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National

    A man in Memphis, Tennessee, was kidnapped and brutally beaten by a man and a woman who posed as police officers during the attack. An arrest affidavit detailed the horrific crimes, which occurred on July 13.  PHOTOS: Man kidnapped, tortured by fake police officer in Memphis (WHBQ-TV) Police said the victim had just gotten into his car to drive to work when a Ford Taurus pulled up behind him with flashing lights. Two people got out of the car wearing vests that read “Police.” They forced the victim to the ground and took the keys to two of his vehicles. He was placed in handcuffs, a black mask was placed over his head, and he was put in the back of the Taurus. The victim was then taken to the 7600 block of Reese Road where the brutal torture would start to unfold, according to the arrest affidavit. The suspects held hot objects to his body, burning his face, neck, and arms. They forced a sock into his mouth and tried to force him to tell them “Where's the money at?”  >> Read more trending news Eventually, the man gave in to the suspects' demands and told them the information to a storage unit including the code to get inside, police said. The suspects continued to say he was not telling them the truth and threatened to cut off his fingers and toes with saws and pliers, the affidavit states. When the suspects went into the kitchen, the victim ran out of the room and dove head-first into a window, all while still being handcuffed and with a mask covering his face.  People who were driving by saw the victim on the ground and were able to help by flagging down officers. Emergency responders made the scene and started to treat the victim, who was covered in second and third-degree burns.  Police took fingerprints off the Ford Taurus, which was a rental from Avis. Stolen City of Memphis Government tags were also on the car.  The prints belonged to Anthony Davis, police said. Detectives said Yolanda Marin was the person who rented the car.  The victim also identified Davis as someone he spent time in prison with.  Davis was arrested when he went to meet with his parole officer. Investigators went to his home, and found Martin in the master bedroom. Davis and Martin are both charged with especially aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated robbery, possession of a deadly weapon during offense and criminal impersonation.
  • The funerals for five children who died in a raging fire at a New Jersey home have been scheduled for next week. Union City will pay for the funeral expenses through the Union City Fire Victims Fund. A public visitation will be held from noon on Tuesday through 9 a.m. Wednesday, and will be followed by a public Mass at 10 a.m. The children, ages 2, 4, 5, 7 and 13, died after a three-story home caught fire in Union City. Officials have said four of the children were siblings. Mayor Brian Stack says he hopes residents will pay their respects to the children in the close-knit community. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
  • Two men are facing charges of stealing or damaging more than $8 million in rare books and materials from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for over two decades. >> Read more trending news Investigators Friday charged Greg Priore and John Schulman, alleging the two men worked together to remove the items from the Oliver Room.  According to the criminal complaint, Priore worked as the manager and sole archivist of the Oliver Room for 25 years before being fired in June 2017. Schulman is the co-owner of Caliban Book Shop in Oakland, which specializes in rare books. WPXI news reporter Aaron Martin reached out to Carnegie Library spokesperson Suzanne Thinnes, who said in a statement:'We are grateful the investigation into the Oliver Room theft has resulted in arrests, however we are deeply disappointed that at the center of this case are two people who had close, long standing relationships with the Library. We look forward to the appropriate individuals being held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We will continue to cooperate with the DA’s office and deeply appreciate their efforts to recover the stolen materials. The District Attorney will release information as appropriate as the case progresses through legal proceedings. We would like to thank our community for their support throughout this lengthy and complex investigation. We have been asked not to comment further until legal proceedings are complete.'  Both Priore and Schulman are facing numerous charges, including theft and conspiracy.
