Connect with us

Published

on

Loading… Loading…

Dogecoin DOGE/USD racked up impressive gains this week, prompting cryptocurrency analysts to raise their bullish expectations for the memecoin.

What Happened: A widely followed technical analyst, operating under the pseudonym World Of Charts, drew attention to DOGE's falling wedge pattern, which is typically construed by experts as bullish.

The analyst remarked, "On verge of another breakout expecting move towards 0.27-0.30$ in case of successful breakout." Notably, such a move would mean a 74-100% jump from the current prices.

Another prominent analyst, Kevin, gave more conservative estimates, flagging $0.18 and $0.22 as the next key levels for the coin.

"We need to hold this area on any potential back test and then .18 cents and the inverse head n shoulders target of .22 cents if right in reach," Kevin emphasized.

Why It Matters: DOGE has been energized by the "Roaring Kitty" phenomenon and the overall improvement in the market spurred by healthy macroeconomic data.

Since the start of the week, the king of meme coins has increased by 16%, with positive changes in several of its major parameters.

DOGE's Open Interest spiked 10.76% to $876 million in the last 24 hours, the highest in a month, according to Coinglass data. Additionally, its positive funding rate increased, signaling that most of the new positions created were gunning for DOGE's price pump.

Price Action: At the time of writing, DOGE was exchanging hands at $0.1556, following a 6.38% rise in the last 24 hours, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

Read Next: This Trader Sees A Barbell Portfolio Of BTC And Memes As Most Profitable Trading StrategyLoading… Loading… Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs

2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Continue Reading

Bidens Weakness With Young Voters Isnt About Gaza

Published

on

By

Sign up for The Decision, a newsletter featuring our 2024 election coverage.

Americas young voters are fired up about the war in Gazaarent they? Campus protests and the controversies around them have dominated media attention for weeks. So has the possibility that youth anger about the war will cost President Joe Biden the election. Joe Biden Is Losing Young Voters Over Israel, a USA Today headline declared last month. The New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall recently argued that nothing would help Biden more with young voters than negotiating a cease-fire in Gaza.

The available evidence, however, overwhelmingly suggests otherwise. For all the attention theyve drawn, the campus protesters are outliers. Biden has a problem with young voters, but it does not appear to be because of Gaza.

This may feel counterintuitive. More than 80 percent of young people disapprove of the way Biden is handling the war, according to a recent CNN surveythe most of any cohort. And poll after poll shows Biden losing support among 20-somethings, the group that helped propel him to victory four years ago. In 2020, Biden won the 18-to-29-year-old vote by 24 percentage points. This time around, some polls suggest that the demographic is a toss-up between him and Donald Trump. If Biden is losing support from young people, and young people overwhelmingly object to his handling of the war in Gaza, a natural conclusion would be that the war is the reason for the lack of support.

Jill Filipovic: Say plainly what the protesters want

But thats a mistake, because theres a big difference between opinions and priorities. People have all kinds of views, sometimes strong ones, on various topics, but only a few issues will determine how they vote. And very few Americanseven young onesrank the Israel-Hamas war as one of their top political priorities.

Obviously for some people it is the most important issue, and we need to respect that, John Della Volpe, who directs polling at Harvards Institute of Politics, told me. But what were seeing on college campuses, based upon this data, is not reflective of what the youth voter in general is thinking about.

In the April 2024 edition of the Harvard Youth Poll, which Della Volpe runs, 18-to-29-year-olds rated the Israel-Palestine conflict 15th out of 16 possible priorities. (Student debt came last.) Among self-identified Democrats, it was tied for third from the bottom. In another survey of registered voters in swing states, just 4 percent of 18-to-27-year-olds said the war was the most important issue affecting their vote. Even on college campuses, the epicenter of the protest movement, an Axios/Generation Lab poll found that only 13 percent of students considered the conflict in the Middle East to be one of their top-three issues. An April CBS poll found that the young voters who wanted Biden to pressure Israel to stop attacking Gaza would vote for him at about the same rate as those who didnt.

In fact, most young people dont seem to be paying much attention to whats going on beyond Americas borders. The 18-to-29-year-old age group is the least likely to say theyre following the war, according to a March survey from the Pew Research Center: 14 percent said they were closely tracking updates, while 58 percent said they werent following news of the conflict at all. If you take a broader view, people who are in their teens and 20s are the least likely group of Americans to pay attention to politics, period, David Barker, a professor of government at American University, told me. Many seem to be unsure how to feel about the war. I think that the natural response for anybody, let alone young people, is just to be like, Okay, whats the price of milk? Barker said.

Granted, if 2016 and 2020 are any guide, the election will likely be so close that any Democratic defections could be said to have determined the results, particularly in the swing states that Biden needs to win. In 2020, young people voted for Biden by a bigger margin than any other age group. This is going to come down to small numbers of votes in six or seven key states, Robert Lieberman, a political-science professor at Johns Hopkins University, told me. Any change, no matter the size, could tip the election one way or the other. A New York Times/Siena College swing-state poll out this week found that 13 percent of people who said they voted for Biden in 2020, but dont plan to in 2024, are basing their decision on the war in the Middle East or on foreign policy. Thats a sliver of a sliver of the population, far fewer than those who cited the economy or inflationbut any sliver could be the decisive one.

David Frum: The plot to wreck the Democratic convention

Even if people dont vote based on the conflict itself, they might vote based on what it represents. The chaos of an international conflict, and the domestic protests it inspires, could contribute to the impression that Biden is not in control.

Still, with the election six months away, some experts predict that young voters will shift back toward Biden as they start paying closer attention to politics. If that doesnt happen, it will likely be for the same reasons that are depressing his standing with other age groupsabove all, the economy. I ultimately expect that Bidens fate will be determined less by something like this conflict in Gaza and more, frankly, by which direction inflation and unemployment go over the course of the next few months, Barker said.

Theres no denying that the Israel-Palestine conflict, along with the related controversies emanating from it, has affected and will continue to affect domestic U.S. politicsand the moral questions posed by the war extend far beyond electoral calculations. But the issue is unlikely to trigger any demographic realignment. When it comes to the issues they care about most, young Americans appear closer to the overall electorate than to the activist groups that claim to represent them.

Continue Reading

Clean Needles Save Lives. In Some States, They Might Not Be Legal.

Published

on

By

Kim Botteicher hardly thinks of herself as a criminal.

This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free.

On the main floor of a former Catholic church in Bolivar, Pennsylvania, Botteicher runs a flower shop and cafe.

In the former churchs basement, she also operates a nonprofit organization focused on helping people caught up in the drug epidemic get back on their feet.

The nonprofit, FAVOR ~ Western PA, sits in a rural pocket of the Allegheny Mountains east of Pittsburgh. Her organizations home county of Westmoreland has seen roughly 100 or more drug overdose deaths each year for the past several years, the majority involving fentanyl.

Thousands more residents in the region have been touched by the scourge of addiction, which is where Botteicher comes in.

She helps people find housing, jobs, and health care, and works with families by running support groups and explaining that substance use disorder is a disease, not a moral failing.

But she has also talked publicly about how she has made sterile syringes available to people who use drugs.

When that person comes in the door, she said, if they are covered with abscesses because they have been using needles that are dirty, or theyve been sharing needles maybe theyve got hep C we see that as, OK, this is our first step. Email Sign-Up

Subscribe to KFF Health News' free Weekly Edition. Your Email Address Sign Up

Studies have identified public health benefits associated with syringe exchange services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these programs reduce HIV and hepatitis C infections, and that new users of the programs are more likely to enter drug treatment and more likely to stop using drugs than nonparticipants.

This harm-reduction strategy is supported by leading health groups, such as the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, and the International AIDS Society.

But providing clean syringes could put Botteicher in legal danger. Under Pennsylvania law, its a misdemeanor to distribute drug paraphernalia. The states definition includes hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects used for injecting banned drugs. Pennsylvania is one of 12 states that do not implicitly or explicitly authorize syringe services programs through statute or regulation, according to a 2023 analysis. A few of those states, but not Pennsylvania, either dont have a state drug paraphernalia law or dont include syringes in it.

