Happening Today: Cinco de Mayo, Aaron Hernandez, ‘Gray Death,’ Star Wars

What to Know

  • Diabetes, cancer and heart disease patients are among those with pre-existing conditions who could be affected by the new of the AHCA
  • It's being called "gray death" — a new and dangerous opioid combo that underscores the ever-changing nature of the U.S. addiction crisis
  • Actress Nikki Reed shared the news on Instagram that she is currently expecting her first child with husband Ian Somerhalder

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'Life or Death': Doctors Warn Health Bill Changes Could Kill

Diabetes, cancer and heart disease patients are among those with pre-existing conditions who could be affected by the new version of the American Health Care Act, NBC News reported. Pre-existing conditions are diseases, injuries or conditions that affect a patient before he or she purchased their health plan policy. Before Obamacare, health insurers routinely refused to cover people with preexisting conditions. Or, they charged high premiums, co-pays and deductibles. The new version of the AHCA doesn’t specifically let insurers refuse coverage, but it lets states ask permission to opt out of the requirement. The Health and Human Services Department will decide who can do it. States can also set up high-risk pools under the bill, which are policies that cover people with preexisting conditions who have difficulty finding insurance.

Cinco de Mayo Met With More Ambivalence in Age of Trump

For years, Yazmin Irazoqui Ruiz saw Cinco de Mayo as a reason to eat tacos and listen to Mexican music. The 25-year-old Mexican-born medical student left Mexico for the U.S. as a child and celebrates the day to honor a homeland she hardly remembers. But the Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident said she's reluctant to take part in Cinco de Mayo festivities this year as President Trump steps up federal immigration enforcement and supporters back his call for the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. She isn't alone. Trump's immigration policies and rhetoric are leaving some Mexican Americans and immigrants feeling at odds with a holiday they already thought was appropriated by beer and liquor companies, event promoters and bars. Latino activists and scholars say that ambivalence is bolstered by the hazy history of Cinco de Mayo and by stereotypes exploited by marketers.

Bible Verse Marked With Blood Before Hernandez's Suicide, Report Shows

More than 100 pages of previously unreleased documents are shedding light on Aaron Hernandez's life in prison as well as the circumstances surrounding his death, including the bible that was marked with blood in his cell. The documents, which NBC Boston Investigators obtained through a public records request, include accounts from inmates who knew the former Patriots tight end. Hernandez had been serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd and had an active appeal for that conviction. Photos show his Bible, which was marked with blood at John 3:16, a verse that describes eternal life for those who believe in God. The verse name was also written in blood on the wall and in pen on Hernandez's forehead. The interviews give further weight to religious references found in Hernandez's cell, with inmates describing him as someone who "kept to himself, was very spiritual, appeared to be positive, liked to meditate." Those inmates "did not observe him to be acting differently or having any issues."

Olympic Gold Medalists Team Up to Raise Awareness About Children's Mental Health

Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt partnered with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to raise awareness about children’s mental health. The two chaired a discussion focused on the mental health care that kids need -- and how families can access mental health resources -- for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2017. This year’s theme was “Partnering for Help and Hope.” Both said that reaching out for help was key to their recovery. "Sometimes we need to see it's possible, that it can and does work, to see how we can accomplish it ourselves," Schmitt said. “I'm so glad we both found the courage to ask for help," Phelps said.

Dangerous Opioid Combo 'Gray Death' Is Latest Mixing Trend

It's being called "gray death" — a new and dangerous opioid combo that underscores the ever-changing nature of the U.S. addiction crisis. Investigators who nicknamed the mixture have detected it or recorded overdoses blamed on it in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio. The drug looks like concrete mix and varies in consistency from a hard, chunky material to a fine powder. The substance is a combination of several opioids blamed for thousands of fatal overdoses nationally, including heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil — sometimes used to tranquilize large animals like elephants — and a synthetic opioid called U-47700. Gray death ingredients and their concentrations are unknown to users, making it particularly lethal. In addition, because these strong drugs can be absorbed through the skin, simply touching the powder puts users at risk.

Stars Wars Role? You'll Have to Force it Out of Laura Dern

May the 4th be with you, Laura Dern, and darn all the mystery surrounding the character you'll play as one of the latest additions to the Star Wars galaxy. The actress, in town to support a family health-focused global initiative, was tight-lipped about her role in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," which opens in December. "What I can say is I had the time of my life," Dern told The Associated Press. "I felt like an 8-year-old every day at work, to go to work and be in makeup and hair and walk out in this community of people and, you know, be in a studio where you look down the corridor and you see Chewbacca!" The mind, Dern said, "melts and you feel like you're at play." Dern, who has twice been nominated for Oscars, offered no resolution on another front: A Variety report that she's among the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board members under consideration to run for president after the term of Cheryl Boone Isaacs expires in July.

'Twilight' Star Nikki Reed Expecting 1st Child With Husband Ian Somerhalder

Actress Nikki Reed shared the news on Instagram that she is currently expecting her first child with husband Ian Somerhalder. In a post on Instagram showing off her growing baby bump, the 28-year-old "Twilight" actress wrote, "I know you, but only because I feel you. How is it possible to love someone so much already? All I know for sure is it's the strongest feeling I've ever felt." She added, "We've been sharing this body for quite some time, and we've already experienced so much together. We can't wait to meet you...Love your parents." Somerhalder also shared his excitement on Instagram, writing: "To our friends, family, and rest of the world. In my 38 years on this earth I've never experienced anything more powerful and beautiful than this. I can't think of anything more exciting than this next chapter and we wanted you to hear this from us first.

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