swimming woman

Woman swimming near summer home is killed in Maine’s first fatal shark attack – Press Herald

A recently retired fashion industry executive was killed by a great white shark while swimming near her summer home on Bailey Island in Harpswell Monday afternoon.

Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, was identified Tuesday as the victim of what is the first documented fatal shark attack in Maine. Holowach also lived in New York City and Naples, Florida.

Kipling President Julie Dimperio attends Kipling’s 25th Anniversary celebration at Helen Mills Event Space on March 7, 2012 in New York City. Dario Cantatore(Photo by Dario Cantatore/Getty Images

Maine’s Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that Holowach was attacked by a shark and a scientist determined it was a great white based on a tooth fragment, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The department urged people recreating in the water to avoid schools of fish or seals, which can attract sharks. Beaches at Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg and Reid State Park in Georgetown were posted as wading only.

Holowach, who has a home on Bailey Island and is well known in the community, was swimming about 20 yards offshore just outside Mackerel Cove on Bailey Island in Harpswell on Monday afternoon when she was attacked. Two kayakers brought the victim to shore, where they were met by a crew of Harpswell first responders. She died at the scene.

Holowach’s daughter was swimming with her but was not injured, according to the Maine Marine Patrol.

Tom Whyte, a neighbor who knew Holowach, watched the attack happen from his office overlooking Mackerel Cove.

He saw two swimmers he didn’t immediately recognize and looked through binoculars to see Holowach and her daughter.  Holowach was wearing a wetsuit and was about 10 or 15 feet behind her daughter, who did not have a wetsuit, he said.

Tom Whyte looks out on Mackerel Cove where a woman was killed in a shark attack on Monday. Whyte heard the screams and saw the attack happen from his second-story office window. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

“You could hear her giggling and laughing,” Whyte said. “All of a sudden Julie just started screaming for help.”

Holowach’s daughter started swimming toward her mother, he said. “And all of a sudden Julie went under. It looked like she was pulled under.”

Her daughter swam to shore screaming for help.

“Everyone is confused,” he said. “Why is the other swimmer still there?”

Steve Arnold, an Alabama man renting a house near the shore, heard two women laughing and then a scream that made him look at the water.

“I saw her lift a little bit out of the water… 12 to 18 inches maybe,” he said.

Arnold and other neighbors expressed shock about the attack, especially so close to shore. Shark attacks are not something people worry about when swimming on the Maine coast. Some said they could not talk about it because Holowach’s death was too devastating. Her family was not accepting calls and had not spoken to media.

Holowach and her husband, Al Holowach, own a home in the area and spend several months each year in Maine. She and her family are well known and active in the local community and throughout southern Maine.

Holowach retired in 2016, when she was president of Kipling, a bags and accessories company founded in Belgium and part of the VF Corp. group, which includes The North Face and Timberland. A year later she joined the board of directors at Sea Bags, a Portland-based company that makes and sells bags, accessories and home decor.

Don Oakes, CEO of Sea Bags, remembered Holowach as a vivacious, adventurous and creative woman who loved living in Maine. He communicated with her last weekend about a board meeting planned in August.

“It’s so tragic,” Oakes said. “She loved to swim. She’s done the Tri for a Cure (a fundraising triathlon for the Maine Cancer Foundation) several times. She’s a summer resident of Maine, May through October. A big part of her is Maine.”

Oakes said Holowach had a long and distinguished career in the fashion industry and had made a significant contribution to Sea Bags, which shares a commitment to sustainability with VF Corp. companies.

“Her passion for the ocean, the state of Maine and causes we believe in made her an invaluable supporter and friend,” Oakes said in a company statement. “It is with a heavy heart that we share our feeling of loss with Julie’s family.”

Holowach was known professionally by her maiden name, Dimperio, according to Women’s Wear Daily, the fashion industry trade journal. She was president of special markets for the Liz Claiborne brand from 2000 to 2006 before becoming president of Kipling North American.

Holowach also ran the New York City marathon with her daughter a few years ago, according to her Facebook page. She posted about her love for Maine and the ocean.

Maine Marine Patrol Maj. Rob Beal said at a news briefing on Tuesday, “The community is at a tough juncture trying to process yesterday’s incident.” Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

“Julie and her husband are very well respected. The community is at a tough juncture trying to process yesterday’s incident,” said Maj. Rob Beal of the Maine Marine Patrol.

