Suicide among teens and young adults reaches the highest level since 2000

The rate of U.S. adolescents and young adults dying of suicide has reached its highest level in nearly two decades, according to a report published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In 2017, there were 47 percent more suicides among people aged 15 to 19 than in the year 2000. Overall, there are 36 percent more people aged 20 to 24 living in the U.S. today than at the turn of the century.

With more than 6,200 suicides among people aged 15 to 24, suicide ranked as the second-leading cause of death for people in that age group in 2017, trailing behind deaths from unintentional motor vehicle accidents, which claimed 6,697 lives.

To study the change, a team from Harvard Medical School pulled data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which tracks deaths and their “underlying cause” nationwide.

Suicide rates among females have been on the rise for several years in this time period, with the rates for 15- to 19-year-olds rising more quickly after 2009. An even more noticeable spike has occurred in suicides for adolescent and young adult males since 2014.

The researchers said that trend might be connected to the opioid crisis, because of the added stressors that come with addiction, said Oren Miron, a research associate at Harvard Medical School and one of the report’s authors.

Social media, as well as a reduced stigma for parents and coroners to report a child’s death as suicide (rather than as an accident), could also be playing a role in the increase, the researchers suggested.

But Miron cautioned that the study did not identify causes. Instead, they say that now the upward trend has been identified, more research can be done to pinpoint the factors contributing to the deaths.

The researchers found there were 11.8 deaths per 100,000 adolescents — aged 15 to 19 years — in 2017. That’s up from 2000 when there were eight deaths per 100,000.

For young adults aged 20 to 24 years old, the suicide rate was 17 per 100,000 in 2017, an increase from 12.5 per 100,000 in 2000.

A leap in the suicide rate “is not a predetermined curse that comes with modernization,” said Miron, noting the fluctuation from year to year.

The CDC has linked increased drug use to suicides and recommends a number of prevention measures, including encouraging adults to limit access to prescription drugs in the home. And experts in suicide prevention say paying attention to changes in lifestyle can help parents determine if their child is at risk.

For adolescents, using social media in a way that detracts from face-to-face interactions could be particularly detrimental to mental health. said Victor Schwartz, chief medical officer at suicide prevention nonprofit The Jed Foundation.

Yet while social media can facilitate bullying and lead to more anxiety and depression among young people, it can also be used to help those who are struggling with depression and can help loved ones pick up on warning signs early on.

“Dramatic changes are a sign,” said Schwartz. “Looking for changes in sleep, in social relationships — any of these big areas should start to raise big flags. Changes in substance use, even in the use of social media might suggest something is going on.”

 

Fake Uber driver gets 30 years for sexually assaulting teen

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man who pretended to be an Uber driver to sexually assault a college student has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Willie Foust pleaded guilty to sexual battery after the victim testified at his trial.

The woman was an 18-year-old Florida Gulf Coast University freshman when she summoned an Uber car to take her back to her dorm from a bar during a rainstorm.

Authorities say the 35-year-old Foust saw the woman and pulled up. She asked him if he was her Uber driver and he said yes. She got in and he drove her to a parking lot, where he assaulted her.

The State Attorney’s Office announced Monday that the sentencing happened last week.

Bill Cosby calls himself ‘America’s Dad’ in Father’s Day post on Social Media

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Bill Cosby has earned backlash after a Father’s Day message referring to himself as “America’s dad” was shared on his social media channels.

The comedian, who is currently serving a prison sentence for aggravated indecent assault, shared the message on Saturday on Twitter and Instagram.

“Hey, Hey, Hey…It’s America’s Dad…” the message begins, in reference to Cosby’s former nickname.

“I know it’s late, but to all of the Dads… It’s an honor to be called a Father, so let’s make today a renewed oath to fulfilling our purpose – strengthening our families and communities.”

On both platforms, the message is accompanied by a video of Cosby in the 1968 CBS documentary Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed.

“After slavery was over, America kept breaking up the black man’s family,” Cosby says in the archive clip.

“And that’s some awful history to teach. Now, if you want to look history right straight in the eye, you’re going to get a black eye.”

He used several hashtags on Twitter and on Instagram, including #RenewedOathToOurCommunity, #AmericasFavoriteDad, and #FarFromFinished.

Cosby’s decision to call himself “America’s dad” was met with outraged reactions on social media.

“Just stop. This is awful,” one person wrote, while many others expressed their disagreement in gifs.

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Cosby was sentenced in September last year to three to 10 years behind bars.

He was found guilty in April that year of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a landmark trial.

 

4 shot at Raptors rally in Toronto

TORONTO (AP) — The Latest on a shooting at a rally for the NBA champion Raptors in Toronto (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

Toronto police now say four people were shot and wounded at a rally for the NBA champion Raptors, and two people were arrested.

Police had initially said two people were shot.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says four people suffered gunshot wounds Monday and that none of the injuries were life-threatening. Saunders says others suffered minor injuries as they tried to get away from the shooting.

He asked for witnesses and people who might have video from the scene to come forward.

Saunders says the two people were arrested “with firearms.”

