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U.S. service member dies during an Iraqi Security Force mission

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mivpiv/iStock(NEW YORK) — A United States service member who was advising Iraqi security forces was killed Saturday in the northern Nineveh province of Iraq, according to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq.

“One U.S. service member died today during an Iraqi Security Force mission in Ninewah province, Iraq, while advising and accompanying the (Iraqi security forces) during a planned operation,” the statement said.

The name of the service member will be withheld until notification of next of kin, the statement said.

Approximately 5,000 troops are currently stationed in Iraq as part of a security agreement with the Iraqi government to train, advise, and assist the country’s troops in the fight against Islamic State, which overran large parts of Iraq in 2014.

Iraqi forces have recently launched operations in the country’s north to weed out remnants of Islamic State group.

This is the first combat-related death of an American service member in Iraq this year. Two American service members and a Defense Department civilian were killed in Manbij, Syria in January as part of the US-led coalition fighting ISIS there.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein say he 'will never face the consequences'

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iStock(NEW YORK) — A number of accusers of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein expressed anger Saturday following his apparent suicide, saying that justice was not served and the disgraced financier — in the words of one — “will never face the consequences.”

“I am extremely mad and hurt thinking he once again thought he was above us and took the easy way out,” said Jena-Lisa Jones, 30, who has alleged that Epstein abused her in Florida when she was 14.

Jones said Epstein’s death showed his cowardice.

Epstein, 66, was set to stand trial next year on charges of sex trafficking dozens of girls at his homes in New York and Florida.

Jennifer Araoz, 32, who claimed that Epstein raped her when she was 15, called on authorities to “pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers.”

“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court. We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people,” Araoz said.

His death came a day after a federal appellate court in New York unsealed around 2,000 pages of documents from a now-settled civil defamation case between Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged Epstein victim, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime Epstein associate who Giuffre says recruited her and brought her to Epstein’s home for a massage.

Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Giuffre, said the timing of Epstein’s apparent suicide was “no coincidence.”

“We are hopeful that the government will continue to investigate and will focus on those who participated and facilitated Epstein’s horrifying sex trafficking scheme that damaged so many,” McCawley said in a statement. “The victims await the true justice they have sought and deserve.”

Law enforcement sources told ABC News the criminal case against Epstein will not end with his death. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan will continue to evaluate the evidence and hear from his accusers, the sources said.

Brad Edwards, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who represents several accusers, urged any additional accusers to still come forward with allegations.

“The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused,” Edwards said. “We will continue to represent his victims and will not stop in their pursuit of finality and justice.”

Among the alleged victims Edwards represents is Courtney Wild, who came face-to-face with the disgraced millionaire when she attended Epstein’s detention hearing in July, and told the judge she was 14 years old when Epstein allegedly sexually abused her in his home in Palm Beach.

“We get to look him in the face today and see him in handcuffs,” Wild said at the time. “Finally, that day has come.”

Michelle Licata, who attended Epstein’s arraignment last month along with Wild, alleges that, at 16, she was tricked into going to Epstein’s home on the promise of making some extra money as a massage therapist and was instead abused.

Licata said she learned of Epstein’s death as she was preparing breakfast on Saturday morning, and was immediately grateful for the sense of closure she got from seeing him in court.

“I just wanted him to be held accountable for his actions,” Licata said. “Simple as that.”

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Kristin Shae Pisarcik contributed to this report.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alabama football running back could miss season

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33 ft/iStock(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) — ESPN reports Alabama freshman Trey Sanders may have suffered a season-ending foot injury during the team’s practice. Head football coach Nick Saban is expected to give an update on the running back’s condition following the team’s scrimmage on Saturday.

Losing Sanders would put a dent in the Crimson Tides’ depth chart at running back. Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris were drafted into the NFL this past spring, leaving the team with Najee Harris, Brian Robinson Jr, and freshman Keilan Robinson at the position.

Sanders had shown promise since arriving on campus, according to Saban. He was the No. 2-ranked running back prospect by ESPN in the 2019 signing class.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alleged Dayton gunman Connor Betts showed signs of misogyny

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Dayton Police Department(DAYTON, Ohio) — Many questions remain in the motivations of the man who allegedly committed a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, last weekend, leaving nine dead before responding officers shot him to death.

But officials briefed on the investigation told ABC News the suspected shooter demonstrated a misogyny that was far more extreme than any of his political leanings.

In that, he follows a bleak pattern among mass shooters.

“There are red flags,” Jacquelyn Campbell of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and one of the leading domestic violence researchers in the nation told ABC News. “There are things about these shooters’ behavior before these things happen that I think we as a country need to think hard about in terms of trying to make these things less frequently happen.”

After many mass shootings, information comes out that links the shooter to gender-based and domestic violence — and many massacres, like this one, include female family members, partners and ex-partners among the victims.

Ten of 2018’s 20 mass shootings, as defined by ABC News, were instances of domestic violence, including against intimate partners or family members, a January ABC analysis showed. One of the victims of the Dayton shooting was Megan Betts, the alleged shooter’s 22-year-old sister.

