1,500 acid attacks have been recorded in London since 2011
Globally, roughly 80% of victims tend to women. Attacks are often carried out by vengeful men who have had their marriage proposals or sexual advances rebuffed.

However, acid attack charities in the UK estimate that British victims are predominantly men, at roughly 71% of victims.

Jaf Shah, the executive director of the support group Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI), told the Guardian: "Looking at the data in general, there is a fairly large probability that a high percentage of the incidents are male-on-male attacks and most likely to be gang-related....

"Acid is used as an extreme mark of dominance. It's letting the individual know I haven't killed you, but it's almost worse than that, it's a mark – on your face. It's a sinister legacy."
wtf  crime  abuse  statistics  england  uk 
7 days ago
5 Numbers That Say a Lot About the Election
The share of the voting-eligible population that cast ballots — “voting eligible” means all adults who were legally entitled to cast a ballot, regardless of whether they registered — was the third best since 1972, slightly below the 60.7 percent turnout in the 2004 presidential race and slightly better than the 58.6 percent turnout in 2012. (Mr. Obama’s 2008 victory holds the crown for largest recent turnout.) Among the four in 10 who did not vote, a Pew Research Center survey suggested that about 25 percent believed their ballot would not change anything, and 15 percent believed the election outcome was in little doubt.
u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  statistics  elections 
12 days ago
Steve King: Blacks and Hispanics 'will be fighting each other' before overtaking whites in population
In the interview on Iowa radio, King reiterated comments he made Monday to Chris Cuomo on CNN's "New Day," saying, "This isn't about race."

He said his comments were instead about "our stock, our country, our culture, our civilization," and that "we need to have enough babies to replace ourselves."

But King argued that others, such as Ramos, were "celebrating" the success of a plan to make whites a majority-minority.

"Their effort here is to be celebrating because the United States is moving towards becoming, the whites becoming a minority, a majority-minority within the country according to what their plan is," he said.
racism  u.s.a.  politics  iowa 
15 days ago
Winner in Trump’s Decision to Fire Bharara Might Be Murdoch
Trump oversaw the firing of Preet Bharara, the U.S attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan, whose office is in the middle of a high-profile federal investigation of Fox News. The probe, according to sources, is looking at a number of potential crimes, including whether Fox News executives broke laws by allegedly obtaining journalists’ phone records or committed mail and wire fraud by hiding financial settlements paid to women who accused Roger Ailes of sexual harassment.
corruption  politics  u.s.a.  trump-presidency  media 
16 days ago
A diabetic boy’s religious parents ‘didn’t believe in doctors.’ Now they’re guilty of his murder.
For years, Alex was reportedly home-schooled and had little contact with the outside world. His parents' "intentional isolation of Alex from anyone who could intervene" had a profound effect on the teen, who had weakened to the point that he had trouble moving, the judge wrote. "His muscles had wasted away. His body was covered in painful bedsores, one was so advanced his jaw bone was openly visible. The pain at times must have been unbearable. He was unable to use the toilet. The only evidence of his food intake was baby food"....

On the night of Alex's death, Brancu and about a half-dozen people from the church visited the Radita family's home....

EMS workers would arrive to find a group chanting in the living room. Alex was pronounced dead shortly after 10 p.m.
crime  abuse  children  teens  canada  religion  christianity 
23 days ago
Sweden to reintroduce conscription amid rising Baltic tensions
A resurgent Russia and tensions over Ukraine have prompted politicians to consider bolstering military capability while addressing the shortfall of people willing to pursue a career as a professional soldier.

The lack of military preparedness has been exposed in recent years, such as when Russian warplanes carrying out a mock bombing run on Sweden in 2013 caught air defences off guard....

With its reintroduction of the draft, Sweden will for the first time join Norway to become only the second country in Europe where military service is compulsory for women and as well as men.

“It’s very important to emphasise that military service is for girls and guys,” Hultqvist said. “It is important for the military to have a gender equal profile,” he added.
sweden  politics  war  russia  equality  europe  military 
27 days ago
Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media
Robert Mercer very rarely speaks in public and never to journalists, so to gauge his beliefs you have to look at where he channels his money: a series of yachts, all called Sea Owl; a $2.9m model train set; climate change denial (he funds a climate change denial thinktank, the Heartland Institute); and what is maybe the ultimate rich man’s plaything – the disruption of the mainstream media. In this he is helped by his close associate Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign manager and now chief strategist. The money he gives to the Media Research Center, with its mission of correcting “liberal bias” is just one of his media plays. There are other bigger, and even more deliberate strategies, and shining brightly, the star at the centre of the Mercer media galaxy, is Breitbart.

It was $10m of Mercer’s money that enabled Bannon to fund Breitbart – a rightwing news site, set up with the express intention of being a Huffington Post for the right....

But there was another reason why I recognised Robert Mercer’s name: because of his connection to Cambridge Analytica, a small data analytics company. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the company, which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.)
media  politics  war  programming  science  internet 
29 days ago
Hidden Racism
Melfi shields white viewers from the uncomfortableness of seeing the totality of the horror their counterparts inflicted on the black women who worked at NASA, and he does so at the expense of the agency of those women, portraying them as being in desperate need for a white man’s validation.

The truth is that they lived freely in the fact that their lives were just as valid as anyone else’s.

What actually happened — documented in the book from which the film is adapted, Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, written by Margot Lee Shetterly, a black woman — is Katherine Johnson refused to use NASA’s colored restrooms. She defiantly used the white bathroom, even though doing so was illegal.
media  film  history  u.s.a.  politics  equality 
29 days ago
Pope quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy
Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope's own advisers question....

Burke said Francis' emphasis on mercy applied to "even those who are guilty of heinous crimes." He said priests who abuse are permanently removed from ministry, but are not necessarily dismissed from the clerical state, the church term for laicization or defrocking....

In a statement announcing Francis' decision to reduce the sentence, Crema Bishop Oscar Cantoni said "no misery is so profound, no sin so terrible that mercy cannot be applied."
religion  christianity  abuse  children  wtf  teens 
4 weeks ago
Seattle home too toxic to enter sparked a bidding frenzy — now we know why
Tang is the latest in a long line of developers looking to profit by tearing down a smaller, older home in Seattle and replacing it with a larger and much more expensive one.

