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World Cup 101: How did soccer spread all over the world?

Soccer, also known as football, is played in nearly every country and is often called the world’s favorite game.

The game’s official history spans over 100 years, but people have enjoyed the sport of kicking around a ball for thousands of years, according to FIFA.

>> Read more trending news 

While the first World Cup tournament happened in Uruguay in 1930, early scientific evidence of the game is traced back to the second and third centuries BC in China, in a military exercise practiced by the Han Dynasty, the BBC reports

The Chinese game consisted of kicking a leather ball filled with feathers through a small net, fixed into long bamboo canes. The players couldn’t use their hands, relying on their feet, chest, back and shoulders. 

Another ancient form of the game is Japanese Kemari, which is still played today. The sport doesn’t involve any struggle for possession of the ball. Players stand in a circle and pass the ball to each other, trying not to let it touch the ground.

The modern game of soccer evolved after the Romans took their version of the game to Britain in the 1800s, FIFA states.

In 1863, school officials at Cambridge University began to divide the sports of soccer and rugby, as more people disapproved of the rugby rule that allows players to run with the ball. That year marked the birth of the Football Association.

British imperialists, missionaries and traders brought soccer to the African continent in the 1800s.

The game was quickly embraced, through schools, along the railways and local military, NPR reports.

The first documented professional teams in Africa were established in the 1880s, and the first international match was played in 1872, between England and Scotland. 

The first full league championship was celebrated in 1888.

FIFA was founded in Paris in May 1904. It had seven founding members: France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain (represented by Madrid FC), Sweden and Switzerland.

By the late 1930s, there were 51 FIFA members.

In 1950, after World War II, that number had reached 73.

Over the next half-century, football's popularity continued to attract new devotees and at the end of the 2007 FIFA Congress, FIFA had 208 members in every part of the world.

The United States, along with Mexico and Canada have been selected to host the World Cup in 2026. 

>>Read: North America wins vote to host 2026 World Cup

It will be the second time that the World Cup has been held on the continent.

The United States hosted the World Cup in 1994, held in nine cities across the country.

‘Lucifer’ reborn: Netflix picks up canceled Fox series

Netflix has made a deal to bring back “Lucifer,” a comic-book drama that Fox canceled in March after three seasons.

Netflix announced Friday it will release fourth season of the popular series on its streaming service, starring Tom Ellis as the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar.

>> Read more trending news 

In the series, Morningstar gives up his throne to become a civilian consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department, while running his own nightclub. Lauren German costars as his detective partner.

Netflix has not announced a date for the new series release.

The decision came last minute, after a three-month, fan-led #SaveLucifer campaign on Twitter. 

This isn’t the first canceled series to find a new home this year.

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ was picked up by NBC for a sixth season after Fox dropped the series.

Florida woman, 105, recalls life of dance, drink and song

A 105-year-old Florida woman said she has no secret to longevity.

>> Read more trending news 

“I never expected to live this long,” Helen Granier of Palm Harbor told WTSP. “No one in my family ever did. I don't know (what the secret is)!”

Granier celebrated her birthday Friday at Coral Oaks Independent Living Facility, where she has lived the past nine years.

She reminisced about her life and how she went against the grain in her younger days.

“I used to drink beer and I smoked and everything,” Granier told WTSP. “I stayed out late, you know, dancing, and then I would go to work."

She loved to dance, but her husband prevented her from going to Las Vegas to test her luck.

“(My husband) wouldn't take me to Vegas, because he knew I liked to gamble. Oh, I loved to play the slot machines,” Grainer told WTSP. “So I went to Las Vegas after he passed."

Some memories are clear, as if they happened yesterday, Granier said. She was only 5 when World War I ended, but she said she remembered it. She does not recall getting her driver’s license.

“I don't even remember when I started to drive!" she laughed.

Connecticut woman, 90, invents pulley system to retrieve mail

A 90-year-old Connecticut woman invented a pulley system to retrieve her mail, allowing her to skip the walk to a busy street, WFSB reported.

>> Read more trending news

Betty Feret of Canton used to navigate her way to the mailbox daily but found it increasingly difficult.

