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The Most Dangerous Time of the Year? Safety Tips for the Holidays

Lifestyles - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 11:14
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - The holidays are here, and while you're admiring all of the beautiful presents wrapped and sitting under your tree, or getting excited about travel plans, it's also the perfect time for burglars and muggers to steal some seasonal cheer. (Remember the movie Home Alone?) It's enough to cast a Scrooge-like pall over what is traditionally "the most wonderful time of the year."

Still don't believe it? According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, nearly 400,000 home break-ins occur in the U.S. from November through December each year, so it is essential to secure your home as you bring in expensive items and gifts.

"Most homes are extremely vulnerable to burglaries during the December holidays," said Bob Beach, chief of Longwood University's police force in Farmville, Virginia. "Keeping your home safe from thieves during the holidays requires following just a few basic safety measures."

The following travel and home security tips will help you put a wrench in Mr. Grinch's plans and keep you and your belongings safe:

* Take trusted transportation. Avoid unmarked (or unknown) vehicles. Taxi lines at the airport and hotel are your best options.

* Ask for help. It's always best to ask someone for directions rather than wait for someone to approach you. This way you are in control of the situation at all times.

* Keep your wallet and purse close. It's best if women carry small purses and keep them close, while men should keep their wallets (or preferably, money clips) in their front pockets.

* Protect yourself and your home. There are a number of small key chain alarms or pepper sprays that will give you a sense of security. The SABRE personal alarm keychain, for instance, fastens to your keys and is an option for those planning to explore the city away from the comfort of the hotel. And for those times that you are away from home, consider installing SABRE's wireless home security or standalone alarms. The standalone alarms are easy to install and can be purchased for as little as $20 to $50.

* Watch what you throw away. Potential intruders often rummage through trash to see what might be in your home. Boxes from new, expensive gifts, or receipts for big purchases alert criminals that these big-ticket items can be found inside.

For more safety information, visit

AMC apologizes for 'Walking Dead' spoiler

CNN Entertainment - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 11:05
AMC killed it for some fans of "The Walking Dead" when it posted a #RIP photo on social media following the East coast airing of the midseason finale.
Categories: Entertainment News

Anderson revisits Depardieu giggle fit

CNN Entertainment - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 11:02
Anderson Cooper's favorite drunk uncle: Gerard Depardieu. He's an actor, statesman and international man of mystery.
Categories: Entertainment News

Perceived corruption in China down

CNN World - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:50
Despite a highly-publicized anti-corruption drive, China's position on an international corruption perceptions index has fallen in the past 12 months.
Categories: International News

Kalashnikovs get new look to boost sales as Russian sanctions bite

Business News - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:49
Here's another ripple effect of Western sanctions on Russia and the country's troubled economy: Gun maker Kalashnikov is giving its famed weapons and brand a makeover.

Blast outside Iranian ambassador's residence in Yemen kills 6

CNN World - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:45
A large explosion outside the residence of the Iranian ambassador to Yemen killed six people and wounded 12 others in Sanaa on Wednesday.
Categories: International News

As new viewing options gain ground, live television viewership is slipping

Business News - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:39
Americans continue to watch most of their TV shows the old-fashioned way, but new Nielsen data proves that the old-fashioned way is fading.

5 companies growing faster than Apple

Business News - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:35
Apple is on the move these days. The stock has been weaving in and out of the $700 billion market cap mark, and some analysts are wondering if Apple at $1 trillion could happen sooner rather than later.

Inside Pizza Hut's test kitchen: Our taste-test of really weird pizzas

Business News - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:34
Read full story for latest details.

Worried About Ebola? What's Keeping You Safe at the Hospital?

Lifestyles - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:26
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - The recent Ebola outbreak in the U.S. has, if nothing else, highlighted how ill-equipped some U.S. hospitals are in their readiness to battle an infectious disease outbreak.

While the risk of contracting the Ebola virus is low, there is a considerably higher risk for patients to catch other deadly superbugs that are prevalent in hospitals right now, such as Clostridium difficile, MRSA and VRE.

Underscoring this point is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 99,000 people die every year from an infection they get during their hospital stay, and one in 20 pick up infections that they didn't have when they arrived. This equates to as much as $30 billion a year in medical costs.

"Eliminating pathogens from patient rooms is the quickest and easiest way to lower the risk of additional infections," said Mark Stibich, Ph.D., co-founder and chief scientific officer of Xenex, a San Antonio-based company that has created a robot that emits xenon ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy potentially fatal bacteria and viruses.

Kelly Mather, CEO of Sonoma Valley Hospital, agrees.

"This is an example of our commitment to patient safety," said Mather. "We add another layer of protection for our patients with this UV disinfection technology, which has been shown to be 20 times more effective than manual cleaning with chemicals." Earlier this year, the hospital was named one of the 15 safest hospitals in the U.S. by Consumer Reports.

If you will be going to the hospital, here are three tips to give you the best chance at avoiding infection:

1. Do your research. Hospital infection rates are now posted online at Check out the hospital where you plan to be treated to ensure that its infection rate is at or below national averages. If it isn't, tell your doctor that you want to go somewhere else.

2. Ask questions. Question the hospital's disinfection protocol. Are they aware of or using new technologies to disinfect their rooms to get the superbugs out? Hospitals using full-spectrum UV light "germ-zapping robots" are seeing dramatic reductions in their infection rates.

3. Wash your hands. It sounds simple, but request that everyone (including your doctor) wash their hands before touching you. Germs reside on high-touch surfaces like door handles and bedrails and can be easily transmitted from healthcare workers to you.

For more information, visit

Syrian President: U.S.-led airstrikes cause 'no change' in ISIS strength

CNN World - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:23
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a French magazine that he has not seen any sign that U.S.-led airstrikes in his country have weakened ISIS, despite that campaign's efforts to defeat the Islamist extremist group.
Categories: International News

2 children, 1 adult killed in Tennessee school buses crash

CNN - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:11
Three people, including two young children, were killed when two school buses crashed near Knoxville, Tennessee, officials said Tuesday.
Categories: National News

Dr. Nancy Snyderman says sorry for quarantine violation

Business News - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:06
Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor, returned to work Wednesday, following a two-month absence, and said she was sorry for "scaring my community and the country" by violating a voluntary Ebola-related quarantine.

China wants to build a train system near you

Business News - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 10:05
Read full story for latest details.

Wife: Husband won't last a year in Cuban prison

CNN World - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:54
Judy Gross says she doesn't know how much longer her husband can make it. But she's scared it won't be long.
Categories: International News

Police, Rams duel over apology

CNN - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:51
Sorry seems to be the hardest word.
Categories: National News

This diet may lead to a longer life

CNN - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:49
Eating a Mediterranean diet may be your key to living longer. That's according to a new study led by Immaculata De Vivo, associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School.
Categories: National News

Brown's stepfather apologizes

CNN - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:47
Michael Brown's stepfather says he's sorry for his emotional outburst to demonstrators after learning a police officer wouldn't be indicted in the teen's death. But he says he's unfairly taking heat for the rioting that followed.
Categories: National News

Opinion: Ray Rice doesn't deserve second chance

CNN - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:44
Ray Rice, the embattled Baltimore Ravens running back, told Matt Lauer in an interview on the "Today" show that "the only thing I can hope for and wish for is a second chance." Rice was captured on film delivering a knock-out punch to his fiancee, now wife, in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. I don't think he should get that second chance he is asking for.
Categories: National News

How I paid off my student loans at 26

Business News - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:43
Read full story for latest details.
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