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US Launches Six More Airstrikes Against ISIS

US Launches Six More Airstrikes Against ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. military conducted six more airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets near the Mosul Dam in Iraq, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said Thursday.The strikes, which are in support of Iraqi Security Force operations, “destroyed or damaged three ISIL Humvees, one ISIL vehicle, and multiple IED emplacements,” CENTCOM said in a statement. The fighter and attack aircraft used in the strikes all managed to exit the area safely.Since Aug. 8, CENTCOM says it has conducted 90 airstrikes across Iraq, 57 of which have been near the dam.
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Gwyneth Paltrow Does Ice Bucket Challenge in Bikini, Nominates Ex Chris Martin

Gwyneth Paltrow Does Ice Bucket Challenge in Bikini, Nominates Ex Chris Martin

Phil McCarten/FOX © 2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. (LOS ANGELES) — They may have split, but Gwyneth Paltrow wasn’t above involving her ex, Chris Martin, when she did the Ice Bucket Challenge for the ALS Association.She posted a video on Instagram, accepted the challenge, and then wrote “NOW I challenge @camerondiaz Chris Martin and @stellamccartney to the #ALSicebucketchallenge. join me in donating to alsa.org.”  In the video, Paltrow is in a two-piece bikini out in the grass, presumably in her backyard.
After almost a decade of marriage and two kids, Paltrow, 41, and Martin, 37, announced their split in March.
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National Guard Ordered to Leave Ferguson

National Guard Ordered to Leave Ferguson

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The Missouri National Guard has been ordered to leave the strife-torn town of Ferguson.Gov. Jay Nixon, who ordered the guard into Ferguson earlier this week, said on Thursday he was withdrawing them because “we continue to see improvement” in safety conditions in the town.“I greatly appreciate the men and women of the Missouri National Guard for successfully carrying out the specific, limited mission of protecting the Unified Command Center so that law enforcement officers could focus on the important work of increasing communication within the community, restoring trust, and protecting the people and property of Ferguson,” Nixon said in a statement.
The governor said the guard would begin withdrawing after a relatively calm Wednesday night which resulted in only six arrests.”Tonight was a very good night,” said Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.On Tuesday night, 43 were arrested and nearly 80 arrests were made on Monday night.The National Guard did not patrol Ferguson’s streets, standing guard instead at the police command center.Johnson said the city would continue to have a strong police presence.The St. Louis suburb has been roiled with angry protests since the police officer shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9. At times, those protests erupted into looting, Molotov cocktails and rock throwing. Police have responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.On Monday, when Nixon called out the National Guard, President Obama appeared to express skepticism over the tactic.”I spoke to Jay Nixon about this and expressed interest that if it was used, it would be in a limited and appropriate way,” Obama said Monday. He added that, “I’ll be watching to see that it’s helping, not hindering, progress.”Nixon visited Ferguson Wednesday, as did U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.Protesters have been demanding that the police officer, Darren Wilson, be arrested for shooting Brown. But St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Wednesday that a grand jury investigation into the shooting would likely last until mid-October.
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Sen. McCaskill to Hold Hearing on Militarization of Police

Sen. McCaskill to Hold Hearing on Militarization of Police

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will hold a hearing in September on the militarization of local police, a spokesperson for McCaskill confirms.The date has not been set yet, but the Senate is in session next month from Sept. 8-Sept. 23.McCaskill chairs the financial and contracting oversight subcommittee for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee.
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US Diplomats Can’t Participate in Ice Bucket Challenge

US Diplomats Can’t Participate in Ice Bucket Challenge

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — With the exception of the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand who didn’t realize the rules, you won’t see U.S. diplomats taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters at Thursday’s briefing that taking part in the challenge violates the restrictions placed on high level U.S. government employees.”Federal government ethics rules prevent us from using our public offices such as, high public officers such as ambassadors for private gain no matter how worthy the cause is and this is of course a worthy cause,” Harf said.”For that reason high ranking state department officials are unfortunately unable to participate in the ice bucket challenge,” she noted.Hard added that the State Department wishes the ALS Foundation success.”Obviously it’s a very important cause,” she said.
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DEA to Unveil New Restrictions on Popular Painkillers

