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Nickelodeon fires ‘The Loud House’ creator over sexual harassment allegations

Nickelodeon fired the creator of its animated show “The Loud House” after he was accused of sexual harassment, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Chris Savino was suspended earlier this week after several women came forward with allegations against the animator, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Chris Savino is no longer working with Nickelodeon,” a network spokesman said in a statement late Thursday. “We take allegations of misconduct very seriously, and we are committed to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment that is free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct.”A manager for Savino, Angela Cheng Caplan, did not respond to multiple requests for comment, CNN reported. A person who answered the phone at Caplan's office early Thursday told CNN they had "no comment" on the matter."The Loud House" is currently in its second season on Nickelodeon. The show revolves around the chaotic life of a young boy named Lincoln Loud, who is the middle child in a family of 11 children, CNN reported.Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon Group, released a memo to staffers after Savino's firing, encouraging them to speak out if they experience or see mistreatment, CNN reported.Nickelodeon said "The Loud House" will continue to air and proceed with production.Season 3 is scheduled to premiere in early 2018.

Report: Tech companies to lobby for ‘Dreamers’ to stay in US

Nearly two dozen companies in technology -- including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other industries -- are planning to launch a coalition to demand legislation that would allow young, undocumented immigrants a path to permanent residency, Reuters reported.

>> Read more trending news

Citing documents, Reuters reported that the Coalition for the American Dream intends to ask Congress to pass bipartisan legislation this year that would allow these immigrants, referred to as “Dreamers,” to continue working in the United States.

Other companies planning to take part include Intel, Uber, Univision, and Marriott International, according to the documents.

Intel, Uber and Univision confirmed their membership, but the other companies did not immediately comment. It is possible that plans to launch the group could change.

“We’re pleased to join with other organizations in urging Congress to pass legislation to protect Dreamers,” Intel spokesman Will Moss said in a statement.

Matthew Wing, a spokesman for Uber, said, “Uber joined the Coalition for the American Dream because we stand with the Dreamers. We’ve also held town halls, provided legal support and launched an online Dreamer Resource Center for any of our drivers.”

The push for this legislation comes after President Donald Trump’s September decision to allow the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to expire in March. That program allows approximately 900,000 illegal immigrants to obtain work permits.

Florida teacher accused of molesting 13-year-old girl

A Florida teacher and another man have been arrested after being accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl in a school classroom, Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies said. 

>> Read more trending news

Teacher and soccer coach, Sonny Juarez, 29, faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation, which occurred between November 2016 until March 2017, WFLA reported. 

Juarez, who taught at RCMA Academy in Wimauma, allegedly molested the girl for five months on campus in the back of the classroom while she was pregnant, according to deputies. 

Investigators told WFLA that another man, Felipe Diaz Hernandez, 54, also abused and sexually battered the girl, and is the man who got her pregnant. The victim gave birth to a baby girl in September, WFLA reported. 

Juarez has since been fired from the school and was released from the county jail on a $15,000 bond. Hernandez faces charges of child abuse and sexual battery. He remains in jail on a $600,000 bond, according to jail records. 

Vegas homeowners remove shooting-themed Halloween display

The owners of a Las Vegas home have removed a Halloween display featuring the gravestones of the recent mass shooting victims after neighbors and social media users found it distasteful.

>> Read more trending news

The front yard display included a faux cemetery with 58 headstones reading “RIP” for each person who lost their life in the tragedy. Each gravestone was decorated with a tiny American flag, and a banner reading #VegasStrong hung on a wall behind them.

As a photo of the display circulated on social media, many users interpreted it as a joke or an insult, leading to intense scrutiny. Some who live in the neighborhood were simply confused by it, with one woman saying she “parked [her] car and just tried to understand what their intentions were.”

Other neighbors, however, thought it was supposed to be a memorial.

“I drive past this every day, and when they first put it up, it touched my heart,” one said, while another added, “I still don’t understand why other people are offended.”

