April 22, 2016

The U.S. suicide rate is rising steadily and sharply, hitting a 30-year high in 2014, after rising 24 percent since 1999, according to a federal study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicides have risen among all age groups except people 75 and older, and the rate has gone up faster among women than men. Researchers couldn't pin the higher suicide rate on any one factor but suggested it could be due to abuse of prescription drugs like opioids, and social and economic upheaval, especially for people without college degrees.

There was a notable surge among Americans 45 to 64, with the suicide rate for women in that age group jumping 63 percent and men 43 percent. The baby-boom generation had a high suicide rate when they were younger, and some researchers suggest that when boomers hit trouble today they react in a familiar way. "As that population has been aging and become middle-aged, there's probably a cohort effect," Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, tells The Wall Street Journal.

Other big increases in suicide were found among girls 10 to 14, Native Americans, and people who killed themselves using smothering (which include hanging and strangulation). Suicide rates fell among black men, and fewer men and women used guns to kill themselves (31 percent of women and 55 percent of men). Men 75 and older are still the highest group of suicides, 38.8 per 100,000 people.

Men were 3.6 times more likely to die from suicide than women, a narrower gap than before, but that's not the whole story. "Females actually commit suicide more frequently than males, but males die by suicide more often," said Kristin Holland, a behavioral scientist at the Center for Disease Control. "Males are choosing more lethal methods than women." The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Peter Weber

3:05 p.m.

You know the drill!

It's Friday, which means Jane Fonda is protesting climate change in Washington, D.C. This week's "Fire Drill Friday" features appearances by actresses Diane Lane and Piper Perabo, as well as The Good Place actor Manny Jacinto and model Amber Valletta, per The Hollywood Reporter. Lane, Perabo, and Valletta were arrested after they reportedly blocked traffic in front of the Supreme Court, but Fonda avoided being detained this week.

The woman who started it all has been playing it cool in recent weeks, as another jail stay could be lengthy due to Fonda's first four arrests. Organizers fear she could face up to 90 days if she's arrested again, Deadline reports, which would render her unable to participate in the scene-stealing protests. Fonda previously spent one night in jail, which she said involved some one-on-one time with cockroaches.

The protests have drawn numerous A-listers thus far, and Fonda has teased that there are more big names to come. But any Hollywood stars looking to grab a slice of the climate change spotlight should book their flights to D.C. soon — Fonda has to be back in Los Angeles come January to film Grace and Frankie. Marianne Dodson

3:02 p.m.

That one's gotta hurt.

On Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden announced that he'd earned the endorsement of Oliver Davis Jr., a black community leader in Indiana. The endorsement got some heavy play for someone who's not even close to a national political figure — but all makes sense considering Davis is from Pete Buttigieg's hometown.

Davis is the vice president of the common council in South Bend, Indiana, where Buttigieg is mayor. In fact, Davis even ran for mayor earlier this year after Buttigieg declined to run, but couldn't beat the 4,447 votes that Buttigieg's chief of staff earned to clinch the Democratic nomination. Still, Davis is one of the longest-serving members of the city's common council, and focused on Biden's long tenure in his endorsement. "In times like these, when the political winds are fiercely blowing across our country, it's important for us to have an experienced leader who has been through the diverse storms of life to guide our country," he said.

It's hard not to read that as a shot at Buttigieg, who is 40 years Biden's junior and has faced major criticism over his lack of political and life experience and dismal showing among black voters. And if that weren't enough of a blow, Biden was sure to point out that Davis "joins two other African American elected officials from Indiana" in backing Biden as well. Kathryn Krawczyk

1:41 p.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is making some big, structural additions to her 2020 presidential campaign's leadership team.

On Friday, Warren announced that Reps. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) would be joining her campaign as co-chairs. All three congressmembers were first elected in 2018's Democratic House sweep, and have remained in the spotlight ever since.

