Watch the road
April 29, 2014
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There's a reason more and more cities are eyeing initiatives to curb speeding and improve street safety. For the third straight year, pedestrian fatalities from traffic accidents rose nationwide in 2012, according to a new report from the Department of Transportation.

A reported 4,743 pedestrians were killed in auto crashes in 2012 — that's one every two hours. Meanwhile, another 76,000 were injured, which translates to one every seven minutes.

Interestingly, the DOT's report cautions pedestrians to be more vigilant and visible so they won't get run over. And though it urges drivers to follow the most basic rules of the road — like "stop for pedestrians in crosswalks" — it says nothing about distracted driving. I'd be curious to know how many accidents are caused annually by drivers looking away from the road to check their phones and pose for ill-advised selfies.

your health
7:22 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control is worried about an increase in the number of people contracting the potentially deadly bacteria C. difficile.

C. difficile is usually found in hospitals, but a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine said that 150,000 people who had not been in a hospital came down with C. diff in 2011, and 82 percent had visited a doctor's or dentist's office in the 12 weeks before becoming ill, CNN reports. Nearly half a million Americans are infected every year, with 15,000 deaths attributed to the bacteria. Researchers say the best way to avoid getting it is by washing hands with soap and water after visiting a doctor's office.

In 2013, researchers found C. diff in six out of seven outpatient clinics tested in Ohio, on chairs and exam tables. The CDC plans to do another study to see just why the numbers are so high outside of hospitals and to determine how many people arrive at the doctor's office already with the bacteria. "This is really an important issue," Dr. Cliff McDonald, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC, told CNN. "We need to understand better how people are getting C. diff."

Shutdown showdown
5:19 p.m. ET
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The Senate appears poised for a vote Friday on a bill that would approve funding for the Department of Homeland Security without blocking President Obama's immigration order. That would give the House — which passed a DHS funding bill last month that included provisions thwarting Obama's immigration action — less than a day to respond; funding for DHS runs out Saturday.

Confronted with a restive conservative wing that wants him to keep fighting and spurn the bipartisan Senate deal, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has yet to say how he will respond once the Senate acts.

Snowball Fights
4:56 p.m. ET

During a speech on climate change, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) employed some very questionable science to prove that global warming is a hoax.

"Do you know what this is?" he asked. "It's a snowball. It's just from outside here, so it's very very cold out," Inhofe said before tossing the snowball.

"Here, Mr. President, catch."

His staff confirmed that the snowball was caught by a Senate page. —Marshall Bright

4:19 p.m. ET

Oversleeping might be the activity of choice for college students, but sleeping more than eight hours a day could have significant health risks.

A new study published in the journal Neurology found that people who regularly sleep for longer than eight hours a day are at a higher risk for stroke than people who sleep six to eight hours daily.

The researchers studied almost 10,000 people aged 42 to 81 for nearly 10 years, recording how long they slept each night and if they had any strokes. The participants who slept the most had a risk of stroke 46 percent higher than average, and their stroke risk was double that of those who slept six to eight hours a night.

For now, the study authors note that more research is needed, since the study only proves correlation, not causation, between the two. But the researchers also note that oversleeping may be a sign of other health problems, such as depression, cancer, or neurological deterioration.

Kiss off?
4:08 p.m. ET

"That's just a kiss, that's all," House Speaker John Boehner explained Thursday after blowing kisses in response to a reporter's query.

With two days to avoid a Homeland Security shutdown, Boehner faces a potential revolt from the right over the fight to block President Obama's immigration order. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck a deal with Democrats to undo parts of the House's DHS funding bill, but Boehner insists he's waiting to see a final version of the legislation before he'll commit to a next move.

So when pressed to explain how he would avert a DHS shutdown, Boehner began one response with a few kisses, before adding, "When we make decisions I'll let you know," he said. —Jon Terbush

Fair and Balanced
3:34 p.m. ET
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

It's likely not a surprise that a majority (66 percent) of Republicans trust Fox News. 

What is more surprising, though, is that Fox is both the most and least trusted news source, according to a new study from Public Policy Polling. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they trusted Fox News over ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, MSNBC, CNN, and NBC, while 30 percent of respondents said they trusted Fox the least.

The only network that Republicans and Democrats agree is reliable? PBS. 

This just in
3:00 p.m. ET
Pool/Getty Images

An Argentine judge has dismissed the case against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, which alleged Kirchner had protected Iranian officials from being prosecuted for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

Judge Daniel Rafecas said Thursday that the documents filed by deceased prosecutor Alberto Nisman "failed to meet standards needed to open a court investigation," The Guardian reports. "I dismiss the case because no crime was committed," Rafecas said on Thursday.

Nisman's death was originally ruled a suicide, but later was suspected to be murder. He had drafted an arrest warrant for Kirchner.

2:47 p.m. ET

Islamic State extremists have taken sledgehammers and power drills to a series of 3,000-year-old statues in the Ninevah Museum in Mosul, Iraq, the Daily Mail reports.

A video of the destruction was posted to a Twitter account used by ISIS. An unidentified vandal in the video says the demolition is being done in the name of Muhammad.

(AP Photo via militant social media account)

"The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics," the man says, "and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him."

The Mail reports that one of the museum artifacts destroyed dates back to the 9th century B.C. This most recent rampage follows the bombing of Mosul Public Library at the hands of ISIS militants. Priceless "idolatrous" maps and manuscripts from the Ottoman Empire are assumed to have been destroyed because they "promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah."

Fightin' words
2:27 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off yesterday, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned that one of his rivals might not be received with open arms when it's his turn to present his ideas in front of the thousands of conservatives who gather to hear movement bigwigs make their case.

Despite having a brother and father as former presidents, Paul said Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) may face a "kind of a difficult crowd" at CPAC on Friday because he's not right-wing enough.

"There's definitely a place for moderates," Paul said on Fox News' The Kelly File, "but it may not be quite the same level of enthusiasm for moderates at this conference."

Bush has angered the conservative base in the past for his more liberal stance on certain issues such as Common Core and immigration.

top dog
2:19 p.m. ET

Who's a good dog?

The American Kennel Club has released its annual list of the country's most popular dog breeds, and Labrador retrievers came out on top. The announcement marks labs' 24th year at the top of America's hearts. Labs have made the top 10 list every year since the 1970s, according to The Associated Press.

Bulldogs are also on the rise, reaching number four on the most-popular list, an all-time high for the breed. And French bulldogs are in the top 10 for the first time in almost 100 years.

German shepherds, beagles, and golden retrievers rounded out the top five most popular breeds, and Yorkshire terriers, poodles, boxers, and Rottweilers all made the top 10.

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