ABC - Top Stories

Beth James(NEW YORK) -- An Ironman triathlon is considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.

It’s about a 17-hour competition where athletes have to complete a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and then a marathon, which is a 26.2-mile run.

“Enduring 17 hours is quite a bit on the body,” Beth James said.

Beth James, 54, has not only finished one -- an accomplishment by itself -- but she does it with her 23-year-old daughter, Liza James, who is nonverbal and unable to walk.

They are the first mother-daughter duo to compete in the Ironman World Championship, which is, essentially, the Super Bowl of Ironman triathlons. What makes it more incredible is that there is no subdivision for disabled athletes to qualify.

“Our time is no different than the 20-year-olds or the 80-year-olds," Beth James said.

An Ironman race starts with the swimming portion. Liza James, who weighs about 100 pounds, is strapped into a float that is attached to Beth James.

When it comes time for the 122-mile bike ride, Liza James is seated in a racing chair that weighs 21 pounds and is connected to the bike pedaled by Beth James.

Finally, for the marathon portion, Liza James sits in the racing chair that resembles a stroller as Beth James powers through.

Call her “Ironmom.”

“We really need to stop and think what humans are capable of if you can channel something like that maternal love instinct that she has for her daughter,” trainer Peter Defty said.

Beth and Liza James finished the first two portions of the race, but missed the cutoff time for the third in the Ironman World Championship. Still, Beth and Liza James have finished an Ironman race before.

Perhaps Beth James’ physical toughness stems from her mental toughness.

In 2004, Beth James and her three children were making the approximately one-mile drive home from a Fourth of July party when they got into a life-changing accident.

Beth James says she was turning left at a green light when her car got nicked from behind and spun around. Liza James’ head hit the interior of the vehicle and she suffered a severe brain injury.

Liza James, then 6 years old, was in a coma for more than two months. Beth James said doctors had to cut part of her skull -- about the size of Beth James’ palm -- to allow the brain to swell.

That ended up saving her life.

“It’s truly a miracle that they kept her with us,” Beth James said.

Liza James is healthy, but she needs assistance eating and drinking.

Three months after the accident, Beth James developed a noncancerous brain tumor the size of a golf ball. She got it removed in time by the same neurosurgeon who saved Liza James’ life.

Liza James eventually woke up, and Beth James recovered from her brain issue. Beth James was a single mother with three kids. The shock and trauma of it all was hitting her.

“I thought, ‘Beth, you need to get up. You need to care for the children. You need to go for a run. You need to clear your head,’” she said.

She set a goal to run a marathon months after she and her daughter suffered brain injuries. When she finally ran the marathon, she was thinking the whole time about how to include Liza James.

So Beth James got a racing chair for Liza James to sit in while she ran. She started by running a 5-kilometer race, then a 10-kilometer race and continued to work her way up.

“Even though Liza cannot speak, she can communicate,” Beth James said. “She immediately told me, ‘Don’t stop, mom. Don’t slow down, mom. Let’s go.’”

So Beth James kept going. She says Liza James communicates to her through hand gestures and noises.

In the past four years, Beth James has worked her way up to triathlons, sometimes training for up to 10 hours a day. And even though Beth James is not new to Ironman races -- she ran her first one in 1999 -- with the added motivation of competing with Liza James, the race has taken on a whole new meaning.

“Life is a gift,” Beth James said. “Each and every moment of each and every day is priceless. Don’t ever take it for granted. Do not ever complain. There’s always positives surrounding you.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



gradyreese/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A sweeping new study that looked at 329 companies employing 13 million people found that women in the workplace have come a long way in recent years -- but it's not a "glass ceiling" that is keeping women from the top, but a "broken rung" on the corporate ladder.

The annual Women in the Workplace study released Tuesday from LeanIn.org and the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, is the largest analysis of the state of women in corporate America and a deep dive into their experiences in the workforce as the fight for gender parity continues.

While the companies they looked at have made great strides to promote women to executive level positions in recent years, the study found that the biggest obstacle most women face with being promoted is that first step up from entry-level roles to manager -- what they dub the "broken rung."

