• ABC News(NEW YORK) -- NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued its annual Atlantic hurricane season outlook. The season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.This year, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) forecasts an above-normal hurricane season with a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. “The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or nonexistent El Nino, near- or above-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.Strong El Ninos and wind shear typically suppress the development of Atlantic hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal season.Even though Atlantic hurricane season does not start until June 1, there's already been one tropical storm, Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April. This storm is already included in the 2017 season forecast.But having tropical activity before the official start of the hurricane season does not necessarily mean it will be a busy hurricane season. Also, having a busy hurricane season does not mean there will be a lot of land-falling hurricanes or tropical storms in the United States.For example, in 1992, the first named storm did not form until August, and it was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida. In another example, the 2010 hurricane season was above average with 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin. Despite the busy season, not a single hurricane and only one tropical storm made landfall in the United States.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian said he's still in shock after Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana's special House election, allegedly body-slammed him on the eve of the nationally-watched election."It's still been a surprising, shocking set of events," Jacobs told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Thursday. "But I'm recovering."Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault following the purported incident, according to the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office website."Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault," the sheriff's office said in a statement Wednesday night.The statement added that the "nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault."
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  • William Campbell/Getty Images(MISSOULA, Mont.) -- The Republican candidate for the Montana at-large U.S. House of Representatives special election, Greg Gianforte, has been cited for misdemeanor assault after he allegedly assaulted a reporter Wednesday -- less than 24 hours before polls are to open in the state -- law enforcement officials said late Wednesday night.Sheriff Brian Gootkin announced the charge on the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office website."Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault," he said. The statement added that the "nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault."At a press conference earlier in the day, Gootkin said that four people were present for the alleged incident.As a result of the citation, Gianforte is schedule to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between now and June 7.Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for The Guardian, approached former technology executive Gianforte at a meet-and-greet event at the candidate's office in Bozeman, according to Jacobs, fellow reporter Alexis Levinson of Buzzfeed News, who was nearby and heard the commotion, and journalists with Fox News who witnessed the incident.Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna said she and two members of her production crew -- field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey -- witnessed the incident first hand."Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him," Acuna wrote in a Fox News report on Wednesday, summarizing the incident."Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter," she said, confirming Jacobs' account of the incident.As Levinson recounted in a series of posts on Twitter and in audio of the encounter later posted by The Guardian, Jacobs approached Gianforte as he was preparing for a television interview and asked for his opinion on the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the American Health Care Act."We'll talk to you about that later," said Gianforte. After Jacobs asks again, Gianforte refers him to a spokesman and then a scuffle ensues."I'm sick and tired of you guys," said Gianforte on the audio recording. "The last guy who came in here ... did the same thing. Get the hell out of here."At one point Gianforte asks, "Are you with The Guardian?"After the alleged incident Wednesday, Jacobs wrote on Twitter, "Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses."
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — A judge in Los Angeles, California, has issued an arrest warrant for Bikram Choudhury, the founder of "hot" yoga who was ordered in 2016 to pay more than $7 million in a sexual harassment suit.Choudhury has not paid the judgment. Authorities believe that he has hid his assets and left the country.According to ABC station KABC-TV, the warrant allows authorities to arrest him if he returns to the U.S. or, possibly, in Mexico.In January 2016, a jury determined that Choudhury had sexually harassed and then unfairly fired Minakshi "Miki" Jafa-Bodden, his onetime lawyer. He was ordered to pay nearly $6.5 million in punitive damages in addition to $924,000 in compensatory damages.Jafa-Bodden was general counsel to Bikram's Yoga College of India but was fired after refusing to cover up allegations that Bikram had raped and sexually assaulted a yoga student."I feel vindicated," she told ABC News in 2016. "I'm elated."She convinced the jury that the 69-year-old guru had repeatedly sexually harassed her and subjected her to obscene comments about women.She also claimed she was fired after she tried to investigate another woman's sexual harassment and rape allegations against him. During the trial over Jafa-Bodden's allegations, Bikram strongly denied sexually assaulting any women. He also denied to ABC News ever having any sexual contact with his students or followers.Choudhury was one of the pioneers of yoga in the United States, setting up shop in Beverly Hills in the 1970s. His client list is a who's who of the rich and famous. Now his yoga studios are franchised worldwide.Bail was set at $8 million. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin spoke out against gun violence in his home state in a Facebook video posted Monday that decries the recent killing of a 7-year-old boy who was struck by a stray bullet while inside his home.Bevin said that the 7-year-old's death -- the 49th homicide in Louisville this year -- exposes a disregard for human life."We've got a huge cultural problem here in Kentucky, we truly do. And in America for that matter," Gov. Bevin said in his Facebook message. "The lack of appreciation for human life, the disregard for human life from beginning to end, is becoming increasingly evident as we see people who use guns as toys, guns as a way of expressing their emotion and their anger at things."The governor, who is a supporter of gun-ownership rights, said he will announce a solution next week to combat violence in Kentucky communities."It has nothing to do with spending more money," he said. "It has nothing to do with more police on the streets. It has everything to do about engaging you as members of our communities."Dequante Hobbs Jr. was killed Sunday after being shot in the head by a stray bullet fired in a nearby altercation. The boy was struck as he played on his iPad and ate cake at his kitchen table, police said.Relatives in the home did CPR until police and EMS arrived, according to the Associated Press. No one else was injured in the shooting, but Hobbs was later pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital."They call themselves men, but men don't go around shooting somebody over petty stuff," the 7-year-old's grandmother, Tonya Hobbs Gough, told the AP Monday. "You're not a man," she added. "You're a child if you've got to use a gun to do anything."Louisville Metro Police Department tell ABC News that the case is still under investigation and no arrests have been made."We had a 7-year-old who fell victim to the senseless violence that's going on here in our city," Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Lt. Emily McKinley said, according to the AP. "If this doesn't wake anybody up, then I don't know what will." Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A 21-year-old Alaska man has been charged with murder after the bullet from his failed suicide attempt hit and killed his girlfriend.In the early morning hours of April 19, the Anchorage Police Department responded to a 911 call from a man who reported that he had shot himself, the Anchorage District Attorney's Office said in a press release. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Victor Sibson with a gunshot wound to his head and found Sibson's 22-year-old girlfriend, Brittanymae Haag, lying on the floor with a "significant amount of blood on her chest," the Anchorage District Attorney's Office said.Haag was breathing when officers arrived and first responders transported her to the Providence Alaska Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 2:51 a.m., less than 30 minutes after the initial 911 call was made, according to the district attorney's office.Based on the physical evidence, it is a "fair explanation" that it was possible that Sibson attempted to commit suicide, Anchorage District Attorney Clinton Campion told ABC News. The evidence also reflects that the bullet exited Sibson's head and struck Haag, Campion said. The couple had been dating for a number of years, Campion said.Sibson was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in connection with Haag's death on May 16. He turned himself into police three days later, Campion said. He pleaded not guilty in his arraignment in Alaska superior court Tuesday. He has not yet retained an attorney, and his trial has been set for Aug. 21.If convicted, Sibson faces a sentence of 15 to 99 years in prison for second-degree murder. He is currently being held at the Anchorage jail on $250,000 bond, Campion added.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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