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NCAA: Gurley Must Sit Two More Games


Scott Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Georgia running back Todd Gurley must sit out two more games for taking more than $3,000 from multiple parties for autographs, the NCAA ruled on Wednesday.

Gurley has already sat out two games and is eligible to return on Nov. 15 against Auburn.

The University issued a statement on Wednesday and said that they plan to appeal the decision "immediately."

Gurley was indefinitely suspended Oct. 9 while the school investigated allegations that he received improper benefits for his autograph.

The Bulldogs (6-1) have won both games without Gurley and will take on Florida on Saturday.

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Rocket Explosion Probers to Begin Sifting Through Debris


NASA(WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.) — Officials will begin investigating Wednesday, trying to figure out what went wrong with a failed rocket launch that resulted in a fireball over Wallops Island, Virginia.

The rocket started going awry six seconds into the flight when “a vehicle anomaly” was detected, Orbital Sciences Corp said. The range safety officer sent a self-destruct command 14 seconds later.

"This shows how difficult and maddening this business really is," Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said in a news conference.

This launch was the third of eight International Space Station cargo resupply missions under NASA's $1.9 billion contract with Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Virginia. Orbital provides the launch vehicle and cargo spacecraft and NASA runs the range operations.

The rocket and payload were worth $200 million and it's not known how much damage was done to the launch facility, officials said.

The Antares rocket was carrying 4,483 pounds of equipment to the station including 1,360 pounds of food. The rocket held a Cyngus cargo logistics spacecraft that was to have orbited above the Earth and was set to dock with the ISS on Nov. 2. Orbital Sciences had said this was the first use of its upgraded Castor 30XL second stage motor, which enables greater lift capacity.

Officials asked residents of the area to call in any launch debris they find and not to touch any of it.

“It is far too early to know the details of what happened,” Frank Culbertson, Orbital’s general manager of its Advanced Programs Group, said in a statement. “We will conduct a thorough investigation immediately to determine the cause of this failure and what steps can be taken to avoid a repeat of this incident. As soon as we understand the cause we will begin the necessary work to return to flight to support our customers and the nation’s space program.”

Also destroyed in the explosion were experiments being sent to the space station by high school students from schools in Houston, Texas, and Ocean City, New Jersey.


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NASA said the space station crew has sufficient supplies, and a Russian cargo ship blasted off successfully Wednesday morning from Kazakhstan and is headed toward the space station.

The launch was initially supposed to happen Monday, but was delayed after a sailboat entered the hazard zone early in the launch count, NASA reported. The "hazard area" for the launch of the Antares is about 1,400 square miles off the coast of Wallops Island along the Eastern Shore of Virginia.


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Hewlett Packard Unveils New Sprout Computer


Hewlett Packard(NEW YORK) -- Hewlett Packard unveiled a new computer Wednesday that is so intuitive you probably already know how to use it.

Called "Sprout," the dual-screen computer is being billed as a game changer in the desktop market by seamlessly marrying the physical and digital worlds.

The desktop unit looks like a computer, but where the magic happens is in the "Sprout Illuminator" system, which includes a scanner, depth sensor, high resolution camera and a projector.

The result is dimensional images that are integrated into the digital work space and can easily be shared. Users can create collages, designs and collaborate with friends around the world -- all while using a personal, hands-on approach.

"Sprout is a long-term play at a long-term bet," Brad Short, distinguished technologist at Hewlett Packard and the inventor of Sprout, told ABC News. "It has that 'pour water on the plant and it will grow' spirituality inside the company. It means a lot to us."

Featuring a 23-inch diagonal full HD touch screen and a 20-point touch mat, Sprout is the first product available under Hewlett Packard's "Blended Reality" ecosystem.

Short said the idea for Sprout was born a few years ago when his daughter kept bringing home artwork. They wanted to scan it and share it with family, however a flatbed scanner crushed the projects.

"I was looking for ways to revolutionize the scanning process," Short said. He got to work and created the first prototype of the device, marrying a computer and a small projector.

Five years later, Sprout is making its public debut -- and Short said the possibilities for creation and collaboration are infinite. Potential users include everyone from fashion designers and home decorators to the everyday user wanting a way to stay connected to friends, family and colleagues around the world.

Users can even digitally scrawl on the touch pad making it easy to share notes or even a real-time game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

"It evolved into a way to communicate remotely," Short said. "The idea of using a product and placing things on the desk [touch pad]...that became another really big inventive part of the experience we were trying to achieve."

Sprout is available for pre-orders in the United States beginning Wednesday and will be in select retail stores on Nov. 9 for a starting price of $1,899. Hewlett Packard is expected to announce an international roll out plan at a later date.

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“Duck Dynasty’s” Jep Robertson Released from Hospital Following Seizure


A&E Television(NEW YORK) — Duck Dynasty star Jep Robertson is out of the hospital after suffering a seizure earlier this month.

TMZ reports he was released on Monday, but will continue to take medication and may undergo further testing.

The website notes that doctors have yet to determine what brought on the seizure, which occurred while the reality star was deer hunting.

Robertson, 36, tweeted last weekend that he "about died" on Oct. 19 after suffering a seizure. He wrote, "I'm doing much better now. Thanks for all the prayers!"


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Russia Denies Harassing US Officials, Says Its Diplomats Also Targeted


iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied reports that Russian security services are harassing American diplomats at a level not seen since the Cold War.

“The voiced complaints are below the level of cheap spy detective stories,” the ministry said.

The statement also included complaints about the treatment of Russian officials in the United States.

On Monday, ABC News published a report about the increasingly aggressive harassment of U.S. officials in Russia, citing a public State Department audit.

“Across Mission Russia, employees face intensified pressure by the Russian security services at a level not seen since the days of the Cold War,” the Office of Inspector General wrote.

