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Indiana boy carves wooden toys for needy children

A 10-year-old Indiana boy is building toys from scratch to help children in need enjoy the holiday season, WISH reported.

>> Read more trending news

Zander Hite of Greenwood took the advice of his grandfather, Darl Hite, who gave the boy a $20 bill last winter and told him to make a difference this holiday season.

Zander bought two slabs of wood to build toy cars, WISH reported.

“I played with them when I was little,” he said. “And I thought they were fun to play with.”

At first he built only one toy car.

“It turned out to be really fun. And now I keep on making more,” he told WISH. 

Since then, Zander has been an apprentice to his grandfather, who has been woodworking for several decades.

Since beginning to work with wood, Zander has created 250 cars and trucks, WISH reported.

“Quite a feat for a 10-year-old,” Hite said.

Zander joined the Central Indiana Woodworkers club, where his grandfather has been a member for years.

The organization gave him the wooden wheels for the cars and the engine to deliver these toys to kids in need, WISH reported. 

As part of the club’s annual Christmas wooden toy drive, Zander donated his toys.

“It was a challenging thing to accomplish to want to keep going,” he told WISH.

The toys will be distributed by the wood club to different organizations around central Indiana in the coming weeks, WISH reported.

Cleveland zoo shows off new otter pups

Three male otter pups made their public debut at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Friday, WKYC reported.

>> Read more trending news

Zoo officials said the pups were born on Sept. 24 to Bitzy and Kibble.

Baby otters are born with their eyes closed and need a few weeks to learn how to swim, meaning they'll be ready to join their parents, Bitzy and Kibble, on exhibit in The RainForest in the coming weeks. The zoo now has seven otters, WKYC reported..

The pups are Asian small-clawed otters, which are indigenous to Asia. They're one of the smaller species of otters and have hand-like paws, WKYC reported. They're listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“We were aware Bitzy was pregnant based on body weight and body shape,” the zoo's animal curator Tad Schoffner told Newsweek in an email. “The otters are given their privacy and typically staff does not even know for a few days that there was a birth because the parents tend to be very protective when the pups are in their most vulnerable state.”

The three pups have yet to be named, and they still weigh less than a pound, Newsweek reported. A zookeeper saw the pups playing with one another just Thursday, indicating they're developing well so far. 

Louisiana veteran entertains motorists with saxophone

A Vietnam War veteran has become a fixture for music lovers in his Louisiana town.

>> Read more trending news

Donald Givens plays saxophone for several hours daily in his gazebo at his Monroe residence. His yard is located near the corner of two overpasses and commuters can listen to his daily jam sessions, the News-Star reported.

Strangers pull up to his home and ask Givens to play, sometimes handing the 67-year-old money for music requests. Some residents in Monroe simply refer to him as the saxophone man.

"I don't feel famous,” he told the News-Star.

He may not be as famous as another Monroe native -- jazz tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson -- but Givens loves to create music.

In addition to the saxophone, he can also play the piano and guitar. Givens became entranced with the saxophone after hearing it during a church service, the News-Star reported.

At the same time, he started learning guitar.

"Once you know how to read music, I think you've got well over half of the battle won because you can recognize the notes to any instrument,” Givens told the News-Star. “I just needed to know where B or C was on the saxophone. I could recognize it on the sheet music.”

He started trying to copy Kenny G and other well-known saxophonists.

“When I first started, I would play inside the house. When I got pretty decent I went out to the driveway, and when I thought I was pretty good, I went out to the gazebo,” he said.

His favorite pieces to play include "Jesus, You're the Center of My Joy," " You Are So Beautiful," "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone," and "Memory."

Givens said he can play four to five hours without getting winded now, and he loves to keep practicing because there is no end goal with music.

“You can never master it,” he said. “It's unending.”

Stolen Van Halen guitar returned to Hard Rock Cafe in Texas

A guitar owned by rock ’n’ roll legend Eddie Van Halen worth more than $100,000 was recovered Friday, hours after it was stolen from a Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio, Texas, KSAT reported.

>> Read more trending news

The guitar, nicknamed “Frankenstrat,” had been reported stolen around 1 a.m. Friday. It was returned later in the day, but it is unclear how the restaurant was able to retrieve the instrument.

According to San Antonio police, someone walked in a side door of the Hard Rock Cafe and took the red, white and black guitar off the wall, and then exited the building. An employee noticed the guitar was missing after the Hard Rock Cafe closed, police said.

The Frankenstrat guitar was one of several that Van Halen had custom built for him during his career, the San Antonio Express reported. 

Van Halen is considered one of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Van Halen eighth on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

Serena Williams shares wedding photos in new interview

Tennis icon Serena Williams married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans Thursday, and gave the first official photos to Vogue magazine to share.

The ceremony was in front of 200 guests made up of family and friends -- Venus Williams, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian Anna Wintour, Ciara and the newlyweds’ 2-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. among them. 

>> Read more trending news

Williams detailed her big day for Vogue in a story published Friday.

“Alexis really wanted to do New Orleans. It’s his favorite city besides Brooklyn,” Williams said. “It’s got a heavy European influence; it’s fun and has amazing food. He just loves the vibe. The venue—the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans—was a decision we both made. Painting and art is something I’m really passionate about, so it just felt natural and different to do it at a contemporary art museum.”

The wedding date  -- Nov. 16 -- held special importance for both as it was Ohanian’s late mother’s birthday.

“Obviously, we wish that she could be here for this, but choosing her birthday as our wedding date was a nice way of making sure she’s still involved and made us feel more connected to her on our day,” Williams told Vogue.

The “Beauty and the Beast” themed wedding included a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen ball gown that Williams walked down the aisle in. The venue was designed similar to a fashion show.

“I wanted the whole thing to be as nontraditional as possible,” Williams said. “We did sofas instead of chairs, with everything facing the aisle instead of the altar.”

Baby Alexis was carried down the aisle by Williams’ mother, Oracene Price, and Williams’ best friend, Val Vogt, carried the athletes Yorkshire terrier, Chip, down the aisle. The dog, which Williams has referred to as her son, wore a tiny tuxedo and top hat.

The two exchanged personally written vows to each other before changing outfits for the reception. In between the ceremony and reception, guests were at a cocktail hour outside. A second line parade brought guests back inside, where guests dined on Southern, Armenian and Italian food at four long tables named after Williams’ Grand Slam wins.

“Serena wanted a ball, but she wanted a modern ball, not anything that was too stuffy,” event designer Preston Bailey said of the reception.

Williams changed into a custom feathered and beaded Versace dress after the couple was introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Alexis Ohanian. The newlyweds did a choreographed first dance and later in the evening danced on stage as New Edition performed.

Early Friday morning, the event ended with a surprise: Ohanian brought out a carousel for his new bride.

Read more about Williams and Ohanian’s wedding at Vogue.com.

Serena Williams marries Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans, reveals wedding dress

Serena Williams is officially a married woman, according to reports.

People reported that the tennis legend and her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, were married Thursday in New Orleans.

>> Read more trending news

Reports bubbled this week that the pair was getting married at the Contemporary Arts Center

E! News reported that the nuptials came two years after Ohanian and Williams began dating. They welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in early September.

Related: Report: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian set to wed Thursday

On Wednesday, the pair and 100 guests reportedly attended  a rehearsal dinner at Emeril Lagasse’s Meril restaurant. Eva Longoria and Colton Hayes were among those at the dinner, as was Williams’ mother, Oracene Price, and sister, Venus Williams.

Williams’ wedding gown was seen being brought into the city the same day.

Williams posted a caption-free image of her in a ball gown silhouette wedding dress on Instagram Friday. 

“Entertainment Tonight” reported that Beyonce, Venus Williams, Kelly Rowland, Lala Anthony, Kim Kardashian and Ciara were among the famous wedding guests. According to an ET source, daughter Alexis Olympia was also in attendance. 

