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Headlines: Thursday, September 19, 5:50 PM
People from minority groups who are in a normal weight range still have a high risk for diabetes, new research shows. Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders at a normal body mass index are more than three times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as white people with normal BMI, according to a study published Thursday in Diabetes Care. Overall, the group has an 18 percent risk of diabetes. "This study suggests that along with screening patients who are overweight and obese, minorities should probably be screened even if they have a normal BMI, particularly as they get older," Assiamira Ferrara, a senior research scientist at Kaiser Permanente and study senior author, said in a news release. The study analyzed nearly 5 million people who participated in the Patient Outcomes Research to Advance Learning network. The researchers couldn't find any differences in neighborhood income and education levels that accounted for the racial and ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes cases. They also saw no differences in access to healthcare, since all the patients had health insurance and belonged to integrated health systems. The researchers found the risk for diabetes was 13.5 percent for black people, nearly 12.9 percent for Hispanics, 10.1 percent for Asians-Americans and nearly 9.6 percent for American Indians and Alaskan Natives. People in these groups also had higher rates of prediabetes than white people. Also, the study discovered underweight minorities also have a risk of type 2 diabetes, with 16.8 percent of American Indian and Alaskan Native men developing the condition. That's compared to 7.3 percent for white men. The disparity in diabetes between white people and other groups is linked to physiological differences related to diabetes risk, the researchers suggest. Asian-Americans, for example, have more body fat and visceral fat, even at the same BMI than other groups. These fats greatly contribute to type 2 diabetes, even when the person is at normal or below normal body weight. "Future research could focus on body composition, genetics, and other lifestyle factors that may contribute to disparities in chronic disease burden," said Yeyi Zhu, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente and study lead author.
The House passed a short-term spending bill Thursday, extending government funding to before Thanksgiving. The bill passed by a vote of 301-123, extending government funding at its current levels through Nov. 21 and staving off the possibility of a government shutdown at least until the holiday season. House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the stopgap bill will "provide families, businesses and communities with budget certainty while we negotiate long-term funding." "We must pass a continuing resolution to avoid another government shutdown," said Lowey. The Senate is expected to pass the bill before funding lapses on Oct. 1 and then it will be sent to President Donald Trump for approval. Congress must then turn its attention toward passing a dozen spending bills to determine how funds will be distributed among various government entities. The House has already passed 10 of these bills, but the Senate hasn't passed any. Democrats and Republicans have clashed over issues including funding for an expanded physical barrier at the southern border. Democrats have opposed a demand that Congress replace $3.6 billion in funding for military construction projects that was diverted to the border wall. "We do not support diverting taxpayer dollars to build an ineffective and controversial wall along our southern border," a group of Senate Democrats wrote. "Especially when those funds are stolen from our military and important investments for American families, such as college affordability and our fight against the opioid crisis." Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has also accused Democrats of reneging on a bipartisan agreement and demanding "new poison pills and partisan policy changes." "It's not about the money. It's not about compromising and getting to 'yes.' It's about not wanting to take 'yes' for an answer," said McConnell.
The Trump administration has excluded hundreds of Chinese goods from tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods, three notices set to be published in the Federal Register on Friday show. Listed products on three notices are to be excluded from a 25 percent duty imposed on the $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. The duty may increase to 30 percent by Oct. 15, President Donald Trump said last week. The exclusions are less about placating Bejing than about providing some relief to U.S. companies who say they are harmed by Trump's tariff's and cannot find an alternative supply source, Politico reported. Christmas tree lights, single-speed bikes, electric-powered skateboards, X-ray tables, three-wheeled carriages used by people with disabilities, various types of pumps, household water filter cartridges, dog leashes, and plastic drinking straws are among hundreds of products on the lists of tariff exclusions. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the RSM U.S. LLP released a quarterly survey report Thursday that showed 40 percent of mid-size businesses cite negative effects from the trade war. "Rising tariffs and policy uncertainty are preventing midsize businesses -- who employ millions of Americans -- from investing and growing," said Neil Bradley, Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and chief policy officer. "To guard against a possible recession, policymakers need to restore economic certainty, and that means deescalating trade tensions with China, passing USMCA (United States-Mexico Canada Agreement) and investing in the future through an infrastructure package." The exclusions come as Michael Pillsbury, a director of the Center on Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., who Trump has called a "leading authority on China," said in an interview in Hong Kong on Thursday that the trade war could escalate if a deal isn't reached soon. "Does the president have options to escalate the trade war? Yes, the tariffs can be raised higher. These are low level tariffs that could go to 50 percent or 100 percent," Pillsbury said.
Students and community members are being warned to keep a safe distance from a Michigan school pond, where an "alligator-type reptile" -- a caiman -- was spotted swimming. Bedford Public Schools said a teacher spotted an "alligator-type reptile" swimming in the Biology Pond on the campus of Bedford Senior High School and Bedford Junior High School. The district said experts identified the creature as a 3-foot caiman, a relative of the alligator. Officials said arrangements are being made to remove the caiman from the pond, and students and community members are being warned to keep a safe distance from the water until the creature is relocated. The district said caimans are not native to Michigan, but sometimes are kept as exotic pets.
A Virginia State Police sergeant who heard unusual noises coming from under the hood of her car made an unusual discovery -- a squirrel trapped in the vehicle. The VSP said the squirrel was rescued from under the hood of the sergeant's car and was found to be uninjured. "So our Bristol Area Sergeant isn't going nuts, after all!" the state police said. "There really was an animal trapped inside her #VSP patrol car. Fortunately, the squirrel was located unharmed & safely released back into the wild," police wrote in a Facebook post.
Labor secretary nominee Eugene Scalia addressed criticism from Democrats about his background representing corporate interests during confirmation hearings Thursday. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, accused the private sector management-side attorney and son of the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of 'hostility' toward workers. "Instead of nominating a secretary of labor, President Trump has nominated a secretary of corporate interests," Murray said. "If there is one consistent pattern in Mr. Scalia's long career, it is hostility to the very workers that he would be charged with protecting and the very laws he would be charged with enforcing if he were to be confirmed." In particular, Murray said that Scalia struck down the Obama Labor Department's "fiduciary rule." The rule would have required advisers on tax-privileged retirement accounts to act in their clients' best interest, but Scalia challenged the rule, arguing it involved a regulatory change that only Congress could approve. A federal court agreed, vacating the rule last year. Murray said that the move put "billions" of workers' retirement savings in jeopardy. "It was a common-sense rule that protected workers retirement savings by simply requiring financial advisers to put their clients' interests ahead of their own," she said. Scalia defended himself, saying that he could remain impartial, and pointing out his time as the Labor Department solicitor during the Bush administration. "Then, as now, I was coming to the department from the private sector, where I had advised and represented businesses regarding employment matters," he said. "But once at the department, I had new clients, new responsibilities and, above all, I had a public trust. I am proud of the actions I took before as solicitor to further the department's mission." "My goal was to act with neither favor neither towards the company nor towards the union but to resolve the dispute," he added. Several Democrats also questioned if Scalia would defend workers against sexual discrimination. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., referred to an opinion column that Scalia wrote on the issue of gay rights in 1985, when he wrote, "I don't think we should treat it as equally acceptable." Scalia said his views have changed. "I wouldn't write that today," he said. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., asked Scalia if he believed it was wrong for employers to fire people based on sexual orientation. "Yes, I do believe it is wrong," Scalia said. President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Scalia as labor secretary on July 18. Murray sought to delay the confirmation hearing. Committee Chair Sen. Lamar Alexander, D-Tenn., said Thursday that he had already delayed the hearing one week at Murray's request and though he had requested further delay he didn't feel it was needed. The Office of Government Ethics found that Scalia "is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest," Alexander said. The committee is expected to vote on Scalia's nomination Tuesday.
