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Evelyn Lozada Opens Up About Motherhood and Regaining Her Confidence Post-Baby

Evelyn Lozada Opens Up About Motherhood and Regaining Her Confidence Post-Baby

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After Evelyn Lozada gave birth to her son this past March, it took her awhile to feel like herself again.

However, the Basketball Wives star has since lost 55 lbs. and learned to love her new, curvier body.

"I kept reminding myself that I just had a baby and went through a beautiful experience and this is what matters the most. When I had [my 21-year-old daughter] Shaniece, I was a teenager and I bounced back within 24 hours, but as you get older, your body changes and I didn't bounce back as fast," she told ABC News. "I'm very satisfied with my appearance now! I'm a bit more curvier and I love it."

Lozada, 38, and Shaniece have teamed up with youthH2O, an age-defying solution, for a new campaign aimed to inspire women to look and feel their best. (Lozada has long represented the brand, while Shaniece is its new face.) The campaign, for which mothers and daughters are asked to post photos on youthH2O’s social channels with the hashtag #ForeverYoung, was a natural fit for the pair.

"Shaniece was and still is super positive," Lozada gushed. "She would actually take the role of big sister and do the night shift sometimes when I wanted to go work out. She was my lifesaver."

She's also been inspirational to Lozada during her weight loss journey. The reality TV star credits Shaniece for teaching her to eat healthier and "exercise without complaints."

"We only speak in a positive manner when it comes to our appearance and I'm her biggest cheerleader," she added. "I make certain to recognize her when she excels and I support her on all of her projects. As a mom, it's important to encourage your child, this helps them to build confidence and we hope to help so many women do the same."

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Robin Williams’ Son Zak Says Their Family Is ‘Acclimating to the New Normal’

Robin Williams’ Son Zak Says Their Family Is ‘Acclimating to the New Normal’

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Robin Williams' death devastated his family. However, his son, Zak, said that they're trying to move forward.

"We're doing okay," he told Us Weekly. ""We're acclimating to the new normal. Everything is step by step."

Zak, 31, is the oldest of Williams' three children. He also has two half-siblings Zelda, 25, and Cody, 22.

"Personally, my wife and I are focusing on doing a lot of good," he said. "She runs the San Francisco office of Human Rights Watch, and we're working with them to do good in the world."Robin Williams was 63 when he died this past August of an apparent suicide.However, he left behind a legacy that his son cherishes."Dad had almost a childlike love, and he shared that love with people, with everyone," he said. "And that ability to love, and that ability to be generous and giving and kind is something we would want to share with future generations."

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Powerful Al Qaeda Group Slams Door on ISIS’s Leader

Powerful Al Qaeda Group Slams Door on ISIS’s Leader

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Al Qaeda's most potent affiliate, the Yemeni branch of the terror group, Friday strongly rejected the Islamic "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq declared by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in an announcement that terrorism experts said is good news for the West.Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari, a top Shariah (Muslim law) official from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), slammed the door on al-Baghdadi, saying they were "surprised" in June when the former al Qaeda-Iraq leader declared a "caliphate" stretching from northern Syria across large portions of Iraq and anointed himself "caliph.""We do not see the authenticity of the establishment of such a Caliphate, nor what follows it of consequences," al-Nadhari said in a 28-minute video released by Yemen's AQAP Friday.

He referred to al-Baghdadi and his fighters in ISIS as "brothers" but said declaring a caliphate improperly has led to rifts beyond the bloody falling out of ISIS in Syria with core al Qaeda's leadership in Pakistan led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s replacement, and al Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra. Al-Nadhari cited infighting among other jihadi groups in Africa, Asia and the Middle East and strongly affirmed AQAP's loyalty remains to Zawahiri and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, despite some groups pledging oaths of "bayat" to al-Baghdadi."I think it's pretty significant. It underscores the depth of the rift between ISIS and al Qaeda and that they're not going to align anytime soon," said Matthew Olsen, an ABC News contributor who served for three years as director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center.He said the fracture among the two most lethal Islamist terror organizations is better than them joining forces against the West."Al Qaeda and the Islamic State [ISIS] are still potent in their own right. But they really are at odds with each other," Olsen said.The AQAP message likely was approved by Nasir al-Wuhayshi, its top leader and Zawahiri's potential heir to core al Qaeda. It came as a response to al-Baghdadi's latest audio speech on Nov. 13, in which he boasted of the pledges of loyalty from a slew of jihadi groups."It's further proof that al Qaeda and the Islamic State don't work together," said Rita Katz, director of the private research firm SITE Intelligence Group, who provided a translation of the al-Nadhari speech. She said jihadis reacted angrily to the AQAP message."It is important that it came from one of AQAP's top Shariah officials, al-Nadhari, as the argument about the legitimacy of the Caliphate is a religious one. It is more appropriate that such rejection comes from al-Nadhari, a recognized Shariah scholar, and not from Wuhayshi," Katz told ABC News."Aside from keeping Wuhayshi above the fray, having their top Shariah official make the statement is also likely a way to highlight the fact that most serious jihadi scholars have come down firmly against ISIS," added terrorism expert J.M. Berger, co-author of a forthcoming book on ISIS's rise.The announcement comes after months of anticipation after ISIS swept across Iraq in a blitz that caught the Obama administration off guard.

For months, AQAP's messages on Iraq and Syria have avoided taking sides, as many Yemeni fighters joined the estimated 16,000 foreign jihadis who have fallen in with ISIS in the region between Iraq and Syria they call "al Sham." Instead, the Yemeni terror group -- which has attempted at least four air attacks on the U.S. homeland since 2009 using undetectable bombs smuggled aboard passenger and cargo jets -- had repeatedly called on mujahideen fighters there to end their bloody infighting and focus on America and its "apostate" allies."We hold our brothers in the Islamic State responsible for all the consequences of these interpretations and dangerous steps [and] weakening the strength of the mujahideen, which is an inevitable result of fighting," AQAP's al-Nadhari said in the message on Friday.

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Cher Cancels the Rest of Her Tour

Cher Cancels the Rest of Her Tour

Beth Gwinn/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Back in September, Cher became ill and and had to reschedule all her concert dates. Now, she's been forced to cancel all those rescheduled dates because she still hasn't made a full recovery.

"I am totally devastated. Nothing like this has ever happened to me," Cher said in a statement. "I cannot apologize enough to all the fans who bought tickets. I’m so proud of this show. It is my best ever. I sincerely hope that we can come back again next year and finish what we started."

The singer, 68, wrapped up the first leg of her "Dressed to Kill" tour in March, but before she embarked on a second leg, she contracted an infection that affected her kidney function, leading the postponement and rescheduling of the dates. Now, her doctors have advised her that she needs even more time to ensure a "complete and total recovery."

Ticket holders can get refunds at the point of purchase.

The dates were to have run through January, and included two shows at New York City's Madison Square Garden.

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Infectious Disease Expert Says Ebola Must Be Suppressed in West Africa

Infectious Disease Expert Says Ebola Must Be Suppressed in West Africa

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addressed the National Press Club Friday on thet opic of Ebola and said there is no reason for widespread panic.

"Is there a large influx of Ebola people infected with people who are trying to get into the United States?" Dr. Fauci said. "The answer is no."

Regarding Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of the disease last month, Dr. Fauci said, "Yes, Duncan got in to the country but that was a very rare event because of what we know now when we do screening."

Dr. Fauci said the best way to protect the U.S. is by keeping an eye on West Africa.

"The best way to protect Americans or anyone else throughout the world is to completely suppress the epidemic in West Africa, so that there isn't any risk of it going any place else," he said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

