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Shots fired near U.S. Capitol after woman flees traffic stop, police say

Officers opened fire on a woman on U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday morning after she nearly ran over multiple U.S. Capitol Police officers while fleeing from a traffic stop, authorities said.

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No injuries were reported.

Officers spotted a woman driving erratically around 9 a.m. on Independence Avenue and attempted to stop her car, Capitol police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said. The unidentified woman made a U-turn and fled.

She stopped the sedan near the intersection of Washington and Independence avenues, where authorities apparently fired shots at the woman. Malecki declined to say where the bullets landed or how many shots were fired.

The incident did not appear to be related to terrorism.

“This appears to be criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism,” Malecki said.

What is a baby box and why are some states giving them to new parents?

This week, Alabama will join two other U.S. states — Ohio and New Jersey — in launching a program that offers free baby boxes to families of newborns in the state.

Here’s what you should know about the boxes, their origin and why states are adopting the program:

What is a baby box and where did the idea come from?

The idea originates from 1930s Finland, when nearly one out of 10 infants died in their first year, according to the New York Times.

The Finnish boxes — which include bedding and nearly 50 other items — are given as an incentive for mothers to see a doctor during pregnancy; to obtain one, expecting mothers had to undergo a medical exam during the first four months.

An average of 40,000 boxes are given to Finland’s mothers-to-be every year.

Today, Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world — 2.5 for every 1,000 births, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Why are U.S. states adopting baby box programs?

The U.S. infant mortality rate — 5.8 for every 1,000 births — is more than double that of Finland.

And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3,700 U.S. newborns suffered sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) in 2015.

One of the big risk factors associated with SUIDs is bed sharing.

When mothers can’t afford cribs, it’s not uncommon for bed sharing to occur.

With the high U.S. infant mortality rate and SUIDs statistics, some states are offering baby boxes to encourage postpartum safe sleep.

Which U.S. states have adopted baby boxes?

New Jersey became the first state to distribute baby boxes to prevent newborn deaths, followed by Ohio and now, Alabama.

California-based Baby Box Co. teamed up with state hospitals, child fatality organizations and other nonprofits to produce and distribute bassinet-sized boxes. According to NPR, New Jersey plans to distribute 105,000 boxes; Ohio, 140,000; Alabama, 60,000. 

What exactly is included in a U.S. baby box?

Though the details may differ across states and countries, the laminated cardboard boxes are usually well-built, mobile and come with a foam mattress and fitted sheet.

Often, the boxes will also include a onesie, diapers, wipes and breastfeeding accessories.

While the Finnish boxes were given to expecting mothers if and only if they underwent a medical exam during the first four months, the boxes in the three states are given away for free to families of newborns.

As part of the U.S. program, parents are expected to educate themselves by watching online videos about SIDs and safe sleep and test their knowledge through a short quiz.

"Through education and awareness, people can make better choices and hopefully we can see fewer children dying," Dr. Kathryn McCans, chair of New Jersey's Child Fatality and Near Fatality review board, told NPR.

Is a Safe Haven Baby Box the same as a baby box?

No. The Safe Haven Baby Box refers to a heated and padded incubator that allows new moms a safe way to give up their babies, rather than simply abandoning them.

In 2016, Indiana installed two boxes at fire stations as an extension of the state’s Safe Haven law, which offers parents complete anonymity when giving up an unwanted newborn younger than 45 days without being arrested or prosecuted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last year.

Learn more about the new baby boxes at NPR.org.

Dog found starved, dehydrated in abandoned trailer

A Washington County, Pennsylvania, shelter is caring for a dog found abandoned in a trailer. 

According to a post on the Washington Area Humane Society Facebook page, the dog was rescued from a trailer in Coal Center.

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They’re calling her Faith. She’s a lab/terrier mix and weighs just 20 pounds. She was very thin and dehydrated, the post said. 

Humane officers said the dog was found in a crate filled with animal waste. 

Veterinarians have given her fluids and a feeding tube. 

A humane officer is investigating who left Faith in the trailer.  

