Posts tagged with "ABC News"

A little goes a long way: Women get same exercise benefit as men, with less effort

February 22, 2024

A new study not only confirms that regular physical activity can prolong life and lower a person’s risk of dying; it also finds that women experience greater benefits from exercise than men do, with less effort, reports ABC News.

Using findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey, researchers analyzed data from 412,413 adults between 1997 to 2017 to understand the degree of overall health benefit derived from physical activity.

The researchers found that men were more likely to engage in physical activity than women. However, women who engaged in regular physical activity had a 24% lower risk of dying from any cause compared to inactive women; while physically active men had a 15% lower risk compared to their inactive counterparts.

They further discovered that the most beneficial amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity—for example, brisk walking or cycling—was around five hours per week, though there was also benefit shown for women starting at half that weekly amount.

“It turns out women can get a lot more return for even a little bit of investment than they might realize,” Dr. Susan Cheng, director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Smidt Heart Institute and senior author of the study, told ABC News. “[A] little bit can go a really long way.”

“When it comes to looking at the [specific] amounts—particularly with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity—women could get almost double the return for the same investment compared to male counterparts,” Cheng added, calling the news “exciting and positive, especially for the really busy women out there who are juggling a lot of responsibilities both at work and at home.”

Women also saw a more significant reduction in mortality risk after engaging in muscle-strengthening activity, such as weightlifting or core exercises, than men did —9% compared to 11%, respectively—according to the study.

“This important study emphasizes the power of exercise for women,” Dr. Patricia Best, an interventional cardiologist and member of the Women’s Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told ABC News.

Taking it one step further, Best notes that following a heart attack, “women have frequently been referred to cardiovascular rehab less than men, and this study helps to give credence to the importance of exercise in women.”

Consistent with prior research, both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities were associated with lower risk of dying from heart-related diseases.

“For exercise, we’d like to encourage our patients and folks in general to be as active as they can, no matter how busy we all are. In general, we say that anything is better than nothing and more is better than less,” Cheng told ABC News.

Research contact: @ABC

American Kennel Club introduces new dog breed: Meet the Lancashire Heeler

January 5, 2024

The American Kennel Club is welcoming a small, but mighty, addition to the Herding Group with its 201st recognized breed, the Lancashire Heeler, reports ABC News.

The AKC announced that the “can-do spirited breed” would be moving forward with full recognition on Tuesday, January 2—sharing details about the long road to its classification.

“These small-but-sturdy dogs aren’t ones to lounge around all the time. They are energetic, and just as adept in Performance sports as they are in Conformation. You can find them competing in Herding, Agility, Obedience, Rally, Fast CAT, Barn Hunt, Dock Diving, Disc Dog, Tracking, and Therapy endeavors,” the AKC stated. “It’s a breed that will work hard all day and is happy to curl up at your side and watch the TV news at night.”

According to the AKC, Lancashire heelers have apparently raised questions from fellow breeders, dog show attendees, and even judges who con

Sheryl Bradbury, president of the United States Lancashire Heeler Club, “helped shepherd the breed to recognition since its entry in the AKC Foundation Stock Service” in 2001, the AKC stated.

The Lancashire heeler was first processed to join the “Miscellaneous Class” in 2017, but went on to find a home with the Herding Group in April 2023, with its eligibility to compete officially beginning this year.

The small breed first earned full recognition from The Kennel Club, United Kingdom, in 1981. Later, after joining the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service, The United States Lancashire Heeler Club was formed in 2007.

Jeff Kestner, one of the USLHC member-breeders who has been questioned about the dogs, said that Lancashire Heelers “have also been called [mini] Dobermans, Manchester Terrier mixes, and [even] some sort of Corgi.”

Despite some unknowingly misidentifying the breed, the Lancashire Heeler will become easier to recognize as education grows, and the more it’s seen in public.

Kestner has been adamant that the club refer to it as the “Heeler” when nicknaming it—the same name fanciers use in the U.K., where the dog originally was bred.

While the breed looks cute and sweet, and seems to be the perfect sized lap dog, Bradbury said that’s a misconception. “I always caution buyers to not let a puppy’s cuteness fool you,” she said. “The minute it is off your lap it may be chewing your shoes or nipping at your heels. Conversely, it will be your loyal best friend.”

And although it’s a highly loyal dog, she said loyalty is often directed at one household member,—adding that the breed is “great with children as long as the children understand how to respect the dog.”

The club breeders describe Lancashire Heelers as “smart, fast, sweet, loving, clever, mischievous, intelligent, energetic, loyal, attached, versatile, tenacious, robust, affectionate, and alert.”

