Massachusetts Police Classify Hot Pizza As A ‘Dangerous Weapon’ During Arrest

CHICOPEE, Mass. (UPI) — During the arrest of a Massachusetts man, a police officer classified a piece of hot pizza as a “dangerous weapon” after it caused first- and second-degree burns.

James Vincent Grass allegedly shoved a piece of freshly-microwaved pizza into a 6-year-old girl’s face and was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and reckless endangerment of a child.

The 21-year-old denied the charges against him during his arraignment.

In his incident report, Officer Terry Dec wrote the girl said Grass “threw a piece of pizza in her face” when she stopped the microwave because it was steaming.

When she tried to explain, Grass grabbed the pizza and asked “Do you think this is done?” before allegedly shoving the slice in her face and saying “Is that hot enough?”

According to Grass the girl asked to smell the pizza and he then “pushed her face into it.”

When her mother picked her up, the girl had already popped a blister on her chin and was holding a wet towel to her face.

Kool-Aid Tosser Arrested In Florida And Brought To Jail On A Battery Charge

FORT PIERCE , Fla. (UPI) — A Florida woman who was arrested and charged with throwing Kool-Aid at her son during an argument is likely not saying “Oh yeah.”

Fort Pierce police arrested Yeteva Mccollum after she told them she tossed a full glass of Kool-Aid at her son when he called her a bad name.

The glass hit the 33-year-old man “on his head and body,” TC Palm reported.

The 60-year-old told police that something hit her in the lip after she threw the beverage. “She stated that she has glaucoma and could not see what the object was but was certain it was not a fist or open hand,” the police report states. “She stated it had a metallic sound.”

The son said that his mother ran into a bedroom after chucking the Kool-Aid and that he believed she hit her lip on bunk beds.

Mccollum was charged with battery and taken to the St. Lucie County Jail.

Oregon Governor Saves Woman By Performing CPR

PORTLAND, Ore. (UPI) — The Governor of Oregon was able to save one of his State’s residents on Monday by performing CPR until paramedics were able to arrive.

Governor John Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, saw the woman lying unconscious on a downtown Portland sidewalk and had his driver pull over so he could administer aid.

The woman “had possibly overdosed” when the Governor found her, and a defibrillator was used to restart her heartbeat.

“It was pretty neat to see the governor back on and going back to work,” paramedic Alan Ferschweiler told The Oregonian. “He was surprisingly calm, and you could see he went right back to the days where he was an emergency room doctor. To go and assist the governor and take over this patient from him is pretty surprising. It definitely took us off guard.”

After she was treated, the unidentified woman was brought to OHSU Hospital.

“The governor wishes her well and hopes that she seeks treatment in order to avoid the bad situation she was faced with today,” Kitzhaber’s communications director told KGW on Monday night.

Chinese Teenagers Befriend Cabbages To Conquer Depression And Loneliness?

BEIJING (UPI) — According to some reports, Chinese teenagers have taken to walking heads of cabbage on leashes as if they were dogs in order to battle depression and loneliness.

The vegetable walkers were spotted at the Midi Music Festival in Beijing. Apparently walking a cabbage is a good way to strike up a conversation with another person who has decided to make a vegetable their pet.

“It’s not about finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, just about having someone to talk to and share things with, a statement of youth isolated in the big cities,” said Beijing University psychiatrist Wen Chao, the Austrian Times reported.

“The idea is simple — you feel as lonely and as simple as a cabbage, so you begin to act like one and befriend one. And in that acceptance comes change.”

It could be said the teens are stopping themselves from feeling blue by going green.

“I feel I can transfer my negative thoughts about myself to the cabbage, go for a walk with it and come home feeling better about myself,” said cabbage-walker Lui Ja Chen. “In fact afterwards, I can throw the cabbage away and feel that I have tossed my feelings out with it.”

Other media outlets say they cabbage walkers were just engaging in performance art.

The Culture Trip reports that the cabbage walk was simply an art project by Chinese artist Han Bing. Han’s website reports the Chinese cabbage is “a quintessentially Chinese symbol of sustenance and comfort for poor Chinese turned upside down.”

