Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo? Here’s what it’s about.

Have you seen anyone with a tattoo like this?

If not, you may not be looking close enough. They’re popping up…

…everywhere.

Photos by The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

That’s right: the semicolon. It’s a tattoo that has gained popularity in recent years, but unlike other random or mystifying trends, this one has a serious meaning behind it. (And no, it’s not just the mark of a really committed grammar nerd.)


My co-worker Parker’s photo of her own semicolon tattoo.

This mark represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

Project Semicolon was born from a social media movement in 2013.

They describe themselves as a “movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire.”

But why a semicolon?

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. Today, people all over the world are tattooing the mark as a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival.

Photos by
The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

I spoke with Jenn Brown and Jeremy Jaramillo of
The Semicolon Tattoo Project, an organization inspired by the semicolon movement. Along with some friends, Jenn and Jeremy saw an opportunity to both help the community and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

In 2012,
over 43 million Americans dealt with a mental illness. Mental illness is not uncommon, yet there is a stigma around it that prevents a lot of people from talking about it and that’s a barrier to getting help.

More conversations that lead to less stigma? Yes please.

“[The tattoo] is a conversation starter,” explains Jenn. “People ask what it is and we get to tell them the purpose.”

“I think if you see someone’s tattoo that you’re interested in, that’s fair game to start a conversation with someone you don’t know,” adds Jeremy. “It provides a great opportunity to talk. Tattoos are interesting marks we put on our bodies that are important to us.”

A woman getting a semicolon tattoo at last year’s event. Photo by
The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

Last year, The Semicolon Tattoo Project held an event at several tattoo shops where people could get a semicolon tattoo for a flat rate. “That money was a fundraiser for our crisis center,” said Jenn. In total, over 400 people received semicolon tattoos in one day. Even better, what began as a local event has spread far and wide, and people all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos.

And it’s not just about the conversation it’s about providing tangible support and help too.

Jenn and Jeremy work with the
Agora Crisis Center. Founded in 1970, it’s one of the oldest crisis centers in the country. Through The Semicolon Tattoo Project, they’ve been able to connect even more people with the help they need during times of crisis. (If you need someone to talk to, scroll to the end of the article for the center’s contact information.)

So next time you see this small punctuation tattoo, remember the words of Upworthy writer Parker Molloy:

“I recently decided to get a semicolon tattoo. Not because it’s trendy (though, it certainly seems to be at the moment), but because it’s a reminder of the things I’ve overcome in my life. I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria for the better part of my life, and at times, that led me down a path that included self-harm and suicide attempts.
But here I am, years later, finally fitting the pieces of my life together in a way I never thought they could before. The semicolon (and the message that goes along with it) is a reminder that I’ve faced dark times, but I’m still here.”

No matter how we get there, the end result is so important: help and support for more people to also be able to say ”
I’m still here.

If you want to see more incredible semicolon tattoos, check out nine photos and stories that our readers shared with us!

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/have-you-seen-anyone-with-a-semicolon-tattoo-heres-what-its-about?c=tpstream

Youre Allowed To Leave

“If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave. Mo Willems.

Youre allowed to leave any story you dont find yourself in. Youre allowed to leave any story you dont yourself in.

Youre allowed to leave a city that has dimmed your light instead of making you shine brighter, youre allowed to pack all your bags and start over somewhere else and youre allowed to redefine the of your life.

Youre allowed to quit the job you hate even if the world tells you not to and youre allowed to search for something that makes you look forward to tomorrow and to the rest of your life.

Youre allowed to leave someone you love if theyre treating you poorly, youre allowed to put yourself first if youre settling and youre allowed to walk away when youve tried over and over again butnothing has changed.

Youre allowed to let toxic friends go, youre allowed to surround yourself with love, and people who encourage and nurture you. Youre allowed to pick the kind of you need in your life.

Youre allowed to forgive yourself for your biggest and smallestmistakes and youre allowed to be kind to yourself, youre allowed to look in the mirror and actually the person you see.

Youre allowed to set yourself free from your own expectations.

We sometimes look at leaving as a bad thing or associate it with giving up or quitting, but sometimes leaving is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Leaving allows you to change directions, to start over, to rediscover yourself and the world. Leaving sometimes saves you from staying stuck in the wrong place with the wrong people.

Leaving opens a new door for change, growth, opportunities and

You always have thechoice to leave until you find where you belong and what makes you happy.

Youre even allowed to leave the old behind and reinvent yourself.

Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book , available here.

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/rania-naim/2016/07/youre-allowed-to-leave/

What Its Like To Be In Love When You Have Depression

No one will love you until you learn to love yourself is an easy enough phrase to believe is true. But its terrifying, especially when you have depression. What if you never learn? As a teenager, it made me fear for my life as an adult. I was certain I would never be capable of being in a relationship, but I was very wrong. Honestly, I do not like myself very much, and in August of 2013, a boy fell very, very much in love with me.

I have dealt with depression for as long as I can remember. Ive been on and off medications, been to therapy, but its still alive and well, comfortable in its home in my bones. I can feel it every day, a tiny inkling that causes breathtaking emotional pain at the most inconvenient of times.

My depression doesnt care that I am in a relationship with a boy who makes me laugh, tells me Im beautiful 20 times a day, and cares more deeply for me than any other boy has. I am grateful for the nights he holds me while I cry for hours for no reason. I am thankful that he puts up with my random periods of irritability. He constantly attempts to comfort me if I am suddenly uncomfortable when were out in public. He fills me with hope for the future when I lead myself down the darkest of paths, plays with my hair when Im having trouble sleeping, and encourages me to eat when I have no appetite. He takes care of me and I never even had to explain myself. I still consciously think to myself, nine months into this relationship, Wow, someone is in love with me. I often think about how lucky I am to be loved, regardless of my flaws in chemistry.

This intense love is frightening, because every day, I fear that one more thing will push him over the edge. That one more time of me rolling over in bed, teary-eyed, for no reason, could push him away. I know it upsets him, and I reassure him through my salty, blurred vision that its not his fault. I am often overcome with guilt and I hate that my feelings about myself cause any pain on his part. Sometimes he is not easily convinced, but I try as hard as I can with the little energy I have. Some of our nights end in a tight hug and an Im sorry mumbled from my lips, but Im just thankful that he is still happy to wake up to me every morning.

Every day is a struggle. I am constantly on edge, going back and forth between caring too much and not caring at all, wondering when he will have enough. He is quick to remind me how much he loves me, but I am just as quick to be overcome with crippling doubt. We both know that this is how forever will be, and if he hasnt given up yet, Im certain that he is 100% all in.

Never let anyone tell you that you are not worth being loved if you dont love yourself. Never let anyone tell you that your mental illness is the reason why you are not in a relationship. Never let anyone tell you that you should smile more, fix your hair, or wear more color. Never let anyone makes you feel bad about what you cant always control.

Someone will be in love with you regardless of your most comfortable state, and if that happens to be curled up on the floor of your room, crying as you listen to your favorite sad songs, then you have found true love.

featured image – Bhumika Bhatia

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/holly-everett/2014/06/what-its-like-to-be-in-love-when-you-have-depression/

Bill Gates Says U.S. Likely to Maintain Aid Levels for Africa

The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man.

Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital.

“It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to debate.”

Gates said he talks with U.S. “representatives, senators” after he returns from visits to the continent and was left optimistic after meeting Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. “They continue to think long-term and see the U.S. relationship in Africa as being pretty important,” he said.

‘More Attention’

At the same time, the administration’s focus on domestic issues and challenges in the Middle East make it unlikely that new aid programs will emerge under Trump, he said, referring to examples such as George W. Bush’s anti-AIDS project Pepfar and Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative.

“The chance of some new additional programs coming out of this administration, I wouldn’t want to rule it out, but I don’t think it’s that likely,” Gates said. “So I hope I am surprised and Africa gets more attention than it’s gotten to date.”

The 61-year-old billionaire philanthropist visited Tanzania as co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has given away more than $34 billion since its creation in 2000 and become an important sponsor of health and anti-poverty programs in Africa. While the charity funds projects ranging from nutrition to curbing neonatal deaths, almost half of its health money goes toward funding the development of vaccines for infectious diseases, most of which could be eradicated in the next 25 years, Gates said.

The foundation is “by far” the biggest funder of developing vaccines for malaria and tuberculosis, and together with the U.S. government is the main provider of HIV vaccine financing. Still, more money is necessary to speed things up, Gates said.

“Europe puts some money into these things but not a huge amount. And the rest of the world, hardly anything,” he said. “Fortunately, we’ve got science on our side and the understanding of human biology including things like the microbiome, how the immune systems work, is advancing at quite a rate.”

Fertilizers Research

While the foundation is perhaps best known for its work in health, Gates also funds agriculture programs worldwide and is an advocate of genetically-modified seeds to improve productivity on African farms. Another priority is fertilizers, he said.

