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‘Big Bang’ star on his big new paycheck

Season 7 of the very popular comedy "The Big Bang Theory" had its finale on May 15. Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco play Leonard and Penny, who just got engaged on the series. Here is a primer on the show's characters:Season 7 of the very popular comedy "The Big Bang Theory" had its finale on May 15. Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco play Leonard and Penny, who just got engaged on the series. Here is a primer on the show's characters:
Simon Helberg plays Howard Wolowitz, an aerospace engineer who started out as a bit of a creeper of women, but these days is happily married. Simon Helberg plays Howard Wolowitz, an aerospace engineer who started out as a bit of a creeper of women, but these days is happily married.
Jim Parsons has won three Emmys for his portrayal of physicist Sheldon Cooper, who is as clueless about social interaction as he is knowledgeable about science. He is "dating" Amy Farrah Fowler.Jim Parsons has won three Emmys for his portrayal of physicist Sheldon Cooper, who is as clueless about social interaction as he is knowledgeable about science. He is "dating" Amy Farrah Fowler.
Three-time Emmy nominee Mayim Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler, a scientist who is involved with Sheldon. She also believes she is best friends with Penny. Three-time Emmy nominee Mayim Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler, a scientist who is involved with Sheldon. She also believes she is best friends with Penny.
Cuoco plays Penny, a waitress who can't quite match wits with her group of friends, but nevertheless hangs out with them. She lives across the hall from Sheldon and her now fiance Leonard.Cuoco plays Penny, a waitress who can't quite match wits with her group of friends, but nevertheless hangs out with them. She lives across the hall from Sheldon and her now fiance Leonard.
Melissa Rauch plays Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz. She is a highly paid scientist who is married to Howard. A frequent joke in the show is how she can be as overbearing as his mother.Melissa Rauch plays Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz. She is a highly paid scientist who is married to Howard. A frequent joke in the show is how she can be as overbearing as his mother.
"Roseanne" alum Galecki stars as Leonard Hofstadter, Sheldon's long-suffering roommate and Penny's future husband. He is a physicist. "Roseanne" alum Galecki stars as Leonard Hofstadter, Sheldon's long-suffering roommate and Penny's future husband. He is a physicist.
Kunal Nayyar plays Rajesh Ramayan "Raj" Koothrappali, a shy astrophysicist who up until recently could only talk to women after he drank alcohol. He is desperate to find true love and recently, finally found a girlfriend.Kunal Nayyar plays Rajesh Ramayan "Raj" Koothrappali, a shy astrophysicist who up until recently could only talk to women after he drank alcohol. He is desperate to find true love and recently, finally found a girlfriend.
  • Parsons has been nominated for his show and "The Normal Heart"
  • He said he thought contract dispute would be worked out
  • Parsons feels good about his Emmy nominations

(EW.com) -- At the end of last season on "The Big Bang Theory," Sheldon finally had to cope with not getting what he wanted in his career.

That's not a problem Jim Parsons is dealing with these days. In addition to his two Emmy nominations—one for playing Sheldon Cooper, the other for Tommy Boatwright in the gut-wrenching HBO movie "The Normal Heart"—Parsons' salary for "Big Bang" skyrocketed from $350,000 per episode to $1 million after a contract dispute that pushed back production on the eighth season. After a week-long delay, production began on Aug. 6.

Jim Parsons stars as Sheldon Cooper on \
Jim Parsons stars as Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory."

Parsons sees the whole brouhaha as a simple issue. "I always thought everything would be worked out by the start date [July 30]," he tells EW. "When it wasn't, it certainly wasn't a good feeling, but there was absolutely no getting around the fact that everything had to be dealt with and finished before we could get back." He says reports of the dispute were overblown. "You see the word 'strike'—'They're walking out!'—but there was nothing to walk out from," he says with a laugh. "That's always hard, because part of you wants to explain to people what's really going on. 'Don't worry, we're not leaving, we want to do the show.'"

As for all those zeroes?

"I came from a family in Texas who simply never spoke about money," he says. "When suddenly everybody is guessing, or some even getting close, to the ballpark of what you're earning—well, that's interesting, that everyone knows what you make. It is what it is, and the job is so wonderful that those minor oddities are well worth the ride."

Looking forward to the Emmys, Parsons has different feelings about his very different nominations. "To be nominated again for Big Bang, is at least as touching to me, if not more so now, than it was the first time," he says. "Look, I'm only human and therefore there's a part of me that's waiting for people to say, 'Enough of you!'"

As for his nomination for "Normal Heart," "I would be lying if I said it didn't feel really good to know that people had seen and thought it was also good work, because again, it is such a different ball of wax from the life of Sheldon."

See the original story at EW.com.

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Good neighbors are good for your heart

Tight-knit communities may encourage behaviors that protect against heart damage, study authors say.
Tight-knit communities may encourage behaviors that protect against heart damage, study authors say.
  • Study finds seniors living in a tight-knit community were less at risk for heart attacks
  • Consumer Reports recommends pregnant women skip tuna
  • Having a baby puts a lot of stress on moms -- and dads, study author says

(CNN) -- Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation -- so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean one causes the other.

Good neighbors are good for your heart

A study published Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health suggests your community matters in matters of the heart.

Researchers tracked the cardiovascular health of more than 5,000 seniors with no known heart problems over four years. In 2006, participants in the Health and Retirements Study were asked how much they felt a part of their neighborhood, if they had neighbors who would help them, whether they trusted people in the area and if their neighbors were friendly.

During the study period, 148 of the participants had a heart attack. Researchers found people who reported feeling more "social cohesion" were less at risk.

Tight-knit local communities may help to reinforce and encourage certain types of behaviors that protect against cardiovascular damage, the study authors say.

Fish good. Mercury, not so much.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued draft recommendations that encourage pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children to eat two to three servings of fish per week to aid fetal and childhood development. This fish should be low in mercury, the FDA said, because mercury can harm the brain and nervous system.

This week food safety experts at Consumer Reports analyzed data from the FDA to find out what kinds of seafood are safe for these populations to eat regularly. They identified 20 types -- including salmon, shrimp, domestic crawfish and oysters -- that contain low levels of mercury and are safe to eat several times a week.

The experts said pregnant women and children should steer clear of six types of seafood: swordfish, shark, king mackerel, gulf tilefish, marlin and orange roughy. If you are a frequent fish consumer, meaning you eat 24 ounces or more every week, Consumer Reports recommends you avoid those seafood types as well.

Researchers also found that canned tuna contained particularly high levels of mercury, and recommended pregnant women avoid it altogether.

Having a baby could hurt your (mental) health

Many new mothers are made aware of their risk for post-partum depression. But having a baby can put both moms and dads at risk for mental health disorders like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis, says Carrie Wendel-Hummell, who presented her study on perinatal mental health disorders at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association this week.

"(Post-partum depression) has been framed so much as being a hormonal disorder, but the evidence there is actually very limited," Wendel-Hummell said. "Childbirth itself is a life change and a life stressor, so actually there's far more evidence that those risk factors are the cause."

The University of Kansas researcher conducted in-depth interviews with 17 new fathers and 30 new mothers. Many said they experienced stress related to their relationships, family-work balance issues, and struggles with poverty.

Wendel-Hummell encourages new parents to accept help from friends, family and the community during the early stages of their child's life.

Cancer screening doesn't always help

Data shows that screening people with a limited life expectancy for certain types of cancer doesn't provide any benefit to their health -- and that treating any cancer found in these patients can do more harm than good. But seniors at high risk for death are still being screened frequently, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey from 2000 to 2010, on more than 27,000 participants over 64. At least a third of participants with the highest mortality risk had received a recent cancer screening, with 55% undergoing prostate cancer screening.

The analysis also showed that screening was common in participants with less than five years to live, the study authors say.

"It is the physician's responsibility to tailor treatment to the patient and his cancer," writes Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. "Many Americans simply cannot accept that there are cancers that do not need treatment."

Violent video games may depress your fifth grader

Video games have long been a topic of intense debate. But most of these discussions have focused on how video games affect aggression or violent tendencies.

A new study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking looked instead at video games and depression. Researchers analyzed data from 5,147 fifth-grade students and their caregivers, who participated in another study.

They found students who played high-violence video games for more than two hours a day had significantly more depressive symptoms than those who played low-violence video games for less than two hours a day.

The researchers don't know if the link between the two is cause-and-effect, meaning the video games cause depression or vice versa. More studies will have to be done to see if the association would last as the students grow older.

Spectacular houses built from scrap

Infiniski Manifesto House in Chile - the high end of trash design. Infiniski Manifesto House in Chile - the high end of trash design.
Cano's Castle Colorado, rarely have beer cans been re-employed to such effect. Cano's Castle Colorado, rarely have beer cans been re-employed to such effect.
Garbage hotel concept encourages conservation of beaches. Garbage hotel concept encourages conservation of beaches.
Cathedral in Mejorada del Campo, Spain. Built by one former monk over 50 years, and still awaiting completion. Cathedral in Mejorada del Campo, Spain. Built by one former monk over 50 years, and still awaiting completion.
The interior of the cathedral, based on broken tiles and discarded bricks. The interior of the cathedral, based on broken tiles and discarded bricks.
British artist's Richart Sowa's project off Isla Mujeres, Mexico, which uses 100,000 bottles to keep it afloat.British artist's Richart Sowa's project off Isla Mujeres, Mexico, which uses 100,000 bottles to keep it afloat.
Dumpsters can make a fine apartment in New York City. Dumpsters can make a fine apartment in New York City.
Recycled, sustainable house designs from Earthship Biotecture.Recycled, sustainable house designs from Earthship Biotecture.
The Nautilus - one of the earliest Earthships - is modeled on the Fibonacci sequence, and an indication of the creative freedom of this building style. The Nautilus - one of the earliest Earthships - is modeled on the Fibonacci sequence, and an indication of the creative freedom of this building style.
This 100% recycled residence in Brighton UK, uses thousands of toothbrushes.This 100% recycled residence in Brighton UK, uses thousands of toothbrushes.
Treehouse designs are deliberately non-polished, to encourage confidence that anybody could build one.Treehouse designs are deliberately non-polished, to encourage confidence that anybody could build one.
Dutch artist collective Rejunc turn wheels into walls for this garden office project. Dutch artist collective Rejunc turn wheels into walls for this garden office project.
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  • From Islands to hotels and treehouses, ideal homes from waste materials
  • Madrid Cathedral built single-handed from scrap over 50 years by ex-monk
  • New York City dumpsters adapted for homeless people
  • British project based on thousands of toothbrushes and videotapes

(CNN) -- Getting a foothold on the property ladder can be a challenge at the best of times, and the prospects for many of us have been battered further by the global recession.

But necessity is the mother of invention and there are routes to home ownership that are not blocked by estate agents and eye-watering fees. For the aspirational, willing to bend their backs and broaden their minds, the materials for a dream house are all around us; in tin cans, tires and scrap metal, ready for construction projects anywhere from city centers to tropical islands at minimal expense.

Cooler containers

High concept architects Infiniski of Spain have carved a niche in recycled construction that does not compromise on aesthetics. Their stylish designs are spreading through Europe, Asia and Latin America, with around 85% of the materials pre-used. The basic components are shipping containers supplemented with wooden pallets, which in addition to dramatically reducing cost, also have the benefit of providing a cooling effect in hot climates.

Cano's Castle

Thousands of square meters of scrap aluminum came together for this towering complex in Colorado, courtesy of Donald 'Cano' Espinoza, a Native American veteran of the Vietnam War. Beer cans, hubcaps and window frames provide much of the raw material for four separate buildings, with four floors in the largest. Cano uses the gleaming site as a farm and reportedly does not encourage visitors.

Save the Beach hotel

Launched in Madrid in 2010, the brainchild of German 'garbage artist' H.A. Schult -- who had also produced a whole army from trash. The hotel was constructed from the contents of landfills and beaches to highlight the environmental impact of waste. The rooms were fully disinfected to allow guests to sleep safely, and the hotel took an international tour to raise awareness.

How to build your home from scratch for $35,000

Don Justo's Cathedral

'Don Justo' at work on his cathedral.

An astonishing labour of love, for over 50 years former monk and farmer Justo Gallego has been singlehandedly creating a cathedral close to Madrid, modeled on St Peter's basilica in Rome. Standing over 40 meters high, complete with cloisters, crypt and grand domes, the epic structure has been built entirely from discarded materials; broken bricks and tiles for the walls and oil drums for the columns. Despite working from 4am each day, 89-year-old Gallego may still require another decade to complete the project.

Joyxee Island

British artist Richart 'Rishi' Sowa built himself one floating island in Mexico, but when that was destroyed by a hurricane, he replaced it with Joyxee. Measuring a spacious 20 meters in diameter, the island floats on 100,000 plastic bottles with cabins of recycled wood. Complete with beaches and waterfall, the island has become a popular tourist attraction as well as an extravagant home for Sowa.

Home sweet homeless

Recipient of Gregory Kloehn's adapted dumpster.

Designer Gregory Kloehn re-purposed a New York dumpster into an apartment, featuring a separated kitchen, bathroom and sun deck. He then expanded the concept, accessorizing waste disposal units further with abandoned washing machine, bicycle tires and scrap wood, for as little as $30 a time. Several of these have been made available for the city's homeless community.

Earthship Biotecture

Originating in New Mexico, the Earthship designers are now exporting their sustainable building principles as far afield as Malawi and Haiti. Steel-belted rubber provides the primary building component for the distinctively shaped off-grid structures, with interior walls composed of colored glass from reclaimed bottles. Energy is also harvested from the immediate environment at minimal cost. The company run courses across the world teaching their methods adapted to local resources.

Would you live in a house made of sand and bacteria?

Toothbrush house

An entirely recycled concept creation in the British city of Brighton draws on an imaginative range of construction materials. Thousands of toothbrushes and video tapes make up the wall insulation, bicycle tires hold the windows in place, with supporting roles for denim jeans and chalk waste. The "house of waste" will be monitored over a trial period to determine whether the design could be reproduced at scale.

A place in the woods

American artist Ethan Hayes-Chute makes found wood his foundation, which have been displayed around the world in a series of inhabitable installations. The designs explore themes of "quiet, solitude and isolation", leaning to a rough-edged aesthetic that the average hermit could realistically aspire to.

Maison Gomme

Dutch artist group Refunc made use of locally-sourced car tires for the walls of a chic garden cabin, completed with the windows of a bankrupted local business and recovered steel. The group have become masters of tire re-purposing, having also used them as a building block of furniture and vehicle construction in South Africa.

Read more from Make, Create, Innovate:

How to build your home from scratch for $35,000

Would you live in a house made of sand and bacteria?

The artificial leaf that could power the world

MH17 victims’ bodies returned

Malaysian Army soldiers carry a coffin containing the remains of one of the passengers aboard Flight MH17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine last month.Malaysian Army soldiers carry a coffin containing the remains of one of the passengers aboard Flight MH17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine last month.
The remains of 20 passengers were repatriated on a specially chartered plane which arrived in Kuala Lumpur early Friday morning. The remains of 20 passengers were repatriated on a specially chartered plane which arrived in Kuala Lumpur early Friday morning.
Hearses carrying victims' bodies leave Kuala Lumpur's international airport. Hearses carrying victims' bodies leave Kuala Lumpur's international airport.
Flowers were thrown onto the street as the hearses passed.Flowers were thrown onto the street as the hearses passed.
A family member covered his face with his hands as other family members watched Malaysian Army soldiers carry coffins from the plane.A family member covered his face with his hands as other family members watched Malaysian Army soldiers carry coffins from the plane.
People cried as they waited outside Bunga Raya Complex at Kuala Lumpur International Airport before victims' bodies were flown back from Amsterdam.People cried as they waited outside Bunga Raya Complex at Kuala Lumpur International Airport before victims' bodies were flown back from Amsterdam.
Malaysia Airlines' crew members held flowers as they waited for the plane's arrival. MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 22, killing all 298 people on board.Malaysia Airlines' crew members held flowers as they waited for the plane's arrival. MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 22, killing all 298 people on board.
  • Specially chartered Malaysia Airlines flight arrives in Kuala Lumpur
  • Carrying bodies of 20 passengers killed aboard flight MH17
  • MH17 shot over Ukraine, with the loss of 298 passengers and crew on board

Kuala Lumpur (CNN) -- More than a month after the airliner they were traveling on was shot out of the skies above eastern Ukraine, the bodies of 20 Malaysian passengers arrived back in Kuala Lumpur as Malaysia observed a national day of mourning.

Families of the victims of Malaysia Flight MH17 gathered at the Malaysian capital's international airport for the repatriation ceremony, as a special chartered Malaysia Airlines Boeing 747 touched down just after 9.30 a.m. local time Friday following its journey from Amsterdam.

After the airliner taxied to its stand at the airport's Bunga Raya complex, usually reserved for receiving visiting dignitaries, it was met by uniformed pall bearers from Malaysia's armed forces, who proceeded to unload the caskets, which were all draped in the country's flag, into the waiting fleet of white hearses.

The victims' families were joined by Prime Minister Najib Razak, who escorted King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Queen Haminah Hamidun to their seats among the gathering of around 1,000 people.

Rebel clashes halt MH17 investigation
OSCE: MH17 site in 'utter devastation'
MH17 investigation begins amid violence

A minute's silence was observed nationwide at 10.55 a.m. as the last of the caskets was unloaded.

"Last month, 43 Malaysian lives were taken over eastern Ukraine. Today we mourn the loss of our people. Today, we begin to bring them home," the prime minister said.

"Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives. Today we stand with you, united as one."

MH17, which was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, was shot down by a missile as it flew over Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

Forty-three of those on board were Malaysians, including 15 crew members and two infants.

Investigators have been carrying out the painstaking task of recovering bodies from the crash site before transporting them to the Netherlands for identification -- a process that could take months, Dutch authorities have warned.

About two-thirds of those killed were Dutch, with Malaysians and Australians making up a large proportion of the others.

Day of mourning

Malaysia Airlines, which experienced its second tragedy this year following the disappearance of Flight MH370 as it flew to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, distributed black ribbons to cabin crew company-wide, while a flag at its offices flew at half-mast.

A statement from the airline read: "Malaysia Airlines is deeply saddened by this devastating tragedy. It has been a long and painful wait for the families and friends of the passengers and crew onboard MH17."

While the mood at the airport was expectantly somber, the awaiting families were nevertheless prepared for the occasion. Some broke into tears as they shook hands with government ministers and airline crew, but most just took their seats at the side of the tarmac to await the special flight.

The motorcade carrying the 20 passengers moved slowly past the families and on towards two Hercules C-130 transport aircraft and three military helicopters. Seven were flown back to their respective hometowns, while the remaining passengers will be transported by land for proper burials.

Outside the airport, crowds gathered nearby to catch a glimpse of the ceremony, as many other Malaysians across the country watched a live broadcast. On the roads leading in and out of the airport, cars stopped to allow the convoy of hearses to pass by.

First responder: What I saw at Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site

Report: 38 killed in bus crash

Calif. patient tests negative for Ebola

The Ebola virus.
  • Tests confirm a patient isolated in a Sacramento hospital is not infected with Ebola
  • The patient, who has not been identified, had recently traveled to West Africa
  • Health authorities said the testing was done out of an abundance of caution
  • Two Americans infected while working with Ebola patients in Liberia have recovered

(CNN) -- A patient isolated in a California hospital after possible Ebola exposure does not have the virus, testing revealed.

The unidentified patient, who had recently traveled to West Africa, was isolated at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center during the testing.

"We're happy to report that we've heard from the Centers for Disease Control that the test result is negative," Dr. Ron Chapman of the California Department of Public Health told reporters Thursday night.

The patient was considered "low-risk," and tests were being conducted out of "an abundance of caution," the public health department said.

The CDC tested the patient's blood samples to determine whether the Ebola virus was present. The hospital said all necessary precautions were being taken to safeguard other patients and staff while the testing was carried out.

There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the state, the agency said in a statement Wednesday.

'Miraculous day'

U.S. Ebola patients: From fated to freed

On Thursday, Dr. Kent Brantly became the second of two American missionaries infected with the virus when working with Ebola patients in Liberia to be discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

The other, Nancy Writebol, was released Tuesday and has decided to not make public comments, according to the hospital.

But Brantly gave a news conference in which he gave thanks for their recovery.

"Today is a miraculous day," Brantly said. "I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family."

Emory's staff is confident that the American patients' discharges from hospital pose "no public health threat," said Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of Emory's Infectious Disease Unit.

The pair were the first humans to receive an experimental Ebola drug called ZMapp, which may have saved their lives.

What happens when you survive Ebola?

External bleeding

Life in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak

The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple organ systems in the body and are often accompanied by bleeding.

Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. They later progress to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function -- and sometimes internal and external bleeding.

The virus spreads through contact with organs and bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, urine and other secretions of infected people.

Earlier this month, a patient with a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City for Ebola testing, but tested negative.

He had recently traveled to a country in West Africa where Ebola has been reported, the hospital said in a statement.

More than 1,350 people have died in the West African Ebola outbreak since the first cases drew attention in March, the WHO said Wednesday. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been at the center of the outbreak, with a dozen cases also confirmed in Nigeria.

CNN's Laura Ly and Josh Levs contributed to this report.

Charges: Meat from cancerous cows

  • A former co-owner of a California slaughterhouse is accused of distributing bad meat
  • The other co-owner and two former workers are also facing charges in the case
  • Prosecutors: Robert Singleton was responsible for buying cows and loading shipments
  • Authorities recalled nearly 9 million pounds of meat from the slaughterhouse in February

(CNN) -- A second former co-owner of the California slaughterhouse involved in a recall of nearly nine million pounds of meat was charged with knowingly processing and distributing meat from cancerous cows, court documents released this week say.

Robert Singleton, co-owner of the Rancho Feeding Corporation in Petaluma, was primarily responsible for purchasing cattle and loading shipments for distribution, prosecutors say.

He is charged with distributing "adulterated, misbranded, and uninspected" meat, according to the documents.

Singleton jointly owned the meat plant with Jesse J. Amaral Jr., the former president and general manager who is also known as also known as "Babe Amaral."

Amaral and his former employees, Felix Sandoval Cabrera and Eugene Corda, have all been charged with unlawful sale and distribution of contaminated meat.

Prosecutors allege that Amaral and Singleton directed Corda and Cabrera to circumvent inspection procedures for certain cows with signs of epithelioma of the eye, also known as "cancer eye."

While Singleton is accused of knowingly purchasing cattle with signs of epithelioma, Amaral allegedly directed employees to carve "USDA Condemned" stamps out of certain cow carcasses and to process them for sale and distribution, despite having been rejected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian.

Amaral is also charged with sending false invoices to farmers, telling them that their cattle had died or been condemned and charging them "handling fees" for disposal of the carcasses, instead of compensating them for the sale price, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Singleton faces up to three years imprisonment, with one year of supervised release, and a $10,000 fine. Amaral, Cabrera and Corda could receive up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

CNN's attempts this week to reach the four men and an attorney representing them have been unsuccessful.

Between January 2013 and January 2014, Rancho processed and distributed meat from approximately 101 condemned cattle and approximately 79 cancer eye cows, according to court documents.

In February, 8.7 million pounds of meat from the Rancho plant was recalled. The recalled beef may have reached 35 states and Guam, the Department of Agriculture said.