Unhealthy Behaviors In College May Increase Risk Of Cancer Later

CHICAGO (UPI) — That carefree college attitude could come back to haunt young adults in the long run, researchers say, as a majority of college students — according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine and Northeastern Illinois University — engage in poor health habits that increase their risk of cancer later on.

According to the survey and study conducted by Northwestern health researchers, some 95 percent of college students don’t include enough fruits or vegetables as part of their daily diet. And more than 60 percent don’t get enough exercise. Not to mention high rates of binge drinking, obesity and tobacco use.

“Changing unhealthy behaviors in college students now could be a way to reduce the risk of cancer as well as other diseases later in life,” explained Brian Hitsman, an assistant professor of preventive medicine and one of the lead researchers on the study.

The study — which was published this week in the journal Preventive Medicine — was conducted by compiling data from the 2010 National College Health Assessment, a self-reported survey of more than 30,000 U.S. college students; the details were published this week in the journal Preventive Medicine.

The study also analyzed behavioral tendencies among different racial and ethnic groups. While white students were more likely to combine both binge drinking and tobacco use, black students were more likely to both smoke and be obese.

And while white students were the most likely to binge drink (37.5 percent), black students were the least likely to fall short of the recommended fruit and vegetable intake (98.1 percent).

Among the more positive findings, Asian students were the most likely to get plenty of exercise (74.6 percent).

“There are major cancer disparities both in terms of risk, morbidity and mortality with racial and ethnic minorities in the United States,” Hitsman said. “In this study, we see some of these behavioral risk factors already starting in young adulthood. Future research should monitor the persistence of cancer risk behavior clustering by race and ethnicity.”

Half Of U.S. Adults With Disabilities Get No Aerobic Physical Activity

ATLANTA (UPI) — Nearly half of U.S. adults with disabilities who are able to do aerobic physical activity do not, increasing their risks of heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

A Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 82 percent of U.S. adults ages 18-64 with disabilities were more likely to be physically active if their doctor recommended it, but only about 44 who saw a doctor in the past year were advised to increase physical activity.

Adults with disabilities who do not get any aerobic physical activity are 50 percent more likely than their more active peers to have chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, stroke or heart disease.

“Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, many adults with disabilities don’t get regular physical activity. That can change if doctors and other healthcare providers take a more active role helping their patients with disabilities develop a physical fitness plan that’s right for them.”

The CDC analyzed data from the 2009 to 2012 National Health Interview Survey involving physical activity levels.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends all adults, including those with disabilities, get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic physical activity each week, Frieden said.

Harry Reid: Obama Is ‘Wrong’ On Earmarks

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) emphatically maintained his stance on earmarks in a press conference Tuesday, saying President Barack Obama was wrong to oppose them.

“I have been a fan of earmarks since I got here the first day,” Reid said. “I disagree — underline, underscored, big exclamation mark — with Obama. He’s wrong.”

Reid mentioned that earmarks have been a part of the legislative process for years before the recent lull. Opponents of earmarks claim that it is too difficult to tell who is responsible for crafting them and if they are actually crafted to benefit constituents. Reid said that issue can be addressed but the power should be given back to the lawmakers.

“But it is wrong to have bureaucrats downtown … make decisions in Nevada that I can make better than they can,” Reid said. “This is something that has been going on for centuries in our country, and it has worked quite well.”

Reid does not only face opposition from his Republican colleagues — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has already said he opposes them — but also from his own party. Rising political star Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told HuffPost Live on Monday that she is siding with the President on this issue.

“I don’t think so,” she said on whether earmarks would help. “I think what the Senate needs to function is to remember who sent people there.”

Unidentified Remains From 9/11 Attack To Be Moved To Repository In Museum

NEW YORK (UPI) — The unidentified remains of those killed in the 2001 attack on New York’s World Trade Center are to be moved to a repository on the site.

Officials say the remains will be escorted Saturday by vehicles from the city’s fire and police departments and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Family members have been told that a “reflection room” at the site will open May 15.

