Richard Simmons loses ruling in defamation case against “National Enquirer”

first_img Related FilmMagic/Rodrigo Vaz(LOS ANGELES) — Looks like Richard Simmons has lost his defamation suit against the National Enquirer and Radar Online, Variety reports.On Wednesday a judge in Los Angeles issued a tentative ruling suggesting that he would be dismissing the case.  Simmons sued in May over stories that claimed he was in the process of becoming a woman.Quoting the ruling, Variety reports that Judge Gregory Keosian ruled that being misidentified as transgender doesn’t inherently mean someone has been defamed.“While, as a practical matter, the characteristic may be held in contempt by a portion of the population, the court will not validate those prejudices by legally recognizing them,” Keosian ruled.At a hearing on Wednesday, lawyers for the fitness guru had argued that the intent of the National Enquirer story was to ridicule Simmons.“The object of the National Enquirer was to do everything they could to humiliate this person,” Simmons attorney Neville Johnson argued. “They made it up entirely out of whole cloth. I submit that when you make something up intentionally… and put it on the cover, there’s an inference you can make that somebody’s reputation is going to be harmed.”But the judge sided with an argument made by the defendants attorney Kelli Sager that, “There is nothing inherently bad about being transgender.”Judge Keosian is expect to issue a final ruling shortly.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more

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Peek into brain shows how kids learn math skills

first_imgWASHINGTON | Sometime in elementary school, you quit counting your fingers and just know the answer. Now scientists have put youngsters into brain scanners to find out why, and watched how the brain reorganizes itself as kids learn math.The take-home advice: drilling your kids on simple addition and multiplication may pay off.“Experience really does matter,” said Dr. Kathy Mann Koepke of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the research.Healthy children start making that switch between counting to what’s called fact retrieval when they’re 8 years old to 9 years old, when they’re still working on fundamental addition and subtraction. How well kids make that shift to memory-based problem-solving is known to predict their ultimate math achievement.Those who fall behind “are impairing or slowing down their math learning later on,” Mann Koepke said.But why do some kids make the transition easier than others?To start finding out, Stanford University researchers first peeked into the brains of 28 children as they solved a series of simple addition problems inside a brain-scanning MRI machine.No scribbling out the answer: The 7- to 9-year-olds saw a calculation — three plus four equals seven, for example — flash on a screen and pushed a button to say if the answer was right or wrong. Scientists recorded how quickly they responded and what regions of their brain became active as they did.In a separate session, they also tested the kids face to face, watching if they moved their lips or counted on their fingers, for comparison with the brain data.The children were tested twice, roughly a year apart. As the kids got older, their answers relied more on memory and became faster and more accurate, and it showed in the brain. There was less activity in the prefrontal and parietal regions associated with counting and more in the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus, the researchers reported Sunday in Nature Neuroscience.The hippocampus is sort of like a relay station where new memories come in — short-term working memory — and then can be sent elsewhere for longer-term storage and retrieval. Those hippocampal connections increased with the kids’ math performance.“The stronger the connections, the greater each individual’s ability to retrieve facts from memory,” said Dr. Vinod Menon, a psychiatry professor at Stanford and the study’s senior author.But that’s not the whole story.Next, Menon’s team put 20 adolescents and 20 adults into the MRI machines and gave them the same simple addition problems. It turns out that adults don’t use their memory-crunching hippocampus in the same way. Instead of using a lot of effort, retrieving six plus four equals 10 from long-term storage was almost automatic, Menon said.In other words, over time the brain became increasingly efficient at retrieving facts. Think of it like a bumpy, grassy field, NIH’s Mann Koepke explained. Walk over the same spot enough and a smooth, grass-free path forms, making it easier to get from start to end.If your brain doesn’t have to work as hard on simple math, it has more working memory free to process the teacher’s brand-new lesson on more complex math.“The study provides new evidence that this experience with math actually changes the hippocampal patterns, or the connections. They become more stable with skill development,” she said. “So learning your addition and multiplication tables and having them in rote memory helps.”Quiz your child in different orders, she advised — nine times three and then 10 times nine — to make sure they really remember and didn’t have to think it through.While the study focuses on math, Mann Koepke said cognitive development in general probably works the same way. After all, kids who match sounds to letters earlier learn to read faster.Stanford’s Menon said the next step is to study what goes wrong with this system in children with math learning disabilities, so that scientists might try new strategies to help them learn.last_img read more

