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  • 11/11/14--23:00: On this day: November 12
  • The Loch Ness Monster smiles for the camera -- sort of, Ellis Island closes, actor William Holden passes away, and Madonna releases "Like a Virgin," all on this day.


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    "None of us get out of life alive. So be gallant, be great, be gracious and be grateful for the opportunities that you have.”

    Those were the words of New Zealand high school student Jake Bailey as he addressed classmates in an end of the year speech.

    Bailey, 18, had been named valedictorian of his school and had a speech ready to deliver. But just one week before the commencement events, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called Burkitt Lymphoma.

    The news was grim as doctors told Bailey he had just weeks to live.

    READ: Transcript of Bailey's speech

    But instead of backing down, Bailey moved forward and decided to give the same exact speech he had written, only with new meaning.

    “I wrote this before I knew I had cancer, and now I have a whole new spin on it,” Bailey says.

    According to The Guardian, Bailey, who spoke from a wheelchair, implored his classmates to live for the moment.

    “Forget about long-term dreams. Let’s be passionately dedicated to the pursuit of short-term goals. Work with passion and pride on what is in front of us. We don’t know where we might end up or when it might end up," urged Bailey.

    “I don’t know where it goes from here, for any of us – for me, for you," Bailey concluded. "But I wish you the very best in your journey, and I thank you all for being part of mine.”

    When Bailey's speech ended, his classmates gave him a huge ovation and sang the school's song in his honor.

    EMBED VIDEO


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    A section of a Pembroke Pines apartment complex was closed off Wednesday as police investigated a domestic-related incident, authorities said.

    A woman was later taken into custody at the Modera Apartments at 10170 SW 7th St.

    Sky 10 was above the apartment at 12:30 p.m. as a SWAT team and several police cars were parked in front of the building.

    Police said they did not believe any neighbors were in danger, but closed the area nearby shortly as a precaution.

    Police have not released further information about the incident.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    An attorney for the husband of a man who went overboard on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has released a second portion of cellphone video that shows the moments inside the couple's cabin before one of them fell overboard.

    The video shows Bernardo Elbaz, who also went by Bernardo Garcia Texeira, speaking to Oasis of the Seas security guards outside of the room.

    The attorney for Erik Elbaz, Michael Winkleman, said security guards threatened to put Bernardo Elbaz in a holding cell after he told them that there was no domestic disturbance and that he was upset because employees were harassing the couple because they are gay.

    Winkleman said the video shows Bernardo Elbaz pointing at security while saying, "Because of this, I am throwing myself." That portion of the video wasn't released at the request of the family.

    The video shows Erik Elbaz hysterical on the bed telling security, "Get him, he's going to fall. Get him!"

    Security guards are seen trying to calm Erik Elbaz and eventually lead him to the balcony to see that his husband is still on the platform.

    Although the video doesn't show what happened on the balcony, Winkleman claims that Erik Elbaz was tackled on the balcony after he went after his husband, sending Bernardo Elbaz over the railing and onto the lifeboat platform two stories below.

    Winkleman claims that security guards told Bernardo Elbaz to reposition himself in a hanging position on the platform, and he eventually lost his grip and fell into the water.

    As Bernardo Elbaz fell, a security guard tells his husband that Bernardo fell overboard. Eric Elbaz is then heard screaming, "He didn't fall! You pushed him! You killed him! He didn't jump. He didn't jump! You had him. Why? Why?"

    Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said in a statement that the security staff was called to the passenger's room on the seventh floor after a neighboring guest complained about a domestic dispute on the balcony. Martinez said the domestic dispute was loud enough to be heard from several staterooms away.

    "The room was in a state of disarray, and both lamps in the room had been broken," she said. "Our officers interviewed the guests separately about their dispute, as is standard procedure. The officers were not in the room when the guest chose to jump off his balcony."

    Winkleman said it was not a suicide attempt because Bernardo Elbaz was trying to hold on. Winkleman claims the man went over the balcony as an act of protest and to get away from security.

