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Mississippi Hospital Treats More than Two Dozen for ‘Spice’ Overdoses

Mississippi Hospital Treats More than Two Dozen for ‘Spice’ Overdoses EyeMark/iStock/Thinkstock(JACKSON, Miss.) -- More than 30 people have been treated at a Mississippi hospital since Thursday for "spice" overdose symptoms, health officials announced Monday.The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, saw at least 33 people over the Easter weekend for symptoms of “spice” overdose, a potent synthetic drug which is meant to recreate the high that comes with marijuana. The synthetic drug is suspected as the cause of one death in Jackson, Dr. Alan Jones, chairman of the UMMC Department of Emergency Medicine, said in a news conference on Monday, according to a report by ABC News affiliate WAPT-TV. Most of the patients are in their 20s or 30s, according to Jones, but there have been younger cases seen at the hospital over the weekend. Hospital officials said in a news release the number of patients at the hospital is likely to go up, as additional suspected overdose patients entered the hospital’s emergency room on Monday.   Number of patients seen at our ED since Thurs. due to the synthetic #marijuana "spice" is now over 30, and rising: http://t.co/7hhxX1VeI2 — UMMC News (@UMMCnews) April 6, 2015 "The problem is we don't know the potency of what we're dealing with," Jones said in a release. "Everybody will have a different reaction. I would say one puff could be bad enough to put someone in a coma." "Spice" is a catch-all name for a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences that are sometimes similar to what a person feels after smoking marijuana. Symptoms of the synthetic drug include agitation, sweating, hyperactivity, hallucinations and acute psychosis. Heath officials say that in some cases, the user can fall into a coma.   Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Canine Flu Outbreak Hits Chicago, Sickens More Than 1,000 Dogs

Canine Flu Outbreak Hits Chicago, Sickens More Than 1,000 Dogs igorr1/iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A rare epidemic of canine flu is spreading throughout the Chicago area, veterinary experts warned. In an advisory issued by the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control, officials said more than 1,000 cases had been identified over the past month, and five dogs have died from the disease. The Chicago Park District began posting warning signs at dog parks last week advising dog owners to keep their pets away from any place where there is close contact with other dogs, a spokeswoman for the organization said. Over the weekend the group canceled their annual doggy Easter egg hunt held at a local dog park to prevent the spread of the illness. “We’ve seen a significant increase in respiratory cases over the past month, about 50 to 100 between all of our partner hospitals,” said Dr. Anne Cohen, an emergency and critical care specialty veterinarian at Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. Canine flu symptoms are a lot like human symptoms and include fever, cough, nasal discharge and lack of energy, Cohen said. And just like human flu, it can be caught from sneezes and coughs, nose-to-nose contact or from infected surfaces. Symptoms last for about two weeks until the virus runs its course. Canine flu is actually somewhat rare but highly contagious when it does strike, Cohen said. Dogs that spend a lot of time socializing at parks, day care or the groomers are the most likely to get sick. A canine flu shot exists but Cohen said not all dogs need it. The two-shot vaccination spaced about three weeks apart may not ward off the illness altogether, but can reduce its length and severity. Animals need a booster shot every year for full protection, Cohen said. “This isn’t a typical vaccination we give but because of the outbreak we’re recommending it for all high-risk dogs,” Cohen said. Thankfully, canine flu is rarely fatal, veterinarians said. Anyone concerned about their furry friend catching a case should consult with their veterinarian. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Utah Teen Diagnosed with Rare Water Allergy

Utah Teen Diagnosed with Rare Water Allergy Alexandra Allen(MAPLETON, Utah) -- When Alexandra Allen was a little girl, she wanted to be a marine biologist and live on a sailboat. After being diagnosed with an allergy to water, the 17-year-old from Mapleton, Utah, said she realizes that dream isn't likely to come true.Allen said she had her first severe reaction to water when she was about 12. While on vacation with her family, she went swimming in a hotel pool and later that night woke up itching and covered in hives, she recalled. "I remember sitting in the bathroom trying so hard not to scratch myself and make it worse until my mom came back with the Benadryl," the high school senior told ABC News.She said she assumed at first that she was allergic to chlorine or some other harsh chemical, so she avoided swimming pools. But she knew the problem was much larger when she broke out into hives after swimming in a lake known for having very clean water.When Allen was about 15 she came across a medical site that highlighted aquagenic urticarial, a condition defined by a painful reaction from skin contact with water as well as dry skin and dry eyes, she said, noting that it described her symptoms perfectly. And when she took it to her dermatologist, he agreed."He brought in a few other doctors and they just sat around in awe," she recalled, adding that the test to confirm the diagnosis, which involved soaking in a tub of water, felt "like being tortured."Aquagenic urticarial is so rare that only about 50 cases have been described in medical literature, said Dr. Barney J. Kenet, a dermatologist with the Cornell Medical Center."It's a real thing. We learn about it in medical school, though I have never seen a case in my practice," Kenet said.While not a true allergy, it causes severe allergy-like reactions, even after exposure to rain, snow, sweat or tears, according to an article in the Journal of Allergy Immunological Practice, one of the few studies to describe the disease. It tends to affect women more than men and usually first appears during puberty.The cause of aquagenic urticarial is not well understood, Kenet said. One theory is that the sweat glands within the skin produce a toxin that triggers the allergic response, he said. Or it could be that antigens that cause the immune system to produce antibodies are absorbed in the skin after dissolving in water to trigger the allergic reaction.Finding ways to avoid water has definitely been a challenge, Allen said. Obviously swimming is out. She has become a vegetarian to reduce the oils in her skin, avoids sweating and can only take two to three very short, cold showers a week, she said. Even humid climates can bring on a reaction, as she found out last year during a trip to Cambodia with a humanitarian aid group.Her condition is thought to be degenerative, meaning that it gets worse with time and repeated exposures, Allen said. She expects at some point that drinking water may become a problem. Last year, she spoke to a British woman with the same diagnosis who told her she can now only drink Diet Coke.But Allen said she remains positive. She tries to focus on the upside of her situation."At least I'm not allergic to dogs -- and it does get me out of doing the dishes," she said. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wife Refuses to Give Up on Husband in Coma – Then He Awakens

