Putin Gets Personal, More Journalists Face Jail Time and Depression Abounds

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Unsurprisingly, jurors found Dylann Roof guilty yesterday afternoon, of 33 counts. The sentencing will begin next month, and Roof is now saying once again that he will represent himself in this part of the trial, which determines whether or not he receives the death penalty or life in prison. The federal government is seeking the death penalty, although it’s rare that federal death sentences occur, and even relatives of the victim have voiced their potential unease at the sentence.

A new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists reveals that a recent crackdown in Turkey has ended with 81 journalists imprisoned and facing anti-state charges. The same Turkish move to silence controversial members of the press has resulted in the closing of more than 100 news outlets. Currently, there are 259 journalists in jail worldwide, the highest number since 1990, and an increase of 60 since last year at the same time. While Turkey obviously holds the most journalists behind bars, the runner up is China, followed by Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Investigators are saying that wreckage from the Mediterranean EgyptAir crash in May is showing explosives were attached to victims’ bodies. A criminal investigation is now expected to begin. While the report comes from Egyptian officials, those on the side of the French investigation into the matter are a little more cautious. “France, like it has been from the beginning of this tragic accident, remains at the disposal of the relevant Egyptian authorities to contribute to this investigation, including with the means of its experts,” said the French Foreign Ministry. Airbus, the crashed plane’s manufacturer, refused to comment.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials are now saying they’re highly confident that Putin was personally involved in a Russian attempt to interfere with the election. NBC News is reporting that two unnamed officials with direct access to confidential information regarding the issue told the news outlet that new intelligence from diplomatic sources and U.S. ally spies prove Putin personally directed a Russian hack on Democrats. According to the report, Putin’s initial goal was to attack Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, but later the goal morphed into being able to split the United States off from its allies, by showing the country could not be trusted as a global leader.

Trump is choosing Republican Representative Ryan Zinke as lead of the Interior Department. “He has built one of the strongest track records on championing regulatory relief, forest management, responsible energy development and public land issues. America is the most beautiful country in the world, and he is going to help keep it that way with smart management of our federal lands,” said Trump in a statement. Zinke is a former Navy elite SEAL Team Six commander, received two Bronze Stars in Iraq and currently serves as Montana’s lone representative. Many outdoor enthusiasts have welcomed Zinke’s appointment, recognizing his interest in conservation and keeping public lands public.

A study on abortion and its effects on women’s mental health comes just as many in the country are questioning Trump’s politics on the important issue. The study, from the University of California, San Francisco, says that women who want an abortion may be in better health mentally if they are allowed to receive one, rather than if they are denied the treatment. The idea that women who have abortions suffer mentally has long been an excuse for state laws requiring women to undergo counseling and be warned of negative mental consequences should they have an abortion. The study looked at the psychological state of nearly 1,000 women who have both had abortions and who were denied abortions at a clinic. Women who were denied an abortion suffered from more anxiety, lower self-esteem and lower life satisfaction than those who were allowed to receive one. However, these symptoms were alleviated if the women who were forced to keep their pregnancy experienced miscarriages.

Another recent report shows a different group of people with depression issues — airline pilots. The first report of its kind shows 13 percent of the nation’s commercial airline pilots have depression and about 4 percent have had suicidal thoughts in the last two weeks. The report references the fear of being grounded or losing their career as reasons most pilots do not seek help for mental health. Pilots who used a sleep-aid or were subject to either sexual or verbal harassment were most likely to be at risk for depression. Female pilots also showed more depression symptoms than male pilots.

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