Seattle now sees one home teardown per day on average, with the rate of teardowns surging in the last year and a half. The typical new home that springs up on a tear-down lot sells for more than $1 million, about three times more than what its old, torn-down predecessor was worth.
seattle  u.s.a.  money  architecture  housing  washington-state 
4 weeks ago
Same-sex marriage laws linked to fewer youth suicide attempts
State legalization of same-sex marriage appears to be linked to a decrease in adolescent suicide, based on a new analysis published today in JAMA Pediatrics. The results give more context to the potential effects of social policy on mental health.

The researchers found that suicide attempts by high school students decreased by 7 percent in states after they passed laws to legalize same-sex marriage, before the Supreme Court legalized it nationwide in 2015. Among LGB high school students, the decrease was especially concentrated, with suicide attempts falling by 14 percent.

But in states that did not legalize same-sex marriage, there was no change.
health  politics  u.s.a.  lgbt  suicide  teens  statistics  science 
5 weeks ago
How Space Weather Can Influence Elections on Earth
"Everything was going fine, but then suddenly, there were an additional 4,000 votes cast. Because it was a local election, which are normally very small, people were surprised and asked, 'how did this happen?'"

The culprit was not voter fraud or hacked machines. It was a single event upset (SEU), a term describing the fallout of an ionizing particle bouncing off a vulnerable node in the machine's register, causing it to flip a bit, and log the additional votes. The Sun may not have been the direct source of the particle—cosmic rays from outside the solar system are also in the mix—but solar-influenced space weather certainly contributes to these SEUs.

These anomalies in electronic voting machines are extremely difficult to detect, as the offending particles are small and subtle, and normally don't leave any damage or recognizable fingerprints of having tipped the scales one way or the other. The only reason Schaerbeek officials caught the error was due to the improbable number of ballots cast. But for all we know, the Sun and its radiation buddies in the wider universe may have tampered in other elections and gotten away with it.
elections  belgium  wtf  science  environment  politics 
5 weeks ago
Gone rogue
All, or most, of these accounts are fake. They’re phony. They’re liberal wish fulfillment. They’re telling you what you want to hear. There’s evidence that they’re fake. It’s fiction, like a social-media West Wing repackaged for the resistance, confirming your biases and giving you the (phony) gossipy thrill of insider knowledge....

I blocked these rogue government accounts as soon as they started proliferating on Twitter, and it was the best social-media decision I’ve made in 2017. They’re a distraction from reality — bad fiction to make you feel good. If we want to change the world, we have to support truth and transparency, and that means prioritizing good journalism over ineffectual fan fiction.
politics  u.s.a.  trump-presidency  media  internet 
6 weeks ago
Millennials are moving less than earlier generations did at same age
In 2016, only 20% of Millennial 25- to 35-year-olds reported having lived at a different address one year earlier. One-year migration rates were much higher for older generations when they were the same age....

Labor market opportunities may be a factor. Millennials were hit hard by the Great Recession in terms of job-holding and wages. For many young adults who moved in the past year, job opportunities were a prime motivation for moving, and the modest jobs recovery may not be providing the impetus Millennials need.

When they do move, Millennials’ motivations for moving are significantly different from those of earlier generations of young movers. One incentive for moving is to buy a home, but Census Bureau migration data suggest Millennial movers are doing so at significantly lower rates than earlier generations. In 2016, homeownership among younger households was at its lowest level in at least 40 years. On the one hand, the different family demographics of Millennials – such as not having children – may undercut their desire to own a home. But financial considerations may play a role as well. Compared with Gen X young adults around 2000, lending standards are much tighter, making it more difficult for Millennial 25- to 35-year-olds to get a mortgage. Related to this, student debt may be deterring young adults from home ownership.
statistics  u.s.a.  politics  money  economy  equality 
6 weeks ago
Schools Add Washing Machines, See Attendance Improve
“After just one month, we saw an impact,” Gunn tells CityLab. The more long-term results of the program have actually been remarkable. The first year saw over 90 percent of tracked students increase their attendance, with those most in need of the service averaging an increase of almost 2 weeks. Teachers surveyed reported that 95 percent of participants showed more motivation in class and were more apt to participate in extra-curricular activities. The results support research demonstrating that chronic absenteeism isn’t because of kids’ lack of smarts or motivation, but is largely due to coming from a low-income household.
poverty  education  children  teens  u.s.a.  kindness  equality 
6 weeks ago
The Trump effect on travel to the United States
Overall average interest in flying to the US declined 17% from the three weeks before Trump’s inauguration to two weeks afterward, Hopper said, based on weekly averages of an analysis of billions of global flight searches. Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning residents of seven Muslim-majority countries a week after he was inaugurated.

Last year during the same period, interest in flying to the US fell 1.8%, suggesting that the recent downturn is much more than just a seasonal fluctuation....

The US city slated to miss out most is San Francisco, whose airport saw a 33% decline in international interest, Hopper said. Seven other US airports saw a 20% or more decline in search interest over the three week period....

On the other hand, there was a huge increase in interest in travel to the US from Russia. Flight searches from Russia to the US rose 88%, Hopper said.
u.s.a.  u.s.-elections  trump-presidency  politics  russia  california  statistics  travel 
6 weeks ago
You have to be Christian to truly be American? Many people in the U.S. say so.
Thirty-two percent of Americans said one should be Christian to really be American, compared to just 13 percent of Australians, 15 percent of Canadians and 15 percent of Europeans who felt the same way about belonging in their homelands....

Republicans, who are themselves more likely to be Christian, said at a higher rate that one need be Christian to be American: 43 percent compared to 29 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents....

This opinion is apparently becoming much less popular with the younger generation of Americans, who are less likely to affiliate with a religion than generations before them. Among adults over 50, 44 percent told Pew that being Christian was key to being American; among those younger than 35, 18 percent said so.
u.s.a.  christianity  religion  politics  statistics 
7 weeks ago
Dutch experiment with 'Tinder for orangutans'
The research, conducted with Leiden University, could improve breeding programmes for the apes, the park said.

The local De Stentor newspaper wrote: "Apenheul wants to know if female orangutans like Samboja, looking at pictures on a tablet, can show a preference for potential mates, before they are flown to the Netherlands."