Wife Refuses to Give Up on Husband in Coma – Then He Awakens iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Danielle Josey Davis had been married only seven months when a devastating motorcycle accident left her husband on life support and in a coma.Doctors recommended letting Matt Davis die because there was a 90 percent chance he would never wake up, but Danielle told ABC News she decided it just wasn't time yet. Then, one day, he woke up."I'm sure glad I married her," Matt Davis told ABC News Monday, though he doesn't remember Danielle from before the 2010 crash that caused his traumatic brain injury.Danielle was 24 when the accident happened, and had only started dating Matt, then 23, two months before their wedding.Matt's father had died two years before the accident, and his mother was too ill to take care of him, Danielle said. But Danielle made the decision to keep him on life support and eventually fought to get him into rehab and to take him home, moving back into her mother's house."If we've got to bring him home, let's make sure he has the best view in the world," she remembered telling her mother. "If he's going to be a body in a bed, let's give him something to look at."Soon, Matt started following them with his eyes, and then he started communicating, Danielle said.Three months after the accident, Danielle was holding Matt up in his bed trying to emulate what his therapist had done in rehab by asking him to reach out and grab a toy motorcycle. He'd never done it before, but this day, he did it, Danielle recalled. It was a start.The moment Danielle really felt that her husband's personality was still intact was when they asked him what he wanted to eat, and he responded in a barely audible whisper. "I kid you not, he says, 'buffalo chicken wrap from Cheddar's,'" she said, explaining that it had been his favorite food. "We all whipped around because we all knew what he said."They eventually got him to another rehabilitation program for two and a half months. And he left on his own two feet with a walker, Danielle said.It's taken some time for Matt to regain his sense of humor and his long-term memory, but he doesn't remember dating or marrying Danielle. He's gotten to know her all over again. She calls him "Mattie" or "cake," and he calls her "baby" or "doughnut."They play scrabble and enjoy going to yoga classes together, and he's recently started driving a stick shift car for fun because he loves cars, she said. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Easy Spring Cleaning Tips from Top Lifestyle Experts

