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Airbags like ‘grenade’ in car, but fewer than half fixed, report says

Years into the largest and most complex vehicle recall in U.S. history, fewer than half of recalled Takata airbag inflators are fixed.

>> Read more trending news

The overall repair rate for driver and passenger airbags stands at about 46.8 percent, a government website shows.

The most critical warnings involve certain 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura models, and the risks are considered highest in high-humidity regions.

The recall is so huge some phases of it will not roll out until 2019, with up to 70 million airbags affected. Currently there are an estimated 46 million defective airbag inflators under recall in approximately 34 million U.S. vehicles from 19 manufacturers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

About 19.6 million airbags had been repaired by late October.

“The words ‘grenade’ and ‘ticking time bomb’ accurately convey the lethal potential of these defective inflators,” says a status report by an independent monitor released this week. “To date, at least 13 people in the U.S. have died from injuries inflicted by defective Takata airbag inflators.”

The status report sees “meaningful progress” by automakers and regulators but finds “much room for improvement.’

In the fatalities, the report notes, the Takata airbag inflator, “instead of properly inflating to cushion the victim and prevent injury, has detonated in an explosion that tore apart its steel inflator housing and sprayed high-velocity metal shards at the victim. The victims have died from blunt head trauma, severance of the spine at the neck or extreme blood loss from lacerations to the chest, neck or face.”

Hundreds more have been seriously injured.

Visit NHSTA.gov to see if your vehicle is under recall. If so, repairs are free, but talk to your dealer to see if replacement parts are available.

Father stabbed to death defending young son from sneaker-stealing teens

A New Jersey man was stabbed to death in his home Tuesday night when he tried to defend his 8-year-old son from a group of teens trying to steal the boy’s sneakers, according to family.

Jose “Migue” Malave, 30, of Jersey City, was stabbed around 7 p.m. at his home, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. He was pronounced dead about 25 minutes later at the scene. 

A 17-year-old boy was arrested at the scene and charged as a juvenile, prosecutors said. The unidentified teen is charged with murder, felony murder, armed burglary, conspiracy and multiple weapons charges. 

A second suspect, Nasiar Day, 19, of Newark, was taken into custody Thursday, NJ.com reported. Day is also charged with murder, felony murder, armed burglary, weapons charges and conspiracy. 

NJ.com reported that Malave died in front of his girlfriend and four of his 11 children. Malave had just returned home to drop off his son before heading to his construction job. 

Responding police officers found him lying in a “lifeless state” in the doorway of the family’s apartment, prosecutors said

Malave’s 8-year-old son had reportedly been targeted earlier in the day by a group of teens who tried to steal his sneakers. The teens later went to the boy’s home because they assumed he had other nice belongings, Jose Malave’s sister, Yesenia Malave, told NJ.com.

>> Read more trending news

Yesenia Malave described her brother as a man who always tried to brighten people’s days.

“He was always outgoing, always happy, always trying to help people,” she said. “You could be down and he was the one who could bring your life up.”

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the grieving sister said she could not adequately express her grief. 

“I wish I would have one more day with my little brother to tell him I love him,” Yesenia Malave wrote. “I miss his 3 a.m. call; (who’s) going to call me now?”

Friends and family members have established crowdfunding pages to help the Malave family with funeral arrangements and to help financially support Jose Malave’s children. Petitions have also been established to urge prosecutors to charge both suspects as adults in the slaying.

Can police legally obtain your DNA from 23andMe, Ancestry? 

The DNA you send in the mail through genetics kits and genealogy programs like 23andMe and Ancestry  can be used by police in a criminal investigation, but it doesn’t happen very often.

» RELATED: 7 things you need to know before you send your spit to 23andMe

More than 1.2 million customers have sent their saliva to 23andMe to learn about their own genetics, though not everyone is aware that police can potentially have access to their DNA.

>> Read more trending news

“We try to make information available on the website in various forms, so through Frequently Asked Questions, through information in our privacy center,” 23andMe privacy officer Kate Black told Action News Jax Thursday.

