Now Playing
Easy 93.1
On Air
No Program
Now Playing
Easy 93.1

national

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >

U.S. suspends Brazilian beef imports over safety concerns

All imports of fresh beef from Brazil have been halted because of recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said Thursday.

The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which the USDA finds satisfactory.

The action comes three months after a major scandal erupted in Brazil over allegedly corrupt inspectors at slaughter and processing facilities. Brazilian officials said then that meat companies paid inspectors to overlook violations and certify tainted or rotten meat or not make inspections at all.

>> Read more trending news

However, before the crackdown, rotten meat was distributed in Brazil and exported to Europe.

Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been inspecting 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil. FSIS has refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products.

That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world. Since the implementation of the increased inspection, FSIS has refused entry to 106 lots (approximately 1.9 million pounds) of Brazilian beef products due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and animal health issues. It is important to note that none of the rejected lots made it into the U.S. market.

The Brazilian government had pledged to address those concerns, including by self-suspending five facilities from shipping beef to the United States. Today’s action to suspend all fresh beef shipments from Brazil supersedes the self-suspension.

Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

“Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness. Although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers. That’s what we’ve done by halting the import of Brazilian fresh beef. I commend the work of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service for painstakingly safeguarding the food we serve our families.”

>> Read the full news release here

The U.S. is not a major importer of beef from Brazil because the U.S. produces more beef and veal than Brazil does. This year, U.S. beef and veal production are expected to grow 5 percent to more than 12 million tons, reaching a nine-year high, according to USDA reports.

In 2016, the U.S. exported $6.3 billion in beef and beef products globally. The major importers of beef to the U.S. are Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, with Brazil ranking fifth.

In May, Brazil re-opened its doors to U.S. fresh beef exports after a 13-year hiatus, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service reported.

In 2003, Brazil closed its market fresh beef imports from the U.S. over concerns about bone spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Farmers Union applauded the decision to suspend the importation of Brazilian beef and said it has long had concerns about the importation of fresh beef from Brazil.

“Since the 2015 repeal of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), food safety scandals can undermine consumer confidence in the entire beef industry, harming American producers’ bottom line. This incident underscores the importance of COOL to protect American beef producers and consumers alike,” NFU officials said in a statement.

Monday, several cattle-ranching groups sued the USDA in Spokane, asking that it overturn its decision to not require country-of-origin labeling on meat imports. Without the labeling, imported meat can be sold as a U.S. product.

Trump doesn't hold Ramadan dinner, breaking White House tradition

President Donald Trump did not hold a White House dinner to mark the end of Ramadan, breaking an annual tradition dating back to President Bill Clinton's administration.

>> Read more trending news

CNN reported that Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama held yearly iftar dinners celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Additionally, President Thomas Jefferson in 1805 made sure a formal White House dinner attended by Tunisian envoy Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, who observed Ramadan, occurred "precisely at sunset" instead of the usual 3:30 p.m., according to the Washington Post.

>> 5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting

Trump and first lady Melania Trump issued the following statement Saturday:

>> Muslims in America, by the numbers

"On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

"Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity. Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and breaking bread with people from all walks of life.

"During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak."

CNN, citing two unnamed administration officials, also reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson turned down "a request by the State Department's Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host a reception marking Eid al-Fitr." The department had held iftar dinners or Eid al-Fitr receptions since 1999, according to CNN.

Read more here or here.

Grieving father buries wrong man after coroner error 

A California dad got a call on May 6 that no parent ever wants to receive: it was news that his son had passed away. The problem is that just wasn’t the case.

Frank Kerrigan, 82, got a phone call that day from the Orange County coroner saying that his 57-year-old son, also named Frank, had died next to a Verizon store in Fountain Valley.

Kerrigan told the Orange County Register that authorities said his son was identified through fingerprints and that he died from an enlarged heart and fluid in his lungs. The father also said that he only saw the body days before a $20,000 funeral ceremony and burial and that between his grief and what he’d been told by authorities that he believed he was really looking at his son.

>> Read more trending news

 “I took a little look and touched his hair. I didn’t know what my dead son was going to look like,” he said. “When somebody tells me my son is dead, when they have fingerprints, I believe them.”

Kerrigan said that he asked if he had to go down to the coroner’s office to identify his son, but was told that fingerprints had already confirmed who he was.

“If he wasn’t identified by fingerprints I would been there [to identify him] in a heartbeat,” he added.

Six days after getting that call, a funeral and a burial took place for someone who wasn’t actually Kerrigan’s son, a fact that he would learn on another phone 17 days after the whole ordeal began.

A family friend named Bill Shinker, who was a pallbearer at the funeral, called up Kerrigan on May 23 and revealed that Frank Kerrigan the younger was alive.

“Bill put my son on the phone,” Kerrigan said. “He said, ‘Hi Dad.’”

The Kerrigan family is demanding answers as to how this egregious error occurred and they retained legal representation. Attorneys from Easton & Easton, LLP are filing a claim on behalf of the family due to the coroner’s negligence with the allegation attached that the younger Kerrigan was treated differently because he is homeless and mentally ill.

“The people that we put in place to handle things, when they make these kind of mistakes, they have to be held accountable,” W. Douglas Easton said.

Frank Kerrigan’s sister Carol Meikle believes her brother was treated differently because he’s homeless.

“He was not given the dignity and the due-diligence in the process that a normal citizen of Orange County would get,” she said. “We lived through our worst fear. He was dead on the sidewalk. We buried him. Those feelings don’t go away.”

KABC reported that the coroner has not responded for comment The coroner would not comment and the county has six months to respond to the claim.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson surprises children at zoo

A group of young Zoo Atlanta visitors had quite the memorable experience this week when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson showed up.

>> Read more trending news

“I knew that was you!” one of the kids exclaimed.

