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The Inquisitr offers a constantly updated mix of the latest stories to hit the web, covering news, entertainment, technology, news, sport, health and everything else.

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    Kathleen Zellner watches a bullet test being done in the Netflix series Making A Murderer 2

    Making A Murderer subject Steven Avery’s lawyer Kathleen Zellner has responded to her client’s latest legal setback. As the Inquisitr reports, a Wisconsin appeals court denied her December 17 motion to perform Rapid DNA testing on bones left unidentified since Avery’s original 2006 murder trial. According to Newsweek, Zellner isn’t discouraged by the ruling and still sees ways to get the testing done.

    “The appellate court wants to resolve the issues on Avery’s current appeal before the new issue re: bone testing is addressed,” Zellner said.

    “The state claims if Avery wins appeal, bone testing may become unnecessary. The bottom line is that the appellate court is not preventing Avery from doing the bone testing after the appeal is completed or by agreement with the new attorney general while the appeal is pending. Either way, the court’s decision does not damage Mr. Avery’s efforts to have his conviction vacated.”

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    Waymo self driving car performing tests on a street near Google's headquarters, Silicon Valley.

    There’s a lot of hype around the revolution of self-driving cars, but some people aren’t feeling the love – and they’re taking their grievances out with knives, rocks, and even other vehicles. In Chandler, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix where Alphabet is testing out their Waymo self-driving cars, over two dozen vehicles have been attacked, according to the New York Times.

    Over the past two years, vehicles have been run off the road or had their tires slashed. Others have been pelted by rocks. One man threatened an employee riding in a Waymo car with a PVC pipe — while another waved a.22 caliber rifle at a passenger — all in an attempt to let Google know that not everyone is pleased about having the driverless cars in their part of town.

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    Wanda Barzee appears against a white background.

    Wanda Barzee, the woman who helped to kidnap and imprison Elizabeth Smart, is living a few blocks from a Salt Lake City elementary school, the Associated Press is reporting.

    Back in 2002, Wanda Barzee and her husband, street preacher Brian David Mitchell, kidnapped the then-14-year-old from her Utah home. Over the next nine months, the pair kept Elizabeth captive while Mitchell repeatedly raped her. Smart was later recognized and rescued.

    In 2010, Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison, and he remains behind bars to this day. Barzee was sentenced to 15 years.

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    Police officer emergency service car driving street with siren light blinking

    More police officers were killed in the line of duty by firearms during 2018 than during any other year in the past two decades. A total of 144 officers died this year, a 12 percent increase over the previous one, with 52 of those individuals killed in shootings, according to the Boston Herald.

    The non-profit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund tracks the number of officers killed each year. According to this year’s report, 134 men and 10 women were killed in the line of duty, with the average age of 41. Last year, their annual report revealed that 129 people were killed in federal, state, local, territorial and tribal departments. That was a steep drop from 2016’s 159 fatalities.

    Craig W. Floyd, CEO of the memorial fund, noted that the increase was a discouraging shift after last year’s improvement.

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    Hogwarts stands tall at Universal Orlando

    Every year, there are thousands upon thousands of guests who head to Central Florida and visit Universal Orlando to have a good time during the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, things became very scary for one family who visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter just wanting to have fun. During their visit to Islands of Adventure, a man from Illinois attempted to kidnap a 9-year-old girl who was in the parks with her family.

    According to Fox News, 23-year-old Jason Mikel, of Minooka, Illinois, went to Universal Studios on Sunday, December 30, 2018, and headed to the Harry Potter section of the park. While there, he approached a 9-year-old girl who was in the locker area of the attraction called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

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    A man vacuuming.

    Massachusetts police recently arrested a cat burglar who broke into a woman’s home, reports the New York Post. Authorities stated that the man was unarmed when officers arrived on site to arrest him. This arrest may be found to be unusual to some, as the man who broke into the victim’s North Adams residence was found to have busted into the home and set about cleaning everything inside — including the litter box — local reports state. This incident occurred on Thursday, December 27, 2019.

    The man who was arrested for this unusual break in is 33-year-old Mitchell Sayers, from the Pittsfield area. Police claim that he was in a confused state upon his arrest. He had entered the woman’s home through an unlocked door. Mitchell Sayers even removed his shoes before he began cleaning the residence.

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    Sculpture of St. Simeon of Verkhoturye (Verkhotursky) in Magnitogorsk

    One day after a devastating apartment explosion in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk, a baby boy has been found alive amidst the rubble. This rescue comes not long after Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said that the chances of finding anyone else alive in the debris were fading. The explosion was believed to have been a result of a gas leak.

    According to CNN, rescuers clearing rubble has discovered the small child who is believed to be less than a year old. The “dramatic” footage was released by Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry.

