Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. is demanding to see the findings of a Johns Hopkins internal review of a controversial radiology program that for years reviewed x-rays of coal miners on behalf of coal companies and rarely found miners to have serious black lung disease — decisions that helped prevent them from obtaining much-needed financial support.

“My constituents and coal miners and their families who have suffered the effects of black lung and the wrongful denial of black lung benefits claims are waiting for answers,” wrote Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, in a letter to Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Rothman Friday. “In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I strongly urge you to publicly release the findings of your review.”

Johns Hopkins announced the internal review in 2013, two days after the broadcast of a joint investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity that looked at more than 1,700 cases Johns Hopkins took up on behalf of coal companies over a decade. In those cases Hopkins’ leading black lung expert, Dr. Paul S. Wheeler, never concluded, even once, that a miner had severe black lung. After the broadcast, Johns Hopkins suspended the program, pending the outcome of the internal review.

Nearly a year-and-a-half later, the school has completed its review, but won’t say whether medical opinions from Johns Hopkins doctors were skewed to favor coal companies over America’s coal miners.

“The review has always been intended as an internal evaluation and will remain confidential,” said Kim Hoppe, a Johns Hopkins spokeswoman.

Hoppe said Johns Hopkins doctors have not resumed reading lung x-rays for the coal industry, which paid millions of dollars to have doctors from the renowned hospital render their expert opinions in black lung benefits cases. Scores of those medical readings were used by coal company attorneys to thwart claims from coal miners who believed they were entitled federal financial relief because they had been stricken with black lung disease while working underground, the ABC News-CPI investigation found.

“Given the alarming findings of the investigative reports into the matter, I am surprised that, after almost a year and a half, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has chosen to withhold findings that have clear implications for miners and their families, the American public and the federal government,” Casey wrote in his letter to Rothman.

“There are still many questions left unanswered following the revelation that since 2000 Dr. Wheeler had not found one case of complicated pneumoconiosis in over 1,500 black lung claims and in more than 3,400 x-ray readings,” Casey wrote. “The coal miners whose x-rays were read by Dr. Wheeler and their families deserve more information.”

Hoppe told ABC News earlier in March that “decisions coming out of the review are being deliberated.”

Among the miners affected by Dr. Wheeler’s x-ray readings was Michael “Steve” Day of West Virginia, who died in 2014. As in dozens of other cases, an autopsy found that, contrary to Dr. Wheeler’s opinion, Day did indeed have advanced black lung disease and should have been eligible for benefits.

“It proved to everybody that [Dr. Wheeler] was wrong,” said Patience Day Williams, Steve Day’s daughter. “We knew it all along.”

Day’s autopsy report said his lungs were clogged with coal dust — the disease had spread into 85 percent of his lungs.

Wheeler had read his x-rays as negative for severe black lung, arguing that despite 34 years working in underground coal mines, Day’s lung problems could have been the result of a fungal disorder common in the Ohio River Valley. A pulmonary expert interviewed by ABC News last year, Dr. Jack Parker of West Virginia University, called that conclusion “intellectually dishonest.”

In brief comments to ABC News after the initial report aired, Wheeler continued to defend his findings, saying he believes the Hopkins review will prove that his conclusions were justified.

“Johns Hopkins commends all efforts to review the federal Black Lung Benefits Program to ensure the claims process is fair and just for all parties involved,” Hoppe said in an email in to ABC News.

Since announcing the probe, Hopkins officials repeatedly refused to answer ABC News questions about their look into the issues raised in last year’s series of reports on the obstacles that ailing miners were encountering when trying to collect federal black lung benefits. Johns Hopkins declined to make anyone involved in the internal review available for an interview, and declined to answer questions about who conducted the independent look back.

Wheeler told ABC News in an interview earlier this year that the review was overseen by a top Washington, D.C. law and lobbying firm.

Since the ABC News report, the Department of Labor has ruled that coal miners can reapply for benefits if the coal company had relied on Wheeler’s medical opinions for their case.