Initial results indicate that bonobos, an endangered ape species, react most strongly to photos showing positive behaviours, such as sexual activity or searching for lice, the park said....

But the study had to be suspended for the orangutans, after Samboja, a young female, destroyed a tablet showing potential suitors.
funny  animals  sex  science 
8 weeks ago
Obama averaged fewest executive orders since Cleveland
Obama issued 277 executive orders during his eight years in office, or 35 per year. That’s slightly fewer than the 36 per year that George W. Bush issued and the lowest average since Grover Cleveland, who issued 32 per year during his eight nonconsecutive years in office.
statistics  politics  u.s.a. 
8 weeks ago
Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest
Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.
media  crime  politics  dc  u.s.a.  u.s.-elections  trump-presidency 
9 weeks ago
New research charts surging income inequality in United States
The average pre-tax income of adults in the bottom 50 percent income share in the U.S. has stagnated since 1980.

The bottom 50 percent’s share of income share has collapsed from about 20 percent in 1980 to 12 percent in 2014.

Between the early 1980s and 2014, the average pre-tax income of the top 1 percent of adults rose from $420,000 to about $1.3 million, and their income share increased from about 12 percent.

In 1980, the top 1 percent adults earned on average 27 times more than bottom 50 percent adults, while they earn 81 times more today.
 
The share of women falls sharply as one moves up the income ladder, with only 11 percent in the top 1 percent today.

There has been close to zero growth for working-age adults in the bottom 50 percent of the distribution since 1980.

In the bottom half of the distribution range, only income for the elderly is rising, while income has fallen for those under the age of 65.
equality  money  u.s.a.  politics 
10 weeks ago
Why in the post-truth age, the bullshitters are winning
This is what people mean when they refer to our political moment as a “post truth” age. It is not quite the same as lies, though lying may well be involved. “Post-truth” is closer to bullshit. It’s the “Hall of Mirrors” strategy perfected in Putin's Russia, where an explosion of fake news and cultured online trolling bolsters the regime not simply by pumping out pro-Kremlin propaganda, but by making it impossible for citizens to entirely trust anything they read or hear. This leaves them vulnerable to latching on to the ideas that simply feel as if they ought to be true, with no regard for objective fact, which has been devalued, along with the very concept of expertise and learning, across the world.
politics 
11 weeks ago
The crisis of disabled millennials: 'It feels hopeless'
Phipps says the thought that this is what her life will always be like – never being able to have a career and earn money, or afford a decent place to live – is impacting on her mental health.

“My mum talks to me about her pension and I can’t imagine that. Or having my own home,” she says. “It feels hopeless. I can’t see how it’s getting better.”
uk  health  politics  money  equality  disability 
11 weeks ago
Maiden America
The idea of sexual purity was a relatively late addition to Christian doctrine. Not even priests needed to be celibate until the twelfth century—and that change, according to Medieval historian R. I. Moore, had more to do with blocking church officials from transferring church wealth to their families than it did with forging any sort of resemblance between the lives of priests and how Jesus lived.

In the foundational years of Christianity, the sexual purity of women was of no great concern. An unmarried girl’s sexual activity was seen, according to historian of early Christianity Peter Brown, as “simply a bad omen for her future conduct.” A sexually active teen might grow up to be a wife who took lovers, not that that was such a bad thing either. The goal of marriage was not a sacred union of souls, but reproduction—needed to replenish the constantly keeling-over population at a time when the average lifespan was twenty-five years.

For a woman to take a vow of abstinence, then, was considered radical. St. Cecilia was a buzzkill at her own engagement party, wearing sackcloth and ashes. When Thecla left her fiancé to don men’s clothing and preach alongside Paul the Apostle, the rejected suitor complained that this denigration of marriage was “bizarre and disruptive to the human race.” It was certainly disruptive to families. Early women of the church had to fight their fathers to take their vows, and they fended off prospective suitors by making themselves repulsive: shaving their heads, scarring their faces, cutting out their own eyes.
history  u.s.a.  sex  sexism  religion  politics  christianity  gender 
11 weeks ago
Point of View: North Carolina no longer a democracy
In the just released [Electoral Integrity Project] report, North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table – a deeply flawed, partly-free, democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.

Indeed Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.
u.s.-elections  politics  u.s.a.  north-carolina 
december 2016
Worries about access fuel women’s rush to get contraception
Immediately after the election, Google searches for IUD spiked and Twitter saw phrases like “get an IUD” jump in popularity.
health  equality  gender  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  trump-presidency 
december 2016
PIA: on a wing and a prayer
In an effort to seek divine intervention to keep a flight safe and secure, staff of the Pakistan International Airlines sacrificed a black goat for ‘sadqa’ near an ATR-42 aircraft after it was given clearance for take-off from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport on Sunday.
wtf  pakistan  religion  transportation  travel  animals 
december 2016
Cleveland creating 'Don King Way' where Don King killed a man
A Cleveland street where iconic boxing promoter Don King once killed a man 50 years ago is about to be renamed… Don King Way. Only in America.
wtf  ohio  history  sports  u.s.a. 
november 2016
United States confirms Manus Island and Nauru deal with Turnbull government
Refugees languishing on Manus Island and Nauru will be offered resettlement in the United States under a "one-off" arrangement announced by the Turnbull government.

The long-awaited breakthrough will see the 1800 detainees encouraged to return home, seek resettlement in the US or face an indefinite stay in the Nauruan community.
u.s.a.  australia  equality  racism 
november 2016
Trump Win Leaves Questions About Latino, African American Vote
The numbers suggested Clinton was not able to inspire African Americans in the way Obama did. Whereas Obama garnered 95 percent of the black vote, exit polls show only 88 percent of African Americans cast their vote for Clinton.

Most surprisingly, official exit polls show Trump won 29 percent of the Latino vote; Romney had won 27 percent in 2012. For researchers, this may be confounding. Data from pre-election polls gathered by other polling first show Trump's share of the Latino vote closer to 18 percent.
u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  statistics  democrats  republicans 
november 2016
Voter turnout at 20-year low in 2016
Voter turnout this year dipped to nearly its lowest point in two decades.

