By the Numbers: Global Causes of Death


Life expectancy has grown in all but one country over roughly the past five decades, according to the latest in The Lancet‘s Global Burden of Disease report series.

The United States had a life expectancy of 78.9 years on average in 2016, good for the 58th highest life expectancy in the world. That’s the country’s lowest rank since the study began in 1970. And while the life expectancy did increase slightly from 2010 to 2016, the change was an anemic 0.1% — falling far short of the average 1% increase that had been recorded every five years previously.

The chart below shows how life expectancy has changed for each area reported in the Lancet study. Choose a country from the drop-down to highlight how that area has fared, or choose “All” to see every area included.

The United States’ fall is perhaps indicative of a broader trend, as the gaps between the world’s haves and the have-nots are generally shrinking. Absolute differences in death rates between countries have converged, meeting one of the aims of The Lancet‘s Commission on Investing in Health. Some countries in particular stand out: Ethiopia, the Maldives, Nepal, Niger, Portugal and Peru have seen large increases in life expectancy beyond what would be expected based on the country’s level of development, the study’s authors wrote.

Of course, higher life expectancies have their downsides. People are living more of their years with ill health, especially in poor countries without access to quality medical care. Lower back pain, migraines, hearing loss, anemia, and depressive disorders were the biggest contributors to years lived with disability. Some of those conditions were geographically inescapable: Major depressive episodes were one of the top causes of ill health in all but four countries worldwide.

Noncommunicable disease was behind nearly three out of every four deaths globally in 2016. Heart disease led the way in all wealthier regions. In low income countries, lower respiratory infections were the biggest killer.

“Our findings indicate people are living longer and, over the past decade, we identified substantial progress in driving down death rates from some of the world’s most pernicious diseases and conditions, such as under age-5 mortality and malaria,” said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which coordinated the study. “Yet, despite this progress, we are facing a triad of trouble holding back many nations and communities – obesity, conflict, and mental illness, including substance use disorders.”

The chart below shows the most common causes of death in 2016. A box’s size represents the proportion of deaths attributed to that cause. The color, meanwhile, represents that cause’s percentage change over the previous decade. Dark blue means a cause has increased dramatically, dark orange means it’s decreased dramatically, and other changes fall along that spectrum.


Baltimore Officers Will Face No Federal Charges in Death of Freddie Gray

WASHINGTON — Six Baltimore police officers will face no federal charges in the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in custody, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

“After an extensive review of this tragic event, conducted by career prosecutors and investigators, the Justice Department concluded that the evidence is insufficient,” the department said in a statement, adding that it was unable to prove the officers “willfully violated Gray’s civil rights.”

The closure of the criminal civil rights investigation into Mr. Gray’s death, which prompted unrest in Baltimore, a predominantly black city, and a federal examination of its police department’s practices, means that no officers will be held criminally responsible in his death.

Mr. Gray was arrested in April 2015 and charged with illegal possession of a switchblade after running from officers. Following his arrest, he rode in a police van — shackled but unsecured by a seatbelt, as required by police department regulations — and was found unresponsive. He died the following week.

Six officers were charged by the Baltimore state’s attorney with crimes related to Mr. Gray’s death, including manslaughter and murder. All were cleared in those cases as well.


“At no time did we ever believe that there was evidence that any of the officers violated anyone’s civil rights or were guilty of violating any federal laws,” Michael E. Davey, a lawyer for the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In August, the Justice Department issued a blistering report detailing misconduct and the use of excessive force by the city’s Police Department, which is operating under a consent decree — a court-enforceable agreement to enact reforms — entered into during the Obama administration.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has criticized such agreements, saying they vilify law enforcement and inhibit police officers trying to do their job. Mr. Sessions has called for a sweeping review of such consent decrees, and the Justice Department unsuccessfully sought to delay Baltimore’s implementation of its agreement to overhaul policing practices.
The six officers involved in Mr. Gray’s death still work for the Baltimore Police Department, Nicole Monroe, a spokeswoman, said on Tuesday. Five of them face internal administrative investigations while one, William G. Porter, has been cleared.

“He’s been back on the force, and he’s very relieved,” Joseph Murtha, a lawyer for Mr. Porter, said on Tuesday. “I was always optimistic that at the end of the investigation, they would conclude there’d be no basis for a civil rights investigation.”

The bar for charging police officers with federal civil rights violations is extremely high, and prosecutions are rare.

