Tired of the Bad News?  Try the Happy News!

The world's largest slum rehabilitation project. Read It
Vet Returns Winning Lottery Ticket. Read It 
Lemonade Sale 
Funds Girl's Wish
 
Tech News World 
Alexandra Scott, 8, has accepted that she may not live to see 10 candles on her birthday cake. She may never get a learner's license, throw a sweet 16 birthday party or experience the thrill of a first kiss. But the little girl from Philadelphia is determined to stop the disease that is killing her -- a cancer called neuroblastoma -- from killing other children for a lack of research and research funds. Read 
 

The Happy News  -  Tired Of All The Bad News?   Try The Happy News!
 Does the constant bad news make you depressed, it's not you, it's them...

The Pleasant News Service - Finally... An alternative to the disaster hungry news media.

 

http://www.happynews.com 

 

U.S. life expectancy hits high mark

ATLANTA, Georgia (Reuters) -- Americans are living longer than ever largely because of declining death rates from heart disease, cancer and stroke, the federal government said Monday.

Average life expectancy in the United States rose to a record 77.6 years in 2003 from 77.3 years in 2002, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although women on average still lived longer than men in 2003 -- 80.1 years versus 74.8 years -- the gender gap in mortality narrowed, continuing a 25-year trend, the CDC said in a report.

The Atlanta-based agency, which is responsible for monitoring and responding to health threats, attributed the improvement in life expectancy to corresponding drops in eight of the 15 leading causes of death.

Chief among them were significant declines in mortality from heart disease, cancer and stroke, the three biggest killers. Death rates for these conditions fell between 2.2 percent and 4.6 percent.

Read the happy news at:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/conditions/02/28/life.expectancy.reut/index.html 

 

 

Financial News

Greenspan: Be vigilant
Fed chief says the economy seems to have entered 2005 expanding at a reasonably good pace, with inflation and inflation expectations well anchored.
February 16, 2005 

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Wednesday that the economy started the year in good shape, endorsing the idea of private accounts. 

Greenspan said the central bank's recent policy of gradually raising interest rates to end an era of cheap money has worked well in keeping the economy growing while keeping inflation in check, and said that the relatively tranquil economic conditions of recent decades must not be taken for granted.

"History cautions that people experiencing long periods of relative stability are prone to excess," he said in his prepared remarks. "We must thus remain vigilant against complacency, especially since several important economic challenges confront policymakers in the years ahead."

He said it was "imperative to restore fiscal discipline" in the United States to help narrow the huge trade deficit, and that the country had to act before 2008 to prepare Social Security for a coming wave of retiring "baby boomers," endorsing the idea of private accounts advanced by the Bush administration.

"If you're going to move to private accounts, which I approve of, have to do it in a cautious, gradual way," he said.

"All told, the economy seems to have entered 2005 expanding at a reasonably good pace, with inflation and inflation expectations well anchored," he said in his remarks prepared for delivery to the Senate Banking Committee. "On the whole, financial markets appear to share this view."


Read the bad news at: 
money.cnn.com/2005/02/16/news/economy/fed_greenspan_testimony/index.htm 

 

 

 

Financial News
2-15-05

Excluding auto sales, retail sales rose 0.6% in January, twice what analysts expected; sales excluding autos rose 0.3% in December.

Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, is expected to remain solid this year.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will deliver the central bank's semi-annual monetary report to Congress on Wednesday, an event being closely followed by financial markets anxious to discern whether the Fed plans to keep raising interest rates at a moderate pace of quarter-point moves in coming months.

Sales at clothing and clothing accessory stores jumped 1.8% in January while sales at general merchandise stores, a category that includes department stores, rose 0.9%.

These solid gains were attributed in part to the fact that consumers who received gift cards as Christmas presents redeemed them during January clearance sales.

Department store sales were also bolstered by consumers attracted by spring clothes, which lured buyers despite late-month snow storms in the Midwest and Northeast.

