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9/11 memorial vandalized in Plymouth less than a week after towns other landmarks were defaced

Photos showed a statue of a police officer at the memorial was knocked over.

Another landmark in the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, was vandalized, making it the eighth site in less than a week to be tampered with, officials said.

This time it was the 9/11 memorial, which was found “desecrated by vandals” on Sunday, according to the town’s fire department.

The memorial — a 6-feet-tall granite pillar with the names of those killed in the attacks engraved on it and statutes of a firefighter and police officer standing beside it — was erected in 2004.

Photos showed the police officer statue at the memorial was knocked over, with his head separated from his body. The statue of the firefighter at the memorial did not appear to be touched.

“They can knock us down, but we will always get back up even stronger,” the fire department tweeted, noting that more than 25 firefighters came out to help restore the memorial.

Town manager Melissa Arrighi wrote on Twitter that all signs of vandalism had been erased as of Monday.

Less than a week before it was vandalized, seven other iconic sites in Plymouth, including Plymouth Rock, were defaced.

The rock, Pilgrim Maiden Statue and the National Monument to the Forefathers were all tagged with red paint, officials said. That vandalism has also been removed.

Plymouth police told ABC News at the time they were looking into the incident, but had not yet made any arrests.

ABC News has reached out to Plymouth police for more details, and whether or not police believe the instances are connected.

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Dow Jones plunges for 2nd straight day on coronavirus fears

Health officials warned Tuesday coronavirus will likely spread in the U.S.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged for the second straight day, tumbling more than 800 points, as health officials warned the novel coronavirus likely will spread throughout communities in the U.S.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all had fallen about 3% through early-afternoon trading on Tuesday.
 

The losses have been widespread. American Express, Dow Inc., Visa, Boeing and United Technologies Corp. were among the worst performers on Tuesday, all falling more than 3%.

Tech companies including Apple, which produce goods in China and rely on that market for sales, also suffered. The travel sector, including cruise operators and airlines, also took a hit.

Tuesday’s losses come after the Dow suffered its worst single-day losses in more than two years on Monday, plummeting more than 1,000 points.

Health officials warned Americans on Tuesday to prepare for “significant disruption” to their lives as a result of the virus, saying it’s not a matter of if, but when it spreads in communities in the U.S.

The fresh warnings come as the virus has also spread rapidly outside of China, including communities in Italy, Iran and South Korea.

A handful of U.S. and international companies already have begun to feel the financial impact of the outbreak that has stifled the world’s second-largest economy.

ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis contributed to this report.

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JPMorgan to stop lending to coal companies, arctic drillers

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will no longer do business with coal companies and will restrict financing to companies that drill in the Arctic, the company announced Tuesday

NEW YORK —
JPMorgan Chase & Co. will no longer do business with coal companies and will restrict financing to companies that drill in the Arctic, the company announced Tuesday.

The announcement came in tandem with the bank announcing it would extend $200 billion in financing to clean and renewable energy companies by 2025. The bank is currently holding its annual investor day in San Francisco, where the announcement was made.

JPMorgan still provides some loans to coal companies, but plans to phase those out by 2024. Further the bank will only lend to power companies to build coal power plants when the design includes carbon capture technology.

JPMorgan’s Arctic drilling financing ban focuses on any project financing where the underlying assets would come from new oil and gas development. Existing oil and gas development in the Arctic would still be eligible for financing, the company said.

Despite the announcement, JPMorgan still has sizable exposure to the fossil fuel industry. The New York-based company provides significant financing to oil and gas companies. One of JPMorgan’s directors is the former head of Exxon Mobil Corp., Lee R. Raymond.

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Worlds oldest living man who celebrated smiling, dies at 112

Chitetsu Watanabe passed away on Sunday in Japan.

The Japanese man who was recently named the world’s oldest living male person has passed away at the age of 112.

Chitetsu Watanabe was honored by Guinness World Records with a certificate and celebration less than two weeks ago and died on Sunday.

Watanabe, who credited smiling for his longevity, was confirmed dead on Tuesday by the organization and funeral home taking care of him, according to The Associated Press.

Watanabe, who was the oldest of four siblings, was born March 5, 1907, in Niigata, Japan.

He was four years shy of the record for the oldest man ever, according to Guinness World Records, which was held by Jiroemon Kimura, also from Japan, who died at the age of 116 in June 2013.

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Mimi Haley discusses Harvey Weinstein verdict and the terrifying moment she took the stand

Miriam “Mimi” Haley, who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, said she felt “relief” at the outcome of the trial, which found the disgraced movie mogul guilty of criminal sexual assault and rape in the third degree.

Haley, a former production assistant who had worked on Weinstein productions, testified in a New York court that he assaulted her at his apartment in 2006, and the jury found that Weinstein forced a sex act on Haley.

Hayley appeared on “Good Morning America” with her attorney, Gloria Allred, Tuesday, discussing what it was like to hear that Weinstein received the two guilty verdicts.

“I just sat down and I started crying,” Haley told “GMA,” noting she was in a coffee shop when she learned the news. “It was just a huge sense of relief, just a relief that the jury got it, that they believed me and that I was heard. … I was just grateful that they got it.”

Weinstein, 67, was found not guilty of the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault and of rape in the first degree. The charge of rape in the third degree he was found guilty of came from Jessica Mann and came with sentencing guidelines of probation up to four years.

Weinstein pleaded not guilty to all charges and has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Haley had taken the stand during the trial and was cross-examined.

“It was terrifying, but after a lot of thought, I just felt that it was the right thing to do and something that I wanted to follow through with, so that’s why I did it,” she said. 

The outcome in the Weinstein case is seen as a landmark moment for other accusers and #MeToo — a movement against sexual harassment and assault that gained viral attention after allegations against Weinstein were first reported in October 2017 by The New York Times and The New Yorker.

“It gives me hope that we’re making progress [with] this verdict,” Haley said. “I just feel like we’re being educated about the reality of sexual assault and sexual assault victims.”

This education includes, she said, the fact that many sexual assault victims “do know their attacker” and “have some sort of relation to that person.”

“That brings with it a whole other layer of emotional confusion that you need to process through,” she said, adding, “I think we are getting rid of a lot of outdated ideas about these kind of assaults.”

“The story of Harvey Weinstein is in so many respects the story of a long and unsuccessful fight for any kind of accountability for someone so powerful,” Ronan Farrow, one of the journalists who reported on the extensive allegations against Weinstein, told “GMA” Tuesday.

“A lot of the stories have been not just about the allegations but about the tactics used to dodge accountability including in the criminal justice system,” he continued.

Weinstein faces up to 29 years behind bars. He is expected to be sentenced next month.

Haley’s attorney, Allred, praised her client on “GMA” Tuesday morning, calling her “brave” and “courageous.”

“Mimi had to face very intense cross-examination on the stand and she had to take the oath and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God, and then hours and hours of cross-examination,” Allred said, adding that she was also proud of her clients Lauren Marie Young and Annabella Sciorra, who both also testified at the trial.

Sciorra accused Weinstein of raping her in the 1990s as part of prosecutor’s attempt to prove a pattern of predation. He was ultimately found not guilty of two charges of predatory sexual assault.

“It’s a very high burden of proof, guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and she told her truth,” Allred said of Sciorra. “She stood in her truth. She refused to be intimidated and she was very authentic and many people said she was an exceptional witness in this courtroom so she did what she had to do and that’s what’s important.”

Allred went on, “This is about the empowerment of women, about women refusing to stand silent when they have been the victims of gender violence and he could face a sentence because of Mimi’s courage of 10 to 25 years in prison and then he has to face the L.A. charges so he may never come out of prison.”

Haley said she will take the opportunity to speak at Weinstein’s sentencing.

“I do intend to do that,” she said. “I’ll figure out what I’m going to say.”

If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault and is seeking resources, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

ABC News’ Chris Francescani and Alexandra Svokos contributed to this report.

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3 sentenced in dismemberment of slain Virginia teenager

Three people convicted in the cover up of a Virginia teenager’s slaying have been sentenced to prison

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. —
Three people convicted of covering up the slaying of a Virginia teenager whose body was dismembered and burned were sentenced to prison on Monday.

Megan Metzger was 19 years old in 2018 when she was shot in the face during a gathering in Spotsylvania County, Virginia State Police agents have said. Members of the group were using methamphetamine together when David W. Newton, 22, accused Metzger of being a police informant and fatally shot her, according to court testimony from police and the defendants.

