CDC warns that more pregnant women should get the flu shot: What to know

Jovanmandic/iStock(ATLANTA) — Not enough pregnant women are getting the flu vaccine and it’s putting themselves, their babies and the public at risk, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pregnant women have more than double the risk of hospitalization compared to non-pregnant women of childbearing age if they get influenza, but getting a flu shot reduces a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized due to influenza by an average of 40 percent, according to data shared by the CDC.

In addition to the flu vaccine helping pregnant women, it can also help their babies because the vaccine passes on antibodies to the fetus that provide protection after birth, when babies are too young to be vaccinated themselves, according to the CDC.

“It is the best way for that woman to protect not just herself, but her unborn baby because that baby cannot get vaccinated for six months,” ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said Wednesday on Good Morning America. “So she will be able to protect her baby by passing those antibodies while she’s pregnant.”

Children under 5 years old have the highest likelihood of being hospitalized for the flu. A total of 186 pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during the 2017-2018 flu season, the most recent available data.

Flu rates typically peak in the U.S. between December and February. People who are at most risk for flu complications include children, pregnant women, people over 65, those with chronic medical conditions and nursing home residents, according to Dr. Naomi Kaplan, a resident physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

With the 2018-2019 flu season already well underway, here are four things pregnant women need to know about the vaccine.

1. Vaccination during pregnancy is safe: “Vaccination during pregnancy is safe and we have a lot of reassuring data to back that up,” Dr. Christopher Zahn, vice president of practice activities for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), told GMA in a statement.

2. Flu vaccines are safe during any trimester: The CDC recommends that all pregnant women should get a flu vaccine during any trimester of each pregnancy.

3. Pregnant women need the whooping cough vaccine too: The CDC recommends that all pregnant women get the whooping cough vaccine (Tdap) during the early part of the third trimester of each pregnancy as part of routine prenatal care.

4. Flu vaccines are available outside the doctor’s office: The flu shot is available in both doctors’ offices and in drug stores. Women whose health care providers offered or referred them for vaccination had the highest vaccination rates, according to the CDC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

No joke: Jared Leto literally lost his head

Entertainment News  No joke: Jared Leto literally lost his head


ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Oscar winner Jared Leto made quite the impression at the Met Gala back in May, when he brought a replica of his own disembodied head to the annual star-studded event.

Unfortunately, he seems to have misplaced his rather unique accessory.

Speaking to GQ, the Suicide Squad star and Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman reveals that he has “no idea” what happened to the noggin. 

“I think someone may have stolen it,” Leto says. “If anyone out there finds it, bring it into your nearest Gucci store in exchange for a pair of dirty sneakers.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

NFL player stuns with 1-handed catch at MLB playoff game

Sports News NFL player stuns with 1-handed catch at MLB playoff game

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — Great catch, wrong sport.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard flaunted his skills off the gridiron at Tropicana Field during the Tampa Bay Rays’ playoff game Tuesday night.

The NFL player stretched out his bare hand and snagged a line drive foul ball to right field during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the ALDS between the Rays and Houston Astros.

The Bucs tweeted a congratulatory message to the Rays who went on to win the game 4-1.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Penn State football coach blasts alumni letter that criticized player’s hair

Sports News Penn State football coach blasts alumni letter that criticized player's hair

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) — After a Penn State football player received a critical letter from a Nittany Lion alum, the team’s coach denounced the remarks and took the opportunity to boast about the player’s character as a student, athlete and person.

“Jonathan Sutherland is one of the most respected players in our program,” Franklin said at his weekly news conference, according to ESPN. “He’s the ultimate example of what our program is all about. He’s a captain, he’s a dean’s list honor student, he’s confident, he’s articulate, he’s intelligent, he’s thoughtful, he’s caring and he’s committed.”

Franklin continued, “He’s got two of the most supportive parents, and I would be so blessed if my daughters would marry someone with his character and integrity one day.”

Sutherland shared a photo on Twitter Tuesday of the letter he received from Dave Petersen, who critiqued his dreadlocks, appearance and demeanor.

In the letter, Petersen wrote, “Though the athletes of today are certainly superior to those in my days; we miss the clean cut young men and women from those days. Watching the Idaho game on TV we couldn’t help but notice your — well — awful hair.”

“Surely there must be mirrors in the locker room! Don’t you have parents or [a] girlfriend who’ve told you those shoulder length dreadlocks look disgusting and are certainly not attractive,” the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, resident wrote.

In the same tweet, Sutherland penned his own response to Petersen that took the high road and encouraged others to embrace what makes them different.

“Although the message was indeed rude, ignorant, and judging, I’ve taken no personal offense to it because personally, I must respect you as a person before I respect your opinion,” the sophomore safety said. “At the end of the day without an apology needed, I forgive this individual because I’m nowhere close to being perfect and I expect God to forgive me for all the wrong I’ve done in my life.”

Sutherland, 21, cited Colossians 3:13 — “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone” — to further point to forgiveness and thanked everyone who reached out to show him support.

“Let this be one of the many examples to us that in the year 2019, people of different cultures, religions and ethnicities are still being discriminated against and it needs to stop,” he wrote.

One of Sutherland’s teammates, C.J. Holmes, 21, shared a photo of the letter and said “these messages cannot be tolerated” calling it “extremely inappropriate, racially biased and selfish.”

Since the national public attention and backlash to his letter, Petersen spoke with The Tribune-Democrat and said that a racist message “was not the intent at all.”

“I would just like to see the coaches get the guys cleaned up and not looking like Florida State and Miami guys,” he told the Tribune-Democrat.

He added that his letter, “wasn’t threatening or anything. I was just disgruntled about some of the hairdos that we’re seeing. You think of Penn State as a bunch of clean-cut guys. And you do see so many who are clean cut. But the tattoos and the hair — there are a lot of guys with hair coming down their backs and it just looks awful. And it’s the same for the NFL and NBA, too.”

The university strongly condemned the letter’s message in a reply on Twitter and a university spokesperson told ESPN that school officials stand behind their student-athletes.

“At Penn State we strive to create an atmosphere that promotes inclusivity and respect,” the spokesperson said. “The well-being of students, faculty and staff members is the university’s priority. As part of this, Penn State provides a range of assistance and resources for students and employees, and we encourage any community member who needs support to reach out.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Elizabeth Warren, Republicans fundraise off her account of being fired during pregnancy

Political News Elizabeth Warren, Republicans fundraise off her account of being fired during pregnancy

adamkaz/iStock(WASHINGTON) — As details of one of her signature stump anecdotes about being fired from her role as a first-year public school teacher after becoming “visibly pregnant” presents new questions for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the Democratic front-runner is not only pushing back but fundraising off of the criticism.

Reports in recent days from multiple news organizations including several conservative outlets cited evidence that they suggested challenges her account of how she was “shown the door” from her job as a special education teacher at an elementary school in Riverdale, N.J., in 1971 when she was around six months pregnant. Warren rebutted these claims in a recent interview with CBS News.

Warren’s own past remarks, prior to the 2020 campaign cycle, did not include being forced to leave because she was pregnant. Minutes from school board meetings at that time obtained by ABC News reflect that her teaching contract was at first extended for a second scholastic year.

The Republican National Committee seized the moment Tuesday afternoon in an email claiming Warren had been “caught lying,” focusing on a 2007 interview where Warren described leaving her position in different terms than she has since her campaign’s start.

The Warren campaign later followed with its own blast, using the moment to ask supporters chip in for the fight.

“My story is not unique,” Warren’s fundraising email said, “And now, right-wing media outlets are dismissing my story — and in doing so, dismissing many similar stories of other women who have also been affected by pregnancy discrimination … As our grassroots movement continues to grow, we fully expect to see more of these far-right hit jobs. Our job is to stop them dead in their tracks.”

Late Tuesday night, the campaign also posted a four-minute video on her Instagram account of Warren reading other women’s stories about pregnancy discrimination and saying her decision to tell the story about losing her teaching job is a way to “fight back” against what she suffered in the early 1970s, a few years before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act passed.

