HOTTOPIC: Hate crime violence in US hit 16-year high in 2018: FBI

The annual report found that the number of victims in anti-Latino or Hispanic hate crimes increased more than 21 percent. Violence resulting from bias or prejudice in the United States reached a 16-year high last year, the FBI said on Tuesday, with the number of victims in anti-Latino or Hispanic hate crimes rising more than 21 percent. The data coincides with an ongoing debate over President Donald Trump‘s hardline immigration policies and follows the August 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, when the suspected gunman told…

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HOTTOPIC: Fruity or minty? Vape flavors most popular with teens may be ban

Prohibition could cover all flavors, but e-cigarette advocates want to exempt at least mint and menthol for adults. Mint and menthol are among the most popular e-cigarette flavors with young users, according to U.S. government survey data that could weigh on a decision about whether or not to ban the flavors. The 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, produced by the Food and Drug Administration and published Nov. 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows e-cigarette use remains highly prevalent among teenagers who start as early as middle…

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HOTTOPIC: Don’t get scammed by cheap clothing sites

It’s called “fast fashion” — rapidly producing for the masses the trends showcased by top designers, often using cheap materials and sketchy labor practices. Clothes appear online or in stores for hundreds less than designer brands, but their poor quality means they don’t last long. And the cycle starts again. Fast fashion brands’ ads overwhelm websites and social media. Names like Modlily, Dresslily, Lilligal and Rosegal (yep, many are soundalikes) tout images of svelte models in stunning gowns or chic girls in the latest boho looks — as well as…

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HOTTOPIC: Residents, celebrities forced to flee as California burns

As firefighters work to tackle blazes, authorities warn of worse to come with no rain and high winds forecast. Fires swept through the hills of Los Angeles where many celebrities live on Monday, destroying several large homes and forcing thousands of people to flee, as a blaze in California’s wine country in the United States exploded in size. The flames that roared up a steep hillside near the J Paul Getty Museum in the Los Angeles’ district of Brentwood showed the scale of the danger the state faces amid strong…

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HOTTOPIC: New York inmate who died of heart attack was ‘beaten by guards’

Four inmates at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility say they saw John McMillon, 67, brutally beaten by guards. Inmates at an upstate New York prison are contradicting an official report that a fellow inmate, who would soon be eligible to be released on parole after spending 25 years behind bars, died of a heart attack in January while being restrained by guards. In a report published by the New York Times on Thursday, four inmates at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Comstock, told the paper they…

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HOTTOPIC: Colleges prohibiting medical cannabis on campus face lawsuits

Students who use medical cannabis are challenging decades-old campus drug policies. Colleges in the United States are becoming a battleground in the conflict between federal and state cannabis laws as students who use medical cannabis challenge decades-old campus drug policies. In states where medical cannabis is legal, students disciplined for using it are taking their schools to court. College officials argue they could lose federal funding for failing to follow federal law that labels cannabis an illegal drug with no accepted medical use. Sheida Assar said she was expelled from…

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HOTTOPIC: Pedestrian deaths on US roads hit almost 30-year high

More pedestrians and cyclists were killed in US in 2018 than in any year since 1990. US traffic deaths fell 2.4 percent in 2018 to 36,560 although the number of pedestrians killed rose to its highest level in nearly three decades, the United States car safety agency said on Tuesday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said traffic deaths fell for the second straight year – down 913 from 2017. The death rate fell by 3.4 percent, the lowest rate since 2014. Despite the decrease in overall deaths, pedestrian…

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HOTTOPIC: For Black Friday, Lakefront Brewery adds a limited-edition $100 bottle of beer

Lakefront Brewery will offer four varieties of specialty beers during its Black Friday event this year. (Photo: Lakefront Brewery, Inc.) Lakefront Brewery switches up its annual Black Friday bottle release with four varieties of its trademark stout for $20 each and a limited-edition bottle of stout for $100 each. The limited-edition stout has been aging in barrels since 2014 — five years and 10 months, to be precise. It comes in a 750-milliliter bottle. Only 100 bottles of the limited-edition beer will be available during the sale. Lakefront, 1872 N. Commerce St.,…

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HOTTOPIC: Johnson & Johnson recalls baby powder after asbestos traces found

The company will recall 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after the FDA found traces of the carcinogen. Johnson & Johnson has said it is recalling about 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the federal health regulator – found trace amounts of asbestos in samples taken from a bottle purchased online. The voluntary recall is limited to one lot of a product called Johnson’s Baby Powder that was produced and shipped in the US in…

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HOTTOPIC: School calls rape-awareness note bullying, suspends student

Aela, 15, is taking a Maine school district to court for suspending her over a note drawing attention to sexual assault. A 15-year-old girl was suspended for bullying after trying to draw attention to what she believed was an unaddressed problem of sexual assaults involving students at her high school. Now, she is taking the school district to court. Aela Mansmann, a 15-year-old sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School outside Portland, Maine, has been at odds with Cape Elizabeth Schools for a month after posting a note in a toilet…

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HOTTOPIC: Find help to quit vaping and smoking

Federal and state officials have reported hundreds of total possible cases of pulmonary disease and several deaths that may be related to vaping. Yale Medicine in early September shared what it deemed a “startling” statistic: More than 3.6 million middle- and high-school students currently use e-cigarettes. The report explained vaping — to inhale vapor created from a liquid heated up inside a device — and pointed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current warnings regarding health risks: “Federal and state officials have reported hundreds of total possible cases…

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HOTTOPIC: Prevention tips for cold and flu

Definitely avoid, when possible, close contact with sick people. Many pharmacies and even grocery stores already tout signage and advertisements announcing the beginning of cold and flu season and the need for protective flu shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides comprehensive information on the 2019-20 influenza season at cdc.gov/flu, and emphasizes some ways to avoid getting the flu in the first place: ‒ Avoid, when possible, close contact with sick people. ‒ While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible. ‒ Especially when experiencing the…

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HOTTOPIC: US-Mexico border wall poses ‘severe environmental threat’

Bulldozers are clearing the way to build a new wall that may come with an enormous environmental cost. Bulldozers are clearing the way to build a new wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. The wall is a $5bn commitment by US President Donald Trump to stop asylum seekers getting into the US. But experts say the environmental cost of the wall may be enormous too, as well as irreversible. Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports from northern Mexico.

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HOTTOPIC: Which is more important to recognize, emojis or road signs?

If you were to take a quiz to test your ability to identify common emojis and road signs, how do you think you’d fare? According to the results from a recent survey by Mercury Insurance, 1,890 respondents did not do so well. The meaning of the “yawning” emoji was correctly identified by 85% of the respondents, but only 31% of quiz-takers correctly identified the meaning of the “lane reduction” road sign. Additionally, 71% knew the “in love” emoji, but the “keep right” road sign was correctly identified by only 51%…

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HOTTOPIC: UN climate talks: Activist Greta Thunberg files rights complaint

Despite official complaints about violating children’s rights and Thunberg’s damning speech, little action taken at UN climate talks. A new United Nations report has found commitments to cut greenhouse gases must be, at the minimum, tripled to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement. At least 66 countries have committed to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. But 14 nations, representing a quarter of global emissions, have refused to improve their current climate goals by next year, a deadline set by UN chief Antonio Guterres. This prompted anger…

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