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Retired Detective Says ‘Toxic Stress’ May Have Contributed to His Cancer

Retired Detective Says ‘Toxic Stress’ May Have Contributed to His Cancer

Benny Andujar(NEW YORK) — When 54-year old Benny Andujar went in for a routine checkup shortly after retiring from the New York City police force a few years ago, doctors found abnormalities in the cells close to his stomach, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus. Several months later he was diagnosed with cancer.Andujar said he didn’t realize how much of a toll all the years he’d spent investigating some of city’s most notorious gangs and drug cartels had taken on his body. But he’s convinced all the pressure he was under for so long contributed to his illness.

[Toxic Stress Tweet Chat Today at 1 P.M., ET]

“You go to work in the morning and you don’t know if you’re coming home in the evening,” Andujar said.What Andujar experienced goes so far beyond the normal day-to-day hassle, doctors refer to it as “toxic stress.” This is the type of stress that is so sustained and unrelenting it can cause long-term depression and anxiety and an increased chance of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.“This happens when stress is especially severe or long-lasting, and it exceeds support or coping mechanisms," said Dr. Amit Sood, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.Sood said that toxic stress puts your body at war by revving up the activity in the glands that secrete stress hormones. These glands can tolerate short periods of high activity well but don’t hold up during long periods of extreme wear and tear. If stress and anxiety levels continue unabated, blood pressure elevates and immunity plummets, leaving the body vulnerable to physical and mental disorders, Sood explained.People in dangerous or high stress jobs such as Andujar are candidates for toxic stress. So are victims of domestic abuse. It can be especially dangerous for children.The Adverse Childhood Experiences studies performed in the late 1990’s established a strong link between toxic stress in childhood and the risk of obesity, depression, alcoholism, smoking and other risk factors in adulthood. Additionally, children who have high stress levels due to poverty, neglect, abuse, or severe maternal depression have been shown to have a weakened architecture of the developing brain leading to long-term consequences for learning, behavior, and overall health.According to Dr. Robert Block, a former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, toxic stress is so insidious, it affects individuals at the cellular level.“It can actually affect the way individual genes function, potentially turning on genes that increase risk of disease,” he noted.But Toxic stress doesn’t have to be a done deal, Sood said.“There are ways to decrease and even reverse the damage done,” he said.Simple lifestyle changes such as physical exercise, a healthy diet and adequate sleep can help, Sood pointed out. Contemplative practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, and even prayer can also help to manage stress in the moment and reverse some of its negative health consequences.“All of these lifestyle changes have been shown to reduce stress,” Sood said, adding that he also recommended “timeless virtues” such as gratitude and working to forgive old grudges.Fortunately for Andujar, his cancer was found in time. He’s now cancer-free, and extremely grateful. He said he’s made changes in his life that ensure stress can no longer overtake him. And the one positive remnant of his cancer battle is a new perspective on life.“I think it makes you a better person when you see the gates opening,” he said. “I now enjoy life, I stay in the moment. I won’t wait for tomorrow to do what I can today. I don’t have time for anger, hatred. Life is too short.”ABC News Health invites anyone who feels overtaken by stress to join us for a one hour tweet chat Tuesday at 1 p.m., ET. Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor, will be leading a discussion on how stress impacts your life and what you can do about it.We’ll be joined by experts from the Mayo Clinic as well as doctors, experts and advocates from other organizations. Joining in is easy. Here’s how.

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Attacker in Sydney Siege Was ‘Deeply Disturbed,’ Australia PM Tony Abbott Says

Attacker in Sydney Siege Was ‘Deeply Disturbed,’ Australia PM Tony Abbott Says

Jennifer Polixenni Brankin/Getty Images(SYDNEY) — Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the hostage taker in Monday’s siege in Sydney was a “deeply disturbed individual” who was drawn to extremist views during a life marked by mental instability and crime.Abbott, speaking at a press conference with other authorities Tuesday, said he believes that no one would want to emulate the actions of Man Monis, who took control of a chocolate shop in downtown Sydney, leading to a 16-hour standoff.

