Teen role-plays as the perfect boyfriend in ASMR videos to help people fall asleep

Owen Riley(NEW YORK) — Having trouble sleeping?

Well, maybe an ASMR video from Owen Dennis Riley can help.

But these aren’t just your regular ASMR videos that you find on YouTube. Riley, better known as DennisASMR on YouTube, produces soothing ASMR videos to help people fall asleep while role-playing as the perfect boyfriend.

In a story first reported by the New York Times, Riley’s videos are part of a growing trend of autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, videos online, where certain audio-visuals like people speaking softly or someone eating closely to a microphone can cause some people to experience a tingling, static-like sensation on the skin.

Now, a new category of ASMR videos called “ASMR Boyfriend Role-Play,” where individuals pretend to be someone’s boyfriend, are becoming popular videos online and are supposed to be relaxing or sleep-inducing. Riley’s videos are an example of the trend.

“A lot of people find it difficult to go to sleep sometimes and so my videos kind of work as a sound machine for the people who struggle with sleeping,” he told ABC News’ Good Morning America.

In past videos produced in his makeshift studio under his bunk bed, the 17-year-old has sung in whispers to his over half a million subscribers, spoken soft sweet nothings to help people fall asleep and has even role-played as different characters, such as Harry Potter and Spider-Man.

Even though Riley has thousands of views in dozens of his videos, does his method work?

Some experts are warning that this type of role-playing can be problematic.

Even though Riley does have that ASMR-sensory-aspect to his videos, Dr. Caroline Fleck, a clinical psychologist and an adjunct instructor at the Stanford University School of Medicine said that some of his content could be “distracting” and “could potentially counter balance” what ASMR is supposed to be for.

Dr. Caroline Fleck said, “There is no data to suggest that what he’s doing is effective in any way and/or conductive to sleep.”

In one video, some may argue that the teen goes too far, with his role-playing coming off as too intense as he pretends to be a jealous boyfriend.

“He’s perpetuating this message that you need someone to take care of you in order to self-soothe, and that’s not accurate,” said Fleck. “In fact, it’s very problematic, especially if you’re reaching a younger audience who maybe doesn’t have expectations for a relationship or hasn’t had them, the idea that a relationship is defined as somebody stepping in and soothing you and taking care of you.”

Despite what some experts think, Riley argues that he’s not trying to be unrealistic in his role-play.

“My videos aren’t saying that every relationship is perfect and I’m not trying to be unrealistic with it,” Riley said. “I’m just trying to take the positive elements from that and put it up there because nobody wants to see a video arguing role-play with your boyfriend, that would be terrible.”

Riley’s mother, Kathy Riley, who keeps a close eye with everything that her son produces online, is aware of what kind of messages can be perceived in videos like his.

She said, “We always want him to have integrity with what he does, we always want him to not make his fans feel uncomfortable.”

While Riley may have his skeptics, he certainly has his fans.

His mother, who goes through comments from his YouTube audience, is positive about people who turn to her son for help falling asleep, “I go through the comments but for the most part they seem to be a great community.”

Owen said, “It just seems to me like a lot of fun and if it’s helping people, I think people should not look so deeply and enjoy it for what it is.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Parents of British teen killed in crash involving American diplomat’s wife speak out

TheaDesign/iStock(LONDON) — The parents of a British teenager who was killed in a crash involving the wife of an American diplomat are calling on the woman to return to the United Kingdom and “face up to what you’ve done.”

Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles sat down with ABC News in London on Tuesday for an emotional interview, in which they talked about their late son, Harry Dunn, whom they described as “free spirited” and “full of love.”

Harry was riding his motorcycle along a roadway in the village of Croughton, England, on the night of Aug. 27, when a car traveling in the opposite direction hit him head-on. The 19-year-old was taken to a hospital in the nearby city of Oxford, where he died soon after, according to Northamptonshire Police.

Harry’s father recalled arriving at the scene of the crash that fateful night and seeing paramedics attend to his son, who was critically injured.

“I managed to speak to him a couple times to try and reassure him. Then they sedated him and went off to hospital,” Tim Dunn told ABC News. “It was horrible to see it.”

The parents said they were told by police that the driver of the car had admitted guilt at the scene and in a subsequent interview with detectives. ABC News has reached out to police for comment.

“It was pretty obvious what had occurred. Her car was completely on Harry’s side of the road,” Charlotte Charles told ABC News.

“She was on the wrong side of the road,” Tim Dunn added. “It was her fault.”

The crash occurred less than a mile down the road from Royal Air Force Croughton, commonly known as RAF Croughton, which is a British military station that houses an intelligence-gathering base operated by the United States Air Force.

Police said the driver was a 42-year-old American woman who is “being treated as a suspect” in the fatal crash investigation. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State confirmed she is “the spouse of a U.S. diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom.”

