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25 Feb 2012 09:43


U.S.: New study links medical marijuana laws to lower suicide rates

  • 11% reduction in the suicide rate of men ages 20-29
  • 9% reduction in the suicide rate of men ages 30-39 source
  • » Who would have guessed that getting high reduces stress? While the study stopped short of conclusively saying that medical marijuana was the direct cause of the lower rates, the authors did note that, when used in moderation, cannabis acts as an anti-depressant. The authors also found that states with medical marijuana programs saw a reduction in alcohol consumption by young men, and note that alcohol is a known depressant. Read the full results of the study here.

21 Dec 2011 11:41


U.S.: Eight men charged in Chinese-American soldier’s suicide

  • No plea bargaining. There must be a strong message sent that this type of unlawful misconduct cannot be tolerated. … They have to create an atmosphere in which Asian-Americans feel safe.
  • OCA New York chapter president Elizabeth R. OuYang • Discussing the apparent suicide of Pvt. Danny Chen, a Chinese-American soldier found shot to death in a guard tower in Afghanistan. Chen died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, one which may have been precipitated due to hazing by other soldiers. Eight men have been charged in Chen’s death on an array of charges, including manslaughter and negligent homicide. Officials with ties to the Chinese-American community, like OuYang, have pressed for a deeper investigation by Army officials, but the Army has largely remained mum on said investigation. source

08 Dec 2011 23:14


U.S.: Texas food stamp tragedy: Awful in more ways than one

  • tragic On Monday, a mother in Texas shot her two children before killing herself. She died at the scene of the shooting. The children later died in the hospital — the daughter on Wednesday, the son Thursday. Just two hours before the shooting, daughter Ramie Grimmer updated her Facebook status to say: “may die 2day.”
  • more tragic Rachelle Grimmer killed her children in a food stamp office, after being denied food stamps on multiple occasions. She had been trying to apply since July but had been unable to do so, due to paperwork issues. The family was extremely poor and had been visited by Child Protective Services twice over neglect issues. source

19 Oct 2011 11:07


U.S.: Owner of Ohio exotic wildlife preserve opens cages, commits suicide

  • It’s always been a fear of mine knowing (the preserve’s owner) had all those animals. I have kids.
  • Neighbor Danielle White • Discussing the bizarre incident involving an Ohio wildlife preserve, where numerous animals — lions, tigers and bears, plus more — had to be taken down in shoot-to-kill fashion after the owner opened up the cages housing numerous animals … then reportedly committed suicide, allowing the animals to run free throughout the area and creating a number of challenges for authorities. The preserve had been the subject of many complaints over the past decade. White, for example, once saw a lion escape. Most of the animals have been put down, but nearby schools had to close as a result of the bizarre incident. source

06 Jul 2011 13:29


U.S.: President changes military condolence policy for suicides

  • This issue is emotional, painful, and complicated. But these Americans served our nation bravely … we need to do everything in our power to honor their service, and to help them stay strong for themselves, for their families and for our nation.
  • President Barack Obama • Reversing a previous policy that didn’t send military families condolence letters if their family member had committed suicide. This is definitely a good thing, because suicide is actually a common cause of death in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just because a soldier isn’t killed by the enemy, doesn’t mean their life means any less — military families deserve a letter from the president, regardless of the cause of death. source

06 Jun 2011 18:07


World: Bloody day in Iraq for Iraqis, U.S. military

  • five American soldiers killed by a rocket attack on a joint Iraqi-U.S. base today, the single deadliest incident for the U.S. military in two years
  • 18 Iraqis killed today in a series of violent incidents — a car-bombing and suicide bombing feared to be the work of al-Qaeda in Iraq source

01 Jun 2011 15:56


U.S.: Budget cuts make fire department helpless in man’s drowning

  • ugh On Memorial Day, a man drowned himself in the waters off Alameda. The fire department wasn’t certified for water rescues, and the coast guard couldn’t retrieve him via boat, as it was too shallow. Waiting for a helicopter, the F.D. and coast guard watched the man drown.
  • fix? Seeking to remedy the situation that lets a man drown in full view of rescue teams, the Alameda Fire Department has changed their policy for land based water rescues — the program they’d had for those certifications ended in 2009 due to budget cuts. source

23 May 2011 13:32


U.S.: Dharun Ravi pleads not guilty in charges from Tyler Clementi’s suicide

  • then Rutgers student Tyler Clementi leapt off a bridge last year, killing himself at the realization that his roommate, Dharun Ravi, had secretly recorded him having sex with a man and uploaded it to the internet. His death originated much public attention to the issue of youths bullied for their sexual orientations.
  • now Dharun Ravi, 19, has pled not guilty to a court in Middlesex, New Jersey. He’s facing down 15 different charges, including invasion of privacy and evidence tampering, and if convicted could serve ten years in prison. The other student involved in the case, Molly Wei, will avoid jail time by testifying against Ravi. source

01 May 2011 16:11


Tech: NGOs report bad conditions in iPad factory, anti-suicide pledges

  • Suicides were not connected to bad working conditions. There was a copy effect. If one commits suicide, then others will follow.
  • Foxconn manager Louis Woo • Explaining away last summer’s suicide problem at his factory in China, which is in the business of producing Apple products. The article cites the research efforts of two NGOs, which cast a less than flattering light on the factory — that workers are publicly humiliated if they perform poorly, that they’re treated “inhumanely, like machines,” that they’re paid a stiflingly low wage to force them to work exhaustively long hours, that they have to sign an anti-suicide pledge telling them to “treasure their lives” — it’s a grim and disconcerting read. Woo’s explanation for the problem of his workers killing themselves seems rather lame, as well. If one commits suicide, the others will follow? That’s not exactly a logical process you’d expect to see in a group of people who were otherwise living happy lives. source

01 Mar 2011 20:54


World: Tyler Clementi’s legacy? Rutgers offers gender-neutral housing

  • Maybe the outcome would have been different if he had been able to choose his own roommate. At least now there’s an option.
  • Rutgers University Student Assembly President Yousef Saleh • Discussing the university’s plan to offer gender-neutral housing to students in the wake of the suicide of Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after an incident in which his roommate taped him having sex with another man, then posted it online. Clementi’s tragic death may have pushed the decision over the edge, but Rutgers isn’t alone – schools all over the country have been creating options like this for students. And student body officials at Rutgers say they’ve been pushing for this option for students for a number of years. Well, here it is. Smart move, Rutgers. source