This first "broken rung" is the biggest systemic barrier to gender parity, according to the report.

For every 100 men promoted and hired to management, only 72 women are, the study found. As a result, men end up holding 62% of manager positions, with women just holding 38%.

The numbers are worse for women of color: For every 100 entry-level male employees promoted to manager, only 58 black women are and only 68 Latina women are promoted.

"For me, the biggest takeaway is that we’ve long thought that the glass ceiling was the problem, that there is this invisible barrier on top of the pipeline that prevents people from rising to leadership," LeanIn.org’s co-founder and CEO, Rachel Thomas, told ABC News. "It's really at that first step up into management, that broken rung."

This means "there's fewer women to promote at every subsequent level," she added. "And as a result women can never effectively catch up."

"Until we fix that broken rung, some women may make some cracks in it, but we’re not going to have enough women coming up behind them to really break that glass ceiling," Thomas said.

Alexis Krivkovich, a senior partner at McKinsey and the co-founder of the annual report said their findings are especially important because "so much attention has really gone to the glass ceiling, but the largest number of women affected are women at the beginning of their careers."

"One thing that's interesting is how many companies don't realize that it's an issue," Krivkovich added. "You can't solve the problem until you first recognize that it is one."

"If you don't realize that the imbalance is there it's really hard to put the attention you need to fix it," she said.

Another issue women face on a day-to-day basis in the workplace that men often don't are "micro-aggressions," Krivkovich said.

"These are things like having to credential yourself, being mistaken for someone more junior, being asked to take the notes, being challenged or talked over in conversation," Krivkovich said.

"Women face real headwinds in their advancement," Krivkovich said. "While women demonstrate similar levels of ambition, they have very different day-to-day experiences."

The good news is that the gaze from the C-suite is becoming more female. Since 2015, the representation of women in senior leadership has increased from 17% to 21%, the study found. Meanwhile, 44% of companies have three or more women in their executive level management -- up from 29% in 2015.

Still, only one in five "C-suite executives" is a woman, according to the report. And only 1 in 25 "C-suite executives" is a woman of color.

What working women can do about this

Thomas and Krivkovich urged women not to lose hope, as the data this year holistically has been more encouraging than before.

At the individual level, Krivkovich said there are two things she always tells women to do as they climb the corporate ladder: Find sponsors in the workplace and stand up for other women.

"The first one is to really seek out sponsors and to think broadly about who sponsors, and who really could be a powerful sponsor for you," Krivkovich said. "They don't need to be the people you have the most in common with, they don't need to be the people you share the most interactions with, they need to be the people who can most help you advance and get ahead."

"The second one is it can be hard to be your own champion, it can be much easier to be a champion for someone else, so if you are in those meeting where you see those micro-aggressions, where you see someone talked over," Krivkovich said. "Call it out, because being someone else's advocate helps brings awareness to everybody."

Thomas said to keep asking for those promotions.

"In terms of practical thing that women can do its kind of going outside the bounds of the study itself, it's continue to ask, we know that women ask for promotions even if the don't get it in the moment, we know that they are more likely to get it in the future," Thomas said.

"We know that any women, when they ask for specific amount of money, the outcomes are better, so ask for it and be specific," she added.

As for what companies can do?

"One of the biggest things for me is that companies need to treat gender diversity and diversity more broadly as a business priority," Thomas said.

This means set goals or targets, share your metrics, hold senior leaders accountable and reward diversity in the workplace.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



ABC News(LONDON) -- The family of Harry Dunn, a British teenager who was killed when the wife of an American diplomat crashed into his motorcycle in August , said they learned about the woman's written apology through media reports on Monday and claimed she has yet to contact them directly.

"She's had seven weeks now to try to contact us in any way possible and we've had nothing up until we got advice and reached out to a family friend who's an ex lawyer," Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, told ABC News on Monday. "I think she needs to just face what she's done. We're a normal family and we're not out for revenge."

Charles and Dunn's father, Tim Dunn, traveled to the U.S. this week in an effort get justice for their son.

