Following Stark Report On Increase In Hate Crimes, Advocates Say Congressional Action Is Needed
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says legislation is needed to incentivize police to report hate crimes. An FBI report this week showed the highest levels of violent hate crimes in the U.S. since 2001. In other public health news: alcohol, the pneumonic plague, trial results, gene editing, and texting while walking.
Police Don’t Do A Good Job Tracking Hate Crimes. A New Report Calls On Congress To Take Action.
A report made public Wednesday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights called on Congress to adopt legislation that would use funding to incentivize police departments across the country to produce annual accountings of hate crimes. The commission also recommended that the police departments establish dedicated hate crime units aimed at better identifying and investigating reports of those incidents. The commission issued its proposals a day after the latest FBI report on hate crimes, an accounting the commission said remained deeply flawed. The FBI’s report, the commission noted, still depends on the voluntary submission of data from local police agencies, a process that has regularly produced what almost everyone agrees is a vast undercount of actual hate crimes. (Glickhouse, 11/13)
The New York Times:
Alcohol Was An Escape. Now He Is Living On His Own Terms.
The military was supposed to be Earl Breland’s ticket to stability. He was just six credits shy of a college degree when he enlisted in the Army in 1983, setting aside his aspirations to become a journalist so he could make a good life for himself and his new wife. “I thought the service would do that for me,” said Mr. Breland, 58. But the military proved to be a rough adjustment. Mr. Breland said he had trouble getting “used to the structure and being told what to do.” (Brown, 11/13)
The Washington Post:
Two Cases Of Pneumonic Plague Confirmed In Beijing
Two people in China were diagnosed with a severe form of the plague, according to reports in Chinese media — raising alarms for citizens despite promises from health authorities that control measures are in place. Local health officials confirmed the two cases of pneumonic plague on Tuesday, according to Xinhua News, China’s state-run news agency. The two patients, who authorities say received “proper treatment,” hail from China’s Inner Mongolia region. (Brice-Saddler, 11/13)
More Trial Results Being Posted To Public Database, But Data Quality Lacking
A new report examining the first decade of study results being reported on ClinicalTrials.gov finds that there has been slow progress among drug companies and academic research centers in reporting the results of human studies, but the quality of the data may still present a larger problem. When the database was expanded through federal law in 2008 to accommodate clinical trial results, an average of two trials per week posted results, even though 79 trials were completed every week. (Chakradhar, 11/13)
CRISPR Could Stop Replication Of Viruses That Cause Illness, Researchers Say
It's not easy to treat viral infections. Just ask anyone with a bad cold or a case of the flu. But scientists in Massachusetts think they may have a new way to stop viruses from making people sick by using what amounts to a pair of molecular scissors, known as CRISPR. It's a gene editing tool based on a molecule that occurs naturally in microorganisms. (Palca, 11/13)
The New York Times:
Texting While Walking Is Dangerous. Here’s How To Stop.
You’re walking around and a thought occurs: “I should check my phone.” The phone comes out of your pocket. You type a message. Then your eyes remain glued to the screen, even when you walk across the street. We all do this kind of distracted walking, or “twalking.” (Yes, this term is really a thing.) The behavior has spawned debates among lawmakers about whether walking and texting should be illegal. (Chen, 11/13)