The cold front responsible for the strong storms in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Saturday continues to move southeast.
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Showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for most of the South as a complex front extends across most of the country.
The severe threat for hail and wind damage is isolated to Montana and extreme northwest North Dakota. However, there is a threat for flash flooding in eastern Virginia and the coastal plain of North Carolina, where the heaviest rain is expected.
On Monday, the slow-moving front works its way further to the south — bringing the rain and thunderstorms along with it. The severe weather threat for Monday moves eastward into the Dakotas and northwest Minnesota, where damaging winds and large hail can be expected. A tornado or two in this area cannot be ruled out either.
Heat and humidity remain in the South on Sunday thanks to high pressure in the Gulf of Mexico. Heat index values will be near 100 degrees from Del Rio, Texas, to Charlotte, North Carolina. The oppressive heat and humidity moves slightly north on Tuesday to include Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri. Oklahoma City will feel like 98 degrees Sunday, before rising to a stifling heat index of 109 degrees on Tuesday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s temperature outlook for the end of this week doesn’t looking promising for those wishing for cooler weather. With warmer-than-average temperatures forecast for the entire country, it looks like summer is here to stay.
Sources tell ABC News that Epstein was picked up in New York on Saturday after returning to the United States from France. The arrest was the result of a joint operation by the FBI and the New York Police Department.
The precise charges Epstein will face are unclear, but the sources tell ABC News that they are likely to include conspiracy and sex trafficking of minor girls in New York and Florida. At least some of the charges, sources tell ABC News, involve allegations dating back more than a decade.
The indictment against Epstein remains under seal until a hearing in federal court in Manhattan scheduled for Monday, the sources say.
A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan declined to comment.
Martin Weinberg, an attorney for Epstein, did not respond to email and phone messages on Saturday.
Epstein was first investigated beginning in 2005 for alleged sex crimes against minor girls by both local and federal authorities in Florida. The core allegations revolved around an alleged scheme to recruit underage girls to Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion for massages that, in many cases, led to sexual contact, according to court records and law enforcement documents.
Federal authorities ultimately identified more than three dozen girls who had been alleged victims of Epstein, but instead of pursuing a prosecution, entered into a once-secret non-prosecution agreement with Epstein in 2007 that ended the federal investigation and spared him a potentially lengthy prison sentence.
The deal with Epstein was negotiated and approved by Alexander Acosta, then the United States attorney in Miami, who now serves in President Donald Trump’s cabinet as the secretary of labor.
Attorney Stan Pottinger, of Edwards Pottinger LLC, said that his law partner, Brad Edwards, who represents several alleged victims of Epstein, learned of the arrest this weekend when one of Edwards’ clients called to say that the FBI had informed her of the developments.
“We have not seen the indictment nor do we know the basis for the arrest,” Pottinger told ABC News late Saturday. “We expect to know more next week after we understand there will be an arraignment.”
As a condition of the deal with federal authorities, Epstein ultimately pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution, but served just 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a private wing of a county jail. He was also granted liberal work-release privileges that allowed him to spend up to 16 hours a day at his office.
In 2008, two of Epstein’s alleged victims filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Justice, alleging that the deal with Epstein had been reached in violation of the Crimes Victims’ Rights Act, which requires that the government confer with victims and keep them informed of developments in their cases.
Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that the deal did, in fact, violate the rights of Epstein’s victims. The court is now considering the possible remedies for the violation of the law.
“If today’s report is true, it only proves that the Epstein should have been charged by federal prosecutors twelve years ago in Florida,” Paul Cassell, co-counsel along with Edwards for victims Jane Doe 1 and 2 in the case challenging the DOJ over the non-prosecution agreement with Epstein, said in a statement. “With his money, Epstein was able to buy more than a decade of delay in facing justice – but fortunately he wasn’t able to postpone justice forever.”
“While New York prosecutors are apparently seeking to hold Epstein accountable, the Jane Does’ fight will continue to force federal prosecutors in Florida to do the same thing,” Cassell added.
