close to a half-trillion dollars and that he’s never seen so many deals come together at once.

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May 28

Manchester police make two more arrests in connection with concert terror attack

ABC News(MANCHESTER, England) — British police made two more arrests early Saturday in connection to Monday’s terror attack at a crowded concert hall in Manchester that killed 22 people.

Officers executed a search warrant and used a controlled explosion to gain entry to an address where two men — ages 22 and 20 — were arrested.

A total of 13 people have been arrested in the terror investigation, two of whom have been released without charge, the Greater Manchester police said.

Eleven people remain in custody in connection with Monday night’s suicide bombing at Manchester Arena, where American singer Ariana Grande had just finished performing.

The ages of the detained men range from 18 to 38, police said.

On Friday, the police said a man was arrested in Moss Side, an impoverished neighborhood nestled south of Manchester city center.

The Friday-evening arrest targeted a 44-year-old man in the Rusholme area who was taken into custody on suspicions related to the attack.

Authorities have said Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old suspected suicide bomber who died in the explosion, grew up in an area near Moss Side.

There are 12 locations police are continuing to search and police activity will continue throughout the weekend, according to Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins. Manchester Arena is still cordoned off.

Britain’s top counter-terrorism police officer, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said in a statement that police have made “significant arrests and finds” in the investigation, adding that they had gotten “hold of a large part” of Abedi’s network.

“We are focusing on understanding Abedi’s life; forensically examining a number of scenes; reviewing hours of CCTV from the night itself and the hours before; financial work; communication; digital exhibits; the accounts from hundreds of witnesses; and, of course, enquiries internationally,” Rowley said.

Rowley said “immense” progress has been made and that more arrests are likely.

“It has been a challenging week, and we are still in the middle of a live investigation,” Hopkins said in a statement on Friday. “We have hundreds of officers that are working on this investigation from across the national counterterrorism policing network, and we have seized thousands of exhibits that are now being assessed.”

A senior security source told BBC News that the threat level was raised to “critical” partly because of concern about the possibility of copy-cat attacks.

Manchester police said they have seen an increase in reports of hate incidents this week, from 28 on Monday — which Hopkins said is what they receive on an average day — to 56 on Wednesday.

“We can’t directly link these to the events of Monday night and are continuing to monitor the situation,” he said.

In addition to those killed, 116 people have been treated for injuries from Monday’s attack and 75 were hospitalized, including 23 patients who are currently in critical care, according to the National Health Service in England.

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May 28

President Trump concludes whirlwind overseas tour

Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images(TAORMINA, Italy) — Before President Trump boards Air Force One on Saturday, he is concluding his whirlwind eight-day trip overseas at the Group of Seven, or G7, summit in Taormina, Italy.

His agenda includes discussions about emerging markets and global issues, specifically migration, food security and gender. He will be seated between the leaders of Niger and Tunisia, according to White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn.

Trump tweeted Saturday morning, “Big G7 meetings today. Lots of very important matters under discussion. First on the list, of course, is terrorism. #G7Taormina.”

The president then tweeted, “Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in — NATO will be much stronger.”

Big G7 meetings today. Lots of very important matters under discussion. First on the list, of course, is terrorism. #G7Taormina

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017

Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017

This tweet comes after Trump lectured member countries on payments at NATO headquarters on Thursday, where he said that 2 percent of a country’s GDP is the minimum in terms of necessary contributions.

Trump’s third and final session at the summit will be a closed meeting with seven heads of state.

The annual event brings together the leaders of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy and Canada to discuss and promote solutions for major world issues.

On Friday, Trump sat down with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss North Korea, among other issues.

“It’s a big problem. It’s a world problem,” the president said. “It will be solved at some point. It will be solved — you can bet on that.”

Just before departing for Washington, D.C., Trump will speak to American and allied servicemen and their families, recapping highlights and accomplishments of the trip.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday to say that the trip has been “very successful” and that the United States has made and saved “billions of dollars and millions of jobs.”

“Any improvement on trade would save untold numbers of jobs. Stopping even one bad trade deal can save millions. Changing the infrastructure of global trade to tilt it back toward the U.S. would save and create millions, easily,” a White House official said, explaining the president’s tweet. “This is, of course, in addition to all of the jobs from the deals made in Saudi Arabia.”

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