Jodie Foster Mourns the Death of Her Mom and Former Manager Evelyn

Jodie-Foster-Mom-Evelyn-dies
Jodie Foster and her mother Evelyn ‘Brandy’ Foster at the Hollywood Reporter Power 100 Breakfast at The Beverly Hills Hotel on December 4, 2007 in Beverly Hills , California. Jeff Vespa/WireImage

One last Mother’s Day. Jodie Foster’s mother, Evelyn Foster, died on Monday, May 13, Us Weekly can confirm. She was 90 years old.

“Evelyn ‘Brandy’ Foster, mother of Jodie, Lucinda, Constance and Bud, passed away peacefully in her home on May 13th from complications related to dementia,” the obituary obtained by Us reads.

The family celebrated Evelyn’s accomplishments in the obituary, noting that she briefly worked as a Hollywood publicist for Arthur Jacobs, whose clients included Grace Kelly, Gregory Peck, James Stewart and Marilyn Monroe.

“She was raised in Rockford, Illinois but in the forties took her big band singing chops on the road to California. There she met Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Lucius Foster at a fencing match. … In her thirties, suddenly divorced and a single mother of four, Evelyn brought her entertainment savvy to managing the young acting career of her son Buddy best known as Ken Berry’s son in the series Mayberry RFD,” the family explained. “At three, her youngest daughter Jodie landed her first commercial, the famed 60’s Coppertone ad. Evelyn successfully managed and guided her daughter’s career until her second Best Actress Oscar win in 1991 for The Silence of The Lambs.”

Jodie, Lucinda, Constance and Buddy Foster added that their late mother was “a passionate world cinema lover and a liberal firebrand, always ahead of her time, with an opinion about virtually everything and a voice for social justice.”

“Evelyn was without a doubt the strongest person her family has ever met, a champion, a fighter, full of fire and love. No one could beat her style, all five feet tall with naturally ‘cork screw’ hair,” the obituary read. “Her family will remember those dimple smiles and big hugs and well placed four letter words. No one messed with Nana, an original like no other. May she live in all of us forever.”

The family concluded: “Her family will mourn her passing privately. In lieu of flowers, they suggest you look up at the sky, open your arms and say her name. She would get a kick of that.”

Us Weekly

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Man wins right to sue Riddell football helmet company over son’s ‘wrongful death’

An Ohio dad suing football-helmet maker Riddell over his son’s death from apparent football-related brain injuries has been given the green light to proceed to trial. On Tuesday, an Ohio judge ruled that Riddell will have to face off against Darren Hamblin’s claims that the company’s helmets are responsible for his son’s untimely death after…
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Trump Pardons Ex-soldier Who Shot Iraqi Prisoner To Death

President Donald Trump granted an executive clemency to former Army First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who was convicted of fatally shooting an Iraqi prisoner while deployed there in 2008.

In 2009, a military court sentenced Behenna to 25 years in prison for unpremeditated murder of Ali Mansur Mohamed in a combat zone.

After judgment, the U.S. Army’s highest appellate court noted concern about
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This Actor’s Dramatic GOT Death Was a ‘Selling Point’ of the Job

In honor of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, IGN is taking a look back at some of the iconic characters who’ve fallen along the way, and the lasting impact they had on the story. These heroes and villains may not have made it to the end of the road, but their lives weren’t in vain – they stand as a fitting reminder that when you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die.

Aside from having one of the most memorable names in the Seven Kingdoms, Samwell’s brother Dickon Tarly is best known for playing a key part in Game of Thrones’ standout Season 7 episode “The Spoils of War” — and for his fiery demise.

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Former NFL Player Charged With Murder in Death of Girlfriend’s 5-Year-Old

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Former NFL player Cierre Wood has been charged with murder in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter, Las Vegas police confirmed to The Daily Beast.

Wood, a 28-year-old former Notre Dame and NFL running back, was initially arrested Tuesday night along with his girlfriend, 25-year-old Amy Taylor, on first-degree child abuse and neglect charges, police said. Authorities arrested the couple at Summerlin Hospital, where the toddler died around 7:30 p.m. She was brought in with bruises on her body, KSNV reported.

Wood and Taylor each posted $ 5,000 bail at Clark County Detention Center and were released, according to jail records. But the football player was rebooked Thursday on an additional first-degree murder charge. He’s currently being held on bail, police said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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RHONY Star Bethenny Frankel Reportedly Tried To Break Up With Dennis Shields One Week Before His Death

Bethenny Frankel is opening up about the final days in her relationship with the late Dennis Shields. In a shocking interview, the Real Housewives of New York star revealed that she attempted to cut ties with Shields weeks before his tragic death.

“I mean, it’s really brutal. He was really someone that I went to for everything,” Frankel confessed. “So him being gone is just a massive void and I really can’t believe he’s gone.”

Shields was found unresponsive in his New York City apartment this past summer. He is believed to have passed away from a prescription drug overdose. On the weekend prior to his death, Frankel revealed that she decided to end her relationship with Shields once and for all. After she learned about his passing, the RHONY star admitted that she felt a tremendous amount of guilt over what happened.

According to All About The Real Housewives, Frankel also revealed that Shields believed he was destined to be alone if their relationship did not work out. This is one reason why Frankel decided to remain friends with Shields even after they had broken up. But at the end of the day, she felt like it was time to cut ties with her on-and-off again boyfriend for the benefit of both parties.

Fortunately, Frankel was able to get professional help in the form of therapy in the days and weeks following Shield’s tragic death. In fact, Frankel revealed that she feels much better about the whole situation and understands now that Shields would want her to have some peace of mind as well.

In a previous episode of RHONY, Frankel told Dorinda Medley that Shields proposed to her last spring. The two ultimately decided to put the engagement on the back burner because things were too complicated in Frankel’s life. Frankel, of course, has since moved on and has a new man in her life.

Fans can watch Bethenny Frankel in action when new episodes of the Real Housewives of New York air Wednesday nights on Bravo.

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Nipsey Hussle Reflected on His Legacy a Year Before His Death [VIDEO]

It may be the millennial generation’s Tupac moment—the untimely death of rap star Nipsey Hussle. While the 33-year-old rapper, whose real name was Ermias Davidson Asghedom, did not live long enough to achieve the legendary musical catalog of Tupac Shakur—his death, as with Shakur’s—will mark a sad milestone in the lives of younger hip-hop fans and the music industry.

There are parallels between the two artists. Both used their fame as platforms to fight injustice. Both rose from hard street lives to become stars in the entertainment industry. And both would become victims of the type of gun violence from which their fame and success could not serve as shields.

Yet, as with many of his generation, Nipsey Hussle saw the value of entrepreneurship and legacy wealth-building as a way of empowering the black community.

[Watch Nipsey Hussle’s interview with BE in April 2018]



How Nipsey Hussle Left a Legacy of Wealth-Building

A technology enthusiast, Hussle was intent on disrupting both the music and technology industries, one venture at a time.

“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,’” he said in an interview with The LA Times. “And that’s cool, but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg.”

That keen understanding of the power of technology to build wealth and enact change sparked the idea for his retail store and brand, The Marathon Clothing. The first “smart store” of its kind, it offers customers an enhanced online as well as physical shopping experience through a custom app.

“This is just taking the retail space to the next level and also, offering a different experience when you come here as opposed to buying it online,” he said in an interview last year with Black Enterprise.

Iddris Sandu was a partner of Nipsey Hussle’s in The Marathon Clothing store venture. He spoke about the vision he and Hussle had for the store and why technology was so important to both of them.

“Tech companies don’t allow the culture to thrive by thinking that they have the best service and that culture benefits from the technology. The culture doesn’t work for the tech, the tech works for the culture. By honoring and respecting this, one can achieve a high level of success in arbitrating both of these fields to create unparalleled experiences,” said Sandu at the time.

The Marathon Clothing is located in the heart of the Crenshaw District, where Hussle grew up. The store would also, unfortunately, become the location where his life abruptly ended.

The Grammy-nominated artist also invested in cryptocurrency, real estate, and had recently opened Vector 90, a co-working space and incubator that also served as a STEM center for youth.

What He Meant to Millennials and the Urban Community

Several millennials at Black Enterprise weighed in on what Nipsey Hussle meant to them and their generation.

For me, Nipsey as he often described himself, “a well-groomed gangster lumberjack” was the epitome of what rap culture requires these days—an authentic character that fans can relate to ( he talked famously about being a member of the Rolling 60’s Crips) and a figure corporate America could embrace and sell. His business acumen is well documented and his interests varied beyond the recording booth. I was in awe when he conceived the idea to sell his CD, Crenshaw for $ 100 , a limited edition of 1,000, in which Jay Z purchased 100 copies. His mixtape series Bullets Ain’t Got No Name proved tragically prophetic. — Ed Stokes, Videographer; Content Producer

 

I actually do listen to Nipsey Hussle’s music and he is one of my favorite artists. One thing I can say about him is that although none of his projects sounded the same, he always had one underlying theme in all of them and that was ownership. For most of Nipsey’s career, he was independent and paid for marketing and distribution himself. He constantly rapped about owning 100% of the masters to all of his music recording which is a big deal since most artists relinquish a percentage of the rights to their music once they sign to a major record label. He was not just a rapper but an example to other rappers by showing them they can be self-sufficient and successful at the same time. —Roland Michel, Researcher

 

Although I’ve never listened to Nipsey Hussle’s music, I admired the impact he made in his community and the example he set as a former gang-member-turned-entrepreneur and rapper from South L.A. Despite growing up in a community plagued by drug and gang activity, he was determined to beat the odds and used his platform to invest in underrepresented ​neighborhoods. For example, last year his foundation financed the development of a co-working space, STEM center, and incubator geared toward children of color. He also founded his own record label and opened his own smart store, where he was tragically gunned down. Nipsey Hussle gave hope to ​inner-city youth and will be recognized as a hometown hero. —Selena Hill, Digital Editor

 

Nipsey Hussle preached the gospel of business and ownership from day one. That is what drew me to his work. Beyond his artistry, he set the standard for how black men from the community should give back; set up shop in their communities; and be for the people. Nipsey always reminded me of who Tupac could have become. Thirty-three is such a powerful age for black men biblically speaking. He taught others how to have multiple streams of revenue, made people believe in the power of ownership, and left a legacy. —Lydia T. Blanco, Digital Community Specialist

In the end, his main focus was leaving a positive legacy.

“10 years from now, I would like to have laid a blueprint down that other people can follow who came from the same situation,” he said in his interview with BE. 

– Editors’ Note: Sequoia Blodgett and Mia N. Hall contributed to this article. 

The post Nipsey Hussle Reflected on His Legacy a Year Before His Death [VIDEO] appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Police investigating death of 4 people found inside business as possible homicides

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Who was Tania Mallet and how did she die? James Bond actress who starred in Goldfinger’s cause of death

BOND girl Tania Mallet has died aged 77.

We take a look back over the life and times of the actress.

Jon Bond -The Sun

Tania Mallet was an English actress[/caption]

Who was Tania Mallet?

Tania, 77, was born in Blackpool to father Henry Mallet and Russian mother Olga Mironoff.

The star, a cousin of Dame Helen Mirren, started her career as a teen model going on to become one of the most famous faces of the 1950s and 1960s.

Dame Helen even wrote about her in her 2007 memoir, telling how she spent all the money she earned on her family.

Getty – Contributor

Tania played vengeful sister Tilly Masterson in the spy flick Goldfinger[/caption]

When was Tania in James Bond?

Legend has it a photo of Tania in bikini was sent to Bond producer Cubby Broccoli, who brought her in to screen test for the role of Tatiana Romanova in 1957 film From Russia With Love.

She is said to have missed out on that part due to her English accent but landed a starring role in the third Bond film Goldfinger opposite Sean Connery in 1964.