Police have not officially named her. However, the British prime minister has identified her as Anne Sacoolas.

Sacoolas fled the United Kingdom after apparently claiming diplomatic immunity, which protects diplomats and their family members from prosecution or lawsuits under the host nation’s laws.

Northamptonshire Police superintendent Sarah Johnson said the woman left the country after allegedly telling investigators she had no plans to do so in the near future. Police intended to arrest and formally interview her, and they are “now exploring all opportunities through diplomatic channels to ensure that the investigation continues to progress,” according to Johnson.

While speaking to reporters Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Dunn’s death a “tragic loss” and said he will personally raise the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump if Sacoolas does not return soon to face the U.K. investigation.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson, on Tuesday and urged the United States “to reconsider its position and do the right thing by Harry Dunn’s family,” according to a statement from the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Harry’s parents said they were “shocked” to learn that the woman had left.

“It”s hard to understand, for me personally, how anybody could — even though being an accident — actually kill somebody, but then up and leave and just walk away from it,” Tim Dunn told ABC News.

The matter is making it difficult for the family to find closure and try to move forward.

“We can’t begin to grieve,” Charlotte Charles told ABC News.

Harry’s mother then made a direct appeal to Sacoolas, urging her to return to the United Kingdom.

“Just face up to what you’ve done,” she said. “I can’t see how you can move on with your family and your life, without facing the family that you’ve destroyed.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Rising suicide rates at college campuses prompt concerns over mental health care

mangpor_2004/iStock(NEW YORK) — Stanford University has agreed to change its involuntary leave of absence policy, mental health staffing and training to better accommodate students facing mental illness crises, including those who have been hospitalized following a suicide attempt. The decision is the result of a settlement agreement with a group of students who filed a class action lawsuit to reform allegedly discriminatory policies affecting student in mental health crises.

This development is timely as it directly addresses concerns over global suicide trends.

Suicide rates continue to increase across all age groups in America, but the rising youth suicide epidemic, which has progressively increased since the 1950s, is particularly concerning among those who study it.

Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death across the U.S. population, but is second-most among college-aged students.

“We are facing a national mental health crisis, and college campuses are reflecting what’s going on in society at large,” Dr. Victor Schwartz, chief medical officer of the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to prevent suicides among young people, said in an interview with ABC News.

Dr. Doreen Marshall, vice president of programs at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, agreed: “We hear from college and university counseling centers, they are seeing more students coming in reporting that they have some current or past suicidal ideation, which is a signal that this is a time that students are really struggling.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates across all ages increased in nearly every state between 1999 and 2016, and suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of states since 1999.

Independent of college, statistics reveal a spike in suicidality between the ages of 15 and 25. Until the age of 25, rational thinking and the ability to regulate emotions and impulses are still developing. The biological risk factors coupled with the inevitable challenges of acclimating to a new environment make college students more vulnerable to experiencing anxiety and mental health issues regardless of their mental health history.

“It’s often their first time living independently and living away from their family, and a change in terms of access to their usual support networks from family and parents,” said Marshall.

Dr. Stephanie Samar, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, added that college students’ lifestyle choices can aggravate depressive symptoms and stress.

“Many college students aren’t taking care of their bodies. Many are experimenting with substances and not eating very well, or sleeping very well, in a way that would support them to meet all these new challenges,” Samar said.

College students today also face challenges that are particular to their generation, such as greater financial stress and an increasingly digital world that replaces face-to-face connection and may contribute to sensations of loneliness and isolation.

Sepp Panzer, a junior at Columbia University has experienced these anxieties first hand — having struggled with depression throughout his childhood and attempting suicide in high school.

“My primary support was gone, and the pressure to succeed was such a strain and drove me back to depression,” Panzer told ABC News, of going to college.

Panzer recalled not wanting to get out of bed and said his suicidal thoughts resurfaced during his second year at Columbia.

“I felt suicidal and alone,” he said. “Going through the day depressed you always think everything in your life is your fault, you automatically resort to the fact that I’m not good enough or I don’t have what it takes.”

Working to change his mindset and connect with those on campus, Panzer thinks that colleges need to promote quicker access to counseling services.

“In this state of crisis, students can’t wait three weeks for an appointment. Changing that time frame will stop people from going over the edge,” said Panzer.

College counseling services face a particular challenge in developing protocols that can effectively triage and recognize students at higher risk.

Schwartz noted that college campuses can sometimes be a protective factor, since many colleges students can see a clinician faster than they can in their hometowns. Nevertheless, set up primarily as an educational institution, colleges are not always equipped to provide extensive mental health counseling that meets the needs of a heterogenous student body.

Dr. Anitha Iyer, chief clinical officer and vice president of Vibrant Emotional Health, the organization that runs the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, emphasizes that the most important step is creating “spaces and opportunities for students to connect with one another” in order to engage students and parents in an ongoing and active dialogue around mental health before they have even stepped foot on campus their freshman year.