“We do a lot of soil sampling to understand in all of Africa what types of fertilizers should we do and where,” Gates said. “Getting exactly the right fertilizer for the right place, and getting those at a reasonable price is a huge challenge. Of course it varies from crop to crop. But it’s key to the economy.”

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-13/bill-gates-sees-u-s-likely-to-maintain-aid-levels-for-africa

    Amid 2020 buzz, Warren urges Democrats to reject centrist policies and move leftward

    Atlanta (CNN)In the aftermath of last year’s election, the centrist old guard is out and progressives have won the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, Elizabeth Warren declared Saturday.

    “But, boy, we’ve inherited a hell of a challenge, haven’t we?” she said at an annual gathering here of thousands of progressive activists.
    In a speech that outlined Warren’s vision for the party’s future, the Massachusetts senator offered a series of policy prescriptions, calling on Democrats to push for Medicare for all, debt-free college or technical school, universal pre-kindergarten, a $15-an-hour minimum wage and portable benefits.
      She dug in against President Donald Trump, saying Democrats would defend undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children and that “we’re never, ever going to build your stupid wall.”
      And she celebrated the ascendant progressive wing’s takeover of the party — which has accelerated since November’s election.
      “We don’t have to tip-toe anymore. We don’t have to hedge our bets,” Warren said.
      Through her speech, Warren didn’t shy away from the prospect of a 2020 campaign for the presidency.
      “We’re going to fight to put more women in positions of power,” she said at one point, “from committee rooms to boardrooms to that really nice oval-shaped room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
      The crowd responded with chants of “Warren 2020!” Warren paused and smiled, and then moved on without directly addressing the chants.
      Warren is already seen as one of Democrats’ foremost voices — along with Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders — on progressives’ economic policies.
      So she used her speech in front of about 3,000 attendees at the progressive Netroots Nation conference Saturday to dive into issues of culture, which have split progressive and centrist Democrats since Hillary Clinton’s loss in November.
      In a shot at Bill Clinton-era Democratic policies, Warren said Democrats are not “going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill.”
      “We’re not going back to the days of being lukewarm on choice,” she said. “We’re not going back to the days when universal health care was something Democrats talked about on the campaign trail but were too chicken to fight for after they got elected.”
      Warren’s comments came at a crucial moment for the Democratic Party.
      Its base is energized by the fight against Trump, and Democrats were thrilled to see the GOP effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act fail in late July.
      However, the party is also without a national leader, and its path forward on policy is not yet settled.
      For the first time in decades, Democrats reacted to a national election loss by moving leftward — rather than to the center. The party’s leaders have embraced confrontational tactics against Trump, while a growing list of its top prospects for the 2020 presidential race — including Warren — are embracing Sanders’ call for a “Medicare for all” single-payer health care system.
      But that shift has caused consternation in some quarters. Some leading Democrats — including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy — recently backed the launch of a group called “New Democracy,” aimed at moving Democrats toward positions that can win over moderates, independents and disaffected Republicans.
      Warren pointed to a New York Times op-ed by Mark Penn, a Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign strategist, who called for the party to abandon “identity politics.”
      Warren noted that those calls, after previous election losses, had prevailed.
      “This time, no one cared,” she said. “Big yawn.”
      “In the wake of the last election, I’ve heard people say we need to decide whether we’re the party of the white working class or the party of Black Lives Matter,” Warren said.
      “I say we can care about a dad who’s worried that his kid will have to move away from their factory town to find good work — and we can care about a mom who’s worried that her kid will get shot during a traffic stop,” she said. “The way I see it, those two parents have something deep down in common — the system is rigged against both of them — and against their kids.”
      Warren argued that many of the voters who abandoned Democrats and either fell into Trump’s camp or stayed home in November because they see a “rigged” system and “don’t feel like anyone in politics is doing anything to un-rig it, or it’s too broken to un-rig at all.”
      “So spare me the argument about whether we ought to be trying to bring back folks who voted for Donald Trump or trying to turn out folks who just didn’t vote,” she said. “Because we can’t do either of those things until we can show that things can change — and that we will fight to change them.”
      Warren broke out her biggest applause line mid-speech, saying Democrats don’t need permission from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — a reference to a clash between her and the Kentucky Republican earlier this year.
      “He would probably tell me to sit down and shut up,” Warren said. “Nevertheless, I would persist.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/12/politics/elizabeth-warren-netroots-nation/index.html

      Type 2 diabetes rise in children ‘disturbing’ – BBC News

      Image copyright Getty Images

      More than 600 children and teenagers are being treated for type 2 diabetes in England and Wales, and the rise in cases is a “hugely disturbing trend”, local councils are warning.

