Blog Posts by Newser

  • 8-Year-Old Saves 6 in Fire, is Killed Himself

    (Newser) - An 8-year-old boy managed to wake six people and get them out of a burning trailer, but fire officials say the boy himself was killed as he tried to rescue his disabled uncle, reports the Democrat and Chronicle. Fourth-grader Tyler Doohan is being mourned as a hero in Rochester, NY.

    The inside of a Burning House. Compliments of Morguefile"He saved those other six people," says the fire chief in nearby Penfield. The bodies of Tyler, his grandfather (who owned the trailer), and his uncle were found inside. Those who made it out include two kids ages 4 and 6.

    Tyler didn't live at the trailer but was visiting his grandfather and spent the night, reports WHEC-TV. The fire broke out early yesterday, and firefighters found Tyler in the back near his uncle, who used a wheelchair.

    The trailer was reportedly in sorry shape-the story of why nine people were staying there remains unclear-and the assumption at this point is that an electrical malfunction is to blame. The local school superintendent says he wasn't surprised to hear

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  • Commuting Could Destroy Your Marriage

    (Newser) - If it takes you or your partner 45 minutes or more to get to work, treat your marriage with care: It's 40% more likely to fall apart, according to Swedish researchers whose nationwide study looked at couples from 1995 to 2005.

    Don't get stuck in freeway traffic at sunset, like these Los Angeles drivers!Don't get stuck in freeway traffic at sunset, like these Los Angeles drivers!You may, however, have less to worry about if the commuter in your relationship is a woman. Men who have a long commute, the study finds, are more likely than long-traveling women to bail on a relationship. And that breakup is more likely to happen in the initial years of commuting.

    In fact, if you and your partner can stay together for five years of commuting, you're significantly more likely to be together for good, OZY reports. Why?

    "There could be another selection process at work there as well, that the 'weaker' relationships can't take that kind of strain in the first place," the study's lead author tells the Local. OZY points out a bit of good news for US readers: The average commute here is 25 minutes. (This week's other big

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  • Caregiver Tattooes Kids While Mom, Boyfriend Are Out: Cops

    (Newser) - Three Virginia adults are facing charges after two girls were tattooed while under the care of a family friend, the Roanoke Times reports.

    Chuntera Napier and her son Gaquan show off the tattoos. Would you let your 10-year-old get one?Chuntera Napier and her son Gaquan show off the tattoos. Would you let your 10-year-old get one?

    The girl's mother, 35-year-old Melissa Delp, and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Daniel Janney, were charged Friday with two counts each of felony child abuse and malicious wounding. One of the girls-both are under 13-told police that Janney had tried burning off the tattoos after the couple came home and discovered the fresh ink, ABC 13 reports.

    "There was an effort to cover these tattoos up," said a sheriffs' department officer. "It didn't help the situation any. It added more scarring." The friend taking care of the girls, Alexander Edwards, 20, is facing two counts each of felony child abuse, abduction, and malicious wounding.

    A tattoo-removal artist in Kutztown, Penn., has offered to remove the ink for free. "It breaks my heart to know they have gone through something like that," he said. "I can't imagine what it's like."

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  • Babies Really Do Fake-Cry

    (Newser) - Looks like babies have been tricking us. Just as many parents suspected, infants sometimes cry without actually being upset, a new study suggests. Instead, their tears are aimed at getting what they want, the Week reports.

    Crying Baby.A researcher in Japan reviewed 102 crying episodes of two babies; he filmed the infants for 60 minutes a month over half a year, the BPS Research Digest reports. Usually, the infants appeared upset both before and after tears-but not always.

    Moms called these moments "fake crying," the study says. In the case of one of the babies, 98% of crying episodes followed a negative experience. When she was 11 months old, however, she appeared cheerful and giggling both before and after an instance of tears. "Infant R appeared to cry deliberately to get her mother's attention," says the study's author. "She showed (a) smile immediately after her mother came closer."

    This particular infant had two siblings, whereas the other baby studied had none; it may be

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  • Study: It's Not McDonald's Fault Our Kids Are Fat

    (Newser) - Fast food isn't making your kids fat-not really. What's truly behind the trend of childhood obesity are the sodas, frozen pizzas, and cookies consumed at home, school, and whenever kids aren't in a McDonald's or Burger King booth-a "Western diet" high in saturated fats and added sugars, according to a new study.

    McDonalds McDoubleResearchers looked at the eating habits of 4,466 American kids, aged 2 to 18, and grouped them based on what they ate when they weren't eating fast food. What they found: Those with the highest rates of being overweight or obese ate a Western diet-even if they ate no fast food; on the flip side, those who were high fast-food consumers but otherwise ate a "prudent" diet were much less likely to be overweight or obese, the Los Angeles Times reports.

