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Tuesday
Jul092013

Cleveland Kidnap Victims Move from Victims to Survivors

ABC News(CLEVELAND) -- The three women who were kidnapped, beaten and held in captivity for a decade in a Cleveland home appeared to be "genuinely happy" in an upbeat video they posted on YouTube early Tuesday.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight took one step closer to recovery, according to Jennifer Marsh, vice president of victim services for the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

"When I was watching the video, it seemed as though they were making the transition from victim to survivor," said Marsh. "I am happy they have found support and it seems as if they are moving along the path of recovery."

"One of the things that struck me was how sincere they were and how genuinely happy they appeared to be," she said.

"Clearly, what they were reading was very scripted, but that doesn't take away from what they are saying. Speaking on camera is challenging for anyone and they have probably had limited interactions over the course of their captivity."

Each of the women appeared separately in the 3-minute, 33-second video. Berry and Knight made a brief statement, while DeJesus answered questions from someone off camera, followed by her father, Felix DeJesus, and then her mother, Nancy Ruiz.

Berry, who with her 6-year-old daughter fought her way out from under their accused captor, 52-year-old Ariel Castro, was the first to speak. She appears calm and happy and smiles frequently in the video, which was filmed July 2.

"First and foremost, I want everyone to know how happy I am to be with my family and my friends, it has been unbelievable," said Berry, who appeared to be the most composed. "I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal. Everyone who has been there to support us has been a blessing, to have such an outpouring of love and kindness. I am getting stronger each day and having my privacy has been helping immensely. I ask that everyone continues to respect our privacy and give us time to have a normal life."

The three women looked healthy and strong in the video, all with stylish new haircuts. Knight, who had been held captive the longest and had allegedly been repeatedly beaten, wore a pair of designer-type glasses and spoke last.

"I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high and my feet firmly on the ground," she says. "Walking hand-in-hand with my best friend, I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation."

Marsh said that she noticed all three women were making eye contact with the camera and DeJesus was interacting with her parents.

"You could tell that [DeJesus] was happy, and her parents also seemed sincere," said Marsh. "I felt as though her mom appealed to other families who had children take and came from such a genuine place. Never give up hope."

DeJesus' mother Ruiz thanked The Cleveland Courage Fund, which was set up by the Cleveland Foundation to help the girls readjust to life. It has already raised $1 million.

Thanking her community and neighbors, Ruiz says, "Every single one, they know who they are. Awesome. So people, I'm talking not just about people but parents in general that does have a loved one missing, please do me one big favor. Count on your neighbors. Don't be afraid to ask for the help, because help is available."

The women's alleged abductor Castro has pleaded not guilty to 329 counts of rape, torture and murder for allegedly keeping the three women in his home. The former school bus driver is also accused of the aggravated murder of a fetus for allegedly forcibly causing a miscarriage in Knight, whom he is accused of impregnating, a charge that could potentially carry the death penalty.

Castro allegedly snatched Berry, DeJesus, and Knight between 2002 and 2004 and imprisoned them, sometimes restrained by chains. Berry was 16, DeJesus was 14, and Knight was 20.

The women were freed on May 6 when Berry cried out for help from behind a closed screen door, getting the attention of neighbors.

RAINN's Marsh said that the women were likely getting good counseling for their psychological wounds.

One sexual abuse survivor told ABC News that recovery is never quick and is filled with setbacks, but victims should not feel, "any less brave or courageous."

"For me it was a continuing process," said Lauren Book, CEO and founder of the Miami-based abuse prevention and advocacy program Lauren's Kids, who was raped by her nanny over a period of six years.

"I am 11 years out and every day triggers something different," said Book. "It's a destination not a process. But keep in mind, for all survivors, we are empowered."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul092013

Are Service Members Abusing Synthetic Drugs?

George Doyle/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An undercover investigation for National Geographic explores the availability of powerful synthetic drugs, with names like "spice" and "bath salts," and their popularity among members of the U.S. military.

For the next installment of National Geographic's Inside: Secret America series, which takes an in-depth look at how people can easily purchase synthetic drugs, investigative journalist Mariana van Zeller went undercover with a former Marine and a Marine on active duty in San Diego to local smoke shops as they purchased bath salts. The "Bath Salts" episode airs on July 10 at 10 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

"Spice" mimics the effects of marijuana. While "bath salts" look as harmless as their name, they are a strong concoction with an impact similar to amphetamines or cocaine.

