Browsing articles from "April, 2019"

See 200 Years Of Twists And Turns Of Census Citizenship Questions

Apr 24, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on See 200 Years Of Twists And Turns Of Census Citizenship Questions

If the Trump administration gets its way, federal law will require this question to be asked of each person living in all of the country’s households in 2020: “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” It’s been close to 70 years since a citizenship question has been included among the census questions for every U.S. household.

The question’s wording comes from a survey the Census Bureau began conducting annually in every county after the 2000 census with about 1 in 38 households — the American Community Survey, which has since replaced the census as the government’s way of collecting citizenship information.

How the federal government has used the census in the past to ask about citizenship status has varied over the years. For decades, the census asked only about the citizenship status of people born outside the U.S. who were later naturalized, or became U.S. citizens.

From the first time in 1820 to the most recent in 2000, when only a small sample of households were asked, questions about citizenship on the census have had a history of stops and starts, twists and turns over 200 years.

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World’s First Malaria Vaccine Launches In Sub-Saharan Africa

Apr 24, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on World’s First Malaria Vaccine Launches In Sub-Saharan Africa

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Today health officials are making history. They’re rolling out the first approved vaccine aimed at stopping a human parasite. It’s for malaria — and the hopes are that one day the vaccine could save the lives of tens of thousands of children each year.

“This [rollout] is a massive success of the research community,” says Dr. Pedro Alonso, who directs the Global Malaria Programme at the World Health Organization.

This vaccine — called RTS,S — is one of the few immunizations designed and launched specifically to help young children in Africa, says Deborah Atherly at PATH, a nonprofit that helped develop the immunization.

“It’s a pro-poor vaccine, if you will,” Atherly says. “I think that’s also a really important milestone in vaccine development and introduction.”

Malaria is still a top killer of children worldwide, but children in Africa are most affected. Every two minutes a child or baby there dies of the disease. Some children can have up to six bouts of malaria in just one year, says Dr. Mary Hamel of WHO.

The vaccine took more than 30 years — and more than $500 million — to develop. It was an international collaboration among WHO, PATH, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and a network of African countries. The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation — which is a sponsor of NPR and this blog — is also a funder of the vaccine.

On Tuesday, toddlers in Malawi started receiving the immunization. Then children in Ghana and Kenya will follow shortly. The goal is to vaccinate about 360,000 children in this large-scale pilot project. And then WHO will determine the best way to roll out the vaccine elsewhere, Atherly says.

The big question is: Will this vaccine work as well in the real world as it has in clinical trials, says epidemiologist William Moss, who directs the International Vaccine Access Center.

“The launch of the malaria vaccine is really a landmark,” Moss says, “but the vaccine’s efficacy is much lower than that for many of our other childhood vaccines.”

In a large trial, the vaccine reduced the number of clinical malaria cases by about 40 percent and severe malaria cases by about 30 percent, Moss says. By comparison, some childhood vaccines offer more than 90 percent protection.

Parasites, such as malaria, are more complex than viruses and bacteria, Moss says. They can have more sophisticated machinery for evading our immune systems. So creating effective vaccines against them is quite challenging, he says.

Still, Moss thinks the vaccine could have a significant impact on children’s health because malaria is so common in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. “There are estimates that one life would be saved for every 200 children who are vaccinated,” he says.

Another issue with the vaccine is that children need four doses. That means four trips to a clinic — which could be tough for some families in rural areas, Moss says.

But PATH’s Atherly thinks many families will want to make the extra trips.

“Just from a human perspective, I think if a mom can provide something for her child that will help control this disease, she will,” Atherly says. “We believe there will be a lot of demand from the mothers and other caregivers.”

Rochester Drug Cooperative Faces Federal Criminal Charges Over Role In Opioid Epidemic

Apr 24, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Rochester Drug Cooperative Faces Federal Criminal Charges Over Role In Opioid Epidemic

NPR’s Audie Cornish talks with Gary Craig, a Democrat and Chronicle reporter, about the first major pharmaceutical distributor to face federal criminal charges over its role in the opioid epidemic.

