Jan 30, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon. Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 374 words, a 1.5-minute read.

🇨🇳The U.S. State Department has placed U.S. diplomatic staff and their families in China on "authorized departure," meaning they are permitted to leave the country amid the coronavirus outbreak, reports Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian. Go deeper.

  • Situational awareness: The World Health Organization declared the fast-spreading coronavirus a public health emergency. Go deeper.

🚨Breaking: IBM has named Arvind Krishna as its new CEO, replacing Ginni Rometty.

1 big thing: America breaks a terrible trend

A glimmer of hope: Fatal overdoses fell in 2018, accompanied by a surge in the use of a drug that counteracts overdoses.

Expand chart
Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Center for Health Statistics; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Why it matters: This broke a streak of years where drug overdoses soared and is part of why U.S. life expectancy rose for the first time in four years.

  • "Life expectancy at birth in 2018 was 78.7 years, 0.1 year longer than the previous year," NPR reports.
  • Declining: Deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers.
  • Increasing: Deaths from fentanyl, cocaine and meth.
  • “We almost saturated our community with Narcan," Hamilton County (Ohio) health commissioner Tim Ingram told the AP.

The big picture: Cancer rates fell again, led by reductions in lung cancer deaths.

  • “I’m a little surprised that rapid pace is continuing,” American Cancer Society researcher Rebecca Siegel told the AP.

Between the lines: Suicides have been climbing most years since 2000, reaching the highest rate in 2018 since 1941.

  • Rates peaked during the Depression then mostly declined until 2000, the AP notes.

The bottom line: Even with this good news, overdoses killed 67,000 people in 2018.

  • That's "still a tremendously high number of fatalities," psychologist Kathryn McHugh told NPR.
Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery/AP

A girl carries her sister and a jerrycan of water in a wheelbarrow in Cité Soleil, a slum of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

2. What you missed
  1. Democratic state attorneys general are suing to certify the Equal Rights Amendment, which would ban sex-based discrimination, into the U.S. Constitution. Go deeper.
  2. "Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic church, entered one of Georgia’s two U.S. Senate races ... with hopes of unifying Georgia Democrats." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
  3. Chief Justice John Roberts declined to read a question from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during today's Q&A portion of the impeachment trial. Video.
  4. The bottom rung of the housing ladder is now beyond the grasp of millions of Americans, regardless of whether they want to rent or buy. Go deeper.
  5. The Trump campaign's Super Bowl ad is here. So is Michael Bloomberg's.
3. 1 fun thing

Photo: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos

Coming in October: The first Jerry Seinfeld book on comedy since "Seinlanguage" in 1993, the AP reports.

  • "I have every piece of stand-up comedy I thought was worth saving from 45 years of hacking away at this for all I was worth," Seinfeld said in a statement.