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US Military Conducts 24 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

US Military Conducts 24 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

Stocktrek/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The U.S. military continued its attack against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria over the weekend, launching 24 more airstrikes on Nov. 21-24.According to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), seven of the strikes were in Syria, near Kobani. They destroyed three fighting positions and two staging areas, damaged another staging area and suppressed four fighting positions. Two more airstrikes in Syria hit a headquarters building near Ar Raqqah.In Iraq, the remaining 15 airstrikes were spread out near al-Asad, Baghdad, Ramadi, Tal Afar, Fallujah and Hit, 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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Five Thanksgiving Health Hazards to Avoid

Five Thanksgiving Health Hazards to Avoid

Tetra Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Along with turkey and stuffing, Thanksgiving serves up plenty of health hazards.

While the deadliest day of the year is Christmas, according to one University of California San Diego study, Thanksgiving has more than its share of pitfalls.

Read on for five big ones:Car AccidentsThis year, the National Safety Council predicted, there will be 418 traffic fatalities and another 44,700 injuries from car crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That’s down from a high of nearly 500 crash-related deaths in 2008.More than 40 percent of holiday car accidents involve alcohol, according to the National Highway Safety Association. But more than 150 lives will be saved by seatbelts, the NSC said.Holiday Heart SyndromeOver-indulging on turkey day wine, especially if you’re older and obese, can disrupt regular heart rhythms leading to “Holiday Heart Syndrome” an American Heart Journal study showed way back in 1978.Further strain on the ticker comes from digesting a massive meal. As a recent University of California study found, cheering for a losing football team resulted in a 15 percent spike in heart attacks among men and a 27 percent spike among women.FiresMore than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day, U.S. Fire Administration statistics revealed.One culprit: Deep-fried turkeys. Each year, they cause approximately five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage, the National Fire Protection Association reported.Food SafetyAmericans will consume 51 million turkeys on Thursday, Food Safety News reported. And if the bird isn’t fresh or properly cooked, many of them also risk serving up a side of salmonella.Cooking to an internal temperature of 165 degrees is the best way to avoid poisoning, FSN advised. As for leftovers, store them within two hours or toss them.PetsBecause turkey bones splinter, they can may choke dogs or cats, the Veterinary Medical Association warned.Dogs should also be kept away from any dish that contains onions, leeks or garlic because they are known to damage canine red blood cells. Likewise, raisins and grapes can induce kidney failure. And chocolate, especially vast amounts of the dark variety, can lead to serious gastrointestinal symptoms and even death in dogs.

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Ferguson Officer Who Shot Michael Brown Got Married Last Month

Ferguson Officer Who Shot Michael Brown Got Married Last Month

Dorling Kindersley/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The police officer who has been in hiding since fatally shooting a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, in August has married his girlfriend.Officer Darren Wilson, who has not been seen in public since the Aug. 9 shooting, obtained a marriage license in October.Little is known about Wilson other than the fact that he was 28 years old at the time of the shooting and had been working as a police officer for six years.He had worked for the Ferguson police department for four years and had never received a disciplinary complaint.

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How Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Affected “Hunger Games Mockingjay 1″

How Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Affected “Hunger Games Mockingjay 1″

Lionsgate(LOS ANGELES) -- When Philip Seymour Hoffman died this past February, he was in the middle of shooting The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.His death, of acute mixed drug intoxication, rocked his co-stars and colleagues."It was about as horrible a thing that can happen. It was just completely tragic. It threw us all," director Francis Lawrence told Vulture. "There were two substantial scenes that he had left, scenes with dialogue. All the other scenes he had were appearances in scenes where he had no dialogue."Hoffman, who was 46 at the time of his death, played Plutarch Heavensbee in the franchise films -- a role he originated in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Recreating him digitally was never even a consideration, Lawrence said."We decided to rewrite the scenes and give his dialogue to other [actors]," he explained. "There's a scene in Mockingjay Part 1 that Elizabeth Banks took over for, and there's a scene in Mockingjay Part 2 that Woody Harrelson took over for."Still, the loss of Hoffman created deep sense of sadness for everybody working on the project. Going to work became difficult."It was a really tough, emotional time," Lawrence said, "and tough getting back into work and trying to find a groove again."

