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Man finds 9-carat diamond, 2nd-largest ever at Arkansas state park

Kevin KinardBy SHANNON MCLELLAN, ABC News

(MURFREESBORO, Ark.) -- When our moms told us to stop playing in the dirt as kids, maybe we shouldn't have listened -- that's exactly how 33-year-old Kevin Kinard found a 9-carat diamond at an Arkansas state park.

Kinard and his friends traveled to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, on Labor Day to enjoy the outdoors. The state park offers 37.5 acres of land for "diamond digging" where park visitors can sift through soil on what is the world's eighth-largest diamond-bearing volcanic crater.

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said one or two diamonds are found daily at the park, though they're usually about 20- to 25-point diamonds, or about a fourth of a carat.

No matter the size, park rules state that if you find a diamond it's yours to keep.

Kinard, an Arkansas native, visited Crater of Diamonds State Park for the first time on a field trip in second grade. Since then, he's traveled back once or twice a year to dig for diamonds but had never found one.

Because of the pandemic, Kinard said he and his friends have been spending more time in state parks.

"I had actually already gone to the park in May, but Arkansas state parks started handing out these state park passports where every time you go to a new park you get a stamp," Kinard said. "So, I went back because we wanted to get our passports stamped."

When digging for diamonds, you'll fill your bag and later give it to a park staffer who helps check whether you've found anything.

Kinard said they dug around for about four hours or so and went to get their passports stamped. Since he didn't think he had anything good, he decided to head back to the car without having his bag checked. It was only when his friend decided last minute to get hers checked that he doubled back with her to see if he had anything.

Kinard was pulled into a private room, where the Crater of Diamonds State Park staff told him a 9-carat diamond was in his bag.

"I broke down a little and started tearing up," Kinard said. "It was a very humbling experience. I thank God for everything that I have, so I think it was the Lord."

The diamond is the second-largest ever found at the park after a 16-carat diamond in 1975.

"Our staff gets excited, even though we're not finding the diamonds," Cox said. "We get excited from the people and seeing how they're impacted."

Kinard immediately brought the diamond to the bank where he works to place it in a safe deposit box. He has not yet gotten it appraised and said for now he just wants to enjoy the moment.

"I'm not sure what it's worth, but I can't do anything with a 9-carat diamond," Kinard said. "My boss said, 'You may be a millionaire. Are you going to quit?' I said, 'Absolutely not.' I'm too young for that. I'd still work. I'm just a regular guy."


COVID-19 canines: How dogs may help sniff out the coronavirus in humans

JPecha/iStockBy MINA KAJI and AMANDA MAILE, ABC News

(HELSINKI) -- They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but trainers in Finland claim 8-year-old greyhound mix Kössi learned to identify a scent associated with COVID-19 in just seven minutes.

Helsinki Airport welcomed Kössi and nine other "coronavirus-sniffing dogs" as part of a pilot program this week meant to "speed up the process of identifying those infected with COVID-19."

"We are among the pioneers," Helsniki Airport director Ulla Lettijeff said. "As far as we know, no other airport has attempted to use canine scent detection on such a large scale against COVID-19."

Four dogs will work at the airport during a shift, but passengers getting tested will not have direct contact with the dogs.

They will be prompted to swipe their skin with a wipe and drop it into a cup, which is then given to the dog to smell.

"The service is mainly intended for passengers arriving from outside the country," Susanna Paavilainen, CEO of WiseNose Ry, University of Helsinki's DogRisk research, explained.

The airport said that according to preliminary tests conducted by a research group at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Helsinki, "dogs are able to smell the virus with almost 100% certainty."

In the U.S., testing is still underway to determine if dogs can truly sniff out the coronavirus. The University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) launched a pilot study in April that would take a group of dogs and expose them to COVID-19-positive saliva and urine samples in a laboratory setting.

Once the dogs learned the odor, investigators would then see whether or not the animals can discriminate between COVID-19 positive and negative samples in a lab setting, according to Penn Vet.

While the results of the study have not yet been released, Penn Vet called it "pioneering" saying it "sets the stage for dogs to be a force multiplier in the mission to detect COVID-19, particularly among asymptomatic patients, or hospital or business environments where testing is most challenging."

Both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told ABC News they are not training their canines to detect COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Chadwick Boseman mural unveiled at Downtown Disney

Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort(ANAHEIM) -- Chadwick Boseman is being honored with a new mural at Downtown Disney in California.

