Alabama mom posts graphic selfie of skin cancer to raise awareness

An Alabama mother posted a gruesome selfie of her blistered face to raise awareness about skin cancer, and people have taken heed. Tawny Willoughby, 27, showed her blotchy face to her Facebook friends to discourage people from hitting the tanning salon. Her post has gone viral, with nearly 60,000 shares since April 25. "You only get one skin and you should take care of it," she wrote. "Don't let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up. That's my biggest fear now that I have a 2-year-old little boy of my own." Willoughby, a registered nurse at a hospital in Florence, Ala., said she laid out in the sun or a tanning bed up to five times a week when she was in high school to maintain her tan. At age 21, she was diagnosed with skin cancer. She has gone to a dermatologist about twice a year since and usually has to have a cancerous growth removed at each check-up, she said. Willoughby said she's lucky she doesn't have melanoma, which can spread to other parts of the body, but noted that basal cell carcinoma, which she's had five times, can leave disfiguring scars. "Melanoma kills, non melanoma disfigures (and can also kill)," Willoughby wrote. "Don't be a statistic!" Tawny Willoughby, 27, said she wanted to be around for her 2-year-old son and posted this selfie to warn others against going tanning. There were 2.8 million people diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, or cancerous growths that almost never spread, in 2010, but those numbers continue to climb, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. One in five people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes, and it's highly treatable if caught early, doctors told the Daily News. "I'm really happy my message has been able to reach so many people through social media," Willoughby wrote, advising people to wear sunscreen. Her skin appears unblemished in most other pictures. People have praised Willoughby for being "brave" and a "role model." "I Continue Reading

White House raises objections to Senate legislation threatening to block U.S.-Iran nuclear deal

WASHINGTON — The White House raised new objections Tuesday to Senate legislation that threatens to block a landmark nuclear deal with Iran. The attack is part of a bid to head off increased Democratic backing for the Senate measure. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that a provision in the legislation that makes Iran’s support for terrorism a factor in evaluating the framework is unacceptable because it “essentially makes the agreement contingent on Iran renouncing terrorism.” “That’s an unrealistic suggestion,” Earnest said. The legislation from Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) would give Congress the chance to block U.S. removal of economic sanctions on Iran that would occur in exchange for Iran accepting restrictions on its nuclear program. Negotiators in Switzerland announced the tentative agreement last week. Administration officials want to prevent additional Democrats from signing on by arguing the Corker bill aims to kill the deal, not just to give Congress a say. “There are a large number of Republicans who view the Corker bill as a vehicle for undermining negotiations,” Earnest said. Sen. Chuck Schumer on Monday said he supports the bill. While Schumer previously backed the measure, the New York senator’s statement made clear for the first time since the announcement of the framework last week that he would continue his support despite heavy lobbying from the White House. Schumer is a key Democratic voice on the issue: He is set to become Democratic leader in 2017 and is a relatively hawkish Democrat whose calibrated positions signal to fellow lawmakers which way political winds blow. New York’s other Democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, has not taken a position on Corker’s bill. A spokesman said she wants to study the measure and see how Continue Reading

Newer versions of birth control pill may raise blood clot risk: study

Newer versions of the Pill may raise a woman’s risk of dangerous blood clots even more than older versions, a large U.K. study suggests. Women taking any combined oral contraceptive pills — containing both estrogen and progestin — were three times as likely to develop a blood clot in a deep vein in the leg or pelvis, compared to women not on the Pill. The risk was higher still with all the newer Pill versions except one, researchers found. “This association is between 1.5 and 1.8 times higher for the newer formulations,” said lead author Yana Vinogradova, a research fellow in medical statistics at the University of Nottingham. The blood clots, known as venous thromboembolisms (VTEs), are common and can be deadly if the clot dislodges and travels to the heart, brain or lungs. They are more common among women taking estrogen medicines, and the risk is even higher if the woman smokes, according to the National Library of Medicine. But the overall risk of a blood clot for women on any combined oral contraceptives is still relatively low: between six and 14 extra cases per year per 10,000 women taking the drugs, Vinogradova told Reuters Health by email. Newer combined pills, including the progestins drospirenone, desogestrel, gestodene or cyproterone acetate, have been suspected of carrying an even higher clot risk compared to older versions that include levonorgestrel and norethisterone. But most past studies have been small or flawed by not taking into account certain other risk factors for clots, the study team writes in BMJ. To assess VTE risk in women on both older and newer-generation pills, the researchers analyzed U.K. general practice databases covering the period between 2001 and 2013. They found 5,062 cases of VTE among women ages 15 to 49, and matched each of these women with up to five women who did not have a blood clot in the same year, but were of similar age and treated at a similar medical practice. Continue Reading

