National News

Author Salman Rushdie attacked at speaking event in New York state

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(NEW YORK) -- Author Salman Rushdie was attacked at an event in New York state on Friday, according to witness accounts and law enforcement reports.

Rushdie was scheduled to give a lecture at the education center Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, in southwestern New York, Friday morning.

At around 11 a.m., a man "ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer," according to New York State Police.

Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to the hospital, police said. His condition is unclear.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department also confirmed to ABC News there was a stabbing at the event where Rushdie was speaking.

The suspect was taken into custody by a state trooper, police said.

In the aftermath of the attack, Rushdie, 75, was seen being tended to while on the stage.

The interviewer suffered a minor head injury during the attack, police said.

The Chautauqua Institution said it is "currently coordinating with law enforcement and emergency officials on a public response" following the attack on its stage and will provide more details at a later time.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the attack "horrific," and said she has directed state police to "further assist however needed in the investigation."

"Here is an individual who has spent decades speaking truth to power, someone who has been out there, unafraid, despite the threats that have followed him through his entire adult life," Hochul remarked during a press briefing on an unrelated matter on Friday.

Police have not commented on a possible motive in the assault, and the suspect has not been identified.

The British-Indian writer faced years of death threats after his novel, The Satanic Verses, was published in 1988.

The late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini accused the author of blasphemy over the book and in 1989 issued a fatwa against Rushdie, calling for his death.

Rushdie spent years in hiding, which he chronicled in his 2012 memoir, Joseph Anton. The book was nominated for the United Kingdom’s top nonfiction award, the Samuel Johnson prize.

In 2018, the Iranian foreign minister said that the country no longer supported the fatwa against Rushdie, though a bounty for his death continues to be offered by an Iranian religious foundation. In 2012, the group increased the bounty from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.

Others have been attacked in connection with "The Satanic Verses," which was banned in several countries following its publication. Among them, Hitoshi Igarashi, who translated the book into Japanese, was stabbed to death in 1991 on the campus where he taught literature.

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Gunman who allegedly tried to break into Cincinnati FBI office is suspected 'extremist': Officials

Exterior of the Cincinnati Field Office building. - FBI.gov

(CINCINNATI) -- Ricky Shiffer, the man armed with an AR-15 style rifle and believed by authorities to have tried to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati field office Thursday is a “suspected domestic violent extremist,” according to law enforcement officials briefed on the probe.

Law enforcement is now investigating social media posts apparently linked to the suspect, which called for violence in the days after the FBI search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago property, the officials told ABC News.

The unprecedented search of a former president's residence ignited a firestorm among Republicans and Trump's supporters and sparked a wave of messages online hinting at potential violence. Law enforcement officials have been monitoring for threats since the raid was conducted.

Shiffer was fatally shot by police after he allegedly raised a gun toward law enforcement officers, an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson said during a press briefing.

Social media posts believed to belong to Shiffer on Twitter and TruthSocial, Trump's own social network, suggest the suspected gunman was likely "motivated by a combination of conspiratorial beliefs related to former President Trump and the 2020 election (among others), interest in killing federal law enforcement, and the recent search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week," according to a briefing compiled by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that monitors extremism and hate speech online.

ABC News has reviewed a series of recent posts to accounts believed to be Shiffer’s on "TruthSocial" that call for "war" and for FBI agents to be killed "on sight."

In one post on Thursday, Shiffer appeared to detail his failed attempt to enter the FBI building, writing, "it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I."

The account allegedly tied to Shiffer has since been removed.

Trump Media & Technology Group, which founded "TruthSocial," did not respond to a request for comment.

According to social media posts and photographs, Shiffer was present at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to ISD analysts that have combed the accounts. Investigators are actively working to determine whether Shiffer was, in fact, at the Capitol during the insurrection.

The ISD report also details that Shiffer appeared to encourage others to “Save ammunition” and “Get in touch with the Proud Boys" in posts on the video streaming website Rumble. Any connections he might have had to the Proud Boys are also a key focus of the probe, officials said.

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Trump Organization CFO to stand trial in October on alleged tax fraud

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(NEW YORK) -- The Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg are now scheduled to stand trial in the fall on tax charges after a judge in Manhattan, New York declined on Friday to dismiss the indictment.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office charged Weisselberg and the Trump Organization last summer with tax fraud after they were accused of compensating employees "off the books" in order to pay less in taxes. Weisselberg pleaded not guilty.

According to the charging documents, Weisselberg avoided taxes on more than $1.7 million in the past 15 years, resulting from the payment of his rent on an apartment in a Trump-owned building and related expenses that prosecutors said included cars and private school tuition for his grandchildren.

A tentative trial date of Oct. 24 for jury selection was set during a brief hearing.

The court hearing is a capstone on an extraordinary week for Trump that began with an FBI search of his Florida residence and included a deposition as part of a civil investigation by the New York Attorney general's office.