3-month-old girl among 84 rescued in sex trafficking sting

A 3-month-old girl and her 5-year-old sister were rescued in Denver by undercover agents during this month’s FBI-led sting operation against sex traffickers, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

In announcing details of Operation Cross Country XI, FBI officials said 82 other juveniles were rescued during a nationwide sweep last week. The FBI said 120 people were arrested.

In the case of the two sisters in Denver, the alleged trafficker was a friend of the children’s family who made a deal to sell them for sex for $600, the FBI said. The friend communicated with an undercover agent. 

"Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested -- and the number of children recovered -- reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

The average age of the victims recovered from this year's operation is 15, the FBI said. Traffickers would offer the victims to outsiders from hotels, truck stops or from online, the FBI said.

On Oct. 13, the second day of the operation, a minor was rescued by the FBI in El Paso, Texas, when a 16-year-old female victim was advertised online for "entertainment," CNN reported.

The girl was accompanied by a 21-year-old female who offered an undercover agent sexual intercourse with both her and the underage victim for $200, the FBI said.

At a news conference in Denver on Thursday, District Attorney George Brauchler reminded traffickers that undercover agents and task force officers are always lurking, whether behind cameras, on the Internet or in a casino, prepared to make another bust.

"To those out there who are watching this who might avail themselves at the opportunity to exploit children or to engage in even the adult sex trade, this is a bit of a warning. ... The people that you can't see behind those cameras, they are fins. They are fins in the water and they represent sharks who are there all the time,” Brauchler said.

"And my advice to you is to stay out of those waters where the kids are, to stay out of those waters where exploited adults are for sex, because they are out there and they will get you. And when they get you, my office will handle the rest."

Ohio woman gets DirecTV bill totaling more than $184,000

An Ohio woman received a severe case of sticker shock when she opened her satellite television bill Monday.

>> Read more trending news

The balance due on Angela Mixon-Smith’s DirecTV bill totaled more than $184,000, WJW reported.

“I mean, my chest got heavy,” she told WJW. “I had to get some water. I don't drink. I was ready to drink."

The retired postal worker said her bill for DirecTV service showed a balance due of $184,530.67.

“I know I don't have that kind of money,” she told WJW. “And, since April? There's no way.”

Mixon-Smith said she began a promotional offer in April to bundle her existing DirecTV service with a cell phone plan by AT&T, WJW reported. Over the next few months, she said service problems and confusing bills caused her to fight with AT&T, which merged with DirecTV in 2015.

“They don't have everything together,” Mixon-Smith told WJW. “AT&T, they just don't have it together.”

In a statement to WJW, AT&T spokeswoman Holly Hollingsworth apologized for the mistake.

“We apologize for the billing error that occurred,” Hollingsworth wrote. “We’ve reached out to the customer to resolve the issue.”

She could not provide an explanation for the billing mixup. However, by Wednesday afternoon, the account for Mixon-Smith’s DirecTV service had been credited. But she still is not satisfied.

“I just want them to straighten out my service,” she told WJW.

Playboy features first transgender Playmate

Ines Rau became the first transgender Playmate, as the French model is in a pictorial and centerfold for the magazine’s November/December issue, the magazine announced.

>> Read more trending news

Rau previously appeared in the magazine’s May 2014 A-Z issue.

“It’s how I celebrated my coming out, actually,” Rau told the magazine. “I took that chance, and then I signed with an agency.”

Although Rau is the first transgender Playmate, she isn’t Playboy’s first transgender model, Cosmopolitan reported. The first was Tula, who appeared in the September 1991 issue. 

Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy, died on Sept. 27. He becomes the first man to appear solo -- and 11th overall -- on the cover of the magazine. A 1965 photograph by Larry Gordon was used to pay tribute to Hefner, the magazine said. The first six pages of the November/December issue are dedicated to Hefner, who published the first issue of Playboy in December 1953..

