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Rob Gronkowski Cleared for Week 1 against Dolphins


Elsa/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said he's ready to go for their season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Gronkowski had reconstructive surgery on his left knee during the offseason and doctors gave him the green light on Monday.

"Super excited, super pumped. I feel mentally and physically ready, for sure. No doubt about it," Gronkowski said Monday. "My mentality now is I'm ready to go, I'm ready to be out there, I'm ready to hit, I'm ready to start going."

Gronkowski plans on wearing a knee brace on Sunday, but doesn't see that stopping him from being productive.

"It feels good to be out here now this week, preparing for the Dolphins, knowing that I put myself in the best situation the last few weeks and few months to get back out here," he said. "That was my plan the whole time -- to work as hard as I could so I'd be ready for this week."

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Hackers Post Alleged Naked Pics of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Other Celebs


ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) -- Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and supermodel Kate Upton are among dozens of celebrity women who had risque photos allegedly of them leaked by an online bulletin board in an apparent hacking campaign.

According to the apparent leaker, the photos were obtained through the celebrities' cloud accounts.

The photos showed the A-listers in various states of undress.

"This is a flagrant violation of privacy," a spokesperson for Lawrence told ABC News. "The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence."

Upton's attorney, Lawrence Shire, echoed those sentiments.

"This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client, Kate Upton's, privacy," he said. "We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible."


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Meantime, a representative for Ariana Grande called her allegedly leaked photos "completely fake."

Singer Victoria Justice did the same via Twitter, writing "These so called nudes of me are FAKE people. Let me nip this in the bud right now. *pun intended*"

Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead said she had deleted the photos later posted of her, saying on Twitter, "To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves. Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked."

"Even if you have deleted those photos from your phone, often times they've already been uploaded into the cloud," said Clifford Neuman, the director of the USC Center for Computer System Security. "When you deleted them from the phone, they continue to exist."

Representatives for other celebrities who allegedly were hacked didn't immediately return calls for comment.

Hacking of celebrities' personal accounts has happened before. In a separate case in 2012, a Florida man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to hacking into email accounts and stealing compromising photos of celebrities, including Scarlet Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera.

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Western Governments Step Up Efforts to Block ISIS Recruits


Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Alarmed by the attempt by a 16-year-old French girl to travel to Turkey this weekend allegedly to join the Islamic militant army of ISIS, the French government is urging parents to call a toll-free hotline if they know of anyone they believe may be considering joining the terror group.

It was the latest attempt by Western governments to prevent their citizens from joining the jihadist group where they could be trained in terror tactics and bring those lethal strategies back home.

The French teenager was arrested Saturday in the Nice airport in the south of France as she tried to board a plane to Turkey with the alleged intention of joining ISIS in Syria. Authorities announced that several hours later, they caught a 20-year-old man who had allegedly recruited her and paid for her plane ticket. The girl's parents reportedly had no idea about their daughter's plans and the statement said that airport police were responsible for her arrest.

In a statement released Sunday, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called on the parents of young people to use the hotline if their children exhibit "a disturbing trend of violent radicalization."

The hotline was established just over four months ago -- well before the threat posed by ISIS was fully understood by the American public -- and the Interior Ministry reports they have received almost 300 calls. A quarter of those calls were about children who were suspected of getting involved with the terrorist group and 45% were about suspicious women and girls. It is unclear how many of those calls led to arrests.

France is the Western country with the most citizens who have joined ISIS and militant fighters in Syria and Iraq. An estimated 700 French citizens have joined the cause, followed by 500 citizens of the United Kingdom who have come under similar suspicion.

Prime Minister David Cameron spoke at Parliament Monday calling for greater anti-terror legislation, including giving police the ability to seize passports at airports. He said that the measures will help address "specific gaps in our armory."

The proposed changes come three days after the British government increased their national terror threat level from "substantial" to "severe" for the first time in three years. The "severe" threat level is the second highest in the U.K.'s threat level system, topped only by "critical" which is used to indicate that an attack is "expected imminently."

U.S. security forces took a different approach when they realized there was a 19-year-old woman in Denver who was planning on traveling to Turkey to join a jihadist group after connecting with a 32-year-old Tunisian man.

The woman, Shannon Maureen Conley, had eight interviews with police and FBI agents over the course of the six months leading up to her arrest at Denver’s international airport on April 8 – and the charging document reveals that she repeatedly spoke about her support of jihad and how she wanted to associate with terrorists in the hope of helping them. The Justice Department confirmed on Aug. 11 that a plea deal had been reached in the case but they did not release any information about what the deal entailed.