The Rock posited a very important question before posing for photos:

"Who's your favorite actor?"

SeaWorld under investigation by two federal agencies

SeaWorld is under investigation by two federal agencies who subpoenaed statements made by the company and its executives on or before August 2014 regarding the impact of the “Blackfish Documentary,” according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings published Friday. 

The theme-park company reports receiving subpoenas in June from the U.S. Department of Justice as part of an investigation into statements about the 2013 anti-captivity documentary “and trading in the Company’s securities.”

>> Read more trending news

The filing also indicates the company received similar subpoenas from the SEC, although it is unclear when those were received. 

“The Company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries,” the filing says. 

The filing also indicates the company’s board of directors formed a special committee with legal counsel to determine how to handle these investigations on June 16, two days after the company’s shareholder meeting. 

The full SEC disclosure reads as follows: 

In June 2017, the Company received a subpoena in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice concerning disclosures and public statements made by the Company and certain executives and/or individuals on or before August 2014, including those regarding the impact of the ‘Blackfish’ documentary, and trading in the Company’s securities. The Company also has received subpoenas from the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with these matters. On June 16, 2017, the Company’s Board of Directors formed a Special Committee comprised of independent directors with respect to these inquiries. The Special Committee has engaged counsel to advise and assist the Committee. The Company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries.

Officers rescue woman in wheelchair from floodwaters

Three Atlanta police officers rescued a wheelchair-bound woman from rising water on Tuesday.

"I wouldn't call us heroes. We were just doing our duty,” officer Travis Gray told Channel 2 Action News.

Body-camera video showed the high water the officers had to wade through to get to the Buckhead home.

It was around 4-feet deep and rising from a nearby raging creek after heavy downpours moved through the area.

Neighbors told the three officers that a woman in a wheelchair needed help.

"That's what we get called to do and we respond and do it,” Gray said.

Before the officers could get to the woman, they had to shut off the power.

Once inside, they realized the challenge facing them.

"She was just trapped by the water,” officer Abraham Arias said. “Time was against us.”

"I can't really say (it was) stressful, because we're mainly just thinking about her, trying to get her out,” officer Elton Alexander said.

They quickly wrapped the woman in life vests but they knew they couldn't carry her out easily because the water was too deep.

"Lifting her up was not an option,” Arias said.

Thinking fast, the officers called in a floatation device from the Sandy Springs Fire Department.

As they moved her from the wheelchair and carried her to safety, she got her first look at what was happening outside.

"She was surprised that there was so much water around her home,” Arias said.

Once on dry land, the officers say they realized this could have ended much worse.

"At the end of the day, she's our main concern,” Alexander said.

Texas mother left children in hot car to teach them 'lesson,' police say

A woman from Parker County, Texas, who previously claimed the deaths of her two young children in a hot car in May as an accident, admitted that she left them in the vehicle to teach them “a lesson,” police said.

Cynthia Marie Randolph, 25, told “several variations of the events” during police interviews, and later said she broke the car window to make it look like an accident according to WFAA.

>> Read more trending news

What really happened on May 26, police said, is that Randolph’s 2-year-old daughter refused to get out of the car. The mother responded by shutting the door to teach her “a lesson,” assuming “she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready.”

Randolph proceeded to go inside the house where she smoked marijuana then fell asleep for two or three hours.

Randolph initially told authorities she was folding laundry and watching TV and realized within an hour that her kids were “gone.” She said they took off. She found them in the car, where they had locked themselves inside. She broke the car window in an attempt to save them, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

Randolph is being held without bail.

2 Chainz creates Atlanta's latest landmark

Many people may associate The Waffle House or Big Chicken with Atlanta. But there’s a new landmark in town thanks to rapper 2 Chainz.

Earlier this month, the artist hosted a listening party to promote his latest project “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.”

>> Read more trending news

For the event, he purchased a home, painting it pink and writing the word “Trap” on the front to mimic his album’s cover art.

While the event ended more than a week ago, the house is still decorated. There’s no word on whether it will be used for future gatherings, but locals have been stopping to pose in front of what has now been deemed as the #PinkTrapHouse.

There’s even an entire Instagram page for it. Take a look at some of the posts below. 

Gator chases Florida man trying to take photo

A Florida man had a close call with a gator after he strayed from a path to take a better picture of the amphibian. 

>> Read more trending news

The man left other hikers on the boardwalk of La Chua Trail at Paynes Prairie in Gainesville and encroached on a mother alligator’s space as she was sunbathing, according to Ben Boukari Jr., who posted the video on Facebook

“Guy is way too close,” Boukari wrote on Facebook.

As the man reached into his backpack, the gator lunged at him and chomped on his tripod. The reptile continued to inch closer to the man as he stumbled into the bushes. 

Think the man learned his lesson? Just watch the video. He clearly didn’t. 

The man went back to grab his stuff and within seconds the gator was on the shore ready to attack.

Woman arrested in Florida after infant body parts found in North Carolina

A woman was arrested in Jacksonville in connection with body parts of two infants found under a house in North Carolina.Bridgette Smith, 41, was arrested Wednesday in Jacksonville on a fugitive warrant. Police found her at the Hawkins Motel in Baldwin.Smith was arrested and charged with failure to report a death after police found body parts of two infants under a house in Smithfield, North Carolina, in April 2016.

>> Read more trending news

The body parts were found wrapped in towels in two separate bags under the home, according to court documents.

A resident found the bags when he was running a cable under the home.Warrants revealed Smith may have been pregnant 10 times, but reportedly covered up her pregnancies when people asked about them.Other than being arrested in Duval County, it's unclear what other connection Smith has to Northeast Florida. Smith has waived extradition and will voluntarily return to North Carolina accompanied by agents from that state. 

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >