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President Biden welcomed UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to the White House on Thursday, where the leaders focused on defense and economic ties and unveiled a new economic agreement. The Atlantic Declaration focuses on economic security in the face of threats from China and Russia, and U.S.-UK leadership in emerging technologies like A.I."Our economic partnership is an enormous strength a source of strength that anchors everything that we do together," President Biden said during a joint press conference with the Prime Minister at the White House.The staunch supporters of Ukraine reaffirmed their long-term commitment to continued assistance."Let no one doubt U.S. leadership and resources are the decisive contribution allowing the forces of democracy and freedom to prevail," Prime Minister Sunak said during the press conference.SEE MORE: Vice President Harris touts US-African partnerships in 3-nation tourThe talks come amid continued Russian bombardments, with Ukraine accusing Russia of destroying a dam, speculation about a Ukrainian counteroffensive, and as NATO allies prepare for the alliance's summit next month.The meeting also comes as House Republicans seek to cut spending, but Senate Republican leadership signaled commitment to continuing aid for Ukraine."The fact of the matter is that I believe we'll have the funding necessary to support Ukraine as long as it takes," President Biden said.An area of common concern in emerging technology is artificial intelligence. The leaders agreed to work together to ensure safe and responsible development of A.I. with Sunak committing to hosting a summit with global partners on A.I. safety."Our job as leaders is to ensure that this technological revolution makes us more secure and not less," he said.It's an issue the White House is also prioritizing, looking to balance risks and opportunities.On Wednesday Sunak also had talks with Congressional leaders on these issues. Outside of his meetings with U.S. leaders, the Prime Minister visited Arlington National Cemetery to pay his respects to fallen soldiers and stopped at Washington Nationals Park.
One of the most beautiful, remote parts in southwest Colorado is suddenly drawing big crowds.At a canyon campground about half an hour from the town of Cortez, about a dozen rafts and boats stand ready to trek the Dolores River.Devon Wilson and her dad Mike and a group of family and friends are about to set out on one of the rarest whitewater-rafting trips anywhere. "It was kind of hard to say no to something most people never get to do," Wilson says.This trip is so special because most years, the Dolores River isn't much more than a trickle. Commercial rafting outfits haven't been able to run the Dolores in several years."It is a once-every-few-years thing," says Echo Canyon River Expeditions lead guide Craig Parsons. "Last time I was down here we talked to some guys who were like, 'We haven't been down here since the 80's!'"As Wilson and her group pack their gear into five rafts, Parsons gives a safety briefing and a preview of the three-day trip."You guys are some of the lucky people," Parsons tells them. "In the past 20 years, only about 2,500 people have rafted this."The Dolores river starts high in the mountains of southwest Colorado and runs about 230 miles before meeting the Colorado River in Utah.For a time in May and June, the Dolores River was running at about twice its normal level. In the midst of a Western water crisis, winter snowpack in Colorado spiked in some places more than 600% above normal. Rivers statewide are running much higher, which has made whitewater rafting trips very popular.The higher-than-normal water levels are also focusing new attention on a river that hasn't been allowed to run naturally for decades.SEE MORE: TikTok helps a Maryland dad's boating app become Apple's #1 appA dam built in the 1980s created the massive McPhee Reservoir, diverting water from the Dolores to nearby towns, Native American land, and farms that turn the naturally red landscape into verdant green fields. Most years, there's more water allocated than is available, and the Dolores often runs nearly dry."It's really turning a river into a stream," says Rica Fulton with the Dolores River Boating Advocates conservation group.Spanish explorers once called the Dolores the "River of Sorrows". Fulton says it's a name that fits."The downstream environment is completely different. You see the vegetation change, the channel shape is more narrow," Fulton says. "The native fish populations really aren't doing as well because it altered their habitat."With this season's snowmelt and a full reservoir, more water is released, and the Dolores becomes its old self.For Devon Wilson and her group, it means getting a chance to ride the biggest rapids, called Snaggletooth.For one of the boats, the ride gets a little rough, and two rafters are plunged into the cold water.It takes a few harrowing moments, but both are rescued."We lost a couple guys in the water for a bit," says Mike Wilson. "But the guides did a great job pulling them back in. Nobody hurt, everybody's happy."Conservation groups know the high water that makes the Dolores special won't last.Legislation working through Congress would set up a Dolores River National Conservation Area."The river is really the lifeblood of this community," says Fulton. "It's just why I love living here. And I think if we squander and waste this resource, you know, we'd be foolish that future generations couldn't experience it."After three days floating down the river, Mike Wilson says he couldn't imagine a more spectacular trip."I've been lucky enough to travel a lot of places in the world and this might be the most beautiful place I've ever been," Wilson says. "Awesome natural beauty the whole time."
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on Thursday said youth mental health is "the defining public health issue of our time."In his testimony before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions panel, Murthy warned that loneliness and isolation as well as exposure to potentially harmful content on social media are impacting youth development and leading to increased feelings of depression and self-harm.He told lawmakers he is in favor of a Surgeon General's warning label on social media sites like what's on a pack of cigarettes warning of the mental health impact of these sites. But an inclusion of such a label would require some form of congressional authority."The bottom line is: Our kids can't afford to wait longer for us to address the youth mental health crisis," he told the panel. "We have to expand our efforts to ensure every child has access to high quality, affordable, culturally competent mental health care."In an advisory issued in May, Murthy indicated more research still needs to be conducted to understand the scale of social media's impact on youth mental health.He also worries an increase in loneliness could lead to broader issues, such as stalling future economic growth.For now, Murthy is encouraging parents and teachers to create stronger support systems to make it easier for kids to speak up if they are struggling.SEE MORE: White House takes new steps for kids' mental health and online safety
A Nebraska police department has launched a hate crime investigation after an LGBTQ+ flag was stolen and another was burned at the same home.The Douglas County Sheriff's Office, or DCSO, released footage of both incidents, which were caught on the west Omaha home's doorbell camera.Video from April 15 around 9:30 p.m. shows a hooded person wearing plaid, dark jeans and a face covering running up to a rainbow flag hanging on the home's front porch. The person jumps to grab it, then runs away with it.Then on June 2 around 2:00 a.m., video shows a hooded person with a face covering approaching the home's replacement flag. The person then seems to apply accelerant to the flag before setting it on fire, and running away as part of the flag dropped to the ground in flames.DSCO say the suspect in the first video appears to be male and that the suspect in the second video may have burns on his hands due to the fire.Sheriff Aaron Hanson told a local publication it's likely the same culprit or an organized group of people.The sheriff's office is asking anyone with information to report to its tip line at 402-444-6000.Nebraska's statute 28-111 says punishment for committing a hate crime is enhanced from the original penalty, meaning there can be additional fines or sentence time.According to the Department of Justice's latest data, dozens of hate crimes occurred in Nebraska in 2021. Of those, seven were motivated by bias against sexual orientation. SEE MORE: Biden to announce new LGBTQ+ community safety initiatives
Newly arrived migrants are struggling in New York City. A survey conducted by immigration advocates Make the Road New York and Hester Street shows migrants are not getting access to legal representation, health care, education and basic necessities. Ninety-three percent of respondents said they have not found a lawyer for their asylum cases, 97% have not yet received work authorization and as a result, 98% have not found steady work. "This influx of asylum seekers is a serious crisis, one that New York City is facing largely on our own," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Adams says the city is struggling to house the thousands of migrants who have arrived since spring of 2022. "It's unfair and it's not right that New York is going through this," Adams said. Earlier this week, Adams announced the creation of a faith-based shelter program that will allow up to 50 houses of worship to offer overnight shelter for single adult men."We're expanding the amount of emergency shelter available to asylum seekers," Adams said. The survey examined the experiences of 766 migrants between February and May. Twenty-six percent of the respondents said they are not eating three full meals per day, and 59% dont have access to reliable transportation because shelters are often far from transportation hubs. Despite these findings, Adams says the city is getting things done. "We supported over 72,000 asylum seekers, opened over 160 sites for asylum seekers to rest their heads and receive services and help people in need get health care, education, legal aid and so much more," Adams said.SEE MORE: NYC relaxes shelter rules to house more asylum seekers
Former President Donald Trump says he has been indicted by a federal grand jury in relation to classified documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Trump announced in posts on his Truth Social media platform Thursday night he was indicted in connection with improperly handling classified documents. The Department of Justice said it seized over 100 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago last year.The former president said he was due in federal court in Miami on Tuesday, June 13.The New York Times reported Trump faced charges of conspiracy to obstruct, making false statements, and willful retention of documents, citing sources familiar with the matter.Two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that Trump's team had been informed of seven counts in total, shortly before Trump made his announcement on social media.The Department of Justice did not immediately comment or confirm the indictment. The White House declined to comment on the developments, referring questions to the Department of Justice.A federal indictment would make Trump the first sitting or former president to face federal charges.Trump has not denied having the documents in his possession and has claimed that he declassified the documents before he left office."Number one, it was all declassified," Trump wrote last year. "Number two, they didnt need to 'seize' anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request. They could have had it anytime they wantedand that includes LONG ago."According to a search warrant made public by a federal judge, 28 boxes of evidence were taken from Trump's residence, including multiple top-secret documents. There were three potential criminal statutes listed in the original search warrant. In order to obtain a search warrant, officials would have to prove they have probable cause and that they would find evidence of a crime.The statutes listed were:18 USC 2071 Concealment, removal or mutilation generally18 USC 793 Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information18 USC 1519 Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcyFederal grand juries are composed of 16-23 citizens. Their deliberations are considered secret. In order for a grand jury to return an indictment, at least 12 jurors have to believe it is probable that someone committed a crime. Unlike a conviction, jurors can issue an indictment even if they have reasonable doubt. An indictment would add to Trump's ongoing legal entanglements. Trump was indicted in New York in March, in connection with payments he made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016. That indictment made him the first sitting or former president to be indicted for a crime.He was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump issued a not-guilty plea in a Manhattan courtroom in April. The case likely wont go to trial for a number of months.Trump also faces investigation in Georgia, in connection with alleged attempts to interfere with the state's 2020 presidential election results.Regarding the latest charges, Trumps campaign released a statement, saying in part, President Trump will fight this unconstitutional abuse of power until he is ultimately vindicated. He will never stop fighting for the American people, and he will continue to work to restore the greatness of the United States of America. This is a developing story. Stay with Scripps News for additional updates.
Former President Donald Trump says he has been indicted by a federal grand jury in relation to classified documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Trump said he was indicted in connection with improperly handling classified documents. The Department of Justice said it seized over 100 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago last year. Trump said in posts on the Truth Social media platform Thursday that he was due in federal court in Miami on Tuesday, June 13.The Department of Justice did not immediately comment or confirm the indictment.Trump has not denied having the documents in his possession and has claimed that he declassified the documents before he left office."Number one, it was all declassified," Trump wrote last year. "Number two, they didnt need to 'seize' anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request. They could have had it anytime they wantedand that includes LONG ago."According to a search warrant made public by a federal judge, 28 boxes of evidence were taken from Trump's residence, including multiple top-secret documents. There were three potential criminal statutes listed in the original search warrant. In order to obtain a search warrant, officials would have to prove they have probable cause and that they would find evidence of a crime.The statutes listed were:18 USC 2071 Concealment, removal or mutilation generally18 USC 793 Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information18 USC 1519 Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcyFederal grand juries are composed of 16-23 citizens. Their deliberations are considered secret. In order for a grand jury to return an indictment, at least 12 jurors have to believe it is probable that someone committed a crime. Unlike a conviction, jurors can issue an indictment even if they have reasonable doubt. An indictment would add to Trump's ongoing legal entanglements. Trump was indicted in New York in March, in connection with payments he made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016. That indictment made him the first sitting or former president to be indicted for a crime. He was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump issued a not-guilty plea in a Manhattan courtroom in April. The case likely wont go to trial for a number of months.Trump was under investigation for alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels through his attorney Michael Cohen. The payments were made in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. That investigation involved three instances of hush money payments being made on Trump's behalf.Trump also faces investigation in Georgia, in connection with alleged attempts to interfere with the state's 2020 presidential election results.This is a developing story. Stay with Scripps News for additional updates.
Former President Donald Trump says he has been indicted by a federal grand jury in relation to classified documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Multiple outlets report Trump said he was indicted in connection with improperly handling classified documents. The Department of Justice said it seized over 100 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago last year. Trump said in posts on the Truth Social media platform Thursday that he was due in federal court in Miami on Tuesday, June 13.The Department of Justice did not immediately comment or confirm the indictment.Trump has not denied having the documents in his possession and has claimed that he declassified the documents before he left office."Number one, it was all declassified," Trump wrote last year. "Number two, they didnt need to 'seize' anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request. They could have had it anytime they wantedand that includes LONG ago."According to a search warrant made public by a federal judge, 28 boxes of evidence were taken from Trump's residence, including multiple top-secret documents. There were three potential criminal statutes listed in the original search warrant. In order to obtain a search warrant, officials would have to prove they have probable cause and that they would find evidence of a crime.The statutes listed were:18 USC 2071 Concealment, removal or mutilation generally18 USC 793 Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information18 USC 1519 Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcyFederal grand juries are composed of 16-23 citizens. Their deliberations are considered secret. In order for a grand jury to return an indictment, at least 12 jurors have to believe it is probable that someone committed a crime. Unlike a conviction, jurors can issue an indictment even if they have reasonable doubt. Earlier this year, Trump became the first sitting or former president to be indicted for a crime. He was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump issued a not-guilty plea in a Manhattan courtroom in April. The case likely wont go to trial for a number of months.Trump was under investigation for alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels through his attorney Michael Cohen. The payments were made in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. That investigation involved three instances of hush money payments being made on Trump's behalf.This is a developing story. Stay with Scripps News for additional updates.
Multiple rounds of storms in the Amarillo, Texas, area Wednesday led to severe flash flooding, prompting water rescues and evacuations throughout the night.The National Weather Service Amarillo had released multiple special weather statements and warnings Wednesday, including noting the possibility of seeing nickel-size hail and 5055 mph wind gusts.As storms intensified, so did warnings, with the service telling more than 252,000 residents around Amarillo to move immediately to higher ground and avoid walking or driving through flood waters amid the flash flood warning.Some roads were closed due to water levels, with the Amarillo Fire Department helping evacuate flooded streets. It also performed water rescues at an apartment complex inundated with up to six feet of water.As of 3 p.m. local time Thursday, the fire department said it had rescued 245 people and 57 pets.On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Grey Abbott issued a severe weather disaster declaration for 13 counties, which allowed for the use of state resources to help cope with the storms. Some areas hit by the storm were already recovering from other flooding and heavy rain that hit in recent weeks, and it might not be over yet.The National Weather Service said more severe storms are possible Friday evening into Saturday, which could bring large hail, damaging winds and more flash flooding from heavy rain to the area.SEE MORE: Firefighters rescue family trapped in flooding basement
Corporate bankruptcies are at its highest levels since the great recession in part of a growing trend among billion-dollar businesses that experts believe isn't going away anytime soon.Party City, Bed Bath & Beyond, and mattress seller Serta Simmons are just some of the nearly 300 corporations that have filed for bankruptcy so far this year.According to new data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, that's the highest year-to-date total since 2010, which saw over 400 bankruptcies in just five months.Corporate bankruptcies also rose slightly from April with 54 companies filing in May.Some of the most notable include Jenny Craig, Vice Media and Monitronics International Inc., the parent company of Brinks home security.Monitronics was also among 11 companies this year that entered bankruptcy with more than one billion dollars in liabilities.Most of the companies going bankrupt sell non-essential consumer products, including fire protection company Kidde-Fenwal or the specialty retail chain, Christmas Tree Shops.Bankruptcies among large corporations are down from their peak in March, but are slowly creeping up again as the Federal Reserve continues to drive up interest rates amid a period of record inflation.The filings also show how dependent companies were on borrowing easy money with low interest rates.Like Vice Media, which said in its filing last month it took out big loans and complex investments as its cash flow depleted.But as interest rates rose, the company couldn't keep up with paying its debt. Industry analysts believe the trend is sticking around for the time being.According to the New York Times, the chief global economist at Vanguard warned investors to expect banks to cut back on lending.That means more companies could cut costs, lay off workers, and eventually become more names on the list of bankrupted businesses.
The United States leads the world in incarceration by a long shot and some experts say the reason our incarceration rate is so high is because a lack of reentry programs leads many people back into the same cycles that put them in prison in the first place. New beginnings don't just happen. They are unlocked through diligent steps that are taken by people like Brian Johnson.The 33-year-old is just two months out of prison, and today is a big day. He's getting ready for a job interview stocking shelves at Walmart."I'm excited about it. I think the job will help with showing people that I'm changing," he said.If Johnson succeeds, it will make him an exception since many people in his situation don't."The system, to me, adds to the recidivism rate," he said. "You know, I did a paper on this when I was in prison ... I was sad. Not only because you're incarcerated, isolated from society, but because you're sitting here like, 'Who do I ask for help?'"As Johnson learned, help doesn't always come to those who are searching for it the most.SEE MORE: DOJ allowing thousands of inmates to remain at homeNationwide, more than half of the formerly incarcerated are unable to find stable employment within their first year of return, and 75% of them are re-arrested within their first three years of release, according to the Brookings Institution.It's easy to write that off as a result of the choices these individuals make, without acknowledging a system that can make those choices the only ones available for survival.One of those shortcomings is a lack of adequate reentry programs that the American Psychological Association says "leaves men and women with minimal preparation," making their reentry into society challenging.Formerly incarcerated people are 10 times more likely to be homeless than the general population, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. They are also half as likely as others to get a call back from a prospective employer.SEE MORE: More states pushing 'Clean Slate' legislation to clear former convictsJohnson was one of those people who was placed into a homeless shelter for two weeks upon his release. Had it not been for the open arms of a cousin he's staying with now, Johnson worries he would probably still be there."You know, life is full of challenges and my thing is when I make the initial step or I make these steps to better my life and I'm going to the sign that says this is where help is at, you should have the answers," he said.But a simple interview is Johnson's first step toward his new beginning. It's a door he has worked diligently to unlock as he hopes will defy the statistics that say he is more likely to fail than succeed."There's no reason to go back to prison," Johnson added. "I have a great support system and that's outside of the government. You know, these are family members and friends that have already lived that life that I'm about to start living."
With its flock of cranes in the sky and fleet of vehicles on its streets, the signs are clear: Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, according to the U.S. Census."Our streets are our largest shared public space in Charlotte. We have more area on our streets than we do in our parks and other public spaces," said Meg Fencil, director of engagement and impact at Sustain Charlotte, a nonprofit pushing to make the city safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. "People who are walking and riding bikes in Charlotte account for less than 3% of all crashes, yet they account for over a third of all traffic deaths."It's not just an issue in Charlotte, but all over the country.According to the latest analysis from the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 3,400 pedestrians died in the first half of 2022, which is up 5% from the year before.SEE MORE: Report: Pedestrian deaths on the rise across the USThat comes after 2021 already marked a 40-year high in pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. Between 2019 and 2022, pedestrian deaths surged 18% across America and now average about 20 a day."There really is a pedestrian-bicycle safety crisis unfolding across the U.S.," said Nick Ferenchak, director of the new Center for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety.The center is a new research facility located at the University of New Mexico funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Through the recent infrastructure bill, the federal government committed $5 billion to improving roadway safety and reducing deaths."It's a team of folks from across the country so, West Coast, East Coast, Midwest and we're here in the Southwest leading it," Ferenchak said.Inside a simulation lab there, virtual reality creates real-life driving experiences in an urban environment, where streets, sidewalks, railroad tracks and people all intersect. How drivers interact with it all is a key component of the research there."Virtual reality is a really neat tool that we have nowadays, because if you're going to be testing some kind of solution out in the real world, it's going to be very expensive and it could be unsafe," Ferenchak said. "Something that you try might not work and then somebody could be killed if you test it in the real world. So, virtual reality allows us to test things at a very basic level to see: 'Is this going to work?'"Getting behind the virtual wheel feels completely immersive, like you really are driving on a road."Our roads, especially in our urban areas, really prioritize moving vehicles quickly," Ferenchak said, "and that comes at the detriment of pedestrians and bicyclists who are also trying to use that road space."How to improve sharing that space is a major focus at the center, including specifically looking at bike lanes.SEE MORE: 'I could have been dead': Conor McGregor hit by car while riding bike"It actually makes the entire roadway safer for all road users because it slows vehicles down," Ferenchak said. "Then, the next step up is actually protecting that space, and there's a debate going on: 'What is protection?'"Then, there is the future one that is expected to be filled with far more self-driving cars.Simulations at the center are looking into how people interact with them and how streets can be safely built to better accommodate them."I'm kind of an old-school civil engineer," Ferenchak said. "I think the real permanent solution is the infrastructure of our streets putting down concrete in the right way, so the streets are safe."Back in Charlotte, that may be easier said than done."We have a huge backlog of sidewalks that need to be built, bike lanes that need to be built, safer access to bus stops," Fencil said. "Often, the price tag is startlingly high because it's not just the cost of building the sidewalk, it's also acquiring the property, going through engineering and permitting process, relocating the utility and the sewer."Those are challenges that researchers at the center acknowledge can be tough to face."It is possible," Ferenchak said, "but not easy."
