Will Montgomery (ATLANTA) -- The first Ebola case has been diagnosed in the United States, but a top health official said there is "no doubt... we will stop it here."
Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Tuesday the patient left Liberia on Sept. 19 and arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 20. The patient sought medical help on Sept. 26 and was put in isolation on Sept. 28, Frieden said.
Tests confirming the Ebola diagnosis came back on Tuesday.
Frieden declined to identify the patient other than to say, "The individual was here to visit family who live in this country." Frieden later indicated the patient was male when he modified the comment to say, "He was visiting family members and staying with family members who live in this country."
Health officials are tracking down the patient's close contacts to determine whether they contracted the virus, Frieden said.
Although American Ebola patients have been treated in the United States prior to this diagnosis, they all contracted Ebola in West Africa.
Dr. Edward Goodman, head epidemiologist at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, said he could not reveal information about the patient’s symptoms or treatment, but said that “he is ill and he is under intensive care.”
Frieden said possible experimental therapies are being discussed with the family and may be announced later.
Ebola has killed 2,917 people and infected 3,346 others since the outbreak began in March.
The patient arrived at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas Sunday with possible Ebola symptoms "days" after returning from West Africa, according to the Texas state health department. The patient was placed in isolation until the CDC could confirm the diagnosis.
Ebola is spread via contact with bodily fluids, such as blood and urine, but it is not contagious unless Ebola symptoms are present, the state health department said. Symptoms can take between two and 21 days to appear after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC.
This has been the worst Ebola outbreak since the virus was discovered in 1976. More people have died from Ebola since March than in every other Ebola outbreak to date combined, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(AUBURN HILLS, Mich.) -- Chrysler continues its recent run of gains, reporting Wednesday that it sold 169,890 units in the U.S. last month, marking the best September sales since 2005.
Chrysler credits strong demand for the Ram pickup truck and Jeep models for the extra sales boost, with Ram sales climbing 30 percent and Jeep brand sales up 47 percent. Fiat and Chrysler 200 sales were also up -- 30 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
Six Chrysler vehicles recorded their best-ever September sales, including the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Chrysler 200 and Ram pickup truck.
"Continued consumer demand for our new Chrysler-200 mid-size sedan, our Jeep models, and the Ram pickup truck helped Chrysler Group achieve a 19 percent sales increase in September and our 54th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth," U.S. sales head, Reid Bigland said in a statement. "Chrysler Group sales continue to demonstrate strength as we recorded our seventh month of double-digit growth this year."
(NEW YORK) -- It was a year ago that I agreed to have a live, televised mammogram in the middle of Times Square on Good Morning America.
I was persuaded by GMA producers and Robin Roberts, to help demystify this test that so many women my age avoid.
I was 40 years old and had put off having my first mammogram for a number of reasons: I was too busy, I was concerned about the discomfort of the test -- and most notably -- I wasn't concerned about actually having breast cancer. I had no family history. I felt safe. Boy did I have it wrong.
A few weeks later, a follow up appointment with a sonogram and biopsy revealed what was initially suspicious, was in fact a malignant mass in my right breast. After my surgery in November 2013, my surgeon found a second malignant tumor and determined the cancer had spread to my sentinel lymph node.
My journey this past year has included two surgeries, breast expanders for seven months, and eight rounds of chemo, but thank God I started on that path last October 1.
I shudder to think where I would be today if I hadn't had that mammogram.
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Amy Robach underwent her first-ever mammogram last year, live on ABC's Good Morning America for breast cancer awareness month, but never imagined she’d hear the words: "You have breast cancer."
Deb Greig was watching from her home in Charleston, South Carolina. The former news director at ABC News’ Charleston affiliate, WCIV, knew of Robach early on in her career, and was stunned when Robach shared the news of her breast cancer diagnosis in November 2013.
"I was actually putting my makeup on to get ready for work and I ran around to watch the story. And I was shocked," Greig recalled.
Robach decided to have a mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy. Fast forward a few months to when Robach was reading letters of encouragement from viewers and opened a thank you note from Greig.