Monis and two others were killed during the siege.“The tragedy of these times is that there are people even in a society such as ours who wish to do us harm. We are not immune to the politically motivated violence which has for so long stalked other countries,” Abbott said. “There was nothing consistent about this individual’s life, except that he was consistently weird.”Abbott also expressed his belief that Australia will move beyond the tragedy. “We have seen, in the worst of times, the best of people,” he said.Earlier Tuesday, Abbott and his wife Margie paid respects to the siege victims, laying flowers at a makeshift memorial in Sydney’s business district.The hostages who died during the siege were identified as Tori Johnson, 34, and Katrina Dawson, 38.Johnson was the manager of the café, according to Channel 9 News in Australia. Dawson was an attorney and mother of three, according to the new South Wales Bar Association. Three other hostages and a police officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.Of the 17 total hostages, at least 12 were reportedly able to flee from the store before police stormed the shop.

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Traveling Is Yet One More Holiday Tradition

Traveling Is Yet One More Holiday Tradition

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Will you be home for Christmas? How about Hanukkah?The Jewish festival of lights kicks off Wednesday and with Christmas a week from Thursday, a lot of folks are preparing to head out to be with family or friends or maybe just escape to a vacation destination.Although most plan to stick around, TripAdvisor says that one in three Americans will do some form of traveling over the next couple of weeks.Of those on the roads or in the air, 72 percent have Christmas plans while another 42 percent will travel for New Year's Eve celebrations.The Hanukkah travelers account for about four percent of Americans spending their holiday elsewhere.TripAdvisor say that 27 percent of all travelers plan to see family with three-quarters offered accommodations by their relatives. The rest plan to stay in a hotel.

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Skip the Booze to Get to Sleep

Skip the Booze to Get to Sleep

iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, Mo.) — A bottle of beer, a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey is not going to help you sleep better in the long run.Mahesh Thakkar at the University of Missouri School of Medicine says about 20 percent of Americans have tried this method in an effort to get some shuteye.While it might put them to sleep faster, Thakkar says many will also find their sleep interrupted at some point and that makes it even more difficult to doze off.The study author explains the problem is that alcohol interferes with "sleep homeostasis -- the brain's built-in mechanism that regulates your sleepiness and wakefulness."The other downside to using alcohol is that it also acts a diuretic, meaning, more trips to the bathroom at night.While it's tempting, Thakkar recommend people skip the booze and if problems persist, talk to a health professional about what's keeping you awake, which can be addressed with individualized treatments.

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Fast Start Powers Cleveland Past Hornets

Fast Start Powers Cleveland Past Hornets

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers jumped out to a 21-0 lead over New Orleans and pulled away in the third as the Cavaliers (14-9) defeated the Hornets (6-18) 97-88 on Monday night.

It was the third straight loss for New Orleans and the sixth straight home win for Cleveland.

"We had a lull in the second quarter and in the third quarter, which really allowed them to get back in the game, but we sustained the effort for close to 48 minutes," Cavaliers forward LeBron James said.

The 21-0 lead to open the game is the largest since a 22-0 lead for Portland against Boston in 2004.

"Being 21 down against an elite team on their floor is tough to overcome," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "We played a good enough offensive game to win against a terrific team, but our first-quarter defense was obviously poor."

Despite trailing 21-0, the Hornets did fight back and closed the gap to within two points. However, after cutting the deficit to 59-57, New Orleans watched as the Cavs went on a 21-9 run to end the third.

James finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds while Kevin Love added 22 points and 28 rebounds for Cleveland. Meanwhile, Kemba Walker led the way for the Hornets, pouring in 24 points while Al Jefferson added 14.

