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National Park Service Investigating Vandalism Reports in at Least 10 Parks

National Park Service Investigating Vandalism Reports in at Least 10 Parks

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The National Park Service has launched an investigation following reports of vandalism in at least 10 parks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Utah, officials said Friday.“On Tuesday we received a phone call from a reporter who directed us to a web blog called www.modernhiker.com claiming that a person has self-identified as serially vandalizing National Parks in the west,” Jeffrey Oslon, a National Park Services spokesman told ABC News.“We have verified the images of the vandalized sites and we are trying to locate them, confirm that they exist so we can repair them,” he added.A statement issued by the National Park Service lists the areas affected as Yosemite National Park, California; Death Valley National Park, California; Crater Lake National Park, Oregon; Zion National Park and Canyonlands National Park, both in Utah.“We are awaiting confirmation in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park and Joshua Tree National Park, both in California; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Bryce National Park, Utah,” the statement said.Vandalism, as described in the Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR 2.31(a)(3): Destroying, injuring, defacing, or damaging property or real property.“Vandalism is a class A misdemeanor and since this act happened on federal land it makes the Federal Class A misdemeanor. It is a penalty of $5,000 and one year in prison,” said Olson.“National parks exist to preserve and protect our nation’s natural, cultural and historic heritage for both current and future generations. Vandalism is a violation of the law and it also damages and sometimes destroys often irreplaceable treasures that belong to all Americans,” the National Park Service said in a statement.ABC News tried to access the Instagram and Tumblr accounts where the pictures and comments allegedly have been posted but it appears they were taken down. However, many of the pictures appeared on Modern Hiker’s blog in a story they published called “Art in the Parks.”“There are forums for artistic expression in national parks because national parks inspire artistic creativity. These images are outside that forum and outside the law,” said Olson.

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Canada’s Top Cop Wants More Terror Arrests, But Needs Evidence

Canada’s Top Cop Wants More Terror Arrests, But Needs Evidence

Getty Images(OTTAWA, Ontario) -- Canadian intelligence and law enforcement officers are “reevaluating” some 90 people they suspect are linked to terrorist groups in the wake of the deadly shooting near Canada’s Parliament, but the nation’s top cop said that unfortunately for him, no arrests are on the immediate horizon.

“We’re reevaluating all of our individuals to make sure that those that present the greatest sort of risk are assessed and [officers] have resources attributed to them either to do surveillance, focus on the investigation, to get evidence, to make arrests,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Bob Paulson told reporters Thursday. “We have not made arrests today. We do not have any intention of making imminent arrests. Generally, I would like to say that I have intentions of making lots of arrests, but in terms of the evidence and as the evidence is collected and the cases are built, we will be making arrests.”Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was shot and killed by security forces Wednesday after he opened fire with a small caliber rifle in Canada’s Parliament in Ottawa. Minutes earlier, police say Zehaf-Bibeau had gunned down a uniformed soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, at a nearby national war monument.Though Zehaf-Bibeau, was not one of the nearly 100 suspects that the northern nation had been watching -- and police say the only known link between him and other jihadis is an email found on another accused terrorist’s hard drive -- the case prompted Paulson and other top Canadian officials to question the nation’s current domestic anti-terrorism posture.

“…[W]e live in a dangerous world. Terrorism has been here with us for a while, and dangerously close on a number of occasions…We will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant, but we will not run scared. We will be prudent, but we will not panic,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Parliament Thursday, a day after he and other lawmakers had been within feet of the rifle-wielding gunman. “As members know, in recent weeks I have been saying that our laws and police powers need to be strengthened in the area of surveillance, detention, and arrest. They need to be much strengthened.”Paulson wondered aloud about legally lowering the bar for taking law enforcement action against suspects.“I understand that sort of we need to look at all options in terms of trying to deal with this sort of difficult and hard to understand threat and balance that against what we’ve seen in previous engagements with this threat, that we are able to act, you know, decisively, quickly, preventatively, and perhaps on a threshold that is somewhat lower,” he said during his press conference. “You know, without throwing somebody in jail forever, but being able to act decisively at a point where the suspicion is realized.”Speaking next to Paulson, Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said he has seen a “gap evolve over law enforcement’s ability to maintain control over these individuals that are being radicalized.”

Canada is hardly the only Western nation struggling with what to do about a number of citizens in country linked to terror groups abroad -- including a growing number of Westerners who have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join in the fight for or against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ABC News reported back in January that the FBI was already watching dozens of people who had fought in Syria and returned to the U.S.

