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Published: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 @ 7:34 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 @ 7:34 AM
HOUSTON — A Texas woman accused of leaving her two children at a fire station because she wanted to give them up says the allegations against her are "made up."
According to KPRC-TV, Houston mom Jasmine Jones, 22, dropped off the boys, ages 9 months and 3 years, at Houston Fire Station 73 on Monday afternoon. Jones reportedly told officials that she was leaving the boys there because their father wasn't helping her take care of them. Firefighters said a man was heard nearby shouting expletives at Jones, but he did not approach the station. Assistant County Attorney Tiffany Reedy, however, said both parents brought the children to the station.
The boys are now in state custody and will be placed in foster care.
Under Texas' "Baby Moses" law, parents who are unable to care for their infants can surrender the children at a fire station, medical station or hospital without fear of prosecution. That law, however, applies only to infants 60 days old or younger.
In an interview Monday night, Jones told KPRC that she and the father, later identified as John Lee Smith, never intended to give up the children and just wanted help because the boys suffered from asthma.
"That's all we were trying to do, help our kids out," she said.
Jones added, "These allegations were made up."
According to KPRC, neither Jones nor Smith attended a Tuesday court hearing about the case. Case workers with Child Protective Services said the family was under investigation for drug and domestic violence allegations.
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:12 AM
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 7:52 AM
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — At least four people are dead after a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee.
Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 3:15 PM
Antarctica — The ice deep below eight of Antarctica's largest glaciers is melting at an alarming rate, a new scientific analysis has revealed.
According to the study, which was published this month in the academic journal Nature Geoscience, Antarctica's frozen underbelly is melting and receding at a rate around five times faster than normal. In the centuries following an ice age, glacier grounding lines should retreat about 82 feet per year. But the ice under Antarctica is retreating at speeds peaking around 600 feet annually.
Between 2010 and 2016, researchers discovered that warming ocean temperatures had melted away approximately 565 square miles of the southernmost continent's underwater ice. That's roughly the size of London, England.
Scientists focus a lot of attention on melting ice in Antarctica because it can have a major impact on rising sea levels, Justin C. Burton, assistant professor at Emory University's department of physics, said. If all of Antarctica's ice were to melt, this would raise sea levels by 200 feet.
"If greenhouse gas emissions aren't controlled, then many models show that a significant portion of the Antarctic ice sheets will eventually melt, especially Western Antarctica," Burton said, adding that even if it took centuries for all of the ice to melt, the shorter-term implications of rising sea levels would still be a significant problem for humanity.
"A few meters of sea level rise in the near future would be devastating," he said. "This study shows that the retreat is very rapid in many areas of Antarctica, although some have stabilized."
For the new study, scientists from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modeling (CPOM) at the University of Leeds turned to satellite imagery and buoyancy equations to map out the "invisible retreat" of Antarctica's underwater ice. Their analysis focused on about 10,000 miles (or roughly one-third) of the continent's total perimeter.
"What's happening is that Antarctica is being melted away at its base. We can't see it, because it's happening below the sea surface," Professor Andrew Shepherd, one of the authors of the paper, told The Guardian. "The changes mean that very soon the sea-level contribution from Antarctica could outstrip that from Greenland."
Lead study author Hannes Konrad said in a statement that the data provides "clear evidence that retreat is happening across the ice sheet due to ocean melting at its base. This retreat has had a huge impact on inland glaciers, because releasing them from the seabed removes friction, causing them to speed up and contribute to global sea level rise.”
"Now that we have mapped the whole edge of the ice sheet, it rules out any chance that parts of Antarctica are advancing. We see retreat in more places and stasis elsewhere. The net effect is that the ice sheet overall is retreating. People can't say 'you've left a stone unturned'. We've looked everywhere now," Shepherd said.
Burton sees this new study as an even stronger challenge to climate change skeptics.
"It only solidifies our previous estimates of glacial retreat. For scientists, the current questions we face are not: 'is the climate changing,'" he said, pointing out that even major oil companies recognize that environmental changes are due to human influence.
"The questions we face now are 'how much' and 'how fast'. These are more difficult to answer, but previous estimates from decades ago seem to be accurate, and very worrisome," he said. "I think much of the skepticism today stems from a distrust of science itself. The skeptics aren't offering any type of scientific rebuttal. This is unfortunate, as climate change is perhaps the biggest problem humanity faces."
Beyond Antarctica's melting ice, a major scientific study published in December suggested that the worst-case predictions regarding the effects of global warming are the most likely to be true.
"Our study indicates that if emissions follow a commonly used business-as-usual scenario, there is a 93 percent chance that global warming will exceed 4°C by the end of this century," Dr. Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, who co-authored the study, said at the time.
