Your Pup’s Fur Only Protects Him So Much. Here’s How Long Dogs Can Stand The Cold.

Our dogs’ fur is very versatile in how it protects them from both the heat and the cold. But that doesn’t mean their coats can keep them safe in extreme temperatures.

Just as pets shouldn’t be left out in warm weather (particularly in hot cars) for an extended period of time, they shouldn’t spend too long in freezing temperatures, regardless of their breed. Many assume that dogs and cats do better than people in cold weather because of their fur, but according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, it’s not true. They’re just as susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, which is why it’s important for owners to know their dogs’ limits.

So how do you determine your pup’s tolerance to the cold? It all depends on their breed and overall health. Small dogs with shorter hair and thinner coats are more likely to become cold faster than bigger dogs with thicker, longer coats. That’s why booties, sweaters, and coats made for dogs are a good idea.

“Under 30 degrees, factoring in the wind chill, it’s not going to be safe for any dog to be outside for an extended period of time,” said Dr. Kim Smyth, a staff veterinarian with Petplan insurance. “You can buy yourself a little bit of time with warm weather clothing.” If you aren’t using booties, wipe down your dog’s paws when they come inside and check their pads for redness or swelling.

Certain conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease can make it harder for dogs to regulate their body temperature. The cold can also make conditions like arthritis worse.

Besides bundling your pup up, be sure to keep an eye on him for signs of hypothermia. “Shivering would be the first sign … so you want to get these dogs inside, wrap them up in a warm towel or blanket and get them to the vet if you need to,” Smyth said

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Secret Pro-Life Meeting With Mike Pence Killed Obamacare FixFor Now

A bipartisan effort to stabilize the U.S. health-insurance markets collapsed last month after anti-abortion groups appealed directly to Vice President Mike Pence at the 11th hour, The Daily Beast has learned.

Amid opposition from conservatives in the House of Representatives, a group of pro-life activists met with Pence to lobby the Trump administration against supporting a health-insurance market-stabilization bill on the grounds that it does not contain sufficient language on abortion restrictions, according to sources with direct knowledge of the meeting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was also in attendance at the Dec. 19 meeting, three of the sources said.

The next day, key lawmakers involved in crafting the legislation announced they were punting on the issue until 2018.

A spokeswoman for the vice president confirmed the meeting to The Daily Beast. A spokesman for McConnell did not respond to requests for comment.

Efforts to pressure Pence, a hardline social conservative and a former lawmaker, are thrusting abortion back onto the national stage in a debate over the future of health care in America, as Republicans deliberate behind closed doors on whether to try to scrap Obamacare again in 2018.

That effortthough it failed in the Senate several times last yearwas bolstered when the House and Senate passed a sweeping tax-overhaul bill last month. The legislation included a provision that scrapped the Obamacare individual mandate, a measure that required Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

The tax bill passed the Senate due in large part to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) vote, which was contingent upon the Senate voting at a later date on the bipartisan health-insurance market-stabilization bill that was crafted by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA). Collins has argued that the legislation would mitigate the effects of the individual-mandate repeal, which the Congressional Budget Office said would result in 13 million more Americans without insurance over the next 10 years. Collins also pushed for her bill with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) that would allocate $10.5 billion for a federal reinsurance pool.

The Alexander-Murray legislation would restore Obamacare subsidies that the Trump administration cut off in October, and it would give individual states more flexibility to set insurance regulations. The Republican proponents of the bill argue that it would serve as a short-term stabilization measure to transition away from the Affordable Care Act, assuming congressional Republicans can come toor even seekan agreement on a replacement.

The bill, though, has an unclear path forward. It was thought to have enough support to pass the Senate, but Democrats appear to be backing off the bill, blaming the GOPs elimination of the individual mandate.

The Republicans want the bill. My question is, with the change in the marketplace that they created with the tax bill, is it still going to work? We dont have the answer, Murray, the co-creator of the compromise bill, told The Daily Beast. The marketplace has changed dramatically. So were looking at it.