In a tweet Wednesday, Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner, the magazine’s chief creative officer, said that the magazine and society “should be fighting for a more open world.”

White nationalist Richard Spencer jeered by University of Florida crowd

White nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida was cut short Thursday by chants, jeering and shouting, Gainesville.com reported.

>> Read more trending news

Spencer spoke at an afternoon event at the university’s Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, but cut his scheduled two-hour appearance shortened by 25 minutes after having to yell over a heckling crowd, Gainesville.com reported.

“I feel sorry for you,” Spencer told the crowd. “Do you know how this is going to be read? Do you think this is going to be read as ‘great victory for U of F’? No, it’s going to be read as the University of Florida is filled with child-like antifa, who shout at people as opposed to talking to them.”

>> Who is Richard Spencer? 5 things to know about white nationalist

The event brought nearly 2,500 protesters to the university, and 500 tickets were distributed for the event in the 1,700-seat theater. Police in riot gear stood on the second level of the Phillips Center, and several rows remained empty, separating Spencer supporters from protesters, Gainesville.com reported.

The university spent an estimated $600,000 for security for the event, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in advance of Spencer’s speech.

Spencer spent the first half hour arguing and trying to be heard above the crowd, which chanted “Black Lives Matter,” “Let’s go, Gators,” and “Go Home, Spencer,” Gainesville.com reported.

Spencer called the crowd “babies” and “pathetic” and their chants “stupid.”

“Oh, Nazis have no right to speak, really?” he asked the crowd. “So, you don’t believe in free speech at all, do you?”

Spencer opened up the floor for questions earlier than expected, Gainesville.com reported.

The first question: “Why are you still here?”

A few dozen in the crowd supported Spencer and his organization, the National Policy Institute, although most declined to comment to the media.

As the event ended, Spencer thanked the university for allowing him to speak, but chastised the crowd, saying UF “failed” its test of allowing free speech, Gainesville.com reported.

“You think that you shut me down, well you didn’t,” Spencer said. “You failed at your own game ... The world is not going to be proud of you.

Some of social media also chastised the Florida crowd. Columnist Ben Shapiro called the students “dumb,” saying  “You gave Spencer what he wanted. You should have left him an empty auditorium.”

In a telephone interview after the speech, Spencer described the appearance as "frustrating and exhilarating at the same time." 

"I'm inspired that we persevered against totally thuggish behavior," he told The Washington Post. "Screaming at the top of your lungs is the same as trying to bar the door."

Utah man uses sandwich board to find kidney donor for his wife

A 74-year-old Utah man whose wife needs a kidney transplant is spreading his message by wearing a sandwich board, KSTU reported.

>> Read more trending news

Earlier this week, Wayne Winters began walking busy streets in Farr West, Utah, wearing a sign that reads “Need Kidney 4 Wife,” along with his telephone number. Winters’ wife, Deanne Winters, has stage 5 kidney failure.

“I don’t walk real fast,” Wayne Winters told KSTU. “I’m trying to get a kidney for my wife.

“She’s on dialysis and she doesn’t like it. It’s horrible.”

Wayne Winters said he got the idea of using a sandwich board after seeing a story online about another man who received national attention by using one.

“I thought, ‘I can do this,’” he told KSTU.

Winters said the first day he walked, a man stopped and said he would check to see if he was a match. But until there is a confirmed match, he will continue to pound the streets.

“After I get a kidney I will have my wife back the way she was, normal, helping people, loving people,” Winters told KSTU. “She likes to serve other people.”

For more information about donating a kidney, visit kidney.org. To help Winters with his efforts, call 801-675-0278.

Volunteer co-leader of Girl Scouts troop arrested on child porn charges

A Maryland man who was a co-leader of a Girl Scouts troop was arrested and charged with the possession of child pornography, The Evening Sun reported.

