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Suicide rate for teen girls hits 40-year record high -- is social media to blame?

According to new data released Thursday by Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-old girls doubled between 2007 and 2015, reaching a 40-year high.

» RELATED: Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter in boyfriend's suicide, accused of convincing him to commit suicide via text messages 

That means for every 100,000 American girls in 2015, 5 died by suicide.

Additionally, the suicide rate among teen boys in the same age group and year range rose by more than 30 percent.

>> Read more trending news

The analysis mirrors a rising national trend in suicide rates across all age groups, CDC suicide expert Thomas Simon told CNN.

» RELATED: Read the full CDC report

So, what’s going on?

Experts such as Simon and Carl Tishler, adjunct associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at the Ohio State University, said there are a lot of possible factors.

» RELATED: How to keep your kids safe on social media 

Some factors include substance abuse, relationship conflicts, lack of emotional support, the stigma associated with mental health, exposure to violence and economic instability.

Tishler specifically cited the rise of the opioid epidemic as a possible factor.

“Some of the opiate or heroin overdoses in adolescents may be interpreted by emergency departments as suicides. There may be more internet suicides,” Tishler told CNN.

» RELATED: The more social media you use, the lonelier you feel, study says

What about social media?

While some public health studies have shown negative effects of social media on young people’s mental health and well-being, Simon said social media isn’t always negative.

“Social media can help increase connections between people, and it's an opportunity to correct myths about suicide and to allow people to access prevention resources and materials,” he told CNN.

» RELATED: This social media platform is the worst for cyberbullying 

Still, he acknowledges that cyberbullying can greatly impact vulnerable youth.

Additionally, cyberbullying in social media may negatively influence teenage girls more than boys, according to Emory University School of Medicine professor Dorian Lamis.

» RELATED: Should kids be watching new Netflix series on teen suicide? 

“Some research has suggested that the timing of puberty in girls is a contributing factor for the increased suicide rate,” Lamis told CNN.

Lamis said the hormonal, mental and physical changes associated with puberty may leave teen girls “vulnerable to depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders earlier on in life.”

“The message for parents, teachers, coaches and religious leaders is to not be afraid to talk to a young person when they are concerned,” Simon said.

Read more from CNN.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, or if you are concerned for someone else, here are some helpful resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 hours)

Call 1-800-273-8255

Online chat

Suicide prevention resources for parents, guardians and families

Suicide prevention resources for teens

Suicide prevention resources for survivors of suicide loss

More resources and programs at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Feeling depressed? Hot yoga could help

If you want to help put an end to your depression, a new report from the American Psychological Association suggests giving hot yoga a try. 

>> Read more trending news

“Yoga has become increasingly popular in the West, and many new yoga practitioners cite stress-reduction and other mental health concerns as their primary reason for practicing,” Lindsey Hopkins, one of the analysts, said in a statement. “But the empirical research on yoga lags behind its popularity as a first-line approach to mental health.” 

That’s why the scientists from the APA conducted a study to determine how the practice could combat symptoms of depression including anxiety, stress, rumination and worry.

To do so, they led several different studies. In the first one, they rounded up 23 male veterans to participate in twice-weekly yoga classes for eight weeks. The subjects gave the exercise an average enjoyment ranking of 9.4 out of 10, and those with elevated depression scores had a significant decrease in depression symptoms.

» RELATED: Need to relieve stress? Try talking to yourself

For the second one, scientists gathered 52 women ages 25 to 45 and asked more than half of them to attend twice-weekly hot yoga classes for eight weeks. The others were placed on a wait list. At the end of the experiment, those who tried yoga saw a reduction in their depression symptoms compared to those in the control group. 

And in another, they examined 74 mildly depressed university students, giving them a 15-minute instructional video to follow at home for two months. They found that their symptoms had also subsided significantly.

Researchers noted that the practice isn’t a cure-all but should be a complimentary practice to traditional forms of therapy. 

“However,” Hopkins said, “based on empirical evidence, there seems to be a lot of potential.”

Animals marooned on Everglades tree islands are dying

High water levels in the Everglades have stranded animals on levees and tree islands, triggering emergency measures by water managers to drain flooded areas.

>> Read more trending news

This week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers changed its water storage rules to temporarily allow for more water to be stored in water conservation areas through the fall and into the dry season.

This is the second time this summer that heavy rainfall has forced the corps to make emergency changes to account for the high water levels.

“Heavy rain since the beginning of June have caused the water levels in the conservation areas to rise to historic levels for this time of year,” corps officials said in a statement.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioner “Alligator” Ron Bergeron sent a graphic letter to the corps this week, describing the conditions of animals marooned on the tree islands, levees and spoil islands.

He said huddled on higher ground, their preferred food sources are limited and they must eat less nutritious food, which increases stress.

“Over time, fat reserves become exhausted and malnutrition and death will occur,” Bergeron said. “Extended duration high-water conditions also have detrimental long-term effects on the essential foraging and nesting habitats of federally listed species such as wood storks and snail kites.”

Procter & Gamble’s new ad ‘The Talk’ tackles racial bias

Procter & Gamble has, in the past, worked to used commercials to not only advertise its brands, but to bring greater awareness to bias that exists in many forms.

>> Read more trending news

The Cincinnati-based company’s latest effort, “The Talk,” is no exception.

2-minute version of the commercial depicts “the inevitable conversations many black parents have with their children about racial bias to prepare, protect and encourage them,” according to the company.

“Listen,” a mother says assuringly to her son on the front porch of their rural home. “It’s an ugly, nasty word and you are gonna hear it. Nothing I can do about that, but you are not going to let that word hurt you.”

Another mother sending her daughter off to camp gently reminds her, “Remember. You can do anything that they can. Difference is you’ve got to work twice as hard and be twice as smart.”

A teen son is warned by his mother to bring his ID just “in case they stop you.” And a woman advises her adult daughter about what to do when she gets pulled over.

“This is not about you getting a ticket,” the mother says. “This is about you coming home.”

In a scene toward the end that ties back to the video’s start, a mother tells her young daughter that being told by a woman at a store that she was “pretty for a black girl” was not a compliment and reminds her “You are beautiful, period. OK? Don’t ever forget that.”

The commercial wraps up with the words “Let’s talk about ‘The Talk’ so we can end the need to have it,” followed by the P&G logo and its “My Black is Beautiful” trademark.

“These depictions of ‘The Talk’ illustrate that while times have changed, racial bias still exists,” the company said in a post to its website.

P&G is doing its best “to ensure others see the world we too want for our daughters and sons,” according to the company.

“As a corporate citizen we have a unique opportunity, and a responsibility, to use our voice and our resources for good,” reads the post. “Through our brands, we can bring greater awareness to bias that exists in many forms, sparking conversations that motivate change, creating new expectations for people to live up to, and ultimately helping to create more equal opportunities for all.

“A more equal world is good for us, our consumers and our community.”

Muslim Americans are more accepting of homosexuality than white evangelicals, Pew research says

Ten years ago, only 27 percent of Muslims in the United States said homosexuality should be accepted by society, and 61 percent said same-sex relationships should be discouraged.

>> Read more trending news 

But according to a Pew Research Center report released last week, the majority of Muslim Americans today -- 52 percent -- are now accepting of homosexuality, following a trend found in other American faith groups.

Even the Muslims who said religion is “very important” in their lives have become 28 points more accepting since 2007.

Compared to other American faith groups, Muslim Americans are more accepting of homosexuality than white evangelicals (34 percent) and black Protestants (50 percent), but are not as accepting as white mainline Protestants (76 percent) and Catholics (66 percent).

» RELATED: Muslims in America, by the numbers 

Young Muslim Americans (Muslim millennials) also tend to be more accepting of homosexuality. Between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of Muslim millennials in America that said homosexuality should be accepted by society jumped from 33 percent to 60 percent.

The Pew report, which includes data from more than 1,000 adult U.S. Muslims, also found the majority of Muslim Americans continue to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (66 percent) and 39 percent describe themselves as politically moderate.

» RELATED: 5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay 

Forty-four percent of Muslims eligible to vote cast ballots in last year's presidential election, compared to 37 percent in 2007. Those numbers on Muslim voting are compared to 60 percent of eligible voters overall who cast ballots in 2016.

Muslims overwhelmingly backed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who drew 78 percent of their vote, compared to 8 percent for Trump.

» RELATED: Mahershala Ali makes history as first Muslim to win an Academy Award 

Alarmed by the anti-Muslim rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, Muslim American leaders made an unprecedented push to register voters in mosques and at community events, leading to higher overall turnout.

Pew researchers estimate the number of U.S. Muslims has been growing by 100,000 each year, reaching 3.35 million, or 1 percent of the American population.

» RELATED: Georgia did not ‘ban Muslim culture,’ as fake-news websites claimed 

By 2050, they estimate Islam will supplant Judaism as the second-most popular religion in the U.S., with Muslims making up 2.1 percent of the future population.

Just over half of U.S. Muslims identify as Sunni, while 16 percent identify as Shiite. Nearly six in 10 adult American Muslims were born outside the U.S.

The largest share of immigrants come from South Asian countries such as Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, while others have come from Iraq, Iran, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.

» RELATED: Photos of famous Muslim Americans

American-born blacks make up about 13 percent of all Muslims in America, but their share is shrinking. Overall, eight in 10 are U.S. citizens, according to the survey.

