What we’re reading: higher cancer rates found in military pilots, the Navajo Nation’s long quest for water and more



This image provided by Betty Seaman shows Navy A-6 Intruder pilot Jim Seaman. Navy Capt. Jim Seaman died of lung cancer at the age of 61. (Betty Seaman via AP)

By Ethan Love, Staff Writer

Higher cancer rates found in military pilots and ground crews

A recent Pentagon study found higher rates of cancer among military pilots and, for the first time, the ground crews, who fuel, maintain and launch the aircraft, according to ABC News.

The study fielded over 900,000 service members and found that aircrew members had an 87% higher rate of melanoma and a 39% higher chance of thyroid cancer. Overall, the aircraft crews had a 24% higher rate of all cancer types.

Since the higher rates were found, the Pentagon must conduct an even more extensive study to determine why exactly crews are getting sick. The study “proves that it’s well past time for leaders and policy makers to move from skepticism to belief and active assistance,” said retired Air Force Col. Vince Alcazar.

Navajo Nation’s long quest for water

Phillip Yazzie waits for a water drum in the back of his pickup truck to be filled in Teesto, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, on Feb. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File)

The Navajo tribe stated that an 1868 treaty means that the federal government has a duty to ensure that its people have sufficient water, according to NBC News. Roughly 170,000 people on the Navajo reservation do not have running water. Help-Hood, 66, has to regularly travel four miles to get water to drink, cook and wash dishes for her and her five children.

“It’s just something that has to be done,” Help-Hood said. “It’s just part of life. It’s how we are dealing with our water situation.”

The Navajo lawsuit is now before the Supreme Court and relies heavily on history, back to treaties that were signed in 1849. In an 1868 treaty, federal officials said they would provide resources needed for agriculture, a pledge that lawyers for the tribe say implicitly included a right to sufficient water.

The tribe’s lawyers refer to in court papers as a series of “broken promises.” NBC News indicates that the Navajo tribe is likely to face an uphill battle in the Supreme Court, as just last year the court ruled 5-4 against tribes in Oklahoma which expanded state authority over the tribe’s territory.

Frozen fruit recall at Costco and Trader Joe’s

The Scenic Fruit Company, whose food is sold at Costco, Aldi and Trader Joe’s among others, is recalling various frozen fruit products due to a risk of Hepatitis A contamination. ABC News reports that the affected products include frozen organic strawberries sold under the Kirkland Signature brand at Costco locations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington, as well as the Trader Joe’s frozen “Organic Tropical Fruit Blend” sold nationwide.

“Although Hepatitis A has not been detected on this product, out of an abundance of caution, consumers should stop consuming the product and return it to their local store for a refund,” the company said in its announcement.

The company also advises any consumers who have eaten the recalled product to consult a healthcare professional as a precaution to see if getting vaccinated is appropriate.

Mike Pence says that voters are ready to move past Trump for a “fresh start”

Former Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with people before speaking at a dinner hosted by the Cheshire County GOP at Best Western Hotel on Thursday, March 16, 2023, in Keene, New Hampshire. Pence is a potential candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, but he has not made an announcement yet. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

“I think the American people long for leadership at the highest level that’s focused on the issues that are affecting their lives. And also, I think they longed for leadership that will keep faith with our highest traditions,” Former Vice President Mike Pence said.

Pence has been open about his stance on the way former President Trump handled the Jan. 6 riots. “We all face the judgment of history, and I believe in the fullness of time that history will hold Donald Trump accountable for the events of Jan. 6, as it will other people that were involved,” Pence said.

The former Vice President remains undecided on if he will run for President in 2024 but affirms that there will be better candidates than Trump for the Republicans. When ABC News asked if he will support Trump if he were to win the nomination, he said that is “yet to be seen.”