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Americans unhappier than ever before, UN global report finds

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Happiness in America is on the decline, according to a new report released Monday.

The U.N.’s “World Happiness Report” launched just in time for International Day of Happiness on March 20, a U.N. holiday established in 2012 and celebrated around the world Monday.

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But according to the new report, happiness in America has decreased over the years. Since the U.N.’s first report in 2012, the nation has fallen three spots.

To come up with the happiness rankings, analysts examined answers to a specific question from the 2014-16 Gallup World Poll, a popular, massive survey with respondents from 155 different countries.

Approximately 2,000-3,000 people from each country participated.

>> RELATED: U.S. no longer a top-5 country in the world 

The question (included below) asks respondents to rate their lives on a scale of zero to 10 across six factors: life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, corruption and GDP.

Please imagine a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to 10 at the top. Suppose we say that the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you, and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time, assuming that the higher the step the better you feel about your life, and the lower the step the worse you feel about it? Which step comes closest to the way you feel?

According to the report, these happiness measures are often used by governments, organizations and civil society to inform their policy-making decisions.

With an average rank of 7.537, the happiest country in the world is Norway, according to the poll.

The least happy on the list is the Central African Republic, which scored an average happiness rank of 2.693.

As for America, the country fell to No. 14 from No. 11 in 2012 with a current average happiness rank of 6.993. 

According to the World Happiness Report, the reasons for America’s reduced happiness in a nutshell are declining social support and increased corruption.

>> RELATED: Do you live in one of the happiest cities in America? 

Though individual incomes have increased roughly three times since 1960, “measured happiness” has not risen.

America’s problems with rising income inequality, distrust with the government, how the country reacted to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the nation’s “deteriorating” educational system are some possible factors cited in the report.

“America’s crisis is, in short, a social crisis, not an economic crisis,” the report’s authors wrote.

Manchester attack: What we know about suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi 

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 12:39 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 3:44 PM

British authorities on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber believed to have blown himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.

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Greater Manchester police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins confirmed Abedi’s identity Tuesday but declined to comment further, citing the need for the coroner to confirm the identity.

Authorities said Abedi detonated a suicide bomb near one of the entrances to the Manchester Arena on Monday, just after an Ariana Grande concert wrapped up. The attack killed 22 people and injured 59 others, officials said.

Here’s what we know:

Abedi was a British man of Libyan origin who was born in 1994Politico Europe reported. His parents were emigrants who settled in England and later moved back to Libya, The Telegraph reported. He was the second youngest of four children.

Police were warned about Abedi’s “extreme and violent views” several years before Monday’s deadly bombing, according to BBC News.

A Muslim community worker, who was not identified, told the news station that two people who knew Abedi from college called police separately to warn authorities that “he was supporting terrorism.”

The community worker told BBC News that the calls were made about five years ago after Abedi said, among other things, that “being a suicide bomber was OK.”

Police declined to comment on the claim.

Abedi’s “links with ISIS are proven,” France’s Interior Minister said Wednesday, according to Politico Europe.

He traveled to Libya before Monday’s attack and had links with the Islamic State group, Politico Europe reported, citing French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb.

“Today, we only know what British investigators have told us – someone of British nationality, of Libyan origin, who suddenly after a trip to Libya, then probably to Syria, becomes radicalized and decides to carry out this attack,” Collomb told BFMTV.

Abedi lived at a home 3.5 miles from Manchester Arena, according to The New York Times. A law enforcement official told the newspaper that Abedi's ID was found at the scene of the bombing.

Police arrested two of Abedi's brothers and his father in the aftermath of the attack, according to multiple reports.

Anti-terrorism officials in Libya told The Associated Press that Abedi’s father, Ramadan Abedi, was arrested Wednesday for interrogation. One of Salman Abedi’s brothers, Hashim, was arrested Tuesday in Libya on suspicion of having links with the Islamic State group, according to BBC News. Another of Salman Abedi’s brothers, Ismail, was arrested Tuesday in Manchester.

Rouhani wins re-election as Iran’s president

Published: Saturday, May 20, 2017 @ 5:19 AM

According to state TV, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left , has won re-election, defeating Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, a former attorney general.
Kyodo News/Kyodo News via Getty Images

According to state television, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has won re-election, CNN reported Saturday. Rouhani defeated conservative challenger Ebrahim Raisi.

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"The National Media (IRINN) congratulate the victory of Mr. Hassan Rouhani in the presidential election," Iranian state media channel IRINN announced in an on-screen news ticker.

Rouhani won 57 percent of the vote, or 23,549, 616 votes, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said.

Rouhani, a moderate, was a key architect of the 2015 nuclear deal with the United States, the European Union and other partners and his first term was marked by an emergent international engagement.

More than 40 million Iranian voters flocked to polling stations Friday, and by Saturday morning more than 25 million votes had been counted, according to the head of Iran's Interior Ministry State Elections Committee.

No sitting President has failed to win a second term since 1981 and Rouhani's engagement with the outside world resonated with voters who have disliked the country's isolation., CNN reported.

Princess to give up royal status to marry commoner

Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 @ 7:48 AM

A Japanese princess is deciding love over royalty. 

Princess Mako, who is the oldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will marry her former college classmate and in doing so, will become a commoner after the ceremony.

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The princess’ now-fiance, Kei Komuro, was sighted as he left the law office where he works, but would not speak to reporters other than to say, “Now is not the time for me to comment, but I want to speak at the right time.”

Currently there are four people in line for the throne: Akihito’s two sons who are in their 50s, his brother who is in his 80s and his 10-year-old grandson, The Telegraph reported.

Mako graduated from International Christian university and went on to get a masters degree from the University of Leicester. She has been working as a museum researcher.

No wedding date has been set, but the official announcement of an impending marriage has a ritual behind it. 

First a public announcement will be made, then a date will be set, and finally the couple will make a formal report to the emperor and empress, The Telegraph reported.

Prince William: 'Nobody should be bullied for their sexuality'

Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 17:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends a reception at the British Embassy during day one of their visit on March 17, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ian Vogler - Pool/Getty Images)
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Prince William offered a message of support for the LGBT community Friday evening at the British LGBT Awards.

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The Duke of Cambridge, who was named "straight ally of the year" for the British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, spoke via a video message, according to the BBC. In the brief video, he talks about how he's become passionate about "protecting from bullying, particularly online." He said he's "encountered a number of tragic stories about LGBT young people who have sadly felt unable to cope with the abuse and discrimination they face in their lives."

Prince William concluded: "It is 2017, and nobody should be bullied for their sexuality, or for any other reason."