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UN Spreads Blame for Torture, Indiscriminate Killings in Eastern Ukraine

UN Spreads Blame for Torture, Indiscriminate Killings in Eastern Ukraine

iStock/Thinkstock(UNITED NATIONS) — A blistering United Nations human rights report on the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine alleges both sides have indiscriminately killed civilians and used torture.The U.N. puts the death toll at over 4,630 but believes the actually number of casualties is much higher. More than 10,230 people have also been wounded in the fighting between government forces and rebel factions backed by Russia.Adding to the misery, the report says, are more than 5.2 million residents in the east caught in the midst of violence with much of the local infrastructure devastated and Ukraine's brutal winter having arrived.The U.N. report contends the most vulnerable are "older persons, children and people in institutional care, many of whom are on the brink of survival."Meanwhile, the human rights group spares no punches assigning blame for the crisis, first accusing the government in Kiev for allowing "arbitrary detentions, torture, and enforced disappearances of people suspected of 'separatism and terrorism.'"The U.N. then blasts separatist groups for "creating a criminal state in parts of the industrial regions of Lugansk and Donetsk they control with the help of 'foreign fighters,'" which is taken to mean Russian forces.Neither side responded to the U.N. report.

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Most Googled Calorie Counts of 2014

Most Googled Calorie Counts of 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Google users were mighty curious about how many calories they were eating this year, but they were more curious about some foods than others.

Check out the top trending calorie count searches of 2014.And because we're super nice, we pulled together the answers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's calorie search tool.1. How many calories in a banana? 105.2. How many calories in pumpkin pie? There are 374 calories in one piece of pie.3. How many calories in an apple? 72.4. How many calories in an egg? That depends. If it’s boiled, it’s 77 calories. If it’s poached, it’s 71 calories. If it’s fried in butter, it’s 92 calories. If it’s raw, it’s only 63 calories.5. How many calories in an avocado? A cup of avocado cubes is 240 calories.6. How many calories in a cheeseburger? A homemade basic cheeseburger is 317 calories. A cheeseburger on a bun with 1/3 pounds of meat, mayo and a tomato is 845 calories.7. How many calories in a Big Mac? A Big Mac, McDonald’s double cheeseburger with mayo on a double-decker bun, is 585 calories. According to the McDonald’s website, however, it’s 530 calories.8. How many calories in a watermelon? A cup of diced watermelon is 46 calories.9. How many calories in an orange? 62.10. How many calories in a slice of pizza? A slice of regular cheese pizza is 231 calories. It’s 258 for thick crust. If you add meat and vegetables to a slice of regular crust pizza, it’s 272. Do the same to the thick crust and it’s 328."I think it is a positive sign in that people maybe are recognizing more how their overall individual intake plays into their body weight an energy balance," said registered dietitian Jamie Pope, who teaches nutrition at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tennessee. Though she said she was surprised to see fruits mixed in with burgers on the list.

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Search Intensifies for Shooting Spree Suspect in Pennsylvania

Search Intensifies for Shooting Spree Suspect in Pennsylvania

Montgomery County District Atty(SOUDERTON, Pa.) — A suspect in a deadly shooting rampage remains on the run outside of Philadelphia Tuesday morning, forcing residents to stay indoors and local schools to close as a precaution.Bradley William Stone, 35, is suspected of killing six members of his ex-wife’s family at three separate locations in Montgomery County -- allegedly killing his ex-wife, his former mother-in-law, former grandmother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and 14-year-old niece.His former nephew, 17, was wounded and taken to a hospital in Philadelphia for treatment. Stone took his two children to a neighbor's home before the shootings began, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri told reporters, and they are safe.Stone is a former Marine reservist who served from 2002 to 2011. He had one deployment to Iraq, leaving with the rank of sergeant, according to a Marine spokesperson.A man matching the description of Stone was spotted in Doylestown, Bucks County, Monday after a resident was confronted by the man with a knife, according to a statement from Doylestown Township.The victim was walking his dog when a man, described as a white male approximately 5'10" wearing camouflage clothing, demanded his car keys.The victim resisted and fell to the ground, but had a gun and fired multiple rounds at the suspect, according to the statement.The man matching Stone's description was last seen running into the woods.Residents throughout Montgomery and Bucks counties were being told to stay in their homes and lock their doors as the search continued."Stone may be wearing military fatigues, in either sand or green color," the district attorney's office said in a statement posted to Facebook. Stone is known to use a cane or walker.Matthew Schafte, who told ABC News that he's known Stone for 20-plus years, says he broke down in tears when he heard about the shootings."I would describe him as a laid-back guy -- loving his family, loving his country. I know he had issues with his children over a custody battle or something," he said. "A decorated veteran, who would do anything for his country, anything for anybody.""I just broke down in tears. I couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe it, because this isn't the Brad that I know.""A couple of months ago, I was hanging out with him, we sat down and had a drink," he added. "We were just talking about old times, how everybody was doing, and he told me he was going through some things with his kids, but that's about it."Earlier in the day, SWAT teams surrounded a home at Penn and Highland avenues in Souderton, Pennsylvania, where a suspect in the shootings was originally believed barricaded inside, police told ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.Witnesses heard a loud boom shortly before an unidentified person was taken out of the house on a stretcher.Police also surrounded another home in nearby Pennsburg.