Chicago's obsession with hot dogs knows no bounds.That's the clear impression you get at the annual Windy City Hot Dog Fest, where people get to stuff their faces all weekend long with vintage and exotic frankfurters from 12 of the city's favorite vendors. After trying them all, attendees crown the supreme dog.First the classic: The world-famous Chicago-style dog.On top of your all-beef steamed sausage, you get mustard, relish, chopped onions, tomato wedges, a pickle spear, sport peppers and finally celery salt."The tartness of the tomatoes, the sweetness of the relish, the vinegar taste of the mustard and the onions it just all blends together perfectly," explained Mike Payne, president of Byron's Hot Dogs, one of the fest vendors. Payne says that perfect combo would be criminally ruined by ketchup, or "the K-word," because as a self-respecting Chicagoan, "it would hurt too much" to say the full word, Payne said.There's tradition and then there's innovation as in putting nacho cheese and Flamin' Hot Cheetos on top of your dog, an idea one fest vendor credits to his nephew.Of course, the other kids at the fest love it."The crunch [from the Cheetos] gives it like this good texture that I feel like I'm missing when I eat a hot dog," one 11-year-old boy told Scripps News.SEE MORE: Why is Chicago against ketchup on hot dogs?Next door, you have Lola's Coney Island and their signature Detroit-style chili dog, which won the People's Choice Award last year.Lola's chef Gus Lemus says the dog is popular because it's meaty and messy. "When they bite into it, they can see the meat rolling down," he said proudly.At Tandoor Char House, you'll find Indian-inspired dogs like the tikka masala and spicy achar dogs.Achar is the name of a medley of pickled vegetables including carrot, cabbage and hot peppers. Here the recipe comes from the chef's great-grandmother."We put this in a hot dog one random evening and decided it was the best things we've ever had," said the chef, Faraz Sardharia, adding that the pickled vegetable dish is the Indian equivalent of Chicago-style giardiniera.For the most daring, Chicago's DogHouse has meat you likely have never tried, such as alligator, wild boar and the most exotic dog of all: rattlesnake and rabbit."We have a rattlesnake farm and we feed it rabbit. So when the rabbit is inside of the rattlesnake, then we make the sausage out of it," explained Aaron Wolfson, the owner of DogHouse.SEE MORE: The Italian beef: A century-old sandwich that stands the test of timeScripps News' Ben Schamisso visibly enjoyed sampling all those delicious dogs. But it came at a cost. Having lived in Chicago for more than 10 years, the Belgian native had always wanted to join a hot dog eating contest. So his editors let him sign up.But he overestimated his appetite and underestimated his competitors.While he managed to gulp five down in five minutes, Teddy Delacruz took the trophy home by downing 12 dogs.His secret? Dipping them in different sugary drinks."It tastes better if you mix up the drinks, so it makes it easier," the contest champion explained.While Schamisso had to call it a day, for other festgoers the feast promptly resumed with Asian- and Mexican-style dogs stealing the show."That's what's so great about America," said festgoer Vu Nguyen, adding, "Every country brings their own culture in terms of food, especially, and they kind of mix it and blend it. And, you know, the result is something even better than before."Unfortunately, there was no People's Choice Award this year because of a glitch with the voting system. Or maybe the tech person responsible for it had one too many dogs.
In less than a month, a new law goes into effect in Tennessee making gender transition care for individuals under 18 years old illegal in the state.Despite the law going into effect on July 1, its consequences are already being felt, leading families to make tough decisions. Nashville resident Kristen Chapman already has plans to relocate her family to ensure her 15-year-old transgender daughter, Willow, can continue receiving care.Chapman recently received a letter from her daughter's health care provider informing her that the practice will no longer offer gender-affirming care services due to the forthcoming state law. The legislation prohibits doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, hormones, or providing any other gender-affirming care to individuals under the age of 18. Although the law includes a few exceptions, Chapman believes immediate action is necessary to safeguard her daughter's well-being.Willow has been receiving puberty blockers every three months since she turned 12, significantly improving her quality of life, Chapman said.SEE MORE: US judge blocks Florida's ban on gender-affirming care for minorsAccording to Chapman, prior to her transition, Willow experienced extreme withdrawal, depression and anxiety. Desiring to maintain her daughter's newfound confidence and happiness, Chapman made the difficult decision to split her family, relocating half to Virginia, where Willow's treatment can continue. They chose Virginia due to its proximity to Willow's father and brother, who will remain in Tennessee.Obtaining puberty blockers as a minor has proved challenging, Chapman said. Her family is not alone in their struggle, as countless families with minors receiving gender-affirming care in Tennessee are receiving similar letters. Reflecting on the journey, Chapman remembered the pivotal moment when her 11-year-old daughter emailed her, stating, "I'm trans.""In 2020, soon after school was dismissed, I got an email from my daughter that said one sentence: 'Im trans.' It took about a year for us to begin treatment. There's a lot of physical tests, blood tests, psychological and mental health tests," Chapman said.The relocation to another state means uprooting most of Willow's siblings, causing them to leave their friends in the midst of high school. However, for the sake of Willow's ongoing treatment and well-being, Chapman believes it is a necessary sacrifice.SEE MORE: Campaign launched to address LGBTQ+ mental health needsRecently, Willow went in for her final shot in Tennessee, prompting Chapman to reflect on the transformative power of puberty blockers. She said even the doctors noticed the remarkable change. "Her doctor told her, 'You came in and didn't make any eye contact with me at all. You barely spoke. You also had extreme dysphoria. Now, you walk into my office, you're joking and laughing, you're confident. You're a different person,'" Chapman stated.Chapman hates leaving the state she loves but thinks she's making the right decision. She sees herself as doing what any mother would do. "If my child didn't get a shot in August, I can guarantee there would be psychiatric ramifications by December. Do I want my child alive and well or not? That's the choice," Chapman said.While Willow's father and older brother, who is in college nearby, will remain in Tennessee, the family is actively seeking a new home in Virginia, a state they say is better suited to their needs. Chapman has launched a GoFundMe for anyone willing to help them relocate. The story was originally published by Aaron Cantrell for Scripps News Nashville.
Pope Francis is out of surgery and in "good overall condition" a day after his second abdominal operation in just two years, the Vatican said.The 86-year-old Catholic leader was admitted to Rome's A. Gemelli University Hospital Wednesday where he underwent a three-hour operation to remove intestinal scar tissue and repair a hernia. The pontiff's medical team said the surgery was completed "without complications" and that no other problems were discovered."The medical staff following the post-operative progress of the Pontiff reports that Pope Francis spent a quiet night, managing to rest for a long time," said Matt Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office. "He is in good overall condition, and is alert and breathing on his own."SEE MORE: What is the future of the papacy?Dr. Sergio Alfieri, who also removed a portion of Francis' colon in 2021, told reporters that the pope was awake, alert, and jokingly asked "when will we do the third one?" As a standard precaution, Francis is expected to remain in the hospital for five to seven days recovering. Alfieri said he should eventually be able to return to the Vatican and resume normal activities, but should avoid lifting heavy objects.This is not the first time the pope has been hospitalized in recent months, as this is just the latest in a series of complications. Francis was hospitalized in March for four days due to acute pneumonitis or inflammation of the lungs. He has also been suffering from strained ligaments in his right knee for months and said last month that "some days are more painful" than others.The most recent operation comes ahead of several international trips the pope has planned later this summer. He's expected to visit Portugal at the beginning of August to celebrate World Youth Day, followed by a trip to Mongolia later that month, and then a trip to Marseille, France, in September."The Pope has been made aware of the messages of closeness and affection that have arrived in the last few hours, and has expressed his gratitude, while at the same time asking for continued prayers," Bruni said.