Trump has not been charged in the Manhattan DA case but the ongoing criminal investigation, which parallels New York Attorney General Letitia James' civil case, may have factored into his decision to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during Wednesday's deposition.

Weisselberg recently switched up his legal team, adding Nick Gravante, who represented two other Trump Organization employees that avoided charges in the Manhattan DA's probe.

"If there was a deal to be reached in this case, there has been plenty of time to do it," Mr. Gravante said. "My mission now is to lead this trial team and win, and that's what I intend to do."

“This trial is going to take a long time,” Josh Steinglass, senior trial counsel in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, said.

The trial is expected to last through November and well into December as prosecutors present evidence about off-the-books perks the Trump Organization paid to certain executives allegedly to avoid payroll taxes.

The judge dismissed one of the counts of criminal tax fraud as it relates only to the company. The Manhattan DA’s office agreed to the dismissal of the count.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 12.

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California becomes first state to offer free meals at school for kids

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(NEW YORK) -- All California public school students will have access to free nutritious meals this school year, thanks to the statewide Universal Meals Program.

The program comes at a crucial time, with food costs rising, inflation and an overall increase in children facing hunger since the pandemic. According to Feeding America, an estimated 13 million children (1 in 6), may have experienced food insecurity in 2021.

California is the first state to promise all six million public school students free meals thanks to the landmark state budget agreement Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law last July after the passage of Assembly Bill 130.

The Universal Meals program is designed to build on the foundations of the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (BSP) and ensures all students are offered breakfast and lunch at school.

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat, helped lead the effort to establish a universal school meal program and called the meals "essential to learning."

"We know that many California children are food insecure, and if you're hungry you cannot learn well," she told EdSource last year.

According to the California Department of Education, three key pillars have been established to ensure the program's success:

  1. California’s State Meal Mandate is expanded to include both a nutritiously adequate breakfast and lunch for, not just needy children, but all children each school day.
  2. High poverty schools will be required to participate in the federal provision.
  3. The California State Legislature allocates funds to provide additional state meal reimbursement to cover the cost of the Universal Meals Program.

The state's department of education said on its website that it is "committed to working with sponsors on the successful implementation" of the new program. Officials said the department will offer resources including "training and listening sessions," and will "solicit sponsors feedback, highlight best practices for collecting the federally required income information, and issue formal policy guidance including management bulletins."

ABC News Fresno affiliate KFSN-TV reported that, due to higher need, the Merced Union High School District had a head start and was already serving free breakfast and lunch to students.

Maine became the second state to commit to offering a universal school meals program last year, a day after California, when Gov. Janet Mills signed budgetary legislation that carved out additional funding for a free meals program.

"Maine children should be able to focus on learning math and playing with their friends, not an empty stomach. By providing free, nutritious school meals, no questions asked, we can ensure Maine kids can focus on being kids," Maine Senate President Troy Jackson, the budget bill's primary sponsor, said in a statement at the time. "No child should have to go to school hungry, especially not in this state."

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Brianna Grier eulogized by Rev. Al Sharpton, family presses for answers at funeral

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(ATLANTA) -- Brianna Grier, a mother of 3-year-old twins who died last month in police custody, was remembered Thursday by her family as a loving, caring person.

Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at Grier's funeral, which took place at West Hunter Baptist Church in Atlanta.

"The program says that we come to celebrate a life, but we also come to condemn a passing,'' Sharpton said.

He continued, "These two young twins ... one day we will have to tell them the story of what happened to their mother. But the troubling thing is that they will ask, 'Why?' And I'm here today to join others in saying that Georgia is going to have to start answering why."

Preliminary findings of an independent autopsy ordered by Grier's family declared her cause of death to be severe blunt force injury to the head. Results of an official autopsy being conducted as part of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's review of Grier's death are still pending, according to a GBI representative.

The 28-year-old was arrested by Hancock County Sheriff's Office deputies on July 15 after Grier's mother called 911 to report that her daughter was experiencing a mental health crisis, according to the family and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Grier fell out of the police car's rear passenger door after it was not properly closed. Grier had been handcuffed and was not wearing a seat belt, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Office did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Sharpton said $5,000 from the National Action Network will go toward a fund for Grier's daughters' education. He then went on to criticize the sheriff's office and its initial claims that Grier kicked open the door to the police car, causing her to fall out.

"That's why if the county don't do something about Brianna, we're going to the Justice Department," Sharpton said at the funeral. "Her life mattered and that's why we're here."

Grier's father, Marvin Grier, said: "The night that this happened, we called the police for help … not death. We are here to seek justice, accountability, transparency. That's all we're asking for. We need answers."

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How some schools are addressing active shooter concerns after Uvalde

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(NEW YORK) -- A few days after learning about the deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Jim Witt, superintendent of Lake Local Schools in northern Ohio, reached out to a school safety organization he's worked with for over a decade.

