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OPEC, Russia agree to slash oil production

CNN - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:22
OPEC and its partners reached a deal to slash oil production on Friday, two sources told CNN.

Soccer Player’s Plea: ‘I Am Afraid if I Go to Bahrain, I Will Be Tortured Again’

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:18
Bahrain wants Hakeem al-Araibi, a political refugee playing soccer in Melbourne, extradited from Thailand. The case is seen as a test of how well FIFA can protect its players.

Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:16
At the president’s New Jersey golf course, an undocumented immigrant has worked as a maid since 2013. She said she never imagined she “would see such important people close up.”

Anatomy of a Scene: Watch Julia Roberts Move From Joy to Panic in ‘Ben Is Back’

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:13
Peter Hedges narrates a sequence from his film featuring Roberts and Lucas Hedges.

The Foxification of the Trump White House, visualized

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:13
The nation's next representative at the U.N. will be familiar to "Fox & Friends" fans.

Retiring: When Answering the Phone Exposes You to Fraud

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:12
Regulators and companies are working vigorously to stop the spread of callers that try to get consumers — in particular, older people — to hand over money or private information.

Critic’s Pick: Review: An Electrifying Bryan Cranston Is All the Rage in ‘Network’

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:11
Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation of the 1976 film presents a pricelessly demented affair between a has-been anchorman and the cameras that love him.

The Invincible Benjamin Netanyahu

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:11
The prime minister of Israel is being investigated for corruption. His cabinet is crumbling. And he’s not going anywhere.

Matter: The Planet Has Seen Sudden Warming Before. It Wiped Out Almost Everything.

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:09
In some ways, the planet's worst mass extinction — 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian Period — may parallel climate change today.

‘I’ve had an itchy finger’: When William Barr considered firing a special counsel

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:07
In the early 1990s, Barr reportedly considered firing Iran-contra special counsel Lawrence Walsh, whom the administration regarded as out of control. Eventually, George H.W. Bush instead pardoned key figures.

Taxpayers Always Lose Industry’s Shell Game With Jobs

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:03
G.M. is the latest example of a company getting incentives based on empty promises.

Chronic kidney disease bucks trends in all 50 states

Futurity.org - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:01

The burden of chronic kidney disease, as well as the probability of death related to chronic kidney disease, have increased substantially over the past 15 years in all 50 US states, report researchers.

Such increases also were seen in younger adults ages 20 to 54, a group in which kidney disease had been uncommon. The findings appear in JAMA Network Open.

Advances in treating cancer, heart disease, and other major health conditions in recent decades have extended life spans for millions of people. However, chronic kidney disease is an outlier, with cases accelerating at a faster pace than all other noninfectious diseases, according to the study.

“There have been no major advances to slow or reverse kidney disease during the past two decades.”

“Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is known as a ‘silent epidemic’ because many people don’t realize they have it until the disease is at an advanced stage,” says Ziyad Al-Aly, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“It is particularly concerning that chronic kidney disease is becoming more common in younger people. This is a remarkable move in the wrong direction.”

Obesity, diet, blood pressure, diabetes

The researchers note that the abundance of high-sugar, high-salt foods in many American diets and obesity-related health problems such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are likely driving the increase in kidney disease. This is because poor diets and metabolic problems contribute to the buildup of toxins that can interfere with the kidneys’ job, which is to remove harmful waste from the body.

The researchers also showed that the increasing rates of chronic kidney disease varied considerably by state. For example, while all states experienced rising rates of chronic kidney disease, significantly higher increases occurred in states with the highest obesity rates among adults—such as West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama.

“The findings suggest the need to address the health risks such as diabetes that can lead to kidney disease,” Al-Aly says. “This means healthier diets and exercise, as well as increased monitoring by health care workers of patients with obesity or metabolic disorders who are at a greater risk of developing kidney disease.”

58% increase

To compare rates of kidney disease with other diseases, the researchers tapped into a public database of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) initiative. It provides a detailed epidemiologic assessment of about 350 diseases and injuries by age and sex, as well as more than 80 risk factors, in all US states and countries worldwide. For this study, the analysis focused on US data by age from 2002 to 2016.

The researchers measured and compared the percent change in healthy life-years lost due to kidney disease with the diseases and injuries in the GBD database. They found that chronic kidney disease rates are increasing faster than the rates of all noninfectious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, cirrhosis, and other chronic lung diseases, mental disorders, and neurological disorders.