Even before the individual mandate was repealed as part of the tax bill, Alexander-Murray did not pass muster with House Republicans, who last month floated the idea of adding a provision on the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal dollars from being used for abortions. The pro-life activists who met with Pence last month said the absence of such a measure in the Alexander-Murray bill is a major red flag because it means that the subsidies, known as cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, could be used on health plans that fund abortions.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, wrote in a letter to lawmakers last month that supporting Alexander-Murray is a vote to directly appropriate taxpayer dollars for insurance that includes abortion. Dannenfelser attended the meeting with Pence, which was viewed as critical because President Donald Trump had expressed support for Alexander-Murray in closed-door meetings on Capitol Hill, according to senators who attended those meetings.

Supporters of the legislation note that Hyde protections already exist under Obamacarethough pro-life activists claim that those are watered downand Republican senators pointed to a recent memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stating that the Trump administration would enforce those existing abortion provisions more strictly than the Obama administration did.

Moreover, the law itself only lasts through 2019 as a way to give Republicans enough time to come up with an Obamacare replacement. Still, social conservatives are seeking to further codify those protections so that they could outlast the Trump administration.

Adding Hyde Amendment language would shore up conservative support in the House, where Alexander-Murray has faced stiff opposition from hardliners who argue that the legislation simply props up Obamacare. At the same time, though, such a change to the legislationwhich was already brokered in a way that gave concessions to both sideswould nearly eliminate Democratic support for the bill, tanking it altogether.

McConnells attendance at the meeting was notable because he, at the urging of Alexander and Collins, delayed a vote on Alexander-Murray until after the holiday recess after initially promising Collins a vote on the bill in December. Republicans were considering adding Alexander-Murray to the government-funding bill before lawmakers left for the holidays, but such a move would have given House Republicans a reason to vote against the short-term funding measure, thereby threatening a government shutdown just three days before Christmas.

The day after the Pence meeting, Collins and Alexander announced they were urging McConnell to punt on the issue until January.

But as congressional leaders continue to negotiate a two-year government funding bill and an immigration deal, health care is expected to take a back seat even as talks continue. Lawmakers must come to an agreement on a funding mechanism before Jan. 19 in order to keep the governments lights on.

Betsy Woodruff contributed reporting.

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4-Month-Old is Viciously Attacked by Raccoon in Bedroom2 Weeks Later, Her Parents Are Stunned by the Support Theyve Received

Perhaps nothing is more terrifying as a parent than knowing your children are unsafe in their own home.

It is a feeling that Philadelphia mother Ashley Rodgers knows all too well after her four-month-old baby girl was brutally mauled by a raccoon in their newly-rented rooming house.


They had moved into the unit just a few days prior.

“My daughter was laying on the bed sleeping and I went to take my son to the bathroom,” Ashley told CBS Philly. “We heard a sound upstairs and we see a raccoon run down the steps.”

By the time she got to her daughter, Journi, the rodent had already torn her off the bed and dragged her to the other side of the bedroom.


“When I finally got to her, she was laying on the floor so it had dragged her off the bed, across the room, and she was bleeding and crying and her whole face was red,” reported the devastated mother.

Journi was quickly rushed to the hospital where doctors mended her facial wounds with 65 stitches, but they warned Ashley that her full recovery could take as long as a year.


Thankfully, the four-month-old fighter was released from the hospital on Christmas day, just five days after the attack.


“It’s a good Christmas gift,” said her grateful mama, who now intends to seek legal action against the landlord who ignored numerous complaints by tenants of raccoon infestation.

“It is his (the landlord’s) responsibility,” added Journi’s father, Samuel Black. “There’s no reason an animal should have gotten into the house with minors.”


In the meantime, the family has received an unexpected influx of generosity from strangers across the country who are trying to get little Journi in a safe home.

In just 2 days, the GoFundMe page raised a whopping $15,000, far surpassing its goal of $2,000–and a little over two weeks later, that amount has nearly doubled.

