Policy & Practice News by 10am
A 127-page draft report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes what can be done about it
To sidestep Senate approval, President Obama’s negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal to “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions.
As if you didn’t already think Doctors Without Borders had its hands full with the Ebola crisis
unfolding in West Africa, the organization recently released a series of videos and photographs covering the group’s work in and around Syria.
Greenpeace energy analyst Jimmy Aldridge said: “The expansion of lignite mining in Europe is today the most serious symptom of the continent’s chronic addiction to dangerous fossil fuels, and a massive threat to its efforts to tackle climate change. The companies involved will continue for as long as they can – we need our political leaders to act in order to stop this situation from getting worse. [Barack] Obama has taken decisive action against coal in the US, it’s time European leaders did the same.”
A senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California's last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility's twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults.
Climate change and chemicals like pesticides are driving the crisis.
“The wild card for birds, the biggest risk of them all, is the high-carbon world humans have created through the burning of fossil fuels for energy.”
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.
Charter schools divert public monies to pay their six-figure salaries; hire uncertified, transient, non-unionized teachers on the cheap; and do not admit (or fail to appropriately serve) students who are costly, such as those with disabilities.'
In his new book, Patrick Cockburn writes that America's failed strategy will only make ISIS stronger.
Taking some time off—next posts on September 3rd
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency security meeting to defend against what he called a “de facto” Russian incursion after separatists gained ground in intensified fighting.
France and Germany threatened President Vladimir Putin with tougher sanctions after pro-Russian insurgents widened their attacks, taking several towns outside their strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, including near the Sea of Azov. That opened a new front and a seaborne supply channel for the rebels, said Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. The U.S. said Russia may be directing the attacks, falling short of calling it an invasion.
Big power stations in Europe could be redundant within 10-20 years as electric cars, cheaper batteries and new solar technologies transform the way electricity is generated, stored and distributed, say analysts at the world’s largest private bank.
Kateryna Choursina, Volodymyr Verbyany and David McQuaid in Bloomberg News
Energy secretary sees a 'money-making opportunity' for finance industry in funding nations to cut their carbon emisions
The trial is being part-funded by the Zero Emissions Urban Bus System (Zeeus) and represents the latest green bus pilot scheme to be undertaken by TfL, following the launch of a fleet of six pure electric buses, the introduction of zero-emission hydrogen buses on Route RV1 between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway, and the rollout of about 800 hybrid buses.
As a young man, Jakob W. worked in the watchtowers of Auschwitz. Charges against him were recently dropped, but he described to SPIEGEL what it was like to be a cog in the Nazis' horrific machinery of death. [Beware: Circumstance and self-protection with rationalization can make anyone do anything]
Interview Conducted by Felix Bohr, Cordula Meyer and Klaus Wiegrefe in Der Spiegel
Israel invests more money in research than most other countries -- and in no other place are research institutes, the defense industry, the army and politics as interwoven. The result is a high-tech weapons factory that successfully exports its goods globally.
The slaying of an 18-year-old African-American man in Ferguson, Missouri, shows that racism and racial profiling remain a serious everyday problem in some parts of America. Some worry things will never change.
The world took notice when the Yazidis needed help. But since June, a Turkmen city in northern Iraq has been under siege by the Islamic State. The death toll continues to mount but, thus far, the people of Amirli have been left to fight the IS on their own.
Within just a few years, the Islamic State has grown to become the most feared jihadist group in the Middle East. In an interview, Brookings Institution fellow Charles Lister describes IS' rise in Iraq and Syria and what can be done to stop it. [Are fighting for Jihadists the only jobs? Are there any fact-and-reason-based Middle-east countries? Or are they all fundamentalist and "belief-based"?]
Moving away from "Just Say No" and towards a more nuanced understanding of drug education
Like Barack Obama, the chief justice came into office promising an age of apolitical comity. And like the president, he has seen his dream die.
Why the science of delaying hard work is all about your mood
The current debate over corporate inversions, in which American companies like Burger King
consider renouncing their citizenship for tax-reduction purposes, is only the latest reminder that the United States corporate tax code has deep problems. [It means relinquishing SuperPower Powers.]
