Review Category : Top Stories

Your Body: Can Stress Affect Fertility?

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

From headaches to high blood pressure, stress can take a toll on you. But now, there are growing concerns that stress can also affect fertility.

A study from Ohio State University found that women with the highest stress levels took 29 percent longer to get pregnant compared to other women, and their risk of infertility doubled.

As an OB/GYN and as a woman, I know just how stressful it can be for a couple trying to conceive. The good news is that there are simple ways to reduce stress that could make a big impact:

  • Separate the tasks that need to be done from the those that would be nice to get done.
  • Stop smoking, and cut back on caffeine and alcohol.
  • Practice relaxation methods, such as yoga or my favorite, meditation.
  • And for fertility, relax — there’s a reason so many couples conceive while on vacation.

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Peeple App Lets You Rate Humans Like a Restaurant

Peeple(NEW YORK) — This is the stuff nightmares are made of for the self-conscious.

Instead of telling someone how you feel face to face, a new app in beta called Peeple is unleashing the five-star rating and review system on humans. The app hasn’t launched yet, but the founders say on their website the goal is to “change the way people can learn about each other online,” whether it’s looking at prospective roommates, dates or learning about a potential business partner.

Perhaps the most unnerving part of it all for some people: Anyone can add a new user and you can’t remove your profile from the app.

The only item needed to add a person to the app is the user’s cell phone number. They’ll then receive a text message letting them know who started their profile.

A review works the same way it would on other platforms for restaurants and services. A person is given a rating of up to five stars and then the reviewer can leave a short message explaining their rationale.

Reviews two stars and below are sent to a user’s inbox before being published, giving them 48 hours to work out the disagreement with a reviewer. If there is no resolution when the period expires, the review is then published and the person will have the chance to publicly defend him or herself against the feedback.

If a review is posted by someone a user does not know or includes bullying and other hateful content violating the app’s terms and conditions, it will be removed. Peeple’s creators say users will have to agree they are 21 and older before joining the app.

While the concept sounds scary, Peeple’s creators are billing it as a “positivity app” and advise future users to use it how they would any other social network.

“Your network lifts you up and says positive things about you so that you can have a strong online reputation and get job opportunities, access to more networking opportunities with like-minded people, interact with other single people, and have the ability to search others to make better decisions around your greatest assets such as your family,” the Peeple website says. “You can look up the character of the people you meet and interact with.”

Peeple seems to be one of the first apps geared to the masses for rating people and having reviewers take ownership for their comments, while other apps have focused on anonymous reviews in more niche areas.

Knozen is a fun app letting users rate their co-worker’s quirks, personality and work ethic by presenting users with photos of two colleagues and a question like, “Who is more likely to leave work early for a date?” or “Who is more likely to sing a song out loud?”

Another app called Lulu lets women research and review men, with reviews factoring into an average score of up to 10 points.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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NBC Nixes Adam Levine-Produced Project “The 1970s”

Brian Bowen Smith/NBC(NEW YORK) — A TV project Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine was set to produce for NBC has fallen through.

Deadline reports NBC has decided not to move forward with The 1970s, described as a limited drama series. Apparently, the project may have become too expensive for the network.

The 1970s would have focused on the real-life battle between independent music companies and big corporations in that decade, and featured contemporary artists performing classic songs from the ’70s.

Producers may shop the project to other networks, according to Deadline.

Adam still has a relationship with NBC, of course, as a coach on The Voice.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Jobless Claims Climbed Higher Last Week, Labor Department Says

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims were higher last week, increasing by 10,000 from the previous week’s level, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Sept. 26, the number of people filing for benefits rose to 277,000. The previous week, claims stood at an unrevised level of 267,000.

The Labor Department said there were no “special factors” impacting that week’s figures.

The four-week moving average decreased by 1,000 to 270,750.

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Residents in England Evacuated Overnight Due to Massive Sinkhole

ABC News(HERTFORDSHIRE, England) — Residents were evacuated overnight in St. Albans, north of London, after a 32-foot deep and 66-foot wide sinkhole appeared in front of a driveway.

“Fire crews attended a sink hole on Fontmell Close, St. Albans,” Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service tweeted, “and worked with other agencies to ensure people were safely evacuated.”

Properties around the sinkhole have reportedly been cut off from electricity and gas because of a smell of gas, and highway engineers are assessing the damage before repairing the crater.

“Holes of this kind crop up across Hertfordshire often for historic reasons and we’d like to reassure the public that it is rare for them to turn into large holes,” Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, told local radio BOBfm Home Counties.

The local Fire and Rescue Service said an evacuation center had been set up and was being assisted by the British Red Cross.

