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Heart doctor for former President H.W. Bush killed in bicycle drive-by shooting

A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was shot and killed Friday in a bicycle drive-by shooting near Texas Medical Center in Houston.

>> Read more trending news 

Police said Dr. Mark Hausknecht, 65, was riding his bicycle near Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women just before 9 a.m. on Friday when he was shot by another bicyclist going in the other direction, Houston Police tweeted.

The man fired two shots at Hausknecht before taking off on his bike, police said.

Hausknecht was on his way to work at the time, KTRK reported. A witness flagged down a private ambulance driving by the scene. Emergency crews rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

Investigators do not know if the shooting was random or targeted, or possibly the result of road rage.

Jim McGrath, spokesperson for former President H.W. Bush, 94, issued a statement on Twitter.

“Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man,” President Bush said in the statement. “I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care. His family is in our prayers.”

The suspect in the shooting is still at large, CNN reports. He is described as a 30-year-old white or Hispanic man, wearing a tan baseball cap, grey jacket, khaki shorts and riding a light-colored mountain bicycle. 

9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri 

A duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, killed 17 people Thursday night, including the boat’s driver and nine members of an Indiana family, according to authorities. Fourteen other people were injured.

>> Read more trending news 

Update 8:45 a.m. EDT July 21: The Stone County coroner confirmed to KSDK that William Asher, 69, and his girlfriend, Rose Hamann, were among those killed in Thursday night's duck boat accident in Missouri.

The news station reported that the couple lived in St. Louis County, Missouri. They were visiting Branson to celebrate Hamann’s birthday, which was on Monday, according KSDK.

Todd Dennison’s mother, 64-year-old Leslie Dennison, was also killed in the boat accident, the Kansas City Star reported. In an emotional and brief interview Friday, Todd Dennison told the newspaper that his mother was visiting Branson with his 12-year-old daughter, Alicia, and that they were together for less than an hour before they boarded the duck boat.

He told the Star that while in the hospital on Thursday night, his daughter told him that she could feel her grandmother pushing her upward from below while the boat was sinking.“She said her grandmother saved her,” Todd Dennison told the Star.

Update 1:30 a.m. EDT July 21: Authorities have identified more victims in the duck boat accident.

Steve Smith and his teenage son, Lance Smith, from Osceola, Arkansas, were among those killed in the crash.

Steve Smith was a pastor and Lance Smith was preparing to open his own church in less than a week, according to CNN, first reported by The Christian Chronicle

Steve Smith’s daughter, Loren Smith, suffered a concussion during the accident but survived.

Smith’s wife, Pam Smith, opted to stay behind and was not on the boat.

William and Janice Bright from Higginsville, Missouri, near Kansas City, were also identified as victims in the crash.

WDAF reports that the couple had three children, 16 grandchildren and had been married for 45 years.

“My great nieces and nephews now have no grandparents,” Karen Abbott, William Bright’s sister, told WDAF.

Update 11:00 p.m. EDT July 20: A summer vacation ended in tragedy for nine members of an Indiana family, along with eight other tourists, killed when a duck boat capsized Thursday evening on a lake in Branson, Missouri.

The Coleman family had traveled to Branson for their annual road trip, according to The New York Times, which interviewed Carolyn Coleman.

Coleman said she lost two of her brothers-in-law and that three generations of the family died in the accident, including four young children, the Times reported.

“We just lost some wonderful people,” she said.

The Indianapolis Star reported that the four children killed in the accident were all under the age of 10.

"They were very loved," Ingrid Coleman Douglas said in a telephone interview with the Star.

Coleman Douglas said the victims included two of her uncles, cousins and their children.

"It’s a huge family on all sides. It’s unimaginable. I would never have thought I would have lost this number of people this way," she said.

Coleman Douglas identified the victims as her uncles Horace "Butch" Coleman and Irving Raymond Coleman; Horace Coleman's wife, Belinda Coleman; her cousins, Angela Coleman and Glenn Coleman; Angela's 2-year-old son Maxwell; Glenn's two sons Evan and Reece; and his 1-year-old daughter, Arya.

Glenn's wife, Tia Coleman, and Angela's older son, whose name has not been released, survived the accident, the Star reported.

Update 5:15 p.m. EDT July 20: Stone County authorities now say all 17 of the victims in the duck boat accident have been accounted for and that nine of the victims were from the same family, according to Gov. Mike Parson’s office. Two members of the family, identified by local news outlets as the Coleman family, survived. Officials said the victims range in age from 1 to 70 years old.

