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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- “Designated Driver” is a well-known catchphrase and there are public service announcements aplenty on the dangers of driving while impaired (DWI). But what about riding with impaired (RWI) people?

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury in the young, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Previous research has shown that impaired drivers are more likely to be male, have previous driving offenses, risky driving behaviors and troubled family backgrounds. But this type of driver will likely also have a history of riding with the impaired.

Researchers at Colorado State University and Colorado School of Public Health looked at data from the NEXT Generation study that followed a group of more than 2,000 teens (they began in 10th grade) from 81 schools across America as they emerged into adulthood. They looked at driving-related behaviors in relation to alcohol, marijuana and illicit drug use, with data from two years -- one year after high school and, again, two years after high school.

The survey asked, “How many times in the past 12 months did you ride with someone drinking alcohol,” asking again for marijuana and illicit drugs, like ecstasy or cocaine. Researchers also asked who was driving and if the students participated in binge drinking or used marijuana in the past 30 days.

One in three young adults reported being a passenger of an impaired driver at least once in the past year. To break it down further, 23 percent of drivers were marijuana-impaired, 20 percent alcohol-impaired and 6 percent illicit drug-impaired.

These drivers included older adults -- of concern because impressionable youth can “model” what they’ve lived, and driving with impaired adults at the wheel may influence their own choices as adults.

“Parents should be a role model by not driving while impaired, and real friends should stop their friends from driving after using substances -- if using substances cannot be stopped,” said author Kaigang Li, Ph.D., in a press release.

In the second year of the study, increased odds of riding with impaired people were highest with an alcohol-impaired peer driver (four times higher than the first year after high school), next to a marijuana-impaired older adult driver (three and a half times greater than the first year), an alcohol-impaired older adult driver (nearly three times), and a marijuana-impaired peer driver (slightly over two times).

Who was the most likely to choose to get in the car?

Young women were more likely than young men to RWI the first year that the study followed them. They found that 25.1 percent of young women said they were passengers in a car with an impaired driver compared to just 21.9 percent of young men. But it evened out the next year with 32.9 percent of young women opting to ride in a car with someone impaired, in comparison to 33.2 percent of young men.

Hispanics were nearly five times more likely to ride with an impaired illicit drug user the second year. Those not in college or attending community college were more likely to RWI than those in four-year colleges, and the same trend was seen in those that were unemployed or working part-time compared to peers with full-time jobs.

“These behaviors are not isolated, especially in young people. When one risk behavior is present, it can definitely influence other behaviors," said Li. “We want them to conclude that ‘friends don’t let friends engage in risky behaviors.’ If they know that their friends don’t do these risky things, they won’t do it themselves.”

Overall, the researchers hope their findings will encourage young adults to transfer what they’ve learned about not drinking and driving to not riding with a driver who’s "altered."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed, N.H.) -- President Donald Trump doubled down on his call for the death penalty for drug dealers in a speech in New Hampshire Monday, making the case that such a zero-tolerance policy would fix the nation’s drug problem.

“We have to change the laws, and we're working on that right now. The Department of Justice is working very, very hard on that. But the ultimate penalty has to be the death penalty," Trump said. "Maybe our country's not ready for that. It's possible, it's possible that our country is not ready for that,” he said.

“Although personally, I can't understand that,” he continued.

“You take a look at some of these countries where they don’t play games,” he said, not mentioning any by name. “They don’t have a drug problem.”

"We can have all the blue ribbon committees we want," Trump said, "but if we don't get tough on drug dealers, we are wasting our time."

As he talked about punishing drug dealers, a woman yelled out from the audience: “What about compassion?” Trump seemed to not hear it or ignore it.

A White House release on Trump's initiative said the Justice Department would seek the death penalty, "where appropriate under current law," against those convicted of dealing and trafficking in fentanyl and other opioids. Some experts have questioned whether the move would have much impact.

Four months after declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency, Trump said he came back to New Hampshire because he'd promised during the campaign to help the state deal with its opioid drug problem, noting the state's death rate from overdoses is double the national average.

Trump's wife Melania introduced him saying she'd seen the effect of the "crisis" first-hand when visiting hospitals and treatment centers.

"I'm proud of this administration's effort to end this epidemic," she said.

Looking on in the audience were Attorney General Jeff Sessions and senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, who has taken the White House lead on the opioid issue.