Sales at restaurants, bars and coffee houses rose 0.3% while grocery store sales were up 0.5%.

Sales at gasoline stations were up 1.8% in January, after falling 0.2% in December. Last month's increase reflected in part higher gasoline pump prices.


Find the bad news at: 
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/trade/2005-02-15-jan-retail-sales_x.htm

 

 

Personality, Not Values, Makes the Marriage -Study Says
Sun Feb 13, 2005 06:57 PM ET

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Compatible personalities are more important than shared moral values as a recipe for a good marriage, according to a study released on Sunday.

Married couples often share the same attitudes about faith and other values, researchers from the University of Iowa found. But those with personalities similar to their spouses were the happiest.

"People may be attracted to those who have similar attitudes, values and beliefs and even marry them," the researchers said, and those qualities are easy to spot in a potential mate. Attitudes toward subjects such as religion or politics "are highly visible," they said.

But how married people behave was shown to have a greater effect on happiness.

Read the original good news at:
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=MVFLG5QLG4OCKCRBAEOCFEY
?type=healthNews&storyID=7613034

 

 

A New Birth for Iraq...
Free people who aim to build a state based on civilized values and democratic values and the principles of peace and love.
The Shiite alliance will succeed in the assembly by partnering with members of other parties. 

2-13-05

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The United Iraq Alliance, backed by Shiite Muslim Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, won a plurality of votes in the January 30 elections and fell short of an outright majority, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq said Sunday.

"Today this is a new birth for Iraq, a free Iraq, and free people who aim to build a state based on civilized values and democratic values and the principles of peace and love," commission spokesman Fareed Ayar said.

The Iraq elections had a 58% turnout.

Of about 8.46 million votes cast in the election, the UIA received 4.08 million, the combined Kurdish parties garnered 2.17 million and the Iraqi list of Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi got 1.17 million.

CNN calculates that those numbers would give the UIA about 130 seats on Iraq's 275-seat National Assembly, the Kurds about 70 seats, and the Iraqi list about 40 seats.

A plurality occurs when a party receives more votes than any other but still has not received more than half of the total votes -- a majority.

The results suggest the Shiite alliance can only succeed in the assembly by partnering with members of other parties, The Associated Press reported.

Read the original bad news at:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/02/13/iraq.main/index.html

 

 

Hamas to honor undeclared Israel truce

2/12/2005 3:29 PM  

JERUSALEM (AP) — The militant group Hamas said Saturday it will not attack Israeli targets

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-02-12-hamas-truce_x.htm

 

 

Scientists Develop New Invisible Waterproof Coating 
7-13-04
By Martin Halfpenny, PA News 
http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3198690

Scientists have developed an invisible coating that will waterproof almost anything including mobile phones, it was revealed today.

The revolutionary nanometre-thick coating was first researched to protect soldiers’ suits against chemical and biological warfare agents by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down and the University of Durham.

The new invention, which is three times more water repellent than Teflon, could radically change sportswear, clothing, mobile phones and medical devices. 
art from its military uses Dstl is now trying to capture the civilian market as it launches a joint venture with industry. 

Dstl and investment fund Circus Capital Technology have united to create a new company called P2i Limited based at Porton Down, which will make and market the coating.

The coating is an invisible ultra-thin polymer coating where water beads up on a surface like mercury, protecting the material or device it has been applied to. It has very low surface energy of only one third that of Teflon.

Stephen Coulson, P2i’s technical director said: “Now we can coat even the most complex-shaped objects whatever they’re made of – practically any material including textiles, plastics, glass, metal and wood will benefit – and in the case of textiles, they retain their durability and breathability. 

“We’ve developed a process that is simple to set up, has low power consumption and operating costs, uses very small amounts of chemicals and produces very little waste.” 