Meantime, mourners are putting flowers on the victims’ cars in the Ride the Ducks parking lot, and the community of Branson, Missouri, is holding several candlelight vigils Friday night in memory of those killed. 

One of the vigils is scheduled at Table Rock Lake where the accident happened, according to KY3-TV.

Update 4:30 p.m. EDT July 20: Family and friends are mourning the staggering loss of life on Table Rock Lake Thursday evening.

One woman lost nine members of her family, USA Today reported, citing Gov. Mike Parson’s office.

Update 2:20 p.m. EDT July 20: Branson Mayor Karen Best told The Associated Press that Bob Williams, the man who was driving the Ride the Ducks boat that sunk Thursday in a southwest Missouri lake, was a “great ambassador for Branson” who “was at every event.”

Seventeen people died, including Williams, and 14 others were injured Thursday when the duck boat capsized in Table Rock Lake, according to authorities.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said earlier Friday that the boat’s captain survived.

In a statement posted on Facebook, employees of Ride the Ducks Branson said the business would be closed “while we support the investigation, and to allow time to grieve for the families and the community.”

“This incident has deeply affected all of us. Words cannot convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking,” the statement said. “Thank you for your support, and we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with the families during this time.”

Update 11:40 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said Friday morning that authorities recovered four more bodies after a duck boat capsized in southwest Missouri, KSMU reported, bringing the death toll from Thursday’s incident to 17.

Rader said 14 people were taken to hospitals after the incident. He said the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died. The captain survived.

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT July 20: Nearly two decades ago, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a warning about boats with overhead canopies like the one that sank Thursday on Table Rock Lake after a deadly accident claimed 13 lives in Arkansas, according to the Kansas City Star.

The Miss Majestic duck boat was carrying 21 passengers when it sank in 1999 in Lake Hamilton, the Star reported. Authorities found seven dead passengers trapped inside the boat when they recovered it, four of which were pinned to the underside of the canopy, according to the Star.

“Contributing to the high loss of life was a continuous canopy roof that entrapped passengers within the sinking vehicle,” NTSB officials said in an accident report.

Authorities continued searching Friday for four people who are presumed dead after Thursday’s accident in southwest Missouri. Officials said 13 other people have been confirmed dead in the incident.

Update 10:25 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said divers are going back in the water Friday in search of four people who remain missing and are presumed dead after Thursday’s duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake.

Rader said the search had shifted to “recovery mode for the bodies that are still missing,” at a news conference Friday morning.

"It's been a long night,” Rader said. “It's been a very trying night.”

Rader said the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died but that the captain survived.

Update 10:05 a.m. EDT July 20: Authorities are expected to provide an update on the investigation into Thursday's deadly duck boat accident in Missouri at a news conference Friday.

Update 9:55 a.m. EDT July 20: President Donald Trump shared sympathies Friday to the families and friends of the people involved in Thursday’s deadly duck boat accident in southwest Missouri.

“Such a tragedy, such a great loss,” the president wrote Friday in a tweet. “May God be with you all!”

Update 8:15 a.m. EDT July 20: Officials with the State Highway Patrol said Friday that two more bodies have been found after Thursday’s duck boat accident in southwest Missouri, bringing the death toll to 13.

 >> On AJC.com: Bahamas boating tragedy brings vacation safety to the forefront

State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace said four other people remained missing.

Original report: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said 14 people were taken to hospitals after the incident. Seven were being treated early Friday, he said.

The boat capsized after a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area around 7 p.m. Thursday. Rader said weather “was a factor” in the incident.

Authorities said the boat had 31 people on board, including children, when it capsized. 

The boat had life jackets on board, according to CNN. The news network reported that other boats on the water docked before the bad weather hit.

The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to investigate and are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to come forward.

A dive team and rescue officials worked through the night to find survivors.

They ended the search around 11 p.m., according to KY3.

Emergency responders set up a staging area overnight on the lakeshore near the Showboat Branson Belle, local media reported, although the Belle was not involved in the accident.

Branson officials opened an emergency shelter inside city hall for the victims.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said a top wind speed of 63 mph was measured around 7 p.m. Thursday at Branson Airport. 

“There’s nothing to slow down winds in an open area,” he said.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is watching the developments.

DUKW, known as duck boats, are six-wheel-drive amphibious vehicles that were used by the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War. 

Since then, duck boat tours have become popular and are offered on lakes and rivers around the United States, including Missouri, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Alabama.

Ripley Entertainment acquired the Ride The Ducks in Branson in late 2017 from Ride the Ducks International, a subsidiary of Norcross, Georgia-based Herschend Family Entertainment Corp.