While Trump's speech took place in 2018, it was in many ways a throwback to the 1980s when the “Just Say No” campaign was a leading effort to combat the nation’s drug problem. The president said it’s time again to scare kids away from drugs through a well-funded commercial campaign.

“It's the least expensive thing we can do, where you scare them from ending up like the people in the commercials. And will make them very, very bad commercials. Will make them pretty unsavory situations,” he said.

He also said he and first lady Melania Trump were introducing a new website,, where people affected by the opioid crisis can share stories. Other new policy goals include cutting overall opioid prescriptions by one-third over the next three years and urging Congress to get rid of an old law prohibiting Medicaid from paying for care at some treatment facilities.

Trump also related the opioid crisis to immigration, saying he will work to end sanctuary city policies and accusing Democrats of stonewalling progress on DACA because they want to stop construction of the border wall. There was a short chant of “Build the wall!”

“They don't want to go with DACA because they don't care about DACA, but they're trying to tie the wall to DACA and DACA to the wall,” he said.

Trump claimed 90 percent of illegal drugs come through the southern border. "Eventually the Democrats will agree with us to build the wall to keep the damn drugs out!"

Trump said he would “probably” hold a “major news conference” at the White House in about a month to discuss dealing with how prescription drugs contribute to the overall drug addiction problem but did not give any further details.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Rogers Family(DALLAS) -- A 100-year-old Dallas, Texas, runner continues to show the world that you are only as old as you feel.

This weekend, Orville Rogers won big at the 2018 USATF Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships in Landover, Maryland.

"How great it feels at the age of 100 to break five new world track records and to bring home the gold," he told ABC News on Monday.

In the 100 to 104 age category, Rogers set new records in the 60-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,500-meter events. And, he did it with his family cheering him on every step of the way.

The former World War II veteran was a bomber pilot who later became a commercial pilot. Rogers started running at the age of 50 and began competing in track meets when he turned 90.

Rogers, also the author of "The Running Man," said he trains every other day and runs three times a week.

Rogers, a widower, has four children, three of whom are still alive; 14 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

"We're a very close family," he told ABC News. "We take family vacations every summer for 44 years now and we enjoy getting together anywhere."

In November, Rogers led partygoers as they collectively ran 100 miles at White Rock Lake in Dallas in celebration of his birthday.

"I live life with a capital 'L,'" he told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in November.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(ARLINGTON, Tenn.) -- Ten-year-old Eli O’Bryan gets companionship from his canine friend, Einstein, plus a lot more.

The black labrador helps to keep Eli healthy.

Eli was diagnosed at 4 years old with type 1 diabetes, a disease formerly called juvenile diabetes in which the body does not produce insulin.

Einstein is trained as a medical-service dog to detect when Eli’s blood sugar spikes or crashes, and to signal -- with a bark or by placing a paw on Eli -- when Eli and his family need to check his blood-sugar levels.

Before Eli got the dog, he had to wear a sensor that would monitor his blood sugar throughout the day, which he said was awful.

“[The sensor] was stuck in my leg with a giant needle and it hurt so much,” said Eli. “It beeped all the time and it malfunctioned.”

But no longer.

“Now we have Einstein,” Eli said.

A living dog over a technological device

The sensor Eli wore before Einstein was not only uncomfortable, it interrupted his education, sometimes beeping as many 12 times a day during school.

“He wore a pump all the time, he wore a sensor all the time," Amy O’Bryan, Eli’s mother, told ABC News. "We tracked him with an app through his sensor because he's so brittle that he has to be constantly monitored for him to stay functioning.”

But one of the worst things about the sensor is that it gave Eli more control over his blood-sugar levels, which meant he could hurt himself.

A mother's fear

“The scariest for Eli is when he was in fourth grade, he very calmly told me that he didn't want to live anymore,” O'Bryan said. “And to hear that as a mom and for him to be so casual about it, it was just matter of fact.”

Amy feared that Eli could harm himself with the devices and medicine he used to maintain his blood-sugar levels.

So she sought an alternative.

"That's really what started our journey with Einstein," O'Bryan said. "Not only was he suicidal, but he also wore a device on him 24-7 that would have made it very easy for him to end his life."

Amy reached out to CARES Inc., a non-profit based in Concordia, Kansas, that trains service dogs.

The organization works with a prison system that uses the dog training as a work program for the prisoners. And then, the dogs are sent to families to get used to being in a home and school setting.

