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John O.

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Author: ABC News

A journalist who ran a community Facebook news page has been killed in the northern Mexico border town of San Luis Rio Colorado, when he was apparently caught in the cross-fire of an attack aimed at policeByThe Associated PressSeptember 25, 2023, 1:35 PMMEXICO CITY — A journalist who ran a community Facebook news page was killed in the northern Mexico border town of San Luis Rio Colorado on Monday, when he was apparently caught in the cross-fire of an attack aimed at police. Jesús Gutiérrez ran Notiface Prensa Digital De San Luis, a Facebook page that included recommendations for local businesses as well as local news stories. Notiface confirmed his death, writing in a tribute “we think they killed the best journalist.”Prosecutors in the northern border state of Sonora said Gutiérrez was talking with the police officers, who were his neighbors, when they were hit by a hail of gunfire, killing one policeman and wounding the other three. They said Gutiérrez’ death was “collateral” to the attack on the police. San Luis Rio Colorado, located across from Yuma, Arizona, is best known as a border town where Americans go for inexpensive prescriptions and dental work. But it has increasingly been hit by drug cartel violence. At least three other journalists have been killed so far this year in Mexico, which has become one of the deadliest places in the world for journalists outside a war zone.In the past five years alone, the Committee to Protect Journalists documented the killings of at least 52 journalists in Mexico. Last year, Mexico was one of the deadliest places in the world for journalists, second only to Ukraine.Related Topics

A Vermont driver has pleaded not guilty to a charge in the June crash that killed actor Treat WilliamsByThe Associated PressSeptember 25, 2023, 11:04 AMBENNINGTON, Vt. — A Vermont driver on Monday pleaded not guilty to a charge in the June crash that killed actor Treat Williams.Ryan Koss, 35, could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if he’s convicted of gross negligent operation with death resulting.An investigation of the June 12 crash in Dorset concluded a vehicle pulled in front of Williams, who was riding a motorcycle and was unable to avoid a collision, Vermont State Police said.Koss was turning left into a parking lot in an Honda SUV when he collided with Williams’ oncoming motorcycle, police said. Williams, 71, of Manchester Center, was pronounced dead at Albany Medical Center in New York.Richard Treat Williams’ nearly 50-year career included starring roles in the TV series “Everwood” and the movie “Hair.” He appeared in more than 120 TV and film roles, including the movies “The Eagle Has Landed,” “Prince of the City” and “Once Upon a Time in America.”Koss, the managing creative director of the Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont, said he knew Williams for years as a member of the tight-knit community, as well as a fellow theater member and considered him a friend. He issued a statement in August saying he was devastated by Williams’ death and offered his “sincerest condolences” to Williams’ family, but he denied wrongdoing and said charges weren’t warranted.

The ninth-largest lottery jackpot will be on the line when numbers are drawn for a $785 million Powerball prizeByThe Associated PressSeptember 25, 2023, 8:53 AMFILE – A display panel advertises tickets for a Powerball drawing at a convenience store, Nov. 7, 2022, in Renfrew, Pa. The ninth-largest lottery jackpot will be on the line when numbers are drawn for a $785 million Powerball prize. The payout for the drawing, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023 has grown so large because it has been building for more than two months, since a player in California matched all six numbers on July 19. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)The Associated PressDES MOINES, Iowa — The ninth-largest lottery jackpot will be on the line Monday night when numbers are drawn for a $785 million Powerball prize.The payout has grown so large because it has been building for more than two months, since a player in California matched all six numbers on July 19 and won $1.08 billion. That’s 28 consecutive drawings without a big winner.That winless streak is due to the miserable odds of winning the Powerball jackpot, at 1 in 292.2 million. It’s those long, long odds that result in such large top prizes, as they cause the jackpot to roll over week after week.Although the game highlights the $785 million prize, that is for a winner who is paid through an annuity over 30 years. Winners almost always choose the cash payout option, which for Monday night’s drawing would be $367 million.The giant jackpot would also be subject to federal taxes, and some states also tax lottery winnings.Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.Related Topics

