MLive TV news Breaking TV News 247 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 02:02:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 191796625 Death toll from Haiti earthquake climbs to 1,900 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 02:02:18 +0000

The death toll from Haiti’s devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake has climbed to 1,941, the country’s civil protection agency said Tuesday.

More than 9,900 people were injured in the earthquake, which struck Saturday morning.

The quake, which was felt in Cuba and Jamaica and was followed by a string of aftershocks, struck around 8 miles south-southeast of Petit Trou de Nippes at a depth of 6 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The humanitarian organization UNICEF estimated Tuesday that 1.2 million Haitians have been affected, including 540,000 children, and that more than 84,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed.

Adding to the misery and complicating response efforts, Haiti was lashed by torrential rain and heavy wind from Tropical Storm Grace on Monday and Tuesday.

“Countless Haitian families who have lost everything due to the earthquake are now living literally with their feet in the water due to the flooding,” Bruno Maes, UNICEF’s representative in Haiti, who is in the hard-hit area of Les Cayes, said in a statement.

Men carry the body of a boy who was found in a collapsed building into the cemetery in Les Cayes, Haiti, on Tuesday.Matias Delacroix / AP

Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Before the earthquake, it was struggling with gang violence, the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moïse, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The U.S. and the United Nations have pledged help and support.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been flying critically injured patients to Port-au-Prince for higher levels of care and providing other aid. More than 60 urban search-and-rescue team members from the U.S. have arrived, and the U.S. military has sent helicopters, officials said.

Hospitals and health care facilities in the area lack supplies and are short on staff, the U.S. Agency for International Development said.

Adding to the challenge, humanitarian organizations have reported that the main highway from Port-au-Prince was impassible because of organized crime-related security concerns, USAID said.

The aid group Save the Children said people are living on the street without protection from the weather, and children are going hungry and being warned not to go into buildings for fear they could collapse.

“I see children crying on the street, people asking us for food, but we are low on food ourselves as well,” Carl-Henry Petit-Frère, field manager for the group, said in a statement. “The organizations that are here are doing what they can, but we need more supplies. Food, clean water and shelter are needed most, and we need them fast.”

Near a pancaked building, the body of a 3-year-old girl was left covered by a bedsheet. Volunteer firefighters left the body in the rain because police have to be present before a body can be taken away.

“The mother and father are in the hospital, but all three kids died,” Neighbor Joseph Boyer, 53, told The Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed.

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Toddler shoots, kills mom during video call after finding gun, Florida police say Fri, 13 Aug 2021 01:21:00 +0000

A toddler in Florida fatally shot a woman during a video call after finding an unsecured handgun, police said Thursday.

Someone on the work-related Zoom conference called 911 and reported that they had seen a toddler and heard a noise before the woman, Shamaya Lynn, fell backward, police said in a statement.

Lynn, 21, was killed Wednesday in Altamonte Springs, near Orlando.

“Investigators determined that the injury was caused by a toddler who found a loaded handgun, which was left unsecured by an adult in the apartment,” Altamonte Springs police said in a statement. Police said Lynn was shot in the head.

The police statement did not identify the relationship, but NBC affiliate WESH of Orlando reported that police said she was the toddler’s mother.

Investigators said the handgun belonged to the father of the victim’s two young children, the station reported. Neither child was injured.

The case is under investigation, and no charges have been filed.

“If you own a firearm, please keep it locked and secured,” Police Officer Roberto Ruiz Jr. said. “Incidents like this could be avoided.”

There were at least 369 unintentional shootings by children younger than 18 last year, with 142 deaths, according to the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, which tracks reports.

In North Carolina in February, a 25-year-old mother of five was inadvertently shot and killed after her children found a gun in her purse, police in the town of Cornelius said.

In April, a 3-year-old boy in Houston found an unsecured firearm and fatally shot his 8-month-old brother, police said.

Altamonte Springs is a city of around 43,800 just north of Orlando.

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Supreme Court rejects challenge to Indiana University’s vaccination requirement Thu, 12 Aug 2021 21:18:00 +0000

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court refused on Thursday to block Indiana University’s requirement that students receive a Covid vaccine to attend classes in the fall semester.

It was the first legal test of a Covid vaccine mandate to come before the justices. A challenge to the policy was directed to Amy Coney Barrett, the justice in charge of that region of the country, who denied it. There were no noted dissents from other justices.

Eight Indiana students asked the court for an emergency order, arguing that the risks associated with the vaccine outweighed the potential benefits to the population in their age group. “Protection of others does not relieve our society from the central canon of medical ethics requiring voluntary and informed consent,” they told the justices, seeking an emergency order to block the vaccine requirement.