Police have not said whether they believe the shooting was a targeted attack or an act of terrorism.

 

4:40 p.m.

Toronto police say two people have been shot and wounded at a rally for the NBA champion Raptors. Two people have been arrested.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto’s mayor, and the Raptors players remained on stage while the ceremony was briefly interrupted.

4:20 p.m.

Police say there are reports of shots being fired at a massive victory rally for the Toronto Raptors.

Toronto police tweeted there are reports of a woman being injured.

Some in the crowd have been seen running from the area.

Attorney Chris Darden To Stop Representing Nipsey Hussle’s Accused Killer Eric Holder

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Christopher Darden, the attorney for Eric Holder, the man accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle, recently announced plans to withdraw from the case, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In a Facebook post published Friday morning, Darden, who was on the prosecution team for the famed 1995 murder trial of O.J. Simpson, wrote that he was on his way to appear in People v. Holder for “the last time.”

“I filed a Motion to Withdraw from the case,” he wrote. “I thought I should tell you, my friends, first & before anyone else. As for my reasons for withdrawing I don’t know whether I will disclose them later or not.”

Darden received criticism from some people on social media for representing Holder, who was charged last month with murder and two counts of attempted murder in relation to the fatal shooting of Hussle on March 31. Holder pleaded not guilty to the murder and attempted murder charges.

Hussle, a Grammy-nominated rapper born Ermias Asghedom, was lauded for his community activism and efforts to revitalize the South Los Angeles community where he was raised.

Chris Darden appearing in court on April 4, 2019 in Los Angeles.
“As for my reasons for withdrawing I don’t know whether I will disclose them later or not,” the lawyer wrote on Facebook.

Darden addressed the criticism he has received in his Facebook post, noting that it is his “duty to protect the rights of my clients even in the face of threats or angry mobs.”

He continued, “But allow me to say this; After centuries of a history of black men hung from trees without trial, or after the thousands of cases of black men tried, convicted and executed without counsel; after Gideon v. Wainwright & Powell v. Alabama, I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice.”

The attorney added that he and his family had received threats after he began representing Holder. He called the backlash reminiscent of 1995, an apparent reference to the response to his role in trying Simpson.

“These days these cowards don’t send letters instead they sit anonymously behind keyboards threatening a man’s mother and children. And some folks think that’s funny. It isn’t and I won’t ever forget it.”

A spokesperson for The Los Angeles District County Attorney’s Office confirmed to HuffPost via email that Holder is being represented by the public defenders’ office.

Darden told the Times that he has been practicing criminal defense for years and that he represents “regular people.”

Ben Simmons is Struggling With Kendall Jenner Cheating On Him Multiple Times While He’s Trying to Win a Title

We are going to review this once again so you can all get caught up.

Simmons dumped Tinashe for doing “Kardashian Sh*t”.

Simmons then started dating Kendall Jenner who cheated on him two times because she didn’t take their relationship seriously.

Simmons then took her back after she apologized.

After a few months of everything going well, Jenner cheated on him again with an ex-boyfriend at Coachella and Khloe Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend French Montana.

While Kendall asked for forgiveness she was spotted with her ex-NBA boyfriends Blake Griffin and Jordan Clarkson.

Now, there are reports it is affecting Simmons play in the playoffs.

‘Guilty as hell’ R. Kelly needed anti-libido shots to control urges: ex-lawyer Ed Gensen

The lawyer who defended R. Kelly in a decade-old child pornography case said Thursday that the R&B legend was guilty of those charges — and even received anti-libido drugs to help contain his urges.

“He was guilty as hell!” Ed Genson, 77, told the Chicago Sun-Times from his Deerfield, Ill., home.

But the former criminal defense attorney said he believes the “Trapped in the Closet” singer hasn’t done anything “inappropriate” in years.

“I’ll tell you a secret,” he said. “I had him go to a doctor to get shots, libido-killing shots. That’s why he didn’t get arrested for anything else.”

Genson, who has terminal bile duct cancer, told the paper he doesn’t feel ambivalent about getting Kelly acquitted and keeping him out of prison in 2008.

 

Suburban Chicago woman posts R Kelly’s $1 million bail. The 47-year-old woman is described as a “friend” of Kelly”

A 47-year-old woman from suburban Chicago paid the entirety of R Kelly’s bail, allowing the embattled R&B singer to be freed from jail as he awaits his trial on sexual abuse charges.

According to The Chicago Tribune, the unidentified woman — described as “a friend” of Kelly’s — posted the bail — 10% of the $1 million bond set by a judge on Monday.

Since his arrest on Friday, Kelly struggled to come up with the funds to cover his bail. His lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told the judge that the singer’s finances are a “mess” due to his ongoing legal issues.

After learning of Kelly’s financial plight, some of his female fans reportedly reached out to the county clerk offering to cover the cost of his bail.

Upon his release last night, a seemingly unfazed Kelly made a beeline to his favorite McDonald’s — a place where he previously found himself in trouble after picking up an underage girl on her prom night.

Kelly is due back in court on March 22nd. If convicted of the charges in Chicago, he faces between 40-70 years in prison.

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