Easy Spring Cleaning Tips from Top Lifestyle Experts iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Spring cleaning: Everybody has to do it, but who among us really looks forward to it?From purging items that are no longer useful to priming your laundry strategy for the freshest linens possible, the following tips from lifestyle experts will help streamline the spring cleaning experience into an easy weekend event:1. Don't Get Overwhelmed -- Do Get Strategic"Take a step back and look at the big picture," Abby Larson, founder and editor of Style Me Pretty Living, told ABC News. "Assess the areas of your house that are constantly messy to see if you can find a way to solve each area. If you never put the Tupperware away because it lives on a shelf that's too high, maybe you can rearrange your cabinets and make room for it somewhere you can reach. If it's not easy to put it away, it's almost a guarantee you'll never do it. Fix those roadblocks and then you can get to scrubbing!"2. Don't Procrastinate Hated Chores -- Do Let Robots Take Over"There are so many jobs that people don’t want to do," said smart home and digital lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch. "It’s annoying to have to clean gutters and behind the toilet. So for those tasks, I recommend outsourcing to machines. There are robots you can buy or rent now that will clean your windows, mop your floors, fling debris out from your gutters and other ones that are literally small enough to fit behind your toilet." Two to consider: an iRobot Scooba or Braava for hands-free scrubbing.3. Don't Hold on to Items You No Longer Use -- Do Feel Free to PurgeIn New York Times bestselling self-help tome, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, author and organization expert Marie Kondo encourages readers to only surround themselves with things that "spark joy." But in order to determine whether a blouse or book passes muster, one must truly examine it before deciding to throw it in a garbage bag or return to a shelf. “Don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill,” she writes. “You must take each outfit in your hand.”4. Don't Oversuds Your Linens -- Do Launder Like a Pro"A recent study showed people would rather do their taxes than their laundry," said Knobloch. "For me, when I got my front-loading high-efficiency (HE) washer, I just find it makes life so much easier. The HE machines have 40 percent larger drums versus traditional machines and can wash up to 32 pounds of laundry. That means you don’t need to waste all day doing one chore. If you already have an HE washer, it's important to make sure you're using a low-sudsing laundry detergent specially designed for your HE Machine like Tide HE Turbo Clean. Otherwise, you will end up having to spend more hours rinsing clothes multiple times."5. Don't Get in a Decorating Rut -- Do Refresh Old Furniture and WallsLarson told ABC News that it's possible and practical to give old items new life by refreshing them with simple accessories or colors. Is your dresser bringing you down? "A fresh coat of paint does wonders," she said, adding, "A new color palette of pillows and throws added to a neutral sofa or sitting area" can make a lived-in room feel new again. Likewise, "Try clearing out your shelves and re-accessorizing" from room to room, she said. "Shopping your home for items you can move to a new spot will give it a breath of fresh air without spending a dime."6. Don't Go It Alone -- Do Get the Family on Board"Make it a game!" recommends Larson. "Kids love being timed, so set a timer for 10 minutes of cleaning. Challenge them to beat their previous record of how much they were able to pick up. Another great thing about a timer is that they know they won't be stuck cleaning all day, so they'll be much more interested in pitching in."7. Don't Get Overrun by Receipts -- Do Keep Records Online"Life doesn’t allow you to be completely paperless. In fact, I'm convinced it procreates when you’re not looking," joked Knobloch. "So I try to keep the paper count in house to a minimum by scanning as much as possible into online storage files like Evernote or Dropbox to make sure that as much as possible is off the counter and out of my physical life." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Poisoned in Paradise: A Look at the Pesticide Methyl Bromide

Poisoned in Paradise: A Look at the Pesticide Methyl Bromide iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Members of a Delaware family of four remain seriously ill after possibly being exposed to a pesticide, methyl bromide, on their vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands in March.The pesticide allegedly was sprayed in an apartment below them to fix a bug problem the same day the family arrived at their vacation rental condominium unit at the Sirenusa resort on St. John, according to Judith Enck, administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 2 Office, which covers the U.S. Virgin Islands.By that night, Enck said, the entire family "started having adverse health effects." Both boys had seizures, according to Enck.Paramedics responded and took the family to a hospital on neighboring island St. Thomas. Three of the family members were put on ventilators, Enck said. The family was then airlifted to hospitals in the U.S.What is methyl bromide?Methyl bromide is a potent neurotoxin that affects the nervous system.The EPA banned methyl bromide for indoor residential use in the 1980s, Enck said, but the product still is on the market for agricultural use. It's commonly used in California on strawberries, Enck said."Decades ago, we established rules saying that pesticide applicators cannot use this toxic pesticide indoors because we were afraid of an outcome just like this one," Enck said.Enck said it's important to educate the public about alternatives to very toxic pesticides."There's something called integrated pest management where you can look at lesser toxic or non-toxic ways to deal with bug problems," she said.Why is methyl bromide dangerous?According to the EPA, methyl bromide exposure can cause short-term and long-term problems including severe lung injuries and neurological impairment."Exposure to methyl bromide is quite serious," Enck said, "And it can really damage your nervous system."Exposure can cause brain damage and comas, Enck added."There are a number of serious health impacts that anyone applying this would know about once they looked at the label on the product and then looked at the supporting documentation that talked about health impacts," she said.The EPA issued a pesticide warning in the Caribbean and is examining if methyl bromide was used in other locations in the U.S. Virgin Islands."Some vacationers or residents may not have had the very serious health response that this family has had, but it can cause headache, nausea, dizziness; it can affect whether your body shakes or not," Enck said.How is the EPA investigating?Following the family's hospitalizations, the EPA launched a "comprehensive investigation," Enck said. Officials were sent to sample and monitor the resort's apartments to see if any of the pesticide was left."We're looking at what happened here, which we consider an illegal application of methyl bromide," Enck said.Sea Glass Vacations, which acts as a rental agent for several rental units at Sirenusa, said in a statement that it is "aware that authorities are actively investigating the possibility that the illnesses were due to chemicals used for pest control. The unit immediately below Villa Capri was recently treated for pests by Terminix, however, Villa Capri itself had not been so treated. ... Sea Glass Vacations does not treat the units it manages for pests but instead relies on licensed professionals for pest control services. We are committed to full cooperation with all the authorities currently investigating this matter."The Department of Justice is investigating Terminix, the company that applied the pesticide, Enck confirmed.Terminix has halted all fumigation in the Virgin Islands as part of the ongoing investigation, said Peter Tosches, Terminix's senior vice president of corporate communications."First and foremost, the family is in our thoughts and prayers," Terminix said in a statement. "We're cooperating with authorities in their investigation, and we're conducting our own thorough investigation in the matter. We're committed to performing all work we undertake in a way that is safe for our employees, customers and the public.""I've worked on environmental protection issues for close to 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this," Enck said. "My heart goes out to the family that is suffering over two weeks ago with this exposure. But my head goes to the law and the science and the need for strong, environmental regulation and enforcement of the regulation to make sure this never happens again." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