Despite the risks, Jordan, and his friend, who was called Chris, are no strangers to this new class of drugs. Jordan was kicked out of the Marines a month before talking with National Geographic for disciplinary reasons, but Chris is still on active duty, which is why his identity is not being revealed.

"You get this awesome, you know, just power, you know, feel inside of you," Chris said, in talking about the effects of bath salts. "Just makes you feel like you could do whatever you want, just feels good."

Jordan said synthetic drug use in the U.S. military is at "epidemic" levels.

"I would probably say 50 to 70 percent have tried or currently do spice or bath salts," Jordan said. "Over my career, that's what I've seen."

The U.S. Marine Corps does not release official statistics on synthetic drug use, so it's difficult to verify Jordan's claims. But Jordan said one thing is clear -- the drugs are not hard to find.

"One of the weird things about it is that it can be bought anywhere," he said.

While in downtown San Diego, Jordan took van Zeller, who was wearing hidden cameras, to a head shop to buy bath salts. Jordan explained how to properly ask for "Bubbles" – the brand name of the bath salts sold at the particular shop they went into.

"Work your way into it," Jordan said. "If you just walked in there like an idiot going, 'Can I get some bath salts please?' they wouldn't hook you up."

Jordan and Chris said Bubbles are kept hidden from most customers at that shop, where neither had any problems purchasing the infamous drug.

"You have to walk in with a military hair cut, acting like a regular client," Chris said. "It's kind of how you gotta purchase it."

The Department of Defense banned spice for all military personnel in 2010. But spice and bath salts might be popular in the military because synthetic drugs don't show up on the standard urine tests all Marines are required to take routinely.

When Jordan was at Camp Pendleton in California, he said he routinely smoked synthetic marijuana with other Marines. He also tried bath salts, but said he never wanted to use them again after his last experience.

"[It's] exciting and amazing and terrible at the exact same time," Jordan said in describing the feeling the drug gave him. "It made me feel like God, almost. But com[ing] down was the worst part. Once it -- all the stuff was going and you started coming down the hangover was terrible. You don't want to function. Your body felt disgusting."

But van Zeller's cameras were rolling when Chris purchased half a gram of bath salts during her undercover investigation. He said what sets them apart from other drugs is their "intense-ness."

"I think the funniest thing is to find out how far I can take it," he said.

Chris told van Zeller he was addicted to alcohol when he entered the Marines, but at some point, he switched to synthetic drugs. He said he joined the Marines because he was "running away" from "situations and problems" at home.

"[But] it followed me into the Marine Corps," he said. "I've tried at looking deep inside of me and making a strong prayer and, you know, bawling my eyes out. But once you pick up that substance, I found my body just keep -- wants to do it."

According to Jordan, professional help is not really an option in the Marines.

"Just by me telling them that I have a problem, I'm admitting to using drugs," he said. "The current 'zero tolerance' policy for the Marine Corps is that no drugs are tolerated."

National Geographic reached out to the U.S. Marine Corps for comment on synthetic drug use in the corps and the treatment of addiction, and the producers were told they could not meet their deadline. But in the same week that they last spoke to Chris, the Navy launched a massive awareness campaign about the dangers of bath salts, which included a public service announcement showing the reenactment of a sailor having a bad trip. The Navy's campaign illustrates that synthetic drugs are a growing concern in the military.

And things seem to be turning around for Chris, who said he has been sober since November 2012 when National Geographic producers last checked in with him. He said quitting wasn't entirely his choice. One day he was pulled over by military police and as he was being questioned about his strange behavior, he admitted to using bath salts. But Chris said that it wasn't military authorities that convinced him to stop using, but God.

"I gave my life back to God," he said. "Every day since it has happened, I always keep a Bible on me and I read proverbs daily."

Chris is being processed out of the Marines, and even weeks later, the physical toll of the drug was still evident. He said he was still spitting up mucus and his body was "still transforming" after becoming sober.

"That's the strongest substance that I have ever dealt with in my life, with coming down off it, it's terrible," he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul092013

Food Trucks for a Cause: Fighting Child Hunger

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer means hunger for millions of kids across the country. That's because when school ends, so do many free and reduced-price meal programs.