A dog’s expert nose is what allows Einstein to be trained to pick up on Eli’s blood-sugar changes.

“They say it's actually one of the hardest things to train a dog to do because it's not a constant smell,” said Amy.

The waiting list for dogs from the organization is so long that Eli's family had to wait almost three years from when his mother first inquired before he was approved to get a dog. Even then, it wasn’t a guarantee.

“Eli has to certify that he can handle him in public,” explained Amy about the process of getting to keep Einstein after a week of training and bonding at the Kansas organization. “They have to show that they can handle them in restaurants or social situations …[Eli] was really nervous, ... we didn't want to leave without Einstein from Kansas.”

Eli and Einstein now

In October 2017, the O’Bryan family welcomed Einstein into their home, and Amy considers him another one of her children now.

“It helps having a dog,” said Eli. “Just in general, even if it's not a service dog. Just feels like having a best friend.”

Now, Einstein goes with Eli almost everywhere from school to band practice. The lab knows when it is time to be serious and work, but when the vest comes off, Einstein acts like the 2-year-old pup that he is.

”It's greatly impacted our life,” said Amy. “Just his quality of life, that he doesn't have to wear the sensor, I think it's helped me be more confident that Eli is independent and he can handle it.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(JENKS, Okla.) -- As a member of his Oklahoma high school football team, Jackson Lilly says he learned that success on the field depends on an all-out team effort.

Off the field, the 17-year-old junior at Jenks High School in Jenks, Oklahoma, has found that lesson also applied to his year-long battle with stage 4 lymphoma.

"Definitely when I got diagnosed, the whole football team was there," Lilly told ABC News.

He was diagnosed last March with Burkitt's Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. He said he began feeling ill while on a spring break missionary trip to Guatemala, and initially thought he had contracted a stomach bug.

But when he returned home, his doctor found a mass obstructing his small bowel. On March 19, 2017, he underwent surgery to extract the mass from his small intestine and remove part of his large intestine and some lymph nodes.

"It's scary," Lilly said. "You're shocked and you don't really think it's real."

His teammates, coaches and entire school were there to support him every step of the way. Many football players even shaved their heads in solidarity when Jackson lost his hair while undergoing chemotherapy. Other students posted a video on social media of them yelling in unison, "We love you, Jax!"

After chemo, radiation treatments and seven surgeries, Lilly rejoined his teammates last week for spring football workouts, taking his first sprints on the field and pumping iron in the weight room, eager to make his comeback on the gridiron.

On March 12, a video posted on Twitter by one of his coaches went viral, showing a cancer-free Lilly ringing a bell in the school weight room, a ritual reserved for athletes who achieve their personal best. The footage shows him walking up to the bell as his teammates cheered, applauded and then mobbed him with back slaps.

 "That's the ultimate personal record for him," Jordan Johnson, Lilly's strength and conditioning coach who posted the video, told ABC News station KTUL in Tulsa.

Johnson said that even while Jackson was waging his battle with cancer, he stood on the sidelines during games to support his teammates.

"He was with us all through the football season, on the sidelines with no hair, going through chemo," Johnson said.

For Allen Trimble, head football coach of the Jenks High School Trojans, Lilly's fight was something he could relate to. Trimble, who has led his team to 13 state championship in 22 seasons, had endured his own battle with Lou Gehrig's disease in 2016 and almost retired from the sport.

"You and I both know what it's like to be in a tough battle," Trimble said in his own video tribute to Lilly. "You get to ring the bell in the weight room and that inspires me."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A second putative class action lawsuit against a San Francisco fertility clinic was filed Thursday by a California couple who say their embryos were destroyed by a freezer tank failure at the clinic.

The proposed class action seeks more than $5 million for hundreds of customers of Pacific Fertility Clinic, which experienced a failure in a freezer tank that houses patients' embryos.

“This is a tragic situation for the hundreds of couples who entrusted their dreams of becoming parents to Pacific Fertility,” said Adam Wolf, an attorney for the plaintiffs in Thursday's suit.

The suit, filed in United States District Court in the District of Northern California, states that Pacific Fertility patients received an email that their embryos may have been impacted when liquid nitrogen levels in a tank fell ‘below necessary levels.’ Plaintiffs are suing for the costs of medical procedures and embryo storage, as well as emotional damages.

