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Thursday
Jun082017

German shepherd who flunked out of police dog academy for being too friendly gets new job

Governor of Queensland/Facebook(QUEENSLAND, Australia) -- A German shepherd in Australia has found his new purpose in life after he flunked out of police dog academy for being too friendly.

Gavel has been living at the official residence of Queensland Gov. Paul de Jersey since he was 6 weeks old, after police determined that he was too sociable to do police work.

Police said the pup did not display the "necessary aptitude for a life on the front line," according to the BBC. He was then removed from the roster of the Queensland Dog Squad.

Jersey often features Gavel on his social media accounts. In February, he posted Gavel's "Contract of Employment" for his official title of Vice-Regal Dog at Queensland's Government House.

Gavel has become a sensation among Queenslanders, according to the office of the governor.

Gavel's role includes greeting guests and tour groups who visit the rounds of the Government House. He also participates in special ceremonies and has even been outfitted with a custom-made uniform for those occasions.

During his short life, Gavel as "outgrown four ceremonial coats," "undergone a career change" and "brought untold joy to the lives of the governor, Mrs. de Jersey, Government House staff and the thousands of Queenslanders who have since visited the estate," the office of the governor said in a statement.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun082017

Zoo brings in OB-GYN for humans to deliver baby gorilla

Philadelphia Zoo(PHILADELPHIA) -- A baby western lowland gorilla was born at the Philadelphia Zoo with big eyes and a big smile, but he had no ordinary birth.

The zoo called in the help of doctors who normally treat humans, from an OB-GYN to surgeons and anesthesiologists from local hospitals and institutions, to assist in the difficult birthing process for the newborn’s mom, 17-year-old Kira.

“On Thursday, June 1, keeper staff noticed signs that Kira had begun labor, but as of Friday morning she had not delivered,” a press release for the new bundle of joy read. “She appeared to tire and behaved as if she were feeling worse over the course of the morning and there were no signs of the labor progressing. Typically, gorilla labor is quick and the mother does not appear tired, distressed, or show symptoms of feeling poorly.”

With the assistance of the additional medical staff, the team delivered a healthy, happy baby boy who weighed in at exactly 5 pounds.

“If this had gone how it typically goes, there would have been no human interference at all,” Dana Lombardo, the zoo’s director of communications, told ABC News. “We only intervene when there’s something wrong.”

The doctors had to use many of the same birthing techniques and tools that are used for human deliveries, such as forceps and episiotomy, which the press release stated is “a rare occurrence when delivering a gorilla baby.”

Once Kira recovered from her anesthesia she was reunited with her baby boy “and has been continuously cradling and nursing him since,” the zoo wrote.

“Though Kira is a first-time mom, we’re not surprised she’s acting like an expert already,” said Dr. Andy Baker, Philadelphia Zoo’s chief operating officer. “She was a great older sister to younger siblings and has been very attentive while our other female gorilla Honi has raised baby Amani. Everybody is excited about these two future playmates.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun072017

Cancer patient charged with attempted murder over alleged plot to kill doctors

Palo Alto Police Department(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- A California man diagnosed with stage IV cancer has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly drove hundreds of miles to kill three doctors who had previously treated him, according to police.

Law enforcement agencies from across the state said they teamed up last week to thwart Yue Chen's alleged plot.

On the morning of May 31, the Visalia Police Department alerted officers in Palo Alto that Chen may be traveling more than 200 miles from his home in Visalia to murder three of the doctors who had previously treated him in the Bay Area.

Visalia police determined that the 58-year-old suspect had rented a car and was missing from their jurisdiction, as were his two legally owned handguns, according to a press release from the Palo Alto Police Department.

Police in Visalia said they had information that Chen was driving to the Bay Area that day with the intent to shoot three doctors after becoming upset about his medical condition and the treatment he had received from them.

Visalia police urged law enforcement agencies throughout the state to be on the lookout for Chen and contacted multiple agencies in the Bay Area that had jurisdiction over the locations of the targeted doctors, as well as other doctors who had treated the suspect.

Citing concern for the suspect’s privacy, the Palo Alto Police Department would not release any additional information about Chen’s medical condition. However, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office confirmed to ABC News that Chen has stage IV cancer.

Later that night, around 7:48 p.m. local time, the California Highway Patrol located and stopped Chen in his rental car, a red 2017 Nissan Rogue, on Highway 101 and Hellyer Avenue in San Jose. Officers said they found two loaded semi-automatic handguns with high-capacity magazines in the car within reach of the suspect, according to the Palo Alto Police Department.

According to ABC-owned station KGO, investigators also discovered a face mask, a notebook with the names and home addresses of the three doctors and a note titled “Why Do I Kill” that cited the reasons “revenge” and “this is the possible result if you treat people as an animal."

Police said detectives learned that Chen likely had planned on going to the doctors’ homes, not their workplaces, to kill them. The names of the targeted doctors have not been released.

Chen was arrested without incident that night and transported to a local hospital for treatment related to his medical condition. He was discharged from the hospital later in the evening, and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for attempted murder and carrying a loaded firearm.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has since filed three felony counts of attempted murder against him, according to police.

Chen was arraigned on June 2.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun072017

Ohio boy with seizure disorder gets wish to meet April the giraffe and her calf

Animal Adventure Park(HARPURSVILLE, N.Y.) -- An Ohio boy who lives with a life-threatening seizure disorder fulfilled his dream of meeting April the giraffe and her calf, Tajiri.

Alex Johnson, 11, and his family traveled from their home in Avon, Ohio, to Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, on Tuesday to meet the giraffes.

Alex received a behind-the-scenes tour of the park, in addition to meeting April, Tajiri and the calf’s dad, Oliver.

Alex, who is non-verbal, has complications including a brain injury, epilepsy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) due to loss of oxygen during his birth. His mom, Dawn Johnson, adopted Alex at the age of 4.

Johnson said Alex became fascinated with April earlier this year when the Animal Adventure Park began live-streaming her pregnancy on YouTube.

"He’s visually impaired, but he can see big objects and contrasts," Johnson told ABC News. "He watched the giraffe cam for so long."

Well over one million people watched the zoo's live-stream as April gave birth to Tajiri in April.

Alex had just returned home from a hospital stay a few days before Tajiri’s birth and perked up when he learned April was finally in labor.

"He was so sick and just sleeping," Johnson recalled. "I told him, 'Alex, April is about to have her baby,' and he woke up to watch the entire birth process."

Alex, who communicates yes and no by lifting his arm and shaking his head, respectively, told Johnson he wanted to see April when she presented him with a few options for his wish through Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Make-A-Wish Central New York gave Alex stuffed giraffes before his visit and "treated him like a king," according to Johnson.

"He held his stuffed giraffe the whole drive," Johnson said of the family’s six-hour drive to New York. "We are so thankful for the opportunity. This is huge for us."

Jordan Patch, the owner of Animal Adventure Park, described making Alex’s wish come true as easy.

"When we received the call from Make-A-Wish, this was truly a no-brainer for us," Patch said in a statement. "April has had such an impact worldwide and we want to ensure that her exposure not only has an impact on animal conservation efforts, but also on any lives that she can touch in a positive way. Alex and his family are wonderful people and we were all happy to meet them and welcome them to our park."

Zoo officials named the calf Tajiri, a word in Swahili that means hope, after holding an online naming contest. The winner of the contest was "Allysa’s choice," referring to Allysa Swilley, the giraffe keeper at Animal Adventure Park.

Swilley, who led the care for April over the 16 months of her pregnancy, and other park officials chose the winning name, Tajiri.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun072017

What to know about the ketogenic diet

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The ketogenic diet, described as “Atkins on steroids” for its focus on foods high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates, is growing in popularity but some nutritionists warn it may not live up to the hype.

The diet’s proponents say that it is the best way to lose weight without feeling hungry and that it increases energy levels. Celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Adriana Lima, and athletes from LeBron James to Tim Tebow have all reportedly followed some form of low carb diets.

“Absolutely this diet works,” New York-based registered dietitian nutritionist Maya Feller told ABC News. “It is going to give people weight loss.”

The ketogenic -- keto for short -- diet was developed in the 1920s after it was noticed that after fasting, epileptics would experience a marked reduction in their seizures. The diet is designed to get your body into a state called ketosis where your body is so low on carbohydrates it starts burning fat for fuel.

Ketosis is also what the body does when fasting.

Keto dieters drastically cut carbohydrates to about 10 percent of their daily diet, which in some cases can be just 20 grams of carbohydrates per day.

That amount of carbohydrates is equivalent to one slice of white bread per day, according to Feller.

Nutritionists also stress that followers of a keto diet should get their fat intake from healthy fats like olive oils and nuts.

Samantha Kafedzic, 31, has lost 17 pounds since starting on a keto diet four weeks ago.

Kafedzic, who admits she now eats “very different” meals from her daughter, said she feels better overall in addition to the weight loss.

“I have more energy with this one running around,” Kafedzic said, pointing to her daughter. “My workouts are so much better. I definitely have more stamina.”

The key to being successful on the keto diet is getting about 20 percent of your calories from protein and eating lots of fat. For some keto followers, the amount of fat could equal more than 70 percent of their diet.

The amount of fat someone following the keto diet may consume in one day could be more than five times the recommended intake for daily fat for the average American, according to Feller.

The diet’s critics argue that it is nearly impossible to follow long-term, could lead to muscle loss and could deprive your brain of its preferred source of fuel, carbohydrates.

Feller agrees that the keto diet is not a diet she would recommend following for an extended period of time.

“The jury is out on if that is safe for the long term,” she said. “What most studies say is that you can follow a ketogenic diet for some months. You don’t want the body to stay in ketosis long term.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun062017

Health care on Senate Republicans' Agenda

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- While Senate Republicans insist they are making progress on health care reform, they are not confident that they can meet the summer timeline being put forth by the White House.

Instead, Republicans on Capitol Hill are trying to manage expectations.

“We're getting closer to having a proposal that we'll be bringing up in the near future,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) said Republicans have whittled their options down to about “five” different plans. And Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri echoed that the discussions are now at the “granular” level.

That said, there are just 18 days until the week-long Fourth of July recess, and 31 days until the five-week-long August recess.

Even if Republicans can hammer out the framework, as Lankford underscored, “once we get that part settled on ... we’re still gonna draft it, get a score, try to go through the process. Does the score work? Does it not work? What do we need changed from it, so we still got a ways to go.”

While Republicans debate, an increasing number of insurers have been pulling out of the market place, including in Ohio on Tuesday. Now, some Republicans are calling for a short-term solution to stabilize the markets.

“What’s Plan B if we can’t get something more comprehensive?” Senator Ron Johnson asked.

“We’re running out of time in terms of stabilizing the markets...you really need to fish or cut bait here on something short term to stabilize the markets," he said.

One of the sticking points is Medicaid expansion.

Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) said the Senate is discussing a “glide path” that gradually turns off the Medicaid expansion spigot, rather than the House bill that abruptly cuts it off. The gradual cutoff in the Senate bill would be sometime “beyond 2020.”

The other sticking point? Pre-existing conditions.

The House bill allows states to get waivers to charge people with preexisting conditions more, but Barrasso suggested that concept isn’t popular in the Senate: “I want to make sure people with preexisting conditions are protected.

The existing bill has already had a turbulent history: The legislation passed the House in early May in a narrow 217-213 vote after weeks of negotiations and internal disagreements between House Republicans. It was the GOP's second attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare since President Donald Trump came into office -- in late March, the bill, without several amendments added to the second version, failed to make it to the House floor for a vote after it was determined there were not enough votes to pass the bill.

According to an estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the health care plan as-is would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over 10 years and leave 23 million more Americans without health insurance compared with the current law.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun062017

Flying with peanut allergies: How airlines react

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Shortly after boarding a flight, Sydney Silverman, 13, equipped with her own disinfecting wipes, takes a moment to vigilantly wipe down her seat and the seats next to her. Every stitch, tray table, pocket and armrest must be tended to.

Sydney has practiced this routine for years, taking over her parents' duties once she got older, according to her father, Dr. Michael Silverman, a psychologist in New York City.

No, the Silvermans are not germaphobes. Sydney suffers from a severe peanut allergy and the consequences of coming into contact with the allergens can be life threatening.

The policies between airlines are inconsistent, and within those policies, the actual practices of the flight crews and gate agents can vary even more.

According to her father, Sydney has been embarrassed by gate agents and kicked out of restaurants by staff multiple times after disclosing her allergy.

Sydney has designed her own personal information cards, like business cards. She carries them around and offers them to restaurant staff. The cards introduce herself, and her allergy. The vast majority of reactions are enthusiastic, according to her father. Sometimes the chef will personally come out and explain exactly how he will prepare her food.

Other times, they are curtly asked to leave the restaurant.

But one January flight home on Delta Air Lines from a family vacation in Florida was different, according to Silverman.

A flight attendant observed Sydney cleaning the seat and asked if she was allergic to peanuts. She said yes. The flight attendant asked Sydney if she would like an announcement to be made. The girl responded that she's usually OK.

"Because she's aware of the sort of response that you get," her father said, referring to the past experiences of being ostracized.

But the flight attendant made the announcement anyway and told Sydney she would not serve peanuts on the flight. The flight crew also asked those in the rows around Sydney to refrain from eating any peanuts.

"Somebody was actually watching out for her," said Silverman.

But no two experiences are the same.

When Laura Ilsley of Travis, California, booked her flight with Delta Air Lines for last April, she was assured a note was left in the reservation indicating her 4-year-old daughter has a severe peanut allergy.

"Having our daughter suffer from an anaphylactic reaction on a plane was not an option," Ilsley told ABC News.

The Ilsley family was traveling back to the United States from Turkey, where the father was based with the U.S. military.

When they arrived at the airport however, they were informed their flight was overbooked and they would be flying with Air France.

When Ilsley informed the French airline of her daughter's medical condition, the flight crew refused to make an announcement or adjust their plans to serve peanuts. Air France told Ilsley her family was not welcome on the flight, she said.

Air France did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. The airline previously responded to the incident with a statement, as reported by The New York Times, "[Air France] determined it was not in the best interest of the passenger to board the flight on such short notice.”

The statement continued: "The case was handled with concern for passenger safety as the top priority.”

The Ilsley family were rebooked on another Delta flight, where they were allowed to pre-board to clean their seating area. The Delta flight crew additionally made an announcement asking passengers to refrain from eating peanuts on the flight.

Dora Leah Govorko, a teenager from New Jersey, told ABC News she and her brother went to find their seats on a 2013 Virgin Atlantic flight while their mother, Ana Govorko, went to speak to the crew about Dora's severe peanut allergy.

When Dora's mother returned, the crew asked if the mother had documentation of her daughter's previous reactions and a doctor's note allowing her to fly. Dora had a doctor's note, but no history readily available. During a brief argument with the crew, Dora's eye began itch and redden, which raised panic among the flight crew.

During the deliberations, Dora says she nearly began to cry after hearing a passenger express their disdain for the episode. "Why don't they just take them off the plane already?" she said she heard.

"It hurts to hear people say these things about you when you know you can't control these problems," Dora told ABC News. "Even when you would really want to."

After Dora's inexplicable symptoms subsided, the Virgin crew eventually allowed the family to fly.

On their website, the U.K.-based airline asks passengers to inform the airline of their allergies before traveling, in which case they will make an announcement and ask passengers around them to refrain from eating or opening that item.

It is unclear if that was the same policy in 2013. Virgin Atlantic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Those with nut allergies have formed a community in the age of social media and easy communication. Thousands of families affected by the condition share stories, both good and bad, with each other, in an effort to safer navigate a nut-filled world where policies and practices are remarkably inconsistent, exacerbating the problem.

They know which airlines and schools are friendly to their needs, and which are less so.

The country's largest airline is notorious among the nut allergy community. While American Airlines does not serve peanuts, they, as a matter of policy, do not let passengers with nut allergies pre-board to sanitize their seating area, make "buffer zones," nor will they ask passengers to refrain from eating peanuts. American's online policy says allowing such passengers to pre-board "can create a false sense of security and doesn't eliminate risk."

United Airlines also does not serve peanuts on their flights, but when requested, will ask surrounding passenger to not open or eat any peanut products.

The Chicago-based airline did not immediately respond when asked if they allow those with peanut allergies to pre-board.

Annecdotally, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines seem to be the most popular airlines among nut-free travelers.

JetBlue does not serve any kind of nuts on board their aircraft and when requested, will create a buffer zone one row in front of and one row behind the allergic customer. They will not make any announcements, however.

When Southwest Airlines is made aware of a peanut allergy, the airline will serve alternative snacks on flights throughout the customer's itinerary and provide them with a document to present to the flight attendant when boarding, in order ensure the crew is aware.

While they might be accommodating now, Southwest was, in fact, the first to exclusively serve peanuts on flights back when full meals and onboard kitchens were the norm on other airlines.

The budget carrier took ownership of the cost-cutting feature, marketing itself as the "peanut airline." The legume served as an alternative to meals, keeping fares low and flights full. Other carriers would soon follow suit, until 2011 when peanuts were largely eliminated from the pantry of major airlines.

The Americans With Disabilities Act does not apply to passengers on an aircraft. So in 1986, Congress passed the Air Carrier Access Act. Under ACAA, the Department of Transportation does not generally consider an allergy to be a disability, however "if a person’s allergy is sufficiently severe to substantially limit a major life activity, then that person meets the definition of an individual with a disability," a DOT spokesperson told ABC News.

DOT defines an individual with a disability as someone who has an impairment that substantially limits their ability to care for themselves, perform manual tasks, walk, see, hear, speak, breath, learn or work.

This year, a nonprofit called Food Allergy Research & Education, or FARE, is taking on American Airlines over their policies facing those with food allergies.

In February, FARE filed a complaint with DOT asking the federal government to investigate the allegations that American is violating the Air Carrier Access Act by not allowing those with food allergies to pre-board the aircraft.

American Airlines' attorneys filed a response in March denying the assertion that they are required to allow those with food allergies to pre-board. American Airlines argued that passenger can wipe down their seating area without pre-boarding, and doing so does not "necessarily prevent a food allergic passenger from coming in contact with an allergen."

American's response also stated that allowing such passengers to pre-board adds a burden on the airline.

A DOT spokesperson told ABC News that they are looking into the matter and could not comment. A spokesperson for American Airlines declined to comment on the complaints.

The peanut industry has long lobbied to keep peanuts at 30,000 feet. The American Peanut Council has been fighting against claims that allergic passengers can be harmed by simply inhaling its dust. "Many [allergic individuals] simply do not believe the evidence and are very ready to offer contrary and passionate views based on personal or family experiences of nut reactions while on airplanes," said the National Peanut Council in a statement on their website.

"It is highly unlikely for a passenger to inhale nut protein from someone consuming nuts a few rows in front of him/her," said Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, a pediatric allergist at the University of Michigan, according to the council, which quoted Greenhawt.

However, FARE told ABC News that research shows allergic individuals can suffer reactions from inhaled dust particles.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there have cases of individuals suffering allergic reactions from airborne particles.

The scientific community has not come to a clear consensus on the exact prevalence of tree nut and peanut allergies, largely because not everyone who reports a food allergy in fact has one.

However, some research has estimated it as more than 1 percent of the population, although a number of people outgrow the allergy, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology says the percentage of children with nut allergies more than tripled to 2.1 percent between 1997 and 2008. The reasons for the increase are unclear.

The worst danger food-allergic individuals face is anaphylaxis -- basically an inappropriate reaction of the immune system that can cause hives, swelling and other symptoms. These symptoms can become so severe that it blocks the airways, leading to suffocation.

Allergens can spread a number of ways. While the conventional route is ingestion, highly sensitive individuals can react to airborne particles, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

To combat the symptoms, most travelers with severe allergies to peanuts hand carry their medications at all times, including autoinjectable epinephrine.

While epinephrine has proven to be quite effective, it is not a perfect treatment. In any case, someone suffering from anaphylaxis needs professional medical care as soon as possible; making a plane a particularly dangerous place to suffer a severe episode.

Creating an airplane cabin free from allergens is an impossible task and no airline, no matter what steps they take to be accommodating, can guarantee the safety of a passenger with a severe food allergy.

There are however a number of steps one can take to lower their risk and make their traveling as smooth as possible.

  1. Do your research. If you have a choice in airlines, go online and see their policies. One airline might allow you to pre-board, giving you time to sanitize your area.
  2. Alert your airline early. When booking, make a note in the reservation that you have a severe allergy. Sometimes you may have to make your reservation over the phone to do this. Often, airlines will make prior arrangements to not have nuts served on the flight. When you arrive at the gate, remind the customer service representative that you have allergy.
  3. Speak up. Do not be afraid to ask those around you to refrain from eating nuts. Just because an airline can't create a buffer zone doesn't mean you can't. Most people find that nearby passengers are accommodating when requested to not eat nuts.
  4. Read all the labels. People living with a food allergy for a long time already know, but pay close attention to the food labels. Some non-nut snacks may have traces of nuts.

The policies of major U.S. carriers can be found at the links below:

American Airlines
Delta Air Lines
JetBlue
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun062017

Florida mom gives birth to 13.5-pound baby: 'It looked they pulled a toddler out of my belly'

Courtesy Larry and Chrissy Corbitt(KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla.) -- A Florida woman can breathe a sigh of relief after giving birth to a whopping 13.5-pound baby girl.

“It looked they pulled a toddler out of my belly. She’s so big,” Chrissy Corbitt of Keystone Heights told ABC News of her newborn, Carleigh Corbitt.

Baby Carleigh was born on May 15 at Orange Park Medical Center. The proud parents, Chrissy and her husband Larry Corbitt, had no idea just how large of a bundle she was.

“When the doctor was pulling her out of me I just start hearing them all laughing and excited in the operating room,” Chrissy Corbitt recalled. “They were throwing out numbers and when they showed her to me and said 13.5 I couldn’t believe it.”

“It was so funny because she had a C-section so all the blankets were over her so you couldn’t see what was going on,” Larry Corbitt explained. “The doctor said, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s going to be 15-pounds.’ I remember the doctor saying, ‘I don’t think this baby is going to end. Are there two of them?’”

“Her cheeks were so chunky and she was just so fat. She was so gorgeous, of course,” he added.

The Corbitts celebrated their massive new miracle with a photo shoot with photographer Debbye Benson of Sweet Smiles Photography Studio.

“She’s like a 6 month old baby,” said Larry Corbitt. “We even contacted Pampers and Huggies to help us out because everything we got to prepare is just out the door. None of it fits. She’s in size 3 diapers. The clothes she had on yesterday was a 9-month outfit. She’s huge.”

Carleigh even arrived a week earlier than her due date.

“Her due date wasn’t until May 20 or 21. She could’ve been a way bigger baby than what she was. It was crazy. Chrissy wasn’t gaining any weight for the past 3 weeks of her pregnancy. It was just Carleigh gaining weight,” Larry Corbitt said.

The pregnancy was “rough” on his wife for multiple reasons, he added.

“My wife went through so much previously. A year ago we had a grease fire in our kitchen,” he recalled. “Twenty-seven percent of her body [was burned], down both of her arms and both of her legs.”

He added that his wife has also “always been anemic” and had to have three blood transfusions during the C-section in order to have the baby “because her iron was so low.”

“But they’re both doing great now,” he said. “My wife is a trooper for everything she’s gone through.”

When the family visited the doctor on Friday, Carleigh weighed 13.9 pounds.

“She’s just filled with rolls. She’s just a big squishy baby. She’s so adorable,” said the proud mom. “I had no idea she was going to be so popular. It’s been a great experience and I can’t wait to look back on this and share it with her to show her she became a celebrity overnight.”

Will the Corbitts have more children?

“That’s enough for me,” said Chrissy. “We’re going out with a bang.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun062017

How experts say we can try to cope with 'this level of terrorism'

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The terrorist attack in London that killed seven people and left dozens more injured came less than two weeks after a suicide bombing at a concert in Manchester and on the heels of attacks in the Philippines, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, and France earlier this year.

Given the number of high-profile attacks inspired, directed or claimed by the Islamic State group, many are asking whether the public must become used to a certain level of terrorism in their lives.

"It's unfortunate, but yes, at least in certain countries, we will have to get used to this level of terrorism until we do the things that are required for us to effectively deal with this generational challenge," Barry Pavel, senior vice president at the Atlantic Council who worked on defense policy for both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, told ABC News.

And while recent attacks in Europe have dominated media coverage, terrorism is not a new problem, Dr. Maria Haberfeld, professor of police science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, told ABC News.

"It doesn't differ from any of the other crimes we are dealing with in the sense that it's not new, it's been around for generations and we have huge numbers of terrorist groups around the world and people who are attracted to this type of criminality," Haberfeld said. "We have more of an exposure to this now because of social media networks, but it's certainly not any more severe than it used to be years ago in different areas of the world."

A changing threat

But the number of high-profile attacks in Europe is on the rise, Dr. Karen Greenberg, the director of the Center for National Security at Fordham Law School in New York, told ABC News.

