ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
76°
Broken Clouds
H 89° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Current Conditions
    Broken Clouds. H 89° L 72°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    85°
    Afternoon
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 89° L 72°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    83°
    Evening
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 89° L 72°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

World News

    Japanese police are searching for clues into why a man set a Kyoto anime studio on fire, gutting the building and crushing the hearts of many comic fans around the world. The man, screaming 'You die!' stormed into Kyoto Animation on Thursday, doused it with a flammable liquid and set it on fire, killing 33 people and injuring 36 others. Witness accounts and reports Friday suggested the man had a grudge against the studio. Police only have said the suspect, a 41-year-old who did not work for the studio, is from near Tokyo and is still hospitalized. Media reports said Friday that the suspect told police he set the fire 'because (Kyoto Animation) stole novels.' The attack shocked Japan and drew an outpouring of grief from anime fans.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Ukraine is willing to swap a jailed Russian journalist for an imprisoned Ukrainian film director. Zelenskiy said in televised comments Friday that Ukraine could release journalist Kirill Vyshinsky, who have been in jail for a year on treason charges, if Russia releases film director Oleg Sentsov from Russia-occupied Crimea. Sentsov is serving 20 years in a Russian prison for plotting acts of terrorism. Zelenskiy's statement follows a week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. Russia had been expected to release 24 Ukrainian sailors captured off Crimea last December but a Moscow court Wednesday ruled to keep them behind bars pending trial. Zelenskiy said Friday that the seamen should be released without preconditions.
  • Austrian authorities say three people have been killed in a small airplane crash in the Alps near the German border. Austrian police told the dpa news agency Friday that the identity of those killed in the Thursday evening crash was still not clear. The plane went down at about 5:30 p.m. local time (1530 GMT) in the mountains near the town of Leutasch, not far from the German resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, crashing into a rock face at an altitude of about 2,300 meters (7,500 feet). Authorities say the plane burned completely after crashing and it was not immediately clear where it was registered or where it had been heading.
  • Germany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis — who were stigmatized for decades as traitors — as pillars of the country's modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany. 'Only if we understand our past can we build a good future,' she said. Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia. Hitler escaped the full force of the blast when someone moved the briefcase next to a table leg, deflecting much of the explosive force. The plot crumbled when news spread that Hitler had survived. Von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters were executed within hours. The story had little resonance in the immediate post-World War II years, when many still viewed the July 20 plotters as traitors, as they had been painted by the Nazis in the aftermath of the failed assassination. The resistance against the Nazis only came to be 'laboriously accepted' over subsequent decades, said Johannes Tuchel, director of the German Resistance Memorial Center, and even in the 1980s many believed its memory would fade away. Only in 2004 did a survey show that a majority of Germans believe the resistance to the Nazis is 'important for our political culture,' he added. 'Those who acted on July 20 are an example to us, because they showed that they followed their conscience and set their stamp on a part of German history that otherwise was defined by the darkness of Nazism,' Merkel said last week in her weekly video message. Tuchel said von Stauffenberg is a 'symbolic figure' of the resistance, an officer who evolved from supporting Nazi policies to becoming a ferocious opponent of the regime after Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He acknowledged that the resistance within the German military was, in overall terms, tiny: 200 to 300 people were involved in the July 20 plot. The German military had some 8 million men under arms at the time, and only 'a handful or two' of its more than 1,000 generals and admirals participated. But the memorial Tuchel heads, in the Berlin complex where von Stauffenberg worked and was executed, seeks to display the full breadth of German resistance to Hitler's regime after the Nazis took power in 1933. Students in Munich formed the White