But that's not always the biggest obstacle.

Even when summer meals are available, kids have trouble getting them. Sometimes they are served at a recreation center across town and it's just too far to walk. Or parents are often at work, so catching a ride with Mom or Dad isn't typically an option. Low-income kids are also likelier to live near gang violence that can be dangerous to walk through. Highways, too, pose a sometimes insurmountable obstacle.

It might sound contradictory, but poor children also face the highest risk of obesity in the summer, because a bag of chips and a soda from a convenience store can be more accessible than fresh produce.

Share Our Strength, a nonprofit aimed at ending child hunger in the United States, says it's found a solution in food trucks, typically the bailiwick of hipsters and young professionals. The organization is running a mobile meals pilot program in Prince George's County, Maryland this summer and it's going so well they hope to expand it next year.

Molly McCloskey, Director of Share Our Strength's Maryland No Kid Hungry Campaign, said that last summer just a fraction of eligible kids were receiving meals.

"Instead of expecting kids to come to us, which is the traditional model," she said, "we decided we would go directly to where they are."

Her organization, which receives no federal funding but is partnered with groups like the Sodexo Foundation, works as an intermediary between the school districts, who receive federal funding through the state's Department of Education to provide meals, and large apartment complexes that agree to distribute those meals to nearby kids.

The specifics can be complicated when it comes to funding and orchestrating the whole thing, but all the kids know is that a truck or school bus pulls up in front of a nearby apartment complex each morning and offloads healthy, balanced meals that the complex then distributes at a set time to the children. No stress involved.

McCloskey said a grateful grandmother who cares for five children approached her close to tears the first day and said, "I wasn't sure how I was going to feed them."

The program has also had an unintended benefit. Apartment managers have started organizing group trips to the pool or playground for the kids before or after meal times.

It's proven that kids who eat regular meals concentrate better, which means they test higher. That can lead to better grades, which can lead to higher graduation rates and college acceptance letters.

According to Share Our Strength, families with children who typically eat meals at school during the academic year can find themselves spending an average of about $300 more on groceries during the summer. For a family living at or below the poverty line, that can mean having to choose between feeding the kids or paying the utilities bill.

Food banks try to alleviate some of the strain, but people don't tend to think about donating food during the summer months when need is actually greatest, so they have trouble keeping up with demand.

Share Our Strength selected the complexes it's partnered with carefully. The organization is working with large management companies who operate apartments in other cities in the hopes that the relationship they establish in this pilot program will translate into many more programs at those complexes next summer. They are also working to launch a supper mobile meals program to make sure kids get dinner during the school year.

"It's about building awareness," McCloskey said, "and providing access and building the capacity of sponsors like the school district and sites like the residence community to meet the community's needs."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul092013

President Obama Crashes Kids' 'Healthy' State Dinner

Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It has all the trappings of a White House State Dinner: the fine china, the formal arrivals, the elbow-rubbing with the president and first lady. But at Tuesday’s “State Dinner,” the guests of honor were a tad shorter than usual and the food much healthier.

The first lady pulled out all the stops for the second annual Kids’ State Dinner, welcoming the 54 winners, ages 8 to 12, of the “healthy lunchtime challenge,” a nationwide competition that asks kids to submit recipes for meals that are healthy and delicious. The event, part of Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move!” health initiative, featured a selection of the winning recipes.

For the second year in a row, a famous crasher made a surprise appearance.

“Usually at a state dinner, I get invited,” President Obama said. “I don't know what happened on this one -- somehow the invitation slipped through somewhere.  But it looks like you guys are having fun.”  

The president admitted he has not always liked to eat his vegetables. As a kid, he said his family would boil them until they were “soft and mushy” and “tasted horrible.”

“Now I actually like vegetables because they’re prepared right.  And so you guys are getting a jump on things because you're figuring that out earlier,” he said.

“I just want to say to all of the young people here, keep it up,” he said.  “You guys are going to set a good example for everybody all across the country.  Because you’re eating healthy, and you're out there active and you’re playing sports, and you’re out on the playground and doing all those things, not only are you going to have a better life, but you're also helping to create a stronger, healthier America.”