A Mother Jones analysis released this spring found that in at least 22 mass shootings since 2011, which accounts for over a third of public attacks, the shooters “had a history of domestic violence, specifically targeted women, or had stalked and harassed women.”

Those attacks range from ones where the shooter had a history of violence against women — like the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting and 2017 Sutherland Springs church shooting — to those apparently motivated by hatred of women: the 2014 Isla Vista shooting and 2018 Tallahassee shooting, among others.

And some are actual incidents of domestic or intimate-partner violence — such as a January shooting in Louisiana and a 2018 shooting in Chicago.

It’s difficult to define a profile of mass shooters, as those incidents are relatively rare, Sierra Smucker, an associate policy researcher at the nonprofit RAND Corporation think tank, told ABC.

But “domestic violence, unlike mass shootings, is incredible common,” she added.

The domestic violence homicide rate increased from 2015 to 2017 — the latest available years for data — after a long decline, a Northeastern University study published this spring found.

“A larger atmosphere in which domestic violence is accepted and happens often is going to definitely increase the likelihood that misogyny and hatred of women and violence towards women can become a mass shooting,” Smucker said.

Campbell noted that domestic and intimate partner violence is committed even by young people — mostly boys and teens — in middle and high school, often due to an accumulation of trauma experienced in childhood. But, she said, “we don’t have any really good interventions for them.”

High school classmates of Connor Betts, 24, the suspected Dayton shooter, for example, said he was suspended for making a “rape list” of female classmates he wanted to sexually assault, The Associated Press reported. They said he was later suspended over a “hit list” found in a school bathroom.

A former camp-mate of Betts told The Cincinnati Enquirer he saw Betts choke a girl he was dating as a teen.

ABC News could not independently confirm that report.

Beyond misogyny and domestic violence, much of the conversation around shootings lately has been about white nationalism and racism, as highlighted by the El Paso shooting, in which the alleged shooter targeted Hispanics, authorities said.

But Gina Longo, an assistant sociology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, said racist motivations and misogynistic ones are not independent of each other.

“These are all intersectional and they all influence and inform one another,” she said.

That violence often bubbles up, Longo added, from men seeing “different minority groups, including women,” claiming rights and privileges historically awarded to white men in America.

“You hear a lot of men talking not necessarily about women in their own family, but ‘feminism,'” Longo told ABC News. “It’s ‘out there’ and there are certain groups of women who are trying to ‘poison the well,’ if we want to look at it like that, with these different ideas — and that is what they’re seeing as the threat, as this faceless feminism that’s coming after them.”

This can be exacerbated, she said, by online chatter. Just as social media can be used to influence elections, Longo said, “I think it’s the same thing with promoting violence or misogyny or letting it fester in certain places.”

While law enforcement and social scientists are still playing catch-up to understand how people’s actions online translate into real life threats, those close to an individual in real life have a role to play, the experts say, with policies like extreme risk protection orders, known as “red flag” laws.

With those policies, lawmakers could take lessons from the fact that the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation greatly increases the risk of homicide.

In the case of the Dayton shooting, as far as public evidence has shown, Betts had not been charged with any sort of domestic violence, which could have prevented him from obtaining a gun. But his ex-girlfriend said he allegedly had a fascination with violence.

“She may not have wanted to break up with him (she might think there are possibilities there), she may not want him to go to jail, she may not want to press charges on domestic violence even if there was something there, but she might say, ‘This guy does not need to have this huge arsenal of guns, this is concerning to me,'” Campbell said, arguing that there should be an easy and encouraged way of doing so as part of laws and policies.

There are laws in many states that prevent a person from having access to a gun if they are charged or convicted of domestic violence or if a restraining order is in place, and states with those more restrictive laws tend to have lower rates of domestic violence homicides.

“Extreme risk protection orders are really drawing on the success, in some ways, of these domestic violence-related gun laws to expand that policy mechanism to people who may not be in situations that are specifically domestic or intimate partner-based but may suggest they are a threat to people around them if they have access to firearms,” Smucker said.

“[Those] laws recognize that the people who are most likely to know when someone may be dangerous are people who are very close to that person,” she added.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Yankees general manager stopped at gunpoint by police

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cmannphoto/iStock(NEW YORK) — ESPN reports New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was pulled over and forced from his vehicle at gunpoint Friday evening after police mistook him for a suspected car thief.

Cashman told the New York Post that his white Jeep Wrangler was recently stolen, then discovered and returned to him earlier this week by New York City police. However, the NYPD did not take the vehicle off a stolen car list.

Police in the Connecticut town of Darien reportedly ran Cashman’s license plates and determined it was stolen. When Cashman was pulled over, police believed they may have caught a suspected car thief.

Cashman says patrol cars pursued him as he pulled out of a gas station with their “guns drawn.”

Cashman says his car is now off the stolen list. He believes the positive that comes out of this experience is, “The public should take encouragement when someone is in a stolen vehicle they’re not going to get very far.”

Brian Cashman is 52-years-old and has served as the Yankees General Manager and Senior Vice President since 1998.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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