(CNN)What happened to Otto Warmbier while he was in North Korean custody is a mystery. And it’s likely to remain that way. Following his death on Monday, Warmbier’s parents Cindy and Fred asked the coroner not to perform an autopsy on their son.
(CNN)What happened to Otto Warmbier while he was in North Korean custody is a mystery. And it’s likely to remain that way. Following his death on Monday, Warmbier’s parents Cindy and Fred asked the coroner not to perform an autopsy on their son.
Sporadic downpours and flash flood warnings helped to put a damper on Democratic turnout in base precincts
In Georgia the resistance was stopped by the rain on Tuesday when Jon Ossoff, long the best hope of Democrats to win a special election in the Trump administration, suffered a narrow loss to Republican Karen Handel in the Sixth Congressional District.
With 99% of precincts reporting, Handel had 52.4% and Ossoff had 47.6%
Sporadic downpours and flash flood warnings helped to put a damper on Democratic turnout in base precincts and on the hopes of progressives to thwart Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Combined with an energized Republican base that kept Ossoff from accumulating a significant lead among early voters, it doomed the hopes of the anti-Trump activists who made the first time Democratic candidate a minor political celebrity.
The runoff came after a first round of voting in April where Ossoff won just over 48% of the vote and Handel finished second in a splintered Republican field with just under 20% of the vote. However, Ossoff struggled to match that total as Handel consolidated the Republican vote in a traditionally conservative district in the northern suburbs of Atlanta andended up falling a percentage point short of his much hyped performance in the first round of voting.
Trump took to Twitter to hail the result as a personal victory Thank you @FoxNews Huge win for President Trump and GOP in Georgia Congressional Special Election.
The seat had been vacated by Tom Price when the former congressman joined Trumps cabinet to become secretary of health and human services and previously held by Republican stalwarts like Senator Johnny Isakson and former speaker Newt Gingrich. Although Price won by 23% in 2016, Donald Trump only narrowly won this wealthy, well-educated district by just over 1%.
Trumps narrow win sparked optimism among Democrats that the district, where nearly 60% of residents have a college degree, could flip as part of the political realignment around the presidents upset victory in 2016. Roughly $50m ended up being spent by both parties and allied groups in the race as it became the most expensive congressional campaign in the history of the United States.
However, while Democrats had motivated their base and won over skeptical Republicans, the conservative slant of district proved too much even for the nearly unprecedented resources that Democrats invested in the race, even flying in volunteers for last minute doorknocking as local television stations had been saturated by 30-second advertisements.
Although the race had been cast a referendum on Trump an opinion the President seemed to endorse after the result had been reported both candidates awkwardly danced around his looming presence on the campaign trail. At Handels campaign events, Trumps name went unmentioned by the candidate and introductory speakers. Instead, there was constant refrain of attack on Ossoff for his ties to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and praise for previous holders of the seat like Price and Gingrich. Ossoff was regularly bashed for the amount of money he raised out of state and for having San Francisco values.
Handel, who suggested in the first televised debate of the campaign that Trump should use Twitter less often, told the Guardian in an interview on Monday that she didnt pay attention to the presidents use of social media. She said I am focused on my campaign, I have precious little time to be on Twitter. Several hours later, her campaign sent out a fundraising email signed by the former secretary of state with the subject line did you see what Trump just tweeted? after the President used his ubiquitous social media account to tout her campaign.
Ossoff has also been measured in his attacks on Trump in a traditionally Republican district albeit one that the president barely won in 2016. Instead, the lanky and measured political neophyte focused on banal and politically non-controversial issues like government waste and turning Atlanta into the Silicon Valley of the South and let the progressive anti-Trump enthusiasm of the Democratic base carry him.
Instead, he has focused on Handels stint as Georgia secretary of state as well as her brief stint with the Susan Komen Race For The Cure, a charity which combats breast cancer, where she led an effort to cut off the organizations funding for Planned Parenthood. The decision sparked a major controversy and funding was eventually restored and Handel had to resign from the non-profit.