Beiley Island sits at the end of a peninsula that juts out into Casco Bay. The island is connected to mainland Harpswell by a historic cribstone briedge.

Charlie Wemyss-Dunn tried to rescue Holowach, and brought her back to shore.

The Boston man and his wife were at a nearby home and heard screams. They thought someone might be drowning or needed help, so they got in a tandem kayak and paddled out.

The site was horrifying and it took time process what was happening, they said. “We saw what was in the water. We saw her condition,” he said.

Wemyss-Dunn dropped his wife onshore but then paddled back out, this time with his mother.  They tried to keep Holowach’s head above water. His mother held Holowach’s hand as he paddled to shore.

Jeff Cooper, co-founder of H2Outfitters in Orr’s Island, rented the kayak to Wemyss-Dunn and spoke to him after the attack.

“It was traumatic for the people who had the courage to go out there and retrieve (her). There was a lot of blood in the water,” he said. “They had strong character to go out there and do that. They did what had to be done. We should all be thankful people like that exist.”

Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher praised the two kayakers who pulled Holowach from the water. “I can’t stress enough the thanks we have for the efforts they made,” Keliher said.

“I want to stress this is a very highly unusual event,” Keliher said.

The only other recorded report of an unprovoked attack in Maine waters involved a scuba diver in Eastport in 2010, according to the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File. The diver was not inured and fended off  a porbeagle shark with his video camera.

Beal said the marine patrol is monitoring the area near the attack and asking the public to report any shark sightings to their local marine patrol. A plane  flew over the water from Casco Bay to Sheepscot Bay Tuesday morning but no sharks were spotted.

There have been no additional reports of sharks in the area, Beal said. But marine officials are warning people who are swimming or recreating on the water to avoid schools of fish and seals, which attract sharks.

“This is a predatory issue,” Keliher said. “The presence of seals is really the driver here.”

Keliher said wearing a wet suit or anything dark can mimic a seal. “This is not something we would have considered in Maine waters before,” he said.

Cooper, the kayak outfitter, said he has never seen a shark during his 40 years of boating, but has heard from local fishermen that they occasionally see tiger sharks in the area. He first heard of the attack Monday afternoon over a scanner and said first responders described a woman with damage to her stomach after being “attacked by something.” He drove to a small local beach to warn swimmers to get out of the water.

H2Outfitters runs a children’s summer camp that is cancelled Tuesday because of the shark attack. Cooper said it’s likely activities for the rest of the week will be adjusted to keep kids out of the water.

A lobster boat passes close to the location in Mackerel Cove off Bailey Island where a woman was killed in a shark attack on Monday. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

The company is halting the rental of kayaks, and some people have brought weekly rentals back early. It may continue guided trips tonight and kayak close together so that there aren’t any stragglers in the group. “Kayaks have been mistaken for seals,” Cooper said.

“I think people should be concerned,” Cooper said. “They need to pay attention, especially with a threat you can’t see in the water.”

Maryellen Amendola sat on a nearly empty beach near the site of the attack with her 17-year-old daughter and her daughter’s friend. They were visiting the family’s summer home in Harpswell from West Nyack, N.Y., as they’ve done for the last 20 years.

“I’m not typically a big ocean swimmer anyways,” Amendola said. “But especially not now.”

James Sulikowski, a former University of New England professor and researcher who conducts shark research in Maine and locations worldwide, was fairly certain the victim’s attacker was a great white shark, a large predatory animal that can reach lengths of more than 17 feet. More of the white sharks have been seen off the coast of Maine in recent years, he said. White sharks are fast swimmers and can reach Maine in one day from the waters off Cape Cod.

“Shark interactions with humans are very rare in Maine,” Sulikowski said in an interview Monday evening. “My guess is that the person was mistaken for a food item.”

Great white sharks, also known as white sharks, are known as ambush predators. They can travel at high speeds and like to sneak up on their prey. Sulikowski said white sharks have been known to swim below the surface before rocketing upward like a torpedo and striking their unsuspecting prey with as much force as possible.

