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Senate approves $1.3 trillion spending bill

The Senate approved a $1.3 trillion spending measure early Friday morning, The New York Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

The Senate voted 65-32 in favor of the measure, which will keep the federal government open through September;

On Thursday, the House passed the bill by a 256-167 margin.

The measure, which was 2,232 pages in length, was passed less than 24 hours after it had been introduced, the Times reported.

The bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his approval.

The legislation will increase funding for the military and more domestic spending, CNN reported.

The spending package also includes money to fight the opioid epidemic and fund more than $21 billion in infrastructure projects, CNN reported.

The bill does not address the fate of young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children and have been shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the Times reported.

Tennessee woman allegedly opens fire on woman in church parking lot

A Tennessee woman is in custody after she allegedly fired shots at another woman who was dropping off her child.

>> Read more trending news

Freddrica Blair is charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon, Memphis police said.

Police said Blair shot twice into the air at the Abundant Grace Fellowship church parking lot, while her other toddler was in the backseat of her nearby car.

The whole scene played out less than 100 yards away from high-ranking Memphis Police Department officers and a television crew, who were at the Whitehaven church for a juvenile justice workshop.

Officers said they overheard an argument taking place on the southeast side of the church parking lot. The argument quickly escalated to a shooting, police said.

After the verbal altercation, Blair allegedly got out with a gun, started screaming and fired two shots into the air in the direction of the woman, her child’s father, and her other child.

“We were here for a community event and we heard a gunshot, got out of the car, and turned around to see what it was. (I) heard another gunshot, then saw a lady with a gun in her hand,” Lt. Col. Jeff Tow said. “I immediately went over there, pulled her out of the car, got the gun.”

One of Blair's children was with the other woman at the nearby car wash, alongside the child’s father. Apparently, a drop-off was supposed to happen, police said.

The mother with the gun had a girl in the backseat of her car.

Police reports said another woman was trying to apologize for previous encounters with the child.

The victim refused to prosecute and filled out a refusal form. 

“You could tell that she knew she had made a mistake," Tow said.

Police said Blair placed the handgun behind the driver's seat of the vehicle when officers approached the car.

After securing the gun and the child, Tow gave Blair a stern lecture.

“She got a fatherly discussion for me as well,” he said.

The two children were picked up by a relative. It is unclear if the Department of Child Services will get involved.

Feds: Postal worker on disability got $94,000, was in 35 motorcycle races

A former Ohio U.S. Postal Service worker is alleged to have participated in 35 motorcycle races during an 18-month period in which he was disabled or on light duty, according to federal court documents.

>> Read more trending news

Jerry French was indicted last week in Dayton’s U.S. District Court on counts of making false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to medical personnel and the postal service which led to Office of Workers’ Compensation Benefits of $93,971.42.

French is at least the eighth area postal worker to face allegations of federal crimes in the past few years.

Former West Carrollton postal worker Laticha Schroyer had pleaded guilty in a case where she was seen vacationing while injured, but she recently asked to withdraw her plea by bill of information.

No defense attorney is listed for French in federal court documents, and no dates have been scheduled in the case.

An indictment filed March 15 detailed how French allegedly injured his knee while falling on ice when he was delivering mail on Feb. 2, 2011.

French filled out a claim for disability pay and was off from work for a year until returning to one hour of limited duty per day, the indictment said.

The Department of Labor accepted French’s injury as a sprained knee in April 2011, according to court documents.

The indictment said French allegedly told two doctors that he could not perform most work duties, that his pain level was 8 out of 10 and that he was in pain 24/7.

A doctor amended his report to say an MRI indicated a meniscus tear and the Department of Labor approved an arthroscopic surgery, the indictment said.

The indictment said that in October 2011, another doctor performed the surgery and later submitted a report showing there was no meniscus tear and that the knee was normal.

On Dec. 1, 2011, French completed a medical history form at Kettering Medical Center in which he stated he had extreme difficulty doing tasks such as usual work, housework, hobbies, recreational and sporting activities, the indictment said.

French said, according to the document, that he had “moderate difficulty” doing activities including putting on socks, doling light activities, getting in and out of vehicles and sitting for one hour.

The indictment said in March 2012, a doctor reported French’s pain representations were out of proportion to the pathology.

In July 2012, French told a third doctor that he could no longer ride motorcycles because of his knee injury, according to the indictment.

The document said in September 2013, a Department of Labor form he submitted limited him to zero hours for lifting weight, walking, climbing, kneeling, bending, stooping and operating machinery.

In October 2013, French was interviewed by special agents from the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, the document said.

During that interview, French said he was physically unable to work, go up and down stairs, kneel, ride or race his motorcycles, pass a National Hot Rod Association physical, fill his nitrous oxide tank, drive a manual car or put pressure on his left leg.

The indictment said that from May 13, 2011, to Oct. 23, 2013, agents of the Inspector General observed French “participating in approximately thirty-five motorcycle races and one car race at various racetracks in Ohio and Indiana.”