"Their damages stem from this loss of precious property. Plaintiffs viewed the embryos as their future children," the suit says. "They have suffered extreme emotional distress and grief regarding the loss of their embryos, the prospect of suffering the extreme pain and extreme emotional distress from undergoing the process again (if they could afford it), and the fact that they may now not be able to have children in the future."

Wolf called the situation a "nightmare scenario."

“They thought they were doing the right thing by placing their trust in Pacific [Fertility],” Wolf said. “In a matter of minutes Pacific squashed their dreams.”

The lawsuit asks the court to certify the case as class action so other Pacific Fertility patients may join. Pacific Fertility did not respond to requests for comment on the latest lawsuit, but Dr. Carl Herbert, president and medical director at the Pacific Fertility Center told ABC News earlier that he had expressed condolences after the incident “for any of the discomfort or concerns that our patients have had from this really unfortunate incident.”

A similar putative class action against Pacific Fertility was filed Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco, alleging negligence, breach of contract and other claims.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Taylor Brooke Photography(CAMERON PARK, Calif.) -- One bride decided to honor her late mother with a photo shoot in which she wore her mother's vintage wedding dress.

As a child, Shelby Sander always imagined trying on wedding dresses with her mom. But when her mother, Angie, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2011, she knew she may not get the opportunity.

Despite not being engaged just yet to her then-boyfriend Scott Rogers, Sander, 23, scheduled a wedding dress fitting for March 12, 2011. Still, her mother would die just 11 days before.

"When she didn’t make it to that appointment, it really took a piece of me," Sander told ABC News.

Sander, who lives in Cameron Park, California, would eventually become engaged to Rogers, 24, last December.

"I felt like I needed to do something in some way to honor my mom," she said of the milestone moment. "So she could be here with me during this time."

Spontaneously, Sander decided to bring her mom's wedding dress to her engagement photo shoot, and take some photos of herself in her mother's gown.

"I wanted photos in my mom's dress as a way to honor her and symbolize my parents' relationship," she said. "Their marriage is being passed down to me and hopefully my sister when she gets married."

Sander said she learned a lot from the union between her late mother and her father, Curt. The two had been married for 26 years.

"My parents had the super, super picture-perfect marriage. They never fought in front of my sister and I. They never really fought in general," she said. "They just really demonstrated what a happy, healthy marriage is like, and that is something I hope to take throughout my future marriage with Scott."

Last month, Sander, her fiancé and photographer Taylor Rubio trekked to El Dorado Hills, California, for the shoot. The photographer picked the perfect location.

"It’s kind of located on the side of a hill. It was kind of cool. While we were out there, I remembered that they call it heaven," Rubio told ABC News of the shoot's location. "And she had decided to shoot here before thinking about wearing her mom's dress."

The now-viral shoot, which lasted less than two hours, went perfectly. Now, Sander can focus on honoring her mother at her rustic, outdoorsy wedding on Sept. 29.

Not only will she cut a heart-shaped piece of her mother's wedding dress to sew it onto her own, but she'll also plan a special tribute.

"We’re going to get a vintage chair and we're going to paint it purple, which was her favorite color," Sander said. "And we're going to put a note on it that reads, 'You’d be there if heaven wasn’t so far away.' She gets to be there."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When kids are promised that after they get their tonsils out, they can have all the ice cream they want, it's actually a quiet way for doctors to fight post-surgical dehydration. But what other complications might await children, depending on their age and weight? And what can doctors do to avoid them?

That's what researchers involved in a new study wanted to find out.

"To our knowledge, this study represents the largest review of tonsillectomy complications in healthy children 6 years or younger," the research team at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, said in a statement.

Tonsillectomy is the second-most common surgery performed for children in the United States, with more than 530,000 procedures performed each year on children under the age of 15, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

Amid the nationwide childhood obesity epidemic, researchers were particularly concerned about whether the children's weight might be linked to complications after their tonsillectomies. They also looked at their ages at the time of surgery.

The tonsillectomy procedure is usually well-tolerated and most children go home the same day as surgery -- and that’s generally what happened in the study. But there is a 5 percent rate of complications, which usually include difficulty breathing, bleeding, dehydration and lingering pain.

The study looked back at medical records of more than 1,800 children under 6 years old who had the procedures at six different medical centers in New Orleans between 2005 and 2015. Most of these children had a diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing or obstructive sleep apnea before their tonsils were removed.