Drug Distributor And Former Execs Face First Criminal Charges In Opioid Crisis

Apr 24, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Drug Distributor And Former Execs Face First Criminal Charges In Opioid Crisis

Former Rochester Drug Co-Operative CEO Laurence Doud III, facing criminal charges stemming from the opioid crisis, leaves the federal courthouse in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Kathy Willens/AP


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Former Rochester Drug Co-Operative CEO Laurence Doud III, facing criminal charges stemming from the opioid crisis, leaves the federal courthouse in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Kathy Willens/AP

A major pharmaceutical distribution company and two of its former executives are facing criminal charges for their roles in advancing the nation’s opioid crisis and profiting from it.

Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc., one of the nation’s 10 largest pharmaceutical distributors in the U.S., its former CEO Laurence Doud III and former chief of compliance William Pietruszewski were charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled narcotics — oxycodone and fentanyl — for non-medical reasons and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

RDC and Pietruszewski are also charged with willfully failing to file suspicious order reports to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Between May 2012 and November 2016, the company received and filled over 1.5 million orders for controlled substances from its pharmacy customers. However, it reported only four suspicious orders to the DEA. According to the complaint, the company failed to report at least 2,000 suspicious orders.

“This prosecution is the first of its kind: executives of a pharmaceutical distributor and the distributor itself have been charged with drug trafficking, trafficking the same drugs that are fueling the opioid epidemic that is ravaging this country,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. “Our Office will do everything in its power to combat this epidemic, from street-level dealers to the executives who illegally distribute drugs from their boardrooms.”

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaking at a news conference announcing charges against Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc.

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Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaking at a news conference announcing charges against Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc.

Mary Altaffer/AP

Pietruszewski, 53, pleaded guilty last week. Doud, 75, surrendered to authorities and pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Both executives face maximum sentences of life in prison and a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years on the drug trafficking charges. They face a maximum five years in prison on the charge of defrauding the government.

The Rochester, N.Y.,-based company is a middleman between drug manufacturers and local independent pharmacies. It supplied more than 1,300 pharmacies and earned $1 billion per year during the relevant time period.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s statement:

“From 2012 to 2016, RDC’s sales of oxycodone tablets grew from 4.7 million to 42.2 million – an increase of approximately 800 percent – and during the same period RDC’s fentanyl sales grew from approximately 63,000 dosages in 2012 to over 1.3 million in 2016 – an increase of approximately 2,000 percent. During that same time period, Doud’s compensation increased by over 125 percent, growing to over $1.5 million in 2016.”

The company has agreed to pay a $20 million fine and submitted to three years of independent compliance monitoring.

“Today’s charges should send shock waves throughout the pharmaceutical industry reminding them of their role as gatekeepers of prescription medication,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan.

“We made mistakes,” company spokesman Jeff Eller said in a statement. “RDC understands that these mistakes, directed by former management, have serious consequences. We accept responsibility for those mistakes. We can do better, we are doing better, and we will do better.”

Following Easter Attacks In Sri Lanka, A Social Media Ban Disabled Some Apps

Apr 23, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Following Easter Attacks In Sri Lanka, A Social Media Ban Disabled Some Apps

Sri Lanka government officials shut down social media in the wake of the attacks. Such moves are more common and signal how tech companies struggle to maintain control of who uses their platforms.

The Traffic Tariff

Apr 23, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The Traffic Tariff

Stacey congestion pricing

Stacey congestion pricing

    The Indicator from Planet Money

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As cities all over the world grow, they’re struggling with crowded streets and polluted air. New York City has decided to try out one possible solution: congestion pricing. Drivers will soon be charged a toll to enter certain crowded neighborhoods. Officials hope it will cut down on traffic and bring in badly needed funds to help repair the city’s public transportation system.

Today on the show, Stacey Vanek Smith and Darius Rafieyan venture out into Midtown Manhattan during rush hour to see if congestion pricing is the solution that New York needs.

Music: “Jet Set Go”. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.

House Democrats Divided Over How Congress Should Respond To Russia Investigation

Apr 23, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on House Democrats Divided Over How Congress Should Respond To Russia Investigation

NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., about Democratic plans following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Alleged Leader Of Border Militia Facing Federal Firearms Charges In New Mexico

Apr 23, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Alleged Leader Of Border Militia Facing Federal Firearms Charges In New Mexico

Larry Mitchell Hopkins appears in a police booking photo taken in Las Cruces, N.M., on April 20. Hopkins made his initial court appearance Monday, on charges of possession of firearms by a felon.

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Larry Mitchell Hopkins appears in a police booking photo taken in Las Cruces, N.M., on April 20. Hopkins made his initial court appearance Monday, on charges of possession of firearms by a felon.

Dona Ana County Detention Center/Reuters

The alleged leader of an armed militia group that has intercepted and detained migrant families along the southern border in New Mexico was charged with federal firearms offenses on Monday.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, of Flora Vista, N.M., appeared in federal court in Las Cruces after his arrest on Saturday on charges of illegally possessing firearms as a felon.

A criminal complaint filed by the FBI states that Hopkins, also known as Johnny Horton Jr., was in possession of nine firearms and ammunition in his northern New Mexico home in Nov. 2017. He had three prior felony convictions dating back to 1996, including impersonating a peace officer in the state of Oregon in 2006, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Hopkins’ arrest is not tied to his involvement with the border militia.

Reporter Mallory Falk of NPR member station KRWG told All Things Considered that Hopkins leads a group called United Constitutional Patriots:

 “It’s a group of armed civilians often dressed in military fatigues. They’ve been camped out in Sunland Park, N.M., which is a small community very close to the U.S.-Mexico border. And they’ve been stopping migrant families that they’re encountering crossing the border who are trying to come into the U.S. to claim asylum. They’ve been stopping those families, telling them to sit on the ground, and then calling Border Patrol, and Border Patrol then comes in and apprehends those families.”

Hopkins’ attorney, Kelly O’Connell, told Falk that the militia group believes it is aiding an overstretched Border Patrol.

“They generally think that Border Patrol is spread too thin and that there are gaps in the system or there’s literal gaps in the fence,” said O’Connell. “They think they believe that they are helping to enforce the law of America.”

A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, in an emailed statement, said “U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not endorse or condone private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands. Interference by civilians in law enforcement matters could have public safety and legal consequences for all parties involved.”

Falk reported that federal officials are not commenting on the timing of the charges against Hopkins for offenses committed in Nov. 2017. But she said that his attorney suggested that state officials want to stop the group’s border activities and are using charges that are a year-and-a-half old to put pressure on them.

The FBI began investigating Hopkins after receiving reports that the United Constitutional Patriots were targeting Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and George Soros for assassination.

Hopkins is no stranger to investigators who track right-wing activities. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Hopkins, using his pseudonym Horton, claims to have advised President Trump on border security.

Hopkins is expected to enter a plea of not guilty at a bond hearing next week in Albuquerque.

Hopkins faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in imprison if convicted.

#NPRPoetry: Alberto Rios On The Power Of ‘Or’

Apr 22, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on #NPRPoetry: Alberto Rios On The Power Of ‘Or’

It’s National Poetry Month, and for our series #NPRPoetry, NPR’s Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with poet Alberto Rios, who combed Twitter for his favorite original poems.

After Notre Dame Fire, Parisians Mark Easter Elsewhere

Apr 22, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on After Notre Dame Fire, Parisians Mark Easter Elsewhere

Parisians and visitors from around the world mark Easter days after part of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral burned.

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Current Times

  • NPT: 2019-04-24 06:44 PM
  • EDT: 2019-04-24 08:59 AM
  • PDT: 2019-04-24 05:59 AM