Review Category : Top Stories

Census: Net Worth of Average US Household Drops 7%

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The average American household has a net worth of just under $69,000, according to a new report from the Census Bureau. That’s a 7 percent decline over the past decade.

And, the report finds, the gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider.

While the rich continue getting richer, the poor are worse off than before the Great Recession. Between 2000 and 2011, the bottom 20 percent fell deeper in debt, and now have an average net worth of negative $6,029.

The richest Americans, meanwhile, have a positive net worth averaging more than $630,000. That’s an increase of 11 percent.

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Census: Net Worth of Average US Household Drops 7%

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The average American household has a net worth of just under $69,000, according to a new report from the Census Bureau. That’s a 7 percent decline over the past decade.

And, the report finds, the gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider.

While the rich continue getting richer, the poor are worse off than before the Great Recession. Between 2000 and 2011, the bottom 20 percent fell deeper in debt, and now have an average net worth of negative $6,029.

The richest Americans, meanwhile, have a positive net worth averaging more than $630,000. That’s an increase of 11 percent.

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ESPN: Timberwolves Set to Acquire Thaddeus Young from the 76ers

NBA Logo(NEW YORK) — Even though the Minnesota Timberwolves are set to lose one of the game’s best players in Kevin Love, they will be getting in return plenty of talent to replace him.

In addition to landing Andrew Wiggins and others from the Cleveland Cavaliers, ESPN reports the team will also acquire Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young.

It is unknown if this will be part of a three-team deal between the teams, or a separate trade at this time. ESPN also reports that the Timberwolves would send over the expiring contracts of Luc Richard Mbah A Moute and Alexey Shved along with a 2015 first-round pick that previously belonged to the Miami Heat.

Even though he’s played seven NBA seasons, all with the 76ers, Young is still just 26 years old. He’s flown under the radar in recent years due to Philadelphia’s rebuilding efforts, but he should prove to be a highly productive player for Minnesota. Young can provide energy, defense, and scoring either in a starting role or off the bench. This past season, he averaged a career-high 17.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

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US Continues Airstrikes Against ISIS Targets in Iraq

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. military forces used fighter and attack aircraft to conduct three more airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets near the Mosul Dam in Iraq, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said Friday.

The U.S. strikes against the terrorist group successfully destroyed “two ISIL armed vehicles and a machine gun emplacement that was firing on Iraqi forces,” CENTCOM said in a statement Friday.

The U.S. military has been conducting the airstrikes in support of Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defense operations.

The fighter and attack aircraft used in the strikes all managed to exit the area safely.

The goal is to protect U.S. personnel and facilities, as well as critical infrastructure, while supporting humanitarian efforts in the region.

Since Aug. 8, CENTCOM says it has conducted 93 airstrikes across Iraq, 60 of which have been near the dam.

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Does ‘Flappy Bird’ Follow-Up Live Up to the Hype?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — How can a simple game be so shockingly difficult?

It’s been a day since “Swing Copters,” the hotly anticipated follow-up to “Flappy Bird,” was released and it’s already causing plenty of sore thumbs.

“This is just crazy. It moves too fast,” said one reviewer in the Google Play store.

Many players also lamented the fact that it was difficult to score in the game — but it didn’t stop them from trying again and again.

“Swing Copters” comes a little more than six months after creator Dong Nguyen yanked “Flappy Bird” from app stores because he believed it was too addictive and had ruined his “simple life.”

“Swing Copters” has many of the same features that made “Flappy Bird” addictive. First, there’s the familiar looking bug-eyed bird. However, this one has a propeller. One-tap game play is also back.

What is different, however, is that instead of swiping right, “Swing Copters” utilizes upward scrolling, providing a new perspective. And the pipes from “Flappy Bird” have become swinging hammers.

The game has managed to frustrate players in a way that “Flappy Bird” did not.

The physics of the game — from the speed of the bug-eyed character to the touch screen mechanics — were common complaints, according to reviews left in the Google Play store, which came to a consensus: It’s no “Flappy Bird.”

“Swing Copters” is available for free for iOS and Android — or users can tip Nguyen $0.99 for an ad-free version.