The document also said agents saw French loading trailers, carrying equipment and moving metal tanks.

The indictment doesn’t explain why it was filed several years after the events and federal prosecutors didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

Bomb at FedEx facility targeted Austin Med Spa employee, worker’s mom says

A bomb found at a FedEx facility in Southeast Austin on Tuesday morning was addressed to an employee at Austin Med Spa, according to spa workers and the employee’s mother. 

>> Read more trending news 

Anita Ward, a nurse at Austin Med Spa, said FBI agents and Austin police told her Tuesday morning that her daughter, who also works at the spa in downtown Austin, was to be the recipient of the unexploded bomb at a FedEx sorting facility at 4117 McKinney Falls Parkway near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. 

Ward, who did not want to give her daughter’s name, said her daughter does not know Mark Conditt, who police say terrorized Austin with a series of bomb attacks that left two people dead and five injured.

Anita Ward said Conditt also did not look familiar to anyone who works at the spa.

>> Related: Austin bombings: Click here for complete coverage

“We’ve been trying to just keep it in the down low just for the FBI and police,” Ward said. “All of us here are just very thankful for the FBI and police and the work they’ve been doing.”

“I got to see a little bit of the inside of (the investigative process) and they were very quick at checking and stopping this package, and so we completely 100 percent credit this to them for stopping this from being delivered to our office,” she said.

>> Related: Austin bomber on recording: ‘I wish I were sorry but I am not’ 

Ward’s daughter attends Austin Community College, but did not attend the school from 2010 to 2012, when Conditt was pursuing a business administration degree but did not graduate.

They’re still investigating, we’re still providing them information,” Ward said. “We pretty much know as much as (authorities) can release to us. We still have a lot of unanswered questions.”

For now, Ward said she and her daughter are scared but thankful for the work of the FBI and Austin police. “We’ve both been very actively concerned and involved with this, her being targeted.”

Police said the unexploded package at the FedEx facility in Southeast Austin was one of two sent from a Sunset Valley FedEx Office store. Authorities determined it was a bomb and detonated in a controlled manner, they said.

>> Related: Austin bomb victim's father thanks authorities in letter, questions son's death

The first three victims, all in East Austin, were two black men who were killed in the attacks and a Hispanic woman. Two white men were injured on Sunday when they accidentally triggered a trip wire attached to a bomb in Southwest Austin. Ward and her daughter are white.

Teen crashes through driver’s education office during road test

A teenager in Buffalo, Minnesota, may not be road-ready, yet, after crashing into the building of the driver’s license exam office.

>> Read more trending news 

The 17-year-old was taking her road test Wednesday afternoon when “she inadvertently put the vehicle in drive instead of reverse,” police said in a Facebook post.

“This led to the vehicle lurching forward when she accelerated, causing the vehicle to move forward and over the curb, striking the building,” the post said.

A photo of the scene shows the vehicle partly inside the office with bricks and shattered glass littering the sidewalk.

A 60-year-old woman, identified as the license examiner, was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

>> Related: Brawl breaks out at IHOP after manager confronts unruly party

The teen driver was not injured and she wasn’t charged in the accident, but it’s a safe beat she didn’t pass her driver’s test.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch 16 times larger than estimates: 87,000 tons of plastic and growing

The giant mass of floating plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, now measures almost 620,000 square miles and is as much as 16 times larger than previous estimates, according to a new study.

>> Read more trending news 

The huge mass of soupy trash between California and Hawaii in what’s known as the Pacific gyre contains 87,000 tons of plastic, researchers reported in the study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, and scientists said with the massive global plastic pollution continuing, it’s still growing.

Data between 1970 and 2015 shows the plastic levels in the garbage patch are increasing at a faster rate than in surrounding waters.

The biggest chunk of garbage in the patch, 46 percent of it, is fishing nets, according to the research. Other types of commercial fishing gear, including eel traps, ropes and oyster spacers account for a majority of the rest of the trash. 

Oceanographer and lead researcher with the Ocean Cleanup Foundation Laurent Lebreton told National Geographic scientists wanted to study the bigger pieces of trash in the patch.

“I knew there would be a lot of fishing gear, but 46 percent was unexpectedly high,” Lebreton said. “Initially, we thought fishing gear would be more in the 20 percent range. That is the accepted number [for marine debris] globally - 20 percent from fishing sources and 80 percent from land.”

The fishing nets that litter the world’s oceans entangle whales, turtles and seals, and the plastic in the seas kills or injures 100,000 marine animals every year, National Geographic reported.

Researchers said there are still many unknowns about the garbage patch, including the level of plastic pollution in deeper waters and on the sea floor, and that more study is needed,

The findings are part of a three-year mapping effort involving Ocean Cleanup, an international team of scientists, six universities and an aerial sensor company. 


