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  • Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations:
    Cartoon by Ruben Bolling  --  Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations
  • Detroit-area Arab American group to challenge hate groups:
    Created by the National Network for Arab American Communities, the Take on Hate campaign aims to deal with misconceptions and stereotypes of Arab Americans and Muslims. From anti-Muslim comments made by some politicians to racist TV shows to unfair treatment by government officials, community leaders say that Arab Americans and Muslims still face bias almost 13 years after the Sept. 11 attacks.
  • Telecoms battle community broadband, and they've got a special friend in Congress:
    Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican, has built a reputation as one of the most conservative members of Congress, especially on tech policy. A strong free market advocate, Blackburn vehemently opposes net neutrality, which she calls "socialistic," and has been a strong critic of what she views as activist Federal Communications Commission policy.[...]

    So it came as no surprise when Blackburn introduced an amendment to a key appropriations bill that would prevent the FCC from preempting state laws that block or impede the ability of cities and municipalities to create new local broadband networks. On Wednesday, the amendment passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 233-200.

  • Just the presence of a smartphone on the table lowers the quality of face-to-face conversations.
  • Refugees or immigrants? The U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees wants Central American children fleeing violence and gang extortion labeled as refugees. Is it refugee status really that important? Maddie Oatman interviewed Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights at the Women's Refugee Commission:
    "Whether you formally call it a 'refugee situation'—that to me is less relevant than acknowledging that this is a population that is being driven out of their country. And their government is not willing or able to protect them," Brané said. [...]

    "It's true that general conditions of war or of danger are not sufficient to qualify for asylum. But the UN agency of refugees, in interviewing 400 of these children, for over an hour each, they found that 58 percent expressed a targeted fear. Not just, 'I was scared because my neighborhood was dangerous.' Fifty-eight percent of the kids said, 'I received a death threat.' Or, 'I had a body cut up in a plastic bag left on my doorstep as a warning.' One hundred percent come from a dangerous place. That we know. But 58 percent were targeted. That's the piece that people are not getting."

  • Nuclear waste disposal still not resolved as more nuclear power plants shut down worldwide. While companies view nuclear waste management and disposal as a cash cow, the how, where, when and who pays remains unresolved:
    The US government has voted another $205 million to continue exploring the idea of sending the waste to the remote Yucca Mountain in Nevada—an idea fought over since 1987 and still no nearer solution. Even if this plan went through, the facility would not be built and accepting waste until 2048.
  • Apparently, even great white sharks can bite off more than they can "chew": This one died with a sea lion stuck in its throat.
  • California drought has led state's farmers to drain state's groundwater reserves at a prodigious rate:
    California is technically in its third year of drought, and regardless of the effects of El Niño, 2015 is likely to be a dry year too. As the dry years accumulate, it becomes harder and harder to pump water from the ground, adding to the crop and revenue losses. California is the only western state without groundwater regulation or measurement of major groundwater use. If you can drill down to water, it’s all yours. (Journalist McKenzie Funk describes this arcane system in an excerpt from his fascinating recent book, Windfall.) “A well-managed basin is used like a reserve bank account,” said Richard Howitt, a UC-Davis water scientist and co-author of the report. “We’re acting like the super-rich, who have so much money they don’t need to balance their checkbook.”
  • Kagro in the Morning marks NN14 with a classic episode featuring bunnygirl60, author of The Smart Bunny's Guide to Debt, Deficit and Austerity.

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