Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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)
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