Those working on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, like Botteicher, say a reexamination of Pennsylvania’s law is long overdue.

Theres an urgency to the issue as well: Billions of dollars have begun flowing into Pennsylvania and other states from legal settlements with companies over their role in the opioid epidemic, and syringe services are among the eligible interventions that could be supported by that money.

The opioid settlements reached between drug companies and distributors and a coalition of state attorneys general included a list of recommendations for spending the money. Expanding syringe services is listed as one of the core strategies.

But in Pennsylvania, where 5,158 people died from a drug overdose in 2022, the states drug paraphernalia law stands in the way. Supplies for a clean syringe kit are seen at FAVOR ~ Western PA, a nonprofit recovery center in Bolivar, Pennsylvania. (Nate Smallwood)

Concerns over Botteichers work with syringe services recently led Westmoreland County officials to cancel an allocation of $150,000 in opioid settlement funds they had previously approved for her organization. County Commissioner Douglas Chew defended the decision by saying the county is very risk averse.

Botteicher said her organization had planned to use the money to hire additional recovery specialists, not on syringes. Supporters of syringe services point to the cancellation of funding as evidence of the need to change state law, especially given the recommendations of settlement documents.

Its just a huge inconsistency, said Zoe Soslow, who leads overdose prevention work in Pennsylvania for the public health organization Vital Strategies. Its causing a lot of confusion.

Though sterile syringes can be purchased from pharmacies without a prescription, handing out free ones to make drug use safer is generally considered illegal or at least in a legal gray area in most of the state. In Pennsylvanias two largest cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, officials have used local health powers to provide legal protection to people who operate syringe services programs.

Even so, in Philadelphia, Mayor Cherelle Parker, who took office in January, has made it clear she opposes using opioid settlement money, or any city funds, to pay for the distribution of clean needles, The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported. Parkers position signals a major shift in that citys approach to the opioid epidemic.

On the other side of the state, opioid settlement funds have had a big effect for Prevention Point Pittsburgh, a harm reduction organization. Allegheny County reported spending or committing $325,000 in settlement money as of the end of last year to support the organizations work with sterile syringes and other supplies for safer drug use.

It was absolutely incredible to not have to fundraise every single dollar for the supplies that go out, said Prevention Points executive director, Aaron Arnold. It takes a lot of energy. It pulls away from actual delivery of services when youre constantly having to find out, Do we have enough money to even purchase the supplies that we want to distribute?

In parts of Pennsylvania that lack these legal protections, people sometimes operate underground syringe programs.

The Pennsylvania law banning drug paraphernalia was never intended to apply to syringe services, according to Scott Burris, director of the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University. But there have not been court cases in Pennsylvania to clarify the issue, and the failure of the legislature to act creates a chilling effect, he said.

Carla Sofronski, executive director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network, said she was not aware of anyone having faced criminal charges for operating syringe services in the state, but she noted the threat hangs over people who do and that they are taking a great risk.

In 2016, the CDC flagged three Pennsylvania counties Cambria, Crawford, and Luzerne among 220 counties nationwide in an assessment of communities potentially vulnerable to the rapid spread of HIV and to new or continuing high rates of hepatitis C infections among people who inject drugs.

Kate Favata, a resident of Luzerne County, said she started using heroin in her late teens and wouldnt be alive today if it werent for the support and community she found at a syringe services program in Philadelphia.

It kind of just made me feel like I was in a safe space. And I dont really know if there was like a come-to-God moment or come-to-Jesus moment, she said. I just wanted better.

