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Sports

Pit Crew Change for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Team

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team has made a change to its pit crew ahead of the Chase.

David Mayo will serve as the team’s front tire changer going forward, PitTalks.com reports. He replaces Kevin Novak, who took over for Mayo earlier in the season.

This summer, Devin DelRicco replaced Joe Slingerland as the team’s rear changer.

Earnhardt is one of 16 drivers competing for the Cup championship in the Chase, which begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

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Entertainment

How Much Did Kylie Jenner Spend on Her Birthday Makeup Look?

Photo by: Timothy White/E!(LOS ANGELES) — Kylie Jenner spared no expense for her 18th birthday, starting with her makeup. The reality star and model recently revealed the steps behind her glamorous birthday look in a new video, along with a list of the products and their price tags.

“It’s my birthday party tonight and I just want something a little sexy,” Jenner says in the video.

Jenner’s makeup artist Hrush Achemyan shows viewers how to replicate Jenner’s “glow-y but bronze-y” look, which includes a little Scotch tape and a lot of makeup.

Along the way, we learn that Jenner likes her spray tan and she uses contouring, not surgery, to make her nose appear narrower.

Jenner’s total makeup look comes to a whopping $480, but her most expensive products include Koh Gen Goh Foundation ($62), Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer “Sx02” ($48), Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel ($48), and Bobbi Brown Foundation “Chestnut” ($44).

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National News

A Father’s Fight to Win Back His Daughter Secretly Put Up for Adoption

Chris Emanuel(AIKEN, S.C.) — Skylar is a rambunctious toddler who runs and plays and giggles with her father, Chris Emanuel.

But she has no idea she sat at the heart of a massive custody battle with far-reaching implications for fathers’ rights.

Emanuel, a 25-year-old from Aiken, South Carolina, met Skylar’s mother, whom he now refers to as simply “the egg donor,” through their work as fork lift drivers at a manufacturing company three years ago. He said they started off as friends before it escalated into something more.

“She wasn’t the ordinary girly girl. She was a girly girl but she could play pool. I could sit down and play pool with her,” he said. “She listened to the same music that I listened to but she rode horses. You know, it was different. I never met someone of that nature before but I definitely enjoyed the moments that we shared.”

In the beginning, Emanuel said they texted all the time, and their affectionate messages soon turned into flirtations. Three months later, Emanuel was overjoyed to learn he was going to be a dad.

“I was happy, who wouldn’t be happy?” Emanuel said. “It was my first child and at the time, you know, I’m going to be there. We’re going to do everything we got to do.”

Emanuel said he and Skylar’s mother talked about getting married. Throughout the mother’s pregnancy, Emanuel said he was a deeply involved expectant father.

“It was in my heart that despite anything, I’m going to be there…I’m going to do what I got to do,” he said.

After a long-awaited meeting between both of their families, Emanuel said he knew in no uncertain terms that her parents were dead set against him and even accused the family of racism.

“Like hearing racism but actually feeling it, it totally different. It’s like being punched in the stomach,” he said. “The crazy thing about it was when we left she reassured me that we would continue to raise our child together.”

The woman’s mother said Emanuel is a “liar” and that she disapproved of their relationship, not because of the color of his skin, but because he didn’t have a job.

Emanuel said he and his girlfriend continued to be in contact, talking and texting frequently. Texts often ended with a “mwwuah” kiss. But Emanuel said his girlfriend started to avoid meeting in person and asked him to skip doctor’s appointments.

“She was saying her mom was coming and I didn’t need to come,” he said. “And I was like, ‘Dang, why can’t I come to the doctor’s appointment?’ If I can’t come to the doctor’s appointment, I can’t even think about being there to witness my child’s birth.”

Six months before Skylar’s birth, Emanuel’s half-sister, Chelsea McKnabb, and her best friend, Jill Thomason, were more than worried. They feared the woman would give the baby away.