"I had been driving around with my mammogram prescription in my car for a year when I heard you tell your story on GMA," the card read. "I booked by mammogram that morning, had the mammogram two days later...a biopsy the next day, and learned I had cancer the next day. ...I want to thank you for saving my life."
The letter meant the world to Robach, who reached out to Grieg and later visited her family at home in Charleston.
Greig, who is in her 50s, had been putting off getting a mammogram for many of the same reasons as Robach and other woman around the country.
"I did self-exams. I was very aware of breast cancer, and I felt healthy. And I was really busy, like every woman in this country," she said. "So I kept thinking, 'I feel good, I can't feel anything, I'm fine.' And as it turns out, there was a tumor about the size of a lipstick tube hiding where it couldn't be felt."
"If I had not had the mammogram it would've just continued to grow into a mass and I would've been in trouble,” she said. "From the time that it was detected and that I had the surgery it had doubled in size. But it had not yet spread out. So I was very lucky."
For Greig and her two daughters, Danielle and Nicole, who lost their father to lung cancer nearly two years earlier, the diagnosis was another emotional blow.
"I was very angry and very scared for them. ...That definitely was the hardest part," she said. "And I could not believe that God would do that to them and have them lose two parents. But I knew it was a possibility."
With her girls at her side, Greig had a double mastectomy on Christmas Eve 2013.
“I had been feeling sorry for myself beforehand," she said. "And one of the nurses had said, ‘Why don't you look at things a little bit differently and instead say, 'I'm having my surgery on Christmas Eve and I'm gonna wake up Christmas Day cancer-free'? And that's how the girls and I decided to look at it.”
Greig and Robach are two women who speak to the larger picture of breast cancer in America. Both were fortunate enough to get a mammogram, catch their cancer early and beat it, and now they want to inform others and encourage women to be vigilant.
Nine months later, Greig looks vibrant and healthy as ever. Her prognosis, according to her doctors, is good.
"I feel like a fighter,” she told Robach with a laugh.
"A warrior,” Robach replied with a smile. "We have our battle wounds."
Beating cancer has given Greig a new lease on life, said her daughter, Nicole, 23.
"Our mom beat cancer," she said. "She has a new outlook on life. And she's just so positive and strong. I feel very blessed."
Greig feels thankful for every day.
"I'm much more positive. I won’t hesitate at all to take a second to help anybody that needs anything. I'm thankful," she said. "Every day is a gift."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Seven in 10 Americans support airstrikes against Islamic State insurgents in Syria, but far fewer back sending U.S. forces to Iraq as advisers -- evidence in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll of the political risks of returning U.S. soldiers to that volatile region.
Fifty-three percent support sending U.S. forces to train Iraqi government troops and coordinate air strikes against Islamic State positions. But that’s comparatively modest in terms of support for military action, and 17 percentage points behind the public’s endorsement of airstrikes.
The Obama administration’s campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria includes placing U.S. advisers in Iraq to coordinate airstrikes, and training of Iraqi forces may occur. The president -- perhaps cognizant of broad public dismay with the U.S. intervention in Iraq under his predecessor, George W. Bush -- has pledged not to engage U.S. forces in a combat role.
Obama himself has a 50 percent approval rating for handling the conflict with ISIS in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates -- far from stellar but exceeding the 44 percent who disapprove. It’s also more than the 42 percent approval of his handling of the situation in Iraq in June and August, before U.S.-led airstrikes were extended to ISIS positions in Syria.
Notably, Obama receives approval from 30 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of conservatives for his handling of the situation -- well short of majorities, but also far above his overall job approval ratings from those groups, 10 and 19 percent, respectively, in an ABC/Post poll in early September. He also gets 45 percent approval from political independents for handling the confrontation with ISIS, 8 points better than his overall job rating from this group. ACTION – The results on military action align with longstanding public attitudes on military intervention, with lower-risk airstrikes far preferred than more-committing ground combat. Support for military action also can rely on the presence of a clear threat -- which the public sees in ISIS (six in 10 in early September called it a “very” serious threat to U.S. vital interests) -- and broad international participation, which Obama has worked to achieve.
Among groups, support for airstrikes is almost the same among men and women, at 72 and 69 percent, respectively, despite customarily higher support for military action among men. Support for sending U.S. forces in an advisory role reverts to form, dropping by 11 points among men but further, by 23 points, among women.