Harry Dunn, 19, was riding his motorcycle along a roadway in the village of Croughton, England, on the night of Aug. 27, when a car traveling in the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road hit him head-on, killing him.

Anne Sacoolas, 42, who is married to an American diplomat, admitted that she was responsible for the crash, but fled the U.K. to the U.S. after apparently claiming diplomatic immunity, which protects diplomats and their family members from prosecution or lawsuits under the host nation's laws.

She issued a statement through her lawyer, apologizing and saying she was "devastated by this tragic accident." But the teen's parents said the apology fell short.

"It's not strong enough," Charles said. "We have not actually been produced with the statement. But it's still only in black and white, isn't it? It's not her voice, it's not her coming to us and saying, 'I'm really sorry.'"

"We know she's going to be devastated, we know her children are going to be traumatized, but she still has her children and she's taken one of ours," she added.

Tim Dunn said he would have considered accepting her apology if it came "maybe a week after the accident or a few days afterwards."

"Now, because she said the statement we feel like it's only because we've done what we have done. So, it sort of forced her to say the statement," Tim Dunn told ABC News.

Sacoolas left England about three weeks after the accident even though she allegedly told U.K. authorities that she would cooperate with the ongoing investigation. Her attorney, Amy Jeffress, said her client wants to meet with the family to apologize and take responsibility. Dunn's parents told ABC News that they would only meet with her if she returned to the U.K. to face the consequences of her actions.

Police intended to arrest and formally interview Sacoolas, and they are "now exploring all opportunities through diplomatic channels to ensure that the investigation continues to progress," according to Northamptonshire Police Superintendent Sarah Johnson.

"Our investigation into the death of Harry Dunn continues at pace," Johnson said in a statement Sunday. "Northamptonshire Police remains absolutely committed to getting Harry and his family justice and we are doing everything on our side to ensure that a full and thorough investigation, with the assistance of all parties involved, takes place, in order for this to be achieved."

In a recent letter to the parents, obtained by ABC News, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab explained that immunity "is no longer relevant" because Sacoolas has returned home to the United States. Raab said he and his staff have been "in constant discussions" with the U.S. government and Embassy officials since the deadly traffic accident occurred over the summer.

"We have pressed strongly for a waiver of immunity, so that justice can be done in Harry's case," the British foreign secretary wrote. "Whilst the U.S. government has steadfastly declined to give that waiver, that is not the end of the matter."

The family, who described their son as "loving" and a "free spirit," who would always stand up for what he believed in, said they were heartbroken beyond measure when they discovered that Sacoolas left the country.

"When she left the country, it made it feel like we lost him again, so we haven't really started to grieve anyway," Tim Dunn said. "I'm not ready to grieve yet. I need to get the justice for Harry and then maybe I can go and cry my heart out."

"It was devastating. It was awful. It was like losing Harry again ... it hurt that much," Tim Dunn said.

The family said they plan to spend their time in the U.S. meeting with journalists and politicians in New York City and Washington, D.C., in an effort to "reach out for support from all Americans and to ask them to put pressure on the U.S. administration to do the right thing."

"Our boy was just so heartfelt and he just stood up for his rights. We know we can't let him down and we can't let his twin brother down," the teen's mother said. "Any closure that we can get would help, but the main closure for us would be her getting on that plane, coming back to the U.K. to meet us and present herself to the police."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Monday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Washington 8, St. Louis 1

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PRESEASON
Miami 120, Atlanta 87
Charlotte 120, Memphis 99
Dallas 107, Oklahoma City 70
Sacramento 128, Utah 115
Denver 107, Phoenix 102
LA Lakers 104, Golden State 98

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Boston 4, Anaheim 2
NY Islanders 3, St. Louis 2 -- OT
Florida 6, New Jersey 4
Minnesota 2, Ottawa 0
Buffalo 4, Dallas 0
Colorado 6, Washington 3
Chicago 3, Edmonton 1

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Green Bay 23, Detroit 22

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- As President Donald Trump continues to fill his Twitter feed and campaign speeches with attacks on Hunter Biden over his foreign business deals, the former vice president’s son defended the ethical implications of his private ventures in an interview with ABC News, but conceded taking a misstep in failing to foresee the political implications on his father’s career.