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Alcohol, Drug Use Among Middle, High School Students on the Decline

Alcohol, Drug Use Among Middle, High School Students on the Decline

Saša Prudkov/iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- A national survey of U.S. middle and high school students showed significant improvement in the levels of adolescent substance abuse.According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Monitoring the Future Survey, an annual poll of more than 40,000 students, both alcohol and cigarette use among middle and high school students are at their lowest points since the survey began in 1975.

The survey looks at students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades. In each of those three grades, alcohol use continued a long-term decline, the study found. Use of alcohol peaked in 1997 when 61 percent of students surveyed reported any alcohol use in the 12 months prior. This year's figure was just 41 percent, down from 43 percent last year.Significantly, the percentage of students who report "binge drinking" -- drinking five or more drinks in a row at least once in the two weeks before the survey -- fell to 12 percent. Cigarette smoking reached historic lows as well, with the combined rate of students surveyed from all three grades who had smoked in the month prior to the survey dropping to 28 percent.

The study's principal investigator Lloyd Johnston said that the importance of a decline in smoking among adolescents "cannot be overstated."The percentage of students who said that alcohol or cigarettes were more difficult to acquire increased from last year's survey.The survey also noted that student use of synthetic marijuana, bath salts, marijuana, ecstasy, salvia, hallucinogens, prescription drugs, narcotics and cough and cold medicines all declined from last year.

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More Teens Using E-Cigarettes Than Tobacco Cigarettes, Survey Finds