FBI Sends 100 Agents to Ferguson Ahead of Grand Jury Decision

FBI Sends 100 Agents to Ferguson Ahead of Grand Jury Decision

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- The FBI has sent about 100 agents to the St. Louis area to help deal with any problems that could arise from the grand jury decision in the police shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.In addition to the FBI, other federal agencies have also mobilized staffers to get to St. Louis on Friday, sources told ABC News.A decision by the grand jury is expected soon, but St. Louis authorities said on Friday that the grand jury is still meeting. The panel will decide whether or not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Brown, who was unarmed, on Aug. 9.Authorities are braced for a recurrence of angry protests that turned violent at times during the summer.The FBI has ordered its Ferguson contingent to mobilize and arrive in the St. Louis area on Friday. In addition to FBI personnel already in the St. Louis area, about 100 more are being dispatched, law enforcement sources said. Additional FBI personnel have been put on alert so that they could be called in as part of a second emergency wave if necessary, ABC News has learned.The FBI is opening up its special St. Louis intelligence center on Friday. This facility will be in constant contact with the Missouri and St. Louis County Emergency Operations Center.The FBI declined to comment.Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency earlier this week and activated the Missouri National Guard to help keep order if necessary.Michael Brown Sr., the father of the slain teen, issued a videotaped appeal this week for protesters to remain peaceful whatever the verdict.

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US Military Conducts 30 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

US Military Conducts 30 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

Stocktrek Images/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The U.S. military continued its attack against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria, launching 30 more airstrikes between Wednesday and Friday.According to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), six of the strikes were in Syria, near Kobani. They destroyed four staging areas, two buildings and two tactical units, and suppressed a fighting position. Another airstrike in Syria damaged a barrack near Ar Raqqah.In Iraq, the remaining 23 airstrikes were spread out between Bayji, Sinjar, Kirkuk, al Asad, Mosul, Ramadi and Tal Afar, and destroyed various targets in those areas.CENTCOM said all the aircraft used in the attacks managed to exit the areas safely.

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Kerry Changes Plans, Extends Stay in Vienna for Iran Talks

Kerry Changes Plans, Extends Stay in Vienna for Iran Talks

State Dept photo(VIENNA) -- Secretary of State John Kerry is staying put -- at least for one more night -- after initially announcing he would leave the Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna just after one day.According to a U.S. official, Kerry has delayed his Friday departure from the Austrian city to continue consultations there. The official said it is not yet known when Kerry will leave but he will stay in Vienna overnight.Earlier, the State Department said Kerry was leaving to Paris on Friday to meet with European officials about the ongoing negotiations.The travel change comes as the clock keeps ticking towards Monday's deadline.

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Boehner: Obama ‘Damaging Presidency’ with Unilateral Immigration Action

Boehner: Obama ‘Damaging Presidency’ with Unilateral Immigration Action

Heather Reed / Office of the Speaker(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner said that President Obama is damaging the institution of the presidency by taking unilateral action to reform the country's immigration laws, setting up another political showdown on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as Republicans work on a strategy on how best to react to Thursday's announcement."All year long I've warned the president that by taking unilateral action on matters such as his health care law, or by threatening action repeatedly on immigration, he was making it impossible to build the trust necessary to work together," Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "As I warned the president, you can't ask the elected representatives of the people to trust you to enforce the law if you're constantly demonstrating that you can't be trusted to enforce the law.""The president repeatedly suggested that he was going to unilaterally change immigration law and he created an environment where the Members would not trust him," Boehner added. "Trying to find a way to work together was virtually impossible and I warned the president over and over that his actions were making it impossible for me to do what he wanted me to do."The House speaker predicted that Obama's actions "will only encourage more people to come here illegally" and "punishes those who have obeyed the law and have waited their turn.""We saw the humanitarian crisis on our border last summer, how horrific it was. Well next summer it could be worse," Boehner warned. "With this action the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he claims to seek."Boehner said he warned the president that his actions could harm the institution of the presidency when the two spoke on Thursday afternoon before the president's address."As I told the president yesterday, he's damaging the presidency itself," he said. "President Obama has turned a deaf ear to the people that he was elected and we were elected to serve."While Boehner refused to enumerate how the House might react to the president's actions, he stressed that "the House will in fact act.""The people's House will rise to this challenge. We will not stand idle as the president undermines the rule of law in our country and places lives at risk," Boehner pledged. "We'll listen to the American people, we'll work with our members, and we'll work to protect the constitution of the United States."

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Eric Holder Appeals for Peace Ahead of Ferguson Decision

Eric Holder Appeals for Peace Ahead of Ferguson Decision

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While a Missouri grand jury secretly decides whether to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, the nation’s top law enforcement official on Friday called on concerned Americans to appreciate “the gravity” of the matter and express themselves peacefully."History has...shown us that the most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to non-aggression and nonviolence,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video released by the Justice Department.