The shark that attacked the woman in Harpswell may have been the same shark that attacked a seal in Phippsburg on Sunday. That attack left a a 19-inch long bite mark – the seal was not eaten– that could only have been made by a shark 11 feet long or larger, Sulikowski said.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard contributed to this story.

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Texas woman

Texas woman charged in connection to murder of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen – New York Post

July 2, 2020 | 11:39pm

A Texas woman has been charged with helping to mutilate and dispose of the body of missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen.

Cecily Aguilar, 22, faces one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence in Guillen’s April 22 disappearance from the Texas US Army base, NBC News reported Thursday.

The announcement comes one day after Guillen’s family said during an emotional press conference that they believed that remains found near the military base were those of the 20-year-old 3rd Cavalry Regiment soldier — and that a serviceman who shot himself as cops closed in was her killer.

Authorities on Thursday identified the serviceman as Aaron David Robinson, 20.

Investigators have not confirmed that the remains found in a mound near the base are those of Guillen.

But authorities said Thursday that a second suspect taken into custody this week was Aguilar, who was allegedly told by Robinson that he killed Guillen by hitting her in the head with a hammer, NBC said.

Aguilar, the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier, is accused of helping Robinson get rid of the body by burying it in a remote site in Bell County near the base.

Authorities said last month that they suspected foul play in Guillen’s disappearance, who left her car keys, room key, ID card and wallet in the Fort Hood armory where she had been working.

Also on Thursday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Rep. Jackie Speier called for a federal probe into Guillen’s case.

“We believe a thorough investigation b the Department of Defense Inspector General can help establish a number of crucial facts about SPC Guillen’s workplace, disappearance, and the Army’s response to both,” they said in a letter for defense department Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell.

“We are dismayed that we must ask these questions in the wake of SPC Guillen’s disappearance.”

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Couple woman

Couple Charged After Videos Show White Woman Pulling Gun on Black Woman – The New York Times

Widely circulated videos showed a white woman pointing a gun at a Black woman as she filmed with her cellphone in a parking lot in Orion Township, Mich.

A couple have been charged with felonious assault after widely circulated videos showed a white woman pointing a gun at a Black woman in a parking lot in Michigan, the authorities said on Thursday.

In the videos, the Black woman and her teenage daughter confront a white man and woman outside a Chipotle restaurant in Orion Township, Mich., on Wednesday. The exchange quickly escalates from an argument about an apology into accusations of racism, with a gun held only a few feet from the Black woman as she filmed with her cellphone.

At a news conference on Thursday, Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County, Mich., said the woman who had pointed the gun and her husband had each been charged with felonious assault, which carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office later identified the couple as Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42.

Both had guns in their possession, which they were legally permitted to carry, when they were taken into custody, Sheriff Bouchard said.

The sheriff explained the charges by saying that “any weapon that could cause serious and potentially deadly injury can be charged as a felonious assault.”

The episode began when the two parties bumped into each other outside of the Chipotle, Sheriff Bouchard said.

“One person said they didn’t realize they had bumped the other person with the food bag, and the other person felt they needed to get an apology,” he said. “Then it escalated from there.”

He urged members of the public to try to defuse tense situations at a time when many are on edge.

“My plea is, please let us all try to be that voice of calm in the storm, and remember each one of us is a human being that deserves respect,” he said.

Oakland University in Michigan said on Thursday that it had fired Mr. Wuestenberg. He had been listed on the university’s website as a coordinator of veterans support services.

“We have seen the video and we deem his behavior unacceptable,” a university spokesman said in a statement. “The employee has been notified that his employment has been terminated by the university.”

It was not immediately clear if the couple had lawyers, and there was no immediate response to messages left at numbers listed under their names.

As the videos spread on social media on Wednesday night, they quickly drew comparisons to footage taken on Sunday of a white man and woman pointing a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun at peaceful Black protesters on a private residential street in St. Louis. The demonstration was one of dozens against racism and police violence that have been taking place across the country for weeks.

The Detroit News, which reported on the Orion Township altercation early Thursday, shared both videos, the longer of which — at just over three minutes — shows more of the encounter. The News identified the mother as Takelia Hill and quoted her as saying that the argument began because the white woman had bumped into her daughter and was yelling “in my daughter’s face.” Ms. Hill could not be reached for comment.

The videos, recorded by Ms. Hill and her daughter on Wednesday evening, do not show what happened before the argument began. In one of the videos, Ms. Hill can be seen standing in front of the white woman, and her daughter says, “This ignorant woman bumped into a 15-year-old.”

After an angry, profanity-laced exchange, including accusations of racism and demands that the police be called, the white woman returns to her minivan and says through a lowered window that “you cannot just walk around calling white people racist.”

“This is not that type of world,” she says. “White people aren’t racist. No one’s racist. I care about you. I care about you and I’m sorry if you had an incident that has made someone make you feel like that. No one is racist. I’m sorry if you had something like that happen.”

As she speaks, Ms. Hill repeatedly asks, “Why would you bump her?”

The camera briefly turns away from the minivan as it backs out of a parking spot, and the teenager shouts for her mother to watch out.

Ms. Hill then asks whether the couple were trying to hit her with the minivan, and hits the back of the vehicle with her hand. The white woman exits the car holding a handgun and, using profanity, tells Ms. Hill to “get away.” The woman cocks the gun and points it at Ms. Hill, who is standing a few feet away.

“You’re going to shoot me?” Ms. Hill says, and she, her daughter and the armed woman ask for someone to call the police. The woman tells Ms. Hill not to jump behind her car, which Ms. Hill denies doing, and then the woman begins to scream at Ms. Hill to back away. Crying can be heard. The woman eventually lowers the gun and gets back in the minivan, and it pulls away.

“Call the police, no, don’t go anywhere,” Ms. Hill says. “You were about to hit me with the car.”

Her daughter can be heard saying: “These white people, they’re so racist. They pulled a gun out on my mom.”

Sheriff Bouchard said the authorities responded after they received six 911 calls related to the altercation, each of which he played at the news conference on Thursday. He said officers ordered the white woman out of the van, put her on the ground, handcuffed her and took her gun.

Bryan Pietsch contributed reporting.

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tirade woman

Woman goes on tirade after asked to wear face mask at Trader Joe’s in North Hollywood – ABC7



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Published on 27 Jun 2020

A woman went on a tirade after being asked to wear a face covering in a Trader Joe’s store in North Hollywood.

A shopper recorded the incident inside the store on Friday.

The woman in the video was angry after being questioned about why she was not wearing a mask.


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woman Young

Young woman with coronavirus receives double lung transplant in Chicago – CBS News

Surgeons in Chicago have given a new set of lungs to a young woman with severe lung damage from the coronavirus. Northwestern Medicine on Thursday announced the procedure, which took place last Friday.

Only a few other COVID-19 survivors, in China and Europe, have received lung transplants. CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reports the procedure at Northwestern Memorial Hospital marks the first successful double lung transplant of a COVID-19 patient in the U.S.

Virus Outbreak Lung Transplant
This X-ray image provided by Northwestern Medicine in June 2020 shows the chest of a COVID-19 patient before she received a new set of lungs because of severe lung damage from the coronavirus, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.


The Chicago patient is in her 20s and was on a ventilator and heart-lung machine for almost two months before her operation. The 10-hour procedure was challenging because the virus had left her lungs full of holes and almost fused to the chest wall, said Dr. Ankit Bharat, who performed the operation.

“I hope that this becomes more common because I truly believe that we can save several patients,” Bharat said.

Virus Outbreak Lung Transplant
Dr. Ankit Bharat, chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, listens to a question Thursday, June 11, 2020.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

She remains on a ventilator while her body heals but is well enough to visit with family via phone video and doctors say her chances for a normal life are good.

“We are anticipating that she will have a full recovery,” said Dr. Rade Tomic, medical director of the hospital’s lung transplant program.

The patient was not identified but Bharat said she had recently moved to Chicago from North Carolina to be with her boyfriend.

She was otherwise pretty healthy but her condition rapidly deteriorated after she was hospitalized in late April. Doctors waited six weeks for her body to clear the virus before considering a transplant.

Lungs accounted for just 7% of the nearly 40,000 U.S. organ transplants last year. They are typically hard to find and patients often wait weeks on the transplant list.

The Chicago patient was in bad shape, with signs that her heart, kidneys and liver were beginning to fail, so she quickly moved up in line, Bharat said.