According to the club, Bradbury “estimates there are about 400 Lancashire heelers nationwide.”

Research contact: @abcnews

House Democrats help Johnson pass GOP bill to avoid government shutdown

November 16, 2023

In a bipartisan vote, the House has passed Speaker Mike Johnson‘s plan to avert a government shutdown just days ahead of a Friday, November 17, deadline, reports ABC News.

The final vote was 336-95 with more Democrats voting for the stopgap funding bill than did Republicans —209 to 127, respectively. More than 90 Republicans voted against it. The bill needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

The measure now goes on to the Senate for approval. Senate leaders have indicated they will support it and promised quick action.

Leaving the House chamber following the vote, Johnson said on camera “we’re pleased, we’re pleased with the outcome … We just gotta get the job done—we will do it day by day,” Johnson told ABC News’ Jay O’Brien.

In his first test as the newly-appointed speaker, Johnson pitched a two-step government plan that he described as a “laddered CR”—or continuing resolution—that would keep the government funded at 2023 levels. The bill extends government funding until January 19 for the Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Energy departments, as well as for military construction. The rest of the government is funded until February 2.

The bill does not include any supplemental aid for Israel or Ukraine.

Johnson argued that the plan would allow for the House to pass the rest of the individual spending bills and avoid a massive spending bill near Christmas.

Despite having to rely on Democratic support to overcome GOP hard-liners’ opposition, Johnson spun the bill’s passage as a Republican victory, saying it “puts House Republicans in the best position to fight for conservative policy victories.”

“We also are better positioned in the upcoming supplemental debate to demand Border Security, ensure oversight of Ukraine aid, and support our cherished ally, Israel,” Johnson said in a statement after the vote.

The irony is that Johnson pushed forward with the same type of stopgap plan that led to Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker.

“Speaker Johnson came in kind of like the backup quarterback, you can’t blame him for the score of the game when he enters the game,” Representative Dan Meuser, Republican of Pennsylvania said.

Other Republicans acknowledge the realities of a divided government and a deeply divided party. “In the Republican conference, you couldn’t get 217 of us to agree that today’s Tuesday,” Representative Troy Nehls (R-Texas) said. “Mike is having to reach out to the Democrats, because you can’t get the Republicans to agree on anything,” he added.

Research contact: @abcnews

‘Weaklings:’ Donald Trump targets Mark Meadows over report that he will flip

October 26, 2023

Donald Trump targeted his former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, on Wednesday, October 25—insinuating that Meadows would be a weakling and a coward if he testifies against the former president, reports USA Today.

In a pair of Truth Social posts, Trump said he does not believe Meadows would turn on him—but noted that his former chief of staff has been threatened with prosecution and might be tempted by an immunity agreement.

“Some people would make that deal, but they are weaklings and cowards, and so bad for the future our Failing Nation,” Trump said. “I don’t think that Mark Meadows is one of them, but who really knows?”

Trump is facing pressure to be careful with what he says about Meadows, or any other potential witness in the 2020 election case against him.

The reason? U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan hit the former president with a partial gag order that prohibits him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, and court personnel.

Trump sought to undermine Meadows a day after a news report that he is talking to Special Counsel Jack Smith‘s office in the federal case charging the former president with trying to steal the 2020 election.

ABC News said Meadows has told Smith and his prosecutors that “he repeatedly told Trump in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election that the allegations of significant voting fraud coming to them were baseless, a striking break from Trump’s prolific rhetoric regarding the election.”

Smith’s office is responsible for the federal indictment that  essentially charges Trump with trying to steal the 2020 election from President Joe Biden, including with claims of voter fraud that he knew to be false.

In his Truth Social posts, Trump denied Meadows’ reported assertions, and pointed out that Meadows defended Trump’s election complaints in his book.

“Mark Meadows NEVER told me that allegations of significant fraud (about the RIGGED Election!) were baseless,” Trump claimed. “He certainly didn’t say that in his book!”

Research contact: @USATODAY

A ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse will light up the sky on Saturday

October 13, 2023

A “ring of fire” solar eclipse will dazzle sky-watchers this Saturday, October 14, for the first time since June 2021, reports ABC News.

This year, the solar eclipse will be directly visible in multiple states—from Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado in the West to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the south. It also will be visible in Mexico, Central America and South America, according to NASA.