A Maryland newlywed who had to wait for a ride from her new husband ended up receiving an unexpected wedding gift: a $30,000 lottery jackpot. The Allegany County woman told Maryland Lottery officials she got off work in Cumberland and decided to buy a Plinko scratch-off ticket from Allegany Liquors while waiting for her husband, who was still 10-15 minutes away at his job site across the state line in West Virginia. "They were really busy," the woman said of the store, leading to her decision to sit down and scratch the ticket while she waited. She ended up revealing a $30,000 top prize. The woman said she quickly sent a photo of the winning ticket to her husband. "I showed it to a guy I was working with and I said, 'Dude, does that say what I think it does?'" her husband recalled. The couple said they plan to use the winnings to pay off a loan they used to buy their home.
This is the sight that greeted @COParksWildlife officer Sarah Watson when she responded to a call about an injured bobcat on Wednesday. An unrestrained wild bobcat in the back of an SUV under a blanket. A child's car seat was just feet away. NEVER PICK UP WILDLIFE! pic.twitter.com/x8GXL0zvNv— CPW SE Region (@CPW_SE) September 19, 2019 Wildlife officials in Colorado are reminding residents not to approach wild animals after a woman picked up an injured bobcat and put it in her vehicle with her young child. Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the Colorado Springs woman was lucky the bobcat was injured and too fatigued to move when she picked it up from the side of a road Wednesday and put it in her SUV with her young child. "NEVER PICK UP WILD ANIMALS. She was lucky," the agency tweeted. An officer who responded to the woman's call discovered she had put the bobcat under a blanket in the back of the vehicle, only feet away from where the child was strapped into a car seat. "We removed the bobcat, which was mortally wounded. Luckily, it was too injured to react to being picked up and placed in a car. But no one should EVER try this. This could have been tragic," officials wrote.
SEVENTEEN #Fear SPECIAL CLIP # 1#SEVENTEEN ## # ##An_Ode #_Fear #__ pic.twitter.com/QtSfHghlA5— (SEVENTEEN) (@pledis_17) September 19, 2019 South Korean boy band Seventeen is promoting its single "Fear" with a new video. The K-pop group released a "special clip" Thursday that shows a behind-the-scenes look at one of its photo shoots. The video shows the members of Seventeen posing in sleek and elegant looks similar to the ones they wore in the "Fear" music video. "SEVENTEEN #Fear SPECIAL CLIP #1 #SEVENTEEN," the caption reads. Seventeen released its "Fear" music video and the EP An Ode on Monday. An Ode topped iTunes charts in 24 countries, including the U.S., Canada and Indonesia, following its release. "Fear" also debuted at No. 1 on several K-pop songs charts. Seventeen consists of S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon and Dino. The group is also known for the singles "Pretty U," "Very Nice," "Don't Wanna Cry" and "Happy Ending."
The 28 United States Women's National Team players who are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation over alleged gender discrimination want to legally represent players who came before them and who will come after them. The plaintiffs are seeking class certification for their lawsuit. Trial is scheduled for May 5. "Certifying the class is the next important step to the trial," players' spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement issued to UPI on Thursday. "It allows the players to legally represent not just themselves but the players in the class period who came before and after them." The players filed the motion Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. If the motion is successful, it would expand the scope of plaintiffs to include additional U.S. women's team players who are not among those listed as plaintiffs. U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner will hear the motion for class certification Oct. 21. The women's players asked the court to appoint plaintiffs Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn as class representatives. The women initially filed their lawsuit in March, accusing the federation of "institutionalized gender discrimination," which the players say impacted their wages and the way they train and compete. The complaint also addresses promotion, support and development for the women's games. The federation has pushed back on the claims, arguing that the women have been paid more than the men on their respective national teams. Mediation talks between the federation and players broke down in August. The World Cup championship team has upcoming exhibition matches against Korea on Oct. 3 in Charlotte, N.C., and Oct. 6 in Chicago. The team wraps up its 2019 Victory Tour with a game against Sweden on Nov. 7 in Columbus, Ohio, and a game against Costa Rica on Nov. 10 in Jacksonville, Fla.