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Stacey Abrams wins Georgia Democratic primary, seeks to become nation's 1st black female governor

Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams won the Democratic nomination for the state's top office on Tuesday, defeating ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans and advancing her quest to become the nation’s first black female elected governor. 

>> Watch the news report here

She will face one of two Republicans in November in the race to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal, a competition that will test whether the state is truly competitive after more than a decade of GOP rule. 

>> Midterm 2018: Here are the Senate races that you should be watching

“We are writing the next chapter of Georgia history, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard and no one is uninspired,” a jubilant Abrams said, adding: “And I know for the journey ahead, we need every voice in our party – and every independent thinker in the state.”

Abrams attracted national attention, big-name endorsements and millions of dollars in outside spending with her “unapologetic progressive” platform to flip the Georgia governor’s office for the first time since 2002. 

>> On AJC.com: Cagle, Kemp headed to runoff for GOP nomination

She overcame a stiff challenge from Evans, who tried to frame herself as the more ardent progressive. Evans fueled her campaign with nearly $2 million of her own money, pummeling Abrams with criticism for supporting a 2011 Republican-backed measure that cut awards to the HOPE scholarship. 

Each of the Democratic and Republican candidates tried to carve out his or her niche in a race that attracted more than $22 million in campaign contributions – and flooded the airwaves with more than $13 million in TV ads. 

>> Midterm 2018: House races you should be watching

Though her Republican opponent is not yet known – Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle will face Secretary of State Brian Kemp in a July 24 showdown – the Georgia GOP quickly attacked her over her financial background. 

“I’ve tried to make sense of her personal and professional finances, and my head is spinning,” said Georgia GOP chair John Watson, who called on her to release her tax returns and other financial records. 

Abrams owes more than $200,000 in debts, including about $54,000 to the IRS. She has said she’s on payment plan to pay back the debt, and has sought to frame her struggles as evidence she understands the problems that Georgians face.

>> Midterm elections 2018: When are the primaries? A state-by-state list

Evans, meanwhile, quickly endorsed Abrams and vowed to help Democrats form a united front against President Donald Trump and state Republicans.

"The Democratic Party is trying to find a unified voice to rally against Trump,” said Evans. “We must do that." 

Shifting strategy 

The Democrats largely abandoned centrist talk to appeal instead to left-leaning voters with a promise of implementing gun control, increasing financial aid for lower-income families and taking steps toward the decriminalization of marijuana.

That’s a stark contrast from more moderate appeals from a generation of Democratic candidates for governor, who often sought the National Rifle Association’s endorsement and touted fiscally conservative policies.

They are echoing many in the party’s base who insisted on that shift. Claudia Colichon, who lives in north Atlanta, said she demands candidates who embrace mass transit funding and fight for gun control.

>> Midterm 2018: What should you do if you are denied the right to vote? Here are some tips

“There needs to be a progressive change,” said Colichon. “People are seeing that conservative policies aren’t working.”

Abrams drew support from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and a string of other high-profile Democrats and raised about two-thirds of her campaign funds from outside the state. National groups chipped in another $2 million worth of ads supporting her. 

Evans mounted a lower-key campaign focused on local endorsements and smaller gatherings. The election-eve activities highlighted their differences. While Abrams held a large get-out-the-vote rally, Evans slung beers for supporters at an Atlanta bar. 

United and divided 

Both Abrams and Evans united around a host of issues, including expanding Medicaid, growing the medical marijuana program and continuing Deal’s criminal justice overhaul. And both are outspoken opponents of “religious liberty” measures they say amount to state-sponsored discrimination. 

The two attorneys also both were the products of hardscrabble childhoods that shaped their views of government, served together in the state House in their 30s and had up-close views of the tragic toll of substance abuse on their families with siblings who faced legal trouble.

But they’ve clashed on other issues, including how aggressively they oppose the NRA, how they would handle the state’s $26 billion budget and even how they would address Stone Mountain and other Civil War monuments

The biggest policy divide, however, centered on the HOPE scholarship, which provides tuition aid to Georgia college students who maintain a “B” average. 

Evans said Abrams betrayed her party by working with Republicans seeking cost-cutting moves to reduce the program’s awards in 2011. Abrams countered that more “seasoned” Democrats sided with her in that vote because they knew negotiating with the GOP would prevent deeper cuts. 

A new philosophy 

The other central disagreement in the race involved strategy. 

Evans banked on a more conventional Democratic plan to win over independent voters and moderates, particularly suburban women, who have fled to the GOP. Abrams staked her campaign on energizing left-leaning voters, including minorities who rarely cast ballots. 

The two competed for support in an increasingly diverse electorate and at times racial tensions surfaced. 

There was the moment last year when Abrams supporters shouted down Evans at an Atlanta conference of progressive activists with chants of “support black women.” Evans, who is white, drew scorn with a video at Ebenezer Baptist Church that faded her face into the image of Martin Luther King Jr.