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Watch Koala Brought Back to Life in Dramatic Rescue

Steven Kuiter and Michelle Thomas/Animalia Wildlife Shelter(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Firefighters and wildlife workers in Melbourne, Australia, performed lifesaving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on an unconscious, injured koala Thursday — a dramatic effort that was captured on video.

Rescuers dropped the koala from a tree to crews below holding a blanket.

A worker from the Animalia Wildlife Shelter performed mouth-to-mouth and rubbed the koala’s chest, while a firefighter from the Frankston Fire Brigade gave the koala oxygen through a tube.

“C’mon, wake up,” a woman said.

The koala eventually woke up, groaning, drawing relief from the rescuers, who nicknamed the animal “Sir Chompsalot.”

He was later taken to a local animal hospital for treatment.

Watch more news videos | Latest from the US

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James Foley’s Siblings Say US Could Have Done More to Save Him

ABC News(NEW YORK) — The brother and sister of U.S. journalist James Foley, who was slain by Islamic terrorists, believe more could have been done to save their brother and said the U.S. should reconsider its approach in dealing with kidnappers.

Michael and Katie Foley spoke with Katie Couric in an exclusive interview on Yahoo! News.

James Foley, 40, was beheaded by the Islamic group ISIS, which is also known as ISIL. The group is now threatening to execute another captured American journalist, Steven Sotloff.

ISIS killed Foley and is threatening to kill Sotloff partly because of the U.S. air attacks on their forces in Iraq. The group had also been rebuffed when it demanded a $100 million ransom for Foley.

“I really, really hope that in some way Jim’s death pushes us to take another look at our approach, our policy, to terrorists and hostage negotiations and rethink that,” Michael Foley, 38, said. “Because if the United States is doing it one way and Europe is doing it another way, by definition it won’t work.”

The U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists, but Europe has been known to pay for the release of prisoners.

“The U.S. could have done more on behalf of the western and American hostages over there and still…you know, dealt with the broader, worldwide issues. Other nations have done that. And that’s been a source of frustration for me,” Michael Foley told Couric.

“Take the money aside, there’s more that could have been done directly on Jim’s behalf and I really hope that with respect to Steven, they take some action quickly,” he said.

“There is things that can be done. We are sitting on prisoners for example in Guantanamo. It doesn’t have to be financial. There’s ways to do it…I just feel strongly that more can be done, moving forward,” Michael Foley said.

The terrorists sent the Foley family a letter in August stating their son would be killed.

“It was just chilling, it was full of so much hate,” Michael Foley said.

“I don’t even know how a human being can even have that fierce and intense hate for someone else,” Katie Foley, 26, said. “I don’t even understand where that type of hate comes from.”

The siblings said it’s possible James volunteered to die first.

“I have no doubt…he’s always been that way,” Michael Foley said. “[He] truly cares more about others than himself. I think he was probably the strongest and most prepared for it. God forbid there’s others. But you can see just from the clips, from the video, he wasn’t afraid.”

The heartbroken siblings, whose brother reported from the dangerous frontlines in the Middle East, also spoke about the day he was kidnapped in 2012.

Katie Foley, a nurse for the U.S. Navy, was the last person in their family to speak to James, through Skype on the morning of Thanksgiving, before she went to work.

“I told him, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,’” she said. “And he’s like, ‘It’s Thanksgiving over there?’ And I said, ‘Yes, it’s Thanksgiving…we all love you.’ And then, I went off to work, and, obviously, we know the rest of the story.”

They hope their brother will be remembered as a good friend, journalist and teacher.

“Jim was a hero,” Michael Foley said. “He was my hero.”

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Vacationer-in-Chief? How Obama’s R&R Stacks Up to Other Presidents

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — There may never be a good time to take a vacation when you’re president. But the last couple of weeks made for particularly bad timing.

Now, as President Obama prepares to return from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, the commander-in-chief might very well want a vacation from his vacation, which was more notable for its many interruptions than its relaxation — that is, unless you’re counting the president’s many rounds of golf.

The president held multiple news conferences — and in an unusual fashion, even broke from his vacation for a two-day trip back to Washington — as he addressed the developing crises in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri.

