Bobcat Catches Shark Off Florida Beach
Apr08

Bobcat Catches Shark Off Florida Beach

ABC News   “Sharknado” may have met its match. A photographer in South Florida snapped a shot Monday night of a bobcat walking along the beach at Sebastian Inlet State Park with a shark in its mouth, according to a report by ABC News affiliate WPLG-TV in Miami. The photographer, John Bailey, told the television station he spotted the bobcat leaping into theAtlantic Ocean and dragging the shark onshore. “Initially, it was pretty quick,” Bailey told WPLG-TV. “Spotted it, pulled it up (and) the shark floundered for a while.” But the bobcat didn’t end up having shark for dinner. Bailey said he saw the bobcat dropping the shark on the sand and running off. A spokesperson for the Florida Wildlife Commission, Liz Barraco, told WPLG-TV the agency believes the picture is real. The agency posted on its Facebook page that biologists think the shark may be an adult Atlantic Sharpnose Shark, which can grow to a little under 3 feet in length. The FWC also joked in the Facebook post, “There are no shark fishing regulations for bobcats. Just...

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Blind Woman Raising Funds So Poor Students With Vision Loss Can Get Canes, Live Independently
Apr06

Blind Woman Raising Funds So Poor Students With Vision Loss Can Get Canes, Live Independently

The Huffington Post A woman is working to help blind students in Indonesia gain more autonomy. Amber Shuping, a blind 29-year-old from Raleigh, North Carolina, began writing to her braille pen pal, Muhammad Arifin, about a year and a half ago. Shuping learned that Arifin is a teacher at The Makassar School for the Blind in Indonesia and that his school, which teaches blind adult students, lacked some important resources. Amber Shuping. “The school didn’t have canes,” Shuping, a member of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), told The Huffington Post. “It’s so hard [for the students] to be independent if they don’t have canes.” After some research, the 29-year-old decided to begin an initiative to bring canes to schools for the blind that didn’t have the funding and resources to buy them, starting with the Makassar School. Shuping started a crowdfunding campaign two months ago in the hopes of raising $4,000 to fund travel expenses, and purchase canes for the school’s 35 students. A cane is a valuable tool for people who are blind, as it allows them to move around by themselves, increasing their independence. Shuping explained to HuffPost that while the Makassar school teaches its students life skills that can help them be more self-reliant, the lack of canes hindered the students ability to be autonomous. “The school for the blind teaches [the students] skills to live on their own, like finding and keeping jobs,” Shuping told HuffPost. “But that’s difficult to do if you can’t walk on your own.” She says that once she brings the blind students the canes, their lives will change for the better. “When we bring the canes over, once they learn how to use them, they’ll open up their minds to their city,” the 29-year-old says. “They’ll be able to go to the market on their own, find a job on their own, and maybe move into an apartment on their own. That independence is a huge for me.” Shuping hopes that with the proper funding, she can travel to Indonesia with her fiance, Michael Cox, by late next year, so she can distribute the canes to the students. It’s a big goal, but she told HuffPost that she credits the NFB for fueling her to pursue her mission of helping the blind students. “My inspiration is the NFB. We believe that with the right technique and tools, you can do whatever you want. You can be whatever you want,” she said. “This is one more tool in their toolbox to help them be independent.” To donate to the initiative, visit Amber Shuping’s fundraising page on the crowdfunding website,...

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Delaware Family Seriously Ill After Possible Pesticide Poisoning At Caribbean Resort
Apr06

Delaware Family Seriously Ill After Possible Pesticide Poisoning At Caribbean Resort

ABC News WPVI An entire Delaware family fell seriously ill while on a Caribbean vacation, and a dangerous chemical allegedly used at their hotel may be to blame. What happened: In March, school administrator Steve Esmond, his wife Dr. Theresa Devine and their two teenage sons may have been exposed to the pesticide methyl bromide at the Sirenusa Resort on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a report on ABC station WPVI-TV. The day the family arrived at their second floor condo, the apartment below them was sprayed with methyl bromide to “deal with an indoor bug,” according to Judith Enck, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 2 Office, which covers the U.S. Virgin Islands. The pesticide was applied during the day of March 19, Enck said, and by that night, the entire family “started having adverse health effects.” Both boys had seizures, according to Enck. Paramedics responded and took the family to a hospital on neighboring island St. Thomas. The boys were then airlifted to a hospital in Philadelphia, Enck said, while the parents were airlifted to a hospital in Delaware. According to the EPA, methyl bromide exposure can have short-term and long-term effects include severe lung injuries and neurological impairment. The EPA banned methyl bromide for indoor residential use in 1984, Enck told ABC News today, but the product is still on the market for agricultural use. The family: Steve Esmond and his sons remain in very critical condition, Enck said today, adding that Devine is not in critical condition. Steve Esmond is the head of the middle school at the Tatnall School in Wilmington, Delaware, according to the school’s website. Theresa Devine is a dentist in Broomall, Pennsylvania, according to the company website. “They’re just one of those families that everyone loves to be around,” Oliver Campbell, a peer of one of the boys, told WPVI-TV. “It’s just horrible.” “It’s terrifying,” another peer, Carl Marvin, said to WPVI-TV. “It’s really scary to think that this could happen to somebody that you know.” The investigation: The EPA has launched a “comprehensive investigation,” Enck said. Officials were sent to sample and monitor the apartments to see if any of the pesticide was left. “We’re looking at what happened here, which we consider an illegal application of methyl bromide,” Enck said. The EPA also issued a pesticide warning in the Caribbean and is examining if methyl bromide was used in other locations in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Department of Justice is investigating Terminix, the company that applied the pesticide, Enck confirmed. Terminix has halted all fumigation in the Virgin Islands as part of the...

