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'Erroneous reporting' on Garlic Festival shooting suspect's ideology: FBI

No Comments National News

vmargineanu/iStock(GILROY, Calif.) — Citing “erroneous reporting,” the FBI special agent in charge of the FBI San Francisco’s office said there’s been no determination yet on any ideology of the suspect who killed three and wounded 12 at a Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, over the weekend.

“I can tell you there has been no determination on ideology. There’s reports out there has been information found and books referenced on that, we are not in a position at this stage of the investigation to make a call on ideology,” John Bennett told reporters on Wednesday.

“The information that’s out there, it’s being reported that there’s white nationalism or any type of those ideologies,” Special Agent John Bennett, said. “That has not been determined and I wanted to knock that down.”

Bennett said that through the course of the investigation they are finding literature from “left to right” and said they can’t put the suspect, 19-year-old Santio Legan, in an ideological “box.”

He wouldn’t characterize the literature as extreme, either.

“This is a person that chose to act on this day, and we’re trying to understand why,” Bennett said, adamantly.

Bennett said that the FBI is sending analysts from its Behavioral Analysis Unit in Washington, D.C., to help with finding a motive. Investigators from the unit profile a suspect and help determine a motive.

According to ABC affiliate KGO-TV, the FBI called the suspected gunman a “loner.”

“We understand him to be kind of a loner,” Craig Fair, deputy special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco Division said. “People who act alone are exceptionally dangerous because they … may not communicate their plans, intentions, mindset – they may not impart that on other people.”

The three victims were all young and included 6 year old Stephen Romero, 13-year-old Keyla Salazar, and 25-year-old Trevor Irby.

The shooter remains much of a mystery to law enforcement.

Records say he was living in Walker Lake, Nevada, but authorities told reporters investigators are not yet certain if, at the time of the shooting, he was staying in Nevada or at one of his family’s residences in Gilroy, California.

Law enforcement officials told ABC News the AK-47 variant weapon he used was legally purchased in Nevada. Authorities say he broke the law by bringing the gun across state lines into California, where such semi-automatic rifles are banned.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

'The Crown' veteran Vanessa Kirby on holding her own with the very big boys of 'Hobbs & Shaw'

No Comments Entertainment News

Universal Pictures(NEW YORK) — While Vanessa Kirby had a small, key role in the action movie Mission: Impossible – Fallout, her character left the fighting to Tom Cruise and company.  But things are quite different in Kirby’s new movie, Hobbs & Shaw.

Kirby plays Hattie Shaw, a rogue agent with the British spy service MI6 and the sister of Owen Shaw, the hard-case mercenary played by Jason Statham in the movie, which is a Fast and Furious spin-off.  Hattie finds herself fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with Statham — and Dwayne Johnson, who plays Hobbs — to stop the bionically enhanced baddie Brixton, played by Idris Elba.

So, what was it like keeping up with those guys — especially for an actress who’s best known for playing the chainsmoking Princess Margaret on the Netflix hit The Crown?

“I mean, not the easiest, did you notice?” she laughs to ABC Radio. “No, luckily they were awesome…they made it easy.”

“To me, the main thing is just to make sure all the little girls in the cinema feel like they…have like someone on screen in that world who was as capable as [the men] were and she was her own kind of presence,” she points out.

Hobbs & Shaw was directed by former stuntman and Deadpool 2 director David Leitch, which Kirby says helped a lot.

“You know, David is like one of the best stunt guys in the world. He was Brad Pitt’s stunt double…years and years ago,” she explains. “And the [stunt] team also did Atomic Blonde and Deadpool.”

“Knowing that I had them…even though the training was so difficult, you go, ‘Oh God, they probably will make me look good even if I’m terrible,'” she laughs. “So that was…quite reassuring.

Fast and Furious presents: Hobbs and Shaw opens Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Keith Urban is unplugging for acoustic version of "We Were"

No Comments Country Music News

ABC/Image Group LAKeith Urban is going acoustic.  The trailblazing star revealed on Twitter that he’ll be releasing an unplugged rendition of his current hit single, ‘We Were” tomorrow.

