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The Real Truth - A Magazine Restoring Plain Understanding

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They panic if a balloon pops. They hold dying family members. They push their wounded bodies to heal and scroll longingly through photos and videos of their lost loved ones. Behind the statistics and the political blame game over rising gun violence are the victims.

The spike plaguing many American cities this year has lawmakers reeling and police scrambling, though homicide rates are not rising as high as the double-digit jumps seen in 2020. Still, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, 316 people are shot every day in the U.S. and 106 of them die. It has even prompted President Joe Biden to order federal strike forces in to help catch gun traffickers who are supplying weapons used in the shootings.

And for Americans who have lost someone, a grim reminder of how the cycle of violence never seems to end, only to ebb and flow. In Washington D.C., Kathren Brown’s 11-year-old was killed in 2019, and the new wave weighs her down.

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Everyone loves positive news stories. A recent one involved a man who got caught in a dramatic car wreck over a bridge on Assawoman Bay in Maryland. “The accident sent eight people to the hospital and left a pickup truck dangling precariously over the guardrail,” the Good News Network reported.

Leaving his car to check if he could help, the article states that he was “alerted…to a heart-wrenching sight—a toddler, ejected from the passenger side, was floating in the bay, her pink dress billowing in the waves.”

Realizing there was zero time to wait, he jumped into the water about 30 feet below and swam to the drowning toddler, saving her life.

  • World News Desk

The Biden administration announced new sanctions Thursday against a Cuban official and a government special brigade that it says was involved in human rights abuses during a government crackdown on protests on the island earlier this month.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control listed Alvaro Lopez Miera, a Cuban military and political leader, and the Brigada Especial Nacional del Ministerio del Interior, or Interior Ministry Special Brigade, as among those who will face the latest sanctions.

The Treasury said in a statement that Mr. Lopez Miera “has played an integral role in the repression of ongoing protests in Cuba.” Cuba’s Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, which is led to by Mr. Lopez Miera, and other Cuban government’s security services have attacked protesters and arrested or disappeared over 100 protesters in an attempt to suppress these protests, according to Treasury.

Learn the why behind the headlines.

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When a mother first gazes into the sweet face of her newborn daughter, she does not imagine a life of chaos, anger or violence. She pictures giggles, sticky fingers and pink tutus. A father envisions teaching his son to build a tree house or watching him score his first touchdown.
  • World News Desk

Church bells rang out across Norway on Thursday, marking 10 years since the country’s worst ever peacetime slaughter as commemoration ceremonies took place throughout the day.

On July 22, 2011, extremist Anders Breivik set off a bomb in the capital, Oslo, killing eight people, before heading to tiny Utoya island where he stalked and shot dead 69 mostly teen members of the Labor Party’s youth wing.

Events were held around the country, including a service in Oslo Cathedral that ended with the first peal of bells. Thousands of people gathered in the streets outside to mourn the 77 victims.

  • World News Desk

A relief official dampened hopes on Wednesday of finding more survivors in the rubble of villages devastated by floods in western Germany, as a poll showed many Germans felt policymakers had not done enough to protect them.

More than 170 people died in last week’s flooding, Germany’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century, and thousands went missing.

“We are still looking for missing persons as we clear roads and pump water out of basements,” Sabine Lackner, deputy chief of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

  • World News Desk

India’s excess deaths during the coronavirus pandemic could be a staggering 10 times the official COVID-19 toll, likely making it modern India’s worst human tragedy, according to the most comprehensive research yet on the ravages of the virus in the South Asian country.

Most experts believe India’s official toll of more than 414,000 dead is a vast undercount, but the government has dismissed those concerns as exaggerated and misleading.

The report released Tuesday estimated excess deaths—the gap between those recorded and those that would have been expected—to be 3.4 million to 4.7 million since the pandemic began through last month. It said an accurate figure may “prove elusive,” but the true death toll “is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count.”

  • World News Desk

Stoked by hot, dry winds, the largest of several dozen Western wildfires roared through more drought-parched brush and timber in southern Oregon on Monday after incinerating scores of homes, while firefighters gained additional ground against the blaze.

An army of 2,250 personnel battling the so-called Bootleg fire, raging in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest 250 miles south of Portland, had managed to carve containment lines around 30 percent of the perimeter by late Monday, up from 22 percent the day before, the Oregon Forestry Department reported.