To learn more about Faith or donate to help cover the costs of her care, CLICK HERE.

Donations needed to complete home for girl who survived liver transplant

A little girl who survived a liver transplant needs help so she can move into her forever home.

WPXI.com has been following Jamie’s journey since 2015 when she was at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in desperate need of a liver. 

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A complete stranger stepped in and donated part of his liver to save her life.

“We got her through the worst of it with the liver transplant. We just want to move on and get them a forever home,” said Marilyn Pape, who works for Trumbull County Children’s Services.

Jamie is healthy and thriving and has a family that wants to adopt her and her biological siblings -- 8-year-old Jeremiah, 4-year-old Norriah and 1-year-old Renee. 

The family must add on to their home to make it big enough for all the children. 

Trumbull County Children’s Services partnered with Homes For Kids, a nonprofit group, to launch a campaign to expand the family’s home. Materials and time worth $40,000 have been pledged, but another $50,000 in money and labor is needed by June 1. 

“They are committing the rest of their lives to raising these kids and not knowing what their future holds,” Pape said. 

Donations can be made payable to Homes For Kids and mailed to 165 East Park Ave., P.O .Box 683, Niles, OH 44446, with “A Home For Jamie and Her Siblings” in the memo line.  

Donations can also be made online at youcaring.com

Individuals who would like more information or businesses who are interested in supporting this project should contact Claire Gysegem, with Trumbull County CSB, at 330-372-2010 x 1207, or email Claire.Gysegem@jfs.ohio.gov, or Danette Palmer, with Homes For Kids/Child and Family Solutions at 330-544-8005 x534 or email danette@hfk.org.

Was an 8-hour plane flight worth seeing this? More than 100 people thought so

More than 100 people spent eight hours aboard a plane to witness something very few will ever see – the Aurora Australis.

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The Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights, is the counterpart to the Northern Lights, but less often viewed because there isn’t much dry ground to perch on for a peek.

But, the Associated Press, reports a charter plane from New Zealand flew close enough to the Antarctic Circle on March 23 to give everyone a shot at the phenomenal light show.

Charter passenger Nick Wong, told the AP that he signed up for the flight after seeing the idea on social media.

“I didn’t think we would actually see such a spectacular display, even by the naked eye,” Wong told AP. “It was really great to be a part of an adventure with like-minded people who were equally or more excited at viewing this phenomena as I was.”

Sean Spicer gets spicy with reporter April Ryan: 'Stop shaking your head'

Any hope Sean Spicer had of going through Tuesday without incident quickly disappeared during his daily press briefing.

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April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks was asking the White House press secretary a question about Russia when it became clear that Spicer was upset over the topic being discussed.

"If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russian connection," Spicer said tersely, then later demanded that Ryan stop shaking her head.

>> Watch the clip here

People quickly called out Spicer’s treatment of Ryan:

Ryan responded later on Twitter:

This is not the first time the administration responded to Ryan in a way that sparked controversy.

In February, Ryan asked President Donald Trump if he would consult the Congressional Black Caucus before signing legislation that would affect historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Trump responded by asking her if she was friends with the members of the caucus and if she was willing to set up a meeting.

As it turned out, the CBC had already reached out to Trump nearly a month before:

New study shows no long-term cognitive benefits to breast-feeding

A new study shows there are no long-term benefits to breast-feeding. The study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics says after age 5, there are no cognitive differences between children who were breast-fed and those who were not.

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Advocates of breast-feeding say it’s the short-term benefits that are important.

For instance, Rae Summerbell and 7-month-old Conlan have finally mastered breast-feeding.

But it wasn't easy.

“It was the one thing I was hellbent on doing as a mom,” Summerbell said.

Conlan was born with craniosynostosis, which means his skull was fused at birth.

Because of his complications, Summerbell was committed to breas-tfeeding for nutritional reasons.

So she went to lactation nurse Tracy Corey for help.

“That breast milk is patterned right for her baby,” Corey said.

The short-term benefits of breast milk, Corey said, are much more established.