Julie Bolcer, a spokesman for the New York medical examiner, said 2,753 people are believed to have been killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when two hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center towers, and 1,115 of them remain missing. She said the medical examiner’s office is holding almost 8,000 remains identified as human but not linked to one of the missing.

The repository is next to the memorial museum but officials said it will be supervised by the medical examiner’s office and closed to the public.

People who lost relatives in the attack had a mixed response to the news. Sally Regenhard, whose son Christian died, is part of a legal challenge to the plan for the repository. She accused the city of making last-minute plans for the move.

“What makes it worse is that they are doing this the day before Mother’s Day, which is one of the most hard, horrible holidays for us,” she told The New York Times.

Eileen Fagan of Toms River, N.J., lost her sister, Patricia.

“That is where they died, that is where there is a proper memorial for them, and to me it is a good, safe and holy place,” she said. “One thing that has struck me over the years is that when you have almost 3,000 people die, there are a whole lot of family members attached to everyone, and they all have different opinions on everything.”

Dems: GOP Trying To ‘Silence’ Americans On Unemployment Insurance

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Capitol Hill is a pretty big place, but the Republican majority can’t seem to find room to listen to ordinary Americans.

At least, that’s how Democrats are framing a spat that began Tuesday morning, when a planned Democratic Steering and Policy hearing where several long-term unemployed people were scheduled to speak was canceled by Republicans who said the room in the Rayburn House building wasn’t being used properly.

Instead, Democrats gathered on the steps of the House, flanked by people whose stories of desperation were perfectly primed to position the unbending GOP as heartless and cruel.

“We’re raising awareness about an issue today that has adversely impacted over 2.5 million Americans, just a few of whom wanted to speak today in their Capitol,” said Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. “They tried to silence the voices of those who are in deep pain because of Republican failures, Republican ignoring the pain of so many people in America.”

Cancellation of the meeting appears to have been over a discrepancy in how the request for a room was filed. Representative George Miller (D-Calif.) filed the committee room request as a “members meeting,” and marked “no” in the box asking if media would be present.

But when Republicans learned Democrats had issued press releases welcoming reporters and cameras, they canceled the event. Aides for both Republicans and Democrats acknowledged that the GOP staff called to say it would allow the meeting to go forward, but it was too late.

“They changed course so late in the day that it was logistically impossible to move the event back to the Rayburn office building,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. “I think silencing seven people who came to testify about the plight of the unemployed is shameful.”

But even if the Democrats had kicked up “faux outrage,” as a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner called it, they were more than eager to hold up the day’s events as yet another election-year example of Republican’s inability to empathize with struggling Americans.

“[Republicans] say these people are not looking for work,” Pelosi charged. “They’re in denial. They do not want to hear the truth.”

Democrats and some Senate Republicans are ramping up pressure on House leadership to bring up for a vote a measure that passed early last month in the Senate. The Senate measure extends emergency unemployment compensation through the end of May for people who have been out of work for more than six months and would pay benefits retroactively for those receiving benefits when they expired in December.

The so-called Reed-Heller Amendment, referring to the bipartisan duo of Senators who hammered out the deal, would also pay out benefits to anyone who has qualified for them since December — some 72,000 per week, Hoyer estimated.

Stays Sought For Two Killers Because Of Botched Oklahoma Execution

OKLAHOMA CITY (UPI) — Two inmates, one in Oklahoma and the other in Texas, are seeking stays because of the botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

Charles Frederick Warner was scheduled to be put to death in Oklahoma last week two hours after Lockett. His execution was immediately postponed for two weeks, and his lawyers asked the state court of criminal appeals Monday for a six-month stay.

In Texas, lawyers for Robert James Campbell cited the problems with Lockett’s execution in an appeal to a federal court in Houston. They said Texas has adopted a secrecy policy that means they do not have adequate information on the drugs to be used.

“These compounding pharmacies operate outside of FDA oversight, making it impossible to know if the drugs have been properly prepared and tested in order to ensure the execution will be carried out in a manner that comports with the Constitution,” Maurie Levin, a professor at the University of Texas, said in court papers.