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Can You Guess the State with the Biggest Spenders?

Can You Guess the State with the Biggest Spenders?

Tetra Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As Americans approach prime shopping season, the impulse to spend beyond one's means will inevitably creep into some households. But some states are apparently more addicted to debt than others -- and they aren't necessarily the regions one might expect.An analysis of all 50 states and the District of Columbia released by personal finance network WalletHub that compared personal spending against cost of living and income revealed that the state blowing the most cash is Mississippi."Mississippi ranked highest due to a combination of spending more per capita than most other states on food, gas and health care, as well as ranking fifth in auto and credit card debt and third in percentage of population spending more than they make," said Raz Daraban, a spokesperson for WalletHub.Surprisingly, New York is at the opposite end of the spectrum in all but average home size and percentage of population spending more than they make, he added, categories in which the Empire State ranked 12th and 26th, respectively.But while those in the Magnolia State may be living large and accruing debt, the most moneyed individuals in the country actually reside in California.According to Wealth-X, a prospecting firm that focuses on ultra-wealthy intelligence, 13,445 ultra high net worth individuals -- defined as having $30 million and above in net assets -- reside in the Golden State.

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How Chuck Hagel’s Resignation Might Affect ISIS Fight

How Chuck Hagel’s Resignation Might Affect ISIS Fight

Department of Defense/Glenn Fawcett(WASHINGTON) -- Chuck Hagel’s departure as Defense Secretary will probably have a minimal impact on the administration’s three-part strategy to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria that is expected to take years.

Hagel had raised questions about the strategy’s lack of focus on the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad, but not about the president’s decision that American troops sent to Iraq will not serve as combat troops.Online supporters of the Islamic terror group ISIS have taken to Twitter to cheer the resignation of Hagel, claiming it was ISIS that forced him out.An Arabic-language hashtag that roughly translates to “ISIS toppled American Defense Secretary” has been used dozens of times on the social networking site, sometimes alongside images mocking Hagel and the Obama administration. It’s unclear if the social media-savvy terror group actually started the campaign, or if it was the just product of the group’s online supporters.Regardless of how ISIS supporters may want to interpret Hagel’s resignation, it does not mean the administration’s strategy to combat ISIS is about to change.

The three-part strategy is focused initially on pushing back ISIS’ territorial gains in Iraq by providing material support, and sending American military advisers to advise and train Iraq’a military forces.

There are currently 1,400 U.S. troops in Iraq and President Obama has authorized that those numbers could grow to 3,100 specifically for an advisory and training mission. The administration has been emphatic that these U.S. military personnel are not “boots on the ground” who will serve on the front lines as combat troops.The U.S. and some of its coalition partners are also conducting airstrikes in Syria to hold ISIS in check by attacking its logistical operations and training facilities that support ISIS fighters inside Iraq.The third part of the strategy plans to train as many as 5,000 Syrian moderate rebels to fight ISIS inside Syria. However, that training program in Saudi Arabia is going to develop slowly with the first trainees not returning to Syria until well into 2015.It is the administration’s policy that the American troops sent to Iraq will not be “boots on the ground” serving on the front lines as combat troops that has drawn the most criticism on Capitol Hill.Members of Congress like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have criticized the Obama administration’s strategy for locking itself into the concept that American ground troops will not be needed.Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey has told Congress that there may come a time when U.S. military personnel may have to accompany Iraqi front line troops in the future. He has explained that major complex fights like the Iraqi effort to retake Mosul from ISIS might require U.S. forward air controllers who could help call in airstrikes.Hagel also raised concerns internally with the president’s national security team that the administration’s strategy did not address what to do about Assad's regime.In late October, Hagel would not confirm to reporters that he had sent a letter to National Security Adviser Susan Rice laying out those concerns. But he did acknowledge that the president’s advisers owe him their honest and direct advice.“We are constantly assessing and reassessing and adapting to the realities of what is the best approach -- how we can be most effective,” said Hagel. “That's a responsibility of any leader." And he said that advice has “to be honest and it has to be direct.”At that same briefing with Pentagon reporters, Hagel expressed concern that "Assad derives some benefits" from the coalition’s focus solely on ISIS. The strategic focus on ISIS has also disheartened moderate Syrian rebel groups who say the real threat to security in Syria is the Assad regime’s grip on power, not ISIS.But in a congressional hearing in November, Hagel said the administration was not considering a change to the ISIS strategy that would include action against the Assad regime.

