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Boston Marathon bombing survivor killed in car crash in Dubai

Published: Monday, March 07, 2016 @ 11:28 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 08, 2016 @ 12:07 PM


            BOSTON, MA - MAY 30: Marathon bystander Bruce Mendhelson, first responder Alicia Shambo, Marathon victim Victoria McGrath, first responder Tyler Dodd, and Boston firefighter Jimmy Plourde on stage during the Boston Strong: An Evening Of Support And Celebration at TD Garden on May 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 30: Marathon bystander Bruce Mendhelson, first responder Alicia Shambo, Marathon victim Victoria McGrath, first responder Tyler Dodd, and Boston firefighter Jimmy Plourde on stage during the Boston Strong: An Evening Of Support And Celebration at TD Garden on May 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

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Two Northeastern University students were killed in a car accident in the United Arab Emirates.

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One of the victims was Boston Marathon bombing survivor Victoria McGrath, a business administration and accounting student whose legs were injured when she was hit by shrapnel in the April 15, 2013, attacks. 

McGrath, 23, and classmate Priscilla Perez Torrez were in Dubai at the time of the crash. The university said the women were on a personal trip, not studying abroad.

Northeastern University released a statement Monday morning:

"Northeastern University has confirmed that two undergraduate students have been tragically killed in a car accident overseas. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Victoria McGrath and Priscilla Perez Torres in this extremely difficult time."

>>Victoria McGrath's parents release statement to remember their daughter

McGrath, originally from Weston, Connecticut, was five feet away from the first bomb when it went off at the race nearly three years ago. 

Boston firefighter Jimmy Plourde used a T-shirt to tie a tourniquet onto her leg and carried her to a medical tent. Images of the scene became lasting photos of the marathon bombings.

“People come up to me and tell me how terrible this is,” McGrath said at a fundraiser after the bombings. “And to an extent they are right, but we're only going to get stronger from this -- all of us.”

Meet bombing victim #VictoriaMcgrath on @todayshow She is thankful to 4 strangers who saved her life.

A photo posted by kerrynbc (@kerrynbc) on

Plourde released a statement Monday on McGrath's death, saying that his family is "devastated."

"My family is devastated with the loss of our dearest friend Victoria McGrath and her roommate Priscilla Perez Torres," he said. "After the Boston Marathon bombing, Victoria become a major part of my life as well as my family's. It's been said that I helped to save her life, but the truth is, Victoria saved my life after the marathon, as her love, support and friendship helped myself and my family deal with the acts of April 15, 2013. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McGrath and Perez Torres families as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy."

Boston firefighter Jimmy Plourde has released a statement to NBC News after learning the woman he's carrying to safety...

Posted by Subrina Dhammi on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Details of the crash that killed McGrath and Torrez are still unclear.

Those who knew McGrath took to social media to mourn her death.

Life can change in an instant...we know this only too well.  Those who survived the Boston Marathon bombings of April...

Posted by Norden Brothers - Boston Marathon Survivors on Sunday, March 6, 2016

الله يرحمهاThe path of your life can change in an instant...this is so sad.... Victoria McGrath, my student and...

Posted by Rand Ghayad on Sunday, March 6, 2016

Love and light to my fellowBoston Marathon attack survivor,Victoria McGrath, taken by accident from our Marathon...

Posted by Lynn Julian on Monday, March 7, 2016

Mariana and I are heart broken to hear that a beautiful young lady who was one of the Boston Marathon bombing survivors,...

Posted by Anton Spaans on Sunday, March 6, 2016

each and every one of these people are my heroes<3

Posted by Krystara Brassard on Thursday, October 10, 2013

Deployed troops will be able to watch NFL playoff games

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:42 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

UPDATE, 10:03 a.m. 1/21/2018: Despite the shutdown of the United States government early Saturday, the NFL announced Sunday morning that the Armed Forces Network will  air the AFC and NFC Championship games.

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The NFL also said it is providing free access to the games via NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

Meanwhile, Congress is back at work Sunday, attempting to create a deal to end the shutdown. 

ORIGINAL STORY: As a result of lawmakers failing to resolve a standoff over immigration and spending, the United States government has been shut down indefinitely – meaning everyone has been affected, including troops overseas.

>> Watch the news report here

There is a lot of fallout from the shutdown. From government employees who aren't being paid, including the Defense Department, to the Armed Forces Network being taken off the air, the effects of a standstill government can be felt across the board.

Since the AFN has been taken off the air, that means many of our troops overseas won't be able to watch the NFL playoffs Sunday

Surely it's not the biggest issue surrounding a government shutdown, but it's a big morale issue. 