She played a vengeful sister out to kill Auric Goldfinger after he murdered her sibling by painting her from head to toe in gold paint.

Tilly was killed off during the film when the baddie’s sidekick Oddjob, hurled his steel-rimmed hat at her.

Despite the huge success of Goldfinger, Tania never made another film once admitting she hated her lack of freedom while under contract.


What was Tania’s cause of death?

The sad news that Tania had passed away was revealed on March 31, 2019.

Her cause of death has not yet been announced.

A statement posted on Facebook page Bond Stars read: “Unfortunately we must share the very sad news that our dear friend Tania Mallet has sadly passed away.

“She was a very classy and beautiful lady inside and out.”

 

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Bethenny Frankel Was Planning To Dump Dennis Shields – Admits She Feels ‘Guilty’ For His Death

During a RHONY episode, Bethenny Frankel admitted that she was planning on dumping Dennis Shields the week of his passing! That never ended up happening since her ex lost his life before she could break up with him, but that doesn’t mean she feels any less guilty about it.

It’s been more than seven months since Dennis Shields passed away but it sounds like Bethenny is still struggling with the loss, as well as feeling responsible for it.

Frankel explained that ‘He had such a powerful force in my life and [was] such a loving person and my daughter loved him that it was this whole thing that was hard to extricate myself from. But I had just said that week, the Saturday before ‘I have to exit this dynamic.’’

She went on to tell her therapist: ‘So then it was on my mind about him dying right after a lot. I couldn’t get off the ride and I feel guilty the only way I got off the ride is that he is dead.’

Struggling to fight the tears, Bethenny recalled that ‘Dennis told me, [if] we did not work out, he was never going to be in another relationship again. He was going to be alone for the rest of his life. It was tremendous pressure and it kept me in. I do not know what happened that night and I will always have to live with that.’

The reality TV star expressed that the therapy session had helped her a lot but because she was feeling better, she also felt guilty about it.

Bethenny argued however that she knows her late ex would want her to feel better after all, so she is determined to respect his wishes.

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Common cause in sudden death syndromes

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Mike Thalassitis hinted at secret struggle with depression on social media just months before his tragic death

MIKE Thalassitis liked a series of online posts and articles about mental health in the months prior to his tragic death at the weekend.

The Love Island star, 26, was found hanged in woodland near his North London home following a secret six month battle with depression.

Rex Features

Mike Thalassitis liked a series of online posts and articles about mental health in the months prior to his tragic death at the weekend.[/caption]

Prior to his death, the former semi-pro footballer liked a post about the condition from brain coach Jim Kwik.

It read: “The truth is, none of us really know how much someone else is hurting.

“We could be standing right beside someone who feels completely broken or facing the battle of their lives and have no idea.

“Be kind, always.”

The popular reality star also liked a Guardian article raising awareness of anxiety and depression.

Twitter

Mike liked this post by brain coach Jim Kwik last November[/caption]

Twitter

He also liked this message about waiting for your time to come[/caption]

Twitter

And this Guardian article looking at different ways to improve mental well-being[/caption]

Rex Features

Mike openly spoke to friends about taking anti-depressants[/caption]

Published in January, columnist Gaby Hinsliff looked at how exercise and hobbies such as cooking can have a positive effect on mental well-being.

Another tweet liked by Mike, suggested he was focused on a brighter future.

The post read: “Try not to watch anyone else next year, everyone’s timing is different.

“Your time will come just focus on yourself and have a better year than the last.

“Learn from your mistakes and use them to build yourself.

“If next year’s not your year, make it count towards the year that will be.”

Earlier today The Sun Online exclusively revealed how Mike was secretly battling depression for at least six months before his tragic death.

Rex Features

The star was excited about his new business outside of the showbiz world Love Island brought him[/caption]

A close friend said the star had been taking anti-depressants since September after an “absolutely horrible” time.

They explained: “Mike was openly talking to people about the awful time he’d been having lately and he had lots of good friends who were supporting him.

“Everybody knew he was taking anti-depressants, but he insisted to friends that he was sorting himself out and things were ‘getting better’.

“Mike was very open and honest about his feelings and admitted life had gone downhill after his Love Island fame had started to wane – but he was looking forward to the future and his new business.

“He spoke about how he longed to return to his old life and play football again with his mates. His old club Margate FC were even open to him coming back as a player.

BPM Media

Mike longed to return to his roots as a lower-league player[/caption]

“However, Mike was too down; he was convinced he wasn’t good enough, said he wasn’t fit enough and feared he wouldn’t be accepted as a footballer again.”

The friend explained how Mike missed the football world, where he was known simply as ‘Thala’ rather than the ‘Muggy Mike’ moniker he’d gained on Love Island.

Between 2010 and 2017, he played as a striker for teams including Stevenage,  Chelmsford City and Margate.

They explained: “Mike loved the parties and hanging out with his showbiz pals but someone called him ‘Thala’ the other week and he was thrilled. He said: ‘It’s so nice to hear that again.’

Mike on a night out with his brother Nick in December

Rex Features

He was talking excitedly about his life as a restaurateur[/caption]

The Mega Agency

Mike’s new project The Skillet in Loughton was due to open next week[/caption]


“Ultimately, he would have loved to return to playing – but he was just too depressed to make the leap.”

Mike’s pals were astonished by his tragic death because all signs were pointing to a massive change in fortunes for the star.

He had just finished filming the forthcoming series of MTV’s Ex On The Beach.

Also, his beloved restaurant The Skillet, a joint venture with footballer pal Scott Neilson, was due to open which he was hugely excited about – with the pair even having sent out invites to the grand opening.

Splash News

He had been obsessed with everything to do with his new venture[/caption]

The pal told us: “Mike was so thrilled about his restaurant and would talk about it non-stop. Everyone was convinced he was getting better as he was so passionate about his new venture.”

They added: “He was involved in everything from the menus to the colour of the walls and spoke about how excited he was about it right up until the night before he died.

“It’s a tragedy that he will never get to see all his brilliant plans come to fruition.”

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others.

You’re Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:


Got a story? email digishowbiz@the-sun.co.uk or call us direct on 02077824220.

We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.


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Death By A Thousand Clicks

The pain radiated from the top of Annette Monachelli’s head, and it got worse when she changed positions. It didn’t feel like her usual migraine. The 47-year-old Vermont attorney turned innkeeper visited her local doctor at the Stowe Family Practice twice about the problem in late November 2012, but got little relief.

Two months later, Monachelli was dead of a brain aneurysm, a condition that, despite the symptoms and the appointments, had never been tested for or diagnosed until she turned up in the emergency room days before her death.

Monachelli’s husband sued Stowe, the federally qualified health center the physician worked for. Owen Foster, a newly hired assistant U.S. attorney with the District of Vermont, was assigned to defend the government. Though it looked to be a standard medical malpractice case, Foster was on the cusp of discovering something much bigger — what his boss, U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan, calls the “frontier of health care fraud” — and prosecuting a first-of-its-kind case that landed the largest-ever financial recovery in Vermont’s history.

Foster began with Monachelli’s medical records, which offered a puzzle. Her doctor had considered the possibility of an aneurysm and, to rule it out, had ordered a head scan through the clinic’s software system, the government alleged in court filings. The test, in theory, would have caught the bleeding in Monachelli’s brain. But the order never made it to the lab; it had never been transmitted.

The software in question was an electronic health records system, or EHR, made by eClinicalWorks (eCW), one of the leading sellers of record-keeping software for physicians in America, currently used by 850,000 health professionals in the U.S. It didn’t take long for Foster to assemble a dossier of troubling reports — Better Business Bureau complaints, issues flagged on an eCW user board, and legal cases filed around the country — suggesting the company’s technology didn’t work quite the way it said it did.

Until this point, Foster, like most Americans, knew next to nothing about electronic medical records, but he was quickly amassing clues that eCW’s software had major problems — some of which put patients, like Annette Monachelli, at risk.

Damning evidence came from a whistleblower claim filed in 2011 against the company. Brendan Delaney, a British cop turned EHR expert, was hired in 2010 by New York City to work on the eCW implementation at Rikers Island, a jail complex that then had more than 100,000 inmates. But soon after he was hired, Delaney noticed scores of troubling problems with the system, which became the basis for his lawsuit. The patient medication lists weren’t reliable; prescribed drugs would not show up, while discontinued drugs would appear as current, according to the complaint. The EHR would sometimes display one patient’s medication profile accompanied by the physician’s note for a different patient, making it easy to misdiagnose or prescribe a drug to the wrong individual. Prescriptions, some 30,000 of them in 2010, lacked proper start and stop dates, introducing the opportunity for under- or overmedication. The eCW system did not reliably track lab results, concluded Delaney, who tallied 1,884 tests for which they had never gotten outcomes.

The District of Vermont launched an official federal investigation in 2015.

The eCW spaghetti code was so buggy that when one glitch got fixed, another would develop, the government found. The user interface offered a few ways to order a lab test or diagnostic image, for example, but not all of them seemed to function. The software would detect and warn users of dangerous drug interactions, but unbeknownst to physicians, the alerts stopped if the drug order was customized. “It would be like if I was driving with the radio on and the windshield wipers going and when I hit the turn signal, the brakes suddenly didn’t work,” said Foster.

The eCW system also failed to use the standard drug codes and, in some instances, lab and diagnosis codes as well, the government alleged.

The case never got to a jury. In May 2017, eCW paid a $ 155 million settlement to the government over alleged “false claims” and kickbacks — one physician made tens of thousands of dollars — to clients who promoted its product. Despite the record settlement, the company denied wrongdoing; eCW did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

If there is a kicker to this tale, it is this: The U.S. government bankrolled the adoption of this software — and continues to pay for it. Or we should say: You do.

Which brings us to the strange, sad, and aggravating story that unfolds below. It is not about one lawsuit or a piece of sloppy technology. Rather, it’s about a trouble-prone industry that intersects, in the most personal way, with every one of our lives. It’s about a $ 3.7 trillion health care system idling at the crossroads of progress. And it’s about a slew of unintended consequences — the surprising casualties of a big idea whose time had seemingly come.

The Virtual Magic Bullet

Electronic health records were supposed to do a lot: make medicine safer, bring higher-quality care, empower patients, and yes, even save money. Boosters heralded an age when researchers could harness the big data within to reveal the most effective treatments for disease and sharply reduce medical errors. Patients, in turn, would have truly portable health records, being able to share their medical histories in a flash with doctors and hospitals anywhere in the country — essential when life-and-death decisions are being made in the ER.

But 10 years after President Barack Obama signed a law to accelerate the digitization of medical records — with the federal government, so far, sinking $ 36 billion into the effort — America has little to show for its investment. KHN and Fortune spoke with more than 100 physicians, patients, IT experts and administrators, health policy leaders, attorneys, top government officials and representatives at more than a half-dozen EHR vendors, including the CEOs of two of the companies. The interviews reveal a tragic missed opportunity: Rather than an electronic ecosystem of information, the nation’s thousands of EHRs largely remain a sprawling, disconnected patchwork. Moreover, the effort has handcuffed health providers to technology they mostly can’t stand and has enriched and empowered the $ 13-billion-a-year industry that sells it.

By one measure, certainly, the effort has achieved what it set out to do: Today, 96 percent of hospitals have adopted EHRs, up from just 9 percent in 2008. But on most other counts, the newly installed technology has fallen well short. Physicians complain about clumsy, unintuitive systems and the number of hours spent clicking, typing and trying to navigate them — which is more than the hours they spend with patients. Unlike, say, with the global network of ATMs, the proprietary EHR systems made by more than 700 vendors routinely don’t talk to one another, meaning that doctors still resort to transferring medical data via fax and CD-ROM. ­Patients, meanwhile, still struggle to access their own records — and, sometimes, just plain can’t.