The president did have one objection to Tuesday’s event, where some of the formal rules were relaxed.

“Michelle never said to me I can just pick up something with my fingers at a state dinner,” he said. “That’s not fair!”

The White House chefs and a team of judges critiqued more than 1,300 entries to pick the winning recipes, which included “Bodacious Banana Muffins,” “Bring It On Brussels Sprout Wrap” and “Confetti Peanut Ginger Party Pasta,” among other treats.

“We have seen that when kids like all of you get involved in creating your own healthy meals, the results can really be amazing and delicious and fun,” Mrs. Obama said.  “You’ll come up with ideas that none of us grownups ever thought of.  You’ll find new ways to get your families and friends to eat healthy and try new foods.”  

As the children enjoyed their lunches, the president made his way around the room. “I like your bow tie,” he told Liam Kivirist of Browntown, Wis., who won for his “Wisconsin Solar Oven-Simmered Chili.”

“Somebody stole your tooth!” he exclaimed to Mac Wirth, of Boise, Idaho, who impressed judges with his “Veggie Barley Salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette.”

Kneeling beside Makenna Hurd from Mascot, Tenn., President Obama asked for a hug. The little girl with a big white bow happily obliged.  

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul092013

MERS Coronavirus Casts Shadow on Ramadan

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Another person has been diagnosed with the deadly MERS coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, where the month-long observance of Ramadan began Tuesday.

The latest case, a 66-year-old man, brings the tally of MERS infections to 80 people in nine countries, according to the World Health Organization. Forty-five people have died since the outbreak began in April 2012.

Saudi Arabia has been hit hardest by the virus, with 66 cases and 38 deaths, according to the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health.

Eight of the most recently infected showed no symptoms before they were diagnosed with the deadly virus, according to the World Health Organization, flaming fears of person-to-person transmission at religious gatherings.

“The recent mild and asymptomatic cases raise concerns about the possibility of large numbers of milder cases going undetected,” WHO said in a statement. “More information is needed about the virus excretion patterns in persons without symptoms to understand the risk they may pose to noninfected persons.”

WHO has convened an emergency committee of 15 experts to help prepare for a worsening of the outbreak. In the meantime, the agency is advising those traveling to the Middle East to avoid close contact with sick people, wash their hands thoroughly and often and avoid contact with wild or farm animals.

Although the virus has not yet landed in the U.S., infectious disease experts are on the lookout for people with respiratory symptoms, according to Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

“[MERS] had its origin in the Middle East, principally in Saudi Arabia, and has occasionally been exported to other countries,” said Schaffner, adding that American health officials have been instructed to quickly isolate, test and treat people with MERS-like symptoms in the U.S. “I think families celebrating Ramadan in other parts of the world need not be concerned in any way. This is not going to suddenly spring up in Nashville.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul092013

Jason Patric Bill Boosts Sperm Donor Rights

Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Inspired by actor Jason Patric’s child custody battle, the California state legislature is debating a bill that would allow sperm donors to argue for their rights to become legal fathers.

Currently, sperm donors are not legally considered the “natural father” of their children unless both parents sign a document prior to conception, according to the proposed bill. This applies to anonymous sperm bank donors and sperm donors participating in in-vitro fertilization with women other than their wives.

The new bill, SB 115, would allow any sperm donor to go to court and argue that he deserves the rights that come with parentage. To grant parentage, the courts would determine whether a father-child relationship exists.

It passed the California senate in April and needs to make its way through the California assembly before it can be signed into law.

Patric, who starred in The Lost Boys in 1987, donated sperm for his girlfriend to conceive their now-3-year-old son, Gus, but the couple broke up, leaving Patric with no rights as Gus’s father because he didn’t sign an agreement before she conceived. He lost a custody battle in February.

Patric’s ex-girlfriend, massage therapist Danielle Schreiber, is fighting the bill, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul092013

Remove Wrinkles While You Sleep: New Pillow's Promise

JuveRest(NEW YORK) -- Beauty sleep? Dream on!  Dermatologists say sleeping doesn't relieve wrinkles on the face -- instead, it causes them.

Now, however, a Las Vegas plastic surgeon says she has found the solution: a new type of pillow.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, facial wrinkles can be divided into two types: expression wrinkles, which result from repeated contractions of the facial muscles (smiling, frowning, etc.), and sleep wrinkles, which are caused by the face repeatedly being mashed up against (and distorted by) one's pillow, during sleep.