“In retrospect, look, I think that it was poor judgment on my part. Is that I think that it was poor judgment because I don't believe now, when I look back on it -- I know that there was -- did nothing wrong at all," said Biden. However, was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is-- it-- it's-- it's a swamp in-- in-- in many ways? Yeah.”

"I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That's where I made the mistake," Hunter Biden told ABC News in an exclusive interview. "So I take full responsibility for that. Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever."

No topic was off-limits when Biden sat down with ABC News’ Amy Robach over the weekend, including how the spotlight on his personal and professional life has threatened his ongoing struggle with addiction. It’s his first broadcast interview since attracting the attention of Trump, who posed this question to his 66 million Twitter followers last week: "WHERE’S HUNTER?"

"I'm here. I'm here and I'm working and I'm living my life," Hunter Biden retorted from his Los Angeles home. "Hiding in plain sight, I guess."

"Did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah," he said, again referring to fallout from his overseas business. "But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not."

Biden said, "I take -- full responsibility for that. Do I -- did I do anything improper? No, and not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever. I joined a board, I served honorably. I did -- I focused on corporate governance. I didn't have any discussions with my father before or after I joined the board as it related to it, other than that brief exchange that we had."

Even so, the 49-year-old has maintained a low profile in recent months as the president and his allies have targeted Hunter Biden for his professional endeavors in Ukraine and China.

Hunter Biden told ABC News he does not specifically regret those business ventures, but wishes he had anticipated future attacks from his father’s political rivals.

“What I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy Giuliani and a president of the United States that would be listening to this -- this ridiculous conspiracy idea," he said.

Trump’s overtures to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden has led to a burgeoning impeachment inquiry in Congress. When a transcript of the call revealed the president’s repeated references to the Bidens, Hunter described his reaction as being "like every other American -- I was shocked."

Soon after reading the transcript released by the White House, Hunter picked up the phone and called his father. Hunter said his father asked him about his daughter, Maisy, before getting into the big news.

"For real. And that's not a joke. I mean, and then discussion was literally like, ‘Oh my gosh,’" the younger Biden told ABC News, describing their mutual surprise at the nature of the transcript. "But other than that, really, I want to make it clear, it's not like anybody has to have any discussion beyond that."

Hunter Biden reiterated that he never discussed his foreign business dealings with his father, and made it clear he has no interest in becoming a political football as congressional Democrats haul witnesses in for depositions as part of their impeachment proceedings.

"I'll let Congress handle that," he said. "And I'll let you guys in the media handle that. And I'll let my dad's campaign handle that. And the only thing that I'm looking to handle is to make certain that I get up every day and do the next right thing. And that really is the way that I've been trying to live my life."

Despite his desire to stay out of the spotlight, ethics experts told ABC News that Hunter Biden’s role on the board of a Ukrainian oil and gas company called Burisma, while his father fronted U.S. foreign policy toward Kyiv, could present an ethical conundrum -- an allegation Hunter fervently disputed.

Biden spoke with conviction when asked about how much information he shared with his father and even whether he was qualified.

“[My father] read the press reports that I'd joined the board of Burisma which was a Ukrainian natural gas company. And there's been a lot of misinformation about me, not about my dad. Nobody buys Dad. But -- by this idea that I was unqualified to be on the board,” said Biden.

“I was vice chairman of the board of Amtrak for five years,” he continued. “I was the chairman of the board of the U.N. World Food Program.I was a lawyer for Boies Schiller Flexner, one of the most prestigious law firms in -- in the world.”

“I think that I had as much knowledge as anybody else that was on the board-- if not more,” he said.

Even so, on Sunday the Biden campaign released details of a proposed government ethics plan, which included a stipulation designed to "rein in executive branch financial conflicts of interest" -- an apparent response to allegations lodged against the Biden family. And while he cited being a lawyer at a prominent firm and his record serving on several boards as qualifications for the job, in his interview with ABC News, Hunter Biden acknowledged that his last name likely played a role in his Burisma board appointment.