      The figures come from a report by child health experts which found 110 more cases among under-19s in 2015-16 than two years previously.

      The youngest children affected are aged between five and nine.

      Council leaders said urgent action on childhood obesity was needed.

      The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, added that government cuts to public health budgets had affected their ability to tackle the issue.


      Why are children getting type 2 diabetes?

      Being overweight is the biggest risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and three-quarters of these children were obese.

      With child obesity rates in England rising – but now by a smaller amount than they have been – it’s no surprise more children are being treated for the condition.

      In primary schools in England, one in 10 children in Reception and one in five children in year 6 were classified as obese in 2015-16.

      Type 2 diabetes in children is a serious condition which can lead to long-term health complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.


      Who are they?

      Children from Asian and black ethnic backgrounds were particularly affected, and children who lived in deprived areas were more likely to have type 2.

      There were twice as many girls than boys with the condition and most of the cases were among 15-19 year olds.

      Across all children and teenagers, numbers are on the rise – from 507 cases in 2013-14 and 543 in 2014-15 to the current tally of 621.

      But there could be more who are undiagnosed, the report said – these are only the ones being treated by paediatric specialists around the country.


      What should parents do?

      Parents can make an appointment with their family GP if they are concerned about their child’s weight.

      They can then be referred to a paediatrician, weight loss services or a dietician, depending on what is available in the area.

      When children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the whole family will normally be involved in encouraging more physical exercise and a healthier diet, which are crucial to managing the condition.

      Because type 2 diabetes can be more aggressive in children than in adults, it is important to manage the condition carefully in order to prevent any health problems occurring.


      What do experts say?

      Children’s doctors, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, say type 2 diabetes is preventable in most cases and more action is need to reverse the trend.

      Dr Justin Warner, from RCPCH, said the sugar tax was “a positive step” towards reducing sugar in diets, but the government should be doing more to ban junk food adverts on TV targeted at children.

      Diabetes UK said there should be moves to reduce the sugar and saturated fat content in food.

      Libby Dowling, senior clinical adviser at the charity, said: “We need to make it as easy as possible for children and their families to lead healthy lives and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its serious complications.”


      What is the government’s plan?

      It published a childhood obesity plan a year ago, which included measures asking the food and drink industry to cut 5% of the sugar in products popular with children, with a target of 20% over four years.

      A Department of Health spokeswoman said this was already delivering results.

      The plan also called on primary schools to deliver at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day and to help parents and carers ensure children got the same amount at home.

      But local councils in England, which now fund public health, want an increased budget to tackle the problem.

      They say more needs to be done to reach out to black and other minority ethnic groups, where a disproportionately high number of children and teenagers have type 2 diabetes.

      Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40900269

      Study finds 1 in 8 Americans struggles with alcohol abuse

      (CNN)Americans are drinking more. A lot more. According to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry, an estimated one out of every eight Americans struggles with an alcohol disorder.

      The study tracked drinking patterns among 40,000 people between the years of 2002 and 2003, and then again from 2012 to 2013 to create a long-term picture of their habits. The results are chilling, especially in light of other substance abuse crises plaguing the country.

      Women, minorities, older people among most affected

        Overall, alcohol use disorders rose by almost 50%, affecting a projected 8.5% of the population during the first research period, and 12.7% during the second. That’s almost 30 million Americans actively struggling with alcohol abuse.
        The numbers are even more grim for certain groups. According to the research, alcohol use disorders have almost doubled (92.8%) among the African American population, and increased nearly 84% among women.
        However, the group that saw the highest increase in alcohol abuse disorders actually wasn’t women or minorities. It was senior citizens. Individuals 65 and older saw a staggering 106.7% increase in alcohol use disorders from 2002/2003 to 2012/2013. For 45- to 65-year-olds, that increase was also high at 81.5%.

        For the JAMA Psychiatry study, researchers used the DSM-IVdefinition laid out by the American Psychiatric Association in 1994. This definition combines factors of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence like:

        • Drinking interfering with home, family, or job responsibilities
        • Drinking increasing chances of danger or injury
        • Withdrawal symptoms when coming down from intoxication
        • An inability to stop drinking

        Of 11 criteria given, the presence of two or more indicates an alcohol use disorder. Six or more indicates a severe alcohol use disorder.