A Closer Look at Knifed Ambassador’s Futuristic Hand Brace

A Closer Look at Knifed Ambassador’s Futuristic Hand Brace JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Recovering U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert has ditched his old-fashioned splint in favor of a custom-made exoskeletal version that helps him open his hand amid nerve and possible tendon damage.Lippert, the ambassador to South Korea, was attacked last month in Seoul when a man shouting "no to war training" lunged at him with a 10-inch blade, hitting his face and left hand, authorities said. Lippert, 42, needed 80 stitches and had to undergo surgery.Lippert's "dynamic splint" was custom made for him at Severance Hospital in South Korea, Lippert wrote on his Facebook page. He said it immobilizes his wrist, supports his fingers and allows him to strengthen and move his hand."It is an amazing apparatus, one I haven’t seen before -- so innovative and creative," he said, adding that the hospital was able to construct it quickly. "It is very comfortable and has made a huge difference in my recovery as I am able to hold things in my hand. This is of particular importance when I am walking Grigsby, as I often need two hands to manage Grigsby!"Grigsby is his dog, a basset hound.The splint includes a wrist brace and metal beams that stick out over the back of each of his fingers and attaches via little elastic bands, said Vanderbilt University engineering professor Michael Goldfarb, who has built several similar devices here in the United States, but did not build Lippert's.It is similar to the devices some stroke victims need to wear during their recovery, Goldfarb said, adding that it is not powered.Devices like this help patients open their hands, suggesting that nerves used to open his hands -- but not close them -- were damaged in the attack, Goldfarb said."The nerves that help him grasp things to close his hand are probably unaffected by the injury," Goldfarb said. "But the nerves that help him open his hand were probably damaged."Goldfarb said it's "hit or miss" which nerves are damaged in an attack like Lippert's. If the nerves are fully cut, he may need to wear the brace permanently. If not, they may take months to begin to come back, and more than a year to show significant progress, he said.It's also possible Lippert's tendons were damaged, said Dr. John Krebbs, an orthopedic hand surgeon at U.H. Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. If Lippert's tendons are healing, the device helps him open his hand without further injuring the tendons, Krebbs said. They have to continue to move because immobilizing them would cause scar tissue to form around them, he said. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

How to Thwart Nanny Cam Hackers

How to Thwart Nanny Cam HackersiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Imagine having a stranger spying on your child as they sleep, playing them eerie music and even posting images of them online.The hacking of nanny cameras sound like something out of a horror film but has become an all-too-common occurrence as more people rely on the surveillance cameras but don't take the necessary steps to secure them, experts say.In February, a San Antonio nanny reported hearing someone talking through a camera monitor, according to ABC television affiliate KSAT.This incident is just the latest in a string of hacks that can often be prevented, Robert Siciliano, an online safety expert to Intel Security, told ABC News."I recommend registering your devices with the company that provides it to you. That means if they discover a vulnerability, they will usually ping everybody's email and let them know they need to update their device," Siciliano said."Another thing you can do too is set up a Google alert for the brand and if a researcher publishes a report that says, 'Hey I discovered this is vulnerable,' you may find out before the manufacturer does," Siciliano said.In addition to registering the device, Siciliano recommends making sure users change the default username and password to something that uses a string of different characters.Siciliano said it's important that users' home Wi-Fi is encrypted and they ensure the firmware (that's the hardware's software) stays up-to-date.Foscam, the manufacturer of the popular surveillance cameras, agreed with the above tips and also added that users should frequently check their camera's log to make sure there hasn't been any unauthorized access."Foscam cameras have embedded logs which allow you to see exactly which IP addresses are accessing the camera," the company said in a statement on its website. "You will be able to tell if an outsider has gained access to your camera."Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