British intelligence suspects that hundreds of its citizens have traveled to Syria to fight and last week law enforcement there announced terrorism charges against four men that had been arrested in London in the two weeks previous. The men, police alleged, had conducted “hostile reconnaissance” on an English police station and military base, had purchased a firearm and silencer and had reams of “jihadi material” on their computers.The same day as that announcement, Metropolitan Police’s National Policing Lead for Counter Terrorism Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley wrote separately on the MET website that the MET has made over 200 arrests this year alone and is running “exceptionally high numbers of counter-terrorism investigations, the likes of which we have not seen for several years.”Rowley too spoke about the delicate balance between disrupting potentially deadly plots and gathering enough evidence against the suspects.“Public safety is our number one priority and we will always focus our disruption activity against those posing the greatest and most imminent threat. Sometimes this means intervening very early -- essential to prevent attacks, but presenting enormous challenges in securing sufficient evidence to charge,” he wrote.

In the U.S., reports of the rise in domestic terrorism investigations came on the heels of startling revelations about the National Security Agency’s pervasive foreign and domestic surveillance programs, adding fuel to an already raging debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security -- a debate not restricted by America’s northern border, as Canada was already considering conservative legislation to strengthen its security forces.Thomas Mulcair, leader of Canada’s opposition New Democratic party, spoke immediately after the Prime Minister Thursday.“[The attack] has only strengthened our commitment to each other and to a peaceful world. Let us not become more suspicious of our neighbors. Let us not be driven by fear because in Canada, love always triumphs over hate,” he said.Then Justin Trudeau, head of the Liberty Party, added, “We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation. We are a country of open arms, open minds, and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, justice and the rule of law.”“We will not be intimidated into changing that, by anybody. These are instead the very values and ideals upon which we must rely in the days ahead…[Those who perpetrate attacks] are criminals, and criminals will not dictate how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves, or how we treat each other. They will not dictate our values,” he said.

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Ebola-Free Nurse Nina Pham Visits President Obama

Ebola-Free Nurse Nina Pham Visits President Obama

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images(BETHESDA, Md.) -- Before returning to her "normal life" in Texas, newly Ebola-free Dallas nurse Nina Pham got a hug from President Obama in the Oval Office.Hours earlier, Pham had walked out of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, where she has been in isolation since Oct. 16, to a round of applause. She thanked everyone who cared for her since her Oct. 11 Ebola diagnosis, and said she would finally go home to her dog, Bentley. "I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," she told reporters, adding that she hopes to return to her "normal life."Pham, 26, contracted Ebola from Liberian national Thomas Duncan, who flew to the United States in September and was diagnosed with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.Pham, a nurse there, cared for Duncan when he was especially contagious. He died on Oct. 8, and she tested positive for the deadly virus three days later.It was the first Ebola transmission on U.S. soil."I am on my way back to recovery even as I reflect on others who have not been so fortunate," Pham said, reading from her prepared statement at the press conference.

Pham's colleague, nurse Amber Vinson, 29, also tested positive for the virus on Oct. 15, and was flown from Dallas to Emory University Hospital later that night. The following day, Pham was flown to the Special Clinical Studies Unit of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, at the Dallas hospital's request.At the news conference announcing Pham's discharge, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said she tested negative for Ebola five times, and that it wasn't clear which treatment saved her because they were all experimental."I want to first tell you what a great pleasure and in many respects, a privilege ...to have the opportunity to treat and care for and get to know such an extremely courageous and lovely person," Fauci said, adding that she represents the health care workers who "put themselves on the line"He said he wore Pham's nursing school colors for the press conference in her honor."I'm going to miss Nina a lot," Fauci quipped at the end of the conference, adding that he gave her his cellphone number.Pham also thanked Dr. Kent Brantly, the American missionary who had been treating Ebola patients in Liberia when he contracted the deadly virus in late July. Brantly was declared virus-free in September and has donated plasma to Pham and other American Ebola patients in the hopes of boosting their ability to fight the virus with his antibodies.Pham's dog, Bentley, was taken to an animal shelter following her diagnosis. He has tested negative for Ebola, but his 21-day incubation period isn't over until Nov. 1. They will likely reunite a few days later.Vinson's family announced on Oct. 22 that she, too, tested negative for the virus at Emory.

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New Home Sales Up 0.2% in September

New Home Sales Up 0.2% in September

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The housing market continues to bounce back.