Opinion: Recalls and near misses -- Who's protecting us?

State’s gay marriage ban tossed

The Rev. Tony Larsen and his partner, Craig Matheus, are refused a marriage license by Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen, right, in the clerk's office in Racine, Wisconsin, on Friday, June 13. The county does not grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a judge's ruling that the state ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The Rev. Tony Larsen and his partner, Craig Matheus, are refused a marriage license by Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen, right, in the clerk's office in Racine, Wisconsin, on Friday, June 13. The county does not grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a judge's ruling that the state ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
Pastor Carol Hill from Epworth United Methodist Church speaks during a beachfront marriage equality ceremony at the Kathy Osterman Beach in Chicago, on Sunday, June 1, 2014. June 1 marked the first day that all of Illinois' 102 counties could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.Pastor Carol Hill from Epworth United Methodist Church speaks during a beachfront marriage equality ceremony at the Kathy Osterman Beach in Chicago, on Sunday, June 1, 2014. June 1 marked the first day that all of Illinois' 102 counties could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
William Roletter, left, and Paul Rowe, right, press close to one another after having their photo taken with their newly acquired marriage certificate at City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 21.William Roletter, left, and Paul Rowe, right, press close to one another after having their photo taken with their newly acquired marriage certificate at City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 21.
Julie Engbloom, left, and Laurie Brown embrace after being wed in Portland, Oregon, on Monday, May 19, after a federal judge <a href='http://us.cnn.com/2014/05/19/us/oregon-same-sex-marriage/index.html'>struck down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage</a>.Julie Engbloom, left, and Laurie Brown embrace after being wed in Portland, Oregon, on Monday, May 19, after a federal judge struck down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
Jennifer Rambo, right, kisses her partner, Kristin Seaton, after their marriage ceremony in front of the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on Saturday, May 10. At left is Sheryl Maples, the lead attorney who filed the Wright v. State of Arkansas lawsuit. Rambo and Seaton were the first same-sex couple to be granted a marriage license in Eureka Springs after a judge overturned Amendment 83, which<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/09/us/arkansas-same-sex-ban-overturned/?hpt=po_c2'> banned same-sex marriage in the state of Arkansas. </a>Jennifer Rambo, right, kisses her partner, Kristin Seaton, after their marriage ceremony in front of the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on Saturday, May 10. At left is Sheryl Maples, the lead attorney who filed the Wright v. State of Arkansas lawsuit. Rambo and Seaton were the first same-sex couple to be granted a marriage license in Eureka Springs after a judge overturned Amendment 83, which banned same-sex marriage in the state of Arkansas.
Same-sex couples get their marriage licenses at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac, Michigan, on Saturday, March 22, a day after a federal judge overturned Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.Same-sex couples get their marriage licenses at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac, Michigan, on Saturday, March 22, a day after a federal judge overturned Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.
Utah state Sen. Jim Dabakis, left, and Stephen Justesen acknowledge the crowd after being married in Salt Lake City on Friday, December 20. A federal judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it conflicted with the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Many Utah counties began issuing marriage licenses before the state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court temporarily blocked enforcement of the lower court ruling until the constitutional questions are fully resolved.Utah state Sen. Jim Dabakis, left, and Stephen Justesen acknowledge the crowd after being married in Salt Lake City on Friday, December 20. A federal judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it conflicted with the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Many Utah counties began issuing marriage licenses before the state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court temporarily blocked enforcement of the lower court ruling until the constitutional questions are fully resolved.
Plaintiffs Laurie Wood, left, and Kody Partridge, center, and attorney Peggy Tomsic leave a federal courthouse in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, December 4, after a judge heard arguments challenging Utah's same-sex marriage ban.Plaintiffs Laurie Wood, left, and Kody Partridge, center, and attorney Peggy Tomsic leave a federal courthouse in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, December 4, after a judge heard arguments challenging Utah's same-sex marriage ban.
Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie, left, and former Sen. Avery Chumbley celebrate with a copy of the Star-Advertiser after Abercrombie signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Hawaii on Wednesday, November 13, in Honolulu. Hawaii's same-sex marriage debate began in 1990, when two women applied for a marriage license, leading to a court battle and a 1993 state Supreme Court decision that their rights to equal protection were violated by not letting them marry. Now the state is positioning itself for an increase in tourism as visitors arrive to take advantage of the law, which took effect December 2. Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie, left, and former Sen. Avery Chumbley celebrate with a copy of the Star-Advertiser after Abercrombie signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Hawaii on Wednesday, November 13, in Honolulu. Hawaii's same-sex marriage debate began in 1990, when two women applied for a marriage license, leading to a court battle and a 1993 state Supreme Court decision that their rights to equal protection were violated by not letting them marry. Now the state is positioning itself for an increase in tourism as visitors arrive to take advantage of the law, which took effect December 2.
Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker officiates a wedding ceremony for Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell at City Hall on Monday, October 21. The state Supreme Court denied the state's request to prevent same-sex marriages temporarily, clearing the way for same-sex couples to marry.Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker officiates a wedding ceremony for Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell at City Hall on Monday, October 21. The state Supreme Court denied the state's request to prevent same-sex marriages temporarily, clearing the way for same-sex couples to marry.
A couple celebrates at San Francisco City Hall upon hearing about the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage on June 26, 2013. The high court cleared the way for same-sex couples in California to resume marrying after dismissing an appeal on Proposition 8 on jurisdictional grounds.A couple celebrates at San Francisco City Hall upon hearing about the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage on June 26, 2013. The high court cleared the way for same-sex couples in California to resume marrying after dismissing an appeal on Proposition 8 on jurisdictional grounds.
In the other June 26 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Jamous Lizotte, right, and Steven Jones pose for photos while waiting for a marriage license in Portland, Maine, in December 2012.In the other June 26 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Jamous Lizotte, right, and Steven Jones pose for photos while waiting for a marriage license in Portland, Maine, in December 2012.
At the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 14, 2013, <a href='http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/14/minnesota-governor-signs-same-sex-marriage-bill-into-law/?iref=allsearch'>Gov. Mark Dayton signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage</a>.At the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 14, 2013, Gov. Mark Dayton signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell holds up legislation on May 7, 2013,<a href='http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/07/delaware-to-become-eleventh-state-to-approve-same-sex-marraige/?iref=storysearch'> allowing same-sex couples to wed in the state.</a>Delaware Gov. Jack Markell holds up legislation on May 7, 2013, allowing same-sex couples to wed in the state.
Rhode Island state Sen. Donna Nesselbush, right, embraces a supporter after the <a href='http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/02/tenth-state-set-to-make-same-sex-marriage-legal/?iref=allsearch'>Marriage Equality Act was signed into law at the statehouse in Providence</a> on May 2, 2013.Rhode Island state Sen. Donna Nesselbush, right, embraces a supporter after the Marriage Equality Act was signed into law at the statehouse in Providence on May 2, 2013.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, shakes hands with Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller after <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/01/us/maryland-same-sex-marriage/index.html'>signing a same-sex marriage bill on March 1, 2012</a>. The law was challenged, but voters approved marriage equality in a November 2012 referendum.Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, shakes hands with Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller after signing a same-sex marriage bill on March 1, 2012. The law was challenged, but voters approved marriage equality in a November 2012 referendum.
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/13/us/same-sex-marriage/index.html'>Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire celebrates after signing marriage equality legislation</a> into law on February 13, 2012. Voters there approved same-sex marriage in November 2012.Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire celebrates after signing marriage equality legislation into law on February 13, 2012. Voters there approved same-sex marriage in November 2012.
Phyllis Siegel, 76, right, kisses her wife, Connie Kopelov, 84, after exchanging vows at the Manhattan City Clerk's office with New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn in attendance on July 24, 2011, the <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/07/24/new.york.same.sex.marriage/index.html'>first day New York state's Marriage Equality Act went into effect</a>.Phyllis Siegel, 76, right, kisses her wife, Connie Kopelov, 84, after exchanging vows at the Manhattan City Clerk's office with New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn in attendance on July 24, 2011, the first day New York state's Marriage Equality Act went into effect.
In 2010, television reporter Roby Chavez, right, shares a moment with gay rights activist Frank Kameny during Chavez and Chris Roe's wedding ceremony in the nation's capital. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/09/same.sex.marriages/index.html'>Same-sex marriage became legal in Washington on March 9, 2010.</a>In 2010, television reporter Roby Chavez, right, shares a moment with gay rights activist Frank Kameny during Chavez and Chris Roe's wedding ceremony in the nation's capital. Same-sex marriage became legal in Washington on March 9, 2010.
Olin Burkhart, left, and Carl Burkhart kiss on the steps of the New Hampshire Capitol in Concord in January 2010 as the<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/01/01/new.hampshire.same.sex/index.html'> state's law allowing same-sex marriage</a> goes into effect.Olin Burkhart, left, and Carl Burkhart kiss on the steps of the New Hampshire Capitol in Concord in January 2010 as the state's law allowing same-sex marriage goes into effect.
Maine state Sen. Dennis Damon left, hands Gov. John Baldacci the bill that the <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/06/maine.same.sex.marriage/index.html'>state Senate passed to affirm the right for same-sex couples</a> to marry on May 6, 2009. Maine state Sen. Dennis Damon left, hands Gov. John Baldacci the bill that the state Senate passed to affirm the right for same-sex couples to marry on May 6, 2009.
Beth Robinson of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, who is among those who fought for marriage equality, on April 7, 2009.Beth Robinson of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, who is among those who fought for marriage equality, on April 7, 2009.
Amy Klein-Matheny, left, and her wife, Jennifer, exchange vows in <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/03/iowa.same.sex/index.html'>Iowa after same-sex couples were allowed to marry</a> there with a court ruling on April 3.Amy Klein-Matheny, left, and her wife, Jennifer, exchange vows in Iowa after same-sex couples were allowed to marry there with a court ruling on April 3.
Michael Miller, left, and Ross Zachs marry on the West Hartford Town Hall steps after same-sex marriages became legal in Connecticut on November 12, 2008.Michael Miller, left, and Ross Zachs marry on the West Hartford Town Hall steps after same-sex marriages became legal in Connecticut on November 12, 2008.
Lara Ramsey, left, and her partner of eight years, Jane Lohmann, play with their 7-month-old son, Wyatt Ramsey-Lohmann. The two wed in 2004 after <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/05/17/mass.samesex.marriage/index.html'>Massachusetts approved same-sex marriage. </a>Massachusetts was the first state in the U.S. to do so.Lara Ramsey, left, and her partner of eight years, Jane Lohmann, play with their 7-month-old son, Wyatt Ramsey-Lohmann. The two wed in 2004 after Massachusetts approved same-sex marriage. Massachusetts was the first state in the U.S. to do so.
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  • NEW: Gov. Rick Scott for "traditional marriage" in line with voter-backed amendment
  • A federal judge says Florida's same-sex marriage bans violates U.S. Constitution
  • 19 federal courts have weighed in on this matter and reached the same conclusion
  • Judge stays his own order, meaning gays and lesbians can't marry right away

(CNN) -- Gay and lesbian rights advocates continued their undefeated run Thursday when a federal judge ruled Florida's same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional -- though he didn't go so far to allow such marriages as to take place right away.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle noted in his ruling that his is now one of 19 federal courts that have struck down state laws that bar gay and lesbian couples from marrying. While most of the time those decisions were put on hold as appeals work their way through the system, they have all reached the conclusion.

Like those other judges, Hinkle said the Florida ban -- first put into law in 1977 and written into the state's constitution after a 2008 referendum -- violates the "due process" and "equal protection" provisions in the U.S. Constitution.

His ruling applies both to whether same-sex couples can marry in Florida as well as to whether such marriages elsewhere should be recognized in the Sunshine State.

"The Florida provisions that prohibit the recognition of same-sex marriages lawfully entered elsewhere, like the federal provision, are unconstitutional," Hinkle writes. "So is the Florida ban on entering same-sex marriages."

Yet his decision, while firmly in support of allowing same-sex marriage, won't take effect immediately.

Hinkle's reasoning: It doesn't make sense to open up and allow such unions, only to have higher courts later reverse his decision and leaving some couples potentially in legal limbo.

Earlier this summer, state Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel wrote a similar ruling, based on a similar rationale. She, too, immediately stayed her own order "pending the outcome of the expected appeal."

For all their celebrations Thursday, the fact that none of these rulings have took effect, in full, is high on the minds of LGBT rights activists and groups.

One of them, Equality Florida, called on state leaders to stand with them as the issue continues to move through the courts.

"Florida put this discriminatory ban in place, and Florida should end it," the group said on its website. "Our families have waited too long already."

The state's top elected official, Gov. Rick Scott, has a different opinion.

His re-election campaign spokesman Greg Blair said Thursday that while Scott "respects the many views Floridians have on this issue, he believes in traditional marriage consistent with the constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2008."

"There are several cases going through the court system," Blair added, "and the governor respects that process."

Fast Facts: Same-sex marriage

CNN's John Couwels contributed to this report.

Brooklyn Bridge flags to be returned

It's still not clear what, if any, charges the artists will face for swapping the American flags with two white flags.
It's still not clear what, if any, charges the artists will face for swapping the American flags with two white flags.
  • Two U.S. flags taken from Brooklyn Bridge expected to be returned to the NYPD Friday
  • The NYPD believes a pair of German artists replaced the flags with two white flags
  • Two white flags were spotted by construction workers the morning of July 22
  • The investigation is ongoing and it's unclear what charges, if any, the artists will face

New York (CNN) -- Two American flags that were taken from the Brooklyn Bridge are now in the United States and are expected to be returned to the New York Police Department Friday, a law enforcement official tells CNN.

The NYPD said they believe a pair of German artists took the flags and replaced them with two white flags late on July 21, the official added.

The white banners were spotted early in the morning on July 22 by construction workers. At the time of the stunt, many New Yorkers wondered whether it represented an act of terrorism or an anti-American statement.

But the artists, Matthias Wermke and Mischa Leinkauf, said the replacement of the American flags with two massive white flags last month was nothing more than an "art project" by the two performance artists meant to deal with "questions of historical legacy and art in the public sphere."

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and it's still unclear what, if any, charges the artists will face, according to the official.

NYPD not surrendering on white flags

The artists dubbed the project "White American Flags," saying that "like an empty canvas, White American Flags invites many readings, multiple interpretations and projections."

Wermke and Leinkauf also stressed they "were careful to treat the bridge and the flags with respect and followed the U.S. Flag Code."

"White American Flags" was meant in part as a tribute to the German-born American architect of the Brooklyn Bridge, John August Roebling, who left Germany in 1831 "in search of a better future in the land of freedom and opportunity," the artists' statement said.

As part of the investigation after the switch, intelligence analysts looked into any possible significance of the day that was chosen to see whether that would yield clues. The date turned out to be the 145th anniversary of Roebling's death.

The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 and at that time was the longest suspension bridge, according to the New York City Department of Transportation.