The message comes just days after the FBI -- an agency overseen by Holder -- warned law enforcement agencies across the country that extremist, violent protesters could hijack otherwise peaceful demonstrations nationwide. And it comes one day after Brown’s own father issued his own call for calm.“Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer,” Michael Brown Sr. said in a public service announcement. “No matter what the grand jury decides, I don’t want my son’s death to be in vain.”Holder echoed that sentiment in his message Friday, saying recent protests have highlighted “real and significant underlying issues involving police practices, implicit bias, and pervasive community distrust.”Brown Sr. said he hopes the recent controversy will spark “incredible” and “positive change,” particularly over how police forces interact with the citizens they vow to protect.In fact, the Justice Department is not only weighing whether to file federal criminal charges against Wilson himself, but it is also conducting a separate civil probe into the entire Ferguson police department, trying to determine whether officers routinely engage in a "pattern or practice" of unlawful and discriminatory policing.In August, when pressed by ABC News, Holder seemed to acknowledge federal charges against Wilson are hardly guaranteed. And current and former officials have outlined several challenges associated with building such a case.Nevertheless, Holder on Friday noted that "long-simmering tensions will not be cooled overnight,” and he touted the “importance” of police forces engaging with communities long before times of crisis.Holder suggested police officials discuss with citizens even seemingly minor issues such as what uniforms officers should wear.“[This] hard work…is necessary to preserve the peace and maintain the public trust at all times -- particularly in moments of heightened community tension," he said.Law enforcement officials contacted over recent days by ABC News -- stretching from Los Angeles to the Atlanta area -- remained confident that such work would help maintain peaceful protests in their cities after the Ferguson decision is announced.In Indianapolis, for example, police have held two town-hall meetings in the past two months to discuss the Ferguson issue with concerned residents and build a “bank of trust,” Rick Hite, the chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan police department, told ABC News.Still, federal authorities are urging vigilance."The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” the FBI said last week in its intelligence bulletin, first obtained and reported by ABC News.In his video message, Holder commended law enforcement for its response so far to Ferguson-related demonstrations across the country, saying “the vast majority of law enforcement officers have honorably defended their fellow citizens engaged in these peaceful protests.”Holder also announced that the Justice Department was issuing new guidance to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies “about how to approach maintaining order during First Amendment-protected events.”The guidance includes information and “best practices” that “will help law enforcement officers maintain public safety while safeguarding constitutional rights,” Holder said.

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Harvard Finds Cooks Serve Better Food When They Can See Diners

Harvard Finds Cooks Serve Better Food When They Can See Diners

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Looking for the most flavorful and fastidious dining-out experience? Try to make eye contact with your chef before placing your order.A Harvard research project recently found that cooks who were able to observe their guests dished out markedly better meals than when customers remained anonymous to them.The findings were culled after Harvard Business School doctoral student Tami Kim and Chia-Jung Tsay, an assistant professor at University College London, set up four successive experiments in a working cafeteria over a two-week period."In the first, diners and cooks couldn’t view one another; in the second, the diners could see the cooks; in the third, the cooks could see the diners; and in the fourth, both the diners and the cooks were visible to one another," stated the research. Following each meal, diners could rate their experience.Due to the noted limitations of the project, the researchers acknowledged that much more and deeper study is necessary.Kim and Tsay found that customer satisfaction increased by 10 percent when the cook could see the guests in the dining area."But even more striking, when customers and cooks both could see one another, satisfaction went up 17.3 percent, and service was 13.2 percent faster," stated the research. "Transparency between customers and providers seems to really improve service."Kim and Tsay attributed the improved experience to chefs feeling more motivated and inspired by seeing patrons. Still, not all restaurants should begin breaking down kitchen walls just yet.

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Country Singers Billy Gilman and Ty Herndon Come Out as Gay

Country Singers Billy Gilman and Ty Herndon Come Out as Gay

Beth Gwinn/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Two country stars, Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman, made personal announcements on Thursday: They're gay.

Herndon, 52, went first, telling People magazine that he realized he was gay when he was about 10 years old and told his loved ones ten years later.

Now, in a happy relationship with his longtime partner, Matt, Herndon is looking forward to one day marrying and starting a family. He's also hoping that his announcement will help others.

