Review Category : Top Stories

Antibiotics in Young Children May Be Linked to Higher Obesity Risk

Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study indicates that antibiotics, used in children under the age of 2, may be linked to childhood obesity.

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia looked at data from 65,000 infants and found that infants under the age of 2 who received more frequent doses of wide-spectrum antibiotics were more likely to be obese than those who received less frequent doses.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, found that children younger than three months are given the strongest selection of antibiotics for a short period of time, which has been proven to save lives. However, researchers say children over the age of three months may be more prudently treated with a more narrow spectrum of antibiotics.

Researchers say that the cumulative exposure to antibiotics, as well as the early age of antibiotic exposure, was linked to a higher risk of obesity later on.

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US Doing ‘Everything Possible’ to Avoid Civilian Deaths in Airstrikes

Hope Milam/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — The Pentagon was unable to corroborate reports of civilian casualties caused by U.S. and coalition airstrikes in Syria.

According to Pentagon spokesperson Col. Steve Warren, the U.S. and partner nations are doing “everything possible to mitigate the risk to civilians.” Still, when reports of civilian deaths come out, “we’ll certainly look into them,” he said.

Air Force Deputy Director of Operation Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigan spoke to reporters Monday to discuss the role the U.S. Air Force has had in the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. He noted that 74 percent of those missions in Iraq and 50 percent in Syria have been conducted by the U.S. Air Force.

In total, the U.S. and coalition forces have conducted 224 strikes in Iraq and 66 in Syria.

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Kerry Congratulates New Afghan President, ‘Chief Executive Officer’

Credit: US Department of State(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry praised the leaders of Afghanistan after new president Ashraf Ghani and his former election opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, took their positions on Monday.

Ghani was sworn in as president and Abdullah took on a role Kerry called “chief executive officer.” Kerry called both men “patriots committed to the success of their country.”

Kerry congratulated the country on taking “a moment of challenge and [turning] it into a moment of real opportunity.”

While Kerry didn’t specifically mention it, a key matter under the new government will be the signing of a bilateral security agreement, allowing U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan.

“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of so many from around the world, in addition to the strides it has made in consolidating its democratic system, Afghanistan has made unprecedented gains in the life expectancy, health and education of its people — particularly women and girls,” Kerry noted.

Calling the swearing-in “a beginning, not an ending,” Kerry spoke glowingly of the possibility of a “sovereign, unified and democratic Afghanistan.”

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“Black-ish” Star Anthony Anderson Credits ‘Vegan-ish’ Choices for 47-Pound Weight Loss

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — Anthony Anderson, the star of the new ABC series Black-ish, credits “healthier choices” for his stunning 47-pound weight loss.

The 44-year-old actor and self-described “husky” man said he never had a problem with his size, even at his heaviest weight of 270 pounds.

“I’ve always been confident,” he told People.

But, after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 13 years ago, he started making small changes to his diet.

“I started eating healthier and in moderation, but I was still sort of eating the same stuff that I’d been eating all my life,” he told the magazine.

That changed in 2008 when he was cast in Law & Order.

“I decided to make a drastic change,” Anderson said. “I got more serious about my health and appearance – not from a vanity standpoint. I just started making healthier choices.”

He upped his game again before starting Black-ish.

“Six weeks ago, I moved to a plant-based diet, he told People. “I’m vegan-ish – I’m not going to send anything back to the kitchen if some butter or cream found its way onto the plate.”

Though the father of two doesn’t plan to be vegan-ish forever, he likes the results he’s seen so far.

“This is what I’m supposed to look like,” he said.

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Pediatric Group Recommends IUDs over Birth Control Pill for Teens

JackF/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Doctors from the American Academy of Pediatrics say that long-acting reversible contraceptive methods should be used for teenagers before the birth control pill.

LARC methods, such as intra-uterine devices and subdermal implants, have been found to be safe for use in teenagers, according to the academy, and may actually be more effective at preventing pregnancy than the pill. This, experts say, is because many teens fail to take the pill regularly.

Additionally, experts say, doctors shouldn’t rely solely on abstinence counseling, instead recommending that comprehensive sexual health information be provided to all adolescents.

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Texas ‘Black Widow’ Killer Found Guilty of Murder

Comstock/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Michele Williams, the Texas woman accused of killing her husband over his insurance policy, was found guilty of murder and tampering with evidence on Monday.

Williams, dubbed “the Black Widow” by Dallas-based media, had stood accused of shooting her husband in the head on Oct. 13, 2011. After closing arguments concluded at about 11 a.m. on Monday, the jury deliberated for about seven hours.