For Democrats, the divisive primary for governor was somewhat novel. Jason Carter, the party’s 2014 nominee, faced no Democratic competition. And former Gov. Roy Barnes steamrolled over opposition in 2010 during his failed comeback bid. 

>> Read more trending news 

The party has also largely avoided fierce primary battles between black and white candidates for governor since the 1990 vote, when then-Lt. Gov. Zell Miller trounced former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. 

Evans, who represented a Smyrna-based district, faced an uphill battle from the moment she entered the race. Black women form the largest bloc of voters in the Democratic primary, and Abrams’ campaign predicted African-American turnout overall could make up 65 percent of the vote. 

To make inroads, Evans staged a slate of smaller rallies and meet-and-greets, and she relied heavily on prominent black officials to spread her message. She also spent far more heavily on TV than Abrams, inundating the airwaves with a HOPE-themed pitch. 

In her victory speech, Abrams moved to unite the party by praising Evans’ supporters. She pledged to repeal a campus carry law, expand the HOPE scholarship, improve workforce training programs and strengthen labor unions. 

And she tried to appeal to more centrist voters by saying she would be the “state’s public education governor” – emphasis on the word “public.” 

“Together we will shape a future with a boundless belief in the historic investment of children who are at the very core of every decision we make,” she said

– AJC staff writer Ariel Hart contributed to this report.

Too many returns lands some Amazon customers on banned list

Amazon is now following the lead of traditional retailers. 

The online shopping giant is banning customers who return too many purchases, The Wall Street Journal reported.

>> Read more trending news 

And in some cases, the company didn’t tell its customers why they were banned.

Nir Nissim told The Wall Street Journal that his account was closed earlier this year, claiming that he violated the conditions of use agreement. The email advised Nissim that he would not be permitted to open a new account or use another one to order with Amazon.

Nissim said he returned one item this year, a computer drive, and four last year. He also said he had a $450 gift card that became worthless. After contacting Amazon, even Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, he was eventually reinstated. He was told by an Amazon employee on behalf of Bezos, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Shira Golan was another customer who unexpectedly lost access after she was told she “reported an unusual number of problems.” Golan said she spends thousands of dollars a year with the retailer and that she has asked for refunds on clothing and shoes when they were damaged or wrong.

Amazon wouldn’t release how many customers have been banned because of having too many returns. But bans are not new for the retailer. In 2015, Paul Fidalgo was banned for returning smartphones over a short period of time. During the ban, Fidalgo not only couldn’t shop on the site, he also was not able to purchase any new content for his Kindle e-reader. Fidalgo though could read past content he had downloaded.

“It was dizzying and disorienting,” Fidalgo told The Wall Street Journal. “You don’t realize how intertwined a company is with your daily routine, until it’s shut off.”

Fidalgo was allowed back on Amazon after he received credits and asked the company how he could redeem them.

CNBC reached out to Amazon on how it picks accounts for closure after The Wall Street Journal report.

The company said:

We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time. We never take these decisions lightly, but with over 300 million customers around the world, we take action when appropriate to protect the experience for all our customers. If a customer believes we’ve made an error, we encourage them to contact us directly so we can review their account and take appropriate action.

WATCH: Adoptive mom's heartwarming video shows older boys including shy son in basketball game

A video and message posted by a Green County, Oklahoma, mom is spreading quickly on social media.

>> Watch the news report here

Christy Rowden posted the video Monday afternoon after a heartwarming moment at a park.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Rowden said she was at the park with her two children that afternoon when a bus of students from Oologah Upper Elementary pulled up and started playing on the basketball court.

Rowden’s 7-year-old son was adopted from Uganda. Rowden said he can be shy and, as a result, stood back as the older boys played basketball.

>> Watch the video here

Soon after, the fifth-grade boys reportedly came up to her son, Asher, introduced themselves and invited him to play.

The boys quickly welcomed him into their game, cheering him on and giving high-fives.

>> Read more trending news 

Rowden said the moment brought a tear to her eye, especially since she is the mom of a black boy in a mostly white community.

Rowden shared the post to remind people that there is still good in the world and to thank the children who were so kind to her son.

>> See the Facebook post here

4-year-old mistakes gun for toy, shoots, kills little brother

A Virginia family is mourning the death of a 2-year-old boy after he was shot and killed by his 4-year-old brother.

Tyson Aponte was shot in the chest when his brother picked up what he thought was a toy. In reality it was a loaded gun, WTVR reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The children’s mother was home when the shooting happened Tuesday morning.

Tyson was taken to the University of Virginia Health System where he died, WCAV reported.

“It’s of paramount importance to make sure your guns are secured and out of the reach of children and everything,” Major Donald Lowe told WTVR. “At least have them unloaded or a safety lock on them, whatever you have to do to keep them from being discharged accidentally.”

Police are investigating.

“Our heart breaks for this family ... they’re devastated, naturally, so we want to do everything we can to help them,” Lowe told WTVR.