Last year, more than 15,000 scientists from around the world signed an open letter warning that quick and drastic actions should be undertaken by society to address the threat of climate change.
"Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out," scientists wrote in the letter. "We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home."
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 6:03 PM
— Retail giant Target is launching its car-seat recycling program again this year on Earth Day.
The program encourages parents to bring in their old car seats in exchange for a coupon for 20 percent off a new car seat, booster seat, travel system or stroller.
Target is setting up a drop-off box near Guest Services where people can exchange their old car seats for a coupon.
The program starts on Sunday and runs until May 5, and consumers will then have until May 19 to use the coupons.
The retailer said in a press release that the car seats will be recycled into new items like grocery carts, plastic buckets and construction materials.
Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 3:49 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. — On Earth Day, April 22, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate its 20th anniversary with entertainment, parties, and educational experiences for a limited time.
Party for the Planet
It wouldn’t be a milestone celebration without a party, and all 500 acres of Disney’s Animal Kingdom will come alive with a wild party that includes animal encounters, activities, and special desserts the Party for the Planet celebration that will take place from April 22 until May 5.
During the two-week celebration, guests can attend conservation talks by animal-care experts and participate in enhanced interactions with some of the more than 2,000 animals at thepark.
Take a Peek Backstage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Rafiki’s Planet Watch has long been a favorite of guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and during the 20th anniversary it will take center stage.
After boarding the antique train you will make your way to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to find educational exhibits and activities that help create awareness of animal issues, and for the rest of the year you will also get a ‘backstage experience’ with animal experts around animal nutrition, visit the veterinary hospital, and hear how Disney promotes global wildlife conservation.
A New Show Debuts
On April 22 a new show, UP! A Great Bird Adventure featuring Russell and Dug from the Disney•Pixar animated comedy-adventure film, will make its debut.
Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his fuzzy friend Dug and park guests will encounter exotic birds from around the world in a free-flying show, multiple times a day.
Special Anniversary Photo Opportunities
Disney Photopass photographers will have a specially branded oversized picture frame to celebrate the park’s 20th anniversary, as well as ones that will help the “Reverse the Decline” initiative to help protect 10 threatened animal species. Recently the program has been credited with the birth of two critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs at the park.
The Wilderness Must be Explored…Caw, Caw, Roar
The popular park scavenger hunt centered around “Up”’s Wilderness Explorer will have a new, limited-edition badge to earn through fact-finding challenges.
The Wilderness Explorer Program is one of the free experiences available at Walt Disney World.
Dine with Animal Experts
If learning about animals is your passion, six different Tiffins Talks offer intimate dining experiences with specialty food and beverages that complement the topics shared by animal and conservation experts.
You can find more information on the Tiffins Talks here.
Merchandise & Treats
It wouldn’t be a celebration at Walt Disney World without commemorative merchandise, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom 20th anniversary is no exception!
The merchandise offered will include t-shirts, hats, pins, Alex and Ani bangles, 2 styles of Disney Dooney & Bourke purses, a limited edition banshee for adoption in Pandora, and more.
In addition the merchandise there is also a special-edition print that was created by renowned Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, and he will be available on April 22 from 1-4 p.m. to sign prints at Discovery Trading Company. Quantities are limited.
There are going to be two celebratory cupcakes, a Tree of Life Cupcake will be available at Creature Comforts and Flame Tree Barbecue, and an Earth Day Cupcake will be available at Pizzafari and Restaurantosaurus.
On the savory side, there are delicious plant-based burger offerings at Nomad Lounge and Restaurantosaurus. Nomad Lounge will offer Impossible Burger Sliders with tomato chutney and smoked onion on a brioche bun and served with yucca fries. At Restaurantosaurus, you’ll find an Impossible Burger with avocado and tomato on a brioche bun.
Tiffins will offer a limited-time 20th Anniversary Chef’s Lunch Tasting Menu. Served daily from 11:30am to 3:30pm, this 3-course tasting menu celebrates the cuisines of Africa, Asia, and South America. Walk-ups are welcome!
All of these offerings will be available during Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom through May 5.
Can't make the celebration in person?
If you want to experience the 20th Anniversary moment during Sunday's Celebration, the Disney Parks Blog will be live streaming the #DisneyAnimalKingdom20 ceremony starting at 10:15 am EST!
Wild Adventures Before an Incredible Summer
All of these wild adventures help kick off an ‘Incredible Summer’ at Walt Disney World that includes a new celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
Donald and his friends from Ducktales will premiere a ‘dino-tastic’ celebration Memorial Day weekend in DinoLand, U.S.A. as Donald celebrates his discovery that bird ancestors were actually dinosaurs. DinoLand U.S.A. will feature colorful new décor and playful character greetings with rarely seen pals like Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and more.
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