Lockett died of a heart attack April 29, 43 minutes after the process began. Officials had halted the execution 10 minutes before he was pronounced dead, saying the drugs were not reaching his veins.

Warner is currently scheduled to die May 13 for raping and killing his girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter in 1997.

“It is clear that the Department of Corrections, the agency in charge of carrying out executions in Oklahoma, believes it requires an indefinite stay until the protocol can be reviewed and changed, and staff properly trained,” his lawyers said, citing a recommendation from the agency’s director for a moratorium on executions.

Campbell is also scheduled for execution May 13. He was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing a young Houston bank teller, Alexandra Rendon, in 1991.

“Texas does not use the same drugs,” Robert Hurst, a spokesman for the state prison system, told 1200 WOAI news. “We use a single lethal dose of pentobarbital and have done so since 2012.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry, in an appearance Sunday on “Meet the Press,” also defended the State protocol.

“And the process of the actual execution I will suggest to you is very different from Oklahoma. We only use one drug but I’m confident that the way that the executions are taken care of in the State of Texas are appropriate and humane,” he said.

Harry Reid: Republicans Are Like ‘Greased Pigs’

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday when he said working with Senate Republicans is like trying to catch “greased pigs.”

Reid was speaking about his frustration with the lack of progress on the energy bill and the Keystone XL. He said whenever he tried to take the bill to the floor for a vote, the GOP would alter their demands, and he used a very colorful metaphor to illustrate his frustration.

“For all those who don’t know what a greased pig contest is, here’s what it is: The organizers get a little pig, piglet, and they cover this little animal with tons of grease. It’s a greasy little pig,” said Reid. “The reason I mention this: Oftentimes working with my Senate Republican colleagues reminds me of chasing one of these little pigs in a greased pig contest. Regardless of all of our efforts, any time we get close to making progress, it seems as though we watch it slip out of our hands.”

Republicans have consistently denied such allegations and complain that Reid has not been willing to consider Republican amendments to the bills.

“We’d like to have a chance to have our voices heard occasionally. Eight amendments for the minority since July? This is not the way the Senate ought to be run,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Senator David Vitter (R-La.) said through his spokesman that Reid was acting “cowardly.” Vitter has repeatedly tried to add a “No exemption” amendment to the bill that would gut Federal healthcare subsidies to lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides. Reid has refused to take a vote on the amendment.

Monica Lewinsky Was ‘Suicidal’ After Clinton Affair

WASHINGTON (UPI) — It’s been nearly 20 years since an affair began between a White House intern and the President of the United States.

Although she’s mostly stayed away from the spotlight for the past decade, Monica Lewinsky has penned a column for this month’s Vanity Fair. Writing that it’s time to stop “tiptoeing around my past,” Lewinsky says she wants to take control over her life’s narrative after losing it to the publicity surrounding her affair with President Bill Clinton.

But, with a nod to the affair’s effect on “other people’s futures,” Lewinsky is undoubtedly speaking to the heightened interest around Hillary Clinton.

The former first lady’s name doesn’t come up in the excerpts provided by Vanity Fair ahead of the article’s publication. Instead, Lewinksy focuses on clearing the air and leveraging her experience into positive change.

“Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship,” she writes. “Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.”

“The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me.”

Lewinsky says the frenzy around the scandal made it impossible for her to move on with her life, even considering suicide. And the case of Tyler Clementi — an 18-year-old student at Rutgers who committed suicide after his roommate streamed video of him kissing another man — brought back memories of her own humiliation.

That experience, she said, is why she’s putting her energy toward helping other people who are subject to intense public shaming.

“I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet,” she said. Now, her goal is “to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”

Lewinsky’s full essay will be available to digital subscribers online on May 8, and on newsstands May 13.

‘Me Driving Like An Idiot’ YouTube Video Leads To Florida Teen’s Arrest

NEW SMYRNA BEACH , Fla. (UPI) — A Florida teen who posted a YouTube video of himself driving erratically down State Road 44 in New Smyrna Beach was arrested and charged with crashing into multiple cars.