"If your last name wasn't Biden," Robach asked, "do you think you would've been asked to be on the board of Burisma?"

"I don't know. I don't know. Probably not, in retrospect," he said. "But that's -- you know -- I don't think that there's a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn't Biden."

“Because my dad was Vice President of the United States. There's literally nothing, as a young man or as a full grown adult that -- my father in some way hasn't had influence over. It does not serve either one of us,” Biden continued.

On the same day the Biden campaign rolled out their government ethics plan, a lawyer for Hunter Biden announced that his client would step down from the board of directors of a Chinese-backed private equity company by the end of this month -- and commit to halting all work with foreign entities if his father wins the White House in 2020.

"I'm taking it off the table, Amy," Hunter Biden said of his decision to step away from any foreign businesses. "I'm making that commitment. Let’s see if anybody else makes that commitment. But that's the commitment that I'm making."

“Look, I'm a private citizen,” he said. "One thing that I don't have to do is sit here and open my kimono as it relates to how much money I make or make or did or didn't. But it's all been reported.”

In a press conference over the weekend, Joe Biden said the decision "represents the kind of man of integrity [Hunter] is." The president took the opportunity to recast the decision as Hunter "being forced to leave a Chinese Company."

While the congressional impeachment inquiry focuses, for the time being, squarely on the president’s interactions with Ukrainian officials, Trump’s more recent line of attack against the Bidens has targeted Hunter’s Chinese business venture. Earlier this month, Trump called on Beijing to launch an investigation into the matter.

"The Biden family was PAID OFF, pure and simple!" Trump tweeted earlier this month, echoing an accusation raised by his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The president and his allies have accused Hunter Biden of banking $1.5 billion from the joint investment firm, a figure Hunter Biden called "crazy" and "has no basis in fact in any way."

Reports at the time indicated Hunter Biden's firm sought to raise $1.5 billion from the deal -- not that either he or his firm pocketed $1.5 billion from the deal.

"They feel like they have the license to go out and say whatever they want," Hunter Biden said. "It's insane to even -- it feels to me like living in some kind of, you know, Alice in Wonderland, where you're up on the real world and then you fall down the rabbit hole, and, you know, the president's the Cheshire Cat asking you questions about crazy things that don't bear any resemblance to the reality of anything that has to do with me."

Despite Hunter Biden’s dismissal of the $1.5 billion figure attached to his investment in the firm, ethics experts have said his connection with the Chinese-based corporation again raises the potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest, particularly in light of the fact that Hunter Biden flew with his father to Beijing aboard Air Force Two in 2013 -- around the time the deal was negotiated.

"I've traveled everywhere with my dad," Hunter said. "And I went [to China in 2013] because my daughter was on the trip too."

Hunter Biden’s lawyer said he has yet to receive a financial return on investment, adding that he only became a minority stakeholder in the company in October 2017 -- after Joe Biden was no longer vice president. Prior to then, he served as an unpaid director.

Again, Hunter Biden insists he never spoke of his professional dealings with his father on the 13-hour flight. And while he insists he did not engage in any business during the visit, he told The New Yorker in July that he did meet with a business partner, Jonathan Li, and even organized Li to shake hands with his father.

Asked about that interaction, Hunter Biden said he could not remember it specifically, but said he "probably" introduced them, and in fact "hoped" he had -- adding that he had been friends with Li for 13 years.

"Whether I'm in New York, or whether I'm in Washington, D.C., or whether I'm on the campaign trail in Nevada, or whether I am in Iowa with him -- [and] a friend and a business associate is in the hotel, and my dad's staying there -- is it inappropriate for me to have coffee with him?" Biden asked rhetorically.

Robach pressed the matter, though, asking Hunter what he would say to those "who believe this is exactly why people hate Washington."

"I don't know what to tell you. I made a mistake in retrospect as it related to creating any perception that that was wrong," Hunter Biden said. "My dad has never made a decision about anything, I'm absolutely certain, taking into account anything other than what is best for the American people and what the people that elected him to do. I am 100% certain of that."

