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Autism on the Rise

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A new report showed a rise in autism nationally. Some suggested that the rise is attributed to better diagnosis of the disease, while other suggest a link in autism to obesity during pregnancy.

The number of autism cases is estimated to be 1 in 88 in the US, compared to an earlier estimate of 1 in 110, according to an Associated Press report by Mike Stobbe on 1500ESPN website.

Although some suggest that better screening for autism attributes to the rise in rates, the Center for Disease Control Center is uncertain of the cause.

"We're not quite sure the reasons for the increase," said Dr. Coleen Boyle of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke to the Associated Press.

Another recent study, reported by the Associated Press in StarTribune, suggested that women who were obese during their pregnancy had a 67 percent more likelihood to have children with autism when compared to pregnant women of a normal weight, who are reported to have a 1 in 88 chance of having a child with autism.

Black 17-year-old's Death Reaches National Attention

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A black 17-year-old boy's life was cut short after he was shot dead Feb. 26 by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla.

Trayvon Martin was unarmed and walking through a gated community from a convenience store with skittles in his hands, according to the Miami Herald. Martin also reportedly had his hood up, a symbol of dress which has resulted in national protests with demonstrators dressing in hoods.

Martin's shooter, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, has not been arrested. This incident has sparked a national debate over whether or not the shooting was racially charged. Zimmerman was accused of racial slurs in a 911 call he made to the police.

Zimmerman's attorney, Craig Sonner, however, says that he is not a racist. He has recently been secluded from the public, reportedly because of the numerous death threats he has received.

Martin was an average teenager and still had boyish aspects to him, according to his father, 45-year-old Tracy Martin, who said to the Miami Herald "He still loved to go to Chuck E. Cheese with his cousins and would bake them chocolate chip cookies when he was babysitting them."

The death of Martin has reached such national precedence that President Barack Obama addressed the nation in a video and said "I think all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."

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