“I said, I don’t think ‘the egg donor’ is keeping the baby, and he was like, ‘No, she is. We’re going to get married. We’re going to move in together,’” Thomason said. …read more […]

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National News

10-Year-Old Boy Among 16 Dead in Utah Flash Flooding

iStock/Thinkstock(HILDALE, Utah) — Twelve people, including a 10-year-old boy, are dead after flash floods tore through the town of Hildale, Utah, Monday night, on the border with Arizona, authorities said.

One person is missing, Washington County Emergency Services said Tuesday afternoon.

Separately, four people were killed in nearby Zion National Park and three people remained missing as a result of the flooding.

“I join with other Utahns in mourning today the lives lost in two tragic incidents at Zion National Park and Hildale,” Gov. Gary R. Herbert said a statement. “Jeanette and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.”

The victims in Hildale had stopped their cars at a point where waters from Maxwell Canyon cross Central Street, authorities said.

They exited their cars, then got back in, when a massive flash flood swept them away, authorities in Colorado City, Arizona, said at a news conference Tuesday. Hildale serves as a sister town of Colorado City.

The 10-year-old’s body was found over 6 miles downstream from the incident, authorities said.

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National News

Dirty FBI Agent Gets 5 Years for International Bribery Scheme

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The FBI Special Agent’s “master plan” was simple: Mine FBI computers for dirt on a prominent foreign politician, then sell that information to the rival political party for a handsome sum of money. “No one knows… No one gets hurt.” Easy.

If all went according to plan, the corrupt agent and his co-conspirator would be “having lunch in our oceanfront restaurant” in no time, as the co-conspirator put it.

Instead, former Special Agent Robert Lustyik and his co-conspirator, Johannes Thaler, will be eating their next few hundred meals behind bars, after Lustyik was sentenced Monday to five years in prison — in addition to a 10-year sentence imposed by a Utah court in a second, unrelated bribery case in March. Thaler previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

In the case for which he was sentenced Monday, Lustyik had pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting bribes from a Bangladeshi man in the U.S. in exchange for providing that man with confidential information on a rival politician — information pilfered from FBI computers. Lustyik worked through Thaler, who played the role of middle man.

The first exchange back in December 2011 went well, according to court documents. Thaler met the buyer, identified as Rizve Ahmed, at a food court in Danbury, Conn., where he gave Ahmed an “FBI memo” and a Suspicious Activity Report on the rival politician, and received $1,000 in return.

Lustyik, a who had been at the Bureau for more than 20 years and at the time worked in counter-intelligence, didn’t bother with code words when asking his partner about the meeting, except for an apparent alias for Ahmed.

“Hey did you see cezar [Ahmed]? Did he pay you?” Lustyik texted Thaler after the meet, according to court documents.

“Yeah. I got some for you. We need to talk about Bangladesh,” Thaler responded.

“Ok. He give you a grand? And r they ready to play?” Lustyik wrote.

“Yes on both,” Thaler said.

The pair tried to escalate the deal quickly, hoping for a $40,000 “retainer” and then a $30,000 monthly salary. But things went south when Ahmed didn’t hold up his end.

“I want to kill C… F—king C. Let’s kick his ass. Show them. I hung my ass out the window n we got nothing?” Lustyik reportedly texted Thaler later, before indicating he could turn on his buyer by speaking directly with the target of the spying, the Bangladeshi politician.

It appeared Lustyik and his partner were able to mend fences with Ahmed, but only a few weeks before Lustyik was arrested for a separate bribery case prosecuted out of Utah.

That case, involving a former Green Beret and international security contracts and in which Lustyik also pleaded guilty, may shed some light on why Lustyik, the veteran FBI Special Agent, would sell out the U.S. government in two overlapping bribery schemes.

“[I]t is kind of sad that after 24 years of government service all I have to show for it is a couple of boxes of awards somewhere in my basement …read more […]

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National News

Lost GoPro Found 2 Years Later With Stunning Footage of Grand Canyon From Space

Bryan Chan(STANFORD, Calif.) — A GoPro launched into space by Stanford University students was lost for two years years — that is until an Arizona hiker found it recently intact with stunning footage of the Grand Canyon from space.