On college campuses, that means taking a more comprehensive approach and fostering a culture of wellness that originates from the highest administrative level. It means equipping professors and students alike with the skills to support and empower one another so that the toll doesn’t fall only on the counseling centers.

“It would also be good to have a metric to see if colleges can compare themselves to others and themselves,” Dr. Jane Pearson, chair of Suicide Research at the National Institute of Mental Health, said in an interview with ABC News.

This may mean developing better methods to compare the mental health services across U.S. campuses and keeping track of suicide attempts and deaths.

After Wendell Tang’s son, Luke, died by suicide during his sophomore year of college in 2015, he began urging parents to check in with their kids.

“Kids cannot be independent overnight,” Tang told ABC News. “Talk to them and try to understand their challenges. Sometimes they are very lonely and we don’t even know.”

Marshall also stressed the importance of peer relationships.

“This generation is talking more openly about their mental health and many in this age group will talk to one another long before they talk to an adult mental health professional,” she said.

National suicide prevention organizations have spearheaded peer-to-peer educational campaigns like “Seize the Awkward” and #BetheOneTo, which are providing students with the tools to talk about mental health among their social circles and recognize early warning signs of suicide.

Panzer recalled that support from his peers and especially his partner helped him overcome his suicidal tendencies and depression.

“Sometimes it just takes that one person to make you understand it is not your fault, someone in your corner to remind you that things will get better,” the Columbia student said.

And colleges are moving in the right direction.

“In the 25 years I have worked here we have had success stories,” Dr. Jacqueline Pistorello, director of counseling services at the University of Nevada, Reno, said in an interview with ABC News. “We were actively trying to lower stigma around mental health services and encourage students to seek help. These two things have happened.”

Now, they are trying to reach students before they even step into their offices, by stationing mental health counselors at tables around busy campus areas for students to take just five minutes to talk, by visiting classrooms and running outreach programs across academic, Greek life and residential bodies. They even have a mandatory free mental health counseling included in students’ tuition.

These initiatives help prevent major tragedies and build resilience across the student body. For many college students it’s not the desire to be dead that leads them to contemplate suicide, but the lack of tools to solve the problems they face. Efforts invested in college students transcend the college campus and can positively impact the global suicide crisis at large.

“Suicide is preventable and mental health is treatable,” said Iyer. “Mental health and suicide prevention is everybody’s problem. We all have to partake in helping our society.”

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Simone Biles carries US women’s gymnastics team to record-tying fifth world championship

CristiNistor/iStock(NEW YORK) — If you look up “fierce” in the dictionary, you’re likely to find the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. Same goes for five-peat.

For the fifth consecutive time, the team came out on top at the world championships — finishing almost six full points ahead of second-place Russia.

Despite some setbacks — like 16-year-old Sunisa Lee’s fall off the balance beam and 16-year-old Grace McCallum’s pirouette error on the uneven bars — Team USA was led to gold by 22-year-old Simone Biles.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist proved to still be unstoppable with her athleticism and skill.

Over the weekend, Biles stuck not one but two signature jaw-dropping moves: the double-double dismount on the balance beam and triple-double on the floor.

Both are performances that people are still buzzing about and that the International Gymnast Federation even found controversial for the added safety risk.

Nevertheless, the now most-decorated female gymnast in history will have one of the two moves named after her. She holds an astounding 15 world championship gold medals, and 21 world championship medals total.

The fifth consecutive world championship win ties a record set by Romania from 1994 to 2001.

Biles will defend her women’s individual all-around title on Thursday.

And the Tokyo Olympics are now just 10 months away.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Scoreboard roundup — 10/8/19

iStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:


Tampa Bay 4, Houston 1

Connecticut 90, Washington 86

Carolina 6, Florida 3
Dallas 4, Washington 3
Anaheim 3, Detroit 1
Nashville 5, San Jose 2
Los Angeles 4, Calgary 3
Boston 4, Vegas 3

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to three scientists who developed lithium-ion batteries

AlexLMX/iStock(NEW YORK) — The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

“Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized our lives and are used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles. Through their work, this year’s Chemistry Laureates have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society,” the Nobel Committee said.

The three scientists will receive a 9-million kronor ($918,000) award to be shared, a gold medal and a diploma and they will receive the prestigious prize in Stockholm on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896.

Last year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Frances Arnold and George Smith, both of the United States, and Gregory Winter of the United Kingdom, for their work on directed evolution, a bio-engineering method that’s been used to make bio fuels, medicine and laundry detergent. Arnold was the fifth woman in history to be awarded the prize.