» RELATED: Bill would allow companies to collect employee genetics information 

Police have only requested information from 23andMe for five Americans and, according to 23andMe reports, the company didn’t turn over any information.

“In each of these cases, 23andMe successfully resisted the request and protected our customers’ data from release to law enforcement,” Black and colleague Zerina Curevac wrote in a blog post last year.

But Black said she wouldn’t rule out the possibility in the future and seeks to review requests on “a case-by-case basis.”

» RELATED: Not ready for kids? New, affordable at-home fertility test gives women better data on eggs, fertility timeline

In the 23andMe blog post, Black and Curevac address multiple privacy concerns and questions involving law enforcement and their DNA.

They write that typically police will collect the DNA of an unknown suspect at a crime scene and compare it to the federal government’s genetic information database, the Combined DNA Index System or “CODIS.”

» RELATED: DNA may determine whether you're an early or late riser

Using CODIS, police can run a search to see if the DNA matches that of a convicted offender or arrestee profile in the database. They can also run a “familial search” to identify close biological relatives.

If no matches are found, police may turn to privately owned databases.

But 23andMe and other ancestry tools aren’t likely to be useful to law enforcement agencies or to the government, Black and Curevac wrote.

Their genetic tests can’t be used to match CODIS information or information in other governmental databases because the genotyping technology is very different.

» RELATED: DNA match ties man to nearly 30-year-old rape case

And even if police are presented with a situation in which the testing would be useful, they would still face tough legal and technical limitations.

These limitations are usually enough to persuade police to back off their requests, according to the blog.

23andMe posts law enforcement requests on its public Transparency Report.

While police have been unable to obtain DNA information from 23andMe, in 2014, Ancestry self-reported that it released a customer’s DNA sample to police in compliance with a search warrant.

» RELATED: Ancestry.com search nabs ID thief, police say

According to Ancestry’s website, the company “requires valid legal process in order to produce information about our users. We comply with legitimate requests in accordance with applicable law.”

The investigation involved the 1996 murder and rape of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Mashable reported. Police believed there was another person involved in addition to Christopher Tapp, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1998.

The 2014 Ancestry results found a close (but not exact) match, which police believed to be Tapp’s relative.

After showing up at donor Michael Usry Jr.’s doorstep in New Orleans for a six-hour interrogation and taking a blood sample, police determined it wasn’t a match, Mashable reported.

Ancestry’s Transparency Report states that the company received nine valid law enforcement requests in 2016 and provided information on eight of the requests to government agencies. All were related to credit card misuse and identity theft.

» RELATED: Ancestry finds, interviews descendants of the Founding Fathers

Leonid meteor shower 2017: Here's how to see this weekend's celestial spectacle

If you're looking for a shooting star so you can make your wish come true, this weekend may just be your lucky opportunity.

The Leonid meteor shower will peak this weekend, providing ideal viewing conditions for millions across the United States. With clear skies predicted by meteorologists in many parts of the country, even amateur stargazers should be able to catch a glimpse of the cosmic spectacle.

>> Read more trending news

Experts say 10 to 25 shooting stars will be visible per hour in areas with clear skies this Friday evening and Saturday morning, according to the Smithsonian. Even for the unlucky, such a high number gives anyone decent odds of sighting one of the meteors.

For those hoping to view the shower this weekend, here's everything you need to know:

What is the Leonid meteor shower?

The Leonid meteors are connected to the comet Tempel-Tuttle, according to David Samuhel, senior meteorologist and astronomy blogger at AccuWeather.

"It makes fairly frequent passes through the inner solar system," he said. "This lays out fresh debris in the path of the Earth's orbit every 33 years."

The Earth actually passes through the debris of the comet, making the falling particles visible as they burn up in the atmosphere. Thanks to clear skies and the absence of moonlight, this year's display should give stargazers a decent show.

Where will the meteor shower be most visible?

First of all, stargazers should get as far away from city lights as possible to avoid light pollution. There's no specific spot in the sky to look. But the shooting stars get their name from the Leo constellation, as their paths in the sky can be traced back to those stars.

Peak time for viewing is from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. ET Saturday.

People living throughout the Southeast, the Northern Plains and California are in luck, as meteorologists are predicting clear skies, ideal for viewing the shower.

Those who reside in the Northeast, the Great Lakes region, the central Plains or the Pacific Northwest, however, may have to travel to other areas if they want to spot a falling star.

"A large storm system will be moving from the Plains into the Great Lakes, and cloudy skies are forecast to dominate much of the eastern half of the nation," meteorologist Kyle Elliot said, according to Accuweather. "Rain and thunderstorms will put an even bigger damper on viewing conditions in many of these areas."

The shower will actually be most visible, with the highest rates of visible meteors, in East Asia.

How intense can a Leonid shower get?

While this weekend's display is sure to impress, it's actually considered a light meteor shower, as opposed to a meteor storm. The last Leonid meteor storm took place in 2002. During storms, thousands of meteors can be spotted in an hour.

In 1833, stargazers reported as many as 72,000 shooting stars per hour, according to National Geographic. In 1966, a group of hunters reported seeing 40 to 50 streaks per second over the duration of 15 minutes.

Scientists currently predict the next major outburst won't take place until 2099. But calculations suggest the comet will be returning closer to Earth in 2031 and 2064, meaning more intense storms may be seen sooner. Smaller showers, such as the one occurring this weekend, happen on a regular basis.

So, while you may get another shot at seeing Leonid's shooting stars, this weekend promises to be a great chance for many.

Fast Facts Parkinson’s Disease

Fast Facts Parkinson’s Disease

Thanksgiving 2017: How to fry a turkey without burning down the house

It’s become a tradition in many families – instead of roasting the Thanksgiving turkey, they fry it up in a vat of oil. Some say the idea of frying the holiday bird came from Justin Wilson, the Louisiana chef who made everything Cajun popular a few decades ago.

According to an article in Vogue, in 1996, Martha Stewart Living published a photograph of a deep-fried turkey for its November issue. 

The New York Times included a piece about deep-fried turkey a year later.

While people who have included frying a turkey as part of their holiday celebration swear by the moist taste, frying 15 pounds of bird is not without its risks.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking the bird without burning down your house.

1. Pick the bird.  With frying turkeys, small is generally better. Go for birds around 10-12 pounds. If you have a big crowd of turkey lovers coming for dinner, fry two of them.

2. Prepare the bird. There is an important step in frying a turkey that you don’t necessarily take when you roast one. It is important, really important, that the turkey is completely thawed (no ice on it at all) and that it is dried off when you lower it into the oil. Just remember, oil and water are not a good mix.

3. Don’t forget to season. After the bird is thawed, season it liberally with salt, pepper and any other seasonings your guests would like. Some people use “turkey injectors” to shoot seasoning under the turkey skin.

4. Don’t forget the cavity. And while you are in the cavity, make sure you get the giblets out of there. For those new to turkeys, it’s that bag that is stuff into a frozen turkey that contains the neck, the heart, liver and other parts that were once inside the bird in a different fashion. You can do all of this the day before Thanksgiving and put the bird in the refrigerator until it is show time.

5. OK, your bird is ready. It’s time to set up the frying gear. First, and most importantly, you will be doing the frying outside, not in or near a garage or a carport. Turkey frying isn’t a family activity. Make sure the kids and the pets are inside while you fry. That’s very important.

6. Now comes the setup for the fryer. What you generally get when you buy a turkey fryer is a metal pot, something that looks like a coat hanger, a burner, a thermometer and a gas regulator. The other thing you need is oil. You want an oil that can stand up to high heat. Peanut oil or cottonseed oil is a good choice.

7. How much oil do you need? That’s a good question. Here’s an easy way to figure it out. The day before you fry, take the bird, still in its packaging, and lower it into the pot. Cover the turkey with water. Make a note of how much water was needed to cover the turkey. That’s how much oil you will need. (Note: You want to leave at least 3-5 inches for the top of the pot clear for safety’s sake.) . 

8. Now, find a level spot to put the burner. Fill the pot with the amount of oil you measured by using the water the day before. Turn the burner on and heat the oil. The oil should be at 340-350 degrees before you lower the turkey into it.

9. Putting it in. Take the hanger-like device and stick it in the turkey. The legs should be facing up, the breast down.

Slowly lower the turkey into the oil. Use long oven mitts while you do this. Once the turkey is in the oil, take out the coat-hanger device and let the turkey sit.

10. How long do you cook it? Here’s a ballpark estimate: allow 3 1/2 minutes for every pound. So, for a 12-pound bird, it should take about 42 minutes. 

11. Getting it out. Once the bird is cooked, put the hanger-like device back into the bird. Remember to wear the long oven mitts. Carefully lift the turkey out of the oil. Allow it to drain a bit, and then place it on a platter. Check the temperature of the bird. It  should be between 167 and 180 degrees. If the temperature is OK, leave the bird alone for a while. If it’s not hot enough or is undercooked in spots, you can put the turkey back into the oil.

  

Forensic artist helps families of fallen officers grieve though his artwork

His art usually helps put alleged criminals behind bars, or put a face to a name. But a police officer and forensic artist is using his talents to help ease the pain of the family members of first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

Johnny Castro, who is a retired military police officer, has loved to draw for a long time, telling CNN that he learned a lot from his father when it came to creating portraits.

>> Read more trending news

A year and a half ago, during his spare time, Castro began to draw and digitally paint portraits of police officers who were killed protecting their cities, not just in the U.S., but in places all around the world, CNN reported.

He includes in the portraits the accolades that the first responders earned posthumously.

Castro has created more than 100 portraits, CNN reported.

Sometimes he’ll work on two or three portraits a week.

He sends copies to the family members of the fallen, but also adds the portraits to his personal wall of heroes, which includes all of the portraits he has created.

Couple accidentally shot at church while discussing gun safety

A man and his wife were accidentally shot by his gun after a presentation on firearm safety at their church. 

>> Read more trending news

The 81-year old man took out a Ruger .38 hangun cleared it and showed it to other parishioners during an early Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 9 at First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains. 

After talking about how to safely bring guns to church, the man put the gun away, not realizing he had loaded a bullet into the chamber. Later, someone who missed the presentation asked it they could see the weapon, and it accidentally fired. 

"Somebody else walked up and said, 'Can I see it?'" Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks told the Knoxville News Sentinel. "He pulled it back out and said, 'With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it’s not loaded.' Evidently he just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon.”

A bullet hit the 81-year-old man and his 80-year old wife, who was standing next to him. 

The couple, whose family asked that their names not be released, were taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in critical condition, according to The Washington Post. Their condition has stabilized Thursday and they are being treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel

No charges will be filed. 

Top 10 winter vacation destinations, according to Instagram

Snow? Check. Breathtaking mountain views? Check. Historical city charm and Instagram-worthy photo ops? Check and check. 

Bern, Switzerland, is the city with the most Instagram posts in the world for the winter season — and it truly has it all.

>> Read more trending news

That’s according to analysts at Focus Clinic, a popular laser eye surgery clinic in the United Kingdom, who gathered the 20 most popular winter travel destinations across the world based on Google search and ranked each by the number of times a city’s hashtag was used on Instagram to determine its popularity on the photo-sharing app.

According to the research, the #bern hashtag has been used more than 1,082,440 times.

A popular destination in the Swiss city is the medieval Old City of Bern, a city center surrounded by the Aare river. Old City is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of Europe’s longest weather-sheltered shopping centers.

The “gateway to the Alps” is also known for its mountain views, many fountains, walkable streets, cafes, museums and colorful weekly markets, according to MySwitzerland.com.

Rounding out the top 10 winter destinations according to Instagram are: Aspen, Colorado; the Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway; Chamonix, France; Yosemite National Park in California; Zermatt, Switzerland; Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; Bled, Slovenia; Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic and Grindelwald, Switzerland.

>> Explore the full list at focusclinics.com/most-popular-winter-sights

Take a look at some of our favorite Instagram shots of Bern:

Restaurants Open Thanksgiving Day 2017

Restaurants Open Thanksgiving Day 2017
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