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Smithfield recalls over 24,000 lbs. of pepperoni cheese calzones due to plastic contamination

Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. has recalled over 24,000 pounds of its pepperoni five cheese calzone, because it might be contaminated with hard, clear plastic.

The calzones were sold under the Stefano Foods label -- a business in Charlotte, North Carolina.

>> Read more trending news 

One person reported to the Stefano Foods in July that they bit into the food and it caused a small cut in their mouth, according to the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The uncooked pepperoni five cheese calzone products were produced on May 23, 2018, under the name, “Stefano’s Calzone Pepperoni Five Cheese Stuffed with Pepperoni and a Five Cheese Blend.” The recalled items have a use by date of 1/18/19. 

The product was sold in stores nationwide.

Food safety officials are encouraging customers to check their freezers and refrigerators for this product.

The calzones should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase for a refund. 

Missing bunny returned after Publix employees comb though landfill to find lost stuffed animal

If you’ve seen “Toy Story 3,” you know what happens to toys at a landfill, but this story has a happy ending thanks to employees at an Alabama Publix. 

Madison, 3, forgot her stuffed bunny in a shopping cart last week. Her mom, Jenna Rachal, went back to the store in hopes of finding her daughter’s toy, but it wasn’t turned in, WPMI reported

She did what almost any mother in this day and age would do: turned to Facebook for help. 

The manager of the store, Mike Gayhart, saw the post and what he did eventually helped Madison be reunited with her toy, WKRG reported

Thanks to security cameras, Gayhart tracked Madison and her bunny’s movements from the store, the parking lot, the cart and eventually a trash can and a dumpster. It then went to a trash compactor before being dumped into a garbage truck and driven to a landfill, WPMI reported

The story could end there, with Madison getting the bad news that her friend was gone forever. 

But Gayhart and three other employees went to the landfill and started digging, WPMI reported. Against all odds, they found him.

>> Read more trending news 

Gayheart then took the bunny home and washed him three times, so he could be returned to Madison, WPMI reported

“These guys did not tell me they were going to the dump. I did not ask them to do that either,” Rachal told WKRG

Rachal said that the bunny still has a smell, but Madison doesn’t care. She hasn’t let go of him and says he smells fine. 

Rachal says she will call Publix corporate offices to tell them what the employees did for her family, WPMI reported.

“Such kindness and above and beyond for their customers, community. Awesome people deserve to be recognized,” she told WKRG.

National Hot Dog Day 2018: 7-Eleven, Love's Travel Stops and more offering discounted, free dogs

National Hot Dog Day is July 18, and multiple restaurants across the country are offering discounted dogs to celebrate. 

>> Read more trending news 

Here are some of the places with National Hot Dog Day offers:

Philly Pretzel Factory

This regional soft pretzel bakery is offering its all beef Dietz & Watson dogs wrapped in American cheese and a Philly Pretzel for $1.

7-Eleven

The convenience store is offering $1 Big Bite hot dogs.

Hwy 55

At most locations in North and South Carolina, this retro 1950s restaurant will serve Southern-style dogs for 99 cents from 2 to 5 p.m. Today reported that all 138 national locations of the restaurants will participate in the offer, but customers will need to download the My Hwy 55 Rewards Program app or have a punch card to get the deal. There is a two hot dogs per person limit.

Sonic Drive-In

Sonic offers corn dogs for 99 cents every day from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Love's Travel Stops

Customers can get free hot dogs from one of Love’s Travel Stops 41 locations from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, but it’s not just limited to hot dogs. Customers who present a barcode at the travel stop can get a dog or another roller grill item -- such as egg rolls, tornados, roller bites and others -- for free. The bar code can be accessed at Love’s official FacebookTwitter or Instagram pages.

Pilot Flying J

Pilot Flying J Travel Centers is offering customers a free hot dog July 18 through its myPilot app. A free hot dog or other roller grill item will be available at participating locations among more than 750 Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers. 

Before rushing out to get a discounted hot dog, be aware that every location may not participate in these deals and some stores and restaurants are not in every state. Be sure to call ahead if you want to take advantage of these offers.

WATCH: Thai soccer team members rescued from cave speak at news conference

Thai soccer team members who were rescued from a cave last week have been released from the hospital and spoke at a news conference Wednesday.

>> Watch the video here

>> COMPLETE COVERAGE: Photos | All 12 boys, soccer coach rescued from Thai cave | Who are the boys, their coach?5 things to know about the Thai cave rescue | More trending news

Update 8:29 a.m. EDT July 18: The news conference has ended.

Update 8:20 a.m. EDT July 18: When asked what they learned from the experience, assistant coach Ekapol “Ake” Chanthawong said he was pleased by the kindness he and the boys were shown and said he plans to be more careful in the future. 

When asked what their dreams are, many of the boys said they want to be professional soccer players and navy SEALs.

Chanthawong said rescuers decided who to extract first by taking volunteers.

The boys said they wanted to tell their parents that they are sorry.

Update 8:05 a.m. EDT July 18: The boys said they were saddened to learn that Thai navy SEAL Saman Kunan had died. Assistant coach Ekapol “Ake” Chanthawong said they felt “guilty.” At the news conference, the boys paid tribute to Kunan with personal messages, thanking him for his sacrifice.

Update 7:58 a.m. EDT July 18: The boys described the moment the divers arrived. One boy, who had a torch, walked up to a diver and said “hello,” they said. The boys told the divers they were doing fine, to which a diver replied in English, “Brilliant.” Assistant coach Ekapol “Ake” Chanthawong said he asked a boy to translate. The boys told rescuers that they had been trapped inside the cave for 10 days.

The boys said they all can swim, contradicting early media reports.

Chanthawong said the boys wanted to go into the cave and had not been inside before, the Guardian reported. Water started to pour and they began to head back to the entrance, then realized they were trapped.

At first, the team attempted to dig out of the cave, drank water from the cave’s walls and had no food, Chanthawong and the boys said.

Update 7:24 a.m. EDT July 18: The coach, all 12 boys and three Thai navy SEALs are introducing themselves to the media.

Before the boys started speaking, a health official said the boys have regained their strength and are doing well mentally, according to the Guardian.

Update 7:08 a.m. EDT July 18: The members of the Wild Boars soccer team have arrived at Chiang Rai’s provincial hall for the press conference.

Man steals date's car, uses it to take another girl to drive-in movie, police say

A man was arrested after police said he stole a car from a girl he was taking on a date. 

According to the arrest affidavit, Kelton Griffin went over to the victim's house to go on a date. Police said Griffin asked to drive her car because she 'did not know where he wanted to take her.' 

She agreed and the two switched seats. The suspect drove to a gas station and asked the woman to go inside and pick up some cigars. After she entered the business, Griffin drove off in her car, police said. 

>> Read more trending news 

The victim tried to call him several times. But, he did not answer her calls and blocked her on social media. 

Court records said she also let her family know her car was stolen by Kelton. On the same day, the victim's God sister texted her and said Griffin asked her on a date. He was picking her up from her grandmother's house. 

The woman drove to the home, and the suspect and his new date were already driving off. The victim's God sister then texted the victim and told her they were at the Summer Drive-in Movie theater in her vehicle. 

Police made the scene and arrested Kelton Griffin. 

He is charged with Theft of Property. 

City helps teen get permit for hot dog stand instead of permanently shutting him down

After someone filed a complaint about a non-permitted hot dog stand in Minneapolis, the city health department took the only step it could: They helped the teen entrepreneur get the legal paperwork he needed instead of forcing him to close up shop.

Jaequan Faulkner, 13, has been running Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs, off and on, for a couple of years. It all started back in 2016 when the teen found a hot dog grill at his uncle’s house. But this year someone called the Minneapolis Health Department and filed a complaint about the pop-up food stand, the Star Tribune reported

The health department took the extra steps of guiding Faulkner through the proper way to serve food to the public and made sure he had the equipment he legally needed to run his shop: thermometers, containers, hand sanitizer and cleaning stations for utensils. They also walked him through the correct way to handle food.

>> Read more trending news 

Faulkner passed his health inspection, and the city issued him a special event food permit. The teen didn’t pay for the permit, but the inspectors themselves chipped in the $87 fee, the Star Tribune reported.

Business leaders also helped Faulkner develop his plan on making the hot dog stand profitable.

Faulkner planned on using his profits for extra spending money, the Star Tribune reportedCNN reported that he was also using the money to buy new clothes and shoes.

But Faulkner said that he’s not doing  it just for the money. “It’s just something I enjoy doing,” he told the Star Tribune.

Next year, though, he wants to help others with the money he earns. He plans to put 25 cents of every hot dog sale to raise awareness about youth suicide and depression, the Star Tribune reported.

Faulkner’s permit is good for 10 days after issue, then he will move the stand to new locations including in front of an area police station which sponsored his next permit. Other organizations will pay for the permits to get through the rest of the summer, CNN reported.

Bicyclist ignores roadblocks, rides onto opening drawbridge

A Wisconsin woman had to be treated for injuries after paying no heed to barriers on a drawbridge in the process of opening.

The woman, whose name has not been released, fell into the gap between the road and the moving section of the bridge, WISN reported.

It happened on July 4, but was just recently released by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

>> Read more trending news 

Good Samaritans pulled the woman out of the gap. She was taken to an area hospital for facial injuries, WISN reported.

The bridge was opened to allow boats that were at a fireworks show through, The Post Crescent reported. Once the bridge operator noticed what happened, he left it open until the woman was rescued.

Teacher in awe as strangers on plane donate $530 to her low-income students

A Chicago charter school teacher's heartwarming story of how strangers on a plane donated hundreds of dollars to her low-income students is going viral.

>> Nonprofit helping pay off mortgage on slain police officer's family home

According to WMAQ, Kimber Bermudez, who teaches at Carlos Fuentes Elementary School, was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida last week when the passenger next to her sparked up a conversation about her job. After learning that Bermudez is a teacher, he asked her about the greatest challenge she faces at her school.

"I told him that working at a low-income school can be heartbreaking," Bermudez wrote in a Facebook post. "We talked about the world and how no child should ever do without. In 2018, kids should never be hungry or in need of anything."

He then asked for Bermudez's contact information, saying his company often donates to schools like hers.

But the acts of kindness didn't stop there.

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

"The man behind me tapped my shoulder," Bermudez wrote. "I turned around and he apologized for listening in to my conversation, and he handed me a wad of cash. He told me to 'do something amazing' and sat back down. I was in complete awe that I had touched a stranger. I realized that there was $100 on top, and started to cry. I thanked him and told him how I would buy my students books and give back to the community. I didn’t count the money from that man, but I would later find out that he gave me $500."

After the plane landed, another man who overheard the conversation gave her $20, while another handed her $10, Bermudez said.

>> Read more trending news 

"I started crying on the plane," she wrote. "I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids. I was not telling my story to solicit money, and never intended to walk out of that flight with anything other than my carry on. I do however hope that posting this continues the chain reaction of people helping those in need, and especially the children in need."

Bermudez said her "heart is in complete shock and awe."

"This experience made me want to do more for the kids, and use my gift of speaking to help others in need," she wrote. "I want to pass this story around, and thank those strangers and their amazing hearts!"

Read more here or here.

>> See Bermudez's Facebook post here

Lip sync challenge: Watch Charlotte police officers get down in hilarious viral video

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina released a video of officers and staff getting down in a lip sync challenge Tuesday.

>> Watch the video here

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

Chief Kerr Putney even took part in the fun

The department has been posting about the video it was putting together for several days.

