Newsworthy – Oct 18th, 2019

Risk of major California earthquake increases, the opioid crisis is costing billions of dollars every year, more six-figure-income families are renting over owning a home, racism in European soccer games is still a big issue.

These, and more, are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Science and Environment

  • Renewables in the United Kingdom generated 29.5 terawatt-hours across July to September, versus 29.1 TWh from fossil fuels, a new analysis found.

    From New Scientist
  • Carrying out the first survey of large, freshwater lakes, a group of researchers has proven that the intensity of summer algal blooms has increased over the past three decades, showing the problem is truly getting worse on a global scale.

    From ZME Science
  • A major California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 earthquake has begun moving for the first time on record.

    A major quake on this fault could destabilize the San Andreas causing the worst shaking the Southern California region has felt since 1857, and sending destructive tremors through Los Angeles and beyond.

    From Los Angeles Times
  • One of Japan’s worst typhoons in decades brought record-breaking rainfall to broad swaths of the country, killing more than two dozen people.

    From The Wall Street Journal

Health and Society

  • Tests of 168 baby foods from major manufacturers in the US found 95% contained lead, 73% contained arsenic, 75% contained cadmium and 32% contained mercury. One fourth of the foods contained all four heavy metals.

    From CNN
  • Doctors are urging Americans to get their flu shots right away after a bad flu season in Australia has raised concerns about the coming season in the U.S. The Australian flu season doesn’t always predict the U.S. one, but health experts often look to the Southern Hemisphere’s influenza patterns for clues of what’s to come. This year Australia had a tough flu season overall.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • In light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are requesting the FDA to label cheese in accordance to studies which found that it raises the risk of several types of cancer — including breast cancer.

    “Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk,” the label would read.

    From ZME Science
  • The opioid crisis cost the U.S. economy $631 billion in just four years (2015-2018) — and it may keep getting more expensive, according to the Society of Actuaries.

    The biggest cost driver over the four-year period is unrealized lifetime earnings of people who died, followed by health care costs.

    More than 400,000 American lives have been lost to the opioid crisis since 2000.

    From AP
  • The number of suicides from people ages 10 to 24 increased 56% from 2007 to 2017, the fastest rate of any age group, a new CDC report shows.

    Suicides are disproportionately affecting people of color and those in the LGBTQ community.

    From Axios
  • The ‘kids these days’ effect, or why people disparage younger generations, is as old as time itself. But it turns out this effect is trait-specific and mediated by memory.

    While people may believe in a general decline, they also believe that children are especially deficient on the traits in which they happen to excel.

    From ZME Science
  • European soccer is still losing the battle against fan racism.
    A qualifying match for Euro 2020 between England and Bulgaria was twice brought to halt due to the behavior of Bulgarian fans.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Hundreds joined a candlelight protest in Fort Worth after a 28-year-old black woman was fatally shot inside her house by a white policeman who was responding to a neighbor’s report that her front door was open.

    Atatiana Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew.

    From Axios
  • Several big names from the military are joining Medici, an Austin-based virtual health care company, to help launch Operation 11/11, which will provide virtual consults to U.S. veterans on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

    Veterans who register at Medici will have access to text, voice or video consultations with doctors. Health insurance is not needed.

    From Axios

Business and Economics

  • A record number of six-figure-income families rent, as student debt and meager savings cloud their financial future.

    Between 2006 and 2017, the number of renter households in the U.S. grew 25% while the number of homeowners was nearly flat.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Lenders are charging record-high margins on credit cards, even though the Fed has twice lowered short-term interest rates in recent months. The reason: Generous rewards programs have been eating into profitability. Credit-card debt has surged in recent years, and extracting more from cardholders who carry balances can help offset the cost of those rewards.

    From The Wall Street Journal

Government and Politics

  • President Trump threatened harsher financial penalties if Turkey continued its offensive in northern Syria, launched after he decided to withdraw U.S. troops from the region. The withdrawal decision was widely criticized on Capitol Hill for leaving Kurdish militias—allies in the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State—open to attack.

    From The Wall Street Journal

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