Rose movement, distributing pamphlets urging 'passive resistance' starting in 1942. Its leaders included siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were executed in 1943 and also have become resistance icons. Helmuth James von Moltke's so-called Kreisau Circle started working in secret to end the dictatorship in 1940. And in 1938, carpenter Georg Elser attempted to kill Hitler and other senior Nazi leaders at an event in Munich, but was thwarted as the Nazi leader unexpectedly left the room minutes before a bomb exploded. Tuchel conceded that, even now, there are shortcomings in historians' knowledge of the resistance and promised more research in the coming years into the role of women who opposed the Nazi dictatorship, responding to a recent call from parliament. This year's anniversary comes amid a spike in concerns about rising numbers of far-right extremists in Germany, weeks after the killing of a regional official from Merkel's party who had supported the chancellor's welcoming approach to migrants. An extremist with previous convictions for violent anti-migrant crime has been arrested as the suspected killer. 'Today, we are obliged to confront all tendencies that want to destroy democracy — including right-wing extremism,' Merkel said in her message on the July 20 plot. Historians worry about efforts by far-right groups in Germany and parts of the hard-line nationalist Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, to appropriate the resistance for their own ends. AfD entered the national parliament in 2017 and its support in the polls stands above 10%. In 2017, a local AfD association came up with an ad claiming that 'Sophie Scholl would vote for AfD,' co-opting the name of the White Rose activist in a widely decried attempt to legitimize the party by implying that Merkel's government is a dictatorship. Robert von Steinau-Steinrueck, the head of the July 20, 1944 Foundation — which started in 1949 to support the plotters' families — denounced such 'attempts at fraudulent labeling, mixing up opposition in democracy with resistance to a dictatorship just because some people don't like the result of democratic processes.
  • The Dutch Supreme Court is ruling Friday in a long-running legal battle over whether the Netherlands can be held liable in the deaths of more than 300 Muslim men who were murdered by Bosnian Serb forces during the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The Netherlands' highest court is passing judgment in appeals against a 2017 ruling by a lower court that the Dutch government was partially liable in the men's deaths during the bloody climax of the 1992-95 Bosnian war. The overall Srebrenica massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys was the worst mass killing in Europe since World War II. The 2017 judgment was hailed as internationally significant in establishing that governments can be held liable if the peacekeepers they send on U.N. missions fail to protect civilians during armed conflicts. However, in January, the Supreme Court's Advocate General issued a non-binding advisory opinion calling the 2017 judgment 'irrational' and saying it 'cannot be upheld.' The case revolves around the role played by the outnumbered, outgunned Dutch U.N. peacekeepers stationed in the Srebrenica enclave in eastern Bosnia as Bosnian Serb forces led by Gen. Ratko Mladic overran the area and subsequently massacred some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the summer of 1995. It focuses on more than 300 men who were among thousands of terrified Muslims who took refuge in the Dutch battalion's base near Srebrenica but were expelled by the peacekeepers and subsequently murdered by Bosnian Serbs. The Dutch forces improvised a funnel of vehicles and troops through which the Muslims left the base. As they did, Mladic's forces picked out the men, took them away and later killed them. In the 2017 judgment, the Hague Court of Appeal ruled that the Dutch forces' actions deprived the men of any chance of survival. The court estimated their chance of survival if they had stayed in the Dutch compound at around 30% and said the Dutch state was liable for 30 percent of losses suffered by their surviving relatives. But in the January advisory opinion, the Advocate General wrote that it could not be said that the Dutch battalion 'acted wrongfully in its choice between two evils: either facilitating the separation of the men or allowing a chaotic evacuation.' After overrunning Srebrenica, Bosnian Serb forces sorted thousands of Muslim residents by gender, then trucked the males away and began killing them. The bodies were plowed into hastily dug mass graves, which were later bulldozed and scattered among other burial sites in an attempt to hide evidence of the massacre. A U.N. war crimes tribunal convicted Mladic in 2017 of genocide for masterminding the Srebrenica massacre and sentenced him to life imprisonment. He has appealed.