The Commerce Department reported on Friday that sales of new homes rose 0.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 467,000.David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, said the numbers are actually better than they appear at first glance."August was really high when it was reported in August and that's since been adjusted down, so now we have for the September number, we have the highest number since July 2008," he told ABC News Radio.Crowe said the market is getting healthier -- albeit at a slow pace."We're still at a very good number. It still indicates that we're moving forward in new home sales, although admittedly in a relatively slow pace," he noted.He said several factors are keeping some potential buyers away."It's a whole variety of things. Certainly, mortgage qualification is a big part of it. It's particularly true for younger, first time home buyers who maybe have a ding on their credit, don't have as much down payment," Crowe explained.

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Ebola ‘Poses No Threat to Others,’ Mayor Assures New York

Ebola ‘Poses No Threat to Others,’ Mayor Assures New York

Office of the Mayor NYC(NEW YORK) -- The mayor of New York City on Friday assured a city alarmed over the presence of an Ebola patient that the patient "poses no threat to others.""We are fully prepared to handle Ebola," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Friday, a day after it was announced that Dr. Craig Spencer was admitted to Bellevue Hospital with a diagnosis of the lethal virus.De Blasio said the city's emergency system has "planned for the crisis...That's why we've been ahead of the game."

Spencer, 33, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Thursday, seven days after returning from Guinea where he had been treating Ebola patients. Spencer is in stable condition, according to the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dr. Mary Bassett.The doctor's fiancee Morgan Dixon and two friends have been quarantined so they can be monitored. An Uber taxi driver was also in contact with Spencer, but was not believed to be at risk.De Blasio said that there were three public establishments that Spencer visited in the day before he was symptomatic. Two of the establishments -- Blue Bottle Coffee, a stand on the High Line park, and a Brooklyn bowling alley called The Gutter -- have been cleared to reopen. A Greenwich Village restaurant called The Meatball Shop was in the middle of their inspection during the press conference. If the restaurant is cleared, it plans to reopen for dinner Friday night.Officials stressed that the tests are being done out of an abundance of caution because Spencer did not display symptoms when he visited those locations and the first time he recorded his elevated 100.3 degree fever was between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday.A clean-up crew hired by the city's Health Department was inside Spencer's Manhattan apartment on Friday to ensure it was disinfected."Our contractor will clean and disinfect out of an abundance of caution. They will throw away the bed linens, towels, toiletries, food in the fridge, throw away garbage," a Health Department spokesman said. "They will wipe down hard frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant. And once complete, we will inspect and certify the apartment is Okay to re-enter."The health official said the department did not believe there were any bodily fluids, which transmit the virus, in the apartment."We do not believe there are any body fluids in the apartment because the patient did not report any vomiting it diarrhea," the spokesman said.Spencer's decision to travel to West Africa to work for Doctors Without Borders was described as a selfless act by the mayor."These individuals who are going there to serve are going to be the ones to end this crisis," de Blasio said. "We can't have the illusion that is 'we turn away from it, then someday it will end.'"De Blasio paid tribute to Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who had contracted Ebola while treating a patient who died of the virus. Pham was released Friday and spoke outside the National Institutes of Health in Maryland just minutes before the New York City press conference started. De Blasio said that her recovery shows that "the capacity of our medical community to address this issue is extraordinary."Pham met with President Obama in the White House on her way back home to Dallas Friday.

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Ebola ‘Poses No Threat to Others,’ Mayor Assures New York

Ebola ‘Poses No Threat to Others,’ Mayor Assures New York

Office of the Mayor NYC(NEW YORK) -- The mayor of New York City on Friday assured a city alarmed over the presence of an Ebola patient that the patient "poses no threat to others.""We are fully prepared to handle Ebola," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Friday, a day after it was announced that Dr. Craig Spencer was admitted to Bellevue Hospital with a diagnosis of the lethal virus.De Blasio said the city's emergency system has "planned for the crisis...That's why we've been ahead of the game."