The former type, according to the Academy, can be improved by various means, including wrinkle creams, skin resurfacing, plastic surgery and injections of Botox, which, by weakening the muscles underlying the skin, reduces their contractions.

Sleep wrinkles, however, are not susceptible to improvement by these means.  Their origin isn't muscular, so Botox is ineffective.  Temporarily, their appearance can be improved by creams, fillers and surgery, but they will reappear and worsen so long as the sleeper's face continues to be distorted every night by her pillow.

Richard G. Glogau, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California San Francisco, ranks among the world's foremost authorities on facial aging.  His "Glogau Wrinkle Scale" has become the standard tool used by physicians to classify the severity of frown lines, wrinkles and sun damage.

Sleep wrinkles, Glogau tells ABC News, aren't anything new.

"They have been around as long as there have been pillows and people sleeping," he said.

But they are getting more attention now because Botox isn't effective against them.  The only therapies available for treating them, he says, are the old stand-bys: using small amounts of filler to soften them, putting tape on one's face before bed to prevent the skin from deforming, and, if all else fails, sleeping on one's back (so one's face isn't squashed).

Sleeping on one's back, however, doesn't work for everybody.  Dr. Goesel Anson of Las Vegas, nationally recognized in aesthetic plastic surgery of the face, cites statistics showing that sleepers typically change position 20 times a night, spending only 33 percent of their time on their back, 60 percent on their side and 7 percent on their stomach.

It was her patients' frustration with the lack of treatment for sleep wrinkles, Anson tells ABC News, that gave her the incentive to come up with JuveRest, a new-fangled pillow designed to prevent distortion of the face.

To develop the product, she collaborated with Juverset co-founder Cynthia Callendar, a Las Vegas lawyer and entrepreneur who previously had brought to market Sleep Master, a new type of sleep mask.

Callendar tells ABC News that when the time came time to make the pillow's prototype, Anson took a turkey carving knife and hunk of Styrofoam -- "the kind you'd use for a floral arrangement" -- and went to work.  

Today, the final product's materials are different, says Callendar, but the concept has remained the same: a central panel on which a person sleeping on their back can rest their head; and, to either side, panels designed to cradle the head of someone sleeping on their side.

The pillow will go on sale on QVC in July (price: $128).  It also can be bought through JuveRest's website.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul092013

Patient Wakes Up as Doctors Get Ready to Remove Organs

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It was exactly midnight when Caroline Burns eerily opened her eyes and looked at the operating lights above her, shocking doctors who believed she was dead and were about to remove her organs and donate them to patients on the transplant waiting list.

The Syracuse Post-Standard unearthed a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that chronicled the series of errors that led to the near-organ removal on a living patient at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, N.Y., in 2009.

"The patient did not suffer a cardiopulmonary arrest (as documented) and did not have irreversible brain damage," the HHS report concluded.  "The patient did not meet criteria for withdrawal of care."

According to the report, doctors had inaccurately diagnosed Burns with irreversible brain damage and ignored nurses who'd noticed signs that Burns was improving: She curled her toes when touched, flared her nostrils and moved her mouth and tongue.  She was also breathing on her own even though she was on a respirator.

Burns, who was 41 at the time, was initially found unresponsive and surrounded by empty bottles of Xanax, Benadryl, a muscle relaxant and an anti-inflammatory drug on Oct.16, 2009, according to the report.  She was hypothermic and had a weak pulse, but she was alive.

In the St. Josephs emergency room, doctors performed toxicology tests and determined Burns was suffering from a multidrug overdose, according to the report.  She was unresponsive and put on a ventilator.

Poison control specialists recommended using activated charcoal to stop Burns' body from absorbing the drugs, but it never happened, according to the report.  Doctors couldn't get the tubes into her body.  As a result, the HHS report concluded, it's possible Burns continued to absorb the pills she'd ingested, but doctors never did more toxicology testing to find out.

Soon, Burns was having seizures, but subsequent head CT scans on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18 appeared normal.

