US Politics in Trump era Public date: 14.11.2019 12:15:01

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30 Oct 2019

Debt, Doomsayers and Double Standards

When progressives propose new or expanded social programs, they face intense media scrutiny bordering on harassment over how they intend to pay for these programs. Republicans proposing tax cuts don’t face anything like the same scrutiny; they are seemingly able to get away with blithe assertions that tax cuts will pay for themselves by boosting economic growth, even though every single piece of evidence we have says that this is nonsense.
When progressives propose new or expanded social programs, they face intense media scrutiny bordering on harassment over...

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24 Oct 2019

YouTube Is Erasing History

In war zones, evidence captured on smartphones can provide a path to justice — but platforms like YouTube and Facebook are getting in the way. In the Video Op-Ed above, the Syrian activist and archivist Hadi Al Khatib urges platforms to overhaul and improve their content moderation systems. He fears that automated removal, which in 2017 deleted 10 percent of the archive documenting violence in Syria, risks erasing critical history.
In war zones, evidence captured on smartphones can provide a path to justice — but platforms like YouTube and Facebook...
10 Oct 2019

As Sea Levels Rise, So Do Ghost Forests

Up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, sea levels are rising rapidly, creating stands of dead trees — often bleached, sometimes blackened — known as ghost forests. The water is gaining as much as 5 millimeters per year in some places, well above the global average of 3.1 millimeters, driven by profound environmental shifts that include climate change.
Up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, sea levels are rising rapidly, creating stands of dead trees — often bleached,...
3 Oct 2019

In Houston, a Rash of Storms Tests the Limits of Coping With Climate Change

After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, Houston jumped to the front of the pack in adapting to the threat of climate change. It passed tougher building codes, offered more buyouts for flood-prone homes and budgeted billions of dollars in new funding for flood control.
After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, Houston jumped to the front of the pack in adapting to the threat of climate change....

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20 Sep 2019

Birds Are Vanishing From North America

The skies are emptying out. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago. There are likely many causes, the most important of which include habitat loss and wider use of pesticides.
The skies are emptying out. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970,...

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18 Sep 2019

The Only Way to End ‘Endless War’

American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe. Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war. To get serious about stopping endless war, American leaders must do what they most resist: end America’s commitment to armed supremacy and embrace a world of pluralism and peace.
American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe....

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17 Sep 2019

A Shadowy Industry Group Shapes Food Policy Around the World

The International Life Sciences Institute, with branches in 17 countries, is funded by giants of the food and drug industries. The organization, which championed tobacco interests during the 1980s and 1990s in Europe and the United States, has more recently expanded its activities in Asia and Latin America, regions that provide a growing share of food company profits. It has been especially active in China, India and Brazil, the world’s first, second and sixth most populous nations.
The International Life Sciences Institute, with branches in 17 countries, is funded by giants of the food and drug...

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17 Sep 2019

Bottled Water Is Sucking Florida Dry

Florida has the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world, but they are being devastated by increasing pollution and drastic declines in water flow. Some springs have dried up from overextraction; others have shown signs of saltwater intrusion and harmful algae blooms.
Florida has the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world, but they are being devastated by increasing...

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7 Aug 2019

A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises

Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth’s population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running out of water. From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to new World Resources Institute data published Tuesday.
Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth’s population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running...

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20 Jun 2019

Soaring Temperatures Speed Up Spring Thaw on Greenland’s Ice Sheet

The Arctic spring thaw has begun with a bang, with extensive melting of the Greenland ice sheet and sea ice loss that is already several weeks ahead of normal, scientists said.A stagnant zone of high-pressure air over Greenland last week brought warm air from the south, raising temperatures as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. That, coupled with cloudless conditions, led to a pulse of melting across much of the ice sheet surface.
The Arctic spring thaw has begun with a bang, with extensive melting of the Greenland ice sheet and sea ice loss that is...

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23 May 2019

Tornadoes Rake Missouri, Leaving a Trail of Death and Debris

Climate change is increasingly linked to many forms of extreme weather. One analysis of extreme weather data found that human-caused climate change was a “significant driver” of 21 out of 27 extreme weather events, including droughts, floods and heat waves.
Climate change is increasingly linked to many forms of extreme weather. One analysis of extreme weather data found that...

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6 May 2019

Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace

Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.
Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal...

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26 Mar 2019

No Roofs, No Roads, No Bread: Cyclone Causes Emergency in Southeastern Africa

At least three million people were affected by the devastation, said Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations. He called it “one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa,” and urged the international community to send relief and funds quickly. He called Cyclone Idai an “uncommonly fierce and prolonged storm” that is “yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change, especially in vulnerable, at-risk countries.”
At least three million people were affected by the devastation, said Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the...