Authorities have rescued a 17-year-old boy in Southern California after he was kidnapped and held hostage for four days by captors who threatened to harm him if his family did not pay a $500,000 ransomByThe Associated PressSeptember 24, 2023, 7:34 PMSANTA MARIA, Calif. — Authorities rescued a 17-year-old boy in Southern California after he was kidnapped and held hostage for four days by captors who threatened to harm him if his family did not pay a $500,000 ransom.The teen was rescued Friday after law enforcement tracked him and his three kidnappers to a motel in Santa Maria, a city about 140 miles (225 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The nightmare began Monday morning, when the kidnappers caused a car crash in San Bernardino County, roughly 200 miles (320 kilometers) from Sant Maria, and abducted the teen when he got out of his vehicle to look at the damage, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. A doorbell camera recorded the kidnapping.The kidnappers called the teen’s mother from a Mexican phone number and demanded $500,000, saying it should be delivered to Nogales, Mexico, federal prosecutors said. The men repeatedly called her over the four days and threatening to harm her son if the family did not pay.The suspects also took a video that showed the teenager being forced to read from a script saying the abduction was his father’s fault for an incident that allegedly occurred in New York, authorities said. The script said the father knew what he stole, and the video was sent to the boy’s mother. “Few things can be as terrorizing to a parent as having your child kidnapped and held for ransom under threat of physical harm,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement.The captors, three men in their 20s, were charged federally with kidnapping and could face life in prison if convicted. They are scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.Law enforcement used a Facebook Marketplace posting and the doorbell camera footage to track the victim and the suspects to Santa Maria. At least one firearm was recovered from the motel.Authorities found the boy lying on the floor in a corner of the motel room. The family did not pay the ransom, officials said.

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron announced Sunday that France will end its military presence in Niger and pull its ambassador out of the country after its democratically elected president was deposed in a coup.The announcement is a significant, if predicted, blow to France’s policy in Africa, after French troops pulled out of neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso in recent years after coups there. France had stationed thousands of troops in the Sahel region at the request of African leaders to fight jihadist groups.France has maintained some 1,500 troops in Niger since the July coup, and had repeatedly refused an order by the new junta for its ambassador to leave, saying that France didn’t recognize the coup leaders as legitimate.Tensions between France and Niger, a former French colony, have mounted in recent weeks, and Macron said recently that diplomats were surviving on military rations as they holed up in the embassy.In an interview with France-2 television, Macron said that he spoke Sunday to ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, and told him that “France has decided to bring back its ambassador, and in the coming hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France.”He added, “And we will put an end to our military cooperation with the Niger authorities because they don’t want to fight against terrorism anymore.”He said the troops would be gradually pulled out, likely by the end of the year, in coordination with the coup leaders ‘’because we want it to take place peacefully.”He said France’s military presence was in response to a request from Niger’s government at the time. That military cooperation between France and Niger had been suspended since the coup, however. The junta leaders claimed that Bazoum’s government wasn’t doing enough to protect the country from the insurgency.The junta is now under sanctions by Western and regional African powers.The junta in August gave French Ambassador Sylvain Itte 48 hours to leave. After the deadline expired without France recalling him, the coup leaders then revoked his diplomatic immunity.In New York on Friday, the military government that seized power in Niger accused U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of “obstructing” the West African nation’s full participation at the U.N.’s annual meeting of world leaders in order to appease France and its allies.Experts say that after repeated military interventions in its former colonies in recent decades, the era of France as Africa’s “gendarme” may finally be over, as the continent’s priorities shift.Andrew Lebovich, a research fellow with the Clingendael Institute, a think tank, said the decision marks both an acceptance of a “harsh reality for France in the region and may possibly put some limits on the U.S. deployments in Niger, though as we have seen the U.S. and France have not followed exactly the same positionings in Niger.”Rida Lyammouri, a senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, a Morocco-based think tank, said Niger will feel the loss of French support in its fight against violent extremist organizations.”France has been a reliable partner providing support to its operations and Niger simply doesn’t have an alternative to fill this void by the French, at least in short and mid term,” Lyammouri said.Macron last year withdrew French troops from Mali following tensions with the ruling junta after a 2020 coup, and more recently from Burkina Faso, for similar reasons. Both African countries had asked for the French forces to leave.France also suspended military operations with Central African Republic, accusing its government of failing to stop a “massive” anti-French disinformation campaign.___Associated Press writer Sam Mednick contributed to this report from Toronto.

Authorities say a Chandler, Arizona, woman who ran an animal rescue out of her now-condemned home has been arrestedByThe Associated PressSeptember 24, 2023, 2:31 PMCHANDLER, Ariz. — A Chandler woman who ran an animal rescue out of her now-condemned home has been arrested after dozens of abused dogs were discovered and five dead puppies found in a freezer, according to police.April McLaughlin, 48, was taken into custody Friday after a search warrant was executed at the house.The search followed multiple calls and reports from concerned neighbors about smells coming from the home and hoarding conditions, police said.They said most of the 55 dogs removed from the home were elderly and special-needs animals. They were without water and many will likely need to be euthanized.The air quality in the home was so bad that firefighters had to wear special breathing equipment. The house is now condemned, according to authorities.McLaughlin was booked into a Phoenix jail on 55 counts of animal abuse, 55 counts of animal cruelty and one count of vulnerable adult abuse because her elderly mother also lived in the home.According to court documents, McLaughlin told police she didn’t believe there was anything wrong with storing food next to the dead animals in the freezer. She also said she had been running the rescue for a year and had taken on too many dogs.A judge set McLaughlin’s cash-only bail at $2,500 at her initial court appearance Saturday and said a public defender would be appointed to represent her. A message seeking comment was left with the Maricopa County public defenders’ office, though it was unclear if a specific attorney had been assigned to the case yet.Related Topics