DEA to Unveil New Restrictions on Popular Painkillers

Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will officially publish rules on Friday to tighten restrictions on the most common form of painkillers.The stricter rules are for drugs containing hydrocodone, which is in many of the most widely-used painkillers, including Vicodin and Lortab.Now with the goal of cutting down on abuse, the drugs are being put into a tougher, more restrictive category. Patients will be limited to one 90-day supply and then will have to see a medical professional to get a refill.Additionally, in many states, prescribing authority will be limited to doctors only and not nurses or physicians assistants any longer.The new rules will take effect in about about a month and a half.
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Bank of America Reaches Record Settlement with DOJ

Bank of America Reaches Record Settlement with DOJ

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Bank of America reached a record-breaking $16.65 billion settlement with the Department of Justice on Thursday.The deal resolves an investigation into allegations that the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank misled purchasers of mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement is the largest ever reached between the federal government and a company. “At nearly $17 billion, today’s resolution with Bank of America is the largest the department has ever reached with a single entity in American history,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said in a statement Thursday.The previous biggest bank deal involved JPMorgan Chase, which agreed to pay $13 billion for its role in selling flawed mortgage investments.Bank of America is expected to pay $9.65 billion in cash; the rest will go toward consumer relief.“This historic resolution — the largest such settlement on record — goes far beyond ‘the cost of doing business,’” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “Under the terms of this settlement, the bank has agreed to pay $7 billion in relief to struggling homeowners, borrowers and communities affected by the bank’s conduct. This is appropriate given the size and scope of the wrongdoing at issue.”
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The Social Network that Can’t Stop ISIS

The Social Network that Can’t Stop ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — While Twitter cracks down on ISIS propaganda following the execution of journalist James Foley, another social network admits it can’t stop militants from migrating to its site.The team behind Diaspora, a social network without any central leadership, said they were “concerned” about propaganda on their social network, but added that there is little they can do to stop it.”There is no central server, and there is therefore no way for the project’s core team to manipulate or remove contents from a particular node in the network (which we call a ‘pod’). This may be one of the reasons which attracted IS activists to our network,” a post on the social network’s website said.The site runs on free open source software and allows groups to be divided into pods. Each pod has an administrator and full autonomy to use it however they choose.Diaspora’s creators said they have made a list of accounts related to ISIS fighters and are talking to the administrators of each pod. The diplomatic approach has worked so far for the larger pods, which have followed up by removing ISIS-related accounts and posts, according to Diaspora.With ISIS-related content dispersed over “a large number of pods,” it remained unclear if there was anything else the site’s creators could do to stamp out propaganda.Diaspora was launched in 2010 after a crowd-funding campaign spearheaded by four students in New York.Twitter had previously been a popular place for ISIS fighters and supporters. However, after gruesome images of journalist James Foley’s beheading spread on Twitter earlier this week, the social network said it was actively suspending accounts that showed the graphic imagery.
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Experimental Ebola Drug’s Role in Americans’ Recoveries Remains Unclear

Experimental Ebola Drug’s Role in Americans’ Recoveries Remains Unclear

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — American Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly credited doctors, God and an experimental drug for his recovery Thursday. But experts say it’s unclear whether the drug, known as ZMapp, helped or hindered his recovery.Brantly and fellow American aid worker Nancy Writebol contracted the virus while working in Liberia with the missionary groups Samaritan’s Purse and SIM. They received ZMapp — a cocktail of three antibodies that attack the virus — and were evacuated from the growing outbreak zone to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they were isolated for at least two weeks.”Today is a miraculous day,” Brantly said Thursday as he was released from the hospital. “Through the care of the Samaritan’s Purse and SIM missionary team in Liberia, the use of an experimental drug, and the expertise and resources of the health care team at Emory University Hospital, God saved my life — a direct answer to thousands and thousands of prayers.”Brantly was the first human to receive ZMapp, which until recently had only been tested in monkeys. His condition improved within an hour, according to the aid group Samaritan’s Purse. But Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of Emory’s infectious disease unit, said drug’s role in his and Writebol’s survival is unclear.”Frankly we do not know if it helped them, made any difference, or even delayed their recovery,” he said.Out of six people known to have received ZMapp, two have recovered, three have shown improvement and one has died, according to the World Health Organization. Even the drug’s manufacturer, California-based Mapp Pharmaceuticals, acknowledges the lack of evidence that the drug actually works against the Ebola virus.”We don’t know,” the company’s website reads, stressing that larger trials are needed to determine the drug’s safety and effectiveness.But those studies might have to wait. Mapp Pharmaceuticals said it has run out of ZMapp after complying with “every request for ZMapp that had the necessary legal/regulatory authorization,” adding that the drug was “provided at no cost in all cases.” The company is currently working with the U.S. government to accelerate scaled up production, it said in a statement.”The work to date has been funded by grants and contracts that were only sufficient to produce doses for animal safety and efficacy testing,” the company’s website reads. “The present epidemic has changed the picture dramatically, and additional resources are being brought to bear on scaling up.”Ebola continues to spread through West Africa, where nearly 2,500 people have contracted the virus. Roughly 47 percent those infected have survived, according to WHO, making it difficult to understand the role of any experimental treatments.In addition to ZMapp, Samaritan’s Purse said Brantly also received a blood transfusion from a 14-year-old Ebola survivor — another unproven treatment with unknown results.”We have no idea how that might have affected his outcome,” Ribner said, adding that “there is a crying need for research” into experimental Ebola treatments.A group of 100 doctors, researchers, ethicists and drug developers is scheduled to meet in early September to discuss “the most promising experimental therapies and vaccines and their role in containing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa,” WHO announced Thursday, adding that “ways to ramp up production of the most promising products” will be explored.More than 20 experts from West Africa are expected to attend, the agency said.
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US Ebola Patients Out of Hospital but Outbreak Worsens in West Africa