“We are fighting the fire aggressively, and there are active efforts to build a containment line, both direct and indirect, wherever it is safe to do so,” agency spokesman Marcus Kauffman said. Ground crews, backed by water-dropping helicopters and airplane tankers, included reinforcements from at least 30 U.S. states, he said.

  • World News Desk

They are two tiny Caribbean states whose intractable problems have vexed U.S. presidents for decades. Now, Haiti and Cuba are posing a growing challenge for President Joe Biden that could have political ramifications for him in the battleground state of Florida.

Cuban demonstrators have taken to the country’s streets in recent days to lash out at the communist government and protest food shortages and high prices amid the coronavirus pandemic. In Haiti, officials are asking the U.S. to intercede in a roiling political crisis after last week’s assassination of President Jovenel Moise in a nation where military and humanitarian interventions by U.S. presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama have proved to be politically harrowing.

Biden is facing increased pressure from Republican lawmakers for his administration to step up support of Cuban demonstrators. And his aides have demonstrated determined caution in response to requests for more U.S. involvement in Haiti.

  • World News Desk

The unrest that has ripped through South Africa in the past week will force its economy to contract by 3 percent in the third quarter and drag down full-year growth, Wall Street bank JPMorgan said on Friday.

Rioting broke out in several parts of the country, which has Africa’s most industrialized economy, following the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma last week for his failure to appear at a corruption inquiry. The week of looting has destroyed hundreds of businesses and killed more than 100 people.

The flare-up prompted JPMorgan to revise Q3 growth quarter-on-quarter projections sharply lower from a previous estimate of -0.5 percent.

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A story illustrates the complexity of healthcare costs in the United States.

A woman experiencing stomach issues went to a doctor, who recommended a diagnostic test called a HIDA scan. The woman’s health insurance policy had a high deductible, so she knew she would likely have to pay for the procedure out of pocket.

As she left the doctor’s office, she asked the receptionist a seemingly simple question: “How much is this going to cost?”

  • World News Desk

Iran said on Wednesday it could enrich uranium up to 90 percent purity—weapons grade—if its nuclear reactors needed it, but added it still sought the revival of a 2015 deal that would limit its atomic program in return for a lifting of sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani’s remark is his second such public comment this year about 90 percent enrichment—a level suitable for a nuclear bomb—underlining Iran’s resolve to keep breaching the deal in the absence of any accord to revive it.

The biggest obstacle to producing nuclear weapons is obtaining enough fissile material—weapons-grade highly enriched uranium or plutonium—for the bomb’s core.

  • World News Desk

At least 42 people have died in Germany and dozens were missing on Thursday as swollen rivers caused by record rainfall across western Europe swept through towns and villages, leaving cars upended, houses destroyed and people stranded on rooftops.

Eighteen people died and dozens were unaccounted for around the wine-growing region of Ahrweiler, in Rhineland-Palatinate state, police said, after the Ahr river that flows into the Rhine broke its banks and brought down half a dozen houses.

Another 15 people died in the Euskirchen region south of the city of Bonn, authorities said. People in region were asked to evacuate their homes.

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“What, exactly, is the problem with hypocrisy?” A 2017 New York Times article asked this question. It continued: “When someone condemns the behavior of others, why do we find it so objectionable if we learn he engages in the same behavior himself?

“The answer may seem self-evident. Not practicing what you preach; lacking the willpower to live up to your own ideals; behaving in ways you obviously know are wrong—these are clear moral failings.”

Yet the answer has even more layers. The article cited research that people also dislike hypocrites because of their “outspoken moralizing falsely signals their own virtue.”

  • World News Desk

The United Nations on Monday lamented a “dramatic worsening” of world hunger last year, saying much of that is likely connected to the pandemic, and it urged billions of dollars to save millions of people from starving.

A report issued jointly by five UN agencies said hunger outpaced population growth in 2020, with nearly 10 percent of all people estimated to be undernourished.

It said the sharpest rise in hunger came in Africa, where 21 percent of the people—282 million—are estimated to be undernourished.

  • World News Desk

Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday.

That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29 percent increase.

“This is a staggering loss of human life,” said Brandon Marshall, a Brown University public health researcher who tracks overdose trends.

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