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Prince George marks his fourth birthday with official photo

Prince George celebrates his fourth birthday on Saturday, and the royal family released photographs of the beaming child, the Independent reported.

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The son of Prince William and his wife Kate is third in line to the British throne.

In a statement, Kensington Palace said that "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share a new official portrait of Prince George to mark His Royal Highness's fourth birthday tomorrow.

"The Duke and Duchess are very pleased to share this lovely picture as they celebrate Prince George's fourth birthday, and would like to thank everyone for all of the kind messages they have received."

Minnesota man has collected nearly 3 million soda can tabs

A Minnesota man has been collecting the tabs from aluminum cans for nearly 30 years, and he is closing in on a major milestone. In a Plexiglas box that is the size of a Dumpster, Jim Spinler has collected nearly 3 million tabs.

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“There’s 2,650,000 in there right now,” the 75-year-old Spinler told the Owatonna Peoples Press. “With the box and the pallet, it’s over 2,000 pounds with all that weight.”

Once he fills the box -- which measures six feet wide, four feet deep and four feet high -- Spinler plans to donate all of the tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester.

Spinler said he began collecting the tabs during his 50 years as owner of Jim’s Garbage Service, which he sold in 2006. He told the Peoples Press that he sold the business to support the Ronald McDonald House, which supports families of children with serious illnesses who are undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

“One of my friends got to stay in Ronald McDonald House about 30 years ago. His kid had a kidney infection,” Spinler told the Peoples Press. “So I started collecting, and when I retired, I had 15 five-gallon pails full.”

Many of the tabs he has collected himself, but friends have donated some, too.

Thirty years later, Spinler still plans to donate the tabs to the Ronald McDonald House — but not quite yet. He wants to top off the box first, which he estimates will take right around 3 million tabs.

“Another year. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to fill it,” he said.

The Ronald McDonald House collects the tabs and has volunteers who transport them to local recycling centers. Most years, the money they collect adds up to between $10,000 and $15,000.

Once the box is full, Spinler also plans to reach out to the Guinness Book of World Records. He doesn’t know what the largest pop tab collection on record is, he says, but 3 million has got to be close.

“I’m proud of what I’m doing,” he told the People’s Press. “I wish I’d written down all the people that donated.”

Kentucky must pay attorney fees for couples who sued Kim Davis

A federal judge ruled Friday that Kentucky taxpayers must foot the bill for more than $220,000 in attorney fees for the couples who were denied marriage licenses by the Rowan County clerk, WKYT reported.

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In July 2015, four couples -- two same-sex and two opposite-sex filed suit against Kim Davis, who had refused to issue marriage licenses. Davis cited her religious beliefs for not issuing the licenses and was briefly jailed for contempt of court.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote that “Davis represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky” when she made her refusal. “The buck stops there."”

Bunning, who ruled against Davis in the original lawsuit, said Rowan County and Davis herself were not responsible for paying the $222,695 in attorneys' fees, NPR reported.

William Sharp, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union in Kentucky, said his organization was pleased with the ruling.

“We hope this serves as a reminder to Kentucky officials that willful violations of individuals’ civil liberties ... will not only be challenged but will also prove costly.”

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Scientists will battle mosquito population by releasing 20 million of them

Mosquitoes are an annoying pest, particularly during the summer. Now, scientists in California are working to shrink the population of the pesky insects that carry disease.

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How? The scientists will be releasing 20 million of them in California.

If that sounds counterproductive, there is a method behind it. The plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with females, NPR reported. The eggs the females lay won’t hatch, according to researchers.

The project is called Debug Fresno, and scientists said the goal is to trim the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes -- the species responsible for the Zika virus, dengue and chikungunya, NPR reported. The species has been a nuisance in California’s Central Valley since 2013, particularly in Fresno County.

“It’s a terrible nuisance, a terrible biting nuisance. It's changed the way people can enjoy their backyard and it's a threat for disease transmission," Steve Mulligan of Fresno County's Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District told The Washington Post.

Each week for 20 weeks, the company plans to release 1 million of the sterile, non-biting male mosquitoes in two neighborhoods in Fresno County.

First woman enlists to become a Navy SEAL

A woman will be training with other potential candidates as she tries to become te first female Navy SEAL, CNN reported.

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The midshipman and another woman have enlisted and hope to join the Navy’s special operations teams. The Navy declined to identify the candidates, citing security considerations, NPR reported.

The latter candidate was in boot camp for the Navy’s Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program, also known as SWCC. Naval Special Warfare Center Deputy Commander Capt. Christian Dunbar told members of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service about the two candidates in June.

Women had been prohibited from serving in combat roles until January 2016, CNN reported. 

Eight SEAL and seven SWCC classes have graduated since March 2016. All of those candidates were males, CNN reported.

There are approximately 1,000 SEAL candidates who begin training each year,  Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Command, told CNN. He said that usually only between 200 to 250 candidates complete their training.

Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service

University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze announced his resignation Thursday night after school officials cited personal conduct issues that included a one-minute telephone call to a number associated with a female escort service, USA Today reported.

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The phone call was raised as a potential issue in a legal battle between the school and former Rebels coach Houston Nutt, who filed a lawsuit July 12 alleging that Ole Miss violated the terms of his severance agreement. Nutt’s attorney, Thomas Mars, sent an email to Ole Miss general counsel Lee Tyner, mentioning a “phone call Coach Freeze made that would be highly embarrassing for all of you and extremely difficult to explain,” USA Today reported.

School Chancellor Jeff Vitter, announcing Freeze’s resignation at a news conference, called it a “sad day” for the university.

“While Coach Freeze served our university well in many regards during his tenure, we simply cannot accept the conduct in his personal life that we have discovered” VItter said. 

Athletics director Ross Bjork said the resignation did not involve NCAA allegations but was based on a pattern of inappropriate conduct, USA Today reported.  Ole Miss put a self-imposed postseason ban this season and is already is operating with self-imposed scholarship reductions. The school faces the outcome of an NCAA investigation that traces back to 2012, ESPN reported.

Bjork said the phone call was brought to his attention last week.

“Because the call lasted less than one minute and did not appear at the time to be part of a pattern, we initially attributed this call to a misdialed number,” Bjork said. “We proactively looked into the rest of his phone records. In our analysis, we discovered a pattern of conduct that is not consistent with our expectations as the leader of our football program. As of yesterday, there appeared to be a concerning pattern.”

Freeze went 39-25 at Ole Miss and took the Rebels to a Sugar Bowl victory. He also guided Ole Miss to a pair of victories against Alabama when the Crimson Tide was ranked in the top three nationally.

Matt Luke, the team's co-offensive coordinator and line coach, was named interim coach on Thursday.

Canadian rock legend Kenny Shields dies 

Kenny Shields, the lead singer of Canadian classic rock ‘n’ roll band Streetheart, died Friday after cardiac surgery in Winnipeg, CBC News reported. He was 69.

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Shields and Streetheart charted during the 1970s and 1980s with hits like “Action,” “Hollywood,” “Here Comes the Night,” and a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb.”

The group’s last album was 2008’s “The Hits/Anthology.” The band had planned a cross-country tour this year to celebrate its 40th anniversary, but scrapped the plan when Shields became ill earlier this month.

Shields’ wife and daughter were with him when he died around 3 a.m., according to close friend and bandmate Jeff Neill.

“The ones that he loved were by his side and he wasn’t in pain,” Neill told CBC News. “And he just slipped away.”

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ champion dog Pudsey dies

Former “Britain’s Got Talent” winner Ashleigh Butler announced the death of her beloved dog, Pudsey on Friday, ITV reported.

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Butler, who won the 2012 season title on the ITV television show with Pudsey -- a mix of border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested -- posted an emotional tribute on her Instagram account.

“My handsome man is gone and I don’t know what to do without him,” Butler wrote.

Butler said Pudsey, who was 11, was put down on Thursday after a short battle with leukemia. 

"I had to make the hardest decision of my life to let my beautiful boy go to sleep at the age of 11," Butler told the BBC.

The pair were notable for their dance routine to the theme song from “Mission: Impossible,” and were the first dog act to win the competition.