On the left are 2 lungs from a healthy patient.

On the right is a #COVID19 infected lung taken from a 20 year old who had a double lung transplant.

The extent and magnitude of damage is severe.

— C. Michael Gibson MD (@CMichaelGibson) June 11, 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 2 million late Wednesday night, according to Johns Hopkins University.  

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threw woman

Woman who threw Molotov cocktail at NYPD car hit with federal charge – New York Post

The woman who allegedly threw a lit Molotov cocktail into an NYPD car full of cops early Saturday has been slapped with a federal charge of damaging a police vehicle — a far cry from the attempted murder charges sought by the NYPD.

Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, New York, allegedly tossed the makeshift explosive into the marked police vehicle parked at Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn around 1:12 a.m, as a night of destructive protests over the killing of George Floyd winded down, federal prosecutors said.

The bottle shattered two of the vehicle’s windows as four cops sat inside — but the gas inside did not ignite, the feds said in a criminal complaint released early Sunday.

The complaint cites a single charge against Shader: Causing Damage by Fire and Explosives to a Police Vehicle.

Prosecutors obtained a witness video they said showed Shader hurl the device as a man attempted to shield her from onlookers.

Officers then pursued her as she attempted to flee and arrested her, prosecutors said.

“In a post-arrest statement, Shader later admitted to police that she had thrown the Molotov Cocktail at the NYPD vehicle,” prosecutors said.

The NYPD initially pressed for attempted-murder charges against the demonstrator — but federal prosecutors have now taken over the case and assumed custody.

Shader will be detained pending an initial court appearance on Monday. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn declined to comment early Sunday on whether she could face additional charges.

George Floyd protest in NYC
George Floyd protest in NYCChristopher Sadowski

The feds also announced that two Brooklynites, Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, were also slapped with the same federal charge after allegedly tossing a Molotov cocktail at a parked, empty NYPD vehicle outside of the 88th Precinct in Fort Greene in a separate attack that came minutes earlier on Friday.

The pair were allegedly driving by the precinct in a tan minivan when they stopped to hurl the lit explosive through an already broken window of the vehicle, setting the car on fire, prosecutors said.

As Mattis manned the wheel, Rhaman hopped out of the car to toss the device in an attack that was caught by the precinct’s video surveillance cameras and witnessed by law enforcement officials at the scene.

The two then fled in their car, with police catching and apprehending them soon after near Pratt Institute, prosecutors said.

Officers later recovered several items used to construct explosive devices, including a lighter, toilet paper, and a liquid suspected to be gasoline near the passenger seat — as well a gasoline tank in the back of their vehicle, prosecutors said.

“These defendants are charged with attacking the New York City Police Department while its police officers are risking their lives to protect the Constitutional rights of protesters and the safety of us all,” stated United States Attorney Richard Donoghue.

“No rational human being can ever believe that hurling firebombs at Police Officers and vehicles is justified.

The Eastern District of New York will do everything in its power to protect those who protect us all,” he added, “and we will ensure that criminals who use the camouflage of lawful protest to launch violent attacks against Police Officers face justice.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. also warned that the consequences for attacking law enforcement would be “severe.”

“Behavior like the attacks charged here puts our entire community – protestors and first responders alike – in danger, and we will simply not allow it to go unaddressed,” Sweeney said in a statement. “The consequences for conducting this alleged attack, and any similar activity planned for the future, will be severe.”

If convicted of the charge, each of them faces up to 20 years behind bars with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years.

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White woman

White woman who called police on a black man bird-watching in Central Park has been fired – CNN

(CNN)The white woman who called police on a black man in Central Park during an encounter involving her unleashed dog has been fired from her job, her employer said Tuesday.

“Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the company said on Twitter.
Amy Cooper was walking her dog Monday morning while Christian Cooper (no relation) was bird-watching at a wooded area of Central Park called the Ramble. They both told CNN their dispute began because her dog was not on a leash, contrary to the Ramble’s rules, according to the park’s website.
Christian Cooper recorded video of part of their encounter and posted it on Facebook, where it has since been shared thousands of times and became a trending topic on Twitter. In the video, he is largely silent while she frantically tells police he is threatening her and her dog.
“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper is heard saying in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”
In comments to CNN as the video spread widely, Amy Cooper said she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone.”
“I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” she said, adding that she also didn’t mean any harm to the African American community.
The incident is another example of white people calling the police on African Americans for mundane things.
The New York Police Department told CNN when officers responded neither Christian Cooper nor Amy Cooper was present. No arrests or summonses were made, according to NYPD.
“I videotaped it because I thought it was important to document things,” Christian Cooper said. “Unfortunately we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets. This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.”

