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Whites Outlive Blacks in the US, Study Suggests

Women
© Kelly Young, Shutterstock
In the US, whites live longer than African Americas, but not all states are equal. Where does yours rank?

In the United States, white males live about seven years longer on average than black men, and white women live more than five years longer than their black counterparts, new research suggests. The results indicate that the United States still needs to improve the health of African-Americans, the researchers add.

The researchers collected data on mortality from disease-related deaths, accidents and intentional deaths like murder and suicide. They studied death certificate data from 1997 through 2004, covering more than 17 million people from all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The researchers noted race/ethnicity, sex, the age at death and the state where each subject was born, lived and died.

National life expectancy, also referred to as average life span, was almost 75 years for white men and about 67.5 years for black men. Women fared a little better with white women having an average life span of nearly 80 years and black women about 74.5 years. This narrower gap for females held true in every state.

They analyzed the U.S. state-by-state and discovered that New Mexico had the smallest disparities between blacks and whites (a gap of 3.76 years for men and 2.45 years for women), while the District of Columbia had the largest (13.77 years for men and 8.55 years for women).

Light Saber

'We won!' Teary-eyed Putin wins presidential election by landslide


Vladimir Putin, set to win a third presidential term, declared his victory and thanked his voters for their support. Polling at almost 64 percent with almost all of the votes counted, victory seems assured.

"We have won in an open and fair struggle," Putin said, addressing 110,000 people gathered on Manezhnaya Square outside the Kremlin walls.

He stressed that this victory signals a defeat for those who want to destroy Russia.

Handcuffs

Hundreds Demonstrate for Women's Rights at State Capitol, 31 Arrested

Image
© YouTube
US, Virginia - Thirty-one women's rights demonstrators were arrested Saturday in a state Capitol protest that drew hundreds of people and a police response including officers in riot gear.

The rally was the latest held in opposition to contentious General Assembly bills that have drawn attention far beyond the state, including a measure that would require women to undergo a transabdominal ultrasound before having an abortion.

Some protesters, wearing red armbands and holding signs that included "Gov. McDonnell get out of my vagina," urged the governor to reject the legislation, which is headed to his desk.

Capt. Raymond J. Goodloe of the Division of Capitol Police said 17 women and 14 men were arrested, though representatives of groups involved with the event said they believed more were taken into custody. Goodloe did not have a breakdown on charges, but said those arrested were likely accused of either trespassing or unlawful assembly, both misdemeanors.

The arrests took place after some protesters, who had marched along nearby streets before entering Capitol Square, refused to leave the south steps of the Capitol. They were, in some cases, carried away by police and taken to a bus parked nearby while other officers held protesters at bay with shields.

Stormtrooper

Riot Gear Police Arrest 31 Silent Protesters in Virginia

US - Capitol hill police in Richmond, Virginia arrested 31 protesters Saturday afternoon during their silent demonstration against the state's controversial ultrasound bill passing the General Assembly.

Police were outfitted in riot gear to monitor the nearly 500 protesters and took those who would not leave the capital steps into custody.

WATCH: Video from Youtube, which was published on March 3, 2012.


Info

Poland Train Crash Leaves Dozens Dead or Injured


Two trains running on the same track have collided head-on in southern Poland, killing 16 people and injuring 58 in the country's worst train disaster in more than 20 years.

The collision just north of Krakow late on Saturday came after one of the trains ended up on the wrong track. Neighbours in the town of Szczekociny were alerted by what they said sounded like a bomb and rushed to the scene as survivors emerged.

Rescuers worked through the night to recover bodies and help the wounded. Maintenance work was being done on the tracks before the accident, but officials said it was too early to determine the cause of the disaster.

A woman living in a house about 200m from the site of the accident said she was standing at her window when the two trains collided, creating a "terrible, terrible noise like a bomb going off".

"So I ran out of the house, and on one side I saw train lights and one the other side I saw train lights, and in the middle sparks," Anna Sap said. "People from the train starting crying, 'Help, help!' So we and the neighbors ran to them. Some of them smashed windows to let them out."

People

Same-Sex Custody Battle Could Change Florida Law

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© unknown
Janet Jenkins, shown on the left, holds a missing person's flier showing her daughter and Lisa Miller is shown in a file photo on the right.
US, Tallahassee - Custody battle in Florida between two lesbians could fuel the growing national debate over the definition of motherhood.

It also might force state lawmakers to reconsider a 19-year-old law regarding the rights of sperm and egg donors.