"It's unfortunate," Witt said, but "every time we have a Uvalde situation," he emails the Educator's School Safety Network to ask what they need to know and what needs to be changed.

"We want to do everything we can to stay current with what is going on in school safety," he said.

As more has come to light on one of the worst school shootings in U.S history -- most notably the shortcomings of the law enforcement response -- schools across the country are reexamining their active shooter plans and implementing new measures, from requiring clear backpacks to more controversial steps like arming teachers.

While active shooters in schools remain exceedingly rare, they are on the increase in recent years, federal data shows, and they have an outsized impact on perceptions of safety.

For Witt, the incident at Uvalde -- where the gunman entered the school through a door that didn't latch properly -- reinforced what his district already does, including having a planned entrance, maintaining a relationship with local police, checking in with students and the "vigilance of locking doors."

"When our school bells ring, our custodians -- you can set your watch by it -- they go and make sure that all of the exit doors are locked," said Witt. "My administrative staff and I walk around campus every day and included in our walks is checking those doors to make sure that they are locked and they are closed and they're latched."

A Texas state legislature investigation into the Uvalde shooting found that while the elementary school had adopted security policies to ensure that exterior doors and internal classroom doors were locked during school hours, those protocols were mostly ignored.

The shooting in Uvalde -- in which the 18-year-old alleged gunman killed 19 students and two teachers -- and other recent school shootings also demonstrate the importance of measures to reduce student access to guns, including conversations on proper gun storage and "red flag laws," Rob Wilcox, federal legal director for the gun violence prevention organization Everytown for Gun Safety, told ABC News.

"To keep our schools safe and to keep our students safe, no matter where they are in the community, schools and community members really need to work together," Wilcox said.

Consistency and communication

Months before the massacre at Robb Elementary School, Kristine Martin, the assistant superintendent of Washington Local Schools in Toledo, Ohio, was spearheading a school safety audit to determine their vulnerabilities.

"I think any time something like that happens, we always reflect on what are we doing and what are our practices and what can we do better or differently," she said. "We started this work before that, but it just speaks to the urgency of the work."

One of the areas the school focused on based on the audit was consistency. When students return in the fall, the district's 10 buildings will have new kiosks -- paid for through a state education grant -- to sign in visitors and dispense a standard visitor pass across the campus. Every school employee will also be required to wear their staff IDs, which previously wasn't a uniform practice across buildings.

"Kids in an emergency need to know who is a safe person," Martin said.

Though schools may turn their focus to active shooter drills, Amy Klinger, founder of the Educator's School Safety Network, which provides schools with safety training and resources, advises that they take an "all-hazards approach" that takes into account other scenarios that may be more likely to happen, such as violent fights that do not involve firearms, issues with noncustodial parents and severe weather.

"When you have this heavy emphasis on active shooter, lockdown sort of drills, and that's the only training that people get, then you have situations where people don't realize the importance of the doors being locked, and the importance of carrying their keys and carrying their radio or their phone and having appropriate communications," Klinger said.

"What I would hope for schools is that they really begin to look at kind of an all-hazards approach that says, what are we doing about access control? Does our communication plan work? Can people really get notifications? And that we look beyond just, we did a lockdown drill where everybody hid in the corner and now we're all safe," she continued. "Because Ulvade demonstrated that that's not the case."

The Texas state legislature investigation into the Uvalde shooting found a range of communication failures, from the lack of a command post being established by responding law enforcement to problematic radio reception inside the school building. It also found that Uvalde school district employees did not always reliably receive alerts like an active shooter situation for reasons including poor wi-fi coverage and turned-off phones.

In the wake of the Uvalde shooting, the Texas Education Agency plans to review external entry points of every school in Texas, as well as review each district's safety protocols, the Texas Tribune reported. ABC News has reached out to the agency for an update on its reviews.

Among the recommendations in an interim report by the Arkansas School Safety Commission drafted in response to the mass shooting in Uvalde were that all exterior school building doors and classroom doors should remain closed and locked during school hours, and that school districts should develop a "layered two-way communication access between staff to ensure information sharing during critical incidents," such as the use of intercoms, radios and cell phones.

Preventing gun access

The accused gunman in the Uvalde shooting legally purchased the assault rifle used in the shooting when he turned 18, authorities said. That has led Uvalde community leaders to call on the state to hold a special legislative session to consider raising the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic assault-style rifles from 18 to 21.

Nearly 80% of school shooters under the age of 18 acquire guns from the home of family or close friends, according to Everytown -- which makes secure storage a key part of preventing gun violence in schools, Wilcox said.

"We've seen really encouraging action across the country as schools step up to make sure that everyone in their community knows how important it is to securely store firearms in the home," Wilcox said.