>> Read more trending news

Stacy Mizrahi, 45, of Ellicott City, faces four counts of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography, according to a Maryland State Police report.

Maryland State Police began investigating in August, when their Computer Crimes Unit found child porn being distributed from a Maryland residence, WJZ reported. Authorities obtained a search warrant for Mizrahi’s home, and a preliminary forensic review found multiple images and/or videos of child pornography on a computer, The Evening Sun reported.

Mizrahi was a volunteer co-leader for Girl Scouts Troop 715 in Howard County, Maryland, according to the Maryland State Police release.

In a statement, Violet M. Apple, the CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, said Mizrahi has been suspended from the troop.“It is our No. 1 priority to ensure all GSCM members are safe,” Apple said. “All GSCM employees and volunteers are required to pass a background check, and Mr. Mizrahi passed his when he registered as a troop leader.

“It is GSCM policy that male volunteers are not permitted to meet with girls without the presence of a female co-leader," Apple said. "Mr. Mizrahi served as a co-leader with an unrelated female and the troop was supported by four additional volunteers – all of whom passed background checks prior to registering as a volunteer.”

Police have not found any evidence at this time that any crimes have been committed involving the children he had contact with, The Evening Sun reported.

Investigators seize $1.5M worth of heroin in Walmart parking lot

A major drug bust in Rockdale County, Georgia, on Wednesday afternoon took more than 10 pounds of heroin off the streets.

>> Read more trending news

Investigators said undercover deputies with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office convinced the sellers to meet them in a Walmart parking lot to make a deal.

At that time, authorities recovered nearly 5 kilos of heroin, with a street value of more than $1.5 million. 

Luis Ramirez-Jaramillo and Marco Valdez were arrested during the bust. Both men face charges of trafficking heroin.

After the arrests, deputies went to a home in Conyers where, they said, they recovered an undisclosed amount of drug money.

The bust was conducted by a new Sheriff’s Office Surge Team, which hpes it sends a message to drug dealers.

“We’re not going to let it be a problem in Rockdale County. We’re going to make sure people understand this isn’t the place to do any crimes at all,” said Michael Myers, with the Sheriff’s Office.

The Surge Team is a collaborative effort with local and federal law enforcement agencies.

7-year-old girl 'traumatized' after having head shaved at state-run program

A mom is furious after she found out her 7-year-old daughter’s head was shaved clean at a state-run program for kids with behavioral needs.

>> Read more trending news

Denise Robinson’s daughter Tru lives at Little Heroes Home in Dracut, Massachusetts. The biracial girl used to have long locks, but Robinson said the haircut was made without permission and now her is dealing with trauma from the ordeal in addition to a hairless head.

“I feel like my daughter was assaulted and violated,” Robinson said. “They made a game out of it while they were cutting her hair, and after they cut her hair, then they told her oh, it will grow back straight don’t worry.”

That is troubling to Robinson who says aside from her daughter not wanting the haircut, the message is out of line.

“I’m not afraid to say it and talk about the elephant in the room, I believe it’s a biracial matter and by shaving her head close they were somehow implying that straighter hair is better than dread, curly hair,” attorney Richard Kendall said.

Since it happened early this week, Robinson says nobody at Little Heroes Home answered her questions about why it happened, except to say they have authority to cut hair without permission for hygiene purposes. 

“There was no head lice, there was no bedbugs, there was no Rasta locks was going on. Her hair was two ponytails on the side on Saturday, it was braided in the ponytails, there was nothing wrong with her hair,” she said.

It’s left Robinson not just upset, but wondering what else is going on at this state-run program that parents don’t know about.

“What are they doing to these kids?” she said.

WFXT reached out to the Department of Children and Families to ask if it was investigating the issue, officials wouldn’t comment due to privacy issues. 

Little Heroes Group Home did send a statement regarding what happened, saying in part: “We cannot provide any information about any individual served by the program under federal and state law. A review of the circumstances is underway to determine what occurred and, if necessary, appropriate action will be taken.”