    "Our officers responded professionally and appropriately to the incident in the stateroom," Martinez said. "In addition, other security officers and crew risked their own lives in an attempt to rescue the guest from the lifeboat rigging where he had fallen."

    The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for Bernardo Elbaz on Saturday.

    Click here to view the video in its entirety.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Pembroke Pines police say a Broward County bus was involved in an incident Wednesday night on University Drive just north of Pines Boulevard.

    No passengers were injured during the incident.

    The bus has several windows shattered, but authorities are not releasing any further information. Police are continuing to investigate.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    The most expensive home in the U.S. has been relisted by One Sotheby's International Realty for a whopping $159 million.

    The Le Palais Royal mansion, which took nine years to build, was inspired by France's Chateau de Versailles.

    The estate has a number of luxury features, including a $2 million staircase, a 20-year-old chandelier from Austria, a 24-foot fountain and 4.4 acres of land set on the beach between the ocean and Intracoastal with two docks that can fit a 200-foot yacht.

    The home also has one of the first Imax home theaters in the world, which seats 18 people.

    A spokeswoman from the real estate firm said the main home has been completed, and construction is beginning on two guest homes, a pool and an entertainment space.

    The entertainment space will include an ice-skating rink, go-cart track, bowling alley and nightclub.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    EMBED SLIDESHOW


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    Andres Valdes, who has  daughter living in Hialeah, said he has been cutting the hair of residents of the city of Sancti Spiritus for about three decades. 

    Valdes works at a family-run barber shop.  But before he ran a business as a "cuentapropista," a Cuban who is self-employed, he was a Communist government paid hairstylist.

    Fidel Castro referred to the tourism industry as a "necessary evil." Now under Cuban President Raul Castro's reforms, the service industry  now has more licensed freelancers. They are allowed to create a service price list, hire workers and get small government loans from the Banco Popular de Ahorro (BPA).

    "I think we have had good results with this," Valdes said in Spanish.

    The majority of legalized businesses are not designed to generate wealth in a cash-poor market. The focus of the low-skilled ventures is on survival. Although a fortune teller and a clown can run their own business, there is still no room in Cuba for innovation. The government still controls the high-skilled jobs.

    Without wholesale markets, it's not easy to have competitive prices or have access to supplies. Now some fear an increase in government taxes on personal income is looming. In October, government officials told Cuban media that they were notifying some 820 "cuentapropistas" in Sancti Spiritus that their taxes were going to increase in January.

    Cuentapropistas

    At the province of Sancti Spiritus, the government reported there were some 20,380 registered "cuentapropistas" who paid 63,271,800 Cuban pesos ($2.38 million) last year, according to the Escambray, a government newspaper. The sector was growing, as the BPA had provided 268 loans as of July, according to Radio Sancti Spiritus, government media.

    The Oficina Nacional de la Administracion Tributaria  (ONAT) oversees the payments. The agency warns on their site: From Jan. 7 to April 30, taxes on personal earnings must be paid. Those who pay before Feb. 28 will get a 5 percent discount at the time of payment.

    The fees are different for "cuentrapropistas" who work in the transportation or restaurant industries. Since 2013, taxi drivers, known as "boteros," must be registered with an agency and pay taxes on their personal income with the ONAT. And according to a government chart,   the tax could range from $13 to $76 a month.

    Despite the evolution of the "cuentrapropista," as in most worldwide economies, there remains an unregulated sector that includes seasonal farm workers, artists and spiritual advisers. Government workers often have underground side jobs or businesses due to their low income.

    At Valdes' barber shop, near the doorway, Carlos Suarez is hard at work. He is fixing and refilling used lighters. Most Cubans can't afford to toss out their lighters and buy news ones, so he has been able to make a living this way for decades.

    Suarez charges between 7 to 8 cents to repair a lighter and makes about $4 a day. He will not be affected by the tax increase, allegedly designed to target those with higher incomes.

