Review Category : Top Stories

Bride-to-Be Says Birth Control Caused Stroke

KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) — A 26-year-old woman was planning her wedding when she began to experience headaches, blurred vision, nausea and other symptoms.

Jordan Ward’s fiancé insisted that she go to the hospital, where doctors sent her home, explaining that she had migraines, she recalled.

The next day, Ward was diagnosed with a stroke caused by blood clots. They told her the clots were caused by her birth control.

“When I did get the news, I was in shock,” Ward told ABC News’ Los Angeles Station, KABC-TV. “I’m 26 years old.”

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a senior medical contributor for ABC News and practicing OBGYN, said hormonal contraception has been known to increase the risk of developing blood clots for many years.

“Women should always be advised about the risks versus benefits versus alternatives to any form of birth control, and realize that while uncommon, if the worst case scenario happens to them, it is a big deal,” Ashton said.

For women who are not on birth control, the risk of developing a blood clot is about 1 in 10,000, Ashton said. Oral contraceptives increase the risk of blood clots to about 8 in 10,000, but pregnancy in general increases the risk to about 50 in 10,000.

This happens because the hormones associated with pregnancy — estrogen and progesterone — promote clotting to prevent women from losing too much blood during childbirth, said Dr. Maria Shaker, an OBGYN at U.H. Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s these two hormones that are in combination birth control pills to prevent ovulation, which is why the pills, hormone patches and vaginal rings are associated with blood clots as well, she said.

“Other factors that increase risk of a blood clot include smoking, obesity, recent long travel or immobilization, and having a hereditary clotting disorder,” Ashton said.

For women with these risk factors — like Ward, who is a smoker — Shaker said intrauterine devices are a great alternative with a lower risk of developing clots.

Ward had surgery at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, and she said her wedding will go on as planned.

“I’m so thankful for so many things, but especially for the fact that I still get to marry the man of my dreams,” Ward told the station.

Ward was not immediately available for further comment to ABC News.

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Capitol Police Officers Get Bathroom Training After Leaving Firearms in Restrooms

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine says his officers are receiving potty training (get it?) after three separate incidents this year when officers left firearms unattended in the Capitol’s public restrooms.

“We are now providing additional training on what to do when you have to go to the bathroom,” Dine told lawmakers during a hearing on Wednesday.

Dine said a first-time offender would be suspended for five days under current policy for leaving a weapon unattended, but he is considering toughening the penalty to 30 days or even potential termination for a first offense because of the seriousness a single error can carry.

“There are no excuses for these mistakes,” he stressed.

The chief appeared before the House Committee on Administration to discuss a number of troubling issues that have plagued his police force in the past year, including the widely publicized gyrocopter landing on the Capitol lawn on April 15.

Dine defended his officers’ actions during that event, telling lawmakers that his agency had little heads-up of the possibility Douglas Hughes – the pilot who was indicted Wednesday on six counts related to the incident – might be heading to the Capitol on his helicopter-like aircraft.

“I think the officers acted properly, heroically, swiftly and efficiently,” Dine said.

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Fears for Palmyra: The ISIS Assault on History

RPMGsas/iStock/Thinkstock(PALMYRA, Syria) — Just five days after ISIS achieved one of its most significant victories in Iraq in the past year, militants reportedly have taken control of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria.

The city’s ruins hold some of the world’s most prized antiquities dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries, and ISIS’ past assaults on historic sites have caused alarm among the international community that the group might employ the same tactics once again.

“Any destruction to Palmyra is not just a world crime, it will mean an enormous loss for humanity,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in a video posted by the group Thursday. “We are speaking about the birth of human civilization.”

Palmyra is home to some of the world’s best-preserved ancient ruins, including the Temple of Bel, built in the first century. The regime’s withdrawal from the strategically important Palmyra presents another drastic loss for its forces.

Over the past 2,000 years, Palmyra has been consistently reshaped by the influences of ancient Romans, and served as a trade hub for caravans along the Silk Road from India, China and Persia. It led to an amassing of treasures from a diverse array of civilizations.

“What Palmyra tells us today is that all cultures are influencing each other, all cultures enrich each other,” Bokova said.

However, over the past two years following the start of the Syrian Civil War, Palmyra saw military facilities propped up by forces loyal to Syria’s Assad. Reports of looting and significant damage to some of the city’s ancient architecture followed.

Its new inhabitants, however, believe preserving ancient ruins constitutes a form of idolatry and have made several propaganda videos flaunting their record in some of Syria and Iraq’s most historic destinations.

One of the first notable examples of ISIS’ targeting of historical sites was the video posted online of the destruction of the Nebi Yunus, or the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah, inside Mosul, Iraq.

Just one week ago, in a U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on “Ancient Communities Under Attack,” Penn Cultural Heritage Center fellow Katharyn Hanson remarked that ISIS “removed all evidence of the shrine by clearing the rubble and grading the site flat.”

“In doing so,” Hanson said. “ISIS erased the physical presence of Nebi Yunus for the entire local religious community.”

