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Court rules against monkey in copyright infringement case

Monkey see, monkey can’t sue.

A federal appeals court, in a unanimous decision, ruled Monday that animals cannot sue for copyright protection, The Los Angeles Times reported.

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The ruling came in the case of Naruto, a 7-year-old crested macaque living in a reserve in Indonesia. In 2011, the monkey allegedly took selfies with a wildlife photographer's camera when it was left unattended, the Times reported. Photographer David Slater later published the pictures.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued Slater in 2015, arguing the copyright belonged to Naruto. PETA and Slater later settled the case out of court, but the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to rule on the case.

"We must determine whether a monkey may sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement," Judge Carlos Bea, wrote for the three-judge panel. "We conclude that this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act.”

Judge N. Randy Smith, who concurred with Bea’s opinion, said PETA's suit was "frivolous" and that federal courts lacked the authority to hear a lawsuit filed on an animal’s behalf.

"The concept of expanding actual property rights -- and rights broadly -- to animals necessitates resolving what duties also come with those rights," Smith wrote, "and, because animals cannot communicate in our language, who stands in their shoes?"

Bronx fire: Huge blaze engulfs several New York City businesses

A huge four-alarm fire broke out in New York City's Bronx borough early Tuesday, blazing through businesses in Fordham.

>> Read more trending news 

Florida student makes racist prom proposal 

There are many inventive ways to ask someone to the prom, but a Florida teenager is being criticized after he used a racist sign to invite his girlfriend.

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The sign created by Noah Crowley, 18, of Sarasota, read “If I was black, I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking u 4 prom,” the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota reported.

Crowley’s fellow students at Riverview High School found a photograph of the sign on the female student’s Snapchat. The girl put two heart-eye emojis in her caption for her Snapchat post.

Students responded on social media, saying they were “disgusted” by the sign.

“Come on Noah. We have to do better than this,” one person tweeted. “This is why racism is still a thing, ‘let me see what I can get away with.’”

Another student tweeted the image and said, “He seems to not know about America’s history. Racism is a problem. Definitely should not be allowed to go to the prom!!”

Riverview senior Anton Kernohan said while the sign was racist, it revealed an important point.

“I think it is actually important that this issue occurred on some level,” Kernohan told the Herald-Tribune. “It shows that racism is still alive and well in our society, and it shows that racism is still alive in my generation and it is something that we as the youth will have to continue to fight against.”

Sarasota County Schools released a statement Monday saying it did not “condone” the sign, the Herald-Tribune reported.

“Although this message is one student’s opinion, we take the matter of racial relations and school safety seriously, and we look forward to working with our students and these outside groups to have a meaningful and informative dialogue and expanded curriculum related to this important national topic,” the statement said.

District officials said they are reviewing whether any disciplinary action will be taken against the student, the Herald-Tribune reported.

Teacher's school messaging app hacked, sexual photos sent to students

A Tennessee school district is investigating how explicit photos were sent to parents and students from a teacher’s district messaging app.

In a press release, Fayette County Public Schools said the teacher's Remind account, an application used to message and parents and students, and his personal email were hacked. 

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The mother, who wanted us to protect her identity, told WHBQ her daughter received some inappropriate pictures from her teacher at Fayette Ware Comprehensive High School in Fayette County.

"If he has explicit pictures of his private area and he's sending them to students that is not right,” the mother said.

Investigators in Fayette County said they are investigating the origin and sender of the messages, while a mother said her daughter is bothered.

"She’s up and down. She's uncomfortable. She doesn’t want to go back to the school,” the mother said. 

"She didn’t know what was wrong with her teacher because he sent her inappropriate pictures,” the mother said.

The mother said she spoke with school administrators and she learned the messages were not just sent to her daughter.

WHBQ called school leaders several times to learn how many students received the messages and if the teacher involved is still in the classroom. As of Tuesday morning, our calls have not been returned. 

According to Fayette County Public Schools, police have gotten involved. 

WHBQ received the following statement on Monday: 

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department has been contacted and an investigation is underway to determine the origin and sender of the content. If there was a violation of the Use of the Internet (FCPS policy 4.406), the person responsible will be disciplined according to school board policy. If it is determined that criminal activity has taken place, the person responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

Teen accused of murdering mother with help of two friends

A 15-year-old and his friend drugged, strangled and stabbed his mother to death at a home in Maine, according to court documents.

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Kimberly Mironovas, 47, was found stabbed and strangled to death at her home in Litchfield, Maine, early on Sunday morning. 

Police say the woman, originally from Ashland, Massachusetts, was killed by her son and his 15-year-old friend. 

A third teenager, a 13-year-old friend, allegedly helped plan the murder.

According to prosecutors, the 13-year-old came up with a plan to kill Mironovas by crushing prescription pills and mixing them into a glass of wine, but court documents show the boys' attempt to secretly mix in the pills failed.

Mironovas’ son and his friend entered her bedroom wearing gloves and armed with a knife early Sunday morning, according to prosecutors.

Mironovas was found shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday, and police say she had been strangled and stabbed in the neck.

All three boys were arraigned at a juvenile court in Maine on Monday.

