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Maryland Doctor’s License Revoked for Assisting in Six Suicides

Maryland Doctor’s License Revoked for Assisting in Six Suicides

Bunwit/iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE)  -- A Baltimore anesthesiologist who assisted in six suicides has had his medical license revoked by the Maryland Board of Physicians. The order dated Dec. 12 says that Dr. Lawrence Egbert, 87, did not dispute that he acted as an “exit guide” for the six patients when he served as medical director for the Final Exit Network. The state document says that each patient died of helium inhalation, and called Egbert’s actions “unprofessional conduct.” The 87-year-old told ABC News affiliate WMAR-TV he has helped about 100 people end their life since 1983, but hasn’t been involved in any assisted suicides since 2009. Assisted suicide is legal in the United States in Oregon, Washington and Vermont.

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US, Partners Conduct 10 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Iraq, Syria

US, Partners Conduct 10 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Iraq, Syria

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. military, with help from partner nations, continued its attack against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, launching 10 more airstrikes.According to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), seven of the strikes were in Syria. Five near Kobani destroyed five buildings and six fighting positions. Two others near Al Hasakah destroyed four oil derricks.In Iraq, two airstrikes hit two tactical units near Fallujah, and one near Mosul destroyed two fighting positions and hit a tactical unit and another fighting position.CENTCOM said all the airstrike assessments are based on initial reports.

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Cable One May Drop More Networks

Cable One May Drop More NetworksIdaho Falls, Idaho – Surfing the channels on the TV might not take as long for Cable One customers on January 1. Eleven networks could be dropped from Cable One’s lineup if the cable company does not reach an agreement with NBC Universal by midnight December 31. The networks that could go include MSNBC, USA, Syfy, […]

Five New Year’s Resolutions for Politicians

Five New Year’s Resolutions for Politicians

Digital Vision/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Though Jeb Bush is the only one of the most likely contenders to officially announce that he is going to “actively explore” a 2016 presidential run, he will not be alone for long. In that spirit, there are a few tips -– or "campaign resolutions" -– that prospective candidates might want to take to heart when they’re coming up with their lists of dos and don’ts for 2015. Here are some suggestions, based on the mistakes of other politicians over the past few years. Assume There are Recording Devices Everywhere Gaffes are one thing, but slips of the tongue turn into genuine political problems when they reiterate negative perceptions of candidates. That was the case for Mitt Romney when a waiter at a private donor function took a cell phone recording where the Republican presidential candidate was heard saying that 47 percent of the country’s population will vote for President Obama “no matter what." Romney went on to say that those are people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” That wasn’t the only time that Romney's words were replayed for millions a few more times than he may have hoped -- Who built what? Corporations are what? Binders full of what? -- so he may have learned his lesson. Don't Forget Your Own Talking Points This rule should be easy to remember, especially if you saw Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s flub in 2011. Perry didn’t do his campaign any favors when he infamously forgot one of his major talking points during a nationally-televised Republican primary debate, saying that there were three federal agencies that he would eliminate if he were elected president. After listing off the Departments of Commerce and Education, he could not remember that he had also vowed to cut the Department of Energy. And, if your memory does cut short, try coming up with a better substitution than Perry’s: "Oops." Just Say Who You Voted ForMaybe it was meant as a way to appeal to Republicans who wouldn't want to vote for someone who voted for Obama? Maybe she thought it wouldn't turn into a big deal? Neither of those things happened. Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic challenger opposing then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign, refused to say who she voted for in the last election and it ended up doing more harm than good. She ended up losing her bid, and because Republicans made gains across the country, McConnell won both the election and a new title: Senate majority leader. Ditch the Tan SuitPresident Obama was talking about a very serious subject -- the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria -- but he walked onto the White House press room’s podium in a beige suit on August 29. With just two days before Labor Day, perhaps the president was just making sure that his summer looks made it out of the closet in time? No matter. Social media erupted with one-liners and snark. Avoid Dressing Up Like a Tiger The real reason Rep. David Wu resigned stemmed from the fact that he was the subject of an investigation over claims by the daughter of a prominent donor that the Democrat had made unwanted sexual contact, ABC News reported. But that was just the beginning, and included staffers' complaints about erratic behavior during the 2010 campaign, which prompted seven staffers to resign shortly after he won re-election. He then sent bizarre emails in February that included a picture of him in the tiger suit. Wu later admitted to sending the emails and said during a Good Morning America interview that he was undergoing mental health treatment and taking medication.