Teacher put duct tape over 5th-graders’ mouths, school officials say

A substitute teacher at Maxdale Elementary School in Killeen, Texas, was removed from campus on Thursday after putting duct tape over the mouths of 10 fifth-graders for several minutes.

>> Read more trending news

Killeen Independent School District spokesman Terry Abbott said in a statement on Thursday afternoon that three other students also put duct tape over their own mouths as a result of the teacher’s actions.

“As soon as school leaders learned of this incident, all 13 students were taken to the school nurse for observation and any treatment necessary,” Abbott said. “All 13 students are well and continued with their classes afterwards.”

Authorities notified Child Protective Services of the incident so it can pursue further investigation.

“The substitute teacher was immediately removed from the classroom and barred from the campus as a result of this outrageous and unconscionable behavior,” the district said. 

Irwin family returning to Animal Planet 20 years after ‘Crocodile Hunter’

The Irwin family is returning to TV and Animal Planet 21 years after “The Crocodile Hunter” premiered in 1996.

In a Wednesday news release, Discovery Communications said Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin will be working on TV projects on Animal Planet, which is owned by Discovery Communications.

The Irwins are carrying on the legacy of their late patriarch, Steve Irwin, who spent his life learning about and educating others about wildlife, particularly reptiles. He died in 2006 when a stingray’s barb pierced his heart.

“Steve Irwin was a champion for all wildlife and he and Terri’s excitement and enthusiasm brought viewers from around the world in touch with nature,” Animal Planet general manager Patrice Andrews said in a statement. “Their passion for animals, love for their family, and leadership in conservation awareness left a strong legacy that continues today.”

Terri Irwin, Steve Irwin’s widow and mother of Bindi, 19, and Robert, 13, said in a statement that she and her children are excited to be returning to the network.

“We look forward to the year ahead as we embark on new projects and adventures with Animal Planet,” she said.

“The Crocodile Hunter” aired from 1996-2007. Husband and wife Steve and Terri Irwin co-hosted and their two children frequently made appearances. Other shows the Irwins hosted included “Croc Files” and “New Breed Vets.”

In addition to TV projects, the Irwins will be global ambassadors for Discovery Communications.

Magician David Blaine accused of rape by former model Natasha Prince, report says

Magician David Blaine has been accused of rape by Natasha Prince, a former model, according to a report from The Daily Beast.

The outlet says Prince told them Blaine raped her at a private London home in 2004.

Prince told the outlet she met Blaine at a nightclub in June or July of 2004. The next day, she said she got a text from Blaine inviting her to his friends’ place for drinks. She said Blaine went into the kitchen and came back with a tall glass of vodka and soda.

“I had a high tolerance, but that week I was working and had decided not to drink,” Prince said. “But I decided to have that one drink that night. It wasn’t strong; it tasted mostly like soda.” 

>> Read more trending news

Prince said Blaine invited her to a near by bedroom for what she thought was a private conversation. She said Blaine claimed to want to show her something in the room. 

She goes on to say she was raped and woke up with no clothes on. That morning, she left to do a photo shoot.

“The next thing I remember, I was sitting in the makeup chair getting my makeup done, and thinking, ‘What did I do last night? Did I have sex with David Blaine? But I didn’t want to,” she said. “I felt hazy, completely out of it. I don’t remember taking a shower, where I changed, leaving his house or anything.” 

Prince told The Daily Beast she blamed herself, which is partially why she didn’t consider going to the police.

“You have to understand, my interpretation was that it was my fault,” she said. “I didn’t think of it as rape. In my head, rape was being sober -- pull her in a bush, pull down her pants and just ditch her. So I blamed myself. I did like him. I was interested in him. So I didn’t think about going to the police.”

By 2016, Prince decided to go to the police. She filed a report after meeting with investigators at Kensington Police Station Dec. 16.