With help from an attorney, Day immediately reapplied for his roughly $1,000 monthly disability benefit. Word arrived two months after his death that the Department of Labor approved his benefit.

“If Dad had been here, honey, I bet you anything he’d be hootin’ and hollerin’,” Day’s daughter said. “I think that he would find great justice in it.”

ABC News contacted Johns Hopkins about the letter Friday, and a hospital spokesperson has thus far declined to provide a comment for this report.

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Top Photo Group / Thinkstock(HANOVER, N.H.) — An apple a day probably won’t keep the doctor away, but it may keep you out of the pharmacy, a new study has found.

Researchers from Dartmouth Medical School decided to find out whether the old adage about eating the crunchy fruit daily and staying healthy is actually true. To do so, they followed the apple eating habits of more than 8,000 people for three years, according to the study they published in Monday’s JAMA Internal Medicine.

Roughly 9 percent of the group munched a small apple a day on a regular basis, the researchers found. And, although 39 percent of the apple lovers avoided seeing a physician each year, compared to 33 percent of the non-apple eaters, once the investigators adjusted for factors like education, age and other health habits, the researchers said the difference wasn’t all that significant. However, apple lovers did fill marginally fewer prescriptions for medications, the researchers reported.

The study, while entertaining, did have some limitations. The fact that all the information in the investigation was self-reported and the number of doctor visits couldn’t be explicitly linked to munching on apples are two of the more serious ones, noted Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Hayes added that the researchers didn’t look into why people went to the doctor.

“The apple eaters were highly educated and less likely to smoke,” Hayes said. “It could be that their visits to the doctor were for preventive reasons rather than illness.”

Hayes pointed out that the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” originated in the late 1800s, a time when going to the doctor was always associated with illness. But these days, seeing a doctor could lead to finding undetected medical problems and avoiding poor health, she noted.

Besides, the average price nationally for red delicious apples was $1.21 per pound last week, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s retail report.

“Apples probably won’t cure the woes of our health care system, but they’re cheap enough and they certainly won’t hurt,” Hayes said.

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Comedy Central(NEW YORK) — The Daily Show has found their new host.

South African comic and Daily Show contributor Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart when he leaves the show later this year, the network announced on Twitter.

“It’s official: we’re thrilled to confirm @Trevornoah will be the next #DailyShow host,” read the tweet.

Noah, 31, first appeared on The Daily Show last December in a segment titled “Spot the Africa,” during which he highlighted African stereotypes by comparing America to African nations, including Noah’s home country of South Africa.

Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless said of Noah: “We talked to women. We talked to men. We found in Trevor the best person for the job. You don’t hope to find the next Jon Stewart — there is no next Jon Stewart. So, our goal was to find someone who brings something really exciting and new and different.”

Largely unknown in America outside of his Comedy Central appearances, Noah is a popular stand-up comic in Europe. The son of a black Xhosa mother and a white Swiss father, Noah tells The New York Times his mother had to hide who his father was during apartheid, since multi-racial unions were illegal.

“He brings such a unique worldview and a deep understanding of human nature, which makes his comedy so insightful,” Ganeless said of Noah. “He’s truly a student of the world.”

Noah also brings color to a talk show medium that has increasingly been criticized for being too white, too male and two middle-aged. His selection follows Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, which debuted last January starring the former Daily Show correspondent, who also is black.

Noah himself tweeted the news Monday morning, writing, “No one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!”

Chris Rock also tweeted his stamp of approval, posting a screenshot of Noah with the caption, “Thank you President Obama.”

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ABC News(FALL RIVER, Mass.) — On the afternoon after Odin Lloyd was killed, Aaron Hernandez told his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, to “remove a box” from the basement of the home they shared near the murder scene, Jenkins told the jury Monday in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Jenkins, on the stand for a second day in Hernandez’s trial for Lloyd’s murder, said Hernandez instructed her to “go downstairs in our storage and remove a box from our home.”