    The boy was pulled alive from the rubble, wearing nothing more than a shirt and pink socks and his condition is listed as “serious.” According to Reuters, the boy had to endure 35 hours in temperatures that would have dropped to freezing levels. Currently, the temperature in the area is -17 Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit).

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    A white rhinoceros in a field.

    An approximately 2-year-old girl visiting the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, on New Year’s Day had to be airlifted to a hospital after being injured when she entered an enclosure where there were southern white rhinoceroses.

    On the afternoon of Tuesday, January 1, the child and her family were at the zoo checking out the hands-on, educational Rhino Encounter exhibit in which humans are separated from the animals by a series of steel poles, reported ABC Action News.

    “According to witnesses, the child stumbled and fell in between two of the poles and, at this point, the snout of at least one of [the] rhinoceroses made contact with the child,” said zoo spokesperson Elliot Zirulnik, reported WFTV.

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    Kanye West looks off-camera.

    Kanye West is ringing in the New Year by letting everyone know where he stands politically. The rapper posted a series of tweets late Tuesday afternoon that made it very clear he’s still supporting Donald Trump in 2019.

    The Twitter posts made it clear from the start that the rapper’s political stance has not changed with the new year.

    “Trump all day,” he wrote on Tuesday. “Just so in 2019 you know where I stand.”

    West then emphasized repeatedly he would not be controlled or programmed by outside forces, and would make decisions for himself.

    “They will not program me,” he tweeted. “Blacks are 90% Democrats. That sounds like control to me.” He then proceeded to double down on his Trump support — and a particularly beloved item of clothing.

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    Frontier Airplane

    Six passengers on a New Year’s day flight from Cleveland to Tampa fell ill mid-air, News Channel 8 reported. At different times during the flight, six of the passengers who were not related or traveling together began to become or feel psychically ill. The in-flight crew made an announcement, asking the remaining 220 passengers to speak up if they began to feel sick.

    When the flight landed at 3:30 p.m. in Tampa, health officials removed the six passengers who became sick. Those who were ill aboard the flight were held for observation.

    The remaining healthy passengers were then stuck on the tarmac for an additional hour and held at the request of health officials, who were reported to have entered the plane wearing safety masks. When no obvious threat was found, the healthy passengers were allowed to exit the plane at 4:30 p.m.

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    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo marches with Letitia James during the annual Columbus Day parade

    Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, made the decision to pardon 22 immigrants to take them out of risk of deportation. Cuomo thumbed his nose at Donald Trump, saying that he and his administration supports immigrants and their families.

    The Hill says that the New York governor put together a list of immigrants whose past criminal records made it likely that they would be deported. Cuomo released a statement which said that the state of New York supports immigrants.

    “While President Trump shuts down the federal government over his obsession with keeping immigrants out, New York stands strong in our support for immigrant communities. These actions will help keep immigrant families together and take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York.”

    The majority of immigrants on the list has been convicted in the past of drug-related crimes. Cuomo says that he also commuted the sentences of seven additional people who were currently serving time.

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    Drugs being prepared by a figure wearing gloves.

    A police department in Louisiana, just before the new year, posted an offer on its Facebook page to “test” area residents’ crystal meth for the Zika virus. This was apparently a stunt that the department now says was meant to “raise awareness of drug abuse.”

    In a Facebook post dated December 29, the Harahan Police Department issued a “WARNING.”

    “If you have recently purchased meth in any area of Louisiana it may be contaminated with the Zika Virus,” says the post, attributed to Officer Moody. “Please bring all of it to your local Police Department and they will test it for free. If you’re not comfortable coming to us, an officer will be glad to come to you and test your Meth in the privacy of your home. Please spread the word! We’re available 24/7/365. Be Safe!”

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    Donald Trump against a black background.

    Donald Trump will not be impeached and removed from office in 2019, but will instead leave “voluntarily” in order to avoid criminal charges, says former George W. Bush adviser Alan J. Steinberg.

    In an op-ed piece in the Newark Star-Ledger, Steinberg predicts that the “self-professed supreme dealmaker” will finagle his way out of criminal charges — not only against himself but against his children — by resigning from office.

    “[Trump] will use his presidency as a bargaining chip with federal and state authorities in 2019, agreeing to leave office in exchange for the relevant authorities not pursuing criminal charges against him, his children or the Trump Organization.”

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    plane dropping bombs.

    As New Year’s Eve partiers prepared to ring in the New Year while watching the iconic Times Square ball drop in Manhattan, the U.S. Strategic Command tweeted what some describe as a disturbing message.

    It declared that it was ready to “drop something much, much bigger” than the glowing crystalline ball.