    Follow Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela on Twitter @HatzelVela


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    Many Cubans have grown dependent on their relatives, who as expatriates in the United States have the ability to send as much money as they can. 

    The United States hasn't imposed restrictions on remittances to family in Cuba since April 13, 2009. The U.S. policy changes announced December 2014 further relaxed the policy -- allowing anyone to send up to $2,000 every three months. Travelers to Cuba are able to take up to $10,000 to the island.

    Sadi Cabrera lives in Cuba. After suffering two hernias, she has been unable to work for several months. She has been getting about $8 a month from the Cuban government's unemployment system and some help from her older sister, Maria Cabrera, who lives in South Florida.

    "Every time she gets a chance, she sends me a little money, which is very important," said Cabrera, of Sancti Spiritus.

    Remittances are a big help for the Cabrera family. Although the state provides free housing, education, healthcare and subsidizes food prices, living on $8 a month can be challenging for her and her 13-year-old daughter, she said. Monthly salaries in Cuba can average from $20 to $24 a month.

    Through the 1980s, the Soviet Union subsidies made up for inefficiencies. Since its collapse, Cubans have suffered some serious deprivations and declines in per capita caloric intake.

    Economic Flash

    The Cabrera sisters have seen each other in Sancti Spiritus. The Cuban government eventually welcomed Cuban-American visitors, which the government had formerly branded as "gusanos," Spanish for worms.

    Remittances from the Cuban Diaspora reached $700 million by 1999, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank. Today about 80 percent of remittances to Cuba come from the U.S. 

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service estimates U.S. remittances to Cuba sum up to about $2 billion a year. The Havana Consulting Group has had higher estimates and projected an increase of nearly $4 billion this year.

    U.S. and Cuban officials expect an increase, but the estimates aren't clear. Although Western Union remains the major conduit, there are families who entrust travelers with cash deliveries to avoid fees.

    About 20 percent of Cuban households benefit from U.S. remittances and the majority have about $700 in savings outside of the formal banking system, which may amount to $2.8 billion, according to the Inter-American Dialogue, another Washington-based think tank.

    The Cabrera sisters help each other in any way they can. Aside from money, medicine and clothing also make their way from South Florida to Sancti Spiritus. To overcome the limitations of food rations, there are chickens living in the patio of the two-bedroom home in Sancti Spiritus.

    Maria Cabrera said she dreams of a day when her sister living in Cuba can show up to a supermarket and buy what she needs.

    "You can't buy beef in Cuba," Cabrera said. "They will arrest you. It's prohibited."

    Remittances - $

    Follow Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela on Twitter @HatzelVela


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    Police say that Heat guard Gerald Green punched a man on the night he was hospitalized after he was found in an agitated state in a building lobby.

    According to police report on the Nov. 4 incident; Green appeared in the lobby of his unit at the Marquis Condominiums at 1100 Biscayne Blvd. with bloodied hands and asked the front desk to call Fire-Rescue.

    The report says that Green then walked outside of the building and collapsed in the valet area. Green then got back up and returned to the building with the assistance of the victim, who is a security guard in the building.

    Once back inside, the victim attempted to hold on to Green when he tried to return to his unit. It was that point that Green allegedly punched the victim in the right eye.

    When Miami police officers arrived on the scene, Green had already been restrained by Fire-Rescue.

    During that time, officers handcuffed Green after he had become very loud and combative.

    The victim refused to press charges against Green.

    Green, who was released from the hospital over the weekend, has been suspended by the Heat for two games for "conduct detrimental to the team." He will be able to rejoin the team on Friday.

    Follow Local 10 Sports on Twitter @Local10Sports


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    Hollywood firefighters responded to a suspicious fire inside a vacant home near South 63rd Avenue and Mayo Street Wednesday night.

    Fire officials said the fire appears to have started inside a bedroom of the vacant home, but could not go into details about why it appeared suspicious.

    Investigators at the scene told Local 10 News that the tenants had been evicted.