In an interview with the Guardian, Ossoff slammed his opponent. Secretary Handels record as secretary of state is extremely weak perhaps because she was too busy preparing her next run for higher office to do her job. She quit her job early to run for higher office, as so many career politicians do. Her last significant private sector experience, her performance also lacked.
The issue of civility and the growing toxic nature of American political culture became an issue late in the race in the aftermath of the shooting of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise. Handel pointed to social media and journalism as reasons for the decline of civility in American society in an interview with the Guardian. Journalism is not journalism any more, said Handel. Ossoff stuck to broader themes, telling the Guardian, this is a deep rooted problem in American politics right now which is going to take work and bipartisan commitment to trying to heal wounds and focus on substance instead of fear mongering and slander.
There is too much focus on the potential side-effects of medicines on information leaflets inside packs and not enough on their benefits, says the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Its new report calls for them to be rewritten to give a more balanced view.
A survey by the academy found the public was confused by information on medicines and did not trust scientific research.
Scientists said clear communication with patients was a priority.
The side-effects listed on patient information leaflets (PILs) are often very long and off-putting, the report says.
They make people unduly anxious about taking medicines and could be the reason why fewer than 50% continue with drugs they have started taking.
The likelihood of the side-effects occurring is also rarely explained – instead they are labelled “possible” or “serious”.
And the benefits of the medicines are usually understated, taking up much less space on the leaflet than potential harms.
Prof Sir John Tooke, chair of the Academy of Medical Sciences report, says there is too much “impenetrable” scientific language on leaflets.
For example, the leaflet inside a box of paracetamol says that possible side-effects from taking the tablets are the chance of developing pancreatitis or hepatitis.
However, there is no information on what the conditions are or how big the risk of getting them is in reality.
Rather than clearly explaining how symptoms will reduce, too many leaflets describe what the medicine does in complicated biological terms.
“They aren’t written from a consumer’s perspective,” Prof Tooke says.
Patients should feel confident about the medicines they are taking, rather than uneasy.
If they do not understand the information provided, they are less likely to feel good about taking them.
For legal and regulatory reasons, there is a lot of information provided – but the report asks whether it is really there to help the public.
Silvia Kirk is a mother of two from London, who took part in public workshops for the report.
“I don’t always read the information leaflets in medicine packs, unless it’s for my children – one of whom has asthma,” she says.
“Usually my heart is all over the place as I’m reading them, because I’m wondering whether the risks outweigh the benefits.
“Some of the information doesn’t make sense at all. When you’re poorly you don’t want to feel anxious too – and I think it’s particularly confusing for older people.
“I understand it all needs to be on the leaflets, but there’s too much crammed into one space. I tend to go by what the GP has said and written on the prescription.
“I only check side-effects listed on the Yellow Card website [suspected adverse reactions to licensed drugs], which I find are useful.
“A link to more detailed information online on individual medicines would be useful for me.”
The report is also calling for:
The survey of about 2,000 British adults and 1,000 GPs found that a third of the public trusted evidence from medical research while two-thirds trusted the experiences of family and friends when it came to taking medicines.
Doctors said they also needed better information to help them judge the benefits and harms of medicines for patients.
In general, they welcomed the whole idea of making information on medicines clearer – for patients and doctors.
But they recognised that a degree of uncertainty was inevitable in medicine, because scientific research was always evolving.
Dr Louise Brown, senior statistician at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London, said there were other challenges to face in the shape of the internet and social media.
“We are all bombarded with an unrelenting stream of new information that is overwhelming and very difficult to process.
“Unsurprisingly, this leads to feelings of scepticism and mistrust,” she said.
Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, said providing accurate and accessible information on new treatments was vital.
“It is only by working in close partnership with patients, clearly and honestly explaining the scientific evidence, that we can fully realise the huge potential that 21st Century medical science offers.”
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40329418
My grandparents adopted me. They raised me since I was a baby. The only drawback to this is that they were already well in their 40’s-50’s when I was born, so I have less time with them compared to what others have with their birth parents.