  • The Latest on a South Korean man who set himself on fire in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul (all times local): 2:50 p.m. Police say a 78-year-old South Korean man who set himself ablaze near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul has died. The incident comes amid rising trade and political disputes between Seoul and Tokyo. Police say the man, surnamed Kim, died while being treated in a Seoul hospital on Friday. According to police, he ignited a fire inside his car parked in front of the building where the Japanese Embassy is located. Police say Kim had told an acquaintance before the incident that he was trying to set himself ablaze because of his antipathy toward Japan. ___ 11:30 a.m. South Korean police say a man has set himself on fire in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul amid rising trade disputes between Seoul and Tokyo. Police say the man in his 70s ignited a fire inside his car parked in front of a building where the Japanese Embassy is housed on Friday. Police say the man was taken to a hospital but didn't provide the status of his condition. Media reports say he is unconscious. The motive for his action wasn't immediately known. But it comes as ties between Seoul and Tokyo have plunged to their lowest point since Japan recently tightened export controls of some high-tech materials. Police say suspected flammable materials were found in the man's car.
  • Iran on Friday denied President Donald Trump's statement that a U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf after it threatened the ship — an incident that marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than a month after Iran downed an American drone in the same waterway and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike. The Iranian military said all its drones had returned safely to their bases and denied there was any confrontation with a U.S. vessel the previous day. 'We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else,' tweeted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi. The strait is at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and serves as the passageway for a fifth of all global crude exports; a clash there highlights the risk of war between Iran and the U.S. Trump on Thursday said the USS Boxer took defensive action after an Iranian drone closed to within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down. Trump blamed Iran for a 'provocative and hostile' action and said the U.S. responded in self-defense. Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters as he arrived for a meeting at the United Nations that 'we have no information about losing a drone today.' After Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal last year and imposed economic sanctions on Tehran, the Iranians have pushed back on the military front, shooting down a U.S. drone on June 20. Also in the past weeks, the Persian Gulf region has seen six attacks on oil tankers that the U.S. has blamed on Iran, and a tense encounter between Iran's Revolutionary Guard and the British navy. Iran has denied involvement in the attacks or the British naval encounter. The U.S. has also sent thousands of additional troops and increased its security presence in the region. Adding to the economic pressure on Tehran, the Treasury Department said Thursday it was imposing sanctions on what it called a network of front companies and agents involved in helping Iran buy sensitive materials for its nuclear program. It said the targeted individuals and entities are based in Iran, China and Belgium. The Pentagon said Thursday's incident happened at 10 a.m. local time in international waters while the Boxer was transiting the waterway to enter the Persian Gulf. The Boxer is among several U.S. Navy ships in the area, including the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier that has been operating in the nearby North Arabian Sea for weeks. Neither Trump nor the Pentagon spelled out how the Boxer destroyed the drone. CNN reported that the ship used electronic jamming to bring it down rather than hitting it with a missile. In Tehran, the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted military spokesman Gen. Abolfazl Shekari as saying that 'all Iranian drones that are in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, including the one which the U.S. president mentioned, after carrying out scheduled identification and control missions, have returned to their bases.' The Iranians and Americans have had close encounters in the Strait of Hormuz in the past, and it's not unprecedented for Iran to fly a drone near a U.S. warship. In December, about 30 Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels trailed the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier and its strike group through the strait as Associated Press journalists on board watched. One small vessel launched what appeared to be a commercial-grade drone to film the U.S. ships. Other transits have seen the Iranians fire rockets away from American warships or test-fire their machine guns. The Guard's small fast boats often cut in front of the massive carriers, running dangerously close to running into them in 'swarm attacks.' The Guard boats are often armed with bomb-carrying drones and sea-to-sea and surface-to-sea missiles. Thursday's incident was the latest in a series of events that raised U.S.