5 Best, Worst US Cities for Retirees

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Florida really is the place to be for retirees. The Sunshine State is home to three of the top five retirement-friendly US cities, according to WalletHub, which ranked the most populated cities across the nation, based on affordability, recreational activities, quality of life, and health care. Living in top-ranked cities could mean retiring a few years earlier than those living elsewhere. The best and worst, with a score out of 100:


  1. Orlando, Fla.: 60.1
  2. Scottsdale, Ariz.: 59.4
  3. Tampa, Fla.: 58.5
  4. Denver: 58.3
  5. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: 57.8


  1. Newark, NJ: 33.9
  2. Bridgeport, Conn.: 34.8
  3. Warwick, RI: 35.7
  4. Baltimore: 35.8
  5. Stockton, Calif.: 36.4
Click for the full list.

They Were Trapped in an Ice Cave. They Started Burning Hair

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An Idaho couple was rescued this week from an ice cave in Wyoming with a little less hair than they entered with. By Sunday night, Spencer and Jessica Christiansen were sure they were staring death in the face. Drenched by a waterfall inside the mazelike Darby Canyon Ice Cave, where they were lost for 30 hours, the experienced climbers and parents of a 1-year-old daughter became so cold they couldn’t move and took to burning their packs and hair as hypothermia set in. “It’s really scary to think you’re leaving a child with no parents,“ but “we knew we only had about an hour or two before we would’ve died,“ Jessica, 24, tells ABC News, which notes it was so cold that the couple’s oranges had frozen solid.

The pair were dressed in jeans and hoodies, per the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Still, they had spent three weeks researching the unmapped cave. Spencer, 27, says they got lost relying on “incorrect information.“ But the scares kept coming. At one point, Spencer caught his wife as she fell 20 feet from a frozen waterfall, ABC reports. Had he not, she says she would’ve fallen another 30 feet and possibly died. Luckily, family members had alerted authorities when the couple didn’t return by Sunday morning. “They found us ... right before we had to burn the last of what we had left,“ Jessica says. The Christiansens, with a better understanding of “what’s important and what’s not,“ were helped out and treated for frostbite.

Dad Yells at White Supremacist Leader in Viral Video

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“You get out of my room!” That’s how Jason Kessler’s father interrupted a livestream between the “Unite the Right” rally organizer and a fellow White nationalist. Posted June 28, the clip went viral after Kessler’s dismal failure marking the anniversary of his 2017 Charlottesville gathering with a rally in Washington, D.C., last weekend. Kessler’s father can be heard demanding,

“I want this to stop in my room, Jason.” Kessler, 34, then explains that the costs of legal action stemming from last year’s deadly violence forced him to move in with his parents.

Learn More:      Vox      The Hill

NYU Makes Medical School Tuition Free, Effective Immediately

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Take $55,018 and call them in the morning. In a bid to address physician shortages and boost diversity, New York University announced every medical student, regardless of financial situation, will get a full ride.

About 41 percent of U.S. medical students incur more than $150,000 in debt, a burden that may discourage graduates from entering crucial but less lucrative specialties like pediatrics.

The school will also refund tuition payments already made this year, but students must still cover room and board and fees of up to $31,000 annually.

Learn More:  Huffington Post      Fortune      Bustle

Kroger begins testing driverless grocery deliveries

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At a time when big-box retailers are trying to offer the same conveniences as their online competitors, the biggest U.S. grocery chain is testing the use of driverless cars to deliver groceries in a Phoenix suburb.

Kroger’s pilot program launched Thursday morning with a robotic vehicle parked outside one of its Fry’s supermarkets in Scottsdale. A store clerk loaded the back seat with full grocery bags. Meanwhile, a person in the driver’s seat to monitor the car’s performance.

Under the self-driving service, shoppers can order same-day or next-day delivery online or on a mobile app for a flat rate of about $6. After the order is placed, a driverless vehicle will deliver the groceries curbside, requiring customers to be present to fetch them. The vehicles will probably be opened with a numeric code.

