US – East Region Archives:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — A public memorial service for American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, will be held at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on September 13, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Tuesday.

A NASA spokesperson said family and friends of Armstrong will join the public memorial service to honor the life and career of the astronaut. Among those attending will be NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, the bishop of Washington.

“Dignitaries, community and political leaders, and members of the NASA family, including current and former astronauts will attend,” a statement from NASA said. “A very limited number of seats will be made available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Details regarding the service and participants will be released as plans are finalized.”

Armstrong served as commander during the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned lunar landing mission, in July 1969. He immediately rose to fame around the world for being the first man to land a craft on the moon and then the first man to step on its surface, after which he and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin explored it for over two hours.

People from around the world gathered around their television sets to watch coverage of the moon landing and to hear Armstrong’s famous words as he stepped onto the moon’s surface. “That is one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said on July 20, 1969, as he became a part of history.

Armstrong died at a hospital in Ohio on August 25 as a result of complications from cardiovascular procedures. He had underwent surgery due to blocked coronary arteries earlier that month, just days after celebrating his 82nd birthday. It remained long unclear whether a public memorial service would be held as Armstrong often shunned publicity.

Armstrong was laid to rest during a private, family memorial service in Cincinnati, Ohio, last Friday. U.S. President Barack Obama signed a proclamation which ordered the flag of the United States to be flown at half-staff on the day of the funeral, which was attended by a number of politicians.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — Hackers belonging to a group which calls itself ‘AntiSec’ on Tuesday claimed it infiltrated the laptop of an FBI agent in New York and stole a file containing some personal information and identification numbers for more than 12 million Apple products.

A post on the text-sharing website Pastebin said ‘Anonymous’ affiliate AntiSec hacked the laptop of FBI agent Christopher Stangl during the second week of March 2012 by using a vulnerability in the computer’s Java software. The group said it downloaded a CSV file which turned out to be a list of 12,367,232 unique device identifiers (UDIDs) for Apple devices.

AntiSec said the file also contained some user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zip codes, cellphone numbers, addresses and other personal details. But the hackers acknowledged that the personal details fields were often empty, leaving the list incomplete.

To demonstrate it has the information, AntiSec released more than 1 million of the Apple numbers. “We will probably see their damage control teams going hard lobbying media with bullshits to discredit this, but well, whatever, at least we tried and eventually, looking at the massive number of devices concerned, someone should care about it,” the group said in its statement.

It added: “Also we think it’s the right moment to release this knowing that Apple is looking for alternatives for those UDID currently and since a while blocked axx to it, but well, in this case it’s too late for those concerned owners on the list. We always thought it was a really bad idea. that hardware coded IDs for devices concept should be eradicated from any device on the market in the future.”

Soon after the release of the data, the FBI’s official Twitter account denied that the agency has this information. “Statement soon on reports that one of our laptops with personal info was hacked. We never had info in question. Bottom Line: TOTALLY FALSE,” the tweet said.

An FBI spokesman later emailed a brief statement. “The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed,” he said. “At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.”

The leak raised questions online why the FBI would be in possession of such data. “No other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose,” AntiSec said in its statement. The group said it believes the data is for an FBI “tracking people project” and suggested the Apple devices are being tracked, but AntiSec provided no evidence to support that claim.

Technology security experts described the breach as serious but said the information will not allow hackers to break into peoples’ iPhones.

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BRENTWOOD, NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — A worker was killed on late Saturday when he reached under a spinning amusement ride at a carnival on New York’s Long Island to grab something, police said on Monday morning. State and federal authorities are investigating the death.

The accident happened at around 7:25 p.m. local time on Saturday when the carnival worker, identified as 22-year-old Michael Austin of Mastic, had just gotten off of a break from his job at The Feast of Mother Cabrini fair in Brentwood, a hamlet of the Town of Islip in Suffolk County on the eastern portion of Long Island.

“He bent down and reached under the Scat ride to grab something,” said Commissioner Edward Webber of the Suffolk County Police Department, referring to a ride which features spinning baskets on a rotating arm. “When Austin stood up, he was struck in the head by the ride and was knocked to the ground at approximately 7:25 p.m.”

Webber said Austin was airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital by a Suffolk County Police helicopter but was later pronounced dead. “The ride, one of several at the fair that is being held at Suffolk County Community College, located on Crooked Hill Road, Brentwood, had passengers at the time of the incident but they were not injured,” he added.

Both the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Suffolk County Department of Labor were notified and are investigating the incident.

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OLD BRIDGE, NEW JERSEY (BNO NEWS) — A supermarket employee opened fire at his colleagues in New Jersey on early Friday morning, killing two people before turning the gun on himself, officials said. The motive was not immediately known but the gunman had previously hinted at wanting to kill people.

The attacker, identified as 23-year-old Terrence Tyler of Brooklyn, New York, opened fire at a Pathmark supermarket in Old Bridge, a township in Middlesex County, at around 4 a.m. local time on Friday. It happened as fifteen employees were stocking shelves before the store was due to open at 6 a.m.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said during a press conference that Tyler had left the supermarket at around 3:30 a.m. local time before returning in camouflage clothing and armed with an AK-47 and handgun about 30 minutes later. He fired at least 16 shots at his co-workers, killing two people before fatally shooting himself.

The victims, both graduates of Old Bridge High School, were identified as 18-year-old Cristina LoBrutto, who was working a friend’s shift, and 24-year-old Bryan Breen. They were both standing in an aisle when Tyler opened fire. The other employees in the building were able to escape safely.

The motive of the attack remained unclear on Saturday, but Kaplan said investigators do not believe LoBrutto and Breen were specifically targeted. Tyler had hinted at wanting to kill co-workers in messages about three years ago on the social networking website Twitter, according to reports.

“Is it normal to want to kill ALL of ur (your) coworkers? Maybe but I’m actually in a position where I can,” Tyler wrote in a tweet in June 2009. He was not referring to employees at the Pathmark supermarket in Old Bridge because Tyler was hired there only two weeks before Friday’s shooting.

About four months later, in October 2009, Tyler posted another series of tweets in which he again indicated he wanted to kill people. “I’m starting to see why pip (people) go on killin(g) sprees…. Because these mothafuckers are reeeeeeally pushin(g) my ‘kill everyone I see button,’” the tweet said, adding: “I no (know) murdering sum1 (someone) cuz (because) u hate them is wrong but being here makes me think about that…. really does.”

A message several days earlier asked whether he was crazy or everyone else is. “I’m parinoid (sic)… it’s good and bad cuz (because) nobody will eva (ever) catch me slipping but the constant state of alertness is drivin(g) me insane,” he said, adding a month later: “I c (see) y (why) [people] go on violent killin(g) sprees … I really do.”

A brief statement from The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), which purchased Pathmark in 2007, said the company was “terribly saddened” by Friday’s shooting. “We express our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and our appreciation to local law enforcement,” the statement said. “Our main concern is the safety of our associates and customers. We continue to work with local authorities during the investigation.”

Authorities said Tyler, who neighbors said was engaged, previously served in the military as a Marine but had not been deployed overseas.

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NEW YORK CITY (BNO NEWS) — A gunman was killed and nine bystanders were injured Friday in a shootout near the Empire State Building in New York City, officials said on Saturday. The gunman had minutes earlier shot and killed a former co-worker.

The incident began at around 9 a.m. local time when 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson was in a dispute with one of his former co-workers in front of Hazan Imports Corp. near the Empire State Building. Johnson allegedly produced a pistol and shot his 41-year-old victim in the head, killing him.

The gunman had been working as a designer of women’s accessories at Hazan Imports Corp. for about six years until he was laid off last year due to a downsizing at the company. Details about the dispute with the 41-year-old victim, whose identity has not yet been released, were not immediately known.

“The subject then fled eastbound on West 33rd Street to Fifth Avenue when he walked northbound along the curb-line with a .45-caliber handgun secreted in a black bag that he had under his arm,” New York Police Department (NYPD) Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference.

A construction worker who had followed Johnson from the shooting at Hazan Imports Corp. alerted two uniformed police officers who were on post in front of the Empire State Building’s Fifth Avenue entrance as part of the NYPD’s counterterrorism coverage. The officers quickly approached Johnson as he attempted to flee the area.

“As the two officers approached Johnson he pulled his .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol from his bag and fired on the officers who returned fire, killing him,” Kelly said. “An additional nine individuals were either wounded or grazed during the exchange, six of whom were removed to Bellevue Hospital and three to New York Presbyterian/Cornell Medical Center. All are not likely to die.”

Police on Saturday said the nine people who were injured were hit by bullets from the officers, who fired a total of 16 rounds into a busy sidewalk. But Kelly defended the officers, saying they had no choice but to shoot Johnson, whose body was covered with 10 bullet wounds in the chest, arms and legs.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — Low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways Corp. has been fined $90,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) after it failed to inform passengers of their right to leave the aircraft while it sat at the gate during a lengthy delay, officials said.

The incident happened on March 3 when JetBlue Flight 645 was scheduled to depart New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport at 7:30 p.m. local time and arrive at San Francisco International Airport in California at 11:16 p.m. local time. The boarding process began on time at 7:06 p.m., but the doors to the aircraft did not close until 9:55 p.m.

As the doors of the aircraft were open, passengers would have been able to exit the aircraft at any time on their own, but DOT rules require airlines to inform passengers of this possibility. An investigation into the March incident revealed that passengers on the aircraft were not notified that they had the right to leave the aircraft while it was stuck at the gate with its doors open.

“Airlines may not leave passengers stranded indefinitely aboard an aircraft, whether on the tarmac or at the gate, and passengers must be told if they are able to leave the plane,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “At DOT, we are committed to protecting consumers when they travel by air, and will continue to take enforcement action when our rules are violated.”

JetBlue spokeswoman Tamara Young, however, said the doors to the aircraft remained open for only one hour and 49 minutes. “When the aircraft door was closed and the plane initially pushed back, three customers requested to return to the gate,” she said. “At that time, the aircraft immediately returned to the gate and one customer elected to deplane.”

DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office also found that JetBlue’s contingency plan for long tarmac delays did not contain the assurance, as required by DOT rules, that passengers on delayed flights will receive notifications about the status of the delay, and the reasons for the delay, every 30 minutes.

Young acknowledged this and said the airline has updated its contingency plan. “Our policy regarding onboard ground delays, outlined in our Bill of Rights, is industry-leading,” she said. “However, we did not provide our customers with regular updates in this instance. This is not an example of the JetBlue experience. For this, we fully acknowledge our fault and will comply with the DOT ruling. We now have a fully compliant plan in place.”

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JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI (BNO NEWS) — U.S. Senator Scott Brown on Monday called on fellow Republican Todd Akin to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, a day after Akin suggested during a television interview that instances of “legitimate rape” rarely result in pregnancy.

Akin, who has served as the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s 2nd congressional district since January 2001 and is currently locked in a hard-fought campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, made the controversial remarks during an interview on KTVI-TV on Sunday morning.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin said when defending his position on abortion. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

The remarks immediately set off a firestorm of criticism, and even fellow Republicans joined in to distance themselves from Akin’s remarks.

Republican Scott Brown, the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, called on Akin to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race in his state. “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong,” Brown said. “There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for U.S. Senate in Missouri.”

McCaskill also condemned Akin’s remarks but said it should be up to voters to decide whether he is fit to be a U.S. Senator. “It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape,” she said. “The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive.”

Akin later released a statement in which he said he misspoke, but did not apologize. “In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,” he said.

He added: “I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.”

On the national stage, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney described Akin’s remarks as “inexcusable.” “Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney told the conservative website National Review Online. “Like missions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”

If Akin wants to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race, he would have to do so before 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday, the deadline set by Missouri election law.

McCaskill’s campaign used Akin’s remarks on Sunday to highlight several other controversial incidents in his past. The campaign noted that Akin co-sponsored a bill last year which would redefine a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not rape in general, which critics said could include statutory rape or rape through the use of drugs or verbal threats.

And according to a local newspaper report in May 1991, Akin voted for an anti-marital-rape law but only after questioning whether it could be misused. Akin was reportedly concerned that the anti-marital-rape law could be misused in a “real messy divorce as a tool and legal weapon to beat up on the husband.”

Additionally, in 2005, Akin was among about 50 congressmen who voted against the creation of a national sex offender registry database that required those convicted of a sex crime to register before completing a prison sentence, The Hill newspaper reported earlier this month. The bill also increased mandatory sentences for those convicted of molesting children.

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ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (BNO NEWS) — U.S. evangelist Billy Graham was released from a hospital in North Carolina Tuesday after being hospitalized for several days for treatment of a bronchial infection, his spokesman said, adding that he is in good health and good spirits.

The well-known 93-year-old evangelist was admitted to Mission Hospital in Asheville on early Sunday morning and administered antibiotics after developing a pulmonary infection which turned out to be bronchitis. He returned to his home in Montreat on Tuesday afternoon after responding well to treatment.