About a quarter of the patients studied were under 3 years old, and these children had a higher rate of complications -- 7 percent vs 4.6 percent for older children.

One of the main reasons to keep a child overnight in the hospital is to monitor for these post-op complications. But that extra day in the hospital can lead to more missed school and work for the family.

One in four children under 3 years old had a complication within the first 24 hours following the operation. But for older children, only one in 10 had complications early on.

Did weight alone, in otherwise healthy children, indicate there would be more problems? Breaking down the numbers and types of complication by the children’s BMIs, researchers said the statistics showed that weight did not appear to be a significant predictor of complications in this study, regardless of age.

Overall, the researchers’ recommendation: Children younger than 3 years old need careful observation after a tonsillectomy, because they are more likely to have complications. But that excess weight in a child did not make them more likely to have post-surgical issues.

Dr. Hector M. Florimon is a third-year resident in pediatrics at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center, working in the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Brian Malarkey(SAN DIEGO) -- Irish-American celebrity chef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey shared his modern twists on Irish classics to serve this St. Patrick's Day.

Channeling his Irish heritage, Malarkey developed the following festive recipes from salads and crudos to traditional roasted lamb that are sure to elevate the flavors synonymous with St. Paddy's.

"With a name like Malarkey you know our family likes to have some fun on St. Patrick's Day," the father of three told ABC News. "I have great memories of celebrating with my uncles and cousins over a meal of my dad's corned beef and cabbage."

Elevated Irish classics

-- Corned salmon crudo with shaved rye bread, cucumber, pickles and smoked Russian vinaigrette.  Check out the recipe here.

-- Corned beef cobb salad with baby leaf greens, roasted corn dressing, red onion, hard-boiled eggs and corned beef. Get the full recipe here.

-- Guinness braised short ribs with whipped potatoes and pickled cabbage.

-- Roasted leg of lamb with Irish soda bread stuffing and dried apricots.

"Nowadays, it is most fun to watch my kids get excited over St. Patrick's Day," the chef said about his three children Hunter, 9, and twins Sailor and Miles, 7. "Especially when the Leprechaun wreaks havoc throughout our home with his shenanigans, leaving green footprints, knocking over toys and chairs and leaving trails of sweets.”

Malarkey, 45, is an active member of the Irish community in San Diego, where he belongs to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the oldest Irish fraternal charitable organization in America.

Malarkey has appeared on many notable food shows including making it to the semifinals of "Top Chef" and he now has more than a dozen restaurants across the U.S., including his newest concept Herb & Wood in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood.

"The Malarkey clan is currently plotting a trip to Ireland next spring, but this year we will be celebrating over some good food and company, enjoying these dishes created with the help of my fellow Irish Co-Chef and Partner at Herb & Wood, Shane McIntyre."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Atlanta Police Department(ATLANTA) -- An Atlanta-area Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employee who disappeared over a month ago did receive a promotion, the agency said, seemingly contradicting previous reports from police.

In a statement Monday, the CDC said Timothy Cunningham, who hasn't been seen since Feb. 12, had been promoted last July.

"There has been news coverage that Commander Cunningham recently did not receive a promotion," the statement reads. "As many of his colleagues in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) have pointed out, this information is incorrect."

"In fact, he received an early promotion/exceptional proficiency promotion to commander, effective July 1, 2017, in recognition of his exemplary performance in the U.S. Public Health Service," the statement continues. "Over and above any of his assignments at CDC, his early promotion within the USPHS reflects his excellence as an officer and an employee."

Atlanta police previously said Cunningham, 35, a commander in the Public Health Service who has been sent to respond to public health emergencies, including the Ebola virus and the Zika virus, was told on Feb. 5 that he didn't get a promotion he was up for.

A police spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday that they stand by their previous statements.

"We stand behind every statement the Atlanta Police Department made about Dr. Cunningham’s employment, as our information came directly from the CDC," Sgt. John Chafee of the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement. "Any further questions about Dr. Cunningham’s employment, or this statement issued by the CDC today, would need to be answered by the CDC.”

Cunningham went to work on Feb. 12 and left sick. His concerned relatives drove down from Maryland, finding all of his belongings, including his dog, at his home, according to police and ABC affiliate WSB-TV.

His sister, Tiara Cunningham, told ABC News earlier this month that her parents have "been remaining positive and prayerful."