Across the country, Confederate images have come down in droves in recent years. From statues in Virginia to street signs in Louisiana, images from the Confederacy and Civil War are becoming harder to find.That is becoming true with Confederate-named military installations as well. On Friday, President Joe Biden heads to Fort Liberty in North Carolina.Fort Liberty used to be Fort Bragg, named after former Confederate commander Braxton Bragg. The name change is part of a multi-year effort by the Pentagon to rename nine controversial locations by the end of 2023.In April, Fort Lee in Virginia was redesignated Fort Gregg-Adams, after Black service members Lt. Col. Charity Adams and Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg.Gregg is the first to be alive while an installation was named in their honor."I hope this community will take pride in the name Fort Gregg-Adams," Gregg said during a ceremony in late April. Of course, all this name-changing isn't cheap. The estimated cost to the military is close to $40 million to erase the past and create new signs. The military is not the only government agency renaming sites and locations. The Department of the Interior has committed to renaming 650 features and locations around the country deemed to be racist or offensive. All of these changes are a result of who won the last presidential election. Back in 2020, President Joe Biden campaigned in support of changing controversial names, while former President Donald Trump said he would block the renaming of Confederate sites, believing it improperly erases history. SEE MORE: Fort Bragg gets new name, dropping Confederate namesake
Parents and students of a neighboring Nashville Christian school showed their empathy and support for the victims of The Covenant School by tying bows to signs, trees and posts along a busy highway in front of the school.Trever Mason didnt know anyone at the school but felt impassioned to come show love for the victims."My heart just went out to the family. I purchased a peace lily because I feel that our country needs peace, especially in our school," said Mason.A heartbroken Nashville, as families of the victims grieve and try to ease the pain and sadness of those whove lost loved ones."My heart is broken tonight. For these families, for our community, and for every Nashvillian because evil has come here today," said Curtis McDowell, who came to pay his respects.Scripps News is learning more about the six victims, including the three children, killed in the shooting at The Covenant School.SEE MORE: The sharp contrast between responses to Uvalde and Nashville shootingsKatherine Koonce, the 60-year-old head of the Presbyterian School since 2016, was a person who cared not only for the children but also for adults in the community; friends noted how she could be counted on when someone got sick or was in need.A letter from Koonce on the school website describes the mission as not just to educate kids but to guide them in "the miracle of their development and seeing them transform into who they will be."Head custodian Mike Hill was also killed; a friend of his posted on social media how Hill would send people encouraging messages that would come out of the blue.Also killed was substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, who was 61 years old. She is reportedly survived by her husband, daughter, and two sons.The three murdered children were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, who was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the lead pastor at the Covenant Presbyterian Church.Evelyns family called their 9-year-old a shining light in this world; they said, "Our hearts are completely broken."On a fundraising page for William Kinney, the organizer called the boy an "unflappable spirit."On Wednesday, mayor John Cooper scheduled a candlelight vigil to mourn and honor the lives lost. The gathering will be in Nashvilles public square park.
A female juror in the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh was dismissed from the panel Thursday after the court said the juror expressed her opinion on the case to at least three others, said Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman. Juror No. 786 will be replaced by an alternate. Newman said he received a complaint from a member of the public about the communications. The judge said the juror denied discussing the case outside of the jury and gave information on the people she was suspected of having conversations with.Newman said they were interviewed about the conversations they had with the juror. He added that the conversations were not extensive, but involved the juror offering an opinion regarding evidence.We have had some discussions with you over the last several days concerning indications of conversations with a few folks not in the jury concerning the case and expressing some opinion on the case, Newman told the juror. SEE MORE: Alex Murdaugh takes the stand in double-murder trialNewman said the juror defied an order not to discuss the case intentionally or unintentionally with those outside of the jury. He said the decision was made to preserve the integrity of the case. You have been by all accounts a great juror and smiled consistently and similarly been attentive to the case, and I am sure with all the time you have invested, you probably hate not to continue, Newman said before thanking the juror for her service. Newman requested the juror wait until after the case has concluded before speaking publicly, if the juror decides to speak at all. Murdaugh faces two murder counts for the 2021 deaths of his wife and 22-year-old son. The trial began Jan. 25.
The cost to rent these days is driving some families to seek out less-expensive places to live.But as one family learned recently, cheaper options aren't always what they seem, and in some cases are sophisticated scams. Imagine paying a security deposit, then bringing everything you own to a brand-new rental unit. Brandon Smith and Shelby Moore just did that, only to find out hours later the home they thought they were renting wasn't really available for them to rent.They thought they had found the perfect rental home for $1,000 a month on Facebook Marketplace."It was a dream come true for us," Moore said, scrolling through photos of the vacant house.The landlord took their deposit, gave them the front door code, and told them to move in at any time. They rented a moving van, even shooting videos of their thrilled children in the van and their first walk-through inside."That was us all excited about it, ready to move in and everything," Smith said, showing the video on his phone.SEE MORE: Scammers luring job hunters with fake remote jobsBut as they were moving in, they say a man stopped by to inform them it wasn't their house at all, even though they had signed a contract, and sent a $1,000 security deposit through Venmo to a man they thought was the landlord.They had fallen for the rental scam, a fake home rental ad stolen from a legitimate ad (where the same house was advertised at double the price)."It sounded realistic at the time, because we were just so excited about it," Smith said.Warning signs of a rental scamRedfin's Daryl Fairweather says it's never been easier for scammers to make a fake listing."You can pull photos from other listings; you can digitally alter them," he said.Fairweather says that's why you should always see a property in person before giving a deposit, even if it's out of town."I would recommend getting a friend or family member in the area to go look at the place for you if you can," she said.SEE MORE: A growing number of people are moving due to rising costsRedfin has a checklist of the warning signs you are about to be scammed.The Better Business Bureau's Melanie McGovern suggests you meet the landlord or leasing agent in person. If they refuse to meet or claim they are traveling out of town, it's time for a gut check."If the landlord can't get in for some reason, that's a big red flag," she said, "So you want to make sure they're following all the steps of a normal home rental that they have a key, that they are the owner."Just because someone gives you a code does not mean they are the landlord; scammers often call the real landlord, pretending to be renters, and get the code to get in the front door.The BBB also recommends you:- Search online for listings with the same description or photos.- Be wary of an unusually low price.- Never pay with cash transfer apps. Always pay by check or credit card.Smith and Moore have now set up a GoFundMe to try to get help finding a new place, having lost more than $1,000 and their dreams."It's very stressful, very stressful because I just want to feel like we can just live," Moore said.So be suspicious of great deals on rentals, so you don't waste your money.
Dangerous wind chills are expected this weekend for much of the Northeast as cold temperatures and gusty winds will create dangerous conditions.In one area that is notorious for its ferocious winds, the wind chill could reach 100 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service.Mount Washington, New Hampshire, sits 6,288 feet above sea level. According to Mount Washington Observatory, the average wind in February there is 45 mph.It is also very snowy there, averaging 566 inches of snow a year.The National Weather Service is projecting wind gusts on Mount Washington could reach 100 mph this weekend, while air temperatures drop to minus 45 degrees.Mount Washingtons observatory is staffed year-round, but staffers are warning others about the extreme cold.SEE MORE: Minus-60 wind chills expected for some states this weekendI want to emphasize the danger of this cold, wrote Mount Washington weather observer Alexis George. In these brutally cold conditions, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite will be exponential. These frigid cold conditions will quickly rob you of body heat, with the possibility that frostbite could develop on exposed skin in under a minute. Even small mistakes can prove deadly, with a simple slip or fogged goggles leading to a potentially life-threatening situation. In this type of weather, rescue services will have a difficult time responding to any emergency effectively.Such ferocious cold isn't terribly common at least not on Earth.Located about 90 miles south of the Martian equator, the Mars Curiosity rover has recorded nighttime temperatures in recent days of 105 degrees below zero. The temperature during the day has climbed to as warm as 16 above zero, according to NASA.According to NASA, temperatures on Mars can be as cold as 225 degrees below zero and as warm as 70 degrees above zero.But its tricky to compare the wind chill on Mars to Earth.According to Arizona State University, winds on Mars can reach up to 62 mph, but because of Mars thin atmosphere, the wind has very little force.Surrounding towns in New England might not have wind chills as bad as Mount Washington, but the conditions will be nearly as dangerous. The National Weather Service is warning residents in New England and most of Upstate New York to prepare for wind chills reaching minus 60 degrees.Wind chill warnings are in place from northeast Pennsylvania north to the Maine/New Brunswick border. The wind chill warning includes Boston, which could have a minus 30 wind chill Saturday morning.
In the heart of downtown Atlanta sits one of the nations fastest growing tech innovation hubs. Its called Tech Square and over 30 major tech companies have moved in. The eight-block stretch in midtown Atlanta is the southeasts highest density of research facilities, startups and corporate innovators. "So Georgia Tech stands in amazing moment in time in the city of Atlanta. Atlanta is booming in terms of companies coming in and investments coming in. People from Asia are coming. Europe is here. South America is here," said Dr. Mitchell Walker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Georgia Tech and a professor at the School of Aerospace Engineering.But why have the three biggest names in tech Apple, Google and Microsoft all set up shop in Atlanta in recent years? "When a company comes here, Georgia Tech is here and we are making engineers, we are making computer scientists, and they're all ready to go join these companies with the highest training in the world, either with a bachelor's and master's or a Ph.D. And they can get that talent local," Walker said. But even with schools like Georgia Tech being amongst the top producers of engineers in America, it is projected that between 2016-2024 America will be over six million short of the number of engineers needed to keep up with our increasingly tech-savvy lifestyles, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.In a recent panel on the future of microelectronics at Purdue University, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo expresses her concerns. "And every company you talk to, literally everyone, including the ones in the booths, will tell you the thing they're most worried about is talent. The rate limiting factor to growth is talent. And by the way, it's at every level, right? Process engineers, technicians, to the Ph.D. [in] physics and the like," Raimondo said. Whats behind the shortage? The country has experienced a growing disinterest in STEM over the years. Now the government, academic institutions and companies are banking on making science and engineering cool again. SEE MORE: Google axes 12,000 jobs, layoffs spread across tech sectorKevin Lavallee, CEO of TKE Elevator North America, is looking to fill STEM positions.SCRIPPS NEWS' STEPHEN GRADDICK: You're looking to fill almost 900 positions, yes? What's your strategy for that?KEVIN LAVALLEE: And our thoughts here are that if you're an engineer or you're coming from the science and or manufacturing technology, pretty exciting place to be. You know, you have everything available here. You have the training, you have corporate headquarters already. Relocating gives you lots of opportunity, if the elevator industry wasn't for you, but we're pretty sure it will be.TKE is a global leader in the elevator space. Just last year, they opened the North America headquarters in Atlanta. The company employs over 50,000 people worldwide and plans to recruit talent from the pool of engineers in the area. With more companies like TKE flooding the Atlanta job market with open positions, first year students like Raymond Doe say that there is a sea of options to choose from. "It's a very competitive market. My major, biomedical engineering, is one of the newer aspects of the medical field. So steadily growing occupation. And what I love about Georgia Tech is the we have boundless opportunities to get, you know, co-ops, internships," Doe said. "When our students walk across the stage, 86% of them have at least one job or offer in hand, and their starting salary is on average $88,000. The average for the country is only $58,000," Walker said. Dr. Walker says theres an unlocked potential in groups that have often been overlooked in the STEM fields. "We create the most female engineers in the country. We award degrees to the most underrepresented student groups in the country," he said.But the future of engineering in America is on the line. A more diverse group is needed and Atlantas tech mecca hopes to meet that need.
