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Scoreboard Roundup - 9/15/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Baltimore Orioles 5 (90-60) – Toronto Blue Jays 2 (77-72)

Miami Marlins 6 (73-76) – New York Mets 5 (72-79)

Tampa Bay Rays 1 (73-78) – New York Yankees 0 (76-73)

Washington Nationals 4 (86-63) – Atlanta Braves 2 (75-75)

Chicago Cubs 1 (66-84) – Cincinnati Reds 0 (71-80)

Houston Astros 3 (67-83) – Cleveland Indians 1 (76-73)

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Gas Prices Drop Significantly


FeelPic/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gas prices dropped by almost five cents in the last week, an impressively large dip, bringing the average price of a dollar of unleaded gas to $3.41.

That figure, released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is nearly 14 cents lower than this date one year ago. California was once again the state with the highest average price for gas, with one gallon costing $3.79 on average.

The most notable drop occurred in the Midwest region, where the average gas price dropped by slightly more than eight cents per gallon from last week.

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FBI Announces Facial Recognition Program Is 'Operational'


FBI Building qingwa/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI announced on Monday that it has declared its Next Generation Identification System, for facial recognition, fully operational.

The NGI System was designed in the hopes of expanding the FBI's "biometric identification capabilities." Among the functional capabilities of the system are Rap Back, which enables authorized entities to receive status notifications on the criminal history of those in "positions of trust," such as teachers. The NGI System also includes the Interstate Photo System involving facial recognition and "will provide the nation's law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities."

Phase one of the NGI System was introduced in 2011.

An FBI statement called the latest advances "a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler."

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House Armed Services Committee to Propose Measure to Train, Equip Syrian Rebels


Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- Members of the House Armed Services Committee appear ready to propose a mission that would train and equip Syrian rebels.

On Monday, a senior Republican aide at the committee told ABC News that the deal would not only allow for the training and equipment of rebels, but would also avoid the explicit prohibition of ground forces. The proposal will likely be constructed as an amendment to the current continuing resolution, though that has not been decided.

While the legislation will not specifically ban ground forces, it will only lay out a proposal for training and equipment. The House plan is also expected to mandate that the Department of Defense provides a plan to Congress 15 days prior to training and further updates every 90 days afterward.

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US Airstrike Targets ISIS Fighters Near Baghdad


Hope Milam/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD, Iraq) --  There was a U.S. airstrike southwest of Baghdad Monday, a new area of operations for U.S. fighter aircraft, ABC News has learned.

But this isn't an indicator of expanded airstrikes in Iraq, a U.S. official told ABC News.

A request was received from the Iraqis to provide air support for an Iraqi unit that was engaged in a firefight with fighters with the Islamic militant group ISIS, the official said. Six ISIS-owned vehicles were destroyed in the strike.

An aircraft was redirected and conducted a strike to support the Iraqi ground troops, the official said.

The total number of U.S. strikes conducted in Iraq has now reached 162.

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Respiratory Virus, Enterovirus D68, Likely Infected Thousands


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The respiratory virus that’s been sweeping the nation and sending asthmatic children to the hospital may have only been officially reported in 97 children, but experts say that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Dr. Claudia Hoyen said the virus, called enterovirus D68, probably affected thousands of children -- and that’s just in Cleveland, where she works. The virus has been reported in 21 states, according to state health departments.

At UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, about 20 children normally go to the intensive care unit each month with respiratory symptoms, said Hoyen, who heads the hospital’s pediatric infection control program. But for the last two months, the hospital’s intensive care unit has treated 80 children per month, she said.

“That’s fourfold over what we would normally get,” Hoyen said.

The rare enterovirus starts out like the common cold but can quickly turn more serious -- especially in children with asthma. Enteroviruses often appear in the summer and fall, but an outbreak like this hasn’t occurred since the 1960s, Hoyen said.

Although UH has not yet determined how many cases of enterovirus D68 it treated this summer, Hoyen said she can extrapolate the number of extra ICU patients over two months to guess how many children had less-severe cases, too.

“My guess is that this is probably in the thousands, because a lot of the kids probably had infections and their parents just thought it was a little cough,” she said. “They weren’t sick enough to seek actual medical attention.”

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t require hospitals and labs to report enterovirus D68, public health officials may never know the true scope of the outbreak, said ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser.

“So although the CDC is reporting 97 confirmed enterovirus cases, this number does not in any way reflect the true number of people who are infected or sick,” Besser said, adding that most local health departments have no way of testing for the virus and no reason to do so because there is no cure available. “My advice: forget about this number. Look to your health department.”

Besser said parents should simply ask their doctors whether enterovirus D68 is in their town and be vigilant if it is.

“If your child has any difficulty breathing (wheezing, difficulty speaking or eating, belly pulling in with breaths, blueness around the lips) see a doctor right away,” he said.

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Tiffani Thiessen Is 'Definitely Trying' to Get Pregnant


USA Network Photo: David Giesbrecht(NEW YORK) --  Tiffani Thiessen would like to expand her family soon.

Even more excited about the possibility of a second baby? Her 4-year-old daughter, Harper.

"She puts more pressure on me than anyone!" Thiessen told the online magazine, Sweden with Love. "Every day, she begs me to have a baby. She can’t wait to turn into a little mommy. She’s ready!"

Thiessen, 40, is hoping she can make that a reality sooner rather than later. The White Collar actress and her husband, Brady Smith, are "definitely trying."

"With Harper it happened right away," she said, adding that she doesn't think she's currently pregnant. "I’m hoping it’ll be as easy this time around."

There are other exciting things coming down the pike for the actress too. Thiessen, an avid gardener who has a chicken coop in her backyard, will begin filming a new show for the Cooking Channel, Dinner at Tiffani's, later this year, and she's also gearing up to send Harper off to her last year of preschool.

"I’ve loved so much that I’ve been able to spend basically every day with her. Even when I’ve been working, she’s come to work with me," she said. "She’s going to be in school until 3 p.m., and that’s a long time for me to be away from her. I suspect I’ll pull her out once in a while."

Still, Harper, whom Thiessen described as "high-spirited girl," certainly has a mind of her own, her mom added.

"She knows what she wants, and that can be challenging at times. But I don’t ever want to quash her spirit or change the fact that she’s a strong-willed little kid," she said. "We have boundaries and we have rules, but we’re not crazy strict. We want her to grow up to be both a respectful and happy person."

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