Scotland Yard, the headquarters of police in London, has reportedly contacted Blaine to come in for questioning.

“Officers from the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command are investigating an allegation of rape,” Scotland Yard said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “The allegation was reported to police on 17 November 2016 by a woman who alleged she was raped at an address in Chelsea in June or July 2004 when she was aged 21. There have been no arrests at this stage and enquiries continue.”

The Daily Beast reported that when it reached Blaine by phone for a response to the Scotland Yard investigation, he said, “Wow … there’s absolutely nothing … that’s crazy.”

Blaine, in a statement through his attorney, Marty Singer, denies the allegations.

“My client vehemently denies that he raped or sexually assaulted any woman, ever, and he specifically denies raping a woman in 2004,” the statement said. “If, in fact, there is any police investigation, my client will fully cooperate because he has nothing to hide.”

The Daily Beast reported that an additional statement from Singer said, “This would include Natasha Prince.”

Grandfather, 73, hauls in 12-foot, 620 pound gator

A 12-foot, 620-pound monster was captured by a gator-catching grandfather from Chester County, South Carolina.

>> Read more trending news

"I shot him with a crossbow," Joe Houston said.

It took that crossbow, a harpoon and a gun to land the enormous catch. 

>> Photos: Grandfather nabs 620 pound gator

"We knew he was a monster. We knew he was a big one, but we didn't know he was that big," Houston said.

Houston is not your average 73-year-old. When he’s not chasing his grandchildren or great-grandchildren, he chases gators. 

"I done killed gators before. I killed 8-foot and I killed 6-foot and I said, ‘I want a big gator!’" Houston said.

Houston found a hunting guide who led him to the Waccamaw River near Myrtle Beach, where he went on the heart-pounding hunt last week. 

"He was humongous. Words can't explain it. I don't know how to explain it. He was big. He's a big, big gator. He's a big boy!" Houston said.

It took four men to haul the gator in. And when they weighed him?

"He weighed 620 pounds. Then they laid him out on the floor and I stretched him out; stretched out to 12-foot 5 inches," Houston said.

The gator will soon be a Christmas treat for his great-grandchildren.

"I'm going to eat him. I'm having him processed down there in Charleston. He's going to be put in like snack sticks and summer sausage and all,” Houston said.

Houston is still celebrating his trophy catch, but the 73-year-old is already itching for another adrenaline-pumping chase.

"I don't think I'll ever get another gator that big. I'm gonna try, but I don't think I can top that one," he said.

Touch a venomous asp caterpillar; get ready to scream

An asp caterpillar, also known as the southern flannel moth caterpillar, found mostly in Texas, Florida and Louisiana, delivers a painful punch, if you touch it.

>> Read more trending news

It’s tempting (really, really tempting) to touch, pick up, pet or poke this furry looking  caterpillar.” If you do, experts with the Austin Zoo warn, you will most definitely regret it. 

National Geographic identifies the fuzzy family of caterpillars that morph into flannel moths as the “most venomous in the U.S.” More casually, the science outlet refers to them as “toxic toupees.”

The insects are also sometimes called “puss caterpillars” because, unarguably, they are fluffy like cats. 

The caterpillars, which prefer hanging out in oak, oleander and plum trees, are active July through November, according to KVUE.

The caterpillar embeds its venomous spines into the skin and can cause “burning pain, swelling, nausea and itching.” 

Some vicitms of this benign, furry-looking catepillar experienced intense pain for longer than 12 hours, National Geographic reported

See the trailer for ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’ special

A new animated Halloween special with the music of Michael Jackson is coming just before the holiday.

Entertainment Weekly reported that CBS released a trailer for “Michael Jackson’s Halloween” Wednesday. The trailer was posted on the official Michael Jackson Twitter page.

>> Read more trending news

The special features the voice work of actors Lucy Liu, Jim Parsons, Brad Garrett, Alan Cumming and others.

