Archive for Wednesday, January 17, 2001

National briefs

January 17, 2001


Washington, D.C.

Youth violence linked to media exposure

The U.S. surgeon general is poised to declare graphically violent television programming and video games as harmful to children, marking a potential watershed in the debate about regulating entertainment.

In a report on youth violence to be released today, Surgeon General David Satcher will find repeated exposure to violent entertainment during early childhood causes more aggressive behavior throughout the child's life, according to a draft of the report obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

"Exposure to violent media plays an important causal role in this societal problem" of youth violence, according to the draft report. "From a public health perspective, today's (media) consumption patterns are far from optimal. And for many children they are clearly harmful."

The findings, while representing only a small portion of a large wide-ranging report on youth violence, are expected to fuel the push by parents groups, politicians and some retailers to limit violence in entertainment.


University given gift of $250 million

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur and his wife are donating a record $250 million to the University of Colorado to develop technology to help people with disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism.

It is the largest gift ever to an American public university, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The donation from Bill Coleman, chairman and chief executive of BEA Systems in San Jose, Calif., and his wife, Claudia, was announced Tuesday. The gift, paid out during five years, will be used to establish the University of Colorado Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities.


13-year-old blames pro wrestling for girl's death

A teen-ager who says he accidentally killed a 6-year-old girl while imitating pro wrestlers kicked and slugged her repeatedly, inflicting injuries more severe than those seen in many car crashes, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Lionel Tate, 13, smashed Tiffany Eunick's skull, pulverized her liver, broke a rib and caused numerous cuts and bruises, prosecutor Ken Padowitz said in opening statements at Tate's first-degree murder trial. Tate, who was 12 at the time and weighed 170 pounds, is being tried as an adult and faces a mandatory 25-year sentence with no parole if convicted.

Defense attorney Jim Lewis said the 1999 death was an accident.


Health care racial gap may be closing, study finds

Running against the tide of previous research, a new study has found a racial disparity in medicine that actually favors blacks: Black patients at Veterans Affairs hospitals have lower death rates than whites.

The study of 36,509 patients treated at 147 VA hospitals compared 30-day death rates for six common ailments pneumonia, diabetes, heart failure, angina, chronic lung disease and chronic kidney failure. For all six diagnoses, blacks were less likely than whites to die within 30 days of entering the hospital.

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