There are risks for Obama; sending advisers is least popular among some of his core support groups, including half or fewer of nonwhites, liberals, younger and lower-income adults, as well as women. Young adults, age 18 to 29, also are comparatively skeptical about airstrikes -- 55 percent support them, vs. 80 percent of those age 50 and older.
Regardless of divisions about advisers on the ground, the poll indicates the level of public antipathy toward ISIS. Support for airstrikes against the group in Iraq started at 45 percent in June, rose to 54 percent in August and then to 71 percent in early September, when 65 percent also said they’d support extending those strikes to Syria. With that air campaign now underway, its 70 percent support reflects a broad level of agreement in fractious political times. METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone Sept. 24-28, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y.
ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- On ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel confirmed that he has been named by the virus fighters at McAfee the Internet's "Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrity," a badge he wears with honor.
"They say that if you search my name...there's a one in five chance you'll land on a malicious website," Kimmel explained.
Number two on the list is a DJ named Armin van Buuren.
"Britney Spears is number 7. Usually it's a woman on top of the list. The only other male celebrity to wind up number one was Brad Pitt in 2008 -- so it's just one more thing Brad Pitt and I have in common," Kimmel quipped. "The price of being sexy, I guess."
"Most consumers are completely unaware of the security risks that exist when searching for celebrity and entertainment news, images and videos online, sacrificing safety for immediacy," said McAfee's Gary Davis.
"Cybercriminals capitalize on consumers' attention to breaking celebrity news and leverage this behavior to lead them to unsafe sites that can severely infect their computers and devices and steal personal data," Davis added.
Kimmel had another take, implying "every girl" who wouldn't go to the prom with him might now be regretting their decisions. "Who would have guessed that a boy used to carry a briefcase to junior high and played the clarinet end up being the most dangerous person?" he asked.
Other celebrities in the top 50 include Jimmy Fallon (No. 12), Adam Sandler (No. 14), Jason Segel (No. 19), Cameron Diaz (No. 41), Kate Winslet (No. 18), Jennifer Lopez (No. 31), Jessica Biel (No. 33), Jennifer Aniston (No.37), Jennifer Garner (No.38), and Cameron Diaz (No.41).
Here's McAfee's top 10 Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrities of 2014:
Jimmy Kimmel - 19.38% chance of downloading a virus.
Courtesy Mount Sinai Health System (NEW YORK) -- At age 34, Adele Rivas thought she was too young to have breast cancer, even though her mother had been diagnosed with the disease in her 40s.
But a persistent lump in her breast led Rivas to get a biopsy test. Her mother tagged along for moral support.
“My mother said, ‘I have to come with you,’” Rivas remembers. “She came, thank goodness.”
With her mother by her side, Rivas was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.
Doctors quickly ordered an MRI scan, but Rivas, a physician’s assistant, was hesitant. She and her husband had been trying to have a baby, and the MRI could affect an early pregnancy.
But even as Rivas asked to take a pregnancy test, she said she felt silly. She knew the chances that she was pregnant were small. Two different doctors had declared her infertile and said she had a minimal chance to get pregnant naturally.
At the time of her diagnosis Rivas and her husband were investigating adoption options. Rivas was afraid to try IVF or other hormonal treatments due to cancer risks associated with higher estrogen levels.
When Rivas asked to take a pregnancy test, she thought she was just delaying dealing with her cancer diagnosis.
“A voice told me ‘You’re really in denial,'” about cancer, Rivas recalled thinking at the time.
When a nurse came back after the test, she told Rivas it was likely positive but it was so early to be sure. They would have to wait another 48 hours for doctors to be completely sure.
“I left that day not knowing if I was pregnant but knowing I have breast cancer,” said Rivas.
Two days later doctors repeated the test and confirmed she was pregnant. While Rivas and her husband Luis Rivas were excited about the pregnancy, they now had to consider their options.
“I needed to figure out how to handle this, if we could keep the pregnancy,” said Rivas.