“There is no change and there is no different direction,” Hagel told the House Armed Services Committee.Just last week, Dempsey acknowledged that the administration’s strategy will meet its long-term goals by adapting where needed.“The objective is not going to change, but I'm not obsessing so much about what's in the middle, because the middle is going to change,” Dempsey said.

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Google Maps Features to Ease Thanksgiving Travel

Google Maps Features to Ease Thanksgiving Travel

Google(NEW YORK) -- Google Maps released a few new updates this month that could come in handy just in time for the Thanksgiving rush.The latest iteration of the Google Maps app for Android now offers users the weather. While it's not necessarily that helpful for traveling to Grandma's house 20 miles away, having the extra guidance could make all the difference for holiday road trips.Another subtle but helpful Android update: Tap the pin that comes up for your destination, and you'll be treated to more details about the area.The small changes, which were first noticed by Android Police, come shortly after Google unveiled an aesthetic overhaul of the Maps experience.Aside from the new bold colors and layered experience, the latest Google Maps also includes Open Table integration, making it that much easier to make reservations.

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Slain Cleveland Boy’s Toy Gun ‘Indistinguishable’ from Real Gun: Cops

Slain Cleveland Boy’s Toy Gun ‘Indistinguishable’ from Real Gun: Cops

File photo. (blackred/Getty Images)(CLEVELAND) -- The toy gun a 12-year-old was brandishing when he was fatally shot by police was "indistinguishable" from a real weapon, Cleveland police said on Monday.Tamir Rice was shot and killed on Saturday at a recreation center after reports that he had a pistol and was waving it around. It turned out to be an "airsoft" gun and the orange tip at the end of the gun to indicate it was a toy had been removed, police said."Guns are not toys, and we need to teach our kids that," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said at a press conference Monday. "Our community needs to understand that."Police said they have offered to show Rice's family surveillance video of what happened when he was shot. They declined, but representatives for the family viewed the footage. That video will eventually be released to the public, police said.The officer was within 10 feet of the boy when he was shot, police said.

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Obama Announces Hagel’s Resignation

Obama Announces Hagel’s Resignation

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Monday praised the work of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as he announced his resignation, saying Hagel determined “it was an appropriate time for him to complete his service.”As the lone Republican on his national security team and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve in the position, Obama explained that Hagel “has been no ordinary Secretary of Defense.”“He understands our men and women like few others because he stood where they stood, he’s been in the dirt, and he’s been in the mud. And that’s established a special bond,” the president said in the State Dining Room. “He sees himself in them, and they see themselves in him. And their safety, their lives have always been at the center of Chuck’s service.”The president said Hagel had been critical to helping his administration during a “significant period of transition,” as U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan and the Defense Department faces a host of budgetary challenges. The president also lauded Hagel’s role in tackling the immediate threat from ISIS and shepherding the administration’s response to the Ebola crisis.“Thanks to Chuck, our military is on a firmer footing, engaged in these missions and looking ahead to the future,” Obama said. On a personal note, the president thanked Hagel for showing how the two parties can come together.Recalling that Hagel traveled with him to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008, Obama said “it’s pretty rare, at a time when sometimes this town is so politicized, to have a friend who was willing to accompany a nominee from another party, because he understood that whoever ended up being president, what was most important was that we were unified when we confronted the challenges that we see overseas, and that’s the kind of class and integrity that Chuck Hagel’s always represented.”“We come from different parties, but in accepting this position you send a powerful message, especially to folks in this city. And when it comes to our national security and caring for our troops and their families, we are all Americans first,” he added.Hagel will stay on until his successor has been confirmed by the Senate. The president has yet to announce whom that may be, but he did drop Sen. Jack Reed’s name during his remarks, who is believed to be on his short list.In brief remarks following the president, Hagel said it has been the “greatest privilege” of his life to lead the Defense Department.

