Trump’s new oceans policy washes away Obama’s emphasis on conservation and climate | AAAS


Marine conservation and addressing climate change are out. Jobs and national security are in.

That’s just one message sent by a new executive order detailing a revised U.S. oceans policy released today by President Donald Trump.

The order formally revokes the 2010 oceans policy issued by President Barack Obama, and replaces it with a markedly different template for what the U.S. government should focus on in managing the nation’s oceans, coastal waters and Great Lakes.

Source: Trump’s new oceans policy washes away Obama’s emphasis on conservation and climate | Science | AAAS

How America Got Hooked On A Deadly Drug | Kaiser Health News


Purdue Pharma left almost nothing to chance in its whirlwind marketing of its new painkiller OxyContin.

From 1996 to 2002, Purdue pursued nearly every avenue in the drug supply and prescription sales chain — a strategy now cast as reckless and illegal in more than 1,500 federal civil lawsuits from communities in Florida to Wisconsin to California that allege the drug has fueled a national epidemic of addiction.

Source: How America Got Hooked On A Deadly Drug | Kaiser Health News

Why “America First” Means “Europe United” | Social Europe

While Brexit itself is nothing to celebrate, the process has at least shown that Europe is strongest when it is challenged.

In fact, for many Europeans, the EU seems to have returned from the dead. Slowly but surely, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – the bloc’s two most powerful leaders – have shown signs of coming together to pursue long-overdue EU-level reforms.

Source: Why “America First” Means “Europe United” • Social Europe

Analysts: Medicare Insolvency Looms, But Social Security Poses Bigger Threat | US News


“By the time that date rolls around, the system is so far gone that you cannot, with any plausibility, restore it to solvency within the confines of its historical financing structure,” he tells U.S. News.

Both the Social Security trust fund and Medicare’s hospital trust fund are financed primarily through payroll taxes, but because of a variety of structural factors – the age of the funds, the differing sizes of the annual revenue and benefit payouts – Social Security has a much larger build-up of money in its trust fund than Medicare does, which only has about the value of eight months of payments in reserve.

But Medicare’s shortfall is also relatively small compared to what Social Security’s would be if no action is taken.

Source: Analysts: Medicare Insolvency Looms, But Social Security Poses Bigger Threat | Health Care News | US News

Sexual harassment in science: 4 big takeaways from a huge new report | Vox


The scientific community hasn’t seen quite the gush of sexual harassment claims that Hollywood has. But allegations have emerged in fields as diverse as geology and climate change, anthropology, and biology, with the resignation of cancer biologist Inder Verma from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies last week.

The sweeping new review says these anecdotes represent a systemic problem in academia.

Source: Sexual harassment in science: 4 big takeaways from a huge new report – Vox

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dead of suicide at 61 | Reuters


Bourdain, whose career catapulted him from cooking at New York’s top restaurants to dining in Vietnam with President Barack Obama, was found dead in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France, where he had been working on an upcoming episode of his program, CNN said in a statement.

His death comes three days after American designer Kate Spade, who built a fashion empire on her signature handbags, was found dead in her New York apartment of suicide on Tuesday.

Source: Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dead of suicide at 61 | Reuters

Suicide Rates Have Increased Across the U.S. Since 1999 | Pacific Standard


From 1999 through 2016, suicide rates increased across the United States, with statewide increases in every state except Nevada, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The period also saw a rise in suicides across different age groups, genders, racial categories, and ethnic identities.

The number of suicides in the U.S. in 2016 was double the number of homicides recorded for that year, making it the 10th leading cause of death—and the second most common cause of death for people ages 15 to 34.

Source: Suicide Rates Have Increased Across the U.S. Since 1999 – Pacific Standard

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

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

Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised at the Theranos Fraud

The problem was that Theranos’ technology was never close to ready.

In a series of devastating articles published in the Wall Street Journal starting in 2015, reporter John Carreyrou reminded us that unicorns are usually found only in fairy tales.

Theranos, he reported, was analyzing many of the blood samples it received using off-the-shelf commercial blood analyzers. Samples analyzed with Theranos’ own technology often produced inaccurate results.

Some patients were rushed to a hospital on the basis of erroneous readings, only to be sent home when their blood was properly analyzed by the hospital.

Even worse, Theranos was using brutal intimidation tactics against its own employees to stop the truth from coming out.

Source: Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised at the Theranos Fraud