Last month, the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education voted to amend its student/parent handbook to include information about the secure storage of firearms. The move came nearly a year after one of the students in the district, 13-year-old Bennie Hargrove, was fatally shot during lunch at school. The accused shooter -- a fellow student -- allegedly brought his father's unsecured gun to school.

Much of this work happens at the school board level, Wilcox said. Though last month, the California governor signed a bill that requires schools to include information related to the safe storage of firearms in an annual notice sent to parents or guardians. The bill was drafted in reaction to a 2021 school shooting at a Michigan high school, in which an alleged 15-year-old gunman fatally shot four of his classmates.

Another tool that schools could use to limit students' access to guns is extreme risk protection orders, often known as "red flag laws," Wilcox said.

Addressing warning signs

The Texas House of Representatives committee report on the Robb Elementary School shooting revealed the accused school shooter exhibited many warning signs prior to the massacre.

"If a student is showing that they're in crisis and you're taking steps to intervene, then you may want to use an extreme risk protection order to ensure that there's no access to guns by that young person," Wilcox said.

Wilcox pointed to testimony by a Baltimore sheriff who told state legislators in 2019 that in the first few months of Maryland's red flag law going into effect, his office seized firearms in five instances that involved schools.

For Witt, part of maintaining a safe school includes having meaningful relationships with students.

"If a student has a broken leg, you know it because he or she is on crutches and there's a cast on the leg. If a student is suffering from depression or some other type of mental health illness, you can't see it," he said. "That's why the relationship becomes even more imperative, so those kids not only have an outlet to talk to someone about their situation, but also if there's a possibility of danger, you can address it in a meaningful and helpful way."

Mental health support is a focus; the Arkansas School Safety Commission advised in its interim report that all students should have access to mental health services, and that all school districts should provide youth mental health first aid training to all staff that interacts with students.

For Wilcox, having a positive school climate is one part of preventing school violence, so that someone in crisis can get help and prevent harming themselves or others.

"But at the same time," he said, "we need everyone in the community to make sure that there's no easy access to guns for young people."

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The Bud Billiken Parade through the years

Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

(CHICAGO) -- Certain iconic imagery brings to mind traditional American summer activities: the smell of hamburgers cooking on a grill, marching bands with drum lines and kids catching candy thrown from colorful floats. These are all a part of the Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago.

First held in 1929, the Bud Billiken Parade is the largest African American parade in the United States, according to its organizers. It's also one of the three largest parades in the country overall, along with the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Every year on the second Saturday of August, participants of the Bud Billiken Parade march and dance their way through the streets of Chicago.

Robert Sengstacke Abbott, founder of the Chicago Defender newspaper, and his editor, David Kellum, created the fictional character Bud Billiken in 1923 as a mascot for a youth group they had set up in the community. A Billiken is a mythical good-luck figure that was popular in the early part of the 20th century. Kellum then decided to have a day of celebration for Black youth and the Bud Billiken Parade was born.

Like many other public events, the parade was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

"As our community continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic over the past couple of years, it is exciting that we are able to come together this year and celebrate the students of Chicago as they head back to school," said the Bud Billiken Parade chair, Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, who is also the president and CEO of Chicago Defender Charities.

The 93rd annual Bud Billiken Parade will kick off on Aug. 13.

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Anne Heche suffered brain injury and not expected to survive, according to family

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(LOS ANGELES) -- Anne Heche is not expected to survive the brain injury she suffered in a fiery car crash in Los Angeles and is being kept on life support to determine if her organs are viable, according to her family.

The family and friends of the Emmy-winning actress released a statement Thursday evening about her comatose condition which is not expected to improve.

“Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive,” the statement read.

“It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable.”

Heche’s loved one went on to describe her as having a “huge heart” and “generous spirit.”

“More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work -- especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light,” the statement continued.

Heche, 53, is "unconscious" and in "critical condition" after she was involved in the one-car crash, which also damaged a Los Angeles home last week, her representative confirmed to ABC News on Monday.

The Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that they received results of blood that was drawn shortly after the crash, which showed she had narcotics in her system.

Meredith Deliso, Alex Stone and Josh Margolin contributed to this report.

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Girl missing since 2019 was murdered in New Hampshire, remains not found: Police

Manchester Police Department

(MANCHESTER, N.H.) — Authorities have determined that Harmony Montgomery, a little girl who disappeared in 2019, was murdered in Manchester, New Hampshire, in early December 2019, officials announced Thursday.

Harmony would be 8 years old if alive today.

Harmony's remains have not been found but "multiple sources of investigative information, including biological evidence," led to the conclusion that she's dead, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said at a news conference.

The missing persons case is now a homicide investigation, he said.

"Our investigators will continue to seek justice and look into the circumstances of Harmony's murder and search for her remains," Formella said.

"I'm beyond saddened," Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said.

"There have been many discussions, speculations and questions relative to where the system failed Harmony, and I myself continue to share the same concerns and still have many remaining questions," he said. "However, the homicide of this little girl rests with the person or persons who committed this horrific act. The Manchester Police Department will do everything within the limits of the law to ensure that the responsible person or persons for the murder of Harmony are brought to justice."

Aldenberg said he believes "there are people out there in the community that have information about this investigation who have yet to come forward.

"If you are that person, I implore you to do so now and come forward," he said. "Do it for this little girl."

Aldenberg urged anyone with information to call the tip line at 603-203-6060.

The attorney general and police chief did not take questions from the media at Thursday's news conference. No suspect was named.

Harmony's mother, Crystal Sorey, had custody of her until 2018, according to a state report released in February. In 2019, a Massachusetts court ordered Harmony be sent to live with her father, Adam Montgomery, in New Hampshire, state officials said.

Harmony's last confirmed home was in Manchester with her father, her stepmother Kayla Montgomery, and her two half-siblings, according to state officials.

Sorey said the last time she saw Harmony was via FaceTime in spring 2019, officials said.

In July 2019, an anonymous call was made to New Hampshire’s Division for Children, Youth and Families alleging that in a visit a week earlier, he or she saw Harmony "had a black eye that Adam Montgomery admitted to causing," the report said. The same day as the anonymous call, a case worker visited and didn’t see a black eye on Harmony, the report said.

One week later, that same case worker noted a red mark and faded bruising under Harmony’s eyelid, and both Harmony and Adam Montgomery told the worker the mark was from being hit by a toy while playing, the report said.

In subsequent visits to the home, "the children appeared happy and healthy," the report said. In the last visit, in October 2019, case workers found the abuse allegations unfounded, but added, "the situation was scored high risk for future child welfare involvement pursuant to the Risk Assessment tool citing the history of substance use, prior family history with child protection, and economic challenges," according to the report.

In January 2020, Adam Montgomery told the child protective services worker that Harmony had been living in Massachusetts with her mother since Thanksgiving 2019, the report said. The worker left a voicemail with Sorey to confirm Harmony lived there, but never heard back, the report said.

In September 2021, someone close to Harmony’s mother contacted the Division for Children, Youth and Families with concerns, and the agency determined Harmony had never been registered for school in Manchester, the report said.

The Division for Children, Youth and Families then searched for Adam and Kayla Montgomery.

When police found Adam Montgomery in December 2021, he gave the authorities "contradictory and unconvincing explanations of Harmony’s whereabouts," the report said. Adam Montgomery allegedly told police Harmony's mother had picked her up, even though Kayla Montgomery told police that Adam Montgomery told her he drove Harmony back to her mother on the day after Thanksgiving 2019, according to the report.

At that point, the investigation became a missing child case, the report said.

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US has 300,000 teacher, school staff vacancies, NEA President Rebecca Pringle says

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(NEW YORK) — The current teacher shortage facing the United States is a "five-alarm crisis," according to Rebecca Pringle, the president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers' union in the country.

“We have been sounding the alarm for almost a decade and a half that we have a crisis in the number of students who are going into the teaching profession and the number of teachers who are leaving it,” said Pringle. “But, of course, as with everything else, the pandemic just made it worse.”

Pringle spoke to ABC News’ “GMA3” Thursday about the shortage of nearly 300,000 educators and support staff across the country.

GMA3: How bad is the teacher shortage this upcoming school year?

PRINGLE: This is that time of year back to school when educators, parents, students are excited and they're hopeful. This year, of course, is good as students go back to school.

We are concerned about the teacher shortages and staff shortages throughout this country, in rural and suburban and urban areas. And I will tell you that we know that if we don't have enough educators, then our students aren't going to have the one-on-one attention they need and deserve.

GMA3: Is there a way for you to gauge how bad it is this year compared to previous years?

PRINGLE: We know that this has been a chronic problem. This is not new. We have been sounding the alarm for almost a decade and a half that we have a crisis in the number of students who are going into the teaching profession and the number of teachers who are leaving it.

But of course, as with everything else, the pandemic just made it worse. We are estimating about 300,000 shortages of teachers and support staff across this nation as students go back to school. But I will tell you that we have been sounding this alarm since last year and we have been working really, really hard to try to do something about it.

GMA3: According to the National Education Association, 55% of educators are saying that they are thinking about leaving the profession earlier than they anticipated… You mentioned the pandemic as perhaps why this is happening, but how do you combat that?

PRINGLE: We were shocked when we saw those statistics of the number of educators who are planning on leaving the profession. And it's even higher for Black teachers and Latina teachers. We know how important it is to have a diverse workforce. We have been working to try to address those issues.

One of the things that I've learned from educators -- I traveled all over the country, from Kentucky to California to Maine to Wisconsin to Illinois -- and they all said the same thing. This is what they need to come into the profession and stay in the profession. They need professional respect.