Ride the Ducks International manufactures amphibious vehicles and licenses them for tours at affiliates. It also operates duck tours at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia. The company formerly operated tours in several other cities, including Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia. But in recent years it ended operations following deadly accidents. 

In 2015, a Ride the Ducks tour bus collided with a charter bus carrying student on the Aurora bridge in Seattle.

Five students were killed and several others injured.

The Associated Press and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.

Deadly duck tour boat crashes date back nearly two decades

As families and friends mourn the deaths of 17 people killed on a tourist duck boat in Branson, Missouri, the National Transportation Safety Board is beginning its investigation into what caused the crash.

>>Related: 9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri 

The tragedy at Table Rock Lake wasn’t the first time a duck amphibious vehicle had been involved in a deadly crash.

Since 1999, 40 people have been killed in deadly crashes involving amphibious tour buses, according to The Associated Press.

>> Read more trending news 

1999: Arkansas

“Miss Majestic” sank May 1, 1999 near Hot Springs, Arkansas in Lake Hamilton. 

The boat was only seven minutes into its tour when it sunk by the stern and went to the bottom of the lake, according to the Associated Press

Thirteen people were killed.

The boat had to be hoisted out of the lake by a crane.

The NTSB report found that roofs or canopies on the duck boats put passengers in danger, because passengers could become trapped underneath them -- especially if they were wearing life jackets, because of their natural buoyancy.

The cause of the accident was determined to be inadequate maintenance of the vehicle, built by the U.S. Army in 1944.

2003: Boston

Rosemary Hamelburg, 63, fell backward off a duck boat into a parking lot while taking a photo.

She died four days later.

Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Her family and lawyers said the duck boat operation failed to follow its own safety policies on board the Boston Duck Tours Boat.

The company settled with Hamelburg’s estate for $425,000.

2010: Philadelphia 

A collision between a duck boat and a stalled tugboat on the Delaware River in Philadelphia caused the duck boat to sink.

Two students from Hungary were killed and over 25 people hurt, WPVI reports.

The NTSB determined that the tugboat operator was distracted by talking to family members on his cellphone and laptop. 

The duck boat was also found at fault -- investigators found the boat had maintenance issues and faulted the captain for anchoring in an active boat channel.

2015: Philadelphia 

Elizabeth Karnicki, 68, of Beaumont, Texas, was hit and killed as she crossed a busy Philadelphia street at rush hour in May 2015.

Her husband argued duck boats have large blind spots and drivers cannot see pedestrians. 

According to the Kansas City Star, he sued the company but eventually settled.

2015: Seattle

Five college students were killed and 69 others hurt after a duck boat collided with a charter bus on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge in September 2015.

The NTSB determined that an axle on the duck boat broke, causing the driver to lose control and slam into the charter bus, carrying a group of international students.

NTSB investigators determined that Ride the Ducks International, the duck boat parent company, violated law by not telling regulators about a safety defect on the duck boat’s axle and failing to recall the vehicle.

The company agreed to pay all penalties. 

2016: Boston

Allison Warmuth, 28, was hit and killed by a duck boat while riding a motor scooter in downtown Boston in 2016, NBC reports.

NTSB investigators found that the duck boat driver took his eyes off the road to point out landmarks along the tour before the accident.

This prompted the Massachusetts legislature to pass a new law prohibiting drivers from serving as a tour guide and driver.  

The duck boats were also required to add new safety equipment, including blind spot cameras.

The  Associated Press contributed to this article

Quadriplegic paraglider raising awareness for ‘disability-friendly’ parks has trailer stolen in Utah 

A quadriplegic paraglider from Missoula, Montana, is asking for public help after his trailer and video equipment were stolen from a park in Utah.

Joe Stone, 33, has been using the trailer to visit parks and paraglide across the country, as part of a film project for his foundation to inspire disabled people to explore the outdoors. 

>> Read more trending news

Stone suffered a permanent spinal chord injury in a paragliding accident in 2010. He is paralyzed from the waist down and has impairment in both of his hands, KPAX reports.

“So I just went all in and living in this camper, it’s my home at this point,” Stone told KUTV.

Stone said he went paragliding on Wednesday at Utah’s Point of the Mountain and returned to his campsite to find all of his belongings had been stolen.

His clothes, computers and filming equipment were all in the trailer -- and it was all custom-made for him to use, according to a Go Fund Me page set up to help him replace the stolen items.

“In this situation, they (the thieves) didn’t know I was a wheelchair user; they didn’t know I was living out of that," he told KUTV. “These campers that I use are built to order, so it’s not like I can just buy one and it comes off-the-shelves, so to speak.”

Visit Stone’s website to learn more about his foundation. 

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Stone get back on the road.

Millions fall for South Carolina dentist in viral ‘In My Fillings’ dance video

A dentist in Greenville, South Carolina, is inspiring millions to get their teeth cleaned after taking on the Drake-inspired “In My Feelings” dance challenge.

Dr. Rich Constantine’s version of the “shiggy” -- a dance inspired by the rapper -- has over 24 million views on Facebook.

>> Read more trending news 

Over 100,000 people have commented on the video since it was posted Thursday.

>>Related: Watch: Will Smith, Ciara join ‘In My Feelings’ challenge dance-off in epic fashion

“I have 12 wisdom teeth that need to be pulled, and I think my baby teeth trying to come back, and I swear my k 9s have become L 2's ( whatever that might mean) I just need an appt immediately, yesterday, right now!” one user said.

“I just ordered a pound of gummy bears and washing it down with fruit punch,” another woman commented. “Cavity Watch 2018!! I never wanted one so bad!”

“I found myself looking for his wedding ring, then I remembered that I’m married,” another said.

For the record, Constantine is married, KSLA reports.

Transgender woman says CVS pharmacist refused to fill hormone prescriptions

A transgender woman in Phoenix has filed a formal complaint against CVS with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, after she said a pharmacist refused to fill her hormone prescriptions and humiliated her in front of other customers.

>> Read more trending news 

In a blog on the ACLU of Arizona website, Hilde Hall said it was the first time she filled the prescription for hormone therapy.

“I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I’ve always known myself to be,” Hall said.

Hall said the pharmacist loudly questioned her need for the medication and wouldn’t give her a clear reason why he wouldn’t fill the prescription, KSAZ reports.

“I nearly started crying in the middle of the store. I didn’t want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor,” Hall wrote. “I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers. I just froze and worked on holding back the tears.”

Hall also said the pharmacist refused to give her back the doctor’s note so that she could go to another pharmacy. 

Hall said she called the CVS customer service complaint line twice, and when she didn’t hear back, she filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

CVS said in a statement to CNN the pharmacist violated company policy and has been fired. 

Steve Kilar, communications director with the ACLU of Arizona, said CVS spoke with Hilde over the phone on Friday after the incident.

The ACLU of Arizona issued the following statement:

“Hilde appreciates that CVS took her experience seriously. She spoke with a CVS representative today who offered a sincere apology on behalf the company and said that the pharmacist who mistreated Hilde acted outside of the company’s guidelines. Hilde hopes that CVS will make its nondiscrimination policies public, so that transgender and non-binary customers have some assurance the corporation will take appropriate action if similar discrimination occurs in the future.”

911 call released in high school football player's death: ‘I just shot my friend’

Police have released the heartbreaking 911 call a Charlotte teenager made after authorities said he shot and killed his friend, WSOC reports

“I just, I just shot my friend,” Jermarion Worthy can be heard telling the dispatcher. “Somebody just shot through the house.”

“Is anyone injured?” the dispatcher asked.

“He's shot in the head. Someone shot through the house,” Worthy replied.

>> Read more trending news 

Police said Worthy shot his friend Jamie Bright on Sunday inside Bright's home on Clanton Road.

Worthy now faces murder charges in Bright’s death.

Family members said Bright, 18, was a football player for Harding University High School.

He was also a member of the Y-Achiever and Level Up program at the Stratford Richardson YMCA. 

“Jamie was a great young man,” said YMCA executive director Victor Nicholson. “Very respectful young man. Full of energy. Laughing and joking.”

Investigators have not released a motive but said Worthy, 17, stayed on the scene after the shooting and was arrested.

Worthy told police he and Bright were best friends.

Investigators have not said much about what led up to the shooting but confirmed the two teenagers knew each other. 

Bright’s sisters said they were close.

“My brother wanted to go to prom with me last year for my senior year and I went by myself,” sister Tynisha Bright said. “If I knew my brother was never going to go to prom, I would've took my brother with me.”

Friends and family attended a visitation Friday for Bright at Boston's Mortuary on Statesville Road.

Bright’s sister wore a shirt Friday with his picture on it. She and other family members are trying to forgive Worthy for what happened.

“I definitely can forgive him because my family is all about forgiving,” said his sister, Mardesha Bright.

No winner in Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot; prize skyrockets to $493 million

No winners in Friday’s Mega Millions means the jackpot keeps rising -- Tuesday’s drawing has topped $493 million.