Man charged with murder in chase, crash that killed North Carolina trooper

A man wanted following a fatal crash involving a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper has been captured.

>> Shooter dead in Panama City, Florida standoff, reports say

Authorities had been looking for 22-year-old Dakota Kape Whitt after Trooper Samuel N. Bullard, 24, of Wilkes County, died late Monday in a crash along Interstate 77 in Yadkin County during a chase.

WGHP-TV reports that during the chase, one trooper noticed he did not see a second patrol car behind him. When his attempt at contacting the other trooper failed, he turned around and found the patrol car engulfed in flames.

>> Read more trending news 

“Our SHP family is devastated by the loss of Trooper Bullard. We are struggling to find words that describe the hurting we feel right now,” said Col. Glenn M. McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “Trooper Bullard died as he was fulfilling his promise to the people of North Carolina, protecting and serving his community.” 

It happened around 11:30 p.m. on I-77 southbound near NC-67. The area is about 70 miles north of Charlotte and due west of Winston-Salem.

>> No leads in fatal drive-by shooting of grandmother; police asking for public’s help

Chris Knox with the NCSHP said Bullard was a three-year veteran assigned to Surry County.

Troopers said the incident started with a license check. A black BMW did not stop and troopers went after it. Trooper Bullard was involved in a collision at Mile Marker 80.

Whitt was taken into custody without incident around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. He's charged with murder, felony fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle and driving with a revoked license. 

Philip Roth dead at 85: Writers, public figures remember Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Philip Roth – the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "American Pastoral" and other highly acclaimed works such as "Portnoy's Complaint," "The Human Stain" and "The Plot Against America" – has died of congestive heart failure, The Associated Press reported late Tuesday. He was 85.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2018

Fellow writers and public figures took to Twitter to share their condolences and reflect on Roth's novels. Here's what they had to say:

>> Read more trending news 

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mom with cancer sees twin daughters graduate in special ceremony before her death

When twin sisters Morgan and Regan McVey graduate Thursday from Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio, it will actually be their second commencement ceremony.

Earlier this year, the school provided a special moment for the seniors and their mother, who was diagnosed with cancer last fall.

As the school year moved into its second semester, it was evident their mother, Carey McVey, would not live to see the graduation ceremony.

>> WATCH: Texas teen walks for first time in months, stuns prom date in heartwarming viral video

“Mr. (Tom) York and others arranged to give us a mini graduation ceremony,” Regan said of the school’s principal. “We had our caps and gowns and got our actual diplomas. Mom got to see them.”

“That was one thing she wanted to see,” Morgan added.

Their mother died in February. She was 43 years old, according to her obituary.

The diplomas were on a table at their home until last week when they were returned to the school so the seniors could receive them again at Thursday’s ceremony.

>> Read more trending news 

The gesture, the twins said, reinforced their decision to attend the Oxford school.

The McVey twins were unknown to their classmates when they started at Talawanda High School four years ago after finishing the eighth grade at Queen of Peace School.

“We had to make new friends here. We did not know anyone,” Morgan McVey said.

The high school choice took some discussion between the sisters.

“Regan wanted to go to Talawanda. I wanted to go to Badin,” Morgan said.

Now, they both said they are happy with their decision.

“The school really supported us through it all,” Morgan said, referring to her mother’s cancer diagnosis and her death.

>> On Journal-News.com: Oxford community advocate ‘lived life to the fullest’

While the family tragedy will forever be linked to their senior year of high school, they said they did not let it affect their personalities or interactions with others, although classmates were often surprised by that.

“We are always happy. We joke around a lot. We talk a lot. People forget. Then they say, ‘Your mother… .’ It’s definitely been an experience,” Regan said.

Both young women have been cheerleaders all four years of high school and both have been involved in dance all four years, with Regan on homecoming court her junior year and prom court this spring.

Both, also found satisfaction in passing on their own love of dance by teaching it to younger children at area dance studios.

The fact they are twins earned them a memorable experience outside of school, too.

As their senior year dawned, they appeared in a television commercial promoting the Big Ten conference. The theme of the promo was twins and they auditioned last spring in Chicago, which led to a two-day video shoot, also in Chicago.

>> On Journal-News.com: New gateways to welcome Miami U., Oxford visitors

The commercial appeared on the Big Ten Network and ESPN as well as other television channels. For Morgan, it was a strange feeling the first time she saw it aired.

“I did not know it was out. I was in bed with my television on and saw my face. It just popped up,” she said.

They said they are thinking about using it as a stepping stone to doing some modeling, but they know that profession is a difficult one to get into and then only lasts a certain time. They are planning a careful route of going to college to train for teaching professions and then see what happens.

Regan McVey is looking at early childhood education while Morgan is opting for a degree in integrated language arts for grades 7-12. They plan to attend Miami University Hamilton in the fall to start their college careers.

>> On Journal-News.com: Hall of Famer Huismann approved as Talawanda’s head girls hoop coach

Morgan said no one in their family teaches, but she hopes to emulate some of the good teachers she has had at Talawanda.

