“The department is actively conducting door-to-door outreach and urine sample collection in the impacted area and will share more details as they become available. The results from these efforts will help department determine the number of people affected. These local cases were identified by clinicians who brought them to the attention of the department. In addition, blood banks in the area are currently excluding donations from impacted areas until screening protocols are in place.”
This is the first study looking at the mortality of Apollo astronauts. The Apollo program ran from 1961 to 1972, with 11 manned flights into space between 1968 and 1972. Nine of those flew beyond Earth’s orbit into deep space. The program is most notable for landing men on the moon as well as the failed mission of Apollo 13 that inspired the popular 1995 Ron Howard film.
Standardized tests are best at measuring family income. Well-off students usually score in the top half of results; students from poor homes usually score in the bottom. The quest to “close achievement gaps” is vain indeed when the measure of achievement is a test based on a statistical norm. If we awarded driver’s licenses based on standardized tests, half the adults in this country might never receive one. The failure rates on the Common Core tests are staggeringly high for black and Hispanic children, students with disabilities and English-language learners. Making the tests harder predictably depresses test scores, creating a sense of failure and hopelessness among young children.
BFI Insights: The Zulauf Perspective (Taki T.)
The recent Brexit vote has brought to light the widespread and growing public discontent with the establishment and presented real challenges and concerns over the future direction of the EU. Additionally, significant risks are arising from China, that could trigger another downturn for the world economy. These factors, combined with geopolitical tensions and systemic problems in Western economic structures, raise concerns that sometime within the next 3-4 quarters, and the years thereafter, we could see another major economic crisis beginning.
Granted, some of the expectations heading into policy meeting were “pretty outlandish,” wrote analysts at Daiwa Capital Markets, ranging from further rate cuts, to an increase in asset purchases and even the introduction of “helicopter money”—a term referring to central bank financing of additional fiscal stimulus. Kuroda, in a BBC interview aired earlier this month, had attempted to steer investors away from the prospect of helicopter money.
Venezuela once had a robust agricultural sector. But under its socialist regime, which began with Hugo Chavez in 1999, the oil-rich country started importing more food and invested less in agriculture. Nearly all of Venezuela’s revenue from exports comes from oil.
With oil prices down to about $41 a barrel from over $100 about two years ago, Venezuela has quickly run out of cash and can’t pay for its imports of food, toilet paper and other necessities. Neglected farms are now being asked to pick up the slack.
Climate Change Activism: A Post Mortem (Michael W.)
The last gasp of climate change activism, the COP-21 conference in Paris late last year, resulted in a toothless agreement that binds no nation anywhere on earth to cut back on the torrents of greenhouse gases they’re currently pumping into the atmosphere. The only commitments any nation was willing to make amounted to slowing, at some undetermined point in the future, the rate at which the production of greenhouse gas pollutants is increasing. In the real world, meanwhile, enough greenhouse gases have already been dumped into the atmosphere to send the world’s climate reeling; sharp cuts in greenhouse gas output, leading to zero net increase in atmospheric CO2 and methane by 2050 or so, would still not have been enough to stop extensive flooding of coastal cities worldwide and drastic unpredictable changes in the rain belts that support agriculture and keep all seven billion of us alive. The outcome of COP-21 simply means that we’re speeding toward even more severe climatic disasters with the pedal pressed not quite all the way to the floor.
Here in the desert Southwest, lack of water is not the only threat we face within the Rio Grande-Albuquerque watershed. Contamination is as serious a concern as it is for the residents of Flint. Just a few years ago it was revealed that the Kirtland Airforce Base has been aware of a massive leak of jet fuel since as early as 1999. Albuquerque sits directly atop of an aquifer, leaving it particularly vulnerable to contamination.
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