Review Category : Top Stories

Chinese Navy Ships off Alaska Coast Highlights Need To Avoid ‘Miscalculations,’ General Says

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — With China sending five Navy ships into the Bering Sea north and west of Alaska for the first time ever, the nation’s top military officer says the move highlights the need for both the U.S. and China to work to avoid “miscalculations and interactions that could be unsafe at sea and in the air.”

In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the vessels operating in international waters close to Alaska indicate to him that China is “developing capabilities to expand their reach” as they continue to pursue economic interests.

Dempsey said that the more China asserts itself, “the more they are likely to interact with us and the more responsibility we both have to avoid miscalculation and interactions that could be unsafe at sea and in the air.”

“It tells me we should be more engaged with them and it tells me that we have to help allow China to become peaceful and prosperous and rise economically without becoming threatening” to U.S. allies in the region, Dempsey said, also noting that the U.S. has five alliances in the Pacific region.

More of General Dempsey’s interview will air this Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

The Pentagon confirmed Wednesday that the vessels had recently entered the Bering Sea and were operating in international waters north of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

“We respect the freedom of all nations to operate military vessels in international waters in accordance with international law,” said Commander Bill Urban, a Pentagon spokesman. “We are aware of the five People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ships in the Bering Sea. This is the first time we have observed PLAN ships in the Bering Sea.”

A U.S. defense official said the vessels include three combat ships, an amphibious ship and a replenishment vessel that had been participating in an ongoing joint Russian-Chinese military exercise taking place in the waters of the Sea of Japan.

The vessels were tracked by the U.S. moving northeast towards the Bering Sea where the official says the U.S. continues to monitor their operations.

The official says it is unclear for what specific purpose China may have moved the ship’s into the Bering Sea but said “they’re being there indicates an interest in the Arctic region.”

The Arctic Circle begins south of the Bering Strait about 600 to 700 miles north of where the Chinese ships are currently located in the Bering Sea.

On Wednesday, President Obama visited a region of Alaska in the Arctic Circle as part of a three day visit focusing on the impact of climate change in the Arctic.

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Julianne Hough Isn’t Ready to Make Wedding Plans

ABC/Adam Taylor(NEW YORK) — Julianne Hough can’t stop talking about her engagement to hockey player Brooks Laich earlier this month, but she’s not ready to discuss the big day just yet.

“We’re just enjoying our engagement,” the former Dancing with the Stars pro tells E! News. “I think right now we’re just enjoying that part. We really enjoy our stages. I think we enjoyed the dating stage and being engaged, so I think we like to enjoy each stage.”

In the meantime, Hough, 27, has been gushing over her massive engagement ring. In a recent blog post she writes, “The ring itself makes me feel very feminine and takes my breath away every time I look down, which I can’t stop doing, by the way.”

“When it comes to taking it off, forget it. I’ll even wake up in the middle of the night to make sure it’s still there!” she continues. “I never thought I’d be the girl sticking her hand out to her friends and screaming in unison but here I am, shrieking all over Los Angeles.”

Hough announced her engagement to Laich, 32, on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. The two have been dating since last December.

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eBay Turns 20: Key Moments in the Online Auction Site’s History

inbj/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Online auction website eBay launched 20 years ago Thursday — and in the past two decades has shaped the way people buy and sell everything from cars and clothes to a vast selection of collectibles.

With more than 25 million sellers and 157 million active buyers, eBay has impacted consumers in 190 countries.

Here’s a look at some of the key moments that have helped eBay achieve success and staying power 20 years later:

The First Sale

After a busy Labor Day weekend of coding, Pierre Omidyar launched AuctionWeb — which would later change its name to eBay. The site had a stated goal of “bringing together buyers and sellers in an honest and open marketplace.”

AuctionWeb’s first sale was a broken laser pointer Omidyar posted on his site. It sold to a laser pointer collector for $14.83.