How Boy’s ‘Miracle Recovery’ Is Changing Cancer Care in the UK

How Boy’s ‘Miracle Recovery’ Is Changing Cancer Care in the UK iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The United Kingdom is set to open its first three proton beam therapy centers to treat cancer after a 5-year-old boy appeared to make a complete recovery after seeking the treatment in the Czech Republic.The parents of Ashya King were briefly jailed after taking him from a British hospital last year. The child ultimately underwent six weeks of treatment at the Prague Proton Therapy Center in the Czech Republic, Iva Papounova, the director of the center confirmed to ABC News. His son is now cancer free, the boy’s father, Brett King, said in a video posted to YouTube last month.The first British center will open in Wales next year, with two others to follow in London and Northumberland by 2017, the National Health Services said in a statement. Treatment will be available for NHS patients from England, Scotland and Wales, as well as patients who pay through private insurance, the statement said.Proton beam therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses protons -- positively charged subatomic particles from hydrogen atoms -- rather than x-rays, said Dr. Sameer Keole, the medical director for proton therapy at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.“The advantage of proton beam therapy is that it is more precise than x-rays,” Keole said. “It can reduce the dose of total radiation by up to 70 percent.”Think of x-rays as being like bullets and proton beams like depth charges, Keole explained. Like a bullet, x-rays travel through the body and come out the other side with no way to control them, Keole said. Protons stop right at the target site, thereby concentrating the radiation on the cancer cells while sparing more of the surrounding healthy tissue, he added.Proton beam therapy is primarily used to treat pediatric cancers like King’s as well as brain, lung and head and neck cancers, Keole said. Increasingly it’s also being used to treat breast cancer on the left side of the body to avoid bombarding the heart with radiation and causing cardiac problems later on.Less than 1 percent of cancer patients are given proton beam treatment, Keole said. One big barrier is cost.“It can cost four or five times more to build a proton therapy treatment center compared to a traditional x-ray facility,” he said.Another drawback: It may take years or even decades to realize the advantages from proton therapy. That’s why it’s often a good option to treat childhood cancers but probably not practical for patients with shorter predicted life expectancy, Keole said.Keole said he has worked with the NHS to bring up to 150 cancer patients a year from the U.K. to the U.S. for treatment. He said he expected fewer patients to make the trip abroad once the new centers open in the U.K.“We only intended our programs to be a bridge until their centers were up and running,” he said. “It will be good for them to be treated in their own country.” Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Documentary Hits Schools to Empower Next Generation of Girls

Documentary Hits Schools to Empower Next Generation of Girls ABC News(NEW YORK) — What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?That’s one of the questions filmmakers Sarah Moshman and Dana Michelle Cook asked women as they traveled across the country making their documentary, The Empowerment Project.Moshman, 28, and Cook, 35, set out along with three other female filmmakers in September 2013 and drove cross-country to interview accomplished career women in the hopes of highlighting women doing extraordinary things and creating more positive role models for girls everywhere.A major impetus for the film was a frustration about the portrayal of women in the media, Moshman explained."The Empowerment Project really came from feeling frustrated with the media and the way it portrays and doesn’t portray women in the movies or watching TV shows, magazines. So we’ve felt like why don’t we do something about it instead of complaining, let’s be part of the solution and stop being a part of the problem,” she told ABC News’ Amy Robach in an interview for her #GIRLPOWER series profiling inspiring and strong women.“To me, girl power is about finding your voice,” Cook said. “It's being not afraid to raise your hand if you don't know the answer, and to just go into your life not being defined by anyone else.”On their journey, through 10 cities, they profiled and spent a day in the lives of 17 successful women from an executive chef, to a mathematician, a pilot, a cancer biologist and more.“It was really just this beautiful puzzle because amazing women are everywhere,” Cook said.Moshman agreed.“I think when we hear stories with celebrities or CEOs, that’s all great, but we don’t relate,” she said. “So that was really important to us to showcase ordinary women doing extraordinary things. We wanted to make girls of this generation growing up feel like, ‘Oh, they’re just like me, I could be that too.’”Now, the duo is taking the project into schools and seeing the effects on the next generation. The film has been screened 123 times, with 60 of those in schools.“It’s such a joy, such a privilege,” Moshman said on watching what students take away from the film. “Having a girl come up and say, ‘I didn’t know women could be astronauts, now I want to be an astronaut.’ That’s what it’s all about.”ABC News’ Robach attended a screening at the Young Women's Leadership School in Harlem, N.Y., and sat down with a group of seventh-grade girls who quickly internalized the message onscreen.“I want to be an immigration lawyer to help people,” one student said.“I would be bold, really, really bold…and like 100 years from now, people would know my name and I would be in textbooks and everything,” another said. “I feel like the movie gave me the final push that I needed so that I can be bold.”Seeing what students take away from the documentary has been a dream come true for the two filmmakers.“We’ve made this film to empower the next generation of strong female leaders, and that’s what we’re seeing,” Moshman said. “Our goal would be to continue to screen this film in schools, girls groups, organizations, corporations, anyone that will have us to start a conversation about empowerment."Click here to learn more about the project and hosting or finding a screening near you or watch the film here for one week starting Monday, Apr. 6. ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Major Changes on the Way for World’s Major Religions