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19 Mar 2019

Flooding in the Midwest: Why the Water Is So High

A historic snowy winter is turning into record spring flooding across a wide area in the middle of the United States, as major rivers spill over their banks, break levees and inundate towns and farms. The governors of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have declared emergencies, and Iowa’s governor has issued a disaster proclamation. At least two people in Nebraska have died in the floodwaters, and two others are missing.
A historic snowy winter is turning into record spring flooding across a wide area in the middle of the United States, as...

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12 Feb 2019

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

It may now be that another gas — carbon dioxide (CO2) — can be removed from the air for commercial purposes, and that its removal could have a profound effect on the future of humanity. But it’s almost certainly too soon to say for sure.
It may now be that another gas — carbon dioxide (CO2) — can be removed from the air for commercial purposes, and...

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7 Feb 2019

It’s Official: 2018 Was the Fourth-Warmest Year on Record

NASA scientists announced Wednesday that the Earth’s average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth highest in nearly 140 years of record-keeping and a continuation of an unmistakable warming trend. “The five warmest years have, in fact, been the last five years,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis.
NASA scientists announced Wednesday that the Earth’s average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth highest in...

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5 Feb 2019

Climate Change Could Leave Thousands of Lakes Ice-Free

In a study published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists for the first time quantified the effects of rising temperatures on ice cover across 1.4 million lakes in the Northern Hemisphere. They found that, from Wisconsin to Japan, thousands of lakes that used to freeze reliably every winter already see some years without ice, and that “an extensive loss of lake ice will occur within the next generation.”
In a study published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists for the first time quantified the...
2 Feb 2019

From Celebrated to Vilified, House’s Muslim Women Absorb Blows Over Israel

Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were celebrated this month as symbols of diversity, the House’s first two Muslim women. But on Israel, they have exposed a Democratic Party divide. The tussle over Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar has exposed a growing generational divide within the Democratic Party, pitting an old guard of stalwart supporters of Israel against an ascendant wing of young liberals — including many young Jews — willing to accuse the Israeli government of human rights abuses and demanding movement toward a Palestinian state.
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were celebrated this month as symbols of diversity, the House’s first two Muslim women....

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8 Dec 2018

The Planet Has Seen Sudden Warming Before. It Wiped Out Almost Everything.

Some 252 million years ago, Earth almost died. In the oceans, 96 percent of all species became extinct. It’s harder to determine how many terrestrial species vanished, but the loss was comparable. This mass extinction, at the end of the Permian Period, was the worst in the planet’s history, and it happened over a few thousand years at most — the blink of a geological eye.
Some 252 million years ago, Earth almost died. In the oceans, 96 percent of all species became extinct. It’s harder to...

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23 Oct 2018

Standing Ovation for Saudi Crown Prince Thrusts Conference Attendees Into Limelight

Bankers kept their name tags obscured behind ties. Many tried to keep a low profile and avoided talking to the news media. But those hoping to escape any tarnish from attending Saudi Arabia’s global investment conference in the wake of a dissident journalist’s killing were foiled when the crown prince himself, Mohammed bin Salman, appeared at the summit meeting and received a standing ovation.
Bankers kept their name tags obscured behind ties. Many tried to keep a low profile and avoided talking to the news...

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12 Sep 2018

The Recovery Threw the Middle-Class Dream Under a Benz

The scars of the financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession are still with us, just below the surface. The most profound of these is that the uneven nature of the recovery compounded a long-term imbalance in the accumulation of wealth. As a consequence, what it means to be secure has changed. Wealth, real wealth, now comes from investment portfolios, not salaries. Fortunes are made through an initial public offering, a grant of stock options, a buyout or another form of what high-net-worth individuals call a liquidity event.
The scars of the financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession are still with us, just below the surface. The most...
9 Aug 2018

As Climate Changes, Scientists Try to Unravel the Effects on Tornadoes

Over the past decade researchers have increasingly been able to draw direct links between our warming climate and extreme weather like hurricanes, heat waves and drought.But for other kinds of extreme weather events, namely tornadoes, a question lingers. Is climate change making tornadoes more frequent and severe?
Over the past decade researchers have increasingly been able to draw direct links between our warming climate and...

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19 Jun 2018

How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country

In cities and counties across the country — including Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix, Ariz.; southeast Michigan; central Utah; and here in Tennessee — the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit, an  offshoot of their longstanding national crusade for lower taxes and smaller government.
In cities and counties across the country — including Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix, Ariz.; southeast Michigan; central...

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23 Apr 2018

Public Servants Are Losing Their Foothold in the Middle Class

The anxiety and seething anger that followed the disappearance of middle-income jobs in factory towns has helped reshape the American political map and topple longstanding policies on tariffs and immigration. But  globalization and automation aren’t the only forces responsible for the loss of those reliable paychecks. So is the steady erosion of the public sector.
The anxiety and seething anger that followed the disappearance of middle-income jobs in factory towns has...

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30 Mar 2018

The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant

As of 2017, according to Gallup polls, almost half of Americans agreed that immigrants make crime worse. But is it true that immigration drives crime? Many studies have shown that  it does not.
As of 2017, according to Gallup polls, almost half of Americans agreed that immigrants make crime worse. But is it...

