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News Brief: Feb. 20-24


Putin Suspends Nuclear Arms Treaty

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Hospice

OKC House Explodes


Putin Suspends Nuclear Arms Treaty

Despite being a part of a joint agreement against nuclear war in 2022, Russia has suspended its participation in the last remaining nuclear weapons treaty between the U.S. and Russia, New START, just one day after U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine. 

NPR interviewed two experts to examine the implications of this action.

         Are we heading into a nuclear arms race?

“This is not Putin saying, ‘I’m going to break out of the treaty’s limits, and now, I’m going to deploy thousands more nuclear weapons,'” Lynn Rusten said, who is vice president of the Global Nuclear Policy Program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington, D.C. “I think it’s about a supposedly legal justification for not resuming inspections.”

         Is calling a suspension the day after Biden’s visit to Ukraine a coincidence?

“When one party isn’t complying with a treaty, it [suspension] is one of the options available to the aggrieved party…,” Rusten said. “Russia is linking it [our ‘violation’] more broadly to our support of Ukraine. I don’t think the U.S. State Department lawyers would say that’s a legitimate use of that sort of right under international law.”

For more on this story, click here.


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Hospice

After surviving metastatic brain cancer, brain surgery, and other health scares, Jimmy Carter – the oldest living U.S. president in history at 98 – announced on Saturday, Feb. 18 via the Carter Center he would begin receiving hospice care at his home in Georgia.

“After a series of short hospital stays, former US President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention,” the statement read. “He has the full support of his family and his medical team.”

CNN’s Katia Hetter interviewed Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, about hospice care.

         What are some common misconceptions about hospice care?

“… Once a patient enters hospice care, they can no longer receive any medical treatment. This is not true … They and their families can choose to leave hospice at any point and resume, say, active treatment for their cancer.

“I’ve also heard people say hospice care is only for people with a few days to live. This is also not the case. Often, patients don’t begin hospice care soon enough to take full advantage of the help it offers. Beginning it earlier may help provide months — rather than days — of quality time with loved ones.”

To see how Dr. Wen answered other questions, (including what is hospice care and who qualifies for it), click here.


OKC House Explodes

A house owned within the family since 1985 exploded Monday evening just hours after Leanne Schiffman relit the pilot light on the hot water heater after the propane tank was refueled that morning.

The explosion left little more than rubble, but Leanne, who was present at the explosion, managed to escape by punching a hole through the wall.

“She’s a tough young woman, I have to say that,” Jeff Schiffman, Leanne’s uncle, said.

Leanne was transported to Integris Baptist Medical Center, where she will likely need skin grafts after receiving burns to half her body. Schiffman says they hope for a full recovery.

Click here to read more.

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