My father is 72. My mother is 68. Even as a child I was already aware how old my parents were. Since I was so attached to them, Id often worry about their well-being.
One time, when I was 4 or 5, my mother took me with her during a doctor check-up of some sort. She was groaning in pain as the doctor did the routine. After they were done, I was so angry and scared for my mother that I balled my tiny fists and punched the doctors legs. I huffed, which got a laugh out of them.
20 years later and I can see time marked on my parents faces when I skype them. I live in a different country now and while Im fulfilled, I sometimes find myself being unnerved at the idea of them getting sick or even suddenly passing while I am miles away. I get scared shitless if my father just catches a fever or a cough or a cold.
My worrying strengthened recently when my friends father was laid to rest. It got me fretting more than usual –
How do we cope with our parents getting older? How do we prepare ourselves emotionally with the fact one day they will die (and probably soon)? How do we come to terms with the looming possibility of losing them?
I guess theres no simple way to answer these questions. If we think about it, all of us reach the age 70, 80, 90 or even 100 eventually. Right at this moment, we, too, are aging.
Our parents are growing old and so are we. Death is unavoidable. We cant really solve something as inevitable as aging. I guess all we can do is live our life as best as we know how and cherish our loved ones while they are still here.
I searched for a solution, specifically a clear-cut method I could follow, yet there was no straightforward answer. It seems bleak, but when that time comes we just have to accept the situation as it is and hopefully remember people are capable of surviving tragedy (even more than we know).
In case you are still struggling, too, take note of the following:
– Spend time with your parents, especially if youre often busy.
– Open up to them about how you feel.
– Let them know how much you love them, both in actions and words. This can be difficult if you have a strained relationship with your parents or if you/your parents arent much for vocal vulnerability, but try so you know youve said everything you wanted to say to them.
– Support your parents. Not only when theyre struggling with their health or growing older, but also when theyre celebrating their wins in life, too. You cant control their aging process, but you can care for them and help make it easier for them.
– Prepare yourselves, literally. What do they want when theyre proper old? Do they want to stay at their house, with you, or at a home for the aged? What are the arrangements when they pass away? When youve planned out the trivial matters, then you will have more time to be with them now as well as space to grieve in the future.
– Regard grieving as healing. Yes, it is difficult to see your parents slip from you and the loss later will be painful. But in time you will be okay, again, especially if you find and surround yourself with a support group.
– Dont be ashamed of what you are feeling. Don’t shut out your emotions and remain in denial as itmay only make things harder for you. Hopelessness, fear, anxiety, sadness, anger – whatever youre going through right now is normal so find a way to accept it rather than sneak your way around it.
– Forgive each other.Is there anything you want to ask forgiveness for? Is there anything your parents did that warrants your forgiveness? Talk it out – not to simply rid yourself of guilt, but to free yourselves from any unresolved issues, and hopefully build a better relationship together.
Actress Carrie Fisher, best known for her role in the original Star Wars trilogy, died from a combination of factors that included sleep apnea, the Los Angeles Coroners Office said in a statement Friday.
Fisher, 60, had fatty buildup in the walls of her arteries and had taken multiple drugs before her death, the statement said. Officials were unable to conclusively determine the exact cause of her death, according to The Associated Press. The manner of death would be listed as undetermined, the coroners office said.
The coroners office did not immediately respond to HuffPosts request for further details.
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing pauses for up to several minutes during sleep, according to the National Institutes of Health. Untreated, it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes.Fisher had a history of drug addiction and a heart condition.
Fisher was stricken by a cardiac medical emergency during a flight from London to Los Angeles in December. The actress was hospitalized after landing and died less than a week later, on Dec. 27. Her mother, the actress Debbie Reynolds,died from a stroke the following day.
Fisher rose to fame at age 20 after playing the original Princess Leia in the Star Wars film, A New Hope. She kept the role as the series continued in the early 80s. She most recently appeared in the franchise as Gen. Leia Organa in The Force Awakens, released in 2015.
Todd Fisher, Carrie Fishers brother, confirmed his mothers death to Variety and told the magazine: She wanted to be with Carrie.
(CNN)Children growing up in Niger are at the highest risk of having their childhood cut short, according to a report by Save the Children.
(CNN)Four Arkansas day care employees were fired Wednesday after the death of a 5-year-old who was left inside a van all day.
One in 10 clients of a debt charity have no bed to sleep in and eight in 10 say their financial situation leads to sleepless nights.
A review of visitors to Christians Against Poverty also found that three-quarters of them were afraid to open their post.
The charity said that the survey exposed the day-to-day realities of living with unmanageable debt.
The average debt of new clients seeking help last year was 14,298.
Among the practical effects of debt identified by the charity were:
Some 91% of clients had used some form of credit to pay an essential bill or other debt.
This money was borrowed primarily from friends and family (64%), and credit cards (64%) followed by overdrafts (55%).
“This is an unsustainable solution that pushes the financial crunch point further down the line, but escalates the level of debt when this happens,” the charity’s annual review found.
“Shame, fear and believing no one can help cause clients to delay seeking help for two years on average. This extended period of financial hardship and worry sees living standards and mental health deteriorate as debts spiral out of control.
“This means seven in 10 end up behind with a priority bill and average debt levels hit more than 14,000 before clients get the help they need.”
A separate survey of debt by financial services company True Potential suggested that debt tolerance was higher among men.
The average debt threshold was 1,797, with men reaching debts of 1,960 before recognising it as a problem, compared with 1,645 among women. Adults under 25 reached 748 of debt before worries set in, compared with a figure of 2,299 among 45 to 54-year-olds.
“Personal debt is the elephant in the room. Consumer confidence and spending have been creeping up but there is growing concern that it is built on quicksand in the shape of rising individual debts. Underpinning this is easy access to debt, the costs of which are poorly understood,” said managing partner David Harrison.
“But this is not just about people splashing cash they don’t have. A big worry is the proportion of people needing debt just to get by. That’s a bubble waiting to burst. The cost of living is 2.7% higher today compared to a year ago, adding an extra 468 to household bills.”
In its report, Christians Against Poverty highlights the story of one of the charity’s clients – Mark.
“My situation went downhill when my mental state deteriorated. I became anxious and depressed. I lost interest in life,” he says.
“My studio flat fell into disrepair. It was dusty, dirty, full of broken furniture. The boiler didn’t work. I slept on the floor. The bathroom pipes were broken and the floor was covered in rotting clothes. It was in an appalling state. I couldn’t deal with the wreckage.
“I approached a number of services for help, but I never quite seemed to fit the category. I wasn’t ill enough for one group, I wasn’t drinking enough for another. So they kept referring me on and I became socially isolated.
“I had difficulties paying my mortgage, and I was in no position to work to earn the money to pay what I owed. It’s fair to say I didn’t know what my options were. I wondered if I’d be evicted and made homeless, if I’d have to kill myself. I wondered if I’d have to commit a crime so I could go to jail instead.”
He says that the charity helped him start applying for jobs, to begin sorting out his debts and to put his flat on the market to avoid repossession.
The City regulator – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – and the Bank of England have warned of an acceleration in consumer borrowing, such as loans, overdrafts, credit card debt and car finance.
The FCA is already conducting is own inquiry into overdrafts, door-to-door lending and other forms of loans. Consumer groups have consistently argued there should be an overdraft cap in place.
A Lords committee also recently called for stronger controls such as a cap on “rent to own” products.
On Tuesday, the Financial Ombudsman Service said it had seen a nine-fold rise in complaints about payday loans in the last two years.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40259946
Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is shuttering a program designed to keep vulnerable asylum seekers — mainly mothers and young children, including pregnant and nursing women — out of detention.
