Drug overdoses kill as many Americans as three wars combined

Chris Post / AP

In a new column from NYT's Nick Kristoff, harrowing stats about America's opioid epidemic: "About as many Americans are expected to die this year of drug overdoses as died in the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined." Kristoff explores how "drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50," and what America is doing about it.

The numbers:

  • "Last year, there were more than 236 million prescriptions written for opioids in the United States — that's about one bottle of opioids for every American adult."
  • "It should be a national scandal that only 10 percent of Americans with opioid problems get treatment."
  • "A Times investigation published this month estimated that more than 59,000 Americans died in 2016 of drug overdoses, in the largest annual jump in such deaths ever recorded in the U.S."

What's next

University of Minnesota student jailed in China over tweets

Xi Jinping. Photo: Noel Celis - Pool/ Getty Images

A University of Minnesota student has been arrested in China and sentenced to six months in prison for tweets he posted while in the United States, according to a Chinese court document viewed by Axios. Some of the tweets contained images deemed to be unflattering portrayals of a "national leader."

Why it matters: The case represents a dramatic escalation of the Chinese government's attempts to shut down free speech abroad, and a global expansion of a Chinese police campaign a year ago to track down Twitter users in China who posted content critical of the Chinese government.

Go deeperArrow8 mins ago - World

⚖️ Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump will see a full day of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What to watch for: Democrats now have 24 hours — spread out over three days — to take their time to lay out their case against the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It'll also allow them to highlight gaps that could be filled out by additional witnesses and documents from the administration.

This post will be updated with new developments as the trial continues.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

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