Surveillance video played for the jury Monday showed Jenkins going into the basement. Video previously played for the jury showed Jenkins removing a garbage bag from their home with what appeared to be a box inside. Prosecutors believe the box may have contained the murder weapon, which has never been found.

Hernandez, a former New England Patriots player, is accused of orchestrating Lloyd’s slaying on June 17, 2013. Prosecutors say Hernandez and two other men picked up Lloyd from his house and brought him to an industrial park near the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium. Hernandez, 25, has pleaded not guilty.

Jenkins, 25, was granted immunity in February.

“Did he indicate what was in the box?” prosecutor Patrick Bomberg asked Jenkins on Monday.

“No,” she answered. She added, “His tone, I believe, was normal,” but she recalled him saying moving the box was “important.”

Jenkins said she put the box “in a trash bag” with her baby daughter’s clothing “so nothing was exposed.”

“I wasn’t necessarily hiding it,” she said. “It was just natural instinct.”

Jenkins said Hernandez did not talk about the contents of the box and she did not ask.

Jenkins estimated that the bag with the box in it weighed about 35 or 40 pounds.

Jenkins and Hernandez were high school sweethearts and have a 2-year-old daughter together.

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ABC News / Flight Aware(DUSSELDORF, Germany) — Prosecutors in Germany said Monday that the co-pilot of the downed Germanwings plane had been treated by a psychotherapist because of previous suicidal tendencies.

Dusseldorf prosecutor Christoph Kumpa’s update came six days after authorities say Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew the jetliner into a mountain. Kumpa said that they still do not know the motive of the crash and they have not found a suicide note.

“We have found medical documentation that showed no organic medical illness,” Kumpa said.

Few details have been revealed about the psychotherapy in question except that it reportedly occurred before Lubitz received his pilots license, which happened in 2013.

The data and documents that investigators have found, Kumpa said, “don’t show any hint of being suicidical [sic] or being aggressive towards other people.”

Investigators are focusing on the psychological state of Lubitz, 27, and a 100-person special commission — dubbed “Alps” — to investigate his life and collect evidence to identify more than 70 German victims. All told, the plane was carrying 150 people including Lubitz, all of whom died.

Germanwings CEO Olivier Wagner, speaking at a press conference in Marseille, called the crash “The saddest day of my life. The families are always asking me, ‘Why had this happened?’ I cannot give them an answer,” Wagner said.

Authorities have said Lubitz hid evidence of an illness from his employers, including a sick note that was found torn up inside his apartment in Dusseldorf dated from the day of the crash.

Frank Woiton, a Germanwings pilot, told German TV station WDR that he saw nothing unusual about Lubitz when he flew with him less than a month ago.

“The impression that I got was that he was a normal guy,” Woiton said. “He had plans for the future. He wanted to fly long distance flights for Lufthansa.”

A Lufthansa spokesman said the FBI has questioned Lufthansa flight trainers in the U.S. who worked with Lubitz at the Airline Training Center in Arizona. The spokesman would not comment on whether the questioning revolved around trying to reconstruct Lubitz’s mental state during his time there.

Philip Bramley, the father of one of the victims in the plane crash, said airlines should take better care of their pilots’ welfare.

“I believe the airlines should be more transparent and our finest pilots looked after properly,” Bramley said. “We put our lives and our children’s lives in their hands.”

His 28-year-old son, Paul Bramley, was one of the 150 people killed. Bramley called Lubitz’s motive irrelevant while speaking near the site of the crash.

“What is relevant, is that it should never happen again; my son and everyone on that plane should not be forgotten, ever,” he said.

In addition to the findings suggesting Lubitz was hiding an illness, a search of his apartment in Dusseldorf yielded no suicide note and the city’s prosecutor announced that there was no evidence that political or religious factors were involved in the crash.

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Courtesy Mike Huskins(VALLEJO, Calif.) — Lawyers for a California woman and her boyfriend are steadfast that the woman’s disappearance wasn’t a joke, despite police saying the kidnapping was orchestrated and never happened.

“This is no hoax,” said Doug Rappaport, the attorney for 29-year-old Denise Huskins. “This is not a laughing matter.”