    Crews said putting out the blaze was a little tricky because firefighters had to deal with bees from a large hive nearby.

    Authorities were able to put out the blaze without disturbing the beehive.

    The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

    Follow Andrew Perez on Twitter @PerezLocal10

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Seven colleagues from Boca Raton were among the nine people killed in Tuesday's plane crash in Akron, Ohio.

    Real estate investment company Pebb Enterprises posted the following message on its website Wednesday: "Our hearts are broken this morning with the news of the tragic accident that took the lives of two principals and five employees of Pebb Enterprises. We are shocked and deeply saddened for the families, colleagues and friends of those who perished. Our first priority is to give our fullest support to the family members and loved ones of our co-workers."

    During a National Transportation Safety Board news conference Wednesday, officials said the victims including seven passengers and two crew members.

    A family member identified one of the victims to reporters as Diane Smoot, 50, of Delray Beach. Smoot was an executive with the real estate firm that scouts locations for malls and a mother of two adult children, one of whom is serving in the military.

    Diana Suriel, Nick Weaver, Ori Rom,Thomas Virgin and Jared Weiner were also passengers aboard the plane, according to friend and family. 

    Virgin's wife posted a photo of herself with her husband on her Facebook page with the caption, "I miss you. What I would give to have you back."

    Virgin leaves behind a wife and 4-month-old baby.

    Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Haymaker said the small Hawker H25 jet, which can hold up to 10 people, clipped telephone or electrical wires before crashing into a four-family apartment complex.

    No was inside the complex at the time of the crash, and no one on the ground was injured.

    NTSB officials said video shows the plane flying at a low altitude and banking toward the left before it crash. They said the plane's left wing hit the ground first and the plane then struck half of an apartment building before erupting in flames.

    Authorities said they will not release the name of those aboard the plane, until all of the remains are removed from the plane and the medical examiner's office can make a positive identification on each of the bodies.

    About 12 families who lived in the apartment complex were displaced.

    video

    video

    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane had taken off from Dayton, Ohio, and was about two miles from Akron Fulton International Airport when it crashed around 3 p.m. Tuesday. The plane first traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on Monday. From there, the plane flew to Cincinnati, Ohio, where the crew and passengers stayed overnight before heading to Dayton at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

    Records show the plane is owned by execuFlight, which is based in Fort Lauderdale. The company was founded in 2000 and has a fleet of seven jets.

    The NTSB is investigating the cause of the crash.

    Anyone who believes their loved one may have been on the plane is asked to call authorities at 330-535-6131.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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  • 11/12/15--21:24: Camaguey: City of Churches
  • Local 10 News' Hatzel Vela stopped at a church in Camaguey -- the town known for its churches -- and spoke with a priest about the new role of religion in Cuba.


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    Plantation police are searching for a man who was last seen leaving his doctor's office Thursday.

    Daniel David Greenwald, 74, left the office at 350 NW 84th Ave. at approximately 3:45 p.m. and never returned home, according to police.

    Greenwald, who suffers from early onset dementia, is described as white, 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs and 95 pounds. He has brown eyes and short dark gray hair..

    He was last seen wearing a light blue long-sleeved shirt, navy blue pants and brown shoes.

    Greenwald drives a white 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis with Florida tag W94-7DI.

    Anyone with information on Greenwald's whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Robert Rettig at 954-797-2193.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A pilot who was killed in a crash while flying seven Boca Raton colleagues to Ohio on a business trip has been identified by family members as Andres Chavez.

    According to friends, Chavez was from Colombia but had been living in Miami. They said he has been a pilot for 15 years, most recently working for execuFlight, a Fort Lauderdale-based company that charters private flights.

    "He used to fly for several companies in Colombia before coming to the United States," Chavez's friend Esteban Saltos said. "I've been in shock because Andres was a good pilot, a good friend and a great father."

    During a news conference Thursday, National Transportation Safety Board vice chair Bella Dinh-Zarr said investigators are expected to be at the crash site for the next two days, but will be there for as long as needed.