Elizabeth Warren touted her support for equal pay. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio shared his thoughts about his biracial family. Sen. Cory Booker talked about ensuring that African American female entrepreneurs have access to capital.
Some of the top rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination appeared at Essence Fest in New Orleans on Saturday. But as Democratic presidential candidates lined up for the chance to appeal directly to black women — which candidates have increasingly seen as a critical voting block — there was little doubt the main attraction was Kamala Harris.
Harris, the only black woman running for president, and the only black woman in the Senate, hit the stage to Tupac’s “California Love,” a nod to her home state, and got an enthusiastic “Skee Wee” from the large number of sorority sisters from Alpha Kappa Alpha — a black sorority founded at Howard University, Harris’s alma mater — in attendance.
“Good morning, my beautiful sisters,” Harris said, before launching into her plan to boost home ownership among African Americans.
“Don’t let anyone tell you who you are, let you tell them who you are,” Harris said, repeating a line that she gives often on the campaign trail, and had particular resonance with the crowd in New Orleans.
Last month, Essence Magazine — which is geared toward African American women and organized the event — launched “Kamala’s Corner,” an online column by Harris that allows her to talk directly to voters. And on Wednesday, Rep. Jahana Hayes, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, wrote an op-ed for the magazine titled, “Here’s Why I’m Endorsing Kamala Harris for President.”
The speeches from candidates mostly echoed the familiar lines from their stump speeches, and largely side-stepped some of the more hot-button issues raised both in Washington and on the campaign trail in recent months, including the question of whether reparations should be paid to African Americans and whether the federal government should take a bigger role in addressing persistent inequities in U.S. schools.
Black voters, are expected to make up approximately 12.5% of the 2020 electorate, according to the Pew Research Center.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is campaigning in South Carolina this weekend, currently leads the pack with 41% support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning black voters, according to the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is expected to be in Nevada this weekend, currently sits at 23% support among those voters.
Biden, who came under fire last month after citing his cordial relationships with segregationist Democrats as examples of lawmakers working past their differences, on Saturday apologized for the first time for the remarks during a campaign stop in South Carolina.
Other candidates who appeared at Essence Fest received tepid applause and spoke to half-empty rooms.
“If black women are going to be the highest voters in this country, then the agenda of African American women has to be at the center of the Democratic Party agenda,” Booker said, offering the pay gap, access to capital for black businesswomen and the high rate of maternal mortality among black women as issues that should take center stage.
Just hours before taking the stage on Friday, Warren penned an op-ed titled, “Elizabeth Warren On Valuing Black Women,” for Essence.
In her remarks, Warren, a second-term senator from Massachusetts, proposed an executive action focused on closing the wage gap that disadvantages women of color, which she said she would implement on “day one” if elected president. The plan would place stringent diversity and transparency requirements on companies contracted with the federal government.
In May, Harris made similar proposals to close the gender pay gap, by requiring companies to disclose salary data or risk financial penalties.
De Blasio, whose wife, Chirlane McCray, is black, talked about having frank discussions about race with their son and “preparing him for life as a young black man in America.” De Blasio, who was added to the schedule at the last minute, addressed a half-filled room.
ABC News’ Christen Hill contributed to this report.
An alleged drunk driver was arrested in Texas after police say she plowed into two 6-year-old twin girls, killing them both.
The two little girls were standing near their family by a fireworks stand Wednesday about 9 p.m. when Angelica Garcia allegedly drove through a barricade, struck the children and then crashed into a large trailer, Odessa police said.
The girls, both from Odessa, were taken to Medical Center Hospital, where they were pronounced dead, police said.
No one else was hurt in the crash, police said.
The “investigation revealed that Garcia was intoxicated,” police said.
Garcia, 36, was arrested at the scene and charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.
Authorities later determined Lueck’s last communication was with Ajayi, said police. Phone records show that Lueck and Ajayi were both at Hatch Park within less than one minute of each other, according to authorities.
During a search of Ajayi’s home, his neighbors told police they saw him using gasoline to burn something in his backyard on June 17 and 18, police said.
