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Percentage of white American Christians decreasing, report says

The percentage of white Christians in America is decreasing, according to a new report.

>> Read more trending news

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) published the report Wednesday, with findings that U.S. residents who identify as white and Christian are less than half of the country’s population. 

The shift comes with increased immigration into the country and as more people reject organized religion altogether, The Associated Press reported.

Forty years ago, about eight in 10 Americans were white Christians. Now, only 43 percent of the population identifies as such. Still, 70 percent of the overall population identifies as Christian, according to the PRRI.

The survey, conducted from January 2016 to January 2017, collected information from more than 100,000 participants. It found that 25 percent of the population doesn’t identify with a faith group. 

>> Related: Religious groups unite to shelter Harvey survivors

Predominantly white Protestant denominations, such as Presbyterians and Lutherans, have seen drops in membership, and the number of white evangelicals has decreased, the survey found.

As the presence of Latino Catholics in the U.S. has increased, the percentage of white American Catholics has decreased; approximately 55 percent of American Catholics identify as white, compared with 87 percent 25 years ago. And some white Catholics are leaving the church.

The percentage of Americans who identify as white evangelicals has decreased too.

According to the survey, about 17 percent of Americans identify as white evangelical, compared with 23 percent 10 years ago.

In regard to political affiliation, the PRRI found that more than 33 percent of Republicans identify as white evangelicals and nearly 75 percent identify as white Christians.

Only 29 percent of those who identify as Democrats are white Christians. Forty percent of Democrats surveyed said they have no religious affiliation, according to the report.

Read more at The Associated Press.

Gap, Banana Republic closing 200 stores

Gap Inc., which owns Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and two other brands, will close hundreds of stores to make way for new ones. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to The Associated Press, the clothing retailer plans to close 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores in the next three years. The company plans to open 270 new Old Navy and Athleta stores during that time. 

The move supports efforts to leverage Old Navy and Athleta, which have reported rising sales, while Gap and Banana Republic have reported drops in sales.

Gap Inc., like many other retailers, has seen the impact of consumers’ preference to shop online, making it difficult for some brick-and-mortar stores to report significant earnings.

According to the AP, Old Navy is on track to surpass $10 billion in sales in the next few years, and Athleta is expected to exceed $1 billion in sales.

Read more at The Associated Press.

Dog rescued from dumpster headed to landfill

A dog in Michigan was rescued just in time after she was found Friday in a dumpster on its way to a landfill.

The dog, a mixed-breed female, tumbled out with the trash when a roll-off dumpster was emptied at a Detroit transfer station, WXYZ reported. The garbage was headed to the landfill.

>> Read more trending news

Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue was called and took the dog to a veterinarian to be examined. The dog, named Parlay by her rescuers, did not appear to be injured from her harrowing dumpster journey. She also is heartworm negative and is not pregnant, though rescuer Theresa Sumpter told WXYZ that she thinks Parlay may have given birth recently.

Sumpter said she frequently sees dogs being abandoned after giving birth. She said the person who placed Parlay in the dumpster was, "really an idiot, truly a moron."

Parlay exhibits sweet and gentle behavior. She can be seen receiving a bath in a video posted on the Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue Facebook page. Parlay will spend time in a foster home until she is medically cleared, and then will be available for adoption.

Hospitals ready for slew of births during Hurricane Irma

It’s no old wives’ tale, as many a maternity nurse can attest: During hurricanes, expectant mothers give birth at a higher rate due to the drop in barometric pressure.

>> Read more trending news 

At least two hospitals, both bookending Palm Beach County, are gearing up for a slew of Hurricane Irma babies.

“I’m thinking we might have a lot of Irmas,” said Jade Wolkind-Mohl, nurse assistant clinical manager for the maternity ward at Jupiter Medical Center.

The Jupiter hospital plans to have its maternity ward staffed before, during and immediately after Irma. So far only six mothers have pre-registered to be at the hospital to ride out the hurricane but Wolkind-Mohl expects that number to increase dramatically.

“Last year during Hurricane Matthew both our waiting rooms were full,” she said.

Click here for a list of essential hurricane plan supplies.

