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  • Troy Perkins USCG FD(CAPE MAY, N.J.) -- Lifeguards and rescuers in Cape May, New Jersey, formed a human chain in the water to save a swimmer on Friday.
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  • Denise Truscello/WireImage via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the latest legal wrangling over the defamation suit Richard Simmons filed against National Enquirer, Radar Online and their parent company American Media, the alleged source behind the reports that Simmons was transitioning genders said in a signed declaration filed Thursday that he never told reporters the fitness guru was becoming a woman.Simmons filed a lawsuit in May over stories claiming that the fitness icon is transitioning from male to female, according to court documents.The media reports that alleged Simmons was changing genders used Mauro Oliveira, Simmons' former masseuse, as their source. Oliveira was also the one who sold photos to a media agency of Simmons dressed in women's clothing, which were used to accompany the stories.In July, the media outlets asked for the lawsuit to be thrown out, arguing in court documents that saying someone is undergoing a gender transition is "not defamatory under modern jurisprudence."Neville Johnson, Simmons' attorney, told ABC News that the National Enquirer "has gone out of its way to try and humiliate and embarrass and slander" Simmons."They have hyped this into a whole other story with all these other details that are simply wrong and false," Johnson added.Simmons' move on Thursday argues the National Enquirer and Radar Online knowingly printed information that was false. Simmons' legal team filed a signed declaration from Oliveira, who claims that he never said that Simmons was transitioning genders."I was shocked and disturbed after discovering that the National Enquirer and Radar Online published cover stories claiming that Richard Simmons has transitioned into a woman and included the photos I supplied," Oliveira stated."Although I may have said that Richard Simmons's chest looks like the chest of someone who might be on hormones," Oliveira's statemend added, "I never stated that Richard Simmons is now a woman, had breast implants, or had sex-change surgery."Johnson told ABC News that Simmons is "doing fine" in the midst of the legal battle."He just is private and he'd like to stay that way," Johnson said. "If he has to come forward and testify and have his body examined, so be it."A spokesperson for American Media told ABC News the company "stands by its reporting.""It’s the height of sophistry to claim to be a supporter of LGBTQ rights, yet also claim to be defamed by being identified as transgender. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s noted Mr. Simmons refusal to identify with or openly support gay and lesbian rights over the course of his entire career," the spokesperson said in a statement. "AMI stands by its reporting, which was not only supported by a lengthy on-the-record taped interview with Mr. Oliveira, it was also supported by photographs and videotape (which AMI possesses but did not publish), and was consistent with prior reporting about Mr. Simmons’ lifestyle. We look forward to litigating Mr. Simmons’ claims in a public court of law."The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 30.
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  • Laura Stennett Photography(NEW YORK) -- Lauren Ashcraft is refusing to let online shamers get her down after she did a cheeseburger-themed photo shoot with her “adorably chunky” son, Liam.Liam was only 6 pounds, 6 ounces at birth, so she wanted to document “how healthy and perfect he was growing,” Ashcraft told ABC News in an email.Liam and his twin sister, Lola, were born to the Anchorage, Alaska, mom.“Because they were twins, they were small. By 4 months, he was 16 pounds. He fattened up really quick," she added.The results of the cheeseburger-filled shoot were adorable, and at first, the response on social media was “wonderful,” Ashcraft said.But then, “the ‘sanctimommies’ showed up in force,” Ashcraft said, referring to the online commenters who began attacking her son’s weight, health, and her choices as a mom.“It became apparent they were posting Liam's pictures in their private special interest mom groups and having their members come attack everything from me to my son. It made me sick, angry, and most of all sad," she said.It didn’t take long before Ashcraft decided “they would not win.”She scheduled another photo shoot with Liam’s twin sister, Lola, surrounded by healthy organic vegetables.“We wanted them to realize this was all done in good fun and to lighten up!” said Ashcraft.The photographer who did the shoots, Laura Stennett, is also one of Ashcraft’s best friends. She said she was just as offended by the negativity surrounding Liam’s photo shoot and was totally on board to have fun with their creative follow-up.“Instead of letting the naysayers bully us into taking the photos down, and instead of wasting hours of our lives combatting their comments with responses -- engaging them only made it worse -- we decided to do the veggie smash with his twin sister Lola,” Stennett told ABC News in an email.Ashcraft said her photo shoots were “done in good fun” and “the rest doesn’t matter.”