Stanford alumni Bryan Chan told ABC News that the GoPro and a phone with a GPS was launched near the Grand Canyon on June 8, 2013 on a high-altitude weather balloon to gather data for his aerospace engineering dissertation. His fellow classmates and friends — Ved Chirayath, Ashish Goel, Tyler Reid and Paul Tarantino — were part of the team working on the project.

The GoPro caught incredible aerial footage of the Grand Canyon and of Earth a few miles out in the stratosphere, but the team never got to see the footage because the GoPro went lost.

“We were supposed to recover the GoPro and the phone two hours after the launch, but it ended up being two years,” Chan said. “The GoPro and phone was projected to land in an area with cell coverage, but the problem was that the cell service coverage maps we relied on weren’t accurate, so the phone didn’t have signal as it came back to Earth. We couldn’t get the text it was supposed to send with the coordinates of where it landed.”

But this past March, an Arizona hiker named Pearl Tsosie found the GoPro and phone “in the barren dessert” near the Grand Canyon, Chan said. Tsosie was also an employee for AT&T, and she used that to her advantage to identify the phone’s owner using the sim card.

“She was able to call my friend Ved, and we got the footage and data a few weeks later,” Chan said. “We couldn’t believe it.”

Chan edited the incredible aerial footage and uploaded the video last Thursday to YouTube, where it had over three million views as of Tuesday evening.

“We’re blown away by how many people love the video,” Chan said. “I’ve got message from people saying they’ve put it on their desktop, and it’s just really great to have such an overwhelming positive response.

Chan said he and the team are still in the Bay area in California, and they may get together to create another epic GoPro video.

“We’re thinking about it for sure, and though there’s no strict timeline, we’re beginning to put plans into motion,” he said. “This video definitely won’t be out last.”

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Business / Financial

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Unveils His Space Company’s Launch Plans at Cape Canaveral

Win McNamee/Getty Images(KENT, Wash.) — Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos announced Tuesday that his space exploration startup will fly its orbital launch vehicle from the legendary Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Bezos, 51, also announced a $200-million investment by his space startup Blue Origin to build rockets there in an upcoming production facility.

“As a kid, I was inspired by the giant Saturn V missions that roared to life from these shores,” Bezos said in a statement. “Now we are thrilled to be coming to the Sunshine State for a new era of exploration.”

Blue Origin, a privately-funded aerospace company funded by Bezos, announced last week with space launch company United Launch Alliance a production agreement for a rocket called Vulcan. The startup company, based in Kent, Washington, is located about 20 miles south of Amazon.com’s headquarters in Seattle.

The launch site, Complex 36, has already seen 145 launches in its 43 years of service, Bezos noted, including the Mariner missions, the first U.S. spacecraft to visit other planets.

“The site saw its last launch in 2005 and the pad has stood silent for more than 10 years — too long. We can’t wait to fix that,” Bezos said in a statement Tuesday.

“We’ll be launching from here later this decade,” Bezos said in his statement. “You will hear us before you see us. Our American-made BE-4 engine — the power behind our orbital launch vehicle — will be acceptance tested here. Our BE-4 engine will also help make history as it powers the first flight of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket.”

Like fellow entrepreneurs Richard Branson and Elon Musk, Bezos and his company are pursuing the commercial race to launch the human race into space.

“Blue Origin has a long-term vision of greatly increasing the number of people that fly into space so that we humans can better continue exploring the solar system,” Blue Origin’s description on its website states.

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Business / Financial

Why This New York College Is Cutting Tuition by 42 Percent

Credit: Utica College(UTICA, N.Y.) — Going against the grain of rising costs, Utica College in in upstate New York is cutting student tuition by a dramatic 42 percent.

Tuition and fees will be $19,996 a year starting in the fall of 2016 for all new and returning on-campus undergraduate students, falling from $34,466. With the average room and board costs at $10,434, which are also decreasing by 14 percent, the estimated total cost to attend the school will be $30,430 per year before financial aid, according to the school.

“Ever since our founding, our mission has always been to expand opportunity among those for whom the dream of a college education had previously seemed unattainable,” college president Todd Hutton said Tuesday.