In January 2015, reports surfaced that ISIS militants detonated bombs along the wall of the ancient Iraqi city of Nineveh located on the Tigris River. The city is known for being the oldest in the Assyrian Empire and most notable archaeological monuments in the country.

The next month, ISIS militants armed themselves with sledgehammers, pickaxes and rifles as they raided the Mosul Museum. Cameramen were at the ready as the group tore apart artifacts, including some reported replicas inside, later posting a montage of the rampage online.

Just a month later, ISIS ramped up its campaign of destruction as it reportedly bulldozed the ancient cities of Nimrud and Hatra, also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In the House hearing, Hanson also remarked on the apparent looting by ISIS of the Dura-Europos, an archaeological site in Syria that holds not only the world’s best preserved ancient Jewish synagogue but one of the oldest known depictions of Jesus Christ.

“I think we need a total mobilization of the international community,” Bokova said on Palmyra. “We need everybody to launch the same appeal. We need very much the religious leaders to launch an appeal on the prevention of this destruction.”

Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena has witnessed the destruction first hand, and testified to the House Foreign Affairs committee just what effect the destruction of the religious and historical sites have on the community.

“What do we lose? I would say we lost everything,” Momeka said. “It just was a sign for us, and that’s your history is gone. You are nothing anymore. That’s how we see ourselves now. Homeless.”

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Prince William Gets Charlotte Soccer Jersey from England’s Women’s Soccer Team

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(STAFFORDSHIRE, England) — It looks like Prince William and Duchess Kate might have a football player on their hands, not Prince George but their newborn daughter, Princess Charlotte.

Charlotte is just 19-days-old but she already has her own soccer — football in the U.K. — jersey thanks to her home country’s women’s soccer team.

The players on England’s women’s squad, the Lionesses, presented Charlotte’s dad, Prince William, with a custom team jersey Wednesday when he met the team at St. George’s Park in Staffordshire.

The jersey had Charlotte’s name on the back along with the number one.

“All the girls were asking how Princess Charlotte is and Prince George and whether they keep him up all night,” said team captain Steph Houghton, according to the U.K.’s The Telegraph.

“He was saying he’s obviously really enjoying being a father and Princess Charlotte is actually keeping him up and probably why his eyes are looking a little bit tired,” Houghton said.

William, 32, reportedly also revealed that although Charlotte has a jersey, it is currently Prince George who is displaying soccer skills through his quick feet.

“He was saying he never stops moving and is always on the move and keeping them busy,” Houghton said.

Tweets from Kensington Palace show that William, 32, took a team photo with the Lionesses, signed the wall at St. George’s Park and watched the players train.

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Senate Narrowly Advances President Obama’s Trade Bill: Here’s Why It Was So Close

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Senate narrowly advanced a bill that would give President Obama the “fast-track” authority to negotiate trade deals with foreign partners.

Sixty votes were needed to move forward with the measure, and the Senate voted 62 to 38 in favor of invoking cloture — setting up a vote on final passage for this week before the Senate leaves for Memorial Day recess.

The vote was a squeaker, going down to the wire with many observers unsure how a group of senators, led by Sens. Maria Cantwell, R-Washington, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, threatening to vote against advancing the measure if a vote was not held on the Export-Import bank.

With Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, draping his arms over the South Carolinian’s shoulder, Graham and Cantwell were at the center of intense negotiations on the Senate floor with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who eventually assured the senators he would allow a vote on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank despite personally opposing the measure. After nearly thirty minutes of huddling, Graham and Cantwell voted in favor of invoking cloture on the trade bill, opening the floodgates for other senators to advance the measure.

Many Senate Democrats, who normally side with the White House on its legislative agenda, opposed the measure over concerns about a lack of amendments and secrecy surrounding the bill.

“We’re going to shut down debate on the first full day of consideration?” Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said ahead of the vote. “We’re not being unreasonable. We’re playing this straight. We’re simply asking for the Senate to debate this legislation.”

Before the vote, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, offered votes on nine amendments to the measure, but Brown objected, saying it didn’t reflect a thorough amendment process.

If the Senate failed to advance the bill, it would have sent a brutal blow to the White House. Last week, Senate Democrats defeated the first effort to move forward with the legislation.

“What we just witnessed here is Democratic senators shutting down debate on the top economic priority of the Democratic president of the United States,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the time.

Obama acquired some unlikely allies in his push for obtaining negotiating authority for trade deals. McConnell was one of the pivotal lawmakers advocating in favor of the president’s plan. But the debate has put the president at odds with some of his top Democratic supporters, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who engaged in a back and forth battle with the president over the deal.

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DC Mansion Fire Suspect Tracked to New York City, Authorities Say

Metropolitan Police Department(NEW YORK) — Investigators now believe the main suspect in a D.C. quadruple murder is currently in Brooklyn, New York.

Daron Dylan Wint was named by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police as the suspect in the yet-unsolved murders after they discovered his DNA at the scene, left on an uneaten pizza crust, authorities said.