Nobel prizes will continue to be announced this week, with the most famous prize, the Nobel Peace Prize, announced Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

American hostage held by ISIS is alive: Niger president

Woodke Family(NEW YORK) — An American missionary abducted by Islamic State-linked terrorists in Africa three years ago is still alive and in captivity, the president of Niger said in a recent interview with ABC News.

Jeffery Ray Woodke, 59, of McKinleyville, California, was kidnapped in October 2016 while doing humanitarian missionary work in Niger. He is believed to be a hostage of a jihadi group affiliated with ISIS, multiple U.S. counterterrorism officials have told ABC News.

“Fortunately — and I had to declare it a few weeks ago — he is alive and he is in good health,” Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou told ABC News.

Woodke’s recovery has been a priority for American military and intelligence assets in the Sahel region of Africa since 2016 — valuable resources Issoufou said he’d like more of in order to succeed in defeating Islamist militants who cross into Niger to carry out attacks.

“We will continue in any case to do everything to make conditions for his liberation,” the Nigerien leader said in French through an interpreter.

The interview took place while Issoufou was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Woodke had worked in Niger for almost three decades as a humanitarian aid worker when he was kidnapped in Abalak and driven off in the direction of Mali while working for a local aid group called JEMED. Video shot hours earlier showed Woodke meeting with tribal elders in his role of humanitarian aid worker trying to help nomads overcome drought and disease.

The FBI and Woodke’s wife Els have made pleas for the missionary’s safe return. Intelligence has consistently indicated Woodke is alive, U.S. sources have told ABC News.

“He was helping a lot of the Nigerien population,” Issoufou told ABC News, expressing “regret” over Woodke being taken hostage.

A representative of the hostage’s family said Woodke’s wife declined to comment on the remarks by the Nigerien leader to ABC News.

“The U.S. Government continues to work tirelessly to bring all U.S. hostages home, including Mr. Woodke. We welcome President Issoufou’s focus on Mr. Woodke and his humanitarian work. The U.S. government looks for continued cooperation with the Government of Niger to quickly reunite Jeff with his family,” Kieran Ramsey, director of the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, said in a statement to ABC News on Tuesday.

The Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell is a joint agency created in 2015 to coordinate all U.S. government efforts to safely recover American hostages worldwide.

Issoufou’s comments came just before the anniversary of an ambush of a joint American and Nigerien patrol on Oct. 4, 2017, which left four U.S. special operations soldiers and at least five Nigerien troops dead outside the village of Tongo Tongo, in northwest Niger near the Mali border. During his interview with ABC News, he expressed his condolences to the four American families several times.

The U.S. Special Forces team caught in the 2017 ambush, Operational Detachment-Alpha 3212, from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), was carrying out three “civil/military reconnaissance” missions between Oct. 3-4, 2017 focused on learning the location of an ISIS subcommander known as Doundoun Cheffou. In the ensuing ambush and gunfight near Tongo Tongo, Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black and Sgt. LaDavid Johnson were killed in action.

An investigation by U.S. Africa Command last year criticized lower-level U.S. Army Special Forces commanders, who all received reprimands for training deficiencies prior to their Africa deployment. The families of the fallen have criticized the investigation for withholding key details, reaching questionable conclusions and for failing to punish senior commanders involved in the ill-fated mission.

On Friday’s anniversary of the ambush, the U.S. Rewards For Justice program offered $5 million for information leading to the capture of Adnan “Abu Walid” al-Sahrawi, the leader of an ISIS affiliate that the U.S. Department of State blames for the 2017 ambush. Unmentioned in the wanted poster is that the group al-Sahrawi leads, ISIS Greater Sahara, is suspected as having kidnapped Woodke three years ago.

In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly last month, Issoufou pleaded for the West to do more to help his country counter the jihadi and criminal groups that have proliferated across the Sahel since the U.S. assisted in the toppling of Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi in 2011 without any plan for governing the region after he was gone.

“This is not only a mistake … I do think it is a fault committed in Libya, despite those of us who warned (the U.S.) as early as 2011 that if we did not pay attention, Libya could be a new Somalia, that Libya could fall into the hands of terrorist organizations,” Issoufou told ABC News.

The Nigerian leader said that he came to the U.N. to plead for a larger coalition force in the Lake Chad region to deny terrorists a safe haven in parts of Mali, Nigeria and Burkina Faso bordering his country, where both al-Qaeda and ISIS operate. Last year, U.S. Africa Command announced plans to draw down the number of U.S. forces by 10% on the continent.

“What we do think is in order — to face the threat in this region — the international community and especially the United States have to do more in order to prevent the expansion of the threat. Because if we let the threat get stronger — and this is currently the case — it will cost more to stop it afterwards,” he warned. “And of course we do need more resources, more (military) training, from our American friends and the French.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Where to get The Foreign Better half Through No cost Products and services

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Posted On 09 Oct 2019
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