Sales Spike

One year after AuctionWeb went into business, it had already helped facilitate $7.2 million in sales. That same year, Omidyar quit his day job to focus full-time on his new venture, bringing in his first employee and later hiring Jeff Skoll to serve as president.

Beanie Baby Bonanza

The year was 1997 and Beanie Babies were the must-have collectible. Around $500 million worth of the cuddly animals made by Ty Warner were sold on eBay, accounting for what eBay said was more than six percent of the auction site’s volume.

Seller Feedback

Sticking with the ideal of creating the most “honest and open marketplace,” AuctionWeb introduces seller feedback in 1997. Later that year, the company re-names itself as eBay.

Going Public

The company celebrated its initial public offering in September of 1998, with shares trading on NASDAQ under the symbol EBAY.

Global Expansion

The company began expansion in 1999 with new sites in Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Own Your Own Business

Launching in June 2001, eBay Stores allowed anyone to set up their own digital storefront for a few dollars a month.

PayPal

The company purchased digital payments solution PayPal in 2002. A decade later the service would have a total payment volume exceeding $60 billion. PayPal was spun off into an independent company in July 2015.

StubHub

eBay acquired StubHub, an online marketplace for entertainment events including sporting events, concerts and theater in 2007.

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Idris Elba Reacts to “James Bond” Author Calling Him ‘Too Street’ to Play 007

Sony/Screen Gems(LONDON) — How did Idris Elba respond to James Bond author Anthony Horowitz’s statement that he’s “too street” to play 007? He just kept smiling.

Horowitz recently told Britain’s Daily Mail, “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

The comment resulted in backlash against Horowitz on social media, and he subsequently issued an apology.

It seems Elba himself didn’t take it all too seriously. The British actor posted on Instagram a screenshot of an article regarding Horowitz’s remarks, accompanied by a positive message. “Always Keep Smiling!! It takes no energy and never hurts! Learned that from the Street!! #septemberstillloveyou,” he wrote.

In his apology, Horowitz said he was “mortified to have caused offence.” He explained that he was thinking of Elba’s gritty detective role in the BBC series Luther when he made the “street” remark.

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Addiction in Hancock County: Tolerance Levels And Clinical Drug Treatment

9/2/2015    9:30pm

This is part of a fourteen-week series highlighting many aspects of drug use, enforcement of drug laws and treatment that community members and authorities in Hancock County face.

Understanding tolerance levels, how the human body can handle drug and alcohol consumption and abuse, as well as drug treatment medications were discussed in the third week of the University of Findlay College of Pharmacy Community Learning Series Seminars on Addiction in Hancock County. Mark Vehre from the Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio spoke on alcohol consumption and several misconceptions associated with it.

“So often you see ‘Drink Responsibly’ well no one knows what that means so we try to give some kind of guideline as to what a standard drink is and what the drinking guidelines are.” said Vehre.

Using a 0, 1, 2, 3 standard, Vehre noted that for many people, especially young kids, they shouldn’t be drinking simply because their bodies cannot handle it. But Vehre also noted that the same guidelines are applied to adults for the same reasons.

“Many adults don’t know what the guidelines are. You still hear them talk about going out over the weekend and partying. I don’t during the week so I’m ok. They don’t understand that when you’re drinking five drinks, six drinks or more it’s a risk to you. It’s a high-risk choice.”

Vehre notes that progress is being made in spite of popular opinion. Citing his years spent working in education he said that if even one kid successfully learns the risks associated with alcohol consumption and drug use, the program is a success. And if they take that knowledge back to their friends, the success grows. The Family Resource Center participates in youth outreach to encourage kids to get involved in preventative teaching.

“We have a youth advisory board that we get kids involved in. We’re trying to get them to take that message that you don’t have to have alcohol present or drugs to have fun or have a party. The more the youth buy into that message, it’s progress.” said Vehre.

Dr. Mike Milks from the University of Findlay College of Pharmacy also spoke on drug addiction treatments. Milks discussed several drugs on the market today which are used to counteract the effects of heroin and other addictive drugs. While the treatments are successful, Dr. Milks notes that it takes more than clinical therapy for addicts to recover from addiction.