US Ebola Patients Out of Hospital but Outbreak Worsens in West Africa

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Even though two American Ebola patients may be out of the woods in terms of their battle with the virulent disease, officials in West Africa continue to grapple with the worst-ever Ebola outbreak that is showing no signs of stopping.Both Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have been released from Emory University Hospital after spending weeks in isolation, while being treated for the deadly Ebola virus. Both missionaries had been working in an Ebola ward in Monrovia, Liberia, when they were infected.During a news conference Thursday, Brantly asked that people who prayed for his recovery also pray for “a quick end to this Ebola epidemic” and not forget about those still battling the disease in West Africa.Brantly asked that supporters “encourage those in leadership and influence to do everything possible to bring this Ebola outbreak to an end.”In Africa, the outbreak has become dire with more than 1,300 dead and medical centers overrun with patients, according to health officials.Last week, the World Health Organization said the number of known infections may “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak,” according to staff at outbreak sites.The disease has affected at least 2,473 people and killed 1,350 in four West African countries. In just two days — Aug. 17 and Aug. 18 — there were 221 new suspected Ebola cases and 106 deaths, according to the WHO.Government officials and medical teams have also had to deal with a lack of medical resources and a population that is afraid and ill-informed about how the virus can be spread.In Liberia, 37 patients fled an isolation center after a mob raided it for supplies, taking blood-stained mattresses, among other things. After the neighborhood was quarantined, clashes between residents and police injured three in the area, authorities said.Meanwhile in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, governments have revived the medieval practice of “cordon sanitaire,” or a cross-border isolation zone, to try and contain the epidemic.
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Tooth Fairy Leaving Less Money Under Pillows this Year

Tooth Fairy Leaving Less Money Under Pillows this Year

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The latest tooth fairy index suggests consumers are a little more nervous than last year about the future.According to credit card company Visa, the tooth fairy is leaving 8 percent less cash under the pillow this year. The average now is $3.40 a tooth.The survey shows dads leave more than moms since they tend to panic and leave whatever’s in their pockets.  Researchers say the tooth fairy’s clipped wings this year show a drop in consumer confidence.
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Existing Home Sales Jump 2.4% in July

Existing Home Sales Jump 2.4% in July

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Sales of existing homes in the U.S. rose last month to the highest level since last September, a report out Thursday shows.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says sales jumped 2.4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million.”I’m not surprised at all that the numbers are up. It’s summer time and this is when the masses want to buy real estate. It’s warm out. We had a really slow start to the year because it was just too cold to go outside and go to work certainly too cold to buy a home. So we’re catching up now,” says Kathy Fettke, CEO and founder of Real Wealth Network.Sales of previously-owned homes are at the highest pace of this year and have gone up for four straight months, according to the NAR.Fettke says now is a good time to buy a first home.”There’s more inventory out there and that’s really great news for home buyers. Interest rates are still low. Home prices are up but only up 4.9 percent from last year. So it should still be fairly affordable in certain markets for people to buy their first home,” she explains.Despite the good news, existing home sales are still down 4.3 percent from July of 2013.
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Cured Ebola Patient Dr. Kent Brantly Says ‘God Saved My Life’

