National

Bette Nash, world's longest-serving flight attendant, dies at 88 years old

Sam Sweeney/ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- After serving the skies for nearly 67 years, Bette Nash, the world's longest-tenured flight attendant, has died at 88 years old.

"It is with sadness that we inform you of the passing of our dear colleague, Bette Nash, the longest-tenured flight attendant at American Airlines," according to a memo to flight attendants on Saturday obtained by ABC News.

Nash died on May 17 in hospice care after a recent breast cancer diagnosis, though she never officially retired from her role with American Airlines.

Nash began her career in Washington, D.C., in 1957 with Eastern Airlines, which later became American Airlines. Despite being able to choose any route in the world, Nash primarily worked the DC-NY-Boston Shuttle so she could be home every night to care for her son with Down Syndrome.

In 2022, she was honored with the Guinness World Record title for longest-serving flight attendant.


"With her quick wit, magnetic personality and passion for serving others, Bette set an example not just for the flight attendant profession but for all of us in the airline industry," Brady Byrnes, senior vice president of Inflight & Premium Guest Services for American Airlines, said in the memo.

When Nash first started her aviation career, passengers would purchase life insurance from a vending machine before boarding -- and flights cost $12 between New York and Washington. D.C., she told ABC News in a 2022 interview.

At the time, Nash reflected on the strict restrictions regarding weight and personal relationships she and other flight attendants had to endure to maintain their careers.


Nash said the airline would check on her at home to ensure she wasn't living with a man because flight attendants had to be single. The airline also weighed her before shifts and could suspend her if she gained too much weight, she said.

"You had to be a certain height, you had to be a certain weight. It used to be horrible. You put on a few pounds and you had to keep weighing yourself, and then if you stayed that way, they would take you off the payroll," Nash said during a flight in 2017 with ABC affiliate WJLA's cameras onboard.


Before her passing, Nash attended regular flight attendant training per Federal Aviation Administration rules.

"Bette was an industry icon, and those who flew with her knew her as a role model and consummate professional," the airline said in the memo, adding, "Fly high, Bette. You'll be missed."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Severe weather onslaught continues as big storms threaten holiday travel

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(NEW YORK) -- There is a major severe weather threat in the Plains on Saturday with more than 8 million people across seven states facing the possibility for dangerous weather.

A Moderate Risk (Level 4 out of 5) is in the outlook for parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri as the Storm Prediction Center warns of a few long-lived supercells capable of intense tornadoes that may occur with giant hail and destructive wind gusts expected.

Storms are expected to flare up during the late afternoon and continue into the evening hours on Saturday and those on the road for Memorial Day weekend are urged to pay attention to severe weather warnings.

On Sunday, the severe weather risk is expected to spread eastward and expand to include cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville and Little Rock with damaging winds, large hail and strong tornadoes all possible.

Memorial Day brings a lesser chance of severe weather but the threat is expected to reach the East Coast with cities like Charlotte, Richmond and Baltimore all facing the possibility for severe storms.

Flooding rain may also be an issue along the East Coast as the saturated ground of the Northeast is facing another batch of rain on Monday with 1 to 2 inches of rainfall prompting a Memorial Day flash flood potential.

Most of the rain moves in later on Memorial Day so people may be able to salvage some outdoor plans in the morning.

Meanwhile, big time heat continues around the Gulf Coast with record highs likely this holiday weekend in cities like Houston, New Orleans, and Miami. The humidity is expected to be severe as heat index values should jump into the 110 to 118 degree range.

Heat alerts are in effect all across south Texas with more than 8 million people under Heat Alerts them on Saturday and will likely be extended to cover the next few days.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Uvalde families sue makers of AR-15, 'Call of Duty,' Meta over mass shooting

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(UVALDE, Texas.) -- Families of the Uvalde victims have filed a lawsuit against Daniel Defense, the makers of the AR-15 assault rifle, and Activision, the publisher of the first-person shooter video game series "Call of Duty," and Meta, the parent company of Instagram, over what they claim was their role in promoting the gun used in the shooting.

The suit alleges the companies partnered to market the weapon to underage boys in the games and on social media.

The lawsuit filed on Friday, marked two years since the shooting took place.