Major Changes on the Way for World’s Major Religions iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The world is becoming more religious to the point where by 2050, just 13 percent of the planet's population will not be affiliated with some religion.A Pew Research Center study says that in 2010, 16 percent were not religiously affiliated.Pew predicts that although Christianity will remain the world's largest religion, Islam will be almost as large. By 2050, there will be estimated 2.92 billion Christians compared to 2.76 billion Muslims, up from 2.17 billion and 1.6 billion, respectively, in 2010.The global population of Christians will essentially stay at 31.4 percent while Muslims will expand significantly from 23.2 percent to 29.7. percent between 2010 and 2050.The primary reason: Muslims have the highest fertility rate at 3.1 children per woman with Christians second at 2.7 children per woman.With the exception of Buddhists, all the world's major religious groups are expected to increase in the next 35 years.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

College Freshmen Survey Shows High Degree of Achievement and Ambition

College Freshmen Survey Shows High Degree of Achievement and AmbitionDigital Vision/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Judging by a new survey, the typical college freshman in the U.S. is pretty serious about higher education.More than 150,000 freshmen from 227 colleges were polled for the "The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2014" which revealed that the typical first-year student had generally earned As and Bs in high school while also taking four years of English, three years of math, and two years of a foreign language.Meanwhile, about 77 percent of freshmen went to public schools while most also had parents who either had a college degree or spent some time in college.As for why they're in college, 86 percent said it was to get a better job, 82 percent want to learn more about their interests, 77 percent are there to train for a specific career and 73 percent want to make more money.The survey was conducted by the University of California Los Angeles’ Higher Education Research Institute’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Teach Your Grandmother to Suck Eggs’ and Other Egg-spressions

‘Teach Your Grandmother to Suck Eggs’ and Other Egg-spressions gpointstudio/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With Easter weekend's arrival, you may have noticed a flood of egg-cellent puns and scrambled expressions appearing in advertisements, store windows and other announcements.But how many of us really understand what these phrases mean or where they came from?Michele Turner, CEO of Dictionary.com, shares the history and definition behind some of the most common egg-centric sayings in case you want to crack some into your holiday conversations. Just try not to be too much of an egghead.Teach your grandmother to suck eggs: Emerging sometime in the 1700s, and less commonly used today, this phrase intimates that a person might be "presuming to teach someone something that he or she knows already," said Turner. "The expression was most likely conceived as a comical way to drive the message home that elders know more than their juniors imagine."Lay an egg: Try to tell a joke that fell flat? Offer up an opinion at a meeting that didn't go over well? Sounds like you just 'laid an egg.' "Its origins are obscure, but its association with failure had been firmly established in the lexicon by the early to mid-1900s as evidenced by Variety Magazine's famous headline from October 30, 1929, the day after the stock market crash: 'Wall St. Lays an Egg,'” said Turner.Egg on one’s face: Similar to the above phrase, this expression conveys humiliation or embarrassment for having done something. Though it came into usage in the mid-1900s, its origins remain obscure, according to Dictionary.com. "One theory is that it evolved out of teenage slang," explained Turner, "and that it referenced a messy manner of eating that might leave food around one's mouth."To walk on eggshells: Typically used around ornery individuals, this phrase expressed having to exercise caution or sensitivity. In its earliest appearances in the 1740s, the term most commonly used was "trod upon Eggs." But around 1990 that changed and the phrases "walking on eggshells" and "walk on eggshells" both skyrocketed in use, said Turner, while "walking on eggs" and "walk on eggs" fell out of favor.Put all your eggs in one basket: "To venture all of something that one possesses in a single enterprise," is a risky gambit, and the definition of this phrase. In usage since the mid-1600s, it is often spoken in negative constructions, such as "don't put all your eggs in one basket," to caution against the risk of such behavior, according to Dictionary.com.Nest egg: The meaning of this term has changed a lot over the years. When it entered English in the 1500s, it defined "an egg placed in a nest to induce a hen to continue laying eggs," said Turner. But it was often used figuratively to refer to an object used as a decoy. These days, the more common usage refers to money saved up for an expense, emergency or retirement.To egg someone on: The verb use of egg in this instance has nothing to do with omelettes, according to Dictionary.com. Rather, it means "to incite or urge; encourage”. The usage comes from the Old Norse term eggja.Egghead: Originally used to describe "a bald person,” the term "egghead" became especially popular during democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson's presidential campaign in 1952, when it was used in reference to "an intellectual." "Stevenson offered the following cheeky Latinism in response to criticisms that intellectualism cost him the campaign: Via ovum cranium difficilis est, roughly translated as "the way of the egghead is hard,” said Turner. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Indiana Gov. Authorizes Needle-Exchange Program to Deal with Recent HIV Outbreak

Indiana Gov. Authorizes Needle-Exchange Program to Deal with Recent HIV Outbreak Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence authorized a needle-exchange program for an Indiana county dealing with a string of HIV cases.Scott County, Indiana, has been dealing with the outbreak -- 84 confirmed HIV cases and five more preliminary positive cases -- for weeks. On Saturday, Pence approved the needle-exchange program as part of a "comprehensive emergency executive order."The Indiana Department of Health says that the executive order, and thus the needle program, are currently slated to expire on April 25, but re-evaluation will take place at that time to determine whether it should be continued."As State Health Commissioner and a physician, it is my hope that Scott County residents who need these services will take advantage of them and get the help they need and want," State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams said in a statement.Participants in the program will be asked to discuss their rate of drug use. Data will be used for research and statistical uses.Each participant will be given enough needles for one week, according to the IDH. They will then be asked to bring their used needles in for exchange, in order to provide both clean needles to prevent the spread of HIV and a chance to present information about substance abuse treatment and HIV/AIDS prevention. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