More Teens Using E-Cigarettes Than Tobacco Cigarettes, Survey Finds

scyther5/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For the first time, more teens are smoking e-cigarettes than tobacco cigarettes, according to a new survey of 40,000 to 50,000 students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades.The annual University of Michigan "Monitoring the Future" report found that both alcohol and cigarette use in 2014 were at their lowest points since the study began in 1975. But they were most concerned about the rise of e-cigarettes, which are not regulated and whose formulas are undisclosed."As one of the newest smoking-type products in recent years, e-cigarettes have made rapid inroads into the lives of American adolescents," Richard Miech, a senior investigator of the study, said in a statement. "Part of the reason for the popularity of e-cigarettes is the perception among teens that they do not harm health."The survey found that in the past 30 days, more than twice as many 8th- and 10th-graders reported using e-cigarettes versus tobacco cigarettes. Among 12th-graders, 17 percent reported e-cigarette use and 14 percent reported use of a tobacco cigarette. But 16 percent of 10th graders surveyed reported using an e-cigarette, while 7 percent reported using a tobacco cigarette."This could be a result of e-cigarettes being relatively new," Lloyd Johnston, principal investigator of the project, said in a statement. "So today's 12th-graders may not have had the opportunity to begin using them when they were younger. Future surveys should be able to tell us if that is the case."E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices with a heating element that typically produces a nicotine-infused aerosol, or vapor, that users inhale. The products come in hundreds of flavors including bubble gum and milk chocolate cream.The researchers did not determine whether those who used e-cigarettes were likely to go on to use tobacco products. But use of tobacco among high schoolers continued a decades-long decline.In 2014, the use of tobacco cigarettes declined to 8 percent from 10 percent in 2013. The figure in 1998 was 28 percent.Some 15 percent of 8th-graders said there's a great risk of harm with regular use of e-cigarettes, compared with 62 percent who said there's a great risk from tobacco cigarettes.British researchers say electronic cigarettes could save 6,000 lives per year for every million smokers, a claim that has reignited the debate over the health impact of vaping.In September, in an editorial published British Journal of General Practice, a research team from University London College argued that the public health community was jumping the gun in their rush to regulate e-cigarettes the same as tobacco products."Given that smokers smoke primarily for the nicotine but die primarily from the tar, one might imagine that e-cigarettes would be welcomed as a means to prevent much of the death and suffering caused by cigarettes," they wrote.The science on e-cigs as a smoking cessation tool is mixed. Earlier this year, the University London College team found that smokers were about 60 percent more likely to quit if they used e-cigarettes. But other studies have found that smokers who switched to e-cigarettes were less likely or no more likely to quit than if they used a patch or gum.A recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found e-cigarette use among school-age children has tripled in the last three years, with half of kids who report vaping stating that they intended to smoke conventional cigarettes within the next year.

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NFL Injury Update: Foles Ruled Out, Murray Has Surgery

NFL Injury Update: Foles Ruled Out, Murray Has Surgery

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the hotly-contested NFC East, both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles got injury updates on star players Monday. The immediate future of both DeMarco Murray and Nick Foles are up in the air as the two teams head into the final two weeks of the year.

Murray, who fractured his left hand in Sunday's win over Philadelphia, had surgery Monday to repair the break. The Cowboys have not yet ruled the running back out for this weekend's matchup with Indianapolis.

"The biggest question we have to ask ourselves is, is he functional to do his job?" said head coach Jason Garrett. "Can he hold the football? Can he carry it under duress? Can he block? Can he do the things necessary to play the position?"

The NFL's leading rusher, Murray has carried the ball 351 times for 1,687 yards. He is 87 yards shy of eclipsing Emmitt Smith's franchise record of 1,773 yards set in 1995.

The Eagles announced Monday that quarterback Nick Foles is not yet ready to return to the field.

Head coach Chip Kelly says the broken collarbone is healing, but not enough to handle football contact.

"The bone is not healed," Kelly added. "He'll start throwing a little bit more, but he's out for right now. He's not cleared and will not play this week. Until he gets fully healed, he's not going to be able to play with it. We think he'll be able to throw a little more this week, but we can't have anyone near him with contact."

Foles has missed the last six games in which Philadelphia has gone 3-3 with Mark Sanchez at the helm. In the previous eight games he started, Foles threw 13 touchdowns and racked up 1,752 yards. Philadelphia is set to visit Washington on Saturday.

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Australian PM Tony Abbott Pays Tribute to ‘Innocent’ Victims of Hostage Crisis

Australian PM Tony Abbott Pays Tribute to ‘Innocent’ Victims of Hostage Crisis

Photo by Jennifer Polixenni Brankin/Getty Images(SYDNEY) -- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon about the hostage situation in Sydney that left the gunman and two others dead, noting that the eyes of the world, "have been focused on the city of Sydney.""Tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people right around the world have been focused on the city of Sydney, which has been touched by terrorism for the first time in more than 35 years," Abbott said Tuesday. On Monday night and into Tuesday morning, Man Haron Monis, a self-proclaimed Islamic "sheikh," held 17 hostages at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe.