Cured Ebola Patient Dr. Kent Brantly Says ‘God Saved My Life’

ABC News(ATLANTA) — Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly have been cured of the Ebola virus and released from Emory Hospital in Atlanta.Brantly, 33, called his recovery “a miraculous day.””I am thrilled to be alive, to be well, and reunited with my family,” he said.He also told a news conference at Emory Hospital that “God saved my life.”Both patients were given blood and urine tests to determine whether they still had the virus, Emory doctors said in a statement Thursday morning.”After a rigorous course of treatment and testing we have determined…that (Brantly) has recovered from the Ebola virus disease and he can return to his family, to his community, and to his life without any public health concerns,” Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of Emory’s Infectious Disease Unit, said Thursday.Brantly said that when Writebol left the hospital on Tuesday, she asked him to speak on her behalf to the public and express gratitude for prayers on her behalf.”When she walked out of the room, all she could say was ‘To God be the glory,’” Brantly recalled. “Nancy and (her husband) David are now spending some much needed time together.”Writebol’s husband said in the statement that his wife left the hospital in a “significantly weakened condition.””We are tremendously pleased with Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol’s recovery,” Ribner said. “All of us who have worked with them have been impressed by their courage and determination. Their hope and faith have been an inspiration to all of us.”Ribner emphasized that though there is public fear and anxiety about Ebola, there is no threat to public health with the patients’ release.He also said that the decision to bring Brantly and Writebol to America for treatment would help push forward the research and knowledge about how to treat Ebola wherever it is contracted.Brantly contracted the deadly virus while working in a Liberian Ebola ward with the aid agency Samaritan’s Purse. He was evacuated to the U.S. earlier this month along with Writebol.”I never imagined myself in this position,” Brantly said. “We treated our first Ebola patient (in Liberia) in June. When she arrived we were ready.””On Wednesday, July 23, I woke up feeling under the weather and then my life took an unexpected turn as I was diagnosed with Ebola. As I lay in my bed in Liberia for nine days, getting sicker each day, I prayed God would help be more faithful even in my illness, and that in my illness or even death he would glorified,” Brantly said.
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Brantly is the first-ever Ebola patient to be treated in the U.S. and the first human to receive the experimental serum known as ZMapp.According to reports, Brantly’s condition deteriorated so quickly that doctors in Africa decided to give him the drug in a last-ditch effort to save him.Brantly’s condition started to improve dramatically within an hour after getting the serum, according to Samaritan’s Purse, but it’s unclear if the improvement was directly related to the medication. After his health stabilized, Brantly was evacuated on a specially outfitted plane to Atlanta in early August to the hospital isolation ward.Writebol, 59, also survived after getting the serum.But Ribner said Thursday that it is unclear what role ZMapp played in their recovery.”Frankly we do not know if it helped them, made any difference, or even delayed their recovery,” Ribner said.He emphasized that both Writebol and Brantly were not a danger to others and there was no danger that the Ebola virus could flare up again in them.”There is no evidence that once a patient has cleared the virus from their blood that they will relapse,” Ribner said.He also said that having survived Ebola, the patients were now immune to that particular strain of Ebola, although there are five strains of the virus.The virus has killed at least 1,229 and sickened 1,011 more, according to numbers released Tuesday by the World Health Organization. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have the most cases.
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‘A Very Good Night’ in Ferguson as Peace Preserved

‘A Very Good Night’ in Ferguson as Peace Preserved

iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Peaceful protests and community activism replaced violent clashes in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, overnight, with only six arrests reported, police said.Unrest has ruled in the St. Louis suburb since the Aug. 9 police shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, speaking at an early-morning news conference, said Wednesday night’s protesters remained mostly orderly, showing a marked improvement over the previous night, when 47 people were arrested.“Tonight was a very good night,” Johnson said.Johnson said a few minor incidents were reported, such as an officer hit by a water bottle — but the officer wasn’t injured.Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Ferguson Wednesday, as did Attorney General Eric Holder.A decision on whether the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, would be indicted will not come quickly, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Wednesday. McCullough predicted that it could take until the middle of October for the grand jury to decide whether to charge Wilson.Grand juries typically meet one day a week.McCulloch said the grand jury investigation will be thorough.”They will have absolutely everything there is, every piece of paper, every photograph, every bit of physical evidence, all of the forensic information,” the district attorney said.
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Perry on Indictment: ‘I Am Very Confident in My Case’