Favata is now in long-term recovery and works for a medication-assisted treatment program. Kim Botteicher, executive director of FAVOR ~ Western PA, runs the nonprofit out of the basement of an old church building in Bolivar, Pennsylvania. In addition to providing addiction and recovery support services, Botteicher would like to hand out clean syringes to help prevent disease transmission but that isn’t authorized under state law.(Nate Smallwood)

At clinics in Cambria and Somerset Counties, Highlands Health provides free or low-cost medical care. Despite the legal risk, the organization has operated a syringe program for several years, while also testing patients for infectious diseases, distributing overdose reversal medication, and offering recovery options.

Rosalie Danchanko, Highlands Healths executive director, said she hopes opioid settlement money can eventually support her organization.

Why shouldnt that wealth be spread around for all organizations that are workingwith people affected by the opioid problem? she asked.

In February, legislation to legalize syringe services in Pennsylvania was approved by a committee and has moved forward. The administration of Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, supports the legislation. But it faces an uncertain future in the full legislature, in which Democrats have a narrow majority in the House and Republicans control the Senate.

One of the bills lead sponsors, state Rep. Jim Struzzi, hasnt always supported syringe services. But the Republican from western Pennsylvania said that since his brother died from a drug overdose in 2014, he has come to better understand the nature of addiction.

In the committee vote, nearly all of Struzzis Republican colleagues opposed the bill. State Rep. Paul Schemel said authorizing the very instrumentality of abuse crossed a line for him and would be enabling an evil.

After the vote, Struzzi said he wanted to build more bipartisan support. He noted that some of his own skepticism about the programs eased only after he visited Prevention Point Pittsburgh and saw how workers do more than just hand out syringes. These types of programs connect people to resources overdose reversal medication, wound care, substance use treatment that can save lives and lead to recovery.

A lot of these people are … desperate. Theyre alone. Theyre afraid. And these programs bring them into someone who cares, Struzzi said. And that, to me, is a step in the right direction.

At her nonprofit in western Pennsylvania, Botteicher is hoping lawmakers take action.

If its something thats going to help someone, then why is it illegal? she said. It just doesnt make any sense to me.

This story was co-reported by WESA Public Radio and Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds power to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

Sarah Boden, WESA: @Sarah_Boden Related Topics Pharmaceuticals Public Health Rural Health States The Health Law Disparities Opioid Settlements Opioids Pennsylvania Contact Us Submit a Story Tip

Continue Reading

Medics at UCLA Protest Say Police Weapons Drew Blood and Cracked Bones

Published

on

By

Inside the protesters’ encampment at UCLA, beneath the glow of hanging flashlights and a deafening backdrop of exploding flash-bangs, OB-GYN resident Elaine Chan suddenly felt like a battlefield medic.

This story also ran on USA Today. It can be republished for free. related coverage from 2020 Less-Lethal Weapons Blind, Maim and Kill. Victims Say Enough Is Enough. Read More We Want to Hear From You

What are you seeing at protests on your college campus? We want to hear from you. Send tips to NewsTips@kff.org.

Police were pushing into the camp after an hours-long standoff. Chan, 31, a medical tent volunteer, said protesters limped in with severe puncture wounds, but there was little hope of getting them to a hospital through the chaos outside. Chan suspects the injuries were caused by rubber bullets or other less lethal projectiles, which police have confirmed were fired at protesters.

It would pierce through skin and gouge deep into peoples bodies, she said. All of them were profusely bleeding. In OB-GYN we dont treat rubber bullets. I couldnt believe that this was allowed to be [done to] civilians students without protective gear.

The UCLA protest, which gathered thousands in opposition to Israels ongoing bombing of Gaza, began in April and grew to a dangerous crescendo this month when counterprotesters and police clashed with the activists and their supporters.

In interviews with KFF Health News, Chan and three other volunteer medics described treating protesters with bleeding wounds, head injuries, and suspected broken bones in a makeshift clinic cobbled together in tents with no electricity or running water. The medical tents were staffed day and night by a rotating team of doctors, nurses, medical students, EMTs, and volunteers with no formal medical training.

At times, the escalating violence outside the tent isolated injured protesters from access to ambulances, the medics said, so the wounded walked to a nearby hospital or were carried beyond the borders of the protest so they could be driven to the emergency room.

