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National

    Florida's St. Augustine Police Department said they are searching for the suspect who robbed a group of children at gunpoint at a popular park. The robbery happened at Project Swing park on Saturday around 9:30 p.m. Several signs at the park read, “For your safety, park is closed from dusk to dawn.” According to the report, the victims, whose ages are redacted, were sitting at the tables in the middle of the park when a man approached them and demanded money. In the report, one of the victims said the suspect pointed the gun into his chest when he told him he didn’t have any money. Police said the man took $16 from one of the victims before he tried to grab a backpack from the other. The victims told investigators when the suspect tried to take the backpack, they ran towards the parking garage for help. Detectives said the suspect took off running in the opposite direction toward Ketterlinus gym. By the time police responded, the suspect was gone. Investigators said they found a bag believed to belong to the suspect near the tennis courts next to the park. It was sent to the lab for DNA testing. Anyone with information on the suspect is encouraged to call the police department.
  • The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant didn’t have a recommended warning system to alert the pilot he was too close to land but it’s not clear it would have averted the crash that killed nine as the aircraft plummeted toward a fog-shrouded hillside, federal regulators and experts said. Pilot Ara Zobayan had been climbing out of the clouds when the aircraft banked left and began a sudden and terrifying 1,200-foot (366-meter) descent that lasted nearly a minute. “This is a pretty steep descent at high speed,” Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday. 'We know that this was a high-energy impact crash.' The aircraft was intact when it hit the ground, but the impact spread debris over more than 500 feet (150 meters). Remains of the final victims were recovered Tuesday and so far the remains of Bryant, Zobayan and two other passengers have been identified using fingerprints. Determining what caused the crash will take months, but investigators may again recommend that to avoid future crashes helicopters carrying six or more passenger seats be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) that would have sounded an alarm if the aircraft was in danger of crashing. The agency made that recommendation after a similar helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76A carrying workers to an offshore drilling ship, crashed in the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston, Texas, killing all 10 people on board in 2004. The NTSB concluded if TAWS had been installed, pilots would have been warned in time to prevent hitting the water. The board recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration require the warning systems. Ten years later, the FAA eventually required such systems on air ambulances, but not other helicopters. FAA officials had questioned whether the technology would work on helicopters, which fly lower and could trigger too many false alarms that might detract from safety. The NTSB said FAA’s response was unacceptable, but dropped the matter. “Certainly, TAWS could have helped to provide information to the pilot on what terrain the pilot was flying in,” Homendy said of the helicopter that was carrying Bryant. Homendy also said it was too soon to say whether the pilot had control of the helicopter during the steep, high-speed descent, although she noted that “it wouldn't be a normal landing speed.' Bill English, investigator-in-charge of the agency's Major Investigations Division, said it's not clear yet whether “TAWS and this scenario are related to each other.' Helicopter pilot and aviation lawyer Brian Alexander said any collision warning system on aircraft going over mountainous terrain is welcome but the FAA recognizes they can sometimes do more harm if they are going off constantly and distracting the pilot. In any case, he added, it’s not clear that one would have helped Bryant’s pilot. It “wouldn’t necessarily have prevented the crash if this was a combination of a deteriorating weather situation and the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation,” said Alexander of Kreindler & Kreindler. “Your body is sensing something that isn’t happening. Another warning system screaming at you isn’t going to help.” While TAWS was not installed on the helicopter flying Bryant, the aircraft did have a warning system using GPS, said pilot Kurt Deetz, who flew Bryant dozens of times in the chopper over a two-year period ending in 2017. English said the agency is looking to document whether there was a GPS-based terrain avoidance system, but said it “doesn’t look to be part of the scenario.” Zobayan, 50, was well-acquainted with the skies over Los Angeles and accustomed to flying Bryant and other celebrities. He had spent thousands of hours ferrying passengers through one of the nation’s busiest air spaces and training students how to fly a helicopter. Friends and colleagues described him as skilled, cool and collected, the very qualities you want in a pilot. Zobayan had flown the day before the crash on a route with the same departure and destination — Orange County to Ventura County. But on Sunday, he had to divert because of heavy fog. His decision to proceed in deteriorating visibility, though, has experts and fellow pilots wondering if he flew beyond the boundaries of good judgment and whether pressure to get his superstar client where he wanted to go played a role in the crash. Jerry Kidrick, a retired Army colonel who flew helicopters in Iraq and now teaches at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, said there can be pressure to fly VIPs despite poor conditions, a situation he experienced when flying military brass. “The perceived pressure is, ‘Man, if I don’t go, they’re going to find somebody who will fly this thing,’ ” Kidrick said. The chartered Sikorsky S-76B plowed into a cloud-shrouded hillside as the retired NBA star was on his way to a youth basketball basketball tournament in which his daughter Gianna was playing. Two of her teammates also were on the helicopter with parents. NTSB investigators have said Zobayan asked for and received permission from air traffic controllers to proceed in the fog, which Homendy said was “very common.' In his last radio transmission before the helicopter went down, he reported that he was climbing to avoid a cloud layer. Investigators have not faulted his decision. or determined why he made it. The FAA warns helicopter pilots that it is their job to decide whether to cancel a flight because of bad weather or other risks, and to have a backup plan in case weather worsens during the flight. Randy Waldman, a Los Angeles helicopter flight instructor who viewed tracking data of the flight’s path and saw a photo of the dense fog in the area at the time, speculated that Zobayan got disoriented in the clouds, a common danger for pilots. He said Zobayan should have turned around or landed but may have felt the pressure to reach his destination, an occupational hazard for pilots often referred to as “got-to-get-there-itis” or “get-home-itis.” “Somebody who’s a wealthy celebrity who can afford a helicopter to go places, the reason they take the helicopter is so they can get from A to B quickly with no hassle,” Waldman said. “Anybody that flies for a living there’s sort of an inherent pressure to get the job done because if too many times they go, ‘No, I don’t think I can fly, the weather’s getting bad or it’s too windy,’ ... they’re going to lose their job.” Deetz said he often flew Bryant to games at Staples Center, and never remembered the Lakers star or his assistants pressing him to fly in bad weather. “There was never any pressure Kobe put on any pilot to get somewhere — never, never,” Deetz said. Deetz said that he flew with Zobayan a half-dozen times and that he was familiar with airspace and terrain around Los Angeles and knew “the back doors” -- alternative routes in case of trouble, such weather changes. Others who knew Zobayan praised him as unflappable and skilled at the controls. “Helicopters are scary machines, but he really knew what he was doing,” said Gary Johnson, vice president of airplane parts manufacturer Ace Clearwater Enterprises, who had flown with Zobayan about 30 times in roughly eight years. “I wouldn’t do it unless he was the pilot.” Zobayan was chief pilot for the craft’s owner, Island Express Helicopters. He also was a flight instructor, had more than 8,000 hours of flight time and had flown Bryant and other celebrities, including Kylie Jenner. He even had a bit TV part when he and actor Lorenzo Lamas, a fellow pilot, flew the ex-girlfriend of comedian Andy Dick around in a chopper for an episode of “Celebrity Wife Swap.” Island Express has had three previous helicopter crashes since 1985, two of them fatal, according to the NTSB'’s accident database. All involved flights to or from the company’s main destination of Santa Catalina Island, about 20 miles off the Southern California coast. In 2008, three people were killed and three injured when an Island Express helicopter was destroyed as it came in for a landing on the island. Investigators said the chopper lost power, probably as a result of cracking in turbine blades inside the engine. Fatal helicopter accidents have fluctuated between 17 and 30 a year since 2013, according to a safety group that includes representatives of the helicopter industry and the Federal Aviation Administration. The rate of accidents per hours flown has declined slightly over that time. Inclement weather has been cited as a cause of other deadly celebrity helicopter crashes. Grammy-winning blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan was among five people killed in 1990 when their helicopter slammed into a hill in dense fog after leaving a concert in Wisconsin. Music promoter Bill Graham and two others, including the pilot, were killed when the pilot ignored warnings not to fly in rain and fog and flew into power lines outside San Francisco in 1991. On Tuesday, the last of the bodies and the wreckage were recovered from the weekend crash in Calabasas. Fingerprints were used to confirm the identity of Bryant, 41; Zobayan; John Altobelli, 56; and Sarah Chester, 45. While the the coroner has not identified five other victims, relatives and acquaintances have identified them as Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna; Sarah Chester's 13-year-old daughter, Payton; Altobelli's wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa; and Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach his daughter's team. ___ Condon reported from New York and Koenig from Dallas. Associated Press writers Justin Pritchard, Robert Jablon, Christopher Weber and Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles contributed to this story.
  • One says Harvey Weinstein raped her after she let her guard down by telling herself he was only a “dirty old man.” The other claims he offered movie roles to her in exchange for joining in a threesome with him. The one-time aspiring actresses, Tarale Wulff and Dawn Dunning, are expected to describe those experiences from the 2000s with the disgraced movie mogul when they take the witness stand Wednesday at a New York City rape trial seen as a milestone for the #MeToo movement. Prosecutors are using the two so-called “Molineux” witnesses to bolster their case against Weinstein. The judge has allowed them to testify about “prior bad acts” that didn’t result in criminal charges because of the statute of limitations and other legal issues. Weinstein, 67, is charged with forcing oral sex on then-”Project Runway” production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping another aspiring actress in 2013, who could testify later this week. He’s insisted any sexual encounters were consensual and zeroed in on his accusers' continued contact with him after the alleged assaults. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, unless they agree to be named or gone public with their stories as Haleyi, Wulff, Dunning and “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra have done. Wulff met Weinstein in 2005 while working as a cocktail waitress at a members-only lounge at Cipriani’s, one of his favorite Manhattan haunts. Even after he cornered her in a hallway and started masterbating, she convinced herself Weinstein “was simply a dirty old man” and decided to take up his offer to read for potential acting roles, prosecutor Meghan Hast said in her opening statement. After Wulff read, Hast said, a driver took her to Weinstein’s apartment. There, the much bigger and heavier Weinstein pushed her onto a bed and raped her, the prosecutor said. Dunning alleges Weinstein fondled her genitals during a business meeting in his hotel suite in 2004 and on another occasion offered her three small movie roles, but only if she had three-way sex with he and his assistant. “Dawn tried to laugh it off, make a joke of it, but the defendant got angry,” Hast said. “‘This is how the industry works,’ he screamed at her. ‘How do you think other actresses got ahead?’” Hast said Dunning then fled. Jurors so far have heard a tearful Haleyi say how she tried to fight off Weinstein before he sexually assaulted her. Last week, Sciorra testified that Weinstein overpowered and raped her after barging into her apartment in the mid-1990s. On Tuesday, it was Elizabeth Entin, Haleyi's former roommate, who took stand to corroborate Haleyi's testimony. Before the alleged attack in Weinstein’s Soho apartment, Entin said, the friends viewed Weinstein as a “pathetic old man” for pursuing Haleyi, and were amused when her pet Chihuahua, Peanut, once chased him around their own apartment in the East Village. When a reporter asked Weinstein as he left the courtroom if he was afraid of Chihuahuas, he smiled and responded: “Do I look like I'm afraid of Chihuahuas?”
  • A 77-year-old man was punched in the face as he walked into a grocery store in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and now police are looking for the person responsible. It happened at the Kroger on Braselton Highway, and it all started in the fire lane in front of the store. It happened at the Kroger on Braselton Highway, and it all started in the fire lane in front of the store. The victim, who did not want to be identified by name, said on Jan. 23 around 4:30 p.m. he pulled up, saw someone parked there, and on his way inside the store, he said, “You're not supposed to park here.” Police said surveillance video shows a woman, who was in the parked car in the fire lane outside, go in the store, walk up to the victim and say something. Officials said a man who was with her then assaulted the 77-year-old man. “And the next thing I know, this jerk comes around and just cold-cocks me right flat on the floor,” the victim said. Witnesses told police they couldn’t believe it happened. The suspect took off and police are still looking for him now. There’s video of the assault that Kroger cameras recorded, but investigators said they’re not releasing it yet because the case is still open. “I had no idea he was even in the place until he came round in front and punched me,” the victim said. The incident is a reminder to shoppers that you may want to tell police when someone is doing something illegal instead of saying something to that person. You never know what they are going to do.
  • A bill sponsored by Utah Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, would restrict people from purchasing a hunting license if they aren’t up to date on child support payments. The “Fishing and Hunting Restrictions for Nonpayment of Child Support” House bill would prohibit “the issuance of a license, permit, or tag related to fishing or hunting if an individual is delinquent in child support.” According to KUTV, the bill would affect anyone who owes more than $2,500 in child support. Once a person is no longer behind on their child support payments, they can obtain a hunting license. If the bill passes, it will go into effect in the summer of 2021.
  •  For the first time, NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal opened up about the death of his former teammate and friend, Kobe Bryant. Bryant, his daughter 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed Sunday when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in Calabasas, California. O’Neal’s comments came at the start of TNT’s pregame show, as he sat on the court at Staples Center along with the rest of the network’s studio team. TNT was supposed to televise a doubleheader, but the NBA canceled the Lakers-Clippers game that was scheduled to be the nightcap because the Lakers organization is still too devastated after the death of Bryant and his daughter. I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while,” O’Neal said. Shaq said he was working out with his son and nephew, when another nephew walked into the room crying and showed him the phone. “I snapped at him,” O’Neal said. “I said, ‘Get that out of my face.'” O’Neal said he thought it was a hoax at first, and then he started getting phone calls from friends and other fellow basketball players. “Forty-seven years old, I’ve lost two grandmothers … lost my sister. And now I’ve lost my little brother,' O’Neal said. O'Neal and Bryant teamed to help the Lakers win three straight championships from 2000-02, but they occasionally feuded and O'Neal was traded to Miami in 2004. He would win another title there, while Bryant would win two more with the Lakers. O’Neal said his heart broke even more when he learned who else was on the chopper. “It’s sort of like a triple stabbing to the heart because after you cry and wonder about that, then I get back on the internet – Rick Fox is on the (helicopter). So now, I’m sick even more,” O’Neal said. “And then the final blow, his lovely daughter was with him on the helicopter.” They eventually patched up their relationship and O'Neal said they texted frequently, though he said he hadn't actually seen Bryant since the final day of his career in 2016. O'Neal said he told Bryant to score 50 points and Bryant instead scored 60. O’Neal said Bryant even checked in with his son Shareef, who underwent heart surgery in December 2018. “Shareef called me, devastated, and said Kobe just texted me to check and see how he was doing. And he used to do that from time to time,” O’Neal said. O’Neal said this year’s NBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be a solemn event. “The fact that we’re not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony. The fact that we’re not going to be able to say, ‘Ha, Ha. I got five. You got four.’ The fact that we’re not going to be able to say, ‘If we had stayed together to get 10,’ those are the things we can’t get back,” O’Neal said. O'Neal's comments were his first that were televised since Bryant's death. He had previously only posted on social media and spoken on a podcast. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Last week, the head of a Chinese government expert team said that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people avoid travel to China. Here are some tips for travelers who may be making their way to or from China or other destinations:  Check the CDC website for updates on the outbreak The CDC has a dedicated page that is kept up to date with travel information to China, impacted transportation in China and status of medical care in the country. Maintain good personal hygiene According to The New York Times, passengers should avoid touching their faces and practice proper coughing etiquette, such as coughing or sneezing into an arm instead of your hands or the environment. The CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used when soap is not available. The Times also reminded travelers that seatbacks and tray tables are wiped down by ground crews, but cleaning them again with a disinfecting wipe is recommended. Lastly, try to keep a safe distance from anyone who appears to be ill. If you are seated next to someone who may be ill, you can ask a flight attendant to reseat you. Please note that they may not be able to accommodate the request. Do I need a mask while traveling? Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of medicine in Vanderbilt University’s division of infectious diseases, told CNN that the benefit of masks may be impractical. “The scientific basis showing that people in the community wearing masks actually has any benefit is very thin and questionable,” Shaffner told CNN. Schaffner also told CNN that U.S. travelers who are traveling only within the United States should not be as concerned about the virus. Other noteworthy tips Henry Harteveldt, of Atmosphere Research, told USA Today that travelers should consider keeping air vents open above the seat to improve ventilation but also noted that he aims them away from his body. USA Today also suggested bringing tissues with you to use to avoid touching door handles when you use the bathrooms on flights. Book a window seat. A study published in 2018 concluded that the window seat is more likely to keep a passenger away from people who might be sick because it is furthest from the aisle where more people move through the cabin. What are other countries doing in response to the outbreak? Many countries are checking the temperatures of arriving airline passengers and adopting precautionary quarantine procedures in response to a new virus. India, Nigeria, Japan and the United States are some of the countries where airport screening procedures were in place. Below are some of the public health measures in multiple countries intended to prevent a repeat of the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, which started in China and killed nearly 800 people (Source:The Associated Press, Jan. 21, 2020) MAINLAND CHINA China’s often-secretive Communist government was blamed for making SARS far worse by initially hiding information and blocking the work of the World Health Organization. This time, leader Xi Jinping has called for tough measures and said “party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels should put people’s lives and health first.” At the airport in Wuhan, the temperatures of departing passengers were checked and outbound tour groups were banned from leaving the city. Virtually everyone in a public role, from traffic police officers to bank tellers, is wearing a protective face mask. JAPAN Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged officials to step up quarantine checks at airports and other entry points, and Japan will require visitors arriving from Wuhan to fill in health forms. HONG KONG The semiautonomous city is one of the most popular destinations for mainland Chinese. It has stepped up surveillance and ordered more cleaning and disinfecting for planes and trains from Wuhan, as well as for train stations and the airport. Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung said authorities are ready for a worst-case scenario and are on extremely high alert. A lack of information and low levels of vigilance were blamed for Hong Kong becoming the second-hardest hit area by SARS after mainland China in the early 2000s. As in much of mainland China, Hong Kong residents favor traditional markets where live poultry and other animals are sold. The government advises people against visiting such markets or touching animals or their droppings. SOUTH KOREA South Korea reported its first case of the virus in mid-January, in a Chinese woman who works at a South Korean company. At Incheon International Airport near Seoul, the only airport in South Korea with direct flights from Wuhan, two special gates are designated for passengers from the city and ear thermometers are used to check their temperatures. Arrival halls are being sprayed with disinfectant twice a week, up from once a week previously, and escalator handrails, elevator buttons and other sensitive surfaces are wiped with disinfectant twice a day. NIGERIA Nigeria’s government says health authorities at points of entry are on alert for cases of coronavirus arriving in Africa’s most populous country. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control asked that travelers from Wuhan report to a medical facility and the center if they feel ill. China is Africa’s top trading partner. South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said anyone with a severe respiratory illness should be tested if they have traveled to Wuhan within two weeks or had close physical contact with a coronavirus patient or treatment at a facility where a confirmed case has been reported. There were more than 200,000 Chinese workers in Africa as of the end of 2017, not including numerous informal migrants such as traders and shopkeepers, according to the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University. INDIA India will expand thermal screening of passengers arriving from China, including Hong Kong, to seven airports from the current three. In-flight announcements before arrival will direct passengers with a fever or cough who have traveled to Wuhan in the previous 14 days to declare themselves to health authorities. Thermal screening will begin in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin, and continue in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said. SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA Singapore will expand temperature screening at Changi Airport, one of Asia’s busiest travel hubs, for all travelers on flights arriving from China beginning on Wednesday. The health ministry said individuals with pneumonia and a history of travel to Wuhan within 14 days of the onset of symptoms will be isolated in a hospital as a precautionary measure and investigated. Neighboring Malaysia has also beefed up screening at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Deputy health Minister Lee Boon Chye said staff are being trained to handle possible cases. “If a case emerges, then we may have to take more drastic measures, but for now, we hope we can nip it at the entry point,” Lee told reporters. BANGLADESH Bangladesh civil aviation authorities have ordered airport managers to start screening incoming passengers from China. A.H.M. Touhid-ul Ahsan, director of the main Shahjalal International Airport, said doctors at the airport would look for fevers, coughs, breathing difficulties and sore throats. The country’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research will be notified of any passengers with symptoms for further examination, he said. AUSTRALIA Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, said biosecurity staff and state health officials in