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Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, September 19

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FILE PHOTO: American Airlines plane parked at Miami International Airport.

There are new developments in the case of an American Airlines mechanic who admitted to tampering with an airplane that had 150 people on board. Prosecutors now say the mechanic may have ties to terrorism.

On a much lighter note, the original American Idol gang reunited for a special appearance on the Kelly Clarkson Show. Simon Cowell says he credits the show’s enduring success to Clarkson, the inaugural winner.

And Merriam-Webster has added hundreds of new words to the dictionary. My personal favorite? The term “Dad joke!”

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.


TOP STORY: Mechanic Who Sabotaged Aircraft May Have Ties to Terrorism, Prosecutors Say

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, 60, is the now-former American Airlines mechanic who confessed to tampering with a plane at the Miami International Airport. He admitted to messing with the navigation system on July 17, 2019, in order to cause a flight cancellation. Alani said he was angry over a contract dispute between the union and the airline and had been hoping for overtime pay. The plane was, in fact, grounded after the pilots received an error message.

But prosecutors are now questioning Alani’s motives. Investigators accused Alani in federal court of having ties to terrorism. Prosecutors say Alani, who is originally from Iraq, told a co-worker that his brother was a member of ISIS. Alani is also accused of sending a violent video from his phone with a message promoting harm to non-Muslims.

A federal judge denied bail for Alani on Wednesday. His defense attorney, Christian Dunham, argued that prosecutors were exaggerating the situation. Dunham insisted that Alani was an experienced mechanic and had not intended to hurt anyone by tampering with the plane. Alani will be back in court on Friday. Read more about Alani and the investigation here.


WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Original ‘American Idol’ Cast Reunited On Kelly Clarkson’s Talk Show

The original American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson now has her own daytime talk show and welcomed former judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson on for a major reunion. It’s been 17 years since Clarkson was crowned the inaugural winner of the popular reality competition.

During the sit-down chat, Cowell stated that he was certain that American Idol would not have become such a success without Kelly Clarkson. He explained that they needed to “find a star who would sell records” and that Clarkson’s ability to turn her instant fame into a lasting career helped give the show the credibility it needed.

Randy Jackson added that he knew Clarkson would win after her very first audition. Clarkson also laughingly explained that she hadn’t even known she was trying out for a TV show when she showed up to sing. Ryan Seacrest and runner-up Justin Guarini also made appearances on the show. Entertainment Weekly was on-set and reported that after the cameras stopped rolling, everyone in the group said they’d be willing to work together again in the future.


OFF-BEAT: Terms Such As ‘Dad Joke,’ ‘Escape Room’ & the Non-Binary ‘They’ Have Been Added to the Dictionary

Grammer aficionados no longer have to worry about whether it’s proper to use the word “they” in a sentence. Merriam-Webster has decided that it’s perfectly fine to use “they” to refer to a single person rather than a group.

The dictionary describes the word with the following language: “They: expanded to include this sense: ‘used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.’ It’s an expansion of a use that is sometimes called the ‘singular they’ (and one that has a long history in English). When a reflexive pronoun corresponding to singular use of they is needed, themself is seeing increasing use.”

Merriam-Webster recently added more than 530 words and terms to the dictionary, including the popular “Dad joke.” It’s defined as “a wholesome joke of the type said to be told by fathers with a punchline that is often an obvious or predictable pun or play on words and usually judged to be endearingly corny or unfunny.”

Other terms that made the cut included “deep state,” “escape room,” “vacay,” and “Coulrophobia,” which refers to an abnormal fear of clowns.


DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP

  • Tropical Depression Imelda has caused life-threatening flooding in southeast Texas and more than 1,000 people have called 911 to ask to be rescued.

  • The founders of the menswear clothing line Bstroy are facing criticism after creating a line of sweatshirts that feature the names of four of the nation’s most prominent school shootings: Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Columbine.
  • Robert C. O’Brien, a lawyer and hostage negotiator, has been selected as President Trump’s new national security adviser.
  • Instagram plans to restrict posts that promote certain weight loss products and cosmetic procedures, especially for users under age 18.
  • The finale of America’s Got Talent aired last night. Click here to see who won.

CHECK THIS OUT

The folks at Marvel should be proud! The dance team at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona, decided to use the popular series as inspiration for their homecoming pep rally. They choreographed a 7-minute routine and dressed up as all of the Marvel characters.

The video has been viewed more than 3 million times since it was published on YouTube on September 6. Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson, shared the video on Twitter with the caption, “Hello I have returned to twitter for two seconds to tell you that THIS IS FRICKEN AWESOME.” Mark Ruffalo called the routine “mind-blowing.”

According to Good Morning America, the dance team has won five state championships in recent years. They were also featured on America’s Got Talent in 2017.

Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here.

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