Eight in 10 American Muslims also said they were concerned about Islamic extremism, and more than 70 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned about Islamic extremism in the U.S.

However, three of 10 said that most of those arrested recently on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack had been tricked by law enforcement authorities and did not represent a real threat.

Read the full Pew Research Center report at Pewforum.org.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Alexis Ohanian guesses sex of baby as fiance Serena Williams approaches due date

Alexis Ohanian and Serena Williams will be welcoming their new bundle of joy before long.

>> Read more trending news

On Tuesday night, the father-to-be and Reddit founder appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and revealed he thinks that his fiancée will give birth to a baby girl. The couple has publicly said that they are waiting until the birth to find out the sex.

“We’re going to be surprised. I will say this, though: We have our hunches,” Ohanian said. “Obviously, (Williams) won the Australian Open while pregnant ... And she remarked that she feels like it has to be a little girl because everything that little baby went through and handled like a champ only a woman could be strong enough to take on.

“If anything, it’s really just reinforced how just amazing and strong and powerful and awesome women are and how useless (men) are during this whole thing. Because it’s like, ‘I can make you a grilled cheese. Does this help?’ We’re worthless!”

“This story -- in a way, it’s the greatest nerd-makes-good story in history. You marrying Serena Williams -- it’s pretty unbelievable,” Kimmel said. “When you think about it, she might be the greatest athlete in American history or maybe the history of the world, not just tennis. This is unbelievable that she has chosen to copulate [with you].”

Ohanian also said that he has never challenged his tennis champ fiancée to a match.

“I was so ignorant when we first met. I had never even watched a match on television. Like, I would change the channel. I was such an arrogant football snob that I changed the channel when tennis was on,” he said. “She’s actually offered to give me lessons. I turned them down. Because I want to be the only person in the world who would ever turn down Serena Williams for tennis lessons, and because I knew there was no benefit to her seeing me be that bad.”

Millennials are killing everything. Are you next?

It’s possible the trend of blaming millennials for killing everything from cherished traditions to entire industries may be a bit overblown.

Millennials, also called Generation Y, are generally considered the generation born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s or early 2000s. In recent years, a slew of articles have blamed millennials for pretty much everything wrong with the United States, from societal woes to business misfortunes.

Here’s a comprehensive list of everything millennials are blamed for killing. Well, as comprehensive as we can be, given their apparently unquenchable thirst for slaying.

1. Golf. They’re just not into it, reported Business Insider in 2016.

2. Road cycling. The same story says millennials are into fitness classes, but not so much biking on the road.

3. Movies. The number of ticket buyers ages 18 to 24 dropped off by more than one-third between 2013 and 2016, reported the New York Post.

4. Napkins. Millennials favor paper towels, according to a February 2016 survey by marketing intelligence agency Mintel covered in The Washington Post.

>> Young Millennnials are the worst behaved drivers, AAA study says

5. Class. A 2014 story on Unwritten says millennials are selfish and lack manners. How rude!

6. Vacations. At least millennials like to work hard. No, wait, make that too hard, according to a 2014 Inc. story – they don’t take enough time off.

7. Bar soap. Three in five millennials are convinced that soap bars are covered in germs, reported MarketWatch in 2016.

8. Relationships. A 2016 Elite Daily story blames online dating apps like Tinder and OKCupid for creating an impulsive dating climate that motivates millennials to keep on searching for a soul mate.

9. Marriage. If millennials aren’t into relationships, it seems to follow that they’re not getting married. An April report by Bloomberg found that more than half of people ages 25 to 34 are single, while two-thirds of people in the same age range were already married in 1980.

>> NBA considers changing game over millennials’ short attention spans

10. Sex. If they aren’t forming long-term relationships or getting married, are millennials at least having sex? Not so much, says a 2016 New York Post story that found young people are having less sex than previous generations.

11. Home ownership. An April report found homeownership among millennials at an all-time low of 34.3 percent.

12. Wine corks. Even the lowly wine cork’s not safe. Millennials drink nearly half of all wine in the U.S., but they favor cans or bottles with twist-off tops, found USA Today in 2016.

13. Diamonds. Millennials would rather spend money on travel or handbags than baubles, reported The Daily Beast in 2016.

14. Department stores. A February report on Fortune says changing shopping habits among millennials are driving Macy’s, JC Penney and Nordstrom to close stores.

15. Running. The number of finishers in U.S. footraces dropped 9 percent in 2015, reported The Wall Street Journal in 2016. You can guess who got the blame.

16. Cruises. A 2016 story by Caribbean News Service reports with dismay that millennials are turning up their noses at cruises, preferring more authentic experiences.

17. And casinos. The same story notes that millennials are by and large also uninterested in casinos, for similar reasons.

