Day: January 14, 2020

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CRACKDOWN WILL LIMIT PRESS


The Senate sergeant-at-arms and Capitol Police are launching an unprecedented crackdown on the Capitol press corps for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, following a standoff between the Capitol’s chief security officials, Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt and the standing committees of correspondents.

Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger will enact a plan that intends to protect senators and the chamber, but it also suggests that credentialed reporters and photographers whom senators interact with on a daily basis are considered a threat.

Additional security screening and limited movement within the Capitol for reporters are two issues that are drawing criticism from Capitol Hill media. 

The Standing Committee of Correspondents, which represents journalists credentialed in the daily press galleries in the House and Senate, has come out forcefully against the planned restrictions that it says rejected every suggestion made by the correspondents “without an explanation of how the restrictions contribute to safety rather than simply limit coverage of the trial.”

Standing gallery committees are panels made up of journalists elected by their colleagues; they help oversee press operations and work to ensure press access to public officials and proceedings on Capitol Hill.

“These potential restrictions fail to acknowledge what currently works on Capitol Hill, or the way the American public expects to be able to follow a vital news event about their government in the digital age,” the Standing Committee of Correspondents said in a letter Tuesday.

When the articles of impeachment are delivered to the Senate, a procession full of pomp and circumstance, just one video camera and no still photographers will be allowed to document the historic moment. No audio recording at all will be permitted, leaving radio reporters empty-handed.

Break with precedent

This restriction was not in place when the articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton were delivered to the secretary of the Senate in 1998, a fact confirmed by CQ Roll Call file photos and coverage of the event.

12/19/98.IMPEACHMENT VOTE-- House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., delivers the Articles of Impeachment against President Bill Clinton just passed on the House floor to Secretary of the Senate Gary Sisco. Looking on are committee members Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, Bob Barr, R-Ga., Bill McCollum, R-Fla., James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis., Charles Canady, R-Fla..CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY PHOTO BY SCOTT J. FERRELL
House Judiciary Chairman Henry J. Hyde delivers the articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to Secretary of the Senate Gary Sisco on Dec. 19, 1998. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

During the trial, a single press pen will be set up on the second floor of the Senate, where lawmakers enter and exit the chamber. Reporters will be confined to the pen, unable to move with senators. No movement will be allowed outside the corrals, and reporters and photographers will need to be escorted to and from the pen.

In the course of a day on Capitol Hill, many senators stop and talk or walk and talk as reporters gather around to catch the latest comment. Others employ age-old avoidance tactics, including fake phone calls or staffers by their side firmly stating, “We’re late, she can’t talk,” or a similar excuse.

Journalists’ time-honored practice of “strolling” with lawmakers — the walking, talking and relationship-building considered necessary by many resident reporters in the Capitol — is one that the new security apparatus will squelch during the trial.

Credentialed members of the media, who go through security screening to enter the Capitol each day, will be screened a second time to enter the Senate chamber to watch the trial proceedings. Magnetometers will be set up in the Senate Daily Press Gallery, requiring reporters to enter the chamber one by one after being cleared by Capitol Police operating the machine.

This has the potential to cause delays and shape coverage of the impeachment trial itself. If reporters cannot enter and exit the chamber swiftly when news breaks or something important happens, it will likely become more convenient to simply watch the trial on television or the internet.

Even on a typical day, electronic devices are banned from the Senate chamber’s upper galleries where the press can watch proceedings. That results in a predictable pattern where phone-less reporters quietly hustle out of the chamber doors when a vote is gaveled closed or a major speech concludes, rushing to their phones and laptops to tweet and send the news to their editors.

Magnetometers will severely curb this breaking news practice, likely sending reporters to their laptops to watch the historic trial, rather than taking it in firsthand.

The standing committees advocated a temporary exemption from the longstanding rule on electronics, to allow laptops or cell phones, but the status quo will prevail.

“There is no additional safety or security brought by bringing such a device into reporter work space and gives the impression that it is being done mostly to protect Senators from the bright light of the public knowing what they are doing in one of the country’s most important moments,” the Standing Committee of Correspondents wrote in a letter Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. 

Blunt said that reporters will simply have to decide for themselves what works best for them under the prescribed rules. 