Regan opts for younger students after her work with young dancers.

“I like little kids. I think it’s interesting to teach them when they are young,” she said.

The sisters are among 21 members of the graduating class recognized with the President’s Award for Educational Achievement.

The twins agree high school at Talawanda has been a great experience. Their mother and their father, Shane, were both Talawanda High School graduates.

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee announces pregnancy

The late Aaron Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, announced Tuesday that she's expecting another child.

>> Aaron Hernandez had 'severe' stage 3 CTE, researchers say

Jenkins took to Instagram to announce the pregnancy and didn't reveal who the father of the baby is.

"Many of you have had speculated that I may be expecting another miracle which is very accurate," Jenkins wrote in her Instagram post. "We are beyond excited about the new addition and chapter we will soon begin."

>> On Boston25News.com: 'He could've been saved,' Shayanna Jenkins tells Dr. Phil

Jenkins revealed she'd be having another daughter, saying she "couldn’t be a luckier woman to have such a perfect little girl that’s prepared to become the best big sister, and even more blessed to welcome another baby girl to our home."

>> Read more trending news 

The pregnancy comes just over a year after Hernandez's death, when he hanged himself in prison on April 19, 2017.

>> On Boston25News.com: Aaron Hernandez's fiancee sues to protect assets of home sale

Hernandez's suicide note to Jenkins featured him calling her his "soul-mate" and saying she would be "rich" after his death.

>> On Boston25News.com: Shayanna Jenkins testifies at Aaron Hernandez double murder trial

Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Police find alleged wrong-way semitrailer driver naked

A man is in custody after police received reports of a semitrailer driving the wrong way down a street in Tulsa, Oklahoma and crashing into a vehicle.

>> Read more trending news

Police said they believe the semitrailer was traveling the wrong way on Skelly Drive on Tuesday evening.

They said the driver reportedly did not stop at red lights and crashed into a vehicle near 51st Street and Harvard Avenue. No one was injured, police said.

They believe the driver then headed to 81st Street and Riverside Parkway and walked away from the vehicle.

Police have not publicly identified the driver, but they found him naked in the area around 8 p.m.

He reportedly ran from the scene after police found him, but officers soon brought him back into custody.Police believe he was using PCP. Officers said they were taking the suspect to an area hospital and then to jail.

He will face charges related to driving the wrong way and fleeing the scene of a crash.

Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day: When is each, why is it commemorated?

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, apparently you’re not alone. No less an authority than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says people frequently confuse the two holidays.

>> Read more trending news

Make no mistake about it: Both are incredibly important holidays, with their common focus on Americans who’ve served in the military. The key distinction: Memorial Day “is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle,” the VA says.

While Veterans Day also honors the dead, it is “the day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.”

Here’s a guide to each holiday:

MEMORIAL DAY

When it is: This year, it is on May 28.

Its original name: Decoration Day. Initially, it honored only those soldiers who’d died during the Civil War. In 1868, a veteran of the Union Army, General John A. Logan, decided to formalize a growing tradition of towns’ decorating veterans’ graves with flowers, by organizing a nationwide day of remembrance on May 30 (Logan also served in Congress from Illinois and in 1884, unsuccessfully ran for vice president on the Republican ticket). During World War I, the holiday’s focus expanded to honoring those lost during all U.S. wars.

When it became official: In 1968, Congress officially established Memorial Day (as it had gradually come to be known) as a federal holiday that always takes place on the last Monday in May.

Its unofficial designation: Memorial Day is still a solemn day of remembrance everywhere from Arlington National Cemetery to metro Atlanta, where a number of ceremonies and events will take place on Monday.   On a lighter note, though, many people view the arrival of the three-day weekend each year as the start of summer.

One more thing to know: In 2000, Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance. It asks all Americans to pause at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day each year to remember the dead.

VETERANS DAY

When it is: November 11 every year. 

Its original name: Armistice Day. The “armistice” or agreement signed between the Allies and Germany that ended World War I called for the cessation of all hostilities to take effect at 11 a.m. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year in 1918. One year later, on Nov. 11, 1919, the first Armistice Day was celebrated in the U.S. 

When it became official: In 1938, a Congressional act established Armistice Day as an annual legal holiday. In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks first proposed the idea of expanding the holiday to one honoring veterans of all U.S. wars. In 1954, the holiday legally became known as Veterans Day (In 1982, President Ronald Reagan presented Alabama resident Weeks with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in recognition of his efforts in creating Veterans Day).

Its temporary relocation: In 1968, the same Congressional act that established Memorial Day moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October every year. That law took effect in 1971; just four years later, in 1975, President Gerald Ford -- citing the original date’s “historic and patriotic significance” -- signed a bill that redesignated Nov. 11 as Veterans Day every year.

One more thing to know: Despite much confusion over the spelling, it’s Veterans Day, plural, and without any apostrophes. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which explains on its web site: “Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an "s" at the end of ‘veterans’ because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.”

