Teen Used ‘Ghost Gun’ in California High School Shooting

US Prison System Plagued By Abuses ; An Alarming Discovery in an Astronaut's Bloodstream ; and More Picks

school shooting, ghost guns, California
The author writes, “The 16-year-old boy who fatally shot two fellow students and wounded three others last week at a Southern California high school used an unregistered, untraceable ‘ghost gun,’ Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday. Villanueva told media outlets that Nathaniel Berhow’s .45 caliber, 1911-model replica semi-automatic pistol was assembled from gun parts and did not have a serial number. Such weapons are a growing problem for law enforcement around the country. ... In Southern California, federal authorities say one-third of all the firearms seized are ghost guns.” Photo credit: Vvzvlad / Wikimedia (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
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Federal Prison System Plagued by Abuses (Chris)

The author writes, “For years the federal Bureau of Prisons has been plagued by systematic failures, from massive staffing shortages to chronic violence. But the largest agency in the Justice Department has largely stayed out of the public view. … Staffing shortages at the agency — it employs more than 35,000 people and has an annual budget of more than $7 billion — are so severe that guards often work overtime day after day or are forced to work mandatory double shifts. Violence leads to regular lockdowns at federal prison compounds across the nation, and a congressional report released this year found ‘bad behavior is ignored or covered up on a regular basis.’”

Half of Wisconsin’s Black Neighborhoods Are Jails (Chris)

From CityLab: “[Lew] Blank … used the [Weldon Cooper Center’s] Racial Dot Map to identify where predominantly black neighborhoods — defined as ‘a certain area where the majority of residents are African Americans’ — are located throughout the state. There are 56 of them, 31 of which are either jails or prisons. There are 15 cities where the only black neighborhood is a jail.”

Judge Allows ACLU to Seek FBI Records on Its Social Media Monitoring (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A federal judge says the American Civil Liberties Union can seek records from the FBI about its reported surveillance of Twitter and other social media for information about immigrants. The ACLU filed suit in January against the Justice Department, the State Department and federal immigration agencies, saying they had refused to disclose their policies or records of monitoring social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.” 

Americans Losing Faith That Facts Play Role in Democratic Institutions (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A meager 9% of Americans believe that campaign messages are usually based on facts, according to a poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Opinion Research and USAFacts. Only 14% think policy decisions are often or always fact-based.”

An Alarming Discovery in an Astronaut’s Bloodstream (Mili)

From the Atlantic: “An astronaut was carrying out an ultrasound on their own body as part of a new study, guided in real time by a specialist on the ground. A similar test before the astronaut launched to space had come back normal. But now the scan showed a clump of blood.”

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