TIME Accident

Alligator Kills Texas Man Who Went for a Late-Night Swim

The 28-year-old was attacked in a private marina

A 28-year-old Texas man was fatally attacked by an alligator early Friday morning.

Tommie Woodward had gone for a late-night swim in a private marina near the Louisiana border when the alligator struck, severely injuring one of his limbs, the Associated Press reported. Officials said he had been swimming with a woman, though by one account she only entered the water after he cried for help; she is reportedly unharmed.

Police found Woodward’s body two hours after the attack.

The marina’s owners had earlier posted a warning sign about the alligator, which they had spotted in the water and estimated to be more than 11 ft. long.

[AP]

TIME Music

Meghan Trainor Postpones Tour Dates Because of Vocal Cord Hemorrhage

Meghan Trainor Performs At Le Trianon
David Wolff - Patrick—Redferns/Getty Images Meghan Trainor performs at Le Trianon on May 28, 2015 in Paris, France.

The singer will reschedule concerts in New Jersey and Connecticut

Ticketholders to Meghan Trainor’s concerts in New Jersey and Connecticut this Fourth of July weekend will have to find new plans: the “Dear Future Husband” singer has postponed the two tour dates after a vocal cord hemorrhage caused her doctors to put her on complete vocal rest.

The singer announced the news on Instagram, writing, “I have never missed a tour date before so this is killing me. I love you all very much and want to get healed quickly so I can show you this amazing tour we’ve been working on.”

Though the Friday and Saturday concerts are canceled, Trainor plans to reschedule them. Her website lists her next live performance on Tuesday in Lansing, Mich.

Trainor later posted a video to Instagram with more apologies to her fans:

TIME animals

Watch This Totally Chill Pit Bull Play Nicely With Baby Birds

Opposites attract in this tale of friendship on the farm

It’s a dangerous world for baby birds—unless they have a powerful protector.

Several young chickens and at least one baby turkey have befriended a pit bull who sits quite calmly while they crawl all over the dog and peck at its fur.

YouTube user “shay Israel” posted the video on Thursday under the title “snuggle time with mama Jules.” Looks like this corner of the animal kingdom is off to a very cozy Fourth of July weekend.

TIME celebrities

Arnold Schwarzenegger Writes Sweet Letter to a Fan’s Sick Dad Who Loved Terminator Genisys

"I am honored that my silly smile in Terminator made you smile"

For one Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, the new Terminator Genisys provided exactly the kind of movie magic he needed to get his sick father to smile again.

Reddit user bizzyjay posted about how he got his dad to watch a movie despite recent serious mental health issues that made the 72-year-old irritable, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The two had a tradition of watching Terminator movies together, and when they saw the latest installment, he said his father smiled for the first time in months.

Schwarzenegger, who is known for being active on Reddit, responded to the post himself, saying, “This is so touching. Thank you for sharing. I’d like to say ‘this is why I do this’ but you should know it was you who made your father smile.”

He then posted a handwritten note to the father, writing, “I am honored that my silly smile in Terminator made you smile, but I hope you find real joy and strength in what a wonderful child you have brought into this world and raised.”

He signed the note “Arnold” with a heart.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME movies

Watch Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel as a Couple in the Trailer for Jenny’s Wedding

The movie shows a family unwilling to accept their daughter's sexuality

Katherine Heigl is starring in another wedding movie, but this time the premise is quite different from 27 Dresses. In Jenny’s Wedding, Heigl plays a lesbian whose family has been in the dark about her sexual orientation, and when they find out she plans to marry her partner, played by Alexis Bledel, they’re blown away that two have been more than roommates all these years—and not very quick to accept the news.

Tom Wilkinson, Linda Emond and Grace Gummer round out the cast of the film, which opens in theaters July 31.

TIME Crime

Prison Escapee Sent Letter to Daughter Right Before Breakout, Report Says

Convicted Murderers Escape From New York State Prison
Handout—Getty Images In this handout from New York State Police, convicted murderer Richard Matt (R) is shown.

"I always promised you I would see you on the outside"

The prison escapee who was shot and killed by police reportedly sent his daughter a letter shortly before breaking out of Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York.

The Buffalo News, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, reported that Richard Matt wrote to his daughter, “I always promised you I would see you on the outside. I’m a man of my word.” The letter was postmarked before June 6, the day Matt and fellow prisoner David Sweat were discovered missing, and the letter reached its destination on June 9.

For her protection, Matt’s daughter has not been identified. The prisoners’ alleged conspirator, prison employee Joyce Mitchell, texted the daughter several times before the breakout with updates about how Matt was doing in prison, according to reports. The daughter was unaware of the escape plans.

[Buffalo News]

TIME Innovation

You Might Soon Be Able to Verify Online Purchases With a Selfie

MasterCard is testing the new technology

MasterCard customers may soon be able to make their online purchases more secure by verifying their identity with a selfie.

The company will soon start testing a new technology that will allow shoppers to use fingerprints and facial scans to prevent fraudulent purchases, according to CNN Money. The trial will begin with 500 customers, who must use the MasterCard app on their phone, either presenting their finger prints or posing for the camera when prompted.

To prevent fraudsters from simply using a photo of the real cardholder, users will be asked to blink to demonstrate that they are really there, not simply a static image. The resulting photo will be converted to code and compared to an algorithm on file.

If the trial run goes well, MasterCard hopes to take the technology to a wider pool of customers.

There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s selfies.

[CNN Money]

TIME Television

Conan Does His Best Stripper Dance for Magic Mike XXL

And it's not great

When Conan O’Brien’s female colleagues heard their boss would be joining them for a midnight viewing of Magic Mike XXL, they may not have expected him to bust some moves to match the stripping action up on the screen. But being Conan, of course that’s exactly what he did.

The late-night host may not totally get the appeal of a movie about male strippers, but he does know how to do that tearaway track pants trick… to reveal jeans underneath.

TIME movies

Cartel Land Documents Vigilantes North and South of the Border

A new documentary shows that the fight between good and evil isn't always so clear-cut

When director Matthew Heineman set out to make Cartel Land, he thought he was telling a classic Western tale: a “simple hero/villain story of guys in white shirts fighting against guys in black hats,” he says. But very quickly, he saw that the folks combatting powerful drug cartels on both sides of the Mexican border were not the clear-cut good guys they seemed.

Cartel Land, in theaters Friday, documents two groups: the Autodefensas, a Mexican force to combat violence by the Knights Templar cartel, and a group of unofficial border patrollers in Arizona who try to keep cartel operatives from crossing into the States. While both work to fill roles they felt their respective governments had neglected, their efforts aren’t immune to their own corruption.

Heineman landed himself in some hairy situations tagging along with his subjects, including witnessing (and filming) shoot-outs. “It was scary being in those situations,” he says, “but I actually found that focusing on the craft of filmmaking—focusing, exposing—sort of calmed me down in those really intense moments.”

Witnessing these life and death situations made him ask himself what he would do if violence came to his own doorstep. “What would I do if my sister was raped or my brother was left hanging from a bridge? Would I take up arms? Would I fight violence with violence? Is that just?”

Ultimately, the film doesn’t paint vigilantism as a viable answer to the war on drugs; even despite “noble intentions” among the leaders of the groups he followed, Heineman says, “on both sides of the border we see people within the ranks who might have ulterior motives.” That flaw, he says, “is one of the things that inherently makes vigilantism unsustainable.”

TIME Innovation

Driverless Car Maker Denies Claim of Near-Miss With Google Car

Delphi clarified a report about a close encounter with a Google car

After a report that a Delphi driverless car and a Google driverless car came close to a traffic incident on a road in Palo Alto, Calif., Delphi has issued a statement that “the vehicles didn’t even come close to each other.”

The original report, by Reuters, quoted a Delphi official as saying he was in one of his company’s driverless cars when it was “cut off” by a Google car as it was preparing to make a lane change. He said the Delphi car “took appropriate action,” aborting the lane change.

But a Delphi spokesperson subsequently said that the incident was blown out of proportion, calling it “a typical lane change maneuver” and adding that “no vehicle was cut off.” Google, which did not originally comment, put out a statement saying both cars “did what they were supposed to do in an ordinary everyday driving scenario.”

According to a spokesperson, Reuters “stands by the accuracy of its original story.”

[Reuters]

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