Despite the controversy, Hunter Biden maintains that the attention on his foreign business deals won’t harm his father’s campaign in the long run.

"I think that they know who my dad is, and I think that they know that my dad is not Donald Trump," he said. "I certainly hope that there is no negative political ramifications of this. I think that the truth always wins."

Still, Hunter says, the toll of being in the president’s line of fire has placed a strain on his personal life -- even though he insists his relationship with his father is as strong as ever.

"My dad doesn't have to defend me. My dad only has to love me. And my dad loves me unequivocally," he said. "And so [that is] one thing that he doesn't have to get involved in because he knows that I am my own man and that I'm strong enough."

In fact, he used the president’s attacks to draw a contrast between his father and Trump.

"As it relates to whether he can take on Donald Trump, absolutely," he said. "But my dad doesn't go after other people's kids. He just doesn't. Never has."

But as far as being a target for Trump, Biden insists he doesn’t care.

“Being the subject of Donald Trump's ire is a feather in my cap. It's not something that I go to bed nervous about at night at all. The reason I'm able to do that is because I am absolutely enveloped in love of my family,” said Biden.

The president is not the only Trump family member to target the Bidens. At a campaign rally, Eric Trump, the president’s son, led a chant of "lock him up," referring to Hunter Biden. In response, Hunter called the Trumps "irrelevant," adding that he does not spend time thinking about them.

“Unlike them, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about them. I really don't. It's all noise. And what they do is they create just an enormous amount of noise. I have to then answer questions -- about accusations made by probably the most unethical group of people that we've ever seen in this republic," Biden said.

"They'll never understand the level for how much I love my dad and how much he loves me," he said, adding later, "They're out of a B movie. I mean, they really are."

“I've been through some sh-- stuff in my life. I've been through some real, real stuff. This isn't real stuff. It isn't. It truly isn't. That part of it, that Barnum and Bailey -- you know, say anything, do anything you want, you know, I mean, like, you know, Donald Prince Humperdinck -- Trump Jr. is not somebody that I really care about,” said Biden.

Hunter Biden likened the president to a bully, and said, "I don't feed bullies." In another jab at Trump, Biden told Robach he takes "no pleasure in this as watching this death spiral of this administration -- this president and the people that surround him."

“It's really hard for me to say anything -- snarky right now or combative because I was raised to respect that office. it's making me emotional. I don't -- I don't know. I hope that -- that the history isn't fully written yet. I hope that-- that a lot of people that -- that have a chance at redemption here stand up for what is right,” Biden continued.

And even as he tries to remain positive, Hunter Biden worries that the undue attention on his personal life could undermine his sobriety -- an issue he has long struggled with. He was discharged from the Navy Reserve in February 2014 after a positive test for cocaine.

“Like every single person that I've ever known, I have fallen and I've gotten up. I've done esteemable things and things that are -- have been in my life that I -- that -- that I regret. every single one of those things has brought me exactly to where I am right now, which is probably the best place I've ever been in my life. I've gone through my own struggles," said Biden.

"You’ve got to live in the connections that you have to healthy things. And I have so many of them," he said. "And I’ve got to live there instead of living I fear, like, 'Oh my God, the stress is going to make me drink, or the stress is going to make me use.'"

Still, as the son of the former vice president, he recognizes the reality of his position -- and that if his father succeeds in winning the White House, there will be much more of the criticism.

"It comes with the territory," he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



(NEW YORK) -- Craig Ferguson will make his grand return to TV soon.  The Emmy Award-winning comedian has been tapped to host a brand new game show, The Hustler, which will put the audience's detective skills to the test.

ABC announced the new show on Monday, saying the mind-bending series will forever break the game show-mold.  The series employs five players who must collaborate with each other to answer a series of trivia questions to build the cash jackpot -- however -- there's a catch.  One player will secretly know all the answers ahead of time but must keep that fact hidden from the rest of the players... and the audience.

The show pits the players and audience against "the Hustler," who must figure out their identity in order to win the prize pot.  If the players choose right, they split the prize cash among themselves.  Choose wrong, the Hustler goes home with the cash prize.

