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Salma Hayek pledges $100,000 donation to Mexican earthquake victims

Actress Salma Hayek is giving back to her home country of Mexico in a big way.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard” star, 51, shared a video on Instagram Wednesday encouraging people to donate money toward relief efforts in Mexico City and surrounding areas after they were devastated by a huge earthquake on Tuesday. She also revealed that she has survived a previous natural disaster.

RELATED: Actress Salma Hayek thinks America can learn from and come together during Trump’s presidency

“After the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City, I was evacuated from my building,” Hayek said in the video. “A lot of friends died, including an uncle that was very, very close to me.”

“I have lived through the aftermath of a disaster of this magnitude, and it’s horrific,” she continued. “I am starting a Crowdrise to try to raise money to help families who are going through this nightmare right now in Mexico.

“I implore to your hearts ... to your compassion to help,” she added. “Anything that you can give will make a big difference. I will match the first $100,000 that are donated.”

Hayek wrote on Instagram that her donated funds are going to UNICEF.

‘He can’t hear you’: Police officer shoots deaf man as neighbors scream warning

An Oklahoma City police officer fatally shot a deaf man Tuesday night as the man’s neighbors screamed warnings that the man could not hear them.

Magdiel Sanchez, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene in his front yard, according to police officials. Sanchez, who authorities confirm had no criminal record, was a resident alien from Mexico who had lived in his home for about five years, a neighbor told the Oklahoman

The neighbor, Julio Rayos, witnessed Sanchez’ death. He told the newspaper he does not believe the shooting was justified. 

“I don’t think they had to shoot him,” Rayos said of the officers, both of whom are white. 

Capt. Bo Mathews, a police department spokesman, confirmed witnesses’ statements that they tried to tell the officers that Sanchez could not hear them demanding he drop the metal pipe he held in his hand. 

“The witnesses did hear the officers giving the verbal commands, but they were also yelling, ‘He can’t hear you,’” Mathews said.  

Mathews said it is possible that the officers did not hear the witnesses’ screams. 

“In those situations, very volatile situations, when you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision or you can really lock into just the person that has the weapon that'd be the threat against you,” Mathews told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning. “I don't know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point, because I was not there. But they very well could not have heard, you know, everybody yelling, everybody yelling around them.”

Watch the entire news conference below.

Mathews said that officers were working a hit-and-run accident just after 8 p.m. Tuesday when a witness told them they could find the green truck involved in the crash at a nearby house, which turned out to be Sanchez’s home. When Lt. Matthew Lindsey arrived at the scene, Sanchez was on the porch with what was first described as a large stick. 

Mathews said the item turned out to be a two-foot-long metal pipe wrapped in material, with a leather loop at the end.

“He had this in his right hand and he was holding it up,” Mathews said of Sanchez. 

>> Read more trending news

Mathews said when Sanchez advanced toward Lindsey, the officer, who had pulled his Taser, called for backup. That backup arrived in the form of Sgt. Christopher Barnes, who pulled his duty weapon.

Both officers yelled commands for Sanchez to drop his weapon, Mathews said. 

“The witnesses also were yelling that this person, Mr. Sanchez, was deaf and could not hear,” Mathews said. “The officers didn't know this at the time.”

Lindsey deployed his Taser and Barnes simultaneously fired multiple shots at Sanchez, striking him as he stood about 15 feet from the officers, Mathews said. They provided medical attention until emergency medical personnel arrived, but Sanchez died in his yard.

It was later determined that Sanchez’s father was the driver involved in the hit-and-run accident. Sanchez was not in the vehicle, Mathews said.

Barnes was placed on paid administrative leave, though Lindsey remains on active duty, Mathews said. The shooting is being investigated by the department’s homicide unit, as all officer-involved slayings are. 

The information from the investigation will be turned over to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office, where prosecutors will determine if the killing was justified, he said. Once that determination is made, the department will conduct an internal investigation into Barnes’ actions. 

When asked if any of the officers involved were wearing body cameras, Mathews said that officers responding to the shooting wore cameras, but Lindsey and Barnes did not. 

Rayos told the Oklahoman that besides being deaf, Sanchez also had developmental disabilities and was non-verbal.

“The guy does movements,” Rayos told the newspaper. “He don’t speak, he don’t hear, mainly it is hand movements. That’s how he communicates.”

Rayos said he believes Sanchez was frustrated as he tried to communicate with the officers. 

NPR reported that another neighbor, Jolie Guebara, said Sanchez often carried the pipe when walking through his neighborhood. He used the pipe as protection from a number of stray dogs that roamed the area, she said. 

Girl dies after shooting herself when she reached into grandmother’s purse for candy

A 4-year-old was buried this week after she accidentally shot herself when she reached inside her grandmother’s purse for a piece of candy.

>> Read more trending news 

Police said that Yanelly Zoller, nicknamed Nelly, accidentally pulled the trigger of a gun and shot herself in the chest, The Tampa Bay Times reported. She died last week and was buried Wednesday.