"The last time I went, I tripped there and fell,” Feret told WFSB. “If I picked my foot up that much further, I wouldn't have fallen and that's when I thought, ‘You better start looking for something.’ And we did.”

Feret devised a pulley system with a clothesline running from her porch to the street, enabling her to get and send out her daily mail as the mailbox travels from one location to the other.

Mark Wilcox, a landscaper who has done work at Feret’s house for many years, put her idea into action.

"The top cable is what keeps it secure so it runs straight and doesn't sag,” Wilcox told WFSB. “Otherwise, the string would lose its tension and sag down real low.

“(Feret) put a clip in here and connects it to her mail, so if the mailman goes in there and it falls, she just has to grab the string and it won't be on the ground.”

Craigslist ad helps California man find kidney donor

A California man desperate for a kidney donor found one through a Craigslist ad he posted, KTVU reported.

>> Read more trending news

David Nicherie, 29, was suffering from kidney failure and hospice care was looming as an option. In a last-ditch effort, the Oakland resident posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a donor.

“I was not in a good frame of mind. Dialysis was tough and was getting tougher. It was just hard,’’ Nicherie told KTVU. “I was depressed. I was sad all the time and then I heard from her.”

Jessica Morris, a surgical nurse at a plastic surgery center, had seriously considered donating one of her kidneys, but she was looking for the right situation.

“I wanted someone who was going to be able to tell me their life struggles, what they went through and how it was going to change them,” Morris told KTVU. “Also, I wanted it to go to someone who needed it the most,’’ she said.

When Morris saw Nicherie’s Craigslist ad on her Facebook page, she emailed him. 

“I knew there was someone in desperate need of a kidney if they are posting on the internet,’’ she said. 

In their ensuing conversations, Nicherie and Morris found they had several interests in common, including being born at the same hospital in Newport Beach, California. 

“I just saw it as signs that this was meant to be,’’ Nicherie told KTVU. “I couldn’t have planned it better. I couldn’t have written it better myself.” 

Tuesday, after more than six months of preparation and tests, Morris donated her kidney to Nicherie.

“I just got lucky that she was that amazing and that she was willing to give me such a gift,’’ Nicherie told KTVU. “I’m just ready to end one journey and start another one.” 

Because the internet brought them together, the two have united to help others find donors online, launching a website, findakidneydonor

Missing girl, 3, found in Missouri cornfield with dog at side

A 3-year-old girl was found safe in a southeast Missouri cornfield Friday after a 12-hour search, with her pet Yorkshire terrier at her side, KFVS reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Police found Remy Elliott near her home in Qulin in the rows of a cornfield, along with her dog, Fat Heath.

"I feel a lot better, especially since we know she is OK. She is back to her normal self now," the child’s mother, Timber Merritt, told KFVS.

After a fruitless night of searching, volunteers joined police and fanned out in a cornfield Friday morning. Just after 8 a.m., search dogs began barking -- and searchers heard a dog responding with a yapping noise, The Associated Press reported.

Merritt’s brother, Quinlin Merritt, drove from western Kentucky to help, and was the one who found Remy and her dog. The pair was lying down on some broken corn stalks, KFVS reported.

"They said that she was asleep when he picked her up,” Timber Merritt told the television station. “She was definitely exhausted, hot, really sweaty and it took a while to drink anything. She said she wasn’t scared because Fat Heath was there. If he wasn’t I think she would’ve been terrified.”

Remy had several mosquito bites but was unharmed, police said.

"I've never seen that many mosquito bites,” her mother said. “We are going to give her a bath and keep putting medicine on it."

Sherwin-Williams to stop selling hazardous paint in response to Father’s Day petition

Sherwin-Williams announced that it would eliminate methylene chloride paint strippers from its stores.

>> Read more trending news 

The announcement comes after a petition from environmental health advocates, who sent a letter to Sherwin Williams requesting that it ban the deadly chemical from all of its stores by Father’s Day weekend.