Spencer, 33, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Thursday, seven days after returning from Guinea where he had been treating Ebola patients. Spencer is in stable condition, according to the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dr. Mary Bassett.The doctor's fiancee Morgan Dixon and two friends have been quarantined so they can be monitored. An Uber taxi driver was also in contact with Spencer, but was not believed to be at risk.De Blasio said that there were three public establishments that Spencer visited in the day before he was symptomatic. Two of the establishments -- Blue Bottle Coffee, a stand on the High Line park, and a Brooklyn bowling alley called The Gutter -- have been cleared to reopen. A Greenwich Village restaurant called The Meatball Shop was in the middle of their inspection during the press conference. If the restaurant is cleared, it plans to reopen for dinner Friday night.Officials stressed that the tests are being done out of an abundance of caution because Spencer did not display symptoms when he visited those locations and the first time he recorded his elevated 100.3 degree fever was between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday.A clean-up crew hired by the city's Health Department was inside Spencer's Manhattan apartment on Friday to ensure it was disinfected."Our contractor will clean and disinfect out of an abundance of caution. They will throw away the bed linens, towels, toiletries, food in the fridge, throw away garbage," a Health Department spokesman said. "They will wipe down hard frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant. And once complete, we will inspect and certify the apartment is Okay to re-enter."The health official said the department did not believe there were any bodily fluids, which transmit the virus, in the apartment."We do not believe there are any body fluids in the apartment because the patient did not report any vomiting it diarrhea," the spokesman said.Spencer's decision to travel to West Africa to work for Doctors Without Borders was described as a selfless act by the mayor."These individuals who are going there to serve are going to be the ones to end this crisis," de Blasio said. "We can't have the illusion that is 'we turn away from it, then someday it will end.'"De Blasio paid tribute to Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who had contracted Ebola while treating a patient who died of the virus. Pham was released Friday and spoke outside the National Institutes of Health in Maryland just minutes before the New York City press conference started. De Blasio said that her recovery shows that "the capacity of our medical community to address this issue is extraordinary."Pham met with President Obama in the White House on her way back home to Dallas Friday.

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Elton John Announces AIDS Partnership with US Government

Elton John Announces AIDS Partnership with US Government

US State Dept (WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State John Kerry hosted superstar Elton John in Washington, D.C. Friday, where the two announced a $7 million partnership between John's AIDS foundation and the United States HIV/AIDS eradication effort, PEPFAR.But perhaps caught up in the excitement of the announcement, Sir Elton gave Kerry a demotion, calling him "Senator."

It's not the first time Kerry had an unscripted moment with a famous philanthropist. There was also a bromantic moment caught on camera between him and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.And that time Ben Affleck shook his hand/squeezed his bicep:

In the end, all those awkward photo ops are for a good cause. In addition to Sir Elton raising money for AIDS initiatives, DiCaprio was part of a campaign to help the world's oceans, and Affleck was in Washington to bring attention to the humanitarian situation in the Congo.

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Kelly Osbourne Honors Joan Rivers with a Tattoo

Kelly Osbourne Honors Joan Rivers with a Tattoo

Kelly Osbourne with Joan Rivers and the cast of The Fashion Police. Timothy White/E!(LOS ANGELES) -- When Joan Rivers died last month, her Fashion Police co-host Kelly Osbourne was devastated.Now, she's done something to memorialize her late friend: She got a tattoo."In honor of you @joanrivers...'If you looked at aerodynamics, at science, the bumble bee should not be able to fly. Physically, it was just not anatomically equipped to soar. Yet it did, defying gravity, defying logic. The bee was a creature that defied and beat the odds, a miracle,'" Osbourne wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for being my Miracle @joanrivers."

 

In honor of you @joanrivers..."If you looked at aerodynamics, at science, the bumble bee should not be able to fly. Physically, it was just not anatomically equipped to soar. Yet it did, defying gravity, defying logic. The bee was a creature that defied and beat the odds, a miracle." Thank you for being my Miracle @joanrivers. 💜💋

A photo posted by Kelly Osbourne (@kellyosbourne) on Oct 10, 2014 at 7:34pm PDT

 

Rivers was 81 when she died on Sept. 4 of low blood oxygen after going into cardiac arrest while undergoing a procedure to treat voice changes and acid reflux.Her death touched the lives of her millions of fans, including Osbourne, 29."I'm completely heartbroken by the loss of my beloved Joan. Not only was she my boss, she was and will always be my teacher, therapist, closest friend, inspiration and the only grandmother I ever knew," she wrote on Facebook at the time. "She was family and I will never forget her. Laughter will be difficult for a while but when I'm sad, lonely or upset all I will have to do is think of Joan and a smile will cross my face. Laughter is what she gave us and laughter is what she would want us to do in remembrance of her."

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US Military Launches 18 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

US Military Launches 18 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The U.S. military continued its attack against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Syria and Iraq, launching 18 airstrikes on Thursday and Friday.According to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), six of the strikes were in Syria, near Kobani. They hit three ISIS units and destroyed a vehicle. The remaining 12 airstrikes in Iraq destroyed two vehicles and a mortar position near Mosul Dam; hit two small units and destroyed a vehicle south of the Bayji Oil Refinery; struck a training camp near Bayji; hit two small units and destroyed three vehicles near Fallujah; and destroyed five ISIS buildings near Zumar.CENTCOM said all the aircraft used in the attacks managed to exit the areas safely.