  • Duck boats like the one that sank in Branson, Missouri, killing 17 people, have a long history of safety problems and have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people since 1999. The deadly sinking in Missouri brought back painful memories of a similar accident nearly two decades ago in Arkansas. Both duck boats had overhead roofs or canopies that the National Transportation Safety Board warned could greatly increase the risk of passengers becoming trapped in the boat and drowning. The sinking on Table Rock Lake near Branson Thursday came during stormy weather. The official cause has not been determined, but investigators initially blamed thunderstorms and winds that the National Weather Service clocked at 65 miles per hour (105 kph). On May 1, 1999, 13 people died when the Miss Majestic duck boat sank on lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Arkansas. The NTSB's report on that accident found that roofs or canopies on duck boats greatly endanger passengers in the event of a sinking. The report said that passengers — because of their natural buoyancy, especially if they are wearing life jackets — can become trapped against the canopy as the vessel sinks, unable to swim down to openings along the side. Video of the duck boat in Branson just before it sank shows it not only had a roof, but windows, which some companies have added to their vessels so they can heat the cabin and extend their hours, said Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney who represented families of two victims killed when a barge plowed into a stalled duck boat in the Delaware River in 2010. 'You need to get out of a sinking coffin with tons of water pouring in,' Mongeluzzi said. 'Your chances of escape are not good.' After the sinking in Arkansas, the NTSB recommended that the industry remove canopies from the vessels. 'If the vehicle had not had a canopy, the passengers would not have had a barrier to vertical escape. They would not have been trapped inside the vehicle, and fewer passengers might have been killed,' the report said. General Motors developed the DUKW in 1942 to get supplies and reinforcements to World War II troops, and the amphibious vehicles became known as 'ducks.' They were later modified for use for sightseeing in cities around the U.S. The long, narrow vehicles are shaped like boats, but have wheels they use when on land. Safety advocates have sought improvements and complained that too many agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements. Here are details on some fatal duck boat accidents and the conclusions reached by investigators about safety violations and needed improvements: ___ SEATTLE Sept. 24, 2015: Five college students were killed and more than 70 people injured when a duck boat veered into a charter bus on a bridge above Seattle's Lake Union. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that the front axle on the boat broke, causing the driver to lose control. The vehicle had not had a recommended repair designed to prevent axle failure. Ride the Ducks of Seattle stopped using older 'stretch ducks' after the accident and now only uses newer 'truck ducks.' The company said it also added 365-degree video coverage and a second employee to narrate tours. ___ PHILADELPHIA July 7, 2010: A collision on the Delaware River near Philadelphia between a stalled duck boat and a tug-boat guided barge sank the sightseeing boat, killing two Hungarian tourists and injuring more than 25 people. The NTSB found that the tugboat operator was distracted by communicating with family members on his cellphone and laptop computer. Investigators also found fault with the maintenance of the duck boat and decisions by the captain to anchor in an active navigation channel. May 8, 2015: A duck boat struck and killed 68-year-old Elizabeth Karnicki of Beaumont, Texas, as she crossed a busy Philadelphia street at rush hour. A police spokeswoman said witnesses reported that Karnicki was looking at an electronic device while walking and crossed the street against the red light when she was hit. ___ BOSTON July 16, 2003: Sixty-three-year-old Rosemary Hamelburg fell backward off a duck boat onto a parking lot while taking a photo and died four days later. In a wrongful death lawsuit, her family and lawyers alleged that duck boat operators contributed to the death by failing to follow their own safety policies for the boarding and pre-departure process. Boston Duck Tours paid $425,000 to Hamelburg's estate to settle the suit. April 30, 2016: A duck boat ran over and killed 28-year-old Allison Warmuth as she rode on a motor scooter. Video examined by the NTSB showed the driver taking his eyes off the road and turning in his seat to point out landmarks during the tour. The accident prompted the state Legislature in Massachusetts to pass a law that now prohibits duck boat drivers from simultaneously serving as narrator and tour guide. The law also requires duck boats to be equipped with blind spot cameras and proximity sensors. ___ ALASKA Sept. 17, 2007: A California woman died in Ketchikan, Alaska, when a duck boat hit her as she was walking on a dock. Myong S. Thayer, 59, died on the scene after the duck boat ran into her on a dock shared by vehicles and pedestrians. The driver of the vehicle was not charged. ___ HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS May 1, 1999: A duck boat sank on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Arkansas, killing 13 people. The NTSB blamed the sinking on inadequate maintenance. Investigators determined that the vessel, built by the Army in 1944, was not designed for passenger service. As a result, it did not have the proper buoyancy to remain afloat. ___ Associated Press writers Eugene Johnson in Seattle and Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.
