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Antidepressants -- nation's top prescription It's up for debate whether Americans are more depressed than they were 20 years ago, but according to the National Center for Health Statistics, we're certainly taking more antidepressant medications. Researchers compared data from 1988-94 with data from 2005-08 and found that the rate of antidepressant use increased nearly 400 percent. The data also show that patients are staying on the drugs for years, and that the prescriptions are especially common among middle-aged women. Source: 1.usa.gov/rpFWAo
Antidepressant ranking among prescription drugs among U.S. adults up to age 44. Antidepressants are the most common prescription medication for Americans age 18-44, and the third most common drug across all ages. (San Francisco Chronicle)
FBI: Monitoring Occupy was within rules The FBI says its newly disclosed surveillance of the Occupy movement in Northern California stayed within federal rules and did not result in "unnecessary intrusions into the lives of law-abiding people."
The American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained FBI surveillance documents on the movement in a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, wants to know why the agency is withholding nearly two-thirds of the records it says it has, and why it is citing national security as one reason for the nondisclosure. (San Francisco Chronicle)
ACLU report card finds fault with Obama, rivals The American Civil Liberties Union has issued "Liberty Watch 2012," its report card for presidential candidates on issues like surveillance, torture, gay rights and immigration. No one gets an A, including President Obama.
Obama, the only Democrat among the 10 candidates rated, got a perfect score - four "torches" - on only one issue, allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, for his backing of the December 2010 law that repealed "don't ask, don't tell."
But he received lower marks on immigration, abortion rights and "closing Guantanamo Bay and indefinite detention," where his one-torch rating was attributed to backtracking on a promise to shut the prison for suspected terrorists and his support for holding their trials in military commissions. - The highest overall rating went to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican-turned-Libertarian, who opposes the Patriot Act and - unlike Obama - supports the right of gays and lesbians to marry. Among the leading Republican candidates, libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul also got a higher score than Obama despite low ratings in several categories.
The ACLU gave the Texas congressman high marks for opposing the Patriot Act and indefinite detention of suspected terrorists, condemning waterboarding and voting to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." But it criticized Paul's call for an end to "birthright citizenship" for children of illegal immigrants, his support of the law that denies federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples and his opposition to abortion. (San Francisco Chronicle)
San Bruno fire residents tell how it started - They all thought it was an airplane.
Freddy Tobar was upstairs in his kitchen getting ready to feed his Chihuahua Chiquita, when he heard popping sounds from under the ground and felt the house shaking.
He looked outside and saw his backyard crumble into the earth. Trees disintegrated into flames.
His first thought was to run outside, but the door was already melting. He pushed through, burned his hands and with his dog in one arm, ran outside with his cell phone and called his wife, Nora Orozco-Tobar. (San Francisco Chronicle)
CNN makes bet on nonpartisan news There's a gamble implicit in CNN shuffling its lineup Thursday after the departure of controversial conservative commentator Lou Dobbs: It is betting there is a prime-time cable audience for news delivered without opinion.
Talk on the three major cable news outlets - Fox, MSNBC and CNN - "drives the public conversation," said Robert Calo, a senior lecturer at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a former NBC and ABC producer. "It is the engine of opinion." (San Francisco Chronicle)
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