The harassment included slashed tires, hacked personal email accounts and mysterious break-ins at diplomatic residences, according to U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security and diplomatic matters. The pattern began in late 2011 and has escalated as U.S.-Russia relations have deteriorated, officials said.

An embassy spokesman acknowledged the alleged Russian behavior, saying “Embassy and State Department officials have discussed issues of harassment of American staff with various interlocutors within the Russian government.”

“Obviously, we wouldn’t be doing that if we didn’t have concerns,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki added later.

President Obama has complained about the behavior to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State John Kerry confronted his Russian counterpart earlier this month, U.S. officials said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry response claimed that its officials are also mistreated in the United States.

“Our diplomats are constantly approached with recruitment offers, suffer from rude provocative tactics by using illegally obtained personal information, including information on the state of health of family members,” the statement said.

The ministry also cited a reported FBI investigation into alleged spying by the head of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Washington, which is funded by the Russian government.

A day earlier, when asked how the United States treated Russian diplomats, State Department spokeswoman Psaki told reporters: “We are treating any Russian officials here with the utmost respect in -- you know, consistent with international law.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also complained about the driving of some American diplomats in Russia, saying they have already committed more than 20 traffic violations this year.

“We advise our colleagues from the State Department not to add more negative sentiment to the already existing gloomy background in the development of our relations. This is not the way to solve problems; it is the way to make them even worse,” the Russian statement concluded.

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POLL: Ebola Worries Ease a Bit Despite Preparedness Concerns


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ebola worries have eased slightly in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, despite a broad sense among Americans that their local hospitals are unprepared to deal with the virus -- and continued preference for a more robust response by the federal government.

After the difficulties at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where two nurses were infected, just 29 percent in this national survey think the staff at their local hospitals is adequately trained to deal with Ebola cases. Six in 10 think not.

[See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.]

The fact that both nurses recovered -- and just one further case has been identified -- may have done at least a little to calm fears of a broad outbreak. In interviews Thursday through Sunday, 36 percent of Americans expressed worry that they or an immediate family member might catch the Ebola virus, down by 7 percentage points from two weeks before. And while 60 percent are concerned about an epidemic occurring in the United States, that’s eased from 65 percent.

Further, the new poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, shows an 8-point increase in Barack Obama’s approval rating for handling the issue, to 49 percent, now exceeding the 41 percent who disapprove. There’s a closer division on the response by the federal Centers for Disease Control, 47-45 percent; it’s said it could have moved more forcefully in providing oversight in Dallas.

Another result shows steady majority confidence -- 63 percent -- in the ability of the federal government to respond effectively to an outbreak. That said, 61 percent also say the government should do more to try to prevent further cases in the United States.

The public by 46-37 percent also says the United States is not doing enough to try to stop the spread of Ebola in Africa; on this question 17 percent have no opinion.

Interviews for this survey were conducted before debate erupted over moves by some state governments to impose greater restrictions than the CDC’s on people who’ve been to West African countries affected by Ebola. Regardless, 70 percent support restricting entry to the United States by such people -- similar to the level two weeks ago -- indicating general support for aggressive efforts to prevent spread of the disease.

AWARENESS and WORRY – This survey also finds a high level of awareness about the disease: Eighty-one percent feel that they understand how the Ebola virus is transmitted among humans -- an important result, because feeling informed relates to concern.

Specifically, worries about catching the virus, and about a U.S. epidemic, are substantially lower among those who say they understand how it’s transmitted. These concerns are lowest among the 37 percent who feel they know “very well” how transmission occurs, underscoring the role of education in quelling public fears.

Education factors into feeling informed -- among college graduates, 91 percent say they’re well informed about how Ebola is transmitted, including 51 percent “very” well informed. Those numbers decline to 76 and 30 percent, respectively, among those who lack a degree.

GROUPS and CHANGES – Concerns about Ebola are concentrated in some groups. Worry about catching the disease remains particularly high among less-educated adults -- nearly twice as high among those without a college degree (42 percent worried) compared with college graduates (24 percent). Concerns about a U.S. epidemic, similarly, are 23 points higher among the less-educated group, 68 vs. 45 percent.

That said, some of the greatest changes from two weeks ago are among more-concerned groups. Worry about catching Ebola is down by 8 points among non-graduates compared with earlier this month, and concern about an epidemic is down by 6 points in this group.

Among other groups, worry about an epidemic has subsided among Republicans and conservatives, by 11 and 8 points, respectively. Nonetheless, both remain much more apt than others to say the government should do more to try to stop the spread of the disease in the United States -- putting these groups in the somewhat unusual position of favoring more, not less, government action.

Women are 10 points more likely than men to express worry that they or a family member might catch the disease, and 9 points more apt to say they’re concerned about an epidemic. There’s also a sharp racial division, with worries about catching Ebola 22 points higher among nonwhites than whites.

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 23-26, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,204 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3 points, including the survey’s design effect.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

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Palin Says Haters Could Drive Her Back into the Political Arena


Pete Marovich/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Sarah Palin seems to agree with Taylor Swift's sentiment that "the haters gonna hate, hate, hate." But that very fact, according to the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, is what might drive her to seek political office once more.

Palin, now a paid contributor to Fox News, told host Stuart Varney of the Fox Business Network that rather than discourage her, "Those haters out there,  they don’t understand that it invigorates me, it wants me to get out there and defend the innocent."

In fact, Palin says she welcomes the abuse from the haters because "I’m going to bug the crap out of them by being out there with a voice, with the message, hopefully running for office in the future, too."

She left it open as to what her aspirations are. Palin had the opportunity to run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from Alaska this year but opted instead to support Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, who lost to GOP challenger Dan Sullivan.

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