The disgusting situation with gun deaths

More than 12,000 Americans have been killed by guns this year alone. As a long-ago foreigner I have never understood how so many people interpret the Constitution so strangely. Arming citizens (it is clear to me anyway) was in the context of membership of citizen militias, defending against foreign interference. Yes, the wording is careless, …

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Side-effects of the virus

The coronavirus pandemic has fuelled an “unprecedented exodus” of migrant workers that has caused the UK population to plummet and may result in “profound” damage to London’s economy, according to a new study. The Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence says that analysis of estimated labour figures suggests more than half a million non-UK-born people left …

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The US postal “service”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is preparing to put all first-class mail on a single delivery track, according to two people briefed on his plan for the U.S Postal Service, a move that would mean even slower and costlier service for both consumers and commercial mailers. The plan also prevents first-class mail from being shipped by …

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What is the point of Facebook?

When it was started Facebook served a useful social service in allowing families and friends to keep up with the people dear to them.  So far so good.  We all know people for whom Facebook is an important part of their lives.  These people far outnumber the wreckers, trouble-makers, haters and liars. Recently, however,  Facebook …

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Can the US mend and reassert itself?

Watching the opening weeks of the Biden administration are Europeans filled with relief and optimism? Not exactly. Four years of Trump has, it seems, battered our trust, convincing us that Joe Biden, liked as he is, can’t fix a “broken” America, that the US is an unreliable ally, and that within a decade China will …

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Universal basic income

The world’s most robust study of universal basic income has concluded that it boosts recipients’ mental and financial well-being, as well as modestly improving employment. Finland ran a two-year universal basic income study in 2017 and 2018, during which the government gave 2000 unemployed people aged between 25 and 58 monthly payments with no strings …

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Reining in social media and it’s abusers

Most would-be reformers of social media want to rewrite Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which largely exempts social media companies from legal liability for what users post on their sites. But attempts “to ‘fix’” Section 230 would massively backfire, forcing Twitter, Facebook, et al. to heavily censor all controversial posts on all …

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Be careful who you believe!

Oklahoma is trying to return its $2 million purchase of hydroxychloroquine and get a refund from the manufacturer. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt ordered the purchase of the malaria drug in April, when President Trump was promoting it as a “miracle” treatment for Covid-19. Studies, however, have found the drug inappropriate (actually useless, to be honest, except …

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Sloppy oversight?

There is an allegation that Federal officials misused money set aside in the biomedical research fund in the years before the coronavirus emerged. Officials overseeing the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an arm of the federal health department, used millions of dollars from the fund to pay for unrelated salaries, administrative expenses and even …

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Legalizing assisted dying (but cannabis remains illegal)

New Zealanders recently voted to legalize euthanasia for the October general election ballot paper. The results are binding and the Act will come into effect 22 months from the final results on 6 November 2021. The vote makes New Zealand the seventh country in the world to legalize assisted dying. On the other hand, New …

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