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Blues G Martin Brodeur Set to Retire on Thursday


christian ammann/iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- St. Louis Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur is set to announce his retirement from the National Hockey League on Thursday.

The 42-year-old Brodeur, who spent the previous 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, signed with St. Louis on Dec. 2, 2014. In seven games with the Blues, he went 3-3 with a .287 goals against average.

During Brodeur's illustrious career, he won the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL's best goaltender, four times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008), and has finished in the top five in voting for the league's MVP seven times.

Brodeur has complied a record of 691-397-176, along with a 2.24 goals against average, a .912 save percentage and 125 shutouts. Last season with the Devils, he finished with a 19-14-6 record with a 2.51 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.

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Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy Among Actresses Possibly Cast for All-Female 'Ghostbusters'


Universal(NEW YORK) -- Now you know who to call.

Just three months after making it official that he would be directing the new Ghostbusters with an all-female cast, Paul Feig on Tuesday tweeted out a picture of four very funny ladies -- Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Saturday Night Live stars Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.

 

pic.twitter.com/LBtv2YXfv6

— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) January 27, 2015



The news comes after Feig, who directed Bridesmaids, tweeted in October, "It's official. I'm making a new Ghostbusters & writing it with @katiedippold & yes, it will star hilarious women. That's who I'm gonna call."

 

 

It's official. I'm making a new Ghostbusters & writing it with @katiedippold & yes, it will star hilarious women. That's who I'm gonna call.

— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) October 8, 2014



McCarthy and Wiig both famously worked with Feig on his 2011 hit Bridesmaids.

The original Ghostbusters starred Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray.

 

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Defendants in Vanderbilt Rape Trial Found Guilty on All Counts


iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- A jury has found the defendants in the Vanderbilt rape trial guilty.

After just a few hours of deliberation, the jury returned a guilty verdict on all seven charges against Cory Batey and all nine charges against Brandon Vandenburg.

Vandenburg and Batey, along with two other former football players for Vanderbilt University, were accused of raping an unconscious student in a dorm room at the university in June 2013. Attorneys in the case gave their closing arguments this week after 10 days of testimony.

The two other players, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, also face charges of rape and sexual battery, but have not yet gone to trial. All pleaded not guilty.

Batey and Vandenburg were each found guilty Tuesday on four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

According to prosecutors, the four players, who have since been kicked off the team, laughed at the victim before they allegedly assaulted her. Vandenburg allegedly recorded the assault on his phone and was additionally found guilty on one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography. Prosecutors claim Vandenburg sent pictures and video of the attack to his friends, and later searched online how to delete photos so the police can't find them.

Prosecutors then accused the former players of texting each other about the alleged attack, trying to cover it up.

Vandenburg and Batey had their bond revoked, and the two are expected to be sentenced in March.

The university released a statement following the announcement of the verdict, calling the evidence shown at trial "profoundly disturbing and utterly unacceptable."

"Our heart goes out to the victim," the statement read, "her testimony was forceful and brave. She has received our care and support." Vanderbilt noted that it had taken action against the two men after it was determined that they had violated the school's sexual misconduct policy, saying the school is "confident we acted appropriately."

The school vowed to continue cooperating with law enforcement, while calling "the safety and security of our students" its "top priority."


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Benghazi Committee Chair Trey Gowdy: Hillary Clinton ‘Needs to Be Talked To’


State Dept photo(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said Tuesday he still intended to summon former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify as part of the investigation into the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya that killed four Americans.

“Every witness who has relevant information needs to be talked to,” Gowdy told reporters after a committee meeting Tuesday.

If he didn’t call Clinton before the committee, Gowdy said, it would be “an incomplete investigation.”

The House Select Committee on Benghazi is charged with delivering the final word on the attack, which has been the subject of an intense political battle.

Several previous congressional investigations into the attack have found no wrongdoing by U.S. officials, but that has done little to cool the partisan acrimony surrounding the incident on whether the State Department under Clinton’s direction did enough to prevent the attack.

Clinton, who is believed to be moving closer to announcing her bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, has said she would testify. But Democrats believe she should have already been called and worry that a delay could interfere with her presidential campaign.

Her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2013 has become a soundtrack for Republican opposition to her candidacy. Her supporters fear another round of testimony would only inflame the partisan debate over the Benghazi attack.