Salvador Ramos -- the 18-year-old shooter who killed 19 students and two teachers and wounded 17 others -- purchased the DDM4V7 rifle a week before the shooting, months after he began playing a version of the game and made several Instagram posts about weapons, Josh Koskoff, the attorney representing the families, alleged.

"This three-headed monster knowingly exposed him to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve his problems and trained him to use it," Koskoff said in a statement.


Daniel Defense, Activision and Meta did not immediately comment to ABC News on the lawsuit.

Activision said in a statement to the New York Times that that “we express our deepest sympathies to the families” in Uvalde, but added that “millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to horrific acts.”

The suit contends the "Call of Duty" franchise contains realistic depictions of gun violence where "the weapons are authentic"

"They are designed to perfectly imitate their real-life counterparts in look, feel, recoil and accuracy," the suit contends.

The attorneys added, "With Instagram's blessing and assistance, purveyors of assault weapons can inundate teens with content that exalts lone gunmen, exploits tropes of sex and hypermasculinity and directs them where to buy their Call of Duty-tested weapon of choice."


"According to one firearms marketing agency, 'there are some major loopholes in … advertising regulations for Facebook and Instagram,' allowing organic posts promoting firearms to infiltrate the platform," the suit alleges.

The shooter, who was killed during the shooting by law enforcement, was "being courted through explicit, aggressive marketing," on Instagram, the suit alleged.

He downloaded the 2019 game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," in November 2021, the suit claimed. He has been playing a mobile offshoot of the game since he was 15, according to the suit.

After he purchased the game, the shooter allegedly began "researching firearms on his phone and browsing Daniel Defense's website," according to the suit.

The shooter allegedly created an account on Daniel Defense's website and put the DDM4 V7 in his cart, the lawsuit contends.


"The shooter became consumed with anticipation, compulsively googling how many days remained until his birthday on May 16," the suit alleges.

Friday's suit is the latest in the court criminal and civil court actions taken since the shooting.

This week, 19 families reached a settlement with the city of Uvalde. The city will pay out a total of $2 million from its insurance coverage.


As a part of the settlement, the families said they were involved in the efforts to improve the Uvalde Police Department. The settlement also mandates ways the city should support the community as residents heal, including creating a committee to design a permanent memorial funded by the city.

The families this week also announced lawsuits against 92 Texas Department of Public Safety officers. The lawsuit names the Uvalde School District and several of its employees as defendants, including the then-principal and then-school district police chief.

The families also plan to sue the federal government, their attorney said, noting that over 150 federal officers were at the school.

ABC News' Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.

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Families of Marines killed in 2022 Osprey crash file wrongful death lawsuit

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(SAN DIEGO) -- Families of five Marines killed in a June 2022 Osprey crash in southern California have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit, blaming companies that make the aircraft for the tragedy.

The lawsuit, filed this week, names Boeing, Rolls Royce and Bell Textron, which are each involved in producing the "tiltrotor" V-22 Osprey, capable of both taking off vertically like a helicopter and flying like an airplane -- by changing the angle of its propellers.

All five Marines aboard the Osprey were killed after a clutch problem caused a failure in the right engine during a training flight, sending the aircraft out of control over Glamis, California, according to a military report on its investigation of the disaster.

The investigation found the mishap was due to an "unpreventable" mechanical failure, and not any error on the part of pilots, crew, or maintenance personnel.


-Capt. John J. Sax, 33, from Placer, California-Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, from Rockingham, New Hampshire-Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, from Winnebago, Illinois-Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, from Johnson, Wyoming-Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, from Valencia, New Mexico

"John taught me to be brave, both through his life and his death. What happened to him, Nick, Nathan, Seth, and Evan on June 8th, 2022, should have never happened," said a statement by Amber Sax, wife of Capt. John Sax. "Our military members deserve equipment and aircraft free of failures, especially failures that can cause the loss of their lives."

Four families out of the five deceased Marines are being represented by the Winser Baum law firm.

"The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the families of Sax, Carlson, Rasmuson, and Strickland, accuses the companies of negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent misrepresentation for failing to make 'truthful statements to the government and to service members about the design, operation, and safety of V-22 Osprey aircraft,'" a Thursday press release from the law firm said.

