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Kobe Bryant crash: Helicopter showed no signs of engine failure

No Comments National News

David McNew / Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The National Transportation Safety Board found no evidence of an engine failure in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others, according to the agency’s preliminary report.

The preliminary report on the Jan. 26 crash was released Friday.

Along with Bryant and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, the other victims were identified as college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli; girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

While no cause was listed, the report offered details about the aircraft’s flight and rapid descent.

 After the 1991 Sikorsky S-76B aircraft gained altitude over the 101 freeway near Calabasas, California, it started a left turn but then descended at 183 mph while still making the turn, according to the NTSB.

A witness in the mountain bike park, where the wreckage was found, reported hearing a normal sounding helicopter.

Yet he then saw the aircraft “emerge from the clouds” and moving in a forward but descending trajectory.

 “It started to roll to the left such that he caught a glimpse of its belly. He observed it for 1 to 2 seconds, before it impacted terrain,” according to the report.

The engines from the helicopter were found in a burned area and while parts were destroyed, the pieces that could be seen showed that main and tail rotors were rotating and there was “no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure,” according to the preliminary report.

There was evidence that the rotor blades hit trees before hitting the ground, according to the report.

The impact of the crash left a crater in a hilly terrain near Calabasas that was 24 feet-by-15 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep.

Weather conditions on Sunday morning caused the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to ground its fleet of choppers. Still, NTSB member Jennifer Homendy, who’s leading the investigation into the crash, said comparing that decision to the decision made by Bryant’s pilot is “an apples to oranges comparison.”

“We have to look at this specific crash and this specific helicopter,” Homendy previously said.

 The helicopter was not equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder, but the NTSB report notes that it was not required to be for the flight.

The remains of all of the victims have been recovered from the crash site.

The NTSB report comes a day after a memorial service for Bryant and his daughter was announced.

A public service will be held on the morning of Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Maryland county becomes first in the nation to ban hair discrimination

No Comments National News

AaronAmat/iStock(ROCKVILLE) — Montgomery County, Maryland, has officially become the first in the United States to ban discrimination based on hairstyles on a local level.

The county expanded its human rights legislation on Thursday to include the new ban after being unanimously voted to pass by the Montgomery County Council.

This bill falls under the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act, which ensures protection against discrimination based on hairstyles.

The original bill was introduced in September 2019 and spearheaded by Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando along with Council President Nancy Navarro.

“It will expand the definition of race to include natural hairstyles, like Afros, twists, Bantu knots and protective hairstyles like braids, that people of African descent wear,” Jawando said in an interview with ABC Washington D.C. station WTOP.

 “We have over 200,000 black and Latina women in Montgomery County, many of whom get up every day and make decisions about how they are going to present themselves to the world,” Jawando said.

Montgomery’s news follows similar legislations passed on a state level in California, New York and New Jersey.

Sen. Cory Booker also announced efforts in December 2019 to pass the first federal bill banning hair discrimination.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Bill Cosby sends Snoop Dogg a thank-you message from jail for defending him

No Comments Entertainment News

Mark Makela/Getty ImagesOn Thursday, Bill Cosby sent rapper Snoop Dogg a special thank-you message from jail for mentioning him in an Instagram video that criticized Gayle King.  

“Snoop – when they brought me to my gated community and placed me inside of my penthouse, they didn’t win nor did they silence me,” Cosby tweeted. “It’s so sad and disappointing that successful Black Women are being used to tarnish the image and legacy of successful Black Men, even in death.”

Snoop Dogg was one of the many who criticized King for asking former WNBA player Lisa Leslie about Kobe Byrant’s sexual assault allegations in 2013. “It’s been said that his legacy is complicated, because of a sexual assault charge that was dismissed… Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA player?” King asked in a promo video for the interview. 

King later declared on her Instagram that she was “mortified…embarrassed and I am very angry” that “Unbeknownst to me, my network put up a clip from a very wide-ranging interview — totally taken out of context — and when you see it that way, it’s very jarring,”

Snoop also expressed his frustrations with King and Oprah Winfrey for their alleged support of Harvey Weinstein. Defending Kobe in the video, Snoop added “free bill cosby” in his memes about King and Winfrey

He also questioned why King has yet to interview Harvey Weinstein, who faces up to 28 years in jail for the alleged rape and assault of two different women in Los Angeles in 2013.

Cosby was found guilty in 2018 of three felony count of indecent sexual assault and sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“One Beer” leads to much more in Hardy’s fateful new music video

No Comments Country Music News

Tanner GallagherHardy ups the drama of his current single, “One Beer,” in his latest music video. The song reflects on the unintended consequences of a night of partying, which results in an unplanned pregnancy for two teenagers. 

The video follows the parents-to-be as they navigate their way into family life, raising a son who grows up to be a high school football player and, finally, a firefighter. The song reflects on how one twist of fate can alter a person’s whole life, and the video ups the ante, including a fiery twist at the conclusion of the video that no one in the family could ever have seen coming.

“One Beer” features guest vocalists Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson, and all three artists make appearances in the video. The song is the final track on Hardy’s 2019 collection, Hixtape Vol 1, which features a stacked lineup of guest artists. 

Shot in Watertown, Tennessee, the music video for “One Beer” was directed by Justin Clough

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Expect "big action stuff" and "character pieces," as Showtime's 'Homeland' returns for its final season

No Comments Entertainment News

Maury Sterling in HOMELAND Season 8 — Mark Seliger/SHOWTIME(NEW YORK) — Showtime’s acclaimed drama Homeland returns for an eighth and final season Sunday.  Star Maury Sterling says stepping on the set knowing they were filming the beginning of the end was a major emotional moment.

“It felt important,” says Sterling, who plays socially awkward computer genius Max, one of the few Homeland characters who hasn’t been killed off.

“It’s amazing when a show can last this long and do this well. And so I think everyone felt the weight,” he tells ABC Audio. “I remember just coming to set and feeling like, ‘Wow, this is it. What a ride this has been and how cool [that] we get to do it one more time.'”

At the end of season seven, a psychotic Carrie Mathison, played by Clare Danes, was finally released from a Russian prison. Sunday’s episode deals with Carrie’s recovery as she’s sent back into the field by her mentor, Mandy Patinkin’s Saul Berenson, to broker a peace deal in Afghanistan.

“There’s a bit of a time jump, but…all the seeds are planted in terms of what happened [in prison] and how that’s going to affect her,” Sterling explains, revealing that we’ll be asking ourselves, “Do we trust or do we not trust her?”

Expect “character pieces,” as well as “some sort of resolution of all these moving parts,” and “some big action stuff,” teases Sterling.

One thing that isn’t happening this season? A Max and Carrie romance.  Because of the insane risks he takes for her, Sterling says “it’s crossed fans’ mind a lot” that Max might be in love with Carrie — but he says no.

I’ve always given Max enough smarts that he knew that would be a terrible idea,” he laughs. “Like, he couldn’t function in that situation. He just wouldn’t understand how to do it!”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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