National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster out; former U.S. ambassador John Bolton in

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster is resigning from the Trump administration and will be replaced by former U.S. ambassador John Bolton, according to a tweet Thursday afternoon from President Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending newsWho is H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security advisor

Austin bomber on recording: ‘I wish I were sorry but I am not’

The man who killed two people and wounded five others with a series of bomb attacks in the Austin area left an audio recording for police that includes a haunting revelation about himself.

>> Read more trending news 

“I wish I were sorry but I am not,” Mark Conditt said in the cell phone recording, according to sources familiar with his statements. He described himself as a “psychopath” and said he feels as though he has been disturbed since childhood.

Conditt also promised that he would go inside a crowded McDonald’s to blow himself up if he thought authorities were closing in on him, according to law enforcement sources briefed on the contents of the audio. The sources declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak about the recording, which police are using as evidence in the case.

>> Related: Austin bomb victim's father thanks authorities in letter, questions son's death

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley confirmed the existence of the audio in a news conference Wednesday, but provided limited details about its specifics. He called it a “confession.”

Police said Conditt, 23, detonated a bomb inside his car as officers closed in on him along Interstate 35 early Wednesday. He had a laptop computer with him that was destroyed in the blast, but officials said they think it may have contained other recordings.

>> Related: 55 hours of terror, and a final blast in Austin serial bombings

According to the sources, he began his 28-minute statement, which was recorded after 9 p.m. on Tuesday, saying “it’s me again” and blamed himself for helping investigators find him by going into a FedEx store on Brodie Lane in Sunset Valley to mail two explosive devices, one of which blew up at a transfer facility in Schertz.

That decision, Conditt realized, allowed him to be captured on video cameras inside the store and for outside cameras to snap photographs of his license plate, which authorities used to learn his identity.

>> Related: How was Mark Anthony Conditt caught? ‘Exotic’ batteries and cell-site analysis

Conditt also acknowledged that he recognized his actions left family members without loved ones, and caused permanent injuries to other victims, including an elderly woman, but said little else about them.

The sources also repeated what Manley said at the news conference: That Conditt gave no hint about how or why he chose the targets of the bomb attacks.

Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Toys R Us founder Charles Lazarus dies at 94

Charles Lazarus, who founded what would become Toys R Us in 1948, has died, company officials confirmed Thursday. He was 94.

>> Read more trending news

The news came just days after officials with the toy store chain announced it would be closing its U.S. stores.

“There have been many sad moments for Toys R Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus,” Toys R Us officials wrote Thursday in a tweet. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ family and loved ones.”

Michael Goldstein, a friend of Lazarus’ who formerly served as chairman of Toys R Us, told Bloomberg News that Lazarus died Thursday in Manhattan.

"He was the father of the toy business," Goldstein told CNN Money. "He knew the toys and loved the toys and loved the kids who would shop in the stores. His face lit up when he watched kids playing with toys."

>> Related: Toys R Us closings: What happens to 31,000 employees, your gift cards?

In a 1986 article, The Atlantic magazine credited Lazarus as “the person most responsible for loosening Santa’s grip” on the toy industry, expanding sales from a holiday-only to a year-round business.

Lazarus served as a cryptographer during World War II and took over his family’s bicycle shop in Washington D.C. after he returned to the U.S. in 1923, according to The Atlantic. He started to sell baby furniture, The Atlantic reported, but he noticed that he rarely got return customers because of the sturdiness of his stock.

>> Related: Amazon looking to buy abandoned Toys R Us storefronts

"Toys are a great kind of thing to sell, because they don't last that long," he told the magazine in 1986.

Lazarus served as head of Toys R Us through the company’s sale in 1966 to Interstate Department Stores Inc., and through Interstate’s bankruptcy in 1974, according to Bloomberg.

Toys R Us dominated the toy store business in the 1980s and early '90s, when it was one of the first of the category killers -- big stores that are so totally devoted to one thing and have such impressive selection that they drive smaller competitors out of business. Lazarus, who remained at the helm until 1994, stacked the merchandise high to give shoppers the feeling it had an infinite number of toys.

>> Related: Toys R Us closing sales: What you need to know when liquidation begins

He stepped down as chairman of the company in 1998, Bloomberg reported.

Officials with Toys R Us announced last week that the company planned to close or sell its 735 stores nationwide, including its Babies R Us stores. The superstore chain could no longer bear the weight of its heavy debt load and relentless trends that hurt its business, namely competition from the likes of Amazon, discounters like Walmart, and mobile games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

See Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s official wedding invitation

Kensington Palace has revealed the invitations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

People reported that the invitations for the ceremony were unveiled Thursday.

>> Read more trending news 

The intricate invitations were printed through the process of die stamping on a 1930s machine by Lottie Small, the palace said. Small recently completed an apprenticeship at Barnard and Westwood, a printing and bookbinding company in London. The company has made royal invitations since 1985.

“The invitations follow many years of royal tradition and have been made by @BarnardWestwood,” the palace said. “They feature the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink.”