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Report: Red Sox Finalizing Deals with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez

Report: Red Sox Finalizing Deals with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley RamirezBananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Red Sox have made quite the splash early on in free agency. Multiple outlets report that the Boston Red Sox are close to finalizing deals with free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. ESPN reports th...

Budweiser Pulling Its Clydesdales from Holiday Ads

Budweiser Pulling Its Clydesdales from Holiday Ads

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Budweiser is keeping its Clydesdales in the stable.In a bid to stop the slide in Budweiser sales to young drinkers, the brand will not be using the traditional horses in holiday advertising.“The self-proclaimed King of Beers is more of an afterthought among young consumers,” says The Wall Street Journal. “Some 44 percent of 21- to 27-year-old drinkers today have never tried Budweiser, according to the brand’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.”Instead, Budweiser will be overhauling its marketing campaign, introducing new commercials and sponsoring events like food and music festivals designed to get Millennials to put down their craft beers.

Anheuser-Busch did say, however, that the Budweiser Clydesdales will "be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising.""The Clydesdales play a strong role for the brand, representing Budweiser quality and care for more than 80 years. As icons of the brand -- and relevant symbols of integrity, perfection and team spirit for all generations -- they are important to the brand and our campaigns," Anheuser-Busch said in a statement Monday.

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Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Spends Her First Day in Space

Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Spends Her First Day in Space

NASA(ROME) -- Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was greeted with hugs in zero G on Monday when she and fellow crew members arrived at the International Space Station to begin a long-term mission.Cristoforetti, who is Italy's first female astronaut, has graciously shared moments on social media from the years she spent training for the mission -- and said she hopes to stay connected to her 143,000 Twitter followers during her scheduled five-month stay in space.While Cristoforetti, 37, has yet to tweet about her new home, a video posted by the European Space Agency shows a beaming Cristoforetti and her fellow crew members being welcomed to their new home in low Earth orbit.

 

Watch a replay of @AstroSamantha @AstroTerry and @AntonAstrey being welcomed to their new home #ISS #Futura42 http://t.co/5YDWBvB8Cx

— ESA (@esa) November 24, 2014

 

Cristoforetti will spend the next five months controlling the International Space Station and handling many of the scientific experiments that are being run by astronauts for scientists back on Earth.Among the other guests aboard the ISS are 20 rodents, which arrived in September aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule. The animals have been living in NASA's Rodent Research Facility where researchers are studying the long-term impact of weightlessness on their bodies.Also on board the ISS is the first 3-D printer launched into space. It could potentially crank out spare parts that will allow astronauts to one day fix their vessel on the spot.Living in space may be a dream for the Italian astronaut, but she'll have to do without a few earthly pleasures. Before launch, she tweeted on Sunday that she had "what was probably my longest shower ever."Cristoforetti also enjoyed a final feast on Earth before she has to switch over to space cuisine.

 

We just had our final meal. I was really hungry! Soon time to head to the cosmodrome. #Launchday #Futura42 pic.twitter.com/f0eeMGo9M1

— Sam Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) November 23, 2014

 

One other thing she'll have to do without, for now: A cup of genuine Italian espresso.ISSpresso, an espresso machine designed by engineering company Argotec and coffee roaster Lavazza in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency, is one of the many items headed to space in April 2015, which comes toward the end of Cristoforetti's visit.

