Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images(BEIRA, Mozambique) -- Thousands of people, some seen clinging to rooftops and tree branches, still await rescue from rising floodwaters in Mozambique, one week after an intense tropical cyclone walloped the southeast African nation.
Nearly 350,000 others are at risk of becoming trapped in the coming days as remnants of tropical cyclone Idai dump rain over low-lying areas already inundated with swelling rivers and bulging dams.
Some 100,000 people may need to be rescued from the town of Buzi alone, according to a spokesman for Mozambique's Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development.
"We have a critical situation in Buzi," the spokesman, who asked not to be named, told ABC News via telephone Thursday. "If the rainfall increases, then those 100,000 need to be rescued. Levels of the dam are going high."
The heavy rain let up in Buzi and the hard-hit port city of Beira on Thursday, but showers are expected to return in the coming hours and days. Aid agencies worry additional rainfall will impede rescue missions.
The cyclone made landfall near Beira late last Thursday and slowly moved inland over the weekend, leaving a trail of destruction across central Mozambqiue, southern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe. The storm brought torrential rain and wind gusts up to 105 mph to the region, where drought conditions allowed for widespread flooding.
An estimated 1.7 million people were in the cyclone's path in Mozambique, which bore the brunt of the storm, while another 920,000 people in Malawi and "thousands more" in Zimbabwe were also affected, according to World Food Program spokesperson Herve Verhoosel.
Now, "the biggest challenge" is reaching stranded residents and others in need, Verhoosel told reporters Tuesday, especially in areas where overflowing rivers have created "inland oceans extending for miles and miles."
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi declared a national state of emergency and three days of national mourning beginning Wednesday.
The storm has been blamed for the deaths of at least 217 people in Mozambique, according to the spokesman for the country's Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development -- though Nyusi has warned that as many as 1,000 could be dead. Another 1,440 people were injured, according to Mozambique's National Disasters Management Institute.
In Zimbabwe, at least 139 people have died, 144 others were injured, 136 were marooned and 189 were reported missing as of Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the country's Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting.
At least 56 cyclone-related deaths have been reported in Malawi.
Some 400,000 people were internally displaced by the storm in Mozambique, while an estimated 82,500 were displaced in Malawi, according to the United Nations. More than 4,300 were displaced in Zimbabwe, according to the country's Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting.
The United Nations' Central Emergency Response Fund announced Wednesday it has allocated $20 million to ensure aid reaches those most affected.
Jamie LeSueur, who is leading response efforts in Beira for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said while the scale of devastation is still emerging, the situation he's seen on the ground is catastrophic.
"This is the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s recent history. It is a humanitarian catastrophe for the people of central Mozambique," LeSueur said in a statement Tuesday. "Large parts of Beira have been damaged, entire villages and towns have been completely flooded. Rescuers are scrambling to pull people trapped on rooftops and in trees to safety. Many, many families have lost everything."
ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- After Pepsi built an entire Super Bowl ad around Cardi B saying her signature phrase "Okurrr," it's no wonder the rapper is now moving to trademark it.
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's website, Cardi's filed paperwork to trademark the catchphrase for use on a long list of items, among them “paper goods, namely paper cups and posters.”
She also wants to trademark the word for use on "clothing, namely t-shirts, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, pants, shorts, jackets, footwear, headgear, namely hats and caps, blouses, bodysuits, dresses, jumpsuits, leggings, shirts, sweaters and undergarments.”
Additionally, Cardi's filed paperwork for the catchphrase spelled two different ways -- "O-k-u-r-r-r," and "O-k-u-r-r" -- just in case someone tries to get cute.
Cardi once described the phrase to Jimmy Fallon as the sound made by "a cold pigeon in New York City."
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that would deny colleges certain federal research and education grants if they failed to comply with free speech standards outlined by the administration.
"Under the guise of speech codes and safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans ... all of that changes starting right now. We're dealing with billions and billions and billions of dollars," Trump said, surrounded by student activists at a White House ceremony Thursday afternoon.