(Nicolas Rapp/Fortune)

Instead of reducing costs, many say, EHRs, which were originally optimized for billing rather than for patient care, have instead made it easier to engage in “upcoding” or bill inflation (though some say the systems also make such fraud easier to catch).

More gravely still, a months-long joint investigation by KHN and Fortune has found that instead of streamlining medicine, the government’s EHR initiative has created a host of largely unacknowledged patient safety risks. Our investigation found that alarming reports of patient deaths, serious injuries and near misses — thousands of them — tied to software glitches, user errors or other flaws have piled up, largely unseen, in various government-funded and private repositories.

Compounding the problem are entrenched secrecy policies that continue to keep software failures out of public view. EHR vendors often impose contractual “gag clauses” that discourage buyers from speaking out about safety issues and disastrous software installations — though some customers have taken to the courts to air their grievances. Plaintiffs, moreover, say hospitals often fight to withhold records from injured patients or their families. Indeed, two doctors who spoke candidly about the problems they faced with EHRs later asked that their names not be used, adding that they were forbidden by their health care organizations to talk. Says Assistant U.S. Attorney Foster, the EHR vendors “are protected by a shield of silence.”

Though the software has reduced some types of clinical mistakes common in the era of handwritten notes, Raj Ratwani, a researcher at MedStar Health in Washington, D.C., has documented new patterns of medical errors tied to EHRs that he believes are both perilous and preventable. “The fact that we’re not able to broadcast that nationally and solve these issues immediately, and that another patient somewhere else may be harmed by the very same issue — that just can’t happen,” he said.

David Blumenthal, who, as Obama’s national coordinator for health information technology, was one of the architects of the EHR initiative, acknowledged to KHN and Fortune that electronic health records “have not fulfilled their potential. I think few would argue they have.”

The former president has likewise singled out the effort as one of his most disappointing, bemoaning in a January 2017 interview with Vox “the fact that there are still just mountains of paperwork … and the doctors still have to input stuff, and the nurses are spending all their time on all this administrative work. We put a big slug of money into trying to encourage everyone to digitalize, to catch up with the rest of the world … that’s been harder than we expected.”

Seema Verma, the current chief of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees the EHR effort today, shudders at the billions of dollars spent building software that doesn’t share data — an electronic bridge to nowhere. “Providers developed their own systems that may or may not even have worked well for them,” she told KHN and Fortune in an interview last month, “but we didn’t think about how all these systems connect with one another. That was the real missing piece.”

Perhaps none of the initiative’s former boosters is quite as frustrated as former Vice President Joe Biden. At a 2017 meeting with health care leaders in Washington, he railed against the infuriating challenge of getting his son Beau’s medical records from one hospital to another. “I was stunned when my son for a year was battling stage 4 glioblastoma,” said Biden. “I couldn’t get his records. I’m the vice president of the United States of America.  … It was an absolute nightmare. It was ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous, that we’re in that circumstance.”

A Bridge To Nowhere

As Biden would tell you, the original concept was a smart one. The wave of digitization had swept up virtually every industry, bringing both disruption and, in most cases, greater efficiency. And perhaps none of these industries was more deserving of digital liberation than medicine, where life-measuring and potentially lifesaving data was locked away in paper crypts — stack upon stack of file folders at doctors’ offices across the country.

Stowed in steel cabinets, the records were next to useless. Nobody — particularly at the dawn of the age of the iPhone — thought it was a good idea to leave them that way. The problem, say critics, was in the way that policy­makers set about to transform them.

“Every single idea was well-meaning and potentially of societal benefit, but the combined burden of all of them hitting clinicians simultaneously made office practice basically impossible,” said John Halamka, chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who served on the EHR standards committees under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “In America, we have 11 minutes to see a patient, and, you know, you’re going to be empathetic, make eye contact, enter about 100 pieces of data, and never commit malpractice. It’s not possible!”

KHN and Fortune examined more than two dozen medical negligence cases that have alleged that EHRs either contributed to injuries, had been improperly altered, or were withheld from patients to conceal substandard care. In such cases, the suits typically settle prior to trial with strict confidentiality pledges, so it’s often not possible to determine the merits of the allegations. EHR vendors also frequently have contract stipulations, known as “hold harmless clauses,” that protect them from liability if hospitals are later sued for medical errors — even if they relate to an issue with the technology.

But lawsuits, like that filed by Fabian ­Ronisky, which do emerge from this veil, are quite telling.

Ronisky, according to his complaint, arrived by ambulance at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on the afternoon of March 2, 2015. For two days, the young lawyer had been suffering from severe headaches while a disorienting fever left him struggling to tell the 911 operator his address.

Suspecting meningitis, a doctor at the hospital performed a spinal tap, and the next day an infectious disease specialist typed in an order for a critical lab test — a check of the spinal fluid for viruses, including herpes simplex — into the hospital’s EHR.

The multimillion-dollar system, manufactured by Epic Systems Corp. and considered by some to be the Cadillac of medical software, had been installed at the hospital about four months earlier. Although the order appeared on Epic’s screen, it was not sent to the lab. It turned out, Epic’s software didn’t fully “interface” with the lab’s software, according to a lawsuit Ronisky filed in February 2017 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. His results and diagnosis were delayed — by days, he claimed — during which time he suffered irreversible brain damage from herpes encephalitis. The suit alleged the mishap delayed doctors from giving Ronisky a drug called acyclovir that might have minimized damage to his brain.

Epic denied any liability or defects in its software; the company said the doctor failed to push the right button to send the order and that the hospital, not Epic, had configured the interface with the lab. Epic, among the nation’s largest manufacturers of computerized health records and the leading provider to most of America’s most elite medical centers, quietly paid $ 1 million to settle the suit in July 2018, according to court records. The hospital and two doctors paid a total of $ 7.5 million, and a case against a third doctor is pending trial. Ronisky, 34, who is fighting to rebuild his life, declined to comment.

Incidents like that which happened to Ronisky — or to Annette Monachelli, for that matter — are surprisingly common, data show. And the back-and-forth about where the fault lies in such cases is actually part of the problem: The systems are often so confusing (and training on them seldom sufficient) that errors frequently fall into a nether zone of responsibility. It can be hard to tell where human error begins and the technological short­comings end.

EHRs promised to put all of a patient’s records in one place, but often that’s the problem. Critical or time-sensitive information routinely gets buried in an endless scroll of data, where in the rush of medical decision-making — and amid the maze of pulldown menus — it can be missed.

Thirteen-year-old Brooke Dilliplaine, who was severely allergic to dairy, was given a probiotic containing milk. The two doses sent her into “complete respiratory distress” and resulted in a collapsed lung, according to a lawsuit filed by her mother. Rory Staunton, 12, scraped his arm in gym class and then died of sepsis after ER doctors discharged the boy on the basis of lab results in the EHR that weren’t complete. And then there’s the case of Thomas Eric Duncan. The 42-year-old man was sent home in 2014 from a Dallas hospital infected with Ebola virus. Though a nurse had entered in the EHR his recent travel to Liberia, where an Ebola epidemic was then in full swing, the doctor never saw it. Duncan died a week later.

Bobby and Tara Dilliplaine hold a photo of daughter Brooke, who suffered complications when she was given medication she was allergic to. (She later died of causes unrelated to the EHR issue.)(Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Many such cases end up in court. Typically, doctors and nurses blame faulty technology in the medical-records systems. The EHR vendors blame human error. And meanwhile, the cases mount.

Quantros, a private health care analytics firm, said it has logged 18,000 EHR-related safety events from 2007 through 2018, 3 percent of which resulted in patient harm, including seven deaths — a figure that a Quantros director said is “drastically underreported.”

A 2016 study by The Leapfrog Group, a patient-safety watchdog based in Washington, D.C., found that the medication-ordering function of hospital EHRs — a feature required by the government for certification but often configured differently in each system — failed to flag potentially harmful drug orders in 39 percent of cases in a test simulation. In 13 percent of those cases, the mistake could have been fatal.

The Pew Charitable Trusts has, for the past few years, run an EHR safety project, taking aim at issues like usability and patient matching — the process of linking the correct medical record to the correct patient — a seemingly basic task at which the systems, even when made by the same EHR vendor, often fail. At some institutions, according to Pew, such matching was accurate only 50 percent of the time. Patients have discovered mistakes as well: A January survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 1 in 5 patients spotted an error in their electronic medical records. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

(Nicolas Rapp/Fortune)

The Joint Commission, which certifies hospitals, has sounded alarms about a number of issues, including false alarms — which account for between 85 and 99 percent of EHR and medical device alerts. (One study by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University estimated that the average clinician working in the intensive care unit may be exposed to up to 7,000 passive alerts per day.) Such over-warning can be dangerous. From 2014 to 2018, the commission tallied 170 mostly voluntary reports of patient harm related to alarm management and alert fatigue — the phenomenon in which health workers, so overloaded with unnecessary warnings, ignore the occasional meaningful one. Of those 170 incidents, 101 resulted in patient deaths.

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, an independent state agency that collects information about adverse events and incidents, counted 775 “laboratory-test problems” related to health IT from January 2016 to December 2017.

To be sure, medical errors happened en masse in the age of paper medicine, when hospital staffers misinterpreted a physician’s scrawl or read the wrong chart to deadly consequence, for instance. But what is perhaps telling is how many doctors today opt for manual workarounds to their EHRs. Aaron Zachary Hettinger, an emergency medicine physician with MedStar Health in Washington, D.C., said that when he and fellow clinicians need to share critical patient information, they write it on a whiteboard or on a paper towel and leave it on their colleagues’ computer keyboards.

While the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t mandate reporting of EHR safety events — as it does for regulated medical devices — concerned posts have nonetheless proliferated in the FDA MAUDE database of adverse events, which now serves as an ad hoc bulletin board of warnings about the various systems.

Further complicating the picture is that health providers nearly always tailor their one-size-fits-all EHR systems to their own specifications. Such customization makes every one unique and often hard to compare with others — which, in turn, makes the source of mistakes difficult to determine.

(Nicolas Rapp/Fortune)

Dr. Martin Makary, a surgical oncologist at Johns Hopkins and the co-author of a much-cited 2016 study that identified medical errors as the third-leading cause of death in America, credits EHRs for some safety improvements — including recent changes that have helped put electronic brakes on the opioid epidemic. But, he said, “we’ve swapped one set of problems for another. We used to struggle with handwriting and missing information. We now struggle with a lack of visual cues to know we’re writing and ordering on the correct patient.”

Dr. Joseph Schneider, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, compares the transition we’ve made, from paper records to electronic ones, to moving from horses to automobiles. But in this analogy, he added, “our cars have advanced to about the 1960s. They still don’t have seat belts or air bags.”

Schneider recalled one episode when his colleagues couldn’t understand why chunks of their notes would inexplicably disappear. They figured out the problem weeks later after intense study: Physicians had been inputting squiggly brackets — {} — the use of which, unbeknownst to even vendor representatives, deleted the text between them. (The EHR maker initially blamed the doctors, said Schneider.)

A broad coalition of actors, from National Nurses United to the Texas Medical Association to leaders within the FDA, has long called for oversight on electronic-record safety issues. Among the most outspoken is Ratwani, who directs MedStar Health’s National Center on Human Factors in Healthcare, a 30-­person institute focused on optimizing the safety and usability of medical technology. Ratwani spent his early career in the defense industry, studying things like the intuitiveness of information displays. When he got to MedStar in 2012, he was stunned by “the types of [digital] interfaces being used” in health care, he said.

