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Otto Warmbier dies from injuries sustained in N. Korea prison

Published: Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 7:23 AM
Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 5:43 PM

Warmbier begs N. Korean panel for leniency

UPDATE @ 5:40 p.m.

President Donald J. Trump made the following statement regarding Warmbier’s death: `Bad things' happened in `brutal' North Korea but at least American died at home with parents.

UPDATE @ 5 p.m.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement on the passing of Otto Warmbier: 

 

"Otto Warmbier was such a promising young man. He was kind, generous and accomplished. He had all the talent you could ever ask for and a bright future ahead of him. His passing today is a loss for Ohio and for all of us. Jane and I are lifting up the Warmbier family in our prayers at this difficult time, and we are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this remarkable young Ohioan."

UPDATE @ 4:37 p.m. (June 19)

Otto Warmbier, 22, of Wyoming, Ohio, has died from injuries sustained during detainment in North Korea. 

University of Cincinnati Medical Center released a statement on behalf of Fred and Cindy Warmbier, Monday afternoon. 

“It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m. 

It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost future time that won't be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family. 

We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto. Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today. 

When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that. 

We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.”

— Fred & Cindy Warmbier and Family

EARLIER REPORT

A southwest Ohio college student held captive by North Korea for more than a year — most of that time in a coma — was released this week. Here’s what we know today after Otto Warmbier’s father and doctors spoke Thursday: 

Extensive brain damage: Doctors said Warmbier, 22, shows no sign of understanding language nor has the ability to verbally respond. An MRI revealed “extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain,” said Dr. Daniel Kanter of UC Health. Warmbier has spontaneous moments of eye opening but has neither spoken nor made any purposeful movements, according to doctors.

» RELATED: Doctors say Otto Warmbier has ‘extensive loss of brain tissue’ on return from N. Korea 

Kanter said Otto’s vital signs were stable upon arrival, his skin was in good condition and he was well nourished.

Father speaks: Fred Warmbier called the return of his son “bittersweet.” He is relieved his son is home but angry “that he was so brutally treated for so long.” Cindy Warmbier remains by her son’s side at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 

Quiet diplomacy: New details emerged Thursday about the role of U.S. special envoy Joseph Yun in the release of Warmbier. Yun spoke and met secretly with North Korean counterparts in the months since President Donald Trump took office. Yun was the first to verify Warmbier’s condition during an extraordinarily rare visit to North Korea by a U.S. diplomat. 

» RELATED: US official's 'quiet diplomacy' led to Warmbier's release 

More on the story:

Arrives in U.S.: A small jet carrying Warmbier, 22, landed at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati on Tuesday night about 10:20 p.m.

In need of care: Warmbier is in a coma. News photos showed him with a tube in his nose being carried from the aircraft before he was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for medical care.

» RELATED: US college student released by North Korea home, but in coma

Warmbier has been in a coma for “over a year now and urgently needs proper medical care,” said Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, who has been in touch with the Warmbier family and served periodically as a negotiator with the North Korean government.

Cincinnati-area man released from North Korea

‘Not in great shape’: Fred Warmbier discussed his son’s captivity with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday: "Otto is not in great shape right now," Fred Warmbier said. "Otto has been terrorized and brutalized for 18 months by a pariah regime in North Korea."

» RELATED: Family of freed student adjusting to 'different reality'

‘Repeatedly beaten’: The New York Times reports that a senior U.S. official said it was only in recent weeks that the “United States obtained intelligence reports indicating that Warmbier had been repeatedly beaten while in North Korean custody.”

Local ties: Warmbier is a 2013 graduate of Wyoming High School in Hamilton County where he was class salutatorian and played soccer. He is an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia. 

Charge of subversion: During a one-hour trial in March 2016, North Korea’s highest court sentenced Warmbier to 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion after he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal a propaganda banner. 

Government intervention: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement Tuesday reading: “At the direction of the President, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea.”

North Korea statement: North Korea said in a one-line statement it released Warmbier for what it calls humanitarian reasons. In the country’s first official comment since Warmbier’s return, the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Thursday said Otto Warmbier had been sentenced to hard labor but didn't comment on his medical condition.

» RELATED: Rodman's N. Korea trip off to uncharacteristic low-key start

Flight path home: According to The New York Times, people close to the negotiations said Warmbier was flown to Japan and then Alaska before arriving in Cincinnati. 

Others held: The State Department continues to have discussions with North Korea about three other detained Americans. 

Another Ohioan previously held by North Korea: Warmbier is the second southwest Ohio resident to be held captive and released by North Korea in the past three years. Moraine resident Jeff Fowle was detained for six months after leaving a Bible in a nightclub, considered a crime in North Korea. He was was released in 2014.

The Associated Press and New York Times contributed to this report.

» RELATED: 3 things we learned when North Korea detained a local man

» RELATED: Freed captive explains his secret Bible plan

Judge sets end time on tonight’s deliberations in heroin-related death

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 11:14 AM
Updated: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 8:25 PM

Freddie Green faces up to 15 years to life in prison if convicted of murdering his father.

UPDATE @ 8:25 p.m.

A judge is allowing a jury in a Warren County murder trial to deliberate up to 9 p.m.

EARLIER

A jury is deliberating in the murder trial of a Lebanon man accused of killing his father in December in Warren County.

Freddie Green, 42, is accused in the Dec. 2 fatal shooting of his father, Sidney Green, 64, in a rented home they shared in Lebanon.

The jury began deliberations at 10:57 a.m. Wednesday, the third day of the trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

On Tuesday while testifying, Green admitted waiting four hours, during which time he drove to Dayton for heroin, before calling 911 for help for his father.

RELATED: Son made heroin run before calling 911 after shooting father

Green said he planned to commit suicide with the drugs.

RELATED: Heroin addiction at center of murder trial in Warren County

Green said he was unsure what to do after shooting his father out of fear he would pull out another gun after they struggled in the bedroom of a duplex in Lebanon.

A syringe containing the illegal drugs was found in the kitchen when police arrived to find Sidney Green dead in the bedroom from a single gunshot to the back of his head.

RELATED: Son to stand trial for father’s murder

Green is charged with murder and felonious assault.

If convicted, he faces as much as 15 years to life in prison.

RELATED: Follow Lawrence Budd on Twitter

His father was one of six victims of deadly domestic violence in the last half of 2016 in Warren County.

Ohio State Fair ride accident: 1 dead, 6 injured on event’s opening day

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 7:48 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 8:23 PM

The ride at the fair malfunctioned.

UPDATE @ 8:07 p.m.

One person is dead and six injured after an accident on a ride at the Ohio State Fair  tonight, according to 10TV.com, our media partner in Columbus.

UPDATE @ 8 p.m.

There are at least five injuries reported following the ride accident tonight during the opening day of the Ohio State Fair, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

RELATED: Ohio spends $1.17 million to inspect amusement rides

FIRST REPORT

Numerous emergency responders are on scene at the Ohio State Fair tonight for a report of a serious ride malfunction.

The fair opened today.

A caller to the News Center 7 newsroom said he heard a loud boom from the ride called the “Fire Ball” and that there were multiple injuries. However, his report has not been confirmed.

RELATED: After tragedies, rides inspected for safety at area fairs

We are working to learn more information about the incident.

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Traces of weedkiller found in 10 Ben & Jerry's flavors

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

Traces Of Weedkiller Found In 10 Ben & Jerry's Flavors

Traces of a chemical used in weedkillers has been found in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream products, according to a report.

>> Read more trending news 

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) reported the finding, claiming to have found glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, in at least 10 of the popular ice cream companies flavors.

Herbicides, commonly known as weedkillers, are chemical substances toxic to plants used to control vegetation and destroy unwanted plants.

>> Related: Ben & Jerry’s celebrate Bob Marley with One Love flavor

The association found the herbicide in the following flavors: Peanut Butter Cup, Peanut Butter Cookie, Vanilla (two versions), Phish Food, The Tonight Dough, Half Baked, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Americone Dream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. 

Cherry Garcia, the 11th flavor sampled, tested negative for glyphosate.

>> Related: Police group boycotts Ben & Jerry's after company announces support for Black Lives Matter

But according to scientists, the amount is small and well below the legal limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the government agency in charge of setting a ceiling on the amount of glyphosate allowed in food.

One calculation, found by John Fagan, the chief executive of the Health Research Institute Laboratories, which did the testing for the OCA, found that “a 75-pound child would have to consume 145,000 eight-ounce servings a day of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream to hit the limit set by the EPA,” the New York Times reported.

Fagan said an adult would have to eat 290,000 servings to hit the agency’s limit.

“Based on these government thresholds, the levels found in Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream would seem totally irrelevant,” Fagon told the Times.

But the OCA is advising Ben & Jerry’s, whose brand is known for environmental advocacy, to transition to using only organic ingredients, including milk, in its products. The organization is urging natural and organic food stores to halt sales of Ben & Jerry’s products until the brand does so.

>> Related: Ben & Jerry's co-founders arrested during protests at U.S. Capitol

Read more at the New York Times.

This is what a solar eclipse looks like from space

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 7:21 PM

Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse Stirs Fears of Apocalypse

We are just under one month away from the first total solar eclipse to cross the country coast to coast in nearly 100 years.

>> Read more trending news 

On Aug. 21, people everywhere will gaze up toward the moon to view a monumental celestial spectacle.

But what if we could see the eclipse from above instead?

This five-second, time-lapsed video, produced, shows just that -- what a total solar eclipse looks like from space.

During the afternoon of March 9, 2016, a total solar eclipse passed over Indonesia. A partial eclipse was visible in parts of Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.

A Japanese weather satellite known as Himawari-8 captured it all high above the Pacific Ocean. 

Japan's H-2A rocket, which carries the Himawari-8 weather satellite, leaves the launching pad at the Tanegashima Space Center, Kagoshima prefecture. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)(JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

An eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between Earth and the sun. When the moon's shadow falls on Earth, observers within that shadow see the moon block a portion of the sun's light.

NASA explains what you see on the video:

The Sun rises to the right and sets to the left, illuminating the half of Earth that is most directly below. A reflected image of the Sun -- a Sun glint -- is visible as a bright spot that moves from right to left.

More unusual, though, is the dark spot that moves from the lower left to upper right That is the shadow of the Moon, and it can only appear when the Moon goes directly between the Earth and the Sun.

Last year, on the day these images were taken, the most deeply shadowed region experiencedtotal eclipse of the Sun. Next month a similarly dark shadow will sweep right across the country.