To up the stakes, the Hustler will also anonymously eliminate two players midway through each show, forcing the remaining players to choose wisely and ignite their suspicion.

The mystery-based game show will also force the audience to tap into their sleuthing skills to see if they can crack the case before the big reveal.  

The Hustler is set to begin production later this fall.  It's premiere date remains to be annouced.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Marilyn Nieves/iStock(FORT WORTH, TX.) -- The police officer who fatally shot a Fort Worth, Texas, woman in her home while answering a call for a welfare check has been arrested on murder charges. The charge comes after the officer abruptly resigned on Monday just before he was about to be fired for allegedly violating multiple department policies, the police chief said.

The officer, identified earlier Monday as Aaron Dean, is being held without bond in Tarrant County, according to court records.

"I certainly have not been able to make sense of why she had to lose her life," Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus said at a news conference prior to the arrest, in reference to the early Saturday morning killing of Atatiana "Tay" Jefferson. "On behalf of the men and women of the Fort Worth Police Department, I'm so sorry for what occurred."

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the family, released a statement saying the family was "relieved" Dean was arrested.

"The family of Atatiana Jefferson is relieved that Aaron Dean has been arrested & charged with murder," the statement said. "We need to see this through to a vigorous prosecution & appropriate sentencing. The City of Fort Worth has much work to do to reform a brutal culture of policing."

Kraus identified the officer who shot Jefferson, 28, as Dean, who was hired by the police force in August 2017 and was commissioned as a licensed peace officer on April 13, 2018.

The police chief said he was scheduled to meet with Dean on Monday morning, but the officer tendered his resignation before they had a chance to meet.

"Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations of several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct," Kraus said.

But Jefferson's grieving family said Dean should have never been given the option to resign.

"He should have been fired before this," Jefferson's brother, Adarius Carr, told ABC News.

 Jefferson's sister, Ashley Carr, added that while her family welcomed apologies from the police chief and other city officials, including the mayor, she told ABC News, "It's not the end result we're looking for."

"I want justice for my sister," Ashley Carr said. "I want her death not to be in vain."

She said her sister was a pre-med graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, who dropped her career ambitions to return home to Texas to care for their ailing mother. She said Jefferson was also helping their sister, Amber, who recently underwent heart surgery, raise her two young children, including their 8-year-old nephew, Zion, who witnessed her being shot to death.

The family's attorney, civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt, said the next development loved ones of Jefferson are hoping for, is that Dean suffer the consequences of his actions.

"The opportunity to resign is a slap in this family's face and it's a slap in the community's face," Merritt said. "He should have never been given that option. And I want us to stop treating this ... like it's a bad apple case. The saying is 'a bad apple spoils the bunch.' But the barrel is rotten from the core."

Kaus said an internal investigation and a criminal investigation of Dean would proceed, and that he has sent a preliminary report of the shooting to the FBI to review Dean's actions for possible civil rights violations.

Kraus said Dean has not been cooperating with the investigation, adding, "He resigned before his opportunity to cooperate."

The chief had said prior to the arrest he was getting frequent updates on the criminal investigation against Dean and anticipated that he would be able to provide the public with a "substantial update" no later than Tuesday.

He also said Dean's separation paperwork would be sent to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the agency in charge of licensing and certifying peace officers, "will reflect that he was dishonorably discharged from the Fort Worth Police Department."

 Kraus made the announcement after Mayor Betsy Price expressed outrage over the shooting and berated the police department for releasing a photo of a handgun found in Jefferson's home, saying, "there is nothing that could justify what happened on Saturday morning. Nothing."

"The gun is irrelevant. She was in her own home caring for her 8-year old nephew. Atatiana was a victim," the mayor said.

Kraus echoed the mayor, saying the photo of the gun that was released to the public "was a bad thing to do" and was apparently intended to "show what the perceived threat may have been."

He said the gun was found just inside the window where Jefferson, who, according to her family, had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, was shot.

