High court told Texas abortion law model could spread to guns, free speech


The Supreme Court faces arguments that a novel enforcement scheme Texas created for its abortion law could be used by states to neutralize other constitutional rights related to guns, protests, campaign finance and more.

The warning comes from not only the Justice Department and the abortion providers that have challenged the Texas law but also constitutional scholars, states, former prosecutors and law enforcement officials and a California-based nonprofit group that pushes for gun rights.

Source: High court told Texas abortion law model could spread to guns, free speech

Justice Department again presses to halt Texas abortion law


The Biden administration urged the courts again Monday night to step in and suspend a new Texas law that has banned most abortions since early September, as clinics hundreds of miles away remain busy with Texas patients making long journeys to get care.

The latest attempt comes three days after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the nation’s most restrictive abortion law after a brief 48-hour window last week in which Texas abortion providers — following a blistering ruling by a lower court — had rushed to bring in patients again.

Source: Justice Department again presses to halt Texas abortion law

Women were the unseen healthcare providers of the Middle Ages | Aeon Essays

Healthcare workers of yore | Aeon
Sometime in the 1220s CE, a young woman named Ida was walking the city streets of Leuven in Belgium when she was called into the home of a dying man. The sick man was so certain of his imminent death that he had already summoned a priest to administer last rites. Entering his home and having learned something of his affliction – its duration, symptoms and the source of his pain – Ida fixed her eye upon the pestiferous tumour that vexed him. She promptly drained the tumour of its puss and – lo! – the man reported immediate results. The swelling and pain had diminished with Ida’s assistance. He made a full recovery.

Ideas about medieval medicine often conjure images of men donning plague masks, carrying leech flasks, and sporting an assortment of backwards, painful and toxic remedies. Rarely do we imagine stories such as this one, of a woman’s bedside ministrations.

Source: Women were the unseen healthcare providers of the Middle Ages | Aeon Essays

Samsung leader Lee admits in court to unlawful sedative use | Reuters


Samsung conglomerate chief Jay Y. Lee admitted in court on Tuesday to unlawful use of a controlled substance, as the executive’s legal troubles continued despite his release on parole in August after a bribery conviction.

Lee appeared at the Seoul Central District Court where, in a short first hearing, he said he received propofol – a sedative used in anaesthesia – 41 times from 2015 through 2020.

Source: Samsung leader Lee admits in court to unlawful sedative use | Reuters

What if emotions aren’t universal but specific to each culture? | Aeon Essays


The first time I saw Pixar’s movie Inside Out (2015), I was too entranced by its craftsmanship to realize that there was something odd, almost eerie, about its human characters. I was charmed by little Riley, the protagonist, with the chattering critters prancing around in her head. There’s Joy, a feisty version of Tinker Bell with cropped blue hair and indomitable optimism; Anger, a flaming-red stump with eyes like slits and fire bursting from his head; Sadness, a bespectacled blob; Fear, lanky and purple, with a bow tie and bushy eyebrows; and, finally, Disgust – green and chic, her long eyelashes fanning out of her face like miniature broomsticks.

Source: What if emotions aren’t universal but specific to each culture? | Aeon Essays

Regulating Social Media Is Now a Public Health Issue


In 1996, the popular and well-respected U.S. television news program “60 Minutes” aired a whistleblower’s devastating account of corporate malfeasance at America’s third-largest tobacco company. At the time, an estimated 25 percent of Americans smoked cigarettes, and the idea that smoking could be linked to cancer and heart disease or produce birth defects was still a matter of public debate. That changed after Jeffrey Wigand, a biochemist who was hired to oversee the science of making cigarettes more marketable at the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation, told “60 Minutes” that the tobacco company, which he had left in 1993, was lying to the public and to Congress about the harmful effects of its products.

Big Tobacco companies knew, Wigand said then, that there was a problem, because their own research told them so, but they suppressed evidence about how cigarettes hurt public health. It was not until 1998—five years after Wigand left Brown and Williamson and two years after he had exposed its misdeeds—that 45 state attorneys general forced the company and three other Big Tobacco majors to pay out a multimillion-dollar settlement to cover Medicaid costs associated with illnesses linked to cigarette smoking.

Source: Regulating Social Media Is Now a Public Health Issue

Most of Europe fails to guarantee access to abortion care | Tatev Hovhannisyan


Women and girls in almost a third of European countries have problems gaining access to abortion care and some are even forced to continue pregnancies against their will, the European Abortion Policies Atlas revealed this week on International Safe Abortion Day.

‘It is startling how governments are cynically manipulating [the law] to prevent women’s access to abortion,’ said Caroline Hickson, regional director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), co-author of the atlas with the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF).

Source: Most of Europe fails to guarantee access to abortion care – Tatev Hovhannisyan

How memories persist where bodies, and even brains, do not | Aeon Essays

Enduring memory | Aeon
Ibegan exploring the concept of cellular memory – the idea that memory can be stored outside the brain, in all the body’s cells – after reading an article on Reuters headlined ‘Tiny Brain No Obstacle to French Civil Servant’ in 2007. It seems that a 44-year-old French man had gone to hospital complaining of a mild weakness in his left leg. Doctors learned that the patient ‘had a shunt inserted into his head to drain away hydrocephalus – water on the brain – as an infant.

The shunt was removed when he was 14.’ When they scanned his brain, they found a huge fluid-filled chamber occupying most of the space in his skull, leaving little more than a thin sheet of actual brain tissue. The patient, a married father of two children, worked as a civil servant apparently leading a normal life, despite having a cranium filled with spinal fluid and very little brain tissue.

Source: How memories persist where bodies, and even brains, do not | Aeon Essays

How Armed Groups Turned the Pandemic Into a Human Rights Crisis


IN THE FALL of 2019, months before the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, a wave of large protests roiled Lebanon, fueled by skyrocketing gasoline prices, mass unemployment, and growing anger at a corrupt and dysfunctional political class.

For several weeks, tens of thousands of people gathered in downtown Beirut and across the country, where they were met with violence by police, the military, and security forces. The uprising led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, but the protests continued, and tents set up by activists in the city’s iconic Martyrs’ Square turned into makeshift homes, a mark of the Lebanese people’s lasting disillusion with their leadership.

Source: How Armed Groups Turned the Pandemic Into a Human Rights Crisis

How to be a man | Psyche Guides


In the conversation around what it means to be a man, there’s a tug-of-war between two sides that control much of the public discourse. On one side, there are people complaining that young men are too ‘soft’, that they need to stop whining, ‘suck it up’ by swallowing back their feelings – other than anger – and start ‘acting like a man’. On the other side are people insisting that all traditional masculine behavior is ‘toxic’ and needs to be thrown out with the trash.

Missing from these opposing claims is a discussion about a more nuanced and customized form of gender identity that meets men’s individual emotional needs. And that’s what is needed to be a man today: the freedom to customize one’s gender identity and not be forced into what’s on the rack. One essential article we all need in our wardrobe is emotional resiliency.

Source: How to be a man | Psyche Guides