Dolly Parton gives the gift of literacy: A nonprofit library program of 100 million books

The Library of Congress hosted a very special guest at story time this week: Dolly Parton. The country music legend is also a champion of early childhood literacy, through her Imagination Library. Every month, the nonprofit program mails a free book to more than a million children - from infants to preschoolers. Parton visited the Library of Congress on Tuesday to celebrate a major milestone in the Imagination Library's history: delivery of its 100 millionth book. Not bad for a program Parton founded more than two decades ago as a small, local effort to help kids in her native Sevier County, Tennessee. ...

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Measles outbreak rocks Madagascar

While the US faces measles outbreaks from New York to Washington state, reigniting discussions about the risk of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, Madagascar has been fighting the worst eruption of the disease in decades. Since October, the African island nation has seen more than 50,000 cases of the highly contagious viral infection, which has so far taken the lives of more than 300 people, mostly kids, the country's secretary general of the ministry of health tells CNN. That's more than double the numbers reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in mid-January. "We heard rumblings of a measles outbreak in the capital between December and January and I just knew we were going to get hit," Lon Kightlinger, a former South Dakota state epidemiologist and regular Peace Corp volunteer in Madagascar, tells CNN. "Our one doctor here,...

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PFAS blamed for animal deformities and losses to farmers in New South Wales

The heartbreak of watching thousands of fish grow with twisted spines and deformed skulls has taken Greg Semple to a "pretty dark place, mentally". The owner of Murray Cod Hatcheries in the south-western New South Wales town of Wagga Wagga took over the business in 1996. "It's all been downhill since then," Mr Semple said. "In the spring-summer breeding season in 1996, we produced 1.2 million healthy native fingerlings in just one hectare of ponds. "Other ponds were being used to grow tons of food-sized fish. ...

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Vaccines distributed in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana causing infections

The vaccine you received for the flu, whooping cough or hepatitis A might not work. And on top of that, it might have actually infected you. Kentucky's health department is sounding the alarm Friday night about a vaccine made in Mount Sterling. Location Vaccination started providing vaccines for businesses in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana in September. Shortly after, some people started noticing swelling and lumps at the injection site. The health department says the vaccine was contaminated because it wasn't stored properly. The company is stopping its distribution. ...

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Actively religious people are happier than those who don’t participate in a faith

People who actively practice a religion may be happier than the rest, according to a new study. A Pew Research study analyzed survey data from more than two dozen countries to compare the self-reported lifestyles of religious and non-religious people. Overall, the researchers found actively religious people tend to be happier, though they aren't necessarily healthier in terms of exercise or obesity rates. While the link between religion and health may not have been so clear, the findings on self-reported happiness are 'striking,' the researchers say. The study broke religious participation down to three categories are: Actively religious (regular participation), 'inactively religious' (claim a religious but attend services infrequently), and 'religiously unaffiliated' (people who do not identify with any religion). More than a third of actively religious adults in the US (36 percent) described themselves as 'very happy' in the...

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