But Obama is just the latest in a long line of presidents to adopt the “working vacation.”

“Early on, when vacations began to get criticism — for example, during the Eisenhower administration — the press secretary, Jim Haggerty, invented the phrase ‘working vacation,’” Larry Knutson, author of the new book Away From the White House: Presidential Escapes, Retreats and Vacations, said during a recent interview with ABC News/Yahoo! News. “And we’ve had working vacations ever since.”

In his 37-year career as a reporter for the Associated Press, Knutson has covered presidential vacations ranging from Lyndon B. Johnson to George W. Bush.

Despite public jabs at Obama for socializing in the midst of domestic and international turmoil — the president was notably criticized for hitting a golf course directly after his somber statement on the death of U.S. journalist James Foley — Knutson said that when it comes to taking time off, Obama ranks “right in the middle” among his 43 predecessors.

“I wouldn’t say that he’s on top at all. He’s taken regular vacations; he’s certainly not taken as many or as long as some recent presidents,” he said. “It’s an easy criticism, and it’s been made from the very beginning.”

Knutson pointed to the case of Chester Arthur, the 21st president, as an early example of a president whose vacations drew particularly intense criticism.

“He fished from New England to Florida to the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, and at one point [made] a real, almost military expedition to then-very new Yellowstone National Park,” he explained. “And a newspaper in New York proposed half-seriously that the president’s pay may be docked every time he went fishing or went on a vacation.”

Other presidents have managed to build their own mystique through their vacations.

In order to prevent the public eye from passing judgment on his holiday habits, Knutson said President Ronald Reagan tried to obscure the press’ view of his off-duty activities, like yard work and horseback riding, while vacationing at his California ranch — literally.

“In Reagan’s case, although he rode and cut brush, famously television was kept more than an arm’s length away and had to set up cameras on a nearby mountaintop with lenses that I am told have been used to photograph the moon,” he said.

Despite the longstanding public disenchantment with presidential retreats, Knutson listed a handful of American leaders who were successfully able to unplug from their high-stress jobs for a some rest and relaxation.

“Dwight Eisenhower golfed from coast to coast. …John Kennedy sailed out of Hyannis Port and throughout the country and was photographed playing touch football with all of his nephews and nieces,” he said. “Lyndon Johnson relaxed totally at the ranch in Texas.”

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Adequate Sleep at College Is a Precious Commodity

iStock/Thinkstock(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) — College is a time for classes, studying and socializing, which obviously doesn’t leave much time for snoozing.

In fact, a University of Alabama survey of sleep behaviors and attitudes found that 60 percent of college students aren’t getting enough sleep, compared to a third of the general population, which makes the same claim.

Unlike the rest of America, Dr. Adam Knowlden says that it’s not medical problems that keep most students up, but stress and a lack of time. Meanwhile, the majority don’t consider the health benefits of adequate sleep in their decision to burn the candle at both ends while at school.

Knowlden chalks it up to the feeling of independence young adults experience when they’re away from home. Of course, this makes it more difficult to find the right “balance between juggling classes, finances, social lives, athletics, volunteer work, parental expectations and employment.”

If they want to improve their sleep behaviors, according to Knowlden, students need to reduce stress, which can be done by learning how to better manage time and money.

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Adequate Sleep at College Is a Precious Commodity

iStock/Thinkstock(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) — College is a time for classes, studying and socializing, which obviously doesn’t leave much time for snoozing.

In fact, a University of Alabama survey of sleep behaviors and attitudes found that 60 percent of college students aren’t getting enough sleep, compared to a third of the general population, which makes the same claim.

Unlike the rest of America, Dr. Adam Knowlden says that it’s not medical problems that keep most students up, but stress and a lack of time. Meanwhile, the majority don’t consider the health benefits of adequate sleep in their decision to burn the candle at both ends while at school.

Knowlden chalks it up to the feeling of independence young adults experience when they’re away from home. Of course, this makes it more difficult to find the right “balance between juggling classes, finances, social lives, athletics, volunteer work, parental expectations and employment.”

If they want to improve their sleep behaviors, according to Knowlden, students need to reduce stress, which can be done by learning how to better manage time and money.

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