In a pitch presentation that capped off hours of collaboration at New York’s first SexTech Hackathon, the subject turned to a decidedly unsexy scenario: Parents talking to their kids about sex.
“How can we foster a safe environment at home for children having conversations about sexual education with their parents?” asked one of the hackathon’s more than 40 participants during a pitch presentation for what would become the event’s winning project.
Better communication would emerge as a theme as hopeful entrepreneurs many of them new to sex tech considered how tech can be used to enrich human sexuality.
For six hours on Jun 10 at New York’s ThoughtWorks, participants with a range of backgrounds from coding to design to sex therapy worked in teams to imagine products that fall under the vast umbrella of sex tech. Though the term often covers forms of adult content VR pornography, for example the event’s website made clear the criteria for hackathon participation : “While we recognize sexuality is a diverse field, we will not be accepting hack teams for anything related to pornography or entertainment.”
Rather, Saturday’s event was meant to push ideation in the realm of sexual education and pleasure. Following a pitch and feedback session, a panel of sex tech entrepreneurs would select a winner.
Seven teams, formed just a few hours earlier, pitched their visions to the judges panel. “Spinucation” a connected game that aims to start conversations about sex between parents and children took home the top prize: one month to develop the project at Galvanize, a “learning community for technology.”
The winning team’s concept features an app-connected toy, modeled after Spin the Bottle, that determines who will answer a question prompt from the app. Questions would come from an AI built into the app that would use news items on sex and sexuality to generate content. Made for children between ages 5 and 18, the game would also allow parents to choose which topics they want to discuss with their children.
“This is a tech environment, obviously, and we are very critical about technology and how we often end up hiding behind avatars instead of having a more human one-to-one interaction,” said Elena Habre, a designer who worked on the concept. “So we were also thinking how can we leverage AI, but not to hide behind it, but [to] have it facilitate a conversation.”
Other team presentations included concepts for VR that simulates sexual situations for educational purposes, an app or website that would help users understand if they perpetuate rape culture, a subscription box that helps couples in long-term relationships try new things in the bedroom and, the event’s runner-up, an app that facilitates conversations about sex between partners.
While the event’s goal was to encourage female-led innovation in this space, the hackathon open to all genders featured a near fifty-fifty split between men and women participants. The organizers acknowledged a need for a future hackathon organized entirely for people who identify as women.
But though the event was open a diverse set of genders, Bryony Cole hackathon mentor and host of the Future of Sex podcast says the goal was to create a safe environment where women can feel comfortable exploring what might be an unfamiliar industry.
The day started off with a talk from women sex tech entrepreneurs including Mal Harrison, director of the Center for Erotic Intelligence and Kris Jandler, co-founder and CMO of Emojibator. The event also included an ice breaker and discussion session where participants could get to know one another.
Encouraging women-led innovation in sex tech is critical at a time when it’s such a challenge for female entrepreneurs to secure funding in a still-stigmatized industry.
Cole belongs to Women of Sex Tech, a New York-city based group of more than 70 entrepreneurs dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of women working in sex tech. Per its Facebook page: “We want to increase access to funding for female-founded startups in sex tech and decrease the stigma of female sexuality.”
“The interesting thing about that community is they would traditionally be considered competitors,” Cole said. “So we have a group of women that are making sex toys for pleasure, there are people who are doing sex educational apps, and we think these are competitors, but … because the industry is so small and there’s so much stigma, it forced people to band together and go, hey, we need to break through these walls first before we even start to tackle things like how do I sell my vibrator over yours.”
And while these women work to create better opportunities for themselves and their peers, the aim is also to encourage women-led tech industry’s overlooked areas: education, pleasure and, as we saw Saturday, improved communication.
“If you were to look right out to the frontiers of what’s happening in sex tech that’s in VR or teledildonics or AR,” said Cole. “[At this hackathon], we want to solve a really simple problem: We want to get more education about sexual health and awareness to children, or we want to improve the intimacy between couples … That’s nothing crazy and out there that’s just simply the cultural moment we’re at right now.”