Then, on Monday night, the jury returned with a verdict. Williams was found guilty of murder and tampering with a firearm.

The punishment phase of the case is expected to begin on Tuesday morning.

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CEO Indicted for Spyware App That Records Calls, Nearby Conversations

scyther5/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — For the first time, criminal charges have been brought against a suspect for allegedly advertising and selling spyware for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry – software that’s purportedly capable of intercepting phone calls, text messages and emails, and even eavesdropping on offline conversations happening within a few yards of the smartphone carrier.

The Department of Justice announced Monday the indictment of Pakistani national Hammad Akbar, CEO of InvoCode Pvt Ltd, the U.K.-based company that sells StealthGenie software online, in part marketing it to suspicious spouses and lovers. Akbar was arrested in Los Angeles on Saturday.

“This application allegedly equips potential stalkers and criminals with a means to invade an individual’s confidential communications,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Andrew McCabe said in a DOJ release. “They do this not by breaking into their homes or offices, but by physically installing spyware on unwitting victim’s phones and illegally tracking an individual’s every move. As technology continues to evolve, the FBI will investigate and bring to justice those who use illegal means to monitor and track individuals without their knowledge.”

The FBI says a potential user would need to be alone with a target device for “only a few minutes” to install the software and then could monitor the phone without physical contact again – using software that is “undetectable by most users and was advertised as being untraceable.”

In addition to monitoring basically all communications on the target smartphone, the StealthGenie user could “call the phone and activate it any time to monitor all surrounding conversations within a 15-foot radius,” the FBI said.

The DOJ release said that part of StealthGenie’s marketing plan was to sell to customers who suspect their significant others are cheating on them.

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Why Mitt Romney, Barbra Streisand and Karl Rove Keep Emailing You

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) — You’ve been getting a lot of emails, so I’ll make this quick:

These past few days Mitt Romney has been flooding inboxes with emails that begin exactly like the sentence above. The chances you’ve received an email from Mitt Romney are high if you have subscribed to any Republican political e-mail list.

So why has the former GOP presidential nominee been personally reaching out?

The inbox barrage is all part of an effort to boost campaign, party and committee donations before Tuesday’s deadline. Sept. 30 marks the Federal Election Committee’s final quarter report – the fundraising cutoff for campaigns to tout their fundraising prowess before the November election.

Mitt Romney has sent three emails out so far for the National Republican Congressional Committee. And Daniel Scarpinato, the group’s national press secretary, told ABC News that Romney has been effective in raising money, raking in more contributions than anyone else emailing the same list.

“It’s no surprise he’s our number-one sender because a lot of Americans want to see him as president,” Scarpinato said.

But Romney isn’t the only one sending email.

A big contributor to Democratic candidates, actress and singer Barbra Streisand, recently hit up inboxes to support New Hampshire incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. The subject line read, “I’m asking for a favor.”

The message began:

“Hi, Friends – It’s me, Barbra. I was struck by something and had to write: My friend Jeanne Shaheen, the first woman to be elected both as a governor and U.S. senator, is facing attacks from right-wing men desperate to undo 30 years of social progress.”

Former George W. Bush political guru Karl Rove expressed urgency in an email sent on behalf of the National Republican Senatorial Committee — “TIGHT AS A TICK.” (Note the all-caps).

“President Obama’s approval ratings keep dropping, no reliable poll shows battleground Senate Democrats with over 50% support, and GOP voters are excited to cast their ballots in 41 days,” Rove wrote. “The midterm environment is toxic for Democrats, yet there’s a chance Republicans may not take the Senate.”

And then there was singer Carole King’s email for New York candidate Domenic Recchia’s campaign, which was much more personal. The New York native recalled trips to Staten Island where she played on the swings, wolfed down hot dogs, and felt the strong sense of community.

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Ben Affleck Reveals How Much the Batsuit Cost for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — Like most people would be, Ben Affleck was pretty impressed with his batsuit.

However, even he couldn’t convince the powers that be to let him keep it.

“I asked them, ‘So, how about maybe taking the suit home at the end of this thing?'” the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice star said during a visit to Live with Kelly and Michael. “They were like, ‘For $100,000 we could!'”

Affleck, 42, explained that “a lot goes into it,” which is why it’s such a pricey item. In fact, because every element of the film is meant to be perfect, the actor explained that it’s forced him to hit the gym a little more often than usual.

“Audiences have an increasing expectation,” he said. “You see guys like Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans and all these guys whose bodies are just like, you think, ‘How is that even possible?!’ So, exercising is as much of the job now in some ways as the rest of it.”

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