    She said investigators have so far recovered the Cockpit Voice Recorder or CVR. Dinh-Zarr said the quality of the tape is "quite poor," but said the pilot could be heard speaking about the weather and landing.

    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Chavez took off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on Monday with a co-pilot and seven passengers.

    The FAA said the plane took off from Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday and was about 2 miles from Akron Fulton International Airport when it crashed at about 3 p.m.

    Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Haymaker said the small Hawker H25 jet, which can hold up to 10 people, clipped telephone or electrical wires before crashing into a four-family apartment complex.

    No one was inside the complex at the time of the crash, and no one on the ground was injured. About 12 families who lived in the apartment complex were displaced.

    On Wednesday, loved ones identified the seven passengers as Diane Smoot, 50, Diana Suriel, Thomas Virgin, Nick Weaver, Jared Weiner, Ori Rom and Gary Shapiro.

    All seven worked for Boca Raton-based real estate firm Pebb Enterprises, which scouts locations to develop shopping malls.

    Weaver's family released a statement to the media Thursday that said in part: "Nick was a beloved husband, son, brother, cousin and friend. Loved by all who knew him, Nick was known for his quick wit and zest for life, but most importantly, he was treasured and admired for his giving heart. Nick was always the first to offer help to anyone in need. From caring for ill family to helping friends move, he made time for those in his life."

    The family said Weaver also loved sports and played hockey while growing up in central New York.

    Investigators from the NTSB were back at the scene of the crash on Thursday to examine evidence, including surveillance video of the crash, to determine what went wrong.

    Dinh-Zarr said video shows the plane flying at a low altitude and banking toward the left before it crashed.

    Employees of the family-owned real estate firm have created a GoFundMe page to help with the victims' funeral expenses. Funds will also be divided among the families to help with travel expenses and to establish education funds for the children of the victims.

    Click here is donate to the fund.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Some big time names top this week's Dirty Dining list, from rodent issues in a Burger King to roach issues at a Domino's Pizza, plus an Indian restaurant with issues that will turn your stomach.


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    Chris Bosh scored 25 points, reserve Tyler Johnson added 17 and the Miami Heat held off the Utah Jazz 92-91 on Thursday night.

    Goran Dragic finished with 14 points and Hassan Whiteside grabbed 14 rebounds for Miami, which has won three straight games to open this seven-game homestand.

    Derrick Favors led Utah with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Gordon Hayward had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Alec Burks added 24 points for the Jazz, including a 3-pointer as time expired.

    Miami played without Dwyane Wade, who was excused for a family emergency. One of his sons needed hospitalization for undisclosed reasons, with the team only saying that the child was doing well and would be fine.

    Utah was without starting center Rudy Gobert, the NBA's No. 3 shot-blocker coming into the game, who was sitting out with a sprained left ankle.

    Follow Local 10 Sports on Twitter @Local10Sports


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    Police are investigating after an 11-year-old was struck by a vehicle Thursday night near NW 31st Avenue and 39th Street.

    According to Broward Sheriff's Office, the child was taken to Broward Health Medical Center with minor injuries.

    The driver stayed at the scene and will not be charged, according to BSO.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Grammy Award winning gospel singer songwriter said he hopes to inspire others through his music.

    Tye Tribbett has been topping the charts for several years. He is well known in the gospel music industry and is holding a free concert in honor of his late cousin, Corey Jones.

    "We want to celebrate Corey in a big way," Tribbett said. "He was a great musician. Every time he played for me he (was) always smiling and all of that, so we want to reflect and celebrate his life while also playing for change."

    Tribbett lost Jones last month after police said Jones was killed by Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja.

    "I was just taken. I was just numb for a little while," Tribbett said. "I couldn't believe, and I couldn't process it. My brain just couldn't make sense of it all."

    Jones' family maintains that he was innocent. The investigation is ongoing, but Thursday afternoon it was announced that Raja was terminated from the department.