“You’ll have to decide where’s the best place to watch; it’s like watching a football game,” the Missouri Republican said. “Where’s the best place to watch it?”

Long discussions

The standing committees, press gallery staff, Capitol Police, sergeant-at-arms and Senate Rules Committee have been in negotiations for months about enhanced security for an eventual Senate trial. 

In recent weeks, Capitol Police personnel have come to the Senate Daily Press Gallery with tape measures in preparation for the installation of magnetometers and possibly removing reporter workspaces to make room for lines of reporters cued up to enter the chamber one by one, long before a final decision was made. 

Gallery staff worked to educate the Capitol Police staff about potential repercussions of magnetometers and limits on access to the chamber. The Capitol Police staff showed limited understanding of the day-to-day operation of the press gallery in the weeks leading up to the Senate trial, according to observations from CQ Roll Call reporters present for these interactions.

Senate press gallery staff are employed by the sergeant-at-arms and tasked with facilitating press coverage of the chamber. They will be forced into a tough situation during the trial, enforcing media restrictions that they advocated against due to concerns about press freedom and logistical mishaps.

The planned restriction on the press will surpass those in place for the Clinton impeachment trial and even the highly charged confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, when hundreds of protesters led to daily media crackdowns — even though none of the protesters were credentialed media. 

James Ziglar, who served as Senate sergeant-at-arms during the Clinton impeachment trial, recalled security being a major issue for his team. Despite the more relaxed pre-9/11 security posture, the previous summer a gunman had entered the Capitol and shot two Capitol Police officers in an attempt to reach House leaders. That helped prompt more than two decades of security hardening at the Capitol, which looks to accelerate in the coming days. 

“People are like water, they flow everywhere. We had to double down on protecting offices and hallways that were not open to the public and that sort of thing,” Ziglar told CQ Roll Call in an interview this week.

At that time, the standing committees met with Ziglar for more than five hours to negotiate access issues and restrictions for the Senate trial, where the media brought concerns and complaints to work through with the sergeant-at-arms. 

The Clinton impeachment brought a flood of reporters flocking to cover the news, many unaware of the existing rules and patterns of decorum. Ziglar said the media were “rambunctious” during the trial. 

“There were people coming to the Hill with press credentials that had never been on the Hill,” he said.

During the Kavanaugh proceedings, Capitol Police determined that even credentialed Capitol Hill reporters should be kept from interacting with senators. A key thruway where reporters interact with lawmakers outside the Senate chamber and then-Majority Whip John Cornyn’s office were off-limits to press.

At the time, Capitol Police officers said the large media presence was causing a “life safety issue” for lawmakers, despite the hallway being closed to anyone besides lawmakers, staff and credentialed press — in other words, a dynamic that exists every day in the Capitol. 

Blunt didn’t go as far as to call the restrictions an attempt to avoid the situations that emerged during the Kavanaugh deliberations, but he said freedom of movement for lawmakers is a priority. 

“Allowing members to move in this important responsibility without having to fight their way on to an elevator or … on to the vehicles between the buildings.  I think that’s a legitimate concern,” he said.Todd Ruger contributed to this report. 

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Could easily build billion-dollar brand…






© Samir Hussein / Getty
 

The queen issued a rare personal statement on Monday addressing the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be taking a step back from royal life: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”

Part of that “more independent life” would involve funding their own lavish lifestyle rather than depending on the money from a sovereign grant. “Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” the queen continued.

But ultimately, it would probably be relatively easy for the couple to support themselves. They could maybe even build a billiondollar brand in the process.

David Haigh, the CEO of Brand Finance, an independent brand evaluation consultancy firm in London, told WWD’s Rosemary Feitelberg on January 12 that he would be surprised if Harry and Meghan couldn’t leverage their celebrity into a billion-dollar brand. He even cited Kylie Jenner’s billion-dollar cosmetics company as a replicable phenom for the royal couple.

Related video: How will Harry and Meghan handle security costs? (provided by NBC)

From book deals and speaking engagement opportunities to branded merch, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are poised to build an empire

Royal commentator and author Kristen Meinzer told Business Insider’s Taylor Nicole Rogers that the royal couple has “great earning potential” when it comes to book deals and speaking engagements. She compared their popularity to that of Barack and Michelle Obama and noted that the value of their book offers will likely be in the neighborhood of the Obamas’ $60 million advance for their 2017 memoirs.