Rivas ended up at Mt. Sinai hospital in New York, where she was treated by Dr. Christina Weltz. While unusual, Rivas’ case is hardly unique, Weltz said. Approximately one out of every 3,000 women is diagnosed with breast cancer.
“The way that you treat it, really depends on a lot of factors including at what stage of the pregnancy [the cancer] is diagnosed,” said Weltz. “The question that really arises for every aspect of the treatment is whether the breast cancer treatment is compromising the safety of the pregnancy or if maintaining a safe pregnancy is compromising the treatment of the breast cancer?”
After talking to her doctors about options Rivas decided to keep the pregnancy, but go through a grueling treatment schedule that included a mastectomy in her first trimester and chemotherapy in her second and third trimesters.
Rivas’ doctors warned her that prolonged time in surgery could lead to miscarriage so Rivas was unable to have breast reconstruction at the same time as her mastectomy.
“I’m flat with no nipples and no breasts, but that was worth it to me,” said Rivas.
After having surgery at six weeks, Rivas also had to deal with morning sickness as she prepared for her chemotherapy in her second trimester.
Dr. Joanne Stone, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at Mt. Sinai hospital in New York, treated Rivas and said she hoped Rivas’ story would give other women comfort if they’re diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy.
“What I think is really important about this story is that people know you can get diagnosed and you can get treated when you’re pregnant,” said Stone.
At four months Rivas started chemotherapy treatments. Rivas and her husband moved in with her mother to save money and so that they would have support when the baby came. Rivas credited her husband Luis Rivas with keeping her sane. She said sometimes she broke down and cried, but mostly was able to focus on the positive.
“I can’t believe how fast things can change and how much you can endure,” said Rivas. "I think of myself as a pretty tough person. If anyone told me that I was able to go through this, I would say they’re nuts.”
After four rounds of chemotherapy, Rivas was finished with her cancer treatment. Her body had changed not only due to pregnancy but the treatment as well. While her appetite was steady, the chemotherapy led to hair loss.
“After the chemo was done, I was pretty much a normal pregnant person without hair,” said Rivas. “I looked pretty silly and no boobs -- it was just crazy.”
After getting through all her cancer treatments, Rivas remained worried about her son. She was afraid he could be at risk for being underweight or premature.
But on March 10, about two months after stopping cancer treatment, Rivas gave birth to a healthy boy. Rather than being underweight, Rivas’ son, named Conatantino or “Tino,” weighed in over 8 pounds.
“He’s a happy, happy soul,” said Rivas. “The only time he gets upset is when he’s hungry. He’s growing like crazy. He’s a big boy, he’s in the 95th percentile for height and weight.”
Now caring for a 6-month-old infant, Rivas and her husband are still at her mother’s home. But the couple is ecstatic over the birth of their first son. Rivas has now started working with other foundations for young women undergoing cancer treatment.
After giving birth, Rivas was also put on a medication to stop her from producing estrogen to diminish the chance of relapse.
If she stays on the medication as recommended, she won’t have a chance to have another child for 10 years, when she will be 44.
“This was our last chance at having a family. It almost didn’t happen,” said Rivas. “I can’t imagine not having him here. We don’t know why our prayers were answered in such a strange way. Maybe I can be a model of strength for other people.”
Robino Salvatore/GC Images(NEW YORK) -- George Clooney auctioned off his wedding pictures to the highest bidders, but that money will go to a great cause.
The winners were People magazine in the North American market and the British tabloid, Hello, in Europe. Sources familiar with the sale tell TMZthe decision came down to which publication would pony up the most money.
The sources say the money will be going to several human rights charities, with the lion's share earmarked for the Satellite Sentinel Project. It’s a charity that monitors the movements of militant gangs in the Sudan in order to warn civilians. Clooney is a co-founder of the group, which launched in 2010.
"Every photo in both magazines will be saving a life," one of the sources close to Clooney tells the gossip website.
Clooney, 53, married lawyer Amal Alamuddin, 36, over the weekend.
Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) -- Warner Bros. announced that Elizabeth Banks and Donald Glover are the latest stars to join the highly anticipated sequel, Magic Mike XXL. There's no word on what their roles would be in the follow-up.
The actors will join writer and star Channing Tatum, who is set to reprise his role as Mike, in the stripper film.