-Iran tensions since early May when Washington accused Tehran of threatening U.S. forces and interests in Iraq and in the Gulf. In response, the U.S. accelerated the deployment of the Lincoln and its strike group to the Arabian Sea and deployed four B-52 long-range bombers to the Gulf state of Qatar. It has since deployed additional Patriot air defense missile batteries in the Gulf region. Shortly after Iran shot down a U.S. Navy drone aircraft in June, Trump ordered a retaliatory military strike but called it off at the last moment, saying the risk of casualties was disproportionate to the downing by Iran, which did not cost any U.S. lives. Iran claimed the U.S. drone violated its airspace; the Pentagon denied this. Zarif said Thursday that Iran and the U.S. were only 'a few minutes away from a war' after Iran downed the American drone. He spoke to U.S.-based media on the sidelines of his visit to the U.N. 'We live in a very dangerous environment,' he said. 'The United States has pushed itself and the rest of the world into probably the brink of an abyss.' Zarif blamed Washington for the escalation and accused the Trump administration of 'trying to starve our people' and 'deplete our treasury' through economic sanctions. Earlier Thursday, Iran said the Revolutionary Guard seized a foreign oil tanker and its crew of 12 for smuggling fuel out of the country, and hours later released video showing the vessel to be a United Arab Emirates-based ship that had vanished in Iranian waters over the weekend. The announcement cleared up the fate of the missing ship but raised a host of other questions and heightened worries about the free flow of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most critical petroleum shipping routes. One-fifth of global crude exports pass through the strait. ___ Superville and Burns reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Ian Phillips in New York, Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Deb Riechmann in Washington, and Jennifer Peltz at the United Nations contributed to this report.
  • A powerful bomb exploded outside the gates of Kabul University in the Afghan capital on Friday, killing at least six people and wounding 27, according to police and health officials. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest to target Kabul. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State group often stage large-scale bombings in the city, targeting Afghan forces, government officials and minority Shiites. The early morning blast also set two vehicles ablaze although it wasn't clear if the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber or a remotely detonated bomb, said Kabul police spokesman Ferdous Faramarz. The casualty tolls were released by the Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Wahidullah Mayar, who tweeted that '6 people have been martyred & 27 more wounded, as a result of today's explosion in Kabul. All the wounded patients were evacuated to our hospitals and have been receiving the required treatment.' The university compound houses several hostels where many students stay over the summer, attending classes and conducting research. The university is co-educational. Though Friday is the start of the weekend in Afghanistan, Massoud, an economics professor at the university who like many Afghans uses only one name, said that several lawyers were taking their exams to become judges when the explosion occurred. It wasn't immediately clear if the lawyers were the target. In recent months, at least two professors at Kabul University with alleged links to Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate have been arrested, and last year the wall that surrounds the university was emblazoned with graffiti reading, 'Long Live Daesh,' the Arabic name for the Islamic State group. A U.S. Department of Defense intelligence official told The Associated Press that the IS affiliate has stepped up efforts to recruit students from Kabul's universities, particularly those who are tech savvy, to expand the group's strength and reach. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to the media. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he was not aware of Taliban involvement in Friday's attack. In a 2016 attack, 13 people were killed, mostly students, and more than 40 people were wounded when militants attacked the American University in Kabul. In that attack, a car bomb exploded outside the university gates, followed by a blistering, hours-long attack in which gunmen roamed through the compound shooting at students and teachers. ___ Gannon reported from Islamabad.