WWD’s Feitelberg also reported that 100 trademarks were secured last year covering a wide range of Sussex Royal branded apparel and other merchandise, but those applications only covered use of the trademarks within the UK. Haigh posited that those trademarks were originally “defensive,” i.e., filed so that others couldn’t profit off their name. The Guardian just reported that a global trademark application was submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization in December, seeking to register the Sussex Royal brand in Australia, Canada, the EU, and the US. The international filings mention a total range of items and services, from stationery paper to the “organizing and conducting of emotional support groups,” according to The Guardian.

“It’s noticeable that every time [Meghan] dotes a particular clothing brand or wears anything, they instantly crash the websites and sell out,” Haigh told WWD, insinuating that any Sussex branded goods will surely sell well, but also that any future fashion collaborations would too. 

Other opportunities could include leveraging their celebrity status on Instagram

Notoriety sells. Haigh noted that the pair’s 2018 wedding brought a billion-pound boost to the British economy and brought in an additional three million tourists to the UK.

Marketing platform inzpire.me, which connects brands like Coca-Cola and UNICEF with potential influencer partners, told Business Insider that Harry and Meghan can expect to earn as much as $105,000 per singular sponsored Instagram post, should they choose to monetize their social media presence. The estimate is based on the current engagement rate of the pair’s @sussexroyal Instagram account — which saw 190,000 new followers in the 24 hours following their statement last week, more new followers than the account gains in a typical month.

For comparison, Kylie Jenner, who Haigh highlighted as a particular social media success story, has an estimated maximum post fee of $1.5 million, according to inzpire.me. Meanwhile, the Obamas, who Meinzer directly compared the royal couple to, are projected to have a maximum post fee of $230,000.

Inzpire.me’s cofounder Marie Mostad suggested that Instagram influencing may not be far off for Meghan and Harry, noting their initial Instagram announcement in and of itself was “a big departure” from the way royal news is typically announced. “This may be the first of many modernizations we see in the royal family,” she noted.

But, as Rogers previously reported for Business Insider, other royal experts don’t expect the couple to hit peak millennial and fully commit to an Instagram side hustle. It’s just one of the potentially lucrative options to grow their brand.

Though it’s also unlikely that Markle will return to acting as a full-time gig, reports have already surfaced that she signed a voice-over deal with Disney. While neither the royals or Disney have confirmed the news, The Times of London reported that payment for the deal will take the form of a direct donation to Elephants Without Borders, emphasizing the couple’s commitment to using their celebrity for philanthropy.

Charity will surely take take center stage in the global brand the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are poised to build – their initial statement included a callout to the future launch of their “new charitable entity,” and their philanthropic causes have been a focal point of their work as “senior royals” in the past.



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Schiff sends evidence from Rudy associate…




Schiff sends evidence from Rudy associate...

(Second column, 1st story, link)






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Senate War Powers Resolution Has 51 Votes…




a view of a tall building: The U.S. Capitol stands past metal fencing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are locked in a stare-down over the terms of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, which carries political risks for both sides if it continues deeper into January.


© Bloomberg
The U.S. Capitol stands past metal fencing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are locked in a stare-down over the terms of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, which carries political risks for both sides if it continues deeper into January.

(Bloomberg) — Democratic Senator Tim Kaine says he has enough votes to pass a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s ability to carry out a military attack against Iran without congressional authorization.

Kaine said Tuesday he has 51 “declared votes“ for a revised version of his war powers resolution. He said Republican senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Susan Collins and Todd Young will support his measure.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was also optimistic that it has enough support to pass.

“We believe we will get 51 votes,” Schumer told reporters Tuesday. “We believe this resolution is the right way to go.”

Kaine’s measure includes changes requested by Republicans, and the Virginia senator said it’s eligible for floor consideration Tuesday though it could get a vote earlier if a deal is reached with leadership. Kaine said under Senate rules the measure can get an expedited vote and only needs a simple majority to pass.