MedStar’s Raj Ratwani (standing) studies eye-tracking with Dr. Zach Hettinger to see how doctors interact with EHRs.(T.J. Kirkpatrick for Fortune)

In a study published last year in the journal Health Affairs, Ratwani and colleagues studied medication errors at three pediatric hospitals from 2012 to 2017. They discovered that 3,243 of them were owing in part to EHR “usability issues.” Roughly 1 in 5 of these could have resulted in patient harm, the researchers found. “Poor interface design and poor implementations can lead to errors and sometimes death, and that is just unbelievably bad as well as completely fixable,” he said. “We should not have patients harmed this way.”

Using eye-tracking technology, Ratwani has demonstrated on video just how easy it is to make mistakes when performing basic tasks on the nation’s two leading EHR systems. When emergency room doctors went to order Tylenol, for example, they saw a drop-down menu listing 86 options, many of which were irrelevant for the specified patient. They had to read the list carefully, so as not to click the wrong dosage or form — though many do that too: In roughly 1 out of 1,000 orders, physicians accidentally select the suppository (designated “PR”) rather than the tablet dose (“OR”), according to one estimate. That’s not an error that will harm a patient — though other medication mix-ups can and do.

Earlier this year, MedStar’s human-factors center launched a website and public awareness campaign with the American Medical Association to draw attention to such rampant mistakes — they use the letters “EHR” as an initialism for “Errors Happen Regularly” — and to petition Congress for action. Ratwani is pushing for a central database to track such errors and adverse events.

Others have turned to social media to vent. Dr. Mark Friedberg, a health-policy researcher with the Rand Corp. who is also a practicing primary care physician, champions the Twitter hashtag ­#EHRbuglist to encourage fellow health care workers to air their pain points. And last month, a scathing Epic parody account cropped up on Twitter, earning more than 8,000 followers in its first five days. Its maiden tweet, written in the mock voice of an Epic overlord, read: “I once saw a doctor make eye contact with a patient. This horror must stop.”

As much as EHR systems are blamed for sins of commission, it is often the sins of omission that trip up users even more.

Consider the case of Lynne Chauvin, who worked as a medical assistant at Ochsner Health System, in Louisiana. In a still-pending 2015 lawsuit, Chauvin alleges that Epic’s software failed to fire a critical medication warning; Chauvin suffered from conditions that heightened her risk for blood clots, and though that history was documented in her records, she was treated with drugs that restricted blood flow after a heart procedure at the hospital. She developed gangrene, which led to the amputation of her lower legs and forearm. (Ochsner Health System said that while it cannot comment on ongoing litigation, it “remains committed to patient safety which we strongly believe is optimized through the use of electronic health record technology.” Epic declined to comment.)

Echoing the complaints of many doctors, the suit argues that Epic software “is extremely complicated to view and understand,” owing to “significant repetition of data.” Chauvin said that her medical bills have topped $ 1 million and that she is permanently disabled. Her husband, Richard, has become her primary caregiver and had to retire early from his job with the city of Kenner to care for his wife, according to the suit. Each party declined to comment.

An Epidemic Of Burnout

The numbing repetition, the box-ticking and the endless searching on pulldown menus are all part of what Ratwani called the “cognitive burden” that’s wearing out today’s physicians and driving increasing numbers into early retirement.

In recent years, “physician burnout” has skyrocketed to the top of the agenda in medicine. A 2018 Merritt Hawkins survey found a staggering 78 percent of doctors suffered symptoms of burnout, and in January the Harvard School of Public Health and other institutions deemed it a “public health crisis.”

One of the co-authors of the Harvard study, Ashish Jha, pinned much of the blame on “the growth in poorly designed digital health records … that [have] required that physicians spend more and more time on tasks that don’t directly benefit patients.”

Few would deny that the swift digitization of America’s medical system has been transformative. With EHRs now nearly universal, the face and feel of medicine has changed. The doctor is now typing away, making more eye contact with the computer screen, perhaps, than with the patient. Patients don’t like that dynamic; for doctors, whose days increasingly begin and end with such fleeting encounters, the effect can be downright deadening.

“You’re sitting in front of a patient, and there are so many things you have to do, and you only have so much time to do it in — seven to 11 minutes, probably — so when do you really listen?” asked John-Henry Pfifferling, a medical anthropologist who counsels physicians suffering from burnout. “If you go into medicine because you care about interacting, and then you’re just a tool, it’s dehumanizing,” said Pfifferling, who has seen many physicians leave medicine over the shift to electronic records. “It’s a disaster,” he said.

Beyond complicating the physician-patient relationship, EHRs have in some ways made practicing medicine harder, said Dr. Hal Baker, a physician and the chief information officer at WellSpan, a Pennsylvania hospital system. “Physicians have to cognitively switch between focusing on the record and focusing on the patient,” he said. He points out how unusual — and potentially dangerous — this is: “Texting while you’re driving is not a good idea. And I have yet to see the CEO who, while running a board meeting, takes minutes, and certainly I’ve never heard of a judge who, during the trial, would also be the court stenographer. But in medicine … we’ve asked the physician to move from writing in pen to [entering a computer] record, and it’s a pretty complicated interface.”

Even if docs may be at the keyboard during visits, they report having to spend hours more outside that time — at lunch, late at night — in order to finish notes and keep up with electronic paperwork (sending referrals, corresponding with patients, resolving coding issues). That’s right. EHRs didn’t take away paperwork; the systems just moved it online. And there’s a lot of it: 44 percent of the roughly six hours a physician spends on the EHR each day is focused on clerical and administrative tasks, like billing and coding, according to a 2017 Annals of Family Medicine study.

For all that so-called pajama time — the average physician logs 1.4 hours per day on the EHR after work — they don’t get a cent.

Many doctors do recognize the value in the technology: 60 percent of participants in Stanford Medicine’s 2018 National Physician Poll said EHRs had led to improved patient care. At the same time, about as many (59 percent) said EHRs needed a “complete overhaul” and that the systems had detracted from their professional satisfaction (54 percent) as well as from their clinical effectiveness (49 percent).

In preliminary studies, Ratwani has found that doctors have a typical physiological reaction to using an EHR: stress. When he and his team shadow clinicians on the job, they use a range of sensors to monitor the doctors’ heart rate and other vital signs over the course of their shift. The physicians’ heart rates will spike — as high as 160 beats per minute — on two sorts of occasions: when they are interacting with patients and when they’re using the EHR.

“Everything is so cumbersome,” said Dr. Karla Dick, a family medicine physician in Arlington, Texas. “It’s slow compared to a paper chart. You’re having to click and zoom in and zoom out to look for stuff.” With all the zooming in and out, she explained, it’s easy to end up in the wrong record. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to cancel an order because I was in the wrong chart.”

Among the daily frustrations for one emergency room physician in Rhode Island is ordering ibuprofen, a seemingly simple task that now requires many rounds of mouse clicking. Every time she prescribes the basic painkiller for a female patient, whether that patient is 9 or 68 years old, the prescription is blocked by a pop-up alert warning her that it may be dangerous to give the drug to a pregnant woman. The physician, whose institution does not allow her to comment on the systems, must then override the warning with yet more clicks. “That’s just the tiniest tip of the iceberg,” she said.

What worries the doctor most is the ease with which diligent, well-meaning physicians can make serious medical errors. She noted that the average ER doc will make 4,000 mouse clicks over the course of a shift, and that the odds of doing anything 4,000 times without an error is small. “The interfaces are just so confusing and clunky,” she added. “They invite error … it’s not a negligence issue. This is a poor tool issue.”

Many of the EHR makers acknowledge physician burnout is real and say they’re doing what they can to lessen the burden and enhance user experience. Dr. Sam Butler, a pulmonary critical care specialist who started working at Epic in 2001, leads those efforts at the Wisconsin-based company. When doctors get more than 100 messages per week in their in-basket (akin to an email inbox), there’s a higher likelihood of burnout. Butler’s team has also analyzed doctors’ electronic notes — they’re twice as long as they were nine years ago, and three to four times as long as notes in the rest of the world. He said Epic uses such insights to improve the client experience. But coming up with fixes is difficult because doctors “have different viewpoints on everything,” he said. (KHN and Fortune made multiple requests to interview Epic CEO Judy Faulkner, but the company declined to make her available. In a trade interview in February, however, Faulkner said that EHRs were unfairly blamed for physician burnout and cited a study suggesting that there’s little correlation between burnout and EHR satisfaction. Executives at other vendors noted that they’re aware of usability issues and that they’re working on addressing them.)

“It’s not that we’re a bunch of Luddites who don’t know how to use technology,” said the Rhode Island ER doctor. “I have an iPhone and a computer and they work the way they’re supposed to work, and then we’re given these incredibly cumbersome and error-prone tools. This is something the government mandated. There really wasn’t the time to let the cream rise to the top; everyone had to jump in and pick something that worked and spend tens of millions of dollars on a system that is slowly killing us.”

$ 36 Billion And Change

The effort to digitize America’s health records got its biggest push in a very low moment: the financial crisis of 2008. In early December of that year, Obama, barely four weeks after his election, pitched an ambitious economic recovery plan. “We will make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting-edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes and help save billions of dollars each year,” he said in a radio address.

The idea had already been a fashionable one in Washington. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was fond of saying it was easier to track a FedEx package than one’s medical records. Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush, had also pursued the idea of wiring up the country’s health system. He didn’t commit much money, but Bush did create an agency to do the job: the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC).

In the depths of recession, the EHR conceit looked like a shovel-ready project that only the paper lobby could hate. In February 2009, legislators passed the HITECH Act, which carved out a hefty chunk of the massive stimulus package for health information technology. The goal was not just to get hospitals and doctors to buy EHRs, but rather to get them using them in a way that would drive better care. So lawmakers devised a carrot-and-stick approach: Physicians would qualify for federal subsidies (a sum of up to nearly $ 64,000 over a period of years) only if they were “meaningful users” of a government-certified system. Vendors, for their part, had to develop systems that met the government’s requirements.

Vice President Joe Biden watches President Barack Obama sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009, which included a stimulus for electronic health records.(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

They didn’t have much time, though. The need to stimulate the economy, which meant getting providers to adopt EHRs quickly, “presented a tremendous conundrum,” said Farzad Mostashari, who joined the ONC as deputy director in 2009 and became its leader in 2011: The ideal — creating a useful, interoperable, nationwide records system — was “utterly infeasible to get to in a short time frame.”

That didn’t stop the federal planners from pursuing their grand ambitions. Everyone had big ideas for the EHRs. The FDA wanted the systems to track unique device identifiers for medical implants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wanted them to support disease surveillance, CMS wanted them to include quality metrics and so on. “We had all the right ideas that were discussed and hashed out by the committee,” said Mostashari, “but they were all of the right ideas.”

Not everyone agreed, though, that they were the right ideas. Before long, “meaningful use” became pejorative shorthand to many for a burdensome government program — making doctors do things like check a box indicating a patient’s smoking status each and every visit.

The EHR vendor community, then a scrappy $ 2 billion industry, griped at the litany of requirements but stood to gain so much from the government’s $ 36 billion injection that it jumped in line. As Rusty Frantz, CEO of EHR vendor NextGen Healthcare, put it: “The industry was like, ‘I’ve got this check dangling in front of me, and I have to check these boxes to get there, and so I’m going to do that.’”

Halamka, who was an enthusiastic backer of the initiative in both the Bush and Obama administrations, blames the pressure for a speedy launch as much as the excessive wish list. “To go from a regulation to a highly usable product that is in the hands of doctors in 18 months, that’s too fast,” he said. “It’s like asking nine women to have a baby in a month.”

Several of those who worked on the project admit the rollout was not as easy or seamless as they’d anticipated, but they contend that was never the point. Aneesh Chopra, appointed by Obama in 2009 as the nation’s first chief technology officer, called the spending a “down payment” on a vision to fundamentally change American medicine — creating a digital infrastructure to support new ways to pay for health services based on their quality and outcomes.