Journi’s parents are eternally grateful for the overwhelming flood of support they’ve received since the incident, allowing them to keep their focus on getting their baby girl back to full health.

“We are just taking it one day at a time,” said Sam. “My focus is getting my daughter back to full strength and making sure her scars and everything is healed so she can live the rest of her life beautiful.”

He later added, “As long as it takes, we’ll be here for her.”


“Even though she hadn’t fully healed with prayer and patience she will get better,” Journi’s grandma, Michelle Straughter, wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Thanks to all who donated to the go fund me page. We understand that you may not have it to give but your prayers is good enough.”

Please join us in praying for sweet Journi’s speedy recovery. If you feel led to support this family financially, you may donate to their GoFundMe here.

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Why kids love ‘fascist’ cartoons like ‘Paw Patrol’ and ‘Thomas’

(CNN)Parents like to see themselves as purveyors of possibility. We want our children to inhabit a world in which identities are both mutable and equal, and imagination and empathy reign supreme!

But young children, as dictated by their tastes in popular culture, have something else in mind. They’re drawn to worlds in which identities are fixed, order trumps imagination and transgressions are met with routine punishment.
This clash between what parents desire for their children and what children desire for themselves is most easily observable in cartoon preferences. So often, the more parents dislike a show, the more their children love it.
    Two of the most divisive shows are “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “Paw Patrol,” both of which have been eviscerated by grown-ups on discussion boards, in social media and in widely shared essays in prestigious publications.
    “Thomas,” the long-running television franchise about a group of working trains chugging away on the Island of Sodor, has been called a “premodern corporate-totalitarian dystopia” in the New Yorker, imperialist and sinister in Slate, and classist, sexist and anti-environmentalist in the Guardian. And yet people — presumably parents — spend $1 billion on “Thomas” merchandise every year.
    “Paw Patrol” is equally polarizing. The show, about a group of rescue dogs led by a boy named Ryder, is a regular source of complaint among parents and of adoration among their kids.
    Buzzfeed called the show “terrible” and pointed to instances of gender and social inequality that go unchecked on the show. In the Guardian, Ryder is described as a megalomaniac with an implied “unstoppable God complex.” Nevertheless, “Paw Patrol” is ubiquitous. Branded merchandise featuring Ryder and the gang outsells most other television shows, according to recent data from the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association. A recent Amazon search for “Paw Patrol” yielded 24,814 results.
    It’s tempting as a parent — especially those of us who are aghast at contemporary politics — to be disturbed by the notion of our children tuning in for a regular dose of primary-colored authoritarianism. What ever happened to “Free to Be … You and Me?
    But, rage as we might, these shows are a source of comfort for our young children, whose id-driven brains seek out the order, stability and even punishment in their entertainment.
    Despite their reputation of innocence, children are bubbling cauldrons of conflicting feelings and impulses. This is especially the case during toddler and preschool years, when they become aware of their capacity to do bad things and struggle with understanding those urges.
    The neat moral order of shows like “Thomas” and “Paw Patrol” gives them a context for these feelings, explained Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive.” Good and bad are clearly articulated states in those shows, she said, and should one misbehave, the repercussions are clear and predictable.
    “This is an age group that is constantly dealing with all these negative feelings in themselves. ‘Am I good?’ ‘Am I bad?’ They are trying to figure out what that means,” Klein said.
    These shows also help children navigate their paradoxical relationship with power. On one hand, they desperately want some power. Watching the pups in “Paw Patrol” go on a mission or the trains in “Thomas” being useful allows them to feel as though they too have an important role to play.
    On the other hand, children take comfort in the idea that someone is in charge. To them, Ryder isn’t a megalomaniac, and Sir Topham Hatt of “Thomas” isn’t a neocolonial autocrat. They’re just the guys delegating responsibilities to their eager inferiors. And the fact that these leaders, both white males, look like most figures in position of authority in the real world is not lost on children.
    “Children know there are a lot of scary things in the world, that there are a lot of bad things that can happen, and these shows make them feel like they could be part of fixing it,” Klein said. “But they know at some level that they can’t take care of things solely on their own, and being part of a team makes them feel safe.”
    Among these cartoons’ many critics exists a subgroup of parents who are OK with some degree of autocracy and Manichean dualistic politics but just wish they would be presented with more nuance.
    That’s not so easy, however, explained Yalda T. Uhls, a research scientist who studies children and media at the University of California, Los Angeles, and for the nonprofit Common Sense Media. “Rigidness and simplicity of narrative (in children’s television shows) is really important, because in the real world so much is going on. And young children aren’t really capable of abstract thought.”
    Uhls said preschool-age children pay close attention to social cues and status, all in an attempt to figure out where they stand. The clearly articulated hierarchies in these cartoons confirm what they are struggling to understand in their own lives: mainly, that someone else, probably a parent or teacher, is in charge.
    Parents concerned with the unsavory elements in shows like “Thomas” and “Paw Patrol” should talk to their children about them, but “don’t overthink it,” Uhls said.
    “It takes a long time for a child to learn something from media and then apply it to their own life,” she said. For example, children won’t immediately take up bullying just because they saw it go unpunished on television.
    Katherine DM Clover, a mother of a 2-year-old in Detroit who occasionally watches “Thomas,” struggles with whether she should use the same criteria to judge her child’s TV preferences as she does her own.
    “I think there is a fine line that parents walk when it comes to media. Obviously, there are some things that are going to be totally off-limits and some things that are more in the ‘I don’t love it, but whatever’ territory. … ‘Thomas’ feels like a very difficult call. Is this harmful, or is it just not to my taste?”
    She said that for now, she still lets him occasionally watch the show, because Thomas is “so close to the line. And as a socially conscious parent, there are so many things that are way over it.”
    Sa’iyda Shabazz, who is based in Los Angeles, said she has no qualms letting her 4-year-old watch “Thomas,” which is “his favorite thing in the entire world.”
    “I think it’s evolved a lot over the years, which is why I don’t really agree with the ‘fascist’ label,” she said. “I think the characters show empathy more, and friendship is a bigger theme. And not for nothing, they’re trains. Order and doing as you’re told is important to running a successful train line.”
    Then there are the parents who are OK with the authoritarian elements in children’s media but wish the authorities didn’t always have to be white and male.
    “I watched ‘Paw Patrol’ once with my daughter, and on that episode, Skye volunteered for a mission, but then Ryder picked two male pups,” said Rebekah Pajak, a mother of a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old in Chicago. Skye is the only female in the core team of six rescue pups on the show. “I remember thinking, ‘There’s a glass ceiling in this cartoon!’ “
    Like many parents struggling with their children’s media choices, Pajak doesn’t want to get in the way of something her daughter enjoys — and she really enjoys “Paw Patrol.” But the concern about her daughter absorbing patriarchal messages lingers.
    “I don’t want to think one cartoon is going to shape her, but if she sees 10 cartoons, then I do have a concern. It’s systemic. What is this all telling her collectively?”

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    Here’s an idea, gratis, for the creative team behind of “Paw Patrol” and “Thomas,” should they want to broaden their appeal to parents without alienating their fan base: Ryder and Sir Topham Hatt retire and are replaced by their equally domineering sisters. This, in turn, boosts the social status of all the non-male characters. Children would still get the satisfaction of immersing themselves in an orderly universe where rules are rules, and everyone is in his or her place. Just without the white guy on top.

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    This Squirrel Keeps Coming Back To Visit The Family That Saved Her 8 Years Ago

    When Brantley Harrison and her family rescued a tiny, injured squirrel back in 2009, then released her back into the wild, they didn’t expect to ever see her again. 8 years later, however, little Bella still comes to visit them almost every day – as long as snacks are provided, of course.

