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U.S. life expectancy is falling with suicides and drug overdoses on the rise. (image: Pexels)

The big story...

U.S. Life Expectancy Falls in Longest Downward Trend Since World War I

According to the CDC, average life expectancy for people in the U.S. fell to 78.6 in 2017 from 78.7 in 2016, amounting to 70,000 more deaths between the two years. Although that may not seem like a drastic change, it is the worst downward trend in life expectancy the country has seen since World War I — and the suicide and drug overdose rate are to blame. Although the leading causes of death have remained, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc., suicide is growing at a concerning speed in its number ten spot on the list. As deaths due to drug overdose also continue to climb, some experts point to the widening income gap as causes of both drug use and suicide.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or drug addiction, call these numbers:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

In the House...

Nancy Pelosi Nominated for Speaker

House Democrats selected Nancy Pelosi to be their nominee for House Speaker on Wednesday with a vote of 203, despite party criticism and opposition. Although she has the nomination, she’ll have to win over several people who voted against her to reach the 218 votes required to win on Jan. 3.

In higher education...

Michael Bloomberg Donates $1.8 Billion to Johns Hopkins University

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $1.8 billion to his alma mater Johns Hopkins University to be allocated for student financial aid. The donation, the largest ever to an institution of higher education, is garnering a lot of praise for the possible 2020 presidential candidate. But critics ask: Could he have done better? Read more in Grace Cooper's report for CMN.

In false alarms...

Active Shooter Alarm at Walter Reed Hospital Set Off in Error

On Tuesday, an active shooter alarm was set off at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Patients, visitors, and staff were under lockdown for over an hour as Montgomery police arrived on the scene. At first the hospital said the alarm was an "ad hoc drill," but later a spokesman backtracked to say the alarm resulted from improper use of the notification system. Needless to say this doesn't look good for the hospital and may make them vulnerable to legal action. Speaking of which, a man who suffered a heart attack during Hawaii's false ballistic missile warning earlier this year is now suing the state.

In gun rights...

Trump Administration to Ban Bump Stocks

The Trump administration will soon be officially banning the sale of bump stock devices, an attachment which enables semiautomatic rifles to fire continuously.

In books...

Margaret Atwood to Write 'The Handmaid's Tale' Sequel

Author Margaret Atwood announced on Wednesday that she'll be writing a sequel to her popular dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale. The book has risen to prominence through its TV series adaptation and its comparison to the current political climate.

In bad news...

Serial Killer Claims to Have Killed 90 Victims

A convicted murderer claims to have killed 90 women, which would make him the worst serial killer in U.S. history. It's not uncommon for serial killers to over-confess — but the FBI fears that the 78-year-old convict may be right. So far investigators have confirmed 34 of the 90 murders.

In good news...

Businessman Gives $1000 to Everyone at High School in Paradise, Calif.

San Diego businessman Bob Wilson has personally handed out $1000 checks to every student, teacher, and worker at Chico High School in Paradise, Calif. Wilson reportedly gave out a total of $1.1 million in the town that was decimated by the Camp Fire earlier this month.

Trending today...

A Considerate Thief

After stealing a laptop, this thief emailed to apologize.
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Last but not least...

The Most Underrated Rolling Stones Songs

In honor of the Stones returning to the U.S. in 2019, CMN reporter Nicole Kitchens has put together a list of can't-miss tunes from the legendary group.
Today's Morning Scoop was made possible by Natalia Kolenko, Grace Cooper, Nicole Kitchens, and the CMN Staff. The country's most famous Christmas trees, at Rockefeller Center and the White House, are shining bright and ready for business. Cue "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" on endless loop.
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