  • A Yulee, Florida, man was seen lying on the ground, shaking and inhaling from a can of compressed air outside a Nassau County Walmart, deputies said in a report. >> Read more trending news Sean Humberson, 31, was found next to a dumpster with seven cans of Dust-Off around him, the report said. He was taken to Baptist Medical Center Nassau for evaluation and was later arrested and charged with inhaling dangerous chemicals and for trespassing after an earlier warning.  Humberson was charged with trespassing after a warning because he had been observed huffing air cans in the parking lot before, deputies said.  On March 12, 2018, Humberson had 50 cans of Dust-Off around him but was not actively inhaling them, the report said . Walmart staff had requested that Humberson not to be allowed on the property for one year. 
  • An Ohio man who authorities say confessed to fatally throwing an 8-month-old boy against a wall has pleaded not guilty to charges. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports 33-year-old Domynyk Gilliam was arrested Thursday by Colerain Township police. He appeared Friday in court on murder, felonious assault and child endangerment charges. A judge set bond at $450,000. Court documents say Gilliam confessed to throwing Sémir Brown against a wall and into a crib, causing fatal head injuries Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A police report says Gilliam and his wife were babysitting Sémir, who was the child of Gilliam's wife's cousin and was normally cared for by grandparents. Court records don't indicate whether Gilliam has an attorney. Colerain Township is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Cincinnati.
  • Investigators discovered an emaciated 15-year-old boy living in a barn and eating sticks and grass while his family had plenty of food inside a house in rural Oklahoma, police said.  >> Read more trending news Someone passing by the residence was concerned and called authorities, who said the 80-pound boy was likely only going to be able to live another week in those conditions, according to the Shawnee News-Star. The boy also had several broken bones and shotgun pellets stuck in his leg. He was taken to the hospital where he may have to undergo surgery to remove the sticks and other foliage. He is expected to remain there for at least a month, according to the News-Star. The boy had been removed two years ago from public school and was supposed to be home-schooled, according to the News-Star. A four-year-old who appeared to be healthy and living inside the home, was removed by department of health service officials, according to the News-Star.  The boy’s father, stepmother and two brothers were taken into custody, according to the News-Star. Jimmy L. Jones, 34, Amy A. Jones, 46, Jonathan Luke Plank, 20 and Tyler Joe Adkins, 24, were arrested and charged with child neglect, according to the News-Press. Jimmy L. Jones was also charged with child abuse. 
  • The unprecedented move from MGM Resorts International to sue hundreds of victims of last year's mass shooting in Las Vegas using an obscure U.S. law never tested in court has been framed by the casino-operator as an effort to avoid years of costly litigation — but the legal maneuver may not play out that way. The company is not seeking money in the lawsuits filed in at least seven states over the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Instead, it wants federal courts to declare that it has no liability to survivors or families of slain victims under a federal law enacted after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. MGM argues that the Oct. 1 shooting met two conditions of the law: it qualifies as an act of terrorism and federally certified security services were used at the venue where 22,000 concertgoers were gathered as gunfire rained down from the company's Mandalay Bay casino-resort. But experts believe legal resolutions won't come quickly because appeals are practically guaranteed and a U.S. court may not be the appropriate entity to determine whether the shooting is considered terrorism. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Friday that the law authorizes its leader to make that declaration. MGM's lawsuits target victims who have sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims or have threatened to sue after a gunman shattered the windows of his hotel suite and fired on a crowd of country music fans. Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more before killing himself. MGM is invoking the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002, enacted to urge development and use of anti-terrorism technologies by providing companies a way to limit liability if their federally certified products or services fail to prevent a terrorist attack. After 9/11, manufacturers and others were concerned they could be sued out of business after an attack. The law has never been used to avoid liability after mass violence, such as the shooting at a Colorado movie theater in 2012, because previous attacks haven't involved services or products certified by Homeland Security. The department has only approved about 1,000 services and technologies, including airport screening equipment and stadium security. MGM said in the lawsuits filed in Nevada, California, Utah and other states that its security vendor for the outdoor concert