“Dozens of families across the country are observing Father’s Day this weekend without beloved sons, fathers, mothers, and daughters because these loved ones died using deadly paint strippers containing methylene chloride,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “The best gift Sherwin-Williams can give to fathers this year is to leverage its position as a market leader to take these paint strippers off its store shelves across the globe. With great market power comes great responsibility.”

Dozens of people have died from exposure to methylene chloride, which can kill in minutes if inhaled, CBS reports. It's especially dangerous in enclosed spaces.

Many people use paint strippers on home projects, including furniture stripping, wood trim and bathroom refinishes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed banning the chemical in 2017, but manufacturers oppose that idea, stating that it is safe when used correctly. 

In Europe, it has been illegal to sell products containing methylene chloride since 2011.

Sherwin-Williams has over 4,000 stores nationwide.

Lowe’s also recently decided to ban methylene chloride from its stores by the end of the year.

North West turns 5: Kris Jenner shares cute photos of Kim Kardashian's daughter

Kim Kardashian-West’s daughter North turns 5 years old today.

The “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality star, 37, posted a photo of North’s birthday party on her Instagram.

North sported a unicorn crown and princess dress along with her cousin.

Kris Jenner, North’s proud grandma, shared photos of the little girl and wished her a happy birthday today on Twitter:

North’s birthday celebrations kicked off early in New York City on Thursday, where Kim and North were spotted at the CoolMess ice cream shop.

“We are making our own ice cream today, we’re making chocolate and vanilla,” Kardashian-West said in her Instagram story, People Magazine reports

Friends of the family are also posting photos and videos wishing North a happy fifth birthday.

7-year-old cancer patient makes MLB debut as member of White Sox

A 7-year-old boy who is battling childhood cancer has had a dream come true, becoming a White Sox player for a day.

Alex Estrada has stage-4 neuroblastoma and the team wanted to give Alex a day he and his family would never forget, NBC Sports reported.

The condition affects his pituitary glands. He has had his left one removed, reported.

Doctors expect Alex to make a full recovery, reported.

Wednesday’s big surprise started with the team’s mascot, Southpaw, arriving at Alex’s day care in a limousine. It was such a surprise, Alex’s father Vince wasn’t part of the plan.

>> Read more trending news 

From day care, they took Alex right to the clubhouse, where he hung out with players like Yolmer Sanchez. Alex even had his own locker along with the rest of the team, NBC Sports reported.

Then it was time for Alex’s debut. Wearing his custom jersey, he took the field for warmups.

Alex then ran a home run around the bases, giving players from both the White Sox and visiting Cleveland Indians high fives as he ran the first and third base lines, before sliding in to home and giving his dad a huge hug, NBC Sports reported

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

And like any MLB star, he took a rest in the team hot tub in the club house, WGN reported.

Alex’s day as a White Sox was part of the team’s tenth annual Sox Serve Week, WGN reported.

Indiana woman battling cancer wins $77,777 jackpot

For an Indiana woman battling breast cancer, June has been a lucky month. First, she found out her cancer is in remission. Then, her husband handed her a winning lottery scratch-off ticket worth $77,777, WXIN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Marilyn Dunlap of Kokomo said her husband bought a Lucky Seven ticket at a local convenience store on June 7. After scratching the ticket, he handed it to Dunlap, who noticed the ticket revealed a jackpot of $77,777.

“So I looked at it and used the phone thing and it said ‘Congratulations you won $77,000,’” Dunlap told WXIN.

Dunlap, 68, is a retired school bus driver who left her job in May when doctors told her she had metastatic triple negative breast cancer.

After several surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, Dunlap said her doctor gave her some good news Tuesday.

"They have to check your blood, your platelets and your white cells and see if the can find cancer cells. But I didn’t have any. I was good," Dunlap told WXIN.

Dunlap said she will use the lottery prize money to enjoy her retirement and pay off bills. She also will visit her grandson, who just graduated from college.

“I just feel, truly, that God put it in (my husband’s) path and connected him right at the right place to walk in and hand him a $77,000 ticket," she said.

Dunlap said her doctors told her the cancer could return, so she will enjoy her trip out West to see her grandson.