California Court Rules Teaching Yoga in School Does Not Violate Student’s Religious Rights

California Court Rules Teaching Yoga in School Does Not Violate Student’s Religious Rights Creatas/Thinkstock(ENCINTAS, Calif) -- A California appeals court ruled Friday that yoga being taught in San Diego County schools does not violate the religious rights of students, upholding a lower court ruling. The lawsuit was brought by a family who claimed that yoga being taught in Encinitas Union School District promoted Hinduism and inhibited Christianity, according to a report by ABC News affiliate KGTV-TV. Paul Carelli, a lawyer for the firm that represented the district, told the television station the courts could see the classes were not religious.“The Court of Appeals had the opportunity to review the videos taken from the classes, so they got actually see what was happening in the classrooms,” he said. Parent Audrey Kelleman told KGTV-TV she didn't know why yoga became an issue that ended up in the courts. “To me, it’s you know, exercise,” she said. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Couple Sues Sperm Bank After ‘Ph.D.’ Student Donor Allegedly Turns Out to Have Criminal Record, Schizophrenia

Couple Sues Sperm Bank After ‘Ph.D.’ Student Donor Allegedly Turns Out to Have Criminal Record, Schizophrenia monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- A couple is suing an Atlanta sperm bank after they say their sperm donor turned out to have schizophrenia and a criminal record. Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson of Port Hope, Canada, filed a lawsuit against Atlanta-based Xytex Corporation this week, alleging that they were misled about the identity of their sperm donor, who was described as a doctoral student in engineering. The women allege in that lawsuit that they were originally told that their donor was healthy, had an IQ of 160 and was working on a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience engineering. The couple claim in the suit that Xytex offered a lengthy vetting process of donors. Xytex did not respond to ABC News' calls and emails seeking comment. After Collins successfully gave birth to a son in 2007 using the sperm provided from Xytex, the couple say they kept in touch with people from Xytex as their son grew up. However, in 2014, the couple said they were alarmed to get a series of emails from the company that breached the confidentiality of their donor. After the company revealed the donor's name, the couple "discovered for the first time that defendants representations had been false," according to the lawsuit. The couple got in touch with other families who used the same donor to have children, and together made a series of alarming discoveries about the alleged donor, James Christian Aggeles, named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. Their research revealed that Aggeles was diagnosed with schizophrenia, had dropped out of college and was arrested for burglary, according to the lawsuit, which noted that the information was taken in part from the Facebook pages of Aggeles and his parents, in addition to YouTube. Aggeles is suspecting of having fathered 36 children through donated sperm, according to the lawsuit. Online court records found by ABC News confirm that Aggeles was indicted for burglary in 2005. Aggeles went to jail for 8 months before receiving a 10-year probation, records show, but was able to get the criminal record cleared under a "first offender" law, the office of the Superior Court told the Atlanta Constitution-Journal. The couple also alleges in the lawsuit that a large mole was removed from Aggele's photo by the Xytex Corporation. Nancy Hersh, the couple's San Francisco-based lawyer, said Hanson and Collins were debating whether to speak to the press. Hersh said she is working with 15 clients who used Aggeles as a donor. Between them they have 22 children, she said. Calls from ABC News to Aggeles' listed number were not immediately returned. The couple is suing Xytex on multiple counts, including fraud and negligent misrepresentation to pay for damages. The couple is also asking for money to set up a medical monitoring fund so that they can monitor their son for signs of schizophrenia. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Drinking Gallon of Iced Tea Daily May Have Caused Arkansas Man’s Kidney Failure, Doctors Say

