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  • U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christian Senyk/Released(DETROIT) -- The mother of one of the ten sailors who went missing following a U.S. Navy ship collision near Singapore on Monday said that she and her husband "couldn't be prouder" of their son.April Brandon, the mother of Kenneth Brandon, spoke to ABC News about her son."His father and I couldn't be prouder of our son," Brandon said about her son. "He's a great kid [and] he's a hero."Brandon told ABC News that officers from the Navy came to her home and told her they are doing everything possible to find Kenneth."The Naval officer came over to tell me he's missing," Brandon said. "That's the last update that we have."The family has a history with the Navy that dates back many years, according to Brandon."His father was in the Navy, his stepmother had been in the Navy, my father was in the Navy," Brandon says.The collision represents the second such incident involving a U.S. ship in Asian waters in two months. Back in June, seven sailors died when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan, leading to the death of seven sailors.Although fatalities have been confirmed in the accident regarding the USS John McCain, it is unclear at this time how many sailors died as a result.The Navy said they discovered human remains in the search for the missing sailors early Monday morning.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- More than two months after a visiting Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was allegedly kidnapped, authorities say she is presumed dead but her body has not been found. Her family members, who are from China, are staying in Illinois and have not given up on finding her.Brendt Christensen, 28, of Champaign, Illinois, was arrested on June 30 and charged with the kidnapping of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang, the FBI said. Authorities claim Christensen lured her into his car in broad daylight on June 9. Surveillance video shows her getting into the passenger seat of a car that day.Christensen has pleaded not guilty, his attorney, Evan Bruno, told ABC News.Zhang's boyfriend, Xiaolin Hou, said at a news conference this afternoon that when Zhang's mother learned of her daughter's disappearance, "she fainted immediately.""A lot of time after that, she could not eat or sleep. She was extremely weak," Hou said. "In these two months, we continue to encourage her that she must hurry to get well."He added that Zhang's mother has since begun "to try her best on eating and sleeping on time, enduring great pain in her heart."Zhang's father is also not in good health, Hou said."He often feels an unendurable pain in his heart," he said. "During these two months in America, he asked me the same question most every day: why there's still no update about where Ying is."Hou spoke of the family members' difficulties during their past two months in the U.S., explaining that they are not familiar with the laws, customs and culture and are dealing with a language barrier.But he emphasized that Zhang means the world to her parents and they do not want to return to China without her.He also said Zhang would want to be with them, too, explaining that "this may be the last desire we can fulfill for her.""We will never give up on her," he said. "I have no energy or time to be anxious, frustrated or angry. There's only one thought on my mind. That's to try everything I can to find her."Zhang's family members wrote a letter to President Trump requesting that he "direct all available federal law enforcement and investigatory resources be used to find our daughter as soon as possible." The letter was read during the family's press conference today."As a loving father to your own children, you can understand what we are going through," the letter said. "Yingying meant the world to us."According to a criminal complaint, during an interview at the FBI's Champaign office, Christensen "admitted to driving around the UI campus when he observed an Asian female with a backpack standing at a corner appearing distressed." Christensen then claimed that he drove up to her and when she said she was late to an appointment, he offered her a ride. He said she got into his car and tried to show him where she needed to go, the complaint said.According to the complaint, "Christensen claimed that he believed he made a wrong turn, because the female became panicked, at which point Christensen claimed that he let her out of the vehicle in a residential area a few blocks away from where he picked her up."But on June 29, Christensen allegedly was "captured on audio recording while under law enforcement surveillance explaining how he kidnapped" Zhang. The complaint said Christensen admitted to bringing her back to his apartment and holding her there against her will.But Bruno, Christensen's lawyer, said: "he is legally presumed innocent." Bruno added that the defense team is "meticulously going through the mountain of evidence we have," explaining that they are "in the early stages of that long process.""All the lawyers here at this firm who are representing Mr. Christensen, we all appreciate the depth of pain that Ms. Zhang's family is feeling and how difficult this all is for them," Bruno said.Christensen's trial is set for Sept. 12.
