Important Policy and Practice News
Emma Thompson couldn't give a damn about fame, or getting older: she just wants to save the planet, and be a good parent in the meantime
Germany’s relentless push into renewable energy has implications far beyond its shores. By creating huge demand for wind turbines and especially for solar panels, it has helped lure big Chinese manufacturers into the market, and that combination is driving down costs faster than almost anyone thought possible just a few years ago.
Electric utility executives all over the world are watching nervously as technologies they once dismissed as irrelevant begin to threaten their long-established business plans.
In the face of those who use religion to deny the worldwide crisis of climate change, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe
, an evangelical Christian, believes that her faith is compatible with science. This week she speaks to Bill about ending the gridlock between politics, science and faith in order to find solutions to the widespread threats associated with global warming.
Soon after reporting on the 2010 BP oil spill, Naomi Klein found she was pregnant – and miscarried. Was there a connection? She looks at the 'greenwashing' of big business and its effects
One reason the United States has not made more progress against poverty is that our interventions come too late. If there’s one overarching lesson from the past few decades of research about how to break the cycles of poverty in the United States, it’s the power of parenting — and of intervening early, ideally in the first year or two of life or even before a child is born.
The statements are the league’s most unvarnished admission yet that the sport’s professional participants sustain severe brain injuries at far higher rates than the general population. [Do symptoms include quick temper and violence?]
The National Research Council via YouTube
A.C. THOMPSON and JONATHAN JONES in ProPublica
Looking at real bills for real patients cuts through the ideological debate over health care policy.
the USA ranks first in the world in health care spending, but only 45th in life expectancy....
Climate change inaction is a leading global cause of death.
If we had the per-person costs of any other OECD country, America’s deficits would vanish....
How Industry Money Reaches (aka 'bribes') Physicians
To remove your appendix in one California hospital costs $180,000, at a different facility the bill is $1,500. [Who has time to shop?
SOURCE: Public Broadcasting System & ABC News | Ref.
SOURCE: The White House | Ref.
SOURCE: Slate Mag. | Ref.
SOURCE: The American Medical Student Association | Ref.
SOURCE: Readers | Ref.
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Contingent being sent to west Africa will train health workers, build treatment centres and deliver resources to tackle epidemic
Obama administration expands campaign against Islamic State with attack south-west of Iraqi capital
“We are proposing a way [a set of guidelines] to have the same or even more economic growth, and at the same time have environmental responsibility,” said the chairman of the commission, Felipe Calderón, the former president of Mexico and an economist. “We need to fix this problem of climate change, because it’s affecting all of us.”
Control of the Senate is up for grabs in this year’s midterm elections. We at The Upshot created Leo, a statistical model that combines polling, fund-raising data and other variables to forecast win probabilities in each race. But perhaps you can do better.
Two survivors of sinking said traffickers rammed boat, which left Egypt on 6 September, after passengers refused to transfer vessel
As American government seems ever more paralyzed at the national level, cities continue to find ways to grapple with real problems. Two more examples.
An increasing number of cases where service personnel are bullied or denied promotion because they refuse to conform to the religious beliefs of their superiors. Very often the "superiors" are dominionist Christians. [A little something extra left by the Bush-Cheney Administration]
Along the frontiers between Spain and Morocco, Greece and Turkey and Hungary and Serbia, the EU is deploying brutal methods to keep out undesired refugees. Many risk everything for a future in Europe and their odysseys too often end in death.
The Scottish vision and values are different from those that have become dominant south of the Border. Scotland has free university education for all; England has been moving towards increasing student fees, forcing students with parents of limited means to take out loans. Scotland has repeatedly stressed its commitment to the National Health Service; England has repeatedly made moves towards privatisation. Some of these differences are of long-standing: even 200 years ago, male literacy rates in Scotland were 50 per cent higher than in England, and Scottish universities charged fees that were one tenth of those at Cambridge and Oxford.
Differences in these and other related policies can, over time, lead not only to markedly different growth rates, and thus to markedly different levels of GDP per capita – swamping any slight short run impact – but also, and more importantly, to differences in the distribution of income and wealth. If the UK continues on its current course, imitating the American model, it is likely that the results will be like those of the US – where the typical family has seen its income stagnate for a quarter of a century, even as the rich get richer.
Solar power is taking off in villages where connecting to the grid is seen as a bad joke.
Type 2 diabetes runs in families, largely because its primary risk factor — excess weight — runs in families. But you can keep it at bay by losing weight and becoming more active.
On the national level, Democrats and independents — most of whom did not vote in the 2010 midterm Congressional elections — were swamped by Republicans who voted in much larger proportions. The result was a Republican House dominated by the hard right, which over four years became the largest impediment to economic growth and equality. The same thing has happened in many statewide elections.
It’s now seven weeks from the midterms. Will voters realize that decisions made on Nov. 4 will reverberate in laws not passed, roads not built and jobs not created?
In 2005, Utah set out to fix a problem that’s often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness. The state had almost two thousand chronically homeless people. Most of them had mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or both. At the time, the standard approach was to try to make homeless people “housing ready”: first, you got people into shelters or halfway houses and put them into treatment; only when they made progress could they get a chance at permanent housing. Utah, though, embraced a different strategy, called Housing First: it started by just giving the homeless homes.