Juan Benavidez III, 20, and Keelyn R. Codynah, 25, were accused of then covering up the slaying by mutilating the body and disposing of parts by burning and burying them in different locations, prosecutors alleged. Robert Keating, 27, owned the home and was accused of trading the murder weapon for drugs, among other actions taken to cover up the killing.

Newton was convicted of first-degree murder last month and is serving a 40-year sentence, the newspaper reported.

On Monday, Spotsylvania Circuit Judge William Glover ordered Benavidez to serve 13 years, Codynah to serve 16 years and Keating to serve 21 years for crimes including defiling a dead body and being an accessory after the fact to murder, the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star reported.

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Lawyer complains of prison treatment of WikiLeaks Assange

A lawyer for Julian Assange says the WikiLeaks founder was handcuffed 11 times, stripped naked twice and had court papers taken away on the first day of a hearing on his extradition to the United States

LONDON —
A lawyer for Julian Assange complained Tuesday that the WikiLeaks founder was handcuffed 11 times, stripped naked twice and had court papers taken away on the first day of a hearing on his extradition to the United States.

Attorney Edward Fitzgerald told a judge that the treatment of Assange at London’s Belmarsh Prison “could be a contempt of this court.” The extradition hearing opened on Monday at Woolwich Crown Court, which is located next to the prison.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is hearing the case, said she had no power to act unless Assange became unable to participate in the proceedings, which are expected to last several months.

“If it comes to that, please let me know,” the judge said.

Assange is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges over the leaking of classified government documents a decade ago.

U.S. prosecutors accuse Assange of conspiring with U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password, hack into a Pentagon computer and release hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They allege that WikiLeaks‘ publication of the unedited documents put U.S. intelligence sources who were mentioned in them at risk of torture of death.

Assange says he was acting as a journalist entitled to First Amendment protection. His lawyers argue that the U.S. charges — which carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison — are a politically motivated abuse of power.

Defense lawyers also deny that Assange put lives at risk. Attorney Mark Summers said WikiLeaks initially worked with media outlets in 2010 to publish the trove of files in edited form.

He said that the following year Assange phoned the White House to warn that a password published in a book about WikiLeaks could allow people to view the full unredacted cache of documents. Summers said Assange had warned that “unless we do something, then people’s lives are put at risk.”

Assange has been jailed in England since April 2019, when he was evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He took refuge in the embassy seven years earlier to avoid being sent to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

A British court handed him a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.

The extradition hearing is expected to continue for the rest of the week, then take a break before resuming in May.

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Forest fire near Appalachian Trail mostly contained

A forest fire burning through a popular hiking area that is crossed by the Appalachian Trail and a major interstate highway is almost completely contained

HARDWICK TOWNSHIP, N.J. —
A forest fire burning through a popular hiking area that is crossed by the Appalachian Trail and a major interstate highway was almost completely contained early Tuesday, New Jersey fire officials said.

The fire began Sunday afternoon on Mount Tammany, a steep, rugged area of New Jersey’s Worthington State Forest and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border. Fire officials said about 80 acres (30 hectares) have burned overall, but no injuries have been reported.

A cause for the fire had not been determined, officials said. The blaze was about 95% contained by late Tuesday morning, but officials say it likely won’t be fully extinguished until expected rain showers pass through the area Tuesday and Wednesday that will soak any remaining hot spots.

Chris Franek, the state forest fire service’s assistant division fire warden, has said fires on similar terrain usually burn upward. But he said Sunday’s fire, which started below a trail at an elevation of about 1,400 feet, burned downhill because the trail area is rocky and doesn’t have abundant vegetation.

Fires are rare there at this time of year because the area usually has a layer of snow, he said. The fire broke out on a sunny February day that had unusually mild temperatures.

The Appalachian Trail crosses through the recreation area, but remains open.

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President Trump hails Weinstein conviction as victory for women

The movie mogul was convicted of sexual assault and of rape in the third degree.

Reacting to Harvey Weinstein’s conviction on criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape charges, President Donald Trump hailed a New York jury’s decision as a “great victory” for women and sought to tie the disgraced movie mogul to prominent Democrats.