        It’s not just alcohol abuse

        The study didn’t just track alcohol abuse. It also tracked other patterns like “high risk” drinking, which the study defines as four or more drinks a day for women and five for men, plus a day that exceeds those limits at least once a week.
        “High risk” drinking has increased on pace with alcohol abuse, swelling from 9.7 percent of the population in 2002-2003 to 13.7 percent of the population in 2012-2013.

        A chilling echo

        The study was conducted by researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, and relied on rigorously controlled self-reporting of drinking habits. While there was no clear reason as to the increases, researchers claimed it constitutes a “public health crisis” on par with the current national opioid crisis.

          It’s ‘chemical warfare’ on our children

        “Most important, the findings…highlight the urgency of educating the public, policymakers, and health care professionals about high-risk drinking and [alcohol use disorders], destigmatizing these conditions and encouraging those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own..to seek treatment,” the study posits.
        The findings come as President Trump said the ongoing opioid crisis is a national public health emergency. Last week a White House panel, stating that 142 Americans die from drug overdoses every day, urged President Trump to make such a declaration.
        Dr. Marc Schuckit, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, wrote an editorial published with the new study and said the results are an extension of the same crisis.
        “[This study] reminds us that the chilling increases in opioid-related deaths reflect a broader issue regarding additional substance-related problems,” he wrote.
        The Distilled Spirits Council, the trade association of producers and marketers of distilled spirits, issued a response to the study, noting that an annual nationwide survey of about 70,000 people ages 12 and older showed a decline in alcohol use disorders in 2015. That year, the survey found, about 15.7 million people had an alcohol use disorder in the past year, and 7.7million people had an illicit drug use disorder.
        “While any amount of alcohol abuse is too much, the claims published in JAMA Psychiatry do not comport with findings of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the federal government’s leading survey that tracks substance use disorders,” Sam Zakhari, the Distilled Spirits Council senior vice president of science, said in a statement.”The NSDUH shows a decline in alcohol use disorders among all age groups.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/health/drinking-alcoholism-study-trnd/index.html

        Red Hat updates OpenShift container platform with new service catalog

        Red Hat issued its quarterly update to the OpenShift platform today, adding among other things, a Service Catalog that enables IT or third-party vendors to create connections to internal or external services.

        OpenShift is RedHats Platform as a Service, based on Kubernetes, the open source container management platform, which was originally developed by Google. It also supports Docker, a popular container platform, and adheres to the Open Container Initiative, a set of industry standards for containers, according to the company.

        As companies make the shift from virtual machines to containers, there is an increasing need for platforms like OpenShift, and Red Hat is seeing massive interest from companies as varying as Deutsche Bank, Volvo and United Health.

        OpenShift is a technology thats helping these companies, and many others make that transition to containers, says Joe Fernandes, senior director of product management for OpenShift at Red Hat. The adoption of container technology is off the charts. Pretty much every company is adopting containers in some way, he said.

        As the company increases its container customer base, its trying to build out the platform to meet the needs of larger company IT departments. One of the things theyve been hearing is that they want it to be easier to connect containerized applications to internal and external services.

        The Service Catalog is not unlike an app store in that developers can go in and find pre-configured connectors. This could be an internal connector to an Oracle database or an external one to a public cloud service from AWS or Azure (or anything else). Fernandes says the app store analogy is apt, but points out that it doesnt have any procurement capability, at least for now. It could in the future, he says.

        Customers were able to make these service connections before, but it took a lot more effort. The goal is to provide a packaged approach so that users dont have to do the work every time, which should help speed up implementation.

        The Service Catalog is available as a technical preview for this release. The next release is due before the end of the year.

        Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/09/red-hat-updates-openshift-platform-with-new-service-catalog/

        Day care driver expected to face charges after boy found dead in van

        (CNN)A Florida day care center employee is expected to face charges after a 3-year-old boy was found dead in a parked van, police in Orlando said Tuesday.