Robert Kelley was charged with two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with injuries after posting the four-minute “Me driving like an idiot” clip online. It has since been removed from YouTube.

Kelley reportedly filmed himself crashing into four vehicles and put five people, including himself, in the hospital. He was arrested on Friday after posting the video online on Tuesday.

“He wasn’t concerned about anyone’s safety,” Sgt. Eugene Griffith told WESH. “He just drove in a manner, cutting people off left and right just a total disregard for our citizens. We’re just really lucky we’re not dealing with a death in this case.”

The 18-year-old is also facing charges of reckless driving and driving without a license.

Police Chief George Markert said police are looking at the video to decide whether to charge Kelley with intentional battery with a vehicle, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

“We certainly appreciate it,” Markert said of Kelley’s uploading of the video.

7-year-old Allegedly Brings Grandmother’s Heroin To School In Pennsylvania

THORNDALE , Pa. (UPI) — A 56-year-old grandmother is facing charges after her 7-year-old grandson reportedly brought her heroin stash into his first-grade classroom in Pennsylvania.

Pauline Bilinski-Munion of Chester County is facing child endangerment and drug charges after her grandson allegedly brought the heroin to Caln Elementary School on Friday.

A teacher found nine bags of heroin stamped “Victoria Secret” in the boy’s pants pocket. He eventually admitted that he found the drugs on the floor by the washing machine in Bilinski-Munion’s home.

She apparently lost the drugs while she was watching the boy and a 1-year-old baby.

“Heroin in an elementary school is a nightmare. Any exposure to heroin for a young child is likely to result in death. The defendant is lucky that she was not responsible for the death of her own grandson or somebody else’s child,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan told CBS Philly.

Bilinski-Munion was arrested Sunday and committed to the Chester County Prison on $25,000 bail.

Massive Canadian Mansion Gets Trashed After Party Invite Goes Viral

BRAMPTON, Ontario (UPI) — Almost 2,000 Canadian teenagers attended a massive party at an Ontario mansion after the organizer posted invitations on Twitter, Facebook and Craigslist.

The teens partied so hard at the mansion, which is under construction, that they reportedly caused $70,000 in damage.

The hashtag #MansionParty began trending on social media and more than 200 cars were parked in the area of the party.

The police sent more than 60 squad cars and a K-9 unit to break up the rowdy gathering.

“I have seen something like this, in the movies, but never in real life,” a 16-year-old partygoer told the Record. “There were hundreds of people here. Some people were climbing over ladders and smashing the windows. Some were drinking. Everyone wanted to get inside.”

There were no reported injuries at the party and no one was arrested for trespassing. Some people were arrested for assaulting officers and public intoxication.

“We want to make the public aware that social media may not be the best place to advertise the party, simply because we’re not really aware of just how far-reaching social media really is,” Const. Thomas Ruttan told the Brampton Guardian.

Man Accused Of Robbing Georgia Waffle House With Pitchfork

NORCROSS , Ga. (UPI) — A warrant charging a Georgia man with armed robbery has been issued after a 50-year-old suspect allegedly used a pitchfork to rob a Waffle House in Norcross.

Police are looking for Jeffery Wooten after he allegedly used the farm tool to herd employees and customers into the back room of the Waffle House so he could grab the cash register.

“When he realized he couldn’t get the cash register open, he took the whole cash register and exited the store with his pitchfork,” Norcross Police Chief Warren Summers told WSB-TV.

While he was carrying the register, Wooten dropped the pitchfork and a woman picked up the tool and began hitting him with it. “It appears the suspect sustained some injuries from this incident,” Summers said.

The pitchfork was also used to smash a window on Wooten’s truck while he made his escape.

“Once he didn’t have a pitchfork, he wasn’t as brazen. I know that,” Summers said. “It wouldn’t be an offensive weapon in your garden, but it was in a Waffle House.”

Florida Teen Jose Bautista Charged With Hacking School’s Computer System To Change Grades

MIAMI (UPI) — An 18-year-old Miami student is facing felony charges after allegedly hacking into his high school’s computer system and changing grades for himself and four other students.