"During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone's son or daughter or grandchild's life not be as difficult as mine has been," he told the magazine. "Maybe they wouldn't have to go through as much pain and suffering. It's time to tell my truth."

One person he inspired was Gilman, 26, who made his own announcement via a YouTube post.

"It’s taken me a good many weeks to figure out how I was to approach this video that you’re watching right now," Gilman began. "But today, actually, a fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video. And I wanted my fans, who have stuck by me for many, many years, to know."

Gilman went on to explain that he decided to come out after he was spotted with his partner, "who I am happily now sharing my life with," by a local reporter. As a result, he felt it was important to tell his fans the truth behind the photo before it hit the press.

"I know some people won’t agree with this. And that’s OK. To each his own," he said. "But I felt it was time for me to be honest and to be truthful. I love you all and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you."

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Greer Grammer, Kelsey Grammer’s Daughter, Named Miss Golden Globe 2015

Greer Grammer, Kelsey Grammer’s Daughter, Named Miss Golden Globe 2015

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Every year, a celebrity's son or daughter is tapped by Hollywood Foreign Press Association to hand out awards at the Golden Globes.

In 2015, the honor will belong to Greer Grammer, the daughter of Kelsey Grammer and Barrie Buckner.

"I screamed and I jumped up and down," she told People of receiving the nod. "I was just so happy...It was such a dream come true."

Here are a few things to know about the 22-year-old:

1. Acting is in her blood -- and her name: Grammer tweeted in 2009 that she was named for Academy Award winner Greer Carson. "She's absolutely radiant," gushed Grammer. "I can only hope to live up to the name."

2. She's college-educated: Greer attended the University of Southern California where she belonged to the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

3. She's already landed a few big roles: Though she's only been acting for a few years, she's already appeared in two big TV series, iCarly and Awkward, in which she played series regular Lissa.

4. She likes to lay low: Born and raised in Malibu, Grammer loves to hit the beach, ride her bike and do other quiet activities. "I’m so boring. Most people go out but I lay in my bed. I binge-watch Friday Night Lights," she told Complex U.K.. "My boyfriend lives in Brentwood so sometimes we’ll go to Santa Monica. The past few weekends, I’ll ride my bike and get ice cream. I live a very normal life."

5. She feels supported by both of her parents: Grammer gushed to People that her parents were both "so proud" when she told them about Miss Golden Globe. "I called them separately and my mom was over the moon and I had to tell her not to tell anybody, because I know that she would have called everyone right off the bat, and same with my dad," she told the magazine. "They're so excited to see me on stage. I can't wait."

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Greer Grammer, Kelsey Grammer’s Daughter, Named Miss Golden Globe 2015

Greer Grammer, Kelsey Grammer’s Daughter, Named Miss Golden Globe 2015

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Every year, a celebrity's son or daughter is tapped by Hollywood Foreign Press Association to hand out awards at the Golden Globes.

In 2015, the honor will belong to Greer Grammer, the daughter of Kelsey Grammer and Barrie Buckner.

"I screamed and I jumped up and down," she told People of receiving the nod. "I was just so happy...It was such a dream come true."

Here are a few things to know about the 22-year-old:

1. Acting is in her blood -- and her name: Grammer tweeted in 2009 that she was named for Academy Award winner Greer Carson. "She's absolutely radiant," gushed Grammer. "I can only hope to live up to the name."

2. She's college-educated: Greer attended the University of Southern California where she belonged to the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

3. She's already landed a few big roles: Though she's only been acting for a few years, she's already appeared in two big TV series, iCarly and Awkward, in which she played series regular Lissa.

4. She likes to lay low: Born and raised in Malibu, Grammer loves to hit the beach, ride her bike and do other quiet activities. "I’m so boring. Most people go out but I lay in my bed. I binge-watch Friday Night Lights," she told Complex U.K.. "My boyfriend lives in Brentwood so sometimes we’ll go to Santa Monica. The past few weekends, I’ll ride my bike and get ice cream. I live a very normal life."

5. She feels supported by both of her parents: Grammer gushed to People that her parents were both "so proud" when she told them about Miss Golden Globe. "I called them separately and my mom was over the moon and I had to tell her not to tell anybody, because I know that she would have called everyone right off the bat, and same with my dad," she told the magazine. "They're so excited to see me on stage. I can't wait."