    "It's a step toward more justice or toward change, or at least the system recognizing that something was not handled properly, so that's the celebration side," Tribbett said. "The other side is, you know, I'm a Christian, and God is love. God even loves the cop that shot my cousin."

    Tribbett acknowledges it's too late to change the past but hopes his music can help set a new tone for the future.

    "What you know is in your mind, and what you believe is in your heart faith, is in the spirit, but hope is the emotion connected to what we're believing," Tribbett said.

    The iHope concert is free and open to the public. It will feature singers Tasha Cobbs, Mali Music, Travis Greene, Le'Andria Johnson and more.

    It takes place Thursday at the Faith Center at 5555 NW 95th Ave. in Sunrise.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Palm Beach Gardens police officer accused of fatally shooting a man who was stranded on the side of Interstate 95 last month has been fired by the city.

    Palm Beach Gardens spokeswoman Candice Temple said in a statement Thursday that the city "has been cautiously and methodically considering the employment status of Officer Nouman Raja."

    Temple said Raja, a probationary employee with the city, was terminated as of 5 p.m. on Veterans Day.

    Police said Corey Jones, 31, was stranded on the side of I-95 in Palm Beach Gardens on Oct. 18 when he was approached by Raja, who was not in his uniform and was not carrying his badge.

    What happened next is unclear, but Jones, who had a gun but never fired it, was shot and killed.

    According to the Palm Beach Gardens police manual, officers are first supposed to advise dispatch of their intentions before conducting general traffic stops. They are then supposed to activate their vehicle's blue and red lights.

    According to the manual, officers should approach the vehicle and "be continuously alert for suspicious movement and actions."

    Officers are also instructed to carry their badge and official ID card at all times, whether on or off duty.

    "While we are pleased that the city of Palm Beach Gardens has terminated the employment of the officer who gunned down Corey Jones, we maintain that the officer in question also must be held criminally liable for his reckless actions that night," Jones' family said in a statement. "Our family remains hopeful that the outside agencies brought in to investigate Corey's killing will soon begin to yield factual information about how and why this officer acted so callously."

    The statement went on to thank all of the family's supporters who have offered their condolences.

    "It is obvious that Corey touched many lives, and for that we will be forever grateful," the statement said.

    Three separate investigations are underway regarding the shooting. Raja has not been charged.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    U.S. forces targeted "Jihadi John," the man who has emerged as the masked face of ISIS, in an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, the Pentagon announced Thursday night.

    "Jihadi John," whom Western officials have identified as Mohammed Emwazi, has appeared in a series of brutal execution videos, taunting Western leaders in a British accent.

    It was not immediately clear whether the strike was successful. But a senior U.S. official said authorities are confident that the strike killed Emwazi, adding that the U.S. announced the strike because of Emwazi's notoriety.

    This was a mission of "persistent surveillance," the official said, adding that authorities knew it was Emwazi when they took the shot.

    Another U.S. official told CNN that Emwazi was in a vehicle at the time of the strike, which was launched from a drone.

    Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook announced the strike in a statement.

    "We are assessing the results of tonight's operation and will provide additional information as and where appropriate," Cook said.

    Emwazi, a British citizen, participated in the videos showing the murders of U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of other hostages, the Pentagon said.

    Sotloff, a South Florida native, had been held hostage for a year after being taken from a fake government checkpoint while trying to from Turkey to Sytria to cover the Syrian civil war.

    Emwazi, who speaks English and is believed to be born in Kuwait, is frequently seen in hooded hostage videos carrying out violent beheadings. The U.K. government was notified of the operation and notified families whose kin was executed by Emwazi.

    For periods at a time this year, Emwazi was not seen in hostage videos, though U.S. officials told CNN in July that they had learned that he was alive and hiding near Raqqa.

    Analysts describe him as grotesque and fond of sadistic torture techniques, with one former hostage recounting last month how his captor made him dance the tango with him.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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