For them that is three things: Professional authority to make teaching and learning decisions for their students. Professional rights to have the conditions and resources to do the jobs they love. And professional pay that reflects the importance of the work they do.

GMA3: What does a child's education, their day, their classroom look like with this type of teacher shortage?

PRINGLE: The concerns that our educators and parents have raised, which are playing out, [and] played out last year... is that we had to double-up classes.

[Also] we had to not necessarily offer the special education services that our special education students need. We knew that there were too many educators who were overwhelmed by the number of students that they were trying to meet the individual needs of, and we don't have enough substitutes.

So, we found that many of our educators were coming into school sick and they weren't taking care of themselves. We know that the well-being of our teachers and our educators absolutely impacts the well-being of our students. So, this is a huge problem.

But we are working to use the funding from the American Rescue Plan to actually bring the resources that we need into schools to make those long-term solutions work right now.

GMA3: And speaking of a shortage of resources, obviously, so many people are in financial distress during these economic times. And the average back-to-school shopping for parents sets most families back $864. That is a significant burden for so many families. Is there anything that can be done to ease that burden?

PRINGLE: We encourage everyone to continue to push to make sure their school districts, and use the American Rescue funds, to make sure that the schools have the resources that students need. And parents and families don't have to supply as much as they have been.

We also know there is an increase in the number of dollars that teachers are pulling out from their own pockets, taking away from their own families, to try to meet those needs and those gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, from food crisis to housing crisis, health care crisis.

We know all of that has impacted our communities of color, especially in those communities where they have been chronically underserved. So, we ask that people continue to raise their voices and join with us… to make sure that all of our schools are funded, so all of our students have what they need and they deserve.

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Man charged in 2 Albuquerque killings has domestic violence history, police say

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(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M) — The man charged in the killings of at least two of the four Muslim men killed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in recent months has a history of arrests for domestic violence, police said.

Muhammad Syed, 51, is charged with murder in the shooting deaths of 25-year-old Naeem Hussain on Aug. 5 and 41-year-old Aftab Hussein on July 26, according to the Albuquerque Police Department. Syed denied being involved in the deaths of the men after he was arrested, according to police.

Investigators said they are working with the district attorney's office on potential charges for the murders of the other two local men who were killed within months of one another.

Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, was found fatally shot on Aug. 1. Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, was killed last November outside a business he ran with his brother, police said.

The victims of the shootings in August and July were from Pakistan. Ahmadi was from Afghanistan.

Syed moved to the U.S. from Afghanistan several years ago and has since been arrested at least twice on misdemeanor domestic violence charges, police said.

According to a criminal complaint from May 2018, Syed and his wife had an argument that turned physical while in a state Department of Human Services office.

Syed claimed his wife slapped him while they were arguing in the car and kicked him while in the waiting room of the office, the complaint says. His wife told police Syed pulled her by the hair and kicked her out of the vehicle, forcing her to walk for almost two hours to the office. When she arrived, the argument continued and she claimed Syed grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground, according to the complaint.

An employee at the office told police that she found Syed’s wife on the floor with a large piece of hair that had fallen to the ground, the complaint says. Employees stated that Syed arrived about an hour and a half before his wife arrived, according to the complaint.

He was placed under arrest for battery on a household member, but his wife did not want to pursue charges or participate in prosecution, which led to the dismissal of the case, according to a spokesperson from the Office of the Second Judicial District Attorney.

In December 2018, Syed’s son called officers to the home, and claimed that the father was “striking” the mother and son, according to a criminal complaint. The son had locked himself in his room after the son had been hit by his father with a metal spoon, which drew blood on the back of his head, the complaint says.

The son advised officers that Syed had routinely beaten him and his mother in the past. Syed denied any violence, the criminal complaint showed. Victims were again unwilling to pursue charges or cooperate with police.

An attorney for Syed did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

The string of slayings had left Muslim communities across the country shaken.

"I hope that our community can breathe a sigh of relief and be assured about safety and security that our main suspect has been put behind bars and that's where he belongs," Nihad Awad, the national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said at a press conference Aug. 10.

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Standoff ends after armed man allegedly tried to break into Cincinnati FBI office

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

(CINCINNATI) -- An armed man who allegedly tried to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati field office Thursday was killed by police after an hourslong standoff, officials said.

Following a chase and a failed negotiation, the suspect was fatally shot by police after he allegedly raised a gun toward law enforcement officers, an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson said during a press briefing.

The suspect was identified as Ricky Shiffer, 42, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News. No other information was immediately available.

Ohio State Highway Patrol started pursuing the suspect shortly after 9:30 a.m. after he allegedly fled from the field office.

Troopers followed the suspect, who was driving a white Ford Crown Victoria, to Clinton County, where shots were fired, according to officials.