>> Read more trending news 

>> Police officers compete in viral lip sync battle

The friendly lip sync competition has been heating up on social media among law enforcement agencies across the country.

Nonprofit helping pay off mortgage on slain police officer's family home

A nonprofit organization has announced a major donation to help pay off the mortgage on a slain Massachusetts police officer's family home.

Weymouth police Sgt. Michael Chesna, 42, was shot and killed Sunday in the line of duty. 

>> On Boston25News.com: Weymouth police Officer Michael Chesna posthumously promoted to sergeant

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is providing the first $100,000 toward the mortgage and is challenging others to support the family through the initiative.

Any money raised exceeding the mortgage will go directly to Chesna's wife and two children.

>> On Boston25News.com: Court docs: Man stood over Weymouth officer and shot him 10 times

The foundation, established in memory of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, supports military and first responders who are killed in the line of duty. In addition to his service with the Weymouth Police Department, Chesna was also a military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

>> Read more trending news 

Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the foundation, will join Weymouth police Chief Richard Grimes at the Weymouth Police Department at 3 p.m. Wednesday to make the official announcement.

Click here if you’d like to donate.

Photos: American League wins 2018 MLB All-Star Game

The AL pulled out an 8-6 win over the National League at the 89th MLB All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Florida college student saves mom's life before dying in crash

A Florida mother said her son saved her life in the seconds before a crash that claimed his life.

>> Watch the news report here

Greg Yutuc, 22, was the only person killed in a three-vehicle crash near Jacksonville's Buckman Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: PHOTOS: University of North Florida student saves mom's life in I-295 crash, dad says

Stitches lined Gerry Yutuc’s bruised eyelid and his wife, Charina, had a seat belt burn across her chest.

“All I remember is seeing that red car and we are spinning around,” Gerry Yutuc said.

They were headed back from their family vacation and were driving on I-295 with their three kids in their van when state troopers said a 21-year-old driver rear-ended another car, then cut off their van.

“It was too late for me,” Yutuc said.

Their son, Greg, was sitting in the passenger seat and grabbed the steering wheel at the last second.

“So the impact could be on his side, to avoid the impact on mom,” Yutuc said.

>> Read more trending news 

Yutuc said the van flipped.

“I looked around and saw four people. My wife, my two daughters and without Greg,” Yutuc said.

Greg was thrown from the vehicle and an officer on scene told them their son didn’t make it.

Florida Highway Patrol said Greg was not wearing a seat belt.

“We didn’t have a chance to hug him and say goodbye,” Yutuc said.

Since Greg was a child, he’s been on several mission trips and had plans of becoming a missionary, his parents said.

“His heart is really sharing the gospel,” Yutuc said.

In his 22 years, Yutuc said his only son affected many lives.

“I know we have a great son, but I didn’t know the extent of his influence,” Yutuc said.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Drivers concerned about safety on Buckman Bridge

It was unconditional, selfless love they said Greg will be most remembered by.

“He inspired us and we want to be an inspiration,” Yutuc said.

The family said the community support has been overwhelming.

Man tries to hire hitman to kill ex-wife for $10,000, Hawks tickets

An Acworth inmate promised $10,000 and two Atlanta Hawks tickets to anyone who would kill his ex-wife and her current boyfriend. Word got around, including to an FBI informant.

>> Read more trending news 

Michael Lawrence Dane McEarchern, 29, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday, according to federal court documents.

McEarchern was in Bartow County jail during October on drug charges when he started circulating his the word that he wanted to hire a hitman.

The FBI found out from the confidential informant and they had McEarchern send a $800 down payment to a P.O. box in late November to see if he was serious, according to federal court records. His girlfriend at the time sent the money for him.

McEarchern told the would-be assassin where his ex-wife lived in Smyrna, what the best time of day would be to find her, and the name of the barbershop where the current boyfriend worked.

>> Trending : Atlanta mayor racks up nearly $12,000 in limousine tab in less than 5 months

McEarchern was indicted on charges in the murder-for-hire plot at the start of the year. He pleaded guilty and was convicted in late April.

Federal court documents show he’ll have three years of supervised release after prison.

Atlanta mayor racks up nearly $12,000 in limousine tab in less than 5 months

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has spent nearly $12,000 of taxpayer money on limousines in just five months, according to an investigation by WSB-TV and the  Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AJC.com.

>> Read more trending news 

An Atlanta City Hall spokesperson said that you can’t put a price tag on the mayor’s safety, calling Bottoms’ use of a

luxury car service “an expedient solution that had already been assessed for safety.”

Through an open records request into Bottoms’ city-issued credit card statements, the WSB/AJC investigation found 27 separate charges to Carey Limousine during out of town trips. The average bill was $431.

There was a $3,900 charge in April. The city said the limo company billed the city late for services during the Super Bowl in Minneapolis and the company may have mistakenly kept the car on standby status during a day-long event.

“The public will have to be the judge as to whether they think that’s excessive or not,” City Council President Felicia Moore said.

>> Trending: Families say falling trees are putting their lives in danger

Bottoms’ monthly limo spending is outpacing former Mayor Kasim Reed.

Reed’s bills show more than $28,000 spent with Carey Limousine, but that was over his final three years in office. Reed’s average charge was about $200.

“If Mayor Bottoms wants her administration’s legacy to be a ‘we’re too greedy to care,’ then they’re off to a great start,” said former federal prosecutor Jeff Brickman.

In a written statement, a city spokesperson said, “Mayor Bottoms relied heavily upon the procedures previously used, including the use of a secure and vetted car service. As the use of the service was being examined by the Bottoms’ administration, a significant increase in the trajectory of the costs over the course of those first few months was noted. She immediately began to explore alternative methods of ground conveyance.”

Our review of credit card statements for members of Bottoms’ executive protection unit showed they booked about a dozen far cheaper out-of-town Uber and Lyft trips in April and May. 

>> Trending: Man tried to hire hitman to kill ex-wife for $10,000, Hawks tickets

That’s a trend Brickman hopes will continue.

“If you really want to be transparent, and you really want to separate and distinguish yourself from the previous administration, show us, you know, ways that you are really meaning what you’re saying. Do it. Don’t just say it,” Brickman said.

The city said the best use of ground transportation will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Parents file lawsuit after daughter drowns when she’s swept over dangerous dam while kayaking

The parents of a kayaker who drowned after she was swept over a dam on the Ohio River last year are suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

>> Read more trending news 

Brittany Evans and Helene Brandy, both 25 years old, were killed when they went over the Dashields Dam in May of 2017. 

The dam is located along the Ohio River, north of Sewickley in Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

>> Related: Conditions too dangerous to recover body near dam on Ohio River

Evans' parents have now filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

"Too many people are losing their lives on that river. We wanna be part of the process to correct that," said Helene's uncle, Ken Brandy. 

According to the lawyer who filed the federal lawsuit, Evan's parents are echoing those concerns. The couple contends the Army Corps of Engineers has not provided adequate warnings about the dangerous Dashields Dam to boaters and kayakers.

The lawsuit is asking for more warning signs along the river.

Evans' family is also asking for earnings potential and damages for pain and suffering.

>> Trending: DNA test solves 1988 cold case rape, murder of 8-year-old April Tinsley, suspect arrested

Video shows black bear snarfing down family’s picnic in Georgia

A bear made a beeline for a picnic table in Pickens County, Georgia. The incident was caught on camera, WSB-TV reported.

>> Read more trending news

Video shows black bear snarfing down family’s picnic in Georgia.

The large female black bear can be seen in the video climbing onto the picnic table and grabbing a package of hot dogs buns at the Big Canoe community in Jasper.

The family was unable to scare the bear off, according to WSB-TV.

“(The bear is) not afraid of people, so the last thing I want is a child sitting there eating a sandwich, and the bear decides he wanted that sandwich first,” community general manager Jill Philmon said.