The wedding of Markle, 36, and Prince Harry, 33, will be at St. George’s Chapel. The invitation is for the ceremony and the lunch reception at St. George’s Hall, the latter of which will being given by Queen Elizabeth. The palace said that later that evening the 200 guests will go to a reception by Prince Charles.

Prince Harry and Markle will be married May 19.

Add beets to your diet! Here’s why they could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease

New research finds beets could help slow the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from the American Chemical Society recently conducted a study to explore foods that may slow the progress of the illness.

First they examined the possible cause of the condition. Although it’s unknown, doctors have previously pinpointed beta-amyloid, a sticky protein that can disrupt communication between the brain cells and neurons. When it clings to metals, such as copper or iron, the beta-amyloid peptides misfold and clump together, causing inflammation and oxidation. 

Therefore, the scientists targeted foods known to improve oxygen flow and cognitive functions, including beets. The purple veggie has a compound called betanin that binds to metals, which could prevent the misfold of the peptides. 

>> Related: Study: Diabetes drug ‘significantly reverses memory loss’ for mice with Alzheimer’s

o test their hypothesis, the scientists measured oxidation levels of the beta-amyloid when it was mixed with a betanin mixture, and they found that oxidation decreased by up to 90 percent exposed to the beet compound.

“Our data suggest that betanin, a compound in beet extract, shows some promise as an inhibitor of certain chemical reactions in the brain that are involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” coauthor Li-June Ming said in a statement. 

While they’re unsure if betanin can completely stop misfolding, they said it certainly reduces oxidation. With their results, they believe they can help develop medicine that will alleviate some of the long-term effects of Alzheimer’s.

>> Related: Inability to smell peppermint linked to dementia, study says 

“This is just a first step,” Ming said, “but we hope that our findings will encourage other scientists to look for structures similar to betanin that could be used to synthesize drugs that could make life a bit easier for those who suffer from this disease.”

The researchers plan to present their study at the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society this week.

Woman claims hospital left needle in her spine for 14 years

A woman says she’s suffered chronic nerve pain for 14 years -- because Naval Hospital Jacksonville employees left a piece of a needle in her spine during an epidural. 

Amy Bright is now suing in federal court

>> Read more trending news 

Bright says she expected the birth of her son to be one of the happiest moments of her life -- but she says back pain has been constant since her son's birth.

“Sleeping is hard, just because it burns constantly," Bright said. 

Bright says Naval Hospital Jacksonville initially diagnosed her with sciatica, but a CT scan 14 years later revealed something else -- a needle embedded in her spine.

Bright says Naval Hospital Jacksonville knew about it the whole time. The needle remains lodged in Bright's back. 

“I was so mad that they hid this from me," Bright said. 

In her claim, Bright says Naval Hospital Jacksonville failed to properly install the needle -- and broke it off in her spine. They also failed to inform her or put it on medical records, she claims

Bright's attorney says a judge will decide if she is entitled to any damages. 

A cure for blindness? Stem cell therapy shows promising results

Scientists in the United Kingdom believe a cure for the most common cause of blindness could be ready within just five years.

>> Read more trending news 

A revolutionary new stem cell therapy has helped two patients regain enough of their sight to be able to read. The results of the trial were published this week in the academic journal Nature.

The two patients, a man and a woman, had advanced age-related macular degeneration (or AMD), a problem that destroys the central vision. Before the procedure, neither was able to even see a book, according to their surgeon. After the procedure, their sight has improved dramatically.

>> Related: Florida man going blind sees beach for last time

"The first patient has got six lines improvement, which is astounding, and the second has five lines and he seems to be getting better as the months go by. They are both really reading,” Pete Coffey of the University College London, one of the scientists behind the medical breakthrough, told The Guardian.

“At best [the woman] could read about one word a minute with magnification. She is now reading 80 words a minute and [the man] is reading 50.”

Coffey said that the results were even better than what he and his colleague, Lyndon Da Cruz, a retinal surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, initially hoped for.

"We said we'd get three [out of the proposed 10] patients with vision recovery of three lines. They probably wouldn't get reading vision back," he said.

>> Related: Possible autism breakthrough using children’s own stem cells 

"In the months before the operation my sight was really poor and I couldn't see anything out of my right eye," 86-year-old Douglas Waters, a patient involved in the study, told the BBC. "It's brilliant what the team have done and I feel so lucky to have been given my sight back.”

According to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, AMD is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries. Across the United States, more than 10 million people suffer from the disease. Individuals with AMD experience loss of vision due to the death of a thin layer of light-sensing retinal cells at the back of the eye, located in a region called the macular.

The individuals involved in this trial had a severe form of the disease referred to as "wet" AMD. This can cause sight loss to occur rapidly, often within a matter of days or weeks.

>> Related: How to help blind, visually impaired Twitter users ‘see’ your images

"What's exciting about this study is that the patients recorded an increase in vision. Patients with very poor vision are chosen for phase 1 trials because of their 'untested' nature," Dr. Carmel Toomes, associate professor at the Leeds Institutes of Molecular Medicine, who was not involved in the research, told The Independent. "To see an improvement is a good sign that this therapy may help patients in the future, although further studies are needed before real conclusions can be drawn."

"We've restored vision where there was none," Da Cruz said. "As you get older, parts of you stop working and for the first time we've been able to take a cell and make it into a specific part of the eye that's failing and put it back in the eye and get vision back."

>> Related: Can these specialized stem cells help aging hearts turn back the clock? 

The researchers hope their trials will lead to an affordable 'off-the-shelf' therapy within as little as five years.

As for the patients involved with the trial, they're just grateful to see again. "I can now read the newspaper and help my wife out with the gardening," Waters said.

Austin bomb victim's father thanks authorities in letter, questions son's death

The father of the first Austin bombing victim, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House, thanked local and federal law enforcement officers for their handling of the investigation in a letter released Thursday that also questioned the meaning behind the attacks.

>> Read more trending news

“I wish to express my deepest appreciation for the exhaustive efforts and work of the Austin Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency, and other agencies that participated in this investigation of the series of explosive devices,” Elliot House, Anthony House’s father, wrote in a letter first reported by CBS News.

>> Related: Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

“Hopefully, the death of the bomb maker suspect ends the ring of fear and terror in the Austin area, although it leaves a few questions, shared with both the family of my son, Anthony House, and 17-year-old Draylen Mason, both being black and the only deaths in the series of bombings,” House continued. “We are plagued with how they were selected and why.”

Anthony House was the father of an 8-year-old girl and a Texas State University graduate.

Elliot House said he also appreciated the “personal condolence” from Christopher Combs, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the San Antonio Field Division, and Mayor Steve Adler. House noted that he especially appreciated that Adler “apologized for the initial investigation of the bombing involving my son by APD.”

>> Related: Austin bombings: How to help the victims

Many in the community have criticized the Austin Police Department for its handling and characterization of the first bombing. Several people in an East Austin town hall last week questioned whether Austin police would have more readily sounded the alarm and warned the community about the package bombs sooner had the first bombing killed a white person in a neighborhood west of Interstate 35.

>> Related: 55 hours of terror, and a final blast in Austin serial bombings

Elliot House expressed his grief, saying that the death of his son in the bombing left him childless, as his other son, Corey Alan House, was killed in 1994 at age 17.

“I have no more sons. I continue to mourn my losses,” House wrote in the letter to authorities. “But continue the good work.”

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Woman steals waiter's tip at Memphis restaurant

A Facebook post is going viral in Memphis, but the people featured in it likely wish it wasn’t.

The post, which has been shared more than 339,000 times, reads as follows:

It features two videos.

In the first video, you see two women getting ready to leave Casa Mexicana on Hacks Cross. One of them places money on the table – a tip for the waiter – and they walk away.

>> Read more trending news 

Once they leave, a woman in the neighboring booth points to the table with the money. She looks over her shoulder and around the restaurant and talks to the man she’s sitting with.

Eventually, she gets up and takes the money off the table. After hurrying back to her booth, the woman stuffs the money in her shirt and the couple continues looking around.

In the second video, the couple looks around a little more and keeps talking before finally leaving the restaurant.

A waiter quickly walks into frame and goes to the table where the money was left. He lifts up the chip basket and a plate, but the money is nowhere to be found. 

Panic! At the Disco announces new album and tour

Fresh off of a surprise show in Cleveland, Panic! At the Disco has announced a new tour and album.

Billboard reported that the album, called “Pray for the Wicked,” will be released June 22.

>> Read more trending news 

“After being away in New York for months doing Kinky Boots, I just wanted to hang out at home when I got back to LA,” Panic! At the Disco lead singer Brendon Urie said in a statement. “I was so revved up that I asked some friends to come over to my home studio to help me write about all the incredible things I’ve experienced the last couple of years. ‘Pray For The Wicked’ is my thank you to our fans and the most fun I’ve ever had making album.”

“Pray for the Wicked” is available for pre-order. According to a news release, fans who pre-order the 11-track album will get a pre-sale code for early access to tickets. Pre-sale starts March 30 at 9 a.m. local time. General tickets go on sale March 30 at 12 p.m. local time. Singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko and rock band Arizona will be guests on some tour dates.