"It’ll be my last trip out there, so I’m going to take it all in and have fun,” Dunlap told WXIN. “I'm going to live every moment that I have with positivity, and be thankful for every day and what I do.”

Chrissy Teigen, John Legend donate to ACLU for Trump’s birthday

Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend are celebrating President Donald Trump’s 72nd birthday by supporting the American Civil Liberties Union.

>> Read more trending news 

Teigen shared a message on her Twitter page on Thursday, stating that every member of her family donated $72,000 to the ACLU.

>>Read: Donald Trump turns 72: Messages of well-wishes and a look at past birthdays

In the note signed “With love, Chrissy, John, Luna and Miles,” Teigen wrote:

“John and I are outraged to see and hear the horror stories of immigrant families seeking asylum and refuge in America being ripped apart due to the inhumane policies of the Trump administration. These actions are cruel, anti-family and go against everything we believe this country should represent. The ACLU is committed to defending the rights and humanity of these vulnerable families.”

Teigen noted that the ACLU also supports reproductive rights, criminal justice reform and First Amendment rights.

Senior with autism stuns crowd with graduation speech

Making a speech at high school graduation can unnerve anyone, whether it’s the class valedictorian or one of the guest speakers. The speeches can be funny, serious, reflective, but Sef Scott’s speech was inspirational. Not primarily for the words he spoke, or even the message, but that Sef was brave enough to take the podium.

That’s because Sef has autism and a social communication disorder. He can speak, but he doesn’t put what he is thinking into spoken word, CBS News reported.

>> Read more trending news 

In his speech to the Plano Senior High School class of 2018, Sef started his address, “My name is Sef Scott and I am a student with learning differences. To be more specific I have autism and a social communication disorder. While I have the vocabulary you do, and I have the ability to produce spoken words, it is not the normal thing for me to electively speak. Just by my being here -- speaking to all of you, me, that alone is unexpected,” KTVT reported

Sef is usually nonverbal, WFAA reported.

But Sef had things to say on his big night. With the help of his brother, who survived a brain tumor, and his mother he wrote down what he wanted to tell his classmates.

“Unexpected. That is what I want you to remember. Unexpected. First and foremost, I would imagine that to the seniors that know who I am that it is entirely unexpected that I would be standing here giving this speech,” Sef said.

He also gave his classmates and those in the audience a little bit of advice, KTVT reported.

“You can sprinkle unexpected moments throughout your everyday life that can benefit those around you with very little effort on your part,” Sef said.

Donald Trump turns 72: Messages of well-wishes and a look at past birthdays

President Donald Trump turns 72 years old Thursday.

>> Read more trending news 

His birthday celebration started early in Singapore, while he was in the country for the historic summit with North Korea.

“Celebrating birthday,” Vivian Balakrishnan, the Singapore minister for foreign affairs, tweeted. “A bit early.”

>>Photos: Donald Trump through the years

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, wished her father a happy birthday on Twitter.

Others are also reaching out to wish the president a happy birthday, which also happens to fall on Flag Day.

>>Read: 5 Things to know about Flag Day

At 70 years old, Trump was the oldest president at the start of his administration. 

Previously, Ronald Reagan held the title when he started his term in office at 69.

Trump is now back in Washington, D.C. 

The White House has not disclosed how the president will celebrate his birthday.

Before Trump became president, however, he was known for his lavish birthday parties.

His 42nd birthday in 1988 was held at his hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and included a “15-foot spaceship zooming from the stage to hover among smoke and flashing lasers,” the Washington Post reports

Homeless man returns lost $10,000 check, good fortune follows

Last November, Elmer Alvarez found a $10,000 check. At the time, he was homeless, and the money, if he would have kept it, could have changed his life. But Alvarez did the right thing. He found Roberta Hoskie and returned her money.

Hoskie knew the trials Alvarez experienced. She, too, had been on welfare and was homeless at one point. But she turned her life around and runs a real estate school, WTNH reported

>> Read more trending news 

To show her appreciation, she thanked the good Samaritan by finding him a place to live, paying his rent for six months and gave him free classes at her school, WTNH reported.

