Month: September 2018

Suicide rates up among younger veterans, VA says

The number of suicides among younger veterans has increased “substantially,” according to a report released Wednesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs. (VA). The latest statistics show that 45 of every 100,000 veterans ages 18-34 committed suicide in 2016 – up from around 40 a year earlier. “These findings underscore the fact that suicide is a national public health issue that affects communities everywhere,” the VA said in a statement obtained by The Wall Street Journal. “Our goal is to prevent suicide among all veterans — even those who do not and may never seek care within VA’s system.” The VA found that there were more than 6,000 veteran suicides each year from 2008 to 2016. Veterans accounted for 14 percent of all suicides in the United States in 2016, yet veterans comprise just 8 percent of the population, the report said, according to the newspaper. In the report, the VA described veteran suicide as an “urgent crisis” that it can’t address by itself. Still, some advocates say the department has not devoted enough resources to this issue. “If any other population of 20 million people were exposed to these threats, it would be considered a public health priority,” Paul Rieckhoff, chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the newspaper. “There has never been a national call to action.” Last year, the VA’s inspector general found the department’s suicide hotline had routed a high percentage of calls to backup centers, a major flaw the department says it has resolved. On Tuesday, the inspector general also released a report after a veteran killed himself less than 24 hours after his departure from a VA facility in Minnesota. The report accused the facility of not providing followup care for the veteran, who was taken into the hospital over suicidal ideation. “Because many veterans do not use VA services and benefits, we must build networks of support, communication and care across the communities where veterans live and thrive,” the report states. The data was released a day before a scheduled hearing by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. At the Thursday hearing, lawmakers are to discuss veteran suicide prevention efforts. The VA’s confidential Veterans Crisis Line is open 24/7 for vets and those concerned about them. The telephone number is 1-800-273-8255.

Campus Free Speech Hearing: ‘The Most American of Values Are in the First Amendment’

A congressional hearing that took place on Wednesday featured eloquent arguments about the importance of fighting for expression rights on campus. Ken Paulson, the President of the First Amendment Center, aggressively defended free expression principles during a congressional hearing on the relationship between free speech and the American campus. Paulson argued that certain university officials are willing to bend First Amendment principles in order to protect the feelings of students. “As part of my First Amendment work, I’ve traveled to a dozen campuses a year for the past 20 years and I honestly don’t believe there is an epidemic of suppression or intolerance in the nation’s universities,” Paulson began. “I do see some high profile instances where college administrators and students are willing to bend free speech principles to prevent hurt feelings or ideological conflict. Somewhere over the past two decades, the land of the free has become the home of the easily offended.” Paulson contends that the rise in attempts to shut down guest speakers is a consequence of the lack of education on the topic of democracy. “You can’t shout down a speaker if you truly understand how diversity of opinions has bolstered our democracy. You can’t censor students or their media if you understand what Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the first generation of Americans meant by freedom of the press,” Paulson continued. “You can’t try to zone protests off campus if you truly appreciate the value of petition and assembly. Too many of our students and sadly, their parents and grandparents, don’t truly understand these core American principles. A First Amendment survey found that only a third of Americans can name a single freedom in the First Amendment. Only two percent can name all five.” Click here to watch the entirety of Paulson’s remarks, along with the rest of the hearing..