He shared the news with the simple caption “#WeWere Acoustic • 8.2.19” alongside a candid photo of himself inside a colorful recording studio; the photographer captured his profile as he sits inside the booth with his guitar. 

“We Were” was initially released in May and is co-written by Eric Church. As previously reported, Eric didn’t write the song for Keith, but it turns out that the line “we were leather jackets hangin’ onto a Harley/Two heartbeats in the moonlight” perfectly summed up Keith’s romance with his wife Nicole Kidman:  When they were first dating, the two would don leather jackets and ride through the countryside on Keith’s Harley.

Keith continues on the revamped version of his Graffiti U World Tour — which initially kicked off in 2018 — with a series of dates that runs through October. 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ahead of Rossello’s resignation, protesters in Puerto Rico still fighting for ‘sea of change’

No Comments National News

NatanaelGinting/iStock(SAN JUAN, P.R.) — Immediately after Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced his plans to resign amid a political scandal and under the pressure of sustained, mass protests, residents of the island erupted into roaring cheers and joyous chants.

But for many, the victory of ousting an unpopular governor was not the end of the fight — but the beginning of what they hope will be a new political era.

“This movement wasn’t just about getting rid of the governor,” activist David Galarza, who specializes in labor unions, told ABC News. “I think that’s just the icing on the cake.”

After initially declaring he would not resign, Rosselló announced he would do so effective Friday at 5 p.m. The decision followed intense pressure from both the public and other politicians — after leaked text messages allegedly showed he and his staff making homophobic, misogynistic and sexist comments against opponents and critics, as well as mocking victims of 2017’s Hurricane Maria.

Yet now the question of what comes next for Puerto Rico and its residents lingers.

Protests are still scheduled around the island, activists said, as some see Rosselló’s assumed replacement and much of his administration as no better than the governor himself.

Wanda Vazquez, the Secretary of Justice and next in line to take over the position, was appointed by Rosselló and has held the title since Jan., 2017. Both she and Rosselló are members of the New Progressive Party.

She has faced criticism for not taking action in corruption investigations involving members of that party.

“[People] feel she’s equally implicated in corruption and other types of administrative problems,” Frances Negrón-Muntaner, a professor at Columbia University with expertise in the fiscal debt crisis in Puerto Rico, told ABC News. “How could someone who has ties and aids, or assists in some way corruption, be governor after we just were successful in ousting a governor with corruption ties?”

“As Secretary of Justice, she hasn’t been pursuing justice,” Negrón-Muntaner added.

Vazquez, a former prosecutor, faced multiple charges but a judge in Puerto Rico ultimatiely determined that there was not enough evidence to arrest her.

She issued a statement last Friday, calling the allegationss made against her “vicious attacks on my personal and professional integrity.”

“The desire and agenda of some to try to undermine my credibility at this moment of transcendental importance to Puerto Rico and to destabilize the governmental order is evident, which only attempts to perpetuate instability and restlessness in the country,” Vazquez said in a statement in Spanish.

Vazquez has also made it clear she does not want the governor’s job.

“I reiterate, I have no interest in occupying the position of Governor,” Vasquez wrote in a tweet in Spanish on Sunday. “The constitution dictates it.”

Beyond the controversy over Vasquez and others, some residents believe a more systemic problem persists.

“Basically all the names that have been circulated do not meet the needs of the people,” Negrón-Muntaner, who went to Puerto Rico for the protests, said.

“A lot of people just want fair and transparent government… This claim, in a way, is a pretty radical demand because the entire government system includes such high levels of corruption.”

Galarza echoed Negrón-Muntaner’s point, noting that while Rosselló has been ousted, there’s still more work to be done.

“Now we’re also faced with the challenge of dealing with an administration that’s just as corrupt,” he said. “Really we’re not happy with any of the three or four or five or six that are in line to claim the governorship of Puerto Rico. What we are talking about is a sea of change.”