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University of Virginia’s Campus Reeling over Sexual Assault Allegations

University of Virginia’s Campus Reeling over Sexual Assault Allegations

Lance King/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Students at the University of Virginia on Monday praised the school's decision to suspend all fraternities and sororities in the wake of a report about a shocking sexual assault at a frat party.The Greek life at the school was suspended by university President Teresa Sullivan after rape accusations were detailed in a Rolling Stone article. The report sparked weekend protests on the Charlottesville campus.Tommy Reid, the president of the school’s inter-fraternity council, said that ending sexual assault on campus can’t be done by frat brothers alone.“It’s much larger and much more complicated than the Greek system itself. I think it’s important to understand the temporary ban in itself gives our community time to take a breath to sit back and talk and be active and develop what we consider to be actionable and long term solutions,” he said.“The culture here is not just a UVA issue. This is a pervasive national epidemic,” Ashley Brown, the leader of One Less, a group that helps sexual assault survivors, said Monday morning.The Rolling Stone expose involves a first-year student’s allegation in which she says she was “gang-raped” at a Phi Kappa Psi frat party. The victim claims the attack happened in 2012. That year, the university was crowned by Playboy as the nation’s top party school.The student, identified as “Jackie” in the article, said she felt obligated to stay silent and was even told by a roommate to “remember where your loyalty lies.”

Alexandria Pinkelton, a friend of the student, said she was proud of her friend’s determination. “One of her goals with doing this article is to try to spread awareness,” she said.The national leadership of Phi Kappa Psi decried the situation in a statement, saying, “We do not condone violence under any circumstances.”Sullivan suspended all campus fraternities and sororities in the wake of the scandal. In addition, Sullivan stated that the school’s board of visitors will be meeting on Tuesday “to discuss the University’s policies and procedures regarding sexual assault as well as the specific, recent allegations.”"I write you in great sorrow, great rage, but most importantly, great determination," Sullivan wrote in a statement sent to the University of Virginia community. "Meaningful change is necessary, and we can lead that change for all universities."The current situation feels too familiar for Liz Seccuro, who has claimed she was raped in the same frat house as a freshman in 1984. The school has done little to improve its culture in the ensuing decades because it’s too worried about its reputation, Seccuro said.“For 30 years, to have no progress made is inexplicable and heartbreaking,” Seccuro said.According to the Rolling Stone article, 38 students reported sexual assault to university officials in the last academic year, but of those 38 only four resulted in sexual misconduct board meetings.The university is one of 86 schools under federal investigation or compliance review for their handling of sexual misconduct.Attorney Wendy Murphy has filed lawsuits against nine schools, including the University of Virginia.“I’ve seen UVA behave badly for a long, long time, and this is the first time they’ve faced such a significant public scandal. It’s long overdue,” Murphy said.

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Amazon Faces More Competition this Holiday Shopping Season

Amazon Faces More Competition this Holiday Shopping Season

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Amazon is getting a run for its money as the holiday season kicks into high gear. The firm that revolutionized online shopping is facing more competition from brick-and-mortar rivals. “Amazon should be worried,” says Poonam Goyal of Bloomberg Intelligence. “Their two-day shipping offering is great, but now you have Target saying we’re giving you free shipping on everything: any order, any price throughout the holiday season.”Price competition is really stiff, especially for the best-selling brands of toys. “Walmart actually beat Amazon in the latest week on prices. They’ve been neck-and-neck throughout the last three weeks that we’ve been pricing,” says Goyal.Bloomberg’s survey checked the prices of 125 brands of best-selling toys at Amazon, Walmart, Toys R Us, K-Mart and Target.