“When I was 22 years old, I had an experience that a lot of women will recognize. I had been promised a job for the next year, all hired, set to go, and then when they realized I was pregnant, the job was given to someone else,” Warren said in her Instagram video.

“Now this was a long time ago, but we know this kind of stuff still happens today, sometimes subtly and frankly sometimes not so subtly. So, I get out, and on the campaign trail, I tell my story. And I’ve asked other people to tell their stories as well. I think that’s a good way to fight back,” Warren continued.

Warren has often said her life story has many “twists and turns.”

The resurfaced documents and video that have raised questions about this particular twist — an origin story which the top-tier 2020 candidate returns to often on the campaign trail — date back to a 2007 interview.

In the interview, Warren said that after working at Riverdale Elementary School, she “went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out for me.'”

“I worked in a public school system with the children with disabilities. I did that for a year, and then that summer I didn’t have the education courses, so I was on an ’emergency certificate,’ it was called,” Warren said in the 2007 interview, which was conducted by the University of California at Berkeley. “I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out for me.’ I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years.”

On the trail, Warren has often described her interaction with the principal as one of the moments that changed the course of her career. She has also called teaching her “first love,” adding that she might still be teaching today if it weren’t for more “twists and turns.” A key part of her stump speech, Warren told the story most recently to a crowd in San Diego: “I was visibly pregnant. And the principal did what principals did in those days — wished me luck and hired someone else for the job,” Warren told the crowd on Saturday.

Warren also detailed the interaction in her 2014 book, “A Fighting Chance,” which she wrote two years into her time in the Senate.

“By the end of the school year, I was pretty obviously pregnant. The principal did what I think a lot of principals did back then — wished me luck, didn’t ask me back for the next school year and hired someone else for the job,” Warren wrote in her 2014 book, “A Fighting Chance,” which she wrote two years into her time in the Senate.

According to records of Riverdale school board meetings obtained by ABC News, Warren was hired in August of 1970 as a substitute teacher. The certificate Warren refers to in the 2007 interview was requested for her by the school board a few months after she was hired as a way to allow her to continue teaching without certain graduate courses.

The graduate course she discussed in the 2007 interview was taken at a nearby school in New Jersey, Kean University, in 1972, the university confirmed to ABC News.

In between when Warren was hired and when she later took that course, school board meeting records show that Warren was offered a job for the following year in April of 1971, when she was about four months pregnant.

By June of 1971, however, when Warren was about six months pregnant and more visibly showing, records show an employment status change: Riverdale had “accepted with regret” her resignation.

According to Warren, her contract was renewed to teach before the principal knew that she was pregnant. It was 1971, which was about seven years before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act banned employers from automatically dismissing pregnant women from their jobs nationwide.

“I was pregnant, but nobody knew it. And then a couple of months later when I was six months pregnant and it was pretty obvious, the principal called me in, wished me luck, and said he was going to hire someone else for the job,” Warren told CBS News in an interview.

In addressing the apparent nuances over whether she was specifically fired or pushed to resign, Warren told CBS, “When someone calls you in and says, the job that you’ve been hired for for next year, is no longer yours, we’re giving it to someone else. I think that’s being ‘shown the door.'”

Mary Ziegler, a professor at Florida State University who focuses on the history of women’s reproductive rights, said Warren’s description matched the context of the era, when teaching was “a classic pink collar job to begin with.”

“The assumption was that after women got married, they probably wouldn’t continue working and that definitely after they had children, they wouldn’t continue working,” she said. “Pregnancy was to a lot of employers an announcement that women were going to become mothers and therefore remove themselves from public life.”

A local news bulletin from 1971 said that Warren was “leaving to raise a family,” while another cited that she had “resigned for personal reasons.”

Those descriptions, Ziegler said, were commonplace.

“The idea that you would be a mother and also work was not something that a lot of employers really believed at the time — and I there’s some evidence that that’s still true,” Ziegler added.