Billboard reported that the hourlong show will follow millennials Vincent, voiced by Lucas Till, and Victoria, voiced by Kiersey Clemons, who accidentally meet Halloween night and end up at a hotel called This Place Hotel on 777 Jackson St. The pair, along with Ichabod the dog, go on an adventure that features Jackson’s music. It leads up to a finale in which the characters dance with an animated version of the King of Pop. 

The official Twitter page of the late singer initially announced the special in July.

“Michael Jackson’s Halloween” airs Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. on CBS. Watch the trailer below.

Study suggests people may be aware they have died after death

Scientists may be a step closer to solving the mystery surrounding death and what happens next. New research finds a person’s brain is still active after the heart stops beating, so many people actually may be aware that they have died, according to a new report.

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from New York University’s Langone School of Medicine are currently conducting a study to explore how the brain functions after death. 

To do so, they examined individuals who suffered cardiac arrest, but were later revived. The scientists noted that death was defined by when the heart stops and blood stops flowing to the brain.

During the evaluation, many patients were able to recall full conversations and visuals, and in some cases, participants even reported hearing they had been pronounced dead. 

"They'll describe watching doctors and nurses working; they'll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them," lead author Sam Parnia told Live Science.

>> Related: No cure, yet, but scientists may have found the cause of dyslexia

Scientists confirmed the patients’ stories with doctors and nurses present at the time of death, and were stunned to hear what the subjects remembered.

Why is there still brain activity after death?

Brain death is a process. It takes up to 20 seconds before brain waves are no longer detectable. Once they aren’t, a set of cellular processes take place that eventually result in brain death. And this could occur hours after the heart has stopped, Parnia said. 

"If you manage to restart the heart, which is what CPR attempts to do, you'll gradually start to get the brain functioning again. The longer you're doing CPR, those brain cell death pathways are still happening — they're just happening at a slightly slower rate," he said.

The scientists are now expanding their ongoing experiment, which will be the largest of its kind, to investigate the occurrences of consciousness after death and how it may affect the rest of a person’s life if they are revived.

>> Related: After near-death experience, Atlanta teen pursues songwriting dreams

"In the same way that a group of researchers might be studying the qualitative nature of the human experience of 'love.'” Parnia said. 

“For instance, we're trying to understand the exact features that people experience when they go through death, because we understand that this is going to reflect the universal experience we're all going to have when we die."

ACLU: Oklahoma school's national anthem policy is unconstitutional

The American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday that an Oklahoma school's national anthem policy is unconstitutional.

>> Read more trending news

The statement was released after Stuart Public Schools enacted a policy requiring all students, staff and spectators to stand for the national anthem, prohibiting any form of protest.

The Hughes County school's policy was announced amid a nationwide conversation about kneeling during the national anthem. Professional football players started kneeling in protest of police brutality against minorities. The protests received increased scrutiny after President Donald Trump criticized NFL players who chose to join the protests.

While some say the protests are disrespectful to U.S. service members, other say they fall under free speech and raise awareness to an important domestic issue in the country.

The ACLU of Oklahoma's legal director released a statement Wednesday:

“Stuart Public Schools’ new policy is blatantly unconstitutional and unenforceable. The Supreme Court has made clear that students have the right to express themselves. Our Constitution guarantees that public schools can neither mandate forced displays of patriotism and nationalism, nor forbid lawful protests against injustice. Stuart Public Schools has chosen to violate both of these guarantees. This school district’s school’s leaders are in desperate need of a First Amendment lesson, one that they are likely to receive swiftly in the event they actually attempt to enforce this unlawful policy.”

The organization's director of external affairs also released a statement:

“Forcing students to stand for the National Anthem is irresponsible and flies in the face of every conceivable understanding of the First Amendment. If this school district were actually interested in real patriotism, they would do their duty as a government actor to uphold the values of the Constitution rather than waste taxpayers’ time and resources with an unlawful attempt to shut down the expression of their students and staff.”
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