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Albania national deserts cruise ship, captured at Atlanta Amtrak station, feds say

An Albanian national was pulled off an Amtrak train in Atlanta days after he deserted his cruise ship while it was docked in the Port of New Orleans, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

>> Read more trending news 

A Carnival vessel agent notified the New Orleans customs office May 21 that cruise ship member Gentian Kurdina, 23, failed to return, the agency said.

New Orleans and Atlanta customs officers coordinated during the investigation and searched for the man.

He was boarding a train in Atlanta bound for New York City late Tuesday night when authorities took him into custody for removal from the U.S., according to officials.

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains a high level of vigilance and works closely with a myriad of law enforcement partners as part of efforts to manage our borders," Steven Stavinoha, the director of the New Orleans Office of Field Operations, said in a statement.

>> Related: ICE will read license plates to find undocumented immigrants

"This is just the latest example of the men and women of CBP working hard every day to secure our borders and keep our nation safe."

Release of child rapist with more than 100 victims on hold after appeal by attorney

The release of an admitted child rapist is on hold until Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court can review the decision to release him, according to attorney Wendy Murphy. 

>> Read more trending news  

Murphy, who is also a victims' advocate, filed an appeal to Wayne Chapman's release Thursday. 

Chapman has admitted to molesting more than 100 boys and is the longtime suspect in the Andy Puglisi disappearance.

70-year-old Chapman has been behind bars since 1977, when he was convicted of raping young boys. He finished serving his sentence in 2004, but has been held as a sexually dangerous person for the last 14 years.

This week, the Department of Corrections said Chapman must be released after two qualified examiners recently found him no longer sexually dangerous. 

Under state law, the DOC ordered his release.

While in custody Chapman, with few exceptions, has consistently refused to take part in sex offender treatment.

Chapman's lawyer told Boston 25 News that his client is ill and will likely never be able to leave the hospital. 

Earlier this year, Chapman filed a petition for release from civil commitment, arguing he is no longer sexually dangerous. Chapman has had several of these public hearings before single judges and juries, and he lost each time.

>> Related: Convicted child rapist Wayne Chapman no longer a threat, state determines

The most recent decision was January 2016, when a jury found Chapman still sexually dangerous.

In preparation for the upcoming hearing scheduled for July, two "qualified examiners" met with Chapman and found him no longer sexually dangerous. Under a 2009 SJC decision, once that happens, release is mandated.

Murphy's appeal alleged that procedure was not correctly followed. Murphy also said the SJC is asking Department of Corrections, the Attorney General's office, the District Attorney and Chapman's lawyer to respond to the appeal by next Wednesday. 

Murphy said the victims are relieved, grateful, and optimistic that Chapman's release has been delayed.

>> Related: Lawyer: Wayne Chapman's undisclosed medical condition requires daily attention

Governor Charlie Baker's Office sent Boston 25 News the following statement:

“Governor Baker believes anyone with Wayne Chapman’s history of convictions should not be released from prison, the Legislature should review the state laws that led to his release so that the victims of such horrible crimes are protected in the future, and supports the SJC’s decision to review this case.”

Man allegedly tried to force woman into his truck — then her dog bit him

Authorities in Coweta County, Georgia, are searching for a “suspicious” man they say attempted to get a woman to get in his truck Monday.

>> Read more trending news

The man allegedly approached the woman while she was walking her dog near the Timberidge neighborhood on North Ga. 29 when a black Dodge Ram pickup approached her, according to a news release by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.

The man offered the woman a ride, and after she refused, he got out of his vehicle and approached her, the release said.

The woman’s dog bit him before he returned to his truck and left, the release said. 

The man was described as around 50 to 60 years old and wearing an Atlanta Braves baseball cap, the release said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the case investigator at 678-423-6708.

Obese patients less likely to die from infection after hospitalization, study finds

Obesity has been linked to several health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. However, the extra fat could have some benefits, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from the European Association for the Study of Obesity recently conducted a trial to explore the survival rates of those admitted to hospitals for infections. 

To do so, they analyzed more than 35,000 patients in Denmark hospitalized for infections between 2011 and 2015. They then followed the subjects 90 days after their discharge, making note of their weight.

>> Related: New anti-obesity drug could help you get rid of fat without dieting

After analyzing the results, they found that obese individuals were 40 percent less likely to die from an infection compared to underweight people, and they were 50 percent less likely compared to normal weight people. 

“Overweight and obesity were associated with substantially reduced 90 day mortality following incident hospital admission for infection,” the researchers wrote. 

They also noted that underweight people were twice as likely to die from infection compared to those at a normal weight. However, they said recent weight loss may have been due to an underlying disease and noted deaths did not increase for underweight patients who had not recently lost weight.

>> Related: One-third of all humans are now overweight — and American children are leading the way

The findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Austria, and three other studies discovered similar results. 

Taiwanese researchers found that obese people hospitalized for pneumonia were 20 to 30 percent less likely to die from the illness.

The same team said hospitalized overweight or obese patients were also more than 20 percent less likely to die from sepsis, a blood infection.

>> Related: Obesity linked to 11 types of cancer as overweight population grows, study says 

Lastly, Dutch researchers revealed that seriously ill patients, who were obese, were less likely to undergo rapid muscle wasting.

Teacher credited with stopping shooter at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana

Students at Indiana’s Noblesville West Middle School are hailing a science teacher as a hero for his actions Friday, when a boy opened fire on classmates at the school.

>> Read more trending news

A teacher, identified by The Indianapolis Star as Jason Seaman, sprung into action after a student asked to use the bathroom Friday morning and returned to the classroom with a pair of handguns, police said.

Seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker told The Associated Press that students were taking a test when the unidentified student walked into the classroom and opened fire.

>> Noblesville, Indiana middle school shooting: 2 injured, student in custody

“Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,” seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker told The Associated Press. “If it weren’t for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.”

The Star reported that Seaman was shot three times and underwent surgery Friday. An unidentified student was also injured, according to police.

He released a written statement to media Friday evening: 

“First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured (but) am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”

Jason Seaman’s brother, Jeremy Seaman, told the Star that he was not surprised by reports of his brother’s actions.

“He’s not really ever been the person to run away,” Jeremy Seaman told the Star. “When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”

Jason Seaman has been a teacher in Noblesville for four years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has also served as head football coach for seventh-graders for two years.

Jeremy Seaman  told the Star that his brother is married with two young children.

Jason Seaman played college football for Southern Illinois from 2007 to 2010, according to ESPN. The team's head coach, Nick Hill, said in a statement Friday that Jason Seaman "was a great teammate (and) one of the team's hardest workers." 

"You could always trust him to do the right thing," he said.

Jason Seaman continued to recover Friday. Police continue to investigate the shooting.

Noblesville, Indiana middle school shooting: 2 injured, student in custody

Police took a middle school student into custody Friday morning on suspicion of firing shots at Indiana’s Noblesville West Middle School, leaving at least two people injured.

>> Read more trending news

Update 7:44 p.m. EDT: Jason Seaman, the teacher injured in the shooting, released a statement Friday evening:

“First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured (but) am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”

Update 2:50 p.m. EDT: The Indianapolis Star identified the teacher injured in Friday’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School as Jason Seaman. The newspaper reported he was shot three times while knocking the gun out of the hands of a middle school student who fired shots at the school.

Jason Seaman’s brother, Jeremy Seaman, told the newspaper that he was not surprised by reports of his brother’s actions. Students have told several news stations that his quick thinking saved an untold number of lives.

“He’s not really ever been the person to run away,” Jeremy Seaman told the Star. “When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”

Jeremy Seaman told the Star that his brother was undergoing surgery Friday.

Update 2:39 p.m. EDT: Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt said at a news conference Friday afternoon that the student who opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School earlier in the day asked to be excused from class before returning with a pair of handguns. 

Jowitt said the student was quickly taken into custody.

Update 2 p.m. EDT: A Noblesville West Middle School student told WXIN that a science teacher sprang into action Friday after a student opened fire at the school, knocking the gun from the shooter’s hand and likely saving lives.

The seventh-grade girl, who was not identified, told the news station that “this science teacher bravely swatted that gun away from the gunman’s hands, saving everyone else in that room.”

Another seventh-grader, Ethan Stonebraker, told The Associated Press that the shooter walked into his science class while students were taking a test.

"Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground," Stonebraker said. "If it weren't for him, more of us would have been injured for sure."

It was not immediately clear if the teacher was the same one injured in Friday morning’s shooting. 

Police said a juvenile and an adult teacher were injured when an unidentified male student opened fire at the school around 9 a.m. Another student also suffered an ankle fracture, according to officials with Riverview Health.

Update 11:43 a.m. EDT: Vice President Mike Pence thanked law enforcement officers and shared condolences after a shooting at a middle school in his home state, Indiana.

“Karen and I are praying for the victims of the terrible shooting in Indiana,” Pence wrote on Twitter Friday, referring to his wife, Karen Pence. “To everyone in the Noblesville community -- you are in our hearts and in our prayers.”

Update 11:28 a.m. EDT: Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt confirmed that a teacher and a juvenile were injured Friday morning in a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.

Police did not identify either of the victims. They were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital, respectively, Jowitt said.

Officials with Riverview Health said earlier Friday that a second student was treated for an ankle fracture after the shooting.

Authorities had a suspect, identified as a male student, in custody Friday morning.

Jowitt said Noblesville West Middle School had been cleared by 11:30 a.m. However, he added that authorities also received reports of a threat made at Noblesville High School.

Police are investigating the report.

Update 11:18 a.m. EDT: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he and other officials are monitoring the situation in Noblesville after at least two people were injured in a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School on Friday.

Authorities are expected to provide additional details about Friday’s shooting in a news conference later in the day.

Update 10:55 a.m. EDT: Chad Lancaster, whose eighth-grade daughter and sixth-grade son attend Noblesville West Middle School, told the Indianapolis Star that his daughter called her mother, his ex-wife, while hiding under a desk amid reports of an active shooter on campus.

He told the newspaper he has been unable to get in touch with his son.

“This is surreal," Lancaster told the Star. "This happens in high school, not here."

Officials with Riverview Health said one of the two people injured in Friday morning's shooting was taken to the hospital and transfered to Riley Hospital in stable condition. A second person, a student, was being treated for an ankle fracture.

Officials told the Star earlier Friday that an adult was also injured in the shooting.

A suspect, who has not been identified, was in custody after the shooting.

Update 10:40 a.m. EDT: Indiana University Health officials told the Indianapolis Star that an adult and a teenager were injured in Friday’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.

The two have not been identified. Indiana State Police said earlier Friday that they were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital for treatment of their injuries and that their families had been notified.

Update 10:20 a.m. EDT: Indiana State Police confirmed two people were taken to a hospital after authorities responded Friday morning to reports of an active shooter at Noblesville West Middle School.

Officials said a suspect was in custody after the shooting. Authorities were expected to provide additional details at a news conference later Friday.

Original report: Authorities confirmed around 9:40 a.m. that police had a suspect in custody after responding to a report of an active shooter situation at the middle school.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

SEE: Cat takes wild ride, clinging to roof of minivan going 60 mph down freeway 

Rebel the cat from Omaha, Nebraska, has used up one of his nine lives.

>> Read more trending news 

The cat was videotaped by another driver clinging to the top of a minivan driven by its owners, who were traveling at 60 mph down an Omaha freeway last week, according to KETV.

Rebel’s owner, Michelle Criger, told the news station that the cat must have been on the roof for at least 2 miles before a motorist finally alerted her and her boyfriend that they had a cat on top of their vehicle. 

>> Related: Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says

She said when they pulled over on Interstate 480 and saw the cat, they realized it was their 2-year-old feline Rebel.

“When I got him off the roof of the van, he wasn't scared at all,” Criger told KETV. “He wasn't shaking, heart racing, nothing. We were more scared than him,” she said.

Criger said the cat, which was just fine after the wild ride, is living up to its name.

“He takes off, does what he wants,” she said. “He's a rebel. He does everything he wants to do.”

>> Trending: Pet stores restricted to selling only rescue animals in San Francisco

Rebel’s owner said she’s definitely learned one thing from the experience: to always check both on top and underneath the van before she drives off.

‘I can’t stay’: DUI suspect flees fatal wreck, cops say

Two years before a deadly head-on crash last Friday night, Benjamin Harris Rollins had been charged with DUI and lost his license.

>> Read more trending news

So when a witness helped pull Rollins from his 2007 Toyota Camry, which he’d been driving home from Moon Shadow Tavern in Tucker, Georgia, he had something to mention.

“I don’t have a license,” he said, according to arrest warrants. 

Then: “I can’t stay.”