The 2022 catastrophe was only one of several deadly Osprey crashes in recent years. In August 2023, three Marines were killed when their Osprey aircraft wend down during a training exercise off the northern coast of Australia. That November in Japan, eight airmen were killed in another crash.

After the November crash, the military grounded all of its Osprey, a precaution meant to give time to investigate potential problems and come up with safety recommendations. The military lifted the flight ban in early 2024, after emplacing several new protocols and restrictions.

"I have high confidence that the protocols we're putting in place will avoid a catastrophic event like this happening again in the future," said Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, in March.


"Despite assurances from companies like Bell-Boeing regarding the safety of these aircraft and their systems, the facts continue to raise concerns and reveal a starkly different reality," said Timothy Loranger, an attorney with Winser Baum, in a statement to ABC News.

A Boeing representative told ABC News on Friday, "We are unable to comment on pending litigation." A representative from Rolls-Royce said, "We are not commenting at this time." Bell Textron did not immediately respond to an ABC News request for comment.

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American Airlines backtracks on filing that blamed 9-year-old for being filmed in bathroom

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(NEW YORK) -- One day after lawyers for American Airlines argued a 9-year-old child acted negligently when she was recorded by a hidden camera in an airplane lavatory, the airline is backpedaling that defense.

FBI agents knocked on the 9-year-old's family home almost a year after the alleged incident in January 2023 to inform her parents that videos of the child were found on a phone belonging to a former flight attendant who is currently in custody.

The airline on Wednesday said in a statement about the filing, "Our outside legal counsel retained with our insurance company made an error in this filing. The included defense is not representative of our airline and we have directed it be amended this morning. We do not believe this child is at fault and we take the allegations involving a former team member very seriously. Our core mission is to care for people — and the foundation of that is the safety and security of our customers and team."

The court filing was submitted on behalf of American Airlines on Tuesday in response to a civil lawsuit filed by the 9-year-old's parents in Texas District Court against the airline and the flight attendant, Estes Carter Thompson III, who allegedly recorded the child.

The filing, which generally denies the allegations and raises several affirmative defenses, including contributory negligence, states, "Defendant would show that any injuries or illnesses alleged to have been sustained by Plaintiff, Mary Doe, were proximately caused by Plaintiff's own fault and negligence, were proximately caused by Plaintiff's use of the compromised lavatory, which she knew or should have known contained a visible and illuminated recording device."

The lawsuit was filed by Mary Doe's parents, alleging that Thompson secretly filmed their 9-year-old daughter in the airplane's lavatory on a flight to Los Angeles in January 2023.

Thompson is currently in federal custody after being charged with one count of attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of images of child sexual abuse depicting a prepubescent minor. He was arrested after a 14-year-old passenger on another flight discovered Thompson's hidden phone in the plane lavatory. Police said Thompson allegedly possessed recordings of four additional minor female passengers who used bathrooms aboard the same aircraft. One of those recordings was allegedly of Mary Doe. Thompson has pleaded not guilty.

Reacting to the airline's filing Tuesday, Jane Doe, mother of Mary Doe, said, "Instead of taking responsibility for this awful event, American Airlines is actually blaming our daughter for being filmed.

"How in good conscience could they even make such a suggestion? It both shocks and angers us. American Airlines has no shame," the mother added.

Responding to American Airlines backtracking on their court filing, Paul Llewellyn, a lawyer representing the family of the 9-year-old girl, said Wednesday, "American Airlines has clearly faced intense media and public backlash over their blaming of a 9 year old for being filmed. To claim that they filed the "wrong" [answer] is simply not credible. But the bell cannot be unwrung. They should never have taken such a position in the first place."


Llewellyn said the airline did not reach out to the family after the recording was discovered.

Representatives for American Airlines did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the attorney's claim that the airline did not reach out to the family.

The airline said Friday that they've retained new counsel to represent them in the new lawsuit.

Responding to the announcement about the airline's new counsel, Llewellyn said, "As a result of the intense media and public backlash surrounding the outrageous allegation, we are not surprised to learn that American Airlines fired its law firm. With the benefit of this new legal representation, we hope that American Airlines will now take a fresh look at the case and finally take some measure of responsibility for what happened to our client. Otherwise, we are very confident that a Texas jury will do the right thing and hold American Airlines responsible."