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Roberts Couple Arrested for Counterfeiting

Roberts Couple Arrested for Counterfeiting  Idaho Falls, Idaho – A Roberts couple is in custody after trying to pay for a hotel room at the Pinecrest Inn in Idaho Falls with fake $50 bills. Police arrested 35-year-old Tracy Peebles and 31-year-old Forrest Haga for counterfeit currency and possession of counterfeiting apparatus. Both were booked into the Bonneville County Jail.

Ohio Attorney Dies at Wyoming Ski Hill

Ohio Attorney Dies at Wyoming Ski HillJACKSON, Wyo. (AP) – An Ohio man who died at a Wyoming ski resort was asphyxiated, apparently after falling head-first into powdery snow in a steep ravine. Teton County investigators and employees of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort spent Monday trying to reconstruct the accident that killed 54-year-old Marc Krantz of the Cleveland suburb of Pepper […]

Blackfoot Woman Fatally Shot by Toddler Son

Blackfoot Woman Fatally Shot by Toddler SonHAYDEN, Idaho (AP) – A relative of the woman who was accidentally shot and killed by her 2-year-old son at an Idaho Wal-Mart says she was a “loving mother.” The Kootenai County sheriff’s department has identified the victim as 29-year-old Veronica J. Rutledge, of Blackfoot, Idaho. Authorities say she was shopping Tuesday morning with her […]

Elon Musk Working on Snake-Like Charger for Tesla Cars

Elon Musk Working on Snake-Like Charger for Tesla Cars

Tesla(NEW YORK) -- Tesla is working on a snake-like charger that will slither its way to a Tesla car and charge it, all without drivers having to put forth any effort.The electric car company's CEO, Elon Musk, shared news of the innovative project on Wednesday with his 1.36 million Twitter followers.Instead of drivers having to manually connect a charger, a solid metal snake will automatically come out of the wall and plug into the car.

 

Btw, we are actually working on a charger that automatically moves out from the wall & connects like a solid metal snake. For realz.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 31, 2014

 

The technology would be available for existing Model S cars as well as future vehicles made by Tesla, according to Musk.The futurist is known as much for his business interests in Tesla and SpaceX as he is for his bold ideas, including his conceptualization of the Hyperloop transportation system and the colonization of Mars, among others.

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‘Bae,’ ‘Foodie’ on List of ‘Banished’ Words for 2015

‘Bae,’ ‘Foodie’ on List of ‘Banished’ Words for 2015

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Do you grimace when you hear someone call a significant other “bae,” or throw out the word “takeaway” in a meeting? Do you gnash your teeth when someone describes himself or herself as a “foodie” or take credit for “curating” something that’s not in a museum?You’re not alone.Those are offenders that have made the list of 12 “banished” words and phrases issued by Lake Superior State University in Michigan.The list, released on Wednesday, was created from more than 2,000 submissions from members of the public who take issue with certain words and believe they should be banned, Thomas Pink, LSSU’s director of public relations, told ABC News in an interview.“It just seems that language always strikes a nerve with people,” he said.This is the university’s 40th annual list of words that are highlighted for misuse, overuse or uselessness, according to a release from LSSU.The 12 words that made the final list were selected by a university committee.“We do look at which words and phrases get the most nominations, but a word or phrase does not have to get a lot of nominations for it to make the list if everybody agrees on it, and since it’s lighthearted we all try to look for things that would make people laugh,” Pink said.The banishment is by no means official. Dictionaries aren’t changed, but the publication of the list is definitely noticed, Pink said.In one case in the 1990s, an Arizona State Supreme Court justice pinned that year’s list on a bulletin board in his office and forbade any attorneys who had business with him from using the words, Pink said.Entries to the university’s website came with reasons supporting detractors’ disdain for the word.Blan Wright, of Sugar Hill, Georgia, wrote of “bae”: “The most annoying term of affection to show up in years. Also, the concept ‘before anybody else,’ developed AFTER the word became popular. Reason enough for it to be banned.”Below are the eight other vexing words or phrases on this year’s list along with nominees’ reasons for banning them:

Hack -- “Suddenly things that once would have been called 'tips' are now being called 'hacks.' It can't be because the one word is shorter or easier to say; and the actual accepted meanings of ‘hack’ have nothing to do with suggestions for doing tasks better or more efficiently -- quite the opposite, really.” – Sharla Hulsey, Sac City, Iowa. Polar vortex -- “Wasn’t it called ‘winter’ just a few years ago?" -- Dawn Farrell, Kanata, Ontario, Canada Skill set -- “Why use two words when one will do? We already have a perfectly good word in ‘skills’ (ending with an s, not a z).” – Chip Lupo, Columbia, South Carolina Swag --“Whether it's a ‘free gift’ (banished in 1988) or droopy clothing, this word is neither useful nor fancy.” – Jeff Drake, Saint Albans, West Virginia Friend-raising -- “A horrible word that conflates the real meaning of friendship with usually hidden motivations to get at the other person's pockets.” – Mary Been, Sidnaw, Michigan Cra-cra (or “cray cray,” a term which means “crazy.”) -- “I'm sick of hearing myself say this! Must be banned!” – Roxanne Werly, Traverse City, Michigan Enhanced interrogation -- “A shameful euphemism for torture.” – David Bristol, Byron Center, Michigan -Nation -- “Although a devout Wisconsin sports fan, I do not belong to Packer-Nation, Badger-Nation, Phoenix-Nation, or Brewer-Nation. Further, I am not aware of any team or mascot that has the carrying capacity to be a nation.” – Kelly Frawley, Waunakee, Wisconsin

Among the proscribed words on last year’s LSSU list were “selfie,” “twerking” and “hashtag."

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White Castle Introduces Veggie Slider

White Castle Introduces Veggie Slider

White Castle(NEW YORK) -- The burger chain known for providing late-night munchies is offering a new option on its menu for non-meat eaters. White Castle introduced the Veggie Slider sandwich on Tuesday, which will be available for a limited time at the chain’s 400 locations for 99 cents each."We are pleased to continue the tradition of offering customers what they crave – the highest quality food, served hot and tasty," said Jamie Richardson, White Castle vice president in a statement. "The Veggie Sliders offer Cravers an incredible new taste experience that's different from any other sandwich on our menu.”The Veggie Slider is a veggie burger made with carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach, and broccoli before being grilled and placed on the burger chain’s signature Slider bun.

Customers also have their choice of three sauces to put on the burger: honey mustard, ranch, or sweet thai. The Ohio-based company said the sandwich came following “rave reviews during testing in New York and New Jersey.”

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Glowing Green Comet Lovejoy to Light Up Sky

Glowing Green Comet Lovejoy to Light Up Sky

Damian Peach/NASA(NEW YORK) -- A glowing green comet will shine brighter into the New Year, providing an opportunity for skygazers to enjoy the sight.The comet Lovejoy is moving across the sky near the Orion constellation, making it even easier to find.The comet has a green tint that is even more apparent in the hundreds of amateur snaps that have been posted of it.Lovejoy will make its closest approach to earth in early January, some 44 million miles away, providing the best viewing.It will travel at three degrees per day at its peak, according to Astronomy magazine, meaning it will noticeably move.The comet is named for Australian astronomer Terry Lovejoy, who first spotted it on Aug. 17, 2014 in Birkland, Queensland, Australia.

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“The Interview” to Be Available on Cable Providers

“The Interview” to Be Available on Cable Providers

Sony(LOS ANGELES) -- The Interview was released on Christmas Eve on YouTube and other streaming services and with the success of the film, Sony has announced that the James Franco and Seth Rogen satire will also be available on cable providers starting Wednesday.Sony Pictures Entertainment released a statement saying that it reached an agreement with cable, satellite and telecom providers like Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-verse TV, Verizon FiOS and DIRECTV to release the movie starting at $5.99.The movie will be available through VOD and pay-per-view.It was reported that The Interview made more than $15 million as of earlier this week via Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and iTunes, according to Time magazine. The movie is also in more than 500 independent theaters across the country.The extended release starts Wednesday on some platforms and will be picked up by others throughout the weekend.“We have always sought the widest possible distribution for The Interview, and want to thank our new partners for helping us make that happen,” said Sony CEO Michael Lynton.