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Ukraine Celebrates Anniversary of Protests that Sparked Revolution

Ukraine Celebrates Anniversary of Protests that Sparked Revolution

iStock/Thinkstock(KIEV, Ukraine) -- Ukraine on Friday is celebrating one year since the first student-led protests kicked off in the country, sparking a revolution that toppled the government and led to a stand-off with Russian-backed separatists in the east.Vice President Joe Biden, visiting Ukraine on Friday, reiterated the United States' support for the country's sovereignty in the face of an encroaching Russia."It's simply unacceptable in the 21st century for countries to accept to redraw borders by force in Europe or anywhere for that matter," he said.Biden said the U.S. is prepared to increase sanctions on Russia and support Ukrainian sovereignty, but the government must work towards better integrating Russian-speaking minorities."We're looking for opportunities to improve Ukraine's business climate and increase trade and investment. But it all depends on following through on the reforms which have begun," he said.During his time in Ukraine, Biden met with the country's newly elected prime minister. The vice president was also scheduled to lay a wreath but pulled out of the ceremony over security concerns.

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CardHub’s Most Popular Gift Cards for 2014

CardHub’s Most Popular Gift Cards for 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gift cards may be among the most requested gift items this year, according to the National Retail Federation, in part because the choices are endless. So which one should you present to your friends and family this holiday season?CardHub, the credit card comparison site, used data from its gift-card exchange service and listed the most popular gift cards of 2014.T oday, there are 12,647 gift cards available in CardHub's exchange, which allows users to sell, buy or exchange gift cards.From Nov. 1 to 20, Cardhub analyzed 648 gift card issuers, which have multiple cards, including discounted ones. CardHub's analysis took into account the number of user searches for each of these cards on CardHub and the number of clicks for each card. A spokesman for CardHub said the company has a commercial relationship, in which CardHub gets a cut of every purchase made on its website, with two companies that issue the gift cards in the top 10 list: Amazon and American Express.

Visa Gift Card Amazon Gift Card iTunes Gift Card American Express Gift Card Netflix Gift Card Walmart Gift Card Target Gift Card Google Play Gift Card eBay Gift Card Starbucks Gift Card

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Report Details Missed Opportunities to Treat Adam Lanza’s Mental Illness