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Fire Sale: Why Amazon’s Much-Hyped Phone Flopped

Fire Sale: Why Amazon’s Much-Hyped Phone Flopped

Amazon(NEW YORK) -- Amazon's much-hyped Fire phone didn't even create a spark in the smartphone market. Four months after its debut, the device, which featured what Amazon called "breakthrough" technology, is now selling on Amazon for 99 cents with a contract -- placing it at about the same price point as a fast food hamburger.Where Amazon went wrong was creating a device geared toward drawing in new Amazon shoppers, according to Patrick Moorhead, principal technology analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. He said the smart phone and Amazon were a classic case of a "brand mismatch.""I think that Amazon was more interested in monetizing its buyers than actually delivering a compelling experience," Moorhead told ABC News.The Fire phone is equipped with a feature that allows users to identify almost any product -- from a book to a game or a container of kosher salt. It then directs users to Amazon to make purchases.The 3-D display, ideal for game play, was touted by Amazon as another breakthrough feature of the phone. From Moorhead's perspective, it's one place the company had a chance to shine but executed the technology entirely the wrong way."I could imagine on a 10-inch tablet playing some really cool 3-D games, but their display was too small," he said. "It was the wrong platform."Reviews of the Fire phone, which averages about 2-stars on Amazon, range from "extremely sad and dissatisfied" and "I wanted to love you" to "five stars."

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Ebola Outbreak Taking Its Toll on Doctors Without Borders

Ebola Outbreak Taking Its Toll on Doctors Without Borders

P.K. Lee/MSF(GENEVA) -- Doctors Without Borders is paying a heavy price in treating Ebola. The Geneva-based group tells ABC News that since the outbreak began in March, it has sent over 700 staff to the affected countries, working alongside roughly 3,000 nationals. Of all of those, two dozen have been infected and 13 have died. In every staff infection case, Doctors Without Borders conducts a thorough investigation. It has found that most of those who contracted Ebola did so while away from work.

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Kerry: Relationship Between US, North Korea Unchanged

Kerry: Relationship Between US, North Korea Unchanged

State Dept photo(WASHINGTON) -- In case you were wondering, Secretary of State John Kerry isn’t planning on traveling to North Korea anytime soon.Responding to a reporter Thursday who asked whether he would pay North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a visit, Kerry joked, “Do you know something about an invitation I don’t?”North Korea has reportedly closed its borders to foreign travelers due to Ebola concerns. Kerry didn’t seem to know whether that was true or not when asked whether that news could affect the two Americans still trapped in North Korea.“I can't tell you how their decision will or won't affect anything with respect to the other Americans who are being held,” he said during an availability with the South Korean foreign minister.On American Jeffrey Fowle, Kerry said the U.S. is “delighted” that North Korea released him but stressed that the U.S. is still “deeply concerned” about the other two.Kerry also mentioned the agreement between the U.S. and South Korea -- reached Thursday -- that would delay the transfer of wartime control of the Korean military back to Seoul until the South is better equipped to handle threats from the North. Currently, if South Korea became involved in a war, the United States would have to command combined U.S.-Korean forces. That’s an arrangement that goes back to the Korean War.The transfer of “operational control” was supposed to happen first in 2012, then in 2015. Now, there’s no set date -- just whenever South Korea achieves “critical defensive capabilities against an intensifying North Korean threat,” per statements from the U.S. and South Korea.

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Jump Right onto Trampoline Fitness Craze

