In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Runs In The Family

Carol Briggs placed her newborn son on the bed and removed all of his clothes. She tried to find herself in his face, searching his mouth, his nose, his eyes. “Not yet,” she thought. She saw only his father. She looked him up and down, making a mental note of each of his 10 tiny toes, chubby legs, puffy belly and two little arms reaching up at her. “In my mind,” Briggs says, “that was probably going to be the last time I ever saw him.”

It was Dec. 1, 1972, and a big snowstorm had hit the greater Pittsburgh area that week. Briggs had gone sledding with some of the other girls the night before, dragging a cardboard box up and down a big hill that emptied out right at the Zoar Home for Mothers, Babies and Convalescents in Allison Park, Pennsylvania. She woke up in labor around 2 a.m., and just 32 minutes later, she was a mother. She named her baby Jon Kenneth Briggs.

Read the rest of this article at: ESPN

In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Road To Ramblas

In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

OBODY WANTS TO talk about Abdelbaki Es Satty. When pressed, those who knew him call him “evil” and “savage” and a disgrace to the communities he’s lived in. Some of his neighbors are just surprised that the imam next door was capable of masterminding an attack. But most of his acquaintances from recent years didn’t know his past: that he’d been investigated and had his phone tapped in one of the largest international terrorism cases in Spanish history; that he had two smuggling convictions and had spent four years in prison. Despite all that, he was able to live under the radar while he organized the most deadly terrorist attack in Spain since the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

The Spanish government especially does not want to talk about Es Satty. The investigation into his case is sealed by a judge. Spanish police won’t offer much comment on the case, nor will police for the region of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital. The director of Spain’s intelligence agency — referred to as the CNI, for its initials in Spanish — has given one closed-door briefing on Es Satty in the Spanish Parliament, and did so only after politicians began calling for a public investigation.

And so, over a year after the attack, the public has been provided few answers as to how Es Satty was able to convince a group of young men to kill and injure innocent people on a mass scale — and how he evaded police attention while doing so.

Read the rest of this article at: The Intercept

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The Other Political Correctness

There is an epidemic of self-censorship at U.S. universities on the subject of China, one that limits debate and funnels students and academics away from topics likely to offend the Chinese Communist Party. This epidemic stems less from the hundreds of millions of dollars Chinese individuals and the Chinese Communist Party spend in U.S. universities, or the influx of students from mainland China—roughly 350,000 in the United States, up more than fivefold from a decade ago. Rather, it is that some people in American academia, too eager to please Beijing or too fearful of offending China and the Chinese people, have submitted to a sophisticated global censorship regime. This weakens not only their scholarship and integrity, but also their negotiating power with Beijing over issues such as access for research, conferences and other academic collaborations, and joint programs between American and Chinese institutions.

More than 100 interviews over the last six months with professors, students, administrators, and alumni at U.S. universities reveal a worrying prevalence of self-censorship regarding China. In a previously unreported incident, Columbia University’s Global Center in Beijing canceled several talks it feared would upset Chinese officials, according to a person familiar with the matter. Some graduate students admitted to regularly censoring themselves. “It has gotten to the point where I don’t engage with anything overly political relating to the Chinese state,” said a white graduate student at a top American university, who described her views as “middle of the road” for those studying China. “I would not willfully do anything that would endanger my ability to get a visa to China in the future,” she added. (Like many of the people I spoke to for this article, the student asked to remain anonymous, because of the real and perceived risks of openly discussing self-censorship. She also asked that I identify her race because she believes there is even less freedom for people of color and Chinese-Americans to speak openly about China.)

Read the rest of this article at: The New Republic

In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The American Nightmare

Heather and Rick Little learned in court that they would have to leave their home by Dec. 10 — just two weeks before Christmas.

The Littles knew the foreclosure was coming before the October 2008 hearing.

The bank was relentless with calls and notices and big fat envelopes, Heather remembers. She called and begged for help, but there was nothing the bank could do. “Nothing they would do,” she said.

She stopped trying to stall the foreclosure.

The day of the hearing, the Littles wheeled their daughter, Emma, then 19 months old, into the Manatee County, Florida, courthouse in her stroller. Their son, John, was in kindergarten that day.

The judge was sympathetic, Heather recalls. He asked them how much time they needed to pack up and move. The hearing took less than 15 minutes.

“There was no one around, thankfully,” she said, “because I fell apart.”

Their house became one of the 9 million homes that would go into foreclosure nationwide between 2007 and 2010.

The Littles went from hosting barbecues in their backyard with a swimming pool and outdoor kitchen to taking whatever they could get from local food banks.

A decade after the height of the Great Recession in 2008, people who lost homes and careers are still recovering.

For the Littles, life is more stable now, but the swimming pool and outdoor kitchen are long gone.

Today, the family’s backyard holds plastic pots where Heather grows fruits and vegetables — signs she still remembers what it felt like to question where their next meal would come from.

“We had nothing extra at the end of every month,” Heather said of the years after their foreclosure. “Nothing. Not even a dollar.”

The Littles’ four-bedroom house in Bradenton, Florida, was supposed to be a pit stop along the way to their waterfront dream home.

Read the rest of this article at: The Penny Hoarder

In the News 09.05.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Sperm Count Zero

Men are doomed. Everybody knows this. We’re obviously all doomed, the women too, everybody in general, just a waiting game until one or another of the stupid things our stupid species is up to finally gets us. But as it turns out, no surprise: men first. Second instance of no surprise: We’re going to take the women down with us.

There has always been evidence that men, throughout life, are at higher risk of early death—from the beginning, a higher male incidence of Death by Mastodon Stomping, a higher incidence of Spiked Club to the Brainpan, a statistically significant disparity between how many men and how many women die of Accidentally Shooting Themselves in the Face or Getting Really Fat and Having a Heart Attack. The male of the species dies younger than the female—about five years on average. Divide a population into groups by birth year, and by the time each cohort reaches 85, there are two women left for every man alive. In fact, the male wins every age class: Baby boys die more often than baby girls; little boys die more often than little girls; teenage boys; young men; middle-aged men. Death champions across the board.

Now it seems that early death isn’t enough for us—we’re on track instead to void the species entirely. Last summer a group of researchers from Hebrew University and Mount Sinai medical school published a study showing that sperm counts in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have fallen by more than 50 percent over the past four decades. (They judged data from the rest of the world to be insufficient to draw conclusions from, but there are studies suggesting that the trend could be worldwide.) That is to say: We are producing half the sperm our grandfathers did. We are half as fertile.

The Hebrew University/Mount Sinai paper was a meta-analysis by a team of epidemiologists, clinicians, and researchers that culled data from 185 studies, which examined semen from almost 43,000 men. It showed that the human race is apparently on a trend line toward becoming unable to reproduce itself. Sperm counts went from 99 million sperm per milliliter of semen in 1973 to 47 million per milliliter in 2011, and the decline has been accelerating. Would 40 more years—or fewer—bring us all the way to zero?

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

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