Yet for Puerto Rico, the line of succession remains uncertain. Former Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin would have been next in line to take over the governorship, but he resigned on July 13 in the wake of the Telegram chat scandal that toppled Rosselló.

Rosselló has since nominated Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia for Secretary of State, but Pierluisi has not been confirmed. Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives is expected to meet Thursday afternoon to debate the nomination.

Despite the massive question mark that hangs over the governorship, protesters said that they feel excited by the prospect of political change, and experts believe the newfound wave of momentum won’t slow down anytime soon.

“Puerto Ricans go to vote in large numbers, but much fewer go out to protest and all of a sudden you were seeing people from all generations,” Fernando Tormos-Aponte, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maryland Baltimore County who focuses on social movements, told ABC News.

With a surge in politically-involved Puerto Ricans amid the protests, Tormos-Aponte said that many organizations that were already invested in the cause will see new recruits.

“Generation Z, millennials, [Baby] boomers, even [the] elderly are showing up to show their outrage,” he said.

Negrón-Muntaner said that while the movement is well on its way to sustainability, the next social conversations to be had — the ones that delve into more complex issues facing the island — will likely bring to the surface more conflicting viewpoints.

Yet even with those differences, she’s already heard discussions about what is next for Puerto Rico.

“I think the question on a lot of people’s mind is that we must continue,” Negrón-Muntaner said. “That the victory is a foundation upon which we can build a more just, honest government and more just economy.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Olympian Ashley Wagner claims she was sexually assaulted by figure skater John Coughlin

No Comments Sports News

Daniel Stark / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Olympian Ashley Wagner alleged she was sexually assaulted by late fellow figure skater John Coughlin when she was 17 and he was 22, claiming he went to her bed and groped her when she was asleep after a party with other athletes in Colorado.

Wagner, now 28, came forward in a first-person essay and video piece for USA Today published Thursday, in which she said she “wrestled with using John’s name.”

“But a name can shape so much of how my story is perceived,” Wagner wrote. “Without it, I know people will question my credibility.”

Coughlin, a pairs champion and coach, killed himself in January, days after he was given an “interim suspension” by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, an organization that monitors athlete safety in an effort to prevent abuse.

Wagner went on to say her story was “not about a name.”

“This is about the environment that allowed for that act to happen. I want the issue to feel real to people, and for them to understand the dynamics of my sport, where uncomfortable power imbalances thrive to this day,” Wagner wrote.

SafeSport ended its investigation into Coughlin after his death, but said in a March statement it found evidence that figure skating has a culture “that allowed grooming and abuse to go unchecked for too long” and it “cannot be allowed to continue,” per ESPN.

Additionally, former figure skater Craig Maurizi testified in Congress in 2018 that the U.S. Figure Skating Association treated him “with the same disdain, disrespect and disbelief” seen by victims of former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar when he alleged sexual abuse by a coach in 1999, saying figure skating had the same problems with handling these allegations as gymnastics.

U.S. Figure Skating did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Wagner said she felt compelled to come forward after a 13-year-old won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in late January, shortly after Coughlin’s death, leading Wagner to consider how many young girls and boys are in the sport and potentially vulnerable to abuse.

“It was in that moment that I knew I had to come forward with my story. I want to make this sport safer for those kids,” Wagner wrote. “I went to U.S. Figure Skating and proposed changes to athlete education and wellness designed to keep these young skaters as safe as possible.”

Wagner is not the first skater to publicly claim Coughlin assaulted her. In May, his former skating partner Bridget Namiotka, who is five years younger than Coughlin, claimed he sexually abused her for two years. Attorney John Manly, who represents multiple women who claim Coughlin abused them, confirmed to ESPN that he represents Namiotka.

Wagner also posted about her story on Instagram on Thursday, writing, “I feel so strongly that people need to talk more about these experiences, that they need to have a bright light turned on the dark corners where they thrive. This happens all too often to both men and women, and we need to do better for our next generation.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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