Friday evening, the City of Memphis released the hard-to-watch brutal beating video of 29- year-old Tyre Nichols.Police say it started as a traffic stop for reckless driving; Although Police Chief Cerelyn Davis says they haven't yet found video that substantiates what officers reported.Now, some Tennessee lawmakers are questioning the effectiveness of random stops and de-escalation training."If you don't get to the escalation part, ain't nothing to de-escalate," said Rep. G.A. Hardaway.There were four videos released by the department totaling over an hour of footage.One video clip from a police body camera shows officers already in an aggressive mode as a third officer arrives on scene.They yank the father-of-one out of his car as they spout profanities and threats.Nichols appears to be complying, responding to shouted commands with "alright," and pointing out to officers that he's already on the ground.As officers continue to shout around him, one officer tases Nichols, but Nichols is able to break free and runs away; police immediately chase him and call for backup.Another video angle shows the moments after officers caught up to Nichols, they're on top of Nichols, kicking him in the face, pepper spraying him and punching him with haymakers a term one of the officers later proudly proclaimed he had done to Nichols while laughing with fellow officers on the scene.A "haymaker" is a punch delivered with great force.SEE MORE: Memphis authorities release video of officers beating Tyre NicholsAt one point, one of the officers retracts his baton telling Nichols he's going to "baton the f*** out of you," and another police officer is heard cheering him on on video saying "hit him, hit him."At points in the video, you can hear Nichols yelling loudly for his mother as he's on the ground.Nichols seemed to be trying to get home; he was living with his parents and the house was a short distance away from the scene.His mother hasn't watched the video but spoke about hearing that her son called out for her."For me to find out that my son was calling my name and I was only feets away. I did not even hear him. You have no clue how I feel right now. No clue," said RowVaughn Wells, Tyre's mother.At one point, more people get to the scene; It's unclear if they're MPD or another agency.Nichols was then handcuffed and on the ground. Defenseless.There were approximately 7 people on scene as they dragged Tyre Nichols' body up against a police car. He's alive, but badly injured.Emergency crews eventually worked on Nichols, then loaded him into an ambulance to take him to the hospital, where 3 days later he died.You can hear officers checking to make sure each other are okay.Officer: I'm not talking about straight like that. I'm asking, are y'all injured?Several people replied: Nah, I'm good. I'm good.When the police department originally sent out a statement about this case, they never mentioned that Nichols was beaten.Now, two Shelby County deputies and two fire department employees in Memphis have all been put on leave as this video continues to be investigated.
We're getting our first look at just how much money Americans lost to phishing scams those phony texts or calls or even Internet ads that try to get money or information out of you.A report by TrueCaller, an app that blocks spam calls, estimates Americans lost $40 billion in 2022 to phishing scams."It continues to be the number one issue. It is the primary access point for 99% of these attacks," said Robert Falzon, head of engineering at Checkpoint Security, an international Cybersecurity company with locations in more than 10 countries. " is going to be the year where we see a lot of these. It's just January and I'm fielding calls like crazy."We often associate phishing with money, and that $40 billion offers credence to that point. But Falzon points out scammers are now looking beyond quick tricks that will net them a few hundred dollars to elaborate frauds that can cost people tens of thousands of dollars.SEE MORE: Top Scams Of 2022 You Need To Know About"Medical records are worth more than a working credit card nowadays,"said Falzon. "Hackers want to be able to do the long game with you. They want to know about your parent or grandparent that might be suffering from some cognitive disorder, and then they're going to find that information out and sell that medical record to someone who will exploit that person far beyond a simple, quick scam on the phone."The report by TrueCaller shows more Americans are falling prey to these scams, even as awareness of them rises. It says 68 million Americans fell prey to phishing scams last year, which is up from 59.4 million in 2021 and 56 million in 2020.It's why Falzon says to approach inquiries about any of your information with healthy scrutiny, and not just your financial data. He says with technology like ChatGPT, where AI produces messages, scammers can sound more natural and relatable.So, ask questions. If it is a legitimate source, Falzon says, you will not be scrutinized for authenticating validity. Also, do your homework. If you get a call saying you owe a medical debt, Falzon suggests calling your insurance company to verify that's true, and then call the credit agency back.It is a few extra steps, but ones that can keep you, your money, and your information safe.
Want to give Santa a helping hand this Christmas? Here's how:It "began way back in 1912. We've been doing this long time," said Mark Inglett, Strategic Communications Specialist at the United States Postal Service.We're talking about Operation Santa, a USPS staple for well over 100 years."The letters are pouring in, and we're gonna get a chance to go online. Look at some of the things kids are needing. It could be simple stuff, a bicycle or some clothes or some socks or anything. You'd be surprised what you can do to help people out for the holidays," said Inglett.Operation Santa has helped deliver gifts from Ol' Saint Nick to kids of all ages. And over the years, the process has moved online."It gives you simple steps on how you can adopt the family. Purchase what they're asking for. Go to the Postal Service, you're going to mail from the post office, and then that way they get it from Santa Claus," said Inglett.SEE MORE: Naughty Or Nice: Potential Santa Shortage This Christmas SeasonInglett says kids of all ages can write Santa a letter. "You'd be surprised at some of the bigger kids that write in are hurting a little bit too, and they state what's going on in their lives and we can help those folks as well," said Inglett.Operation Santa is just one of so many different programs and organizations helping people during the holidays.But Inglett says there is just something special about being able to give back, no matter what is going on in the world."That one sense of normalcy, that one sense of everything's gonna be okay, is when they see that letter carrier, that postal truck coming through the neighborhood, because we are so important to the communities," said Inglett.There are a few really important deadlines to take note of. If you need a little extra love this year, you can start writing letters to Santa starting November 28 with a December 12 deadline. If you want to help Santa make this year awesome, you have until December 19 to adopt a family, shop, and send the gifts off.
Sixty-six million years ago, a six-mile-wide asteroid slammed into whats now the Yucatan peninsula at 40,000 miles per hour. The impact ignited wildfires across the world, created global tsunamis, and caused the extinction of three quarters of earths species including the dinosaurs.Now, most space objects burn up in the atmosphere and a few dozen tiny meteorites strike the earth every day.It was a normal Friday morning in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013, and then a meteorite that was about 50-feet a cross blew up in a fireball mid-air. The aftermath resulted in thousands of injuries, broken windows, and chaos in three cities over 200 square miles.It's a reminder of the dangers lurking in our solar system. Hollywood has depicted the risks of space rocks in films like "Don't Look Up" in 2021. But how real is the threat? Space is mostly unbelievably empty.But occasionally a wayward rock what scientists call near Earth objects passes through our neck of the woods. Most are asteroids and a few are cometsOn the moon, impacts from both over billions of years have left more than 100,000 craters. Venus and Mars have weathered their share of bombardment, but the sky above Earth offers some protection. When a piece of an asteroid or comet enters the atmosphere, it's called a meteor. Many are visible as shooting stars before they burn up completely. Most are smaller than a grain of sand. If a car-sized rock were to head our way, the Planetary Society estimates, the atmosphere would burn it up to the size of a microwave.If a meteor actually hits Earth, it's called a meteorite. As many as 30 pebble sized ones strike the planet each day at an average speed of 12-miles-a-second. Meteorites the size of a house strike every few centuries. Every million years or so a mountain sized one makes an impact like the 6-mile-wide rock that blasted Earth with the force of one hundred trillion tons of TNT, killing the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.SEE MORE: NASA Details Historic DART Mission That Crashed Into AsteroidTelescopes on the ground and in orbit monitor near Earth objects, and authorities track more than 30,000 of them.A third are bigger than 460 feet across, considered by NASA to be large enough to threaten the planet. Astronomers say no large asteroids are on course to strike earth for at least 100 years.Like 1,200-foot-wide Apophis, set to pass within 19,000 miles of Earth in 2036, but the agency acknowledges blind spots are hiding some 15,000 near Earth objects. Sky surveys can miss asteroids with unusual orbits and the sun can obscure big rocks. In 2020, a car-sized asteroid called 2020 QG zoomed only 2,000 miles from Earths surface. Astronomers didnt detect it until hours before it zoomed by at 11 miles per second.Engineers are preparing to act if a deadly asteroid is one day headed for Earth.In September, after a 10-month journey, NASAs double asteroid redirection test, or dart, blasted directly towards a 560-foot-wide asteroid. The goal was to see if a direct hit would change the rocks trajectory.A second spacecraft nearby recorded the hit, helping confirm that the spacecraft had nudged the rock slightly off course.While Dimorphos posed no risk to Earth, engineers say the test shows future missions could theoretically divert killer asteroids safely away from Earth. Hollywood will probably continue imagining the possibilities, while planetary defenders will keep their eyes on the skies making the universe just a little less dangerous than before.
One of the biggest questions about the tragic shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the extent to which the suspect wasor was noton the radar of local and federal law enforcement officials before the attack.So far, police have not released many details about the suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich.The Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez, says he entered Club Q just before midnight heavily armed"At least two firearms were found at the scene. We are still working to identify the firearms and who they belong to, but I can confirm the suspect used a long rifle during the shooting," said Vasquez.Investigators are now trying to determine if all of those weapons belonged to the suspect, and if so, how did he get them?They will also be scouring any social media profiles, phones and computers, searching for clues and a possible motive.Club Q is already calling this a "hate attack" but by Sunday night there were new questions about the suspects previous interactions with police.SEE MORE: Colorado Patrons Stop Gunman Who Killed At Least 5 At LGBTQ+ NightclubIn June of last year, a man with the same name and matching age was arrested near Colorado Springs on charges of felony menacing and kidnapping. His mother called the police to say her son was threatening her with a bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition. There was a police standoff before the suspect surrendered, but it appears the local District Attorneys Office, led by Michael Allen, did not press charges. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports the case was dismissed and is now sealed.When Newsy asked the District Attorney about the 2021 case, spokesman Howard Black would only say that the earlier case is part of the current investigation.Colorado is also one of nineteen states with a so-called red flag or extreme risk law that allows judges to confiscate guns from people with a history of mental illness or violence.It is not clear if any family members, police, or the District Attorney ever filed any petitions against the suspect. According to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records obtained by Newsy, the suspect does not appear to have a criminal record.The FBI has not responded to questions from Newsy about whether they were aware of the suspect before the shooting.
The refreshing taste of a cold glass of soda, pop or coke. They are all common names for that sweet carbonated beverage. But why do we have so many names for the same drink? Lets sip on it. The term "soda" derives from sodium. Thats because there are sodium salts in carbonated water which is the foundation for modern-day soda. The origins behind the term pop are a bit fuzzy. The first account may come from English poet Robert Southey. In 1812 he wrote a letter to his wife telling her about a drink "called pop, because pop goes the cork when it is drawn, and pop you would go off if you drank too much of it." The term "coke" is short for "Coca-Cola" the first glass was sold in 1886 in Atlanta. And the shortened version of its name soon became synonymous for any soft drink. According to data from popvssoda.com, soda is the favorite term for the northeast, most of Florida, California and some parts of the midwest. In most of the midwest and west, "pop" is most popular. And in the south, "Coke" is what youll hear most even when its not Coca-Cola. Faygo beverages company, headquartered in Detroit, started marketing its soft drink as "pop" in the early 1900s. That could explain why that term is still the favorite in the midwest. Coca-Cola has been headquartered in Atlanta for over 130 years, which explains why the term "coke" dominates down south. A few other terms still get some play, including "tonic." A number of people in Massachusetts still say "tonic" when they want to order soda, pop or coke whatever you call it, cheers. SEE MORE: Pepsi And IHOP Partner To Release Limited Edition Maple Syrup Cola
The sound of a Russian drone on the front lines is hovering near Evgenia Emerald. Its "trying to find us," she said. If it sees her, she knows what sound could come next: the whiz, then bang, of incoming artillery. Spot the target dial it in and fire. Its a tactic she knows well, because Emerald is a sniper. Newsy's Jason Bellini met Emerald in a fully blacked-out part of the capital, Kyiv, far from the trenches she lived in for months. They discussed her experience fighting as a woman in an otherwise all-male unit, her lifetime of sharpshooter training and what it was like to start a family in the middle of an active warzone.SEE MORE: Russia Says It's Withdrawing Troops From Key Ukrainian City
The U.S. intelligence community sees China as its top threat. But Americans who have left intelligence agencies are getting jobs at TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. Larry Pfeiffer is the former chief of staff for the Central Intelligence Agency. "I was definitely concerned or maybe borderline alarmed," said Pfeiffer. Newsy showed Pfeiffer how we found at least three former CIA officers who later went to work at TikTok. At least another three former longtime FBI employees, a crisis management unit chief and supervisory special agents also went to TikTok. There's plenty more in public view. A government website confirmed that an NSA target analyst "landed a job at TikTok." Other staff have backgrounds in the U.S. Cyber Command, Pacific Command, and State Department. They generally work in TikTok investigations, threat analysis, and law enforcement outreach. Lindsay Gorman was the former senior adviser for technology strategy for the White House. Until April, he advised the White House on tech competition between the U.S. and China. She said these hires give TikTok a stamp of legitimacy. "On the one hand, this is a normal reaction to a growth of a company. As social media companies have scaled, they've hired threat intelligence analysts Google, Facebook, Twitter have all done that. And a popular talent pool for these companies is former law enforcement and intelligence officials," Gorman said. "On the other hand, though, we can't ignore the fact that these concerns about TikTok's Chinese parent ownership have not been resolved."She said the lines between business and government get blurred in China, in part because of Beijing's national intelligence law, which compels citizens and businesses to share information with state intelligence-gathering efforts, if asked. SEE MORE: TikTok, Other Social Companies Address Data Privacy Before Congress"The ultimate question is, is this a strategic decision on the part of TikTok, ByteDance or God help us, the Chinese government you know, is there instruction out there, 'go hire these people in order to help us influence this negativity we're hearing from the U.S. government about our platform so we can then use this platform to then exploit and get information that we want to get about Americans?'" said Pfeiffer. Former senior intelligence officials told Newsy their colleagues could become unwitting accomplices to China's intelligence services. Their old skills, like mapping networks of terrorists, could potentially be used to target China's critics and opponents. This comes after a researcher said TikTok can track every keystroke that users make. "It's absolutely possible that TikTok or its parent company, ByteDance, could be monitoring and collecting keystroke and other data from their former U.S. intelligence employees and then learning how they do their jobs. Could it be done more subtly through investigations of the employee's backgrounds, through idle chit-chat in the office? Any of the classic ways in which an intelligence service can get information from individuals," said Pfeiffer. A TikTok spokesperson told Newsy, "that's a fantastical and unsubstantiated hypothesis," and downplayed ties to China. The spokesperson also said the platform would be irresponsible not to hire people with expertise in issues like counterterrorism and covert influence. But fears persist that the private data of U.S.-based TikTok users their search histories, biometrics, interests, and vulnerabilities can be accessed and exploited in Beijing. Buzzfeed reported that China-based engineers have accessed U.S. users' private data, multiple times. Forbes reported that TikTok parent company ByteDance "planned to use the TikTok app to monitor the personal location of some specific American citizens." To defend the company, a TikTok executive invoked the CIA. SEE MORE: Why Is TikTok Under Scrutiny Again?"As actual national security agencies like the CIA during the Trump administration pointed out, the data that's available on TikTok, because it's an entertainment app, is not of national security importance," said Michael Beckerman, the head of Tiktok Americas.Numerous government agencies don't allow TikTok on their employees' devices. And the FBI is sounding alarms on the Chinese government's activities in the U.S."When I last looked, we were opening a new China counterintelligence investigation about every 12 hours. And it's about a 1300% increase from several years ago," said Chris Wray, the FBI director. Three national security lawyers told Newsy that just taking a job at TikTok after government work isn't
This week on Election 22: What Matters, we are exploring President Bidens impact on the midterm election.We get insight from Allan Lichtman, Distinguished Professor of History at American University, who has correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential contest since 1984.SEE MORE: Why Does The President's Party Typically Lose Midterms?Election 22: What Matters airs at 8:30 p.m. Fridays on Newsy, and replays at 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays on Newsy. Each week dives into one of the issues that will decide the midterm elections.
We can't change the past, but the past can change us for generations. "To realize the capability of humanity to turn into the most vicious creatures on this Earth; We have that built in to us," said Bill Kugelman, a Holocaust survivor. Kugeleman is 98-years old, but he vividly remembers life as a teenager in Poland when Nazis tore him from his home and condemned him to the concentration camps. He used to smoke dried leaves to tame ravaging hunger and grew numb from the beatings and the fear. He believed he'd never see freedom again. "You just did not react to things anymore. It's just like you beat the dead horse. That was it," said Kugelman. He says even 80 years later, he can't bring himself to give a full description of life and death in the concentration camps. And to those closest to that kind of pain, it's their history, too even if they didn't live it. Dr. Irit Felsen is a psychologist who specializes in holocaust-related trauma and knows this subject on a deeper level. "Children of trauma survivors have an experiential knowledge of their parents trauma of experiences that they never actually lived through," said Felsen. Both her parents were survivors, making her a 2G or 2nd generation survivor. She says children of survivors can react to their parent's anxiety and depression. "Being hyper vigilant about all kinds of things all the time, be a little suspicious; mistrustful illness, anxiety and a tendency to sort of depressive experiences," said Felsen. SEE MORE: How The Aftermath Of Natural Disasters Affects Mental HealthThis is called "intergenerational trauma" which means a survivor was impacted so greatly. Their descendants also grapple with the effects of a traumatizing event. According to the American Psychological Association, people who experience intergenerational trauma may show emotional or behavioral patterns similar to the survivor, such as: shame, increased anxiety, guilt, low self-esteem, and depression.Even substance abuse and difficulty creating relationships with others and so much more. While intergenerational trauma was first identified among children of holocaust survivors it isn't specific to one culture. Take Brought Plenty, an indigenous woman and boarding school survivor who says she remembers the moments federal U.S. officials forcibly took her from her grandparents and sent her to a boarding school designed to erase her language, culture and beliefs. "She just grabbed my hair on one side, my braids, and just cut it off and threw it right at me and then went to the other side and cut it off," said Plenty. She was just six-and-a-half years old and never saw her grandparents again. Now, at 70, Plenty recalls how she was forced to forget her name, bathed in soap that smelled like lye, and suffered physical abuse at the hands of other students and staff. She says her daughter Nellia Faradi now bears the consequences of that trauma. "I can honestly say with my older children, I never hugged. I never kissed them. You know, I never told them I was proud of them," said Plenty. Psychologist Fabiana Franco is among a chorus of researchers who say difficulty expressing love or emotions can affect a child's sense of self-worth, which they then pass on to their own children later in life. Nellia's trauma manifests as guilt as she helps her mother find missing children who never came home from boarding school."I have a breakdown at least once a month because, you know, I'm reading all of these testimonies and then I feel bad because I'm like, well, I should be able to read this if other people live through it. But at the same time, it's like, you know, you can't carry hundreds of people's stories," said Faradi. While researchers have widely documented the effects of intergenerational trauma, there's no conclusive finding about how it's passed on. SEE MORE: Where Is Mental Health Funding Going?Researcher Yael Danieli believes survivors may struggle to form healthy bonds and emotional attachments to their children, which can create a cycle of avoidant and distrustful relationships. But one 2015 study by Dr. Rachel Yehuda at Mount Sinai hospital found genetic changes to Holocaust survivors' descendants specifically focused on the gene associated with stress hormones. This theory is known as "epigenetic inheritance" the thought that environmental factors, like stress or diet, can affect your descendant's gene expression. In a 2008 lecture Dr. Joy DeGruy author of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, called this effect in the black community "post-traumatic slave syndrome.""Hundreds of years of
Jane and Paul Ott, who own a house in Matlacha, say they are in total disbelief. "It's no longer my paradise. This was a dream home," Jane said. "It's just heartbreaking "The vacation waterfront house they bought over a year ago suffered major damage from Hurricane Ian's devastating storm surge."He let me cry for about ten minutes and then it was, 'Well it's not going to change so put your gloves on, put your mask on and start hulling stuff out,'" Jane continued.The couple's home was among many structures that were battered in Matlacha, a small island of about 600 people at the foot of Pine Island, which was also devastated by Ian. "Look up down the street. I've never seen destruction like this," Jane said. The couple and other residents say their homes and businesses are crumbling at a rapid pace into the bay.The storm surge damaged some of the older sea walls that protect the buildings' foundations, causing erosion beneath the structures.Most of the cottages on the island were built in the 1940s and 1950s, so they don't comply with newer construction regulations, like a newer property that had to be elevated a couple of feet above ground. SEE MORE: Floridians Are Missing The Little Things As Recovery Efforts ContinueMeanwhile, chaos ensues on the only roadway access to Matlacha, while crews work on repaving the road. The trip normally takes 10-15 minutes from Cape Coral. It took Newsy two and half hours to get onto Matlacha.What used to be homes and businesses are now reduced to piles of ruble. "Just looking up and down the street is kind of depressing. Just all the stuff," Jane said.The floodwaters also made it to Johnny Glisson's home of 15 years. "It has three to four inches of mud from the front to the back," Matlacha resident Johnny Glisson said.He lost all of his belongings. The 74-year-old says he almost didn't make it off the community. "When I felt it wasn't going to turn, I grabbed the most important things in my life, which was my guitar and my Bible. So, I took off with that," he said.Most of Matlacha's property owners are retired folks, commercial fishermen and others who use their houses as vacation homes.Matlacha is in Lee County, the region with the highest number of deaths in Florida from the storm. "Sometimes you just don't know where to start," Paul said.As for Jane and Paul Ott, their cleaning continues. They say there's hope. They dream of rebuilding their home, the house they bought through years of hard work.