"I can't imagine most of us, if we thought we had somebody outside our house that shouldn't be there and we had access to a firearm, that we wouldn't act very similarly to how she acted," Kraus said.

But Merritt said he interpreted the move as an attempt to "cast aspersions on Tay, to give this officer (Dean) an out."

"This was their attempt to justify the unjustifiable," Merritt told ABC News.

After spending the weekend hearing from outraged community residents, and friends and relatives of Jefferson, Price apologized on behalf of the city of Fort Worth.

"We are all heartbroken today. Atatiana was a beautiful, smart, amazing young woman by all accounts, who was unjustly taken from her family," Price said. "The entire city is in pain. As a mother, grandmother, a sister, an aunt, I can't imagine anything worse and I'm so sorry."

Calling the circumstances a "pivotal moment for the city," the mayor said she had ordered the creation of a "third-party panel of national experts to review this department."

Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke announced he will assemble an independent review board for the police department and will begin interviewing candidates for an independent police monitor.

Prior to receiving news of Dean's resignation, Jefferson's relatives demanded the officer be immediately fired and arrested, and that the federal government take charge of the investigation.

"This man murdered someone. He should be arrested," said Adarius Carr, a member of the U.S. Navy.

"I've served my country for the last 12 years. In that time, I've been trained and taught that there are preplanned responses for everything you do. Everything you're trained about, there's a way to do things. And when you don't do it the way you've been trained or the way you've been taught, you have to answer for that," Carr said. "The Fort Worth PD cannot investigate themselves. The U.S. Navy is not allowed to do it, they should not be as well."

Merritt said the shooting shows that the Fort Worth Police Department is "in need of serious systematic reform."

He said the family is calling on the Department of Justice or the FBI to investigate the killing, adding that the officer should be "vigorously prosecuted."

"We expect this to happen immediately," Merritt said. "This (the shooting) happened Saturday. Why this man is not in handcuffs right now is a source of continued agitation for this family and for this community, and it must be addressed."

The shooting unfolded about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday after a neighbor of Jefferson's called the police department's non-emergency line to asked that a welfare check be conducted on Jefferson's home because the lights were on and the back and front doors were open.

Lt. Brandon O'Neil said at a news conference Sunday afternoon that two officers were sent to the home on East Allen Avenue. He said the officers arrived at the house at 2:29 a.m. and parked near Jefferson's home, but not in front of the residence.

O'Neil said the officers walked around the back of the house, and that one of the officers observed a person through the rear window of the home and opened fire.

Chief Kraus added on Monday that the officers never knocked on the door.

Body-camera footage released by the department shows Dean approaching a rear window of the home with his gun drawn. The officer sees the woman through the window, shouts, "Put your hands up, show me your hands," and fires one shot.

"Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence," a statement from the police department reads.

Responding officers entered the home, located the shooting victim and began providing emergency care.

Jefferson died at the scene.

O'Neil said Dean never identified himself as a police officer to Jefferson.

"What the officer observed and why he did not announce 'police' will be addressed as the investigation continues," O'Neil said.

 Merritt said that Jefferson and her nephew, Zion, were playing a "Call of Duty" video game when they heard someone in the bushes outside their home and went to a bedroom window to investigate. He said Jefferson stopped her nephew from looking out the window and that she was shot when she peered into the darkness.

"It was less than a second," Merritt said of the shooting. "I had an expert slow it (the body-camera video) down. It was .6 seconds between the command and the shot. There was no time for them to perceive a threat from a weapon. There was no time for her to respond. It was reckless, deadly behavior."

Ashley Carr said her sister never mentioned being afraid of getting killed by police.

"We obeyed laws. We didn't walk in fear because we did what we thought was right," she told ABC News. "Now you could still do what's right, but it's coming with fear, and that's scary."

Adarius Carr said that he hopes people remember his sister for how she lived.

"I want everyone to remember my sister like I remember her: Just a fun-loving, easy-going, hilarious young lady who just wanted to serve and be better, make sure our family was good," he said. "A very beautiful soul, absolutely. My life is upside down without her."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Listener Poll
IT'S FAIR SEASON TIME! WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Find Us On Facebook