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Judge denies Alec Baldwin's bid to dismiss charge in deadly 'Rust' shooting

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(SANTA FE, N.M.) -- A New Mexico judge denied Alec Baldwin's motion to dismiss his involuntary manslaughter charge stemming from the 2021 fatal shooting on the set of "Rust" in an order on Friday.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer found that the prosecutors did not act in "bad faith" to secure a grand jury indictment, as was alleged in the motion.

Baldwin's trial is scheduled to start in July.

The actor was practicing a cross-draw in a church on the set of the Western film when the Colt .45 revolver fired a live round, fatally striking 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin, 66, who was also a producer on the film, was indicted by a grand jury on involuntary manslaughter in connection with Hutchins' death earlier this year, after prosecutors previously dropped the charge. He pleaded not guilty.


The ruling followed an at-times heated hearing held remotely on May 17 before Judge Marlowe Sommer.


Baldwin's attorney, Alex Spiro, argued that the prosecution engaged in "bad faith" in securing an indictment in the "high-pressure case" by failing to provide the grand jury with sufficient information or have defense witnesses available to testify.

"It should be dismissed for Mr. Baldwin, or any other person that comes before the grand jury and falls victim of an overzealous prosecutor," Spiro said.

Prosecutor Kari Morrissey told the judge there was no evidence that a "fix was in" or anything "nefarious" on the part of the prosecution occurred regarding the grand jury proceedings.

"I didn't hide any information from the grand jury," she said. "My intention, since we're talking about bad faith, was to ensure that the grand jury got information that was accurate and reliable."

Baldwin's attorneys filed the motion in March, two months after he was indicted by a grand jury.

In the defense's filing, his attorneys accused prosecutors of "unethical disparagement" of Baldwin and of "violating nearly every rule in the book" to secure a grand jury indictment.

"The State did not make Baldwin's witnesses available to testify. Nor did it present the exculpatory and favorable evidence to the grand jury," the motion to dismiss stated.

"The State prosecutors have engaged in this misconduct -- and publicly dragged Baldwin through the cesspool created by their improprieties -- without any regard for the fact that serious criminal charges have been hanging over his head for two and a half years. Enough is enough," the motion, filed in March, stated.

In a response filed in April, prosecutors claimed Baldwin missed concerns about the film's armorer and "compromised safety" on the set by demanding the crew and Gutierrez work faster.

"The combination of Hannah Gutierrez's negligence and inexperience and Alec Baldwin's complete lack of concern for the safety of those around him would prove deadly for Halyna Hutchins," prosecutors stated.


Baldwin's attorneys subsequently filed two other motions to dismiss the indictment that are still before the court, claiming the state destroyed "potentially useful evidence" -- the firearm involved in the shooting -- and failed to allege a criminal offense because Baldwin had no reason to believe the gun might contain live rounds and that the manipulation of the weapon could pose a "substantial risk" to Hutchins.

Prosecutors argued in a response to the former motion regarding the firearm that Baldwin's right to due process was not violated and that the defense failed to provide evidence "demonstrating that the firearm is exculpatory or potentially exculpatory." They said law enforcement "carefully documented" the revolver's condition prior to conducting the accidental discharge test that ultimately damaged parts of it.

In response to the latter motion, prosecutors argued that Baldwin disregarded "substantial and unjustifiable risk" by "violat[ing] decades-old guns safety and set safety standards by pointing the gun at a person, cocking it, and pulling the trigger."

"The facts are simple, guns kill and everyone, including Mr. Baldwin, knows it," the state wrote in its response.

Gutierrez, 27, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced in April to 18 months in prison, the maximum possible, in the shooting.

She appealed her conviction last week.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Uvalde families sue makers of AR-15, 'Call of Duty,' Meta over mass shooting

Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Families of the Uvalde victims have filed a lawsuit against Daniel Defense, the makers of the AR-15 assault rifle, and Activision, the publisher of the first-person shooter video game series "Call of Duty," and Meta, the parent company of Instagram over what they claim was their role in promoting the gun used in the shooting.

The suit alleges the companies partnered to market the weapon to underage boys in the games and on social media.

The lawsuit filed on Friday, marked two years since the shooting took place.