Still, the EEG brain scans indicated "poor prognosis" on Oct. 18, so doctors planned to "wait and see" whether Burns would improve over the next few days, they told HHS investigators in August 2010, according to the report.  That same day, however, doctors told the family that Burns' brain damage was irreversible and that she'd undergone "cardiorespiratory arrest."

The family made the decision to take Burns off life support and donate her organs the next day.

Although Burns opened her eyes at the last minute, saving herself from the organ harvest procedure, she committed suicide in 2011.  The family never sued, and family members told the Syracuse Post-Standard that Burns was too depressed to be upset about what happened to her at St. Joseph's.

Hospital officials eventually concluded it's possible that the drugs resulted in the unresponsive state doctors mistook for irreversible brain damage, according to the HHS document.

Drug overdoses can mimic brain death, but American Academy of Neurology guidelines should keep doctors from failing to recognize the difference, said Dr. Eelco Wijdicks, a member of the American Academy of Neurology who was the senior author on its list of guidelines for determining brain death.  Wijdicks did not treat Burns and said he could not comment on her case.

The hospital determined that it had followed protocols, according to its reviews sent to the state Department of Health.  HHS disagreed, and said the investigation of Burns' near death was inadequate.  St. Joseph's didn't conduct a review until the state Department of Health asked it to nearly five months after the near-organ removal.

"It consisted of a one-page document that was labeled 'File Notes:… (Patient A),'" HHS officials wrote of the St. Joseph's review.  "The document contained a reference to 'perception differences' but lacked any analysis or resolution of the issue."

Still, the nightmare is "exceedingly rare," Wijdicks said.  The American Academy of Neurology guidelines consist of about 25 tests for doctors to perform to be absolutely sure a patient won't get better, he said.

"When that is done, there should be no errors made," Wijdicks said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul082013

Americans Not the World's Fattest Population?

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While many Americans aren't losing weight, the nation as a whole is losing the title of world's fattest major country. A UN report says Mexico now has the title under its expanding belt, with 70 percent of Mexicans overweight and about a third obese.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Globalpost.com blames rising incomes and surging consumption, citing one expert saying it's the malnourished who are becoming obese.

Almost half of Mexico's population is considered poor, with the malnourished being the heaviest, reports the Journal-Constitution.
 
But the U.S. isn't completely off the hook. Americans still take the number two spot on the list of obese countries with a 31.8 percent obesity rate.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul082013

Worst Kinds of Air Passengers Ranked

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Imagine the worst fellow air passenger you’ve ever encountered. Was it the tiny toddler, screaming so loudly you thought for sure his head was going to spin around while his parents just sat there, doing nothing more than smiling?

Or was it the guy with the volume on his media player turned so high you could hear every word of Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” on repeat for the duration of the four-hour flight? Was it the one who brought greasy fast-food on the plane and, then, as if the smell of that wasn’t bad enough, removed his shoes to reveal the food was practically perfume compared to the stench of his feet?

We’ve all had our fair share of encounters with airline passengers from hell. Now, one website has decided to rank them in order from most offensive to least.

Coming in first place on the Airlineratings.com list: the Reclinus Maximus. These are the, “thoughtless passengers who recline into your space from takeoff to landing.”

Next up: Parentus Slapdashii, or, “parents that think their 200 fellow passengers are babysitters.”

“Of course, we all feel for the mother with the crying baby and we can always put a headset on to reduce the impact, but it’s the children running amok and kicking your seat that angers fellow passengers,” Airlineratings.com editor and founder Geoffrey Thomas said.

There’s also the Smellus Incredibilus, highlighting, the website said, the problem that, “personal hygiene on planes is in decline.”

Next, the Armrest Grabbis, the person who hogs the armrests.

In fifth place, the Chatticus Majorus, otherwise known as the seatmate who wants to chat you up for the entire trip.

The Bladder Incredibilus is the person who requests the window seat, but needs to constantly get up to use the bathroom.

Ranking 7 through 10: Carry-on Greedicus (the person with the too-large carry-on); High-and-Mighticus (demanding passenger); DVT – Avoidus (spotted, the website said, doing their yoga or tai chi routine in the boarding lounge and then spends the flight doing arm stretches and leg raisers bumping the back of your seat ); and, finally, the Window Hoggus,” who takes the window seat and immediately after takeoff pulls down the window shade and goes to sleep, denying fellow passengers a view.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio