AlexRaths/iStock/Thinkstock(LYON, France) -- A global alert was issued on Monday by INTERPOL for an illicit and potentially lethal drug used as a dieting and body-building aid.
The warning about 2.4-dinitrophenol, which is also used as a raw material for explosives, was issued after one woman died in the U.K. and a French man was left seriously ill after taking the substance.
Although usually sold in yellow powder or capsule form, DNP is also available as a cream. Besides the intrinsic dangers of DNP, the risks associated with its use are magnified by illegal manufacturing conditions, according to INTERPOL.
In the 1930s DNP was used to boost metabolism and encourage weight loss, but it was taken out of circulation because of several deaths.
“We are appreciative that INTERPOL has issued this global warning on DNP. This is a perfect example of how crucial it is that law enforcement and anti-doping organizations continue to forge closer ties so that dangerous, and potentially fatal, substances such as DNP do not reach the hands of athletes,” said WADA Director General David Howman in a news release.
Each year INTERPOL coordinates Operation Pangea, an international week of action tackling the online sale of counterfeit and illicit medicines and highlighting the dangers of buying medicines online.
Columbia Police Dept.(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- A University of South Carolina student is facing felony charges and possible jail time after allegedly being caught on camera spitting and pouring chemicals into her two roommates’ food in early February, police said.
Police say Hayley King, 22, can be seen in the video taken by her roommates Feb. 4 spitting into multiple containers of food and pouring Windex into the food in the apartment they shared off campus, according to a Columbia Police Department incident report.
King’s two roommates informed authorities they had set up secret cameras in their shared apartment because they were afraid of what King might do following a string of multiple altercations, which are not detailed in the police report. The two roommates had tried to get King to move out because of the previous altercations, but she refused, the incident report states.
Police said they viewed the recordings and watched King opening the refrigerator, picking up several containers one by one, and spitting into them. She also poured glass cleaner into one of them, the report stated.
One of the roommates told police she consumed food from one of the containers she believed to have been tainted with spit and Windex. King's roommates have not responded to requests for comment.
After seeing the footage that police say was taken by King's roommates, an investigator from the Columbia Police Department contacted King and asked her to report to the police department for questioning, where she allegedly confessed to the incident, the police report states.
The Columbia Police Department, which has not responded to a request for comment, arrested King on Feb. 9. She has been charged with unlawful, malicious tampering with human drug product or food, which is a Class C felony carrying a term of up to 20 years in prison, if convicted. She was released a day after her arrest on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.
King has not responded to requests for comment, and ABC News has been unable to determine whether she has a lawyer. Her next court date is scheduled for June, according to South Carolina Circuit Court’s Fifth Circuit.
Image Source/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Looking back and wondering if your life could have been somehow better if you'd only had the guts to do something or say something differently is an uncomfortable feeling. Whether it's your job, your marriage or a friendship, people are often paralyzed by fear.
So instead of taking an uncomfortable action, we take no action, which can often be worse for the situation.
"None of us are immune to fear -- of failing, criticism, rejection or falling short in some way -- but too often we let fear pilot our lives," said Margie Warrell, author of the new book Brave: 50 Everyday Acts of Courage to Thrive in Work, Love, and Life. "In today’s culture of fear, living fully has become synonymous with living bravely."
Warrell herself has had to live bravely: she battled bulimia as a young woman, lost one of her brothers who took his life after a long battle with mental illness, lost five unborn babies, and has had to help her other brother overcome the difficulties of paraplegia following a horrific motor-vehicle accident. Her booked is based on the theory that "courage begets courage."
Here are Warrell's tips for bringing bravery to your everyday life:
1. Be decisive despite your uncertainty
In an age where we have so much information available to us, waiting until you have all the information you want (and have analyzed it fully) can prove costly and inhibiting. Sure, making a decision, despite the ambiguity and uncertainty opens the possibility of messing up or making a mistake. But in a world where change is happening fast and the windows of opportunity are limited, choosing to do nothing can exact a far steeper toll on your career, your business, and your life.
2. Have a brave conversation
The most important conversations demand vulnerability -- putting your ego and your desire for approval on the line. That’s why people often try to avoid them or opt to send a text when should really talk. When you risk stepping out from behind your computer screen and talking openly and candidly about sensitive or contentious issues, you are able to add value, build influence and earn trust in ways that tiptoeing around crucial issues never can. Being willing to engage in what I call “courageous conversations” is crucial to your success. People may not always like what you have to say, but they will always respect your willingness to speak up and share what you genuinely think needs to be said.
3. Dare to be different
While no one wants to be disliked, criticized or rejected, only when you risk all of those can you add the unique value you have to bring and set yourself apart from the masses. So own what makes you unique, forge your own path, express your own opinion and make a stand for what’s true for you. When all you do is try to fit in, you negate the difference our difference makes.
4. Forget perfect
So there’s something you really want to do but you think you have to do it perfectly before you even start out. You don’t! While it’s good to have high standards, sometimes what serves us so much more is lowering the bar and just giving things a go. With four kids and busy career I’ve adopted the mantra “Done is better than perfect.” Doing so frees me to take on new challenges and complete tasks far more efficiently than I would if I was aiming for Da Vinci like mastery or perfection. Same for you. Don’t wait until you now everything before you do something and don’t pressure yourself with thinking that something has to be done perfectly for it to be done well.
5. Promote yourself
There’s a distinct difference between promoting yourself to stroke an insecure ego and sharing your value so that those who can help you add more of it know who you are and what you’re capable of doing. Too often a misguided sense of humility keeps us from letting people who can help us advance know who we are, what we’ve done and what we want to do in the future. In today’s competitive world, unless you are willing to toot your own horn from time to time, you run the risk of being left behind as the opportunities you thought would be laid at your humble feet are given to the horn blowers around you.
6. Say no
Saying yes is always easier than saying no because that’s what people want you to say. But too often we overcommit ourselves because we’re afraid of causing disappointment, offence or missing out. It takes courage to decline an invitation or opportunity but it’s something you’ve got to do if you want to create the space in your life for even more important things. Sometimes you have to say no to the good to make room for the great.
7. Share your struggles
Life is not an Instagram feed, though we live with a constant pressure to paint our lives as though it were. Letting down your mask and sharing with others what you are struggling with, perhaps even asking for help, can leave you feeling vulnerable but it can also open the door to creating far more rewarding and meaningful relationships. As I wrote in Brave, we connect far more deeply through our struggles than we ever do through our successes.
Digital Vision / Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After a bad day at the office, you might say something like, "Well, tomorrow's a new day." Well, while that optimism might be appreciated, it turns out it won't actually affect your job performance, a new study finds.
"I kept hearing about how optimistic mindset was so great," said researcher Elizabeth Tenny at the University of Utah's business school.
But that mindset is not as helpful as you would think.
"Optimism seems to help persistence but not necessarily performance as much as one would expect," she said.
Tenny's research, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, says striving for accuracy might be the better approach.
KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) — If not for a stranger halfway around the world, 8-year-old Grant Berg wouldn't be alive today, his mother said.
Grant needed a bone marrow transplant, but after an international search, it was an 18-year-old German college student who came to his rescue in 2011, Grant's mother, Kristi Berg told ABC News. And on Sunday night, Grant and his hero met for the first time at the Los Angeles International Airport.
"I've imagined it so often in my mind and now it is reality," Grant's bone marrow donor, Marvin Zumkley, told KABC-TV, ABC's Los Angeles station. "It was crazy. It was overwhelming, and it was just a good feeling."
A year and a half before the transplant, Grant was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare but serious condition in which the bone marrow stops producing new blood cells, Berg said. This includes red blood cells, which carry oxygen; white blood cells, which fight off infection; and platelets, which mend blood vessels and stop bleeding, according to Dr. Hillard Lazarus, who directs UH Case Medical Center's novel cell therapy program in Cleveland but has not met or treated Grant.
"You need to treat this thing," Lazarus said, adding that it's often unclear what causes aplastic anemia. But only about 600 to 900 people are diagnosed with it every year.
Berg said Grant was getting different kinds of transfusions every week for a year and a half before the transplant.
"For a year and a half, he lived off other people's blood," Berg said. "I can't even count the amount of transfusions he had."
And then Zumkley's bone marrow changed Grant's life, she said. “It means everything to me," she added.
Grant was also born with only part of his cerebellum, so he'll be tested later this year for genetic conditions, she said.
After staying up well past his bedtime to meet Zumkley, Grant fell asleep in the car on the ride home to Temecula, California, Berg said. The plan is for Zumkley to relax for a few days, visit Disneyland and find other ways to enjoy southern California and get to know Grant, she said.
Samir Hussein/WireImage(LONDON) -- When Duchess Kate stepped out of St. Mary’s Hospital in London Saturday -- 10 hours after giving birth to her 8-pound, 3-ounce daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana -- in a Jenny Packham dress, three-inch high heels and flawless hair, the crowd outside the hospital was stunned.
Kate’s picture-perfect presentation caused jaw-dropping reactions from mom bloggers across the Internet, too.
A blogger for ScaryMommy.com wrote that Kate, “…looks like she spent the day in a spa and got a baby as a thank you gift.”
A contributor to MoneySavingMom.com reminded other moms that, “…we can’t compare ourselves to Kate. Our reality is completely different than her reality.”
ABC News’ senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton confirms the U.K. model of labor and delivery is different from what most moms experience in the United States.
“In the U.K., it’s not as unusual,” Ashton said of Kate’s quick hospital discharge. “Here [in the United States], it’s pretty much a land-speed record. Most women stay in the hospital two nights because that’s what most insurance plans cover.”
“And they want every minute of that time,” Ashton said of U.S. moms. “They need the rest, especially if they have babies or children at home and, let’s face it, not everyone has a full staff to help her when they get home so for moms that don’t, they need that time, the support nurses can give the baby.”
Kate, 33, is at home now in Kensington Palace with her husband, Prince William, and their older child, nearly 2-year-old Prince George. The family has one nanny, Maria Borrallo, who cares for Prince George and will also help with the new baby.
The pair of midwives who helped see the duchess through her healthy labor was photographed in U.K.’s The Daily Mail. Kate’s medical team, said to be led by Dr. Guy Thorpe Easton, gave her the all-clear to leave the hospital the same day as the princess was born.
“British practice for second and subsequent births, I think so long as there are no medical complications, mothers are encouraged to take their children home,” ABC News royal contributor Patrick Jephson said. “It enables the family to start bonding together straight away.”
The family bonding for the new princess, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, started Sunday when her grandparents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and Prince Charles, the father of her father, Prince William, and his wife, Camilla, came by Kensington Palace for visits.
Up next is the first meeting with the baby’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who was announced Monday as part of the baby's namesake.
Royal watchers said that the British had been pulling for Diana, the name of William's late mother, to be included in the name of William and Kate's first daughter.
“Polls in this country today suggest that Diana is the people’s favorite, the sentimental favorite,” ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy said prior to the baby's name announcement. “We do know that William likes to involve Diana in his family life, however, I think that the smart money is on a traditional royal name for one of the first names and on Diana being somewhere in there, possibly in the middle name.”
Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A growing number of women are delaying having children until later in life, new research shows.
According to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the birth rate for women aged 20 to 24 dropped 3 percent between 2012 and 2013, creating a record low. The rate for women aged 25 to 29 fell by 1 percent.
Meanwhile, the birth rate for women in their 30s increased by 1 to 2 percent. The rate for women in their 40s has also steadily gone up since 1990, likely due to the prevalence of fertility treatments.
The study also found that the birth rate for teenage girls between 15 and 19 is at a historic low. It's down 10 percent since the last annual report.
Another finding: The U.S. continues to have higher infant mortality rates than 26 other countries, including Japan (which had the lowest), Germany, France, the U.K. and Cuba.
iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — If you make healthy meals, kids will come and eat it.
That's the chief finding of a study by ChildObesity180, a Tufts University Friedman School program that examines and finds solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic.
Researchers there said that after the Silver Diner, a restaurant chain operating in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, made menu changes in 2012, close to half of the orders for kids came from the healthier options.
In fact, kids' meal orders with at least one healthy side such as strawberries, mixed vegetables, or side salads also rose dramatically from 26 percent to 70 percent once the changes were implemented.
For good measure, the Silver Diner also eliminated fries and sodas from the kids' meal although they were available as a substitute if ordered.
Lead author Stephanie Anzman-Frasca concluded, "Our study showed that healthier children's menu options were ordered a lot more often when those options were more prevalent and prominent on kids' menus, highlighting the promise of efforts to shift the status quo and make healthier options the new norm."
iStock/Thinkstock(OSLO, Norway) — Suffering from insomnia is more than a pain in the neck; it can also boost sensitivity to pain in those who are sleep-deprived.
A study by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen appears to verify this claim as over 10,400 adults took part in an experiment in which they submerged their hand in ice cold water for 106 seconds as researchers asked questions about how well or how little they slept.
Overall, only about a third were able to keep their hand in the water for the full amount of time they were told to do so. Meanwhile, 31 percent who removed their hand prematurely reported no insomnia while 42 percent said they suffered from some sleep impairment, including insomnia.
Lead researcher Børge Sivertsen also found that people felt more pain from the ice water based on the frequency and severity of their insomnia while the least amount of tolerance was reported by those with both sleep disorders and chronic pain in their everyday lives.
Sivertsen adds that people who deal with insomnia and chronic pain should benefit from treatments aimed at relieving both conditions.
Andrea Culverhouse(PRINCETON, Texas) -- For Andrea Culverhouse, a mother in the Texas suburb of Princeton, the last year and a half has been a battle -- but thanks to the Dallas Police Department, her family has a lasting memory to help them through the tougher times.
In December 2013, her oldest son Jack, now 7, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumor -- a cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. It's found in the brain stem and affects most natural movements of the body, including loss of motor skills and loss of swallowing.
Jack, whom his mother describes as very smart and responsible, underwent radiation treatment, and "was able to regain all of his functions back completely," she said. But by January 2015, Jack lost movement in his left side and was unable to swallow. They decided to do a clinical trial, which has "helped for a couple of months," Culverhouse said.
According to the DIPG registry, fewer than 10 percent of children with DIPG survive two years after their diagnosis.
"Jack has been fortunate enough, we've had about 16 months so far," Culverhouse told ABC News today. "But the tumor you can tell is growing, because he keeps having more progressive symptoms."
When the Dallas Police Department heard about Jack, officers decided to give the 7-year-old a day he wouldn't forget. On Friday, Jack and his family traveled to Dallas where the Police Department initiated him as a detective.
When they arrived at the station, they were greeted by officers -- including some who were dressed up as superheroes, Culverhouse said.
"As soon as [Jack] saw Captain America, he was excited," she said.
The Dallas Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.
Culverhouse said the police gave Jack a tour of the headquarters, made him a uniform, and even gave him a police badge with a special meaning -- it had the same number as his great-grandfather's police badge.
Culverhouse said her grandfather spent about 24 years as a detective with the Dallas Police, and when he retired, he worked another 26 years as a police chaplain. He died in 2012, Culverhouse said.
"We were all pretty close to my grandfather," she said. "Jack was about 5 [when he died]. But we lived across the street from my grandfather Jack's whole life.
"When [the officers] heard about Jack, they all said he's a superhero to them, because of him battling and fighting like this," she said. "They also do remember my grandfather, because my grandfather gave so much service to Dallas."
Culverhouse says the day at the police department was all about making "happy memories."
"[It] put a smile on his face -- that's what were trying to do," she said. "To try to make every day good and happy and try to do as many fun things as we can."
Despite Jack's disease, "He's completely aware," his mother says. "It doesn't affect his ability to think."
"Since learning of this horrible cancer we have seen so many kids die and so many are battling right now," she said. "I pray for a cure to save my son but I see him getting a little weaker every day.
"I just want him to be happy and not scared," she added.
A man dressed as Captain America flies in a police helicopter near the Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas as part of Superhero Day on April 30, 2015. Dell Children's Medical Center(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The pediatric patients were in trouble. The Joker had stolen their ice cream and stuffed ponies. Things weren't looking good.
But then the superheroes arrived, repelling down the side of Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, to save the day. Batman, Batgirl, Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, Star-Lord, Superman and Wolverine and Wonder Woman foiled the Joker, and got the childrens' treats back.
"If they can take down this crafty crook, they can do anything," KVUE reporter Cori Coffin said. KVUE is ABC's Austin affiliate.
One little boy had a feeling it would all be OK.
"Batman's going to kick his butt," he told KVUE, referring, of course, to the Joker.
A day after the heroes saved them, the patients were still talking about it, hospital spokeswoman Kendra Clawson told ABC News. She said parents flooded the hospital's Facebook page with positive feedback.
"This was such a great experience for all the kids and parents," Misty Arrington Lake wrote on the Facebook page. "My son will remember this for many years!"
Joerg Mikus/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture opened a public comment period on Saturday as they consider whether or not to approve a genetically modified potato that has a number of attractive characteristics.
The potato in question is genetically engineered to be resistant to late blight, a potato pest and has reduced black spot bruising, says the USDA. It also does not turn as dark when fried and has lower sugar levels.
One more attractive characteristic of the engineered potato is lower acrylamide potential. Acrylamide is a chemical produced when potatoes are cooked at high heat, and has been linked to cancer in lab animals at high doses.
The comment period is open for 30 days.
The USDA recently approved the first genetically modified food earlier this year -- a non-browning apple.
chromatika/iStock/Thinkstock(FORTH WORTH, Texas) -- A resident of Tarrant County, Texas has tested negative for Ebola after exhibiting at least one symptom of the disease, says Tarrant County Public Health.
The patient reportedly had one symptom that matches the disease. TCPH says that the individual recently returned from Liberia. Though the last case of Ebola in Liberia was in late March, the patient was being tested for Ebola out of an abundance of caution.
On Friday evening, TCPH said that the test came back negative.
Tarrant County resident, who traveled to Liberia, has tested NEGATIVE for #Ebola.
The only patient to die of Ebola in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, was treated in Texas -- at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Two nurses who treated Duncan were later diagnosed with the disease, though both recovered.
Bumbasor/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In a report issued on Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Ebola survivors avoid unprotected sexual activity in an effort to ensure that the spread of the disease is contained.
The report details the case of a 44-year-old woman in Monrovia, Liberia who contracted the disease approximately one month after the most recent confirmed Ebola patient was isolated. The typical incubation period for Ebola is 21 days.
The CDC says that the woman's only link to the disease was unprotected sex with an Ebola survivor. As a result, the agency now believes that the virus may survive longer in semen than previously believed.
"Ebola virus has been isolated from semen as long as 82 days after symptom onset," the CDC report notes. "CDC now recommends that contact with semen from male Ebola survivors be avoided until more information regarding the duration and infectiousness of viral shedding in body fluids is known."
"If male surivors have sex," the report adds, "a codnom should be used correctly and consistently every time."
While transmission of Ebola in West Africa has dipped in recent months, the CDC warns that sexual transmission is possible