Ukrainians refer to the newest Russian weapon on the battlefield and the sound they make as "flying lawnmowers of death."This video captures the deadly addition to Putin's arsenal of long-range weaponry: the Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drone, used by Russia as part of the deadly attack on civilian targets across Ukraine. "We're dealing with terrorists, dozens of rockets, Iranian drones hitting the energy facilities all over the country," said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.Ukrainian officials say in Monday's attack Russia launched more than a dozen kamikaze drones in a matter of hours. Ukraine was only able to shoot down half of them. They've been spotted in the skies over Ukrainian cities, including over Odesa, although Iran denies it and Russia won't confirm the use of the deadly drones. "We know that U.S. intelligence has estimated a transfer of several hundred of these drones to Russia," said Samuel Bendett, an adviser at the Center for New American Security. "Because these drones can fly at well over 200 to 300 kilometers, they were basically used as a cheap weapon, a cheap terror weapon to strike Ukrainian infrastructure across the country." They're cheaper for Russia than cruise missiles, each of which cost millions of dollars. Putin's military is using the drones primarily to terrorize civilians far from the front lines. SEE MORE: Russia Prepares To Annex 4 Occupied Regions Of Ukraine"If they can sneak past the air defenses or electronic warfare pockets, they can basically strike with impunity. And this is a message sent to the defending side that they are not safe because these drones can penetrate the airspace, they can penetrate defenses and strike at will," said Bendett. "They can strike civilian targets, they can strike infrastructure targets, they can target Ukrainian warehouses, command and control, logistics and communications and cause the same amount of damage that was caused in Russia's own rear in their own region when the Ukrainians launched multiple strikes to affect Russian logistics."Though Shahed-class drones aren't as accurate and carry a fraction of the explosive power of a missile, they still pack a punch as seen in an attack last month on a municipal building in Odesa. Comparatively low-tech, and low and slow flying, these drones are vulnerable to small arms fire and Ukrainian aerial defense systems. Ukraine's military has released images showing the remnants of drones shot out of the sky. The problem for Ukraine is that the Shaheds usually attack in swarms. "This is their main tactic to overwhelm so that at least one or two can sneak past and strike the target," said Bendett. For the first part of the war, Ukraine's Turkish Bayrkatar drones dominated the battlefield, even inspiring this patriotic song. But then came the more menacing Iranian drones. They're not going to be a game changer, but they can cause significant pain and suffering for the defending side.
It's been nearly two weeks since Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida. And as towns hit hard by the storm start to rebuild, messages advertising repair jobs have been popping up across Whatsapp groups and online platforms."Some people sent her a text about work here. We just came here and we're here now working," said Ansony Javiel, a Venezuelan migrant. Javiel is only two days into his job near Fort Myers. NEWSY'S AXEL TURCIOS: What type of work do they have you doing? ANSONY JAVIEL: Demolition, packing the garbage. TURCIOS: At homes? JAVIEL: Yes, at homes. He arrived from Dallas along with other Venezuelan migrants looking to work in the reconstruction of southwest Florida. Javiel is seeking asylum in the U.S. after he crossed the Mexico-U.S. border two weeks ago. JAVIEL: You see all sorts of things on the journey, dead people. It's tough. TURCIOS: Was it worth it? JAVIEL: Yes, it was worth it. Experts say dozens and even thousands of migrants will be arriving in the state to help repair properties, putting their lives in danger for little pay. SEE MORE: Found Cleaning Up After Hurricane Ian: A Stranger's MemoriesFernando Zucato is the owner of a roof tarp company. He said he's seen the advertisements targeting recently arrived migrants, people who are prone to exploitation, scams and no pay. "Some companies, yes, they're going to take advantage. They hire the guys for three weeks, checks never come," said Zucato. Zucato says these people become victims of misinformation because their need for urgent jobs makes them fall for almost anything. "I heard so many stories that they threaten people. If you try to do anything bad to me, I'm going to call immigration on you," said Zucato. Jesus Duran is also from Venezuela. He made his way to Florida to work on rebuilding the destroyed areas. TURCIOS: You've been working for two days now, it's hard work. You're going to be working for several days possibly. Are you afraid that they might not be trustworthy? JESUS DURAN: Sure, of course. Because you must work because you need to, otherwise you won't work. They must pay me. They should pay me, right? TURCIOS: How much are you getting paid? DURAN: $17 an hour and overtime $25.50. Immigrants from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala have historically been the backbone of the recovery workforce in regions slammed by natural disasters. This time the new waves of migrants are comprised of Venezuelans, Cubans and people from Central America. The same migrants are being bussed and flown to sanctuary states in the northeast from Texas by Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis. While the governor has not spoken about these migrants coming to work in Florida, he encouraged companies in the state to hire locally.
Microsoft recently advised against longstanding, conventional cybersecurity logic on required password changes. It turns out forced switches made users select more predictable and easy-to-breach passwords."The pattern that humans use, particularly when they're not using a password manager, is they come up with, sort of, this rubric," said Pedro Canahuati, chief technology officer at 1Password. "If that's really very complex, it makes it difficult for people to gain access to it. But the reality is, humans are not good at randomness.""The previous advice for people to rotate their passwords so frequently led to some really bad habits: people writing passwords down, only changing maybe the last digit," said Lisa Plaggemier, executive director of the National Cybersecurity Alliance."Changing that one character at the end of your password is not enough when you're up against a bot who's just cycling away at different passwords and switching out letters and numbers."SEE MORE: Experts: Social Platforms Are Unprepared For Election MisinformationHumans are notoriously bad at passwords. NordPass' research of commonly used passwords across 50 countries in 2021 found the most popular were strings of letters or numbers, like 123456 and qwerty or words like password. Most could be cracked in less than one second.Still, if you search online for advice on how often you should change passwords, you'll still find a lot of results saying you should change them routinely.Newsy spoke to four cybersecurity experts about best rotation practices. While all noted that there are times when passwords should be changed like when your data is implicated in a breach there are other, more important security features that can be used to strengthen data protection."People just need to understand that passwords only go so far, and you need multifactor authentication," said Ed Skoudis, president of SANS Technology Institute. "Password management organizations also have an obligation to keep their users secure and safe.""The simple solution at the end of the day is to use strong and unique passwords with a password manager because nobody can create them as strong as they can with the password manager," said Craig Lurey, chief technology officer at Keeper Security. "This is hundreds of engineers, solely focused on protecting passwords in an encrypted vault that's highly secure and protected from access, and all the years of implementation that went into that versus whatever you think you can do with your notepad."
The issue first made headlines after American diplomats and spies in Havana experienced puzzling brain injury symptoms in 2016, including dizziness, headaches and memory loss. The government calls this mysterious syndrome "Anomalous Health Incidents." Newsy has new, exclusive details that FBI agents are also reporting these symptoms on U.S. soil.SEE MORE: U.S. May Have Suspected 'No Trace' Weapon Against Spies Decades AgoProminent national security attorney Mark Zaid represents current and former FBI personnel. He says a dozen or more incidents have been reported in Washington, D.C. and in Florida, mainly out of the bureau's Miami field office. "There have been double digit members of the FBI, employees of the FBI, who have been injured in multiple locations inside the United States," Zaid said. "These are cases that have been brought to the attention not only of the FBI, but also the CIA and the DNI and folks on the Hill. These have not been really publicized in any way. In fact, the reality is domestic incidents are being downplayed, if not outright ignored, by the U.S. government."Zaid says the incidents have mostly occurred within the last four years. The common thread he's seen in victims across multiple agencies is work related to Russia. "The AHI investigation is like an iceberg," Zaid said. "We only see the top one-third. Most of it is beneath the surface. I've seen beneath the surface, but even I have only seen a little bit beneath the surface."Just this winter, the CIA assessed that most reports were explained by medical or environmental conditions, not a foreign adversary. But the agency still couldnt rule out a nation-state in a subset of cases.The attorneys requests for FBI records under the Freedom of Information Act have so far led to nothing. A recent letter described B7A exemptions, which withhold documents pending a criminal investigation.When Newsy described the incidents to the FBI, the bureau said the issue is a top priority and that the FBI takes all U.S. government personnel who report symptoms seriously, including messaging its workforce about how to respond if they experience an incident and where they can receive medical evaluations.Zaid is also trying to get a 150-page report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which he says theyre suddenly calling a draft. He believes the CIA is wary of this report going public because it contradicts the agency. It hews more closely to a National Academy of Sciences report that finds pulsed electromagnetic energy the most plausible cause.