The women, now in their 30s and known in court papers only by their initials, were both law enforcement officers in Florida. One partner donated an egg that was fertilized and implanted in the other. That woman gave birth in 2004, nine years into their relationship.

But the Brevard County couple separated two years later, and the birth mother eventually left Florida with the child without telling her former lover. The woman who donated the egg and calls herself the biological mother finally tracked them down in Australia with the help of a private detective.

Their fight over the now 8-year-old girl is before the state Supreme Court, which has not announced whether it will consider the case. A trial judge ruled for the birth mother and said the biological mother has no parental rights under state law, adding he hoped his decision would be overturned.

The 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach obliged, siding with the biological mother and saying both women have parental rights.

At issue is the 1993 state law meant to regulate sperm and egg donation. Scholars debate whether the constitutional right to procreate includes outside-the-body technologies used to conceive.

Heart

Saint's Ancient Heart Stolen from Dublin Cathedral

Image
© The Associated Press/Shawn Pogatchnik
The iron cage that housed the heart of St. Laurence O'Toole sits broken and empty Sunday, March 4, 2012, inside Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. A modern portrait of Jesus Christ is in the background.
Somewhere in Ireland, a burglar has the heart of a saint.

Officials at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin said Sunday they're distraught and perplexed over the theft of the church's most precious relic: the preserved heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, patron saint of Dublin.

O'Toole's heart had been displayed in the cathedral since the 13th century. It was stored in a heart-shaped wooden box and secured in a small, square iron cage on the wall of a chapel dedicated to his memory. On Saturday someone cut through two bars, pried the cage loose, and made off with the relic.

"I am devastated that one of the treasured artifacts of the cathedral is stolen," said the Most Rev. Dermot Dunne, the cathedral's dean. "It has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation with its founding father."

Ireland's national police force, the Garda Siochana, said detectives were studying hours of closed-circuit TV footage to try to identify the approximately 40 people who walked out the cathedral's front doors Saturday morning.

Che Guevara

Demonstrators interrupt Rick Santorum speech in Oklahoma City


US - About 20 liberal demonstrators tried to shout down Rick Santorum while he delivered his stump speech on the steps of the state capitol building here Sunday, yelling "racist" and "fascist" at the Republican presidential candidate.

The anti-Santorum faction began chanting "Get your hate out of our state" when the candidate started his address. Standing before a microphone at the top of the steps, Santorum ignored them and continued speaking. The demonstration lasted about 15 minutes.

Dollar

Canadian government "ready to talk" about Iceland adopting our currency?

canadian dollar, money
© unknown
Iceland has been desperate to replace its krona with a more stable currency since its banking collapse of 2008.

But instead of the obvious choices - the American dollar, the British pound or the euro - it seems Icelanders are eyeing our loonie. According to an article in the Globe and Mail, several Icelandic business leaders and some political parties have actually approached the Canadian government about adopting the Canadian dollar as their national currency.

"Canadian ambassador to Iceland Alan Bones had planned to deliver remarks to a conference on the future of the Icelandic krona, making it clear that if Iceland decided to adopt the Canadian dollar, with all its inherent risks, Canada was ready to talk," the article notes.

However, Bones' Saturday speech was cancelled abruptly.

Arrow Down

When insanity rules the world

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India should resist the West's brazen efforts to use championship of democracy as a cover for regime change.

In June 1914, Serbian ultra-nationalists calling themselves the Black Hand managed to kill Archduke Ferdinand, the heir apparent to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire, in Sarajevo and ignited the First World War. None of the Great Powers wanted that war. None expected it to last more than four weeks. It lasted four years and took 19.5 million lives. Today, three apparently coordinated attacks on Israeli diplomats in Georgia, India and Thailand, for which Tel Aviv is strenuously blaming Iran, could become the spark for a similar conflagration in the Middle East.

The comparison is not as fanciful as it sounds, for the configuration of forces in the international state system is beginning to resemble what existed in the decade before the First World War. The most striking similarities are the decline in the economic power of the hegemonic nation - Britain then, the United States today; challenges from new aspirants to hegemony, Germany then (with the U.S. lurking in the wings), China and Salafi Islam today; attempts to shore up hegemony through alliances with like-minded nations - Britain, France and Russia then - the U.S., the European Union and Israel today; the emergence of a bunker mentality that hardens stances and progressively closes the avenues for peace through accommodation; and a growing temptation to use military power to pre-empt potential challenges even before they arise.