Pay gap worse for working moms
Women in America are earning less than their male peers, but when men and women become parents, the pay gap gets even worse. Mothers earn about 71 cents to every father’s $1, according to Census data, compared with 80 cents for women overall. The wages that mothers lose can add up to $16,000 a year. Many factors that go into this, but researchers suggests it’s mainly due to the “motherhood penalty,” where women are often expected to do the heavy-lifting when it comes to raising children, so they may take a “backseat” approach to their jobs. (CNBC)
95% Of Tested Baby Foods In The US Contain Toxic Metals, Report Says
Toxic heavy metals damaging to your baby’s brain development are likely in the baby food you are feeding your infant, according to a new investigation published. 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.
- One in five baby foods tested had over 10 times the 1-ppb limit of lead endorsed by public health advocates, although experts agree that no level of lead is safe.
The results mimicked a previous study by the Food and Drug Administration that found one or more of the same metals in 33 of 39 types of baby food tested. Foods with the highest risk for neurotoxic harm were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices, the analysis found. Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child’s IQ. The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats, according to the report. The tests were commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which calls itself an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first months of life. (Food & Drug Administration)
Vatican announces wearable ‘eRosary’ smart device and app for guided prayer
The Vatican announced Tuesday that it launched a wearable smart device that connects with an smartphone app for guided prayer. The “Click to Prayer eRosary” is a device targeted to young people as a tool to educate about praying the rosary. It’s a wearable device in the shape of a cross that syncs to a free app that tracks a user’s progress. The device is activated by making the sign of the cross and will keep track of a user’s rosary progress. When activated, the user has the possibility to choose either to pray the standard rosary, a contemplative Rosary and different kinds of thematic rosaries that will be updated every year. “Click to Prayer eRosary” is a project under the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, a network focused on “mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action,” according to the Vatican. The device has a “smart cross” which can be worn as a bracelet with ten consecutive black agate and hematite rosary beads that wrap around the wrist. It’s currently for sale online at Acer’s Italian website for about $110. (Vatican News)
A pending U.S. Supreme Court ruling could impact a South Dakota case that shocked the Sioux Falls community in 2016
This month, the high court justices heard arguments in Kahler v. Kansas, a case that could determine the constitutionality of the insanity defense. South Dakota lawmakers have considered but rejected legislation to exempt people with mental illness from the death penalty. A professor of criminal law at the University of Colorado says the Supreme Court has so far relied on a “shock to the conscience” doctrine as grounds for a death sentence. A Sioux Falls, South Dakota a 24-year-old man eligible for the death penalty awaits trial for his crimes back in 2016, when he was charged with killing his mother and nephew, and two counts of first-degree murder make him eligible for the death penalty. His defense lawyers later hired experts who diagnosed the defendant with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. In the case before the Supreme Court, another man was convicted and the death sentence was recommended for fatally shooting his ex-wife, her mother and his two daughters. He appealed, claiming his constitutional rights were violated by not being allowed to present an insanity defense. In death penalty cases, South Dakota currently relies on the M’Naghten Rule, meaning the burden of proof for insanity is on the defendant. Capital punishment cases typically cost 10 times more than a first-degree murder case, or an average of $1 million more per case than life imprisonment. (Public News Service)
Two-thirds of North American birds are at increasing risk of extinction from global temperature rise
Trumpeter swans, great grey owls, red headed woodpeckers and 22 other bird species in Wyoming all are at risk of extinction if the world’s average temperatures rise about 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to a new National Audubon Society report. Two-thirds of North America’s birds are threatened with extinction if temperatures rise above 2 degrees Celsius, or almost 3 degrees Fahrenheit. The report comes on the heels of last month’s news that nearly 3 billion North American birds have been lost since 1970. The report says 76% of bird species most vulnerable could be saved if warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the climate goal set in Paris. To reach that goal, scientists say greenhouse gas emissions must drop to net-zero by the year 2050. Researchers found a warming climate will exacerbate other challenges facing birds, notably the loss of habitat due to human development. Researchers says there’s still time to prevent these worst-case situations. (Audubon)
Identical twin nurses help deliver identical twin girls in hospital where they work
A set of 26-year-old identical twin nurses assisted in the delivery room as identical twin girls entered the world on September 25th, at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens, Georgia. One is an NICU nurse and the other is a nurse in labor and delivery. They learned they’d be working in the same room only moments before the births. The parents to the newborn twins said they were excited to learn that two of the nurses were twins just like their daughters. The first of the newborn twins came out at 12:42pm and the other arrived 3 minutes later. The twin nurses said they’ll be sharing the newborn twins birth story as they grow. The babies were born early at 32 weeks and 6 days. After a month stay, they are finally ready to come home. (ABC News)
More American young people are dying by suicide and homicide, CDC reports
The CDC found that the suicide rate for kids and young adults (ages 10-24) went up more than 50% between 2007 and 2017. Researchers aren’t sure why this is happening. More teens and young adults have come to a violent end in recent years, dying either at their own hand or another’s, new federal data show. Both suicide and homicide death rates are rising among 10- to 24-year-olds, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
- The suicide rate for young people aged 10 to 24 rose 56% between 2007 and 2017, with the pace increasing of late, the researchers said.
- Suicide deaths increased 7% annually from 2013 to 2017, compared with 3% annually between 2007 and 2013, the investigators found.
- Meanwhile, homicide deaths among 10- to 24-year-olds rose 18% between 2014 and 2017, after nearly a decade in decline, the researchers said.
- Accidental deaths (car crashes, drug overdoses and drownings) remain the leading cause of death in this age group.
- Homicide and suicide rates differed slightly between specific age groups of young people.
- The suicide rate for 10- to 14-year-olds nearly tripled between 2007 and 2017, while their homicide rate declined 18% during the period between 2000 and 2017.
- People in the 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 age ranges have experienced increases in both suicide and homicide rates.
These statistics amount to a “very serious public health crisis,” said the vice chairman of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York. It’s impossible to nail down any single cause for this increase in violent deaths among the young, but one likely suspect is increasing levels of anger across the country due to increasing polarization. Researchers say other factors that could play into suicide and homicide risk include childhood mental illness, exposure to violence, relationship problems, child abuse or neglect, depression, and access to firearms or other lethal weapons. (National Center for Health Statistics)
California Law Bans Facial Recognition on PD Body Cams
California police departments won’t be allowed to use facial recognition software on body cameras for the next several years, under a law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. The bill takes effect at the start of 2020 and expires after three years. It’s unclear whether a single law enforcement group in California uses facial recognition software in body cameras. The new law is welcome news for privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union (a group that also worries about minorities) being misidentified if the technology is deployed. A test of facial recognition software conducted by the ACLU this summer showed an Amazon program mistakenly identify 26 California lawmakers as criminals. A spokesman for Amazon criticized the study to news organizations at the time, accusing the organization of “knowingly misusing and misrepresenting” the recognition software. (GovTech)
Wednesday Falls On Us With:
- International Print Day (4th Wednesday)
- IPod Day
- Medical Assistants Recognition Day (Wednesday of Third Full Week)
- Mole Day
- National Mole Day
- Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day
- TV Talk Show Host Day
- Unity Day (3rd or 4th Wednesday)