Drinking Gallon of Iced Tea Daily May Have Caused Arkansas Man’s Kidney Failure, Doctors Say bhofack2/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Doctors believe a man's excessive iced tea drinking -- about a gallon daily -- is what caused his previously unexplained kidney failure last year that's been keeping him on dialysis ever since. The unidentified 56-year-year-old man was admitted to John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock last May with weakness, fatigue, body aches and an elevated serum creatinine level, which meant his kidneys weren't functioning properly, according to the doctors' letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine Thursday. The patient's urine sample was "remarkable" for its abundance of calcium oxalate crystals, Dr. Fyed Syed and Dr. Alejandra Mena-Gutierrez told ABC News on Thursday. Both doctors treated the patient and co-authored the letter along with Dr. Umbar Ghaffar, who was not immediately available for comment. Calcium oxalate crystals are molecules that can put someone at high risk to develop kidney stones, Syed and Mena-Gutierrez said. High levels of oxalate in the body is usually due to a genetic disorder, complications from gastric surgery or consumption of antifreeze, the doctors said, but the patient's history outlined in the letter didn't match any of those explanations. An explanation was finally found after the patient admitted to drinking 16 eight-ounce glasses of iced tea daily, Syed and Mena-Gutierrez said, adding that black tea, "a rich source of oxalate," accounts for 84 percent of tea consumed in the U.S. Drinking 16 cups of tea daily, the patient consumed more than 1,500 milligrams a day, the doctors said. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises consuming no more than 40 to 50 milligrams of oxalate per day, they added. "The case presented here was almost certainly due to excessive consumption of iced tea," the authors wrote. The doctors said they've had patients who've developed kidney stones from high-oxalate foods such as spinach, chocolate and coffee, but never nephropathy, or kidney damage. "This is the first time we've ever heard of iced tea causing kidney damage and failure," Syed and Mena-Gutierrez said. "It's certainly an interesting find for us." However, for those paranoid about drinking tea now, the doctors said they want to emphasize that tea in moderation is OK. "If you're having two to three cups a day, you're probably OK as long as your family doesn't have a history of kidney disease," Syed said. "Just don't drink in excess or replace water with tea, like this man did." The patient has since been discharged, but his kidneys are still non-functioning, and he receives out-patient dialysis treatment three times a week, Syed and Mena-Gutierrez said. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Blue Bell Suspends Operations at Oklahoma Plant

Blue Bell Suspends Operations at Oklahoma Plant Marzia Giacobbe/iStock/Thinkstock(BROKEN ARROW, Okla.) -- Blue Bell Creameries has voluntarily suspended operations at its Oklahoma manufacturing plant where ice cream contaminated with listeria was traced to last month.The company announced in a statement on Friday that it was taking the action out of an “abundance of caution” to determine what caused the initial contamination.Five people were sickened with listeria at a hospital in Wichita, Kansas between January 2014 and January 2015 after eating ice cream products from Blue Bell Creamery. Three of the patients who were sickened at the Wichita hospital later died, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last month. The company has notified FDA of its action, and said it remains committed to “being transparent” with the federal agency. Once it completes an investigation into the incident, the company said Friday the Broken Arrow plant will be reopened. Blue Bell’s other manufacturing plants will continue normal operations during the investigation. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Easter Cookies Recalled Because They Had Eggs in Them

Easter Cookies Recalled Because They Had Eggs in Them FDA(NEW YORK) -- One company's Easter egg-shaped cookies have been recalled because the cookies contained eggs. Yes, really. The cookies sold by Silver Lake Cookie Co. of Islip, New York, were voluntarily recalled because they contained eggs without listing the ingredient on the label, which poses a risk those allergic, at worst causing a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.Eggs are one of the most common food allergens, according to the National Institutes of Health. The company recalled all lots of its Easter egg cookies last week bearing the UPC code "0 37695 49817 1." They were sold to supermarkets in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. There are no reported illnesses to date associated with this recall. Ninety percent of all allergies are caused by milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.As a result, these ingredients are required to appear on all food labels as part of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. When they don't, they are often recalled. "Families and individuals managing egg allergy depend on accurate labels to help them make informed choices, avoid reactions and stay safe," said Dr. James Baker Jr., CEO of the nonprofit group FARE, which stands for Food Allergy Research and Education. "Food products that are mislabeled or that contain trace amounts of a food protein due to cross-contact have the potential to cause allergic reactions." Silver Lake Cookie did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hospital Therapy Rabbits on Hand for ‘Bunny Day’

Hospital Therapy Rabbits on Hand for ‘Bunny Day’ NYU Langone Medical Center(NEW YORK) -- The Easter Bunny has some sweet competition in the form of two therapy rabbits at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. Nutmeg and Clovis, both 5 years old, live on the 13th floor of the hospital, and this week, they visited patients for Bunny Day, the hospital's nondenominational springtime celebration. They wore rabbit ears (yes, really), a bonnet, and sat on a basket of eggs. "The bunny cart is decorated to the hilt, and then we'll go and see patients and work with patients," said Gwenn Fried, manager of horticultural therapy services at NYU Langone. "The patients adore it." As she travels the hospital with one rabbit at a time (Rabbits need breaks, too!), she said she hands patients a plastic Easter egg, and it contains either a sticker or a bunny treat. "The bunny is very excited about the bunny treat," she laughed. The bunnies visited 15 patients on Thursday and will visit more on Saturday and Sunday, Fried said. The rabbits are part of a therapy program that's been at the hospital for about 13 years. Sometimes, doctors recommend the bunny therapy, and sometimes patients request it, but Fried said she's seen them work magic on children and adults alike. "One dad just said, 'I really think Clovis changed our lives,'" Fried told ABC News last year. "He's the most patient animal I've ever seen in my life." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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