>>Read: Homeless man returns $10,000 check to woman who lost it

Now he’s trying to help others who were in the similar situation once he passes his last real estate exam. Hoskie has paid additional rent, but as soon as Alvarez starts working, he says he will pay his own way and then help others get off the street, WTNH reported

WATCH: Bear, 5-year-old boy jump together at Nashville Zoo in adorable viral video

An adorable video of a bear jumping with a 5-year-old boy at Tennessee's Nashville Zoo is going viral.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

According to WZTV, Patrick Parker recently took his son, Ian, to the zoo, where they saw an Andean bear named Luka. Ian jumped happily when he saw Luka, who copied Ian's moves from the other side of a glass divider.

>> Read more trending news 

The video, which Parker shared on Facebook, has been viewed more than 250,000 times.

Read more here.

>> Click here to watch

Fishermen net 100 lb. alligator snapping turtle in Oklahoma

Two fishermen in southeast Oklahoma got quite the surprise when they hooked a 4-foot-long alligator snapping turtle that weighed nearly 100 pounds.

>> Read more trending news 

Oklahoma game wardens said Jonathan Van Fleet and Anthony Dover were running a trout line on Little River, a tributary of the Red River, when they caught the alligator snapping turtle on Saturday.

Officials said the men used sunfish as bait.

The anglers were able to safely bring the turtle onto their boat, remove the hook from its mouth and contact the Oklahoma game warden.

Officials said the turtle’s shell was about 24 inches wide, 26 inches long and measured 23 inches around. 

According to National Geographic, the prehistoric-looking turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America and one of the biggest in the world, with a spiked shell, beak-like mouth and scaled tail.

It is often called the ‘dinosaur of the turtle world.’

They can live to be up to 100 years old and grow to about 175 pounds in size.

The largest alligator snapping turtle ever recorded weighed over 220 pounds. 

The “ancient angler” captured in Oklahoma appeared to be in good health and was returned to the Little River, officials said.

Wardens said it’s against the law to keep an alligator snapping turtle in Oklahoma, and one bite could easily rip off your finger or even your hand.

Girl with 3D-printed hand throws White Sox first pitch on quest to pitch at every MLB ballpark

She has a dream of throwing the first pitch at every major league ballpark. Now, she’s one step closer to achieving it.

But as inspiring as her dream is the fact that Hailey Dawson wears a 3D-printed prosthetic hand, WGN reported.

Hailey was born missing three fingers. She has a rare disease called Poland syndrome. The syndrome causes people to be born with underdeveloped muscles on one side of the body and could cause abnormalities in the chest, shoulder, arm and hand, according to the National Institutes of Health.

>> Read more trending news 

Poland syndrome happens in about 1 in 20,000 newborns and more often in boys than girls, according to the NIH.

In 2014, Hailey’s mother, Yong Dawson, asked officials at the University of Nevada Las Vegas if they could build her daughter a hand so she could ride a bike, WGN reported

But that was only the first obstacle Hailey tackled. She wanted to start raising awareness of Poland syndrome, and to do that, she wanted to throw the first pitch at each ballpark in the major league. 

So far she’s done it 13 times, the latest Tuesday at the White Sox game against the Cleveland Indians in Chicago, WGN reported.

Not only did she get to throw the first pitch, she also was given a batting glove by Chicago third baseman Yolmer Sanchez and an autograph from Pitcher Lucas Giolito, WGN reported.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The next game she’s appearing at is the St. Louis Cardinals for pitch number 14 Wednesday night.

To follow Hailey’s quest, click here.

Raccoon released after scaling 25-story skyscraper, capturing hearts nationwide

A raccoon's captivating climb up the side of a 25-story Minnesota high-rise came to a happy ending Wednesday after the fuzzy daredevil was released back into nature after reaching the top of the building.

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT June 13: Officials with Wildlife Management Services, a pest control business based in Brooklyn Park, said they released the raccoon Wednesday afternoon on private property in the suburbs of the Twin Cities.

