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Mom posts heartbreaking video of baby with whooping cough to stress importance of vaccines

An Australian mom's heartbreaking video of her 5-week-old daughter – along with a plea for parents to vaccinate their children – has gone viral.

This video may distress some people but I'm sharing to show just how scary and dangerous whooping cough is to babies who are too young to be vaccinated. This is my 5 week old baby during an episode where she chokes and stops breathing.  Babies rely on herd immunity to keep them safe and unfortunately we cannot achieve that without high vaccination rates. Whooping cough is not always a loud obvious cough. The scary symptom for babies is when they don't cough but silently choke and turn blue/purple from lack of oxygen. If we weren't in hospital and sitting watching our baby 24/7 the outcome would be fatal. Please don't ignore the warning signs- our baby girl only had a slight cough to start. Please share this to educate more people on the importance of vaccinations.Posted by Sandra Tee on Sunday, August 21, 2016

>> Watch the video here

In an Aug. 22 Facebook post, Sandra Tee of Sydney shared the video of her baby girl, Heidi, wearing an oxygen mask in the hospital.

"This video may distress some people, but I'm sharing to show just how scary and dangerous whooping cough is to babies who are too young to be vaccinated," Tee wrote. "This is my 5-week-old baby during an episode where she chokes and stops breathing. Babies rely on herd immunity to keep them safe, and unfortunately, we cannot achieve that without high vaccination rates."

She added, "Whooping cough is not always a loud obvious cough. The scary symptom for babies is when they don't cough but silently choke and turn blue/purple from lack of oxygen. If we weren't in hospital and sitting watching our baby 24/7, the outcome would be fatal."

>> Read more trending stories

Tee told Inside Edition that Heidi caught the disease after her 3-year-old brother contracted it at day care. 

"Heidi is too young to be vaccinated and relies on others not to spread this disease," Tee told Inside Edition. "If everyone, at any age, is vaccinated, we may eradicate certain illnesses altogether."

Read more here.

7 things to know now: Hospitals not charging Pulse survivors; Hope Solo; American Girl doll

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now: 

1. Quake toll rises: The death toll in from Wednesday's earthquake in Amatrice, Italy, has climbed to 247. The 6.2 quake took out entire blocks of buildings in the town, trapping hundreds. The search for survivors continued Thursday morning.

2. University attack: Twelve people were killed Wednesday in an attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack on the school that was established in 2006. The school is modeled after the U.S. college system. The school has an enrollment of around 1,700.

3. Hospitals not charging: Officials at two Orlando-area hospitals where victims of the Pulse nightclub terror attack were treated say they will not charge survivors for any out-of-pocket expenses for their care. "The Pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families and our entire community," Orlando Health President and CEO David Strong said in a statement. "During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward."

4. Solo suspension: Hope Solo, the U.S. women’s soccer goalkeeper, is facing a six-month suspension for remarks she made after her team lost in the Olympics. After the Americans lost their quarterfinal match to Sweden, Solo let go a rant in which she called the Swedes a “bunch of cowards” because they focused on defense in their game plan. Sweden beat the U.S. 4-3 on penalty kicks. Solo’s comments were “unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players.,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said of the suspension.

5. National Park birthday: Today the United States National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday.  A 1916 law that protects the parks was passed to oversee  “the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” 

And one  more

The American Girl doll company has released its newest “BeForever” doll. The doll, named Melody Ellison, is a 9-year-old Detroit girl who wants to be a singer. The company also released three books about Melody, whose character lives during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

In case you missed it


New Earth-like planet found orbiting nearby star

A new planet has been discovered that may be Earth-like, and it's really, really close. If we're ever going to look for life outside our solar system, this is probably where we'll start. Here's what scientists say about it.

>> Watch the video from Newsy

The planet might have liquid water, which is crucial to life as we know it. It's in the habitable zone, that sweet spot where it's neither too hot nor too cold to have water on its surface.

The planet orbits the closest-known star to ours, Proxima Centauri, which is about 4.25 light years away. It's in the southern sky, but it's too dim to see with the naked eye.

Four light years is nothing in space terms, but it's still too far to travel to any time soon. Our most pie-in-the-sky technology would still take decades to carry a probe there.

If we do ever travel there, it should feel somewhat familiar. The planet is about the same size as Earth, meaning gravity would be close to what we're used to. But its days and nights would be strange. It circles its sun every 11 days.

>> Read more trending stories

It's tempting to get excited about an Earth-like planet that couldn't be any closer, but there are some big unknowns. It's not clear yet whether the planet has an atmosphere or a magnetic field. Without those, the odds of finding life are pretty much zero.

Luckily, we don't have to wait too long to learn more. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch in 2018, and it will be able to look for an atmosphere. And Stephen Hawking is supporting a plan to send a probe to nearby Alpha Centauri.

French tourism declines amid fears of terrorism

France is facing potentially more than $1 billion in lost revenue this year because of huge declines in tourism.