   

Sunken treasure worth $17 billion on 300-year-old shipwreck discovered off Colombian coast 

Perhaps the “holy grail of shipwrecks” has been positively identified in the waters off Cartegena, Colombia, with a treasure of gold, silver and emeralds aboard valued at $17 billion. 

>> Read more trending news 

The San José was a 62-gun Spanish galleon that went down in 1708 during a fierce battle with British ships in the War of Spanish Succession. It was the distinctive and ornate dolphins engraved on the ship’s cannons that helped identify her.

The wreck was first discovered in 2015 in 2,000 feet of water by a team of international scientists and engineers during an expedition aboard the Colombian Navy research ship ARC Malpelo

The Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, or WHOI, helped positively identify the ship, and was just given permission to talk about how it helped pinpoint the shipwreck using an autonomous underwater vehicle. 

“The REMUS 6000 was the ideal tool for the job, since it’s capable of conducting long-duration missions over wide areas,” WHOI engineer and expedition leader Mike Purcell said in a statement.

The discovery of the legendary wreck is so significant, the Colombian government plans to build a museum dedicated to the San José and its contents, including cannons, ceramics and other artifacts, according to a WHOI statement.

No leads in fatal drive-by shooting of grandmother; police asking for public’s help

Ohio authorities have no suspects and few solid leads in their investigation into who shot and killed a 62-year-old grandmother during a drive-by shooting Saturday evening in Dayton.

>> Read more trending news 

Investigators are asking for the public’s help in what they called a “heinous” and “sad” crime.

Dayton police Lt. Gregg Gaby on Tuesday wouldn’t answer specific questions about how many shots were fired and what caliber of bullet killed Sherrell Wheatley as she was walking home after feeding a neighbor’s dogs.

We really have nothing other than at this point the suspect vehicle is possibly a silver-colored (Ford) Taurus or possible (Chevrolet) Impala-type vehicle. We’re not sure of the exact make and model of the vehicle,” said Gaby, commander of the violent crimes bureau.

“What we are asking is anyone in the neighborhood that saw any of this or has any information on this, please contact the Dayton Police Department.”

“At this point, we do not think that they intentionally targeted her, but we don’t know that,” said Gaby, who added that nothing in the investigation has revealed why Wheatley was targeted.

Gaby said witnesses heard gunshots and saw the vehicle, but nothing has tied the suspect vehicle to other crimes. Gaby also said a September 2017 shooting at the same residence does not yet tie in.

>> Related: Innocent bystander grandmother killed: ‘Hit by a bullet that has no eyes’

“This is the type of crime that hopefully the community will be incensed by and come forward and help out with and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got information on it,’” he said

Tanning beds costing millions in U.S. medical bills, study finds

The rosy glow of indoor tanning pales in comparison to the millions of dollars in medical costs associated with tanning beds.

>> Read more trending news

study, published in the Journal of Cancer Policy, found that tanning beds caused more than 250,000 cases of skin cancer and 1,200 deaths in 2015, at a cost of more than $340 million in medical bills.

“The use of tanning devices is a significant contributor to illness and premature mortality in the U.S., and also represents a major economic burden in terms of the costs of medical care and lost productivity,” researchers from the University of North Carolina concluded.

Previous studies have found significant health risks in the use of tanning beds because they emit UV-A and UV-B rays, which have been linked to cell damage, including DNA mutations and skin cancers.

Scientists called indoor tanning “a public health hazard in the United States,” estimating that some 30 million people use tanning devices at least once a year and an estimated 35 percent of adults in the U.S. have used the devices.

A 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found some 13 percent of students in the 9th through the 12th grades used a tanning bed at least once a year, too.

Ultimately researchers said they hoped information in this study and others like it will help reduce the use of tanning beds.

    

The 14 most dangerous sunscreens for kids, according to experts

Whether you and the kids are on the beach, in the backyard or just strolling around under the scorching sun, not using sunscreen under those harmful rays could increase risk of sunburn, potentially doubling your little one’s risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

But according to new study, nearly three quarters of products on the market don’t even work.

For their 12th annual sunscreen guide, researchers at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group evaluated the UV-ray protections, toxic ingredients and other health hazards in approximately 900 sunscreens, 500 SPF-labeled moisturizers and more than 100 lip products.

In 2017, the group found 73 percent of the 880 tested sunscreens either contained “worrisome” ingredients or didn’t work as well as advertised.

Of the products examined that were marketed toward children (using terms like “baby,” “kids,” “pediatric,” etc.), 46 items scored between 7 and 10, with 10 being the worst score on the 1-10 scale.

>> Read more trending news 

The products on the list had multiple strikes against them, EWG researchers said. Many contained toxic ingredients oxybenzone (a hormone disruptor) and retinyl palmitate (a form of Vitamin D with the potential to increase skin cancer risk).

Several also had SPFs above 50 — high SPFs contain more sun-filtering chemicals than others and can lead to other types of sun damage. 