The company shared a short video of the raccoon’s release. It darted away from rescuers after only a small amount of prodding.

Update 9:45 a.m. EDT June 13: Officials said they plan to release the raccoon "somewhere safe" after it was lured into a trap baited with cat food on Wednesday morning at the top of St. Paul’s UBS Tower, the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Tad Vezner reported.

Reports surfaced earlier Wednesday that the climbing raccoon had been caught after spending hours scaling UBS Tower.

Update 8:45 a.m. EDT June 13: The raccoon was trapped by 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, according to Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Nelson. Earlier Wednesday, Nelson reported that animal control officers had placed cat food in a trap at the top of the 25-story UBS Tower in an attempt to catch the critter.

A representative of the Paige Donnelly Law Firm, situated on the top floor of the high-rise, wrote Wednesday morning on Twitter that building management said the raccoon was “safely in a cage.”

>> PHOTOS: Raccoon’s captivating climb up 25-story skyscraper goes viral

Original report: According to Minnesota Public Radio, the raccoon's harrowing journey began after it got stuck on a ledge of St. Paul's Town Square building. After maintenance workers tried to rescue the frightened critter, it ran to the roof, fled to the neighboring UBS Tower and started climbing. 

>> WATCH: Woman rescues ducklings from storm drain in heartwarming viral video

The raccoon slowly made its way up the building Tuesday, taking occasional nap breaks on ledges. It eventually reached the 23rd floor, reported MPR's Tim Nelson, who documented the animal's trek with the now-trending hashtag #mprraccoon. 

>> Game warden saves fawn's life with emergency C-section on highway

Late Tuesday, the raccoon began to descend the building, taking a breather at a 17th-floor ledge. But it shifted course again early Wednesday, climbing until it reached the roof about 3:30 a.m. EDT.

Although many concerned onlookers had called for help, city officials said saving the animal could be risky for rescuers and the raccoon, which could get scared and fall, according to the Pioneer Press. Instead, animal control workers placed a food trap on the roof, a city Department of Safety & Inspections spokeswoman told the newspaper.

>> Read more trending news 

Another challenge: Employees who work at UBS Tower said the building's windows do not open, the Pioneer Press reported.

Read more here or here.

Strange animal friends: Baby moose, dog break internet hearts

Who knew that a moose and a dog can become friends?

It is possible, though, thanks to a video and photos posted that is melting hearts all over the internet. 

Shannon Lugdon said her dog Leo and a days-old moose were checking each other out on Saturday, WMTW reported. Lugdon calls the moose Maggie. 

She called game wardens, worried that the baby was abandoned by its mother. They said it was not likely and that the moose mom was probably watching nearby, WMTW reported.

>> Read more trending news 

So Lugdon and the game wardens helped get Maggie back to the spot where they thought she was left.

“The wardens asked us not to go near her for 24 hours. Wild animals often leave their babies to eat, drink and rest,” Lugdon told WMTW

But the next morning, when Lugdon was putting Leo out, who was there to greet him? Maggie of course.

“He walked right over and Miss Maggie and Leo became fast friends. She followed us around all day begging for attention. You can’t imagine how affectionate she was,” Lugdon told WMTW.

The wardens were called again, but this time, a biologist came along to pick up Maggie, who was only 27 pounds, taking her to a wildlife park, WMTW reported.

Watch: Police officer saves toddler running into traffic

A police sergeant in Naperville, Illinois, is being hailed a hero after he rescued a young boy who was running into traffic on a busy highway.

>> Read more trending news 

Sgt. Anthony Mannino, a 24-year veteran of the Naperville Police Department, told WBBM that he was driving down Route 59 when he spotted the boy run into the road.

“The kid just got out of the house, mom was with the kid and in a fleeting second, the child ran out of the house,” Mannino told WBBM. “The mom showed up and was obviously very emotional.”

In the dashcam video posted to the Naperville Police Department Facebook page, Mannino can be seen using his police car as a barrier between the child and traffic.

He ran after the boy, caught up with him and pulled him out of the road.

Mannino received the department’s “Life Saving Award” for his quick actions on June 7.

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