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Erika Parfenova/iStock(PARIS) -- The debate over the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris continues.

Since the April fire that burnt down the roof of Paris' most beloved cathedral, causing the collapse of the 800 year-old spire, debates on its reconstruction have opposed France's conservatives and modernists.

Emotions ran high Wednesday when Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, who was chosen by President Emmanuel Macron to lead the restoration, asked the chief architect of the project, Philippe Villeneuve, to "shut his trap" during a session of the National Assembly Committee.

Villeneuve is in favor of building a spire identical to the one that was lost, which would also help keep to a tight deadline, he said, but Georgelin advocates for a consultation on the spire's fate.

Two days after the fire at Notre Dame, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the organization of an international architectural contest for the spire's reconstruction. Several projects for modern spires have already been conceived and published by artists and architects from all over the world.

But for some, reconstructing Notre Dame is not up to competition but ought to be an enterprise faithful to the spire's original look. Villeneuve, who has been the chief architect of the cathedral's restoration since 2013, expressed this wish in the local newspaper Le Figaro.

Georgelin, who was in front of French lawmakers to discuss progress of the operations, asked the architect that he "let us advance in wisdom so that we can calmly make the best choice for Notre Dame, for Paris, for the world." The final decision should be made by "mid-2021," Georgelin announced.

The general expressed worries for the winter season, a "critical moment" for the scaffolding over Notre Dame's roof, which is still in danger of collapsing under a strong wind. A team of steeplejacks has been working on taking down the scaffolding piece by piece, which should be achieved by early summer 2020.

He also confirms to lawmakers the goal of five years set by Macron for the reconstruction, saying that "if there is no rigorous demonstration that it can be achieved in five years, there is however nothing to say that we cannot achieve it."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- A newborn with the umbilical cord still attached has been found dead, lying on the ground in a vacant lot, police said.

The discovery was made Tuesday night in Port Jervis, New York, which is about 90 miles from New York City and near where Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York intersect.

At about 10:30 p.m., officers responded to a report of a dead infant in a vacant lot, according to the Port Jervis Police Department. The baby "appeared to have been born recently" and had its umbilical cord attached, said police.

Authorities identified and interviewed the baby's mother but her name has not been released because the investigation is ongoing, police said Wednesday.

An autopsy was conducted on Wednesday and "detectives are awaiting results of toxicology and further testing," said police.

Police ask anyone with information to call the Port Jervis Police Department at 845-856-5101.

The police department added that it asks "the public to keep the young infant in their thoughts and prayers."

Every state has Safe Surrender or Safe Haven laws, though they differ by state, including how much time after birth a parent or guardian has to surrender the child. In 32 states, parents or guardians have 30 days to relinquish the child, Damien Johnson, director of communications of the National Safe Haven Alliance, told ABC News last month.

Laws also differ on which locations are considered safe havens. In every state, a hospital is a safe location. Some states also allow a child to be taken to a fire station or police station, said Johnson.

The first Safe Haven law was enacted in Texas in 1999, and since then all states as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have passed Safe Haven legislation, saving over 4,000 babies, according to the National Safe Haven Alliance. There is no federal legislation, Johnson said.

You can reach the toll-free crisis hotline at 1-888-510-BABY or get information on your state by clicking the map here at

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC News/Steve Iervolino(NEW YORK) -- Quentin Tarantino is expanding his horizons. Variety reports that the filmmakeris setting his sights on a book, play, and even a TV series. 

He told the publication, "So I finished Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, finished that script, put it aside, and then I wrote a play. And then I wrote a five-episode TV series. And right now I’m writing a book and I’m hoping that I’ll be finished in three months." 

This means that his 10th movie will be put on the back burner as he pursues his new creative projects.

As previously reported, Tarantino revealed that he'd written full episodes of Bounty Law, the 1950s western TV series on which Leonardo DiCaprio's Once Upon a Time character starred. It's likely that's the TV project to which he was referring in the Variety piece; he'd previously discussed wanting to bring the fictitous black and white TV show into the real world.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Lokibaho/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- Keys, wallet, cellphone -- check. But what about your charger?

As people prepare to travel during the busy holiday season it could be more important than ever to double check that devices are fully charged or at least ensure you have a power adapter base and chord before leaving the house.

