Air Force to push Congress for military housing tenant bill of rights | Reuters


Aiming to grant military families far greater say to challenge hazardous housing, the U.S. Air Force told Reuters Monday it will push Congress to enact a tenant bill of rights allowing families the power to withhold rent or break leases to escape unsafe conditions.

Source: Exclusive: Air Force to push Congress for military housing tenant bill of rights | Reuters

Facing crackdown in Canada, drugmakers offered billions in price cuts | Reuters


Canadian pharmaceutical industry lobby groups, in an effort to head off a planned crackdown on prescription drug prices, offered to give up C$8.6 billion ($6.6 billion) in revenue over 10 years, freeze prices or reduce the cost of treating rare diseases, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

Those industry offers did not impress federal officials, coming last year as Canada prepared to expand the powers of a little-known federal watchdog called the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

Source: Exclusive: Facing crackdown in Canada, drugmakers offered billions in price cuts | Reuters

Smart thermostats prove their worth, leading the way to smarter homes | EURACTIV.com


Over the past couple of years, advanced thermostats have seen a steady uptake and are reaching a higher level of market maturity.

Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in 2014 fueled the development of this market. Other high profile companies have since followed suit to carry this momentum forward.

Amazon has invested in ecobee and tado, Centrica Connected Home has developed its Hive Active Heating brand with its acquisition of AlertMe, and Johnson Controls has recently released a Microsoft Cortana-embedded residential thermostat in response to market demand in the residential sector.

These investments by major brands show how these devices are gaining in acceptance and becoming a staple in smart homes.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential energy savings, remote control capabilities, and comfort gains associated with advanced thermostats.

Source: Smart thermostats prove their worth, leading the way to smarter homes – EURACTIV.com

The Brief – Pulmonary madness | EURACTIV.com


Everybody enjoys clean air. It invigorates you, draws the pollution out of your lungs and makes you feel alive. We even spend fortunes to escape the city in search of it. But some people in Germany do not seem to be interested in that and even think that air quality standards are protecting our health too much.

An odd quasi-debate has sprung up in the Bundesrepublik this year, after one Dr Dieter Köhler published an article last December arguing that the studies used to set pollution limits are flawed.

The basis of his claims is this: just because more people die earlier in areas with high pollution, it does not mean it was because of the pollution.

Source: The Brief – Pulmonary madness – EURACTIV.com

USDA Economists Seek to Unionize Amid Relocation Effort | GovExec.com


One Economic Research Service employee, who asked to remain anonymous citing potential retaliation, said they hope that with a union’s backing, they can shed light on the department’s process to relocate the agency.

“This whole relocation and realignment under the Office of the Chief Economist took us by surprise, and that was last August, and since then there’s been no engagement with staff,” the employee told Government Executive.

“There’s been no interest in finding out how this would affect our work, or what it would do to the stats we create on a weekly or monthly basis . . . Unionization helps in the sense that it requires the administration to talk to the employees or anything along those lines.”

The employee noted that although the Agriculture Department claims it has done a cost-benefit analysis that supports the relocation plan, officials have refused to divulge that study.

Another employee of the agency said that they suspect the plan is part of an effort to politicize what has been until now an unbiased research organization, something the first employee described as an “existential threat.”

Source: USDA Economists Seek to Unionize Amid Relocation Effort – Management – GovExec.com

Citizens are fed up with industrial agriculture | EURACTIV.com


We are at the End of the International Green Week in Berlin, an international exhibition of the food, gardening and agriculture industries.

While the businesses and marketing people were focusing mainly on digitalization and high tech, NGOs and civil society took the opportunity to raise the alarm about the real problems. The loudest voice could be heard during the protest march: we are fed up with industrial agriculture! (Wir haben Agrarindustrie satt!).

For the 9th year and this time supported by over 100 organizations and more than 35,000 people, the streets of Berlin were filled with demands for low-impact farming, animal welfare, climate justice and good food, for thriving family farms and rural communities, for biodiversity, for pesticide-free farming, for development cooperation based on ecological principles, and for a just and ecological reform of the EU’s farm subsidies, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Source: Citizens are fed up with industrial agriculture – EURACTIV.com

Spaceflight Might Increase Cancer Risk for Astronauts


As space organizations like NASA become more ambitious with exploration plans, additional studies are needed to see what the long-term health impact of spaceflight is on humans.

A research team led by University of Arizona scientists has now found that long-term spaceflights influence certain cells found in the immune system called natural killer cells (NK-cells)—white blood cells that kill cancerous cells in the body and prevent older viruses from reactivating.

Source: Spaceflight Might Increase Cancer Risk for Astronauts

The Surprising Way To Resist Eating Junk Food | Time


In a series of experiments, the researchers found a surprising relationship between ambient scents and food choices.

Time after time, they found that people who sniffed indulgent foods, like pizza or cookies, were actually less likely to choose or purchase unhealthy foods than those who smelled nutritious options, such as apples and strawberries.

Source: The Surprising Way To Resist Eating Junk Food | Time

The EPA is letting environmental criminals off the hook | Vox


At his Wednesday confirmation hearing, Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler tried to make the case to senators on the Environment & Public Works Committee that enforcement is a priority. “In Fiscal Year 2018, EPA enforcement actions required the treatment, disposal, or elimination of 809 million pounds of pollutants and waste – almost twice as much as compared to 2017,” he said.

But according to government watchdog groups, under the Trump administration, the agency has seen big declines in both civil and criminal enforcement of environmental laws.

Source: The EPA is letting environmental criminals off the hook – Vox

Glossier’s Emily Weiss treats everyone like an influencer | Vox


Everyone is an influencer now, at least according to Emily Weiss, the founder and CEO of the wildly popular direct-to-consumer beauty startup Glossier.

“At Glossier, something we’ve always stayed very true to, since pre-launch, day one, is that every single person is an influencer,” Weiss said during a live interview with Kara Swisher for her Recode Decode podcast.

“And I think that is so the message right now for politics, for seeing all of these women going into Congress. You’re really starting to understand more than ever, I think, the power of your voice and the importance of your voice, and how necessary it is to speak up.”

Source: Glossier’s Emily Weiss treats everyone like an influencer – Vox