  • Japan's foreign minister on Friday summoned South Korea's ambassador and accused Seoul of violating international law by refusing to join in an arbitration panel to settle a dispute over World War II forced labor. South Korea had until midnight Thursday to respond to Japan's request for a three-nation panel. The neighboring countries are quarreling over South Korean court decisions ordering Japanese companies to compensate victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Foreign Minister Taro Kono said after summoning Ambassador Nam Gwan-pyo that Japan will 'take necessary measures' against South Korea if interests of Japanese companies are harmed, without giving details. Their talks were held in an icy atmosphere, briefly turning confrontational. 'It is extremely problematic that South Korea is one-sidedly leaving alone the situation that violates the international law, which is the foundation of our bilateral relationship,' Kono told Nam. 'The action being taken by the South Korean government is something that completely overturns the order of the international community since the end of the World War II.' Kono urged Seoul to immediately take action to stop the court process, under which the plaintiffs of the lawsuit are preparing to seize assets of the Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industry. Nam defended his government and mentioned Seoul's proposal of creating a joint fund as a way to settle the dispute. Kono raised his voice, saying Tokyo had already rejected the idea. He also criticized the ambassador for being 'rude' to suggest it again. Japan says all compensation issues had been settled under the 1965 bilateral agreement and that the South Korean government's lack of intervention to stop the court process is a breach of the international treaty. Tokyo is considering taking the issue to the International Court of Justice, although some officials say South Korea is expected to refuse going to court. Tokyo may seek damages from South Korea in case assets of Japanese companies are seized, Japanese media have reported. At the same time, Seoul is protesting Japan's tightened controls on sensitive high-tech exports to South Korea that could affect South Korean manufacturers as well as global supplies of smartphones and displays. The trade dispute adds to their already strained relations. In Seoul, a 78-year-old South Korean man died hours after setting himself ablaze near the Japanese Embassy on Friday, police said. Police said the man had phoned an acquaintance earlier to say he planned to self-immolate to express his antipathy toward Japan. Kim's family told investigators that his father-in-law had been conscripted as a forced laborer during the Japanese occupation. Seoul has accused Tokyo of weaponizing trade to retaliate against South Korean court rulings calling for Japanese companies to compensate aging South Korean plaintiffs for forced labor during World War II, and plans to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization. Tokyo said the issue has nothing to do with historical dispute between the countries and says privileged licensing for the materials affected by the export controls can be sent only to trustworthy trading partners. Without presenting specific examples, it has questioned Seoul's credibility in controlling the exports of arms and items that can be used for civilian and military purposes. South Korea has proposed an inquiry by the U.N. Security Council or another international body on the export controls of both countries. ___ Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi
  • A 78-year-old South Korean man died hours after setting himself ablaze near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Friday, police said, at a time of worsening tensions between Seoul and Tokyo. The man, surnamed Kim, ignited a fire inside his car parked in front of the building where the Embassy is located. The man died later Friday while being treated at a Seoul hospital, police said. Police said Kim had phoned an acquaintance earlier to say he planned to self-immolate to express his antipathy toward Japan. Kim's family told investigators that his father-in-law had been conscripted as a forced laborer when the Korean Peninsula was under Japan's colonial rule from 1910-45, according to a police statement. No suicide note was found. Police earlier said flammable materials were found in the car that Kim borrowed from an acquaintance Thursday. Police said they'll analyze possible evidence from Kim's mobile phone and investigate people concerned to try to determine the exact motive for his action. The man's self-immolation comes with relations between Seoul and Tokyo at their worst in decades after Japan recently tightened export controls for some high-tech materials. If his self-immolation is found to be directly related to the Japanese curbs, it would the first such action in South Korea since anti-Japanese sentiments flared up over the trade restriction. Some activists and residents in South Korea are staging anti-Japan demonstrations and campaigns to boycott Japanese products, but those have been limited so far. South Korea and Japan are both key U.S. allies. But they often have been embroiled in disputes stemming from the Japanese colonial occupation. South Korean officials say the Japanese trade controls are retaliation for local court rulings ordering Japanese firms to pay compensation to former Korean forced laborers. Japan denies that, saying the controls are required for national security. South Koreans have been staging largely peaceful anti-Japan rallies near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul for decades. Occasionally, they have turned violent, with demonstrators cutting their own fingers or scuffling with police officers. In 2017, a South Korean Buddhist monk died after setting himself ablaze to protest a 2015 agreement with Tokyo meant to settle an impasse over the coercion of Korean women into sex slavery for Japanese soldiers before and during World War II.