Salvador Ramos -- the 18-year-old shooter who killed 18 students and two teachers and wounded 17 others -- purchased the AR-15 a week before the shooting, months after he began playing the latest version of the game and made several Instagram posts about weapons, Josh Koskoff, the attorney representing the families, alleged.

"This three-headed monster knowingly exposed him to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve his problems and trained him to use it," Koskoff said in a statement.

Daniel Defense, Activision and Meta did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Pioneering Black female pilot for Air Force, United Airlines lands final flight

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(WASHINGTON) -- Pioneering aviator Captain Theresa M. Claiborne has retired after 43 years of flying, first as a second lieutenant and the first Black female pilot in the U.S. Air Force, and then as a captain at United Airlines.

Claiborne was hired by United in January 1990 after seven years of active duty with the Air Force and 13 years in the Air Force Reserves. Her final landing for United Thursday at Newark, New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport marked her retirement after 34 years with the air carrier.

Claiborne has logged more than 23,000 career flight hours.

"I plan to spend my days inspiring young people to follow their dreams by turning them into goals, shattering glass ceilings, and defying all odds," Claiborne wrote, in part, in an Instagram post marking the occasion. "I'll be calling in my friends from all around the world to share their experiences to empower the next generation of trailblazers who are destined for greatness."

"It's been a pleasure to be your Captain and an absolute honor to fly the friendly skies," her post concluded.

Claiborne was one of 25 Black female pilots at United Airlines at the time of her retirement, according to her website. United's 2023 U.S. demographic data report shows that 15.1% of their frontline employees – which encompasses pilots, flight attendance, gate agents, baggage handlers and caterers – are Black or African American.

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 93.7% of professional pilots in the U.S. are white and 92.5% are male.

In 2022, Claiborne told ABC News that flight costs and generational and economic disadvantages are major factors in the lack of pilots of color. The average total cost for all training and licensing required by the FAA to become a commercial pilot is nearly $100,000.

"That's a lot of money. And financial institutions are not jumping at the bit to loan that kind of money to an aviation student," Claiborne said. "We don't have these long generations of pilots in the family."

There are fewer than 200 Black women pilots in the U.S., according to the Sisters of the Skies Foundation, a nonprofit that Claiborne co-founded in 2016 that's dedicated to increasing that number through scholarships and mentorships.

"I guess maybe I did make an impact, and that's important," Claiborne told New York's WABC TV. "When you put your heart and soul into something and it turns out that people appreciated it and people listened and got something out of it, it makes it all the better."

(A previous version of this story erroneously stated that Capt. Claiborne was the first Black female pilot for United Airlines.)

ABC News' Ayesha Ali contributed to this report.

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Wrongful death lawsuit filed over mislabeled Stew Leonard's cookie

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(NEW YORK) -- A wrongful death lawsuit alleges a 25-year-old woman died as a result of "gross negligence and reckless indifference" after eating a cookie sold by the grocery chain Stew Leonard's that was not properly labeled as containing peanuts.

Órla Baxendale, a native of East Lancashire, United Kingdom, who had moved to New York to pursue a career as a dancer, died on Jan. 11 from complications of anaphylaxis due to a peanut allergy, according to the lawsuit.

Baxendale had eaten a Florentine cookie sold by Stew Leonard's that was not labeled as containing peanuts, according to the lawsuit and Connecticut officials. Following her death, the grocery store recalled the seasonal product because it contained undeclared peanuts as well as eggs.

The cookies were produced by Cookies United, a wholesaler based in Islip, New York, and labeled with the Stew Leonard's brand name, Connecticut officials said. Baxendale's death is the only one associated with the mislabeled products, according to Connecticut officials.

Following Baxendale's death, Cookies United said it notified multiple Stew Leonard's employees via email in July 2023 that the cookies now contained peanuts. Stew Leonard's president and CEO Stew Leonard Jr. said at the time that the company's chief safety officer was not notified of the change in the product's recipe.

The lawsuit -- filed Thursday on behalf of the administrators of Baxendale's estate, who include her mother -- alleges that Stew Leonard's and Cookies United were "careless and negligent" in causing her death.