‘Juice Jacking’ Criminals Use Public USB Chargers to Steal Data - learn more:
#FraudFriday #fraud #fraudalert #crime #scams #scamalert

— Los Angeles County District Attorney (@LADAOffice) November 8, 2019

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office issued a new warning against those popular public charging stations for a new concern called "juice jacking."

The D.A. urged people to avoid using public USB charging stations at airports and other public locations because it could be susceptible to tampering.

Criminals can load malware onto the convenient charging stations or through the cables left at the kiosk and once a device is plugged in, it becomes infected.

#ICYMI: Avoid using public USB charging stations at airports and other locations. Deputy District Attorney Luke Sisak explains how the “juice jacking” scam works#FraudFriday #fraud #fraudalert #crime #scams #scamalert

— Los Angeles County District Attorney (@LADAOffice) November 12, 2019

The malware could send a full backup of the phone plugged into the affected kiosk directly to the criminal.

Cyber experts and D.A. officials shared a few tips to keep devices and data safe.

  •     Use an AC power outlet, not a USB charging station
  •     Take AC and car chargers for devices when traveling
  •     Consider buying portable chargers for emergencies

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Apple(NEW YORK) -- We all want to live healthy lifestyles, and many of us follow along with the latest medical research.

Getting large amounts of people to join research studies, however, can be a different story.

“Clinical trials testing new medications are usually not difficult to enroll and people are generally willing to travel to the researcher’s office multiple times in order to participate,” Dr. David Bernstein, vice chair of medicine for clinical trials at Northwell Health in Manhasset, N.Y., told ABC News.

The types of long-term trials meant to look at large amounts of people, though, “offer no perceived immediate benefit to the participant (and) are more difficult to enroll and potential subjects are less likely make frequent visits to a researcher’s office,” he added.

But what if joining a research study were as easy as downloading an app on your phone? That’s what Apple is doing Thursday with the launch of the Research app, a free application for iPhone and Apple Watch through which users can enroll in large-scale research studies addressing a variety of health topics including women’s health, heart and movement, and hearing.

In an interview with ABC News last week in New York City, Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, told Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent, “If you can take away the friction people will participate. What we are doing is making this a really simple process.”

Bernstein, who is not working with Apple on this launch, says the ability to sign up for studies and participate remotely is a big deal.

“More people will be able to participate and data can be collected 24/7, which will make the conclusions more real," he said.

Anyone with an iPhone in the United States can join these studies by downloading the Research app and consenting to participate. To sign up for the heart and movement study, you also need to own an Apple Watch.

The process is more cumbersome than a typical click of the “I agree” that many of us have become used to. Apple says it wants people to know what they are signing up for, and the research institutions have specific language and agreement protocols to make sure the data is compatible with previous and future research.

Data collected through these studies will be used, not only to generate new knowledge on important health topics, but also to learn more about how people use their iPhones and Apple Watches.

“We want to make sure when we develop technology that we understand how individuals and customers use it, as well as how does the medical community use it,” Dr. Sumbul Desai, Apple's vice president of health, told ABC News.

Apple’s launch of the Research app coincides with the publication of results from the Apple Heart Study conducted by Stanford Medicine, supported by Apple, and now published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Apple Heart Study was the company’s first foray into using its wearable technology for the purpose of large-scale health research, and it hoped to prove that the watch could work to help people.

More than 400,000 voluntarily sign-up over an eight-month period.

The study investigated the ability of the Apple Watch to detect atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm that can cause stroke -- and if not treated could lead to death. By the end of the study, about 0.5 percent of participants received an irregular heart rhythm notification; they were all asked to wear an ECG patch to corroborate the findings on the Apple Watch.

Among those who wore and returned the patch, 34 percent were found to have atrial fibrillation. The watch was found to be about 84% accurate at identifying irregular heartbeat.

It’s now a standard feature on the Apple Watch and many people have reported receiving the alert, going to the doctor for confirmation, and getting potentially lifesaving medical treatment.

Dr. Mintu Turakhia, a cardiologist at Stanford University and one of the lead authors on the Apple Heart Study, says: “We’re excited because this lays the foundation for more research in wearable technologies and generates a new way to do clinical research that engages more patients and people.”