A federal judge ruled last month that the school had a right to pursue “a reasonable and due process of vaccination in the legitimate interest of public health for its students, faculty, and staff.” The students have many options, the judge said, such as applying for an exemption, taking the semester off, viewing classes online, or attending another university.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Chicago, agreed. It noted that the Supreme Court ruled in 1905 that a state can require all members of the public to be vaccinated against smallpox. Indiana’s requirement is less demanding, the court said, allowing exemptions for students who object on the basis of medical conditions or religious beliefs.

Similar lawsuits brought by students are pending in federal courts, challenging the Covid vaccine requirements imposed by the universities of Connecticut and Massachusetts and the sprawling California State University system.

According to a tally maintained by The Chronicle of Higher Education, more than 670 of the nation’s colleges and universities now require students to be vaccinated. The list includes such public institutions as the University of California, Los Angeles, Michigan State, and the universities of Maryland and Colorado. Among private schools with a vaccine mandate are Stanford, Harvard, Duke and Notre Dame.

]]> 0 9223 Tennessee parents protest school mask mandate, people in masks heckled Wed, 11 Aug 2021 20:55:32 +0000

Angry protests erupted in Franklin, Tennessee, after a school district reinstated a mask mandate for elementary students, with some people yelling at and heckling those wearing masks in the parking lot at a meeting on the measure.

The Williamson County Board of Education on Tuesday night during a special session approved the mandate, which will begin Thursday and run until at least Sept. 12, according to the district. People opposed to the mandate gathered outside the meeting, chanting, “We will not comply.”

In one video, a man screamed at an individual wearing a mask as they walked to their car, saying, “We know who you are.” The same man later said, “You’ll never be allowed in public again.”

“You can leave freely, but we will find you,” another man said.

Carol Birdsong, executive director of communications for the district, said in a statement Wednesday that while parents are passionate about their children’s education, “there’s no excuse for incivility.”

“Our families and staff represent a wide variety of thoughts and beliefs, and it is important in our district that all families and staff have the opportunity to be represented and respected,” the statement said.

Children have shown more symptoms with the delta variant of coronavirus than in previous strains and have increasingly been hospitalized in recent weeks. Children’s hospitals in states that have high transmission rates have begun to battle bed shortages, NBC News reported Monday.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency authorizations for Covid-19 vaccines for children and adults over the age of 12, leaving younger children more vulnerable to infection. The agency said in July that it hopes to offer authorization to kids under 12 by early to midwinter.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all children wear masks when returning to school this year.

Community members were allowed to speak during a public comment section at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting in Franklin, where those who signed up were each given a minute to speak on their position. Comments split between those who pushed for the mandate and others who expressed their opposition.

Some parents argued there is no legal authority for the district to implement masks, threatening to sue, and said it was a “parents’ rights” issue.

“Parents should be allowed to choose what they want and how their children go to school,” said David Grimmett, who identified himself as an attorney. “At the end of the day I see these people with the masks, they believe it is best for their children. I believe it is not, I should be given the choice.”

Actress Leigh-Allyn Baker, who starred on Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie,” was also at the meeting and advocated against the mask mandate. She described her children as those who would not be able to be vaccinated due to medical exceptions, but she still would not have her kids wear masks.

“​​Anyway, the real part of the clown show is that you all think that you actually have the authority to mandate this,” Baker said. “Because there are these books that I have, and I have them as a gift for you: the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Federalist Papers. Also, the Bible. And these guarantee my freedom, and yours and our children’s to breathe oxygen.”

But multiple medical professionals, who were also parents of school-aged children, advocated in favor of the mandate and debunked several comments that masks were ineffective.

Britt Maxwell, who identified himself as a doctor at one of the local hospitals, said he was fearful for his two children, who are too young to be vaccinated.

“I’m afraid for the choice that they can’t make, because the facts are clear. Kids are getting sick,” he said. “It’s happening now, pediatric ICU and ERs across the country, across the South, are being stretched to capacity in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri. And it will happen here eventually. It’s a myth that kids can’t pass to other kids, because they can.”

Jennifer King, who identified herself as a parent of two who attend school in the county and a pediatric doctor, implored the district to reimplement the masks.

“As a pediatric ICU physician, we are seeing more younger, previously healthy children admitted with respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome,” King said. “This trend will only worsen if we don’t act now.”

]]> 0 9221 Climate change, rising seas may lead to extinction of small island nations Tue, 10 Aug 2021 12:28:00 +0000

Island nations across the world are warning that they face catastrophic consequences of rising sea levels and possible extinction, after a landmark U.N. report warned of the effects of a warming world.