The FBI says a Louisiana man who fled his 1991 trial for attempted murder has been arrested more than three decades later after authorities found him hiding in MexicoByThe Associated PressSeptember 24, 2023, 11:44 AMARCADIA, La. — A Louisiana man who fled his 1991 trial for attempted murder has been arrested more than three decades later after authorities found him hiding in Mexico, authorities said.Greg Lawson, 63, was brought back to the United States on Thursday after being located in Mexico, the FBI said. Lawson was accused of shooting a man in 1991 in Bienville Parish.Lawson fled the courthouse just as the jury was headed back into the courtroom to return a guilty verdict on a charge of attempted murder, KSLA reported. His truck was found a block away from the courthouse at the time. The FBI posted video to X, previously known as Twitter, of Lawson being escorted by authorities at an airport. He is seen appearing to nervously laugh as authorities place him in handcuffs. “The three-decades-long search for a man convicted of attempted murder is over, thanks to a tip received by #FBINewOrleans. This morning, 63-year-old Greg Lawson is back in a Louisiana jail awaiting action by Bienville Parish authorities,” the FBI wrote.

A 3-year-old child and two adults are dead after being shot during an argument over an apparent dog saleByThe Associated PressSeptember 24, 2023, 8:47 AMJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 3-year-old child and two adults were fatally shot late Saturday at a Florida apartment complex during an apparent dispute over the sale of a dog, authorities said. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief J.D. Stronko told reporters that five people, including the child, had gone to a luxury apartment complex at about 10 p.m. Saturday to meet with some people about the sale of a dog. Gunfire broke out during an argument, Stronko said. The three victims were fatally struck and a third adult from the group was wounded. Witnesses told officers that two men fled in a car. Stronko said the two adults killed and the one wounded were all in their 20s. Their names were not released. He did not release the condition of the wounded victim. Further details were not immediately available.Related Topics

Tigst Assefa has broken the women’s world record by more than two minutes at the Berlin MarathonByThe Associated PressSeptember 24, 2023, 5:37 AMParticipants in the marathon run through the orange paint poured on the asphalt by activists of the climate protection group ‘Last Generation’ at the start of the Berlin marathon, in Berlin, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. (Sebastian Christoph Gollnow/dpa via AP)The Associated PressBERLIN — Tigst Assefa broke the women’s world record by more than two minutes Sunday at the Berlin Marathon, as Eliud Kipchoge won the men’s race for the fifth time but couldn’t break his own record.Ethiopian runner Assefa, the winner in Berlin a year ago, ran 2 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds to break the previous women’s record of 2:14:04 set by Brigid Kotsgei at the Chicago Marathon in 2019.Kipchoge ran alone from 32 kilometers (20 miles) onward but slowed slightly toward the end. His time of 2 hours, 2 minutes, 42 seconds was more than a minute and a half off the record he set in Berlin last year. Kipchoge broke the two-hour barrier in Vienna in 2019 when he ran 1:59:40 but it was not officially considered the world record. He was running in an event that did not conform to regulations because it was tailored around his time, with groups of pacemakers and drinks delivered by a cyclist.The German environmental group Last Generation had signaled it intended to disrupt the Berlin Marathon. Police and security personnel prevented a group of people from blocking the route shortly before the start of the race and orange paint was splashed across the road.___AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

The SUV was headed to a nearby quinceañera, a law enforcement official said.September 24, 2023, 4:40 AMFive people were killed Saturday evening when a freight train slammed into an SUV carrying seven at a crossing in Hillsborough County, Florida, law enforcement officials said.The dead, which included three adults and two children, were believed to have been family members, officials said. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister described a horrific scene, comparing the SUV to crushed can in the aftermath of the crash.Upon impact, the SUV “flipped violently several times before it landed a distance from this crossing,” Chronister said in recounting the collision after viewing video.The jaws of life were used to rescue the driver and a front passenger, who were both transported to an area hospital, listed as in critical condition, the sheriff’s office said.The other five passengers were violently ejected from the SUV and are deceased, officials said. Three women and two boys were killed, officials said.”The exact dynamic between and the relations between all seven of the individuals that are in this car we’re still working through, but I believe tonight Hillsborough County lost one of its families,” Chronister said.Chronister said the victims are believed to be a local Plant City family who were en route to a quinceañera at a home just across the railroad crossing.The crash scene was near the intersection of U.S. Route 92 and Jim Lefler Circle.ABC News’ Mariama Jalloh contributed to this story.