“When a mom is catching a bug or baby is catching a bug, when a baby breast-feeds, those germs go into mom and vice versa and immediately that breast creates antibodies to fight that bug,” Corey explained.

But Corey, who also owns Nurturing Expressions in West Seattle -- a store that offers breast-feeding support and sells pumps and other supplies -- recognizes there is a pressure and guilt for mothers to breast-feed.

In a story that went viral this month, Jillian Johnson says that pressure led to accidentally starving her son to death. He was just 19 days old. She shared her story in an interview with People magazine.

“You felt brainwashed,” Johnson told People. “Like you were a horrible person if you gave the baby a bottle.”

“As lactation consultants we're not here to just say ‘breast is best’ all the time because it may not be,” Corey added. “What we need to do is look at how to feed that baby.”

For long-term cognitive development, Corey said the key is simply connecting with your baby -- holding, loving and nurturing your child, no matter how they're fed. 

82-year-old dancer fulfills dream of getting back out on the dance floor

When Joyce Dixson is moving to the music, she finds joy.

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“She’s always danced. She taught me how to dance in the middle of our living room,” her daughter, Kathy Robinson told WSB-TV’s People 2 People.

Joyce, now 82, was a military wife and often joined her husband at a club on the military base.

“Every Saturday night, they always went out. He was in the Air Force,” said Kathy.

Joyce and her husband will soon celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary, but a bad knee has kept her from moving much these days. Thanks to the nonprofit Second Wind Dreams, she’s now getting back in the groove.

The foundation offered Joyce special line dancing lessons.

Kathy attended the special lesson with her mom and said she immediately say a difference in her demeanor.

“It’s a happiness that I can re-live because I can see her re-live some of the joy that she had in her life,” said Kathy.

Bill O’Reilly slammed for calling Rep. Maxine Waters’ hair a ‘James Brown wig,’ Waters responds

Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly is being slammed by many on Twitter for comment he made about U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

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When asked to comment on Waters’ remarks about President Donald Trump’s policies, O’Reilly said, “I didn’t understand a word she said. I was looking at her James Brown wig.”

“I have to defend her on that,” “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt said. "You can’t go after a woman’s looks. I think she’s very attractive.”

“I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive,” O'Reilly said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I love James Brown but it’s the same hair James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, had.” 

O’Reilly added that Waters is a “sincere individual.”

Some responded to the remarks on Twitter.

Brown’s daughter, Yamma Brown Alexander, also shared her thoughts.

“That was a compliment Bill O’Reilly,” she posted on Instagram. “Dad’s hair was always laid!! But that’s all you got from what Maxine Waters said? Sad!”

O’Reilly has since apologized in a statement, saying, “As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. I said that again today on ‘Fox & Friends’ calling her ‘old school.’ Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize.”

Waters responded on “All in With Chris Hayes” on MSNBC on Tuesday night.

“I’m a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought of to be a friend of Bill O’Reilly or any body,” she said. “I’d like to say to women out there everywhere: Don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are, do what you do and let us get on with discussing the real issues of this county.”

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report. 

Study: 10,000 steps might not be enough for healthy life

The standard for a healthy amount of exercise has widely been accepted as 10,000 steps a day. However, new research shows this might not be enough. 

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Researchers in Scotland looked at postal workers and tracked how many steps a day they took — their average was 15,000, according to The New York Times

>>  'Cash Me Outside' teen signs reality TV deal 

Those who achieved the 15,000 steps, or about seven miles, showed no increased risk of heart disease and had normal waistlines, the International Journal of Obesity found. 

Those who sit longer throughout the day had increased health concerns. After five hours of sitting a day, each additional hour in a chair boosted risk of heart disease by 0.2 percent, Newser reported. 

>> Florida man walking on beach finds bale of marijuana

“Our metabolism is not well-suited to sitting down all the time,” Dr. William Tigbe, who led the study, told The Times. 

So Tigbe suggests people hit the target of 15,000 steps by attacking it “in bits” or taking 30-minute walks compared to 2-hour walks, The Times reported. 

Read more at The New York Times

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