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  • The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- The father of the Tennessee teen found more than a month after she was allegedly kidnapped by a former teacher said the girl's family wants her to be the same person she was before she disappeared.But Anthony Thomas told ABC News that his 15-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, has now had experiences that may have changed her.“What we want to see when we look at her is the child we knew,” Thomas told ABC News. “She may not be exactly ... the person she was because there’s a lot of experiences she’s had."After Elizabeth was found, authorities described her as "healthy and unharmed," but added that the main concern is the state of her emotional and mental well-being.Her father said that even physically, she has at least temporarily changed.“She has lost a lot of weight,” Anthony Thomas said.Elizabeth was allegedly kidnapped by her former teacher, Tad Cummins, 50, on March 13 and taken on the run. She and Cummins were found at a remote cabin in northern California near the Oregon border where he was captured Thursday.Cummins, who surrendered to police without incident, faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, authorities said.The teen returned to Tennessee on Friday and is currently in a "safe location with family and friends where she is comfortable and resting," said Jason Whatley, who is representing the Thomas family.Elizabeth’s father told ABC News that the family to "just keep things positive" in their interactions with her at this stage."I go in there and tell her how much I missed her, how much I love her and how much her dog missed her," Anthony Thomas said."I'm not allowed to ask her about things that happened along the way right now," he said.He said that one of the first things Elizabeth asked for "was to see her baby sister."That hasn't happened yet, the father said. "Now is not really the time."Thomas recounted his daughter's take-charge personality. "She used to really believe in herself. She had this confidence," he said. "She was always a leader. She was very outspoken.""I think she has the determination to really go somewhere in life," he said. "But right now she really needs a lot of help."Thomas said the first material things Elizabeth asked for upon returning to Tennessee were a shower and a razor.He added that she has few clothes in her possession right now. "All of the clothes she had with her were taken for evidence" after she and Cummins were found, he said. And many of the clothes she had left at home were previously taken by law enforcement to help with the investigation, he said.Thomas said the loss of her clothes may be difficult for his teen daughter. "She was always particular with the way she dressed."Elizabeth also asked to see her father upon her return to Tennessee, he said. "It was really great to have her tell her she loved me," he said.He said his daughter had told authorities that she was afraid her father would be mad at her. "I think Tad had told her too, 'There’s no way you can go home because your dad is just going to be mad at you,'" Thomas said.The father said he believes Cummins was aware of the search for him and his daughter, but he's not sure if his daughter knew before she was found the extent of the effort to find them. "Tad was apparently aware of all the flyers and all the things he saw," the father said. "I’m not sure of the extent he let her be exposed to that."Thomas reflected on the difficulty of parenting a teenager, and then having that child disappear."At the end of the day when they’re gone, you find out you can’t live without them," he said.Cummins is expected to make his first court appearance at 2 p.m. Monday in federal court in Sacramento.In addition to facing charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, he also faces a federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines with the int
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  • FDNY(NEW YORK) -- Five people were killed, including three children, after a three-alarm fire blazed through a family home in the New York City borough of Queens on Sunday.
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  • WLS-TV(WHEATON, Ill.) -- A 19-year-old college student was killed at a track meet in Wheaton, Illinois, on Saturday when he was struck by a hammer during the hammer throw event.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions says people should lighten up about controversial comments he made earlier this week about the state of Hawaii.When asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview Sunday on This Week about why he referred to Hawaii as an "island in the Pacific," Sessions responded "nobody has a sense of humor anymore."Sessions stirred up controversy this week when he referred to Hawaii as an "island in the Pacific" to conservative radio host Mark Levin on his program."I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president from the United States what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power," Sessions said on the program Tuesday. Sessions' comments were referring to the Hawaii judge who issued a nationwide restraining order on President Trump's revised executive order that calls for suspending the entire refugee program for 120 days and halting immigration from six countries in the Middle East and Africa for 90 days.Sessions’ comments prompted backlash from Hawaii’s Democratic senators and representatives in Congress.“The suggestion that being from Hawaii somehow disqualifies Judge Watson from performing his Constitutional duty is dangerous, ignorant, and prejudiced," Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said in a statement Thursday. "I am frankly dumbfounded that our nation’s top lawyer would attack our independent judiciary. But we shouldn’t be surprised. This is just the latest in the Trump Administration’s attacks against the very tenets of our Constitution and democracy.”Hirono also tweeted, “Hey Jeff Sessions, this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics.” Hey Jeff Sessions, this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics
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  • Simona Granati/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Scientists and supporters of science marched in cities around the world Saturday to push back against what organizers said is “an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery.”The March for Science, coinciding with Earth Day, was set for more than 600 cities worldwide, with the main event planned for Washington, D.C.Participants also took to the streets in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Des Moines, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Austin, Miami, San Francisco, Mobile, Oklahoma City, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Paris, Munich, Berlin and many more.“Support for evidence-based science is a powerful force,” March for Science satellite organizer Kishore Hari said in a statement Friday. “The number of marches is incredible and a reflection of how important this effort is.”Prior to the march in Washington, D.C., famed American scientist Bill Nye, an honorary co-chair of the event, delivered a speech to a huge crowd in pouring rain.“Show the world that science is for all. Our lawmakers must know and accept that science serves every one of us,” Nye said before shouting out, “Save the world!”Even with the rain, thousands of people packed the Washington Monument grounds for the start of the march Saturday morning. Some were clad in white lab coats while others carried handmade signs calling for funding for scientific research. At least 27,000 Facebook users said they were attending the march in Washington, D.C.
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  • The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- The brother of the Tennessee teen allegedly kidnapped by a former teacher says that now that she is finally back with her family, "she's like herself and in ways she's not."Elizabeth Thomas, 15, returned to Tennessee on Friday and is currently in a "safe location with family and friends where she is comfortable and resting," said Jason Whatley, who is representing the Thomas family."We're all excited," her brother James Thomas said. "It's like just pure joy."She was allegedly kidnapped by Tad Cummins, 50, more than a month ago, and taken on the run until he was captured Thursday in Northern California."Well, right now ... in ways she's like herself and in ways she's not," her brother said. "It's kind of distressing to see her like that. It's troubling."The teen was transported home on an aircraft owned by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The agency sent the plane to northern California after Elizabeth was found on Thursday, along with Cummins, in a remote cabin in Cecilville, in Siskiyou County, a rural, isolated area near the California-Oregon border that has little to no cell service, authorities said.Cummins surrendered to police without incident as he exited the cabin, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department. He faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, said Lawrence County Attorney General Brent Cooper.The U.S. State Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee has also filed a federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines with the intent of having criminal sexual intercourse against Cummins, according to U.S. attorney Jack Smith. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.Cummins also faces charges in Siskiyou County for kidnapping and possession of stolen property, according to the sheriff's department. He was expected to be arraigned in California on Friday, but the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department said he was taken into FBI custody and will likely be brought back to Tennessee. The federal warrant provided by the FBI superseded any local charges filed in Tennessee and California.Elizabeth had been missing since March 13 when she was allegedly kidnapped by Cummins, who had been added to Tennessee's Top 10 Most Wanted list.After Elizabeth was found, she was described by authorities to be "healthy and unharmed," but they added that the main concern is the state of her emotional and mental well-being. 
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