Robin Williams’ ashes scattered

<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/showbiz/robin-williams-dead/index.html'>Robin Williams</a> will be honored during Monday's Emmy telecast with a tribute led by friend Billy Crystal, who hosted the "Comic Relief" benefits with Williams and Whoopi Goldberg (seen here in 1986). Williams died August 11 at age 63. Click through to see moments from the beloved actor's remarkable life:Robin Williams will be honored during Monday's Emmy telecast with a tribute led by friend Billy Crystal, who hosted the "Comic Relief" benefits with Williams and Whoopi Goldberg (seen here in 1986). Williams died August 11 at age 63. Click through to see moments from the beloved actor's remarkable life:
Williams' peers regarded him as a brilliant actor and comedian. His friend<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/19/showbiz/tv/david-letterman-robin-williams-tribute/index.html'> David Letterman remembered him </a>as "nothing we had ever seen before."Williams' peers regarded him as a brilliant actor and comedian. His friend David Letterman remembered him as "nothing we had ever seen before."
Williams first shot to stardom with Pam Dawber in the sitcom "Mork &amp; Mindy" in September 1978.Williams first shot to stardom with Pam Dawber in the sitcom "Mork & Mindy" in September 1978.
Williams attends the Robin Williams Opening Party on April 11, 1979, at Studio 54 in New York City. Williams attends the Robin Williams Opening Party on April 11, 1979, at Studio 54 in New York City.
This 1982 file photo originally released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Williams as T.S. Garp from the film "The World According to Garp."This 1982 file photo originally released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Williams as T.S. Garp from the film "The World According to Garp."
Williams and his first wife, Valerie Velardi, join a huge number of photographers packed into singer Paul Simon's apartment to celebrate Simon's wedding to actress Carrie Fisher in New York City on August 16, 1983.Williams and his first wife, Valerie Velardi, join a huge number of photographers packed into singer Paul Simon's apartment to celebrate Simon's wedding to actress Carrie Fisher in New York City on August 16, 1983.
Williams, center, takes time out from rehearsal at NBC's "Saturday Night Live" with cast members Eddie Murphy, left, and Joe Piscopo on February 10, 1984. Williams would appear as guest host on the show.Williams, center, takes time out from rehearsal at NBC's "Saturday Night Live" with cast members Eddie Murphy, left, and Joe Piscopo on February 10, 1984. Williams would appear as guest host on the show.
Williams enjoys music through a headset in a scene from the film "Good Morning, Vietnam" in 1987.Williams enjoys music through a headset in a scene from the film "Good Morning, Vietnam" in 1987.
Williams portrayed a teacher in the movie "Dead Poets Society" in 1989, one of his first mostly dramatic roles. Williams portrayed a teacher in the movie "Dead Poets Society" in 1989, one of his first mostly dramatic roles.
Williams went to all lengths to stay with his children in the 1993 movie "Mrs. Doubtfire."Williams went to all lengths to stay with his children in the 1993 movie "Mrs. Doubtfire."
From left, Bonnie Hunt, Bradley Pierce, Kirsten Dunst and Williams hold one another in a scene from the 1995 film "Jumanji." From left, Bonnie Hunt, Bradley Pierce, Kirsten Dunst and Williams hold one another in a scene from the 1995 film "Jumanji."
Comedians and co-hosts, from left, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Williams sing and dance the 1940s-era opening number to "Comic Relief VII" on November 11, 1995, in Los Angeles. Comedians and co-hosts, from left, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Williams sing and dance the 1940s-era opening number to "Comic Relief VII" on November 11, 1995, in Los Angeles.
Jay Leno laughs as Williams jokes around during a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on November 13, 1995, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.Jay Leno laughs as Williams jokes around during a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on November 13, 1995, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
Williams and Nathan Lane starred in the film "The Birdcage" in 1996.Williams and Nathan Lane starred in the film "The Birdcage" in 1996.
Williams visits a sick child in a scene from the film "Patch Adams" in 1998.Williams visits a sick child in a scene from the film "Patch Adams" in 1998.
Williams and his wife, Marsha, pose for photographers with their daughter, Zelda, as they arrive at the premiere of the film "Patch Adams" in December 1998 in New York City. Williams and his wife, Marsha, pose for photographers with their daughter, Zelda, as they arrive at the premiere of the film "Patch Adams" in December 1998 in New York City.
Williams wears a clown nose as he places his hands in concrete during a ceremony outside Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in 1998. In the critically acclaimed "Patch Adams," he played a doctor who used humor to help heal his patientsWilliams wears a clown nose as he places his hands in concrete during a ceremony outside Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in 1998. In the critically acclaimed "Patch Adams," he played a doctor who used humor to help heal his patients
Actor-writers Matt Damon, left, and Ben Affleck, right, pose with Williams, holding the Oscars they won for "Good Will Hunting" at the 70th annual Academy Awards in 1998. Damon and Affleck won for best original screenplay, and Williams won for best supporting actor.Actor-writers Matt Damon, left, and Ben Affleck, right, pose with Williams, holding the Oscars they won for "Good Will Hunting" at the 70th annual Academy Awards in 1998. Damon and Affleck won for best original screenplay, and Williams won for best supporting actor.
Williams donates blood at the Irwin Memorial Blood Center in San Francisco on September 11, 2001. Williams donates blood at the Irwin Memorial Blood Center in San Francisco on September 11, 2001.
U.S. Postal Service team rider Lance Armstrong rides with Williams during training on a rest day of the 89th Tour de France cycling race in Vaison La Romaine on July 22, 2002.U.S. Postal Service team rider Lance Armstrong rides with Williams during training on a rest day of the 89th Tour de France cycling race in Vaison La Romaine on July 22, 2002.
Williams plays Rainbow Randolph in the 2002 black comedy "Death to Smoochy."Williams plays Rainbow Randolph in the 2002 black comedy "Death to Smoochy."
Williams and Oscar host Billy Crystal perform at the 76th Academy Awards show in 2004. Williams and Oscar host Billy Crystal perform at the 76th Academy Awards show in 2004.
Williams poses for pictures with U.S. soldiers at the main U.S. base at Bagram, Afghanistan, on December 16, 2004.Williams poses for pictures with U.S. soldiers at the main U.S. base at Bagram, Afghanistan, on December 16, 2004.
Williams in 2007's "License to Wed."Williams in 2007's "License to Wed."
Williams and Susan Schneider arrive at the premiere of "World's Greatest Dad" in Los Angeles on August 13, 2009.Williams and Susan Schneider arrive at the premiere of "World's Greatest Dad" in Los Angeles on August 13, 2009.
Williams at the pre-premiere party for "Happy Feet Two" at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on November 20, 2011.Williams at the pre-premiere party for "Happy Feet Two" at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on November 20, 2011.
Williams poses for photographs in Sydney, Australia, on December 5, 2011. He and Australian director George Miller were in Australia to promote "Happy Feet Two."Williams poses for photographs in Sydney, Australia, on December 5, 2011. He and Australian director George Miller were in Australia to promote "Happy Feet Two."
Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, said, "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken." Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, said, "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken."
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  • Widow: Williams was struggling with depression and the early stages of Parkinson's disease
  • The actor was found dead in his Northern California home August 11
  • Investigators believe Williams used a belt to hang himself from a bedroom door

(CNN) -- Actor Robin Williams was cremated and his ashes were scattered in San Francisco Bay, according to his death certificate.

Williams was found dead in his Northern California home August 11 from what investigators suspect was a suicide by hanging. The certificate, obtained by CNN on Thursday, says his ashes were scattered off the coast one day later.

It also says the cause of death is "pending investigation."

According to Marin County Assistant Deputy Chief Coroner Lt. Keith Boyd, investigators believe Williams used a belt to hang himself from a bedroom door.

Boyd would not confirm or deny whether Williams left behind a letter, saying that investigators would discuss "the note or a note" later.

In his own words: Williams on depression
Remembering Robin Williams

The coroner's investigation "revealed he had been seeking treatment for depression," Boyd said.

He spent time in a treatment facility in July, a time when his wife and representative have said he was battling depression.

Media reports at the time speculated that Williams had resumed drinking alcohol, but a statement from his wife appears to dispute those reports.

Williams was sober but struggling with depression, anxiety and the early stages of Parkinson's disease when he died, his widow said last week.

"Robin spent so much of his life helping others," she said. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the front lines, or comforting a sick child -- Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid."

I met Robin Williams: Your stories and never-before-seen photos

CNN's Alan Duke contributed to this report.