As your humble scribe, I welcome you all to another edition of Overnight News Digest.
I am most pleased to share this platform with jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, rfall, and JLM9999. Additionally, I wish to recognize our alumni editors palantir, Bentliberal, Oke, Interceptor7, and ScottyUrb along with side pocket and annetteboardman as our guest editors.
Neon Vincent is our editor-in-chief.
Special thanks go to Magnifico for starting this venerable series.
Lead Off Story
A School for Syrian Refugees, ‘Shouting for Help’World News
When Dania al-Betar began her school for Syrian refugees in January 2011, she had only 16 students. Now, she has more than 1,600. Ms. Betar is the principal of the Al Bashair school for Syrian refugees in Antakya, Turkey. The school sits on the edge of a residential area surrounded by wheat fields. [...] Inside the stark concrete building, tiny rooms were packed with students. The building was not intended as a school; during winter rains, its dirt courtyard flooded and turned to mud. “The school is shouting for help,” Ms. Betar said. “Last month, the teachers did not get salaries. We had nothing.” [...] The school lacks money for basic supplies such as pencils and paper, or transportation for the scattered students.
“Nothing can happen without funding,” Ms. McKinney said. “One of the reasons that we haven’t been able to respond to all of the requests is that funding is almost nonexistent in Syria.” Syria had high levels of literacy and an advanced, secular education system before the war. Now, many of the country’s children have gone months or years without formal schooling. Ms. Betar is determined to teach her students, but has little hope of receiving assistance. Against the scale of human tragedy in Syria, education for the young hardly registers.
“Honestly, no one is asking about us at all,” she said.
Brazil's Belo Monte Dam: Sacrificing the Amazon and its Peoples for Dirty EnergyU.S. News
The Brazilian Government is building the world's third largest hydroelectric dam on one of the Amazon's major tributaries, the Xingu River. The Belo Monte Dam complex is designed to divert 80% of the Xingu River's flow, devastating an area of over 1,500 square kilometers of Brazilian rainforest while resulting in the forced displacement of between 20,000 - 40,000 people.
No one knows the true cost of the Belo Monte Dam. What is clear is that Belo Monte will be one of the largest, most devastating infrastructure projects ever built in the Amazon. As its costs rocket above all previous estimates and the full extent of its impacts across a broad swath of the Amazon become more evident, it grows clearer than ever that Brazil doesn't need Belo Monte, and that the project will bring destruction – not development – to a unique region.
Recent technical studies concerning Brazil's electricity sector demonstrate viable opportunities to implement new energy efficiency standards and adopt energy alternatives with low socio-environmental and financial costs when compared with hydroelectric dams. However, the Brazilian government has shown itself unwilling to debate its highly flawed energy model that aims to sacrifice the last remaining wild rivers of the Amazon.
Heartland Virus Is Carried by TicksScience and Technology
The Heartland virus, a mysterious virus first identified last year in two Missouri farmers, is indeed transmitted to people by ticks, new research suggests. The findings, published today (July 22) in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, confirm what scientists had suspected.
The virus was first noticed in 2009, when two men in Missouri were admitted to hospitals with high fevers, diarrhea, fatigue and a severe drop in the number of their white blood cells, immune cells that fight infection. Because the disease's symptoms looked similar to bacterial infection, doctors gave the men antibiotics, but they didn't improve. Last year, researchers sequenced the virus found in the men, and found it had not previously been identified. They named it the Heartland virus, and said that it resembled another tick-borne pathogen called SFTS virus, which had been identified in China and was fatal in 12 percent of cases. The Missouri men infected with the Heartland virus recovered after 10 to 12 days in the hospital.
Though researchers suspected that ticks spread the virus — both men reported being bitten, one of them up to 20 times a day — the evidence wasn't conclusive. Harry Savage, a medical entomologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colo., and his colleagues collected more than 7,000 tick nymphs in the Missouri woods. The researchers then ground up the ticks, and analyzed them for genetic information. They found that about 1 in 500 of members of species Amblyomma americanum, also known as lone star ticks, carried the Heartland virus.
Confirmatory determination of six penicillins in honey by liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry.Culture
A confirmatory method for 6 penicillin antibiotics (amoxicillin, ampicillin, penicillin G, oxacillin, cloxacillin, and dicloxacillin) in honey is presented that allows determination and confirmation of identity of the antibiotics at trace levels.
The method includes the use of a stable isotope-labeled internal standard benzyl (d7-phenyl) penicillate and removal of sugar and other substances by solvent and solid-phase extraction. The honey extracts are then analyzed for penicillin residues by liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry.
Typical recoveries of 6 penicillins at fortification levels of 6, 16, 40, and 80 microg/kg ranged from 51.4 to 132.9%. The recoveries varied with the individual penicillins and were affected by different honey matrixes. The ion ratios were consistent and could be used for confirmation of identity of the penicillins.
Jeah! We Mapped Out The 4 Basic Aspects Of Being A 'Bro'Well, that's different...
What up, bro? What's good, brah?
This is the chant of the bro, an equally parodied and celebrated genus of young men. (They've been designated "bros" mostly because, well, they say "bro" a whole lot.) The usage of "bro" as a term of endearment isn't new, obviously. (As the indispensable Know Your Meme points out in a useful short history, people have been abbreviating "brother" this way for centuries, although its iteration as a synonym for "friend" — or more accurately, "friend-dude" — is much more recent.) Over the past decade or so, though, "bro" has evolved into a shorthand for a specific kind of fratty masculinity. Baseball cap with the frayed brim (possibly backward), sky-blue oxford shirt or sports team shirt, cargo shorts, maybe some mandals or boat shoes.
The other day, the Code Switch team fell into a winding conversation about bros, as we're wont to do regarding all sorts of seemingly trivial topics. After a Code Switcher described a person of color as being a bro, some of us wondered whether the description even made sense. Uh, weren't bros fratty white guys? Could dudes of color be bros independently of white bros? Or are they just like That Brown Friend in all those beer commercials — bro-y due to his social proximity to white bros?
Is bro-ness, well, raced? We asked folks to conjure up an image of a typical bro in their mind's eye. What race is that dude in your head? Most people nearby said that guy was probably white.
A 64-year-old man was arrested in Geelong, Australia (near Melbourne) in June after carjacking a 22-year-old woman's vehicle. He was still on-scene when police arrived, as it took him time to load his walker into the car, along with several bags he had nearby when he decided to commandeer the vehicle.
Bill Moyers and Company:
Baldemar Velasquez (Farmworker Activist)