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'Just get it out of the food': Senator wants chemical banned

The controversial chemical Bisphenonal A, commonly called BPA, is in food and metal food containers like baby bottles and cans of soup.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, says the substance should be banned, even as scientists disagree on whether small amounts of BPA leaching into food and drink is a health concern.

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This week Markey introduced a bill called the "Ban Poisonous Additives Act," a prohibition on BPAs. 

"We just have to finally say there is no role for BPA in anything that is connected to any food product in the United States," Markey said. 

The National Institutes of Health says it has "some concern" about the impact of BPA on the brain and other organs of infants and children.

Twelve states have taken steps to ban or restrict the chemical.

But the FDA has said it is safe, especially given the relatively minor amount that might be exposed in food and drink.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Food Safety Authority and other government agencies around the globe have found no public health risk associated with BPA in any food or beverage," reads a statement on the American Beverage Association's website.

Young mother killed in Hoboken train crash recently moved to New Jersey

The woman killed Thursday when a train slammed into barriers at New Jersey's Hoboken Terminal recently moved to the state to start a new life with her husband and young daughter, her mother told the New York Post.

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Fibiola Bittar de Kroon, 34, left her hometown of Santos, Brazil, for New Jersey last year to follow her husband when his job relocated him to New York, the Post reported. She dropped her 1-year-old daughter off at daycare just before Thursday's crash.

"You just saw a smile on her face every time she came to pick up her daughter, and that's what I keep seeing," daycare director Maria Sharp told The Associated Press.

A former co-worker, who worked alongside de Kroon at a company that specialized in travel to Brazil, told the wire service that she was left speechless by de Kroon's death.

"(I) feel like the world stopped for some moments," Marques said. "I had the privilege to get to know and work with Fabiola for some years, and I can say she was a great, talented" woman with a "big and genuine heart."

De Kroon's husband, Daan, was on a business trip in Pennsylvania at the time of the crash. Daycare director Carlos Magner told WNBC that he asked for employees' help to figure out how to tell his daughter that her mother was gone.

"'What should I say, how should I address this?'" he asked, according to an emotional Magner. "And I said, 'You're not born knowing how to address this. Just stay strong, be there for your daughter.'"

Family members told Brazilian media that they're focused on bringing de Kroon's body back to the country.

"We are in shock," de Kroon's mother, Sueli Bittar, told G1.

>> Related: Deadly New Jersey train crash: What we know

De Kroon died when debris struck her Thursday after a train crashed through to an interior wall during the busy rush hour traffic at Hoboken Terminal. The station, located across the Hudson River from New York City, is among the New York metropolitan area's major transportation hubs.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday at a news conferences that de Kroon was standing on a platform when the crash happened around 8:45 a.m. Nearly 110 people were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Pet tortoise found alive 30 years after disappearing in family’s cluttered home

The debut Friday of the third season of Amazon’s Emmy-winning series “Transparent” has brought with it an interesting vignette about a pet tortoise named Nacho who, after disappearing and being presumed dead for decades, is found alive in the Pfefferman family home.

That unbelievable storyline is actually based on a true story, series creator Jill Soloway told the Huffington Post.

National Geographic offers more on the story of Manuela, a red-footed tortoise who, in 1982, was the pet of the Almeida family in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. When Manuela vanished, the distraught family assumed she had escaped after workmen at the house left the front door open.

When family patriarch Leonel Almeida died in 2013, family members were clearing out items he had hoarded in a storage shed when son Leandro found a box containing an old record player and records.

A very alive Manuela was also inside. A neighbor was the first to spot her and speak up.

“‘You’re not throwing out the turtle as well are you?’ I looked and saw her,” Leandro Almeida told Brazil’s Globo TV in a 2013 interview. “At that moment, I turned white, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

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National Geographic reported that red-footed tortoises are known to go without food for up to three years in the wild, but experts were stumped as to how Manuela was able to survive for 30 years. A Rio-based veterinarian suggested she could have lived off of termites and other small insects, along with condensation when she needed water.

Turtles also have fat reserves that sustain them when food is hard to come by and, like snakes, they are able to lower their body temperature and slow down other physiological processes and enter a state of suspended animation, from which they can recover, National Geographic said

Florida teen says she was chased by clown at school bus stop

A few days after a Florida woman said she saw a clown while walking her dog, a Florida teen reported being chased by a clown while she and her friends were going to the school bus stop.

WTVT reports the teen was walking to the bus stop on Wednesday morning in Largo when her mother received a call from her saying that she was being chased by a clown. “She walked past a bush and she noticed something strange and when she looked again, she noticed it was a clown. They all took off running,” Shakita Bellamy said.

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Bellamy told WTVT that her daughter and her friends felt they got away, but the clown chased them again until they made it on the bus. “If it's a practical joke, it's not funny,” she said. “You never know who's behind the clown mask. Could be a pedophile; we have tons of pedophiles in this area.”

The Tampa Bay Times reports law enforcement is trying to get to the bottom of the clown-related incidents to figure out if it is a joke or something sinister. "Hopefully, it's just some people that think they're being funny," Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias said. "When in reality they're putting a lot of college students and parents who are here on edge."

The recent incidents have also angered professional clowns, who say this is giving their work a bad name. "The people causing these problems are not real clowns," Revonda Anderson, aka Vondie the Clown, told the Tampa Bay Times. "They're mean-spirited ... making fools of themselves and making people hurt in many ways. It's disgusting for us (clowns), and we have to fight that image."

Joye “Ting” Swisher with the Comedy Connection Caring Clowns told WTVT the people doing this “are not clowns. We are caring clowns.  We are clowns that want to engage one-on-one with people, and touch peoples' lives in a positive manner,” she said.

Deputies: Florida woman brings starved dog to shelter, reveals it was hers

A Florida woman was arrested on Wednesday after she brought a starved dog to the shelter and said it was a stray, but the microchip showed that the animal belonged to her, deputies said.

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Alexandria Drew, 20, brought a 10-month-old border collie named Richter to the Sarasota County Animal Services on Sept. 13 and said that the starved animal was a stray she found, WTSP reports. After checking the microchip, the workers discovered that Drew was the owner and she had adopted the dog in March from the Humane Society of Sarasota County.

WTVT reports Richter weighed 25 pounds when he was adopted but was down to 20 pounds when Drew brought him to Animal Services. Drew told deputies that she kept him in a crate while she was at work and was unable to feed the dog or have him taken to a veterinarian.

"It was very thin. You could see the outline of the rib cage; you could see the bones protruding from its back. It was in bad shape," Lt. Daniel Tutko, with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, said. "She continued to try and put blame on someone else as to why the dog was in the shape that it was. If it was left a little longer, the result wouldn't have been good. It probably would have died.”

Deputies said Drew told them she couldn’t afford the $30 surrender fee at the Humane Society, which is why she didn’t take the dog back.

"She was off on Wednesdays. Where she adopted the dog from actually gave away free food to those who couldn't afford it on Wednesdays," Tutko told WTVT.

Drew was arrested on Wednesday and charged with cruelty to animals and confinement without sufficient food.

Read more at WTVT and WTSP.

Stolen Van Goghs found after 14 years

A pair of priceless art works painted by Vincent Van Gogh stolen 14 years ago were recovered during a raid on an Italian farmhouse, Naples' chief public prosecutor said Friday.

“Seascape at Scheveningen” and “Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen,” created in the late 19th century, were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002.

“After all those years you no longer dare to count on a possible return. The paintings have been found! That I would be able to ever pronounce these words is something I had no longer dared to hope for,” Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum, said in a statement.

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The paintings were recovered with a number of other items worth “tens of millions of euros” in a raid targeting a Naples-based crime organization.

It is not clear when the paintings will be returned to the museum. They will be presented as burdens of proof in a criminal case. The investigation is not yet complete and there is not yet a set trial date.

The paintings were removed from their frames during the theft and appeared to have some damage from their years outside the museum.

“It is unknown where the works were kept after the theft in 2002, but it can be assumed that the paintings were not preserved under suitable conditions,” according to the museum.

Seascape at Scheveningen,” painted in 1882, is an early example of Van Gogh’s style which he was beginning to develop. It is one of only two seascape paintings he created while at The Hague in the Netherlands from 1881 to 1883.

Van Gogh painted “Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” on a small canvas in 1884 for his mother. The painting features an image of the church in the Brabant village of Nuenen where Van Gogh’s father was minister. Van Gogh reworked the painting in 1885 after his father died, adding church members with some of them wearing shawls of mourning. It is the only painting in the museum collection with a depiction of a church.

The heist was included in the FBI’s “Top Ten Art Crimes” in 2005.

Using a ladder, two men climbed to the roof and broke into the museum. Within minutes they had taken the paintings which are valued at nearly $30 million. Through DNA, the men were convicted of stealing the paintings in 2003, however the paintings were not recovered.

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon argue over Tom Brady, but it's for charity

We know they are all friends, but it’s probably safe to say that until now, we never realized the depth of this man crush.

In a video for a promotion for a charity event, actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, good friends who grew up together in the Boston area, argue over another famous resident of Boston – New England  Patriots quarterback  Tom Brady.

>> Read more trending stories

In the video we see Affleck and Damon talking about a charity raffle where the prize is a night on the town with the actors and Brady. The conversation then shifts ever so slightly (and awkwardly) toward the question of who Brady is better friends with.

Affleck, who has coined a new nickname for Brady (“T-bone”), claims he and the quarterback use only initials when they text each other.

Damon says he has the first half of a matching tattoo that will be “majestic and beautiful” when Brady decides to get the other half.

Omaze, an organization that pairs donations for charity with the chance to have a dream fulfilled (such as meeting  a celebrity),  asks fans to donate $10 for a chance to spend an evening with the three in Boston.  

 The funds raised will support the stars’ individual charities -- Affleck's Eastern Congo Initiative, Damon's and Tom Brady's TB12 Foundation.

You can visit to enter.

Check out the video.

Report: Trump's business violated US embargo against Cuba

Plenty of outlets have reported on allegations that Donald Trump conducted shady business dealings in the past, but a recent Newsweek story on that subject could damage Trump's credibility with a key voting bloc.

>> Read more trending stories

Records show a consulting firm billed Trump's company over $68,000 to explore business possibilities in Cuba in 1998. The firm also told the company to make it look like it sent people there for charity.

Cuba was — and still is — under embargo. That means an American company doing business in Cuba would be violating federal laws. Government officials couldn't find any record of a license granted to Trump, and one official said there was almost no chance of one being granted to a casino business. 

Sources who were at the meetings about doing business in Cuba said Trump knew full well what his company was doing.

"There's no way that you were going to have a $68,000 check cut out of the top levels of the Trump company without Donald Trump knowing," writer Kurt Eichenwald said.

This could really come back to bite Trump in the swing state of Florida. Its proximity to Cuba means many people who fled Fidel Castro's government ended up there. 

The Cuban-American population historically supports Republicans, but Trump's business in Cuba while Castro was in power could make him a tough sell to those voters.

RealClearPolitics shows Hillary Clinton leads Florida by an average of half a percent.

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Video shows city marshals in Louisiana shot, killed 6-year-old

Video showing Louisiana deputy marshals shooting and killing a 6-year-old boy has been released.

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"It is the most disturbing thing I've seen, and I will leave it at that," Col. Michael Edmonson said at a press conference.

The body camera footage was recorded last year when two deputies — Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. — opened fire on a car and killed Jeremy Mardis. A Louisiana judge released the footage on Wednesday.

In September 2015, police pursued an SUV driven by Jeremy's father, Christopher Few. The Washington Post reports Few had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend at a bar earlier in the evening. Someone called the police.

Few took off and the deputies followed him. The men reportedly fired at least 18 rounds at the vehicle. Jeremy was shot five times, hitting his head and chest. His father was also critically injured but survived.

Few's hands were reportedly empty and open when the marshals began shooting.

One of the deputies said he "never saw a kid" in the car.

But here's where the story gets complicated. Some are asking why the deputies — who normally only serve arrest warrants and court orders — were there.

Few was reportedly unarmed and didn't have a warrant out for his arrest.

Nothing in the case completely explains what Stafford and Greenhouse were doing there, and to this day, investigators haven't found a concrete reason.

CNN reports the attorneys for the marshals claimed they were acting in self-defense after Few allegedly hit one of their vehicles with his own.

Stafford's court date is reportedly set for November. Greenhouse's is set for March.

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Controversy around CNN, former Trump campaign manager isn't over

After months of criticism, CNN has put the issues around former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to bed — sort of.

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"Now, in previous appearances, we have told you that Corey was still receiving severance from the Trump campaign, but that is no longer the case, we are told," CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota said Thursday while introducing Lewandowski, who is a political contributor for the network.

The controversy stems from the Trump campaign's firing of Lewandowski in June and CNN's hiring of him days later.

Almost immediately, the network was criticized for employing a man with a, shall we say, "strained" relationship with the media.

But people seemed to forget about that once it surfaced that Lewandowski was still being paid severance by the Trump campaign. He reportedly also signed non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements with the campaign.

So that "political contributor being on the payroll of a campaign" thing rubbed many in the media — and some viewers — the wrong way. 

Thursday's announcement that Lewandowski was finally off the campaign's payroll seemed to be the campaign's attempt to make the issue go away.

According to Politico, Lewandowski was paid a lump sum, rather than getting paid monthly through the end of the year. Apparently, the reason for the move was so the campaign and Lewandowski could "avoid future distractions."

USA Today reports Lewandowski's final payment was somewhere in the area of $80,000. And his total pay from the campaign was reportedly over $500,000.

But they probably won't be able to avoid distractions completely. Some outlets have reported that Lewandowski is still helping the campaign behind the scenes.

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