“These cases are very difficult, obviously — the state prosecution demonstrated that,” A. Dwight Pettit, a Baltimore lawyer who has represented plaintiffs in police brutality cases, said of the investigation into Mr. Gray’s death. “But I expected this to happen, based on the comments of the attorney general and the president himself. The top people in the Justice Department are saying, ‘We’ve got the back of the police.’”

Mr. Pettit referenced President Trump’s remarks in July in which he urged the police not to be “too nice” in transporting suspects. A White House spokesman later called that comment a joke, though many in law enforcement took it seriously and were quick to repudiate any inappropriate use of force.

“What can you expect from an administration that makes those comments?” Mr. Pettit said.

This year, the Justice Department announced similar decisions in two other high-profile civil rights investigations in which men died at the hands of police officers: the shooting death of Alton Sterling, a black man in Louisiana, and the shooting death of James Boyd, a mentally ill man in New Mexico.

Founder of New Age version of Shiite Islam sentenced to death in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran — An attorney for the founder of a mystical, New Age version of Shiite Islam says an Iranian court has sentenced his client to death.

Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei tells The Associated Press that the court sentenced Mohammad Ali Taheri to death on charges of founding a cult.

The lawyer says he will appeal within 20 days.

In 2014, the 61-year-old Taheri was sentenced to death on similar charges but an appeals court later rejected the verdict. He has been in jail since 2011, when a court sentenced him to five years in prison for blasphemy.

In recent weeks, authorities reportedly detained dozens of his followers.

Taheri also has done research on alternative medicine. Iran’s leaders see New Age beliefs as a threat to the principles of Islam.

Death of Gazan boy puts spotlight on polluted water

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AFP) — The death of a little boy after swimming in polluted seawater has put the spotlight on the Gaza Strip’s pollution crisis and the human impact of desperate electricity shortages in the Palestinian enclave.

Mohammed al-Sayis, five, died late last month a few days after swimming in the sewage-polluted waters, with his brothers also hospitalized, his family and health ministry said.

Dozens of others have been treated after swimming along the strip’s filthy Mediterranean coastline in the past two months, a ministry spokesman in Gaza said.

Pollution in Gaza is not a new phenomenon — a decade of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade, coupled with three devastating wars with the Jewish state since 2008, have left infrastructure falling apart. (Hamas, an Islamist terror group, is committed to destroying Israel, which maintains the blockade to prevent Hamas from importing weaponry.)

This file photo taken on July 2, 2017, shows trash strewn along the coastline in Gaza City. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

But the worsening spat between the two leading Palestinian political blocs has exacerbated an already grim situation for the two million residents of the impoverished and densely populated Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has sought to squeeze the Hamas terror group, which controls Gaza.

In April, it reduced the amount of electricity they buy from Israel for Gaza, where the enclave’s sole power plant is barely operational.

The electricity shortage is so severe that all of Gaza’s sewage treatment facilities have ground to a halt in recent months, according to Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights.

As a result, sewage that was previously cleaned and pumped further out into the sea is being released along the coast untreated.

A picture taken on July 3, 2017, shows farm animals gathered under a bridge next to sewage-polluted waters on the beach in Gaza City. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

At least 100,000 cubic meters (3.5 million cubic feet) of sewage is being pumped into the sea each day, according to the United Nations, which says more than two-thirds of the coastline is polluted.

The UN has previously estimated the whole of Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020, but a recent report has said that catastrophe is likely to come sooner.

Ahmed Halas, an official in the environment agency, told AFP all of Gaza’s beaches are polluted to varying degrees and the Hamas health ministry advises against swimming altogether.

It has also spread beyond Gaza — last month a beach in southern Israel was temporarily closed after sewage from Gaza washed upstream.

‘Our only outlet’

While the electricity crisis has caused the pollution that has ruined the beaches, it has also driven Gazans to take to the seaside as an escape.

The enclave’s borders with Israel and Egypt are all but sealed, but it has a 40-kilometer (25-mile) coastline stretching the length of the strip along the Mediterranean.

On the edge of a desert, temperatures can reach over 35°C (95°F) in summer months.

Long, power-free summer days in sweltering heat have seen children off school for the holidays nag their parents to go to the beach, tantalizingly close anywhere in tiny Gaza.

There are few public pools to cool down, while many houses have little water.

Palestinians spend time at the pool in Gaza City on July 24, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

Around 95 percent of Gaza’s groundwater is unsuitable for human consumption.

Yasser al-Shanti, head of the water authority in Gaza, told AFP that Gaza needed an extra 120 million liters (27 million gallons) of water a year.

Those who can afford it pay to keep their families cool.

“The water in the house is unsuitable for drinking or showering. The sea water is polluted and mixed with sewage,” said Humam, 34, as he poured water on his four children from a filtered water truck.