"I have been trying my best to go through daily activities such as work without getting distracted," she told ABC News via text on Wednesday. "But no one can really prepare you for seeing your face or your brother's face on the news while at work."

In the agency's statement Monday -- one month since Timothy Cunningham was last seen -- the CDC said it had "not given up hope that he will soon be found. If Tim reads this message, we hope you come home soon."

Anyone with information is urged to call 911 or the Atlanta Police Homicide/Adult Missing Persons Unit at 404-546-4235.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has withdrawn regulations that would have required higher production standards for organic livestock and poultry beginning in May -- known as the animal welfare rule -- a move animal rights groups condemned as a "travesty" and an organization representing organic farmers and consumers called "unconscionable."

In the latest effort to rescind Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is doing away with a directive aimed at standardizing the way animals are treated on organic farms if their meat is being sold under a “certified organic” label. The rule was finalized in April 2016 and published in January 2017.

“A lack of clarity in organic livestock and poultry standards has led to inconsistent practices among organic producers,” according to a USDA fact sheet. “This action assures consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard by resolving the current ambiguity about outdoor access for poultry. It also establishes clear standards for raising, transporting, and slaughtering organic animals and birds.”

The USDA, under the Trump administration, delayed the rule -- which would have made organic regulations more specific -- three times before ultimately withdrawing it. USDA Marketing and Regulatory Program Undersecretary Greg Ibach said the department’s resistance to the rule stems from the regulatory authority it granted USDA.

“The rule would have increased federal regulation of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers,” Ibach said.

“The rule exceeds the department’s statutory authority,” he added. “The changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program.”

Among those that backed the USDA’s move is the American Farm Bureau Federation, arguing it will keep more farmers in the organic farming business.

"Had the rule gone into effect, we believe it would have forced a number of organic farmers and ranchers to just basically change their production practices, and it likely would have forced many of them either out of the organic sector, if not out of business,” Dale Moore, public policy executive director of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a statement.

“Secretary [Sonny] Perdue and Undersecretary Greg Ibach have both made the point that existing, robust, organic livestock regulations are effective,” he continued. “We strongly believe that the secretary’s action, the undersecretary’s action kept these rules inside the law.”

However, the USDA’s withdrawal of the animal welfare rule triggered a backlash from farmers and animal rights groups as well as the organic community.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said in a statement that the USDA's action to withdraw the rule is a "mistake." “It puts them on an uneven playing field with the types of operations who skirt the rules, yet also benefit from the same USDA organic label," he said.

Joining Johnson in challenging the USDA is the Humane Society, along with its broad and diverse constituency, including both smaller family farmers and the non-organic producer Perdue Farms. The Humane Society's Senior Advisor of Equine Protection & Rural Affairs Marty Irby asserted that USDA's order to end the mandate will defend "a small number of large producers, not a large number of small producers."

The Humane Society, which called the reversal in policy a "travesty for millions of animals raised within the organic system," is exploring "every potential legislative and legal opportunity in the court system" to protect the welfare of animals and the integrity of the organic sector, according to Irby.

Under the withdrawn regulations, outdoor access was defined more clearly, specifically for egg-laying hens that require outdoor pens. Covered porches and similar enclosed structures, such as a wire-caged pen with a concrete floor, would not have qualified as outdoor pens. "Most consumers probably don’t realize that some of the organic eggs they are purchasing don’t actually go outside, but rather are in cages indoors," Irby said.

Another animal rights group, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also strongly rebuked the USDA, expressing outrage over what it said would be millions of animals affected by eliminating the rule.

The Organic Trade Association -- the group behind an ongoing lawsuit against the USDA -- condemned the USDA action.

The group filed the lawsuit in September 2017 to keep the organic standards and is aimed at the USDA’s alleged violation of the Organic Foods Production Act.

The Agricultural Marketing Service received about 72,000 comments on the proposal to eliminate the rule on the Federal Register’s site. An overwhelming majority of those comments -- more than 63,000 -- opposed the final decision.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Karina Banuelos(NEW YORK) -- After spending years suffering from severe acne, a teen said she was finally able to clear up her skin using cheap and mostly natural products.

After her striking before-and-after photos soon went viral, Karina Banuelos, 17, from Palmdale, California, shared her skincare regimen with Good Morning America.

"It was under my eyebrows ... under my nose. Like, around my lips," she told ABC News of her spots.