“This is a really unique event and why we’re so excited about it is that the next total eclipse happens in April 2024—but then not again until 2044—and the next annular eclipse seen in this part of the country is actually going to be in 2046. It’s going to be a long stretch that we will not see this phenomenon again,” Dr. Kelly Korreck, an astrophysicist and NASA program manager for the 2023 and 2024 eclipses, said in a September 26 teleconference.

There are different types of solar eclipses, including a total solar eclipse, a partial solar eclipse, a hybrid solar eclipse, and an annular solar eclipse, according to NASA.

The October 14 eclipse will be an annular solar eclipse, which, according to the agency, is when the moon in its orbit crosses between the sun and the Earth, and is at or near its farthest point from Earth. When this happens, the moon, sun, and Earth line up; but the moon looks smaller than the sun, allowing a “ring” of the sun’s light to remain visible around the moon. This gives the annular solar eclipse its “ring of fire” nickname.

According to NASA, the “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse will be visible “between 1 and 5 minutes for most places, depending on where you view it from.” It will appear in Oregon first at approximately 9:13 a.m. (PDT) and will wrap up in Texas by about 12:03 p.m. (CDT).

According to NASA scientist Alex Lockwood, over 6.5 million people in the United States will be able to see the solar eclipse directly, and another 68 to 70 million will be within a 200-mile viewing distance of the eclipse’s path of annularity.

But nearly everyone in the lower 48 states should be able to see at least some of the upcoming solar eclipse this weekend.

“Everyone actually in the entire contiguous United States can witness a partial solar eclipse, if not the annular solar eclipse itself on this date for a few minutes,” said Lockwood, who is also a strategic content and integration lead for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Before heading out to see the solar eclipse, people need to make sure they have the proper solar eclipse glasses to watch the “ring of fire” phenomenon safely. Doing so without the correct eye protection is extremely dangerous.

“You need certified ISO 12312-2 compliant solar eclipse glasses,” Lockwood says. “There are plenty of safe sellers of these glasses online and we encourage folks to find a safe pair.”

NASA notes that viewing an annular solar eclipse with other tools, such as binoculars, a camera lens, sunglasses or a telescope, that do not have a “special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.”

Although they may look similar to dark or tinted sunglasses, eclipse glasses are not the same and adhere to the ISO 12312-2 international standard. There are also handheld solar viewers that are compliant with the standard that can be used to view the “ring of fire.”

Eclipse glasses that are scratched, torn or damaged in any way should not be used and children should be supervised when using solar viewers, according to NASA.

Another way to view the annular solar eclipse is through an indirect viewing method like a pinhole projector, which projects the sun’s image onto a nearby surface and can allow you to see the sun without facing it. NASA cautions viewers not to look at the sun directly through a pinhole projector device.

For anyone who wants to watch the annular solar eclipse online, NASA will be broadcasting live coverage on Oct. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. EDT on NASA TV, NASA’s website; and on NASA’s social media platforms, including Facebook, X, and YouTube. You can also track the annular solar eclipse’s path on NASA’s tracker.

The next solar eclipse will occur in about six months on April 8, 2024,according to NASA. The April solar eclipse however, will be a total solar eclipse, during which the moon will completely align over the sun—blocking the sun’s visibility and causing the sky to darken.

Research contact: @abcnews

Trump told nuclear sub secrets to Australian billionaire—who went on to tell 45 others

October 9, 2023

Former President Donald Trump reportedly shared details about America’s nuclear submarine program with an Australian billionaire, who then went on to tell journalists, foreign officials, and others about the sensitive information, HuffPost reports.

ABC News first reported that Special Counsel Jack Smith had learned about Trump’s disclosure to the billionaire—a cardboard magnate named Anthony Pratt —as part of his investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents. Trump allegedly told Pratt several government secrets about the submarines during an event at his Mar-a-Lago Club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida, where the billionaire is a member.

Pratt reportedly told prosecutors and FBI agents that Trump brought up the submarine fleet in April 2021, after he had left the White House. The former president then revealed the supposed number of nuclear warheads that are on board U.S. submarines at any time and how close the vessels can get to a Russian submarine without detection.

The billionaire, ABC News added, shared that information with at least 45 people, including three former Australian prime ministers, a half dozen journalists and other foreign officials. Australia recently inked a deal with the United States to spend up to $245 billion over the next three decades to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

It’s unclear if the details were accurate, or if they were bluster or exaggerations, but ABC News reported that Pratt was informed by investigators not to share the numbers he was reportedly given.

The New York Times, which confirmed the report with people familiar with the matter, said the details would be highly protected information and could endanger the U.S. nuclear fleet if made public.