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Dow moves even closer to record-high territory

first_imgBonds fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rising to 4.59 percent from 4.58 percent late Tuesday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose. Wall Street’s advance this week, which followed several weeks of sometimes fitful gains, has been fed by growing signs that the economy is moderating, not headed for a hard landing. Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co., said he doesn’t see the overall rise in stocks as being short-lived given that the recent run-up has been based on a range of events, most notably the Federal Reserve’s decision to again hold interest rates in place and a decline in the price of oil. “The economy has been doing well and yet the market hadn’t been in step with that because we had the specter of high interest rates and rising energy prices. “As long as we can continue to see that economic data stream remain relatively positive, I think we can continue,” he said. Investors have grown more confident in the strength of the economy after the Federal Reserve has signaled interest rates are in check for now and as oil prices have fallen more than 20 percent since July. Several Dow components reported good news Wednesday, though it wasn’t enough to push the blue-chip average to new highs. McDonald’s Corp. rose to a six-year high, advancing 76 cents, to $39.82, after saying it would boost its dividend 49 percent, to $1 from 67 cents. Another Dow component, Merck & Co., rose 64 cents, to $42.40, after scoring another victory in its legal battle over its painkiller Vioxx. A federal jury determined after a two-week trial that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to link Vioxx to a Kentucky man’s heart attack in 2003. Though it was a win for Merck, thousands of cases are still pending over the drug. Investors soured on Verizon Communications Inc., also part of the Dow, after it said a plan to replace more than half of its copper telephone network with fiber-optic cable would cost $22.9 billion. The communications company, which fell $1.18, or 3.11 percent, to $36.62, plans to use the expanded network capacity to sell cable TV and faster Internet connections. Gap Inc. rose 57 cents, or 3.05 percent, to $19.07 after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “Overweight” from “Underweight,” saying the retailer’s new clothes and marketing plans are gaining traction. Red Hat Inc., the largest distributor of the open source Linux operating system, fell $6.11, or 23.21 percent, to $20.21 after analyst downgrades to the stocks after a disappointing second quarter. The markets often move higher near the end of a quarter as investors engage in a bit of window-dressing and bid up stocks in the hopes of burnishing their quarterly numbers.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – Wall Street advanced for a third straight session Wednesday, although the Dow Jones industrial average fell just short of touching its record high close after a jump in oil prices stifled investors’ enthusiasm. Falling crude oil prices and an increase in new-home sales had helped investors shrug off a weak durable-goods report earlier in the session, putting the Dow just 2.21 points away from the closing record of 11,722.98 it set Jan. 14, 2000. “I think most of the activity is this push to make a close at all-time highs,” Ryan Larson, senior equity trader at Voyageur Asset Management, said of much of Wednesday’s early movement. He contends that Wall Street’s expectation that it would surpass the record drove stocks before investors grew wary, in part by the rise in oil prices. “I think it was a little bit exhausted,” he said of the idea of a record-breaking day. He said, however, that the market’s gains shouldn’t be ignored and that optimism remains. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsThe Dow closed up 19.85, or 0.17 percent, at 11,689.24, its second-best close ever. The Dow has gained 181.14 over the past three sessions. Broader stock indicators also moved higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.25, or 0.02 percent, to 1,336.59, and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 2.05, or 0.09 percent, to 2,263.89. The Commerce Department said Wednesday orders to U.S. factories for large manufactured goods fell for a second straight month in August, the first time in more than two years there has been a consecutive decline. Demand for durable goods dropped 0.5 percent last month, to $209.7 billion. Some good news came in a report that new-home sales rose 4.1 percent in August, their biggest increase in five months. The Commerce Department data raised hopes that a sharp decline in the housing industry could be easing. Light crude oil settled up $1.95 at $62.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. last_img read more

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