"King Chad" was created by former Disney Imagineer Nikkolas Smith and depicts Boseman, who played King T'Challa in Black Panther, giving a Wakanda salute to a child wearing a hospital gown and a Black Panther mask.

Boseman, who died last month at 43 following a battle with colon cancer, had famously visited with children at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"This one is special. My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney," Smith wrote on Instagram Thursday. "It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the Children's Hospital project and the Avengers Campus. To millions of kids, T'Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman. I'm so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick's life and purpose in this way."

Disneyland is not yet open to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Downtown Disney reopened in July with capacity restrictions.

Boseman's death shocked the Hollywood community and his countless fans, as the actor had never publicly revealed his cancer diagnosis. His Black Panther co-star, Michael B. Jordan, reflected on the loss in an emotional social media post, remarking, "I wish we had more time."

"I've been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness," Jordan wrote. "Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family, your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me."

"You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you," he added. "I'm more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Good Morning America
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Federal election fraud would be 'a major challenge for an adversary': FBI director

iStock/Raghu_RamaswamyABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI Director told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Thursday that it would be difficult for a foreign government to change the outcome of a national election through mail-in ballot fraud.

"Now we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise we have seen voter fraud," said FBI Director Christopher Wray, appearing before the committee to discuss threats the homeland faces. "Certainly to change a federal election outcome, by mounting that kind of fraud at scale would be a major challenge for an adversary, but people should make no mistake, we're vigilant," he said.

His comments came as President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned of widespread fraud as the result of expanded mail-in voting.

When asked about ways to combat malign foreign influence, Wray encouraged voters to be "critical thinkers" and to get their news from a variety of sources.

Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Christopher Miller and DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli also appeared before the committee Thursday. A similar hearing occured in the House last week.

Last week, Wray echoed the intelligence community's assessment that Russia is actively continuing to try to influence the U.S. election.

"The intelligence community's consensus is that Russia continues to try to influence our elections, primarily through what we would call malign foreign influence, as opposed to what we saw in 2016, where there was also an effort to target election infrastructure, cyber targeting," he said.

The Trump administration, and the president in particular, has repeatedly claimed that China is a bigger threat to election security than Russia.

"But Chris, you don’t see any activity from China, even though it is a FAR greater threat than Russia, Russia, Russia. They will both, plus others, be able to interfere in our 2020 Election with our totally vulnerable Unsolicited (Counterfeit?) Ballot Scam. Check it out!" the President tweeted shortly after Wray's testimony last week.

In an early August statement, the office of the Director of National Intelligence singled out Russia, China and Iran as potential disruptor countries during the 2020 election.

On Thursday, Wray said he can’t rank the those three countries in terms of which is the biggest threat to the 2020 presidential election and that each country is focused on a different issue.

"I don't think I could really rank them, I mean all three are ones that we're very concerned about in different ways. So it's not really an apple to apple comparison," he explained.

He also sidestepped the question on Chinese election interference.

"As I mentioned before, in many ways, [China is] our greatest counterintelligence threat to this country and their malign foreign influence efforts are different. As Mr. Cuccinelli said, different from the Russians but much broader and wider, in terms of their reach to not just federal officials but state local officials, and they use economic leavers very heavily."


Wray also tackled the issue of protests around the country. The FBI director reiterated a point he made last week in front of the House that the FBI does not investigate the ideology of demonstrators.

"Now let me be clear, we do not investigate groups or individuals based on ideology or on the exercise of First Amendment protected activity alone but when the ideology leads someone to commit criminal acts and pursue violence, the FBI will not hesitate to take appropriate action," he said.

Wray testified that that his agency is working with state and local law enforcement officials to see if federal charges can be brought against some of those protesters who have been arrested.

Cuccinelli was put on the spot when asked about two whistleblower complaints DHS is facing.

Former DHS Intelligence and Analysis director Brian Murphy claims he "was instructed by Mr. Wolf and/or Mr. Cuccinelli to modify intelligence assessments to ensure they matched up with the public comments by President Trump on the subject of ANTIFA and ‘anarchist’ groups."

"Oh absolutely that did not happen," Cuccinelli said, adding that the language in a DHS upcoming threats report on white supremacists was not toned down, as was alleged.

Democrats on the House Homeland Security committee also announced last week the start of a new investigation into allegations from a detention facility nurse, including reports that ICE detainees in the Irwin County Detention Center were subjected to hysterectomy operations without their full understanding or consent.

ABC News has not confirmed this reporting.

Cuccinelli said that the allegations were "shocking" and that he immediately dispatched a team outside of ICE, including a Coast Guard attorney and an Army nurse, to review records at the Georgia facility.

"I'm happy to report that, at this stage the inspector general is still doing a more in depth review, but at this stage the documentation indicates that there were, over the course of four years, two hysterectomies were performed on two women and that is confirmed by the nearby medical facility where those procedures took place. They came to the same numerical conclusion that that we did but, as I said, the inspector general is continuing to investigate that."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Illinois Facebook users tagged in photos can now submit claims as part of $650 million settlement

Wachiwit/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Facebook users in Illinois can now submit claims online and receive between $200 and $400 as part of a $650 million settlement by the social media giant over a class-action lawsuit stemming from its collection of users' biometric data.

"We are very excited that the process is moving forward and that class members are now able to participate in the largest consumer privacy settlement in our country's history," attorney Jay Edelson, whose office spearheaded the legal action, said in a statement to ABC News Thursday.

Edelson said individuals are eligible to submit a claim if they have lived in Illinois for approximately six months "and their face appeared in a picture on Facebook after June 7, 2011."

He said multiple people in a single household can submit separate claims and it takes about two minutes to go through the process online at the website set up to process claims: http://www.facebookbipaclassaction.com.

The deadline to file a claim is Nov. 23, 2020, he added.

The payouts in Illinois are the result of a settlement after Facebook collected and stored biometric data of users in the state without proper notice and consent as part of its "Tag Suggestions" feature, which attorneys argued was in violation of a unique state privacy law, the Biometric Information Privacy Act. As part of the settlement, Facebook denies violating any laws.

Facebook did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Thursday.

The settlement was first disclosed in a January earnings call by the company's chief financial officer.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


South Korean government worker shot dead then set on fire on North Korean shores

bedo/iStockBy JOOHEE CHO, ABC News

(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North Korean soldiers shot and killed a South Korean government civil servant drifting in their waters and then allegedly burned the corpse, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

“We sternly warn that all responsibility for the brutal act committed towards our citizen lies solely with North Korea," Ahn Young-ho, a top official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a press briefing Thursday morning, demanding the North’s explanation and punishment for the persons in charge.

Pyongyang has not commented.

The 47-year-old official at the South’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries was reported missing on Monday from a fisheries patrol and monitoring boat on duty just 12 miles away from North Korean shores, close to South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island.

South Korea did not clarify why and how the man drifted into North Korea, but according to defense ministry officials, they have obtained intelligence that North Koreans discovered the man, father of two, “looking haggard and exhausted clutching a floating device” wearing a life jacket. North Korean troops wearing gas masks then questioned him “at a distance,” then allegedly fired shots.

It is unclear how South Korean officials obtained the information.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 9/23/20

iStockBy ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Wednesday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE

LA Angels 5, San Diego 2
Arizona 7, Texas 3
Tampa Bay 8, NY Mets 5
Kansas City 12, St. Louis 3
Oakland 6, LA Dodgers 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Cleveland 3, Chi White Sox 2
Seattle 3, Houston 2
Toronto 14, NY Yankees 1
Boston 9, Baltimore 1
Minnesota 7, Detroit 6

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Philadelphia 12, Washington 3
Cincinnati 6, Milwaukee 1
Pittsburgh 2, Chi Cubs 1
Atlanta 9, Miami 4
San Francisco 7, Colorado 2

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Miami 112, Boston 109 (Miami leads 3-1)

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Tampa Bay 5 Dallas 2 (Tampa Bay leads 2-1)

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
New England 3, Montreal 1
Atlanta 1, FC Dallas 0 Atlanta
Toronto FC 1, New York City FC 0
Orlando City 2, Sporting Kansas City 1
Columbus 2, Minnesota 1
Philadelphia 0, Cincinnati 0 (Tie)
Chicago 4, Houston 0
New York 4, Miami 1
Nashville 1, D.C. United 0
Colorado 5, San Jose 0
Real Salt Lake 2, LA Galaxy 0
Portland 1, Seattle 0
Los Angeles FC 6, Vancouver 0

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Will President Trump be Re-Elected?