The high school senior said she saw four different dermatologists and tried countless expensive creams, face washes, and even prescription medications, and nothing worked.

Ally Banuelos, Karina's mother, said that it hurt to watch her daughter struggle.

"When you see her going through that, people making fun of her, you try to find a solution," the mother told ABC News. "I would take her everywhere, just to try to find something for her."

Karina said she eventually decided to take matters into her own hands, and after doing extensive research online, she created her own skincare routine using just four products that she bought at Target, each for less than $10.

After three months, the teen said her skin completely cleared up.

Karina's skincare regiment

  • She first cleanses her face using Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel and a cotton ball.
  • Next, Karina washes her face using Dr. Bronner's cleanser and a facial brush. She said some days she uses just Dove soap as a face wash instead.
  • After cleansing, Karina re-applies the witch hazel with a cotton ball and then applies an oil-free moisturizer for combination skin from Neutrogena.
  • Finally, she cuts up a piece of a fresh aloe vera leaf and applies the gel directly to her face.

Karina said in addition to her topical skincare regiment, she also tried to cut down her consumption of junk food and dairy products, and increased her water intake to help her skin.

Ally Banuelos said she was happy her daughter was able "find something that it's not that expensive" to clear up her skin.

"You don't have to go through, you know, hundreds of dollars of going to the dermatologist when you can find something at Target for $40," she added.

Karina, now acne-free for six months, said she doesn't even stress when she gets an occasional breakout.

"I don't even complain when I have a pimple anymore," the teen said. "Because when I would get a pimple I'd get, like, 100 all over my face."

Dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe emphasized on "Good Morning America" today that acne is caused by a variety of things -- including diet, stress, hormones and genetics -- and what works for one person to treat acne may not work for other people.

Bowe added that if you are suffering from acne, she recommends taking three things into account when it comes to your skincare routine: cleansers, moisturizers and retinoids.

Cleansing and moisturizing every day is important, she said, and adding an over-the-counter retinol to your skincare routine may be a good option to try if you are struggling with acne.

Bowe recommends visiting a doctor if your acne ever starts to affect your quality of life.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s been a grim 35 years in the battle against substance abuse, according to a new analysis.

Overall, the study found the rise was more than 600 percent in deaths related to drug use in the U.S., between 1980 to 2014 -- including substance abuse, self-harm and interpersonal violence. The findings appeared Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Opioid painkillers, both prescription and nonprescription, were suggested to be the main culprit in drug deaths.

“To our knowledge, this study is the first at the county level to consider drug use disorders and distinguish between intentional and unintentional overdoses,” said Dr. Laura Dwyer-Lindgren, the study’s lead author and faculty member at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Nationally, the standardized rate of drug use deaths in 2014 was 10.4 people per 100,000, compared to 1.4 in 1980.

Geographically, the rise was almost universal -- almost 100 percent of all U.S. counties had increased numbers of deaths from drug use, although the amounts of the increases were different.

The researchers analyzed death records by county and used new math modeling techniques to understand how substance abuse has affected different places. They were also able to use death records from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics and the Human Mortality Database to separate out subtle differences in drug use that were difficult to tell previously.

The most heavily affected areas? Counties in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and eastern Oklahoma –- some with increases in drug deaths of more than 5,000 percent.

Other causes of death were found in the study, including from alcohol abuse, "self-harm" and interpersonal violence.

Self-harm accounted for more than 1.2 million deaths in the U.S., interpersonal violence accounted for more than 760,000 and alcohol use disorder was responsible for more than 250,000 deaths.

Over the entire time period, deaths from alcohol use disorders decreased nationally. That was true for self-harm, as well.

But since 2000, self-harm deaths have taken the opposite turn, increasing by about 11 percent across the U.S.

Interpersonal violence substantially decreased, overall, during the 35 year period of the study, but there were some places where it increased. Though it may seem that urban areas would have the most violent deaths, researchers said the study showed that wasn't the case.

This article was written by Dr. John Byun. Byun is a radiation oncology resident based at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and a resident in the ABC News Medical Unit.

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Moodboard / Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans pay more for health care and get fewer results, according to a new analysis.

The U.S. spends more money than any other country on healthcare, yet life expectancy is shorter, obesity is higher, and the rate of maternal and infant death is higher as well. The study published in JAMA on Tuesday takes a closer look at how health dollars are spent, and some of the findings might be surprising.

Where is the health care money going?