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CBP, ICE HSI Report $1.2 Billion In Counterfeit Seizures In 2014
Apr06

CBP, ICE HSI Report $1.2 Billion In Counterfeit Seizures In 2014

Special to the Laredo Sun WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) today announced the fiscal year 2014 results of an aggressive enforcement program to protect the United States from counterfeit and pirated goods. CBP and HSI are the components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). Counterfeit sunglasses with an estimated MSRP of $1,619,550 seized by CBP officers in July 2013. “Protecting intellectual property rights is a critical part of CBP’s trade enforcement mission and critical to protecting American consumers,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “In 2014, strong partnerships with our federal enforcement counterparts, effective targeting of high risk shipments and frontline interceptions of cargo at America’s ports of entry produced more than 23,000 seizures of fake products worth an estimated $1.2 billion that could have cheated or threatened the health of American consumers.” “These results are a testament to the efforts of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, and the increased collaboration fostered by the IPR Center,” said ICE’s Director Sarah Saldaña. “To be clear, intellectual property theft is not a victimless crime. The victims are American businesses, and the employees whose jobs are dependent on IP-intensive industries. Counterfeiting is a crime of global proportions, and when property rights are violated, American jobs are lost, business profits are stolen and ultimately, consumers are cheated.” Counterfeit soccer club apparel with an estimated MSRP of $1,016,3990 seized by CBP officers in April 2014. In fiscal year 2014, there were 23,140 intellectual property rights seizures with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price or MSRP of $1.2 billion, the value of the goods had they been genuine.  In addition, 144 shipments of circumvention devices were seized for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  CBP also enforced 44 exclusion orders in fiscal year 2014. Since 2007, CBP has identified intellectual property rights enforcement as a priority trade mission. Although IPR seizures declined slightly in 2014 from 2013, CBP recorded its third busiest year for seizures since 2005. The top ten counterfeit commodities seized are: 1.        2.      Wearing apparel/accessories 3.      Consumer electronics 4.      Pharmaceuticals/personal care 5.      Handbags/wallets 6.      Footwear 7.      Watches/jewelry 8.      Optical media 9.      Computers/accessories Labels/tags Toys Wearing apparel and accessories continue to be the number one commodity classification based on number of seizures with 7,922 seizures or 28 percent.  Watches and jewelry are the largest commodity classification by value with an estimated MSRP of $375 million or 31 percent. The People’s Republic of China remains the primary source economy for counterfeit and pirated goods seized with a...

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Inside the Feud Between Ben Stiller And Joan Rivers
Mar28

Inside the Feud Between Ben Stiller And Joan Rivers

ABC News Ben Stiller thinks it’s “sad” he never got to make up with Joan Rivers before she died last year at 81. The “Zoolander” actor, 49, appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show earlier this week and Stern wanted to get to the bottom of their apparent feud. “She thought you didn’t like her,” Stern said. “I never had an interaction with her,” Stiller said. Stern’s co-host, Robin Quivers, said Rivers felt as if Stiller ignored her on the red carpet, where she was famous for interviewing and making fun of celebrities. “This is helping me, because I didn’t understand why she didn’t like me,” Stiller said. “But she had a thing because she was friends with my parents [Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara].” “She was really ticked that you wouldn’t say ‘hello’ to her” considering her connection to Stiller’s parents, Stern said. “I don’t remember that happening but I’m sure it did,” Stiller said. “Then I heard there was a documentary or something, and they said, ‘What do you think of Ben Stiller?’ [Rivers said], ‘Lucky.’ … Then, the beef started.” He added, “She was great. I feel bad that we never got to work that out. … My parents were really friends with her and spent a lot of time and worked together with her, and she had an amazing career. … But you’ve help me heal a little.” Stiller said he also wanted to send “good energy to Joan and Joan’s...

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HBO Partners With Vice For First-Ever Daily Newscast Of Its Kind
Mar27

HBO Partners With Vice For First-Ever Daily Newscast Of Its Kind

The Huffington Post HBO and Vice Media announced a new partnership on Thursday that will bring Vice news content to HBO subscribers in a number of different ways. The new expansion effort will include a daily, half-hour newscast from Vice, a weekly series on HBO and an increase in Vice-produced specials, the companies announced in a press release. The television company and media outlet have agreed to a four-year deal that promises some 32 Vice specials from now through 2018. Vice will also have its own channel on HBO’s streaming service HBO NOW. “I think the first thing, perhaps the hardest thing, I learned about journalism over the past 20 years is that maintaining any type of independence, any type of freedom, is difficult as you scale up,” Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith said in the press release. “This deal, simply put, allows Vice the freedom to go after any story, anywhere we find it – and to do so with complete independence. This deal is a tremendous gift and a tremendous opportunity, and we at Vice realize this.” This will be HBO’s very first daily newscast, Smith added. The program will feature “on-the-ground reporting” on key stories around the globe. Vice currently has more than 30 bureaus...

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