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Top News- (3/7-3/13)

Updated: Mar 15

Here are the top stories from domestic news, world news, good news, and science and tech.

It's all summarized so you can stay informed and save time!

All sources are at the end of the post.

Texas judge blocks probes of transgender kids' parents statewide:

On Friday, a Texas judge temporarily blocked the state from investigating parents who provide gender-transitioning medical treatments to their children which Governor Greg Abbott has referred to as "child abuse.” Governor Abbot issued a directive in February calling on doctors, nurses, and teachers to report such treatment or face criminal penalties. District Court Judge Amy Clark Meachum challenged the order on behalf of the family of a 16-year-old transgender girl being targeted by the investigation. She was able to impose a temporary junction under the grounds that the probes endangered children and their families and will stay in place until it is settled either by a judgment or other means. The ruling marked a victory for LGBTQ groups opposing moves by conservative politicians in dozens of states to criminalize the provision of gender-transitioning treatments for trans youth.

Russia strikes near Ukrainian capital; port city under siege:

A view of a destroyed tram damaged by shelling, at a tram depot, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 12, 2022. Andrew Marienko/Associated Press

Russian forces shelled the downtown of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Saturday. Mariupol has endured some of Ukraine’s worst punishment since Russia invaded. Russia’s unceasing barrages have killed more than 1,500 people in the city and thwarted repeated attempts to bring supplies to and help evacuate the remaining 430,000 trapped civilians. The situation in Mariupol has led many within the city to take refuge in the iconic Sultan Suleiman Mosque including 86 Turkish nationals, 34 of which being children. The Ukrainian government said on Saturday that the Mosque was hit, but an unverified Instagram post by a man claiming to be the mosque association’s president said it was spared when a bomb fell just 750 yards away. This situation could turn into a humanitarian catastrophe as electricity, gas, and water supplies in the city have been knocked out. Russia may be taking Mariupol and other ports on the Azov Sea in order to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

Denver’s Program to Dispatch Mental Health Teams Instead of Police is So Successful it is Expanding 5-Fold:

Denver Police Department

After dispatching mental health teams, instead of police officers, to certain 911 emergency calls, the city of Denver is proclaiming its pilot program a huge success and is expanding it significantly. Since June 2020, the Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) has deployed medical and behavioral health clinicians to respond to over 2,200 low-risk calls reporting trespassing, intoxication, or mental health crises involving poverty, homelessness, or addiction. In all that time, STAR teams have never called for police back-up due to a safety issue, according to their January report. The Denver Post reports that STAR teams have driven hundreds of miles, assisted suicidal people and schizophrenics; they’ve also handed out water and socks and connected people to shelter, food and resources. STAR’s advisory team, consisting of 15 volunteer citizens, hopes that with six vans, they can respond to more than 10,000 calls a year. Funding for the expansion was bolstered by a $1.4 million grant from the Caring For Denver Foundation. The program has been so successful that there are calls from other cities within Colorado to create similar programs which include Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins. Public officials of Colorado believe that this program is the first step to treat medical disorders through non-violent medical means instead of through the criminal system.

Scientists Create Algorithm That Uses Routine Eye Scans to Identify Heart Attack Risk With Accuracy of 70%-80%:

Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system that can analyze eye scans taken during a routine visit to an optician or eye clinic and identify patients at a high risk of a heart attack. Doctors have recognized that changes to the tiny blood vessels in the retina are indicators of broader vascular disease, including problems with the heart. In the research, led by the University of Leeds, deep learning techniques were used to train an AI system to automatically read retinal scans and identify those people who, over the following year, were likely to have a heart attack. During the deep learning process, the AI system analyzed the retinal scans and cardiac scans of more than 5,000 people. The AI system identified associations between pathology in the retina and changes in the patient’s heart. Once the image patterns were learned, the AI system could estimate the size and pumping efficiency of the left ventricle, one of the heart’s four chambers, from retinal scans alone. An enlarged ventricle is linked with an increased risk of heart disease. With information on the estimated size of the left ventricle and its pumping efficiency combined with basic demographic data about the patient, their age, and sex, the AI system could predict their risk of a heart attack over the subsequent 12 months.


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