 

 

U.S. posts higher-than-expected June budget surplus
Tue Jul 13, 2004 04:21 PM ET 
(Recasts, adds analyst comment, background, byline)
By Laura MacInnis
http://www.reuters.com/financeNewsArticle.jhtml?type=bondsNews&storyID=5659963

WASHINGTON, July 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. government posted a larger-than-expected budget surplus in June, propped up by higher quarterly business tax receipts, a government report released on Tuesday showed.

In the Treasury Department's monthly budget statement, June income outpaced spending by $19.14 billion, slightly less than the government's June 2003 surplus of $21.23 billion.

"What we are seeing is the impact of a good economy, the impact of extraordinarily strong corporate profits, and likely the impact of more people being caught in the alternative minimum tax," Drew Matus, financial markets economist at Lehman Brothers in New York, said in response to the report.

"Surprisingly strong receipts are really helping out a great deal here. There is no reason to suspect, given the employment growth we have seen, that this trend will change any time soon," he said.

The June result exceeded Wall Street forecasts of a $16.50 billion surplus, as well as a $16 billion surplus projection from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Both income and expenditures rose in the month as the government collected more taxes and spent more on defense and Medicare than in June 2003.

Corporate income tax inflows grew 38 percent in June, when quarterly tax statements are normally filed, compared to June 2003. Individual tax receipts were nearly 9 percent higher.

On the spending side, defense expenditures rose almost 20 percent in June compared to the year-ago month, Medicare spending jumped 37 percent, and Social Security outflows rose a more modest 2 percent.

The U.S. remains on track for a second straight record annual budget deficit, on the heels of a $374.23 billion shortfall in 2003.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the U.S. has an accumulated federal deficit of $326.62 billion, well ahead of its $269.71 billion shortfall at the same point last year.

June's result is only the second monthly surplus this budget year, compared to four monthly overflows in the first nine months of fiscal 2003, according to Treasury data.

Still, the higher-than-expected surplus is likely to ease analyst worries about the size of the 2004 annual shortfall.

Earlier this year, the White House had forecast a $521 billion annual budget gap. A much lower revised forecast is expected to be issued sometime after mid-July.

 

 

Private space craft readying for launch
6/19/2004
Boston Herald

A California businessman hopes to blast his way into the history books Monday. SpaceShipOne will try to become the first privately funded, non-governmental manned craft to reach space. 
http://news.bostonherald.com/national/view.bg?articleid=32509

 

 

High School Smoking Rates Plummet 
6/17/2004
HealthDayNews
Cigarette smoking among US high school students has plummeted to its lowest rate since officials started keeping track in 1991. 
http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/feeds/hscout/2004/06/17/hscout519607.html

 

 

Today's Retirement Journey 
6/17/2004
By Betsy Streisand 
U.S. News 
Forget those stereotypes. Stay active, stay involved, and prepare for what may be your best years yet 
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/040614/biztech/14intro.htm

 

 

America's Best Hospitals 2003
Posted 6/17/2004
U.S. News 
If you're looking for the best in medical care, check out the 14th annual edition of "America's Best Hospitals." We rank 203 top medical centers in 17 specialties. 
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/health/hosptl/tophosp.htm

 

 

Economy expands in April, May; inflation pressure tame
Posted 6/16/2004
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The jobs picture showed signs of improvement in April and May, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, as potentially worrisome wage pressures and consumer prices appeared tame.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/fed/beigebook/2004-06-16-beige_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA

 

 

Black youths learn to make the right moves
Posted 6/15/2004
By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY
ATLANTA — There are more than 98,000 students in DeKalb schools, but just 27 of them attend Project Destiny School. They are the toughest of the tough: This is where students come when they're kicked out of alternative schools.
On a recent afternoon, Orrin Hudson, a former Alabama state trooper, is teaching chess to 14 students in an after-school program. He uses the ancient game to instill a fundamental life lesson: They will win or lose because of choices they make — in real life and on the chess board. 
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-06-15-chess-teach_x.htm

 

 

Lemonade Sale Funds Girl's Wish 
06/12/04 9:53 AM PT 
By Virginia Anderson 
Alexandra Scott, 8, has accepted that she may not live to see 10 candles on her birthday cake. She may never get a learner's license, throw a sweet 16 birthday party or experience the thrill of a first kiss. But the little girl from Philadelphia is determined to stop the disease that is killing her -- a cancer called neuroblastoma -- from killing other children for a lack of research and research funds.