Currently, Kroger is operating with Toyota Prius vehicles. During the next phase of testing in the fall, deliveries will be made by a completely autonomous vehicle with no human aboard.

Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., is partnering with Nuro, a Silicon Valley startup founded by two engineers who worked on autonomous vehicles at Google.

“Our goal is to save people time, while operating safely and learning how we can further improve the experience,” Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson said in a statement.

The Google autonomous vehicle project is called Waymo, which started a similar pilot program last month at Walmart stores in Phoenix. In that case, self-driving vehicles transport customers to and from their selected Walmart location to pick up online grocery orders.

That is not the only venture Waymo has in metropolitan Phoenix. Waymo has been trying out a service where bus and light rail riders can order an autonomous car to their nearest transit stop. Employees with Valley Metro, the agency that manages Phoenix-area transit lines, are currently serving as test riders. The project, started earlier this month. has Waymo employees gathering data from test drives, the agency said.

Arizona continues to be a testing ground for self-driving technology despite a fatal crash involving a driverless car earlier this year.

A self-driving Uber car struck and killed a woman in March in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. The 49-year-old was crossing a darkened road outside of a crosswalk. But a National Transportation and Safety Board investigation showed the backup driver had been streaming a television show for more than 40 minutes before the accident while the car was in autonomous mode.

Uber later ended the testing of self-driving cars in Arizona. But the company has since relaunched its autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh.

5 US Cities With Most, Least ‘Nice’ Days

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“Nice” weather may differ depending on taste (some people just can’t get enough of an all-day thunderstorm). The Washington Post has applied its own definition—including at least partial sun, temperate thermometer readings, gentle breezes, no rain or snow, and not much humidity—and looked at which major US cities can claim the most, and least, number of pleasant days per year. Here, the top five cities that will make you never want to head indoors (they’re all in one state), plus the number of nice days you can expect from each:

  1. Long Beach, Calif.; 210
  2. Los Angeles; 182
  3. San Diego; 178
  4. San Jose, Calif.; 170
  5. Oakland, Calif.; 138

Read on for the cities that could use a weather boost.

  1. Anchorage, Alaska; 20
  2. Honolulu, Hawaii; 31
  3. Brownsville, Texas; 32
  4. Corpus Christi, Texas; 36
  5. Wichita, Kan.; 38
Check out other comfortable climes HERE.

Ex-Groundskeeper Wins $289M From Monsanto: Case ‘Bigger Than Me’

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A San Francisco jury on Friday ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto to pay $289 million to an ex-school groundskeeper dying of cancer, saying the company’s Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease. Dewayne Johnson’s suit was the first of thousands of cases filed in state and federal courts alleging that Roundup causes cancer, which Monsanto denies. Johnson said he hoped his verdict would bolster the other cases, the AP reports. “This case is way bigger than me,“ Johnson said during a presser after the verdict. “I hope it gets the attention that it needs.“ Jurors in California superior court agreed the product contributed to Johnson’s cancer and the company should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard. Johnson’s attorneys sought and won $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million of the $373 million they wanted in punitive damages.

Johnson used Roundup and a similar product as a pest control manager at a San Francisco area school district, his lawyers say. He sprayed large quantities from a 50-gallon tank, and when it was windy, the product would cover his face, per one of his attorneys. Once, when a hose broke, the product soaked his entire body. Johnson read the label and contacted the company after developing a rash but was never warned it could cause cancer, the attorney said. Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014 at age 42. But an attorney for Monsanto said non-Hodgkin lymphoma takes years to develop, so Johnson’s cancer must have started well before he began working at the school district; the EPA says Roundup’s active ingredient is safe for people when used per label directions. Monsanto has denied a link between Roundup’s active ingredient—glyphosate—and cancer, saying hundreds of studies establish the weed killer is safe. A Monsanto rep says they’ll appeal.

$92M is new estimate for Trump military parade; big increase

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A U.S. official says the Veterans Day military parade ordered up by Donald Trump would cost about $92 million — more than three times the maximum initial estimate.