>> Trump campaign ad calls Democrats 'complicit' in killings by undocumented immigrants

Watching the Patriots on the Armed Forces Network has been a comforting piece of home for army Sgt. Matt Connolly, who's serving in South Korea.

"It's kind of the only thing we can do for fun over here," Connolly told WFXT.

For the first time since he's been stationed in Korea, his family came to visit him for the AFC Championship game.

"I'm actually on leave right now. My family from Boston is here right now and we were looking forward to watching the game," Connolly said.

With no one to run it, AFN is off the air. 

>> John Legend blames Trump for government shutdown, calls him racist

The NFL says it is providing free access to Sunday's Championships via the NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

"No matter what, I'm going to watch them," Connolly said.

Sen. Ed Markey says he's in a holding pattern right now as he says he and most of his colleagues are preparing to negotiate through the night – but it's still unclear if that will be an option.

Immigration issues are at the center of the shutdown. Many Republicans don't want to negotiate on those issues until a spending bill is passed and the government re-opens.

However, those immigration issues – including the DREAMERS Act – are a priority for many Democrats. 

Markey told WFXT that he believes everyone needs to continue working to find some sort of compromise, and he wants President Donald Trump to take the lead.

"Bill Belichick is telling the New England Patriots for tomorrow, 'Do your job,' and we are saying to President Trump for tomorrow, 'Do your job, Mr. President. Make sure that the funding is there for our troops. Make sure that our defense is taken care of, but make sure that we also protect child health and the Dreamers,' but thus far he's been unwilling to do his job," Markey said.

Florida man dead after diving in underwater caves

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 3:32 PM

Underground cave.
Handout/Getty Images
Underground cave.(Handout/Getty Images)

A 50-year-old Florida man is dead after cave diving in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park this weekend, officials said.

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Davin Brannon, 53, of Dover, was diving in the Eagle’s Nest cave around noon Saturday when Hernando County Sheriff officials were called about a diver in distress.

By the time crews arrived at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, north of Tampa, Brannon was dead, officials said. 

"They weren't planning to explore any deeper than the first room of the cave when the incident occurred," sheriff’s office spokesman Michael Terry told WTSP. "We don't know if he simply drowned or if he had a heart attack, it's hard to tell at this point." 

The medical examiner has been called in to determine the exact cause of death.

Eagle’s Nest underwater caves is the site of other recent drownings: two divers drowned in 2016 and another in January 2017, according to WTSP. 

Shirtless flag-bearer from 2016 Olympics qualifies for 2018 Games

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 2:27 PM

Pita Taufatofua carried the flag for Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Pita Taufatofua carried the flag for Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics.(Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The flag-bearer from Tonga who walked shirtless in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics will need to pack some warm shirts for the South Korean games.

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Saying that “a miracle happened,” Pita Taufatofua qualified for the Pyeongchang Olympics in cross-country skiing Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Taufatofua had failed in two previous attempts to qualify for the Winter Olympics, but on Saturday, he met the standards in five races to qualify, ESPN reported.

“I gave it absolutely everything,” he told the Journal. “I died at the end.”

Taufatofua qualified in taekwondo at the Rio de Janeiro Games, ESPN reported. He was eliminated in his first bout.

Hospital blames contraceptive app for accidental pregnancies

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 2:16 PM

Hospital Blames Contraceptive Phone App for Pregnancies

A phone app that claimed it was an effective digital contraceptive is now under fire after dozens of women who said they used the app became pregnant.

Natural Cycles was certified as a birth control method in the European Union last year.

It would help woman keep track of body temperature to predict when women could become pregnant when not using traditional forms of birth control, the Evening Standard reported. It was promoted as an alternative to birth control pills and researchers believed in the results after they found it was up to 99 percent effective, the newspaper reported last year.

>>Mobile app designed to prevent pregnancy approved in Europe

Now a Swedish hospital is casting doubts on the method after it has reported dozens of unwanted pregnancies from users over the past few months, The Daily Mail reported.

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The app is popular in Europe where users went from 5,000 in 2016 to 125,000 in 2017. 

And while there have been reports of unplanned pregnancies, the company markets Natural Cycles told the Daily Mail, “No contraception is 100 percent and unwanted pregnancies is an unfortunate risk with any contraception.”

Company officials said that the number that the hospital was reporting, 37 unplanned pregnancies out of 668 users, is within the 93 percent risk communicated to consumers, the Daily Mail reported.

The Evening Standard reported that the risk of unplanned pregnancy while using birth control pills is about 91 percent.