    “#TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball … if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger,” the original tweet read. “Watch to the end! @AFGlobalStrike @Whiteman_AFB #Deterrence #Assurance #CombatReadyForce #PeacelsOurProfession”

    The accompanying embedded video showed footage of a B-2 stealth bomber. As the words “STEALTH,” “READY,” and “LETHAL” flashed across the screen in the video, the aircraft released bombs which plummeted to the ground to land in a fiery explosion upon contact.

    The post and accompanying video went live, and stayed up for a while until it was removed. The military agency issued an apology for the tweet, reported the Washington Post.

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    Joe Biden appears at a podium.

    Cheri Jacobus is a former Republican consultant, columnist, and strategist who is among the longtime GOPers who have spent the Trump years at odds with the president. In fact, Jacobus filed a defamation suit against President Trump after the president tweeted that she was “a real dummy” and a “major loser”. The suit was dismissed in early 2017, per the Washington Times.

    However, Jacobus found herself under fire from Democrats this week in response to a Twitter post stating that her 87-year-old father — ostensibly a lifelong Republican — has a preference for which Democratic presidential candidate he might support.

    “My 87 yr-old dad is a lifelong Republican (writes $100 checks to GOP orgs) who left POTUS blank in 2016,” Jacobus wrote in the tweet. “Couldn’t vote for either. Says if Dems run Liz Warren he will sit it out again. However, he WOULD/COULD vote for @JoeBiden. Let that sink in. It’s very useful information.”

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    Dr. Maria Siemionow speaks to the media while Dr. Frank Papay looks on during a press conference at the Cleveland Clinic o

    A resident at the Cleveland Clinic has been fired after anti-Semitic Twitter messages she shared surfaced. Dr. Lara Kollab tweeted that she would intentionally give Jewish patients the wrong medication, and called “all Jews dogs.” But despite being fired from the prestigious program, Kollab still maintains her license to practice medicine.

    The Daily Mail reports that Dr. Lara Kollab has been posting anti-Semitic messages for years on Twitter (mainly in Arabic) about killing Jews, but now that she has been exposed and terminated by the Cleveland Clinic, she has deleted her Twitter account.

    Kollab, who is of Palestinian background, graduated from a Jewish medical program, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is now expressing shock about the hateful posts which go back to 2011.

    “Touro College is appalled by the anti-Semitic comments reportedly made by Lara Kollab, a graduate of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.”

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    the new york times paper

    A crossword puzzle in the New York Times paper this past Tuesday became the subject of some controversy when one of the words that showed up was offensive. The editor, Will Shortz — who is responsible for the crossword puzzle in question — came forward. He stated that his staff were oblivious to the word being offensive, as they live in “rarefied circles,” reports Fox News.

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    Jerrold Nadler prepares to question Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, December 20, 2018.

    In the wake of the deaths of two migrant children while in the custody of the U.S. government, many people have questioned Donald Trump and his administration in regards to their immigration policies. This news has only added to the criticism the current administration has already faced in recent months, following policies that have separated thousands of migrant children from their adult attendants after being brought into the country.

    Recently, New York Representative — and incoming House Judiciary Chairman — Jerry Nadler offered his opinion on the subject while appearing on CBS This Morning on Wednesday, January 2. There, as the Hill reported, he placed blame for the deaths of two Guatemalan children purely on the White House and its policies.

    Nadler explained during the show that the Trump administration’s “inhuman policies” were purposely made miserable in an attempt to “deter” people from coming to the border seeking political asylum.

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    woman on stretcher beside car crash

    What began as an alleged prank ended with lethal consequences on Tuesday, January 1. After throwing eggs at other motorists, a group of juveniles were chased by an irate motorist, eventually slamming into another vehicle and killing the driver.

    The primary suspect was allegedly behind the wheel of a GMC Acadia SUV with two other juvenile passengers — throwing eggs at cars as they passed by — stated police in their reports. That suspect is a 14 year-old boy, one who is now facing murder charges, NBC News reports.

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    the entrance to zion national park

    National parks, national monuments, Washington’s National Mall, and other federally-managed public spaces are overflowing with trash thanks to the government shutdown, Business Insider is reporting.

    With the federal government unable to operate in the absence of a budget, that means that “non-essential” government employees are furloughed unless and until Congress and the president come to an agreement on a budget. That seems unlikelier by the day, as the two parties appear no closer to coming to an agreement over the $5 billion Donald Trump wants in the budget to fund his proposed border wall.

    And with a new, Democratic-controlled House of Representatives due to convene this week, Trump is even less likely to get his border wall, meaning the shutdown likely has no end in sight.

    Unfortunately, the “non-essential” government employees who are laid off include the maintenance workers, security personnel, custodians, and other people who keep America’s public spaces spic & span and with functioning toilets stocked with toilet paper.

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