In August, a large hole reported to be 40 feet deep appeared on a busy road in Manchester, while earlier in the year, “Traigh Golf Course” on Scotland’s west coast saw a sinkhole cause $25,000 in damage.

“The strata at the site consist of about 13ft of sands, silt and gravels overlying chalk,” Peter Hobbs, from the British Geological Survey, told the Press Association while adding that “sinkholes in this chalk formation are not uncommon.”

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“Shark Tank” Investor Kevin O’Leary Reveals His Five Secrets of the Sale

ABC/Michael Desmond(NEW YORK) — Before he became “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank scooped ice cream for his first job. Since then, he went on to build a company that has since sold for $4 billion and is the founder of O’Leary Financial Group.

“Business is war. My job is to salt the earth my competitors walk on, burn down their market shares, steal their customers, take all of their profits and go home and hug my kids,” O’Leary told ABC News’ 20/20. “[I] get up in the morning and do it again.”

To O’Leary, 61, the hardest business job in the world is sales.

“Every business has sales. If you have no sales you have no business,” O’Leary said. “I don’t think it’s ever been more competitive than it is now. We not only have competition within our own country, but we have the world competing for our customers.”

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET. And check out the Shark Tank shark and sales expert’s five top techniques to making a sale below:

1. Walk the Walk.

In this technique, it’s important for salespeople to know who they are and what they’re selling.

“Number-one rule: great salesmen and women understand it’s their destiny to be a salesperson and to be great,” O’Leary said. “It has to be there all the time, 24-7, no chink in that armor.”

2. Feel the Love.

O’Leary said salespeople need to be passionate about their products.

“You have to love the product you’re selling. You have to have an emotional bond with it. It has to be oozing from every pore that this is the greatest product you have ever sold,” he said.

3. It’s All About the Perfect Pitch.

“Don’t dribble on. Capture your audience immediately. Communicate your vision for why the product belongs in their hands. That’s the perfect pitch,” O’Leary said.

Of all the thousands of sales pitches he has heard, O’Leary said there has been one constant factor in companies that were able to gain an investor.

“In every case, that person was able to articulate the opportunity in 90 seconds or less,” O’Leary said.

4. Be Kind, Not Nice.

“I don’t trust nice people … I don’t believe that someone can be nice all the time,” O’Leary said.

“Every product has its merits and its downsides. Don’t lie about a product … as if there’s no problems at all. Create that bond of trust. That’s paramount.”

5. Be Sticky, Not Gummy.

Salespeople should know when to stop talking, O’Leary said.

“In sales your best friend is time and it’s also your worst enemy. You have to make a decision whether they’re ultimately going to buy from you or not,” he explained.

“As soon as you understand that they’re not, don’t waste your time. Cut them loose. Gummy people just keep going after the sale and wasting everybody’s time.”

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Senate Democrats Call for Disbanding of ‘Unconscionable’ Benghazi Committee

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Senate Democrats are calling for the dissolution of the House Select Committee on Benghazi in light of an admission by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that the committee’s existent is purely political.

A letter signed by five Democratic leaders in the senate urges Speaker of the House John Boehner to “disband” the committee after McCarthy said in an interview on Fox News that it had been put together “to serve the political purpose of defeating Secretary Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential elections by hurting her in the polls, rather than conducting a serious investigation into a terrorist attack that killed four Americans.”

“We should not disrespect their sacrifice by further politicizing this tragedy,” the letter explains.

Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Barbara Boxer, D-Cal.; and Patty Murray, D-Wash. signed the letter, criticizing the committee’s $4.5 million price tag. The Democrats also note that the investigation has gone on longer than those related to the Watergate scandal, the Pearl Harbor attack, the Warren Commission investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Iran Contra investigation.

Noting the lack of evidence supporting “any of the original Republican conspiracy theories on Benghazi,” the letter urges its disbanding, calling the continued spending on what the Democrats deem a political attack “unconscionable.”

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Matt Damon on “Project Greenlight” Controversy: ‘I Thought It Was a Really Insensitive Thing to Say’

Peter Kramer/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — Matt Damon admits he didn’t come off very well when he made his controversial comments regarding diversity in filmmaking in an episode of his HBO reality series, Project Greenlight, that aired a few weeks ago.

“There was some context taken out,” Damon tells The Hollywood Reporter.

In the episode, producer Effie Brown, who is African-American, discussed the need for a diverse directing team that could bring sensitivity to a script involving a black prostitute character.

Damon responded, “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.”

The Martian star has since told The Hollywood Reporter that when he saw the final edit of the scene, “I went, ‘Oh my God, I look like an a******.’ I thought it was a really insensitive thing to say.”

