Sunday, December 3

Reaction to Pope Francis apology, the mystery of hiccups: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Overdose deaths among Black and Indigenous people emerged in 2020

Environmental and health inequities reporter Nada Hassanein talks about growing disparities in overdose deaths. Plus, Pope Francis formally apologized yesterday for the Catholic Church’s role in atrocities against Canadian Indigenous children, many Ukrainians are returning home to dangerous regions, reporter Anna Kaufman gives an explainer on hiccups and there could soon be another record lottery jackpot.

Podcast:True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Buenos dias. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Tuesday, the 26th of July, 2022. Today, widening disparities among overdose deaths, plus the reaction to Pope Francis’s apology to Canadian Indigenous peoples, and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. A woman opened fire at the Dallas Airport yesterday. She was sent to the hospital after police shot her.
  2. David Warner has died. The versatile British actor was best known for roles in Titanic, sci-fi cult classics and Shakespearean tragedies. He was 80 years old.
  3. And a robot chess player broke the finger of a seven year old boy, when playing against him in a Russian tournament. Officials from the tournament say the child was partially at fault.

Drug overdose deaths emerged in 2020, during the first year of the pandemic, and disparities are widening. Environmental and Health Inequities reporter, Nada Hassanein, and producer, PJ Elliott, discuss.

Nothing Hassanein:

According to a report released by the CDC, Black people saw a 44% increase between 2019 and 2020, when it comes to drug overdose death rates, and American Indian and Alaska Native people saw a 39% increase. There were further disparities within subgroups. Death rates among Black men, 65 and older, were found to be almost seven times higher than white men, the same age, and younger Black teens and men between ages 15 and 24 saw the largest increase in deaths. And that was actually an 86% relative increase. Indigenous people saw an increase of almost 50% in young adults ages 25 and 44.

PJ Elliott:

What do experts recommend be done to try to fix this problem?

Nothing Hassanein:

So, there needs to be more equitable distribution of primary prevention efforts, including medications to reverse overdose, as well as efforts that can break down barriers, such as lack of transportation and insurance coverage. And also, raising awareness of the risks associated with using more than one substance at once. And also, reducing the stigma surrounding drug use. The researchers also found that, just because a place might have more treatment centers doesn’t mean that they’re actually being accessed by people of color within those areas. And so, that’s a key challenge of focus.

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Taylor Wilson:

For Nada’s full story, click the link in today’s show description.

Pope Francis issued his anticipated apology yesterday for the Catholic Church’s cooperation with Canada’s policy of Indigenous residential schools. He said the forced assimilation of Native peoples into Christian society destroyed their cultures, cut off families and marginalized generations of people.

Pope Frances, translated:

“I am sorry. I ask, for forgiveness. In particular, for the ways in which many members of the church and of religious communities cooperated, not least through their indifference in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the government of that time , which culminated in the system of residential schools. What our Christian faith tells us is that, this was a disastrous error, incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is painful to think of how the firm soil of values, language and culture that made up the authentic identity of your people was eroded, and that you have continued to pay the effects of this. In the face of this deplorable evil, the Church kneels before God and implores His forgiveness for the sins of her children.”

Taylor Wilson:

More than 150,000 Native children in Canada were forced to attend government-funded Christian schools from the 1800s through the 1970s, in an effort to isolate them from their families and cultures. The goal was to assimilate them into Christian society. Canada has admitted that physical and sexual abuse in the schools was rampant, with students beaten for speaking their native languages. Canadian Indigenous leaders have pushed for more than just words, but many were moved by the Pope’s apology.

Taylor Wilson:

Metis elder and residential school survivor, Angie Crerar.

Angie Create:

We are strong people. We are strong. We are Metis, and we were taught, we were taught how to love, to respect and to honor, and that was our destiny. And that today, I said proudly, and I say to my prayers and to my friends, that are long time gone, but I know they’re hearing me, and they know my heart is just full.

Taylor Wilson:

Indigenous leaders though want access to church archives for information on children who never returned home. They also want justice for abusers and financial reparations. Some of those have already been underground. As part of a lawsuit settlement involving the government, churches and some 90,000 survivors, Canada paid reparations amounting to billions of dollars. And Canada’s Catholic church said its diocese and religious orders have given more than $50 million in cash and contributions.

Russia has expanded its military goals in Ukraine, from seizing control of the Eastern Donbas region to regime change. That’s according to the Kremlin’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking during his trip to Africa. He said Moscow is targeting what he called the unacceptable regime of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Lavrov’s trip to several African countries, including Egypt and Congo, appears aimed to strengthen support from the continent, especially for upcoming UN votes.

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