    After a harrowing owl attack left Bella near death as a baby, she was graciously taken in by the Greenville County, South Carolina family, and raised by them alongside three other squirrels named Larry, Curly, and Moe. Bella stayed with the Harrisons until spring 2010, at which point she had healed successfully thanks to a steady diet of fruit, nuts, and formula, and was ready to romp around in the forest. The sweet squirrel never strayed too far from her adopted home, though, and stops by to say hello whenever she can, despite how much time has passed.

    “Bella sits right at the front door waiting for someone to notice she has come by for a visit. She has even resorted to jumping over to the dining room window to peer in for someone to see her,” Brantley told The Dodo.

    The most amazing part? A few years after Bella’s original stay at the Harrison house, she found her way back to them with an injured foot – and a belly full of babies – necessitating another few months of rehab. “It was truly amazing to watch the baby I raised raise her own babies,” Brantley said. Bella now even has her own Instagram page with almost 4 thousand followers! See some of this family’s sweetest photos below.

    Back in October 2009, this baby squirrel was found injured and alone after an apparent owl attack

    Rescuers placed the poor thing with Brantley Harrison and her family in SC, who soon named her Bella

    For 5 months, the Harrisons lovingly raised and nurtured Bella back to health alongside three other squirrels

    Eventually, the time came to release all 4 squirrels into the wild, never to be seen again after a few days

    One of their former guests, however, just kept coming back to visit every single morning

    It was Bella! The little lady just wasn’t ready to part with the family that saved her life

    Whenever she stops by, she asks for nothing more than a handful of walnuts and plenty of cuddles

    “Bella sits right at the front door waiting for someone to notice she has come by for a visit,” Brantley says

    “She has even resorted to jumping over to the dining room window to peer in for someone to see her”

    A few years later, Bella turned up one morning with an injured foot – and a secret surprise

    Just before she was re-released, Bella gave birth to three babies, and was once again in need of care

    “It was truly amazing to watch the baby I raised raise her own babies,” Brantley commented

    Though it’s been 8 years since Bella and the Harrisons first met, their bond is still just as strong

    Bella even has her own Instagram account now, where her human family documents her adventures

    “My husband will be running late for something and rushes out the door to be greeted by her…”

    “And he HAPPILY runs back inside… and goes back out to spend some time with her”

    This just might be the SWEETEST human-animal friendship we’ve ever seen!

    Do you have a best friend from the wild? Tell us all about them below!

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    A 27-year-old died of cancer. Her final advice has the internet in tears.

    Last week, the world said goodbye to Holly Butcher, a 27-year-old woman from Grafton, Australia.

    Butcher had been battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that predominantly affects young people. In a statement posted on Butcher’s memorialized Facebook account, her brother, Dean, and partner, Luke, confirmed the heartbreaking news to friends.

    “It is with great sadness that we announce Holly’s passing in the early hours of this morning,” they wrote on Jan. 4, 2018. “After enduring so much, it was finally time for her to say goodbye to us all. The end was short and peaceful; she looked serene when we kissed her forehead and said our final farewells. As you would expect, Holly prepared a short message for you all, which will be posted above.”

    Butcher’s message, which Dean and Luke did, in fact, post publicly shortly thereafter, has brought the internet to tears.

    Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook used with permission.

    We believe her powerful message — which has amassed an incredible 72,000 Likes and 56,000 shares across the world so far — deserves to be spread far and wide.

    A bit of life advice from Hol:

    It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just…

    Posted by Holly Butcher on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

    Butcher used her final post to reflect on what she’s learned in her short but beautiful life, offering some advice to those of us who are willing to listen.

    “It’s a strange thing to [realize] and accept your mortality at 26 years young,” she began. “I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and gray — most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts. That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.”

    Butcher’s poignant post is definitely worth reading in full. But here are 16 especially powerful points:

    1. “I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all, so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit. … Those times you are [whining] about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s OK to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively affect other people’s days.”