Twelve of those hostages escaped before police began an assault on the cafe.In a storm of gunfire as police stormed the cafe early Tuesday morning, Monis and two hostages were killed. The New South Wales Bar Assocation identified Katrina Dawson, 38, as one of the fatalities, and Australia's 9News identified Tori Johnson, 34, a manager of the cafe, as the second. Six people at the scene were treated for injuries."It's about as innocent a thing as anyone can do," Abbott said, "to go and grab a cup of coffee before the working day has fully started." The victims, he said, were, "decent, innocent people who got caught up in the sick fantasy of a deeply disturbed individual."Monis was believed to be a self-proclaimed Islamic "sheikh" who is known to Australian police because he was allegedly involved in dozens of counts of sexual assault, according to Australia's 9News.He was born in Iran as Manteghi Bourjerdi and migrated to Australia in 1996, according to the station."The tragedy of these times," Abbott noted, "is that there are people, even in a society such as ours, who wish to do us harm."Abbott also spoke of the memorial that was created in front of the cafe, filled with mounds of flowers in honor of the victims. "The spontaneous shrine which has developed now in Martin Place is so much an expression of that innate goodness and decency which is a mark of the Australian character," Abbott said.

The prime minister and his wife visited the shrine earlier on Tuesday, laying down bouquets of flowers and signing the condolence books, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.On the shooter, Abbott did not provide any further information, noting simply that "there was nothing consistent about this individual's life except that he was consistently weird." In reference to reports that Monis had demanded authorities bring him an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria flag, Abbott termed it, "interesting that the [ISIS] death cult seems to attract people like that."

 

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Islanders Rally for Shootout Win over New Jersey

Islanders Rally for Shootout Win over New Jersey

Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images(UNIONDALE, N.Y.) -- The New York Islanders rallied from a third period deficit for the second straight game, defeating the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in a shootout on Monday night. It was the ninth time in nine tries this year that the Islanders (21-10-0, 42pts) won in extra time.

"We have a lot of confidence, whether it's in OT or shootout," said Josh Bailey who scored the game-winner in the shootout. "We have a lot of guys who can put the puck in the net."

The Devils (11-15-6, 28pts) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, scoring first on the power play. Marek Zidlicky's slapshot after the penalty to Anders Lee opened the scoring, getting assists from Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr. The trio combined for the second goal of the night as well with Jagr and Zidlicky assisting on Gomez's goal.

Bailey started the comeback late in the second when he beat Keith Kinkaid, a Long Island native, with less than two minutes remaining in the period. Matt Martin then knotted things up midway through the third on a wide-angle shot to Kinkaid's left. 

A scoreless overtime sent the game into the shootout where the two teams came out tied after three attempts. In the fifth round of the shootout, Bailey beat Kinkaid between his legs and New Jersey's Jacob Josefson missed his shot over the net to give the Islanders the win.

Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves for the Islanders, who are now 6-0 this year in shootouts, while Kinkaid stopped 31 shots as the Devils fall to 1-5 in sudden death. 

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Merriam-Webster Chooses Word of the Year for 2014

Merriam-Webster Chooses Word of the Year for 2014

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2014 may be disappointing to some, simply by being too boring.Merriam-Webster says it based its selections for the top 10 words of the year based on an uptick in lookups on its website compared to last year. As a result, the word of the year is "Culture." The word, whcih "allows us to identify and isolate an idea, issue or group," topped the second place word, "nostalgia," to be selected as the word of the year. Insidious, legacy -- linked to the retirement of New York Yankees star Derek Jeter -- feminism, je ne sais quoi, innovation, surreptitious, autonomy and morbidity -- linked in part to the spread of Ebola -- rounded out Merriam-Webster's list.

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Saints Roll to Road Win at Chicago

Saints Roll to Road Win at Chicago

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns while the New Orleans defense picked off Jay Cutler three times as the Saints (6-8) rolled to a 31-15 win Monday night in Chicago. It was the third straight loss for the Bears (5-9) while New Orleans moved into first place in the NFC South.

"The tendency after success is to relax, and it's not time to relax," Brees said.

