Citing “new evidence,” the Chicago Police Department announced Friday night that two men held for questioning in connection with an alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett have been released, with no charges filed against them.
The news came shortly after 10 p.m. ET in a Twitter message from Tom Ahern, deputy director of news affairs and communications for the police department.
“Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the #Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” Ahern wrote.
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No description of the evidence was disclosed.
The two men — whom police have identified only as Nigerian brothers — were picked up at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday and taken into custody after returning from Nigeria after police learned that at least one of the men worked on "Empire," according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. He said he did not know what the man's job was on the television drama.
Guglielmi's comments followed a furious 24 hours that included local media reports that the attack was a hoax. Police say those reports are unconfirmed. Producers of the television drama also disputed media reports that Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, was being written off the show, calling the idea "patently ridiculous."
Smollett, who is black and openly gay, told the Chicago Police Department that he was attacked by two men on Jan. 29 while walking home to his apartment. He alleged the men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him and poured an "unknown chemical substance" on him.
Responding officers, according to a police report, found Smollett with a rope hanging from his neck. Chicago police told Fox News it was a “small white rope, like the type you’d buy in a hardware store.”
A gunman opened fire inside an Aurora manufacturing plant on Friday, killing five people and wounding six police officers. None of the victims names had been released as of Friday night.
The suspect, identified as 45-year-old Gary Martin, exchanged gunfire with police as soon as officers entered the 29,000 square-foot Henry Pratt building around 1:30 p.m. Feb. 15.
A total of 12 people, including the gunman, were shot. The five wounded police officers, all men, were shot within five minutes of arriving on the scene, according to Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman.
All the victims who died were employees. A sixth person employee was being treated in a hospital for non life-threatening injuries.
Martin lived in Aurora and was employed at the company, a subsidiary of Mueller Water Products, for 15 years. The Atlanta-based company manufactures water measurement products, according to its website.
The motive of the shooting was still unclear, but Ziman said Martin had recently been fired and had returned to his former employer Friday in an attempt to get his job back.
Records show Martin was sentenced in February 1995 in Mississippi on an aggravated assault offense.
In a statement released Friday night, the company said it was left “shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy.”
“Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones, the first responders, the Aurora community and the entire Mueller family during this extremely difficult time,” the statement reads. “Our entire focus is on the health and well-being of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families.”
Ziman said police were notified about the shooting at 1:24 p.m. They arrived on the scene at 1:28 p.m. and were immediately fired upon.
Five officers were shot. A sixth suffered a knee injury.
At a press conference, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said the following:
“I don’t think I can be clearer in saying today is a sad day. We have seen similar situations around our nation. But to experience it first hand is even more painful. A shame these shootings are commonplace, a shame that someone would be so selfish to think he has the right to take an innocent life. We as a society cannot allow the heartless acts to become a spot on the 10 o’clock news.”
Gov. JB Pritzker also attended the press conference.
“There is no way to prepare for the pain of losing innocent people,” Pritzker said. “In the state that you were elected to lead, the state that you were elected to protect, there is no way to prepare. There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their lives.”
of 5 officers shot —
3 – shot in the lower body 1 – shot in the neck 1 – shot in eye / shrapnel
The Independent National Electoral Commission has decided to shift Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections till next week 23 February.
It was one of the decisions reached early today in a crunch talk between between INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and 12 national commissioners in Abuja, according to sources close to the meeting.
Professor Yakubu will be briefing the media later today on the decision, amidst reports of logistics problems faced by the commission.
The meeting, which began Friday evening, was still in progress up till 1.30 a.m.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman told newsmen that the decision of the meeting will be communicated later today and that some decision about the election had been reached.
“I can confirm to you that the INEC Chairman and the 12 national commissioners are in the meeting.
” Decisions have been taken and you will be addressed later,” Oyekanmi said.
Presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled to take place throughout the country today, while governorship and state assembly elections will take place on 2 March.
The national elections are expected to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of results will take place in 8,809 Registration Areas or Wards, 774 Local Government Areas and 36 States and the FCT.
It will not be the first time that the commission would postpone a scheduled general election.
In 2015, the presidential election was shifted from February 14 to March 28th, 2015; while the governorship and assembly elections scheduled for 28 February were shifted to 11 April.
From the Jetsons' to Blade Runner flying cars have been a major theme of any future world, but we could have them sooner than first imagined.
Flying cars have long been the staple of sci-fi films and books for decades and our youthful dreams of flying cars in our lifetime may be sooner than we ever thought possible.
Some companies are making literal leaps and bounds in this virgin territory and we could see the first of them released within just a few years.
These 11 are some of the closest and most interesting flying car projects that could be taxiing you around your local city very soon indeed. It seems the future, at least part of it, is tantalizingly close.
1. Terrafugia TF-X
Founded in 2006 by a team of MIT graduates, Terrafugia is currently developing two interesting flying car projects. The first is called the Transition which, they believe, will be the world's first practical flying car.
The other, sexier, project is the TF-X. It is this model that they intend to scale to mass production to revolutionize personal transportation forever.
The TF-X is being built from the ground up, if you'll excuse the pun, as an all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing, computer controlled flying car.
Not only that but its sleek lines will make it a rival for a high-end sports car of today. This is one to really keep an eye out for over the next few years.
2. Joby Aviation's Air Taxi
Joby Aviation had been working on a personal aerial craft for several years before receiving an enormous cash injection from Toyota and Intel. The conditions of the investment were to provide a practical all-electric air taxi of the future.
This air taxi is interesting, compared to others on the list, as it is being designed with a seating capacity of up to 5. It will be, by virtue, a lot bigger and heavier than its rivals.
Prototype plans reveal that it will be a VTOL but more resembles a traditional airplane but with multiple propellers. This is another interesting one to keep an eye on.
3. DeLorean DR-7
The company behind one of the most famous cars in cinema is currently developing a flying car. This company is DeLorean and this could possibly be the only project that is stepping back in time with its flying car project.
DeLorean Aerospace currently has Paul DeLorean at the helm who is the nephew of John DeLorean. John was the man principally responsible for the iconic DeLorean gull-wing car that became so famous in the Back to the Future films as Dr. Brown's time travel device.
The DeLorean DR-7 features electric propulsion and is expected to be fully autonomous, meaning you won't need a pilot license to fly it. The company is expecting to build a full-scale prototype at some point this year.
4. PAL-V Liberty
PAL-V, a Dutch Aerospace company, is nearing completion of their flying car project - the Liberty. They are so close, in fact, that they intend to take pre-orders for its as early as 2019.
If true, this will make it one of, if not the, first commercially available flying car. According to their CEO, Robert Dingemanse, all they need now as the final necessary certifications to make their Liberty market ready.
The Liberty runs on two engines each specially designed for use on the road or in the air. It has been clocked at a top land speed of 160 km per hour and can reach180 km per hour in the air.
If, or perhaps when, it goes on the market in 2019 it is earmarked for a price tag of around $400,000 per unit.
5. UBERAIR VTOL taxi
Uber are currently developing their own ambitious flying car project or VTOL taxis. The program is called "UBERAIR" and is planned to be introduced in Dallas and Los Angeles first.
The project has been in development since 2016 and Uber hopes to get it off the ground very soon. Little is really known about the project beyond that but they have teamed up with five different partners, including Boeing, to make it a reality.
Their choice of initial cities does highlight some inherent issues with VTOL craft. Namely, VTOL's don't function very well in harsh environments and are best suited to areas with generally mild weather and low rain for safety reasons.
Despite this, they plan to begin rolling out the service as early as 2020 in LA.
6. Airbus Vahana
Airbus, not to the outdone by the apparent 'gold rush' to bring flying cars to the market, have been developing one of their own. It's called the Vahana and it is planned to be another all-electric VTOL that will be self-piloted.
The idea is to save money on hiring trained and experienced pilots to actually fly the thing once released. Since autopilot software is pretty mature at this point, it shouldn't be out of the scope of possibility to do this, especially for an accomplished organization with the size of Airbus.
This will also have other benefits for things like maintenance whereby the craft can automatically fly themselves to for maintenance and upgrades when required.
Progress appears to be going smoothly with it completing its first successful test-fight earlier this year. This was accomplished completely autonomously and Airbus is planning many further tests for things like basic maneuvering in the future.
7. Lilium Jet
A German startup called Lilium Aviation are also getting in on the flying car project game. Their proposal is, like others, quite ambitious and is planned to be able to carry up to 5 passengers.
They also plan to make it possible for their flying car to be summoned using an app on a smartphone. Like all other companies on the list, Lilium hopes that theirs will change public transportation forever.
Lilium's solution will, like others, be an all-electric VTOL flying car but with a twist - it will be jet powered. There jet-powered flying car should have a top range of around 300 km and promises to make a trip between London and Paris in around an hour.
They hope to have it up and running by as early as 2025.
8. VRCO NeoXCraft
British company VRCO are currently developing their own flying car project. They have designed their NeoXCraft to be able to traverse on land, in the air, and on water as well.
According to the company's CEO, Daniel Hayes, the NeoXCraft should be ready, at least for road-testing only, by 2020. Its design is particularly innovative.
Its ducted fans can be used in flight or rotated to become wheels for driving. The flying car's VTOL mode will enable it to carry around 180 kgs in payload equivalent to about 2 passengers as well.
It's already available for pre-order and will cost you just over $2 million.
9. Kitty Hawk Cora
The Cora flying car project from startup Kitty Hawk recently got a huge boost from some significant financial backing by Google co-founder Larry Page.
It is pretty advanced in its development and has already begun several rounds of test flights in New Zealand earlier in 2018.
Its aim is to break into the flying car project scene and directly provide competition for its potential rivals in development by Airbus and Uber.
The craft features no less than 12 lift fans to provide the flying car with vertical take-off and landing capabilities. These are all all-electric and are able to be moved independently of one another.
The Cora is capable of reaching heights of between 150 and 900 meters and has been clocked at a top speed of 180 km per hour.
10. Toyota SkyDive
Not to be outdone by the competition, Toyota is also developing their own flying car project. Their solution is very different to others on the list and is hoped to be showcased by opening the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Toyota SkyDive is currently the smallest electric vehicle in the world and measures a modest 2.9 meters long, 1.1 meters tall, and 1.9 meters wide.
It is being developed by a group of specialists Toyota engineers led by Tsubasa Nakamura who actually designed the vehicle in his own spare time.
It is hoped by the development team to have the SkyDive max out its land speeds at 150 km per hour with cruising speeds exceeding 100 km per hour.
They also hope to begin making test runs of the craft very soon and have it ready for mass production by 2030.
The Aeromobil, the name says it all really, is a Slovakian gamble at the flying car market of the future. It is being built by a company of the same name and really does look the part.
"AeroMobil is an exceptional vehicle. It‘s a real flying car, with all that a car and an airplane have to offer. Because of its true flexibility, you have a choice: road or air. The choice is ultimately up to you, but, whether you choose to be aerial or earthbound, AeroMobil will always turn heads."
This flying car project is nearing completion and will be powered by a specially designed hybrid electric system. It also come in two variants, the 4.0 VTOL and 5.0 VTOL.
Childish Gambino reportedly declined an invitation to perform at the Grammys, and he also wasn't in the house tonight to pick up his award.
His "This Is America" took home the Grammy for song of the year, beating out "Shallow," "The Middle" and other huge hits. But presenters John Mayer and Alicia Keys had to accept for the absent rapper.
The song caused a stir last May when Gambino released its ambitious video, which was full of racial symbolism and violent imagery.
The win made it the first rap song to ever take home the prestigious award.
Although Gambino didn't show, we did learn that Mayer and Keys split a Grammy years ago after his "Daughters" beat her out for the award. Like, Mayer literally split the award in half and wrote "If I Ain't Got You" on it for her.
The song of the year award goes to the song's writers, unlike record of the year, which goes to the artist.
"The Boss" is one of her biggest hits, but Diana Ross has never bossed up at the Grammys.
With 12 nominations and zero wins, Ross is one of music's biggest stars who has yet to snag a trophy, despite fronting the Supremes, one of the world's biggest girl groups. She's also had a stellar solo career that has spanned decades, and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
She was, however, presented with the Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
This year the Recording Academy invited Ross to perform at the Grammys because she is "One of the most influential artists and greatest entertainers of all time," who "has without a doubt made a profound impact in the world of music."
"Considered a trailblazer in entertainment, she was the leader of the most successful female group of all time and launched a timeless global solo career resulting in milestone chart successes and accolades, film soundtracks, and live concert box office records around the world," the Academy said in a press release. "Her magical journey, to date, includes charting an astounding 42 No.1 songs, 91 singles, and 59 albums, and she has amassed more than 100 million sales and streams with her historic recordings."
Ain't no mountain high enough to keep us away from you, Ms. Ross!
A woman from Missouri used poison to kill her husband -- so she could marry a man doing life sentence behind bars for murder.
Police said Amy Murray, 40, from Iberia, poisoned her husband with antifreeze, placed his body on a bed and set him on fire, Fox 5 reported. After starting the fire last December, Murray then went to a McDonald's with her 11-year-old son and dogs, Fox 22 Columbia reported, citing a probable cause statement.
The court documents showed that at the time, Murray was having an affair with a prisoner at the Jefferson City Correctional Center where she worked as a nurse so prosecutors concluded that the possible reason why she wanted to kill her husband is so she could be with the con in the jail where she works.
According to the documents, in recorded phone conversations Murray told the inmate, Eugene Claypool, 40, she didn’t want to be married to her husband anymore and she could marry Claypool because her husband was dead and “out of the picture,”
They also talked about getting an attorney to spring Claypool from prison early. Fox 22 reported.
Clayton has been locked up for more than 18 years in the deadly stabbing of a 72-year-old Missouri man who won $1.7 million in a lottery game. He was arrested in December 2000.
Murray has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of her husband, Joshua Murray.
She was jailed in lieu of $750,000 bond.
And will be sentence as soon as more investigation on the crime is completed.
14-year-old Grant Thompson's family will be given a financial reward, including money for his education, as a thanks.
Apple will pay an Arizona teenager who revealed a major security flaw on its devices last month, it was reported.
According to The Washington Post, 14-year-old Grant Thompson’s family will be rewarded with a payout in addition to money for his education as a thanks for his discovery of an eavesdropping bug on the FaceTime app.
Thompson realized the issue by accident when creating a group call with his friends in which he was able to listen in on the first individual he called despite the fact that he hadn’t answered the phone. The bug also enabled callers to see through front-facing cameras, meaning it allowed for both audio and visual spying.
On Thursday, Apple released a fix in the form of a software update to solve the problem.
While it’s unclear how much of a monetary reward the teen may receive, Apple has previously offered experts $25,000 to $200,000 for finding security lapses, according to a 2016 CNBC report. The initiative is part of a wave “bug bounty programs” in which big tech companies seek “white hat” or ethical hackers to attempt safety breaches in an effort to identify loopholes and further secure products.
That same year, Uber advertised an award of up to $10,000 for hackers who discovered flaws within its software. The same has also been done by Google and Facebook.
One question that keeps coming to my mind after reading this is, how come none of this Nigeria so called G-boys flaunting iPhone all around discovered this before the boy?