A former Australian ambassador to the United States told the paper the information wasn’t new to his country, saying: “If that’s all that was discussed, we already know all that.

“We have had Australians serving with Americans on U.S. submarines for years, and we share the same technology and the same weapons as the U.S. Navy,” the former ambassador, Joe Hockey, said.

The reported information was not included in Smith’s federal indictment of Trump earlier this year related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House. Trump was charged with 40 counts related to willful retention of documents and obstruction of justice. But it could be used as part of the ultimate case against him to bolster any pattern of Trump’s handling of sensitive material.

A Trump spokesperson told ABC that the former president did “nothing wrong,” adding the report lacked “proper context and relevant information.”

“President Trump did nothing wrong, has always insisted on truth and transparency, and acted in a proper manner, according to the law,” the spokesperson told ABC News.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Mark Meadows says Trump left top secret Iran war plans on couch at Bedminster golf resort

August 22, 2023

Ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wrote in a draft of his memoir that his old boss, former President Donald Trump, left a top-secret Iran war plan on a couch at his New Jersey golf resort during an interview with a ghost writer, reports the New York Daily News.

Indeed, Meadows told prosecutors from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team that he heard about the shocking incident by the writer and a publicist; but soft-pedaled it in the final published version of his book because it could be “problematic” for Trump, ABC News reported.

“On th couch in front of [Trump’s)] desk, there’s a four-page report typed up by (Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley) himself,” the draft read, according to ABC. “It shows the general’s own plan to attack Iran, something he urged President Trump to do more than once during his presidency.”

Trump has been charged with improperly showing the document to the underlings as part of a superseding indictment to the classified documents case.

He was already charged with mishandling dozens of documents that he took with him when he left the White House and defying official efforts to get them back.

Trump allegedly brought the Iran war plan to New Jersey and whipped it out to show the underlings during an interview in summer 2021 as Meadows collected material for his book, “The Chief’s Chief.”

Considering it important ammunition in his odd feud with Milley, Trump was already accused of boasting to the aides that the document proved his point that Milley was a warmonger.

In so doing, Trump admitted that the document remained classified and that he shouldn’t be showing it—effectively contradicting his own oft-repeated claims he had declassified all the documents.

“It is like, highly confidential. Secret. This is secret information,” Trump said, according to an audiotape of the meeting. “Look, look at this. This was done by the military and given to me. As president I could have declassified, but now I can’t.”

The new bombshell suggests Trump was even more reckless than previously known with the secret plan, which would be of immeasurable value to geopolitical enemies or the United States; as well as Iran-hating allies like Israel and particularly Saudi Arabia.

Meadows told prosecutors that Trump never told him he had declassified large numbers of secret documents—contradicting his former boss’ claims about the documents. He also shot down the outlandish claim that Trump had a so-called “standing order” to declassify any documents he took away from the White House.

The report did not clear up uncertainty about Meadows’s role in the various prosecutions of Trump.

Research contact: @NYDailyNews

Mysterious object found on Australian beach is identified

August 3, 2023

The origins of the huge barnacle-covered canister discovered on the coastline of Green Head Beach in western Australia—about 150 miles from Perth—left many stumped when it appeared earlier this month, although initial guessed that it might be “space junk,” reports Sky News.

But now, the Australian Space Agency has come to a more concrete conclusion—announcing that the object “most likely” is debris from an “expended third-stage of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.”

The medium-lift launch vehicle is operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation. The third stage of the vehicle is jettisoned at an altitude of 264 miles.

Previously the object had been under guard by police, although it was quickly determined to be safe and not a risk to the community.

Officials from both India and Australia are working together to “provide further confirmation to determine next steps, including considering obligations under the United Nations space treaties,” the Australian Space Agency says.

Local resident Garth Griffiths said a neighbor alerted him to the strange find two weeks ago.

“A local lady and her partner discovered it just floating on the edge of the water and dragged it out with their four-wheel drive,” he told ABC News. “There were barnacles and marine life growing on it.”

Australia is no stranger to orbital remains mysteriously appearing in random places, with space debris from Elon Musk’s SpaceX craft crashing into a New South Wales farm last year.

Research contact: @SkyNews

Chris Christie gets a super PAC ahead of his likely 2024 presidential bid

May 31, 2023

Allies of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have formed a super PAC to support him in the nascent Republican presidential primary, as he makes preparations for a likely campaign kickoff in the next two weeks, according to an official with the group and others briefed on the matter, reports The New York Times.