It’s possible that the prize could surge over the half-billion mark based on ticket sales, lottery officials state.

>> Read more trending news 

Tuesday’s jackpot of $493 million will be the fifth-largest in Mega Millions history.

If there is a winner and they choose the cash payout, they will take home $296 million.

Friday’s winning numbers were 44-14-30-62-1, with a Mega Ball of 1.

While no one took home the big prize, there were two $1 million ticket winners, in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

There were over 1.8 million winning tickets in Friday’s drawing at all levels, with 47 ticket winners of $10,000.

Tuesday night’s drawing will take place July 24 at 11 p.m. ET.

Rapper Offset, of trio Migos, arrested in metro Atlanta on weapon, drug charges

Rapper Offset, of the trio Migos, was arrested Friday on weapon and drug charges in Georgia, WSB reports

Clayton County police said the rapper, whose real name is Kiari Cephus, and his bodyguard, Senay Gezahgn, were traveling in Jonesboro, just outside Atlanta, when the 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera that Offset was driving was pulled over after an improper lane change. 

>> Read more trending news 

During a search, officers found three handguns, less than 1 ounce of marijuana and more than $107,000 in cash.

Offset was charged with improper lane change; possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce; possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

Gezahgn was charged with possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

This is not Offset’s first run-in with the law.

He was arrested in 2016 for driving with a suspended license. In 2015, all three members of Migos were arrested for drug and gun charges during a concert at Georgia Southern University, Billboard reported.

Offset and his wife, rapper Cardi B, just welcomed their first child together last week.

>>Related: Cardi B, Offset welcome baby girl

This video of a chimp seeing its foster parents again is the best thing you'll see all day

We can't stop watching.

The precious video of a chimp reuniting with its foster parents is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

>> Read more trending news

The Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami posted the video of Limbani on its Instagram and Facebook page.

They said Limbani was born with pneumonia and was rejected by his mother.

Tania Sanchez and her husband, Jorge, jumped in to help. The couple took on full around the clock care for Limbani for the first few months of his life.

And you can tell by watching the video, the bond between them is strong.

When he sees them coming, Limbani jumps into Jorge's arms and wraps him in a hug.

(Also, side note -- are these the best hugs you've ever seen? I think we'll go adopt a chimp now.)

SHARE this sweet video with your friends on Facebook.

Deputies shoot armed man in Florida who punched dog in head multiple times

Deputies shot an armed man Friday evening in The Villages near Lady Lake, Florida, the Sumter County Sheriff's Office said.

>> Read more trending news

Deputies were called shortly before 6:30 p.m after a report of a domestic disturbance, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Michelle Keszey said.

"The victim met deputies at a nearby church where she stated the suspect punched her dog in the face three times," Keszey said. "An argument ensued (in which) the suspect then pushed the victim. The victim fled the scene with her children and contacted law enforcement."

Investigators said they heard gunfire nearby while interviewing the victim.

"While deputies were confronting the suspect, the suspect refused to comply with deputies' commands," Keszey said. "The suspect then raised his firearm at deputies. Two deputies fired shots, striking the suspect."

The man was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center under a trauma alert status.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.

No other details were given.

Mega Millions jackpot reaches $433M for Friday’s drawing

UPDATE: The winning numbers for Friday, July 20 were: 01-14-30-44-62

Mega Ball: 01

Megaplier: 2

>> Read more trending news 

The Mega Millions jackpot reached $433 million ahead of Friday night’s drawing.

It is the sixth-largest prize in the game’s history, lottery officials said in a news release.

It is also the seventh time the jackpot has exceeded $400 million.

While the top prize is still up for grabs, there were some big winners in Tuesday night’s drawing.

Three $1 million tickets were sold in Florida, New Jersey and Oklahoma, according to lotto officials

2018 seems to be a lucky year for lotto players. Since the last jackpot was won in May, there have been more than 12.4 million winning tickets at all prize levels, according to lotto officials.

A 20-year-old in Florida won a $451 million prize in January, and a food production manager from New Jersey won $533 million in April.

The record for the highest Mega Millions jackpot was set in 2012 when three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland split a $656 million prize.

Friday night’s drawing will take place at 11 p.m. ET.

Former Georgia Tech frat president admits raping ex-girlfriend, sentenced to 20 years

A former Georgia Tech fraternity president pleaded guilty to rape Friday, more than two years after police say he sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend on her 21st birthday, The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said in a release detailing the sex crime. 