“Several charred items consistent with personal items of Mackenzie Lueck” were found in his yard, according to police.
A 70-year-old runner was found dead in the Los Angeles River Thursday just days after being disqualified from the Los Angeles Marathon for allegedly cheating.
Los Angeles police say they responded to a call Thursday morning of a body in the river.
The man was identified as retired Dr. Frank Meza, whose time in the Los Angeles Marathon four months ago shocked runners around the world.
Meza was disqualified from the marathon this week due to alleged cheating after he posted a time of 2:53:10, more than an hour faster than the 4:10:07 run by the second fastest finisher in his age group.
Meza claimed that he left the course to look for a bathroom and not a shortcut. His finish time would have been a record for his age group.
Meza was also facing scrutiny for other marathon times, including his finish in the 2019 Sprouts Mesa-Phoenix Marathon.
Marathon investigator Derek Murphy said he was deeply saddened to learn about Meza’s death. Murphy said his heart goes out to Maza’s family and friends, and that he would comment on the investigation at a later time to allow those close to Meza to grieve.
Meza previously coached cross-country at Loyola High School in Los Angeles before resigning for health reasons.
His cause of death is currently under investigation pending autopsy results, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz saw her lead over Tiffany Cabán, a progressive public defender, shrink to just 16 votes in the Queens District Attorney’s race, lawyers said Friday, though a final tally in the closely-watched race could still be weeks away.
Cabán, who has the backing of Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as well as presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, claimed victory after the June 25 primary when she led by a little more than 1,000 votes. But this week, after the Queens Board of Elections invalidated more than 2,000 paper ballots, Katz, who has the support of the local party leadership, pulled ahead by 30 votes and declared herself the winner.
“I think we all know this is going to court,” Renée Paradis, the lawyer for the Cabán campaign, said Friday morning from a conference room at the Board of Elections as she prepared to go head-to-head with the Katz campaign’s lawyer, Frank Bolz, over a handful of rejected ballots.
The Katz campaign confirmed Paradis’ tally that 16 votes now separate the two candidates.
Cabán’s strong performance jolted the local Democratic establishment that had opposed her, and energized liberals who saw the race as proof of progressive strength going into the 2020 election. The election comes just one year after Ocasio-Cortez blindsided New York Democrats in a stunning defeat of Democratic heavyweight Joe Crowley, the longtime congressman seen as a potential successor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
While Cabán ran on a platform of decriminalizing what she called crimes of poverty and shifting the focus of the office away from mass incarceration, Katz positioned herself as a more moderate reformer whose deep ties across Queens would allow her to make lasting change.
A hand recount, which is automatically triggered in such close races, is expected to begin next week.
The Cabán campaign has been reaching out to voters whose ballots were disqualified to determine if a mistake was made or if there is a possible legal challenge. On Friday, Paradis raised objections to 28 ballots that had been thrown out, and the campaign said they would be working through the weekend to find more.
One Cabán voter, who appeared at the Board of Elections offices on Friday but asked that his name not be used, said that he was told by the Cabán campaign that his provisional ballot had been invalidated because he had not filled out part of the form that asks a person’s party affiliation, even though he checked a box for Democrat on another part of the form.
Meanwhile, the two campaigns have been engaged in a war of words over the fairness of the process and the frustration voiced by their respective supporters on social media.
“The lies from Caban and her supporters need to stop, because right now the Cabán camp is no different than [President] Trump: divorced from facts, condoning misogynistic attacks and bullying voters,” said Daniele de Groot, a Katz spokesperson. “For someone who wants to be a prosecutor, Tiffany Cabán should know how dangerous and wrong it is to make baseless charges of wrongdoing without evidence, just because it’s good for her politically.”
Meanwhile, Cabán campaign officials have challenged what they say are unfair institutional advantages enjoyed by the Katz campaign, claiming that the ballots of new voters and irregular voters — people who the campaign says are more likely to back an insurgent progressive like Cabán — are more likely to be thrown out.