Report Details Missed Opportunities to Treat Adam Lanza’s Mental Illness

Kateleen Foy/Getty Images(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- Two years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Connecticut's Office of the Child Advocate has released a report detailing the mental health profile of gunman Adam Lanza, noting potential missed opportunities.The Office of the Child Advocate, which investigates all child deaths in Connecticut for prevention lessons, released the 114-page report on Friday.Lanza was 20 on Dec. 14, 2012 when he shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where he massacred 20 first-graders and six educators before taking his own life.The report's authors say they "looked for any warning signs, red flags, or other lessons that could be learned from a review of AL's life," referring to Lanza. "This report cannot and does not answer the question of 'why' AL committed murder," the authors wrote.Here are some of the things we learned about Lanza:1. Lanza had a falling out with his one and only friend months before.Among the factors that may have caused Lanza stress were the possibility of moving with his mother and a "falling out" with a friend."AL was acquainted with another adolescent that he played [video game Dance Dance Revolution] with on a regular basis," the report said. "They would meet a few times per month to either play the video game or go to the movies. AL and his friend talked about multiple topics, including computers, chimp society, human nature, morality, prejudice, and sometimes about his family. AL told his friend that he had a strained relationship with his mother.""AL would sometimes talk with this friend about the topic of mental health or depression, though he never indicated that he was diagnosed with anything. He did tell his friend that mental health issues were not a reflection of the character of a person, but were symptoms of something else going on inside a person," the report said."AL and the friend also talked about their interest in mass murderers or serial killers, but this was just considered to be a mutual morbid interest," the report said. "Both he and his acquaintance liked horror movies."But in June 2012, Lanza "and his primary acquaintance had a falling out and stopped spending time together," the report said, "after a dispute over a movie."2. His "social-emotional" challenges increased after fourth grade.Lanza was referred for special education preschool services at age 2."Adam Lanza was presented with significant developmental challenges from earliest childhood, including communication and sensory difficulties, socialization delays, and repetitive behaviors," the report states. "He was seen by the New Hampshire 'Birth to Three' intervention program when he was almost three years old and referred for special education preschool services."Early in the fourth grade, Lanza left the special education program because he had "met all speech goals," the report states.During Lanza's early elementary school years, his parents still lived together in the family home in Sandy Hook, but they separated in 2002 when Lanza was in the fifth grade."[Lanza] was described by some as seeming happy, smiling, and participating in community and school activities," the report states. "At the same time, however, more red flags for developmental and mental health concerns remained or emerged. AL began perseverative hand washing, avoiding contact with other people, and becoming increasingly fearful. By fifth grade, AL had written and submitted “The Big Book of Granny” — a significant and violent text — and following that school year, his struggles began to escalate."3. His preoccupation with violence may have been "largely unaddressed."The report raises questions about how there may have been missed opportunities with Lanza, including whether his family's wealth and race were factors."Would [Lanza's] caregivers’ reluctance to maintain him in school or a treatment program have gone under the radar if he were a child of color?" the report asks.Lanza's mother transferred him to a Catholic school for the fourth quarter of seventh grade."A teacher at the school later reported that he presented very differently from the other children," the report states.According to the teacher's account in the report, he had "very distinct anti-social issues.""AL would write ten pages obsessing about battles, destruction and war. I have known 7th grade boys to talk about things like this, but AL’s level of violence was disturbing. I remember showing the writings to the principal at the time, AL’s creative writing was so graphic that it could not be shared," the teacher's account in the report states."It was not the primary purpose of this investigation to explicitly examine the role of guns in the Sandy Hook shootings," the report said. "However, the conclusion cannot be avoided that access to guns is relevant to an examination of ways to improve the public health. Access to assault weapons with high capacity magazines did play a major role in this and other mass shootings in recent history."The report states, "[Lanza] and his parents did not appear to seek or participate in any mental health treatment after 2008."4. While he may have been described as "gifted," his cognitive abilities may have been just "average."On Oct. 24, 2006, almost a year after a community psychiatrist first evaluated Lanza, he was seen at the Yale Child Study Center by a clinical psychiatrist, the report states. "The evaluation was purportedly to determine if AL had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the context of a putative diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome," it says.The report details how his parents said that their son was "angry" about having to go to Yale and he refused treatment."The Yale APRN [Advanced Practice Registered Nurse], in a present day interview, offered her view that AL may not, in fact, have had an Autism Spectrum Disorder, but rather that he suffered from disabling anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder," the report states.Meanwhile, the report indicates his parents may have had difficulty accepting his disabilities."While it is not uncommon for parents to struggle to identify and accept their child as suffering a disabling impairment, the Yale Child Study Center clinicians who evaluated and treated AL felt that his parents, and certainly his mother, may have had greater than average difficulty with accepting the extent of AL’s disabilities," the report states. "Yale did not think that AL was gifted and unique, pointing to the average cognitive abilities captured by the school’s psychological testing.""Adam Lanza's parents (and the school) appeared to conceptualize him as intellectually gifted, and much of [his] high school experience catered to his curricular needs," the report says. "In actuality, psychological testing performed by the school district in high school indicated AL’s cognitive abilities were average."5. Why Lanza and his father had a "falling out."Lanza stopped responding to his father's emails around 2010, the report states."After AL began declining to spend time with Mr. Lanza, Mr. Lanza would regularly send emails to him asking him how he was doing," the report states. "He asked AL to join him at events or other activities they had previously enjoyed, including arcades, shooting ranges, or coin shows."The "falling out" may have had to do with Lanza's desire to take college courses at Norwalk Community College, the report states."AL wanted to carry a full course load but Mr. Lanza said he couldn’t handle that and wasn’t being realistic," the report states. "This may have been the last time that AL and Mr. Lanza actually spoke or emailed reciprocally. Mr. Lanza continued to let AL know that he wanted to see him."

