Tribune News Service

Newsfeatures Budget for Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Updated at 4:30 a.m. EDT (0830 UTC).


Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^For many black voters, 2020 isn't about pride or making history. It's about beating Trump<

BLACKVOTERS:LA — Catrena Norris Carter is a bundle of conflicting impulses.

As a black woman, she's delighted with Kamala Harris' presidential bid. As a liberal activist, she's thrilled with Elizabeth Warren's groaning board of progressive policy proposals.

But as someone consumed with defeating President Donald Trump, Carter is determined to think with her head, not her heart, and that cold calculation is pushing her toward Joe Biden among the crowded 2020 Democratic field.

The former vice president may not excite her like some candidates. But he boasts one asset that, to Carter's mind, surpasses all others: As a white male firmly embedded in the political establishment, Biden — more than a female or black candidate — stands the best chance of winning the White House.

1450 by Mark Z. Barabak in Selma, Ala. MOVED



^Drug users armed with naloxone double as medics on streets of San Francisco<

SANFRANCISCO-NALOXONE:KHN — The man was out of his wheelchair and lay flat on his back just off San Francisco's Market Street, waiting for the hypodermic needle to pierce his skin and that familiar euphoric feeling to wash over him.

The old-timer, who appeared to be in his 60s, could not find a viable vein, so a 38-year-old man named Daniel Hogan helped him. Hogan, a longtime drug user originally from St. Louis, leaned over the older man, eyeing his neck as he readied a syringe loaded with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Hogan's hands were pink and swollen, bearing scars and scabs from years of daily drug use and the harshness of life on the streets. But those hands were skilled in the art of street phlebotomy. He slid the needle into the man's neck and pushed the plunger.

And in case the dose was too much, Hogan was ready with a vial of naloxone, the overdose-reversal drug.

1350 by Brian Rinker in San Francisco. MOVED


^Coaxing veterans into treatment to prevent suicides<

VETERANS-SUICIDE:SH — To Army veteran Everett Brockington, 52, there's no mystery about why so many veterans die by suicide: "They've seen things and done things that they can't handle. And they've lost too many of their close friends."

Most of the veterans Brockington knows rely on one another for support instead of seeking mental health services.

"We talk to each other about our problems all the time," Brockington said. But he admitted, "It would be better if we had someone to talk to who knew what they were doing."

Although retired and active military service members die by suicide at twice the rate of civilians, research shows that veterans who receive mental health care are much less likely to end their lives than those who don't. A soon-to-be-released study from the Medical University of South Carolina here in Charleston may shed light on how to persuade reluctant veterans to seek that professional help.

1550 (with trims) by Christine Vestal in Charleston, S.C. MOVED



^Peru shut down one of the world's largest illegal gold mines. But at what cost?<

PERU-GOLDMINE:MI — For more than a decade, authorities turned a blind eye to the sprawling illegal gold mine in southeastern Peru that had become a national embarrassment but fueled the local economy.

The area, known as La Pampa, stretches across 40 square miles of what used to be old-growth Amazon forest. Now it's a desertlike wasteland, gouged with toxic mud pits.

It's a place where some 30,000 to 40,000 people dug through the muck in 24-hour shifts looking for gold to feed the bullion and jewelry markets of Miami and Europe. It was a place ruled by criminal gangs and warring clans, where workers toiled under slavelike conditions and police rarely entered.

Earlier this year, the government finally had enough. In February it launched "Plan Mercury," moving 1,500 military and police into La Pampa and shutting down the gold fields. In the process the operation unveiled just how addicted the region is to illegal mining.

1350 by Jim Wyss in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. MOVED



^Coat the ravens evermore? To protect tortoises, officials test spraying oil into birds' nests<

ENV-RAVENS-TORTOISES:LA — The sun was rising over the Mojave Desert as crews prepared to demonstrate a devastating new weapon in the war among man, bird and reptile.

Standing on a windswept plain, a group of government and utility officials locked their eyes on a drone as it hovered beside a twisted Joshua tree. As the buzzing contraption drew closer to a nest of twigs and furniture stuffing, a controller's voice cut through the cool morning air.

"Five, four, three, two, one — fire!"

Instantly, the quadcopter squirted streams of silicone oil into the unoccupied raven's nest, thoroughly coating a clutch of simulated eggs.

Though the attack may have lacked the shock and awe of a Hellfire missile strike, it would have proved lethal to actual raven eggs.

1450 (with trims) by Louis Sahagun in Barstow, Calif. MOVED




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