Warren now often describes the Riverdale principal’s decision as the reason she switched paths and ended up in law school, the start of a career in bankruptcy law that ultimately led to her election to the Senate and her current run for the presidency.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Mark Consuelos says there wasn’t a dry eye in the house during table read of tonight’s ‘Riverdale’ tribute to Luke Perry

Entertainment News  Mark Consuelos says there wasn't a dry eye in the house during table read of tonight's 'Riverdale' tribute to Luke Perry


ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — Mark Consuelos was on Watch What Happens Live Monday night and spoke at length about working with Luke Perry and the upcoming tribute to him on their show, Riverdale.

The former Beverly Hills, 90210 heartthrob Perry died March 4 of this year, days after suffering a stroke at 52 years old.

When asked about his fondest memory of working with Perry, Consuelos said it was a boating trip the duo took one day.

“He is a captain of a boat and we went off for a few hours,” he said, his eyes welling with tears. Consuelos said the duo “bonded” on that trip.

When Andy Cohen said that Perry seemed like a very laid-back person, Consuelos added, “Everybody loved him.”

Perry’s tribute episode on Riverdale airs tonight on the CW; Consuelos said during the table reading of the script, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa previously called the episode, “Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever. A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred.”

Perry played Fred Andrews, father of K.J. Apa’s character, Archie Andrews.

The fourth season premiere of Riverdale airs at 8 p.m. Eastern time on CW.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

‘Fat’ and ‘fabulous’ 435 Holly wins Fat Bear Week 2019

U.S. NEWS 'Fat' and 'fabulous' 435 Holly wins Fat Bear Week 2019

L. Carter/National Park Service(KING SALMON, Alaska) –All hail this year’s “Queen of Corpulence.”

A national park in Alaska declared 435 Holly the winner of its 2019 Fat Bear Week competition on Tuesday.

“She is fat. She is fabulous,” the Katmai National Park & Preserve wrote on Facebook.

In photos from July, 435 Holly touted a slimmer figure but she managed to beautifully pack on the pounds for hibernation and dominate the competition.

The public votes online in the annual contest to name the fattest and baddest bear of the state’s Brook River.

Katmai called it a “March Madness-style competition.”

During hibernation, which can last for up to half a year, a bear can lose one third of its body mass, making the weight a bear gains before all the more important.

“There is no shame in winning this contest as large amounts of body fat in brown bears is indicative of good health and strong chances of survival,” the park said in a statement.

Bears in Katmai are among the largest in the world, according to the park. Adult males typically weight 600-900 pounds before hibernation, but clock in at well over 1,000 pounds as hibernation begins. Adult females usually weigh about one third less than adult males.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Turkey says it has begun invasion into Syria to battle Kurds after US pulls back forces

WORLD NEWS Turkey says it has begun invasion into Syria to battle Kurds after US pulls back forces

omersukrugoksu/iStock(LONDON) — Turkey has launched a long-planned military operation in northeastern Syria, targeting the Syrian Kurdish fighters that helped the United States defeat ISIS.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced via Twitter on Wednesday that the incursion has begun, with a mission to “prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border.”

The move comes just days after U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that American troops would withdraw from the region and hand control to the Kurds’ sworn enemy, the Turkish government.

Erdogan said the operation will “neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.”

Turkey considers the mainly-Kurdish militia to be a terrorist organization.

“We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists,” he tweeted.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Next chapter in ‘Screenagers’ documentary tackles depression in teens due to social media

monkeybusinessimages/iStock(SEATTLE) — The 2016 documentary Screenagers hit a nerve.

More than 4 million people trekked to schools and community centers to watch a screening of the documentary that chronicled the rise of kids’ addictive behavior with digital devices.

The maker of the film, Dr. Delaney Ruston, thought she had this issue under control in her family, but her teen daughter’s battle with depression forced her to look harder at screens and other forces in modern childhood that are factoring into troubling mental health issues.

Now she’s made a second film on that related topic, called Screenagers: The Next Chapter.

The documentary premiered at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle Tuesday night in front of more than 500 concerned parents and educators. It starts a run of showings this week in community screenings nationwide highlighting the rise of teen anxiety and depression.