“I was driving to pick her up with her bathing suit in my car to take her to the splash pads. When I pulled up, that’s when I saw all the police lights,” Nelly’s father, Shane Zoller, told the newspaper.

Zoller told the Times that he was in high school when Nelly was born. If his parents hadn’t helped him then taking care of his daughter, he would have dropped out of school. 

“She was extremely close to them and would get so excited when she got to stay at her nana’s house. She was attached to her nana’s hip,” Zoller said.

$338M Powerball winner accused of child sex abuse

A New Jersey man who made headlines in 2013 when he won a $338 million Powerball jackpot has been arrested on suspicion of child sexual assault, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Pedro Quezada, 49, is accused of sexually assaulting a girl over the course of three years, starting when she was 11 years old, NJ.com reported. He faces charges of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said.

It was not immediately clear when the sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred.

A judge ordered Quezada held without bail Wednesday, according to The Record. His attorney, Steve Wukovits, told the newspaper that his client was targeted.

“He has money,” Wukovits told The Record. “That’s why he’s being targeted in this case.”

Quezada won a $338 million Powerball jackpot in 2013 and took his winnings in a lump-sum payout that amounted to $152 million after taxes, NJ.com reported.

“My life will change because of it – so much money – but it will not change my heart,” Quezada said after his win.

Quezada is scheduled to appear in court for a detention hearing Sept. 25.

Armed jogger stopped sex assault on fellow runner, police say

Court paperwork filed Tuesday said an armed good Samaritan stopped an attack on a runner on a popular trail in Austin, Texas, last week.

>> Read more trending news 

Police have accused Richard Jordon McEachern, 22, of forcing a runner to the ground Friday and sexually assaulting her on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Friday around 5:46 a.m.

Police who responded to the incident found a woman on the trail with no shorts or shoes but being tended to by other runners. News of the attack had sparked fear and anger this week among Austin runners.

McEachern was found Monday and booked the next day into the Travis County Jail and charged with felony sexual assault, which is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

According to an arrest affidavit filed against McEachern, the woman told police she was headed east on the trail early Friday when she heard loud steps approaching behind her.

“The victim was grabbed behind by the suspect with both the suspect’s arms, (bear hug),” the affidavit said. “The victim said they fell to the ground and she was on her back and the suspect was on top of her.”

READ MORE: Runners on edge after second attack on popular Austin trails

The document said the woman reported that the attacker put his hand over her mouth and kept saying, “Shh, it’s me baby, it’s me” as she struggled to scream and use a whistle she carried to call for help.

As the assault continued, the man told the victim that he was a virgin, and this was his first time, according to the report.

Another jogger who was carrying a flashlight and a handgun heard the victim scream and ran over to help.

The affidavit said the jogger told police he shined his light in the direction of the screams and saw the victim on her back and the attacker on his left side on top of the victim.

The jogger pointed his gun at the suspect and demanded he get off the victim. The attacker stood up and was naked from the waist down, the affidavit said.

The woman got up and started walking to the jogger to get away from the attacker.

EARLIER COVERAGE: Suspect arrested after hike and bike trail sexual assault reported

The affidavit said she did not know the jogger had a gun because she’d been blinded by his flashlight.

The attacker took off with the woman’s shoes and shorts when she walked in front of the jogger’s line of fire, the affidavit said.

Investigators found video of a possible suspect later in the day. Then on Monday, they found McEachern sleeping just off the trail in the area of the attack. The affidavit said he was naked from the waist down.

Two people picked McEachern out of a photo lineup after he was taken into custody, police said.

Police have not said whether McEachern has been tied to any other attacks in the area, including another on a jogger at the Austin High School track on Aug. 22.

During that attack, a man with a similar description grabbed a jogger from behind and tried to cover her mouth, according to police.

Budweiser, Lyft team up to give free rides starting this weekend

In an effort to fight drunken driving, Budweiser is teaming up with ride-sharing company Lyft to offer 150,000 free rides in nine states beginning today.

Budweiser will release special promo codes each weekend on its Facebook and Instagram pages, Fortune reported.

>> Read more trending news 

It’s part of the “Give A Damn” campaign - 10,000 rides will be offered each weekend through Dec. 31. Promo codes will be released at 2 p.m. every Thursday, The Washington Post reported.

The first 10,000 new or established Lyft users will get two $20 ride credits. They’re valid for three days and can be used from 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. But the time is ticking on the credits. If not used by Sunday morning, they go away. 

A pilot program was tested last year in New York, Colorado, Illinois and Florida, the Post reported.

Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Hurricane Maria: Live updates

Hurricane Maria is bearing down on the Caribbean and is set to pass over much the same area devastated by Hurricane Irma nearly two weeks ago.

>> Read more trending news 

How to lose weight: Take a break from your diet for 2 weeks, study suggests

Diets are a great way to cut down on calories. But if you’re hoping to shed the pounds, taking a two-week break from your regimen could help you lose even more weight, according to a new study.