Teaching was a stressful job before COVID turned all of our lives upside down. Now it's even more stressful. "For a really long time, the to do list in education has been growing more and more demanding over time. And as soon as COVID hit, that entire to-do list was kind of like thrown into the waste basket," said Rebecca Rogers, a content creator and former teacher. In January, the National Education Association, the country's largest union, polled over 3,000 of its members. Over half, 55%, said they were more than likely to leave or retire from teaching earlier than expected due to the pandemic. That's almost double the number from 2 years ago. "'Here are all these new things we need you to do instead.' And then as soon as school came back, instead of picking and choosing the most necessary items on each to do list, they're like 'okay, here's both todo lists, both of which were already pretty unmanageable for one person, have fun!'" said Rogers. Teacher burnout from the pandemic goes hand in hand with the teacher shortages. But the shortage is not new. The NEA has been tracking the trend for the last two decades. "The reality is that not only have we had an educator shortage for a while, but the pandemic, just like everything else, worsened it. We have educators who are under more stress with less resources. More is being asked of them than ever before," said Becky Pringle, the president of the National Education Association. Nicole Lawson is the chief human resources officer at Atlanta Public Schools. "They are expressing the need to alleviate the burnout. And the burnout comes with the amount of planning it takes to plan for this new way of teaching. Teachers are experiencing double loads so if there's a shortage that means they're taking on additional students. Compound that with planning, it feels like you can't do enough," said Lawson. According to a Rand survey, teachers are nearly three times more likely to report symptoms of depression than other adults. For Rebeca Rogers, leaving the classroom came down to being overworked while the administration consistently asked her to do more. "It was so demeaning on my mental health. During online learning I was doing 18 hours a day trying to make these animated content videos for kids and it didn't matter how much extra I was doing it was almost like expected, and no matter what I did it wasn't enough, but my mental health just couldn't take it. When I left there were 3000 vacancies in the county," said Rogers. But it's not just that teachers are leaving the classroom. Districts are also struggling because there aren't enough students who are even pursuing the career. "We have been extremely concerned that we have seen the decline in the number of our college students who are choosing to go into the profession. And then the number of our new educators who are going into the profession leaving the profession in those first 5 years. So this is something we've been following and working to address through policy and funding and training and just encouraging people to go into teaching," said Pringle. Unfilled job openings lead to more work and stress for those who are still in the schools. According to the NEA, caseloads for counselors and social workers have grown dramatically, just like the demands on teachers. And that has a direct link to students. Many need more support due to the pandemic. "They have to take care of themselves first so they can take care of their students. And like so many adults in the system right now they are struggling to find those additional resources and finding the time to do it. If our teachers are not doing well then our students aren't going to do well," said Pringle. The NEA says the bottom line is clear teachers are not OK. Burnout and shortages are the biggest problems that need attention. "We are working together with educators all over the country and with mental health experts to provide educators with places to go and resources to support their colleagues and their schools and the entire community so that we can all heal together and help each other to do just that," said Pringle.
Between soaring prices and low stock, consumers have been through a lot over the past couple years."Its just becoming a tough market, real estate wise, auto wise, and with interest rates going up, its just going to continue to get tough for us all really," said Robert Blount, a car shopper. Nowhere is this more evident than the auto industry. In fact, auto sales and repairs were the number one category of complaints for 2021.The Consumer Federation of America says the car industry has taken the top spot for six years now, adding, "It is clear that auto sales and repairs are a longstanding problem.The nations hot housing market and tight rental scene also led to lots of complaints."He told me to get gift cards," said Joseph Veras, a housing scam victim. "He wanted me to send the money. He told me to take a picture of the front and the back of the card and the receipt and send it to him. In south Florida, Veras sent a phony landlord $4,000 to secure a three-bedroom, two bath home for rent. His interpreter tried to help."I called the business, no longer in service," said Amy Hair, an ASL interpreter. "I called the other cell phone number; that was out of service.Other top categories on the complaint list include home improvement repairs, retail purchases and consumer debt and credit.In total, consumer advocacy groups collected 208,000 complaints in 2021 a small decrease from the prior year.They secured over $119 million in relief for consumers also less than in 2020.
Water, fins and a sense of adventure the fantasy is real in Sacramento, California. "The community is great, but for me, it was kind of like an escape, you know?" merman Onyx said. "So, don a tail, and you can go anywhere."Merfolk of all kinds gather from across the country to the California Mermaid Convention in Sacramento to swim and celebrate all things under the sea.Mermaid Echo hails from the Great Lakes."All mermaids that you meet will love aquatic ecosystems and animals," Echo said.Outside their mermaid form, Echo is a wildlife specialist and a communications assistant for Wisconsins Department of Natural Resources.Echos other identity is as an edu-tainer, or educator and entertainer, who started her own business of professional "mermaiding.""In Wisconsin, you have to have like a 20-minute conversation with somebody to explain like, 'No, it's not crazy. I'm not a crazy person. I don't actually think I'm a real mermaid. This is a tool I use to teach kids,'" Echo said. The price of being a mermaid can range. A fabric tail can cost between $60 to $200. Silicon tails like Echos can cost between $1,300 to $5,000."I think anybody can be a mermaid," Echo said. "It's just a matter of mentality. Know you can just believe in the ocean and for caring for it, and you can be a mermaid."The merfolk say what they do is more than playing dress-up. It's also advocating for clean water."Mermaids have a really unique opportunity as educators because we look approachable and friendly and fun and people want to ask questions," said mermaid Rachel, co-organizer of the California Mermaid Convention. "Then we have a platform to talk about all of these ongoing issues."Some merfolk are just in it for the fun of the fins, but some aim to educate others. They organize clean-up projects, raise money for environmental efforts and teach water conservation."The flashy costumes draws people's attention and makes them think, 'Wow, what's going on over here, and how can I be a part of it?" said Teresa Henry, of Nerdtistic Park.Echo teaches other educators fun ways to engage children and adults young at heart about the environment."A really easy thing that people can do is turn that water off when you're brushing your teeth, or you can also bring reusable bags to the grocery store," Echo said. "But more importantly than anything, remember that it's not an individual issue. It's a corporations issue."Nearly two-thirds of global carbon emissions can be traced to 90 major companies, says a 2017 study from the University of Oxford. The increase of carbon emissions has contributed to climate change and a rise in sea levels."Oceans are obviously very important, and we need to protect our coral reefs and all of our endangered animals," Echo said. "But the number one most endangered aquatic system on the planet is freshwater ecosystems."For Echo, who has a science background, mermaiding is about combining environmentalism and fun and inspiring future generations to keep swimming forward.
The license plates on the cars that crowd this parking lot are all from Texas. But we're not in Texas. We're in Shreveport, Louisiana. Latricia had to drive three hours from Houston to bring her niece to Hope Medical Group for an abortion. Long wait times and transportation issues provided roadblocks that almost prevented her niece from getting care. "This was like her last resort, her last appointment. So we'll get it done here. She tried everywhere else," Latricia said. "It doesn't make sense at all, why we have to leave home to get to get care that we have the right to get."But in her home state, those rights just aren't the same anymore. A 2021 law effectively bans abortion in Texas after about six weeksand if the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion becomes the final opinion, access will become even more limited for women across the country. Before the Texas law, 18% of the patients here were from Texas. Clinic Director Kathaleen Pittman says the spillover from Texas, in conjunction with already restrictive abortion laws in Louisiana, has created an incredible backup in her clinic. Previously, most abortions were done between six and 10 weeks with a two-dose pill to end pregnancy. But because of the long wait list to get an appointment, now most women will need a surgical procedure. "By the end of September, we were running 37% Texas. By the end of October, we were at 57% Texas. And it kept going up at one point we were like at 73%," Pittman said. "The majority of them are 10 through 13. And we've doubled the number of second trimester cases. On any given day, we have anywhere from 120 to 150 people on our waiting lists, just for us to call them and make that initial appointment."Pittman is sending women to New Mexico for the abortion medication but she's worried about the women who are timing out for care. The clinic only performs abortions through 16.5 weeks. They also must have two appointments mandated by law one for consultation, and then after a 24-hour waiting period, one for the actual procedure. "A lot of women do not understand," Pittman continued. "Why should I have to come twice? This is all I've thought about since I had a positive test, and you know, as with most women. So, for legislators to think that women haven't given it enough thought is, it's more than laughable. It's actually just, it's just wrong."Latricia and her niece had to get a hotel room, which is a setback that costs both of them time and money. But she recognizes if this situation had happened in another few weeks, her niece would have no easy option. Pittman is trying not to worry yet, but this clinic would be shut down if the leaked opinion stands. "Take a deep breath, reassure the staff, reassure the patients: 'You're here and now we'll take care of you now. I just don't know if we can in the future,'" Pittman said.Louisiana is one of more than a dozen states with a trigger law, meaning if Roe is overturned, abortion becomes illegal in those states overnight. Women in Louisiana will be forced to drive, on average, the furthest in the nation for care. A total ban would force the driving time from 37 miles to a clinic to a whopping 666 miles for care. The closest states for most women would be Illinois or North Carolina. That's a 1,720% increase in mileage. "Nobody cares about the women. No, certainly not the politicians," Pittman said.Forty years ago, there were 18 abortion clinics in the state of Louisiana. Ten years later, the number stayed relatively stagnant at 17. But by 2014, decades of anti-abortion legislation had forced most facilities to close. Now there are only four operational facilities in the entire state. Jodi Burns is doing a different kind of planning. "We're set up for a post-Roe society," she said. "I believe that we are going to need to increase just again, continue to expand our services."She's the executive director at Heart of Hope, which is just about 20 minutes from the clinic. The massive property houses, educates and takes care of young girls as they navigate their pregnancy and early motherhood. The community-funded program is expanding now in preparation for the Supreme Court decision, adding care over the phone and adding more apartments on their property. "I really feel like we have really turned a corner were we are," Burns said.While Burns says abortion is free to exist in other states, if the Supreme Court sides in her favor, she doesn't want to see the option in hers. She believes education and available resources will change the minds of women needing care. "I have never met a woman that regretted giving life, but I have met many women and I'm one of them that regretted not giving life,"