Safety concerns have been one of the biggest reasons why the country has lost over $850,000 in revenue already in the first six months of 2016.

The terror attacks in Paris last November were called Europe's worst in the past decade.

Terrorist attacks in Nice and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray followed.

Besides violence, workers' strikes and floods are said to have played a part in international tourists' decisions to stay away.

So far in the Paris region, there has been a 46 percent decline in Japanese visitors, 35 percent fewer Russians and 27 percent fewer Italians.

American travelers seem the least affected. Their numbers have dropped by roughly 5 percent.

France might have one advantage with Americans. As those in the U.S. plan their trips, they are said to be considering more expensive destinations, which, from their perspective, could offer better protection.

According to the French government, the country is the No. 1 tourist destination in the world, and tourism is extremely important to the French economy. The sector represents roughly 9 percent of its GDP.

"It's time to realize that the tourism sector is going through an industrial disaster," the head of Paris' tourism board said.

What, where is the American University of Afghanistan?

On reports that American University of Afghanistan in Kabul is under attack with gunfire and explosions heard there on Wednesday, here’s a brief look at the university and it’s student body.

What is the American University of Afghanistan?

According to its website, “The American University of Afghanistan is Afghanistan’s only private, not-for-profit, non-partisan and co-educational university. It opened its doors in 2006 with an initial enrollment of 50 students.

How many students?

AU has an enrollment of more than 1,700 full and part-time students. It has produced 29 Fulbright Scholars, the school’s website said. It has partnered with Stanford University, Georgetown University and the University of California, among other schools worldwide.

What is the school’s history?

Again, from its website, a brief history of the school:

2003: In an address to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), U.S. First Lady Laura Bush announces support for educational initiatives in Afghanistan, and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad gives strong support for establishing the American University of Afghanistan.

2005: On a five-acre site that is part of the land lease, two buildings heavily damaged in combat between Afghan and Soviet forces in the 1980s and the resulting factional war are repaired for office and classroom use.

2006: In March, AUAF admits its first group of 53 students to its Foundation Studies Program, designed to strengthen student’s English language and study skills. In September, the first credit-bearing undergraduate courses are offered, along with the first adult professional level programs.

2008: In June, U.S. First Lady Laura Bush announces $42 million in funding from USAID over five years. By the end of the year, enrollment in the undergraduate and Foundation Studies programs reaches almost 350 students.

2011: The university opens the spring semester in January with its first convocation. Enrollment rises to 789 students, including 21 percent women. In May, the university holds its first graduation ceremony and holds groundbreaking ceremonies for faculty and staff housing on the new campus. In August, a new faculty office building opens on the original campus.

2013: In January, the Department of Law is created, and the first students begin classes. Spring enrollment rises to 958 students, and 50 percent of the 2013 freshman class is female. 123 students – including the first cohort of MBA students – graduate at a ceremony in May held in front of AUAF’s new International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Development (ICAWED), a $5 million, state-of-the-art facility designed to support female Afghan business owners. Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker returns as private citizen to deliver the commencement address. The ICAWED Center hosts its first major international conference just weeks after opening. The university signs another five year cooperative agreement with USAID valued at more than $40 million. Fall enrollment tops 1,000 students, a major university milestone, with females comprising 30% of the overall student body. 

2014: In 2014, AUAF’s Professional Development Institute opened a new branch in Mazar-e-Sharif. The university also launched the MA in Education program with funding from the World Bank and Afghan Ministry of Education, which currently has an enrollment of 320 students from around the country. The International Campus expanded rapidly this year, with extensive landscaping and infrastructure improvements and occupancy of the new staff/faculty apartment block on the new campus. The Business Innovation Hub launched in February with headquarter offices on the International Campus, and subsequently opened a branch office in Herat. To top-off this productive year for the university, a total number of 180 undergraduate and graduate students, AUAF’s fourth and largest class, graduated in December in a ceremony held on the International Campus.

Who runs  the school?

Dr. Mark A. English is the president of the school.He worked in Oman, where he managed an International Education and Training Program, and Amman, where he was a US Fulbright Scholar and Associate Head of the English department at the University of Jordan, according to Friends of American Univeristy in Afghanistan. Dr. English received his Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education and Arabic Studies from the University of Texas. He also has a Master’s degree in Civil Government from Campbell University and earned his Bachelor’s from the United States Military Academy, West Point in Engineering. He speaks fluent Arabic. He is married and has a grown daughter. He was a U.S. Army officer for 27 years prior to heading up the school.

Where is it located?

In Kabul, Afghanistan.

How much is tuition?

Tuition per semester is roughly $3,220 in American dollars.

Big donors to the University?

The United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul are lead donors for the University.

In addition, former first lady Laura Bush has been closely connected to the school.

7 things to know now: Deadly earthquake in Italy; Clinton Foundation; NY Times hacked

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Quake in Italy: The town of Amatrice, Italy, was leveled by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake Wednesday, that killed at least 37 and injured scores more. The search for survivors continues as crews dig for those buried under the debris of collapsed buildings. The mayor of the town in the Umbria region of the country told reporters, “the town isn’t here anymore.”