Dr. Bob Kocher, a physician and star investor with venture capital firm Venrock, who served in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011 as a health and economic policy adviser, not only defends the rollout then but also disputes the notion that the government initiative has been a failure at all. “EHRs have totally lived up to the hype and expectations,” he said, emphasizing that they also serve as a technology foundation to support innovation on everything from patients accessing their medical records on a smartphone to AI-driven medical sleuthing. Others note the systems’ value in aggregating medical data in ways that were never possible with paper — helping, for example, to figure out that contaminated water was poisoning children in Flint, Mich.

But Rusty Frantz heard a far different message about EHRs — and, more important, it was coming from his own customers.

The Stanford-trained engineer, who in 2015 became CEO of NextGen, a $ 500-million-a-year EHR heavyweight in the physician-office market, learned the hard way about how his product was being viewed. As he stood at the podium at his first meeting with thousands of NextGen customers at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort, just four months after getting the job, he told KHN and Fortune, “People were lining up at the microphones to yell at us: ‘We weren’t delivering stable software! The executive team was inaccessible! The service experience was terrible!’ ” (He now refers to the event as “Festivus: the airing of the grievances.”)

Frantz had bounced around the health care industry for much of his career, and from the nearby perch of a medical device company, he watched the EHR incentive bonanza with a mix of envy and slack-jawed awe. “The industry was moving along in a natural Darwinist way, and then along came the stimulus,” said Frantz, who blames the government’s ham-handed approach to regulation. “The software got slammed in, and the software wasn’t implemented in a way that supported care,” he said. “It was installed in a way that supported stimulus. This company, we were complicit in it, too.”

Even that may be a generous description. KHN and Fortune found a trail of lawsuits against the company, stretching from White Sulphur Springs, Mont., to Neillsville, Wis. Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine, Ohio, sued NextGen (formerly called Quality Systems) in federal court in 2013, arguing that it experienced hundreds of problems with the “materially defective” software the company had installed in 2011.

A consultant hired by the hospital to evaluate the NextGen system, whose 60-page report was submitted to the court, identified “many functional defects” that he said rendered the software “unfit for its intended purpose.” Some patient information was not accurately recorded, which had the potential, the consultant wrote, “to create major patient care risk which could lead to, at a minimum, inconvenience, and at worst, malpractice or even death.” Glitches at Mary Rutan included incidents in which the software would apparently change a patient’s gender at random or lose a doctor’s observations after an exam, the consultant reported. The company, he found, sometimes took months to address issues: One IT ticket, which related to a physician’s notes inexplicably deleting themselves, reportedly took 10 months to resolve. (The consultant also noted that similar problems appeared to be occurring at as many as a dozen other hospitals that had installed NextGen software.)

The Ohio hospital, which paid more than $ 1.5 million for its EHR system, claimed breach of contract. NextGen responded that it disputed the claims made in the lawsuit and that the matter was resolved in 2015 “with no findings of fact by a court related to the allegations.” The hospital declined to comment.

At the time, as it has been since then, NextGen’s software was certified by the government as meeting the requirements of the stimulus program. By 2016, NextGen had more than 19,000 customers who had received federal subsidies.

(Nicolas Rapp/Fortune)

NextGen was subpoenaed by the Department of Justice in December 2017, months after becoming the subject of a federal investigation led by the District of Vermont. Frantz tells KHN and Fortune that NextGen is cooperating with the investigation. “This company was not dishonest, but it was not effective four years ago,” he said. Frantz also emphasized that NextGen has “rapidly evolved” during his tenure, earning five industry awards since 2017, and that customers have “responded very positively.”

Glen Tullman, who until 2012 led Allscripts, another leading EHR vendor that benefited royally from the stimulus and that has been sued by numerous unhappy customers, admitted that the industry’s race to market took priority over all else.

“It was a big distraction. That was an unintended consequence of that,” Tullman said. “All the companies were saying, This is a one-time opportunity to expand our share, focus everything there, and then we’ll go back and fix it.” The Justice Department has opened a civil investigation into the company, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. Allscripts said in an email that it cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, but that the civil investigations by the Department of Justice relate to businesses it acquired after the investigations were opened.

Much of the marketing mayhem occurred because federal officials imposed few controls over firms scrambling to cash in on the stimulus. It was a gold rush — and any system, it seemed, could be marketed as “federally approved.” Doctors could shop for bargain-price software packages at Costco and Walmart’s Sam’s Club — where eClinicalWorks sold a “turnkey” system for $ 11,925 — and cash in on the government’s adoption incentives.

The top-shelf vendors in 2009 crisscrossed the country on a “stimulus tour” like rock groups, gigging at some 30 cities, where they offered doctors who showed up to hear the pitch “a customized analysis” of how much money they could earn off the government incentives. Following the same playbook used by pharmaceutical companies, EHR sellers courted doctors at fancy dinners in ritzy hotels. One enterprising software firm advertised a “cash for clunkers” deal that paid $ 3,000 to doctors willing to trade in their current records system for a new one. Athenahealth held “invitation only” dinners at luxury hotels to advise doctors, among other things, how to use the stimulus to get paid more and capture available incentives. Allscripts offered a no-money-down purchase plan to help doctors “maximize the return on your EHR investment.” (An Athena­health spokesperson said the company’s “dinners were educational in nature and aimed at helping physicians navigate the government program.” Allscripts did not respond directly to questions about its marketing practices, but said it “is proud of the software and services [it provides] to hundreds of thousands of caregivers across the globe.”)

EHRs were supposed to reduce health care costs, at least in part by preventing duplicative tests. But as the federal government opened the stimulus tap, many raised doubts about the promised savings. Advocates bandied about a figure of $ 80 billion in cost savings even as congressional auditors were debunking it. While the jury’s still out, there’s growing suspicion the digital revolution may potentially raise health care costs by encouraging overbilling and new strains of fraud and abuse.

In September 2012, following press reports suggesting that some doctors and hospitals were using the new technology to improperly boost their fees, a practice known as “upcoding,” then-Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder warned the industry not to try to “game the system.”

There’s also growing evidence that some doctors and health systems may have overstated their use of the new technology to secure stimulus funds, a potentially enormous fraud against Medicare and Medicaid that likely will take many years to unravel. In June 2017, the HHS inspector general estimated that Medicare officials made more than $ 729 million in subsidy payments to hospitals and doctors that didn’t deserve them.

Individual states, which administer the Medicaid portion of the program, haven’t fared much better. Audits have uncovered overpayments in 14 of 17 state programs reviewed, totaling more than $ 66 million, according to inspector general reports.

Last month, Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, sharply criticized CMS for recovering only a tiny fraction of these bogus payments, or what he termed a “spit in the ocean.”

EHR vendors have also been accused of egregious and patient-endangering acts of fraud as they raced to cash in on the stimulus money grab. In addition to the U.S. government’s $ 155 million False Claims Act settlement with eClinicalWorks noted above, the federal government has reached a second settlement over similar charges against another large vendor, Tampa-based Greenway Health. In February, that company settled with the government for just over $ 57 million without denying or admitting wrongdoing. “These are cases of corporate greed, companies that prioritized profits over everything else,” said Christina Nolan, the U.S. attorney for the District of Vermont, whose office led the cases. (In a response, Greenway Health did not address the charges or the settlement but said it was “committing itself to being the standard-bearer for quality, compliance, and transparency.”)

Tower Of Babel

In early 2017, Seema Verma, then the country’s newly appointed CMS administrator, went on a listening tour. She visited doctors around the country, at big urban practices and tiny rural clinics, and from those front-line physicians she consistently heard one thing: They hated their electronic health records. “Physician burnout is real,” she told KHN and Fortune. The doctors spoke of the difficulty in getting information from other systems and providers, and they complained about the government’s reporting requirements, which they perceived as burdensome and not meaningful.

What she heard then became suddenly personal one summer day in 2017, when her husband, himself a physician, collapsed in the airport on his way home to Indianapolis after a family vacation. For a frantic few hours, the CMS administrator fielded phone calls from first responders and physicians — Did she know his medical history? Did she have information that could save his life? — and made calls to his doctors in Indiana, scrambling to piece together his record, which should have been there in one piece. Her husband survived the episode, but it laid bare the dysfunction and danger inherent in the existing health information ecosystem.

Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is taking on health “information blockers,” gag clauses and more.(T.J. Kirkpatrick for Fortune)

The notion that one EHR should talk to another was a key part of the original vision for the HITECH Act, with the government calling for systems to be eventually interoperable.

What the framers of that vision didn’t count on were the business incentives working against it. A free exchange of information means that patients can be treated anywhere. And though they may not admit it, many health providers are loath to lose their patients to a competing doctor’s office or hospital. There’s a term for that lost revenue: “leakage.” And keeping a tight hold on patients’ medical records is one way to prevent it.

There’s a ton of proprietary value in that data, said Blumenthal, who now heads the Commonwealth Fund, a philanthropy that does health research. Asking hospitals to give it up is “like asking Amazon to share their data with Walmart,” he said.

Blumenthal acknowledged that he failed to grasp these perverse business dynamics and foresee what a challenge getting the systems to talk to one another would be. He added that forcing interoperability goals early on, when 90 percent of the nation’s providers still didn’t have systems or data to exchange, seemed unrealistic. “We had an expression: They had to operate before they could interoperate,” he said.

In the absence of true incentives for systems to communicate, the industry limped along; some providers wired up directly to other select providers or through regional exchanges, but the efforts were spotty. A Cerner-backed interoperability network called CommonWell formed in 2013, but some companies, including dominant Epic, didn’t join. (“Initially, Epic was neither invited nor allowed to join,” said Sumit Rana, senior vice president of R&D at Epic. Jitin Asnaani, executive director of CommonWell countered, “We made repeated invitations to every major EHR … and numerous public and private invitations to Epic.”)

Epic then supported a separate effort to do much the same.

Last spring, Verma attempted to kick-start the sharing effort and later pledged a war on “information blocking,” threatening penalties for bad actors. She has promised to reduce the documentation burden on physicians and end the gag clauses that protect the EHR industry. Regarding the first effort at least, “there was consensus that this needed to happen and that it would take the government to push this forward,” she said. In one sign of progress last summer, the dueling sharing initiatives of Epic and Cerner, the two largest players in the industry, began to share with each other — though the effort is fledgling.

When it comes to patients, though, the real sharing too often stops. Despite federal requirements that providers give patients their medical records in a timely fashion, in their chosen format and at low cost (the government recommends a flat fee of $ 6.50 or less), patients struggle mightily to get them. A 2017 study by researchers at Yale found that of America’s 83 top-rated hospitals, only 53 percent offer forms that provide patients with the option to receive their entire medical record. Fewer than half would share records via email. One hospital charged more than $ 500 to release them.

Sometimes the mere effort to access records leads to court. Jennifer De Angelis, a Tulsa attorney, has frequently sparred with hospitals over releasing her clients’ records. She said they either attempt to charge huge sums for them or force her to obtain a court order before releasing them. De Angelis added that she sometimes suspects the records have been overwritten to cover up medical mistakes.

Consider the case of 5-year-old Uriah R. Roach, who fractured and cut his finger on Oct. 2, 2014, when it was accidentally slammed in a door at school. Five days later, an operation to repair the damage went awry, and he suffered permanent brain damage, apparently owing to an anesthesia problem. The Epic electronic medical file had been accessed more than 76,000 times during the 22 days the boy was in the hospital, and a lawsuit brought by his parents contended that numerous entries had been “corrected, altered, modified and possibly deleted after an unexpected outcome during the induction of anesthesia.” The hospital denied wrongdoing. The case settled in November 2016, and the terms are confidential.