Christie’s candidacy is likely to focus in part on drawing a stark contrast with former President Donald Trump. Christie supported Trump in 2016 and worked with him during his presidency—but they split over Trump’s claims on election night in 2020 that the race was stolen from him.

People who have been close to Christie for years are leading the outside group, Tell It Like It Is, which is laying the groundwork for an imminent announcement, one of the people briefed on the matter said. Brian Jones, an aide who advised Senator John McCain’s presidential bid in 2008 and Mitt Romney’s in 2012, will run the effort.

Bill Palatucci, a longtime adviser to Christie and a Republican National Committee member, will be the chair. Another long-serving adviser to Christie, Russ Schriefer, will oversee messaging as a senior adviser; and Brent Seaborn, a veteran data guru, will focus on voter targeting.

Maria Comella, an adviser who also was chief of staff to former Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York; and Mike DuHaime, Christie’s top political strategist in 2016, are expected to run an eventual campaign if Christie announces as expected. Anthony Scaramucci, the hedge fund adviser who served for less than two weeks as a communications director in the Trump White House and has become a vocal Trump critic, has said he will support Christie if he runs.

Christie “is willing to confront the hard truths that currently threaten the future of the Republican Party,” Jones said in a statement. “Now more than ever we need leaders that have the courage to say not what we want to hear but what we need to hear.”

Christie has said recently that he would run if he believed he could win, but he had indicated that there were organizational issues he needed to figure out. The existence of the super PAC and the pending announcement suggest those issues have been resolved.

A Christie candidacy is seen as a long shot in a Republican Party that has been remade in Trump’s image eight years after Christie first ran for president. Trump vanquished him—and Christie dropped out after coming in sixth in New Hampshire, where he had staked his candidacy.

A central challenge of this campaign will be explaining to voters his transformation. He endorsed. Trump in 2016, helped him with debate prep and acted at times as an informal adviser during his presidency. Then, in the earliest hours of November 4, 2020, Christie split with him when he questioned Mr. Trump’s declaration that there had been widespread fraud in the election.

“We heard nothing today about any evidence,” Christie said in an appearance on ABC News. “This kind of thing, all it does is inflame without informing. And we cannot permit inflammation without information.”

Since then, Christie has become a full-throated critic of Trump, talking as a former federal prosecutor about the former president’s legal travails and describing him as a loser who can no longer command the crowds he once did. Christie’s candidacy is being watched by donors, who either like what he’s saying or see him as the best opportunity to damage Trump, particularly from a debate stage.

Christie appears to be banking on the notion that there are enough vestiges of the old Republican Party to which he can appeal. He will be coming into the 2024 race as the person with the most coherent case against Trump, while arguing that the fight needs to be taken directly to the former president.

Christie is hoping to tamp down some of the grievance that has seeped into the roots of political discourse in the Republican Party since Trump became the party’s nominee in 2016. Christie is approaching the race, allies say, with the goal of delivering a hopeful message.

Research contact: @nytimes

Secret audiotape is in cache of evidence amassed by Manhattan D.A. in fraud case against Trump

May 30, 2023

The evidence in the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal fraud case against former President Donald Trump includes a secretly made 2016 recording of Trump and a witness, thought to be Michael Cohen. This is the same audiotape that ABC News previously reported contained a discussion of a plan to buy the silence of Playboy model Karen McDougal prior to the 2016 election.

The recording is included in a document known as an Automatic Discovery Form that lists the kind of evidence Manhattan prosecutors have amassed during their multi-year investigation, in preparation for it to be turned over to Trump’s attorneys as they prepare his defense.

Trump last month pled not guilty to a 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in what prosecutors say was a “scheme” to boost his 2016 election chances by using hush money payments to suppress damaging information from two women who claimed to have had long-denied affairs with Trump.

Although the name of the witness was not disclosed in the Automatic Discovery Form that was made public on Friday, May 26, ABC News reported that the person was Cohen when it disclosed the secret recording in 2018.

Cohen, Trump’s then-personal attorney, told investigators that he worked with the publisher of the National Enquirer, longtime Trump ally David Pecker, to pay McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story that she’d had a ten-month affair with Trump from 2006 to 2007, so the Enquirer could suppress the story and keep it from going public.

On the recording obtained by ABC News, Trump and Cohen were heard discussing the payment.

“Don’t pay with cash … check,” Trump stated, according to a transcript released by Trump’s legal team after news of the recording was made public.

Trump’s attorneys said the recording showed that Trump wanted to pay via check in order to properly document the payment.

Trump has denied all charges against him. A judge has set a trial date of March 25, 2024, for the case.

Research contact: @ABC