An alliance of 39 coastal and low-lying nations said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was a “major alert for the world” and called on more powerful countries to do all they can to keep global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to “save lives and livelihoods.”

“We have to turn this around,” Diann Black-Layne, the lead negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, said in a statement Monday after the IPCC report was released.

“The IPCC confirms the experience of small island states: that cyclones are getting more intense, and that sea levels are rising, but it also confirms we can still curb the worst of it.”

Large parts of the village Eita has drowned in flooding from the sea, Kiribati.Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images file

Keeping temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) instead of 2 degrees Celsius, a target of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, would avoid a long-term rise of three meters (9.6 feet), she said.

“That is our very future, right there,” she said.

The IPCC report, released Monday, warned that while warming could be stopped by halting carbon emissions, sea levels would continue to rise even in a best-case scenario, putting coastal communities at risk of flooding and destruction.

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The Alliance of Small Island States represents countries across the world, including Singapore, Seychelles, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Bahamas and Belize.

So concerned is the remote nation of Kiribati in the Pacific, made up of three low-lying archipelagos that at their tallest stand no more than 6 feet above sea level, that plans have been made to physically raise its islands above the sea, in partnership with China.

A rise of just 3 feet could submerge as much as two thirds of Kiribati by the end of this century, the IPCC has said.

Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, one of the world’s lowest-lying countries, which has for years campaigned for climate action, said the situation could not be more serious.

“This report is devastating news for the most climate-vulnerable countries like the Maldives. It confirms we are on the edge of extinction. Climate emergency is intensifying, we are on the front lines. Our nations are already battered by extreme climate,” he said on Twitter.

Kimberly Nicholas, a professor and climate and sustainability expert at Lund University in Sweden who has acted as an observer at two global climate summits, said the Maldivian president was right in his assessment.

“I think it’s probably fair. That’s how I would feel if I lived in one of those low-lying island nations,” she told NBC News.

An area of reclaimed land is pictured on the island of Thulusdhoo in 2019, near Male, Maldives.Carl Court / Getty Images file

“Humans do have the power to stop warming pretty quickly and that’s good news. When we stop adding carbon pollution we expect warming to stop.

“But there are things such as sea level rise that are not reversible. The report says the sea level is committed to rise, due to continuing warming of the deep ocean and ice sheet melts,” Nicholas said.

Joseph Moeno-Kolio, head of the Pacific region for the environmental activist group Greenpeace, blamed Australia — a major carbon emitter and exporter of fossil fuels — for exacerbating the crisis for neighboring islands.

“Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met last week with Pacific leaders and committed to supporting the Pacific family,” he said in a statement. “This report has found that if Morrison’s obsession with fossil fuels isn’t immediately ended, these words might one day be nothing more than an empty lament on the family tomb.”

Climate change is largely caused by big, prosperous nations while smaller coastal countries tend to be much poorer. Nicholas warned this disparity would see those that pollute the least suffer the most.

“It’s really clear how unfair climate change is,” she said. “It’s primarily caused by burning fossil fuels, and it’s a few countries and individuals within countries who burned the majority of it and enjoyed the benefits they provided.

“The majority of the world has not burned much carbon at all and is suffering the worst impact. That equity dynamic is so important to keep in mind.”

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Morrison accepted that his country had a part to play in reducing climate change, but defended Australia’s record and said carbon emissions had dipped 20 percent since 2005.

He argued that the developing world accounted for two thirds of carbon emissions and that China’s output was “more than the OECD combined.”

“The emissions keep going up because of the choices that [developing nations] will necessarily make. And, so, what’s important is that we ensure that the technology breakthroughs that are necessary to transform the world over the next 10, 20 and 30 years are realized,” he said.

]]> 0 9219 N.C. woman, 70, found buried in concrete inside home’s basement Sat, 07 Aug 2021 15:30:00 +0000

A 70-year-old woman was found buried in concrete inside the basement of her North Carolina home nearly two months after she was reported missing, according to the Avery County Sheriff’s Office.

Lynn Gay Keene.Avery County Sheriff’s Office

Authorities filed a missing person report on July 30 for Lynn Gay Keene of Linville Falls after they learned she last had contact with her family members on June 14, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office obtained by NBC affiliate WCNC of Charlotte.

In an attempt to find Keene, detectives searched her home and found it to be secured. But the woman’s vehicle, a 2000 Lincoln Town Car, was missing from the residence. Keene and the car’s information were entered into a state database.

On Monday, Cherokee police reported that Keene’s vehicle had been located abandoned on Blue Wing Road in North Carolina with the car keys under the driver’s seat, according to the release. That discovery prompted Avery County Sheriff’s Office detectives to obtain a search warrant for Keene’s home.

With assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and its crime scene team, authorities searched the home and found human remains entombed in concrete in the basement.

An autopsy was performed on the human remains, and through dental records, it was determined that the remains belonged to Keene, Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye said in the release. The autopsy also concluded that Keene’s cause of death was a homicide.

Police are trying to find Elizabeth Freeman.Avery County Sheriff’s Office

Authorities said they are now searching for a woman who had been hired as Keene’s live-in caretaker.

Elizabeth Freeman, 53, who may also go by Elizabeth Carserino, is being sought by the sheriff’s office for questioning, according to Frye. She is also wanted on charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, financial card theft and identity theft, police said.

Authorities believe Freeman could be in Dorchester County, South Carolina, or in Cumming, Georgia, where she has family.

John Thompson, Keene’s neighbor and family friend of several decades, said he used to get birthday cards from Keene every July 19. But he never got a card last month.

Thompson now remembers her as a generous neighbor who loved listening to Prince and the Grateful Dead. According to him, Keene’s son died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and her husband also passed away about two years ago. Her mother, who Keene used to care for, also passed away last year, Thompson said.

“That’s a lot for one person to take on,” he added. “It’s just … it’s not fair. Nobody should have to go through that.”

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Germany’s modern pentathlon coach kicked out of Olympics for punching a horse Sat, 07 Aug 2021 08:59:00 +0000

TOKYO — The coach of Germany’s modern pentathlon team was kicked out the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday for, of all things, punching a horse.

Kim Raisner was caught on camera slugging the horse and urging rider Annika Schleu to “really hit” her mount after it balked at jumping during a pivotal moment in Friday’s competition.

At that point Schleu was in the lead — she went from first to 31st and left the arena in tears because the horse, whose name is “Saint Boy,” would not budge.

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Still, that was no excuse for her coach’s behavior, the Modern Pentathlon Foundation (UIPM) said in a statement early Saturday.

“The UIPM Executive Board (EB) has given a black card to the Germany team coach Kim Raisner, disqualifying her from the remainder of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” it said.

“Her actions were deemed to be in violation of the UIPM Competition Rules, which are applied to all recognized Modern Pentathlon competitions including the Olympic Games.”

Raisner was not part of the team’s efforts on Saturday.

Germany’s Olympic team chief, Alfons Hoermann, said earlier the coach had been pulled out of the men’s individual competition. He also demanded urgent rule changes from the international federation.

“Rules must change in such a way so that rider and horse are protected,” Hoermann said. “The focus must be on the welfare of the animals and the fair competition for athletes.”

“We also consider that an urgent review of the incident is necessary, especially in terms of animal protection, and that the national and international federations draw their conclusions.”

The modern pentathlon is a venerable Olympic sport that dates back to 1912 and sees athletes compete in five different events — fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show-jumping, pistol shooting and cross-country running.

The athletes don’t get to choose their horse and they’re given just 20 minutes to warm up their mount and bond with the animal.

Evidently Schleu and “Saint Boy” failed to click.

Schleu had a commanding lead going into the show jumping but with each refusal the German’s frustration grew.

She finally exploded with a scream that echoed through the empty stadium as tears poured down her face. Her coach urged her to hit the horse, with Raisner’s orders to “really hit it, hit,” heard live back in Germany, triggering a wave of criticism.

Raisner herself punched the horse once above the back leg.

Top ranked Michelle Gulyas and Ireland’s Natalya Coyle suffered similar fates with their horses as they saw their own medal hopes crushed, dropping out of the top 10 and out of contention.

Great Britain’s Kate French won the gold.

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Charles Zolot: Murder investigation underway after Queens lawyer found dead Fri, 06 Aug 2021 04:58:55 +0000

JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (WABC) — A murder investigation is underway after a lawyer was found dead in a Queens office Thursday.

A cleaning person discovered the body of 65-year-old Charles Zolot just before 6 a.m. on the second floor of an office building on 82nd Street in Jackson Heights.

Police said he was laying on his back and had suffered a puncture wound to his chest and trauma to his back.

When they first heard the news, other lawyers in the building figured Zolot died of natural causes. But as the day went on, it became clear that wasn’t the case.

There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

According to the website for Zolot’s business, he was a divorce and child custody lawyer and also handled real estate disputes.

Zolot was supposed to be in Queens Supreme Court Thursday on a case.

Fellow lawyers who also had offices in the building said a member of the clerical staff reported feeling frightened by one of Zolot’s clients.

