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'Stand your ground' claim denied for Florida man charged in ax murder 

A judge on Friday denied a 22-year-old South Florida man’s request to have charges against him thrown out in the 2015 killing of a Hispanic teen under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

>> Read more trending news

Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer on Friday denied David Harris’ claims that he was defending himself and his younger brother, Jesse Harris, when the Jupiter resident swung an ax and hit Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos, 18, in the back of the head during an April 2015 confrontation.

Harris, charged with his younger brother and a third young man, Austin Taggart, had claimed that the three of them were headed to a park to smoke marijuana when they were confronted by Lopez-Ramos, his older brother, Elmer, and others drinking outside a home they shared.

But he also told investigators after his arrest that Taggart had told him before the altercation that he wanted to go “Guat hunting,” a street term for robbing Hispanic men.

And despite the self-defense claims from defense attorney Franklin Prince, Assistant State Attorney Jill Richstone in a two-part hearing on the matter told Feuer that Harris had never made the self-defense claims at the time of his arrest.

With the judge’s ruling, Harris’ case survives one of the first major tests of a shift in Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.

Under the old law, a defendant hoping to get a case dismissed would have to prove to a judge that he or she was immune from prosecution. Now, prosecutors are the ones who have to prove to a judge that defendants who claim “Stand Your Ground” were not acting in self-defense.

Harris’ trial is set to begin April 2. The other two men will face trial separately.

Little Caesars honoring bracket-busting win with free pizza

If you’re crying in your beer after the University of Maryland-Baltimore County became the ultimate bracket buster in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night, take heart. There is a free pizza waiting to ease your sorrow.

Little Caesars is honoring UMBC’s 74-54 victory against Virginia -- the first time a No. 16 seed has defeated a No. 1 seed -- with a free lunch combo on Monday, April 2.

The $5 Hot-N-Ready Lunch Combo will include four slices of pepperoni pizza and one 20-ounce Pepsi product per family, the company said in its promotional release. Orders must be made between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time. An important point: the order must be placed by 1 p.m. The rules in the promotion state that even if you were in line at 1 p.m., if the order has not been placed it will not be honored. In other words, arrive early. 

Here are the details of the deal. You can read the full terms and conditions here.

Amber Alert: Boy, 4, found safe in Ohio thanks to vigilant motorist

vigilant motorist helped authorities find a 4-year-old Ohio boy who was abducted hours earlier from his home in Sandusky and was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert.

>> Read more trending news

Police said Jennifer Hemcheck forcibly removed Q’Dai Hemcheck from a vehicle and sped away with him in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plates.

Shortly after a statewide Amber Alert was issued that described the vehicle, plate number and provided photos of the Hemchecks to mobile phones, a 911 caller reported spotting a car that matched the description.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that the caller, regular citizen with a cellphone, called in, we probably wouldn’t have been able to locate that car, if not as quick or at all, if we hadn’t had that help from that citizen,” Sgt. Tom Bloomberg of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post said.

Jennifer Hemcheck was arrested after she was found at 8:30 p.m. riding in the car on southbound I-75 in Monroe in Warren County, police said. Another woman was driving the car, and she, too, was arrested.

Jennifer Hemcheck’s 12-year-old daughter also was in the car and was taken to the Lebanon Post to be reunited with her father, troopers said.

As for D’Quai, he has been taken to Erie County Children Services and his father has been notified, according to the highway patrol.

Disney brings ‘Toy Story’ magic to South Florida boy

Sometimes Disney magic is delivered right to your door, bringing you smiles, tears and lots of joy. 

>> Read more trending news

This happened to a South Florida family on March 14 when they spotted a special box at their house.

But first, let’s rewind to last weekend, when a simple mistake was made.

On the previous Saturday, the Ramsaran family of Riviera Beach went out to explore the Disney Boardwalk Resort in Orlando. This was their last day after spending an entire week having fun at the theme parks.

However, around noon, the family stopped at the character carnival store. 

Wes, 4, simply wanted to have fun -- a bit more.

He walked in with his favorite new toy, one he was so excited to bring home: Slinky, the “Toy Story” dog. 