New South Wales are meeting flights from Wuhan and are distributing pamphlets printed in English and Chinese to all passengers. The pamphlets describe symptoms of infection and ask people to identify themselves if they are experiencing any. RUSSIA Russia’s Healthcare Ministry described the virus as a biological hazard, with Deputy Minister Sergei Krayevoy saying the virus was a “striking example” of the biological threats Russia faces. The Russian public health service, Rospotrebnadzor, said it had developed a testing kit that would allow labs to detect the new coronavirus quickly. Russia is one of the three most popular tourist destinations for people from China, according to Russian officials. They estimate that about 2 million tourists from China visited Russia in 2018. ITALY The Italian Health Ministry says passengers making direct and indirect flights from Wuhan, China, to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport will be checked for potential signs of the virus. People with suspected infections will be quarantined at an infectious disease hospital in Rome, the ministry says. No cases have been reported so far. Posters at the airport advise travelers to consider delaying trips to the Wuhan area and if they do go there, to avoid touching animals or uncooked animal products. The Associated Press contributed to this story. Associated Press journalists Moussa Moussa in Canberra, Australia, Kim Hyung-jin in Seoul, South Korea, Cara Anna in Johannesburg, South Africa, Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Daria Litvinova in Moscow, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report. xxx
  • As the U.S. evacuates some Americans out of the Chinese city hardest-hit by a viral outbreak, many like Doug Perez are opting to stay. It’s not that he’s unconcerned. Perez and his girlfriend have hunkered down in their apartment for days. They’ve argued. They’ve fretted over missed food deliveries. They’ve dubbed their Labrador, Chubby, “Apocalypse Dog,” venturing out for short walks on deserted streets only after fitting him with a mask. But Perez won’t leave because his girlfriend, who is Chinese, wouldn't be allowed on the plane. “A lot of foreigners are stuck here,” the 28-year-old San Francisco native said. “There is no way on Earth many of us, including myself, are going to leave our loved ones.” As China rolls out containment measures unprecedented in modern history, locking down more than 50 million people in 17 cities, foreigners are trapped in the quarantine zone as well. A charter flight evacuating as many as 240 Americans, including diplomats and their families, left Wuhan early Wednesday en route to Alaska for refueling then California. The State Department official who confirmed the flight's departure spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly. But Americans in Wuhan estimate there are more than a thousand U.S. citizens in the city, meaning most will be left behind. “It’s like a sinking ship,” Perez said. The day the lockdown was announced, Perez and his girlfriend got in a fight — “a plate was destroyed” — over whether to venture to a supermarket to buy food. His girlfriend, who doesn’t want to be named, won the argument, and the couple began ordering food online. The streets went quiet. They stay in every night, spending hours a day on social media checking up on the latest news and fielding calls from worried relatives. On Monday evening, guards barred him from leaving his apartment compound, leaving him wondering what’s next. “That's kind of dawned on me, like how bad this could get,” Perez said. “Who knows what will be next week. Will it be police, will it be soldiers? Will we physically not be able to leave our building?” Japan, South Korea, France and other wealthy governments are also planning evacuations. But for many from other countries, there are no plans for evacuations at all, leaving them totally stranded. Another American, who declined to be identified out of fear of online and government harassment, said she was choosing to stay behind because she has a cough and was told she would likely be quarantined at the Wuhan airport by Chinese authorities. But for Priscilla Dickey, 35, from South Burlington, Vermont, trying to get on the plane was a no-brainer because of her 8-year-old daughter, Hermione, who she worries could be vulnerable to the virus. On Monday afternoon, the consulate phoned Dickey and told her she and her daughter had seats. After packing a bag with three shirts and a pair of pants, Dickey stayed up until two in the morning trying to figure out how she would get to the airport amid a transportation shutdown. She “stress cleaned” her apartment in the morning, she said, before getting in an airport-bound car, waves of emotion washing over her. “I was feeling guilt,” Dickey said, speaking by phone on her way to the airport. “Excitement, guilt, stress — all of it.” Dickey plans to stay with relatives in the Cincinnati area after a 3- to 14-day quarantine, she says, adding that she was “very grateful” to be leaving. Meanwhile, Perez is still mulling whether to venture to a supermarket, weighing the risks of getting infected. But despite the worsening conditions, Perez says there are moments of hope. On Monday evening, residents set off fireworks, and cries of “Go Wuhan!” echoed around his apartment compound. Perez joined in, shouting “We are all Wuhan people!” His girlfriend cheered and his dog barked, making them feel they were “all in this together.” “We needed that,” Perez said. “It lifted us up a bit and gave us some hope.” ___ Associated Press journalist Matthew Lee contributed from Washington.