The official — who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss plans that haven’t been released yet — says about $50 million would cover Pentagon costs for equipment, personnel and other support for the November parade in Washington. The remainder would be borne by other agencies and would include security costs.

Details are not final and haven’t been approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The White House budget office earlier estimated to Congress the parade would cost between $10 million and $30 million.

Trump decided he wanted the parade after he attended France’s Bastille Day celebration in Paris last year.

In a Burger King Bathroom, a Newborn Defies Odds

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A 26-year-old Ohio woman is heading to drug rehab in the hope of securing custody of her week-old son, born in the toilet of a Burger King bathroom stall. Authorities responding to a report of a man passed out behind the wheel of a running car say they found Zachary Frey, 26, “nodding off” in the parking lot of a Chillicothe Burger King with a bag of what they believed to be heroin in his pocket, reports the Chillicothe Gazette. His girlfriend was of greater concern. Found in a bathroom stall with a ball of suspected heroin beside her, Elizabeth Sanders said she believed she’d had a miscarriage. However, the infant in the toilet was found to be breathing after a movement briefly caused the boy’s face to be submerged in water, according to police.

Sanders, who admitted to using heroin a few days before going into labor, said she “thought she had to pee and then it happened and she does not remember anything else after that,“ the police report reads, per McClatchy. Given Narcan at a hospital, Sanders was later arrested on a charge of stealing money from a bartending job, while Frey was charged with drug possession and operating a vehicle while impaired. Released Monday after pleading not guilty, Sanders said she would go to rehab in the hope of getting custody of her son and has since secured a spot with help from officers, reports the Gazette. As of Tuesday, her son remained in the hospital; According to police, Sanders said he was showing signs of withdrawal but “doing well.“

US Ship Sailed in Circles for a Month Over Tariffs

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A soybean-laden US cargo shipped that was cheered on as it sped from Seattle to Dalian, China, in hopes of arriving before a 25% tariff went into effect on July 6 didn’t just not make it. The Peak Pegasus spent a month sailing in circles while still carrying its 70,000 tons of soybeans in hopes the tariff would be reversed and it could hold off unloading its cargo until then. The Guardian did the math and found that it was perhaps a sensible move: Unburdening itself in China would, under the new tariffs, cost it an additional $6 million or so. The beans belong to the Amsterdam-based company Louis Dreyfus, which is thought to be paying the ship’s owner, JP Morgan Asset Management, $12,500 per additional day it’s chartered.

So a little over a month in, its tab has gone up $400,000, meaning it could theoretically continue this way for months and still come out on top. But it looks like that won’t be the case. China Global Television Network reports it learned from the Liaoning Maritime Safety Administration that the Peak Pegasus will dock in Dalian on Saturday. As for the details, CGTN simply says the soybean purchaser, Sinograin, “will settle the relevant import duties and tax according to the customs regulations of China.“

Mother of Fetus Found in Plane Toilet Identified

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More details are emerging after the gruesome find this week of a fetus in the bathroom of an American Airlines plane at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Law enforcement officials tell the New York Post that the mother has been identified as an 18-year-old Brooklyn teen who rushed into the plane’s lavatory soon after it touched down Monday evening after flying in from Charlotte, NC. As other passengers finished disembarking, the teen’s twin sister, who stood outside the bathroom door, told the flight crew it was an “emergency,“ the officials add. Per the New York Daily News, the teen checked herself into Kings County Hospital after she got off the plane. She was IDed by her seat assignment after flight crew recounted her bathroom incident to investigators.

A cleaning crew discovered the fetus early Tuesday; the medical examiner’s office put the fetus’s gestational age at five months, CNN reports. A law enforcement source who spoke to the Daily News says the virtually emotionless teen told investigators she hadn’t even known she was pregnant and that she’d felt sick for a few days. However, the Daily News source says doctors at the hospital told investigators the teen may not have suffered an out-of-the-blue miscarriage: Based on what they found when they examined her, they suspect she may have had a “botched abortion.“ The teen told cops she’d seen a doctor while she was in Jamaica—where her flight originated—though it’s not clear if police probed her on the reason for the doctor’s visit. An autopsy is being conducted on the fetus.