More than a dozen other attorneys interviewed cited similar problems, especially with gaining access to computerized “audit trails.” In several cases, court records show, government lawyers resisted turning over electronic files from federally run hospitals. That happened to Russell Uselton, an Oklahoma lawyer who represented a pregnant teen admitted to the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina, Okla. Shelby Carshall, 18, was more than 40 weeks pregnant at the time. Doctors failed to perform a cesarean section, and her baby was born brain-damaged as a result, she alleged in a lawsuit filed in 2017 against the U.S. government. The baby began having seizures at 10 hours old and will “likely never walk, talk, eat, or otherwise live normally,” according to pleadings in the suit. Though the federal government requires hospitals to produce electronic health records to patients and their families, Uselton had to obtain a court order to get the baby’s complete medical files. Government lawyers denied any negligence in the case, which is pending.

“They try to hide anything from you that they can hide from you,” said Uselton. “They make it extremely difficult to get records, so expensive and hard that most lawyers can’t take it on,” he said.

Nor, it seems, can high-ranking federal officials. When Seema Verma’s husband was discharged from the hospital after his summer health scare, he was handed a few papers and a CD-ROM containing some medical images — but missing key tests and monitoring data. Said Verma, “We left that hospital and we still don’t have his information today.” That was nearly two years ago.

Kaiser Health News

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Ex-boyfriend of cheerleader who was burned alive is shot to death

COURTLAND, Miss. — Someone fatally shot the former boyfriend of a Mississippi woman who was burned to death, and investigators are questioning a suspect, authorities said Friday. Travis Sanford, 33, was killed Friday morning at a home in Courtland, Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby told news outlets. District Attorney John Champion confirmed that he was…
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Hitman Handed License Plate to Mob Boss Before Shooting Him to Death

Andrew Lichtenstein

A video shows Gambino crime boss Frank Cali emerging from his Staten Island home on Wednesday night in his very last moments. He apparently was responding to the sound of a pickup truck backing into his Cadillac SUV in his driveway, causing the license plate to detach.

The video, as described to The Daily Beast by a law enforcement official who has seen it, then shows Cali pausing to close his front door, perhaps out of concern for his family inside, or maybe just to ensure a dog or a cat  does not get out. He steps over to the driver of the pickup truck.

The driver is wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap, so his face is not clearly visible as he and Cali speak. Cali reaches into his pants pocket, as if to suggest he had a gun.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Smoking during pregnancy doubles the risk of sudden unexpected infant death, study warns

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Otto Warmbier’s family rebukes Trump, says Kim Jong Un is responsible for son’s death

The family of Otto Warmbier rebuked President Donald Trump on Friday for siding with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who denied knowledge of their son’s maltreatment during his imprisonment.


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Beloved KTLA news anchor Chris Burrous’ cause of death revealed

A California news anchor died after overdosing on methamphetamine during a sexual encounter with a male companion at a Days Inn two days after Christmas, an autopsy report revealed. Chris Burrous, 43 — who anchored KTLA 5’s Weekend Morning News and once worked at WPIX 11 in the Big Apple — died from “methamphetamine toxicity,”…
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Must Read: Kim Kardashion Is Suing Missguided, Interest in Chanel Spikes Following Karl Lagerfeld’s Death

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Thursday. Kim Kardashion is suing Missguided This is not the week to mess with a Kardashian: Kim, who’s spent the first part of the week blasting fast fashion retailers on social media, has decided to take legal action against Missguided for …

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Karl Lagerfeld’s Death Hands Chanel Biggest Test Since Coco

The passing of Karl Lagerfeld presents Chanel with its biggest creative challenge since the death of its iconic founder almost half a century ago.

Since 1983, Lagerfeld reigned over Chanel with indisputable authority, helping turn a storied haute-couture fashion house into a global megabrand with $ 9.6 billion in annual sales. His death, at the age of 85, has left long-time creative deputy Virginie Viard in charge of the collections.

Crucial to the future of the closely held brand is whether Viard can emerge from Lagerfeld’s shadow and impose a convincing vision, or whether Chanel will seek an established outsider such as Phoebe Philo, who left LVMH’s Celine last year after a decade, or Alber Elbaz, formerly of Lanvin.

“They will look for a high-profile chief creative officer, and in the meantime they have got incredibly capable people in their team,” said Mario Ortelli, who runs a London-based advisory firm on luxury strategy. “Any designer in the world would be more than delighted to work with Chanel.”

‘Creative Genius’

Lagerfeld oversaw as many as eight Chanel collections a year: spring, fall, skiwear, haute couture, and more. One of fashion’s most prolific couturiers, he also produced outfits for Italy’s Fendi SpA and his own label. Recognizable for his high-collared shirts, white ponytail, dark sunglasses and black fingerless gloves, Lagerfeld had a client list that featured stars of the stage and screen, including actress Cate Blanchett and singer Pharrell Williams.

“We have lost a creative genius who helped to make Paris the fashion capital of the world,” Bernard Arnault, the chairman and chief executive officer of luxury giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said in a statement.

When Chanel last month said the designer was too tired to appear at his spring-summer haute couture show in Paris, his absence made more news than the hand-stitched floral gowns, sequined tweed suits, and feather capes on the catwalk. Conversation quickly turned to what Chanel planned to do next.

The fashion house said that Viard, his “closest collaborator for more than 30 years,” has been entrusted with the creative work on the collections, “so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on.”

Fashion house Fendi said it’s too soon to discuss Lagerfeld’s succession. “We intend to take the time to honor his life and pay him the tribute he deserves,” the Italian firm said in a statement. Fendi will present the latest collection designed by Lagerfeld on Thursday, as scheduled.

‘Sign of Defeat’

The sharp-tongued Lagerfeld — known for lines such as “wearing sweatpants is a sign of defeat” — was brought in to revamp the brand in 1983. Founder Coco Chanel had died 12 years earlier, and in the interim the company had muddled through, propped up by apparel licenses and sales of its No. 5 perfume.

Seeking to rejuvenate Chanel, its owners, the brothers Alain and G?rard Wertheimer, turned to Lagerfeld, a Hamburg native who’d won the prestigious Woolmark Prize for design at age 21 and by 1965 had become creative director of both Parisian fashion house Chlo? and Roman furmaker Fendi.

At Chanel, Lagerfeld quickly sexed up the brand’s iconic tweed skirt suits with more feminine tailoring and boosted use of pearls, chains, and the double “C” logo. While Chanel fiercely guards its image by crafting $ 15,000 gowns and $ 5,000 quilted-leather handbags, it’s managed to maintain a broader appeal with lipstick that can come in below $ 30 and perfumes for less than $ 100 a bottle.

Lagerfeld was “a marketing genius,” Elodie Nowinski, a professor of fashion studies at EM Lyon Business School, said before his death. “He knows how to take this elite vocabulary from haute couture and make it desirable to the masses.”

France’s Richest

The combination of mass-market appeal and high-end exclusivity helped Chanel grow into a colossus with beauty counters and boutiques worldwide, 20,000 employees, and operating profit of $ 2.7 billion in 2017.

BNP Paribas estimated the brand’s value at more than $ 50 billion, making the Wertheimers among France’s wealthiest citizens. With other holdings such as Bordeaux vineyards, a thoroughbred horse stable, and paintings by 20th century masters, each brother has a net worth of almost $ 21 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Lagerfeld himself amassed a personal fortune of about 400 million euros ($ 453 million), according to the latest annual rich-list compiled by Germany’s Manager Magazin.

‘Desirable Asset’

While the Wertheimers, both around 70, haven’t revealed any succession plan, they’re clearly thinking of the future. They’ve named independent board members and regrouped Chanel and dozens of subsidiaries — including suppliers of embroidery, feathers, leather gloves, and watch components acquired over the years — in a single holding company registered in London.

Long an e-commerce holdout, the company revamped its website last summer, adding sunglasses to offerings of makeup and perfume, and finally started publishing prices for its fashions and accessories online. A year ago, Chanel took a stake in the e-commerce platform Farfetch, which is helping develop digital tools for the brand’s stores.

Chanel has denied it’s planning for an initial public offering or sale, but speculation has grown as the Wertheimers have reshaped the company’s structure.

Luxury conglomerates like LVMH and Gucci-owner Kering SA are seeking to consolidate the industry while American challengers like Coach-owner Tapestry and Michael Kors Plc, private equity funds, and Chinese groups Fosun and Shandong Ruyi are also looking for increased exposure to the luxury market. But targets are few: family shareholders have continued to keep the likes of Chanel, Prada, Ferragamo, and Chopard off the market, while high valuations have deterred would-be suitors of Burberry Plc.

Chanel is “definitely a very desirable asset that is so far not open for sale,” Morningstar analyst Jelena Sokolova wrote in response to a Bloomberg query. Lagerfeld’s passing is unlikely to change the status quo for now, she said.

Fortune

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How Mister Rogers’ Life of Quiet Grace Turned Him Into an Unlikely Pop Culture Hero 16 Years After His Death

'Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Fred RogersFred Rogers isn’t your typical pop culture icon.
As the host of the long-running PBS children’s program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he wasn’t slick or sarcastic, hip or…

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Exclusive ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Clip: Let’s See What You Got

Exclusive 'Happy Death Day 2U' Clip: Let's See What You Got

In Happy Death Day, college student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) died over and over as she sought to solve the mystery of her own murder. Now Tree faces new dangers that threaten her friends as well in Happy Death Day 2U.

As can be seen in our exclusive clip, Trip faces off against a masked figure with a deadly weapon. With her hands tied behind her back, she is forced to run for her life, but she has very limited options. What can she do?

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Social media told to ‘purge’ harmful content after teenager’s death

Social media companies must “purge” their websites of content that promotes self-harm and suicide, the health secretary says.
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Kim Porter’s Cause Of Death Finally Revealed

Life Ball Welcome Party

Source: Martin Schalk / Getty

The cause of Kim Porter’s death is finally being revealed nearly two and a half months after she passed away.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, the model and ex-partner of Sean “Diddy” Combs died of lobar pneumonia, inflammation of the lobe in one’s lungs.

While the cause of death was initially labeled as “deferred,” the coroner’s office has now ruled it as “natural.”

“On Nov. 16, an autopsy was performed on Porter. The cause of death was deferred pending additional tests. Porter’s body has since been released from our facility,” a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner said in a statement released on Friday.

As we previously reported, Kim was found dead on Thursday Nov. 15 in her Los Angeles home suffering from an apparent cardiac arrest and battling was pneumonia.

Sources reported that she had been treated with saline and vitamins days before her death. Kim reportedly went to bed early the night after telling a loved one she wasn’t feeling well.

The Los Angeles coroner’s office has called for an “additional investigation” in the 47-year-old’s death, E! Online news noted.

Diddy, 49, and Kim dated on and off between the years of 1994 to 2007. The pair had three biological children together: Christian, 20, and twin daughters Jessie James and D’Lila, 12. Porter also had 27-year-old son, Quincy, from her previous relationship with Al B. Sure!

 

Entertainment – Black America Web

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dream hampton on Surviving R. Kelly, Supporting Survivors and Why She Wants a ‘Social Death’ for R. Kelly

The documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which aired on Lifetime in the first week of January, has prompted new interest in the R&B singer’s alleged sexual misconduct with minors. Focusing on stories about his illicit behavior that have circulated for decades, the docuseries raises questions about the limited actions in response to these women’s stories, especially in light of the #MeToo movement, charges filed against Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby’s guilty verdict.

The six-part series, executive produced by the filmmaker dream hampton, features interviews with survivors and parents of girls who they say have been taken captive by Kelly, along with accounts of him coercing women into sex with underage girls and preying on teenagers.

Surviving R. Kelly has spurred several responses, including from high profile figures in the music industry and from law enforcement officials, who have asked any other alleged victims to step forward in order to start an official investigation. Kelly was acquitted in 2008 on child pornography charges and has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct. A representative for Kelly did not return TIME’s request for comment.

hampton — who says she didn’t expect the wave of responses from investigators, celebrities and viewers — talked to TIME about who she interviewed for Surviving R. Kelly, where the #MeToo movement will go from here and how the public at large can help stop predatory behavior.

