Longer Looks: A Deadly Storm; The 25th Amendment & Rewriting Family History
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
What Makes A Storm Deadly?
Experts don’t know exactly how many people died when Hurricane Katrina plowed through New Orleans in 2005, but they do know it was a staggering number. Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history and the deadliest hurricane since 1928, killed at least 971 people, according to a 2008 study. Higher estimates put the death toll at around 1,440.Now, in Texas, Harvey is causing widespread damage and devastation, and the rain continues to dump on Houston. (Olga Khazan, 8/28)
Los Angeles Times:
Trump Foes, Questioning His Mental Fitness, Are Citing The 25th Amendment. So How Does That Work?
With impeachment of Trump an exceeding long shot — given the GOP’s firm grip on Congress — a small chorus of Democrats has suggested an even less likely antidote to a presidency they cannot and will not abide: removing Trump on the grounds he is mentally unsound. Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of San Jose has introduced a resolution urging Trump to seek a medical and psychiatric evaluation to determine his fitness for office. Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of Torrance has talked up legislation requiring a psychiatrist be stationed at the White House. The president’s spokeswoman has brushed aside questions about Trump’s mental health as beneath contempt. (Barabak, 8/25)
The Cadillac Of First Aid Kits Could Turn Civilians Into Life-Savers
Earlier this year, Collin Smith came into possession of an "intelligent" first aid kit. When he did, the first thing he did was try to outsmart it. The kit in question was the Comprehensive Rescue System, a sturdy, gray, 17-pound case of supplies custom-built by emergency management startup Mobilize Rescue Systems. It contains gauzes, bandages, and ointments like any first-aid kit, but also carries tourniquets, chest seals, and QuikClot—the kind of stuff you hope you'll never have to use, but that can keep someone with severe injuries alive while they're waiting on an ambulance. (Robbie Gonzalez, 8/28)
The New York Times:
With A Simple DNA Test, Family Histories Are Rewritten
Bob Hutchinson’s mother told him and his siblings almost nothing about her family, no matter how often they asked. “She was good at brushing people off,” said Mr. Hutchinson, 60. Growing up, there were no photos of his mother as a child in the home, or of her own parents. She said that she was an only child, that her parents were dead. Her heritage, she claimed, was Italian and Swedish. (Gina Kolata, 8/28)
My Terminally Ill Aunt Wanted To Die On Her Own Terms, But Couldn’t
Back in 2008, long before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, my aunt decided that if she were ever cursed by a theoretically possible but at the time unfathomable terminal illness, she’d want to end her life with the help of Dignitas. It was in her will: “If faced with the inevitability of dying in a manner incompatible with my desired quality and dignity of life, I wish to go to Dignitas in Switzerland and die by my own hand, with my peace of mind intact.” (Luisa Rollenhagen, 8/29)
Will Hurricane Harvey Mean More Mosquito-Borne Illness In Texas?
The devastating floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey will damage many human habitats, but after the flood recedes, the waterlogged city may become a more welcoming habitat for mosquitoes. And that means that residents already made vulnerable by the hurricane might also eventually be at increased risk for mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus and Zika. (Julie Beck, 8/28)
The Washington Post:
Some Say People Receiving Disability Benefits Just Need To Get Back To Work. It's Not That Easy.
She wanted her clients to look to her for inspiration, so Teresa Boullemet stamped out her cigarette, popped a peppermint, sprayed herself with perfume and applied fresh lipstick. “Are you going to the farthest corners of the world today?” her assistant asked as she walked to her car. “Roanoke,” Boullemet said. “Say a prayer for us.” And then, carrying pamphlets saying she provides “guidance and choices” to disabled people interested in working, she set out for what may not be the farthest corner of the world, but is certainly one of the farthest corners of Alabama. (McCoy, 8/27)