Days after the episode aired, Damon issued an apology for offending people with his comments.

More recently, Damon made headlines for an interview with The Guardian in which he stated, “Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.”

He clarified his stance on Tuesday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show: “I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery, right? And somebody picked it up and said I said gay actors should get back in the closet. Which is like, I mean it’s stupid, but it is painful when things get said that you don’t believe.”

In The Hollywood Reporter article, Damon also defends his friend Ben Affleck, whom he calls “misunderstood.” “Ten years ago, the public image of him could not have been farther apart from who he actually is,” he says. “It was like he was being cast in a role, that he was a talentless kind of meathead, with his whole relationship with Jennifer Lopez. He just got cast as this person that he wasn’t.

“It was just really painful. It was painful to be his friend, because it wasn’t fair, you know?” Damon continued. “To my mind, nobody really got him at all. And through his work, he climbed from the bottom of the mountain all the way back up to the top and past where either of us had ever been.”

Damon’s new space drama, The Martian, opens Friday.

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“Empire” Recap: Cookie Creates Her Own Dynasty

Chuck Hodes/FOX(NEW YORK) — On Wednesday’s episode of Empire, Cookie wanted to create her own record label after unsuccessfully trying to steal Empire Records from Lucious.

Talking to her sons, Andre and Hakeem, Cookie said she didn’t care what they named the label “as long as it lives up to its name.” Initially, the three thought they’d name the label Lyon Den, but eventually settled on Lyon Dynasty.

Cookie even went to the interim CEO, her son Jamal — now that Lucious was behind bars — to warn him that they were starting their own label.

Meanwhile, Lucious was inspired to create a record in jail. Thanks to his crafty new lawyer and some lax guards, Lucious and a few inmates created the track, “Snitch B****.”

Across town, Andre was miserable working at the new label. He begged Cookie to let him go back to Empire. “My heart is not in this, Mom….Let me go, Mom,” he told her.

But when Andre tried to get back on Empire’s staff — by visiting Lucious in jail — the music mogul refused to let Andre back on the team. Andre told Lucious he didn’t understand why he couldn’t forgive him.

A flashback, featuring Kelly Rowland as Lucious’ mother, explained why. Andre reminded Lucious of his mom, who also suffered from a mental illness.

Later, when Lucious released his single from jail, he was later released on bond. It looks like Lucious is back on his throne.

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Donald Trump Would Send Syrian Refugees Back, Jeb Bush Hits Back

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(KEENE, N.H.) — On the first campaign stop since announcing his tax plan, GOP front-runner Donald Trump came out swinging Wednesday night to a crowd of over 3,500 in Keene, N.H.

Changing his tune on Syrian refugees, after once saying he would grant them asylum because it was the “humane” thing to do, Trump now says he would kick them out. “I’m putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, if I win, they’re going back.”

Trump also took direct aim at rivals Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “Then there’s Rubio, who’s running against Bush, and he probably shouldn’t be from a loyalty standpoint; the veterans know what I mean about loyalty, right?” Trump asked the crowd.

“So they ask Rubio, ‘What do you think of Bush?’ ‘He’s my dear friend. Wonderful, just wonderful.’ They hate each other. They hate. Trust me, I know. They hate so much. They hate more than anybody in this room hates their neighbor. But it’s political bull****, do you understand? It’s true,” a fiery Trump said.

Bush, at his own town hall across the state in Bedford, N.H., scoffed at Trump’s assertion that his and Rubio’s relationship wasn’t real.

“We’re friends, and I can take criticism. He [Rubio] can as well. Donald seems to have a harder time taking criticism,” Bush said, adding “Donald Trump has no knowledge about my relationship with Marco Rubio.”

And, speaking to a crowd of about 200, there was a striking scene. A young Syrian-American woman named Nora stood up, in tears, and told of her 14 family members whom she had been supporting in Syria, whose houses had been bombed. They had just made it to Turkey and she asked Bush, voice cracking and filled with emotion, “Are we going to let Putin run this world?”

Bush applauded her strength and encouraged the crowd to do so as well. Then, he put himself in clear opposition to Trump, saying the United States has to take a role in providing support.

“Send them all back to a hell hole?” he said to reporters afterwards. “That’s not the proper policy for the United States and it’s certainly not an exhibition of leadership. …There should be some sensitivity to this by Mr. Trump.”

Back in Keene, Trump ran threw his tax plan, his first time including it in a campaign speech since announcing it Monday morning.

Weather depending, the New York real estate mogul will campaign in Virginia and Tennessee this weekend.

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