Researchers at Harvard University analyzed data from international organizations on types of spending and performance outcomes between the U.S. and other high-income countries: Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, The Netherlands and Switzerland.

By comparison, one of the main drivers of the high healthcare costs in the U.S.: brand name prescription drugs.

In the U.S. people spend, per person, nearly double the on pharmaceutical drugs -- $1,443 -- compared to the average of other countries, $749.

For example, long-acting insulin for diabetes has a monthly cost of $186 in the U.S., but costs a third of that in Canada. Crestor, a common cholesterol-lowering medication, will cost patients $86 in the U.S., but less than half in Germany.

Authors found the total spending on generic drugs in the U.S. is less than 30 percent of the total dollars spent on pharmaceuticals, suggesting that brand name medications are a major driver of costs for the U.S. healthcare system.

The U.S. spends more, but fewer people are covered

In 2016, while only about 90 percent of the population had healthcare coverage, the U.S. spent about 18 percent of its GDP on health care. Other countries spent much less of their GDP on health care, ranging from 9 percent in Australia to 12 percent in Switzerland -- while they had more than 99 percent of the populations with healthcare coverage.

Contrary to popular belief, health care utilization, or how many go to the doctor, and social spending, or how much government spent to improve health, did not differ in the U.S. compared to these countries.

Two thirds of the difference in health care costs between the U.S. and other countries were rolled up into medication costs, expensive tests and procedures and administrative costs.

The U.S. suffers from high prices and at the same time it also deals with high volumes.

When it comes to testing, the U.S. performs more CT scans than any other country -- 1.3 million per year. Each scan costs 10 times more than in The Netherlands, for example. Even procedures like a cesarean delivery cost, on average, seven times more in U.S. than in The Netherlands.

Many have questioned: Are physician salaries also to blame? Yes and no. Salaries paid to doctors and nurses in the U.S. were more than twice as much as other countries. However, researchers say "the number of physicians in the U.S. is comparatively low, offsetting the effect of high salaries."

For example, despite Germany having almost twice as many doctors as in the United States -- 4.1 doctors per 1,000 people, versus 2.6 in the U.S. -- the amount spent on their salaries is essentially the same.

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Courtesy Tina DuBrock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Tina DuBrock has been a teacher for 15 years.

After watching recent tragedies like the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, DuBrock said she felt for the first time that she needed to do even more to build her students' mental well-being.

DuBrock, a kindergarten teacher in Dyer, Indiana, had an idea to help students the best way she knows how, through books.

She created a “mental wellness in the classroom” book wish list on Amazon with more than 80 books, all focused on helping kids develop emotionally.

“I really feel that if kids get social and emotional education early, we won’t have as many negatives later,” DuBrock told ABC News. “Being in education, books have always been a nice way to start a conversation, to get to the grit of something.”

DuBrock added, “It is my job to teach kids to love to read, to learn from it and to know that it gives them power, the power to learn something new or to go into a fantasy world and imagine.”

DuBrock shared her book wish list on Facebook, where she often posts if her classroom needs extra supplies and learning tools.

“I teach kindergarten in NW Indiana and my job is not just about academics as some may think,” DuBrock wrote on Facebook. “I shape children. I am their first step out of the home. I can make school a place they want to be and teach them that learning can be fun. I choose to do so.”

Within one hour of DuBrock’s post, 50 books from the list had been purchased and donated to her elementary school.

The school has since received 300 books and counting, from parents, strangers, book publishers and even authors themselves.

“I’m so grateful for all the support and in awe that there are so many good people out there,” said DuBrock, who has been sorting and organizing the books overtime. “It’s not just the book, it’s the kind words that are hitting us in the heart.”

DuBrock has also heard from teachers and librarians across the country who have adopted her wish list for their own schools.

DuBrock’s elementary school is even incorporating the ideas in the donated books -- kindness, inclusion, diversity, respect, friendships, coping, perseverance, emotions, for example -- into a superhero theme for students.

“Those are the superpowers they’ll learn and they’ll come up with their own superpower and how they can add to it, like making friends,” DuBrock said.

Out of all the books on the list, DuBrock said she has two books she’d recommend to all parents and teachers to teach kids about feelings and mental health.

"'Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It,' by JoAnn Deak, is a great book about not giving up," DuBrock said. "And 'Mind Bubbles,' by Heather Krantz, is great for exploring mindfulness with kids."

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