Gowdy told reporters Tuesday that he has been unable to get documents from the State Department pertaining to the attack, which has delayed his call for Clinton to testify. He said the government has been dragging its feet in releasing emails and other documents.

“I am willing to do it sooner rather than later,” said Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican. “What I am not willing to do is do it in a vacuum where I don’t have access to the documents.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, downplayed the criticism over the release of documents. He said Clinton has been willing to testify.

“If the committee wants her to come she is willing to come,” Cummings, D-Md., told reporters. “So if the excuse is that the State Department documents haven’t gotten there, it makes no sense.”


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Latest Report Indicates 64 Measles Cases Linked to Disneyland


David McNew/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- The latest update from the California Department of Public Health notes 64 cases of measles linked to an outbreak at California's Disneyland.

The latest tally includes 50 cases in California with epidemiologic links to Disneyland, as well as 13 in other U.S. states and one in Mexico. The states affected by the outbreak thus far include Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Thirty-seven of the 50 measles cases in California are among patients over the age of 5, despite the fact that the first dose of the MMR vaccine is recommended for children between 12 and 15 months old. Health officials are urging parents to vaccinate their children.

Despite the fact that measles has been eradicated in the United States since 2000, outbreaks still occur overseas, and international travelers can bring the disease with them, in particular to locations where travelers and tourists may go -- including theme parks and airports.

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Lawyers for Billionaire Sex Offender Linked to Prince Andrew Scandal Ask Judge to Keep Documents Sealed


iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Attorneys for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein claim in a new court filing that the billionaire financier will be "irreparably harmed" if emails and letters his lawyers sent to federal prosecutors during plea negotiations are made public, and they're asking a judge to order that the correspondence remain sealed.

Epstein's legal brief, filed in U.S. District Court in Florida late Monday by attorneys Roy Black and Martin Weinberg, represents his first formal statements since explosive allegations emerged last month that he had forced a then-17-year-old girl to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew and other powerful men.

Epstein's court filing is peppered with references to "the gossip media" and "grocery store tabloids," and contains thinly-veiled accusations that the lawyers for recognized victims of Epstein's alleged sexual crimes are feeding a media frenzy.

"This is a widely watched and reported case," the court motion states. "Mr. Epstein and a host of other individuals have been the subject of the most outlandish and offensive attacks, allegations, and plain inventions."

Virginia Roberts, 31, recently reignited worldwide interest in Epstein's controversial non-prosecution agreement when she claimed in court documents that Epstein had kept her for sex for years as a teenager, and -- in turn -- trafficked her for sex with a host of his prominent associates, including three times with Prince Andrew, the middle son of Queen Elizabeth II, and at least six times with longtime Harvard legal professor Alan Dershowitz.

In an affidavit filed last week, Roberts offered to appear before the court for sworn testimony and vowed to "pursue all reasonable and legitimate means to have criminal charges brought against these powerful men for the crimes they have committed against me and other girls."

Both the prince and Dershowitz have strenuously denied the allegations.

"Every single word in her affidavit about me is a deliberate and categorical lie," Dershowitz told ABC News in an interview last week, and he also filed a sworn declaration in court asserting that he had never even met Roberts.

Dershowitz said he wants Roberts to come forward with dates and times on their alleged encounters so he can use his travel records to prove his innocence, he said. "She picked on the wrong innocent person, because I have the will, the determination and the resources to fight back and prove that what she's saying is false," he said.

Buckingham Palace issued a strongly worded statement on behalf of the prince, categorically denying Roberts' allegations as "false and without foundation." And then the prince himself, speaking last week before an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, referred vaguely to the "events that have taken place in the last few weeks," before saying that he wished to "reiterate and reaffirm the statements" already made by the Palace.

Roberts made her claims in court as she seeks to join a case filed by two other women against the U.S. government. Those women contend that the deal with Epstein violated their rights as crime victims to be consulted and treated with fairness in the administration of justice. Epstein is not a party to the case but has been permitted to intervene on a limited basis to argue motions that affect him directly.