Kaine said he expects the Senate to be able to act on the measure even though Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber plans to begin Trump’s impeachment trial on Tuesday. Schumer said senators will “work out the timing.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Flatley in Washington at dflatley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Anna Edgerton

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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UPDATE: 17 Students, 9 Adults Exposed After Aircraft Dumps Fuel On Elementary School Near LAX…




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Championship All About the Crowd — and President…


There was a charged atmosphere Monday night.
Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Sports crowds are living, breathing, palpable beings: tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of people crammed into an area that you would otherwise never even attempt to cram tens of thousands of people into. It can take on personalities of its own, and it can shift and morph based on a variety of factors and circumstances, from the scoreboard to the weather to how much time everybody had to drink beforehand. I’ve seen Crowd start a game cheering for one team and end it rooting for the other one. I’ve seen Crowd scream continuously for four straight hours. In one particularly memorable instance, I’ve seen Crowd stand up as one and wordlessly walk out of the stadium in disgust, as if controlled by some sort of cosmic puppeteer.

But I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Crowd make sounds like I heard Monday night at the Superdome in New Orleans. The College Football Playoff National Championship Game may have been the perfect storm of crazy crowds, a powder keg of combustible elements that threatened to blow the roof off the Superdome all night. First off, it was in New Orleans, with most of the 75,000 fans indulging in all the creature comforts of the Big Easy from the minute they woke up until the 7:15 local kickoff. (I saw a man Monday morning with his face painted orange, wearing a Clemson Tiger tail and a Guy Fieri visor, carry a daiquiri into a Starbucks while actively vaping. That was a first.) It also featured fans from LSU, the hometown team having a dream season behind its Heisman Trophy–winning quarterback — and from Clemson, whose team had won two of the last three titles and which boasts a notoriously intense fan base — screaming back and forth at each other like Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. And the Superdome holds sounds like a crowded subway car holds heat, or odor.



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Pro-Tehran Lobby Group Scrutinized…


Congressional leaders have petitioned the Trump administration to investigate a pro-Iran lobbying organization that has long faced accusations of acting as the Islamic Republic’s unregistered mouthpiece in America, according to official communications obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

A group of senators has requested that the Trump administration investigate the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC. The council, a pro-Tehran advocacy group with deep ties to the Iranian regime, played a key role in the Obama administration’s pro-Iran “echo chamber,” which misled Congress and the American people about the terms of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

Senators Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), Ted Cruz (R., Texas), and Mike Braun (R., Ind.) are petitioning the Justice Department to investigate NIAC for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires that lobbying groups disclose their activities on behalf of foreign nations.

David Rutz breaks down the most important news about the enemies of freedom, here and around the world, in this comprehensive morning newsletter.

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NIAC, which is registered as a U.S. nonprofit, maintains close ties to senior Iranian government officials and has been the subject of public scrutiny for its efforts to broker meetings between American and Iranian officials.

As the Obama administration sought to ink the nuclear accord with Iran, NIAC acted as a central part of what Obama National Security Council official Ben Rhodes described as the administration’s “echo chamber.” A network of Obama administration officials and outside organizations disseminated talking points to reporters that bolstered the case for the deal and downplayed Iran’s sponsorship of regional terror operations.

In recent weeks, NIAC has distributed information condemning the Trump administration’s killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Many of these NIAC-sponsored talking points repeated the Iranian regime’s own propaganda regarding the strike, prompting the lawmakers to seek an investigation into potential violations by NIAC of U.S. law.

“We write to urge you to review the activities of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and its sister organization NIAC Action for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),” the senators wrote to Attorney General William Barr, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Free Beacon.

“NIAC’s innocuous public branding masks troubling behavior,” the senators wrote. “NIAC’s relationship with the Iranian regime and its role amplifying regime propaganda in the United States have been the subject of discussion in Washington D.C. for years.”

Most recently, NIAC has distributed Iranian regime talking points regarding U.S. military action in the region, the lawmakers allege.

“For example, on December 31, NIAC circulated an email memorandum blaming the United States government for Iranian-backed militias’ repeated attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and brazen attempt to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. On January 9, NIAC and NIAC Action staffers tweeted and retweeted conspiracy theories deflecting blame from the Iranian regime for shooting down a Ukrainian civilian airliner, killing 176 individuals,” the letter stated. “These disturbing actions are only the latest developments of this nature.”