“I think from the standpoint of women it was a great thing, it was a great victory and sends a very strong message,” Trump said during a wide-ranging news conference Tuesday in New Delhi, India, when asked what the result means for women who may be afraid to come forward with their own experiences with sexual assault or harassment.

The president attempted to tie the 67-year-old Weinstein to Democrats while simultaneously distancing himself from the now jailed sex offender, saying he was “never a fan” of Weinstein and claiming prominent Democrats — specifically Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton — “loved him.”

“The people who liked him were the Democrats,” Trump said. “He gave tremendous money to the Democrats.”

The question now, Trump said, is whether the Democrats give the money back?

“So I was never a fan of Harvey Weinstein as you know. In fact, he said he was going to work hard to defeat me in the election,” Trump said. “How did that work out, by the way? I’m trying to figure that out. He was a person I didn’t like.”

Trump said he has been too busy traveling and taking meetings to follow the trial closely.

Weinstein was found guilty of criminal sexual assault and of rape in the third degree in a New York court. He was found not guilty of the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault and of rape in the first degree.

The judge in the case remanded Weinstein into custody without bail against his attorneys’ request.

His lawyers said they will appeal the conviction, claiming there were “extremely troubling” issues with the trial.

The outcome of the riveting trial is seen as a landmark moment in the #MeToo movement, which was spurred into mainstream awareness after allegations against Weinstein were first reported in October 2017 by The New York Times and The New Yorker.

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Citizenship riots in Delhi turn deadly while Trump talks up religious unity in India

Hundreds of protesters clashed on the streets of Delhi for a third day running.

At least nine people have died and over 100 more have been injured in Delhi, including a police officer, during riots that saw protesters for and against a controversial new citizenship law clash for a third consecutive day, threatening to overshadow President Trump’s visit to India.

The violence began on Sunday when Kapil Mishra, a lawmaker for the governing Hindu nationalist BJP party, held a rally in favor of the citizenship law, which has sparked protests across the country for months on end.

On Monday, Delhi police responded to reports of rioting, arson and clashes between protest groups by firing tear gas in several districts in northeastern New Delhi, as hardline Hindu groups roamed through the streets. Protesters also set fire to shops and a Muslim shrine, witnesses told the Associated Press, with at least 100 people injured during the clashes.

Rival groups threw rocks at each other, and footage from the aftermath of the violence circulated on social media showed burned out buildings and cars.

And on Tuesday there were reports of fresh violence, with local media reporting that the death toll had risen to nine. Delhi police imposed public order Sec. 144 yesterday, a measure that prohibits unlawful assembly, and promised that “strict action will be taken against miscreants and anti social elements.”

Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi and member of the AAP, a rival party to the BJP, visited victims of the violence at two local hospitals and called for an immediate end to the violence Tuesday.

Despite the extra police presence, rioting continued in parts of New Delhi Tuesday, according to local media, with the #DelhiRiots trending on social media worldwide.

The rioting has cast a shadow over President Trump’s trip to India, where he has talked up the U.S.-India partnership and his admiration for Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist prime minister.

The deadly rioting on Monday in the capital came as Trump received a hero’s welcome at a cricket stadium full of tens of thousands of supporters in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Trump told the crowd that India “proudly embraces freedom, liberty, individual rights, the rule of law.”

“Your nation has always been admired around the Earth as the place where millions upon millions of Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Jains, Buddhists, Christians, and Jews worship side by side in harmony, where you speak more than 100 languages and come from more than two dozen states, yet you have always stood strong as one great Indian nation,” Trump said. “Your unity is an inspiration to the world.”

At a press conference Tuesday, Trump claimed that he had spoken with Modi about the issue of religious freedom, and the prime minister “was incredible in what he told me.”

“We talked about religious liberty for a long period of time in front of a lot of people. And I had a very, very powerful answer. And as far as Muslims are concerned, as he told me, I guess they have 200 million Muslims in India. And a fairly short while ago they had 14 million. And he said that they are very — working very closely with the Muslim community.”

“They have worked very hard on religious freedom,” he said.

Yet nationwide protests have raged for months over a controversial new citizenship law, the Citizenship Amendment Act, which activists and opposition politicians say discriminates against India’s Muslim minority. Critics of the law say the government is seeking to enshrine religious discrimination into Indian citizenship.