The bear turned out to be a mother with three little cubs nearby. State wildlife biologists said the bears have probably been fed by people or have gotten used to eating out of the residents’ trash cans. 

The Department of Natural Resources told the news station they have set some traps to attempt to catch the bears if they continue to return for food.

Mystery of glamorous Goodwill slides solved, family located in Midwest

Their story has captivated the world.

A metro Atlanta mom shopping at a local Goodwill happened upon their trove of memories. Eager to reunite the treasures with their owners, she sent a modern-day message in a bottle - a Facebook post - onto the roaring seas of social media. 

>> Read more trending news  

A story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution appeared last week, sparking a flood of interest. The post generated more than 20,000 retweets and follow-up stories from other media outlets including local stations, CNN and CBS Evening News.

Finally, someone recognized the images. A call was placed. The mystery was solved at last.

It didn’t end like Kristie Baeumert thought it would.

The Fairburn mom of five often shops for kids’ clothes at the Tyrone Goodwill store, and she was browsing there the other day when an Argus 300 Model III slide projector caught her eye. Finally, she’d be able to view the slides she’d inherited from her grandmother.

“She would go to Hawaii and then come back and we’d all line up and see her slides,” she recalled. “I just wanted to experience those again.”

She bought the projector for $15, planning to stage slide viewing gatherings of her own.

>> Related: A glamorous Goodwill mystery: Who are the strangers in these slides?

“I’m sort of the keeper of my family,” she said. “I have my grandmother’s china cabinet in my kitchen. I have my other grandmother’s wedding china. I’m big on keeping things in the family.”

Little did she know when she plucked the sturdy green box off the Goodwill shelf, she was adding another family’s memories to her own.

She didn’t realize at first that the projector came with a box of slides, and what magnificent slides they were. They depict a glamorous and loving family. The two little girls were always dressed alike. Their mother was a vision in her tea-length dresses, their father a dashing head-turner.

“I was instantly obsessed,” Baeumert said. “I made my whole family look at them. My friends came over and I was like, ‘We’re going to look at these slides!’”

>> Related: $13 dollar flea market ring sells for almost $850,000 at auction

It’s not hyperbole to say the entire world’s had a good look at them. The AJC’s heard from folks across the country and from New Zealand, Australia, India and Africa.

“What a story about the Goodwill projector! Wow!” director Ava DuVernay said in a message. “Following closely!”

We responded to her message and to so many others with hopeful excitement. Maybe the family can be located and someone can turn their life into a movie. Maybe a book. Maybe the slides could be featured in a museum exhibit. We hoped and prayed this precious family could be found.

Then, they were.

There were a few tantalizing clues and they all turned out to be accurate. Yes, this was a military family. A happy, loving one. He was in the U.S. Air Force and they traveled the world, as images from Wake Island and Nagasaki suggest.

Yes, they were from Kansas, as a penciled note on the box of slides suggested.

The one thing we were wrong about: the slides were not donated in error. No one’s been looking for them.

Items in a Goodwill store might have been donated in that location, but they might have come from elsewhere, too. There’s really no telling, and Goodwill doesn’t keep track of who donates what.

After the CBS segment aired on Monday night, a series of phone calls connected Baeumert with a member of the Kansas family.

The lady of the house, the one so stunning in her evening gown and stole “was a beautiful woman,” a relative told her, among other details. She’s returning the items privately to the person, and then that will be that.

They don’t want to write a book, or make a movie, or stage an art exhibit. The images depicted in the slides are 60 years old and wouldn’t be recognizable to anyone outside the family. Baeumert isn’t sharing their names or other details. 

“You do feel like you have a connection,” Baeumert said as she packed up the images of people she’s come to view as friends.

Baeumert’s been besieged with interest since the initial story ran. A few kooks have found their way to her social-media inbox and her phone’s been buzzing nonstop.

“I had to shut down my whole Facebook page,” she sighed.