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/34444.html



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Cassini spacecraft bears down on Saturn after 7-year trip
Posted 6/11/2004 5:23 PM 
By Andrew Bridges, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Out so far in space that the sun is a tiny dot, the most sophisticated science spacecraft ever is nearing Saturn to begin a lengthy study of the ringed planet and its 31 known moons. 

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-06-11-cassini-general_x.htm



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In a room designed for sleep, the bed is just the beginning
Posted 6/12/2004 8:00 AM
By Shizuo Kambayashi, AP 
TOKYO (AP) — In fading light, the murmur of a cool stream soothes your jangled nerves. Your back is slowly massaged, stretching muscles exhausted from the long commute home. Before you know it, you're fast asleep. 
It sounds like treatment you might get at an exotic resort. But a Japanese company has developed a sleep machine system it says will deliver a full eight hours of Z's in your own bedroom. 

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.usatoday.com/money/world/2004-06-12-japan-sleep_x.htm




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Good news for town threatened by fire - Tiny Arizona community may be spared
Saturday, June 12, 2004 
NUTRIOSO, Arizona (AP)

Fire officials were optimistic that a 7,300-acre fire in eastern Arizona will bypass a tiny mountain community of vacation homes and wooden cottages.

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/Southwest/06/12/wildfires.ap/index.html




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Lindsay Lohan: Living Dream Life?
June 4, 2004

(CBS) Lindsay Lohan is everywhere, reports Correspondent Maureen Maher for 48 Hours. 
Lohan just hosted "Saturday Night Live." She’s all over the newsstands. And she’s the new favorite of the Hollywood paparazzi. 
It’s not a bad life for a 17-year-old. She shops on Rodeo Drive. She drives a Mercedes ("I’ll probably get a truck soon, just to feel safer"), and she can buy pretty much whatever she wants, including a $40,000 watch. 
Just who is this lucky teenager? 
She’s one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars – now pulling in more than a million dollars a film. And if you’re not familiar with her, ask the next kid you bump into. They’ll know... 

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/02/48hours/main620792.shtml


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Weight Training Improves Diabetic Nerve Function
Fri Jun 4, 2004 

By Megan Rauscher 
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Resistance training improves nerve function in elderly diabetic patients with a common condition called peripheral neuropathy, according to findings presented today at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association. It also has a favorable impact on risk factors for heart disease. 

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=HYC0W20UBCTUUCRBAELCFEY?type=healthNews&storyID=5350115


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Fab Friday for markets 

Major indexes surge thanks to Intel's forecast, May jobs report.
June 4, 2004: 6:48 PM EDT 
By Alexandra Twin, CNN/Money Staff Writer 


NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - U.S. stock markets gained Friday, supported by Intel's strong forecast, a continued drop in oil prices and a stellar May payrolls report. 
The Nasdaq composite (up 18.36 to 1978.62, Charts) gained close to 1 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average (up 46.91 to 10242.82, Charts) gained 0.45 percent and the Standard & Poor's 500 (up 5.86 to 1122.50, Charts) index gained around 0.5 percent. All three closed off their highs of the session, hit in early afternoon. 
Gains on the session were broad based, with 24 out of 30 Dow issues closing higher. 
Markets were closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. For the four-day week, the Dow gained 0.5 percent, the S&P 500 gained just over 0.1 percent, both closing higher for the second week in a row. 