The lawsuit alleges Cookies United failed to properly notify Stew Leonard's that the Florentine cookies contained peanuts, and that Stew Leonard's ignored the notice the company did receive on the ingredient change. It further claims that the systems in place at Stew Leonard's to maintain and update the proper labels were "broken, unreliable, inherently dangerous, undependable, untrustworthy, erratic, and deplorable," further evidenced by additional recalls issued in the wake of the Florentine cookie recall.

"They had all those emails all that time in advance and did nothing about it," Howard Hershenhorn, a senior partner at the law firm Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman and Mackauf, which filed the lawsuit, told ABC News.

A spokesperson for Stew Leonard's told ABC News the company cannot comment on pending litigation.

ABC News did not immediately hear back from the general counsel for Cookies United to an email seeking comment.

Baxendale was at a house being rented for a dance troupe she was performing with in Connecticut when she ate the cookie, Hershenhorn said. She used an EpiPen and was transported to an area hospital where she died, he said. Baxendale had a severe peanut allergy and was "beyond careful," he said.

The lawsuit is seeking a "substantial amount" of compensatory and punitive damages to be determined at trial over Baxendale's death, he said.

"In addition to that, it means so much to the family that with this lawsuit, we want to make certain that this never happens again with any food product that Stew Leonard's sells or Cookies United manufactures," Hershenhorn said.

In a video statement released in January, Leonard said the company was "devastated" by the news of her death and defended its label process.

"We bought it from an outside supplier and unfortunately, the supplier changed the recipe and started going from soy nuts to peanuts and our chief safety officer here at Stew Leonard's was never notified," Leonard said.

"We have a very rigorous process that we use as far as labeling. We take labels very seriously, especially peanuts," he continued.

The company said at the time that it was working with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection and the supplier to "determine the cause of the labeling error."

Cookies United said at the time that the death was a "tragedy that should have never happened and our sympathy is with the family of this Stew Leonard's customer."

Walker Flanary, general counsel for Cookies United, said in a statement the company was cooperating with the New York State Department of Agriculture and "have been informed we are in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations relating to this product."

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Memorial Day weekend weather: Tornadoes and record-high temperatures

ABC

(NEW YORK) -- It's been a very active week for severe storms and tornadoes -- and more rough weather is in the forecast for Memorial Day weekend.

On Thursday, there were more than 2 dozen reported tornadoes across Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Thursday also brought damaging winds that knocked down trees and power lines across Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

On Friday, as people hit the road and head to the airport for Memorial Day weekend, more severe weather is in the forecast from Austin, Texas, to Chicago.

Tornadoes, damaging winds and hail are possible in Dallas, Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis and Chicago.

On Saturday, Kansas and Oklahoma could see strong tornadoes, severe wind gusts and large hail.

On Sunday, cities in the bull's-eye for tornadoes will be St. Louis; Louisville, Kentucky; and Indianapolis.

On Memorial Day, the Northeast will face heavy rain and thunderstorms. Flash flooding is possible along the Interstate 95 corridor, especially around Philadelphia and just west of New York City.

Record highs are also in the forecast this weekend for Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.


Monday could be the hottest Memorial Day on record for San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and Miami.


The heat index -- what the temperature feels like with humidity -- could top 100 degrees.

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CDC preparing for 'possibility of increased risk to human health' from bird flu

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(NEW YORK) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an alert on Friday that it is preparing for the "possibility of increased risk to human health" from bird flu following an outbreak among dairy cows and two confirmed human cases.

However, the federal health agency also said the risk of bird flu, also known as avian influenza, to people in the U.S. is currently low.

Federal and state public health officials said in late March they were investigating an illness among primarily older dairy cows in Kansas, New Mexico and Texas and causing symptoms including decreased lactation and low appetite.

The first case was confirmed in a U.S. farm worker in Texas and the second case in a Michigan farm worker who had regular exposure to livestock-infected bird flu.

"Though currently circulating A (H5N1) viruses do not have the ability to easily spread to and between people, it is possible that influenza A(H5N1) viruses could change in ways that allow them to easily infect people and to efficiently spread between people, potentially causing a pandemic," the CDC wrote in its alert.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Missouri state representative says daughter, son-in-law killed in Haiti: 'My heart is broken'

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(NEW YORK) -- The daughter and son-in-law of Missouri state representative Ben Baker have been killed by a gang in Haiti, according to the lawmaker and officials in the country.

