FAA issues warning about Samsung phones on planes due to exploding batteries

FAA issues warning about Samsung phones on planes due to exploding batteries

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday strongly urged travelers not to turn on or charge Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phones while on planes, after a series of incidents involving exploding batteries.

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“In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage,” the FAA said in a statement.

Samsung Electronics on Sept. 2 issued a recall for the roughly 2.5 million devices after reports that batteries exploded while the devices were being charged.

Three Australian airlines have already barred passengers from using or charging the smartphones during flights.

RELATED: See the evolution of cell phones:

The recall resulted in nearly $7 billion being wiped off Samsung’s share value this week. The phones retail at around $850.

The South Korean manufacturer has launched a product exchange for Note 7 owners. Last week the company said it had identified 35 cases of batteries burning or exploding while charging.

Palestinian leader Abbas was KGB spy in 1980s: Israeli researchers

Palestinian leader Abbas was KGB spy in 1980s: Israeli researchers

JERUSALEM, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Soviet-era documents show that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas worked in the 1980s for the KGB, the now-defunct intelligence agency where Russian leader Vladimir Putin once served, Israeli researchers said on Thursday.

The Palestinian government denied that Abbas, who received a PhD in Moscow in 1982, had been a Soviet spy, and it accused Israel of “waging a smear campaign” aimed at derailing efforts to revive peace negotiations that collapsed in 2014.

See photos of Abbas

The allegations, first reported by Israel’s Channel One television on Wednesday, surfaced as Russia pressed ahead with an offer by Putin, made last month, to host a meeting in Moscow between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Both leaders have agreed in principle to a summit, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, but it gave no date.

Gideon Remez, a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Truman Institute, said an Abbas-KGB connection emerged from documents smuggled out of Russia by former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin in 1991.

Some of the material, now in the Churchill Archives of Britain’s Cambridge University, was released two years ago for public research, and the Truman Institute requested a file marked “the Middle East,” Remez told Reuters.

“There’s a group of summaries or excerpts there that all come under a headline of persons cultivated by the KGB in the year 1983,” he said.

“Now one of these items is all of two lines … it starts with the codename of the person, ‘Krotov’, which is derived from the Russian word for ‘mole’, and then ‘Abbas, Mahmoud, born 1935 in Palestine, member of the central committee of Fatah and the PLO, in Damascus ‘agent of the KGB’,” Remez said.

Abbas is a founding member of Fatah, the dominant faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the main Palestinian nationalist movement. He became Palestinian president in 2005.

The documents cited by Remez did not give any indication of what role Abbas may have played for the KGB or the duration of his purported service as an agent.

A Palestinian official, who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said that Abbas had served as an “official liaison with the Soviets, so he hardly needed to be a spy,” without elaborating.

The official said any suggestion that the president was a spy was “absolutely absurd.”

Adding to the intrigue, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, whom Putin has tasked with arranging the Moscow summit, served two stints in the Soviet embassy in Damascus between 1983 and 1994, covering the period in which Abbas was purportedly recruited.

Bogdanov was in the area this week for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials. (Additional reporting by Luke Baker; Editing by Pravin Char)

Ex-Chicago police commander acquitted of shoving gun in suspect's mouth speaks out

Ex-Chicago police commander acquitted of shoving gun in suspect's mouth speaks out

CHICAGO (WGN) — A Chicago Police Officer who was acquitted of shoving a gun down a suspect’s throat speaks out for the first time on Thursday.

Glenn Evans says the Independent Police Review Authority tried to frame him. He also claims top police officials pressured him to resign.

He broke his silence at The Glasshouse at St. Columbanus Church at 331 East 71st Street.

See images from the scene:

“I was forced to initiate legal action. I can not, and will not allow them, or anybody else, to falsely and/or maliciously malign my character by portraying me as one that engages in wanton, or willful misconduct,” Evans said. “When I make mistakes, and I make a lot of them, in my personal/professional life, I acknowledge them, and I assume responsibility for them. However, in the same way that I have stood up to fight criminals on the streets of Chicago since 1986, I will stand up to fight for myself when I am wronged. This is one of those times.”

Evans filed a federal lawsuit in July.

He was once in charge of the Harrison district on West Side.

He refuses to resign from the CPD. He’s now with a medical unit.

Race intensifies between Trump and Clinton in battleground states

Race intensifies between Trump and Clinton in battleground states

Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These four states and their 82 electoral votes could swing the general election in November — and they’re still as up for grabs as they’ve ever been.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that with third-party candidates in the mix, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are within striking distance of each other in each of the four traditional battleground states.

SEE MORE: An Honest Conversation About National Polls And Predicting Elections

Things improve slightly for Clinton in a straight head-to-head matchup with Trump, but even then the candidates are still tied in Florida, and Trump enjoys a slight lead in Ohio.

Clinton on the campaign trail

The pollster’s takeaway here is that Clinton has lost her post-Democratic convention polling bump. Although the Democratic candidate enjoyed a stellar August in the polls, Clinton’s edge is starting to fade as Election Day draws nearer.

The poll’s assistant director, Peter A. Brown, said: “The obvious takeaway from these numbers is that Donald Trump has staged a comeback from his post-Democratic convention lows. … Taking a bit longer view, however, we see a race that appears little changed from where it was as the GOP convention began in July, and at least in these four key states is very much up for grabs.”

Trump on the campaign trail

And while that’s good news for her Republican opponent, it might not be good enough. The GOP has a much bigger battleground to worry about this election; states that are usually solid Republican territory, like Missouri and Georgia, are up for grabs this time around.

According to RealClearPolitics’ current projections, even winning all four states highlighted in this poll won’t be enough to clinch the presidency for Trump.

Kim Jong-un suspects citizens are mocking him, reportedly bans sarcasm

Kim Jong-un suspects citizens are mocking him, reportedly bans sarcasm

North Korea is not known as a place where open and honest expression is celebrated, so it likely comes as little surprise that another limitation on speech has reportedly been declared.

This time, the edict is said to be rooted in Kim Jong-un’s fear that people in the nation are mocking him, notes the International Business Times.

As a remedy, he has reportedly banned sarcasm.

See images of the leader:

According to a source who discussed the matter with Radio Free Asia, officials organized local meetings and outlined the specifics of the restriction.

One phrase said to be outlawed is, “This is all America’s fault,” which is used to explain North Korean problems that clearly stem from within the Asian nation’s government.

Officials also reportedly advised that people stop saying, “A fool who cannot see the outside world,” a reference to the leader’s isolationist ways.

As Radio Free Asia’s source noted, “The main point of the lecture was ‘Keep your mouths shut.'”