Entertainment Weekly reports the movie studio also released a synopsis of what fans can expect from the sequel to the 2012 film.
"Picking up the story three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, the film finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blowout performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them," the statement read.
"On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways," the statement concludes.
The cast for Magic Mike XXL also includes Michael Strahan, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, Amber Heard and Andie MacDowell.
Earlier this month, Magic Mike XXL director Gregory Jacobs announced that Matthew McConaughey won't be reprising his role as Dallas in the sequel.
Magic Mike XXL will strut into theaters July 1, 2015.
Lionsgate/Summit(NEW YORK) -- Thought the Twilight franchise had ended in 2012 with the release of Breaking Dawn - Part 2? Not so fast.
Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer and Lionsgate have announced that five aspiring female directors will get the chance to release short films based on characters in the series, as part of an upcoming contest, according to The New York Times.
Meyer, Twilight star Kristen Stewart, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer and Julie Bowen are among the panelists who will select the directors.
The stars of the theatrical Twilight movies, including Stewart and Robert Pattinson, are not expected to take part in the short films, which will premiere on Facebook next year.
More information on the contest will soon become available on the social media platform Tongal.com.
Kevin Lynch/CBS(LOS ANGELES) -- CBS has been ordered by a jury to pay $10.4 million to the family of a security guard who was killed on the set of NCIS in 2011, TMZ reports.
According to the report, a CBS production van was transporting NCIS crew members when the driver had a medical emergency and lost control. The van crashed into 52-year-old security guard Julio Villamariona. He died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
TMZ reports CBS admitted during the lawsuit proceedings that the driver had a medical condition that the network should have known about.
Brian Panish, the attorney representing the victim's widow and his three adult children, told TMZ, "I am so proud of the surviving family members and the jury for standing up to a powerful entity like CBS."
Fox(NEW YORK) -- The man with the particular set of skills is back for a third Taken movie.
Liam Neeson reprises his role of former CIA operative Bryan Mills for the latest sequel in the action franchise, whose trailer premiered on Tuesday.
This time, he's on the run from the authorities -- including a law enforcement agent played by newcomer to the series Forest Whitaker -- after he's suspected of killing his ex-wife. He puts his skills to good use to kick butt and protect his daughter, Maggie Grace's Kim.
Taken 3 -- officially titled Tak3n -- will open on Jan. 9, 2015.
The most recent film in the series, Taken 2, made $140 million at the domestic box office following its release in 2012.
Alex_Schmidt/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BELL GARDENS, Calif.) -- Bell Gardens, Calif., Mayor Daniel Crespo was fatally shot at his home Tuesday afternoon in what appeared to be a domestic dispute with his wife, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.
The mayor, 45, was shot at a gated complex in the 6300 block of East Gage Avenue shortly after 2:30 p.m. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
"Daniel Crespo Sr. became involved in an argument with his wife, Levette Crespo. Their 19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., tried to intervene and ultimately became involved in a physical altercation with Daniel Crespo Sr. During that time, Levette Crespo produced a firearm and shot her husband multiple times in the torso," according to the statement.
Levette Crespo, 43, has been detained by the Bell Gardens Police Department, according to the Sheriff’s Department statement.
Crespo, who had been a county deputy probation officer for the past 15 years, was first elected to the City Council in 2001, according to the bio posted on the City of Bell Gardens website.
According to the bio, Crespo married "his high school sweetheart" in 1986 in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he grew up. They moved to Bell Gardens after they married, and had two children.
iStock/Thinkstock(PULLMAN, Wash.) -- When it comes to knowing what’s best for your health, granny knows best. Granny Smith, that is, as in the tart green apple that’s very popular this time of year.
Washington State University researchers say that while all apples contain non-digestible compounds that have certain health benefits, it’s the Granny Smith in particular that possibly prevents some disorders linked to obesity.
In essence, the compounds from these apples help to create friendly bacteria in the gut because they resist changes that occur when in contact with stomach acids and digestive enzymes.
As a result, those who are obese might reduce the risk of contracting low-grade, chronic inflammation that can lead to diabetes.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Snacks are about as American as potato chips, chocolate and cheese. But they’re also popular in other parts of the world.