But he wanted to play with pirates for a minute, so he left Slinky with his father, Shane.

Wes laughed and played. Meanwhile, somewhere on a bench, a forgotten Slinky lay. 

After leaving the resort, Mom realized something was wrong:

The Slinky was missing.

“Oh, no! He’s lost forever,” Wes told his parents.

There was crying, arguing, and a lot of calls to Disney. 

All the little boy wanted was for Woody and Buzz Lightyear, back home, to meet their new dog Slinky.

“Don’t worry, Slinky will make his way home,” his mother, Kelly, told him. 

Of course, she didn’t know.

The family drove away from Orlando to Riviera Beach that afternoon, with Wes in the backseat, in a somber mood. 

They were almost home when the phone rang. Disney officials said Slinky had been rescued and he was coming home to the gang.

He’d be there seven to 10 business days, Disney told them. The family waited. 

When the special box arrived on Wednesday, Wes and his parents rushed to open it. Yes, Slinky made it! The Disney staff made sure to properly pack the springy plastic toy pup so that he would get to Wes safe and sound.

But, wait a minute. There was something else to be found.

Inside the package, there was Slinky – but, he wasn’t alone. 

He brought a few friends with him, and now they were home.

To top off the magic, Disney took the reunion to the next level.

They sent the family seven pictures of Slinky and his friends having fun at the resort.

Said Wes’ mom: “It feels good to know that there are still good people in the world.”

Kelly Ramsaran posted their experience and a message from Disney on a post on her Facebook page. 

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe fired two days before retirement

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fired former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, two days before McCabe was set to retire, according to news reports.

>> Read more trending news 

Sessions said in a statement released Friday night that McCabe was less than truthful while under oath several times, according to The New York Times.

“The F.B.I. expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and accountability,” he said. “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”

In a statement Friday night, McCabe said his firing was politically motivated.

"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and the intelligence professionals," McCabe said.

>> Related: Who is Andrew G. McCabe, former Deputy Director of the FBI?

The Associated Press reported Saturday that McCabe has kept memos regarding his interactions with President Trump. 

In an earlier interview, McCabe rejected the allegations that he was untruthful during internal hearings, the Times reported.

>> Rex Tillerson out as Secretary of State; Pompeo nominated as replacement

“The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” he said. 

“This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”

McCabe is a potential witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign

Shortly after midnight, President Donald Trump tweeted about the firing, calling it “a great day for democracy.”

>> Related: Who are key players in the Russia/Trump saga?

John Dowd, President Trump’s personal attorney, told The Daily Beast on Saturday that he “prayed” that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein follows Sessions’ example and brings an end to the Mueller probe.

McCabe, who had been with the FBI for 22 years, resigned his position in late January, but stayed on at the agency until he was eligible to retire on Sunday.

Some Chinese takeout has as much salt as 5 McDonald’s Big Macs, health experts warn

Worried about high blood pressure? You may want to stay away from Chinese takeout.

>> Read more trending news 

Health experts have called for warning labels on Chinese takeaway and ready-made meals following a new survey revealing often "astonishing and harmful" salt levels.

The survey, published this week by a group of specialists from the United Kingdom-based organization Action on Salt, revealed that some Chinese takeaway dishes contain as much salt as five McDonald's Big Macs. Others contain more than half of the recommended daily allowance of salt for adults.

When it comes to ready-made Chinese meals in supermarkets, more than 40 percent of 141 that were analyzed had "high" levels of salt, meaning they contained more than 1.8 grams per portion. Some store-bought rice dishes have more salt than 11 bags of salted chips, the analysis revealed.

>> Related: Half of US adults now have high blood pressure, based on new guidelines

"Considering how many millions of takeaways and ready meals are eaten ... the food industry must be held to account, with new salt targets set by the government to ensure the salt content of these meals is reduced to much lower levels, and fast," Sarah Alderton, assistant nutritionist at Action on Salt, said in a press release.

Sonia Pombo, the organization’s campaign manager, called for the industry to make changes to their products.