Congregations have reported an increase in spontaneous hand-waving, jumping, shouting, singing, and other "spiritual behavior" over the last decade and a half. Why? [Are believers mentally unable to use facts and logic? Let's get serious about understanding and stopping the belief-sickness of fundamentalism]
Unprofessional journalists are critiqued.
James Heckman’s proposals are not particularly radical in terms of major institutional changes in our educational structure. Rather, they are more profoundly social in nature. Enriched parenting, providing children with encouragement, and creating early environments promoting cognitive skills and non-cognitive skills, are the kinds of things that Heckman’s research is designed to promote. But his research also indicates that something as basic as reading to a child on a regular basis, a very simple human activity that many of these disadvantaged kids don’t get, can have significant payoffs in terms of IQ development.
But younger Americans value library services less than more senior cohorts, study finds.
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Moshe Ya'alon joins political and military leadership in attack on reservists who refuse to serve in Palestinian territories [Altogether now, let's punish our best and brightest for doing the right thing]
The ostentatious horror of Isis’s actions – the latest of which is the beheading of the British aid worker David Haines
– and the way in which it actively solicits disgust, now has to be reconciled with the knowledge that these combatants are educated, tech-savvy and enjoy a popular base. The mainstream press doesn’t offer much help in interpreting this.
The humble traffic signal is gaining some new responsibilities.
Instead of using humans to monitor and react to traffic flow, the new signals use radar sensors and cameras to detect traffic, and sophisticated algorithms to instantly adjust signals based on real-time conditions. "Each intersection builds a plan that optimizes local traffic flow," says Smith. "Once it does that, it communicates its outflows to its downstream neighbors."
Secretary of State John Kerry received broad assurances but no public commitments from Egypt on Saturday as he continued his tour of the Middle East to try to assemble a coalition behind an American campaign against the extremist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. ["What problem?" Muslims ask]
Obama’s Strategy for Fighting ISIS Isn’t All About Us
ISIS loses if our moderate Arab-Muslim partners can unite and make this a civil war within
Islam — a civil war in which America is the air force for the Sunnis and Shiites of decency versus those of barbarism. ISIS wins if it can make this America’s war with
Sunni Islam — a war where America is the Shiite/Alawite air force against Sunnis in Iraq and Syria. ISIS will use every bit of its Twitter/Facebook network to try to depict it as the latter, and draw more recruits.
In recent months, there has also been a proliferation of amateur violent propaganda from ISIS and its supporters, ranging from photographs of bodily mutilation to grainy videos of executions filmed on cell phones. This visual and sickeningly macabre material is made and distributed by ISIS fighters themselves and represents a purer kind of gonzo. A few weeks ago, for example, Abdel Majed Abdel Bary, a 23-year-old British rapper from London whom British intelligence officials suspect may be the masked killer in the Foley and Sotloff beheading videos, uploaded
to Twitter a picture of himself holding up a severed head. The caption read: “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him.” Other jihadists have similarly made use of social media to publicize their atrocities.
The Scottish bid for independence could set a new precedent for separatist movements around the world.
In an age where revolutions spread rapidly, nationalism can at times be pernicious and even dangerous. But the Scottish example sends a different message: separatism need not be incompatible with liberal and democratic values. Could that idea catch on, too?
In a letter sent Thursday night to their commanders as well as Israel’s prime minister and army chief, 43 veterans of the clandestine Unit 8200 complained that Israel made “no distinction between Palestinians who are and are not involved in violence” and that information collected “harms innocent people.” Intelligence “is used for political persecution,” they wrote, which “does not allow for people to lead normal lives, and fuels more violence, further distancing us from the end of the conflict.”
Ten men accused of trying to kill teenage education campaigner detained in operation by army, police and intelligence agencies
In the tight-knit communities of the far north, there are no roads, no police officers—and higher rates of sexual assault than anywhere else in the United States.
The letter, also sent to the Baltimore Sun
, notes that the Rice incident isn't even the first case of domestic violence in the NFL this year and argued that the league's new policy isn't strict enough. "If you violently assault a woman, you shouldn’t get a second chance to play football in the NFL," the senators wrote.
Elections don’t change things, the rich and the political elites win either way. Legislation doesn’t change things, the Supreme Court stands like a wall against change that might impact the rich and the political elites, just like it did in the 1930s. It’s getting to be more than public relations and war-mongering can hide.
Maybe someone should think about how we can make life better for everyone, even if it means the rich don’t get all the money.
Cameron’s and Ukip’s backing for a treaty that lets corporations devour public services exposes their duplicity
When the OECD, World Bank, and the International Labor Organization agree on something, it’s a sign something serious is afoot. In this case, the three groups have issued a joint paper, G20 labour markets: outlook, key challenges and policy responses
, which despite the anodyne title, gives a grim account of the prospects for workers in major economies.
Nevada’s Gigafactory deal is just the latest of the roughly $70 billion in incentives governments have given companies since the mid-1970s. [Symptom of dire economic stress]
The U.S. is troubled by a growing divide between rich and poor.