‘Miracle on 34th Street’ raises spirits: 1947 review

(Originally published by the Daily News on June 5, 1947. This story was written by Kate Cameron.) With Jack Benny, as star of the stage show, smashing all box-office records for the Roxy Theatre during the past two weeks, the management needed something pretty good either stage or screen to follow the big-time comedian. Otherwise, the next few weeks receipts would look bad by comparison. Well, a miracle happened on 50th St. and Seventh Ave., yesterday. The Roxy has struck pay-dirt again, following the shut-down of the Benny bonanza. On the screen is “Miracle on 34th Street,” one of the sweetest pictures ever turned out by Hollywood. I don’t mean to say that the film is sweetly sticky, for it isn’t. It is light, it is charming, it is delightfully funny and completely captivating. It is all that, and something more. It has an undefinable spiritual quality that raises the spirits of the beholder into a happy, hopeful mood. A Gift from Santa. I went into the Roxy Theatre a skeptic about Santa Claus. I’d been one for years, but I came out of the theatre a convinced convert. Of course, there’s a Santa Claus and I have been too stupid not to have had a sustained faith in that jolly old fellow who makes an annual appearance at Christmas time accompanied by his eight tiny reindeer. Why now, I believe that Santa is here in New York this very June day. If you don’t believe me, and I don’t ask you take my word for it, go to the Roxy and you’ll find out for yourself. There, in the person of actor Edmund Gwenn, the old fellow is working his miracle of faith, and I defy anyone to leave the theatre a disbeliever in Kris Kringle. Skillful Performance. The oldsters in the story are really easy marks for Santa Claus, but when you see him win over an 8-year-old girl, product of a progressive school and a daughter of a young woman who has let her common sense get the better of her imagination, so that she Continue Reading

True justice for young offenders: Gov. Cuomo on why it’s time to raise the age of criminal responsibility

Since I took office in 2011, I have taken steps to reform our juvenile justice system to make our communities safer while also ensuring that young offenders get the help they need to get on the right track, leading positive, crime-free lives. So far, our work has made a difference. We have significantly reduced the number of young people in the state’s juvenile justice system for the third consecutive year. We have brought New York City youth placed in upstate juvenile justice facilities back to the city so they can receive educational, mental health, substance abuse and other service needs while remaining closer to their families and communities. We accomplished this without compromising public safety one iota — youth arrests, in fact, are down 24%. But we need to go one very big step further this year and change the way we treat 16- and 17-year-olds charged with crimes. New York shares the dubious distinction with North Carolina of being the only states in the nation that still prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, placing these teenagers into a criminal justice system that will do them more harm than good and actually make our communities less safe in the long run. In April 2014, I appointed the Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice, tasked with formulating a plan to improve New York’s outdated juvenile justice laws. The panel included district attorneys, police, court officials, civil rights advocates, county executives, juvenile justice experts and the New York City mayor’s criminal justice coordinator. Based on the commission’s recommendations, we have proposed increasing the state’s age of criminal responsibility as an adult to 18 and providing more appropriate handling of young defendants’ criminal cases. A bill is now before the Legislature. It is time to enact these reforms, which are already fully funded in the budget. We can’t have 16- and 17-year-olds branded with a felony Continue Reading

Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman saluted by NYPD for raising $700G for families of slain Officers Rafael Ramos, Wenjian Liu

Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman was saluted by the NYPD Thursday for helping Police Commissioner Bill Bratton keep a promise to aid the families of slain police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in their time of need. “(The News) helped to fulfill that very sacred commitment and obligation,” Bratton said as he presented a plaque to Zuckerman, Daily News President and CEO Bill Holiber and Editor Colin Myler, recognizing the $700,000 the paper raised for the Ramos and Liu families. Each family received a $350,000 check from a News fund-raising drive that brought in hundreds of donations both large and small. Zuckerman said The News was honored to offer a helping hand. “If there is anything we are proud of at the Daily News, it is what we were able to do on behalf of the families of the police who were killed,” Zuckerman said. “From our point of view, it was a great privledge to be involved." Other honorees included Modell’s Sporting Goods, who provided jumbotrons for mourners to watch the Ramos and Liu funerals from outside the packed church, the doctors who tried to save the two officers, and Air China, who provided free airfare to Liu’s extended family so they could attend his funeral in New York. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Clinton Foundation raised $26 million in Sweden while Swedish government lobbied Hillary Clinton to ditch Iran sanctions: report

WASHINGTON — The Clinton Foundation raised $26 million in Sweden even as the Swedish government was lobbying Hillary Clinton’s State Department to forgo sanctions that threatened business dealings with Iran, according to a newspaper report Wednesday. The Swedish organization, named the William J. Clinton Foundation Insamlingsstiftelsem, wasn’t run by State Department ethics officials, according to the Washington Times. The State Department declined to blacklist any Swedish firms with economic ties to Iran, according to diplomatic cables obtained by the paper. “Sweden does not support implementing tighter financial sanctions on Iran” and believes “more stringent financial standards could hurt Swedish exports,” reads one cable sent to the State Department. The money was raised while Western powers were looking to enforce sanctions against Iran to cripple its economy and force it to come to the table on negotiating its nuclear program. A foundation spokesman told the Daily News that the Swedish entity was set up primarily to collect donations from the country’s lotteries for efforts to fight climate change, AIDS and cholera in Haiti, and points out that unlike most U.S. lotteries, the Swedish lottery is part of an international company and has no government ties. This particular lottery raises funds for a number of charities. "The Clinton Foundation is a philanthropy, period. We've voluntarily disclosed our more than 300,000 donors on our website, including those from Sweden,” said the spokesman. The organization was incorporated in Sweden and the donors’ identities were lumped into disclosure reports of the U.S.-based charity, according to the report. The Clinton Foundation has been a consistent problem in the early stages of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Questions continue to be raised about whether groups sought to gain influence over her decision making Continue Reading

Accused Charleston shooter Dylann Roof was raised in home destroyed by domestic violence: reports

Accused killer Dylann Roof had one chance at a stable family life — and his abusive dad ruined it for him. The 21-year-old hatemonger who slaughtered nine members of a Bible study group Wednesday night was raised by a loving stepmom, but in a house destroyed by domestic violence, according to reports.  DYLANN ROOF RAGED WHEN BLACK GUY GOT THE GIRL: REPORT Roof’s tattoo-covered dad, Franklin Bennett, 52, known as Benn, was verbally and emotionally abusive to his wife during their 10-year marriage, the Daily Mail said Friday.  Paige Mann, now 41 and newly married, was the closest thing to a real parent Dylann Roof and his older half-sister Amber Roof had, according to court papers cited by the Mail. The contruction worker declined to comment on his abusive history. “You can’t be on my property,” he told a Daily News reporter Friday. FULL COVERAGE OF THE CHARLESTON CHURCH MASSACRE But Bennett (below) routinely belittled his young wife and — as the union unraveled — got physical with her too, the papers said.  Mann was under his “control and mental manipulation,” she wrote. She put up with his alleged cruelty for the sake of Amber and Dylann — and Morgan, the daughter she had with Bennett. But even her love for her stepkids couldn’t stop her from leaving after Bennett assaulted her in 2008, Mann claimed in her court affidavit. CHARLESTON'S EMANUEL AME HOLDS FIRST SERVICE SINCE SHOOTING “He controlled my whereabouts, the checkbook and everything about my life,” she said, according to the Mail. He threatened that he was “cutting off the electricity and taking my car,” she added. “On September 20, 2008 my whole world fell apart when Benn and I got into an argument. Benn violently pushed me to the ground and hit me in Continue Reading

Hawaii poised to become 1st state to raise smoking age to 21

HONOLULU — Lawmakers have passed a bill that would make Hawaii the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21. The measure cleared its final legislative hurdle Friday with approval from the state Senate. It now goes to Gov. David Ige for his decision. A spokeswoman for Ige said he wasn't immediately available for comment. The bill prevents adolescents from smoking, buying or possessing traditional and electronic cigarettes. Those caught breaking the rules would face fines or community service. Supporters say 90 percent of daily smokers begin the habit before age 19. Opponents say it's unfair that a veteran returning from military service could be prevented from smoking. Hawaii County and New York City have similar bans. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

McDonald’s will raise wages of 90,000 employees by 10 percent

The McDonald's arches just got a little more golden for some of the fast-food giant’s workers. The hamburger chain announced Wednesday that it will raise wages of employees by 10%, following months of public outcry and protests. The pay hike will apply to 90,000 workers at company-owned restaurants across the country — but not to the majority of the 660,000 workers at 3,100 eateries that are privately owned, company officials said. Full- and part-time workers will also get paid for personal time off, as well as financial assistance to complete high school or pay college tuition, the company said. “We’ve listened to our employees and learned that — in addition to increased wages — paid personal leave and financial assistance for completing their education would make a real difference in their careers and lives,” McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement. The move bumps up wages of Mickey D’s employees to at least $1 over the prevailing local minimum wage in most areas beginning July 1. The minimum wage in New York went up last year from $8 to $8.75, and will be hiked to $9 an hour on Dec. 31. By the end of 2016, McDonald’s projects the average hourly wage for employees at company-owned restaurants will top $10. In the past year, McDonald’s workers have walked off the job several times to protest low pay. A protest at McDonald’s corporate campus in Chicago last May led to the arrest of 100 demonstrators, who demanded the minimum wage for the hamburger chain’s workers be boosted to $15 an hour. “McDonald’s was forced to pay up, but it’s not nearly enough,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International union. “The overwhelming majority of McDonald’s workers will still be paid Continue Reading