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Philippines Couple Celebrates Wedding with Massive Cake

Philippines Couple Celebrates Wedding with Massive Cake

Muenz/iStock/Thinkstock(MANILA, Philippines) -- A high-profile couple in the Philippines tied the knot in a high-profile way on Tuesday -- with an elaborate ceremony followed by an elaborate reception that featured a massive wedding cake. The nuptials between actors Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera were watched with bated breath in their native Philippines, aided by the major news network there that covered the wedding with a live blog and social media feeds. The wedding day was also documented by the couple’s fans, who call themselves “The DongYanatics” and used the hashtags #DongYanWedding and #DM123014 to get the wedding trending on social media.

3D cake worth 7million.. wtfudge! and her lovely gown, 3m 😱😱😱😱 #DongYanWedding pic.twitter.com/bahM4Ue2Fn

— meckaii ravidas ✖️∞☮ (@kaiiheartsyow) December 30, 2014

The centerpiece of the couple's reportedly Italian feast wedding reception menu was the couple’s wedding cake, which the GMA Network describes as a “five-tiered wedding cake standing over twelve-feet tall.” Dantes and Rivera's reportedly 3-D wedding cake was made by Goldilocks, a pastry company endorsed by Dingdong, according to a "The DongYanatics" Instagram post.

"This 3D mapped cake for #DM123014 is beyond words! According to Pinky Yee of Goldilocks, it took them 1 month to make this and that it was @dongdantes' idea," the post read.

The 12-ft high wedding cake from a popular bakeshop has arrived! #JourneyToDDay #DongYanTheWeddingDay pic.twitter.com/Qs9EUn0LoE

— GMA Network (@gmanetwork) December 30, 2014

The current record-holder for the world's largest wedding cake is a 15,032 pounds made by chefs at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino in Connecticut and displayed at their New England bridal showcase in 2004, according to the Guinness World Records' website. The couple's wedding reception venue was, as described by the GMA Network, the “enchanting and lavish” Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines. The venue’s website says it has a capacity of 15,000 seated and a “full house” capacity of 20,000.

More ABC News Videos | ABC World News

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Former New York Gov. George Pataki to Visit New Hampshire

Former New York Gov. George Pataki to Visit New Hampshire

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Another potential candidate in the 2016 election cycle will be making a visit to an important early-voting state.Former New York Gov. George Pataki is planning a multi-day trip to New Hampshire, with various events scheduled on Jan. 12.Earlier in December Pataki told the New York Daily News he was “very seriously” considering a run for President, telling the paper he believes the nation needs leaders with exactly the kind of executive experience that he has. The former New York governor has already released a political action committee message in televised ads and online.

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Nine Top Political Gaffes of 2014

