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Cholera Crisis Sends Panic To Haiti As Death Toll Climbs To 1000

Hurricane Matthew has left over a million Haitians without food, water and shelter, increasing their exposure to the deadly disease. 

The people of Hati have continued to plead for essential resources in the wake of Hurricane Matthew's wrath, with the presence of Cholera dangerously close to wreaking more havoc on the country.

According to Reuters, the number of deaths has climbed to 1000, with officials creating mass graves to avoid the decomposition of bodies. Their tally differentiates from the central civil protection agency who stated the death toll is at 336. Kedner Frenel, the senior official of the Grand-Anse region, says 522 have died in his area alone. So far, 15 of 18 municipalities in Sud Department have reported tallies, but no number will be confirmed until authorities physically reach every region.

Many areas of the country are destroyed, including the towns of Les Cayes, Port Salut and Jérémie. Located in Grand-Anse, the New York Times reports Jérémie's resources like cellphone towers came crashing down when last week's 145 mph winds from the storm took over. After announcing an emergency appeal of $119 million for relief, the U.N. reported over 1.4 million people are in need of help out of the 2.1 affected by the storm.

NBC News reports despite the efforts of organizations and the U.N.; little resources have reached residents. "There's no water, no antibiotics," Herby Jean of Dame Marie said. "Everything is depleted ... We hear helicopters flying overhead, but we're not getting anything."

Officials have also expressed a dangerous fear of chorea outbreaks. The deadly disease was accidentally brought to the country by UN soldiers when they dumped sewage into the water after the 2010 earthquake. On Monday (Oct. 10) dozens of patients filled the open-air cholera treatment center in Jérémie. Many of the patients were under 10-years-old. Brought on by contaminated water, symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting and can turn deadly if left untreated. Since the previous earthquake, the World Health Organization reported 80,000 cases in Haiti with 770 new cases a week in 2016. In total, the disease has killed over 9,000 people.

Meanwhile, North American terrain has suffered way less. Minimal damages happened in Florida, while North Carolina has endured deadly floods. A total of 34 people have died: 15 in N.C.; 12 in Fla.; three in South Carolina; three in Georgia; and one in Virginia. Hurricane Matthew officially pulled away from the state on Sunday (Oct. 9)

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Jussie Smollett attends the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
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Men Arrested In Jussie Smollett Attack Released From Custody Without Charge

The two men arrested and questioned by Chicago Police are no longer considered persons of interest in the Jussie Smollett attack. Olabijo and Abimbola Osundairo were released without charge “due to new evidence” in the case, police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmo said Friday (Feb. 15).

“The individuals questioned by police in the 'Empire' case have now been released without charging,” Guglielmo tweeted.

Authorities initially arrested the Osundairo brothers on battery charges. Guglielmo also added that  “investigators have additional work to complete.”

Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019

Gloria Schmidt, an attorney for the brothers, told reporters that there are still a lot of “moving parts” in the case. “My guys are innocent of the charge and they're going home,” she said.

Smollett told authorities that he was attacked by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic epithets before punching him, tying a nose around his neck and pouring bleach on him. He recounted the attack in an interview with Good Morning America Thursday (Feb. 14), telling anchor Robin Roberts that he fought back before the attackers fled.

Authorities raided the brothers home earlier in the week removing several items including bleach and rope.

Schmidt previously confirmed that the brothers worked with Smollett on Empire, and didn’t understand how they became “people of interest” in the case.

 

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Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Confidential Settlement With NFL In Collusion Case

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have reached a confidential settlement with the league Friday (Feb. 15). The agreement brings an end to their collusion lawsuit against the NFL more than a year after the legal bout began.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Kaepernick and Reid would only agreed to settle for a “lucrative financial agreement.” No other details about the terms of the settlement were released.

Kaepernick and Reid filed sued the NFL for collusion in October 2017. The league denied the allegations, but failed in their attempt to have the suit dismissed.

Attorneys Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas said in a statement that Kaepernick and Reid have engaged in an “ongoing dialogue” with the NFL for the past “several months.”

“As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances,” the statement explains. “The resolution of this matter is subject to confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

The NFL Players Association released a statement of support. “We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel,” the statement reads.

“We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them. We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well.”

Jerry Jones, Bob McNair, Robert Craft and several other NFL owners and players were deposed in the case. Reid was recently signed to the Carolina Panthers. Kaepernick remains unsigned.

pic.twitter.com/5sdcGSuwvW

— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) February 15, 2019

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Jussie Smollett attends the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
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Potential Suspects Arrested In Connection To Jussie Smollett Attack

A new development has been made in the investigation surrounding the Jan. 29 attack on Empire actor, Jussie Smollett. The Chicago Police have arrested two "potential suspects" by the names of Olabinjo and Abimola Osundairo. The Nigerian brothers are United States citizens, one of which has been an extra on Fox's Empire.

"Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues," the police said in a statement to ABC News.

Evidence was found in the Osundairo brothers' Chicago apartment when the cops raided their home on Thursday (Feb. 14). Among the list of evidence found in their home were bottles of bleach, which was mentioned in Smollett's report. The two potential suspects were detained at Chicago O'Hare Airport Wednesday evening (Feb. 13) following a flight from Nigeria and their attorney Gloria Schmidt, has since spoken out to clear their names.

"When they first learned what happened to him, they were horrified. This is someone they know, someone that they work with, so they don't want to see somebody go through that," Schmidt said in a statement to the Chicago CBS station WBBM. "They really don't understand how [police] even got information that linked them to this horrific crime, but they're not guilty of it."

Smollett has had to deal with rumors surrounding the fact that his attack may have been "staged" or a "hoax" by the actor himself. The 36-year-old actor appeared on Good Morning America to clear up the hearsay.

"I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate," Smollet said to Robin Roberts. "And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more, and that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now."

The Chicago Police also released a statement of their own on Thursday evening (Feb. 14).

"While we haven't found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say that this is a hoax," Chicago police said to ABC News. "The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect."

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