Jose Bautista, a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, allegedly broke into the principal’s office and used his computer to change the grades in exchange for money.

Bautista was arrested by Miami-Dade County Schools Police and charged with four counts of intellectual property crimes for modifying a program and four counts of modifying computer user data, all felonies.

“If it is true, it’s definitely not fair to the rest of the students,” senior Brett Curtis told NBC 6. “We have almost 3,000 kids here who come to school every day and work hard for every single grade that they earn.”

According to the school’s principal, Bautista gave him a written confession.

“The school district takes incidents like this very seriously,” Miami-Dade Schools said in a statement. “In addition to the arrest and ongoing criminal investigation, the Code of Student Conduct provides for corrective strategies up to and including recommendation for expulsion.”

A judge placed Bautista on house arrest and ordered the teen to wear a GPS monitor.

Report: Conservative GOP Candidate Steve Wiles Worked As A Drag Queen At A Nightclub

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (UPI) — According to reports, a North Carolina State Senate candidate who has been a supporter of a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage used to be openly gay and work as a drag queen at a nightclub.

Steve Wiles, who is running in a May 6 Republican primary against two other candidates, worked at Club Odyssey under the name Miss Mona Sinclair for several years, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Wiles, 34, also helped to promote the Miss Gay America Pageant.

“He is Mona Sinclair,” co-owner Randy Duggins told the Journal. “I recognized his picture when I was looking in the paper. That’s definitely him. He has aged some, but that’s him. I have no ax to grind against him. I just think he’s a liar.”

Although Wiles has denied the allegations at times, his campaign website, Facebook page and Twitter account have been taken offline.

“I have already apologized to the people who matter most to me for the things I did when I was young,” Wiles said last week.

Club Odyssey closed in 2010 after 14 years of serving “gay, lesbian and straight clientele.”

Target Chairman And CEO Resigns Amid Data Breach Fallout

MINNEAPOLIS (UPI) — Target chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned Monday in the wake of continuing fallout from a massive data breach last December that left millions of customers’ credit card data unprotected.

“Today we are announcing that, after extensive discussions, the board and Gregg Steinhafel have decided that now is the right time for new leadership at Target. Effective immediately, Gregg will step down from his positions as chairman of the Target board of directors, president and CEO,” said Target in a statement on its website.

The resignation comes five months after a security breach that occurred during the height of the holiday shopping season.

Steinhafel is a 35-year veteran of Target and led the response to the breach. In a letter to the Target board of directors, he said, “The last several months have tested Target in unprecedented ways. From the beginning, I have been committed to ensuring Target emerges from the data breach a better company, more focused on delivering for our guests.”

Target CFO John Mulligan will serve as interim president and CEO and board member Roxanne Austin will serve as interim chair. Steinhafel will stay as an adviser during the transition and will receive severance pay according to an SEC filing.

Target shares were down $1.70, or 2.79 percent, to $60.29 shortly after 10 a.m. Monday morning.

Amazon Users Can Add Items To Shopping Cart Directly From Twitter

SEATTLE (UPI) — Amazon announced a partnership with Twitter that allows users to link both accounts and add products to their shopping cart by using the hashtag #AmazonCart.

The new initiative would require Twitter users to link their their account to their Amazon account. Users can add items to their shopping cart automatically by responding to tweets with Amazon product links with the hashtag #AmazonCart.

But Amazon has said that products will only be added to the cart and will not be considered a confirmation of purchase. For that users will still have to log in into their Amazon accounts.

An Amazon spokesperson said that Twitter does not get any revenue from the sale of products and declined to further discuss the arrangement.

“We are certainly open to working with other social networks,” said the Amazon spokesperson. “Twitter in particular offers a great environment for our customers to discover product recommendations from artists, experts, brands and friends.”

Customers who have already linked their accounts will be notified with a reply tweet from @MyAmazon and also receive a confirmation email. It is to be seen if users embrace #AmazonCart because all tweets are public and people will be publicizing their purchasing decisions by responding to a Tweet with that hashtag.

The move is another initiative by Twitter to grow its business model, which has been struggling to engage its 255 million active users. The new initiative helps Amazon make the process of buying a product more convenient for its customers.

Amazon customers in the U.K. will have to use #AmazonBasket to add items to their shopping carts starting Monday.

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower To Peak Tonight

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower, the cosmic debris of Halley’s Comet, will come to a crescendo overnight tonight, as shooting stars grow in intensity and frequency from midnight to sunrise on Tuesday morning.

As long as clouds don’t spoil the fun, sky-watchers in the Northern Hemisphere could see as many as 30 shooting stars an hour, as Eta Aquarid meteors burn up in the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. Star-gazers in the Southern Hemisphere could see some 60 shooting stars an hour.

For homebodies and those cursed with overcast conditions, NASA will be live streaming the meteor shower from its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Clear skies are anticipated.

The shower will also be broadcast by the online Slooh community telescope beginning at 9 p.m. EDT. The live stream will be accompanied by commentary from astronomer Bob Berman.

“What makes this shower somewhat special is that the meteors stem from the most famous comet in all of history, Comet Halley,” Berman said in a statement. “As Halley goes around the sun in its 76-year orbit, pieces of it, little chunks of ice, slough off the comet and we intersect that every year around this time, in early May.”

Halley is the only short-period comet that can be seen by the naked eye from Earth. It’s also the only comet that may become visible twice in a human lifetime. It last appeared in 1986, and is expected to whiz by within view again in 2061.

FDA Backs Benign Bacterium To Stymie Salmonella In Tomato Plants

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Salmonella — the foodborne illness that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is responsible for some 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths every year — doesn’t just arrive via undercooked meats. Just as often, it travels with crates of contaminated fruits and vegetables: lettuce, melons, tomatoes, you name it.

That’s why scientists with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are excited about a newly identified benign bacterium that shows real promise in thwarting Salmonella as it attempts to colonize raw tomatoes.

Since 2000, more than 2,000 people in the U.S. have fallen ill as result Salmonella-infected tomatoes.

“The conditions in which tomatoes thrive are also the conditions in which Salmonella thrives,” FDA researcher Eric W. Brown recently explained. “But we knew that if we could block Salmonella from infecting the tomato plant, we could reduce its risk of infecting the person who eats the tomato.”

Luckily for scientists — and tomato lovers — the same conditions that allow Salmonella to thrive also enable the growth of many kinds of benign bacterium, those that aren’t harmful to human health. Researchers knew they just need to find a strain that outcompeted Salmonella for real estate. They succeeded, having isolated Paenibacillus alvei.

“We hypothesized that such an organism could be found that possessed the ability to outcompete or chemically destroy Salmonella,” says co-researcher Jie Zheng. “After screening many hundreds of potential biocontrol strains of bacteria that were isolated from farms and natural environments in the Mid-Atlantic region, we found about 10 isolates of bacteria representing very different genera and species that could curb the growth and/or destroy Salmonella in our test assays.”

Brown and Zheng’s important research will be detailed in the July edition of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. A manuscript is currently available online.

Bus-Sized Asteroid Passes In Between Earth And Its Moon

PASADENA, Calif. (UPI) — A 25-foot asteroid passed between Earth and the moon over the weekend, coming within 186,000 miles of Earth’s surface. On average, the moon’s orbit is 238,855 miles from Earth.

Dubbed 2014 HL129 by astronomers, the bus-sized asteroid was discovered only several days before by scientists at the Steward Observatory, which sits atop Mt. Lemmon in Arizona’s Catalina Mountains.

The near miss of an asteroid flying anonymously through space (until just a few days ago) is sure to bring further attention to NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, a series of contest aimed at bringing amateur scientists and astronomers into the asteroid-hunting fold.

“Asteroid hunting is an activity everyone can get involved with,” NASA claimed in a promotional video earlier this year. “Whether it’s writing computer code, building hardware, making observations through a telescope. Survival is its own reward. It’s up to each of us to protect our planet from asteroids.”