Huskins turned up unharmed Wednesday, two days after she was supposedly taken for an $8,500 ransom.

Vallejo Police Lt. Kenny Park expressed disappointment in the situation. “The fact that we wasted all these resources for essentially nothing is really upsetting,” he said.

Daniel Russo, an attorney for Aaron Quinn, the woman’s boyfriend, told ABC News that there’s plenty of evidence that the kidnappers were real — and still on the loose.

“These people, they’re really motivated,” Russo said.

The evidence includes manifesto-type emails sent both to the San Francisco Chronicle and Quinn’s attorney — allegedly from the kidnappers — as well as an audio recording believed to be Huskins.

Russo, who declined to go into specifics, said the evidence proves the couple isn’t lying. He added that there’s good reason why his client waited 10 hours before calling for help: Quinn was tied up and drugged, Russo said.

“If he is accurate about the group of people that did this to him, then they’re on the loose,” Russo said.

Police have questioned both Quinn and Huskins. At this point, law enforcement and the FBI both remain tight-lipped about the investigation.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Although all the signs point to an economic resurgence six years after the so-called Great Recession, a lot of folks remain in the financial doldrums.

That’s the chief finding by the Chicago-based Center for Financial Services Innovation, which polled 7,000 people. According to the survey, a staggering 57 percent of adults in the U.S. claim to still be struggling financially, with 40 percent admitting that it’s difficult for them to pay their bills.

The worries of Americans are so acute that over 20 percent surveyed say that if they were thrown out of work, they’d have little clue as to how they would survive financially.

One of the top recommendations of virtually all financial gurus is that people need to spend less and save more.

However, while almost three-quarters of the survey respondents said they do have a savings account, over half admit to not having a planned savings habit that could benefit their future short- and long-term needs.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As their region of the world becomes more unsettled daily, the 22-nation Arab League has announced the formation of a joint military force to deal with security threats faced by any of its members.

At the conclusion of its summit Sunday, the League also issued support for air strikes led by Saudi Arabia against Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen.

The Arab League said the attacks on Houthi targets should continue until the rebels “withdraw and surrender their weapons.”

The air strikes, now in their sixth day, have driven the Houthis from air bases in Yemen, according to Saudi officials.

Yemen’s President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled to Saudi Arabia last week, has accused Iran of stirring up the insurrection by the Houthis, a charge Tehran has denied.

Although a ground invasion of Yemen is still possible by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition, the new Arab League force, which would include 40,000 elite troops, may not be ready in time to join such an effort.

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Minneapolis Police Departmen(MINNEAPOLIS) — A University of Minnesota student called “an amazing sister and friend” seems to have disappeared with out a trace.

Jennifer Houle was last seen Friday at a bar in the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., the Minneapolis Police Department said.

Friends said they think Houle, 22, left the bar to walk home. Police said they found her purse and her phone in the middle of the street near her apartment building, just an hour and a half after she was last seen at the bar.

Houle is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, and her chapter posted on Facebook Saturday: “We need all the help we can get to find this warm-hearted, beautiful person.”

“She’s an amazing sister and friend to all of us,” said Madeline Eddy. “She’s very involved.”

Police said they have been interviewing witnesses, including an ex-boyfriend, and are scanning surveilance videos from the area looking for any clues to what happened.

According to police, Houle stands at 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. She has long, blond hair and was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, green blouse, black leggings and black boots, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.

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Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA: Houston Rockets 99 (50-23) – Washington Wizards 91 (41-33)

Brooklyn Nets 107 (32-40) – Los Angeles Lakers 99 (19-53)

New Orleans Pelicans 110 (39-34) – Minnesota Timberwolves 88 (16-57)

NCAA Tournament: East Region: Elite Eight: (7) Michigan State 76 (27-11) – (4) Louisville 70 (27-9) – Overtime

NHL: Washington Capitals 5 (41-25-10, 92pts) – New York Rangers 2 (47-21-7, 101pts)

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