“It really does take not JUST drugs but then cognitive behavioral therapy or some other lifestyle changes. It takes a change in the environment. They need to break old habits because those habits trigger the craving that drugs can blunt but never totally remove it.” said Milks.

Many drug addiction treatments can be expensive, which is part of the issue in getting them to addicts that want to recover. But Milks notes that the cost of larger societal issues stemming from drug use outpace the price for treatment drugs.

“They’re expensive but not nearly as expensive as the loss of life or repeated emergency room visits, incarceration and then lack of productivity.” said Milks

Originally, the week three seminar was to feature Just Reginald Routson from the Hancock County Common Pleas Court. That was rescheduled for later in October. Next week will feature a debate on State Issue 3 which is the Marijuana legalization law proposed for the November ballot. The debate will feature proponents on both sides of the issue. The seminar will be in Davis 2225 at the University of Findlay next Wednesday night at 6pm.

The seminars are sponsored by The University of Findlay College of Pharmacy, Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services, Hancock County Community Partnership and the Hancock County Opiate Task Force.

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Polar Bears Besiege Russian Scientists

Getty Images Europe(MOSCOW) — A pair of scientists on a remote Russian island are besieged in their research station by a group of aggressive, hungry polar bears.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), says that a meteorologist and an engineer are stuck inside the Fyodorov weather station on Vaygach island in the Arctic Ocean, an incredibly remote place.

The researchers have told the charity that the bears have started sleeping near their hut, behaving aggressively and fighting one another over food, which is a bad sign. They tried to scare off the bears with flares but it apparently had no effect.

The researchers normally go outside twice a-day to take readings from the sea but the likelihood of being attacked by a bear means they have not been able to.

The men said they don’t have anything else to try and drive the bears away.

WWF says it is going to ask the Russian government to send help.

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Andy Grammer Says His Late Mom Inspired Him to Do “Dancing with the Stars”

ABC/Adam Taylor(NEW YORK) — Andy Grammer will be one of several singers competing this season on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars,along with Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, R&B legend Chaka Khan, and reality star, talk show host and singer Tamar Braxton. Andy says he feels his late mom would’ve wanted him to do the show, and he’s dancing, in part, to honor her memory and feel close to her.

Andy posted a photo on Facebook of him as a kid, dancing with his mom, Kathryn, who died of breast cancer several years ago. He wrote, “When I performed ‘Honey, I’m Good’ on Dancing with the Stars last season, it was obviously exciting and a thrill, but there was something extra and deeper about being there. Anyone who knew my mother, knows she LOVED dance. Anytime it came on the TV her eyes would light up and would get lost in the screen. I remember countless times sitting with her and listening to her say, ‘My one regret in life is that I wish I had been a dancer.'”

Andy continues, “If you have lost someone close in your life, you know that it can be tough to stay/feel connected to those who pass on. Maybe you hear a song and it reminds you of them, or every time you eat a certain dish you feel their presence somehow. These things become really important in ways others might not understand. All I can say is that when I went in to do a rehearsal for DWTS last season, I was overcome with emotion and just barely kept my s**t together. She would have completely lost her mind to sit front row at Dancing With The Stars and I could feel that in my chest loud and clear.”

“So this one is for you mom. I don’t know how to dance, but I’m pretty sure that wherever you are it’s going to make you very happy to see me try. I miss you, I love you, and I will be stretching my hammies to make you proud,” he finished. “Game on.”

As for his chances on the show, Andy tells Billboard, “There is no doubt about it. I don’t know how to dance and I don’t have any extra flexible skills. There is going to be a lot of molding.” But, he adds, “I still think I got a shot.” He’s paired with pro Alison Holker.

Andy will fit Dancing with the Stars in his touring schedule, according to Billboard, and he tells the publication he hopes to dance on the show to his new single, “Good to Be Alive.” That track will appear on a new deluxe re-release of Andy’s album Magazines or Novels, due November 6.