Ive never been in a setting where were blocked from getting higher level of care, Chan said. That was terrifying to me. Chan holds some of the items she carried with her at the protest: a headlamp, a tourniquet, a glow stick. She donned scrubs that day with handwritten phone numbers for her emergency contact in case of arrest. (Molly Castle Work/KFF Health News) Volunteer medics said they made do with the materials they had, such as using a chunk of cardboard to splint a protesters sprained ankle. (Elaine Chan) Volunteer medics set up medical tents within and around the encampment at UCLA to support injured protesters.(Elaine Chan)

Three of the medics interviewed by KFF Health News said they were present when police swept the encampment May 2 and described multiple injuries that appeared to have been caused by less lethal projectiles.

Less lethal projectiles including beanbags filled with metal pellets, sponge-tipped rounds, and projectiles commonly known as rubber bullets are used by police to subdue suspects or disperse crowds or protests. Police drew widespread condemnation for using the weapons against Black Lives Matter demonstrations that swept the country after the killing of George Floyd in 2020. Although the name of these weapons downplays their danger, less lethal projectiles can travel upward of 200 mph and have a documented potential to injure, maim, or kill.

The medics interviews directly contradict an account from the Los Angeles Police Department. After police cleared the encampment, LAPD Chief Dominic Choi said in a post on the social platform X that there were no serious injuries to officers or protestors” as police moved in and made more than 200 arrests. Police officers, including some reportedly armed with shotguns loaded with less lethal projectiles, clash with protesters at UCLA. The California Highway Patrol said it would investigate how its officers responded. The footage, filmed by independent journalist Anthony Cabassa, was posted to the social platform X on May 2. (Anthony Cabassa)

In response to questions from KFF Health News, both the LAPD and California Highway Patrol said in emailed statements that they would investigate how their officers responded to the protest. The LAPD statement said the agency was conducting a review of how it responded, which would lead to a detailed report.

The Highway Patrol statement said officers warned the encampment that non-lethal rounds may be used if protesters did not disperse, and after some became an immediate threat by launching objects and weapons, some officers used kinetic specialty rounds to protect themselves, other officers, and members of the public. One officer received minor injuries, according to the statement. Email Sign-Up

Subscribe to KFF Health News' free Morning Briefing. Your Email Address Sign Up

Video footage that circulated online after the protest appeared to show a Highway Patrol officer firing less lethal projectiles at protesters with a shotgun.

The use of force and any incident involving the use of a weapon by CHP personnel is a serious matter, and the CHP will conduct a fair and impartial investigation to ensure that actions were consistent with policy and the law, the Highway Patrol said in its statement.

The UCLA Police Department, which was also involved with the protest response, did not respond to requests for comment.

Jack Fukushima, 28, a UCLA medical student and volunteer medic, said he witnessed a police officer shoot at least two protesters with less lethal projectiles, including a man who collapsed after being hit square in the chest. Fukushima said he and other medics escorted the stunned man to the medical tent then returned to the front lines to look for more injured.

It did really feel like a war, Fukushima said. To be met with such police brutality was so disheartening. Jack Fukushima, a UCLA medical student and volunteer medic, said he saw police shoot at least two protesters with less-lethal projectiles during the encampment raid on May 2, 2024.(Molly Castle Work/KFF Health News)

Back on the front line, police had breached the borders of the encampment and begun to scrum with protesters, Fukushima said. He said he saw the same officer who had fired earlier shoot another protester in the neck.

The protester dropped to the ground. Fukushima assumed the worst and rushed to his side.

I find him, and Im like, Hey, are you OK? Fukushima said. To the point of courage of these undergrads, hes like, Yeah, its not my first time. And then just jumps right back in.

Sonia Raghuram, 27, another medical student stationed in the tent, said that during the police sweep she tended to a protester with an open puncture wound on their back, another with a quarter-sized contusion in the center of their chest, and a third with a gushing cut over their right eye and possible broken rib. Raghuram said patients told her the wounds were caused by police projectiles, which she said matched the severity of their injuries.

