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Leah Groth

The National Centers for Health Statistics at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report this week that shows the fertility rate and number of births in American are continuing to decline. Fertility has dropped to an unprecedented low and the birth rate has plummeted to its lowest point in over three decades.

There were 1,728 births per 1,000 women, signifying a two percent decrease from 2017 and a record low for the nation. The report points out that the low fertility rate is below the level needed for the population to replace itself, 2,100 per 1,000 women, a trend that has been continuing since 1971.

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Victor Vescovo isn’t your average businessman. Instead of spending his out-of-office time golfing or playing tennis, the 53-year-old retired naval officer enjoys descending to the lowest points in the ocean in his submarine, DSV Limiting Factor, searching for undiscovered species and collecting samples. I mean, who doesn’t, right?

During his four-hour May 1st expedition (in which he broke “Titanic” director James Cameron’s 2012 record for the deepest solo dive in history) he plunged 6.8 miles down into an oceanic region known as the Mariana Trench.

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“If there was an active shooter, you’d all be dead,” Kayleigh, an elementary school-aged girl introduced as an “expert” bluntly tells a group of adult workers assembled in their office mail room for a team building event.

“When you talk out loud, the shooter can tell where you are and where you’re hiding,” she continues. “Sometimes we play the game ‘who can stay quietest the longest’ so we all remember.”

The adults look uncomfortable and about as shocked and disturbed as can be expected that an innocent-looking child is instructing them on how to try and protect themselves by pushing tables and chairs against doors, placing paper over windows, and crouching on toilet seats in the bathroom. Then we see what was likely flashing in their minds as Kayleigh spoke — young children carrying out these actions in a classroom.

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