The crowds gathered in Ferguson’s streets see little of themselves in their city’s political system.
The ‘savage’ of history has become the ‘thug’ of 2014. Injustice is so banal that we hardly notice it happening
A roundup of the best stories on cities and urbanism we've come across in the last seven days.
Spokeswoman denies media links to hate groups while senior police officer leads NAACP march in Ferguson
None of the other potential 2016 GOP candidates is nearly as good at working the media. [But] he's never written a law, let alone an important one that improved people's lives.
Unprofessional journalists are critiqued.
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Apartment building that Israeli military said housed a Hamas operations room is one of two multi-storey complexes destroyed
A 12-storey apartment building in Gaza City was brought down on Saturday evening and a seven-floor office building in Rafah was razed early on Sunday.
In total around 100,000 Gazans have become homeless, with more than 17,000 homes destroyed or damaged beyond repair, according to UN figures. However Saturday’s strike marked the first time an entire apartment highrise was destroyed. [Passing out warning leaflets in advance does not exempt it being a war crime]
US effort to build an international coalition against Isis advanced, as Britain and six other nations agreed to arm the Kurdish peshmerga
President Obama is nearing a decision to authorize airstrikes and airdrops around Amerli, an Iraqi town that has been under siege by militants for more than two months.
Striking the jihadists in Syria is reckless without allies on the ground.
bombing can pulverize an enemy, but only allies on the ground can seize its territory. In Iraq, it’s easier to grasp who those allies are: the Kurdish Peshmerga and perhaps the Iraqi Army. But if we bomb ISIS in Syria, who will we be fighting for?
Strikes said to be from planes flying out of Egyptian airbases signal step towards direct action in conflict by other Arab states
Patrick Kingsley, Chris Stephen and Dan Roberts in The Guardian
The lobbying group AIPAC has consistently fought the Obama Administration on policy. Is it now losing influence?
State says no payment for Peter Theo Curtis, whose family asked Qatar for assistance
Operation Dawn captures airport in fierce fighting against pro-government militias after five-week siege in the capital
Manuel Valls told to form new government after crisis triggered by minister calling for end to austerity policies imposed by Germany
Sensata Technologies Holding NV (ST) is one of at least 14 firms that have left the U.S. tax system through a sale to an investment fund, according to a tally by Bloomberg News. Although these companies have a combined market value of about $75 billion, this tax-avoidance strategy has gotten less attention in Washington than inversions and may be harder to discourage.
These buyouts mean profits for the U.S. private equity firms like Boston-based Bain Capital LLC that orchestrated them. Bain earned more than $3 billion after it took Sensata public as a Dutch company in 2010, with an effective tax rate about one-tenth of some competing manufacturers.
Unions are a part of the cultural fabric in Germany. For Amazon, that poses a persistent challenge as thousands of its German warehouse workers fight for union recognition, striking occasionally to demonstrate their commitment.
“If Argentina were in a high-stakes chess match, the country’s actions this week would be the equivalent of flipping over all the pieces on the board.”
– David Dayen, Fiscal Times, August 22, 2014
Steve Kroft investigates the multibillion-dollar industry that collects, analyzes and sells the personal information of millions of Americans with virtually no oversight
When Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web 24 years ago he thought he'd created an egalitarian tool that would share information for the greater good. But it hasn't quite worked out like that. What went wrong?
With the 15% nominal rate in Canada, this is absolutely a move about taxes. As WSJ points out, a 2010 merger between Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and Biovail Corp, which led to a redomiciling in Canada, produced a company that “now has a tax rate less than 5%.” So this move would clearly save Burger King billions of dollars. [This race to the bottom re. corporate taxes at the national level won't end well, calling into question why we have nation-states at all]
Thanks to a combination of cheap sensors and computer vision, machines are capable of more freely navigating and performing other complex tasks. The tech uses a combination of infrared sensors and stereoscopic cameras to drive autonomous telepresence robots in hospitals
and allow advanced industrial bots
to recognize, differentiate, and pick irregular shapes like haphazardly stacked boxes. (Computer vision is also behind Google’s Project Tango
3D-seeing smartphone and tablet.)