    2. “Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that — breathe. You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. … I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.”

    Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook used with permission.

    3. “I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise — be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them. .. Appreciate your good health and functioning body — even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is.”

    4. “Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; more than I could ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.

    Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook, used with permission.

    5. “This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus, imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves … strange! … but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. … Anyway, moral of the story — presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas.”

    6. “Use your money on experiences … or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit. Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water.”

    7. “Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.”

    Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook used with permission.

    8. “Listen to music … really listen. Music is therapy.”

    9. “Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.”

    10. “Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing OK?”

    11. “Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not.”

    12. “Work to live, don’t live to work.”

    13. “Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.”

    Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook, used with permission.

    14. “Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life. You might want a mediocre life and that is so OK.”

    15. “Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.”

    16. “Oh and one last thing. If you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year — a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.”

    Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook, used with permission.

    Butcher may be gone, but her impact will live on in the hearts and minds of people around the world.

    “Never [met] her, but I am very touched and in tears,” one Facebook user commented. “Such a bright light for a seemingly dark world at times,” another chimed in. “Beautiful.”

    “What a wise soul she is,” someone concluded. “I’m off to donate my blood.”

    Rest in peace, Holly. You made this world a better place. ❤️

    If you are in the U.S. and inspired by Butcher’s message, consider finding a blood donation center near you. You could save a life.

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    Teenager murders his family members on New Year’s Eve, officials say

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy gunned down his parents, sister and a family friend just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, turning the family home into a bloodbath that his brother and grandfather managed to escape, authorities said Monday.

    The teenager fatally shot his father, mother, sister and a family friend who also lived in the Long Branch, New Jersey home, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement. Police were called to the home around 11:43 p.m., and the suspect was taken into custody without incident, Gramiccioni said.

    “We are confident that this is a domestic incident that is completely isolated,” Gramiccioni said. “It’s a terribly tragic incident.”

    The boy’s name was not released, but the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office identified the deceased as: Steven Kologi, 44; Linda Kologi, 42; Brittany Kologi, 18; and Mary Schultz, 70. Schultz was identified as a “family acquaintance” by the prosecutor’s office.

    The alleged suspect’s brother and grandfather were also at the home at the time of the shooting but were able to escape unharmed, Gramiccioni said during a Monday news conference.

    The teenager is believed to have used a Century Arms “semi-automatic assault rifle” to gun down his family members and the family friend, authorities said. The gun was legally owned and registered to a family member, Gramiccioni said.

    Gramiccioni declined to comment on the suspect’s motive or a possible mental disability when asked by reporters. He did say the attack was an “isolated” domestic incident.

    “The Kologis were very caring, loving people and always looking to do fun things with their kids,” Walter Montelione, Linda Kologi’s cousin, told WCBS-TV. “He was a good kid. He was a little, you know, slow with learning disabilities, but he knows right from wrong.”

    Brittany Kologi was a freshman at Stockton University in Galloway Township, N.J., where she studied health sciences, a university spokeswoman confirmed to Fox News.

    “We are shocked and saddened by the reports of the death of freshman Brittany Kologi under such tragic circumstances,” Diane D’Amico, a Stockton University spokeswoman said. She added that counseling staff will be on hand for students. 

    Jalen Walls went to school with Brittany Kologi and lives a few blocks away from the home. He told that the suspected shooter was cared for by his mother as he required special assistance. 

    “But he was fully functional and comprehended what we were saying,” Walls told the news outlet. 

    Dave Farmer said in a Facebook tribute that he played softball with Steven Kologi and “never had an argument or disagreement since” with him.

    ‘I’m proud to say publicly that I knew and loved this man unconditionally and always told him when we parted, ‘I love you brotha!!!’” Farmer said. 

    The teenager could be charged as an adult, officials said.

    Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Long Branch Police Department have launched a joint investigation into the murders. 

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

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    Haemophilia trial’s ‘mind-blowing’ result

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionFather-of-two Jake Omer was born with haemophilia A

    British doctors say they have achieved “mind-blowing” results in an attempt to rid people of haemophilia A.