2. Clinton Foundation access: The Associated Press is reporting that more than half of the people outside of the government who met with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state had given money to the Clinton Foundation prior to the meetings. Eighty-five of 154 people who requested meetings and had donated to Clinton’s family foundation were able to meet with or speak on the phone with Clinton while she ran the department, the AP has so far found. Together, the 85 donated as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million, the AP is reporting.

3. Missile launched: North Korea has launched a ballistic missile from a submarine in the waters 300 miles off its coast, according to South Korea officials. The missile was tracked to the Sea of Japan. This is the first North Korean missile to be fired into Japan’s air defense zone. "This is a threat to Japan's security and an unforgivable reckless act that significantly damages the peace and stability of the region," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday morning.

4. NYT hack: U.S. officials say they believe that email accounts for reporters for The New York Times and other news organizations were hacked by Russian intelligence agencies. FBI investigators say they think the same people who hacked Democratic Party organizations and Hillary Clinton’s campaign are responsible for the hacks of the news groups.

5. A shift in policy: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that he may be open to  "softening" laws dealing with undocumented  immigrants. "There certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people," Trump said. "We want people — we have some great people in this country." Trump was speaking in Austin, Texas, when asked about changing laws in favor of helping law-abiding or longtime immigrants become citizens.

And one more

Ok, who among us hasn’t stood in front of the mirror, grabbed up the imaginary Fender and launched into the meanest air guitar version of Areosmith’s “Walk this Way.” Today in Oulu, Finland, the 21st World Air Guitar Championship get underway with people from all over the world performing their perfect version of imaginary guitar playing. Yes, it is a thing. If you go, careful of the air drummers – you know how those bad boys of pretend bands get.

In case you missed it

Taking the hot wings challenge.

Devastating photos show aftermath of deadly Italian earthquake

A deadly earthquake struck central Italy on Wednesday, killing dozens and reducing buildings to rubble, according to Italian media.

>> PHOTOS: Deadly earthquake leaves Italian town in ruins

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, centered about 105 miles northeast of Rome, had a magnitude of 6.2, while Italy's geological service said it had a magnitude of 6.0, according to The Associated Press.

>> Read more trending stories

One mayor said his entire town was left in ruins.

"The town isn't here anymore," said Sergio Pirozzi, mayor of Amatrice.

Read more here.

>> Click here or scroll down to see heartbreaking photos from the scene

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script>[View the story "Strong earthquake hits central Italy" on Storify]

Siblings say ISIS accusation and interrogation ruined their vacation

Three British siblings were pulled off a plane and interrogated on the tarmac after a fellow passenger accused them of being part of ISIS.

Maryam, Ali and Sakina Dharas were flying from London to Naples, Italy, for vacation when they were pulled off the plane and found themselves face-to-face with armed guards.

"The first thing we were asked was whether we spoke English, so we weren't offered any explanation immediately. I found that a bit patronizing, a bit Orientalist almost. As if just because we're Muslim we don't speak English," Maryam Dharas told Britain’s Channel 4 News.

>> Read more trending stories

Apparently, two fellow passengers had reported them to authorities, saying one of the sister's phones had either Arabic text or the words "praise be to Allah" on the screen. But the Dharases said they don't even know Arabic.

The siblings said they were forced to detail their personal lives, past travel history and parents' occupations to an MI5 agent. They also showed authorities their phones to prove that they weren't doing anything wrong.

It eventually became clear the siblings had nothing to do with any terrorist organization, and they were allowed to board their flight. They said the experience ruined their vacation.

EasyJet, the airline the siblings were flying on, apologized for any inconvenience and told Al Jazeera, "The safety and security of ... passengers and crew is our highest priority which means that if a security concern is raised we will always investigate it."

In an article for The Independent, Sakina Dharas said the experience was humiliating, and it left her with a question: "Why weren’t those passengers who made the false claim about us removed from the plane for wasting valuable police time?"

Adorable mail-loving dog gets personal postcard

A mailman in Brisbane, Australia, is lucky enough to encounter lots of dogs on his mail route in Brisbane, Australia.

But he is partial toone dog in particular. Pippa, a labrador retriever,  likes to get the mail.

>> Read more trending stories

BuzzFeed reported that Australian postal worker Martin Studer decided to improvise on days when there's no mail for Pippa to retrieve.

He wrote a note to Pippa on a delivery notice, and shared a photo of the note in a Facebook post about the mail-loving retriever.

"Sometimes, Pippa comes out for the daily delivery but there's no mail for her to collect," Studer wrote on the post.

"She’s a fantastic dog," Studer told BuzzFeed. "I give lots of dogs cuddles, but she’s really great."

BuzzFeed News reported that Studer is such a fan of the dogs that he gives them tennis balls to dogs and dresses up as Santa.

"It’s good to break down that ‘postie vs. dog’ stereotype," he said.

Posted by Martin Studer on Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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