The low birthrate offers yet another sign that millennials are economically screwed | Vox


One reason for the continuing low fertility rates, then, is that the economy hasn’t recovered.

Sure, GDP may be back up and unemployment back down, but the economy isn’t just quantitative; it’s people, and quality of life is a critical measure of economic health.

If women want children but think they can’t afford them, the lag in birthrates should raise alarm about just how much “recovery” the average American is experiencing.

Source: The low birthrate offers yet another sign that millennials are economically screwed – Vox

Democrats Turn on California’s Jungle Primary | US News


An unusually large horde of candidates from both major parties vying for seven to 10 potentially competitive U.S. House seats has created an air of chaos and uncertainty here.

The so-called “jungle primary” was created in 2010 to infuse greater openness and competitiveness into elections in the Democratic-dominated state. Let everyone compete against each other regardless of party, more nonpartisan voters will participate and the strongest candidates will rise, the theory went.

Yet now Democrats are turning on the quirky system they helped build, dubbing it a novel political science experiment gone awry in a year in which the stakes are so high.

With the clash for congressional control largely hinging on California, the Golden State jungle suddenly looks like a dangerous game of Jumanji.

Source: Democrats Turn on California’s Jungle Primary | The Report | US News

OMB’s Risk Report Calls for Cyber Threat Framework Implementation, IT Capability Standardization

OMB teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security to evaluate the risk management performance of 96 agencies across 76 metrics and found that 74 percent of them have cyber programs that are classified as “high risk” or “at risk.”

OMB and DHS also found that agencies lack the capability to assess how threat actors gain access to their data and information systems.

Source: OMB’s Risk Report Calls for Cyber Threat Framework Implementation, IT Capability Standardization

Bananas have died out once before – don’t let it happen again | Aeon Ideas


The banana that people ate in the early 20th century was not the one we know today.

There are hundreds of edible banana varieties, but to standardize production, banana companies selected a single type to grow: the Gros Michel, a large, flavourful banana. Gros Michel did well up until the 1950s. But then a fungus known as Fusarium wilt, or Panama disease, rapidly infected entire plantations, and caused a global collapse in the banana trade.

The industry quickly found a replacement, a banana resistant to Panama disease, called the Cavendish. But while these new bananas were filling a growing Western appetite, Cavendish suffered from the same flaw that brought down Gros Michel: monoculture.

Source: Bananas have died out once before – don’t let it happen again | Aeon Ideas

When did we stop thinking big? Save the International Space Station | TheHill


Our human spaceflight laboratory is now reaching its peak scientific capabilities, and it would be a policy failure to schedule an end to consistent government funding of ISS. NASA’s FY 2019 budget proposal includes plans to end funding for the International Space Station by 2025 or transferring our valuable taxpayer investment to a private U.S. or international company or consortium.

Conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have opposed this plan.

Source: When did we stop thinking big? Save the International Space Station | TheHill

Boehner: ‘There is no Republican party. There’s a Trump party’ | TheHill


“There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kinda taking a nap somewhere,” Boehner said.

“The left and right are gnawing at each other and the media is throwing gasoline on this fire every day,” he added.

Source: Boehner: ‘There is no Republican party. There’s a Trump party’ | TheHill

Scoop: Donald Trump repeatedly pressured Jeff Sessions on Robert Mueller investigation | Axios


President Trump pressured Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reclaim control of the Russia investigation on at least four separate occasions, three times in person and once over the phone, according to sources familiar with the conversations.

Source: Scoop: Donald Trump repeatedly pressured Jeff Sessions on Robert Mueller investigation – Axios

Kim Jong Un Complains Of ‘U.S. Hegemonism’ Ahead Of Summit | Time


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un complained of “U.S. hegemonism” to Russia’s visiting foreign minister on Thursday, as one of his top lieutenants was in New York trying to pave the way for a summit with President Donald Trump.

“As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of U.S. hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward,” Kim told Lavrov.

Source: Kim Jong Un Complains Of ‘U.S. Hegemonism’ Ahead Of Summit | Time

Global cybercrimes and weak cybersecurity threaten businesses in Africa


Cyberattacks and their fallout expose companies to the media and public scrutiny, putting the top management at the frontline of critics who hold them accountable for such failures, causing damage to image with customers, employees, investors, and partners.

Companies must therefore be prepared to proactively manage this type of crisis communication, informing all stakeholders on a timely basis in order to preserve their consumer relationships and their reputation. Indeed, in a 2016 VMware study, 25 percent of the leaders of the largest global companies consider the most serious impact that a cyberattack can have on their organization is the loss of reputation among their customers.

Source: Global cybercrimes and weak cybersecurity threaten businesses in Africa

Why the dentist with $1 million in student debt spells trouble for federal loan programs


Thanks to a 2006 law, graduate students may borrow not only the cost of tuition but also living expenses while they are in school. Income-based repayment plans cap borrower’s payments at 10 percent of their discretionary income (adjusted gross income minus 150 percent of the poverty line—$37,650 for a family of four) and forgive any remaining balance after 25 years.

That means that Mike Meru, the orthodontist in the WSJ story, who earns more than $255,000 a year, owns a $400,000 house and drives a Tesla pays only $1,589.97 a month on his student loans. In 25 years, his remaining balance, projected to exceed $2 million given accumulating interest, will be forgiven. The combination of unlimited borrowing and generous repayment plans produces a windfall for both USC and large borrowers.

Source: Why the dentist with $1 million in student debt spells trouble for federal loan programs