Five aerosol sprays on the list, which scientists have long argued negatively impact sensitive lungs and don’t offer coated protection, also earned a strike against them.

Here are the 14 worst sunscreens marketed for children, according to EWG:

  1. Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100 (10)
  2. Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100 (10)
  3. Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70 (7)
  4. Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray Kids, SPF 70 (7)
  5. Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Kids, SPF 70 (7)
  6. Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Water Babies, SPF 70+ (7)
  7. Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Kids, SPF 55 (7)
  8. Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Water Babies, SPF 55 (7)
  9. Coppertone Sunscreen Water Babies Foaming Lotion, SPF 70 (7)
  10. CVS Health Children’s Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55 (7)
  11. Equate Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70 (7)
  12. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 60+ (10)
  13. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+ (7)
  14. Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Sticks, SPF 55 (7)

More about each product listed and its calculated score at EWG.org.

To read more about EWG.org and its platform to battle chemicals in everyday products, the food you consume and the water you drink, click here.

Burmese python loose in Indiana neighborhood after escaping from owner

Burmese python escaped from its owner and is now missing in a neighborhood in Beech Grove, Indiana.

>> Read more trending news 

The snake, named Vine, disappeared five days ago, according to WISH-TV.

The owner released this video of the snake lounging in a small pond.

Police are asking anyone who sees the 14-foot-long snake not to approach it, but to call 911, according to a statement from Beech Grove Police Capt. Robert Mercuri, WRTV reported.

>> Related: Burmese python swallows baby white-tailed deer weighing more than itself 

Even though Burmese pythons are generally docile and non-venomous, police are asking anyone who spots the snake not to try and catch it, but to instead call police.

Burmese pythons are known for their patterned skin, rapid growth and easygoing nature.

Among the largest snakes on Earth, they can grow to more than 23 feet long and weigh up to 200 pounds, with a girth equal to that of a telephone pole, according to National Geographic.

>> Related: Missing 17-foot python finds his way home after two weeks on lam

They’re native to the jungles and grasslands of Southeast Asia. They keep to the trees when they’re younger, until they get too big to climb anymore, and can swim like a fish, staying underwater for up to 30 minutes.

Here's what some veterans think about Memorial Day

Memorial Day -- it's a holiday many Americans celebrate by spending time with loved ones and enjoying the May weather. 

>> Read more trending news

But how might some of the more than 19 million U.S. veterans view and celebrate one the country's most somber holidays -- created to remember the men and women who died fighting for their country?

Retired U.S. Army Ben. Bob Drolet told WHNT, "We're engaged in conflict today in the Middle East and there are people who are giving their lives almost on a daily basis. So you have to have a day where you remember the sacrifices." 

And there are many sacrifices to remember. According to findings from the Pew Research Center, since Sept. 11, 2001, about half of U.S. vets have served alongside a comrade who was killed, with that number rising for men and women in combat. 

And because of those first-hand horrors experienced in battle, many soldiers and veterans spend Memorial Day a bit differently than the average American might. 

Take Capt. David Danelo, author of "The Return" and a Marine Corps Infantry officer who served in Iraq. "I'm proud to be a civilian and I'm proud to be a Marine." 

In honor of Memorial Day, Danelo talked to Legacy.com -- telling the site for Memorial Day he not only remembers his fallen comrades, but goes to visit the graves of those who may have been forgotten. "There's one cemetery in Philadelphia that has a Civil War veteran who I'll go see. He’s long been forgotten and nobody thinks about him. ... I just walk around there and pay my respects to [his] memory." 

The "Flags In" tradition is another way a lot of soldiers commemorate Memorial Day -- placing flags on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery. 

"It's kind of an emotional process to know, 'cause I feel connected to each one of these soldiers that served before me. So It's kind of like a brotherhood thing. ... We just want to take care of our brothers and sisters. Make sure they look good," Pfc. Michael Samuel told USA Today

But still, at least for wounded retired Staff Sgt. Luke Murphy, there is a feeling that civilians could make more of an effort to pay respects to fallen soldiers. 

In a CNN op-ed piece Murphy gave an emotional account of losing friend and fellow service member Sgt. 1st Class Jason Bishop while serving in Iraq. 

Murphy wrote in part, "When soldiers die, they don't just roll over and quit like in the movies. They fight like hell. ... And sometimes they lose. The biggest loser is the family, though. ... The next biggest losers are the guys who were with the soldier. Many times they've got survivor's guilt. ... So, what do nonfamily members and nonveterans think about on Memorial Day? Sometimes I think they just don't give a damn."

He suggests that people who want to show respect for members of the military could make a donation to organizations like Homes for Our Troops. That's the program that built Murphy and his family a new home that is accessible for someone with his injuries. 

So however you choose to spend Memorial Day, whether by the pool or at a parade -- just try to remember why the holiday exists. 

Woman left brain damaged after cosmetic surgery just weeks before wedding

With her wedding just two months away, Icilma Cornelius arrived at the office of Dr. Windell Boutte in metro Atlanta to prepare for her special day.