>> Read more trending news 

Christian Kahf’s ex-girlfriend told police he raped her at least seven times over the course of their relationship, Fulton district attorney spokesman Chris Hopper said in the release. Kahf was sentenced to 20 years in prison with seven years to serve and the remaining 13 years on probation in the Jan. 30, 2016 sexual assault case. He must also complete community service. 

Charges against Kahf, 23, were filed late last year after he told his fraternity brothers he was a “monster ... a rapist ... and a pedophile,” Hopper said. He then “became emotional and abruptly left,” according to the release. Two of his fraternity brothers also told police Kahf admitted “acting inappropriately” with a 7-year-old girl. It was not immediately clear if those allegations were investigated. 

The men reported Kahf’s confession to Georgia Tech police, who interviewed the victim about the allegations. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not publish the names of sexual assault victims.

She told police Kahf first raped her in May 2014 when she was studying abroad in France. Kahf went to visit the woman, who said she was deeply religious and saving her virginity for the man she married. 

>> Trending: Video shows Georgia waitress tackle customer after he appears to grope her

“The victim said one night while she was sleeping she awoke to a pain in her lower pelvic area and abdomen,” Hopper said. “She realized Kahf was having sex with her, and when she told him to stop, he refused and told her to stay quiet.”

The woman confronted Kahf the next morning and said he admitted having sex with her that night. She told police she remained in a relationship due to her religious beliefs and her “devotion to marrying the man she lost her virginity to.” No charges were filed in the incident. 

Roughly two years later, Kahf raped the victim after she celebrated her 21st birthday, Hopper said. The woman was out with her friends going to Atlanta clubs and drinking with Kahf as their designated driver. 

The group later went to Kahf’s fraternity house on Georgia Tech’s campus, where the victim found a place to sleep, Hopper said. The name of the fraternity was not provided.

The woman told police she didn’t recall that night but woke up the next morning and “felt like she had sex,” according to authorities. She confronted Kahf, who she said again admitted to raping her.

Authorities arrested Kahf in November after he admitted to the victim, who was wearing a digital recording device, that “what happened was not consensual that night. I raped you more than once, and I wish I never had.” 

>> Related: 5 signs your relationship is toxic and is hurting your mental health

The woman told police she never reported the rapes out of fear they wouldn’t believe her. 

As part of his sentencing, Kahf was ordered not to contact the victim or her family. He will also be placed on the sex offender registry. 

Moderate alcohol consumption could help boost male fertility, study finds

A healthy diet and lifestyle can help boost male fertility and drinking alcohol could also be effective, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from health institutions in Italy recently conducted a study, published in the Andrology journal, to determine the association between alcohol intake and male reproductive function. 

To do so, they assessed 323 men eligible for assisted reproductive techniques, treatments used to assist people with achieving pregnancy. Nearly 10 percent of the patients were abstainers, 30 percent drank one to three units of alcoholic beverages weekly, 30 percent drank four to seven, and 30 percent drank more than eight.

>> Related: This is how much beer Georgians consumed in 2017

In this assessment, consuming four to seven units per week was considered moderate, and one unit is about 125 mL of wine or 330 mL of beer.

The analysts examined the subjects’ semen samples over the course of two years. They also interviewed the men, asking them questions about their physical activity and whether or not they smoked and drank caffeine. 

After analyzing the results, they found those who drank four to seven units of alcohol a week had higher sperm counts and semen volume, compared to the other groups. 

“The question of whether alcohol intake affects male reproductive function is controversial,” the team wrote in the analysis. But in this trial, “(m)oderate alcohol intake appears positively associated to semen quality in male partners.”

>> Related: Just one drink a day can increase your risk of cancer, study finds 

They said the different categorization of alcohol consumption and the different drinking habits of the populations studied may have contributed to the inconsistency between their findings and previous experiments. 

While the scientists are unclear why there could be a relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and male fertility, they believe some drinks have ingredients that promote fertility.

The authors noted that beer and wine contain polyphenols, chemical compounds that have been linked to “strong therapeutic and cell protective potential.”

Despite the findings, the researchers said there were limitations in their study. The data they collected was self-reported, and they did not analyze the role of heavy or binge drinking. Therefore, they believe more research is needed. 

>> Related: Alcohol better than exercise to live past 90, study says

“As this study has not addressed all concerns regarding the effect of male drinking on reproduction and fertility,” they said, “other domains of reproductive outcomes need further investigation.”

Tourist attraction in Georgia suspends duck boats after Missouri tragedy

Stone Mountain Park in DeKalb County, Georgia, canceled duck boat rides for Friday and Saturday in light of the tragedy in Missouri on Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

The accident that killed 17 people on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, prompted the metro Atlanta attraction to pause letting visitors ride.