After a scoreless first quarter, Brees opened the second frame with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hill. Chicago's Patrick O'Donnell then pinned the Saints inside their own five with a 56-yard punt but New Orleans responded with a 10-play, 95-yard scoring drive. It ended when Brees hit Marques Colston from nine yards out to make it 14-0 with less than a minute in the half. Cutler was then picked off to end the half. 

The second half was much of the same as the Saints continued to control the game on both sides. Brees led New Orleans down the field for another score, finding Hill in the end zone again, to make it 21-0 before a Shayne Graham field goal made it 24-0 heading to the fourth. 

Cutler found Marqees Wilson for a 1-yard touchdown, and then converted on a 2-point conversion, to get Chicago within two scores early in the final frame. However, the Saints defense held strong and did not allow another score until the final two minutes, when Cutler hit Alshon Jeffrey for the final touchdown of the game.

Brees finished the day with 375 passing yards, eclipsing the 4,000 yard mark for the ninth straight season. Meanwhile, Cutler only threw for 194 yards and was sacked seven times.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/15/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 12/15/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA:  Cleveland Cavaliers 97 (14-9) – Charlotte Hornets 88 (6-18)

Indiana Pacers 110 (8-17) – Los Angeles Lakers 91 (8-17)

Boston Celtics 105 (8-14) – Philadelphia 76ers 87 (2-22)

Atlanta Hawks 93 (17-7) – Chicago Bulls 86 (15-9)

Toronto Raptors 95 (19-6) – Orlando Magic 82 (10-17)

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins 4 (20-6-4; 44pts) – Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (19-10-3; 41pts)

Buffalo Sabres 5 (13-16-2; 28pts) – Ottawa Senators 4 (12-12-6; 30pts) SO

New York Islanders 3 (21-10-0; 42pts) – New Jersey Devils 2 (11-15-6; 28pts) SO

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (2) Duke 75 (9-0) – Elon 62 (5-5)

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Amazon Headquarters Evacuated Due to Threatening Note, Threat Not Deemed Credible

Amazon Headquarters Evacuated Due to Threatening Note, Threat Not Deemed Credible

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Amazon.com's headquarters in Seattle was evacuated on Monday morning as police investigated a threatening letter found on campus."Out of an abundance of caution," police said the complex was evacuated. Officers from the Seattle Police Department and Amazon security searched the area after a threatening note was found in a bathroom on the campus early Monday. Arson and Bomb Squads were at the scene to investigate, but police said later Monday that there was no indication that the threat was credible.

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What We Know About the Sydney Siege Victims

What We Know About the Sydney Siege Victims

Photo by Andrew Meares/Fairfax Media via Getty Images(SYDNEY) -- Police have confirmed that in addition to the self-proclaimed Islamic "sheikh" who took control of a chocolate shop in downtown Sydney, two others were killed during the siege.Of the 17 total hostages, at least 12 were reportedly able to flee from the store before police stormed the shop.One of the slain hostages was Tori Johnson, 34, the manager of the cafe, according to Channel 9 News in Australia. Johnson tried to knock the gun out of the hostage taker Man Monis' hand, Channel 9 reported."Tori had been with us at Lindt for just over two years and he was a great ambassador for our company and the store that he managed, which he cared about passionately. He was a dedicated professional who always built a great rapport with his customers and was much loved by the Lindt team," Lindt Chocolate Cafe Australia said in a statement. "By nature he was a perfectionist and he had a genuine passion for the hospitality industry and people. He was a really important part of our management team in Australia and his loss is absolutely tragic. Our thoughts are with his family and we will do all that we can to provide ongoing support and help for them during this very difficult time."The other hostage who was killed was identified as attorney and mother of three Katrina Dawson, 38, according to the New South Wales Bar Association."Katrina, together with two other members of the NSW Bar, were held as hostages during the incident at the Lindt Café," Jane Needham, president of the bar association, said in a statement. "Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends at the NSW Bar. She was a devoted mother of three children, and a valued member of her floor and of our bar community. Our thoughts are with her family at this time, including her brother, Sandy Dawson of Banco Chambers."

