(DALLAS) -- The Boy Scouts of America Thursday voted to lift its longtime ban on admitting gay Scouts but will continue to exclude openly gay adults from leadership roles.
The vote by its 1,400 national membership came as no surprise to gay rights advocates, who hailed it as a first step to ending discriminatory practices in the 103-year-old organization.
The ruling by secret ballot at a national convention in Dallas means that mothers like Jennifer Tyrrell, who is a lesbian, will still be excluded from the Boy Scouts.
Tyrrell was let go as an Ohio den leader of her 8-year-old son Cruz's Cub Scout pack last year ...Read more
(NEW YORK) -- This is the case of the F-bomb that's landed New York City's mayor in federal court.
One of the leaders of the Big Apple's taxi industry filed suit against Michael Bloomberg this week, claiming a violation of his constitutional right against retaliation in the wake of news reports that a fuming, swearing Bloomberg threatened to destroy the yellow-cab industry once he's out of office next year.
Taxi Club Management CEO Gene Freidman claimed Bloomberg has been trying to "blackmail" and bully city hacks because of their unified opposition to his administration's plans to require all taxi owners to convert their ...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- Get ready for an “extremely active” active Atlantic hurricane season, government forecasters said Thursday.
Between now and the end of the Atlantic hurricane season (Nov. 30) the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration predicts 13 to 20 named storms, of which seven to 11 could become hurricanes. Three to six of those hurricanes could be major, with winds 111 mph or greater.
Three climate factors are coming together to produce an “active” or “extremely active” hurricane season, NOAA forecasters said Thursday. Ongoing climate patterns off the coast of Africa have spawned a period ...Read more
(NEW YORK) -- A New York City businessman was rescued this week after being held for more than a month in an abandoned warehouse, where his alleged abductors tortured him for weeks in a plot to extort his family for millions in ransom, prosecutors said.
Pedro Portugal, an accountant and father, was abducted off a Queens street in broad daylight last month, when he was forced into an SUV by a two men pretending to be police officers, according to the Queens, N.Y., District Attorney's Office.
From there, authorities said, he was taken to a nearby warehouse where he was tortured with beatings and acid, all in an effort ...Read more
(PHOENIX) -- The jury in the Jodi Arias murder trial began its third day of deliberations Thursday on whether to sentence Arias to death, raising the possibility that prosecutors may retry the penalty phase of the case if the jury is deadlocked.
Under state law in a capital case if the jury can't reach a unanimous decision, the Maricopa County, Ariz., District Attorney's office will have to weigh whether to spend time and resources to find a new jury, schedule new court dates, and re-present its evidence to try and reach a death sentence, which could take months, according to Jerry Cobb, spokesperson for the prosecutor's office.
Arias, 32, was convicted ...Read more
(ATLANTA) -- A Georgia woman said she is thankful to be alive after a 20-foot section of a 747 cargo plane’s wing fell off before part of it came crashing into her home.
Pamela Ware was in her Clayton County, Ga., home Sunday afternoon when she heard a boom from above.
The boom Ware heard was a part of the wing of a Boeing 747 cargo plane, operated by China Airlines flight 5254, flying to Atlanta from Anchorage, Alaska. As the plane approached Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Runway 27L at about 2 p.m. Sunday, a piece of its right wing tore off, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.
(WEST VALLEY, Utah) -- A newly released, eerie home video made by Susan Powell, the Utah mother who disappeared in 2009 under mysterious circumstances, shows her recording her family's belongings just in case something ever happened.
"This is me July 29th, 2008," Powell says in the video. "[I am] covering all my bases, making sure that if something happens to me or my family, or all of us, that our assets are documented."
Powell also discusses the destruction of some of her possessions.
"And I had necklaces too, wherever those are [inaudible] got in a rage, as you can see, and broke this, there's studs and pearls and...Read more
(WEST POINT, N.Y.) -- A sergeant first class is accused of photographing and videotaping female cadets by planting hidden cameras in the bathroom and showers at West Point.