“All of us at Stone Mountain Park are heartbroken about the accident that happened last evening on Ride the Ducks in Branson, Missouri,” the park said in a statement Friday. “As always safety is our top priority here at Stone Mountain Park. Therefore, we have suspended our Ride the Ducks operation until more information about the Branson tragedy becomes available.”

DUKW, known as duck boats, are six-wheel-drive amphibious vehicles that were used by the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War. 

Since then, duck boat tours have become popular and are offered on lakes and rivers around the United States, including in Missouri, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Alabama.

'Guardians of the Galaxy' director James Gunn fired over offensive tweets

The director of the successful “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, James Gunn, has been fired from the franchise’s third installment over offensive tweets about pedophilia and rape.

>> Read more trending news 

The shocking tweets, which had been taken down, aren’t new and Gunn had apologized for them in the past, but conservative media personalities resurfaced the posts from 2008 - 2011 this week, causing a backlash against Gunn, who has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gunn also issued a statement Friday, saying he’s a “very, very different” person than he was a few years ago and that he’s “developed as a person” since he posted the offensive tweets.

"My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative," he said. "I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time."

“I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore,” he said.

>> Related: Disney: ′Star Wars Clone Wars′ will be back, announcement made at San Diego Comic Con

Gunn was fired before a scheduled appearance Friday at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

He was still writing the script for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and was expected to start shooting the movie this fall in Atlanta.

Disney and Marvel Studios saw huge successes with the “Guardian” movies, with the first one making more than $773 million and the second raking in $863, according to THR.

 

Michael Cohen secretly taped Donald Trump in 2016, attorney confirms

Update 7:00 p.m. EDT July 20: An attorney for 

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime former attorney, has confirmed that Cohen secretly recorded conversations with Trump and that he does have a recording made in 2016 before the presidential election about a former Playboy Playmate who claims that she had a year-long affair with Trump in 2006.

Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis denied that the tape would help Trump, as a Trump attorney claimed.

“Obviously, there is an ongoing investigation, and we are sensitive to that. But suffice it to say that when the recording is heard, it will not hurt Michael Cohen. Any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape,” Davis posted on Twitter.

>> Jamie Dupree: Cohen’s lawyer confirms existence of Trump tape 

(Original story)

Recordings that attorney Michael Cohen secretly made of his longtime client, President Donald Trump, were seized earlier this year when FBI agents raided Cohen’s office, The New York Times reported Friday.

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According to the newspaper, Cohen recorded a conversation he had with Trump two months before the 2016 presidential election, in which they talked about possibly paying Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate who claims that she had a year-long affair with Trump in 2006.

>> Who is Karen McDougal? 6 things to know about the woman who says she was Trump’s mistress

Trump and Cohen discussed buying the rights to McDougal's story about one month after the publisher of the National Enquirer, American Media Inc., paid her $150,000, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The recording obtained by authorities was less than two minutes long, according to the Journal. It cut off while the conversation was ongoing, the newspaper reported.

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed the existence of the recording to the Times, but he said it lasted less than two minutes and that no payment was ultimately made to McDougal.

“Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Giuliani told the newspaper.

He confirmed to CNN that Cohen also made other recordings, which he described as “mundane discussions.”

The recordings were among the things seized in April by federal agents who raided Cohen’s hotel and office, according to the Times. Other items seized included Cohen’s computer, his phone and several records, The Washington Post reported.

>> Trump allies fear investigators seized Cohen recordings in raid: reports

Trump allies worried after the FBI raid on Cohen was made public earlier this year that recordings might have been among the items seized, as Cohen was known to sometimes tape conversations he had with associates. He kept the recordings as digital files that he would replay for colleagues, the Post reported, citing unidentified sources.

Authorities sought details on Cohen’s efforts to stave off negative publicity of Trump, CBS News and the Times reported. Among other things, authorities sought information on the release of an infamous tape in which the president could be heard on a hot mic making derogatory comments about women and payments Cohen made to a pair of women who claim they had sexual relationships with Trump, including McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels, according to the Times.

>> Trump says he may sue over 'illegal' 2005 'Access Hollywood' videoDaniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, called for the release of what he called the “Trump tapes” on Friday.

"If Michael Cohen is a patriot, then ALL of the tapes should be released to the American people," Avenatti wrote on Twitter. "Now. Too much is at stake."

During the April raid, officials also sought details on the role AMI played in keeping McDougal’s and Daniels’ stories from going public, according to the Times

Just before voters went to polls in the 2016 presidential election, the Journal reported that the company agreed to pay McDougal $150,000 for her story about her affair with Trump. The tabloid never published a story on the alleged affair, which McDougal claims took place in 2006, while Trump was married to his current wife, Melania.