    Patients are born with a genetic defect that means they do not produce a protein needed to stop bleeding.

    Thirteen patients given the gene therapy at Barts Health NHS Trust are now off treatment with 11 producing near-normal levels of the protein.

    Jake Omer, 29 from Billericay, Essex, was on the trial and says he feels like he has a new body.

    Like 2,000 other people in the UK, his body could not make clotting factor VIII.

    A minor injury used to cause severe bleeding. He remembers losing two front teeth as a child and bleeding for days afterwards.

    Even the impact of walking would lead to bleeding in his joints and eventually cause arthritis.

    Jake has needed at least three injections of factor VIII a week for most of his life.

    But in February 2016, he had a single infusion of gene therapy.

    Image copyright James Gallagher
    Image caption Jake Omer: ‘Like a new body’

    Jake told the BBC: “I feel like a new person now – I feel like a well-oiled robot.

    “I feel I can do a lot more. I feel my body allows me to do more.

    “I don’t think I would have been able to walk 500m without my joints flaring up, whereas now I think sort of two, three, four-mile walk – I could quite easily achieve that.”

    The first time he knew it had worked was four months after the therapy when he dropped a gym weight and bashed his elbow.

    He started to panic, but after icing the injury that evening, everything was normal the next day.


    The therapy is a genetically engineered virus.

    It contains the instructions for factor VIII that Jake was born without.

    The virus is used like a postman to deliver the genetic instructions to the liver, which then starts producing factor VIII.

    In the first trials, low doses of gene therapy had no effect.

    Of the 13 patients given higher doses, all are off their haemophilia medication a year on and 11 are producing near-normal levels of factor VIII.

    Prof John Pasi, who led the trials at Barts and Queen Mary University of London, said: “This is huge.

    “It’s ground-breaking because the option to think about normalising levels in patients with severe haemophilia is absolutely mind-blowing.

    “To offer people the potential of a normal life when they’ve had to inject themselves with factor VIII every other day to prevent bleeding is transformational.”

    An analysis of the first nine patients on the trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Larger trials are now imminent to see if the therapy can truly transform the lives of patients.

    It is also uncertain how long the gene therapy will be effective.

    Liz Carroll, the chief executive of The Haemophilia Society, said: “Gene therapy is a potentially game-changing treatment.

    “Despite world-leading treatment standards in the UK many still suffer painful bleeds leading to chronic joint damage.”

    However, she warned there was a wide variation in who responded to therapy, which still needed to be explained.

    Gene therapies are likely to be spectacularly expensive. However, the current cost of regular factor VIII injections is about £100,000 a patient per year for life.

    Jake says the therapy should help him live a full life with his family: “It’s going to allow me as my boys grow up to be more active with them, to kick footballs about, to climb trees, to hopefully run around the park with them, not be someone who has to worry.”

    Follow James on Twitter.

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    Temperatures In Australia Hit 117 Degrees As Sydney Sees Hottest Day In 78 Years

    A brutal heat wave in Australia skyrocketed temperatures in Sydney on Sunday to 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.3 Celsius), making it the hottest weather New South Wales’ capital has seen in 78 years, weather officials said.

    The bizarre forecast follows record low temperatures in other parts of the world.

    The worst of the weekend’s heat was recorded in the Sydney suburb of Penrith where the triple-degree temperature was just slightly lower than a 118-degree (47.8 C) reading recorded in the town of Richmond in 1939, according to the New South Wales’ Bureau of Meteorology.

    James D. Morgan via Getty Images
    Crowds cool off in water at Yarra Bay in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday amid a heat wave.

    Temperatures became so hot across southern Australia that police in the neighboring state of Victoria warned drivers on Twitter that a 6-mile freeway was “melting.”