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  • ABC News(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio) -- The man who officials say ambushed and shot an Ohio judge was the father of a high school football player convicted in the high-profile Steubenville High School rape case.Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was shot and injured outside the Jefferson County courthouse in Steubenville in eastern Ohio shortly after 8 a.m. Monday, after the suspect, identified as Nathaniel Richmond, ran up to him and started firing, officials said.Steubenville city manager James Mavromatis said a probation officer returned fire and the sheriff said the judge also pulled out his own gun, firing several rounds.The judge was listed in stable condition Monday and is expected to survive, officials said.Bruzzese did not preside over Ma'lik Richmond's case, Jefferson County prosecuting attorney Jane Hanlin said, adding there is no reason to believe there is any connection between Ma'lik Richmond's case and this shooting.The motive for the shooting is unknown, Hanlin said, adding that there were a number of cases involving the gunman in this judge's courtroom and other courtrooms in the past. "Whether there is a connection between any prior appearances and today’s action, we don’t know the answer to that," she said."This individual laid in wait, for our judge, and ... it just hurts. First thing on a Monday morning," Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said emotionally. "You have a judge shot in front of his courthouse, and that affected me... This was ambush and attempted murder on our judge."Abdalla said a passenger was in the suspect's car before the shooting, and while the passenger is not considered a suspect at this time, the individual is being questioned."He didn't get out of the car," Abdalla said. "Supposedly, according to him, he wasn't aware what this guy was going to do."Hanlin said this individual is in custody and it is not yet clear if he or she would face any criminal charges.Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he and his wife "are praying for Judge Bruzzese and his family at this difficult time."
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- The family of Payton Leutner, a Wisconsin teenage girl who survived a stabbing -- allegedly at the hands of two other teenage girls who prosecutors say were trying to impress the fictional character "Slender Man" -- said a plea agreement for one of the accused teens "is what is best."Anissa Weier, 15, one of two teens accused of stabbing Leutner 19 times, pleaded guilty Monday to attempted second-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime, with the use of a dangerous weapon as part of a plea deal.After the plea deal, Leutner's family said in a statement, "It has been more than three years since our daughter was brutally attacked by two classmates who premeditatedly and meticulously planned their assault in an attempt to kill our daughter. These three years have been very difficult both physically and emotionally for Payton and our family. Paramount in our decision to accept today’s plea agreement is that it provides closure without having to have Payton testify and be forced to relive this horrific incident.""Though perhaps not to the extent in which we would hope these assailants be punished, we are forced to work within the confines of current law. Ultimately, our decision is what is best for our beautiful and amazingly brave daughter, Payton," the statement added.Weier and Morgan Geyser were arrested May 31, 2014, after allegedly stabbing then 12-year-old Leutner and leaving her in the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Leutner was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries but survived.Weier and Geyser were 12 at the time of the alleged crime.Prosecutors have said that both girls were obsessed with the fictional character "Slender Man," who is often depicted in fan fiction stories online as a horror figure who stalks children.On Monday, prosecutors recommended up to 10 years in prison for Weier, pending a trial set to begin Sept. 11 that will decide if she is legally responsible for the crime, or if she was mentally ill when she participated in the stabbing. If in next month’s trial a jury decides Weier is not responsible because of mental illness, she will spend three years in a mental hospital.In Jan. 2017, Weier's parents told “Good Morning America” that their daughter had expressed remorse.Her mother, Kristi Weier, said that according to police interview tapes of Geyser and her daughter, "they thoroughly believed that 'Slender Man' was real and wanted to prove that he was real."Her father, Bill Weier, said that if he had the chance to meet Leutner's family face to face, "I would tell them I'm sorry. I would tell them that I'm thankful that Payton survived. And I would tell them that for as much as they are struggling with trying to process this in what happened to their daughter, we are struggling equally trying to process this with what happened not only to their daughter but to our daughter."
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A lockdown on the White House was lifted without incident Tuesday afternoon after a suspicious package drew the attention of law enforcement outside the complex's North Fence.Members of the press and construction workers performing renovations were moved inside the building while Secret Service and D.C. Metropolitan Police responded to the scene.President Donald Trump was aboard Air Force One, traveling to Arizona for a scheduled campaign rally.Additional details were not immediately available.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Authorities in the Kansas City, Missouri, area have responded to at least 160 water rescues after heavy rains produced deadly flooding, officials said.Nearly 10 inches of rain fell in the Kansas City metro area overnight, drenching the roads, flooding rivers and stranding residents. By 5:30 a.m. local time the rain began to subside, moving southeast of the city.At least one person has died because of the flooding, according to authorities. The sheriff's office in Miami County, Kansas, said a 56-year-old man died when his car hydroplaned off the highway into deep rushing water. First responders found his body about 75 yards away from his car.The Overland Park Fire Department said rescues included two people plucked from the roof of their vehicle and a young woman rescued from a car in a flooded creek.One video showed seven people on a roof waiting to be rescued. They were brought to safety, police said. Another woman was rescued from a tree, according to ABC affiliate KMBC-TV.
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