What led up to the video

Christian Cooper, who described himself as an avid bird-watcher, was out birding between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. Monday in the Ramble, a section of Central Park full of winding paths and thick greenery that attracts over 230 bird species.
That’s when he says he saw a dog off its leash.
“That’s important to us birders because we know that dogs won’t be off leash at all and we can go there to see the ground-dwelling birds,” Christian Cooper said. “People spend a lot of money and time planting in those areas as well. Nothing grows in a dog run for a reason.”
Amy Cooper told CNN she was walking her unleashed dog, knowing that it was against the rules.
“He was running in an open field. This man, he was bird-watching. He came out of the bush,” she said, adding that Christian Cooper was screaming at her.
Christian Cooper said the dog was “tearing through the plantings,” and he told Amy Cooper the dog needed to be on a leash. He said he was not screaming at Amy Cooper, and “was actually pretty calm.”
The two went back-and-forth about the dog leash. Christian Cooper, according to his Facebook post, then told her: “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.”
“I didn’t know what that meant. When you’re alone in a wooded area, that’s absolutely terrifying, right?” Amy Cooper said.
Christian Cooper said he then pulled out dog treats. He told CNN he keeps dog treats with him to get dog owners to put their dogs on leashes because, in his experience, dog owners hate when a stranger feeds their dog treats and immediately restrain their dogs afterward.
Amy Cooper said he was throwing them at her dog. Christian Cooper said he never threw any treats.
And that’s when he started recording the incident, he said on Facebook.

What happened in the video

The video begins with Amy Cooper pulling her dog by the collar and telling Christian Cooper to stop recording.
“Please don’t come close to me,” Christian Cooper says, as she approaches.
“Sir, I’m asking you to stop recording me,” Amy Cooper says.
He asks her again not to come close. That’s when Amy Cooper says she’s going to call the police.
“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she says.
“Please tell them whatever you like,” Christian Cooper says.
The video shows Amy Cooper on her phone.
“There’s a man, African American, he has a bicycle helmet,” she says. “He is recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
While she’s on the phone, her dog appears to be straining and trying to get free while she tries to restrain it.
“I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble,” she continues in an audibly distraught voice . “Please send the cops immediately!”
The video ends with Christian Cooper saying “Thank You.”

The aftermath

Amy Cooper told CNN that since the video was posted, her “entire life is being destroyed right now.”
“I think I was just scared,” she said. “When you’re alone in the Ramble, you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not excusable, it’s not defensible.”
She was placed on administrative leave and fired by her employer on Tuesday.
Asked if he’d accept her apology, Christian Cooper told CNN he would “if it’s genuine and if she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other.”
The National Audubon Society, the country’s leading bird conservation organization, said they were grateful that Christian Cooper, a board member of the New York City Audubon Society, is safe.
“Black Americans often face terrible daily dangers in outdoor spaces, where they are subjected to unwarranted suspicion, confrontation, and violence,” said Rebeccah Sanders, Audubon senior vice president for state programs. “The outdoors — and the joy of birds — should be safe and welcoming for all people.”
Amy Cooper’s dog has been surrendered to the shelter he was adopted from years earlier while the dispute is addressed, according to a Facebook post from Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue Inc.
“The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health,” the post said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated when Amy Cooper adopted her dog. The dog was adopted a few years ago from Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue Inc.

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abortion woman

Roe v Wade: Woman behind US abortion ruling was paid to recant – BBC News

This 21 January, 1998, file photo shows Norma McCorvey, the woman at the centre of the US Supreme Court ruling on abortion, testifying before a US Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee hearing

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

McCorvey spent the final years of her life campaigning against abortion access

The woman behind the 1973 ruling legalising abortion in the US is seen admitting in a new documentary that her stunning change of heart on the issue in later life was “all an act”.

Norma McCorvey, known as Jane Roe in the US Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade, shocked the country in 1995 when she came out against abortion.

But in new footage, McCorvey alleges she was paid to switch sides.

The documentary, AKA Jane Roe, airs this Friday on the US channel FX.

The programme was filmed in the last months of McCorvey’s life before her death at age 69 in 2017 in Texas.

The Supreme Court ruling came after McCorvey, then a 25-year-old single woman under the pseudonym “Jane Roe”, challenged the criminal abortion laws in Texas that forbade abortion as unconstitutional except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger.

Henry Wade was the Texas attorney general who defended the anti-abortion law. McCorvey first filed the case in 1969, when she was pregnant with her third child and claimed that she had been raped. But the case was rejected and she was forced to give birth.

In her “deathbed confession”, as she calls it, a visibly ailing McCorvey says she only became an anti-abortion activist because she was paid by evangelical groups.

“I was the big fish,” she said. “I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they’d put me out in front of the cameras and tell me what to say.

“That’s what I’d say. It was all an act. I did it well too. I am a good actress. Of course, I’m not acting now.”

She added: “If a young woman wants to have an abortion, that’s no skin off my ass. That’s why they call it choice.”

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe abortion battle explained in three minutes

AKA Jane Roe chronicles McCorvey’s troubled, impoverished youth as a sexual abuse survivor and her longstanding relationship with girlfriend Connie Gonzalez.

After her mid-1990s conversion to become a born-again Christian, McCorvey disavowed Gonzalez, even as they continued to live together.

The documentary touches upon another irony of McCorvey’s life – that she herself never had an abortion.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

McCorvey (right, pictured in 1989) was an abortion advocate before she became an anti-abortion campaigner

When she was pregnant with her third child she was referred to two lawyers who wanted to challenge Texas’s abortion laws.

The case went all the way to the highest court in the land where, by a vote of seven to two, the justices ruled that the government lacked the power to prohibit abortions, a decision that changed America.

The court’s judgement was based on the decision that a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy came under the freedom of personal choice in family matters, as protected by the Constitution.

The Reverend Robert Schenck, one of the evangelical pastors who worked with McCorvey after her conversion to Christianity in the mid-1990s, also features in the documentary.

The minister acknowledges McCorvey was paid for her appearances on the movement’s behalf. The programme says it was as much $500,000 (£407,000, in current figures).

“I knew what we were doing,” Mr Schenck says. “And there were times when I was sure she knew.

“And I wondered: ‘Is she playing us?’ What I didn’t have the guts to say was: ‘Because I know damn well we’re playing her.'”

In a highly self-critical blog post on Tuesday, Mr Schenck said the documentary had made him cry and he hoped that people would watch it.

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The woman featured in ‘Plandemic,’ the coronavirus conspiracy video just banned from social media as false and harmful – The Washington Post

When Judy Mikovits co-wrote a 2009 research paper that linked the mysterious condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome to a retrovirus that came from mice, thousands of sick patients hoping for relief rallied behind her. The scientific riddle was solved, they thought.

Less than two years later, those hopes were dashed when follow-up studies failed to replicate the findings and the respected journal “Science” retracted the paper. Researchers posited that the study’s inaccurate conclusions were the result of contamination of the lab samples, and the theory that a virus might be the source of the still-mysterious condition died.

But Mikovits’s conviction that her theory was correct, and her belief that the top scientific minds in the United States conspired to ruin her career, never faded.

She has now accused the scientific establishment of conspiracy again. In a film called “Plandemic,” and in a recently published book that topped the Amazon bestsellers chart this week, she makes a bizarre and false claim: that the doctors and experts shaping public policy in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic have silenced dissenting voices and misled the public for sinister reasons.

She falsely claims that wealthy people intentionally spread the virus to increase vaccination rates and that wearing face masks is harmful.

The coronavirus-related theories Mikovits presented defy accepted science and wilt under scrutiny, according to dozens of experts who spoke up after “Plandemic” trended this week.

The film is so questionable that social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo on Thursday scrubbed it from their sites. A Vimeo spokesperson, for example, said that the company “stands firm in keeping our platform safe from content that spreads harmful and misleading health information. The video in question has been removed … for violating these very policies.”