The British push to have police take passports away from suspected jihadist fighters comes nearly two months after the Australian government began doing so.

"I've canceled a number of passports on the advice of intelligence agencies," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said June 16.

An estimated 150 Australians are believed to have joined the fighting in Syria.

"We are concerned that Australians are working with them [ISIS], becoming radicalized, learning the terrorist trade, and if they come back to Australia, of course it poses a security threat," Bishop said.

American authorities have not announced specific steps they have taken to prevent citizens from joining ISIS or other Islamic groups, though they have reported an estimated 100 or so cases of U.S. citizens leaving the country to train and fight with ISIS. Special attention is being paid to Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota as nearly a dozen of the suspects have ties to the city.

The White House confirmed the death in Syria of Minnesotan Douglas McAuthur McCain, who records show was born in Chicago but was schooled in Minneapolis. An opposition group in Syria, the Free Syrian Army, claimed McCain was fighting with ISIS. The FSA also claimed another American ISIS member had been killed in recent fighting.

FBI officers have been aware of disaffected Muslim youths traveling abroad to join radical groups for years, as many Minnesotans went to fight in Somalia starting in 2007.

"In Somalia, it started as a nationalistic call… [but] we've now seen where some individuals perhaps are not interested or not inclined to travel to Somalia, [they] start to branch out to other hot spots around the globe, obviously Syria being among them," Kyle Loven, the FBI's Chief Division Counsel in Minneapolis, told ABC News.

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New Hampshire Police Searching for Men Who Tried Kidnapping College Student


iStock/Thinkstock(DURHAM, N.H.) -- Police in New Hampshire continue to look for three men who tried kidnapping a college student as she walked home but were stopped by her friends.

The attempted abduction happened near the University of New Hampshire in Durham early Friday morning.

According to investigators, the woman told police she was walking home when three "military-looking" men pulled up in a tan, four-door sedan.

"It was an attempt to introduce themselves to her and when that seemed to fail, it was a little bit more aggressive," said Durham Police Chief David Kurz.

She told police two of the men grabbed her by the arm and tried throwing her inside the sedan's open trunk. The attempted kidnapping was foiled when her friends arrived and the men drove off.

The university alerted students about the abduction attempt the next day, ABC News affiliate WMUR-TV reported.

"It's pretty scary because we live around the corner," said student Morgan DiDonato.

"That could be me one day," added Cassandra Izzo, another student. "I could be walking by my friend's house and someone could try to pick me up."

The incident also has parents like Sherri Trocci worried with classes beginning Tuesday.

"It's a little disconcerting," she said. "We did some safety training. We did a little self-defense training before she came here. Hopefully, that will be in the back of her mind."

After the attempted abduction, several students told ABC News they downloaded the Live Safe app, which includes neighborhood safety reports and real-time sharing location with friends and police.

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Obama: 'Every Gray Hair Is Worth It'


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(MILWAUKEE) -- Fired up and in campaign form, President Obama delivered what appeared to be a pre-midterm stump speech on Monday to labor activists in Wisconsin, the state that became the labor movement's political epicenter in 2011.

"Every gray hair is worth it," he told the crowd, of pressing for economic policies such as a higher minimum wage in the face of GOP resistance.

"The American economy and American workers are better off than when I took office," he said.

Obama spoke at Laborfest 2014, a Labor Day rally in Henry Maier Festival Park. Supporters standing behind him and out in the audience wore green AFSCME and purple SEIU t-shirts.

It was a typical economic stump speech of the kind Obama has delivered over and over in American cities this year, with calls for higher wages, criticism of Republicans for blocking them, and pleas for a better life for working-class Americans.

But Monday, the president was more expressly political, exhorting the crowd to organize and vote Democratic in this fall’s midterm elections.

"I'd also want more Democrats looking out for me, I'm just saying," Obama said, after telling the crowd that if he were a worker looking for better wages and safety protections, he'd join a union.

Shouting and appearing visibly riled, Obama reminded the crowd of union and Democratic-Party victories in securing a 40-hour workweek and supporting Medicare and Social Security.

Earlier on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden delivered a similarly political, and similarly populist speech to a Labor Day rally hosted by union organizers in Detroit.

The president traveled to Wisconsin for this one appearance and was to return to the White House before departing Tuesday for Estonia and this week's NATO summit in Wales.

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How Venmo Is Turning Into a Hilarious Social Network


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  If you use Venmo, you already know how convenient it is to pay your friends instantly, splitting the bill at dinner without hitting up an ATM or getting exact change. With a couple of taps on the app, your portion of the bill is settled, and you didn't even have to irritate the server by handing over seven credit cards.