“To me, that is the real conspiracy and the real injustice,” said Paradis.
The Cabán campaign has also pointed to the strong ties between the Queens party machine — which had lined up behind Katz — and the local Board of Elections. The board’s commissioners are recommended by political parties and confirmed by the City Council.
Bill Lipton, the state director of the New York Working Families Party, which endorsed Cabán, also suggested there was a problem with the board’s invalidation of ballots.
“Thousands of affidavit ballots, many of them cast by new voters inspired by Tiffany’s message of a criminal justice system that works for all of us, were invalidated by poll workers handpicked by Queens party leaders,” he said in a statement on Thursday. “At the same time, when we go to court, we’ll face judges handpicked by the same machine. The system is rife with conflicts of interest.”
Whoever prevails in the Democratic primary will be the overwhelming favorite to win the November election in heavily Democratic Queens, the second most populous of New York City’s five boroughs, where the Republican candidate is offering only a token challenge. Longtime Queens District Attorney Richard Brown died in May, which left an open seat for the first time since he took office in 1991.
Thursday’s quake, which struck about 10:30 a.m. local time, marked the strongest earthquake in Southern California since 1999, officials said.
The earthquake was centered in a remote area near Searles Valley in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Yari Mower was watching three of her children performing in a Independence Day play when the quake hit.
There were 65 children ages 5 through 12 on stage — and Mower said “chaos” broke out.
“I have three kids on the stage. I have my husband, my two other kids in the audience … I’m just trying to figure out, like, ‘How am I gonna get to my kids? I have some here, I have some there,'” Mower told ABC News.
“People were telling me to get out, I just had to find them,” she said. “I felt like I was really far away from them. … It was scary.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved an emergency proclamation for Kern County, which encompasses Ridgecrest, a city that experienced the brunt of the damage.
No deaths or major injuries were reported, said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the state’s office of emergency services. But Kern County fire chief David Witt said there were minor to moderate injuries and damage in Ridgecrest.
Sara Beren told ABC News she had just gotten to her Ridgecrest home and was putting away groceries when she started to feel the tremor.
“We’re used to tremors,” she said, but this time, “it didn’t stop.”
“It felt really long. It felt like two of them back to back,” she said. “There were explosions, it sounded like.”
“Our kitchen is completely, completely destroyed,” Beren said. “Everything fell of the walls, out of the cabinets. It was a real struggle to get out of the house because of how bad it was shaking.”
Once Beren got out of the house, she said she saw a brick wall crumble across the street and a trailer fall over.
“You just panic at that point,” she said.
Beren said she ran over to the trailer, and, “We pulled the owner out and her, I believe it was her granddaughter, out of the trailer, and they were visibly shaken.”
“I’ll never forget this. It’s emotional. It’s scary,” she said. “You always know it’s coming… you just are never prepared for when it actually happens.”
Charlotte Sturgeon says she was out of the house when the quake shook her Ridgecrest home — and she returned to find major damage.
The foundation “is completely off and it’s leaning. And in the front room all there is is glass,” she told ABC News. Sturgeon said a cabinet fell with a lot of precious items from her grandmother.
Of her home of nearly 20 years, she said, “This can’t be saved, I’m pretty sure.”
But she’s grateful she’s safe.
“It could’ve been worse,” Sturgeon said.
ABC News’ Marcus Moore, Robert Zepeda, Jenna Harrison, Stacy Chen and Cammeron Parrish contributed to this report.
Prosecutors are searching for answers after they say unidentified human bones were found at a snack stand at a New Jersey park.
Employees of the State Line Lookout snack stand in Palisades Interstate Park in Alpine found the bones in a plastic bag hanging on the snack stand door Monday morning, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
The person who left the plastic bag on the door was contacted and directed police to where the bones had been found, prosecutors said
More bones and “some personal items” were recovered at that location, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.
While the remains were determined to be human, they have not been identified.
Prosecutors said they’ll be “submitted to a lab for identification and will be compared to missing persons records.”