        Myles Hill was found on the floor at the back of the van parked at the Little Miracles Academy day care center around 6:30 p.m. on Monday, police told reporters. Police Chief John Mina said authorities believe he had been in the vehicle since around 9 a.m. that morning. The high temperature in Orlando on Monday was about 93 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Weather Underground.
        The cause of Myles’ death has not been determined, but Mina said that based on the evidence, it is believed to be heat-related. “This was an absolute tragedy that could have been prevented,” Mina told reporters on Tuesday.
          The van is used by employees to transport children from one day care location to another — as well as pick them up and drop them off at their homes.
          Mina said an employee, who has not been named publicly, had used the van Monday to move a group of children, including Myles, from one location to another. The employee dropped the children off and returned the van to the first location at around 9 a.m. It then sat in the parking lot until police were called later that night.It was unclear whether the employee locked the van after using it.
          Myles would have turned 4 on August 22.
          The Little Miracles Academy could not be reached by CNN. Multiple calls were unanswered and the website for the day care was down.

          No head count taken

          Employees found Myles’ body after his grandmother and legal guardian called the center because he was not dropped off at home that afternoon. Family members said employees at the center told them that Myles had not been seen at the day care center all day, according to CNN affiliate News 13.
          Vivian Chaney, who identified herself as Myles’ aunt to News 13, said that Myles’ attendance never came up when family members called the center on Monday to ask about school uniforms. “There should have been some kind of head count,” Chaney told News 13.
          The employee who drove the van allegedly told police there was no head count of the children when they were dropped off at the second location — and staff did not realize Myles was still in the van. Mina said he was unaware of any procedure the academy had for contacting families when a child who was expected at the center did not arrive.
          Mina said there are charges pending against the employee, but refused to expand on what the charges might be — and did not identify the individual involved. An autopsy is being conducted and charges will be filed once it is complete, Mina said.
          If Myles’ death is determined to be heat-related, he will be the 32nd child this year to die in a hot car in the United States — and the fifth in Florida, police said. An average of 37 children die each year in hot cars, according to safety organization Kids and Cars.

          Center closed ‘until further notice’

          Inspection reports from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) indicate that Little Miracles Academy has failed to comply with multiple standards for personnel records, supervision and transportation, dating back to 2015.
          In June 2015, the DCF found that staff had failed to include a signed Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Requirements form in its personnel records. According to the department, all child care personnel are required by law to report any “suspicions of child abuse, neglect or abandonment.”
          In March 2017, the department found that staff were not “within sight and hearing” of the children during nap time. In July, the department said the facility’s transportation log failed to include multiple required elements, including destination and arrival times and locations.
          Mina told reporters Tuesday that the DCF is conducting an “operational investigation” of Little Miracles Academy in response to Myles’ death.
          According to a tweet from News 13 reporter Jerry Hume, a note has been placed on the doors of Little Miracles Academy that says “closed until further notice.”

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/us/orlando-day-care-van-death/index.html

          Canary Island tourists warned to avoid toxic ‘sea sawdust’ algae

          Global warming helping spread of micro-algae, forcing the closure of several beaches including popular Teresitas at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

          Tourists have been warned to avoid blooms of toxic micro-algae that have been proliferating in hot weather in the sea off Spains Canary Islands.

          Tenerife in particular is awash with visitors at this time of year but some of those having a dip in the Atlantic ocean have come out scratching themselves after brushing up against the tiny algae.

          The spreading algae have produced a greenish-brown hue in the waters off some beaches in the tourist haven.

          Since the end of June we have seen episodes of massive efflorescence, or bloom, of microalgae, sometimes reaching as far as bathing beaches, said Jose Juan Aleman, director of public health for the Canaries.

          The algae are a type of bacteria, trichodesmium erythraeum, also known as sea sawdust, said Aleman.

          Its proliferation is a natural, temporary phenomenon which is going to disappear in due course, he added, suggesting global warming was helping the algae spread.

          The bacterium contains a toxin which can lead to skin irritation, dermatitis, hence one must avoid coming into contact with it in the water and on the sand.

          With the islands last year welcoming more than 13 million foreign tourists, local authorities were keen to reassure sun-seekers.

          Generally it has not been necessary to close the beaches, said Aleman.

          Bill Entwistle (@bemahague)

          No swimming, algae alert @playasanjuan @tenerife pic.twitter.com/0sqIeAblqu

          July 22, 2017

          However, AFP found that several have been closed to swimmers over recent weeks, including the popular Teresitas beach at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

          Marta Sanson, professor of plant biology at Tenerifes La Laguna university, said that ideal conditions are allowing proliferation of these micro-algae.

          Those include an increase in water temperature as well as a dust cloud sweeping in off the Sahara which is rich in iron, a nutrient which micro-organisms like.

          Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/08/canary-island-tourists-warned-to-avoid-toxic-sea-sawdust-algae