Surviving R. Kelly has prompted a number of high-profile responses, from Chance the Rapper to radio stations that have stopped playing his music. How did you feel about Lady Gaga’s statement apologizing for working with R. Kelly?

I thought there was a lot of nuance in it. It’s reflective to me of what people expect from victims of trauma, especially those that speak up, like Lady Gaga, to be perfect, in a way. I was very sorry that she didn’t speak [in the series]. It could have been valuable for people on camera to reckon with the fact that they had continued to collaborate with him, and if they could have said if they have regrets.

Along with those responses, lawyers and investigators have asked any other victims to come forward, indicating they might be looking into R. Kelly in the wake of the series. Has that given you any hope on justice eventually being served?

I don’t have hope in the criminal justice system. I would love a social death for R. Kelly. It’s valuable for black people to be loved by other black people because we’re not loved by the rest of society. I would like for people to know who it is they think they love, and make their decision based on that.

You asked a number of well-known people, from Jay-Z to Erykah Badu to Mary J. Blige, about participating in the series and did not get much of a response from anyone other than John Legend. Who would you like to see speak out?

I wanted Erykah Badu to explain what she meant when she was quoted as saying R. Kelly has “done more for the blacks than anyone”. But I’m not interested in celebrities. I wanted people who worked with Kelly every day on his label, like Barry Weiss [former head of RCA/Jive Records] and other people, like Ann Carli, who worked with him at Jive Records.

[Representatives for Carli and RCA Records did not immediately respond to TIME’s requests for comment. A representative for Weiss declined to comment.]

The New York Times had an op-ed about how Surviving R. Kelly brought the focus of the #MeToo movement back to black girls. The documentary touches on how R. Kelly has avoided consequences in part because people broadly have not cared about the stories of black girls and women. Do you see this as a new starting point to center these voices going forward?

The kind of work we’ve been doing, we’ve always been doing. These movements, for racial justice and gender justice, always overlap with black women. The #MeToo movement and the generation that will fight for gender justice safety is absolutely not being led by celebrities. We know about Gwyneth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino’s stories — we’re aware of that. You’re not always aware of what we’re doing, and what we’re always doing is organizing. When Rick Ross had a lyric about drugging a woman’s glass of champagne and raping her, [women’s activist group] UltraViolet targeted Reebok to cancel his endorsement. That was years ago. We are always doing the work.

On Twitter, people have asked you questions like, “What about Harvey Weinstein?” or about not making a “Surviving Catholic Priests,” or another kind of documentary that wasn’t about a black man. Why do you think people are obsessed with this idea that Kelly is the wrong subject?

When people ask on Twitter, “Why isn’t this about Harvey Weinstein,” they’re really asking “Why is this not about Gwyneth Paltrow or Mira Sorvino?” It’s not about them, not because I don’t think they are women who are deserving of processing pain and getting justice for their trauma. I care about these black girls, black girls in general, and women. And I made a film about a man from my generation. I don’t know any other cis men who don’t benefit from patriarchy. It’s not that R. Kelly is offensive or a creep, or because he has a predilection for young girls, but because he has been a predator for almost three decades and he’s ruined the lives of countless girls and their families.

How can people watching this series at home support survivors?

These are everyday women. They may have come across a predator who happens to be world famous, but we can all look out for predatory behavior. We can stop using euphemisms for this. I always hope something like this [series] can be used as a tool for organizing. #MuteRKelly protests were in front of his studio the other day. Donations to A Long Walk Home, which works to save victims of domestic violence, have increased. We’ve seen calls at domestic centers increase. I could never have anticipated these things.


Entertainment – TIME

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Tesla sued for passenger death due to defective battery

Chicago law firm Corboy & Demetrio said on Tuesday it filed a lawsuit against electric carmaker Tesla Inc alleging that its 2014 Model S sedan had a defective battery pack that caused the death of an 18-year old passenger in an accident last year.


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Olivia Newton-John Dismisses Death Rumors

In a video message posted on Twitter Thursday, the four-time Grammy award winner told fans that rumors of her death have been greatly exaggerated.

The clarification comes four months after Olivia revealed she had been diagnosed with cancer for a third time in three decades.

Olivia, who is also an entrepreneur and activist, told the world that she is healthy in the wake of recent US and Australia
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Angela Simmons Reflects on the Death of Ex-Fiancé Sutton Tennyson: ‘Sj Will Forever Carry Your Name’ [Photo]

Angela Simmons is still mourning the loss of her ex-fiancé and her child’s father.

She took to Instagram to reflect on Sutton Tennyson’s death with a photo of him cradling their son, Sutton jr.

“As this year comes to a close … I reflect on the most difficult hurdle I’ve ever had to face,” she captioned the pic. “And it’s losing my son’s father . To know that you are with us in spirit is sometimes just not enough . But as the new year comes in I know that I will do my best carrying Sj with your strength and mine. And now being mommy and daddy to our beautiful son . Thank you for my best gift ever. Sj will forever carry your name. Rest now . I got us ???? 2019 we are ready.”

Take a look at her post below.

The post Angela Simmons Reflects on the Death of Ex-Fiancé Sutton Tennyson: ‘Sj Will Forever Carry Your Name’ [Photo] appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Indonesia tsunami death toll climbs past 400

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Judge orders North Korea to pay Warmbier family $500 million for wrongful death

A federal judge in Washington awarded the parents of Otto Warmbier more than half a billion dollars in a wrongful death suit against the North Korean government, which detained and allegedly tortured the college student over 17 months before returning him to the US last year, where he died days later.


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US judge orders North Korea to pay $500 million in student’s death

A federal judge has ordered North Korea to pay more than $ 500 million in a wrongful death suit filed by the parents of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died shortly after being released from that country.
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Fiance charged in death of missing Colorado woman

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Sarah Hyland Announces She’s Taking A Break From Social Media Following Her Cousin’s Death

Yesterday, Sarah Hyland revealed that her 14-year-old cousin had died in a drunk driving accident, and she urged her social media following to keep their nasty and ignorant comments to themselves. Unfortunately, however, Sarah’s request for civility didn’t go as planned.

Today, the Modern Family alum announced she was taking a break from social media for the next little while. Following the revelation that her young cousin had passed away, some people on Twitter criticized her for the manner in which he tragically died.

At first, Hyland accused her followers of talking negatively about something which none of them had any knowledge – a fair point considering exact details haven’t been released.

The star said, “and how dare you attack when a beautiful life has been lost.” On a more positive note, Sarah and her Modern Family co-stars shared a link to a GoFundMe page and it has since garnered more than a few dollars for both medical expenses and funeral fees.

Unfortunately, thousands of people die in drinking and driving related accidents every year. However, in the modern era, drunk driving has since become a massive social faux-pas. It is no longer a social norm as it once was due to years of activism and raising awareness.

According to a study from the Port of Springer Nature, a majority of car accidents, especially fatal ones, are caused, in part, by drinking and driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that approximately $ 37 billion in damages are caused every single year as a result of drinking and driving-related accidents.

Moreover, someone dies in an alcohol-related crash every fifty-one minutes. Most drunk drivers are men, although some are women. However, there is a significant disproportionate ratio.

Ever since the legalization of marijuana in several states in the United States, as well as the legalization of the substance nationally in Canada, the risk of more fatal accidents has been a subject of discussion. As the years go by, authorities say road-side tests will increase in sophistication regarding what substances they test for.

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Portuguese pavement makers fear death of centuries-old tradition

Portugal’s traditional cobblestone pavements, a distinctive feature of the streets of Lisbon, are under threat as young people spurn the centuries-old craft because of low salaries.


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Emantic Bradford Jr.’s Death & Why The 2nd Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Black Men | The Daily Show

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Diddy Looks Distraught As He Attends Kim Porter’s Private Viewing 8 Days After Her Tragic Death

Grief-stricken Diddy continues to mourn his ex-girlfriend Kim Porter a week after her sudden death. On Nov. 23 he joined her family to pay tribute to her soul.

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California wildfires death toll reaches 86, more than 500 still unaccounted for

Hundreds of people remain missing in the wake of a pair of deadly wildfires that have been burning across both ends of California.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Diddy On Kim Porter’s Death: ‘I’ve Been Trying To Wake Up Out Of This Nightmare’

Sean 'Diddy' Combs Hosts Exclusive Birthday Celebration - Arrivals

Source: Jerod Harris / Getty

Three days after the tragic death of the mother of his four children, Diddy posted an emotional tribute to Kim Porter on Instagram.

“For the last three days I’ve been trying to wake up out of this nightmare. But I haven’t. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you baby. I miss you so much,” he wrote on Sunday morning.

“Today I’m going to pay tribute to you, I’m going to try and find the words to explain our unexplainable relationship. We were more than best friends, we were more than soulmates.”

“WE WERE SOME OTHER SHIT!! And I miss you so much. Super Black Love,” he concluded about his relationship with the 47-year-old model.

In addition to his heartbreaking note, he shared a beautiful video of the two while she was pregnant.

Instagram Photo

As we previously reported, Kim was found dead on Thursday Nov. 15 in her Los Angeles home suffering from an apparent cardiac arrest and battling was pneumonia.

Sources reported that she had been treated with saline and vitamins days before her death. Kim reportedly went to bed early the night after telling a loved one she wasn’t feeling well.

The Los Angeles coroner’s office has called for an “additional investigation” in the 47-year-old’s death, E! Online news noted.

Diddy, 49, and Kim dated on and off between the years of 1994 to 2007. The pair had three biological children together: Christian, 20, and twin daughters Jessie James and D’Lila, 11. Porter also had 27-year-old son, Quincy, from her previous relationship with Al B. Sure!

So sad.

We are sending our love and light to Diddy and Kim’s family and friends.

[ione_media_gallery id=”732882″ overlay=”true”]

 

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Diddy ‘Devastated’ by His Ex Kim Porter’s Death From Pneumonia

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Sean “Diddy” Combs is said to be “destroyed” over the death of his ex, the model and actress Kim Porter, with whom he had three children, as they were still a “very tight family.”

Porter was found dead at her Los Angeles home Thursday, with reports saying that Porter had recently been sick with pneumonia.

TMZ reports that Diddy is devastated by the news as he and Porter had remained on friendly terms as they co-parented their kids, to the extent that the two never found it necessary to have a formal custody agreement.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Danielle Harris Opens Up About Her ‘Near Death’ Experience During Delivery of Son Jagger

Almost a month after welcoming her baby boy, Danielle Harris is opening up about her difficult delivery.

Before sharing the story of her “traumatic” experience, the Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead star and famed scream queen, 41, wrote a sweet tribute to her 4-week-old son Jagger Maxwell — her second child with husband David Gross.

“Introducing … Jagger Maxwell Gross Born 10/8/2018 !!!!” she wrote on Instagram over the weekend, alongside the first photo the actress has shared of her bundle of joy.

“Mommy and Daddy are so lucky to be able to add you to our family. We are a fierce 4some now and can’t wait to watch you grow and live this life as our baby boy and little brother to the BEST big brother a boy could ask for!!” she continued, referring to the couple’s older son Carter Davis, 20 months.

Explaining why it took her so long to share her harrowing story — or even post a photo of her child — the mother of two wrote that she just needed a little time to herself.

“Giving birth is the most dangerous thing a woman can do in her lifetime … after my traumatic birth experience this time around, it took me a while to share a photo with the world,” Harris wrote. “Time was really needed to clear my head and bond with my baby just he and I in our own private little bubble.”

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.