Nine Top Political Gaffes of 2014

Vladone/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In Washington, even the smallest faux pas can hurtle a politician from respected to ridiculed as fast as you can say partisanship.And there was no shortage of cringe-worthy political screw-ups this year. From Hillary Clinton’s “dead broke” gaffe to John Boehner’s “blank agenda,” here are nine of the top political missteps of 2014:Hillary Clinton: ‘Dead Broke’Former first lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- who routinely rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech -- said in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she and President Bill Clinton were “dead broke” when they left the White House."We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy," Hillary Clinton told Sawyer in June.Critics cried foul, calling the potential presidential candidate rusty and out of touch with real Americans.Clinton later clarified that they were “not truly well-off” and admitted that her characterization of the first family’s financial situation was not particularly “artful.”Michael Grimm: Balcony BlunderIf you’re going to threaten a reporter for asking a question, better do it off-camera.Rep. Michael Grimm, faced with a question about his alleged tax fraud, threatened to toss a reporter off a balcony after President Obama’s State of the Union address in January.“Do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this f***ing balcony,” he snarled to NY1 reporter Michael Scotto. “I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”At first, the congressman refused to beg pardon, instead slamming the reporter’s “disrespectful and cheap shots.” But later, he apologized, saying, “Bottom line, I was wrong. It never should have happened…I’m sure my Italian mother is going to be yelling at me, saying ‘you weren’t raised that way,’ and she’s right.”Grimm pleaded guilty to a felony tax charge earlier this month.Jonathan Gruber: Caught on CameraNeedless to say, Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber regrets his comment that the “stupidity of the American voter” was “critical” in the Affordable Care Act’s passage.In a series of videos unearthed this November, the economics professor-turned-Obamacare-adviser called the president’s signature initiative “a very clever…basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”He also claimed that American voters are “too stupid to understand the difference” between different kinds of taxes and said that the “lack of transparency” in the law was a “huge political advantage.”At a Congressional hearing in December, Gruber apologized for his “glib, thoughtless and sometimes downright insulting comments.”Elizabeth Lauten: Social Media #FailAs one Capitol Hill aide learned this year, attacking the first daughters is strictly taboo.The communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., publicly scolded Malia, 13, and Sasha, 16, for their dress and demeanor at the White House Turkey Pardoning.“Try showing a little class,” Elizabeth Lauten wrote on Facebook. “Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at the bar.”A teary-eyed Lauten apologized and resigned the following week.Alison Grimes: Secret BallotObama wasn’t particularly popular this election season. So as Republicans attempted to pin their opponents to the president, Democrats did all they could to distance themselves from the commander-in-chief.None more so perhaps than Sen. Mitch McConnell’s challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes.The Kentucky Democrat refused to say whether she’d voted for the president in 2012 -- not once, but multiple times.“Our constitution grants us here in Kentucky the constitutional right for privacy at the ballot box, for a secret ballot,” she said during a debate in October. “I am not going to compromise a constitutional right provided here in Kentucky in order to curry favor on one or other side or for members of the media.”Grimes went on to lose the election by 15 points.Bruce Bailey Supporters: Bruce Who?Poor Bruce Braley. No one seemed able to get his name right on the campaign trail this year.While stumping for Braley, a Democrat vying for Iowa’s open Senate seat, first lady Michelle Obama mistakenly called the candidate Bruce Bailey at least seven times -- and even referred supporters to Vote.BruceBailey.com. (Hours later, Braley’s Republican opponent, now-Sen. Joni Ernst, snapped up a similar domain, votebrucebailey.com, which redirected to her campaign site.)Former President Bill Clinton also accidentally referred to Braley as Bruce Bailey at Sen. Tom Harkin’s steak fry event in Iowa. And Republican Mitt Romney, stumping for Ernst, got Bruce’s last name right, but goofed on his first name, calling him Bill.President Obama: Latte SaluteThe commander-in-chief saluted two Marines with a coffee cup in his hand. The White House inexplicably posted a video on Instagram. People weren’t happy.Sarah Palin: Wrong AddressIn an impassioned speech at the Value Voters Summit in September, former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin took aim at the president.“Don’t retreat. You reload with truth, which I know is an endangered species at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, anyway truth,” Palin said. “The media’s favorite president. He just can’t stop telling lies.”One little problem: The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.John Boehner: ‘Blank Agenda’In October, House Speaker John Boehner tweeted “5 Points for Resetting America’s Economic Foundation.”Trouble is, Boehner left the five points blank, setting himself up for a medley of mocking tweets from Democratic lawmakers -- including a several suggestions “for your blank agenda” from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

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Family Raises Slain Intruder’s History of Sleepwalking