“His treatment for bronchial infection was prompt and successful and he is feeling much better today,” the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) said in a statement. “Mr. Graham will require some days of rest and recuperation at home before returning completely to his usual routine.”

Graham’s spokesman, A. Larry Ross, said the evangelist kept his routine while at Mission Hospital and interacted with family and medical staff. “Billy Graham’s pulmonologist said he had a quick recovery and responded well to treatment and, despite the illness, is a remarkably healthy 93-year-old,” Ross said.

As he departed Mission Hospital, Graham commended the doctors and nurses at the facility for their care during his stay. “Mission Hospital’s dedicated professionals administered prompt treatment to restore my health and allow me to return home quickly,” Graham said. He also expressed gratitude for the prayers and letters he received from people around the world.

Graham was previously hospitalized for successful treatment of pneumonia in November 2011. His staff said he has been in overall good health since his release, though he mostly remains at his home in Montreat due to his old age. Nonetheless, he is still actively involved in his ministry and is working on a new book summarizing his Gospel message over the past seven decades of public ministry.

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NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Helen Gurley Brown, the legendary editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and whose book encouraged young women around the world to enjoy being single and take pleasure in sex, died Monday at a hospital in New York. She was 90 years old.

Gurley Brown died at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center on Monday after a brief stay, according to Hearst Corporation, giving no other details.

“Helen Gurley Brown was an icon. Her formula for honest and straightforward advice about relationships, career and beauty revolutionized the magazine industry,” said Frank A. Bennack, Jr., CEO of Hearst Corporation. “She lived every day of her life to the fullest and will always be remembered as the quintessential ‘Cosmo girl.’ She will be greatly missed.”

Widely heralded as a legend, Gurley Brown helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with her 1962 book ‘Sex and the Single Girl’ which dominated the bestseller lists for more than a year. The book, which has been published in 28 countries and translated into 16 languages, encouraged young women to enjoy being single, find fulfillment in work and non-marital relationships with men, and take pleasure in sex.

“Before I wrote my book, the thought was that sex was for men and women only caved in to please men,” Gurley Brown explained in 2006 when asked about her book, which was followed by the 1964 bestseller ‘Sex and the Office.’ “But I wrote what I knew to be true – that sex is pleasurable for both women and men.”

Gurley Brown continued her work, writing a syndicated newspaper advice column, making record albums and radio spots, and pitching plays, television shows, books, and new magazines for single women. A magazine called ‘Femme’ attracted the interest of Hearst Magazines, but instead of a new title, they agreed to let her try to revive Cosmopolitan magazine.

Gurley Brown officially became editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan in July 1965 and quickly launched it into publishing history. The magazine grew to 300 pages in the 1980s, a third of which were highly lucrative advertisements. Since then, its sales and advertising have risen spectacularly and Cosmopolitan remains the top-selling young women’s magazine in the world with 64 international editions which are distributed in 35 languages in more than 100 countries.

“Helen was an inspiration, a true success story. Her energy, enthusiasm and true passion for women’s issues unleashed a platform for women worldwide,” said David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines. “She brought the subject that every woman wanted to know about but nobody talked about, to life, literally, in Cosmo’s pages.”

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ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (BNO NEWS) — U.S. evangelist Billy Graham was taken to a hospital in North Carolina Sunday for a pulmonary infection thought to be bronchitis, doctors said, adding that he is alert and resting comfortably.

Pulmonologist David Pucci said the well-known evangelist was admitted to Mission Hospital in Asheville on early Sunday morning and is being administered antibiotics after developing a ‘slight fever’ overnight. “Bill Graham remains vibrant, alert and in good spirits with no fever after admission to Mission Hospital,” his spokesman A. Larry Ross said. “Doctors are encouraged.”

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) said Graham, 93, watched a televised service at his home church, the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, on Sunday and later enjoyed a visit from his daughter, Gigi, and one of his grandchildren. “They ate lunch together and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon,” BGEA said in a statement.

On early Monday, Ross said Graham had rested well during his first night at Mission Hospital and was up having breakfast. “Billy Graham watched the Olympic closing ceremony Sunday night, prompting fond memories of crusades he held in both London and Rio over 70 years,” he added.

Graham was previously hospitalized for successful treatment of pneumonia in November 2011. His staff said he has been in overall good health since his release, though he mostly remained at his home in Montreat due to his old age. Nonetheless, he is still actively involved in his ministry and is working on a new book summarizing his Gospel message over the past seven decades of public ministry.

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