venue, Contemporary Services Corp., was federally certified. The Department of Homeland Security said in response to MGM's lawsuits that its secretary 'possesses the authority to determine whether an act was an 'act of terrorism'' under the law in question, and it 'has not made any such determination regarding the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting incident.' The agency says it's reviewing the matter. The law broadly defines it as an unlawful act that harms a person in the U.S. and 'uses or attempts to use' weapons or other methods that can cause mass destruction. MGM says Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is not the only one with authority to make the call and that her public statements 'make clear' the attack meets the law's requirements. The company's argument is 'far too broad of an interpretation of the statute. It should be fairly clear that what MGM did is not what was intended in the statute,' said Brian Finch, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Washington D.C. 'It is (the secretary's) responsibility, not that of a judge.' CSC's general counsel, James Service, said the company doesn't comment on litigation. MGM faced immediate backlash over the lawsuits this week, and it insisted in tweets and statements that it is trying to expedite resolutions for the victims. It stressed that it is 'not asking for money or attorney's fees' and directed the complaints 'only at people who have already sued us or have threatened to sue us.' 'We are seeking justice through the federal court system in order to reach a timely resolution. We want to resolve these cases quickly, fairly and efficiently,' spokeswoman Debra DeShong said on MGM's Twitter account. Victims' attorneys and a legal scholar told The Associated Press that the company's strategy won't speed up anything. Alfred Yen, associate faculty dean and professor at Boston College Law School, said the law is not perfectly clear, and unless the parties settle, the matter could reach the U.S. Supreme Court because whoever loses is likely to appeal. 'This is a high-stakes, controversial case. A court would be very careful not to rush to a judgment on this,' Yen said. 'It is going to take a long time for a court to decide the merits of this case.' ___ Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reginagarciakNO
  • The risk of having a heart attack during pregnancy and labor is rising, according to a new report.  >> Read more trending news  Researchers from the New York University School of Medicine recently conducted a study, published in the Mayo Clinics Proceedings, to determine the frequency of heart attacks among pregnant patients.  To do so, they assessed more than 49 million births. Of the women who gave birth, more than 1,000 of them had a heart attack during their labor and delivery. More than 900 had a heart attack during their pregnancy, and nearly 2,400 women had a heart attack after giving birth. They found that the risk of having a heart attack had increased by 25 percent from 2002 to 2014. Although they said the overall heart attack risk was low, they called the death rate “relatively high”at 4.5 percent. >> Related: You can avoid strokes and heart attacks with these two household fruits, study says “Our analysis, the largest review in a decade, serves as an important reminder of how stressful pregnancy can be on the female body and heart, causing a lot of physiological changes, and potentially unmasking risk factors that can lead to heart attack,” senior author Sripal Bangalore said in a statement. Although researchers are unclear why the risk of heart attacks among pregnant women has increased, they hypothesized that age could be a factor as more women are waiting to have children later in life. They noted that the risk rises as women get older.  Women between 35 to 39 who become pregnant are five times more likely to suffer a heart attack, compared to a women in their 20s. And women in their early 40s are 10 times more likely.  >> Related: You may be able to better avoid heart attacks with this common snack, study says Furthermore, the researchers report more women are also obese and/or have diabetes, which increases the risk, and early detectors of heart damage have also improved. “Our findings highlight the importance to women considering pregnancy to know their risk factors for heart disease beforehand,” coauthor Nathaniel R. Smilowitz added. “These patients should work out a plan with their physicians to monitor and control risk factors during pregnancy so that they can minimize their risk.” >> Related: Got heart disease? You may have a better chance of survival if married
  • Work to restore and upgrade New York City's Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown tunnels has wrapped up six years after they were badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials are celebrating the completion of the work Friday in Queens. The tunnels now have 50,000-pound steel floodgates to protect them from floods, as well as new energy-efficient lights and cashless tolling technology. During the 2012 storm, saltwater flooded the two tunnels, badly damaging their electrical and lighting systems. Restoring and modernizing the tunnels cost more than $550 million. The federal government kicked in more than $400 million for the work, which was completed nine months ahead of schedule.