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Animals across the country may react strangely on Monday as the first total solar eclipse to traverse the sky above the continental United States in decades takes place, experts say."In total solar eclipses, there are observations of animals going to sleep," Rick Schwartz, an animal behavior expert with the San Diego Zoo, told ABC News. "The animals take the visual cues of the light dimming, and the temperature cues.""You hear the increase of bird calls and insects that you usually associate with nightfall," Schwartz added. "Farmers have said that the cows lay down on the field or the chickens go back into the coop."Schwartz emphasized that reports of animals going berserk during solar eclipses is "anecdotal.""The reality is that because of the infrequency of solar eclipses, and because when it does happen, it is usually not in the same place, it is very hard to have actual scientific findings," Schwartz said of animal behavior during solar eclipses. "There have been observations at other zoos that animals didn’t react, which is also something to be noted."NASA has released a list of zoos across the country that are within the eclipse's path of totality and hosting special events on Aug. 21."Our animals are (we believe) completely unaware of the impending astronomical event," zookeepers at the Nashville Zoo in Tennesee wrote in a blogpost. "We are very curious to see how our animal collection will react to a false dusk, night and dawn taking place over the course of a few hours in the middle of the day."The Nashville Zoo is inviting visitors to record their observations of animal behavior during the eclipse and is giving out free protective glasses to the first 5,000 guests on the day of the eclipse.Schwartz told ABC News that as for house pets, their behavior is not likely to change, as "domestic animals that live with humans, their cues come from our behavior."Meanwhile, in an attempt to gain more insight into animal behavior during an eclipse, the California Academy of Sciences has launched a nationwide citizen scientist project, calling on participants to closely monitor the behavior of an individual organism during the upcoming eclipse and record their observations using an app.Schwartz said that the technology available to Americans now versus when the last total solar eclipse passed over the country may result in new findings."That is exciting to see what will come up, we might end up with a lot more data than we’ve had before," Schwartz said.He also encouraged eclipse watchers to take a moment to observe the behavior of animals for themselves on Monday."I would say if you are going to be out looking at the eclipse, as exciting and interesting as it is to watch, take a second or two to look away from the eclipse and listen for the wild birds and wild animals, and see what it is like when the planet goes dark," he said. "What do you observe?"
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  • Sonya Deklyen Nelson(WYOMING, Mich.) -- Carrie Deklyen is currently 21 weeks pregnant and on a ventilator and feeding tube. Her family says she chose to delay her own treatments for a life-threatening tumor to save her unborn baby. Now, they wait.Deklyen, 37, started having headaches in April. After the Wyoming, Michigan, mom woke up vomiting one morning and made a trip to the emergency room, doctors discovered a brain tumor.She was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive brain tumor. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, the "highly malignant" tumor spread quickly.Deklyen had brain surgery to try to remove the tumor. A few weeks later, her sister-in-law Sonya Nelson said that she found out she was pregnant.Though Deklyen had been planning to participate in a clinical trial at the University of Michigan, her family said, she was told she would need to terminate the pregnancy in order to do so."I asked her what she wanted to do. She said, 'We are keeping it,'" Carrie's husband Nick Deklyen told ABC News. "That always was my choice too, but I wanted her to decide because it was her life we were talking about."Deklyen then had three additional brain surgeries at Michigan Medicine, part of the University Michigan, the family said. Though the tumor was removed twice, it grew back.On July 27, Nelson drove Carrie Deklyen to the emergency room because she was having severe headaches."We thought she would have some fluid removed from her brain and we would head home, but instead she suffered a stroke," Sonya Nelson told ABC News."It has been almost three weeks since that day and Carrie has still not woken up," Nelson continued. "Some days we are hopeful that she will wake up because she will wiggle her toes or squeeze our hand. We want her to wake up."Nelson said the family was told the prognosis is not good, but the baby could survive."We are just hoping she can hold on long enough to deliver the baby," she said.Nick Deklyen said it's been difficult for their other children. The Michigan couple already has five kids -- Elijah, 18, Isaiah, 16, Nevaeh, 11, Lelia, 4, and Jez, 2."The older ones obviously understand everything so it is very hard on them," Nick Deklyn said. "They love their mother and know what they are losing. We talk about good times and laugh and then sometimes we just cry because we hurt so much. The younger two do not really understand what is happening. They know they sleep at Aunt Sonya's all the time and do not see Mommy anymore. We tell them that Mommy is really sick."The hospital told ABC News that she is "on a good path to get through the pregnancy.""Carrie’s condition is slowly improving, but she’s still critically ill," a spokesperson for the University of Michigan hospital told ABC News. "She is opening her eyes and following commands, like squeezing her hands and wiggling her toes. Our maternal fetal medicine specialists and neurosurgical teams continue to support the DeKlyen family in optimizing care for Carrie and her baby during this difficult situation. We will continue to do everything we can to support them."Nick Deklyen told ABC News that Carrie is "kind and loving to everyone she meets." He said she would cook meals for neighbors, took her kids on picnics and tucked them in every night."I want the world to know that Carrie is truly one of a kind," he said. "She is the most selfless person I have ever met. Her love for Jesus shined through in everything she did. I will miss her so much, but I know we will meet again in heaven when time is done."The couple picked a name for their unborn daughter -- Life -- and Nick Deklyen said he plans to tell her all about Carrie."I will tell her how amazing her mother was," he said. "I will tell her of the great sacrifice that her mom made for her. My kids have been so lucky to call her Mom."
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