"There has been more than a dozen events in Europe in recent months, and so the frequency of these events is gaining speed," Greenberg said. "There is legitimately heightened concern in the wake of these attacks and in the wake of the frequent use of these non-sophisticated tactics."

Greenberg said those non-sophisticated tactics have included using everyday objects such as cars, knives or homemade bombs to kill and injure people, rather than relying on access to more advanced weaponry. The attackers in London on Saturday used a rented van and knives to attack the public. Such attacks using everyday objects can sometimes spur more fear than terrorists using more sophisticated weapons, Greenberg said.

"It's textbook terrorism: Make people afraid," Greenberg said. "This is an attack on a way of life and if you're attacking a way of life, you want people to be concerned as they go about their daily lives so that they won't be able to do anything or have their children do anything in safety."

She said the increase in these attacks may have to do with statements made by the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as well as al-Qaeda's Hamza bin Laden, urging people to use whatever is available to sow terror.

"Al-Baghdadi and bin Laden both made references to a similar kind of tactic of picking up whatever you can weaponize where you are to commit an act of terrorism," Greenberg said.

How the public can help

But it's important that bystanders know they can also use everyday objects to fight back in some cases, according to Haberfeld, who served in the Israel Defense Forces in a counter-terrorist unit as well as in the Israel National Police.

"There is no end to this, so mobilizing the public to resist, not just run and hide, is the way to go," Haberfeld said.

If attackers are wielding knives, throwing objects can be effective in slowing them down or stopping them until law enforcement arrives, she added.

"At any given moment, the public grossly outnumbers any type of lone wolf or group of terrorists," Haberfeld said. "If people understand that it's on them as well, then you don't really have to coordinate because people will know what to do. So whatever I have -- whether it's a high-heel shoe, a heavy purse, a bottle of wine -- I will start throwing it in that direction."

Haberfeld stressed that bystanders should have a different response to attackers armed with guns or explosive devices.

"If you suddenly see three guys who are heavily armed then, of course, run away. But knives, this is something we can handle as the public," she said.

Haberfeld, who moved to Israel as a teenager and frequently conducts research there, said people in other countries who are used to living with an increased risk of terrorism learn to be more active and alert in preventing it.

"People [in Israel] are much more aware. Nobody is dropping a backpack next to somebody like in the Boston Marathon bombing and leaving because that person would immediately be stopped by the public before even law enforcement arrives at the scene," Haberfeld said. "But there is also a lot of private security. You cannot enter a movie theater or department store in a mall without going through security. This is a function of dealing with terrorism and securing soft targets."

Haberfeld said that in many cases, European leaders have worked to secure these soft targets too late: after an attack occurs.

Greenberg, who wrote "Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State," said the U.S. response to terrorism has been mostly reactive since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"It's been, 'What did this tell us? What did that tell us?'" Greenberg said. "It would be so nice if law enforcement agencies and people in the security community could take a step back and really, without being under the gun, think about these things and reflect on them. And there hasn't really been a chance to do that."

Greenberg said the U.S. should work to form a national commission of experts on violence in America that looks at all different kinds of threats, including those from right-wing extremists like Jeremy Joseph Christian, who attacked people with a knife on a Portland, Oregon, train last month.

"So far, the limited focus on Muslims has not served us well," Greenberg said. "Violence seems to be to be much more systemic throughout society than that."

Gathering intelligence while protecting civil liberties

A frequent question that has been raised in the debate over how to prevent terrorism is whether societies can be both completely free and completely safe. The police departments of several major cities have come under fire from the ACLU and other civil liberties groups in recent years for their surveillance of mosques.

In both the Manchester and London attacks, people later came forward to say they had spoken to police about some of the suspects and raised concerns about their behavior. But questions remain as to why that information and the police response to it wasn't enough to prevent the incidents themselves.

Greenberg said focusing on the quality rather than quantity of information received by law enforcement is crucial to evaluating threats while protecting civil liberties.

"What happens when you get too much information is it's too hard to focus on any particular thing. So it's really incumbent on law enforcement to know what to take seriously and what not," Greenberg said. "If someone is threatening a terrorist attack, that's something to take seriously. And law enforcement officials and intelligence officials do, in the course of their training, learn how to discriminate when they meet individuals about guilt and innocence, and they're pretty good at it."