Boys More Likely To Be Victims Of Teen Dating Violence Than Girls, Study Shows

Who is more likely to be victimized by teen dating violence? If you’re quick to think it’s girls, new data shows you’re wrong. In a surprising twist, recently published research indicates boys are more likely to report being victims of dating violence committed by partners who hit, slap or push them. Researchers with the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) conducted a longitudinal study of dating violence. While reports of physical abuse went down over time, they say there is a troubling gender-related trend. Five percent of teens reported physical abuse from their dating partners in 2013, down from 6 percent in 2003. But in the last year, 5.8 percent of boys reported dating violence compared to 4.2 percent of girls. “It could be that it’s still socially acceptable for girls to hit or slap boys in dating relationships,” says lead author Catherine Shaffer, a PhD student with SFU, in a release. “This has been found in studies of adolescents in other countries as well.” Researchers looked at data collected from three British Columbia Adolescent Health Surveys conducted over a 10-year timespan. Participants were 35,900 students in grades 7 through 12 who were in dating relationships. This is the first North American study to compare statistics for boys and girls and the first Canadian study to consider teen dating violence over the course of a decade. Shaffer believes the overall decline in dating violence is positive. “Young people who experience dating violence are more likely to act out and take unnecessary risks, and they’re also more likely to experience depression or think about or attempt suicide,” she says. “That’s why it’s good to see that decline in dating violence over a 10-year span. It suggests that healthy relationship programs are making an impact among youth.” Elizabeth Saewyc, senior study author and a UBC nursing professor, thinks the results tell us that teens in dating relationships need more support programs. “A lot of our interventions assume that the girl is always the victim, but these findings tell us that it isn’t always so,” notes Saewyc. “And relationship violence, be it physical, sexual or other forms, and regardless who the perpetrator is, is never OK. Health-care providers, parents and caregivers, schools and others can protect teens from dating violence by helping them define what healthy relationships look like, even before their first date.” Researchers say a study is needed to find out why boys are experiencing an increase in dating violence. The study results were published on July 18, 2018 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

US B-52s fly near contested islands amid China tensions

The US Air Force conducted two bomber flights this week into areas considered sensitive by the Chinese military, missions that have come amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. Earlier this week, US B-52 bombers flew from Guam and transited through the South China Sea, an area where the Chinese government has built islands and established military facilities on disputed features. “That just goes on, if it was 20 years ago and had they not militarized those features there it would have been just another bomber on its way to Diego Garcia or wherever,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday when asked about the bomber flight. “There’s nothing out of the ordinary about it,” Mattis added. On Tuesday, US B-52s also “participated in a regularly scheduled, combined operation in the vicinity of the East China Sea,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn told CNN. A US defense official told CNN that the bombers were escorted by Japanese fighter jets and flew in proximity to the Japanese controlled Senkaku Islands which China lays claim to. The bombers also flew into the Chinese military’s unilaterally declared Air Defense Identification Zone which extends over the area. The two missions comes amid heightened tensions over a series of issues in the last week. Earlier on Wednesday, President Donald Trump accused China of attempting to interfere in the 2018 US elections and the countries are involved in a high profile trade dispute. In the last week, the Chinese government denied a US Navy warship permission to visit Hong Kong, the US sanctioned a Chinese defense entity over its purchase of Russian-made weapons, the State Department approved a military equipment sale to Taiwan and a high-ranking Chinese naval officer canceled a meeting with his American counterpart. “We’re sorting out obviously a period with some tension there, trade tension and all, so we’ll get to the bottom of it but I don’t think that we’re seeing a fundamental shift in anything, we’re just going through one of those periodic points where we got to learn to manage our differences,” Mattis said when asked about the tensions.

Well said, Sec. Mattis.  That’s exactly right.  Nothing really newsworthy about this military flight.  It’s just in the context of the other areas where we’re having some differences with China, that it’s somewhat relevant.

GDP Growth Unrevised at a Strong 4.2% in Second Quarter

The U.S. economy expanded at an annualized pace of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That matched the agency’s estimate from a month ago. Economists had expected a slight upward revision to 4.3 percent. The report confirmed that the economy grew at a robust pace in the April through June period. Economists expect the economy has continued to expand in the third quarter, although at a somewhat slower pace.