"Our data shows that food can be easily reformulated with lower levels of salt, so why haven't all companies acted responsibly?" Pombo said. "We are asking everyone, including the food industry, to think first and use less salt."

Hemini Bharadia of Blood Pressure UK described the findings as "very concerning."

>> Related: These are the best diets for 2018

"We are all eating too much salt. This can lead to high blood pressure causing strokes and heart attacks, most of which could be avoided through better lifestyle choices," Bharadia told The Guardian.

Consuming high levels of salt has been linked to a variety of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.

"Salt is the forgotten killer as it puts up our blood pressure, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary strokes, heart failure and heart attacks every year," Graham MacGregor, the chairman of Action on Salt and a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said. "Reducing salt is the most cost-effective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering from strokes or heart disease."

As activists in the UK call for salt warning labels, New York City is leading the charge on raising awareness about the risks. In 2015, it became the first city in the United States to require high-sodium warning labels on restaurant menus.

>> Related: High-salt diet could cause dementia, study finds

According to the city government's health web page, New York is conducting "an unprecedented public-private partnership to help prevent heart disease and strokes by reducing the amount of sodium in packaged and restaurant foods."

"The National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), a partnership of more than 100 state and local health authorities and national health organizations, set voluntary targets for salt levels in 62 categories of packaged food and 25 categories of restaurant food to guide food company sodium reductions in 2012 and 2014,” the city government shared on the site.

While this new survey from the U.K. may have highlighted the high levels of salt in Chinese food takeout and ready-made dishes, it’s important to note that high levels of sodium are common in many fast food favorites and snacks Americans consume on a daily basis.

>> Related: 7 ways to lower your blood pressure without medication

New York City's Deputy Health Commissioner Sonia Angell, who is also a physician, told NPR that many people just don't know there's a link between excessive salt intake, high blood pressure and heart disease.

“The majority of salt in our diet doesn't come from the salt shaker — it's already in the food when we purchase it," Angell said. "And that makes restaurants a really important place to give people guidance about how they might be making decisions — if they choose to do so — that might protect their health and their heart."

Miami bridge collapse: 6 confirmed dead, police say

A recently installed pedestrian bridge connecting Florida International University with the City of Sweetwater collapsed Thursday, killing at least six people, the Miami-Dade Police Department said Friday morning.

>> READ MORE: Miami bridge collapse: What is accelerated bridge construction? Photos: FIU pedestrian bridge collapses in Miami | Boston firm partly behind Zakim Bridge designed collapsed Florida bridge7 things to know about the fiery I-85 bridge collapseMORE

WATCH: Haywire ski lift runs in reverse, flings off terrified skiers

A terrifying accident involving a ski lift at a resort in Eastern Europe that started running in reverse at high speed and flinging off horrified skiers was caught on cellphone video and posted on YouTube.

>> Read more trending news 

It happened in Gadauri, Georgia, in the Greater Caucasus Mountains.

The malfunctioning lift violently tossed tourists to the ground as it picked up speed, injuring 10 people, according to The Telegraph, including a Ukrainian man who broke his hand.

>> Related: WATCH: Baby elephant takes tourist on roll through mud. It’s hysterical!

At least one news outlet reported the ski lift operator was to blame for the accident, although it’s unclear exactly what happened.

Sonic will have pickle slushes on the menu this summer

Sonic Drive-In is bringing pickle juice to customers in its signature slush form.

Food & Wine reported that the drive-in restaurant chain will have pickle juice slushes on its menu this summer.

>> Read more trending news 

“Quite simply, pickle juice is fun,” Scott Uehlein, Sonic's vice president of product innovation and development, told Today in a statement. “Nothing says summer like a Sonic slush.”

According to Food & Wine writers who were able to taste the drink at Sonic’s Oklahoma City headquarters, the bright green treat is sweet and tangy. 

A Sonic team member told the publication that the syrup that makes the pickle slush can be added to anything once it’s on the menu, but it will be up to each franchise to decide if there is a charge for that.

Pickle juice slushes will be available to order at Sonic restaurants in June.

How to Protect Kids in the Age of Social Media

How to Protect Kids in the Age of Social Media
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