“As a lawyer, you’re always afraid of some clients that could get really upset with you, and we’re living in a very crazy time when people get very agitated very quickly,” attorney Mark Drucker said.

Other lawyers said this case could turn out to be a wake-up call in a profession where people handle bitter disputes.

“It’s definitely something that concerns me, and, it’s sad, he was out here trying to make a living,” attorney Jamel Oeser-Sweat said.

ALSO READ | Lack of drivers, NYC workers leads to yellow cab shortage during COVID pandemic

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]]> 0 9197 Two Belarusian coaches in sprinter drama booted from Olympic village Fri, 06 Aug 2021 04:34:00 +0000

TOKYO — Two Belarusian coaches were stripped of their accreditation and booted out of the Olympic Village on Friday, just days after a Belarusian sprinter refused to go home and found sanctuary in Poland.

The coaches, Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich, “were requested to leave the Olympic Village immediately and have done so … in the interest of the wellbeing of the athletes,” the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.

New details emerged about how quick-thinking sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was able to escape from her handlers Sunday by using Google Translate to communicate with Japanese police — and by claiming to have left something behind at the village to buy herself more time when police, at first, didn’t understand that she needed help.

The IOC identified Shimak and Maisevich as the coaches who took Tsimanouskaya by car to Haneda Airport outside Tokyo and tried to stick her on a plane to Minsk when she bolted to the police.

“They will be offered an opportunity to be heard” by the IOC disciplinary board, but for now they’re out, the IOC said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the coaches had left Japan. NBC News has reached out to the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus for comment.

Tsimanouskaya, 24, said at a news conference Thursday in Warsaw, Poland, that “I never imagined this situation would turn into a political scandal.”

“This was a dispute over the coaches forcing me to run a race I was not prepared for and which I had not trained for,” she said in Russian.

Asked how her teammates were reacting, Tsimanouskaya said, “I imagine most of them are trying not to end up like I did.”

Tsimanouskaya, who had competed in the women’s 100-meter heats, got into trouble after she criticized her coaches on Instagram for scheduling her to run the 4×400-meter relay. She revealed that the athletes who were supposed to run the race hadn’t completed the mandatory drug tests.

That didn’t go over well in Belarus, where President Alexander Lukashenko has been widely criticized for brutally cracking down on political opponents trying to remove him from an office he had held since 1994. Lukashenko’s son Viktor is president of Belarus’ Olympic committee.

Tsimanouskaya said she didn’t decide to defect until she spoke with her grandmother by cellphone on the ride to the airport. She said her grandmother warned her about a backlash in the state-run media, some of which reported that she was mentally ill, and told her not to come home.

Her parents, Tsimanouskaya said, urged her to flee to Poland, which has long cultural and historical ties to Belarus and has provided shelter to dozens of dissidents opposed to Lukashenko.

Polish media reported that Tsimanouskaya took off from Japan on Wednesday and flew first to Vienna to avoid flying over Belarusian airspace. Three months ago, Lukashenko forced a Ryanair flight carrying a dissident to land in Minsk; authorities arrested him and his girlfriend.

Tsimanouskaya’s husband, Arseni Zdanevich, fled Belarus after word of her escape got out to avoid arrest and is with her in Warsaw. She said she fears for the safety of her family still in Belarus and has a message for her country.

“I want to tell all Belarusians not to be afraid and, if they’re under pressure, speak out,” she said.

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Man’s vehicle shot at after he confronted car break-in suspects | Connecticut News Fri, 06 Aug 2021 03:44:47 +0000

CHESHIRE, CT (WFSB) – A man who confronted suspects believed to have been breaking into vehicles in his neighborhood overnight was inside his car when it was shot at early Thursday morning.

Just after 1:30 a.m., a man reached out to police reporting that his car was hit by a gunshot.

One Eyewitness News viewer was able to capture this video of a couple of people trying to break into a vehicle in Cheshire. Video provided by Michael Formica.

He told police that before the shooting he had seen a group of suspects in his neighborhood, breaking into cars.

That’s when he got into his own car and went out looking for the suspect’s vehicle.

He found them heading north on Maple Avenue, and pulled up next to the car and verbally confront the suspects.

Police said as their car pulled away from him, one of the passengers fired a gunshot at the man’s car, hitting it. He was not injured.

The suspect’s vehicle was described as a silver or gray Subaru Legacy sedan that was occupied by four black or Hispanic males, three of whom were wearing hooded sweatshirts.

Cheshire police are reminding the public that suspects trying to break into vehicles are potentially armed and dangerous.

If criminal activity is observed, police said to call and report it to your local police department.

Anyone with information about Thursday’s shooting is asked to contact the Cheshire Police Department at 203-271-5533.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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