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The struggle is real. #almostthere #dueanyday #preggo #babyboy #babyonboard @inspirepregnancy

A post shared by Danielle Harris (@horrorgal) on Sep 25, 2018 at 3:48pm PDT

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RELATED: Baby Boy on the Way for Danielle Harris

During the delivery, Harris had a “horrible eclampsia seizure on the operating table” and “blacked out,” missing the birth of her son.

“I saw moments of my life flashing before me in fast forward and I missed the birth of my baby,” she wrote. “Needless to say that was the closest to a near death experience as I’d ever come in real life.”

The Halloween franchise actress went on to share that she’s “forever grateful and blessed” to have made it out of the delivery room alive.

“Dying during childbirth was definitely not on my list of ways I thought I would leave this world and I’m glad to cross that possibility off my list,” she wrote.

RELATED VIDEO: Serena Williams Recalls Being “Devastated” by Emergency C-Section and Postpartum Problems

“Women are warriors and I’m looking forward to being around many more years soaking up all these precious moments with my baby boys and family,” she continued. “After lots of tests I’m glad to say I have no damage to my brain and am ready to be the best mommy these boys could ask for.”

“Life is short. You never know when your number is gonna be up, so take time to enjoy what matters most,” Harris advised her followers. “Love one another and love yourself because the world wouldn’t be the same without you … ”

RELATED: Danielle Harris Welcomes Son Jagger Maxwell


View this post on Instagram

Our big boy is growing up so fast! #momlife #boymom #family #bestlife

A post shared by Danielle Harris (@horrorgal) on May 26, 2018 at 11:12pm PDT

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RELATED: Popular Blogger Who Documented Her IVF Journey Dies During Emergency C-Section

Harris announced her second pregnancy on Instagram on her birthday in June, showing off her baby bump in a beautiful maternity photo. She captioned the reveal snapshot, “Carter is going to be the best big brother:) Motherhood is such an incredible journey, it makes me feel like a warrior princess!”

The star conceived both children through in vitro fertilization. In June, her manager Judy Fox told PEOPLE exclusively that baby No. 2 was “another IVF miracle” due Oct. 10.

Fox added that Harris and Gross “are grateful that modern science gives them the family they have always yearned for. Now they finally feel complete!”


PEOPLE.com

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Comic book legends, fans mourn the death of Stan Lee

Comic book icon Stan Lee died Monday after a career of bringing heroes to life.

He was 95.

Lee, responsible for legendary characters including Spider-Man, Black Panther, Iron Man, Thor and the Fantastic Four, was memorialized by those who lived through his superheroes and the superheroes he made…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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Cancer surpasses heart disease as leading cause of death in many US counties

An important transition is happening across the United States: Cancer was the leading cause of death in more counties in 2015 than 13 years earlier, a new study finds. However, the opposite was true for heart disease during that period; fewer counties reported it as the top killer.


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Novartis drug cut death risk by 35 percent in gene mutation breast cancer

An experimental cancer drug that Novartis hopes will raise the profile of its oncology portfolio cut the risk of death or disease progression by more than a third in breast cancer patients with a hard-to-target gene mutation.


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Samantha Mathis breaks her silence about the 1993 death of her boyfriend River Phoenix

Actress Samantha Mathis reflected on the heartbreaking death of her boyfriend River Phoenix 25 years after that fateful day.

Mathis, who had previously not gone into much detail discussing the actor’s 1993 death, recalled having a bad feeling on the night Phoenix had a drug overdose outside a Los…

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‘Legacies’ Premiere Recap: Hope Seeks Revenge Years After Klaus’ Death

Hope Mikaelson returned with a vengeance in the Thursday, October 25, series premiere of Legacies, a spinoff of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

Like Father, Like Daughter

Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) seemed pretty well adjusted for a teenager whose parents, Klaus Mikaelson and Hayley Marshall, both died before she graduated high school, much like Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev). Confident in her powers, Hope teamed up with Alaric (Matt Davis) to save a young werewolf named Rafael (Peyton Alex Smith) from an attempted exorcism. There, she ran into Landon (Aria Shahghasemi), the former Mystic Falls resident she had a crush on before he moved away.

Hope, headmaster Alaric, Landon and Rafael traveled to Salvatore Boarding School in Mystic Falls after the rescue. Hope and Alaric filled Landon in on the magical goings-on at the school with the intention of getting information about Rafael, his foster brother, and then compelling him to forget. When compulsion didn’t work, Alaric locked Landon in the cellar until what he assumed was vervain passed through his system. In the meantime, Rafael broke him out, and Landon bonded with Hope over her losses and her unwillingness to make friends or get close to anyone because of her past. The two even kissed.

The next morning, Landon asked Alaric if he could stay at the school since he had no home, but the headmaster denied his request. So Landon pretended the compulsion worked (Alaric noted that since it didn’t, Landon must be a supernatural being), stole a magical knife and left.

Alaric, thinking Landon was going to tell the world about the school, alerted Hope, but she was in denial. As she tracked Landon using dark magic, the knife began glowing. Alaric and Hope — with some help from Sheriff Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) — later discovered the bus Landon was traveling on and everyone else on it was incinerated, while Hope vowed to be the villain of Landon’s story since he turned out to not be the hero of hers.

Jenny Body Legacies
Jenny Body appearing in the Legacies’ episode “This is the Part Where You Run” Quantrell Colbert/The CW

Where in the World Is Caroline Forbes?

Caroline (Candice King), who ran Salvatore Boarding School alongside Alaric on The Originals, was not seen or mentioned during the premiere. However, the pair’s daughters, Josie (Kaylee Bryant) and Lizzie (Jenny Boyd), were front and center and both somewhat disturbed.

Josie was nursing a broken heart over her ex Penelope (Lulu Antariksa). She lashed out after she caught Penelope kissing her friend MG (Quincy Fouse). Josie later seemed to set her sights on Rafael.

Meanwhile, Lizzie, who believed herself to be broken, also took an interest in Rafael and destroyed the school kitchen with magical fury when he rejected her. She also complained about all the time her father spent training Hope one-on-one.

Legacies airs on The CW Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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County pays nearly $5M over heroin withdrawal death in jail

She collapsed and died after four days of heroin withdrawal in jail.
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New Zealand will not attend Saudi investment summit over Khashoggi death

New Zealand condemns the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives and will not be attending an investment summit in Saudi Arabia, the government said in a statement on Sunday.


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Paul Allen’s cause of death is revealed, and it is horrifying

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder and Seattle sports mogul Paul Allen died from septic shock, a condition that can be agonizingly painful, according to a report. A copy of the death certificate for Allen, 65, obtained by TMZ, indicated that septic shock caused him to die. Allen died Monday in Seattle, just three weeks after announcing the…
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This is how ‘The Connors’ handled the death of Roseanne Barr’s character

**Spoilers ahead**

The first task of “The Conners” was to kill off the family’s matriarch.

The new show debuted on ABC Tuesday following the cancellation of “Roseanne,” after the original show’s creator and star, Roseanne Barr, was fired in May after a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett.

In the…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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The Birth, Death & Rebirth of Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey

The War of the Spanish Succession. The War of the Quadruple Alliance. The War of Jenkins’ Ear. The War of the Austrian Succession. The Jacobite Rebellion. The Seven Years’ War (A.K.A. the French and Indian War). The American War of Independence. The French Revolutionary Wars.

The King of England fought a hell of a lot of wars in the 1700s, from the beginning of the century right up to the very end. In the process, Britain gained various islands in the Caribbean, saved its North American colonies, lost its North American colonies, and engineered a permanent split between Scotch and Irish whiskies—in the process giving us that uniquely delightful spirit known, since 2012, as “Irish single pot still whiskey.” (Before that, it was “pure pot still,” and before that—way before that—it was “old still,” which we’ll get to later.)

Just to be clear, the whiskey in question is the uniquely Irish style that is double- or (usually) triple-distilled in copper pot stills from a mix of malted and unmalted barley (neither can drop below 30-percent of the total mix of grains) and up to 5-percent other grains, if desired, and barrel-aged for at least three years. The large whack of unmalted barley gives the whiskey a subtle funk, often described as “musky” or “mossy,” that sets it apart it from a 100-percent malt whiskey and makes it interesting, much like a tiny hit of peat-smoke does to a Speyside Scotch malt whiskey.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Death toll rises as devastation from Hurricane Michael mounts

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Verne Troyer’s death ruled a suicide by L.A. County coroner

Actor Verne Troyer’s death has been ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles County Coroner.

The “Austin Powers” star’s cause of death was listed as “sequelae of alcohol intoxication” and the manner of death a suicide in a report released Wednesday.

Troyer, 49, died April 21, two weeks after he was admitted…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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WATCH: 10/05/18: Jubilation After White Chicago Officer Found Guilty in Black Teen’s Death

Sen. Lisa Murkowski breaks with GOP, votes ‘no’ on Kavanaugh; Entrepreneurs celebrate ‘Shark Tank’ show as it kicks off 10th season
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Jason Van Dyke Found Guilty Of Murder In Shooting Death Of LaQuan McDonald

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Source: ANTONIO PEREZ / Getty

Somewhat surprisingly, former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty for the death  LaQuan McDonald. The fact many people are shocked a cop was taken to task is a testament to the state of the justice system. 

Van Dyke, who is white, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of the Black 17-year-old in 2014.

Reports CNN:

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Van Dyke, who was also found guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery, sat impassively in a dark suit — his shoulders slumped — as the verdicts were read in the high-profile case. At one point, he sipped water from a bottle. He was found not guilty of official misconduct.
The officer’s wife sat stoically, arms folded, as the long verdict was delivered. His father lowered his head while some members of the McDonald family held hands.
Van Dyke’s bond was revoked and sentencing was scheduled for October 31. He was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Van Dyke is reportedly the first Chicago police officer to be even charged with first-degree murder since 1980. Think about that.

The convicted murderer faces a minimum of 6 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Good riddance.

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‘Wonder Woman’ Star Gal Gadot Joins ‘Death on the Nile’; Here’s Everything We Know

'Wonder Woman' Star Gal Gadot Joins 'Death on the Nile'; Here's Everything We Know

The global success of last year's Murder on the Orient Express has led to Fox's greenlight of a sequel, which will be based on another Agatha Christie novel, Death on the Nile. This isn't much of a surprise, as the ending of Murder featured Kenneth Branagh's Detective Poirot receiving word of a new case involving a death on the Nile in Egypt. 

Similar to the previous movie, Death on the Nile is set to have a star-studded ensemble. The first of which has just been…

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Black Women Face High Risk, Dangers And Death Rates With Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October presents another opportunity to spread information about the disease and how it affects Black women. The disease is responsible for a high death rate in women of color, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Black women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer despite doctors diagnosing the disease in African-American and white women at about the same rate, the CDC reported. Also, Black women are more often found to have triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive type that frequently returns after treatment.

Age is also a big factor: breast cancer incidence rates were higher among African-American women younger than 60 years old but lower among those who are 60 or older.

One reason for this statistic could be that medical professionals tend to find this cancer at an earlier stage in white women.  Also, Black women may have inadequate medical care, including limited access to cancer screening technology.

Doctors encourage women, especially those at high risk due to a family history or having BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, to get out ahead of the disease. Early detection measures such as mammograms and screenings are strongly recommended. Women can visit local hospitals that offer low-cost mammograms or call their local American Cancer Society chapter for help with screenings or doctor referrals.

In addition, researchers continue to look into why some women are more susceptible to triple-negative breast cancer, in order to find better treatment options.

Women can also choose a healthier lifestyle for a better chance of lowering risks for the disease. BreastCancer.org recommends exercise, a nutritious diet and avoiding smoking and alcohol as important in the battle against breast cancer — one that many women can win regardless of race.

Many women are speaking out to spread awareness about breast cancer and helping women to fight it. Serena Williams posted a powerful message about the disease recently.

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