Monis was believed to be a self-proclaimed Islamic "sheikh" who is known to Australian police because he was allegedly involved in dozens of counts of sexual assault, according to Australia's 9News.

He was born in Iran as Manteghi Bourjerdi and migrated to Australia in 1996, according to the network. During the seige, two people inside the cafe were seen holding up a flag with Arabic writing on it apparently at Monis' direction. The banner contained a Koranic quote that has been used by extremists in the past.  

The spokeswoman for Royal North Shore Hospital confirmed to ABC News earlier Monday that there were three people there being treated for injuries sustained during the siege. One was a 39-year-old policeman who is in stable condition after being grazed on the cheek by a gunshot, the spokeswoman said.Police identified the rest of the injured as: a 75-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to the shoulder; a 52-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to the foot; a 43-year-old woman who was shot in the leg; and two pregnant women, one 30 and one 35, both of who were assessed for health and welfare purposes. All were in stable condition, according to police, who declined to give names or hospital information.Four videos that were reportedly filmed inside the café were released online -- and have since been removed. In the videos, several people who appear to be hostages identify themselves and speak on behalf of their captor, stating his demands.A U.S. State Department official told ABC News that Australian authorities have not confirmed the identities of the hostages but, "at this stage, we are not aware of U.S. citizens having been involved."Some of the hostages have been identified through the Australian press, and people claiming to be relatives of the hostages have written about their loved ones on social media, but none of the hostages have spoken out publicly at this point.Two of the first hostages to emerge from the chocolate shop were wearing the company's aprons and were believed to be employees at the store.The Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian newspaper, identified one of the first hostages seen running from the store as Elly Chen, a waitress at the café.

 

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Six Arrested on Terror, Fraud Charges in UK

Six Arrested on Terror, Fraud Charges in UK

Raylipscombe/iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Six people who had been arrested about two weeks ago in the United Kingdom Monday will face terror and fraud charges.According to The Guardian, of the six men who were arrested on Nov. 30, December 1, and Dec. 4, five of the men are from London.

The six men were scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court Monday.The Guardian identified the men as Michael Coe, 33, Simon Keeler, 43, Anthony Small, 33, Zagum Perviaz, 35, and Abdulraouf Eshati, 28. The charges they face include preparation and assisting to others in preparation of acts of terrorism, support of a proscribed organization, conspiracy to possess false identity documents and possession of articles in connection to the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

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Donald Trump ‘Very Strongly’ Considering 2016 Presidential Bid

Donald Trump ‘Very Strongly’ Considering 2016 Presidential Bid

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Here we go again. In a Monday evening appearance at the Economic Club in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump seemingly did all but file the paperwork in announcing his intention to run for president in 2016.“I am considering it very strongly,” Trump said near the beginning of his discussion with philanthropist David Rubenstein.Rubenstein pressed Trump over a recent announcement that he will be heading to Iowa in late January to attend a dinner party with Gov. Terry Branstad.“A lot of people think I’m having fun with it, that I’m playing games, that I enjoy the process. And I do enjoy the process to a certain extent,” Trump said. “Frankly I just think we need something very good, very fast or we’re going to be in very big trouble as a country.”Trump cited the national debt as his primary motivation for throwing his hat in the ring, and connected his success in business dealings to his strength in handling the economy. He also remarked on last week’s release of the torture report by the Senate Intelligence Committee and its reported $40 million price tag.“Do we have to announce the torture report?” Trump asked. “There are so many things that I see in this country, whether it’s common sense or whatever. And I have a really big voice. I have, you know, millions and millions of followers on Twitter and Facebook. And when I say something some people don’t like it, but most people do like it.”Trump looked back on his most recent run at the presidency saying, “four years ago I was leading in the polls, I was beating everybody in the polls,” and said that if he were to make an announcement this time it would come in “March, April or May” of 2015.“I would rather do what I’m doing than run for president,” Trump said. “But I also love the country more, and I just think that unless I see somebody that’s outstanding I would be very much be inclined to do it.”

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