    Fire warnings and bans were also issued across Sydney in response to the high heat threat that has caused multiple wildfires. There was also an air quality warning issued by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for higher than normal ozone levels, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

    Adding to some of the misery felt, a power outage left thousands of people in Sydney without electricity on Sunday evening as temperatures stayed between 91 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit, the local news site reported.

    A spokeswoman for local electricity provider Ausgrid, speaking to Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service, partially blamed the outage on a surge in power use.

    The bizarre weather isn’t just in Australia, however.

    Across the Pacific, Alaska has experienced unusually warm temperatures in recent days, roughly 10 to 20 degrees above average, prompting concerns about ice levels, NPR reported.

    Last week, temperatures in Anchorage were warmer than in northern Florida, which saw snow.

    The U.S.′ northeast has also endured unseasonably cold temperatures, with the mercury dipping below zero in many places. At New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the area saw an all-time low on Saturday of 8 degrees F, meteorologist Bob Oravec of the Weather Prediction Center, told Reuters.

    Temperatures are expected to rise to above normal temperatures for much of the United States in the middle of January, the National Weather Service said on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, World Meteorological Organization spokesperson Clare Nullis pointed out on Friday that Europe is also experiencing unusual temperatures.

    “The French national average on Wednesday was 11.5 degrees Celsius [52.7 degrees Fahrenheit], so that’s about 6 degrees Celsius above the normal, so as I said, lots of extreme weather,” she said during a United Nations session, according to Newsweek.

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    Husband Posts Facebook Plea About Dying WifeThen a Man She Never Met Says “Id Do It”

    35-year-old Coloradan Melinda Ray was quickly dying from a genetic disease destroying her liver.

    With her health condition on the decline every day and little hope for finding a match for a transplant, the outlook for Melinda’s survival was looking rather grim.


    “We had just had candidate after candidate being ruled out, and symptoms were progressing. They were progressing fast,” said husband James Ray to ABC News, adding that “the days were getting harder.”

    However, James was not ready to give up on his beloved wife and mother of their three children.


    In his desperate search for the right match, he decided to post a plea on Facebook in hopes the right pair of eyes may fall upon his message.

    But of the hundreds of friends and family members who saw his post, it turned out to be a total stranger that would be his wife’s saving grace.

    When Robin Ihnfeldt heard about Melinda’s situation through her sister, she told her husband, Jeff, about their search for a match.

    Upon hearing about the woman’s failing liver and dire need for a transplant, he responded without hesitation: “I’d do it.”

    “He’s always been an amazing man,” says Jeff’s wife, Robin, of the former Navy SEAL. “He hears bullets and he runs into these situations.”

    Doctors warned Jeff that the process could be risky, and even fatal, but that didn’t stop the San Diegan from flying all the way out to Colorado to the rescue.

    As a skydying instructor and Hollywood stuntman for movies like “Deepwater Horizon” and “Iron Man,” this man is no stranger to danger.

    “I think I probably considered it for all of half a second before I said, ‘I’m up let’s do this,’” he told ABC.

    Besides, he just couldn’t stand the idea of people standing around doing nothing while a good-hearted soul like Melinda was on her deathbed. 

    “I think the majority of it is it’s just not okay with me that someone would die if people just sit around on their hands,” said Jeff. “I’m kind of a do-something type of person.”

    “You’re going to change someone’s life,” he added. “It could be the difference between life and death for somebody.”

    Jeff ended up donating 60 percent of his liver to Melinda, and both of them are recovering well after the successful surgery.

    “I feel that I have a little sister now. We literally share DNA at this point,” said Jeff. “She gets extended years, she gets to raise her kids, to be the mother that she’s always wanted to be and live out life with her husband.”

    As for Melinda, she’s just grateful that such a kind stranger would risk his own life so that she may have a second shot at hers.

    “It gave me really great hope, and humanity, and hope that I could be a mom and a wife, because that’s something I wasn’t sure was going to happen through the year,” said Melinda.

    “And just the fact that someone would put their life on hold for me and stop their life and save mine, you know, it meant everything to me.”

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