18. Dinner dates. Are online daters too busy or too cheap to eat out when they first meet? Either way, it’s bad news for dinner dates, reported MarketWatch in March.

19. Focus groups. In a 2015 story, Digiday reported that millennials are so aware of marketing that it’s impossible to use their input on marketing.

20. The 9-to-5 work week. Millennials want more flexibility at work, whether working from home or setting their own schedule, reported The Huffington Post in 2015.

>> What is Friendsgiving?

21. Chain restaurants. A June Business Insider story says casual dining chains like TGI Fridays, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday and Buffalo Wild Wings are experiencing sales slumps. You know who’s to blame.

22. Face-to-face interaction. They’d rather be on their smartphones, said MarketWatch in 2016.

23. Breakfast cereal. It’s not easy enough, reported The Washington Post in 2016.

24. The NFL. Not interested, said Work In Sports in January.

25. The hangout sitcom. They’re not your “Friends,” reported Refinery29 in 2015.

26. Their bosses. Or at least the role of managers in the workplace, said Ideapod in 2015.

27. The American Dream. Even the American Dream isn’t safe from their clutches, reported RedAlertPolitics in 2015.

Millennials. Is there anything they can’t kill? Really, the list is pretty much endless.

Except maybe for avocado toast, the much-reported favorite food of millennials. Americans spend $900,000 a month on it, reports CNBC.

©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) 

Visit The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) at www.sacbee.com 

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Pistol-packing bride pulls gun on groom on wedding night

A Tennessee bride who was packing heat on her wedding night is now in jail, news reports state.

>> Read more trending news 

Kate Elizabeth Prichard, 25, and her new husband were at a hotel just hours after saying “I do” when witnesses said she whipped out a gun, according to WTVF.

"She pulled out of her wedding dress a 9mm pistol, pointed it at her new husband's head, and pulled the trigger," Sgt. Kyle Evans with the Murfreesboro Police Department told WTVF. 

Luckily for the new groom, the gun wasn’t loaded. However, his new bride then filled the chamber and fired a round into the air. 

When police arrived, the newlyweds told officers nothing had happened, WTVF reported.

But after police interviewed witnesses and found shell casings on the ground and a gun in the bathroom, they booked Prichard into the Rutherford County jail.

"Responding officers let the husband know the honeymoon was over and his new wife was going to jail," said Evans.

Read more at WTVF.

Florida woman scammed couple adopting her child, police say

A woman in Tampa got arrested on Friday after police said she scammed a couple trying to adopt her child.

>> Read more trending news 

Jessica Bottoms, 32, allegedly collected money from the couple knowing she was not going to give up the baby, WFTS reports. 

Tampa police said Bottoms agreed to put her unborn child up for adoption in December 2015. When the child was born early, Bottoms did not tell the couple and kept collecting money from them. 

The victims found out the baby was born two weeks early, and they had already given Bottoms more than $1,000 in those two weeks, according to WFTS. 

In total, Bottoms got paid more than $7,200 in cash, gift cards and other services for the adoption plan.

>> Police: Florida man set pregnant girlfriend on fire in front of kids

The couple said they were aware that they could lose money in the process if the mother backed out, but contacted authorities when they learned they were still paying Bottoms while the baby was already born. 

"We understood that she had the option to parent and we respected that," the couple, who remains unidentified, told WFTS. "But we didn't want her to do this to another family."

Bottoms was released from the county jail on a $2,000 bond, arrest records show. 

Read more at WFTS

Teacher invites 20 students to be in her wedding

A bride is thanking 20 kindergarten and first-grade students for making her wedding day extra special.

>> Watch a video about the ceremony here

Indianapolis teacher Marielle Slagel Keller, 25, tied the knot on June 24. She knew the day wouldn’t be complete without including her 20 students and their families, who helped her through the wedding planning process, ABC News reports.

>> See photos from the wedding here

“They mean the world to me,” Slagel Keller told WTHR. “The kids and their families were part of the whole wedding planning process with me and gave me so much support along the way. They are a huge part of who I am, and it would not have felt right to not have them there.”

>> On HotTopics.TV: Sick grandmother shocked when bride and groom surprise her in hospital on wedding day 

The kids all wore white and walked down the aisle just before their teacher, holding garlands. Photos captured the touching moment.

Husband Mike Keller said he had some reservations at first but admitted that everything went perfectly.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

“I said, ‘This is lovely,’ but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘There’s a 25 percent chance this will go according to plan,'" Mike Keller told ABC News. “But she really had a passion for it on this special day, and I’m glad she went with it. It ended up being perfect.”

>> Read more trending news

Slagel Keller said having her students be a part of the day made it even more special.

“To have those kids walk down the aisle for me was really special. There were a lot of tears,” she said.

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