Once the tempest subsided, she posted a coda.

>> Trending: Eating fat is the only cause of weight gain, study finds

“Many thanks to everyone who came together to find the family and for all the kind comments,” she wrote. “People shared stories with me of their childhoods in military housing and of lost pictures they wish someone could find from their own family. I hope this story inspires people to dust off some boxes in their basements and bring those old memories to life again.

Off to Goodwill on my next treasure hunt now!”

Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams checks in to mental health facility, reports say

Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams has reportedly checked herself into a mental health facility, TMZ reports.

Williams posted a letter to her fans on her Instagram page on Tuesday.

“I recently listened to the same advice I have given thousands around the world and sought help from a great team of professionals,” Williams posted.

Sources told TMZ that Williams is receiving treatment at a facility near Los Angeles.

Williams has been open about her struggles with depression, revealing her story in an interview on “The Talk” last year.

>> Read more trending news 

Williams recently reunited with Destiny’s Child members Beyonce and Kelly Rowland at Coachella in April.

It was the first time the group has performed together in several years.

Venomous snake species discovered in Australia may already be endangered, biologists say

A new species of venomous snake has been discovered in Australia and biologists say it is dangerously close to extinction.

The new species of bandy snake was found at Weipa on the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula by researchers with the University of Queensland

Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland who lead the team of biologists, said that the discovery happened by chance.

>> Read more trending news 

“Bandy-bandy is a burrowing snake, so Freek Vonk, from the Naturalis Museum, and I were surprised to find it on a concrete block by the sea,” Fry said. “We later discovered that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble waiting to be loaded onto a ship.”

The snake turned out to be genetically different than any other snake.

“On examination by my student Chantelle Derez, the bandy-bandy turned out to be a new species, visually and genetically distinct from those found on the Australian East coast and parts of the interior.”

Another specimen was found in its natural habitat near Weipa, and another was killed by a car close to the mine.

Five of the snakes were found in all.

Fry said the species is at risk due to local development.

“Bauxite mining is a major economic activity in the region, and it may be reshaping the environment to the detriment of native plants and animals,” said Fry.

Venom from the snake could be rich in compounds that could be used to discover new medications, Fry said.

“Every species is precious and we need to protect them all, since we can’t predict where the next wonder drug will come from, Fry said. “The importance of such discoveries goes beyond simply documenting what is out there, as venoms are rich sources of compounds that can be used to develop new medications.”

Study says eating fat is the only cause of weight gain

Many studies have shown that carbohydrates, sugar and fat are the causes of weight gain. However, a new report reveals that fat is the only culprit

>> Read more trending news  

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen and the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently conducted a study, published in the Cell Metabolism journal, to explore the impacts of macronutrients on body weight. 

To do so, they fed mice 30 different diets that varied in fat, carbs and protein contents for a three-month period, the equivalent of nine years for humans. 

The analysts made over 100,000 measurements of body weight changes and body fat, which was recorded with a micro MRI machine. 

>> Related: Here's why weight gain causes loss of taste buds, study says

After analyzing the results, they found that only fat caused mice to gain excessive weight over a long period of time.

“The result of this enormous study was unequivocal - the only thing that made the mice get fat was eating more fat in their diets,” lead author John Speakman said in a statement. “These effects of dietary fat seemed to be because uniquely fat in the diet stimulated the reward centres in the brain, stimulating greater intake.”

The scientists said carbs did not have an effect on weight gain. They also said the combination of sugar and fat did not have more impact than fat alone. Furthermore, low amounts of protein did not cause the mice to eat more. 

Although they noted that using mice rather than humans was a limitation, they said both species have many similarities in their physiology and metabolism. 

>> Related: Lack of sunlight in the winter could cause weight gain

“We are never going to do studies where the diets of humans are controlled in the same way for such long periods,” Speakman said. “So the evidence it provides is a good clue to what the effects of different diets are likely to be in humans.”

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