To ride out Irma at Jupiter Medical Center, the mother must be at 38 weeks of gestation and be pre-registered. She can bring one significant other, her own sleeping bag, pillow, and snacks.

It’s been quite the juggling act for the staff of the maternity ward at Jupiter Medical as they prepare their homes and families for the hurricane knowing they will be at the hospital delivering babies.

Brian Altschuler, vice president for ancillary operations at Boca Regional Hospital, said the hospital also will be available for an expectant mother during the hurricane.

“We are here for our community,” Altschuler said. “We are not closed. We are not evacuating. We have great plans in place.”

So why do hurricanes cause expectant mothers to go into labor?

Several studies have suggested that drops in barometric pressure can trigger the rupture of the fluid-filled amniotic sac membrane, which is the green light for baby to vacate the premises.

“It’s certainly not cut-and-dried, but there is some scientific evidence that changes in pressure can contribute to membrane rupture,” Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University College of Medicine, told Live Science for a 2012 article

“The idea behind this belief is that the amniotic sac is like a balloon, and if you lower the external pressure on it, there is an increased risk it can ‘pop,’” Schaffir said.

WATCH: Toddler without arms or legs helps baby brother in heartwarming viral video

A 3-year-old boy born without arms or legs is going viral for his nurturing act of kindness toward his new baby brother.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Camden, 3, was born with Amelia-phocomelia syndrome, meaning he was born without parts of his skeletal system. Despite not having arms and legs, he’s a devoted big brother. A video posted to Instagram shows Camden comforting his brother, Jaxton, by helping to put his pacifier back in his mouth.

>> Watch the video here

The video shows Camden rolling over on his back to put the pacifier back in Jaxton’s mouth, which made him stop crying.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Little sister speaks beautifully about brother with Down syndrome: ‘He’s perfect’ 

Mom Katie Whiddon of Denton, Texas, posted the video to Instagram. According to the “Today” show, Whiddon openly discusses family life on her blog, Admirably Diverse.

>> Read more trending news

Learn more here.

These are the most hated foods in each state

Many states are known for producing edible staples -- Georgia is known as the Peach State, Idaho is known for its potatoes, and people traveling to Illinois expect to indulge in some of the nation’s best deep dish pizza.

>> Read more trending news 

 

But there’s one delicacy locals despise the most in each state, according to a new report. And some of the findings might surprise you. 

Hater, a dating app that matches people based on the things they hate, pulled data from its hundreds of thousands of users to round up the cuisine that every state dislikes the most, compared to the rest of the world.

They found that Georgians can’t stand tuna salad, Floridians don’t like licorice, and people from Nevada don’t deal with La Croix, the popular sparkling water drink. Also according to the results, Oklahomans prefer to stay away from veggie burgers, North Carolina residents don’t favor cottage cheese, and you won’t catch many Pennsylvanians sipping on chai lattes.

 

Possibly surprising? Californians aren’t fans of Chick-fil-A.

Then there were some findings that were more in line with the state’s traditional specialties. 

Texans, known for their grilled and barbecued meats, do not like steak cooked well done, and people from Washington, which is the world center for coffee, stay away from k-cups. 

Others were a bit more specific. Residents in Maryland avoid the corner piece of a brownie, Louisianans roll their eyes at cookies with raisins, and Massachusetts residents don’t like mayonnaise on fries. 

Curious about the other locations? Take a look at the map of findings below. 

Day care center combines senior care and child care

A combined senior day center and preschool is bringing joy to both the young and old.

>> Read more trending news 

Bethlehem Intergenerational Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, cares for both 5-year-olds and 75-year-olds. The concept blossomed from a research project, according to WXMI.

RELATED: Stranger captures photo of elderly man feeding his wife ice cream in touching display of love

The center has two wings, one for the elderly and one for children. Every day, workers plan activities the kids and adults can do together. They also build in time for small group activities.

“I know the little kids love having grandma or grandpa figures around, and they love having the grandchildren around,” said Rebecca Lopez, a nurse’s aide at the center. “It’s a wonderful program, and I see it going far.”

“This program is about engagement and relationship and sense of purpose and having a safe place to bring your loved one during the day,” Sue Davidson, the center’s director, told WXMI.