D.C. Police Commissioner Cathy Lanier said Thursday that Wint is currently in Brooklyn and law enforcement officials confirmed to ABC News that the U.S. Marshals are working the case in N.Y. and in D.C. through fugitive task forces that include investigators from dozens of law enforcement agencies.

Lanier said that the investigation has determined that the attack which left four dead including a 10-year-old boy does not appear to be random.

“We do believe there is a connection between the suspect in this case through the business” of the male victim, Savvas Savopoulus, Lanier said.

Wint is believed to have previously worked at American Ironworks, a company that Savopoulus led, she said.

NYPD detective bureaus in each precinct have been alerted to the possibility the suspect may be in New York or the surrounding areas.

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DC Mansion Fire Suspect Tracked to New York City, Authorities Say

Metropolitan Police Department(NEW YORK) — Investigators now believe the main suspect in a D.C. quadruple murder is currently in Brooklyn, New York.

Daron Dylan Wint was named by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police as the suspect in the yet-unsolved murders after they discovered his DNA at the scene, left on an uneaten pizza crust, authorities said.

D.C. Police Commissioner Cathy Lanier said Thursday that Wint is currently in Brooklyn and law enforcement officials confirmed to ABC News that the U.S. Marshals are working the case in N.Y. and in D.C. through fugitive task forces that include investigators from dozens of law enforcement agencies.

Lanier said that the investigation has determined that the attack which left four dead including a 10-year-old boy does not appear to be random.

“We do believe there is a connection between the suspect in this case through the business” of the male victim, Savvas Savopoulus, Lanier said.

Wint is believed to have previously worked at American Ironworks, a company that Savopoulus led, she said.

NYPD detective bureaus in each precinct have been alerted to the possibility the suspect may be in New York or the surrounding areas.

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Google Reveals the Problem with Password Security Questions

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Google analyzed hundreds of millions of password security questions and answers, revealing how startlingly easy it is for would-be hackers to get into someone else’s account.

Case in point: What’s your favorite food?

Using one guess, an attacker has a 19.7 percent chance of guessing an English speaking user loves pizza, according to Google’s findings, which looked at hundreds of millions of questions and answers for account recovery claims.

While the questions are meant to provide an extra layer of security, Google found easy-to-guess answers were a problem around the world.

With 10 guesses, an attacker would have a near one in four chance of guessing the name of an Arabic speaker’s first teacher. Ten guesses gave cyber criminals a 21 percent chance of guessing the middle name of a Spanish speaker’d father.

South Korean users were most vulnerable with the question “What is your city of birth?” With 10 guesses, attackers would have a 39 percent chance of getting into a person’s account.

While the study shows how alarmingly easy it is to crack a person’s password security questions, Google said the solution shouldn’t be to add more questions.

Google’s security researchers instead recommend users make sure their account recovery information is current by going through a security checkup. Adding a phone number or back-up email address can help circumvent the issue of someone trying to penetrate your account via the secret questions.

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Dawn Probe Gets Closest Look Yet at Ceres’ Bright Spots

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA(NEW YORK) — NASA’s Dawn probe has gotten its closest look yet at the alien lights reflecting from the dwarf planet Ceres.

Taken from a distance of 4,500 miles, the image shows two bright spots on the dwarf planet in new detail, appearing to reflect from inside a crater on Ceres’ surface.

Discovered earlier this year as Dawn approached Ceres, the bright spots have been a mystery to scientists who have speculated they could be icy volcanoes or salt.

Christopher Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission, said with the closer look that “scientists can now conclude that the intense brightness of these spots is due to the reflection of sunlight by highly reflective material on the surface, possibly ice.”

Nearly 600 miles in diameter, about 25 percent of Ceres’ mass is believed to be ice. NASA’s Dawn mission has been orbiting Ceres since March and will continue studying the dwarf planet through June 2016.

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Dwayne Johnson Says “San Andreas” Is ‘Epic’

Warner Bros.(ORLANDO) — Dwayne Johnson plays a Los Angeles Fire Department rescue helicopter pilot searching for his estranged daughter after an earthquake hits California in his latest action flick, San Andreas.

“It’s big. It’s epic. It’s relentless. It’s non-stop. It’s a ride that’s non-stop,” the former wrestler said of the film on Thursday’s Live with Kelly and Michael.

Several key scenes in San Andreas take place underwater, something Johnson said was a challenge to film.

“We built to scale the top of these high rises that are in downtown San Francisco. So when downtown San Francisco — without giving the movie away — gets hit with a tsunami, it gets submerged,” he explained. “And in this massive water tank, the size of a football field…we had to shoot these scenes underwater for weeks and weeks [with] four or five hundred members of the crew. It was pretty intense.”

Johnson said filming those particular scenes required specialized training. “I spent a lot of time just in terms of the prep because being a first responder, I had to be down there,” he said. “The scenes were long and I have to save my daughter who’s drowning, and it required me to swim through these office buildings.”

San Andreas, also starring Paul Giamatti and Kylie Minogue, shakes up theaters May 29.

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