Parents in Seattle seemed perplexed about how to help their children look away from devices and towards other people as a way to combat isolation and social anxiety.

One mother told ABC News, “It’s a normal part of being a middle-schooler, they talk about panic attacks and being anxious.”

Another father who was also worried said of technology, “Their faces are always in front of that stuff, and it’s informing how they view themselves and what is normal and around them.”

With headlines of the teen suicide rate doubling since 1999, and sky-rocketing anxiety and depression rates, parents are concerned.

The film does not tackle the issue of what’s causing this crisis, but it does look at the many forms of mental health challenges that face families, such as anxiety, stress and unresolved trauma.

The central story of the film, however, focuses on Ruston’s 16 year-old daughter Tessa, who suddenly dipped into depression.

While Ruston did see the signs of depression, she says even as a practicing physician, she didn’t know what to do.

“I had no idea when to step in, what to say, and often it felt like anything I said made it worse,” she said. “It felt like I was just tiptoeing. If I say the wrong thing, it’ll make her never talk to me again. It’s emotional just thinking about it, just how stuck I was.”

Meanwhile, Tessa found little comfort in social media, the medium for much of her communication with friends. She posted what she thought was a raw assessment of her deep sadness, but it didn’t evoke the response she needed and wanted from her friends.

She said, “I said this year has been really hard and I’ve learned a lot and I’ve grown a lot, (but) I felt like the response wasn’t acknowledging the truth that I was really trying to put out there … crickets was almost how it felt to me. I tried so hard to say look I’m not perfect at all and they’re like, ‘Oh, we love you, we’re here for you, and it almost hurt to feel not understood in that sense.”

And when Ruston realized how serious her daughter’s depression was, this isolation scared her. “I was amazed how many months into her depression she was, and I assumed she was talking to a friend or something, and she said, ‘No, I haven’t told anyone.’”

At that point, Ruston realized she and her husband, along with mental help professionals, would need to be there to talk to Tessa, but that talking and support needed some work. Ruston says, “I needed to learn how to be comfortable with my feelings, but not over-respond. [I needed to] let her know that I could handle it.”

Through trial and error, Tessa’s parents found some ways to communicate that can work for all parents and teens.

Tessa says, “Some of the things my parents said that really helped in the moments of hardship were you’re doing the best you can for where you’re at and what tools you have, especially when I felt really low and incapable. My favorite quote that my dad said that actually really got me through the hard times that felt like forever is ‘this too shall pass.’”

She added that a huge barrier to talking with her parents was guilt and shame, that it was her fault that she felt so depressed. But something Ruston said really helped. “My mom especially reiterated that I wouldn’t be feeling this way if I had the choice.”

The documentary offers specific advice for parents who feel stonewalled from teens who won’t talk. Here are some of them:

Validate their feelings, accept that they truly do feel the way they say, that it’s not just teen drama. Ruston adds, “the most important words you may say are ‘that sounds really hard.”

Take advantage of the moments when teens do want to talk. These sometimes rare occasions are opportunities to prove you won’t judge them or scold them.

When you don’t know what to say, ask more questions. Noted therapist John Gottman, who is featured in the documentary, offers some prompts like, “What did your friends say? Were you mad? What do you want to do now?”

Avoid offering fixes or solutions. Tessa said, “All the problem solving, solutions, and enforcements feel so judgmental and stabbing because sometimes I don’t even think it’s a problem I just want to share it and the problem solving itself makes it into a negative thing, right away it’s like ‘this is wrong and you need to make it right.’”

Praise kids with specifics — hold a mirror up to them so they can’t refute what you say and just like we do with toddlers, catch them doing something right, and then praise the work.

Don’t give up on finding ways to limit screen time — even if you think that ship has sailed. Sleep and limiting exposure to social media can help kids find their resilience.

Learn how to tolerate a teen’s explosive reaction over screen limits — you are giving them the gift of boundaries that adults even struggle with.

Screenagers: The Next Chapter will be screened in schools and community settings across the country. For information on how to have it seen in your town, go to their site here.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.