Woman, deputies aid 4 children left in car in Walmart parking lot

A Virginia woman and three sheriff’s deputies helped make four children comfortable, providing them with formula and diapers after they were left alone in a car in a Walmart parking lot, WTVR reported.

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Crystal Richards-Jackson said she noticed three Hanover County deputies making multiple trips to a car parked outside a Walmart in Mechanicsville. Four children -- two 3-year,-olds, a 2-year-old and a 1-month-old infant, had been left untended in the vehicle at 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The temperature was 73 degrees, and deputies said the children had been in the car for more than an hour.

“It was hot,” Richards-Jackson told WTVR. “I mean, I was sweating.”

Deputies said Kiear Ellis, 24, and another woman had left the children inside the car and went into the Walmart, where they were arrested on charges of shoplifting. Neither woman mentioned they had children in a car, WTVR reported.

Ellis is charged with felony grand larceny and three misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. The other woman, whose name has not been released, was charged with one count of petty larceny and one count of child endangerment.

Richards-Jackson called the deputies “angels.”

“They weren’t police,” she said. “They were parents. I saw the officers going back and forth and one officer came back with a bottle.”

Richards-Jackson said she persuaded deputies to allow her to try and find other family members for the children.

"I bought formula and Pampers and the deputy mentioned CPS (Child Protective Services),” she told WTVR. “I asked to see if I could find their family before getting CPS involved, and the deputy agreed."

Richards-Jackson says an aunt and grandmother came to get the children.

Aside from soiled Pampers and underwear, they were all in good shape.

"They (deputies) made sure these kids had food and didn't go hungry," she said.

Your eyes will fry under normal sunglasses during 2017 eclipse, here’s why

The nation is preparing for the Aug. 21 “Great American” total solar eclipse, which is the first in 99 years to cross coast-to-coast.

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That means buying special eclipse glasses because normal sunglasses – even those with the darkest lenses – aren’t enough to protect eyes from damaging rays.

It’s not that the sun is any stronger during an eclipse, but where you would squint, blink and turn away from the full sun on a normal day to protect your eyes, it can be more comfortable to look at the sun as the moon moves over the bright disk.

“A solar eclipse should never be watched the same way we should not stare at the sun,” said Alberto Ortiz, an ophthalmologist with Mittleman Eye in West Palm Beach. “It causes toxicity to the retina and can even cause permanent vision loss.”

Damage to the eye may not be immediately noticeable, but can occur later with blurred vision or complete loss of sight, Ortiz said.

>> Related: Best places to see the 2017 solar eclipse.

Rick Fienberg, the press officer for the American Astronomical Society, said ordinary sunglasses transmit 10 to 20 percent of the light that falls on them.

This makes the landscape on a bright sunny day easier to look at without squinting, and cuts down on glare.

Eclipse glasses allow just 0.0001 percent of the light that falls on them through.

“That’s at least 100,000 times darker than ordinary sunglasses,” Fienberg said. “Nothing can get through such glasses except the sun itself – just enough to be comfortable for viewing.”

The only time it’s safe to look at the eclipse is if you are in the path of totality and the fleeting moments when the sun is completely covered by the moon.

About 12 million people live in the path of totality for the Aug. 21 eclipse. Millions more will travel to get into the path.

“The sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse,” NASA says on its eclipse website. “Do not attempt to observe the partial or annular phases of any eclipse with the naked eye.”

It is only safe to view a solar eclipse with the naked eye when you are in the path of totality and the moon completely covers the sun.

Proper eclipse glasses are marked with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the numbers 12312-2.

Some older solar-viewing glasses may meet previous standards for eye protection, but not the new international standard, Fienberg said.

NASA recommends glasses from the companies Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said it’s a good idea to practice putting the glasses on with children before the eclipse.

“Absolutely make sure the eye protection is clearly on top of the eyes of the child,” Zurbuchen said. “It’s not good to look at the sun when it’s just in the sky and it’s not good when it’s only half or three-quarters covered. The only time it’s OK to look at the sun is when it is entirely covered by the moon.”

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