According to WXMI, a half day at the center costs $49, and a full day costs $78.

Read more at WXMI.

Kristin Cavallari criticized for 'single parent' comment

Television personality and fashion designer Kristin Cavallari is under criticism after making a comment during an interview, saying that she was in a position similar to a single parent while her husband works in Miami.

>> Read more trending news 

Cavallari, who starred in MTV’s “The Hills,” is married to NFL quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler was signed to the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 3. It’ll be his 12th season in the league.

But Cavallari has no plans to move to Miami for football season.

She told Entertainment Tonight she plans to “stay put” at the couple’s home in Nashville with their children: 5-year-old Camden, 3-year-old Jaxon and 1-year-old Saylor.

“We just moved there, actually, a few months ago, full time,” Cavallari said. “And both my boys are in school. It doesn't make sense to pack up the family just for five months.”

“So, I’m a single parent for the next five months,” she joked. “It’s a little chaotic, but in the best way.”

The 30-year-old said she’s thankful to have help raising her children.

“My kids are great. They’re good kids for the most part,” she told ET. “Of course, we have our stuff, but it actually hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be, being a single parent. I have an amazing nanny, my mother-in-law is there with my kids right now, so I couldn’t do it without them.”

But many people weren’t happy with Cavallari’s choice of words, particularly her comparison of her experience and a single parent’s.

“I hate when people say they’re a single parent when their spouse is temporarily away,” one Facebook user wrote. “It’s not a joke to laugh about. I’m glad it’s not so hard for you, Kristin Cavallari, with your nanny ... Shame on you for trying to put yourself in the same category as a real single parent.”

Another social media user said Cavallari’s comments were “a joke and a slap in a face to real single parents.”

 

Watch the full interview below and read more at Entertainment Tonight.

Children's books with humans, not animals more effective, study says

“Charlotte’s Web,” “Stellaluna” and “The Ugly Duckling” are among the innumerable children’s books written to teach kids lessons through situations and images involving animals. 

But a new study says books that feature humans learning lessons, instead of animal characters, stick with children more and allow for more insight into application of values and morals.

>> Read more trending news

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and published in the journal Developmental Science, found that children who read a book with human characters were more affected than those who read a book with animal characters.

In an experiment, nearly 100 children between the ages of 4 and 6 were read one of three books: Little Raccoon Learns to Share by Mary Packard, which illustrates a fictional raccoon who learns that sharing makes one feel good and proves beneficial to all involved in the action; a version of the story in which the animal illustrations were replaced with human characters; and a control book about seeds.

The experiment found that children who were read the book with the human characters were more willing to share later in the day than those who were read the book with animal characters. And “there was no difference in generosity between children who read the book with anthropomorphized animal characters and the control book; both groups showed a decrease in sharing behavior,” the researchers found.

Reading a book about sharing “had an immediate effect on children’s pro-social behavior”, according to the study. “However, the type of story characters significantly affected whether children became more or less inclined to behave pro-socially. After hearing the story containing real human characters, young children became more generous. In contrast, after hearing the same story but with anthropomorphized animals or a control story, children became more selfish.”

“A growing body of research has shown that young children more readily apply what they’ve learned from stories that are realistic ... (but) this is the first time we found something similar for social behaviors,” said Patricia Ganea, who led the study, according to The Guardian. “The finding is surprising given that many stories for young children have human-like animals.”

Read more at The Guardian and read the study here

Harvey victim names newborn son Noah in wake of floodwaters

A Houston couple is celebrating their new bundle of joy in the wake of chaos and destruction in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey.

>> Read more trending news

Khristhian and Kayla Estrada welcomed their baby boy one day after evacuating, three weeks earlier than they expected to meet their first son together.

A doctor induced Kayla Estrada’s labor not long after she endured high stress levels walking in neck-high waters, KHOU reported

The couple named their son Noah -- a name they had chosen before the storm hit.

“I’m major happy and thankful that he’s healthy because that was one of my concerns,” Kayla told KHOU. “The water ... it smelled like gasoline. We were in there for so long ...  The stress of it. I didn’t know if it was going to hurt him in some way. We’re happy that he’s healthy.”

 

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