    The more often a child ate at fast food spots, however, the more likely he or she was to follow a similar diet at home. But "just because children who eat more fast food are the most likely to become obese does not

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  • Litter of Kittens Busts into Maximum Security Prison

    (Newser) - Four kittens seeking shelter managed to find some in the unlikeliest of places: a maximum security prison in upstate New York. The Glens Falls Post-Star says the kittens, just weeks old at the time and in sorry shape, somehow found their way into the Great Meadow Correctional Facility.

    kittensOne inmate built a "kitty condo" for them out of scrap wood and chicken wire, and staffers set it up in the prison's maintenance area. In the months since, staffers and inmates have informally adopted the animals.

    The prison electrician is their primary caretaker during the week, and an inmate known as the "cat whisperer" relieves him on the weekends. They won't be lifers, though: Doc, Meadow, Annie, and Comstock are being groomed for adoption.

    In other strange animal news, a parrot is being credited with the saving the lives of a couple who were sleeping through a house fire.

    More From Newser:
    Competing at Westminster This Year: Mutts
    Dog Tests Positive for Pot, Cocaine

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  • Couple Takes Flak for Crying Baby in Elite Restaurant

    (Newser) - It all started with a cranky baby. But this particular baby happened to be with mom and dad as they dined at one of the nation's swankiest restaurants, Chicago's Alinea. As the baby kicked up a fuss, chef Grant Achatz says he could hear it from the kitchen.

    crying boyHe took no action, but later tweeted this: "Tbl brings 8mo.Old. It cries. Diners mad. Tell ppl no kids? Subject diners 2crying? Ppl take infants 2 plays? Concerts? Hate saying no,but.." Since that Saturday night tweet, Achatz and his restaurant have been at the center of what's become a national debate on fine-dining etiquette, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Do babies belong at ritzy restaurants?

    Much of the sentiment seems to be of the 'no way' variety, observes the Chicago Eater blog. (Sample tweet: "If you can afford a meal at Alinea, you can afford a sitter. How inconsiderate.") But 312DiningDiva is surprised at how much sympathy is out there for the parents. (Sample tweet: "Hard when you shell out that money for

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  • 'Swearing Toddler' Can Stay with Mom: Judge

    (Newser) - A toddler who attracted national attention for his swearing in an online video will stay with his mom-at 17, also a minor-after both were placed in custody. The two will be cared for in the same foster home, CNN reports, following an Omaha juvenile court judge's ruling.

    Laptop.Meanwhile, the city's police union is explaining its decision to post the video, which it titled "Thug Cycle," online. The ACLU was among those criticizing the Omaha Police Officers Association for what it called "racially charged language."

    "The focus of this video is not on any one ethnicity, rather the focus is on the terrible behavior directed towards this child," said Association president Sgt. John Wells, noting that the video referenced drugs and gangs.

    "We believed this to be a strong example that demonstrates to law-abiding citizens of Omaha a true picture of the violent criminal culture," Wells said, per KETV. "We felt it is critically important that citizens see these types of behavior to

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  • Swedish Doctors Pull Off 9 Womb Transplants

    (Newser) - A team of Swedish doctors may have just pulled off the first successful womb transplant in history-or even the first nine. In a controversial new procedure, nine women have successfully received wombs from living relatives since September 2012, the doctor at the helm of the surgeries has revealed.

    The wombs are not connected to the women's fallopian tubes, so they still can't get pregnant the old-fashioned way, but they've had embryos created from their own eggs via in-vitro fertilization. Doctors will soon attempt to implant those embryos in their new uteri, the AP reports, and the wombs will be removed after a maximum of two pregnancies, so that the women can stop taking side-effect-ridden anti-rejection drugs.

    swaddled newborn
    There have been two previous womb transplant attempts, one in Turkey and one in Saudi Arabia, but neither produced a baby. "This is a new kind of surgery," says lead doctor Mats Brannstrom. "We have no textbook to look at." And in an optimistic sign, many

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  • Experts: Brain-Dead Teen's Body is Deteriorating

    Photo: Corbis(Newser) - The coroner's office has issued a death certificate for Jahi McMath, but her family's lawyer this week claimed that now that she is receiving nutrition via a feeding tube, her "health is improving" and her condition has stabilized.

    But medical experts say that condition is undoubtedly a deteriorating one. Yesterday marked a month since since Jahi's Dec. 9 surgery, and the San Jose Mercury News and Los Angeles Times share notes written by a critical care pediatrician at Children's Hospital Oakland last week and contained in a court filing.

    The notes indicate that the elasticity is fading from the tissues below Jahi's skin, that blankets are needed to keep her body temp above 95 degrees, that muscle contraction is occurring, and that "additional and more dramatic signs of the body's deterioration will continue to manifest over time, regardless of any procedures and regardless of any heroic measures."

    Other medical experts agree. "This is basically organ support; it's not life

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