>> Read more trending news 

The 54-year-old bride-to-be came to the doctor’s full-service medical spa and cosmetic surgery center for Botox and another anti-wrinkle treatment. While there, the staff recommended cosmetic surgery that could give her a flat stomach before she married. Cornelius agreed to the surgical makeover by Boutte, whose website promotes the doctor as “nationally and internationally known” and a “doctor to the stars!”

Cornelius never got her perfected body. She never got to get married, either.

After eight hours of surgery in Boutte’s medical office, Cornelius’ heart stopped and a chaotic scene developed. The office wasn’t equipped to handle the emergency and had to call 911. Paramedics got the patient’s heart going, but getting her in the ambulance was delayed. Worried about possible infection from open incisions, Boutte and an employee sutured Cornelius’ skin, and then, because the stretcher wouldn’t fit in the elevator, paramedics had to carry it down stairs.

Cornelius made it to the hospital, but her injuries were catastrophic: Permanent brain damage, caused by lack of oxygen, left Cornelius unable to do almost anything for herself.

 >> Related: Georgia medical board easy on opioid violators

Every surgery comes with risks, but the risks can increase when a facility doesn’t have the equipment, protocols and staff to handle emergencies.

In lawsuits over Boutte’s care of Cornelius and two other patients, an attorney said Boutte routinely cuts corners, uses unqualified staff, misleads patients about the surgeries they will receive, and subjects them to an office that is not safe for the types of surgeries performed. 

“Dr. Boutte and her staff are more concerned about increasing profits versus a focus on patient safety, which should be of foremost concern,” said Susan Witt, the attorney.

The case is just the latest to raise questions about the safety of cosmetic surgeries in Georgia. In 2013, two patients died during in-office liposuction procedures by a Cobb County physician, Nedra Dodds. Nathaniel Johnson was criminally charged last year for performing cosmetic surgeries, even though his medical license was revoked. A patient of his died in 2010 during liposuction.

A physician reported Boutte to Georgia’s medical licensing board in 2016, but she continues to practice, still promoting herself as “Atlanta’s leading cosmetic surgeon,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and its investigative partner WSB-TV found in a joint examination of the case.

‘Nurse manager’ not a nurse

Through an attorney, Boutte declined an interview. Her website says she has “over 100,000 satisfied patients” and the site is loaded with testimonials from patients.

The site describes her Premiére Aesthetic Center as a “state-of-the-art building” where patients can pick from a huge buffet of services, including Brazilian butt lifts, tummy tucks and liposuction.

Boutte also advertises that she is “board certified in both surgery and dermatology.”

The AJC foundthough, that while she is a board-certified dermatologist, she is not a board-certified plastic surgeon or general surgeon.

>> Related: Secrecy rules at Georgia medical board

And Boutte’s surgery suite was not an accredited operating room or licensed surgery center. During Cornelius’ surgery, it didn’t have the monitoring equipment to quickly detect changes in respiration, the lawsuit alleged.

Lawsuits also have raised questions about whether Boutte allowed unqualified staff to do too much. Depositions revealed that a “nurse manager” wasn’t a nurse at all. And Boutte’s surgical assistant, who went to medical school in Peru but is not a licensed doctor here, was doing parts of procedures without Boutte staying in the same room and overseeing everything he did. “It’s absolutely outside the bounds of what he’s allowed to do,” Witt said.

In depositions, Boutte stood by her use of her staff and portrayed Cornelius’ result as something beyond her control, possibly the result of an allergic reaction.

But Witt, the attorney, and former patients say Boutte’s practice is a dangerous one that medical regulators have done nothing to rein in.

“The medical board’s failure to take action in the two and a half years they have known about Ms. Cornelius’ case, among others, amounts to gross negligence,” Witt said.

At least seven malpractice lawsuits have been filed against Boutte, counting the three filed by Witt. Boutte’s public medical board profile lists two malpractice settlements, including one for $900,000. Witt said the Cornelius case was recently settled for an amount that is confidential, but she said that settlement is not yet listed on Boutte’s board profile.

Witt said Boutte’s lack of professionalism was apparent in videos she produced and posted online showing her dancing to music while making incisions or preparing to operate with patients’ nude backsides exposed. The videos were introduced in another malpractice case.

The Georgia Composite Medical Board is barred from discussing individual cases and won’t comment.

Few rules for office surgeries

In Georgia, doctors may set up an in-office cosmetic surgery shop and do all sorts of procedures. The medical board has safety guidelines for office-based surgeries, but they are guidelines, not rules.

Those guidelines recommend accreditation of in-office surgery suites, which would set safety standards for the facility and staff, but Boutte did not go through that process, according to a deposition.

Dr. Carmen Kavali, a board-certified plastic surgeon, noted that a medical license allows a doctor to do almost any treatment or procedure that the doctor sees fit to undertake. Some doctors will take a weekend course on liposuction and then start offering it in an office setting.