The suspect, who officials said was armed with a rifle and wearing body armor, had been contained in a cornfield off Interstate 71 near Wilmington, according to Clinton County Emergency Management. The suspect appeared to have a gunshot wound to his leg but was mobile, according to a law enforcement source.

The suspect was allegedly armed with an AR15-style rifle and also brandished a nail gun during the alleged break-in attempt at the FBI field office in Cincinnati, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

After attempting to negotiate with the suspect, police started to move in to take him into custody, Ohio State Highway Patrol said. After the suspect allegedly raised a firearm toward them, law enforcement fired their weapons, striking him at around 3:40 p.m., the agency said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities are in the process of determining the suspect's identity, Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Clinton County Emergency Management alerted around 4:30 p.m. that the law enforcement response "has ended."

A lockdown was in effect within a 1-mile radius of the standoff scene. People were instructed to lock doors and stay inside.

The man led police on a chase along Interstate 71 before exiting near Wilmington. Ohio State Highway Patrol said shots were fired from the suspect’s vehicle before it exited and, once it pulled off the interstate, gunshots were exchanged between the suspect and police.

No officers have been injured, police said.

It remains unclear why the man allegedly tried to break into the FBI office but it comes amid a series of threats following the FBI's court-authorized search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.

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Instagram personality charged with murder months after allegedly fatally stabbing boyfriend

Hawai'i Police Department

(LAUPAHOEHOE, Hi.) — Social media personality Courtney Clenney has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon, months after the death of her 27-year-old boyfriend Christian Obumseli.

The 26-year-old, who goes under the name Courtney Tailor on Instagram, was arrested in Laupahoehoe, Hawaii, Wednesday after Miami-Dade County prosecutors issued a warrant for her arrest in the April 3 stabbing, police said.

Miami-Dade County's chief medical examiner determined Obumseli's cause of death was a stab to the chest with a knife, which punctured his subclavian artery, Katherine Rundle, the Miami-Dade state attorney, said at a press conference Thursday.

The stab wound was the result of a forceful downward thrust, just over 3 inches into the artery, Rundle said.

Rundle alleged Obumseli and Clenney were involved in an "extremely tempestuous combative" relationship since November 2020.

"It was learned that the security and building staff at the Miami apartment documented many incidents of loud arguments between the couple after they moved into the building in January 2022. Tenants as far as an apartment two floors above were making complaints to security and building management about the noises and the ruckus," Rundle said.

Building management was going to evict the couple due to the many complaints, Rundle said.

Rundle said tenants called the building manager the day of the stabbing to report a disturbance. The manager then called 911. Eleven minutes later, Clenney called 911, notifying them that Obumseli was stabbed and needed help, Rundle said.

Obumseli can be heard on the 911 call repeatedly saying that he was dying and he was losing feeling in his arm, according to Rundle. Clenney is heard saying, "I'm so sorry, baby," Rundle said.

According to Rundle, Clenney told police that Obumseli shoved her against the wall by the neck but he did not choke her and then claimed he threw her to the ground but allowed her to get up. Rundle added that Clenney moved to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. As he approached her, Clenney alleged that she threw the knife from a distance of about 10 feet, Rundle said.

The medical examiner said throwing the knife from that distance would not have caused the fatal stab wound, according to Rundle.

Clenney has alleged the stabbing was in self-defense but police said they observed no injuries on Clenney that would have corroborated her account. Clenney also allegedly provided several inconsistent accounts about the incident itself and never stated that Obumseli was armed with any type of weapon, Rundle said.

Clenney's attorney, Frank Prieto, has also claimed the fatal April 3 stabbing was self-defense, saying Clenney's allegatio. aligned with evidence found at the scene, he said in an NewsNation interview posted on his website.

Miami Police Chief Chief Manny Morales alleged that Clenney lied about being thrown to the ground the day of the stabbing, he told reporters.

Clenney is being held at the Hawai'i Police Department's East Hawai'i Detention Center pending her initial court appearance. Rundle said Thursday that Clenney has not yet appeared in court.

Clenney will be given the option to waive or contest extradition when she appears in court. Clenney's attorney has told officials she intends to waive extradition, which would allow officials to facilitate her return to Florida, Rundle said.

Clenney was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service with assistance from members of the Hawaii Police Department, Hawaii police said in a press release.

Rundle also showed elevator footage of the couple dated Feb. 21 in which Clenney appears to physically attack Obumseli repeatedly. Rundle said the evidence suggested Clenney was being violent toward Obumseli.

Police had also responded to arguments at the apartment on April 1, two days before the stabbing, Rundle said.