The Trump economy continues to roar along.    🙂

Planned Parenthood forces cancellation of ‘Gosnell’ screening

Planned Parenthood convinced a hotel in Austin, Texas, to cancel a screening of a new movie about convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell, according to the film’s producers. The movie, “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” which opens in theaters Oct. 12, was to be screened Saturday night in the Hyatt Hotel in the Texas capital at the same time Planned Parenthood hosts a $400 a plate gala dinner headlined by Cecille Richards, the organization’s former CEO. The movie’s producers, however, were told Monday by the hotel the screen was canceled for “security reasons.” The producers told WND they paid the deposit and signed the contract to reserve the space for the screening. “Everything that was required by the Hyatt was provided and completed as required,” a spokesman said. Producer Ann McElhinney said the movie screening “gave a real choice to the people of Austin.” “Over 250 had already registered to go and we were receiving dozens of new RSVPs every day,” she said. “But now thanks to the bullying of Planned Parenthood and the cowardice of the Hyatt they won’t get to see the Gosnell Movie and the truth about abortion.” Gosnell, who ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, was convicted in 2011 of multiple counts of first degree murder for late-term and after-birth abortions. A routine investigation led to the discovery of the criminal abortion operation, which Gosnell had been running for years. The producers say the movie exposes the lack of attention the case received at the time. Planned Parenthood’s Richards had been invited to the screening at the Hyatt, the producers said. Producer Phelim McAleer said the cancellation is “only a temporary victory for the forces of intolerance that have tried to bury this story all along the way.” He said the Hyatt screening was just a “sneak peek” before the movie is brought to 750 screens nationwide on Oct. 12. The film centers on Detective James “Woody” Wood, played by Dean Cain, and his partner Det. Stark (Alfonzo Rachel) who work an informant network to identify a doctor who had been selling prescription drugs illegally. As the case unfolded, Wood and District Attorney Sarah Jane Morris were confronted not only by the horrors of the case but also fierce resistance from government and personal politics. “Gosnell” is directed by Nick Searcy who starred in “The Shape of Water” and the critically acclaimed FX series “Justified.”

As many of you know, we try to avoid the abortion topic here at The Daily Buzz..  That said, its newsworthy just how Planned Parenthood (PP) bullies and intimidates the opposition.  Yes, the scheduling of this screening of Gosnell by the film’s producers at the same hotel that PP was having a convention was not an accident.  BUT, they applied for the use of the room for the screening of the film, paid the fees, and did everything appropriately.  So, that’s on that Hyatt for allowing competing entities to have their functions at the same time.  When the left bullies conservatives, it’s ok..and they get away with it.  Such is the case here with PP.  Typical…

Trump, at UN General Assembly, signs major trade deal with South Korea, reveals possible Kim Jong Un meeting ‘soon’

President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed a major agreement of Trump’s trade agenda Monday, on a busy day at the U.N. General Assembly during which Trump also revealed he’d meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “quite soon.” The U.S. and South Korean presidents signed an update to an existing U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement. Trump called it a “very big deal” and said the new agreement would make significant improvements to reduce the trade deficit between the countries and create new opportunities to export American products to South Korea. “This agreement will reduce bureaucracy and increase prosperity in both of our countries. Workers in South Korea and America will find new customers and new opportunities to expand and grow,” Trump said. “Our teams will be working hard to ensure that the terms of the deal are fully implemented.” He said U.S. automobiles, pharmaceuticals and agricultural products will gain better access to Korean markets. “I think our farmers are going to be extremely happy. It was very limited as to what they could do and what they could send, and now it’s an open market,” Trump added. “That makes me feel very good. I love our farmers.” Moon said companies from both countries will be able to do business under more stable conditions. The South Korean leader also said he hopes the revised agreement with the U.S. will help solidify their cooperation in other areas. Moon said: “I’m hopeful that this will provide us with a platform, upon which our bilateral economic ties will be elevated to a higher level, in a freer, fairer and more mutually beneficial direction.” During his appearance with Moon, Trump also raised hopes at the United Nations on Monday that a second meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could happen soon, striking a conciliatory tone one year after he used his debut at the U.N. to deride the autocrat as “Little Rocket Man” and threaten to “totally destroy North Korea.” Trump praised Kim as “very open” and “terrific,” despite the glacial pace of progress toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. The softer tone toward the erstwhile pariah state of North Korea — once threatened with “fire and fury” — has been replaced by rosy optimism, with Trump reserving tough rhetoric for another potential nuclear aspirant and strategic foe: Iran. “It was a different world,” Trump said Monday of his one-time moniker for the North Korean leader. “That was a dangerous time. This is one year later, a much different time.” Trump also praised Egypt for doing an “outstanding job” in the fight against terrorism. Trump told Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Monday that the fight is “not easy,” but his country is “at the forefront.” El-Sissi replied that Egypt will be able to eliminate terrorism with Trump’s support. El-Sissi said it’s an obligation Trump has made clear. Trump told el-Sissi, “We will work with you, and we will go all the way.”