Family Raises Slain Intruder’s History of Sleepwalking

Spencer Crandall, seen in this 2012 booking photo, was arrested for trespassing on Dec. 3, 2012. (Denton County Jail)(DALLAS) -- No one may ever know what was going through the mind of a Texas man who was shot dead the morning after Christmas on a neighbor’s porch, but his relatives say they have a clue: He may have been sleepwalking.Spencer Crandall, 31, was ringing the bell and banging on the door of his neighbor’s home at 4 a.m. until the homeowner and his female partner came outside to find Crandall attempting to climb over their privacy fence, Wise County Sheriff David Walker said Wednesday.The homeowner retrieved a firearm from his house, not aware that Crandall was his neighbor. After a brief altercation, a physical struggle ensued between both individuals, which eventually led to Crandall’s trying to enter the front door, authorities say.“He [the homeowner] told Mr. Crandall he was armed, ‘This is not your house.’ He was still trying to get in, at that point the homeowner fired one round and striked Mr. Crandall to the chest,” Walker told ABC News.The woman’s 14-year-old daughter called 911 and the Wise County EMS and Fire Department responded. Crandall was found dead at the scene, authorities said.Crandall’s wife, Amanda Crandall, was out of town in Mississippi during the incident. Walker said the Crandall family told investigators Spencer Crandall had a history of sleepwalking, which relatives say may help explain his behavior that morning.“We may not ever know why he was trying to get into the house,” he added.Investigators are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office. The incident is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed against the homeowner.Crandall’s funeral is being held Wednesday and relatives are unavailable to comment.

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Nebraska Man Sets New Year’s Resolution, Loses over 220 Pounds

Nebraska Man Sets New Year’s Resolution, Loses over 220 Pounds

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A Nebraska man who set a New Year’s resolution last year to lose weight is now celebrating a weight loss of over 220 pounds and a new lease on life.“There’s so many things that I couldn’t do before,” Jim Clements told ABC News. “Just a few days ago I went to a go-cart track with my son and could ride in the car with him.”“Its little things like flying on an airplane and not having to use seatbelt extenders, that’s really exciting,” he said.Clements, 33, of Omaha, Nebraska, says he grew up being teased for being the biggest kid in class and kept gaining weight as an adult. When he stepped on the scale after Thanksgiving last year and saw that he weighed around 500 pounds, he says he saw the loss of his grandfather flash before him.“I lost my grandpa to cancer as a young kid and it was a revelation that I was going to do the same thing to my son,” said Clements, the father of a 5-year-old son named Luke. “I was just using food instead of smoking.”Clements consulted with his doctor and nutritionist and began to implement a new food and exercise plan on Jan. 1, 2014.“I focused on keeping carbs down and ate proteins and the carbs I did take in I tried to make as healthy as possible,” he said. “Before I started on this journey, it would not be a shocker for me to stop at a doughnut shop on my way home and get a dozen doughnuts and then come home and have dinner.”“I had no self-control or moderation,” Clements said. “This morning, my breakfast was a chicken breast with a little seasoning and an all-natural granola bar.”Clements says he also took a lesson he learned from his past “hundreds” of failed diets and used Facebook to keep himself accountable.Since the start of his weight loss journey, Clements has posted updates, photos and his weekly weigh-in numbers on his Facebook page, “Jim Getting’ Slim.”“The only difference of my failed diets was one time I had a boss who was very supportive and made it very public and told everyone how proud he was,” Clements said, adding that once his boss moved on to a new job, Clements went back to his old ways.“I thought there has to be something about that public accountability,” he said. “From day one, I said, ‘I’m going to sink or I’m going to swim in front of everyone and I think that’s played a huge role in my success.’”In addition to inspiring his Facebook followers, Clements says his extreme weight loss has also inspired his family members, including his wife, Chelsea, Luke and his extended family.“My mom, aunts and uncles have all lost weight -- almost 100 pounds collectively,” Clements said. "Luke walked out one day lifting 5-pound weights saying he wanted to be strong like daddy. To see my son learning my good habits instead of my bad habits is really a cool thing."Though he has already dropped nearly half his body weight, Clements says he has another 30 or so pounds to lose before he reaches his first goal of moving out of the obese weight category.His New Year’s resolution for 2015 and beyond is to get his body in “excellent physical condition.” In September, Clements hired a personal trainer at his local gym to help him achieve that goal.“The most important thing is to have hope and determination and you have to know that this journey isn’t easy,” Clements said. “There are so many diet books that try to sell you on easy steps and that’s not true.”“It’s going to be hard but it’s not impossible,” he said. “If you believe in yourself and push yourself, you’re going to reach your goal.”