Prieto said Clenney was placed under a mental health hold on the night of the stabbing and she was "completely distraught" in the interview. Prieto said Clenney was released to her family within 48 hours. Prieto did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

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Dallas salon shooting suspect indicted on hate crime charge for allegedly shooting 3 Korean women

Jason Marz/Getty Images

(DALLAS) — A man accused of shooting three Asian American women at a Dallas hair salon in May was indicted Tuesday on multiple counts, including committing a hate crime and aggravated assault, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office announced.

Jeremy Smith, 37, is charged with seven counts of aggravated assault, each with a hate-crime enhancement and punishable by five years to life in prison. He was arrested by Dallas police on May 16 and remains in the county jail with bail set at $700,000.

After Smith entered the Koreatown establishment on May 11, he allegedly fired 13 shots from a .22-caliber rifle, injuring three women -- the salon owner, an employee and a customer -- and endangering four others. The three women, who are all Korean, suffered nonfatal injuries and were transported to a local hospital after the shooting, police said.

Smith allegedly targeted the victims because of "his bias or prejudice against Asian Americans," according to the announcement.

Smith's girlfriend told police detectives he had been paranoid about Asian Americans since being involved in a car crash two years ago with an Asian man, according to a police affidavit.

Whenever Smith is around an Asian American person, he begins having delusions that "the Asian mob is after him or attempting to harm him" and was fired for "verbally attacking" his Asian boss, his girlfriend said, according to the police affidavit.

According to the affidavit, she told police Smith experienced panic attacks because of his delusions and was even admitted to several mental health facilities.

Texas federal prosecutors, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights division partnered for a federal hate crime investigation into Smith.

Over recent years, the country has seen a sharp increase in anti-Asian violence. Many attacks have been captured in viral videos, intensifying fear and anger among Asian Americans.

Last year, a gunman killed six women of Asian descent at a shooting at massage businesses in and near Atlanta. Earlier this month, a West Texas man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attacking an Asian family outside a Midland, Texas, department store in 2020. The man assumed they were Chinese and therefore responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an FBI analysis on increasing hate crimes.

Last May, President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law, which designates a Justice Department official to focus on reviewing incidents and provides grants to police departments so they can establish hotlines for hate crime reporting.

However, the law has also drawn rebuke for increasing policing and bolstering a carceral system some say is demonstrably ineffective at preventing crime and discriminatory, particularly toward Black Americans.

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Marine major and his interpreter find brotherhood amid war in Afghanistan

ABC

(WASHINGTON) — A year ago, America ended its longest war and withdrew troops from Afghanistan. After occupying the country for two decades, the withdrawal immediately led to a dangerous situation for any U.S. allies still left in the country, who risked retribution from the Taliban.

During the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, the bond between two men from opposite worlds proved to be unshakeable and led to the rescue of a desperate family. They are now sharing their experiences in a dual memoir, “Always Faithful.”

After several failed attempts to leave, interpreter Zainullah Zaki, known as Zak, who had worked for the U.S. military for several years in Afghanistan, his wife and their four small children were able to leave Afghanistan safely - with the aid of Marine Corps Maj. Thomas Schueman, who helped from the other side of the world.

Schueman left Afghanistan in 2013, Zak remained in Afghanistan. As the Taliban took over Afghanistan's capital, Schueman said he immediately thought of his friend and began to make calls, texts and social media posts to try to find someone who could help.

Meanwhile, Zak spent days in Kabul working to get the proper documents he needed for himself and his family to come to the United States, as Schueman worked from the United States to devise a strategy to get Zak out of the country, ABC News reported in August 2021.

Finally, Schueman said he found someone at the Kabul International Airport to look for Zak's family and secure spots for them on a plane to Qatar.

Schueman and Zak first met in Helmand Province in 2010. Schueman said that Zak quickly became “family.”

“It quickly became apparent that Zak was there to do so much more than simply translate our words; that he was there to fight alongside us,” said Schueman. “He became one of the members of my platoon, and he was almost immediately family to us.”

Chaos ensued in August 2021, when the U.S. began withdrawing the troops left in Afghanistan after spending nearly two decades in the country.

Zak recalled the onset of the war in 2001 and the first time he saw American soldiers arrive in his country.

“When the Americans came, they were working [to build] Afghanistan. They work for our bright future,” said Zak. “I decided to go and join the U.S. Army and work together, side by side with them.”

Although he was able to help Zak, Schueman said his work is far from over. He is continuing to advocate and push lawmakers to help other U.S. allies safely evacuate.

“I do believe that many people have very good intentions to support our allies,” said Schueman. “It just seems that the red tape to honor some of these promises that we made to the allies sometimes seem nearly insurmountable.”

Schueman said that the two hope that their story can help draw attention to people like Zak and their experiences during the war.

“I think it's important to have that dual narrative perspective where you don't have an American telling what Afghanistan is like,” said Schueman. “You have someone who was born there and raised there. Telling us about their culture, about their religion, about their history. And so I think that's imperative in this type of story.”

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