Perry on Indictment: ‘I Am Very Confident in My Case’

Stewart F. House/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Just two days after smiling for a mugshot, Texas Gov. Rick Perry took his message to conservatives in Washington, D.C., saying he was certain he would be cleared of the felony charges filed against him.
“I am very confident in my case and I can assure you I will fight this attack on our system of government,” Perry said at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, on Thursday. “I aim to defend our constitution and stand up for the rule of law in the state of Texas.”
Perry’s speech at the Heritage Foundation was scheduled long before a Texas grand jury issued an indictment against the Texas governor last week. Speaking before a crowd of conservatives, Perry talked about the need to secure the border and fight terror groups like ISIS.
The Texas governor said the recent events in Syria and Iraq should put the country on alert for a potential terrorist attack and argued that the U.S. must respond in a decisive manner to root out ISIS.
“They should have us thinking about a possibility of another terrorist attack in this country,” Perry said.
“We have come to one of those moments where American action will be decisive and inaction will be consequential,” he said.
Perry called for more forceful action in Iraq to fight ISIS, including additional airstrikes, an increase in special forces and offering intelligence assistance. Asked whether the U.S should send combat troops into Iraq, Perry said it would be irresponsible to reveal any strategy to the enemy.
“I think all your options have to be open,” he said.
The Texas governor, who has been one of President Obama’s toughest critics on the border crisis, warned that the porous border may have already allowed members of ISIS and other terror groups to infiltrate the United States.
“I think it’s a very real possibility they may have already used that,” Perry said, referring to the border. “We have a serious issue facing this country and the security of our citizens. We need to be very vigilant. We have to be using every authority that we have.”
Perry rallied conservatives to work to elect Republicans this cycle, saying the midterm election will be the last opportunity to “pass judgment on the Obama presidency.”
“And something tells me he’s not going to like it,” he added.
The Texas governor’s trip to D.C. comes less than a week after he was indicted on two felony counts of abuse of power for threatening to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit if District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign following a DWI conviction in 2013. The governor’s office said Perry’s campaign fund will pay for further legal bills relating to the indictment.
“This is an assault on the Constitution,” Lucy Nashed, a spokesperson for Perry, said. “We don’t want it to be an assault on the taxpayers as well.”
Perry pled not guilty to the charges on Wednesday and waived his arraignment, which will take place on Friday. Instead, Perry will head to New Hampshire for the weekend where he is set to do a half dozen events, including several with the New Hampshire Republican Party.
Next week, Perry will head to South Carolina for the Texas A&M game against the University of South Carolina, where he will headline a tailgate to benefit the Republican Party of South Carolina.
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Beyonce’s Mom Quashes Divorce Rumors: ‘Everything’s Perfect’

Beyonce’s Mom Quashes Divorce Rumors: ‘Everything’s Perfect’

Eric McCandless/CBS(NEW YORK) — If mom knows best, then Beyonce and Jay Z are doing just fine.Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles, took a moment Wednesday to quash rumors that the couple is headed for divorce.Approached by a TMZ cameraman as she was leaving a lunch date with Beyonce’s former bandmate Kelly Rowland in Los Angeles, Knowles said, “Haters going to be haters and there’s nothing we can do about that.”Asked if everything is fine between Beyonce and Jay Z, Knowles replied, “Everything’s perfect.”She also admitted she doesn’t bother reading the gossip about her daughter and son-in-law.“I just don’t even read the bull, you know?” Knowles said.Rumors of trouble in the couple’s six-year marriage have been circulating since Jay Z’s infamous elevator dust-up with Beyonce’s sister, Solange, in May.Since then, there have been reports that Beyonce had her IV engagement tattoo removed from her ring finger, that she changed lyrics to her breakup ballad “Resentment” while on tour with Jay Z, that she’s shopping for her own New York City apartment and even that she turned to pal Gwyneth Paltrow for advice on “conscious uncoupling.”The couple hasn’t commented on any of the rumors, but Beyonce has posted plenty of snaps of her with Jay Z and their daughter Blue Ivy.
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How Much Will You Get from Social Security When You Retire?