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26 Mar 2018

They Push. They Protest. And Many Activists, Privately, Suffer as a Result.

At least five activists pushing social justice agendas have died over the last two years, drawing attention to the pressures they face. Along with the long hours, constant confrontation and frequent heartbreak they experience, activists work for little or no pay and sometimes struggle for basic needs like food and shelter even as they push for societal change.
At least five activists pushing social justice agendas have died over the last two years, drawing attention to the...
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21 Feb 2018

Is Israel a Model When It Comes to Guns, as Mike Huckabee Says?

Israel has compulsory military service and firearms are a common sight, but personal gun ownership is tightly restricted. In fact,contrary to the advocates’ arguments for more guns, Israel has strict gun control. Those citizens who are licensed to own a personal weapon have generally undergone some military training. Guns are not seen as a hobby, but as a tool for self-defense, and if necessary, to help protect others from terrorism. And while Israel has sophisticated policing and intelligence aimed at stopping terrorism, it has little experience with the kinds of civilian mass shootings that have become the source of anguished debate in the United States.
Israel has compulsory military service and firearms are a common sight, but personal gun ownership is tightly...

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8 Nov 2017

Records from an offshore hideaway show how an American billionaire grew one of the world’s largest trusts and another owned part of a company accused of exploiting the poor.

The Paradise Papers show how one percent of the worlds population, hides its money in tax havens, owns 40% of the wealth worldwide and abuses this privilege at the expense of the 99%. The wealthy have grown their assets by 9% over the last decade, while the rest of the world GDP has grown at 3%.
The Paradise Papers show how one percent of the worlds population, hides its money in tax havens, owns 40% of the wealth...

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8 Sep 2017

Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights Advocates

Members of Congress are currently considering a bill that threatens to silence the growing support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian freedom and human rights, known as B.D.S. This draconian bill, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, threatens individuals and businesses who actively participate in boycott campaigns in support of Palestinian rights conducted by international governmental organizations with up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Members of Congress are currently considering a bill that threatens to silence the growing support for the boycott,...

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5 Sep 2017

Michigan Gambled on Charter Schools. Its Children Lost.

Free-market boosters, including Betsy DeVos, promised that a radical expansion of charter schools would fix the stark inequalities in the state’s education system. The results in the classrooms are far more complicated. Today in Michigan, hundreds of nonprofit public charters have become potential financial assets to outside entities, inevitably complicating their broader social missions. In the case of Carver, interested parties have included a for-profit educational management organization, or E.M.O., in Georgia; an Indian tribe in a remote section of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; and a financial firm in Minnesota. “That’s all it is now — it’s moneymaking,” Darrel Redrick, a charter-school proponent and an administrator at Carver at the time I visited, told me.
Free-market boosters, including Betsy DeVos, promised that a radical expansion of charter schools would fix the...

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27 Jun 2017

Carbon in Atmosphere Is Rising, Even as Emissions Stabilize

Scientists are concerned over the cause of the rapid rise, which may indicate the world’s natural sponges that absorb carbon dioxide have changed. For more than two years, the monitoring station here, along with its counterparts across the world, has been flashing a warning: The excess carbon dioxide scorching the planet rose at the highest rate on record in 2015 and 2016. A slightly slower but still unusual rate of increase has continued into 2017.
Scientists are concerned over the cause of the rapid rise, which may indicate the world’s natural sponges that absorb...

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1 Jun 2017

The Stakes in the Paris Climate Deal: What Might Other Countries Do?

President Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from the first worldwide deal to address global warming. See a graphical presentation of how each countries commitment will help reduce climate change.
President Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from the first worldwide deal to address global warming. See a...

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10 Jan 2017

Publishers Encounter Political Storms in Turn to Right

Milo Yiannopoulos — the infamous internet troll, Donald J. Trump supporter and editor at Breitbart News — has compared Islam to cancer, mocked transgender people and suggested that women who are harassed online should stay off the web. Last July, he was permanently barred from Twitter for violating the platform’s rules against hate speech and harassment. So when Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint at Simon & Schuster, gave him a six-figure publishing contract, the blowback was swift and furious.
Milo Yiannopoulos — the infamous internet troll, Donald J. Trump supporter and editor at Breitbart News —...

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25 May 2015

One Man’s Millions Turn a Community in Florida Around

Two decades ago, Harris Rosen, who grew up poor on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and became wealthy in the Florida hotel business, decided to shepherd part of his fortune into a troubled community with the melodious sounding name of Tangelo Park.A quick snap from the city’s tourist engine, this neighborhood of small, once-charming houses seemed a world away from theme park pleasures as its leaders tried to beat back drugs, crime and too many shuttered homes. Nearly half its students had dropped out of school.
Two decades ago, Harris Rosen, who grew up poor on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and became wealthy in the Florida...

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