Related: Serena Williams welcomes baby girl with fiance Alexis Ohanian

Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ tennis coach, offered the couple congratulations in an Instagram post on Thursday.

“I send you all my positive feelings for that very special day. I wish you a very happy wedding, a fantastic party and a full life of happiness,” he captioned the post.

Aly Raisman calls out sexual assault victim shamers, Gabby Douglas apologizes for response

Aly Raisman is responding to those who blame sexual assault victims.

Raisman, who just came forward with her own story of sexual abuse, shared a note on Twitter Friday in which she slammed people who question why victims do not come forward.

“Just to be clear… Just because a woman does a sexy photoshoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse,” Raisman wrote. “What is wrong with some of you? AND when a woman dresses sexy it does not give a man the right to sexually abuse her EVER.”

>> Read more trending news

Raisman continued, “Women are allowed to feel sexy and comfortable in their own skin, in fact I encourage you all to wear what you feel good in. I will not put up with any woman or girl being shamed for wanting to wear a skirt, dress, etc. I do not tolerate it. Are we clear?”

“Oh and one more thing. STOP VICTIM SHAMING. It is because of you that so many survivors live in fear,” she said.

Raisman captioned the tweet, writing, “we are all in this together. If we are going to create change I need all your help.”

The Olympian came forward with allegations against Team USA doctor, Dr. Larry Nassar, and detailed some of the abuse in her new memoir “Fierce.”

Related: Report: Olympic medalist Aly Raisman claims she was sexually abused by team doctor

Despite Raisman’s request, E! News reported that her teammate, Gabby Douglas, appeared to say that how a victim dresses entices others.

“However it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy,” Douglas wrote while quoting Raisman’s tweet. “Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”

The tweet has since been deleted, but fellow Olympian and teammate Simone Biles promptly called Douglas out and took a screenshot of the offending post.

“Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me... honestly seeing this brings me to tears (because) as your teammate I expected more from you and to support her,” Biles tweeted. “I support you Aly  and all the other women out there! STAY STRONG.”

Earlier this week, Raisman appeared on “Today” and spoke out about the abuse she endured in an interview with Hoda Kotb.

“He was a doctor, and he told met that his ‘treatment’ would help heal all of my injuries. I was so young. I had never really worked with another doctor or trainer before, and everyone said he was the best. He would give me these gifts. So, I really thought he was my friend. He always seemed like he had my back,” she said, adding that now that she’s older, she understands what happened and that he manipulated her.

“These monsters are so good at manipulating you. You’re so brainwashed to think, ‘I thought he was so nice,’” she said in her interview with Kotb. “I think he’s a monster. It is so disturbing to me what he did to me and so many other people. This is so much bigger than just me. It’s such a horrific thing to happen.”

Douglas, after trying to explain her initial tweet to some followers, posted an apology.

“I am deeply sorry for coming off like I don’t stand alongside my teammates. Regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. I am WITH you,” she tweeted with “#metoo.”

Nassar is currently facing 22 counts of first-degree sexual misconduct.

Forensic artist helps families of fallen officers grieve though his artwork

His art usually helps put alleged criminals behind bars, or put a face to a name. But a police officer and forensic artist is using his talents to help ease the pain of the family members of first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

Johnny Castro, who is a retired military police officer, has loved to draw for a long time, telling CNN that he learned a lot from his father when it came to creating portraits.

>> Read more trending news

A year and a half ago, during his spare time, Castro began to draw and digitally paint portraits of police officers who were killed protecting their cities, not just in the U.S., but in places all around the world, CNN reported.

He includes in the portraits the accolades that the first responders earned posthumously.

Castro has created more than 100 portraits, CNN reported.

Sometimes he’ll work on two or three portraits a week.

He sends copies to the family members of the fallen, but also adds the portraits to his personal wall of heroes, which includes all of the portraits he has created.

Country music drama ‘Nashville’ will end after season 6

“Nashville” is ending in 2018 after its sixth season.

The Tennessean reported that Lionsgate Television Group announced on Nov. 17 that the show’s upcoming sixth season will be its last

>> Read more trending news

“After more than 120 episodes of unforgettable television, we believe that creatively it is time for the series to come to its triumphant close at the end of the upcoming season,” Kevin Beggs, the production company’s chairman, said in a statement, according to Deadline. “We’re very proud of our incredibly talented cast and crew, the creative brilliance of our showrunners, and the loyal support of our great partners at CMT, Hulu and ABC Studios. Most importantly, we owe a special debt of thanks to the Nashville fans who propelled the series to an incredible run. We owe it to them to make the 6th season the most exciting and memorable of all.”

Variety reported that “Nashville” began as an ABC show, but was canceled by the network in 2016 after four seasons. It was picked up by CMT after an outcry from fans.

The final season will span 16 episodes. It begins Jan. 4, 2018, with the second half of the season airing in summer 2018.

These tiny superheroes overcome the odds to become the Justice League

They face insurmountable odds, but that’s not stopping a group of kids from fulfilling their superhero dreams.

Josh Rossi is a photographer who helped the group of children, who are living with either disease or disability, to see their inner heroes, calling the six children the real Justice League

>> Read more trending news

Rossi and his wife, Roxana, worked with costume designers to help dress the children in to their super alter egos. Each child then received a copy of their photo.

Their stories:

Kayden Kinckle, 5, is a double-amputee and has been for most of his life. Both of his legs were removed when he was younger. He was also born with omphalocele, a condition in which his organs grow outside of his navel. Kayden was the team’s Cyborg and was the first member of the Justice League. Click here to read Kayden’s biography.

Sofie Loftus is the second member of the team. She was diagnosed at the age of 3 with a rare cancer called embryonal rhabdomyoscarcoma. Days before her chance to get in front of the camera as Wonder Woman, Sofie had her radiation treatment. She was weak but Rossi said she did her poses with fierceness. To help Sofie and her family, click here.

Teagan Pettit, 9, is the team’s Man of Steel. Teagan was born with half a heart, or HLHS (hypoplastic left heart syndrome). He’s had three open heart surgeries, among other procedures, to help him live. He has to wear oxygen at night and had a feeding tube until recently. Teagan loves Superman, Rossi said, so what better Justice League member is there for him to be? For more on Teagan and his story, click here.

Mataese Manuma is the fourth member of the team. He’s only 2, but is battling megakaryoblastic leukemia. He was supposed to have his photo session shortly after a round of chemotherapy, but woke up a fever. It took a few days for him to be well enough to get in front of the camera and pose as Aquaman. Mataese needed help from his brother, and Rossi’s Photoshop prowess, to get him into poses because he was so weak at the time. To help Mataese and his family, click here.

Zaiden Stolrow was suited up as The Flash. Zaiden has severe ADHD and has non-stop energy, Rossi said. He got in trouble at school because he couldn’t sit still and wait. All he  wanted to do was run, but instead, Rossi said, Zaiden was sitting in the principal’s office during a school fundraising race with tears in his eyes because he had been in trouble for not behaving. His friends also stopped inviting him over because of his energy. There’s no better match for him than The Flash, a superhero who runs at the speed of light and never stops.

Finally, there was Batman of the Justice League. That honor went to Simon Fullmer, 5, who is battling nerve cancer called neuroblastoma. He loves the Dark Knight and Bruce Wane, Rossi said. Simon’s mother told Rossi that her son is a “very literal kid,” meaning he doesn’t want to soften the blow when it comes to what’s happening to his health. For more on Simon and how you can help his family, click here.

The “Justice League” movie hit theaters Nov. 17.

Dog stolen from car sold at Oakland flea market

A dog that was stolen from a car last month has been returned home safely after the animal was bought at a flea market in Oakland, KRON reported.

>> Read more trending news

Biscuit, a 7-year-old Yorkshire terrier, was stolen from a car parked outside a Mexican restaurant in Oakland, KRON reported.

The dog was bought at the Laney College flea market in Oakland for $700. The woman bought Biscuit said she later realized that the dog might have been stolen.

The original owner says the dog was returned unharmed, KRON reported. Authorities are still looking for the person who took the dog.