Healthy life-years lost

The measure of how many years of healthy life are lost is often referred to as “disability-adjusted life years.” During the 15-year period covered by the study, health loss due to kidney disease increased by 18 percent, while the burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer have decreased by 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

“The decline is largely reflective of medical advances in cardiovascular disease and cancer treatment,” Al-Aly says. “Similarly, the increase in chronic kidney disease reflects a relative stagnation in new treatments. There have been no major advances to slow or reverse kidney disease during the past two decades.”

Overall, deaths due to chronic kidney disease increased 58 percent from 52,127 in 2002 to 82,539 in 2016.

Younger adults, too

While deaths attributable to chronic kidney disease are rare among younger people, the numbers are rising. Among adults ages 20 to 54, the probability of death due to chronic kidney disease increased almost 26.8 percent, from 0.1 percent (or 100 deaths per 100,000 people) in 2002 to 0.125 percent (125 deaths per 100,000 people) in 2016.

“This also is worrisome from an economic perspective because it is the younger adults, in particular, who often contribute most to economic prosperity on local, state, and federal levels,” Al-Aly says.

Those 55 years and older experienced a 25.6 percent increase in deaths due to chronic kidney disease, from 1.95 percent (1,950 deaths per 100,000 people in 2002 to 2.45 percent (2,450 deaths per 100,000 people) in 2016.

Chronic kidney disease also accounted for a 52 percent increase among all age groups of healthy life-years lost, from 1.2 million in 2002 to 2 million in 2016.

“Public health priorities, policy initiatives, funding allocation, and advocacy efforts need to catch up to this reality that the burden of chronic kidney disease is rising, and the speed of change now outpaces other noncommunicable diseases,” Al-Aly says. “A concerted effort should be made to put the brakes on this.”

Funding for the work came from the Institute for Public Health at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Source: Washington University in St. Louis

The post Chronic kidney disease bucks trends in all 50 states appeared first on Futurity.

We’ve driven Audi’s first proper electric car, the 2019 e-tron SUV

Ars - Fri, 2018-12-07 12:00

Enlarge (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Because Audi was only offering e-tron drives in Abu Dhabi, we elected to accept paid flights and two nights in a hotel in order to attend this event, rather than having to wait at least six months to drive the vehicle.

In the wake of its emissions scandal, Volkswagen Group has been on a mission to reinvent itself. After staking its reputation on diesel, the German automaker has conducted a volte face; electricity is now the future. It's spending billions on developing new battery electric vehicle platforms, billions building a US network of high-speed chargers, and has committed billions more to lock up battery supplies. And now, finally, the first of these efforts has begun to bear fruit.

Behold, the first—but definitely not the last—battery electric vehicle from VW Group. One that has been designed from the ground up to be powered by electrons: the Audi e-tron. We got our first good look at a flashy launch event in San Francisco this past September, and now we've finally had a chance to drive it. After 24 hours on plane after plane, we put the e-tron through its paces on and off the roads. Along the way, we confirmed some of our preconceptions about this new BEV and busted others.

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Bitcoin's epic plunge continues

CNN - Fri, 2018-12-07 11:57
What a difference a year makes for bitcoin.

Solo yachtswoman rescued after shipwreck

CNN - Fri, 2018-12-07 11:56
Solo yachtswoman Susie Goodall has been successfully rescued by a cargo ship in the Southern Ocean after a storm destroyed her boat as she competed in a round-the-world race.

Victorina Morales Spoke Out Against President Trump. What Price Will She Pay?

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 11:55
A look at what lies ahead for a Trump National Golf Club housekeeper who disclosed her status as an undocumented immigrant. “I don’t regret what I did,” she says.

At Ease: An Old Army-Navy Score Has Been Settled

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 11:55
In 1964, an Army cadet made a wager with a Navy midshipman about the outcome of the annual game. But the bet was never paid off. Until now.

Even self-driving leader Waymo is struggling to reach full autonomy

Ars - Fri, 2018-12-07 11:55

Enlarge (credit: Waymo)

The Wednesday rollout of Waymo One, Waymo's commercial self-driving taxi service, falls far short of expectations the company itself set earlier in the year.

In late September, a Waymo spokeswoman told Ars by email that the Phoenix service would be fully driverless and open to members of the public—claims I reported in this article.

We now know that Waymo One won't be fully driverless; there will be a driver in the driver's seat. And Waymo One is open to the public in only the narrowest, most technical sense: initially it will only be available to early riders—the same people who have been participating in Waymo's test program for months.

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