As numerous large technology companies, including Amazon, Google and Microsoft move into the healthcare space, the advantages of using smart devices to conduct research are clear. Recruiting and enrolling participants through these devices may generate studies with massive sample sizes that are able to detect small differences between groups.

They may engage populations in clinical research that are traditionally left out of health studies, including women and minorities. It also afford the opportunity for monitoring of certain health indicators on a daily basis.

This can be a big advantage to patients and physicians alike.

One of the studies available to enroll in starting Thursday is the Apple Women’s Health Study, which is being conducted in partnership with the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The purpose of this study is to examine women’s menstrual cycles and their relationship to several health conditions.

“The medical research for women has been an area that has been completely under-served. And it's only very recently that we have equal parity in research studies of women,” says Desai. “So we're really focused on areas -- that we can provide the information to users so they can be more proactive and engage earlier on with a physician.”

Bernstein, meanwhile, says Apple's approach will lead to a "greater variety of data."

"This method of data collection also eliminates the recurring issues of data collection which is dependent upon subjects showing up in a researcher’s office and completing surveys and questionnaires based upon recollection,” he said.

However, there are limitations to this approach to data collection as well. People who own smartphones and smart watches may be wealthier, younger and healthier than the average American.

This was demonstrated to some extent in the Apple Heart Study, in which only 5.9% of the sample was over the age of 65.

Sue Feldman, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Health Services Administration, isn’t involved with the Research app, but says she would like to sign up personally to participate.

She can't, though.

“Yes, this is very innovative. However, being an Android user, there would need to be a serious cost offset to motivate me, and I do not have an iPhone," she said. "I am involved in another study that does not require an iPhone or any Apple platform for data transmission.”

Apple says customer privacy requires them to control the process on their devices.

"As one of its core values, Apple believes that privacy is a fundamental human right. Therefore privacy is built into all products and services from the beginning,” says COO Jeff Williams, who heads the medical initiatives at Apple. "The Research app was carefully created to only share data with the chosen studies when the user approves.

"It also includes a clear enrollment flow with detailed consent that explains how data will be used and allows a user to control the type of data shared with each study,” he added.

Users have control of what data they’re sharing and where it goes and can stop sharing at any time.

“When [you] opt in, one of the things you’ll see is we will never sell your data,” Williams told Ashton.

Apple isn’t talking about future plans besides these three new studies, but Feldman would like to see a study about whether people change their health behaviors when they see their data.

"If you know this is happening, do you change your lifestyle?" she asked.

For those of us checking our step counts or looking to close our rings, that may be an experiment we are already participating in.

For their latest venture into health research, Apple has partnered with both government and academic institutions to carry out the following studies:

The Apple Women’s Health Study

Apple is working with the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study women’s menstrual cycles and their relationship to several health conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, osteoporosis, and menopause.

The Apple Heart and Movement Study

Apple has partnered with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association to understand how heart rate and movement impact hospitalizations, falls, and cardiovascular health.

The Apple Hearing Study

Apple is collaborating with the University of Michigan on a long-term study of how sound influences hearing over time. Data from both headphone usage and from the Noise app will be used to measure sound exposure and track its impact on hearing. These data will also be shared with the World Health Organization as part of its Make Listening Safe Initiative.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Office of the Governor of Massachusetts(NEW YORK) -- Deval Patrick, the former two-term governor of Massachusetts and the state's first black chief executive, formally announced a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in a sharp reversal from his 2018 decision to not pursue a run -- injecting more uncertainty into an unsettled primary less than three months before the first votes.

"I've had the chance to live my American dream," he said in announcement video Thursday morning. "But over the years I've seen the path to that dream closing off bit by bit. The anxiety and even anger that I saw in my neighbors on the South Side, the sense of the government and the economy were letting us down, were not longer about us is what folks feel all over America today in all kinds of communities.

"I am today announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," he added.

Patrick, a close ally of former President Barack Obama, seeks to position himself as the candidate who can unify the party.

His first move as a presidential candidate will be to personally file paperwork Thursday morning at New Hampshire’s State House for the first-in-the nation's primary ballot -- a day before the deadline -- according to sources close to Patrick.