Jump Right onto Trampoline Fitness Craze

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Workout enthusiasts have likely seen it offered in some form at their local gym -- the trampoline workout. But the demand for this type of fitness is so high, one fitness instructor has opened an entire studio dedicated to the workout craze.Going to a class at JumpLife in New York City, it’s a bit like the Jane Fonda workout on steroids goes clubbing on a trampoline. The low-impact, high-intensity, 45-minute workout is done on individual trampolines primarily in the dark under disco lights and is set to club music.Owner Montserrat Markou said the classes are so popular there are plans to open more studios next year. Why?“The fun,” Markou said. "They [the participants] said they’re actually working out, but having such a great time. I mean, people actually leave with smiles on their face because they feel like not only did they workout, sweating coming out all sweaty, but they also feel like a kid again.”The studio also offers classes tailored for kids as young as 5 years old. But adults -- even those who have suffered injuries -- are the ones getting the most out of class.“It’s low impact so a lot of people who have existing injuries like knee problems, like back problems come,” Markou said. "It’s a very comfortable way of working out and getting their fitness back.”There are three types of adults classes offered: JumpDance (the class mentioned earlier with the low lighting and club music); JumpFitness, which uses weights and focuses on strength and toning; and JumpFusion, which is 60 minutes and fuses yoga, Pilates and rebounding at a slower pace than the other JumpLife classes.Markou said jumpers can burn up to 600 calories in just one session.Markou got the idea for the class after her own neck injury inspired her to become a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist. Her clients at her Long Island practice began asking her how to get back in shape without aggravating their injuries.

Walking by a store one day, she saw a trampoline in the window and instantly knew the answer.

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Austin Davis Says He’s Humbled by Brett Favre’s Comments

Austin Davis Says He’s Humbled by Brett Favre’s Comments

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin Davis received some high praise from future Hall of Famer Brett Favre this week.

Favre spoke with ESPN's Ed Werder and compared the Southern Miss alumni to another future Hall of Famer.

"Austin can definitely play at this level," Favre told Werder this week. "Not to sound off my rocker, but [Davis], in my mind, can be the next Tom Brady or Kurt Warner. [Brian] Hoyer as well. Austin, like those mentioned, just needed a legit opportunity."

Davis was humbled by the comments and said that Favre has sent him text messages of encouragement. Still, he told reporters that he just wants to be himself.

"I don't really want to be the next anybody," Davis said. "I just want to be the first Austin Davis and just keep doing what we're doing."

Davis and the Rams are coming off a 28-26 win over the Seahawks last Sunday.

"It felt good to get one this past week. I think it was much needed for our football team," Davis said of the win.

The Rams (2-4) will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs (3-3) on Sunday.

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Donations Pour in to Buy Eric Frein Lookalike a Car

Donations Pour in to Buy Eric Frein Lookalike a Car

The Tully Family(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- Thousands of dollars have been raised for a Pennsylvania man who said he's continually accosted by cops as he walks to work through the woods where police are searching for suspected cop killer Eric Frein.Supporters who heard about James Tully's plight raised nearly $14,000 online to buy him a car. Tully said he walks five miles from his home in Canadensis to his job at a metal manufacturing factory, and his path crosses right through the manhunt area in the Pocono Mountains.

He told ABC News affiliate WNEP that he's been stopped by police at least 20 times, and was once even ambushed at gunpoint by authorities who thought he was the suspect.Since neighbor Dawn DeBiase launched the GoFundMe campaign this week, hundreds of sympathetic people have donated."If everyone was willing to walk 10 miles to make a dollar, the world would be a different place," one supporter wrote."I am retired now but I can remember times when I had no car to get to work and I found people willing to help me," said another donor. "Just like all these great people helping you. Good luck to you."DeBiase posted a message from Tully's mother on the fundraising page Thursday night."I don't know if James is aware of the present total as he is at work right now," she wrote, according to DeBiase's update. "But I am blown away. I don't have the words to thank each of you for your kindness to my son. To say thank you seems so inadequate, but I don't know what else I could say. Many thanks to everyone who donated and posted encouraging messages. Thank you especially, Dawn for organizing this."

Police have been searching for Frein for six weeks, since he allegedly opened fire at the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12, killing one state trooper and injuring another, before escaping into the woods.Frein, a self-trained survivalist, has been spotted several times, but evaded police capture.Tully has started wearing his employer ID on a lanyard around his neck, and wearing a reflective vest on his walks so police immediately know he is not the suspect.Pennsylvania State Police declined to make an official comment, but said that if Tully feels he was mistreated, he should file a complaint.

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First Lady Flubs Again on Campaign Trail

First Lady Flubs Again on Campaign Trail

Samantha Appleton / The White House(DENVER) -- First lady Michelle Obama has been touring the country for Democratic candidates -- and making headlines along the way for notable gaffes. Earlier this month in Iowa, she referred to Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley as Bruce “Bailey,” before correcting herself in a follow-up appearance in Iowa City. In Colorado Thursday, she called Democratic Sen. Mark Udall a “fifth-generation Coloradan,” though he was born in Arizona. It’s Udall’s opponent, Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who is a fifth-generation Coloradan.