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://money.cnn.com/2004/06/04/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm?cnn=yes


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Report: Cancer rates down, survival up
Thursday, June 3, 2004 Posted: 2:50 PM EDT (1850 GMT) 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans' risk of getting and dying from cancer continues to inch down, says the nation's annual report on the disease. For the first time, there are signs that lung cancer in women is starting to decline too.

Death rates from cancer in general have dropped 1.1 percent a year since 1993, and Thursday's report confirms that decline continued in 2001. Rates of new cases are declining about half a percent a year, too.

Most striking in this latest tally is what's happening with the No. 1 cancer killer: Rates of female lung cancer diagnoses have declined about 2 percent a year since 1998, years after men began a similar improvement. Also, female death rates from lung cancer have leveled off, remaining virtually unchanged since 1995, the report says...


Read the negative article at: 
http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/conditions/06/03/cancer.rates.ap/index.html


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Strong jobs growth 
With nearly 1 million jobs added in last 3 months and wages rising, profit growth may cool.
June 4, 2004 
By Chris Isidore, CNN/Money senior writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Employers are adding jobs at the fastest pace in four years, a government report showed Friday, which is great for workers. 
Friday's Labor Department report showed an increase of 248,000 jobs outside the farm sector in May, compared with a revised gain of 346,000 for April. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com forecast the May report would show a 225,000-job gain. 
The unemployment rate held steady at 5.6 percent, in line with economists' forecasts. 
And the strength in the job market is starting to be seen in workers' paychecks. 
For the second straight month average hourly wages rose 0.3 percent, last month to $15.64. 
April job growth was revised up from a previous reading of 288,000 new jobs. The department also revised the number of jobs created in March, to 353,000 from a previous reading of 337,000. 
That means the economy created 947,000 jobs the past three months, the best since 1.03 million jobs were added during the same three months of 2000, when the U.S. jobs market was the strongest in recent memory. 


Read the negative article at: 
http://money.cnn.com/2004/06/04/news/economy/jobless_may/index.htm?cnn=yes




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Principles Of Good Parenting
NEW YORK, June 7, 2004
CBS/AP

(CBS) Psychologist Laurence Steinberg has written a new book, "The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting," which is a helpful guide for all parents. Being a parent today requires split-second decision making and reacting to your kids on a moment's notice...

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/21/earlyshow/leisure/books/main619046.shtml


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The New Harry Potter Movie: The Prisoner of Azkaban is a high point for the series.
Fri Jun 4, 2004 
This column from The Weekly Standard was written by Jonathan V. Last.
The good news is that at no point during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban do Harry and Ron head out to the Hogwarts swimming pool. Worries about the selection of Alfonso Cuarón to direct the third Harry Potter movie were needless... 

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/04/opinion/main621164.shtml

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The Honda Vote 
Fri Jun 4, 2004 
Don't fret about 'offshoring' in Anna Ohio, where foreigners are bringing good jobs into America.
By Richard J. Newman 

ANNA, OHIO--Most of the 1.2 million engines produced each year at the sprawling Honda factory here in Anna Ohio, go into Hondas: the Accord, the Civic, the Odyssey minivan. But last year the Japanese automaker got a new marquee customer for its Ohio power plants: General Motors. The world's biggest automaker tapped Honda to provide 50,000 high-output V-6 engines for the new Red Line version of the Saturn Vue SUV--a 250-horsepower V-6 that's similar to the one in the top-tier Accord.

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/040607/biztech/7honda.htm

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U.S. Jobs Growth Robust in May
Fri Jun 4, 2004 11:48 AM ET 
By Glenn Somerville 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employers added a larger-than-expected 248,000 jobs in May, according to a government report on Friday that confirmed a strengthening economy is likely to usher in higher interest rates. 

The May tally by the Labor Department exceeded Wall Street expectations for 216,000 new jobs and followed an upwardly revised total of 346,000 jobs in April and 353,000 in March. The 947,000 jobs created in the March-May period make it the strongest three-month stretch in four years. 