The government has opposed Roberts' entry into the case, which was first filed in July 2008 as an emergency motion to stop the deal from taking place without their input. Unbeknownst at the time to the victims, the agreement had already been signed nine months earlier. The government asserts that Roberts waited far too long before seeking to join the lawsuit.

Epstein, an enigmatic financier who has palatial homes in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, was the subject of wide-ranging state and federal investigations, beginning in 2005, looking into claims that he had illegal sexual contact with dozens of minor girls at his Palm Beach mansion and elsewhere. By mid-2007, he was facing a potential federal indictment for alleged sex crimes involving nearly three dozen teenage girls. If charged and convicted, he could have faced 10 years to life in prison.

Instead, Epstein entered into the unusual and, at the time, confidential non-prosecution agreement with the federal government that resulted in him pleading guilty to two comparatively minor sex crimes in a Florida state court. He pleaded guilty to a count of solicitation of a prostitute and a count of solicitation of a prostitute who is a minor. He served 13 months in jail and must now register as a sex offender for the rest of his life -- in any state where he owns a home.

Dershowitz was among a group of prominent attorneys who helped Epstein secure the deal, which also granted federal immunity to any possible co-conspirators who may have assisted Epstein in the commission of the alleged crimes. The deal also required Epstein to pay the costs of a private attorney to assist the alleged victims who wished to negotiate financial settlements without litigation.

Roberts' attorneys have alleged that Epstein used his wealth and influence with prominent people to secure the favorable deal.

Kenneth Marra, the federal district court judge overseeing the case brought by the victims, has already ruled that the government had an obligation to inform Epstein's victims about the deal, but has reserved judgment about whether the government failed to meet its obligations until a more complete factual record is developed. Marra has indicated that, if he finds the government violated the victims' rights, one possible remedy he would consider is a rescission of Epstein's deal.

The plaintiffs' attorneys, Bradley Edwards and former federal judge Paul Cassell, have long argued that the correspondence between Epstein's attorneys and federal prosecutors is "central to this lawsuit" and argued in a motion filed late Monday night that sealing it "would prevent the public from learning about matters of considerable public concern."

When reached by ABC News, Cassell declined to comment on Epstein's allegations that the victims' attorneys were engaged in a "frolic with the media."

Last fall, Judge Marra unsealed a small portion of the correspondence from Epstein's attorneys that had been kept under seal for several months after being filed. One excerpt -- a one-line email from an Epstein attorney sent just as the terms of the non-prosecution deal were being finalized -- reads simply: "Please do whatever you can to keep this from becoming public."

Marra has not set a hearing date, and it is unclear when he might rule. If he were to side with the plaintiffs, the immediate effect could be the unsealing of a 23-page letter written in part by Dershowitz and sent to federal prosecutors two months before the agreement was signed. That letter was filed under seal by the plaintiffs last week.

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Google Fiber: Here's What the Hype Is All About


Google(NEW YORK) -- When Google announced Tuesday plans to bring its high-speed Internet service to a handful of cities in the southeastern United States, residents of the areas went into full-on celebration mode.

Google's gigabit Internet service is coming to the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham metro areas, covering a total of 18 cities.

 

Google Fiber is coming to the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham metro areas: http://t.co/l0spJrIiSk pic.twitter.com/NFgOSwC7OJ

— Google Fiber (@googlefiber) January 27, 2015



While Google did not immediately say when the service would be ready for customers in the newly announced areas, it didn't stop people from salivating over the idea of Internet service that Google claims is up to 100 times faster than basic broadband.

Movies can be downloaded in as fast as two minutes, while Google said the high-speed service could help make advances in science and business.

With competitive prices, Google Fiber has also been able to entice some users to switch. The company charges $70 per month for Internet service and $120 for a television and Internet bundle in the Kansas City market.

"New research from the Fiber to the Home Council shows gigabit networks are contributing billions of dollars in economic growth," Dennis Kish, vice president of Google Fiber, said in a blog post Tuesday, referring to the nonprofit group dedicated to bringing fiber-optic Internet to more customers.

"Communities across America are demanding more speed for their own homes and businesses, and we're going to keep doing our part to help," Kish added.

Google said it expects to have updates later this year on the possibility of bringing Fiber to more cities. Those in the running include Phoenix; Salt Lake City; San Jose, California; Portland, Oregon; and San Antonio.

 

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