While election officials are still tabulating ballots, the 126 million votes already counted means about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots this year.
That measure of turnout is the lowest in a presidential election since 1996, when 53.5% of voting-age citizens turned out.
u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  trump-presidency 
november 2016
Islamic State celebrates Donald Trump election victory
Extremists celebrated President–elect Donald Trump’s stunning victory at the polls Wednesday, hoping his triumph will “lead to civil war,“ according to a jihadist monitoring group.

"Rejoice with support from Allah, and find glad tidings in the imminent demise of America at the hands of Trump,” said the al-Minbar Jihadi Media network, which is affiliated with the Islamic State, according to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group.
religion  islam  islamic-state  trump-presidency  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics 
november 2016
Trump Campaigned Against Lobbyists. Now They’re on His Transition Team.
President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned against the corrupt power of special interests, is filling his transition team with some of the very sort of people who he has complained have too much clout in Washington: corporate consultants and lobbyists.
politics  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  trump-presidency 
november 2016
DNC Staffer Screams At Donna Brazile For Helping Elect Donald Trump
"You and your friends will die of old age and I’m going to die from climate change."
politics  democrats  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  trump-presidency 
november 2016
The Lost Civilization of Dial-Up Bulletin Board Systems
The sysops might initiate one-on-one chat at any time. Long before texting and Slacking and Facebook messaging became the norm for interchange, BBS chats felt like being with someone in person. Sometimes strong personal relationships were built. My best friend is someone I first met when he called my BBS in 1993.

That personal connection was sorely missing on big-name online subscription services of the time—Prodigy, CompuServe, and AOL. Even today, the internet is so overwhelmingly intertwined that it doesn't have the same intimate feel. Once the web arrived in the mid-1990s, it seemed inevitable that the BBS would die off.

But every mass extinction has its holdouts. Even today, a small community of people still run and call BBSes. Many seek the digital intimacy they lost years ago; 373 BBSes still operate, according to the Telnet BBS Guide, mostly in the United States.
history  media  bbs 
november 2016
The fight to punish US police killings: ‘We missed an opportunity to stop him'
Johnson told the documentary makers that as complaints from the public about his violence piled up, Rankin said they merely proved he was doing his job properly. He also became obsessed with a particular premise for a police officer opening fire on a suspect. He would return to this hypothetical constantly in conversations with colleagues, she said.

“Don’t you think you’d be justified in shooting somebody if they put their hand on their waistband?” he would ask.
u.s.-elections  police  weapons  politics 
november 2016
The Most Important WikiLeaks Revelation Isn’t About Hillary Clinton
This was October 6. The election was November 4. And yet Froman, an executive at Citigroup, which would ultimately become the recipient of the largest bailout from the federal government during the financial crisis, had mapped out virtually the entire Obama cabinet, a month before votes were counted. And according to the Froman/Podesta emails, lists were floating around even before that.
politics  u.s.a.  corruption 
october 2016
Exposing the great 'poverty reduction' lie
Some economists go further and advocate for an IPL of $5 or even $10 - the upper boundary suggested by the World Bank. At this standard, we see that some 5.1 billion people - nearly 80 percent of the world's population - are living in poverty today. And the number is rising.
equality  poverty  money  economy  politics 
october 2016
The ‘Welfare Queen’ Is a Lie
Over time, politicians have contrived modern equivalents of the welfare queen, with policy implications of their own. Newt Gingrich infamously lamented a food-stamp recipient who used her benefits to fly to Hawaii at taxpayers’ expense. As anyone who has actually enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would know, benefits are tightly restricted to food products off of the shelf and can’t even be used to buy other necessities, such as diapers, much less a plane ticket.
poverty  equality  u.s.a.  politics  racism  sexism  money 
september 2016
Why an obscure Indian journal has a growing international stature
The [Indian Journal of Medical Ethics] seems to be operating pretty ethically. It doesn’t charge authors a fee to publish, and its articles are available online to everyone for free (the print edition carries a modest annual subscription fee). It doesn’t accept advertising from drug companies or medical device manufacturers, Jesani said. The staff is 1.5 full-time employees — whose salaries are paid for by donations from individuals and philanthropies — and a cadre of volunteers.
uplifting  health  science  drugs  india 
september 2016
5,300 Wells Fargo employees fired for creating unauthorized accounts
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wells Fargo sales staff opened more than 2 million bank and credit card accounts that may have not been authorized by customers. Money in customers' accounts were transferred to these new accounts without authorization. Debit cards were issued and activated, as well as PINs created, without telling customers.

In some cases, Wells Fargo employees even created fake email addresses to sign up customers for online banking services.

"Wells Fargo built an incentive-compensation program that made it possible for its employees to pursue underhanded sales practices, and it appears that the bank did not monitor the program carefully," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The behavior was widespread, the CFPB and other regulators said, involving thousands of Wells Fargo employees.

Roughly 5,300 employees at Wells Fargo were fired in connection with this behavior, according to Los Angeles City Attorney's office.
money  corruption  crime  u.s.a.  california 
september 2016
Long-held theory on human gestation refuted: Mother’s metabolism, not birth canal size, limits gestation
"Under the EGG, babies are born when they're born because mother cannot put any more energy into gestation and fetal growth," Dunsworth explains. "Mom's energy is the primary evolutionary constraint, not the hips."

Using metabolic data on pregnant women, the researchers show that women give birth just as they are about to cross into a metabolic danger zone.