The 15-year-old suspects were charged with one count each of murder, and all three were charged with criminal conspiracy to commit murder.

Mironovas and her son had moved to Maine from their home in Ashland, Massachusetts, where former neighbors told Boston 25 News they hope her son gets help. 

"She was a quiet person," said Jim, a former neighbor. "I think her son was troubled a little bit, she had him in a special school."

Mironovas moved from Ashland to Maine about a year ago to attend cosmetology school.

Authorities continue to investigate the case.

Florida city says homeowners can’t have house painted like Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’

A Florida couple is fighting their city over the painting of their house.

Nancy Nemhauser and her husband Lubomir Jastrzebski had painted a wall that rings their property. They had permission to paint it from city officials. They had the plan to paint it as a mural for their son, who has autism. They hoped that if he was lost, it would be a beacon, or at least a landmark, to help him find his way home, the “Today” show reported

But after the mural was done, the family got a ticket from the city saying that the paint was graffiti and that it must match the house. The city then said that the paint scheme was a sign, and a code violation in a residential area, WFTV reported.

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So instead of covering up the painting, they took the Van Gogh tribute a step further and painted the entire house so the wall and home would match as they were told to do, “Today” reported.

But the city didn’t agree with what they did and has fined them more than $10,000 for the paint scheme. A local magistrate ruled in February that the city could fine the couple, WFTV reported. The fines were stopped at the end of February after a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against Mount Dora, WFTV reported.

But the family is now turning the tables on the city, suing the local government in federal court, saying their right to freedom of expression is being violated, “Today” reported.

"There's art on other homes, other buildings in the city, in the residential district as well, so why are we being chastised for ours when we did what we were told we had to do to keep the wall that our son loves," Nemhauser told WFTV.

The city did not respond to “Today’s” request for comment on the suit, but said in February that leaders are trying to “preserve the residential character of our neighborhoods.” They added that the house could be a distraction to drivers.

Both sides are trying to settle, but whether the painting will have to be covered has not been determined. But the family says they’re ready to stand up for their rights.

Reaction to the mural is split -- some love it, others don’t.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Ilka Zuijderland-Varnes told “Today.” “I think it’s art, and we’re an artsy town, and it should stay.”

But another resident, Tammy Swan Bacon, said she doesn’t like it, but says the city should not make the family take it down, “Today” reported.

City officials said in February that the city is also considering putting a lien on the property to "motivate" the homeowners to remove the mural, WFTV.com.

Study: Even mild head injuries increase risk of Parkinson's disease

Even mild head injuries dramatically increase an individual's risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a new large-scale study on veterans.

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The new research, published this month in the academic journal Neurology, looked at data collected from 325,870 former members of the U.S. military ranging from 31 to 65 years of age. Researchers discovered that individuals who experienced a concussion at some point during their lives were 56 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who had never been knocked out, had not experienced an altered state of consciousness or had not had amnesia for up to 24 hours.

More severe brain trauma made the risk of contracting the disease later in life even more likely. Veterans with a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury saw an 83 percent increased risk.

"This is not the first study to show that even mild traumatic brain injury increases the risk for Parkinson's disease. But we were able to study every single veteran across the U.S. who had been diagnosed at a Veterans Affairs hospital, so this is the highest level of evidence we have so far that this association is real," Dr. Raquel Gardner, the study's lead author, who works for the San Francisco Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, told Reuters.

Kristine Yaffe, another author of the study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the VA, said that most of the former soldiers who were diagnosed with Parkinson's actually got their head injuries during civilian life.

"While the participants had all served in the active military, many if not most of the traumatic brain injuries had been acquired during civilian life," she explained. 

But overall, the number of veterans who were diagnosed with Parkinson's was quite small. Only one in 212 veterans who had experienced a concussion developed the disease. The rate was slightly higher, at one in 134 among those who reported a more serious moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Michael Silver, an assistant professor at Emory University's Department of Neurology who was not involved in the research, called the data "robust."

"This has been a controversial issue but most studies that have looked at this have found a correlation between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the subsequent development of Parkinson's disease. This is of course a difficult topic to study since if you would like to start with a cohort of patients that have suffered TBI, you have to wait and track a subject for years," Silver said.

"With this robust VA data, specifically the fact that the system reliably codes for TBIs, we are able to put the pieces together years later," he said.

Although Silver said the study was well done and controlled for many factors, he suggested a longer follow-up on patients would have made the research more helpful.

"I would have liked a longer follow-up on the subjects since the average age was only 48, and the usual age of onset for Parkinson's disease is in the sixties," he said. "This is an intriguing study and as we gather more data going forward, can make more conclusive links between TBI and Parkinson's disease."

Parkinson's is the most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's. Risk of the disease increases with age, from about 1 percent at age 60 to around 4 percent at 80.

Silver said that as of now, doctors don't have a way of intervening to prevent Parkinson's. He said that he recommends a "healthy diet and exercise" to patients who have experienced head trauma, as previous studies suggest this could reduce the risk of dementia (which Parkinson's can lead to).