But the poorest in the enclave have no option.

This file photo taken on July 3, 2017, shows Palestinian boys swimming in the Mediterranean Sea next to donkeys in the sewage-polluted waters of Gaza City. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

On Gaza’s beaches, hundreds of children still play in the sea on an average day, with thousands flocking there on Fridays, the Muslim day of rest.

Mohammed al-Sayis went swimming with his siblings in Sheikh Ijlin in southern Gaza after pressuring their father Ahmed to give them a breather from the summer heat.

“It’s hot and humid and there is no power, water or fans in the house,” said his devastated father Ahmed. “The sea is our only outlet.”

The children played in the water for several hours, but they soon showed signs of sickness.

“When we returned home in the evening, I noticed that Mohammed and his brothers were very ill and their condition quickly deteriorated,” he said.

The children were rushed to hospital but Mohammed died 10 days later, while the others eventually recovered.

According to the health ministry, his death was caused by poison ingested during the swim.

Police arrest Jewish man for burning 80 parrots to death

Police on Wednesday arrested a resident of Rishon Lezion for allegedly burning to death 80 parrots.

The 60-year-old is suspected of lighting the birds’ cage on fire as a result of a dispute with their owner, a tenant at an apartment he owns, police said.

The man is set to be indicted on Wednesday during a hearing at the Lod District Court, according to police.

Authorities are also seeking to hold the man in custody until the end of legal proceedings.

Manchester bombing survivor Chris Pawley, 30, narrowly escapes death for a SECOND time after being caught up in Barcelona terror attack


  • Chris Pawley, 30, of Manchester stumbled upon the frantic terror aftermath
  • Abroad with partner Corey Lorde, Chris also attended the Ariana Grande concert
  • Mr Pawley left the Manchester concert minutes before the bomb was detonated 

A survivor of the Manchester bombings has narrowly escaped death for a second time after being caught up in the Barcelona terrorist attack on Thursday.

Chris Pawley, 30, was visiting the Spanish city with his partner Corey Lorde when he stumbled upon the frantic terror aftermath.

At least 13 people have been killed and 100 injured after a van ploughed into pedestrians in a busy tourist street.

A survivor of the Manchester bombings, Chris Pawley, 30, (pictured) has narrowly escaped death for a second time after being caught up in the Barcelona terrorist attack on Thursday

A survivor of the Manchester bombings, Chris Pawley, 30, (pictured) has narrowly escaped death for a second time after being caught up in the Barcelona terrorist attack on Thursday

Chris, who lives in Manchester, told the Manchester Evening News: ‘We were in the area after the incident. We have just come back to the hotel, as we were caught up in the arena attack – can’t believe it.’

He added: ‘There was police everywhere and ambulances, the shops started putting the shutters down.’

The Manchester native was in attendance in May when an attacker detonated an explosive device killing 22 and injuring dozens more.

He explained he left the venue and were crossing the footbridge into Manchester Victoria station just seconds before the suicide bomber carried out his attack.

Chris, who lives in Manchester, told the Manchester Evening News : 'We were in the area after the incident. We have just come back to the hotel, as we were caught up in the arena attack – can't believe it.' (pictured with partner Corey Lorde, right)

Chris, who lives in Manchester, told the Manchester Evening News : ‘We were in the area after the incident. We have just come back to the hotel, as we were caught up in the arena attack – can’t believe it.’ (pictured with partner Corey Lorde, right)

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, describing the killers as ‘soldiers of the Islamic state’. Terror police have arrested two suspects.

One of them is believed to be Driss Oukabir, a Catalan resident in his late 20s of Moroccan origin. Reports in Spain say he handed himself in at a police station in Ripoll, 65 miles north of Barcelona.

His picture had earlier been circulated in connection with the attack after police said he had rented one of the vans used.

Television network TVE1 said Oukabir told police his documents had been stolen by his brother. Police were investigating whether he played any role in the attacks, it reported.

Horrifying pictures and video from the scene show armed police and paramedics rushing around Las Ramblas, a busy promenade in the centre of the city, as victims lie hurt in the street.

It remains unclear how many attackers were involved in the massacre, which is being treated by police as an act of terrorism.

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Family of brain-dead California girl fights to reverse death

More than three years after a coroner declared a teenage girl dead, a Northern Californiajudge is expected to soon decide whether to revoke her death certificate.

In court documents filed last month supporting the family’s lawsuit to have the death certificate revoked, retired neurologist Dr. Alan Shewmon said videos recorded by Jahi McMath’s family from 2014 to 2016 show the teen is still alive.

Shewmon is a longtime critic of how brain death is defined and has filed similar court papers supporting efforts by McMath’s family to undo the death certificate. The family has previously shown video clips of McMath twitching her fingers, which they said showed she still has brain function.

Several doctors, including two hired by an Alameda County court, have said brain-dead patients can still twitch and move slightly.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California declared 13-year-old McMath brain dead in December 2013 after a routine tonsillectomy went awry.

Jahi’s mother has previously acknowledged that her daughter’s brain is severely and irreparably damaged. But Latasha Spears Winkfield said her daughter is still alive and her Christian belief compels her fight to keep her daughter on life support.

The case adds to the debate over parents’ right to choose childrens’ medical treatment. The parents of 11-month-old Charlie Gard announced Monday they were dropping their legal fight in London to stop doctors from switching off their baby’s life support. They previously resisted, arguing that an experimental treatment could extend and improve Charlie’s life.

Lawyers for the California hospital argued in court documents that the family’s attorneys have declined to turn over to them the most recent video clips Shewmon said he viewed. The lawyers also said they want copies of the videos so they can independently analyze the footage.

Hospital lawyer Jennifer Still said in a July 6 court filing that “body movements could be easily manipulated.”

Still said McMath was “typically covered up with blankets” in videos previously shown by the family, making it impossible to determine if something might have been occurring under the blankets to make the body move.

“Often the camera only shows a convenient angle, such as a close up of her foot or hand,” Still wrote.

Still said in an interview Monday that since the family has not subjected McMath to tests accepted by the American Medical Association to determine whether someone is brain dead.

Bruce Brusavich and Andrew Chang, lawyers representing Jahi’s family, did not return telephone messages left at their offices seeking comment.

Jahi’s family moved her to New Jersey because of that state’s only-in-the U.S. law that prohibits doctors from removing brain-dead patients from ventilators over families with religious objections. Court records show that New Jersey Medicaid has picked up some of the cost of McMath’s care. Still said she could not disclose the exact amount.

A judge heard arguments on the case July 13 and is expected to rule in the next two months whether to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

Chester Bennington’s death mirrors that of close friend Chris Cornell

Mesfin FekaduAP Music Writer

The death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington came as a surprise to the world when it was announced, but it also struck similarities to the death of fellow rocker and close friend Chris Cornell, who killed himself in May.

Authorities are investigating Bennington’s death as an apparent suicide, Los Angeles County coroner spokesman Brian Elias said Thursday. Bennington, who was 41, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles. He had a strong bond with Cornell and died on what would have been the Soundgarden singer’s 53rd birthday.

Bennington was also the godfather to Cornell’s 11-year-old son, Chris. And Bennington sang Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s memorial.

The Cornells called Bennington a member of their family in a statement released Thursday.

“The Cornell family is overwhelmed by the heartbreaking news about Chester Bennington which tragically comes so soon after their family’s own loss,” said a Cornell family spokesperson. “They open up their loving arms to Chester’s family and share in the sorrow with all those who loved him.”

Cornell died by hanging after a concert in Detroit. Linkin Park was set to go on tour next week.

Bennington helped Linkin Park, whose sound mixed rap and rock, become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s. The Grammy-winning group sold more than 10 million copies of their 2000 debut, “Hybrid Theory,” which featured the megahit and anthem, “In the End.” They sold another 6 million with 2003’s multiplatinum “Meteora.” Both albums explored feelings of frustration and fury.

The success helped Linkin Park become Billboard’s No. 1 act of the decade for rock songs and alternative songs.

Band co-founder and producer Mike Shinoda said on Twitter he was “shocked and saddened.”

“Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends,” Warner Bros. Records CEO and Chairman Cameron Stang said in a statement.

Bennington’s voice could soar with piercing strength or descend to a whisper. Rolling Stone once called it a “shrapnel-laced howl that sounds like it comes from someone twice his size.”

The band also sold millions with its remix album, “Reanimation,” and its mash-up record with Jay-Z, “Collision Course.” They won Grammys for best hard rock performance in 2001 for “Crawling” and best rap/sung collaboration for “Numb/Encore” in 2005. Linkin Park was next scheduled to perform next week in Massachusetts and New York.

Bennington struggled with drug and alcohol addictions at various times during his life. He said he had been sexually abused as a child and was homeless for months before the band found fame.

Linkin Park released their most recent album, “One More Light,” in May. It was an album that divided critics and fans alike for its embrace of moody pop. One song on the album, “Heavy,” opens with the words: “I don’t like my mind right now.”