Hospitals are more restrictive, using credentialing to limit what a doctor can do at their facilities.

>> Related: How a doctor convicted in drugs-for-sex case returned to practice

Kavali said she does short in-office surgeries with patients who are awake and able to speak. That would include minor liposuction, a scar revision or an upper eyelid procedure. Anything more than that, Kavali said, she and most other surgeons would do in a hospital because it’s safer.

“We’re fully-trained board-certified plastic surgeons,” Kavali said. “We do not have to cheat and keep people in the office.”

Boutte also didn’t follow a board guideline for office-based surgery that says adverse events — defined as an incident that leads to a patient death or transport to a hospital — should be reported.

In a deposition, Boutte explained why she didn’t report the Cornelius case to the board. “I believe she had an adverse event that was not caused by the surgery,” the doctor said.

Sisters file lawsuits

Without stronger rules, Georgia patients are left to sort out on their own whether a doctor is qualified and the office is well-equipped, the AJC and Channel 2 examination found.

Patients rarely know to ask about a facility’s accreditation or what board has certified their doctor.

When two sisters decided they both wanted liposuction, they found Boutte through online research and felt confident. “Her reviews were just stellar,” said Mitzi McFarland, one of the sisters.

McFarland said she was just 135 pounds and exercised. But after her third child, she said she could never get rid of the “muffin top.” She felt confident about something called SmartLipo because it was less invasive and had a short recovery.

Boutte advertises SmartLipo, and her prices were lower than other doctors, McFarland said. Plus, the office was beautiful and the qualifications Boutte posted appeared top-notch, she said.

The two sisters didn’t end up posting the next glowing reviews. Both have lawsuits pending against the doctor.

>> Related: He was caught on video, but Georgia doctor kept his medical license

McFarland said she ended up with results that horrified her — her abdomen was bumpy and appeared disfigured. Boutte agreed to do a “revision” surgery, but that didn’t go as planned, either. McFarland said she was supposed to be able to drive home, but she woke up disoriented, with a hamburger in her hand, in a hotel room that she had no memory of checking into.

She would find out from a text message from the doctor that Boutte had taken her to the hotel after the procedure. McFarland said her family had no idea where she was. An expert who examined McFarland’s care for the lawsuit concluded that Boutte breached care standards.

Later, the sisters found out they had had conventional liposuction instead of the SmartLipo they wanted.

After learning through her lawsuit about the lack of safety measures, the reality of Boutte’s training and the qualifications of her staff, McFarland wondered how the doctor had not been reined in.

“It feels like there is no oversight,” she said. “She hasn’t even had her hand slapped.”

Sinkhole opens on White House lawn outside press briefing room

sinkhole opened Tuesday on the North Lawn of the White House, outside the press briefing room.

>> Read more trending news 

Reporters shared pictures of the hole on Twitter.

Voice of America’s Steve Herman noted that he’s been watching the hole grow bigger by the day.

By Tuesday afternoon, yellow caution tape and orange cones encircled the hole. A green board was then thrown on top of it.

By later in the afternoon, the sinkhole had its own social media following.

There’s no word on what caused it or any plans to repair it 

5 things to know about flesh-eating bacteria in Florida waters

The Florida Department of Health has a warning for Florida residents and tourists about a deadly strain of flesh-eating bacteria.

Federal health officials have said Vibrio vulnificus infections have increased each year since 2000.

As scary as that sounds, though, the likelihood of contracting the bacterium is still pretty small.

“You are more likely to die in a car accident on the way to (a) restaurant than from Vibrio,” says University of Florida microbiology professor Paul Gulig.

Here are five things to know about flesh-eating bacteria in Florida:

1. It’s the fish, not the water – Most people who die from the bacteria contracted it from eating raw or under-cooked seafood, especially shellfish, like oysters, rather than from swimming in the Gulf. Swimming in salt water with an open wound increases your chances of getting it, but that shouldn’t keep the vast majority of people from getting in the water.

2. Now is the time to be vigilant – Peak season for Vibrio is during the warmer months, between May and October. The warm weather breeds the bacteria, and people are more likely to be swimming in the water and consuming seafood while on vacation or enjoying the scenery. 

3. It’s extremely rare, and extremely deadly – According to the CDC, in 2014 there were about 90 total infections of Vibrio in the U.S., including 35 deaths. By comparison, the flu kills between 3,300 and 49,000 people every year. That being said, the bacteria is life-threatening. Vibrio kills one in three people who become infected.

4. It’s not really flesh-eating, it just looks that way – The only bacteria that are officially classified as “flesh eating” belong to the streptococcus A family. Vibrio is called “flesh eating” because it invades the blood stream and causes skin lesions that are similar to streptoccus A. 

5. Your risk is pretty low, even if you’re sick – Most people who are truly vulnerable to Vibrio already have a weakened immune system, and suffer from other ailments, like chronic liver disease. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission. Just to be safe, though, health officials say you should clean any open wounds after you’ve gone swimming in the ocean. 

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