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=FYJMC5FMVMCH2CRBAEOCFFA?type=businessNews&storyID=5348195

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Disk storage sales climb in first quarter.
June 4, 2004
By Reuters 

Revenue from worldwide sales of disk storage systems rose 3.5 percent in the first quarter, and revenue from external disk storage systems rose 6.5 percent, research company IDC said Thursday. 

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://news.com.com/Disk+storage+sales+climb+in+first+quarter/2100-1015_3-5226506.html?tag=nefd.top

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June 4, 2004 
by ABC News
Yvonne Butler in Lithonia, Georgia started a simple program in which not only had many students lost weight, but: 

visits to the school nurse were down 30 percent 
disciplinary problems dropped 20 percent.
And test scores improved 10 percent to 15 percent.

And that's not all that has changed. 
"They are taking responsibility for their health and their lifestyle," Butler said. "This is something that they learn at this school but they will take with them for the rest of their lives."
And thanks to this program, those lives may be longer and healthier.

Learn more about the pleasant news at: 
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/Living/obesity_principal_040603-1.html



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June 2, 2004 

A report in the journal Nature this week suggests that 55 million years ago a massive belch of carbon-rich methane gas from the North Atlantic triggered 200,000 years of extreme global warming. 

Scientists estimate at least 1,500 gigatonnes of carbon was pumped into the atmosphere at the time of the prehistoric warming. Man-made emissions of carbon are now released into the atmosphere at a rate of close to 6.5 gigatonnes a year.

It will take humans 231 years to produce as much carbon as was produced 55 million years ago.


Margaret Munro 
CanWest News Service 

Read the negative article at: 
http://www.canada.com/saskatoon/starphoenix/features/onlineextras/story.html?id=079b6488-79af-4540-a27e-aa3a958cda2e

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copied over to thereason.txt:

Why we started the Pleasant News Service. There was much pleasant news in the article below, but the author chose to focus on the negative and always followed any pleasant news that was reported with something bad. If child advocates want to present the bad news to keep their programs running, we want to present the Pleasant News to show you that life is better off than is being reported by current media. You can feel better about what you have accomplished.


This was the original article published June 4th 2004 on CNN.com 

Study: More young adults 'disconnected'
Many neither working nor in school, study says



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Despite marked improvement in the lives of American children, a new study finds rising numbers of "disconnected" young adults -- those who have no job, are not in school and have not progressed beyond a high school diploma.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation study, offering an annual measure of how children are faring, showed that nearly one in six young adults -- 3.8 million Americans from 18 to 24 -- was not in school or the workplace in 2002.

Still, American children were much better off early this decade than in the mid-1990s, according to a host of indicators: Fewer babies died in infancy, kids were less likely to live in poverty and fewer were dropping out of school.

The report, released Thursday, shows improvements in the lives of children early this decade compared with the mid-1990s.

Between 1996 and 2001, improvements were reported in eight of the 10 indicators that the report uses to measure success. Among those measures: children in poverty, children living with a parent who lacks a secure year-round job and children dropping out of high school.

Disturbing trend
But child advocates flagged what they called a disturbing trend -- 15 percent of 18- to 24-year olds are "disconnected," meaning not in school or the workplace. The number of those young adults grew by 700,000, a 19 percent increase over three years.

"Over 3.8 million disconnected youth face a greater likelihood of bad outcomes, now and in the future, which hold severe implications for our society," said Douglas W. Nelson, president of the foundation, a private research and grant-making concern that focuses on children.

On the upside, 21 states and Washington, D.C., improved on at least 7 out of 10 indicators of child well-being. Thirty-five states and Washington improved on at least 6 out of 10 indicators.

The study linked some of the good news to economic growth and expansion of public programs during the period covered. The data covers years before the economy grew sluggish.