Hutton said the college, based in Utica, New York, has “the financial stability to successfully implement this reset,” and he noted the school’s record total enrollment for 14 consecutive years. Hutton added that new and returning students will pay at least $1,000 less annually.

Hutton said he wants to “remove that barrier and make a college education more than a hope and a prayer.”

According to the White House’s new CollegeScorecard.com introduced this week, the graduation rate after six years for full-time students at Utica College is 47 percent, while the median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid 10 years after graduating is $44,700.

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Entertainment

Michael J. Fox Recalls Sitting Next to Princess Diana at “Back to the Future” Premiere

Eric Liebowitz/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — The premiere of Back to the Future in 1985 was a huge moment for star Michael J. Fox professionally. It was noteworthy for other reasons, too.

“We were sitting in the theater waiting for the royals to come in and I realize that the seat next to me is empty, and it dawns on me that Princess Diana is going to be sitting next to me,” Fox says in a trailer for an upcoming Back to the Future documentary, Back in Time. “The movie starts and it occurs to me that I’m a fake yawn and an arm stretch away from being on a date with the Princess of Wales.”

Back in Time features interviews with Fox and co-stars Lea Thompson, and Christopher Lloyd, as well as director Robert Zemeckis and executive producer Steven Spielberg.

“It really is for me inarguably the greatest time travel movie ever put on film,” says Spielberg in the trailer.

Back in Time will screen in select movie theaters October 21.

Back in Time Theatrical Trailer from Malka Media Group on Vimeo.

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National News

Baruch Student Killed in Hazing Incident ‘Singled Out,’ Authorities Say

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Authorities said Tuesday that Chun “Michael” Deng, the Baruch College student who died during a 2013 hazing incident, had been “singled out” by members of the school’s Pi Delta Psi chapter, some of whom now face charges in his death.

“The overall investigation shows that, yes, he was singled out and he was treated harsher than the other pledges,” said Chief Chris Wagner, of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police, during a news conference Tuesday in Pennsylvania. He would not explain further.

On Monday, authorities announced that 37 people were expected to be charged in connection with Deng’s death, including members or alumni of Pi Delta Psi and as well as the fraternity itself. Prosecutors said Tuesday that five members would face charges of third degree murder.

Authorities say members of the Pi Delta Psi Fraternity at Baruch, part of the City University of New York, pushed and tackled Deng, 19, during a December 2013 hazing ritual while on a retreat in the Poconos, where he and other pledges were blindfolded and then forced to run across a frozen field while wearing a backpack filled with 30 pounds of sand.

At one point he fell over and hit his head, police said.

After Deng lost consciousness, other fraternity members brought him into the house, but they never called 911 for help, police said. Instead they put him near the fire, changed his clothes and searched the Internet for information about his symptoms, police added. After two hours, Deng was taken to a local hospital by three of the fraternity members. He later died. Authorities said fraternity members then allegedly tried to cover up the crime.

The first five college students charged are set to be arraigned Thursday, Pocono Mountain Regional Police said Tuesday. They will not be facing murder charges.

New York Congresswoman Grace Meng — whose brother Andy Meng, the former national president of Pi Delta Psi fraternity, faces lesser charges including hazing and hindering apprehension — said in a statement: “This young man’s death was a terrible tragedy and our deepest condolences and prayers continue to go out to his family and friends. I love my brother very much and as his sister I’ll be here for him as he goes through the legal process.”

In a statement released by their lawyer Douglas Fierberg, the Deng family said they were taking further action against those involved in Deng’s death.

“Fraternities and their members must be held accountable. … Michael was a wonderful, beloved young man and in his honor, the family also continue pursuing its wrongful death case against the fraternity to cause it and other fraternities to change so that other parents will be spared the loss of a precious child,” Deng’s parents said.

The Baruch College chapter of Pi Delta Psi was disbanded after Deng’s death.

In a statement, Baruch College said: “In the wake of Chun Hsien ‘Michael’ Deng’s tragic death at an unsanctioned fraternity event in the Pocono Mountains in December 2013, Baruch College has taken strong action to ensure the safety …read more […]