News

  • A New Jersey judge who said a teenage boy accused of rape deserved leniency because he came from a 'good family' and got good grades has resigned. >>Read more trending news Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Troiano resigned Wednesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced. The resignation came after weeks of criticism from the public and death threats to Troiano's family, The New York Times reported. In 2018, Troiano, 69, was called out of retirement to hear the case of an alleged rape involving teenagers at a party the previous year, The Washington Post reported. Police said a 16-year-old boy recorded cellphone video of himself sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. The boy allegedly sent the video to others with the caption, “When your first time having sex was rape.” Both teens were intoxicated during the incident, prosecutors said. Prosecutors in the case pushed for the teen to be tried as an adult, calling his alleged crime 'sophisticated and predatory,' CNN reported. Troiano denied prosecutors' request. He wrote in his July 2018 decision that he didn't think the teen's actions were necessarily rape, because in 'traditional' rape cases there are 'two or more generally males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, clearly manhandling a person.' Troiano further wrote, “This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well. He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.” The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court reversed Troiano's decision in June, and sent the case back down for further judgement, CNN reported. Monmouth County prosecutors are planning their next move in the case. 'While we have the utmost respect for the Family Court and the judge in this case, we are grateful that the Appellate Division agreed with our assessment that this case met the legal standards for waiver to Superior Court,' Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a statement. 'As with all cases, we are assessing our next steps, which will include discussions with the victim and her family.
  • The first trailer for the upcoming musical film 'Cats' has been released. >>Read more trending news 'Cats' is an adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical of the same name. Based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot and featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, 'Cats' follows a tribe of cats called the Jellicles as they decide which cat will come back to life, according to the film's Internet Movie Database page. The original Broadway production ran for nearly 28 years and won several awards, including the 1983 Tony Award for Best Musical. The movie's star-studded cast includes Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and others. It introduces ballerina Francesca Hayward in her first movie role. Viewers tweeted their reactions to the trailer. Many reactions were negative, as viewers said they found the appearance of the cat characters unsettling. 'Cats' is set for a December 20 release date.
  • A photo of a dog tied up on the back of a tow truck as it goes down busy Massachusetts highway has upset so many drivers who saw it that they now won't stop calling the tow company. >> Read more trending news The Animal Rescue League and Massachusetts State Police are now investigating the alleged crime. The picture snapped by a Brockton, Massachusetts, man and posted on Facebook drew instant criticism. People quickly began posting their objections and flooding the towing company with calls. Apparently, the two people in the van being towed were in the cab of the tow truck and that's why the dog was chained to the bed. The dog is owned by the driver of the truck. The man who took the picture, Mike Gerry, also has a dog: Molly.  Mike says he saw the dog on the flatbed while driving down Route 128 near Route 2 on Wednesday. He beeped and tried to get the tow truck driver’s attention but had no luck. 'I posted it on Facebook for my buddies to put it out there. and it went unreal, it went ballistic,' Gerry said. 'And ever since then people have been commenting on it, 'you're doing the right thing.'' To be clear the company told WFXT the dog being chained to the back of a flatbed truck is not their policy. The driver has reportedly been fired and the dog is OK.  The company also says it is donating $1,000 to the MSPCA and has set up a call center so it can answer and return every single call about the incident.
  • An Oklahoma man is in custody after allegedly raping a 4-year-old girl in a McDonald’s bathroom while the child was on a field trip with her day care class, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news  It happened Tuesday inside a McDonald’s in Midwest City in metro Oklahoma City when the little girl went to the bathroom alone, WXIN-TV reported. Day care employees told responding officers they went to check on the girl after she had “been gone for a while.”  They said they found the bathroom door locked and when they knocked, a man opened the door.He allegedly came out with his hands up and said, “I was just washing my hands,” the news station reported. The 4-year-old allegedly told police she was touched inappropriately by the man, identified as Joshua Kabatra, 37. Police arrested Kabatra at the scene, according to WXIN. He’s facing two rape charges and a count of lewd acts with a child.