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Food Network Star Sunny Anderson Opens Up About Ulcerative Colitis

Food Network Star Sunny Anderson Opens Up About Ulcerative Colitis

Brad Barket/Getty Images for NYCWFF(NEW YORK) -- There's a reason why Sunny Anderson isn't keen on eating vegetables and it has nothing to do with personal taste.The Food Network star revealed that for the past 20 years, she's suffered from ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease that affects the large intestine and doesn't allow her body to absorb nutrients as it should. Unfortunately, greens, along with vegetable and fruit skins, can trigger flare-ups."I can’t just have a big salad because my body doesn't break it down," she explained to ABC News. "If you get my cookbook, there are only four vegetable recipes. Everything else is meat and potatoes!"Anderson, 39, has since teamed up with the the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America to raise awareness of the disease and develop recipes (available on getyourfullcourse.com) to help others who have it. For the chef, her diagnosis came at age 19, after suffering from cramps "worse than that time of the month" and bloody stools for a month."I was thinking it was stress or the food [I'd been eating in Korea]...but luckily my dad is a doctor and I felt comfortable talking to him," she said."Sometimes people think it's something they ate or stress," she added, "I can't tell you how many times I cried. Thank goodness [for my father] who was a doctor and we were raised in an open family, but going through a battery of tests was really, really tough."Now, she's encouraging others who have noticed symptoms to see their doctors, though she admitted discussing stools and other symptoms can be "embarrassing."

Still, a colitis diagnosis doesn't necessarily mean those who have the disease need to change their diets completely -- they just need to be more mindful of what they're eating."A wedge salad is one of my favorites. Argula is one of my favorites. Sometimes, you know what you're doing to yourself and you pay for it," she said. "But it's important to know what it is, and what the symptoms are."

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Sarah Palin Backs Independent in Alaska’s Governor’s Race

Sarah Palin Backs Independent in Alaska’s Governor’s Race

(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin has backed Alaska’s Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker over Republican Sean Parnell, her former lieutenant governor.Palin held an event earlier this week at her Wasilla home for Walker and his Democratic running mate. Parnell was not only Palin's number two, but took over when she stepped down in 2009. The two had a high profile disagreement earlier this year, taking opposite sides on a referendum over Alaska’s oil and gas taxes, Palin's signature legislation while she was the state’s governor. According to a release Wednesday from the Walker campaign, both Walker and his running mate Byron Mallot, along with their families, attended the reception hosted by Palin and her husband Todd.The campaign says Sarah Palin addressed the crowd of about 100 guests, saying she is backing the candidates, known as the “unity ticket,” because she “trust[s] them to develop our God-given resources responsibly and to the maximum benefit of Alaskans.”

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Odds of Catching Ebola on the Subway and Other Handy Facts