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Jennifer Aniston: ‘Rachel’ Haircut Created When Stylist Was ‘Stoned’

Jennifer Aniston: ‘Rachel’ Haircut Created When Stylist Was ‘Stoned’

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- When fans run into any of the former cast from Friends, the same question is always brought up -- "Will there be a reunion?"Well, Jennifer Aniston, who played "gal pal" Rachel Green on the show, has a different idea and revealed what she'd be up for during a chat on the Graham Norton Show.Aniston stopped by the show to promote her new movie Horrible Bosses 2, alongside Jason Bateman."At this point, I feel like honestly we should just wait," she said of the show that ended in 2004. "I say we just wait till we are much older and just be old and friends."She said, if the cast waits, people won't be wondering about the physical changes or any comparisons to the cast a decade ago.After Graham Norton suggested a depressing reunion so that no one would want to see them again, Aniston, 45, said, "Oh no, dead Friends. ...Then, we'll know that there's no reunion to have!"Aniston also dished about her famous hairdo the "Rachel," which she admits was only on for like a season."So, that baby had some legs," she said. "Well, Chris McMillan, who we all know and love, he was loaded when he gave me the haircut. Stoned out of his mind, so, which is true, and he didn't think about, 'Oh, she's going to have to do this herself. Look, I'm having a great time being creative with this blow dryer and he leaves me with a round brush and a hair dryer. I don't know how to make it look like that!'"She added it was "hair hell" for a girl.

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Facebook Envy Leads Moms to ‘Financial Insecurity’

Facebook Envy Leads Moms to ‘Financial Insecurity’

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Showing off on social media isn't just for the rich kids of Instagram. New research shows the majority of moms feel pressure to appear well off on social media.For every day people -- moms included -- a daily visit to Facebook is often an assault of cyber friends' new cars, expensive strollers and pricey family vacations."Keeping up with the Joneses is actually keeping up with the e-Jonses, thanks to Instagram and thanks to Facebook," said Laura Gelman, lifestyle contributor for BabyCenter.com.It all leads to what experts call financial insecurity. BabyCenter's Cost of Raising a Child Report found 60 percent of moms feel pressure to appear well off on social media as well as envy or embarrassment about their own financial situation.Nicole Perez, mom of a 6-year-old tot, said the constant influx of material possessions on social media "makes you feel as if you are a failure as a mother. It's heartbreaking when your child says 'mom, when you get enough money can I get that toy?'"

Perez said that family trips to Disney are all over her Facebook news feed, something that's just not possible in her current financial situation.She's not alone. Colleen, a mom of two who preferred to use her first name only, admitted to "a habit of checking out the material 'clues' in the backgrounds of people's Facebook photos: kitchen cabinets or expensive furniture. I suppose it sort of creates a 'keeping up with the Joneses' feeling, and I'm sure I'm projecting all sorts of comparisons that might not even be there."Gelman said beyond the emotional stress these feeling can cause, there are very real financial concerns.

"There's a lot of maxing out of credit cards and buying things you can't afford. Which is really unfortunate just so you can go online and say 'look what I've done for my kids,'" she said.Robin Danks is a recently divorced mom of two who tries to see beyond what she sees on social media.

"You take every picture like that on Facebook and I think you uncrop it. And what do you see outside of that? Every one of us is going to have something outside of that, whether it be the child that takes an hour and a half to do 20 minutes of homework or the sick parent in the next room or the empty alcohol bottle. There's something in everyone's life," Danks said.While quitting social media is always an option, it's not an option for everyone.

"No way could I quit," said Perez. "I'm too nosy. Also there are good things about it -- seeing happy families enjoying themselves, that's a beautiful thing. It's not their fault it makes me feel bad."Danks also agreed getting off social media wasn't something she wanted to do.

For anyone who has been in the dumps after being on social media, she said, "I would suggest people really think about their life. There's at least one good thing in your life that you can't buy with money and instead focus on how important that is."

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‘Bleachorexia': Dentist Warns About Dangers of Overbleaching Teeth

‘Bleachorexia': Dentist Warns About Dangers of Overbleaching TeethJose Luis Pelaez Inc./Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mia St. John is obsessed with getting whiter, cleaner teeth.The five-time World Boxing Council champion in the super welterweight division said her quest for pearly whites grew so extreme she was brushing...