  • Do you feel you’re better focused on the job with a little light background jazz or coffee shop chatter compared to pin-drop silence? Scientists might know why. >> Read more trending news According to Onno van der Groen, a researcher with Australia’s Edith Cowan University school of medical and health sciences, some background noise can actually be beneficial for our senses. This phenomenon is called “stochastic resonance.” First studied in animals, stochastic resonance experiments suggest “sensory signals can be enhanced by noise and improve behaviour in various animals,” van der Groen wrote for The Conversation last week. “For example, crayfish were shown to be better at avoiding predators when a small amount of random electrical currents were added to their tail fins. Paddlefish caught more plankton when small currents were added to the water.” In human experiments, where noise levels were manipulated by getting participants to listen to noisy sounds or feel random vibrations on the skin, people were better able to see, hear and feel at “a certain optimum noise level.” If it were too loud, however, performance dropped. Van der Groen pointed out that stochastic resonance has several real life applications for humans, too. “Adding noise to the feet of people with vibrating insoles can improve balance performance in elderly adults,” he wrote. For patients with diabetes or those recovering from stroke, this can also be used to augment muscle function. His own research has found that when brain currents are applied to participants’ brains with random noise stimulation, “it improved how well they could see a low-quality image.” When he and other researchers applied the same technique to other groups, they noticed “decisions were more accurate and faster when brain cell noise levels are tuned up.” Transcranial random noise stimulation also influenced what participants saw during a visual illusion, suggesting noise could help people approach a situation from multiple perspectives. But the thing about stochastic resonance is it differs from person to person.  The optimal amount of noise for top-notch cognitive function depends on a variety of factors, such as brain variability. Excessive brain variability, van der Groen wrote, is common in those with autism, dyslexia, ADHD and schizophrenia. Elderly folks also tend to have more brain noise (or brain variability) than younger individuals. However, because brain noise can be altered with random noise stimulation, van der Groen believes there are opportunities to explore “interventions or devices to manipulate noise levels, which could improve cognitive functioning in health and disease.”  For example, a study of children with ADHD found white noise delivered specifically through Etymotic earphones at 77 decibels improved memory and concentration. Plenty of downloadable ambient, white and “pink” noise apps have also popped up in recent years. There’s Coffitivity, which plays an infinite loop of coffee-shop sounds — and Noisli, which suggests different sounds for different goals. If you want to improve productivity, you might mix raindrops and train tracks. For those who want to relax, listen to crashing waves. Generally, ambient noise is ideal for creativity, white noise is sound for concentration and pink noise might be most helpful in improving sleep quality. But remember, finding stochastic resonance isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Play around and see which background noises and volumes work best for you. This guide from Techlicious is a good place to start.
  • An act of kindness extended by three young men has gotten a lot of attention on social media since then.  >> Read more trending news Sean Wetzonis says it all started when he, Pedro and two other friends from Malden planned to attend the game.  But one friend backed out, leaving Pedro with an extra ticket.  'And Pedro's father had suggested, he was like, 'find a girl. Find a girl to take to the game,'' Sean Wetzonis told Boston 25 News. But he said Pedro had another idea.  'He said, 'you know, I'll give it to a homeless person. If I could find a homeless person,' Wetzonis said. Finding a homeless person in Boston is not difficult. Enter John, who was sitting on a stoop near Fenway Park. 'When Pedro asked him if he wanted to go to a Red Sox game, at first I wasn't sure if he was going to get up, but then he said sure and he got up and he seemed pretty excited about it,' Wetzonis said.  He admits he was skeptical about taking a homeless guy to the game. 'I was kind of shocked. Everyone was like, 'dude. You got another ticket. You could try and sell it to make some money back.,' Wetzonis said.  But then he saw something you don't see enough of these days at professional sporting events: a fan actually watching the game.  'Everyone's there sitting on their phones, texting and looking around. He was really immersed in the game. He was there to enjoy the game,' Wetzonis said.  The Red Sox lost Tuesday night. But for three young men from Malden, it was, perhaps, the winningest night at Fenway ever.