Odds of Catching Ebola on the Subway and Other Handy Facts

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ebola continues to dominate the news with the latest diagnosis of a patient in New York City, leaving many Americans on edge, especially New Yorkers, who awoke this morning to learn that the patient had take three subway lines before he was diagnosed.So, what are the odds of catching Ebola on the subway? Here are a few Ebola facts to calm your nerves:"There are fundamental things we do know about Ebola and it's those things that can make most people in America rest very well at night that they don't have a risk of contracting this disease,” said ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser during a recent ABC News Ebola town hall event.What If I Stand Next to Someone with Ebola on a Subway?You probably won't catch it in that situation, Dr. Jay Varma, New York City’s deputy commissioner for disease control, said during the town hall event."Casual contact like you would have somebody pass you on the bus or on the subway, I’m not worried about it for myself and I’m not worried about it for my wife and kids," Varma said.When Does Ebola Become Contagious?Ebola is contagious when someone is symptomatic, Besser said. A fever is the first symptom of Ebola, which means the virus is beginning to multiply in the patient’s blood when a fever sets in.As an Ebola patient gets sicker and sicker, the amount of virus in his or her blood multiplies, making them even more contagious.How Is Ebola Spread?Ebola is spread through close contact with an infected person, and it’s not airborne, Besser said.“We also know from the studies in Africa that it’s a hard disease to get,” Besser said. “If this disease was spread through the air or was spread easily -- that you could get it from someone you’re standing next to in the market or sitting next to on a plane -- this outbreak would be far larger than it is today.”People who contract Ebola usually do so because they've cared for someone who was infected in a hospital setting or at home, Besser noted, or they've touched the body of a person who died of Ebola.Can It Become Airborne?“The majority of scientists say that while it’s possible, it’s highly unlikely,” Besser said, explaining that the virus would have to mutate significantly.What If Someone with Ebola Sneezes on Me?Sneezing is not a symptom of Ebola, Besser said. Neither is coughing until the very late stages of the disease, when the person is clearly sick and near death. On top of that, the disease is not airborne.How Long Can the Virus Survive on Surfaces Like Tabletops and Doorknobs?“This is one of these areas where we don’t really know enough,” Varma said. “We do know that these viruses can survive on surfaces for a few hours.”He said how long it can survive depends on the surface and the environment.Should You Take Precautions Before Taking Public Transportation?“We think this is not a disease that you can get from simply being next to somebody,” Varma said. “Absolutely if somebody vomits on you or you get their body fluids on you, of course you can be at risk, but we think that airplane travel, traveling on subways -- all of that -- is the type of contact where this is not a disease that's transmitted.”He said he’s more worried about getting the flu on public transportation than Ebola.Can I Get Ebola From Someone’s Sweat?There’s very little data on how much of the virus is in a sick person’s sweat, Besser said.He added that carrying a person who is sick with Ebola can be a “risky situation.” He said one man who had Ebola on a plane didn't spread it to fellow passengers but inadvertently gave it to the people who helped carry him once he got off the plane.“Touching the skin -- whether he had other body fluids or sweat on his skin at that point -- was a risk,” Besser said.Can Ebola Be Spread Through the Water Supply?Ebola is not a water-borne disease, according to researchers at the Water Research Foundation. Therefore, it cannot spread through the water supply.“Once in water, the host cell will take in water in an attempt to equalize the osmotic pressure, causing the cell to swell and burst, thus killing the virus,” the foundation noted in a statement.Bodily fluids flushed by an infected person would not contaminate the water supply, the statement went on to say, because the virus is so fragile. Once separated from its host it is neutralized within minutes.Can Ebola Be Used as a Terrorist Weapon?Ebola could theoretically be used by terrorists but it is unlikely, Varma said.Studies suggest that Ebola could in theory be delivered in mist form by spraying it out of an aerosol can. However, since the virus is not known to take an airborne route, this would likely be ineffective.It is also possible that a terrorist willing to be infected with the virus could walk among the general population. However, since the virus has a long incubation period and is not highly contagious until the later stages of the disease, most experts say this would be impractical.Can Ebola Be Spread by Mosquitoes?Neither mosquitoes nor rats can spread Ebola, Besser said. "Not all viruses are adapted to survival and transmission through every vector," he noted.Only mammals such as humans, bats, monkeys and apes have shown the ability to spread and become infected with the Ebola virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other studies have shown that dogs and pigs can be infected with the virus but they don't show symptoms and there are no known cases of these animals passing the virus along to humans.Is There a Vaccine Coming?There are two vaccines being tested in clinical trials now, Besser said.“There’s a lot of efforts underway to try and move a vaccine forward but vaccine development takes a long time,” he said, adding that one of the companies working on one has said it won’t know whether it works until 2015.Even if it does work, it will take more time to manufacture.What About Other Drugs?Ebola patients in the United States are receiving experimental drugs, but it’s not yet clear whether they've helped, hurt or made no difference in those patients’ outcomes, Besser said.Why Don't We Just Close Our Borders to West Africa?Keeping people from leaving the Ebola-affected countries would be a "major mistake," Besser said, noting that he saw aid workers, journalists and family members aboard his plane on his two trips to Liberia in the last few months, and that letting them in and out is important."You want to make sure that people who leave that area are being monitored and doing it safely," he said. "You want to encourage people to go there who have expertise and can help these governments, these health workers, control this disease. That will save lives there and will also improve the health and protection of Americans right here."Varma said the biggest concern in America should be containing the outbreak in Africa. Until that happens, he said "we will always be at risk.""You can't just wrap a wall around these countries and not expect people to get out," he said.

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Poll: Sen. Mark Udall Still Leads Colorado Senate Race

Poll: Sen. Mark Udall Still Leads Colorado Senate Race

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Cory Gardner is still ahead of Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall in the Colorado U.S. Senate race, with the Republican leading Udall 46 to 41 percent among likely voters, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll out Friday. The results are similar to the five-point lead Gardner had in Quinnipiac's poll last week.The poll also shows 6 percent are for Independent candidate Steve Shogan, while another 6 percent are undecided.Among women, 45 to 41 percent are backing Udall, while 51 to 38 percent of men are for Gardner.Gardner is leading with independent voters, getting 41 percent to Udall’s 40 percent. And with just 11 days to go, much of Colorado’s likely voters have made up their mind with 92 percent decided.

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