NIAC was ordered to pay more than $180,000 in 2013 to the legal defense fund of Hassan Daioleslam, an Iranian-American writer, following a failed defamation lawsuit. Daioleslam accused NIAC of failing to disclose its clandestine lobbying efforts to undo sanctions on Tehran, the Free Beacon previously reported. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said Parsi’s work was “not inconsistent with the idea that he was first and foremost an advocate for the regime.”

NIAC also recently arranged a conference call that featured 2020 Democratic presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as the Free Beacon reported.

NIAC founder Trita Parsi, who is routinely featured on U.S. news programs, was found to have “arranged meetings between Javad Zarif, Iran’s former ambassador to the United Nations and current foreign minister, and members of Congress,” according to the letter.

Activities of this nature prompted former FBI associate deputy director Oliver Revell to state that “arranging meetings between members of Congress and Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations would in my opinion require that person or entity to register as an agent of a foreign power; in this case it would be Iran.”

The GOP senators “are concerned that certain organizations that purport to represent the interests of this community, specifically NIAC, may be conducting lobbying and public relations activities in coordination with or on behalf of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

They asked the “Department of Justice [to] evaluate whether an investigation of NIAC is warranted for potential FARA violations and to ensure transparency regarding foreign attempts to influence the U.S. political process.”

Adam Kredo is senior writer reporting on national security and foreign policy matters for the Washington Free Beacon. An award-winning political reporter who has broken news from across the globe, Kredo’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary Magazine, the Drudge Report, and the Jerusalem Post, among many others. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is kredo@freebeacon.com.



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GOOGLE says it will phase out web-tracking 'cookies'…


San Francisco (AFP) – Google on Tuesday said is making progress in its quest to vanquish third-party “cookies” on its popular browser used to track people’s online activities, a focus of many privacy activists.

The online giant said its “Sandbox” program would still allow advertisers the ability to deliver targeted messages, while also sparing people from being tracked by snippets of code called “cookies” when they use its Chrome web browser.

“We are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete,” Chrome director of engineering Justin Schuh said in a post.

“Our intention is to do this within two years.”

The use of cookies to track where people go, what they do, and what they buy online has raised concerns about privacy violations but has also been defended as integral to supporting free online services that survive on advertising revenue.

“Our goal for this open source initiative is to make the web more private and secure for users, while also supporting publishers,” Schuh said.

Schuh offered no specifics on what Google would use to replace cookies but said “we are working actively across the ecosystem so that browsers, publishers, developers, and advertisers have the opportunity to experiment with these new mechanisms.”

Google said simply blocking cookies was not a good solution because it has encouraged the use of “fingerprinting” techniques to track people which some say are more insidious than cookies.

But it remained unclear if eliminating third-party cookies may give the California-based company more control of online advertising, which it dominates along with Facebook.



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USA drinking more now than just before Prohibition…


NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are drinking more now than when Prohibition was enacted. What’s more, it’s been rising for two decades, and it’s not clear when it will fall again.

That’s the picture painted by federal health statistics, which show a rise in per-person consumption and increases in emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths tied to drinking.

The stats aren’t all bad. Drinking among teenagers is down. And there are signs that some people are taking alcohol seriously — such as the “Dry January” movement making the rounds on social media.

But overall, public health experts say America still has a drinking problem.

“Consumption has been going up. Harms (from alcohol) have been going up,” said Dr. Tim Naimi, an alcohol researcher at Boston University. “And there’s not been a policy response to match it.”

HOW MUCH DO AMERICANS DRINK?

In the late 1910s, just before Congress banned the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages, each American teen and adult was downing just under 2 gallons of alcohol a year on average.

These days it’s about 2.3 gallons, according to federal calculations. That works out to nearly 500 drinks, or about nine per week.

Historians say drinking was heaviest in the early 1800s, with estimates that in 1830 the average U.S. adult downed the equivalent of 7 gallons a year.

That waned as the temperance movement pushed for moderation, abstinence and, later, a national ban on the manufacture and sale of alcohol. In 1919, Congress passed the 18th Amendment, instituting the ban. It went into effect on January 17, 1920 — 100 years ago, this Friday — and lasted 13 years.