'Diva of the drive-thru' sings menu to customers

She is the diva of the drive-thru. And in the New Orleans area, which is noted for its music and its food, it’s the perfect combination.

>> Read more trending news

Cynthia Carter works in the drive-thru at a Popeyes fast-food restaurant in Kenner, Louisiana. For the past 30 years she has been singing the menu to customers, 

WGNO reported. She sings the entire menu, including the chicken, side dishes and desserts.

“She sounds like Patti LaBelle,” one customer told WGNO. 

But unlike the soul singer, Carter is no Lady Marmalade when it comes to singing the menu.

Carter began singing 30 years ago when a customer in line broke into song, WGNO reported. Carter responded by singing back.

She has been serenading customers ever since.

California artist creates "positive" street signs

A California street artist has produced a new kind of peace sign. When you’re driving around town, simply relax when you see them.

>> Read more trending news

Instead of familiar street signs that order drivers to “stop,” “yield,” or “do not enter,” Scott Froschauer’s signs urge drivers to “relax,” “do your best,” or “breathe.”

The Glendale Library launched Froschauer’s “Word on the Street” art works last week, placing 20 of his signs at parks throughout the city, KABC reported. Froschauer’s website has a map that shows where the signs are located.

“There’s nothing more mundane than, like, a stop sign, because you just see it every day and you start to blur them out,” Froschauer told KABC. 

His street signs convey positive messages, he said. Instead of “Stop,” his octagonal sign reads “Start.”

The signs will be on display for one year, KABC reported.

Sylvester Stallone rep says sexual abuse allegations are ‘ridiculous, categorically false’

Sylvester Stallone has been accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in 1986.

According to a report from The Daily Mail, the alleged victim filed a police report and claimed the actor, then 40 years old, sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in Las Vegas. Stallone’s bodyguard, Michael De Luca, was also involved in the assault, the accuser said, according to the report. Stallone was in the city filming “Over the Top,” the report said.

>> Read more trending news

The unnamed teenager said she was threatened not to tell anyone about the incident. The Daily Mail, which reported it obtained a copy of the original police report, said the teen said she was “humiliated and ashamed” and did not press charges against Stallone or the De Luca as a result.

The report alleges that retired Las Vegas Metro Police Department Detective Sgt. John Samolovitch, who was in change of the department’s sexual assault unit, confirmed that the police report “is in fact a true copy of the original report.”

A representative for Stallone says the report is not true.

“This is a ridiculous, categorically false story,” Stallone’s spokeswoman, Michelle Bega, told People in a statement. “No one was ever aware of this story until it was published today, including Mr. Stallone. At no time was Mr. Stallone ever contacted by any authorities or anyone else regarding this matter.”

Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber photographed kissing at hockey game

If a paparazzi photo is any indication, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are together again.

TMZ reported that the on-again-off-again couple are very much back on after Gomez was photographed kissing Bieber during one of his weekly hockey games Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

>> Read more trending news

Gomez was previously with The Weeknd, but the two broke up after dating for 10 months. People reported in October that distance was a reason for the breakup.

Around the same time, Gomez was photographer going to church with Bieber and meeting him for breakfast. According to E! News, the two were just friends around late October.

This latest photo indicates otherwise. 

Bieber and Gomez initially dated on and off from 2011-2014.

Rapper Eve defends herself for critique of Nicki Minaj’s Paper Magazine cover

Eve has made her debut week on “The Talk” memorable already.

The rapper and actress was officially announced as a co-host of the daytime talk show Tuesday. Ebony reported that on Thursday’s show, she and co-hosts Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sheryl Underwood and Sharon Osbourne discussed Nicki Minaj’s controversial and not-at-all-safe-for-work Paper Magazine cover.

>> Read more trending news

“I worked with Nicki, I got to know her on ‘Barbershop.’ She’s a nice person, she’s an amazing rapper, and as a lyricist I respect her, but as a woman, from my point of view, personally, I would not be able to do that,” she said. “I think in this climate, it’s not good. I think every artist has a right to express themselves however they want to express themselves and I respect that as well.” 

Related: Rapper Eve to join CBS ‘The Talk’ show

“For me personally, as I started coming up in the business, I started realizing that young girls were looking up to me and younger people were looking up to me, and that, not that you want to be a role model, but it becomes what you become, it is what you are. It’s a responsibility whether you like it or not.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’d just rather be a voice that’s uplifting. I can be a voice for those girls that might not have a voice, in a different way without showing myself off -- with my brain,” the rapper said. For the Nicki fans, I love her, respect her. Go women in hip-hop. I just don’t think it’s right. Period.”

Despite Eve’s message to The Kingdom, Minaj’s fans were quick to defend the MC on Twitter, even calling out Eve’s past when she worked as a stripper at age 18 and intimate photos of her were leaked.

Eve responded to Nicki’s fans on Twitter after the show aired, saying, “A lot of ya’ll need to calm down AND LISTEN to what I said. I am speaking from the place I am TODAY as WOMAN and how I feel NOW!!!”

Eve wasn’t the only co-host who chimed in. Underwood said the cover took away from the music. “It’s so graphic and I just don’t think girls need to see that and think it’s the way to go.”

“Madonna did this, like, 30 years ago,” Osbourne said. “It’s about your music not about your love of looking a certain way. It’s great you’re a beautiful young woman and you’re also a talented woman. You don’t need to take it down to this level.”

Minaj hasn’t addressed any of the comments.

Lady Gaga stops show after seeing fan bleeding in the audience

Lady Gaga stopped in the middle of a concert to check on a fan who reportedly started bleeding after she was hit in the face -- presumably by accident -- in the middle of the show.

People reported that Gaga, who is back on her Joanne World Tour, was in Connecticut when the incident occurred. 

>> Read more trending news

“I just looked over and I saw,” Gaga said in a video a fan account posted to Twitter. “Are you all right? Do you need some extra help? Yeah? OK, so do you need a paramedic? They’re on their way? OK.”

Related: Lady Gaga announces Netflix documentary ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’

After learning the fan’s name is Meredith, Gaga went on to say, “Meredith, I’m so sorry that you got hit in the face and that you’re bleeding.” The audience gasped.

“You OK? We’re going to make sure that you’re OK, all right?”

The audience cheered as Gaga stood up.

“OK. I think she is gonna go off to see the doctors. What we all need to remember is that there are some things that are more important than show business. So we’ll do this one for Meredith, all right?” 

Related: Lady Gaga discusses struggle with fibromyalgia

The singer then broke out into an a cappella version of “Paparazzi.” She paused her singing and then said, “Make sure to give that girl a backstage pass, too.”

Gaga is back on tour after taking a break to focus on her health. She previously canceled recent tour dates in Europe due to her chronic pain from fibromyalgia.

Report says Tyrese Gibson is facing serious financial problems

Tyrese Gibson’s problems continue to pile up, and the latest rumor is that he’s in a significant amount of debt.

According to celebrity gossip site The Blast, the actor filed documents that stated he earns $105,686 per month, but his expenses total close to $107,576 per month.

>> Read more trending news

He reportedly spends $7,500 on child support, $14,869 on his mortgage and another nearly $10,000 on groceries.

On Nov. 1, Gibson posted a tearful video on Facebook claiming his legal fees in his custody battle over his 10-year-old daughter tally up to nearly $13,000. The documents also state that the actor has $884,658 in cash and savings.

RELATED: Tyrese takes his feud with “The Rock” to new heights in an eyebrow-raising tirade

Gibson has made headlines recently after he was cleared of child abuse charges. But just this week, he skipped out on a court hearing, leaving his attorney to speak on his behalf. At the hearing, a lawyer for his ex-wife, Norma Mitchell Gibson, requested a mental evaluation on Gibson.