>> On AJC.com: Why this diet praised by Jennifer Aniston could work for you

Researchers from the University of Tasmania in Australia recently conducted an experiment, which was published in the International Journal of Obesity, to determine ways to improve weight loss success based on eating patterns.

To do so, they assessed 51 obese men over a four-month period, breaking them off into two groups. Those in the first one were asked to follow a diet, which cut one-third of their calories, for all four months. Those in the second group were required to go on the same diet only for two weeks, taking a break from it for the next two weeks. They repeated the cycle eight times.

>> Read more trending news

After analyzing the data, they found that those who took breaks lost 50 percent more weight than those who didn’t. Those who deviated from the plan also shed more fat.

Six months after the study, both groups regained weight. However, those who took breaks were about 18 pounds lighter than those who followed the diet continuously. 

>> On AJC.com: Lose the belly pooch: 7 do’s and don’ts to accomplish a flat stomach

Why is that?

Researchers believe dieting can alter the body’s biological process, which can lead to slower weight loss or even weight gain. 

“When we reduce our energy (food) intake during dieting, resting metabolism decreases to a greater extent than expected; a phenomenon termed ‘adaptive thermogenesis’ – making weight loss harder to achieve,” co-author Nuala Byrne said in a statement. “This ‘famine reaction’, a survival mechanism which helped humans to survive as a species when food supply was inconsistent in millennia past, is now contributing to our growing waistlines when the food supply is readily available.”

Although the researchers’ method proved to be more successful than nonstop dieting, they noted that it wasn’t more effective than other popular diets. But it could provide another weight loss alternative. 

>> On AJC.com: 6 of the best apps to track your eating

“It seems that the ‘breaks’ from dieting we have used in this study may be critical to the success of this approach,” Byrne said. “While further investigations are needed around this intermittent dieting approach, findings from this study provide preliminary support for the model as a superior alternative to continuous dieting for weight loss.”

Oogie Boogie popcorn bucket causing swarms at Disney parks

Forget Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The E-Ticket at this year’s Disneyland Halloween parties isn’t a ride at all, but rather a popcorn bucket.

But why would people wait an hour in a line for a popcorn holder? It’s because they’re in the shape of “The Nightmare Before Christmas’” big bad Oogie Boogie and it glows in the dark, Insider reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Disney parks bring out specialty popcorn buckets throughout the year. In the past, it has have offered a coffin-shaped box with Jack Skellington on it and one with Zero, Jack’s ghost dog complete with light up pumpkin nose, coming out of his creepy dog house. They’ve also offered not so creepy ones like Cinderella’s carriage, a Dumbo-inspired container and a Tie Fighter from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

This year, it was the villain’s turn to take over the haunted holiday.

The bucket was put on sale last week and they’re already selling out and appearing on Ebay.

There’s a large markup on the collectible too. 

The glow in the dark Oogie Boogie costs about $15 if you can snag one at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World, but on the online auction site, they’re going for between $25 and $78 bucks. Many need to have shipping added to the final auction cost.

One offer includes a Mickey Mouse popcorn bucket in addition to Oogie. They have a starting bid of $99.99 or a buy it now price of $129.99. 

Oogie, Jack and Jack’s girlfriend Sally have also taken over one of Disneyland’s famous rides once again. The Haunted Mansion will include an overlay from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” featuring the characters from the holiday mashup movie. The overlay will run through the end of the year. The park also has Mickey’s Halloween Party on select nights through Oct. 31, but all of the parties are sold out.

As for Walt Disney World, the park celebrates Halloween with the special ticketed event “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” on select nights.

$1.8M stolen in minutes after couriers leave keys in van outside bank

It took only 10 minutes for a suspected thief to steal nearly $2 million

>> Watch the news report here

Two weeks later, federal and local officials in DeKalb County, Georgia, are still looking for him. 

Since Sept. 8, the FBI and DeKalb County officials have been searching for a man they believe stole the large load while two ATM couriers were making a cash drop at the Citizens Trust Bank in the 2500 block of South Hairston Road in Decatur, FBI agent Stephen Emmett said in a news release. 

About 6:45 a.m., two ATM Response Inc. employees pulled into the bank parking lot and went inside with an unspecified amount of money. 

“The driver locked the vehicle doors but left the keys in the ignition and the vehicle running,” Emmett said. The couriers were inside the bank between 10 and 15 minutes. 

>> Read more trending news

They returned to find the van gone. All that was left was broken glass. 

Emmett said more than $1.8 million was stolen

Surveillance footage showed a man in dark pants and a baggy gray long-sleeved shirt with a black backpack approach the van and attempt to open the doors.

The van was found unoccupied later that same day in the 4700 block of Galleon Crossing in Decatur by the DeKalb County Marshals unit. There were no signs of the suspect at the scene, Emmett said. 

Officials are asking anyone with information, especially residents in the Hairston Forest South neighborhood, to contact them with tips. Tipsters can also remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting crimestoppersatlanta.org.

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