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Poppies Commemorating World War I Go on UK Tour

Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images(LONDON) — A display of 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, an exhibit that attracted millions on visitors last year, is going on tour across the United Kingdom, first stopping at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Sept. 5.

Created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designer Tom Piper, “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” was a way to honor every single death in the British and colonial forces during World War I.

“The London installation had a huge impact on all those who saw it and the new installations will do the same,” John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said in a written statement. “This is an another important opportunity for us to remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the First World War”

“The calmness and nature of the Park will offer visitors an ideal space for contemplation and reflection,” Peter Murray, executive director of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, said in a written statement, noting that the poppies will be surrounded by 500 acres of countryside and woodland.

The installation known as “Weeping Window” will later be exhibited at Woodhorn Museum, in Northumberland and at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool.

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Bizarre Travel Hoax Involves Fake Pregnancy and Search for Baby Daddy

Natalie Amyot/YouTube(NEW YORK) — A French woman made headlines Tuesday when she went on a very public search for the father of her unborn baby conceived during a one-night-stand on her Australia vacation.

But it all turned out to be a bizarre tourism marketing campaign for Holiday Mooloolaba. Mooloolaba is a tourist destination on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.

In a video posted to YouTube Aug. 30, a young woman who identifies herself as Natalie Amyot stands on a beach and says she had gone on a vacation to Mooloolaba three months earlier. She describes her amazing trip and says on the last night, she met a man and “had a beautiful night.”

The next day she flew home to Paris and lost her phone with his contact details. Six weeks later, she said, she found out she was pregnant.

She returned to Mooloolaba, she said, to find him. Her video pleads with the public to share it and help her find her baby’s father. It was viewed almost 2 million times.

On Tuesday, “Amyot” — who has since been outed as an actress — posted a new video called “I FOUND HIM.” It’s then revealed that the video was produced by Andy Seller of Sunny Coast Social Media for Holiday Mooloolaba.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of you upset by this,” Seller says to the camera.

He goes on to say that while “Amyot” was the face of the video, he did all the behind-the-scenes work.

Commenters on the reveal video are angry.

“Mooloolaba is a beautiful place, but why advertise in such a negative way? You’ve more than likely turned people away now. Great job,” one person wrote.

“HEY YOU, I sincerely hope that nobody will ever come, but EVER, to your s***** moolooly spot. Which really sounds so s***** you have to create a f****** story about pregnant girls to get people over you f****** moron,” wrote another.

In the video, Seller, the creator, says. “We just wanted to put Mooloolaba on the map because it’s a wonderful place. So thank you for watching and we are going to do many, many more videos like this.”

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How Paula Deen’s Weight Loss Encouraged Her to Dance

Larry Marano/Getty Images For SOBEWFF(NEW YORK) — Paula Deen may have dropped some serious weight in the past, but the Dancing With the Stars contestant said she “never” gave up butter.

When asked by Good Morning America what she would do to sweeten up the judges for good scores, she said, “I dunno, bring ‘em butter!”

“I probably will. I’ve asked wherever they put me to stay, if there was just a little kitchen, not much of one, but that’s what I where I go to decompress and to get into my little safety area,” she said. “Louis is my partner and I fed him pretty good this last week because we’ve been practicing at my house, so I fed him pretty good this week.”

With a lot of dancing in her future, Deen, 68, said she’s excited for the challenge and that after she dropped all the weight a few years back, 35 pounds, she feels ready for the show.

“It was a process getting here. But when I finally dropped the weight off I thought well, maybe I can do it,” she added. “Maybe I can do it now. And I’ve been eating out of my new cookbook that comes out next week, I’ve been eating that now for a couple of years, which has allowed me to get to where I think I might can do it.”

She said she’s going to stay in shape for the show, but that she’ll never turn her back on her favorite ingredient.

“I never gave up butter,” she stressed. “Never, never. But the big word in my life now is, ‘moderation.’ Moderation, moderation, moderation.

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