A protective order was placed on Gibson in September after Norma Mitchell Gibson alleged he was abusive to her and their daughter. Gibson responded to the protective order by calling Mitchell Gibson “bitter and resentful.” He has since been cleared of abuse charges, but he has been prohibited from talking about his daughter, Shayla.Gibson claimed Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith gave him $5 million to help with his financial problems, but neither one of the pair has confirmed the claim. According to TMZ, the payment claim isn’t true.

Kids who read ‘Harry Potter’ are less prejudiced and more mature, study says

Did you read “Harry Potter” books as a kid? You’re a better human being than most, scientists say. 

» RELATED: ‘Pawgwarts': Animal shelter gets inspiration from Harry Potter 

Researchers from universities in Italy published a paper in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology that explored how story reading can be a powerful strategy in improving human attitudes.

Many of the fictional groups in “Harry Potter,” including muggles, were marginalized much like immigrants, homosexuals and refugees are in the real world. That’s why scientists wanted to use the novels to examine the “perception of stigmatized groups” among elementary, high school and university students. 

>> Read more trending news

First, they administered a six-week course on “Harry Potter” to 34 fifth-graders. By the end of the course, the students were asked to fill out a questionnaire on immigration. They found that those who read the book discussed topics such as bigotry and prejudice, while those who didn’t read it did not. 

Next, they studied 117 high school students and discovered that those who dived into “Harry Potter” had more positive perceptions of the LGBT communities than those who did not.

Lastly, they assessed college students. They noticed that those who read it had less of an emotional connection with Voldemort, the villain of the series, and had "improved attitudes toward refugees," the study read.

» RELATED: There's now a Harry Potter wizarding school in Central Texas

“Results from one experimental intervention and two cross-sectional studies show that reading the novels of ‘Harry Potter’ improves attitudes toward stigmatized groups among those more identified with the main positive character and those less identified with the main negative character,” the authors wrote. 

“Participants reading about Harry Potter's interactions with characters belonging to stigmatized groups may have learned to take the perspective of discriminated group members,” they said, adding, “and in turn, applied this enhanced ability to understand disadvantaged groups to real-world out-group categories.”

» RELATED: 2 new Harry Potter-related books coming this fall

Since their findings demonstrated that reading “Harry Potter” books yielded positive attitudes among children, they believe their studies could help reduce prejudices against disadvantaged groups. 

For future experiments, they hope to test other popular novels that may have similar effects. 

» RELATED: The kids of 'Harry Potter:' Then and now

Former 'What Not To Wear' co-hosts Stacy London, Clinton Kelly, won't be reuniting anytime soon

TLC may be bringing back classic hits like “Trading Spaces” and “Four Weddings,” but the network probably won’t be rebooting “What Not To Wear” anytime soon, as the show’s former co-hosts are in a mysterious feud.

>> Read more trending news 

On Wednesday, Clinton Kelly, who now co-hosts “The Chew,” revealed that his former “What Not To Wear” co-host, Stacy London, blocked him on Twitter. He shared the news on Twitter after finding it out himself when he and London were tagged in the same tweet, posting a screenshot of her profile, which indicates that she blocked him, and writing, “Alllll righty then.”

London did not respond to Kelly’s tweet.

While fans who enjoyed the duo’s playful bickering on the show were surprised to discover they’re less than friendly in real life, Kelly himself was apparently not shocked. As Twitter users responded asking him what happened, he wrote back to one and refused to share any details.

“The tea is old,” he said. “And I never spill tea unless I’m shook, which I’m not.”

Kelly hinted at a possible rift between him and London and revealed they don’t talk often in his book, “I Hate Everyone, Except You,” which was released earlier this year. During an interview, Clinton said, “We spent so much time together for 10 years ... It was funny in the beginning when we completed each other’s sentences ... It got to be like, ‘OK, we need a break from each other.’”

“We loved each other and despised each other, and if she were writing a book, I expect she would say exactly what she thought about me too. And it would be fine,” he later elaborated, adding that he doesn’t have any regrets about addressing their tension in his book.

The successful TLC show finally came to an end after an entire 10 seasons in October 2013.

>> Related: HGTV to air 'Fixer Upper' and 'Flip or Flop' spin-off shows

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