Ferguson Grand Jury Still at Work

Ferguson Grand Jury Still at Work

Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- A grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, is expected to reconvene on Monday, trying to decide whether to indict a white police officer in the August shooting death of an unarmed black teen.The weekend was marked by protests in the city of Ferguson, with security tight and tensions running high ahead of the grand jury’s decision. Many people were expecting the grand jury to come to a decision over the weekend.While the jurors debate possible criminal charges against officer Darren Wilson, additional law enforcement -- including the National Guard and more than 100 FBI agents -- is stationed in Ferguson ahead of the grand jury’s decision.The Saint Louis County Police Department switched its officers to 12-hour shifts in recent days. Metal and concrete barricades have been erected in areas around the St Louis County government buildings in Clayton, Missouri, where the grand jury has been meeting. The justice center there also houses the prosecutor's office, the St. Louis County Police Department headquarters and the circuit courts.A handful of arrests were made during the weekend. Some stores in the St. Louis suburb remain closed, with business owners boarding up windows in fear.“We look abandoned here, pretty much imprisoned,” business owner Triondus Sleet said. “It’s sad.”Wilson could be charged with murder or manslaughter -- or nothing -- for the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown. If cleared, a police union rep said he should be able to return to work.“It would be my hope though that if, one day, he decides to stay in law enforcement, that he's able to do that,” said Detective Gabe Crocker, president of the St. Louis County Police Association. "Especially if he’s cleared, that means he didn’t do anything wrong, according to the grand jury."President Obama, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, urged for calm no matter what decision the grand jury reaches, a sentiment also expressed by Brown’s mother and father.“Using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are,” Obama said.

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Ryan Reynolds on Expecting First Child: ‘I’m Good with Diapers and Diarrhea’

Ryan Reynolds on Expecting First Child: ‘I’m Good with Diapers and Diarrhea’

Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively are expecting their first child, and Reynolds says he's more than prepared for this new chapter in his life.

“I don’t have a weak stomach,” Reynolds told People magazine. “I’m good with diapers and diarrhea and all that kind of stuff because I have lots of nieces and nephews, so I’ve done it all before.”

Reynolds revealed what he's most looking forward to about the new addition. “I’m just excited about having a buddy,” he said, adding, “We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet, but whatever it is, you have this tether to reality that never goes away.”

The actor also said he's not concerned about messing up as a first-time father.

“For a lot of new dads, you tend to dwell on the mistakes you don’t want to make,” he said. “I’m at that stage still where I’m focused primarily on being open and understanding and leaving a lot of room for error.”

There's no word on when Lively and Reynolds, who wed in 2012, are expecting their bundle of joy.

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McCain Encouraging Lindsey Graham to Consider 2016 Run

McCain Encouraging Lindsey Graham to Consider 2016 Run

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain is prodding one of his closest allies in the Senate to consider a run for the White House -- Sen. Lindsey Graham. “I think he is looking at it, and I am strongly encouraging him to take a look at it,” McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC News. “I know of no one who is better versed and more important on national security policy and defense than Lindsey Graham, and I don’t think these challenges to our security are going away.” “He is eminently qualified,” McCain added. In an interview with The Weekly Standard last month, Graham, R-S.C., said he might consider a presidential bid after this year’s midterm elections if other candidates aren’t promoting an aggressive foreign policy agenda. “If I get through my general election, if nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody’s out there talking-- me and McCain have been talking -- I may just jump in to get to make these arguments,” Graham said. On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, Graham said running for president is "the hardest thing one could ever do. You go through personal hell. You have got to raise a ton of money. I'm nowhere near there." McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said he expects a “very crowded field” in 2016 that will be compromised of both senators and governors. “I think there's an old saying that if you are a United States senator that unless you are under indictment, or detoxification that you can automatically consider yourself a candidate,” McCain joked. “I think we should let a thousand flowers bloom. I think that the process is wide open right now, and I think not only will members of the Senate be considered, but I think some of our successful Republican governors will also be interested.” While another presidential run isn’t in McCain’s future, the Arizona senator said he will “likely” run for a sixth term in the Senate when he’s up for re-election in 2016. “Most likely I will, and I expect it to be a very tough race as I have every time, and I’m making every preparation,” McCain said. “As one of my Irish friends once said, a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed.”

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