"So it's about giving them the tools to be better at it and not say, 'OK, everyone now needs to take a certain kind of litmus test, now everyone's emails have to be swept up.' It's not about that. It's smart security that is important, and smart security and protecting individual freedoms happen to be the same thing: they're about focus, individuality, specifics, and facts," she added.

Haberfeld said the model of community policing relies on people helping the police because there is only so much law enforcement can do.

"This is not something that can be resolved by closing the borders or hiring more police officers. This is much more complicated and complex than that," Haberfeld said. "The public is the key to success both in terms of prevention and minimizing the aftermath."

Foreign policy implications

Pavel said there are near-term tactical issues and longer-term strategic issues that need to be tackled in order to reduce the threat of terrorism in the U.S. and Europe.

"The near-term tactical issue that's critical is we need to end the war in Syria. Until we end the war in Syria, it's going to keep being the global incubator for extremism and terrorism," Pavel said. "I'm not saying that every single attack is related somehow to Syria, but it affects a lot of them. It's a global problem and not a regional problem.

"When people understand that the chance of an attack in our societies goes down by a lot if we can do what it takes to help resolve that far-away, distant, horrific crisis, then we will all be better off," he added.

Pavel said "ungoverned spaces" in Libya and Yemen, as well as a political crisis in Egypt, also require attention.

"When we hear this term 'America first,' I think 'America first' has to include killing bad guys far from our shores. I would much rather do that there than here. Because if they're here, then we're behind the game," Pavel said.

But military intervention can also create more problems than it solves, Pavel said.

"Look at the invasion of Iraq, which, in my mind, was one of the most disastrous blunders in the history of the United States. Look what's become of Iraq and the threats that emanate from there, which are very different from the threats before. In some ways, they're more infectious," Pavel said. "So we need to make sure we don't overuse the military tool. We need to really resource our civilian arms of power, which include diplomacy, economics, the private sector, and cultural exchanges."

In the longer term, world leaders must start addressing the factors that draw people to extremism in the first place.

"There's also alienation in our societies. So how do we better integrate people in London, in Paris, in Brussels? How do we do a better job of having a heterogeneous society that reflects people of different backgrounds and faiths and doesn't make the problem even worse?" he said.

"Longer term, we have to reduce the isolation, provide economic opportunities and work with our allies and partners," Pavel added. "There's no other way."

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Tuesday
Jun062017

How Sanctuary Farm helped grow the vegan movement in America

BananaStock/Thinkstock(WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.) -- Long before vegan restaurants took root in major U.S. cities, Gene Baur sold vegan hotdogs at Grateful Dead concerts to get the seed money for America’s first shelter for farm animals.

Founded in 1986, Sanctuary Farm now houses over 800 cows, pigs, goats, sheep and chickens on its 175-acre field in Watkins Glen, New York. Instead of being raised for slaughterhouses, these animals are provided with a degree of care typically reserved for family pets.

“At Farm Sanctuary, animals are friends not food. They get to live their lives, they get to enjoy their lives,” said Baur.

In addition to providing food and shelter to the animals at Farm Sanctuary, Baur has pushed for legislative changes to confinement systems for farm animals in California and written several books about animal rights including Living the Farm Sanctuary Life.

“They’re not that different from cats and dogs when you get to know these animals,” said Baur.

The organization assists animals that have been displaced by natural disasters or escaped from slaughterhouses. A discarded sheep named Hilda was the first animal to be raised at Farm Sanctuary, and thousands of others have since followed in her hoof-steps.

“When there are animals struggling for their life, often what happens is the [Sanctuary Farm] community joins together and wants them to go to a safe place,” he explained.

Among the high-profile supporters of Farm Sanctuary are comedian Jon Stewart and his wife Tracey, who plan to open their own 45-acre animal sanctuary and farm education center in New Jersey.

Beyond changing farming practices, Sanctuary Farm encourages the food industry to move toward more plant-based options, from “meatless meats” to a variety of plant-based dairy.

“You go into a mainstream grocery store and you can find soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, and cashew milk,” he said.

Baur said he’s proud of the vegan movement’s progress over the past three decades, from “hippie” hotdogs in the 1980s to a growing number of vegan restaurants sprouting up around the country in recent years.

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