In doing so, Trump is responding to a rallying cry among conservatives who say their views are suppressed on campuses, and that speakers are sometimes assaulted or silenced when protesters threaten violence.
Trump called the move "historic," saying that students and American values have "been under siege," as several students said free speech is at risk on their campuses.
"Every year the federal government provides educational institutions with more than $35 billion in research funding. All of that money is now at stake. That's a lot of money. They're going to have to not like your views a lot," Trump said.
The executive order would direct 12 grant-making agencies to work with the Office of Management and Budget to ensure universities are complying with federal law in an effort to promote free speech on college campuses, the senior administration official said earlier Thursday during a phone call with reporters.
Critics argue Trump's move is an attempt to fix a non-existent problem and one notable is Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee.
In a statement on Thursday, Alexander said he didn't "want to see Congress or the President or the department of anything creating speech codes to define what you can say on campus."
"The U.S. Constitution guarantees free speech. Federal courts define and enforce it. The Department of Justice can weigh in. Conservatives don’t like it when judges try to write laws, and conservatives should not like it when legislators and agencies try to rewrite the Constitution," Alexander said.
At the same time, he said he agreed with the Trump administration's position that colleges "should provide better data on student debt and put some ‘skin in the game’ to reduce student borrowing."
Suzanne Nossel, the CEO of PEN America -- an organization that works to defend free expression rights, including free speech on college campuses -- said in a phone interview that the federal government "can have a role in reinforcing the principles of the First Amendment and the commitment to freedom expression and academic freedom at public universities in particular."
"But when you get into the possibility of punitive measures and the withholding of federal funds based on, you know, particularly kind of very vague definitions of, you know an idea like free inquiry. That's worrisome," Nossel added.
Following Trump's preview of his executive order in a fiery speech earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 11 groups, including the American Association of University Professors and the American Federation of Teachers, issued a joint statement calling the proposal "a dangerous solution to a largely nonexistent problem."
"While the specific provisions of the promised executive order have not been revealed, like such legislation they are liable to interfere with institutional autonomy and governance in ways that is more likely to stifle than encourage free expression and diversity of opinion," the statement said. "There are and always will be individuals on campus and in society generally who wish to silence those with whom they disagree. But punitive and simplistic measures will only exacerbate the problems they may create," the statement said.
Though the administration official who briefed reporters stressed that free speech rules already apply to higher education institutions, the official said the order is designed to provide better oversight and enforcement by making free speech a more explicit condition of compliance.
Public universities will have to agree to follow the guidelines as a condition of receiving these grants, while private universities will have to certify following their intended policy, the official said.
The executive order would not affect student aid money, and would also require the Department of Education to publish information on earnings, debt, default rates and loan repayment rates to the college score card, the senior administration official said.
The official declined to say whether the president believes the issue has worsened in recent years, not wanting to get ahead of the president’s remarks. “The president is fully committed to promoting free speech on college campuses,” the official said.
The order would also require the Department of Education to submit policy recommendations to the president about institutions sharing the financial risk of student loans, the official said.
Trump had publicly teased the executive order during his CPAC speech.
“If they want our dollars and we give it to them by the billions they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and many other great young people and old people to speak,” Trump said.
He was referring to the case of Hayden Williams, who was allegedly assaulted at the University of California, Berkley, while recruiting for a conservative group.
“And if they don’t, it will be very costly,” Trump added.
Trump has also tweeted about the issue, saying: “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
"Just the fact that the President first announced this at CPAC, the fact Jeff Sessions when he was attorney general making a speech in front of Turning Point USA, a conservative group, this issue, you know, kind of adds this ideological cast," Nossel of PEN America said. "You know, really the First Amendment is nonpartisan. It doesn't have any ideological bias. It protects speech from across the spectrum. And so, the fear here is that you know, this is not just about protecting all kinds of speech it's about protecting certain kinds of speech and I think that's the way the executive order is implemented it's highly problematic."
But when it comes to the actual implementation of the order, the official was short on details and deferred the matter to OMB.
“I don't want to get ahead of implementation, that will be coming in the next several weeks, months,” the official said.”
Baltimore Police Dept.(BALTIMORE) -- A father and daughter who authorities say fabricated a story of a panhandler stabbing his wife to death were extradited to Baltimore early Thursday to face murder charges as newly released documents show the husband allegedly asked his brother to help kill the victim.
Keith and Valeria Smith were brought back to Maryland by the Baltimore Police Department's Warrant Apprehension Task Force after being caught in Texas earlier this month while attempting to make a run for the Mexican border, authorities said.
Arrest warrants for the father and daugther released Thursday show that in the days prior to the Dec. 1 killing of Jacquelyn Smith, Keith Smith allgedly tried to get his brother to help him kill his wife of five years.
'Get rid of Jacquelyn'
Keith Smith's brother, Vick Smith, told police that his brother told him that Jacquelyn Smith was talking about divocing him, according to the arrest warrants. Vick Smith told police, according to the warrants, that he reached out to a close friend of his brother and told him that Keith Smith "asked him to get rid of Jacquelyn, which he interrupted to mean kill/murder her."
Valeria and Keith Smith arrived at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport shortly after midnight Thursday and were immediately driven to the Central Booking Intake Facility in Baltimore, police said.
Baltimore police released video and photos of the pair being taken off the plane on the tarmac, put into handcuffs and driven away.
It was not immediately clear when they will appear in court.
They are both charged with first-degree murder.
Story 'was not true'
In the the arrest warrants, Valeria Smith's involvment in the killing is described as being "an accessory after the fact in the murder of Jacquelyn Smith." Keith Smith, 54, according to his warrant, "did assault and murder" his wife, who was stabbed five times in the chest.
The supects initially claimed Jacquelyn Smith, 54, who worked as an electrical engineer at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, was stabbed by one of two panhandlers she spotted while driving through East Baltimore.
In interviews with homicide detectives and at a news conference shortly after the killing, the pair claimed Jacquelyn Smith was stabbed when she asked her husband to pull over so she could give $10 to a female panhandler who appeared to be holding a baby.
Keith Smith told ABC News shortly after the killing that both panhandlers approached their car and the male panhandler stabbed his wife and snatched her chain as he and the woman were thanking her for the money. He said the woman panhandler reached into the car, grabbed his wife's purse and ran.
"She was trying to help someone out," Keith Smith told ABC News in a Dec. 3 interview. "I think the reality is, we forget about the times that we're living in. You may have the best intentions on helping this person, but when you let a person get into your safe zone, you're actually opening yourself up to whatever this person has intended for you."
Keith and Valeria Smith told police the killing happened as they were returning home from an American Leagon Hall, where they had been celebrating Valeria Smith's 28th birthday, though records show her birthday is on Oct. 30.
On March 3, Michael Harrison, acting commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department, said the story told by Keith and Valeria Smith "was not true."
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh slammed the suspects for using issues of homelessness as a ruse in an alleged attempt to cover up the killing.
"These individuals took advantage of a situation, a city that is already dealing with its own problems," Pugh said earlier this month. "We're looking forward to this cruel act being brought to justice."
Attempting to flee country
The father and daughter were arrested that day in Harlingen, Texas, which is near the Mexican border. Police said they suspect the pair was attempting to cross the border and disappear.
Since his arrest, Keith Smith's criminal history has come under increased scrutiny. He pleaded guilty in 2001 to robbing the same bank in Timonium, Maryland, three times in nine months, according to reports obtained by ABC News from the Baltimore County Police Department.
He served six years of a 12-year prison sentence for robbery with a deadly weapon and for fleeing the police, according the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services,
Keith Smith was released from prison on Feb. 9, 2007. He married Jacquelyn Smith in 2014.
Baltimore detectives became suspicious of Keith and Valeria Smith after finding inconsistencies and contradictions in their stories of what happened to Jacquelyn Smith, according to the arrest warrants.