Warren released a statement to announce the representatives' appointments, praising their work in 2018 and how they've continued to campaign for Warren across the country since endorsing her earlier this year. With it came a video of Haaland, Porter, and Pressley speaking at Warren rallies and praising her political rhetoric so far.

Pressley diverged from the rest of the progressive "Squad" earlier this month when she announced her endorsement of Warren. Haaland stirred up controversy with her endorsement given that she was the first Native American woman to be elected to Congress, and Warren made a campaign video to show a DNA test proved she had a Native American ancestor several generations back. Kathryn Krawczyk

12:56 p.m.

You've probably heard Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is a vegan — but did you know he's also a former Division 1 football player?

If you need a refresher, look no further than The Washington Post's most recent presidential candidate TikTok, which features a laser-focused Booker running to make his flight to Iowa. Booker slams into an unsuspecting passerby (played by Post TikTok creator Dave Jorgenson) in the process, knocking him to the ground and reminding everyone that, despite his dietary preferences, Booker's got some meat on his bones.

Bold of Jorgenson to agree to being pummeled by Booker, seeing as the presidential candidate played tight end at Stanford University in 1989 and 1990. The TikTok creator did follow up acknowledging Booker's former athletic career — hopefully he'll book it out of there faster in the future. Marianne Dodson

12:54 p.m.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has it out for a Purple Heart veteran.

When Lt. Col Alexander Vindman testified in the impeachment hearing into President Trump on Tuesday, Trump and other Republicans questioned his military bonafides and seemed skeptical of the fact that he doesn't know who the Ukraine whistleblower is. And in a Friday tweet, Blackburn kept the attacks going, tweeting that "Vindictive Vindman is the 'whistleblower’s' handler."

There's a lot wrong with this short tweet. First, it suggests Vindman has something against Trump, furthering the right-wing rhetoric that claims he's less American because he was born in the Soviet Union. And second, it falsely claims Vindman knows the identity of the whistleblower — something that isn't true, but didn't stop Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) from trying to get Vindman to spill their identity on Tuesday. And third, it's an outright smear on a high-ranking military official who received heaps of praise for his service before, during, and after his hearing. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:02 a.m.

John Bolton is back... on Twitter.

The former national security adviser was apparently locked out of his government-tied account after what he claims was his resignation from the White House and what President Trump says was his firing. But as of Friday morning, he's back online and typing as many ellipses as his heart desires.

Bolton surprised the world (or at least a few people) Friday when he tweeted that he was back on Twitter and that everyone should "stay tuned" for some kind of backstory. It's unclear if that's the backstory to his firing or just how he got kicked off social media — the former of which would be relevant to impeachment investigators, who he was recently reported to be willing to testify for.

Then, because his two-month vacation from the internet seemingly led him to forget how to use it, Bolton retweeted himself, and then sent a more dramatic version of his first message about two and a half hours later.

Bolton, however, did not and still does not need any online liberation to speak with the House in its ongoing investigation of Trump's dealing with Ukraine. Kathryn Krawczyk

10:14 a.m.

Sometimes President Trump's early-morning rants are even too absurd for his favorite morning show.

Trump called into Fox & Friends on Friday to complain about two weeks of public impeachment hearings and the women involved with them, and then, unsurprisingly, spun to talking about the border wall. But when he started ranting about some deterrents he's apparently added to his plans, he didn't have all the show's hosts onboard.

After acknowledging that it's been easy to break through the pieces of the wall that have already been built on the border, Trump claimed the "wall is electrified" — something that hasn't been reported yet. Host Brian Kilmeade's face immediately sunk, and he looked to his seemingly unconcerned co-hosts as Trump explained it's so "if anyone touches it," border agents can "get there within minutes." "You electrified the wall?" a seemingly shocked Kilmeade then asked, but Trump ignored the question and kept talking.

At the end of the very lengthy interview, the Fox & Friends squad tried to decipher just why Trump calls in all the time. Kilmeade chalked it up to "stress relief." Kathryn Krawczyk

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