"There is a limit to the number of calories our bodies can burn each day," says Pontzer. "During pregnancy, women approach that energetic ceiling and give birth right before they reach it. That suggests there is an energetic limit to human gestation length and fetal growth."
science  health  amazing  amazing-women 
september 2016
What recessions teach us about preventing traffic deaths—and why we need driverless cars
In “Did the Great Recession keep bad drivers off the road?” Winston and Maheshri illustrate that traffic deaths decline during recessions (thus the rise when the economy recovers). They find that for every one percentage point increase in unemployment during the Great Recession, there was a 14 percent reduction in traffic fatalities—or about 5,000 fewer deaths per year.
health  transportation  economy  statistics 
september 2016
Apartment value in the Top 100 US Cities: What Can You Rent for $1,500?
The four-bed, three-bath home you could rent for $1,500 in Memphis or Wichita is seven times the size of the hypothetical Manhattan studio that you’d get for the same amount of cash. In other words, even its living room is larger than some micro units in NYC.
statistics  u.s.a.  money 
august 2016
Younger generations of voters could dominate 2016 election
As of July, an estimated 126 million Millennial and Gen X adults were eligible to vote (56% of eligible voters), compared with only 98 million Boomers and other adults from prior generations, or 44% of the voting-eligible population.
statistics  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  aging 
august 2016
Uber’s First Self-Driving Fleet Arrives in Pittsburgh This Month
Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved. Google, widely regarded as the leader in the field, has been testing its fleet for several years, and Tesla Motors offers Autopilot, essentially a souped-up cruise control that drives the car on the highway. Earlier this week, Ford announced plans for an autonomous ride-sharing service. But none of these companies has yet brought a self-driving car-sharing service to market.
futurology  transportation  u.s.a.  pennsylvania 
august 2016
Ultra-Orthodox rabbis ban women from going to university in case they get ‘dangerous’ secular knowledge
Written in Yiddish, the decree warns: “It has lately become the new trend that girls and married women are pursuing degrees in special education. Some attend classes and others online. And so we’d like to let their parents know that it is against the Torah. We will be very strict about this. No girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree. It is dangerous. Girls who will not abide will be forced to leave our school. Also, we will not give any jobs or teaching position in the school to girls who’ve been to college or have a degree. We have to keep our school safe and we can’t allow any secular influences in our holy environment. It is against the base upon which our Mosed was built.”
judaism  religion  sexism  gender  education  new-york  u.s.a.  equality 
august 2016
New Earth Calendar
The New Earth Calendar is a practical refinement of the Gregorian calendar we now use and would eliminate the many inconsistencies that have been perpetuated for more than 2000 years. Thirteen equal months of 28 days. Each quarter has exactly 13 weeks and an equal number of workdays.

Each week, month and year starts on a Monday, never a Sunday. Sunday is the last day of the week and would always be on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of the month. Each country will be able to set their holidays in accordance with local custom, but generally, with the exception of Easter, they will always be on a fixed date and day of the week.
yes-please 
august 2016
Are Doctors Refusing to See Obamacare Patients or are Insurance Companies Just Playing Hard to Get?
Blue Shield removed me as a provider for patients who were already in my practice, without telling me and without telling my patients in advance… because they had too many doctors??

Still a bit confused (nothing like this had ever happened to us before) we asked Blue Shield to please put me back in their ACA network so I could resume treating my ACA patients.  And Blue Shield said: “why?” 

I’m not kidding. We asked Blue Shield of California to restore me to their network of ACA providers and they asked, “why?” as in “why would I want to see these patients?”
health  money  corruption  u.s.a.  politics  california 
august 2016
U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies
Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.
abuse  crime  children  afghanistan  war  u.s.a. 
august 2016
Indiana parade float depicts Obama in toilet and words 'Lying African'
An entry in Sheridan's Independence Day Parade included what some are calling a racist depiction of President Obama in a toilet and the words "Lying African"....

Don Christy, 73, Sheridan, told The Indianapolis Star he drove the golf cart in the parade. He said he didn't fill out an entry form. He said he lined up with other floats at the high school parking lot and was waved along when the parade started.

"I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican," Christy said. "I'm a patriot."

Christy said he is tired of political correctness and was just trying to be funny. The display was not intended to be racist, he said. Christy agreed that others have a right to be offended, just as he has the right to express his views.

"I apologize to anyone I offended, which would be a total liberal. I have my right to say things," Christy said. "Isn't that what the Fourth of July's about? Freedom."
racism  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  wtf  republicans  politics 
july 2016
“The Best Revenge is Your Paper”: Notes on Women’s Work
“Ever since the invention of dating,” Weigel writes, “the line between sex work and ‘legitimate’ dating has remained difficult to draw and impossible to police.” Many early female daters were arrested because “[i]n the eyes of the authorities, women who let men buy them food and drinks or gifts and entrance tickets looked like whores, and making a date seemed the same as turning a trick.” Weigel notes that there is still debate about “what exactly makes sleeping with someone because he bought you dinner different from sleeping with someone because he paid you what that dinner cost.” On websites like SeekingArrangement.com, a rich “Sugar Daddy” can seek a “Sugar Baby,” an attractive young woman he will support in exchange for sex and companionship. Despite the evidently transactional nature of such a relationship, many men seeking this arrangement like to imagine that they are not hiring a prostitute, as Alana Massey has observed in The New Inquiry, specifying on their online profiles that “no pros” need apply. Women’s work must not look like work.
equality  gender  sex  sexism 
june 2016
Ex-Speaker Hastert enters prison — now Inmate No. 47991-424
When sentenced in April in Chicago, Hastert was branded "a serial child molester" by U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin — and Burdge also spoke. Turning to Hastert in court, she described how she was among the first to broach his abuse of kids, telling him, "I hope I have been your worst nightmare."

Her brother, Stephen Reinboldt, died of AIDS in 1995. She said Wednesday that Hastert's imprisonment brings her some closure.

"This whole ordeal is sad," Burdge said. "But when you abuse children, you need to suffer the consequences — no matter who you are."

Hastert was never charged with child abuse because the statutes of limitation blocked prosecutors from filing charges dating back to when Hastert coached at Yorkville High School, from 1965 to 1981. Instead, Hastert was charged with violating banking laws for trying to pay $3.5 million in hush money to one victim referred to in court papers only as "Individual A."
abuse  crime  u.s.a.  politics  republicans  creepy 
june 2016
Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks
I can’t help but think about other people who have been through late-term abortions. I know that it’s not common, but it does happen. It makes me feel angry that we can’t just have an honest conversation about it—that we can’t talk about it scientifically or practically. It all has to be talked about in these couched terms that are ultimately religious and it just makes me crazy.

Another thing I want to say is that yes, I had this very particular, horrible situation—but if I had had an abortion at 20 weeks just because I didn’t feel ready, that should be okay, too. Like it or not, all of our rights are intertwined. Maybe there’s some woman who has had four abortions and maybe that feels really wrong to you. But my rights are wrapped up with hers, so I have to fight like fuck for her to have as many as she wants—not just for her sake, but for mine, too.
abortion  health  amazing-women  amazing-men  politics  u.s.a. 
june 2016
Donald Trump speaks to shrunken Atlanta crowd as poll numbers drop
The suspicion of protesters reached a point at which Trump supporters were informing on each other for not being “real” supporters. One woman pointed security toward a couple sitting quietly in their seats. “Them,” she mouthed.

The couple seemed baffled and denied to a security agent that they were anything but genuine Trump admirers. He waved them toward the exit and said, “Let’s go.”

Afterward the informer, who declined to give her name, grinned as onlookers congratulated her. “I heard one of them say ‘Never Trump’,” she said. “And one held up three fingers, like this.”

She held up her hand in a Boy Scout salute.
funny  republicans  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  wtf 
june 2016
What Are the Odds We Are Living in a Computer Simulation?
It stands to reason that such an advanced civilization might use that computing power to run an “ancestor simulation”—essentially, a high-powered version of the video game “The Sims,” focussed on their evolutionary history. The creation of just one such simulated world might strike us as extraordinary, but Bostrom figures that thousands or even millions of ancestor simulations could be run by a single computer in the future. If that’s true, then simulated human consciousnesses could vastly outnumber non-simulated ones, in which case we are far more likely to be living inside a simulation right now than to be living outside of one.
science  futurology  amazing 
june 2016
Why sons hold marriages together
Playgrounds in hip neighbourhoods may be full of sprogs with unisex names like Sage and Riley, and big-box retailers may be ditching gendered toys and clothing, but changes in public behaviour haven’t necessarily changed private attitudes. This can perhaps be seen most clearly in parents’ communications with Google – those quiet, furtive moments, when the site’s autocomplete feature absolves even the most neurotic questions (misery may love company, but anxiety needs it). A recent analy­sis of anonymous search data found that Americans ask “Is my son gifted?” more than twice as often as “Is my daughter gifted?”, even though young girls are more likely than boys to be enrolled in gifted programmes in school. Parents also ask “Is my daughter overweight?” nearly twice as often as “Is my son overweight?”, even though boys are more likely to be fat.

People will also reveal to pollsters preferences they might keep from their families. In every Gallup poll since the 1940s, when asked which sex they would prefer if they could have only one child, Americans have consistently pulled for boys. Results from the most recent poll, in 2011, were startlingly similar to those from the first: Americans said they favour boys over girls by a margin of 12 percentage points. This preference is driven mainly by men; women are largely agnostic. “Most people will say in public that they are happy to have a boy or a girl, they just want a healthy child,” says Vienna Pharaon, a marriage and family therapist in Manhattan. “But in the therapy room, where people are more comfortable feeling vulnerable, there’s an overwhelming sense that men really do want to have a boy.”
equality  statistics  relationships  children  gender 
may 2016
Silicon Valley imported cheap labor
The companies that arranged his questionable visa instead sent Lesnik to a menial job in Silicon Valley. He earned the equivalent of $5 an hour to expand the plant for one of the world’s most sophisticated companies, Tesla Motors....

Yet neither the contractors involved nor Tesla itself have accepted legal responsibility for the hiring practices, long hours and low pay. While most of the imported workers interviewed for this story said they are happy with their paychecks, their American counterparts earn as much as $52 an hour for similar work.
money  california  u.s.a.  politics  equality 
may 2016
Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’
Louisiana officials have been coping with some of the fastest rates of land loss in the world — an area the size of Delaware has disappeared from south Louisiana since the 1930s. A master plan that is expected to cost tens of billions of dollars envisions a giant wall of levees and flood walls along the coast.

But some places, like the island, would be left on the outside. For those communities, wholesale relocation may be an effective tool, if a far more difficult and costly one.

“That’s one of the things we need to learn from the creation of this model, which is how to do it economically,” said Pat Forbes, the executive director of the state’s Office of Community Development, the agency in charge of administering the federal climate grant.

A vast majority of the $1 billion disaster-resilience grant program is spent on projects to improve infrastructure, like stronger roads, bridges, dams, levees and drainage systems, to withstand rising seas and stronger storms.

But experts see places like Isle de Jean Charles as lost causes.
environment  u.s.a.  louisiana  futurology  politics 
may 2016
How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk
[Jack Keane] and Clinton continued to talk, even after Obama was elected and she became secretary of state. More often than not, they found themselves in sync. Keane, like Clinton, favored more robust intervention in Syria than Obama did. In April 2015, the week before she announced her candidacy, Clinton asked him for a briefing on military options for dealing with the fighters of the Islamic State. Bringing along three young female analysts from the Institute for the Study of War, Keane gave her a 2-hour-20-minute presentation. Among other steps, he advocated imposing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria that would neutralize the air power of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, with a goal of forcing him into a political settlement with opposition groups. Six months later, Clinton publicly adopted this position, further distancing herself from Obama.
war  politics  u.s.a. 
may 2016
After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight
Researchers knew that just about anyone who deliberately loses weight — even if they start at a normal weight or even underweight — will have a slower metabolism when the diet ends. So they were not surprised to see that “The Biggest Loser” contestants had slow metabolisms when the show ended.

What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight.

Mr. Cahill was one of the worst off. As he regained more than 100 pounds, his metabolism slowed so much that, just to maintain his current weight of 295 pounds, he now has to eat 800 calories a day less than a typical man his size. Anything more turns to fat.
health  science  television  media 
may 2016
A poem about Silicon Valley, made up of Quora questions
Why are successful entrepreneurs stereotypically jerks?
Which Silicon Valley company has the best intern perks?
What looks easy until you actually try it?
How did your excretions change under a full Soylent diet?
funny  poetry  california  u.s.a. 
may 2016
Who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone
He looked at his list of abstracts and did the math. Purchasing the papers was going to cost $1000 this week alone—about as much as his monthly living expenses—and he would probably need to read research papers at this rate for years to come. Rahimi was peeved. “Publishers give nothing to the authors, so why should they receive anything more than a small amount for managing the journal?”

Many academic publishers offer programs to help researchers in poor countries access papers, but only one, called Share Link, seemed relevant to the papers that Rahimi sought. It would require him to contact authors individually to get links to their work, and such links go dead 50 days after a paper's publication. The choice seemed clear: Either quit the Ph.D. or illegally obtain copies of the papers. So like millions of other researchers, he turned to Sci-Hub, the world's largest pirate website for scholarly literature. Rahimi felt no guilt. As he sees it, high-priced journals “may be slowing down the growth of science severely.”
science  money  equality  statistics  internet  education 
may 2016
Australia blocks sale of Ireland-sized chunk of land to private Chinese company
The Australian government on Friday blocked once and for all a bid that would have seen a chunk of its land the size of Ireland — or more than 1 percent of the country's total landmass — sold to a private Chinese company.

The company at first seems like an extremely unlikely contender to become not only Australia's, but the world's, biggest private landowner. It's called Dakang, and it was once a struggling pig-breeding firm until it was bought in 2013 by Pengxin Group, a Shanghai-based company mostly involved in real estate.
australia  china  funny  politics 
may 2016
Voters find wrong party affiliation on Oregon registry
Voter registration errors aren’t just occurring in states like Arizona and New York. Some Oregonians claim their party affiliation recently changed on the state’s digital registry, and they don’t know why.

Elections Director Jim Williams says 120-150 voters are calling the Secretary of State’s office every day to complain about errors in party affiliations.
u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  oregon 
may 2016
Bodyhackers are all around you, they’re called women
In the space between my left pointer finger and thumb is an RFID microchip, a small glass capsule about twice the size of a grain of rice, much like the kind you might put in your pet so it can be identified if it runs away. In my uterus is an IUD, or intrauterine device, a small t-shaped piece of plastic that releases hormones into my uterus and keeps me from getting pregnant. The IUD is far more powerful and important in my life than the hand implant, and if I had to give one up it would be an easy choice.

But when I tell people about these implants, one is met with a shrug and the other is met with wide eyes. No one has ever jolted backwards and said, “You have a what in your uterus?” They have at the news of my chip. I call them both cyborg implants, but most people would only consider one of them cyborgian at all.
health  science  futurology  gender  amazing 
april 2016
Exclusive: Half of Americans think presidential nominating system 'rigged'
More than half of American voters believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is "rigged" and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics  corruption  statistics 
april 2016
Firms that paid for Clinton speeches have US gov't interests
Most companies and groups that paid Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to speak between 2013 and 2015 have lobbied federal agencies in recent years, and more than one-third are government contractors, an Associated Press review has found. Their interests are sprawling and would follow Clinton to the White House should she win election this fall.

The AP's review of federal records, regulatory filings and correspondence showed that almost all the 82 corporations, trade associations and other groups that paid for or sponsored Clinton's speeches have actively sought to sway the government — lobbying, bidding for contracts, commenting on federal policy and in some cases contacting State Department officials or Clinton herself during her tenure as secretary of state.

Presidents are not generally bound by many of the ethics and conflict-of-interest regulations that apply to non-elected executive branch officials, although they are subject to laws covering related conduct, such as bribery and illegal gratuities. Clinton's 94 paid appearances over two years on the speech circuit leave her open to scrutiny over decisions she would make in the White House or influence that may affect the interests of her speech sponsors.
corruption  money  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  politics 
april 2016
UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet
UC Davis contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, newly released documents show.

The payments were made as the university was trying to boost its image online and were among several contracts issued following the pepper-spray incident.

Some payments were made in hopes of improving the results computer users obtained when searching for information about the university or Katehi, results that one consultant labeled “venomous rhetoric about UC Davis and the chancellor.”
police  education  california  politics  u.s.a. 
april 2016
Scientists find fracking contaminated Wyoming water after EPA halted study
Two scientists have highlighted dangerous water contamination from a fracking operation in Wyoming, three years after the US Environmental Protection Agency decided to abandon its investigation into the matter.

The report found there were dangerous levels of chemicals in the underground water supply used by the 230 residents of Pavillion, a small town in central Wyoming. Levels of benzine, a flammable liquid used in fuel, were 50 times above the allowable limit, while chemicals were dumped in unlined pits and cement barriers to protect groundwater were inadequate, the research found.
environment  energy  u.s.a.  health 
april 2016
9-year-old reporter defends homicide coverage after backlash
She went to the scene to get the details and posted a story and video clip on her website the "Orange Street News" later that day.

Soon after, her Facebook page and YouTube channel were clogged with negative comments urging her to "play with dolls" and have a tea party, and questioning her parents' judgment in letting her do such work.
children  amazing-youngsters  media  equality  gender  u.s.a.  pennsylvania  sexism 
april 2016
Which Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?
Just why distance running was so much more potent at promoting neurogenesis than the other workouts is not clear, although Dr. Nokia and her colleagues speculate that distance running stimulates the release of a particular substance in the brain known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor that is known to regulate neurogenesis. The more miles an animal runs, the more B.D.N.F. it produces.
health 
april 2016
Sanders backers urge state's superdelegates to support him
Elected office-holders and party officials in each state are automatically made delegates to the Democratic National Convention. These superdelegates can vote as they wish and are not required to abide by results of primaries or caucuses, not even in their own precinct.

Washington has 17 superdelegates. Of those Larsen, DelBene, U.S. Reps. Jim McDermott, Adam Smith, Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer; U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and Gov. Jay Inslee have all publicly backed Clinton.

The other eight, all party officials including Chairman Jaxon Ravens, have not publicly announced how they'll vote at the convention.
Sanders' backers, angered by the party's use of the free-wheeling superdelegates in the selection process, are trying to convince Washington's to change their minds.
politics  u.s.-elections  u.s.a.  washington-state 
april 2016
Texas Forced This Woman to Deliver a Stillborn Baby
The doctors and nurses at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin cried with them, but said because of Texas law HB2, they could not help speed Taylor’s labor. Technically, the baby was healthy and the mother was healthy, so to induce labor would be an abortion, and to do it at this stage in the pregnancy would be illegal.

The Mahaffeys were sent home to wait for their baby to die or for Taylor’s labor to progress. “We cried ourselves to sleep, waiting for him to come,” Daniel said in an interview with The Daily Beast.

They prayed conflicting prayers: for a miracle that might save him and for an end to their baby’s suffering. Daniel worried his wife would hemorrhage while Taylor could feel the baby struggling inside of her, Daniel said. Taylor declined to speak for this article.