Not all indicators improved. For example, the percentage of low-birth babies increased slightly, as did the percentage of families headed by a single parent.

The report, based on government data, found that between 1996 and 2001:


Infant mortality -- death during the first year -- fell 7 percent, from 7.3 deaths for every 1,000 live births to 6.8 deaths. Despite national progress, the infant mortality rate increased in 11 states and went unchanged in two.

Child deaths declined to 22 out of every 100,000 children ages 1 to 14, from 26 per 100,000. The child death rate increased in five states -- Alaska, Delaware, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Oklahoma.

Teen deaths by accident, homicide or suicide dropped 17 percent. In 2001, there were 50 deaths per 100,000 teens, compared with 60 in 1996.

Births to teenagers fell in every state, leading to a record low. In 2001, there were 145,324 babies born nationwide to girls ages 15-17.

The high school dropout rate fell 1 percent between 2001 (9 percent) and 1996 (10 percent).

Child poverty fell to an all-time low of 16 percent in 2000. It fell 24 percent between 1996 and 2001, declining in nearly every state. More recent data show the rate inching close to 17 percent in 2002.
Two indicators showed negative trends.

More babies are being born dangerously underweight, weighing less than about 5.5 pounds, putting them at risk of developmental problems. In 2001, 7.7 percent of all babies were born at a low birth-weight -- up from 7.4 percent in 1996.

Also, there was an increase, 4 percent, in the percent of families headed by a single parent, between the years 1996 and 2001.

The report found conditions for children the best in Minnesota, followed by New Hampshire, New Jersey, Iowa, Utah, Vermont, Connecticut, North Dakota, Massachusetts and Nebraska.

Conditions were the worst in Mississippi, then Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, South Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 

Find this article at: 
http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/parenting/06/03/american.children.ap/index.html 




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This is how we thought the article could have been written:


Study: American children are much better off. 
Fewer babies died in infancy, kids were less likely to live in poverty and fewer were dropping out of school.



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Finding a marked improvement in the lives of American children, a new study finds rising numbers indicate children are better off than they were 10 years ago.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation study, offering an annual measure of how children are faring, showed that American children were much better off early this decade than in the mid-1990s, according to a host of indicators: Fewer babies died in infancy, kids were less likely to live in poverty and fewer were dropping out of school.

The report, released Thursday June 3rd 2004, shows improvements in the lives of children early this decade compared with the mid-1990s.

Between 1996 and 2001, improvements were reported in eight of the 10 indicators that the report uses to measure success. Among those measures: children in poverty, children living with a parent who lacks a secure year-round job and children dropping out of high school.

On the upside, 21 states and Washington, D.C., improved on at least 7 out of 10 indicators of child well-being. Thirty-five states and Washington improved on at least 6 out of 10 indicators.

The study linked some of the good news to economic growth and expansion of public programs during the period covered. 

The report, based on government data, found that between 1996 and 2001:

Infant mortality -- death during the first year -- fell 7 percent, from 7.3 deaths for every 1,000 live births to 6.8 deaths. 

Child deaths declined to 22 out of every 100,000 children ages 1 to 14, from 26 per 100,000. 

Teen deaths by accident, homicide or suicide dropped 17 percent. In 2001, there were 50 deaths per 100,000 teens, compared with 60 in 1996.

Births to teenagers fell in every state, leading to a record low. In 2001, there were 145,324 babies born nationwide to girls ages 15-17.

The high school dropout rate fell 1 percent between 2001 (9 percent) and 1996 (10 percent).

Child poverty fell to an all-time low of 16 percent in 2000. It fell 24 percent between 1996 and 2001, declining in nearly every state. More recent data show the rate inching close to 17 percent in 2002.

The report found conditions for children the best in Minnesota, followed by New Hampshire, New Jersey, Iowa, Utah, Vermont, Connecticut, North Dakota, Massachusetts and Nebraska.


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