Happening Today: Aaron Hernandez, Syria, Soccer Bus Bombing, Sweet Drinks, Prince - NBC New York

Happening Today: Aaron Hernandez, Syria, Soccer Bus Bombing, Sweet Drinks, Prince

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, April 21, 2017)

    What to Know

    • A 28-year-old German-Russian citizen was arrested in Germany on suspicion of bombing the bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund soccer team

    • There's more evidence that frequently gulping down sweet beverages could be bad for your brain, according to a new study

    • Prince died one year ago and his home state of Minnesota is marking the anniversary with a celebration of his life

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    ME to Release Aaron Hernandez's Brain After Lawyer's Accusation of 'Illegally' Holding It

    The stunning suicide of Aaron Hernandez led to another surprising turn -- a fight over his brain. Hernandez's family wants his brain to be studied by the Boston University CTE Center for a brain disease found in some football players. While state officials have now said they would release the brain to the family, that announcement wasn't made until after accusations from the former New England Patriots tight end's lawyer. Attorney Jose Baez added that BU's CTE Center is "the finest lab in the country," and said medical examiner's office does not have the same level of expertise. The Medical Examiner's office released a statement saying the brain was being kept because it was part of the investigation into Hernandez's death and could require further analysis. But just hours later, just as quickly as the tension escalated, it seemed to come to an end.

    Syria Still Has Chemical Weapons, U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis Says

    Syria still possesses chemical weapons, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in Israel, warning against the banned munitions being used again. At a news conference in Tel Aviv, Mattis also said that in recent days the Syrian Air Force has dispersed its combat aircraft. The implication is that Syria may be concerned about additional U.S. strikes following the cruise missile attack earlier this month in retaliation for alleged Syrian use of sarin gas. Mattis spoke alongside Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. "There can be no doubt in the international community's mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all," said Mattis. He said he didn't want to elaborate on the amounts Syria has in order to avoid revealing sources of intelligence. Israeli defense officials said this week that Syria still has up to three tons of chemical weapons in its possession.

    Man Arrested Over Bombing of German Soccer Bus, Officials Say

    A 28-year-old German-Russian citizen was arrested in Germany on suspicion of bombing the bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund soccer team in an attack last week that prosecutors alleged was motivated by financial greed. A Dortmund player and a policeman were injured in the triple blasts last week as the bus was heading to the team's stadium for a Champions League match against AS Monaco. Investigators found notes at the scene claiming responsibility in the name of Islamic extremists, but quickly doubted their authenticity. Federal prosecutors said the suspect was arrested by a police tactical response team in the Tuebingen area. The man faces charges of attempted murder, causing an explosion and serious bodily harm. The suspect had booked into the team's hotel in Dortmund and placed three explosives, packed with shrapnel, along the route the bus would take to reach the stadium, prosecutors said.

    Sweet Drinks Linked to Dementia, Study Shows

    There's more evidence that frequently gulping down sweet beverages could be bad for your brain. The latest data from the Framingham Heart Study suggests people who frequently drink sodas and fruit juices are more likely to have poorer memory as well as smaller overall brain volumes. The Framingham Heart Study, first started back in 1948, has followed the cardiovascular health of thousands upon thousands of residents of Framingham, Massachusetts over the decades. A doctor at the Boston University School of Medicine authored the study and says the outcomes can be just as bad consuming diet drinks with artificial sweeteners. 4,000 Framingham residents 30 or older were monitored for the study.

    Germ in Raw Milk, Poultry Now Tops Food Poisoning List

    The U.S. government's latest report card on food poisoning suggests that a germ commonly linked to raw milk and poultry is surpassing salmonella at the top of the culprit list. The report counts cases in only 10 states for nine of the most common causes of foodborne illness, but is believed to be a good indicator of national food poisoning trends. The most common bug last year was campylobacter. It's mostly a problem in unpasteurized dairy products, but also is seen in contaminated chicken, water, and produce. Salmonella was No. 1 for the last 20 years but last year moved down to No. 2. Other causes like listeria, shigella and E. coli trail behind.

    Prince's Home State Marks Death Anniversary with Celebrations of His Life

    For Prince fans, Friday's one-year anniversary of his shocking death from an accidental drug overdose will be a time for sadness and celebration. At his Paisley Park home and recording studio-turned-museum, a full four days of events are on tap, ranging from concert performances by his former bandmates to panel discussions. Fans who can't afford those high-priced tickets can head to a street party outside First Avenue, the club he made world famous in "Purple Rain." And the Minnesota History Center is staging a special exhibit of Prince memorabilia, including his iconic "Purple Rain" suit. Prince died April 21, 2016 at the age of 57.

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