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The Skinny on Nestlé’s New Exercise in a Bottle Project

The Skinny on Nestlé’s New Exercise in a Bottle Project

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé is working on developing the lazy person's holy grail: an edible product that replaces exercise -- providing at least some of the benefits.But it will be a while before the magical potion gets approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, let alone hits the shelves of your neighborhood grocery store."Ideally, we'll be able to develop products that will help promote and augment the effects of exercise," said Kei Sakamoto, who heads the diabetes and circadian rhythms department at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in Switzerland.Specifically, Nestlé is working on a product that would regulate AMPK, an enzyme that scientists have dubbed the "metabolic master switch." The target customer is someone with diabetes or someone who is obese, according to the company.Researchers at Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences and several other institutions found that a compound acts on the AMPK enzyme in mice to stop their livers from producing fat, according to a study published in July in the journal Chemistry and Biology.But don't think you're going to drink your way to a beach body.The product won't outright replace exercise, Sakamoto said in a statement, explaining that even run-of-the-mill exercise has such a dynamic role that Nestlé will "never be able to mimic all those effects in a single product."Dr. Silvana Obici, an endocrinologist at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio who was not involved in the study and has no affiliation with Nestlé, said it was too early to know if the findings in mice could be replicated in humans with any success."Although I am very happy that new specific compounds with selective AMPK are coming to the forefront, I can say I have guarded optimism," Obici told ABC News. "It needs to be demonstrated directly and not only in trials but also in animal models of obesity and also in clinical trials."Obici said she had guarded optimism that a drink that affects AMPK could "rev up the metabolism," but said the drink would never fully replace eating healthy and working out."As a doctor, I want to point out that any drug that we have at our disposal for weight reduction and obesity [does] not work unless you are implementing lifestyle changes," she said.

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Afghanistan Amusement Park a Relief for War-Weary Residents

Afghanistan Amusement Park a Relief for War-Weary Residents

Aleem Agha/ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Despite an upswing in insurgent attacks, Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, has a new milestone: The country’s first-ever amusement park -- Kabul City Park.Nestled between the muddy, polluted Kabul river and the city’s snow-covered mountains, it resembles the kind of smaller amusements parks that dot towns and cities across Europe and North America.Thousands have visited the park since it opened in October, with peak visiting time on Friday afternoons, after the Islamic day of prayer. The park has a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, roller coaster, spinning tea cups and even a mascot that’s a dead-ringer for Minnie Mouse.For Afghan families looking to spend an afternoon out, the park offers a rare respite from the ravages of decades of war. Much of the city resembles a cold, muddy maze, with row after row of 20-feet tall concrete blast walls ringing the enclaves protected inside. Many of the city’s key intersections are guarded by armed soldiers and policemen, with inspection checkpoints springing up seemingly at random.But inside Kabul City Park, the dreariness of the city disappears. Children run to their favorite rides as test-your-skill vendors hand out prizes to game winners. Husbands and wives hold hands, walking together with their children in tow, a rare sight in a city with few entertainment options that families can enjoy together.The park -- a joint partnership between the municipality and a private company --is the latest in a small series of developments aiming to give weary Afghans a chance to escape the harsher realities of conflict. In addition to the park, the city also now has a water park, bowling alley, paintball zone and a semi-functional golf course.

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Here’s What Obama Almost Forgot to Bring to Las Vegas

Here’s What Obama Almost Forgot to Bring to Las Vegas

Pete Souza / The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama walked out of the Oval Office with a spring in his step Friday morning, bounding toward the Marine One helicopter for an immigration campaign swing to Las Vegas, Nevada.But then -- to the shock of a shivering press corps -- after Obama boarded the bird, he quickly dashed out the rear door, making a bee-line for the White House, telling reporters, “I forgot something.”Three minutes later, he emerged from the White House with a grin, saying "Do you guys ever forget something?""What'd you forget?" ABC News asked the president."My Blackberry!" Obama said with a smile, grabbing the black device off his left hip and showing it to the cameras.With his electronic line to the world, Obama's chopper quickly lifted off for Air Force One. He was joined by speechwriter Cody Keenan, senior adviser Jen Palmieri, aide Marvin Nicholson, domestic policy adviser Cecilia Munoz, and deputy chief of staff Anita Decker-Breckinridge.Obama will rally with Democratic supporters at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas Friday afternoon, one day after unveiling sweeping executive action on immigration.

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