The patients made it clear the police officers were closing in on the medical tent, Raghuram said, but she stayed put.

We will never leave a patient, she said, describing the mantra in the medical tent. I dont care if we get arrested. If Im taking care of a patient, thats the thing that comes first. Sonia Raghuram, a UCLA medical student, volunteered as a medic during a pro-Palestinian protest at UCLA, where she treated patients who told her they were wounded by police projectiles.(Molly Castle Work/KFF Health News)

The UCLA protest is one of many that have been held on college campuses across the country as students opposed to Israels ongoing war in Gaza demand universities support a ceasefire or divest from companies tie to Israel. Police have used force to remove protesters at Columbia University, Emory University, and the universities of Arizona, Utah, and South Florida, among others.

At UCLA, student protesters set up a tent encampment on April 25 in a grassy plaza outside the campuss Royce Hall theater, eventually drawing thousands of supporters, according to the Los Angeles Times. Days later, a violent mob of counterprotesters attacked the camp, the Times reported, attempting to tear down barricades along its borders and throwing fireworks at the tents inside.

The following night, police issued an unlawful assembly order, then swept the encampment in the early hours of May 2, clearing tents and arresting hundreds by dawn.

Police have been widely criticized for not intervening as the clash between protesters and counterprotesters dragged on for hours. The University of California system announced it has hired an independent policing consultant to investigate the violence and resolve unanswered questions about UCLAs planning and protocols, as well as the mutual aid response.

Charlotte Austin, 34, a surgery resident, said that as counterprotesters were attacking she also saw about 10 private campus security officers stand by, hands in their pockets, as students were bashed and bloodied.

Austin said she treated patients with cuts to the face and possible skull fractures. The medical tent sent at least 20 people to the hospital that evening, she said.

Any medical professional would describe these as serious injuries, Austin said. There were people who required hospitalization not just a visit to the emergency room but actual hospitalization. Charlotte Austin, a surgery resident in Los Angeles who volunteered as a UCLA medic, says the injuries she witnessed were serious. There were people who required hospitalization not just a visit to the emergency room but actual hospitalization, she says.(Molly Castle Work/KFF Health News)

Police Tactics Lawful but Awful

UCLA protesters are far from the first to be injured by less lethal projectiles.

In recent years, police across the U.S. have repeatedly fired these weapons at protesters, with virtually no overarching standards governing their use or safety. Cities have spent millions to settle lawsuits from the injured. Some of the wounded have never been the same.

During the nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd in 2020, at least 60 protesters sustained serious injuries including blinding and a broken jaw from being shot with these projectiles, sometimes in apparent violations of police department policies, according to a joint investigation by KFF Health News and USA Today.

In 2004, in Boston, a college student celebrating a Red Sox victory was killed by a projectile filled with pepper-based irritant when it tore through her eye and into her brain.

Theyre called less lethal for a reason, said Jim Bueermann, a former police chief of Redlands, California, who now leads the Future Policing Institute. They can kill you.

Bueermann, who reviewed video footage of the police response at UCLA at the request of KFF Health News, said the footage shows California Highway Patrol officers firing beanbag rounds from a shotgun. Bueermann said the footage did not provide enough context to determine if the projectiles were being used reasonably, which is a standard established by federal courts, or being fired indiscriminately, which was outlawed by a California law in 2021.

There is a saying in policing lawful but awful meaning that it was reasonable under the legal standards but it looks terrible, Bueermann said. And I think a cop racking multiple rounds into a shotgun, firing into protesters, doesnt look very good.

This article was produced by KFF Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.

[Clarification: This article was updated at 6:50 p.m. ET on May 16, 2024, to clarify that the LAPDs review is focusing only on its own role in the protest response and not that of other law enforcement agencies.] Molly Castle Work: mwork@kff.org, @mollycastlework

Brett Kelman: bkelman@kff.org, @BrettKelman Related Topics California Public Health States Arizona California Florida Georgia Massachusetts New York Utah Contact Us Submit a Story Tip

Continue Reading

Trending