He fled Lavista Road on foot, police said. Left at the scene were Edward Freeland Harris, who died in the other car, and Leigh Harris, who was badly injured.

Also, a woman identified in the warrants as Rollins’ ex-girlfriend remained in his car. 

By the time police found Rollins later that night, he was injured and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment. He also allegedly smelled of alcohol and admitted he’d been drinking.

Police researched further and saw that his license was still suspended from the previous pending DUI case. 

He was booked in the county jail the next day on charges that include vehicular homicide, DUI, driving with a suspended license and hit-and-run.

Efforts to reach family of the Harrises, both 52, weren’t immediately successful. 

What is Nipah virus? Deadly brain-damaging virus spreads in India

At least 12 people have died of Nipah virus in the Indian state of Kerala since the rare outbreak began weeks ago, according to a Health Ministry official.

>> Read more trending news 

Another 40 with Nipah symptoms are being treated in area hospitals.

Here’s what you need to know about the virus:

What is Nipah virus?

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nipah virus was first isolated and identified in 1998-99 when Malaysian and Singaporean pig farmers and others in close contact with the animals suffered with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and respiratory illnesses.

>> Related: Deadly Nipah virus has not spread in south India, officials say

The virus, a member of the family  Paramyxoviridae, is named after the Malaysian village of Sungai Nipah, where many pig farmers became ill.

In 1999, nearly 300 human cases of Nipah virus were reported, including 100 deaths. More than one million pigs were euthanized to contain the outbreak.

The virus is more frequent in Bangladesh and India, where exposure to Nipah virus has been associated with eating raw date palm sap and with contact with infected bats or humans.

Nipah was first identified in Bangladesh in 2001. Annual outbreaks have occurred there and in eastern India since.

How is Nipah virus transmitted?

>> Related: Man in India dies while trying to take selfie with bear

The virus is typically transmitted to humans after direct contact with bodily fluids of infected bats (commonly fruit bats of the Pteropodidaefamily), pigs or other infected people. 

As aforementioned, consumption of raw date palm sap has also been associated with exposure to the virus. Fruit bats often eat dates from palm trees and sometimes nest in wells.

“Hospital-acquired infections are a major path of human to human transmission,” the Indian microbiologist G. Arun Kumar testing the virus samples in India, told Reuters.

>> Related: This virus looks and acts like the flu, but it isn’t — What is adenovirus?

Symptoms of Nipah virus

  • fever
  • headache
  • drowsiness
  • disorientation
  • mental confusion
  • respiratory illness

According to the CDC, symptoms typically begin with fever and headache 5-14 days after exposure.

>> Related: Scientists worry brain-wasting ‘zombie deer’ disease could spread to humans

Treatment of Nipah virus

There is no vaccine for Nipah, and no treatment beyond supportive care.

“The drug ribavirin has been shown to be effective against the viruses in vitro, but human investigations to date have been inconclusive and the clinical usefulness of ribavirin remains uncertain,” the CDC reports.

The virus kills up to 75 percent of those infected.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Ivanka Trump defends Serena Williams, slamming her status as unseeded at French Open

Ivanka Trump is defending tennis great Serena Williams and slamming Williams’ lack of seeding at the French Open, calling it a penalty for being pregnant.

>> Read more trending news 

“This is ridiculous,” Trump said on Twitter. “Serena Williams is a formidable athlete (best ever) and loving new mother. No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child.”

French Open officials announced this week they would not give Williams a seeding based on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. The 23-time Grand Slam champion and three-time French Open winner is ranked No. 453 by the WTA.

>> Related: Serena Williams back in action, playing first match since giving birth

“This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women's seeds based on the WTA ranking,” French Tennis Federation officials aid in a statement to The Associated Press. “Consequently, (the seeds) will reflect this week's world ranking.” 

“The WTA should change this rule immediately,” Trump said.

Williams took 14 months off to have her first child and was No. 1 in the rankings at the last Grand Slam she played, the 2017 Australia Open, before taking time off to give birth in what turned out to be a difficult pregnancy, including six weeks of bed rest.

>> Related: Tennis champ Serena Williams reveals she ‘almost died’ after giving birth to first baby

Without seeding at the French Open, Williams could potentially have a tough time in the early rounds, having to face top-ranked players right off the bat, instead of in later rounds. 

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