Although the band had always experimented with different sounds, some claimed Linkin Park had sold out, which Bennington denied. “One More Light” became the band’s fifth No. 1 album debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

“If you like the music, fantastic. If you don’t like it, that’s your opinion too. Fantastic. If you’re saying we’re doing what we’re doing for a commercial or monetary reason, trying to make success out of some formula. then stab yourself in the face!” Bennington told NME magazine.

When he got his big break in 1999, Bennington was an assistant at a digital-services firm in Phoenix. A music executive sent him a demo from the band Xero, which needed a lead singer. (He had been recommended by his attorney.) Bennington wrote and recorded new vocals over the band’s playing and sent the results back. He soon got the gig and the band then changed its named to Hybrid Theory, then Linkin Park.

Bennington told The Associated Press in 2010 that because of the sound the band is known for — fusing sounds from nu-metal, punk, rock, pop and hip-hop — it was virtually impossible to satisfy their many kinds of fans.

“We’re making music for us, that we like. We’re not making music for other people,” he said. “We’re not thinking, ‘Let’s make a pie-graph of all our fans and find out how many people fit in whatever category and then make the perfect album for them.’ Like, that would be absolutely ridiculous.”

Bennington was married to his second wife, Talinda, and is survived by six children.


Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington dies at 41

Rocker Chris Cornell remembered as ‘voice of our generation’

Chester Bennington’s Death Comes on Friend Chris Cornell’s Birthday

Chester Bennington


Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington was found dead of an apparent suicide in his home south of Los Angeles on Thursday — which also would have been the birthday of late Soundgarden singer and good friend of Bennington’s, Chris Cornell.

Cornell would have been 53 on Thursday. He also died by suicide in May.

Bennington performed a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s private funeral service in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery on May 27. He also released an emotional open letter to Cornell the day the Soundgarden singer died.


Chris Cornell suicide

Chris Cornell’s Los Angeles Funeral Attended by Bandmates, Chester Bennington, Brad Pitt, Dave Grohl

“Thoughts of you flooded my mind and I wept,” Bennington wrote. “I’m still weeping, with sadness, as well as gratitude for having shared some very special moments with you and your beautiful family. You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one.”

“I pray you find peace in the next life,” he added. “I send my love to your wife and children, friends and family. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.”

The two also teamed up on a professional capacity, with Cornell touring with Linkin Park in 2007 and 2008. On stage, Linkin Park would join Cornell for a version of Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike,” and Cornell would join the band to collaborate on its hit “Crawling.”

Bennington was found in his Palos Verdes Estates home on Thursday morning. TMZ reports that he died of suicide by hanging.

Video sheds light on what led to beating death of American in Greece


Security footage reveals more about what led to the brutal attack on Bakari Henderson, an American killed in the Greek island of Zakynthos. The video shows a man and woman taking a selfie next to a person Greek media say is Henderson, reports CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil.


Moments later, a man next to Henderson grabs a bottle of beer and makes a smashing motion, setting off a confrontation which escalates when the man hits Henderson on the head. A few seconds later, Henderson hits back before the men run out of view.

Surveillance video from a nearby bar shows Henderson trying to run away before someone throws him against a car. Several others begin to kick and punch him as he collapses in the street. Bystanders try to break up the attack, and someone appears to give Henderson CPR.

The video is now court evidence and police confirm it’s genuine. It shows fewer than 20 seconds passed between the time the group began pummeling Henderson and the time they stepped away from his lifeless body.

Greek authorities say the 22-year-old died from severe head injuries. Nine men face voluntary manslaughter charges, including seven Serbians and two workers from the bar.

One of those workers, a bouncer, told a local paper he tried to break up the fight but that Henderson “took an ashtray and threw it at me.” He admits he responded by “punching him in the face and two or three times in the body.”

Henderson’s friend, Daniel Brown, spoke with CBS News in Greece this week. He was with Henderson on the island of Zakynthos.

“I’ve never seen him rattled a day in my life,” Brown said of Henderson.

But he says he wasn’t at the bar in the party district of Laganas when the fight broke out. He told us Henderson, a recent college graduate who was working to start his own clothing line, was a “selfless” person who always kept his cool.

“He was never really worried about material objects or social status or anything like that and he was non-judging of everyone he met. And because of that, he easily had the most diverse and large group of friends anyone could ask for,” Brown said.

Four suspects appeared in court Thursday for initial testimony. Back in Austin, Texas, a spokeswoman for Henderson’s family tells us they’re planning memorial services for Friday night and Saturday morning. She says they’re hoping to have his body back home by then.