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What to Know About the Widespread Minimum Wage Increase

What to Know About the Widespread Minimum Wage Increase

i_frontier/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It will be a happier new year in 2015 for millions of workers who will receive a pay raise following a minimum wage increase in 21 states.For the first time, the majority of states, plus the District of Columbia, will have minimum wage levels higher than the federal minimum of $7.25. Though the increases are slight, they will make a difference for some hourly workers supporting their households.The increases are up to $1, with an average wage of $8, according to the Economic Policy Institute.Several cities also have scheduled minimum wage increases in 2015, including SeaTac, Washington, where it will be $15.24, and San Francisco, where it will rise to $11.05 on Jan. 1 and $12.25 on May 1.The increases are through a mix of legislative changes, ballot measures and automatic cost-of-living increases.A bill backed by President Obama to raise the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour has faced opposition in Congress.Here are some more facts about the wage increases by state:The Lowest: Arkansas: Among the 21 states increasing their minimum wage, the lowest minimum will be in Arkansas, where it will rise $1.25 to $7.50 starting Thursday. The rise will affect approximately 56,000 workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute.Largest Rate Rise: Massachusetts: The biggest percentage rate increase will take place in Massachusetts, where the wage is increasing $1 to $9.Biggest Effect: New York: The Empire State's increase of 75 cents to $8.75 is projected to affect the most workers by state, according to the National Employment Law Project: 711,000 people. New York is actually increasing its minimum on Wednesday from legislation that passed last year and increases the state’s minimum wage in three steps to $9.00 by Dec. 31, 2015.Highest Wage: Washington: The Evergreen State will continue to have highest minimum wage when it increases by 15 cents to $9.47.

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Watch Kim Jong-Un Pilot a Plane

Watch Kim Jong-Un Pilot a Plane

Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages(PYONGYANG, North Korea) -- The latest video released by North Korean state media shows Kim Jong-un as he appears to pilot a plane, cut with scenic video of some of the hermit nation's most picturesque mountainscapes.Very little information was released in conjunction with the video, giving no explanation as to how the 33-year-old leader apparently learned to fly what appears to be an airplane.A few notable portions of this video hint that it could be staged, including the fact that the exterior of the plane is never shown.The entire video is shot with a camera that alternates between above Kim's shoulder, as if someone is standing behind him looking at the controls, or sitting next to him, where a co-pilot is seen in other portions of the video.According to the North Korean media, the plane is an Antonov AN-148, a regional aircraft built by a Ukrainian company. The clip is paired with patriotic, marching band-style music.In addition to the person holding the camera, there are at least two other uniformed pilots seen behind and next to the Supreme Leader, who appears in his trademark all-black ensemble.This video is one of the latest to be released showing Kim active and moving since he went out of public view for 40 days. There was no official reason given for his absence but it was reported to be due to an undisclosed illness.

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Protests Prompt Increased Security Ahead of New Year’s Eve Parties

Protests Prompt Increased Security Ahead of New Year’s Eve Parties

tom hall/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Increased police patrols and extra National Guard troops have been called in to New York in preparation for any protests that may interrupt Wednesday night's New Year's Eve celebrations.Though there has been no formal announcement about planned protests in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the National Guard will have an "increased presence" throughout the city, in train stations including Penn Station and PATH terminals as well as JFK and LaGuardia airports."New Year's Eve is a time of celebration for New Yorkers, and an increased security presence will help ensure that tonight remains a safe and festive time for all," Cuomo said in a statement.Increased security is a regular occurrence around New Years, with an estimated 1,000,000 people expected to flood Times Square ahead of the ball drop, but tensions are heightened this year after two police officers were fatally shot in Brooklyn on Dec. 20.Cuomo did not specify exactly how many guardsmen will be in New York City but did say that one unit, the 22-member 24th Civil Support Team, will continue their regular support of the New York Police Department to deal with chemical, biological or radiological hazards.The NYPD has assessed 70 threats made against police officers after the Brooklyn shooting, which led to 16 arrests.New York is not the only city that is bracing for protests against police brutality during Wednesday evening's celebrations.Officials in Boston have urged activists to postpone a planned "die-in" protest, saying that the city's family-friendly "First Night" event is not an appropriate venue to express their concerns.Unusually cold weather could also cause problems for event organizers across the country, as strong winds could lead to cancelled fireworks in Las Vegas as they could send debris into the crowds.

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