In 1934, a year after Prohibition was repealed, per-capita consumption was under 1 gallon. It’s been up and down since then. The apex was a heavy-drinking spell in the 1970s and 1980s, when U.S. per-person alcohol consumption was 2.75 gallons.

It went down in the mid-1980s, amid growing attention to deaths from drunken driving and after Congress passed a law raising the drinking age to 21. But it began climbing again in the mid-1990s.

“I think people sort of forgot all the problems (with alcohol),” said William Kerr, senior scientist at the California-based Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group.

WHY IS ALCOHOL CONSIDERED A PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM?

Excessive drinking is associated with chronic dangers such as liver cancer, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Drinking by pregnant women can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or birth defects. And health officials say alcohol is a factor in as many as one-third of serious falls among the elderly.

It’s also a risk to others — through drunken driving or alcohol-fueled violence. And research based on surveys suggests that more than half of the alcohol sold in the U.S. is consumed during episodes of binge drinking.

More than 88,000 Americans die each year as a result of excessive drinking, a figure higher than the opioid-related deaths seen in a current drug overdose epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This month, researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism released a different calculation of alcohol-related deaths. They scanned death certificates from over two decades to search for mention of alcohol. The numbers were lower, at a little under 73,000 in 2017. The researchers said death certificates can be incomplete, and their number is likely an undercount.

The more important finding, other researchers said, was that the number of alcohol-related deaths had doubled since 1999, and the death rate had risen 50%. Some or much of that may be related to the increasingly deadly drugs used in the overdose epidemic, since many people drink while taking drugs, said Aaron White, the study’s lead researcher.

WHAT’S DRIVING THE INCREASES?

About three-quarters of alcohol-related deaths are in men. But drinking among women — particularly binge drinking — has been a major driver of the increases in alcohol statistics.

White’s study found that the female death rate jumped 85%, while the male rate rose 39%. The highest alcohol-related death rates for women were among those ages 55 to 74, that research found. But increases were seen in younger women, too.

Binge drinking is swinging up most dramatically among women, other research has found.

Researchers say there’s been a change in cultural attitudes toward drinking, including among many women. Internet memes popular with stressed-out moms call wine “mommy juice” and joke about it being “wine o’clock.”

ISN’T A LITTLE BIT OF WINE GOOD FOR YOU?

Wine acquired a bit of a halo after some researchers observed that French people had lower rates of heart disease despite generally consuming high levels of saturated fat. This “French Paradox” triggered studies that suggested drinking a glass or two of red wine may have some benefits for heart health.

But increasingly, other researchers have poked holes in the hypothesis, arguing that lifestyle, diet and other factors probably deserve far more credit. After climbing for 24 years, U.S. wine consumption dipped last year, according to the research firm IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

“I think the halo has tilted or fallen off,” Naimi said.

“But,” he added, “for most people who drink alcohol, health is not their primary consideration.”

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.



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Daredevil Wallenda to make 1,800-foot wirewalk over active volcano on live TV…


Daredevil will perform the feat live on television.

Sarasota daredevil Nik Wallenda has walked on a highwire over Times Square, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. What to attempt after that? An active volcano.

Wallenda announced Tuesday that he will make a 1,800-foot walk over the active Masaya Volcano in Masaya, Nicaragua. The stunt will be broadcast as part of a two-hour “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” special at 8 p.m. March 4 on ABC.

CHASING THE GHOST: When Karl Wallenda fell to his death in 1978, the Sarasota clan he left behind never truly recovered

“It is by far the most dangerous walk I have ever attempted, and that alone makes it very intimidating,” Wallenda said in a news release. “I am pushing myself beyond my comfort zone by the feat itself, but I know that I am up to the challenge. I must admit, it is scary.”

According to the news release, the volcano is one of the few on earth to feature a lava lake.

The Wallenda family’s performance history dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 1700s. The family made their American debut in 1928 as part of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

This story is developing.

News is out! I’m returning to the highwire for my most dangerous walk yet — over the ACTIVE Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua! It will air LIVE on @abcnetwork on March 4th! I’m going to document every step to prepare for this, so stay tuned and join me on my journey! #VolcanoLIVE pic.twitter.com/RdQfELpOAx

— Nik Wallenda (@NikWallenda) January 14, 2020



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