He is expected to then head to California, the delegate-rich Super Tuesday state voting in early March, before heading to the other early states.

Prior to his anticipated announcement, Patrick called political allies, officials and potential aides earlier this week to inform them of his intentions to launch an 11th-hour campaign for the nomination, according to Democratic Party sources, nearly a year after he ruled it out.

"I hope to help in whatever way I can. It just won’t be as a candidate for president," he wrote in 2018, as he signaled that his concerns with launching a White House run were with "the cruelty of our elections process."

Patrick's late candidacy, 11 months into the primary, reflects a splintered field grappling with concerns over the strength of the existing pool of nearly two dozen contenders and underscores Democrats' urgency to oust President Donald Trump.

While four candidates steadily occupy the top spots in recent national and early state polling -- moderates Joe Biden, the former vice president, and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and progressive stalwarts, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders -- the protracted contest remains fluid and without an outright front-runner.

In the latest Iowa poll, only 28 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers, the first voters in the country in early February, are firmly settled on their pick.

Patrick, who hails from the same state as Warren -- who said in interview last week that Patrick would top the list of potential members of her cabinet -- could complicate the Democratic front-runner's strategy in New Hampshire, a notion she denied after filing for the early state's primary ballot Wednesday.

While a shakeup to the presidential contest this late has seldom proved successful in recent history, Patrick argues in the video there is an opening for him.

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field," Patrick said. "They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time it's about the character of the country.

"This time is about more than removing an unpopular and divisive leader -- as important as that is -- but about delivering instead for you," he said, before recognizing the challenges ahead. "We will build as we climb ... this won't be easy."

But the newest entrant faces significant hurdles and long odds. While the other candidates have spent months aggressively campaigning, expanding their ground-games and amassing war chests, Patrick's nascent campaign will need to quickly build up the infrastructure to compete and also raise cash even quicker.

He will also have to contend with his ties to Bain Capital, the private equity firm where he holds the title of managing director and was co-founded by Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, in a cycle in which at least two of the front-runners are shunning big dollar fundraisers and the billionaire class.

Despite his last-minute entry into the race, one source who has spoken to the former governor told ABC News Wednesday Patrick is clear-eyed about his prospects and has started to fill out a team -- believing he can be competitive in neighboring New Hampshire, South Carolina, home to a significantly large African American voting population among the four early nominating states, and on Super Tuesday.

Patrick has already missed the filing deadline in two southern states -- Arkansas and Alabama -- a potential disadvantage since those primaries are slated for March 3. Another hurdle lies in Michigan, where the deadline for parties to submit their list of candidates fell on Wednesday; he will now need to gather 11,345 signatures and petition to get on the ballot by Dec. 13.

But Tim Murray, former Massachusetts lieutenant governor, who spoke with Patrick last year about a possible run but not about his plans this year, said his former boss had "a lot to offer" and was "not afraid of risk."

"People will say, 'If you're going to make this decision, you should have made it already' -- but I think, he's not afraid of risk. He's not afraid to lose," he said. "He thinks he has a vision that will offer value."

Patrick might not be the only late entry into the still-crowded primary. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has moved closer to formally joining the crowded field, after filing to qualify for Alabama's and Arkansas' primaries over the last week to keep his options open as he weighs his own last-minute run amid concerns over the current field's ability to defeat Trump.

Bloomberg has also requested a petition from Tennessee's secretary of state on Nov. 12 to gain access to the ballot ahead of the state's filing deadline next month -- signaling another step towards possibly declaring a bid as the field grows by one.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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


Memphis 119, Charlotte 117
Orlando 112, Philadelphia 97
Boston 140, Washington 133
Houston 102, L.A. Clippers 93
Minnesota 129, San Antonio 114
L.A. Lakers 120, Golden State 94
Toronto 114, Portland 106


NY Islanders 5, Toronto 4
Ottawa 4, New Jersey 2
Washington 2, Philadelphia 1 -- SO
Dallas 3, Calgary 1
Chicago 5, Vegas 3


VCU 84, LSU 82
Ohio St. 76, Villanova 51
Texas Tech 103, Houston Baptist 74
Louisville 91, Indiana St. 62

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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