In national news:

New studies confirm that there has been a surge in black lung cases in Appalachian coal miners. Researchers with the University of Illinois, Chicago reviewed black lung benefit claims filed with the federal government since 1970 and identified, for the first time, more than 4,600 cases of severe black lung; more than half the cases they found occurred in the last 16 years. The researchers also found sharp increases in disease year after year in central Appalachian coal mining states, including 30 percent in West Virginia and 16 percent each in Kentucky and Virginia.

Read more from NPR here.

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