In fact, a Nielsen Global Survey of Snacking found that 91 percent of the 30,000 people polled in 60 countries say they snack at least once daily and one in five enjoy snacks three or four times on a typical day.
What’s more, snacking has become such a regular part of our routines that 45 percent of respondents say they sometime replace a regular meal. For instance, just over half claim to occasionally substitute a snack for breakfast while 43 percent have had one instead of lunch and 40 percent will make a snack dinner from time to time.
As for what people snack on in the U.S., the big three, in order, are chips, chocolate and cheese with close to two-thirds saying they’ve snacked on some kind of chip during the past month.
Meanwhile, the top snack globally is chocolate, although Europeans say their top pick is a piece of fruit.
iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- So far this fall, income inequality has not become a major political issue during the midterm election season, most likely to the chagrin of Democrats who were hoping to campaign on it.
One of the reasons income inequality hasn’t resonated with the public is because of an apparent disconnect Americans have about the difference in pay between CEOs and the average worker.
According to Harvard University and Chulalongkorn University researchers, the median response in the U.S. was that the ratio of CEO salary to worker salary is 30-to-one, which is way, way off the mark.
The real story is that the disparity is closer to 354-to-one, a whopping ten times more than what Americans guess. Since most voters don’t realize this, it apparently makes them less inclined to take action about it.
Meanwhile, when asked what would be a more equitable wage gap between CEOs and workers, the median response was seven-to-one.
If that was the case, according to another Harvard study, and if CEO income stayed constant, Americans would need to earn an annual salary of $1.8 million.
Department of Defense/YouTube(WASHINGTON) -- Since last August, the U.S military has launched more than 300 air strikes targeting Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby announced at press briefing Tuesday.
Kirby stressed that the attacks on the Sunni extremist group are planned carefully to avoid the risk "of collateral damage or civilian causalities."
His announcement came as Britain undertook its first military campaign against ISIS Tuesday by giving air support to Kurdish fighters in northwestern Iraq.
Although the U.S. and its allies have had some measure of success in helping to stop the advance of the militant group, Kirby warned it would not be a swift operation.
He told reporters, "No one said this would be easy or quick and no one should be lulled into a false sense of security by accurate air strikes. We will not --we cannot -- bomb them into obscurity."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In spite of polls that show most Americans are still feeling gloomy about the economy, people in the U.S. have spent more in 2014 than they have in the last couple of years and plan to do so right up through the end of the holiday shopping season.
At least that’s what a survey by American Express Spending & Saving Tracker found. For instance, 11 percent said their spending on jewelry items is up from both 2013 and 2012.
In terms of shopping for personal extras that include fashion accessories and leisure activities, 73 percent spent as much or more than they expected to in 2014, compared to 66 percent who answered that way in 2013.
During the first nine months of this year, 42 percent of Americans have bought big-ticket items as opposed to 39 percent in 2013. However, 62 percent say they’re still going to make a large purchase before the year’s out. In last year's poll, 51 percent at this time had plans to make a large buy.
Perhaps most telling of all is that 81 percent of respondents say their job is more stable or just as stable as it was a year earlier, an increase from 69 percent last year.
And yet, a majority of Americans, in other surveys, say the country is still in the midst of a recession.
Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images(PYONGYANG, North Korea) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who hasn't been seen in public since early September, reportedly underwent surgery on both ankles and is still recuperating at an exclusive hospital.
A South Korean newspaper said that a source familiar with Kim's condition claimed surgery was necessary after Kim injured one ankle last June but neglected treatment. Subsequently, he suffered cracked bones in both ankles.
If the report is true, Kim, who has been in power for three years, could be laid up for a while since it can take many months for ankles to return to pain-free motion and strength.
Although Pyongyang remains typically secretive about where Kim has been, its state television said he was experiencing “discomfort."
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Yonhap News said Kim might be suffering from gout, a painful and debilitating condition, that can be relieved through surgery.
This development comes as the U.S. and South Korea have been pressing North Korea to its end its illicit nuclear program. However, at least one Japanese expert on the North says that the government may decide to show its nuclear muscle during Kim's supposedly unexplained absence.