Sergeant Michael McClendon is under investigation by the Army after being accused of taking dozens of naked photos and videos of female cadets over a nearly five-year period.
He has been removed from duty Thursday morning and was sent to Ft. Drum in upstate New York as the investigation continued.
McClendon lived and worked with cadets at West Point. In fact, his job description says he was there to coach and train them on leadership and responsibility.
(MOORE, Okla.) -- Cellphone video recorded by an Oklahoma teacher at Briarwood Elementary School shows the exact moment an E-F5 tornado tore through the building as she attempted to calm students' fears by telling them, "It's almost over."
Robin Dziedzic, a fifth-grade teacher at the school, huddled with students in a darkened bathroom Monday afternoon as the monstrous twister tore through Moore, Okla.
"This is where we walked down and I was right here," Dziedzic said, pointing to the bathroom. "There were about 25 girls and several teachers."
Students held on to each other as the devastating tornado ripped the roof from the building and...Read more
(SALT LAKE CITY) -- The Utah woman who made headlines for forcing her stepdaughter to wear secondhand clothes as a punishment for bullying says she did it to teach the girl empathy.
“She needed to know how inappropriate she was behaving,” Ally Olsen told ABC’s Good Morning America special correspondent Cameron Mathison.
Olsen devised the unique punishment after being told by the school where her stepdaughter, 11-year-old Kaylee Lindstrom, is a fourth-grader that Kaylee had been teasing a fellow student about her clothes.
“She said, ‘You’re ugly, you dress sleazy, you’re mean,’” Olsen said of Kaylee’s...Read more
(CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga.) -- Becoming the valedictorian of your high school is a difficult and impressive feat in itself, but it's even more impressive for a Georgia teen who did so while her family was homeless.
Chelesa Fearce has a GPA of 4.466 and scored 1900 on her SATs, even though she and her family were without a home for most of her high school years. Sometimes they lived in shelters or inside her mother’s car. Fearce says it was tough at times.
“You'd be worried about your home life and then worried at school,” she said. “Worried about being a little bit hungry sometimes, go hungry sometimes.”
Still, she persevered....Read more
(NEW YORK) -- Philosophy professor Simon Critchley from New York City's New School said he believes that the only way to really learn how to live is to prepare to die.
So, as part of a larger theatrical installation this spring called School of Death, he offered a suicide note writing workshop to anyone who was interested in appreciating its literary art form.
The notes studied ranged from the terse and emotionally conflicted -- "Dear Betty: I hate you, Love George" -- to the narcissistic: "Now you will appreciate me."
One man, before killing himself, wrote on the back of his wife's photograph after she had run away with his brother, "I present the girl I thought...Read more
(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Eric Holder has disclosed in a letter to Congress that four Americans were killed by U.S. drones in the course of the government's attacks on terrorists.
"Since 2009, the United States, in the conduct of U.S. counterterrorism operations against al Qaida and its associated forces outside of areas of active hostilities, has specifically targeted and killed one U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi," Holder wrote.
"The United States is further aware of three other U.S. citizens who have been killed in such U.S. counterterrorism operations over that same time period: Samir Khan, 'Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaki ...Read more
(MOORE, Okla.) -- Six adults remain unaccounted for after the devastating tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., Monday, killing 24 people and destroying as many as 13,000 homes, officials said Wednesday.
Authorities are working to determine whether the missing adults are buried in the rubble or simply "walked off," Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood told reporters.
Of the 24 confirmed deaths, 23 people have been identified. Ten of the victims were children, according to a report issued Wednesday by the state Medical Examiner's Office.
Most of the ...Read more
(DENVER) -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has indefinitely delayed the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap, saying that he had doubts about the death penalty, much to the dismay of victims' families and a furious district attorney.
The killing of four employees in a Chuck E. Cheese's in 1993 was a massacre that scarred the people of Aurora, Colo., long before shooter James Holmes opened fire in a crowded movie theater on July 20, 2012. Holmes killed 12 and wounded dozens more.
Dunlap, 38, is one of three men on the state's death row. He was sentenced to death in 1996, but the victims' families say they have ...Read more