>> National Enquirer paid Trump doorman $30K to spike unproven 'illegitimate child' rumor: AP report

The publisher has denied accusations that McDougal’s story was bought in order to “catch and kill” it in an effort to shield Trump from bad publicity in the run-up to the 2016 election. In a statement, company officials told the Journal that the payment to McDougal was for “two years’ worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers as well as exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man.”

Then-Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied that McDougal and Trump had an affair and told the Journal that campaign officials had “no knowledge” of the agreement between AMI and McDougal.

Man kidnapped, tortured by fake police officers in Tennessee

A man in Memphis, Tennessee, was kidnapped and brutally beaten by a man and a woman who posed as police officers during the attack. An arrest affidavit detailed the horrific crimes, which occurred on July 13. 

PHOTOS: Man kidnapped, tortured by fake police officer in Memphis (WHBQ-TV)

Police said the victim had just gotten into his car to drive to work when a Ford Taurus pulled up behind him with flashing lights. Two people got out of the car wearing vests that read “Police.”

They forced the victim to the ground and took the keys to two of his vehicles. He was placed in handcuffs, a black mask was placed over his head, and he was put in the back of the Taurus.

The victim was then taken to the 7600 block of Reese Road where the brutal torture would start to unfold, according to the arrest affidavit.

The suspects held hot objects to his body, burning his face, neck, and arms. They forced a sock into his mouth and tried to force him to tell them “Where's the money at?” 

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Eventually, the man gave in to the suspects' demands and told them the information to a storage unit including the code to get inside, police said.

The suspects continued to say he was not telling them the truth and threatened to cut off his fingers and toes with saws and pliers, the affidavit states.

When the suspects went into the kitchen, the victim ran out of the room and dove head-first into a window, all while still being handcuffed and with a mask covering his face. 

People who were driving by saw the victim on the ground and were able to help by flagging down officers. Emergency responders made the scene and started to treat the victim, who was covered in second and third-degree burns. 

Police took fingerprints off the Ford Taurus, which was a rental from Avis. Stolen City of Memphis Government tags were also on the car. 

The prints belonged to Anthony Davis, police said.

Detectives said Yolanda Marin was the person who rented the car. 

The victim also identified Davis as someone he spent time in prison with. 

Davis was arrested when he went to meet with his parole officer. Investigators went to his home, and found Martin in the master bedroom.

Davis and Martin are both charged with especially aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated robbery, possession of a deadly weapon during offense and criminal impersonation.

Men charged with stealing $8 million in rare items from Pittsburgh library

Two men are facing charges of stealing or damaging more than $8 million in rare books and materials from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for over two decades.

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Investigators Friday charged Greg Priore and John Schulman, alleging the two men worked together to remove the items from the Oliver Room. 

According to the criminal complaint, Priore worked as the manager and sole archivist of the Oliver Room for 25 years before being fired in June 2017. Schulman is the co-owner of Caliban Book Shop in Oakland, which specializes in rare books.

WPXI news reporter Aaron Martin reached out to Carnegie Library spokesperson Suzanne Thinnes, who said in a statement:"We are grateful the investigation into the Oliver Room theft has resulted in arrests, however we are deeply disappointed that at the center of this case are two people who had close, long standing relationships with the Library. We look forward to the appropriate individuals being held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We will continue to cooperate with the DA’s office and deeply appreciate their efforts to recover the stolen materials. The District Attorney will release information as appropriate as the case progresses through legal proceedings. We would like to thank our community for their support throughout this lengthy and complex investigation. We have been asked not to comment further until legal proceedings are complete." 

Both Priore and Schulman are facing numerous charges, including theft and conspiracy.

Florida man caught huffing at Walmart, had seven cans around him

A Yulee, Florida, man was seen lying on the ground, shaking and inhaling from a can of compressed air outside a Nassau County Walmart, deputies said in a report.

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Sean Humberson, 31, was found next to a dumpster with seven cans of Dust-Off around him, the report said. He was taken to Baptist Medical Center Nassau for evaluation and was later arrested and charged with inhaling dangerous chemicals and for trespassing after an earlier warning

Humberson was charged with trespassing after a warning because he had been observed huffing air cans in the parking lot before, deputies said. 

On March 12, 2018, Humberson had 50 cans of Dust-Off around him but was not actively inhaling them, the report said .

Walmart staff had requested that Humberson not to be allowed on the property for one year. 

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