The authors of the study have similar advice for individuals concerned about developing Parkinson's later in life. Gardner told CNN that a healthy diet, regular exercise and keeping medical conditions under control are the best ways to avoid any neurodegenerative disease.

"If anyone is worried, do a little bit better to live more healthily," she said.

Read the new study at n.neurology.org.

Broken-heart syndrome: Can you die from a broken heart?

Can you die from a broken heart?

At times in life, the stress of the loss of a loved one or a devastating medical diagnosis can sure make you think that. But is there a physiological link between heartbreak and a heart that’s “broken?”

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Doctors say there is, and they even have a name for it -- takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or “broken-heart syndrome.”

The symptoms come on suddenly and are often confused with a heart attack. People who have suffered the loss of a loved one are often affected.

A doctor in Texas suggested Monday that former president George H.W. Bush, who was hospitalized a day after the funeral for his wife, Barbara, could be suffering from the syndrome.

A spokesman said Bush had an infection that traveled to his bloodstream but that he appeared to be improving. Bush is in intensive care at a Houston hospital.

What is takotsubo cardiomyopathy and will it kill you? Here’s a look at the syndrome.

What is it?Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart’s main pumping chamber – the left ventricle.What causes the weakening of the chamber?It’s believed that after a stressful event – such as losing a loved one, being in an accident or experiencing a natural disaster – the release of a large number of stress hormones (such as adrenaline) causes a disruption in the heart’s ability to properly pump blood. That disruption weakens the left ventricle and causes it to balloon out as the heart beats.Is it a heart attack?Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is not a heart attack. A heart attack happens when a blockage in the arteries of the heart interrupts blood flow, causing tissue to be damaged or destroyed.Can it kill you?Yes, you can die from takotsubo cardiomyopathy, generally as a result of arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat, but that rarely happens. In fact, most people recover from the condition within a few weeks to a month.Some people believe the takotsubo cardiomyopathy may have contributed to the death of actress Debbie Reynolds, who died in December 2016, a day after her daughter, actress and author Carrie Fisher died of a heart attack. Debbie Reynolds’ cause of death was listed as an intracerebral hemorrhage or a stroke.What are the symptoms?The symptoms mimic a heart attack – chest pain and shortness of breath after severe stress. An electrocardiogram can show abnormalities that look like a heart attack, but with takotsubo cardiomyopathy, there will be no evidence of coronary artery obstruction that would cause a heart attack.Tests will show abnormal movements and ballooning of the left ventricle.Who generally suffers from broken-heart syndrome?Overwhelmingly, it is a condition from which women suffer. According to a Harvard Medical School report, research shows women account for 90 percent of the cases diagnosed. The women in that study were between the ages of 58 and 75.How is it treated?Doctors usually prescribe medications such as diuretics (“water pills”), beta blockers and ACE inhibitors. They often prescribe aspirin, as well.What does the name mean?Takotsubo syndrome is named after a type of fishing pot used by Japanese fishermen. The pot is used to trap an octopus.The name comes from images of the heart following an occurrence of takotsubo. The ballooning of the left ventricle causes the heart to take on a shape similar to the fishing pot.Japanese doctors are credited with discovering the condition. It has only recently been recognized in the United States, according to the Harvard report.

Truckload of cans and bottles meant for fundraiser stolen

Two boys in Maine collecting cans for their local radio station's cancer research fundraiser were robbed of their stash over the weekend, according to a report

Bryce and Riley Deshaies are seasoned recyclers as they have been participating in the fundraiser for 8 years, according to their mother. 

This past year, the pair collected almost 200,000 cans and bottles -- a little under $10,000 worth -- according to News Center Maine.

But on Sunday, the boys' mother discovered someone had gotten into the trailer storing their recyclables and stolen about half the stash, which was meant for the annual Cans for a Cure Campaign sponsored by a Portland radio station. 

If you want to support the boys' cause, you can donate to the campaign here:

Cans For A CurePo Box 412Parsonsfield, Maine 04047

5-year-old claims teacher taped mouth, tossed lunch

A little boy from Michigan says his teachers put tape over his mouth and threw away his lunch and he says he was told not to tell anyone about what happened.

Abdul Dannaoui said it happened back on March 26 at Highview Elementary School, WXYZ reported.

He said it didn’t happen only once either. Abdul told his parents and WXYZ that he has been prevented from eating lunch and his snack up to 10 times. 

>> Read more trending news 

“I’m emotionally heartbroken. Disappointed. That’s his second home. That’s how they treat a child with asthma?” his mother Hoda said to WXYZ.

School officials told WXYZ that the taping incident happened at Great Start Readiness Program at Cherry Hill Baptist Church and that it was a substitute teacher assistant who scotch-taped Abdul’s mouth shut. The person no longer works at the school.

The Dannaouis have filed a police report and are considering legal action against the district, WXYZ reported.

They say a second adult was in the room at the time. That teacher is still working for the district. The family’s attorney, Nabih Ayad, told WXYZ, “One of the teachers was discharged. But, they kept the other teacher who said don’t tell your mom or dad, and even gave him a bracelet to entice him not to tell anyone.”

Abdul is changing schools after the incident.

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