To coincide with the record, the pop-punk group is going on an arena tour in the U.S. starting July 11 and ending Aug. 15

Dates for the “Pray for the Wicked Tour” are below. More information on tickets, guests and dates can be found at the Panic! At the Disco official website

July 11 -  Minneapolis at Target CenterJuly 13 - Indianapolis at Bankers Life FieldhouseJuly 14 - Detroit at Little Caesars ArenaJuly 15 - Columbus, Ohio, at Nationwide ArenaJuly 17 - Chicago at United CenterJuly 18 - Pittsburgh at PPG Paints ArenaJuly 20 - Uniondale, New York, at NYCB Live: Nassau ColiseumJuly 21 - Baltimore, at Royal Farms ArenaJuly 22 - Toronto at Air Canada CentreJuly 24 - New York at Madison Square GardenJuly 25 - Boston at TD GardenJuly 27 - Philadelphia at Wells Fargo CenterJuly 28 - Raleigh, North Carolina, at NC ArenaJuly 29 - Duluth, Georgia, at Infinite Energy CenterJuly 31 - Sunrise, Florida, at BB&T CenterAug. 1 - Tampa, Florida, at Amalie ArenaAug. 3 - Houston at Toyota CenterAug. 4 - Dallas at American Airlines CenterAug. 5 - Tulsa, Oklahoma, at BOK CenterAug. 7 - Denver at Pepsi CenterAug. 8 - Salt Lake City at Vivint Smart Home ArenaAug. 10 - Seattle at KeyArenaAug. 11 - Vancouver, British Columbia, at Rogers ArenaAug. 12 - Portland, Oregon, at Moda CenterAug. 14 - San Jose, California, at SAP CenterAug. 15 - Los Angeles  at STAPLES CenterAug. 17 - Glendale, Arizona, Gila River ArenaAug. 18 - Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena

‘Gun! Gun! Gun!’ Body cam, aerial video shows police kill unarmed black man 

Sacramento police officials have released the harrowing audio and video, including footage from two officers’ body cameras, in the shooting death of an unarmed black man killed by police Sunday night

Stephon Alonzo Clark, 23, was shot multiple times in the backyard of his grandparents’ house, where he lived with several siblings. Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn previously said the two unnamed officers involved in the shooting, who are on administrative leave while the case remains under investigation, fired on Clark 20 times. 

The footage was made public after it was shared with Clark’s family, per department policy.

The body camera footage shows that the officers opened fire upon Clark seconds after encountering him on his patio. It also shows that, while the two officers involved ordered Clark to show them his hands, neither identified themselves as police officers. 

Clark’s aunt, Saquoia Durham, told The Sacramento Bee that her nephew did not stand a chance.

“As soon as they did the command, they started shooting,” Durham told the newspaper. “They said, ‘Put your hands up, gun’ and then they just let loose on my nephew. They didn’t give him a chance to put his hands up or anything, and then when they shot him down, they knew they messed up.”

Family members and local activists also wondered why one of the videos shows, about six minutes after the shooting, an officer saying, “Hey, mute.” Officers are then seen muting the microphones on their body cameras for the rest of the recording released to the public. 

A police spokesman told the Bee there are a number of reasons officers may choose to mute their microphones, but did not go into detail.

The officers who shot at Clark said they believed he was armed, but all that was found with his body was a cellphone. The killing has sparked protests and demands from Clark’s family and friends, as well as Sacramento officials, for answers about why an unarmed man was killed outside his own home. 

The Bee reported that the Rev. Al Sharpton has been in touch with Clark’s family and plans to travel to Sacramento to help ensure that Clark has a proper burial. The family has established a GoFundMe page to help fund his funeral arrangements, which include being buried next to a brother also cut down by gun violence, the Bee reported.

>> Related: 20 bullets fired: Police kill unarmed black man holding cellphone in own backyard

Clark’s grandparents and other family members were inside the house as the shooting took place. His grandfather called 911 after hearing the gunshots, and his grandmother, Sequita Thompson, said she only learned the dead man was her grandson when she looked out the window after hours of police questioning on what she heard that night. 

“I opened that curtain and he was dead. I started screaming,” Thompson told the Bee

The shooting and the events surrounding it are laid out in the audio and video released Wednesday night, beginning with a 911 call from a resident in Clark’s neighborhood. The caller tells a dispatcher that there is a man going through the neighborhood and breaking vehicle windows, including those on the caller’s truck. 

“What did he use to break the windows?” the dispatcher asks.

“I have no idea,” the man responds. “I heard the noise and I came outside and he was standing right there on the side of my truck, and I grabbed my ball bat … (unintelligible) … I didn’t hit him, or nothing like that.”

The caller tells the dispatcher that the man is now in another yard, trying to get over a fence, but that he is trapped because of a neighbor’s dogs. 

The dispatcher asks for a description of the man, and the caller tells her he could not determine the man’s race because of the dark hoodie he was wearing. The suspect was wearing pants that appeared to have white stripes or dots on them, he says. 

During silent periods in the call, at least one dog can be heard barking in the background. The dispatcher continues to get the scant details of the vandal’s appearance: he’s tall, at more than 6 feet, and thin. 

The dispatcher tells the caller that the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office is sending a helicopter to search for the man and keep an eye on him until city police officers arrive. The weekend was a busy one because of St. Patrick’s Day, she says. 

The caller, a mechanic, tells the dispatcher that he keeps his tools in his truck, so the sound of his windows being broken alarmed him. 

“He’s lucky to be alive, if I would have gotten a hold of him,” the caller says, laughing. 

At that point in the 911 call, the officers who would shoot and kill Clark were about a block and a half away, according to the dispatcher. 

Audio from the dispatch office gives a glance into the same time frame from the viewpoint of law enforcement officers. The dispatcher relays a description of the accused vandal, and a male voice from the helicopter overhead mentions two large dogs as the only heat sources he can see on the infrared camera. 

A few minutes later, the deputy in the helicopter comes back on, telling the responding officers below he sees a man looking in the window of a home. 

“Two yards to the south of you, I’ve got a guy in a backyard looking into their window,” the deputy says. “He’s picking up a -- looks like a toolbar, or some sort of thing. He might be trying to break the window. Stand by.”

A moment later, the deputy says, “Okay, he’s breaking the window! Running south! Running to the south!”

The footage from the circling helicopter does not show Clark smashing the window, but picks up immediately afterward. The deputy is relaying his movements as Clark, seen only as a white figure in the camera’s infrared vision, jumps onto what appears to be a shed and vaults over the fence into his grandparents’ yard. 

At that point, he stops running and walks up to a vehicle between the fence and his grandparents’ home, briefly looking inside. 

As the helicopter continues to circle, the two police officers on the ground can be seen on the road in front of Clark’s grandparents’ home. One of the officers spots Clark and begins to run toward him, gun drawn. 

His partner follows and, as both officers run in his direction, Clark goes around the corner into the backyard of the house. Both officers follow, with one running into the open for a second before grabbing his partner and taking cover at the corner of the house. 

The officers huddle there and, as the helicopter’s camera gets a full view of the backyard, shots can be seen fired from the officers’ guns. 

Clark falls to the ground on his grandparents’ patio as the bullets ricochet off the pavement around him. He appears to try crawling away before becoming still. 

“Shots fired! Shots fired!” the deputy in the helicopter says. 

“Copy, shots fired,” the dispatcher responds. 

One of the officers on the ground, sounding out of breath, tells the dispatcher that the man is down, with no movement. He requests that backup officers arrive from a specific direction and asks that fire medics be en route. 

The officers have been criticized for waiting five minutes, until backup arrived, before rendering aid to Clark. Fire medics pronounced him dead at the scene. 

At one point, the dispatcher asks the officers if they also need medics. 

“Negative,” an officer responds. “Neither one of us are hit, we’re okay. Suspect’s down.”

The footage from the officers’ body cameras prior to the gunfire starts out quiet, as they make their way through the neighborhood, searching for the man suspected of vandalizing people’s vehicles. In the videos, the officers are seen asking a neighbor’s permission to search her backyard for the man. 

As they search, the dogs heard in the original 911 call are much closer. The officers clear a shed before heading back onto the street. 

A few moments later, the officers begin running toward the area where the deputy in the helicopter spotted Clark looking into the vehicle window next to his grandparents’ house. 

“Show me your hands! Show me your hands! Stop!” one officer screams at Clark when he spots him. He runs after Clark, who is heading around the corner toward the patio.

As the officer rounds the corner, he again screams, “Show me your hands!” and, “Gun!” before pushing his partner back.

As both officers huddle at the corner, the same officer yells, “Show me your hands! Gun! Gun! Gun!” 

They then both open fire.

See the body camera footage from both officers, beginning when they first spot Clark, below. Warning: The images and language may be disturbing for some readers.

Footage from the second officer’s body camera shows his hands holding his service weapon around the corner of the house as he and his partner unleash a barrage of bullets. It is not clear from the location of his body camera, which would be attached to his chest, if the second officer could see who he was shooting at. 

The second officer’s body camera captured the fiery blasts from his partner’s gun as the gunshots rang out. 

“Five seven, shots fired,” the first officer breathlessly tells the dispatcher. “Subject down.”

Over the next few minutes, the officers continue ordering Clark to show them his hands, with no response.

The second officer says that Clark was “still pointing” when he saw him prior to the shooting. They both spend a few moments quietly trying to catch their breath, during which time the officers determine that neither of them was shot.

The officers agree to do a “tactical reload,” a maneuver in which law enforcement officers reload recently-fired weapons with fresh, full magazines to ensure they don’t run out of ammunition. The second officer estimated that he fired his weapon about five times, though his body camera footage shows more.

Hahn has previously said that each officer fired 10 times. 

The second officer’s body camera footage shows that additional police officers began to show up about that time, with one officer asking if the suspect had a gun. 

“We haven’t secured it,” the second officer said. “We’re not moving in until we have more (backup).”

The first officer is also heard saying, “(Clark’s) still down, he’s not moving. We can’t see the gun.”

>> Read more trending news

The officers tell their colleagues that Clark walked toward them with his hands out in front of him and that he held something that looked like a gun. 

As the officers speak, their flashlights highlight Clark’s body, lying face-down on the patio. They continue to search from a distance for a gun.

They also continue to try to get a response from Clark. 

“Hey, can you hear us?” one officer yells. 

“We need to know if you’re okay,” a female officer says. “We need to get you medics, but we can’t go over there to get you help unless we know you don’t have your weapon.”

They continue trying to speak to the motionless Clark as sirens are heard in the background. 

“Sir, can you move?” the female officer asks. “Can you hear us?”

At least one officer keeps a gun trained on Clark the entire time and, for a few moments, the second of the first two officers on the scene suggests firing a non-lethal weapon at his body to ensure he isn’t faking unconsciousness, the footage shows. It does not appear that the officers did so.

A few minutes later, the footage shows the officers finally approaching Clark’s body. 

“Hey, if one of you guys want to go hands, cover him … oh, (expletive),” the second officer says as they get to Clark.

The body camera shows the edge of something flat and light-colored peeking out from underneath his body. As they handcuff his limp hands behind his back and turn him over to start CPR, their flashlights show what the item is.

It is the iPhone Clark was carrying.

Boy Scout with Down syndrome denied Eagle project, stripped of merit badges, father sues

It is one of the most prestigious awards a Boy Scout can earn, but a teen in Utah has had his hopes of becoming an Eagle Scout dashed after his merit badges were stripped and his Eagle project suspended.

Logan Blythe is a 15-year-old scout who has Down syndrome. The Boy Scouts of America, the national organization that oversees local troops, voided the merit badges Logan had earned, saying that modifications agreed to by the family, his troop and the district advancement committee would not be accepted by the national level organization. The family found out about the issues in November via email from the district’s advancement committee, The Beatrice Daily Sun reported

>> Read more trending news 

The Utah National Parks Chapter told Chad Blythe, Logan’s father, in the email, “I never should have allowed this to be approved. I sincerely apologize and regret any false hope we have given,” KSL reported.

Blythe was told that there are no alternatives to the steps his son needed to earn Star Life Eagle, that the teen had to do the requirements as written and that includes the leadership responsibilities, KSL reported.

But Logan, according to his father, performs at cognitive level of a 4-year-old and is not able to write or hold a conversation, The Washington Post reported.

There are accomodations made for advancement for Scouts who either have physical or mental disabilities, but the accommodations must be approved after a formal application is received, the Daily Sun reported.

>>Click here to see the process that a scout with special needs must take to attain advancement and earn merit badges.

Logan’s father is now taking the Boy Scouts of America and the local council to court for “outrageous and reckless conduct,” The Associated Press reported.

The elder Blythe said that his son is being discriminated against in a statement he posted on YouTube.

Blythe’s suit against the Boy Scouts requests that the organization accommodates Logan, the Post reported.

Boy Scouts of America has responded to the countrywide media coverage saying that he could still earn the rank of Eagle Scout and that they hope to work with Logan and his family to help him attain the advancement, the Post reported.

In a statement to the paper, the BSA wrote, “The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for him.”

Blythe says he has not been contacted by the Boy Scouts of America, according to the Post.

Scouts have until they are 18 to earn the rank of Eagle, but Scouts with special needs are able to apply for extensions to retain their eligibility after they become adults. 

Attorney representing Trump in Russia probe resigns

The top lawyer representing President Donald Trump in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election resigned Thursday, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Attorney John Dowd’s resignation came days after he called for an end to Mueller’s investigation, claiming it was “manufactured” by former FBI Director James Comey and based on an infamous -- and mostly unverified -- dossier that was funded in part by the Democratic National Committee and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“I love the president and wish him well,” Dowd wrote Thursday in an email to The Washington Post.

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation

The newspaper reported that Dowd’s departure was “a largely mutual decision” based on Trump’s recent belief that Dowd couldn’t handle Mueller’s investigation and the attorney’s frustration with the president’s recent additions to his legal team. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow earlier this week brought one of his friends, veteran Washington attorney Joseph diGenova, onto the team, according to The New York Times.

It was not immediately clear who would take over as lead of the president’s legal team. 

>> Related: Trump slams Mueller, McCabe in Sunday tweets

“John Dowd is a friend and has been a valuable member of our legal team,” Sekulow said Thursday in a statement to the Times. “We will continue our ongoing representation of the president and our cooperation with the office of special counsel.”

CNN reported that Dowd’s exit could hint that Trump’s legal team plans to become more aggressive in defending the president.

>> Related: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation

Dowd, who took over Trump’s legal team last summer, has advised the president to cooperate in Mueller’s investigation and refrain from publicly attacking the special counsel, the Times reported. Still, Trump has targeted Mueller for criticism in recent days, repeating his claims that the probe is little more than a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

Last month, Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three organizations on charges of interfering in the election. Three of Trump's associates -- former national security adviser Michael Flynn, deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and campaign aide George Papadopoulos -- have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate. Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to a variety of money laundering and other criminal charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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