But lately, it seems the handy app is something more, morphing into a full-fledged social network as more users join and many get creative with their eye-raising payment explanations, which are public to other people on the app. Venmo, whether you realize it or not, has become a place to brag about your wild night out and clue in friends on who you've been sharing cabs with.

"Once I'm on the app, I definitely find myself scrolling through," Jarell Cardoza of San Francisco told ABC News.

He uses the app to split rent and bills with his roommate, and also when he goes out with friends or his girlfriend.

Today, payments for "forgetting my wallet like a scrub," "Costco goodies" and "kale" were among the thousands of transactions visible on the global newsfeed of the app. Venmo conceals actual dollar amounts paid or charged, but everyone can see who is paying whom, and for what -- from bills to late-night jaunts to the strip club.

And the descriptions are increasingly hilarious.

"It's almost like the same thought that goes into sending a tweet goes into what you write for Venmo," Keisha Follins, 36, told ABC News. "Because you know other people are going to see it and you want it to be amusing."

When Venmo users log in to make a transaction, many find themselves staying a while -- browsing their friends' activity like one would on Facebook or Twitter.

"I did that yesterday and I felt kind of creepy because I was like: Why do I care about what other people are doing?" Follins said. "But it kind of encourages you to be funny when you write something. It's entertaining."

Cardoza also uses the app to see what his friends are up to, sometimes stumbling upon cryptic emoji-filled payments.

"When you see a 4 a.m. New York City charge with double horns on it, I find myself wondering and sometimes shooting a text, like, 'What was that about?'" he said.

Allyson White of New York City also gets a laugh out of some of the outrageous Venmo posts.

"I've seen a lot of funny ones around bachelorette parties," said White, 25. "A lot of people seem to communicate only in emoticons, which makes it funnier. If I can think of something clever on the spot, I'll try to make it funny."

Adding to the social aspect is Venmo's version of friend requests. Users connect with people they know through email and Facebook, so while their transactions will show up in your main newsfeed, they're not necessarily people you exchange cash with. Just like Facebook, it's a passive way of knowing what someone you don't even talk to anymore is up to nowadays.

Users can even like or comment on transactions.

Venmo is a free app available on iPhone and Android platforms.

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Human Trial for Ebola Vaccine to Begin This Week


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The first human trial for an investigational Ebola vaccine is set to begin this week.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa prompted the National Institutes of Health to expedite safety testing for several vaccines already in the works. Since March, the deadly virus has killed 1,552 people, according to the World Health Organization, which predicted last week that the virus could infect 20,000 people in the next six months.

An Ebola vaccine is different from the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, which two Americans received last month and is designed to treat an existing Ebola infection rather than prevent one.

"There is an urgent need for a protective Ebola vaccine, and it is important to establish that a vaccine is safe and spurs the immune system to react in a way necessary to protect against infection," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said in a statement.

The NIH is developing the vaccine with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. Although Fauci said the vaccine has "performed extremely well" in primate studies, it has not yet been tested in humans.

The phase 1 clinical trial set to begin this week at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, will involve 20 human subjects between the ages of 18 and 50, according to the NIH.

Researchers will use the study to determine whether the vaccine is safe and see whether it prompts an immune response necessary to protect against Ebola. No human subjects will be infected with Ebola.

A $4.7 million grant will also go toward Ebola vaccine trials in September at the University of Oxford in England, as well as centers in Gambia and Mali, according to GlaxoSmithKline. In all, 140 patients will be tested.

Though Ebola was discovered nearly 40 years ago, it was so rare that drug manufacturers weren't interested in investing in finding a vaccine for it, said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Its rarity also made it impossible for scientists to conduct field studies.

"There's always the layperson's query of 'Why don't they rush this?' 'Why don't these guys work a little later at night?'" Schaffner told ABC News in July. "It's a little more complicated than that."

GlaxoSmithKline became involved in the Ebola vaccine because it bought Swiss vaccine company Okairos AG in 2013. Okairos, originally a Merck spinoff, had been working on the vaccine with the NIH since 2011, a GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman told ABC News.

Although Fauci said in July that it would take until late 2015 for a vaccine -- if successful -- to be administered to a limited number of health workers, GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement that the grant will also enable it to manufacture 10,000 doses of the vaccine while the trials are ongoing. If the vaccine trials are successful, it will be able to make stocks available immediately to the World Health Organization.

The NIH said it should have initial data from the trial in late 2014.

The trial for different vaccine is set to begin at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. This vaccine was a collaboration between the federal Department of Defense and Iowa pharmaceutical company NewLink Genetics Corp.

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