Suspect Runs Into Pasture. The Cows Weren’t Having It

It’s one of the strangest and most spectacular lines ever uttered during a police chase: “If you see the large group of cows, they’re literally following her and chasing her.“ You’ll need to watch the video from Florida’s Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to appreciate it, but a small herd of cattle did indeed help police catch a suspect fleeing on foot through a pasture, reports Police say the woman had been in a stolen SUV being pursued by officers when the vehicle crashed near the pasture.

One man who bolted from the SUV was quickly captured, but the woman made it further. “Actually, a large group of cows is following her for a good visual,“ says an officer in a helicopter. “It looks like they may attack her.“ The cows, more than a dozen in all, chased the woman to a fence, where she was promptly arrested. Jennifer Anne Kaufman, 46, faces charges of petit theft, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing, resisting arrest, and violation of probation.

My Dad Killed Himself Using a Weather Balloon

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Rachel Paula Abrahamson writes that she was interviewed as a person of interest in her father’s January death. She didn’t do it and, it ends up, no one else did either. Alan Abrahamson’s death made national headlines after it was determined that he wasn’t murdered during an early-morning walk in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, but instead committed suicide using a gun tied to a weather balloon, which carried away the key evidence. In a piece for the New York Times, Rachel unpacks not so much the death, but her 71-year-old father’s “complicated life.“ The two were never close but became estranged after her parents’ 2003 divorce, and she had last seen him roughly two years before he died, when he joined her, along with her husband and 9-month-old daughter, for a brief dinner in New York City.

She asked if he was happy, and he replied in the affirmative. “We drink every night. It’s one big party!“ Except she later learned from the police investigation that three days later he searched for “undetectable suicide methods.“ She reflects upon behavior that, as a child, she read as him being aloof and disinterested. Now, she thinks it was probably depression. “My father was tormented by something. By what, we don’t know,“ she writes. But he did reveal something core about himself in his death. “He tried to protect us all. That is how he said goodbye.“ Read Rachel Abrahamson’s full piece for more on the questions that nag her and the complication emotions she has about her father’s relationship with his stepkids.

Over 400 Get Sick Eating McDonald’s Salads

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People are continuing to get sick from a nasty parasitic infection the CDC has linked to McDonald’s salads, UPI reports. The number of people hit with the Cyclospora parasite rose to 436 this week, up from 395 last week, with cases clustering in the Midwest (Illinois especially) and spreading across 15 states. Twenty or more people have been hospitalized with symptoms including nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating, and flu-like reactions, but no fatalities so far. “Epidemiologic evidence indicates that salads purchased from McDonald’s restaurants are one likely source of these infections,“ said the CDC in an outbreak update Thursday.

Seems the infected salad fixings came from the Fresh Express processor in Streamwood, Illinois, in the form of romaine lettuce and carrots. The carrots went only to McDonald’s locations, while the romaine was also shipped elsewhere and ended up in wraps and pre-made salads by Caito Foods. The feds advise people to watch out for Caito products with “Sell by” or “Best by” dates from July 18 to July 23, 2018 (see sample product labels HERE). Anyone who develops diarrhea after eating any of the above is advised to see a healthcare provider right away and get tested for Cyclospora.

Trump’s Claim on California Wildfires ‘Boggles the Mind’

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Trump on Sunday addressed the devastation wrought by the latest California wildfires, the Hill reports. “California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized,“ he tweeted. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!“ But MarketWatch says his tweet “befuddled experts,“ noting that the state’s water supply and how it’s used isn’t to blame for worsening blazes. For one, the water isn’t being dumped into the Pacific, and firefighters do appear to have plenty of water, per a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection rep—but trees and brush have become more flammable due to the state’s years-long drought.

“We do manage all of our rivers in California, and all the water is allocated many times over,“ wildfire expert LeRoy Westerling tells the San Francisco Chronicle. “So I’m not sure what [Trump] was recommending. … It boggles the mind.“ Westerling points the blame for making the fires worse at “ongoing warming and accelerated climate change.“

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