A Facebook Rumor About White Vans Is Spreading Fear Across America

How Poor People Survive in the USA ; Houston's Economy Is Emulating the 1980s Oil Bust ; and More Picks

mysterious white van
The author writes, “Terrifying rumors initially propelled by Facebook's algorithms have sparked fears that men driving white vans are kidnapping women all across the United States for sex trafficking and to sell their body parts. While there is no evidence to suggest this is happening, much less on a national, coordinated scale, a series of viral Facebook (FB) posts created a domino effect that led to the mayor of a major American city issuing a warning based on the unsubstantiated claims.” Photo credit: F Delventhal / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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How I Get By: A Week in the Life of a McDonald’s Cashier (Chris)

The author writes, “[Cierra] Brown works approximately 40 hours a week, splitting her time between a McDonald’s in Durham, North Carolina, and a food-service gig a local hospital. ‘It’s still not enough,’ she said. Both jobs are part-time, and she doesn’t receive health insurance through either employer. She can’t afford insurance on her own, either. That’s a problem since Brown is diabetic, and she has to pay for her medical expenses out of pocket.”

VIDEO: How Poor People Survive in the USA (Chris)

From Deutsche Welle: “Over 40 million people in the United States live below the poverty line, twice as many as it was fifty years ago. It can happen very quickly.”

Frack to the Future: Houston’s Economy Is Emulating the 1980s Oil Bust (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Fracking Bust: The Sequel. At least, that’s how Greater Houston Partnership’s lead economist Patrick Jankowski sees Houston right now. With an over-saturated real estate market, an overbuilt industrial market and a bleak outlook for oil and gas, history may not be repeating itself, but it looks pretty close, Jankowski wrote in his annual economic forecast report for the region.”

What Happens If Trump Loses in 2020 — and Refuses to Leave? (Judy)

The author writes, “As Democratic primary voters agonize over who is their most ‘electable’ candidate, a slightly different question looms: Who would be the strongest standard-bearer if the fight goes on past the election, beyond the experience of history, and into the uncharted territory outside the Constitution?”

‘Horrific’ 220-Pound Ball of Plastic Found in the Stomach of a Dead Sperm Whale (Mili)

From Earther: “The dead whale was found on the Isle of Harris in Scotland, and it was examined … by members of the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) … Among the clump of trash were fishing nets, bundles of ropes, plastic cups, bags, gloves, tubing, and other plastic items.”

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