How Much Will You Get from Social Security When You Retire?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Have you ever wondered how much money you’ll get from Social Security when you retire?You can find out now — online.”People can go to socialsecurity.gov/myaccount,” says Mark Hinkle of the Social Security Administration.It takes about 10 minutes to sign up. Once you’re done, you can see what your payments will be when you retire and how much you qualify for.”They get access to their personal Social Security information online,” says Hinkle. “It’s a great way for people to start planning for their retirement.”You can get personalized benefit estimates and also find out what your disability benefits would be if you need them.
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Mysterious Selfie Points Cops to Persons of Interest in Break-In

Mysterious Selfie Points Cops to Persons of Interest in Break-In

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department(SANTA CLARITA, Calif.) — California police say they want to question a couple whose selfie photo showed up on the “cloud” account attached to allegedly stolen electronics.
Authorities released the photos of the man and woman Wednesday in the hopes of identifying the persons of interest.”I’ve been a detective for quite some time and I’ve never had a case like this before,” Santa Clarita Police Det. Brian Dow told ABC News.Police responded to an alleged burglary on July 30 when a woman said her home had been ransacked. The victim told police she had come home to find electronics and money missing, along with other personal items. She said her front door had been unlocked and the mesh screen on a kitchen window had been cut out.An incident report was filed, fingerprints were taken and an investigation into the burglary was quickly underway.A few days later, a break in the case came from an unlikely source: the victim’s iCloud account.While accessing a virtual Internet server, which syncs the data from her electronic devices, she said she noticed that selfies had been taken and uploaded by a couple she did not recognize.The man and woman, photographed snuggled up in bed, seemingly took the photos sometime after the burglary at a location the victim did not recognize.”I want to identify these people,” Det. Dow said of the mysterious couple, who he believes are key to solving the case.The two persons of interest, who are not considered suspects, have yet to be identified.”I was at my wits end trying to figure out who these folks were,” Dow said, adding that he turned to social media Wednesday in the hopes that someone would recognize them.”We put out the report and everything started blowing off the hook,” the detective added. “Social media has never helped out like this.”
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How Ebola Survivors Have Fought the Stigma

How Ebola Survivors Have Fought the Stigma

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The recovery and release of two American Ebola patients has spotlighted a lingering side effect of the deadly disease: stigma.Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol contracted the virus while working in Liberia. They received an experimental drug and were evacuated from the growing outbreak zone to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they were isolated for at least two weeks.Brantly was released from the hospital on Thursday. Writebol was released on Tuesday.In West Africa, where the virus has at least 1,350 of the 2,473 people infected, survivors are feared in their communities.
Ebola spreads through contact with bodily fluids. Though it is not known why some people survive and others do not, blood tests can determine when the patient has recovered, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”I think there’s been enough study of previous patients such that once individuals have recovered, their ability to transmit Ebola to someone else is virtually nil,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.The virus only tends to linger in semen and vaginal fluid for a few extra weeks, Schaffner added.”That doesn’t imperil any of their neighbors the people who sit next to them at restaurants, the folks that they meet at church and any other casual person,” Schaffner said. “From a public health point of view, they’re of no risk to anybody else. That’s really, really well established or else they would not be releasing these people into the general population.”Still, Schaffner said the general public may be anxious anyway. Words from “people in white coats” alone aren’t enough to change minds, he said, likening the situation to people’s initial fear of AIDS and HIV patients despite scientific proof that they were no danger to the general public.“I’m reminded of Princess Diana hugging HIV-infected children,” he said. “That’s what you need. You need other validating people to grasp Kent Brantly by the hand, say, ‘Welcome home,’ and then put their arms around him.”
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Steelers RB’s Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount Face Pot Charges

Steelers RB’s Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount Face Pot Charges

Pittsburgh Steelers/NFL(NEW YORK) — Steelers running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were charged with marijuana possession on Wednesday.
The Steelers were on their way to Philadelphia for their third preseason game against the Eagles Thursday and were found with marijuana at a traffic stop.
Ross Township traffic officer Sean Stafiej pulled over a Camaro operated by Bell around 1:30 p.m. after smelling a strong odor of marijuana.
“We are aware of the reports and still gathering information,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said. “We will have no further comment at this time.”
The NFL is also expected to review the incident.
Both runningbacks are still expected to play against the Eagles.
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