Report shows rise in US suicide rates

Report shows rise in US suicide rates


Suicide rates inched up in nearly every U.S. state from 1999 through 2016, according to a new government report released Thursday.

More than half of suicides in 2015 in a subgroup of 27 states were among people with no known mental health condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Suicide is rarely caused by any single factor, health officials said, but information from coroners’ reports suggest many of the deaths followed relationship problems, substance use and financial crises.

Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death and one of just three leading causes on the rise. The others are Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdoses.

There were nearly 45,000 suicides in 2016. Middle-age adults – age 45 to 64 – had the largest rate increase, rising to 19.2 per 100,000 in 2016 from 13.2 per 100,000 in 1999.

Boy, 10, handcuffed


Chicago police are investigating an incident in which officers handcuffed a 10-year-old boy while he was being questioned about a gun, and the child’s family says it was a case of mistaken identity.

Cellphone video recorded last Friday shows the boy in front of a patrol car with two officers facing him. One of the officers tells a nearby adult that the boy started running when they arrived and “that’s why he’s in handcuffs.” The boy is seen crying as one of the officers later removes the handcuffs.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says the officers got a call that a boy age 10 to 12 was passing around a gun.

Aletta 1st hurricane of E. Pacific season


Aletta grew into the first hurricane of the eastern Pacific season Thursday, though forecasters said it continued to move out to sea away from the coast of Mexico and posed no threat to land.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Aletta, which had become a tropical storm late Wednesday, was centered about 455 miles west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. It was moving west-northwest at 6 mph.

The center said the storm was likely to strengthen some more as it moved farther out into the Pacific, but predicted Aletta would begin weakening Saturday.

Probe sought into evacuation protocols


Guatemalan prosecutors have ordered an investigation into whether evacuation protocols were followed properly in Sunday’s deadly volcanic eruption, which caught many residents unaware and with little to no time to evacuate.

A statement from the Public Ministry said Thursday that the investigation will seek to establish whether “the necessary protocols were activated that would allow for prudent and timely decisions.”

At least 109 people have been confirmed killed, a number that is expected to rise with nearly 200 still missing.

Mars discoveries: Possibility of life?


New Mars discoveries are advancing the case for possible life on the red planet, past or even present.

Scientists reported Thursday that NASA’s Curiosity rover has found potential building blocks of life in an ancient Martian lake bed. Hints have been found before, but this is the best evidence yet.

The organic molecules preserved in 3.5 billion-year-old bedrock in Gale Crater – believed to once contain a shallow lake the size of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee – suggest conditions back then may have been conducive to life. That leaves open the possibility that microorganisms once populated our planetary neighbor and might still exist there.

Associated Press

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