Baker said his daughter, Natalie Lloyd, and son-in-law, Davy Lloyd, were missionaries in Haiti, where residents are facing unprecedented levels of gang violence.

"They were attacked by gangs this evening and were both killed," Baker, a Republican, wrote on Facebook early Friday morning.

"My heart is broken in a thousand pieces," Baker said. "I’ve never felt this kind of pain."

Police said the two Americans were attacked by three cars while they were on their way back from church in Lison. They were killed after the gangs looted their house, police said.

"Absolutely heartbreaking news," Missouri Gov. Mike Parson wrote on X.

"Natalie and Davy were two young people sharing peace, comfort, and God's word," Parson said. "In light of this unimaginable, senseless tragedy, we remember the good they offered the world."

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Bryan Hagerich, father arrested for bringing ammunition to Turks and Caicos, will return to US after paying fine

ABC

(NEW YORK) -- American Bryan Hagerich was spared a lengthy prison sentence under Turks and Caicos' strict gun laws and will return to the U.S. after paying a fine. The father of two was caught with ammunition in his baggage earlier this year.

A judge sentenced Hagerich on Friday to a suspended 52-week sentence with a fine of $6,700. Upon paying his fine, he was given his passport and can return to the United States without serving the sentence.

Hagerich had faced a possible 12-year sentence, the country's minimum for possessing guns or ammunition, under a strict law in place aimed at addressing rising crime and gang violence. However, the judge found exceptional circumstances and that the mandatory minimum of 12 years was unjust and disproportionate to the crime committed.

After paying the fine, Hagerich told reporters he was "absolutely elated" to be returning home to his children.

"I can't wait to get home," Hagerich said. "This is what we've been waiting for for the last 101 days."

"All of our prayers have been answered," he added.


The Pennsylvania father of two was arrested in February while returning home from a family vacation after ammunition was found in his checked luggage. He pleaded guilty to possession of 20 rounds of ammunition.

He told ABC News he forgot hunting ammunition was in his bag while he was traveling.

"I'm a man of integrity, character," he told ABC News in an interview alongside his wife Ashley earlier this month. "I did not have intent in this."

Following the sentencing, Turks and Caicos Islands' premier said that "justice has been served as the law intended."


"As we have said, the Firearms Act includes consideration for exceptional circumstances and today’s decision reflects our commitment to judicial independence along with upholding the law," Premier C. Washington Misick said in a statement. "Residents and visitors can be confident that the Turks and Caicos Islands are dedicated to safety and compassion as we protect the safety and rights of all."

Four other American tourists have been charged with possessing ammunition, three of whom remain released on bail on Turks and Caicos. Two of them are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty, including one who was able to return to the U.S. due to medical reasons.

Hagerich said they have "set some precedent" with his sentencing.

"My work, our work, is not done until all of them get home," he said.

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Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker behind 'Super Size Me' documentary, dies from cancer

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(NEW YORK) -- Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker behind the award-winning documentary "Super Size Me," died from cancer complications, his family announced on Friday.

"Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas, and generosity," his brother, Craig Spurlock, said in a statement. "The world has lost a true creative genius and a special man."

Spurlock died Thursday, according to his family. He was 53 years old.

How eating ultra-processed foods could lead to increased risk of death, study shows
The documentarian and director from West Virginia famously ate fast food for 30 days to create his hit 2004 film, during which Spurlock claimed to only consume McDonald's menu items for all three meals, which highlighted the radical impact that diet had on his physical and psychological health.

The New York University alum later followed up with a 2017 sequel, "Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!," which was Spurlock's final documentary.

In the sequel, Spurlock explored how the fast food industry attempted to rebrand under a healthier guise since his first go around. This time, he opened his own fast-food fried chicken restaurant in order to expose the marketing tactics fast food companies had been using on consumers in the 12 years since his original documentary.

Spurlock also starred in and created the 2011 metacinema documentary “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” which was paid for entirely by sponsors as he dove head first into the world of product placement, marketing and advertising.

He is survived by two sons, Laken and Kallen; mom Phyllis Spurlock; dad Ben; brothers Craig and Barry; and ex-wives Alexandra Jamieson and Sara Bernstein, the mothers of his two children.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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