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4-year-old girl severely burned by hot grease has special 'graduation' ceremony

A 4-year-old Georgia girl left in a coma after a house fire is back home. 

>> Watch the news report here

Caliyah Ross went home Tuesday after spending weeks at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and staff held an extra-special ceremony for the 4-year-old before her discharge.

>> Read more trending news 

Ross had been looking forward to her pre-K graduation ceremony. She had taken pictures in her cap and gown.

Then, she was burned in a house fire.

Ross suffered third-degree burns to her face and arms after her uncle was discarding a pan of hot fish grease.

It caught fire, and the flames tore into the 4-year-old.

“It was a fire, you know, it was a fire that happened,” said her mother Latoya Heyward.

MORE ON WSBTV.COM:

>> Zoo Atlanta giraffe dies in freak accident>> Woman breaks down before pleading guilty to stabbing teen cousin to death>> Fourth-grade teacher killed in Georgia crash

The pain was so intense doctors placed her in a medically induced coma. Then she began to get better.

“She just looked like she was in pain but some days I would go to the ICU and ask her if she was in pain and she would shake her head and say, ‘No,’” Heyward said.

After rigorous speech and physical therapy, WSB-TV’s Tom Jones was there when Ross recovered enough to be discharged.

Her family said a higher power made it happen.

“She's been in here for about a month and he literally restored her back to health,” Heyward said.

Before she left on Tuesday, the hospital arranged a special graduation ceremony since Caliyah couldn't make her own.

>> Watch the clip here

The scars remain on her body.

Celebrity painter Antoine Donte painted a mural to remind Ross how beautiful she was and is. He included a scripture.

“It says, ‘For I will restore health to you and I will heal your wounds says the Lord,’” Heyward said.

Ross still has a long road to recovery.

She can't be out in the direct sunlight, so she will have to stay inside this summer.

You can donate to the family here.

Yanny or Laurel? Viral audio clip leaves internet divided

An audio clip on social media has the internet divided

>> Read more trending news 

Twitter user Cloe Feldman tweeted the clip, which repeats a word a number of times, Tuesday.

>> Listen to the clip here

While some people claim to hear the word "Laurel" in the clip, others say they hear "Yanny."

The clip has been shared thousands of times, and people around the world – including celebrities Chrissy Teigen, Mindy Kaling and, of course, Yanni – have weighed in on what they hear. 

The internet debate is similar to other sensations over the last few years, such as the dressthese shoes or this jacket.

So, is it "Yanny" or "Laurel"? Weigh in with our poll.

5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting

Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, observers fast from sunrise to sunset and partake in nightly feasts.

>> Read more trending news

Here are five things to know about Islam’s sacred month:

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the holy month of fasting, spiritual reflection and prayer for Muslims.

It is believed to be the month in which the Prophet Muhammad revealed the holy book — Quran — to Muslims.

The word “Ramadan” itself is taken from the Arabic word, “ramad,” an adjective describing something scorchingly dry or intensely heated by the sun.

When is Ramadan?

The Islamic calendar is based on the moon’s cycle and not the sun’s (what the Western world uses), so the dates vary year to year.

By the Gregorian solar calendar, Ramadan is 10 to 12 days earlier every year.

In 2018, Ramadan begins on May 15 and last through June 14.

>> Read more trending news 

To determine when exactly the holy month will begin, Muslim-majority countries look to local moon sighters, according to Al Jazeera.

The lunar months last between 29 and 30 days, depending on the sighting of the moon on the 29th night of each month. If the moon is not visible, the month will last 30 days.

What do Muslims do during Ramadan and why?

Ramadan is known as the holy month of fasting, with Muslims abstaining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting during the holiday is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with the daily prayer, declaration of faith, charity and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

In 2016, according to Al Jazeera, fasting hours around the globe ranged between 11 and 22 hours and in the US, 16 to 18 hours.

The fast is intended to remind Muslims of the suffering of those less fortunate and bring believers closer to God (Allah, in Arabic). 

During the month, Muslims also abstain from habits such as smoking, caffeine, sex and gossip; this is seen as a way to both physically and spiritually purify oneself while practicing self-restraint.

Here’s what a day of fasting during Ramadan is like:

  • Muslims have a predawn meal called the “suhoor.”
  • Then, they fast all day until sunset.
  • At sunset, Muslims break their fast with a sip of water and some dates, the way they believe the Prophet Muhammad broke his fast more than a thousand years ago.
  • After sunset prayers, they gather at event halls, mosques or at home with family and friends in a large feast called “iftar."
How is the end of Ramadan celebrated?

Toward the end of the month, Muslims celebrate Laylat al-Qadr or “the Night of Power/Destiny” — a day observers believe Allah sent the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad to reveal the Quran’s first verses.

On this night, which falls on one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, Muslims practice intense worship as they pray for answers and seek forgiveness for any sins.

To mark the end of Ramadan, determined by the sighting of the moon on the 29th, a 3-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr brings families and friends together in early morning prayers followed by picnics, feasts and fun.

Does every Muslim fast during Ramadan?

According to most interpreters of the Quran, children, the elderly, the ill, pregnant women, women who are nursing or menstruating, and travelers are exempt from fasting.

Some interpreters also consider intense hunger and thirst as well as compulsion (someone threatening another to do something) exceptions.

But as an entirety, whether Muslims fast or not often depends on their ethnicity and country.

Many Muslims in Muslim-majority countries, for example, observe the monthlong fast during Ramadan, according to 2012 data from the Pew Research Center.

In fact, in Saudi Arabia, Muslims and non-Muslims can be fined or jailed for eating in public during the day, according to the Associated Press.

But in the United States and in Europe, many Muslims are accepting of non-observers.

Meghan Markle in 'difficult situation,' palace says after report father will skip royal wedding

Following reports that Thomas Markle won’t attend daughter Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday, royal reps have issued a statement.

>> Royal Wedding: Everything to know before Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle

While not outright confirming the reports, it asked for “understanding,” especially for the American bride-to-be and her father.

>> On AJC.com: TMZ: Meghan Markle’s dad won’t be at the royal wedding on Saturday

“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said Monday. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”

>> See the statement here

>> How to watch and stream the royal wedding (plus everything else on TV about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle)

The statement comes on the heels of a TMZ report earlier Monday that Thomas Markle would skip the wedding due to his involvement in posing for photos that were sold for large sums of money. Markle, 73, told TMZ that he’d “meant no harm to Meghan or the royal family.”

>> Read more trending news 

Read more here.

Major depression diagnoses on the rise in the U.S., study finds

Over the past five years, diagnoses of major depression in the United States have risen by at least 33 percent.

>> On AJC.com: People with depression are more likely to use certain words — here’s how they express themselves

That’s according to a new report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, for which analysts assessed the BCBS Health Index built from billions of claims for more than 41 million commercially insured Americans annually.

>> Read more trending news 

The index, which quantifies how more than 200 diseases and conditions affect quality of life, showed that major depression is the second most significant condition on overall health in America. The first is hypertension, or high blood pressure.

According to the report, those diagnosed with major depression are nearly 30 percent less healthy on average than those without the condition. Such a decrease in overall health may mean a loss of nearly 10 years of healthy life for both men and women.

>> On AJC.com: Why are Americans so lonely? Massive study finds nearly half of US feels alone, young adults most of all

More than 9 million commercially insured Americans in the index are affected by major depression. The rate of diagnosis in the country is 4.4 percent. But while diagnoses are up 33 percent since 2013 overall, the rate is even higher among teens and young adults − 47 percent. For teen girls, specifically, the rate has risen by 65 percent.

"The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a substantial health impact for decades to come," Trent Haywood, senior vice president and chief medical officer for BCBSA, said in a statement. "Further education and research is needed to identify methods for both physicians and patients to effectively treat major depression and begin a path to recovery and better overall health." 

Analysts also found that overall, women are more than twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with major depression (6 percent compared to 2.8 percent, respectively).

>> On AJC.com: Depressed? Reduce your symptoms with this type of exercise

Geographically, 49 of the 50 states saw rising diagnosis rates between 2013 and 2016. Hawaii was the only state that experienced a slight decline (a rate of less than 2 percent). Communities in New England, the Pacific Northwest and areas throughout the South and Midwest had higher rates of major depression compared to the rest of the country.

Rhode Island had the highest diagnosis rate with 6 percent. However, the authors noted that differences in efforts to screen for major depression can result in varying diagnoses rates across states.

“While major depression is the second most impactful health condition for the nation, it is complicated by an increased likelihood of overlapping diagnoses of other chronic, behavioral health and pain-related conditions,” authors of the report wrote.

In fact, of the 9 million Americans diagnosed with major depression in 2016, only 15 percent were diagnosed with depression alone. Eighty-five percent, according to the analysis, were diagnosed with an additional health condition.

>> On AJC.com: 5 signs you should ask your doctor about depression

In addition to a lower quality of life, those diagnosed with major depression are more likely to use more healthcare services, resulting in more than twice the spending.

It’s important to note that the report’s findings, based on people with BCBS commercial health insurance, are likely an underestimate. Most Americans are covered by a commercial health plan, but many who report symptoms of depression say they have not been diagnosed or received treatment for the condition.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, and it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide.

>> On AJC.com: The suicide rate for teen girls is the highest it’s been in 40 years — Is social media to blame? 

Additionally, approximately 800,000 people die of suicide each year; that’s one person every 40 seconds. In the U.S., between 1999 and 2014, the suicide rate rose by 24 percent. And, according to recent data released from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-old girls doubled between 2007 and 2015, reaching a 40-year high.

Read the full Blue Cross Blue Shield report at bcbs.com.

WATCH: Fiona the hippo gives mom hugs and kisses at Cincinnati Zoo

Fiona — the Cincinnati Zoo’s celebrity hippo — was recently spotted giving her mom hugs and kisses.

>> Hippo photo bombs engagement proposal

Videos from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden show Fiona interacting with her mom, Bibi.

>> Click here to watch

Fiona was born premature in January 2017 and received around-the-clock care. She weighed 29 pounds, which zoo officials said is well below a baby hippo’s typical weight. Hippos can grow to be 3,000 pounds.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

When Fiona became dehydrated, specialists from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center helped give her an IV.

>> Read more trending news 

Henry, Fiona’s father, was euthanized in October. Henry had been struggling for several months with health issues and had lost hundreds of pounds, the zoo said.

Child behind daycare attack that sent baby to hospital, prosecutor says; no charges filed

Prosecutors say they will not file criminal charges after authorities determined that a young child attacked a baby boy at an Indiana daycare, reportedly sending him to the hospital last month.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Boy, 1, hospitalized after alleged beating at day care; mom says worker blamed 2-year-old girl

According to The Associated Press, a medical professional said 1-year-old Jesse Griffin's injuries – a bloody, cut face and swollen eyes – were caused by another child at Kiddiegarden in Indianapolis, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a statement Thursday.

Jesse "was reportedly placed in a safe sleeping environment in the same room as an age-appropriate child and checked on ... periodically" by a day care employee, the statement said.

The findings echoed workers' previous claims that a 2-year-old girl had attacked the boy.

The news comes after a photo showing the boy's injuries went viral, sparking debate over whether a toddler – and not an adult – could have caused so much harm. 

WXIN-TV reported earlier this month that when the boy's mother, Tiffany Griffin, saw her son's injuries, she punched the day care worker, who claimed that the toddler girl had attacked Jesse.

At the time, Griffin said there was "no way" that the girl caused Jesse's injuries.

"She didn't look like she was the violent type, and her mom said she wasn't the violent type," Griffin told WXIN

The boy was examined at a nearby hospital. 

Immediately after the incident, Kiddiegarden issued a statement saying it was "deeply saddened about what took place," WXIN reported.

"This was truly a sad, shocking and unfortunate event," the statement read, in part. "We have been diligently working with law enforcement, child protective services, as well as state agencies on this matter. We have been fully cooperative and transparent with law enforcement to complete their investigation."

>> Read more trending news 

The licensed day care "has never had any accusations of abuse or maltreatment from any of our children or parents," the statement also said.

The worker reportedly was fired, WXIN reported.

On Thursday, Jesse's father, Jesse Harris, condemned officials' findings in a statement of his own.

"Welcome to America, where a 1-year-old baby can be beat, and no one is held accountable," he said.

Read more here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

LOOK: Dogs smile for the camera in viral daycare 'selfie'

When the human's away, the dogs will play.

>> Read more trending news 

According to ABC News, some photogenic pups at an Ohio doggy daycare recently gained online fame after their adorable "selfie" went viral on Facebook.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The playful pic, posted March 30 by Go Fetch Dog Daycare and Boarding in Cincinnati, shows dozens of pups posing for the camera. Although an employee took the photo, many commenters joked that one smiling pooch in the foreground appeared to be snapping a selfie.

>> See the image here

The image has been shared more than 7,000 times.

Read more here.

LOOK: John Stamos' baby boy meets 'Full House' stars Bob Saget, Lori Loughlin

Whoa, baby!

"Full House" star John Stamos' 1-month-old son, Billy, recently met two members of his dad's TV family – and the sweet moment was caught on camera.

>> See the photo here

"The Tin Man, Dorothy and The Scarecrow say hi to the cutest of Munchkins. #BillyandtheRippers," Stamos captioned an Instagram photo that showed Billy, clad in a Jesse and the Rippers onesie, with actors Bob Saget and Lori Loughlin. 

>> Read more trending news 

Billy, born April 10, is the first son of Stamos and wife Caitlin McHugh, People reported.

Read more here.

'Melania' rises in popularity as name for baby girls

Could Melania someday join the likes of Emma and Olivia as one of the top 10 baby names for girls in the U.S.?

>> PHOTOS: Melania Trump through the years

According to the Social Security Administration, Melania saw a dramatic increase in popularity last year, rising from the 1,650th most popular girls' name in 2016 to 930th in 2017. The 720-spot rise in rank was the fifth-largest increase among girls' names last year, falling behind Ensley, Oaklynn, Dream and Oaklyn.

The Associated Press said the surge is "likely influenced by first lady Melania Trump."

>> Read more trending news 

The top 10 baby girls' names in 2017 were Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Mia, Charlotte, Amelia, Evelyn and Abigail, the SSA reported. Meanwhile, Liam topped the list for baby boys, followed by Noah, William, James, Logan, Benjamin, Mason, Elijah, Oliver and Jacob.

Read more here and here.

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