The father and daughter claimed the killing happened in East Baltimore, but none of the 27 surveillance cameras in the location they said the stabbing occurred showed the family's car in the area at the time of the homicide, according to the warrants.
Cell phone records showed that at the time of the stabbing Valeria Smith's phone pinged in Druid Hill Park, northwest of where she and her father claim the stabbing happened.
When confronted about the location of the killing, Keith Smith allgedly told investigators that he had gotten lost driving home and ended up in Druid Hill Park, where they stopped for 12 to 16 minutes and looked at photos they had taken earlier that evening, according to the arrest warrants.
When Valeria Smith was confronted about her cell phone pinging at the park, she told detectives they were never in the park, according to the arrest warrants. She then stopped speaking with investigators and asked for an attorney, the warrants state.
Investigators also were granted court permission to wiretap the cell phones of both Keith and Valeria Smith.
In calls detectives intercepted in late February, Keith Smith was heard trying to book one-way flight reservations to Cuba and Canada, but was unable to because he did not have a valid U.S. passport, according to the arrest warrants.
Wiretapped trying to book flight to Cuba
"While on the phone with the reservationist, Keith inquired about traveling to the Virgin Islands without a passport," according to the warrant. "The reservationist advised him that he could travel to the U.S. Virgin Island with just a driver's license."
Computer records seized in the case also showed that Keith Smith conducted a search on whether a passport was needed to travel to Jamaica, and "if there is a way to cross into Mexico without going through the border," according to the arrest warrants.
Keith and Valeria Smith were just 20 minutes from the Mexican border when they were nabbed.
"Based on the results of this investigation and Mr. Smith's attempt to flee the country, the investigation has failed to provide suspects other than Mr. and Ms. Smith," detectives wrote in the arrest warrants.
Baylor Scott & White Health(BOSTON) -- Aprill Lane suffered through years of infertility struggles in the process of becoming a mom to five kids, ages 7 and under.
Late last year, Lane, 39, donated her own uterus so that another woman could have the ability to conceive and carry a child.
“Infertility really, aside from the physical effects of it, it emotionally and socially affects you in a huge way,” Lane said. “If I could help one other person be relieved of some of that, I would.”
Lane, who lives outside of Boston and works for a biotech company, adopted her oldest son after she and her husband, Brian, were diagnosed with "unexplained infertility" -- a common but frustrating diagnosis for couples facing fertility problems -- and tried for four years to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Shortly after adopting their oldest son, Lane became pregnant with their second child, a boy who is 13 months younger than his older brother.
The Lanes tried for a third child using IVF and, on her 10th cycle, Lane became pregnant with twin girls. A little less than a year after delivering them, Lane unexpectedly got pregnant and delivered another daughter.
Through it all, Lane helped run infertility support groups and started a scholarship foundation to help women pay for infertility treatments. Through her foundation, Lane heard about uterus transplants being done in clinical trials at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
“My husband and I both felt like our family-building had been resolved but we weren’t necessarily resolved with building a family for someone else,” Lane said. “We knew pretty quickly after I got the call that I was selected [for the trial] that I was going to do it.”
Lane traveled on her own time and dime –- being a donor did not qualify her for paid time off from her employer -– to travel between Boston and Dallas for pre-op appointments and the surgery.
She became part of the 15th successful uterus transplant done at Baylor, one of the leading centers for uterus transplants in the world.
“Her story is incredible in itself because she was one of these women when she couldn’t have children, she chose options women had before uterus transplants,” said Dr. Liza Johannesson, Lane's surgeon and a pioneer in the field. “She knows the struggle very close up, what these women go through.”
Lane's surgery lasted around nine hours. Once the uterus is removed from the donor, it is inspected to confirm it is a perfect match and then transplanted into the recipient.
The exact date of Lane's surgery has not been released, to help protect the privacy of the recipient, who remains anonymous. The donors and recipients do not meet each other until much later in the process -- post-transplant -- and only if they both want to meet.
"A lot [of the women] are meeting afterwards and they form incredible bonds," said Johannesson, who added that in one case, a donor is now the godmother of a recipient's baby.
Johannesson helped lead the animal trials and then human trials for uterus transplants in Sweden in the early 2000s. The idea to explore uterus transplants came from a patient who had cancer and had to have her uterus removed.
“She suggested out of the blue, ‘Why don’t you just do a uterus transplant?,’” Johannesson recalled. “That sounded crazy at the time.”
Johannesson led a clinical trial in Sweden that resulted in the births of eight babies from nine transplants. She moved full-time to Baylor two years ago and is now working to educate other doctors around the U.S. about uterus transplants, hosting visiting doctors in the Baylor operating room and traveling to other hospitals to train doctors.
Women who are candidates for uterus transplants may have been born without a uterus, may have had cancer or may have other malformations, like infection or damage caused by miscarriages, in their uterus, according to Johannesson. Both the donor and recipient must be in top medical condition to undergo the transplant.
A uterus transplant is unique in that it will not stay with the recipient for the rest of her life. After the recipient gives birth to one or two children, the uterus will be removed so the woman does not have to face a lifetime of strong anti-rejection medication.
Babies conceived after a uterus transplant are, so far, delivered by Caesarian section. Johannesson said she and her entire team are in the delivery room for every birth.
"What I’m most proud is of when we are there at the delivery and you can glimpse into the parents' eyes and see their happiness," she said. "If you see that once in your life you are successful."
Lane said she spent around five days in the hospital and two more at a hotel in Dallas before she was allowed to fly back to Boston. She was not allowed to lift heavy objects for eight weeks -- no small feat with five kids -- and experienced pain and possibly long-term nerve complications.
But she said said she would do it all over again.
"Now as a mom of five, I can say I have a pretty severe case of PTSD from what we went through," she said of her infertility journey, referring to post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Still when I see a pregnant belly, it’s like a punch in the gut."
"If I could help just one family, that’s healing for me," Lane added. "[The surgery] is short-lived and my recipient has her whole life thinking she can’t carry children, so for eight weeks of feeling [bad], it’s worth it."
proBAKSTER/iStock(NEW YORK) -- An American figure skater has been accused of deliberately injuring a South Korean skater during practice ahead of the International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships in Japan, but the skating union has said there was "no evidence" it was intentional.
The accusations were made about an incident between American skater Mariah Bell and South Korean skater Eun Soo Lim during practice on March 20.
According to Yonhap, South Korean sports agency All That Sports alleged that Bell "struck Lim's leg with her skate" before the ladies' short program, cutting Lim's calf. Yonhap reported that Lim had the cut taped before she performed.
An All That Sports official said they believed Bell hitting Lim was "premeditated" because Lim was skating near the walls and Bell "came from behind" when she cut her, Yonhap reported.
The official also claimed Bell "had been bullying Lim for months and launched a verbal attack" on her, according to Yonhap. The skaters have the same coach, Rafael Arutunian, per their bios.
ISU, which said the incident was "verbally reported" by the Korean team leader, disputed that the attack was intentional.
"Based on the evidence at hand at this point in time, which includes a video, there is no evidence that Ms. Bell intended any harm to Ms. Lim," ISU said in a statement.
Lim finished in fifth place and Bell finished in sixth in the ladies' short program.
alexsl/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Facebook officials admitted on Thursday that the tech giant stored hundreds of millions of user passwords in plain text -- able to be read by employees.
"As part of a routine security review in January, we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems," Facebook's vice president of engineering, security and privacy Pedro Canahuati wrote in a post on the company's website Thursday morning.
"This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable," he added. "We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way."
The company did not say why it waited until March to notify users.
The news was first reported by the cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs on his blog, Krebs on Security, before Facebook issued its statement. Although the company did not disclose how long the passwords had been insecurely stored, Krebs' report said the problem existed for years.
The company said the passwords weren't visible to anyone outside of the company, adding that "we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them."
"We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users. Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity," Canahuati wrote.
Facebook recommends users change their passwords and use two-factor authentication or a security key.