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May 3, 2008

National News for April 19 - May 2

by Miriam Ragen, Online National News Editor and Food Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Washington Post and the New York Times. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

April 22 - The average life expectancy for many American women is decreasing. This is the first time that there has been a significant decline since the influenza epidemic in 1918. The most dramatic drop is in southern Virginia, where the life expectancy is five years less than it was in 1983. According to the report, the decline is due to an increase in deaths from lung cancer, diabetes, emphysema and kidney failure, many of which can be attributed to smoking cigarettes.

May 1 - Approximately one-fourth of the population in the United States under the age of five is Hispanic, according to the U.S. Bureau of Census. The 2000 Census reported that one in five people under the age of five were Hispanic. The increase to one in four is faster than the government expected. The government predicted that 30 percent of the population would be Hispanic by 2050, according to Jeffery S. Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center.

New York, NY

April 22 - The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Christine Todd Whitman, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not liable for telling residents near the World Trade Centers that the air was safe to breathe following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The judges based their decision on the fact that Whitman did not intentionally cause harm. Residents, students and workers who were in the vicinity in 2001 are reporting an increasing number of illnesses. According to the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Whitman should pay to clean the homes and public buildings in the area and for the related health costs. The plaintiffs are considering an appeal, the lawyer said.

Washington, D.C.

April 19 - President George W. Bush announced that Steven Preston will take over as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Preston's appointment follows Alphonso Jackson's March resignation after being accused of wrongdoings in regards to a Philadelphia housing project. Preston worked as the head of the Small Business Administration for 18 months and worked in the private sector before that.



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