When Taylor started bleeding, they went back to the hospital, but with Fox’s heart still beating, doctors couldn’t legally interfere.

“Eventually she was just screaming at them to get the child out of her,” Daniel said.
abortion  equality  health  texas  politics  u.s.a. 
april 2016
Why The New Year’s Attacks On Women In Germany Weren’t Even A Crime
It was hardly the first or last time women have been assaulted during a big public holiday in Germany, but it is the first time, thanks to the obsessive discussion that followed the New Year’s attacks, that many Germans have learned about a shocking feature of the country’s sexual assault law: Most of what happened that night in Cologne is not actually a crime.

This is the irony women’s activists are struggling with in the wake of attacks in Cologne. A quick squeeze of the breasts, a hand on the ass, an unwanted kiss — when it happens in a public space, none of these are against the law in Germany.

“The German law accepts that a man generally has the right to touch a woman, to have sexual intercourse with a woman. It’s his right, unless the woman shows her resistance very, very strongly,” said Chantal Louis, an editor at Emma, Germany’s oldest feminist magazine. “We have a situation where … even touching the breasts or vagina can’t be punished in the logic of that law, because if the perpetrator does it very quickly, you don’t have time to resist. It seems weird and crazy, but that’s German law.”

That’s because, as far as the law is concerned, verbal consent isn’t really the issue. The law focuses instead on the overwhelming force of the perpetrator, requiring that there be a “threat of imminent danger to life and limb.” For a court to rule that a woman was raped, and the justice system to put a rapist behind bars, a woman must physically, exhaustively resist her perpetrator. If she can’t prove with her body — with bruises or other injuries — that she fought back, the assault isn’t really a crime.
crime  abuse  germany  politics  equality  gender  wtf 
april 2016
This is why Finland has the best schools
In Finland, children don't receive formal academic training until the age of seven. Until then, many are in day care and learn through play, songs, games and conversation. Most children walk or bike to school, even the youngest. School hours are short and homework is generally light.

Unlike in the United States, where many schools are slashing recess, schoolchildren in Finland have a mandatory 15-minute outdoor free-play break every hour of every day. Fresh air, nature and regular physical activity breaks are considered engines of learning. According to one Finnish maxim, "There is no bad weather. Only inadequate clothing."

One evening, I asked my son what he did for gym that day. "They sent us into the woods with a map and compass and we had to find our way out," he said.
education  finland  children  health  psychology  politics 
march 2016
Cameroon outcry over razorblade operation to save unborn twins
About an hour earlier, Monique Koumateke, 31, was nearly full term when her family rushed her to hospital in a taxi after she had become ill.
The midwife on duty told her relatives she was already dead and should be taken to the mortuary.

Then an attendant, Monga Luc, noticed the twins might still be alive.

"The mortuary attendant even came and said the babies were still kicking inside the stomach," her mother Marie Sen told the BBC. "We went to the maternity ward [again] but they chased us away."

However, when they went back to the main hospital, they were told no-one would help.

This is when a relative of Ms Koumateke's partner, Takeh Rose, rushed to find some razorblades to see if she could rescue the twins.
cameroon  health 
march 2016
Terrifyingly, according to the World Health Organisation definition, the UK no longer has a NHS
The NHS has actually been abolished. Now you may think that this is untrue. After all, you still go and see your GP or may be admitted to hospital and receive care free at the point of delivery. However, the Health & Social Care Act 2012 has abolished the NHS in legislative terms. It has achieved this through several mechanisms.

It has axed the government's responsibility for the NHS. It has devolved responsibility to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The CCGs have no legal obligation to provide you with anything beyond emergency care - this may not be the case at present but it means that there is no legal guarantee that they will continue to do so.

It has opened up the NHS to unlimited privatisation. The government continues to deny that privatisation is taking place - of course they do. A simple rebuffal comes from the World Health Organisation definition of healthcare privatisation, which describes it as the increasing financing and/or provision of healthcare by non-governmental actors. And the NHS Support Federation has shown that £30 billion of NHS contracts have been tendered since the Act came into effect. £16 billion have been awarded with 34 per cent going to the private sector.
health  uk  politics  money 
march 2016
Legalize It All, by Dan Baum
I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did....”

The lifetime prevalence of adult drug use in Portugal rose slightly [after decriminalization of all drugs], but problem drug use — that is, habitual use of hard drugs — declined after Portugal decriminalized, from 7.6 to 6.8 per 1,000 people. Compare that with nearby Italy, which didn’t decriminalize, where the rates rose from 6.0 to 8.6 per 1,000 people over the same time span. Because addicts can now legally obtain sterile syringes in Portugal, decriminalization seems to have cut radically the number of addicts infected with H.I.V., from 907 in 2000 to 267 in 2008, while cases of full-blown AIDS among addicts fell from 506 to 108 during the same period.

The new Portuguese law has also had a striking effect on the size of the country’s prison population. The number of inmates serving time for drug offenses fell by more than half, and today they make up only 21 percent of those incarcerated. A similar reduction in the United States would free 260,000 people — the equivalent of letting the entire population of Buffalo out of jail.
health  u.s.a.  politics  racism  drugs  portugal 
march 2016
Brand Name Medication Prices
Of all the medications on my list, only two of them (Norvir and Podofilox ) went down in price. All other brand name prescription drugs on my list went up a minimum of 9% and an average of just over 56% in price in only 3 years. For comparison, the average rate of inflation during that period of time was only 3.23%. That means that brand name prescription medications have been going up in price at about 16 times the average rate of inflation since October 2012.
drugs  health  u.s.a.  politics  money 
march 2016
Homeless youth with pets less likely to use hard drugs, suffer depression
The study from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph found that homeless youth with pets were three times less likely to be depressed, less likely to engage in potentially harmful behaviours like hard drug use and more likely to open up to veterinarians about their personal challenges.

"These pets are their only friends, the only way that they've experienced unconditional love without judgment. These pets have saved their lives in many cases," Lem said. "By asking them to give up their pets to access the shelter, what you're doing as a social service provider is saying, 'I don't understand your relationship' and often it pushes people away."
canada  homelessness  teens  animals  health 
march 2016
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