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.
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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:
- A woman opened fire at the Dallas Airport yesterday. She was sent to the hospital after police shot her.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
What do experts recommend be done to try to fix this problem?
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.
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.”
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.
Metis elder and residential school survivor, Angie Crerar.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of evacuees from Ukraine’s Eastern Donbas, at the heart of Russia’s invasion, are returning home, unable to afford living in safer areas further away from front lines. Karina Smulska return to work in a coffee shop in Donetsk, despite dangers.
Karina Smulska, translated:
“If the restaurant I’m working at now had not reopened, I would not have had the motivation to go back home. Because in fact, there was nothing to do here. There was nobody in town. I would sit at home, and it’s very tense when you’re not allowed to go anywhere just to sit at home. And there in Dnipro, I was able to go out and to work. They returned because they want to be at home. They’re used to it. They want to be at home inside their own walls and their own town, their own streets.”
We’re also learning this week that two American volunteers have died fighting for Ukraine. They were identified by their commander as Luke Lucyszyn, a medic from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Bryan Young, though no further information was available on Bryan as of yesterday. For daily updates from Ukraine, stay with USATODAY.com.
We all know that hiccups are annoying, and can even be painful. But what actually causes them? Reporter Anna Kaufman, and PJ Elliott discuss, along with some potential remedies.
A lot of different things can cause hiccups. The cause for hiccups, a little bit like the cure, can be one of many things, and there’s a little bit of mystery around knowing what exactly might have caused your specific case of hiccups. But, experts say it can be anything from eating too much, drinking a carbonated beverage, drinking too much alcohol. That’s why you see people in the movies, who are supposed to be drunk, they have hiccups. Emotional stress, sudden temperature change, too much air coming into your lungs from chewing gum or sucking on a lollipop or a candy. So, a lot of different things.
What are some home remedies that people have used, that maybe some people may not have ever heard of?
I mean, that list is about a mile long, and I think everybody has their own kind of magic cure things that they think work for them. One of them involves taking a deep breath in for about 10 seconds, and then inhaling again and again. Some studies have shown that increase in CO2 causes hiccups to recede, so they think that’s kind of why that works. Most of it really means having an interruption of the triggers that would cause a hiccup. So, some of that involves the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the stomach. So, that can be affected. Somebody scaring you, jumping out and kind of starting you, can do that. Something sour or sweet, breathing into a paper bag, putting your knees to your stomach, all sorts of things.
What about from the medical side of things? Is there anything that doctors or other experts recommend that you could be doing medically to try to get rid of your hiccups?
Not really. I mean, they kind of say different things work for different people. There’s not a ton of studies out there on this. For each specific cure, you can find people saying that this has worked, and you can find the scientific reason why it might work. And a lot of times, the vagus nerve or an interruption of the signals that might cause this reflex to happen. So, for example, a spoon full of sugar, which is a popular home remedy, the experts say that the sugar kind of irritates the back of your throat, which interrupts the spasm. So, the sugar can kind of affect that vagus nerve, which connects your stomach to your brain, and overwhelm that nerve, causing the hiccups to stop. So, again, for each individual cure, you can find a reason why it might work, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Today’s Mega Millions lottery jackpot has risen to an estimated $810 million. It’s the country’s fourth largest jackpot ever, and third highest Mega Millions. But the AP’s Scott McFetridge reminds you that the odds are anything but good.
Well, it costs $2 to buy a Mega Millions ticket. And, the way, I think, that lottery officials at least say you should keep that in mind is, if you want to spend $2 dreaming of this potential windfall, that’s a great thing. If you really think that you’re going to win $810 million, it’s just not a good bet. In fact, it’s about the worst bet you can possibly come up with. So, the odds of winning the Mega Millions grand prize is one in 302.5 million. It’s hard to kind of get your head around what horrible odds those are, but one way to consider it is, you have a much better chance of getting in a fatal car crash, than you do of winning this prize.
The top jackpot ever was a Powerball $1.586 billion prize in January of 2016. A Mega Millions jackpot also surpassed $1.5 billion in October of 2018. The next Mega Millions drawing will be tonight.
Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us every morning of the week, right here, wherever you’re listening right now. Thanks to PJ Elliott for his great work on the show, and I’m back tomorrow with more than 5 Things from USA TODAY.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism