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Published: Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 11:45 AM
Updated: Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 2:43 PM
A startling study released Monday showed that mortality rates for white Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 have increased dramatically in the past few years while longevity rates for other groups have continued to climb.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doesn’t point to conditions such as cancer or heart disease as the cause for the increase, instead it says mental health issues and addictions to drugs and alcohol look to be the determining factors in shortening lifespans.
According to the study co-authored by husband and wife Princeton economics professors Angus Deaton and Anne Case, those in the age group who are white and have less than a high school education have seen the sharpest decline in longevity.
Older Americans, the study noted, are leading increasingly longer lives as are blacks and Hispanics who are considered middle-aged.
Case and Deaton say their results show a “marked increase” in mortality in the white middle-aged group with an epidemic of suicide as a leading cause. The study also points to cheap and easily available heroin, the abuse of prescription opioids and the effects of long-term alcohol abuse, as factors contributing to the group's increasing mortality rate.
“Drugs and alcohol, and suicide . . . are clearly the proximate cause,” Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in economics, told The Washington Post.
Deaton and Case said some 500,000 people would likely be alive today if the mortality rate had not been on the increase.
“Half a million people are dead who should not be dead,” Deaton said. “About 40 times the Ebola stats. You’re getting up there with HIV-AIDS.”
According to The Post story, the pair discovered the increase in the rates as they were researching government statistics on death rates and illnesses.
“We both were sort of blown off our chairs when looking at that,” Deaton said.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:24 PM
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police say a mother intentionally crashed her SUV into a pole to prove to her two small children that God is real.
Investigators say Bakari Warren, 25, told officers after the crash that she did it on purpose to show her kids that if they believe, God would protect them.
The crash and the 5- and 7-year-old kids’ explanation were all caught on camera.
Police say Warren was driving northbound on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard when she crossed into the southbound lanes and drove head on into a concrete pole.
Sitting in a police car, her children explained what happened before the crash.
“You think she did it on purpose?” the officer asked.
“Yeah because she turned. Her eyes was closed and she was saying, blah, blah, blah, ‘I love God,’” one daughter said. “She didn’t want us to just have a car accident. She wanted us to know that God is real."
Police said Warren told her children to buckle up their seat belts just before she accelerated into the pole. Warren was frisked and handcuffed right after she got out of the SUV.
“When the officers asked the driver of the vehicle what had happened her first statement was to check her Facebook, and it would explain what happened,” Norcross police Sgt. Eric Butynski said.
Nothing was found directly referencing the incident on what appeared to be her Facebook page, but police say she later gave the same reasons as her kids -- to prove that God will protect them.
No one was hurt in the accident, but officers say it could have been much worse.
“It could have been a lot worse. It could have been heavier traffic at the time, she could have hit the pole at such an angle that she did more damage to the car,” Butynski said.
Warren remains in jail on $22,000 bond. She is charged with two counts of child cruelty.
The children are now with their grandparents.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 10:25 PM
WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice announced a proposal Friday to ban bump stocks, device that essentially convert semiautomatic weapons into machine guns. The announcement came just a day ahead of the “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington.
Thousands of young people are expected to converge on the nation’s capital to demand gun control following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that left 17 people dead.
President Donald Trump announced the new proposal on Twitter. “We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns,” the president tweeted.
Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement on the proposed ban, referring to the Las Vegas massacre in October that left 58 people dead. The shooter used bump stocks on a number of weapons to increase their firepower.
“After the senseless attack in Las Vegas, this proposed rule is a critical step in our effort to reduce the threat of gun violence,” Sessions said.
Attorney General Sessions Announces Regulation Effectively Banning Bump Stocks https://t.co/WFdxNSLmyq— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) March 23, 2018
On Feb. 20, Trump issued a memorandum instructing Session to ban bump stocks. The proposal announced on Friday is a response to that memorandum.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:58 PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Rick Scott is signing off on a measure that would let Florida stay on daylight saving time all year long.
Scott on Friday signed 74 bills into law, including the "Sunshine Protection Act." The measure won't take effect unless Congress also changes federal law.
But if Congress were to go along, Floridians would no longer set back their clock an hour each November.
That would translate into later sunrises and sunsets from November to March.
Scott in a statement said he supported the move because it would help the state's tourism industry. He said it would allow residents and visitors to "enjoy everything our beautiful state has to offer later in the day."
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 4:47 PM
TULUM, Mexico — A Creston, Iowa, family of four that was previously reported missing in Mexico has been found dead.
KCCI reported that 41-year-old Kevin Sharp, his wife, 38-year-old Amy Sharp, and their children, 12-year-old Sterling and 7-year-old Adrianna were found dead on a tourist condo complex in Tulum, Mexico, a tourist area. The Associated Press reported that the developer of the complex declined to comment.
“The Sharps have been located. They were found last night in their condo deceased,” a relative named Ashli Peterson wrote on Facebook, according to The Des Moines Register. “There was no foul play! At this time that is all the information we have.
“Please respect the family at this time as they go through the grieving process. Thank you for all the posts, shares, and kind words,” the post said.
Tulum is in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. A March 16 travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State said there was a level 2 advisory in the state due to crime. There were no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in that state, which has other tourist areas, such as Cancun and Cozumel.
On Thursday, relatives filed a missing persons report through the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, KCCI reported. According to Peterson’s original post, the family had not been in contact with relatives after letting them know they made it to their condo safely.
Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer said the family had not boarded their flight from Cancun, Mexico, back to the U.S.
“It’s a very sad day for the Sharp family and the city of Creston as a whole,” Ver Meer said. “We’ll work through this together.”
"It’s a very sad day for the Sharp family and the city of Creston," police chief says after deaths of Iowa family in Mexico https://t.co/QzNwv5cNs0— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) March 23, 2018