It was the latest chapter in the saga of Mikovits’s troubled career.

In the years after the 2009 study was retracted, Mikovits was fired from her job leading a research institute, arrested for theft and sued by her former employer. Meanwhile, she doubled down on debunked theories linking retroviruses that originated in mice to medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and autism.

In response to an inquiry from The Washington Post, Mikovits said she could not participate in an interview until after Mother’s Day but offered up a PowerPoint presentation that she claimed backed up the allegations she made in “Plandemic.”

She acknowledged her past legal troubles — including the arrest — in the film, but suggested her woes stem from an alleged conspiracy to crush her once-promising career and destroy her credibility as a scientist.

Mikovits also flung false and wild allegations at several high-profile scientists in “Plandemic,” including Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force. In the weeks before the “Plandemic” trailer launched, she had been positioning herself as an expert and an anti-Fauci voice in interviews with conspiracy-hawking and far right-leaning websites like the Epoch Times and the Gateway Pundit.

The film and Mikovits’s allegations fit into a broader campaign to discredit Fauci, propagated among some of President Trump’s most ardent supporters.

Mikovits, who graduated with a PhD in biochemistry from George Washington University, spent 22 years working for the National Cancer Institute. She left that job in 2001, and the New York Times reported in a 2009 profile that Mikovits moved from Maryland to California to work for a drug company that later failed. She ended up bar tending for a yacht club, the Times reported, before she was recruited to helm a privately funded research clinic, Whittemore Peterson Institute, which was dedicated to finding the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.

After other scientists failed to replicate Mikovits’s research on chronic fatigue syndrome, her employers at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Nevada fired her in October 2011, “Science” magazine reported, though they said the termination was not related to the retraction.

Then, her employers filed criminal and civil charges against her for allegedly stealing research materials and data when she left her job.

In “Plandemic,” Mikovits tells the story of how she was arrested at her home in Southern California, briefly jailed and charged with being a “fugitive from justice.” The PowerPoint she shared with The Post includes a slide with a screenshot of a news story about her arrest that includes minimal information about the allegations against her. In the film, she suggests that she was not accused of a crime and that the arrest was intended to intimidate her.

But the local prosecutor in Washoe County, Nev., charged her with allegedly stealing computer data and other materials from her former lab at the Whittemore Peterson Institute. The criminal charges were eventually dropped in June 2012, after the Whittemore family encountered its own set of legal troubles that discouraged the Washoe County prosecutor from pursuing the case. In an email to The Post, Mikovits described the charges as “baseless.”

Before the charges were dropped, a lab employee reportedly signed an affidavit claiming that he had removed notebooks from the lab and stored them in his mother’s garage before delivering them to Mikovits, the New York Times reported.

“Mikovits informed me that she was hiding out on a boat to avoid being served with papers from [the Whittemore Peterson Institute],” the employee said in the affidavit, according to the Times.

After her legal mess, Mikovits wrote her first book with anti-vaccine advocate Kent Heckenlively in 2014, called “Plague.” Their second book, “Plague of Corruption,” was published by Skyhorse Publishing this year and was listed as No. 1 on Amazon’s bestsellers list as recently as Friday morning, beating out presales for Stephanie Meyer’s upcoming addition to the massively successful “Twilight” series.

Across the Web, skeptics of the coronavirus pandemic have rallied behind the book and the conspiracies promoted in “Plandemic.” The film trended on Twitter and racked up 1.8 million views on Facebook before the platform removed the video, The Post reported.

University of Colorado at Denver professor Jennifer Reich, who studies the anti-vaccine movement, explained why so many people are willing to believe the unsupported claims Mikovits has made about the coronavirus pandemic.

“The claims Mikovits makes highlight uncertainties people feel right now,” Reich told The Post in an email.

People who do not have “firsthand knowledge” of a pandemic victim may question the statistics officials have been reporting on infection and death rates, Reich said.

More than 75,000 people have died of covid-19 in the United States, which Reich called a “staggering number,” but that translates to about 230 deaths for every 1 million people, she said. That means many people in the U.S. have not seen the impact of the pandemic in their communities, and some of those people are resistant to “trust expert views on the significance of this pandemic and sacrifice a great deal individually.”

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