  • Kobe Bryant’s remains among four identified so far following weekend helicopter crash that killed 9.
  • A Maryland police officer who fatally shot a handcuffed man in the front seat of a police cruiser will face a murder charge, the police chief said Tuesday. Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said during a news conference that he asked his special investigations response team to file multiple charges, including a second-degree murder count, against Cpl. Michael Owen, Jr., a 10-year veteran of the force. Owen was also charged with voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, first-degree assault and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, according to a news release. He was arrested on Tuesday, department spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said. The victim was identified as William Howard Green, 43, of Washington, D.C. Authorities did not reveal Green's race, citing department policy. Stawinski called the announcement the most difficult of his tenure as police chief. “I am unable to come to our community this evening and provide you with a reasonable explanation for the events that occurred last night,' the chief told reporters. “I concluded that what happened last night is a crime.” The deadly shooting occurred Monday night inside the cruiser after Prince George's County police officers responded to reports that a driver had struck multiple vehicles near the Temple Hills community, department spokeswoman Christina Cotterman told news outlets during an earlier news conference. When officers located the driver, they smelled PCP and believed the man was under the influence, Cotterman said. However, Stawinski later said that PCP did not appear to have been involved. Stawinski also said he could not corroborate a witness' account of a struggle in the cruiser. The officer got into the driver's seat after the the suspect was taken into custody and placed in the front passenger seat, according to Cotterman, who said that conforms with department policy. “A short time later, for reasons that are now at the center of the investigation, Green was shot seven times by the officer’s duty weapon,” according to a news release issued Tuesday night. After the shooting, Owen and another officer removed Green from the cruiser and provided medical aid to Green, who died at a hospital a short time later. 'There are no circumstances under which this outcome is acceptable,” Stawinski said. “You have my assurance that all our methods and practices will be examined as this investigation proceeds.” The shooting wasn't caught on body-camera video because the officer didn't have one, Cotterman said. Investigators were looking for surveillance cameras in the area that may have recorded the shooting. Owen had been placed on administrative leave prior to the announcement that charges would be filed against him. Owen has been involved in at least two other shootings during his time on the force. In 2011, he fatally shot a man who pointed a gun at him after Owen left an event at police headquarters, the department said. Owen was placed on administrative leave after that incident, but there is no indication whether additional action was taken. In 2009, Owen was off-duty when someone tried to rob him outside his home, The Washington Post reported. Police officials said the would-be robber fired, but Owen was not hit and returned fire. The assailant fled, according to police. Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a statement Tuesday that her office will conduct a 'thorough and independent investigation.” “We will seek truth, and will vigorously pursue justice in a way that is fair and responsible,” Braveboy said, according to The Washington Post. “Once we have received all information and completed our own investigation and analysis, I assure you that my office will be transparent and accountable to the public about our findings and how we will move forward.” Deborah Jeon, legal director for the the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, said in a statement that there is no reason for an officer to shoot a handcuffed suspect multiple times inside a patrol car. Jeon called it “completely unacceptable” that Prince George's County's police department doesn't equip all its officers with body cameras. “These deaths are completely preventable,” Jeon said. “Police characterize them as unavoidable, but they are not. And body camera footage will show that.”